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Sermon of the Week 
Tuesday, July 28 2015

Reclaiming the 7 Mountains of Our Culture….

This means the removal of the separation between the secular and the sacred. It’s the same in God’s eyes….

It means Bringing God back into the workplace

It’s about Christians becoming aware that their work is their ministry

It’s about Christians taking leadership in their work place

And It’s about God’s power manifested in our places of work

Matthew 28:18 “And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. v19 Go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: v20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world, Amen”. (so be it).

When Jesus told us to go into all the world, he was referring to every segment of our society…..He said that as we go, He will be with us always…. He told us to bring the culture of the kingdom into the work place, into the neighborhood, into the family unit, into the areas of recreation and social activity, as well as into the church….

Hebrews 13:8 reminds us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” This tells us that there is a consistency with Him which should reflect out in us, in every area of our lives and interaction (Oh the blessing of consistency!)

From this Scripture in Hebrews, we can conclude that:

1. Anything Jesus has done before He can and will do again. 2. Anything Jesus has done anywhere in the world, He can do here. 3. Anything He is doing for anyone else, He can do for you and me (because He is no respecter of persons according to Acts 10:43).

When Jesus was on the earth He was operating in the power of the Spirit and in the book of Acts His followers operated in the same power.

Jesus stated what He was going to do and then He did it, in Luke 4:18-19 when He said the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him and He was anointed to 1. preach the gospel to the poor 2.To heal the brokenhearted 3.To preach deliverance to the captives 4.The recovering of sight to the blind 5. To set at liberty them that are bruised 6.To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (That’s a description of our mission while on this earth)

When He had finished stating what He was going to do He said…

Luke 10:19-20 “Behold, I give unto you (My)…… MY POWER!”

The bible says that If we were to try to explain all that Jesus did, it would fill up more books than all the books on earth could contain, nor could all the heavens, contain it all, if it were a scroll.

Jesus performed many types of healings…and He stills heals today, (fever, leprosy, paralysis, withered hand, blindness, the deaf, the maimed, internal bleeding, epilepsy, and casting out demons.) As a grand finale, each stripe that He took on his back was for a category of diseases plaguing mankind and He is still healing today!!! (tell someone that)

He supplied needs by supernaturally feeding the hungry on five different occasions; He provided tax money; He stood in the boat and calmed the storm, He walked on water, and He prophesied into their lives.

What an awesome promise He made when He said to all believers..

John 14:12 “Greater works than these shall you do also”

He did His miracles anywhere and everywhere; weddings, funerals, graveyards, synagogues, houses, mountains, downtown, in the country side, at pools, and deserts. There are places we can allow Him to use us!

How did He perform miracles?....In every way possible… He prayed, He touched, He was touched by others, He wept, He groaned, He died, but always, He was moved with compassion. If we can touch, if we can weep, or groan or be moved with compassion over the needs in this world? Then we can finish and complete what He started in our time here, wherever that may be.

He gave what was needed….He gave Moses a rod. He gave Elijah a mantle. To Samson, He gave long hair, which was his covenant of strength… to Shamgar, He supplied a jawbone, to David He provided a sling and a harp, Esther had her beauty, and Joseph had his dreams. What are we doing with what God has given us, to show His glory?

Moses had a stammering tongue, Jacob had a limp, Abraham was old, Sarah was barren, Peter had a temper… they all had things to overcome, but they believed the message that is given to us all….

Philipians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”…..We all have the ability to say what He says. • We can do what He tells us to do. • The only hands He has to use are our hands. • The only mouth He has to use is our mouth. • The only faith He has to use on earth is our faith. • He has not changed, and He is the same. • We have the same message. • We have the same Jesus. • We have the same power that was available to all of those who came before us and will come after us.

A seven-year-old boy was given a school assignment, to write about the secret of life… He approached an old man sitting in front of a garden pool, he looked up into his eyes, and said: "My mommy said that you're a very wise man, could you tell me, what is the secret of life?" The old man looked down at the youngster and replied: "I've thought a lot about that, in my lifetime, and the secret can be summed up in four words: He said….

1) The first is to “Think” …. Think about the values that are important enough to live your life by.

2) The second is "Believe." …Believe in yourself based on what you've done about the values you're going to live your life by.

3) The third is "Dream." Dream about the things that are possible, based on your belief in yourself and the values you're going to live by.

4) The last is "Dare." Dare to make your dreams become reality, based upon your belief in yourself and your values.

And with that, Walt Disney repeated the words to the little boy, principles that he had used all his life…."Think, Believe, Dream, and Dare."

Those words are what I want to use as a launching pad for what I want to spend the rest of my time on today,…..and my theme is….

Reclaiming the 7 mountains which influence our societal culture….

These 7 mountains of culture that need to be reclaimed for the kingdom, are... Business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, the family and religion.

Need To Reclaim The mountain of Business……The good news is that God is moving in an unprecedented way among men and women in the workplace today. Dr. Henry Blackaby says "God is marshalling his people in the workplace as never before in history."

There is a new trumpet call going out to men and women of business who are seeing the negative influences in their culture as a wake-up call to reclaim the high places of business. Biblical character and a high standard of ethics are necessary for the operation of righteous businesses which will produce wealth for it’s owners and it’s workers as well.

It is the right of every person to have a healthy and fulfilling work environment with adequate pay. We are called upon by everything that is good, profitable and morally correct, to eradicate corruption in the business community and as we do, poverty will be eliminated along with it!

We declare that New ideas, greater opportunities and an open heaven will open up for Christian Business men & women who follow biblical principles. We declare it over the City, the County and the state. We declare that the wealth of the wicked will come to the righteous, as God is calling upon those in the business and service industry to come up higher and fulfill His mandate-to be the head, and not the tail, to be above only and not beneath!

We Need To Reclaim The mountain of Government…..We believe that government is given by God to serve the people. It is the God-given right of every citizen, regardless of race, gender or economic status, to elect to public office, those who will govern them, with integrity, honesty, transparency and with sound, financial principals and to defend, protect and insure the safety of every citizen as much as is possible. To assure religious liberty, the right to privacy, and the opportunity to succeed with hard work and dedication. Good government frees it’s people, Bad government controls it’s people…. (we need to reclaim the mountain of government)

We Need To Reclaim The mountain of The Media…..it is the role of media to inform, educate, investigate and report on issues related to the establishment of truth, righteousness and justice in society. Fair, unbiased and accurate reporting of the truth is necessary for this to take place. Society is not best served when Media is controlled by politics.

Therefore, we believe it is our right to freely express a biblical worldview through all media outlets and to share information without censorship. It is said that “whatever you are not allowed to question, is what controls you.” The mountain of Media influence needs to be reclaimed in our culture.

We Need To Reclaim The Mountain of the arts and entertainment, This industry has a huge impact on society, and should be a more accurate reflection of our culture, instead of being used as a tool to shape culture by a minority of Godless people, who desire to eliminate God from the hearts and minds of society.

As Christians, we believe that the arts and entertainment industry are to be a tool for expressing and celebrating our Creator and His creation. Arts and entertainment should provide rest, enjoyment and information which is in harmony with a biblical world-view.

A great example of this is the Jesus movement, of the 60’s, when “Hippies” brought a revolution in the music industry and introduced what we now know as “Contemporary Christian Music”…The Jesus movement also greatly influenced movies and the arts….But what is won by one generation can easily be lost by the next….

Generations can be won or lost by what is filling their minds on the movie screens, the music they listen to, and the entertainment industry which has discarded all boundaries! Therefore, we should be totally committed to reclaim this industry of art and entertainment for the kingdom of God, to bring back some sense of sanity and common sense for this and future generations.

We Need To Reclaim The Mountain of Education…We believe that every person has the right to a good education in order to fulfill their God-given potential. This means, that the curriculum, and what the students are taught, will not be revisionist history, but the truth. And that truth must include an accurate portrayal of our country as a Christian nation from it’s very inception. It means that most of the founders of this great nation were Christian men and women, who desired to establish a beach-head for Christianity to spread through-out the world. It means that our constitution was based upon foundational Biblical values and principles, and that the bible and prayer were intended to be read and heard in the classrooms of America! When America comes to the place that it forgets these things which made it great….it will cease to BE GREAT!!!

We Need To Reclaim The Mountain of the Family….. We believe that God only recognizes marriage as a covenant bond between one man and one woman. This does not mean we hate-monger other unions, for we under-stand that there is no sin that is less or worse than any other sin….sin is sin and needs a redeemer. But we uphold the biblical foundation of the family unit.

Many forces have relentlessly undermined and fragmented the health and wholeness of the family. Many attempts have been made to change the law of the land concerning the definition of marriage. Each time it has been defeated. Now, the government has taken it upon itself to redefine marriage and require that every state follow this new definition, whether it wants to or not.

The number one cause of emotional trauma and dysfunctional behavior in individuals, is a dysfunctional family foundation. As a result of this fracturing, society itself has been weakened and crippled.

Therefore, we resolutely stand to reclaim the biblical view of the family unit, that It is a basic God-given right of every person to have the support, the safety and the sense of belonging to a caring, accepting, loving, Biblically correct family unit, regardless of age, race, or creed.

We Need To Reclaim The Mountain of Religion…..Religion can mean just about anything.. But we believe that Jesus Christ is the one true God, the Creator and owner of the world.

