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Sermon of the Week 
Wednesday, January 11 2017

What We Speak is a Matter of Life Or Death….PROVERBS 18:21 "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." What we think about, will decide what comes out of our mouth. And our words will betray what our heart and mind has been filled with.

A young girl, complained to her mom, that she had a stomach ache. Her mom told her it was because her stomach was empty, and said that she would feel better when she had something in it. She made her a small snack and sure enough, she felt better immediately.

Later that afternoon her teacher dropped by to talk with her mom. While she was chatting, she mentioned she'd had a bad headache all day long. The girl, based on her experience earlier, announced to her teacher, 'That's because your head is empty. You'd feel better if you put something in it!' (Sometimes children can be very profound)

Luke 6:45 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good….for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks”.

When we speak, we are prophesying into our future. We can experience blessings in our life by the words that we speak, but we can also set things in motion in our lives, that are the opposite of what we desire, if we have allowed our heart and mind to dwell on the curse instead of the blessing. We can control our whole life if we control our tongue. Just like a rudder can steer a large ship, our tongue can determine the direction of our lives.

One guy said “You might as well smile today, tomorrow could be worse”…

The condition of our heart and our mind is determined by what we focus on the most. Our words become the overflowing of what we’ve been thinking and dwelling upon.

MATTHEW 12-37 "By your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

PROVERBS 6:2 "You are defeated by the words of your mouth, and you are captive of the words of your mouth."

Don’t keep defeating yourself with your own words. Your own words keep snaring you and you become the prisoner of what you keep saying.

WE ARE WHAT WE BELIEVE…and what we believe is the results of what we allow our minds and hearts to dwell on the most. Garbage in/ garbage out…I call it Spider mouth, because we can weave a web and snare ourselves with our own words….Spiders in/ spiders out!!! I don’t like spiders!

There is enormous power in speaking the word of God. God created the universe by the words that He spoke, so when we speak the word of God , the same creative power of God will be released to accomplish the purpose for which it is sent out into our world. Put Good, and healthy, uplifting and encouraging, inspiring and courageous, truth and justice in, and the same will flow out!

The word of God gives us faith and knowledge for salvation. It creates courage, hope and inner strength and endurance. We must continually hear the word of god in order to fill our hearts with the qualities and characteristics of an overcomer. We must not listen to the words of fear and unbelief.

JAMES 3:1-10 "We put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, and we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the Captain wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider that a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a potential for evil among the parts of the body. It can corrupt the whole person, It can set your whole life on fire...

Sometimes with the tongue, we praise our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. So that blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this should not be so.”

I realize that the perfect person doesn't smoke, doesn't drink, doesn't do drugs, doesn't swear, doesn't get angry, doesn’t ever say the wrong thing and oh yeah, doesn't exist!!!…So we don’t have to apologize for not being perfect, but we must start somewhere…..and that somewhere, is what we allow our minds to dwell on….

And if we dwell on what Paul says in Philippians 4:8 “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report”…. It will give us the proper building materials for our confession, and go a long way in helping us speak the word of God boldly by faith . Faith gives us the confident assurance of the promise even before we see the fulfillment.

We must speak the promises of God over every situation we face . The word of God is the sword of the Spirit that we can use against the enemy. It is spirit and truth that pierces the spirit world and shatters all that is false and deception. It is a light that reveals the hidden things of darkness and illuminates the things of Christ. It is the bread of life that nourishes the soul and spirit. It is a creative force that is able to transform what is into what can be.

Abraham , David , Joshua and Caleb spoke words of faith in times of trial . The Lord wants us to be strong in the word of faith even in the midst of the times of uncertainty and transition. You will never cross the ocean if you insist on staying on the shore”. We must speak in faith against the mountains that we face as we claim the promises of God that brings substance into uncertainty.

We must boldly proclaim our faith in God and speak the praises of God for who he is, not just what He does .

We must speak words of trust and hope and undying assurance, and avoid words of fear and doubt and unbelief, for they are poison to the soul.

Romans 10:8 But what shall I say? “The word is near you and in you, it is in your mouth and in your heart, it is, the word of faith which we are proclaiming”.

