Trust in God, not Powerful People

Monday, November 30, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Psalms 146:1 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, I tell myself. 2 I will praise the LORD as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God even with my dying breath. 3 Don't put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there. 4 When their breathing stops, they return to the earth, and in a moment all their plans come to an end.

I remember listening to one of my minister friends many years ago sharing a story during the course of his message. He talked about the tendency for people to "name drop" or bring up the names of important people in a conversation.

In his recounting of the story, someone asked him, "Do you know _____ (name of important person)?" He said, "No." The person asked again, "Do you know_____ (name of another important person)?" Again he said, "No."

He then added, "I know God."

David said, "Don't put your trust in powerful people, there is no help for you there."

I've learned that lesson more than once. Powerful people who do not know God tend to be concerned mostly about preserving their power. Also, the "power" of so-called powerful people is limited to natural things or spiritual darkness.

The most powerful person of all, God (Father, Son, & Holy Spirit), is only concerned about helping you and me.


The Benefits of Hearing After Listening

Sunday, November 29, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Mark 4:23 "If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." 24] And He said to them, "Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. 25] For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him."

Listening and hearing are not always the same thing. While listening is a function of our auditory organs to detect sound waves that register in our brain, hearing is a function of our will to understanding what is being said. The fact is: Many people do not hear in many areas of life spiritually, vocationally and relationally. Listening is a natural, physical ability, but hearing must be cultivated through training one’s heart and mind to grasp what is being said.

Many scriptures declare the important of hearing. Faith itself comes by hearing; “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” (Rom. 10:17) Hearing is much more important than most people imagine. Hearing is obviously a necessary component in communication. Where our walk with God is concerned, hearing is all important:

  • How you hear will determine the quality of your life
  • How you hear will determine your level of authority and responsibility in life
  • How you hear will determine the measure of God’s anointing on your life.

Jesus said that one must have “ears to hear.” This indicates one’s willingness to hear instruction and direction. Jesus invites everyone, in one way or another, to hear and know Him, but He lets our response determine the degree of understanding and fruitfulness we experience.

"And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48] He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him--the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day .(John 12:47)

A lack of hearing, or hearing the wrong things, will cripple your ability to walk in the full blessing and opportunities of life. However, hearing and doing God's Word brings many benefits:

  • Hearing determines aptitude (ability) “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
  • Hearing determines attitude (state of mind), "Take heed what [or how] you hear...”
  • Hearing determines altitude (height) "With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given."


Do the Holy Spirit and the Law Mix?

Saturday, November 28, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Galatians 3:2 Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by keeping the law? Of course not, for the Holy Spirit came upon you only after you believed the message you heard about Christ. 3 Have you lost your senses? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?

It is interesting to observe the legalism that seems to creep into the lives and practice of believers. There is sometimes an over-fascination with Old Testament (OT) practices and archetypes including,Tabernacle of Moses, Feast Days, generational curses, priestly garments, various offerings, sabbath keeping, and much more.

The Apostle Paul wrote, "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." (Rom. 15:4)

I don't think the "learning" to which Paul is referring deals with Christians learning how to practice OT religion. Certainly, the OT scriptures are the inspired Word of God, but we must keep in mind that the Lord Jesus fulfilled all the laws and archetypes of the OT economy. He has become the embodiment of God's order and purpose for all people, Jews and Gentiles.

The Holy Spirit, who did not indwell OT people, brought us the grace of salvation and new life in Christ. The Spirit of God gave us our start with a new birth resulting from the finished redemptive work of Christ. So let's not act like we have "lost our senses" by putting human efforts, including Old Testament practice, ahead of Jesus and reliance on the Holy Spirit.


Black Friday, Red Monday

Friday, November 27, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Proverbs 25:28, He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a broken down city without a wall

The term "Black Friday" was formerly an inside term used by retail businesses. The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day of the year. It has also become a "de facto" holiday since schools and many other establishments close the day after Thanksgiving.

On Black Friday, and the following holiday shopping season, retailers expect to make big sales, turn a profit and move their financial numbers from the "red" (loss) column to the "black" (profit) column. No longer an inside term, now consumers have embraced the concept of Black Friday with its discounts on goods and the overall giddy atmosphere that goes with shopping for things.

