Monday, December 30, 2013

Changing our Nature


Romans 5:17 (NKJV)  For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

Jesus gave us the gift of righteousness so we could be free from the penalties of sin and reign in life. Before Jesus, sin was an open door for the enemy to inflict us with pain and sickness.

When Jesus paid the penalty of sin, the enemy lost his legal grounds to torment us. The only avenue the enemy has now, is to convince us to accept a lie. He will try to delude us into believing we deserve pain and torment because of sin. He will tell us that God will not bless us because of it.

The Bible says in Isaiah 54:17, "No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn." This says when the enemy hits us with judgement---we condemn him for it. We put it before God. The verse goes on to say, "This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me," Says the LORD." Judgement has no more power over us because our righteousness is from God.

The devil wants us to believe God is judging us. Jesus said in John 16:8-11, "And when He [the Holy Spirit] has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged." Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to convict us of righteousness---because we believe in Him, and to judge the devil.

If you feel convicted of sin---it is from the devil. He uses it to separate you from the grace of God. The power to overcome sin is in grace---not condemnation. As you receive grace, you lose unhealthy desires.

You have to believe you are righteous to become righteous. When you believe you are righteous, you open the door for God to release Himself through you. God fixes sin problems in our lives by changing our nature.

This New Year, forget the resolutions---remember Jesus loves you exactly as you are. He desires to set you free from struggling. God will make the changes you want. He wants you to enjoy life to its fullest. Rest in this truth and enjoy the year ahead in freedom from condemnation. Get ready for an amazing new year!

Be blessed.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Mary-Minded

 

John 3:16 (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Christmas is my favorite time of year. People celebrate the birth of Jesus. His birth signifies the redemption from judgement for any person who will simply believe in Jesus.

When God gave us His Son, it was all over for the devil. Jesus is our saviour who gave Himself to be sin for us on the cross. When He did, the devil lost his power over us. The sin of all mankind was dealt with.

The first miracle Jesus performed was turning water into wine (John 2:11). It was at the request of His mother. The Bible says, "Jesus said to her [His mother Mary], "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come."  His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it"" (John 2:4-5).

I find it amazing that Mary knew He would perform miracles. She did not have the New Testament to learn the character of Jesus. She simply knew because she was His mother.

We can have the same closeness to Jesus that His mother had with Him. We celebrate Christmas because of the gift of eternal life. Jesus provided even more than eternal life. He opened the door for us to have a personal relationship with Him.

Having a relationship with someone means giving them some attention. Mary gave Jesus her attention and took note of things that were out of the ordinary. The Bible says in Luke 2:19, "But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart." Then in again in Luke 2:51, "... His mother kept all these things in her heart."

As you fellowship with Jesus through communion and an awareness of His continual presence, you will see things out of the ordinary. You will learn the character of God and begin to take advantage of everything He provided with the gift of Jesus.

It is time to start seeing the church perform amazing miracles. As we commune with God we will tap into this incredible gift.

Be blessed and have an amazing Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013

It's Payback Time!


Joel 2:25 (NKJV)  "So I [God] will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten ..."

Have you been challenged by an impossible situation? Maybe an illness or disease; perhaps family or financial troubles. Maybe even all of the above!

Put your confidence in God. He will put the right person in the right place to meet a need. He will perform that miracle healing. He will change the heart of that loved one. God can do whatever it takes.

2 Kings 4:8-37 Tells a story about a wealthy woman who needed a miracle. The Old Testament prophet Elisha raised her son from the dead. This woman needed another miracle too.

There was a famine in the land and Elisha instructed the woman to take her family away for seven years. When the woman returned, her home and land were taken over (2 Kings 8:1-6). The woman had to appeal to the King to get her property returned.

Gehazi, Elisha's servant was telling the King about the miracles that Elisha had done. Just as he was telling him about how Elisha raised a boy from dead, the woman showed up with her appeal. The timing was remarkable.

2 Kings 8:6 says, the king appointed a certain officer for her, saying, "Restore all that was hers, and all the proceeds of the field from the day that she left the land until now."

God gives you more than you are entitled to. He makes up for lost time. The devil tried to steal from Job. The Bible says, "The LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before (Job 42:10). Like He did with Job, He will do for you.

God can change anything---whatever your need, I believe now is the time to receive the blessing God has for you. Put your confidence in Him, He has crowned you to be a royal priest (1 Peter 2:9). He wants you to live like one.

Be blessed!


Monday, December 09, 2013

Favor with God and People


Proverbs 3:4 (NLT) Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.

Recently, I began a new venture driving a semi-truck. Being new to the trade, I have needed to learn a lot.

The other morning about 3:00 am, I had to pick up a trailer in a city where it was very cold. After I hooked up the trailer and started to pull it, I discovered one wheel was not moving because the brakes were frozen up.

I had heard of this happening and had a vague idea how to unlock the brake, but I have never seen it done. I prayed for the solution, and then another truck driver came to my door.

The truck driver asked me if I knew how to fix the problem. I told him I was not really sure. He asked me what I had for tools, when I told him; he said they would not work. Then he showed me what I needed and how to fix it. The whole procedure took less than five minutes---what a blessing!

I have picked up trailers there before. I have never seen another driver there at night---and this was 3 am. Of course I immediately thanked God for sending a man with such favor. I notice God has been doing that a lot lately.

One day about six weeks ago I was given a traffic ticket for being in the wrong lane. The police officer said he knew I did not know I was breaking a law. He decided not to process the ticket---even though he already gave it to me.

A few nights ago, there was a snow storm. This storm caused deliveries to come to a halt. Then as soon as the highways were clear enough, all the deliveries came at the same time. I had a trailer to drop off at a large courier company.

In places where a lot of trailers come and go, they have small trucks called shunt trucks. These trucks are designed to quickly move trailers around the yard. I usually ask the shunt truck drivers where they want me to leave the trailer.

This place was in total mayhem. There were trailers everywhere. Truckers were going to have to come back. I asked the shunt truck driver if I could drop my trailer and he said no-way. He then went to move his truck and it was stuck right in front of me and I could not leave. After a few minutes, he managed to get his truck moving and I proceeded to pull away. With trailers parked all over the place it took some tricky maneuvering.

The shunt truck driver watched as I managed to pull away and for some strange reason, came running up to my door. He pointed to a place to drop my trailer. He said don't worry about blocking trailers or loading docks, just leave it there. He had no reason to give me such favor.

