Monday, 28 November 2016

THE SIX-FOLD SECRET OF A POSITIVE CONFESSION

  • God deals with us on the basis of what we say or confess,according to Matthew 12:34-37. In Mark 11:23 Jesus promises us that we shall receive whatsoever we say.We are informed in Romans 10:10 that confession is the means by which we obtain possession of what we  believe,while Proverbs 18:21 declares that "death and life are in the power of the tongue." The secret of a positive confession is six-fold: 1.)First,you must set a watch on your lips,and guard your mind. If we expect to walk in health,prosperity,and victory,then we must,first of all,pray like  David did:"Set a watch,O Lord,before my mouth;keep the door of my lips"(Psa.141:3),confessing to The Lord,"I will take heed to my ways,that I sin not with my tongue:I will keep my mouth  with a bridle"(Psa.39:1). In order to develop a positive confession it is necessary to see that we must first learn how  to be quiet,before we attempt to learn how to speak effectively. As infants we struggled,slowly learning how to speak;moreover,we have spent years developing  our vocabulary,only to discover that much of what we have learned must be unlearned,as it is  a primary cause for much of our problems and failure.The Lord admonishes us to stop confessing  our doubts,symptoms,and fears,as well as our uncertainties,and to "be still and know that I am  God"(Psa.46:10).In Ecclesiastes 5:2 He warns us:"Be not rash with thy mouth,and let not thine  heart be hasty to utter anything before God...therefore let thy words be few." A positive confession begins with a sanctified silence.Learning how to be quiet,and speaking  only those things which edify both ourselves and others is the secret of positive confession. Guard your heart and mind,for this is the place the enemy usually attempts to work,as he knows  you will generally confess what you think and believe,for "...out of the abundance of the  heart the mouth speaks." 2.)Never confess doubt,nor anything of a negative nature. Never confess symptoms--confess the Word,and resist symptoms just as you would any temptation  from satan. Develop a vocabulary of faith from God's Word. You must refuse,moreover,to listen to the doubts of others,as this can adversely affect your  own confession of faith. 3.)Harmonize your confession with God's. Bring your confession into harmony,not with what you feel or see,not with what others may say, nor with what the circumstances might appear to be,but into agreement with the Word of God. Study,and then begin to confess the Promises of such Scriptures as,for example:Exodus 15:26; Psalm 37:91;103:1-5;121;Matthew 6:33;18:19;21:22;Mark 11:22-24;Romans 8:28;I Corinthians 3:21-22;II Corinthians 1:20;Philippians 4:13,19;Hebrews 13:6;James 1:2-4;and III John 2. God's answers always keep pace with your confession. 4.)Confess victory before you see it. Gideon and his small band of 300 men shouted the victory beforehand,and as a result the enemy  became so frightened that the Midianites destroyed one another in their confusion. The Israelites did not wait until the walls of Jericho began to crumble,before believing that God had given the city into their hands,but they shouted the walls down by faith. Apostle Paul tells us in Hebrews 11:1 that "faith is the evidence of things not seen." Faith is not sight.Faith can only operate in the realm of the invisible. We are never to depend upon feelings or appearances,for satan works through the realm of the  senses,and can manipulate the feelings with symptoms and pains,and can also deceive by what  appears to be true to our sight. Appearance can deceive. Faith is confessing the victory ahead of time. 5.)Hold fast to your confession of faith without wavering. When you claim healing,you have thereby challenged satan's right to oppress you.You have,as it  were,entered his domain,and a battle often ensues. When satan discovers you have learned the secret of using God's Word to overcome him (Rev.12:11),he will eventually be forced to release his hold on you,or on your circumstances.But often he will not withdraw until he has exhausted his resources in attempt to break your confession of faith in the integrity of the Word of God.The devil trys to implant fear and doubt into your  mind to confuse you;at times he will cause persecution to come upon you for your faith;on  occasion he will try to oppress with new symptoms and pain,or cause the ailment to appear to  return;he trys to surround you with contradictory advice from friends,or will cause your family  to think that you have become a religious fanatic because of your stand on the Word.But he knows that your confession and integrity,if well maintained without wavering,will ultimately defeat  him and his work in your life;therefore,"let us hold fast the confession of our faith without  wavering;for He is faithful that promised",and "cast not away therefore your confidence,which  has great recompence of reward.For you have need of patience,that,after you have done the Will  of God,you may receive the Promise"(Heb.10:23,35-36). 6.)If satan tempts you to doubt,boldly take the initiative away from him. As we have seen,frequently after claiming some Promise in God's Word,satan will challenge your  decision,and you may find yourself undergoing a period of trial.In such instances,a bold  reaffirmation of your faith in God's Word when tempted to doubt will generally kill doubt at  the roots. It is also necessary many times,especially during a period of trial,to take offensive measures  against the powers of darkness.There will be times when you must boldly move deeper into satan's territory by faith when he challenges your confession.When Goliath threatened David,saying,"I will  give your flesh unto the fowls of the air,and to the beasts of the field,"David immediately  replied,"And I will smite you,and take your head from you!"When the giant then rose and drew  near to meet him,instead of retreating in fear,we are told that,"David hasted,and ran toward  the army to meet the Philistine"(I Sam.17:44f). When satan advances one step against you in an effort to break your confession of faith--resist  him in faith,and boldly advance two steps against him,and the Scriptures assure you that "he will flee from you." A bold step of faith when tempted to doubt is one of the most effective strategies and weapons  that the believer possesses against satan,for it takes the initiative away from him and keeps  you in control of the situation. If Christians could be made to realize just how much of their own illness,depression,problems, and defeat stem from emotional stress resulting from wrong attitudes and thoughts,as well as  from negative statements concerning these matters,they would never again allow such attitudes  and expressions to rob them of their health,joy,peace,and victory,but would begin each day with  a positive expectation,confessing:    This is the day that The Lord has made;    I will rejoice and be glad in it. It was because of the Apostle Paul's positive attitude and his positive confession that he was  able to keep his courage and walk in victory through all his many hardships and trials. His positive mental attitude and victorious confession are an inspiration to all. Instead of taking his trials,persecutions,and hardships to heart and grieving or complaining  over them,he joyfully confessed:    "We are troubled on every side,yet not distressed;we are perplexed,     but not in despair;persecuted,but not forsaken;cast down,but not      destroyed;always bearing about in the body the dying of The Lord      Jesus,that the life also of Jesus might be manifest in our body."                                                                                 II Corinthians 4:8-10 His Life and Resurrection Power are released in us through positive thinking and through a  positive confession.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE TO HIM WHO BELIEVES

