Christian, Stop Debating and Start Demonstrating

“He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” – Proverbs‬ ‭9:7-10‬ ‭

How often do we see believers getting caught up in debates with unbelievers? Is there any fruit in that? According to scripture, the answer is “no”. Unless a person has the fear of the Lord, which equates to an understanding of, and a belief in God’s just judgment and hell, and a reverence for His omnipotent wisdom, then they themselves have no wisdom. 

The truth is that non of us have any wisdom of ourselves, our world view is so limited and our minds, will’s, and emotions, are so easily manipulated, twisted, and confounded by the enemy who was by God’s own admittance, “the wisest creature God had created.” That means the devil is wiser then you, he is a lier, and a master deceiver. The devil will outsmart you every time, but he will never outsmart God. Therefore, to fear God will cause you to obey God, which will cause you to walk in His wisdom, which is the only wisdom that is wisdom because it’s the only wisdom that can outsmart the devil’s wisdom.

“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made…”- Geneses‬ ‭3:1‬ ‭

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.” – Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-7‬ ‭

So understanding this we can see that it is utterly pointless to try to instruct someone who does not fear the Lord and therefor honor His wisdom above their own. So believers, stop debating with unbelievers, they cannot know the truth until they have first come to know Him that is the truth. Don’t debate moral issues with people who do not have God who is the only moral standard. Don’t debate the deep truths of the bible with people who do not have the Holy Spirit of God, it is not yet open to them. Just give them the gospel, give them the good news, give them Jesus! 

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:1-2‬ ‭

Only once a person has truly had a real life changing, new creation, rebirth experience can they then walk in the humility to be instructed in the truth. Only after they have been made new and impossibly changed from what they thought they knew will the revelation of the reality that God’s ways are truly higher then their ways allow them to open up to the deeper wisdom of the way, the truth, and the life. Until then, you’re fighting a loosing fight. Trust God, He knows better. 

Stop debating and start demonstrating. You’re not demonstrating Jesus when you are debating Jesus. Show forth the good news and demonstrate the power of the the kingdom of God to set the captive free, transform lives, and do what cannot be explained or understood by the limited wisdom of man. No one can argue with your testimony, so stop debating Jesus and start demonstrating Jesus and you’ll see that the gospel  works on others when you show that it worked on you.

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” – ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭12:11‬ ‭

“But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭4:19-20‬ ‭

“Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” – Jeremiah‬ ‭17:5-10‬ 

Advertisements

THE BATTLE OF THE WILL

img_5061“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.” – ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭57:15-16‬ ‭‬‬

Contrite: crushed to powder; destroyed
Humble: low, lowly, abase
Revive: quicken, restore to life
Heart: inner man, mind, will, emotions, character

As I understand the Scripture, GOD is looking for a people who ACKNOWLEDGE not in word alone, (but in action and deed) that HE IS GOD by a people who are destroyed in their own will, mind, and breath and lay low in disposition of character. In other words, NOT SELF-willed; but GOD-willed. Only this dead-willed people will our HOLY LORD GOD REVIVE! This is the BATTLE OF BATTLES, the war between GOD and man, and the sooner people decide to destroy their own self-will, self-desire, in humility and surrender, the sooner GOD will quicken, or revive our spirit and hearts to Himself.
GOD cannot revive what refuses to die! Even demons are more submissive to GOD than the self-willed man. The mercy of GOD waits for people to submit to HIM, but HE won’t strive with us forever, there is an end to this struggle between GOD’S WILL and self-will, but at the end of this battle which side will you find yourself on? The scariest thought for me is to be found in self-will standing face to face with GOD! For as Scripture states HE resists the proud, but gives Grace to the humble.

Compassion for the repentant:

“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him. But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” – Isaiah‬ ‭57:15-21‬ ‭‬‬

GOD desires to heal us and restore us to life in Himself, but those who refuse to give up their heart, will, and desires to Him, will come under His Judgement.

Judgement for the unrepentant:

“Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew‬ ‭11:20-30‬

Submitted by Heather Wright

The Gospel Truth

IMG_2253-1“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” – ‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭3:17-18‬ ‭

Many people have a misconstrued interpretation of Scripture, and therefore ERROR GREATLY!!!

SALVATION:
GOD’S Plan? YES!
For HIS OWN PURPOSE? YES!
BY HIS POWER AND FOR HIS GLORY? YES!
IS IT HIS WILL THAT ALL SHALL BE SAVED? YES!!

