The Lord has said in Hosea 4:6 that, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…”
The Lord has also told us to “WATCH and PRAY;” “TO BE WISE AS SERPENTS AND HARMLESS AS DOVES;” and in 2 Corinthians 2:11, the Apostle Paul told us, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: let us not be ignorant of his devices (his strategies and modus operandi).”
What I am about to share with you most of you probably never heard before, but it’s all a part of our history.
This mess that we find ourselves in today, in America, did not just start with Obama, but it has been going on for more than 150 years.
I believe that what’s going on, based on the information that I have gathered, over the years, is that the de facto and unconstitutional “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA CORPORATION,” (formed in 1871) and domiciled in Washington DC, is coming to an end; and our de jure (lawful) Constitutional Republic is being reinhabited.
God’s Word is a lamp into our feet…
The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:11, that these things, primarily in the Old Testament, have been written for our example.
In the Numbers 13, we learn that GOD sent 12 spies into the Promise Land, to Jericho, to spy out the land, and only two came back with a positive report, the other 10 had already given up…
Israel Refuses to Enter Canaan 1 So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night.
2 And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them,
“If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why has the LORD brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?”
4 So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”
5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.
6 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying:
“The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land which flows with milk and honey.’
9 Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.”
10 And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel.
Please note that the Promised Land was not a type of heaven, but rather it was a place where the children of Israel had to learn to face their fears, and in FAITH obey and trust in GOD.
And in Hebrews 3:12-15 we are admonished…
12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,
15 while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
Take courage people, I believe that we are going to yet win this battle, in fact I would go even further and say that we have already won it; and that God has already given us the victory!
The Bible tells us that we are at war, but not against flesh and blood…
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” — Ephesians 6:12
Thur, Jan 14 The Spirit Filled Believer
THE LORD’S VISITATION by Dick Mills
“Thy visitation has preserved my spirit” — Job 10:12
There are several reasons for the Lord’s visitation:
1) The Lord visits us as a doctor makes a house call. The doctor does not come to see us for social purposes. His coming is not for afternoon tea with relaxing conversation. Neither is the Lord’s visitation.
Like the doctor. He wants to “tune us up” spiritually so we can experience the best of spiritual health. By His coming, He is really looking out for our best interests.
2) Visitation is like a military inspection. The purpose behind inspection is to check to see if the troops are properly equipped and attired for combat.
Our Commander-in-Chief Jesus Christ has issued us the whole armor of God, including the sword of the Spirit. Then He inspects us to see if we are wearing that armor and wielding that sword.
3) Visitation is a search, a test, and an exploration.
The Lord visits us primarily to test our reactions. A pure heart is vital for spiritual health.
He searches and explores the depths of our heart. This helps us to discover resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness.
We could read this verse: “…your exploring search is a preservative to my spirit.”
4) Visitation is providential care. We could also read this verse: “…your care for me preserves my spirit.”
Job asks the Lord: “What is man that you care for him the way you do?” (Job 7:18).
This care watches over our progress, looks us over for improvement, prepares us for the future, and leads to our perfection.
Do not fear the Lord’s visitation. It is for our good. It will not destroy us, but will preserve us.
Source: The Spirit-Filled Believer’s Daily Devotional by Dick Mills ———
GOD is our refuge, our strength, and He is our Source in every area of life…
God is always with us because that is His promise to every born-again believer, of everyone who loves Him and is called according to His purpose; but sometimes we have to still our mind and calm our spirit, tuning out all the white noise of life and it’s distractions, and there be still that we may hear what God may be speaking to us in the moment (see Psalm 46:10).
“God speaks to every individual through what happens to them moment by moment.”
(The Sacrement of the Present Moment, by Jean-Pierre De Calissade 1675 -1751)
December 21 God Calling by Two Listeners
“And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.” — Luke 19:17
Children, take every moment as of My planning and ordering.
Remember your Master is the Lord of the day’s little happenings. In all the small things yield to My gentle pressure on your arm.
Stay or go, as that pressure, Love’s pressure, indicates.
The Lord of the moments, Creator of the snowdrop and the mighty oak.
More tender with the snowdrop than the oak. And when things do not fall out according to your plan, then smile at Me indulgently, a smile of Love, and say, as you would to a human loved one,
“Have Your way then” — knowing that My loving response will be to make that way as easy for your feet as it can be.
