Monday, August 29, 2011

Protect your thinking from Poison.

Mark 16:18 (NKJV), "they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them..."

This Scripture in the book of Mark has often been misunderstood. So much so that some religions have even encouraged their followers to receive poisonous snake bites to demonstrate there faith in God. Nevertheless this is not what this verse means.

Mark is the second book of the New Testament. The New Testament was first written in Greek and later translated to English and many other languages. I want to bring your attention to the word that is translated to "drink". The original Greek word used here is a word pronounced "pinĊ".  (Strong's Greek & Hebrew Dictionary) This word is more accurately defined as the word "imbibe".

In simpler terms the word imbibe can mean to drink something. However according to the deeper meaning of this word is to "absorb or assimilate ideas or knowledge".

The other word I want to draw you to is "serpents". Jesus said in Luke 10:19, "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you."  Serpents and scorpions are the demonic forces in the spirit realm.

The meaning of this verse is more correctly interpreted, "when the devil and his gang try to torment you in your thoughts it will not harm you". Backing up a couple of verses we see that this passage was written to, "He who believes and is baptized..." ( Mark 16:16)

The moment that you accept the gift of salvation you have stripped the enemy of any power over you. Just like an inheritance, if you don't know about it you can't benefit from it. The enemy will still try to deceive you though. He will try do this in your thoughts.

If your thoughts are tormenting you or keeping you up at night, you have a couple of options. The first one is usually the easiest. The Bible says in Philippians 4:8 (MSG) 8 Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

In other words refuse to think about ugly things. Fix your thoughts on things you enjoy that make you happy. When our thinking is always on troubles we lose our joy. We go to bed at night and toss and turn rather than sleep. This is the goal of the enemy.

You need to take a break from these issues. God instructs us to. If you can't seem to change your thinking on your own then ask God to encourage you. Then sit down with your Bible or listen to a good sermon and you will be encouraged.

Just remember the only place old slew-foot (satan) can try to get you is in your thinking. Learn how to replace his lying thoughts with things you like to think about.

Be blessed!

Monday, August 22, 2011

I believe in Righteousness:I just don't work for it

Romans 4:5 (NKJV) 5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,

The bible says in Hebrews 10:1, "For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come..." Before the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross the only way to achieve righteousness was to obey the law. This verse then goes on to say that the law could never make any man perfect.

The Bible says in Deuteronomy 30:14, "But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it."  The "word" is referring to the laws of God. Take notice that the verse ends with "that you may do it". If you read on to verse 16 you will see the benefits of obeying the law are blessings from God. God was telling us that if we could obtain righteousness then He could bless us.

After Jesus died on the cross the apostle Paul quoted this verse to the Romans. The Bible says that He put it this way; "...The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach." (Romans 10:8 KJV) Notice that that Paul replaced the words "that you may do it" with the words "which we preach". We no longer have to work for righteousness we just preach it. This means you declare that God gave you His right standing to obtain His blessings.

The Bible says in John 3:17, "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." God is not a condemning God. He can only change you if nothing comes between you and Him. In Jesus there is no condemnation. (Romans 8:1) God is all about freedom. The Bible tells us in Romans 6:14, "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace."

In the Old Testament the sin of man separated him from God. In the New Testament we simply declare God's righteousness as a gift from God and nothing can come between us. If you are not separated from God then He can work in you. When God works in you He makes changes. He changes your unhealthy desires and just replaces them with healthy ones. You don't change because you have to, you just change.

God is all about releasing us from bondage. The more we involve Him in our life, the more He can do in us. To involve God, spend time reading His word and He will talk to you. You need to talk to Him too. Talk to Him even if you are committing sin. He knew you where going to sin before you even thought about it. He doesn't love you less because of it.

So relax, and accept the gift of freedom provided by grace. Let God do the work. Don't let anything stop you from talking with Him.

Be Blessed!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Winning the battle

Psalm 112:9-10 (NLT), "They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor. 10 The wicked will see this and be infuriated. They will grind their teeth in anger; they will slink away, their hopes thwarted."

Recently I was getting a lot of pressure in life circumstances and sensed that it was an attack from old slew-foot and his gang ( the devil). This can sometimes happen when you begin to fulfill God's purpose.

As I pondered the unusual things going on I heard in my thinking, "Focus on fulfilling the purpose and the pressure will diminish. This is all a distraction. When the enemy knows it isn't working he will fade away."

The Scripture at the top of this post refers to a righteous man. If you are christian then you are righteous. This man was "sharing freely and giving generously to those in need". That is the kind of act that torments the enemy. The word slink that is used in this Scripture means to slide away in shame. What ever your purpose might be in life just focus on that.

Maybe your purpose is taking care of your family and demonstrating God's grace to your loved ones. Your purpose could be displaying God to others in an attractive way at your workplace. What ever your purpose may be, it will be something you enjoy doing. The Bible tells us in Philippians 2:13, "For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him."

Focus on doing what God has put on your heart and the enemy will find an easier target somewhere else. Now I'm not talking about laboring to fulfill a purpose. You will have a desire to do this and it will bring you peace.

Typically the enemy's tactics can range from people mistreating you, an item you enjoy using might get broken, or maybe he will cause you to struggle with bad habits. If you do fall into any kind of trap remember that God doesn't love you less because of it. The whole idea of a relationship with God is freedom. Simply get back up, brush yourself off and re-focus on your purpose. Doing this will defeat the enemy and even has the power to free us from bad habits.

Be Blessed!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Multiply your faith

John 4:48 (NKJV) 48 Then Jesus said to him, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe."

There is an interesting story in  John 4:46-54. There was a royal official whose son had become ill to the point of death. In this story the Word of God demonstrates to us an increase in faith and how we can achieve it.

The man was requesting that Jesus would come and heal his son. Jesus responded with the above quote which at first read might seem a little bit unusual. Jesus said, "unless you see signs you will not believe". Then Jesus went on to say in John 4:50, "...Go your way; your son lives."  Then the passage tells us that the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way.

Now it was at least a 2 day journey to the mans home. The next day on his way home his servants came to meet him. They came to tell him that his son was getting better and the fever broke. The man asked the servant at what time did the fever leave? The man determined that it was at the exact time that Jesus declared "Go your way; your son lives."

This is what happened next. John 4:53 says, "So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, "Your son lives." And he himself believed, and his whole household.

Since we know that the man already believed (V.50) this had to be an increase of belief. In fact faith increased so much that he and his whole household believed!

The boys fever had broken but he wasn't completely healed yet. I can assure you that this young man received a complete recovery. If you are believing for something right now look for God in the situation just as this man did. It will take you to a new level of faith and you will see your victory.

So multiply your faith and be blessed!