But, does that mean that all will be saved? NO!! Why? Because Salvation, though it is the work of GOD, is not done by force. HE MADE THE WAY FOR SALVATION, but it’s up to each individual to choose to take it , or not!

“ …choose you this day whom ye will serve; … – Joshua‬ ‭24:15‬

Example: Someone is drowning and the lifeguard throws out the lifesaver… unless the person puts it on, it cannot save them!!! They can look at it, talk about it, acknowledge that it is the only way to be saved, and even believe that it will… but unless they choose to grab hold of it and put it on, they WILL drown!!!

Does GOD want anyone to die in sin and go to HELL? NO!!! But nevertheless, as JESUS says in Matthew 7, MANY WILL! But why? Because they continued to work iniquity (sin): “…depart from me ye workers of iniquity, I (HE SAYS) never knew you!” 

When people choose to remain in sin, though JESUS CHRIST died to take it away, they are foolishly CHOOSING TO ETERNALLY DIE IN HELL, though they had been given the opportunity to be saved!

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” – ‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭3:9‬ ‭

That being said, CAN A PERSON LOOSE THEIR SALVATION?

Let examine it! Once the understanding of Scripture has been rightly divided, and the truth attained by searching the WHOLE COUNSIL OF GOD by the help of the HOLY SPIRIT OF TRUTH, then we can give a correct answer to this question. “Can a person loose their Salvation?”
Once you understand that SALVATION, though it is GOD’S WILL for all to be saved, but many WILL NOT BE BY CHOICE, then we can understand more clearly, how these Scriptures unfolded together! I don’t believe that a person JUST looses their salvation, one cannot accidentally loose the most precious gift ever given to mankind. No the power of GOD IS GREAT ENOUGH TO SECURE THIS PROMISE TO US. HOWEVER, to be most accurate with words and the understanding of them, ONE CAN, AND MANY DO, CHOOSE TO RELINQUISH (willfully give up) THEIR SALVATION!!! Scripture is VERY CLEAR! Those who ENDURE TO THE END SHALL BE SAVED!

“I (Paul) therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” – ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭9:26-27‬ ‭

The Apostle Paul compared his own Salvation to a race, saying “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the course, I have KEPT THE FAITH…”. Remember we are saved by GOD’S GRACE (POWER) THROUGH OUR FAITH! We have a part to play in our Salvation! That’s FAITH! And FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD. Right

So what exactly is FAITH? Many people get in constant disagreements over this simple little word: is it belief or works? The answer is, neither. It’s trust, being confidently fully persuaded that what GOD HAS PROMISED HE IS ABLE ALSO TO PERFORM! FAITH IS BEING IN FULL AGREEMENT WITH THE PRESENT LIVING SPOKEN WORD AND WILL OF GOD AND ACTING IN OBEDIENCE TO IT! Simply put, FAITH IS TRUSTING AND SURRENDERING TO THE AUTHORITY AND POWER OF JESUS CHRIST EVERDAY! Jesus said that no one can serve two masters, that he will hate one and cling to the other. SO NO ONE CAN BE A SERVANT OF SIN AND OF JESUS CHRIST AT THE SAME TIME.  NO, JESUS DIED TO TAKE AWAY OUR SINS, Not leave us in them. Sorry to burst your bubble, but being a willful continual sinner will destroy you in HELL!!! However, if by FAITH FULLY TRUSTING JESUS CHRIST, we obey HIS VOICE BY CHOOSING HIS WILL OVER OUR OWN, AND BY CONTINUING TO DO SO UNTIL THE END, WE SHALL BE SAVED!

So if you’re not saved (from your sins) CHOOSE TO BE!

If you are saved, then don’t relinquish (give up) your Salvation to serve yourself, for if you do, you will die in your sins and find yourself in HELL for all eternity without another single opportunity to REPENT and be saved!

“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” – Hebrews‬ ‭10:26-31‬

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John‬ ‭1:5-9‬ ‭KJV‬‬

AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS!

The BLOOD OF CHRIST CANNOT CLEANSE WHAT IT HAS NOT BEEN APPLIED TO. It’s time to WALK in the TRUTH of HIS WORD AND HOLY SPIRIT AND ALLOW HIM TO WASH AWAY OUR SINS!

“Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward….And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it….Therefore saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies: And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city. Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness. And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the Lord shall be consumed.” – Isaiah‬ ‭1:4, 15-20, 24-28‬

Submitted by Heather Wright

THE RAIN IS COMING: ARE YOU READY?

img_6309“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” – Matthew‬ ‭7:21-27‬ ‭KJV‬

Storms in life come in many ways, but understanding it’s purpose can bring comfort to such an uncomfortable situation. First thing to remember is that JESUS CHRIST IS STILL LORD OF THE STORMS! They are not just attacks from the devil… they were actually allowed by GOD, sent by GOD, and they have purpose! See the storm is the test. When it comes, it will reveal what foundation that you have built your life upon; because unless that foundation is Jesus Christ, it will surly fall!

The first thing to note is that, the dividing line is whether we actually DO the will of the Father or not. This one thing determines what foundation we are building upon. Hearing God’s voice is one thing (and very necessary), but it’s the actual DOING IT that counts.

Another interesting thought is this: GOD made us all from the dust of the earth… so as I think on this, what is revealed to me, is that the “sand” in this passage actually represents man or self. Most people are so busy going about doing works all for themselves, even many doing “Good works” are doing them for the purpose of easing their conscience to feel better about themselves. In essence, those who are building their house upon sand are building their own kingdom, for themselves, upon themselves, making even the good things they do complete vanity! In judgement all this will burn up in smoke.

Hear what the Apostle Paul tells the church of Corinth who were boasting in men:

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭3:6-23‬ ‭KJV‬‬

As Jesus speaks, so we do, this is what pleases the Father. But those who do NOT do the will of the Father will be destroyed by the storms. Therefore I can conclude that the storms come to clear the stage of all the ungodly kingdoms of man, and to rain down blessing to grow the Kingdom of GOD in the earth through faith in Christ Jesus!

“And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways. And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee. And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers to give thee. The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me. The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish. And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.” – Deuteronomy‬ ‭28:1-24‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Therefore let us choose obedience to the VOICE OF THE LORD GOD that the blessings may fall upon us.

Submitted by Heather Wright

Living in the Miraculous 

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” – James‬ ‭5:16-18‬ ‭

Nothing is impossible for God, yet being just as He is, He is bound by His own words that what He has said He will do whether it be in reward or in judgment, He must do. 

James (the brother of Jesus being a son of Mary and Joseph) gives very clear instruction on seeing God move in the miraculous. In previous verses he says, “if there are any sick among you, bring them before the church, anoint them with oil, have the leadership pray over them, and this prayer of faith will move in healing upon them.” Faith requires that we believe in what God says and how He says to do things, it is trusting that He knows best enough to obey His instructions. 

The passage then continues going a bit deeper into why those prayers often don’t work, then gives us an absolute assurance that they can, if we will have the faith and humility to meet God’s conditions for it. 

First he states that we need to be humble enough to confess our faults/sins (failures), and seek Godly friends to pray with about these things with you as you press God for strength in repentance. God is clear that He only gives His grace to the humble because only the humble seek Him, trust Him, depend on Him, and obey Him. 

Grace is God’s divine favor, power, and influence, all of which are needed to preform the miraculous, and it is only given to the humble. So let your first focus be on cultivating humility toward God and reverence for His presence. Humility and reverence will cause you to trust and obey His voice and leading which will by default cause you to walk in righteousness (doing what He says is right instead of what you think or feel is right). Therefor, walking in righteousness is the second requirement to moving in the miraculous. 

If you have faithfully repented of (turned away from/ceased to do) all known sins (which are failures to obey God’s voice) as God reveals them to you, and are walking in righteousness (obedience), then the third requirement is fervent prayer. James tells us in no uncertain terms that Elijah was a man just like us. He was not super human, he was not made any different then you are I, nor were the temptations he faced any less. He simply chose to trust God, obey His voice, turn away from temptations to sin, walked in righteousness, and prayed fervently. He simply met all the conditions that God had laid out and if we will do the same, then we too will walk in the miraculous even as he did, for God is no respecter of persons, nor has His power diminished.

“Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” – Acts‬ ‭10:34-35‬ ‭

God has not changed, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. What He does for one He will do for others if they will meet the same conditions. If they walk in the same humility, exhibit the same faith, endurance, selflessness, and trust. God is a good father that desires to give good gifts to His children. Yet we tie His hands from doing so because He, being just, cannot move against His own words. His word says that He resist the proud, therefor can He not work with the proud, only against them. His word says that He does not hear the prayers of the unrighteous, therefore He cannot move on their behalf. And above all, He cannot reward unbelief, therefore if we do not trust Him enough to seek His voice and believe it, no matter what we see, think, or feel, then He will not move; for it was because of unbelief that He withheld His promise from the Children of Israel in the wilderness until a generation arose who were willing to meet the conditions so that He could finally bring the blessing forth. 