Now unto Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude ———
The secret to enjoyment and fulfillment in life is putting GOD first…
Monday, Dec 21 The Winning Walk
DO YOU REALLY LOVE GOD?
St. Augustine asked his followers if they really loved God.
“Do you love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength?” he asked.
Then he told a story as a way to discover the answer.
Suppose God came to a man and said, “The world and all that is in it is yours. I will give you perfect health.
Whatever your heart desires is yours. I will even do away with sin and death and enable you to live forever.”
Sounds good, doesn’t it? The whole world at your disposal-no sin, eternal life?
Too good, perhaps. “There is only one thing you will not have,” God would say in this imaginary exchange.
“You will never see My face. The choice is yours. I will respect your wish.”
Augustine said if there were a quiver in a person’s heart at the words
“you will never see My face,”
it is quite possible that he might really love God.
If a man decided to turn away from all that the world could offer for the joy of seeing God’s face, his love might be true. Sounds like a pretty good test to me!
The only satisfaction to be found in this life is found in the love of God.
We can choose Him through His Son Jesus Christ and know Him as we are known.
Only then does satisfaction come-but then, it comes from everywhere. Because when the soul is satisfied, all the other things in life may be enjoyed for what they are: gifts from a God who is unchanging and good, and whose love endures forever.
MATTHEW 22:37 You shall love the Lord Your God with all you heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. ———
We must first understand that whatever you’re facing in life, that the battle belongs to the Lord…
In learning to fight GOD’s battles GOD’s way, we must learn and practice each day casting our cares upon Him, because as our shepherd He cares for us:
1 Peter 5:5-11 The Passion Translation (TPT)
5 In the same way, the younger ones should willingly support the leadership of the elders. In every relationship, each of you must wrap around yourself the apron of a humble servant. Because:
God resists you when you are proud but multiplies grace and favor when you are humble.
Humility and Faith 6 If you bow low in God’s awesome presence, he will eventually exalt you as you leave the timing in his hands.
7 Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you.
8 Be well balanced and always alert, because your enemy, the devil, roams around incessantly, like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour.
9 Take a decisive stand against him and resist his every attack with strong, vigorous faith.
For you know that your believing brothers and sisters around the world are experiencing the same kinds of troubles you endure.
10 And then, after your brief suffering, the God of all loving grace, who has called you to share in his eternal glory in Christ, will personally and powerfully restore you and make you stronger than ever.
Yes, he will set you firmly in place and build you up.
11 And he has all the power needed to do this—forever! Amen. ———
You see this is the way it works, if we are in the fold of Christ (as a covenant child of GOD) and if Jesus is our Shepherd (á la Psalm 23), then WHATEVER is coming against us MUST first go through our Good Shepherd; and thus the battles we face in life belong to Jesus!
Jesus is our Good Shepherd Psalm 23 is the best known and most beloved psalm in the collection.
Surprisingly, it casts humanity as sheep—stupid, helpless sheep. But the long-lasting appeal of Psalm 23 is a direct result of that casting because the imagery is both soothing and accessible.
When he was a boy, King David was a shepherd watching his father’s flocks in the hills around Bethlehem.
In those days, too, it was common to refer to kings in the Near East as shepherds; but not all shepherd-kings cared for their sheep.
Though David tried to shepherd his people well, he knew the truth: that the Lord is the true Shepherd.
In John 10:11 Jesus makes a bold claim. He declares that He is the good shepherd.
Immediately His disciples detected the resonance of Psalm 23 in His words. Those of us who follow Jesus today come to know Him as that gentle but strong shepherd who guides us through life if we will follow Him.
Psalm 23:1-6 The Passion Translation (TPT)
The Good Shepherd 1 The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd. I always have more than enough.
2 He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love. His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss.
3 That’s where he restores and revives my life. He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness so that I can bring honor to his name.
4 Lord, even when your path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness, fear will never conquer me, for you already have!
You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way. Your authority is my strength and my peace.
The comfort of your love takes away my fear. I’ll never be lonely, for you are near.
5 You become my delicious feast even when my enemies dare to fight.
You anoint me with the fragrance of your Holy Spirit; you give me all I can drink of you until my heart overflows.
6 So why would I fear the future? For your goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life.
Then afterward, when my life is through, I’ll return to your glorious presence to be forever with you! ———
GOD gives us the power to remove those obstacles that the enemy places in our path, in order to discourage us and cause us to want to quit; but we must have confidence that GOD will do what He says.
