Archive for the ‘ The Christian Life ’ Category

Finding Your Stream

streamThe body of Christ is large and diverse, as it should be. There are many different parts of the body, what I and others call streams and it is important to find which stream you are called to. It’s easy to see streams as denominations and that can be part of it but there is also the prophetic stream, word of faith, holiness, charismatic and many more.

The truth is there is overlap in many of these streams which I believe is purposed by God because there is much to Him and no one group has a corner on who He is.

1 Corinthians 12:14-20 NKJV “ For in fact the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.”

Now it goes on to say one part cannot say to the other part I don’t need you. This is where I have missed it in my own life. Over the years I have tried to be many different parts, I’ve tried to be in more than one stream. I grew up Pentecostal, found word of faith, charismatic reformed theology, back to word of faith, holiness, charismatic-Jewish roots and now I have finally found my place in the Church of God and in the word of faith stream.

While we all need each other I do believe we each have a place where we fit and when we try to be fully in more than one stream we cause confusion to our own function in the body.

My early Christian walk was founded in the teachings of Rod Parsley, Kenneth Copeland and Jerry Savelle. As I came across other streams I jumped in and swam around always finding my way back to word of faith. The word of faith stream is where my flow comes from. I’m not writing this to convince anyone that this is their place. I want each person to find where their gifts and callings best function, regardless of what stream that happens to be.

I agree with the prophetic and there is prophecy in the word of faith, yet, I am not called to the prophetic movement. My life message is healing and I fit specifically in the healing flow of the word of faith stream.

I wish I could put into words the freedom and fullness and honestly how settled I have become over the last two weeks in embracing my home.

Each of us have our place and when we find that place and quit jumping from stream to stream we can begin to fully walk in our calling and receive everything that God has for us.

I am grateful for everything I’ve learned on my journey but if I can help one person not take the same amount of time I did and find their place sooner that would make me very happy.

If you’re reading this and you have found yourself wondering throughout the Church trying to find your place, I encourage you to take some time and get still and quiet before God and ask what your call is and which place is yours. When you find it immerse yourself in it and walk in truth.

When it comes to recognizing your stream the only advice I could give is what message makes your heart come alive, what speakers truly stir your heart? That is the stream you are called to.

I learned much from other speakers, books and conferences but those never felt like home to me. I always felt more at home listening and reading Gloria Copeland, Jerry Savelle, Keith Moore and Bill Winston. When I asked the Lord a couple of weeks ago where I fit the answer was healing is your life message, Kenneth  Copeland and Oral Roberts are your mentors in that area and this lead me to the realization that the word of faith had been my home all along.

None of these other movements are wrong, neither are the speakers or books, it just wasn’t my place.

Exodus 23:20-25 AMP is a very interesting portion of scripture. “Behold, I am going to send an Angel before you to keep and guard you on the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Be on your guard before Him, listen to and obey His voice; do not be rebellious toward Him or provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgression, since My Name (authority) is in Him. 22 But if you will indeed listen to and truly obey His voice and do everything that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries. 23 When My Angel goes before you and brings you to [the land of] the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Canaanite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, I will reject them and completely destroy them. 24 You shall not bow down to worship their gods, nor serve them, nor do [anything] in accordance with their practices. You shall completely overthrow them and break down their [sacred] pillars and images [of pagan worship]. 25 You shall serve [only] the Lord your God, and He shall bless your bread and water. I will also remove sickness from among you.”

Yes, this passage is about Israel and it applies for us as well. The Lord will make sure each of us gets to the place He has prepared for us and as long as we obey instruction we will get there and nothing will be able to stop us. When we follow the instruction we will be blessed and sickness will be removed from our midst.

The enemy would like nothing better than to make sure we don’t find our place so that we cant walk in God’s plan for our life. I believe the reason why I have gone to so many other parts of the body is because the enemy wanted to lead me away from God’s plan and he knew the only way he could do that is by showing me other streams. When I embraced my place a couple weeks ago the enemy came against me in ways of intimidation he never has before but as believers we have victory over every attack!