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. SUBMIT yourselves therefore to God. RESIST the devil, and he WILL flee from you.” – James‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭

“Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.” – John‬ ‭9:31‬ ‭

“But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?” – Hebrews‬ ‭3:17-18‬ ‭

No, nothing is too hard for God, nor has He changed or diminished, only our faith has, our willingness to submit to God and resist the devil; to seek, listen, hear, trust, and obey God at all cost. The conditions are simple, humble yourself, listen to His voice, repent of failures to do so, trust what He says, walk in that trust no matter what, and pray fervently. In other words, believe, really believe, and these signs WILL follow those that believe. 

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” – Mark‬ ‭16:17-18‬ ‭

God Is Love

“Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.” – Song of Solomon‬ ‭6:4‬ ‭

Oh how beautiful our God is. Great and mighty, tender and sweet. He is love itself. He is gracious and kind, yet He is also terrible in power, authority, and judgment. He is a God over angel armies. He is a just judge enacting sentences for sin. Yet over all that He does and/or allows to be done, His banner is love. 

“He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.” – Song of Solomon‬ ‭2:4‬ ‭

God does nothing that isn’t rooted in love. His grace and mercies are rooted in love for all. His judgments and wrath are rooted in love for the faithful. His corrections and even His stepping back and allowing the enemy to shake us is rooted in love for the straying unto repentance. 

God is a good father and thus exhibits all the characteristics of a good Father. Love, kindness, grace, mercy, correction, wrath, direction, lessons; and once raised up and instructed in truth He lets you choose to trust His wisdom and obey what He has taught you or trust in your own wisdom, or that of those around you. If you choose the latter, He will step back and let you walk out the consequences of that decision in the loving hope that you might (through the consequences) see the folly of it. 

In the end everything He does, doesn’t do, or allows to be done is rooted on love. This is why you can know those that are rooted in Him by their fruit. If someone is truly connected to the root of love they will produce the fruit of love, for God is love and so are His true children. Therefore, if one does not show forth the continual fruit of love, then they are not connected to the root of love. No matter what they say, or imagine, the fruits do not lie. God is love, and so are His children. 

“For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.” – Romans‬ ‭11:16‬ ‭

“For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” – Romans‬ ‭11:21-22‬ ‭

“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.” – 1 John‬ ‭2:3-11‬ ‭

You Are The Church

How often I see the body of Christ sitting idle when God has sent forth the call for movement. All the more often I see frustrated congregants full of ideas and vision, coupled with frustrated overwhelmed pastors who are slap out of stamina. I find this to be the result of one main issue. The Church has forgotten who they are.

“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar–jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” – Matthew‬ ‭16:15-19‬ ‭

Here we see Jesus asking a common man, a fisherman, that famous question; “who do you say that I Am“. Peter was not a priest, he was not a Levite, a rabbi, or a man of any title for that matter, yet in that moment God moved upon his heart with revelation. God used a common man to profess this God given revelation that Jesus was the Christ, the savior of the world, the son of the living God! Then Jesus pleasingly professes that upon this, the revelation of God and the proclaiming of the deity of Christ being given to, and boldly professed by common men, (whomever would believe as Peter had believed) would the foundation upon which the Church of Jesus Christ be built!

Brother, sister, the church is not a building, the church is not a pastor, a worship team, or the staff, the church is you. If you have received the revelation from God that Jesus is the Christ, the chosen and anointed one that came to take away the sins of the world, the Son of the living God, and are willing to boldly profess that revelation, then you are the church!

“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” – Romans‬ ‭10:8-12‬ ‭

Therefor, is every person who has been saved called to preach, maybe not to pastor for Paul said that to some was the call to pastor, to some to teach, to some to evangelize, to some to prophesy, and to some to Apostle (Ephesians 11:4), yet to all is the call to preach. If you have received the revelation of who Jesus is and what He did for you, then you have also been called to confess it, or speak about it to others. On this is not only salvation founded but the true church of Christ as a whole.

