Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It's Time!


Psalm 103:2 (NKJV) Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:

Psalm 103 is a good reminder of the benefits God has provided us. In this post, I want to bring to light the ministry of God's angels. In Psalm 103:20-21 we read, "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."

These verses tell us; the angels obey the voice of God's Word and do His pleasure. Then Hebrews 1:14 says, "Are they [the angels] not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation? This tells us, the angels are at our service.

I thank God for commissioning angels to protect me (Psalm 91:11). I also use my authority as a child of God to call angels to protect my unsaved loved ones and all my possessions. I take advantage of this benefit of having protection.

Lately I have been studying the book of Daniel. According to Daniel 12:4, the book has been sealed, "until the time of the end". Some parts of the book have even been mistranslated. This only stands to reason, since the book was sealed---even to the translators. This has made us misunderstand some of the wonderful message revealed in this book.

One such misunderstanding is the character of Michael. Many of our translations tell us Michael is an, "archangel" (Dan. 10; 13+21, Jud. 1:9). However, the word archangel is more appropriately translated as, "Chief of angels"(1), as some translations do translate it.

So Michael is, "Chief of the angels". But if Michael is not an Angel---who is he?

The name Michael means, "Who is Like God"(2). This tells us, he is not God, but is like God. That can only mean he is the body of Christ. That is you and me. We are Michael.

So why is this a big deal? In this, "time of the end", we are to become more aggressive rather than defensive. It is our turn to take control. This is our time, to put the enemy where he belongs. Revelation 12:7-8 (NLT), tells us, "Then there was war in heaven [a high place (3)]. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels.  And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven [a high place].

There will be a rapture. However, before it takes place, the church will become Christ-like, performing miracles and putting the enemy where he belongs---under our feet.

God protects us, but he has also equipped us to take dominion. Do not forget, we have angels to battle the enemy. It is time to release angels and plunder the enemy's camp. Take the initiative, the Bible has already told us---we win!

Be blessed!
(1) Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by James Strong, MADISON, NJ. - Strong's Numbers, H8269, G743
(2) Strong's Number H4317
(3) Strong's Number G3772

Friday, July 18, 2014

Contrasting Faith


Daniel 6:5 (NKJV) Then these men said, "We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God."

In my last post, I revealed the hidden message found in the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, out of the book of Daniel. The message demonstrated the protection of Jesus over the destiny of the believer. In this post we will see the protection of God over Israel.

The account is found in Daniel 6. It is a well known story about Daniel being thrown into a lions den. We find an interesting statement made by the men who sought to destroy Daniel. In Daniel 6:5, we read, "[These] men said, "We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God."

Just as the devil does, these men tried to use the Law of God to destroy us. Whenever the enemy tries to apply the Law to destroy God's elect---the Christian or the Jew---God has an avenue of protection. To the Born-again believer, it is the sacrifice of Jesus. To the Jew, it is the sacrifice of an innocent animal; to this day Isreal celebrates Yom Kipper, which is an offering of a lamb to the Lord.

The contrast---Jesus was a one time only offering while Israel has to offer continuously. The Bible says in Daniel 6:16, "... The king spoke, saying to Daniel, "Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you."" This is a clue that Daniel was a picture of Israel, who to this day continues to serve God with sacrifices.

The Bible tells us Daniel said, "My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you" (Daniel 6:22). Notice it says, "Daniel was innocent before God". In the same way we are innocent before God, so is Israel---because of the sacrifice.

When the enemy attempts to use the law against you---whether you are Jewish or Christian---the law bears no power against you, so do not believe his lies!

Be blessed.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

As He is---so are We


Daniel 3:27 (NKJV), And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king's counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.

Every story of the Old Testament carries a deeper meaning than what we see on the surface. This is one of the amazing things about Scripture. The Bible interprets itself to give us the meaning of these stories.

One such story is about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. The story is found in Daniel 2. These three young men were devoted to God. When they refused to bow before an image of gold, they were sentenced to be burned in a fiery furnace.

What I found interesting was that Daniel, the fourth young man of the group, was not included with his three companions. When I prayed about it, I realized the reason.

