The paradoxes of life, our objectives, verses God’s… His ways are not ours!

God’s ways are not our ways!

We quickly will learn, from our study of the Bible that God doesn’t ask anything of us, that He does not also require of Himself, as we can learn from Abraham, and also the life of Jesus.

As the Bible says of Jesus, that He learned obedience through the things he suffered. (Heb 5:8)

In the above picture, what is being portrayed by the artist is a scene taken from Genesis 22, where Abraham was asked to give his only son.

Likewise, God was not asking Abraham to give nothing that God was not also willing to give himself, when His son would later be sacrificed on that same hill and was not it the love of us God that gave us his only begotten Son?

We know the end of the story, we know about the angel appearing, we know about the lamb, the ram caught by a “crown of thorns” in the thorn bush.

We see its Christological significance that prefigures the Lamb who would come and take away the sins of the World. But the story of Abraham is monstrous, who could think of such a thing… it should revolt us. It is inhuman, and it demonstrates nothing about what we understand about love… and yet this is what God required of Abraham, as a test.

Truly, God’s ways are not our ways, as God to our natural mind is incomprehensible, and we cannot understand him, except as we turn to God’s Word, and to the Spirit. Selah

God’s objectives and priorities are very different than ours!

We all too often are looking for comfort and ease for our flesh; and God is trying to kill our flesh; we are looking to coddle our soul, but God is trying to get us to cooperate and work together, with our Spirit man, to train our soul!

We’re trying to find comfort and ease in this life; while God is trying to prepare us for the next life, for an eternity that is to be spent with Him and also for our ministry and calling while still in this life!

All too often we are looking for a vacation kind of life, that is devoid of problems; and here God is always trying to prepare us for war; and yet at the same time, instill in us enough confidence and faith, to where we can maintain our joy and peace inside, regardless of what troubles us from the outside.

We have but to look to scripture as our example of these truths; because that has been the pattern all along, even among the Saints of old; where they too often were put into situations where the temptation was to make this world their home; but God was testing them, to see if they would willing forsake this world, and live only for Him?

Until we can be of this same mind that was in Christ then our efforts are as kicking against the goads, so to speak; and the reason why we are finding our life so hard is because we are moving contrary to the flow of the Spirit.

The answer is to repent, meaning change the way we think, and then turn around!

To do otherwise means that we are impeding our progress, and not aiding it at all; and we are also impeding our spiritual growth too… for does not the Bible say:

3 John 1:2

2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. Selah

Shalom,

Skip Barland

From: Express Email Marketing [mailto:mailer_response@emailcounts.com]

On Behalf Of Two Listeners
Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2010 2:04 AM
To: theskipper@cox.net
Subject: GC – June 8 – The Only Way

God Calling
The Only Way

Down through the ages My Power alone has kept millions of souls brave and true and strong, who else would have fallen by the way.

The Faith has been kept alive and handed down, not by the dwellers in ease, but by those who struggled and suffered and died for Me.

This life is not for the body, it is for the soul, and man too often chooses the way of life that best suits the body. Not the way that best suits the soul. And I permit only what best suits the soul.

Accept this and a wonderful molding is the result, reject it and My Purpose is frustrated, your best prayer unanswered, progress (Spiritual progress) delayed, trouble and grief stored up.

Try, each of you, to picture your soul as a third being trained by us – by you, and Me – and then you will share, and rejoice in sharing, in the discipline and training.

Stand apart from your soul with Me and welcome training – rejoice at progress.

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of your Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Signs, Wonders, and the Miraculous are happening today…


Above is an incredible picture that was taken of Bruce Allen while ministering; and when the photo was taken, Bruce was being translated.

(Notice the luminous cloud on the upper right corner)

Sid Roth – It’s Supernatural Messianic Vision: Bruce Allen

(Click on the above link to view entire program)

The miraculous and supernatural signs and wonders are ramping up in these days; for even as the Bible promises, when the enemy comes in as a flood, the Lord raises up a standard against him!

Now I know, before I even get started, that there will be a certain portion of you who will say that this picture has been photo shopped, and will right off the bat respond in unbelief.

To those people, I can only suggest that you look to the Word of God, where God says that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

The miraculous signs and wonders have never ceased, folks, not in our time, nor in any other time… not since the Day of Pentecost!

What has ceased, however, is the faith of the church, and Believers within the church, to believe and expect the miraculous and supernatural; and consequently doubt and unbelief have dominated the church, at least it has here in the West.

Not so in the Third World countries however, where miraculous and supernatural manifestations have become a normal part of ministry there for quite some time.

I know personally that this is happening, after having met a man, in my trip to Phenom Phen, Cambodia a few years ago, who had been raised from the dead, after having been dead for more than 12 hours.

I have a friend, named Dave, who was ministering in India a few years back, and the first person he prayed for had no eye balls; and God did a creative miracle right there, and put eyes balls in his eye sockets.