To gain this confidence the mettle of our faith must be tested and stretched, and the only way that can happen is by our learning to walk in this GOD given power and peace, as a way of life, through the process of having our life crushed in the crucible of life and our faith tested in the refiners fire.
Faith Food Devotions
WHAT I SAY by Kenneth E. Hagin
“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; HE SHALL HAVE WHATSOEVER HE SAITH.” —Mark 11:23
Let’s examine what Jesus said in today’s text:
“…and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe (that is, believe in his heart) that those things which he saith shall come to pass…”
Those things that you say are your words – your confessions – and those words give you power over demons, disease, and circumstances.
What is it Jesus says you shall have?
What you believe for?
No. Many people think, If I believe strongly enough, it will come to pass. But at the same time, they are talking unbelief, so what they are asking for cannot come to pass!
Jesus did not say, “He shall have whatsoever he BELIEVETH;” He said, “…he shall have whatsoever he SAITH.”
For you do receive what you say. If you’re not satisfied with what you have in life, then check up on what you are saying – what you are confessing.
All you have and all you are today is a result of what you believed and said yesterday!
Confession: I believe in my heart. I believe in my words.
America is in a spiritual battle for our very survival…
And so this is why we pray.
“Prayer moves the arm that moves the world.” — Charles Spurgeon
“God has of his own motion placed himself under the law of prayer, and has obligated himself to answer the prayers of men.
He has ordained prayer as a means whereby he will do things through men as they pray, which he would not otherwise do.
If prayer puts God to work on earth, then, by the same token, prayerlessness rules God out of the world’s affairs, and prevents him from working.
The driving power, the conquering force in God’s cause, is God himself.
‘Call on me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which though knowest not,’ is God’s challenge to prayer.
Prayer puts God in full force into God’s work.” — E.M. Bounds
As stated in Amos 3:7, “GOD still today does nothing unless He first speaks through His servants the prophets.”
Also, as the Apostle Paul admonishes us, in 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22:
“Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”
So with the above Scriptures in mind, please listen to this prophetic word from the Lord, on this upcoming 2020 election:
The issues at hand are light against darkness issues, good against evil (see Isaiah 5:20); as the Bible instructs us, that our fight is NOT against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (see Ephesians 6:12).
These demonic spiritual powers of darkness and wickedness have, over the years, crept in and have established themselves as seats of power and strongholds, within our nation; as Christians have abdicated their GOD given position, as His occupational force in the Earth, to push back against these forces of evil.
This is done through our preaching of the Gospel’s message, which is GOD’s offer of forgiveness and reconciliation, which is being extended to all of the Earth’s inhabitants, and has been bought and paid for through the salvific and propitious work of Jesus Christ, on our behalf, on Calvary’s cross.
Our mission today is to occupy and exercise GOD’s dominion and righteousness, in the Earth, until He returns.
Luke 19:11-13 11 And as they heard these things, he (Jesus) added and spoke a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, OCCUPY (and carry on business in the Earth) until I come. ———
As Watchmen on the Wall intercessors, as per Jesus’ instructions, we are to both WATCH and PRAY!
As Gideon’s 300, we are to keep our eyes on the horizon, watching to see what the enemy is doing; and as the Apostle Paul instructed us, in 2 Corinthians 2:11, “Lest Satan should get an unfair advantage over us, let us not be ignorant of his devices (speaking of the enemy’s strategies and modus operandi).
As we learn God’s rules of engagement in spiritual warfare, this is the kind of mindset we need to have and maintain, that pushes back against these forces of evil.
It’s with our persistent prayers, in Earth, that lines up with GOD’s will in heaven, that the forces of evil in the earth will be overturned.
This is where the battle starts, on our knees, as we learn (as per 2 Chronicles 7:14) to humble ourselves and to pray, seeking God’s face and turning from our wicked ways.
We have to each stand transparent before our GOD, who sees all and knows all anyway, and repent – which means to change the way we think.
This is what I believe God is saying to us today, here in America, as we focus upon and learn the mind and will of GOD:
Isaiah 58:1-14 The Voice (VOICE)
1 Eternal One: Tell My people about their wrongdoing; shout with a voice like a trumpet; Hold nothing back: say this people of Jacob’s line and heritage have failed to do what is right.
2 And yet they look for Me every day. They pretend to want to learn what I teach, As if they are indeed a nation good and true, as if they hadn’t really turned their backs on My directives.
