Inspire Ministries Home

The purpose of this web page is to challenge and encourage us as believers in what we believe and why we believe it. There will be a mixture of familiar topics along with some fresh perspectives, all of which will be from a Biblical point of view. Please email me with your thoughts, prayers or questions, I would love to hear from you- God Bless!   



  Full of Joy and Laughter

Psalms 126:1-3
When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The Lord has done great things for them." The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
The Bible has a lot to say about joy and laughter and the significance they play in the lives of God's people. Realizing that "Joy" is a fruit of our recreated spirit according to Galatians 5:22. Laughter is a wonderful byproduct of joy that releases many benefits to our whole being- spirit, soul and body. Laughter that originates from the Lord is a tremendous blessing to us- Job 8:21, "He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy."

Yes God wants His children to laugh! The Lord really drove that point home for me when I saw a dad tickling his son while holding him in his lap. Seeing them both laughing and enjoying each other was a living example of how the Father God gathers us into His lap and tickles us with holy laughter. The Lord strengthens His people through joy- Nehemiah 8:10, "...for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

It is proven both medically and Biblically that laughter promotes healing in our lives Proverbs 17:22, "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Laughter is also a statement of faith, testifying to the Greater One inside of us, the mighty Holy Spirit- Job 5:22, "You will laugh at destruction and famine, and need not fear the beasts of the earth."
Living the Spirit-Filled life is essential to reaching our full potential in Jesus Christ. The "New Wine" is a symbol of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer- Matthew 9:17. At the Day of Pentecost, the 120 in the upper room were filled with the Holy Spirit. The casual observers assumed that they were drunk- Acts 2:13-16. Well what do drunk people in the natural do? They laugh and stumble while under the influence. Spiritual drunkenness is from God and likewise affects us in such a way that it can be easily misunderstood as natural intoxication. However, with the Holy Spirit overflowing in our lives, we have no fear, no cares, we are full of joy and laughter. Instead of a hang over the next morning we are full of strength and love.

Ephesians 5:18-20
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.


  Are you a Thermostat or Thermometer Christian?

Romans 4:17
"...the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were."
There are a couple ways that we can interpret life’s circumstances that come against us. The common or natural way is to accept things the way they are, due to the perception that we are powerless to change them. A thermometer is a device that simply measures the air temperature and reports the way things are. The thermometer Christian will simply call things the way they are. If they are sick in body, they will tell others how sick they are. If they are poor financially, they will say how broke they are. Is this the proper tone for Christians, when unbelievers talk like this? How would the Lord have us speak about these issues of life?

So if the thermometer Christian reacts to life by simply saying it the way it is, claiming to be honest and transparent about their feelings, how would a thermostat Christian respond to life’s obstacles? Now a thermostat is a device that regulates the air temperature within a given room to a desired set point as dictated by the user. In others words, if a room is 65 degrees Fahrenheit and you want it to be 72 degrees, than all you have to do is call for 72 degrees by setting the thermostat to that temperature and let the heater do the work- Mark 4:26-29. Wouldn’t it be funny for a person to go into that same room and say, “It sure is cold in here, I’d better get a blanket and put on some warm clothes, since I have to accept just how cold it is in here- that’s just the way it is.” Even unbelievers have what I call natural human faith. They know if they want to make the room warmer, just adjust the thermostat accordingly. In this way we are caller for 72 degrees before it is.
Suppose a person goes into a dark room and declares, “Wow it’s dark in here, I guess we just have to accept this darkness in our lives and learn to adapt to it. I sure hope we can have some light soon, maybe God will intervene in this situation and turn the light on for us!”  Again, natural human faith gained by experience knows that lifting the light switch turns on the lights. Bible faith works on the same principles, faith simply acts on what we believe and changes the way things are to what we desire them to be. Hope is future tense (Romans 8:24-25) and faith is now (Hebrews 11:1), with the switch of faith, let’s turn God’s Word loose in our lives for His glory! Faith's job is to convert our hopes into reality.  


  A Day is like 1,000 Years to the Lord

2 Peter 3:8-9
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
I remember when I was a kid, the school year dragged on, what seemed like an eternity. I could not wait until summer break would finally roll around. As I get older, it seems like the sands of time are slipping away even faster. The realization that life is so short in comparison to eternity continues to sink in more and more. So the reality of time is really found in a day being like 1,000 years according to the Bible. So if an average person lives until he/she is 80 years old, that would be around 1 hour and 55 minutes in God's time; or 1 hour on God's timetable would be someone who reaches 42 years of age.

1 Corinthians 7:29, 31, "What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away."

So if a person's life is really just a couple of hours from eternity's perspective, that amount of time is just enough time for a person to make a choice. What are they going to do with Jesus- accept Him or reject Him. So the meaning of life on this earth is to choose our eternal destination, to exercise our free will in this matter; Everything else in this life will pass away. 1 Timothy 6:7-8, "For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it." So let's live our lives right now as though we were living in eternity- 100% for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Hebrews 2:3
How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.
James 4:13-16
Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.


  Staying Focused on the Prize

Luke 9:51 NKJV
Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.
Clearly Jesus had a great mission, purpose and destiny to fulfill while on earth; the salvation of mankind from sin. As a result, His whole life was a sense of mission, everything His did was is conformity to the Father's will. John 4:34, "My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work." Certainly, Jesus took some time to enjoy life and spend time with others, but during His ministry years, He was focused and deliberate about fulfilling His mission. Each one of us as disciples of Jesus Christ, also has an urgent mission, purpose and destiny to fulfill; there is much at stake if we fail to obey our individual callings. We have been given the message and ministry of reconciliation to the world.

2 Corinthians 5:20-21,
"We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God."

As Jesus set His face for Jerusalem, so we also must be focused and single-minded to obey God in everything. As blinders are put on horses to keep them from becoming distracted by what is going on around them, we too must fix our eyes on Jesus. As in the parable of the sower, Jesus warned us about the weeds of this life that endeavor to choke God's Word out of our lives. Mark 4:19-20, "but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful."
We must learn to keep our eyes upon the prize and the joy of seeing people brought to Jesus and ministered to-
1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Hebrews 12:1-2. We must run our race to win and fulfill our God given destines in Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 3:1-2, "Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess."


  Words - A Creative Force

Hebrews 11:3
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
We see in the above passage of Scripture that the whole universe was created at, “God’s command.” In other words, when God spoke His faith filled words into the empty darkness, the act of creation was released.

Those that say they can, and those that say they can’t are both right. Words are the most powerful thing in the universe. The words we speak will either put us over or hold us in bondage. Unfortunately, when it comes to prayer, many of us pray the problem instead of the answer. We bind God’s hands from working on our behalf because of our unbelief. Praying and speaking the problem only makes it bigger, and releases the devil to enforce it more in our lives. We need to train ourselves to agree with, and only speak God’s Word out of our mouths.

God’s Word that is conceived in our heart, then formed by the tongue, and spoken out of our own mouth, becomes a spiritual force releasing the ability of God within us. The spoken Word of God is creative power. The kingdom of God responds to faith filled words. God never did anything that He didn’t say first. He said it, then He did it. The power to do it was in the spoken Word. One translation of the Bible (The concordant literal NT) puts Luke 1:37 this way, “It will not be impossible with God to fulfill his every declaration.” It matters what we say- Proverbs 18:21.
Psalms 19:14
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.