A father was questioning Jesus’ ability to cast a demon out of his child when Jesus responded with the following statement: And Jesus said to him, “If you can?! All things are possible to him who believes.” Mark 9:23 What is meant by the words, ‘All things are possible’? What exactly are included in the ‘all things’? God’s ‘All things’ – God Has No Limitations And looking at {them} Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27 And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” Mark 14:36 “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 Man’s ‘All things’ – Are Determined By What We Can Believe Each time ‘all things’ is mentioned concerning man, a qualifier of belief is added. And, all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive. Matthew 21:22 “…. All things are possible to him who believes. Mark 9:23 The ‘all things’ is limited to only those items that can be believed. Jesus is saying, “If you can believe it, then it is possible.” The limitation is on our believing. Over-and-over again, the Gospels communicate a simple concept – ‘There are no limitations with God, and the limitations that man received in the Great Fall are neutralized by his faith in God.’ In effect, faith in the ‘God of no limitations’ takes away the limitations of man. This is not elevating man, it is elevating the blessing of God upon man. The source of the power is not man but rather faith in God – “If you can believe it, it will happen.” God is saying, “I have no limitations, if you can believe in me, I can do it.” That is what is meant by walking in God’s authority. Authority is the authorized use of someone else’s power. In this case, it is us walking in God’s power (Ephesians 1:19, 20). What ‘Things’ Can We Believe? This begs the question – For what can we believe? Can we believe for ‘all things?’ No, for if we could, then we would be like God. We would be able to have ‘all things.’ Jesus did not say, “It is possible to believe for all things,” but rather, He said, “All things that are believed are possible.” There is a huge difference between the two wordings. The inclusiveness is determined not by a definition of ‘all things,’ but rather on the extent of our possible faith. This makes sense if you understand that faith in God is based solely on items granted to us by His word. The ‘all things’ are determined by the ‘things’ promised in His word. We Can Believe Only What the Word Says We Can Believe Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, I Corinthians 2:12 So, for man, ‘all things’ equals – God’s promises that are believed. The difficulty then is not with God, but it is with us, our getting to a place of faith. Faith is the God sanctioned ability for man to trust what God can and will do. It is trusting His faithfulness and His character. ..and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. Romans 4:21 Only faith is able to grasp the reality of the possible in the face of the impossible. Only faith has the power to move seemingly impossible mountains. Only faith has the ability to look directly at an impossible situation and know that it will change. Abraham had a clear understanding of how impossible his situation was. Both he and Sarah were way past the age of bearing a child, but God had promised that they would. In Abraham’s heart, the reality of God’s promise was more real that the facts about their situation. He did not ignore the facts, but rather he considered the facts as temporary and God’s promise as permanent and real. Only a heart filled with faith can face the impossible and still know that God can change it. Read how Abraham had sufficient faith to look directly at the impossible and yet be fully persuaded that God was able to perform what He had promised. (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who quickens the dead, and calls those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. Romans 4:17-21 Faith is not ignoring the problem. Faith is the tangible knowing that God is bigger than the problem, and that He is willing and able to help. Acknowledging the problem is the first step in obtaining faith. Faith has the courage to look at what currently is and still know what will be. Faith ‘calls those things which be not as though they were’. This is the creative power of faith. It brings the power and presence of God into any situation. Denial, on the other hand, ‘calls those things which be as though they are not’. This is not creatively running to the issue with the power of God. This is running from the issue with the weakness of man. Run to the roar with the faith of God. He can change any situation. How then do you receive this faith? By running to the Word of God, and by seeking Him till you get the answer. When faith comes, so comes the answer and the victory. The Bible says that, ‘Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the (spoken personal) word of God’. Seek Him till you hear Him. You are literally one hearing away from victory in any seemingly impossible situation. Faith is the tangible knowing that God is bigger than the problem, and that He is willing and able to help. Search the Word and find out for yourself what is available for you to trust in and believe for. His promises are His will. Find them out, meet their conditions, hear His voice, and glorify His name. Let me say this again – Search the scriptures, meet their conditions, hear His voice, act in faith, and glorify His name. All things written therein are possible for him who believes. The ‘all things’ = God’s promises that are believed.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