The story is a picture of the born-again Christian. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, were not their real names. The young men were given new names, when they were taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel was given the name Belteshazzar; Hananiah became Shadrach; Mishael, Meshach; and Azariah became Abed-Nego.

The real names of these men carry a more significant meaning. The name Daniel means, "Judged of God", Hananiah means, "God has favored", Mishael means, "Who is what God is", and Azariah means, "God has helped" (1).

The three names, God has favored, Who is what God is, and God has helped, are descriptive of the Christian. The reason why Daniel was not in the furnace is because his name means, "Judged of God". The Christian will not suffer judgement. Instead the fourth person with them was Jesus, the Son of God, sent to save us from the fiery furnace (hell).

This is why the Bible says, "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" (1 John 4:17).

Be blessed!
(1) Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by James Strong, MADISON, NJ. - Strong's Numbers, Daniel H1840, Hananiah H2608, Mishael H4332, Azariah H5838

Monday, June 09, 2014

Time to Start Living!


Hosea 6:2 (AMP) After two days He will revive us (quicken us, give us life); on the third day He will raise us up that we may live before Him.

The apostle Peter quoted Psalm 90 when he said, "Nevertheless, do not let this one fact escape you, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day" (2 Peter 3:8 AMP). Since we know that Jesus was crucified about 2014 years ago, we know that two days have passed. We also know we will be lifted to heaven sometime during the third millennium. Our verse at the top gives us an encouraging message.

Many children of God have had to endure terribly difficult challenges and need a time of refreshment. This time of refreshment has come! Be encouraged, start expecting to see breakthroughs. Favor has increased in the body of Christ, along with wisdom and promotion. I am amazed at some of the situations that are changing---right in front of me. Brothers and sisters who haven't smiled in years are starting to smile again. Pain and discouragement have begun to fade away!

There may be debates on when Jesus will return for His children, but the passage at the top does not leave much room for debate. Like having money in the bank, you need to know refreshment is here to take advantage of.

So how do we tap into this refreshment? Hosea revealed it to us in the next verse.

Hosea 6:3 (AMP) says, "Yes, let us know (recognize, be acquainted with, and understand) Him; let us be zealous to know the Lord [to appreciate, give heed to, and cherish Him]. His going forth is prepared and certain as the dawn, and He will come to us as the [heavy] rain, as the latter rain that waters the earth."

The best way to know, recognize, and be acquainted with God, is to commune with Him. Spend time with His Word. Break bread and fellowship with Him. Now is the time to be refreshed. Time to turn sorrow into joy.

Take advantage---be blessed!

* A note to all my faithful subscribers. As you have noticed, my posts have been less frequent and sometimes random. This is to be temporary. I have needed to spend more time studying and writing my next book. I am not sure how long it will take, but I am planning to get back to providing weekly messages of encouragement.

Monday, May 19, 2014

We are Being Chased!


Psalm 23:6 (NKJV) Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.

I love this Bible verse. It was originally written in Hebrew and then translated to English. The word, "follow", in this verse comes from a Hebrew word pronounced, Raw-daf. It actually means to pursue or chase down much like a hunter goes after game (1).

So how do we get goodness and mercy to chase us down?

The Bible says in Hebrews 12:1, "... let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." Our job is to run the race God has planned for us. But this verse makes an important point. We need to lay aside our personal sins and burdens.

Our Father can take care of our challenges when we take care of His challenges. We have been empowered by the Holy Spirit for His purposes. He takes care of us like a loving father takes care of his children. That means, He provides all of our needs, encourages us, and strengthens us to overcome sin. As long as we remain in His grace, He is free to take care of our burdens and purge our conscience of dead works (2).

When we let God handle our affairs, and put our efforts into His; we will be overcome with goodness and mercy!

His will for every person is unique. Whatever His will is, it will be a way for His fruit to overflow through us into a world that desperately needs it.

Be blessed!
(1) Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by James Strong, MADISON, NJ. Strong’s number, H7291.
(2) Hebrews 9:14, "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?" 

Monday, May 05, 2014

Fighting our own Battles.