There is nothing wrong with shopping or finding gifts to give to others, so long as Black Friday does not lead to Red Monday. Consumer debt is a huge problem today, even among believers.

As Proverbs says, we should "rule over [our] own spirit" to avoid a broken condition financially. I remember hearing a statement that summarizes the condition to be avoided: "His income is less than his outgo, and his upkeep is his downfall."

Finally, don't neglect to bless the Lord in a special way during this Christmas season!


Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Thursday, November 26, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

From Pastor Bryan & Patricia Hudson, and Family:
I will give You thanks in the great assembly;
I will praise You among many people. (Psalms 35:18)


DO NOT SIN! If You Sin...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

1 John 2:1, My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. 2 He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

It is always God's will that we do not commit sin. The word "sin" is an archery term that means "miss the mark." Christians do not sin because of an unregenerate heart, but because of disobedience to God in allowing darkness to invade our light. This does not make it "less wrong" than sin committed by unsaved people.

The difference for believers is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is our advocate. An advocate is "one who pleads another's cause." An advocate is like a lawyer. When we repent of any sin. Jesus pleads our cause before God which leads to cleansing and restoration.

Repentance is no casual act. Sin is serious business because it mocks our relationship with God and produces hypocrisy by bringing darkness into light. John wrote in 1 John 1:5-7:

"This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Thank God for Jesus! Stay in the light!


Yoked With Jesus

Monday, November 23, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

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

The yoke of Christ is an invitation to partner with Him. Yokes are used to link oxen together so that they, with less effort, can do the work of plowing fields.

When you take His yoke upon you and begin the work of plowing your fields of life, you will notice that this yoke, unlike any other kind of yoke, is easy. You will also notice that this burden, unlike any other burden, is light. When you ask yourself, “Why is this yoke easy and this burden light?” Look over to your side, and you will see Jesus in the same yoke with you and bearing the same burden with you!

Only when yoked with Jesus will you find rest for your soul – for your mind, will and emotions. Nothing short of receiving Jesus as Savior and Lord, and learning of Him, will make a difference.

What is REST?
R - Repentance from sin, labors and heavy burdens. “Change Your Mind”
E - Expectation of a new life through faith in God and the obedience to the Gospel
S - Salvation by grace through faith and not of yourselves. Receive the gift of God.
T - Testify of the goodness of God. Confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior.


Grace for Relationship with God

Sunday, November 22, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Exodus 33:13, Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight.

Thousands of years ago Moses raised a standard for ministry that placed grace at the center of a growing relationship with God. “Show me your way,” Moses said. “That I may know you and find grace.” It was not enough for Moses to hear God say “you have found grace in my eyes.” He wanted to move into the reality of it. This looks something like the believers who gathered in the Upper Room to pray and wait for the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:48). It was not enough for the disciples to have walked with Jesus before His ascension, they needed to be “clothed” with the Spirit of Christ in order to fulfill God’s work in their generation.

"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

Moses, in his day, elevated the meaning and reality of the grace of God. While grace in Noah’s life indicated divine favor because of his upright lifestyle, grace in Moses’ life became a force based on the strong relationship he cultivated with God. Again, Moses sought for more than raw power to do a job, he wanted to do his work through grace, which he understood as the active presence of God.

[Excerpt from my book, "Grace: Discovering God's Design for your Life"]


The Position that Pleases God

Saturday, November 21, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

1 Corinthians 12:15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?

We live in a society where too many people are discontent for a lack of understanding their roles and gifts. As a teen, I remember having a friend who wore Dallas Cowboys jerseys nearly everyday that bore the number and name of his favorite player. Not only that, but he made it known to everyone that he was going to be a Dallas Cowboy one day. However, my friend was physically frail and not given to working out.

We all admire the power of a dream, but we have to also consider God's purpose and our position. Considering the text, if the eye wants to be an ear, or if the ear wants to be a nose, both individual and collective purpose will suffer. This is true for one's vocation and especially for God's church.

This looks like a person who insists on singing solo when he/she doesn't have gifting and grace for that position. That would be counterproductive for the person, congregation and for any visitors present. Even believers sometimes become discontent for a lack of understanding of their roles and gifts. There are also issues of character that sometimes prevent release into certain areas.

The best thing to do is to first recognize that God sets members in the body (of Christ) as it pleases Him. Find the position that brings pleasure to God. You'll know it when you get close to it. Second, is to pray about God's direction while seeking Godly counsel. There are people who can help you. Let them help you.