YOU ARE LIGHT TO SHINE



  • What does it mean to shine? Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. —Philippians 2:14-16, ESV (emphasis added) In the Gospel of John, Jesus is called “the true light, which gives light to everyone” (John 1:9). Throughout the New Testament, the followers of Jesus are called to be lights in the darkness. So, what does it mean to shine? It means: Being counter-cultural. We live in a dark world, full of lies, hate and confusion. But God’s Word tells us to “cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12). While others are chasing after physical pleasures and selfish gain, we’re commanded to live a different way—to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:14). Putting yourself out there. Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others” (Matthew 5:16a). He explained that no one lights a lamp just to hide it under a basket. A lamp is meant to be placed on a stand to give light to everything around it. Whether you’re timid or outgoing, you’re called to be a light to the people around you. That’s only possible if you’re taking time to interact with people and cultivate relationships. Are you the shy type? Here’s some guidance. Always pointing back to the light source. When Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others,” that wasn’t the whole sentence. He went on to give the reason why it’s important to shine: “so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16b). Our goal should never be to bring recognition to ourselves, but to bring glory to God. There’s a fine line between being a light and putting on a show to get attention. It’s a matter of the heart. What keeps you from shining? Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? –Matthew 7:3, ESV It’s easy to see the shine of a new diamond ring from across the room. But over time, that shine can dull as dust collects on it. In the same way, sin can dull our shine as lights for Jesus Christ. Our lives which once sparkled with the joy of Christ can become clouded with a love for things of this world. Before you can be a light to others, take a look at your own life. Has sin dulled the evidence of Christ in you? Maybe it’s time to stop, take a moment and ask God to reveal any sins you might be ignoring. If there’s a sin you repeatedly struggle with, write it down and pray over it continually. Ask God for His forgiveness and help in changing your heart. We’ll never be perfect, but we need to address our sin—partly because it impacts others. So how exactly do you shine? Do not be conformed to this world … —Romans 12:2a, ESV “Being a light” sounds great, doesn’t it? But it’s also a little abstract. How exactly do you become this brilliant beacon to people around you? Here are 4 practical tips: Be careful what you say. The Bible calls the tongue “a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). Yikes! That’s pretty serious. And that’s how we should take our speech—seriously. Maybe a parent once told you, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” It’s not bad advice, even as an adult. Words are powerful and can be used for good or bad. You might even post this verse somewhere as a reminder: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29). Read How to Tame the Tongue. Consider your entertainment. Where do you go for fun? What shows or movies do you watch? What kind of music do you listen to? Would you go to the same places, watch the same things or listen to the same music if Jesus were sitting next to you? Or would you be embarrassed? It might sound silly, but asking those questions is a good way to keep yourself in check, whether you’re alone or with others. Use social media wisely. People are watching what you post, whether they interact with your posts or not. Think about the things you’ve posted recently—articles, comments, photos and so on. Could they be seen as prideful? Self-centered? Rude? What’s your motive? To put others down or make them jealous? Hopefully not. Aim to make informed, respectful posts that represent the One you claim as Lord. Think of others. Consider other people’s needs and help meet them. Encourage instead of criticize. Be patient. Give others the benefit of the doubt. If you hear gossip, distance yourself from it or change the subject. When you encounter a difficult person, remember that they were made and are loved by God. Above all, “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you” (Luke 6:31).


