When you are committed to the life of the believer, the devil put a contract out on you. You may be the nicest person in the whole world and you bless everyone, well the devil is not impressed. He targets “nice” people, he hates the righteous because it means you drew close to God. The devil is the original “spirit of division”, there is no telling how many divorces he’s instigated. The devil has no favorites, he even went after the Son of God.
Luke 18:31, 34 Jesus spoke to His twelve disciples and told them how He would be scourged and put to death. And they understood not.
I have studied this Scripture thoroughly and from other translations I got a clear picture of this event. Jesus was telling His disciples what He was headed for based on what the prophets foretold. He was not being a “drama queen”, He was not looking for sympathy, He wanted His boys to know what was coming. The disciples didn’t understand because they didn’t understand prophecy. They didn’t fully grasp the words of Christ until after He died and the Holy Ghost came upon them. We should never “fall apart” when the devil comes to try our faith, he should never catch us off guard. Nor should we be shocked over what that killer is willing to do. He has no regard for human life, he couldn’t care less about who you are or what good things you have done.
Hebrews 12:2 Look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; Who for the JOY that was set before Him endured the cross.
How could Jesus count it a joy to be tortured on the cross? Because He knew how it would all turn out. Yes, He would suffer a terrible death and then spend three days in hell and in torment. But then He would be raised from the dead and lead all those people in Abraham’s bosom to heaven and present them to His Father. Mission accomplished. Now concerning our own life and trials, we have a tendency to make a big deal out of something that is not a big deal to begin with. Remember what Peter said: think it not strange the fiery trial that is to try you!
John 16:33 In the world you will have tribulation (pressure-affliction-persecution-trouble) but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world (for you).
No matter what the devil throws at you, Jesus has already given you the victory over it. Every plot and plan of the devil is doomed to failure if we put our trust in our Lord Jesus. The devil is looking for the Christian who relies on their flesh for deliverance, they’re an easy mark. You do not wait for the devil to come knock on your door and then figure out how to deal with him. You prepare for the day he comes and he will surely come. This is not a “bad confession”, it is the life of a believer, we love God and the devil hates us. I don’t think most Christians ever know why they have so many problems. They have little or no spiritual discernment, they think “men” are their problem and so they fight the wrong battle.
Fear is the number one weapon of the devil, he is the administrator of fear. You can tell a person to “fear not”, but encouraging words are not always enough. Demonstrating courage is a great way to help people overcome their fears. When I was a young boy my dad took my brother and I deep into the mountains. We slept in the back of my dad’s forty-nine Chevy and Ididn’t sleep a wink. I “imagined” all night long a bear or a mountain lion jumping on me for his dinner. My dad slept like a baby all night long, I know because he snored all night long. Dad said there was nothing to be ascared of, if I would have believed him I could have slept that night.
Hebrews 2:15 Jesus came to deliver them who through fear of (spiritual) death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Before the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus men lived in constant fear of hell. They did not know how to avoid the pit because they knew evil thrived in their lives. Not knowing the truth, they fabricated something that offered an element of peace. They began to invest their faith in the keeping of the law for their salvation. They depended on their own conduct for their salvation, consequently, they had no need of God. The law, just like “religion”, caters to the flesh and omits the things of the spirit.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us the spirit of fear.
Fear is a spirit sent by the devil to control our lives. It abides with the faithless and the participants live in a constant state of fearful anticipation. Whenever a person is under the influence of fear they will make irrational decisions. Fear unchecked will always lead to panic and that’s exactly where the devil wants us. Fear always expects the worst of a situation, faith always expects the best. So, how do we overcome our fears and get into a life of faith?
1 Corinthians 14:5 I would that you all have inspired speaking, that the church may receive edifying.
God’s plan for your life is to put you in a good church that is appointed to build you up spiritually. Reading your Bible and listening to teaching is a very needful part of the Christian life. So, how long does it take to be rid of your fears? Time is determined by two factors: how diligent you are to hear the Word and how great are the strongholds that fear has over you. There is no spirit of fear that God’s Word cannot overcome. I had a lot of fears in my life, maybe too numerous to count but one by one they fell away. I did not “feel” them leave me but I know they left because I couldn’t find them in my life. I did, however, find the peace of God. The peace of God is not the absence of problems, it’s the presence of God.