Third, but not last, is to exercise diligence in those areas where your desire meets your abilities. Virtually everyday, highly accomplished people do something related to their purpose and function in a way that reflects their position.


His Faithful Love Endures Forever

Friday, November 20, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Psalms 136 (NLT)
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods.
His faithful love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords.
His faithful love endures forever.
4 Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles.
His faithful love endures forever.
5 Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully.
His faithful love endures forever.
6 Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters.
His faithful love endures forever.
7 Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights—
His faithful love endures forever.
8 the sun to rule the day,
His faithful love endures forever.
9 and the moon and stars to rule the night.
His faithful love endures forever.
(Read entire Psalm 136)

Nothing could be clearer: God's faithful love is with you, in you, around you, and is working on your behalf today and everyday!


Why Critics Don't "Get It"

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Below is a great quote to reflect upon when dealing with critics who are not "in the arena" but only standing on the sidelines, talking and not doing. Even Jesus "...Learned obedience by the things which He suffered." (Heb. 5:8)

Critics, like sports fans, have the luxury of risking nothing while finding fault with those who risk it all everyday.

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt
"Citizenship in a Republic,"
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910


The Power of Hope

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Colossians 1:27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Strong faith begins with strong hope. If faith is like a roadmap, then hope is the brochure of your intended destination. Sometimes we struggle in our faith-walk because we are struggling in our hope-walk.

Every one has dreams, aspirations and expectations for his or her life. The Word of God sums up all of these desires in a single word - HOPE. Hope is at the beginning of every great exploit carried out in the name of the Lord. Hope is the foundation for a life that is lived by faith, peace, joy and encouragement.

Hope defined: Confident expectation, the happy anticipation of good, a belief that something is obtainable.
  • Hope is the expectation of a better tomorrow
  • Hope allows us to rise above the present trouble
  • Hope must come before faith can operate (Heb. 11:1)
  • Hope anchors our soul (Heb. 6:19)
  • Hope does not disappoint (Rom. 5:1-4) us because we are able to construct our hopes, our expectations on God's word and from the desires of our hearts. (Psalm 119:49 “Remember the word to Your servant, upon which You have caused me to hope”)
  • Hope needs faith to move expectation from the future into the present. We must hear the Word to build faith.


A Pastor's Heart

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

1 Thessalonians 3:7 (NIV) Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. 8 For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. 9 How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?

The third chapter of 1 Thessalonians is devoted to Paul's expression of care for the church at Thessalonica while he was still in Athens. In this text we see Paul's pastoral heart, not a man full of ambition. He sounded more like a father and a coach.

Typically, ambitious people are mainly concern about themselves, not about others. A father and coach identifies with, and derives satisfaction from, his children or those he is serving. As a pastor, I understand Paul's sentiment perfectly.

While pastor's have (or should have) other interests outside the congregation, we always feel intimately connected to the condition of God's people. The nature of that connection drives our sense of encouragement and joy. If God's people are blessed and walking properly with God, the weight of our trials and challenges, even personal ones, seem lighter.

When people are wayward, unfaithful or forsake Christ (Head and body) in any way, it affects our heart and mindset in a way that ambitious people could never understand.

If you want to please God and bless your pastor, do has Paul suggested, "Stand firm in the Lord."


A Lesson from the NFL

Monday, November 16, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

To the New England Patriots, "Why would you think that you can run a play on fourth down on your own 28 yard line against our undefeated Indianapolis Colts?" That haughtiness caused them lose the football game!

How about that for a daily devotional?


Grace For Grace

Sunday, November 15, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth...16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.

We have received Jesus' “fullness.” Fullness is: “the quality or condition of being full or complete.”

Is there anything in your life that is not full or is incomplete? Jesus wants you full and complete! But not only that, He wants you to get into fullness so that you can go fill up other people. That is what it means to have “grace for grace.” I’ve got enough grace in my space to give grace to others.

Did you go to school to only get a degree? I hope not. You went to school to get enough knowledge and skill to enable you to positively impact others.

Did you accept a call to leadership or ministry just to stand in front of people? No. You received that grace to enable you to impart the life of God to others through the Holy Spirit.

God gave you grace for grace! That’s exactly what Jesus did both for sinful humanity and for His church.


