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"If you have not chosen the Kingdom of God, it will make in the end no difference what you have chosen instead" 
CS Lewis

 The Journey 
Thursday, November 04 2010

What am I to do?  I have been called into my place by the “King”.  The task is beyond the scope of my experience.  The need is immense and without change the land will sink further into the darkness.  What can I do? The inadequacy and failure of my own humanity is yelling, “You can’t deal with this”.  The robe of authority I have received is tattered and worn.  My shoulders are stooped by my shame and the failures of the fathers.  As the reality of insufficiency sinks in, I begin to tremble uncontrollably as though hyperthermia has set in.  The accusations have teeth…… because of the vice within me.    

Suddenly, I hear a voice.  It cuts the air and seems to touch even the marrow of my bones. “SILENCE SATAN!!!!!  THIS IS A CHOSEN ONE…. THAT I HAVE PLUCKED FROM THE FIRE” The accusers mouth is fastened shut. “Put a new robe on him”.   His servants rush to my side and strip the old away.  “I REMOVE YOUR SIN AND SHAME …. NOW!!!!”  The words echo everywhere.  My arms are lifted and the new slips easily on, tailored to my body and station. “ IF YOU DO THINGS MY WAY AND SERVE FAITHFULLY… I WILL EMPOWER YOU to stand before me as other great ones”.  Suddenly, I sense confidence and authority surging into me to accomplish the work.  Courage fills me like an early winters morning would fill my chest.  All excuses and doubtful reasoning’s are baseless now.  All I have to do is open my mouth and administrate His will. 

There is no fix apart from the sovereign work of the “Most High”.  However, God has chosen to co labor with man.  What is our part in this partnership?  Can we provoke a response from Heaven?  

The earth isn’t waiting on heaven.  Heaven is waiting on the Ecclesia that is presently serving the term of their lives.  Whatever we bind on Earth will be bound in heaven.  Whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.  The Lord gave us the keys.  The authority to loose heaven on earth has been given to us.  

This will not happen by accident.  It will happen only when we have set aside other things and come to the Lord.  The passion for His presence must exceed all else.   The burden of our needs must be replaced by our need of Him.  Our desire for Him must shut down the accusation and criticism of others.  Our minds must turn from ourselves to Him.  The traffic and trivia of our minds must be silenced.  Come now brethren….. let us draw near our Lord.   

God is well versed in the shortcomings of His creature, man.  Remember, He is the “Master … man maker”.  Every item of sin, failure, inadequacy, insecurity, etc can be resolved in Him.  Things that you have been unable or even unwilling to deal with, will be dealt with in His presence.  There is confidence that is born in His presence.  Not the swagger of self assurance but the absolutism of knowing secret things.  The reason the miraculous doesn’t flow is because we don’t know Him.  Those that “know Him” will be strong and do exploits.  Strength and exploits come from knowing Him. 

I love you Church,
Bro Cleve

http://clevesharp.com/

http://clevesharp.podomatic.com/ 

PS.  Paragraphs 1-2 is based on Zechariah 3

 

Posted by: Cleve Sharp AT 10:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, November 01 2010
A Peccadillo isn’t an ancient armadillo with a beak. Peccadillo’s are the trivial offenses that are part of all human relationships. When you are in relationship you are vulnerable to the one’s you give your heart to. That vulnerability is impacted through peccadillo’s. The little offenses of life can chip away at the core of relationship. When left untended they can become splinters thatcreate festering wounds. Sometimes they are easily discerned sometimes not. I’ve learned the deeper the wounds the greater the care in bringing recovery and healing. 
 
While little foolish things can be points of hurt and damage they can also become indicators of intimacy. Others may not know your secret peccadillo’s but your spouse learns them all. After 36+years, Cindy knows me through and through,  and I know her. Yet, we deliberately love one another in spite of those things … and at times because of those things. On the stage of marriage your quirks and eccentricities become all too obvious …. and there’sto you. So it is with all human relationships.
 
