Monthly Archives: May 2014

ASK

your joyTHE GREAT ESCAPE :

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6

Once you start stepping out in faith and walking in the Spirit, the devil will see to it that you have ample opportunity to fall flat on your spiritual face. He’ll try to get you into some jams where there appears to be no way out.

But take it from me as one who’s been there, if you’ll look to God and trust His wisdom instead of your own, He’ll always show you a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13). Not only that, but He’ll do it in such a way that He’ll get the glory and you’ll have the last laugh on the devil.

I remember one particular Wednesday night in Wichita Falls, Texas, where I was faced with just such a situation. I was preaching on the reality of the righteousness of God, and the anointing was really strong. Just as my message reached its climactic moment, a woman in the audience suddenly burst forth in tongues. I told her to stop three times, but she only continued to grow louder. By the time she hushed, the anointing had gone and the message was forgotten. So I looked at that woman sternly and began to correct her for being out of order.

Then a man sitting next to her spoke up and said, “Brother, she is stone deaf. She can’t hear a word you’re saying.”

At that point, I had no idea what to do. Not only had my sermon been shattered, but the whole congregation was mad at me for getting onto that poor deaf woman. (I found out later the man next to her used her to disrupt services and run preachers out of town. When the service reached a high point, he’d punch her and tell her it was her turn to prophesy.)

So I just stopped a moment and got quiet and waited for the Lord to tell me what to do. Sure enough, He told me. He said, “Call her up and lay hands on her and I’ll open her ears.”

Talk about a turnaround! When God healed that woman’s ears, He turned that disaster into one of the most powerfully anointed meetings I’d ever had. Everybody was blessed!

Next time the devil tries to back you into a corner, get quiet. Ask God to show you the way of escape. He’ll bring you out in victory every time.

 KNOW YOUR COMMANDER IN CHIEF

2 PETER 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

I once had a conversation with a medical doctor about spiritual warfare. She said to me, “When there is a condition in your body, you must know what the correct medical name for it is so that you can pray against it accurately.” Then, she told me somewhat smugly, “As someone who’s been in the army, you should know this: The most important military strategy is to know your enemy.”

I smiled at her and said, “Actually, I believe that the most important military strategy is not to know your enemy, but to know your commander in chief and his directives for you.”

My friend, do you know your commander in chief, Jesus Christ? The Bible tells us that unmerited favor and peace are multiplied in our lives through the knowledge of Jesus our Lord and God. So spend time at the feet of Jesus. See His grace and love toward you in His Word. This is how you experience more of His unmerited favor and shalom-peace. This is how you walk in total well-being and good success!

‘LORD, I CANNOT, BUT YOU CAN!’

PHILIPPIANS 2:13 – for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

Have you ever tried to break a bad habit on your own? You probably found that when you tried to stop it by sheer willpower, you saw improvement for a while, and then bounced back to square one. Worse, you found yourself binging on the very thing that you were trying not to do. And your condition is worse than before you started your “I’m going to quit” program!

The changes were temporary because it was you doing it.

A church member who had been a chain-smoker used to believe that with willpower, he could quit smoking. He would tell himself, “If there is a will, there is a way!” But he discovered that with willpower, he could stop smoking for a week or two, and then he would succumb to the pull of nicotine again.

When he turned his life over to God and learnt about God’s grace, he told God, “I realize that I cannot stop smoking. I cannot, but You can break my habit, Lord.” And every time he lit up, he would say, “Lord, I am trying to stop smoking, but I cannot. I am trusting You.” He would even say, “I am still righteous because of Jesus’ blood.”

Well, in the very same year, all his cravings to smoke vanished! When asked how he succeeded, he would say, “It is entirely God and none of me! It is all by His grace.” This man lost all the desire to smoke. That is true transformation.

When you receive the grace of God to do for you what you cannot do, you will experience effortless and permanent change on the inside, which in turn changes your actions on the outside. The Bible tells us that God works in us to give us both the will and ability to perform what He desires. It is God who removes the old want to’s and gives us new ones. And He even gives us the power to carry them out!

Beloved, look to His grace to do what you cannot do. Say, “Lord, I cannot, but You can!” Then, what you experience will not merely be behavior modification, but true and lasting inward transformation!

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

Repentance is having a change of heart, a change of mind, and a change of direction away from sin. When we repent, the Lord will refresh our spirits and souls.

WHAT HAS GOD SAID ABOUT YOU?

‘[He] will be proved right in what [He] says.’ Romans 3:4 NLT

Paul writes, ‘What’s the advantage of being a Jew?…Yes, there are great benefits! First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the whole revelation of God. True, some of them were unfaithful; but just because they were unfaithful, does that mean God will be unfaithful? Of course not!…[He] will be proved right in what [He] says.’ (Romans 3:1-3 NLT) God has spoken specific things concerning you. Those things are His for your life. You must believe them, carry them within you and speak them over your life. Don’t be held back by the notion that everybody has to accept what God has said about you. Your vision should be independent of outside support. That’s a difficult concept to grasp, especially in a democracy, where others vote and the majority rules. God’s Kingdom is a theocracy: only one voice and one vote counts – His! Refuse to put your vision on hold, waiting for everybody to come into agreement with you. Not only do they not have to support you, they don’t even have to believe what God has told you! You can’t afford to wait for them to get comfortable with your vision before you pursue it. When people misunderstand you or refuse to help you, you can still get there without them. God is a covenant-making, covenant-keeping God and what He has spoken over your life will surely come to pass. If you doubt that, read this: ‘…My Word…will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.’ (Isaiah 55:11 NIV) That’s all the validation you need!

