Thoughts on Recent Events

Two weeks ago The Lord instructed me to begin reading the sermons of John Wesley, so I pulled out the two double volumes and began with volume one, sermon one. Since that time there have been two high profile leaders renounce their faith and a international revivalist accused of some very dark stuff. I believe these events and as much as I hate to say it, others like them that will continue in the coming months, is part of the reason I am reading Wesley right now.

I have no desire to discuss these three situations. The truth is I didn’t follow their ministries or any of the ministries around them. In the charismatic/pentecostal part of the body I have grown up in there has always been lots of talk about a great end time revival. What we are seeing now is the beginning of a great end time apostasy.

My heart grieves for the Church right now, for victims, for those questioning their faith and I am praying for those involved. I am praying for people to have grace to repent and for leaders to have the courage to speak up and enact discipline.

HOW DID ALL THIS START

Granted I don’t and most of us don’t know specifics on things but speaking to the charismatic body of Christ I honestly believe these type of things have begun to take hold because we don’t have a strong theology. Pentecostal and charismatic believer’s are known for emphasizing revival, miracles and signs and wonders and that is our problem. Those things are supposed to be the result not the focus.

Hebrews 12:1-4 NIV ” Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

We all say that Jesus is the focus but if we are honest, much of the pentecostal/charismatic church quit focusing on Jesus a long time ago and started focusing on revival, crowd size and signs and wonders.

THE RESULT OF A SHIFTED FOCUS

Because there has been such an over emphasis on signs and wonders we have valued gifting over character and the spectacular over the steady. Do I believe in healing and miracles? Yes. Do I believe in restoration? Yes. Restoration to God, first and foremost.

My heart breaks right now because many members and leaders are taking the restore passage in Galatians six while totally dismissing the qualifications set for ministry in Timothy. This out of balance emphasis makes it seem like as long as your flowing in the gifts God winks at your sin. We have mistaken the mercy of God to give time to repent for his approval because signs and wonders are happening.

Hebrews 12:4-13 “In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”

WHAT DOES GOD VALUE

First and foremost, God values sons and daughters over their ministry. This is why Paul said I have turned such a one over to satan for the destruction of their flesh that they may be saved on the day of judgment. There are gifts of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is more important. A tree is known by its fruit. Many have mistaken that to mean the fruit of ministry is signs and wonders. How can that be when Jesus said, many will come to me saying I prophesied in your name, I cast demons out in your name, yet I will say, depart from me I never knew you. Hebrews says without holiness no man shall see the Lord. Considering none of the qualifications of ministry list anything spectacular, I think if we are honest we would say as a whole the charismatic emphasis has missed the boat.

WHAT DO WE DO

The most important thing we can do is guard and examine our own hearts. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas in our own lives that are not pleasing to Him. In holding to standards of righteousness we must remember to do so in love and pray for those who have walked away or fallen to be restored to their relationship with Jesus.

As I have been praying for several days and reading different things, one thing seems to be clear concerning exposure of unrepented sin, this is just the beginning. Judgment begins in the house of God and we need to be ready for that. As believer’s we need to make sure our focus is on Jesus and not our favorite preacher, author, or singer.

As I said at the beginning, I have been reading John Wesley. he was known for preaching holiness and for teaching something called the middle road. Basically meaning, stay out of ditches. The pentecostal/charismatic world has fallen into a revival ditch full of signs and wonders. We need to quit looking for revival and look to the reviver. Our theological roots of holiness need to be revived. We need to put character over gifting and emphasize sanctification over supernatural manifestation. On Sunday we enter the Hebrew month of Elul which includes thirty days of Teshuvah, meaning to return. With all that is going on, I believe The Lord is calling us to return to holiness, to return to what He holds dear.

I am praying for the Church as things continue to unfold. I am praying for our faith to be rooted and grounded in the Word of God. I am praying each individuals faith will be able to stand the test that is coming as the idolatry of celebrity preachers, unbalanced teachings and more are exposed in the coming months. I encourage all of us to take this next month as an appointed time of heart searching and consecration. Ask for a heart of holiness to be given to you, ask to be sanctified and taught what it is to live like Jesus.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

I think it would be helpful for those who have grown up in or are part of pentecostal and charismatic churches to read Donald W. Dayton’s book, Theological Roots of Pentecostalism. Even though most of the doctrinal statements emphasize sanctification and holiness many of us don’t know what that looks like to live it and this book will help.

I also want to take this time to say I am spending 2020 in the New Testament. I have studied faith this year and the path I was lead on looked nothing like I thought it would. At the beginning of August the Holy Spirit told me New testament 2020. What that looks like is beginning to take shape and I know I will see a major holiness emphasis next year.

As things continue to be exposed in leadership and in your own life, make the determination now that Scripture is your standard. Unfortunately we have already begun to see people walk away from faith and this will continue. If ministries you support or your church puts someone’s gifting over their character, make the decision now that you will walk away. If you have to choose between holiness or healing at your church or in a ministry, choose holiness. I believe there are some emotional days ahead for many; keep your eyes on Jesus, meditate on the Scriptures, pray, walk in love and worship Jesus and you will make it through the house cleaning that has begun.

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Bible Study Tips

I just finished reading through the New Testament, which got me to thinking about Bible study. Bible study isn’t boring and knowing theology isn’t just for preachers. Granted pastors should go deeper and spend more time in study do to the fact that they are teaching a church, however study is for the believer. In this post I am going to share a few ways I study and a few things you can do to make your Bible study more meaningful.

Most of us have a Bible APP that gives us a verse of the day and that’s fine but we all know we need more than just one verse a day. The same kind of thing is true for studying the Bible. If you’re going to study verses, read the chapter. If you’re going to study a chapter, read the book. Context is key and honestly, I think we get more out of Scripture when we at times purposefully set aside an hour or two (the same amount of time as a movie) and read a book of the Bible in one sitting.

Most of us don’t know Hebrew and Greek but there are tools out there like the Strong’s Concordance that can give us the meaning of the original language. It’s not necessary to look up every word of a verse that you’re studying but there will be times when your interest is peaked and you’ll want to dive a little deeper into the meaning.

I probably should have started with this but pray before you read and ask Holy Spirit to teach you. That’s His role in our lives, so we need to ask Him for that help.

Always take notes on what you’re learning or thoughts you have while you’re reading. One thought can develop at a later time and become a great study.

Phones can be helpful when it comes to finding a verse but have a real, leather bound Bible you use to study out of. It cuts down on distraction, ( which reminds me, put your phone on silent). When we sit down to study we need to give that time and God the respect of our attention being on Him.

Use different translations. I recommend using a good “word-for-word” translation (NASB, ESV, NKJV, MEV) and a “thought-for-thought” or Paraphrase as well (NIV, NLT and The Message). When you study you should have at minimum two translations to look at. I also recommend the Amplified Classic Edition Bible and The Passion Translation. If you like to use a study Bible I would recommend the Spirit Filled Life Bible and the Life Application Study Bible.

Take your time when you study, you won’t always finish a study in one sitting. Allow time to meditate on what you are getting out of your study. Talk to friends about what you’re studying and see what they get as well.

You can take a look at the recommended reading page for Bible Study tools and other books. As you study the Bible, include a study of the history of the places you are reading about to get a more complete understanding of what is going on. Make a general study of church history and theology to help you better understand the text.

One last thing, have a spot that is designated for study, make it comfortable, have your stuff all in one place so you can get immersed in going through the Word, running references, looking up words and getting to know the people in the book. It may take a few times to really get into study but one day you’ll look up and realize you’ve been sitting there for three hours and only think it has been fifteen minutes.

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Get Free And Stay Free

God gave us Passover to help us stay and get back on the right path if we get off. You can see as you read through the Old Testament, Israel constantly got on the wrong path and went after other gods. We do the same thing, it just doesn’t take the same form. And we can get just as religious as the Pharisees we always pick on. Some even become legalistic in their freedom by attributing legalism to others who are just walking in holiness. Some even use freedom to disregard reverence completely.

I start this post in this way because I want one thing clear as we go forward, look at yourself as you read this post. Don’t look at your friend, or that person at the church you don’t like. (By the way, go ahead and forgive that person, it’s the only way freedom will stick).

Here’s the hard truth about getting free and staying free, we make it harder than it has to be. James 4:7-8 MEV “Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded.”

Most of us when we face temptation, we tend not to go to God or resist the temptation, most of the time we yield to it fairly soon after it shows up. Temptation doesn’t come out of nowhere. James 1:14-15 MEV “But each man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed. Then, when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin; and when sin is finished, it brings forth death.” There is a process to temptation being acted on and becoming sin and that sin becoming long-term bondage. It all starts in the mind, which we addressed in the last post.

Each of the feasts are given to not only help us stay on track, but to continue moving forward and growing each year. Each month in the Hebrew has a specific purpose to it. God has each day, each week through Sabbath, each month through Rosh-Chodesh (the beginning of the month) and each year with its three feast times lined up for us to grow in Him and advance the Kingdom. These things are given to help us stay clear of the enemies traps.

James says, when we draw near to God that He draws near to us. Adam could have gone to God instead of hiding and there would have been a different outcome. The first step to freedom is running to God and not from Him. There is no formula or three-step program to bring any of us to that point. We have to choose to believe God’s love over the enemies fear.