I know now that I have fully accepted my place the plan of God can fully begin to take place in my life.

Could it be the reason many believers are not prospering is simply because we are not in the stream we are called to be in?

Find your place and receive everything God has for you. Find your place and watch the hindrances against you begin to fall so that you may fulfill your destiny.

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The Person of the Word

bibleOne of the most amazing Bible passages to me is John 1:1-5, 14. The Wuest Expanded Translation really puts things into a new perspective. “In the beginning the Word was existing. And the Word was in fellowship with God the Father. And the Word as to his existence was absolute deity. This Word was in the beginning in fellowship with God the Father. All things through His intermediate agency came to being, and without  Him there came into being not even one thing which was come into existence. In Him life was existing. And this aforementioned life was the light of men. And the light in the darkness was constantly shining. And the darkness did not overwhelm it.”

Before we read verse fourteen, let’s look at Genesis 1:2, 3-5, 14-19 NKJV “…and darkness was on the face of the deep…And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. 14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.”

Before there was ever sun, moon and stars there was light and the light was the pre-incarnate Jesus.

John 1:14 (Wuest) “And the Word, entering a new mode of existence, became flesh, and lived in a tent [His physical body] among us. And we gazed with attentive and careful regard and spiritual perception at His glory, a glory such as that of a uniquely-begotten Son from the Father, full of grace and truth”.

This just makes my brain go crazy, the bigness of our savior Jesus is amazing. Too many times when I pick up my Bible I treat it like a book and not the living person that the book is. When I sit down with my Bible I am actually sitting down with Jesus himself.

It is too easy to just mentally agree with the verses in John, we must do more than that. We must receive the reality of the person-hood of the Bible into our lives.

Many times we can pick up our Bible read and not receive anything from the reading. I believe that happens because much of the time we pick up a book and don’t enter a conversation with the person.

Scripture says Jesus was tempted in every manner we are yet did not sin, that tells me there is victory in the Word to defeat every temptation. Just reading Romans six helps us to develop a mindset of victory.

When he have difficulty getting in the Word we need to go to prayer and ask that the Person of the Word would come alive to us.

If we want to develop the love of the Word Psalms 119 talks about we must approach the Word as the Person of Jesus our savior, redeemer, healer, and teacher.

It’s GO Day

Go dayToday, is GO Day – global outreach day. Today is a day we are encouraged to tell our story of what God has done for us to at least one person.

Do you remember the guy that Jesus cast the legions of demons out of? Jesus told him to go tell his story, the next time Jesus was in that region everyone had heard the story and many became Jesus followers.

So maybe your story isn’t that dramatic, maybe it is. It doesn’t matter how dynamic or seemingly boring our Jesus stories are, what matters is each one of us can relate to someone.

It’s easy to make sharing your faith into a formula. But instead of sharing our faith, let’s share a story, everyone can relate to a story, everyone can relate to feeling the love of God.

Today can be a new start for us, to share our story with one person, and who knows, maybe our story can mean a new start – a relationship with Jesus for someone else.

If you’ve never shared your story before you can visit itsgoday.com for tips on how to share your story. Even if the person you share with doesn’t respond in that moment you have planted a seed. Let them know about your church, if it’s a neighbor let this be the start of a friendship. Invite them over for a cookout start living Jesus in front of them and watch God’s love change their life.

I know I have some favorite Bible stories that really mean something to me. Our life may be the only Bible story someone hears. Jesus said go into all the world and share the good news. Our world starts with our neighborhood before it ever becomes world missions. Let’s save our neighborhoods one neighbor at a time.

 

MY STORY

I was raised in church and knew Jesus from an early age but for a long time it was all about performing for God and making sure I was better than the person next to me. There came a point when God told me He didn’t want me to keep a list of do’s and dont’s but He just wanted me to love myself and my neighbor. That’s what God wants for each of us. It’s not about keeping rules or one uping the next guy it’s about knowing God loves us, loving God and others. Jesus came so that we could know God’s love and live loving who He made us to be. Would you like to receive God’s love today?

