Monthly Archives: November 2014

CHOOSE

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CHOOSE MERCY TODAY & CHOOSE VICTORY…

This time of year always warms my heart and reminds me of many wonderful holidays spent with family and friends. But, I’ve found that if I’m not careful, I can find myself getting wrapped up in the busyness of the season, things to do, people to see and gifts to buy. I think this is true for most people. Many people live life “maxed out” before the holiday season even starts, and then adding just a little extra stress on top creates a recipe for frustration, hurt feelings and strife.

The Bible warns us in James 3:16 that when strife comes in, it opens the door for “every evil work.” We have to close the door on strife and use wisdom when planning our days. We have to consciously make the effort to receive God’s grace, extend mercy to others, and hold on to peace.

Grace is God’s supernatural favor, mercy and empowerment upon you. It’s His ability working in you to accomplish what you need to. When Jesus left the earth, He said, “I may be going away, but I’m sending One who will never leave you—the Holy Spirit will reside in you and teach you all things.” When you align yourself with the Spirit of God, you will be equipped for every good work by His grace. His grace will empower you to love others and help you navigate the holiday season!

When you receive God’s grace, it empowers you to extend mercy. Choosing mercy means choosing victory because mercy triumphs over judgment! That’s why Jesus showed mercy everywhere He went. Scripture tells us that Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, denied Him three times after He was arrested to be crucified. Do you know how Jesus responded? When He rose from the dead, He appeared to Mary at the tomb and said, “Tell everyone that I’ve risen…and go find Peter!” Jesus singled Peter out because He wanted him to know that he was still loved, valued and forgiven. Jesus didn’t hold a grudge. Instead, He extended mercy to Peter and restored him. He extends that same mercy to us every day, and we can extend it to others this holiday season!

Maybe the holidays don’t bring back good memories for you. Maybe you’ve been hurt, denied or rejected by someone. Maybe you are working through some pain right now. Remember, Jesus gave us an example of mercy, and He has equipped us by His grace to overcome. It’s easy to take offense. It’s easy to hold on to the hurt and pain of the past. But the best way to move forward is to give all that pain to God and let Him heal you. Receive His grace so that you can show mercy this holiday season and every day of the year!

“Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.” (2 John 1:3, NIV)

BLESSED

WITH THE EXCELLENT AND THE PLENTY

Deuteronomy 28:4 – “Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.

Would you want to buy a chair that Jesus made? I would, even if it cost US$1,000 because it would be of superb quality. Whatever Jesus did, He did it with perfect excellence.
And because Christ is in you, the things which you produce will be of exceptional quality too. That includes your children, who will be champions. Deuteronomy 28:4 says, “Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks”.

God was using terms that the Israelites understood since they were farmers and shepherds. Today, “your ground” is the place of your work. This means that “the produce” of your work shall be of excellent quality.

That is not all. God promises that quantity will always follow quality because Deuteronomy 28:11 says that the Lord will “grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body,” which means that you will have plenty of children, “in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground,” which means that your business will flourish and you will be a leading producer in the area of your specialty.

My friend, your excellence and plenty do not come by your efforts. They come by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who paid for you to have divine provision—“though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich”. (2 Corinthians 8:9)

Jesus was made destitute of all material things at the cross. He had nothing! As He hung on the cross, He watched the Roman soldiers gamble for His robe. His last possession on earth was gambled away. He became poor, so that you could be blessed with the excellent and the plenty!

Thought For The Day
Jesus was made destitute of all material things at the cross, so that you could be blessed with the excellent and the plenty!

CHRIST-LIKE-NESS …

‘We share in His sufferings…that we may also share in His glory.’ Romans 8:17 NIV

God’s number–one goal for you isn’t comfort, it’s Christ–like–ness! And to reach it you’ll have to undergo some of the same experiences that Jesus went through—like being misunderstood by your family, ridiculed by church members, rejected by the world, and disappointed by the people who say they love you. The Bible says we’ve been called to ‘share in His sufferings…that we may also share in His glory.’ So how do we do this? In three ways:

(1) Stay focused on God’s plan, not your pain. ‘Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.’ (Hebrews 12:1–2 NLT) Corrie ten Boom said, ‘If you look within, you’ll feel depressed, if you look without, you’ll be distressed, but if you look to Christ, you’ll be at rest.’

