We now know that the justified must live by faith, this is the only way to please our Lord. We know that a life of faith is not a complicated issue, it is a choice every man must make. Some may ask this question: What’s in it for me? I am not put off by this question, it is a fair and honest question that warrants an answer.
Hebrews 11:6 Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
If we don’t believe God there is no way to please Him. If we believe God is who He says He is then believing Him should be easy. But let’s take this a little farther, you must also believe He will reward you on account of the faith you have in Him. If you believe He is the healer, He can heal your body. He rewards those who believe and diligently seek Him by confirming the Word you believe. God promised Israel He would deliver them from bondage and lead them to their own land flowing with milk and honey. But Israel could not believe God and so all but two of them died in the wilderness, they never received the promise.
Hebrews 4:11 Let us labor therefore to enter into His rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
God has reserved a place for all of His people who commit to living by faith, it is called His REST. A place of rest is where you no longer labor in the flesh to meet spiritual needs, but you use your faith. Israel did not believe God despite all the demonstrations of His supernatural power. He delivered Israel from the Egyptians, he drowned the Egyptians soldiers in the sea, He brought water out of a rock and provided manna every morning, but they could not believe that He could deliver them from all the “ites” that inhabited their land. So, we must labor to avoid the same example of unbelief and miss out on all the great promises.
How do we overcome an evil heart of unbelief?
First of all we commit to hearing His Word and then we commit to believing it. Anyone who is of a willing heart can do this, God is not a respector of persons, He is a respector of faith. It will require a little work but the pay off will be well worth every second. It’s like walking a mile in the morning, the first few steps are the hardest but it gets easier as you go. If feels “right” in your spirit when faith comes in, your hope and confidence begins to swell.
Mathew 7:24 Whosoever hears these sayings of mine and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house on a rock.
The Word of God is referred to as a rock, when we build our lives on His Word we anchor our lives to Him. The devil can come and huff and puff but he can’t blow our house down. Can you now understand why the devil comes immediately to steal the Word out of our hearts?
There abides a supernatural force called joy that can come from only one place and this is the Lord Himself. By definition joy is a gladness, cheerfulness and a calm delight. We call joy a supernatural force because there is no logical explanation for it to manifest.
Hebrews 12:2 Look unto Jesus who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame.
Jesus dealt with two emotions simultaneously, He hated every event connected to His crucifixion and He counted it a joy to die for the world. As they drove those spikes into His hands and feet, He said “Father forgive them, they know not what they do”. It was the joy of the Lord that enable Him to speak forgiveness over the people. Later as He was dying on the cross He said “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me”, this He spoke from His pain. Just like Jesus, we are men with access to the natural and the Spirit realm. Pain and grief come from the natural realm but joy comes from the Spirit.
Nehemiah 8:10 Do not be sad; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Nehemiah, Jesus and the Apostle Paul are a few of the men in the Bible that experienced a manifestation of the Joy of the Lord. How did this joy manifest in these men? In every event the Father revealed to them what was awaiting them on the other side of their suffering. For example He showed Jesus that His sacrifices would open heaven to billions of sinners. These revelations were so real to those men that joy from the Lord strengthened them to persevere the intense pressure and suffering. Simply stated, joy comes when one believes the Lord has a plan and purpose for their appointed task. Some of us lament so much what we must go through that we don’t give our Lord an opportunity to release the force of joy.
2 Timothy 4:6 I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
Paul had the choice of living and dying and he said dying is far better because he would go to be with Christ forever. Jewish theologians tell us that they had to put a bag over Paul’s head on his way to be beheaded because they were afraid his joy would inspire the Christians. Paul was so excited to die and see Jesus that he never once mentioned the pain of death. The joy of the Lord is a greater force than any hardship we will ever face.
James 1:2 Count it all joy when you fall into various temptations.