Say, God I receive your love. Jesus I believe you love me and gave your life for me. I ask you to forgive my sin and be my savior.

Invite the person to church, friend them on Facebook, connect with them in some way. One paragraph is all your story takes and one sentence can begin a new chapter in their life. There is no magic formula and no set prayer someone has to pray. Just share your story and God’s love and see what God will do.

Learning and Growing

personal growthProverbs 4:7 (Amplified Bible) “The beginning of Wisdom is: get Wisdom (skillful and godly Wisdom)! [For skillful and godly Wisdom is the principal thing.] And with all you have gotten, get understanding (discernment, comprehension, and interpretation).”

This was the verse that was on my mind this morning. Actually, just the phrase, “in all your getting, get understanding”, then I looked up the verse in the Amplified.

A few days ago I heard Bill Johnson make a statement, in affect saying, you can gauge your maturity level based on what you allow to offend you. That statement hit me really hard. I think too many times I can be so worried about making sure what I’m reading or studying is right, or that those I listen to agree on certain issues that I can at times miss what God wants to say simply because I get uncomfortable.

Scripture tells us to seek wisdom and understanding, but what happens when the wisdom and understanding is presented in such a way that stretches us?

I like Bill Johnson, there are some things I’ve seen I haven’t agreed with, but am I going to allow that to cause me to throw out that which is good?

I believe there are things that are non negotiable, there are reasons to not listen to someone. The truth is because we all have different personalities, different filters, and beliefs that will differ from person to person.

I think part of learning and growing though is listening to, reading, and talking with people who don’t exactly see things the exact way we do.

I recently read a book called, The Year of Living Like Jesus. Ed Dobson lived a full calendar year like Jesus. He voted for Obama in 2008 and in the book he gave his reasons why. He based his decision on Scripture. I disagree with that decision, even his reasoning, but I understand why he voted how he did. I also recently read a book by Donald Miller, another individual whom I have theological and political disagreement with, but I learned some things by reading his book.

Wisdom and understanding will not always come how we think it should, or from the person we think it should. But in order to grow we will have to be willing to hear, read and discuss with people we typically wouldn’t. God has a big family and maybe we should get to know other members of the family. After all, Heaven will not be divided up by denomination or political affiliation.

 

Preparing to shift

shiftIsaiah 43:14-21 NASB “Thus says the LORD your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, “For your sake I have sent to Babylon, And will bring them all down as fugitives, Even the Chaldeans, into the ships in which they rejoice. 15 “I am the LORD, your Holy One, The Creator of Israel, your King.” 16 Thus says the LORD, Who makes a way through the sea And a path through the mighty waters, 17 Who brings forth the chariot and the horse, The army and the mighty man (They will lie down together and not rise again; They have been quenched and extinguished like a wick):
18 “Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. 19 “Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert. 20 “The beasts of the field will glorify Me, The jackals and the ostriches, Because I have given waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My chosen people. 21 “The people whom I formed for Myself Will declare My praise.”

 
In The Message, verses eighteen and nineteen read, “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out don’t you see it? there it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.”

 
Everything in our lives had lead each of us to the place where we are now. Part of our path has been directed by God, and that crazy off road, in the woods path, that was us. Each part of the path has gotten us to the present though, and this is where Father is saying, I am doing something new.

 
It’s hard when God says He’s doing something new because that means change. Sometimes change means some friends and acquaintances have to leave our lives. Sometimes we change locations, we change mindsets. But it seems most of us have a hard time when we know Holy Spirit is saying we have to change a teaching we have believed.

 
We are a little over a month away from Passover. Passover is a season of change. Israel went from slavery to freedom. In the weeks leading up to Passover many of us are being prepared to make a shift. In recent weeks the Lord has personally and through friends shown me some error in teachings I have followed. It is hard to let go of things.