(2) Don’t give in to short–term thinking. Look at Jesus, ‘Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross.’ (Hebrews 12:2 NLT) Keep your eye on the finish line. You don’t get the trophy until the race is over, so make up your mind to ‘stay the course’ and finish strong.

(3) Start praying the right way. When you understand that God’s objective is to make you more like Christ, you’ll start praying fewer ‘comfort me’ prayers and more ‘conform me’ ones. Instead of asking, ‘Why me, Lord?’ you’ll ask, ‘What do You want me to learn, Lord?’ James writes, ‘Let the process go on until…you have become men [and women] of mature character.’ (James 1:4 PHPS) That’s how you become more Christ–like.

ARISE AND SHINE!

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. – 2 Corinthians 1:20

Beloved, because of Jesus’ perfect finished work at the cross, all of God’s promises of provision, protection and good success are yes and Amen! Meditate on this unchanging truth. Say these words out loud:

I declare that I am special in Jesus’ eyes, and He loves me unconditionally. I have an awesome destiny. Jesus has equipped me with gifts, talents and abilities. Today, I receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness to reign in life. I give thanks that His favor surrounds me like a shield and opens doors of opportunities for me. Because of Jesus, I shall be the head and not the tail, above and not beneath, the lender and not the borrower. I shall not suffer lack but be surrounded by His abundance, His wisdom, His peace and His protection.

Thank You, Jesus, for Your finished work at the cross for me. I receive a fresh revelation of Your love right now and thank You that everything my hands touch shall be blessed! I believe with all my heart that I am greatly blessed, highly favored and deeply loved! Amen!

God’s promises are eternal, and what He has said in His Word cannot be altered in any way (Psalm 119:89). That means that every good thing He has promised you, MUST come to pass!

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ALL THINGS

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Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.

Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

SHALL NOT LACK

will rejoice

SHALL NOT LACK ANY GOOD THING

Judges 18:10 When you go, you will come to a secure people and a large land. For God has given it into your hands, a place where there is no lack of anything that is on the earth.”

Psalms 34:10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.

The word of God promises that those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing, be it spiritual, physical, financial or social! Yet we live amongst people including Christians who lack all kinds of things! Now this doesn’t make sense at all and is contrary to the word of God!

And then we have those Christians who say they are going through a great trial and are suffering like Job did with the loss of everything!  But Job came out of his trial and God restored to Job double all his losses! So how come this  is not happening to Christians today that God is not restoring double their losses when God’s word say His will is prosperity?

3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.  3 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

The devil, who is a believer and believes God’s word and what He does, told the Lord “Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.” He acknowledged that the Lord was the source of Job’s blessing, protection and even health. So when he did his evil things and Job didn’t curse God, he told the Lord “But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face! The bible records:

Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.”
So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. “But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”  And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.”  So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.  And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes.   Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. Job 2:3-10

It’s to be noted that no matter what Job went through he held on to his faith in God that God would deliver him and heal him! And he was not put to shame. It’s also to be noted that God’s power is greater than the devil and He has to power not only to heal and deliver but to restore. The Word of God records for our profit and instruction:

And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.  Then all his brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been his acquaintances before, came to him and ate food with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversity that the LORD had brought upon him. Each one gave him a piece of silver and each a ring of gold.  Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys.  He also had seven sons and three daughters. Job 42:10-13

The good news is that the same LORD who healed Job and delivered him from all his suffering and sickness and restored to Him double all His losses hasn’t changed?  He is the same LORD who delivered Joseph out of all his troubles, and gave him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and his entire house? And what He has done for one He is able to do for another including perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle them after they have suffered for a while! God’s word is true:

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,  casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 1 Peter 5:6-10

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A TEST

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YOU CAN’T HAVE A TESTIMONY WITHOUT A TEST …

A testimony is often a way of sharing what God has done in a person’s life. However, in order to have a testimony there almost always was a test through which that person had to persevere.

It is, therefore, understandable that we are told to rejoice during trials — not because of the trials themselves, but because of the end result of the trials. In James 1:2-4, we are told, Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. In other words, we can have joy during trials, because we know that they help make us mature and complete — they refine us into the person God wants us to be.

A few verses later (in James 1:12), we are told the reward of enduring difficult times: Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

The challenging events that we go through are what refine us and make us more like Christ. Indeed, 1 Peter 1:6-7 says that one of the purposes of going through grief and trials is so that our faith can grow and be proven genuine.