There is irresistible supernatural power in God's word; it will not return to Him empty. •• God’s Word will accomplish His desires and His purposes. The word of God will not fail and it will not come up lacking, it will get the job done! The Word of God is powerful, it has the best guarantee you could possibly have, because it is guaranteed by God Himself, to be effective. •• When you speak the Word of God, you are tapping into limitless power!

Jeremiah 23:28 “Let the one who has my word speak it faithfully ... v29 “Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?”

This hammer can drive home a nail, and get positive results. •• This hammer can break down obstacles, crush barriers, and overcome all the negatives.

When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness…He was tested in three areas….1. His Identity 2. His Authority 3. His Source. Three times Jesus spoke to Satan: “It is WRITTEN!”, and Satan’s schemes were defeated.. He found His identity in the word…He found His authority in the word, and He found His source in the word. We don't have to guess what God's words are. Jesus didn't guess. He quoted the Scriptures (so should we)…IT IS WRITTEN…. When you don’t know how to pray….IT IS WRITTEN…When you don’t know what to say… IT IS WRITTEN!

Jesus said in John 6:63 "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life”. Speak His words, speak the Scriptures, because the word of God is life.

Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” and the dead man came out...

Those words pierced into the realm of the dead and took death’s captive as the captive of life.

John 8:32, Then said Jesus, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”.

We speak out God’s Word to our "Lazaruses" “You Devil, of lies and deception, come out, because you are overcome by the blood of the Lamb”…. “Cancer, leave this body, because by His stripes we are healed.” … “Finances, come into line, because my God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory. My body is redeemed, my finances are redeemed, My circumstances are redeemed..”COME FORTH!!!

The Word of God in our hearts is a powerful antidote for sin. I often see the cross as God’s hypodermic needle, ejecting us with that crimson serum which neutralizes the power of sin….Drugs/alcohol/ or prescriptions, I don’t need you, because the Son of God has set me free!”.… any addictive dependencies, “You have no more control, because Jesus has set us free”…. Any and all habits that would try to control, There’s a new boss in the neighborhood, and “We are more than a conquerors through Christ who loves us and gave Himself for us”.

Boldly and Confidently take your stand on the Word of God. SPEAK the Word, and expect its infinite power to bring forth astounding results in your life.

The Roman centurion in the bible who sought Jesus for his servant who was sick, understood this. He told Jesus that He didn’t have to even bother to come to his house, but believed that all Jesus had to do was to speak the word of faith, and his servant would be healed. AND HE WAS!!

The word of God, spoken in faith in the Name of Jesus, has awesome power. It holds sway over the natural realm, and is able to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

HEBREWS 11:1 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

When Jesus appeared to his disciples following the resurrection, Thomas saw Him but wanted further proof, so Jesus told him to put his finger in the nail prints and thrust his hand into his side…then Thomas believed….but Jesus said “More blessed are those who do not see but yet believe.”

The word of God is our substance which we handle, as surely as Thomas handled the body of Jesus….“Faith in God’s word, is our substance….. (hear this) it is the substance of what we do not see but the reality of what we hope for!!!!!

ROMANS 8:25 tells us that the thing which often defeats us, is something which is a challenge for all of us….it says" But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we truly hope for what we do not yet have, then, we wait patiently for it. "

It is in the waiting room of life that discouragement, doubt and unbelief often come to visit. No wonder patience is referred to as a great virtue! It is here that we often win or lose the battle. We are often defeated in the waiting room…Even in the delays of life, we have Fellowship with the creator Himself, forgiveness, peace, new life, new hope, adoption as sons of God, a new nature, sanctification, holiness, deliverance from the curse, healing, health, prosperity, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the favor of God and His power and authority.

God’s word is as good as His reputation and as constant as who He is. He has put everything on the line, to back up His word to us! The bible tells us that God’s word is all the substance and evidence we will ever need, whether we see it at the moment or not! We believe that nothing is final until God has had the last word!.

Hebrews 10:36 “ For you have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise”.

Usually, faith involves delayed gratification… We usually refer to anything that delays our personal gratification… as suffering and sacrifice. If we can’t have it immediately, then we are on the Via Della Rosa…(which translated, is…. “The road of suffering”) Genuine faith involves self-discipline, compassion, patience and delayed gratification.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently (dzay-teh'-o...having an intensity, to require patience and self-discipline from yourself) to seek Him.

