(catch a falling star and put it in your pocket, save it for a rainy day) Many in this season, are having their beliefs challenged. So today I want us to challenge our belief systems, because that’s the path to reaching our potential….
Our potential is made up of our power, strengths, talents, resources and capabilities. And there is a desire within most of us to discover that and then commit ourselves to its fulfillment no matter what others may think or do or what the conditions around us may be.
Transformation is defined by Webster as “to change in the very nature of composition or structure.” Transition is the change of circumstances, position or location and doesn’t guarantee transformation. Transformation is the inner changes which open up our potential in the midst of all of our transitions. Individuals and churches must face transitions all the time. We lose those whom we love. We relocate, we change jobs, our bodies experience change. Our lives changes in many ways. Only we determine how we respond to these transitions?
How we handle transitions can determine whether we are beingtransformed or deformed…
Your Purpose plus your Potential equals your Capacity. How much is in you? How much are you utilizing, how much is untapped?
Discover your purpose and mission in life, and you will find the energy and commitment to propel yourself beyond and through the obstacles. But if you permit yourself to be consumed by life's emergencies and superficial urgencies, without establishing priorities, it will divide your energy and your focus, and you will never achieve your purpose. Our DNA, our gifts, abilities, opportunities, and resources are God’s gift to us, what we do with them, is our gift back to God! Our true expression of that gratitude is in using what He has given us to benefit and minister to others and make a lasting impact on our world.
Your time, resources and energy are too valuable, to allow everything and everyone else to control it but yourself. We must give ourselves permission to let go—and release the people and things that manipulate our minds, hearts, and souls with distracting thoughts, unprofitable behaviors, and demands which don’t align with your mission.
One key to maximizing your potential is to identify all the situations and people that restrict, limit and block that potential.I’m not saying just dump them, but put them in order of priority…
Remember, you will never change anything that you are willing to keep on tolerating, focusing on and giving power to. Three students at seminary, noticed a patch of ground that they decided to plant a garden on. They went to the President of the college and asked him for permission. He told them the ground was hard and dry and nothing would grow on it, but they were welcome to have a try… They borrowed shovels, rakes and pick axes from the care taker and began. Once they broke through the hard surface, they found rich black dirt and began. They were amazed at the tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and lettuce which the ground produced. With care, hard work, good seed and the right tools, they helped the ground reach it’s potential. The president judged by the hard outer surface, but the students got beyond appearances and discovered it’s true value. It’s amazing the difference it makes when you are doing what you’re supposed to be doing… and when You’re on mission…
But What do you do, when you know to do a thing, but your heart isn’t in it… THE ANSWER…. You train your heart. There are two categories of *……people in the world… Those who follow their heart and those who lead their heart. Either one can lead to trouble unless they have the right center of reference and healthy priorities.
Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” The heart, represents what is at your center, the core of your being, that which occupies the bedrock of your motivations and impulses.
Proverbs 4:23 “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow all the issues of your life.”
Luke 6:45 “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for what you have filled your heart with, will be expressed in your life”.
William Barclay said, “There are two great days in a person’s life—the day we are born and the day we discover why.” ~
Developing your potential involves a look into your own soul.
The soul consists of our mind, our will and our emotions. All three are waiting to be trained and molded and shaped. What you let into your mind always comes out in how you live your life. Our mind is a powerful tool God has given us to achieve our missionand stretch ourselves to reach our dreams and goals.. Someone recently said, ‘Don’t go anywhere without a book”…. That’s about the Input you choose, which results in the output you have chosen! We must train our brain to if we’re going to reign in life or we will be ruled over and put in bondage.
The second area of searching your soul, includes disciplining your will and submitting it to God. Discipline is about boundaries.It’s why we have guard rails on highways. Your will determines your decisions, which govern your potential and allows you to persevere through hardships and adversity, and reach your dreamwithout becoming road kill on the highway of life.
Jesus said to his father in Mark 14: 32-36, "Nevertheless, Your will not mine be done." Self-discipline is the highest expression of self-management, which is reflected in a well balanced, approach to lifeand knowing what helps your purpose and what does not.
The third area of searching your soul, requires that you learn to control your emotions. Your emotions can cost you your perspective. If you go into the hospital, the first thing they do is to stabilize you. Hydration, oxygen, heart monitor, and your history that tells them how you got there. In the same way our emotional self, can be stabilized through meditation on the word, surrender, repentance, and yielding to God’s will.
Proverbs 16: 32 tells us that “he who is slow to anger is better than the mighty and he who rules his spirit is greater than he who takes a city”.
Self- discipline is all about God being able to trust us, to manage more and more of His family business in the earth.
In his book 'Maximizing Your Potential,' Dr. Myles Munroe reveals six keys to releasing your potential. (He’s in heaven now…he has reached his potential) I trust these concepts will encourage all of us to greater achievement in 2020. I like the line on the bottom “The key to dying empty”
1. Know, and be confident in your source. God is our creator and he knows us better than anyone else. Develop a close, intimate relationship with your maker as your source. Wayne Dresky the hockey star, says, “don’t just chase the puck, figure out where it’s going and be there”…. That’s what an intimate relationship with the Lord will do… He knows where it’s all going and He’s there!
John 15: 4 says, "Apart from me you can do nothing."
We must always remember to perform for an audience of one, the lord is our creator, our lover and biggest fan. What if our greatest goal was to seek His pleasure? If God is for me what can stand against me….
2. Learn to function by looking beyond what you now see, and seewhat is still possible.
Proverbs 23:7. “As a man thinks, in his heart, so is he" This is a vital key to releasing your potential. We are what we are today because of what we believed about ourselves yesterday. And we will be tomorrow what we believe about ourselves today. I read of a woman, about 30 years old, married with two children. She had grown up in a home where she was constantly criticized and often misjudged by her parents. As a result, she developed deep feelings of inferiority and low self-esteem. She was negative and fearful, and had no confidence at all. She was shy and confused and did not consider herself to be particularly valuable or worthwhile. She felt that she was not really capable at anything. Life was just one obligation after another, with very little enjoyment or fulfillment.
One day, she woke up, in the hospital, with a severe concussion and complete memory loss after a car had gone through a red light and smashed into her as she was driving to the store. She could still speak, but she had no recollection of any part of her past life. She was suffering from total amnesia.
Determined to understand what had happened to her, she began reading medical textbooks and studying in the specialized area of amnesia and memory loss. She met and spoke with specialists in the field. During this period, something amazing happened. She became a new person completely. She became a genuinely positive, confident, outgoing woman, highly articulate, well informed, and very much in demand as a speaker and an authority on memory loss, with an important contribution to make.
When all memory of her negative childhood had been wiped out. Her feelings of inferiority were wiped out as well. She had transitioned into transformation. When she changed her thinking, she changed her life. 3. Understand your purpose. You must discover your specific reason for existence and the assignment God has given you to fulfill. If you can’t see it, you will never be able to achieve it! This means that no matter how much our potential is, by attaching ourselves to the wrong things, we take up vital time and space and buy into the illusion that life is only one limitation after another. If you can see it in your spirit, you can have it!
4. Be Confident in Your Calling. If you have accepted Christ, you have been transformed from a lump of coal to a diamond. Don’t sell yourself cheap! God has given us connections abilities and resources to use for His glory. He has already seen us successful, at what He has place us here to do… You don’t have promises, you are a promise. The prophet made an incredible statement in… Jeremiah 1:4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, v5 Before I formed you in the belly I knew you, and before you came forth out of the womb I set you apart for my purposes, and I ordained you a prophet unto the nations. v6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am as a child. v7 But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for you shall go to all that I shall send you, and whatsoever I command you, you shalt speak and do. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with you, I will deliver you, saysthe LORD.
5. Maintain the right environment. Philippians 4:8 ‘Whatsoever things are of good report, If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Create and sustain a God-centered, “God will & God can” environment. Fill your mind with positive input which is in harmony with your dreams and goals. Watch what you listen to, guard what you view on television and in magazines. Be careful what you let in your spirit. We’re not fighting an enemy out there somewhere, it’s the enemy within, that we must overcome….When Chris was a little guy, he used to jump up and stand in front of the screen if anything came on the TV that wasn’t wholesome or Godly…He was protecting the environment!
6. Dreams must be combined with committed effort….Dreams, without the willingness to work, simply exposes that your values are out of whack. To love your work is the secret to personal progress, productivity and fulfillment, because we will always find what we’re looking for no matter where we go or what we do.
The only real limits on our lives in this year ahead, are the limits we ourselves put upon ourselves. If we are to change our performance and our outcome, in any area of our lives, we have to change our self-concept and our core beliefs about ourselves—
We may not have the power to choose where we come from, but we can choose where we go from here. Christianity is the most powerful belief system on earth. It is based on the Word of God which tells us we are formed in the image and likeness of God. It tells us that we were created with dominion and authority. We are imbedded with incredible abilities and talents. We are even told that we are unique above the angels of God. We are encouraged to believe that we can do all things through Christ who indwells us and who has given us The Holy Spirit to be our daily guide and counselor. Our God is a “can do” God, who has never been defeated, and who has never failed or been mistaken!.
Many of our self- limiting beliefs have no facts at all to back them up, (our nose is not going to grow, and we are vital, worthy and powerful and we can make a difference) self-limiting beliefs come from erroneous conclusions which we have allowed others or our circumstances to make about ourselves and those we deal with.