A peccadillo may be as simple as a burp after a good meal or an incessant cough after being tickled. Or it could be how certain topics get the other wound up. It can also bemore sinister things: the silent treatment, or the diminishing of an emotion or affection toward each other. It may even morph intowithdrawing the heart from one another. We either deal with such things by longsuffering or forgiveness. When these transgressions become wounds they mayturn into the small foxes that have power to destroy sweet relationships.
 
How often I’ve seen little things ruin fruitful relationships in our churches. As it goes in marriage so it goes in the church. The mystery of the marriage (two becoming one) is the mystery of the Church (many becoming one). One thing we must learn is how to put up with one another. I remember an old brother that use to hold his watch arm up when the pastor ran a few minutes long on Sunday.  Put up with him or run him off. How about that guy who sang off key louder than anyone else in the choir. Help him, correct him, but for goodness sakes don’t reject him. We will never maintain healthy marriages or Churches unless we learn that peccadillo’s are part of life.
 
Only by tolerance and deliberate love can we experience true unity. I believe in holiness. I certainly don’t advocate gross sin in the congregations. I have led corporate discipline with a broken heart. However, for too long the “Church” has been destroyed by critical eyes and judgmental hearts. We break covenant over trivial things. Let us learn to bear with one another and love one another in this hour and the marvelous journey of the “Kingdom”.
 
I love you Church,
Bro Cleve
 
Posted by: Cleve Sharp AT 09:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, October 04 2010
1.    Prioritizing is Imperative. We must prioritize because of the level of distractions that are going to be available. Focus on keeping first things first, second things second, etc. etc. Distractions and disorder will dilute Kingdom purpose. Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added”. Our father is committed to supplying everything we need in life.   However, he is not pleased with lip service. He isn’t pleased with intellectual, philosophical Christianity while we live our lives as functional atheists. In other words we declare we believe in Jesus and we attend church yet our lives are lived without a sense of ongoing accountability to the ways of God. When the Fathers will and your will collide ….do you say no to yourself or God? We essentially live like the guy down the road that doesn’t even profess Christianity. Where is the evidence of whose we are?

2.    Attitude is Imperative. We must control our attitudes. Just a few attitudes to be on the alert for: An attitude of pessimism or eminent doom will lead to more and more depression and hopelessness. David said, “ I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD”   Fearfulness will weaken us and take our courageousness away. Fear will cause us to be double minded in the purpose of God. Isaiah said, “Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.” Angry hostile attitudes will eventually become a snare to your life. Anger rests in the bosom of fools.
 
3.    Outlook is Imperative. Events are the things in life that influence our outlook.   Life must not be ruled by events. Our lives must be defined only by our purpose in God.   Experience in life good or bad can become a spur to action or a black hole of despair. Who are you? Shall you be defined by an incident? Will you be defined by episodes in life that have been evil? You will never go forward looking back over your shoulder. Learn from the past ….don’t live there. 
 
4.    Change is Imperative. Due to the ongoing attrition of the enemy we must guard our attitudes. We must change or adjust our attitudes daily, sometimes hourly. When we change a baby’s diaper we don’t just add another diaper over the old one. When we change them we take off the old and discard it. Then we put on the new. When we change lanes on the highway we must leave the lane we are in. We must put down the old to embrace the new. 
 
5.    Diligence is Imperative. Be diligent to guard your attitude. Your attitude controls your spiritual momentum. Attitude either stabilizes and/or accelerates or it slows and/or stops our “Kingdom” purpose.   At Ziklag David had to encourage himself in the Lord. Get up! Shake yourself! Take hold of what the Lord has told you to do and then DO IT!
 
6.    Courageousness is Imperative.  The thought which doesn’t nurture courage must be judged and discarded. We are to be courageous and take on everything God says for us to do. We are well able to do what God has told us to do only take heed to your attitude.