The walk of faith is like taking a walk in the clouds…. Faith is the ability to trust what we cannot see, and with faith we are freed from the limitations of what we can only see and know in the natural realm. Thank God for those who have trained their spirit to see and value the invisible, and who have learned to see opportunities where others only see troubles and problems!

The things which hold the greatest value in my life are things that I cannot see. I can’t see heaven, but I value it. I can’t see Jesus, but I believe in him and put my life in his hands. I can’t see the events in history that made my salvation possible, but I know I’m saved. I can’t see angels, but I know in my knower that they are real. When I’ve watched Christians die, I couldn’t see them leave their bodies to go and be with the Lord, but that’s what I believe happens at death. I believe that I am more than a body. I have a soul. I can’t see it, but all of these invisible things, I believe and I value. I value them with my life. In fact if you were to ask me which I value more, I value the invisible realities more than the visible realities. I believe that everything I can see with my eyes is temporary, but there are permanent and eternal things that I cannot see with my natural eyes.

1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known”.

Our reputation in the spiritual realm has to do with things that we cannot see, touch, taste or feel. But those invisible things have an effect and influence upon the things I can see, touch, taste and feel.

Our confession can bring us to our destination, or take us where we never planned to go….. A woman called to make reservations, "I want to go from Chicago to Hippopotamus, New York" The agent was at a loss for words. Finally, the agent "Are you sure that's the name of the town?" "Yes, what flights do you have?" replied the customer. After some searching, the agent came back with, "I'm sorry, ma'am, I've looked up every airport code in the country and can't find a Hippopotamus anywhere. The customer retorted, "Oh don't be silly. Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!" The agent scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, "You don't mean Buffalo, do you?" The woman said, "That's it! I knew it was a big animal!"

Mean what you say and say what you mean! Someone has said “Everyone has a photographic memory but some just don't have film”…”Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused”.

2 Corinthians 4:16 “ Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. v17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. v18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”..

The source of Faith is the word of God. There is a correlation between our knowledge of scripture and our faith sight. The more we know about God, the easier it is for us to physically experience that belief. The more we think in the language of the Bible, the easier it is to see the manifestation of our belief. The more we think like God, the easier it is to fix our eyes and our values on what is unseen.

It is well said that “A faith that cannot be tested, is a faith that cannot be trusted”

When sickness comes – Do you believe Jesus?

When death comes – Do you believe Jesus?

When the bottom falls out of life – Do you believe Jesus?

When the answers to your prayers are delayed – Do you believe Jesus?

When you are ridiculed for your faith – Do you still believe Jesus?

When you are looking at a hopeless situation – Do you believe Jesus?

There is a reason that the verse at the exact center of your bible is Psalm 118:8 “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man”.

When I place my problem beside the Lord, it suddenly grows very small. No matter how great it looks in my eyes, it is nothing compared to Him! After all, a God Who can create a universe from nothing can do anything! A God Who can part the sea, rain down manna from heaven, heal a sick body, raise dead people, and save a lost soul can do anything! He can handle it! It may be that you have a problem that you cannot handle. It’s bigger than you are and it seems out of control. He can handle it! He can cut it down to size! Bring it to Jesus and trust Him to take care of it for His glory!

Satan’s attacks will try to shut you down, in three specific areas…Expect it! If you’re prepared and aware in your defensive game, then your offensive strategy will always succeed. Those three areas which Satan will always target are….

Your Praise, (if he can stop your praise, he can load you down, overwhelm you and wear you out) He will get you to seeing nothing good, nothing positive, nothing praiseworthy, because he wants you to go by feelings not by faith, by physical sight and not by spiritual sight, by human reasoning and not by the word of God.

Second, is Your Proclamation…He wants to stop the spread of the kingdom and distract you from your first priority…of speaking life. He will succeed if he can turn your faith inward, and cause it to become a Sterile Christianity that effects no one, and changes nothing... powerless and meaningless!! All talk and no action!

Third is Your Prosperity…. He wants to stop you from sowing your seed, so you won’t get a harvest….He wants you to become stingy, and selfish. He wants to get you so financially troubled and bound, to be so overwhelmed with lack, that you can’t support the gospel, give to the needy, or even take care of your own Responsibilities!