Sunday, 20 November 2016

CLOSE TO GOD

If God responded supernaturally to Moses, Solomon and Elijah, we can expect Him to respond supernaturally to us. I have often said, "The only thing unchangeable in this world is the God who said, 'I am the Lord; I do not change' (Mal. 3:6)." Everything else is subject to change, especially when God's people pray in faith and the Almighty responds. Don't minimize yourself. Elijah was a man who faced temptations and human frailties like the rest of us, but he walked in the supernatural. In fact, God was so appreciative of Elijah that when Elijah finished his time in this world, God carried him supernaturally to heaven in a chariot of fire. How did he become such a history maker and world changer? The biblical explanation is, "He prayed" (James 5:17). Other people in the past have prayed with such power that the world was changed forever, including the following intercessors. Abel—Drawing Heaven to Earth After the insurrection in Eden, spiritual darkness settled on the world like a thick, impenetrable fog—that is, until Abel, attempting to offer God true worship, presented a lamb without blemish as a burnt offering to God on an altar. As far as we know, his was a wordless prayer, yet that sacrificed animal, consumed with fire, was a prophetic statement representing Abel's desire to present his life as a sacrifice to God and to be consumed with on-fire devotion to Him. The Most High honored his faith, and "Abel ... was approved as righteous, with God testifying concerning his gifts" (Heb. 11:4). By faith, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain offered. Through this, he still speaks through his faith, though he is dead. What was this "witness"? We don't know for sure, but supernatural fire quite possibly fell from heaven and consumed Abel's sacrifice, since that happened later when God found a sacrifice acceptable (1 Kings 18:38; 2 Chr. 7:1; Lev. 9:24). Whatever took place, there must have been shrieks of terror among the evil principalities that thought they had erected an impassable barrier of satanic control in this fallen world. But God responded to Abel's prayer, the spiritual wall was breached, and a stream of blessing began flowing downward. Like a barely burning ember coming back to life, renewed hope started glowing in this world from that moment forward. Things may look impossible for you now, but don't you think they looked even more impossible then? Yet one praying person made the difference. Noah—Lifting a Curse After the flood was over, Noah's family and all the animals exited the ark. Genesis 8:20-21 says, "Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. The Lord smelled a soothing aroma; and the Lord said in His heart, 'I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the inclination of man's heart is evil from his youth, nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.'" Another wordless prayer had profound global impact. It seems that up until that time, it was almost impossible to grow any kind of substantial crop. Gripped with a suffocating curse, the ground primarily brought forth "thorns and thistles" (Gen. 3:18). Once again, though, a single individual touched the heart of God with his worship, and this time, a debilitating curse was lifted from nature. Prior to the flood, there had been only a mist rising up from the ground (Gen. 2:5-6). From that point forward, however, nourishing rain fell from above. After He saw Noah's reverential act, consecrating the new world, and He "smelled" the "soothing aroma" of passionate praise, the Most High God pledged: "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night will not cease" (Gen. 8:22). Mary, Jesus' Mother—Releasing God's Will The most monumental event ever to happen was the incarnation of the Son of God. Each major stage of His journey through time was activated by intercession. His first coming took place because many thousands of Jews had prayed for centuries that the Messiah would come. When the angel Gabriel announced that the ordained time had arrived, a humble Jewish girl prayerfully confessed: "I am the servant of the Lord. May it be unto me according to your word" (Luke 1:38). That was a prayerful outburst, not only toward Gabriel but toward God Himself. The will of the Almighty was released, and nine months later, God became flesh, born of a virgin in a manger in Bethlehem. Jesus' Disciples—Interceding for Salvation Approximately a third of a century later, at Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, His disciples jubilantly heralded the coming of the King of kings to the city of God, exclaiming, "Hosanna to the Son of David! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' Hosanna in the highest!" (Matt. 21:9). What a moment for a unique worship word to surface in the Bible: Hosanna. You won't find it anywhere else, except in its original form in the Hebrew language. You see, the New Testament word "Hosanna" actually evolved from a fusion of the traditional Hebrew praise words hoshiah na, which are a prayerful plea meaning, "Save now, I beseech You" (translated this way in Psalm 118:25 of the King James Version). The Jewish worshippers of that day understood this was a prophetic plea for the Messiah to set up His reign. Even though "Hosanna" is a prayerful request, strangely, it is never spoken in a pleading tone of voice, as a petition. Instead, it is normally an ecstatic shout of praise. When I was first confronted with this paradox, I couldn't quite wrap my mind around it. So I brought up the subject to a dear Messianic Jewish friend, and he explained, "Oh, yes, hoshiah