The question arises, why are these signs and wonders not more commonplace here in the West?

For my part, I think it is for the same reason that the Bible records that Jesus could not do very much, in the way of miracles, in His own home town, among his own people, and the reason that was given was because of their unbelief.

It is after all Jesus, Himself, who promises us that ALL things are possible, if only we can believe.

Based on that one promise alone, I would say that the only limitation we have, for us to appropriate more of the supernatural in our own daily life, is found in our tendency to put God in our religious boxes, where we aren’t really expecting or believing for God to manifest the supernatural.

This is not just for the few to experience; but this is for all of God’s children.

However, it won’t happen in an atmosphere where the Holy Spirit is not given free rein; and where people are fearful of what they don’t know, or understand.

Know this, God will not override the pastor, and whatever ceiling your pastor has established for his level of belief in these areas, will also be your ceiling too!!! Selah

These supernatural manifestations are to be used as a tool to witness and evangelize; and I believe it will happen as we press in towards more face time and intimacy with God, as per 2nd Chronicles 7:14.

We need this more than ever, folks, and our country needs it.

The Holy Spirit was sent, as the POWER of God, to unite the church; to teach us and lead us into all truth; and also to convict the world of their need for a Saviour.

The enemy, however, has made it a subject of controversy and division, which in and of itself should tell you something, about how important all of this is.

Once again, I want to say that the only limitation we have is between our own two ears!

I don’t know about you, but I’m thirsty for more of this myself, in my own life… and I’m pressing in! How about you?

Come with us, and join in on the adventure… won’t you?

Shalom,

Skip Barland

Come join the adventure…

This is God’s law, and it applies equally to all!

If you are born only once, of water in natural physical child-birth, then you will of necessity die twice.

Now you may be asking yourself, what exactly is this “second death?”

Well, we find this term “Second Death” used four times in the Bible, it is mentioned in Rev 2:11, Rev 20:6, in Rev. 14, and Rev. 21:8; and in each incident we are taught that this “Second Death” means permanent separation from God!

So according to God’s requirement, if you are born twice, where your second birth is a re-birth into the spiritual realm, then your only death will be of your physical body, which will return to the dust, from which it came.

Your Spirit Man, however, that part of us which is already dead (due to our estrangement and separation from God), will now be made alive, as God gives to each of us a new heart (spirit), as the result of our New Birth experience.

It is this Spirit Man that has been created in the image and likeness of God, and  our rebirth is what reunites us with the family of God, for all eternity.

This is what the Bible teaches, and what’s more, this is also the Good News of the Gospel.

It’s not even a matter of God weighing our good deeds in life, against our bad deeds.

The only means of obtaining this second birth, and eternal life, is not through any personal effort, on our part at all; and nor is it through any self worthiness, or holiness either.

In fact, the Bible teaches us that it is not by any works which we do, at all… it is a free gift.

In fact, the Bible tells us that all our human effort to qualify ourselves, no matter how sincerely motivated it is, it will only result in our failure to qualify; because God’s standard and requirement for entry into Heaven is perfection… and there is only one life that was perfect!

Our only access into heaven can be had only one way, and that is through our acceptance and faith in the propitiatory life, death, and resurrection of the Saviour of the World, Jesus Christ. Who is the Passover Lamb that was slain for the sins of the world!

Truly God is an Equal Opportunity God, who has made this free gift of salvation and reconciliation available equally to all men; but only those who have appropriated it, the way God has prescribed, can receive it.

The fact is, even though this awesome gift has been purchased and paid for in full, through the death and resurrection of God’s only begotten Son; and even though it comes free to us by grace, it did not come cheap, and the price necessary to make it possible cost God His all!

That’s why the Bible says for us to count the cost ourselves; because the cost to us will also be our all, in the total and absolute commitment of our free will, and our life for one purpose!

By that I mean, don’t just light-heartedly sign up for something, unless you know what you are committing yourself to; and are willing to commit yourself all the way!

Our 100% commitment is what God requires, and it’s not based on performance either, but only on our sincere effort and faith; and also by our not quitting.

Jesus paid the price in full, which guarantees our acceptance; but we have to appropriate this gift by faith; and that can only happen as we love the Lord with all our heart, mind, and strength; and then are willing to forego ALL of our perceived rights to ourself, to live our life as we please; and are rather willing to commit ourself, with our entire mind, body, and soul, for one purpose… and that is to God’s service.

So make no mistake; Jesus cannot be our Savior, unless He is also first our Lord! Selah

So come join in the adventure… won’t you?

But first, let me invite those of you who have yet to make this decision, and are still wondering if it is necessary… to take a little test.

Click here:
http://needgod.com/004.shtml

Check out your Bible for more detailed instructions.

Shalom,

Skip Barland


How do you see God?

Jesus said: “I am the door!

John 10:7-18(The Message)

6-10 Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. “I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them.

