When we look at the account of Jesus being tempted by Satan in the wilderness, we see in each temptation that was recorded that Jesus did one thing, He answered it! With each temptation Jesus responded with, "It is written". If you read the account in Matthew 4, you'll also notice that He answered each temptation specifically. He didn't just say, "God loves me" or "I'm anointed of God". Although both of those statements are true, Jesus didn't say that. He answered specifically to each temptation. When He was hungry and was tempted to turn rocks into bread, He said, "It is written - man shall not live by bread alone but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God." It is good to know what is written!
You'll notice that Jesus answered right each and every time, but just because He answered right didn't mean that the temptations stopped. The devil kept talking, but Jesus answered right on day one, day two, day three, day four and everyday after.
Just because you answer right doesn't mean the devil will quit talking and the temptations stop. And just because they continue doesn't mean that you're answering wrong, and it doesn't mean that the Word isn't working or that your faith isn't working. You can't keep the devil from talking but you must keep answering right with the Word every single time, and the test will pass!
I heard a minister say once that even symptoms in your body are only a temptation to be sick. We could also say that lack in our finances is only a temptation to be poor or to do without.
Notice that temptations have a voice, symptoms have a voice - they talk to you. Answer that temptation with, "It is written, by the stripes of Jesus I was healed!" Answer the temptation or the voice of lack with, "It is written, My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus! Every time. Not just once. Not just twice. Every single time a symptom is talking to you.
Always keep in mind that you are not the performer. God is the Performer. He watches over HIS WORD to perform it, so when you answer every temptation with, "It is written", the Great Performer comes and brings His power to bear on the situation!
Remember also that you are not only the victor when you pass a test/temptation successfully, but you are the victor during the test for Jesus won the victory for us and handed it to us. Just keep demonstrating the victory that is already yours!
But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced]; this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord. Isaiah 54:17
The Word Will Do the Work!
There is an answer for everything we face in life. For everything that opposes the child of God, there is an answer of life and victory. Many Christians do not like these kind of statements because it seems "unbalanced". Their viewpoint is that sometimes there is victory and sometimes there is defeat because that has been their experience. You win some, you lose some. Let's look at what God says about our victory.
But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ’s victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere. 2 Cor 2:14
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us. Romans 8:37
For Christians, those who are in Christ, victory is already ours. He did the work. He secured our victory. He is the ONE Who gave us victory over opposition in this world!
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] John 16:33
Wow! What a Word! What a Champion, what a Hero our Lord is! He conquered it for us - deprived it of power to harm us!
Opposition will come. To everyone. Don't be duped into thinking that you are the only one. Opposition, trials and tribulation come to everyone, but for the child of God who has taken their place in Christ and allowing God's Word to dwell in them richly, victory over opposition is sure! Every time!
Many many Christians will live their entire lives with a win some, lose some, defeatist attitude. Praying, but seldom receiving or depending on someone else to pray for them, getting some relief, then slipping right back into being overtaken by opposition. Why? The answer is found in Proverbs 4:20-22.
My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.
In this passage lies the answer to your victory. What kind of attention are you giving God's Word? We are instructed to give our attention to God's Words, to come up under them or to submit to them - to make His Word final authority in our lives. This means we don't submit to any other word of opposition or trial. If we're giving our attention to the opposition, we are not giving our attention to God's Word. We are instructed to keep them in the center of our heart. What does that mean? It means we are to give our attention to God's Word everyday. It is our lifestyle. Our lifestyle. Then when opposition of any kind arises in our lives, we are quick to answer the opposition with what God says about it. It is the matter of life and death in situations in our lives that we not only abide in Christ, but that His Word abides in us!
This passage goes on to say that His Words are life to those who find them. What does that mean? It means His Words aren't life to everybody. They are life to those who find them! It means we are going to have to seek Him in His Word. It means we are going to have to do something. We are promised life and then also healing and health to all our flesh when we do! We're not doing the work or the performing. We're not making life or making healing in our flesh. We are to give our attention to His Word, make it our lifestyle, let His Word dwell richly in us and answer every opposition with His Word.
HIS WORD WILL DO THE WORK! His Word will bring victory. Every time!
Living by Faith
Hebrews 4:3 tells us, “…[His] works had been COMPLETED and PREPARED [and WAITING for all who would BELIEVE] from the foundation of the world” (AMPC).