Satan has tricked us by weaving a web of self-deception and self defeat. You probably won’t ever be willing to slay the dragons that you have become good friends with! The starting point of unlocking our potential, and accomplishing more than we ever have before, is for us to challenge our self-limiting beliefs. We begin this process of freeing ourselves by declaring that they are completely untrue, or at best, they are a mixture of truth and error.We make up our minds to be honest and transparent with ourselves. We choose to be honest with the person in the mirror!
A rabbit and a snake were both injured in a California earthquake. The impact caused both to become blind and to lose their memories. In an attempt to find out who they each were, they decided to use the touch test. First, the snake felt the rabbit. "Well, you are fuzzy and warm. You have a round cottony tail and two long ears." "Hooray!" exclaimed the rabbit, "I must be a bunny." Next the blind rabbit began to touch the snake. He was thoughtful for a moment. "Well--you are scaly, and cold and you have fangs and a forked tongue." The snake cried out, "Oh no! I must be a politician." Well, let’s imagine for the moment that we have no limitations on our abilities at all. Imagine that we could be, or do, or have anything we really wanted in life. Imagine that our potential is unlimited in every way. This is what happened with the woman who acquired amnesia… free of all her self-limiting beliefs, she could be the calm, confident, unafraid person who could be comfortable in the transitions of her life.
Imagine that you could set and achieve any goal you put your mind to. The way we think, is in reality, how we will live our life.
OUR SELF-CONCEPT HAS THREE PARTS like a pie divided into three slices. They are all connected to one another. All three elements together make up your personality. They determine what you think, feel, and do, and everything that flows out of you.…
Your self-ideal is the first part of your self-concept. Your self-ideal is made up of all of your hopes, dreams, your vision for life, and your ideal self. Your self-ideal is composed of the virtues, values, and qualities that you most admire in yourself and which you borrow from others. Your self-ideal is the person you would most like to become, if you could be the perfect you in every way.
These ideals guide and shape your behavior and actions. Great men and women, leaders, and people of lasting impact, are very clear about their values, their visions, and their ideals. They know who they are and don’t compromise on those standards. In everything they do, this becomes their mission statement for theirlife. During his sermon, the preacher said: "There's no such thing as a perfect person. Anybody present who has ever known a perfect person, please stand up."…..Nobody stood up. But after a pause…
Finally, one little Italian woman stood up. And very surprised, the pastor asked… "Did you really ever know an absolutely perfect person?"
"Well, Sir, I didn't know her personally, replied the little woman," But I have heard a great deal about her, she was my husband's first wife!"
The second part of your self-concept is your self-image. This is the way you see yourself and think about yourself. It is often called your “inner mirror.” It is where you look internally to see how you should behave in a particular situation. Because of the power of your self-image, you always perform on the outside consistent with the picture you have of yourself on the inside. Every improvement in your life begins with an improvement in your mental pictures. Your internal images influence your behavior, your attitudes….even the way other people respond to you.
The third part of your self-concept is your self-esteem. This is the most important factor in determining how you think, feel, and behave. Your level of self-esteem largely determines much of what happens to you in life. Your self-esteem is best defined as how much you like yourself. The more you like yourself, the better you perform at anything you attempt.
Your level of self-esteem is largely determined by how closely your self-image— or your current performance and behavior—matches your self-ideal—which is the picture of your very best self.Whenever there is a wide separation between the person you are atthe moment and the ideal person you want to be, Your self-esteem causes you to become frustrated, disappointed and on yourself.
Self doubt comes in because your self-ideal keeps reminding you that you are never enough…Never good enough, never capable enough, never spiritual enough, and you will always fall just short of the mark.
Transformation is not about what happens to us in life, It is about how we interpret what happens to us. When our inner core is healthy, we will have a healthy response to what is going on around us. We are freed up, to see life as the wonderful thing, full of potential that it really is!
I would like everyone to tell someone the following… (go ahead…find one person, and get ready to repeat after me…)
“You are a thoroughly redeemed and transformed person. You are honest, decent, truthful, and hardworking. You treat other people with courtesy, respect, and warmth. You are dedicated to your family, friends, and your work. You are strong, confident, and responsible. You are knowledgeable, intelligent, and experienced. You are important not only to the people closest to you, but to your community. You were born for a special reason, and a special season. you have a destiny to fulfill. You are created by God for every good work”.
Dr. Phil, was conducting a group therapy session with four young mothers. "You all have obsessions," he stated.
To the first mother, Mary, he said, "You are obsessed with eating. You've even named your daughter Candy." He turned to the second Mom, "Lucy and said “Your obsession is with money. You even named your child Penny." He turned to the third Mom, Joyce: "Your obsession is alcohol. This too shows itself in your child's name, which is Brandy.
At this point, the fourth mother, Susan, got up and said, forget this bunk, I’m getting my daughter, Fanny, and I’m out of here!!! Their children were a reflection of their “inner mirror.”
In the book “ In His Steps”, Charles M. Sheldon tells of an entire town that agreed, prior to every act or decision, to ask the question, “What would Jesus do?” and then to behave accordingly.
The eventual outcome for the townspeople was that the problems that had divided them and seemed unsolvable were soon solved and the town became united, peaceful, and prosperous.
One of the major causes of negative, toxic emotions, is the blamegame. Blame, in turn creates a vicious cycle, in the roller coaster ride between anger and guilt. The quickest way to stop the blame cycle, is for someone to be the champion and say “I am responsible for my own actions, not someone or something else”!
A father with three boys, asked them who had broken the living room lamp… they all blamed each other, so he sent them all to bed without supper, no television or game boy. The next morning he told his wife that he hadpunished the guilty son. She said, you mean he finally admitted it… No, said the dad, I just looked for the one the other two had beaten up! (Don’t let the devil keep beating you up!)
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various temptations; v3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. v4 So, let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting in nothing.
Healthy self-esteem always finds a way, the Loser always finds anexcuse… Healthy self-esteem says, Let me help you do it, The Loser says, that’s not my job. Healthy self-esteem sees an answer for every problem, the Loser sees a problem for every answer.Healthy self-esteem sees a green near every sand trap, the Loser sees two or three sand traps near every green. Healthy self-esteem says, It may be difficult but it’s not impossible, the Loser says, It may be possible but it’s too difficult…
"So, Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
Psalms 34:4-9 “I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto Him and they were not ashamed. The LORD heard them, and saved them out of all their troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps round about them that fear Him, and delivers them. O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusts in Him. O fear the LORD, all his saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him”.
Let’s get free, to reach our God given Potential in 2020!
Pledge to Christ….
I pledge that with God’s help, I will be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind. I will talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person I meet. I will make all my friends feel that there is something special in them. I will look at the sunny side of everything because faith is stronger than feelings.
I will think of the best, work for the best, and expect only the best. I will be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own. I will forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
I will wear a cheerful countenance and give everyone I meet a smile.
I will give so much time to the improvement of myself that I have no time to criticize, envy or judge others. I will be too strong for fear, and too happy to allow trouble to control me. In Jesus Name!
John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that you may have life and have it abundantly”.
Some quotes I came across….. “It’s one thing to grow old, it’s another thing to grow up! The trick is to grow up before you grow old”…. “Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be.” ”My age doesn’t bother me, it’s the side effects that do”…. “Old age is not partial, I turn my neck, I move my arms, I move my back and they all make the same noise. Maybe I’m not old, I’m just crispy”….
Ephesians 4:14 “We will no longer be infants, tossed about by the waves and carried around by every wind of teaching and by the clever cunning of men in their deceitful scheming. v15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow up in all things into Christ Himself, who is the head”. God intends for His children to never stop growing, developing and expanding in their God given kingdom rights and privileges!!! …
Paul in his writings, describes Christians as being one of 3 different levels, he called them Baby Christians, Carnal Christians, and Spiritual Christians…as a way to describe those who are saved, but have decided because of different influences and issues, that they would not continue to grow and develop in the things which the bible says we can be and that we can do in Christ….
Listen to what Paul says in 1Corinthians 3:12 “Now if any man build (oy-kod-om-ay'o) upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble v13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it…”?
The Greek word Oy-kod-om-ay’o or build, is in the Progressive Tense, which implies an ongoing process. Paul could say, if anyone builds and keeps on building… because once the foundation is laid, the building process starts and it never ends. With the believers at Corinth, the foundation had been laid, but they stopped building upon it! (tell someone, “relax, you’re not finished yet, just keep on building”)….
It was time for Corinth to pick up the hammer of truth and get back to building! There is more building to be done! There is more lumber to lay, line upon line and precept upon precept! There are more nails to nail by the power of agreement! This is no time to let up in building! In your devotional time, you are building! In your prayer time, you are building! In your church and bible study attendance, you are building! In witnessing to others, you are building! In your worship time, you are building!
It’s like our highway and road system, which allows us mobility, connectivity and ease of travel….it allows us to better explore and discover our great country from the mountains to the prairies, from the fruited plains to the oceans white with foam….. The building and expansion process never stops, and if it ever did, think of the problems it would cause. The congestion would be unbelievable and delays would be constant! We have to continue building and expanding our highway systems to accommodate present and future growth and needs. Paul is saying the same is true in our spiritual growth, what is OK now, will not be sufficient for the place you will be operating in at a future time. We will live withtomorrow, what we are building now…..we will be tomorrow, what we are building now!!!