I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture.

A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.

11-13″I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary.

A hired man is not a real shepherd. The sheep mean nothing to him. He sees a wolf come and runs for it, leaving the sheep to be ravaged and scattered by the wolf. He’s only in it for the money. The sheep don’t matter to him.

14-18″I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me.

In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary.

You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them, too.

They’ll also recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd. This is why the Father loves me: because I freely lay down my life. And so I am free to take it up again.

No one takes it from me. I lay it down of my own free will. I have the right to lay it down; I also have the right to take it up again. I received this authority personally from my Father.”

How do you see God?

For some God is a mean old bearded ogre, always looking to pounce on them when they do wrong; and yet for others he is but the creation of their own mind, and nothing more than a straw image of what they have imagined him to be.

But for the Christian, God can only truly be known through the person of Jesus Christ, and the knowledge of His Word, the Holy Bible.

There is truly no other way to truly know who God is, other than to listen to Him; spend time with Him; and to read and meditate upon His Word.

If you don’t do this, and if you are taking one of these other avenues, then you are leaving yourself open to deception.

The Bible clearly says that God is not the author of confusion; but I can tell you who is.

His name is Satan, Lucifer, the Devil; and by whatever name you know him, his one goal, as illustrated numerous times in the Bible, is to cloud the truth, and to keep you from seeing Jesus.

I see it like this, you’re sitting in a restaurant, and someone comes in with an announcement, saying to all in the room—kind of like what a stewardess on a plane does before takeoff—announcing where the EXIT is, and what to do in the event of an emergency.

The warning is given for all to hear that there is ONLY one EXIT, only one Door, or way of escape!

However, as happens in life, most are not paying attention, but are involved in conversation, or with other things, and they could care less. After all, there’s no evidence of anything being wrong; there’s no smoke or fire… not even the hint of it.

Then comes in this other man, in a red suit, and he announces to those in the room, “No, there are other exits that are just as good, and not just one; and so there will be a certain portion of the people who will believe him; but most still having seen no evidence of an emergency, and having seen no smoke nor fire, they are still oblivious to any danger, and could care less… there much too busy involved with, and enjoying life!

There are only a few in the room who know there is an emergency coming, they have been warned, and they believe the warning. These people are already headed towards the first Door; and so they warn everyone they can, whosoever will give heed and pay attention.

For some, they have already taken one of the other false exits (which is only a dead end); and for most of the others, they still are too busy with other things to pay attention, or to care.

Folks, as I see it, this is the situation we have today in the world; and consequently, just as the Bible says, the road to life is narrow, and few there be that find it; but the road to destruction is wide, and many there be, who are on that path.

Salvation has to do with our eternal destiny, and it is much too important a subject, and God loves His estranged children much too much to leave the path to salvation open to mere opinion, feelings, or false doctrine.

There are so many who because they have been raised in a certain denomination, and have been taught certain things, they have laid their entire eternal destiny on what they have been lead to believe, without ever having checked out the contract (covenant) for themselves, which is the Holy Bible, to see if it is true or not. Instead they have trusted what someone else has told them, and because of that oversight, their ignorance, their mistake… they are in for a huge disappointment.

We will each be held accountable in the end, and whereas, opinions are something everyone has, it won’t be your opinion that gets you into heaven.

The Bible says clearly that entry into Heaven is only given to those who have been born-again, as Jesus explained to Nicodemus, in John chapter 3. And even as the message above states, Jesus is the ONLY door, and all the others, who have come before, have been thieves and robbers.

Don’t you make that mistake, that most of the world is making, by ignoring your only salvation; or by thinking you are okay because you have a denominational name over you, and are thinking your label will get you in… because it won’t! Jesus made it crystal clear that… ONLY THOSE WHO ARE BORN-AGAIN GET IN! Selah

Now for those who have elected Jesus as their only door, for those people, all the promises of God are yea and amen… as the Bible says!

They know God not only as their Heavenly Father, and their Saviour; but also He is their provider, healer, and loving friend and companion.

This message below is directed only at the born-again Believers; but the invitation is still open to ALL, whosoever will, to enter into that relationship, by only that one Door; and begin your relationship with God, through faith in Jesus Christ alone!

The Bible says that whosoever calls upon that Name, the name of Jesus, shall be saved… and so my advice to you is, don’t leave home without Him!

Shalom,

Skip Barland

From: Express Email Marketing [mailto:mailer_response@emailcounts.com] On Behalf Of Two Listeners
Sent: Sunday, June 06, 2010 2:04 AM
To: theskipper@cox.net
Subject: GC – June 6 – How Men See Me

God Calling

How Men See Me

I came to help a world. And according to the varying needs of each so does each man see Me.

It is not necessary that you see Me as others see Me – the world, even the Church, My disciples, My followers, but it is necessary that you see Me, each of you, as supplying all that you personally need.

