Butterflies for God- Part 1

The Church needs to realize we have been freed from this world, from religion, the guilt of our sins, along with past, present, and future mistakes.  When the body of Christ realizes their position and authority in Christ, and how they have been freed from the system of religion;  they will come out of their cocoon as caterpillars, and become a butterfly for God.   It is time we become free in Christ!

 

Colossians 1: 3-6:   3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all the saints— 5 the faith and love proceeding from the hope stored up for you in heaven, of which you have already heard in the word of truth, the gospel 6 that has come to you.  All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood the grace of God.   Berean

 

Colossians 1: 12:   giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.  Berean

I pray that you will be grateful to God for letting you have part in what he has promised his people in the kingdom of light.  Contemporary English Standard

Colossians 1:13: He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of His beloved Son, Berean

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:  KJ

Colossians 1:14:  in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.  NKJ

He in whom we have salvation and the forgiveness of sins; Aramaic in Plain English

Ephesians 1:13, 14:  13 And in Him, having heard and believed the word of truth—the gospel of your salvation—you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the pledge of our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession, to the praise of His glory.  Berean

John 16:13:   However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. NKJ

Colossians 1: 21-23a:   21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, …NKJ

 Colossians 1:17-20:  17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and firstborn from among the dead, so that in all things He may have preeminence. 19 For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through the blood of His cross.  Berean

Colossians 2: 8-10:  8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power NKJ

 

Colossians 2: 11, 12:   11 In Him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of your sinful nature, with the circumcision performed by Christ and not by human hands. 12 And having been buried with Him in baptism, you were raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead.  Berean

11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.  NAS

11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh b was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.   NIV

 Colossians 2: 13, 14:  13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.  NAS

Colossians 2: 15:  Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.  NKJ

He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; he triumphed over them in him.  Christian Standard

Romans 8:2:   For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.  NKJ


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Deception

Deception keeps you focused on a distraction so you won’t see what is really going on. The main problem with deception is you don’t know you are being deceived. Let’s look at the source of all deception.

Jeremiah 9:6 You dwell in the midst of deception; in their deceit they refuse to know Me, (Berean)

2 Corinthians 11:2-3 I (Paul) am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. For I promised you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. 3 I am afraid, however, that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may be led astray from your simple and pure devotion to Christ. (Berean)

ANYTHING that changes your focus off of Christ is anti-Christ. Greek = antíxristos from antí, “opposite to, in place of” and Xristós, “Christ” the “Anointed One” —  opposite to Christ; someone acting in place of Christ.

1 John 2;15-18 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the worldthe desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of lifeis not from the Father but from the world17 The world is passing away, along with its desires; but whoever does the will of God remains forever. 18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. This is how we know it is the last hour. (Berean)

1 Thessalonians 2:9-12 This man (the Antichrist)* will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. 10 He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them11 So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies12 Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth. (NLT) * my note for clarity

Proverbs 26:24-26 He who hates, disguises it with his lips, but he stores up deceit in his heart. 25 When he speaks graciously and kindly [to conceal his malice], do not trust him, for seven abominations are in his heart.
26 Though his hatred covers itself with guile and deceit,
His malevolence will be revealed openly before the assembly. (Amp) malevolence = malice, spite, hatred, bitterness

Proverbs 6:16-19 There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are abomination to Him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that run swiftly to evil, 19 a false witness who gives false testimony, and one who stirs up discord among brothers. (NKJ) Haughty = self-promoted; self-exalted

Proverbs 14:8 Why is a clever person wise? Because he knows what to do. Why is a stupid person foolish? Because he only thinks he knows. (GWT)

1 Peter 2:1-3 Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. (Berean)

2 Peter 3:17-18 As for you, divinely loved ones, since you are forewarned of these things, be careful that you are not led astray by the error of the lawless and lose your firm grip on the truth. 18 But continue to grow and increase in God’s grace and intimacy with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May He receive all the glory both now and until the day eternity begins. Amen! (The Passion)

John 17:15-19 I (Jesus) do not ask that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from evil. 16 They are not of the world, as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; Your Word is truth18 As You sent Me into the world, I also sent them into the world19 and for them I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. (Berean)

Jeremiah 17:5,7This is what the LORD says: Cursed is the person who trusts humans, who makes flesh and blood his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. 6 He will be like a bush in the wilderness. He will not see when something good comes. He will live in the dry places in the desert, in a salty land where no one can live. 7 Blessed is the person who trusts the LORD. The LORD will be his confidence.” (GWT)

Isaiah 53:1,4-5 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 4 Surely, He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. (NKJ)

Psalm 91:9-10 Because you have made the Lordwho is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; (NKJ) Dwelling = covering, home, tabernacle, tent.

The Message Yes, because God’s your refuge, the High God your very own home, evil can’t get close to you, harm can’t get through the door.

Don’t let doubt and unbelief make you a prisoner. Dare to believe God’s Word and expand your faith!


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Matter of the Heart

Matter of the Heart

Too often we want God to fix the problem around us when He wants to fix the problem within us. It is not enough to deal with the surface. We must get to the root of the problem – the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. (NKJ)

Jeremiah 17:9-10 The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. 10 But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be. (MSG)

Jeremiah 17:5-10 Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart departs from the Lord
. 6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited. 7 Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit. 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? 10 I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” (NKJ)

Galatians 6:1-10 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass (sin or fault), you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load. 6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (NKJ)

One of the biggest indicators of where our heart is is our own mouth.
Luke 6:43-45 Jesus said, “For there is no good tree producing bad fruit, nor again a bad tree producing good fruit. 44 For each tree is known by its own fruit. For they do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and the evil out of the evil brings forth that which is evil. For out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth speaks. (Berean)

Don’t be a prophet for the devil. Don’t speak for the enemy. Don’t declare negative words over yourself or anyone else. Don’t be ignorant of the devil’s devices. He is a bully.

2 Corinthians 2:9-11 Paul said, “For this indeed also did I write, so that I might know the proof of you, whether you are obedient to everything. 10 Now to whomever you forgive anything, I also do; and indeed to whom I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, it is for the sake of you, in the person of Christ, 11 so that we should not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes.” (Berean)

The Passion Paul said, “You see, I wrote previously in order to see if your hearts would pass the test and if you were willing to follow my counsel in everything. 10 If you freely forgive anyone for anything, then I also forgive him. And if I have forgiven anything, I did so for you before the face of Christ, 11 so that we would not be exploited by the adversary, Satan, for we know his clever schemes.

It is obvious from this Scripture unforgiveness is a scheme or device the devil uses against us in order to divide us.

Luke 11:17 Since Jesus knew what they were thinking, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is ruined. A house divided against itself falls. (GWT)

The devil knows about the love of God because he hates everything God loves. The devil knows about the wrath of God because he is experiencing it already. But the devil knows nothing about the mercy and grace of God. That is why he works so hard to keep us in unforgiveness.