7.    Staying on Mission is Imperative. Dear God saints we have been dropped into this hour as strategic ambassadors of a kingdom that has all the answers to the ills of mankind. What are we doing letting the mindsets of this world keep us from being the solution.  There are only two cultures; the culture of this world (darkness)in all its varied forms and then the culture of the Kingdom of God(light). Shall we get offended by the darkness and withdraw our light.  Nothing can withstand the culture of Gods’ Kingdom.   We are the solution to change the Godless culture of the land. Darkness cannot overcome the light. Though our lives are poured out in what most would consider as unappreciated unrecognized endeavors those actions of obedience become the seed of change. We must be courageous to take on the task of the hour. How does this culture of the Kingdom of God practically display itself? This Kingdom is on display through our love, selflessness, and sacrificial service; by walking in righteousness, justice, and judgment; by living life in obedience and accountable to the unseen and ongoing influence of our living Lord.
I Love You Church
Bro Cleve
Posted by: Cleve Sharp AT 02:05 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, August 24 2010
Thinking about loving in simplicity this morning:  The chubby cheek of my little grandson pressed against mine…  A fresh cup shared…  Taking the time… listening to a story… Seeing them through the screen as you walk up to the door…  Holding hands to say grace…  A routine call filled with laughter…  Cutting and arranging a fresh bouquet … Cradling the head of my wife… Praying over another just because … A lingering hug…  An unanticipated kiss…  The tousle of  my hair…  The sound of an unexpected voice…  Sobbing for joy at another’s blessing… Love never fails. 


Smoke rising off the water in the morning, a bass disturbing the stillness, geese in flight south, wind in the trees, the first hint of fall, field corn and purple hull peas, a morning hunt in the steps of my dad, a piece of fried rabbit and a biscuit, campfire, the sound of a crow in the distance, running water, rain on a tin roof, fire on cold days, the smell of bacon frying, one pot meals, trees…all kinds, Love never fails 

Getting really loud and everyone’s agreeing, gathering to celebrate, small feet running, pretending, swinging really high, morning songs, belly laughter, the hands of elders, carols repeated year after year, dinner on the ground, telling stories, the assembly of the saints, ice cream all over little faces, kids at play in a mud hole, old friends singing, turkey and dressing with a side of cranberries, Thanksgiving, faithful friendships, Love never fails

Our lives do not consist of the things we possess.  Life can be real good if we pay attention and look for the good.  Cultivate a grateful heart, an appreciative eye, and a mouth filled with kindness.  Leave others better than you found them.  Love never fails.

Posted by: Cleve Sharp AT 11:11 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, August 19 2010

Most folks want to be appreciated by others.  Prov. 18:12 (NKJV) "Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility."  In this passage we find the prideful man is headed for calamity and that humility precedes honor.  I've heard it said that a person’s attitude will control their altitude.  There seems to be a paradox here.  The person that has an inflated opinion of themselves is headed for deflation.   While the individual that is humble finds appreciation and honor.  Therefore, "in order for one to go up, they must first go down."  Without humility there can be no genuine honor.  Real humility is self imposed.  

Pressures cause our hearts to be exposed. Most of the time I don't like what pressure brings out in me.  However, it does give me the ability to evaluate my own heart.  I have taught my grand children, the reason we do right is because it is right.   Honorable people always try to conduct themselves righteously even in the gravest circumstance.  It takes focus and work to maintain an excellent spirit. 

My dad use to say he loved working with honey bees.  I asked him, "Why?"  He said, "Honey bees were the only thing in life he didn't have to stand over and make them work.  They just get up in the morning, fly away from the hive, and go to work."  In the same way honorable people are governed by unseen values.  No one has to watch them; no one has to make them do what's right.  They answer to hidden principles and unseen values.  They hold themselves accountable.  What you see is really what you get.  They are not role playing and their integrity is through and through. 

We may not know the leaders that wrote our constitution or implemented the rule of law in our nation.  Yet our lives are governed by both.  I am thankful we are a nation of laws.  Laws hold back the tide of evil.  Those that operate in independent self interests are on a collision course with that rule of law.  Where there is no recognition of a higher will or way than self, there cannot be government.  Where there is no government there is no honor. 