They even ask Me, as though they care, about what I want them to be and do, as if they really want Me in their lives.
3 People: Why didn’t You notice how diligently we fasted before You? We humbled ourselves with pious practices and You paid no attention.
Eternal One: I have to tell you, on those fasting days, all you were really seeking was your own pleasure;
Besides you were busy defrauding people and abusing your workers.
4 Your kind of fasting is pointless, for it only leads to bitter quarrels, contentious backbiting, and vicious fighting.You are not fasting today because you want Me to hear your voice.
5 What kind of a fast do I choose?
Is a true fast simply some religious exercise for making a person feel miserable and woeful?Is it about how you bow your head (like a bent reed), how you dress (in sackcloth), and where you sit (in a bed of ashes)? Is this what you call a fast, a day the Eternal One finds good and proper?
6 No, what I want in a fast is this: to liberate those tied down and held back by injustice, to lighten the load of those heavily burdened, to free the oppressed and shatter every type of oppression.
7 A fast for Me involves sharing your food with people who have none, giving those who are homeless a space in your home, Giving clothes to those who need them, and not neglecting your own family.
8 Then, oh then, your light will break out like the warm, golden rays of a rising sun; in an instant, you will be healed.
Your rightness will precede and protect you; the glory of the Eternal will follow and defend you.
9 Then when you do call out, “My God, Where are You?”The Eternal One will answer, “I am here, I am here.”
If you remove the yoke of oppression from the downtrodden among you, stop accusing others, and do away with mean and inflammatory speech,
10 If you make sure that the hungry and oppressed have all that they need, then your light will shine in the darkness, And even your bleakest moments will be bright as a clear day.
11 The Eternal One will never leave you; He will lead you in the way that you should go.
When you feel dried up and worthless, God will nourish you and give you strength.
And you will grow like a garden lovingly tended; you will be like a spring whose water never runs out.
12 You will discover there are people among your own who can rebuild this broken-down city out of the ancient ruins;
You will firm up its ancient foundations. And all around, others will call you “Repairer of Broken Down Walls” and “Rebuilder of Livable Streets.”
13 Eternal One: If because of the Sabbath you set aside your own pursuits and pleasure, and you honor the Sabbath and sanctify that day by leaving it to and for the Eternal—If you speak of Sabbath-delight but avoid speaking idle words, and refuse to get caught up and busy with your interests and concerns—
14 Then you will discover joy such as only the Eternal can give. And I will raise you high and make your reach as wide as the earth,And you will live on all that I promised to Jacob, your ancestor, the heart of Israel.
GOD’s rules of engagement requires that we learn to fight our battles His way…
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing EVERY thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
The battle will be won or loss first in your mind, with regard to your attitude.
The fear you sense may be real, in your circumstances, but the point is you NEVER let your fear control you.
We must learn to face our fears and conquer them, in the power of Christ.
The Word tells us that, “GOD has not given us a spirit of fear, but of POWER, of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND” (2 Timothy 1:7).
We have to put our spiritual armor on every day, in preparation for the battle ahead. ———
Ephesians 6:10-18 The Voice (VOICE)
10 Finally, brothers and sisters, draw your strength and might from God. 11 Put on the full armor of God to protect yourselves from the devil and his evil schemes.
12 We’re not waging war against enemies of flesh and blood alone. No, this fight is against tyrants, against authorities, against supernatural powers and demon princes that slither in the darkness of this world, and against wicked spiritual armies that lurk about in heavenly places.
13 And this is why you need to be head-to-toe in the full armor of God: so you can resist during these evil days and be fully prepared to hold your ground.
14 Yes, stand—truth banded around your waist, righteousness as your chest plate,
15 and feet protected in preparation to proclaim the good news of peace.
16 Don’t forget to raise the shield of faith above all else, so you will be able to extinguish flaming spears hurled at you from the wicked one.
17 Take also the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
[Paul knows that the real battles and dangers we face are not against flesh and blood. The enemies we see are real enough, but they are animated by spiritual forces of darkness that stay strategically hidden from view. These powers often reveal themselves in institutional evils—genocide, terror, tyranny, and oppression—but the weapons needed to combat them are not earthly weapons at all. What is needed, Paul advises, is to stand firm in God’s power and to suit up in the full armor of God. Although the devil and his demon armies are destined for destruction, they are serious threats now and must be resisted and beaten back. For Paul, the best offensive weapons we have are the word of God and prayer]
18 Pray always. PRAY IN THE SPIRIT. Pray about everything in every way you know how! And keeping all this in mind, pray on behalf of God’s people. Keep on praying feverishly, and be on the lookout until evil has been stayed. ———
The Helmet of Salvation and the Shield of Faith are important because the battle begins in our minds, which necessitates our holding up our Shield of Faith, in order to block the fiery darts the enemy is sending, that are aimed at our mind.