PRAYER TO END THE DAY :

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

In the night, I remember Your name O Lord! The day is done and my works ran well under Your grace. This is a blessed day for I received Your enlightenment and new knowledge by reading Your holy words. May my heart is filled full with Your decrees and wisdom that I make a good disciple at this End-time period! Bless me O God, remember me with favor O Lord, for all I have done in Your name.

Gratefully, in Jesus’ holy name, Amen. !!!!

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WITH ALL PRAYER

AATRAIN YOUR SPIRIT :

It [grace] has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness (irreligion) and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world. – Titus 2:12

When an athlete goes into training, he practices to improve his skills. He works hard, repeating the same motions over and over until they become what we’d call “second nature” to him.

Most of us understand how crucial that kind of training is in the physical realm. We know that you simply can’t be a winner without it. But did you know we can train ourselves that same way where spiritual things are concerned?

That’s right! Hebrews 5:14 says we can train our senses to discern between good and evil. When you train, or practice, for something you expose yourself daily to whatever it is you want to become. You practice it over and over until it becomes second nature to you. People who are lazy have practiced being lazy. People who are disciplined have practiced being disciplined.

Spending time with God is “spirit” practice. As you do it diligently, your spirit will grow stronger and will start to overcome the habits of the flesh.

If, for example, you have trouble getting up in the morning to spend time with God before the busyness of the day begins, if you’ve been giving in to your flesh and staying in bed, then you’ll have to start practicing getting up. The more you practice it, the easier it will be.

Don’t expect yourself to do it perfectly right from the beginning. Don’t get discouraged when you stumble and fail. You’re just out of practice. Get back on your feet and go at it again!

Become a spiritual athlete. Put yourself in training by practicing the things of God. Build your spirit muscles through fellowship with Him. You will be surprised to find just how much of a winner you can be

KANGAROOS AND EMUS

Forgetting those things which are behind . . . I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 3:13-14

Two of Australia’s indigenous creatures, kangaroos and emus, have something in common—they seldom move backward. Kangaroos, because of the shape of their body and the length of their strong tail, can bounce along with forward movement, but they cannot shift easily into reverse. Emus can run fast on their strong legs, but the joints in their knees seem to make backward movement difficult. Both animals appear on Australia’s coat of arms as a symbol that the nation is to be ever moving forward and making progress.

The apostle Paul called for a similar approach to the life of faith in his letter to the Philippians: “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (3:13-14).

While it is wise to learn from the past, we shouldn’t live in the past. We cannot redo or undo the past, but by God’s grace we can press forward and serve God faithfully today and in the future. The life of faith is a journey forward as we become like Christ.

I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining every day;
Still praying as I’m onward bound,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

I will go anywhere—provided it is forward

SPIRITUAL FATIGUE

Have you ever fainted? I have. It’s no fun. I don’t know what happened while I was out. I lost time. That’s what happens when a person faints spiritually, too. They don’t know what has happened, and sadly, they lose time that they cannot get back.

Usually before a person faints, there are some signs. Maybe they get light-headed or start to get dizzy. They might start to sweat inexplicably. But before that, maybe they overlooked the fact that they were hungry or thirsty. Maybe there were other signs they ignored. We have to pay attention to what’s happening in the natural, and we have to pay attention to what’s happening spiritually.

Here are some signs that you are spiritually fatigued:

1. Everything seems to irritate you — your children, your husband, the dog. You feel like everyone is against you, and you are just frustrated all the time.

2. You develop an “I don’t care” attitude. The truth is, we always care. What we mean is that “I’m exhausted and can’t deal with that right now.”

3. You doubt yourself and your ability. You second guess your decisions.

4. You have a lack of motivation and vision.

What can you do?

1. Worship! Thank God. Be grateful! It’s easy to focus on what’s wrong, but that will only bring you down. Focus on what’s right and thank God for it! I bet there are a lot of people out there who would love to have your life!

2. Make sure you are getting rest and taking care of your health. There’s a direct correlation between what’s happening in the physical realm and what’s happening in the spiritual realm. When you are bogged down in the natural, you can’t hear God in the spiritual!

3. Be careful about what you take into your spirit through your eyes and ears. Garbage in, garbage out. Be careful about what you watch on TV. Fill your spirit with things that are uplifting. Meditate on the Word of God. Find one scripture that connects with your heart, write it down and memorize it.

4. Be sure to laugh! A merry heart does good like a medicine! Sometimes, you have to just laugh things off. God sits in the heavens and laughs, so we can laugh, too!

Remember, do what you can to guard yourself against spiritual fatigue. Keep yourself uplifted and encouraged so you can uplift and encourage others!

“Therefore we don’t faint, but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16, WEB)

Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints —

BE RESILIENT :

‘We give great honour to those who endure…’ James 5:11 NLT

During their famous expedition, American explorers, Lewis and Clark, faced incredible hardships. On reaching the Missouri River, they thought the worst was over – then they saw the Rockies! Instead of the easy ride downstream that they’d expected, they faced their biggest challenge: retreat or start climbing! Looking back, they realised it was in conquering the Rockies that they gained the confidence they needed for what they’d face later. John Maxwell writes, ‘…you will become a better, stronger, wiser and more resilient person through solving problems.’ Sociologists who study resiliency – the ability to bounce back – tell us that people handle trauma in two ways. They either give up because they’re afraid, or they grow up by developing the capacity to handle it. What makes the difference? Instead of acting like victims, resilient people: (1) take charge of their lives; (2) refuse to relinquish their values; (3) refocus on their goal. A challenge is a gift, a blessing in disguise. Quitting is always simpler than enduring. But it produces a pattern that’s hard to break; one you live to regret. So if you’re thinking, ‘This relationship is too hard, I want out,’ or, ‘This job isn’t what I expected, I’m quitting,’ remember, you develop resiliency by remaining faithful in situations you don’t like and can’t change. That’s why the Bible says, ‘We give great honour to those who endure.’

