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Sermon of the Week 
Thursday, August 24 2023

If you’re like me, you’re always asking God for more of His power in your life. This week, I kept hearing the Spirit say, that God’s people needed to understand what they’ve been given, and know how to use it in this hour of Godlessness and spiritual deadness....                                                                 Jesus told us in Matthew 16:19 "And I will give unto You the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

We must begin where we all must begin, God makes no exceptions...  Just because a person goes to prison, doesn’t mean they will be rehabilitated.... Just because a person sits in church, doesn’t mean they are saved. Good works, being a good person, and living a  good life won’t get anyone to heaven. You can fool some of the people  all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool God any of the time.... 

Romans 10:9-10 “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart we must believe unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”.

We see a distinction between the mouth and the heart.... both must be involved here. We know that folks can say things with their mouth that are not from the heart. But we all know when folks are truly speaking from the heart (for the most part) the rest are called actors! When it speaks of the heart here, it’s referring to our center, where our values and priorities are located. It’s where all the principles and standards  that guide our lives are located. It is our GPS tracker for truth, and integrity.... That’s where your heart is.                                                                         Matthew 6:21 says it this way, “For where your treasure is, there will beyour heart also”. Where your values are, and your life standards are, it’s where the things are that motivate you and give you purpose....

Here's the first key for you, that accesses the power of God....It’s found  in John 8:30 “As Jesus spoke these things, many believed in Him. v31 So He said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in the knowledge of My word, you are truly My disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”                                                                                                                                   Jesus gives us 2 things here, that access the power of God, “Continue in the knowledge of my word, and know the truth”.                                                                                                   Josh Mulvihill tweeted this statement: “Many are not on a truth quest, but a happiness quest. God is desiring to show us that we will be happiest when we live according to His truth.                                                                                              When we are diligent about God’s word, understanding begins to develop and you not only know the word, but you begin to understand the spirit  of the word. This produces discipleship which is a lifestyle, not some religious system. You have a new standard for living.                                                                                                    Then it says “Know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” This is the power of God breaking the bonds of slavery off of your mind, off of your emotions, your will, and your body and bringing about spiritual identity....                                        In both of these statements, the word “Know” is “YADA”.... (RIGHT?) Yada, is intimacy which produces spiritual growth, and development and demonstrations that are a reflection of God’s power in our lives.                                                                                  When a man and woman are intimate,  change begins to happen....                  The sports car is traded in for an SUV, the extra bedroom becomes the nursery.... Dad gets an extra job, because there are going to be extra expenses, the wife’s body begins to change.                                                           Intimacy with the word, and God’s truth, will produce changes... If you are the same now as you were before, you haven’t experienced “YADA”...                                                              How about this one... Daniel 11:32 “For the people that do (continually) know (YADA) their God shall be strong, and do great exploits.”                                                                                                                       The Lord is looking for ordinary Christians through whom He can display His extraordinary nature. He wants to do mighty deeds that bear witness to the reality of who He is in us. God is raising up a people who will know Him intimately, who will be transformed into His image by living for His presence, and who will demonstrate mighty acts to manifest His power for the glory of His Name.                                                                                              Are you a willing to be a vessel, used by God in these last days to reveal His Glory and Power to a dying world? God wants to do mighty things through your life and break off this negative thinking through which you disqualify yourself from being used by God.                                                                   Some years agoa former American astronaut took over as head of a major airline. He was determined to make the airline’s service the best  in the industry. One day, as the new president walked through a particular department, he saw an employee resting his feet on a desk while the telephone on the desk rang and rang with no response. "Aren’t you going to answer that phone?" the president demanded. "This isn’t  my department, I work in maintenance." "Not anymore you don’t!" snapped the president.He didn’t even know who he was working for.... so he had no appreciation for what the boss needed or wanted....

Think of it like a garden hose that does no good, and has no purpose unless water is flowing through it. As it yields itself to the water, things begin to grow, the water cleanses and washes and the attention isn’t on the hose, but it’s on the water flowing through it. Tell someone, I’m just the hose, I’m just yielding to His purposes.... That’s when the fruit of the spirit begin to show up....Love, peace, joy, gentleness, longsuffering, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. And the gifts of the spirit begin to manifest, words of wisdom, words of knowledge, the gift of faith, healing, discernment, prophecy, the working of miracles, as the Spirit leads and directs. .. When we simply yield ourselves to the Divine flow....

