Minister A .J. Watkins M.Div.

JOHN 5:2-8; LUKE 24:5-7; JOHN 20: 22, 27-29




In my many years as a US Marine, I have had the pleasure of experiencing an incalculable amount of ceremonies that has dealt with dignitaries, princes, princesses, dukes, ambassadors, queens, kings, sultans, and presidents all over the world.  I have had to show honor to our own President of the United States while serving on the security forces.  In the military we even have a general order that states to “Salute all officers, colors, and standards not cased.”  That means that we are to salute the high-ranking military official, the Flag of this country, and other high-ranking dignitaries that represent this country.  Now in doing all of this, there is one thing that we must do before we render that salute.  That one thing is to “rise” to our feet for the occasion.  The occasion could be an all night gala or it may be for a fleeting moment in which royalty, presidency, or superiority is passing by on their way into an event.

When you are in the courtroom, the bailiff will state, “All rise, court is now in session.  The Honorable Judge Joe Brown is presiding.”  When you are at a wedding you will “rise” as the bride makes her way down the aisle.  When you are at funeral you will “rise” as the coffin is wheeled out.  When you find yourself at a meeting for the local community you will “rise” and receive your council representative.  When you are at a black tie affair you will stop what you are doing and if you are sitting, you will “rise” to receive the dignitary that is throwing the gala.  When you have guests in your home for one of those holiday dinners at the dining table that you never use, you will call everyone together and “rise” when a senior member of the family takes the head of the table.  When you have a guest revivalist or evangelist in your church and they walk into the pulpit after the service starts, you “rise” to your feet to show respect to the man or woman that will bring the message.  When a guest minister is brought into town by a church, it is customary that the host pastor asks the congregation to “rise” to their feet as the speaker stands and takes his or her place behind the lectern to read the scripture.

Now you may ask yourself why do we rise?  It is because you are rising to the occasion.  These aforementioned scenarios are occasions that warrant such respect.  With the exception of having arthritis and can’t stand, people will look at you strange if you do not rise to the occasion.

In our text we have the very familiar passage of scripture that includes a dialogue between someone that is trapped in the world of redundancy and complacency and the one that can change your life so that you can work and move freely. Our text is a biblical story told over and over again with different lessons in mind.  However today we will talk about rising to the occasion. We notice that Jesus was passing by this particular day and, as always, he was handing out blessings and miracles.  When Jesus asked him if he wanted to be made whole, he began to come up reasons as to why he hasn’t been made whole.

Thirty-eight years is a long time to be in a predicament that you cannot control.  It is a long time to be in the mindset of a commitment to do something and never get it done.  Notice in the text he states he has no one to put him in the pool.  Yet with the same breath he states “but while I am coming.”  Now which one is it?  Is it because no one will put you in the pool or is it while you are coming?  Many miss what he stated here.  There is no one to put me in, but while I am coming others step down before me.  As we study this, you will see that he was obviously able to move.  He could move faster with assistance, but he was too weak in the legs to get in there before another person would get in front of him.

We see that the first thing missing is humility and faith.  He had been there thirty-eight years; this would tell me that he was highly familiar with the time and date that the angel would appear.  In his heart I can see with my spiritual eye that he thought to himself year after year that he would prevail.  However, God held him in place for thirty-eight years and would allow him to make progress toward his goal, but not achieve his goal.  Humility is not depreciation of us, but appreciation of God.  Thirty-eight years tells me that he had gained a lot of reasons but not answers.  When you state that you are humble and you have faith, you will perform acts as God’s Spirit tells you to do so.  You see his time had come after all of that suffering and he still was not truly ready to receive his blessing and this miracle.  He did not humble himself and say yes, he began to give reasons why he should not rise to the occasion.  He did not even try to rise before the Lord gave the command.  He was looking for the good (troubling of the water) and had the best right in front of him (Jesus).  He wasn’t even trying to hear Jesus at first.

