|Posted on July 26, 2018 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
You know one of the great ways to let our light shine as Christians is to forgive other people. But it’s hard to forgive others if you don’t number 1 believe that God has forgiven you of all your sins.
The Bible says in John 1: 29 that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. In Matthew 26: 28 Jesus referred to his blood as being the blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. And in Hebrews 9: 28 it says that Jesus was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people.
Jesus came and died for the sins of all humanity. When that happened God stopped counting men’s sins against them (2 Corinthians 5: 19). And when we believed we received that forgiveness of God into our lives (Colossians 2: 13). And now we are blessed because God will never count our sins against us.
Do you know the forgiveness of sins in your life? If you do, as you do, you begin a great journey of empowerment to forgive yourself and forgive others and to let your light shine; changing your life, impacting our culture, and changing the atmosphere all around us.
So forgive others, and let your let shine today and everyday.
|Posted on July 19, 2018 at 8:00 AM||comments (1)|
In Daniel 7:25 the Bible says that in the last days Satan has a plan for the Saints----to wear us out. That phrase to wear out means not only to wear out but it also means to harass. Satan in these last days is attacking Saints like never before to harass us and try and wear us out. And many of God's people are already getting weary in well doing.
How do we stop the onslaught of Satan and begin to push back and gain the victory? Well, we will never be able to completely stop the attacks of Satan, but we can push back and begin to gain the victory. Here's how----
1) Focus on God's love for you and that a loving Father would never test his children.
John 3:16; Ephesians 2:4-9; James 1:13 (word tempt means test)
2) Focus on the fact that the devil is the one who is testing you.
Matthew 4:1; Luke 4:2 (word tempted means test)
3) Focus on the fact that God is not allowing the test, but is giving a way for you to exit the test, endure the test, and gain the victory in the midst of the test.
In 1 Corinthians 10:13 we have focused on a portion of this verse to come up with the doctrine that God allows test to come our way...when in reality the emphasis on the verse is not that God allows the test, but that he gives a way out of the test when the test comes our way. But here's the thing---if we are focused on "why is God allowing this test" we will miss the way to exit the test and gain the victory in the midst of the test.
I have more to say on this in the future, but i just want everyone to begin to study these scriptures and we will look at them in more detail later. One last thing, both the NIV and the KJV incorrectly translates the punctuation in 1 Corinthians 10:13. The NKJV is the most accurate. Here's how it reads----
"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."
Notice that in this translation there is a comma after "tempted beyond what you are able". In the KJV it is a semicolon and the NIV has a period. The comma shows that it is one statement, and that the emphasis is not on God allowing the test, but on God giving you a way of escape from the test, and a way to endure it and gain the victory over that test from the enemy.
Today let's focus on the things mentioned earlier----God loves us and is not testing us; The devil is the one testing us; God is not allowing the test, but rather is giving us the way to escape the test and gain the victory.
As we focus correctly we can push back against Satan's attempts to harass us and wear us out and we can be the overcomers God says we are.
|Posted on July 13, 2018 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
It's imortant for us as believers to live in the moment. Living in the moment requires us to stop being focused on the past or fixated on the future, and to ask “what is God doing now?” It also requires us to look at the physical circumstances we find ourselves in today, and ask God
1) What are you saying to me in these circumstances?
2) How do you want me to respond to these circumstances?
3) How do I extend your kingdom in these circumstances?
Another key to becoming a person who lives in the moment is the fire of and fellowship with the Holy Spirit of God who lives in us as believers. Jesus needed the Father to live in the moment. We need the Holy Spirit. We need His fire to empower us, give us energy, and passion to get the job done every day. But we also need His fellowship.
In 2 Corinthians 13: 14 the Apostle Paul says, “May the grace of Jesus, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” The word fellowship means intimacy. The question I have is how are you gonna be led by the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, have intimacy with the Spirit, if you’re not praying with the Spirit. Praying with the Spirit is your connection with the Father. It’s how you see what the Father’s doing. It’s how you hear what the Father’s saying. It’s how you live in the moment.
So….ask yourself “what is God doing now?” Look at the physical circumstances you find yourself in today. And receive the fire and walk in fellowship with the Holy Spirit. As you do these things you will begin to make the shift from focusing on the past, and being fixated on the future, and you’ll become a person who lives in the moment.
|Posted on July 12, 2018 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
Jesus was a person who lived in the moment. In John 5: 19 Jesus said, “I only do what I see the Father doing.” He was a person who lived in the moment, and as we said last time the call of God is on us to be people who live in the moment as well. But how do we do that. How do we make the shift from being focused on the past or fixated on the future, to living in the moment?