Sun, Shield, Grace, Glory

Saturday, November 14, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Psalm 84:11, For the LORD God is a sun and shield;The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.

Sun, shield, grace, glory. Beautiful words that represent powerful realities!

The Psalm 84 focuses on David's desire to worship God in His Temple. Verse ten states, "One day in the courtyards of your Temple is better than a thousand days anywhere else."

Since we tend to become what we behold, it is not surprising that dwelling in God's presence inspired the selection of words such as "sun, shield, grace, and glory" to describe God and His benefits.

If we only behold the sad news and conditions of our world, we might dwell on words such as "death, trouble, misery, and lack." Walking with God doesn't isolate us from the conditions of our neighbors (everyone), but fills us with grace and faith to positively impact them.

The "good things" that God gives us are related to His plan and our willingness to serve His purposes in our generation.


Servant-Leader Insights, Part 3

Friday, November 13, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

1 Corinthians 12:4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.

Eph. 4:7, But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

There are three types of people:
  1. Those who watch things happen: Passive
  2. Those who don’t know what’s happening: Pacified
  3. Those who make things happen : Proactive

Leaders generally fall into one of three categories which can change because of roles or assignments: (Source: Christian Equippers International, The Church Planters Handbook.)
  1. The catalyst who is a pioneer and ground breaker. Catalyst defined: Somebody or something that makes a change happen or brings about an event.
  2. The organizer who instills order and makes something work more efficiently.
  3. The maintainer who sees to the ongoing and improvement of whatever is begun by carrying out the necessary day to day functions.


Servant-Leader Insights, Part 2

Thursday, November 12, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Matthew 23:11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted

Leadership is rooted in serving—not just the concept of serving. Serving provides both moral and practical authority for personal leadership. How can we effectively lead other servants and direct their tasks, if we have not served? How can we exercise the proper level of authority if we do not have enough experience in serving to be sensitive to people and their challenges?

You are serving when you are:
  1. Inconvenienced by an assignment or task
  2. Doing things that do not fit within your “comfort zone”
  3. Assisting senior leaders with tasks or providing personal aid
  4. Not getting to do want you would prefer to do
  5. Taking time out for items that have little to no bearing on your preferences
  6. Casting down imaginations and inner arguments against doing the service
  7. Choosing to help others at your own expense
  8. And more...


Servant/Leader Insights, Part 1

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

1 Corinthians 4:1 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

Sometimes leaders lose sight of serving. We are stewards, not owners. A steward is someone who manages the property and affairs of another. As servant/leaders, we don't own God's people and resources. We are stewards of the "mysteries of God" which means that we understand and fulfill the purposes of God as revealed in His Word. A mystery is not something hidden, but something revealed to people who have "ears to hear."

Jesus spoke in parables to sift out those who came for the "show" from those who really wanted to serve and follow Him. Everyone listens, but not many truly "hear." Those who wanted to hear stayed around after the crowd stopped listening, They asked for understanding.

Being an effective leader begins with being an effective servant.

Servants Seek to:
  1. Follow the example of Jesus in life and practice (John 12:26, Heb. 12: 28)
  2. Serve others as unto the Lord and in seeking to please Him (Gal. 1:10, Eph 6:5-7, Col. 3:22-23, Tit. 2:9-10. 1 Pet. 2:17-19)
  3. Let others evaluate their progress (Prov. 27:2, 1 Tim. 3:10, 12)
  4. Maintain a pure heart and attitude toward their leaders and all others (not judgmental)
  5. Resist the temptation to advance themselves
  6. Accept the consequences of their decisions and do not blame others for shortcomings (Like David and the Prodigal Son)
  7. Follow instructions and are prompt to fulfil responsibilities (Matt. 24: 44-49) Some people only work when you watch them.
  8. Work to remove instability from their lives born of doubt, unbelief, distrust and unforgiveness (Eph. 4:32, Jam. 1:6-8)
  9. Communicate clearly and sincerely with others (1 Cor. 5:8)
  10. Highly esteem their leaders and follow their godly example (1 Thess. 5: 3, 1 Tim 6:1)
  11. Place the interests of the Christ’s church over their person interests (Phil. 2:3)
  12. Promote the purpose and vision of God, not themselves (2 Cor. 4:5)


Your Song of Ascent

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Psalm 126:1 (NLT) A song for the ascent to Jerusalem. When the LORD restored his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream! 2 We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, "What amazing things the LORD has done for them." 3 Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us! What joy! 4 Restore our fortunes, LORD, as streams renew the desert. 5 Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. 6 They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.