 
My Pastor brought out an interesting point this past Sunday from Joshua chapter five. When the Israelites found the corn and cooked it from that point on there was no more manna. Manna was from God but there came a time when Israel had to trade one God thing for another.

 
I believe we are in a season of the entire body coming to a new level, the only ones that will transition are the ones who are willing to let things go. I believe in eating the meat and spitting out the bones. That being said, if the bones ratio is bigger we are better off foregoing that particular meal.

 
In this time of preparing ourselves for what God has begun to do, it’s time for us to receive the new thing. For many of us that includes laying down certain teachings, stopping certain relationships and developing new ones.

 
I would encourage everyone reading this to set aside time to seek the Lord and ask Him to show you anything you need to let go of to move forward. Some things may not be easy to let go of but in order to move forward in God we have to let go of the past season to grab hold of the new one.

 
I pray that as you seek Him your eyes, ears and heart will be open to see and receive hard things, to have courage to throw off past hurts, past thinking and anything that hinders your progress.

 
The old generation who couldn’t get Egypt out of them had to die off before the children of Israel could inherit the promise land. Don’t be one to leave Egypt locally but maintain residence there spiritually and mentally.

Walking in the New Creation

imageWe have all probably heard the words of 2 Corinthians 5:17 many times. “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new”.

 
We know that verse, but many struggle to live in the reality of the new creation. The reason for this is very simple, Paul explains this in Romans; the nature of the flesh is always battling against our spirit, this is why Paul said, I die daily.

 
In Romans six Paul talks about how our old nature has been crucified and that we who are dead to sin should not continue to live in sin. Chapter six, however, is not what we will be looking at today. We will be looking at the eighth chapter. I would ask though, before you continue reading that you would get your Bible and read the sixth and seventh chapter to understand where Paul is coming from in chapter eight.

 
In chapter eight Paul differentiates between the carnal Christian and the spiritual Christian and in this post we will be looking at the differences between the two.

 
We won’t be looking at every verse in the chapter, just those that highlight the differences between the two ways of living.

 
Romans 8:5-7 KJV “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. (6) For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (7) because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”

 
This is precisely why we must be renewed in the spirit of our mind. If we live our lives focused on the things of this world we will not be spiritually minded, but carnally minded.

 
Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing comes by the Word of God. Conversely; fear cometh by hearing, and hearing comes by the words of doubt and unbelief. Now that last one is not a Bible verse but the principle is true.

 
Twelve spies were sent to Canaan, two had a faith report and ten had a fear report. They went with what they heard the most of, what we hear we believe.

 
The great Old Testament chapter of what Christ will accomplish on the cross begins with these words, “Who hath believed our report, and to whom hath the arm of the LORD been revealed.” Believing requires hearing.

 
In order to be a spiritual Christian instead of a carnal Christian we must first look at what we are hearing. Take some time and take inventory of your life, what are you being filled with?

 
This ultimately leads us to the second area, the words we speak. Mark 11:23 says, we can have what we say, instead, many of us say what we have.

 
We must renew our minds and change the words of our mouths.

 
I know this sound over simplistic but this is how we walk in the new creation, we renew our minds and our mouths to the Word of God.

 
“As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.”

 
“Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and they that love to talk will eat its fruit”.

 
Abraham’s faith was confirmed by the words he spoke and without faith it is impossible to please God.

 
Each of us need to take our lives moment by moment and day by day and choose to change our thinking and our mouths.

 
We start by praying and asking for the help of Holy Spirit, then we take the next step and get in the Word and renew our minds with it. It’s not enough just to go to Church, we must be in the Word daily for ourselves.

 

 

None of us will be able to see the Word work on our behalf if we aren’t in it and applying it.

 

Being in the Word changes our thinking and applying it changes our speaking.

 
That’s it, that’s how we walk in the new creation, we renew our minds and change our mouths.

