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Sermon of the Week 
Monday, March 28 2016

“The Palm Sunday Perspective”…

    In 1962, Thomas Kuhn made this statement – “The advancement of knowledge is not accomplished through drastic evolution, but rather is a "series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions", and in those revolutions "one conceptual world view is replaced by another."

    A paradigm shift is about changing from one way of thinking about and perceiving things, to another. A paradigm is the lens through which we view the world in a certain way. One example of a paradigm shift is that once we viewed the world as flat, but as knowledge increased and information became available, we saw that it was round. We all view the world through the lenses of our mindsets, perspectives and viewpoints.     

    We see the world and the things that are in it through lenses that are colored by our culture, our upbringing, our educational background, our senses, our value systems and our environment. The reason for the many differing  viewpoints people have and why we can interpret events, opportunities and experiences so differently, is about the paradigm that we choose to see it all through.

    Because the Palm Sunday entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, took place in a world which used many paradigms to view and experience it, just as it is today, they failed to seize this opportunity to view it through the lens of the Kingdom of God. And the donkey moved on down the streets of Jerusalem and on into history, carrying their only real hope, while mankind was left to sort it out and find a paradigm where it would fit their point of view.

    An old boy from the Louisiana swamps, went to have his eyes checked. The Doc asked him to point the direction the Letter E was pointing. When he was done and the Doc gave him the prescription for his glasses and told him he needed reading glasses. He came to pick up the new glasses, and asked the docter, “ will I be able to read OK, with my new glass. The doctor told him that he would be able to read perfectly now. Wow, doc, he said, that’s amazing, I never have been able to read before! (there’s some things glasses just won’t fix!)  

    The last time I went to the eye doctor for a regular exam and check-up, he wanted to see how well I could see what was on the eye-chart in front of me. Then he tried out different corrective lenses and he would say, which is better, “#1 or #2” … “this one or that one?” I was given the opportunity to choose which lens I preferred to look through.

    Palm Sunday took place in two dimensions, just like we live our lives…. There was the dimension made up of the social, political, religious, and economical…..and there was the Kingdom of God dimension.

    On Palm Sunday, Jesus presented everyone with a choice.

Peter Woods, a minister in South Africa, reminds us that “in the Palm Sunday procession we do not have a Lamb to the Slaughter, a pre-programmed robotic Jesus, we have a living, fully human, making himself accessible, inviting the people and powers that be, to see and receive Him through the proper lens.”

    I began to look again at Matthew 11:12 , and realized some things that I had not seen before…. “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent (bee-ad'-zo…those who choose to seize the opportunity) take it by force ( ar-hrab-ohn' ….to seize a present opportunity which will assure a future victory; a down payment which is given as security in advance, to purchase the rest”). Everything Jesus did was about seizing the present opportunity to secure the future victory, and Palm Sunday was no exception….                                          

    You see, I think all too often too many have chosen to just be Palm Sunday spectators, debating among themselves the different ways to view the life and passion of Jesus. They go out to Sunday dinner and pretty much go back to their regular way of doing business. The donkey moves on, and so do they!

    “Too many have taken their place in the Palm Sunday processional, but they’ve not positioned themselves in the promises!” But when you see it all through the lens of the Spirit, you can no longer be a “sideline Christian” or a “Sunday morning quarterback”… Because your paradigm has changed and the procession doesn’t end for you on Palm Sunday, but you’re still marching forward on Good Friday, when many others have disappeared and are following after other things, because it didn’t go their way!

    Palm Sunday is a dramatic reminder that Jesus, (God in the flesh) riding on the back of a donkey, is offering us a choice, an alternative to life as the world usually knows it, both then and now… a choice to turn the ordinary into the extra-ordinary…by seeing life in all of it’s parts and places through a new lens….as my eye doctor said to me…. “choose this one or that one”!!!

    On Palm Sunday, Jesus was met with streets lined with fans and admirers, but He didn’t call fans, cheerleaders and admirers to follow Him, He called disciples! The fans, are never found out on the field, they just cheer for those who are taking the bumps and bruises and moving the ball forward toward the goal line. But what’s amazing is that they can tell every player on the field exactly what they should and should not do! They’re not interested in the discipline it takes to get in shape, go the extra mile, and do whatever it takes to get in the real action themselves.

    Matthew 16:24 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. v25  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it. v26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul”?

    Scholars tell us that as Jesus was entering the city from the east side, riding on a donkey, with his cheering disciples and a crowd of palm waving fans all around Him, at the same time, there was an imperial procession entering the city from the west.

    Borg and Crossan describe it as: “A visual display of imperial power with cavalry, foot soldiers, weapons, banners, golden eagles mounted on poles, the sounds of marching feet, the beating of drums, greet the eyes of the silent onlookers, some curious, some awed, some resentful.”                           While on the other side of town, Jesus is deliberately acting out the prophecy of Zechariah, riding on a donkey, as He makes a deposit in their  understanding which would later open their perspective to the kingship of the Messiah, and set in motion a march that would encircle the globe.

    In an age of opinion-polls it is not too difficult to project ourselves back into the first century and imagine ourselves watching the news on our 80 inch flat screen TV’s, as the pilgrim crowds streamed into Jerusalem for the Passover festival on that first Palm Sunday: Picture with me, the camera crew and the reporter on the scene for Fox News, Jerusalem….

    ”Quick, over here a reporter shouts to the camera crew– as she holds the microphone out to a tough, fierce-looking young man to get his comments - Excuse me Sir – what do you think is going to happen”? “Who me? Oh, I’d like to see us get together and push out the entire Roman army, every single one of them…. And push them into the Mediterranean Sea! They’re cruel and have no regard for anyone! And believe me, It could happen you know.

    We have the weapons, and there is a natural leader among us – a strong young man named Jesus from the north of the country: he could unite us in driving them out Wow, here he is now!!!!                                           Like so many zealots in the first century this imaginary young hot-head had completely misunderstood what the Palm Sunday procession was all about.

    This King was no freedom-fighter, whose rallying cry was ‘Let’s all throw a grenade for Jesus’ and wipe out these Roman sinners! Not ever!!!