The way we overcome is through the adjustment of our thinking (Not letting our fears control us), but rather we prepare for the battle ahead through REPENTANCE (Greek: Metanoia, which literally means to change the way you think) and the changing of our attitude, as we focus on the reliability and trustworthiness of both GOD and His Word.
Our feet being shod with the Gospel of Peace is important because we must always keep our center of gravity underneath us, during the battle, as the fiery darts from the enemy are intended to keep us off balance.
The time to put our armor on is at the start of each day, in the wee hours of the morning, before our day begins; and then to maintain that connection and communication with God throughout our day. ———
October 15, 2020 Worthy Brief
FIGHTING TAKES TRAINING!
1 Chronicles 12:2 “Armed with bows, using both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows with the bow. They were of Benjamin, Saul’s brethren”
Hebrews 11:33-34 “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”
As we continue our study of the men who followed David, another characteristic was their ability to war.
They learned how to battle with both the right hand and the left hand for hurling stones.
If you have ever thrown a ball, you know that you can aim effectively with your dominant hand — but try it with the opposite hand — it’s far more difficult to throw accurately.
But the men that followed David learned to throw with both arms effectively! It must have taken months of training to develop such skill.
We also learn to war, not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. And we too must train to use our spiritual weapons, and to use them accurately.
The word of God is a sharp sword when used with skill and spiritual authority, and the right scripture for a situation can bring tremendous healing and deliverance; but we must know the word and walk in the spirit to be able to use it in warfare.
Furthermore, every serious intercessor knows he must learn to concentrate his mind and will intently for battling in prayer.
For his aim to be accurate and penetrating he must overcome the tendency to wander in his thoughts and lose focus on the issue at hand.
To be effective warriors we need to train our minds and wills to concentrate so that our prayers become like lasers for breaking through in the spirit.
In this day and age, Yeshua (Jesus) is calling us to spiritual battle, and our training is critical for success and victory.
We must know the word and use it skillfully, and we must learn to concentrate in prayer for the spiritual objectives to which we are called.
The Lord will equip us as we ask and seek Him for it, and do our homework. Let’s be inspired by David’s mighty men, training diligently to take aim in our battle with the powers of darkness!
Your family in the Lord with much agape love,
George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah St. Augustine, Florida ———
Each day GOD both precedes and follows all of His covenant children…
Psalm 139:3-6 The Message (MSG)
A David Psalm 1-6 God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.
I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too— your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful— I can’t take it all in! ———
Oct 2, 2020 Quiet, Confident Expectation In Prayer by Graham Cooke
You have a divine advantage as a new creation in Christ. Your lifestyle of prayer in the New Man is one of quiet, confident expectation.
God knows your story from beginning to end, meaning He has been to all your tomorrows.
As you are traveling and learning, your advantage is you are traveling with Someone who has already been before you.
Not only that, but He is also IN you.
He has prepared EVERYTHING you need and He’s 100% dedicated to helping you find it.
In this context, prayer becomes an incredibly relational place where you abide, listen and receive the provision God has already made for you.
You can approach Him in every circumstance ready to encounter another aspect of His true nature.
There is a confidence that you carry that no matter what you see, God can be Someone for you in that moment that you’ve not yet experienced. ———
Let us NOT ignore God’s presence in our life, because if that’s what we’re doing we do so at our own peril.
Matthew 11:25-30 The Message (MSG)
25-26 Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer:
“Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You’ve concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that’s the way you like to work.”
27 Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly.
“The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge.
No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does.
But I’m not keeping it to myself; I’m ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen.
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?
Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” ———
Let us learn to cooperate, each day, with the Holy Spirit – trusting in Him with all our heart and not leaning on our own understanding – and then when we go out into our day we acknowledge Him in ALL of our ways, by faith, and His promise is that He is then directing our steps (Prov 3:5-6).
