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Sermon of the Week 
Wednesday, July 27 2016

Bringing Our Loved Ones To Christ

One of the questions most frequently asked is about how to get unsaved loved ones saved. First, we must realize that the Father draws people through the Holy Spirit. When the Word of God is shared, the Holy Spirit brings conviction upon people through the Word, and it doesn’t have to be King James, since God knows what He said. When Jesus said in John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day” He said what He meant and He meant what He said. What we haven’t understood is this: There’s nothing wrong with your unsaved loved one (or any other unsaved person) except the devil. No human being who truly understood the salvation Jesus has offered to us would reject that salvation of his own free will. No one! Why, then, are so many people still unsaved?

II Corinthians 4:4 tells us it is because “The god of this world [the devil] has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” We must be sure of our own right relationship to Christ and those we interact with. If we are dead and dry in our own experience, we cannot help them into to a real, vibrant and clear Christian experience. If we are earth-minded, careless and prayerless, we have nothing to offer them until we get right ourselves. We must have a living fire in our own hearts, shining out through our eyes, and radiating through our own words and deeds, if we would impress and win them for Christ. A dead soul cannot give life to a dead soul. Backslidden parents and companions cannot lead their loved ones to Christ.

Our next responsibility and opportunity is to live the Christ Life in the presence of our loved ones. It takes a holy life to generate holy influence. Christian carefulness, in word and deed, should be in our daily conduct. We must watch our conversation around the table and in the family circle. We must avoid questionable remarks and negative conversation in their presence. We must be especially careful in our expressions about other Christians and ministers of the gospel. We must also be more careful in our business dealings, not only to deal according to Bible principles to impress our loved ones and all others that our love for people we interact with, goes much deeper than with their actions, their outward appearance and their stuff. We must lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven in the form of the souls of our precious loved ones, instead of material wealth on earth. "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

If we are to win our loved ones for Christ, we must do it through prayer, and even sacrificial fasting. In different cases earnest and constant prayer and fasting will be very much needed. Scripture states… "Howbeit, such cometh not out but by prayer and fasting." If we are not earnest enough to fast, can we expect God to answer? It is so easy to get wrapped up in caring for the physical needs of our loved ones that we fail to take care of the more important issues of their soul.

One Christian, got so burdened for his family that he could not rest until he had done his best to lead them to Christ. Since he was converted later in life, most of his large family had grown up in sin, and some of them were married. After prayer and fasting, he felt that he should invite all his children in for a special dinner. He was especially prayerful and careful in providing and preparing the dinner.

When it was ready, he served all the plates in a most careful manner, but his own plate was left empty. When his children noted that his plate was empty, they asked why, and insisted that they fill his plate as well. By this time his burden for his lost family had so overpowered him that he pushed back his chair from the table and broke down and as he went around hugging each one, he cried out, "How can I eat any dinner when all my family are lost?"

The Spirit of God so moved his unconverted children until they broke into tears and weeping, and dinner was forgotten and a revival broke out instead. Falling on their knees around the table, most, if not all, of his large family were gloriously converted. Several of them became ministers and useful Christians and still are the backbone of his Church. Doubtless as he looks down from heaven on them, his heart breaks out in praise to God that he prayed and fasted until his words gripped and softened their hearts.

Many times our words are too dead and our efforts too tame. Why? If we would only take the same careful precautions and preparations, and then put forth as much interest for the souls of our families as we do their bodies, many of them now lost would be saved. 4th. We should manifest a radiant, trustful attitude toward God and in front of our loved ones. We cannot win them to Christ in careless neglect; neither can we win them by being sad faced, negative and no fun at all. If our salvation does not satisfy us, how can we expect others to want it?

There is a difference in being a spoil sport and wet blanket and carrying a burden for the lost. We need a demeanor that is grounded in faith and gratitude toward God, while demonstrating a tender love for our lost ones. We can feel a deep concern, and yet trust God while we carry it. Our radiant, unapologetic and heartfelt tears will awaken their consciences and make them long for what we possess.

A mother prayed all night for her lost son in a distant city and came home from church the next morning shouting. The son who was restless all night decided to get saved at the very hour that his mother "prayed through" and began shouting the victory. Mixing faith, love and confidence with our deep soul burdens, moves God and motivates us. As scripture says, "According to your faith, so be it unto you." Parents should take special time for the spiritual instruction of their children in the family setting and at other times. We should not leave all of this important instruction, for the church to do. Our children need to see that God’s word and His will is a natural part of our home. The deep impressions made on children's minds and consciences warrant any and every effort. Hearing their parents call their name in prayer, or listening to their Godly instructions and admonitions, move children's hearts more than we know.

One child, came in the house from working outside on the farm, to get a drink of water. Just before he entered the house, he heard his mother praying. He stopped as he heard her mention his name in prayer. His childish heart was deeply stirred, and he was so overcome that he hurried back to work without the water. There is a thirst in human hearts for God and reality greater than their thirst for natural bread and water -- if our parents only realized it in time. Family worship should afford a special time to refresh and instruct us. Instead of waiting till we are tired and worn, until we cannot really pray, we should select a time best suited for the most important part of our family life, and worship God in Spirit and in truth. Sing songs of praise and encouragement as we are with our family and make melody in our hearts and in our homes. These are memories that will last a life time.

This is a good time to inquire into the children's spiritual needs and conditions and give testimony to God's wonderful grace and help. Children love to hear the stories of our own journey, of the tests, trials and victories. Special personal instruction for living life well, should be given to each member of the family at set times. John Wesley's mother had nineteen children besides her duties as a pastor's wife, but she gave one hour of personal instruction to each child each week. But you say, "I just cannot take time for such duties." Time for what? Which is worth more? The bodies or the souls of our family? Scripture gives us the mandate…"Life is worth more than meat, and the body more than raiment."… "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (food and raiment) shall be added unto you."

God provides our food and raiment through natural laws, but our souls are only fed as we take the time and effort to make it so. How often is it that we feed the bodies of our children and other loved ones, and then send them out with starving souls. How much time do you spend with your children's souls? A young woman in a Christian school got under conviction, and weeping, cried out, "Neither my father nor my mother have ever spoken to me about my soul." The father made a practice of telling others about this great salvation, but never mentioned it to his children. Was he sincere? When shall we lead our loved ones to Christ? We cannot do it too early, but we may wait too late. The devil begins in their early months and years. We need to begin their spiritual shaping and molding as early as possible. We must begin while they are young and tender, for we dare not wait till they are hard and rebellious. We must do our best to reach them before their important choices are made without Christ.

Let us not feel that they are all right until they grow up and live in rebellion against God and all we have ever lived for. Let us not wait till the devil gets them and then spend our time trying to undo the results of our neglect. Children learn more in the first three years of their lives than in any other period. The first seed sown in their hearts spring up first. Most great men and women have been converted in early childhood. How many of your children or other loved ones are saved? What have you done about it? What are going to do about it, and WHEN? Many die in youth or childhood. We cannot use fear or force to get our loved ones to be Christians, but we can keep loving and watching for a chance to woo or warn them. Keep at it, the devil never lets them rest, but approaches them every time from every angle and at every turn of the road. Does he hate them more than we love them?

To train up a child in the way it should go does not mean to turn them loose and let them go. Most people wait till it is too late to win their loved ones. There are many short coffins and graves, and many grown-ups in sin who once were tender and hungry for God. We must discipline and restrain our children until they are saved and afterward, If they do not know how to yield to their parents, they will not know how to yield to God.

A young man once came to the pastor’s office, in a Christian school. under conviction for sin and said, "I have always had my own way at home and every other place, so I am finding it difficult to know how to surrender to God." Eli the priest, had sons who were vile and he restrained them not." It is easy to let sympathy smother out our intelligent love. Restraint is difficult, but it is a parental duty. When to say no and yes: when to let them go and when to make them stay is the test of our love and better judgment. When it endangers their morals or jeopardizes their souls, say no. Let us be kind but firm. Parents must decide and act together. If father tells them to do one thing and mother another, authority is divided and destroyed.

When mother buts in when father is correcting the child, his influence is canceled, and the child rebels against his own soul and resents what is put in place for his own protection. Parents disagreeing and arguing in the presence of their children is one of the most fatal sins against themselves and their children. It undermines and Interferes with discipline so sorely needed in this rebellious generation, and it is a crime against God and your children. Do not plead the child's case, but back your companion in his or her effort to hold them in the right path, or delay a decision until you both can agree. Parents should never punish their children in anger but they must be firm and kind. Where there are so many allurements all about them, there must be a strong, loving, restraining hand, or our children will drift and rush to destruction with the wrong crowd.