Let’s check out another Key to accessing the Power of God....                                      in Mark 16:17-18 “And these signs shall follow them that believe, In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues, 18 If they shall take up serpents (this is not snake handling) and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover”.                                                                                                                                             This key is the NAME OF JESUS.                                                                                                                                                                                           We now refer to this as the power of attorney. When someone legally authorizes someone else to represent them while they are absent. The words “In the name of Jesus”, used in this context is a legal, binding, contract, between the  Lord and ourselves to do what He would do in the situation. What Would Jesus Do? Jesus would heal, so you will heal... Jesus would cast out devils, so you cast out devils....Jesus would work miracles, so you work miracles.... and on we could go.... Do what Jesus would do.....                                                                                                                      Power of Attorney is another way to access the power of God....And we all have been given this transfer of authority!                                         Our next key to access the power of God is Obedience, here are a few clear promises...                                                                                       Deuteronomy 11:27 “You will be blessed if you obey the word of the Lord   your God that He is giving you today”.                                                                                                                                          What a needed manifestation of the power of God that is....the blessing  of God on your life, your job, your home, each family member.                                     I like this definition of blessing.... “theinfusion of something you could not make happen yourself, spiritual redemption, or harmony with the divine will”.                                                                                                               John 14:23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” This is the blessing of walking and living in the presence of God. David wrote, let me not be far from your presence oh God. Moses said, “If You do not go with us, then we will not go, oh Lord.”

Deuteronomy 28:1 “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth”. .....This tells us that obedience to God will bring promotion and elevation among our fellow man.... 

Deuteronomy 5:33 “Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess”..... Here we can see that first, God’s power in our lives through obedience, will bring us prosperity and we   will also enjoy a   long life and fulfillment with gain and not loss.

The next scripture we will see, tells us that there are two more things that work together, which will access the power of God in our lives. 

James 4:6 “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he must flee  from you”.                                                                                                                      God’s power shows up when we submit our will to Him....Most of  our problems and our struggles can be resolved through submitting and surrendering to God. Jesus did this, so we surely need to do it as well... Father, “not my will but Thy will be done”.... He taught the disciples, to  pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.”.. Sounds like a winning combination to me.                                                                          We usually don’t equate surrender to resistance, but God has said “Submit to God, resist the devil and he must flee from you...”  It does no good to resist the devil, if you are not surrendered to God...                       

Here's another tool which accesses the Power of God....                                       The Power of Agreement....                                                                             “Matthew 18:19 Again I say unto you, that if two of you  shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. v20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them”.... Marriages fail because of the lack of agreement, Governments collapse and nations fall when this ingredient is lacking. Churches are closed and boarded up, and millions end up in hell instead of heaven, because of a failure here, in the area of agreement. 

Jesus prayed about the unity which flows from agreement, and He is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding over His church even now...                                                                                                                           Robert McCheyne once said: “If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.”                                                                         I’d like you to close your eyes, go ahead and close them for a moment, and picture Jesus praying for you as I read....                                                        John 17:21-23: “That they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. v22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, v23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”

Where would each of us be right now, if we came into agreement with everything He has said in His word that He wants for us, that He  promised was already ours. What if we began to do what He said we  were to do, and become what He said we were to become.... This world would know what the power of agreement could do as it demonstrated God’s power which we have accessedthrough unity!

Let me close with one more Key to accessing God’s Power... (certainly there are others) I’m going to call it the key of transference....                                                                                                                 Acts 3:2-10 “And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was  carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple, 3 Who   seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. 4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.                     6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have, I give unto you, In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and  praising God.                                                                                             knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him”.                                                                              Peter transferred to the man, what was transferred to him. He said  “such as I have, I give unto you”. If you go to the store, and they ring up the items you have placed at the register, you don’t stand there wondering how you are going to pay. You knew that before you put the first item in the basket. You transferred to the cashier, what was transferred to your account, and took your items home. You knew you  had it in the bank, or on your credit card, and it was transferred from youraccount.

How’s your spiritual account this morning? If you are a child of God, who has received Christ as your Lord and Savior, then a transfer has been made to your spiritual account...

In Philippians 4:18-19 Paul begins by saying “But I have all, and abound: I am full....” He’s checking his spiritual account.....Then he makes a transfer... v19 But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus”.                                                                                                            Paul is telling them and us, that God has transferred access from His account, to our account, to His unlimited riches in glory which will never run out, and will never be insufficient. Paul is in prison, with nothing but the clothes on his back, but he looks at his spiritual account and says “I have all and abound, I am full”.... How do you talk about your account? Jesus said “If you believe you have received it, then you have it”.....   