Therefore, a real testimony of growing in faith and becoming like Christ requires going through a test. So, instead of despising your tests and trials, look forward to your testimony; after all, you can’t have a testimony without a test.

JESUS IS YOUR RESTORER AND NOURISHER

Ruth 4:15 – And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age…

Famine impoverished the life of Naomi, an Israelite. But it was the deaths of her husband and two sons that left her completely destitute. (Ruth 1:1–5) Or so she thought, until Boaz, who was a wealthy and close relative, entered her life.

As her kinsman-redeemer, Boaz married Ruth, Naomi’s widowed daughter-in-law. And through that union, Naomi had a grandson. The birth of her grandson gave her a new lease of life, causing the womenfolk in her village to declare that the restorer of life and the nourisher of her old age had come into her life. (Ruth 4:14–16)

Boaz is a picture of Jesus, our kinsman-redeemer. Jesus became our kinsman when He was born into this world as one like us. And He became our Redeemer when He paid with His life and blood at the cross to redeem us.

Jesus gave Himself to us as our restorer of life and nourisher of our old age. When the restorer of life is in our lives, what we have lost can be restored. (Joel 2:25−26) And with the nourisher of our old age in us, our bodies can be gloriously renewed even though we advance in our years.

That is why when Moses died at the age of 120, his eyes were not dim and his natural vigor was not diminished. (Deuteronomy 34:7) Caleb, at 85 years old, could still drive out the giants from the land. God had literally nourished his body and made it strong for war. (Joshua 14:11) Sarah was certainly rejuvenated in her old age by God for she was still desirable to a king at the age of 90. (Genesis 20:1–2) God even renewed her womb. She received strength to conceive seed (Hebrews 11:11), giving birth to Isaac in her old age.

Beloved, God is outside of time and your faith in Him brings you into this timeless zone. There, what the years have stolen will be restored. And even as your years increase, you will not grow weak and weary because the restorer of life and nourisher of your old age is in you!

Thought For The Day :

With Jesus the nourisher of our old age in us, our bodies can be gloriously renewed even though we advance in our years

JESUS – THE NAME ABOVE NAMES

Luke 23:9 “Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.”

Not only does Jesus’ refusal to defend Himself show His humility, but His refraining from venting His wrath against the man who senselessly killed His friend who was the greatest of the Old Testament prophets (Mt. 11:11), also displays His humble nature.

Because of Christ’s humility and obedience to the Father, God gave Him a name that is above every name in heaven, earth and under the earth. There is no exemption for anyone or anything from coming under the Lordship of Jesus. He is Lord of ALL.

Jesus has not only been exalted above every “being” that has a name, but He is also highly exalted above anything else that can be named. If you can put a name on it, Jesus is above it. Sickness, poverty, depression, anger – everything has to bow its knee to the Lordship of Jesus.

Every knee of men, angels, and demons will bow and confess that Jesus is Lord. Those who have denied His existence will bow in worship. Those who have spent their lives rebelling His authority will finally bow in submission.

Every being from all ages will ultimately bow and worship Jesus. If we bow our knee to His Lordship now, we will enjoy a wonderful life here on earth, and an eternity in His blessings hereafter. Those who deny His rightful claim to the Lordship of their lives will suffer for it in this life as well as in the next. They still will have to bow their knee to His authority, so there is nothing to gain and everything to lose if they refuse to make Jesus Lord of their life.

HAPPY ENDING

I saw a new heaven and a new earth. —Revelation 21:1

In its “plot,” the story of the Bible ends up very much where it began. The broken relationship between God and human beings has healed over at last, and the curse of Genesis 3 is lifted. Borrowing images from Eden, Revelation pictures a river and a tree of life (Rev. 22:1-2). But this time a great city replaces the garden setting—a city filled with worshipers of God. No death or sadness will ever darken that scene. When we awake in the new heaven and new earth, we will have at last a happy ending.

Heaven is not an afterthought or an optional belief. It is the final justification of all creation. The Bible never belittles human tragedy and disappointment—is any book more painfully honest?—but it does add one key word: temporary. What we feel now, we will not always feel. The time for re-creation will come.

For people who feel trapped in pain or in a broken home, in economic misery or in fear—for all of us—heaven promises a timeless future of health and wholeness and pleasure and peace. The Bible begins with the promise of a Redeemer in the book of Genesis (3:15) and ends with that same promise (Rev. 21:1-7)—a guarantee of future reality. The end will be the beginning.