na is a request, but it is made in full expectation of performance. It is similar to a wife asking her husband, 'You will take out the garbage, won't you?' She may be 'asking,' but she has no doubt that her spouse will comply with her wishes and the action will take place." And so it is with the beautiful praise word "Hosanna." Technically, it is an appeal, but it is spoken with an assurance of divine response. Though the strict translation is, "Save us, we beseech You," the implied meaning is: "Lord, we fully believe You will save us and so we praise God for our deliverance in advance!" When worshippers tag the phrase "in the highest" after the word Hosanna, it becomes an even more powerful proclamation: "Lord, I believe You are going to save me in every area of my being to the highest degree possible for God!" How intense is that? The phrase "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord" was also understood to be a prophecy of the Messiah—a declaration that He would represent the Father and be filled with His authority. The crowd of disciples waving palm fronds, casting their garments in the road and shouting these words had no idea how profoundly their prayers would be answered in the next few days. Jesus—Praying for Spiritual Transformation After Jesus ascended to heaven, He sent back the power of the Holy Spirit to His disciples on the Day of Pentecost. Even this grand infilling was the result of intercession—by the greatest intercessor of all, the Son of God Himself. Right before He collapsed in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, He uttered the most powerful and pivotal petition ever to ascend to the Father of creation (John 17:1-26). How mightily the great High Priest stood in the gap for the disciples, who would be waiting for the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room just over 50 days later! How powerfully that prayer has lingered ever since, hovering over the world in full potency for two millennia, released into manifestation each time a new convert receives the Lord Jesus into his heart. Here are the main things for which Jesus prayed: That believers would receive the gift of eternal life That we would actually know God and receive the revelation of His name That we would receive and understand the Word of God That we would be kept from the evil one That we would be sanctified (cleansed from the defilement of sin and consecrated to God) That we would be accepted into the same oneness with the Father that Jesus enjoyed That we would be brought to perfection That the love of the Father would abide within us That the Son of God would live within us What an awe-inspiring event it was when that first group of believers received the fruit of this intercession. The Holy Spirit came into the upper room like "a mighty rushing wind," and divided "tongues as of fire" hovered over them (Acts 2:2-3). Surely that "wind" was the very breath of God breathing into His people the restoration of what Adam had lost in the garden. The supernatural transformation forecast in this prayer has been only partially implemented but will be brought to complete fulfillment in the not-so-distant future when the "dead in Christ" rise and "we who are alive and remain" are caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air at His Second Coming (1 Thess. 4:16-17). We will then be made utterly perfect, changed and glorified in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, when the King of kings comes "in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him" (Matt. 25:31). We will then be so filled with His magnificence that we will shine "as the sun in the kingdom" of our Father (Matt. 13:43). The Church—Praying for the King's Return When the Lord returns, the prayer Jesus told His followers to pray will be finally gloriously fulfilled: "Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:9-10). So you see, you are already doing it—you and around 2 billion other believers currently in this world. Every time you petition God with the inspired words, "Your kingdom come; Your will be done," you are praying a prayer that will inevitably change the world forever. Every time you plead, "Father, deliver us from evil," God's answer extends far beyond your own personal life to ultimately encircle the entire globe with His deliverance power. Maybe you thought that kind of prayer power was reserved for the recognized champions of the faith, but God loves to use common people to accomplish uncommon things. Yes, of all the prayerful utterances that have been uttered in this world, this "powerful prayer" really will produce "supernatural results." And it will absolutely be answered—gloriously and permanently—in a moment. After many centuries of petitions ascending to heaven, the answer will come in one blinding flash of power. Your prayers and the prayers of the rest of the body of Christ, like burning incense swirling around the very throne of the Almighty, will soon attract an incomparable response from on high (Rev. 8:1-6). When that happens, Jesus will descend in flaming fire, accompanied by all His holy angels. Every eye will see Him, the dead in Christ will rise, living believers will be translated, the kingdom will fully come to earth, and the world will finally be changed forever. Anything can happen when God's people pray. Don't ever give up. Keep seeking His face. Supernatural results are awaiting. Mike Shreve has been involved in full-time ministry since 1971. His passion is to see authentic New Testament Christianity, the release of God's glory and the manifestation of His gifts. 