Fear and peace cannot occupy the same space at the same time.
We cannot balance our lives with a little God and a little devil simultaneously. God will not share any part of our life with the devil. We must choose between fear and peace, we must choose between God or the devil. No fear here.
The believer that “sells out” to Christ and lives an uncompromising life will be harassed and persecuted. This is the price you pay for putting your faith in the Holy One. Don’t ever get discouraged, the rewards of faithfulness far outweigh the affects of persecution. Consider the Apostle Paul, the Lord called him up to heaven and gave him revelations the church desperately needed. When he began to preach those revelations, the devil manifested as a thorn in his flesh. The devil used Paul’s own countrymen to attempt to stop him and even kill him. The Jews beat him five times with thirty nine stripes on his back using a cat o nine tails. They didn’t give a man forty stripes because it might kill him, they were so considerate. One day they stoned him to death, but his friends prayed for him and he got up and continued to share those revelations. He asked the Lord three times to get the devil off his back, instead the Lord supplied him with His grace.
2 Corinthians 12:9 Most gladly therefore will I rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Paul was empowered to endure every assault of satan. The devil took his best shots but could not stop Paul. Now we know God is not a respector of persons, so what He did for Paul He most assuredly will do for all of those who put their trust in Him.
2 Timothy 3:12 All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
Paul was trying to find a way around the devil, but God wanted him to go through him. The only way to skirt around the devil is to compromise your faith, some have chosen this way. The devil set out a few snares and believers retreated, leaving their rewards on the table. Christianity is difficult when you live it in your own strength. When you surrender to the grace of God He will empower you to succeed in every battle. Do not think for one minute that the devil is going to just step aside and let you walk with your Lord unhindered.
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange things happen to you.
Peter is exhorting us to watch and prepare for a visitation of evil, do not think you will be over looked. The only people the devil doesn't target are those who pose no threat to him! If you cower back and will not promote or testify of Jesus, the devil won’t waste his time on you. None of us will have to endure what Paul endured, but rest assured the devil has some naughty plans to derail us.
Isaiah 59:19 When the enemy comes in, like a flood the Spirit of God shall put him to flight.
I don’t expect the devil to succeed, I expect God to put me over no matter what the devil tries. Greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world.
Everyone has an impression of what they think Jesus looked like, what made Him stand out in a crowd. Some like to believe that He was over six feet tall, long wavy brown hair and an attractive face. I think we would all be shocked if we could see what Jesus really looked like.
Isaiah 53:2 He has no form nor was He attractive; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.
According to Isaiah, Jesus was just an ordinary man, He looked like everyone else. His physical appearance is not what drew people to Him, it was His anointing. Not everyone was impressed with His anointing, He was a threat to their way of life. The folks who were in bondage to sin, sickness and lack, welcomed Him with open hearts. God has a way of using the most unlikely people to fulfill His vision for the world. Jesus was a carpenter by trade, most folks struggled to believe God would use a nonunion carpenter.
1 Samuel 16:7 For the Lord does not see as men see; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.
We are consumed with what people look like, God is not that way at all. When Jesus ministered to the woman at the well the people there about viewed her as a five time loser. Jesus saw her as a lost soul in need of a Savior, someone who needed God in her life. God never rejects anyone based on their physical appearance nor their track record. Jesus didn’t come to make us appealing on the outside, He came to make us a new man on the inside. Jesus didn’t come to make us look like Him, He came to make us act like Him.
Mathew 4:25 And there followed Jesus great multitudes of people from everywhere.
The people followed Jesus by the thousands, not because of His physical appearance. They were attracted to His anointing, that which His Father gave Him. Many a person has been deceived because they followed a person on account of their physical allure. Artists always portray Jesus as a meek, handsome man with pretty hair. I really don’t know what He looked like and I don’t care. It’s what He did while He was here that’s got my attention. Personally I think Jesus looked like any other dude on the street. But He acted like no other man we have ever known.