Beyond earth’s sorrows, the joys of heaven;
Eternal blessings with Christ my Lord;
Earth’s weeping ended, earth’s trials over,
Sweet rest in Jesus, O blest reward!

The gains of heaven will more than compensate us for the losses of earth

 INNER BEAUTY …

‘He will give you the mighty inner strengthening of His Holy Spirit.’ Ephesians 3:16 TLB

A lady flew across the country to tell a talk show host how her husband had left her for another woman. The lady, who was young, vibrant and beautiful, pulled out a photograph and said, ‘Just look at her. He left me for that!’ The host concluded, ‘Sadly, we’ve been conditioned to think that “looks” are all–important, when, in fact, they’re not.’ Nevertheless we keep measuring, comparing, and beating ourselves up because we fall short. If you can’t enjoy who you are because of what you’re not, you’ll never be happy. Advertisers spend billions getting us to decorate a shell that’s in a losing battle with Mother Nature and Father Time—all in an effort to create what we think will attract others. And when it doesn’t work, we get depressed and wonder what went wrong. Of course, it’s important to look your best but, when you’re obsessed with your appearance, you become superficial. And others lose respect for you because they discover that although the box is beautifully wrapped, it’s empty. If you want to know what ultimately wins hearts and attracts the right people, read these words: ‘I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love…And may you have the power to understand…how long, how high, and how deep His love [for you] is…Then you will be made complete.’ (Ephesians 3:16–19 NLT)That’s the secret to inner beauty!

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VICTORY

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If it matters to you, it matters to Him! No care is too small to bring to your heavenly Father. God has provided everything we need in this life & in the life to come—forgiveness of sins, healing, victory, deliverance, & prosperity. God is so good!

Beloved, our God is a BIG God of abundance and inexhaustible supply. He is the Possessor of heaven and earth. He is El Shaddai—the Almighty, all-sufficient and all-nourishing one! And in Christ, the abundance of God’s wisdom, wealth, riches, power, favor, ability, strength and creativity that you need for a successful family, career and ministry, are yours to experience and enjoy as per Philippians 4::19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

The Lord’s plan for us has always been simple. He has said, “You don’t have to fear any power that comes against you. I’ll act as your defender at all times. If you will simply trust My sworn promises, casting yourself into My care by faith, I will be almighty God to you. I will conquer all your enemies and cast them down before you. You’ll be victorious, more than a conqueror—living out your days in peace, with no fear!”

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

Mark 10 27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

Luke 18 27 But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

Beloved, everyone who came to Jesus sick left completely healed. Our Lord Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Come receive your miracle!

FOR HIS TRUE TRUSTING ONES, GOD HAS PROMISED TO:

1) FIGHT ALL THEIR BATTLES – Deuteronomy 20:4 for the LORD your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’

2) BE AN ENEMY TO THEIR ENEMIES  – Exodus 23:22 But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.

3) HEAL THEM Exodus 15:26 and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.”

4) MEET AND SUPPLY ALL THEIR NEEDS – Philippians 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

5)  GIVE THEM VICTORY  – 1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

6) HANDLE ANY PROBLEM GIVEN TO HIM – Psalms 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

7) DO MIRACLES FOR THOSE WHO TRUST HIM – JOHN 11: 23      Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

PLENTY

IN PLENTY

 A Clanging Cymbal

A foolish woman is clamorous; She is simple, and knows nothing. Proverbs 9:13

Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:  “How long will you speak these things, And the words of your mouth be like a strong wind? Does God subvert judgment?  Or does the Almighty pervert justice? If your sons have sinned against Him,  He has cast them away for their transgression. If you would earnestly seek God  And make your supplication to the Almighty, If you were pure and upright,  Surely now He would awake for you, And prosper your rightful dwelling place.  Job 8:1-6

The word of God shows us that Job’s so called friend and comforters were fools who didn’t have a clue what they were talking about even though their words were very lofty, intellectual and sounded right. They were clamorous and didn’t understand what Job’s trial was all about; although they thought they knew all things, but in reality knew nothing. As a matter of fact the Lord said to them, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.”  Consequentially they had to repent and offer a costly burnt offering. They were instructed by God to take seven bulls and seven rams and to go to God’s servant Job, and offer up for themselves a burnt offering; lest God would deal with them according to their folly; because they had not spoken of Him what was right, as His servant Job had. And then God would hear and accept His servant Job prayers for them. And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before (Job 42:7-10). Yet God’s word is unchanging:

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise. Proverbs 12:15

In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, But the lips of the wise will preserve them. Proverbs 14:3

Go from the presence of a foolish man, When you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge. Proverbs 14:7

A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident. Proverbs 14:16

Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive. Proverbs 17:28

Unfortunately in life and even in the house of God there are many clamorous fools who would do well to keep their mouths shut and avoid the judgment of God upon them. But “A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart” (Proverbs 18:2). “A fool’s mouth is his destruction, And his lips are the snare of his soul” (Proverbs 18:7). There are fools who are in trouble all the time and blame their troubles on the devil. They have never figured out that it’s their big mouth that gave room to the devil to bring trouble to them! “As a dog returns to his own vomit, So a fool repeats his folly” (Proverbs 26:11). “A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back” (Proverbs 29:11). God’s word is unchanging:

The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, But the righteous will come through trouble. Proverbs 12:13

Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles. Proverbs 21:23

My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.  For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. James 3:1-2

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:6-8

Yes, he who has learned to keep his mouth shut keeps his soul from a multitude of trouble. The tongue is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. It is a powerful weapon that can be used positively or negatively depending on whether is is under the control of the Spirit or the flesh!  The word of God admonishes us to keep our tongue from evil,  and our lips from speaking deceit (Psalm 34:13). It tells us that God desires to give His children the tongue of the learned:

“The Lord GOD has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary.   He awakens Me morning by morning,  He awakens My ear  To hear as the learned. The Lord GOD has opened My ear;  And I was not rebellious, Nor did I turn away. Isaiah 50:4-5

God is on line to all who care to listen to Him in the early hours of the morning. For those who are attune to the Spirit and walk in God’s ways the Lord gives them the tongue of the learned that they may know how to speak a word in season to him who is wary. He opens their ears to hear as the learned of all that He has to speak to them morning by morning before the bustle, cares, worries and anxiety of life drown things out.  He also desires that they give their tongue over to the Holy Spirit and let Him use it. God’s word is true:

Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.  For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.  But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.  He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.  I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification. 1 Corinthians 14:1-5

I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; 1 Corinthians 14:18

Many people have not learnt yet that soulish prayers are useless but prayers prayed in the Spirit are always answered by God because they originate with God.  God the Father knew we would not know how to pray as we ought, that is why he filled us with the Holy Ghost and gave us a prayer language, (Romans 8:26-27). Some of our prayers are not answered because we ask improperly, but when we pray in tongues we know that we are praying according to the will of God. God’s word is unchanging:

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:6-7

Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.  Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.  What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. 1 Corinthians 14:12-15

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,  to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,  to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:7-10

God has called His people to walk in love and understanding. He wants them to be  unified and in agreement because that is when they are most effective for the kingdom. But the enemy stirs up strife and confusion through foolish words from an uncontrolled tongue. God’s word is unchanging:

An ungodly man digs up evil,  And it is on his lips like a burning fire.  A perverse man sows strife,  And a whisperer separates the best of friends.  Proverbs 16:27-28

Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.  Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.   Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.  For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.  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.  Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:10-18

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.  1 Peter 3:7

Yes divisions including between a man and wife hinder our prayers when we don’t walk in love and understanding. Our prayers are answered when we walk in the power of agreement and unity. We are called  to walk worthy of our calling with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. We are called to balance the gift of the Spirit with the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. God’s word is unchanging:

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,  idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.  And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:19-26

Yes, the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,  idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control,  And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, we must also walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh!

God has never planned nor intended that the gifts and fruit of the Spirit lay dormant in the lives of His people. When He gave them His only begotten Son, Jesus, and His wonderful counselor the Holy Spirit, He had planned that they would walk in love and adorn their lives with the single fruit of the Spirit including love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. He had willed that they should be ‘filled with the fruits of righteousness’ (Philippians 1:11). They should be ‘neither barren nor unfruitful’ (2 Peter 1:8). “For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth.” (Ephesians 5:9)

God has given His people the fruits of the Spirit only with a view to fill us with the qualities of goodness, righteousness and truth. The gifts of the Spirit and the fruits are to go hand in hand together with love being the unifying force because God’s word is unchanging:

“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.” 1 John 4:18

“Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” Ephesians 1:4

“Let love be without hypocrisy.” Romans 12:9

“Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith.”1 Timothy 1:5

Yes, the fruits of the Spirit come from love born out of a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. That is why God works on us to develop in us a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith so that the great fountain of Love will spring in us, only if Love is genuinely born in our hearts, the fruits of the Spirit will emerge in us. A man with mere ‘Gifts’ is not an effective man. Only with two wings can a bird fly; the loss of even a single wing will hamper its flight.[iii]

We are not perfect if Gifts and Fruits don’t work together in unison in our Spiritual life. We need to allow ‘love’ to flow from our minds by the power and anointing of the Spirit. We need to continually walk and live in the Spirit and not in the flesh.  Yes we need for God to fill us with His Spiritual ‘Gifts’ and decorate us with the ‘Fruits’ so we can minister by the Spirit to a lost, hurt, and dying humanity that is need of the demonstration of God’s power. God’s word is unchanging:

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.  And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.  And there was great joy in that city. Acts 8:5-8

And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.  And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,  that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

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 CREATION CAN’T BUT REDEMPTION CAN!

John 9:7 – And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent).So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

When Adam sinned and fell, everything about creation fell. Yet, people today are still putting their trust in creation. For example, they try to become healthy by eating what is called the “Eden diet”—vegetables and no meat. They are acting as if creation did not fall. They also forget that there are people who eat well and exercise regularly, and still drop dead in the prime of their lives!

Thank God that what creation cannot do, redemption can and did. Jesus demonstrated this when He spat on the ground, made clay with the saliva and put it on a blind man’s eyes. (John 9:6–7) Now, it is certainly unusual to put clay on a blind man’s eyes because he would become doubly blind!

So why did Jesus do that?

He was demonstrating to us that all our body parts come from the ground and that because creation is fallen, the work of creation cannot open a blind man’s eyes. But the work of redemption can! That is why He sent the blind man to the pool of Siloam. The word “Siloam” means “Sent”, referring to the sent one, Jesus. When the blind man washed his eyes in the pool of the sent one, he received supernatural healing for his eyes.

Beloved, when we go to Jesus, the sent one who came to redeem us with the price of His blood, and we rest in His finished work, we will receive the miracle we need. If we believe that by His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5), we will have greater health than those who trust in creation.

Jesus was sent to redeem us from every curse that came upon creation with the fall of Adam. (Galatians 3:13) He has redeemed us from sickness, pain, sorrow, depression, poverty and even death. The world may know Him as the Creator. But today, we know Him as our Redeemer. Where the work of creation cannot save us, His work of redemption can and has!

Thought For The Day

Where the work of creation cannot save us, Jesus’ work of redemption can and has!

The shalom peace that Jesus bequeathed to us is a complete and full blessing which includes well-being, health and provision

GOD meets us at the level of our faith. Ordinary prayer gets ordinary results. Extraordinary prayer gets extraordinary results.

“The Lord said to Gideon,the people who are with you are too many…lest Israel claim glory for itself.” Judges 7:2.

God reduced Gideon’s army from 32000 men to 300 men! Jesus is your victory & all glory belongs to Jesus alone!

CHOOSE THE RIGHT FRIENDS

‘Friends sharpen the minds of each other.’ Proverbs 27:17 CEV

Author Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones said, ‘You’re the same today as you’ll be in five years…except for the people with whom you associate and the books you read.’ When it comes to choosing friends, Dr Charles Townsend says look for:

(1) People who influence you to be the person God intended. ‘As iron sharpens iron, friends sharpen the minds of each other.’ (Proverbs 27:17 CEV) Relationships are the tools God uses to do this. When you’re with somebody, ask yourself, ‘Do I like who I am when I’m around this person? Am I more open, loving and honest? Or do I not like what I see in myself?’ Choose people who make you a better person.

(2) People who provide grace for the energy drain. When you’re empty you need to be refuelled physically, spiritually and relationally. So surround yourself with friends who will listen, encourage and be there for you.

(3) People who let you be real. ‘A friend loves at all times.’ (Proverbs 17:17 NKJV) The best relationships are those where you know you’re loved, you’re free to be yourself, you don’t have to put on an act and you can be honest about the difficult aspects of life. There’s comfort and normality in friendships where you can be authentic.