 

 

Resources for renewing your mind and changing your mouth:
New Creation Realities: E.W. Kenyon

 
ReThink Your Life: Stan Toler

 
The Power of Your Words: Don Gossett & E. W. Kenyon

 

 

Easy steps to help start the process:

 
1. Cut out one thirty minute TV show and spend that time in prayer and Bible study.

 
2. Listen to a Bible teacher on your way to work (invest in CD’s, the radio is not the place to start).

 
3. Find a friend to help you keep your words lined up with The Word.

 
The truth is many of our minds and mouths don’t line up with the Word because we knowingly fill them with negative thoughts and talk. ReThink Your Life is an excellent resource that is broken into weekly segments to help you change the way you think. If you will give yourself thirty days, you will be a different person.

 
If you choose to get the book and do the four week plan, I recommend reading The Power of Your Words after you finish reading week two. That way you can incorporate your new way of speaking with your new way of thinking.

 
Also if you do the plan, let me know so I can be praying with you. keep me up to date with how you’re doing and let me hear your story at the end.

 
May the Lord richly bless the start of your life change and encourage and empower you to walk in victory.

 

A WORD Based Life

biblePsalm 119:9-11 AMP “How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed and keeping watch [on himself] according to Your word [conforming his life to it]. (10) With my whole heart have I sought You, inquiring for and of you and yearning for you; O let me not wander or step aside [either in ignorance or willfully] from Your commandments. (11) Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”

 
before we go to the next Scripture let’s look at what this is saying. Today, we are going to talk about living a word based life and what a powerful verse to start with.

 
You see many of us claim that we live our lives based upon the Word of God, yet if we were to closely examine ourselves we would find that is not true. As I once read,“we do not need to dig up in doubt what we planted in faith.”

 
E. W. Kenyon said, “Our attitude toward the Word determines the place that God holds in our daily life”.

 
If we plant faith for healing yet go around talking about pain and saying you feel bad when people ask instead of saying you are standing on the word getting better day by day, you are digging up in doubt what you planted by faith.

 
If you’re struggling in your finances declare the word of prosperity over them. The Bible says we can have what we say, so why do we say what we have?

 
Psalm 119 tells us to conform our life to the word. Too many of us try to fit Bible reading into our schedule, when we need to be arranging our schedule around our reading and prayer time.

 
With my whole heart have I sought You, we cannot say these words if we are not putting the Word first place in our life.

 
We all know we need to read and study daily, so why is it so hard? The answer is simple, we haven’t made a habit of it.

 
You don’t miss your favorite show, we even DVR stuff so we won’t miss it. Why do we do that? Because it’s a priority. We can just as easily make the Word priority, we just have to choose to do so.

 
Proverbs 4:20-27 AMP “My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. (21) Let them not depart from your sight; keep them at the center of your heart. (22) For they are life to those that find them, healing and health to all their flesh.”

 
These three verses explain why people get moved off of their faith. If we don’t submit to the word, if we don’t keep the word in front of our eyes and in our heart we can’t stay in faith and we won’t walk in divine health.

 
When we take our eyes off the word that’s when doubt comes in. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God.

 
In order to have the life God wants for us we must have His Word at the very center of everything we are and everything we do.

 
Verses 23-27 “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard , for out of it flow the springs of life. (24) Put away from you false and dishonest speech, and willful and contrary talk put far from you. (25) Let your eyes look right on [with fixed purpose], and let your gaze be straight before you. (26) Consider well the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright. (27) Turn not aside to the right hand or the left; remove your foot from evil.”

 
We must guard our heart for everything flows from it. What comes out of our mouth originates from our heart. If we really want to know what we believe we will listen to what comes out of our mouths when were alone, when we pray, and when were with those close to us. It’s easy to put on the positive confession show when were at church but what really matters it what flows from us when nobody is there for a performance.

 
Let’s all take a moment and truly examine the place the Word has in our lives. Let’s examine our mouths. The hard truth is, if the Word is first place in our mouths, what we say will line up with that Word.