Isaiah 30:15 (NLT) This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength..."

The Scripture tells us we have the power to tread upon our enemy (Luke 10:19). It also says, we have been provided armor for battle (Ephesians 6:11-18). So if we are supposed to rest in Him, why do we have all this power?

We have been given power to do His will, and we can rely on Him to protect us. God loves us more than we can grasp (Ephesians 3:19). We are His children. He is the only perfect Father we could have. It could be you are fortunate enough to have a great earthly father, but no father on earth could love you like your heavenly Father. And He wants to protect his children.

So how do we activate this protection?

I spent so much of my Christian walk trying to take care of my own problems and getting nowhere. I believed sin must be the problem. I tried to eliminate sin in my life. The harder I tried---the harder it became. I could get one sin under control only to realize I had another sin to deal with.

I found myself in more bondage than before I received the gift of salvation. Now I had twice the trouble. I had life challenges to deal with plus the bondage of sin. It was not working and I was getting depressed.

Isaiah 30:18 says, "So the LORD must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help" (NLT).

I take my personal battles to God. In quiet confidence, I wait for Him to take care of them. I don't work for it by trying to eliminate sin in my life---God takes care of that too. Instead, I take my entire God given strength and use it to fulfill His purpose. Whether His purpose is as simple as praying for others, or full blown ministry, this is the kind of thing the armor is meant for (Eph. 6:18).

Be blessed---mighty warrior!

Monday, April 21, 2014

You have a Gift inside you!


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

Of course the greatest gift we could possibly possess is the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). Today I have been pondering the fact that it does not end there. Psalm 35:27 says, "Let the LORD be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant." So God puts a desire in you for His pleasure, and wants you to prosper.

Every child of God has a God-given gift. I think many of us realize we have it, but have never taken advantage it. However, whether you know it yet or not---you are gifted.

The gift you have could be a talent or amazing wisdom. It could be an ability to connect with people or even an idea of some sort. Whatever it is---you are gifted.

When the Bible says, "The Lord has pleasure in your prosperity." The Hebrew word used for prosperity is the Hebrew word pronounced, "Shalom". This word means, "at peace in every area of your life" (1).

God has put something in you to take advantage of. It is going to take you to a place of peace in every area of your life. Take advantage of that God-given gift. Release God through it. When you make the decision to use it, God will give you the resources you need to do it.

Be blessed!
(1) Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by James Strong, MADISON, NJ. Strong’s number, H7965, Shalom.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Witty Inventions


Proverbs 8:12 (KJV) I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

We are at the beginning of the most powerful release of God, in the history of mankind. Just before Jesus was raised to heaven, He displayed grace, truth, and miracles never witnessed before. I believe soon the body will also be raised to meet Jesus in the heavens, but before it does, it will display grace, truth, and miracles---like never before.

Before Jesus began His ministry, He grew in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man (Luke 2:52). I believe this is the time we are in right now (see my post titled  A Word for the Body, August 12, 2013). (Click the title to link to it).

As many of you know, a good part of my income comes from an invention. I am putting other ideas to work as well. There is one idea I have already tested with very good results. It is a very simple invention, it only took about ten minutes to build from items I already had. The first invention God gave me was also a simple idea. It was also simple to build and He made sure I had the resources then too.

God has ideas and inventions to set His children in positions of honor and influence. Now is the time for the body to be a blessing to a world that needs it.

If God has an idea for you, you have the resources to do it. It may not be an invention. It could be a business, a service, or even making you the best and wisest at what you do. Whatever it is, move forward with it. Ask God to open and close the right doors. Watch for an increase in position and favor. Now is the time.

Be blessed!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Encouragement---Gauranteed!

Give heed to the voice of my cry, My King and my God, For to You I will pray. Psalm 5:2 (NKJV)

We have all been at that place where we feel helpless and hopeless. I know some of the challenges I have faced have been somewhat overwhelming. I also know many believers have faced even greater challenges.

If you have read my posts or some of my books, you know I am big on communion with God. I spent a great deal of my Christian walk not understanding true personal fellowship with Him.