As I was studying for this post the Holy Spirit took me off my course and said just give them James and tell them that you have made freedom too hard. If we are honest with ourselves, we know that it’s true. I think we try to come up with formulas and programs partly because we’ve bought the enemies lie that freedom can’t begin that easy. Notice I said begin, because changing the way we think and training ourselves to resist temptation does take work. Yet the work isn’t as hard as we make it out to be either. When we fully trust the love of God and yield to the help of the Holy Spirit, the enemy has no choice but to leave. Sure he may throw a fit and try to make his bondage seem big to us, but the truth is, he’s already defeated. We just have to enforce the victory.

Here is my encouragement to you; spend the next 21 days reading, studying and meditating on the book of James and the book of Ephesians. Learn who you are and your authority. Knowing those things is how you stay free. Resisting the enemy is easy, it starts with the choice of taking thoughts captive and it continues with speaking in line with the Word of God. These things are enforced by taking your authority over the enemy.

In the coming weeks we will look at who we are and our authority as well as the power of the Holy Spirit in us through receiving the baptism of the Spirit.

Recommend reading:

The Believers Authority: Kenneth E. Hagin
Reclaiming Our Forgotten Heritage: Curt Landry
A Time to Advance – Understanding the Hebrew Tribes and Months: Pierce & Heidler

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Passover And Good Friday

All throughout Egypt you could smell the roasting of a lamb for each household. Normally the smell of food would have one sense with it, happiness. But this barbecue brought a somber feeling as the Hebrews then applied the blood of the lamb to the doorpost that the destroyer may pass over as the death of the firstborn is carried out.

Have you ever stopped to think about the death of the firstborn? It wasn’t just babies, but someone’s dad, grandfather and great grandfather may have been someone’s first born. Have you ever thought of the principle of sowing and reaping where this is concerned? The only reason there is a Moses was because his mother put him in a basket to save his life and later he delivered his people.

Fast forward a few thousand years and Herod issued a decree that all children two years and younger be killed. An angel warned Joseph to flee with the mother and child. The blood of the first Passover allowed for the blood of the lamb slain for the foundation of the world.

Without a Passover there could have been no crucifixion. Without a Red Sea crossing there could have been no resurrection. We are free on Good Friday because they were freed on the first Passover.

As Christians we must watch out for spiritual pride because Paul wrote in Romans that we need to remember that as wild branches the root supports us, we do not support the root. In Galatians 3:9, 13-14 MEV “So then those who are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by being made a curse for us—as it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” — so that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

This Passover and Good Friday my prayer is that we as Christians would see our connection to our Jewish roots so that we can enter in to a full understanding and appreciation for what this season represents.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 MEV “Therefore purge out the old yeast, that you may be a new batch, since you are unleavened. For even Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old yeast, nor with the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

In the Old Testament (First Covenant) blood was sprinkled seven times. The blood of the New Covenant (New Testament/Renewed Covenant) was shed by Jesus in seven places; the garden, whipping post, crown of thorns, nails in his hands and feet, pierced at His side, and His bruised heel when He defeated the enemy.

Read and meditate on the words of the Prophet Isaiah concerning The Messiah. Isaiah 53:3-11 AMPC “He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like One from Whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him. Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. [Matt. 8:17.] But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has made to light upon Him the guilt and iniquity of us all. [I Pet. 2:24, 25.] He was oppressed, [yet when] He was afflicted, He was submissive and opened not His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who among them considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living [stricken to His death] for the transgression of my [Isaiah’s] people, to whom the stroke was due? And they assigned Him a grave with the wicked, and with a rich man in His death, although He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth. [Matt. 27:57-60; I Pet. 2:22, 23.] Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief and made Him sick. When You and He make His life an offering for sin [and He has risen from the dead, in time to come], He shall see His [spiritual] offspring, He shall prolong His days, and the will and pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see [the fruit] of the travail of His soul and be satisfied; by His knowledge of Himself [which He possesses and imparts to others] shall My [uncompromisingly] righteous One, My Servant, justify many and make many righteous (upright and in right standing with God), for He shall bear their iniquities and their guilt [with the consequences, says the Lord].”

It is because of this that I remember Moses and the children of Israel. It is because Jesus and His disciples celebrated Passover that I celebrate. Because Christ my Passover has been sacrificed I celebrate with joy my own salvation and deliverance.

As you reflect on this Good Friday, as you read the account of Jesus’s last week, read Exodus chapters one through twelve. Ask Holy Spirit to show you the connections between Passover and Good Friday. If you can watch Pastor Larry Huch teach tonight on Christ in the Passover at 7pm CST. You can watch online, on YouTube and on Facebook. To go deeper in your studies of Jewish roots, read the other series on the blog and check the recommended reading page.

Connect to your Jewish roots during this Passover season and continue through to Pentecost and beyond. It is an amazing journey that will impact your relationship with Jesus in ways you could have never imagined.

If you would like to celebrate the feast by giving an offering, I invite you to join me in partnering with Larry Huch Ministries and supporting Project Aliyah which brings persecuted Jews home to Israel and helps them get settled in the land.

Have a BLESSED Passover and Resurrection weekend. Next week we will close our Passover 2019 series by looking at steps to freedom and how to stay free.

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Developing A New Way of Thinking

One of the most interesting things in the Exodus story to me is the verse when they come to the border of Cannan. While this happens after the exodus, the statement points back to the picture of prosperity the roasted lamb represented. Exodus 16:35 MEV “The children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land. They ate the manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.”

If you listen to the prophetic words coming forth from the prophets today, a central theme is that we are entering a new era. Passover is a time to cross over and develop new ways of thinking. The children of Israel ate manna until they came to the border of the new, then the manna ceased.

This Passover each of us must choose to have a new way of thinking. As Scripture says, we must be renewed in our minds through the washing of the water of the Word. Many of us don’t even realize how TV, music, and social media fogs are minds and pulls us away from the Word of God.

If we were to start recording our daily conversations would we be surprised at the amount of fear, doubt, and unbelief we speak without even realizing it?

Our words create our world. Proverbs 18:21 tells us that life and death are in our tongue. Proverbs 6:2 tells us we are snared by the words of our mouth. We speak what dominates our thinking. One of the seven places Jesus shed His blood was the crown of thorns. We are redeemed from poverty and wrong thinking through His shed blood. Philippians 2:5 says we have the mind of Christ. So why don’t we operate in it? The truth is, most of our minds are filled more with the world than they are the Word.

I don’t have any steps for you in this post, I just have a simple challenge; study one chapter a day. Don’t just read it, bug dig into it. Get a Strong’s Concordance and look up definitions, pray over the chapter and read it in different translations. Instead of listening to music, even Christian music in the car, listen to teaching and get the Word in you.

The only way we can change the way we think is to change what we’re putting into our minds. Each of us has a choice, the reality is, we simply find it easier to turn on Netflix than a teaching or scroll through Instagram than read our Bibles. Only you, only I can make the decision – Passover is the time to say, I’m crossing over into a new way of thinking, a new way of talking and a new way of being. It starts with a choice, read and study a chapter each day. I suggest starting with James and Ephesians. They are both short and powerful books.

GIVE A PASSOVER OFFERING

During this Passover season, don’t miss the window of heaven that is open right now. Three times a year God has specific BLESSINGS prepared for us. We are BLESSED to be a BLESSING. As you give to Project AliyahProject Aliyah to help persecuted Jews go home to Israel, you are helping God’s chosen people and those who BLESS Israel and the Jewish people will be BLESSED.

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Receiving Passover BLESSINGS

Last week we looked at why we give during the feasts of the Lord. As I said in the last post, we are free to give or not give a first fruit offering. I teach and participate in first fruits because even though I can come to God at any time, three times a year He sets aside a specific time to come near to us as we give.

In this post I want us to look at the specific BLESSINGS God desires to release on us as we present our first fruit offering to Him.

1. Divine Protection

The first sign of divine protection is seen the night Passover is instituted. The Hebrews were protected from losing their first born by putting blood on the door posts of their houses (Exodus 12:7). They received continual protection from an angel sent to guard them along their way (Exodus 23:20). The shed blood of Jesus is our protection, we don’t have to shed the blood of the lamb every year. Giving our Passover offering connects us to that divine protection for the year.

2. An Enemy of our Enemies

Exodus 23:22 says that God will be an enemy to our enemies. Just like God protected Israel from the army that pursued them, God is an enemy to our enemy, the devil. John 10:10 says the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. The enemy must steal the Word before he can kill or destroy anything. That’s why he stole the revelation of the Jewish roots from the Church. When we celebrate God’s appointed times we are connecting back to that truth and back to having the windows of heaven (Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles) opened over our lives.

3. Prosperity

Exodus 23:25 MEV “You shall serve the LORD your God, and He will BLESS your bread and your water…” The first picture of prosperity we see is on the night of the Passover, when God instructed them to roast the lamb (Exodus 12:7-10). You can’t keep the leftovers of a roasted lamb. God was already preparing them for a higher level of living. They began walking in that prosperity as they left Egypt because they plundered the Egyptians and took articles of silver and gold and clothing (Exodus 12:35-36). As you sow your Passover offering expect to receive ABUNDANT prosperity.

4. No Sickness or Disease

Verse twenty-five continues, “and I will remove sickness from your midst..” Exodus 15:26 MEV ““He said, “If you diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will not afflict you with any of the diseases with which I have afflicted the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.” Healing is a covenant right that Jesus purchased for us (Isaiah 53:4-5 AMPC and Psalm 103:3). Receive your healing this Passover.