A few months ago, I posted a message Titled, "A Word for the Body"(1). The body of Christ is to increase in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and men. I received this word and believed it. I am seeing results. Believe it, and you will see results too.

Be Blessed!
(1) A Word for the Body, August 12, 2013

Monday, December 02, 2013

Supernatural from the Natural


Matthew 16:19 (NKJV) 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."

As a child of God, I am a point of release for God to flow into this world. God has set out to do many amazing things in this world such as we have yet to see, and He is doing it through His church.

In my own life I am seeing God on a more personal level than ever before. Through this relationship, I have discovered a very important truth; God uses the natural to perform the supernatural on this earth.

Recently I came out of retirement to be a truck driver. The plan is to do a father/son thing with my son. First I had to learn how to drive a tractor trailer. As a new driver I have already had my first close call.

My driving often takes me through the mountains. It is winter here, so it can be icy. The other morning I came around a corner and into a slippery section. At highway speed---the truck broke into a slide. As I fought to re-gain control of the truck, I noticed the truck and trailer were locked in line with each other. This prevented it from jackknifing---which would have been tragic. I was fascinated by this. It felt like angels were keeping it straight.

When I got home, I shared it with my family. I told them how amazing it was that the truck did not jackknife. This made my recovery from the slide safe and easy.

Before my next trip out, the truck was in our shop receiving some maintenance. When I picked it up, the technician noted that I needed to lubricate my fifth wheel (trailer hitch). He said if I did not, it will cause the truck and trailer to lock up.

It turns out, greasing my fifth wheel is something I am to do regularly and was not aware. I thought the shop took care of this and gave it no concern. It is amazing how God used my ignorance to save my life. The trailer did lock up----at exactly the right time!

God often performs miracles through natural resources. In the same manner, God uses natural people to do the supernatural.

God has given us the keys to the Kingdom. When we bind or loose things on earth, heaven is released to see it done. He has given us the power to do miracles. We simply need to believe.

He has empowered us to accomplish His purpose. Whether it is your job, your family, your prayers or releasing His fruit, wherever you go---do it with power.

Believe it, declare it, and you will see it!

Be blessed.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Remember My...


1 Corinthians 11:24 (NKJV)  and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me."

The last word of this verse, "Me", comes from a Greek word pronounced, "Em-os"(1). A more accurate translation of this word would be, "My", but it does not seem to fit; "do this in remembrance of My". It seems to require another word to follow.

When I noticed this, I took a deeper look at this word in its original Greek spelling, using a tool called, an "Interlinear Scripture Analyzer"(1). I discovered this word is recorded thirteen times in the Bible; eight times quoting Jesus.

The Bible records Jesus using this word three times referring to communion (Lu. 22:19, 1 Co. 11:23 & 24). Jesus said in John 8:43, "My speech". Then in John 8:56, He said, "My day". In John 14:27---"My peace". John 17:13, "My joy", and in John 17:24, "My glory".

My speech
My day
My peace
My joy
My glory

When I have communion, I like to remember everything it means. Now when I replace the word Me with the word My, I remember the things Jesus said (His speech), I remember this is His day---the time of the new covenant---not the old one. I remember He wants me to experience His peace and joy.

I also remember that because of what Jesus did, I can come into His glory and commune personally with Him. Even His glory is for me to enjoy.

Jesus said in John 16:15, "All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you." Jesus provided us with all these attributes on the cross and so many more. When you break bread, remember the word at the end is My. Do not stop there but fill in the blank because Jesus said, "everything of Mine is yours".

Be blessed!
(1) ISA Interlinear Scripture Analyzer copyright AndrĂ© del Mol 201. ISA (Basic) can be downloaded free @ http://www.scripture4all.org/

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ruin the Devil's Day


Psalm 112:10 (NLT) The wicked will see this and be infuriated. They will grind their teeth in anger; they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.

As a child of God, we are entitled to many benefits. The devil wants to make sure we do not get them.

We can easily get snared into defending ourselves against the devil's attacks. He will try anything to hold us back from our inheritance. He may attack our health, finances, family, or marriage---to keep us from receiving it.

Psalm 112 is a beautiful picture of the Christian that has received their God-given benefits. It even reveals how to do it. Our verse at the top describes the enemy's response to a righteous person. If you are born-again, you are the righteousness of God (1). You qualify for these benefits.

So what does the wicked one see to cause him to grind his teeth and slink away in hopelessness? Verse 9 says, "They [the righteous] share freely and give generously to those in need." This it what hurts the devil. When we do good for others.

The Old Testament makes the point over and over; God protects us from the enemy. When Pharaoh sent his armies after Israel, God drowned them in the Red Sea. Jehoshaphat, Joshua, Gideon, and King David all saw God defeat their enemies in unique ways and they did not have to do the battle. God takes care of the enemy for us.

Now I am not telling you to roll over and play dead. If you have bill collectors, you need to try to work something out. If you have health problems---see a doctor. Whatever you do, do it in prayer and do what seems to bring you the most peace. Most importantly---find someone else to bless.

The enemy wants us to defend ourselves. This prevents us from doing the good works that God has planned for us to do (2).

God has a purpose for each of us. As we fulfill that purpose, the enemy suffers destruction. I refuse to get caught up in my own affairs when God has a fulfilling, prosperous, destiny for me to live out. God takes care of me when I fulfill my purpose.

Be Blessed!
(1) 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV) For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
(2) Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV) for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Monday, November 11, 2013

I Don't Ask for Money


Deuteronomy 8:18 (NKJV)  And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

Several years ago, I was a traveling sales representative. The product I sold was expensive and one sale often meant thousands of dollars to me. Needless to say, my monthly income could be feast or famine.

During one period of famine, I was having problems with my vehicle. It was an intermittent problem that caused it to stall from time to time. I really needed a sale so I could not only feed my family and pay bills, but I needed to get my vehicle fixed.

The opportunity for a sale finally arrived. I had a potential buyer about three hours drive from home. I made the appointment and headed out; I would show them the equipment after business hours.

However, my vehicle decided to give me more grief than I could deal with.  I drove about an hour out of town and it became too unreasonable to keep going. I had to turn my vehicle around and limp it back home. As I drove it kept stalling, I would pull over and wait a moment, start it up again and continue on.

As I went along, I wondered how I was going to get out of this predicament. I had a qualified buyer but no way to work out a deal.