The most amazing examples of personal fellowship in the Bible are the Psalms of King David. King David communed with God through his music. When David felt abandoned, he told Gold so (1). When he felt like praising Him, he praised Him (2). He always asked for help when he needed help and even prayed for God's people (3) (4). There is one consistent factor in every Psalm. David always ended with an encouraging declaration.

David knew God personally. In this personal fellowship, he learned about the heart of God. He could not deny the reality of God's presence and love. This gave him a security for any challenge he faced. David needed encouragement from time to time and singing Psalms is how he got it.

God has not blessed me with musical skills or the ability to write beautiful Psalms. He has given me the communion table. Through communion, I have been learning the heart of God. I know He loves me, no matter what. I know He wants me to have love, joy, and peace. I know He will never leave me or forsake me. I come to the table when I feel abandoned, need help, feel like praising God, or want to pray for others. When I leave the communion table---I am always encouraged.

Commune with God regularly and benefit from the personal relationship and security it provides.

Be blessed! 
(1) Psalm 10:1 (Abandoned) Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide in times of trouble?
(2) Psalm 9:1 (Praise)... I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
(3) Psalm 55:1 (Needing help, NLT) Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my cry for help!
(4) Psalm 20:1 (For Israel) May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble; May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;

Monday, March 31, 2014

Keep the Avenue Open


Genesis 29:10 (NKJV)And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother. 

In February of 2012, I posted a blog titled, "Remove the Stone---for Good!" It was a word God gave me for the body of Christ. The foundation of the post came from Genesis 29. The shepherds would block the water well with a stone and only remove it at a specific time when all the sheep were gathered together. It was a parallel to the modern day church. They gather on Sunday and receive grace then the rest of the week ignore God because they do not live holy lives. They separate themselves from God with their sin. The sin is the stone and the water well is God. If you have never read it, I encourage you to. The title is a link.

However, there is another lesson here. Jacob, who was such a conniver, was blessed by God. This story gives us a clue why he was so blessed.

One of the first things you notice about Jacob; he did not let his sin separate him from God. In our passage at the top, he removed the stone even though all the flocks were not gathered. Jacob did not concern himself with rules, but that did not keep him from God.

Jacob knew he was a sinner. A few chapters later, Jacob needed God. He said to God, "I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies." (Genesis 32:10)

When Jacob had only his staff, he committed to give God a tenth of all his blessings (Gen 28:22). God made him very wealthy. Jacob knew God was his source for everything. He also knew God wanted to bless him so he kept an avenue open for God to do it.

Jacob did not let sin separate him. Jacob knew God was his supply. He also knew God wanted to bless him and it was totally by grace.

Don't let anything separate you. Learn about the grace of God. When you do, you will be happy to give back a tenth and keep the avenue of blessing open.

Be blessed!

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Cross has Your Back


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.

Over the years, many of us were taught that Jesus was given thirty-nine lashes when He was whipped. The idea was it was against Jewish law. However, thirty-nine lashes would not have been enough. In Galatians 3:13, "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law..." The curse of the law is revealed for us in Deuteronomy 28:15-68. There are forty-one curses listed.

Jesus was punished by the Romans. They had no obligation to Jewish Law. Jesus would have to receive a blow for each curse to pay the penalty. Because of this we received a twofold blessing. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 28:37 (NLT), "You will become an object of horror, ridicule, and mockery among all the nations to which the LORD sends you." Jesus paid for this curse with a violent lash, but He was also beaten beyond our comprehension, ridiculed, and mocked, so He paid for this curse twice. That is why the Prophet Isaiah wrote, "Instead of your shame you shall have double honor..." Isaiah 61:7

Jesus' sacrifice was complete. He did not leave out a thing. If you have a health problem---you have been redeemed. Poverty---paid for. Soundness of mind---it is yours. Every curse listed was paid for by those stripes and then some. So how do we receive it?

Since this has already been dealt with by Jesus, we do not have to do anything. Now I am not saying if you are broke, you do not go out and work. If you are sick, you need to see a Doctor. You do not just roll over and die.