5. Long Life

Exodus 23:25 ends by saying you will fulfill the number of your days. Scripture continually talks about living a long and satisfied life. It says of Caleb, he was as strong at eighty as forty. Believe God to live long and live strong. We are redeemed from the curse, we all get old, but we don’t have to get old and become weak and sick. Feed on long life and health Scriptures and take care of your body and watch how God takes care of you as you age.

6. Increase and Inheritance

The Hebrews inherited a land flowing with milk and honey. They went from slavery to prosperity. THE BLESSING of Abraham was working in their lives and it can work for us too. Galatians three tells us we are BLESSED with believing Abraham and redeemed from the curse. Poverty and lack are a curse (Deuteronomy 28:38, 48). Build your faith in the goodness of God. He delights in the prosperity of His servant and God’s BLESSING makes life rich!

7. A BLESSED Year

Passover takes place during the first month and it is the first offering. Mark 4:20 says that we can receive thirty, sixty, and one hundred fold. Mark 4:28 teaches us the law of progression; first the blade, then the head, then the full seed in the head. Passover. Pentecost. Tabernacles. Thirty. Sixty. One Hundred.

Deuteronomy 16:16-17 AMPC “Three times a year shall all your males appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths. They shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed: Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you.”

Again, we are free to give or not give. Yet, three times a year God celebrates and He invites us to join in on the celebration through are giving.

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 AMPC “[Remember] this: he who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to someone] will also reap generously and with blessings. Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving]. [Prov. 22:9.] And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].”

This Passover, I invite you to join me in supporting Project Aliyah through Larry Huch Ministries. This project pays for persecuted Jews around the world to return to Israel and help them start a new life in their homeland. By participating in this project we are helping fulfill Bible prophecy by helping a Jewish person return home. I invite you to learn more about this project and sow your Passover offering towards it.

Next week we will look at one of the most crucial parts of Passover, developing a new mindset. I will be bringing a lot of fresh revelation in the next three weeks on how we can BE delivered in this passover season and stay delivered as we move toward pentecost.

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PASSOVER: A Time to BE Delivered

Excited does not begin to describe how I feel about this Passover season and my expectancy for this year! I don’t approach Passover and resurrection lightly. Each year we get to remember how God led the Hebrews out of Egypt and how Jesus ultimate sacrifice for us not only brought salvation to us, but complete wholeness; spirit, soul, and body.

As I prayed about this years Passover series I heard the Lord say (in my spirit), “This Passover, it’s time to BE delivered.” The word BE was so big on the inside of me when He said it. Genesis automatically leapt in me. In Hebrew God said light BE and light was, etc.

During the time of Passover (the month of April), expect to BE delivered! Believe to come out of depression and into joy. Believe to come out of sickness and into health. Believe to come out of lack and into prosperity. I won’t have enough time and space in this particular series to cover all the aspects of Passover and the Exodus story, so I encourage you to read and pray through Exodus chapters one through eighteen. Ask Holy Spirit to give you the revelation in the Passover you need this year.

It is important we don’t approach the feasts the same every year. We are called to go from faith to faith and glory to glory. We need to know the basics, yes, but each year we need to let Holy Spirit take us deeper in our understanding. If you are not familiar with Passover or the Jewish roots you can read the Jewish roots series and get some books from the recommended reading page.

As we begin this series we need to establish what it means to be delivered. The word delivered, defined by Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible means; to be drawn out, to bring forth, to escape, to give or be given, to rescue and to passover.

Get your expectancy up to be drawn out of captivity and brought into THE BLESSING! Expect to bring forth the promises and vision of God in your life. Expect the prophetic words for 2019 to come to pass in your life as you obey the word and sow your tithes, offerings and first fruits. Expect to give and be given an ABUNDANT HARVEST this year.

In the next post we will look at the BLESSINGS of Passover and in the rest of the series we will look at how to BE and stay delivered from the specific areas the Spirit leads for this series.

Today, I want to establish the importance and BLESSING in giving during the feasts. Deuteronomy 16:16-17 MEV “Three times a year all your males must appear before the LORD your God in the place where He will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles, and they must not appear before the LORD empty. Every man must give as he is able, in proportion to THE BLESSING of the LORD your God, which He has given you”.

With this verse being read, don’t fall into the enemies trap of thinking this is legalism. You can give or not give. God has a standing invitation three times a year where He wants to give special BLESSINGS to those who will enter in. You can be BLESSED without participating in the feasts but the understanding of thirty, sixty, one hundred fold, and the blade, the ear, and the full corn in the ear (Mark 4:20, 28-29) is found in giving during the three feasts.

Now look at Proverbs 3:9-10 MEV “Honor the LORD with your substance, and with the first fruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your presses will burst out with new wine.”

Giving at the appointed times allows us a specific opportunity to BE a BLESSING and receive a BLESSING. The Hebrews are not the only ones who left Egypt. Exodus 12:37-38 MEV “Then the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Sukkoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. A mixed multitude also went up with them along with flocks and herds, a large amount of livestock.” Remember when Haman was killed and Purim was instituted it says all those who aligned themselves with the Jews celebrated.

Galatians 3:7-9, 13-14 MEV “Therefore know that those who are of faith are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel in advance to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” (13-14) “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by being made a curse for us—as it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” — so that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

As Christians we are grafted in to a Jewish root and THE BLESSING of Abraham is on us. We can only walk in that BLESSING if we BLESS the Jews. God still BLESSES those that BLESS Israel and we ourselves open the door to curses when we speak against God’s chosen people and vote for politicians who want to divide the land of Israel or who support or don’t condemn anti-Semitic language.

One last Scripture on Christians celebrating the feasts of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 MEV “Therefore purge out the old yeast, that you may be a new batch, since you are unleavened. For even Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old yeast, nor with the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

Now is the time to BLESS Israel and the Jewish people. During the feasts I specifically give to Israel and the Jews, there are opportunities throughout the year to give to other great projects but three times a year we are given specific opportunity to BE a BLESSING to Israel.

Salvation comes from the Jews and is to the Jew first. We have our Bible and our savior because of the Jews. Let’s give in honor of them. This Passover I am supporting Project Aliyah which pays for the flights and initial integration of Jews back to Israel. If you have seen the news lately, you know anti-semitism is on the rise around the world. We have an opportunity to rescue Jews out of persecution. That is the very definition of delivered and when we deliver others God will bring about our deliverance. In the next post we will look at that in detail. Please take some time to pray about being part of Project Aliyah. Passover/Unleavened Bread is from April 19 through 27, so you have some time to pray and see how you would like to be involved. You can learn more at Larry Huch Ministries.

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PURIM: Standing Against the Modern Day Spirit of Haman

In closing this three day Purim series I want to continue off of yesterday’s post on standing with Israel and the Jewish people. We looked at how walking in THE BLESSING is connected with standing with the Jews and how we can walk in higher levels of revelation when we embrace our Jewish roots. That is the first half of being aligned with the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. The second half is being willing to stand up to Anti-Semitism.

From members of Congress using Anti-Semitic tropes and not being willing to affirm Israel’s right to exist, to the growing BDS (Boycott, Divest, and Sanction) movement, to hate crimes and terrorist attacks against Israel, Anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world.

We all know to be silent in the face of evil is evil itself. We have all heard the quote, “the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” We can become overwhelmed with what I or you can do with such a big problem. The truth is, if each one of us does what we can do, we can bring change.

There will always be Anti-Semitism. The devil hates God’s chosen people. Pharaoh killed all babies two and under but Moses still came. Herod killed babies two and under but an Angel warned Joseph and he escaped with Mary and Jesus. Is it any wonder that the majority of democrats are now openly supporting abortion up to the moment of birth. The devil has always been after children, that’s why he presented Molech to the people. Of course now we’re sophisticated, we don’t offer our babies to idols, we just believe in women’s right to choose. New name, same demon.

When a government leader says Anti-Semitic things, call them out on it. If you see a Jew being verbally harassed, step in. Send condolence cards to local Synagogues after a terrorist attack. All this goes for any people group or religion. We don’t have to agree with one another to be decent people.

The bottom line is, God isn’t going to ask us about others, He will ask me what I did. He will ask if I prayed for the peace of Jerusalem like Scripture instructs. He will ask if I followed through with the understanding He revealed to me about Jewish roots. What He asks me and what He asks you will be different in some ways, but He will ask each of us what we did.

In whatever way you can, stand up to Anti-Semitism and pray against things like replacement theology and the BDS movement. In these last days Gentiles who are open to the voice of the Lord will be drawn to a Jew (Zechariah 8:23). Christians will begin to hunger for the Jewish roots of their faith. Don’t ignore that, don’t push it aside and don’t buy the lie that we have replaced the Jews or the Old Testament is not relevant to Christians. Don’t expect God to shout it at you, although He may at first. Listen for His still small voice, pay attention to the little nudges, and the books that you always seem to find in the bookstore.

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PURIM: Why Christians Should Stand With Jews

Five years ago this Passover the Lord started me on a journey of understanding the Jewish roots of Christianity. Space doesn’t permit me to retell the story here but I will say that understanding the Jewish roots and learning to understand the Bible from a Hebrew perspective has absolutely deepened my relationship with Jesus.

The story of Purim is a story of turnaround, deliverance and favor for the Jewish people. Yet this story is not just about the Jews but us as well.

Esther 2:26-27 NASB “Therefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. And because of the instructions in this letter, both what they had seen in this regard and what had happened to them, the Jews established and made a custom for themselves and for their descendants and for all those who allied themselves with them, so that they would not fail to celebrate these two days according to their regulation and according to their appointed time annually.”