Pondering the thought that God is my provider, the Scripture at the top kept coming to mind. The van decided to stall once more when suddenly, from deep in my heart came the words, "God gives me the power to get wealth to establish His covenant". I shouted this out and the van started up and ran like new.

I ended up getting the deal that night and my van ran flawlessly the whole way to the customers and back home. It quit running once I parked in my driveway.

The Bible says in Isaiah 48:17, "Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.""

We need to realize God is our provider. He teaches how to make money and leads us through financial challenges. We do not have to ask---He is at the ready.

I rely on God to give me the ability to do my job efficiently. I give Him all the glory when I do well because I know it is because of Him. When I have unusual financial difficulties come up, I do not concern myself with the result but rather, what God wants me to do.

Sometimes God allows things to happen that I may not understand, but the end result is not important because God meets all my needs no matter what. He always finds a way because I have placed my confidence in Him.

I no longer worry about money; instead I focus on fellowshipping with God. He is my teacher, my guide, and the provider of all my income. I do not ask for money---I expect it!

Be blessed.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Let it Flow


John 7:38-39 (NKJV)  He who believes in Me [Jesus], as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."  But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive...

When I was a young boy, I used to enjoy hanging out with a friend at a nearby slough. A slough is not the most pleasant place to hang out but little boys like water, even if it has a foul odor. A slough has a bad smell to it because the water is stagnant; no water flows into or out of it.

A lake, on the other hand, does not smell like a slough. It can be a wonderful place to go swimming and just relaxing on the shoreline. A lake has streams or rivers flowing through it. The water is alive instead of stagnating.

The water in a slough is unpleasant; the water in a lake is pleasant.

In the Scripture at the top, Jesus promises us that whoever believes in him will have living waters flowing through them. He then explained that the living water is the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is revealed as love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (Galatians 5:22). I have always tried to display these beautiful attributes to those around me. I memorized them and kept myself in check. I did a reasonable job---much of the time, but not always.

Recently I discovered something better. The more I become like the Holy Spirit---the more I release His fruit.

I have discovered, the more I receive the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the more I become like the Holy Spirit. When I receive His love, I become His love. When I receive His joy, I become His joy. I do not have to memorize Scripture and keep myself in check, only to do a reasonable job. I have been learning to let Him flow through me. I have become naturally overflowing with love, joy, peace and all the beauty of God.

When the beauty of the Lord is upon you, you receive favor. This can lead to promotions at work and better service in restaurants and department stores. And it all comes to you naturally, with no effort at all.

Focus on receiving His fruit. Fellowship with God continually through conversation with Him and learning about His grace. You will find out how much He loves you and discover the joy He has over you. Receive His peace and the patience He has for you. It will overflow through you into a world that desperately needs it!

Be blessed.

Monday, October 28, 2013

We fight for Him---He fights for us


Exodus 14:14 (NKJV) "The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."

This verse tells us to hold our peace and let the Lord fight for us. But the Bible says 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." So how do we know whether to fight or hold our peace?

I spent many years trying to defend myself against the enemy, putting up a good fight but never seeing victory. I would declare war against the enemy and command him to give back what he was trying to take. I finally realized this was not working the way it should. The enemy had me right where he wanted, defending myself instead of carrying out the will of God for my life.

If the enemy can keep us from doing the will of God---it is worth all the fight he has to give.

When Jesus told the disciples they had power to trample the enemy, He had sent them out to gather new followers and heal the sick (see Luke 10:1-9). They were fulfilling His purpose.

You may not be called to ministry or preach the Word. It could be you are called to pray for people, heal the sick or be a source of encouragement. Never-the-less, God wants to display His beauty through you by overflowing you with His fruit (Gal. 5:22 & Eph. 5:9). Whatever you are called to do, you are an outlet for God to reveal Himself to a world that needs Him. If your focus is on yourself; the world does not get to experience Him.

We have amazing power to trample the enemy. I am learning to put the enemy on the defense and I love it. Like most people, I have my share of attacks. God said in Isaiah 54:15, "Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me. Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake." The enemy will always fall for my sake if I let God fight my battles.

I have learned to release God into my battles by releasing myself into His service, fulfilling His purpose for me. This is what hits the devil where it hurts.

It is time to start trampling on our enemy!

Be blessed.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Greatly Loved

1 John 4:19 (AMP)  We love Him, because He first loved us.

I recently began a new endeavor that takes me out of town for extended periods of time. One of the first things I like to plan for my days back home is time with my grandchildren. On this little break, I picked up my five year old grandson for a sleepover. Since I have not had as much time with him as usual, I felt like spoiling him.

I needed to pick up some items at a department store. While I was there, I bought my grandson a toy police car. Then we went out for a bite to eat. My grandson decided to take his new toy car in to play with. I thoroughly enjoyed watching him as he narrated a scene where his toy police car chased a bad guy. Var-room var-room, screech and the sound of a siren---he was really enjoying his new toy. However, on the way out, he accidently dropped his new toy. Some pieces broke off and the paint got scratched.

I decided to go buy another one. When my grandson realized I was going back to the store, he was quite excited. To me it was not a big deal. I could see the broken heart and I really enjoy seeing my grandchildren happy.

While we were at the store, I remembered some other items and did some more shopping. I somehow put something in the cart I did not need. While at the cashier, I realized I had the extra item and asked the girl if she would like me to run it back, since it was within sight of where we were. She said sure, so I went to put the item back while she rang in the rest of my items.

When I returned to the cashier, she gave me a big smile. I figured it was for putting the item back and saving someone else the trouble. On our way out of the store, my grandson said he told the cashier about coming back for the toy---that is why she smiled. It turns out, this was a really big deal for my grandson. Throughout the evening, he thanked me several times and kept telling me how much he loved me.

I had great pleasure in buying my grandson the replacement toy---even greater pleasure when I realized how special it was to him. I did it because I love him, this caused the love in him to come out even more.

I believe the people who love the most, are people who know they are greatly loved. You will notice in our verse at the top, the word Him is in italics. This is because that word was not in the original text. God loved us first so we can love!

Be blessed.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Feel the Love---Feel the Power

1 John 4:16-18 (NKJV)  And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.  Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

This is some of my favorite Scripture. It shows me how to tap into the power of God. As I learn how much God loves me, I am empowered. The more I understand His love; the more fearless I become.

The crucifixion was a powerful demonstration of love. The pain and agony Jesus endured was far more than we can imagine. However, it shows how God uses what the enemy means for harm---to bring about good.