Ephesians 6:14-18 lists the armor of God for the believer. There is a breastplate, belt, shoes, shield, helmet, and sword. There is nothing for your back. When the Egyptians pursued Moses and the people to the Red Sea, "The Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them..." Exodus 14:19 In the same way, the cross is behind us.

When the enemy pursues you, tell God, the way a child tells his father. The communion table is a great place for this. Let God deal with the enemy. While He takes care of that, go find someone to pray for and bless. This is what the armor is for---taking from the enemy. God is our defender, the best possible defender we can have.

Get aggressive with the enemy. Release God into the lives of others, that is the hardest punch you can throw.

Be blessed!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Oil Up


Isaiah 10:27 (NKJV) It shall come to pass in that day That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, And his yoke from your neck, And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil.

Oil signifies the Holy Spirit and His gifts (see 1 Corinthians 12:4-11). There are nine gifts listed---wisdom, knowledge, and faith, an anointing to heal, perform miracles and prophecy, and the gifts of discernment, tongues, and interpretation of tongues. These are supernatural tools available to the body of Christ to fulfill His will as needed (1). He desires to give us good health and meet all our needs so we can be a source of good health and needs to a world that needs it.

In this fallen world we have an enemy, the devil, who wants to block the will of God. Since God gave dominion to man, it is up to us to defeat the enemy. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are armed with the Holy Spirit to stop him from hindering the will of God. He is no match for the Holy Spirit.

So how do we tap in to the anointing oil of the Holy Spirit? We continually pray for it. The Bible says in Exodus 27:20, "And you shall command the children of Israel that they bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually." The proper interpretation of this verse should have a comma between burn and continually. Moses was instructed to collect oil to burn the lamp---continually. Continually because the Spirit gives these gifts as needed. So continually ask for the anointing oil so you have it as you need it.

Whatever you need---healing, wisdom, or any particular ability---pray for the anointing to do it. The Apostle Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).

Pray continually for the anointing in all things.

Be blessed!
(1) 1 Corinthians 12:11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Gift of Righteousness


Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Deuteronomy 28:1-14 lists some of the blessings we could expect for obeying the laws of God. When Jesus ministered on earth, He made it clear; obeying the law was beyond our ability. He said things like, "If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off" (Mark 9:43). He said these things to express the value of obeying the laws of God and the extremes we would have to take to accomplish it.

When God gave Israel the commandments, He also gave them an avenue of grace. They could achieve right standing by offering animal sacrifices. These were to be performed twice daily as well as annually for special ordinances such as Passover and the Day of Atonement. This was a way for God to forgive them of their sins so He could bless them.

In Mark 11, Jesus tells teaches the disciples that faith can move mountains---but there is a catch. Verse 25 reads, "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses." Jesus was still ministering under the Law Covenant. In order for God to move into our situations and perform miracles for us, He needs an avenue of forgiveness.

When Jesus ministered on the earth, He was 100% human. Yet He went about healing the sick and performing miracles. Since He did not need forgiveness because He had no-sin (1), God was able to perform miracles through Him. Jesus walked the earth as a human who was of the Holy Spirit (2).

Once you receive God's gift of forgiveness, you are born of the Holy Spirit (3). When this happens, you receive the gift of His righteousness (1). Since it is a gift, you just receive it and there are no other requirements. The Bible says in 1 John 2:12, "... your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake."

When you are born-again, the avenue God needs to perform miracles in your life has been created. This means the blessings of Deuteronomy 28 now belong to you. It also means you are equipped with the Holy Spirit to perform healing and miracles. Expect the blessings---expect to see miracles. God is in you, waiting to be released.

Be blessed!
(1)  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
(2)  And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, 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. Luke 1:35
(3)  Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."  Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"  Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. John 3:3-5

Monday, February 24, 2014

Not Yet the Season for Figs


Mark 11:25 (NKJV) "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses."

Mark 11 is such an amazing chapter to study. It begins with Psalm Sunday, announcing the arrival of Jesus---the savior of the world. Then Jesus clears the temple of thieves and robbers. This demonstrated the need to prepare man to be the New Testament tabernacle.