Proverbs 28:13 He who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy. (Berean)


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Faith Demands the Right Action in order to Work – Pt 2

A lot of people claim they have faith.  They say they believe God.  They confess His Word is true.  They say, “Amen” during the services, but when it comes to actually putting the word into practice, they don’t. Then they wonder why their prayers are not answered when they say they believe God, but don’t act on it.  Faith is not what the world thinks it is; it is based on God’s definition, and we are going to look carefully at it.  Faith always demands action.

Scriptures:

James 1: 2-82 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces [endurance, perseverance] patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be [mature] perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 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  emphasis added

Hebrews 11:1:  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.   NKJ

-Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see.  Contemporary English

Galatians 5:6:  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love. NAS

Matthew 6: 22, 23:   22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.  If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!  NKJ


Proverbs 20: 27:   The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD, Searching all the innermost parts of his being.  NAS

 Matthew 6: 9-15:  Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.  10 Your kingdom come.  Your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts,

As we forgive our debtors.

13 And do not lead us into temptation,

But deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.  14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.   NKJ

James 1: 22-25:   22 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 who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.  ESV

Romans 8: 1, 2:  1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set you free from the law of sin and death. Berean


1 Thessalonians 2:13:  And we continually thank God because, when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as the true word of God—the word which is now at work in you who believe.  Berean

 

James 2: 14-17:  14  What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.    ESV

 

Galatians 6:7:  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.  NKJ

 

Mark 11: 25:  Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him [drop the issue, let it go], so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions and wrongdoings [against Him and others].   Amp


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Fulfill Your Prescription

What is a prescription? According to Webster, “a written direction for a therapeutic or corrective agent; specificallyone for the preparation and use of a medicine.” It also means, “The action of laying down authoritative rules or directions.” It is also defined as, “the process of making claim to something by long use and enjoyment.”

The first reason people are not healed is they don’t take time to plant God’s Word deep down in their hearts.

Proverbs 4:20-22 My son, pay attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not lose sight of them; keep them within your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to the whole body. (Berean)

Luke 8:11b-15 The seed is the Word of God. The seeds on the road are those who hear the Word, but no sooner do they hear it than the Devil snatches it from them so they won’t believe and be saved. 13 The seeds in the gravel are those who hear with enthusiasm, but the enthusiasm doesn’t go very deep. It’s only another fad, and the moment there’s trouble it’s gone. 14 And the seed that fell in the weeds—well, these are the ones who hear, but then the seed is crowded out and nothing comes of it as they go about their lives worrying about tomorrow, making money, and having fun. 15 But the seed in the good earth—these are the good-hearts who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there’s a harvest. (The Message)

Psalm 107:19-21 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. 20 He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. 21 Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! (NKJ)

The second reason people are not healed is they don’t do what the Word tells them to do.

We understand when a doctor writes a prescription, we must follow those instructions in order for the medicine to work as it should. If the prescription says, “Take orally twice daily,” you wouldn’t rub it on the bottom of your foot and expect the same results. Yet, many of us have this same approach to the Word of God and then wonder why it didn’t work?

If we use the Gospel (God’s pill) the way He prescribed it, it will work every time.

James 5:14-16 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord15 And the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick. The Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power to prevail. (Berean) Elders in Greek = experienced.

Mark 9:21-24 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (NKJ)

Mark 11:20-25 As they were walking back in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from its roots.  21 Peter remembered it and said, “Look, Rabbi! The fig tree You cursed has withered.” 22Have faith in God,” Jesus said to them. 23 “Truly I tell you that if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and has no doubt in his heart but believes that it will happen, it will be done for him24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand to pray, if you hold anything against another, forgive it, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your trespasses as well. (Berean)

Psalm 103:20-22 Bless the Lord, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. 21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, you ministers of His, who do His pleasure. 22 Bless the Lord, all His works, In all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul! (NKJ) Heeding in Hebrew = to hear.

Isaiah 55:10-11 For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return without watering the earth, making it bud and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, 11 so My word that proceeds from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper where I send it. (Berean)

If you don’t want your words to return to you void and without effect, speak His Word and believe.

1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have before Him: If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we already possess what we have asked of Him. (Berean)

His Word is His will!


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Faith Demands the Right Action in Order to Work

A lot of people claim they have faith.  They say they believe God.  They confess His Word is true.  They say, “Amen” during the services, but when it comes to actually putting the word into practice, they don’t. Then they wonder why their prayers are not answered when they say they believe God.  So let’s explore this issue and see what the Word tells us we need to do in order to make our faith work, and get our prayers answered.

Scriptures:

James 1: 2-82 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces [endurance, perseverance] patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be [mature] perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 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  emphasis added

Hebrews 11:1:  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.   NKJ

-Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see.  Contemporary English

-Now faith is the conviction concerning those things that are in hope, as if it were these things in action, and the revelation of those things that are unseen;   Aramaic

James 1: 19-21:   19 My beloved brothers, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, 20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and every expression of evil, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save your souls.   Berean

Ephesians 5: 25-27:   25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her 26 to sanctify her, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to Himself as a glorious church, without stain or wrinkle or any such blemish, but holy and blameless.   Berean

Galatians 5:6:  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love. NAS

Matthew 6: 22, 23:   22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!  NKJ

 Matthew 6: 9-15:  Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.  10 Your kingdom come.  Your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts,

As we forgive our debtors.

13 And do not lead us into temptation,

But deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.  14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.   NKJ

James 1: 22-25:   22 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 who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.  ESV

Romans 8: 1, 2:   1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set you free from the law of sin and death.  Berean

 

James 2: 14-17:  14  What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.    ESV

 

Galatians 6:7:  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.  NKJ

 

Mark 11: 25:  Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him [drop the issue, let it go], so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions and wrongdoings [against Him and others].   Amp


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Grow Up

What does spiritual maturity look like?

Ephesians 4:11-15 It was He who “gave gifts to people”; He appointed some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, others to be pastors and teachers. 12 He did this to prepare all God’s people for the work of Christian service, in order to build up the body of Christ. 13 And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God; we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ’s full stature. 14 Then we shall no longer be children, carried by the waves and blown about by every shifting wind of the teaching of deceitful people, who lead others into error by the tricks they invent. 15 Instead, by speaking the truth in a spirit of love, we must grow up in every way to Christ, who is the head. (GNT)

1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, (NKJ)

Hebrews 5:11-14 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain, because you are dull of hearing. 12 Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to reteach you the basic principles of God’s Word. You need milk, not solid food! 13 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)

Inexperienced and unqualified; their spiritual diet deprives them of reaching further for more of God and His Word. Because of their limited spiritual diet, they lack the ability to know the difference between what is helpful or harmful to their souls. So, what is the difference between meat and milk?