The devil will tempt only those who are a threat to his plans. The Lord will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able to bear. So, count it all joy because the devil doesn’t have enough ammunition to take you down. Every time he fails to “getcha” you become stronger and more confident. So, count it all joy as you go through this life, the best is yet to come.
This week America celebrated the fourth of July, the day we declared our independence. The United States became a sovereign nation, a country that is politically independent of all other nations. Men died in our struggle to be free and we honor the memories and our greatest export is freedom. The United States sent soldiers to foreign lands to emancipate them from tyranny, some are grateful but many have forgotten our sacrifice. The United States was not the first to bring freedom to the world.
John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.
In the day of Christ’s ministry the whole world was in bondage and no one ever knew it. Many thought Rome was the problem but the truth was, their sin put them under the dominion of the devil. How can a captive wage good warfare if they don’t know who their enemy is? Jesus accepted a suicide mission for the sake of every human being ever born of a woman. Most men have no idea of what He did, they are in captivity to a spiritual outlaw who was stripped of all his power. Jesus confronted satan, died on the cross bearing all men’s sins and rose from the dead three days later and most men have no interest in the greatest event to ever take place in human history.
Hebrews 13:15 By Jesus therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His Name.
Sacrifice is an expression of worship and gratitude, it comes from men who know the only one who could get them free. They don’t need one day a year to celebrate their freedom, they are grateful for every day of their liberty. They know that any time is the best time to celebrate the One who set them free. This has to be the most outstanding military victory since the creation of Adam. Man stood and lived with the nature of the devil all his life, and in less than a minute he was changed into the nature of God Himself! Those who can “feel” the difference celebrate His victory every time they go to church, forgive a trespasser, feed the hungry, thank God and endeavor to please Him.
Romans 1:21 When they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their hearts were darkened.
God has never been obscured, He has never hidden from man, mans lifestyle distorted their view of God. So, they could clearly know His status but they chose the lusts of their flesh. God has always been a supreme being but He offered Himself to men, however, most were not impressed with Him. It must really please the heart of the Father, to see some men of their own free will come and celebrate His identity.
Without faith it is impossible to please Him.
God is the only one I know that celebrates His anniversary every day. Selah.
If you asked a dozen people to define faith, you may get a dozen different definitions. One day I was golfing with a couple of heathen dudes and they asked what kind of church I was a member of. I told them I belonged to a Christian church, they promptly responded and said that anyone who believes in God is a Christian. I quoted them a verse from the Bible.
James 2:19 You believe there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe and tremble.
So, according to my heathen friends, the devil is also a Christian, they didn’t know what to say. All kinds of people like these two are going about defining what they “think” the Bible says. I promise you none of them ever read the Bible and they wouldn’t understand it anyway because they are spiritually dead. The Bible says in several different places that the just shall live by faith. Well, if we are the just-ified then we had better find out what faith is.
FAITH is believing God, it is believing in things there is no natural evidence of in reality.
I have never seen God, I have never heard His voice with my natural ear nor have I ever touched Him. Despite having no tangible evidence I totally believe in Him and who He says He is. If you say you believe, you do well, but that is not enough. Can you order your life to what you cannot see? Faith must go beyond an admission, it must become a lifestyle. Our natural flesh struggles with our heart because our spirit man wants to believe in the Lord and His Word.
John 20:29 Jesus said to Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet believe.
God will bless, that is He will empower all those who believe in Him to prosper. Spiritual and natural prosperity is determined by what you can believe. God gives us His Word, that is truth and we choose how much of it we will accept. Not every Christian believes everything God has recorded in His book. Some folks can only go so far with God and then He becomes too much to believe. Partially because they try to believe God through their five senses. Jesus was of the flesh but He was recalled to heaven and now we have the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:14 The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
God’s Word was never given to us to make sense, it was given to us to make FAITH. The Lord wants us to believe whether we understand or not, He wants us to trust Him. If you can believe Him based solely on His Word, you have faith. So, faith is not a complicated subject, it is a decision that will transform your life. If God’s ways sound foolish to you, you are a natural man, a man that is led by the feelings of his flesh.
