The Wizard of Oz

This is a story about a girl trying to find her way home.  After a whirlwind experience, she has lost her way, and can’t find peace and safety. 

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (NKJ)

Let’s meet some of the characters.  As we do, see if you can identify with any of them in your own life.

Dorothy

Suddenly finds herself in unfamiliar circumstances after trying to solve her own problems by running from them. She realizes she’s “not in Kanas anymore,” and wishes for “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” She has a fear of losing Toto that escalates into difficulties finding her way back to the place of peace and safety. 

Romans 5:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Berean)

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. (NLT)

2 Corinthians 5:8-9 We live with a joyful confidence, yet at the same time we take delight in the thought of leaving our bodies behind to be at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we live or die we make it our life’s passion to live our lives pleasing to him. (Passion)

 The Wicked Witch of the West

Represents the thief who wants to steal Dorothy’s life, and keep her from the promise land of peace and safety.

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Proverbs 28:28 When the wicked come to power, people hide themselves; but when they perish, the righteous flourish. (Berean)

The Scarecrow

The person of indecision can’t make up his mind.  He’s not good enough, he’s not qualified, and he’s not smart enough – “If I only had a brain.” He has a fear of fire.

James 1:6-8 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (NKJ)

1 Corinthians 2:16 “Who has known the mind of the Lord so that he can teach him?” However, we have the mind of Christ. (GWT)

The Tin Man

The person who feels empty and unworthy is held by regrets of the past.  Their heart is rusted- frozen in time.  Loveless and lifeless his fear of rusting represents getting old and not fulfilling his God-given purpose.

1 John 3:18-22 Little children, let us love not in word and speech, but in action and truth. 19 And by this we will know that we belong to the truth, and will assure our hearts in His presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts, and He knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God, 22 and we will receive from Him whatever we ask, because we keep His commandments and do what is pleasing in His sight.

The Cowardly Lion

A person gripped in fear puts on a good front pretending to be something they are not.   They know deep down inside they are not living the life they were created for; “If I were the king of the forest.”  Fearing almost everything, he worries about everything. Fear often looks like wisdom to those in unbelief.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love. (NKJ)

Revelations 5:9-10You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 And have made us king and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.” (NKJ)

The Wizard

He represents religion with all of its rules and regulations; presenting himself powerful with all the answers.  However, once the smoke and mirrors are gone and the curtain pulled back, he is exposed for what he truly is – man’s idea of what’s right and wrong. He has a fear of being wrong and therefore does not like being questioned and loathes not being believed. The religious try to hide the truth that doesn’t go along with their agenda.

John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (NKJ)

 


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You Are Righteous

Many people are taught that the only righteous you can be is self-righteous. True Christianity is not a religion but a relationship. Only through relationship with Christ can one be righteous.

Philippians 3:9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; (Berean)

Romans 1:17 For the gospel reveals the righteousness of God that comes by faith from start to finish, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (NKJ)

Romans 3:22 And this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no distinction, (Berean)

Romans 9:30 What then will we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; (NKJ)

1 Corinthians 1:30 It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God: our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. (NKJ)

Romans 4:19-22 And not being weak in faith, he (Abraham) did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” (Berean)

Romans 5:17 For if by the one man’s (Adam’s) offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (Berean)

Romans 4:1-5 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. 5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, (Berean)

The Expeditor

When we try to take care of our own problems, we are actually slowing down the process. When we trust God as our sole provider, things move along expediently.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will fill up all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Berean)

2 Corinthians 9:8-12 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: “He has scattered abroad His gifts to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.” 10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your store of seed and will increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous on every occasion, and your giving through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For this ministry of service is not only supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanksgiving to God.  (Berean)

The Benefits of Being Righteous

Proverbs 11:8 The righteous man is delivered from trouble; in his place the wicked man goes in. (NKJ)

1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are inclined to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. (NKJ)

Psalm 5:12 For surely You, O LORD, bless the righteous; You surround them with the shield of your favor. (NKJ)

Psalm 37:32-33 Though the wicked lie in wait for the righteous, and seek to slay them, 33 the LORD will not leave them in their power or let them be condemned under judgment. (NKJ)

Psalm 37:12-13 The wicked scheme against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them, 13 but the Lord laughs, seeing that their day is coming. (NKJ)

1 Peter 2:24 He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. “By His stripes you are healed.” (Berean)

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (KJV) Avails = energeó = energized, full-of-energy; effective, productive of due result, operative, accomplish.


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Bearing Fruit – Part 4

We are to bear much fruit, but what exactly does that fruit look like?

John 15:5-8 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so, you will be My disciples. (NKJ) abide = A primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy) — to continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry, or make thine own.

Hebrews 6:1-2 Therefore       let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. (Berean)

Dead works are going through the motions with nothing happening. Dead works are only religious calisthenics we do to make us feel good about ourselves but produce no lasting results.

