What Happens in the Mountain of the Lord

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Isaiah 2:2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. 3 Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

In an unstable and shaky world, the "mountain of the Lord's house" is the place of stability. Isaiah prophesied that in the latter days (today) people would decide to "flow into" God's house saying, "He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.”

People are hungry for answers. People want to make sense of life. As Christ's church we have a golden opportunity to change a generation. God has positioned us as "mountains," which are unmistakable landmarks in any landscape.

Everyone is looking. Let's show them what Jesus can do!

Undeserved Privilege, Rights, Responsibility, and Revocation

Monday, September 24, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory." ~ Romans 5:2 (NLT)

We are living in a society that feels entitled to things that must be earned and maintained through diligence. To be sure, God wants to bless people with the necessities of life such as shelter, food, health, and education. These are foundational to life and stability.

"This place" of which the Apostle Paul speaks, in a specific context can represent places such as ministry office, leadership over people, and recognized authority in Christ's Church. These are not  "places" to which we have a right.

These are places of "undeserved privilege." With privilege comes great responsibility and necessary accountability. In the absence of these, the privilege must be revoked.

However, when we humbly accept our places of undeserved privilege and serve with faithfulness, under proper authority, we will partake of God's promise to share in the measure of God's glory which He gives to fulfill His purposes.

Become Complete

Friday, September 21, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

2 Cor 13:11 (NJKV) Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss.

Some of the Apostle Paul's greatest insights came at the end of his letters. While reading this benediction, as part of my morning devotions, two words stood out from this text:

"Become complete" 

The King James Version reads, "Be perfect." The New International Version reads, "Strive for full restoration."

The statement, "become complete" in the original Greek means this:
1) to render, i.e. to fit, sound, complete
2) to mend (what has been broken or rent), to repair
3) to fit out, equip, put in order, arrange, adjust
4) to fit or frame for one's self, prepare
5) to make one what he ought to be

Becoming complete must be our aim, more than finding fault in others, and more than worrying about what you don't have. Becoming complete is part of the firm foundation on which we live.

Here's a powerful prayer, "Lord, help me become complete. In Jesus' Name, Amen!"


Tuesday, September 18, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

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The Good Fight of Faith

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

James 2:15 (NKJV) If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

James 2:17 (Amplified) So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).

We often use the word "faith" by itself. We say, "I have faith." In reality, faith is never alone. "Faith" is shorthand for something like, "Faith in God, according to His scriptural promises, with corresponding action." Just as the text indicates that faith alone would not benefit a person in need, faith in all areas should result in "deeds and actions of obedience." I see three keys to genuine faith:

  1. First: Our faith is in God, not in ourselves.
  2. Second: Our faith is based on biblical truth. What we need and want is consistent with God's will, God's word and God's plan.
  3. Third: Our faith leads to actions that correspond to what is believed. Faith is no leap in the dark. Real faith (or "Faith in God, according to His scriptural promises, with corresponding action.") looks like a plan.

To be clear: We don't invent actions to make it look like we have faith. The actions flow out of genuine faith and obedience to God.

Sometimes concerns motivate us to take better corresponding actions in relation to our faith in God in a matter. It isn't always about, "Devil get behind me!" It is sometimes about, "Get your behind moving!"

Remember these words, "Fight the good fight of faith." (1 Timothy 6:12) A "good fight" is one in which we enter the arena prepared, take some hits, dish out more hits, and continue fighting based on the strength that God supplies.

The Lost Art of Loyalty

Thursday, September 13, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Reprinted from original article written in 1999

"As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever." 1 Chronicles 28:9

According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 1 Corinthians 3:10

Loyalty defined: The state of being true or faithful in allegiance; faithful to the lawful government, to a prince or superior; true to plighted faith, duty, or love; not treacherous; constant.

Today, we see a rejection or neglect of steadfastness to time-honored principles that has eroded the foundations of marriage, family and the church.

If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do? (Psalms 11:3)

With all that God has given the righteous in Christ in the form of gifts and grace, without a foundation, there is no lasting basis upon which to build. The best blueprints for a home and the purchase of the finest building materials are useless without a solid foundation to build upon.

In the body of Christ, we can also observe an unusual surge in people seeking the spectacular over the substantive; that which benefits self rather than what is good for the kingdom of God; searching for other revelation than what the Word of God declares and other actions that ignore foundational principles.

