Keep Your Head to the Sky

Heb 12:1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 
Heb 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

The book of Hebrews is an interesting book which has no author assigned, but the writing style is that of the Apostle Paul. It is truly an epistle worth reading!  In thirteen chapters it  speaks about the supremacy of Jesus Christ, it warns us about neglecting our salvation, how Jesus Christ was greater than Moses, the importance of faith, those that overcame through their faith, and that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith! 

In Heb 12:1, The writer says that since we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, we are encouraged to lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so  easily beset us, and to run with patience the race that is set before us. In other words, there are many saints who came before us and they overcame and stayed focused through their faith in God, and although they were persecuted in their faith they did not give up.

The writer also says the Christian journey and relationship with Christ in this world is like a race, in which we should keep running with patience. I don’t know if any of you have ever ran track and field, or watched it on television. But in a track race there is a starting line and a finish line, and there are many runners (people) who are running in the race. At the end of the race, there are some that come in first, second or third place. 

Well in this Christian journey called life, we are all in this race and it doesn’t matter if you come in first, second or third. God wants you to finish the race. Which means you can’t give up, you can throw in the towel, and you shouldn’t quit. It doesn’t matter to the LORD what place you come in, just don’t stop running!

After the Apostle Paul did all he could in service for the Kingdom of God through three missionary journeys, establishing churches and writing many of the New Testament books to the church, he said in 2 Tim 4:7-8, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 

So Paul understood that since he completed the journey, course, or race, there would be a reward from the LORD! This should encourage us all, that no matter what happens in the world around us, we must fight the good fight of faith, and we must finish the course or race! In a track and field race, the first, second and third place winners get the award! In this Christian course, we will all get a reward o crown, if we stay focused and finish the course or race.

So Hebrews 12:1 encourages us to lay aside anything that would keep us from finishing the race! So the question is how do we do it? Well, Hebrews 12:2 says it all. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

So the way we set ourselves up to finish the race is to stay focused and looking unto Jesus. In other words, when we run, keep looking at the finish line and keep looking ahead. Good runners understand this. They don’t look at people, and they don’t look what is going on around them. In the same way, you should keep looking unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith!

I know there are things going on all around us in our lives, the world, our churches, in our communities, and it can be discouraging! But we need to be like the Psalmist who said, “I will look to the hills where my help comes from.” (Psalm 121:1) In other words, I have to keep my head to the sky, and say like Paul in Heb 12:2, “I am looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

In other words, our victory will come through the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ. Today, stay focused and know that despite the bad news all around us, that we must stay focused in this journey of life so that we can reach the finish line in Jesus Name!

God bless, Pastor Quinn

Peace of mind from the Prince of Peace

Isa 26:3  You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You. 
Isa 26:4  Trust in the LORD forever, for in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength. 

There are about 400 scriptures in the Kings James Version of the Bible that speak about peace. What is even more amazing is that the word “peace” can be found in every book of the Bible with the exception of six books in the Old Testament which are Song of Solomon, Ruth, Hosea, Joel, Jonah, Habakkuk, and one book in the New Testament; 1 John. 

So out of 66 books in the entire Bible only seven books do not have scriptures on the word “Peace.”  This is profound and prophetic, because we know that God is perfect in all of his ways, and these seven books were left out for a reason! Another interesting fact is that the book of Isaiah has more scriptures on peace than any of the other books of the Bible. We find 29 verses of scripture recorded on the word “peace” in the book of Isaiah. This is prophetic because in in Isaiah 9, the LORD spoke through Isaiah and said:

Isa 9:6. “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder, and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” 

Isaiah said that Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace, and Isaiah spoke the most about peace! This absolutely amazing! Today the LORD wanted me to share and encourage someone to have peace concerning a situation in your life! It could be a financial situation, a family situation, a job situation,  a sickness, or a ministry situation. 

Whatever it is, God said through the Prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You.” The scripture says that God will keep us in perfect peace if our minds are stayed on him, because we trust in him.”

God will give you peace in the midst of the storm, when you keep your mind stayed on him! But there is a condition, you must trust God. The reason many people don’t have peace is because their mind is not stayed on the Prince of Peace, who is able to give peace. Another reason is because they don’t trust God. Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Another reason many people don’t have peace in the midst of the storm, is because they are not trusting in the one who is PEACE! It is not by accident or incident that there are 400 scriptures that speak about peace in the Bible, and the reason is because God wants you to have peace! 

The LORD wants you to be free from stress, strife, despair, depression, worry, hopelessness and pain! The answer to all of these things is peace that passes all understanding in Jesus Christ. Paul confirms this in Phil 4:6-7.

Phil 4:6  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 
Phil 4:7  And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

The LORD desires to give you peace of mind that is supernatural but the key is:

1. Keeping your mind stayed on Jesus.

2. Trusting in the LORD with all your heart.

3. Knowing that God is the strength of your life.

Why should we trust God? Well Isaiah 26: 4 answers this: “Trust in the LORD forever, for in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.”

God will give you supernatural strength which is everlasting strength, and he will give you peace that passes all understanding, only if you trust in him! Today, the LORD desires that you cast your burdens on the LORD. 