WHY YOUR HATERS HATE YOU


  • Life is filled with choices and every choice has consequences. In grammar school, a student who befriends an unpopular boy or girl will lose friends and be made fun of. In high school, a student who refuses to give up his or her virginity will lose dates and be laughed at. In the workplace, if you live a life of integrity you’ll be passed over for a promotion. In the senior years, if you invest your time and money in the church you’ll miss out on various memories and material possessions. In the political realm, if you’re vocal about your favorite candidate, there will be those who disagree with you. In the spiritual realm, if you follow Jesus Christ, you will be hated. That’s right: HATED! Whether you like it or not, the Bible is clear that Christians will be hated and rejected by the world. In John 15:18-16:4,1 Jesus explains why the world hates Christians. Naturally, I recognize that this will not be welcomed as a “feel-good sermon.” However, it does feel good to know that Jesus warned us in advance. As you reflect on Jesus’ words, ask yourself: Have I adopted a cultural Christianity or a cross-centered Christianity? Today, Jesus will say: It’s better to be loved than liked. In other words, it’s better to experience Jesus’ unconditional and eternal love than to win a popularity contest and be liked by the world. In 15:18 Jesus declares, “If the world2 hates you, you know that it has hated Me3 before it hated you.”4The particular form of the word “if” assumes something is true. Jesus is saying, “If the world hates you—and it does.”5 There is a certainty in Jesus’ words: “You will be hated! You can count on it!” Jesus then reminds His disciples that the world hated Him first. Jesus is commanding His disciples to remember that He was hated from the time of His birth to the time of His death. Think about this: Jesus’ life began with King Herod attempting to kill Him. Jesus’ life ended in a death of sheer hatred. He was crucified at the wishes of His own people—the Jews. Thus, we must not be surprised by hatred.6 The word “hate” (miseo) is used seven times in the first eight verses (15:18-25).7 It is the dominant word in this passage. Jesus’ point is: Friendship with Me comes with a hefty price tag—the world’s hatred.8 Jesus wants you to be forewarned. In some circles, you will be public enemy number one. Here are the reasons why your haters hate you 1. Because you have something that they don’t. Whether is it your new decision you want to take, not staying with them again , your new house, or your life in general, you possess something they don’t — and that upsets them. Because they realize that life can be unfair, and that some people can have things or do things in life that others can’t. Perhaps they even desire what you have but don’t quite know how they themselves can achieve those things. When haters can’t figure why they lack the things they lack, or how they can get the things they lack, they become very angry individuals. To help themselves cope with this sense of frustration, they hate. This is how they deal with their feelings of inadequacy and inferiority after comparing themselves with others — by putting it on you. I say God will with them , like He did to Pharoah in Exodus. 2. Because they think you don’t deserve it. They look at your fame, your popularity, your friends, your career, etc., and think that you are not worthy of these things, because they are only looking at things at surface level. They don’t care about the hard work you had put in behind the scenes — your sacrifices, your worries, your fears and the pains you’d gone through. Because they are superficial like that. I say God will destroy your haters. 3. Because they don’t want to lose to you. They see life as some kind of competition — who’s more popular, who’s richer, who has more friends, who has more victories, who has the better job, - and they want to win. Their eagerness to do better than you is not based on their zeal towards life, but stems from their fear of losing to you and being seen as failure in their own eyes. They sort of made you their goal, and the further the distance between you and them, the more they hate. That’s why your haters never want to hear that you are doing well in anything.God will definitely deal with them. 4. Because they can’t get over the past. You two had a thing in the past. Perhaps you were close friends but unfortunately fell out. Perhaps you were lovers but things didn’t turn out as planned or expected. Perhaps there was no closure for whatever issue there was between the two of you. Whatever it is, this hater of yours is still bitter about the past. He/she still can’t get over it; he/she is unable to forgive, yet. Well maybe after some time that troubling affair had quietly slipped off his/her mind, but because of the grudge still buried deep inside, whenever he/she gets reminded of you, emotions can run wild all over again. And there go the nasty comments and passive aggressive posts, again. 5. Because they can’t get over you. You were important to this person and you broke his/her heart. And even after all this time, the wounds never really heal completely, and perhaps, never will. Maybe cognitive dissonance has a part to play in this as well. It is natural instinct to undermine the significance of the things we lose, so as to help us cope with loss and the grief that follows after. Haters overcompensate this aspect — the deeper they loved, the stronger they hate. Haters are people who (still) care, but they do so far too much. Sometimes you could feel that they care more about you and the things you do than you care about yourself, and they care about what other people think of you more than you actually do. All my haters what are you waiting for, die by fire in Jesus ,name. 6. Because they have nothing better to do in life. All these activities give them that momentary sense of purpose and achievement in life. Perhaps your haters don’t even really dislike you that much. They just like hating on other people. Hating has sort of become a lifestyle for them. We can only wish them the best. 7. Because their life just ain’t as great and exciting as yours. It’s true. 8. Because they need attention. What haters are most afraid of is silence. They feel their existence when they know that you heard their voice. So don’t talk back or argue with them. They would only get more excited. Don’t try to reason with them. Don’t. Even. They won’t bother listening. They just need your response to know that someone actually cares about what they think or what they have to say. 9. Because they can. Because anonymity allows them to spew nonsense without taking responsibility for it. It is convenient. It is easy. It is cowardice at its finest. 10. Because they are such bigots. It’s not you. It’s them. 11. Because they are such self-righteous, moral high priests. No matter, they will always think of themselves as the better person compared to you. They would use your past against you, judge and criticize you using their own morals and values, and dismiss any good that you do. They don’t feel the need for humility when talking to you because they believe that they will always be (more) right. But we all know that such beings do make the biggest hypocrites around. 12. Because they are big green-eyed monsters. They are jealous people. They curse and wish for your downfall because they want you to lose the things you have that they don’t. They see life as a zero-sum game. They think, perhaps if you lose a couple of friends/fans, they could gain some themselves. And if they can’t have the things you have, they rather you not have them at all as well. They are basically pretty fucked-up human beings. 13. Because they are unhappy with some things in their own life. And they try to make someone else unhappy too — by being the nuisance that they are. They want to pull you down to their level of unhappiness. They want you to be disturbed and not have peace. If they can’t enjoy their life, they make sure you can’t enjoy yours too. 14. Because they need to put someone down to feel good about themselves. 15. Because they are, in general, just losers. But losers who need much love.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