AT THE CENTER

CHRIST MUST BE AT THE CENTER OF YOUR RELATIONSHIPS BECAUSE HE PROVIDES A STABLE, FIXED POINT OF REFERENCE; OTHERWISE, YOUR RELATIONSHIPS WILL BE FRAIL AND FRAGILE.

Every relationship is based or founded on something. For example, some relationships are based on the fact that both people work for the same company, attend the same school, or sharing a similar interest in a hobby or sport.

With all of relationships, once a common bond is no longer present, the relationship will tend to deteriorate. For example, once a child graduates from high school and moves off to college, he or she will probably lose most of the relationships formed with classmates, because school is no longer a common bond and thus there is nothing holding the relationship together.

However, if your relationships are formed around a common belief in Christ, then no matter what else happens in life, as long as that common bond is still present those relationships will last.

Thus, it is clear why 2 Corinthians 6:14 instructs believers not to marry unbelievers: Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

If you want to maintain lasting, stable relationships, they must be Christ-centered.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY :

“Who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:5)

Dear Lord God, I praise You. I honor You. This is the day the Lord has made; let me rejoice and be glad in it. Let the morning breeze bring me the joy of heaven and refresh my mind to receive new blessings from the Lord. May the Lord reach down to me and anoint me with oil and renew my strength that I will soar on wings like eagles’! Bless me O Lord; let me grow strong in Christ and inherit all You have from today till eternity for I am the one you love most.

Gratefully, in Jesus’ holy name. Amen !!!

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Fair Use Notice: There is some copyrighted material on this site, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in an effort to our efforts to advance understanding of serious issues. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit for educational purposes.

 

 

ADVERSITY

AAHANDLING ADVERSITY :

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. – Romans 5:3–4, NLT

The way you handle adversities has a huge impact on your success in life? If you shrink back, choose to get bitter and lose your enthusiasm, then you are allowing the difficulties of life to bury you. You are allowing hardship to keep you from your God-given destiny. But if you choose to keep pressing forward with a smile on your face, rejoicing even in the hard times, you are allowing God’s character to be developed inside of you. You are setting yourself up for promotion.

Think about this: the only difference between a piece of black coal and a priceless diamond is the amount of pressure that it’s endured. When you stand strong in the midst of the trials and difficulties in life, when you allow God to shape and mold your character, it’s like going from a piece of coal to a priceless diamond. Those difficulties are going to give way to new growth, new potential, new talent, new friendships, new opportunities, new vision. You’re going to see your life blossom in ways that you’ve never even dreame

RECOGNIZE THE REAL ENEMY :

Mark 8:33, “But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.”

Jesus was not implying that Peter and Satan were one-and-the-same, but was referring to the fact that Satan had inspired Peter’s statement. This type of metaphor was used elsewhere in scripture such as when God spoke to the serpent in the garden of Eden (Gen. 3:15) as though addressing Satan. The serpent was merely the vehicle of communication Satan used to tempt Adam and Eve, while Peter was the vehicle Satan used to tempt Jesus. Ephesians 6:12 reveals that our warfare isn’t with people, but against the spiritual powers who inspire and use people. Jesus recognized that Peter’s reaction to His prophecy about His death was motivated by His enemy, Satan, so He went right to the source.

Every Christian is at war. There is a perpetual struggle against Satan and his kingdom from which there are no “leaves” or “discharges.” Our enemy goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8). Those who resist the devil will see him flee (Jas. 4:7).

Some of us believe that anger will put others in their place. But “the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God” (Jas. 1:20). Anger against people makes us play right into the hand of the devil. The way to overcome the spiritual powers that come against us through people is to turn the other cheek (Mt. 5:39). This makes the demons flee in terror. We cannot win a spiritual battle with carnal weapons. We must realize who the real enemy is and fight with the spiritual weapons the Lord has given us. It is supposed by many that the higher echelons of the devil’s spiritual authority take more power to rebuke or remove. That’s not true. There is no demonic power, including the devil himself, that will not flee at the name of Jesus when faith is put in that name. What a wonderful name!

LIVE IN POWER :

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. – Romans 6:4

As a believer, you actually have residing in you the same new life God gave Jesus when He raised Him from the dead. The old sinner you once were has died. You’ve become a new creation on the inside.

You are full of the resurrection life of God!

But sin, disobedience and living a selfish, carnal life will keep that resurrection life from flowing out. Sin will separate you from the power of God, even though you’re born again. Resurrection life will lay dormant in you if you walk in sin.

You can’t overcome sin by trying to stop sinning, however. You overcome it by walking after the new life God has put within you; by spending time in the Word and in prayer. As you do that, the Spirit of God will strengthen you and enable you to put that sin under your feet.

Remember, though, the Holy Spirit will not subdue those old fleshly habits of yours on His own. He’ll wait on you to take the initiative. Then He will strengthen you to follow through with your decision. He will teach you how to walk in the new life that is in you.

Take the first step today by asking for His help. Say, “Lord, I desire to experience the power to live by this new life every day. By a decision of my heart, I put down the dictates of sin. I declare myself dead to it. In Jesus’ Name, I will spend time in prayer and in the Word today. As I do, I believe I’ll receive a Holy Ghost refreshing in my life. I believe I’ll begin to live out the resurrection power that You’ve placed in me!”