Everything we need to fulfill God’s will and to live the life He authored for us has already been completed and prepared – it’s just waiting for our faith to show up! He completed and prepared our answer long before our need ever showed up – it’s been waiting from the foundation of the world!
How does our faith show up? Through our words and actions. When we declare what He said is ours and act on His Word, that’s our faith giving God permission to perform what He has already provided and said about our lives.
Such a great need in the lives of believers is for mind renewal in the area of what Christ accomplished in the finished work of His death, burial, and resurrection, and that when Christ died, we died. When Christ was resurrected, we were resurrected. When God seated Jesus FAR above all principality, power, might and every name that is named, He took you with Him! See this great passage of Scripture below in Ephesians 1:
16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers. 17 [For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him, 18 By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones), 19 And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength, 20 Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places], 21 Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come. 22 And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout the church], 23 Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself].
You’ll notice in this passage of Scripture that not once did he pray for God to save someone, heal someone or for God to meet a financial need or restore a broken relationship. He prayed that our eyes be flooded with light so we can KNOW something - what God in Christ has already done for us - and IT IS HUGE!
Get out of the waiting room - just waiting on God to do something! He has already done something! Pray this prayer over yourself today and believe God to flood your heart with light daily as you read His Word, so you can, by faith, lay hold of every good thing that God has already prepared and made ready for you!
A Table Prepared
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over. Psalms 23:5
David, out of his heart of confidence in the One Who had faithfully and extravagantly provided for and delivered him time and time again, boldly declared and praised God for the bounty of His provision.
When Jesus declared "It is finished" on the cross, the debt of all mankind and man's redemption - spirit, soul and body was paid for. The "table had been set". Everything you have need of in your life was made available for you through the Lord Jesus' substitutionary work. His table is full of forgiveness, peace, joy, healing, finances, provision, deliverance and freedom. Bought and paid for - for you! He not only prepared this bountiful table of extreme life for you, but He also prepared a seat for you at that table! Glory to God! By His redeeming Blood, He is beckoning you to come take your seat at His table and partake of ALL the LIFE that He has provided- right in the midst of your enemies! As one minister said, let the enemy watch you eat your victory!
Lay hold of whatever "life" you have need of by faith right now! Give Him thanks - express your gratitude for the abundance of His table and partake! We fill His heart with joy when we recognize and by faith take what cost Him everything to provide for us!
Psalms 103 tell us to bless - affectionately and gratefully praise the Lord for ALL HIS BENEFITS. To never forget them. To remind ourselves of them every day and to thank Him for them! Everyday. Multiple times a day. What are we doing when we do this? We are praising God for all of His amazing benefits and living more aware of the provision than we are our need. Need is swallowed up in provision when we do this! The provision is great - bought and paid for and waiting for you at His table, but He cannot make you sit there. He cannot make you partake. These two acts are completely an act of our own will and we do it by faith. We choose to believe God, to believe His Word and take our seat and partake of all His benefits. God has gloriously done His part to give us all consuming life. It is there on His table, waiting for us. It is us to up to receive it, and we do it by faith! And it is best received when we practice this every single day and not just when a "huge need" arises.
Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits— 3 Who forgives [every one of] all your iniquities, Who heals [each one of] all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption, Who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercy; 5 Who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle’s [strong, overcoming, soaring]!
You spread out a table before me, provisions in the midst of attack from my enemies; You care for all my needs, anointing my head with soothing, fragrant oil, filling my cup again and again with Your grace. Psalms 23:5 (The Voice)
Triumphant in Him!
But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ’s victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere. 2 Corinthians 2:14
At the new birth, we were made new creatures “in Christ,” and it is our privilege to learn through God’s Word who He has made us to be. The “In Him” scriptures listed in the resource below, which is on our website and app, reveal who we are in Christ and what belongs to us because we are in Him. All Jesus did, He did for us. All He won, He won for us. We are children of God! We are heirs of God – joint-heirs with Christ! We are to joyfully confess our relationship with God. We are born of God. He is our Father, and we are His children. We dare to take our place as sons and daughters of God and confess that's who we are!
As far as God is concerned, everything we have or are "in Christ" is so. He has already done the work. Everything the Bible says is ours, is ours legally, now. The Bible is a legal document, sealed by the Blood of Jesus. However, it is our believing it and confessing that renews our mind to the reality of it, so that the truth of who we are in Him becomes dominant in our thinking. God wants us to enjoy and know the reality of what He has provided for us!