Expect it…the attack will be on YOUR PRAISE, YOUR PROCLAMATION, AND YOUR PROSPERITY!

1 Corinthians15:57 “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. v58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord”.

That’s right, when you don’t see anything, remember, what you can’t see is very powerful…..You have fellowship with God, forgiveness, peace, new life, new hope, adoption as God’s children, a new nature, sanctification, holiness, deliverance from the curse, deliverance from demon power, healing, health, prosperity, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the favor of God and His power and authority.

With the natural eyes, what we can see is only the tip of the iceberg…But what we actually have is out of this world!

So we choose to speak life!!!!

“The Joy of the Lord is my decision..The love of God is my reason..Redemption is my new attitude…Peace is my habitation…Hope is my new direction…Patience is the path that I choose….Faith is my declaration…

God’s Word is my new reality…Jesus is my abundant life….Victory is my present position…

Let’s all speak life together…..

This year, I declare that I am stronger and braver, not timid nor weak. This year, I declare that my past will no longer limit my future and just because I couldn't achieve something yesterday doesn't mean I won’t succeed now. This year, I declare that I will honor the talents God has given me, I will express my gifts which I have been given, and I will exercise the creativity that is in me. This year, I declare that l will be true to my avalues, respectful to my God given mission and fiercely focused on my goals and dreams. This year, I declare that I am a contributor and not just a consumer, I am a giver, not just a taker and a victor, not a victim. This year, I declare that I will be part of the solution and not the problem. This year, I declare that when I fall, I will certainly rise and when I'm in doubt, I will persist.

This year, I declare that I will contribute to my health, feed my mind and nourish my soul. This year, I declare that I will surround myself with people who are smarter, faster, stronger and better than me so I am uplifted by their models and inspired by their examples. This year, I declare that I will set the standard in my work, inspire and encourage others and develop and expand my skills and abilities. This year, I declare that I will invest in my family in greater ways, be more grateful and appreciative of my friends and encourage all those I am connected with. This year, I declare that this New Year is MY year. My time to grow, excel, laugh, love, win, believe, persevere and serve, knowing that with God’s help, I am truly the leader of my fate, the owner of my results and the hero of my destiny. So help me God….

Posted by: AT 09:26 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, January 05 2017

One particular church was having their New Year's Eve church service. There was a lot of singing, folks sharing their resolutions for the coming year, testimonies, and scripture readings. After this, everyone was invited to enjoy a feast which the ladies had prepared. A man entered the meeting and, was greeted heartily by a number of folks who knew him, and spent a couple of hours, circulating among friends and eating. After 2 hours…a strange look came across his face. "You know," he confided to his host, "I wasn't even invited to this party. I just came over to find out which cars are blocking my driveway and my wife has been sitting out in the car waiting for me all this time."

(This is not the guy you would choose, if you have a deadline to meet)

Speaking of deadlines, when you’re at the airport, you will hear “flight so and so, now boarding, and they will then announce the destination, and the order in which the passengers will line up to board the flight”….

(I usually have to turn to Winnie and ask her “what did they say”?) I mean with all the technology they have, couldn’t they ever afford a decent sound system, so that you could understand what they’re saying…..?

My message for today is “Flight 2017 now boarding for all Destinations”.

Any pilot will tell you, that in flying, there is one certainty…. What goes up, must come down, one way or another….(I think I was on that flight) The same is true of time, that is true of gravity. Gravity will remain constant.. you can’t cancel it, but it must be overcome in order to fly….and time will remain constant as well, you can’t stop it, but it must be redeemed. We don’t cancel it, but we can make the time we have, count to the maximum.

Ephesians 2:5 (New Living Bible) “God embraced us. He took us and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! v6 Then He picked us up and set us down in heaven's highest places in company with Jesus. v7 Now God has us where He wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. v8 This is all His idea, and all His work. All we do is trust Him enough to let Him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish”!

We see the world with two sets of eyes…. we see what is, and we see what God has promised concerning what can be. Believers stand in two realities, so we continually prepare ourselves to process physical realities with the values and principles of kingdom realities.