Some folks listen to the sermon with a rake, and they receive the word as personal and applicable. Some folks listen with a shovel and shovel it over to all the folks around them…
A certain pastor was preaching on stewardship and he said “Malachi 3:10 tells us that tithing rebukes the destroyer from your life, if you’re a member of this church and you don’t tithe, Satan is eating your lunch”… He noticed that one man in front just smiled real big, even though he never tithed. The Pastor said, “The bible tells us that if you’re winning souls you are wise. If you’re a member of this church and you’re not winning souls, the bible says you are a foolish person. The man on the front, just smiled real big, and the pastor knew that he had never won a soul to Christ. The pastor said, “Scripture tells us to not forsake the assembling together with those of like faith, if you’re a member of this churchand you don’t attend every Sunday you can, you’re in a backslidden condition”… The man in the front just smiled even bigger, and he hardly ever attended. After the service, the pastor shook the man’s hand and greeted him. The pastor asked him why he was smiling so big, while he was preaching. He said, cause I’m just happy that I’m not a member of this church…
Doctor Martin Seligman, professor of Psychology at Penn State University, and the "father" of the Positive Psychology movement, has an equation for happiness, which he calls your "set range" – or your "biological" capacity for happiness. He says that happiness results from some key factors, which he calls “The Authentic Happiness Principles”.... and the conclusion is, that these are completely under our voluntary control and ability to change at any time…
George Eliot said it well, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”
So, Dr. Seligman tells us First, to let go of the false belief that your past negative experiences, which were beyond your control, have to determine your present and future… these are things that were decided without your participation in the decision, such as the place you were born, your nationality, your color or race, the family you were born into, the social, economic, or religious environment you were born into….as well as your height or condition of health when you were born. These are all beyond our control and we had no part in deciding them…
We need to stay clear of the cycle of “destination addiction”…the preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job or with the next partner. If you don’t give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are right now!
Second, Increase your gratitude about the good things in your past…. How you see it is how you will experience it, over, and over, and over….We all encounter some people, who were not so pleasant, and had a negative effect on us, as well as some great folks, who were encouraging and uplifting, and the time will come, when we are able to see the bigger picture, that we will thank them both for their invaluable contribution to our Character, our value system and the strength and purpose they gave to our lives.
Learn to dance in the rain, and come to the place where you are able to say that what’s ahead is far, far better than everything we leave behind.
Third, learn the difference between pleasures and identity investments Pleasures are sensory experiences with a strong emotional component, but which don't require a lot of thinking or planning on our part. By contrast, identity investments come from applying your unique strengths, skills and virtues and have a longer lasting quality to them. Therefore, we need to spend more energy creating fulfilling, investment experiences, that will last beyond the moment. You’ve spent your entire life getting to the place you are now, why not be happy about getting here, and not filled with regret and loathing as if you got here by some huge cosmic mistake!!! When you’re building a life, you understand how each ingredient is part of the final outcome!
No one said life would be easy, but it can certainly be worth the effort!!!
Fourth, discover and uncover your natural strengths---what Seligman calls "signature strengths." We all have our own "top 4 or 5" signature strengths. The key is to learn what they are and do everything we can to express them, in all the areas of our lives! When we operate from our strengths, we discover that they indicate to us our calling, and direction in life….they become part of our mission statement and affect everything we do. Here’s a list of 24 “signature strengths” which should be considered in all of our long term decisions in life…they are your values in action motivations, and they are the difference between living a good and meaningful life instead of just surviving and making it through life…..
These 24 signature strengths are grouped in 6 areas of our life values…
1. Wisdom and Knowledge, are about creativity, curiosity, proper application of truth, love of learning, and healthy perspective…
2. Courage, is about bravery, perseverance, honesty, and willingness to fight for the under dog.
3. Human goodness, is about love, kindness, and social awareness and intelligence
4. Justice, is about teamwork, fairness, and concern for a good, just and equitable outcome…
5. Temperance, is about forgiveness, humility, prudence, self-regulation
6. Transcendence, is about (the ability to rise above and look down upon your circumstances and situations) these include appreciation of beauty and excellence, gratitude, hope, humor, and spirituality…
You can go on the internet and take Doctor Martin Seligman’s“Values in Action Assessment” and get a personal evaluation and complimentary debriefing of your individual strengths and how they affect your choices in life. That’s “Values in Action Assessment” (type it in your browser) Having said this…. It is basically about being your best self, because everyone else is already taken!!!
1Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding (per-is-sos'…. exceeding, over and above, beyond your current measure) in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord”.
We can’t afford to ever stop growing in the Lord. Someone said that if you’re still fighting the same battles you were fighting a year ago, it’s time to get a new battle!!! (you’ve stopped growing)
Fighting the same battles too long means you’re stuck….you’re in a rut…that’s a groove that goes nowhere!!!!
Bob was sick of his job and was determined to find work elsewhere. But no matter how hard he tried, his reputation as someone who was not dedicated to the job, who was always late, and who had sloppy work habits, just seemed to follow him around like a shadow.
One day the phone rang at his office. Although Bob did not usually pick up the phone, he picked it up and said hello. “Hi” said the man on the line, “I have an unusual question to ask you, I’m looking into a fellow named Bob Smith for a position in my company. Do you know this fellow?”
“Sure I know him”, answered Bob with a smile. “Could you tell me,” asked the man. “Is he consistent with his work? Does he always show up on time?” Well, Bob, had a problem being late and he was inconsistent…but he didn’t lie!
“Well I’ll be honest with you” Bob truthfully replied, “I’m not so consistent myself, but whenever I’m here he’s always here!”
1Corinthians 3:9 &16 Paul refers to believers as God’s field, God’s building and God’s temple.
The purpose of a cultivated field, is for producing a harvest. As a farmer plants his crop each year it increases with each harvest, so that each year he is able to plant more because of the multiplication of the seed which he gets in return. We are likened to a field where God intends to produce a harvest. That happens by planting and watering, planting and watering, planting and watering.
The seed we plant is the word, and the water is prayer....
I grew up on a farm, and there’s one thing I know and that is this…. Just standing out in a field and watering it, where no seed has been sown, is not the way to produce a harvest. We need seed sowers and those who water the seed…It takes both planting the seed and watering the field!
If we’re going to have a harvest, we need to make sure that our field is not overrun with weeds. Weeds stifle, crowd out and choke the good plants which we need to grow! So diligence is required if our field is to be weed free! Weeding is hard work but the results are well worth it…
Pruning and weeding are a very similar processes. They both are about removing things that prevent growth and increase. The difference is that pruning focuses on the plant itself and weeding focuses on the stuff around the plant. It’s much the same in our lives of faith. Pruning focuses internally. Weeding focuses externally.
What are the weeds in the life of faith? Jesus names some when He says that the cares of life, riches and the pleasures of life can prevent God’s word from being fruitful in our lives. Weeds are things that capture our attention and get us so focused on the cares of the world, the stuff our money can buy us, and things that give us fleeting happiness that we fill up our lives with that, and tune God out so that we don’t give Him, his rightful place. What are the things in our own individual lives that take time, energy and resources away from us and prevent us from connecting more deeply with God? There are some people in our lives that can be like weeds. They can suck the spiritual life right out of you, if you let them. Their attitudes, opinions, and values, can be a negative influence and drain your spiritual passion. Anyone can grow weeds, but it takes discernment, skill, and dedication to grow a good profitable crop….
Paul also says that we are God’s Building. A strong, solid building, starts with a good foundation. The only foundation with real security, strength and staying power is the foundation of Jesus Christ. We also need to have the right framing and superstructure and Paul talks about building with gold, silver and precious stones or with wood, hay and straw. When you build with gold, silver and precious stones, you will have something that stands the tests of time and the assaults of the enemy. Are we investing our lives in things that are durable and permanent, or things that are perishable and temporary. Are you building on the right foundation? Are you building a good superstructure and proper framing? Are you building with the right materials and values? Recently on the news they reported that a wedding reception was being held on a large second floor deck area, and it collapsed killing many people underneath and injuring many others….The builder is being tried for involuntary manslaughter, because it was found that he built with inferior materials which were not up to code…….Others are depending on us to build our lives with the best materials available, because it’s not just about us!
Paul also tells us that we are God’s Temple.
1 Corinthians 3:17 “For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” When Israel was in the wilderness, the tabernacle was identified with the glory, and the glory was identified with the tabernacle. When the glory moved, the tabernacle moved….and all could behold the glory resting upon it! Once they built the temple, the glory was stationary and residential. That should tell us that we can have the abiding glory of God. What’s so incredible is that Haggai 2:9 says that “The glory of the latter house (that’s us) shall be greater than of the former, says the LORD of hosts…”
When God’s glory moved into our lives, it was and is His intention to stay resident in our lives! In fact, the Holy Spirit in us, is God’s guarantee that He is going to finish in us what He has started!
2 Corinthians 5:5 “Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as His guarantee.”?
When you purchase a house, you first put money down which is a pledge or a deposit which guarantees that there is more to come. The Holy Spirit dwelling within you is God’s guarantee, His pledge, His first installment, that there is much more to come! You ain’t seen nothing yet! He is leading you into greater works, greater victories, and greater demonstrations of His glory in your life!!