  The Cost of Being a Disciple of Jesus Christ

Matthew 16:24-26
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it."
In the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus told His Church to go out into the world and make disciples, disciplined followers of Him. Teaching them to obey His commands. To be a Christian is no casual commitment, seeing that it is rooted in covenant- giving oneself totally to another. Let's consider Matthew 16:24-26.

#1- Deny himself: Letting go of self-will to call the shots and do one's own thing. This speaks of following the Master's will when it's inconvenient in faithful service. As Jesus exemplified in His complete surrender to the Father's will- "Not my will but yours be done" in Luke 22:42.

#2- Take up his Cross and Follow Me: Taking on the burden for the lost in this world as Jesus had, who "did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many" in Matthew 20:28. For the joy set before us, of seeing many brought into the Kingdom, we pay the price and suffer persecution- Hebrews 12:2.

#3- Loses his Life for Me will find it: Understanding that, "this world in it's present form is passing away" (1 Corinthians 7:31; John 12:25), we embrace the calling of God upon our lives to serve Him in His Kingdom. The natural life is temporary, but what we do in the Name of the Lord lasts forever. If we were smart, we would seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33), knowing that He will bless us with things we could not acquire by ourselves.
Eternal life is a free gift, but it cost Jesus everything, so what should our response be to such an amazing love as this? Lay our lives down in His service in fulfilling the Great Commission- each of us doing our part that He has called us to do.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15, "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again."


  A Lack of Knowledge

Hosea 4:6, "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge."

What we don’t know can hurt us, ignorance of God’s Word can cost the believer many hardships! This principle is true in any arena of life, but it is especially true concerning spiritual things. We cannot experience first-hand in our lives what we do not know exists. We cannot receive what we do not know is available to us. This is simply an issue of ignorance, and is remedied only by being enlightened with revelation knowledge from God’s Word.

Paul tells us that “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Let's take the subject of healing as an example. Many have sought healing from Christ before having heard or known enough of the Word of God to produce in them a steadfast faith. The early Church believers were in one accord in the matter of proclaiming all the Gospel. They kept back nothing that would be profitable. They declared the full counsel of God. We have seen that God’s way of producing faith for healing is the same as that of producing faith for salvation, or for any other blessing, and that is for the needy one first to learn from the Scriptures what is God’s will on the matter.
The hand of faith cannot reach out and receive from God what the eye of faith does not see to be the will of God. It is the truth of the Written Word that sets us free. That is, the truth known, understood, received, acted upon, maintained and steadfastly believed with an appropriating faith. The Word of God works when we work it according to directions in the Scriptures. Acts 20:26-27, "Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God."  


  Discerning the Lord's Body

1 Corinthians 11:27-29 NKJV
Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
Taking the Lord's Supper or Communion is such a rich and significant ordinance of  the Church of Jesus Christ. In Luke 22:19, Jesus said to partake of it in remembrance of Him; and in so doing, we proclaim the Lord's death (redemptive work) until He comes- 1 Corinthians 11:26. The bread is symbolic of the body of Jesus that was broken, bruised and crucified. The cup represents the blood of Jesus poured out for us- for the remission of our sins. So the partaking of Communion, was to bring to the forefront of our minds, our glorious eternal redemption Jesus had bought and paid for us in His death, burial and resurrection.

Yet there is a warning not to partake of this love feast is an unworthy manner. How is that done one may ask? The Bible goes on to say, by "not discerning the Lord's body." It goes without saying that we are to approach Communion in a reverent manner that does not take it for granted. But more than that, it means don't fail to recognize, appreciate and receive what Jesus has already wrought for us in redemption- forgiveness of sins, healing for the body, peace of mind etc.

1 Corinthians 11:28-31
A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment.

Here we see in Scripture, a reason why many Christians are sick, weak and have died prematurely. Yes they have gone to heaven, but have been cheated out of God's perfect will for them to enjoy a long, quality life on earth-Psalms 23:6; 91:16.
The word for “discerning” here is diakrinon, the present participle of diakrino, and means “making a distinction between.” It means many Christians were partaking of Communion without understanding as they have ought to have understood. As I mentioned already, appropriating the provisions of redemption as illustrated by the bread and wine as symbolic elements of redemption. Number two, it speaks of how we are treating other Christians, which make up the Body of Christ. So to discern the Lord's body, besides for healing, also means walking in love towards other believers. Just read the context in
1 Corinthians 11:17-22,33-34. The Bible tells us to judge ourselves in these areas so we don't open the door to the enemy.


  Why do Bad things Happen to Good People

This is a sensitive subject and there is no room in this venue to explore the question thoroughly. There is always a reason why bad things happen to good people, and we will not always know the reason why, but one thing is for certain, it's never God's fault. Human nature is to rationalize tragedy as beyond our control- the result of a sovereign God. Yet Scripture places the responsibility on us to live by faith, walk in love and obey His Word. When we don't bad things happen; I'm not talking about persecution as a Christian- 2 Tim. 3:12. I referring to sickness, accidents and oppression from the enemy.  
Luke 18:18-20, "A certain ruler asked him, 'Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life? Why do you call me good?' Jesus answered. 'No one is good — except God alone.'" We need to qualify "Good People" in that Christians are not perfect and they have and do open the door to the devil in disobedience or through ignorance. We don't always have this background information- folks miss God, it's a fact. People love to quote the book of Job, inferring that he was a good person and had done nothing to deserve what happened to him. Satan complained to God that through blood covenant, Job was protected in Job 1:10, "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land."

In  Job 1:8, “Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job?’” The Hebrew literally says, “Have you set your heart upon my servant Job?” God was not daggling Job out in front of the devil saying "Come and get him."

Even though Job had a covenant with God, through fear he opened the door to the devil, who being slow on the uptake took notice of this and challenged God. God being a righteous judge allowed access to Job. It was Job that broke down the hedge, not God. The Lord would never go back on His covenant and give the devil access to Job for any reason! Job 3:25, "What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me."
Luke 13:1-5
Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them — do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."


  An Appointed Time to Die - Really?

Hebrews 9:27-28
Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away
the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
There are people who believe wrongly concerning when and how they will die. They misquote Hebrews 9:27 and say, “Well you know everyone has their appointed time to die and they have no say so in the matter.” But that is not what this passage of scripture is saying, “Just as man is destined to die once.” The Bible is plainly stating that it is appointed unto man to die one time physically- this refutes the philosophy of reincarnation. The context of the passage is that Jesus has appeared once, that man will die once and Jesus was sacrificed only once- so what is the emphasis here on, “once.” It’s not talking about the specific timing of when a person will die but that they will die physically only one time and then face the judgment- Hebrews 9:24-28.

Some folks have the idea that everyone has a certain day, hour and time that is preset for everyone to die. Supposedly, when the clock clicks on your time to die, grim reaper comes on the scene to take you away ready or not. Whether you are 16, 25, 35 or 55 years old, when your number is up, for example at 3:45 PM Friday afternoon March the 10th it’s exit stage left for you. How many times have you heard people say, “Well I guess it was just their time” that is not Bible or accurate- they are misquoting Hebrews 9:27. What we are promised in the Bible is to live a long, full and blessed life. Not everyone attains it, but still is God's perfect will!
This makes a strong argument for healing doesn’t it? We can’t live a long life and be full of days if we die as a teenager or in our 20’s and say we experienced life in full. We can’t die in mid-life and say this scripture came to pass in our life. If cancer snuffs a person’s life at age 49 did they live a full life, no they didn’t. Was that God’s perfect will for them, obviously no it wasn’t. If they were saved, then they went to heaven and that is wonderful. However, they were robbed of the fullness of life they could have had here on earth. There is no way we can hyper-spiritualize Psalm 91, it is clearly speaking of length of physical life.