Look at Matthew 10:1 “And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power (transferred power to their account) over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and   all kinds of disease… And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand. v8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.         God isn’t stingy with you, don’t be stingy with what He has transferred to  your account.  The moment you begin to act like you can’t, then you can’t...                                                                                                                                     I know I’ve said it before, but the difference in the Dead sea, and the Sea of Galilee   is that the Sea of Galilee gives out as much as it takes in,  and the Dead sea takes in and gives out nothing.... it all evaporates....  and nothing grows around the salty waters of the dead sea. When you’re stingy and greedy, you dry up and get bitter and dead!

Check your Philippians 4:19 account ......”My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Somebody should be praising God that He has given you access, to the housing you need, the transportation you need, the finances you need,  the job you need, the health you need, the peace of mind, and the   release of conflict and division in the family you need.... My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.      And they will know that “ Hehas delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the His dear Son.” (Colossians 1:13).                                                                                  When this generation sees the church, accessing the power of God, the way Jesus told us we were to do, they will begin to pay attention, and they will want to get in on the transfer......                                                                Oh, Let the power of God flow through you, and out of you, to change hearts and lives around you...                                                                                          

Posted by: AT 10:19 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, August 15 2023


“Welcome Back Home”                                                                                        In Luke chapter 15, Jesus told 3 parables about lost things. He told of a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son...And it’s important that we understand that these arenot just stories of lost things, they are more about “found” things!                                                        These are the storieswhich Jesus chose to share, near the close of His earthly ministry. Probably some of the most important principles Jesus ever gave to His disciples.                                                                                 We begin with the order in which the scripture presents the three parables. Remember that parables are principles which share a spiritual truth, that are taken from real life events. Our lives are either telling a story of what not to do, or they are an example to follow which ....Paulsaid, “Follow me as I follow Christ”....                                                      In the story of the lost sheep, we see a Shepherd at the end of the day, counting his sheep and there are 99 safely in fold but one is missing. That Shepherd then goes out and searches until he finds the lost sheep. He is persistent, just as the shepherd of our souls, never gives up searching.... and when he finds it, the Shepherd will put the sheep on his shoulders and carry it back to be in the fold with the other sheep. The Shepherd will then call all of his friends and neighbors and have a great celebration. The sheep that was lost is found. Jesus said that there is great celebration in heaven for every person that comes back home to the Father. Jesus puts great value on each person who has lost their way.He feels our anguish when any family member, or close friend is not in the fold.                                                                                       In the story of the Lost Coin, a woman had ten coins and lost one. she searched every inch of her house until she found it. It says she lit a lamp and searched the place. When she finds it, she will gather her neighborhood friends to celebrate her discovery. Just as this woman experiences joy at finding her lost coin, so there is joy in heaven when eachperson of great value to God finds their way back to God.Heaven throws a party!                                                              Let me give you some insight into that lost coin. I am told that when a man took a bride in the Middle East in that day, he would give her a tiara with ten coins placed evenly upon it. The woman would wear this token of love as a crown on her head as many women in the Middle East do today. Like a wedding band these ten coins represented the marital relationship. If a woman was caught being unfaithful to her husband, one of the coins would be taken out leaving a gap to show that she had been unfaithful to her marriage vows and she would be cast out. For the woman to find the one coin meant her reputation and marriage could be restored. No wonder the woman had such a great celebration when she found the one lost coin. The Lord wants to welcome those back who have broken marriages and broken relationships.                               Then there is the story of the Lost Son. It might be said that this is not just the story of the lost Son, but the story of The Father’s undying love. The story illustrates how a person’s life can be transformed by the power and grace of God. It is always possible for a person who rebels against God, their parents and society to experience a turn around.                                                                There comes a time when you must draw that line in the sand.... Deciding what we will not be doing any longer....Allows for Him to accomplish what He IS DOING! 

The story of the lost son illustrates that God’s mercy, grace, and forgiveness, can overcome any obstacle and any circumstance If we will just step over into it. The Father of the Prodigal Son illustrates the compassion and love of God. God is always ready to meet us more than half way. He started running towards his son while he was a great way off. His great heart longs to welcome us home, no matter what pig pen we find ourselves in.                                                                                                       A father was reading the story of the Prodigal Son to his 6 year old daughter. When he finished the story he asked his daughter what she had learned from the story . After thinking for a moment, she shouted out, “Never leave home without your credit card!” Thank God for the credit card of grace and mercy!                                                                                                                                     Luke 15:20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him and welcomed him back home.”

