BISHOP'S DESK

God Is My Judge

Don’t Judge Me God Is My Judge.
 
No one wants to be judged when their actions are considered inappropriate or just flat out wrong.  Isn’t it interesting that when people state that no one can judge them it is not when they are being applauded for some generally accepted good action that they achieved.  Only when someone’s actions are critiqued because of their inappropriate nature do we hear some say Don’t Judge Me God Is My Judge.  Believe it or not people judge us all the time, for to judge is merely to express an formed opinion or conclusion about an action or ideology.  Such judgment occurs quite often, so let me ask you a question when picking friends are they honest, reliable, competent, kind, capable of taking the blame, able to persevere, modest, and capable of controlling their anger.  Well believe or not you had to judge based upon exposure to those individual you considered potential friends.  At the point  you made a decision to allow that person to be in your life possibly hundreds of judgments had to be made.    Absolutely, and there is nothing wrong with thoroughly,  screening / judging people before you allow them access to the inner court of your life. 
 
Yet when it comes to matters of one’s soul and eternal destiny we throw in the You Can’t Judge Me clause.  First of all most of the people saying that are connecting it to Jesus teaching and I believe they are missing the point.  In Luke’s gospel in chapter six Jesus said, “Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to PULL out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye”(Luke 6:42). Clearly Jesus is not saying that you can’t judge he is merely saying that when you judge look for the same type of judgment to be given to you.  Secondly, that when you judge a brother make sure that you are not being the hypocrite by not applying the word of God to oneself before attempting to be Junior Holy Spirit to someone else.  Thirdly, when Jesus said “Judge not” after the word “not” there is no period so the complete thought is “that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1).  So if we understand the word “judge” in Matthew 7:1, it is to decide that someone is guilty or to be condemned.  So Jesus is saying if we don’t want someone to condemn us make sure that we don’t condemn others, and if we do declare someone is guilty that we ought to be certain that we will not be exempted from such judgment, so make sure our life is clean. 


Lastly, Paul gives teaching concerning judging.  He said, “when I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to ASSOCIATE with anyone who CLAIMS to be a BELIEVER yet indulges in SEXUAL sin, or is GREEDY, or worships idols (placing serving God second to any created thing/person/place), or is ABUSIVE, or is a DRUNKARD, or CHEATS people. Don’t even EAT with such people. It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but IT CERTAINLY IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO JUDGE THOSE INSIDE THE CHURCH who are SINNING.”
1 Corinthians 5:9-12 NLT

Blessings,
 

Purpose of Living

Purpose of living
 
I’m sure that some of you find yourselves saying where is the fulfilment in my daily routine? For instance many of us insist that we must matriculate in Universities to receive that coveted Bachelor, Masters, or Doctoral Degree.  In some cases we found a career which would be in sync with our purpose that we’ve been designed to fulfill.  After securing a job we found the compatible spouse that was not perfect, yet we loved being around because he/she just clicked!  Next it was the baby phase of life when the majority of our daily routine was centered around our child (ren).  This was a time of sleep deprivation, to comfort the crying child, cleaning the disgusting diapers, and making sure this little bundle of love didn’t hurt themselves.  Only to find out later, that they would develop their own friends, their own convictions about life that seemed to be totally incompatible with our worldview.  Figuratively, we were the boat that allowed our experiences to navigate and give purpose to our lives. However, when we were no longer useful our experiences tied us to the dock of emptiness.  Where we naively waited for another experience to come and fulfill us. 
 
This I believe is at the heart of Solomon when he was led by the Holy Spirit to pen the book of Ecclesiastes.  If you listen closely, to Solomon’s voice through the pages of this wisdom book, you will sense that he realizes that much of what he did wasn’t really with God in view.  That his life was a series of experiential boat rides onto the sea of limited earthly existence; which he thought would fulfill emptiness within his life.   Only to discover that making himself available to a myriad of experiences did not resolve the lack of fulfillment in his life.  Solomon concluded that life was empty unless one principle was at the bedrock of everything he did. 
 
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13
 
In essence everything we do is a reason to reverence and obey the commandments of God.  So if our name is on the lips of many, if our achievements are noted generationally, if our children are admired for their phenomenal upbringing, and we possess an abundance of money.  Solomon advises that it’s all nothing unless we esteemed God and cautiously evaluated the use of what we have been privileged to manage through His commands.  Unless we love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and our neighbor as ourselves as we’re dealing with each experience in life we’ve missed the entire purpose of living. 
 