The first thing we need to do is ask ourselves “what is God doing today?” The Bible says “today is the day of salvation.” In another place it says “this is the day that the Lord hath made.” Now God is with us in our tomorrows, and he wants to certainly heal us of any scars from our pasts. But His salvation and His focus is on today. So, begin to ask everyday “what is God doing today?”
Secondly, look at your physical circumstances now. Quit focusing on “Am I where I’m suppose to be?”
“Am I doing what I’m suppose to be doing?” Look at your physical circumstances--- Are you a Mom? Are you in college? Are you retired? What are your financial circumstances? Do you love your job? Do you hate your job? Look at your physical circumstances now, regardless of why you’re in those circumstances, and ask God….
1) What are you saying to me in these circumstances?
2) How do you want me to respond to these circumstances?
3) How do I extend your kingdom in these circumstances?
That doesn’t mean you don’t pray over your future and plan toward your future----but you don’t get anxious or worried about your future. The future is important, but not at the expense of the present.
Every day cast the care of your future on the Lord, and then pray…
“Lord, let your will be done and your Kingdom come as it relates to my future. Guide me to the future you have in store for me. Open the doors you want me to walk through in my future. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Then get right back to living in the moment….the place where God has called you to, and the place where He wants to change your life.
|Posted on July 5, 2018 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
The devil is always trying to get us to be focused on the past or fixated on the future….and neither is right for the person of faith. Isaiah 43:18 says “forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” Matthew 6:34 says “do not worry about tomorrow.” So, clearly it is not the will of God, nor is it of faith, for God’s people to be focused on the past or fixated on the future.
Being focused on the past will many times lead to shame and regret. We can learn from our past, but we shouldn’t be focused on the past.
Being fixated on the future can lead to fear, anxiety, and worry. We should pray for and plan for the future, without getting fixated on our future.
Being focused on the past or fixated on the future:
1) Robs us of the joy of today
2) Robs us of seeing the little miracles God is doing every day
3) Robs us of the love God has for us to experience each day
God has called us to be a people who live in the moment. We learn from our past. We plan for our future. But we live in the moment.
Jesus was one who lived in the moment, and God is calling us to be His followers. Will you today, follow Jesus and be one who lives in the moment?
|Posted on June 28, 2018 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
Today, I want to talk to you about repentance and judgment. Two words misunderstood by many in the Body of Christ. The word repentance in the New Testament simply means to change your mind. I don't know about you but there have been many times in my life when I have had a change of mind. When I got saved I had a change of mind. When I recommitted by life to the Lord in my early 20's I had a change of mind. When I am doing something wrong and the Lord gives me revelation of that, I have a change of mind. Many times in my life I have had a change of mind, many times in my life I have repented.
The Bible says in Romans 2:4 that the goodness of the Lord will always lead people to repent, to have a change of mind. So it is in my best interest to every day spend time focusing on the goodness of God revealed in His word, so I can constantly have a change of mind in my life.
Judgment is the other word many times misunderstood by Christians. Jesus said in John 12:47-49 that he did not come to judge any one, but rather he came to save that which is lost. Judgment comes from other people, it comes from the devil, and sometimes we even judge ourselves, but Jesus is never judging us. He wants to heal us, deliver us, make us whole, meet all our needs.....but He is never the one judging us.
Today, my prayer for all of us is that we will focus on the goodness of the Lord, and see Jesus as our Savior rather than our Judge.
|Posted on June 21, 2018 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
We said last week that the equation for obedience is...
Romans 10: 17 (NIV) + Romans 1: 5 (NIV) = Obedience
In other words, you hear the gospel message concerning Christ and from that comes faith, and from faith comes obedience....the obedience that comes from faith.
This week we want to begin to talk about the gospel message, and our first stop is the love of God. In the Old Testament the word 'Checed' is a powerful word. It means both lovingkindness and mercy. It is a word that gives great insight into the heart of God our Father.
In 2 Chronicles 5: 13 it says that the singers sang "He is good; his love (Checed) endures forever." As soon as they sang those words the glory of the Lord filled the temple. Notice that even though unity was important, praise was important, consecration was important....the thing that caused the glory cloud to come was when they sang about the Lord's love (Checed). In 2 Chronicles 20: 21 as the Levites went out at the head of the army they were saying "Give thanks to the Lord, for his love (Checed) endures forever." Notice the fact that the praisers went out first was important, the fact they were obedient to the Lord's direction was important, but the thing that brought victory over their enemies was that they were talking about and thanking God for his love, his checed. In Psalm 23: 6 it says his love (Checed) pursues us, follows us, hunts us down all the days of our lives.