AS WHITE AS SNOW

Your sins . . . shall be as white as snow. —Isaiah 1:18

I was driving my son home from school one day when snow began to fall. The cottony fluff came down steadily and quickly. Eventually, we slowed to a stop, boxed in by traffic. From inside our vehicle, we watched a transformation take place. Dark patches of soil turned white. Snow softened the sharp outlines of buildings; it coated the cars around us, and accumulated on every tree in sight.

That snowfall reminded me of a spiritual truth: Just as that snow covered everything in sight, God’s grace covers our sin. But grace doesn’t just cover sin, graceerases sin. Through the prophet Isaiah, God appealed to the Israelites, saying, “Come now, and let us reason together . . . though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isa. 1:18). When God made this promise, His children had a painful problem with sin. God compared them to a physical body plagued with “wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil” (v.6 NIV).
As bad as their sin was, God was willing to extend His grace to them. As His children today, we have the same assurance. Sin may stain our lives, but when we repent and confess it, we have “the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of [God’s] grace” (Eph. 1:7).

Lord, give me courage to confess,
To bare my sinful heart to Thee;
Forgiving love You long to show
And from my sin to set me free.

The weight of sin is balanced only by the blood of Christ.

EXCEEDINGLY ABUNDANTLY

EPHESIANS 1:15    Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,
16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:
17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,
18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power
20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,
23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

EPHESIANS 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,
17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height —
19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
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,
21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

HE WILL DELIVER YOU!

“A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all” (Psalm 34:19, NIV)

No matter what “troubles” you may be facing today, God has promised to deliver you! Notice today’s verse doesn’t say He’s going to deliver you from “some” of your troubles as long you say and do everything perfectly. No, if you are righteous today, then God promises to deliver you from all of your troubles.

How do you know if you are righteous? When you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, when you accept His forgiveness and choose to believe that He is working in your life, then you are righteous. The Bible says in Romans 4, that “Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Your faith in the goodness of God is His righteousness at work in your heart!

If you are facing troubles today, expect that God has a way of escape for you. Expect that He is working behind the scenes on your behalf. Meditate on this verse and let it sink down deeply into your heart. Know that God is good, and He is your Deliverer today!

PRAYER FOR THE DAY :

“Who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:5)

Dear Lord God, I praise You. I honor You. I thank You God for another beautiful day. Your smile shines through the cloud with radiant sunshine. You brighten up the world and light up my life. Every living thing is on its revival under Your grace this morning. Let the archangel lead all the angels sing and dance around the throne of grace when everyone on the earth shout loud of Your praise. I am very well blessed today for the Lord my God loves me more than I deserve.

Gratefully, in Jesus’ holy name. Amen !!!

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REWARDS

excelsGod Sees Things Men Do Not!

Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much.  Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury;  “for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”  Matthew 12:41-44

Jesus watched how people put money into the treasury and the rich though they had put in much. But in reality the poor widow gave the most. For she had put in all she had.  As a result her reward in heaven would be great, while the reward of the rich would be very small. For the words of  Jesus are true even this day:

“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. “But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, “desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  “So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom.

The rich man also died and was buried. “And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’

But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.  ‘And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

“Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, ‘for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’  “Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’  “And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ “But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ” Luke 16:19-31

Life is only a once around thing. We do not get a second chance at life. Our real decisions, choices and actions here on earth determine our eternal consequences. If we live only for this temporal world we are nothing but fools just like the rich man. For one day it will all pass away and then we shall be in an eternal world.

Now for some it might be in places they never expected to be. While for others they will be in heaven but only at the bottom level or in the outer courts. Their mansion and kingdom will not be as it could have been, as they had lived quite well here on earth spending things on themselves and ignoring the work of God, as well as others.  So Jesus wisely told His disciples:

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

A wise man loses what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose and will be with him forever. For the kingdom of God will last forever and will outlast ever other kingdom.  Now Jesus went onto state about how we look at things and whom we serve:

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.   “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!  “No one 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.

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;  “and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  Matthew 6:22-30

It’s true that God’s people cannot serve both God and Mammon they have to make a choice of one or the other. But God, who feeds the birds of the air and clothes the lilies of the field, is able to take care of His own.  Not all can accept this fact and some feel that God helps those who help themselves. Such people usually end up in trouble and really will need God’s help. While others lean to their own understanding and make poor and faulty decisions and pay the resultant price for their foolishness. For God’s word is true:

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.  But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:6-12

According to the Word of God we brought nothing into the world and it is certain we will take nothing out. Those who desire to be rich will fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. Due to the love of money some will stray from the faith in their greediness, and pierce themselves through with many sorrows. Definitely this not a nice circumstance to be in.  For God’s word is true:

For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:16-17

The waywardness of man places him in very precarious position that leaves him far from the purposes God has called him to. Man is destroyed by his own ways. He has forgotten to listen to God’s voice and heed His words. Then he cries when he receives no answer to his prayers.  His ways lead to death and destruction.  Man harbors only fair opinions of himself and God. Yet he does not do what takes courage to do. God has told him in His Word to be of good courage and do His judgments and follow His statutes. But no, he has to ignore the truth and follow after the vain philosophies of men. Rather doing what men think best than what God thinks is best.