When we were born-again, our Lord translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son. Paul refers to the kingdom as the household of faith, we now abide in the house of our Lord. As good stewards of God’s grace, it is our responsibility to keep God’s house clean.
2 Corinthians 7:1 Dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
How do we cleanse ourselves? We repent of every transgression relying on God’s grace to purify our soul and change our desires. Once we’ve been through the process, usually more than once, then we can help others without prejudice. When a saint dedicates themselves to purity, they become a leader in Christ’s body. They do not judge others but they are equipped to help those who struggle with the lusts of their flesh.
1 Corinthians 5:6 Do you not understand that a little leaven will make a whole loaf rise?
Paul was angry with his church in Corinth because a man was lying with his father’s wife and they just accepted it. Paul had to clean house because God will not dwell in man’s filth, it’s either God or sin. God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, how can we neglect so great a gift? If we are residents of the household of faith and our house is a pig pen, it’s not God’s fault. We are not referring to actual dirt and grime, we are talking about the sin that Jesus bore on His body to make us free. The devil is looking for a foothold, if we allow sin to thrive in the house of God, it will increase and overcome the presence of our Lord. You will never see the power of God in a house called a church, where compromise is the order of the day.
Ephesians 6:10 If we have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
The Apostle Paul said that the leaders in a church who minister without compromise are worthy of double honor. When the saints hear the Word and order their lives to it, they are keeping a clean house. Woe be the church where a sinner joins them and feels right at home. For whom the Lord loves, He corrects and disciplines so they can bear more fruit. God isn’t being mean to us, He gets in our face because He loves us and we need it. When we are born-again we become children of God, but we don’t know how to act like one of His kids. Just like our natural fathers, we must be taught and trained in the way we ought to go.
Mark 11:15 Jesus went into the temple and cast out those who bought and sold, He overthrew the money changers and those who sold doves.
Under the law the Jews would offer doves but the merchants were selling them as a business proposition. They were doing their business but ignoring God’s business which was prayer. Jesus did those men a favor, He kicked out the business men in order to make a place for the Spirit of God. We need to keep a clean house for the visitation of the Lord.
After the fall of Adam man lost contact with God, some knew about Him but none knew Him. Man did not have a solid contact with God for twenty-one hundred years. The Lord offered a man called Abram a covenant that would lead to the redemption of all mankind. God told Abram that through obedience all the families of the earth would be blessed. Four hundred and thirty years later God led Israel out of Egypt and gave Moses the “law”. Israel did not know right from wrong, there was no law against Cain killing his brother Abel!
John 1:17 The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus.
The law specifically told the people what was sin and what wasn’t, in essence the law gave the people a sin consciousness. The law was recorded and presented to all men, some committed it to memory. This was their attitude: I would kill you but it’s forbidden in the law. As long as men fostered the law they would not have a legitimate relationship with the Lord. Man was preoccupied with sin and punishment, the word grace appeared in the Old Testament as favor. The salvation that came by grace was not available until the death and resurrection of Christ.
Hebrews 9:14 The blood of Christ has purged your conscience from dead works (sin) to serve the living God.
By grace the Lord took the blood of Jesus and blotted out all of man’s sins. And then He used the sacrifice of Jesus to change the very nature of man and cause him to be born-again. Now, man could forsake his sin consciousness and have a God consciousness. Man would no longer need to carry a book of rules around with him, God would write them in their heart. When man’s nature changes, he knows what pleases God and what doesn’t.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace in time of need.
If a man has a sin consciousness he would not count himself worthy to come before the throne of grace. The devil loves to encourage a sin consciousness and keep us separated from God and the blessings. Well, why doesn’t God do something about this? He has, He destroyed the works of the devil and He gave us the truth, we have been empowered to succeed.