Philippians 2:7 Jesus had no reputation, He took upon Him the form of a servant and lived as any other human being.
Jesus was just that, a man who had to deal with all the temptations of the devil. He didn’t have any special privileges. He had to deal with all the problems in this world just as we do. He was a righteous man who had to live by faith every day of His life. He became the example of all of us who would follow in His steps. I don’t care to look like Jesus, I want to live like Him. Some ministers can’t perform their duties without a robe, they are trying to emulate Jesus. The only true way to emulate Jesus is to receive the same Holy Spirit He had.
2 Timothy 3:1 But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble (hard to deal with and hard to bear)
If you don’t believe we are in the perilous times, then your living in denial. Men have always progressed in their sin but now they pass laws to legalize perversion. Furthermore, they expect God and His people to honor their laws. The spirit of Sodom and Gomorrah has overtaken thousands of cities. People are marching in the streets for the right to terminate the life of unborn babies. Hatred and disrespect for the righteous is at an all time high and climbing. Jesus said the love of many would wax cold.
If I didn’t know any better I would think the devil is winning, but I know better. Good and evil are working simultaneously, we can focus on which ever one we want to witness. I have been watching our Lord slowly filling the churches where He is welcome. I have seen notable miracles and a fresh zeal for the presence of our Lord. I know evil is abounding but I can do nothing about it, it is the desire of the heathen. Keep your eyes on Jesus and the world will see God’s glory on you.
If you are born again you are redeemed from the sin that was sending you to hell. If you sin after your new birth God will forgive you when you repent. The Master has put us into a very blessed life, a life where the devil cannot obstruct our covenant with our Lord. When we were born again our spirit was totally changed but our flesh is still susceptible to the lusts of this world. The Apostle Paul says he works at keeping his flesh under the jurisdiction of his power and the power of God. A born again believer has been empowered to resist the devil and submit his flesh to the Word of God.
Hebrews 6:1 Let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and faith toward God.
Evidently the Hebrews had yet to get the revelation of repentance for their past life deeds. If we remain connected to our former life, to all the evil things we have done, we will never connect with Jesus. The Lord wants to have a close, personal relationship with us but in order to do that He had to wipe out all our sins. The righteous cannot be in covenant to the unrighteous. So, He dies to blot out all of our sins and the ones we would commit.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
We are saved by grace and we maintain our salvation with grace. Born again believers have a standing invitation to come and meet Jesus at His throne whenever they want help.
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
From the day of our new birth we are willing to follow Jesus, but our flesh does not share our zeal. The Bible says the flesh is weak, it does not want what the spirit of a man wants. So, the flesh resists living for God and in the beginning it is strong in its resistance. But if the spirit man continues to feed on the Word of God he will put his flesh under his dominion. Our flesh is fearful because it is asked to believe things it cannot see, hear or touch, it must be led to trust the spirit. The flesh is in the habit of surrendering to the lusts of the world, it’s all it has ever known and now it is being led to a new and living way.
Galatians 5:13 Brothers, you have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh but by love serve one another.
When we were born again we were made free, we can make our own decisions now. Paul warns us to avoid the lusts of our flesh when we freely make our decisions. The flesh is selfish, it wants to appease only itself. But now the spirit is told to love others by serving them, the flesh opposes helping others, it wants to be served and catered to. We are a very unique being but God fully understands how we function. Our spirit knows what is best but our soul and flesh team up to challenge the spirit. Our spirit has all the power, it just needs to hold fast to the confessions of faith.
There have been events recorded in the Bible that did not apply to everyone. Not everyone drowned in the flood in Noah’s day and not all men were destroyed in Sodom and Gomorrah. Now we are approaching the end of the world; the return of Christ is at hand. Immediately after the rapture of the church the antichrist will be revealed and the seven year tribulation will begin.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to have salvation, by our Lord Jesus Christ.