As I have reflected on this problem of people not recognizing foundational issues and principles, the Holy Spirit began to show me how a lack of loyalty lies at the root of this neglect.

The litmus test for choosing or keeping leaders (in secular and sacred circles) seems to be, "What have you done for me lately?"

David told Solomon to serve God with a loyal heart and a willing mind. What does it mean to have a loyal heart? It meant that Solomon needed to maintain a clarity of purpose and a sharp focus on the commands and direction of the Lord and his father/leader, David. He (and we) needed to maintain proper relationships vertically (with God) and horizontally (with prophets, priests and people) He needed to know the nature and quality of those who came along side.

As David discovered, if a leader is not paying attention, an Absalom will arise to stand by the gate of the king's court to "steal the hearts of the people"; divert their attention to another agenda and cause a spirit of distrust and lack of confidence to build against the senior leader. As the apostle Paul said, "divisions must come among you, that those who are approved may be made manifest..." At the point of "di-vision" (another vision, separate from the stated vision) and separation, all the lines of disloyalty appear. Similar judgments, actions and statements clearly reveal the source and nature of the Absalom spirit even to the extent that people who are not directly involved, but are not loyal in heart, are negatively affected.

Solomon had received from God the gift of wisdom a divine ability to make proper choices and decisions that were consistent with God's will. He did well as long as he maintained a loyal heart. By wisdom he built the glorious temple. By wisdom he resolved disputes among his people. By wisdom he made a great nation even greater. The Queen of Sheba came to behold the greatness of the kingdom under Solomon and to meet the man whose fame was known to many lands.

So long as he maintained a loyal heart, he served the purpose of God and enhanced the Kingdom of God. However, when he began to compromise loyalty of heart, foundations began to crack and crumble. In time, the kingdom of God suffered loss and crisis.

His disloyalty of heart began with implementing policies of forced labor and the use of ungodly men in the building of the temple as well as introducing unnecessary luxury and extravagance in the building of his own house. Later his heart was turned from the Lord by his affection for wives he never should have married. His son, Rehoboam, who succeeded him as king, inherited a shakey and soon-to-be-divided kingdom due to the damage done to the foundation by Solomon.

But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites from the nations of whom the LORD had said to the children of Israel, "You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. For surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods." Solomon clung to these in love. (1 Kings 11:1-2)

Loyalty of heart requires one to hold to established divine principles while resisting the carnal whims of selfish ambition. This mistake (loss) on Solomon's part caused a crack in the foundation of the nation which eventually led to the division of the kingdom (crisis) under Rehoboam. At that point, a man named Jeroboam arose who, being the epitome of disloyalty and absence of integrity, capitalized on the crisis and confusion which beset the nation.

Like Jonah, who evaded his purpose in Nineveh, when compromise begins, Tarshish awaits. There seems to always be something or someone that is ready to receive those who lose loyalty of heart and seeks to take advantage of people in difficult situations by appealing to their fears, hurts and lack. Like the drug dealer who lures the young man who can't find a decent job; or the pimp who makes prostitutes out of women who were simply looking for someone to love and care for them; or the believer who gossips and betrays confidences resulting in broken fellowship; or the church who receives people without inquiry or question into a fellowship who caused or encouraged havoc and confusion in the last church they attended.

What often seems good and helpful to people from one perspective ultimately injures the kingdom of God and the witness of christian unity in a community. We were told by the Apostle Paul to not be a partaker in the sins of another. In the church today, we will not benefit from a policy of "don't ask, don't tell."

Disloyalty to God, to man and to the Word creates an internal disorder which, like HIV, may take years to manifest as a deadly condition. "Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?" (Prov. 6:27).

The strength of a foundation is only known by the storms and stresses that try it. It is certain that any plan, idea, belief, action, reaction, response, or ministry that is not built by or squarely based upon the Word, will not survive major storms. It is only a matter of time before an absent or faulty foundation is revealed. However, as with David, who sinned with Bathsheba and had her husband killed, we can also be recovered from disloyalty and restored to integrity if we can accept loving confrontation and deal with transgression of truth as David did when confronted by Nathan the prophet.