Psalms 91:15-16

“He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”


  The Chastening of the Lord

Job 5:17-18
"Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal."
Let's examine the notion that some folks subscribe to that God hurts and afflicts us for our good, as a form of discipline. This is an important question, so in what manner does God discipline His children? Our friend Job has provided much fodder for religious folks to support their erroneous ideas concerning God’s methods in these matters. Remember, inspiration assures that what was said was accurately recorded in the Bible, but does not necessary endorse it. We must consider the source and the context of the passage. From Job’s perspective everything came from God, the good, the bad and the ugly. Thank God for the New Testament that sets the record straight as to who is the author of what, according to John 10:10 and Acts 10:38. Jesus is like the guy with the white hat, the good guy!

There are many well meaning Christians who have been deceived with religious ideology that God is so sovereign that He is the cause behind everything; He is pulling all the strings and is in control of everything whether it is good or bad. This kind of thinking finds its roots in the book of Job and many Old Testament passages that present a causative tense, when it should have been translated, God “permitted” or “allowed” those things to happen. This is more of an extreme view and is very fatalistic.
The word “chasten” or “discipline” means to child train. We are called disciples of Christ which means those who are trained or under the tutelage of Jesus Christ in a discipline (area of study). Here is the key to rightly dividing what it means to be disciplined by the Lord- discipline is spiritual training through His Word! Hebrews 12:5 is not inferring that God is sending some calamity our way to teach us. That would be child abuse, not child training. But yet, some say “God sends sickness to discipline his children.”  If God was going to give sickness, He would have to steal it first. God does not have any of it, nor is He the author or creator of it, and you won’t find any of it in heaven either. It’s a mystery to me why some people, when they get religious, lose all their common sense and quit thinking. So don't be deceived- James 1:16-17
2 Timothy 3:16-17
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."


  Paul's Thorn in the Flesh

2 Corinthians 12:7-10
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
One of the most prevalent objections raised today against the ministry of healing is Paul’s “thorn in the flesh.” One traditional idea has led to another. The widespread teaching that God is the Author of disease, and that some of the most devout of His children He has desired to remain sick, and glorify Him by exhibiting fortitude and patience. No doubt this has led to the idea that Paul had a sickness that God refused to heal. Many people subscribe to the notion that God gave Paul some kind of illness in order to keep him humble and that God refused to heal him. Paul’s thorn has been espoused to be anything from sore eyeballs to ingrown toenails.

In 2 Corinthians 11:16-33, Paul in defense to his credibility under attack by false apostles goes into great detail about suffering persecution, trials, tests and hardships for the sake of the gospel. So when taken in context, we see that the "Messenger of Satan" was clearly a demonic entity dispatched to follow Paul wherever he went to stir up persecution for him. The objective, get Paul to quit the ministry due to the intense persecutions he was enduring. Nowhere in 2 Corinthians 11 & 12 is sickness and disease ever mentioned. The Bible is clear, as Christians we will suffer persecution for our faith, but we are never to suffer from sickness, illnesses and pains that Jesus already redeemed us from- 2 Tim. 3:12; 1 Pet. 4:12.
Scripture interprets scripture, so let’s see how the Bible uses the term of “thorn” elsewhere in the Bible. The expression “thorn in the flesh” is never used in the Bible to mean sickness. And every time the phrase is used in the Bible, it is specifically stated what the “thorn” is. In the Old Testament, God said to Israel, “If you don’t kill those Canaanites when you possess the land, they will be thorns in your side. They will torment you.” (Numbers 33:55; Joshua 23:13; Judges 2:3).  


  The Precious Holy Spirit

Who is the Holy Spirit? The Bible teaches us that He is more than an influence or impersonal power; the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity, worthy of our adoration, love and faith. He is not a ‘thing’ or an ‘it’ but just as real and distinct as Jesus. The Holy Spirit can be sinned against, grieved and resisted according to these passages- Matthew 12:31-32; Ephesians 4:30; Acts 7:51. You cannot do these things against an impersonal force. The Spirit of God was in the beginning during creation- Genesis 1:2.

The Holy Spirit among many things is the agent of God whereby the awesome creative power of God is manifested. Just look in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 and you will see the 9 manifestations of the Holy Spirit, which is God’s power in action. Whenever a person gets saved, healed, delivered or receives anything else from God, it comes through the person of the Holy Spirit. He is so precious to me, my helper, teacher, counselor. As Christians we would not be saved or be able function without His presence and work in our lives.

2 Corinthians 13:14
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.


  The Ancient of Days

Daniel 7:9-10
"As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened."
Ephesians 3:14-15, "For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name."

The will of the Godhead has its origin in God the Father- 1 Corinthians 8:6. From Scripture we see that He exerts leadership amongst the Triune Godhead. That does not take away from the significance of God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. For the Trinity is at all times and in all ways in perfect agreement, unity and harmony.

He may be God to the world but He is Father to us- He is a loving Heavenly Father and we are His children! You may have had a less than perfect human dad, but according to Jesus you have only one Father, He is the Father of your spirit in Matthew 23:9-10, “And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and He is in heaven.” The word ‘Abba’ in Hebrew means ‘Daddy, Daddy” like what a little child would say; He is our 'Abba' Father- Romans 8:14-17.

God the Father is referred to in the Bible as the ‘Ancient of Days’ who is seated upon a throne. The Old Testament in particular has many references to God the Father, while in the Gospels we see more of God the Son and in the book of Acts we see a lot of the Holy Spirit. We love you Heavenly Father, awesome and majestic!
Ezekiel 1:26-28
"Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a throne of sapphire, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking."


  Jesus asks- "Who do you say I Am?"

Matthew 16:15-17
"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven."
Speaking of the Deity of Jesus Christ, He is God the Son, equal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the God-Man, 100% God becoming 100% man. Even though He took on a flesh and blood body, having emptied Himself of all divine prerogatives (Philippians 2:5-8), the person of Jesus was, is and always will be God- Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” John 8:58- “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

Nothing is more attacked than the deity of Jesus Christ. Natural man will reason that "Son of God" means less than God. Rather it speaks of His role as the Second Person of the God Head who carries out the will of the Trinity. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are Co-Equal in Divinity; in absolute unity and harmony. Simply put, the will of the God-Head proceeds from the Father, executed by the Son and revealed and enforced by the Holy Spirit- 1 Cor. 8:6; Heb. 2:10.

Jesus is the manifestation of the will of the Godhead upon the earth. God the Father appointed Jesus to be heir of all things. Who being the outshining of His very glory and the very image of His substance,  upholding the Universe by the Word of His power- Hebrews 1:1-3. When Jesus had made a substitution for sins, and satisfied every claim of justice, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High- the highest seat in the universe- Colossians 1:15-20; John 16:28; 17:5.
In addition to saying that Jesus is the God of the universe, we also confess Jesus as our Lord and Savior from sin- Romans 10:9-10. Life's greatest and persisting question is, "What will we do with Jesus." Accept or reject Him determine our eternal destiny- Hebrews 2:3, " shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?"  


  Don't Become a Pack Mule

1 Peter 5:7 AMP
Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. [Psalms 55:22.]
If the burden seems heavy, something is wrong. The devil wants to make us his pack mule, and load us with so many cares and anxiety- taking on those responsibilities that belong to the Lord. We should never be burned out; God is not a cruel task master. We can’t be led by needs or opportunities; we need to be led by the Spirit. Satan has a tactic here, his first choice is that we do nothing for God, but if that does not work, he will push us to the other ditch to become a workaholic. Don’t believe the lie that God cannot be satisfied and we can never do enough. God knows we are only one person, He can be satisfied with us doing our part.