It takes more love to hold them in and lead them to Christ, than it does to relieve our nerves by letting them go to destruction. It must be done in the right spirit, with the right purpose ever before us -- for their good, not our convenience. "Father's, provoke not your children to wrath, lest they be discouraged, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." We must not embarrass or humiliate them in the presence of others, except in extreme and rare cases. Many mothers and fathers bring up their children in idleness, while they themselves become slaves for their children, with the result that their children become slave masters over their parents. If you want your children to love you, let them serve you. Receiving makes one selfish, while giving and helping others makes one unselfish and kind. If you raise your children in idleness, they will waste your substance and let you die in the poor house, while they die in the prison house.

Luxury and laziness ruin more children than all other things. Let them learn to bear responsibility and learn to work hard, if you want to save them. "Idle brains are the devil's workshop and idle hands are his tools." We must take our children to church if we want them to be Christians. If we send them to church and stay at home ourselves, they will soon follow our example. Children raised carelessly, without restraints, do not thank God or their parents. If they stay in school all week, they should be able to remain in church a short while on Sunday. You may lose them after you do your best, but you will never win them to Christ by letting them neglect His house and develop faulty patterns for their lives. It is in taking responsibility in honoring God’s house, that they learn to reverence God and their parents. Irreverence and rebellion go together in forming a rebellious generation.

You must hold them accountable, while they form the right habits and get their priorities in the right order with God. Teach them to respect God and His house and you will never be sorry. Then you should lead them to Christ by leading them to the altar. It is not commendable for parents who profess to be the recipients of grace to stand still while the spirit of God moves in the service, and never invite their children to the altar or pray with them if they do go. Don’t wait for the pastor to invite them to the altar, invite them yourself, and go with them. Human love, plus divine love, will surely accomplish more than divine love alone. If you have not lived so that your children trust you and want your walk of faith, confess your sin and ask their forgiveness, and get something that you can recommend to them. If you have lived right before them, do not let the devil bully you.

When they grow up and live and die in sin, you will hate your cowardice when it is too late. If parents did their duty before, during and after the spirit moves upon a child’s heart, pastors and evangelists would find it easier to help them win their loved ones to Christ. Let us put their salvation first, and all else second. God loves our children, but he will not make exception for them, since his mercy is mixed with justice. They must repent, confess and forsake their sins before God. Tears and compassion, mixed with our exhortations will give them courage and determination to yield all to God. We cannot force them to be Christians against their will; neither can we force God to save them against His own word. They must meet His conditions and He will meet their need. It does not take a seeking soul long to find a seeking Savior.

We must put their salvation before food, clothes, education, sleep or any other fleeting earthly interest. If we are more interested in the newspaper than the Bible, and in the latest TV program, than we are in hearing from heaven, our children will not be well impressed by our lack of priority. If they are not saved, let it be their fault, not our lack of responsibility. Finally, for our children, it is not enough to get them saved; we must do all in our power to keep them saved. The greatest sin of parents and churches is to get souls saved and then leave them to their own resources, without further mentoring and discipleship. If mothers gave their new-born babes no more care and attention than most parents and churches do young converts, this generation would be the last one on earth.

An unplanned and Spasmodic religion will not do for us or our loved ones. We must watch over, council and pray for and with our converted loved ones. Be careful about criticizing them for their faults and blunders, but encourage, comfort and instruct them in the way of God more perfectly. It’s still as true as it ever was, that a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.

This fleeting life will soon be over. They soon grow up and drift out into the world without us. Let us lead them on the right path and keep them right and we shall have less to regret. The prayers of Godly parents are not enough; only God can save you, and he cannot save you without your yielded consent. "What shall it profit a man or woman if he or she shall gain the whole world and lose his or her own soul?" If we can save our homes, we can save our nation and the world. If our homes are lost, all is lost. Let us arrange now with God and heaven to have a happy family circle here, and a happier family reunion in heaven.

Just a final word to that struggling Christian companion who has to live with an unsaved husband or wife. We know how lonely and tired you often become, fighting your battles all alone or often against the evil influence of that unsaved loved one, but you must not give up till the last effort is made and the last day has been lived.

Do not pressure and badger your unsaved loved one until you drive them away ; neither give them up in indifference or despair. Select your opportunities and do all in your power to win them, and to get them under the influence of other Christians who want to help you. Be very careful not to say anything about your trials or fellow Christians which might discourage them or give them grounds for bitterness or criticism of other Christians. If you do not always hold up so well under their opposition or abuse, when you realize your failure, fix your part and go on with God.

There is nothing to go back to, and they will never be saved if you surrender, give in and go along with them. They are watching your life and they are being influenced when they would not let you know it for anything. It is their misery that makes them so hateful.

One godless husband had tried his wife for years and was almost ready to yield to God. But he said to himself, "I am going to try my wife to the limit once more: if she holds up under the trial I shall yield to God myself." With the bitterest words he abused and misused her. The same devil who inspired him to so use her said to her, "You have stood it long enough: there is no hope for him and you cannot live longer under it just give up and give him what is coming to him and have it all over with." She yielded and gave him a terrible scathing for his wickedness and abuse through all the long years. Where upon he broke down and cried and replied, "Wife I had been watching you for all this time and had planned to yield to God if you had stood under this trial."

God bless our Christian companions who endure such abuse and contradiction from unsaved loved ones. You cannot afford to give up and think that it is over. Your own soul and that of your children are at stake. "You have not yet resisted unto blood." Has God not promised,"Be faithful and I will give you a crown of life that fades not away," as do all earthly things.

The toils of the road will seem nothing when he or she surrenders and is soundly converted. The family altar will be blessed when he or she joins in. But if they do not yield, you can be confident that at the end your struggles begins a never ending world of joy and victory, and sorrow and sighing flee away. Win your children if possible. Often hard fathers are won by the tears of little children when they resist all others.

Then we have the problem of living with unsaved brothers and sisters. It is a common thing for those of the same household to be divided here and hereafter. Salvation is a personal matter. One brother or sister may become a devout and humble Christian, while another rebels and lives a life of sin and shame. I knew two boys who grew up in the same Christian home with a godly minister for their father. One yielded to God and is now preaching the gospel; the other made plenty of money, lived the life of a drunkard; died without Christ and was sent home in a coffin.

It is up to each young person, as to which road you take, the kind of life you live and the kind of death you die; as well as the influence you leave behind for coming generations, while you reflect upon your life, in heaven or in hell. When our loved ones are gone from us, our greatest joy will be that we have been faithful and won them to Christ. Our greatest sorrow will be that we have neglected their souls and that they may have died unprepared. What we or they have gained of earthly wealth will fade as worthless and as nothing, when we or they pass beyond and leave behind a train of sorrow and a trail of woe.

Once you realize it’s the devil (not your loved one) who’s the real problem, your first prayer step becomes clear. You must get the devil out of your loved one’s way. As Jesus said, “How can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man?” (Matthew 12:29). You can’t! So bind him. Jesus said in Matthew 9:38, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.”.

Say, “You spirit operating in the life of my loved one, blinding (put in their name) to the gospel to keep them (put in their name) out of the kingdom of God, I bind you now. I belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. I carry His authority and righteousness, and in His Name I command you to cease in your maneuvers. I spoil your house according to the Word of God and I enter into it to deliver my loved one from your hands.”

Now, you may not be able to cast that devil entirely out of the situation, because your loved one may invite him back in faster than you can cast him out. But you can bind that spirit and keep it bound. It may keep you busy for a while, but you can do it. You’ll find your next prayer step in Matthew 9:37-38. There, Jesus was looking out at the multitudes who needed ministry and He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.”

It’s the Word of God that brings faith for salvation: “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). So you need to see to it that the Word gets into your loved one’s heart. “How?” you say, “My loved one won’t listen to me!” Probably not, but God knows who your loved one will listen to, and He’ll send that person halfway around the world to talk to your loved one if necessary. So pray to the Lord of the harvest:

Father, I’m asking You to send laborers across (put in their name’s) path, laborers who are equipped with the Word of God about salvation, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, healing and deliverance. Send laborers who can communicate effectively with (put in their name) so Your Word can reach his/her heart.” Once you’ve prayed for your loved one like that, from then on, put your faith in action by treating your loved one like he’s/she’s saved.