Men’s carnal, frail ways have quickly taken them away from God and have destroyed them. So too now they will be truly destroyed because they have ignored God’s warning through His humble servants and refused to listen to His voice within them. They have chosen the world and vain philosophies to serving God in simplicity and truth.  God will do to them as they did to His humble servants. When they cry He will not hear. When they face calamity He will not see. When they draw their last breath He will not sigh. As they had no compassion for the suffering of their own brethren He has no compassion for them. Their destruction has come upon them and they will be no more shortly. For God’s word is true:

Turn at my rebuke;  Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;  I will make my words known to you.  Because I have called and you refused,  I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,  Because you disdained all my counsel,  And would have none of my rebuke,  I also will laugh at your calamity;  I will mock when your terror comes, When your terror comes like a storm,   And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,  When distress and anguish come upon you.

“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;  They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.  Because they hated knowledge  And did not choose the fear of the LORD, They would have none of my counsel  And despised my every rebuke.   Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,  And be filled to the full with their own fancies.  For the turning away of the simple will slay them,  And the complacency of fools will destroy them;

But whoever listens to me will dwell safely,  And will be secure, without fear of evil.” Proverbs 1:23-33

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FOLLOW ME

AAGOD’S WILL ABOVE OURS :

Luke 9:23, “And he said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

Self-denial is an important part of the Christian life. Jesus sacrificed His life for us and He demands that we die to ourselves that we might experience the new life He has provided. We do this first by recognizing that we can’t save ourselves by our own effort and, second, by trusting God – not self – for salvation. Then daily, we need to deny our own wisdom and seek God’s wisdom and direction for our lives.

Self-denial is only good when we are denying ourselves for the singular purpose of exalting Jesus and His will for us in some area of our life. Some have made a religion out of self-denial and find pleasure in their denial – not in Jesus’lordship. This leads to legalism and bondage, which Paul condemned as will worship (Col. 2:23). We are told not only to deny ourselves, but to “deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus.”

The cross is what Jesus died on. There are circumstances in our lives which, like the cross of Jesus, give us the opportunity to die to ourselves each day. These are not things like sickness, poverty, etc., for which Jesus’ atonement provided redemption, but rather things like persecution (which we are not redeemed from) and the constant battle between our flesh and our born again spirit. The cross that we must bear is to take God’s Word (which is His will) and exalt it above our own will in each situation every day.

DON’T LET OTHERS CONTROL YOU :

It is an honor for a man to cease from strife and keep aloof from it, but every fool will quarrel. – Proverbs 20:3, AMP

Did you know that when you allow someone else’s words or actions to upset you, you’re allowing them to control you? When you say, “You make me so mad,” you’re really just admitting that their actions have power over you. As long as that person knows they can push your buttons, as long as you keep responding the same way, you are giving them exactly what they want. Sure, people have a right to say and do things that are upsetting, but we also have a right to not get offended. We have a right to overlook their actions. In fact, the Bible says that it’s an honor for a man to keep “aloof” from strife. In other words, we have to remove ourselves, either physically or emotionally, from strife and offense. It’s not easy, but we can choose to let it roll off of us like water off a duck’s back!

Remember, you don’t need everyone to agree with you all the time. You don’t have to have the approval of others in order to be approved by God. Your job is to be the person God made you to be. Overlook offenses and let go of strife so you can live in peace and victory all the days of your life!

TELL THE GOOD NEWS :

God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. – 2 Corinthians 5:19

Very few unsaved people today have ever really heard the good news. Why? Because too many Christians are busy telling the world God is mad at them. And telling them that they’re terrible and wrong. Some call that good news, but it’s not, and it’s not what God has commissioned us to share.

He’s given us the “word of reconciliation”!

He’s sent us to tell the news that God has restored harmony and fellowship between Himself and men. All men. Not just believers. Not just the people in your church, but everyone!

That’s right. The worst old reprobate sinner in the world is every bit as reconciled to God as you are. Look at Romans 5:10 and you’ll see what I mean. It says that “when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.”

Reconciled. That word is past tense. God has already restored fellowship between Himself and the world. He did it when there was not one person on earth except Jesus who believed in the new birth. He did it when the entire world was lying in sin.

Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God has cleansed and forgiven and restored to Himself every man, woman and child on the face of this earth. All any of us have to do now is receive that good news.

That’s the good word God has given us. That’s the word we need to share with those who are lost. If we’ll do it, I can almost guarantee you, they won’t stay lost very long.

JESUS HAS YOU COVERED :

 LEVITICUS 1:4 – Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him.

Imagine the perfection of Jesus covering you from head to toe in the sight of God every moment of the day. Does that sound like a dream? My friend, that is your reality today because Jesus became your burnt offering at the cross.

In the case of the burnt offering, when the offerer lays his hand on the animal sacrifice (Leviticus 1:3–4), the perfection and beauty of the unblemished sacrifice is transferred to him, and God sees and accepts him in the perfection of the animal.

In Hebrew, the word “accepted” implies being treated with favor, delight and acceptance. This means that you, for whom Jesus became a burnt offering, are treated by God with favor, delight and acceptance because the beauty and perfection of Jesus have been transferred to you. As your burnt offering, Jesus has made atonement for you on your behalf.

 Jesus is your atonement or covering for sin. How precious Jesus is to the Father is how precious you are to the Father because when the Father sees you, He sees Jesus, your atonement, your covering.

 So every day, take Jesus as your burnt offering. Come to God and say, “Father, I thank You that Jesus is my burnt offering. He covers me from head to toe with His righteousness. I thank you Father, that You see me without spot or wrinkle. You see me covered in all the value and perfection of the work of Your Son. What He is to You, I am. Who He is to You, I am. As He is now, so am I. I am in Him!” (1 John 4:17)

 Jesus has you covered. You don’t appear before the Father with all your faults and shortcomings. Jesus proclaims to you what is right with you in spite of what is wrong with you because He has covered you with His perfection. Today, hear Him telling you, “Go, girl! I have you covered. There is nothing for you to worry about!” Hear Him saying to you, “Go for it, son! I am covering you. There is nothing for you to fear!”