Some Christians believe they will be here during the tribulation period, others believe they will go through half of the tribulation. Born-again Christians are not scheduled for any of the seven year tribulation period. We are all the bride of Christ and we are scheduled to be at the marriage supper of the Lamb. If you believe you will experience the tribulation, let it be done unto thee according to your faith. Keep this in mind: the Bible was written to three different people, the Jews, the Christians and the sinner. What God spoke to the Jews in the law and what He spoke to the sinner does not apply to the Christian.
Mathew 24:21 Then there will be great tribulation; such as was not since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall be.
This world will not be fit to live in for seven years. Why will there be so much chaos? Because the righteous will be taken out of the world and there will be nothing to restrain the devil. I don’t know precisely what will happen here and to tell you the truth I don’t really care. Every man has an opportunity to be delivered of this cataclysmic event, everyone will be here by choice just as the folks in heaven are there by choice.
Isaiah 60:2 The darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon you, and His glory will be seen upon you.
I asked the Lord this question: what would happen to the world if You never came back for the Christians? His reply: the world would get darker, the church would grow brighter and the struggle between good and evil would never end. When the church is taken out it will be the beginning of the end of evil. After the seven year tribulation period the devil will be locked up for a thousand years. During this time God and His saints will rule the world with a rod of iron. All of the evil habits people were raised up in will be broken and peace will reign over the whole world. For the time being darkness is covering the world and God’s glory, His goodness, can be seen on His people.
Revelation 21:4 God will wipe away all tears, and there will be no more death, no more sorrow and no more pain.
I know this is true, but it’s hard to imagine a day without pain or sorrow and nothing can harm us. We could jump off the tallest building or live under water and live in bliss. I dearly love all the Scriptures that apply to me, I am not moved by the ones that don’t. Many Scriptures that spoke condemnation over me ended when Jesus came into my life. Now I know Jesus loves me and He’s coming very soon for me.
A lot of people have erred when it comes to the love taught in the Bible. They simply believed that love is a one size fits all kind of thing. Almost every one is familiar with John 3:16.
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
When most folks read this they focus on the first part only, God so loved the world. So, they go around confessing that God loves them and that’s all they need to believe. How could God, Who loves them, ever send them to hell just because they are having a good time and not hurting anyone? When God said He loved the world, He was saying that He was committed to save those who wanted salvation. But when you read the entire text, you must respond to His love by believing that He went to the cross in your place to die for your sins.
1 John 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.
John 14:15 If you love Me, keep My commandments.
Man cannot have the God kind of life based solely on the love of God! How do you expect God to bless you if you don’t love Him as prescribed in His Word? Some folks get all hung up on God’s laws and commandments. They endeavor to keep them, but only grudgingly, not because they love Him. Listen, God’s commandments and ways are easy when you’re committed to Him. If you’re not committed to something you want you will struggle in an attempt to possess it. When you’re committed, the hardship is so much easier because you know that something good is coming.
John 3:19 This is the condemnation, that light (Jesus / Word) is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Jesus so loved the world, but the world loved the things of the world more than Him and the life He was offering them. The love that man operates in is performance based, if you show me favor and kindness I will return the same. If I don’t like you for any reason, I am justified to harm you any way I see fit. The human kind of love is in no way, by any means, the same as the God kind of love. The God kind of love does not change despite the conduct of people, it remains committed to everyone.
2 Timothy 4:10 For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world.
Something in the world drew the lust in Demas and he resisted the love of God. He had a greater love for material things than for God Himself. God is trying to love us out of the world but some people prefer the things of the world despite the consequence. I don’t love the world like I use to, I have something to love that is for all eternity. The world and those who love her will pass away.
In the beginning God gave man every seed he would ever need to harvest all of God’s creation. Whatever man desired, he had the seed that would give him what he wanted.
Genesis 8:22 While the earth remains, seed, time and harvest, and cold and heat, night and day will not cease.
Obviously when God gave man seed it was for all generations, His law of seed, time and harvest are still in effect. If you observe an apple tree, the trunk, the bark, the branches, the leaves and all the apples were in a seed about the size of a tear.
You can count how many seeds are in an apple but you can’t count how many apples are in a seed.