With all the challenges the people of Israel faced, there were times when they could rejoice in God's deliverance. This Psalm is called "A song for the ascent to Jerusalem." Note the word "ascent." To ascend is to go up. Returning from exile to Jerusalem felt like going UP after having experienced a season of going DOWN.

Because of Jesus, we can rejoice that we have ascended to a new life that is being renewed day by day. Today and everyday, we can rejoice, singing songs of joy, and enjoy laughter, all the while letting our light shine so others can see that we have been blessed by a mighty and loving God.

We may experience difficult seasons even while we are trusting in God. These seasons may produce tears, but our tears show our trust and devotion in God as we continue to plant seeds of faith.

Such faith and faithfulness never goes unrewarded. Harvest always follows seedtime. Our God is faithful and he keeps all his promises!

God's streams bring renewal to your desert-like places!


Tigthen Up Your Thinking

Monday, November 09, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

1 Peter 1:13, Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance.

Your loins is the pelvic region of your body. In ancient times “girding the loins” meant to gather up long garments and tighten them up around your hips and waist so that you could run, do battle, or do something productive.

Have you ever seen a young trying to run with his pants sagging? Have you ever had the experience of getting some loose garment caught on something? This shows the importance of girding your loins.

To “gird up the loins of your mind” is to put your mind and thinking in a position to be useful to the Spirit of God, and not to your flesh. To be sober is to take a serious attitude. Resting upon the grace of God means to rely upon the power of God so that we can live in obedience to Him and avoid the condition of reverting back to our old ways.

A renewed mind is a terrible thing to waste.


Benefit of the Implanted Word

Sunday, November 08, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

James 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

James lays out practical steps for "saving" our souls, (the mind, will, and emotions):

  1. Lay aside filthiness and wickedness. Can a Christian act wickedly? Unfortunately, yes. In New Testament Greek, filthiness is defined as, "defile, dishonor." Wickeness is defined as: “malice, ill-will, not ashamed to break rules.” There can be no advance when unconfessed sin is present.
  2. Receive the implanted Word with meekness. The implanted Word is the word that is placed in you by God and others. It’s like the vegetables your mother made you eat, when you would have preferred to eat cake and pies. We wanted candy, but needed good nutrition. Pastors and spiritual leaders must implant the Word. Sometimes folk just want to have church, but God wants the Word implanted. You need meekness when the word being implanted rubs you the wrong way.
  3. The result of the implanted Word is the saving, or restoring and renewal of the soul. Your soul is your mind, will and emotions. How you think, how you choose, and how you feel, all need to be “saved” in the sense of becoming more Christlike.

James 1:23-24 describes the problem with believers who do not renew their minds. Seeing the condition, but not acting to change it.

James 1:25 describes believers who practice renewing of their minds. Such persons are hearers and doers of the Word and the "work" of the Lord.


Lasting Motivation

Saturday, November 07, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Psalm 119:10, I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. 12 Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees
Lasting motivations come from the Spirit of God. We need to hide God’s words in our hearts.

Definition of motivation: A desire to achieve a goal, combined with the energy to work towards that goal.

Motivation is the characteristic that is required in order to achieve anything in life. Without it you will give up at the first sign of adversity. The purpose of motivation is to inspire, instigate and encourage a person to do their best.

There is positive and negative motivation. Positive motivation includes enjoyment and optimism with the tasks that you are involved in. Negative motivation involves undertaking tasks because there will be undesirable outcomes if tasks are not completed.

In today’s world, we experience too much negative motivation. People act only to avoid greater pain. There is no joy in this. Negative motivation is drudgery, which is exhausting, boring, unpleasant work.

Godly motivation produces joy along with consistent, positive actions.

“A vision without a task is but a dream, a task without a vision is drudgery, a vision and a task is the hope of the world.” (From a Church in Sussex, England c.1730.)


