Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New You!

Galatians 6:15 (MSG) It is not what you and I do—submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life!

This year, the same as every year, multitudes of people will make New Year's resolutions. Some will try to get fit, quit smoking or give up a bad habit. They may enjoy unhealthy lifestyles and bad habits, but the drawbacks out-way the positive. These things are bondages and in many cases, we really do not want to give them up.

Someone who has an alcohol addiction may enjoy drinking. They may have a strong desire to drink that overpowers the desire not to. This is bondage. According to our passage at the top—and many others in the Scripture, Christ has provided us with a totally new, free life. So how do we tap into this freedom?

The Scripture at the top has a key point to notice. It says, "He is creating something totally new." True freedom lies in knowing you do not have to do it because He will do it for you.

When you understand His love and acceptance of you, no matter what you may be into—you allow Him to be close to you. When you allow Him into your life, it allows Him to change your desires. The pleasure you can gain by some of these addictions, is nothing compared to the pleasure He can give you. He created you; He knows what can make you happy.

The Bible says in Hebrews 9:14 (MSG), "think how much more the blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out." It is the blood of Christ that carries the power. The best way to access this power is to have communion, the bread and wine that represent the body and blood.

Have it regularly like medicine. According to, the word communion means, "an exchange of intimate thoughts and feelings"*. Communion is a way to fellowship with your best friend. When you commune with Jesus, He will saturate your being. Over time, you will see changes take place, even bondages you did not realize you had. He loves you even with all your faults. He loves to commune with you. Expect results and you will see results.

You can have communion as often as you like. As you begin, thank Jesus for what He has done. Give Him praise and get personal. Talk about everything the same way you talk to a best friend. You will get to that place of freedom and enjoy life—like never before.

Happy New Year, may you be amazingly blessed this coming year!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Sometimes we need to know

Luke 1:34 (NKJV) Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?"

When Mary found out she would give birth to the Savior of the world, she needed to know how it would happen. After all, was she to do something to initiate it? She was still a virgin and not married yet. Luke 1:35 reveals how the Holy Spirit Himself would overshadow her and impregnate her.

What Mary did not know was how this Baby would become a king. Jesus began His ministry about thirty years later. For thirty years, Mary anticipated how her child would become king. She did not know about the cross and did not know her baby would be gruesomely tortured and beaten. Perhaps if she knew, as a loving mom, she might have interfered with God's plan.

Mary had a secret she could not share with just anyone. How could anyone say their child is going to be the king of kings, and yet, how could anyone keep this secret to them-self? She managed to wait patiently for three decades to see this promise fulfilled.

Many of us have a promise so big; we can hardly share it with anybody. Dreams for a miracle or deliverance from an issue. We need encouragement to keep believing. Mary had to be an amazing woman, but she was human, just like you and me. How did Mary keep this dream alive?

When Jesus was born, the shepherds arrived and shared a prophecy concerning Jesus. They had just received a word from an angel in the fields while tending their sheep (see Luke 2:8-18). The Bible says in Luke 2:19, "But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart."

When Jesus was twelve years old, Joseph and Mary took Him to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. During the journey home, they realized Jesus had stayed behind to listen and share with the religious teachers of the day. The Bible says the teachers were amazed at His understanding (Luke 2:47). The Bible then goes on to say in Luke 2:51, "His mother kept all these things in her heart."

Mary had a long wait to see this promise fulfilled---but what a promise. The bigger the promise, the more likely we will need encouragement to get there. When Mary saw God involved, she, "kept those things in her heart". God selected her because He knew she could handle it.

If God has given you a promise, whether it is health, relationship, addiction, or even ministry related, He knows you can handle it. Follow Mary's example. Take notice of the unusual. Keep it in your heart. It is the encouragement you need to see the promise fulfilled.

The birth of Christ is one of those things to keep in your heart. God made your promise possible when He gave His only begotten Son. Ponder it and be encouraged.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Share the Lamb

Exodus 12:4 (NLT) If a family is too small to eat a whole animal, let them share with another family in the neighborhood.

Christmas is just over a week away. The Houses in my neighborhood are decorated with lights, the malls are busy, and we may even have snowfall before Christmas Eve. This is one of my favorite times of the year. Unfortunately, for some---it is a hard time of year. For some people who have lost a loved one, it may be their first Christmas without them. Other people have financial stress or relationship issues that make this a difficult season.

As the body of Christ, we are the avenue for God to flow through to the unsaved. For the most part, people are reminded that Jesus is the reason for the season. Whether they know God or not---He is on their minds. Christmas time, being such a roller coaster of emotions, is a great time for the church body to reveal Jesus.

God sent His Son to provide salvation to the world. He did this because He loves the world---even if they are living in sin. This Christmas I am going to make a point of  letting God flow through me. The Bible says in Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT), "The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." These are powerful tools for sharing Christ.

Stay connected to God through this wonderful season and let Him flow through you. People are more likely to see God when He is on their mind. Pray according to 2 Corinthians 9:10, "Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,"

Remain connected by acknowledging His continual presence. This is how you connect to the flow of God. Chances are you will sow a seed into someone that could lead them to Christ.

Be blessed & be a blessing!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Passover revealed Christ

Exodus 12:21 (NKJV) Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. 

Before God gave us the Ten Commandments, only one type of offering was necessary to allow God to connect with His children. The most common name for this offering in Scripture is the burnt offering. The first record of a burnt offering was Abel's sacrifice that made Cain jealous (Ge. 4:3, 4). The Passover lamb we read about in Exodus 12 was also a burnt offering.

The Passover celebration was an annual event (Ex. 12:17). The Passover was a special burnt offering because it was prophetic of Jesus. This offering had unique instructions that pointed to Jesus. Jesus became the final Passover sacrifice about fifteen-hundred years later.

One special instruction God gave the people for this sacrifice; select the Lamb on the tenth day of the month and keep it to be sacrificed on the fourteenth day (Ex: 12:3-6). God did not give a reason for the four-day period; this was never required for any other sacrifice. This is because it was prophetic of the crucifixion.

The Pharisees selected Jesus four days before He was crucified. The Bible tells us in Mark 14:1, "After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death." Notice that Mark said, "After two days it was the Passover." This means Passover was in three days. Jesus was hung on the cross the day after Passover.

The Bible says in Matthew 26:15, on this night the Pharisees counted out thirty pieces of silver for Judas Iscariot who agreed to give them Jesus. The Pharisees purchased their lamb four days in advance, unwittingly fulfilling the prophetic message of the Passover.

Since Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice, all the benefits provided to God's children at the first Passover, are benefits to those who believe in the crucifixion of Christ. God's people were freed from slavery (Ex. 12:33), they received healing (Ps. 105:37), and even plundered the enemy (Ex. 12:36).

If you suffer from any sort of bondage, health issues, or lack---declare what belongs to you through Jesus. He paid a hefty price so you can have it. Restoration will begin the moment you believe it belongs to you.