Some of our greatest spiritual strides will come when we meditate on and confess who we are “in Christ.” (Another reason why our daily Bible reading is so very important!)
Mark Hankins once said, “You are such a brand new person in Christ that God is going to have to introduce you to your new self.” You ARE a brand new person in Christ Jesus with a brand new identity. A practical way to begin to build God’s identity of yourself into your consciousness is to turn these verses into a confession and begin to speak them over yourself. As you do, you come to see yourself as you really are – in Him!
(Check out all the other “Resources” in that section of our website/app. Tremendous help in finding what God says about any need we may have!)
I Can. Will I?
We are never helpless nor prisoners of darkness, of sin and death. Jesus came to give us life in abundance. God brilliantly dealt with the sin problem by giving Jesus, the spotless Lamb Who takes away the sin of the world! God brilliantly dealt with the curse of sin for mankind (death in all its forms - sickness, disease, lack, poverty, depression, addiction, etc) through Jesus and the shedding of His Blood! Glory to God!
In His great love for man and in Him making us like Him, He gave us the ability to choose. He gave us the precious gift of free will. His love and His righteousness forbids Him from violating that gift. If He were ever to violate man’s will, it surely would have been in the garden where He would have slapped the fruit out of Adam and Eve’s hands to prevent their willful disobedience to His command, the act that brought sin upon all of mankind.
God is great, God is good, God is Love, God is kind, God is merciful, full of grace and compassion and He gets right in the middle of our mess and brings life to where there was once only death when we surrender our will to Him, but He can never and will never CHOOSE for us. He can’t make a way for our unwillingness. Our will is our will.
Ask yourself today, “What am I willing in my life? Is my will submitted to Him, to life, to blessing? Is my will opposed to Him?” We must never allow our "can", our ability in this age to come to Him, to choose Him and His way, to deceive us into complacency that delays our actual privilege to come to Him, as that window of time is ticking. It shall not always be. Kick complacency to the curb!
Deuteronomy 30:19 - I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live.
Philippians 2:12-16 - Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
Peace Through the Blood!
Life is in the blood. What a tremendous message on Easter morning regarding the life giving Blood of Jesus! Below are Scripture references and just a few nuggets as well as the message itself. Strengthen your heart this week in the redeeming power of The Blood of Jesus by reading and meditating on these Scriptures and notes! Let the Blood do the work in your life, not your try. Thank God, the Blood of Jesus speaks a better Word! It speaks life!
Resisting the Devil: My Position
A few bullet point nuggets from the message, "My Position", along with message itself below.
So above all, constantly seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness, then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly. Matthew 6:33 tpt
Parents, the greatest things you can do for your children are: 1. Train them to base their lives and decisions on the Word of God. 2. Have them put the Word of God in their mouths on a continual basis. 3. Teach them to love God's House.
In order to successfully do this, we as parents, must be modeling these things. If we aren't committed to the Kingdom, why would our children be? If we aren't disciples and being doers of the Word and diligently speaking God's Word over our lives and destinies, why would we expect our children to be any different? If we treat coming to God's House and giving of our time, money, and resources as optional, why would we expect them to treat Him and His things any differently?
Now, more than ever, we need an undivided devotion to the Lord and what He's building....His Church! Let's be about the Kingdom! When we do this, the things in our lives that are necessary to fulfill our destiny, and the things that are just to bless us will be ADDED to us. We won't have to strive or work to get them.
Today, do something for the kingdom. Do something with eternal value. Help Him build His church! It's what you were created for! Remember, your children and others are watching. Others’ destinies depend on your obedience.
The Word of His Power
Do you need God's power to work in your life? You may have multiple fronts in which you need His power to do a work. The GOOD NEWS today is that His power is present. His power is available. The thing we need to know is how do we tap in to it. How do we bring it to bear on our situation? Just like electricity, God's power will do us no good if we don't plug in to it. The way we access God's power for our lives is through His Word.
"For with God nothing is ever impossible and no Word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment." Luke 1:37
We don't beg God to move in our situation. We, as His children, are not beggars. We are joint heirs with Christ Jesus. Joint heirs of the Kingdom of God! In a kingdom, rulings and judgments are made through words. The king of the kingdom makes a declaration and it is law. It is carried out. It is fulfilled. His word is his power. The same is true for us as joint heirs with Christ. We say, we use, we declare God's Words to release power into our lives. "Lord, what do You say about this situation in my life?" He has an answer, a Word for EVERY single thing we face. For every need, for every desire, God has a Word for it, and He has already graciously written it down for us in the Bible - God's Holy Word. Please note: We are being deceived when we continually ask God for help but never pick up and read the Bible. That Book contains His help, the very Word we need to release His power in our lives! No Word? No power!