The weak need My Strength. The strong need My Tenderness. The tempted and fallen need My Salvation. The righteous need My Pity for sinners. The lonely need a Friend. The fighters need a Leader.

No man could be all these to men – only a God could be. In each of these relations of Mine to man you must see the God. The God-Friend, the God-Leader, the God-Savior.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:29

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:29


www.twolisteners.orgHave you seen the free classic Christian books
on the Two Listeners site?

Contact by email: servant@twolisteners.com


Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling, 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 1:24-25

Come let us reason together… saith the Lord!


Come let us reason together!

Listen to the word of the Lord:
“…Don’t you think I’ve had my fill of burnt sacrifices, rams and plump grain-fed calves?

Don’t you think I’ve had my fill of blood from bulls, lambs, and goats?
When you come before me, whoever gave you the idea of acting like this, running here and there, doing this and that— all this sheer commotion in the place provided for worship?

Quit your worship charades. I can’t stand your trivial religious games:
Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings— meetings, meetings, meetings—I can’t stand one more!

Meetings for this, meetings for that. I hate them! You’ve worn me out! I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion, while you go right on sinning.

When you put on your next prayer-performance, I’ll be looking the other way. No matter how long or loud or often you pray, I’ll not be listening.

And do you know why? Because you’ve been tearing people to pieces, and your hands are bloody. Go home and wash up. Clean up your act. Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings so I don’t have to look at them any longer.

Say no to wrong.
Learn to do good.
Work for justice.
Help the down-and-out.
Stand up for the homeless.
Go to bat for the defenseless.

Let’s Argue This Out…

Come. Sit down. Let’s argue this out.” This is God’s Message:

“If your sins are blood-red,
they’ll be snow-white.
If they’re red like crimson,
they’ll be like wool.
If you’ll willingly obey,
you’ll feast like kings.
But if you’re willful and stubborn,
you’ll die like dogs.”
That’s right. God says so.

~Isaiah 1:11-20 (The Message)

The battleground we fight in everyday is so in our minds… have you noticed that?

Our time and energy is spent, I would say at least 90% worrying and fretting over something we fear will happen tomorrow. When the truth is, I would say, that at least 90+ percent of those things we fret over, never come to pass… and so we end up wasting a lot of time and energy on nothing!

God’s solution is given partly in the above verses of scripture, and also in what this prophetic devotional message is saying below.

Here’s the deal, and this is what God is trying to tell us:

Ephesians 2:4-7

He Tore Down the Wall

1-6It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live.

You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat.

It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ.

He did all this on his own, with no help from us!

Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.

7-10Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus.

Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it.

It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing!

No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving.

He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. (The Message Bible)

You see, the reason we are so frustrated at times, with our life, is because we were never placed here to serve ourselves, we were given life, and placed in this earth for one reason… and that is to serve God!

All the battles and all the hassles in life, all the resistance and agonizing struggles we face, which are so common to us all, are there for one reason, and that is because we have been estranged from our Source of Life, our Creator, because of SIN (a word in Greek which means “having missed the mark”).

The Bible is God’s love letter to His lost children, that explains the road home; and in the New Testament, we are given a new covenant, that is a message of GOOD NEWS; and that good news says that there’s a new King coming to town, and a new kingdom is being established.

The rule and rein of that new Kingdom begins when we are born-again; and it is established in our minds, and in our attitude by faith; for truly, as the scripture says, we are NOW seated in heavenly places, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus even touched on this in His discourse with Nicodemus:

John 3:11-13

11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is,
the Son of Man who IS in heaven
.

Now how is it possible, that Jesus, who is speaking to Nicodemus on terra firma, with His feet planted on the earth, how is it that he simultaneously can also be in heaven?

Well the Bible says the same thing about us, that we are also seated with Jesus, in heavenly places, at the right hand of the Father.

These truths are hard to grasp in the natural, with the limitations of our natural mind, and that’s why we must learn to appropriate much of our inheritance by faith, and let the Holy Spirit reveal God’s rhema truths to us.

All of this, of which I speak is very real folks, and it is the reality that we now have available to us in Christ, but it is not automatic that we enter in, we must lay hold of these truths by faith, and we must follow teh instructions given us in the Manual (The Holy Bible).

We must learn to live our lives, not relying on our own understanding, but trusting in God with all our heart, mind, and strength. Selah

So enter in today, won’t you, enjoy the adventure… and have a wonderful day!

Shalom,

Skip Barland


From: FullnessOnLine [mailto:fcm@fullnessonline.ccsend.com] On Behalf Of FullnessOnLine
Sent: Saturday, June 05, 2010 4:03 AM
To: theskipper@cox.net
Subject: What The Lord Is Saying Today


June 5, 2010. This is the time to ascend to heavenly places, thinking heavenly thoughts, speaking heavenly words and doing heavenly deeds.

esus has raised us from the dead and seated us at His right hand in heavenly places.  We rule and reign in life from that elevated and glorified position with God our Father, at Jesus’ right hand.