Don’t treat your loved one like he’s/she’s not good enough. On the contrary, every time you see your loved one, say, “Praise God! Isn’t it good to know Jesus?” Then just stand back and watch how things change. You’ll be amazed. It’s happened many times. And it can happen that way for you and your loved one. So don’t give up. Get smart! Start praying according to the Word and praying by faith… and you will see the salvation of the Lord! Here is a sample prayer for your unsaved loved ones.

As you speak God’s Word, remember that it will not return to Him void. It will prosper in the thing where it is sent (Isaiah 55:11) “Father, I come before You in prayer and in faith, believing. Your Word says You desire all men to be saved and come into the knowledge of the truth, so I bring (put in their name) before You this day. “I break the power of Satan from his assignments and activities in (put in their name’s) life in the Name of Jesus.

Now, while Satan is bound, I ask that You send forth the perfect laborers to share the good news of the gospel in such a way that (put in their name) will listen and understand it. As the truth is ministered, I believe (put in their name) will open his/her eyes to the gospel, come out of the snare of the devil and make Jesus Lord. “Father, I ask that You fill (put in their name) with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. As I intercede in his/her behalf, I believe that the power of the Holy Spirit is activated, and from this moment on, I shall praise and thank You for (put in their name’s) salvation. I am confident that You are alert and active, watching over Your Word to perform it. It will not return to You void. It will accomplish that which You please and prosper in the thing whereto it was sent.

We always must bear in mind the vital work of the Holy Spirit in drawing people to Christ. Sometimes the members of your family are the most difficult people for you to deal with. According to the Word of God, “Bodily exercise profiteth little: but GODLINESS IS PROFITABLE unto all things ” (1 Tim. 4:8). “Profitable” means that it pays off. Paul continued in verse 15: “Meditate upon these things . . . that thy PROFITING may appear to all.” “Actions speak louder than words.”

That means that what you do speaks so loudly, people very often can’t hear what you say. This is especially true when what you’re doing doesn’t line up with what you’re saying. In other words, people who do a lot of talking may not have enough “living” to back up their witness. Let your life witness to your unsaved loved ones, that’s the greatest witness, actually. Your life can influence your spouse, children, and other kinfolks. Believing for a laborer to cross your unsaved loved one’s path isn’t the only way to get him or her saved. You need to listen to your spirit for instructions on how to reach that person. Something will work for you.

Often when we pray for unsaved loved ones, we cry or just pray in the Spirit. We’re more or less trying to do it ourselves in the flesh. We’re trying to make God do something; we’re trying to force something to come to pass. Actually, what we need to do is study the Word and depend upon and trust in the Spirit of God to cause our loved ones to experience salvation.

I heard of one man, who went to the altar in proxy for his son, and found out that the Spirit of God moved upon his son at that same time, to surrender to Christ even though he was thousands of miles away. We need to put the Word first. No prayer life is going to be successful if it’s not based on the Word of God. Realize that getting the answer may depend upon you.

The manifestation can come faster if the Word of God is strongly rooted in you. The Bible says, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). In other words, your faith is stronger if you have a lot of the Word in you. That’s the reason it’s best to not even pray about some things for several days until you have examined the Word carefully on the subject. (of course, emergencies are different.) If the situation has been there for years and hasn’t changed, it’s still going to be there in a few days, and you’ve got time to study what the Word has to say about it.

Keep examining it. Keep meditating upon it. Sometimes you may go for days meditating on a certain direction or method. After three or four days, you’ll find that faith is so strong that you won’t doubt John 15:7, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” You see, it’s after the Word of God gets into you that you’re able to pray effectively. Because the Spirit of God—not us—knows who can be touched, He may lead you to intercede for people you barely know instead of for your unsaved loved ones or friends. In praying this way, after a certain period of time, you will find that the burden of prayer will be lifted, and a spirit of lightness will prevail. Sometimes people begin to laugh. Many times you may just laugh or sing in the Spirit. Why? When the burden lifts, that means the answer is assured, even though it hasn’t been manifested yet. “Therefore, my confession of faith is: ‘God has begun a good work in (put in their name ’s) life and He will perform it and bring it to full completion until the day of Jesus Christ, in Jesus’ Name.”

Posted by: AT 08:18 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 19 2016

Think Right To Live Right”

Right thoughts, produce right beliefs, which convert into right actions….

A man who believed himself to be a kernel of corn is taken to a mental hospital where the doctors do their best to convince him that he is not a kernel of corn but a man. However, when he is cured and becomes convinced that he is not a kernel of corn and he is allowed to leave the hospital, he immediately comes back, trembling and very frightened—He tells the doctors, “There is a chicken outside the door, and he is waiting to eat me”. “Please sir,” says his doctor, “you know very well that you are not a kernel of corn but you are a man.” “Of course I know,” replies the patient, “but does the chicken know?”

We may know that we are God’s kids, but is the Devil convinced of the same thing??? The place where Satan usually defeats us is in the battleground of the mind….

Galatians 5:22 “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,

goodness, faith, v23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. v24 And

they that are in Christ have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. v25 If we

live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit”.

I believe that Paul is telling us that it is possible to not fall into the world’s way of

thinking, to live positive, and still be effective and thrive in a negative world….

Romans 6:13 “Do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your body as an instrument of righteousness unto God. v14 For sin (faulty and self-destructive thinking) shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace (khar'-ece...the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life)

Lack of integrity and lack of self-discipline in our emotions, our finances and our desires, can undo in a moment, all we've worked to build over a lifetime.

When Author and philosopher C.S. Lewis, was on the road of conversion to Christ, the Spirit of God convicted him by showing him the awful truth about himself. He says

"For the first time I examined myself with a seriously practical purpose. And there I found what appalled me: a zoo of lusts, a bedlam of ambitions, a nursery of fears, a harem of fondled hatreds, and I realized that my name was Legion." He came to the realization that he was defeating himself….

Luke 8:26-39 Tells the story of a man of Gadara, who worked the grave yard shift (literally) he dwelt among the tombs, he cried out in torment day and night and cut himself with knives.

All our negative, flawed thinking, and dwelling on all the past dead things will keep us in the graveyard of resentment, self-hatred and unforgiveness, and will continually bruise our spirit and cut the heart like a knife. It is the way of self-destruction.

Jesus found the man of Gadara, set him free, and said "Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you." (Jesus released him from the prison of his own mind and pointed him to a positive way of living) He released him to love and care for those very people who had caused him to become fed up and mad enough to isolate himself in his rejection, his hurt and his unforgiveness.

Jesus said “Now go back with a redeemed mind, a redeemed Spirit and share a redeemed message”.

Romans 13: 12 “Put aside the things of darkness and walk in the armor of His light”. When the darkness comes and tries to close in around you, the Lord says "be a "glow in the dark" Christian!

(Romans is telling us "it's time to glow in the dark" ) People are drawn to the light, and when they see you glowing in the dark places of life, they will want to know what makes you glow, when there is so much to worry and fret over.

A young girl is raped and has a child which she loves and nurtures. That child grows up without the scars, because it has redemption's touch stamped upon it.

A soldier returns, maimed in body, but strong in spirit and through the recovery process, becomes a testimony to everyone around him that he is a citizen of another higher and better place in which to live his life, it’s the realms of redemption.

A deeply married, loving couple is separated by sudden death. Through the days that follow, the world sees a life that conquerors death, that shines brighter and more powerfully than the shadows of death.

These are "Glow in the Dark" Christians.

Acts 16:23 Paul and Silas are beaten with many stripes and then thrown into the deepest part of the prison with their feet in stocks and their arms in chains. They begin to sing and praise God and they glow in the darkness, and turn the prison cell into a place of celebration and light it up with God’s glory!

1 Corinthians 9:27 “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway”.

(Your body, including your brain, isn't saved, it is under the rule of your spirit. It is a tool you use for God's purposes. Money, just like most things in life, isn't good or bad, it’s just a tool, but it's how all these things are used and the motives behind it, that makes all the difference.)

In Esther 4:14, Esther encouraged herself in the great trial of her faith, when she needed to expose the evil agenda of Haman, faced a life and death choice in appearing before the king unannounced, but she heeded her uncle's words, who told her… "You have come into the kingdom for such a time as this"

It is no accident or freak of fate that has brought any of us into the places we have come to….it is for a kingdom cause….There is something much higher and nobler involved, than our temporary discomfort and inconvenience!

