Chosen, Royal, Holy and Special

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

1 Peter 2:9, But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

There are four keys to your standing, both in Christ and in this world:

1. Know that you are a Chosen Generation: WHY WE STAND
Chosen means picked out, choice, select, the best of its kind or class, excellence preeminent.

2. Know that you are Royal Priesthood:  HOW WE STAND
We are royal: kingly, and regal. We carry ourselves in a manner that faithfully reflects King Jesus.

3. Know that you are a Holy Nation: WHERE WE STAND
Holy is the Greek word hagios meaning “different” and “other than.” God is not "like." He is "other." Other people may follow the standards of the world, but for believers our standards are holy or other.

4. Know that you are His Special People: WHO WE STAND WITH
The value of a thing lies in the one who possesses it. An old violin in the hands of a master violinist becomes more special, and gains greater value. The reality that we are possessed by God raises our value many fold.

There is an expected outcome from your standing:
"That you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light."


Lord, My Times are in Your Hands...

Friday, July 22, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Psalms 31:14 But I trust in you, LORD; I say, “You are my God.” 15 My times are in your hands...

Psalms 31:19 How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you

I never ceased to be amazed and blessed by God's timing and providence. For many years, I've been following a daily Bible reading plan online, such as BibleGateway. Today's reading included Psalms 31 & 32.

There are junctures in life and ministry that challenge our thinking, feelings and outlook on life. This is especially true when it looks like everything is not "turning up roses." However, I agree with David who said, "My times are in your hands…" I am also reminded that, "How abundant are the good things" that are "stored up" for us.

It is precisely in these times that we realize more plainly that God is real, His presence is close, His power is undiminished, and Jesus is interceding on our behalf. It's not that we lost sight of Him. It's like standing next to the majestic mountain that you've only seen in pictures. There's nothing like being close!

Thank you Lord for being Lord of our times and for releasing blessings from your storehouse as we take refuge in you.


Crowns: Place, Position & Power, Pt. 1

Monday, July 18, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Message delivered Sunday, July 17, 2011 by Pastor Bryan Hudson

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1 Corinthians 9:24, Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.


The Favor Factor

Tuesday, July 12, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

1 John 3:22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

Esther 2:8-9 …Esther also was taken to the king’s palace, into the care of Hegai the custodian of the women. 9 Now the young woman pleased him, and she obtained his favor; so he readily gave beauty preparations to her, besides her allowance.

Romans 14:17, For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.

Favor is a necessary component in life. We all hope to achieve success and recognition based on our merits, education, experience, and willingness to work hard. God has given us abilities and grace to acquire skills that we can use in life, work, and ministry.

Virtues and achievement like hard work and education are not enough. We need favor both with God and man. Favor means to give special regard to; to treat with goodwill; and to show exceptional kindness to someone. Favor often carries the benefit of preferential treatment.

Favor comes both in natural and supernatural ways. We usually only think about favor from God's supernatural perspective.

Esther received favor from the King because she was beautiful (Esther Chapter Two). This was an example of natural favor. Many people have obtained favor because of their physical appearance or other traits that people find pleasing. Natural favor is something that you should not dismiss especially when it seems you may have the "deck stacked" against you at times.

There are things we can do to increase our acceptability to others, and thus increase in favor by that measure. We should do our best to present ourselves well outwardly. Other factors of natural favor are found in performing actions in an excellent manner and in possessing an exceptionally good attitude. Doing something very well can overcome other limiting factors in the eyes of others.

Natural favor has its role in life, but God's supernatural favor is what we need more than anything. God's favor comes because of His mercy, His love, redemption provided through Christ, and His grace. God also honors the obedience, faith, and good works of his people. There are benefits that come from "doing those things that are pleasing in His sight." (1 John 3:22)

Doing that which pleases God is a key component of living in God's favor. We don't please God to get stuff. We please Him because we love the Lord. Receiving blessings and benefits are the welcome by-product of a fruitful relationship with Christ.

Favor follows those who pursue righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Does the preceeding statement describe your focus and pursuit? Will you get into position to receive the "set time" of God's favor?

Psalm 102:13 You will arise and have mercy on Zion; For the time to favor her, Yes, the set time, has come.


No More Lame Excuses

Wednesday, July 06, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Acts 14:19 Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. 20 But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city.

Without a doubt, one of God's most persistent and tough servants was the Apostle Paul. The text says that a crowd "stoned" him (i.e. They hit him with rocks, bricks and stuff!), and dragged him out of the city because they thought he was dead (i.e. He was bloodied, severely wounded and battered).

What happened next? Believers gathered around him and obviously prayer for him. The power of God ministered to him in some way, though the text does not indicate exactly what happened.

But here's the amazing part: Paul "got up and went back into the city!" 

I'm thinking of the some of the lame excuses people give for not serving God, for missing church meetings, for not supporting the work of God, and more. I'm also thinking about my own struggle at times to continue doing something God wants me to do, because of challenges that arise, or the lack of support of others, or the apparent "smallness" of my impact.

In light of Paul's commitment to the work of Christ, ALL of your excuses and my excuses become simply irrelevant. Serving God is a transcendent motivation. There is nothing greater than serving God from a pure heart.

Can you imagine someone coming in late to Paul's meeting that day and trying to offer an excuse? Paul might say, "I was stoned and left for dead yesterday…so you say what?"



God does not show favoritism. Do you?

Friday, July 01, 2011 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Acts 10:34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

In this text, Peter was ministering to a man named Cornelius. Cornelius was a Jew. If Peter did not have a recent visitation from the Lord, he would not be talking to Cornelius. God made it clear to Peter that he was not to treat non-Jewish people as "common," "unclean" or unworthy of personal contact.

Peter acknowledge this change in his theology when he said, "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him."

I wonder if we understand that very important truth today. Sometimes, it looks like we are unwilling to associate with people who are not like ourselves. As Peter said, Jesus Christ is “Lord of all.”

We need to think more about reaching people who we consider "common" from our own cultural and religious perspectives. It took a dramatic vision to change Peter's mind. It should only take this scripture to change our minds.

God loves people, all people! For believers in Christ and ministers of the gospel, loving people is job number one. When we love people, we will be motivated and able to do the works of Jesus as described in Acts 10:38:

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth [also insert your name here________]  with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

Without the willingness to reach all people and love all people, there is no anointing, no power, no doing good, and no healing people who are under the power of the devil.