Sadly, the word of faith-charismatic-full gospel movement has led the charge downward into disloyalty and a rejection of truth, integrity and ethics. The final perception of reality has become "What God told me" rather than "What thus says the Lord." Like currency, people just circulate among the doctrines, movements and churches which seem to be the most relevant at the time. It would seem reasonable that if we heard from God as clearly as we indicate, that we would be able to be doers of the Word and would be faithful in the least things. But a disloyal heart lives by its own standards, confirmed by "prophets" who tell people only what they want to hear.

Excitement will not replace insight. Great works will not replace "first works." Dimming the light of others will never brighten our own.

A disloyal heart displeases God because it is contrary to God's nature. Cain refused offer an acceptable sacrifice to God or to become his brother's keeper. His killing of Abel incurred the curse of becoming a vagabond one who wanders from place to place, having no home, no identity, loyal to no one but self (Gen. 4:12).

As with the divided kingdom of old, so it is today. While Israel sought after the new and different, Judah stayed with the truth and remained loyal to those principles handed down from God through Abraham, Moses, the judges and ultimately through King David:

So every man of Israel deserted David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah, from the Jordan as far as Jerusalem, remained loyal to their king. (2 Sam. 20:2)

Some keys to restoring a loyal heart include:
1. Faithfulness to God-ordained relationships and purposes
2. Repentance and restitution for injuries caused by lies, gossip and false judgments
3. Understanding one's own gifts, grace and measure in the body of Christ and working within them
4. Submitting to spiritual authority as unto the Lord
5. Reading and living out the Word of God
6. Strengthening and supporting your local church/leaders and thereby enhance the larger church
7. Resolve conflicts and problems by the Word going to those with whom we have a problem.

Do You Have a Critical Spirit? (by Dr. Dale A. Robbins)