And for all those who allied themselves with them. Replacement theology is not the truth. The Church has not replaced Israel, we have been grafted in to Israel.

Romans 11:16-18 NASB “If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.”

Galatians 3:6-14 NASB “Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ” ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU. ” So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, ” CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.” Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, ” THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, ” HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us-for it is written, ” CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE “- in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

As Christians are root is Jewish and our way of thinking is not of this world (Greek thinking) but to think as God does, Hebraically. In Esther it says all those who allied themselves with the Jews celebrated. To be allied with the Jews doesn’t just mean to support their right to exist and to stand for Israel as their homeland and a undivided Jerusalem, all though those things are important. From a Christian perspective it is deeper than that. We recognize Jesus and His disciples were Jewish and that Paul never offended the law (Acts 25:8).

To be allied with the Jews is to understand that we are one new man. The feasts of the Old Testament are God’s feasts and they are appointed times with Him to be celebrated by Jews and Christians. If you think I am stepping into legalism here, let me say, you are free not to celebrate, but you are missing out on a BLESSING.

Zechariah 8:23 NASB “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew (the corners of the prayer shawl), saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”‘”

When we stand for the nation of Israel, we are standing for the Word of God. When we embrace our Jewish roots we are walking in the fullness of the Word’s truth.

THE BLESSING is THE BLESSING of Abraham. Part of that BLESSING is I will BLESS those that BLESS you and I will curse those who curse you. Some may say, in Jesus we are not cursed and that is true. Yet, when the Church separated from its Jewish root that is when the doctrine of poverty and lack came in. When we separated from our root the idea that God gives sickness to teach us came in. When we read Deuteronomy twenty eight, we see a clear picture of what THE BLESSING is and what the curse is. Sin, sickness, poverty, strained relationships, disease, debt and everything bad is a curse. Many may be saved but they aren’t living in the reality of THE BLESSING. Much of that took root when the Church divorced itself from the root of Judaism.

I’m not saying Christians have to become Jewish, we are one new man in Jesus. What I am saying is there is BLESSING when we BLESS Israel and there is thirty, sixty, one hundred fold harvest when we give during the appointed feast times.

THE BLESSING is not a legalistic thing, it’s all about relationship. The Amplified Bible in 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving]. [Prov. 22:9.]”

Connecting with our Jewish roots is all about our relationship with Jesus. Tithing and giving is all about love and relationship. Purim and Chanukah allow us to stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters and celebrate with them. Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles allow us and are appointed for us to go from faith to faith and glory to glory.

As you read the book of Esther, as you pray through it, ask Holy Spirit to give you a revelation of the Jewish roots and a love for Israel. Take some time and read other teaching on the blog about Jewish roots and check out the recommended reading page to learn more.

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PURIM: Supernatural Turnaround, Deliverance & Favor

In celebration of the Feast of Purim, we are going to take three days and look at different aspects of the Book of Esther and what it held for the time it happened and what it means for Christians today. We will not be able to look at every verse and chapter, so I encourage you to take time and read and pray through the book of Esther this week.

THE BEGINNING AND THE SHIFTING:

King Ahasuerus was hosting a banquet and everyone was having a good time. As usual, much wine was being consumed. Esther 1:10-12, 19-20 NASB “On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown in order to display her beauty to the people and the princes, for she was beautiful. But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command delivered by the eunuchs. Then the king became very angry and his wrath burned within him. (19-20) If it pleases the king, let a royal edict be issued by him and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media so that it cannot be repealed, that Vashti may no longer come into the presence of King Ahasuerus, and let the king give her royal position to another who is more worthy than she. When the king’s edict which he will make is heard throughout all his kingdom, great as it is, then all women will give honor to their husbands, great and small.””

With Queen Vashti’s refusal we see the hidden hand of God at work. Esther is the only book in the TANAKH (The Hebrew Bible) that does not mention God’s name, yet, throughout the story we see His hand moving things behind the scenes to protect and favor His people.

Because she refused the king’s request a search was made for a new queen. A Jew named Mordecai told Hadassah (Esther) his uncle’s daughter to go the process of preparation and not tell anyone who she was. Esther found favor with the king and was made queen.

THE HAND OF GOD FOR FUTURE FAVOR:

Esther 2:21-23 NASB “In those days, while Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s officials from those who guarded the door, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. But the plot became known to Mordecai and he told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai’s name. Now when the plot was investigated and found to be so, they were both hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the Book of the Chronicles in the king’s presence.”

This interruption to the story is another setup by the hidden hand of God to protect and favor His people. This plot against the king is interrupted by a Jew and because of this the enemies plot against the Jews later doesn’t quite turn out like he wanted.

THE PLOT, THE PLAN, AND THE PLEA:

After that event the king decides to promote a man named Haman. Haman becomes enraged at the fact Mordecai won’t bow to him so he has the king write a decree to kill all the Jews. The decree is sent out and the Jews are in distress. When Esther finds out about the decree she instructs Mordecai to have all the Jews fast for three days.

In the midst of facing death, before Esther springs into action she calls for a fast. Stop and think about that. How many of us when we are going through a much less stressful situation just operate in our own strength and understanding? Fasting puts our flesh in line. That place in line is second to our spirit man. Fasting enables us to get the mind of God on a matter. When you’re facing a big decision or an unexpected situation, don’t let your emotions take over, put them under the control of your spirit man.

THE BANQUET AND THE FLIPPED SCRIPT

Esther put her life on the line by going to see the king without an invitation but she obtained favor and the king extended the golden scepter. The king asked her what she requested and she asked that the king and Haman attend a banquet she would host. When Haman heard of the invitation his pride went through the roof and he bragged to his friends. Scripture says pride goes before the fall and Haman is about to find that out.

The night before the banquet the king can’t sleep so he asks the records be read to him, because that will definitely put you to sleep. It just so happened that the story of Mordecai was read. The king asked if anything had ever been done to honor him and nothing had been done.

The King wanted to ask how to honor someone and it just so happened that Haman was in the courtyard. The story picks up in Esther 6:6-12 NASB “So Haman came in and the king said to him, “What is to be done for the man whom the king desires to honor?” And Haman said to himself, “Whom would the king desire to honor more than me?” Then Haman said to the king, “For the man whom the king desires to honor, let them bring a royal robe which the king has worn, and the horse on which the king has ridden, and on whose head a royal crown has been placed; and let the robe and the horse be handed over to one of the king’s most noble princes and let them array the man whom the king desires to honor and lead him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him, ‘Thus it shall be done to the man whom the king desires to honor.'” Then the king said to Haman, “Take quickly the robes and the horse as you have said, and do so for Mordecai the Jew, who is sitting at the king’s gate; do not fall short in anything of all that you have said.” So Haman took the robe and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city square, and proclaimed before him, “Thus it shall be done to the man whom the king desires to honor.” Then Mordecai returned to the king’s gate. But Haman hurried home, mourning, with his head covered.”

That is one of my favorite parts of this whole story. Mordecai didn’t seek an honor for what he did but it was bestowed on him anyway. Not only was he honored but Haman was taken down a few pegs as well.

Even with this setback Haman still had the banquet to look forward to.

THE FALLOUT AND THE FAVOR

At the banquet Esther finally asked the king of her request, the life of her people. Haman is hanged on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. Things have definitely turned around. The Jews have been delivered from the plot of the enemy but God doesn’t stop there. Esther 8:1-2 NASB “On that day King Ahasuerus gave the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, to Queen Esther; and Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had disclosed what he was to her. The king took off his signet ring which he had taken away from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.”

TURNAROUND! PLUNDER! FAVOR! Just a few days ago their lives are being threatened and now, not only is the guy who threatened them hanging from his own gallows, on top of that Mordecai is given his house, his possessions and his position!

And God doesn’t stop there. The king issued a second decree that the Jews could defend themselves against anyone who would try to kill them.

FINAL THOUGHTS

We may not always sense or see how God is moving in our lives but the story of Esther is a reminder of the hidden hand of God in our lives. Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work together for the good of them that love God and are called according to His purpose.

As I said in the beginning of this post, read and pray through Esther. Be encouraged by the goodness of God in this story. Pull away in prayer and fasting over your situation and expect to receive the mind of God on it.

Purim is a time to remember and celebrate the miraculous protection of God’s people, the deliverance from the plot of the enemy and the favor of God in any situation. Not just any type of favor but favor you couldn’t dream of without His influence.

Get in the Word concerning deliverance, protection and favor this week. Expect God to move on your behalf this week. Expect freedom and favor! Expect abundant harvest!

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Part 4: Faith Stops At The Question Mark

Hebrews 11:6 MEV “And without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those that seek Him.”

Matthew 6:33 AMPC “But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.”

John 10:10 AMPC “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”

Read those Scriptures again. Go ahead and get your Bible and turn to them and highlight or underline them. Let those Scriptures mark your thinking, not only for this study but from this day forward.

The title of this post is faith stops at the question mark. That is why I started with those three Scriptures, we have to understand that God’s will is good. From the very beginning God made a distinction between THE BLESSING and the curse. THE BLESSING is good and the curse is bad.

From the start the enemy has brought about confusion concerning this. Have you ever heard the phrase, “blessing in disguise”, or something like God used this tragedy to teach me. Those statements are beliefs in the curse and a rejection of THE BLESSING. No parent would wish ill on their child, yet many Christians have bought the lie of the enemy that bad things are “blessings in disguise”.

