Good Afternoon CLMNWA Family!
By now I’m sure y’all have noticed that I’ve been posting a little more, what I’ve been posting is a little bit stronger in its wording, and that’s because the Holy Ghost fanned the flames in my heart to burn a little hotter and a little more intense these days thanks to a visit this weekend and some fantastic preaching by Pastor Cass. (Please be praying for him as he and his son and Brad Smith have set off for Nepal and Thailand to go into some of the unreached regions over there). If you’d like to know more about them please visit www.equipthenations.net.
I don’t say a lot on here on Facebook because I just don’t know who is gonna take what I say the wrong way…but I am truly a happy & blessed man. God has been so good to me. So many blessings that I don’t really deserve, but I’m thankful His faithfulness isn’t conditional…nor is His grace, love, and mercy based on my performance…but my position. I am proof that God can take a life that was headed no where & transformed me into someone who gives Him glory, honor, and praise for all He has done in, with, and now through my life. I boldly confess that I am not a self-made man, and I’m also not ashamed to give God the glory for the way my life has turned out because if He had not have taken over I am certain I wouldn’t be here…and it really was a life or death choice for me. There are many who will never reconcile who they knew me as with who I am today, and that’s okay. I love them anyways. However, the truth is…I am living proof that God not only exists, but is in the life changing business…because little by little, day by day, from faith to faith and glory to glory…God is taking me from the muck and setting me upon a firm foundation that’s completely built upon my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ.
This is just as true today as it was 3 years ago when I wrote it on Facebook. I made some changes to it, but the basics of what I wrote are still the same. As there are a lot of people who I have to give credit for helping me get to where I’m at today. It all started with a one way bus ticket to Arkansas thanks to my mom as I was going through a divorce, and she recognized that a change of scenery would do me some good. Then it took a return to church at a place I was scared to go at first because they had the word “Family” in their name, and I was sure they were going to put me over the barrel because I was divorced (legalistic and religious mindset), and then it took a run to the altar by Wayne Scroggins to get me to realize that I should take myself down to the altar of The Haven Family Church where Pastors Ronnie Swadley Jr. and Earl Mossembekker laid hands on me and prayed over me and for me…and behind me was the woman in this picture Tara Kizer (who is now my wife and mother of our daughter) who helped God to get me to see myself the way He saw me so that He could finally get me to step into my calling and vocation as Pastor B of Christlike Ministries NWA.
However, before I could do that I needed to attend a conference at New Life Christian Center with Pastor Cass and Pastor Joel Stockstill, Worship Leader Jonny Hale, and Revivalist Josh Radford. Then a few months later after the turn of the calendar to 2012 Pastor Cass preached a couple of messages about “The Mandate”, and from there said something that later became my theme for that year which was Get Serious About Being Serious With God. Many of you know just a few short weeks after those encounters with God on February 25, 2012 just 12 days after I turned 38 I finally launched the ministry God called me to way back in January of 2001 when I was standing in a place that most wouldn’t think would be the kind of place God told me He was going to use me for His glory…but He did and He has…and here I am today on May 17, 2016 four years later still being used for His glory.
I speak about encountering God a lot because that one day in November of 2012 is that one encounter with Him that changed the course of my life forever, and I can be honest with you enough to say that I haven’t always done it right and I haven’t always been Gods “perfect student”, but what I have been since then is a man after the heart of God. It’s true that there are some who will never reconcile who I am today with who they remember me as, and the awesome thing is God has removed most of those people from my life because they would’ve hindered me from getting to where I am today anyways…because they work for the devil and how many of you know the devil is never going to encourage you to go after God!?! He’s always going to be there to tell you “you’re not worthy”, “who do you think you are”, “don’t you remember you’re the same guy that did this”. Yes…I do remember…but I also know my future and the devil’s future and I don’t want to spend eternity where the devil and all of his followers are going. I may not have been worthy, but that’s exactly what made me worthy. I’m nothing special and I’m not going to Heaven because I’m a pastor or I write these messages or I have done the religious thing or I attend church…I’m going to Heaven solely based upon the fact that I have been washed and cleansed by the shed blood of Jesus. I am the righteousness of God today because I am in Christ Jesus…and the reason I am worthy is because He made me worthy by taking my place so that I could be with Him in eternity whenever I leave this place.