 
My prayer for us today is this, that we put the Word first place in our life and that we will build our life around the Word and not try to find a slot to stick it in. I pray that our mouths and minds will be transformed by the Word of God.

 
*****

 
I pray this post has helped and encouraged you, but I don’t want to leave you without some tools you can get a hold of to help make the Word first place in your life, in your mind and in your mouth. Faith doesn’t come from having heard but hearing. So please take advantage of these resources so you can get the Word in you so that when you find yourself in the situations of life you aren’t having to reach for your Bible, it’s already flowing out of you and taking care of the situation.

 
If you haven’t subscribed to the blog, why don’t you do that today so you will never miss your time to receive a word of encouragement, and if you haven’t already why don’t you friend me on facebook or follow me on twitter so we can connect more on our journey of faith.

 
Resources for a Word centered life:

God’s Master Plan for Your Life: Gloria Copeland

ReThink Your Life – A Unique Diet to Renew Your Mind: Stand Toler

New Creation Realities: E. W. Kenyon

The Power of Your Words: Don Gossett & E. W. Kenyon

Defeating the Doubt Syndrome

bible2.jpgIn recent months it has become very popular for millennials (age group of 20-35) in the church to talk about doubt. Doubt has become the cool thing in our Christian circles. It is “cool” to have doubt, some it even seems encourage us to doubt… I mean if you don’t have some doubt about those crazy stories in the Bible there is something wrong with you, I mean c’mon you have to admit some of those Old Testament stories are really farfetched.

I am tired of the doubt syndrome! I am tired of it being the norm to question the Word of God! It is now being said that true faith is trusting in God’s love even with your doubts. The Bible says doubt is the opposite of faith.

Mark 11:22-24 NIV “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.23 “Truly tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Hebrews 11:1, 6 AMP “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].

The notion of struggling with doubt being a good thing is crazy; now I know people can genuinely have doubt, go through a testing of faith and things of that nature; however it seems that many Christian bloggers, teachers, and pastors are focusing more on the doubt part than overcoming your doubt with faith and the Word of God.

Quick question, who is the author of doubt?

Since we know God is not the author of doubt why would we make doubt look normal and attractive?

This generation needs to feed their faith and starve their doubts. Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, it’s time to get in the Word, it’s time for our pastors to get in the Word, talking about cultural trends is fine, discussing why millennials are leaving the church is fine, but we the church need to be a Word based, Word preaching, Word receiving, Word declaring Church!

We need to understand all this talk about doubt, and journeys of doubt, and still not being 100% sure, and saying we don’t need to be 100% sure only produces one thing and that is doubt.

I am and you can be 100% sure of everything concerning God, how can I say that? I can say that because God has given us His Word, and His word is true, it is forever settled in heaven, nothing needs to be added to it, and nothing should be taken away from it!

The Bible, the Word of God has every answer we will ever need in life, it gives us direction at every turn (Isaiah 30:21), it is the comfort in time of need, it is the confirmation of victory, and it is the assurance that in every battle we win, in every temptation there is a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13).

As much as doubt has become popular in the Church it seems, I say there is a better way, a way of assurity, I declare that we can know, I declare there is an answer, and I declare that I am 10% sure, I know in whom I have believed, His name is Jesus, His Word is true, His love is sure, His plan is good, and His way is prosperous!

When you hear and read of the coolness or normality of doubt, RUN! RUN from doubt and RUN TO THE WORD OF GOD! As believers we don’t have to and should not have any bit of doubt.

Feed your faith and starve your doubts so that you can walk in the abundant life God has for you!

The Law & Love of God

dtThe law and love of God are synonymous.

Hebrews 12:6-7, 10b-14 NIV “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? 10b “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. 14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”

Too many times the love of God is separated from the law of God. The word law, while it is a positive thing, most of the time comes with a negative connotation. However, as we see in this passage, God’s law is meant for our good.

Instead of looking at the Bible as the do’s and do not’s of life look at in the way God intends. He wants us to have a good life, He wants us to enjoy the life He has given us and walk holy before Him.

