Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Back to basics

1 Thessolonians 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

We know by the change in the spiritual climate of America that our time here is growing short and the Lord's return is drawing near. So, why then are so many Sunday sermons more about Barack than THE ROCK? Why are preachers more concerned about the black cause than the sin clause? Well, it's the sign of the times people. Wake up and smell the coffee! The devil has planted selfish, compromising, wolves over the sheep in many of our churches and now, because we are in a time of financial crisis, their empires are threatened, so they must turn to tricks and gimmicks to keep the doors open. You see, when you build big monumental buildings based on attendance and not on God's plan, then when money gets tight, these churches have to conjure up ways to keep people coming and paying. Instead of our churches keeping things in God's perspective, they have followed the leading of men with selfish motives that led them to build when they should not have, and have so called "faith" that God would fill the buildings up. Well, church attendance is down all over the country and millions are now skipping church services because they are just not getting answers from the pulpit that they are seeking. Folks are tired of hearing from pastors that cannot control their own houses and children. Folks are tired of giving to a spiritual money pit that only prospers the leader. People are tired of hearing about Obama and giving so much so, that church attendance is down to it's lowest point in history! Sure there are many preachers still preaching the true Gospel of Jesus, but there are many that have become jokers in their own sanctuaries. Though Black America is excited to have a black president, to use his popularity to appease people and coax them into coming and giving to your services makes a mockery of God's power and Spirit. It's hard to even turn on a black preacher's television or radio broadcast without hearing them use the president as a tool for gain. What a shame!

Why are their so many churches and still so many sinners? The church buildings have gone up but the call for righteous living has decreased. There are churches on every street corner in most cities, yet we have the highest immoral statistics our nation has ever seen. And with the bad economy, people are looking for answers but many pastors are looking for members and money to sustain the monuments they constructed! Instead of storing up money and keeping things modest for bad economic times, they have lived lavishly, employing too many people and overspending to appear grand, while all along, people under their own noses were failing in life and getting corrupted. Now, we have the big buildings, the grand production services, the fancy cars and homes, but in our own homes, pastors marriages are failing, their children are corrupt, and their Sunday morning services are selfish and self centered. Instead of Jesus and the End Times being preached, money and Obama is the subject of choice. Even preachers that fought against the democratic agenda and those that totally opposed Obama's policies have shifted gears to keep folks coming and giving. They have weaved Obama into their own plan and are using it to make a name for themselves rather than preaching the Word! We have lost focus in these trying times and we all must go back and seek the face of God. We are experiencing God's hand, his judgement, and his anger right now. America has turned their back on Him and he is seeking justice. The only way out of this is justification, but that only comes with a true acceptance of Jesus and his Word.

You see, we can talk all day about salvation and what it means, but until we pull the plug on these gimmicks and Sunday morning schemes to get members and money, we will not experience God in our midst. Aren't you tired of wishy washy sermons about sex and money every weekend? Aren't you tired of preachers and pastors following the mood of the people instead of the voice of God? Barack Obama is our president, but he is not our savior. Jesus is and should be the focus of every service and every sermon! God is not pleased that we have made worldly politics and church politics our focus. We need to refocus! We cannot allow tough times to bring fear into our minds and hearts. And we definitely cannot allow the large buildings and high dollar payrolls of the mega churches to dictate what will be preached from the pulpit.

In tough economic times like these there should be one focus in the body of Christ and that is PLEASING GOD! Sure we should pray for the president, give tithes and offerings, and we should definitely go to church somewhere. But the bottom line in this time is to please God. When God is pleased, he will bless. I know you have heard the popular preachers continue to tell you that PRAISE is the answer, but they are lying. Praise has not even helped them in their own marriages, with their own children, or with the mortgages on these monuments they built. Praise is good, but does not move God. He said if you "WAYS" please him, not "Praise" please him! He said he would give you all that you need if your ways please him. This does not mean you will not make mistakes. It means that your focus is Christ centered and your objective in this life is to be on track with him. To be right-aligned with his plan for you is righteousness! And this is where your job, finances, family, etc. is. It's in his plan for you but you must line up with him to get it. You can't compromise, you can't do your own thing, and you can't seek to please your flesh, and be aligned with him.

People of God, hear G. Craige Lewis right now! We must please God! We must not seek our own anymore. We must seek him in this last hour. Pastors, preachers, ministers, leaders, parents, it's time to make God happy! He is angry and this offering driven mentality is not making a difference. Stop preaching about Barack Obama and the miracle of him winning the election. Pray for him and let's give the man time to prove himself and then we will know if he is the man for the job. Stop seeking offerings and tithes and allow God to fill the storehouse. Stop chasing gimmicks and ways to prosper and seek to please God. If what you have came from God, he will take care of it. But if it was a mistake, let your congregation know, downsize, suck it up and repent! Don't play games with God's people and never try to make something that was not God's plan look right. We all get caught up at times, make a bad judgement call, or do things that we shouldn't have done. We have regrets and feel ashamed, but we must remember that ministry is God's not ours. What he does through us, only he can get the glory for. That's why we strive to be good people in this life and allow God to be the anointing on us. You see, we can have success in ministry, but God does not measure us on that scale and neither should people. We should be measured in this life by how we treat others, take care of our families and those that we are responsible for, as well as the success of those we mentor. These are things that can measure true success in this life. Money does not equal success or blessings. God wants us all focused on being perfect in his sight and upstanding with his ministry. That basically means, do what is right and deny your own flesh. If we do these things we will please him and if God is pleased with us, he will bless us and take care of us.

Like the prodigal son returned after his folly, so should we all, in this time, return to God on bended knees, asking for forgiveness, and turning from our wicked ways. Only then will we begin to see a difference. Let's get it right people of God. Leaders, let's lead with God's authority. Parents, let's strive to be examples and mentors to our children. Ministers, let's put our personal agendas away and do what needs to be done according to God's plan. Let's get it together before He returns and please him at all costs. We will then see the true heart of God and be blessed as a people.

Prov. 16:8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.
Rom. 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Gal. 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Heb. 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Until He returns,
G. Craige Lewis