We believe that every individual has the right to hear that Jesus is God and that they should have the opportunity to personally accept Him as Savior. We believe that every knee must eventually bow and every tongue must eventually confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

We believe that It is the role of the church to be the stewards of this world and that we are called and commissioned to bring it back and restore it to a biblical worldview.

Therefore, it is the right of every person to have the freedom to share their faith in every place. We believe that the sleeping 'giant' must wake up! That the next great revival will break off religious spirits which have handicapped and crippled the demonstration of the blood washed, spirit filled, word centered Church of Jesus Christ. We believe God for a move of His Holy Spirit, so that repentance and transformation will spring forth...LORD RECLAIM YOUR CHURCH!!!

On February 25, 2008, Lee Myung-bak was elected as the President of South Korea. Lee is a devout Christian who was strategically positioned to establish Kingdom principles in the seven mountains of societal culture in South Korea. There is a very clear contrast between North and South Korea…..Thank God the trumpet is sounding to influence and reclaim the culture of South Korea!

Joseph and Daniel did not impact Egypt and Babylon by convincing people to become Hebrews. They spoke the heavenly Kingdom into the earth and into the lives of heathen kings and their kingdoms and they influenced and transformed the culture of those nations.

The wise men who came from the East, were influenced by Daniel when he was in Babylon. He taught them from scriptures he had memorized from childhood….He knew very well the story about Balak the king who hired Balaam the prophet to curse Israel while they encamped in the plains of Moab…He knew that God had told the prophet to bless and not curse Israel….

Daniel knew the teaching about the blessing which Balaam was given by God to speak, from Numbers 24:17. It says, “I see the Lord who is coming, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel”… v19 Out of Jacob shall he come, that shall have dominion…..”

The wise men were astrologers who knew the stars, and were now equipped with Daniel’s teaching…. they were able to recognize this heavenly sign and what it meant to the whole world…..

When God’s people, just like Daniel and Joseph, take the kingdom principles and values that God has given them, into the homes and workplace situations, they bring insight, answers and solutions to problems which otherwise could not be solved.

This is how we can build a platform to speak into our culture and disciple those around us, as they begin to trust our integrity and our wisdom which flows out from the Holy Spirit.

You have been given supernatural answers to natural problems, you have been given solutions to economic and social issues which comes down from God out of heaven. Each of us have been given the Divine influence to transform our culture.

The Kingdom of God is a tangible quality of life – a state of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. We can change culture on the outside, when we carry the culture of the Kingdom on the inside.

Jesus said in Luke 17:21 “Do not say, Lo the kingdom of God is here! or, lo it is there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you”. When culture is aligned with heaven, then goodness, integrity, honor, and Godliness prevails. When culture is aligned with hell, it’s easy for evil to prevail.

Proverbs 29:2 “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan and mourn”. Through-out the Old Testament, God tells His people to take the “high places” as an essential part of His strategy for victory! Some of the most significant events in Jewish history, were connected to mountains…..

When they didn’t, take the high places, the outcome was never good…..

We see this in 2 Samuel 1:19 which tells us that “The beauty of Israel is slain upon the high places: how are the mighty fallen”!

Because the enemy was in charge of the high places, God’s people were being defeated and destroyed….

In warfare, the first one to secure the high ground has the advantage…. When we were kids, we played king of the mountain, and the idea was to dislodge the person on top of a hill and take, and hold that position for yourself as long as possible…..

In this case, we’re taking the high ground for purposes of God’s kingdom…

Every place that God’s people went in to occupy… God told them to dispossess the high places, where Baal had set up it’s influence ….

2 Kings18:3 “And Hezekiah did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. v4 And he removed the high places (which were influencing the culture to do evil)…

2Samuel 22:33 “God is my strength and my power: and He makes my way perfect. v34 He makes my feet like hinds' feet, and sets me upon my high places (places of influence upon the culture)”.

The high place is the place of favor…Favor makes ordinary students shine in an extraordinary way. It makes lonely singles attractive, it causes married people to be desirable to their spouse, it causes employees to receive recognition, it causes employers to gain influence, and for the entrepreneurs it attracts contacts. Favor is a magnet to the blessing and promotion of God.

Isaiah 58:14 “You shall delight yourself in the LORD, and He will cause you to ride upon the high places (places of influence)of the earth, and He will feed you with the inheritance of your fathers, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it”.

God wants His people to occupy the high places, the places of influence in the societal culture…..We want to commission, you, and set you in those High places, which is where the Lord says He wants you to be…..The commissioning, is when we acknowledge that God sends us for a kingdom purpose, whatever we do wherever we do it…..

Posted by: AT 02:44 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, July 22 2015

FINISHING WELL (Part 2) by Charles C. Elliott

I ran out of time in our last session, so we will finish up in this session today…..

2Timothy 4:5 Be vigilant in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of your ministry. v6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. v7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”.

In the final analysis, what is it that will be said about our God given assignment, which is the life God has given us to make a difference while we are on this earth. Completing that assignment we have been given, and completing it well, is determined by our gifts, our circle of influence, and our life choices….

It is unique and different for each one of us, but for all of us, the challenge is to be able to say with Paul….

I have fought a good fight I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”….

A good fight is when we recognize who the real enemy is, and when we use the weapons of spiritual warfare we have been given to defeat Him. The enemy is not our spouse, our children, our parents, our boss, our neighbor, or the one who offended us, treated us unjustly, or gossiped about us….it is the accuser and the destroyer, Satan.

Paul goes on to say…. Galatians 5:7 “You began to run well; who did hinder you that you should not continue to obey the truth? v8 This persuasion has not come from the One that called you”.

We said last week that Jesus finished the work that He had come to do, and now His “finishing” anointing is available to every one of us….

Jesus is the Christ and in the Greek, it is (Christos.. which means the anointed One and His anointed) Jesus is anointed as the author and the finisher, a good beginning and a good ending and that anointing is ours as well….so that we can finish well in our lives!

We can all tap into that anointing of the anointed one, not only to begin well, but be anointed finishers!

Matthew 24:13 “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved (Sode-zo….to be loaded with healing, preservation, wholeness and wellness, lacking in nothing)”. I like that, not only to be healed, but to be “loaded” with healing wholeness, wellness and sufficiency!

We will begin part 2, by looking at FIVE KEYS TO FINISHING WELL…..(five is the number of redemption) I closed last week with the first key…..

1st key to finishing well: Fulfill your ministry… You are your ministry…Wherever you are, you ae there….Do what God has told you faithfully, with determination, dedication and integrity. Do it until he gives you something else to do. Be 100% where you are while you’re there and be as passionate as you can be about it! You’ll never sell anyone else on a product if they aren’t convinced that you are completely sold on it yourself!

Luke 14:23 “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel (ang'-kis-tron….be the hook, be the influence, be the motivation, be the force for them) to come in, that my house may be filled”.

Is our Christianity contagious, attractive, desirable and marketable? When is the last time someone watched your life and said “whatever you have, I want it”? Jesus said that our lives should compel folks around us….look at His words ….

Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill which cannot be hid. v15 For men do not light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but it is placed on a candlestick; and it gives light unto all that are in the house. v16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”.

Your supply is attached to the God ordained vision which He has placed in your heart as the guiding force in your life…..It is your gyroscope, your compass and your north star….of guidance and provision….

John 4:34 Jesus said "My food, (my supply, my nourishment and my sustenance) is to do the will of Him who has sent Me and to finish His work”.

We are not just finishing our thing, but we are finishing what He has begun, by being His presence in the earth!

2nd key to finishing well: Keep Fighting the Good fight…. You don’t have to fight all the battles…..Pick your fights, and make sure you’re fighting the right ones for the right reasons! My mamma told me, “don’t try to win them all, but win the ones you pick” When you fight with courage, grace and dignity, you’ll always be the winner in the eyes of God!

2 Chronicles 20:17 God told Jehoshaphat…”You shall not need to fight in this battle: prepare yourselves, stand still, and see that the salvation of the LORD with you. Fear not, nor be dismayed. At the right time, you shall go out against them: for the LORD will be with you”.

I want to share with you, Nine Strategies to Help You Avoid Fighting Unnecessary Battles…because if you succeed, you will have to fight….

1. Don't fight over something that's none of your business, or that you can't do anything about. The outcome of some things is already decided and all you’ll do sometimes is get in the way and muddy the waters….

2. Think about the consequences of the argument. Is the aggravation, the stress and the repercussions really worth it? How many times do we win a battle and lose the war!

3. Determine what the conflict is really all about (are you really angry that your spouse takes a long time getting ready, or is it that you feel she's disrespectful for making you wait?). Once you determine what the conflict is actually about, then decide if it's worth bringing up. If it is, be sure to address the real issues, not the superficial, emotional one. How often do conflicts start because of something that has nothing to do with what is happening at the moment, but it’s a carry-over from a previous conflict or disagreement! So you’re really just finishing a previous argument!

4. Make sure the argument is going to solve something. Make it a win, win situation… hopefully, with no losers… Kenny Rogers’ advice is … “you’ve got to know when to hold up, know when to fold up, know when to walk away, know when to run”!!!

A lady was bitten by a dog and she had the dog taken in and checked to see if it had rabbis. The report revealed that the dog actually did have rabbis, and the lady took a sheet of paper and began to write down names. *…The Doctor said, Mam, you don’t have to write your will, this is not fatal, it’s very treatable. The woman said, oh, I know that, I’m making a list of all the folks I’m going to bite, before I get treated!