God is looking and desiring to be powerful in your life! Get His Word, His Promise to you, and release It by continuing to speak It over your life, over your situation, and hold fast to It! Don't let It go, and watch Him move! He is watching over His Word to perform it! Jeremiah 1:12.
No Word from God shall be without power . . .
I Will Say
There is a real enemy at large in the world today; a thief whose sole purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. The enemy must steal the Word of God from us and in us in order to kill and destroy. He is under the authority of God's Word, and in the Name and Blood of Jesus, he is under the authority of the body of Christ (The book of Ephesians emphasizes these Truths).
We are at war, and it is vital that we know how to fight, that we know and understand how to submit to God which empowers us to deal with the enemy - to successfully resist him and see him flee from his assaults against us and against our families! In every situation in our lives we must ask, "Lord, what do you say", and then make the decisive unwavering decision to say what He says! Ephesians 6:17, . . . "and take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God," and apply it to every thought and to every circumstance that does not originate from the Kingdom of God.
Nuggets and video from yesterday's message below.
The War Within
Authority matters to God. There is rank and order in heaven and in the earth. God is the One who established authority. While culture and human nature apart from God rebels against any and all authority, submitting to God, to His Word, to His Law and to His delegated authority in the earth is actually the ultimate and highest place of safety, protection, provision and power. In order to exercise authority over the enemy and all that opposes God's will and plan for our lives, we must first come under God's authority, both directly and delegated. Notice that we are the ones who make the decision to come under, or to humble ourselves. No one makes us. We choose. The Bible is clear, "Submit to God. Then (my emphasis) resist the devil and he will flee from you." James 4:7 The only reason the devil and his works won't flee when we resist is because we're out of order in the "chain of command", or we just quit. We quit fighting the fight of faith.
Cut the Strings
Powerful sermon yesterday! A few nuggets below as well as the link to listen again! GOD'S WORD will ALWAYS bring us all the way to the other side! It will not, It cannot stop short or fail in our lives unless we let go of it. Our hearts and mouths must be filled with HIS Word, with what He has to say about every matter in our lives. No matter the storm, HIS Word prevails!
God's Church is a Relational Church
Break the Snooze Habit
But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about! Romans 13:11-14
For the Lord is Good
This week's memory verse: Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Psalms 136:1
Every single word so vitally important. Give thanks. This is the action part of this verse. We are to do something. We are to give the Lord something. The more we cultivate this habit or this lifestyle of acknowledging God and thanking Him, the more we increase our awareness of His Presence in our lives, and the more we increase our expectation of receiving and of experiencing His goodness! Oh, He's always there and His goodness is always present, but we tap into it when we do something. When we give Him thanks!
This verse tells us that God IS good. It's Who He is. It is what He is made up of. He is good and only good, therefore, only good comes from Him. Why is it that so many times when something bad happens, God gets blamed for it instead of Satan, the enemy of our souls. Scripture clearly states that it is Satan that comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) - not God. Sometimes it is man's bad choices that brings about the bad. Man has a free will. God made man a free moral agent and the ability to choose life or death, blessing or cursing, and God will not violate man's will. Sometimes, man chooses death and then blames God for not preventing the consequences of that choice. That's craziness, but happens all the time. Man, apart from God, always plays the blame game. It's always someone's else fault. We must align ourselves with the Word of God and declare that God IS good, only good and give Him thanks for it - all day, everyday! Make it personal. God is good to me! What does that do? It causes you to expect His goodness!
For His mercy endures forever! Mercy means compassion, tenderness, forgiveness, or goodness towards others. Think on that. This is God's character. He is always looking upon you and dispensing to you compassion, tenderness, forgiveness and goodness. That is A LOT to thank Him for! He never runs out of mercy. Throughout all of eternity, this is our God. His mercy to you endures forever. The next time you're faced with undesirable circumstances in your life, be quick to attribute it to its rightful author, repent if necessary, and GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD, for HE IS GOOD and His goodness and mercy will bring you through to victory - every time!