As you focus on the Lord's love for you it will empower you to love God and love others. 1 John 4: 19 says we love because he first loved us. As you focus on the Lord's love for you Ephesians 3: 16-19 says that we will be filled with the fulness of God. And Galatians 5: 6 says that as we know God's love and are filled with God's love our faith will begin to work..."faith works by love." Our love for God is important, but the first thing, the most important thing, is that we know just how much the Lord loves us.
This Resurrection week as you reflect on the Lord's love (Checed) you will begin to have greater understanding of scripture, you will begin to find it easier to believe, and you will have confidence as you come before the throne of grace....and you will be a long way down the road to understanding the gosple message.
The key to obedience is the gospel message, and the beginning place for the gospel message is the love of God. Until next time, have a great Resurrection Day this Sunday, and receive the love (Checed) of God....let it be shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Spirit.
|Posted on June 15, 2018 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
The Bible says in Hebrews 1: 3 that Jesus is the exact expression of what God is like. Not Elijah, Not Moses, but Jesus. That’s not to bring down Moses or Elijah, but rather to exalt the Son of God.
In fact on the Mt. of Transfiguration when Simon Peter said let’s build three tabernacles----God the Father spoke up and said this is my beloved Son, listen to Him. So Jesus is the express image of what God is like and who God is.
So, if you want to understand the nature and character of God you have to look at the life, and ministry, and words of the Lord Jesus, and Jesus said in John 12: 47--- “I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” So that is revelation to us of what God the Father is like.
In fact when you look at the story of the prodigal son which is a story that gives revelation of our heavenly Father you see the father not judging the son but running to the son, and restoring the son. Now will the earth and the devil and nonbelievers receive the judgment of God? Yes. But that day is not today.
Today is the day of salvation….so turn to the Father, and he will run to you and restore you and heal. Turn to the Lord, and let your light shine.
|Posted on June 14, 2018 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
Recently I shared with all of you that obedience comes from faith, according to Romans 1: 5. Obedience doesn't come from trying harder...it comes from believing right. As you hear and believe the message concerning Christ, which is the gospel, faith cometh forth from within you, and then from that faith comes the power to obey.
This is the scriptural equation:
Romans 10: 17 + Romans 1: 5 = Obedience
Faith cometh from hearing the message concerning Christ and obedience comes from faith. Again not from trying harder, but from believing right.
So let's go forward and believe right about God's love for us; His provision for our forgiveness and righteousness; and the fact that we can be in a covenant of peace with Him today.
|Posted on June 7, 2018 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
The Bible says in Daniel 9:24 that when Jesus came He would bring in everlasting righteousness. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 it says 'He who knew no sin (Jesus) became sin for us, so that in Him (Jesus) we could become the righteousness of God.'
And how did we become the righteousness of God? By believing, truly believing in Jesus. So much so that we confessed Him as our Lord. When that happened we received the gift of His Righteousness. And remember as it says in Romans 5:17 it is a gift. We don't earn it. We believe and we receive. We, in essence, gave Him our sin, and received His righteousness.
Now, when we received the gift of His righteousness, at that very moment we also became holy in the Lord's eyes...we were no longer common man. Now we were set apart to God, consecrated to Him, holy. The Bible says in Hebrews 10 that by the sacrifice of Jesus we have been made holy.
So here is the progression---Jesus was obedient to the cross and was raised from the dead; we believed, truly believed; we received the gift of righteousness; we became holy in the Lord's eyes. (By the way, in the New Testament, when righteousness and holiness are mentioned in the same passage, it is always righteousness first and then holiness.)
Why is all this so important? Because right believing produces right living. As we believe that thru Jesus we are righteous and holy we find ourselves beginning to be who we believe we are thru Jesus---righteous, holy, and obedient. Remember Romans 1:5---Obedience comes from faith. We believe what the Bible says about Jesus and the Gospel and who we are in Him because we have believed and we find ourselves being more obedient by accident than we ever were able to be on purpose.
So I challenge you over the next few weeks, study everything you can on the Gospel---the love of the Lord, His forgivensss, His making you righteous and holy thru Jesus....and as you believe you will be empowered to obey....One more time... obedience comes from faith...obedience comes from belieiving right.