Hebrews 5:13-14 For everyone who lives on milk is still an infant, inexperienced in the message of righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained their senses to distinguish good from evil. (Berean)

2 Peter 1:3-11 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 Through these He has given us His precious and magnificent promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, now that you have escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities and continue to grow in them, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever lacks these traits is nearsighted to the point of blindness, having forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you practice these things you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a lavish reception into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (Berean)

Hebrews 10:1-2 For the law is only a shadow of the good things to come, not the realities themselves. It can never, by the same sacrifices offered year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 If it could, would not the offerings have ceased? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt the guilt of their sins. (Berean)

Change your thoughts. See the bigger picture. It’s not all about me. There are others who need our unselfish love.

Philippians 2:2-11 Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.  5  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (NKJ)

1 John 2:3-11 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

7 Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. 8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. 9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. (NKJ)


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Bearing Fruit – Part 2

Too often, we try to do things on our own. Yes, we will pray and ask God to do something but if He doesn’t answer us immediately, we try to solve the problem ourselves.

John 15:5-8 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so, you will be My disciples. (NKJ)

It does not glorify God for you to not have your prayers answered.

John 15:1-2 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. (NKJ)

Prune – kathaírō – make clean by purging (removing undesirable elements); hence, “pruned (purged)”; eliminating what is fruitless.

We must allow God to remove the things that are hindering our growth. Sucker stems are things we allow that will never produce anything. Don’t blame God for the door you allowed opened.

Titus 1:15-16 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work. (NKJ) Pure = katharós “without admixture;” what is separated (purged), hence “clean” (pure) because unmixed (without undesirable elements); free from contaminating influences.

1 Peter 1:22=23 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the Word of God which lives and abides forever, (NKJ)

The flesh (your own efforts) can never produce spiritual results. It can only leave you with an Ishmael.

Proverbs 10:22 The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it. (NKJ)

Hebrews 4:1-3;8-11 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the Word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, As I have sworn in My wrath, if they shall enter into My rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would He not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His. 11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. (KJV)

Ceasing from your own works does not mean doing nothing. It just means not doing our own thing (will).

 John 5:19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.

John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. (KJV)

John 12:49-50 For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.” (NKJ)

John 14:10-11 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. (NKJ)

You may be thinking, “Yes, but that was Jesus. I can’t do what He did.”

1 John 4:17 In this is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. (NKJ)

Luke 10:19 See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. Nothing will harm you. (NKJ)

Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. (NKJ)

You cannot give what you don’t have. You cannot receive (bear fruit) if you won’t allow God to remove the contaminating influences that hinder your growth.


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Imagination – Part 5

What is your mental image of yourself? How do you see yourself? Do you see yourself sick, weak, broke, poor, old with wrinkles? “Well, yea… that’s what I see in the mirror.” But that is not the real you (your spirit), it’s only a reflection. You have never seen your own face with your own eyes; you’ve only seen a reflection or image. You cannot go by the physical (the 5 senses) to evaluate the spiritual. You’re looking into the wrong mirror. Look into the mirror of God’s Word.

James 1:22-25 But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (NKJ)

2 Corinthians 3:7-17 Now if the ministry of death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at the face of Moses because of its fleeting glory, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry of righteousness! 10 Indeed, what was once glorious has no glory now in comparison to the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which endures! 12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at the end of what was fading away. 14 But their minds were closed. For to this day the same veil remains at the reading of the old covenant. It has not been lifted, because only in Christ can it be removed. 15 And even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (NKJ)

Colossians 3:9-10 … since you have taken off the old self with its practices, 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (Berean)

Ephesians 4:22-23 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like Godtruly righteous and holy. (NLT)

Romans 8:28-39 And we know that God works together all things for good to those loving God, to those being called according to His purpose, 29 because those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom He predestined, these also He called; and whom He called, these also He justified; and whom He justified, these also He glorified. 31 What then will we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 For He who spared not the own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, with Him, grant us all things? 33 Who will bring an accusation against the elect of God? God is the One justifying. 34 Who is the one condemning? For it is Christ Jesus, the one having died, now rather having been raised up, who is also at the right hand of God, and who is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Berean)

Mark 9:23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (NKJ)

Job 33:23-26 Yet if there is a messenger on his side, one mediator in a thousand, to tell a man what is right for him, 24 to be gracious to him and say, ‘Spare him from going down to the Pit; I have found his ransom,’ 25 then his flesh is refreshed like a child’s; he returns to the days of his youth. 26 He prays to God and finds favor; he sees God’s face and shouts for joy, and God restores His righteousness to that man. (Berean)

Psalm 103:1-5 Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (NKJ)

Dare to believe. Don’t limit God. Have the courage to see yourself as God’s Word describes you. Look through your spiritual eyes. See with your spirit using your imagination to receive what God has already provided for you.


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Imagination – Part 3

Most people see the imagination as a negative thing such as make-believe or fantasy. We have discovered using our imagination is a good thing when used properly based on God’s Word. Today we will look at some Biblical examples of how people used their imaginations to receive from God.