There are two bags we need to pack for our 2017 flight….We must pack those things which are necessary for our journey here, knowing that there are some things we must leave behind and we can’t take it all with us… and we must be laying up treasures in that place of our final destination. As we cross over into 2017…we are also called upon to look beyond the year that is past and reserve enough space for all that is possible in this year ahead.

We must never allow ourselves to be the captives of a moment of time, so that it blinds us to the bigger picture, but see the moment as just one piece of a larger puzzle of our life that is being put together for eternity.

We are reminded that we are in the world but not of the world…..

Luke 9:62 “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, can continue to look back, and still receive the kingdom of God”.

We can pour anything in a full container and it will be lost and wasted. So, we can either make room in the container we have, or enlarge the container. Likewise, we need to either make room for the new thing God is doing or allow Him to enlarge our container. We make room in a file cabinet for new files, and make room in a full closet for new clothes. This is a season to priorities the things that will get us to our dreams and goals.

Isaiah 54:2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, and stretch forth the curtains of your habitation. Spare not, lengthen your influence and strengthen your relationships. v3 For you shall break forth on the right hand and on the left, and you shall inherit what others have failed to claim”.

There are things that will frighten us and things that will excite us in this coming year. Wide world of sports calls it the Agony and the Ecstasy! But for those who endure, it is well worth it!

We now know that 2012 was not the end of the world and that the Mayan calendar ended at the close of 2011, on December 21st because they ran out of room on the stone they were chiseling….(hindsight is great) Another thing that didn’t happen in the last 12 years, was hurricanes….

Maybe the Lord will return in this year and maybe not…But either way we have the mandate to “Occupy until He comes”

Revelation 12:11 says that we have overcome, (and that we will continue to overcome) by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony.

Our perception is our reality, because our perception of how things are will attract and bring to us the substance of our faith or the object of our fears as the New Year unfolds!

Exodus 14:15 And the LORD said unto Moses, why do you cry unto me? speak unto the people, that they go forward: (their fears were robbing them of the reality which God had promised them)

The truth is that we can have whatever we want and accomplish whatever is in our hearts, if we want it badly enough…and if we are completely convinced it can be done with God as our helper, then it can be done!

If you’re going to ride this 2017 flight, you must book your seat with a purpose, like you mean business, and buckle up for the ride of your life!

No one would question that Aaron Ralston, would be able to accomplish anything and everything he really put his heart and will into doing…. As he underwent surgery on May 5, 2003 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Colorado. His harrowing story began to unfold and was carried in newspapers and on television around the world…. later, it was made into a movie. The 27-year-old was rock climbing, at Blue John Canyon in southeastern Utah’s National Park. It was a day that would change his life forever! As Aaron moved through a crack in the canyon wall, a 1000-pound slab of sandstone suddenly shifted and broke loose, crushing his right hand and forearm and pinning him inside a three-foot-wide prison. After 3 days of being trapped…with no water, and his strength fading from the struggle…Aaron decided that he would die, if drastic action wasn’t taken. After applying a tourniquet, he amputated his right arm just above the wrist, with the pocketknife he carried,. He then rappelled 60 feet straight down a rock wall to the canyon floor, where he began the 9 mile hike to his vehicle. Rescuers found him 2 miles from his car, late that Thursday afternoon, bloody, dehydrated and staggering beside a dry desert stream.

Utah park ranger Steve Swanke was in awe..he said "I’ve never seen anybody, who had [such a] will to live and the mental fortitude to do as Aron has done, and I’ve been doing this for 25 years."

It’s easy to look at how much better someone else has it….It’s easy to blame someone else for our lack of success or progress... but in the end, we all must take personal responsibility for reaching our own potential, socially, economically, physically and spiritually, in 2017. We can’t blame others, for what we failed to do ourselves. “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you”. The bible tells us.

A wealthy old man looked around the table at his two sons and five daughters and their spouses, all gathered for New Years eve. "Boy, he said, not a single grandchild," and he gave a big sigh. "Why, I'll give a million dollars to the first kid who presents me with a little one to bounce on my knee in the New Year…... Now, let's say grace before we eat."

When the old man opened his eyes from prayer, his wife was the only other person at the table. (Looks like the kids are suddenly interested)

(It’s amazing what the right motivation will accomplish)

Ralph Waldo Emerson…..wrote, ”Write it on your heart that every day you live, is the best day of the year”.