Let your thoughts be only heavenly thoughts.  May your mind dwell there on all the riches therein.  Riches in health, wealth, marriage and family and so much more are your rightful inheritance.

Keep your confession positive and filled with the hope of eternity.  From your position at the right hand of Jesus, create your own world for yourself, family, friends and neighbors.  Ascend.

Ephesians 1:20-21 (KJV)  “Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.”

Ras Robinson

June 5, 2010. You feel isolated.  Ask yourself to trace back to the root when this was planted.  It is a small incident which caused you to choose drawing away.

It seemed like a large thing at the time, but in the measure of the events of your life it is very small.  It is time to reassess your decision and time to rejoin My work going on among others.

You have been missed.  Forgive all involved.  It is a pit not to forgive.  Unforgiveness will rob you of many blessings.  Forgiveness starts with a choice.  I have such good plans for you.  I love you and don’t want you to miss My blessings.


Galatians 6:7-10  “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.  For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life  Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” Bev Robinson\

– Ras Robinson, President – Bev Robinson, Vice President

– Kathryn Bohlin, Director, Philippine Missions
Website: http://www.fullnessonline.org
Email:
info@fullnessnetwork.net
Ras’ Facebook & Twitter address: ras65a

Mailing Address:
Fullness in Christ Ministries, P. O. Box 136117, Fort Worth, TX 76136


What does it mean to be a Christian?


What does it mean to be a Christian?

Listen to these Words of Jesus:

John 14:23-24

23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

John 15:9-17

9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.

I’ve included another excellent devotional message, by David Wilkerson (see below), about the Love of the Father.

However before you read it, I want to make the following point.

There are a good many people today, who are good intentioned and religious people, who have been raised in a denominational atmosphere, Protestant or Catholic, it makes no difference, where they have been taught that being a Christian is synonymous with being a member of their particular denomination.

I know this to be true, because I was once such person myself at one time.

In the denomination that I was raised in, in my youth, I was baptized as an infant; and I received my First Communion at age 13. After which, I stopped attending church.

To me, with my understanding of what Christianity was, according to the way I had been taught, or at least led to believe, I had fulfilled the necessary requirements; howbeit, I never once was told I should read a Bible; and nor had I ever heard the terminology being “Born-again,” or “Being Saved.” In all my time in Sunday School, all that I heard were stories from the Bible, that happened over 2000 years ago, that I couldn’t relate to; and I was taught the church dogma of the denomination I belonged to.

The fact was however, I only knew about Jesus Christ much as I knew about Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, or any other figure of history, that I had been taught about in school; but I never actually knew these people personally. How could I, they were all dead.

Nor had I ever had any sort of relationship with them either; and such was my faith in God, and in Jesus Christ. It was all filtered through what I had been taught in my particular denomination; and my own personally opinions and beliefs.

However as we read the above two scriptures, and learn what Jesus has to say on this very important subject, it quickly becomes very obvious, that He has a very different definition of what it means to be a Christian, or follower of Christ.

My point is, are we going to base what it means to be a Christian on Church doctrine, or on Scripture, on what the Bible says; or worse, are we going to merely base our whole eternal future on personal opinions and beliefs, on how we feel?

Entry into eternity, in to God’s presence happens (according to what the Bible says) only one way, and that is through Jesus Christ!

Listen to this conversation which Jesus had with Nicodemus:

John 3:1-21; 36

The New Birth

1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”


3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can
a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?
5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?

10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?

11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.

12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.[a]
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but[b] have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

36He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Let us not stop there, but also check what Jesus had to say here:

Luke 6:43-49

The Tree and Its Fruit

43A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 44 A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. 45 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”

Building on a Solid Foundation

46So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?
47 I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. 48 It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. 49 But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins
.

What God is after from each of us is NOT a dating relationship, where we can come and go as we please and life is all about our doing our thing!

This is not Christianity as the Bible teaches it, and if you want to believe otherwise, and that you are going to go to heaven based on your opinions, or denominational beliefs, regardless of whether those opinions and beliefs agree with God’s Word, then you are sadly mistaken.

As evidence of the truth of what I am saying, listen to what Jesus says here:

Matthew 7:21-29

True Disciples

21Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.

22
On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.

Building on a Solid Foundation

24Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.

Are you starting to get the picture? As I understand these words, spoken by the Master, what most people call Christianity is leading them to a dead end and a the inevitability of spending an eternity without God!

I must say also, based upon testimonies and accounts that I have heard from people who have visited hell, I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy!

Listen to this account, that was given by Jesus himself, and see what I’m talking about:

Luke 16:19-31

Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus

19 Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. 20 At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. 21 As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.

22Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham.[a] The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and his soul went to the place of the dead.[b] There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.

24The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’

25But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’

27Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. 28 For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’

29But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’

30The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’

31But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even if someone rises from the dead.'”