Next, Jesus curses the fig tree. This revealed why we needed to be cleaned. Mankind was rooted in Adam. He was the tree with nothing but fig leaves on, he was cursed. We were withered from our roots. When we receive salvation, we become rooted in Christ.

Then Jesus reveals the power of faith available to man. We can move mountains if we tap into this faith. Faith activates the power of God. Our verse at the top indicates a need to qualify for this faith. Although God wants to move the mountain for us, if un-forgiveness is in the way, He cannot do it for us. Man's sinful nature hinders God.

Mark 11 is about the need for a Saviour. Jesus walked the earth as a flesh and blood human being. To perform miracles, He had to tap into the power of God. He had one very big advantage---He was without sin. He was already a temple of the Holy Spirit, because He was rooted in God. He was born of the Holy Spirit. He had no un-forgiveness or any other sin separating Him from the Father. His nature was righteous.

Before the cross, it was impossible for man to forgive everyone. Even being born-again, it can still be a struggle. Before the cross, mankind was sinful beings. Mark 11:13 says, "... it was not the season for figs." For us to move mountains---we needed to be righteous. Jesus gave us the gift of righteousness by His sacrifice on the cross. When we receive His gift, we become qualified to move mountains. Sin and un-forgiveness will never hinder God again.

Want to move a mountain? Thank God for His forgiveness. He qualified you, He has made it possible.

It is time for miracles.

Be blessed!

Monday, February 17, 2014

House of Prayer


Isaiah 56:7 (KJV) Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called a house of prayer for all people.

In Mark 11:15, Jesus cleared the temple of the money changers and thieves. It was figurative of how He had to prepare us to be a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. That temple was the body of the believer, His new home(1). This was necessary for us to be an acceptable place for Him to dwell.

After clearing the temple, Jesus referenced the verse at the top (Mk. 11:17). Since we are His temple, we are a house of prayer for all people. That means people of all sorts and races.

The task of a born-again believer is to bring the power of God into a world that desperately needs it. We can do this by releasing fruit of the Spirit, speaking God's Word, and through prayer. Our verse at the top says, "I [God] will make them joyful in my house." An amazing benefit of prayer is the Joy it can produce.

I continually pray and bless people. When I bless my food, I also bless the hands that served it and prepared it, even in restaurants. If I drive past a car accident, I pray God brings good out of it for the people involved. If someone seems to get my attention---I pray for them---even if I do not know anything about them, I bless them. I continually bless people and pray for them, and I continually walk in joy.

I pray simple prayers, sometimes under my breath, or even in my thoughts. God hears it, and He is released into their lives, fulfilling my requests.

Praying for others can also be a powerful antidepressant. Psalm 126:5 says, "Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy." When we pray for others, we sow into their lives. When we feel sad or depressed, God has provided a way out---pray for others.

Of course, we do not have to wait until we are depressed to take advantage of this remarkable gift. Pray simple prayers for all kinds of people and walk continually in the joy of the Lord.

Be blessed!
(1) 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NKJV), "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?"

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Withered Fig Tree


Mark 11:13 (KJV)  And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.

In Mark 11 we read how Jesus cursed a fig tree that was not bearing fruit (figs). After cursing the fig tree, Jesus went on to clear the temple of those selling animals for sacrifice and exchanging money. There is wonderful revelation in these stories.

The fig tree tells a story about mankind. Man is often likened to a tree in Scripture (Ps 1:3, Jer 17:8). The first mention of fig leaves in the Bible is in Genesis Chapter 3. Adam and Eve had eaten the forbidden fruit and realized they were naked. Since they felt shame, they covered themselves with fig leaves (Ge 3:7). When they ate the forbidden fruit, they brought a curse upon themselves (Ge 3:16-19). The Fig tree in Mark 11 is descriptive of Adam and Eve covered with nothing but fig leaves.

Mark 11:20 says the fig tree was withered from the roots. This makes a connection to all of mankind, since we came from Adam. This story is saying that the time of fruitfulness---the season of figs---was not yet come.