John 4:32-34 But Jesus said to them, “I have meat to eat that you know not of.” 33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, “Has any man brought Him ought to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.” (NKJ)

Milk is the Word. Meat is doing what it says.

1 Corinthians 3:1-3 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? (NKJ)

John 16:12-14 Jesus said, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore, I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. (NKJ)

John 15:1-16 Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard. 2 He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes to make it even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. 5 I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers. Such branches are gathered up, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, proving yourselves to be My disciples. 9 As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Remain in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. 11 I have told you these things so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. 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. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will remain—so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. (Berean)

Isaiah 28:9-13 They complain about me. They say, “Who does that man think he’s teaching? Who needs his message? It’s only good for babies that have just stopped nursing! 10 He is trying to teach us letter by letter, line by line, lesson by lesson.” 11 If you won’t listen to me, then God will use foreigners speaking some strange-sounding language to teach you a lesson. 12 He offered rest and comfort to all of you, but you refused to listen to Him. 13 That is why the Lord is going to teach you letter by letter, line by line, lesson by lesson. Then you will stumble with every step you take. You will be wounded, trapped, and taken prisoner. (GNT)

Don’t remain on the same spiritual plateau – complacent and satisfied. Spiritual babes fail to realize that with advanced revelation and understanding of His Word and His Ways come more opportunities to be used by Him.


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Divine Nature – Part 3

Believers need to become aware God has called us to walk in His divine nature.   In order to partake of the divine nature, we have to learn how to yield to the Holy Spirit.  When we yield to the Spirit we can perceive what we are supposed to do each day.  In order to yield to the Spirit, we need to do two things:  get our hearts right, and teach our minds to think like God.  When we get our hearts right, and think like God, then God’s divine nature gently leads us by the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit guides us in a gentle pulling movement, where the flesh causes a forced pushing of our own will.  The Spirit is peaceably gentle.             

2 Peter 1: 2-4   2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.  3  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 Study

2 Peter 1: 5-8:   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.   Berean Study

Psalm 139: 23, 2423 God, I invite your searching gaze into my heart.  Examine me through and through; find out everything that may be hidden within me.  Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares.  24 See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on, and lead me back to your glorious, everlasting ways— the path that brings me back to you. TPT

Psalm 139:16:   Your eyes saw my unformed body; all my days were written in Your book and ordained for me before one of them came to be.   Berean Study

Jeremiah 29:11:   For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.    NIV

Self-will must be dealt with:

Romans 5:19:   For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.  NKJ

 Isaiah 1: 19, 20:   19 If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; 20 But if you refuse and rebel,

You shall be devoured by the sword”; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.  NKJ

 John 6: 26, 27:  Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not work for food that perishes, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on Him God the Father has placed His seal of approval.” NKJ

John 6: 53-57:  53  So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is real food, and My blood is real drink.  56 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me, and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your fathers, who ate the manna and died, the one who eats this bread will live forever.”  Berean Study


Romans 12:2:
   Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.  Berean Study

Romans 12:2  Ask God to sift through your anxieties, cares and fears and find out why you are acting a certain way, and keeping yourself from moving forward into the things God has for your future.   TPT

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.  NKJ

John 14:12:  “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.   NAS

 

 


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Divine Nature – Part 2

Believers need to become aware God has called us to walk in His divine nature.   In order to partake of the divine nature, we have to learn how to yield to the Holy Spirit.  When …

Divine Nature – Part 1

Believers need to become aware God has called us to walk in His divine nature.   In order to partake of the divine nature, we have to learn how to yield to the Holy Spirit.  When we yield to the Spirit we can perceive what we are supposed to do each day.  In order to yield to the Spirit, we need to do two things:  get our hearts right, and teach our minds to think like God.  When we get our hearts right, and think like God, then God’s divine nature gently leads us by the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit guides us in a gentle pulling movement, where the flesh causes a forced pushing of our own will.  The Spirit is peaceably gentle.             

Scriptures:

2 Peter 1: 2-4   2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.  3  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 Study

2 Peter 1: 5-8:   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.   Berean Study


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Born Again


What does it mean to be Born Again? Where did the term come from?

John 3:3-6 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, except anyone be born from above, he is not able to see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus says to Him, “How is a man able to be born, being old? Is he able to enter into the womb of his mother a second time, and to be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless anyone be born of water and of the Spirit, he is not able to enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That having been born of the flesh is flesh, and that having been born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said, ‘You must be born again.’ (Berean)

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (NKJ)

What became new and what didn’t? To fully understand this, we must first understand that we are created in the image of God as a 3-part being – spirit, soul, and body.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NKJ)

Our bodies have not been born-again, changed or renewed, only our spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:50-57 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (NKJ)

NLT 50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. 51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.

Romans 6:4-14 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised up out from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united in the likeness of His death, certainly also we will be of the resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, so that the body of sin might be annulled, that we are no longer enslaved to sin. 7 For the one having died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised up out from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer rules over Him. 10 For that which He died, He died to sin once for all; but that which He lives, He lives to God. 11 So also you, consider yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but living to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, in order to obey its desires. 13 Neither yield your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but yield yourselves to God, as living out from the dead, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin will not rule over you, for you are not under law, but under grace. (Berean)

How do I keep sin from ruling over me? Our soul is made up of our mind, will, and emotions which did not become saved, changed, or born-again. That means every thought, desire, or emotion you have must be changed by the Word.

Romans 12:1-2 Therefore I exhort you, brothers, through the compassions of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy to God, well-pleasing, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind, for you to prove what is the good and well-pleasing and perfect will of God. (Berean)

Ephesians 5:25b-27 Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water by the word, 27 so that He might present to Himself the church in glory, not having spot or wrinkle or any of the such things, but that it would be holy and blameless. (Berean)

Our born-again spirit is as perfect as it will be in heaven.

1 John 3:9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. (NKJ)

1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides forever. (NKJ)

1 John 4:17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. (NKJ)


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The Importance of Believing God

It is so important we put our faith and beliefs in God.  The quality of our lives depends on it.  Using Daniel as our example, we can learn many things about faithfulness to God, and in God.  Especially if we want to live the kind of Christian life God expects from His children.  Let’s see how we can please God.                                     