There is another nugget here as well. This passage reads, "As He is, so are we in this world."

Perhaps you are facing what seems like an impossible circumstance. Maybe an illness, financial hardship, or broken down marriage has taken its toll. In the natural it looks like the enemy has you right where he wants you. Do not be discouraged, God has a deliverance already planned. It may not be how you expect, more than likely it will be even better.

Nothing is too difficult for our God. As a child of God, you receive the benefits of son-ship. You receive the benefits of Jesus. As He is, so are you.

Study some Scripture on the love of God. Listen to some good preaching on the subject. Let His love change your circumstances.

It may look like the devil is winning---but not this time---you have the key.

Be blessed!

Monday, October 07, 2013

Drink!


1 Corinthians 11:25 (NKJV) In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."

The word drink in the New Testament has an interesting meaning. It comes from a Greek word pronounced Pino. The best English translation for this Greek word is Imbibe (1).

According to Dictionary.com (2), imbibe means:

1. Drink (alcohol)
2. Absorb or assimilate (ideas or knowledge): "propaganda you imbibed in your youth".

At the last supper, the night of Jesus' arrest, He instructed the disciples to imbibe from the cup while remembering Him. When we partake of the cup we are supposed to remember what Jesus has done for us. We are to remember how He loves us.

He provides a means for us to guard our thinking. We just have to know He loves us. He paid a huge price to prove it. Every time we have communion, He wants us to absorb this into our mind.

The Bible says in Mark 16:18, "they [the believer] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

According to this verse, the believer shall take up serpents. Serpents are the enemies we face (Lu. 10:19). The serpents will try to poison our minds (through imbibing), but it will not harm us.

So how do we protect our thoughts?

The Bible says in Hebrews 9:14, "how much more shall the blood of Christ ... cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" The blood of Christ protects our thoughts through communion.

Every time I drink the cup, I ponder what it means. I remember how much He loves me. It fills my mind with light (good thoughts); dark can not exist in the light.

When you drink the cup of communion---imbibe it!

Be blessed.
(1) Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by James Strong, MADISON, NJ. Strong’s number, G4095.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Better than faith!


Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Hebrews chapter 11 gives us a list of Old Testament believers that had faith to move mountains. The list includes famous people such as Noah, Abraham, and Moses---to name a few.

I recently noticed the list does not include any disciples. It seems they were not included because they did not possess faith like Abraham. In fact, Jesus told the disciple Peter he had little faith, even though he just walked on water (1).

The disciples did not have that kind of faith; nor do I. I thank God that I do not have to.

The verse at the top says, "without faith it is impossible to please God." For many years I diligently faced problems in life never seeing victory. I tried to have faith on my own ability. I thought I had to to please God with faith to win the battles. I had a misunderstanding of Hebrews 11.

If I had to face challenges like Noah, Abraham, or Moses in my own faith, I would have failed.

The Bible says in Hebrews 11:40, "God having provided something better for us, that they [The people of faith] should not be made perfect apart from us." This says we have something better than faith. These faith-warriors received the benefits of faith. They had it---I do not. They do not receive the benefits apart from me; I still win because God provided something better.

So what is something better?

Something better is Jesus. Our verse at the top does not say we need to have the faith of Abraham. It says we only need to believe that Jesus is who the Bible says He is, and that He desires to reward us for believing in Him. Nothing else; believe in Him and that He wants to do good things for us.

I no longer look at my problems. I remind myself Jesus loves me and will take care of my problems for me. I do not have faith to move mountains, but Jesus does.

Sometimes I face a challenge beyond my level of faith. I remind myself of times past, when He proved to me; He is God and He loves me. That is all the faith I need.

Be blessed!
(1) Matthew 14:29-31, So He [Jesus] said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!" And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"

Monday, September 23, 2013

God-er-ize it!


Exodus 14:19 (NKJV) And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them.

If your past has been holding you back, God can fix it.

When Israel was freed from the slavery of Egypt, Pharaoh sent his army to take them back. When the army was about to overtake them, God Himself stood between them as a pillar of smoke. Shortly afterward, God destroyed the army (see Ex. 14).

The Bible says in Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good ..." This verse is not confined to what may be going on in our lives at present---it also includes our past.

So how do we bring God to move behind us? The Bible says in Isaiah 58:7-8 (NLT), "Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. "Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind."

When we focus on the will of God in our lives, God leads us where to go, and takes care of our past.

Perhaps you have been plagued with sickness, a wayward child, financial trouble, or a broken marriage. Whatever it might be that holds you back, God will use it to produce something better!

No matter what the situation is, God wants to fix it. Isaiah said, "your godliness will lead you forward" (Is. 58:8 above). When we are good to others, we advance forward and God takes care of our past.

Be blessed.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Your Coat of Many Colors

Genesis 37:3 (NKJV) Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors.

There is a beautiful picture in this verse; it reveals the love of God toward the body of Christ.

Joseph's father gave him a coat of many colors. When you combine all colors together, they become white. If you have software in your computer that allows you to make custom colors, you will see this if you adjust all colors up to maximum. Black, on the other hand is the absence of any color. A coat of many colors speaks of a pure white covering.

Our Father gave us a coat, pure, brilliant, and white---by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. This is symbolic of a spot-free covering of righteousness.

Israel (also known as Jacob), gave his son the coat as an act of love. Like Joseph: we are precious to our Father.

If you read the story of Joseph, you will see that he faced terrible circumstances, yet Joseph never turned away from God. He knew his father loved him, he also knew God loved him. Throughout his trials, the Bible says the Lord was with him (Ge 39:2, 3, 21, 23).

A pattern I noticed in the story is the fact that his enemy kept trying to take his coat. First was his brothers (1), then Potiphar's wife (2). They even tried to substitute it (3). Nevertheless, Pharaoh clothed him again, in garments of fine linen (4).

This is a picture of the enemy trying to steel our righteous covering with lies. If we believe the lies, we feel condemned and we separate ourselves from God. If we separate ourselves, God cannot bless us.

In the end, Joseph was promoted. Jesus says in Revelation 3:5, "He who overcomes shall be [being] clothed in white garments ..." Jesus has provided us with a coat of many colors. The enemy will try to take it from us. As long as we know we are loved, like Joseph, the enemy cannot keep our glorious garment.

You may be facing incredible trials. You have received a coat of many colors. This covering prepares you for advancement. It positioned Joseph for promotion. He became second to Pharaoh only in regards to the throne (5).