We can push ourselves too far and call it working for God, but God may not have told us to do some things. Wisdom is knowing exactly what the Lord would have us to do, and do only those things- following His plan, and pursue His purpose. The devil wants to spread us so thin, to become a jack of all trades but master of none. Even if it’s a good thing and needs to be done, did He tell us to do it? Remember in the Body of Christ, Jesus will give us our assignments. We won’t become weary in well doing, if we only do what He told us to do! If we are not resting on the inside, we won’t be resting on the outside. Live in rest and peace and we will live a long time. Everything in the world is trying to pull on us and stress us out- so resist it! Joel 3:10 “Let the weakling say, ‘I am strong!” Mt. 11:28-30; Isaiah 40:29-31.
Here is another area the devil would like to make us his pack mule: to carry all kinds of sickness, depression, pains, poverty and the like in our lives. We must be adamant, that what Jesus bore for me, what He carried for me I refuse to carry again. If I carry it again after He carried it, then He carried it for me in vain. What the Lord bore for us, we need to simply refuse to carry in our lives. When the devil puts symptoms on our body, we don’t have to accept it with our heart, just keep on resisting it- say, “No in Jesus’ Name, sickness and pain you cannot stay here, return to sender!”
2 Corinthians 6:1-2.


  Count the Cost, See the Prize, Pay the Price, & Run the Race

The New Testament provides many challenges for us to follow the Lord with great passion and single minded devotion as disciples of Christ. Like in Luke 14:25-35, Jesus tells us to "Count the Cost" before committing to follow Him. Or how about Matthew 10:32-39, in order to be His disciple, we are love Him more than any other person on this earth. Luke 9:23-27, Jesus instructs those who will follow Him to, "deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Him."

Luke 9:62
Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."

We must see the prize that Jesus has set before us and press for the goal, and run our spiritual race to win- Philippians 3:7-16; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. It is the joy of seeing people come to the Lord and the Body of Christ built up- Hebrews 12:1-3. But there is a price of faith and obedience that we must pay in order for the will of God to be accomplished in the earth. Will we hearken the Master's call?

Isaiah 1:19
"If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land."


  Our Obedience Can Change the World

It is clear all throughout the Bible that the Father's will is that He uses people to accomplish His will. Since the beginning when God gave dominion of the earth over to man, He works through mankind to see His purposes fulfilled. This fact is further exemplified when the Word of God took on a human body, Jesus in John 1:1-4. As a man, He redeemed mankind from the authority of Satan: sin, death and hell.

For people to get saved, it requires the gospel to be preached. The Lord Jesus works through His Body of believers to minister salvation, healing and deliverance to the world. We are called the salt and light of the world (Matthew 5:13-14), the aroma of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:15-16) among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. The Father God is looking for us to answer the call, to be obedient to His Word and His will for our lives- to serve the Master, the Lord of the Harvest- Jesus.
The world needs Jesus, let's answer the call and fulfill the Great Commission!

Isaiah 6:8
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"And I said, "Here am I. Send me!


  The Spirit of Faith

2 Corinthians 4:13, "It is written: 'I believed; therefore I have spoken.' With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak."  
Last week we talked about the "Word of Faith," but this is just part of a two step process. Just having faith in our heart is not enough. That faith has to be released in order to ensure the manifestation of the Promises of God. The “Spirit of Faith” begins where the “Word of Faith” has left off.

Once we have faith in our heart (thanks to meditating on God’s Word), it’s now time to release that faith into a positive confession that is consistent until the manifestation of the promise. The “Word of Faith” is a confession of God’s Word unto faith (to get faith into our spirit), but the “Spirit of Faith” is a confession that releases our faith from our spirit. In both cases, the Word of God is spoken out of our mouth, but the “Spirit of Faith” does not kick in until that Word of God has been planted in our spirit. At this point, the Word is coming out of our spirit, not our mind. This spoken Word from our heart is what brings the promises of God into manifestation in our life and moves the mountains of circumstances out of the way.
It is with the spirit of faith that we speak to the mountain and it moves.

Mark 11:22-24, "Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea', and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
Notice in the ministry of Jesus, that He talked to trees, to the wind, sea, dead people, and demons- they all obeyed Him. Jesus always operated in the Spirit of Faith, that is why everything He said came to pass. He did not have to meditate on the Scriptures through the Word of Faith principles in order to get the Word in His heart like we do. That is why many Christians get confused when nothing happens when they speak to the mountain, they have overlooked the precondition to faith; to believe in their heart that what they say will come to pass. Mark 4:35-39; Luke 5:24; 6:10; 17:12-14; John 5:8.  


  The Word of Faith

Romans 10:8-9, "But what does it say? 'The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,' that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
There are two central principles to the Word of Faith; this is how we receive from God. Speaking God's Word out of our mouth so that it gets into our heart, where it grows like a seed and produces a harvest over time. To put God's Word in our mouth, is talking about Bible meditation- not to be confused with Eastern Religions. To meditate on God's Word simple means to speak it out loud of our mouths. This is not a formula. This is a way of life; faith as a seed, we have what we say.

Joshua 1:8, "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."

This causes faith to come according to Romans 10:17, as we hear the Word. At some point the Word of God as incorruptible seed, gets into our spirit. The second part is when we believe God's Word in our heart, we become fully persuaded that it's ours. This is not a fad or religious denomination, it's Bible- Deuteronomy 30:11-14. Technically speaking, every believer in Jesus is a “Word of Faith” person- we would have to be in order to be saved. The only way we can measure our faith is to measure the amount of Word that is in our heart. The Kingdom of God within us grows as our faith grows. Our faith grows only as we meditate on the Word of God. When we put the promises of God in our mouth, it multiplies the power of God in our heart. As we put the Word in our mouth, it sets in motion a spiritual force called faith. The sowing is in the saying; speaking God's Word is sowing God's Word.
Romans 4:18-22, "Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, 'So shall your offspring be.' Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead — since he was about a hundred years old — and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.


  Living for Jesus - Religion or by Faith

Galatians 3:2-5
I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing — if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?
Here is a real and present danger for Christians. We get saved by God's Grace and through our Faith in God's Word to get born again and receive the gift of eternal life- Ephesians 2:8-9. Then for many of us, we attempt live out the Christian experience for the rest of our days on earth in our own strength and reasoning- this is religion.

Romans 10:3, "Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness."

God's way is that we mix His Word with our faith, and thus release His power in our lives to obey His commands and receive His abundant provision - Hebrews 4:2-3.
This is accomplished through the "Word of Faith" principles in Romans 10:8.

Deuteronomy 30:14, "No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it."

The key is to get God's Word, which is spiritual seed in our heart, so that it takes root, grows and creates a multiplied harvest of God's power and provision in our lives- Mark 4:13-20. We will cover this in greater detail in our next session.


  Fear, an Enemy of Faith

2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Fear is a paralyzing force that holds people in a helpless grip of torment. It is of the devil, and is part of his arsenal to destroy mankind- fear is simply faith in the devil to do evil in our lives. There is a good form of fear that speaks of a reverential, respect, and awe of God, we are not talking about that- Hebrews 12:28-29. Through the power of suggestion, the devil attempts to plant seeds of fear in our minds of bad things that might happen. He is baiting us to buy into the lie/deception and speak it out of our mouths. That in turn gives him permission and the authority to bring it to pass- instead speak God's Word, and his thought seeds die unborn, unrealized and brought to nothing.