Scriptures:

Hebrews 11:6And 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 Study

Hebrews 11:1Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.   NIV

Daniel Chapter 61 Now it pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, 2 and over them three administrators, including Daniel, to whom these satraps were accountable so that the king would not suffer loss. 3 Soon, by his extraordinary spirit, Daniel distinguished himself among the administrators and satraps. So the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.  4 Thus the administrators and satraps sought a charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom, but they could find no charge or corruption, because he was trustworthy, and no negligence or corruption was found in him. 5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any charge against this Daniel, unless we find something against him concerning the law of his God.”  6 So the administrators and satraps went together to the king and said, “O King Darius, may you live forever! 7 All the royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers, and governors have agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce a decree that for thirty days anyone who petitions any god or man except you, O king, will be thrown into the den of lions. 8 Therefore, O king, establish the decree and sign the document so that it cannot be changed—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”  9 Therefore King Darius  signed the written decree.  10 Now when Daniel learned that the document had been signed, he went into his house, where the windows of his upper room opened toward Jerusalem, and three times a day he got down on his knees, prayed, and gave thanks to his God, just as he had done before. 11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel petitioning and imploring his God. 12 So they approached the king and asked about his royal decree: “Did you not sign a decree that for thirty days any man who petitions any god or man except you, O king, will be thrown into the den of lions?”  The king replied, “According to the law of the Medes and Persians the order stands, and it cannot be repealed.”   13 Then they told the king, “Daniel, one of the exiles from Judah, shows no regard for you, O king, or for the decree that you have signed. He still makes his petition three times a day.”  14 As soon as the king heard this, he was deeply distressed and set his mind on delivering Daniel, and he labored until sundown to rescue him.  15 Then the men approached the king together and said to him, “Remember, O king, that by the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or ordinance established by the king can be changed.”  16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the den of lions.  The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!”  17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that nothing concerning Daniel could be changed. 

18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting. No entertainment was brought before him, and sleep fled from him.  19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the den of lions. 20 When he reached the den, he cried out in a voice of anguish, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?”  21 Then Daniel replied, “O king, may you live forever! 22 My God sent His angel and shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, for I was found innocent in His sight, and I have done no wrong against you, O king.”  23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den, and when Daniel was lifted out of the den, no wounds whatsoever were found on him, because he had trusted in his God.  24 At the command of the king, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought and thrown into the den of lions—they and their children and wives. And before they had reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.  25 Then King Darius wrote to the people of every nation and language throughout the land: “May your prosperity abound. 26 I hereby decree that in every part of my kingdom, men are to tremble in fear before the God of Daniel:  For He is the living God, and He endures forever; His kingdom will never be destroyed, and His dominion will never end.  27 He delivers and rescues; He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth, for He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”  28 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.    Berean Study

Ephesians 1:17-21:   17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to 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, what are 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 He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His 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.  NKJ


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The Torment of Fear

Fear is a tool used by the enemy to stop us from using our faith to receive from God the things we need. Fear is designed to cause us to relinquish our God-given purpose.

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.

This tells us two things. Fear is a spirit and God did not give it to us. It also tells us 3 aeras where fear attacks us.

1) Fear comes from not knowing the POWER given us.

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

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give you the authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

2) Fear comes from a lack of trust because of insecure LOVE.

No one likes to be told they have insecure love. But that is exactly where fear comes from. Trust and love are synonymous. Lack of trust enslaves you to fear and shackles you to a problem. The insecurity is not on God’s side.

Romans 5:8 But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Berean)

Romans 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery that returns you to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (NKJ)

Fear = Greek = The word we get phobic from; to flee, panic, or withdraw because of feeling inadequate (without sufficient resources).

Torment = Greek = penal infliction in a way that restrains, impedes, restricts, or incapacitates; hence, to punish (cause agony), or to curtail.

MSG There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. (NLT)

3) Fear comes from fiery darts that come in the way of thoughts from the enemy designed to remove a SOUND MIND.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds😉 5 Casting down arguments, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

A sound mind thinks on the truth; not on the lie.

John 17:16-17 Jesus said, “They are not of the world, as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.” (Berean)

Psalm 119:160 The entirety of Your word is truth, and all Your righteous judgments endure forever. (Berean)

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) anxious = Greek = “a part, as opposed to the whole” – properly, drawn in opposite directions; “divided into parts”; “to go to pieces” because pulled apart (in different directions).  An old verb for worry and anxiety – literally, to be divided and/or distracted.

How to be delivered from fear. Get the Word inside you.

Psalm 34:1-4 I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. 2 My soul boasts in the LORD; let the oppressed hear and rejoice. 3 Magnify the LORD with me; let us exalt His name together. 4 I sought the LORD, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. (Berean) Magnify = Hebrew = To be causative and make large, advance, boast, bring up, grow(up), increase, lift up, nourish (up), promote.

We use a magnifying glass to see thing more clearly. Too often we magnify our problem instead of magnifying our Problem-solver thus making a mountain out of a molehill.

Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvationso why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?
(NLT)

Isaiah 35:4 Say to those with anxious hearts: “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance. With divine retribution He will come to save you. (Berean)

Proverbs 1:33 But whoever listens to me will dwell in safety, secure from the fear of evil. (Berean)

Fear is the devil’s faith. You must rid yourself of all ambiguity concerning the Word of God. Trust God! He cannot lie.


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The Other Side of the Cross

We celebrate Easter every year, and it’s good to remind ourselves of what Jesus did.  However, Jesus really wants us to take what He did on the cross, and use it for His glory in this day and hour.  He didn’t die in vain on the cross; He did it to bring man back into right standing with God, and empower him against Satan and the demons.  So let’s examine the other side of the cross and make sure we are using our God-given authority in the Name of Jesus.

                                      Scriptures:

Isaiah 53:1-9:   1 Who has believed our message?

And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no stately form or majesty to attract us, no beauty that we should desire Him.  3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.  Like one from whom men hide their faces, He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
4 Surely He took on our infirmities and carried our sorrows; yet we considered Him stricken by God, struck down and afflicted.  5 But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.  6 We all like sheep have gone astray, each one has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.  7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth.  He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth.   8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away, and who can recount His descendants?  For He was cut off from the land of the living; He was stricken for the transgression of My people. 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with a rich man in His death, although He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. Berean Study  arm-zrowa-stretched out in force to help having mighty power and strength; iniquitiesavon-to make crooked; do amiss; mischief; bow down; perversity; infirmities-strengthless; feeble of mind or body; malady; sickness; disease; sorrows-makowb- anguish; pain, grief, affliction; transgressions-pesha-revolt, rebellion, sin, trespass

Isaiah 53: 10-12:  
Isaiah 53: 1,2 ->John 12: 37,38:
 37 Although Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still did not believe in Him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:

“Lord, who has believed our message?  And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”  Berean Study

Isaiah 52:10:   The LORD has bared His holy arm in the sight of all the nations; all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.   Berean
NLT:  The LORD has demonstrated his holy power before the eyes of all the nations  arm-zrowa- stretched out with force to help having mighty power and strength
John 14: 12: He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. KJ
Isaiah 53: 4-> Matthew 8: 17:  This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.”  ESV
Isaiah 53:5-> 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 Study

Isaiah 53:7-> John 1: 29:  The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!  KJ

 Isaiah 53:8-> Acts 8: 33:  In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.”   Berean Study

Isaiah 53:8->Daniel 9: 26a:  And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself  NKJ

Isaiah 52: 13-15:  13 Behold, My Servant will prosper; He will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.  14 Just as many were appalled at Him — His appearance was disfigured beyond that of any man, and His form was marred beyond human likeness— 15 so He will sprinkle many nations. Kings will shut their mouths because of Him.  For they will see what they have not been told, and they will understand what they have not heard.  Berean Study

Isaiah 52:13->Philippians 2: 9-11:  9 Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name above all names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.   Berean Study

Luke 10: 17-20:   17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in Your name.”  18  So He told them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 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. 20  Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”   Berean Study

Ephesians 1: 13,14:  13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guaranteed of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.  ESV


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What is NOT in Heaven

Many of us have heard or read stories about people who have seen Heaven and we all conjure up ideas of what we think Heaven is like.