Be blessed! 
(1) Genesis 37:23 So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him.
(2) Genesis 39:12 that she caught him by his garment, saying, "Lie with me." But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.
(3) Genesis 41:14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh.
(4) Luke 1:34-35 "The Holy Spirit will come upon you [Mary], and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God."
(5) Genesis 41:40 Only in regard to the throne will I [the Pharaoh] be greater than you."

Monday, September 09, 2013

Enter His Gates

2 Samuel 12:20 (KJV) Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.

This verse is overloaded with hidden revelation. For one thing, it is an overview of Exodus 28---Preparing a priest to serve in the Holy Tabernacle.

For the moment, I would like to draw your attention to one particular detail. Notice that David worshipped the Lord first, and then, ate bread.

Whenever I see the word bread, in Scripture, I automatically think of communion. This is what the Bible calls it (1Co. 10:16).

The New Testament of the Bible was originally written in Greek. The Greek version of the word, communion, is pronounced, koy-nohn-ee'-na. According to Strong's Greek Dictionary (1), this word means, social intercourse. It is the deepest possible level of communicating with God.

The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:6 (NKJV), "... With thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." Prayer is a form of communication with God. This passage suggests we enter into prayer with thanksgiving---a form of worship.

In the Old Testament, God would visit His people in the tabernacle. It was a tent-like structure designed by God and placed in the midst of His people (Ex. 25:8 & 9). The gates to enter its courtyard were located on the east (Ex. 27:13-15).

God told Moses how to arrange the tribes of Israel surrounding the tabernacle (Nu. 2). In Numbers 2:3 we read, "On the east side, toward the rising of the sun, those of the standard of the forces with Judah shall camp." Judah, was located at the entrance. The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew. According to Strong's Hebrew dictionary, the name Judah comes from a root word in Hebrew that means, praise (2). To enter the courtyard, one would have to enter through praise (Judah). This is also reflected in the Psalms. Psalm 100:4 says, "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise."

In my experience, I can usually count on hearing God during worship services. I have discovered that He taps into my deepest desires during these times. Worship is an excellent avenue to hear God. I have found that the more I can hear God---the less hindrance He has, to work in my life. Worship is a perfect place to begin communing with God.

Begin your prayers and communion with worship and praise. You will experience the deepest level of communication with God.

Be blessed!
(1) Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by James Strong, MADISON, NJ. Strong’s number, G2842.
(2) Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by James Strong, MADISON, NJ. Strong’s numbers, H3063, H3034.

Monday, September 02, 2013

I can't not believe!

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

The foundation of Christianity is faith. The Bible says, "Without faith it is impossible to please God" (He. 11:6). Does this mean if we do not have faith, that we are condemned?

I have had challenges in the past where I needed a miracle, and had no faith to believe for one.

Do you know the disciples sometimes lacked faith and still got their miracle?

When Simon Peter loaned Jesus his boat to preach from, Jesus told him to put his nets back in the water. Peter answered, "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net" (Lu. 5:5). Peter did not think they would get any fish. They ended up catching a net breaking load of fish (Vs. 6 & 7)

Another time, the disciples were in a boat while Jesus slept. A violent wind broke out and the disciples were afraid because of the big waves. They woke Jesus and He calmed the storm. Then Jesus said to the disciples, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" (Mark 4:40) The disciples got their miracle without faith.

In each situation, Jesus provided the miracle. When we have no faith, how do we tap into His faith?

When Jesus was baptized in the Jordon, God the Father said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Mt. 3:17, Mk. 1:11, Lk. 3:22). When the devil tempted Jesus, he said to Him twice, "If you are the Son of God ... (Mt. 4:3 & 6). The devil was careful not to use the word beloved. He also tried to make Jesus doubt His Son-ship.

We are not only God's children; we are God's beloved children. The devil does not want us to know this. When we know God loves us as His children; we know He will deliver us from trouble.

Ephesians 3:19 tells us, if we know how great God's love is for us, we have the fullness of God inside us. This is why the devil will attack our thinking in this area. When I am facing a challenge and have no faith, I simply remind myself; Jesus loves me and wants the best for me. I may not know how, but I will see a miracle. A challenge is just an opportunity for Jesus to promote me.

The next time you need a miracle, read about the love God has for you. This is how you release God into your situations.

Be blessed!

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Devil Eats Dirt

Genesis 3:14 (AMP) And the Lord God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, you are cursed above all [domestic] animals and above every [wild] living thing of the field; upon your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust [and what it contains] all the days of your life.

We live in a dirty world. Whether we listen to the news, watch a movie, or even take a drive through town, we are likely going to be exposed to something foul. Something that can upset us or trigger our emotions to do something we do not want to do. Whether it is being rude to a worker or even something lustful, we are going to get dirty once in a while.

The devil eats dirt. Dirty people attract the devil. He will use the dirt to torment you with accusations. At one time I would fall for his tricks. I thought I had to avoid God until I dealt with the sin on my own. I would not even pray until I confessed it and repented. This could take minutes---or even hours. In any case, it was a time of separation from God and that defeats the purpose of the cross.

Fortunately for us, God has given us an anti-bacterial cleanser. The Bible says in Ephesians 5:26 (AMP), "So that He [Jesus] might sanctify her [the church], having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word." So how does the Word wash the filth off?

The Bible tells us in John 1:14 And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us." Therefore, Jesus is the Word. He does the cleaning. When we turn to Him, He washes the dirt away.

When we spend time with Jesus through prayer or devotions, He is taking away unclean habits and desires. Like regular bathing keeps us clean on the outside, regular devotions will keep you clean on the inside. Most of the time, a quick rinse is all we need. Over time, the devil loses his appetite for us because we do not have enough dirt for him to feed on.

Keep yourself clean with Jesus.

Be blessed.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Take

Luke 10:19 (NKJV) 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.

Lately I have been pondering the word take. I have noticed than when Jesus broke bread at the last supper, it was the first word He said (Mt. 26:26, Mk. 14:22, & Lk. 22:17).

Since this was the first word out of Jesus every time communion has been recorded in Scripture, I see this as a trend. Whenever I notice a trend in Scripture, I ask the Lord for revelation.

The verse I was led to is the verse at the top of this post. When I looked at the context of the Scripture (Lk. 10:1-20), I realized something very interesting.

Jesus sent a group of followers into the cities to heal the sick and spread the message of the Gospel (v. 9). These people were not requesting healing or prayer for themselves---they were fulfilling a purpose for God.