We know the story of mankind’s beginnings in the beautiful garden, where God provided for all of their needs as well as walking and talking with them daily and sharing intimate fellowship as He imparted wisdom and knowledge concerning his purpose and mission. We know how Satan was allowed to enter this special place where man had been given dominion and special relationship, and it brought a great divide between man and God which resulted in his being evicted from the garden.                                                                               Before Adam and Eve, there was no sickness, no pain, no death, but all that  changed and for nearly 4 thousand years, God was putting together a plan to bring mankind back to the place of relationship and dominion which had been lost. 

2000 years ago God was able to put up a Welcome Home Banner that said in capital letters, “Welcome Back Home”...and it was in the shape of a cross, upon which the crucified son of God hung, for all the world to see the extent to which God was willing to go to, to bring us back.  Why don’t you tell someone today..... WELCOME HOME!!                                                                                                                                         Years agothere was a popular song, “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” The song tells about a man who’s been sent to prison. He’s served his time and is now coming home on a bus. But he admits that his wife who once loved him had every right to now reject him. He made a mess of his life. He wrote to his wife asking for her forgiveness. If she forgives him she was to tie a yellow ribbon around the old oak tree. If there’s no yellow ribbon, he would just stay on the bus and keep on riding. As the miles roll by, all the man thinks about is that oak tree. His mind is racing, as he wonders, “Will there be a yellow ribbon waving from the tree?” His heart was pounding and his eyes were straining to see as far down the road as he could....                                                                               The song ends in triumph with the entire busload of people cheering as the man sees not one, but a hundred yellow ribbons on that old oak tree! His wife not only forgives him, but she exuberantly welcomes him home, to forgiveness and restoration. 

Luke 15:22-24 “The father said “Bring forth the best robe and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger, and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening in the pen. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.” So let the party began. 

A pastor was preaching his sermon based on this timeless story of the prodigal son. When he got to the point where the father sees his son returning and races out to meet him... the minister said, "Throwing wide his arms, the father said..." and right at that point (his son who was sitting on the front row with his friend) said loudly “You’re grounded”!!

Let’s notice that the The prodigal son was immediately given 4 things when he returned home... and I want us to look at that for a moment.                                                                                                                He was given, a robe, a ring, shoes for his feet, and a fatted calf....So let’s look at this.....

The father said "Bring forth the best robe and put it on him"            In having the best robe placed on him, the Father was telling the Prodigal as well as all observers that his position as son was being restored and elevated. 

John 19:2 says, “And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him;”                            What a tragic sight. The King of Kings was mocked with a false crown and robe. How can we now stand in God’s robe of righteousness? Because Jesus took the robe of shame and mockery that we deserved, we can now freely receive His perfect robe of right standing. We’re no longer subjects of shame, guilt or condemnation. Because we accept Christ as our savior, He does just that. He saves us from ourselves. He covers us from our past because we don’t livethere anymore...  (Even The smell of smoke from our past life isn’t on us because he covered us with His robe of righteousness)                                                                                                   Isaiah 61:10 “For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,”                                        The prodigal’s torn clothes, the dirt that covered his body, and the scars from the hard life of rebellion, would be instantly covered up, the moment the robe was placed over his shoulders. Just like that, in an instant, the past is gone and he is restored to his rightful place.– It was an immediate demonstration of complete approval, love and mercy as well as protection. In an instant, he became a person who had been given royalty and rulership.

In addition, everyone was witnessing the Father's transfer of the prime inheritance from the eldest son to the youngest son.He gave the BEST ROBE, to this young man.                                                                                                  The same thing occurred in Genesis 27:15 when Rebekah took the choice clothes of the eldest son Esau and put them on the younger son Jacob.  In Hebrew culture the eldest son, the firstborn in the family, received the best inheritance/distribution of property, goods, etcetera.  In the account of the Prodigal as with Jacob, the inheritance was transferred to the youngest son.                                           God is taking that which others have, but they have done nothing with it and He’s transferring to you. It should have been theirs but they haven’t honored God with it, so there is a shift in plans and it’s on it’s way to you... 

Sons often wore family rings that had the family seal engraved upon it. Stamping the ring in wax was the same as a signature. The prodigal rebelled and left with his ring; but sold it when he ran out of money. His father put a new ring on his finger symbolizing that his son was again part of the family and had the right to transact the family business. The ring represented restored authority..                                                                                                  When Joseph was given the rank of second in charge of Egypt, the Pharaoh gave his own ring to Joseph. God today has given us as believer in Christ His own ring of authority and power. We have been made heirs of God in Christ.

The next gift given the prodigal, was sandals on his feet. These weren’t something you picked up at Keno’s. These were shoes worn by royalty....The path of rebellion, the self life, the wrong company, the wrong priorities, and the wrong places, have been taken off, and a new way of walking, on the path of faith, peace, obedience and surrender are represented by the new shoes placed on the once/ Prodigal’s feet... He has been humbled, and given a soft, pliable heart of trust in the Father..The sandals were also a sign that he was no longer a slave but a free man. He whom the Lord sets free is free indeed!