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. (NKJ)

It is hard to imagine streets of gold, walls of jasper and precious stones, and a crystal sea. (Rev. 21:19-21; 4:6)

Our focus in this message is Jesus’ teaching on how to pray.

Matthew 6:9-10 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (NKJ)

How can we pray for His will to be done here on earth if we don’t know how it is in Heaven? Let’s look at just a few things that are NOT in heaven.

There is no sin nor sickness in Heaven.

Isaiah 33:24 And no resident of Zion will say, “I am sick.” The people who dwell there will be forgiven of iniquity. (Berean)

Matthew 4:23-24 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about Him spread all over Syria, and people brought to Him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering acute pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed—and He healed them. (Berean)

 There is no crying, death, sorrow, or pain in Heaven

Revelation 21:4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. (Berean)

Isaiah 25:8 He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken. (NKJ)

There is no curse or darkness in Heaven

Revelation 22:1-5 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. (NKJ)

There is no fear, lack, or poverty in Heaven

John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (NKJ)

 There is no corruption, contamination, nor fading away in Heaven

1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power for the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (Berean)

As His ambassadors – His representatives here on earth; we are to seek for and expect His Kingdom to begin manifesting here on earth as it is in Heaven. 

Matthew 10:7 Jesus said, “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” (NKJ)

Other things that are not in Heaven:

There are so many other things that are not going to be in Heaven. Here are just a few more to think about. As you do, realize these do not have be a part of your life any longer. The Kingdom of Heaven is within your reach. Take it. It is your inheritance now.

In Heaven there is no failure, aging, guilt, condemnation, or limitations. No doubt, strife, stress. No lack of peace or unrest, no fighting, arguing, or unforgiveness. No sadness or depression, no discouragement, anxiety, hatred, lying, selfishness, or pride. No mistakes, no trying, confusion, boredom or coincidences. There is nothing random in Heaven. Everything has a purpose. Your life here on earth has purpose too. Let’s not miss our purpose. May His will be done in us and through us on this earth today as it is in Heaven.


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The Lifestyle of Faith

The Word of God is all about faith.  We are taught to walk by faith, not by sight.  Therefore, we have to remind ourselves and encourage ourselves sometimes daily of what faith is and that it is a lifestyle we live; it’s not a passing phase we try.

 Scriptures:

2 Timothy 2: 1-4:   1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.  NKJ

2 Timothy 2:4:   No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.  NAS
2 Corinthians 10: 3, 4:  
3 For though we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. 4 The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. Berean Study

2 Corinthians 10:5   We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  NIV

ESV:   We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.

Berean Study:  We tear down arguments and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

King James:   Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Ephesians 6:10:   Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  NKJ

 2 Corinthians 10:6:   And after you have become fully obedient, we will punish everyone who remains disobedient.  NLT

Numbers 13: 1, 2:  1 And the LORD said to Moses, 2 “Send out for yourself men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each of their fathers’ tribes send one man who is a leader among them.”  Berean Study

Numbers 13: 25; 27-33:   25 And they returned from spying out the land after forty days.  27 Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly [g]flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.” 30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”  31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”   NKJ

Numbers 14: 1-4:   1 So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why has the Lord brought us to this land to [a]fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4 So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”   NKJ

Numbers 14: 27-31:  27 “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me. 28 Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: 29 The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. 30 Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in. 31 But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised.  NKJ


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What is your Problem? – Part 2

In review, what problem or circumstance are you facing? If you don’t know your problem, then you certainly don’t know the answer. You don’t have a health problem. You don’t have a financial problem. You …

The Battle of the Mind: Shut the Enemy Out

We have been speaking about our mind and how the devil manipulates our thoughts.  Today, we are going to focus on our position of authority in our mind so we shut the enemy out. Scriptures:  …

What is your Problem?

What problem or circumstance are you facing? If you don’t know your problem, then you certainly don’t know the answer. You don’t have a health problem. You don’t have a financial problem. You don’t even have a devil problem. Your problem is NOT the circumstance. You have a knowledge problem.

Hosea 4:6a My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: (KJV) destroyed = Hebrew = A primitive root; to be dumb or silent; hence, to fail or perish; trans. To destroy, cease, be cut down (off), be brought to silence, be undone.

MSG My people are ruined because they don’t know what’s right or true.

AMP My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge [of My law, where I reveal My will].

How do you know things? You do research – study. Spiritually speaking, don’t study the problem; study the Problem Solver. Get to know Jesus intimately – the Word.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (NKJ) Study = Greek = be swift (go fast, be speedy); to move speedily by showing full diligence (fully applying oneself); acting fervently (speedy commitment) to accomplish all that God assigns through faith.
There has to be intimacy with Him to produce life.

John 8:31-33 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 “We are Abraham’s descendants,” they answered. “We have never been slaves to anyone. How can You say we will be set free?” (Berean)   Be consistent. Not standing on the Word one day and doubting the next. Not on again, off again.

Denial causes you to miss the truth and miss being set free. You do not know anything you have not learned. We learn spiritual matters through the Word of God.

John 6:63-64 It is the Spirit giving life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (Berean)

Don’t just know about Him. Know Him intimately.

Romans 8:1-17 So now the case is closed. There remains no accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus, the Anointed One. 2 For the “law” of the Spirit of life flowing through the anointing of Jesus has liberated us from the “law” of sin and death. 3 For God achieved what the law was unable to accomplish, because the law was limited by the weakness of human nature.

Yet God sent us His Son in human form to identify with human weakness. Clothed with humanity, God’s Son gave His body to be the sin-offering so that God could once and for all condemn the guilt and power of sin. 4 So now every righteous requirement of the law can be fulfilled through the Anointed One living His life in us. And we are free to live, not according to our flesh, but by the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit!

5 Those who are motivated by the flesh only pursue what benefits themselves. But those who live by the impulses of the Holy Spirit are motivated to pursue spiritual realities. 6 For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set controlled by the Spirit finds life and peace.