So here in lies the disconnect. Many today believe that it is their job to believe but the pastors job to speak and to do. Therefor, every time the Lord puts something on their heart they go to the pastor and tell him to do it. Multiply that by the number of people in a church and you can begin to see the problem. Frustrated congregants not seeing what God has ignited in their hearts being done, led by frustrated pastors so overwhelmed by demands to do what God is telling everyone else to do that they can’t do what God is telling them to do. All because many have lost sight of the reality that your pastor is not the church, you are. If God put it in your heart then it’s for you to do, go do it. If God lays a person on your heart, go visit them. If He lays a charity or mission on your heart, go do it. You are the church. The pastors job is to seek the Lord for a word that will confirm what God is speaking to you so that you can better do what God is telling you to do. God did not call you out of darkness to be a pew warmer, He called you out of darkness to be the church. Not to be in a church, to be the church. Now go shine your light before men. Ask yourself what you would like to see your church doing, and go do it. Your pastor, and more importantly your God will thank you for it.

“Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew‬ ‭5:15-16‬ ‭

An Instrument of Worship

imageHow many of us saved and born again believers want to be used for God? I would hope that to be the desire of us all, but the LORD revealed to me why only a few of us actually walk out His perfect plans for our lives.

God showed me a valuable lesson, He showed me an instrument… (for me it’s a guitar). He said, “How awkward would it be if when you went to pick up your guitar and tune it to play, that it would un tune itself; or if when you picked it up to play a song, it would decide to play something else. Would you be able to use it?

You see this is the reason why so few are actually being used by GOD. We think we know better about what we should do than GOD does, or we are simply not willing to be tuned to HIS PERFECTION, but what it all really is, is that we want to do it ourselves, our way. We have free will and the ability to do what we want to do, so in order to let GOD use us we have to surrender and remain surrendered, allowing the HOLY SPIRIT to have control of the strings of our hearts and play out that which pleases HIM. We must be always in a place of Worship surrendered unto HIM for all HE desires to do with us.

For many of us, we think of images of those like Billy Gram, but that’s not necessarily what GOD has in mind. It’s the simple place where when GOD speaks, we say yes and do just as HE says. When GOD says, “Don’t go anywhere today, stay still be with only ME.” Do we? When He speaks again and says, “I want you to go tell your brother, “that little secret sin in your heart, GOD sees and is asking you to lay it down.” Do we? Do we obey HIM when it’s difficult and unpleasant to our flesh? Do we? Do we fast and pray seeking to be turned to HIS PERFECTION? Do we? Will we weep over our sins and those of our brothers and sisters in Christ? Will we ask HIM what we should do to be of use to HIS KINGDOM, for HIS GLORY to be displayed in our lives and those we are around? And when HE answers, will we trust and obey? All of those things are necessary components of an instrument of worship unto the LORD. You see, what I’m about to share with you is the rest of the revelation GOD showed me… when you are doing what you want to do, and refuse what HE wants you to do… we actually are instrumental in doing harm to HIS KINGDOM, and become instruments used by satan for distraction and destruction.

You see it’s vital that we remain surrendered unto HIM, only then can He pick us up and use us! Not all of us are called to be Billy Grams, but all of us are called to WORSHIP HIM, and by doing so (this surrendered life) will be even more valuable to GOD!

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans‬ ‭12:1-2‬

No one wants to suffer, yet it is this very state of a “living sacrifice” that pleases HIM, allowing GOD to transform us into the perfect image of HIS SON JESUS CHRIST of whom GOD says: THIS IS MY BELOVED SON IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED!

Submitted by Heather Wright

Honoring Personal Convictions 

“I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.” – Romans‬ ‭14:14-15‬ ‭

In the times before Christ, God wrote many of His laws and commandments in stone for all to see and follow. However, after Christ, because that He had given us the gift of the indwelling Holy Ghost, He was then able to speak to each of us directly, writing His laws and personal commandments on our very hearts.

“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” – Ezekiel‬ ‭36:26-27‬ ‭

Having this personal communion, communication, and conviction, God now instructs each believer in righteousness individually. There are times when He may lead you to do something, say something, pray something, or forsake something that He has not asked of an other. In this personal thing you must obey, though it may not be asked of anyone else. We see this experience through out the bible among the truly faithful. God asked Abraham to lay down Isaac, and asked this of no one else. He asked Elijah to pray and stop the rain and no one else. He asked Noah to build and Ark and no one else. He asked Moses to fast and pray on the mountain top and no one else. God seeks for those who have the faith to obey Him when He speaks personal right now instructions that the masses don’t understand. 