Kingdom honor has to do with walking in the ways and principles of the Kingdom of God.  Those that express His kingdom have since of God’s presence on them.  They look like, walk like, and talk like God.  They love right and hate wrong.  They are submitted to the Lordship of Jesus and their lives echo his virtue. 

It is good to be appreciated by man.  It is better to be esteemed by God.  There is a book of remembrance being written.  Soon, each of us will be reviewed by what has been written.  Let us be found to be honorable and faithful in all that we have done.

Posted by: Cleve Sharp AT 11:29 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, June 20 2010
I guess I am a bit of a sap and very sentimental at times but as Popeye said “I yam what I yam. (Chk, Chk, Chk)   My dear friend Jerry Collum use to say, “We are composites of the deposits others have made in our lives”.   My daughter said the other day, “My God dad you are turning into pawpaw”.   It was a backhand because of something I had said or did but I thought, “Oh how good it would be to hear dads’ voice or to sit at the table again and have a cup.” 
With all the trauma involved in 50 years of Church life I could still sort out more while sitting by my dad on a 5gallon bucket, dangling my feet in the Neches River than any amount of counsel could afford me. The atmosphere was almost always shaded yet the best place to get things in the light. No judgment from dad as I analytically broke down painful Church matters. Dad would rarely give advice on the particulars. Yet, he faithfully pointed me to prayer and the goodness of the Lord. His sameness year in and year out comforted me then, as it does now. 
Dad wouldn’t patronize me. However, even when correcting me, he never rejected me. In the last days of his life we had a very hard family bump to get over. The discussion became rather heated as we are “Black Irish, German, ???” We slept on the matter and promptly Monday morning as was his custom, dad called. “Son, I’ve prayed about the matter and you are right. I was wrong.” His words were broken as I heard him sob. “Please forgive me son”. I was already crying, “Dad no need to forgive you. There is nothing in my heart bad toward you. I am glad the matter is resolved between us.” I saw this painful set of circumstances drain dad’s strength.  He mentioned to my brother how tired he was.  At 85 years old, after a good barbeque sandwich with mom, they laid down for a nap. He turned to her, kissed her, told he loved her and mentioned something was going wrong in his body. Within minutes my dad was gone. 
I won’t blame all my negative traits on dad. Yet, I want to thank him for his love for me, for his sameness, for being my sounding board, for never rejecting me, for pointing me to the Lord, for telling what I needed to hear not what I wanted to hear, for working out problems, for calling me on Mondays, for crying when it was needed, for faithfully loving my mother till the moment he died. I may…. be becoming my dad? I hope it’s the good stuff that sticks.  I love you and God bless you Dad for everything. Give Jesus and the Heavenly Father a hug for me. Happy Fathers Day 2010 to all. 
Posted by: Cleve Sharp AT 01:01 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Monday, December 21 2009
Nobody ever left mamas table hungry

This evening she had fried venison, prepared purple hull peas, mashed potatoes, gravy, and cat head size biscuits,

Visitors were at our table almost nightly, this was no exception

Dad turned thanks and we dug in

We ate and laughed then finished the biscuits off with cane syrup and sour cream

Later a couple a neighborhood boys came by

They told John and I that Santa had been seen heading our way, pointing to the northern sky,

We stood in the freezing cold till our small hands grew numb

Our eyes became blurred from searching and squinting at the starlit sky,

After what seemed forever we went inside and warmed by the pot bellied heater

Dad told some hunting stories as we sat on the floor

We strung popcorn together to go on the Charlie Brown Christmas tree Dad had cut

We kept watching the door thinking Santa might burst through any moment

As the evening drew long

We drank some cocoa and our company left

Dad read the story of Jesus birth

We sang “Silent Night”

Mama sat out a saucer of cookies and some milk for Santa,

Then it was time for bed,

I was too excited to sleep,

I lay there under piles and piles of quilts thinking what the morning would bring,

Somewhere in the night I dozed

It was still early when my eyes popped open

The house was dark and still

I slipped my feet from the covers

I winced as they touched the ice cold floor

And shivered as I went to the other room

I approached the milk and cookies to see if Santa had come by

One was gone the other a bite taken, the milk only half gone

My heart was pounding as I looked under the tree

I wondered what Santa had left for me,

A pair of cap pistols, a package of green army men, a fruit and nuts in my stocking

Puzzled I thought, Santa must not have gotten my letter.