It may be a sickness, disappointment, discouragement, or something that is disheartening, but I want you to know that God is able to make all grace abound toward you! I speak from experience that I have been through so many trials, tribulations, tests, and troubles in my life, family and ministry, but God continues to give me peace! Hallelujah!

In Mark 4:36-41, the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ was in a boat with the disciples and a storm arose. What is interesting is that Jesus was sleeping in the boat while the disciples were fearful, thinking they would die: Lets read:

Mar 4:36  Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was, and other little boats were also with Him. 

Mar 4:37  And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 
Mar 4:38  But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow, and they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 
Mar 4:39  Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 

Did you get that? The Prince of Peace commanded peace in the midst of the storm and there was peace! Today I want everyone reading this devotional to know that the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ has commanded every storm in your life to cease and be still! The LORD is releasing peace in the midst of every situation and storm in your life! As you receive by faith the words of our LORD Jesus Christ, remember the words of the Prophet Isaiah who said:

Isa 26:3  You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You. 

Isa 26:4  Trust in the LORD forever, for in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength. 

God bless, Pastor Quinn

A Clean Heart and A Right Spirit

Psa 51:10  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 
Psa 51:11  Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 

Psalm 51 is a heartfelt Psalm from King David who humbled himself, and poured out his heart to the LORD after he had fallen short of the glory of God. When you read the words of this Psalm we see that King David had a pure heart. Now I know why David was called a “Man after God’s heart!” He loved the LORD, and he had a pure heart to please the LORD. This is why he was a true worshipper of the Most High God!

We can all learn some life lessons from David as well, because we should all be men and women of God, that love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. As a matter of fact this is the greatest commandment according to the LORD Jesus Christ. 

Mat 22:34  But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 
Mat 22:35  Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 
Mat 22:36  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 
Mat 22:38  This is the first and great commandment. 
Mat 22:39  And the second is like it: ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ 
Mat 22:40  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” 

When you think about it, everything begins with the heart. In a physical sense, the heart is the center of life in human beings. It pumps the blood to all parts of the body. That is why we must protect our hearts and have healthy hearts!  Likewise in the spiritual, the spirit of a man or woman is the heart or wellspring of life! In other words your spirit is the real you. 

Not your emotions, not your thoughts, but your spirit. You must always guard your heart and your spirit! The scripture says in Prov 4:23,  “Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

This is why David said in Psa 51:10  “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Isn’t that a powerful prayer? David said, “Clean my heart LORD, and renew a right spirit within me.” These are two very important parts of who we are, and what cause us to live, move and have our being. Each and every one of us needs a clean heart and a right spirit! Jeremiah the prophet said something profound as well: 

Jer 17:9  “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? 
Jer 17:10  I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.

The prophet of God said that the heart is deceitful and wicked! This is exactly why David said create in me a clean heart! Because David knew that God looks at the heart of a man and not the outer appearance!  

When David was selected as the next King, the LORD told the Prophet Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”  

Did you hear that? Wow! God is not looking at your talents, your ability, and gifting or what you can do! He is looking at your heart! Hallelujah!

The LORD even said  in Jeremiah 7:10, “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”

God said, “I search the heart, and I test your mind.” Why? Because your heart and your spirit determines the real you. Your heart pumps blood throughout your whole body, and your spirit gives life to your body! As a matter of fact, your spirit is who you really are! So God said,  “I search your heart and I test your mind to see what is really going on with you, to see how you will respond. And guess what? The real you always reveals itself!

David also said in Psa 51:11, “Cast me not away from your presence; and take not your holy spirit from me.” This is important because we need the presence of God continually in our lives! We should never make decisions, or do anything without inquiring of the LORD, and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us into all truth! 

The Holy Spirit of God will never lead you down the wrong path! David understood even in the Old Testament that the Holy Spirit of God was so important to him! 

So as we pray and fast unto the LORD, pray the prayer of David and say, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence; and take not your Holy spirit from me.”

God bless, Pastor Quinn

The Law of the First

Matt 6:33  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 

Prov 3:9  Honor the LORD with your substance, and with the first fruits of all your increase.

As I thought about the New Year 2020, which will be the beginning of a New Year with new things to come. I began to pray and the LORD gave me an important word to share with you and it is: “The Law of the First.”   What is the law of the first? Well we do know that everything in the earth that was created must first have a beginning. There is always a start, a beginning, or establishment of a thing, which is always the first.

There are many people who don’t understand “The Law of the First” so I want to show you what the Bible says about first things as it pertains to your life! For example, we have all seen something created in the world where people are excited when they are the first to purchase it! It could be a brand new first Samsung, iPhone, watch, computer or even a car. 

Of course these are material things, but many people understand the excitement and joy of their first love, first home, first new car, first child that was born, first job, first promotion, or anything else in your life that was significant and first!  The reason why the first is important is because the first precedes that which is to come later.

Anytime you get a first big blessing, you are looking for the second one to follow! This is why the first is always important, because it always sets a precedent for that which you are expecting to come! As I searched the Bible, I found over 400 scriptures that pertain to the word: “First” 

-The LORD had a lot to say about the first according to scripture because he is the first! As a matter of fact he says in the book of Revelation 22:13,  “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”  Because God is the first, he desires that we give him the first of all that we have, because the first is holy unto the LORD.