Mark 5:21-34 When Jesus had again crossed by boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around Him beside the sea. 22 A synagogue leader named Jairus arrived, and seeing Jesus, he fell at His feet 23 and pleaded with Him urgently, “My little daughter is near death. Please come and place Your hands on her, so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him, and a large crowd followed and pressed around Him.

25 And a woman was there who had suffered from bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had borne much agony under the care of many physicians and had spent all she had, but to no avail. Instead, her condition had only grown worse. 27 When the woman heard about Jesus, she came up through the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. 28 For she kept saying, “If only I touch His garments, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped, and she sensed in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 30 At once Jesus was aware that power had gone out from Him. Turning to the crowd, He asked, “Who touched My garments?” 31 His disciples answered, “You can see the crowd pressing in on You, and yet You ask, ‘Who touched Me?’” 32 But He kept looking around to see who had done this. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him trembling in fear, and she told Him the whole truth. 34  “Daughter,” Jesus said, “your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be free of your affliction.” (Berean)

Mark 5:35-43 While He was still speaking, messengers from the house of Jairus arrived and said, “Your daughter is dead; why bother the Teacher anymore?” 36 But Jesus overheard their conversation and said to Jairus, “Do not be afraid; just believe.” 37 And He did not allow anyone to accompany Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James. 38 When they arrived at the house of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw the commotion and the people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 He went inside and asked, “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead, but asleep.” 40 And they laughed at Him. After He had put them all out, He took the child’s father and mother and His own companions, and went in to see the child. 41 Taking her by the hand, Jesus said, “Talitha koum!” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” 42 Immediately the girl got up and began to walk around. She was twelve years old, and at once they were utterly astounded. 43 Then Jesus gave strict orders that no one should know about this, and He told them to give her something to eat. (Berean)

How did they receive from God? They stopped seeing their circumstances through physical limitations. They were hoping (expecting) things to change.

Romans 8:24 For in this hope we were saved; but hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he can already see? (Berean) Greek = elpis = to anticipate, welcome; expectation, trust, confidence.

Romans 15:3 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (NIV)

How do we put hope into action?

Lamentations 3:21-24 This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope. 22Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” (NKJ)

Abraham put this into practice by not looking at the physical.

Romans 4:18-24 Abraham, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And thereforeit was accounted to him for righteousness.” 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification. (NKJ)

Abraham was impregnated with the Word before Sarah was impregnated with a child. If he had not acted on hope, birth would not had happened. God told Abraham to use his imagination.

Genesis 15:5 Then the Lord God brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” (NKJ)


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Imagination – The Womb of your Mind

Most people see the imagination as a negative thing such as make-believe or fantasy. The Bible has a lot to say about the imagination – the image you have on the inside.

Proverbs 23:7a  For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. (NKJ)

1 Chronicles 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searchs all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek Him, He will be found of thee; but if thou forsake Him, He will cast thee off forever. (NKJ) yetser – a form; figuratively, conception (i.e. Purpose) — frame, thing framed, imagination, mind, work.

1 Chronicles 29:18 O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this forever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee: (KJV)

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. (NKJ)

Psalm 103:13-14 As a father has compassion for his children, So the Lord has compassion for those who fear Him. 14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. (NKJ)

Our memories are in pictures. Our dreams are in pictures. Our thoughts are in pictures. We use our imagination to see with our mind.

1 Kings 19:1-3 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” 3 And when he saw thathe arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. (NKJ)

How do you see yourself when you get a negative report? The diagnosis is terminal. Do you see yourself dying or maybe even see your funeral? Worry is a negative imagination. Faith is imagining what God’s Word says.

Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (KJV)

Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]. 2 For by this [kind of] faith the men of old gained [divine] approval. 3 By faith [that is, with an inherent trust and enduring confidence in the power, wisdom, and goodness of God] we understand that the worlds (universe, ages) were framed and created [formed, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose] by the Word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. (AMP)

Most people are seeking a change on the outside – in the physical realm first. You must have a positive imagination (the way you see yourself) on the inside before change will come on the outside.

Stop seeing yourself as sick, poor, or broke. Imagine, what would it look like if you were rich, healthy, prosperous? It is not enough to strongly desire something. You must see yourself (have a mental picture) the way God sees you. How? By seeing yourself in the mirror of God’s Word.

James 1:22-25 But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (NKJ)

Psalm 107:20 He sent His Word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions. (NKJ)

Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he. (NKJ)

3 John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers. (KJV)

Psalm 103:2-5 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases; 4 Who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies; 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things; so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (NKJ)

1 Peter 2:24 Who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed. (NKJ)

Psalm 119:15 I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. (ESV)
It is not enough to simply think of God’s Word as fact. You must see it with your mind working in and through you.


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Stewardship – Part 5

Stewards are not owners but managers. Once this is realized, it will change our attitude toward money. Prosperity is not greed. In fact, it is greed that keeps people from receiving teachings on prosperity.