Blessings,
 

Benefit of a Godly Culture

Benefit of a Godly Culture
 
I believe as a child growing up in a Christian family that the focus on Jesus, moral living, and attendance at church was a mores that influenced my psychology towards my faith in Jesus today. My fondest early childhood memories were of church or activities involved within a Christian environment. Because my paternal and maternal relatives came from the Louisiana and Texas respectively, there was a cultural expectancy of religion or at least a respect and acknowledgement of God.  Sunday without a doubt was a day when going to church was the focus of our life.  Everything about Sunday was unique, from the attire we wore, the absence of household chores, the distinguish people that seriously worship God, and the various forms of learning about Jesus, e.g., Sunday School, Worship, YPCC, and Night Worship. 
 
It didn’t seem that dreadful in retrospect, as a child I found it captivating.  Sundays merely started the week of worship, for Wednesday & Friday Nights when Bible Study and another Worship experience respectively were scheduled.  The Friday Night Worship was focused on the development of the youth and young adults within our church, so they would be ready to lead the church as the older generations became older.  Lastly, there were rehearsals and ministry meetings during the week that filled the majority of our weekly calendar and yet there was no outcry in my memory of church burnout. 
 
I am not trying to imply that the church of my childhood didn’t have any stresses or frustrations due to the scheduling of the church calendar, but I seriously can’t recall any complaints at all.  Many of those that attended my church worked at canneries, department of defense, hospital workers (cooks & janitorial), and various other labor / manufacturer jobs.  These God fearing men and women weren’t making top dollar, but they were earning a decent wage of which they responsibly and joyfully supported each other (church).  People that were unable to shelter themselves stayed with fellow members, people that needed clothes were given quality apparel, so generosity ruled to the degree that when people shook one anothers hand there was occasionally left money in it. 
 
Why did I bring this to your attention, because being exposed to that type of Christian culture impacted me as a child.  It influenced and gave me a love for the church and all it stood for – the love of Jesus Christ.  Again, there were selfish sinful behaviors that occurred in the congregation that I attended.  However, it didn’t overshadow the supernatural presence that I saw demonstrated through my nuclear and extended family and the church I attended.  What’s my take away is that when a child is immerged into a religious culture - that culture will have an irreversible impact on their lives.  Although as stated earlier my religious environment was not without errors / imperfections, yet the sincerity and conviction of those that I was exposed to drew me to Jesus the Christ!

TRAIN UP A CHILD IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO: AND WHEN HE IS OLD, HE WILL NOT DEPART FROM IT. PROVERBS 22:6
 
Let me encourage you that are scratching your head because of your concern to give your family a balance lifestyle.  Go camping, go fishing, go to amusement parks, go cross country to visit relatives and see the world, all of which I did as a child, but always demonstrate enthusiasm and love toward God and His people,  so that your children and friends can see and be left with an impression of Christianity that will last their lifetime. 
 
Blessing,
Tylos Jackson, Jr. 
 
 

Spiritual Maturation

In Hebrews chapter 5 the author encourages the saints by writing that spiritual maturity is a path that only those that truly love God will surrender their lives to endure.  'Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared (Hebrews 5:7-8)
 
Contrary to popular opinion that maturity, spiritual maturity, doesn't come through church attendance, bible schools, seminars, conferences, and various other biblical educational ventures.  Some people within the body of Christ have mistakenly believed that Biblical knowledge equates to maturity.  It is true that one cannot be mature without knowledge of God's word, yet without spiritual wisdom to apply the truth of God's word, and the character to continue to practice Godly principle during stressful times we often missed the mark to achieve spiritual maturity. 
 
How many times have we've been through challenging times and aborted our mission because it was hard work to continue pushing forward.  Some of us didn't go back to school and finish our four year Bachelor's degree because we weren't mature enough to deny ourselves making money and pursuing our lives goals until we finished college.  It wasn't that we weren't capable to attain a degree because some of us went back and finished school while married, with children, and maintaining a full-time job.  Yet during our late teens and early twenties we felt that we weren't ready, or more correctly, didn't want to tighten our schedule and complete our college education.  Actually it was lack of maturity, in some cases, not wanting delayed gratification, in other cases feeling tired of studying and doing exams, so we went on doing what we wanted to do until realization of truth hit us squarely between the eyes. 
 