And that’s why I can sit here today and keep asking over and over again what is the most valuable thing in your life. Because God has become the most valuable part of mine, and it’s not because of what He’s done for me, it’s not what He’s done in me or through me…it’s because of the simple fact that I know without a doubt that He has embraced me, welcomed me home, and clothed me with His righteousness. Today it’s easier for me to get the words “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus” out of my mouth today…because that’s who I am. You see, the reason God is so valuable to me today is because I was valuable enough to Him that He sent His Son to become all the things I did that the devil reminds me of, He took all of that junk to the Cross, He nailed it to the Cross with Him, and He loved me enough to die for me in the midst of my mess…and He’s helped me to turn my mess into a message. He’s the most valuable thing in my life today because I am the most valuable thing to Him…and so are YOU. There isn’t one of us walking the earth today that God isn’t watching and waiting on the porch of your lives to catch a glimpse of you taking that step to come up the drive way to return home so He can RUN to you.
There’s an old song by Phillips, Craig and Dean “Mercy Came Running”, a newer song by Klaus “I Give You Glory” that Pastor Ronnie sang that day in November that I came to the front…they both talk about God meeting us at the point of our need and our knee and that one moment that He takes to change our lives forever…and if you want that then it’s available to you. God can and will do the same things He’s done in my life in yours, and I know this is going long…much longer than I expected…but I don’t know that many of you know my story…and I’m posting it here because God said so and I owe the people I tagged in this message a great deal of thanks because they all had a hand in helping me to get to where I am today.
I know you’ve heard me and countless others say God is no respecter of person and what He’ll do for one…He’ll do for many. However, what is more to the point is that what He has done for me He WILL do for you…but you have to stop playing with church and dipping your toes in the water. Dive in, friends, what do you really have to lose? The Bible says if you want to gain life then lay your life down, and let Jesus pick it up. I did, and the thing is I haven’t lost anything that I really needed to hang on to. Jesus is more than enough and more than sufficient for me, and the real truth is I am more alive today then I ever have been trying to do life on my own. The Bible says apart from Him we can do nothing, but when we’re abiding in Him the impossible becomes possible. If you want what I have found with God then you have to desire for God to not just be your Savior, but your LORD as well…in other words…you have to desire to be crucified so Christ can come live in you and then work through you. You can’t receive it any other way then you have to want it…you have to desire it…and you have to value Him above any and everything else…because sitting at His feet in His presence is the key to it all. That’s where we are changed from glory to glory. That’s where we are “conformed to the image of His Son”, and that’s where we learn that God’s presence is very real, very tangible, and very much available for those who desire it and seek Him with their whole heart (Jeremiah 29:13). If we seek Him with our WHOLE HEART the Bible says that we WILL find Him, and when we realize that He’s knocking on the door of our hearts and open ourselves to Him that is when He comes to dine with us, fellowship with us, and reveal His heart to us.
That is why I write like I write and as much as I write. I want the very heart of God to be my pursuit, my passion, and the thing that I work towards from now until He calls His bride home. That doesn’t mean I don’t have other interests because I do. What it does mean, however, is none of those interests are more valuable to me then being in His presence. Listen I love my family, I love my wife, and y’all know that I adore my little girl. However, as I said in something I posted last night, I can’t even be the son, friend, pastor, husband, father, or person I want to be if I don’t make being at the Lord’s feet more valuable to me than anything else. When I place anything above being in His presence…everything else suffers because my priorities are wrong. I’ll never forget when Lizzie was born God spoke to me to do three things: “slow down, enjoy life, and adjust your priorities”.
I had no idea how many things I had placed above being in His presence. I had no idea how much I was just going through the motions, and how out of whack my priorities were. Over the course of the last two years God has shown me just how much of myself still needed to be crucified, and brought in to submission to His will for my life. The beautiful thing is that as life began to slow down I began to see the adjustments I needed to make in my life, and once I began to make those adjustments I began to realize that for the first time in my life not only was I enjoying life…but I was living the abundant life that God had always promised and destined for me to live.