First Fear: Terror. The first one is the type of fear that we are all familiar with. It is the kind of fear that causes flight, dread and terror- 1 John 4:18, “But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

Second Fear: Intimidation & Persecution. Satan will use people, not just the ungodly, but religious people who profess to love God to be a thorn in our flesh. Intimidation is a powerful tool of the enemy to manipulate, and force people into submission. The devil is just a big bully who bluffs his way into the lives of believers in order to discourage them from believing God. This kind of fear can be seen in peer pressure or public opinion- 1 Samuel 13:7-14.
Third Fear: Anxiety & Worry. I call them the tormenting twins of their mother called fear. They have ruined countless lives, and is the root cause of many ulcers, and various illnesses. They rob people of joy, and peace and have brought down many people to an early grave. Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives us something to do, but does not get us anywhere. A believer who embraces anxiety, and cares has fallen into a snare of the devil. It is a choice that we make just like yielding to any other sin, the devil can’t make us do it. He can only offer an invitation- SLAM THE DOOR IN HIS FACE!  


  The Power of Confessing God's Word

Hebrews 4:14 NKJV
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

The confession of the believer does several things. First it locates us spiritually, what is in our heart- Matthew 12:33-37. We can locate the spiritual position a person is in by just listening to them. Our words give us away, to whether or not  we are in faith or in fear. In order to change our vocabulary, we need to start hearing God’s Word, which will renew our mind, and store the truth in our hearts. As a result, it will become second nature for us to speak God’s Word. What is instinctive for us to do and say is based on what we have stored in our spirit- Proverbs 23:7 (KJV), “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.”

Second, it fixes the landmarks of our life- Numbers 13:26-33. We will not receive beyond what we say. If we say we can’t, then we can’t- we get nothing. But if we say we can, then we can. The reason the majority of Christians are weak even though they are earnest, is that they have never dared to make a confession of who they are in Jesus. How do we do this? First, we must realize how God looks at us, and confess it! Then boldly confess what the Word declares we are in Christ Jesus. As we do this, our faith will abound. The reason faith is held in bondage is that we have never dared to confess what God says we are. Faith, then, grows with our confession of God’s Word.
There is no faith without confession! Confession is classified as an action, or act of releasing, putting into force our faith- it’s faith’s way of expressing itself. Our faith will rise no higher than our confession of God’s Word. Note, if we could not lose faith, we would not need to hold fast to our confession of that faith- 1 Timothy 5:11-14; Hebrews 3:16; 4:14.  


  Suffering According to the Will of God

1 Peter 4:19
So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
So what is God's will when it comes to suffering. According to the Bible there is a type of suffering that is God's will and other kinds of suffering that is not. It would behoove us to know the difference so we are not needlessly suffering for something in vain. For example, it would not be God's will to suffer for those things that Jesus already suffered for us in our place as our substitute in redemption- sickness, poverty, oppression, fear, the consequences of sin etc. Nor is it His will that we do wrong, break the law and suffer the results of punishment- 1 Peter 2:18-20.

1 Peter 3:14, 17
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

So what things would be Biblical for us to suffer. How about persecution for being a Christian- 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 4:12-16; Revelation 2:10.
The greatest form of suffering for Christians is found in keeping the physical body under subjection through the renewing of our minds- Romans 12:1-2. Refusing to act out the cravings of the sinful nature in our flesh and denying what it wants can be intense suffering, but it must be done- 2 Timothy 2:19-21. When the Bible talks about crucifying the flesh, beating our body and putting to death the misdeeds of the body, does that sound like a pleasant task? Of course the Bible is not advocating physical abuse. This imagery is depicting the intense battle that we are obligated to wage in order to offer our bodies unto God as living sacrifices that will please and glorify Him- Romans 8:13; 1 Corinthians 9:27; Galatians 5:24.

1 Peter 4:1-2
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.


  The Only Life Worth Living

Luke 9:23-24
Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it."

A simple definition for leadership is our "Influence" upon others. All of us is called to some form of leadership in God's Kingdom. At minimum influence the lost to receive Jesus as their Lord. To be successful as Christian leaders we have to learn to give up our rights to serve others. Be willing to sacrifice much that is good in order to dedicate ourselves to what is best- give up the brass of our plans for the gold of His will. The true nature of being a disciple of Jesus Christ is found in sacrifice- offering ourselves unto God as living sacrifices- Romans 12:1. As followers of Jesus we lose the right to put ourselves first in His Kingdom- Matthew 6:33.

Philippians 2:20-21
I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.

There is always a cost to serving Jesus, but where else can we go, He is the source of life and true living water- John 4:10; 6:68. Jesus left us an example for us to follow concerning the meaning of life- to love God by serving others- Matthew 25:40; 1 John 5:2-3. A small price for such love, and so worth it - Romans 8:18.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15
For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.


  The Only Acceptable Sacrifice

Leviticus 17:11- For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.

Good works cannot earn, merit or make us worthy of heaven- unless of course we can live the perfect life in absolute thought, action and motive. In God’s economy, blood is sacred, it represents life, which God has ordained as the only acceptable payment for sin and the penalty of death. We don’t approach God by trying to keep the Ten Commandments but by the blood sacrifice that God has  ordained as acceptable to Him. God’s justice demands an innocent life as payment for the wages of sin which is death. Satan had taken humanity ransom through sin, and Jesus’ blood was the payment to satisfy God’s justice. Someone had to pay, but not just anyone; only a perfect sinless substitute would be acceptable to the Ancient of Days. Jesus' blood is the only acceptable sacrifice for the payment of sin.

Matthew 20:28
“…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
So The only solution is found in the universal principle of a blood sacrifice from an innocent victim as a substitutionary transference of sin, taking the penalty in place of another- Hebrews 9:22, " ...without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." Jesus is the only answer to satisfy God's justice and ransom mankind from the penalty of sin.  


  Good God versus Bad Devil

James 1:16-17
Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Simple theology found in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." It is essential for Christians to understand the source of good and bad and where it comes from and why. If we believe that God put cancer in our life to teach us something, than we won’t be inclined to believe God for healing or resist the cancer; for that matter nor should we take any medicine since it would go against God’s will- such logic is flawed and unscriptural. This kind of gross error has resulted in untold, needless and unnecessary suffering. Since faith begins where the will of God is known, we need to be fully convinced from God’s Word that God does not change His mind in regards to His will and promises to heal us completely at all times and without exception! If there had been no sin, there would have been no curse. When a New Heaven and New Earth finally comes about there will be no more sickness- perfect wholeness will be universal and absolute- Revelation 21:1-22:6.
Until then, while Satan is in this world trying to rob us of healing among other things, that was purchased for us 2,000 years ago, we need to fight the good fight of faith and lay hold of it and keep it! Just because God permits evil and the consequences of sin in the earth does not mean He is the author or condones it- Matthew 7:9-11.  


  Celebrating Jesus - The Lamb of God and Victorious King!

John 1:29
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"

When we partake of communion we are not just remembering a life given, we are celebrating a life received. It is God’s life and we have received it. This is why communion is to be a time of great joy, praise and worship. Most communion services are dry and remind me of a funeral home. Everybody wears a long face and will hardly breathe lest their gasping for breath break the silence and offend God. They unwittingly have believed this “holy hush” is pleasing to God. Well, that’s okay if their god is dead.