Be Blessed!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Jesus made two payments for shame.

Isaiah 61:7 (NLT), "Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor."

One story in the Bible has been preached on repeatedly. It is how Peter denied Christ three times. Although there is much to reveal in the story, I have never heard the significance of the rooster crowing nor the reason Jesus was denied three times.

First, Jesus had to provide three offerings to prepare us as priests (see Exo. 29). Jesus, being our offering, had to be denied (rejected) three times, once for each offering. Another significant message in this verse lies in the fact that it was during the break of day.

The Bible says in Exodus 29:39, these offerings were to take place during the break of day or during Twilight, the break of the night. While Peter denied Jesus, the first sacrifice, a burnt offering, was taking place. Since a rooster will crow at the first sign of daylight. The rooster crowing is evidence of daybreak, the correct time for this offering. This was the burnt offering, the first sacrifice necessary.

The second offering took place while Jesus was on the cross. The Scripture says in Luke 23:44, "By this time it was noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock." The sin offering took place while Jesus hung on the cross. Darkness fell during crucifixion. Twilight is the time when darkness falls. The second sacrifice Jesus provided, took place during twilight.

The third offering happened during the resurrection. The Bible says in Luke 24:1-2, "But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance." The third sacrifice, the consecration offering, happened during the break of day.

By now, you may be asking why this is so important. When we understand the offerings provided, we understand what Jesus paid for us to have. For instance, do you know Jesus paid for shame twice? Jesus was ridiculed in the morning after He was arrested; He was also ridiculed while He hung on the cross. The Bible says in Genesis 3:7, "At that moment their [Adam and Eve's] eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves." This was immediately after they sinned. The burnt offering was necessary to remove the shame.

When God gave the Ten Commandments, the sin offering became necessary. This was to give redemption from the curses of the Law in Deuteronomy 28. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 28:37, "You will become an object of horror, ridicule, and mockery among all the nations to which the Lord sends you." This was a curse for failing to follow God's commands. The sin offering redeemed us from this curse.

The verse at the top says we get double honor for our shame. This is because Jesus paid for our shame twice. If shame has ever been an issue for you, now you can confidently declare, "Jesus has provided double honor for me!" As you expect it, you will see it manifest.

Be Blessed!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Crystal Ball or Bible?

John 14:26 (NKJV) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

You may have already noticed that I have added prayer requests to my ministry. I have a God-given desire to pray. I know it is part of my calling because Philippians 2:13 says, "it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure."

I may spend several hours at a time in prayer and worship. This does not make me extra holy; this is just my calling. I like to consider myself part of Christ's foot because I like to kick the enemies behind.

Having had a lot of experience in prayer, I have discovered an amazing truth. God likes to answer our requests. Whenever I pray for a particular situation, I always ask God to give me a Scripture to stand on. I cannot recall a time where God has not done this. I am always amazed at how God gives me specific Scripture for each situation.

When I pray for someone else, I will usually share the Scripture that comes to me. I encourage them to hold on to that passage for strength. I really had to ponder the idea of offering a service that---"tells you what the Lord said". I do not want to present myself as one who has a crystal ball. When I prayed about it, the Scripture at the top came to mind. One function of the Holy Spirit is to remind us of the promises of God.

It seems that I have stumbled onto a Biblical principle. The Holy Spirit reminds me of Scripture relevant to my situation. Sometimes the word will come in a service, a Bible study, or daily devotional. It may even come through another believer. I am always amazed when it is some obscure verse that I am not at all familiar with. Hidden in a passage that I know I have read before; I just never noticed it!

I do not believe that only certain people can receive a word from God this way---I believe every child of God can. Ask God for a word on your situation and expect to receive one. If you need someone to be in agreement with---send me a prayer request. I will share the Scripture that comes to me when I pray.

Be Blessed!

Monday, November 19, 2012

What's better---King or Priest?

Revelation 1:6 (NKJV), "[Jesus] has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever."

The Bible teaches me as a born-again believer, I am both a king and a priest in the kingdom of God. For most of my Christian walk, I have focused on my position as king. Being a king has so many wonderful benefits---authority, wealth, and honor, to name the more obvious. I am grateful for the privilege of being a king. I have exercised my authority over the enemy many times with wonderful results.

Recently, I have realized the benefits of being a priest. I think I carried a distorted view of priests, possibly because I connect the Pharisees of Jesus' time to this position of honor. However, in my study of the Old Testament, I see this as the more wonderful position.

The best analogy I can come up with is how Solomon saw wisdom to be greater than riches. The story is in 1Kings 3:5-13. I especially like the last verse (v. 13), it says, "And I [God] have also given you [Solomon] what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days.

As a priest, I am an avenue for God's power to flow into the natural realm. As God flows through me, my areas of weakness become strengths. The Wisdom of God flows into my decisions, His love flows into my relationships, and His good health flows through my body. For me, and those I care about, this is a huge benefit. These things cannot come from physical riches.

I do not want to take anything away from the wonderful fact that I am a king; I want to take advantage of everything Jesus paid for me to have. Comparing priesthood to kingship is much like comparing riches to wisdom. I have changed my focus and now I understand.

If you are like I was, change your focus too. I know when you do; you will begin to enjoy the blessings money cannot buy. I also believe you will see plenty of the things money can buy.

Be Blessed!

Monday, November 12, 2012

You are a Priest!

Leviticus 4:3 (NKJV) if the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, then let him offer to the Lord for his sin which he has sinned a young bull without blemish as a sin offering.

The believers of the Old Testament obtained a good or bad standing with God, depending on the standing of their priest. When the priest sinned, he had to provide a sin offering to free the congregation of guilt.

The Bible says in Revelation 5:10, "[Jesus has] made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth." This is wonderful news since we all know the authority of a king. I have also discovered that being a priest is just as powerful.

Jesus came as our High Priest (Heb. 3:1). Jesus was God manifest as a man. He was flawlessly righteous. We know that a sinful priest brings guilt on the people---a righteous priest brings righteousness on the people. We read in Matthew 9:2, "Then behold, they brought to Him [Jesus] a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you." Jesus was in right standing with God so He could tell the man his sins were forgiven.

Jesus was a flesh and blood human; He was also God. He performed miracles and healing as a priest. A righteous priest provides an avenue for God's power to flow. In the Old Testament, a priest had to perform sacrifices to achieve a right standing before God. Jesus had no need to sacrifice because, in Him was no sin (2 Cor. 5:21). He provided God a doorway to bless His children simply because He was righteous.

I, on the other hand, was a sinner. I needed a sacrifice to bring me into right standing with God. The sacrifice of Jesus takes this one step further. In the Old Testament, a priest had to present three different offerings to become a priest (see Exod. ch. 29). Jesus provided all three sacrifices to prepare me as a priest. Romans 3:22 tells me as a believer I am, "the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ."