    As the emperor comes into the city on the West side… He is making a display of Power, through physical force – domination through military strength – ambition, pride, control, superiority, fear and intimidation.

    But On the East side of the city… what we see is a display of Power through compassion, caring community, healing, self-giving, restoration, redemption, the power of agape love – servants not Lords and masters…is on display!!!.

    As you look through the lens of Zechariah 9:10 ‘He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be broken, and he shall command peace to the nations’…it is unmistakable, that the weapons of the coming King are the exact opposite of  those of the world, that rely on brute force. This was the King of love.

    The choice could not be clearer…“This or That”…(as the doctor said) Jesus on a donkey calls us into accountability, responsibility, and self-discipline, if indeed we are serious about making Him our model and our paradigm through which we see everything.”

    Which will we choose: fan or disciple, spectator or risk-taker, The West gate or the East gate, just being on the premises or standing on the promises? Will we have the courage to go all the way with Jesus, or will we “drop out” before we get to Good Friday? Will we hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on our doors, or sing “Where You Lead Me, I Will Follow ?”

    Matthew 21: 6 “The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. v7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. v8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road”.

    Palm Sunday is a study in contrast. This very interesting scripture separates the true followers of Christ, from the fans who are only cheering at the moment….Notice, that part of the crowd made no personal investment in their praise….They used palm branches that were cut from someone else’s trees. It cost them nothing to cheer for him…it was an impersonal act, void of heart devotion, and achieved at no cost and no sacrifice by them whatsoever…

    On the other hand, there were those who laid their cloaks on the ground so the donkey carrying Jesus could walk upon them… these folks made it personal! There was a cost and a sacrifice involved in their praise….it was the difference in being just a fan and being a disciple!

    David said in 2 Samuel 24:24 “I will not offer unto the LORD my God of that which has cost me nothing”.

Perhaps we should be decorating the church today, with shirts and cloaks and jackets on Palm Sunday, instead of Palm branches!!!                                                                    

    Fans and cheerleaders, will bring things they can’t use themselves, to donate to the needy. It has no value to them, and there’s no sacrifice involved! Let’s not just wave palm branches, let’s offer to Him, that which has value to us as we celebrate this Palm Sunday~~~Your time, your money, your touch, your talent, yourself!

Let’s go into Easter with a new paradigm!

    Establishing a new paradigm may be shocking to some. It means that same old, same old, won’t do anymore.  It means a person isn’t just going with the flow, they’re taking a stand and going with their inner convictions at a deeper level. New paradigms often “go against the grain” and it often means thinking or acting outside the box, and thereby it changes the established pattern or way of doing something.

    If Rosa Parks hadn’t gone against the grain, Black Americans might still be relegated to the back of the bus. If Susan B. Anthony hadn’t gone against the grain, women might still not have the right to vote. If Martin Luther hadn’t gone against the grain, the Reformation might not have happened.  If William Tyndale hadn’t gone against the grain, we all might still be reading the Bible in Latin.  If Galileo hadn’t gone against the grain, we still might believe that the world is flat.  If Jesus hadn’t gone against the grain, we wouldn’t be here today, redeemed, free from judgment, and headed for a glorious eternity with the Father. Yet many are shocked at that belief….                                                                                               

    New paradigms are needed for interpreting the past, understanding and seizing the opportunities of the present, and possibly redeeming and transforming our future. To go against the grain means to break free of the bias, the well-intended manipulation, the limitations that have held us back, and the argument that because no one has done it, it can’t be done! It means to go where we never thought we could go, to do what we never thought we could do, and to be what we never thought we could be! To approach situations, not as they are but as they should be. To see people not as they are but as they can be. To live in a world of possibilities, not just problems, a world of opportunities, not just impossibilities, a world of “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” A life that is no longer intimidated and paralyzed by the thief and deceiver who comes to kill, steal and destroy! We must each ask ourselves, “where in my life, do I need a paradigm shift?!

    Philippians 4:8 (Amplified Bible) “Brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy and honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, value these things, focus on them and fix your minds on them”.

    Without a paradigm shift, we can become so preoccupied with our own mind sets, that we miss the truth when it is right in front of our faces.

    I just heard about A Los Angeles ticketing officer who came upon a silver Cadillac Eldorado illegally parked at an expired meter. The officer, doing her duty, wrote out a ticket, reached through the open window and slapped the $30 ticket down on the dashboard. The driver of the car made no excuses and gave no arguments…you see, the driver of the car had been shot in the head 3 hours before but was sitting there, stiff as a board, slumped slightly forward as though he were asleep. But, the officer was so preoccupied with giving the ticket she never noticed that there was something wrong. She simply got back in her car and drove away. We can be so preoccupied with lesser things that we miss eternal opportunities! Certainly, we could all confess to being guilty…..

    Because we know how the rest of the Passion week story turns out, Palm Sunday can easily be relegated to the world of symbolism and form, children’s activities and church skits, and more stuff to clean up and put away till next year….and the real substance is lost…

How often do we simply go through the motions, and totally miss what is really going on at a deeper level, because we are occupied with filtering our experiences and encounters through the lens of our perceived reality. And by doing this we can easily surrender to feelings of depression, desperation, despair and even hopelessness, because we missed the real story, underneath the story.

    I wrote a poem a couple of years ago dealing with the dichotomy that we all are. I’ve read it before but it fits here… I called it “Two sided doors”…

    ”Our inner and outer door, can often be worlds apart. One side is where you end up and the other is where you start. The inner door, for many a soul, is sealed and locked secure, but the outer door faces another world, your outer self, lives there. At best, we are two sided people, who constantly move back and forth. Living out our two sided lives, on both sides of our two sided doors”.

     In the story we celebrate today, Jesus is addressed as the Son of David. Jesus the man, was a son in two dimensions, the natural and the supernatural. He was fully, the Son of God supernaturally and he was fully the son of David by natural birth…

    There are things we can achieve in the natural…and there are things we can only receive supernaturally… Through new birth, we receive by faith that which is impossible in the natural realm.