I like the statement made by Caleb, in Numbers 14:9, When the Hebrew scouts went in to check out the land, Caleb, saw the power and size of the giants who blocked the way to the place of promise, just like the others did.

But the others saw themselves as grasshoppers (inadequate, incapable and too limited) However Caleb said...."these giants shall be bread for us." (defeating them will make us stronger) This battle will test our skills and develop our abilities!

The average person processes over 60'000 separate thoughts each day, and 90% of those occur subconsciously. Think about how many things you do, day in and day out, without even consciously thinking about it. Your body performs most of it’s functions through automatic programing, occurring in the subliminal areas of the brain. But it is up to us, to take responsibility for programing the conscious functions of our lives. If we don’t, we will allow our environment and our negative culture to program it for us.

While many subconscious thoughts are positive, some of them are “success blockers”. They simply prevent us from progressing or being successful in reaching and fulfilling our goals and our purpose in life.

A group of Senior citizens were sitting around talking about their ailments.."My arms are so weak I can barely hold a cup of coffee", said one. "Yes, I know. My cataracts are so bad I can't even see my coffee in the cup", replied another. "I can't turn my head because of the arthritis in my neck", said a third, to which several nodded in agreement. My blood pressure pills make me dizzy," another one said. "I guess that's the price we pay for getting old," said an old man as he shook his head. Then there was a short moment of silence, as they all thought over they’re conditions, and one woman chimed in cheerfully. "But, it's not all that bad" "Thank God, we can all still drive"!

The first step in eliminating automatic thoughts that prevent us from being successful is to identify self-destructive patterns that keep sabotaging us. Scripture refers to these as strongholds…..that control us. If we don’t identify it, we can’t fix it!

The second step is to actively change these thought patterns and introduce patterns that trigger positive results.

Ask yourself, how many people do you know who in spite of their attempts to change their destiny….they still lead unfulfilled or unsatisfying lives, they are constantly unable to pay their bills, and they are constantly miserable and unhappy.

Why do these people continue to fail? In most cases it isn’t for lack of trying or good will. It’s because our brains are programmed to react to certain predetermined thoughts that guide our behaviors and those faulty thoughts have determined who we have become. We have lost touch with who we really are…..

At one of the crowded, Delta ticket counters, a man toward the end of the line was growing impatient and frustrated. He finally marched right up to the counter and demanded that he be given his ticket. The ticket agent turned, looked at him, and said, "Sir, as you can see there are many passengers ahead of you. I'm afraid you'll have to get back in line". Outraged and red faced, the man yelled, "Do you know who I am?!!!" The ticket agent turned, looked at him, picked up the public address system microphone and said calmly,"There is a man at the Delta ticket counter who does not know who he is. Anyone who may be able to identify this man please step forward and help him. Thank you".

Dr. Emile Coue wrote a book in French, which is titled “Self-mastery Through Conscious Auto Suggestion” He says “When the conscious mind tries to shift into a behavioral change that conflicts with the subconscious mind’s pre-programmed thought patterns, the subconscious mind always wins.

In the conflict between the will and the subconscious mind, the outcome is always in proportion to the subconscious mind’s strength compared to the force of the will” In other words, (even if you're willing to change, you won't change unless you change the preprogramed thoughts that are deeply embedded in your psyche.) That explains why my downstairs gym keeps becoming a dust collector!

To change your body, you must first change your mind. As a rule, people who are overweight, can go on a diet and lose a lot of weight, but they still have the thought patterns of an overweight person, so it doesn’t take long till they are overweight again. The subconscious mind keeps contradicting the conscious mind.

It would be like having a blocker program on your computer that blocks every program until you give it permission for you to enter. Every block has a warning, telling why you should not let the program through. It is unrelenting and it is uncompromising.

Usually when we fail, we have compromised our belief enabler system.

A belief system is not what you say, but how you act out what you say. Let's have a look at some belief enablers…

The first Belief enabler, is about realigning your Skills, Talents and Capabilities - with who it is you want to be, where you want to be and what you want to do. That’s another way of saying that you are aligning with your potential.

The second Belief enabler, is about viewing Life as a “Platform” for Opportunities- This gives opportunities a fertile place to materialize. It focuses our minds on the possibilities rather than the limitations. It puts us at the right place at the right time to meet the right people because we have prepared ourselves to be open and receptive and embrace the opportunities.

The Third Belief enabler, is accepting and expecting positive change - Change has a tendency to reward people who embrace it. Welcoming change also means having an open attitude toward change that is necessary for positive change to take place.

The Fourth Belief enabler, is about feeling Empowered and in Charge by Accepting responsibility to shape your destiny according to your belief system. Successful people don’t look for other people or circumstances to shape their destiny. They actively take control and create their destiny as they look to the author and finisher. Belief is persistence - Many people have great goals and visions but they lose interest when the desired results doesn't materialize quickly or easily. If you want to succeed you need to be persistent, and be outcome conscious, not time conscious.

The Fifth Belief enabler, is about creating MBR’s (Mutually Beneficial Relationships.) It is by the exchange of ideas and perspectives, in giving and taking that we open the doors to new, and sometimes unexpected, great opportunities. Every person you meet is a chance for an MBR to happen. It begins when you say to someone, “How can I help you to make your day a better day”…..

A husband and wife argued all the time. One morning he said, How can I help make your day a better day? She said clean up the kitchen. Next day he said the same thing, she said clean the garage. Next day, she said, vacuum the carpets…the next day, he asked and she broke down in tears, and said I’m sorry I have been so selfish, what can I do to make your day better today? Their marriage got healed and they fell in love all over again!!!

The Sixth Belief enabler, is about having healthy Self Esteem - Only when you have a healthy outlook about yourself, and you are comfortable with who you are and have a God given confidence in your calling and purpose, will other people believe in you and your abilities. This applies both to your personal, your family, and your professional life.

The Seventh Belief enabler, is Living your life with Purpose - All successful and generally happy people display high levels of purpose and an action plan. They keep their goals in mind, act on their ideas, follow through with their plans and stay the course until they achieve what they want. If you can’t see it, then you can’t get to it….

The Eighth Belief enabler, is Seeing Setbacks as Opportunities for Progress - Most successful people will tell you that they see setbacks as opportunities and they always look for opportunities while they are experiencing setbacks. A person who will not quit, is a person who is a winner. You only lose when you quit!

The Ninth Belief enabler, is our willingness to Get Rid of our Success Blockers.

One of our blockers….is Feeling "not good enough" - Although most people don’t like to admit it, it continues to lead the charts of top “success blockers”.

The second blocker….Fear and Resistance to Change - This resistance to change often leads to missed opportunities for advancement and positive change.

The third blocker….Dependencies or Co-dependencies – This is the erroneous belief that our happiness and success is dependent on certain people, certain actions or circumstances outside of our control.

The fourth blocker….Blaming Others for Missed Opportunities - We’ve all experienced instances where we thought other people stood in the way of our success. If these experiences turn into core beliefs that we carry with us, consciously or unconsciously, we not only create excuses for failing, but hinder our ability to recognize ways to work around them, to get through them and achieve our goals.

A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He spotted a woman below and dropped down lower. "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am." The woman said, "You're in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You're between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude." "You must be an engineer," said the man. "I am," replied the woman, "How did you know?" "Well, everything you told me is, technically correct, but I have no idea what to do with your information. I'm still lost, and If anything, all you’ve done is delayed my trip." The woman asked, "You’re in Management, aren’t you." "Well yes I am, but how did you know?" "Well, first, you don't know where you are or where you're going. Next, You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. Next, You made a promise to someone, which you've no idea how to keep, and you expect people

beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is that you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it's my fault."

The fifth belief blocker….Negative Expectations - Negative expectations in life tend to create self-fulfilling prophesies. Imagine an athlete going into the Olympic games thinking “I can’t possibly win”, or a CEO of a company thinking “I don’t believe we’ll ever succeed here”. Eliminating deep seated negative expectations is an important key to any kind of success we may want to achieve.

*…..The sixth blocker is….I-don’t-deserve-it Attitudes - Because we unconsciously believe that we don’t deserve certain things no matter how much we to strive achieve. So we either “go into the game” with low expectations for success, only give it half an effort, or often don’t even try. The result is that we continue to fall far short and live in a cycle of discouragement.