1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (KJV)

Steward = Greek oikonomos (oy-kon-om’-os) the manager of a household, a guardian. A steward is someone entrusted with another’s wealth or property and charged with the responsibility of managing it in the owner’s best interest.

Luke 16:10-13 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own? 13No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (NKJ)

God owns it all. How can we wihhold what belongs to Him?

Malachi 3:8-11 Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you ask, ‘How do we rob You?’ In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, yet you—the whole nation—are still robbing Me. 10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,” says the LORD of Hosts. “See if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out for you blessing without measure. 11 I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your land, and the vine in your field will not fail to produce fruit,” says the LORD of Hosts. (Berean)

Hebrew = otsar (o-tsaw’) = treasure, store, a treasury, storehouse, appointed for storing seed and food.

You are to give where you are fed. You don’t eat at McDonald’s and then pay at Burger King.

Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),(NKJ)

2 Corinthians 9:6-7 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not out of regret or compulsion. For God loves a cheerful giver. (Berean)

Some may say, “Well, my hearts not in it so I just won’t give. Don’t change the giving. Change the heart and the giving will be cheerful. Don’t be detached from your giving making it a mechanical performance. Ask God how much you should give and then thank Him for being able to help His work.

Matthew 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (KJV)

Your heart follows what you treasure the most.

Proverbs 11:24-25 One gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds what is right, only to become poor. 25 A generous soul will prosper, and he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. (Berean)

Deuteronomy 15:10 Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then, because of this, the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 16:17 Each man must bring a gift in proportion to the blessings the LORD your God has given him. (GWT)

Philippians 4:18-19 I have all I need and more, now that I have received your gifts from Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Berean)

Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man. (NKJ)

People of faith are givers. Don’t allow the Devil to steal your joy and peace from you. Fear of not having enough robs you from the joy of giving like you really want to.     (helping)

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are laborers together with God: you are God’s field, you are God’s building. (KJV)

Jeremiah 17:5-8 This is what the LORD says:

“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind, who makes the flesh his strength and turns his heart from the LORD. 6 He will be like a shrub in the desert; he will not see when prosperity comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. 7 But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is Him. 8 He will be like a tree planted by the waters that sends out its roots toward the stream. It does not fear when the heat comes, and its leaves are always green. It will not worry in a year of drought or cease to produce fruit. (Berean)

 People who know they are blessed don’t fear or worry.  If you can’t trust God with your finances how can you truly trust Him with your salvation?


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Stewardship – Part 3

Stewards are not owners but managers. Once this is realized, it will change our attitude toward money and bring about a course correction in our giving.

1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (KJV)

Steward = Greek oikonomos (oy-kon-om’-os) the manager of a household, a guardian. A steward is someone entrusted with another’s wealth or property and charged with the responsibility of managing it in the owner’s best interest.

Ephesians 4:28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing good with his own hands, that he may have something to share with the one in need. (Berean)

Luke 16:10-13 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own? 13No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (NKJ) Greek = Master = Lord — supreme in authority, i.e. (as noun) controller.

Malachi 3:8-11 Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you ask, ‘How do we rob You?’ In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, yet you—the whole nation—are still robbing Me. 10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,” says the LORD of Hosts. “See if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out for you blessing without measure. 11 I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your land, and the vine in your field will not fail to produce fruit,” says the LORD of Hosts. (Berean)

Hebrew = otsar (o-tsaw’) = treasure, store, a treasury, storehouse, appointed for storing seed and food.

LORD = Yahweh (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jehovah.

Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),(NKJ)

2 Corinthians 9:6-7 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not out of regret or compulsion. For God loves a cheerful giver. (Berean)

God is more concerned with the attitude (reason) for sinning than He is with the sin itself. Sin has already been dealt with on the cross but our attitude reveals our position.

Proverbs 3:5-10 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8 This will bring healing to your body and refreshment to your bones. 9 Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your harvest; 10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.(Berean)

Haggai 2:19 Is the seed still in the barn? As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit. But from this day I will bless you. (NKJ) A barn (storehouse) is where you store seed and food.       

Matthew 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (KJV)

 Your heart follows what you treasure.

You are to give where you are fed. You don’t eat at Chick-fil-a and then pay at KFC.

 

1 Corinthians 9:7-14 Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who shepherds a flock and does not drink from the milk of the flock? 8 Do I speak these things according to man? Or does the Law not also say these things? 9 For in the Law of Moses it has been written: “You shall not muzzle an ox treading out grain.” Is there care for the oxen with God? 10 Or is He speaking because of us entirely? For it was written for us, because in hope the one plowing ought to plow, and the one threshing, in hope to partake. 11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it a great thing if we will reap material things from you? 12 If others partake of the authority over you, should we not more? But we did not use this right. Instead, we bear all things, so that we should not place any hindrance to the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those working in the temple eat the things of the temple; those attending at the altar partake in the altar? 14 So also, the Lord has prescribed to those proclaiming the gospel to live from the gospel. (Berean)

 

1 Corinthians 9:14 In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it. (NLT)


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Stewardship

I don’t teach on healing so I can get healed. I’m already living in divine health. Likewise, I’m not teaching on giving so I can get, but for your benefit. Thinking you know all of this will not benefit you. If you think you’ve already arrived then you’re not going anywhere.