 

Through the years we’ve had to hand make our gifts,

There were times of leanness and others of plenty,

 

But nothing is better on Christmas:

Than a home cooked meal around mamas table set with love

Than a moment of Daddy’s earnest thanks

Than a visitor enjoying our bounty as though they were part of us

Than popcorn, cocoa, the cookies and milk of hope

Than excited anticipating hearts

Than children still filled with the wonder and hope of life

Than a family full of siblings, laughter and stories by the fire

 

Santa hasn’t always gotten me what I’ve wanted

However, the Lord has always met my needs

He showed up when I couldn’t save myself and gave His life for me

He’s forgiven my transgressions

He delivered me from my iniquities

He’s given me a wonderful wife, children, and grandchildren,

He answers my prayers!

 

Thank you Lord for our family and our friends

For your goodness to us through the year

Thank you for those watching from heaven

And for the additions and babies you’ve given us,

Keep us all in the year to come

Bless you for the gift of your son

Amen

 

Merry Christmas to all!!!

Posted by: Cleve Sharp AT 01:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, July 15 2009

Ezekiel 8:7 - 12 (NKJV) So He brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, there was a hole in the wall. 8 Then He said to me, “Son of man, dig into the wall”; and when I dug into the wall, there was a door.And He said to me, “Go in, and see the wicked abominations which they are doing there.”  10  So I went in and saw, and there—every sort of creeping thing, abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed all around on the walls. 11 And there stood before them seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, and in their midst stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan. Each man had a censer in his hand, and a thick cloud of incense went up. 12 Then He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the room of his idols? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken the land.’”

Ezekiel 8:12 (KJV)  Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery?  for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth.

Approximately 75 men were gathered and it was time for worship to begin.  I watched as the leader dropped his head and rested his hands on the strings of his guitar.  It was almost as though time began to slow down.  He started to pray, in a measured, deliberate tone taking time that would normally have been relegated to his musical gift.  I asked the Lord, "What is he doing"?  The Spirit of the Lord immediately responded, "He is worshipping".   That satisfied my mind and  I moved deeper into the prayer with him and listened intently. 

Suddenly, he began to weep and confess that he, a married man, had taken an interest in a young woman, that wasn't his wife.  There had been no prayer but his, no preaching, music, invitation, coercion, or etc. Yet because of his integrity toward the Father, this brother had to get free … before proceeding.  The "Fear of the Lord" and the Holiness of God left this brother with only two options;  “Repent, and do it now” or “Stand in the strength of your gift as a pretender and usurper”.  He was faced with the reality of the “Living God” and the embarrassment of his admission.  Yet, he made the right choice.

In these moments everyone at meeting was confronted with the integrity of this brother’s heart.  The "Spirit of the Lord" had defined to me what he was doing, "He is worshipping".  As soon as his public confession and prayer ended another brother moved to the front.  He confessed that he had battled pornography since a child of 4 when he had been exposed to a Chick porno track.  With weeping and sobbing the brothers confessed their iniquities and then asked me to come and lead the group in a prayer of deliverance.  

As an innocent child I was immersed in a world of perversion by the older and stronger.  All through my teen years I battled the dark wickedness brought on by yielding to youthful lusts.   I was so conflicted between the knowledge of right and this dark way, I considered suicide regularly.  Ephesians 2:4 - 6 (KJV)  4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  I don’t understand God’s love for me.  He loved me when I could not love myself. 