Jesus said, "All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you" (John 16:15). As a child of God, I am equipped with all that God has. I do not need to go where the enemy wants me to go, I can choose the place of battle. I can spend my time taking instead of defending, and doing the work of God.

The Bible says in Hebrews 10:36 "For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise." This means when I stay focused on the will of God in my life, the enemy is no threat. God promises, "With long life He will satisfy me, and show me His salvation" (Psalm 91:16). That is a wonderful promise.

The verse at the top contains two messages. God has given me authority to crush the enemy, and I do not have to worry about my self---the enemy can not hurt me.

I am taking all that God has for me and using it to take from the enemy. When I do, I receive the promises of God.

Be blessed!

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Word for the Body

Luke 2:52 (NKJV) And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

A couple of weeks ago I felt I was being led to share a word with the body of Christ. The word is, "This is a time for the body to increase in wisdom and stature". I am very careful about sharing a word from God. In fact, I always tell the recipient to be sure it agrees with their heart. I also back it up with Scripture.

When this word came to me, I began sharing it with close friends. Later that week, something really interesting happened.

I had a medical exam that included measuring my height. I am fifty-one years of age and have been 5'6" tall for all of my adult life. It turns out, I am now 5'7". I have grown an inch (2.54 cm) taller. On this past Sunday, during praise and worship, I made the connection to our Scripture at the top. I have literally increased in stature.

This is more than a coincidence. The circumstance is unusual in itself---the timing is remarkable. I know the Scripture is referring to promotion; however, this is my personal confirmation to share this word.

Back to our word from God.

Our verse at the top comes from a story about Jesus when He was twelve years old. His family traveled to Jerusalem to attend the Passover (see Lu. 2:41-51). After the celebration, on their journey home, they realized Jesus was left behind. When they returned to Jerusalem they found Him with religious teachers, "both listening and asking questions" (Lu. 2:46). The story finishes with our verse at the top of this post.

This is a time for the body of Christ to increase in wisdom and stature, and also, favor with God and man.

We will receive it by listening and asking questions the same way Jesus did. One of the best places to do this is the communion table. The word communion means, "the sharing and exchanging of intimate thoughts"(1).  Take your Bible to the communion table and see how God answers your questions.

Be blessed!
(1) https://www.google.ca/search?q=define+communion

Monday, August 05, 2013

The more you see God---The more you discover God

Romans 1:20 (NKJV) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made.

It takes some faith to believe in the invisible. However God always gives us an avenue to multiply our faith. Our verse at the top declares God is visible through His creations. This is an excellent starting point to build our faith.

I have always cherished the idea of seeing God on a personal level. One day as I pondered this, a thought came to mind; As a Blind man believes and then he sees, look for God in everything. Ever since, I have looked for God in everything, believing I would see Him.

I have had the pleasure of a more personal relationship with Jesus as a result. One of the most amazing spin-offs is my increase of faith.

John 4:47-53, tells a story of a nobleman whose son was at the point of death. He went to seek Jesus to heal his son. When he found Him, Jesus replied with an interesting assertion. Jesus said, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe" (John 4:48). Then in verse 50 we read, ""Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your son lives." So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way.""

Notice the man believed the word Jesus spoke. The noble man then started his journey back home. The next day the man met his servants on his way home. They told him, his son was getting better. The man inquired as to when the boy started to get well. The nobleman had some faith but still questioned it.

The men answered his question, the Bible tells us, "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" (John 4:53). When the man recognized the involvement of God, His faith increased---and even overflowed through his whole household!

If you want to increase your faith, start with the easy things, like His amazing creations. Then, start to look for Him in everything. Your relationship with Him will grow and your faith will multiply.

Be blessed.

Monday, July 29, 2013

In Time of Need

Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV) Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

When I meditate on this verse, I get flooded with an amazing revelation of the love of God. First, He has made it possible for me to come to His throne at any time with boldness. If I were flawed with any sin, I could not stand before His throne.

After Adam ate the forbidden fruit, mankind became tarnished with sin. It was not possible anymore to stand in the glory of God without shielding that sinful nature. God provided a way to cover the sin with innocent animals. According to Hebrews 9:22, "without shedding of blood there is no remission." When Adam's sons Cain and Abel presented offerings, God had to turn away from Cain with His offering of fruit because no blood was shed (see Ge:4:3-5).

When the devil went before God, he also needed a shield to protect him from God's glory. The Bible says in Job 1:6 (AMP), "Now there was a day when the sons (the angels) of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (the adversary and accuser) also came among them." Satan was among the angels in the presence of God. The angels were a shield that protected him from the glory of God.

When Jesus shed His blood, it provided a never-ending shield for us. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:12, "With His [Jesus'] own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption." The word eternal means, never-ending. If a child of God sins, the blood of Jesus has already covered it.

Next, He provides grace to help in time of need. If I need healing, strength, wisdom, encouragement, and even finances; God is available to help.

Many of us overlook another benefit of the sacrifice of Jesus. We can come to the throne any time. That means if we struggle with a sin, He still wants us to come to the throne of grace---even while we are sinning. He loves us no matter what. When we come to the throne, He works in us and gives us healthy desires (1). He does not condemn us for the sin (2), He changes our desire and He often does it without us even realizing it. He created us, He knows how to bring us to a place of ultimate satisfaction in life.

The more we come to His throne, the more He can do for us. Be bold and come to the throne often.

Be blessed!
(1) Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
(2) 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.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Fruit that Packs a Punch

Ephesians 5:9 (NKJV) (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth)

In the Old Testament, a person could only be made righteous by obeying the Ten Commandments. However, this was an impossibility which is why we needed the gift of righteousness through Jesus. But if a person could be good enough to obey all the commandments, that person would have been a great friend. They would have been trustworthy, they would not cheat, steal, or even covet your possessions.

In the New Testament the Bible says, "You are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God--and righteousness and sanctification and redemption." (1 Corinthians 1:30). Therefore, we are righteous in Christ. This righteousness produces even better fruit. The righteousness of Christ is the righteousness of the Holy Spirit. According to Galatians 5:22-23, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law."

This fruit does not need the law to produce it. The fruit comes from our gift of righteousness in Christ.

God has changed me in many ways. The most evident to me is the fruit I produce. I still struggle with several quirks but the world takes a greater notice of the fruit I produce. If you are not as perfect as you like---instead, focus on the fruit you produce. Ask God to release His fruit through you. He has equipped you with His Spirit for that purpose. Ask Him regularly and you will see results.