But mine isn’t! The cross is bare! The tomb is empty! Jesus is alive! He publicly destroyed Satan at the cross where He purchased our salvation; Colossians 2:15, “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” The blood of the Lamb destroyed the serpent and set us free from bondage to him. Death cannot enter the heart of one who is covered with the blood of Jesus and sealed with the Holy Spirit. Death is swallowed up in victory. God has given us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord- 1 Corinthians 15:54-58, the war is over and we won! Yet we live on to fight the good fight of faith and enforce Satan’s defeat- until He returns- Ephesians 1:19-23.

Revelation 5:5- Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."


  The Way of Holiness

Isaiah 35:8-10
And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
2 Timothy 2:20-21
In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

I would like to draw attention to the words "made holy" above. In other translations the word is "sanctified." The Greek word is hagiazo meaning to "to make holy" or "to ceremonially purify or consecrate." As Christians we are part of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Greek word for Church as in Hebrews 12:23, is ekklesia meaning, "a calling out" referring to those on earth and in heaven who are born again through faith in Jesus Christ- made separate from sin, world and the devil.

So the "Way of Holiness" for the New covenant believer is done instantaneously when we were born again, we were made holy according to Hebrews 10:10, 14. Something we cant add to or improve; absolute perfection, absolute righteousness and justification through faith in Jesus. The flip side to this is what 2 Timothy 2:20-21is talking about, what I call "Progressive Sanctification or holiness" which is worked out in our lives by God's grace and through our faith- Ephesians 2:8-9. Find Scriptures that talk about holiness and speak (meditate) them over your life- Psalms 119:11. I believe the key to walking out holiness in our lives is to walk in love- John 13:34-35; Romans 13:8-10.


  The Renewing of the Mind

Romans 12:1-2
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- which is your spiritual worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing, and perfect will.

Notice that our body is presented unto God as a living sacrifice through the renewing of our mind with the Word of God. Patterns of thinking produces corresponding behavior. Pr. 23:7 (NKJV), "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he."

It is not only our thinking, but it is the words we speak that build power or weakness into us. It is what we confess with our lips that really dominates our inner being. We unconsciously confess what we believe which is a result of our thinking- “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” Matthew 12:34.
Therefore, the root of the problem is our thinking. If we can get our mind renewed with God’s Word, we will believe it in our heart, and confess the Word with our mouth. As a result, we will have what we say.

What an incredible verse of Scripture- Romans 12:1-2. The secret to sanctification, and a transformed life that knows the will of God is to renew our mind with God’s Word. Our lives are changed in proportion to our thinking being changed.

To change what we are saying we must change our believing, and changing our believing comes from changing our way of thinking, and changing our thinking comes by changing what we are hearing. To correctly change our thinking, we must study the Word of God, that is how our minds become renewed or reprogrammed. The Word of God instructs us to, “have the mind of Christ” in 1 Corinthians 2:16. The only way to have the mind of Christ is to study the Word, believe it in our heart, and act upon it.


  Framing Our World with God's Word

Hebrews 1:3 AMP
Jesus is the perfect imprint and very image of God’s nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power.

God created the universe through the Word of His power. All things are sustained and have their being because of the spoken Word of Jesus. We will find throughout the Scriptures that God never did anything without saying it first. He said it, then He did it. The power to do it was in the spoken Word. God is a faith God, His Kingdom operates on faith principles- responds to faith filled words. The source of God’s power is found in the Word of His power. It is through that same Word that we will receive His power in our lives to frame our world. As Christians our only power is found in speaking God’s Word- Mark 11:22-23; Luke 17:6.

God’s Word that is conceived in our heart, then formed by the tongue, and spoken out of our own mouth, becomes a spiritual force releasing the ability of God within us. The spoken Word of God is creative power.

If Jesus is full of spirit life, grace and truth, then so are His words- John 1:14, 16-17. When we take those words, and put them in our mouths, they will release those very same substances in our spirit, and manifest His glory and provision in our lives- John 6:63. The concordant literal NT puts Luke 1:37 this way, "It will not be impossible with God to fulfill his every declaration." Hebrews 11:3, "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's Command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible."


  Activity Versus Productivity

Ecclesiastes 10:10- If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success.

The Bible states that whatever we put our hands to will prosper. If we will first wait on the Lord, and get His plan, purpose and pursuit, than with that vision in hand, go out and do it with all diligence. But don’t go until you know! In Ecclesiastes 10:10 there is some good advice, sharpen your tools before you go to work. It’s not about how much activity we exert, it’s productivity that we want- working in the right jungle for instance. In other words, pursuing the right dream in the most effective way is wisdom. Preparation time is never wasted time.

There are those who just run out ahead and start doing what seems to be a good thing, expending energy  and effort without the mind of Christ- that would be activity. However, productivity is having wisdom, take the time to pray and prepare (not indefinitely mind you), and get the direction we need. So get direction first before applying effort- 2 Samuel 18:19-33.


  We Serve a Living Savior

What makes Christianity so unique compared to other religions is the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead on the third day. Christianity is not a dead religion, but a vital relationship with our risen Lord and Savior. He is not on the cross anymore, nor is He in the tomb. Our focus should be where He is right now, at the right hand of the Father, and we are there to in Him- Ephesians 2:6.

Romans 8:34-35
Christ Jesus, who died — more than that , who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

Sadly, there are multitudes who believe in a historical Jesus, who came and died and rose again, but they are still lost because they have failed to receive Him as their personal Lord and Savior- Romans 10:9-10. But even those of us who have received Him as Savior from sins, still have to receive Him as their Healer, delivered and their provider. Otherwise all that he did goes in vain for us- 2 Corinthians 6:1.


  Need Finances - Just Claim It

Luke 6:38
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

Isn’t it wonderful to know that it was God who created wealth, gold, silver and abundance- Psalms 50:10, 12; Haggai 2:8. Make no mistake about it, money denotes power and influence in the earth. Christian piety alone is not going to get the Gospel proclaimed throughout the earth- it takes money. Fortunately for us, we have an awesome God who gives us the ability to produce wealth- Deuteronomy 8:17-18. We see in Luke 6:38 that it is through the bosom of men that God brings finances into our lives. When men give unto us, (generally speaking) God is behind it. Since the money we need is down here on earth, we have authority to call it into our lives. So whatever we need, just claim it! Financial provision is part of our redemption, when we sow into God's Kingdom we can expect a return- blessed to be a blessing. God wants us to have an abundance, fully supply, all of our needs met kind of prosperity in our lives- the Bible definition for us being rich.

2 Corinthians 8:9- "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich."


  Demonstrations of the Spirit's Power

When reason takes the place of the miraculous, Christianity loses its vitality, fascination and fruitfulness. Christianity is not a religion, it is the very life of God in man. There could not be a religion that would appeal to humanity that was not founded upon miracles and propagated by miracles. Man craves a miracle working God today; man wants a living God. The deep seated hunger in the human heart for God is the reason for all religions. If we take the supernatural out of Christianity, we have a religion. The answer to the universal cravings of man for the supernatural is found in the new birth, being baptized with the Holy Spirit and the Name of Jesus- 1 Cor. 4:20- "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power." So let's lean on the Holy Spirit through faith in the Word for the power to flow.

1 Corinthians 2:4-5
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.


  So are we Live Wires of God's Fire?

Matthew 8:8
The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed."