    We know that this triumphant Palm Sunday procession points us to the day when all believers of every color and culture worldwide, will celebrate with “God the Son”, who marches into Jerusalem and establishes His rightful rule and reign for all eternity as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And I believe that heaven’s trumpets are warming up for that paradigm shifting event…..even now!!!

    His story becomes our story as we take his cross which is now become our cross and become fully engaged to the extent that “we take up our victory over our worries, our fears, our stress, our challenges and difficulties, and we follow Him in a triumphant procession, as we daily crown Him as king in our lives.

    We do not just wear the cross, but we are embedded with the cross and it affects everything we do and everything we say! Our lives are no longer a study in contrast, but they are synchronized by the new paradigm through which we experience everything!

    Jesus’ disciples met a man blind from birth and asked, “How did this man get into this situation? Why did it happen? Who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born this way? Jesus resolved the issue by replying, “you’re asking the wrong question. This was all so that the power of God could be displayed in his life.”

    Instead of asking, “How can I get out of this?” What about asking, “How can God be glorified in this?” The right question changes our perspective and the spiritual realities at the foundation of it.

    That paradigm applies not only in the bad times, but it applies in the good times, as well. Jesus knew that the triumphant entry into Jerusalem was all about the Kingdom being revealed, and God’s word being fulfilled!

    If you’re on the right train, no matter what seat you’re in, you’ll reach your destination… but if you’re on the wrong train, you can run back and forth to change your direction, but you will still arrive at the wrong station! So, Get on the train, Jane… watch what you say Jay… get on the bus, Gus! Our God specializes in turning “difficulties into deliverances and problems into praise.” You just have to get on board!!!!

    Philippians 2.6-11 “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though He was God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross. Therefore God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.                                   

    He became like us so that we could become like Him. He came to reveal the glory of the heavenly, embedded in the realm of the earthly so that we might see the eternal that is present in the midst of the things that are corruptible.

    What is, has been, and what has been will be! Being omnipresent, God is multi-dimensional and stands in all three dimensions, and is able to salvage our past, redeem our present, and guarantee our future!

In the eternal present reality….Christ, once again,  is marching into Jerusalem. That’s happening right now, as His witnesses go forth!

He is being offered for the sins of mankind right now as we declare it!                                          He is speaking His words of comfort, strength and guidance, right now as we encourage, support and lift up one another!

    He is pouring out of His Spirit, on the old, the young, on our sons and our daughters, on Jew and Gentile, right now as we let go and let God!

The king is riding, will you ride with Him? (And we say yes, Lord, we’ll ride with you as you make your triumphant entry into our homes, our jobs, our neighborhood, and our city…. In Jesus Name!!!!

CONGREGATIONAL PRAYER

    Father, I thank You, in the Name of Jesus, for bringing me into this season of intense favor of the Lord upon my life and my family. I pray that You would transform my physical, emotional, mental, spiritual situation for Your Glory and honor. I enter into Your place of joy, love and fresh intimacy by the Spirit, in the Name of Jesus. Father I pray that I will come to such a place of desiring Your will and pleasure, that I will be transformed into a different person. Lord, let Your intentions in all the areas and dealings of my life fill my heart fully day by day.

    Teach me how to rest in surrender and submission that I might in greater measure bring You my worship. In this season I am in, teach me to live in the fragrance of Your presence.

    I ask that all You want to say to me, and be to me and do for me, will come to me without hindrance or distraction. Come into my heart with your kindness, goodness and righteousness that I might be the new creation You want me to be. Transform my thinking, my praying and my very being before You.

     Lord, I desire to become a forerunner of a bold and courageous people who are confident and intimate with the promises and the nature of God. I desire that my praying would be with renewed joy, delight and expectation as I continue to love and serve the KING in a deeper way. Where there is pain, let me show mercy and compassion. Where there is self-doubting, let me bring a renewed confidence in Your grace and acceptance. Where there is error or misunderstanding, let me bring understanding, patience, and forgiveness as I learn submission to Your leading.

    Where there is spiritual stagnation, help me to reveal Your nearness, as I come into greater intimacy with You. Where there is fear, let me reveal Your love, that brings courage. Where there is anything blocking full life, reveal it, and break its hold. I ask for greater vision, and discernment to recognize the power and resources I have in You. Lord, May You be glorified in every situation and circumstance in my life, in Jesus' mighty and wonder working name. AMEN.
 

Posted by: AT 11:32 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, March 21 2016

The Blind Still Seek Him….


 

    2 Peter 1:5 “…add to and complement your faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, and abounding, they make you that you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. No day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience with the Master. v9    But he that lacks these things is blind, and cannot see…

    A Senior Citizen, named Luke Karlovic, arrived at a kindergarten to pick up his five-year-old grandson Peter, an employee called for the boy to come and go home with his grandfather, Peter stepped forward, got in the car and Karlovic drove off towards home with him. A half hour later an all-out police manhunt was set in motion when the missing boy's father turned up at the kindergarten to take his son named Peter home, because Karlovic had mistakenly picked up the wrong boy with the same first name, instead of his grandson from the kindergarten.

    Karlovic said, “At 80 yrs old, my eyesight is getting a bit poor now and this was the first time I had seen my grandson for six months. I thought he looked a bit different, but I just marked it up to the fact that kids can change a lot at that age in a short space of time”.                                                                                                           

    In Mark 8: 22 it gives us some insight recounting one of Jesus' many healing miracles. All of Jesus' healings are extraordinary, but this one is very surprising, because when Jesus prayed, the man still couldn’t see clearly! Jesus takes the blind man, spits on his eyes, lays hands on him, and — ta-da! — the man should see.

    Well, no, not quite. What the man says is that he can't see clearly yet. The healing is only partial. When he looks around he says, I see people but they look like trees walking around, his vision was very cloudy.

(when nothing has happened yet, instead of coming to a conclusion, which would bring us into doubt and unbelief…. we need to stay in faith and say… “to be continued”)

    So Jesus puts his hands on the man a second time, and this time there is no doubt that the healing is complete, His eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. So the question is, was the initial healing botched? Why the two-stage process?