The seventh belief blocker…Being a Victim of Circumstances - Victims of circumstances tend to accept unhappiness, mediocrity or failure as part of their destiny. They often fail to realize that they have the power to change their circumstances. They put labels on themselves like “loser, failure, incapable and inferior….Therefore, they don’t empower themselves to take control in shaping their circumstances according to their goals and dreams.

The eighth belief blocker… Procrastination and Passivity - The best objectives and plans don’t mean much if there’s lack of corresponding action. And yet, one of the top reasons most people don’t progress or fail to achieve their goals is because they don’t follow through.

The ninth belief blocker….The need to Earn Approval or Love from Others - These attitudes divert our thoughts, behaviors and actions from our own individual needs and goals and instead we do what’s good for someone else. We are so busy performing that we fail to build and develop our own core values. We can still be supportive and helpful to others while staying true to ourselves and our goals and values.

The tenth belief blocker…..Rational Excuses for Irrational Behavior (things that are not part of our core values)- Excuses, even if we try to justify them are still self-sabotaging, self-destructive reasons we give ourselves for failure. As long as we believe these “good excuses” positive change cannot happen or succeed.

Do any of the success blockers sound familiar?

Joshua 1:3 “Every place that the soles of your feet shall tread upon, (daw-rak'.. to wear a path by continually walking on it), I have given it to you”... (establishing new patterns in areas you have not done so before)

Tell someone….”Keep walking it out”…..

Every day, we need to experience, visualize and celebrate our successes.

Those who live like they are winners, who practice and see themselves as winners in their actions, their communication, and their motives, have pre-program their mind and their spirit to succeed.

We need to pre-condition our life each and every day, for where we want to end up, before we get there. We’re telling our mind to be prepared to process what it cannot see, hear, smell, taste or touch before we arrive, because we believe that God means what He says and He says what He means. You are prepared to win since you truly believe God will make a way, even when there is no way.

It is the foundational principal of Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen”.

Dr. Rima Laibow’s research shows that, absorbing new information and forming new belief patterns as we get older, requires a much more persistent and targeted approach. (This actually means that through repeated visualization, of the desired outcome, we increase information absorption and ensure the highest level of effective retention.)

Having said all that, I am not my mind, I am my thoughts, which is more about my soul and spirit….

The person who operates a machine or drives a car is separate from the machine or car, just as the person who operates a tool is separate from the tool…. The mind is simply a tool…

You don't have to accept, follow and dwell on every thought that the mind brings up. You have the option to accept or reject thoughts at your own will. You can act according to your will, in spite of the mind's resistance. You can be in charge of your mind and be the master of it.

Every time you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, you have the ability to reject the thought, and think a positive one instead: If you catch yourself visualizing failure, you can switch to visualizing success. If you hear yourself repeating negative words, you can switch to positive ones. If you hear yourself saying, "I cannot", you can say to yourself, "I can". If you begin to think negative words and phrases in your mind? Change them to thoughts that match your purpose, goals, and vision.

- I am healthy and happy.- All that I need is coming into my life.- I am getting wiser, stronger and better each day.- My body is healthy and functioning perfectly.- I have a lot of energy to do what needs to be done.- I study and comprehend with amazing understanding and my memory is great.- I am calm and relaxed in every situation.- My thoughts, feelings and desires are under my control.- I radiate love and happiness.- I am surrounded by favor, because greater is He that is in me.- I have good and loving relations with my family. I have a wonderful and satisfying life.- I am successful in whatever I do.- Everything is getting better every day.

Now you may say, “Very few of those things really describe me”….but you are programing yourself in advance of the circumstances, situations and events….

Prayer……Father, help us remember that the redemption you have made possible is closer each moment, than we can imagine. It is even now working in me to transform the reality around me. Enable me to keep my focus on Christ so that regardless of what I am going through, what I choose to think, say and do, will move me closer to being the persons you designed and intended me to be. Lord, you are aware of all that is at work in life around us that stimulates our fears and anxieties and brings out the worst in us. Give us the peace that is beyond the world’s understanding. Enable us to be so at peace with You that we have an inner calm as we deal with the various problems and pains in our lives. May we see each situation of life as a possibility for expanding our boundries and experiencing new ideas and perspectives. Give us such an assurance and confidence of who we are by Your grace, that we truly believe that "we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us". As we are ruled by and walk in the Spirit, may we see that we are able to totally give ourselves to Your higher plan and purpose. Help us be so aware of Your sacrifical love that we are motivated to live and give of ourselves for the good of others and in the process discover the scriptural promise that "perfect love casts out fear", being fulfilled daily in us. May we understand that our success comes through helping others attain success in their lives. As we begin this season of hope, this season of the celebration of new levels of success, we ask that your grace be so at work in our lives that we are enabled to face what we must face, do what we must do, and endure what we must endure with a sense of peace, hope, joy, faith and confidence in your will.

Teach us to live boldly and with purpose through Your kingdom within us.

In Jesus' name, Amen

Posted by: AT 02:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 12 2016

Seasons of Acceleration

I have been sensing in my spirit that we are entering a season of acceleration. That’s a season when the supernatural ability of God is applied to our lives, our ministry, our time and our circumstances, to bring His plans to pass at a much faster rate than was possible in the natural cycle of things. When our Father is at work, the things that might be able to stop the flesh, cannot stop Him. There is an unstoppable momentum that begins to take place. You find yourself caught up in a move of God that shifts your circumstances, repositions people and events, removes obstacles and advances you and causes you to progress.

The president of the company, called all the employees together to make an announcement about someone within the company who was going to be replacing him as the new president. The boss called Rob Frank up to the platform as he presented him with the new position. He said, "you've been with the company for a year. You started off in the mail room, one week later you were promoted to a sales position, and one month after that you were promoted to district manager of the sales department. Just four short months later, you were promoted to vice-president. Now, it's time for me to retire, and I want you to take over the company. What would you like to say to that?" To which Rob said "Thanks, Dad".

Our Father is the owner and manager of planet earth and He’s looking for some folks to run His business here. He’s about to make an important announcement and give some promotions, and advancements. And it’s all based on the fact that His children are His favorites, the apple of His eye. Others may be more qualified, but He reserves the right to give it to whoever He wills, and He wills to give it to His kids!

It’s like being at the ocean and you’re caught by a wave of the sea, and you experience a sudden surge forward. Al you have to do is let it carry you.

We are in a season where a perfectly timed wave of God is moving in and it’s getting ready to lift you up and move you forward….(along with anyone with you)….

Surfers learn to wait for the right wave so they can be propelled by the force of the curl as it sweeps upward and forward.

Two guys were talking about the state of the economy, and one said to the other, “I am a living, breathing, flesh and blood symbol of the state of the economy." The friend didn’t understand and asks him to explain…. The guy says well, "My hair is in recession, my stomach is a victim of inflation, and both of these together are causing a deep depression!"… Well, we have a God that’s not subject to recession, inflation, or depression.

That was pretty much the condition of Jacob, who labored for 20 years, for Laban and it was where God had told him to go. But he had little to show for all his effort, because all his energy had only increased Laban, his uncle, and not himself. But there was a wave of acceleration moving in

his direction. And suddenly, God began to lift, promote, and launch him forward. In a comparatively short time, the bible says that Jacob increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and mules.

It was the same story with Joseph, who was a slave in Egypt for 13 years because of betrayal after betrayal. It seemed that the dream of his heart was only there to make his life miserable, taunting and stalking him, as he compared his current condition with the vision within him…. But a wave of acceleration was moving in his direction and he would quickly become the prime minister of Egypt….And there’s a wave waiting for you…..

We will also look at Elijah who experienced a powerful victory at the frontline of the spiritual battle for Israel. Then, when Jezebel retaliated and threatened his life, Elijah ran in fear. There in that place of apparent failure—in such despair that he lost the will to live—He actually asked God to let him die, but what looked like the end, became a new beginning, and the angel came and ministered supernatural food and drink to Elijah. This provision for Divine acceleration enabled Elijah to travel 40 days and nights, non-stop, to meet with God.

From there, Elijah was launched into his next season. In a very short time, God used him to multiply the miracle oil and meal for the widow, raise her son from the dead, send rain that ended the famine which had gripped the land, called down fire on Carmel and destroy the prophets of Baal, appoint a King over Israel, and appoint a Prophet who would be his successor…. Then leave the planet in a chariot of fire.