5. Don't fight just because you "feel you've been challenged." This is all about control. Someone has dared to enter your space without your permission and your response may be that you have to defend your space…. Most of the time just saying you’re sorry, is enough, and you both go on your way… an apology is the best strategy unless you’re just looking for a fight…..and then, you better know what you’re doing!

6. Ask yourself, "Is it really a big deal?" Chances are that it's not. And chances are that you or the other person is tired, had a bad day, or got some bad news, and this has caused some venting on someone else….

7. Realize that you don't always have to have the last word, and often it takes the "bigger person" to simply let the conflict go. Don’t be a right fighter, but instead, it’s OK to let someone else win one, sometimes….Has anyone heard the term “Silence is golden”????

8. Ask yourself, "Am I really right? And does it matter if I'm right? Is there really a 'right or wrong' for this issue?" How often does conflict occur simply because of someone misunderstanding someone, or judging the situation improperly… to err is human, to forgive is divine!

9. Is this an issue you'll remember in five years…. Or in one year or six months, even? If not, don't fight it. It’s a lot easier to live with a good memory than a bad one, so choose to make good ones that you’ll enjoy looking back on…There’s already too much negativity in our lives without creating more!!! Make sure you put an expiration date on all your fights!!

The 3rd key to finishing well: Run YOUR race with JOY …. Happiness is shallow and it is about what’s happening around you…. If you go by that, there’s always plenty of reasons to say it’s a bad day…. But check this out…(I’ve shared this before, but it goes well with this subject…)

You Know It's Going To Be A Rotten Day When... You call suicide prevention and they put you on hold. Your twin forgot your birthday.

Your car horn gets stuck and goes off accidentally as you follow a group of Hell's Angles down the street. Your birthday candles set off a 3 alarm signal at the fire department. The bird singing outside your window is a hungry buzzard. You wake up and your dental braces are locked tight together. You call your answering service and they tell you it's none of your business. You go to the bank, and Your income tax check bounces.

HEY!!! With all that, you are still told by Jesus to rejoice in all things!!!

Paul tells us… Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life (reputation, rights, perspective) dear to myself, or (as more important than I should) so that I may finish my race with joy…… In other words, “stop taking yourself so seriously”!... “Loosen Up”!... “Stop Stress’n’

4th key to finishing well: Keep On Keeping the faith – There is no room for compromise. Our dreams cannot be put up for bid on the auction block…If you understand your value, you will never surrender your dreams.

The world was amazed at the golden announcer’s voice of Ted Williams a homeless man, who let drugs and alcohol bring him down, and shatter

his dreams. With his sudden fame, contracts and appearances began to come from everywhere, and with his dream within his grasp… He was unwilling to walk away from the destructive relationships and negative patterns that were committed to drag him down again! (a dream without character, is like a car with no gas. It has all the equipment, but no power)

Someone has said that our gifts can take us places that our un- developed and untrained character cannot sustain us….. How true it is!

The fruit of the Spirit is just another name for character…..

5th key to finishing well: Focus on your future…. Matthew 5:10-12 “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when people insult you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.”

A king proposed a series of contests and the winner would be able to choose some incredible prizes… When the winner was announced, he was given the choice of being made a duke, with lands and estates, receiving fabulous riches, or being married to the King’s daughter… the winner chose the king’s daughter, because he knew, if he married the daughter, that all the rest would be his as well!

When we understand that being the child of the great king, gives us everything else, we won’t lose sight of the finish line that is ahead for us! We won’t be willing to compromise, or become distracted. Our parade will not be stopped because all the dogs around us are barking!

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. v19 Go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: v20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world, Amen. (so be it).

Hebrews 13:8 reminds us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” (Oh the blessing of consistency!)

From this Scripture we can conclude that:

1. Anything Jesus has done before He can do again. 2. Anything Jesus has done anywhere in the world, He can do here. 3. Anything He is doing for anyone else, He can do for you and me (because He is no respecter of persons) (Acts 10:43).

When Jesus was on the earth He was operating in the power of the Spirit and in the book of Acts His followers operated in the same power.

Jesus stated what He was going to do in Luke 4:18-19 when He said the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him and He was anointed to....

1. preach the gospel to the poor 2.To heal the brokenhearted 3.To preach deliverance to the captives 4.The recovering of sight to the blind 5. To set at liberty them that are bruised 6.To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (That’s a description of our mission while on this earth)

When He had finished stating what He was going to do He said…

Luke 10:19-20 “Behold, I give unto you (My)…… MY POWER!”

The bible says that If we were to try to explain all that Jesus did, it would fill up more books than all the books on earth could contain, nor could all the heavens, contain it all, if it were a scroll.

Jesus performed many types of healings… (fever, leprosy, paralysis, withered hand, blindness, the deaf, the maimed, internal bleeding, epilepsy, and casting out demons.) As a grand finale, each stripe that He took on his back was for a category of diseases plaguing mankind and He is still healing today!!! (tell someone that)

He supplied needs by supernaturally feeding the hungry on five different occasions; He provided tax money; He stood in the boat and calmed the storm, He walked on water, and He prophesied into their lives. What an awesome promise He made when He said to all believers….

John 14:12 “Greater works than these shall you do also”

He did His miracles anywhere and everywhere; weddings, funerals, graveyards, synagogues, houses, mountains, downtown, in the country side, at pools, and deserts. There are places we can allow Him to use us!

How did He perform miracles?....In every way possible… He prayed, He touched, He was touched by others, He wept, He groaned, He died, but always, He was moved with compassion. If we can touch, if we can weep, or groan or be moved with compassion over the needs in this world? Then we can finish and complete what He started in our time here.

He gave what was needed….He gave Moses a rod. He gave Elijah a mantle. To Samson, He gave long hair, which was his covenant of strength… to Shamgar, He supplied a jawbone, to David He provided a sling and a harp, Esther had her beauty, and Joseph had his dreams. What are we doing with what God has given us, to show His glory?

Moses had a stammering tongue, Jacob had a limp, Abraham was old, Sarah was barren, Peter had a temper… they all had things to overcome, but they believed the message that is given to us all….

Philipians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”…..We all have the ability to say what He says. • We can do what He tells us to do. • The only hands He has to use are our hands. • The only mouth He has to use is our mouth. • The only faith He has to use on earth is our faith. • He has not changed, and He is the same. • We have the same message. • We have the same Jesus. • We have the same power that was available to all of them.

A seven-year-old boy was given a school assignment, to write about the secret of life… He approached an old man sitting in front of a garden pool, he looked up into his eyes, and said: "My mommy said that you're a very wise man, could you tell me, what is the secret of life?" The old man looked down at the youngster and replied: "I've thought a lot about that, in my lifetime, and the secret can be summed up in four words: He said….

1) The first is "Think." Think about values you wish to live your life by.

2) The second is "Believe." Believe in yourself based on what you've done about the values you're going to live your life by.

3) The third is "Dream." Dream about the things that are possible, based on your belief in yourself and the values you're going to live by.

4) The last is "Dare." Dare to make your dreams become reality, based upon your belief in yourself and your values.

And with that, Walt Disney repeated the words to the little boy, that he had used all his life…."Think, Believe, Dream, and Dare."

How will we see our life’s journey at the end? Will we wish we had time to do it over again, to witness to folks around us more, to take greater advantage of the opportunities we had, to be a better friend, perhaps, a more energetic encourager and a more dedicated example for God before the world, or perhaps we got distracted from the dream and somewhere along the way, the vision got lost or we forgot what it was really all about….or will we be able to say, “I have no regrets; I have fought a good fight, I’ve run a good race….I have finished well?”

I want to have us agree together that God can and will resurrect, recapture, restore dreams, and usher us into new beginnings in this place starting right now, today!

God is bigger than your past, He is more powerful than your pain, He is stronger than your anger, He is greater than your fear, He is deeper than your scars, and He has overcome this world, so that you can overcome it, as He lives Big in You today!!

Jeremiah 30:17 “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, says the Lord”….

Our Prayer Today….is a dangerous prayer, and it will mean that some new things are coming, and it may not always be easy but it will always be worth it!!!

Lord Jesus, may I come to understand, that blessings are everywhere, if I will choose to look for them. May I know that my attitude will affect the outcomes which I expect and that challenges are often gifts that You have sent to me in disguise. May I trust that most things will get better and improve with time, because I will not be the person then, that I am right now. Because of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in me, I can trust that my instincts & gut feelings have value, and are an extension of Your stirrings within me.

Lord, Your word gives me assurance that a positive attitude based on Your character of mercy, grace and love, will always cause everything to go smoother because You are working things out for my good and Your glory, every moment in my life. May I come to See that you have placed me in Your body with skills & talents that You can use, to be a positive influence on many people. May I come to value each moment of every day because each is a blessing to be enjoyed and may I value each person as unique & important to You.

Jesus, thank you that each moment of my life has meaning and purpose, far beyond what I can see and understand at any given time. May my spirit be open and accepting, of those things which I might not otherwise understand or accept. Renew my spirit with each opportunity and challenge that expands my skills and awareness, opening up areas and abilities in me as I move through each new experience. I seek to walk in Your blessing and favor as I move into the future You have chosen for me. Allow me see and grasp the possibilities which arise each day. I greet whatever awaits with vibrant faith and unending joy.