How many of us know that God is not second, will never be second, and we cannot treat him as second!  God even said in Exodus 20:

Exo 20:1  And God spoke all these words, saying: 

Exo 20:2  “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 

Exo 20:3  “You shall have no other gods before Me. 

In other words, I am not another god. I am the First and the Last God, and you shall not have another god or idol in your life that takes first place! Did you know that the LORD himself instituted the law of the first in the earth!  As a matter of fact the law of first is a biblical and spiritual principle. Look what the scripture says in Genesis, the first book of the Bible:

Gen 1:1  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 

Gen 1:2  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 

Gen 1:3  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 

Gen 1:4  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 

Gen 1:5  And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. 

In the very beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. It was without form, void and there was darkness upon the face of the deep. Then look what God said first! Let there be light! Light is truth! Light gives clarity. Today I want to shed some light, clarity and truth on “The Law of the First.”

As I stated before, there are over 400 scriptures throughout the Bible that pertain to the law of the first. I have listed some of the scriptures here for your Biblical reading and understanding as well.  I find that the book of Exodus chapter 12, is particularly interesting because the LORD speaks to Moses about the “first” and mentions it over seven times in chapter 12.  Seven is the number of completion and perfection. We also know that Exodus 12 is a powerful chapter that speaks of the Passover Lamb, who is symbolically Jesus Christ the Lamb of God!   

John the Baptist said the following about Jesus in John 1:29, “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Paul confirms it by saying in 1 Cor 15:20, “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.”

Take a look at Exodus 12:

Exo 12:1  And the LORD spoke unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 

Exo 12:2  This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. 

Exo 12:5  Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: you shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats. 

Exo 12:15  Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.

Exo 12:16  On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat—that only may be prepared by you.

Exo 12:18  In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening.

There are other scriptures that speak about the first as well that are profound!

Exo 22:29  “You shall not delay to offer the first of your ripe produce and your juices. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me.

The New Testament also gives us wisdom as it relates to the law of the first to the LORD:

Mar 10:31  But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

Mar 10:44  And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.

Mar 12:28  Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”

Mar 12:29  Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL, THE LORD OUR GOD, THE LORD IS ONE.

Mar 12:30  And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. This is the first commandment.

Luk 14:28  For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it.

The New Testament also gives us wisdom as it relates to giving the first to the LORD:

1 Cor 16:2  On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.

2 Cor 8:5  And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.

2 Cor 8:12  For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.

The New Testament also gives us wisdom as it relates to Gods judgment and the first:

1 Pet 4:17  For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

The New Testament also gives us wisdom as it relates to Gods love and the first:

1 John 4:19  We love Him because He first loved us.

Rev 2:4  Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

So what does this mean for you and me? Well the Bible is clear for us as believers in Christ. Everything that we acquire or do first, we should first give glory to God and give it back to him.  Jesus confirms everything we have said with one very profound scripture:

Mat 6:33  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 

I have a question for each and every one us reading this. What priority does the Kingdom of God have in your life?  Do you give God honor and praise through prayer when you arise first thing in the morning?  Do you honor and give God a first of all that you earn on your paycheck after the government takes their 15-20% in taxes?

It is amazing to me that we don’t complain when the IRS takes their 15-20% or higher in taxes, but we will complain and gripe when the church asks us to give 10% of tithes and freewill offerings cheerfully to the LORD! 

Solomon the wise man said something interesting in Prov 3:9, “Honor the LORD with your substance, and with the first fruits of all your increase.”

This means that every time you get an increase, you honor God by giving back a portion of it to the Kingdom of God which could be your local church, or a reputable non-profit organization that is doing Kingdom work for Jesus Christ.

Why is this important, because it shows honor and gratitude to the Most High for all that he has blessed and graced us with. Giving God the first says that I love you LORD and I acknowledge that it came from you, and I am only giving back first to you, that which belongs to you!

So on this Sunday, the first Sunday of the year 2020, the LORD desires that we pray, and follow the Biblical precedent that was set by cheerfully giving the first fruits of all of our increase to the LORD. What increase is that you ask? If you get paid a paycheck, a disability check, a retirement check, a refund check, a second job check, a blessing check, or whatever check or cash you receive monetarily, give the first 10% to God to say, LORD I believe your Word over man’s word, and I give back to you what belongs to you. Remember King David a man after God’s heart understood this and said the following:

1Ch 29:11  Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all. 

1Ch 29:12  Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. 

1Ch 29:13  “Now therefore, our God, We thank You and praise Your glorious name. 

1Ch 29:14  But who am I, and who are my people, That we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You. 

Saints remember that the law of the first is not only an important principle for the beginning of the year, but it is an important life principle that you should follow as a child of God each and everyday of the year when you get blessed!

Giving God the first says, “LORD I honor you because you blessed me and supplied my need,  and I give it back to you, so that you can bless everything I own, and every increase and blessing that I receive today, tomorrow, and forevermore!

 Blessings in Christ, Pastor Jamal E. Quinn