Are you starting to get the picture yet?

Christianity is all about our having INTIMATE relationship with God, and our honoring, keeping, and obeying His Word (as found in the Holy Bible).

For those people out there who are of the mistaken opinion that they are alright with God merely because they have an opinion or belief system that you have developed, or that was taught you in your particular denomination, unless that belief system agrees with what Jesus has already laid out in the Scriptures, then they are very sadly mistaken. Selah

For more information on how to get on God’s path, please check this website out: http://needhim.org/.

Now before I conclude, please allow me to leave you with these words of wisdom, taken from the Book of Proverbs:

Proverbs 14:12

12
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

JESUS CHRIST… DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT HIM!

Shalom,

Skip Barland


—–Original Message—–
From: DAVID WILKERSON TODAY [mailto:no-reply@lists.worldchallenge.org]
Sent: Friday, June 04, 2010 12:02 AM
To: devotions-en@lists.worldchallenge.org
Subject: THE LOVE OF THE FATHER

THE LOVE OF THE FATHER

by David Wilkerson | June 4, 2010

I wonder how many of God’s people today can sincerely cry out to our blessed Lord, “Glorify me with thyself! Bring me into oneness. I yearn to be closer, more intimate. Master, it is you that I want. More than signs or wonders, I must have your presence!

Hear his exalted plea: “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24).

The glory Jesus is talking about has to do with a very intimate kind of love—a love that permits no distance or separation from the object of its affection. It desires a complete oneness, an eternal union. This divine love between our Lord and the Father was so all-important to him, he eagerly longed for the day all his children could behold it with their own eyes.

Glory be to the hallowed name of Jesus Christ for such a glorious thought! Christ is so overjoyed with the glory of his intimate relationship with his Father, he yearns to bring all God’s children to heaven to behold it.

Actually, our Lord was praying, “Father, they must see this glorious love we have. They must see for themselves how fully you give yourself to me. I want them to know how greatly I am loved—from before the world was created.”

Won’t that be something when we, the redeemed, are brought into God’s great banquet hall, to the heavenly feast, and are permitted to behold the love of the Father for his dear Son and our blessed Savior?

I see on that glorious day our Lord’s prayer answered, when he looks to his blood-purchased children and joyfully proclaims, “See, children, is it not so? Did I not tell you the truth? Does he not love me so? Have you ever beheld such great love? Is it not truly perfect love? You now see my glory, my Father’s love for me and my love for him.”

Do you not see, saints of God, that beholding the glory of Christ on that day will be the revealing to us of God’s love for his Son? What a joy to know we serve a Savior who is loved. And is it not terrifying to contemplate that Lucifer cut himself off from such glory? He is without love. He has no father.

Surely, this was his greatest loss. It is the great loss of all Satan’s children, to exist without a witness or sense of a heavenly Father’s love. In contrast, God’s children are embraced in oneness with Jesus while still on earth. God loves us as he loves his own Son. This truth ought to make us come into rest.

http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/devotions/2010/love-of-the-father

We as Christians are all pilgrims, and we are on assignment…

As Christians, we are ALL but pilgrims, who are just

passing through, and this world is NOT our home!

We are here on a mission from God…

Matthew 28:19-20

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

There is another scripture that comes to mind, that tells us not to lose hope, because regardless of what we might feel, or think, given any given situation, be it trial, tribulation, or whatever, God’s has nevertheless given us His word never to leave us, nor forsake us:

Hebrews 13:5-6 (Amplified Bible)

5Let your [a]character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] [b]Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor [c]give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [d][I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor [e]let [you] down ([f]relax My hold on you)! [[g]Assuredly not!](A)

6So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?(B)

Below is another important message from Reinhard Bonnke, concerning our postion in Christ.

This information is imperative for each of us to understand, for as Christians, at least for those of us who have been around awhile, we have heard these scriptures since Sunday school, and we know them by heart; but that does not at all mean that we have experienced the reality of what these scriptures are saying; and it doesn’t at all mean that this truth has settled into our lives, in our hearts, to the point that we are walking in this truth 24/7, every single day that we live in this world.

The reason I know this to be true is because the moment we have any sort of difficulty, and the rug is pulled out from beneath us, the first thought most of us have, and the first words out of our mouth are, “God where are you?”

Well, as I recall those words where also the first words out of God’s mouth, as well, when Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit in the Garden.

Genesis 3:7-9

7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9
But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

One thing that becomes very evident to all of us, once we have spent some time with the Lord, after having spent time meditating and studying in His Word, and after having familiarized ourselves with His ways, and the way He thinks, all through the teaching of our Comforter and Friend, the Holy Spirit, is that life is ALL about our having relationship, communion, and our being one with God.

Without that added dimension being experienced and lived in each of our lives, then we are ALL like fish out of water, floundering on the beach of life!