As a priest, my tribe is as righteous as I am. My whole family and all my loved ones---whether they have acknowledged God yet or not---have the same right standing as me. If you are like me, you have pre-Christians in your family too. I simply declare them saved. I have seen amazing changes in the lives of my loved ones as I stand on this truth.

The Bible says in Deuteronomy 21:5, "Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for the Lord your God has chosen them to minister to Him and to bless in the name of the Lord; by their word every controversy and every assault shall be settled." As a priest, I can also release the power of God to bless and to settle any controversy.

Declare your loved ones righteous. Bless people continually. As you see the power of God flow through your words, your relationship with Jesus will rise to another new level.

Be Blessed!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Simply Better

Hebrews 7:22 (NKJV) by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.

The book of Hebrews in the New Testament is all about better. Before the cross, God's children were under the law covenant. The law covenant came to be when Moses received the Ten Commandments. That covenant was straightforward---obey the commandments and be blessed.

Fortunately, God already knew His children could not obtain that right standing in their own strength, so God gave animal sacrifice as a way for mankind to earn salvation. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:13, "the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh."

God always has been a God of grace, wanting to be our heavenly Father. Sin limited God because He is holy. The Bible says in Exodus 33:20, "But He [God] said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live." God could not fellowship with sin without destroying it.

The last book of the Old Testament, the book of Malachi, has revealed that God's children even failed to make proper sacrifices. Without redemption, God was unable to bless us. Psalm 35:27 says, "Let the Lord be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant." It has always been His desire.

This is where the book of Hebrews shines. The word better is mentioned thirteen times in this book. When Scripture repeats something, God wants us to understand it. Our new covenant is BETTER!

Hebrews 6:9 says "But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner." In the Old Testament, Israel could sacrifice animals for salvation; Jesus gave us salvation plus a personal relationship, this is much better.

Hebrews 7:19 says "for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God." The law did not make us better people---drawing near to God does. The sacrifice of Jesus made this possible.

Hebrews 8:6 says, "He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises." God purges our soul of dead works (Heb. 9:14). He also gave us a new spirit. The old covenant could not provide these two benefits. These are better promises to the born-again believer.

Hebrews 9:23 (NLT) says, "That is why the Tabernacle and everything in it, which were copies of things in heaven, had to be purified by the blood of animals. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals." The world we live in is tainted with sin. An innocent animal made a good sacrifice, but it was still of this world. Jesus was God manifest as a flesh and blood human to become the holiest possible sacrifice.

Simply put---animal sacrifice provided God with an avenue of grace. The crucifixion of Christ was an explosion of grace. It is interesting to note; the word grace appears in the New Testament one-hundred-thirty times. The book of Hebrews teaches us the new covenant is better than the old one. The New Testament teaches us that it is all about grace. That is why He repeated grace ten times as much!

Be blessed.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Confidence always wins!

Hebrews 10:35 (NKJV) Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.

God is subtle. Sometimes He is so subtle, I am not sure if it His ideas that come to mind, or my own ideas. God talks to all of us continually. I know that any good idea I have ever had, came from God. I know He speaks to me, and I know I hear His voice. However, when I need to make an important decision, I want to know I am hearing God.

Sometimes I know without any doubt that I have heard Him. Other times, I am so distracted by the problem; I cannot seem to filter out His thoughts from my own. A decision still needs to be made and I want it to be the right one.

I have learned during my walk with God, I still make mistakes. He continually forgives me if I sin. What happens when I make the wrong choice simply because I do not know the right choice to make?

The Bible says in Proverbs 24:12, ""If you say, "Surely we did not know this," Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it?"" This reminds me that God knows everything about me. God knows my heart intimately. If I lack the understanding I need to make a decision, God will still bless it---right or wrong. God can turn any situation into a good one, even if I have made a bad decision. This gives me the freedom to make choices without worrying.

I have discovered that my confidence in Him is all I need. Now that I do not worry about making wrong decisions, I hear God more clearly, when I need to. Funny thing about worry, it distracts us from hearing God.

Learning to recognize God comes with fellowship. Have faith that He is always talking to you. As you learn to recognize Him, do not be afraid to make mistakes. God will always prove Himself, even when you miss it. Before long, you will know His voice and experience true freedom from worry.

Be Blessed!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Don't let Peter Cut off Your Ear

John 18:10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.

The Bible is truly amazing. It was originally written in Greek (New Testament) and Hebrew (Old Testament). The Bible has been translated into many languages, including English. Using a Bible dictionary such as Strong's Greek and Hebrew dictionary can take your Bible study to a completely new level.

The meaning of every name in Scripture gives deeper revelation. The Scripture at the top of this post is a great example. This verse mentions three names---Simon, Peter, and Malchus. According to Strong's Dictionary, Simon means, "Give attention to"*, and the name Peter means, "Piece of stone"*. Since the Ten Commandments were written on pieces of stone, the name Peter is synonymous with the Ten Commandments. When you put the name Simon in front of it, it becomes, "Give attention to the Commandments".

Malchus was a servant of the high priest. According to Hebrews 3:1, Jesus is our High Priest whom we serve. The name Malchus means, "King"*. According to Revelation 1:6, as believers we are Kings. Malchus is synonymous of the born-again believer.

When we define the names, the verse tells us, "giving our attention to the commandments, carries a sword that will cut off our ear to hear." I have heard that sin separates us from God. Although this is true without sacrifice, Jesus dealt with sin once-and-for-all! If we believe sin separates us, we will not hear God. God talks to us continually---whether we sin or not. If we do not understand this, when we sin, we will not realize He is still present and we will ignore His fellowship.

I stay connected to God no matter what. The Ten Commandments reveal my need for His strength. In my weaknesses, He shows His strength. Hanging out with God is how I connect to His power. I need His power to break the bondage of sin.

The most important gift the cross provided was a personal connection with God. God created friends; it only makes sense that He can be the most awesome friend we can have. Hanging out with a friend like this will cause you to sin a lot less!

Be Blessed.

* Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by JAMES STRONG, MADISON, NJ. Strong’s numbers, Simon-G4613-H8095- H8085,  Peter-G4074, Malchus-G3124-H4429

Monday, October 15, 2012

God of Grace!

1 Samuel 12:20 (NKJV) Then Samuel said to the people, "Do not fear. You have done all this wickedness; yet do not turn aside from following the Lord"

God has always been a God of grace. When we sin, He wants us to be in His presence even more. For most of my life, I never understood this. Before I became a Christian---and many years after---I had this image of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments. Perhaps it was the famous movie released back in 1956. Never the less, I always had this image of Moses smashing the stone tablets to bits because the people had built a golden calf to worship. I can still see the three thousand people who died that day (Ex. 32:26-27).

The movie implies that God destroyed the people because He was jealous. Really, the people brought about their own destruction. The Bible tells us after the people made the golden calf, "Moses stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, "Whoever is on the Lord's side--come to me"" ( Ex. 32:26). This is a point that seems to be overlooked. After the people worshiped the golden calf, God still gave them an opportunity to choose Him. The ones who did not choose God were the ones who died.