People come in and out of your life daily, monthly, and yearly.  They come in the form of girlfriends and boyfriends, business associates, and acquaintances.   Most of the time, they start out meaning you well.  Yet as time goes by, you will find that they really want to see where you are going and either get with your program to gain experience for themselves or thwart your program.  That is why most people fail.  Their faith is placed in the wrong location.  We place people between our circumstances and ourselves.  However, Faith puts God between our circumstances and ourselves.  Placing faith in mankind to help you achieve your program is a dangerous game to play.  I am not saying not to seek help to achieve your goal.  God places those people in there as you travel to assist you along the way.  However most programs fail because we allow people that sound as if they are committed to our program to come in and go to work.  They will say all of the right things, make all the proper appearances, but when it comes right down to it, they’re looking for reasons for your success instead of answers and therefore they will begin to mess you up because they are looking at where you came from and how you got there instead of now that I am on board, what is it that you want me to do with the talents and skills that I possess?  That is another problem that our friend at the pool had in his possession.  He placed his faith in the wrong people to help him get in the pool.

Notice that Jesus did not say anything here.  He just waited for the man to finish his reasons as to why he was not whole yet.  Then he commanded him to “Rise to the Occasion.”  Take up your bed and walk and he immediately walked like he was supposed to walk.  He rose to the occasion.  Many times in our lives we hear and see people day in and day out telling us things about ourselves that we know are not true.  However, every now and then, the Lord will dispatch someone into our lives to add us, subtract us, multiply us, and divide us and sum us up to nothing.  That is the person you want around you.  That is the type of person that will tell you like it is and doesn’t mind receiving constructive criticism himself or herself.  However when we are read by total strangers, we get offended.  Total strangers only pass through your life for a short time, because they have other goals to accomplish as they pass over.  It is imperative that we listen to those that God dispatches into our lives to assist us in getting our heads on straight and pointed in the proper direction.  You will notice that these people are humble but powerful when they speak and even more powerful when they’re walking in their calling, into their season, and when you see their accomplishments.  I believe the first test of a truly great man or woman is their humility.  I do not mean by humility, not speaking their mind, or doubting their own abilities.  But really great men and women have a curious under-sense of powerlessness, feeling that the greatness is not in them but through them; that they could not do or be anything else than who God made them to be.  When God commands them, they move.  That is the difference in Saints that rise to the occasion and those of us that just lay by the pool waiting.

Competing with those that God has anointed and appointed is a losing battle.  In the text he competed with Jesus’ will with his own will.  However, Jesus could see the greatness in him when he couldn’t see the greatness in himself and he commanded him and he did.  When the spirit of God really moves on you, you have to move.  You must rise to the occasion.  People always state what they are going to do and never do it.  I have noticed in churches all over this city and nation, that many people have something to say and no one has anything to do.

People offend you and you won’t rise to the occasion to let them know it. People lie on you and you won’t rise to the occasion and them know it.  People get rumors started about you and another individual and you won’t rise to the occasion and let them know it.  People will use you and you will not rise to the occasion and let them know it.  People assassinate your character and you won’t rise to the occasion and let them know it.  People mess with your wife and children and you will not rise to the occasion and let them know it.  People say what they are going to do to help the church grow, but they won’t rise to the occasion and do anything.  People state we need, and God sends and they still won’t rise to the occasion and realize the need has been met.  Just like our friend in the text.

However, I know what happens when you do rise to the occasion.  You see on his way to Calvary, Jesus stopped and healed, listened, educated, changed ways, and left commands.  Jesus rose to the occasion when he called the Sanhedrin hypocrites for criticizing the disciples for eating without washing their hands.  Jesus rose to the occasion when he told them that they do things to be seen of man and not please God in their hearts.  Jesus rose to the occasion when he told them that they could destroy the temple and in three days it would be raised again.  Jesus rose to the occasion when he died for our sins and iniquities from the eternal past, to the eternal present, and into the eternal future.  Jesus rose to the occasion when they went to the sepulcher and they remembered his words in Luke 24:5-7 that he would rise in three days.  Jesus rose to the occasion when he left us a way to rise to any occasion from here until the future.  According to John 20:22, 27-29 he told them to receive the Holy Ghost.  After that he told Thomas in 27-29 put your hand here and touch my hand and then take your hand and place it in my side.  He went on to tell Thomas you had to see to believe.  He once again rose to the occasion.  Then one more time in Acts, he operated from Heaven and rose to the occasion in the second chapter in verses two through twelve and sent the Holy Ghost to all nations.  The Holy Ghost, which is the Spirit of God, is still here operating.