In every area, let us follow the example Jesus gave us, in the Bible, in how to conduct GOD’s ministry in the earth and how to live our lives…
Jesus’ disciples ask Him, “who is the greatest in the kingdom?”
The greatest person in the kingdom will of course be Jesus.
After that, ranking the greatest is full of surprises.
Matthew 18:1–5 records, “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’
[Jesus] called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me’” (see also Mark 9:35–37; Luke 9:46–48).
What are God’s priorities regarding His church?
Jesus speakings to Peter, after Peter had denied him three times:
“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’
Peter said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs’.
He said to him a second time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’
Peter said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ He said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’
Jesus said to Peter the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’
Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’
Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep’” — John 21:15-17 ———
GOD’s priority and instructions to the elders of the church, is NOT for them to become a CEO of a 501(c)3 corporation (who have, under the articles of their incorporation, made themselves the servant of the state), but rather it is to be a servant unto GOD’s people:
1 Peter 5:1-11 The Voice (VOICE)
1 Now for the elders of the church. I want to encourage you. As you know, I am an elder, too, like you.
I have witnessed firsthand the sufferings of the Anointed One as well as shared in the glories which are soon to be revealed.
2 When you shepherd the flock God has given you, watch over them not because you have to but because you want to.
For this is how God would want it not because you’re being compensated somehow but because you are eager to watch over them.
3 Don’t lead them as if you were a dictator, but lead your flock by example; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will be crowned with honor that will shine brightly forever.
5 You who are younger in the faith: do as your elders and leaders ask. All of you should treat each other with humility, for as it says in Proverbs,
God opposes the proud but offers grace to the humble.
6 So bow down under God’s strong hand; then when the time comes, God will lift you up. 7 Since God cares for you, let Him carry all your burdens and worries.
[NOTE: Humility is rarely a virtue that our culture values.
We’re trained from an early age to show our strengths and hide our weaknesses.
This type of thinking also spills over into our models of leadership, as we learn to dictate to others how they should perform.
Peter, however, says that we should be humble in our relationships with one another and not lead as dictators.
In fact, this humility before one another and God is actually the position of the greatest strength.
Our enemy desires to consume us, but we find strength to resist him when we are dependent upon God for His strength.]
8 Most importantly, be disciplined and stay on guard. Your enemy the devil is prowling around outside like a roaring lion, just waiting and hoping for the chance to devour someone.
9 Resist him and be strong in your faith, knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are fellow sufferers with you.
10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of grace who has called you [to His everlasting presence] through Jesus the Anointed will restore you, support you, strengthen you, and ground you. 11 For all power belongs to God, now and forever. Amen. ———
Learning to live GOD’s way (in recognition that following Jesus is the way – see John 14:6), means trusting in Him with ALL our heart and NOT leaning on our own understanding (Prov 3:5-6).
Sept 21 The Spirit Filled Believer
LET DOWN THE NET by Dick Mills
“Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” — Luke 5:5
Here is a rhema promise for everyone who has read the manual, followed all the rules and still not attained the desired results.
One leader complained, “I went to a church growth seminar. While I was away some of the folks in the church got discouraged and quit.
When I got back home from learning how to help the church grow, I had fewer people than when I went away. I must be doing something wrong.”
If anyone knew how to fish, it was Peter.
Prior to meeting Jesus, Peter had been a professional fisherman. He knew about fish. He knew their feeding habits, when and where to go looking for them, and how to catch them.
Peter had fished right the evening before. He knew that the fish fed at night up close to the shore, so that’s where he fished for them.
Yet he had caught nothing. Then along comes Jesus, a carpenter, who tells him to do two things, both contrary to all the rules of good fishing practice.
First, He asks him to fish at the brightest time of the day. (Any lake fisherman knows that when the sun is on the water, the fish all go to the bottom of the lake.)
Secondly, Jesus asks Peter to reverse his direction and fish out in the center of the lake rather than along the shore.
Peter knew the habits of fish. But he also knew the power of Jesus’ Word.
His response to these seemingly contradictory directions was, “Master, we have done it right, but have had no results.
However, at Your rhema (Word), we will try it again Your way.”
The Lord’s way worked! His way and His Word will work for us, too!
[Source: The Spirit-Filled Believer’s Daily Devotional by Dick Mills] ———
Learning to live by faith is all about taking a risk and jumping into the deep end of the pool; or to put it another way, it means leaving those safe harbors behind and casting your faith out into the deep, because that is where Jesus is.