I realize that at times I must forsake the comfortable and familiar, in my quest for the best, for you have made my life, an adventure of discovery and you have gone before me to prepare all my tomorrows with the blessing of new places, new things, new friends, new opportunities, and new challenges.. Let me fully appreciate and receive them all, in Your time and choosing, and I thank You Father, in Jesus name, Amen”.

Posted by: AT 03:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 14 2015

Finishing Well…By Charles C Elliott

At the middle point of this year, I’m fixing my eyes on the end of the year, and beyond that the culmination of this whole thing that we are involved in, called life and the grand finale which is eternity… the culmination of all that we’re training for now!

Whatever has happened in the past, the offenses, the disappointments, the hurts, or the injustices, we can begin again here, right now, today, to take the steps we need to take, and get back on track to finishing well!

A young teacher of the earth science class was lecturing on map reading. After explaining about latitude, longitude, degrees and minutes the teacher asked one of his students, ….. "Dennis, Suppose I asked you to meet me for lunch at 23 degrees, 4 minutes north latitude and 45 degrees, 15 minutes east longitude, where would we be eating... ?"
After a confused silence, Dennis scratched his head and said to the teacher...."I’m sorry, teacher, but according to my calculations, I think you’ll be eating alone." Sometimes we can have a great start, but a poor finish. When you’re traveling, you make the best preparations possible, but if you take the wrong turn, you won’t arrive where you planned to finish your journey.
1 Timothy 4:5 “But as for you, watch in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of your ministry. 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” What is a “Good fight”?…. We may have many answers, but what Paul is talking about, is that we often fail to discern who we should really be fighting…. We fight our spouse, our kids, our parents, our boss, the folks that may offend, hurt or disappointment us….but fail to understand that Satan is the real enemy we should be warring against. He is the one behind the strife, injustice, and fears that may compel us.

James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”.

1Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: v7 Casting all your care upon him; for He cares for you. v8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour: v9 Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world”.
Often, we focus on a good start, our prayers are often about beginning a thing, but God has promised to anoint us and continue to develop and enlarge us, so we can be good finishers! Jesus is the Christ (Christos.. means the anointed One and His anointed) Jesus is anointed as the author and the finisher, a good beginning and a good ending so that we can see God ordained outcomes in our lives! We can all tap into that anointing of the anointed one, not only to begin well, but be anointed finishers! Matthew 24:13 “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved (Sode-zo….to be loaded with healing, preservation, wholeness and wellness, lacking in nothing)”. I like that, not only to be healed, but to be “loaded” with healing wholeness, wellness and sufficiency!

The key to finishing well, is living well….When entering into a Marathon race, there is a goal that is set in the runners mind well in advance of the actual race. The preparation, exercise, and sacrifice will all pay off and make the difference in the outcome, if the runner is willing to sacrifice and discipline himself to attain it. The proper diet, the type of running shoes to wear, and good coaching are all part of the strategy of a successful runner. The main goal for the runners, is running their best race, and “Crossing-the-finish-line.”

The enemy tries every way possible to distract us as we move forward, (always forward) towards the finish line.

So, conditioning is vitally important… not only physically but mentally as well. We must be prepared for fatigue to hit our bodies, for doubt and confusion to attack our minds and cause our thoughts to betray us… and disorientation can set in, so we forget what the race is really all about.

Our mental conditioning comes by the word of God and staying in fellowship with others who are God chasers, so we challenge and inspire one another, and we thrive, even when weariness and fatigue sets in! God’s word is “A light unto our path’….•The entrance to heaven, and a clear view of the finish line…..•It’s A guide in our youth, Bringing balance and perspective…. •It’s Comfort in our older years….•Food for our deepest hunger….•Water for our deepest thirst…..•Rest for our weariness….. •Hope for every believer…. •Salvation for the sinner…..•And Grace and mercy for the journey…

It is vitally important to Hold it.. Study it.. Meditate on it.. Understand it…..speak it …. And walk it out in our daily lives!

Sally Berger says…" The secret to finishing well is getting started in the right direction."

B.G. Jett….”If the word “quit” is part of your vocabulary, then the word “finish” probably isn’t”.

Louis La'Amour….”There will come a time when you believe everything is over and done, but it will actually be the beginning of something else”.

Joseph Joubert …”Genius and creativity may be responsible for great ideas, but it is hard work and dedication that brings them to completion”.

Greg Anderson….“Focus on the journey, not just the destination. The real Joy is found not only in finishing but in doing it well.”

A mosquito returned home after flying for the very first time. His mom asked him "How do you feel, after your first flying experience?

He replied "It was wonderful, mom everywhere I went, everyone I saw, was clapping for me!"

Now that's a mosquito with a Positive Attitude and it might work well in a self-help manual, but if the mosquito doesn’t watch out, and gets caught up too much in all the clapping, it won’t last very long! The same applies to us, if we get too caught up with the applause and forget why we’re in this race in the first place, we will lose our direction and our purpose!

To keep things in perspective, I often think of the donkey that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on, in the Palm Sunday story, ….Wouldn’t it be foolish for the donkey to think that everyone was clapping for him, instead of the one who alone, is worthy of all the praise!!!

In a certain cemetery there was a tombstone which had on it these words …. “you can have a good beginning, and for sure the end will come, but what really matters is with the dash, what have you done?” This was followed by the birth date, a dash and their date of death.

So the question for all of us is “What are we doing today to build things that will last forever? I think of an old adage, "Only one life, will soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last"...Things come and things go, but memories and people are forever....If we truly believe in heaven and hell, we cannot take that lightly….

Philippians 2:15 “Be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse world, among whom you shall shine as lights in the world; 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that we may rejoice in the day of Christ, that we have not run in vain, neither labored in vain”.

I’ve mentioned that as a boy, growing up on the farm, my dad would plow with a horse drawn plow as he broke up the soil for planting every spring. For years I watched and followed along, and one incredible day, he handed me the reins and let me plow for the first time! I’ll never forget his instructions… He said, don’t look at where you’re plowing, but pick a spot across the field where you want to finish, and don’t take your eyes off of it, if you do this, your rows will be straight and true.

When you’re clear about where the finish line is and how you want to finish, it goes a long way in causing what you’re doing right now, to come out right, and assures that you become the best person you can become while you’re getting there!

Don’t let the many distractions along the way pull you away from the goal that is before you…(speaking of distractions) I came across this true story out of San Francisco... A man, went into the Bank of America, to rob it. After walking into the bank, he wrote a note that said "dis iz a stikkup. Pud all yo muny in dis bag”. While standing in line, waiting to give his note to the teller, he began to worry that someone had seen him write the note and might call the police before he could give it to the teller.

So he left the Bank of America and crossed the street to Wells Fargo. After waiting a few minutes in line, he handed his note to the Wells Fargo teller. She read it and from all his spelling errors she concluded that he wasn't the brightest light in the harbor, and she told him that she could not accept his stickup note because it was written on a Bank of America deposit slip and that he would either have to fill out a Wells Fargo deposit slip or go back to Bank of America. This caused him a bit of confusion, and the man said, "OK" thank you, and he left.

He was arrested a few minutes later, as he was waiting in line back at Bank of America. (it’s easy to get distracted from your purpose, if you aren’t focused on your plan…) Celine Dion is a global superstar, Her 1990 album ‘Unison’, brought her to the world’s attention, but her beginnings were very humble. She was the youngest of 14 children born to poor French parents and her earliest dream was to be a famous singer.

It was at a Michael Jackson concert, she decided she wanted to be a star like him. So, she changed her image and had cosmetic and dental surgery. She also had English lessons to overcome her French accent in order to sing songs in English. You don’t need me to tell you that she has fulfilled her dream and she helped other people realize their dreams as well.

Hold tight to your dream, treasure it…. It’s your beacon to the future and it will help you fit everything in the right order of priority in your life! (Let me share one more)….

Randy Rausch, was Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie-Mellon University, and he developed “Alice”. “Alice” was a computer software program, used to create 3D animations and movies for Walt Disney, when Disney was beginning Disney Productions. His last lecture was entitled “How to Achieve Your Childhood Dreams” and it was watched by millions of people. I want to read an excerpt from that speech, he said….

“Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want a thing, because the brick walls are there to stop all those who don’t want it badly enough. It’s not about how you achieve your dreams but how you live your life. If you live your life the right way, the good things will take care of themselves. The dreams will come to you. Most of us have childhood dreams, but sadly, most people don’t achieve theirs, and I think that’s a shame. I had several specific childhood dreams, and I’ve actually achieved most of them. But I feel that my most important life time achievement, is that I have helped many others to actually achieve their childhood dreams” Joseph, in the bible cherished and nurtured his dreams and they became the magnet which attracted all the things in his life as he lived his life with purpose and a commitment to finish well!

He was able to say.. “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for Good”

When David faced Goliath, it was his firm grasp on what God had revealed as His plan for him, that formed David’s dream for the future, that let him say with confidence…. 1Samuel 17:46 “This day will the LORD deliver you into my hand, and I will smite you, and take your head from you and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel”!

When it comes to God’s character, and His unchanging nature, and His words of eternal truth and steadfastness… His performance in my yesterday becomes the guarantee in my today, no matter what it looks like right now, it is the assurance I need for all my tomorrows!

The God given dream that is in your heart, is a magnet which will attract what you need in order to fulfill it, as you are faithful to it. Deuteronomy 28:2 “And all the blessings of the Lord, shall run after you, overtake you, and come on you if you will be faithful unto the voice of the LORD your God”.