To celebrate his son’s homecoming he had a great Outback Steakhouse Barbecue Welcome Back Home party. It’s interesting that the father said, “Kill the calf we have been fattening in the pen…” He was prepared for the return, before the return. Likewise, the heavenly father already has what we need, so that we can be fully restored, even before we asked. 

Oh, yes, He’s got a fatted calf for you. This represents more than we expect, or deserve. Here’s where we move into abundance, and more than enough.                                                                                                                                                                     We know the son who stayed at home was upset over all this and One pastor asked the congregation who was it, that was the most upset when the Prodigal returned home, and one little boy yelled out, “The fatted calf”!!                                                                           You see, eating the fatted calf, means that He doesn’t just take care of the outside, but He takes care of the inside. What you eat, becomes who you are. He replaces what we have been taking into the inner man, with something far better. Eat the living bread, drink the living water.... Come and dine the master calleth, come and dine. Folks may see the outside but God looks on our inside need. He knows what we need before we ask or think.                                                                                           

In the classic film titled, “Wizard of Oz”, Dorothy spent the first part of the movie trying to find a means to get away from home as she sings “Somewhere over the rainbow”. When she finally winds up in Oz, she spends the rest of the movie trying to find a way back home to Kansas. When folks taste the sourness of rebellion, a longing comes, to be back in the place of the sweetness of obedience and surrender. Finally, she learns the truth that she had always had the ability to go home anytime she wanted to. All she had to do was click the heals of her ruby slippers together three times and say, “There’s no place like home.” When she did this, she went home again!The choice always was and is ours.                                                                                                                   We get to write the end of our story. Like the prodigal, who came to himself and said, I will arise and go back to my father’s house. While we were in our own pig pen, He saw our needs, not just our wants.                                 

Charles Hodges, wrote....”The fatted calf, the shoes, the robe, the ring-- for me, an unworthy son. But sweeter to me, the most beautiful thing --God ran to meet me.  I saw God run."                                    He rushes to our call, not to give us what we desire, but to impart what He has been planning for usfrom the beginning of our lives... The father had been saving the fatted calf for such a time as this! And He’s saving one for you.                                                                                                       The name that God gave us to call, Yeshua, means “The God Who Saves”. God specializes in recovering lost things.... Lost hope, lost health, lost dreams, lost resources, lost direction, lost relations and lost souls... Jesus is touching the heart of redemption. Health recovered, relationships recovered, dreams, resources, direction and the souls of men and women, recovered by the power of God.                                   Toscanini, the late, famous conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, received a brief, crumpled letter from a lonely sheepherder in the remote mountain area of Wyoming: it said, “Mr. Conductor: I have only two possessions—a radio and an old violin. The batteries in my radio are getting low and will soon die. My violin is so out of tune I can’t use it.. Next Sunday when you begin your radio concert, sound a loud ‘F’ key, so I can tune that string, then I can tune the other strings with it. At the beginning of his next nationwide radio concert from Carnegie Hall, Toscanini announced: “For a dear friend and listener back in the mountains of Wyoming I will now sound an ‘F key’. With that, the entire orchestra all joined together in sounding an “F key”. That lonely sheepherder only needed one note, just a little help to get back in tune; . . . he needed someone who cared enough to assist him with just one string; after that the others would be easy. Thank God Jesus came to sound the “F” key” of forgiveness for all mankind, so we could find our way home again!

For some, it is welcome back to the fruit of the spirit, for others it is welcome back to the gifts of the spirit, or welcome back to your calling and anointing....Welcome back to fervent praise and worship, and to praying in the spirit, welcome back to prophecy, and healing, and bringing souls into the kingdom, and revival, and welcome back to signs and wonders.

We never know, what word, or gesture, perhaps a touch will stir a heart, and say to them “Welcome Back Home”...Would you say to someone, one more time, “Welcome Home”.....