So, Let the weak say, "I am strong" Let the poor say, "I am rich" Let the blind say, "I can see" Let the sick say “I am healed” with words of faith confess it and in the name of Jesus claim, because what you say is what you get!!!!
You cannot understand the intent of God’s word apart from supernatural illumination. You can read truth and even hear truth, but only the Holy Spirit can impart truth.
1 Corinthians 2:12 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”? With His word as our constant guide and rule of life, with His Spirit in us, with Kingdom Authority backing and empowering us, and with the people of God around us, we can know a life of increase, expansion and victory!
You are God’s Field…You are God’s Building….You are God’s Temple. Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers v12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ v13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ v14 That we are no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive v15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. v23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind v24 And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness”.
I would like to conclude by declaring together now….personalownership of the growth possibilities that are within our grasp and the options we have been given to be the very best version of ourselves, that we can be….
Lord Jesus, may I come to understand, that blessings are everywhere, if I will choose to look for them. May I know that my attitude will affect the outcomes which I expect and that challenges are often gifts that You have sent to me in disguise. May I trust that most things will get better and improve with time, because I will not be the person then, that I am right now. Because of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in me, I can trust that my instincts & gut feelings have value, and are an extension of Your stirrings within me. Your word gives me assurance that a positive attitude based on Your character of mercy, grace and love, will always cause everything to go smoother because You are working things out for my good and Your glory, every moment in my life. Lord, may I come to See that you have placed me in Your body with skills & talents that You can use, to be a positive influence on many people. May I come to value each moment of every day because each is a blessing to be enjoyed and may I value each person as unique & important to You. Lord, thank you that each moment of my life has meaning and purpose, far beyond what I can see and understand at any given time. May my spirit be open and accepting, of those things which I might not otherwise understand or accept. Renew my spirit with each opportunity and challenge that expands my skills and awareness, opening up areas and abilities in me as I move through each new experience.
Jesus, I seek to walk in Your blessing and favor as I move into the future You have chosen for me. Allow me see and grasp the possibilities which arise each day. I greet whatever awaits with vibrant faith and unending joy. I realize that at times I must forsake the comfortable and familiar, in my quest for the best, for you have made my life, an adventure of discovery and you have gone before me to prepare all my tomorrows with the blessing of new places, new things, new friends, new opportunities, and new challenges..
Lord I declare that as I’m getting older, I am also growing up in all things in Christ. I am becoming what you designed and planned for me to be. Thank you for a right perspective and right priorities today and every day, in Jesus name, Amen.
Under the heading of I did not see that coming…. Someone wrote “If I had a dollar for every time I thought about you, I would start thinking about you”…. Someone else wrote, “My wife told me I needed to grow up and I was speechless. It’s hard to talk with 5 sourballs in your mouth”… Here’s another one….She asked to be assigned to another seat on the plane because she was sitting next to a crying baby. Apparently that’s not allowed if the baby is yours… Oh, one more please….A very touchy, feely, woman was struggling with how she should say goodby. She wasn’t sure if she should throw a kiss or what. But the drive through attendant at Starbucks, said “Lady, just take the coffee and go”….(Didn’t see that coming)
When it comes to our emotions, we are complicated individuals, we can laugh, not because we’re happy, but because it wasn’t any worse than it was… We can cry, not because we’re sad, but because we’re overwhelmed with happiness with that “too good to be true”, feeling.
We get to graduation, and we’re laughing and crying at the same time… Our children are born and we’re happy as the tears are flowing…
When we’re grieving, we can stifle our grief and disappointment for the moment, but it will come out somewhere, when we least expect it…
There are things that happen in all of our lives that we never planned for, but in the thick of it, we can be prepared mentally and spiritually, before hand, so that we don’t lose our equilibrium and our core values can serve as a gyroscope to provide us with balance and purpose so we don’t make fools of ourselves.
We are entering a time and a season when the constancy of God is colliding with the inconsistency of our times. Our expectancy can not be based on the world’s Ka Sa Ra, Sa Ra… but on God’s unchanging nature and His word…
Dr. Viktor Frankl, author of the book "Man's Search for Meaning," was imprisoned by the Nazis in W.W.II because he was a Jew. His wife, his children, and his parents were all killed in the holocaust.
The Gestapo made him strip and as he stood there totally naked, they cut away His wedding ring and Viktor said, "You can take my wife, you can take away my children, you can strip me of my clothes and my freedom, but there is one thing no person can ever take away from me--and that is my freedom to choose how I will react to what happens to me!"
Often, it is those “I Did Not See That Coming” moments that can change everything, and cause a negative situation to become a significant moment in our lives, and give us a new perspective…. A man wanted a boat more than anything. His wife kept refusing, because she wanted a new living room set. But he bugged her until she let him buy one with the promise of a new living room set just as soon as they could afford it. "I'll tell you what," he told her, "In the spirit of compromise, why don't you name the boat?" Being a good sport, she accepted his offer. When her husband went to the dock for his maiden voyage, he saw the name she had chosen, painted on the side. It said “For Sale” You can either be a person who leads, who follows, or who just needs to get out of the way….But there are many things which are all designed to get us to forget our higher purpose. Today is the best time for you to reclaim all the happiness, wealth, success, peace, health, favor, etc. you have unknowingly allowed the Devil to steal from you. You have been destined for greatness.
We are called to be the engine which pulls this train of surprise circumstances and unexpected happenings and not be run over by them…. A caboose pulling an engine would be really weird… because God has promised “I will make you the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath…Deuteronomy 28
Are you the engine or the caboose?.....As a follower of Christ, we are not called to be the engine which follows the caboose… The Father is never surprised or caught unprepared. So many times I have seen these “I did not see that coming” moments become defining moments for folks. A number of years ago, Newsweek magazine carried the story of the memorial service held for Hubert Humphrey, former vice-president of the United States. Hundreds of people came from all over the world to say good-bye to their old friend and colleague. But one person who came was shunned and ignored by virtually everyone there. Nobody would look at him, much less speak to him. That person was former president Richard Nixon. Not long before, he had gone through the shame and infamy of Watergate. He was back in Washington for the first time since his resignation from the presidency to attend the funeral of his old friend.
Then a very special thing happened, perhaps the only thing that could have made a difference and broken the ice. President Jimmy Carter, who was in the White House at that time, came into the room.
Before he was seated, he saw Nixon over against the wall, all by himself. He went over to [him] as though he were greeting a family member, stuck out his hand to the former president, and smiled broadly. To the surprise of everyone there, the two of them embraced each other, and Carter said, "Welcome home, Mr. President! Welcome home!" They never saw that coming!
Commenting on this, Newsweek magazine asserted, “If there was a turning point in Nixon's long ordeal in the wilderness, it was that moment and that gesture of love and compassion."
Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. (Stay salty) v14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. v15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. v16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (A Glow in the dark Christian)
One song says “Let’s give them something to talk about”….Carter changed the atmosphere, when he did something that no one saw coming!!! He could have been like the others, but he chose to be the engine, of higher purpose and not give in to the pull of lesser things….to take the high road of love, acceptance and forgiveness….
Matthew 7:12 – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”
How often have folks been so intimidated by what others think, that they withheld compassion, they withheld words of love and acceptance, and they never spoke words of forgiveness and reconciliation, which have the power to change everything….
Mark 2: 1 “Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he was there. v2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, as he preached the word to them. v3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them.
v4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. (They never saw that coming) v5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (The religious leaders condemned him for saying “your sins are forgiven”)
v10 And I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, v11“I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” v12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” in other words…(They never saw that coming)
I propose to you that not only were they amazed at the paralyzedman getting up and walking home, but they were amazed at the commitment of his friends to get him to Jesus, even if it took tearing the roof off!
What if we were as eager to get someone to Jesus as these friends, who knew that if they could get their friend to Him, his life would change totally and completely! So they tore the roof off… They would do whatever it took, to make THIS MEETING possible!
The roof was a symbol of whatever was blocking the way to Jesus…
The Woman with the issue of blood for twelve years pushedthrough the crowd and touched the hem of His garment.
Blind Bartimaes would not stop crying out to Jesus till he got his sight.
Zacchaeus, the short tax collector, didn’t let the crowd stop him from seeing Jesus, he found a tree and up he climbed.
There will always be obstacles, when you determine to get to Jesus. But the Blessing is for those who refuse to give up.
The children of Israel, marched around Jericho 6 days and then 7 times on the 7th day! And the walls came tumbling down….(Come on, one more time around the walls and they’ll start to tremble and shake) They’ll never see that coming!!!
Eleazor was the name, of one of David’s mighty men. His name means “God is my help”….and in the heat of battle, “he arose and smote the Philistines until his hand cleaved unto the sword, and the Lord wrought a great victory that day. His hand was frozen to his sword so that he could not let it go! It had become a part of him!!!
Oh, may God’s word sword have such an effect on us, that we are so attached to it, that it has become a part of us and we cannot let it go….
Oh, sometimes the cross gets heavy and we may become weary from carrying it, but it has become so much a part of our daily crucifixion life- style that we cannot let it go…. “I am crucified with Christ, non-the-less I live, and the life I now live, I live by the faith of the son of God”….. We have come to understand that the price we may pay to carry the cross is nothing compared to the cost of casting it aside and doing our own thing….
“So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, till my trophies at last I lay down, I will cling to the old rugged cross, and exchange it some day for a crown.”