The things you need, the things necessary to fulfill the dream, are chasing you down, looking for you, trying to find you….so you can finish well!!!!

I declare that there is an anointing of peace, joy and contentment on my life. God is going before me to make the crooked places straight. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I will not be continually struggling. What used to be difficult, will not be difficult anymore.

God’s favor and blessings on my life, is lightening the load and taking the pressure off. I declare that I will put actions behind my faith. I will not be passive or indifferent. I will demonstrate my faith by taking bold steps to move toward what God has put in my heart.

My faith will not be hidden, it will be seen. I know that God will show up and do amazing things. Life is a gift, I treasure it; Life is an adventure, I explore it; Life is a Lesson, I am learning from it; Life is a puzzle, I am solving it; Life is exciting and fulfilling; I’m enjoying it; Life is a struggle, I’m facing it; Life is beautiful, I’m embracing it; Life is an opportunity, I’m taking it; Life is a gift, I’m unwrapping it.

Today is an incredible day. Success, prosperity and abundance in many forms and ways are finding their way into my life today. I gratefully enjoy their manifestations throughout this day and happily share their blessings with many others in order that they may also rejoice as they enjoy their benefits as well.

“I am happy, I am wealthy, I am secure, I am positive, I am blessed, I am grateful, I am God’s amazing creation, I am confident, I am courageous, I am worthy, and I am excited about God’s presence and His will being done in my life through Christ Jesus my Lord. PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME!!!

Posted by: AT 03:05 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, July 09 2015

”Our Liberty In Christ”….by Pastor Charles C Elliott

(I will begin with a little story)….A fellow was concerned about his visa, because he had lost it. He needed to go overseas but he wanted to extend for a couple of years and knew it was up to the consulate whither or not he would get it. After all the anxiety and living as though he might be deported at any time…or that he might get overseas and not be able to get back….He went to the consulate and discovered that he already had two more years left on his visa. He was living below his privileges and his opportunities, because He didn’t know what he had….

1Corinthians 2:2 “For I determined not to know anything among you, except that which pertains to Jesus Christ, (crucified, risen and reigning). v3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. v4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but manifestations of the Spirit and of power. v5 That your faith should not rest upon the wisdom of men, but in the power of God…..v9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him”.

To be in the Kingdom of God, is about living under His kingdom authority. God’s kingdom is not a democracy, if He is our “King”, then we are subjects in His kingdom. In a Kingdom, the King has sovereign and absolute rule. His word is law, His decrees and edicts are the final say!

It is in this context, of being under the King’s authority, that we can operate in the 4 phases of Kingdom authority, “Dunamis”….Authority to overwhelm the powers which would try to overwhelm us….. “Ischus”….the authority to cause a little to become much….”Exesusia (delegated authority)….the authority to control and direct anything and everything that passes through the intersection of our lives….”Kratos”…invincibility which is the ability to do what God has called you to do against all the impossible and overwhelming odds… Luke10:19 “Behold, I give unto you power over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you”.

The Bible also tells us that we are ''more than conquerors,'' meaning that in God’s Kingdom, we have received a superior position and vantage point, over the things that are in and of the world. And it is as we live our lives UNDER His authority, that we have this kind of authority ''over all the power of the enemy.'' Which means that if we live OUTSIDE of His authority, we forfeit our God-given, superior position ''over all the power of the enemy.'' and we face the enemy in our own strength, which is what Samson did, and it didn’t work too well for him either…..that's where many of the believers at Corinth, that Paul is speaking to, were living and that's where too many believers today are living and the result is defeat and bondage instead of victory and liberty….They are knee deep in alligators and they can’t figure out how to drain the swamp!

A fellow came home one day after two years of marriage, and his wife greeted him with a big hug and a kiss. Her face was all aglow, and she was brimming over with apparent joy and happiness!

She said, ''Honey, I have some big news.'' He said, ''Great. What is it?''

She said, ''Well, in a little while there will no longer be just the two of us here. We're going to have an addition to our family and I am so excited.''

He said, ''Are you serious? You have made me the happiest man in the world.'' She said, ''Honey, I'm so glad to hear that because week after next, my Mother is moving in with us!!!!''

Well, that’s what was happening in the Corinthian church….there were a lot of issues, coming into the church, which were causing division and conflict and the price, was their liberty in Christ, and kingdom authority in their lives….The mother-in-law of the flesh, keeps trying to move in…..

Paul had to deal with the issue of eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols, with sexual issues, and indulgences that had no place in the body of Christ, because of the Nicolatians who taught that sin was only in the body, not the soul and spirit, so that when the body was separated from the soul and Spirit through death or resurrection, the soul and spirit were still pure and undefiled. That teaching still abounds today, with other names…..that no matter what you do, you will still go to heaven…..

That's why the Bible is a book that is more about principles to follow and values to live by, than it is a book of just rules and regulations.

Now many folks clearly need the rules for those ''black and white'' issues; but we also need the kingdom principles and values for those ''gray'' issues, where we attempt to justify and explain away our stuff.

We read in 1Corinthians 8:9, ''But beware that somehow this liberty of yours will become a stumbling block to those who are weak.'' And then chapter 8 closes in verse 13 by saying, ''Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.''

Now here's a principle to follow under kingdom authority. When you’re dealing with those little areas that want to move in and divide us and distract from the greater and weightier issues…always Lean toward love and don’t push your liberty on someone else.

Let’s always let our love for one another take priority over our issues which would divide us and cause us to take sides, and pull us away from the greater kingdom values and principles…

You can have things that are out of order in your life and operate in spiritual gifts, but you can’t have things out of order in your life and operate in spiritual fruit….. Far better to have the fruit without the gifts, that to have gifts without the fruit….but much, much better to have both operating together!!!!

Here's a good exercise to do. ….How about saying ''Therefore, if (you fill in the blank) makes my brother stumble, I will never again (you fill in the blank), so that I won’t make my brother stumble.''

It takes a lover to prefer someone else’s need over their own personal desires and preferences….. How many moms and dads have done without, so their kids could have things….that’s about giving love preference!

Having said all of that, Paul is telling us that Love should always take priority over our personal Liberty. That there are times our liberty in Christ should give preference to our love for others because it is a preeminent kingdom value .

And we find that when we live this way, we are actually living in greater

Liberty, and our soul and spirit are set free!!!

1Corinthians 9:1 “Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? v3 My defense to those who examine me is this: v4 Do we not have the right to eat and drink? v7 Whoever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock? v12 Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ. v16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for this calling is laid upon me, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! v17 For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I am only an obligated steward. v18 What is my reward then? That when I preach, I may present the good news of Christ without abusing my authority in the gospel.''

If there was ever a group here today that knows about 'planting values and principles in hope and plowing with love, it's our Mothers! That pretty accurately describes the work of Mothers: plowing and planting! What Mother doesn't plow with love and plant in hope in the lives of her children?

Mothers, never stop loving and believing for the rewards and the return on their life-long investment ! And let me tell you something as someone on this side of the plowing and the planting, it's well worth all the work!

Love Is A Greater Kingdom Priority Than our Liberty!

Paul didn't want to be lumped into that group that was very gifted, but lacked the fruit of the Spirit. He knew that if he was, he could hinder the very gospel he preached. He wanted to remove every obstacle that he could, that's what he was referring to in verse 12 when he said, 'Nevertheless we have not used our liberty, but we have suffered (steg'-o ….to endure patiently) all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.''

This word hinder, is (eng-kopay) and it literally means to destroy or to break up a road to prevent the enemy from advancing. Paul was willing to set aside his rights so he could keep the enemy from advancing! Kingdom lovers know which battles to fight and how to fight them…Paul was totally dedicated to building bridges and clearing a path to the hearts of the people, for the gospel of Christ’s kingdom to advance. “Eng-kopay”… That’s what Jesus did when He cried out “Father, not my will but Thy will be done.”….a cry we need to have along with Paul’s declaration, ''woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.'' THAT GOES DEEP!!!!

When you set aside your liberty in Christ and prefer your love for each other, you will always clear the way for advancing the gospel.

Growing in Grace advances the gospel. We can be right and yet be so wrong at the same time!!!

Lack of grace- makes a person feel they have a right to be angry. Lack of grace- makes a person feel they have the right to have a judgmental attitude. Lack of grace- makes a person feel they have the right to hold back, withdraw and limit their love. These are grace killers….

Someone who is sadly lacking in grace has been compared to an infant as “A consuming apparatus with a loud noise at one end and no noticeable responsibility on the other.” When you stop growing in grace you begin to hinder and undo the gospel of Christ.

Faithfulness in all the areas of your life, advances the gospel.

A child was asked why Jesus is so important in our lives….. the child quickly answered….”Because He showed up!!!” When we show up, He shows up, by our presence, by exercising our spiritual fruits and gifts, by our plowing in hope and planting in love…..Faithfulness helps advance the gospel! An unfaithful Christian is like a dog that chases cars, there’s no reward in it and certainly no profit….if he ever caught one it would be nothing but bad, bad, bad!!! But it’s hard to break a car chasing dog, even if there’s no reward in it! These folks Show up late, they don’t keep their promises, they’re undependable, they’re filled with good intentions, but no follow through…. they’re late paying their bills, and on and on it goes….

Our Christlikeness in the Community helps advance the gospel. John the Baptist, tells us how that process comes about….

John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease. I like what the message bible says…. “This is the assigned moment for him to move to the center, while who I am, slips off to the sidelines”.