Many times we can lay hands on folks and it’s like getting a hold of a live wire; we know they are in faith and are believing God. But we can lay hands on other people and it’s like laying hands on a doorknob. Somehow or another, the power of God is sort-circuited, because God is always willing to heal, deliver and set people free, just as He is always willing to save people from their sins without exceptions. Often times, the problem is found in a classic case of empty hands being laid on empty heads. Folks trying to minister in the flesh and not the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We must teach people their responsibility to agree with us is prayer, and not place all the believing on the person doing the praying. 


  Do you Know What's in your Inheritance?

Charles Spurgeon had visited an elderly woman who was bedfast, lived in a drafty old shack. She was malnourished and starving to death. As he was visiting her, he noticed a document that was framed, hanging on the wall. She was a maid for around 50 years for one of the nobility in England; before she died, this noble woman gave it to her. Unfortunately this bedfast woman could not read, she just hung it on the wall as a memento. So Spurgeon took it to the authorities, who stated they had been looking for that, because the noble woman had left an inheritance for this maid, who was now 80 years old. She had inherited a home and money to be cared for the rest of her life, but there she was, living in shanty town starving to death. She had hanging on the wall of her room a document that authorized her to be well kept. The money was there just collecting interest, it belonged to her. But because of a lack of knowledge Hosea 4:6, she was suffering needlessly. Spiritually speaking so many Christians are living in a one room shanty and on their wall they have framed a copy of the New Covenant, oh they are proud of it. But they have not taken the time to read it and find out what it means, or they have a mental ascent of their inheritance, but have not acted upon it.  


  Living For Eternity

"Those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away." 1 Corinthians 7:30-31

It seems the Holy Spirit is faithful to remind me of keeping life in perspective of eternity. Knowing that our lives on this earth is but a mist in comparison- James 4:14. Having Christ in us, the hope of glory motivates us to purify our lives of any and every weight and sin that would seek to slow us down from running our Christian race to win- Col. 1:27; 1 John 3:3; Heb. 12:1; 1 Cor. 9:24-27.

The world's mentality is to eat and drink for tomorrow we die- 1 Cor. 15:32. In Jesus, we have been redeemed from this empty way of life that has been handed down to us by our forefathers- 1 Peter 1:18. For us each day is about making the most of every opportunity for God's Kingdom, and snatching as many from the fire as possible. Ephesians 5:16; Jude 23. The Christ-Centered investments we make in others is what lasts forever, that's the only thing we can take into eternity.


  I know He's Watching Me

"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." Luke 12:6-7

It is so easy for us to lose perspective of our place in the heart of God. When we are anxious, fearful, and fretting, we are not secure in the Father's love for us.        1 John 4:18, "The one who fears is not made perfect in love." There are countless Scriptures in the Bible that reassure us of God's care, protection and provision. We need to meditate and declare them in our lives so we become rooted and established in His love for us- Ephesians 3:17-19. "So I sing because I'm happy and I sing because I'm free, His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me."

"Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully." 1 Peter 5:7 AMP


  Slaves to the one we obey

Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:16-17

This principle was first seen in the Garden of Eden when Adam had committed high treason and had sold out to the devil. By obeying what the devil had asked them to do, they in turn became his slaves- Genesis 3:1-9; Luke 4:5-8. When we submit ourselves to God and obey His Word we become servants of God- James 4:7. In all reality, our love for God is simply measured by our simple obedience to His Word. John 14:23, "Jesus replied, 'If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.'" I am particularly fond of
1 John 5:3, "This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome." This has nothing to do with our feelings, but our obedience. Jesus is Savior to many, but how many have actually made Him Lord?


  The Lord is my Shepherd

1 Peter 2:25, "For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls." Jesus being referenced to our Shepherd, carries with it such vivid imagery of our loving Lord's care, protection and provision. What more do we need than the "Good Shepherd" to watch over us as depicted in Psalms chapter 23. What a confidence, what a rest and peace that we have in Him.

John 10:27-28, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand." Our heavenly father knows our needs. Jesus demonstrated that when He was on earth. He fed the multitude; He gave the disciples a great catch of fish; He turned the water into wine. He healed the sick and He met every need of man. That is my Lord, my Shepherd Lord. I can say with utmost boldness, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I do not want. I do not want for healing. I do not want for strength. I do not want for victory, power and ability. I do not want for finances. I do not want for anything! He is the lover and savior of my soul, He comforts and quiets my heart!


  Baptized with the Holy Spirit and with Fire

  John the Baptist spoke of Jesus in Luke 3:16, "He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." After Jesus' resurrection, He spoke of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. In Luke 24:49 He talked about being clothed with power from on high. In
Acts 1:4, He gave a command to all those who believed in Him not to leave Jerusalem to fulfill the Great Commission, until they were baptized with the Holy Spirit. Now they were already born again, and had received the Holy Spirit within according to John 20:22. Subsequent to salvation, the Holy Spirit was going to come upon them, to empower them for service; to be bold witnesses for Jesus Christ.

The initial evidence of being Baptized with the Holy Spirit is to speak with other tongues according to Acts 2:4, "All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them." We see other Scriptures in the book of Acts supporting this dual work of the Spirit of within and upon- Acts 8:12-17; 10:44-48; 19:1-7. The mandate is clear, if you have been born of the Spirit, it's time to be filled with the Spirit, and stay filled- Ephesians 5:18-20.


  ZOE - Eternal Life

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10

Jesus came that we may experience an abundant life, but what kind of life was Jesus talking about in the above passage of Scripture. The Greek word translated “life” in this verse is zoe- the God-kind of life. Eternal life is a free gift, it is the ability of God for us to become His children in: nature, capacity, nobility, strength and fortitude. Eternal life is often misunderstood as meaning to live forever, but everyone will live forever, the question is where- depends on accepting Jesus as Lord or not. John 6:47 says, “I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.” As Christians, we have eternal life now! We possess in our spirit man the very nature of God Almighty right now- His life, ability and nature within us. It is eternal life within us that makes us who we are as children of God- Daniel 1:18-20.


  Faith as a Seed - Releasing the Power of God

In John 6:63, Jesus said, “The words I have spoken unto you are spirit and they are life.” God’s Word that is conceived in your heart, then formed by the tongue, and spoken out of your own mouth, becomes a spiritual force releasing the ability of God within you. When God’s creative Word is spoken from your heart in faith- all things are possible to those who believe! Faith in the heart is a spiritual force inside the human spirit which comes from the Word God. According to Jesus in the parable of the sower, “The seed is the Word of God” in Luke 8:11. The law of seed time and harvest goes back to Genesis 1:11-12; 8:20-22. Words are seeds, but God’s Word is incorruptible seed according to 1 Peter 1:23. There is a big difference between the two.

Luke 17:6
He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you."


  Blood has a Voice 

  The blood of a living creature is a powerful thing according to the Bible, the blood of a human being is even more powerful, but the blood of Jesus is the ultimate statement- Leviticus 17:11, "For the life of the creature is in the blood." The first murder recorded in the Bible was Abel, at the hand of his older brother Cain. He was the firstborn of Adam and Eve in Genesis 4:10, "The Lord said, "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground."

Jesus spoke of  “the blood of righteous Abel” and implied that Abel, the first righteous martyr, anticipated in symbol His own death on Calvary at the hands of evil, jealous men. However, the blood of Jesus appeals to God for the forgiveness of sin, and speaks of the salvation and redemption of mankind- not of vengeance.

Hebrews 12:24
To Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.


  Running Our Race to Win in 2010

  "Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing perfectly." Remember, we are never a failure until we give up, so let's keep running our race to win. The finish line is not that far down the road.

