Don’t Lose Your Mind!

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Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 NASB

I remember as a child going to the altar every week because I had lied during the previous week. I knew that lying was a sin, what I didn’t understand was the complete forgiveness of God for past, present and future sins. Why? Because I was never taught that. My mind was programed to be sin conscious, not God conscious.

The only way I can be transformed is to reprogram my mind. How do I do that? Through reading the Word, meditating on the Word until I have complete understanding of who I am in Christ Jesus. You see, I can have a clean glass, but if I dirt in it, it’s going to be a dirty glass. The only way to change that is to clean it and put in the glass what the glass was meant to carry.

When we believe that Jesus was the son of God and we receive Him as Lord and Savior of our lives, He has cleaned our glass! Praise God for that, that my friend is a wonderful thing. But if we don’t fill our minds with the knowledge of our new identity, and learn about His benefits, we will live our lives the way we did prior to being cleaned, because being clean just isn’t enough to stay that way.

There is so much more! It’s time we learned that our Father not only owns the bank, He’s the banker and He wants to give us everything we need to live life. He’s not just the banker, He’s the healer. He’s not just the healer He’s everything we need! But we can’t believe what we do not know.

Allow the Word of God to wash away false thinking. His Word says we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. His Word says we are healed. His Word says we have more then enough to give unto every good work. His Word says nothing will by any means harm us. His Word says that we will do greater works then Jesus did. His Word says we are to make more disciples, but we can’t do that if we don’t know who we are.

Father, I ask that You open the eyes of my understanding that I may know the truth of Your Word. Replace old thinking for new. Wash my dirty glass so that I may drink freely of the knowledge of who I am. As I read the Word today, may I discover more and more truth about You and the DNA that is in me. I want to show You off to others. I’m proud that You’re my Father. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray this, Amen.

Package Deal

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A man saved all his money and bought a ticket from his country to come to America. His dream was to be free! He only had a little money left and he bought cheese and crackers for his month long trip. Day after day, he watched the other passengers eat from the buffet and go into the dining room, but he ate his crackers and cheese, thankful he was on his way to freedom.

At the end of his journey the captain asked him if they had offended him in any way to which the man emphatically said no.  The captain then asked why he never ate from the ships food. The man told the captain that he only had enough money for the transportation and nothing else so he had bought cheese and crackers and had been eating that. It was then that the captain informed him that the food was included in the price of the ticket.

It is so sad that many Christians today think that salvation is the only gift they received when Jesus died on the cross.  They make their entire life’s journey living in poverty, sickness, depression, lack and turmoil. They watch as others eat at the table of blessings, not realizing that the whole package was included in that one price so long ago.

My friend, if you received Jesus as your Savior but don’t understand Luke 10:19, that all authority was given to you over all the power of the enemy, you need to read your contract. Everything you will ever need for life and godliness was provided by Jesus when he died on the cross. Healing provision, deliverance, freedom, peace, all of it was included in the price he paid.

Perhaps you’ve not read Psalm 103:2-5; Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

Perhaps you’re not familiar enough with Isaiah 53:5 which states that Jesus took all of our punishment for sin on the cross and by His stripes, we are healed.  If you knew the power you contain on the inside of you, you would know that healing was included with your ticket.

It’s time, child of God! It’s time to let the fire of the Holy Spirit that is in you burn! It’s time to pay attention to what’s on the inside, not what’s on the outside! He sent you out into the world to heal the sick and raise the dead but you can’t even get out of your bed because you’re so focused on what’s going on with you. Please don’t let the devil deceive you into believing his lies. Romans 8:37 says, you are more than a conqueror through Him who loved you.

Father, I must know the truth before it can set me free! You have prepared a table before me in presence of my enemies. I won’t focus on my enemy, but on the table You prepared. I will rest in Your finished work. I thank You for putting Your Spirit in me. He helps me to love and leads me into truth that I could not know on my own. I pray for others that will cross my path today. I ask that You would open the eyes of their understanding and that they would know You in all of Your fullness.  Most of all, I will not be afraid of what I see in the natural realm because all of that is subject to change by the power that works in me. It’s in Jesus’ name and for Your glory. Amen

Do What I Say

 

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Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.” Jeremiah 1:9-10

As kings and priests, ambassadors of God, we must remember that our words are not just words. They carry the very authority of God. A spokesman of the king carries with him the right to speak knowing the king will back him up. My friends, don’t be afraid to carry out the orders we’ve been given as sons and daughters. Our Father will indeed back us up.