A friend of mine tagged me with this statement on face book…. “Value those people in your life that show you Jesus”….. If our work associates, our classmates, our teammates and our neighbors are not seeing Jesus in us, we are hindering the gospel. The greatest evidence for Jesus is a changed life that does not abuse their liberty in Christ! Mahatma Gahdhi, made an astounding statement to an American reporter He said….“I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians, because your Christians are so unlike your Christ”

1Corinthians 9:19 Paul tells us…''For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win as many as possible” then skipping to verse 22 “to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means I might bring some to salvation.”

Paul is challenging each of us to Stay focused, Stay faithful, and Stay fixed upon the mark of the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus!!!! Endure with patience….refuse to be thrown off course! Satan is good at throwing us off course, isn't he? Wither it's in our walk with God, in our marriages, raising our children, building a business or in reaching people with the gospel! Philippians 3.12, ''Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected, but I am pressing on toward the mark (the skop-eh'-o)” that’s the Greek word for keeping the cross-hairs fixed on the target….He’s saying I’m taking aim!

Taking aim at a goal may get you started, but it’s Staying focused, Staying faithful Staying fixed upon the mark and Enduring with patience that will get you there!!!

As we keep on pressing forward in Christ, our lives are forever changed in our priorities, our passion, our purpose and it begins to look more and more like Jesus' priorities, Jesus' passion, and Jesus' purpose!!!

2 Corinthians 5:17 ''Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (kainos).'' This Greek word speaks of something being ''new in kind'' not simply ''new according to time.''

If I were to buy a new Toyota Rav4 in 2017, it would only be new in time, but not new in kind…it would be a newer version of what I already have… But if I told you that I was buying a truck that runs on air rather than on gasoline, my truck is ''new in kind.'' That is, there's never been one like it before……

That’s what this “all things have become new”, is all about…. We are a new creation.'' When you come to Christ, you become a brand new you, not just a better version….A “you” that has never existed before.

He is one of a kind, and He transforms us into one of a kind…..When we really get to know Him, when we get a revelation of who He really is, it is liberating and transformative at so many levels,!!!!….

He is Lord Almighty, Omnipotent King, Lion of Judah, Rock of Ages, Prince of Peace, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Provider, Protector, Ruling Lord and Reigning King of all the universe. He is Friend, Helper, Guardian and God. He is the First and Last, the Beginning and the End. He is the keeper of Creation and the Creator of all He keeps.

The Architect of the universe and the Manager of all time. He always was, always is, and always will be: He is Unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never Undone. He was bruised and brought healing. He was pierced and vanquished pain. He was persecuted and brought freedom. He was dead and brought life. He is risen and brings power. He reigns and brings Peace. The world can’t understand him, the armies can’t defeat Him, the schools can’t explain Him, and the leaders can’t ignore Him. Herod couldn’t kill Him, the Pharisees couldn’t confuse Him, the people couldn’t hold Him! Nero couldn’t crush Him. Hitler couldn’t silence Him, the New Age can’t replace Him and the liberal media can’t explain Him away! He is light, love, and longevity, and Lord. He is goodness, kindness and gentleness. He is Holy, Righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure. His ways are right, His word is eternal, His will is unchanging, and His mind is on me! His is my redeemer, He is my savior, He is my guide, He is my peace, He is my Joy, He is my comfort, He is my Lord and He rules my life. I serve Him because His bond is love, His burden is light, and His goal for me is abundant life. I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise, the power of the powerful, the ancient of days, the ruler of rulers, the leader of leaders, the overseer of the overcomers, and the sovereign Lord of all that was, and is and is to come. And if that seems impressive to you, try this for size. His goal is a relationship with ME! He will never leave me, forsake me, mislead me, forget me, overlook me, and never cancel my appointment in His appointment book! When I fall, He lifts me up. When I fail, He forgives me. When I am weak, He is strong. When I am lost, He is The Way. When I am afraid, He is my courage. When I stumble, He steadies me. When I am hurt, He heals me. When I am broken, He mends me. When I am blind, He leads me. When I am hungry, He feeds me. When I face trials, He is with me. When I face persecution, He fights for me. When I face problems, He comforts me. When I face loss, He provides for me. When I face Death, He carries me Home! He is everything for everyone, everywhere, every time, and in every way. He is God, He is faithful, I am His, and He is mine. My Lord in heaven can whip the God of this world, so, if you’re wondering why I feel so secure, understand this: He said it, and that settles it. God is in control, I am on His side, and He’s coming back and He’s coming soon to rule and reign over everything, whether anyone likes it or not!!! Hallelujah!!!!

You can’t compare Him to anything you’ve done before, anything you’ve experienced before, anything you’ve tried before…. Five times in 1 Corinthians 9, Paul says ''that I might win, that I might win, that I might win, that I might win, that I might win.'' What's he saying that He’s out to win? THE LOTTERY!!!??? NO… It’s People that need Jesus! People that need forgiveness! People that need hope! People that need healing! Verse 19 ''that I might win more'' (by increasing his witness) Verse 20 ''that I might win the Jews.'' (those of your own house hold)

Verse 20 ''that I might win those who are under the law.'' (the legalists)

Verse 21 ''that I might win those who are outside law.'' (lawbreakers)

Verse 22 ''that I might win the weak '' (the insecure, fearful, and outcast)

Our task is not to save everyone…. It is to evangelize everyone….To make sure everyone has an opportunity to receive Christ….We are set free to offer freedom to all who will receive it..

One sows, another waters, another reaps and we all rejoice in the harvest together!!!

Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come”.

Are you running to win? Every participant can win the race we are running. We do not win a temporary crown, but a permanent crown!

1 Thessalonians 2:19 says, there is a 'crown of rejoicing''

2 Timothy 4:8 there is a ''crown of righteousness''

1 Peter 5:4 there is a ''crown of glory''

James 1:12 there is a ''crown of life''

He concludes ''Run in such a way that you (put your name in there), that you may obtain it.''

There are great rewards waiting for the child of God who lives under kingdom rule and kingdom authority….

1Corinthians 3:11 “For no other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. v12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble. v13 Every man's work shall be made manifest, for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall try every man's work for what it is.v14 If any man's work remains which he has built thereupon, HE SHALL RECEIVE A REWARD”…. God WILL REWARD His people for their faithfulness, for their service, for their suffering, for their soul winning, and for their love of the Lord Jesus Christ, in this life and in the life to come!

The greatest reward of all is that we will spend all eternity in direct interaction with The Father, Son and Holy Spirit….

Also, we will have Our Lord's approval –

Matthew 25:21 "Well done, good and faithful servant you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things."

II Timothy 2:12 "If we suffer with him, we shall reign with him." Luke 19:17 "You have been faithful in a very little, You shall have authority over 10 cities.".

One pastor got really excited about this and when he was turned down by the local bank for a badly needed loan, in order to purchase property for church expansion….he asked to speak the next time the board of directors met. The meeting came, and he stood and read this verse, and said, “I have asked God for authority over this city during the millennium, and when it happens, I’m going to fire every one of you!!!”

(well, I guess he used his liberty, without giving love the priority!!!!)

Some people have asked “Are there differences in rewards in Heaven?

Will some receive more than others?

Oh Yes! Some will have greater rewards and will receive much more than others.

But I want you to remember something…..Heaven is not our Reward! Heaven is where we’re going for the 7 years that the rewards will be given and the reward banquet will be held. The Lord is our reward, and all these other rewards will extend on into eternity….to the new heaven and earth, and outward into the universe….Friend I don’t care how much blessing you receive here, you ain’t seen nothing yet!!! Don’t let anyone steal your reward, and don’t give up and don’t slack off, just before the finish line!!!

Let me close with ….Ephesians 3:17 “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, v18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, v19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. v20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that now works in us, v21 Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

So, Trust in His Timing, Rely on His Promises, Wait for His answers, Believe in His miracles, Rejoice in His goodness, and Relax and enjoy His presence.

Posted by: AT 08:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, July 01 2015

Set free from The Spirit of Unbelief….

I think of the time when Jesus asked the man whose son was taken with fits, and often cast himself into the fire….this guy was at his wits end, he needed help for his son, but I must say, he had the right answer to the question Jesus asked him…. Mark 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If you can believe, all things are possible to those who believe. v24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe, help my unbelief”.

What this desperate father was saying, is, “I believe the truth with my head, but I want to believe the truth with all my heart”! Truth is the master key that opens every locked thing which would hold us captives and keep us from the favor and blessings God desires for us to enjoy…Paul says in… Romans 12:1 “I encourage you therefore, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. v2 And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”.

1Corinthians 6:15 (amplified) “Do you not see and know that your bodies are members of Christ? Am I therefore to take the member of Christ and join it to that which is unholy? Never! Never! v19 Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own”

Being a person who has chosen Christian convictions can be risky and it can offend some people. People who seek the truth, are prone to see everything as black, they see issues as being clearly right or wrong, good or bad, and they don’t live or operate like so many who operate in the grey zones of life…where everything is relative, politically correct or negotiable…. Grey may feel good, look good, and it may not require as much work, dedication or sacrifice. Grey may suffice for a politically correct Christian–who is all about fitting in with society. Grey may be loved and accepted and allow a Christian to fit comfortably in with the world. Grey can even have an outward look of success because the sea of Grey doesn’t rock many boats–and it doesn’t cause many waves.