    We have to assume that Jesus could have healed the man at once if he had wanted to. He had no trouble healing other blind people. Therefore, if He chose to heal in two stages, it was deliberate, and part another spiritual principal. This two stage healing was a teaching point for the disciples and for us. Jesus wanted to illustrate a spiritual truth in an indelible way.

    He wanted to press home a spiritual truth, that there are levels and different stages to sight…..To understanding who Jesus is, there is a process which we must walk out in the ups and downs of life as we come to know the word made flesh… and begin to think and speak according to God’s kingdom values and principles.     

    Many are completely blind, some have received partial sight, and a few can see clearly. And we find that Jesus is demonstrating each of these stages of understanding. As the blind man went through stages of clarity of sight, so the disciples, and we today, are going through stages of seeing. The important thing is, not to get discouraged if your sight isn’t yet what you think it ought to be. (Everyone say….”To be continued”)

    Two men, Larry and Barry were taking part in a 50-mile run, which was to follow a certain marked out route through the countryside. But they ended up getting lost for 18 hours, eventually finding their way back to the finish line, after running an extra 30 miles. They said they knew they had gone wrong, "When they didn't see anybody else, and no-one had passed them."   They said "Our motto has always been 'We finish what we’ve started', but after this we might change it to 'Don't forget your glasses'!"                                                                                                                                                                                                           

    In Mark 8:34, Jesus begins the vision test with, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”.  Denying ourselves is often saying “no” to what we want, and yes to Jesus in every aspect of our lives. It means no longer living to please ourselves, but living our whole lives for the sake of God and for others. I don’t think It's that difficult to see where we are not denying ourselves.

    When you find yourself saying "I've done my bit; it's somebody else's turn" , then you are not seeing things clearly.

    When you find yourself saying "I'm tired of being taken for granted" then,  you are not seeing clearly.

    When you hit the speed bump at something someone says to you — and your soulish, self-loving response is “how dare them say that to me!" — then you are not seeing clearly.

    When your plans and desires matter more to you than the needs of others around you, you are not seeing clearly.

    Jim Elliot was a missionary to Ecuador who really saw clearly. Famously he wrote in his journal, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." He was killed at the age of 28 by the head hunter tribe of Auca indians….the very ones he went to spread the gospel to.                                                                                                                                                         Jesus is our model, and calls us to, a completely different life. He calls us to come and "Take up your cross daily” and improve your eyesight!

    Taking up our cross, means to move from our defeat and into the victory He has secured for us. Just as the Romans required that the condemned person, had to carry their own cross to the place of their crucifixion, a person carrying their cross, is a person who is on their way to the end of their old way of life and the beginning of a new way of life in Christ. It is the beginning of a whole new way of seeing and interpreting everything.

    Mark 8:38, Jesus said, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when I come in My Father's glory with the holy angels”.

    If you are embarrassed to tell people about Jesus, then you’re not seeing clearly yet. Could you tell your neighbors? Could you tell your boss? Could you tell your parents? Your children? Could you tell your friends, that you are a Christian, how it changed your life, and then tell them how they can receive Christ too? If not, then we need another touch upon our eyes to see clearly.  

    Bishop Ryle wrote these words, “A faith that costs nothing is worth nothing. It will do us no good in the life that now is, and it will not produce    a salvation that will get us to heaven”.                                                                                                      

    Jazz pianist George Shearing was blind from birth. The composer of more than three hundred songs, including September rain, Let’s call the whole thing off, I’ll never smile again, and the jazz standard “Lullaby of Birdland,” He toured continually, here and abroad, throughout his long career. He could often be found in busy downtown areas, navigating crowded sidewalks with his dark glasses and white cane. On one occasion, he was at a busy intersection at rush hour, waiting for help in crossing the street. Finally someone tapped him on the shoulder. What Shearing heard next was  not an offer for help but a request. “Excuse me, sir,” a stranger said to Shearing, “would you mind helping a blind man cross the street?” And off they went, two blind men negotiating a busy downtown intersection!

    There’s always someone depending on us to get them to the other side of their situation, but if we have not made it a priority to have clear sight, we will never be able to help them. The blind will be leading the blind and they will both fall in the ditch together! There are some people that you really don’t want to give you directions in life!

    A letter was received from the “Management Evaluation Consultants”…    Who evaluated Jesus’ disciples regarding their fitness to become His apostles of the first church. It read, “Dear sir, Thank you for submitting the resumes of the twelve men you have picked for managerial positions in your new organization. Following their evaluation, we are sending you the results. We would recommend that you continue your search for persons of experience in managerial ability and proven capability. Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper. Andrew has absolutely no qualities of leadership. The two brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, place personal interest above company loyalty. Thomas demonstrates a questioning attitude that would tend to undermine morale. We feel that it is our duty to tell you that Matthew had been blacklisted by the Greater Jerusalem Better Business Bureau; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus definitely have radical leanings, and they both registered a high score on the manic-depressive scale. One of the candidates, however, shows great potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, he is great at meeting people, he has a keen business mind, and has contacts in high places. He is highly motivated, ambitious, and responsible. We recommend Judas Iscariot as your lead apostle and right-hand man”.                                      Thank God, that in all but one of these, their past didn’t determine their future and they received clearer and clearer kingdom vision, as they stayed close to the Lord and submitted to His word.

Let’s look at some steps we can all take, to clearer vision….  

    First step….Live with a sense of urgency…

What if we declared the remainder of our days as “No regret” days. To be able to look each other in the eye and say “I didn’t live in the past. I didn’t worry about the future. I embraced each day as a gift. I didn’t take life for granted. I didn’t take the people in my life for granted this week.”

    If your past is covered by God’s grace and your future is covered by God’s favor, then where should we live?  We should live in the NOW.  We should live in the present, because that is the only place we can really do anything about it.

    Many of us suffer from the “someday syndrome”. Someday I’ll make things right with my mom. Someday I’ll take that trip. Someday I’ll have more time for the kids.  Someday I’ll talk to my friend about Jesus.    Someday I’ll go back to school. Don’t get me wrong, Goals are good, but the problem with “Some day” thinking is that it robs us of “This Day”!