The will of God and the purpose of Jesus’s death and resurrection is made clear in Psalm 103:1-5 NKJV “Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

That is the will of God for our lives and this is where are faith is based from. When we let questions contrary to the Word of God run through our minds our faith stops. When questions like; will God heal me or thoughts of; I don’t need a raise, I’m able to meet my obligations or everyone in my family has lived pay check to pay check, why should I be any different? When we allow those thoughts and questions to be the prominent voice in our minds are faith stops. Worse yet, when the enemy says someone is so far gone that we quit standing for their salvation.

Faith stops at the question mark. How do we get rid of the questions? How do we stop ourselves from doubting?

2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Philippians 4:8 NKJV “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

Meditate on the Word of God and put out everything that is not in line with it. Make a quality decision right now as you’re reading this post that you are not stopping at the question mark anymore. Get in the Word and get it deep down on the inside of you. Meditate on the Word till it becomes louder than every other voice and thought and then DON’T QUIT! Don’t become lax in your faith. Get your eyes on the Word and declare it out of your mouth.

Faith stops at the question mark but it flourishes when our eyes are on the Word and the Word is on our lips. Believe the goodness of God, believe the love of God and walk in all the promises of God.

Keys to overcoming the question mark:

Make the Word of God your top priority. Go to the Word first.

Listen to teaching in the car and keep it playing at night. Your spirit is being fed.

Train yourself to talk the promise and not the problem. Retraining ourselves to talk the Word is a process but it can be done. We just have to stay on it, we can’t afford to lay it aside for one second.

Get books on the areas your believing for and look up Scriptures. Get your mind settled on the Word of God.

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Part 3: Where Faith Begins

Hebrews 11:6 MEV “And without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”.

Believing that God exists is more than believing there is a God. God revealed Himself to Moses as the “I AM” which in Hebrew means; I am who I am, I will be what I will be, and I create whatever I will create. In Exodus 33:18-19 MEV “Then Moses said, “I pray, show me Your glory.” Then He (God) said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy”.

Believing God is the first step of faith. But what exactly are we to believe? Believe in His goodness, believe He is a rewarder, and believe that He is creator.

We can take this further by looking at the “I AM” statements of Jesus found in John.
I AM the bread of life (John 6:35).
I AM the light of the world (John 8:12).
I AM the door (John 10:9).
I AM the true vine (John 15:1).
I AM the good shepherd (John 10:11).
I AM the resurrection and the life (John 11:25).
I AM the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).
This post doesn’t allow for the time to dive deep into those seven sayings but it does give us an overview of the absolute goodness of who God is, the goodness that past before Moses.

Faith begins where the will of God is known. I first heard that statement from Kenneth Copeland and later read it in F. F. Bosworth’s classic book, Christ the healer. I also heard Brother Copeland make this statement, “The will of God is found in the Word of God because the Word of God is the will of God.

The most basic part of faith is knowing what God’s Word says on a subject. Romans 10:17 MEV “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”.

The Word of God is our standard. Jesus told the Pharisees they nullified the power of the Word through traditions. The Church has developed various traditions that don’t stand when out to the Word. Things like God gives or allows sickness to teach us, poverty is a sign of humility, your body and mind weaken with age, no makeup, no movies, etc. Some things started from a desire of holiness and went off into the ditch. Other things were utter lies from the enemy to steal God’s blessing from His people and slow down Kingdom advancement.

We must come to a place where the Word of God is our final authority. Let’s look at a few Scriptures.

Isaiah 53:1, 4-5 MEV “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? Surely he has borne our grief and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed”.

2 Corinthians 4:18 MEV “while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal (subject to change), but the things which are not seen are eternal”.

2 Chronicles 20:20b NKJV “Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.

Isaiah 55:11 MEV “so shall My word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it”.

Take some time and read Proverbs chapter three and four. Begin flooding your mind and heart with the Word of God. Read it and study it continually. Get some good books to help settle your mind on God’s Word. The Word of God is the will of God for your life. Listen to good teaching that shows you who you are in Christ and teaches you how to claim God’s promises. Spend time reading through the book of Ephesians, read it again and again, meditate on it and get it down on the inside, so it can spring up and bring life.

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Part 2: Four Soils for Faith

As we continue in our faith series, we are going to look at the four soils for faith found in Mark chapter four. In Matthew’s account of the story in the Amplified Classic it says the same kind of seed. This teaching has nothing to do with the seed but the soil it is planned in. The Word of God has the ability to work the same for everybody, it’s what we do (or don’t do) with the Word that affects the outcome.

Let’s read Mark 4:3-12, then we will dig into the explanation. Mark 4:3-12 MEV ““Listen! And take note: A sower went out to sow. As he sowed, some seed fell beside the path, and the birds of the air came and devoured it. Some seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and soon it sprang up because it did not have deep soil. But when the sun rose, it was scorched. And because it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seed fell on good ground, and it yielded grain that sprang up and increased by thirty, sixty, or a hundred times as much.” Then He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” When He was alone, those who were around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. He said to them, “To you is given the secret of the kingdom of God, but to those who are outside, everything is said in parables, so that ‘seeing they may see, and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them.’ ””

Now before we move into the explanation, I want us to take not of a few things. The seed sown on rocky ground did not have much soil and it sprang up quickly because it did not have deep soil, it had no roots. I mentioned in part one that a big key in faith is to continually hear and feed on the Word. Jesus said we needed to abide in the Word. That is key to being good soil.

Mark 4:13-20 MEV “Then He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. These are those beside the path, where the word is sown. But when they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word which is sown in their hearts. Others, likewise, are seed sown on rocky ground, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness, but have no root in themselves, and so endure for a time. Afterward, when affliction or persecution rises for the word’s sake, immediately they fall away. And others are seed sown among thorns, the ones who hear the word. But the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. Still others are seed sown on good ground, those who hear the word, and receive it, and bear fruit: thirty, sixty, or a hundred times as much.”

The first soil that is mentioned is “those beside the path”. Keep in mind what we saw last time, that faith is not just a salvation thing, but a everyday lifestyle. The just shall live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4). If you are beside the path, you aren’t fully committed to walking by faith in every area. Jesus said the enemy comes immediately to take away the Word. If we are not committed to the life of faith and committed to walking by the Word, everything we hear of it will be stolen from us.
The second soil is rocky ground. Verses sixteen and seventeen again. “Seed sown on rocky ground, who, when they hear the word, immediately, receive it with gladness, but have no root in themselves, and so endure for a time. Afterward, when affliction or persecution rises for the word’s sake, immediately they fall away”.

Thayer says that this group of people have “but a superficial experience of divine truth, has not permitted it to make its way into the uttermost recesses of his soul.” We could say you love the emotion of Church but don’t want the commitment of the lifestyle.

What happens? They received it with joy. The problem is, they have no root, no depth of the Word. Afterward, affliction and persecution comes because of the Word. We have to realize that we have an enemy and he is not going to let us receive and walk in the promises of God without a fight.

The word affliction is Strong’s #2346 meaning pressure and trouble. The enemy will put something in your path to see if you really believe. You heard a message on healing so the next morning you wake up with a headache, do you really believe? Are you going to confess the word or go get an aspirin? The enemy will hit us with little things just to see if and where we stand.

Persecution has a root of Strong’s #1169 meaning timidity or fear. This is where the rubber meets the road with faith. How many times have we heard that life and death are in the power of the tongue and the enemy comes and says, do you realize how stupid you sound confessing all that stuff, look at your life, you don’t have any of that. Vision board!? Ha, you can never have that, you can never accomplish that. Instead of responding WITH THE WORD and saying, I am not moved by sight and faith takes it we can become intimidated by his words and fearful of what others will think of what we say or what we are believing for.

Full faith, which will get to in a moment, doesn’t allow for fear and intimidation. Kenneth Copeland says, “fear tolerated is faith contaminated”. That really hits home. The more depth of Word we get in us the less we will be intimidated by the enemy. The verse goes on to say that because of (pressure, trouble, fear and intimidation), they fall away, they give up. As an example must of us will give more time for an aspirin to work, taking it every four hours, giving that more time than the Word. I’m not saying it’s wrong to take an aspirin, I’m just giving a comparison. We should be willing to endure with the Word much longer than the amount of time we give an aspirin to work.

The third soil is sown among thorns. Once again they hear the Word but all the things around them distract them from the Word. All those things take the attention away from the Word and choke it and it becomes unfruitful.

The word choke is Strong’s #4846 meaning to strangle completely, to drown and to crowd out.

What did Jesus say, you made the Word to have no affect because of your traditions. We have traditions of taking the news over the Word. We have so many different traditions that can negate the Word. The noises and influences around us can choke out the Word.

So many times we buy the lie that everything is up to God and whatever happens is in some way God’s will and if not His will, somehow a part of His plan. After all, all things work together for good. That’s true. Debt however, is not good, families splitting up is not good, sickness is not good. According to our faith we receive. Many of us, myself included can become uncomfortable thinking that my life depends on my ability to believe in what Jesus accomplished for me.

Even though Jesus accomplished everything, we have to be in union with it. We have to act on it by faith. That’s what good ground is all about, that is where thirty, sixty, one hundred fold comes from. To be good ground you must hear the Word, receive it and bear fruit.

Matthew 13:23 MEV “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the Word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit. Some produce a hundred, sixty or thirty times that which was sown”.

The word understands is Strong’s #4920 meaning to put together and act upon. Remember James says that he will show you faith by his actions and that faith without works (corresponding action) is dead. It has a root of #4862 meaning to be in union with, to resemble and make application.