John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
If a man is born-again but is bound to a sin consciousness he does not know what his Lord has said. Maybe his church has no such teaching, or he hasn’t paid attention, or he doesn’t attend his church often enough to learn anything! Folks who are not in possession of the truth are in bondage to something contrary to the Word of God. There are two kinds of fear, one is good and one is not. If you are afraid of God you have been lied to about Him. But if you fear Him, that is have a deep reverential respect for Him, that is a good fear. Search for truth, believe it and you will have a clear conscience.
We are required by our Lord to forgive every person who has ever wronged us. There has been some atrocious things done to people where one would think they are exempt from having to forgive. A holocaust survivor in an interview said this:
God forgives, I don’t.
Based on what they did to this person one could easily sympathize with them. The only one we need not forgive is the devil because his fate is sealed. Forgiving a perpetrator does not benefit them near as much as the one who forgives. Some folks get forgiven and don’t even know anything about it! So, why does the victim have to shoulder the responsibility?
Mark 11:26 If you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
Based on this Scripture we are just as much in need of forgiveness as the folks we need to forgive. We also have trespasses against other people we pray will forgive us. Forgiveness benefits us far more than those who trespass against us. How does one forgive those who molested them as a baby? How does one forgive those who outright lie about them? How does one forgive those who crucify them?
Jesus tells the story of a man who owed his creditor twenty million dollars. He had no way to pay off his loan so he begged for mercy and the creditor forgave him all of the debt. Later the man found another man that owed him twenty dollars and he made him pay every penny.
Mathew 18:34-35 The first creditor found out and he was angry so he delivered the man to the tormentors until he should pay off the twenty million. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if you from your hearts do not forgive every one of his brothers their trespasses.
Let me put this in a perspective we all can understand. What we owe Jesus is equivalent to a twenty million dollar debt, the most any trespass against us is worth is twenty dollars. We owe God far more than any man would ever owe us. In light of this revelation gift from the Lord, no man is beyond forgiveness. If you ever struggle with this remind yourself of one thing: your sin, your trespasses sent Jesus to the cross. No man will ever see heaven without Jesus.
We owed a debt we could not pay, He payed a debt He did not owe.
Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: a man’s harvest in life depends entirely on what he sows.
If we sow forgiveness we will reap forgiveness, if we will not forgive neither will we be forgiven. Living a life of unforgiveness is a hard life. It hinders your prayers, it’s detrimental to your health and prosperity, and it impedes your relationship with Jesus. The Bible calls those who will not obey God unprofitable servants, this is not a good title to wear in the kingdom. Jesus forgave and we can forgive, He knows how to help us if we want it!
The devil has infiltrated our ranks, he has been on a covert mission for six thousand years. The devil is very hard to recognize, he does not wear a red suit and carry a pitchfork. The devil wears jeans or a suit, sometimes he wears a pretty black dress. He doesn’t look like the traditional devil, he looks like a sincere Christian.
2 Corinthians 11:14 For satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
The devil is a master of disguise, he can appear to be a saint and even a minister of the Lord. If a congregation is not alert they will accept the devil as one of their own! We cannot ascertain the status of anyone based on the physical appearance of said person. Jesus said we would know the true identity of a man by his fruits. It takes awhile to display one’s fruit, so we must never rush to acceptance.
Jude 1:4 I warn you because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches.
Saint Jude compares these deceivers to worms, they don’t walk into a church, they crawl. They come under false pretenses, but the Holy Spirit knows who they are and He sounds an alarm. If you have an ear for the Spirit you will know who you can trust or not. Don’t rely on your gift of suspicion, put your trust and life in the hands of the Holy Ghost.
If you step back and take an overview of your life with Christ, you will probably notice one major thing. Things will go along very well for you for a season and then things put a demand on your peace. Then you rack your brain trying to figure out what you did wrong to get out from God’s protection. And then your mind gets inundated with all kinds of bizarre ideas. Perhaps God is done with you or maybe He turned you over to the devil for the destruction of your flesh.