Just in case you haven’t already notice, life being what it is, and human nature being what it is, God has a method and a reason for everything that He does, and nothing (including your life) is by accident, and nor is it without purpose!

Not only that, but we can learn from scripture that every detail of our life has long ago been choreographed, and predestined; and not a day goes by but God is not aware of where you are, and what you are going through.

Our problem is, we spend way too much time, and wasted energy, worrying and fretting over our life, and all because we are questioning whether or not God has left us, and whether our sins have separated us?

But this is the reason why we ALL need a Saviour, and it is also the reason why Jesus came to this earth, was born of a virgin, was crucified, died, and was buried, and on the third day He arose from the dead.

That one Life is the reason why we needn’t worry nor fret over anything in life, nor should we ever doubt our Father’s love, nor His presence in our life.

Listen to these words of Jesus:

Matthew 6:25-34

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?


28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

This is both the inheritance and the destiny of every single Believer, every child of God, of all those who love the Lord, and are called according to His purpose for their life… who have been born-again.

Herein lies the rub, however, this inheritance is already ours, and it has already been bought and paid for in full, by the Blood of Jesus; however, we must accept it and receive it by FAITH!

This thing called faith is the stumbling block for many of us, until we learn how to walk in it; and it is for that reason that our lives are fraught with so many trials and difficulties, because therein is our opportunity to lay hold of God’s promise, and appropriate those promises in our life; and apply them to our lives, and to our circumstances.

Even as happened with the three Hebrew children that we can read about in the Bible, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who when given the choice whether to compromise their faith and their relationship with God, or to face the fiery furnace, they chose the fiery furnace, and it wasn’t until they were in the furnace that they experience the fulfillment and manifestation of God’s promise, and were delivered… and so it is with us!

We must learn to live by faith! Selah

Shalom,

Skip Barland


Radiation Area


The presence of God is a radiation area, not a contaminating radiation, not radioactive, but resurrection-active, a life-building energy passing into us.

We are constantly in His presence, not just when we pray. He made that clear when He promised, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

It is not the full glory to come, but it is no ordinary presence even now.

Many a time, I am conscious of Jesus Christ close to me as I speak for Him in our Great Gospel Crusades. It has been as if I saw Him walk from the platform among the crowd wherever people were reaching out for Him.

He did and does wonders of salvation, restoration, and healing.


When our faith rises, we have a sense of His presence that no human contact can ever surpass.

A friend may be with us and even embrace us. But the presence of Christ means that He pours Himself towards us, upon us, pervading our whole being with an active, dynamic effect, felt or not.

God bless,

REINHARD BONNKE

Posted 6.03.10 at 2:12am on Facebook



An Answered Prayer…

An Answered Prayer
I asked for strength,
And God gave me difficulties to make me strong;

I asked for wisdom,
And God gave me problems to learn to solve;

I asked for prosperity,
And God gave me brain and brawn to work;

I asked for courage,
And God gave me dangers to overcome;

I asked for love,
And God gave me people to help;

I asked for favours,
And God gave me opportunities.

I received nothing I wanted – I received everything I needed.

My prayer has been answered!

The above poem points out a very important lesson in life, for the Covenant Child of God.

How ironic and amazing are the paradoxes of life; where we pray for God’s favor and blessing, and we get challenges and trials; where we pray for success and riches, only to find ourselves humbled, burdened, and troubled.

It is ironic for the reason, that unbeknownst to a lot of people, who possibly have not familiarized themselves well enough with the ways of the Lord, from having meditated upon and studied His word, that God has been answering their prayers all along, and has been doing so in the affirmative!

Consider for a moment the examples given in the Manual for Life (the Holy Bible), in how often God has purposefully and intentionally allowed and sometimes even led His Children into tribulations and problems.

The oldest book in the Bible is the Book of Job, and in it we are given a glimpse behind the veil, were we find the Accuser of the Brethren , Satan standing in God’s presence; where we are privy to hear the following discourse:

Job 1:6-12

“Where have you come from?” The Lord says to Satan.

And Satan answered, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.”

Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.”

To which Satan replies, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But reach out and take away everything he has and he will surely curse you to your face!

Then the Lord said, “All right, you may test him; do whatever you want with everything he possesses; but don’t harm him physically.

So Satan left the Lord’s presence.

Then we have Father Abraham, who is asked by God to take his wife Sarah, and his entire household, servants, possessions, and all, and travel to a new land, but without God saying where or how long it would take. That was the first test, to see if Abraham would even obey.

After all, it was no small thing, (and neither would it be today) to just pick up and leave the security and comfort of your home and family, and travel to some distant land, and not even know where you are going.

God didn’t given him a travel itinerary, but merely told him to leave his family and home, and that He would tell Him when he had arrived at his new home.

To make matters worse, when he arrived in the “Promised Land” he found himself having to live in tents; and to make matters even worse, he landed right in the middle of a famine… with no food!