Prayer..... “Lord, I rejoice at your word as one that has found great treasure, and I feast on your word because I know it is my life, my sustenance and my power. I pray and receive the self-control and patience to keep myself in the path of the fulfillment of Your word. I pray also and receive the grace and discipline to guard my mouth, so I don’t talk myself out of its promises or postpone it’s fulfilment. I choose to stay in faith, walk in faith and talk faith each day, all day, by the power of the Holy Spirit.                                                                                                            I know that to every word You have spoken, there is a set time for its fulfillment, so that You may show yourself strong in my behalf. Help me to believe and trust You, so I can see Your power and glory, in Jesus’ name. Lord, breathe on me again, with fresh breath from heaven; anoint me afresh with the anointing of the Holy Spirit, for in the atmosphere of the Spirit, there is faith, peace, joy and confidence. Let your power work through me to bring about the manifestation of your promises, to my generation.                                                                                               Let your will be done in my life Lord, let your counsel prevail, let your wisdom and your knowledge stand against all odds and opposition in the path to fulfilment of your good and perfect plan and purpose, in Jesus’ name, amen”.                                                                                                                  

Posted by: AT 11:29 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, August 08 2023

With that title having been read, most of you will be expecting an end time message.... When will the rapture be, and the tribulation, the second coming, and the millennium.....Well, here we are, we are living  the end times message...and yes, we are on the threshold of some amazing bible fulfillment. So, I would prefer to call this a “Life time” message as we look for and expect redemption every day....                           My other title would have been “Help Is On The Way”....

Luke 21:28 “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption is near.”

Notice the posture that is described here....”Then Look Up”.... It says, “And Lift Up Your Heads”.... As Christians, we can get so busy with the cares of life and making a living, that we aren’t seeing with our spiritual eyes....                                                                                                                       We can be so earthly minded, we’re no heavenly good, and we can be so heavenly minded, we’re no earthly good”... There is a balance!

When we lived in Connecticut, the car wouldn’t start on a cold winter morning, so, I thought my battery was dead. (That’s not Florida sand, that’s ice and snow in the picture) We called Winnie’s uncle, Phil Hobbs, who was a mechanic, and he came over and cleaned the contacts, and tightened the terminals, and it started right up. It wasn’t the battery it was the connection. We have to make sure we stay connected to the source of power, and keep our contacts clean and tight...That’s about focusing correctly and giving priority to eternal things, that keep the power flowing! Applying the word and staying in fellowship and prayer. 

Notice also that this verse speaks about when “These things begin to come to pass”....It is speaking of things that come to, and through our lives....They are not intended to be a permanent part of our lives, but they visit our lives, go through our lives and then pass on and we should be moving on as well. 

It's about eating the meat and spitting out the bones, instead of choking on them ..... When you eat fish, you better not swallow until you check for bones. We don’t camp at those places that are full of bones that want to lodge in our throats or our lives, and we are not supposed to camp there or live there while we choke to death over a hurt done to us by someone. Tell someone “SPIT IT OUT”!!                                                                           Your current situation is temporary, There is an expiration date on most everything that we encounter in this life.                                              Anyone who has ever drank an outdated glass of milk, knows it is important to know what that expiration date is. Uck!  Hopefully you didn’t take a big gulp, just a small sip....                                                                       I’m reminded of the guy who got up from bed, looking for a drink of water. He was half a sleep, and saw a glass of water, took it and drank it down and went back to bed. The next morning his wife asked what happened to the glass of water she had her false teeth in...A BIG Uck!                

I ran across a few interesting facts that show this. The average life of copper wire is twenty years. The oldest chicken on record is eighteen years old. The average age for a cat is fifteen years. The average life of a dollar bill is eighteen months. The average life of a painted line on the road is four months. The average life of a pro basketball player’s shoes is two weeks. The average life of a tornado is ten minutes. And the average physical life of a human is 25,550 days.                                                                                                                            During our church service today over 5,000 people will die.                          When Confederate General Andrew “Stonewall” Jackson was asked how he could be so fearless in battle, he responded, “I feel as safe in battle as I do in bed, because God has fixed the time of my death.”                                                                         It was Woody Allen that said “It’s not that I’m afraid to die, It’s just that I don’t want to be there when it happens.”.                                                                                                                              

Tim McGraw wrote a song in memory of his dying father, he describes how his impending death caused him to reevaluate his own life. After learning the bad news, he “went sky divin’, went rocky mountain climbing, went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Manchu. He loved deeper, and He spoke sweeter, and He gave forgiveness he’d been denying, and he said someday I hope you get the chance, to live like you were dying.”                                                                                                We all must deal with our expiration date because it is coming sooner than you think...but if you’re prepared for it, you can live a full life in the time you are given to accomplishsomething much bigger and longer lasting....                                                                                            We can’t ever say that we don’t have enough time. We all have the same amount of time per day. It’s how we use that time that makes all the difference.....There is a point where everything moves on, you learn from the experience and then you move on as well.                                                                                                               

The last time David and Vicki were with us, they went through our emergency food storage closet and pulled out all the outdated products. We just put stuff in there every week and didn’t give much thought to it, it was for later. BOY LATER HAS GOTTEN A LOT OF PEOPLE IN TROUBLE. (I’LL DO IT LATER)  So, They pulled expired prescriptions that we no longer took. We just hadn't bothered to toss them out. It was time for those products to pass.. but they were there in our back up food storage area, and they were no longer useful to where we were now.. They had expired!                                                                                                  When we first came to Key West, there were certain folks who were always sick, and needed prayer. We went to their homes and discovered that they were getting bloated cans of food that were being thrown away by the store and bringing them home.      