There are a couple of things we see from this passage, the first I want to look at is this, because God loves us He disciplines us and He gives us rules (ex. The Ten Commandments, Sermon on the Mount, etc.) In hopes that we will obey and He will not have to discipline us. Parents set rules for their children not to make life miserable and to take away fun but for their child’s betterment and protection.

God is the same way, because Jesus came that we may have and enjoy life, abundantly, to the full (John 10:10) the scriptures outlines commands so that we can have that abundant life and not be in bondage to the world, the flesh, and the devil.

We don’t go to a holiness church and ascribe to holiness theology for a list of “thou shalt not’s” We live a holiness understanding because it is that understanding that tells us we can be free from the bondage, acts, and drive to sin.

Secondly, we see that discipline and the command to live holy is a benefit to us. A benefit of peace for those of us who will be trained by the Word.

Psalm 119:9-11 NIV “How can a young person stay on the path to purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commandments. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

1 Timothy 3:16 NIV “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness”.

The Bible says the one who keeps his mind on the Lord will be kept in peace. The law and love of God should never be separated and grace should never be used to nullify the law of God.

Because God loves us, He gives us the law. Jesus said in John fourteen and fifteen; if you love me you will obey me.

The law of God is the love of God and the love of God is the law of God.

Living a Holy Life

holiness1 Peter 1:15-16 “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, be holy, for I am holy.”

Hebrews 12:14 “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”

Matthew 5:48 “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

As believers we are called to live a holy life and we are empowered to live a holy life through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

In the church today we, for the most part here very little teaching on the call and empowerment to live a holy life. We hear a message of grace that is gone too far and gives us license to follow our own desires. We hear a message of we will always sin and we will always struggle with sin, these and many other teachings are simply not accurate.

Sin no longer has a hold on believers who have been sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 6:11, 18, 19b “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 18 And having been set free from sin, you become slaves of righteousness. 19b so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.”

In Isaiah charter five, we see the danger and consequences of not following the word in living a holy life, we see the problem that comes with allowing ourselves the freedom to be on the fence with the actions in our life.

Isaiah 5:11-20 NLT “Destruction is certain for you who get up early to begin long drinking bouts that last late into the night. 12 You furnish lovely music and wine at your grand parties; the harps, lyres, tambourines, the flutes are superb! But you never think about the LORD or notice what he is doing. 13 So I will send my people into exile far away because they do not know me. The great and honored among them will starve, and the common people will die of thirst.”

Notice this is talking about Israel, (the Church). The church is lax; it pays more attention to their parties, or “fellowships” more so than giving attention to the word and living holy in heart and life.  It says the great and honored among them will starve. How many great preachers among us aren’t preaching the word of faith and holiness, instead, the Church having itching ears, heaping to themselves carnal teachings.

14-17 NLT “The grave is licking its chops in anticipation of Jerusalem, this delicious morsel. Her great and lowly will be swallowed up, with all her drunken crowds. 15 In that day the arrogant will be brought down to dust; the proud will be humbled. 16 But the LORD almighty is exalted by his justice. The holiness of God is displayed by his righteousness. 17 In those days flocks will feed among the ruins; lambs and kids will pasture there.”

We see here the end is not well for those who decide not to follow the example of holiness set forth in the word and for us in the life of Jesus. In those days the flocks, which is the congregation will feed among ruins, the ruins of a blessed life apart from a holy life, the ruins of a healed body, but a sick heart.

18-20 NLT “Destruction is certain for those who drag their sins behind them, tied with cords of falsehood. 19 They even mock the Holy One of Israel and say, “Hurry up and do something! Quick, show us what you can do. We want to see what you have planned.”” 20 “Destruction is certain for those who say that evil is good and good is evil; that dark is light and light is dark; that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.”