THE FINGER OF GOD (3)

‘…And He gave to Moses…tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.’ Exodus 31:18 ESV

The finger of God in stone. Why do you think God wrote the Ten Commandments in stone? Because His principles are permanent and unchanging. You say, ‘But what about all those people who have never heard God’s Word? How will He judge them?’ Paul answers: ‘Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law…show that they know His law when they instinctively obey it…They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.’ (Romans 2:14-15 NLT) Your conscience acts like a compass. If you let it, it’ll guide you right. But when you reject its warnings, its voice gets quieter and quieter until you can no longer hear it. That’s a dangerous condition to be in. Paul writes, ‘Having faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected, concerning the faith, have suffered shipwreck.’ (1 Timothy1:19 NKJV) Picture yourself standing on a bridge, dropping pebbles into a pond and watching the ripples go out to the edge. It’s just a little pebble, but look at the effect it has! Yet in winter, when that same pond freezes over, you can drive a truck across it. Your conscience is like that. When you keep disobeying God, your heart becomes calloused and hardened and you no longer hear Him speaking to you. Paul writes, ‘…I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.’ (Acts 24:16 NIV) That’s a good rule of thumb for you to live by!

SEE THE REAL JESUS

MATTHEW 4:24 News about Him spread as far as Syria, and people soon began bringing to Him all who were sick. And whatever their sickness or disease, or if they were demon-possessed or epileptic or paralyzed—He healed them all.

The Bible tells us that if you want to know what God is like, just look at Jesus. If you want to know how the Father feels about healing the sick, just look at Jesus! Jesus ALWAYS healed the sick who came to Him. The blind, lame, mute, deaf and demon-possessed—He healed them ALL!

Jesus never gave sickness to anybody. You’ll find Jesus healing lepers when He was on earth, but you’ll never find Him calling anyone over and saying to the person, “You are too healthy and good-looking. Receive some leprosy to learn how to be humble!” No, when a leper came to Him, uncertain that Jesus would want to heal him, Jesus, full of compassion, told him firmly, “I am willing. Be healed!”

That’s your Jesus. That is your God. Come confidently to Jesus, the Lord who heals you—today and always (Exodus 15:26)!
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FALSE TEACHERS

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FALSE TEACHERS

The church often draws such impostors because of a perversion of the Christian doctrine of grace. The Christian gospel offers a complete forgiveness of sin, and not only that, a fresh start as a new creation. But both Jesus and the apostles warn us that this can easily be perverted into a kind of anti-christ license. Faith is not real without repentance, and faith is not like that of the demons, simply assenting to truth claims. Faith works itself out in love. Faith follows after the lordship of King Jesus. Faith takes up a cross.

Restitution is hardly every preached today by it’s apostate churches Simply saying sorry is not enough. Zacchaeus paid his victims back. Restitution should be a requirement for the these false ones!

1. False teachers are proud. They are concerned for their own popularity. They are concerned for their own fame. They are concerned for their own notoriety. They are concerned for their own prestige. They’re concerned to see themselves and hear themselves in the public eye. They want large crowds, as it were, to bow down in great homage to them. They’re characterized by pride and they will do anything to gain the ground they need to gain for the welfare of their own personal ego, including any amount of compromise necessary.

2. Secondly, false teachers are characterized by selfishness. They tend to be self-centered. They are concerned for their own comfort. They are concerned for their own popularity. They are concerned for their own prosperity. In the end, it’s all about money, fame, and prestige and notoriety equals an increased bank account. They are in it for the money and the personal material benefits that they can gain as they endeavor to feed their selfish desires.

3. Thirdly, They are characterized by deception. They usually can weave a very sophisticated web of deception in their teaching because they tend to be articulate, if they’re going to be successful, and they endeavor to engage other people to aid them in their deceitful enterprise which gives it the, sort of, façade of credibility.

4. They’re not only proud and selfish and deceptive, but [fourthly] they’re irreverent. If there’s anything that sort of dominates in my thinking about false teachers, it is their irreverence. They have absolutely no regard for God. The fact that they would go against God, that they would elevate themselves the way they do, that they would pervert the truth indicates their utter irreverence. They have little, if any, regard for God, His Word, His truth, His glory, His honor…

5. Finally, they are spiritually destructive. They seek to use people; they seek to abuse people. They seek to lead people into error, which destroys them—into sin, which pollutes them.

So, as you look at false teachers with regard to the world, they are proud and they seek fame and popularity. With regard to themselves, they are self-centered, selfish, self-aggrandizing, self-gratifying. With regard to the nature of their ministry, they are dishonest and deceptive and lack integrity. With regard to God, they are utterly irreverent; in fact, they are blasphemous. And, with regard to the people that they influence, they are spiritually destructive. So, their relationship to the world, their relationship to the ministry, their relationship to themselves, their relationship to God, their relationship to their people all reflects the deviation of their hearts. John F. MacArthur Jr., Concerns of a True Pastor: Humility and Selflessness, 1998

Today’s preachers along with some who have passed on whose ministry or teachings continue, who are either teaching a false doctrine or are using the Doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ for the benefit of their own selfishness and gain. Some of these preachers lay claim that Jesus is the only way to Heaven (and they would be right), but at the same time, they preach that personal gain is the main message.