BREAKING EVERY HIDDEN CURSES

People are just too wicked ! They don't even give it a dawn a to think. However, God is able to deliver me. My redeemer liveth. AMEN The most stubborn curses to deal with are hidden curses. Men and women who know that they are under some kinds of curses often get delivered with ease. Those who have no inkling whatsoever concerning the kinds of foundational curses which have been in hiding in their lives since they came into the world often remain victims of stubborn curses throughout their life time. Hidden curses are the most wicked weapons used by the devil, the enemy of our souls. You owe yourself the duty of reversing all hidden curses in your life. Your life will be transformed the moment all hidden curses are cancelled. You will begin to experience the joy of living life at its fullest. Curses are the direct opposite of blessings. When you curse a person, you utter an evil wish against that person, causing mischief or injury to come upon that person. To curse a person is to bind that person with a spell like witches do. To curse is to engage in a violent expression of evil against a person. Curses are words put together to torment with great calamity. When we study evil effects of curses on mankind, we find that they have been vehicles of problems. You can also curse a thing. A curse is an invisible barrier that keeps people or things away from what God has for them. Let us look at some characteristics of curses as recorded in the books of Nehemiah and 2 Kings. Nehemiah 13:2 says, Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into blessing. God has the power to turn curses into blessings. Again 2 Kings 2:13-21 says: He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan: And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, they parteth hither and thither: and Elisha went over. And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him. And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the Lord hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send. And when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, Send. They sent therefore fifty men, and they sought three days and found him not. And when they came again to him, (for he tarried at Jericho,) he said unto them, didi I not say unto, you, Go not? And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my Lord seeth: but the water is naught and the ground is barren. And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein........ Here are the steps to be delivered: RECOGNIZE THE CURSE. In order to get set free and stay free, you have to admit you have a problem. That sounds simple, but we live in a day and age of denial. No matter what has happened to us in our lives, each of us are responsible for the choices and decisions we make. If you really want to be free, you will accept that responsibility. BREAK THE CURSE. As we apply God's Word and power to our lives, and as we choose to walk in righteousness and obedience to God, the chains of bondage will be broken. There are three steps to breaking a generational curse: (1) Give your life to Jesus; the blood of Jesus removes our sin; (2) Fight the battle with spiritual weapons (such as the Word of God and the armor of God); and (3) Regain control over the power of your will. When Jesus shed His blood, he bought back our willpower. Through the blood of Jesus, we can say no. REVERSE THE CURSE. There are three keys you can use to reverse the curse and live in victory: (1) Recognize your enemy. We battle not with flesh and blood. Our enemy is Satan, and the battle is spiritual. (2) Forgive people who have hurt you. (3) Treat causes, not symptoms (for example, insecurity, jealousy or fear). RELEASE THE POWER OF LOVE. To become people whose lives are transformed by the love of God, we must not only get rid of what holds us captive and keeps us in bondage, but we must also be filled up with love--for God, for self and for others. Unconditional love will release blessing. To know more of the love of God in your life, love those who have hurt you, those who have opposed you and those who have sinned against you. DEVELOP A GODLY ATTITUDE. A good attitude does not make everything go perfectly all the time. Matthew 5:45 tells us that God sends the rain on the just and the unjust. But our attitude determines whether the rain will water the seeds of our harvest or wash those seeds away. Get serious about where you are going with God by getting your attitude lined up with His Word, having faith and trusting in Him. ALIGN YOUR WORDS WITH GOD'S WORDS. Your words give evidence of your faith, and they should reflect God's good purposes for you. Exchange your negative words for positive words, exchange your negative thoughts for positive thoughts, and exchange your negative actions for positive actions. ACCEPT GOD'S ACCEPTANCE. Jesus didn't come to condemn us or punish us. He came to give us hope that our lives really can be different. We don't have to live under the burdens of pain, hurt, shame or sorrow. All the power in heaven is available to you to set you free from every chain that binds you. Corrie ten Boom said, "There is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still." WALK IN OBEDIENCE. In order to break free from the curses and walk in freedom, you must learn to walk in obedience to God's ways. We don't have to be perfect or without mistakes, but our hearts need to be surrendered and pliable toward God. We need to be moving forward in the things of God every day of our lives. Today's decisions determine our tomorrows. There is a miracle on the other side of your obedience. 