If you want to attract the world---let the fruit of the Spirit flow through you.

Be blessed!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Without Ceasing?

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV) pray without ceasing

Many of us see a Scripture that says to pray continually and assume it means to stop whatever you are doing and pray. Since this is not possible to do continually, it must be figurative. However, this is not the case.

The word we misunderstand is the word pray. To pray does not necessarily mean to stop what you are doing and pray. Praying is communicating with God. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 13:5, "For He Himself [God] has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."" Since God is always with us He hears everything we say.

A good example in Scripture is when Jesus raised Lazarus from dead. Jesus said in John 11:42, "And I know that You [God the Father] always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me." Jesus said this just before the words, "Lazarus Come forth", that brought Lazarus out of the tomb. So why did Jesus make a point to say the Father always hears Him?

When Jesus first heard about Lazarus, He did not stop and pray. He simply said, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up." (John 11:11) That was it---the dead raising prayer of Jesus Himself.

Now I am not taking anything away from personal fellowship and prayer; that is where you get intimate with God and learn His heart for you. Jesus did this often too.

What I am learning to grasp is His continual fellowship. I consider His presence in all my conversation---I am so glad for grace! It is a process but a worthwhile one.

Be blessed!

Monday, July 08, 2013

Everything the Father Has.

John 16:15 (NKJV) All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

Shortly before He was arrested and crucified, Jesus made the above statement to His disciples. Jesus said His Father would take everything He had and declare it to His followers. That is exactly what happened when He was crucified. He gave us His righteousness, His wisdom, and even His health.

The Bible says in Matthew 26:26, "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." This Scripture comes from the New Testament. The New Testament was originally written in Greek. The Greek word translated to, body, comes from a Greek word pronounced, so-mah. According to Strong's Greek Dictionary, the word comes from the root word, sozo. Sozo means absolutely complete (1). What Jesus said was the bread represented all of Him---the complete physical, spiritual, and emotional Him.

Jesus was ridiculed, beaten, and even gave up His spirit for us (2). He suffered physical, emotional, and spiritual brokenness. He even became poor (3). The Father took everything Jesus had---everything, and Jesus lacked nothing. Our heavenly Father has declared it ours.

So the next time you have a need, ask yourself; did Jesus have it? If He did, then the Father has declared it yours. Believe it and receive it. If you have trouble believing it, get connected to God and get to know Him personally by breaking bread, remembering what it means. Commune with Him regularly. He is always with you. As you commune with Him, He will reveal Himself and you will experience His loving-kindness.

As you begin to realize His love for you---and the reality of His presence---you will believe and receive.

Be blessed!
(1) Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by James Strong, MADISON, NJ. Strong’s numbers, so-mah - G4983, sozo - G4982 
(2) Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit.' " Having said this, He breathed His last.
(3) 2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

Monday, July 01, 2013

The Secret Place

Psalm 91:1 (NKJV) He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalm 91 is a popular Psalm for the promise of protection, but have you ever wondered where this place of refuge is? The best clue we find is verse 4---"He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge".

To understand this, we need to know a few things from the Old Testament. The Old Testament provides hidden images that become revealed through our study of the New Testament. One such image is the Tabernacle of the Old Testament. It was a tent-like structure designed by God to be His dwelling place among His people (1). In the New Testament, the born-again believer is the dwelling place of God (2).

By studying the description of the original tabernacle, we get a picture of God's connection to the New Testament believer. Exodus 25-31 gives the details of this Tabernacle and its furnishings.

Exodus 26 gives details of the covering of the tabernacle (Vs. 1-12). This cover was embroidered with cherubim. A cherubim was a creature with wings (3). So when the priest was in the tabernacle, he was under the wings of the cherubim. One reason for entering the tent was to partake of wine and bread offerings. Inside the tabernacle was a gold plated table with bread and wine on it. This table is our place of communion with God. It is a place of sharing our intimate thoughts with Him.

The verse at the top provides three key revelations for the believer to enter into this wonderful place. The first key is the word, dwells. This word comes from the Hebrew word pronounced, yashab. According to Strong's Hebrew dictionary, this word comes from the root word meaning, to sit down (4). The next key is found in the words, secret place. They come from a Hebrew word pronounced, say'-ther. This word means, a cover or concealed place (5). The last key is the word, abide. It comes from the word pronounced, loon. This word means, to remain (6).

So how do we access this wonderful place? Come to the table regularly and partake of the bread and the cup. Meditate on what Jesus did for you on the cross. Communion will then take place inside you and you will remain under the wings of the Most High, under the shadow of the Almighty.

Be Blessed!
(1) Exodus 25:8 And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I [God] may dwell among them.
Exodus 25:9 According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.
(2) 1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
(3) Exodus 37:9 The cherubim spread out their wings above... 
(4) Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by James Strong, MADISON, NJ. Strong’s number, yashab - H3427.
(5) Strong's numbers, say'-ther - H5643 & H5641.
(6) Strong's number, loon - H3885.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Why Nineveh?

Jonah 4:11 (NKJV) And should I [God] not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left--and much livestock?"

The book of Jonah is an amazing picture of God's grace for a city full of sinful people. If you have ever heard the story, you know that God asked Jonah to preach a message of salvation to Nineveh. Jonah rebelled and attempted to flee to Tarshish (1). During the journey, Jonah was swallowed by a big fish. In the end, the people repented and Jonah did not approve of God's grace. The book ends with our verse at the top of this post.

I find it very interesting that the name Tarshish means a region of the stone (2). Since the Ten Commandments were written on stone. This tells me Jonah tried to take God to the Ten Commandments. This was a reason not to provide a means of salvation for Nineveh.

Jonah felt these people did not deserve salvation---they were lawbreakers.

However, God provided some fascinating revelation in the last three words of our verse, and much livestock. When I first read these words, they did not make any sense to me. They appeared to be out of place; after all, God does not lack livestock. I asked God what this meant and discovered a powerful message.

The Bible says in Deuteronomy 7:22, "And the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you little by little; you will be unable to destroy them at once, lest the beasts of the field become too numerous for you." This verse tells us the, beasts of the field, can be a difficult challenge. I believe these are invisible demonic forces that can influence people.

In our verse at the top, the word, livestock, comes from the same Hebrew word translated as, beasts, in Deuteronomy. God told Jonah; Nineveh did not know right from wrong, and they were influenced by many beasts.