God is holy. Unholiness cannot exist in the presence of God's glory (Ex. 33:16-20). The Old Testament is loaded with teaching about unholiness. Repeatedly in the Old Testament we read, "If you obey God's commandments, you will be blessed---if you do not, you will suffer destruction. A good example is provided for us in Exodus chapter 28. This chapter reveals forty-one curses for disobeying God.

Again, we tend to overlook something. God provided a way out for those who fail to follow His commandments. The Bible calls it a sin offering. In Leviticus chapter 4, the Bible gives instructions for a priest who sins (v. 3), the whole congregation if they sin (v. 13), a leader (v. 22), and a common person (v. 27). The sin offering provides forgiveness (v. 26 &31).

God has always provided a way out. There was only one problem with the Old Testament system---we continually sin. We need continual redemption. Jesus became our once-for-all sacrifice (Heb. 10:12). As a Christian, we have the easy way out.

As a New Testament believer, I have continual protection from my sins. Sin can no longer separate me from the presence of God (Rom. 8:39). Since sin has no effect on my connection to God, He can saturate me with His Spirit. All I have to do is, "believe in Him whom He sent" (John 6:29).

Without God in my life, I was below average in many ways. With God in my life, my whole existence is above average. God is not out to punish anybody---He never was and never will be. He has a desire to see you do amazing things. Stay connected to God---especially if you sin, He is a God of grace!

Be blessed!

Monday, October 08, 2012

What do You See in the Mirror

James 1:25 (NKJV) But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

As I pause on the words, "law of liberty", I see an oxymoron. The word law means regulation and liberty means freedom. This invites the question---how can a law make you free?

The verses ahead of this Scripture give us an understanding. The Bible says in James 1:23-24, "For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was."

When you look into the mirror, do you see Jesus? Jesus gave Himself on the cross to provide us with a new supernatural self (2 Co. 5:17, Gal. 6:15). We have Christ in us. If we focus on our natural self---we will never experience freedom. Jesus is a gift from God. He is not a gift we can do without; Jesus is a gift that we need.

In our natural self, we could never measure up to God's righteousness. Adam was a good example. He had only one command and He broke it. True freedom comes when you do not have to concern yourself with regulations. Freedom comes when we are connected to Jesus.

So what is the law of liberty? The law states that we are free in Christ and in no other way (John 14:6). So how do we put this law into practice? We do not let the bondages of the flesh separate us from God.

As I focus on God, not letting sin obstruct my sight, I experience a transformation. I have experienced bad habits disappear; addictions fade, and desires change. I am experiencing a wonderful life!

Focus on Jesus and watch Him transform you. The more He changes you, the more you will see Him. The more you see Him, the more you will believe in Him. The Bible says, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent" (John 6:29). Work on seeing Jesus.

Be blessed!

Monday, October 01, 2012

See the Grace---See the Glory!

Luke 9:32 "But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory"

I can still remember it like it was only a day ago. It was towards the end of 2008. I had been a believer for over nineteen years when I woke-up and saw the glory of God.

Up until this point of my journey with God, life was a struggle. I believed that if I had all my affairs in order, as the bible seems to teach us to do, I would discover a better life.

Each morning was routine. I would start my day in the shower, confessing all of my sins and asking for forgiveness. I would even ask forgiveness for the sins I was not aware of. I would declare the promises of God and the blood of Christ over all my family, possessions, and affairs. I even memorized Psalm 91. On my half-hour drive to work, I would continue with my confessions of Scripture. I would speak the words of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. I memorized this in the Amplified Bible Version. One might think I had the formula of success.

On the contrary---for nineteen years most of my life was not the blessed life I had been expecting. My family had been torn apart. I had one child living on the streets with drug issues. I had another child who was crippled from a car accident that also took the life of my first wife. My understanding of Scripture led me to believe that someday I would experience a better life---I was not experiencing it. I continued with my morning routine of making myself right before God in hopes of receiving a reward for my faithfulness.

Eventually I realized, confessing my sins every morning had no positive results. The more I confessed, the more I realized I could not be the perfect churchgoer, so I gave up on the church, and gave up on trying.

I kept up with my prayer rituals but by now, my conversations with God had become somewhat informal. I realized I could never be perfect and just decided that God would have to accept me as I was. When I gave up on all the work that made me weary, I started to hear the voice of God.

Then I had a revelation of grace.

It was a cooler day with an almost perfect blue sky. I went outside to have a cigarette and looked up. I pondered the vastness of infinite space. God's creations are so amazing. Then it hit me like a powerful blow. The creator of all this had become my personal friend. I did not deserve His friendship, I knew that, but He was so real to me now.

The Scripture at the top of this post describes my situation. It has an incredible hidden message. The name Peter means, "A piece of the rock" (Strong's Number G4074*). The Ten Commandments were written on pieces of rock, so the name Peter signifies the law. Now the verse reads, "But Peter [the law] and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His [God's] glory."

This was my story. I tried to follow the law (Peter) and it made me heavy with weariness. Then, one day, after I gave up on trying, I woke up and saw the glory. I had put so much effort into being right with God, instead of receiving His grace. I have learned that only God can make me right.

My daughter, who was messed up on drugs, is off the streets and free from the addictions that put her there. My son, who they felt would be crippled for life, has the most beautiful wife and child. He also enjoys many of the same things he used to. I am now plugged in to a good church and even have the world's most incredible wife.

I do not focus on trying anymore; God takes care of all my affairs. I focus on Him. He loved me when I was a sinner, He loved me when I continued to sin, and He loves me now! He will never leave me nor forsake me.

Be blessed!

* Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by JAMES STRONG, MADISON, NJ.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wealth of the Sinner

Exodus 12:36 (NKJV) And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.

During the release of God's people from Egypt, the Egyptians handed over their wealth. This is because of a spiritual law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 2:26, "to the sinner He [God] gives the work of gathering and collecting, that he may give to him who is good before God."

Israel had to provide an offering to be released from bondage. This offering was the first Passover.

The Passover was what the Bible calls, a burnt offering. This was before the people received the ten commandments, so it was the only sacrifice required to make them good before God. After providing the offering, the children of Israel were instructed by God to just ask for the plunder (Ex. 12:35).

When Jesus offered Himself on the cross, He offered all the sacrifices required to make us good before God. The Bible says in Romans 3:24 (NLT), "Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins."

So now we know it belongs to us, what do we do? We can go to war. We bind the enemy (Matt. 16:19, Matt 12:29*). We loose ministering angels to gather the wealth (Heb. 1:14, Ps. 103:20, 21, Ps. 35:27*). We ask God to put us in the right place at the right time and open our eyes to see good opportunities (Ecc. 9:11, Jer. 17:6*).

I have seen this work in my own life. My main source of income is for an invention. I receive royalties every three months. My most recent royalty check was fifty-per-cent higher than usual; God is so amazing!