Thursday, September 13, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

By Dr. Dale A. Robbins (From http://www.victorious.org/critical.htm)
Romans 14:10 “Why do you criticize and pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you look down upon or despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.
(12) And so each of us shall give an account of himself - give an answer in reference to judgment - to God.
(13) Then let us no more criticize and blame and pass judgment on one another, but rather decide and endeavor never to put a stumbling block or an obstacle or a hindrance in the way of a brother.” (The Amplified Bible)
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines criticism as “an act of criticizing; to judge as a critic; to find fault; to blame or condemn.”
As we have read, the scriptures tell us not to tear down our brethren through criticism or judgment, as this can pose a serious stumbling-block and cause irreparable damage to their faith.
Among God’s warnings to us in scripture, there are none more somber or serious than His warning to not become a stumbling block to His followers. “...whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt. 18:6).
There’s an old saying that “We tend to judge others by their actions, and we judge ourselves by our intentions.” The truth is, we cannot rightly judge anyone else, because we do not know the contents of their heart. We should be content to judge only ourselves and seek to bring our own lives in alignment with God’s Word (1 Cor. 11:31).
What Exactly is a Critical Spirit?
A “critical spirit,” is an obsessive attitude of criticism and fault-finding, which seeks to tear others down — not the same thing as what is sometimes called “constructive criticism.” The only criticism that is ever constructive is that which is expressed in love to “build up,” not to tear down — it is always expressed face-to-face, never behind their back. 
The person with a critical spirit usually dwells on the negative, seeks for flaws rather than good. They’re a complainer, usually always upset, and generally have a problem or a complaint about something. They often have little control over their tongue, their temper, and have tendencies for gossip and slander, which Paul said were sins “worthy of death” (Rom. 1:29-32).
What Causes a Critical Spirit?
1. Negativeness - A bad attitude and a negative view of life. A person may have unconfessed sin in their life (Rom. 2:1), or may harbor unforgiveness or bitterness toward someone who may have offended them (Heb. 12:15).
2. Insecurity - Criticism is often a subconscious means to “elevate one’s own self image.” By putting others down, they are inwardly trying to feel more important or that “they know more.” Jealousy toward the spiritual victories of others is often the cause of criticism and belittling comments. Popular ministers of the Gospel are often the target of such tactics.
3. Immaturity - Believers must always keep their focus upon Christ and His Word, not man, who will often fail (Heb. 12:2). The young or immature believer who has not progressed very far in their own faith, remain overly dependent upon the faith of those within the body of Christ. Unfortunately, when they begin to notice the flaws in their brethren, subconsciously, this becomes a threat to their own sense of victory. Criticism becomes a reaction of disappointment, because their expectations in others have been crushed.
4. An Unrenewed Mind - Put-downs, making-fun-of, criticism, sarcasm are the world’s ways of reacting to the faults of people. However, as Christians we don’t behave this way. Our thinking and attitude should be renewed by the Word of God, which teaches us to bear the infirmities of the weak, to love, and show compassion and encouragement (Rom. 12:2).
5. The Devil - As we may realize, the Devil specializes in influencing obsessive behavior. He may use any or all of the above channels, or other techniques, to influence a complaining or critical attitude to stir up turmoil and strife within the body of Christ (Eph. 6:12). We must be on guard that none of us would be used as a tool of the Devil to bring harassment or discouragement upon our brothers or sisters through continual criticism, as the Bible warns us not to “give place” to the Devil (Eph. 4:27). Remember that Satan is specifically called “the accuser of the brethren” (Rev. 12:10). Are you an accuser of the brethren?
The Bible says that the reason that we are to come together as a church is, not to criticize, but to “exhort” (encourage) one another (Hebrews 10:25). “Cursing the darkness” won’t change anything, but we must light a candle and “expose the light” of God’s Word. By sharing the truth of God’s Word, and encouraging people to live in its truth, people will change. Love and encouragement is a “motivational force.” 
If we ever hope to bring improvement in others, we need to become people of encouragement. This is the only attitude that will change people, and our actions and words must be devoted to encouraging the spiritual progress of our brethren. 
The Christian’s tongue should never be used for anything but good. “Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word, nor unwholesome or worthless talk (ever) come out of your mouth; but only such speech as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it” (Eph. 4:29 The Amplified Bible). 
Prescription For a Healthy Mind
A number of years ago, Dr. David H. Fink, a psychiatrist for the veterans administration, wrote an article for Coronet Magazine, entitled, “Release from Nervous Tension.” In his article, he outlined his research into the causes of mental and emotional disturbances. 
From over 10,000 case studies, he discovered that there was a common trait with all his patients who suffered from severe tension. They were habitual fault-finders, constant critics of people and things around them. Those who were free from tension, were the least critical. His conclusions were that the habit of fault-finding is a prelude or mark of the nervous, or the mentally unbalanced. Those who wish to retain good emotional and mental health, should learn to free themselves from a negative and critical attitude. 
Remember this, the Bible doesn’t promise peace to those who dwell on the faults of others! It says that the Lord will keep them in perfect peace, whose minds are stayed on Him! (Isaiah 26:3).

How to Have Clarity of Thought

Thursday, September 13, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Proverbs 16:3 Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.

Clarity of thought follows committing your works and plans to the Lord. Good works brings good thoughts, because you were created by God to do good works. (Eph. 2:10)

Sometimes, being unclear in your thinking in an indication that you are on the wrong track.

Follow peace all the way to the right track!

Nuggets of Truth to Live By

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

God's word speaks to our lives, values, and circumstances like nothing else! Let these nuggets of truth from my daily Bible reading today speak to you. (Proverbs 13-15, 2 Corinthians 5)

Prov. 13:7 There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.

Prov. 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

Prov. 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.

Prov. 14:14 The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied from above.

Prov. 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. 2 The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.

2 Cor. 5: 9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men...

2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 

Don't Let Perception Become Your Reality. Reach Higher!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Psalm 145:17, The Lord is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works. 18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. 19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. 20 The Lord preserves all who love Him,

It has been said that "perception is reality." Actually, this is not true. "Reality" is another word for "truth." In His prayer recorded in John 17:17, Jesus said, "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth."

Whenever you read and believe the Word of God, you are discovering God's reality. From Psalm 145:17-20, Here is the reality that you discover:

Your God is:

  • Righteous in all His ways
  • Gracious in everything He does
  • Near when you call upon Him in truth
  • Fulfills your desire when you fear Him
  • Hears your cry
  • Saves you
  • Preserves you when you love Him
Regardless of whatever you may see, or may be dealing with, let THIS be your reality. Don't live by how you feel or perceive. Live by faith in what God says. Become "sanctified" or "set apart" by God's power, plan and purpose for your life.

TRUST HIM and watch your reality change for the better!