1 Corinthians 4:1-2 Let a man so account of us, as of the servants of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (KJV)

Servants = Greek hupéretés (hoop-ay-ret’-ace) an underling, a servant, an attendant, an officer. (from hypó, “under” and ēressō, “to row”) – properly, a rower (a crewman on a boat), an “under-rower” who mans the oars on a lower deck; (figuratively) a subordinate executing official orders, i.e. operating under direct (specific) orders.

Steward = Greek oikonomos (oy-kon-om’-os) the manager of a household, a guardian. (Often functioned as the “steward” of a household, and was generally a freedman – i.e. a slave released from forced, legal servitude. A steward is someone entrusted with another’s wealth or property and charged with the responsibility of managing it in the owner’s best interest.

Deuteronomy 8:17-18 then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ 18 And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. (NKJ)

God is your source. It is His money. He gives you the ability, talents, and capability to get everything you have. 

Ephesians 4:28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing good with his own hands, that he may have something toshare with the one in need. (Berean)

Give more than you consume. Too many people get all they can. Can all they get, then sit on their can. Prosperity is not selfish. Only wanting enough for you and yours is.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you measure with it shall be measured to you again. (NKJ)

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. (Berean)

Money is not evil. If it were, the devil would make sure you had plenty of it. However, if you are giving to God what is leftover after all the bills are paid, all needs are met, and all wants are fulfilled then you’re not trusting God.

1 Timothy 6:9-10  But those who [are not financially ethical and] crave to get rich [with a compulsive, greedy longing for wealth] fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction [leading to personal misery]. 10 For the love of money [that is, the greedy desire for it and the willingness to gain it unethically] is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves [through and through] with many sorrows.

Luke 16:1-13 He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. 2 So he called him and said to him,

‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’

3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’

5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light. Shrewd = wise, clever, crafty.

9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when it fails, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?

13No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (NKJ)

We cannot serve our own self-interest and God’s at the same time. 

 


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The Fruit of the Spirit

This is not a list of options to choose from whenever you want. These are not fruits (as in different types) but fruit (singular) as a whole.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, self-control: against such there is no law. (NKJ)

Are these just a list of different emotions? Is not joy an emotion? Can’t we get that peaceful easy feeling? Most Christians only experience the fruit of the Spirit on an emotional level. Therefore, they love only when they feel like it.  They  have self-control when they are in the mood. They have faith when they can see or feel something happening.

The Greek word used here for fruit is karpós – the result, work, deed, action, profit, or gain; that which originates or comes from something;  an effect.

Ephesians 5:8-11 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. (NKJ)

Emotions are good and given to us by our Creator. However, we must experience this fruit on more than just an emotional level.

The emotion of love is lust. Saying, “I love you but…”

Luke 6:32-35 But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. (NKJ)

The emotion of joy is happiness. Thinking the acquisition of things will make us happy.

John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. (NKJ)

The emotion of peace is self-satisfaction. Feeling like the only way I can have peace is if I get my way.

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. (NKJ)  

The emotion of longsuffering is tolerance. I’ll forgive but never forget.    Longsuffering in the Greek is makrothymía (mak-roth-oo-mee’-ah) (makrós, “long” and thymós, “passion, anger”) – properly, long-passion, patience, i.e. waiting sufficient time before expressing anger. This avoids the premature use of force (retribution) that rises out of improper anger (a personal reaction).

1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. (NKJ)

The emotion of gentleness is how we treat others.

The Greek word for gentleness is xrēstótēs (khray-stot’-ace) (“useful kindness”) refers to meeting real needs, in God’s way, in His timing (fashion). With the believer, xrēstótēs (“divine kindness“) is the Spirit-produced goodness which meets the need and avoids human harshness (cruelty).

Colossians 3:12-13 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do you.(NKJ)

The emotion of goodness is what do I get out of it?

2 Thessalonians 1:11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of what He has called you to do, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, (NKJ)

The emotion of faith says “Seeing is believing.”

Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their realityfaith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]. (AMP) 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (NKJ)

The emotion of meekness is weakness. The Greek word for meek is praýs (prah-ooce’). Having strength under control.

James 3:13-18 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (NKJ)

The emotion of self-control is what feels right.

2 Peter 1:5-9 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. (NKJ)


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Train Your Mind

Words have power.  If you don’t believe that, then why speak at all?  Do you consider a mute person to have a better, more productive life than you? No, we consider such a person as having a defect. The best way to control your words are by controlling your thoughts.

Matthew 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (NKJ)

An out-of-control mouth is proof of uncontrolled thoughts.