There has never been a better time for you to begin to collect what God has provided for you. Let these words saturate your being. You are blessed, receive it. Enjoy one of the best experiences possible---blessing others.

Be blessed!

*I have included these Scriptures for your easy reference:

Matthew 16:19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
Matthew 12:29 how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.
Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
Psalm 103:20-21 Bless the Lord, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word. Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
Psalm 35:27 "Let the Lord be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant."
Ecclesiastes 9:11 time and chance happen to them all.
Jeremiah 17:6 For he [the man who trusts in man) shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Three Cups

Matthew 26:44 (NKJV) So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

This verse contains some details from the night Jesus was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus went to the garden to pray. He knew they were coming for Him so He took three disciples with Him to keep watch (Matt. 26:37-38).

As the Roman soldiers were on the way to apprehend Him, He prayed three times, the same prayer. The Bible says, "Again, a second time, He [Jesus] went away and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done" (Matthew 26:42). This verse tells us what the prayer was. In the verse before it (v. 41), Jesus said, "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." As a human, Jesus was grieved beyond what we can imagine. He knew what He was facing, but why did Jesus pray the same prayer three times?

Knowing He was feeling weak, one might conclude that He was being persistent, hoping the cup could pass before Him. However, this was not the reason. He prayed the same prayer three times because He was providing three sacrifices, each one would require bloodshed.

The Bible tells us in Exodus 29, a priest needed to perform three types of sacrifices to prepare himself to enter the presence of God's glory. There was the burnt offering, the sin offering, and the consecration offering.

The reason for each offering is Hidden in the names of the disciples He brought with Him to watch. Mark 14:33 says "He took Peter, James, and John with Him."

The name Peter means, "a piece of the rock" (Strong's number* G4074). This points to the Ten commandments that were written on, "pieces of rock." The sin offering was required when the ten commandments were given. The ten commandments were given on, "pieces of rock", therefore, Peter was the reason for the sin offering.

The name James comes from the Hebrew name Jacob (Strong's*  G2385, H3290). Jacob in the Old Testament, got his name because he, "wrongfully took hold" of his brothers heel (Gen. 25;26). This is what Adam did when he, "wrongfully took hold" of the fruit. This created the need for a burnt offering. Wrongfully taking hold (James) was the need for a burnt offering.

The priest needed a third offering to wash away the remnants of sin. The first two offerings forgive us of sin, with these two offerings, we would remain to be sinners. As sinners, we would still be unable to enter into the presence of God's glory. Somewhat like a murderer can be forgiven of the crime, but still remains to be a murderer.

The third offering, known as the consecration offering, washes away the remnants of sin. This sacrifice was required because even when a sinner does good, they are still a sinner.

The name John comes from the Hebrew name, Jehohanan (Strong's* G2491). The name Jehohanan means, Jehovah favored, or more commonly stated, God's grace (Strong's* H3076). God's grace makes us righteous. We could never achieve righteousness on our own, this is why we require, "God's grace" (John), the third offering.

When a righteous person sins, they are still righteous. The biggest benefit of salvation---neither sin, nor its remnants can ever separate you from God. You can now connect with God and allow Him to permeate your being. He can remove your unhealthy desires and break bondages in your life. He can flow through you in wisdom to give you good ideas, He can even reflect His glory through you to make you attractive to the unsaved.

Take advantage of what is available. Talk to Him continually, even if you feel like you are doing things you should not do. Fellowship with God through prayer and communion and let Him take root in your being. The chains of sin have been broken. Let God change your desires while you discover a life worth living!

Be Blessed!
* Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by JAMES STRONG, MADISON, NJ.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Forty-one Stripes

Deuteronomy 25:3 (NKJV) Forty blows he may give him and no more, lest he should exceed this and beat him with many blows above these, and your brother be humiliated in your sight.

You may have been taught that Jesus received thirty-nine lashes when He was flogged. This was based on a theory that had to do with Jewish law. The truth is He had to receive at least forty-one.

The Bible says in Galatians 3:13, "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law." You can read the curse of the law in Deuteronomy 28:15-68. I can count forty-one individual curses listed in that chapter. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 9:22, "without shedding of blood there is no remission." This means Jesus had to receive at least forty-one lashes, one for each curse listed in the law.

The verse at the top is a command of God for the Jewish people. It was the Romans who did the flogging so the law did not apply. None of this is coincidental. Because Jesus received more than forty lashes, according to our verse at the top this means He was humiliated in the sight of the people. When Jesus received the lashes, He also took on our humiliations.

If you have ever suffered from any kind of humiliation---this is good news. The Bible says in Isaiah 61:7, "Instead of your shame you shall have double honor." When you receive honor, you will become secure in your relationship with God. Honor can also make you attractive to the unsaved, so the benefits are twofold.

Ask God to bless you with honor and continually thank Him for taking your humility to the cross! You will see it manifest and take your relationship with Jesus to new levels.

Be blessed!

Monday, September 03, 2012

The Blessings of Adam

Luke 22:44 (NKJV) And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 

The Bible says in Galatians 3:13, "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law." The curse of the law is found in Deuteronomy 28:15-68. Galatians 3:14 goes on to say, "that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles." This is a wonderful truth---that we can receive the blessings of Abraham. However, even Abraham was not blessed with the same blessings as Adam.

It is true that the cross provided redemption from the curse of the law, but did you know it also redeemed us from the curse of Adams fall? The Bible tells us in Genesis 3:17-19, "Then to Adam He [God] said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it': "Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread."

When Adam broke the only command he had, the ground was cursed, and so were his efforts to provide for himself. The verse at the top of our post reveals that Jesus redeemed the sweat of our face by sweating blood. He also redeemed the ground beneath us with that very same blood. This event took place in the garden of Gethsemane, the night Jesus was arrested. The same way the curse took place in a garden---redemption also happened in a garden.

It may be that everything you try to achieve in life is overwhelming. I went through a time when it seemed everything was one-step forward---two steps backward. Like money in the bank, if we do not know redemption is available, it does not do us any good.

This revelation has made an amazing difference for me. Life still gives me challenges; I just handle them differently. First, I declare my rights---Christ redeemed me from these frustrations (Luke 22:44). Second, I declare something else the Bible teaches---the more trouble, the more we receive double (Zechariah 9:12, Isaiah 61:7).

I often chuckle when thorns crop up. This was not always the case but, the more I see the results of these promises, the more I understand what God has done for us. I love to declare these promises.

At first, it may appear that little seems to change. Watch for change. As you see this work, your confidence will increase, and when the weeds show up in your garden---you will chuckle too.

Be blessed!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Three Persons of God

Colossians 1:15 (NKJV) He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 

The Bible is such an incredible collection of books. The more I dig into it---the more I am amazed. It is a collection of sixty-six books, written by more than 40 authors, over a period spanning about two thousand years. I find it remarkable that no book in the Bible contradicts another book. Each time I think I have found an inconsistency, I learn something new.