A man was on the phone with the florist and he was very upset…A friend was opening a new business and he had sent flowers for the occasion. When they arrived at the new business site, the owner read the card, and it said "May you Rest in Peace". After he had told the florist of the obvious mistake and how angry he was, the florist said. "Sir, I'm really sorry for the mistake, but rather than getting angry perhaps you should think that somewhere there is a funeral taking place today, and they have flowers with a note saying, "Congratulations on your new location."

The enemy will always try to hold you back from fulfilling God’s purposes, but even when it seems that the enemy has succeeded, it is never too late for our God. He can supernaturally replenish you, overturn the battle and use the situation to launch you forth, and accelerate you into His purposes. Joseph was able to say, “you meant it for evil, but the Lord meant it for good!!!!

Moses spent 40 years living as a shepherd in the desert. Once upon a time, he thought he could make a difference. Once, he dreamed of delivering Israel out of slavery. Now at 80 years old, he had ceased to believe it was possible. That is, until we read in Exodus 3, that Moses encountered God’s Presence in a burning bush. And God revealed it was his ‘now’ time to deliver Israel. In a short time— in a season of Divine acceleration—Moses was propelled into a confrontation with Pharaoh, leading Israel out of slavery and into the service and worship of God, with global implications. Something that could not have happened in 430 years, happened in a matter of 4 to 5 months….

We can make the choice to think in terms of what is humanly possible—or trust the Father that He can cause things to fall into place in a miraculous way. We need to look at every delay, as God’s method of positioning us for Divine acceleration.

Joel 2:25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten…” And the words of the prophet Baalam, come to mind here….

Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should ever lie, neither the son of man, that He should repent: has He not said, and shall He not do it? or has He not spoken, and shall He not make it good”? v20 Behold, I have received commandment from God to bless, for He has blessed, (favored, honored, prospered, and Celebrated) and none can reverse it”.

In Joel’s time, God promised that as the nation turned to Him, He would make up for the lost years with overflow harvest— That His name might be exalted and He would be glorified

God is celebrating you, right now, because He already knows what can happen when He begins to accelerate the things He has planned for you! God is by nature a Redeemer, and Jesus has paid the price for every mistake, failure, sin and shame. Even when the wages of sin have been reaped, when we repent and turn to Him, He transforms barrenness into fruitfulness. He elevates us from poverty to plenty, and He transports us from emptiness to Divinely accelerated overflow—such is the power of His grace and forgiveness.

Jonah 3:1 ‘Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time…’ Jonah did not just hesitate in the call of God upon his life—he ran from it as fast as he could run, in the opposite direction. And yet God in His mercy coordinated a sequence of events to set Jonah back on track again. And then those grace-filled words: ‘The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time.’ (Jonah 3:1)

He is the God of the second chance. And even when it feels as though you have missed the opportunity to fulfil His purpose or to step into your prophetic season, it is never too late for God’s acceleration process. All that is happening, hasn’t taken Him by surprise. Through Divine acceleration, He can bring His prophetic call to pass in our lives. As we return, to faith and trust in Him. We will see that our Heavenly Father has lined up circumstances and people like dominoes—

Once His power is unleashed, nothing can hold back His prophetic call, plan and purpose. Joseph’s own family mocked his call from God and conspired together to prevent it from ever being fulfilled. The malicious choices of others sent Joseph to slavery and later imprisonment.

However when God’s time came, Genesis 41 tells us that all the forces that had tried to prevent his promotion, were overwhelmed. Joseph’s ascent to rulership was immediate. Divine acceleration caused what had been delayed for 13 years, to happen within a day, Joseph put aside his prison garments and put on the mantle of rulership.

No person, and no action by anyone else can prevent God’s purpose from being accomplished in our lives when Divine acceleration begins. Instead, our Father can use the very people who have meant it for evil and turn it into good. (Gen 50:19)

By keeping your heart clean, and free of bitterness and resentment, we can stay in position for God’s times of acceleration. Nothing and no one can hold you back when His time comes. He is faithful, He is sovereign, He is powerful and, He is positioning us, and making connections, so that we can arrive at the right time, in the right place, with the right people, for the right purpose.

It is so easy to look back in hind sight, to see that our disappointments have really been His appointments. What if we could receive the insight we need from the experiences of Elijah, Joseph and Jacob, to stand firm in our dried-up brooks, our pit or prison, our Labans and our Esau’s and make that transformative confession of Romans 8:28 even while the heart may be breaking with sorrow.

“All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”? Someday soon, in the future we will all experience a dried up brook. It is very likely that more Christians have lost their faith over this issue than any other. Every pastor has watched and prayed with those who are suffering as they struggle with the “why” of their dried-up brook. There are times when no matter how much you may try, you will not be able to discern any logic or reason behind certain situations and events.

It took a few years for the citizens of Coffee County, Alabama, to understand why the boll weevil had destroyed their main source of income. The weevil had invaded their fields, devastating the cotton industry and shutting it down completely. Desperate, the farmers had to turn to more diversified farming and eventually doubling their income from growing peanuts, the farmers of Coffee County erected a monument to the boll weevil. In the memorial inscription, credit is given to the boll weevil for forcing the change of crops, creating unprecedented prosperity and plenty for that area.

The end of one thing was the beginning of another! Our human reasoning cannot see that any good could ever result from some circumstances. But the real issue is that we choose to trust God, more than the circumstances.

Job said this, as he was scraping his painful boils, sitting in the ash heap, having lost all his family, except his nagging wife.

Job 13:15 “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him”. 23:10 “But He knows the way that I take and when He has proven me, I shall come forth as gold”. We know in retrospect, that this powerful statement of trust, reversed everything, and ushered Job into a season of unbelievable acceleration….

We see this in Job 42:12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand mules. v13 He had also seven sons and three daughters. v14 And he called the name of the first, Jemima (warm, affectionate and soft as a dove) and the name of the second, Kezia (determined, a leader and ruler) and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch (beautiful eyes, complexion and countenance). v15 And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren. v16 After this Job lived a hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations. v17 So Job died, being old and full of days”.

The disciples chosen by Jesus, did what they had done hundreds of times, they went fishing. We are told that they were preparing to clean and mend their nets for the next day of fishing, and that they had worked all night and caught absolutely nothing. There was nothing to show for their labor which meant that the bills would not get paid, the money would not be there for groceries, and they would have to go to bed tired and hungry. These guys were weary, disgusted and doubted their own ability. But Jesus shows up and in the midst of their emptiness, He releases a surge of acceleration that no one saw coming!

John 21:6 Jesus told them to go back, out a little ways and them, drop the nets on the right side of the boat for a catch of fish like nothing they had ever seen before. In a short time they went from not enough to more than enough, from empty boats to overloaded boats, from nothing is happening to Good Lord, how can we handle all that’s happening!!!! That tells me acceleration is closer to us than we think.

In the book of Amos, God describes what happens when we are caught in the flow of acceleration. Amos 9:13 “Behold, the days come, says the LORD, that the one who is plowing shall overtake the one who is reaping, and the treader of grapes shall overtake those that sow the seed…” (now that’s not natural)

That is a supernatural process that overrules the natural realm, the natural laws, and the natural process. I believe great doors of favor are opening and God says, “I will open and none shall shut it, and I will close and none shall be able to open”.

I believe we will have the blessing of the right place, in the right time, with the right people, doing the right things, walking through the right doors, seizing the right opportunities.

I especially believe there will be momentum in the areas of finances, relationships and family reconciliation. We are also going to see a blessing in the harvest of souls.

These things begin to take place when we come to a thin place, where this realm is merging with that realm and that realm is flowing into this realm, and where the impossible becomes possible….We are allowed to handle the substance of eternity, not just the thing, but that which is the source and the purpose of the things!

Joel 2:24 “And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. v25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, v26 And you shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that has dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed”. We will never, never, never!!! Be ashamed when we trust in the Lord!

It’s important to remove negative words from our vocabulary (it’s called the “shut your mouth” anointing) and get those negative patterns from our thinking. Begin to think possibilities, think miracles, and prepare your heart and spirit to be fertile ground for acceleration.

Create an atmosphere of celebration around you wherever you go and whatever you do.

Jesus attended a celebration and did a miracle in that atmosphere. Now, to make really good wine can take up to 3 to 5 years, but Jesus made wine in just a few moments… It had never been done before, but as everyone simply did what Jesus told them, it happened, and the master of the wedding said that the master of everything had saved the best for last… Jesus is the master of acceleration….He brings Kairos into Cronos.