Jeremiah's Burden and Jesus' Grace

Friday, November 06, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Jeremiah 7:4 (NLT) "Jeremiah, say to the people, 'This is what the LORD says: When people fall down, don't they get up again? When they start down the wrong road and discover their mistake, don't they turn back? 5 Then why do these people keep going along their self-destructive path, refusing to turn back, even though I have warned them?

Jeremiah 8:20 (NLT) "The harvest is finished, and the summer is gone," the people cry, "yet we are not saved!" 21 I weep for the hurt of my people. I am stunned and silent, mute with grief.

When I read the book of Jeremiah, I am reminded of the "grace and truth" brought by our Lord Jesus Christ. I am also reminded of how burdened Jeremiah felt in having to daily encounter deceitful and hell-bent human hearts without grace.

God recognized the condition of the people. Jeremiah, with all his righteous passion, was hampered by not being able to present Christ to his generation.

In our generation, hearts are no less deceitful and hell-bent, but our message is different. Jesus can save those who have fallen down, who are going down the wrong road, or those who are on a self-destructive path. Grace is God's favor and provision. Truth is God's Word.

Our message: "Jesus saves!"


Another Reason for, "Power, Love, and a Sound Mind"

Thursday, November 05, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT) For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline [sound mind]. 8 So you must never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don't be ashamed of me, either, even though I'm in prison for Christ. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the proclamation of the Good News. 9 It is God who saved us and chose us to live a holy life. He did this not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan long before the world began – to show his love and kindness to us through Christ Jesus.

Verse Seven is a passage that many of us have memorized. We quote it when we feel fearful or under some kind of mental attack. The way we use this text highlights our tendency to apply scriptures primarily to personal needs and challenges. Certainly, the Word of God is intended to help and bless us.

However, when verses seven and eight are read together, the context changes. Verse eight makes it clearer the reason that we don't want a spirit of fear, but rather "power, love and a sound mind," is so that we will be empowered to tell others about Jesus.

Regardless of the adversity that Paul faced, he continued to stay focused on proclaiming the Gospel. He encouraged leaders and believers to adopt a similar focus.

Having power, love, a sound mind, living a holy life, knowing God's plan, receiving God's love and kindness, are provided not only to answer our cry of, "Lord bless me!"

The Scriptures empower us to fulfill the mandate, "Go bless others and boldly proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ!"

If you can receive this, say "Amen!"


No Excuses

Wednesday, November 04, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Jeremiah 1:4 (NLT) The LORD gave me a message. He said, 5 "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world." 6 "O Sovereign LORD," I said, "I can't speak for you! I'm too young!" 7 "Don't say that," the LORD replied, "for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. 8 And don't be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and take care of you. I, the LORD, have spoken!"

God both encouraged and admonished Jeremiah. We who read these words can also receive the same.

Not only does life begin before birth, life begins before conception! God said that he knew Jeremiah before he was formed, or conceived, in his mother's womb. We who have been blessed to be born, and then born again, should fix it in our hearts and minds that if God almighty knew us before conception, our lives have significant meaning and purpose!

Before he was born, God set Jeremiah apart as a prophet to the nations. His course was set, but he struggled to accept the calling. He even tried to make the excuse, "I'm too young and can't speak." What excuses do you and I make sometimes?

God ignores our excuses because it has nothing to do with what He sees. One of the great challenges of spiritual maturity is to learn to see yourself as God sees you. It is healthy to be humbled by God's presence and feel a little hesitant about assuming great responsibilities. What's more important however, is to recognize God's words, "...I will be with you and take care of you."

If Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey promised to take care of me, I would feel very good about my economic future! How much better, exceedingly better, is it to know that God is with you and will take care of you?

This knowledge should silence every excuse.


Foundational Factors for Ministers

Tuesday, November 03, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

1 Tim. 4:14, Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecies spoken to you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. 15Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. 16Keep a close watch on yourself and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right, and God will save you and those who hear you.