May Eagle’s Rest be a church that takes the roof off! When you take the roof off, we’ll have prostitutes, and drug addicts, and homeless, and perverts, and cross dressers, and rich and poor finding God together, and blacks, and Chinese, and Arabs, and Jews, all sitting together praising and worshiping God, and praying together and praying for one another….
That’s about taking the roof off, it’s about acceptance and forgiveness, the God kind of love and “Many folks never saw that coming”!!! WE NEVER SAW IT LIKE THIS they said…. Because someone took the roof off!!!
The church of Jesus was never intended to be a club for a privileged few, but a mission field, a hospital for the sick, a transformation station for those who know deep down that there is more!
Go into the highways and byways and compel them to come in….that my house may be full…. (whose house, oh HIS HOUSE) OOPS, did we start thinking it was our house? Jesus is describing HIS HOUSE!
WHEN WE TAKE THE ROOF OFF! IT’S COME AS YOU ARE….and know you’re loved. These folks who tore the roof off came just as they were. Thank you Jesus you love all of us just like we are. We don’t have to be someone else for You to love us… We just need to come as we are, But He loves us enough that He won’t leave us like we are! He has better for us, and if there is one thing in life that will always stay the same it is that change is coming! There will always be change.
So you might as well let go and start taking the roof off!!!
“Whosoever will, may come”…. Jesus came into this world at one of it’s darkest periods… The cruel Roman empire ruled over Jerusalem. Jesus healed the Centurion’s servant. He loved the very Jews who crucified Him. He preached love in towns where they sought to stone Him for His message. He loved the prostitute, the tax collector, the outcast and unclean. He was as comfortable among sinners as He was among the religious crowd. His message was “Whosoever will, may come”…. “Whosoever believes on the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved”…..His final act while hanging on the cross, was to welcome a thief, who was hanging there with him, to join Him in heaven. FOLKS JUST NEVER SAW THAT COMING….
LET’S GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT!
There was once an absent-minded professor who became so absorbed in his work that he forgot the simplest of details. One morning his wife said, "Now Henry, remember, we are moving today. Here, I'm putting this note in your pocket. Don't forget." The day passed by and the man came home to his house. He entered the front door, and found the place empty. Confused, he walked out to the curb and sat down. A young boy walked up to him, and he asked him, "Little boy, do you know the people who used to live here?" The boy replied, "Sure, Dad, mom told me you'd forget that we moved."
Get ready to move….Jesus is saying, “Follow Me” and that may mean we’ll have to move from where we’ve been, to where Jesus is at”!!!! It may mean that it’s no longer our church but His church!
Isn’t that what He said…. “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not be able to prevail against it”!!!
When they took the roof off… It means they became known by their compassion… When others had given up, when they had lost hope, and others felt they had done all they could… notice that this man’s friends didn’t give up on him. It doesn’t say that his family tore off the roof to get him to Jesus, it says his friends did it. Maybe his family had given up, and felt there was nothing more they could do… but his FRIENDS wouldn’t stop trying, praying, and believing….
May we be that kind of fellowship…
Taking the roof off is about getting people out of themselves and into a new life, a larger place. Doctors will tell you that 75% of the things they treat people for, is because of personal life style choices they are making.
James 4:17 “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin”.
We rise up by moving into a larger place, a place of obedience..Tithing, gathering with those of faith, showing Jesus to your neighbors by caring, and accepting, live a life of joy, peace, and faith words and actions….If you’re following Jesus, that’s where your path will take you….
Taking the roof off means to stop judging, criticizing and gossiping Jesus said, judge not or you will be judged….You can’t judge and gossip and criticize and forgive at the same time….If we know to not judge others and do it then it is a sin… TIME TO TAKE THE ROOF OFF OF JUDGING AND DISECTING ONE ANOTHER OFF! (No matter how thin you slice it, it’s a lot of bologna)
Speaking of judging…..A little girl was being punished for her disobedience. Her mom and dad decided that her punishment would be for her to eat dinner alone in the corner, while the rest of them would sit at the table. As they sat down to eat, the family paid no attention to her until they heard her pray. She was intense and passionate as the words rose to heaven… “I thank You, Lord, for preparing a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” They never saw that coming….(sounds like one of my kids)
Taking the roof off, means finding a new way that you haven’t tried before…. Who says it has to be the way it was 10, 20, or 30 years ago….as long as it’s God’s way!
Isaiah 43:18 “Remember not the former things, neither consider the things of old. v19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth, shall younot know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert”. Are you willing to do something drastic to see your friend get to Jesus? Are you willing to take a risk so that someone else can come to know Him? Are you willing to do something foolish to bring them to a defining spiritual moment, you may have to go outside the box….
Taking the roof off, means making Jesus accessible to the people, when the people won’t come to church, or home meeting… it means you may have to meet them where they are, and carry them when they can’t do it themselves. Providing transportation, friendship, and a listening ear and a caring heart. It’s about taking the higher ground and leading by example. Not as I say but as I do…
Joe had lost his job and was unemployed. His son Jared asked him one day when they were at the table, if there even was a God to hear his prayers. Joe said I don’t know what to tell you son. So, Jared released a helium balloon and said God if you are up there and you’re real, send people who know you to help dad and me. They happenedupon a free carwash the church was doing. People prayed with them and led them to faith in Christ. A Sanitation worker was upset that the free car wash was creating a traffic jam. He pulled in and started complaining while doing so, the people who were washing cars prayed with him. He recognized Joe and Jared, and offered Joe a job. Because the Christians who were doing the free car wash, decided to take the roof off and try something different. Two families came to Christ, Jared’s faith was restored, Joe got a job, and Jesus was Glorified….
Taking the roof off is about cooperation…. We are told that the 4 of them came together and joined their faith and strength, to get this man to Jesus. They had to be agreed, and they had to work together. If they had only focused on their differences, it would never have happened. They put aside their differences so their friend could have a better life. Matthew 18:18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. v19 Again, I tell you truly that if two of you on the earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. v20 For where two or three gather together in My name, there am I with them.”…
Sometimes our personal preferences become the obstacle to getting things accomplished for the kingdom.
It really isn’t about us, it’s about the Father’s business, and the Father’s pleasure. Who can I send, and who will go for me, Isaiah asks us. Instead of saying what we don’t have and can’t do, use what you do have and you can do….
1 Corinthians 12:16 “And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. v17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? v18But in fact, God has arranged the members of the body, every one of them, according to His pleasure”.…
To insist that everyone do what I’m doing because it’s what I’m doing, or like what I like, or be like I am. Is to fail to appreciate their uniqueness and their individual giftedness. Thank God we’re not all alike…BORING!!
Some of us are quite, some of us are more vocal, some are more expressive and some less, some of us like different food, different music, different styles and different places… but are we agreed on what is important… Showing God’s love, forgiveness and acceptance…
God is not a respecter of persons…. Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart.
Moses started out as a basket case, but God used him…
Jacob was a liar, but God used him….
Peter was always putting his foot in his mouth, but God used him…
Samson had woman issues, but God used him…
People can be like roses, if you can get beyond the thorns you can appreciate the beauty of the rose…. Let’s not lose our focus and create obstacles where God is creating great, life changing opportunities….
Something the Lord spoke to me, is that we as a church must rise up higher if we are to take the roof off. There must be a repositioning. A laying aside of every weight and the sin that easily besets us. We must shut ourselves in with the Lord in order to move higher in our spiritual position. There are things that will not happen or be accomplished on the low road of surface spirituality. It will take an ascending to the high places if we are to tear satan’s kingdom down. There is a secret place where we can be seated in heavenly places. To open up the heavens, we must loose our grip on many things of this life. It takes open hands and a pure heart to ascend to Zion’s hill… We receive by letting go, we truly live by dying to the flesh and the pull of the world…. This is about Alignment… Not my will but Thine be done…. What would Jesus Do…. Allowing Him to be the shepherd, leading us out and bringing us in…. I would like us to agree with someone as we tear the roof off in closing… Join hands with someone, or lay hands on their shoulder…. Where is it you need to make access to get someone to Jesus. Where you need to do something different than you’ve tried before…Where you need to come into a larger place of obedience….Where you need to help some one who can’t help themselves…What needs to be cleared out of the way.. What is the place of obedience that you need to step into…. That’s calling into your spirit today….
What is it that’s been calling to your spirit….Something you never dreamed is waiting to happen…Step in while the waters are being stirred…The 4 friends stepped out of the box and saw a miracle!!!
As I was reading the story of Abraham and Sarah, and how Sarah gave her concubine Hagar to Abraham so he could have a childbecause she was barren. I got to the part where Sarah got jealous when the concubine got pregnant and drove her into the wilderness. There in the barren waste land, with no food or water, she was about to die when the angel of the Lord led her to water. Some scholars feel that this was none other than the Lord, because it tells us that she gave a name to the “Lord” who rescued her and spoke prophetically to her and her unborn child. Look at it in
Genesis 16:13 And Hagar gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: "You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me." The one who knows my past, present and my future..
I was also looking at the first chapter of John’s gospel which presents us with more than we can wrap our minds around without very extensive study and analysis. It’s more than we could explore in one study such as this. But our focus today is, about how John emphasizes that WE CAN SEE GOD. Look at the words from this scripture in John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. v2 The same was in the beginning with God. v3 All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made. v4 In Him was life; and that life was the light of men. v5 And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehends it not.” The light shines in darkness and the darkness comprehends it not…
It’s so like what Hagar says “I have seen the one who sees me”….who shines a light in my darkness.