7 In fact, the mind-set focused on the flesh fights God’s plan and refuses to submit to His direction, because it cannot! 8 For no matter how hard they tryGod finds no pleasure with those who are controlled by the flesh. 9 But when the Spirit of Christ empowers your life, you are not dominated by the flesh but by the Spirit. And if you are not joined to the Spirit of the Anointed One, you are not of Him. 10 Now Christ lives His life in you! And even though your body may be dead because of the effects of sin, His life-giving Spirit imparts life to you because you are fully accepted by God. 11 Yes, God raised Jesus to life! And since God’s Spirit of Resurrection lives in you, He will also raise your dying body to life by the same Spirit that breathes life into you!

12 So then, beloved ones, the flesh has no claims on us at all, and we have no further obligation to live in obedience to it. 13 For when you live controlled by the flesh, you are about to die. But if the life of the Spirit puts to death the corrupt ways of the flesh, we then taste His abundant life. 14 The mature children of God are those who are moved by the impulses of the Holy Spirit. 15 And you did not receive the “spirit of religious duty,” leading you back into the fear of never being good enough. But you have received the “Spirit of full acceptance,” enfolding you into the family of God. And you will never feel orphaned, for as He rises up within us, our spirits join Him in saying the words of tender affection, “Beloved Father!” 16 For the Holy Spirit makes God’s fatherhood real to us as He whispers into our innermost being, “You are God’s beloved child!

17 And since we are His true children, we qualify to share all His treasures, for indeed, we are heirs of God Himself. And since we are joined to Christ, we also inherit all that He is and all that He has. We will experience being co-glorified with Him provided that we accept His sufferings as our own. (TPT)

 


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The Battle of the Mind: Control Your Thoughts

Many believers characterize their faith by how they think.  Last time we spoke of how we feel, and today we are going to focus on what we think.   Believers today are depressed, they have anxiety, they can’t sleep at night, they are fearful, and many other negative things.  This should not be so.  Let’s find out how to control our thoughts to live in peace.

Scriptures:

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

NLT:  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. 

Romans 8:6:   The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.  NIV

NLT:  So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.  Mind phromena-feelings guided by inclination and purpose; opinion

Ephesians 6: 10-13:  10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.   NKJ  wiles-methodeia- accompany in a journey by lying in wait to trick; trickery

Ephesians 6:16:   In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Berean Study

KJ:  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  KJ

Darts – missiles, spears, arrows

NLT:  In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.

Luke 10: 17, 18:   17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in Your name.”

18 So He told them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 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. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”   Berean Study

Mark 16: 17a:   And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons…   NKJ

2 Corinthians 10: 3-5:   3 For though we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. 4 The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We tear down arguments, and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Berean Study   strongholds-fortresses of human reasoning reinforced by subtle arguments in the mind; false beliefs against God

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

Berean Literal:   For God has not given us a spirit of cowardice, but of power, and of love, and of self-control.

 

Psalm 91:  I remain settled in a protective state of mind focused on the Most High; therefore, I stay permanently safe under the defense of the Almighty.  I say, “Lord, You are my confidant and my defense: My God, in You I trust.”  Surely You deliver me from the snare of all entrapments, and from the destroying plagues.  You fence me in with Your feathers, and under Your wings I take shelter.  Your Word surrounds me with a prickly guard of protection.  I am not afraid of objects that startle at night, or of wounding weapons that fly by day, nor of the plague that walks in darkness, nor of destroying things that ruin and lay waste at noonday.  A thousand may fall at my side, and ten thousand at my right hand, but it shall not come near me! Only as an onlooker will I observe the reward of the wicked.  Because I have made the Lord, my shelter of hope and trust, and the Most High, the place where I dwell, no evil shall befall me, nor any contagious epidemics come near my home.  For the Lord has given His dispatched deputy of angels command over me, to hedge me about with guarded thorns everywhere I go.  In their hands they bear me up, even if I dash my foot against a stone.  I shall tread on the fierce roar of the enemies fake alarms against me and the adders’ twisted truths.  The gates of hell and the serpent I trample under my feet.  Because I love You Father, You always carry me to safety, and set me on high because I know Your Name.  I will always call on You, and I know that You will always answer me; and be with me in all tight spots.  You equip me with the strength to escape every situation, and You always honor me.  With long life you continue to give me plenty, and You deliver me victoriously in every situation through Jesus (Yeshua Messiah)!


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Humility

What does it mean to humble yourself? Is it a posture – an attitude, or a mental thought? No, it’s much more! It is the actions you take toward yourself, others, and God.

James 4:6-10 But He gives more grace. Therefore, He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. (NKJ) Humble = the person who depends on the Lord rather than self-reliance or self-government to rein in the mind or feelings.

Resist = a military term in classical Greek meaning “to forcefully take a complete stand against an opponent”

Double-minded = vacillating like a “spiritual schizophrenic.”  This causes relapses of disordered thinking, social withdrawal, decreased emotional expression, disorganized speech and lack of motivation.

1 Peter 5:5-9a Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting ALL your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, (NKJ)

TPT In the same way, the younger ones should willingly support the leadership of the elders. In every relationship, each of you must wrap around yourself the apron of a humble servant. Because: God resists you when you are proud but multiplies grace and favor when you are humble. 6 If you bow low in God’s awesome presence, he will eventually exalt you as you leave the timing in his hands. 7 Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you. 8 Be well balanced and always alert, because your enemy, the devil, roams around incessantly, like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour. 9 Take a decisive stand against him and resist his every attack with strong, vigorous faith.

Humility is to relinquish your own control, thoughts, choices, and emotions over to God.

Luke 22:24-26 A dispute also arose among the disciples as to which of them would be considered the greatest. 25 So Jesus declared, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in authority over them call themselves benefactors. 26 But you shall not be like them. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who leads like the one who serves. (Berean)

TPT  25 Jesus interrupted their argument, saying, “The kings and men of authority in this world rule oppressively over their subjects, claiming that they do it for the good of the people. They are obsessed with how others see them. 26 But this is not your calling. You will lead by a different model. The greatest one among you will live as one called to serve others without honor. The greatest honor and authority is reserved for the one who has a servant heart.

You must rule your feelings instead of your feelings ruling you.

1 Peter 8-9 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. (NKJ)

MSG Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.

Love is the key to the power of God working in your life. Faith works by love.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. (NKJ)

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

TPT When you’re placed into the Anointed One and joined to him, circumcision and religious obligations can benefit you nothing. All that matters now is living in the faith that is activated and brought to perfection by love.


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The Battle of the Mind: Feelings Versus Faith

Many believers characterize their faith by how they feel.  God gave us emotions, to exhilarate, warn, direct and inspire us. However, we must always examine our feelings based on the state of our heart, which can be tainted by our sin nature.  Emotions/feelings can come from the enemy, and mislead us.   Let’s learn to control our soul realm (feelings/emotions) so that we think and act in line with God; not the enemy.