To be good soil of the Word means to put it into action. Look at Mark 4:28 “first the blade, then the head, then the full seed in the head.” That’s thirty, sixty, one hundred. Faith has to be a progression, it grows. We are all dealt the measure of faith, yes, it’s as small as a mustard seed but when you plant a mustard seed it grows into a huge tree. The problem for many people is they are walking around with a small seed and wonder why it isn’t working, you have to plant the seed! You plant the seed by getting the Word in you and you harvest with your words!

Yes, it will take time to build up your faith but don’t let that stop you. Start where you are. Plant your seed, water it. Meditate on the Word, declare it, right out confessions, listen to teachings to build your faith. Don’t allow pressure, trouble, timidity and fear to keep you a pile of rocks. Let your roots go deep in the Word, wash out traditions of man with the Word. The enemy may be trying to choke out the truth of the Word, he may be drowning you with worry and what ifs but you can take hold of the word and put him under water before he puts you under water, amen.

Meditate on the Word, find Scriptures for your situations, that will break up the ground and make your spirit good soil and your mind will be renewed and the Word will begin to produce. Don’t get discouraged; first the blade, then the head, then the full seed in the head. Review Romans four and be determined in your growth of faith.

*Quote from Thayer in the ‘WUEST Word Studies of the Greek New

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Part 1: What is Faith?

When we ask the question what is faith, many of us probably think of Hebrews 11:1. My mind always goes to the Amplified Classic, “NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].”

We will look at Hebrews 11:1 a little latter but faith is first mentioned twice in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 32:20 NKJV “And He said, ‘I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end will be, for they are a perverse generation, Children in whom there is no faith’.

Well, that was Israel. Yes, and many times that is us also. The other place faith is used is Habakkuk 2:4 NKJV “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright within him; but the just shall live by his Faith.”

Faith is not just a salvation thing. Abraham believed God (had faith) concerning leaving his father’s house, having a son, inheriting land, and much more. Everyone mentioned in Hebrews eleven had faith for many different things and different journeys with God.

Faith is the Hebrew word, Emunah (Strong’s 529/530) means to believe and trust, it is where we get Amen. It also has a meaning of firmness, security and stability.

With this definition in mind look at James 1:2-8 NKJV “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

We are all very quick to say we have faith, sometimes our understanding of faith doesn’t leave the area of salvation. Throughout His ministry, Jesus said things like; according to your faith be it done unto you and your faith has made you whole. Faith is something that is part of every area of our lives. Paul told us to examine ourselves to see if we are truly in faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).

Before we dive into what faith is, we have to acknowledge that knowing a definition is not the same as living in faith, being saved does not mean we have come to the ability to trust God concerning our family, finances, health and relationships. All these areas require faith and we may be on different levels of faith in all these areas.

Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God. We can only have faith if we are hearing the Word of God. If we are hearing negativity, sickness and lack we will have ‘faith’ for those things instead of what God’s Word says we can have.

This year I want us to build our faith to walk in and receive the promises of God in our lives. Yesterday I was watching a broadcast with Pastors George and Terri Pearsons and Pastor Terri said the following, “You have to believe against the Word for it to not automatically begin to produce in your life. When you’re seeking the Kingdom and putting the Word in your life, there are certain things it will do for you just because you are seeking God. But if you set yourself against it, to believe against it, if you don’t believe you are supposed to prosper, you have set yourself against the Word concerning prosperity. It will shut it down, it won’t work for you. It’s a reverse faith. You set yourself against the production of the Word.” She went on to say and I’m not quoting here because I didn’t get it all down word for word. You can understand God wants you blessed but you hear the Word like, God would like you to be blessed, He would like you to be debt free, He would like you to be healed. At that point our faith needs to come up. Turn your faith to the Word and on purpose agree with it. It will produce for you. It will release the activity and productivity for you.

Isaiah 55:11 NKJV “So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

Psalm 107:20 says, He sent His Word and healed them and delivered them from destruction. God’s Word is healing. Debt and lack destroy, the Word delivers from that. addiction destroys, the Word delivers from that.

As we go through this series we will look at no faith, weak faith, little faith and great faith. Determine right now that you are going to grow in faith this year. Determine right now that you will immerse yourself in the Word concerning what you are believing for. Determine right now you are not going to talk and think contrary to what the Word says about your situation. Say 2019 is my year to walk in the spirit of faith. My faith is going higher this year as I become immersed in the Word and build my faith. I am a believer, I am a receiver and 2019 is my year to live in the spirit of faith and receive my abundant harvest and see signs, marvels and manifestations of the greatness of my God. I am leaving the past season, I am leaving wrong thinking and I am moving forward in faith.

Now, let’s look at Hebrews 11:1 AMPC “NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].”

Faith is Strong’s #4102: persuasion, credence, conviction, assurance and belief. It has a root of #3982: to agree, have confidence, to obey and to make friend.

With that in mind, read the verse again and ask Holy Spirit to speak to your heart. Ask to have a deep conviction of the truth, reality and integrity of the Word of God. Ask that each time you read, you become more convinced of the Word than the world. God’s truth can override any fact of the world on any day of the week.
What is faith? The assurance, our confirmation and title deed that every promise in the Word of God belongs to us!

Romans 4:17-21 NKJV “(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.”

What do we see about faith from this passage?

1. We call those things that are not as though they are. If you’re sick you declare your healing. If you’re family member is not saved you declare they are coming to the Lord. (V.17)

2. He believed what he heard God speak. (V.18)

3. His faith wasn’t weak because he didn’t look at the facts, he kept his mind on what God said. (V.19)

4. He did not waiver through unbelief but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. (V.20)

5. He was fully convinced that God could and would do what He said. (V.21)

Faith is not something haphazard, we have to be consistent in our thinking and in our speaking and if we fall off our faith, we repent and get back to the Word.

Faith is not easy or automatic, most of us probably think negative before we go positive. We need to get in the Word and change that. We must renew our minds with the Word of God.

Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the proof of things we do not see. This is key to our development in our faith walk. Like Abraham we must become more convinced by the Word of God than our circumstances.

Take time this week to read Romans four and Hebrews eleven. Read it over and over and begin to build your faith. One of the biggest pitfalls in our faith walk is that we can think because we have already heard something that we are good in that area. Faith comes by hearing, not having heard. We must continually feed on the Word to keep our faith levels high.

Make confessing the Word a daily priority. Find Scriptures on what you are believing for and mark them in your Bible. Read them and declare them daily. Study them out and get them down deep in your spirit so that you will not waiver.

I am believing for great things this year as we not only grow in faith but begin receiving the promises by faith. Be expectant everyday. Declare the prophetic words of 2019 everyday. Declare the Scriptures everyday. And everyday, thank God that what you are believing for is manifesting in your life.

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Preparations to Walk by Faith

Faith is a topic most of us would say we have a pretty good grasp on. Faith as it concerns our religious beliefs, believing God for something or trusting him though a situation. Last summer the Lord spoke a theme for 2019, “The Spirit of Faith”.

The central theme throughout 2019 will be learning how to become consistent in our faith. Many of us know certain verses on faith or verses to go to about certain things. Our problem lies in not consistently speaking the Word and remaining in faith. It’s easy to get discouraged or distracted and get off our faith.

Hebrews 6:11-12 NLT “Our greatest desire is that what you hope for will come true. (12) Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.”

James 1:5-8 NKJV “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

When we become dull and indifferent we cannot be in faith. Faith has to be consistent, tenacious, unrelenting in the face of every attack and unwilling to quit and give up.

Faith doesn’t give room to doubt. Faith doesn’t give room for what if it doesn’t work. It is through faith and endurance, many of us have faith for a few weeks but past that we haven’t built up our endurance. Well how do I build up my endurance? See, this is the part of our faith life that in 2019, we’re going to get serious about. This blog, all year is going to be about teaching us how to endure through trial to push through till we get our breakthrough.

Scripture is clear, a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. Many of us are double- minded in the way we talk. The Church of today by and large believe it is foolishness to put emphasis on our words. Preachers and believers alike make fun of “name it, claim it” and “grab it, blab it”. There have been plenty who have truly done that with no faith at all or in a spirit of rebellion and mockery. Don’t let that take away from the truth found all throughout your Bible, especially in the book of Proverbs.

Many of us become double-minded because people around us call into question the goodness of God. People will say things like, your son has been on drugs for years, he’s so far gone. God’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save. Maybe someone says, well my grandma had all the faith in the world and she died, what makes you think you’ll get healed. Listen, I’m sorry about their grandma, but I cannot afford to let what didn’t happen for her to dictate my faith in God’s Word.
Because we allow ourselves to become more focused on others and not the Word, we allow our faith to become stolen. The truth is our Faith is hindered by needing to understand everything with our mental reasonings. Scripture constantly talks about not being moved by what we see or what we hear. We are told to cast down arguments, and vain philosophies that exalt themselves above God’s knowledge. And what does God say? His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.

As hard as it may be for us to acknowledge, all through the gospels Jesus said, your faith has made you whole, or, be it done for you according to your faith. Now it may be someone’s time to go and no prayer will keep the here. Some people probably catch a glimpse of heaven and decide they don’t want to exercise their faith anymore. We don’t know. That’s the bottom line, we don’t know and we need to quit allowing the devil to use circumstances we don’t understand to negate our faith.