If you will allow the Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost, to dwell within your heart, mind, and soul, your body will be able to handle the mess and the stress and the fluff and stuff.  You will rise to any occasion.  Jesus rose to the occasion and then sent us help so that we may rise to the occasion like he did.  What occasion?  I am glad you asked me that question.  If you are impregnated with an idea, and that idea has become a dream, and that dream has become a goal, and that goal has become a passion, and that passion has become a calling, then you will rise to the occasion.

If God has called you to be a doctor and that is your dream and passion, then rise to the occasion and go to med school, go to the internship, and receive your medical degree.  If God called you to be a lawyer and that is your dream and passion; then go to law school, focus on the area you want to practice, rise to the occasion and receive your law degree.  If God called you to be a teacher in the school system and that is your dream and passion, then go to college and get educated on the psyche of children on all grade levels and achieve that teaching degree.

Most of all, if God has endowed you with the Holy Ghost and he has called you to be a Christian this Sunday, and that is your goal and passion to be the best Christian you can be for God and that is your true calling, then rise to the occasion.

A TRUE Christian will rise to the occasion to:  Give without griping.  Serve without grumbling.  Sacrifice without boasting.  Endure without complaining.  Help without “Bossing”.  Submit without resisting.  Pray without ceasing.  Why? It because you are walking in your calling.

A  TRULY called Christian will rise to the occasion to:  Be a good neighbor to their neighbors.  Not a nosy one.  Be a good doctor to their patients.  Not a judgmental one.  Be a good lawyer to their clients.  Not an arrogant one.  Be a good leader to their followers.  Not a selfish one.  Be a good businessman to their customers.  Not a crooked one.

Being a TRULY called Christian is not an easy task because the enemy is out there.  However, with the aid of God’s spirit  TRUE Christians already know:  There is opposition to overcome.  There are mountains to be moved.  There are disappointments to be endured.  There are hardships to be handled.  There are talents to be developed.

Therefore a Called Christian will be:  Consistent in their devotion.  Honest in their efforts.  Determined in their purpose. Ambitious in their opportunities.  Positive in their attitude.   Persuaded in their mind that God Is their foundation!  Persistent in their enthusiasm and optimistic in their views about life.

All the best and God bless,


Eld. A. J. Watkins D.Min.

Simonton Genesis Global Ministries

24 Hr Prayer Line (702) 560-4291

A Deal Instead of a Destiny


St. Matthew 4:1-10

King James Version Utilized

Matthew Henry & Adam Clarke Study Aides

Simonton Genesis Ministries © May 2010

In our 21st century world today you will find that the entertainer Wayne Brady has become the host of an old game show that the late Monte Hall used to host entitled “Let’s Make a Deal.”  In this show, the people dress in old clothes and try to have all kinds of things on their person or in their purses that the host may ask to receive from them.  The show offers you a prize that you actually get to keep and walk off of the stage.  However, before the contestant can walk away, Wayne Brady asks them if they want to keep what they have or do they want to take the deal behind one of three doors.  Many contestants go for the deal because they think they are going to prosper instead of taking the winnings that they have in their possession.  They are sometimes actually presented with over $1,000.00 in cash but they then get a deal offered to them behind one of the doors.  However, they do not know what is behind that door and most of the time it is something worse than what they gave up the first prize for in the first place.

In our text we have the story of Jesus being taken up into the wilderness to be tested by the enemy.  As we look into the mirror of this parabolic picture presented we notice Christ‘s temptation is first an instance of his own condescension and humiliation. Temptations are fiery darts, thorns in the flesh, buffetings, siftings, wrestlings, combats, all which denote hardship and suffering; therefore Christ submitted to them, because he would humble himself, in all things to be made like unto his brethren; thus he gave his back to the smiters who are called today HATERS.