In His mercy He sent someone who wasn’t afraid to address the dark issues of perversion.  He called those dark things by name and led us in a prayer of confession and taking authority over those things in the name of Jesus.  Then we commanded those things to release us and to go from us in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  All praise be to my Lord Jesus, I was set marvelously free of the bondages and the shame that had tormented me.  For 30 plus years I have enjoyed the freedom that I could not attain by discipline or will power or even by prayer.  I learned what it meant to draw near the Lord and cry out for mercy and He heard me.   I learned that man cannot free himself neither can he keep himself.  He can only be kept in the center of the will of God by the wonderful grace of the Lord.  That is the reason it is imperative to have a living relationship with Him and to draw near daily. 

I asked Him once what to do about some things in my life that I knew needed to change.  He said, “Son, Draw near to me”.  I said, “But what about these things in my life”?  “Son, draw near and I will deal with those things.”  I did and I learned what the scripture meant “Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit says the Lord”.  Freedom for me was found in the “manifold wisdom of God” brought to me by a brother in the Lord.  However, the ability to live free and maintain a productive spiritual life is found daily at the feet of Jesus.

I moved to the front of the group with the consolation of my freedom.  There is nothing concealed that won’t be brought into the light.  What we think is well hidden is still visible to our God.  I addressed the abominations that the elders of Israel did in the “chambers of imagery”.  God knew right where they were and all they did in secret.  If what we do remains in the dark it has power over us.  The hidden things have power to control us.  However, “if we walk in the light as he is in the light …..

1 John 1:5 - 9 (KJV) This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:  7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.  8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

 

Isaiah 26:13 - 14 (KJV) O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.  14 They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish. 


TMSG vs 14 The dead don’t talk, ghosts don’t walk, Because you’ve said, “Enough—that’s all for you,” and wiped them off the books”. 

 

I believe the confession of our sin is an Act of True Worship.  We must humble ourselves to do that.  And by doing so we are declaring; “We believe our God is Faithful and Just to forgive us and Cleanse us of all.”   God will do surgery on and bring freedom to the things that we will not let remain in the dark.  Other masters have ruled over us but God.  You are our only Lord, Jesus.  We will serve no other gods before you. 

 

As we gave opportunity to get free of other gods that had taken dominion over the lives of the men some 90% stood to repent.  We called out the names of those gods.  We bound them and commanded them to go in the name of Jesus our Lord.  Then we declared our freedom.  Not because we are good.  It is because our Lord is good!!  Not because we are worthy.  It is because our Lord is worthy.  Not because we are able.  It is because our God is ABLE. 


Yes, we began that day with WORSHIP.  Not that which is normally expected or done by pattern but that which pleased God.  Come on brothers and sisters let us WORSHIP together and be free.   

I Love You Church,
Bro Cleve
clevesharp.com

 

 

 

Posted by: Cleve Sharp AT 12:05 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, June 09 2009

Ezekiel 8:7 - 12 (NKJV) So He brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, there was a hole in the wall.  8. Then He said to me, “Son of man, dig into the wall”; and when I dug into the wall, there was a door. 9. And He said to me, “Go in, and see the wicked abominations which they are doing there.”  10. So I went in and saw, and there—every sort of creeping thing, abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed all around on the walls.  11. And there stood before them seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, and in their midst stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan. Each man had a censer in his hand, and a thick cloud of incense went up.  12. Then He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the room of his idols? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken the land.’”

Ezekiel 8:12 (KJV)  Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth.

Luke 17:20 - 21 (NKJV) Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation;  21 nor will they say, 
‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

Romans 14:17 (KJV) For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 

What is reaching for us?  What are the things that have us?  That which is well concealed is still visible to God.  The Lord is reaching for the hidden things of our hearts and minds.  You may allow yourself indulgences of the “Lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, or pride of life” but the Lord knows.  He is aware of our thoughts and is conscious of the unholy tolerances we afford ourselves.

Our society is saturated with sexual content through television.  Soap operas and sitcoms expose us to unethical and unprincipled lifestyles that oppose healthy spiritual life.  “Who done its”, de-synthesize us to death and the sanctity of life. 