John lays it out plainly. “No one has ever seen God.” But then he says it is Jesus His only Son who has made Him see’able. When you look at those first verses, of John, the theme of BEING ABLE TO SEE, is paramount to discovering it’s truth and finding yourself in that light. John uses a couple of different words for seeing, and he uses these “seeing” words more often than any writer in the New Testament. Now there were a lot of people who might have seen Jesus…seen what color hair he had, or how tall he was, or that he was a Jewish man.
But John joins Mary, Joseph, Zechariah and Hannah, who really SEE him here. Just like the others I have mentioned, John had a revelation from God that this Jesus was the Lamb of God. He saw with his eyes, but more importantly, he saw with his SPIRIT…he understood who Jesus was. Often in the gospel, the use of the word “see” has this double meaning. It’s the same in English. I see something, but then suddenly, it’s as though a curtain opens and I really, truly SEE!!!! I suddenly comprehend a deeper meaning beyond what my eyes had been viewing. I see and then, I SEE. He sees Jesus, and then he SEES JESUS, and says, “Here is the Lamb of God.”
Being a disciple means you believe in someone, it means you live with them, you travel with them, you stick with them through thick and thin. The two disciples who were following John the Baptist… now, they are following Jesus. What shifted their allegiance? Certainly the clue we are given is that John has pointed out to them that this man is the Son of God, the long awaited hope of Israel. John’s words were enough for them to pack up and start following the one John pointed to. Now Jesus sees the two men following him, there were crowds of people around him. But Jesus SEES them … he knows them, not as casual passers-by, but as people whose eyes have been opened to really SEE HIM.
And he asks them a question, “What are you looking for?” These are the first recorded words of Jesus in John’s gospel. The first words of “God made flesh”, the first words out of His mouth in this gospel are “What are you looking for?” The two men formerly known as disciples of John were put on the spot, and they were unprepared for this question. You would think they might say, “We are looking at the Lamb of God, the Son of God, the hope of Israel. That’s what you are” In fact later the next day, Andrew, one of these disciples, excitedly goes to his brother Peter and says, “We have found the Messiah.” He thinks he sees who Jesus is, here on the second day after meeting him. But it is only three years later, as they have been with Jesus, as they have seen Jesus in the garden and seen Him on the cross and seen Him laid in a tomb, that they realize the depth of what it meant to SEEJesus.
But they aren’t ready to totally commit to what they see, so they respond to a question with a question, “Where are you staying?” It’s an engaging question, because it shows they want to be with him, they don’t just want a five minute Q & A with Jesus on the street…they want to spend time with him. They need to see more, and to take in more, in order to properly respond to Him. So their question doesn’t just mean, which house do you sleep in, which street is it on… It means, if we follow You, where are we going? How will this change our lives?
But John’s gospel has already given us the inside scoop.
John has just told us, “The word became flesh and dwelt among us?” So when the disciples ask, “Where are you staying?” or “What is Your address?”, you can imagine Jesus answering with a little smile on His face as He hears this question, because He knows the answer will blow these men away. He doesn’t sit down and lay out the facts. He doesn’t give them a ten point summary of why he is the Messiah, or what it means to leave heaven and come to dwell with humans. Instead he tells them to come and find the answer and SEE for themselves.
Because we as humans live in the valley of the shadow of death, Jesus walked there too. We were all the living, who were dying, but Jesus came to transform the dying into those who would live with Him eternally….. Come and SEE, that was the message to the disciples. Come and let your eyes be opened…..And of course the miracle at the end of the gospel is the glorious realization of actually seeing the power of God over sin and death. The disciples see the empty tomb, but it is only when they physically see Jesus’ resurrected body again, that they really SEE THE EMPTY TOMB and what that means for all of us, for all eternity. What a chapter, this first chapter of John is! I think it’s too bad that we mostly only read the first part of the chapter… And we hear Jesus’ question today, “What you are you looking for?” What is it that you think you want to see, because it is only the smallest part of the bigger thing which you will come to know, as you follow Messiah and your eyes are able to really, trulySEE.
What are we looking for together? Are we looking for the same thing, or are we looking for different things? Because what we are looking for, will determine what we see. God is moving and working and walking through the minutes, hours and days of our lives, but wesimply fail to notice because that was not what we were looking forand expecting to see.
Important things can happen, and you will not notice them if you are not SEEING them for their deeper meaning. Jesus’ question, “What are you looking for?” is really important. It’s central. Because we must re-train ourselves to look for the right things. What am I looking for? Is the job, just about getting a paycheck, or am I there to focus on more eternal things? Am I so busy providing for my family, that I fail to provide for my family the ability to see and recognize Jesus through all their days?
Am I so caught up with my problems and challenges, that I fail to be sensitive to those around me, who are looking and searching for meaning and purpose in their own lives? Check, check, check.
How many situations and circumstances were not what we expected, and how many places were not where we would rather be? But in those places and in those circumstances. How often do we want our cake and eat it too…the power of God is working among every terribly broken situation, and through every crisis.
As you go through it, and you cried out for God to show up, (and you did’trealize, God was showing up, all the time). “Jesus was standing in the midst, in His risen power, and it should have been a time of worship, and a hallowed, sacred time, but because we were looking at the wrong things, we missed it when it walked right by us, and stood in front of us! It’s about, what we are looking for.“The light shines in darkness and the darkness comprehends it not”
Peter in the storm, cried out “Lord, let me come to You”….That’s what truly seeing Him will do….Our quest, our assignment, is to lookfor Jesus, to find Him wherever we go and whatever the situation… If we do, we will be seeing Him all over the place. If I’m looking for other things, which may be fun things, feel good things, comforting things, or even important things that I really treasure, well, guess what, I might just miss the pearl of great price that is right there in front of my eyes. The only thing worth really looking for is Jesus. You can get caught up in looking for a nicer home, or a bigger bank account, or better job, and those things are not bad, but if we spend our time distracted by that, we might miss something of far greater value…..
So, what will that look like? Jesus standing there, saying, “Come and see.” It would be great to be able to report to you that every situation will be dramatically turned around, the way we want it to be. That everyone will be thriving, successful and prosperous the way we want to see it! But truth be known, we can’t reallyknow what that’s going to look like, even as we obey His calling and His promptings of the Spirit.
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the call went out “Come and See”… As He healed the lame, the blind, the deaf and the dead… the call went out “Come and See”…. When he turned the water into wine, multiplied the loaves and fishes, cast out demons, folks were saying “Come and See”… Every since He walked out of the tomb and went from hell to heaven.. folks have been coming to see that empty tomb and remembering that the power of death is broken, to see Him is to be set free from the power of sin, sickness and death!
It doesn’t always happen on our time frame, and it doesn’t always happen the way we want… Can you see Jesus, the potter in your life…. because we are the clay, not the potter… and the clay must submit to the potter’s plan, and surrender to His shape and design. But there is not a moment where the potter is not present, if we could see…. To see that the kingdom of God is dependent on our surrender to be where He is, doing what He is doing.. wherever that may be!What we are looking for determines what we see, and that can change who we are!
We must keep our eyes peeled to see that Jesus is present in ways that our minds cannot take in. To SEE the potter in the doctor’s office where we get the bad news. SEE the potter working with us when we get the middle of the night phone call saying there’s been an accident. SEE the potter in the storm. SEE the potter when you’ve just been told “You’re fired”…. Have you found the potter, workingin this pandemic? If we are looking for Jesus, we will always find Him. There is no power on earth or in the spiritual realms that can stop Jesus from being involved in every aspect of our lives together. What will that look like in our future? There was a fellow in Philadelphia who went to the flea market and found a frame he liked. It was only a couple of bucks, in the frame was a dusty print of a country church. It was torn and faded, but the guy liked the frame so he bought it.When he got home he opened it up and out tumbled a neatly folded sheet of old parchment paper. It was the Declaration of Independence. What everyone had thought was a two-dollar painting at a flea market actually contained one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence printed on July 4, 1776, worth over 2.4 million.
Sometimes Jesus is hidden from those who don’t know what to lookfor or where to look… At the prison, a personal tragedy, a homeless person, the hungry…. He said as you have done it unto the least of these you’ve done it unto me… and suddenly there is Jesus, where we least expected Him…..
Come and SEE, that’s the invitation David received from his brothers when he brought their lunch. Come and see this giant who curses and threatens Israel. So when David SAW what was happening, he saw a cause, but he asked why is no one is going forth and takingGoliath’s challenge. Why is the entire army of Israel cowering from the verbal assaults of Goliath, he said, “Is there not a cause?” That’s why we’re here today. It’s why we’re seeking to move forward in faith: “Is there not a cause?” If you’ve met some giants lately, you know that they make you feel small and weak. They can scare you. They definitely will intimidate you. When Goliath walks through your life, His sword and spear represent everything that intimidates you, frightens you, and makes you want to run the other way! Away from your calling, away from your purpose, away from obedience, away from your destiny!
Giants continually kept the people of God from God’s will and His best. They either limit them, hinder them, or totally prevent them.There will always be giants, (tell someone “There will always be giants) not only personally but corporately as believers. Attempt anything for God and there will be giants. So we have a choice. We can live infear because “there are giants” or we can SEE that there is a greater, a more eternal cause! So, how can we take on the giants that we face so that we can live in the blessing, freedom and victory that God wants to give us?