We can do the same thing with old bloated cans of emotional hurts and wounds, injustices, betrayals, areas of unforgiveness, and things that should have expired long ago, but the Hatfields and McCoys are alive and well.. and we bring it home and live with it....                                                                                                                                      

The Jewish people could have gone directly into the promised land in a month, instead of 40 years, because it is 250 miles in a straight line from Egypt to the promised land. We know that They covered 10 miles a day, including camping, which means they could have made the trip in one month. But the extra 39 years 11 months was because even though God got them out of Egypt, he had to get Egypt out of them. Egypt should haveexpired for them, but there were things that they had tucked away in the storage area of their hearts that they were still living with.....They had tucked the Gods of Egypt in theirhearts and in their luggage.                                                                                                     They were clinging to the memories of a season that had expired and it was preventing them from being 100 percent in the season God wanted to take them to.The pull of those things kept tugging at their hearts, so that it caused them to be double minded, and have divided hearts.                                                                                               Everything of this earth has an expiration date...Our bodies, seasons of life that come and go, and our trials and tribulations, all have an expiration date. Tell someone, “let it go”. Let go of the bitterness, the resentment, the rehashing it over and over....                                                                                                      

What if we focused on redemptive moments, and redemptive situations, instead of the urgent things that are always pullingus away from our redemptive purpose that God planned for us.

Our opening scripture asks us, what if we lived our lives, so that as people, and things begin to pass through our lives we walk in it and through it as though “Our Redemption is drawing near”..... Then we will discover that Redemption is always there, in all things, it’s God’s central purpose....                                                                                                                                              Listen to Jesus: John 10:10 “The thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy. But I have come that you may have life, and that more abundantly.”                                                                                                                    That statement is saturated with redemptive purpose. 

A gathering of friends at an English estate nearly turned to tragedy when one of the children strayed into deep water. The gardener heard the cries for help, plunged in, and rescued the drowning child. That youngster's name was Winston Churchill. His grateful parents asked the gardener what they could do to reward him. He hesitated, then said, "I would like to see my son go to college someday and become a doctor." "We'll see to it, consider it done" Churchill's parents promised. Years later, while Sir Winston Churchill, was prime minister of England, he was stricken with pneumonia. Thatthreatened to take his life. The country's best physician was summoned. His name was Dr. Alexander Fleming, the man who discovered and developed penicillin. He was also the son of that gardener who had saved young Winston from drowning. Later Churchill remarked, "Rarely has one man owed his life twice to the same person." In saving Winston, the gardener saved multitudes. A remarkable story of how a redemptive moment can change the life of countless numbers of people. 

You see, when God says “These things must come to pass”, He is telling us that “We not only pass through things but things must pass through us”.                                                                                                 We see it in the stories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and so many others. We see how as they went through all those things that passed through their lives, it was always for the purpose of redemption. God was looking through them, and into future generations, that would stand on their shoulders and be greatly blessed by what they accomplished and achieved, in the challenges and tests of their lives. 

In the story of Job, in the midst of all he went through, redemption was always the central theme. On and on we could go as we read of so many, who partnered with God’s redemption power, and generations were blessed because of it! 

I’m reminded of the man who had a huge boulder that stood in front of his home and blocked the view of the beautiful valley below. He became depressed that he lived in the shadow of this thing. It blocked the sun by day and the stars by night. He had a vision, where God spoke to him and said “get on top of that boulder with your pick axe, and start chipping away at it.. Sohe climbed up on it and swung away, one day, two days, a week.... and the sparks were flying, and the sweat was pouring but with very little effect on the boulder. Finally he said, God I’m making no progress... And God said, “You aren’t changing the boulder, but the boulder is changing you. He realized, that the boulder had given him new purpose, it had strengthened his body, and he had gone from complaining about it, to doing something tangible, about it!!

You have not only passed through this test, this season, this hard and difficult place, but it has passed through you, and you are not the same as when you started! Redemption has been working!

Redemption has no expiration date....Can you say “Thank God, as long as I’m on this earth, there is no expiration date on redemption.”                                                                                                                                                 Lamentations 3:22-23 "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness..” 