The Grey zone is drab…Grey is boring….Grey is about playing it safe….Grey is complacent….Grey is apathetic….Grey numbs us and dulls our senses to the sinfulness of sin…and the evil that is in evil. …..Grey remains in a state “Whatever”….Grey is only interested in maintaining status quo and does very little to change the direction of people headed for a Christ-less eternity….Grey doesn’t experience God working amazing miracles, because it is busy living below its potential and capacity.

Grey operates in feeling, and not by faith…..Grey is like cutting with a dull knife, (lot’s of motion, but little results)....Grey makes for a Christian life with no power….Grey only prays when it is desperate, and reads the word without experiencing any personal change whatsoever….

It’s amazing what some folks think are of great importance in life and what they think is not important…… because it all can become distorted and inverted because they view everything through a lens which rejects the truth ….

Tom was a nominal Christian, but he was a devoted golfer. He played golf every chance he got, but on Sunday he only played after attending church services then headed for the golf course. He was getting up in years, and one Sunday, he was feeling terrible, he told his wife, and she insisted they "Go to church and say a little prayer, and I’m sure you’ll *…..better." As he kneeled down, he whispered a prayer: "Oh Lord, thank you for everything - my health, my wife and my golf game. I hope that when I reach Heaven I can still play golf."… a voice thundered: "Tom, this is the Lord. Tom was startled, because he had never heard the Lord’s voice before. The Lord said, "The good news is that in Heaven, we have thousands of championship golf courses, play is never slow, it's always free and you will never lose a golf ball." Tom was ecstatic, "That's wonderful! You've answered my prayer!” The Lord continued…. “and by the way, Tom, You tee off today at 1:00."

Jesus was never found living in the grey zone of indecision, He never tried to get by with doing just enough. He lived in the white-hot zone of commitment and surrender to the Father. When he was in a flesh body, He rocked the boats of all the folks in the grey zone and turned them upside down just as he did the money changers tables in the temple. Things were black or white, Hot or cold, yes or no, light or dark, good or evil with Him!

Truth is like that….the problem with truth, when you know it, is that you can’t tip-toe around the issues anymore….and even though you may try to put it in a way that will be acceptable and not be rejected, silence is no longer an option!

If your neighbor’s house was on fire and the whole family was asleep inside– mom, dad, the kids and the family pets….It would demand action, commitment and decisiveness ….it would be a do or die situation, there would be no hesitation about what needed to be done….People would die if they weren’t warned and someone didn’t help them get out of harms way… you know that you must do everything in your power to get them out…. You would Yell. Scream. Draw attention to the danger. Smash windows and doors and call on whoever you could… Whatever you could do to make a way out of danger! …There are times which call upon us to rise to the occasion, and we are now living in those times….

God has a name for the grey zone mind set and view point, or the go with the flow mentality that is so prevalent today …..He says grey is lukewarmness and God actually doesn’t like grey, in His own words, He says that it makes Him gag. (look at it)

Revelation 3:15,16 “I know your deeds, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spew you out of my mouth”.

God wants us to be living, lives for Him that are White hot, full of zeal, passionately pursuing Him, and passionately pursuing people with His message of love and grace.

While at the same time, we are to have a compassion and sensitivity for those who are sorting through and processing their own life concepts and values all around us. At times it can be a delicate balancing act….

And we usually end up tip-toeing around the truth because we are afraid of losing something important to us….What are we afraid of losing?....Is it our job? Or our spouse? Or our kids? Or our house? How about our position? Or titles?, Or our friends?, our influence?, Or our money?, or worse, our life?

What you fear losing shows what you value most. And what we value the most can be the problem we have with unbelief….after all, unbelief is a matter of where our values are….and fear of losing what is valuable to us…

People work double overtime securing a life for themselves–striving, to gather and hold on to all manner of things. But, if we value God’s favor and living a life that is pleasing to Him the most, we will not be willing to exchange His approval for anything that we may feel is important.

As Stephen was being stoned, because of the truth he declared, instead of thinking of all the things of the world that he would be losing….he saw only the one thing that was most important that he would be gaining…..He raised his voice above the mocking and jeering of his persecutors and said “I see Jesus, standing at the Father’s right hand”…. The Father’s right hand is the place of favor, and Jesus was letting Stephen know that favor was on him as he received his promotion to Glory, and that he was getting a hero’s welcome, in spite of the terrible circumstances he endured…..

Paul says to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord…It’s a win/win situation….for everyone devoted to kingdom truth….

Jesus said, “What does it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul.. or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

The longer I live, the more I know that, God wants us to rightly divide Truth that we may bring His life-changing grace to a world that desperately needs something solid, dependable and secure in their lives. The struggle we become engaged in, between the eternal and this temporary, physical life, can expose the illusion about what is real and what is not real!

Truth can feel like the elephant in the room, We all know it’s there, but often we don’t know what to do with it, where to put it or how it fits in, with what we have planned and decided is important in our lives!!!

Truth is about trusting eternal principals which will last when the things of this world have come and gone, and that trust is more important than our stuff and our temporary acceptance and popularity!

Genuine, relationships which strengthen, uplift and motivate those involved, have two-way communication and shared values. But relationships which are based on manipulation, deception and superficial agendas, will produce superficial disciples, superficial followers, and superficial friends, with no real depth or real commitment, because it is based on making the wrong things important.

But intimacy can only come through trust that is built on a foundation of truth and transparency, and that requires honest communication and openness, that’s why intimacy is pronounced “Into me see”. Intimacy is a two-way street. It requires all parties in the relationship to be constantly communicating, honestly, openly, with sincerity and love.

One of the great lines which I caught, in the movie “Avatar “…was when the Navee people of the planet Pandora greeted one another, they would say “I see you”… meaning I relate to you beyond what may be seen on the outside,…or said another way, “the truth in me, sees the truth in you”… This greeting was never given to a stranger… because it goes beyond the bounds of the superficial and into the realms of intimacy.

Truth and grace must walk hand in hand. And while the bible is extremly uncompromising , and black and white in the truth it presents…. that truth must operate through and be poured through the funnel of grace and love. Bible truth pulls no punches, but if you have all grace and just a sprinkle of truth, it equals a weak, grey-zone Christian. If you have all truth and no grace it equals a legalistic, Christ-less religion, that is void of life. After all it was that Divine mixture of compassion and truth that was the prime motivator of all that Jesus did.

Psalm 51:6 tells us that He desires Truth in the inner most parts,

The message of Jesus can be seen as extreme and absolute. There’s no middle ground with God. No mixing of colors. No blending or watering down of convictions. It’s all, or it’s nothing at all. It requires a choice: To the rich young ruler, he gave a choice, to the disciples he demanded a choice if they were to follow Him, To Nicodemus He demanded a choice….There is no room in the gospel message for walking the fence, choose Jesus, or don’t choose Him, but understand that regardless of our choice, TRUTH will still be truth and we will be on one side of it or the other. Once again, we find ourselves struggling with unbelief as a result of where and how, we choose to line up with that truth.

A lot of folks want to blend in, fit in and be part of whatever they’re with, so they become chameleon Christians. They camouflage themselves so they don’t stand out and draw attention to themselves….Their motto is, “when you’re not with the one you love, love the one you’re with”… Someone said that if you see someone that is walking around in the woods, wearing camouflage gear, be sure to run right into them, and knock them over, so they’ll think the camouflage is actually working….

John 1:14 And the Word was made 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. In other words we could say…

“We beheld His glory, which was the embodiment of grace and truth”…

The guarantee that we are given in this scripture, is that you will not fail to experience God’s glory in your life…as you walk in truth that is embedded with and motivated by grace and compassion!

Many of us are believing God for greater things for our life, we desire to see explosive growth in our church and every church, we want to see our city changed by the gospel, and our nation too. God puts it right back on us. He simply says, it starts with you and It starts with me. It has to begin with each of us as individuals. And it comes down to the question, what is the status of my heart and where do I stand in relationship to His truth? We don’t need to come up with something new, just obey what He has given us….Truth is non-negotiable!

John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. What Jesus was saying is that seeking for truth outside of “He who is truth is only an exercise in futility and opens the door for deception….

The law of the pendulum states that if you tie a weight on a string and bring it to it’s highest point and release it, the height of the arc will diminish and lessen each time it swings, until in about a minute, it will stop. The point at which it stops is called the point of equilibrium, when all forces acting upon it are equalized.

After explaining this a teacher, hung a 250 pound weight on a parachute cord and had a student sit on a ladder chair where the weight was suspended right up against the student’s nose. The teacher asked the student if he believed in the law of the pendulum….he said he did and that the laws of science prove it…. When the weight was released and started back towards him, the student jumped from the ladder and put some distance between himself and the pendulum! With his head, he believed the law of the pendulum, but with his experience he actually didn't believe it. He said he believed it, he thought he believed it-- but he was not willing to stay put on the ladder.

It’s the same with Christ. There are many people who say they believe on Him, who say they will follow Him. But they have never stayed put, when it might cost them something. They actually never have committed and surrendered themselves wholly, 100% to Christ and His truth.

2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked (untruthful) ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – If I don’t humble myself, pray and seek God, turning from my wicked or (untruthful) ways, my Christianity will be powerless in seeing my home, my church, my city, or my nation changed for Him.