The past is gone, the future doesn’t exist so do it today!  

    Once there was an old man who lived in a tiny village. Although he was poor, he was envied by everyone, because he owned a beautiful white horse. Even the king coveted his treasure. A horse like this had never been seen before -- such was its splendor, its majesty, its strength.

    People offered fabulous prices for the beautiful animal, but the old man always refused. One morning he found that the horse was not in the stable. All the village came to see him. "You old fool," they scoffed, "we told you that someone would steal your horse. Now the horse is gone, and you've got nothing to show for it."The old man responded, "Don't speak too quickly. Say only that the horse is not in the stable. That is all we know; the rest is jumping to conclusions. How can you know if the horse is stolen? How can you judge?" All we can see is only part of the picture. Who can say what will come next?" The people of the village laughed. They thought that the man was a fool.

    After fifteen days, the horse returned. He hadn't been stolen; he had run away to join a herd of other horses. Not only had he returned, he had brought a dozen wild horses with him. Once again the village people gathered around the woodcutter and spoke. "Old man, you were right and we were wrong. What we thought was a curse was a blessing. Please forgive us for placing our fears and negativity on you." The man responded, " Say only that the horse is back. State only that a dozen horses returned with him, but don't jump to conclusions. How do you know what it will all come to”

    The old man had a son, an only son. The young man began to break the wild horses, he fell and broke both legs. Once again the villagers gathered around the old man and made their judgments."You were right," they said. The dozen horses were not a blessing. They were a curse. The old man spoke again. "Say only that my son broke his legs. Who knows what it will  all come to? No one knows. We must not jump to conclusions. Life comes in fragments."                                                                                                                                                           

    It so happened that a few weeks later the country engaged in war against a neighboring country. All the young men of the village were required to join the army. Only the son of the old man was excluded, because he was injured. Once again the people gathered around the old man, in great distress, because all their sons had been taken. There was little chance that they would ever return. The enemy was strong, and the war would be a losing struggle. They would never see their sons again."       

    You were right, old man," they wept. "God knows you were right. This proves it. Your son's accident was a blessing. His legs may be broken, but at least he is here with you. Our sons are gone forever." The old man spoke again. "No one knows. Say only this: Your sons had to go to war, and mine did not. We will not jump to conclusions, because we do not know what the future brings.  None of us is wise enough to know. Only God knows."

    Matthew 5:45 “That you may truly be the children of your Father which    is in heaven: for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends His rain on the just and on the unjust”.

    The truth is that God has planned that all people be blessed, but He will not exempt us from the consequences of our own actions that are done in opposition to Him. The moment we turn to Christ, repent of our rebellion and receive Him, a new day begins. We will have tests, trials and challenges, but they all line us up for His blessings! God is determined to bless someone here today, and He know how to get it to you!!!!

Another step to clearer vision, is…. Live with a sense of eternity… While we need to learn to embrace today, we must never live as though “today” is all there is.                   

    A lot of Christians live like this is all there is and become victims of   the spiritual “dumbing down” effect of this world.  Let’s be honest, most of us can get so consumed with pursuing the good life here and now, getting a paycheck, paying the bills, making a life, and  saving for retirement, that the stuff that really matters, the stuff of eternity, gets pushed to the back of our minds.

    The Bible talks about our salvation in past, present and future tense.  There was a moment in the past when I personally received Christ as my Savior.  At that moment of conversion the Bible says that I was “born again”, I was saved.

     But the Bible also says that I am “being” saved which is a constant present tense. Salvation isn’t just an historical event, it is living and dynamic and active as a treasured value in my life today and every day.

But, the Bible also talks about my salvation in the future.  It is the idea that my salvation will one day culminate in eternity’s day, in the presence of Jesus, no longer struggling with sin, as I move through eternity in my glorified body, where I will rule and reign with Him forever and ever.                       

     When we live in His love, we are living in the climate of eternity.

We are all rushing headlong toward eternity. Our bodies are temporary and what a tragedy it would be for us to arrive and not be prepared because we have not begun to walk in eternity now!

    The real challenge before us is to make the “now moments” count! There is no second chance after death. Now is the time for those who live this way, to declare…”Oh grave where is your victory, oh death, where is your sting”!!

    A minister, was making plans for his funeral. He asked that two trumpeteers be stationed on each end of his casket. It was his wish that at the close of the service the trumpeter on one side would play taps, (or the ending of the day).  And when he was finished the trumpeter on the other end was to play reveille, (or the wake up call).  What a beautiful picture of the reality that when we are laid to rest after this life, we get up to a life in eternity’s new unending day .

Another step we can take to clearer vision…..Live with a sense of priority…. When I live with a kind of bi-focal vision, one eye on eternity and one eye on the gift of “today”, then I can really begin to prioritize my life and actions in proper order. Jesus said to render unto Caesar what was Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s!

    That way, I can know WHAT I should do, WHERE I should spend my time, HOW I should behave and WHEN to work and when to rest. We need to “Take off” the things that keep us fearful, fractured and frantic. We need to repent from having a hurried, impatient spirit. We need to “put off” some things that clutter up and complicate our lives. Simplify, simplify, simplify!  We should slow down to enjoy, savor, linger over, and relish those things that really matter.                 

    Romans 13:12 contains these practical words, “So don't live in darkness. Get rid of your evil deeds. Shed them like dirty clothes. Clothe yourselves with the armor of right living, as those who live in the light.”

    “Putting on” right living, requires change. It requires adjusting the place of the cross in our lives. It requires a decision. It requires effort. It won’t happen by accident. We will not pass this way again.

Psalm 46:10 says “Be STILL and know that I am God.”

    You cannot follow Jesus at a mad rush.  Rushing through everything, is the enemy of intimacy; both intimacy with God and the people we love. Jesus commanded us to observe the Sabbath and keep it holy… That’s just another way of saying slow down, turn aside, rest in me, put me at the center. At the beginning of each week, give me priority…It is desperately needed for fatigued and frazzled believers today. God knew we needed a time to “reset”, so our perspective would be clear and unclouded.

