June first is recognized by the meteorological society as the beginning of hurricane season. Life’s storms, however, have no season they can begin at any time. New technology also us to track hurricanes from a long way off and prepare or evacuate if we are in their path. As Christians we possess an early warning system also, He is called the Holy Spirit. Jesus said,” He would show us things to come.” He shows us the impending storms for three reasons. First we may be able to avert the storm by making some life corrections. Second we may be able to minimize the storms effects on our lives and thirdly we can prepare and actually be strengthen in and through the storm and be stronger once the storm is over.
If we are not able to avert the storm, there are things we can do the weather the storm.
Recognize: God is not the problem, He is the answer. Always stay on God’s side. He is on our side.
Remember: God is faithful to His word, His covenant and to His people.
Realize: Why the storm has come. We may have opened the door because of unrepented sin, dishonoring God, disobedience to His Word. So we should repent and shut the door.
Respond: With the Word. His word will not return to Him void. Find scriptures that cover your case and bring it to God as His promise to take care of you.
Rejoice: We are told in scripture to rejoice and give in all things for this is the will of God for us. We don’t rejoice because we are in a storm but inspite of the storm.
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By now many have already given up on their New Years Resolutions due to frustration or lack of results. I want to challenge you to develop Heart Healthy Habits for your natural heart but also for your “Spiritual heart”. A study of healthy habits for the heart find they fall into three categories: Diet, Exercise and Rest.
From a natural perspective we should watch what we eat, raise our heart rate for at least 30 minutes a day through some form of cardio exercise and we must get 7-8 hours of restful sleep.
When we focus on our spiritual heart the same three areas are important. We must watch what we take into our minds and spirits. Jesus said in Mark 4, “be careful what you hear”, To often we begin to act and behave the way the people we listen to act and behave. Our intake of the Word of God must out distance anything else we take in. We should always filter what we take in through God’s word.
Second we must become doers of God’s word and not just hearers. We put the Word into action by imitating God. Two particular issues are important to follow God. Walking in Love and hating evil. Plain and simple.
Third, how do we rest in God. Putting out trust in Him, humbling ourselves under His hand and casing all our cares upon Him because He cares for us.
If we watch our “Diet, Exercise and Rest” on a regular basis we will develop Heart Healthy Habits.
It is very obvious what season we are in. The stores are all decorated with Christmas items, playing Christmas music and the TV advertisements are robust with the newest gadgets, clothing and sparkly things. Many people choose to decorate their homes inside and out for this holiday season. We must always remember that “Jesus is the reason for the Season.” When we choose to decorate out homes there is at least four stages in the process. First we clean, second we rearrange furniture, third we decorate and finally we exchange gifts on Christmas day.
When we look at these from a spiritual perspective we can see the same four stages in our preparation to receive Jesus into our hearts. First, we must clean out the clutter from our hearts. Things like bitterness, anger, worry, offense, malice, and the like for our hearts to be a welcome place for His presence. Second we must rearrange our priorities. Too often things, activities, and life in general takes precedence over our relationship with the King of Kings. Third the decorations are added to the house or tree or both. You see God want to decorate our lives so we can be visible to the world around us. He wants to decorate our lives with blessing and the fruit of the spirit so the world can see how good He is. Lastly, we exchange gifts. God’s gifts to us include, Jesus, Eternal Life and the Holy Spirit. We must be willing to accept His gift of eternal life. Remember it is a free gift. Jesus is described as an “indescribable gift.” Our gift to Him is simply, our heart, worship, talent, time and obedience.
When we prepare properly for Christmas we become the voice crying in the wildernesses around us. The wilderness is the barren places that are void of the Spirit of God. So our lives call out into the Marketplaces, Universities, Business, Government, and even churches to make straight the way of the Lord.
Have a Merry Christmas! Pastor Carl Benton
Jeremiah 29:11 says, ” I know the plans I have for your, plans of welfare (Peace) and not for evil (calamity) says the Lord, If you will seek me and pray to me I will be found by you if you seek me with all your heart.”
These profound words through the prophet Jeremiah speaks volumes. God has a plan for your life. He has destined you for greatness. God does not examine your past to determine your future. Nor does He plan your destiny based on your race, nationality, political ideology, educational accomplishments or your socio-economic status. He just has a plan for you based on His will. You see He knows what gifts and callings He has placed in you. He desires for us to locate those gifts and abilities and develop them to their fullest, to be used for His kingdom. You see we have a part to play to accomplish that destiny.
We must have a focused desire. With being focused we could be side tracked rather easily. We must have a firm determination or the challenges of life can discourage us. We must remember Satan will endeavor to put obstacles in our path. Most of the men of God in the old testament were faced with many diversions. Lastly we need a fearless discipline. Discipline is a self control that keeps us striving for God and His Kingdom.
God destiny for us may not make us great in the eyes of man, however when we fulfill His plan for our life, we will be great in His eyes.
Be Blessed in all your do.
Pastor Carl Benton
The holidays are a special time for me and many people. I am reminded of times when our family would gather at my grandparents house. All the cousins would play in the yard while the adults prepared a meal for the whole crew. When the meal was prepared, someone would call out to us kids, “Come and get it, the table is ready”. We also ran as fast as we could. The spread was always so delicious. Regardless of how many people were present, there was always enough to go around.