I believe we are in a change of seasons, and God is ending one season and beginning another….Cronos is natural time, but Kairos is God’s time….

Galations 6:9 refers to Kairos, when it says, “let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season (Kairos season) we shall reap, if we faint not”. King David said, “My times are in Your hands”…. I would like for us to declare the words of Deuteronomy together…. would you speak this over the person next to you…..

Deuteronomy 28:2 All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of your God. v3 You shall be blessed inside the city, and you shall be blessed in the country. 4 God's blessing shall be on your children, and upon your land. v5 God's blessing shall be on your resources and your investments. v6 You shall be blessed in your coming in, and in your going out. v7 God will defeat your enemies who come against you. They'll come at you one way and flee from you seven ways. v8 God will order a blessing on your storehouse and your workplace. He will bless you in the land that He is giving you.

v9 God will fashion you into the person He promised that you can be, if you stay true to the word of God, your God, and live the way he has shown you. v10 And the people will see your life and hold you in respect and honor. v11 God will lavish you with good things. All these things God promised that He would give you. v12 God will throw open the heavens and pour out His blessings. He will bless the work of your hands. You will lend but you yourself won't have to borrow. v13 God will make you the head, and not the tail. You shall be above and not beneath. as you obediently listen to and diligently keep the word of God, your God”.

Let us join in speaking this Prayer together….

Thank you Father that we are not called to micro-manage what you planned for our lives with worry and stressing. Help me to walk out my calling and help me not to fall into the easy trap of treating the symptoms rather than focusing on the real issues. Give me discernment to see the lies that others have embraced, which have caused them to miss out on your supernatural supply. Help me, by your Holy Spirit, to be an example to them, that would reveal the knowledge of the truth that will help to set them free. Thank you that walking in freedom from lack, emptiness, and never having enough, is easier than we think.

Help me to believe that your grace really needs nothing more than a willing vessel, a trusting, receptive heart, and a deeper love for You. Lord, may I align myself in agreement with what you have to say about me, and believe that I am who You say I am, that I can be what you say I can be, I can do what You say I can do, and I can have what you say I can have, as You bring forth Your provision of righteousness peace and joy in my life that is new and extraordinary every morning of every day. In Jesus name, Amen!

We need to celebrate it before we see it….Possess it with praise… and establish it with a heart of gratitude and thanksgiving, and keep giving it away to others, anywhere, and everywhere!

Posted by: AT 09:07 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, July 06 2016

This Journey Called Freedom

It’s interesting to me that the American system of democracy, is referred to as “an Experiment”….which means that this Experiment is a journey called Freedom….The big difference in the American experiment and God’s program of redemption, is that God didn’t have to experiment because He already knew what the outcome would be for all who received His redemption program….. Our founding fathers set things up so that the experiment would be in the hands of the people. Those voting in each election become responsible to maintain the balance between a Republic and a Democracy. In a Republic, the rights of the individual are all important…. In a Democracy, the majority decides what rights we have or don’t have, and these choices are made by representatives who may or may not have our best interest in mind. Democrats are traditionally for more and bigger government, and Republicans are traditionally for less government intrusion into the private lives, property, and the businesses of the people. Originally, our constitution lays out our system of government as a Republic, which is described as of the people, by the people, and for the people….However, our civil laws are operated under a Democratic system which is decided by the majority of those delegates we have placed in Congress, who can easily become out of touch with the very ones they are supposed to represent…. That right to choose, and be part of the American experiment has been made possible through the lives of countless patriot heroes, who paid the ultimate price, the price of freedom. I want to thank all who have served as we celebrate our independence this week. They believed in the right of every person to find their own journey into freedom….and heaven paid the ultimate price, as God emptied Himself and became a man, so we could be with Him forever! Just as the voters each election, determine how this American system will balance out, we too are on a journey into freedom as those who call themselves “Christians”…. We are choosing how much or how little God has to say about our private and public lives….We are deciding whither God will have a majority vote, or if God needs to just leave us alone until we need Him and call on Him…. Speaking of the power of our choices…..A man and a women were married for several years. The woman believed in freedom of speech, and spoke her mind. The man was not as outspoken, and thought she was dominating the house and wanted that to change, so one day he says, "I just want you to know that I have some new rules for this house. I will go and hang out with my friends whenever I want, I will go on trips whenever I want, I will go golfing whenever I want, and guess who's going to take my shoes off and wash my feet when I get home?" The woman, straightened her shoulders, and says, "I believe that would be the funeral director." The journey of Freedom has two dimensions…. Freedom from and freedom to…. Freedom from the grip of the past and freedom to seize the opportunities of the future…. Freedom from, is about grace, and freedom to, is about favor….. Grace gives us the power to say no to what’s behind and favor gives us the permission to say yes to the opportunities that are ahead… Refuse to allow what you did, what you didn’t do, or what you should have done, to effect what you’re about to do!!! A Jewish Rabbi and a Catholic Priest met each year at the annual 4th of July celebration. Being Old friends, they began their usual taunting of one another. The priest teased the rabbi, saying, This baked ham is really delicious, you really ought to try it. I know it's against your religion, but I can't understand why such a wonderful food should be forbidden. You just don't know what you're missing. You just haven't lived until you've tried Mrs. Warren's prized Virginia Baked Ham. Tell me, Rabbi Cohen, when are you going to finally break down and try it?' The rabbi looked at the priest with a big grin, and said, “Father McClendon, I believe I just might have some at your wedding.” (some things just aren’t going to happen, no matter how much freedom is we talk about) True freedom must be the freedom to say yes or no…. God will not obligate anyone to love Him or serve Him, because true love cannot be an obligation, or it isn’t real love at all. There’s a test called the Myers Briggs test. It is a personality assessment test that uses a series of statements to try and figure you out. You’re supposed to check ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to statements like: “You are almost never late for your appointments,” “You are more interested in a general idea than you are in all the details” and, “You get very involved when watching soaps on TV.” But one of the more disarming statements in the *….Myers Briggs test says, “You believe that some of your sins are simply unforgiveable.” Yes or no.

I have to confess to you here that there was a time many years ago that I would have checked ‘yes.’ But if I were to take that test again today, I would not hesitate to wholeheartedly check ‘no.’ And I want to tell anyone here today, that if you have been checking ‘yes,’ it’s time to uncheck that little circle and accept your forgiveness. It’s time to accept the forgiveness of God that knows no limits and to embrace all the love that comes with it. It’s time to uncheck the ‘yes’ circle and be fully, deeply, truly reconciled to our heavenly father, just like the prodigal son who came to himself and returned to the arms of his father. There’s a prodigal in all of us coming into our next level of freedom…. The more I distance myself from God’s reconciliation, and the farther I run from the place where I would receive the things my soul desires—I get caught in the Jonah syndrome. I remove myself from His forgiveness and mercy, His acceptance and love, and I become more and more incapable of offering those very things to others and I end up substituting things, like self-gratification, money, position, popularity and you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours! A little girl about 5 years old was found wandering around, hopelessly lost. A police officer drove up and asked her if she was lost. When she tells him that she can’t find her way home, he tells her that, he could drive around the neighborhood, until she recognized her street. So, he drives and he drives and he drives. And the little girl doesn’t see anything familiar. The police officer drives past convenience stores and supermarkets, post offices and playgrounds, but still nothing looked familiar. The little girl tells the officer, “Sir, I have an idea, let’s drive to my church. I can always find my way home from there.” The Church is a good place to begin your journey home to the Father, and to freedom. My two sons are pastors and my daughter Karen is a real God chaser, my grandchildren, are serving God as well as my great grandkids, and it has everything to do with their growing up in church. It has everything to *… with the family of faith. God’s house has helped shape us and, consequently, it has helped shape our family in constructive ways that I’ll probably never be able to find enough words for. It has helped us to continue to find our path to freedom. Who could have known that my adopted mom, through the simple gesture of taking in an abandoned 3 year old boy and leading him to Christ, and bringing him up in God’s house, could affect 4 generations so far and counting! I’m talking about From Freedom To Freedom! Free in Christ to change the course of history for generations to come…… Jesus challenges our definition of Freedom…. You see as long as we are locked into only what we are free from….we cannot fully enter into what we are free to be, to have and to do. You see we are too occupied with finding a safe place so it never happens again, or being defensive so no one can find out our broken places, or how about pushing people away so no one ever gets close enough to do that to us again! We are not fully able to reach the prize which is ahead, until we stop dwelling on and being controlled by what was behind… You may plant good seed but if you keep digging it up to check on it, it will never grow…. If you want a cut to heal, you have to stop picking at the scab, or it will stay inflamed and infected! Philippians 3:13…”forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, v14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”.