One such seeming contradiction is the face of God. God said to Moses in Exodus 33:20, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live." A few verses earlier in Exodus 33:11 the Bible tells us, "So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend." Then our verse at the top---from the book of Colossians---says God is invisible.

In review, no man can see God and live, Moses talked to God face to face, and God is invisible. How do we explain this?

To understand it, you have to appreciate that God can reveal Himself in three different persons. Just as water is frozen, liquid, or Gaseous; God is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

God can present Himself as magnificent glory the way He did to Moses on Mount Sinai. God told Moses, "while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by" (Ex. 33:22). The glory was the face of God that no man could see.

Several times in the Old Testament, God also revealed Himself as a man. He did this with Moses, Abraham, and Jacob to name a few (Ex. 33:11, Ge. 17:15, Ge. 32:24-28). In Hebrews 11:27 the Bible says, "By faith he [Moses] forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible." The Scripture at the top refers to Jesus as being the image of Him who is invisible. This reveals that Moses saw Jesus before He became flesh and blood.

God can also reveal Himself as the Holy Spirit. The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew and then later translated into our own language. The Hebrew word for spirit is pronounced, "roo'-akh". In simple English, this word means breath*. The Holy Spirit is the holy breath of God. This is the invisible presence of God.

When God told Moses, "no man shall see Me and live" (V. 20), He was clearly talking about His magnificent glory. We know that God had already been talking to Moses as a man because verse 11 says, "the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man..."

The Jesus we read about in the New Testament, existed before all creation. Our verse at the top asserts this. He eventually was made flesh and dwelt among us to become the first, flawless, human being. He gave Himself to become the most powerful sacrifice ever possible. From the beginning of all creation, God has revealed Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

I love to find things in Scripture that seem to contradict. It always turns out to be an amazing revelation. The Bible never disagrees with itself. Whenever you find something in Scripture that does not seem to make sense---ask God to give you insight. This will take your learning to a whole new level.

Be Blessed!

*  James Strong, Strong’s Talking Greek and Hebrew Dictionary (Austin, TX: Wordsearch Corp., 2002), Bible study software, Strong’s number, H7307.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Anointed to preach!

Luke 4:18 (NKJV) "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;"

When Jesus was baptized by John, He also received the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:22). There is a misconception among believers. Many Christians believe if you are baptized in the Holy Spirit that it will only be evident if you speak in tongues. Not to take anything away from the awesome gift of tongues but the Holy Spirit is so much more.

When the apostle Peter received the Holy Spirit, he brought 3000 souls to Jesus (Acts 2:41). Although many Christians struggle with praying in tongues, they may still be---and most likely are---baptized in the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit can fall on any believer. It can come on them during a church service as it did to Peter, (Acts 2:1-4) or, if they simply ask for it. In fact, the Bible teaches us to continually ask for it. In Leviticus 24:2, the Bible tells us, "Command the children of Israel that they bring to you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to make the lamps burn continually." Inside the tabernacle of the Old Testament was a lamp that burned oil as a light source during the night. In the day, light was provided by the sun (1 Samuel 3:15). The oil was significant of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible says in Luke 11:13, "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" This verse says all we have to do is ask. Leviticus 24 says to collect the oil continually. This teaches us to ask continually for the Spirit.

So what do we get when the Spirit comes upon us? Many of us already know we get the gift of tongues. Do you realize we also get the other gifts of the Spirit? These gifts are wisdom, knowledge, faith, an anointing to provide healing, perform miracles, and prophecy, the gifts of discernment, tongues, and interpretation of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:8-10).

Although these gifts are often an office or a ministry, they are also for the individual believer. This way we can all pray for the sick, provide an encouraging word, and even bring people to Christ.

These gifts are not only a benefit to us, but also to everyone around us. Pray that the Holy Spirit would saturate you with these gifts---continually!

Be Blessed!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Judged Three Times

Luke 23:4 ""So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, "I find no fault in this Man.""

The crucifixion of Jesus was one of the first things I learned about when I became a Christian. Jesus was a man with no flaws, judged for mankind who was full of flaws. This understanding has been in my heart ever since. However, the last few years have opened my eyes to even greater revelations about the cross.

If you study Exodus 29, you will learn of three sacrifices. These sacrifices would prepare a priest to stand before God. The three sacrifices were, the burnt offering, the sin offering, and the consecration offering. Each offering provided specific benefits.

The burnt offering provided a covering of righteousness and redemption from Adam's curse. A good example of this was the Passover. The Passover was a burnt offering. It provided a means for God to connect with us and rejuvenate or restore His children out of bondage. It provided healing and made them righteous before God.

The sin offering provided redemption from the curses of the law. These are the curses listed in Deuteronomy 28. Jesus received a wound for each curse.

The consecration offering washed away any remnants of sin, a murderer who is forgiven is still a murderer. Washed by the blood of the sacrifice---they are no longer a murderer.

Jesus provided all three sacrifices for us. He was judged three times. Caiaphas the high priest was first. The Bible tells us that he could find no fault in Him (Matthew 26:59,60).  Pilate was next to judge Him---he also found no fault (Luke 23:4). Herod was the last one to judge Jesus. Herod also found no fault in Him (Luke 23:15).

The sacrifice had to be inspected before it was offered and had to be without spot. Jesus was judged three times---He was inspected and found without fault three times.

Jesus was three sacrifices, all in one offering. If you struggle with any issues that have you feeling condemned, fellowship with Jesus through prayer. Your relationship with Jesus will allow Him to shield you from the lies of the enemy. The most important benefit from the cross is personal fellowship. This opens the door for all the other benefits.

Be Blessed!

Monday, August 06, 2012

A Crown of Thorns

Hebrews 9:14 (NKJV) how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 

The other day I was doing some yard work and had to trim some thorny bush. I really should have worn gloves but, I only had a few branches to trim. I poked myself several times and really regretted not having used gloves.

I watched as the wounds began bleeding and I thought of Jesus having a crown of thorns put on His head (John 19:2). I could picture Jesus with blood running down His face. The Bible says in the Scripture above, His blood will purge our conscience of dead works. I believe the crown of thorns was brought to light by the Scripture above.

If you are like me, you have been challenged by bad thoughts and perhaps even a few addictions. After many years of trying to honor God by being good, I finally concluded---it wasn't in my power to do, no matter how much I wanted to please Him.

A great example is when I quit smoking. When I was born-again in 1989, one of the first things on my list was to quit smoking. I had been smoking since 1975. People told me that I was now the temple of God and it was wrong not to take good care of myself. It seemed to make sense to me.

In April of 2009, I accepted the fact; I was never going to be able to quit smoking. I began to realize that God still loved me even if I was a smoker. In fact, it did not change His love for me at all. I decided I was not going to worry about it any more and began to enjoy His presence even if I had a cigarette going. Then one day, I considered how much I would like to quit smoking for me.

