Joel Barker tells about a man who was driving up into the mountains in his souped-up Porsche, headed for his vacation cabin for the weekend, when screaming around the curve ahead, bearing straight for him on his side of the road, careened a convertible driven by a woman with her hair streaming in the wind. She jerked the wheel and barely missed him as she sped by. Just as she got even with his car, she leaned toward him and shouted at the top of her voice, “PIG!” How dare her! He angrily thought. I’m on my side of the road; she has veered into my lane, almost out of control. How dare her shout pig at me! So not to be outdone, he turned and yelled after her at the top of his lungs as she continued down the mountain road, “SOW!” He regained control of his car, speeded up as he rounded the curve and promptly ran head-on into a pig.
There are times that we misunderstand what someone is trying to convey. We take their words as an offense when they should be received as a warning. Being a pastor for many years, I have done my share of warning people about the wipeout that was just ahead. If only they had listened. They would not be in the tangle they’re in today.
I realize that many people are sick, miserable, and empty because they got offended at honest warnings. It appears that pride is so deeply rooted within people that even after a serious warning they continue as though they are smarter than their counselor. Or could it be that many have just misunderstood the warning. Maybe they thought they were being called a pig when the fact is they were just being warned about the pig in the road.
The Word of God is the “in your face” truth. The purpose is to keep us from being stressed out, unproductive, and getting into a wreck. Jesus came to give everyone abundant life yet there are many who get offended at His word. Especially when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no man can come to the Father but by me” (John 14:6). His words are meant to provoke us to live right. They are true. If people will receive them they will live a cut above.
Jesus spoke pointedly about our invisible enemy and that his objective is to steal, kill, and destroy. He warns us about evil deception, still many are speeding on with no concern. Not long ago I heard Oprah Winfrey say to her fan base that there are a million ways to God and that everyone just chooses the one they want. So who is telling us the truth: Jesus or her? Which one really loves us? I would rather put my trust in the one that the angel said, “For behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people; for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).
Jesus Christ proved His love for us; therefore, I will trust Him. Don’t be like the man in the Porsche who got offended at the warning. It is the costly way to go. Visit us online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com for more info.
President Roosevelt said, “All we have to fear is fear itself.” Jesus declared, “But I will forewarn you whom you shall fear; Fear Him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yes, I say unto you, Fear Him” (Luke 12:5). To blend these two together let me put it to you this way: Fear God and you won’t fear anyone or anything. You may ask, “How does this work?” Good question! We know that many people are suffering from anxiety attacks, stress, hopelessness, and fear. And the majority of them are being told they will just have to deal with it or take medication. But listen, that’s just not true. There is a solution that not only makes us strong but shatters the very presence of fear. How do I know? Because, I am a living testimony!
Believe it or not, fear is a real spirit from hell sent to torment, control, and destroy every person who will listen to his ominous voice. And yes he talks convincingly. If we are not careful we will find ourselves talking back in agreement to that spirit. And in doing so we give him power. But know this: there is a Power greater than the spirit of fear which when we call Him by name, believe in the power of His name, stand strong in the authority of His name, the spirit of fear high-tails it.
I want to share three points to gutting the spirit of fear. First, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7). When we fear God He opens our understanding to what we are facing then gives us courage to rebuke the spirit of fear in the name of Jesus. To fear God means to put Him first and to love Him with all of our heart. God loves us so much that He gives us perfect love to cast out tormenting fears. Yes, fear has torments, but God’s love in us dispels fear and gives perfect peace.
Second, we must “Trust in the Lord with all of our heart; and lean not to our own understanding. In all of our ways we must acknowledge God and He will direct our paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). We must know that God wants us to be free from fears. It is comforting to know that God cares for us so much that He leads us in the path of victories. The very reason that God came to earth in the form of a man called Jesus was to destroy the devil and his works. For greater insight you must read Hebrews 2:14-15; I John 3:8. God hates the spirit of fear but loves us.
Last of all, we have to discipline ourselves to talk to God daily (pray), read the Word of God (Bible) daily, and go to God’s house (church) when the doors are open. These three life-lines build our relationship with God, strengthen our faith in God, and equip us for battle. The spirit of fear is a predator. Peter said, “Our adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist steadfast in the faith…” (I Peter 5:8). If we want to have the victory over that bestial spirit we must use the license that Christ paid for and gave to everyone who believes, receives, & obeys His Word. You can find more info at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com.
Over the past 70 years of my life I have met lots of poor people. I have learned that being poor is often not a lack of money, but people are poor in many different ways. Having no money is usually a symptom of another problem that is undercover and often never addressed or taken care of. To give a poor person money, usually will not fix the problem, because something more urgent is needed. Giving a poor person money can and in many cases destroy him.
Hard as it may seem, poor people often ignore opportunities before them. They get easily offended and are quick to quit. Virtue does not spring up lightly. Another thing that I have discovered is poor people like to think that they know it all. Aristotle said it requires precept, example, habit, and ideas that echo richly through the Book of Proverbs and are proven by the character of Christ.
Was King Solomon poor? No! He was the wealthiest man ever. Was Jesus Christ poor? I have heard many people, including ministers, say that He was. But after examining the scriptures I see the truth. He was wealthy! Would a poor man have a treasurer? Jesus had one. His name was Judas. Everywhere He went people sought Him out. This is notorious for the rich and famous, never the poor. His robe was so desirable that the Roman soldiers gambled for it. Had His robe been a rag, nobody would have wanted it. Women of renown and wealthy men supported Jesus with their money. He was buried in a rich man’s tomb. What was it that these two men had in common to make them wealthy? They had a desire to please God, a desire to help others, and a desire to fulfill their God called purpose.
Sadly, among the poor we often find little appetite for these virtues that lead to prosperity. People who grow up poor usually have a poor self-image. Usually they have an unrealistic concept about life which stifles their ability. And our political system is not helpful because it gives to those who do not earn their way and takes from those who do. Our government is one of the biggest wasters of money. It interprets laziness as some kind of disease and gives money to support the cause.
Helping the poor is difficult because poverty can be a mindset. Most poor people are so programmed to be poor that if they had a lot they would still be poor. To get out of that poverty mindset it takes a transformation of the mind. This is something that only God can do.
I like what someone coined: “If you want to feed a person for a day give him a fish. If you want to feed a person for a life-time, teach him how to fish.” There are several lessons to be learned from fishing. You must have the right bait. There must be a desire to catch fish. Patience is necessary. It is a stinky job. There can be pain involved, but the results far outweigh a poverty mindset. When a fish is caught there is much joy. Life can be discouraging but those who are successful, fish on! For more information and service times visit us online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com
Pastor J.C. Myers, III
Pastor J.C. founded Joy Christian Ministries in 1992. He was Sr. Pastor at Joy Christian Ministries in West Sacramento, California from 1992-2016. He was succeeded by his 2nd son, Pastor Brandon Myers who had been under his father's ministry and teaching for 39 years.