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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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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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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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 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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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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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 …

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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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 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 Wizard of Oz

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

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

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

Dorothy

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

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

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

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

 The Wicked Witch of the West

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

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

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

The Scarecrow

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

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

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

The Tin Man

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

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

The Cowardly Lion

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

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

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

The Wizard

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

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

 


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You Are Righteous

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Expeditor

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

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

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

The Benefits of Being Righteous

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Bearing Fruit – Part 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Bearing Fruit – Part 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Imagination – Part 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Imagination – Part 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do we put hope into action?

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

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

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

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

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


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Imagination – The Womb of your Mind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Stewardship – Part 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your heart follows what you treasure the most.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Stewardship – Part 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Your heart follows what you treasure.

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

 

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

 

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


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Stewardship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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The Fruit of the Spirit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (NKJ)  

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

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

The emotion of gentleness is how we treat others.

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

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

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

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

The emotion of faith says “Seeing is believing.”

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

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

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

The emotion of self-control is what feels right.

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


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Train Your Mind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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What Value Do You Place on God?

What Value Do You Place on God?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Hindrances to Prayer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Faithlessness

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Lack of Love

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

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

  1. Doubt or unbelief questioning God’s Word.

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

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

  1. Lack of Expectation

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Asking for the wrong things.

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


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What Prayer is Not

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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The Power of Words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are we to confess?

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

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

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

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

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


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