This well-known story of David and Goliath gives us some powerful insights. It’s a story filled with contrasts—Saul and the armies of Israel viewing the situation from a human perspective said (“Have you seen this giant?”).
David viewing things from God’s perspective, says “All I see is an uncircumcised Philistine, who is defying my God?” Saul had confidence in his armor, as long as David was the guy wearing it, but David had confidence in his God.
Saul was concerned about his own image but David was concerned with the honor of God. From David the giant killer we learn how to take on the giants in life, and to overcome the giants of life, we need a spiritual perspective. From a human perspective, Goliath was too much giant! He’s over nine feet tall, his armor weighed 125 pounds. The tip of his spear alone weighed 15 pounds. He was huge.
Goliath challenged Israel to a battle of two champions—their champion against him. The losers would become the slaves of the winner. Who would control who…..This was aboutwinner take all. This plan saved time and potentially avoided useless bloodshed, but it only worked if someone accepted the challenge. (no one was willing) The tipping point of the victory was about what they saw…..Israel was in a “but what if we lose” mentality… David was thinking “but what if we win” We rarely understand how much depends on our single act of obedience! How many are affected when we are able to truly SEE!
When the giants are able to keep you in disobedience, the battle is lost before it is ever fought! David has a spiritual perspective! Saul and the armies of Israel were afraid because they measured everything by the power of Goliath, David measured everything by the power of His God….
David saw it as a conflict between God and the forces of evil. Saul and his soldiers saw Goliath and thought, “He’s so big we can never kill him!” David saw Goliath and thought, “He’s so big, I can’t miss, no matter where I throw the stone, I’m going to hit a piece of Goliath!” If you want to slay a Goliath, you must begin by seeing it as God sees it and know that God is in it with you. You’ll not conquer it if you don’t see things from God’s perspective. How you SEE is the starting point for the victory. Notice two things about David’s faith, the kind of faith we need… We need a faith rooted in personal experience, and that comes from obedience and faithfulness. This wasn’t David’s first outing in the school of faith. As a teenager, he’d proven God in his place as shepherd. He had seen that God was working through him, in every challenge and every test. First it was a lion then a bear, now would be no different….Enemies come and go, but he knew that God is constant! What is your track record?
As David stood before Goliath, his faith was in his personal relationship with God, and He knew God was there in every situation, It wasn’t his religion it was his relationship. David knew that how he handled Goliath, was a demonstration of his relationship with his God. He also had no illusions about what was really going on here… and while he was no match for Goliath, David knew that when that giant took on God, he got in way over his head. Get it straight, they’re not fighting you, they’re fighting God!
Peter understood this when he said, in 1 Peter 1:7 “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ”. (Hey, gold is up to $2000.00 an ounce)
David’s vision was filled with God and therefore everything else was whittled down to proper size. He saw Goliath but he saw him from God’s perspective, and that made all the difference. Throughout the pages of Scripture, whether it’s David taking on Goliath or Abraham leaving everything to follow God, Noah building the ark, when the whole world is against him, Moses leading the Israelites across the desert, Nehemiah building the walls of Jerusalem, or the disciples leaving everything behind as they follow Jesus….It was about what they SAW!
The God inside of you is bigger than the giant in front of you….Agiant is any situation in our path which blocks the way and keeps us from walking with the Lord in the way He wants us to go. It can be a person who opposes us or it might be a combination of circumstances which when taken together block us from doing what God wants done. For most of us, the greatest giants are the ones we face on the inside, not the outside. Usually those inner giants defeat us much faster than any giant we face on the outside. That’s called perspective… it’s also called vision! It’s in the mind where the battle must be fought and won. Many of us are facing a giant right now. It may be an impossible situation at work or home. It may be a financial difficulty or a broken relationship. It may be a task before you that you know you can’t handle. It may be a dream that seems unreachable. Perhaps your past failures are trying to insert themselves into your future. What was behind you is now standing in front of you…. Giants by definition are enormous, threatening and intimidating. They want to fill up our vision, until we can see nothing else but the problem, or the risk of failure in front of us.
James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he must flee from you.” As believers, the battlefield is where we grow upand mature spiritually. We will never grow up and mature, until we dare to meet the enemy head on, in the power and might of God’s Spirit within us. There’s nothing like war to turn a novice Christian, into a veteran believer. There are always giants in the promised land. Israel would still be in tents in the wilderness, if there wasn’t a Caleb and a Joshua spirit to drive them out and possess the land… As long as we run when the giant rears his ugly head, we’ll have to face him tomorrow and all the tomorrows after that. He won’t go away until we stand up and fight him. Goliath never leaves on his own, he must be defeated. Goliath came back twice a day for 40 days until David went down to face him in the valley. Your giants are the same way. They’ll never leave on their own. Until you stand and fight in Jesus’ name, until then, they win every time.
David didn’t realize it, but he needed Goliath. Can you see it….Onthe other side of Goliath, was his destiny, dreams fulfilled, God’s will accomplished… In the same way we need our own giants today, because we’ll never become all that God wants us to be without them. You may be praying to be delivered from them, God intends to use the struggle you face to make you stronger. Giants don’t come to defeat you, but to elevate you and promote you to the next level. John 1:29 “The next day he saw Jesus coming towards him and declared, ‘Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”! Everyone else saw the carpenter, Mary’s son, the Nazarene. But John saw Him for who He truly was. As we move through our days, and face our giants, may we see our Lord in the midst of it all, moving and working to glorify God, and then having seen Him, that battlefield is transformed into a place of worship!!! John 1:11 “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. v12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: v13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”.
I want you to thank God today for the giants God is using to bring your blessing to you. Take a moment and see yourself running to them and not away from them, like David did with Goliath! Put on the full armor of God, take the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God and win this, so you can move on…..You don’t have to keep facing it next month and next year…. Defeat it now, and move into the blessing!
OK, my message today is LIVING YOUR FAITH …. But first, I came across a bit of humor that I will begin things with…. I heard the government is putting chips inside of people, so
I’m signing up for ranch flavored doritos…
Here’s some COVID Humor that comes out of the quarantine….
We reset our clocks and went from Eastern Time to the Twilight Zone.
I'm excited that it's time to take out garbage. But what should I wear?
I used to spin the toilet paper like I was on Wheel of Fortune. Now I turn it like I'm cracking a safe. I still haven't decided where to go for vacation----- The Living Room or the back porch.
You need to put on your skinny jeans once in a while. Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom. Let’s all practice social-distancing with the refrigerator.
OK our opening scripture is…Mark
She had the key to her own healing, and she held the turn around to her own situation all along. It was her faith that pushed through the crowd, it was her faith that refused to be denied, it was her faith that said “If I can only touch Him, I shall be made whole! When Jesus said “Your faith has made you whole”, He was saying that her faith actions made the difference. Like Jacob of old, who said “I will not let you go, until the blessing I receive”… He would not be denied….
It's having faith when the feeling is gone, and you still obey the master, when there is no silver lining to the black clouds over head, but you know the Sun is going to come out soon….It’s about believing when everything you’ve tried has failed and laysdead at your feet….So you still pay your tithe, and you gather with fellow believers in church, and you visit the sick when you are sick yourself…. It’s those “Hold on my child, joy comes in the morning” actions that are motivated by a belief in the unchanging reality of the character and nature of God… The Job kind of faith that says “Though God slay me, yet will I trust Him! Someone said, “We used to have Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash. Now we have no jobs, no hope and no cash.... I just hope Kevin Bacon doesn’t dienow….
We speak words that release heaven in the earth, but we must combine that with faith actions. We push through the barriers by faith, and virtue begins to flow….Our words are like a single match which may not seem like much, but it can start a forest fire that spreads further than we could ever imagine. Be a fire starter with your words of faith….
By faith we see our problems as God’s opportunities…Our dilemmas bring us into God’s solutions, Our barriers of resistance can create the updraft that becomes God’s wind beneath our wings…. Without resistance, flight could never have happened. The formula for flight is LIFT+ RESISTANCE + THRUST= FLIGHT..
Believe it…. THEY SHALL MOUNT UP WITH WINGS AS EAGLES!!!!
Shel Silverstein wrote….”Listen to the Musn’ts, my child, Listen to the don’ts, Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles and the won’ts. Listen to “You’ll never have”, then listen close to me…Anything can happen, child, anything can be”…
In our next story Luke
If Alan, found out that he had leprosy, he could no longer be in here with us, he would have to leave the building and even leave the city! He couldn’t hug Mary and his children and grandchildren, because they might get the disease. How terrible is that?!
You can see that leprosy wasn’t just bad for a person’s body, but it was also terrible for their ability to enjoy friends and family, since they lived alone. Sometimes lepers would get very lonely and seek out other lepers to live with. That’s why the ten men in this story were together. They all had leprosy, and they were not allowed to be a part of their original family and community of friends. In some parts of the world today, groups of lepers living together are called “leper colonies.” Think about walking along and your ear, or your nose or fingers start falling off. Their bodies were daily falling away…..