Of course, when we tap into God, we can overpower the demonic. We need to understand the influences of our enemy in this world, whether people are saved or not, there are influences. We need to take authority over them in prayer and fellowship with God. We cannot do it in the natural realm.

God has grace for Nineveh, whether you still struggle with coming out of Nineveh or someone who upset you still dwells there, we all need grace to defeat the beasts of the field. Fleeing to the law will not do it!

Be blessed.
(1) Jonah 1:1-3 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me." But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
(2) Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by James Strong, MADISON, NJ. Strong’s number, H658 - Tarshish.

Monday, June 17, 2013

How long was Jonah in the fish?

Jonah 1:17 (NKJV) Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.


Most of us are somewhat familiar with the story about Jonah and the fish. There is animated cartoons and even major motion pictures that present it. However, did you know Jonah was not in the fish for three days and three nights?

Well, let me explain. Let's start with the name Jonah. Using a tool called an, Interlinear Scripture Analyzer (1), I can search the name in the original Hebrew text. This word is made up of four Hebrew letters and is pronounced yo-naw' (2).

In the original Hebrew Scripture, this word appears twenty-seven times. It is also translated differently in the different books of the Old Testament.

In the book of Leviticus, this word appears seven times, each time it is translated as turtledoves. The Bible says in Leviticus 5:7, "If he [the trespasser] is not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring to the Lord, for his trespass which he has committed, two turtledoves or two young pigeons: one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering." When a trespasser could not afford a bull or lamb for an offering, he was permitted to use a dove or pigeon. The same word used for turtledove is the same word translated to Jonah.

So now you may be thinking, his name was turtledove, so what is the big deal? Now we need to look at the words, days and nights. According to Strong's concordance, days comes from a Hebrew word pronouced yome. This word can also mean the warm hours. The word nights comes from a word pronounced la'-yil (3), this word means a twist away from the light. These words can mean periods of the day or periods of the night.

So what is the significance?

The Bible says in Exodus 29:39, "One lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight." Offerings were to be presented at the break of day or the break of the night. The verse says Jonah was in the belly of the fish over twilight. This was important if he was going to be the sin offering for these people.

The Bible tells us the people of Nineveh, who Jonah went to preach to, did not discern right from wrong and likely knew nothing about sin offerings (4). Jonah 2:2 tells us Jonah said, "Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, And You [God] heard my voice." Jonah died in that fish. He was likely in the fish for three hours of daylight and three hours of the night.

According to Hebrews 9:22, "... Without shedding of blood there is no remission." Jonah became their sacrifice. This is a picture of God's grace. These people did not know any better, so God provided a sacrifice. This is what Jesus did.

Be blessed!
(1) ISA Basic, copyright 2011 by Andre de Mol. http://www.scripture4all.org/  
(2) Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by James Strong, MADISON, NJ. Strong’s numbers, Jonah-H3124, H3123
(3) Strong's numbers, Days-H3117, Nights-H3915
(4) Jonah 4:11, "And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left--and much livestock?"

Monday, June 10, 2013

Limit God?

Psalm 78:41 (NKJV) Yes, again and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel.


Can God be limited? The Bible reveals God as the omnipotent creator of all things, yet this verse tells us mere human beings can limit Him.

God had a plan from the beginning---to give dominion on the earth to humankind (Ge. 1:26). As a born-again believer, I have an avenue to God and all His power into my affairs. However, I can also limit His power in my life.

The Bible says in Proverbs 18:21, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit." We exercise dominion by our words.

If you are a child of God, you are well protected. The greatest area of vulnerability is other people. The devil will often use people as a way into your life. When someone wrongs you, it is usually the devil behind it.

Many of us have been betrayed in the past. Often when this happens, we need to share it with someone. Sharing it with someone can be a critical part of the healing process, but we need to understand that our real enemy is the devil. Our sharing can often turn into cursing the people that hurt us. Although this may help us feel better in the short term, it does not put the devil where he belongs---under our feet.

When the enemy works through someone, they need God to break the chains of the devil. The best way to do that is to stop cursing them and bless them instead.

You may be asking, "Why would I ever want to bless my enemy?"

God said in Isaiah 57:19, "I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near, and I will heal him." You need to kick the real enemy, the devil, where it hurts by breaking his bondage over that person. God wants to heal those that hurt us. Release God into their life by declaring good fruit over them.

Be blessed!

Monday, June 03, 2013

From the inside out!

Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

The greatest gift in life is Jesus. He literally took our sins and made us pure. He prepared us to be God's dwelling place.

I find it amazing that as I learn to recognize Him, He becomes so real. And He is available anytime I need for courage, wisdom, or love. He is readily available to break bondage over my life. When He looks at me, He does not see my sins; He sees a treasure, a child of God.

The first nineteen years as a Christian, I wrestled with a smoking addiction. I did not think God wanted me as a smoker. The truth is, He loved me no matter what. When I realized that, I gave up on trying to quit smoking. Wow, what freedom I felt. Smoking no longer condemned me in God's presence. I would talk to Him and even pray with a cigarette in my hand.

One day I realized, I still wanted to quit smoking. Not because I had to, smoking was a waste of time and money. It was terribly inconvenient, especially in winter. It had all kinds of side effects. I wanted to be free of this bondage. I understood that Jesus came to set the captives free (1). I wanted His help.

The first thing I did was to thank Him for this freedom from bondage. I still had the addiction but I thanked Him for freedom almost every time I lit a smoke. For me, it took a couple of weeks. Everybody is different.

After a couple of weeks, I asked God why I was still smoking. After all, He told me that He came to set me free. All of the sudden a voice came from inside me---stop putting them in your mouth. I was so afraid to quit; I tried so many times before and failed. However, I knew the voice was from inside my heart so I gave it a shot. Wow---the cravings were gone.

Two things I want to bring to your attention about our verse at the top. First, notice it says God works inside you. Next, notice the word His in italics. That word was never in the original text. God works in us for good pleasure---ours and His. When we are happy---God is happy. We are His treasure.

Most of my Christian walk, I believed I had to make God happy. I realize now there is only one way to do that---let God make me happy. I talk to Him and listen to what He has to say inside me. If it agrees with His word and does not condemn me (2), it is the voice of God.

Be blessed!
(1)  Luke 4:18 (NLT) “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me [Jesus], for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free.
(2) John 3:17 (NLT) God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.