A revelation of God's love taught me---if I wanted to quit smoking for myself, God would be there to help. In May of 2009, I became a non-smoker. This was a demonstration of His love for me. I have no desire to smoke, it does not bother me if someone else smokes. My desire has been changed!

God was able to change my thoughts. A revelation of His love for me has made it possible for God to change my desires. The greatest damage caused by Adam's fall was losing companionship with God. When man became sinful in nature, God could not have close fellowship with him anymore. The Bible tells us in Exodus 33:20, ""He [God] said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live."" Animal sacrifice permitted some opportunity for God to connect with man, but it still fell short. The sacrifice of Jesus broke all barriers of sinfulness.

Jesus suffered in many ways---all of it was necessary. It made it possible for Him to fellowship with us, then He can purge our conscience. This is important; He loved us while we were sinners. He wants to change us for us---not for Him!

Discover His love for you. Talk to Him all the time. He shed His blood so we can have fellowship. That fellowship will change your bad thoughts and desires.

Be Blessed!

Monday, July 30, 2012

You have been chosen!

John 16:23 (NLT) At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name.

It may not seem to be the most exciting study, but the tabernacle of the Old Testament brings details of the cross to life. The tabernacle was a tent-like structure in the wilderness where Israel could connect with God. When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, He also gave him instructions to build the tabernacle. It was to be the dwelling place of God (Exodus 25:8).

The tabernacle was deemed to be a holy place. One section of the tabernacle, separated by a curtain, was the most holy place. Although a lampstand provided light in the tabernacle, the most holy place did not need any light. This section was illuminated by the glory of God.

Inside the most holy place was an ark. It was a chest-like structure that contained the two tablets with the Ten Commandments on them. On top of the Ark was the mercy seat, this is where the glory of God was. The Glory was so intense, even though the high-priest went through extensive preparations, he still had to be shielded from the glory. He was protected by the wings of two birdlike creatures on top of the mercy seat (see Exodus 25:16-20).

The preparations required from the priest are outlined in Exodus 29, but to give you an idea; amongst the list of preparations were three types of sacrifices---the burnt offering, the sin offering, and the consecration offering. These sacrifices were performed by the priest daily, for a week in advance, as part of the preparation.

After preparations, the high priest could enter into the presence of God's glory on behalf of the people. Before the crucifixion, Jesus was our High-Priest. The verse at the top tells us that because of the cross, we can enter on our own. He was crucified so that we could enter into this glory as priests.

The Bible says in 1 Peter 2:9, "You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession." As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light." The word wonderful is better expressed as, to be wondered at. This is no ordinary light. It is the glory of God.

The verse at the top is only one of the benefits provided by the cross. We simply declare that Jesus gave us the privilege and we receive all the benefits of a priest. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 21:5, "The Lord your God has chosen them [the priests] to minister before him and to pronounce blessings in the Lord’s name. They are to decide all legal and criminal cases."

You are a royal priest---start blessing, start declaring justice---most of all, enjoy the presence of God!

Be Blessed!

Monday, July 23, 2012

God's secret weapon.

1 Samuel 17:26 (NKJV) Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, "What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?"

You may be familiar with this old tale of a prison escape. An inmate received a cake with a file in it. He used it to file the bars of his prison cell and escape. It makes me think of a story in the Bible. A true story, not a tale---God delivers a weapon with a packed lunch.

You can find the story in 1 Samuel 17. The story is about David who later became King of Israel. At the time of this story, David was just a young man. Israel was in battle against the Philistines. A very large man---about nine feet tall---challenged Israel to send a man out to battle him one-on-one. This man’s name was Goliath.

This man was a giant compared to any man in their own army. The Bible says Israel was dismayed and greatly afraid. Jesse, David’s father, sent David with a packed lunch and some snacks for his older brothers who had gone to battle. For forty days, Goliath had been challenging Israel to battle. David arrived on the scene to hear him. When David heard the man, he said, "who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?" David knew this giant wasn't a problem for God.

David was God’s secret weapon. He went on to kill the man and give Israel victory in this battle. The Bible says, “The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all” (Ecc. 9:11). Whenever I face a battle of my own, I have to remind myself, I do not need to be bigger or more powerful, I do not have to be wiser or better educated, I do not even have to be wealthy. This is because God only needs a willing person to work through.

If you have called on Jesus to be your Lord, He can work through you too. God wants you to win your battles (see 1 Cor. 15:57,58). Put your trust in God instead of trusting yourself.

If you are like me, you sometimes feel a little under-qualified. When I begin to feel this way, I just remind myself, I too am God’s secret weapon.

Be Blessed!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Most Holy Faith

2 Timothy 2:13 (NKJV) If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

I used to think that I had to have faith that can move mountains to live a life of victory. I thought it was my responsibility to change things through faith. Some of the time, I would see some success but, there were many bondages that I could not break. It seemed---the harder I tried to believe---the harder it was to believe for these much desired breakthroughs.

One day I was reading about the great people of faith, in Hebrews 11. The last verse of that chapter says (v. 40), “God having provided something better for us...” I suddenly realized; God has a put a better faith in us than the natural faith people of the Old Testament had. God then showed me the verse at the top of this post.

If you study the Gospels (the first four books of the New Testament), You will see how faithless the disciples often were, yet they still got to see miracles. It was very clear that it was not their faith---it was Jesus’ faith. There was the time Peter brought in the haul of fish when he reluctantly obeyed the word of Jesus (Luke 5:5). There was the time Jesus was sleeping during the great storm---Jesus clearly stated the disciples had little faith (Matt. 8:26).

The Gospels reveal to us, our need for a Saviour. Jesus demonstrated our true un-righteousness. He made it clear that there is an enemy---the devil---without Jesus, the enemy could cause all sorts of trouble for us. Jesus also showed us that we needed His faith. The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” God’s faith is a gift.

How do we tap into His faith and put our faithlessness aside? One way to do this is praying in the Spirit. The Bible says in Jude 1:20, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.” Most holy is God. Most holy faith is God-faith. This is the something better for us in Heb. 11:40.

The next time you feel faithless, remember that He is faithful. Tell God you need His faith in the matter and pray in the Holy Spirit (tongues). Pray until you feel a refreshment or until you receive instructions. Either way, you will feel the victory and go back to enjoying this wonderful gift of life.

Be Blessed!

Monday, July 09, 2012

You are a King---I want you to act like one!

Joshua 14:12 (NKJV) "Now therefore, give me this mountain...and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said."

One day I was feeling a great deal of pressure dealing with life issues. Suddenly, the thought came to mind; you are a king---learn how to act like one, after all the Bible says, "those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life" (Rom. 5:17). The Bible also says, "He has made us kings" (Rev. 1:6).

I started to ponder a Bible verse related to the greatest king in the Old Testament, King David. The Scripture says in 1 Chronicles 14:11, "'David said, 'God has broken through my enemies by my hand like a breakthrough of water.'" Okay, God works through me.

