USE YOUR DELEGATED AUTHORITY
Mark 16:18 “They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
This either speaks literally of supernatural protection if we pick up a snake, or symbolically of protection in our fight against the devil. Since the other four signs in this list are literal, it is most probable that this means physically taking up snakes.
The apostle Paul experienced this supernatural protection from a viper when he was shipwrecked on the island of Melita (Acts 28:3-5). However, this is the only recorded example of this type of protection in the New Testament.
There is no record of the disciples picking up snakes just to prove they were believers. That would be tempting God (Lk. 4:9-12). This, as well as drinking any deadly thing, is a promise that if we pick up snakes accidentally or are forced into that position because of our stand for Christ, we can believe for supernatural protection.
The power that is now working in believers is the same power that worked in Christ to raise Him from the dead. Everything we have as believers in Christ comes from our union with Him. Therefore, what is true of Him is true of us too. We have come to share in Christ’s throne, to partake in the authority that the throne represents, and to exercise divine power and dominion. There is no place in the New Testament that tells us to ask God to do something about the devil. Rather, we, (the church) are told to do something about the devil. This is because we have been given delegated authority over the works of the enemy. God desires that the church be enlightened to this, and walk in victory.
GUARD YOUR HEART AND GOD WILL GUARD THE REST
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – John 14:27
In the modern, fast-paced world that we live in, there are always things to do: Drive the kids to school, make important phone calls, answer work emails, attend meetings, cook dinner, do the laundry, pay the bills…the list goes on.
It seems like we have so many responsibilities that it’s really difficult to not let our hearts be troubled by any one of them. But do you know what the Lord says about all this? He says that our only responsibility is to guard our hearts, and He’ll take care of the rest.
Meditate on this for a while: Our only responsibility is to guard our hearts and God will guard everything else. We guard our hearts on the inside, and whatever is on the outside, God will guard. So don’t worry about what’s happening on the outside. If your peace and restfulness depend on how things on the outside fair for you, the devil will have a field day with you because what’s on the outside is usually beyond your control.
Learn to guard your heart from being troubled and let God take care of the rest. Note that Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled…” So you are to let not your heart be troubled. No one else can do it for you. Meditate on His promises and love for you until they take root in your heart. It may take practice, but keep at it and you will find an inner peace and strength to face each day’s challenges and come out on top!
HE LEADS ME
He leads me beside the still waters. —Psalm 23:2
In Istanbul, Turkey, in 2005, one sheep jumped off a cliff and then nearly 1,500 others followed! In the end, about one-third of them died. Not knowing which way to go, sheep mindlessly follow other members of the flock.
No better word picture than sheep can be found to illustrate our need for a trustworthy leader. We are all, Isaiah wrote, like sheep (Isa. 53:6). We tend to go our own way, yet we desperately need the sure direction of a shepherd.
Psalm 23 describes the trustworthiness of our Good Shepherd. He cares for us (v.1); He provides for our physical needs (v.2); He shows us how to live holy lives (v.3); He restores us, comforts us, heals us, and bountifully blesses us (vv.3-5); and He will not abandon us (v.6).
What a comfort to know that God gently but firmly leads us! He does so through the urging of the Holy Spirit, the reading of His Word, and through prayer. God is the reliable leader we need.
In acknowledgment of our dependence on the Lord, we can say with the psalmist, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.”
Like sheep that sometimes wander from the flock
In tangled paths of life to lose their way,
I need my Shepherd’s hand and watchful eye
To keep me always, lest I go astray.
The Lamb who died to save us is the Shepherd who lives to guide us.
ACCEPTING OTHERS ..
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you. – Romans 15:7 NIV
Sometimes people don’t make it easy to accept them. They can be bad–tempered, selfish, critical, irritating, dismissive, aggressive and pompous. Sometimes you want to give them a piece of your mind; give them what they deserve—anything but acceptance. The command, ‘accept one another’, is inconvenient. And if Paul had stopped there we might dodge the directive by saying he obviously meant good, reasonable, acceptable people. Alas, he goes on, ‘just as Christ accepted you’. Were you good, reasonable and acceptable? No, but He accepted you—flaws and all—and He still does! You say, ‘Somebody has to straighten these people out and require them to act right!’ You mean like Jesus required before He accepted you? Roman Christians had difficulty accepting their less experienced brothers, and Paul corrected them: ‘Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment… for God has accepted him.’ (Roman 14:1–3 NIV) Straightening people out isn’t our department; accepting them is. God calls us to accept messed–up, unspiritual, carnal, obnoxious, doctrinally misled, ‘just plain wrong’ people. You don’t have to approve of, like, or agree with them, but accepting them isn’t optional. There’s no elite, privileged, insider class. We occupy level ground because of two realities: our sin and the cross! Jews and Gentiles despised each other, even after salvation. Each wanted the other to become like them. But Paul took the axe to the root of that tree: ‘For Christ Himself…reconciled both groups…by means of His death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.’ (Ephesians 2:14–16 NLT) We’re to accept people—and let God adjust them.
THE ANOINTING WILL BREAK THE YOKE
Let us pray together, Today we release from collective captivity of your family, from all yokes and burdens place upon your life by the enemies. As servant of God I bind, rebuke and cast out from your life the spirit of failure, servitude, defeat, depression, stagnation, affliction, death, delayed of blessings, limitation, confusion, frustration, rejection, fear and doubt and welcome the Holy Spirit to bring in its place healing, deliverance, victory, success and prosperity all in the name of Jesus Amen and amen
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