(4) People who help you grow in faith. You need friends who encourage you to pray, read the Bible and help you to see the ‘big picture’ concerning what’s important in your life. Ephesians 4:16 NCV talks about operating as a body: ‘All the parts of the body are joined and held together. Each part does its own work to help the whole body grow and be strong with love.’ Don’t try to do it alone. Reach out to friends who’ll reach back.

THE WAY TO ENTER …

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name – Psalm 100:4, NKJV

What an amazing privilege we have to enter boldly into His throne of grace. We serve a personal God who desires a relationship with us. We have access to Him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year! But notice that today’s verse tells us that we shouldn’t just come to Him any old way. We shouldn’t come empty-handed to the King of kings and the Lord of lords. What do we have to give that’s worthy of Almighty God? Our praise. Our thanksgiving. Our worship. We should always enter His gates with an offering of adoration from our hearts.

Praise isn’t just about singing songs on Sunday mornings. Praise is the expression of gratefulness to God for Who He is and all that He has done. Praise gets God’s attention. Praise is a powerful tool in the life of the believer because God inhabits the praises of His people! When we enter His presence the right way, He enters our circumstances; and when God shows up, the enemy must flee! Today, enter into His gates with thanksgiving and open the door for Him to move on your behalf!

 PUT IT UNDER GOD’S GRACE

For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. – Romans 6:14

Because of the cross of Jesus Christ, God is free to righteously bless all who simply believe in Him. The cross frees God to be gracious toward us even when we are undeserving, because Jesus bore the punishment for our sins. The more you believe this and meditate on this truth, the more you put yourself under the grace of God.

What happens when you are under God’s grace? The Bible tells us that sin and all its effects will not have dominion in your life when you are under God’s grace.
Suppose your doctor has told you that you have a weak heart. Go to God and say, “Father, I bring my heart to You and I put it under Your grace.” Something happens when you do that. The health of your heart no longer depends on what the specialists have said, or how severe the symptoms are. It doesn’t depend on your ability to do this or that. It now depends on God’s unmerited, unearned favor!

Beloved, bring each area of your life under God’s grace. One by one, bring them all under the spout of His unmerited favor. The enemy may still give you negative thoughts that cause you to worry about a specific area. If he does that, just remind yourself that that area is under God’s abundant grace!

THE SWORD IS THE WORD …

John 18:36 “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

Christ’s kingdom is spiritual, in the hearts of men – not physical; therefore, our fight as Christians must not be with carnal weapons but with spiritual weapons (2 Cor. 10:3-5). Spiritual forces cannot be defeated with human weapons.

When we are being attacked for being a part of Christ’s kingdom, we must fight with spiritual weapons. Our warfare is not against people, but against the spiritual powers that operate behind the scenes through people. We must realize who the real enemy is and fight with the spiritual weapons the Lord has given us.

We often think that anger will put a person in his place. But “the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God” (Jas. 1:20). Anger displayed against people puts us 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). That makes the demons flee in terror.

One of the main weapons the Apostle Paul speaks of is the Gospel, which is the Sword of the Spirit, (the Word of God). It’s the Word backed by God’s Spirit that can pull down and crush the strongholds of Satan.

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). The only ones whom he devours are those who don’t actively fight against him.

A LESSON IN PRAISE

Praise the LORD! —Psalm 150:1

Psalm 150 is not only a beautiful expression of praise, it’s also a lesson in praising the Lord. It tells us where to praise, why we’re to praise, how we’re to praise, and who should offer praise.

Where do we praise? In God’s “sanctuary” and “mighty firmament” (v.1). Wherever we are in the world is a proper place to praise the One who created all things.
Why do we praise? First, because of what God does. He performs “mighty acts.” Second, because of who God is. The psalmist praised Him for “His excellent greatness” (v.2). The all-powerful Creator is the Sustainer of the universe.

How should we praise? Loudly. Softly. Soothingly. Enthusiastically. Rhythmically. Boldly. Unexpectedly. Fearlessly. In other words, we can praise God in many ways and on many occasions (vv.3-5).

Who should praise? “Everything that has breath” (v.6). Young and old. Rich and poor. Weak and strong. Every living creature. God’s will is for everyone to whom He gave the breath of life to use that breath to acknowledge His power and greatness.
Praise is our enthusiastic expression of gratitude to God for reigning in glory forever.

Let every creature rise and bring
Peculiar honors to our King;
Angels descend with songs again,
And earth repeat the loud amen!

Praise is the overflow of a joyful heart.

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