Eventually, some of us conceded that education was important and that it would unlock some financial opportunities that would otherwise be outside of our reach. As a result of that decision to apply the knowledge (wisdom) and a determined mind to not give up we earned our four-year degree and in some case continue to earn a Masters Degree.  All because we allowed the application of knowledge mixed with pure determination to be our sail and rudder to navigate us through certain academic rough waters.
  
Likewise, when we are believers in Jesus our course towards maturity takes similar emotional, psychological, spiritual paths.  We must buy into the truth that God's Word is a non-negotiable necessity for our lives, so possessing it and making sure that it is learned is crucial.  Yet our trek is not complete toward spiritual maturity; while learning biblical principles there must be an unshakable determination to allow the tenets of the faith to change our lives.  Change is hard and we can deceive ourselves that change has taken place by incorporating a pseudo-maturity by filling our life up with spiritual activities, but spiritual activities doesn't mean change.  It’s the old adage, of just because you go in a garage doesn't mean that you're a car, likewise just because you engage yourself with spiritual activities doesn't mean that maturity has taken place in your life.    

I find that when maturity is truly measurable it’s when there are other principles other than Jesus commands that we desire to do and nevertheless we obey God's word.  When obeying Jesus’ commands cause for us to suffer and endure pain this is a true measurement of spiritual maturity.  Jesus epitomize this principle when He said, nevertheless not my will but thy will be done.  When we are determine to obey God no matter if doing so will inconvenience our life. 

Blessings, 
Tylos Jackson

Walking as Mature Christians

Jesus said to the man that was lame at the pool of Bethesda (John 5) would he be made whole or healthy. This is a provocative question to ask a man that had been ill. Illness that caused this man to have had limited movement and every time he made a move-no reward for his efforts. Not only was this man sick, unrewarded for his efforts to live above his sickness, also he had thirty-eight years of managing the effects of his malady. Can you imagine the self talk that had seized his mind? The psychological fighting to not resign to the possibility that this would be his life.

Then Jesus comes to him and ask him would he desire or determined to be made whole. This is a scene in which this man had to choose not to be offended, not to be defeated in his mind, but to use a mature trust in Jesus. I say mature because he had an advance stage of trust in Jesus that is surprising based upon his years of suffering. I believe there are some of you that have been in a life condition that have been paralyzing you in the same place for most of your life. I’m suggesting to you that your change of life for the better is more than based upon a magical or mystical moment. But your life change is based upon your determination to be made whole and Jesus’ power to bring it to past.

There is nothing that’s keeping you from moving past whatever is keeping you immobile in life. Determine in your mind that this year, month, week, or moment that you are reading this note from my desk that you are determined to be made whole. Believe that all things are possible with your mind made up to be whole and the power of Jesus the Christ empowering you to bring it to past.

Blessings,
Bishop Tylos Jackson

The Love Of God III

Therefore, does God want believers to come to church as spiritual Stepford Christian walking around just smiling and shaking hands but not connecting, not feeling, not sharing, and not loving.  No, God wants us to refuse the temptation of mirroring the world from which we were redeemed.  God wants His children to love even in the midst of unlovable people persecuting and slandering.  God wants His children to love even when evil is done to them and count it all joy.  God wants His children to forgive quickly and love patiently for doing so will display that His presence rules their lives.  God wants His children to endure hardness as a good soldier and suffer like a Christian.  God wants His children to not be full anxiety over anything but through prayer and supplication allow the peace of God to cover their lives.

Yet the truth of the matter is that we ought to "let God be true, but every man a liar" (Romans 3:4).  If we as believers are not careful our opinions and disappointments with fellow professing Christians will cause us to call the Bible to be irrelevant, and in some cases our trust in God to be at best lukewarm.   

I believe that the people of God are surrendering their lives to display a sacrificial love life that is reciprocating His love and revealing His compassion toward each other.  Even though, like anyone that has a bird's-eye view of people that are in the Christian community there will be some individuals that are not walking in full maturity in their faith.  Yet according to the bible that is when the stronger believer helps the weaker brother in the faith (Rom. 15:1).  The New Testament mentions human frailties and immature believers yet the Word of God instructs followers of Jesus to love and usher fellow believers to a more intimate walk with God.
 
