Monday, July 2, 2012


Good morning to everyone. I hope you are enjoying some of the activities available to you during the summer times without getting too hot. The temperature is climbing and I pray you take the necessary steps to avoid the damage of too much sun or heat.

Today's topic, “Spiritually Paralyzed”, has hit me hard this week. While I wait on the Lord to reveal His thoughts to me, so that I may share them with you, I try to discern which ideas are His and which are mine. It is my pray and heart's intention to first and foremost serve my Lord and then to feed you His word.

This past week, the need arose to find volunteers to assist one of the widows of our church. The event had been announced for a few weeks, so there was plenty of time for others to plan for it. Because of a lack of volunteers, I was ask to seek out those who might help. I made many calls. I had ONE to commit to help.

Last week I used myself as an example and I am going to do that again. I can feel nothing below about four inches above my bellybutton. From that point down I am still alive, blood flows, toenails grow but I feel nothing. My point is, God is showing me that many of our heart's are the same way. They are pumping blood, beating and doing their jobs, but dead. Let me show you what God is telling me.

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Revelations 1:5 says, “and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood “ 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 says, “14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” Matthew 15:8, 19 says, “ 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me” “19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” John 8:47 says, “He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God." James 2:17-19 says, “17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble!” 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 says, “ 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

So, let's review what we have read. God created us for “good works”. He washed our sins away with His own blood. If we have truly accepted Him as our Savior, we are to STOP living our lives to please ourselves, and seek to please Him. We talk a good talk but God, the One who looks at the heart, knows that while we offer good lip service, our hearts are truly far from Him and His. From our hearts. God sees what is really important to us and why we do the things we do.

He knows our intentions, sees our loyalties and all the things that go on behind closed doors. Again, if you are truly His, you will hear His word and want to do His will. Faith without works is dead. The Bible tells us even the demons believe, but that doesn't mean they are children of God, or that they will get to heaven.

With all of this knowledge, what does that say about you and I? We cannot argue that God created us. And if we have been saved, asked forgiveness for our sins and ask Christ to come and live in and through us, then we were bought by and washed in His blood. We were created to do His “good works”. Not to do anything and everything that pleases us. Don't throw stones at me, I'm just sharing His word, not my own. I am not saying God expects us to be miserable, I'm saying if we are doing what He has called us to do, we will find a satisfaction, a gratification, like we've never known. We can talk all day until we are blue in the face about God and how much we believe in Him, but if we are not doing the things He wants us to do, we are just putting on a show.

If you frequent a convenient store and run into the same man each afternoon and he has paint on his clothes, you can surmise he is a painter. You don't need to hear him tell you he is, there is evidence. The Bible tells us you can tell a tree by the fruit it bears and by their fruit we shall know them. If you are a true child of God, there should be fruit, evidence. We should be able to recognize each other without having to make some proclamation of who and what we are.

The intent of this writing, is to get you to look into the mirror and examine your spiritual health. Is there evidence that you are a child of God? If God followed you around for a day, for what would you be ashamed of? If He called you home today, what regrets would you have over lost opportunities?

You may say none of this pertains to you. I want to challenge you to be 100% honest, and for one day, make a journal of everything you do, For one day, other than Sunday, write down what you spend your time doing. Then I challenge you to be honest enough to message me back and say either yes, I am doing more of what God would have me to do, or no, I am failing God and spending more time pleasing me. I will not share with anyone, anything that any of you send to me, I am just looking for honest answers and whether you are honest with me or not, God already knows.

If we are not being the Holy Spirit filled people God created us to be, what are we teaching our children? If we are teaching them to be slack and to compromise a little here and there, how much more will they teach their children to do the same and more?

Remember: If you are suffering from Spiritual Paralysis, seek God's R-E-H-A-B. Repent—Evict all the bad—Hold to the good—Accept responsibility—Be ye a doer of His will.

Until next time, please continue to pray for each other, and me, as I continue to pray for each of you. Love in CHRIST,

Brian Hanvey
Associate Pastor
Bethel Baptist Church

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