Jesus said….“You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”, but if you stray from the truth which sets you free, or you deny it because you want to do what you want to do….you remain under the influence of that which wants to keep you in bondage, confine you and restrict the development that will open you up to new Spiritual dimensions….. I submit to you, that perhaps we should make a list (the cup of coffee is very important) a list, of the oh so subtle things which prevent us from enjoying the Freedom and full life that Christ has come to give to us, and which causes a trickle-down effect in our lives. Before you know it, we’re pulled into a vortex of unsettling and troubling circumstances and situations which catch us in its grip and pull us downward, sapping our strength, our creativity and our joy….. The writer of Hebrews describes it this way….Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, which so easily besets us, (causes us to miss the mark and come up lacking) and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, v2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith….” I have a few suggestions…that are a type of spiritual barameter.. You can know that you are moving away from your freedom in Christ…. When the glory of God is not honored and we’re too busy to find a quite place and just enjoy His presence…. When the holiness of God is not reverenced and we no longer feel the nudgings of the Spirit when something is offensive to Him…. when the greatness of God is not acknowledged and we begin to attribute things to coincidence or chance… when the power of God is not praised and we are not quick to acknowledge and admire Him and stand amazed before Him…. when the truth of God is not sought and we settle for half truth and compromise…. when the wisdom of God is not esteemed and man’s knowledge and what happens to be popular at the moment matters more…. when the beauty of God is not treasured, when the goodness of God is not reveled in, when the faithfulness of God is not trusted, when the promises of God are not believed, when the word of God is not obeyed, when the justice of God is not respected, when the wrath of God is not feared, when the grace of God is not cherished, when the fellowship of God is not prized and it is no longer our joy, our delight and the amazing treasure we live for! Ohhhhh….“If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”

–We are free to vote, free to worship, free to travel, free to work, free to study, free to play, free to serve God according to the dictates of our heart and conscience. But when I say “From Freedom to freedom”…. I also mean, that it is the freedom to know the heart of God, because we are not just on His mind, we are on His heart.

How many know that to love and to be loved, is a responsibility! (and every parent says “AMEN”… And Freedom is as much a responsibility as it is a right we are given. It means that true freedom can only come where biblical values and principles are recognized and honored. It means that we cannot justify evil in the name of freedom. It means to beware of those who promise freedom but they themselves are untruthful, abusive, and deceptive. Politically correct has become a catch phrase for anything from abortion to refusing to call those who commit acts of terror, a terrorist. It means that freedom must come from within, and must flow from the character, hearts, minds, lives and families that have been set free by the Grace of God, and not something that can be legislated by the government or the church. (I don’t mean to sound like some revolutionary here, but) Romans 12:2"Do not be conformed any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is, His good, pleasing and perfect will." Liberty is not the same as freedom… Imagine with me, a man who was born into slavery. He is raised as a slave, trained as a slave. All he knows is slavery. Now, imagine that one day this slave is sold at the slave auction. He is bought by a kind man who immediately hands to the slave papers that declare him to be a free man. Imagine that slave rejoicing in his freedom. He runs through the crowd waving those papers in the air and he shouts, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God I am free at last!" The man who brought him to the auction to sell him sees all this and starts to leave, and immediately the former slave runs to catch him and begins to follow him home. The former owner looks around and says, "Man, you're free! You don't have to work for me any longer!" The slave answers and says, "I know the paper says that I am free, but all I know is how to do is to be a slave”. You see, the slave was given Liberty, but he had to choose his freedom….. Liberty gives us the guidelines, which guarantee that we have the right to exercise freedom with responsibility….Liberty is the external safety net, freedom is our individual choice within that safety net…. You might say, “There is no way that a slave who was freed would go right back into slavery!" But it happens all the time! You see, the Lord Jesus promised liberty to all those who would follow Him. However, there are many who have received Jesus as their Savior, who still live much the same way they did before. If they didn’t tell you, you wouldn’t know the difference…. Like the slave in the story, they hold their emancipation papers in their hands, Their debt has been paid, Their spiritual Declaration of independence, has made it clear, but in their lives, they still haven’t exercised their freedom and live as slaves to the same stuff as before. Water baptism is a time when freedom demonstrates liberty…..Jesus instructed those who were given liberty from their past, to be baptized. It’s an important part of our journey to freedom…. It a physical, public, declaration, that now we have left the life we used to live behind and we are not the same people, we have a new Lord, a new name….”Christian”…. a new life, and a new guide book…We are applying the freedom that Liberty guarantees us! Our new life manual is the B. I. B. l. E. that stands for “Basic instruction for beginning life eternal”….. We have been given freedom to reach Our Potential… The three action words used here to describe this process are Reckoning, Relinquishing and Releasing…. The first action word is found in , Romans 6:11 “Likewise reckon (log-id'-zom-ahee) also yourselves to be alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” This word Reckon, in the Greek which is used here is (log-id'-zom-ahee…To consider it as already done….consider it to be mentally, emotionally and factually true….) We are made alive to His Word, His Work, His Worship, His Will, and His Ways. No longer is it just something I do, but it has become who I am!!!! (reckon yourselves to be) Your next freedom action word is Relinquishing…. Romans 6:13 ….”Yield or relinquish (Par-is'-tay-mee) yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your bodies as instruments of righteousness unto God”. Again as we look at the original Greek which is used here, the word is (Par-is'-tay-mee….to give up one thing that you might have another thing… to prove something that is already tested and true… put your full weight on what has been proven….to immerse yourself into something that has been tried and tested) He wants to show us that He can be trusted with our, bodies, our families, our money, our time, our lives! The third action freedom word is releasing… Romans 6:14 “For those things of the past life shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under their power, but you are under grace. v15 What then? shall we return to those things, because we are not under their power any longer, but under grace? God forbid”. The things of the past have no more control over the child of God. It’s time has expired, we have released them….we are not the same people we used to be, we are not in the place we used to be. The shelf life on past hurts, abuses, injustices, and victimization has expired. It’s time is up, it’s power has ended, it’s time is over!!!! In releasing it we step into a new day of redemption by grace. We are free from its judgment, its influence, it’s ramifications and its penalties! When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead John 11:44 says “he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was still bound with a napkin. Jesus said unto them, Release him, and let him go”. Lazarus had been given liberty, but now he needed freedom!!!! My mom used to tell me that once I have received God’s forgiveness, and those things that I used to do come knocking on my door, and want to hang out with me….send Jesus to open the door. Well, it worked then and it still works today! When John 8:36 tells us “If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed”. It is spoken in two dimensions…. Because it is spoken in the present imperative…as something already done and accomplished…. and it is present progressive….as something that is ongoing or something in the process of being accomplished. Freedom is not only something emotional that we experience that causes us to laugh, to cry, to shout, to dance and to sing and rejoice….Even though that may happen as a result of our freedom, but when that has all subsided….our freedom is a new place, a new position, and a new opportunity. If you are in debt and your debt gets paid, you come into a new place and position of freedom …. If you are sick and you are healed, you come into a new place and position of freedom….. Speaking of a new place and position of freedom….I have a new name for Winnie. For the last 3 weeks she has been hooked up to a heart monitor, and last Wednesday, she got free of all the wires and contacts that were stuck to her body…..I now call her “Wi-fi” because she is wireless! All the information is being processed so they can determine the next steps to her ultimate freedom!! As we get ready to close, I want us to look at our spiritual Declaration of Independence, it’s found in Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ (I enter into the substitutionary death which was for my freedom) nevertheless I live (what was made available for my freedom, is now my experience) yet it is not I that lives, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh (I am moving into greater and greater measures of His freedom) I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me ( He’s the gift that keeps on giving). He whom the son sets free is free and is going from freedom to freedom! We celebrate Communion today, because through these emblems, we are declaring that the battle is already won, so we may position ourselves in the advantageous place which is over Satan and it allows us to enjoy….victories that have been won for us, and outcomes that have already been decided in our behalf, and the amazing opportunity to be enforcers of all that Christ has won. He refers to you and me as more than conquerors, through His body and His blood.

And the benefactors of seeing a win, before the battle is fought. Of enjoying a good praise session, while we see nothing except what faith beholds and knows the evidence of the invisible…..

Posted by: AT 08:37 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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