Fundamentalists have always argued that Christians should stay out of politics. But then Fundamentalists unlike Jesus didn’t heal the sick, cast out demons or raise the dead? And God always has his prophets who warn His people of demonic ones like Obama who opens the flood gates of hell into America! But the bible does tell us

Proverbs 11: 10 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; And when the wicked perish, there is jubilation.

Proverbs 28:28 When the wicked arise, men hide themselves; But when they perish, the righteous increase

“Homosexuals are the most intolerant of all people I’ve met. I’ve encountered Ku Klux Klan members that are more tolerant.”

“The white homo who now lives in the community — and there are a lot of them that moved up here — they brought their restaurants with them, they brought some of their lifestyle, they brought their Starbucks coffee with them … and like anybody else they prey on black men, they convert black men.”

“Anyone who promotes that as a lifestyle and tries to make it a national and international event and create warfare upon everybody else, then the appropriate response would be to stone them back to the Stone Age, or stone them back to hell.”

When Jesus sent thirty-five groups of two into the cities to prepare for His arrival, He instructed them in what to say. Also He instructed His disciples that if the people of the city would not receive the message, that they were to shake the dust from their feet and move on. I think it is interesting that Jesus didn’t instruct His disciples to stay and try to convince the people, or to argue the truth until they got it. He simply said, if they won’t listen, move on. (Matt. 10:14.)

Your most valuable commodity on earth is your time. Time is the currency of life. As an employee, you exchange your time for money. At the end of your pay period when you receive your paycheck, it not only represents what you can buy, but it represents so many hours of time that you exchanged. Jesus said that Satan is a thief. (John 10:10.) Satan wants to steal your time. He can fill your time with regret from the past or he can fill your time with the worries of the future. But he can also steal your time by using unreasonable people who will not change. These people tempt you to believe they can change and thus you spend hour after hour, day after day, and sometimes year after year working on a project that’s not fixable.

Of course, there are those who can be fixed, and we should be led by the Holy Spirit and do whatever is necessary to resolve their issues of life. However, too many people are led by compassion and guilt or the pride of believing that they can fix everything, when in reality they should shake the dust from their feet and move on.

So the next time you encounter an unreasonable person, pray in the spirit and seek the counsel of God. Yield not to your own understanding, but acknowledge Him and allow yourself to be guided by the Spirit. You may be the one person who can fix what everybody else thought was not fixable. But don’t allow the enemy to steal your time through unreasonable people with hardened hearts who will never change.

All frauds attempting to make themselves appear to be more spiritual are eventually exposed by the Holy Spirit.  The real move is an spiritual conn artist who is after money.  This guy sounds that he has been trying to copy Benny Hinn but is being exposed.  Praise the Lord!  Many so called evangelists during early days 1900’s used to pay people to pretend that they were sick and healed and died and rose up praising God and made up all kinds of stories about them being healed by the “so-called great preacher” who did t is miracle.  They were called “shills”who were paid well because the offerings would be big.  Then, they would move on to the next town or city with their “travelling road shows”.  The movie called, “Elmer Gantree” was based on those kind of “fake ministries”.  The problem is that when this is done today people are again people do not want to believe they were taken advantage because they don’t want to believe the preach was a spiritual con artist.  They loved the show because they had wonderful emotional experiences thinking that it was the Holy Spirit.  As the saying was, “The hand is faster than the eye.” No, by what has been claimed about Suarez, he is the newest side show proclaimer and now, it’s his turn to take the stage and get the money and the bows. Yours in Jesus Christ,

These people are obviously are hearing from “another spirit” but not the “Holy Spirit”.  Their lack of knowledge about the history of the Church and the “Reformation”, the Bible and the Holy Spirit and how the RC church and their quenching of the Holy Spirit and a church structure that is completely unscriptural  demonstrates that he is easily shows his ignorance.  He has been listening to evil spirits for his direction that they cannot tell the difference between the voice of evils spirits and the Holy Spirit.  Again, they are proven to be what Jesus said to the Sadducees, “You are wrong because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God (Matt. 22: 29).  Paul warned the Ephesians, ‘’so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind if doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles (Eph. 4: 14).  It is pretty obvious that they have always been out of God’s will by the kind of so-called church they have attempted to build.  They were so off track to think that the elders were not seeing them depart from any truth as he was moving away from the Gospel.  And, the bottom line is that they could accept “a prophet word”  when the only voice we are supposed to hear is the Voice of the Holy Spirit Himself.  While they were false prophets themselves, they couldn’t know the difference when false prophetic so called words which were not from God led them away.  These were and are condemned by their leading and listening to false prophets who were trained up by them.  They are described by Jeremiah 5: 30 – 31.

True believers in Christ, Christians, walk in Holy Ghost power that gives proof of the resurrection. As already said this is way more than quoting a bible scripture, teaching a nice Sunday school class or sharing with a friend at the coffee shop. Jesus said, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do because I go unto my Father” (John 14:12).

Before a person can receive the benefits of salvation they need to know what belongs to them. This is confirmed in the scripture, “Faith cometh for by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). Once you know what belongs to you then all you need to do is receive it. That goes as much for deliverance from unclean spirits as it does for physical healing. The Apostle Paul wrote that he prayed for believers to come to the place where they knew what belonged to them in Christ. Today we could call those the benefits of salvation. He wrote,

“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: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.” (Ephesians 1:17-22)


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TEMPLE OF GOD

AAJESUS, THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE :

Matthew 16:18, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Some people have mistakenly interpreted this passage to say that Peter was the foundation on which Christ would build His Church. However, that would violate many scriptures that refer to Jesus as the “chief cornerstone.”

Ephesians 2:20 does mention the apostles as being part of the foundation stones of Christ’s church, but it doesn’t single Peter out above any of the other apostles, This same scripture once again mentions Jesus as the “chief cornerstone.”