The miracle of the seed is in the seed, science has an explanation for this process but they don’t call it what it truly is, a miracle. The only thing a seed needs to grow is some suitable soil, God has commanded the earth to grow whatever is planted in it. If you put a wooden fence post into the ground, the ground will try to grow it.
John 12:24 Truly I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die (germinate), it abides alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.
Jesus gave this parable speaking of Himself, He would die and be buried like a seed, but He is called the seed of life. According to the law of Genesis, every seed would produce after its own kind. As long as Jesus lived, He was the only righteous man alive, but He was not sent to be the only Son of God. He would die, be put into a grave owned by Joseph of Arimathea, but the growing time only took three days.
John 5:26 For as the Father has (eternal) life in Himself: so has He given to the Son to have life in Himself.
When a sinner invites Jesus into his life, he is the soil of God’s seed and the life of God Himself abides in him. Man was created from dirt but because of Adam’s transgression all the dirt was cursed. When the seed of life comes in, the dirt is sanctified and the condemned property is now profitable. What was once profitable dirt now becomes a holy habitation. We are as a garden and the Word is the seed the husbandman wants to sow into our life. If we receive the seed of His Word, we will reap whatever He died to secure for us.
Mark 4:14-15 The sower sows the Word. And satan comes immediately to steal the Word that was sown in their hearts.
If a man does not want the Word stolen from his heart he can stop the devil. Having the life of God in us gives us dominion over the devil, we do not have to accept the seed he wants to sow into our lives. It’s much easier to keep the weeds out to begin with, rather than letting them grow and have to pluck them out later. We have the soil and we have the seed, now it’s time for the miracle.
As the politicians like to say, let me be clear about this: The devil will try every man whether he be a saint or a sinner. There are only two times when the devil will try you, when you do something wrong and when you do something right. There is no neutral place for anyone to hang out, if you’re in this world you are in the company of its evil father.
James 4:7 Submit yourself to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Many Christians, in their ignorance, assist the devil, they do not resist him.
Proverbs 6:2 You are snared with the words of your mouth, you are taken with the words of your mouth.
Most Christians are not aware of the damage their words do to their lives. We have learned so many “cute” clichés that everyone uses and we have no idea we are having what we say. I did not know I was speaking in agreement with the devil whenever I spoke. Just because everyone else does it, it doesn’t mean we should do it. “I’m sick of this” or “I’m sick and tired”. These clichés are so common, but I was having what I was saying, I was being snared with the word from my own mouth. I was assisting the devil, not resisting him. I was no threat to the devil, I was a pushover.
Acts 20:32 Now brethren, I commend you to God, and the Word of His grace, which is able to build you up.
Only God can build you up with His Word, not man, He uses men but He is the power. We all need to be built up on account of the days ahead of us. I often think many Christians have no concept of the importance of God’s Word. In the days we’re in, our faith has become a question of life and death. Faith created the devil, faith will control him. Got faith? The devil hates a person who knows where they stand with God, he can’t seem to be able to do anything with them. They are a problem for him, his greatest prize is the pushover.
Mathew 7:24-25 Whosoever hears my Words and does them is like a wise man who built his house on a rock. Everyone that hears My sayings and does them not is like a man which builds his house upon the sand.
So, we have two different people who hear the same word, one does it and one does it not. Both have the same opportunity, one takes advantage and one doesn’t care. The diligent person gives God the glory for his victory, the one who falls blames God for his failure. We really can’t blame the devil for our problems, the Word reveals our authority and teaches us how to put him out. Christians need to be as serious about the Word as the sports and hobbies they participate in. These two people in this text experience the same storm, one is not even fazed but the other one is destroyed. People who build their house on sand must continually rebuild, some never learn, they continue to build on the same location and with the same material.
August 12, 2018
I have been created on purpose with purpose.
Because He loves me, I can trust Him.
I can trust Him with my life.
I can trust Him in every season.
I can trust Him in my weakness.
I can trust Him with my seed because His Word promises me that His love will fill every void and every lack.
Weekly Prayer Focus
August 12, 2018
Jeff & Shawna Deadmond
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