One of the blessings of pre-arranged daily bible readings is that you must read and consider whatever scriptures that are presented. In this portion of text, Paul reminded Timothy about foundational matters regarding ministry. We all benefit from relationships where a Paul can help develop a Timothy. The old saying is true: "You do not know what you do not know." Many important lessons in life are not learned in isolation. The most challenging trades and professions, including ministry, cannot be learned without the instruction of more experienced practitioners.
When I was a young independent minister, I didn't embrace that principle. As a consequence, I didn't know what I didn't know until frustrations and failures made me consider that there may be a greater knowledge beyond my limited view. In 1983, God brought me into the company of men who introduced me to many foundational factors I didn't know. From that position, I knew what to learn and practice.
Paul reminded Timothy of four foundational factors in his life and ministry that may be instructive for us:
  1. In addition to spiritual gifts given by God, there are other gifts imparted by church elders (recognized "Ephesian 4" leaders and ministers) by laying on of hands. For ministers, this impartation often occurs during ordination. These gifts should be identified and cultivated.
  2. Pay attention to details and "lesser things" that become indicators of grace, and qualifiers for ecclesiastical authority. What we do in secret creates more progress than what we do publicly. Anyone can manufacture a persona, but character and expertise cannot be feigned.
  3. Be gentle with others and ruthless with yourself. Value accuracy in teaching the Word. Be open to adjustment and correction. Always be teachable and ready to be directed or re-directed by God and spiritual overseers.
  4. When God is at work in us, the Spirit of Christ saves everyone connected with the anointed proclamation of the Word of God. Both the preacher and the hearers are being saved in many ways. We preachers don't do the saving, even when powerful meetings leave us with that impression. Jesus is simultaneously saving the people and saving us from ourselves.


Grace For Your Space

Monday, November 02, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

2 Corinthians 8:1 Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: 2 that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. 3 For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, 4 imploring us with much urgency that we would receive[a] the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5 And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God. 6 So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this grace in you as well. 7 But as you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us—see that you abound in this grace also.

The grace of God is everything He has. Your space is everything you need. You have needs, and God has the supply. God has given you grace for your space, and not just a little, but a lot! We need to better understand the grace of God and tap into it in a greater measure.

In this text, what is the grace that Paul is talking about? He is talking about the grace of giving and receiving. We all want to abound in faith, in speech or teaching/preaching, in knowledge, in diligence and in love. That’s all well and good. But the Word says, “See that you abound in THIS GRACE (grace of giving) also.”

2 Corinthians 8 shows us seven blessings of the grace of God in the space of the believers at Macedonia. Realize that God can do the same for you.

  1. Because of the grace of God, they had an abundance of joy. (v. 2)
  2. Because of the grace of God, they became more liberal and generous even while experiencing their own season of lack. (v. 2)
  3. Because of the grace of God, their willingness exceeded their ability, God enabled them to operate beyond their ability. (v.3)
  4. Because of the grace of God, they literally begged Paul to come and receive their gifts in support of relieving the suffering of other believers. (v.4)
  5. Because of the grace of God, they exceeded Paul’s expectations. They first gave themselves to the Lord and then to Paul as God’s servant. (v.5)
  6. Because of the grace of God, their example inspired a larger and wealthier congregation to step up. (v. 6)
  7. Because of the grace of God, the Macedonians redefined the practical meaning of grace as it related to giving and receiving. (v. 7)
Ask God now to fill every space in your life with His grace!

Following this link to listen to my message from Sunday, Nov. 1:


Glad to be the House of God!

Sunday, November 01, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Psalm 122:1 (NLT) I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” 2 And now here we are, standing inside your gates, O Jerusalem. 3 Jerusalem is a well-built city; its seamless walls cannot be breached.

Going to the house of the Lord is a cause for celebration! Today, Jesus and His body are the house of the Lord. The "house" is not the building, but the assembled people of God. Today, we could "go to the house of the Lord," even if we gathered in a field.

I remember looking at a National Geographic magazine that featured great cathedrals of the world. The cover featured a photo of a grand cathedral, looking out through its colorful, ornate stained glass. The headline read, "Surely God Must be in this Place!" I thought, "A place like that doesn't impress God! He looks for His people."

Our facilities serve an important purpose, but God cares most about people and how we assemble together in His presence.

Jerusalem and the temple were places designated for the presence of God and the assembly of Israel. However, on the cross when Jesus cried out, "It is finished!" the "veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom." (Matthew 27:51) This indicated that Jesus changed the location of God's presence. He began a new era of "true worship" of the Father "in spirit and in truth."

Now that we are the well built "House of God," recognize that when you fail to assemble with the family of God, the "seamless walls" of your church have gaps. Its like a building missing part of its structure and those absent parts missing their purpose.

I get excited thinking about gathering with believers to encounter God's mighty presence and Word!