Those who have served in the military understand this principle well. If an order is given, they carry out that order to the letter, right? If a higher ranking officer tells you to do something, you don’t wait around, you go and do it right then. If someone questions you, you tell them who gave you the order.

Jesus has given us orders; Love one another as I have loved you, love them. Those weren’t suggestions, they were orders. When He returns to find His children, He will look for those who followed His orders. Make disciples! It wasn’t a suggestion, it was a order! Heal the sick! Again, not a suggestion, an order. Are you following orders today or do you think it’s still all about you? People are still court-martialed for not following orders.

Father, here I am, no excuses today. Speaking what You say has never been more clear, even when others don’t agree. I will be your mouthpiece in the earth. I will love even when I’m not loved. I will speak even when others don’t listen. I will challenge others to burn with passion for Your Word and allow Your power to flow through them. It’s in Jesus’ name and for Your glory, Amen.

 

Loving Correction

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Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.  Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life!  Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best.  Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over.  But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction. It’s the child he loves that God corrects; a father’s delight is behind all this. Proverbs 3:5-12 Message

As I read these verses again, I realized that we all love the good stuff, it’s the trust and discipline we have a hard time with. The thing is, without trust and discipline, we’ll never enjoy the good stuff, we’ll never know God loves us!

Trust brings intimacy. It’s the key to submission. Without trust, I’m always wondering what the motive is behind the gifts. When someone says, ‘Trust me!’, my first inclination is to question. How well do I know you? I don’t like being tricked! But when I truly know the person, I don’t question, I submit.

Example; Walt and I were attending a large church in Michigan and were both involved in ministry there. During a period of time, I was stalked by a man who was a bit mentally challenged but had a massive sexual perversion. When I told Walt about it, he kept his eye on me. Whenever he say this man try to approach me, Walt would take my arm and lead me away from the threat. Because I was intimately acquainted with Walt, I didn’t question him because I knew he always had my best interest in mind.

That’s how it is with God, if you truly know Him, it’s easy to trust Him, even when things aren’t going the way we think it should. To simply obey Him when He says, “Go this way!” without trying to figure out what He’s up to, shows that you trust Him. And to see His discipline as an act of love, that my friend shows you understand parenting!

Father, you are the best Father ever! I just love you so much! And my simple words seem hollow and inadequate, but I know you love to hear them, because each time I do your spirit leaps inside of me and I feel the expression of your love back at me. Help me not to throw a fit when I don’t get my own way. It looks ugly on me and proves I’m still a child, in need of a good spanking! No one likes to be disciplined, but I’d rather you do that then leave me the way I am. I trust you to do what needs to be done so that I may mature and be the child you’re proud of, regardless of my human age.  It’s in Jesus’ name and for your glory I pray this, Amen.

Seed Kept In Hand Helps No One!

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Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? James 2:14-17 Message

Well come on now, who does that? Who would run across an old friend who’d been out of work, turned out of their home, half starved and not do a thing? Most of us! We’re self consumed, busy with our own problems, too focused on our ‘smart’ phones to pay attention to them.

I’ve never seen such a self absorbed society as we have today. They’d rather throw money at a problem then to actually be involved in solving the problem. Homelessness has reached an all time high, not just among the young, but among the elderly as well. The pension they’d saved up wasn’t enough. The savings has been eaten up by the cost of medications to save a spouse. They’re too old to be of value in the workplace that’s been taken over by lazy, entitled folk who feel the world owes them.

I digress! This chapter in James is actually devoted to faith and works. Let’s read on verses 18-24;

I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.”

Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.

Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That’s just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands?

Wasn’t our ancestor Abraham “made right with God by works” when he placed his son Isaac on the sacrificial altar? Isn’t it obvious that faith and works are yoked partners, that faith expresses itself in works? That the works are “works of faith”? The full meaning of “believe” in the Scripture sentence, “Abraham believed God and was set right with God,” includes his action. It’s that mesh of believing and acting that got Abraham named “God’s friend.” Is it not evident that a person is made right with God not by a barren faith but by faith fruitful in works?

My conclusion to this short thought for the day is this; your belief is only that unless you put action to it. It’s fruitless, doesn’t produce, barren, dead as a doornail, if you know what I mean. There is no fruit unless seed’s been planted. Planting takes work. I can hold a seed given to me and as long as it remains in my hand, it’s only a seed. But seeds weren’t meant to be stored forever, they were meant to be planted. Why? So they can produce more seed to be planted.