    There is an amazing promise for all who will put Him first….                         Matthew 6:33  But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.                                

    No one has ever had the kind of personal laser vision that Jesus had because of the time He spent with the Father improving His vision.

He noticed an inconspicuous tax collector sitting in a Sycamore tree. He saw a blind man sitting by the side of the road.  He paid attention when a diseased woman desperate for healing reached out and just touched his robe. He saw and embraced the children that everyone else ignored.

    God left you on earth for a greater purpose….When we are living with an eternal perspective, we are free to stop chasing after all the stuff that doesn’t matter… we are free to stop living only for the approval of others… we are free to not have to conform, and just be ourselves.

    Seeing clearer is…More about today, less about tomorrow… More about people, less about possessions… More about God’s priorities, less about me and my agenda….More about the eternal things, less about the temporal things. THIS WEEK….let’s decide   now that we will make relationships a greater priority. For the sake of ourselves, others, and the Kingdom, we need another touch on our eyes, then another, and another.

    Have people and things been upsetting your apple cart poopsie? Has it been getting turned head over teakettle, and upside down, by the speed bumps in life’s road? That’s usually a sign that you need a vision check….                                                                                                                                                                                                 

    It is much safer, from Satan’s point of view, to vaccinate a person with a   mild case of religious Christianity, you know, just enough to keep them    under a load of guilt and regret and condemnation, and that’s certainly not my purpose here, but a superficial spirituality will keep folks from getting a good   dose of the real thing.” –

    No wonder Jesus said in 1Corinthians 13:9 “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, v.10  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away with”.

    If Jesus were to ask us, as He did the blind man, “what do you see” how would we respond? Do you feel there is another level in the Christian life    that you are missing out on? Do you want more...because you know He has promised you more… the first step is recognizing that we need a fresh touch in why, what, where and how we see.

    In Ontario a woman named Rose Crawford is a very happy lady. She had been blind for 50 years. Surgery restored her vision.The amazing thing about the story, however, is that 20 years of her blindness had been unnecessary. She didn’t know that surgical techniques had been developed, and that an operation could have restored her vision at the age of 30.                                                                           

    So, why did she continue to assume that her situation was hopeless? It was because no one had told her about the wonderful advances in eye surgery! If only they had known, she could have enjoyed 20 years of better vision, seen her husband, children and grandchildren and our beautiful world.

    Paul prays, in his letter to the Ephesians 1:17 “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Himself, v.18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, v.19  And what is the exceeding greatness of His power which has been imparted to us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power”…Hallelujah!!!

    I want us to believe God for a revival that will have the Devil praying for the rapture, just to get us out of his sight!!!

The men who came to Philip in John 12:21, said "Sir, we want to see Jesus." Oh, to see more of Him today in our lives. More revelation of His love and more of His power and presence. Are you hungry for a deeper relationship with Him and a longing to see Him as He truly is?

    You can know that revival is happening when there is a spiritual migration outside the walls of the church and we begin to show forgiveness to our enemies…to strangers, we show tolerance and acceptance… to our friends, we show our heart…..to customers, we show considerate service…   to everyone, we show charity….. to every child, we show a good, Godly example… to ourselves, we show respect….to God, we show our very best of 0ur soul's devotion…

    Life is short, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly and generously, laugh uncontrollably, appreciate and honor those around you and live like any moment you might step into eternity.

    There’s a song on the radio that says..“ I'm so very ordinary, nothing special on my own and I have never walked on water, and I have never calmed a storm. Sometimes I'm hiding away from the madness around me. Like a  child who's afraid of the dark….

(chorus) But when I call on Jesus, all things are possible, I can mount on wings like eagles and soar. When I call on Jesus, mountains are gonna fall, 'cause Heaven and earth, will come rescue me, when I call.

    Let’s come together and call on Him to touch us again, and finish the unfinished things, to complete what is still yet incomplete. He would not leave the blind man with partial vision, and He will not leave you without another touch, to bring completion to all that you bring to Him….
 

Posted by: AT 08:21 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, March 12 2016

How To Fail Successfully……Or I’ve Fallen and I Can Get Up…..

Who is it that has told you that you are not good enough….that you are unworthy? Who keeps reminding you that you're weak, helpless, a failure going somewhere to happen? Who told you you'll never measure up to God's standard? No matter what voice he uses….what person voices His lies, because we know that Satan is behind it all…. We should be on to his games by now, but we get pulled into his lies, because he uses our own inner voice against us, and we believe the inner voice of our own thoughts, even when they are incorrect……

Who tells singers, musicians, elders, teachers, moms and dads, ministers, and volunteers that they aren’t good enough, and they aren’t capable and worthy of what God has called them to do…….

The accuser wants to convince you and me, that we’re never going to measure up. We’ll never be spiritual enough….We'll never be what God wants us to be -- OR what we want to be!"

Peter McArthur..."Every successful enterprise requires three men – a dreamer, a businessman, and a pushy manager that no one likes." –

Harold Coffin..."Behind every successful man you'll find a woman who can’t find anything to wear." –

Ann Landers…"The Lord gave us two ends – one to sit on and the other to think with. Success depends on which one we use the most." –

Al Bernstein..."Success is the result of failing in the right direction."

But, why is it that the thoughts that we allow to embed themselves in our minds the deepest, are the ones that make us feel like we matter the least?

And Yet, I don't know of any sincere Christian ever used by God who hasn't experienced this.

William Bradford, the great Puritan minister, who gave spiritual guidance at the early settlement of Plymouth Rock, said, "I think sometimes I have the blackest heart in all of Europe." He kept hearing the lying accusation that he was completely unworthy. And every time he spoke or preached, something churned in his stomach -- an anxiety, a fear, a trepidation about standing before people. That great preacher felt an incredible sense of unworthiness!

Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

You’ll never accomplish what God has called you to accomplish until you cast down the accuser, and kick him out……

In the early 1930's, a farmer and his wife went to a county fair. The farmer was fascinated by the airplanes and asked a pilot how much a ride would cost."$20 for 15 minutes," replied the pilot. "That's too much," said the farmer. The pilot thought for a second and then said, *….."I'll make you a deal. I’m going to put this plane through twists, spins, rolls and loops and If you and your wife ride just 10 minutes without screaming, the ride will be free. But if you make a sound, you'll have to pay me the $20."

The farmer and his wife agreed and went for a really wild ride. After they landed, the pilot said to the farmer, "I want to congratulate you for not making a sound. You are a brave couple." "Maybe so," said the farmer, "But I gotta tell ya, I almost screamed when my wife fell out."

Don’t let the Devil throw you out…..before you reach your destiny!!!!

If you are here today, or if you’re reading this sermon on the internet, it means you have refused to listen to his accusations….. It means you haven’t turned around and given up on God’s plan for your life….It means he hasn’t been able to stop your hunger for God and silence your inner cry. He hasn’t held you back from reaching out to touch the Lord and receive His comfort, His assurance and His enabling power!

But don’t doubt for a minute that that accusing serpent doesn’t attend church every service, so he can hinder your worship, silence your praise and keep you so focused on what you are not, that you stop praising God for how far you’ve come, and what the Lord has done in you!!!

Satan doesn’t mind, if you have Jesus in your heart, as long as He can keep Judas in your thinking…….Judas thinking tells you that if you’re getting blessed…. Trouble is coming to make you pay for it….. If things are good, there’s a price waiting to be paid….. If everything is coming up roses, the thorns are about to shoot out and get you….

But I still believe what the bible says… Romans 8:28 “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”. Oh, yes, we may not be all I should and could be, but we’re a long way from where we used to be! I want everyone here to say with me….

“I am perfectly, Imperfect”!!!! (say it again)

Some people spend their lives trying to cover-up their mistakes.They become “prisoners of pretense,” retreating into fabrication and delusion. Their entire lives become a charade, a great hypocrisy.

Let me give you 3 ways to be sure to fail….. 1. Complain about everything and everyone… 2. Blame everyone and everything for your problems… 3. Never be grateful and appreciative for anyone or anything. Do that and failure is guaranteed!!!!

We must be willing to honestly and sincerely confess our sins and failures before God and seek his forgiveness and restoration.

1 John 1:8-9 “If we say (John is talking to the church when he says “we”) that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. v9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”

Christians are not perfect, we are just forgiven.

The blood of Jesus has dealt with our sin, the cross of Jesus deals with our propensity to sin.. together, they reveal His amazing grace….Jesus said, “take up your cross and follow me”…The cross is our daily victory over the tendency of the flesh and every carnal appetite

Paul says in Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ….the word “AM” is the present perfect tense or I AM BEING, crucified with Christ…

God does not easily give up on any of His children.

Like the tireless potter bending over the unfinished clay, He persistently desires to make something good and noble of our lives. Some of the greatest achievements in the history of God’s kingdom have come from very ordinary, imperfect people who have overcome failure to be used of God in a significant way. Their lives are a shining example of overcoming failure and our lives are destined to be that way also, as the potter continues to mold us!

If you never felt pain, Then you would never experience the Healer.

If you never went through difficulty, you would never know the Deliverer.

If you never had a test or trial, Then you could never be an overcomer.

If you never felt loneliness,You would never know the Comforter.

If you never made a mistake, or a failure, You would never know His mercy and forgiveness.

If you never had a problem, You would never know He can solve them.

If you had all power, you would never learn to depend upon the Lord.

If your life was perfect, Then what would you ever need Him for?

MAY THE LORD, NEVER STOP SHAPING AND MOLDING US!

Parker and Flossie York had gotten up in years, Flossie developed Alzheimer’s, and eventually she was completely incoherent…nothing she said made sense and she no longer recognized Parker or her children and grandchildren… Parker York had to do everything for her: feed, bathe, dress and diaper her. And one day, sitting in their living room, she miraculously snapped out of her illness for just a moment, and looked at him and said, “do you still want me?”

He said “it broke my heart! I ran over to her and said, Oh my dear, sweet treasure, of course I want you…the greatest privilege of my life is caring for you!” Then she smiled…and just as quickly as she snapped back into her illness and was gone into that incoherent zone…

I can just see Jesus doing that with us….. being quick to assure us of His undying love, and care for us…. After all, to the very people who were crucifying Him, He said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”…. OH HOW HE KNOWS US, AND OH HOW HE LOVES US!!!!

You can put all the zeroes you want in front of a number and it will still be of no more value than when you began….. but if you put a one in front of 10 worthless zeroes… they become Ten trillion!!! The ONE, the ONLY ONE, THE RISEN ONE, THE REIGNING ONE, HAS joined Himself to all of our zeroes… and given us value and worthiness!! That’s what redemption is all about…..It means to pay the full price to restore our value and to increase it more than it was before….

Colossians 1:10-14 "That you might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us QUALIFIED to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins".

We can never qualify ourselves, but Jesus has qualified us, positioned us and made us worthy to be a full partaker with Him in the Father’s plan and provision!...I want you to look with me at this…..

John 8:4 “They said unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. v5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what do You say? v6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have reason to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not”.

Jesus doesn’t listen to the accuser because He is the encourager….the hope of the hopeless and the way out of every valley of shadows…He’s ever at the throne of God representing us before the Father…

Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and He delights in his way. v24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD will uphold him with His hand.

The law can't condemn you, because Christ fulfilled the law. Divine justice can't condemn you, because Christ satisfied all of God's justice. No sin can condemn you, because every sin is under the blood of Jesus. And your conscience can't condemn you, because Christ is greater than your conscience. So, you have been forgiven completely -- leaving nothing that has the power to condemn or accuse you!

His strength is revealed in a greater measure in our weaknesses… Abraham -Was old…..Elijah – Was suicidal…..Joseph – Was abused….

Job – Went bankrupt….Moses –was a stutterer…..Gideon – Was afraid…..Samson – Was a womanizer…..Rahab – Was a prostitute….