Right now, as we are in the middle of January, make a quality decision to walk in faith, to grow in faith no matter what. When we make the decision to walk by faith, the enemy isn’t going to sit down, he’s going to come after us and we need to be ready for that. We ready ourselves by having the Word in us. Get a Bible, learn it, read it, spend more time in the Word this year than you ever have before. Write down in the Bible the revelation God gives you. Listen to teaching this year. I love worship but worship doesn’t destroy unbelief, teaching does. Read books that teach you faith. Determine right now that 2019 is the first year of the rest of your years and all of them will be years of faith. say out loud, I am becoming a Word person. I’m going to read the Word, study the Word, and listen to the Word preached and taught. I’m going to believe the Word, I’m going to do the Word and I am going to receive the promises in the Word.

This is the starting point to the year of The Spirit of Faith. We will be looking at many things this year. The next post will deal with what faith is but in order to be ready to receive that, our hearts must be ready. We must be committed to being serious about not backing down and not being double-minded.

Ask Holy Spirit to show you any area you have been double-minded in and repent. To repent means to change the way you think, we do that by being in the Word.

Take time today to read the parable of the sower in the gospels. Read it slowly, pray through it and ask for understanding. This parable will prepare each of us to walk by faith this year.

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Preparations for 2019

It’s a couple days after Christmas and our attention is beginning to turn to 2019. Some of you are thinking about what resolutions you are going to make, (we’ll talk about that in a second) and some of you are trying to talk yourself into taking down the Christmas decorations.

The few days between Christmas and New Years Eve are definitely a time of transition. Back in August I released the theme for 2019, Jesus and the Spirit of Faith. In that post I mentioned that nine is the Hebrew letter TET which is goodness and is the picture of a funnel. This is the Hebrew year 5779. The Hebrew decade of 70 is AYIN which means to see. In 5779/2019 expect to see the goodness of God funneled into your life.

I also mentioned in that post that 2019 would be a year to hunger after the Word in a fresh way. The Bible is not just a book, the Bible is a person and His name is Jesus.

How can we prepare for the funnel of God’s goodness in 2019? Last night Holy Spirit began sharing some things for me to do in 2019 to receive all God has in store.

  1. Forget the resolution

We all know how it goes, you make a resolution and within three to eight weeks it’s things as usual and no lasting change happens. The truth is resolutions are made from our own thinking and in our own ability. I want to get healthier this year so I am going to (fill in the blank). I want to lose weight so I am going to (fill in the blank). Instead of making a resolution, set aside specific time for extended prayer before January second and ask the Lord what changes He wants you to make in 2019; write them down, ask for divine strategies on how to accomplish them and ask Holy Spirit to empower you to see them accomplished.

  1. Connect to the prophetic word

Earlier this year I talked about connecting to a prophet or prophets. If you are not connected with a prophet ask Holy Spirit to give you a connection. That connection does not mean you will know them personally or even live in the same area. Prophetic connection is first and foremost spiritual. When you connect to the prophet find the word for 2019; print it, pray over it and declare it every day. Don’t be passive with the prophetic word; walk it out, be obedient to directives and sow into the ministry that is prophesying into your life.

A word of caution on the prophetic. Don’t Google prophetic words for 2019. Different prophets carry different words. The body of Christ is large and each of us have a specific alignment and assignment in the Kingdom. We can only receive from and walk in a word that fits our individual alignment and assignment. When we overload ourselves with everything that is being said we don’t have clarity with what the Lord is saying for us and we can get confused in the direction we should go.

  1. Immerse yourself in the Word

I love the Bible app, I use it when I can’t find a verse I’m looking for, it’s a great tool in so many ways but if our Bible reading is just the verse of the day we are missing our food for the day.

Job 23:12 NLT “I have not departed from His commands, but have treasured His words more than daily food.” My prayer for myself and everyone who reads this blog is that in 2019 we see The Word as more needed in our lives than food. That sounds crazy at first but take the time to read Psalm 119 and you’ll see what Job is saying.

Read through the entire Bible in 2019. I am going to read it chronologically. Don’t stop there though, immerse yourself in the Scripture. The word immerse or immersed in the Webster’s 1828 dictionary is defined as “to plunge, to cover deep, to overwhelm, to involve, and to be deeply engaged.”

everyone has busy schedules, there is no denying that. But an ugly truth emerges in the midst of our business, we neglect Bible reading. Before you go into 2019 take an inventory of your time. In the midst of business, when do you make the time to watch what you DVR’d or watch Netflix? when do you make time to relax? Examine those moments during the day and take from them to make more time for reading and study. if after looking at your schedule you say, I just don’t have extra time, pray and ask Holy Spirit how you need to plan your day.

Apart from reading through the Bible (which is typically four to six chapters a day, depending on the plan), read Scripture. Read it continuously. In 2019 I will be continually reading through the gospels, Acts and the books of Moses along with reading the Bible all the way through.

As much as you may enjoy your Bible app, I encourage you to get a printed Bible to read in 2019. Yes, Bibles can be expensive but what better investment of your money than the Word of God? Hold it, turn the pages, learn the order of the books, write notes in the margin, highlight and underline words and verses that speak to you. Get a Strong’s Concordance for deeper study of what Holy Spirit is saying to you, so you can understand the depth from the Hebrew and Greek languages.

Fall in love with The Word in 2019. Read and re-read Psalm 119 monthly, read a Proverb each day. Be consumed with the Word of God – the person of Jesus!

Pray on New Year’s Eve, Lord let me love, let become consumed and impassioned by the Word. Let me see Jesus on every page. Let 2019 be the year my mind is renewed and my life is transformed by your Word.

  1. Be expectant and prayerful

If we don’t expect anything, we won’t receive anything. Mark 11 says we must believe we receive when we pray. Be a person of continual prayer in 2019. I believe 2019 will be a great year. I am excited about all that we will learn about Jesus and the Spirit of faith. I am excited about how each of us will walk by faith and be victorious. Get ready for goodness of God to be funneled into your life in ways you never could imagine in 2019!

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REFLECTIONS: My Journey Into Jewish Roots

It’s Friday night, Jews around the world are resting in the peace and stillness of the Sabbath and I’m sitting in a recliner, writing this post after several days of reflecting on my first Chanukah (or Hanukkah) and my journey of discovering the Jewish roots of Christianity in general.

My celebration was minimal this year; lighting a Hanukiah (the nine branch menorah used for Chanukah), reading the history and listening to lectures and teachings to help deepen my understanding. This journey began four years ago, although the seeds were planted much earlier. I believe I was twelve when I first heard Pastor Larry Huch talk about the Feasts, Mezuzah, Tallit and the Jewishness of Jesus. I would say, being a child in a Christian home prevented me from understanding the truth at that point but seeds were definitely planted. Years later a friend invited me to a spiritual warfare conference at the Global Spheres Center, home of Glory of Zion. Three weeks later was Passover and they had another conference. I didn’t understand why I was going to a Passover conference but I went. Long story short; I was awakened to something that week when I saw a menorah, I got two books, The Messianic Church Arising by Robert Heidler and A Time to Advance by Chuck Pierce and Robert Heidler. That was the start of my journey to connect to the roots of my faith. I started Listening to Pastor’s Larry and Tiz Huch again and found Rabbi Greg Hershburg.

Four years into this incredible journey I still have barely scratched the surface. I’ve gone from Christian books on Jewish roots to reading books written by Jews and Rabbis. Some are automatically thinking that I am becoming legalistic so let me clear up something, the Jewish roots bring joy to my life. The feasts are just that, feasts, happy and joyus times. Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath.

I know many look at Jesus’ interaction with religious leaders and say He was against them. He was against the legalism. Jesus Himself said, do what they teach and that no part of the law would be done away with till all is fulfilled. the new testament says sin is lawlessness.

In writing tonight, I want to share how much deeper and more fulfilling my Christian life has become since I have begun reading the Bible with a Hebrew mindset and celebrating the feasts.

During the eight nights of Chanukah I lit the candles each night. I paused and thought about the Jews who gave their lives for G-d and His Word. Can you imagine the love for G-d, to give up your life because you refuse to give up the Bible, the feasts and you refuse to eat unclean animals? I was so inspired each night. I am so thankful that men and women of G-d stood for His Word. Without them we wouldn’t have a Bible. Without their stand, there would have been no Jesus. Basically, no Chanukah, no Christmas.

Like I said in the beginning, I have barely scratched the surface of the Jewish roots, the original meaning in so much of the new testament. I mean we read it with American eyes, not thinking about the eastern culture and the fact that Jesus, all His disciples and all followers and leaders in the Church were Jews up until Acts ten.

There is so much on my heart and in my mind it is hard to put into a post that is all put together. All I know is that, for me, the very thing that was missing in my life were my Jewish roots. Take some time and read Romans nine through eleven. Do a study on how the Church cut itself off from its roots. Messianic Church Arising and Our Hands Are Stained With Blood are great books to start with.

Am I saying you have to celebrate the feasts? No, I’m not. you are free to not celebrate. Jesus did though. Paul even wrote to Gentile believers at Corinth, because Christ our Passover Lamb is sacrificed, we celebrate the feast.

If you’ve ever felt like something is missing from your Christian life. if you’ve wondered why we’re not seeing miracles, signs and wonders, all I’m saying is maybe we lost something we were never supposed to get rid of.

*In respect to Jewish people and their high honor of the name of G-d, I have followed their example in this post by not including the vowel in His name.       

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Don’t Forget Your Neighborhood

Go into all the world and preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations, these are probably some of the most familiar words to the Christian’s ears. We know these words under the banner of the great commission found in Matthew twenty eight. We know these words, we hear these words preached but what about the words of Acts 1:8?