Nuggets and Video from 1/29 Message:
Obedience & Sacrifice
There is such a fresh wind of revelation knowledge blowing in the body of Christ in this hour and it's for a purpose! We are hiding His Word in our hearts like never before, and a renewed sense of the fear of the Lord and honor for Him, His Word and His ways is sweeping our church!
Reminder of this week's Bible reading - Matthew 16-20, and our memory verse, Psalms 40:8 - I delight to do Your will, oh my God, and your law is within my heart.
As we prepare to meet with Him and His body tomorrow, below are nuggets from last Sunday's message along with the service video on our YouTube channel. Listen and go over again and allow the Lord to continue speaking to your heart, and just say, "Lord, I want all that you have for me! This message is for me! Flood the eyes of my heart with light that I may know you more, that I would be changed from the inside out and show forth your glorious praise in the earth!"
You know, it's good to invest time in the relationships of those in the household of faith.
I was thinking today about being in a Sunday School class when I was a young single adult, and I remember so clearly thinking how these were my people. I was so thankful for them, and the confidence I had that these people could touch heaven on my behalf. I knew I would go to them before even thinking about a professional in any field of whatever need I had. Why? Because, I knew, above all else, I needed God! I needed people in my life who needed God and walked with God, who walked and lived by faith, who believed God was as big and as good as the Bible tells us He is, people who believed that God was indeed a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him!
These 42 years later, I still believe in the power of these relationships, and how very much I need these God loving, God fearing, God believing people in my life. We all not only need these people, we need to BE these people!
Cultivate these God given relationships in your life! Let it be said of us that "They feared the Lord and got together and talked often to one another, and the Lord listened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of us who reverenced and worshipfully feared the Lord and who thought on His Name." (Malachi 3:16)
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Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold strong to the confession of our hope, never wavering, since the One who promised it to us is faithful. 24 Let us consider how to inspire each other to greater love and to righteous deeds, 25 not forgetting to gather as a community, as some have forgotten, but encouraging each other, especially as the day of His return approaches.
The Lord once again ministered powerful Truths to us in Wednesday's service with Pastor Nate. Below are just a few nuggets from the service as well as the link to listen to the service.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Disciplined Minds and Expectant Hearts
The Lord ministered powerful Truths to us in the services yesterday with Brother Marty. Below are just a few nuggets from each service as well as the links to listen to the services again. We believe we will see the fruit of a sound mind, a heart at peace and full of hope (the confident expectation of good) as we attend to His Word, and as we allow It to become part of us in that we are a doer of it, and not a hearer only.
The power of FIRST. God has much to say in His Word about the principle of first, and how vitally important it is that we understand and acknowledge this truth in our lives. If God is not first in our lives, He will fall to the place of convenience, and even if we really try to "add Him in" to our day, to our lives, and to our family, if He isn't first, there is no redeeming of the rest. FIRST is the place of honor. FIRST is the place of faith. FIRST is the place of demonstrated dependence upon God. Is there really anywhere else we want to be? Absolutely not!
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:25;33
Ask yourself the questions, "Where do I need to make adjustments so God will have His rightful place of honor in my life? Where have I only been 'adding Him in' rather than acknowledging His Lordship and Kingship first? Not just generally speaking either. We can say, "Oh yes, God is first in my life. God has first place", but if we pray and we read His Word and spend time with Him when we get around to it rather than FIRST thing every day, and if we give our tithe and offering after we have tended to the financial responsibilities in our lives, and if we consult other people or other resources first when issues arise in our lives, then we must acknowledge that God is not first in our hearts and lives.
But glory to God, when you make those adjustments, when you honor Him with the FIRST, watch your faith rise, watch the life of God begin to flow in those dry places of your 'self try' as you begin partaking of "all those things being added to you"!
Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Proverbs 3:9
The Reign of LIFE
The gifts have been given and opened, the dinners cooked and leftovers put away, empty boxes and paper linger in the floor and the Christmas tree and decor now shouts, "I don't belong here"; a stark contrast to weeks earlier when the joyful anticipation of all the Christmas festivities were looming large.
As we begin to put away the Christmas decor, our eyes and our countenance are lifted with such overwhelming hope and joyful anticipation of GOOD, of LIFE, of VICTORY because Jesus came, our Savior came, our Healer came, our Deliverer came, our Provider came, our Lord came! He came just like God said He would and He came for two reasons:
1 John 3:8
. . .The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done].
. . .I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).