The Samaritan Woman – Was Divorced…..Noah – got Drunk….Jeremiah – Was to young…..Jacob – Was a liar and cheater….David – Was a murderer…..Jonah – Ran from God…..Naomi – ran off with a Moabite…

Peter – Denied Christ three times….Martha – Worried about everything… Zacchaeus – Was small and money hungry…..The Disciples – argued, fought and fell asleep while praying….Paul – was a Pharisee who persecuted and killed Christians before becoming one.

So what should you be able to do?…..

There are some contemporary stories as well….Bill Gates failed miserably at his first attempt to start a business, but he never stopped believing in himself, and he created his first Microsoft product, and forged a new path to success.

Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper because he was told he lacked creativity, he formed his first animation company, which was called Laugh-O-Gram Films, which went belly up. Desperate and out of money, Disney went to Hollywood with more criticism and failure until finally, his first animated films with a mouse and a duck, skyrocketed to success.

Steve Jobs started Apple Computers, which became a massive success, but then the board of directors fired him. Undaunted, Jobs started a new company which was acquired by Apple and put him back in the driver’s seat by reinventing the company’s image and taking it international.

Hershey started three candy companies which all failed. In one last attempt, Hershey founded the Hershey Company and became one of the most well-known names in the industry.

I came across a list which John Maxwell put together that is a how to… in getting beyond failure and into your God given guarantee for success….Here are those 15 steps.

1. Realize that your vision and passion is always the difference in you and the average person who doesn’t know their purpose…

2. Develop a new definition when it comes to failure for your life.

3. Remove the "you" from any failure you may have experienced.

4. It’s important, not to see, or call yourself a failure…

5. Take action and change your fears to an attitude of faith.

6. Change your response to failure by accepting responsibility, being honest about it and letting it go.

7. Don't let failure from the outside get on the inside of you.

8. Say good-bye to yesterday and begin to get excited about tomorrow.

9. Change by developing and preparing yourself, by finding what the best you looks like, and your world will begin to change.

10. Get over yourself and start giving yourself to those around you and as you begin to meet their needs they will help you to succeed.

11. Find the benefit in every bad experience you have had and will go through.

12. When you do succeed, begin to build on that and expand it.

13. Learn from the bad experiences and make them good experiences.

14. Work on the weakness that is weakening you.

15. Pick yourself up, get over it and get going again, with enthusiasm and passion.

2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. v8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair. v9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed v10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in us”.

The Holy Spirit can even turn your failures to your advantage….He will make sure that when you fall you fall forward!!!! If God allowed you to lose it, He’s prepared to replace it with something far better!!!

I recently read the story of an evangelist who was falsely accused of tax evasion. Eventually he was exonerated. But before that happened, he spent three years in prison. (Talk about feeling unworthy): This man was humiliated before all his peers. He had been a well-regarded preacher, a prophet, a soul winner -- *….but now everyone saw him as a crook. He was mocked and ridiculed even by his fellow prisoners. As he walked through the prison yard, he thought, "I must have done something terrible -- something I don't know about -- that He would do this to me. He's made a spectacle of me before the whole world. I don't understand!"

He became so downcast, he contemplated suicide. Then, at his lowest point -- feeling totally useless and abandoned by God –

The Holy Spirit came to him in his jail cell. The Spirit reminded him of this scripture: Luke 9:56 "For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them...." The Lord whispered to this weary man, "My son, I didn't send you here to destroy you. I brought you here to save you and to be the only hope that many have in this dark place."

God’s Spirit fell upon this minister and moved upon him to begin praying every day for his fellow prisoners -- and others began asking him for prayer. Soon even the prison officials called on him to pray for their family members. He quickly became one of the most admired prisoners in the history of that prison system. Then another amazing thing happened.

Because of the poverty and lack of education in the culture he was born into, he had never learn to read. All he knew was certain portions of the Bible. Someone began to come to the prison to teach the prisoners how to read-- He began to study God's word, and the Spirit opened up the Bible to him in miraculous ways.

This man who went into prison as a defeated man, feeling like the biggest failure on earth….emerged from prison a hero. He had a touch of God on his life he'd never experienced before. Today he preaches to large crowds all over the world. And to think -- Satan tried to destroy this wonderful servant by telling him he was unworthy, and not good enough!

How often have folks let their circumstances, their finances, their bad experiences and their faith that has not been nurtured by the word, dictate their outcome….

To be successful in touching our world, we must let love lead…. There are three qualifications for those who would serve the Lord:

The first is love. The second is love and The third is love.

Because we love, then we serve. Because we love, then we speak.

Because we love, we lead others to His love. Folks don’t care how much we know until they know how much we love…..

The apostle John makes it clear in …John 3:17 “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (protected, preserved, delivered, made whole, complete, and doing well in life)”.

So, my prayer for you today is, that you love well, live well, be well, think well, and function well, body, soul and spirit….

"Phillipians 4:8 Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute.. if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. v9 The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things [in daily life], and God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you."

Many things change and so much may be different, but we have the same God who never changes!! Replace every negative, self-defeating, fearful, toxic thought with God’s thoughts, and know that God never loses, He always wins…

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds, and release the prisoner of deception. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to command it to be obedient to Christ.

Prayer……In the name of Jesus, we take possession and claim ownership to every God given promise, We dismiss and cancel out every image, picture and thought of anything less than total healing and restoration. We declare that every good thing devoured by the enemy be returned 40, 60 and 100 fold, now, in the name of Jesus. Let every hindrance be broken and gone, now, In the mighty name of Jesus.. We dismantle every assignment against our families and rip out everything that Satan has tried to insert.

We declare that we are clothed in the garments of favor and honor. Lord, You are the God of the breakthrough. You are the God who bursts forth to bring the things of Heaven to earth. Release the power of restoration anointing now, in Jesus’ mighty name. I believe you are my redeemer, my deliverer, my healer, my breakthrough, my new day and new way. I declare that yesterday is gone, my new day has come, and the best is still ahead for me and my family. Let the situations here on earth come into alignment with Your Will and Your Kingdom , that it may be demonstrated on earth as it is in Heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Posted by: AT 08:41 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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