After Jesus cursed the fig tree, He went on to clear the temple. The Bible says the born-again believer is the temple of God (1 Cor 6:19). In order for this to be possible, we had to be cleaned out. This all takes place through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus.

Salvation did not come until after the cross. Mark 11:25 says, "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." That was before the cross. After the cross, we forgive because we are forgiven (Eph 4:32, Col 3:13).

It is so much easier to forgive when you understand the gift of salvation. It is so much easier to bear fruit when you receive fruit. If you want to learn to love, learn about how much God loves you. If you want to be patient---learn How patient God is for you. The season for figs came after the cross. We are no longer rooted in Adam, but now we are rooted in Christ (Col 2:7).

Be blessed!

Monday, February 03, 2014

Our Own Destructions


Psalm 107:20 (NKJV) He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

The cross is an avenue for God to get involved in all of our affairs. It is a doorway for physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. It is a passageway for God to bless His children. In the past, I never fully understood this. I always thought if I did good, it gave God the opportunity that He needed to bless me. All along it was the cross, that gave Him that opportunity---nothing else, just the cross. The cross is the grace of God.

I have always appreciated the Scripture at the top as a healing promise, but it is much more than that. The cross is our deliverance from our own destructions. No matter what we have messed up (or ever will mess up), God can, and wants to fix it. It is the very reason He sent His Son(1) in the first place. To heal us, and fix our mistakes.

If you have been paying for some kind of mistake, look to the cross. It is your solution---no matter what problem you got yourself into. Maybe health problems because of smoking or money problems because of debt. It was all paid for on the cross. And so you don't keep getting into these places, ask God for wisdom. Ask God to multiply His fruit(2) inside you. Ask daily. You will see God fix your mistakes and help you from making more. The cross paid the price so you do not have to.

Be blessed.
(1) John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. -  John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. 
(2) Galatians 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Every Curse---Some Twice


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.

In Deuteronomy 28 we read about the curses for failing to live up to the standards of the law. These curses list pain, sickness, poverty, to name only a few. In fact, you will find 41 curses listed, covering every possible challenge we can face.

When Jesus was arrested, He was beaten and flogged. In Galatians 3:13 we read, "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law..." This means He had to receive a penalty for each and every curse listed in Deuteronomy. In other words, He had to receive at least 41 blows.

The Bible says in Isaiah 61:7, "Instead of your shame you shall have double honor..." Since Jesus took a blow for the curse of humility, and suffered it as wellHe paid for it twice. Being redeemed from the curse of the law is wonderful on its own, but we benefit from double honor as well.

Maybe you have been a victim of shame and humility. Perhaps someone received a promotion at your expense or took it though you deserved it. It is money in the bank. The Bible promises to make up for it---double!

God has promotion for you. It could be your job or even your reputation. God is increasing your stature. He is doing this for every child of God who allows Him to flood their heart with His grace. When we are flooded with grace---we overflow with grace. This is a magnet for favor and promotion.

Be blessed!

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Keys to the Kingdom


Isaiah 65:24 (NKJV), "It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear."

I sponsor an underprivileged child in another country. She sometimes sends me a letter with a prayer request. One prayer request in particular had to do with their rainy season. By the time I received the letter, the season had come and gone. At first I felt it was too late to pray, then the above passage came to mind. I realized God had already answered my prayer because He knew I would be calling on behalf of my special little friend.

You may be asking why I would even bother praying if God already answered my prayer. The Bible says in James 4:2, "... you do not have because you do not ask." God is outside of Time, He can answer our prayers even before we ask, but we still have to ask. God knows all things. He knows our needs and has given us access to everything we could ever need through prayer

Jesus said in Matthew 16:19, "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." We carry the keys. We have been given the authority to release heaven on earth. If we do not release it---heaven is bound. The power of God is not released.

God has restricted Himself by giving us dominion on this earth. Just as we have to choose His free gift of salvation, we have to choose to release Him into our affairs. He has given us the avenue of prayer to release heaven on earth.

Pray. You are an avenue for the full power of God to be released to a world that truly needs it. You have your own set of keys to access it.