There’s No expiration date on His love and mercy.....No expiration date on grace.... Not expiration date on His promises, His provisions will never run out, No expiration date on the Holy Spirit’s working.... He’ll be here, even through the tribulation, drawing men and women to Christ...                                                                                                                       Kathryn Kuhlman believed This so much, that she made an entire library of video teachings to be released after she died, and she left a fund designated to covering the expense ofairing it on T.V. during the tribulation period, when people are crying out for redemption.

He only lived on this earth 12,000 days and yet He is timeless.His life changed the course of history which was supposed to be about Him anyway. He was a man on a mission and man was His mission.. He was single minded, focused, and goal directed. He made each of his days count by doing only what His Dad told him to do. The relationship with His Father and with others dominated His life. His days were filled with joy, and pain, and suffering but he never got off track. In fact, it was His very last day as a man, that provides us with the hopewhich makes life worthwhile. For on that day, He re-made us as more than dust, or flesh and blood, or a vapor that’s here and gone. He gave us the opportunity to be called eternalchildren of God and bear His image and His likeness....                                       

I John 1:12 “To all who have received him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” 

You’re not just another person going through hard times and challenging situations, You’re a redeemed child of God, releasing His redemption power into every situation of your life.                                                    I came across a story which demonstrates how, if we see things through the lens of redemption, then we will see that everything we go through has hidden eternal value and worth.                                                                       A gem collector was strolling through the displaysat the Tucson Mineral Show when he noticed a blue-violet stone the size and shape of a potato. He looked it over, then, as calmly as possible, asked the vendor, “You want $15 for this?” The seller, realizing the rock wasn’t as pretty as the others in the bin, lowered the price to $10. The buyer took the stone to an appraiser, and it was certified as a 1,905-carat natural star sapphire, about 800 carats larger than the largest sapphire of its kind. It is now known as the Lankan Star of Adam and it was appraised at $300 million dollars.                       It took someone who could look beyond the surface and the rough exterior, to recognize the true value and worth. It took our redeemer, to recognize the true value of ordinary-looking people like us, going through our ordinary challenges and trials.

Each one of us stand at the intersection where Redemption is drawing near....                                                                                                  Last week, Phil Dunn shared the story of Joseph and his journey. What a powerful example of God turning a disaster into a divine reclaimation program, through one man who fully believed that Jehovah is God of the good times and He’s God of the bad times. He’s God of the mountains and the God of the valleys. He’s God of the times of plenty and He’s God of the times of famine. 

The bible tells us that when Paul and Silas were at that intersection and were bound in stocks and chains in prison, they believed they were in God’s redemptive purposes. And while it looked like they were having a bad day, they were still singing and praising God. And God shook the prison, opened the prison doors, and the jailer and his family along with all the prisoners came to Christ and became believers. 

Begin praising Him now, that whatever your situation may be, financial, physical, family, or your career, REDEMPTION IS DRAWING NEAR!! Redemption is working out God’s purposes in it and through it.... The enemy may be pressing on every side, but stand your ground, child of God, Redemption is drawing near..                                                                 A small business owner was being pressured to sell his store to the owners of a large department store who had bought every storeon both sides of him, except his. His store was right in the middle. Frustrated by the man’s refusal to sell, they eventually opened their huge store on either side of the small one, with a big *.......banner, proclaiming in huge letters "GRAND OPENING stretching over his own store." Feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, the small storeowner did finally outsmart the big boys... when he put up a banner across the front of his business that said....                                 MAIN ENTRANCE! Listen, no matter how big and powerful the enemy’s attacks against you may be... You are the main entrance to the blessing of God!! You’re where God’s power is located. Heaven knows your name, and angels are waiting for your words as you speak the word of God. 

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, (redemptive thoughts) that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Oh, yes, and how about Romans 8:28 “God works all things together for good for those who love Him, who are the called according to His (redemptive) purpose”.

Lift up your hands, and praise Him that redemptive power is working in the midst of your trial, your difficult place, your upside down, topsy turvy situation!! God will have the last say... You are the main entrance, where heaven comes into the earth...

That family member will turn around, that opposition will produce a good outcome for God’s glory...your finances may be stretched, but God is changing things for His purposes.... your job situation looks shaky now, but you will understand how it all fits together in God’s plan as you look back and see it from a different perspective!

All things are working together... say it with me if you believe it... “All Things Are Working Together”.....

God is working through all of this.... God has a way that He is bringing about in His plan and purpose. The cross couldn’t hold him, the grave couldn’t hold him, and the devil couldn’t stop him!!

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