1 Peter 4:12 Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.
All Christians who are committed to serving their Lord and Savior will be challenged by the devil. He cannot leave well enough alone, he wants you back and he will not limit himself on how he does it. If he can get you to question your faith, yourself or God, he can plant the seed of despair. What a victory for him if he can turn you away from the One who purchased your life from him to begin with. We spend too much time trying to figure out our problems when all the time it’s just one problem and his name is the devil.
The battlefield is the mind.
The devil was kicked out of the spirit realm, the place where God contacts man. He is limited to the pooskay realm, we get the word psychology from this Greek word. Let me give some sound advice: don’t believe everything you think! The devil cannot read our minds but he can offer us a lot of trash and untruths. We need to learn to use the Word of God as a filter of the things the devil wants us to ponder for him. The devil has lost his mind and now he wants to use ours, but we don’t have to oblige him. Our mind is the battlefield but we don’t need to wear ourselves out fighting there. Take the weapons of our warfare and cast his thoughts down, we do have the upper hand, don’t you know.
Romans 12:2 Don’t be in agreement with this world: but be transformed by renewing your mind, then you will prove to yourself what is the good, the acceptable and perfect will of God.
Renewing your mind makes you aware of God’s will, it helps you realize your dominion over the devil and it is a reliable source of God’s peace. The devil cannot deceive a person who is equipped with the truth and he won’t waste much time trying. After you have adequately renewed your mind you will notice that the devil is still working on the old things you once believed. This is because there is nothing new under the sun, he has no new material. The devil loves to hear what comes out of our mouths and then use it as a snare to our lives.
James 3:5 The tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. Behold how great a matter a little fire kindles.
If we are careless with our words and speak contrary to God’s Words we empower our adversary. Often times we are our own worst enemy and don’t even know it. The devil waits for us to say something he can act on or something that sends him packing. The challenger will come to try us but we don’t have to hand him a victory, rather hand him his defeat.
Men have mastered great feats of physical strength, they have developed a well-defined body. However, every man has a weakness they are powerless to develop. Man’s weak spot is his EGO, man constantly defends his character as defined by others. In other words, man is influenced by whatever other people think of him. The devil knows how important it is when others evaluate you, so he preys on our frailty. When a man is controlled by what others think he has no identity.
Mathew 11:6 Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me.
No matter what you think or what you believe about Jesus, there will be people in your life who will not approve. It’s a sad thing but there are people who will not walk with the Lord, because they are afraid their friends and family will be offended. So, judge ye who is more important, what people think of you or what the Lord thinks of you. There is only one right answer to this question, can you choose what is best for you or what is best for those around you.
Mathew 16:24 If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.
People who care what others think of them have no cross of their own. When you are controlled by what others think, they are nailing you to their cross. Let me let you in on a little secret, it’s a lot easier to please God than it is people. Denying one’s self includes denying what others think as well. We are to nail our EGO on our cross, this means all the things people said that helped shape your EGO. If you get to the place where you don’t care what people think, you will greatly hinder the influence of the devil.
1 Thessalonians 2:4 We were allowed of God to be put in trust of the Gospel, and so we speak; not as pleasing men, but pleasing God, which tries our hearts.
Pleasing men is a huge problem in the church, leaders are in fear of offending people with the truth so they modify it. No one can please the will of men and the will of God simultaneously unless the men argue with the Lord. In order to walk with the Lord we must be willing to disappoint people who are close to us. Taking offense is a choice, a wise man should make a personal declaration that he will never be offended for any reason.
July 14, 2019
Today I bring the Lord's tithe, it is part of my Heavenly Contract.
If I'm faithful to do my part, my Lord will do His part.
No one can break this contract, It's between God and Jesus.
It is in all ways perfect because it came from God Himself.
Weekly Prayer Focus
July 14, 2019
Donna Voigt & Family
3. Prosperity (Spirit, Soul & Body)
5. Favor in all areas of their lives
6. Salvation for family members
7. Relationship with God grows stronger everyday