When I read in Ps 23:5 that, “the shepherd has prepared a table for us in the presence of our enemies,” I can only imagine what is on that table. We see in 1 Thes 5:23, that we are “Spirit, Soul and Body”. I have to believe that the Lord’s table is set with delicious items that will benefit the whole man. For the spirit of man there is cleansing from sin, for the soul of man there is restoration and for man’s body there is healing.
As you read this if your need cleansing, come to the table, if your soul need restoration, come to the table, if you need healing in your body, come to the table. Don’t delay, run as fast as you can. But no worries there is plenty enough for everyone.
I trust you will have a great holiday season.
It doesn’t take long to realize that the world around is getting more and more negative. When you listen to the talking heads, pundits and political activist who constantly complain about what they don’t like or how think things should be, you realize the negative content of their rhetoric. As Christians if we take in too much of this constant barrage of negativity, we too will begin to become negative toward all things around us. Certainly we should be concerned about the course our world culture is taking. We must spend a sufficient time in biblical prayer for the world around us, because only God can effective redirect the course of our culture. All the complaining in the world will not set things in the right direction.
We must have a consistent diet of God’s word and a limited diet of the negative content of society. We must be careful who and what we listen too and see, remember we walk by faith and not by sight. We must put a guard around our eye and ear gates along with our heart, so as to allow only positive inflow. Remember, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
Remember it is the truth you know and walk in that sets you free.
Pastor Carl Benton
Life is a pressure cooker. Pressure in life is common to everyone. People handle pressure in different ways. Some use alcohol, some use drugs, both legal and illegal others simple check out of the flow of society. In order to handle the pressures of life we must realize that we are going to have to push back against the pressure. We should put an active positive pressure against the pressure that is all around us. I call it ” Functional Resistance.” There are three step to the process.
First, we must “PRESS IN” to the Presence of God, His Holy Word, and into the Name of Jesus.
Second, we must “PRESS ON” in Faith, In Praise, In our prayer language.
Third, we must “PRESS THROUGH” Fear, Depression, Loneliness and the lies of Satan.
Do these three things will apply “Functional Resistance” to the pressures of life.
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All of us experience pressures in life. Many times the pressure becomes so great that it can call health and mental illness. The way we handle this pressure will determine the outcome in our lives. The result can either be positive or negative. The Word of God tells us to apply active positive pressure to the pressures of life for the desires “good”outcome. James 4:7 says that we should “submit to God, Resist the devil and he will flee.” That is positive pressure being applied. How do we resist the devil. We should do three things. First we must PRESS IN – to God’s Presence, God’s Word, and the Name. Second we will have to PRESS ON – In Faith and In Praise. Lastly we continue to PRESS THROUGH – Fear, depression, and the lies of Satan.
Remember don’t stop doing what you know to do because of something you don’t know. God has called us to be more then conquerors in Christ, when we apply this active positive pressure we will overcome the pressures of life.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to hear from you.
We use the word love very loosely in our society. We love our pets, clothes, cars and our spouses by using the same word. Unfortunately there is a great deal of confusion as to the real meaning of “love”. A popular movie of the 80’s convinced people that love was never having to say you’re sorry. Hollywood has portrayed the intimated encounter between two people as love. There is a natural human love that is an emotion we can experience. It is when we either grow fond of someone or the item meets certain criteria in our mind.
However, there is a love that is high above just the decision or emotion we experience. Scripture tells us it is the “more excellent way.” Jesus said He gave us a new commandment, “Love one another as I have loved you.” That love has been is a spiritual force that has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit He gave to us when we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, or we got born again.
God’s Love in us controls our behavior and words. It covers a multitude of wrongs against us. It Protects us from accepting fear, rejection, bitterness or offense. It empowers us to forgive those who are against us.
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Thanks for reading. I’m Pastor Carl Benton. “its the truth you know and walk in that sets you free.”
The Apostle James said we should be doers of the word and not just hearers. He said that anyone who is not a doer of the word is just like a person who looks into a mirror and then leaves forgets what he looks like. We are to look into the Word of God as a mirror and find ourselves in that Word and proceed to be a reflection of God’s word in our daily lives. So when we located ourselves in The Bible and live our lives accordingly then we take on the image of the Word of God. The way we locate ourselves is to identify with Christ as His followers. We are called “In Christ” followers or believers. Therefore whenever you see those little words “In Christ”, look and see what is say, because The Bible is talking about you and who you are in God’s eyes. For example when we read in 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) “17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”. We see that our past is gone and our future is yet to be. However, our future is not determined by our past failures or mistakes.
So Locate yourself in the Word, Identify with what you see there and the Declare that is who you are “In Christ.”
Pastor Carl Benton
LIVING GLORY CHURCH
200 E. Butcher Switch Road
Lafayette, LA 70507
A Non-Denominational, Christian Family Church
LIVING GLORY CHURCH
200 E. BUTCHER SWITCH RD,
LAFAYETTE, LA 70507
- Community Minded
- A Christian Family Church
Reaching Lafayette, Breaux Bridge, Scott, Carencro, Sunset, Broussard and Lafayette Parish, LA