Steven Spielberg….”None of us, by the end of the year, are ever really the same person we were when we entered the new year”.

Tom Peters…. “This year, celebrate and showcase everything that you want to see more of in the rest of your life”

Jonathan Edwards….”My first New Year resolution is that every day I live, whatever else I do, I will live for God. My second resolution is that If no one else lives for God, I will do it anyway”.

Our toxic character flaws that are not corrected and the self-defeating and self- destructive habits which we tolerate, are like drinking a little poison every day and wondering why we are sick. It can cause us to fall short of the dreams, goals and outcomes, which we have set for our lives!

The Lord waits to be invited by each of us, to work in our world, in the circle of our connections and relationships. To step into the inner struggle that keeps us from our potential. Don’t just invite Him into your day… Invite Him into each situation and event….He will do what no other power can do!

When Jacob began to seek after God, and walk in obedience to the Lord, Genesis 28 tells us that he came to a place called Haran and he fell asleep. While he slept, heaven opened and he saw angels ascending and descending between heaven and earth….he had come to a place of New beginning in his life, it was a gateway that had opened up. Jacob called the place Bethel, but God was trying to show Jacob, that he had become the gateway through which heaven was entering and interacting with this world.

All those who believe, and seek God’s kingdom, stand in that place, and become the gateway to heaven, where the things of heaven and earth make a connection. We are the “thin place where both dimensions meet.

The name of the month January, comes from the Latin word; (Janua); which means a door or window from which a person may look both forward and backward. January is the right time to take one last look at the previous year… To learn from the lessons that were taught through successes and failures. Then, let God shut the door to your past, as you go forward. Don’t let those things be like weights that we drag around. Eat the meat and spit out the bones…remember the good and learn from the bad.

.Don’t remember what God has forgotten.....we can only walk in one direction at a time and only look in one direction at a time. The problem comes when we try to look backwards while we're walking forward.

So don't look back, if you’re still moving forward…and don't listen when others say you're finished, when deep inside, you know you’re not.

What do you see in the mirror?

Louis L'Amour once said, "There will come a time when you believe everything is finished, and it will only be your new beginning." So, take another look in the mirror of God’s word….Genesis 1:1 -Tells us that In the beginning God created something new that had never existed before, and God is STILL creating today. He's creating new opportunities, new direction, new vision and new anointing. God is also creating new hearts and transforming lives.

So let us declare that this is “JANUA” …..a new window to a new year that is opening for each of us to view something bigger, and better and beyond all that has come before!!! And each one of us will become the gateway, where God enters earth and begins His wonderful, mysterious, amazing work!!!! Where He is creating forgiving hearts to replace bitter ones, He's creating hearts of faith to replace hearts of fear. He’s creating loving hearts to replace toxic, jealous, vindictive hearts. He’s replacing broken hearts with hearts that are healed and full of new hope.

Paul said…1 Corinthians 16:9 “For a great door of opportunity is opened unto us…and there will be a "right time" for each of us. 13 Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you've got, be resolute, 14 and keep on loving and never stop”.

In Colossians 3:3, we are told to seek those things that are above, to view things from the vantage point of where Christ is seated. From there, we can get a different perspective which is above and all that we see in this temporary realm!

2016 is the place we are leaving behind….2017 is the place we are creating even as we speak…..The Father calls us joint-heirs with Christ. This means we are the recipients of all that Christ has won in 2017.

Let’s not be like the guy whose resolution was to break the resolution he had made, that way, at least he was successful at something!

Or the guy whose resolution was to find new and interesting things to hate about his job in 2017….

Or the person whose New Year prayer was, “Dear God, in 2017, I ask You to give me a FAT bank account and a THIN body. And please don't get it mixed up like you did last year.

When our emphases is on the past it is about the places we have left…. But we’re not just about leaving places…. We’re about going places… we’re about entering a new dimension of living…..we’re about coming into new levels of faith and walking in the spirit. We are getting ready to experience greater joy and peace, because we are the gateway for God in the earth! With Paul we “Press toward the prize of the high calling of God in Christ.”