1 Corinthians 9:24
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

It is so easy to become distracted in our culture and lose sight of our mission and purpose on earth. There is this balancing act of making a living for our family and doing our part in God's Kingdom on the earth. Thankfully we have the Holy Spirit to help us keep everything in proper proportion and priority. Let us be like David who followed God's plan for his life. Even though it was not perfect and was full of mistakes, in the end he still had a heart after God, Acts 13:36, "For when David had served God's purpose in his own generation..."


  When Prayers are not Answered

As I was programming at work today, it was not working as designed. As I debugged the software, it turned out to be a small mistake I had made- it wasn't the computer's fault. The Holy Spirit used this incident to reinforce a Biblical truth.
There is always a reason why prayer is not answered. However, if our prayers are in line with the Bible, than it's always God's will- God's Word is God's will. Faith begins where the will of God is known- 1 John 5:14-15. So if God and His Word never fails, who is the variable in this equation- we are!
Romans 3:3-4
"What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar."

Many Christians misuse God's sovereignty as a catch-all to reason away unanswered prayer without ever considering personal responsibility that perhaps they are the reason for it. In Mark 6:4-6, when Jesus went to His hometown of Nazareth, He could only heal a few sick folk, due to their lack of faith. Certainly, Jesus wanted to do more but couldn't. I thought He was sovereign in all and every case? Not when it comes to man's free-will- He will not override it. God wants all people to be saved, but they won't be- did God fail, not at all! The Bible declares in Deuteronomy 30:19, that God has left it up to us to choose life or death.

So when we apply God's Word in prayer and faith, and things do not work out, instead of reasoning it away and saying, "Well I guess it was not God's sovereign will for my life..." (this is a copout), generally it's because we missed it somewhere. It's not "sometimes 'Yes' and sometimes 'No' with God." According to
2 Corinthians 1:17-20, it's always "Yes." So when prayer seems unanswered, act on James 1:5, and ask God for wisdom. Also, remember that in some cases, delay does not mean denial, so keep on believing and confessing- Hebrews 6:11-12.


  What Life does not Consist of

  Luke 12:15
Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

It our materialistic society it becomes a great temptation to be distracted by all the things this world system has to offer. I am not sure which is a greater threat to our Christian faith. Living in a country of affluence such as America, with the constant allure of shiny objects all around us, or living in a country without much, and confronted with constant persecution. The older I get, the less important things mean to me. Jesus warned us of the subtleties of greed, rich or poor it affects us all. The Holy Spirit through Paul said that "godliness with contentment is great gain..." in 1 Timothy 6:6. Yet we should always seek to be a greater blessing to others. Jesus is the reason for "Christmas" as one who gave His all, that we may have life and have it more abundantly. We have eternal life, what more do we need?


  Jesus is the Light at the End of our Tunnel

  Like at any point in history we live in troubled times, so much pain, suffering and difficulty in the world. Yet In Christ we are never alone, never unloved and never forgotten. If God seems distant, who moved- it was not the Lord. For even we are faithless, He always remains faithful according to 2 Timothy 2:13. So often I am confronted with dismal circumstances of life that others are going through, including myself. But what should our response be: rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4), give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18), and having done all to stand, stand in faith on God's Word (Ephesians 6:13). This world in it's present form is passing away, all we need is faith in God.

Psalms 42:5-6
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.


  The Theory of Evolution is just that, a Theory

Yet many educators act as though it is fact. The theory of evolution is that all forms of life derived by gradual modification from earlier and simpler forms or from one rudimentary form. I had a 2 1/2 hour conversation this week with a teenager discussing Jesus, salvation and eternity. Unfortunately his world view has already been corrupted by "Evolution" which has indoctrinated him into an atheistic philosophy- thanks in part to the public school system. Evolution accepts the existence of the cause or causes of the first substance and the force or forces working successive transformations from a lower to a higher form of matter and life. Yet they have no explanation of how it got there. Just like the big bang theory, they have no explanation as to what started it- in other words what got the ball rolling. In this they are silent and reduced to speculation. Atheism is a religion that uses Evolution to deny the existence of God. However, it takes more faith to subscribe to their futile thinking that, "Nothing working on nothing by nothing, through nothing, for nothing, begat everything."  


  Every Christian Should be Healed, but they aren't

One misguided Bible teacher said, “We must add, that if it were true that Christ died for our sicknesses, then His atoning work in this respect is a failure, the choicest saints on earth today are the thousands of shut-ins, who suffer in patience and sing their sweet songs in the night.”     
  Dear brother and sister, did Christ die to save all sinners? Yes, should be the reply. Then every sinner in this world has a blood-bought right to be saved according to 1 Timothy 2:1-4; 2 Peter 3:9. But are all sinners saved? No, only a very small percentage- Matthew 7:13-14. Then, according to the writer just quoted above, Christ’s atoning work in this respect also is a tremendous failure. Why are not all sinners saved, since they have a blood bought right to be saved? Because for whatever reason, they fail to meet God’s conditions as set forth in John 1:12-13; John 3:16,18,36; John 5:24; and Romans l0:9-10. It is just the same with bodily healing. Every saint has a blood-bought right to be healed, but thousands do not know that they must exercise the very same appropriating faith in the bruised body of Christ for their healing as they formerly exercised in His shed blood for their salvation.   


  Keeping our Word even when it Hurts

In chapter Psalms 15, David talks about the one whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous. One of those attributes is stated in verse 4b, “who keeps his oath even when it hurts.” I don’t mean to be critical, because I am challenging myself to do better in this area as well, we are all at different places in our walk with the Lord, we are all under construction. But one of the things lacking in our generation is integrity, even in Christian circles; especially when it comes to keeping one’s word. Over the years I can safely say that about 75% of what people say they will do, they don’t. It seems that our society makes it too convenient for us to break our promises. Those in leadership know how frustrating it is when folks sign up for something and less than half bother to show up. I know things come up, but we should always have the common courtesy to follow up and let people know when we can’t keep our commitments. This lack of integrity really hurts our testimony, credibility and our faith walk, because if we can’t keep our word, how can we have confidence in operating faith in the Bible.



  How the Anointing is Increased in our Lives 

There is an anointing on us, whether we recognize it or not; we are all called to stand in an office or ministry. And no matter which office we stand in, or what we are called to do, we can have something to do with determining the degree of our anointing. We can prepare ourselves for this anointing. If it doesn’t come on us, it’s because we didn’t prepare ourselves. Furthermore, the anointing can be increased. We can increase the anointing by studying the Word and by being prayerful. We can decrease the anointing by neglecting to study and pray-        1 Peter 4:10-11, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.”

But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit- just as it has taught you, remain in him.     1 John 2:20, 27



  The Christian Life is Not Automatic

  Some Christians have what I call passive faith, they believe the Bible from cover to cover, but never seed it to produce a harvest. They believe if it’s God’s will it will happen to them automatically. In other words they put all the responsibility on God to meet their needs while they sit on their spiritual sofa. They will pray, “Lord if it be thy will please meet our needs.” Then when their need is not met they say, “Well, I guess it just was not God’s will for us to have our needs met. His sovereign ways are above ours, I guess He is using poverty to make us more humble like Job.” God’s Word is God’s will. Just as it was with the Israelites, so it will be with us in the New Covenant. They had a Promise Land to possess, but they had to get up, and go in and possess it. We must learn to fight the fight of faith, and lay claim to our rights and privileges in Christ. Yes, there will be some giants of doubt, unbelief, and obstacles to overcome, but through persistence we will eat the good of the land.