James 3:2-10 For in many things we all offend. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. (NKJ) 3 By putting a bit into the mouth of a horse, we can turn the horse in different directions. 4 It takes strong winds to move a large sailing ship, but the captain uses only a small rudder to make it go in any direction. 5 Our tongues are small too, and yet they brag about big things. It takes only a spark to start a forest fire! 6 The tongue is like a spark. It is an evil power that dirties the rest of the body and sets a person’s entire life on fire with flames that come from hell itself. 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and sea creatures can be tamed and have been tamed. 8 But our tongues get out of control. They are restless and evil, and always spreading deadly poison. 9 My dear friends, with our tongues we speak both praises and curses. 10 We praise our Lord and Father, and we curse people who were created to be like God, and this isn’t right. (CEV)

James 1:22-26 But be you doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror: 24  For he beholds himself, and goes his way, and immediately forgets what manner of man he was. 25 But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues in it, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 26 If any man among you seems to be religious, and bridles not his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. (NKJ)

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. (NAS)

Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (NKJ) issues = source

Ephesians 4:17-24 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you no longer walk as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto licentiousness (evil vices), to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But you have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that you have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That you put off concerning the former way of life the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (NKJ) vanity = aimlessness due to lacking purpose or any meaningful end.

Galatians 5:16-17 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would. (NKJ)

Romans 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (KJV)

Romans 8:1-8 There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (NKJ)

Proverbs 14:12;16:25 There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

1 Peter 1:13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (NKJ) loins = Greek = osphýs (os-foos’) “the seat of generative power. “To smite the loins” referred to a fatal blow – “forever ending” anything that would (could) come from the slain.

Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have laid hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus. (Berean)

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (NKJ)


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What Value Do You Place on God?

What Value Do You Place on God?

Do you ever feel like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster? One day you’re on the mountain top believing there is nothing God won’t do for you and the next day wondering what will you do next? With your heart you believe but your mind keeps screaming, “yea, but…” Look at where you place most of your attention.

Isaiah 53:3-5 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.

4 Surely, He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But He was wounded for OUR transgressions, He was bruised for OUR iniquities: the chastisement of OUR peace was upon Him; and with His stripes WE are healed. (KJV) Esteemed = Hebrew = chashab (khaw-shab’) = to think, account, conceive, consider, regard, value, find out, hold, imagine, or impute.

The value we place on God is determined by our thoughts.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;

5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (NKJ)

 Your imagination was given to you by your Creator. You need it in order to think and reason.

Romans 1:21,28 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not proper; (NKJ) reprobate = Greek = adokimos (ad-ok’-ee-mos) not standing the test, not approved; properly of metals and coin, hence, that which does not prove itself to be such as it ought: sterile soil.  Mind = thought, feeling, or will; understanding.

Philippians 4:6-8 Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (NKJ)

Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; 26 That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word,

27 That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (KJV)

 Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in You. (NKJ)

Your thoughts are a very accurate representation of what you choose to focus your attention on. Whatever is more valuable to you will be your focal point.

Matthew 6:19-24 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (KJV)

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (KJV)

You are where you are in life based on the choices you make. How much value you place on God’s Word is the same value you place on God Himself and will determine what those choices will be.

Deuteronomy 30-19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.


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Hindrances to Prayer

The reason for unanswered prayer is not because God doesn’t want to give us what we want. He has already provided everything we need. WE block the provision from reaching us. What are some of those things that stop the flow of God’s resources to us?

  1. Not knowing who you are or what has already been provided for you.

John 8:32 You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (NKJ)
2 Corinthians 5:21 For God has made Him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. (NKJ)

Romans 3:21 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (NKJ)

Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For in it is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (NKJ)

Matthew 16:19 And I will give unto YOU the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever YOU shall bind on earth shall be what has been bound in heaven: and whatsoever YOU shall loose on earth shall be what has been loosed in heaven. (NKJ)

Romans 8:32 He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (NKJ)

  1. Faithlessness

 Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who approaches Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. (Berean)

Mark 11:22-24 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 24 Therefore I say unto you, What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. (KJ)

Matthew 13:58 And He (Jesus) did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief. (KJ)

Some say, “I’ll pray for them, but I doubt it will do any good.” Stop speaking negative words about someone, then expect change.

Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love. (NKJ)

  1. Lack of Love

Romans 13:8 Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law.

Galatians 5:14-15 The entire law is fulfilled in a single decree: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out, or you will be consumed by each other. (Berean)

  1. Doubt or unbelief questioning God’s Word.

2 Peter 1:20-21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (NKJ)

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (KJ)

  1. Lack of Expectation

Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 62:5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him. (KJ)

  1. Being offended and holding on to the past through unforgiveness.

Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they who love your law: and nothing shall offend them. (NKJ)

Matthew 18:34-35 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35 So likewise shall My heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. (KJ)

Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any: that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. (NKJ)

  1. Asking for the wrong things.

James 4:3-4 You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it upon your lusts. 4 You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (NKJ) amiss = wrongly because of inner malice


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What Prayer is Not

To understand what true prayer is, we must rid ourselves of false notions and traditions. Prayer is not so you can tell uninformed God all about your problems.