Thursday, 10 November 2016

10 Characteristics of Jesus Christ and How to Develop Them

 During the Last Supper, Peter asked the Savior, “Lord, whither goest thou?” Jesus responded, “Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards” (John 13:36). Still confused, Thomas replied, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?” (John 14:5).  Sometimes we may feel, like Thomas, that we are lost, not knowing the right way to go. But we can trust the Savior’s sure answer: “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).  As we study these 10 characteristics of Jesus Christ and try to develop them in ourselves, we can know that Jesus Christ is the way to true happiness and joy. FAITHFUL To be faithful is to hope for and act on things which are not seen, which are true In mortality, Jesus Christ did all things by faith, even performing mighty miracles such as walking on water.   He asks us to exercise faith in Him and His purposes by trusting Him and keeping His commandments. PRAYERFUL Prayer is pure communication with our Father in Heaven. Jesus Christ prayed often for friends and enemies as well as for help during trials. We too have access to divine help and guidance through prayer. We can follow the Savior as we pray daily, expressing thanks and seeking divine assistance in our lives. WISE From His earliest moments, “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52). In many cases, the Savior used the scriptures to rebuke offenders and teach important principles. We can likewise increase in wisdom as we study the scriptures. VIRTUOUS The scriptures teach that “no unclean thing can dwell with God”. Jesus Christ is pure and virtuous. If we are to be virtuous like the Savior in an unclean world, we must turn away from things that pollute our minds, bodies, and spirits. Choosing carefully our entertainment and actively avoiding pornography will greatly increase our virtue and cleanliness before the Lord. No matter the past, choose to be virtuous today. HUMBLE Jesus taught, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38). As we look to the Savior’s example, we will submit our will to God in humility and trust in His plan. OBEDIENT The Savior was perfectly obedient in all things. He promises, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love” (John 15:10). Obedience is a choice to trust God more than we trust our own limited knowledge (see L. Tom Perry, “Obedience through Our Faithfulness,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 100–103). We can strengthen our obedience one good choice at a time. PATIENT The Savior patiently waits for us to choose to follow Him. The scriptures teach, “Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden.“ We can follow His example by exercising patience with others and ourselves in our efforts to improve. CHARITABLE Charity is Christ’s pure love, which He gives freely to us each day. He admonishes us to love God and love our fellowmen (see Mark 12:30–31). We can show love to others each day through small and simple acts of kindness. Each time we reach out to another in love, we reflect Christ’s love. GIVING Jesus Christ’s ministry was filled with service, often given along the way. He healed one woman as He journeyed to raise another from the dead (see Mark 5). To be like Him, we should open our eyes and hearts to the needs of others along our way and give meaningful service each day. FORGIVING With open arms the Savior says, “Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me”. We can develop this trait as we sincerely forgive those who have wronged us. To forgive is sometimes difficult. But to withhold forgiveness is bondage. As we forgive and trust the Lord, our hearts will soften and we will be freed to become more like our Savior. 

Sunday, 6 November 2016

IN THE HOPELESS SITUATION ~GOD IS THERE !

The Valley of Dry Bones 1 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” read more » THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Introduction: The Devil was having a yard sale, and all of his tools were marked with different prices. They were a fiendish lot. There was hatred, jealously, deceit, lying, and pride--all at expensive prices. But over to the side of the yard on display was a tool more obviously worn than any of the other tools. It was also the most costly. The tool was labeled DISCOURAGEMENT. When questioned, the Devil said, "It’s more useful to me than any other tool. When I can’t bring down my victims with any of the rest of these tools, I use discouragement, because so few people realize that it belongs to me." Satan’s is never happier than when he sees people giving in and giving up to despair and becoming lost in hopelessness. Have you ever felt like your whole world is caving in around you and there is absolutely no hope. Your troubles seem to mount up insurmountably. Cheer up I have good news. There is hope for the hopeless! I. There are situations , which appear to be totally and absolutely hopeless. A. Ezekiel 37:1-2 "The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry." B. The picture portrayed here was that of the nation of Israel in their Eastern captivity and Diaspora. The nation was virtually dead. It was lifeless, scattered, and bleached just as this conquered army’s corpses, which were strewn across a battleground. There was no way humanly possible that they would ever arise from this defeat. It would be impossible! C. A man approached a little league baseball game one afternoon. He asked a boy in the dugout what the score was. The boy responded, "Eighteen to nothing--we’re behind." "Boy," said the spectator, "I’ll bet you’re discouraged." "Why should I be discouraged?" replied the little boy. "We haven’t even gotten up to bat yet!" D. Job 7:6-7 "My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope. O remember that my life is wind: mine eye shall no more see good." E. There is no greater state of hopelessness than of man without Christ. Jean-Paul Sarte wrote: "Man can count on no one but himself; he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth." Those apart from God have a feeling of meaningless and abandonment that they cannot explain. (H. Lindsell) F. Ephesians 2:12 "That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:" II. God alone holds the answer to hopeless situations. A. Ezekiel 37:3 "And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live?

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