There are two different Greek words used for “Peter” and “rock” respectively in verse 18. The word used for “Peter” means “rock” but signifies a piece of rock like a pebble. In contrast, the word translated as “rock” signifies a massive rock which certainly refers to Jesus, the “chief cornerstone.” Some have suggested that the foundation rock referred to was confession that Peter made saying that Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt. 16:16). Although it is true that, to enter God’s kingdom, we do have to confess that Jesus is Lord (Rom. 10:9-10), in light of the Old Testament prophecies and New Testament references to Jesus being the “chief cornerstone,” this passage of scripture must be referring directly to Jesus as the “rock” upon which He will build His church.

One of the greatest differences between the New Testament believer and the Old Testament believer is the fact that New Testament saints are the temple of God. God Himself actually indwells us. God does not dwell in a building made by man’s hands. He now lives in the hearts of those who make Jesus their Lord (Rom. 10:9). The cornerstone of our lives in God must be an ever-increasing revelation of His Son. If we had a real understanding of the reality of Christ in us (Col. 1:27), it would drastically change our attitudes, emotions, and actions.

Note that God will restore all the enemy has taken from you (Joel 2:25).

DON’T HESITATE :

He that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. – James 1:6-8

What happens when you hesitate to do something God has told you to do? Your adversary takes the first step. The devil gets the jump on you.

If you want to live by faith, hesitation is one of the most hazardous habits you could ever have. It comes from being indecisive. The Bible says a man like that is “unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything he thinks, feels, decides” (The Amplified Bible).

If you are double-minded, the decisions you make are split. You try to live by faith and protect your fear at the same time. You make faith statements like “I believe God is going to heal me.” Then your fear whispers, “But I wouldn’t want to say I’m well just yet.” You’re so busy going back and forth between faith and fear, you can’t make any progress at all.

Kick the habit of hesitation today. Make a solid decision to trust in and act on the Word of God. Settle it forever. Resolve never to entertain doubts again. When doubt comes to your mind, cast it out quickly.

When God speaks, don’t waste a moment. Step right out in faith. That way, you can always keep the devil a step behind you!

 QUEST FOR STOLEN TREASURE

[Jesus] said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” —Matthew 4:19

In J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, the dwarfs gathered to go up against Smaug, the fierce dragon, to retrieve their stolen treasure. In spite of the dangerously frightening quest, Balin, the dwarfs’ second-in-command, expressed confidence in Thorin: “There is one I could follow. There is one I could call King.” His commitment to the mission, as dangerous as it was, was empowered by his confidence in his leader.

At the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry, He gathered a group around Him that would join Him in the kingdom task of rescuing the treasure of lost souls from our enemy, Satan. When He called them, He said, “Follow Me” (Matt. 4:19). For them, following Jesus would mean a radical transition from catching fish to the enterprise of being fishers of men and women who were lost in the grip of sin. But the task would not always be easy; Jesus referred to the quest as taking up our cross to follow Him (see Matt. 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23).

How do we stay engaged in the battle to reclaim Christ’s lost treasures when it seems intimidating or awkward? By keeping our eye on our Leader. He indeed is worthy—One we can follow, the One we call King!

Lord, in the face of intimidation and fear when seeking to engage others with the gospel, remind me that they are Your lost treasures. I count it
a privilege to follow You into others’ lives.

Follow your Leader into the lives of those around you.

PERSISTENCE

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF PERSISTENCE

You can have all the talent in the world but if you don’t have persistence, you’ll never bring it out. Without persistence, you’ll never see all that God has in store for you. Galatians 6 puts it this way: “Do not grow weary in well doing for in due season you will reap a harvest.” That’s persistence. It means there is some effort involved, but God will reward your effort with success!

When I think of persistence, I think of my husband. Joel Osteen is one of the most diligent and persistent people on the planet! Years ago, he didn’t know he would be a preacher. He didn’t know he would a best-selling author. He didn’t know all that God had deposited within him. But he stayed faithful with what he had in his hand. He was persistent, and that persistence paid off.

Imagine if Joel would have given up. Imagine if he would have listened to the critics. Think of all the hundreds of thousands of people who would not have heard the good news! Now, think of all the people that God has in your future—the people God wants you to reach. Those people need your persistence. They need you to forge ahead.

The thing is that God is not asking you to bring your own victory. He’s not asking you to bring your own progress. He’s simply asking you to not give up! He’s simply asking you to stay in the game. He’s simply saying, “Don’t quit! Don’t faint! Don’t lose ground!”

Anytime you feel tempted to quit because you don’t think you are getting anywhere, remember that oftentimes, we grow in the unseen realm before we grow in the seen realm. We grow spiritually, we grow emotionally, we increase in wisdom and maturity before those doors of opportunity open before us. Don’t ever get tired of learning the lessons. Sometimes we have to learn the same ones over and over, but when it sticks, that’s when we are equipped to grow to another level. Remember, you can’t fail if you don’t quit! Stay in the process because your due season of harvest is on the way. Don’t underestimate the power of persistence!

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9, NIV)

PRAYER FOR THE DAY :

“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12;2)

Dear Lord God, I praise You. I honor You. I see Your face in every sunrise. Your smile breaks through the cloud with radiant sunshine. You brighten up the world and light up my life. Your Spirit comes upon me that my life is on revival. Wash away all my worries and nourish my desert life today. Let the Spirit of God come upon me and make me more like Christ for I am Your chosen servant and wonderfully made child.

Gratefully, in Jesus’ holy name. Amen !!!

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