So, we celebrate! We celebrate every single day and throughout all of eternity the reign of LIFE our Lord and Savior purchased for us all, and we hold to His faithfulness, to His will of desiring that all men come to the knowledge of Him and be saved.
We continue to call out our loved ones' names to the Lord, trusting Him to send people across their paths to minister life to them, and we stand firm on the promise in the book of Acts that we and our household shall be saved! Don't give up, don't grow weary in what you may see where lost loved ones are concerned. Keep believing God. Keep your faith for their full salvation activated! Keep thanking Him for his mercy and grace extended to them! Father, we bind every lie and every blinder that has held our loved ones in darkness, and we pray for the Spirit of Truth to flood the eyes of their heart with Light in the knowledge of Who You are to them! We thank you for their salvation, in Jesus' Name!
The Power of Believing
The greatest miracle that has ever occurred on planet earth was the God of all creation stepping out of Glory, putting on flesh and becoming a man like you and me for the sole purpose of becoming His creation's Substitute. For the sole purpose of suffering the penalty and death of our sin - so that He could make the great exchange! So that He could treat us with all His goodness and kindness and love just as if we had never sinned - just as His heart longed for.
So Jesus came. Our Substitute came! And glory to God in the Highest, the exchange was completed! Our sin for God's righteousness. Our sickness and disease for God's health and wholeness. Our poverty for God's riches. Our darkness for God's Light. Our lack for God's abundance. Our weakness for God's strength. Our failures for God's success. This exchange was completed at Calvary and His resurrection.
Say this out loud: "All my sin, all my sickness and diseases, all my poverty, all my failures passed from me to Calvary, and all God's righteousness, all God's health and wholeness, all God's riches, and all God's success passed from Calvary to me."
As we celebrate the coming of our Lord and Savior this Christmas, let's be reminded what had to happen for Jesus to come, to be made flesh. Heaven had to find someone on the earth to believe Him and come into agreement with Him!
Luke 1:34-38: And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
God is looking for faith! God is looking for someone to come into agreement with His Word, someone to believe and say, "Be it done unto me according to Your Word!" The promises of God will become 'flesh' in your life just as it did in Mary's life when you do what Mary did, and hold to it, act like it, live like it. He's not looking for your performance, He's looking for your faith in His Word.
Luke 1:45: "And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, AND, ON EARTH, PEACE GOOD-WILL TOWARD MEN!
The Power of Thanksgiving
Being thankful is so much more than good manners. It is the very thing that connects us to the grace of God! Whether we realize it or not, God's grace is the very element we desperately need in every area of our lives. It is so much more than most people realize it is. Ephesians 2:8 states, "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."
EVERYTHING we receive from God is by grace, through faith. Everything. Faith, absolutely, but first, it's by grace. Our faith must have something to attach itself to, and God made the first move with His GRACE - the absolute undeserved, unearned breath, life and goodness of God . Eternal life, every answer, every provision, every healing, every deliverance, wisdom, understanding, and forgiveness is given to us by His grace. Every talent, every ability, every breath we take is given to us by His grace. He only relates to man in this way. By grace. It is ALL a gift from Him. We must answer His overwhelming grace with a thankful / grateful and strong voice of faith and surrender to Him, His word and His authority!
We get messed up when we expect God to do something for us based on what we have or have not done. If we think we DESERVE God to move on our behalf, we have just cut ourselves off from His help. We do not now, nor will we ever DESERVE anything from Him. Friends, God is good to us and shows us favor and kindness not because we are good, but because HE is good, and He chose to be good to us based on His goodness! Wow, what a God! What a Father! Therefore thanksgiving should be in our mouths and on our lips at all times! 1 Thessalonians 5:18 - "in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus."
For this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Why is that? Because He has already been gracious to you and He wants you opened up so you can respond to and receive His goodness! He has already given you everything you need for your life! If someone has given you something, what is your response? Thank you! We absolutely do thank Him and acknowledge Him after we receive! It would be prideful to not! However, faith also thanks God before we hold it or see it! Faith thanks God ahead of receiving - knowing His grace has already provided it and He keeps His Word! We need to quit begging and start thanking Him!
Expressing thanks causes our focus to go from ourselves to our Savior, our Healer, our Provider, our Deliverer, to the One Who is just looking to and fro in the earth for faith - so He can show Himself strong on our behalf! Cultivating a lifestyle of thanksgiving will keep us out of darkness, and on a bright path where His grace can abound unto us!
"But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere." 2 Cor 2:14 (amp)