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” – 2 Timothy‬ ‭3:12‬ ‭

The truth is that all those who will obey the leading of the Holy Spirit will be slandered and attacked for it by those who don’t, because of the conviction it brings. Nevertheless, those who endure and obey anyway will without fail be both validated and rewarded by God who sees all, knows all, and is faithful above all. So take heart and have faith! 

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” – Hebrews‬ ‭11:6‬ ‭

However, for those of us on the other end of the Spectrum being among those who have not received an instruction or conviction that someone else has, let us take heed to Paul’s warning not to offend. For he states clearly that it shows a lack of love for those whom Christ died for to use our liberty as a means of snobbery, pious, or unbelief over the convictions of others. Just because God has not instructed you in something does not mean that He has not instructed an other in it. As long as it is not in contradiction to the written word of God, then support your brothers and sisters in the love and peace of Christ and He will bring all things to light according to His will and purpose in due time. After all, one of the greatest and most persistent lessons of the Bible is that when a person is truly obedient to the voice of God, everyone else witnessing it will think they are crazy. So choose to not be among those making the obedience of the faithful harder then it need be, pray for them, love them, be at peace with them, and wait for the Lord to reveal His will in due time that you might be rewarded with them. 

“And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” – Acts‬ ‭5:38-39‬ ‭

“And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.” – Matthew‬ ‭10:38-41‬ ‭

Why Fasting Is Critical To Growing In Grace

Did you know that according to the Bible, fasting increases the measure of Grace God imparts to you? Grace is God’s favor, power, and divine influence and being obedient to fast increases these amazing attributes of grace into the life of the believer, but why?

It comes down to humility. You see for starters, fasting is not an option for the true believer. Jesus never said, “if you fast“, He said, “when you fast” and equated its importance in the life of a believer to prayer. As surely as you know that you must pray, you must also obey to fast when He calls you to do so. Why? Because He said to.

“Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance:…” – Matthew‬ ‭6:16‬ ‭

“But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;” – Matthew‬ ‭6:17‬ ‭

Fasting is such a perfect picture of the relationship, reality, and function of faith and grace. God says to fast, in faith you humble yourself and obey by turning away from (or repenting of) food and as soon as you turn away the food in faith then God sends His grace to supernaturally strengthen you and empower you to walk this thing out when you otherwise could not!

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” – Matthew‬ ‭4:4‬ ‭

You see, James 4:6 tells us that God gives more grace to the humble. However, what many do not realize is that you must humble yourself, God will not do it for you. Therefore, you can have as much grace as you want, if you want it enough to humble yourself for it by choosing to obey God in faith, pick up your cross, follow Him, and believe that He is able to get you through any wilderness that He leads you into. If you want to grow in grace as we are instructed to do in 2 Peter 3:18, you must humble your flesh by disciplining it, or as the Apostle Paul Said, by “putting it into submission”.

“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭9:27‬ ‭

Faith is a choice, you must choose whom you will serve, God or flesh/self. To choose God over self you must humble yourself. You must choose to humble yourself, God will not do it for you. God does not humble man while he lives, He may humiliate you in His mercy and effort to break your pride, but even then you must choose to either become humbled or hardened by the humiliation. All of scripture makes it very clear that you must humble yourself. You must choose to stop trusting in self, in flesh, and in the things of this carnal world, and put your faith (which encompasses trust, hope, and submission) in God alone.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:14‬

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:” – 1 Peter‬ ‭5:6‬ ‭

Fasting is a humbling. It is not something that the flesh wants to do. It’s an act of submission, sacrifice, obedience, faith, and love. It mortifies the flesh, it baffles the logic, it rejects self will and bows to God’s. It is in every way an act of faith that once stepped out in is completed only by God’s grace, which then builds your faith in His grace for greater things yet to come for those who truly believe in and live by every word He says!

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” – James‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭

“I humbled my soul with fasting;” – Psalms‬ ‭35:13‬ ‭

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” – James‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭

“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” – Matthew‬ ‭17:20-21‬ ‭

“Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord,” – Joel‬ ‭1:14‬ ‭

“Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Then will the Lord be jealous for his land, and pity his people.” – Joel‬ ‭2:16-18‬ ‭

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:14‬

“And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days:…” – 1 Kings‬ ‭21:27-29‬ ‭