Be blessed!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Waiting on the Lord


Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV) But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Sometimes waiting for that breakthrough seems to take forever. When Moses waited for the Pharaoh to let the people go, it took ten plagues. When Job lost everything he had, including his health---he went through a time of despair. It was at least nine months before he was delivered. And then there was Joseph. He had a dream as a young man and it would be about 17 years before the dream was fulfilled. He went through abandonment by his own brothers, slavery and prison time.

The Bible says in Isaiah 30:18, "But GOD's not finished. He's waiting around to be gracious to you. He's gathering strength to show mercy to you. GOD takes the time to do everything right---everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones" (The Message Translation). God is a just God. The picture is always bigger than what we see. When we are tormented by the enemy, it is like money in the bank. The more trouble---the more the blessing.

When Moses and the people left Egypt, they plundered the Egyptians (Ps. 105:37). They had so much gold; they built a calf out of it and had plenty left over. The Bible says Job was so wealthy to begin with, he was the greatest of all the people of the East (Job 1:3). God restored double to him (Job 42:10). Joseph was exalted to the highest position in Egypt. Only in regards to the throne he was second in command to the Pharaoh.

Many believers are facing great challenges these days. It stands to reason. The body of Christ is coming out stronger and bigger than ever before. Like Job, health is being restored. Like Moses and the people of Israel---we are plundering the enemy. Like Joseph, we are being exalted to places of authority.

If you face a challenge today---wait upon the Lord. It is always worth the wait!

Be blessed.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Does Your Soul Prosper?


3 John 1:2 (NKJV) Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

With the help of computers we can find many interesting patterns in Scripture. Sometimes a pattern can reveal a hidden message or, sometimes God can use them just for one-on-one communication with us.

The other day I was thinking about our verse at the top. It seems to indicate that a prosperous soul should be an automatic benefit of being a child of God. I can tell you in my own experience it did not. My soul is very prosperous now, but it did not come automatically with my salvation. So how do we obtain a prosperous soul? I prayed for an answer and learned one way that is sure to get you there.

Back on November 25, 2013, I posted a message titled "Remember My ..." The message was about a specific Greek spelling of the word "My". The Bible quotes Jesus using this particular word eight times in Scripture. He used it three times in Communion (Lu. 22:19, 1Cor. 11:23 & 24). The other five times we find in the Gospel of John.

In John 8:43, Jesus said "My speech". In John 8:56, "My day", 14:27, "My peace", 17:13, "My Joy", and 17:24, "My glory". The Apostle John gave us five elements of a prosperous soul.

1) His speech. Jesus said many encouraging things. One of my favorite things He said was, "All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you" (Jo. 16:15). To know the words He spoke is to know what He provided for you.

2) His day. This is the time of the New Covenant. The cross brought about a new day. I find it interesting that it is the break of day in the last chapter of each of the four Gospels. The cross marked a new day for mankind.

3) His peace. In John 14:27 Jesus said, "My peace I leave with you". The verse before (v. 26) says the Holy Spirit will teach us all things and remind us of the things Jesus said. Whatever your challenge might be, Jesus said something to bring you encouragement and peace. The Holy Spirit will teach you and remind you.

4) His joy. The Bible says, the Joy of the Lord is your strength" (Ne. 8:10 & Ps. 21:1) His joy is powerful!

5) His glory. The glory of God is the most beautiful presence in existence. This is a place where only the sanctified and holy can exist. When Adam ate the forbidden fruit, mankind became tarnished with sin. After the fall of Adam, mankind could no longer survive in this place. The Bible says no man could see the face of God in His glory, and live (Ex. 33:20-23).

So where do we collect these elements? The other three times Jesus is quoted using this word, He is referring to communion. Communion is the most intimate place we can be. It is in the presence of God's glory. We can enter this holy place by receiving true righteousness from the only source possible---a gift from God (2 Cor. 5:21).

Commune with God and let Him fill you with the knowledge of His speech, covenant, peace, joy, and glory. You will begin to enjoy that prosperous soul available to every child of God. (1)

Be blessed!
(1) For More on Communion see my post "Let's Celebrate Communion" December 26, 2011