The next question I had was, "how do I get God to work through me?" When Israel was to enter the promised land the first time, they sent twelve men to see what they would be up against. Ten of the men came back with a bad report saying the men were powerful and the cities were too protected to overtake. Two of the men, Joshua and Caleb, declared that the victory would be theirs because God was with them (see Num. 13-14).

God led me to Joshua 14:12. This verse says, "Now therefore, give me [Caleb] this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said." WOW, there are a lot of revelations in this verse but I'll stay on topic.

This was a period of time when there was no king of God's people. God wants every child of His to be a king. This is why He said Jesus is the King of Kings (Rev. 17:14). Caleb was a good example of this. Initially, he was not a leader of a tribe or even in any natural prominent position. He simply acted like someone empowered by God. Caleb was ready to battle with even greater odds. His army was a very small portion of Israel. This did not discourage him in the slightest. In the beginning he was a man like me. God was able to promote him because he knew what God had promised.

Caleb reminded Joshua what God had promised and declared the victory based on His word. When I understood this, I declared the promises of  God over every challenge I was facing. I saw fire coming from my mouth. The pressure immediately dissipated and solutions to my problems began to take place. Bigger mountains mean bigger victories.

If you are facing a mountain, declare the Word of God over it! Get rid of the pressure and get back to enjoying this wonderful gift of life.

Be Blessed!

Monday, July 02, 2012

See Christ in "All Things".

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 (NKJV)

Many of us are familiar with this Scripture. In many cases, the full impact of these words are not fully realized. For one thing, few people understand that these words are for two categories of people; Christians and pre-Christians. The next verse (v. 29) brings this to light. It says, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.” There are many people predestined to be Christian. Some of which have no love for God yet. These words are for them too.

God is more than able to turn any situation from bad to good. What the enemy uses to destroy---God can turn it into an opportunity to promote you; whether you are a pre-Christian who needs salvation, or a born-again believer.

This amazing power of God to trump the enemy is a good demonstration of His existence. When I began my personal relationship with God, it was not the stories of the flood, or the parting of the red sea that caused me to believe in Him. I only had to look at my life to see His loving touch. There was situation after situation of coincidences that were a little too coincidental.

Supernatural experiences in my own life, charge my faith battery the most. Verse 29 reveals that God has already begun a work in many of the un-saved. If you have loved ones you are longing to see accept Christ, look for God already working in their life. When you recognize His involvement, your faith battery will receive a powerful charge. Of course, this works for any difficult challenge we face.

Most of us have spent much too much time worrying about a loved one or a tough situation. When we see God’s involvement, we are reminded He is there for us. This insures us we will see victory and we can focus---instead---on things that give us joy.

Life is a gift from God---do not allow the enemy steal it from you.

Be Blessed!

* I need honest reviews for my latest book. I am sending out free copies to anyone interested. Your consideration is truly appreciated.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Best Defense is a Good Offense!

Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

Have you ever had a broken heart? Many of us have experienced terrible tragedies; the loss of a spouse or child, to death, drugs, or divorce. I have witnessed people robbed by these things and, unfortunately, because of the heartbreak, have been robbed of the wonderful, God-given gift of life.

Life is a gift. A broken heart can steal your life. The Bible tells us to guard our heart. It even teaches us how to do it (Prov. 4:20-23). However, I believe that a New Testament believer has access to something more than just a protected heart. I believe we can have a powerful heart. God wants us to flow in wisdom, knowledge, and joy. He wants us to have a heart that not only gives life, but one that provides an above average life.

If you are born-again, the Holy Spirit is inside your heart (2 Cor. 1:22). We need to take advantage of this. The Bible teaches us a way to do it. It says in John 6:29, "This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent." This is all we have to do; believe in Jesus. When we believe in Jesus, we can tap into that power He has placed inside us. The more we believe---the more power is released.

If you want to believe in Jesus, get to know Him personally. You can study His word, which is a good place to start, but to really get to know Him, you have to see Him. He is always with you. The Bible says in Matthew 9:28-29, "They [the blind men] went right into the house where he was staying, and Jesus asked them, "Do you believe I can make you see?" "Yes, Lord," they told him, "we do." Then he touched their eyes and said, "Because of your faith, it will happen."

Just as the blind man believes and then sees, look for Jesus in every moment. You will see Him; you will believe even more in Jesus and experience the greater life.

Why just keep what you have, when you can have so much more.

Be Blessed!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Grace--forgiven once and for all.

And Jesus said to him, "See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them." Matthew 8:4 (NKJV)

Matthew 8:2-4 is the first time the Bible gives details about a healing performed by Jesus. These details set the stage for Jesus ministry before the cross, which is why these points were made at the beginning of the Gospels. I want you to notice in the verse above it says, "offer the gift that Moses commanded." This was a requirement of the old covenant (Lev. 14:3-7).

When Jesus ministered on the earth, the law covenant was still in full force. The ministry of Jesus was to reveal our need for a savior. He made statements like, "if your eye causes you to sin pluck it out" (Mat. 5:29, Mat. 18:9, Mar. 9:45). He made these statements for two reasons, first---to stress the importance of obtaining righteousness, second---to reveal how difficult it was to obtain it.

It is important to understand this, to grasp the full grace message. A great example is in the Gospel of Mark. The Bible tells us in Mark 11:26, "if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses." In the absence of Jesus as our mediator---before the cross---our Father could not forgive us if we harbored resentment in our hearts. In the new covenant, after the crucifixion, the Bible contradicts this. In Colossians 3:13 the Bible says, "Christ forgave you, so you also must do." Our forgiveness came to us first, and then we forgive others. NOTE-The words, must do, were not actually in the original text, that is why they are in italics.

So what is the big difference? In the old covenant, it was mandatory, in the new covenant of grace, it is a desire that comes when we know the truth. After years of trying to be a good Christian to please God---so I thought---I realized how short of good I really was. I would pick an area of sin in my life and try to correct it. Even if I could get it under control, another weakness would show itself to me.

Then there is the Scripture in 1 John. It says in 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Every morning, in the shower, I would start confessing all my sins. This is where I began to realize I could never keep up. Instead of feeling righteous by the gift of salvation, I felt unworthy and undeserving of any good thing.

The disciple John said a few verses earlier, "that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:3). Notice it says, "that you may have fellowship with us." Notice there was two groups, you and us; you the unsaved and us the saved. Obviously, John was preaching to the unsaved. He was telling them, if we admit we are sinners; we can have His forgiveness. This is the message of salvation.

God does not want us to meditate on sin. He tells us in Philippians 4:8 (NLT), "Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Grace meets this criteria.

Now that I am learning the grace message, I am overwhelmed daily with the Father's love. I see bondages broken and new desires replacing them. God is changing me from the inside out. I still have quite a ways to go but I am amazed how far I have come.

Study the Gospels with grace in mind, as you do you will appreciate how big a deal it was to have the gift of Jesus. You won't change because you have to, you will just change. Experience the true freedom from bondage grace provides.

Be Blessed!