Secondly it is an occasion of Satan’s confusion. There is no conquest without a combative situation. Christ was tempted, that he might overcome the tempter. Satan tempted the first Adam, and triumphed over him; but he shall not always triumph, the second Adam OVERCAME him and then led captivity captive. Therefore, you can follow the same formula that Christ left.  Father in the name of Jesus, I rebuke you Satan and your deceitful ways.  Get behind me HATER and mess with someone who has to graduate to my level of spiritual maturity because I know better.

Lastly it is a matter of comfort to all the saints. In the temptation of Christ it appears, that our enemy is subtle, spiteful, and very daring in his temptations; but it appears withal, that he is not invincible. Though he is a strong man armed, yet the Captain of our salvation is stronger than he. It is some comfort to us to think that Christ suffered, being tempted; for it appears that temptations, if not yielded to, are not sins, they are afflictions only and we have a High Priest who knows, by experience, what it is like to be tempted, and who therefore is the more tenderly touched with the feelings of our infirmities in an hour of temptation. Hebrews 2:18 states, “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.” Then Hebrews 4:15 states, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”  It is such  a comfort to think that Christ conquered, being tempted, and conquered for us; not only that the enemy we grapple with is a conquered, baffled, disarmed enemy, but that we are interested in Christ’s victory over him, and through him are more than conquerors.

Immediately after the heavens were opened to him, and the Spirit descended on him, and he was declared to be the Son of God, and the Savior of the world, the next news we hear of him is, he is tempted; for then he is best able to grapple with the temptation. He was offered deals that he and Father God already owned.  That is often times how we are fooled. We are fooled and offered deals by Lucifer that we already have experienced.  Yet he comes during your time of doubt and discouragement and you fall for it.

Saints realize that great privileges, and special tokens of divine favor, will not secure us from being tempted. Please understand that after great honors are bestowed upon us, we must expect something that is humbling. You will have a HATER to come along and try to say or do something negative to tear down your temporary glory, recognition, and reward.  I want you to realize that God prepares his people for temptation before he calls them to it; he gives strength according to the day, and, before a sharp trial, gives more than ordinary comfort because now your faith at the new level of living, giving, receiving and believing must be tested. Yet when you have decided to follow the direction of the Holy Ghost, you will be furnished with an answer to all of the deals a hater will offer you to disturb, debauch, or disquiet you on that new level of salvation.

Notice that Jesus went into the wilderness.  He went to the wilderness because there was nothing out there and no one out there but God.  You will have to go into the wilderness and have a wilderness experience too if you want to hear directly from God.  The lesson here is if you want to grow closer to God, then you must get away from family, friends, and haters alike.  You must get to a quiet place and get in tune with yourself and the Holy Ghost so you can get the proper instructions for your problems, perplexities, mess, and foolishness.  Read and study your bibles.  Fast and pray from time to time.  Dig into the issues that cause you the most discomfort and place those bad deals in front of God so your destiny can become clearer.  In the silence, God will not make a deal with you, but he will give you the roadmap to your DESTINY.

Understand, that there will be times when God is silent and giving you more time to pray in your brokenness.  Also God is remaking your dream into a destiny during that alone time with him.  Ever spiritually packed your bags for Fiji, Cancun, or Aruba and found yourself in the Arctic, Antarctic, or Siberia feeling cold and alone?  Could it be you’re reaching for God’s presents instead of his presence?  The reason you are reaching for the material presents is because you have allowed Lucifer to make you a deal of materialism.  Getting into the presence of God gives you clear, concise, and cohesive directives to your destiny which includes gathering material and spiritual gifts along the way.  When you are on your way to your destiny, which is your destination for the new level of spiritual maturity, you will run into HATERS offering all types of deals to either slow you down or get you off track.  Refuse the big deal and take what God has given you and allow God to magnify those gifts to catapult you toward your destiny.  Then, as you land, you will get a chance to “take a breather” and get prepared for the next level in Christ and in your life.