Leprosy made a person “unclean”. Because leprosy was so contagious, people long ago would shout “UNCLEAN! UNCLEAN!” when they were walking on the road or were in the company of people who did not have leprosy. No one wanted to be near a person with this terrible disease, so anytime a leper was within shouting distance of anyone, they had to walk along shouting the word “unclean” so everyone could get clear of them. Lepers didn’t just need healing, they needed wholeness. Jesus looked at the outward appearance, but He saw the person on the inside, the person they could be, in spite of the social stigma…. Their problem was embedded with a promise, and the promise contained their solution, and it was written some 600 years before…. And Jesus brought it’s reality into their lives. Hallelujah, God’s word will not perish from the earth until all is fulfilled…And Jesus has a promise that He is ready to bring to you Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope”.
God’s voice is in your mouth…. God said to Moses… “I will be with your mouth”…..You are His voice in the earth….Claim your promise…. Let’s all give a voice to this.. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”Ephesians 1:3
How about “And the peace of God, which surpassesunderstanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”. Philippians 4:7
We need to speak it out…. Don’t Let Your Struggle Become Your Identity, let your identity be shaped by the values and principles of God’s word and His intentions towards you…. Stop living according to what the world intends and live by what the Father intends for you…..
In our next story….Mark 10 states that the blind man, Bartimaeus, was sitting on the side of the road begging. He heard Jesus was passing by, and it was by his faith that he called out to Jesus.
Mark 10:46-52 “They came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus (the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting by the road. When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out, ‘Son of David, Jesus, have mercy on me!’ Many people told him to keep quiet, but he was crying out all the more, ‘Have mercy on me, Son of David!’ Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’ Sothey called the blind man and said to him, ‘Have courage! Get up; He’s calling for you.’ He threw off his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus. Then Jesus answered him, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ ‘Rabbouni,’ the blind man told Him, ‘I want to see!’ ‘Go your way,’ Jesus told him. ‘Your faith has made you whole.’ Immediately he could see and began to follow Jesus on the road.”
Wholeness - this is a word that is very familiar in our society today - We have: Whole Foods, Whole wheat, and Whole grain. Then you have words like:Wholesome, Wholehearted, We want the whole story, We want the whole truth and nothing but the truth
Holistic is about- dealing with or treating the whole of something, not just it’s parts or individual symptoms. A doctor who takes a holistic approach will take into account mental and social factors, rather than just the physical symptoms of a disease.
A group of doctors from the University of Minnesota, secured a grant from the government to study alternative healing methods.The doctors said, in effect, “We went back and examined all the old folk remedies. And we found that some of them we had said wouldn’t work did work. After running them through our laboratory, we found out why they worked. We even tried old wives’ remedies. We didn’t turn any of them down. We are in the healing business after all. “We also found out that divine healing works. We have records of people who were in the last stages of cancer, and were going to die.
But after a man of God came in, anointed them with oil, and laid hands on them, these people got up and left the hospital completely well, sometimes within two or three days.
We know divine healing works, but we can’t put it through the laboratory like we did the other remedies. If we knew how it worked, we would share that approach to healing with people also.”
They think that their microscopes and their centrifuge machines, and their smudges on litmus paper provide substance. But they miss the fact that the word which spoke the worlds and all that is in them into existance, is the same word substance that speaks to our human condition here and now….
Jesus said “be made whole”….The woman, and the leper, in scripture, were not just healed, they were made whole, emotionally, psychologically, and in every area of genetic susceptibility they may have had. They were not only healed but they were delivered and set free of all the effects …. The shame, the hurt, the loneliness, the feeling of being less than everyone else…
There is a prayer of wholeness which we are given in scripture… It’s found in 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And cause your spirit, soul, and body to be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it”. You should write that down and confess it over yourself and all your family!
When my son Chris was a little tyke, he had dyslexia, spacialdisorder, and Attention Deficit Disorder. He would bring papers home from school and it was completely backward. You could hold it up to a mirror and it would be perfect. He got an infection in his tonsils and we were going to have to remove them. A minister who moved in the gift of healing was having meetings at our church, and he called Chris up. As he laid hands on him and prayed, Chris swallowed his tonsils, but what we didn’t know was that the Lord had also made our son WHOLE!
Not only were his tonsils gone, but after those meetings, all of his disorders were gone. His writing was corrected, his spacialproblem was gone, (he still had problems like any kid paying attention) BUT HE WAS MADE WHOLE!
The blind man, Bartimaeus, was sitting on the side of the road begging. And I like that part where the folks tried to quite the man down, because he was crying out so loud, but it says he cried out even louder… He was determined to stop Jesus…. Listen, faith with corresponding action will stop Him every time!!! People will try to hold you back, intimidate you, “sit down you’re rocking the boat”!!! He Got Up!!! He couldn’t see yet, but he got up!!! Don’t let your faith be subject to what someone else thinks….Theyhaven’t walked in your moccasins… Like the crowd in Bartimaeus’ day, they will shut you down, and push you aside….You’re not trying to get their attention, you’re wanting to get God’s attention!!!
If you say you believe healing is yours, but you don’t start acting like you are being healed, then you don’t really believe it….HeGot Up!
If you say you believe you are set free from whatever you’re struggling with, but you don’t start acting like you are set free, then you don’t really believe it….He Got Up!
If you say you believe in forgiveness, but you don’t start acting like you have forgiven others, or that you are forgiven, then you don’t really believe it….He Got Up!
AM I TALKING TO ANYONE?
There must be a transition from I hope it will happen, to I believe it has happened and I will now order my life by it’sreality. I will talk like it, I will think like it, and I will act like it!
Heaven and earth are waiting for Your confession, your declaration, your words and your actions, because they are whatsets things in motion… I’ll tell you what… Let’s practice right now….join me…. “I DECLARE God’s blessings and goodness over my life.
I DECLARE I will experience God’s faithfulness. He will not fail me.
I DECLARE I am full of power, strength, and determination. I will overcome every obstacle, outlast every challenge, and come through every difficulty better off than I was before.
I DECLARE I have not missed my window of opportunity to accomplish my dream. This is my time. This is my moment. I receive it today!
I DECLARE I am receiving opportunities, and favor and I will focus on what is right and not what is wrong, and what my God is able to do.
I DECLARE that I am a part of a legacy of faith and future generations will be blessed as I live with excellence and integrity.
I DECLARE that God has a great plan for my life. He is directing my steps. And even though I may not always understand how, I know He will work out every detail to my advantage, in His perfect timing.
I DECLARE that God’s plan for me will not be stopped by people, disappointments, or adversities. God has solutions to every problem I will ever face, including the right people and the right opportunities in my future. People will go out of their way to help me.
I DECLARE that I will move forward from barely making it to having more than enough. God will open up supernatural doors for me. He will speak to the right people about me. I will see Ephesians 3:20 exceedingly, abundantly, above-and-beyond favor and increase in my life.
I DECLARE that I will speak favor and victory over my family, friends, and loved ones. I will help call out their seeds of greatness by telling them “I’m proud of you. I love you. You are amazing. You are talented. You are beautiful. You will do great things in life.”
I DECLARE that I have a sound mind filled with good thoughts, not thoughts of defeat. By faith, I am well able. I am anointed. I am equipped. I am empowered. My thoughts are guided by God’s Word, every day. No obstacle can defeat me because my mind and spirit are programmed for victory”.
You need to understand your power….. here’s a word that graphically addresses that…. “Now (your) faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1)
Sometimes we hear someone say that they are stepping out in faith in a new venture. Generally, they mean they don’t know what is going to happen or what the future holds. They feel an urge to try something new and take a stab at it. That’s not what Hebrews is talking about.
When a person steps out in this Hebrews kind of faith, he will be standing on substance, something solid with corresponding evidence.
What about Hope….Hope is important, but hope alone lacks substance. You can hope that you are saved, but hope always puts it out there some where in the future. There is no substance, even though it gives you a target to shoot for. God’s word says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved”…So you believe on the lord Jesus Christ….Now you have substance. Now you are SAVED! You begin to speak like it, think like it and act like it… It has substance! Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ, (our substance) the same yesterday, today and forever”.. You are not saved because you feel saved, or that you hope you’re saved. You are saved because you have put your faith in the substance of God’s Word and acted on it. Now next week if you don’t feel saved, are you still saved? Yes, because there is substance underneath your salvation!!!
Let’s say that Scripture tells us “God has prepared a table in the presence of our enemies”….
Jesus is saying look to me, listen to me, watch me…..But you are so busy focusing on all the enemies, that you don’t ever sit down at the table and enjoy what’s prepared. You’re hungry, you see and smell all that is there, but you are distracted by the enemies in the valley…. It doesn’t mean that the table doesn’t have substance, it simply means that the enemies are more real to you than the table He has prepared….
It is all yours for the asking. God just wants you to believe His Word and take what has been set before you. It doesn’t offend God for you to take all you need at His table... With the blind man, Jesus said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you? (Now that’s a question loaded with substance) The blind man said to Him, ‘Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.’ Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you whole.” And he received his (substance), which was his sight. Because his focus was on Jesus!
To the leper He said “your faith has (touched substance) and made you whole.”
To the frail little woman, who pushed through all the hinderances, the interference and the distractions, and focused on Jesus….He said you touched my garment, (you touched substance) and it made you whole”….. Our faith must be established on the substance of God’s Word, not what we feel, not by what the circumstances look like, and not by what others tell us that sows doubt and unbelief. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “we walk by faith, not by sight” and faith is the victory (the substance) that overcomes the world, the flesh and the devil!!! Take a moment and celebrate your victory! Not just hoping you have it, but by faith knowing you have it, so you can declare you have it!