Matthew 6:7-8 And when you pray, do not babble on like pagans, for they think that by their many words they will be heard. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. (Berean)

Prayer is not so you can give God your advice or instruction. Many Christians spend half their time telling God all THEIR plans and the other half trying to get God to bless those plans. Jesus set forth the outline of prayer by saying “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” Jesus also lived what he taught saying, “not My will but…  

John 5:30 Jesus said, “I can of my own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father who has sent me.” (NKJ)

Prayer is not a one-sided discussion, that’s a monologue. Prayer is a conversation. Not only do you talk, but you also listen.

Hebrews 12:25 See to it that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if the people did not escape when they refused Him who warned them on earth, how much less will we escape if we reject Him who warns us from heaven? (Berean)

How does God speak to us? He speaks to our inner-man (spirit) and through Scripture.

Romans 7:22 For I delight with the law of God with the inward man, (NKJ)

Ephesians 3:16    I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit,  (HCSB)

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (NKJ)

Prayer is not so we can force God into doing something He really doesn’t want to do or talk Him out of something He is about to do.

Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (NKJ)

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (NKJ)

Matthew 7:11 So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (NKJ)

We don’t need to beg God to do something. He has already given us what we need. Just receive it by believing.

2 Peter 1:3-4 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 Through these He has given us His precious and magnificent promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, now that you have escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (Berean)

 1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us: 15 And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we desired of him. (NKJ)

God is not angry or even in a bad mood. His wrath was poured out on Jesus Christ.

John 3:36 He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him. (NKJ)

Romans 5:8-10 but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. (ESV)

1 John 2:2 He (Jesus) is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (ESV) propitiation = an offering to appease (satisfy) an angry, offended party. Atonement.

We do not need to beg God to save people. God loves them more than you do.

Matthew 9:38 Pray you therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into his harvest.
We do not need to beg God to send revival or to pour out His Spirit.

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (NKJ)


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The Power of Words

What we say matters because we speak the things we truly believe.

Matthew 12:33-37 Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by its fruit.

34 O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.

36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

37 For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned. (NKJ)

Do you speak what you see – the things that are happening to you or do you speak what you desire?

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (NKJ)

John 10:10 The thief comes not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, AND that they might have it more abundantly. (NKJ)

Proverbs 21:23 He who guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from distress. (NKJ)

Proverbs 13:3 He who guards his mouth protects his life, but the one who opens his lips invites his own ruin. (NKJ)

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (NKJ)

John 8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews who believed on Him, If you continue in My word, then are you My disciples indeed;

32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (NKJ)

Only the truth of God’s Word you know makes you free.

Ephesians 1:16-23 I (Paul) cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him:

18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

19 And what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power,

20 Which God performed in Christ, when He raised Jesus from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places,

21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come:

22 And has put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the church,

23 Which is His body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all. (NKJ)

Ephesians 3:20 Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, (NKJ)

Hebrews 3:1 Therefore, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, carefully consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. (Berean)

Apostle = someone sent (commissioned), focusing back on the authority of the sender.

High Priest = a leader among priests. The One who entered the Holiest of Holies offering atonement for the people. Presided over judicial deliberations. One who was authorized to administer, to execute, to implement, and to carry into effect.

Confession = speak to a conclusion, lay to rest – properly, a conclusion embraced by common confession (profession, affirmation); acknowledgment, an agreement.

What are we to confess?

Psalm 107:20 He sent His word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. (NKJ)

Psalm 103:20 Bless the LORD, you His angels, that excel in strength, that do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word. (NKJ)

Mark 4:23-25 If any man has ears to hear, let him hear. 24 And He said unto them, Take heed what you hear: with what measure you measure, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. 25 For he that has, to him shall be given: and he that has not, from him shall be taken even that which he has. (NKJ)

Romans 10:17 Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (NKJ)

Doubt, unbelief, and skepticism also come by hearing which turns into believing the wrong things.


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The Days Following the Resurrection – Part 3

Jesus spent 40 days with His disciples teaching them and opening up their understanding of the Scriptures. After His ascension, they followed Jesus’ instructions and tarried 10 days making it 50 days total from Passover …

Seed: The Word of God

The main characteristics of this teaching are: God’s Word is a seed. You heart is the ground. Your harvest is dependent upon the preparedness of your heart. In the beginning, God created… the plants yielding …

The Feasts of First Fruits: The Resurrection

Review: Passover began on Thursday at sundown (Jesus implements communion with His disciples). Jesus was betrayed that night and crucified that same day at 9:00 am (Still the Passover day). Then died at 3:00 pm …

The Covenant

This is not a term we use today other than speaking of the Old or New Covenant. What is a covenant and how is it made? In today’s vernacular, we would use the terms, contract, …

The Sure Foundation

Your position from the starting point is paramount to how you finish the race. 1 Corintihains 9:24-26a Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? …

You Are!

The single most damaging thing for a Christian is not knowing who we are or what has already been provided for us. It causes us to miss out on so many things God has planned and provided for us.

John 1:12 But to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God. (Berean)

The way you become a child of God is the exact same way you receive anything from Him.