When you are tempted by Lucifer, you have to know God’s Word.  Jesus quoted scripture each time a deal was offered.  He would say, “It is written.”  That tells us that God’s Word has eternal implications each time you make a choice to go for your destiny instead of a deal.  Christ’s destiny was the cross and he was offered deals in an attempt to take his focus off of his destiny.  We all face deals on a daily basis just like Christ did in his day.  However, when our mind gets messed up, we must say “it is written” or go find where it is written so that we remain focused on our destiny.

God’s children know where they have been, they know where they are now, and they definitely know where they are headed.  If you are a mature child of God, you can look across the valley to the next peak of success that you want to achieve.  The problem is down in the valley, there are deals that have to be foregone in order for you to get to your destiny.

Man and Woman of the most high God, don’t you know that as you traverse to the next level of maturity that you are going to have to face some seriously offered deals that look and sound great? People will act like they are with you just to get close enough to try and distract you from your destiny.  How do I get to my destiny?  I am glad you asked.  There are witnesses for God everywhere who have taken some bad deals, but God, with his forgiving self, allowed them to back out of the deal that the enemy offered and move toward their destiny another way.

You watch for various people who come into your life while you are on your way to your destiny.  Let me tell you how to identify them.  Satan utilizes the HATERS to offer you a deal that would attempt to deride the miracles of God; detest the glory of God; depose the authority of God; despise the goodness of God; demolish the victories of God; degrade the promises of God; delay the harvest of God; denounce the blessings of God; destroy the worship of God; deafen your ears so you cannot hear God; deprive the family of God; defile the church of God and devour the servants of God.  You know some HATERS like that don’t you?  They offer deals that deceive the saints of God; discourage the work of God; defeat the plan of God; deteriorate the standards of God; defy the wisdom of God; debauch the justice of God; and depress the people of God.   You have to be able to tell those types of folks, “BUT GOD SAID IN HIS WORD.”  That is the modern day way of saying it is written.

When you run into HATERS attempting to distract you from your destiny by offering you empty deals, you have to tell them BUT GOD SAID IN HIS WORD.  You may not know the exact location at that precise moment, but when you make that statement with conviction in your heart and fire in your eyes, they will know that you are fully aware of God’s presence around you.  When you make that statement you are telling the HATER to get behind you.  As you mature you will be able to tell the HATER the location in the word.

Satan will use HATERS to offer you various deals and those deals can and sometimes will cause you unnecessary heartache.  He will deal with you as a trapper to ensnare you; as a teacher to brainwash you; as a cannibal to devour you; as philosopher to persuade you; as a clown to entertain you; as a beggar to bribe you; as a counselor to discourage you; as a Friend, yes Friend to fail, forsake, and forget you once he has ruined your life.  Don’t take the deal, reach for your destiny.

When you are reaching for your destiny, you tell the HATER, “BUT GOD SAID FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR AND THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN.”  I am hoping to reach my destiny but right now I cannot see it.  I know it is there because I have faith HATER.  When they come to you with foolishness man, woman, boy, and girl you tell them I have faith enough to bypass the deal and let God guide me to my destiny through Christ.  I have so much faith in God hater that with God I know how to fight all my battles; resist all of my temptations; endure all of my trials; survive all of my tests; bear all of my own burdens and some for others too; perform all of my ministries; fulfill all of my commitments.  I have the faith to conquer my circumstances; destroy my doubts; defeat my discouragements; overcome my opposition; face all my fears; defy all of my demons; stand all storms that sweep over my soul with force and fury.

Then you run them off by telling them with my reinforced faith hater I can attempt my difficulties; seize all of my opportunities; tackle my responsibilities; withstand my troubles; solve my own problems; confront you and any more of my enemies; carry my own cross; move the unmovable; endure the unendurable; love the unlovable; forgive the unforgiveable; bear the unbearable; be fruitful in the midst of famine.  That is because I don’t deal because I desire my destiny.

I get that type of faith through Jesus Christ hater. I deal in the word.  I deal in faith.  I deal in love, peace, longsuffering.  If you are not offering that type of deal, then get on before you get stomped on.  I don’t want a deal, I want my destiny.  Destined to help and heal and not hinder and hurt God’s people.

All The Best To All Believers and Non-believers Alike

TheRightRevRhino D.Min.