The computer/internet has created ready access to some of the darkest perversions of man.  The amoral, immoral, depraved, and the ungodly are available through this media. When accessed and allowed these things become painted on the “chambers of our imagery”. 

Be wise children of God.  An unintentional event can become the snare of your life.  And the occasional indulgence will strip you of your honor and holiness.  You will find yourself sitting in a stupor while others are being blessed by the presence of the Lord.   You will find yourself filled with shame and feeling unworthy of anything from God.  You will find your spiritual effectiveness and “Kingdom” destiny placed on pause unless this door is shut deliberately and quickly. 

Social networks and email are portals of opportunity to the dissatisfied and wandering heart.  How harmless sharing the details of our lives with one another seems.  Clear bounds and restraints must be kept in place.  Otherwise, unholy alliances and ungodly soul ties will develop.  Just as romance novels nurture unrealistic views of love.  The person who is writing you can take on any form they choose.  Flattery is as cheap as words and as deadly as porno.  Comparing the wounds of one’s heart can become spiritually lethal.  Even sharing the depth of our spiritual journey can become a doorway to the enemy.  Don’t be deceived if you need help ask for it.   We must shut the door to these toxic venues.  They are death to us.   

The “Kingdom of God” isn’t all about what is seen on the surface.  It has to do with the inner workings of our hearts.  The Lord is reaching for the hidden things of our hearts.  He is ready to help us clean up and become vessels of honor.  One of the best means of doing this is by us bringing our sin into the LIGHT.  1 John 1:8 (KJV) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9.If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

I’ve found that God is willing to do surgery on and bring healing to the things I bring into the light.  I’ve also found because the Father loves us, He will not allow hidden sin to remain hidden forever.  Many times men won’t come to the light for fear of the consequences.  Better are some consequences and healing within, than role playing and pretending for the rest of our lives.  Better to take a whipping deliberately than to be exposed publicly for deep wickedness.  I have also found our Father to be tenderly gracious when I humbly cry out. 

We had better learn how to receive and help one another without judgment and rejection.  No one is immune to the temptation of man.  The hand that is reaching to us may be the hand that is able to reach for us in the hour of our need.

I love you Church,
Bro Cleve
My Website

Posted by: Cleve Sharp AT 05:41 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, April 05 2009

As David reminisced at the end of his days a particular phrase really caught my attention, "Your gentleness has made me great".  This old warrior was referring to the very "gentleness of God" as the factor that made him great.  As a young preacher I was full of war and at times my hands were covered with blood.  Not just with the blood of my enemies but sometimes with the blood of perceived enemies.  When I saw this passage, I began to go to my porch daily and pray for the gentleness of the "Lord" to come on me.  The journey to this gentleness I found had much to do with me learning to die well.  Dying to self is never easy but it is necessary to walk in the "gentleness of the Lord".  The more I have learned to handle even "enemies" through blessing them and kindness, and the more I have learned to handle my brothers and sisters with gentle love the more blessing and grace rests on my life.  It seems that the power to break the heavy yokes rests in the hands of the gentle.  Let us all remember we were once dumb and foolish but along the way and yet the Lord drew us with gentle chords, band of love and manifestations of "His goodness".   Let us follow this example and may the "Gentleness of the Lord" make us great to the "Glory of our King". 

2 Samuel 22:36 (NKJV) 36    “You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;     Your gentleness has made me great.

2 Timothy 2:24  (NKJV)
24And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,  25in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,  26and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

Hosea 11:4 (NKJV) 4    I drew them with  gentle cords,     With bands of love,     And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck.     I stooped and fed them.


Matthew 11:28 (NKJV) 28Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

James 3:13 - 4:1 (NKJV) 13Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 
14But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.  15This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.  16For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.  17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.  18Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. 

Titus 3:1 - 3 (NKJV) 1Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 
2to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men 3For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 

1 Thessalonians 2:7 (NKJV) 7But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children 8So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us


I love you Church
Bro Cleve

Posted by: Cleve Sharp AT 05:10 am   |  Permalink   |  Email


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