How do we drag our sins behind us? Through permissiveness, to him that knows what is good and does not do it, that to him is sin. Calling good evil, how many today use the word legalism for any type of holiness teaching, any type of righteousness is called legalism. We constantly here don’t be like the Pharisees, don’t create rules and regulations.

Matthew 5:20 “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

How do we exceed their righteousness? By being righteous out of heart and love and not simply out of duty. To have a holy life in heart and action. Jesus did not nullify the commandments he added to them, don’t murder and don’t be angry, don’t commit adultery and don’t lust in your heart.

At the beginning of this post we looked at scriptures that told us we could live holy. We do not have to live in bondage to sin, we have been set free and there are consequences to continuing in sin for the believer.

As believers we need to understand two things, the consequence of continuing in sin and the reality of sin free living.

If you have received Jesus as savior but have not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit to empower you to live Holy and walk in the power of the Spirit, you can do that today. All you need to do is tell the Father you love Him and you want to live a life free and cleansed form the power of sin and to walk in the fullness and power of the Spirit. Ask and you will receive and you will begin to walk in a new level of understanding, holiness, and power.

Sonship Bliss

In this video I will introduce the reality of sonship bliss. Romans 8:15 (AMP) “For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father!”

Thoughts on Daily Life

Looking at Psalm 63 and what our days look like.

Reflections on 1 Corinthians 13

love1 Corinthians 13:1-3 “If I speak in tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. (2) And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love I am nothing. (3) If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love I am nothing.”

There could be a selah at the end of those verses, we need to pause and think about this. It doesn’t matter what spiritual gifts we have, nothing equates to anything if we do not have love. The past few days the Lord has really been speaking to me about this, and honestly, I didn’t know where He was taking me until like ten minutes ago.

This note will just be some reflections on what Father is speaking to me through this chapter; prayerfully He will speak to you through something written here. Usually when I use scripture in a note I cut and paste from my computer Bible Program, but I am typing the verses from this chapter, I am doing so, just to get it more ingrained in me I guess.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant (5) or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;”

When I read these two verses, I had to stop. I’m going to take time even now to say, I thought the above was not an issue in my life, However, Holy Spirit has shown me differently. I have boasted wrongfully in areas, I have been rude, and I have been irritable. I repent of those things; I don’t want them to be a part of my life. To the people that have received those things from me, I apologize.

You know, I thought I was good to go in those areas, that is until I got still and quiet long enough to hear AND listen to what Holy Spirit had to say. It’s funny how we can be so blind to the things that are all so obvious in our lives.

1 Corinthians 13:6-7 “It does not rejoice in wrong doing, but rejoices with the truth. (7) Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Wow, that says a lot! Love bears, believes, hopes, and endures all things.

Bear: to support, sustain, as to bear in weight or burden.

Believe: To expect or hope, confidence or trust.

Hope: Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well founded expectation of good.

Endure: To last; to continue in the same state without perishing; to remain; to abide.

Love is defined by the four things above, I can honestly say, I’m not where I need to be in that. I will continue to work towards that because that’s what love is and that’s what others deserve from me.

1 Corinthians 13:8-13 “Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. (9) For we know in part and we prophecy in part, (10) but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away, (11) When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. (12)For now, we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. (13) So now faith, hope and love abide, these three, but the greatest of these is love.”

The one thing that will pass on from this world to the next, besides the Word, is love. Faith is important, hope is important, but the greatest of the three is love.

I realize now, in a more clear way how important my love walk is, not only with God, but also with those around me. If I think everything is good, but someone else doesn’t see it that way, I have a problem in that relationship and it needs to be fixed. I have come to understand that a problem or an issue may not exist in my eyes, but if it exists in the eyes of a friend, I need to deal with it. I need to listen to them and deal with the issue.

I end my reflections on 1 Corinthians 13 with another passage, John 15:13 “Greater love has no man than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

Jesus physically laid down his life for me. Am I willing to lay down my own wants, desires, and time for not only Him, but also my friends?

As I continue in this love walk the answer will become yes more and more.

*All Scripture from the English Standard Version

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