One tomato holds countless seeds. One seed can produce a vine that bears countless tomatoes on it, each containing countless seeds. You see, if I eat the tomato but plant none, next year I will not have any more tomatoes. But if I hold back the seed of one and plant those next year, I will have enough for a garden full to eat, sell and give away.

Seedless tomatoes is faith without works. There’s absolutely nothing to plant so I will see nothing returned. Tomatoes were made to produce more seed, just as you were created to help others. It’s the kind seeds that you plant today that come back as harvest. You will be blessed and so will others. Put your faith with your works. Stop just believing the world will be a better place and start being a doer of the Word and not a hearer only.

Father, thank you for the seeds you’ve given me. May I not hoard those seeds but give to others who have need of them.  May I show Your love to others by sharing the truth that’s in Your Word and lives in me. I have so much to be thankful for, but just knowing the truth isn’t enough. I want to bear fruit. I want others to not just SEE, but experience You in a real and tangible way. I want to be known as Your friend! Lead me to the friend who needs help and give me the tools to help them. It’s in Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Be Someone Who Hears

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‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3

How do I hear Gods voice? I call on Him! His word clearly states that if I do, I will hear His voice and He will show me things that are hidden from me. It’s just that simple! If I’m not hearing, chances are I’ve allowed too many other voices to drown His out.

I wasn’t always a good listener. People who love to talk don’t stop to listen, and that is truly the only way to learn what the issues are. Well the same goes with God. If I’m always talking, I can’t hear, and if I can’t hear, I won’t know the answer.

If you need to hear from God, stop talking long enough for Him to answer you. What you have to say isn’t nearly as important as Him, so stop. He’s aware of all your troubles! He knows what you’re facing. He sees that fear is blocking your faith. Release it! Let go of it! Let His peace wash over you and take the fear away. Now stay there. Silent. Let the minutes tick by as you breathe in and out.

Think about His beauty, how great He is. Allow your spirit to love on Him, to connect with Him. Speak Lord, I’m listening, I love You! Don’t rush in and out, just stay awhile and pour out your love on Him. Trust me, you cannot leave the same. As you tune in and become aware of Him, you will sense an awesome wonder. His Spirit is in you, waiting for you to discover Him and converse with Him.

Soon you will learn that no matter where you are, you can access everything you need by tapping into what waits on the inside of you. The answer you need is in You. The healing you need is in you. Christ in me, the hope of glory.

 

 

Burn In Me

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So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2 MSG

When I was about 8 or 9 years old, I made friends with a little girl who lived close by. She was fun to be around, very adventuresome, but she had a horrible habit of lying. Before long, I found myself lying about everything as well, even when the truth was a better answer, and I remember my dad asking me, “Who have you been hanging around?” When I told him her name, he said I was to stay away from her and not play with her anymore.

As I read these verses this morning, I realized how easy it is to allow our culture to influence the way we talk and even think. I have few very close friends, but the ones I have love the things I love. They are passionate about God, His plans and purposes. They love Him more than life and seek hard after Him. They spend their times thinking on the Word and allowing it to work in them, working things out of them that hold them back from more of God.

For years I’ve heard the term; she’s so heavenly minded, she’s no earthly good. Something about that bothered me but I could never put my finger on it. Well this morning it became very clear to me that I must be so heavenly minded that those around me desire what is in me. That they chase after the God that is in me. This world isn’t my home,  heaven is! I don’t want anything that is in this world to try to hold here. I am here to demonstrate the Kingdom of God that is in me.

I am tired of watching people get sucked into life styles and relationships that entice them more than God. I’m weary of listening to Christians talk like the world. It’s not ok when the words that come out of their mouth damn everything and everyone. Satan is slick! The temptation is real! The race is on to see how many people he can sway his way. Like Eve, his questions bring doubt and unbelief until we become so much like the world we can no longer see the line.

Cold or hot, which are you? If the lines have blurred, it’s time to get your eyes checked. God is looking for those who will lay down their own personal pleasure for the sake of His Kingdom. Is that you? Has the culture around you gobbled you up so that you no longer want the things of God? It’s time to choose! He is looking for laid down lovers and I hope that is you.

Father, for the sake of the world, light a fire in me that can’t be put out by the culture that surrounds me. May I burn with passion for You, Your purpose and Your Kingdom. I’m nothing on my own, but Christ in me is my hope of glory. Forgive me for worldly attachments, for putting things above people. You are my Father, my Provider, my Healer and nothing compares to the love and plans You have for me. It’s in Jesus’ name I continue to say, Amen!