Galatians 3:26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Berean)

Faith appropiates what God has already provided.

Romans 8:16-17 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 And if we are children, then we are heirs: heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (Berean)    

The challenge is for us to be “child-like” instead of “childish.”

1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. (NLT)

Galatians 4:1-7 What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he is the owner of everything. 2 He is subject to guardians and trustees until the date set by his father. 3 So also, when we were children, we were enslaved under the basic principlesof the world. 4 But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive our adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, you are also an heir through God. (Berean)

Jesus doen’t just love you; He likes you enough to call you His friend.

John 15:15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because everything I have learned from My Father I have made known to you. (Berean)

As a child of God and a joint-heir and friend of Jesus, you are also a citizen of a different kingdom.

Philippians 3:20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. (NLT)

1 Peter 2:9-10 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light: 10 Who in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. (NKJ)

Grace has already supplied us with everything we need. Faith doen’t force God to do something. It activates what grace has already provided.

Ephesains 1:3-5 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. (NLT)

Colossians 1:12-14 giving thanks unto the Father, who has made us worthy to participate in the inheritance of the saints in light, 13 who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins, (Jubilee)

1 John 5:4-5 For whoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (NKJ)

1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. (NKJ)

Ephesians 3:11-12 According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. (NKJ)

2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. (NAS)

1 Corinthians 3:9;16 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.  16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (NAS)


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The Relationship Between our Flesh and Unbelief

The voice of unbelief tells you the opposite of the truth. It makes you assume the worst. It brings with it fear, depression, and unrest. So, anytime you are afraid, feel depressed or stressed, realize …

Understanding

Proverbs 3:5-10 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. 7 Be not wise in …

Do You Mean What You Say?

Too many times, we speak before we think. Do we really want the things we say to come to pass? Death and life are in the power of our tongue. (Proverbs 18:21) The children of …

Distractions

Distractions come in many forms, but are always aimed at steering us off course. It’s important to understand that the devil is not concerned with what keeps us from completing our assignment. He just wants …

Agree With God

Do you believe God is a righteous judge? Do you trust He knows what He is doing? Do you accept what He says above anyone else? Our thinking must change to line up with His …

Who Is Affected by Sin?

Does sin affect God?

Romans 5:8-9 But God commends His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. (NKJ)

1 Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come. (NKJ)

You cannot sin enough to change God’s love for you.

Romans 10:3-10 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes. 5 For Moses describes the righteousness which is of the law, That the man who does those things shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaks thus, Say not in your heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8 But what says it? The word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. 10 For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (NKJ)

John 16:8-11 And when he (the Comforter*) is come, he will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on Me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and you see Me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (NKJ) (*emphasis mine)

Sin does not affect God (other than the sin of rebellion in not receiving Jesus as your Savior), but it does affect you because there are consequences for your actions. Sin opens the door for the devil to have access in your life. We are not free to sin, but free from sin.

Romans 6:15-23 What does all this mean? Does it mean we are free to sin, because we are ruled by God’s gift of undeserved grace and not by the Law? Certainly not! 16 Don’t you know that you are slaves of anyone you obey? You can be slaves of sin and die, or you can be obedient slaves of God and be acceptable to Him. 17 You used to be slaves of sin. But I thank God that with all your heart you followed the example set forth in the teaching you received. 18 Now you are set free from sin and are slaves who please God. (Hebrews 11:6)

19 I am using these everyday examples, because in some ways you are still weak. You used to let the different parts of your body be slaves of your evil thoughts. But now you must make every part of your body serve God, so that you will belong completely to Him. 20 When you were slaves of sin, you were free (exempt*) from righteousness. 21 But what good did you receive from the things you did? All you have to show for them is your shame, and they lead to death. 22 Now you have been set free from sin, and you are God’s slaves. This will make you holy and will lead you to eternal life. 23 Sin pays off with death. But God’s gift is eternal life given by Jesus Christ our Lord. (CEV) (*Greek word for freed)

Sin causes you to pull away, separate yourself, or hide from God just as Adam did in the Garden.

Romans 8:1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. (NKJ).0

Sin also affects our relationship with others.

1 Corinthians 6:7-11 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because you go to law one with another. Why do you not rather take wrong? why do you not rather allow yourselves to be defrauded? 8 Nay, you do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. 9 Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (NKJ)

1 Corinthians 8:12 But when you sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. (NKJ)

Romans 14:21-23 It is good neither to eat meat, nor to drink wine, nor anything by which your brother stumbles, or is offended, or is made weak. 22 Have you faith? have it to yourself before God. Happy is he that condemns not himself in that thing which he allows. 23 And he that doubts is condemned if he eats, because he eats not of faith: for whatever is not of faith is sin.

The Conscience

What is the conscience and what role does it play in our lives? 1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and …

The Lord’s Prayer

Reciting the Lord’s Prayer is good for our memory, but we cannot stop there. It must be more than a religious recital, construct, meme, or retort. We must understand what we are saying and mean …