Is life all sunshine and rainbows? Certainly not. Do I always do things exactly right and the way God wants? Sorry to disappoint you, but no…I still mess up and miss God. Am I always too blessed to be stressed? Again, I’m sorry to disappoint, but no…some times I still allow my priorities to get out of balance and it takes a while for me to realize how messed up my priorities are, but that’s why it’s so important to sit at the Lord’s feet. That’s where God reveals to us the things that are keeping us from being all He wants us to be, and what’s hindering us from being in His presence. The closer you get to the Father the closer you want to get, and the more you find yourself saying I don’t want this or that to get in the way of my being at His feet. I have been where Martha was, and I am working to be more like Mary…and I can tell you that being more like Mary is way better than trying to keep up with Martha. I don’t want to keep up with Martha anymore…it’s tiring and Jesus says that when I’m truly in Him I can find rest and that peace that surpasses all understanding.
THAT is why I keep asking what is the most valuable thing in your life. THAT is why I write like I do. Because I love Him and I want to make Him known to you and to the other 4.1 billion people who have never even heard His name. It’s not about being Pastor B. It’s not about Christlike Ministries NWA. It’s about Jesus. It’s about souls. It’s about the very heart and presence of God, and that’s why it was hurting me that no one wanted to support what I was doing…but that was also how I recognized that I’d become more like Martha. I may not be getting on planes, trains, and automobiles like Pastor Cass, but what I am doing is penning messages much like this one that are being read all over the world. Nearly 200 nations have been reached by these and other messages written either here or at www.christlikeministriesnwa.com.
If you can’t or won’t support that I can’t do anything about it. I also can’t get to a place where I’m worrying about it or hurting over it because what’s valuable to me may not be that valuable to you, and I can’t place the value of what I’m doing for God on whether you think it’s valuable. Oh…I feel the presence of God right now, and let me tell you it’s glorious. This is what’s valuable to me, and this is why I do what I do because it glorifies my Father and makes Him known in the earth. He told me years ago that if I’d take care of His business He would take care of mine, and He has been FAITHFUL. He is good, and I love Him, Amen!?! How about you?
What is the most valuable thing in your life? Where is Jesus on your list? Is Jesus even on your list? What’s it going to take for you to not only put Jesus on your list, but put Him at the top? Are you ready for a real move of God? Are you ready to see things in America that to this point have only been seen by missionaries over seas? Are you ready to have the manifest presence of God in your house of worship, in your car, in your homes, or are you too busy? Are you really ready to go deeper with God or are you satisfied with the measure of Him you had a couple of years ago? Do you even know that He wants to embrace you? Do you even know that there’s more? Would you even want it? What is the most valuable thing in your life?
Maybe you’ve read all this and if you have…thank you for taking the time to read this. Thank you for taking the time to read my testimony and my story about how God came to change my life and how I became the man that’s typing these posts today…but if you’re reading this and you have never met Jesus or maybe you have and you keep saying “I’ll give my life to Him someday”…why not make today THAT day…because I can assure you that hell is full of people who said “I’ll give my life to the Lord tomorrow”…but tomorrow is promised to no one.
That’s why the Bible says that TODAY don’t harden your heart to the voice of the Holy Ghost. I am convinced there are people reading this that God’s been speaking to the whole time, and I want to encourage you to not harden your heart to that voice because the Bible also says that TODAY is the day of salvation…and if you will take that step to make the decision to return home to the Father…He will come running to you just as He did to me…and He will welcome you HOME.
So, before I close this (and I know it’s really long) I want to offer y’all the chance to make Jesus Lord of your life so that your journey with God can get started. You can do that by praying the prayer that’s in the image, but don’t just recite it to recite it. Take a moment to get alone some where, and really mean business with God when you’re praying. That’s what getting serious about being serious with God is all about. As you can see it doesn’t take some long, fancy worded prayer to invite God into your life to start doing what He wants to do in, with, and through your life.
Well, I believe I’ve written all that’s necessary for this post. So, I’m going to get to work on proofreading it, and getting it published. I’m so thankful for all of you who are part of the Christlike Ministries NWA Family. I’m thankful for those who helped me get to where I am today, and I hope that the little bit of my story that I’ve shared will encourage you to get to know this Jesus that changed my life too.
Have a blessed day in the Lord!
Blessings & Grace ~ Pastor B