Revelation 3:18 “I counsel you to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, says the Lord, that you may be rich; and that you put on white raiment, that you may be clothed upon from heaven, you don’t need to be vulnerable and at the mercy of the enemy any longer. Anoint your eyes with My eye salve, so that you may see and understand”.

We are compelled in this new year, to “Move up higher” in our way of thinking. What are the areas that we have been thinking too small for too long? What are the areas where we must think bigger for our Church, our Home, our Family, and our Life in general? What can we do to be the gateway for God to do bigger and better things in our life? Flight 2017 is now boarding to take us further and higher!

.Ephesians 3:18 “I pray that you'll be able to take in with all those of faith, the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test the length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! 19 Live in the fullness of the love of God. 20 Know that God can do anything, far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it by working within us, deeply and gently, by His Spirit. He will do, Exceedingly above all we could ask or think.”

We are compelled to “Move Up Higher” with our emotions. We can’t be wearing our feelings on our sleeves any longer. We must let God rule our feelings by His Spirit within us. We can’t let those around us rule over us by controlling our emotions. We may have prayed. We may have Fasted. We may have done all the right things, but until we “come up higher” in our emotions, we will undo all the other things we’ve done, and our emotions will lock us into past hurts, offences, injustices, broken relationships, and unresolved conflicts.

Unrestrained, free and liberated praise, worship and love can only flow forth in power, when we move to a higher place emotionally!

1 Timothy 1:5 “The point is simply to love with your whole heart – with love that is uncontaminated by self-interest, free of ulterior motives and untainted by counterfeit faith, a life that is open to God. 6 For those who fail to adhere to this, soon wander off into emotional dead-ends”.

We are compelled to “come up higher” with our personal gifts and callings. That’s why we all need to have solid, effective and realistic goals for the new year. It can be, reading a new book, starting regular bible reading and daily times of prayer, to volunteering in a new outreach, meeting new friends or widening your circle. But we need to put feet on our goals as soon as possible, and review those goals regularly and see how you’re doing as you’re “Going Forward.”

Acts 6:1 “During this time, as the church continued, some contention developed over those who were being neglected in the ministry. v2 So the Twelve apostles called a meeting of the disciples. They said, "It wouldn't be right for us to neglect our responsibilities in the preaching and teaching ministry of the Word of God, to take care of these things. v3 So, choose those from among you that everyone trusts, that are proven, with the Holy Spirit and good sense, and we'll assign them to these tasks. v4 Meanwhile, we will continue to minister in prayer and the Word of God.”

I would like everyone to come forward, and let us all take a candle, representing the light that needs to go out into our community in 2017 and also symbolic of releasing the callings, giftings, abilities and resources, so that there would be an enlarging of the message of the gospel, our impact and connections in the lives of those in our community…

Prayer…..Our Father and our God, as we stand at the beginning of this new year we confess our need of Your presence and Your guidance as we face the future. We each have our hopes and expectations for the year that is ahead of us—but You alone know what it holds for us, and only You can give us the strength and the wisdom we will need to meet its challenges. So help us to humbly put our hands into Your hand, and to trust You and to seek Your will for our lives during this coming year. In the midst of life’s uncertainties in the days ahead, assure us of the certainty of Your unchanging love. In the midst of life’s disappointments and heartaches, help us to turn to You for the stability and comfort we will need.

In the midst of life’s temptations and the pull of our self-will, help us not to lose our way but to have the courage to do what is right in Your sight, regardless of the cost. And in the midst of our daily preoccupations and pursuits, open our eyes to the sufferings of our hurting world, and help us to respond with compassion and sacrifice to those who are friendless and in need. We pray for our nation and its leaders during these difficult times, and for all those who are seeking to bring peace and justice to our dangerous and troubled world.

We pray especially for Your protection on all those who serve in our armed forces, and we thank You for their commitment to defend our freedoms, even at the cost of their own lives. Be with their families also, and assure them of Your love and concern for them. Bring our divided nation together, and give us a greater vision of what You would have us to be. As we look back over this past year we thank You for Your goodness to us—far beyond what we have deserved. May we never presume on Your past goodness or Your mercies to us, but may they instead lead us to repentance, and to a new commitment to make You the foundation and center of our lives this year. Father, we thank You for the promise and hope of this new year, and we look forward to it with expectancy and faith. In Jesus’ name…..Amen.

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