Acts 1:8 NASB “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

I’ve been thinking about the Church lately and how we are able to reach the world in so many incredible ways. I’m not even talking about the big churches and ministries either, we all have an ability to have a wide reach through social media. Relatively unknown churches can have huge on line viewing numbers. As great as all this is, have we been so focused on all the world that many of us have forgotten our own neighborhoods? Have churches become so missions minded that we have forgotten our own cities and states?

I believe we should do everything we can to reach the entire world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Each of us should support missions and ministries. That being said, each of us live in a neighborhood, attend church in a certain city and have several personal interactions on a daily basis at Starbucks, the grocery store, on your Target run or any other number of places. This is where we can be personally effective. When we build relationships it enables us to lead people to Jesus and most importantly disciple them.

The Church has been really good at making converts and church attendees but we haven’t majored in discipleship. We need to get to know people, invite them to church and cultivate a friendship with them. We need to grow together spiritually as local bodies of Christ.

I am so thankful for the emphasis on going into all the world. We need to keep doing that. Along with that though, maybe it’s time for a renewed focus on reaching the neighborhood we live in and the cities our churches are based in.  

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Staying in Faith for Your Healing

I have been believing for physical healing for twenty one years. Actually that’s probably not accurate, I have had seasons of wavering and even giving up on healing in these twenty one years and that’s what this post is about. How do we keep our faith built up when answers seem slow in coming? While I’ll be specifically talking about physical healing, these principles can be applied to anything.

To summarize my story and where this post is going; I was born with a heart condition and have cerebral palsy, I walk with a limp and stutter on occasion. I grew up listening to Pastor Rod Parsley and Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, so I have a good foundation on faith and healing but as the years went on I heard things like God will use this to reach others, you’re strong enough to handle this affliction for God’s glory, etc. etc. I’m not writing to debate God’s sovereignty or why someone who had faith died. Not to sound harsh but I’ve been there and done that and those arguments do nothing to build confidence in God. To those who have lost someone, I am sorry and I know what that is like. But this is one of the main areas that can kill our faith, letting someone else’s experience or our own past loses dictate our faith in God’s Word.

Isaiah 53:4-5 AMPC ” Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.”

Psalm 103:3-5 AMPC “Who forgives [every one of] all your iniquities, Who heals [each one of] all your diseases,Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption, Who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercy;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]!”

These are foundational covenant verses of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. This is what we need to look at and what we need to believe. The Word must trump all of our experiences or anyone’s “testimony” of why God won’t do something. God’s Word is His will and when the blind man said if you are willing, Jesus said He was and now “the will of God” is a settled issue.

Faith is not about God’s will, it’s about our will. Our will to stand and continue to stand like Ephesians six says. When we look at the parable of the sower, we see that the enemy comes with negativity and care to take away the Word. But the Word says, cast all of your care on God. the Word asks, whose report will you believe?

Another area that hinders our faith is our words. proverbs 18:21 AMPC ” Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].” Have you ever wondered why death is first? I believe it’s because it’s easier to speak death than life. “How are you doing”? “man I’m hurting, this medication doesn’t seem to be working.” “I’ve been quoting Scripture for three days and nothing has happened.” It’s hard for us to hear it, but the truth is, if we’re speaking against healing in our bodies we aren’t walking by faith. Now I’m not saying deny the fact that pain is there or if someone asks what the doctor said that you lie about what he said. What I’m saying is, speak what you want, not what you have. Speak words of life and watch your situation improve.

Proverbs 4:20-22 AMPC “My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings.21 Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart.22 For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.”

So what about when you have been believing for years and don’t see any results? Or what about a diagnosis that has no medical remedy like Chron’s or Fibromyalgia? One of the hardest things I’ve had to admit to myself is, I never really was in faith for healing after the age of ten. I had become mad at God and through the years bought into the lie that maybe I didn’t need to be healed among other things. The first thing I want you to do when you finish reading this post is to ask yourself if you are mad at God. If the answer is yes, forgive Him. That’s right I said forgive God and then start reading Scriptures to build your faith in His goodness and His will to heal you. If you’ve bought into various lies of the enemy about why you won’t be healed you have to renew your mind to the Word. This is not an easy thing and it’s not a short thing either. It’s so easy to think and talk negative and fixing these two areas is key to building your faith for healing.

To help get your faith going in the right direction again take Isaiah 53:4-5 and Psalm 103:3-5 and begin reading them out loud every day. Let those verses be the first and last words out of your mouth every day. Meditate on them and study them. Read the healing stories in the gospels and listen to healing teachings when you go to and from work.

If you don’t have a solid foundation about God wanting to heal you and being able to do it then get the books on healing listed on the recommended reading page. Even if you have a solid foundation, invest in your healing and in your future health by getting those books. Read them and reread them. Proverbs says the Word is medicine, take it daily.  

In Mark chapter five Jesus healed a woman with an issue of blood, she had seen every doctor and they couldn’t do anything for her and she kept getting worse. But she heard the Word, she kept saying she would be healed, and she touched Jesus. In order to stay in faith we must hear and speak the Word continually. This is something else we must correct, we must continually hear the Word. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking because we have heard something before that it is still strong in us. Faith comes by hearing, not from having heard. We must feed on healing Scriptures. If we eat natural food three times a day, we need to be just as serious about eating our spiritual food.

The truth is, if we’re going to be strong in faith and be able to outlast the devil’s attacks on our thinking and that’s what all this comes down to, our faith must be able to stand up to and outlast all the enemies attacks. We can only stand up to Him with our words and we can only outlast him by meditating on the Word.

There are no quick fixes or magic formulas when it comes to faith, there is only the Bible formula. Read the Word, speak the Word, receive the Word. We can’t put a time table on God, that is another thing that destroys faith. We must develop faith in God’s goodness and be willing to hold on for as long as it takes. It’s in that moment, when we determine, no matter what, I’m not getting off my faith, I’m not going to say anything about this except God’s Word. That’s when WE begin to change and when WE begin to change our circumstances, our health, our everything has to line up with HIS WORD coming out of OUR MOUTHS.

Be encouraged today, don’t give up hope. it is God’s will and His desire for you to be healed and whole in every area of your life. Let’s commit together to be in the Word more, to build our faith and speak words of healing, health and life.

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Saved, healed and delivered

So many times when we think of the Christian life or the purpose of the Church, we think in terms of getting saved and leading people to Jesus. That’s good and that is the entry point of Christianity but the purpose of being a Christian is not to just get our ticket punched for heaven.

Jesus quoted Isaiah 61 when He stood up to read in Luke 4:18-19 NASB “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed,19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

When Jesus gave the model prayer He instructed to pray your Kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. There is so much more to salvation than just Heaven. In fact the Greek word for salvation is SOZO which means saved, healed, delivered, made whole and preserved.

FAITH FOR HEALING

We have no doubt about God’s will concerning salvation but when it comes to healing, in the Church world we’ve come up with some reasons why God won’t heal. One of the main reasons we have come up with is sovereignty, we just can’t know the sovereign will of God about healing. Sometimes He does and other times He doesn’t. God may also be trying to teach us something or draw us closer to him through sickness. The problem with these beliefs is that we can’t find them in Scripture. Jesus healed all who came to Him and he repeatedly said, according to your faith, be it unto you.

Many Christians, myself included, have heard so much doubt, unbelief and negativity that our faith isn’t strong enough to receive from God. We can’t expect to receive healing when we are constantly speaking words contrary to healing or if when we hear a testimony our first thought is, I don’t believe that, that didn’t really happen.

Proverbs 6:2 says we are snared by the words of our mouth. Proverbs 18:21 in the New Living Translation says, “the tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences”.

If we are constantly speaking things contrary to life, health, prosperity and good relationships we will reap a negative harvest. 2 Corinthians 4:13 NASB “But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak,”  Whether we realize it or not we are speaking what we are expecting. Proverbs says, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. If we want to walk by faith, if we truly want to receive what God has for us we must speak words of positive faith.

BREAKING GENERATIONAL CURSES

Many of us have a hard time speaking words of faith because it has been taught against in the church and made fun of. The thing is, those people have what they say, they are dealing with negativity, lack and sickness because that is what they believe for. We will get into this more next year as I teach on faith but faith is not the absence of problems but the ability to get through them.

Many of us struggle with negativity and are in bondage to certain things though because it is a generational curse. When we get saved we are on our way to Heaven but unless we also break the curse it is still in operation in our lives. We confessed Jesus as Savior and Lord to be born again. Many of us though are still confessing negatively in every other area of our lives and that is why we need to break curses and receive deliverance.

When Jesus quoted Isaiah, He said, “to set free those who are oppressed”. Look at Acts 10:38 NASB “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”

RECEIVE MORE THAN A SAVIOR

We have looked at a couple of Scriptures today that show Jesus was about more than just our salvation. He’s about our healing and our freedom, we can add so many other things to that list as well. Today, I want to encourage you to receive more than just entry into heaven, pray the model prayer Jesus gave us. Ask for Kingdom here and God’s will in your life now. God’s Word is His will. Every promise in the Word is for us today. the moving of the Spirit is for today.

Matthew 6:33 AMPC “But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.” Jesus wants more for you than just Heaven for eternity, He wants you to experience God’s goodness now. We won’t need healing and deliverance in Heaven, that’s why Jesus’ death provided them, because we need them now.

search out the Scripture, discover the full meaning of Salvation. Find the promises of God for your need from Genesis to revelation. Don’t let the devil steal your promise from you. If God said it you can have it but it is up to us to use our faith and receive it.

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