What are wicked ways? They are all those ways in which we have abandoned God’s truth, which is revealed in Jesus Christ! Like a well that people are dumping trash in…(how disgusting is that) it becomes compromised and polluted, who would want to drink from that!!!. But what we put in our well, has a way of embedding itself in every aspect of our internal world ….our thinking and emotions, our heart and soul.

But when we humble our heart and get honest with Him, confessing all the places where truth has been mixed with this world’s carnal reasoning and appetites, it is then that we will see the spirit of truth, transform, purify, cleanse us…. And drive out doubt and the spirit of unbelief!

1 John 1:8 “If we continue to deceive ourselves, then the truth is not in us. v9 If we confess our sins (ham-ar'-tay-mah…that we have missed the mark of His truth) He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (ham-ar'-tay-mah), and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (ad-ee-kee'-ah….our actions that spring forth and are the result of an absence of the truth)”.

A temporary happiness is not worth the long term pain….If we don’t humble our hearts before God, all the untruth will remain in us. It becomes something the enemy can, and will, at the opportune time, use against us and take advantage of us.

If we don’t humble our hearts before God, that junk becomes the leverage the enemy uses to divide, confuse and conquer God’s people. A shallow, superficial quality creeps in quickly, dislodging people from relationships, from churches, and sometimes from faith–because of the distortion and illusion of what is important, that occurs.

People cannot understand or separate the behavior of some who claim to be Christians from their double standards and double mindedness. So they blame God and walk away from faith. And the enemy celebrates… when we are confused, and disillusioned about what we truly believe, we block and hinder the work of God. Jesus calls this Phariseeism …Hear what He says in….

Matthew 23:13-27 "I've had it with you Pharisees! You're hopeless, you religious scholars, are frauds and fakes! Your lives are roadblocks to God's kingdom. You refuse to enter, and you keep others from entering in as well. You keep meticulous accounts, of your tithing and offerings, but the things like fairness and compassion and commitment - the absolute basics, you treat carelessly as though you can take it or leave it. You are blind guides, which strain at gnats, and swallow camels. You're like manicured grave plots, concerned only with appearances, grass clipped and the flowers bright, but six feet down its all rotting bones and worm-eaten flesh”.

There was a church where the preacher and the minister of music were not getting along at all. As time went by this began to spill over into the worship service. For instance, the preacher preached on commitment and how we all should dedicate ourselves to the service of God. In closing, the music director lead the song "I Shall Not Be Moved". The next week the preacher preached on tithing and how we all should gladly give to the work of the Lord. The music director lead the song "Jesus Paid It All". The next week the preacher preached on gossiping and how we should all watch our tongues. The music director closed with the song "I Love to Tell the Story". With all this going on, the preacher became very upset over the situation and the following Sunday told the congregation that he was considering resigning. The music director closed with the song "It will be worth it all". As it came to pass, the preacher did indeed resign. His last week there, he informed the church that it was Jesus who led him there and it was Jesus that was leading him away. The music director, true to form, closed with the song "What a Friend We Have in Jesus".

There are many so called Christians who have great difficulty connecting their faith with their everyday actions and behavior. As I was reading and studying for this message, I came across this information….. The famous outlaw, Jesse James killed a fellow in a bank robbery and shortly afterwards traveled to the town of Kearney and was baptized into the Kearney Baptist Church. Then he killed another man, a bank cashier, and traveled to another town where he joined the church choir and became the choir director. He liked being in church on Sundays, but he couldn't always make it. On some Sundays, he was out robbing trains and shooting people. With that in mind, I direct your attention to a portion of scripture in….

Matthew 12:25 “Jesus said, every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or house divided against itself cannot stand”. This is true of our families, our church, and our nation and ourselves.

Truth is a Personal relationship. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, all your sins are forgiven. Your slate is wiped clean and ready for God to write your new past, your new present and your new future upon. He is writing according to His eternal unchanging covenant He has entered into with you. You are an heir and joint-heir to an eternal kingdom that can never be destroyed, never defeated, and it’s rule and reign is forever….

Truth is Your New Position. You are no longer an enemy of God. As His child, you have the privilege of approaching His throne, knowing He is available at any time, for grace to handle any situation. He is never too busy and He is always there and He is always willing. As Kings and Priests you have authority in the physical and the spiritual realms.

Truth is Your New Possession. There is no power greater than truth. Truth is eternal and when everything else has disappeared and gone, truth will remain. When you handle truth, you are touching eternity. Truth has peace, joy, safety, health, life, abundance and prophetic fulfillment, embedded within it,

Truth is Your New Identity. It is your password and access to heavenly things, it is your window of revelation, It moves angels, and drives away demon forces…they must flee from the truth. We are told in Acts 19:14 “And there were seven sons of one called Sceva, who was a Jew and chief of the priests. These seven attempted to cast out the demons from a demon possessed man. v15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you”? All things in heaven above and earth beneath, know us by the truth that is in us!

Truth mixed with compassion is our source of freedom….The status of every Christian’s is our responsibility before God, to humble ourselves, pray and seek His face, no longer tolerating sin, and no more compromising. And allow God’s hand upon our lives, to touch and transform our hearts. Total and complete victory in our churches, our cities, and our nation depends on our level of surrender to God’s truth.

John 18:37 is the conversation between Jesus and Pilate…“ Jesus said “The reason I was born and came into the world is to give witness to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” v38 “What is truth?” Pilate asked….”

Surely, this is one of the most profound questions ever asked! …. What is truth? Is it what the Doctor told you, or the lawyer, or political correctness? Is what you’re believing, setting you free, or manipulating you, bringing you into bondage and weighing you down….Jesus said “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”!!!! John 14:6 Jesus told them, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

The lame man found Him and went home leaping and walking…. The blind man found Him and went home seeing the beauty of the earth…. The deaf man received his hearing and reveled in the sound of voices and music… the prostitute received forgiveness and a second chance to get it right…. The demon possessed man was set free and in his right mind…..

The multitudes who connected with God….. all encountered the one who is truth, the way to freedom, and the one who settles all doubts and unbelief!

A man became disoriented and wandered into a pool of quicksand.

Confucius saw the man’s predicament and said, “It is evident that men should stay out of places such as this.” Next, Buddha observed the fatal situation and said, “Let that man’s mistake be a lesson to us all” Then Mohammed came by and said to the sinking man, “Alas, it is the will of Alah.” Finally, Jesus appeared on the scene ad said, “Here, take my hand, and I will bring you out with joy and send you on your way blessed.”

You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free!!!!

John 10:10 Jesus said, “The thief has come to steal and kill and destroy, but I (the truth) have come that you may have life more abundantly”.

When you need peace “He is the prince of peace

When you’re groping in Darkness “He is the light of the World”

When you’re lost “He is the way”…..

He’s your great Shepherd…He’s the word of almighty God….He’s the greatest teacher that ever walked the planet…He’s the healer… He’s the door that opens and no one can shut it…. He’s the beginning of all things & He’s the finisher of all things…. He’s always with us and His Spirit is in us….He’s a greater artist than Van Gogh and always places rainbows after the rain, the colors of fall, the fragrant flowers, the beautifully colored birds and the fish of the sea are His handiwork….He’s the best counsellor you can find anywhere….He’s our attorney who represents us before, man, the angels, Satan and before God…His wisdom surpasses all the wisdom of all the wisest that ever lived….

So what is your question or your problem that you bring to Him today? Jesus is the answer, He’s the savior of the world, who connects us back to the Father, and guarantees that we will reign with Him forever, throughout all eternity!!!!

His truth is the key to every problem, it’s the revelation to every mystery.. It is a plan for every tomorrow….it is the light at the end of the tunnel…and the solution you’ve been searching for…..

You shall know the Truth and the truth shall set you free…..from all the doubts, unbelief, fear and self-destructive patterns, doubt and unbelief….

Prayer…..Father, I thank You, in the Name of Jesus, for bringing us into this season of intense favor of the Lord upon our lives and our families. I pray that You would transform our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual situation for Your Glory and honor. We enter into Your Truth, that place of joy, love and fresh intimacy by the Spirit, in the Name of Jesus. Father I pray that we will come to such a place of desiring Your will and pleasure, that we will be transformed into different people.

Lord, let Your desires and intentions in all the areas and dealings of our lives fill our hearts fully day by day. Teach us how to rest in surrender and submission that we might in greater measure bring You our worship. In this season which we are in, teach us to live in the fragrance and the beauty of Your presence. I ask that all You want to say to us, and be to us and do for us, will come to fulfillment without hindrance or distraction. Come into our hearts with your kindness, goodness and righteousness that we might be the new creation You want us to be. Transform our thinking, our praying and our very being before You. Lord, we desire to become forerunners of a bold and courageous people who are confident and intimate with the promises and the nature of God.

We desire that our praying would be with renewed joy, delight and expectation as we continue to love and serve the KING in a deeper way. Where there is pain, let us show mercy, love and compassion. Where there is self-doubting, let us bring a renewed sense of confidence in Your grace and acceptance. Where there is error or any misunderstanding, let us bring understanding, patience, and forgiveness as we submit daily to Your truths. Where there is spiritual stagnation, help us to reveal Your nearness, as we come into greater intimacy with You. Where there is fear, allow us reveal Your love, that brings courage and confidence. Where there is anything blocking full life, reveal it, and break the power of all doubt and unbelief. We ask for greater vision, and greater discernment to recognize the power and resources we have in You. Lord, May You be glorified in every situation and circumstance in our lives, in Jesus' mighty and wonder working name. AMEN.

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