Scriptures:

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

NLT:  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. 

Jeremiah 17: 9, 10:   9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure—who can understand it?  10  I, the LORD, search the heart; I examine the mind to reward a man according to his way, by what his deeds deserve.  Berean Study heart- leb- feelings, will and intellect

Romans 6: 2-4:   How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  NKJ

Romans 6: 12-14:   12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.  NKJ  members-melos-limb or body part

Romans 8:6:   The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.  NIV

NLT:  So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.  Mind phromena-feelings guided by inclination and purpose; opinion

Ephesians 6: 10-13:  10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.   NKJ  wiles-methodeia- accompany in a journey by lying in wait to trick; trickery

Mark 16: 17a:   And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons…   NKJ

2 Corinthians 10: 3-6:   3 For though we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. 4 The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We tear down arguments, and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, as soon as your obedience is complete.   Berean Study   strongholds-fortresses of human reasoning reinforced by subtle arguments in the mind;  false beliefs against God 

James 4:6-8:   “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”  7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  NKJ   hearts-kardia-feelings, thoughts, mind

 

James 1: 19, 20:  So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.  NKJ   wrath-stretching forth excitement of the mind from indignation, punishment; violent passion, anger

Joshua 1: 6-9:   6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall give these people the inheritance of the land that I swore to their fathers I would give them.  7 Above all, be strong and very courageous. Be careful to observe all the law that My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in all you do.  9 Have I not commanded you to be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”  Berean Study
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

Berean Literal:   For God has not given us a spirit of cowardice, but of power, and of love, and of self-control.

 

Ephesians 6:16: Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  KJ

Darts – missiles, spears, arrows


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The Power of Our Words

Words are the fundamental part of communication. We were created in God’s image by the spoken Word.  Our words have the power of influence for the good or for the bad. Have you ever been told something that has stuck with you throughout the years?

Matthew 12:33-37 Jesus said, “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. 34 Brood of vipers! (Speaking to the Pharisees – the religious. *) 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 his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (NKJ) (*Emphases mine)

James 1:26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. (NKJ) 

If someone believes they have a relationship with God but fails to guard his words then his heart is drifting away and his religion is shallow and empty. (TPT)
Proverbs 18:21 Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (NKJ)

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Berean) 

Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out. (MSG)

Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose. (MSG)

Proverbs 12:18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (NIV)

Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building up the one in need and bringing grace to those who listen. (Berean)

Ephesians 5:4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. (ESV)

Be careful what you say even about yourself. Stop replaying your past and start rehearsing your future instead.

Proverbs 13:3 He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction. (NKJ) 

Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything. (NLT)

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

Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, sin is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise. (NKJ)

Ecclesiastes 10:12 The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. (KJV)

Psalm 34:12-13 Who is the man who desires life and loves length of days that he may see good? 13 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. (NAS)

Demons listen to our words. Our negative words which produce actions give the devil a legal standing in the court of heaven to use our own words against us.

Ephesians 4:26-27 Be angry, and yet do not sin. Let not the sun set upon your anger, 27 neither give opportunity to the devil. (Berean)

Zechariah 3:1 Then the angel showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, with Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. (Berean)

Ecclesiastes 10:20 Do not curse the king, even in your thought; Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; For a bird of the air may carry your voice, and a bird in flight may tell the matter. (NKJ)

Your mind is like a computer. What you put in is what you’ll get out. Feed your mind on the world and you’ll get death. Feed your mind on the spiritual and you get life back out

John 6:63 The Holy Spirit is the one who gives life, that which is of the natural realm is of no help. The words I speak to you are Spirit and life. (TPT)

Psalm 119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. (NKJ)

We must voice God’s Word from our lips. Don’t speak about the problem but the promises God has made. Get into agreement with God. His Word is so powerful it formed the universes.

Isaiah 55:11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (NKJ)

Jeremiah 1:12 “You have observed correctly,” said the LORD, “for I am watching over My word to accomplish it.” (Berean)

Psalm 103:20 Bless the LORD, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word. (NKJ)

Let that voice be yours and let it be heard by God, His angels, others, yourself and even the devil.


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The Power of Love

We are going to delve into the power of love.  We talk about love a lot, but we don’t fully understand the power behind it, and the extreme importance of meditating on it.  You have to know how much God loves you before the power of the Spirit works in your life.  Faith only works when it operates through love.  Knowing God loves you will cause you to be elevated to a new spiritual level of peace, contentment and miracles.

Scriptures:

I Corinthians 13: 1-3:  1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a ringing gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and exult in the surrender of my body, but have not love, I gain nothing.   Berean Study

1 John 4: 15, 16:  15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.    NKJ

Meditate:  “I know and believe the love God has for me.”

Psalm 139: 1-3:   Lord, you know everything there is to know about me. 2  You perceive every movement of my heart and soul, and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind.  3 You are so intimately aware of me, Lord.

You read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence! TPT

Psalm 139: 4-8:   You know every step I will take before my journey even begins.  5 You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness you follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past.  With your hand of love upon my life, you impart a blessing to me. 6 This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible! Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength. 7 Where could I go from your Spirit?

Where could I run and hide from your face? 8 If I go up to heaven, you’re there!  If I go down to the realm of the dead, you’re there too!  TPT

Isaiah 45:7:   I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.  KJ

Psalm 139: 9-12:   9 If I fly with wings into the shining dawn, you’re there!  If I fly into the radiant sunset, you’re there waiting!  10 Wherever I go, your hand will guide me; your strength (right hand) will empower me.  11 It’s impossible to disappear from you or to ask the darkness to hide me, for your presence is everywhere, bringing light into my night.  12 There is no such thing as darkness with you.  The night, to you, is as bright as the day; there’s no difference between the two.   TPT

Psalm 16: 7, 8:   7 I will bless the LORD who counsels me; even at night my conscience instructs me.  8 I have set the LORD always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.  Berean Study

Psalm 139:  13-16:   13  For You formed my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.  14 I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Marvelous are Your works,

and I know this very well.  15 My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was woven together

in the depths of the earth.  16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all my days were written in Your book and ordained for me before one of them came to be.   Berean Study

TPT:  13 You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside and my intricate outside, and wove them all together in my mother’s womb.  14 I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex!  Everything you do is marvelously breathtaking.  It simply amazes me to think about it!  How thoroughly you know me, Lord!  15 You even formed every bone in my body when you created me in the secret place, carefully, skillfully shaping me from nothing to something. 16 You saw who you created me to be before I became me!  Before I’d ever seen the light of day, the number of days you planned for me were already recorded in your book.

John 13: 31-35:   31 So, when he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. 32 If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately. 33 Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ so now I say to you. 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”   NKJ

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8:  4 Love is patient and kind, never jealous, boastful, proud, or 5 rude.  Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. 