Refuse to bite the fruit of believing what God’s Word has not said about fellow believers and trust God for the best in each other.  Not backing away because some brothers and sisters are not waking in full maturity for we all need help from God through one another.  God’s word is true so let’s speak what God says concerning His people and not be led by emotions, physical sight, or conflicts, for God’s people are loving, gracious, and victorious people.    

Until my next blog, live life to reveal God’s presence, revive man’s soul, and rejoice in new life. 
 
Blessings,
Tylos Jackson, Jr. 

The Love Of God II

We often toss around phrases in church circles like people are fake and some of us recluse to our own comfortable isolated bubble.  Determined that no one will ever hurt us again in church because we shut the door on any possible contacts or relationships.  Some of us merely come to church like a person trying not to step on a relational landmine, so we hear the preaching, serve in a ministry without connecting, and leave church avoiding any emotional connections.  Yes, there are smiles, handshakes, and courteous conversation, but if we are honest it's all wrapped up in a thin coating of religious correctness.  Sometimes the Holy Spirit is allowed to crack the spiritual facade that is a protected shield against further offence.  Yet we don't want to address these offenses biblically, so we go on year after year, decade after decade trying to negotiate our way through our congregation not really knowing and being known by others.  

This longing for isolation that many of us seek, while claiming to love God, seeming allows us safety, but when investigated closer is an erroneous philosophy that really amounts to us seeking to save our lives.  Unconsciously some of us desire to sit on the throne of our minds thus controlling our lives with a guidelines that diminishes faith in God.  

The challenge is how can we love God and not love those people that He died to redeem.  John says, that God's love is revealed and we know that we are of God when we love specifically fellow believers.  Let me be crystal clear the test of God's love abiding in us, that we are truly believers, is that we display love one to another.  But you may say, I'm sure that God doesn't want me to be continually getting hurt by people in the church.  No, God is not sadistic, yet He doesn't mind allowing us to deal with hard situation, so that we may grow more like Him.  Each time we say that someone hurts us in the community of faith directly or indirectly and their actions cause us to shut down, and not love as the bible instructs we deny our faith in the sovereignty of God.  Refusing to love as the Word of God commands suggest that there is an issue with understanding how God’s love operates within His Kingdom. 
 
Let’s step back for a second and look at God’s love personified in Jesus.  Hopefully we may wrestle with our understanding/definition of God’s love.  Abraham and Isaac was commanded by God to go on a mount in the land of Moriah.  Abraham was willing to offer his son to God as a burnt offering because of his commitment / love of God.  Notice that the father’s (Abraham) love for the son (Isaac) didn’t withhold his son from the harsh reality of death and was yet ready to confront a difficult episode in his life through faith. Jesus was the love gift given to humanity so that man could regain their lost relationship and power that was forfeited when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden.  Although this process of redemption meant that Jesus (God’s son) would go through the process of death just as Isaac suffered with the permission of His Father. So by definition God’s love is not principally focused on believer’s comfort but that their spirit is formed to be as the very likeness and image of Jesus.  


Until my next blog, live life to reveal God’s presence, revive man’s soul, and rejoice in new life. 
 
Blessings,
Tylos Jackson, Jr. 

 

The Love of God

The love of God gives repentant humanity heaven and unrepentant hell. You say heaven and hell yes, since God is Love, everything he does comes from His Loving nature. As a God that is Love He defines what Love is and we dare not try to alter His identity. His Loving nature corrects and favors whom he chooses and rejects based upon His will and just character. So if God is Love we are looking at Him in error if we don’t view His Love as it relates to hell. The same loving God caused the expulsion of man from the Garden of Eden, the flood that destroyed children and adults. And it will be the same Loving God that will allow humanity to go to hell if we live an unrepentant life. You can’t have it only one way...to only think of God’s love in terms of only encouragement, affection, and forgiveness. We must be careful for it was Jesus who said that the same Loving God would usher us into hell. Isn’t it possible that reason why our generation, when receiving/allowing trials, persecution, or hard times at the hand of God wants to quit? Because we only want the God of the positive-the God that makes me feel good and loves us with an occasional spanking on the hands. But biblical love for God is inclusive of the whole idea of God that gives us heaven and the opportunity to reject Him and send us to hell. To accept this God, in the person of Jesus, is to live in a balance of knowing God’s inexpressible love and reverence His unquestionable punishment. 

Blessings,