It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do.  6 Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil.  7 Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.  8 Love never fails! CEV

Meditate:  Put your name in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 in the place of love.  Repeat this over and over as a mantra.

Galatians 5:6:   For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. KJ

Philippians 3: 12-14:  12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.   Berean Study


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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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Jesus Dispenses Power to the Church

In this message, we will look into the Book of Ephesians and discover how the power of God works through us. The ability to believe God brings the supernatural upon our lives.  Jesus wants every believer to have spiritual wisdom and revelation knowledge of Him so that we allow the supernatural power of Christ to work through us.  The power we have now.

 

Ephesians 1: 3-6:   3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms. 4 For He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His presence. In love 5 He predestined us for adoption as His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the Beloved One.    Berean Study

Matthew 3:17: And behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I was well pleased.”  Berean Literal

Ephesians 1: 7-10:   7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.   NKJ

Ephesians 1: 11,12: 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.   NKJ

Ephesians 1: 13,14:   13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the [e]guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.   NKJ

Ephesians 1: 15-21:   15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease 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 to 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, what are 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 He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His 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.   NKJ

Colossians 2:15:  And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.   Berean Study

1 John 3: 8:   He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.  NKJ

NLT:   But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.

2 Corinthians 4:4:   In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.   ESV

Ephesians 1: 22, 23:   22 And God put everything under His feet and made Him head over everything for the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.   Berean Study

John 15:5:   I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.   Berean Study

Ephesians 2:  1-3:  1 As for you, you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you used to walk when you conformed to the ways of this world and of the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit who is now at work in the sons of disobedience. 3 At one time we all lived among them, fulfilling the cravings of our flesh and indulging its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature children of wrath.  Berean Study

Ephesians 2: 4-7:   4 But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in our trespasses. It is by grace you have been saved! 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages He might display the surpassing riches of His grace, demonstrated by His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.  Berean Study

Ephesians 2: 8, 9:   8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.  NAS


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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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Commit Your Works Unto the Lord

It is important for believers to develop healthy habits.  Let’s learn how to develop new habits where we commit every work we do to the Lord.  The Father cares about everything we do.

Scriptures:

Proverbs 16:3:   Commit your works to the LORD, And your thoughts will be established.   NKJ  works-action good or bad; activity; primary root: to do or to make

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.  NIV

Psalm 37: 3-40:   3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.  4 Delight yourself in the LORD,

and He will give you the desires of your heart.  5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will do it.  6 He will bring forth your righteousness like the dawn, your justice like the noonday sun.  7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him; fret not when men prosper in their ways, when they carry out wicked schemes.  8 Refrain from anger and abandon wrath; do not fret—it can only bring harm.  9 For the evildoers will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.  10 Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.  11 But the meek will inherit the land and delight in abundant prosperity.  12 The wicked scheme against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them, 13 but the Lord laughs, seeing that their day is coming.  14 The wicked have drawn the sword and bent the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright.  15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts,  and their bows will be broken.  16 Better is the little of the righteous than the abundance of many who are wicked.  17 For the arms of the wicked will be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.  18 The LORD knows the days of the blameless, and their inheritance will last forever.  19 In the time of evil they will not be ashamed, and in the days of famine they will be satisfied.  20 But the wicked and enemies of the LORD will perish like the glory of the fields.  They will vanish; like smoke they will fade away.  21 The wicked borrow and do not repay,  but the righteous are gracious and giving.  22 Surely those He blesses will inherit the land, but the cursed will be destroyed. 23 The steps of a man are ordered by the LORD who takes delight in his journey.  24 Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, for the LORD is holding his hand.  25 I once was young and now am old, yet never have I seen the righteous abandoned or their children begging for bread.  26 They are ever generous and quick to lend, and their children are a blessing.  27 Turn away from evil and do good, so that you will abide forever.  28 For the LORD loves justice and will not forsake His saints.  They are preserved forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off.  29 The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.  30 The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.   31 The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not falter.  32 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.  34 Wait for the LORD and keep His way, and He will raise you up to inherit the land. When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.  35 I have seen a wicked, ruthless man flourishing like a well-rooted native tree, 36 yet he passed away and was no more; though I searched, he could not be found.  37 Consider the blameless and observe the upright, for a posterity awaits the man of peace.  38 But the transgressors will all be destroyed; the future of the wicked will be cut off.  39 The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their stronghold in time of trouble.  40 The LORD helps and delivers them; He rescues and saves them from the wicked, because they take refuge in Him.    Berean

Proverbs 3: 1-12:    1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; 2 for they will add length to your days, years and peace to your life.  3 Never let loving devotion or faithfulness leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.   4 Then you will find favor and high regard in the sight of God and man.  5 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.  11 My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD, and do not loathe His rebuke; 12 for the LORD disciplines the one He loves, as does a father the son in whom he delights.  Berean   keep-natsar-root ->to guard; protect and preserve; fear- revere; reverence

Psalm 119: 105:   Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  ESV

Jeremiah 29: 11:  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  KJ

1 Peter 5:7:  casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].   AMP

Matthew 11: 28-30:  28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation]. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me [following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.”   AMP


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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 3

We have been talking about bearing fruit and we’ve discovered we can’t bear fruit without Jesus.  Scriptures shows we were created to be fruitful.  One of the main reasons believers are not fruitful is because they operate in “dead works.” Today, we will reveal what dead works are, and how to turn from them so that we live the rest of our life bearing fruit.

Scriptures:

John 15: 1, 2:   1 “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

John 15: 5:   I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.    Berean

Genesis 1:28a:   God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it  KJ

Genesis 9:7:   And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; Bring forth abundantly in the earth And multiply in it.”   NKJ

John 15:7:  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

Matthew 7: 24-29:   24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.  26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” 28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribesNKJ

Hebrews 6:1: 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, Berean

We should not lay again the foundation of turning away from useless works and believing in God   Good News

Philippians 3: 2, 3:  2 Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved. 3 For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort 

Philippians 3:9:  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; NKJ

Ephesians 2:8-10:  8 For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life.   Berean

Matthew 23:2-7; 13, 15, 23, 25-28:   2 “The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So practice and observe everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, burdensome loads and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.  5 All their deeds are done for men to see. They broaden their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. 6 They love the places of honor at banquets, the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 the greetings in the marketplaces, and the title of ‘Rabbi’ by which they are addressed.  13 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let in those who wish to enter.  15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You traverse land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you  are.  23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You pay tithes of mint, dill, and cumin. But you have disregarded the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.  25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, so that the outside may become clean as well. 27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and every impurity. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to be righteous, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.   Berean
Luke 20: 46:   Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts;  KJ

Hebrews 9:14:   how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead worksESV

His blood will purify our consciences from useless rituals, so that we may serve the living God.   Good News

James 2: 21-23:  21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”  NKJ

John 8:31:  So He said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples.   Berean


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