I’m also sure that Sarah was not exactly thrilled by all of this, but you will please note that she followed him anyway.

Then what does Abraham do? He takes it upon himself, now facing starvation, for lack of food to feed his family, to go into Egypt; however he did not consult with God, but took it upon himself to do this.

The result was he ended up prostituting his wife, not once, but twice, just to save his own skin.

As it happened, he found out, upon arriving in Egypt, that pharaoh had this thing for attractive women, and was known to kill their husbands, so that he could keep their wives for himself; and so Abraham, in order to avoid being killed, he told pharaoh that Sarah was his sister, not his wife.

And still Sarah stayed with him, even after that!

Well, as we read our Bible, we can find story after story, and example after example just like this, and this is true all throughout the Bible of how God would allow his children to be tested, to suffer lack, and to be in difficult situations, in order to test them, and to see if they would obey Him or not?

We find this happening many times, even in the New Testament.

For example, when Jesus purposely sent His disciples into a storm, and then came walking out to them on water; or the time when Jesus was fast asleep, and the disciples thought they were about to sink; or the time when Jesus told his disciples to feed over 5000 people, with only five loaves of bread and two fish.

All of these are examples for us to learn from; because God is not about making us comfortable and at ease; but rather God’s purpose in all of this, is to prepare us for service in His Army, in His Kingdom, and for eternity, as members of His Chosen Family!

What a privilege it is to be included in this group, and to have this opportunity presented to us. We must first be born-again; but then afterward, unless we understand the goal, and the culture of heaven, after having read our “Operations Manual” (our Bible), then we are inevitably are walking blind and are severely handicapped.

The above poem points this truth out; and it also shows us that even though we may feel as though the reason why our lives are so hard is because God has forgotten us, which by the way is what Satan is hoping we will believe; but the reality is and the truth, is that God is closer to us in the fire, than at any other time. Selah

Shalom,

Skip Barland



Life’s challenges got you down… God has a better way!!!

When lifes woes have you down,

is every reason be heaven bound;

though this world, be not our home,

life challenges carry us to His throne!

God has a better way!!!

Hillsong United
You Hold Me Now
VERSE 1:
On that day when I see
All that You have for me
When I see You face to face
There surrounded by Your grace
All my fears swept away
In the light of Your embrace
Where Your love is all I need
And forever I am free
PRE CHORUS 1:
Where the streets are made of gold
In Your presence healed and whole
Let the songs of heaven
Rise to You aloneCHORUS:
No weeping no hurt or pain
No suffering You hold me now
You hold me now
No darkness no sick or lame
No hiding You hold me now
You hold me now

VERSE 2:
In this life I will stand
Through my joy and my pain
Knowing there’s a greater day
There’s a hope that never fails
Where Your Name is lifted high
And forever praises rise
For the glory of Your Name
I’m believing for the day

PRE CHORUS 2:
Where the wars and violence cease
All creation lives in peace
Let the songs of heaven
Rise to You alone

BRIDGE:
For eternity
All my heart will give
All the glory to Your Name

Have a blessed day!

Skip Barland

Learning to take risks…


Let us not be afraid to take risks…

especially when we are doing so for the Lord!

I really like this article (see below), because I think it is very true.

When I first read it, what came to mind were several different things, not the least of which is I see this pattern all throughout scripture; and I see it also in the people of today, that God uses.

I think they are ALL risk takers, people who aren’t afraid of living there life on the edge.

Look at King David, the man of which the Bible says he was a man after God’s heart; look at him, at even such a young age, how he wasn’t the least bit afraid of facing a vicious lion, or knurly bear. He risked his life and slayed both, all in order to protect his flock of sheep.

God was later able to use those qualities for His service.

I can think of a few people today, who are exactly that way.

If they were in the world they would be called adrenaline junkies; and are for the most part, all very capable and intelligent people, who are always pushing the envelope, no matter what they do. Don’t you know that is exactly what God is looking for.

2 Chronicles 16:9

9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him…”

These stories are found all throughout the Bible; starting with Father Abraham. His story starts when God is asking him to take a huge risk; when he asked him to leave the safety and comfort of his home and family; and take Sarah along with his household, and go to a land they knew not!

To make matters worse, God wouldn’t even give him a travel itinerary, but merely instructed him to keep walking, and that He would tell him when he got there!  How well would we have done under those circumstances, if God had given us that assignment?

As a general rule today, and this is very common in our times, where people won’t even leave a job, until they already can be assured and have a guarantee that something has already been lined up ahead of time… and we call that just having common sense… but God looks for more!

If God says to do so, then we can step out into a void, and know that He will be there ahead of us, to support us, and make a way, when in the natural it looks impossible!

Another thing that comes to mind is this word “Meek” which was the word that Jesus used in the Sermon on the Mound, when He said: Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.” (Matt 5:5)

We are very mistaken if we think this word means milk toasty and weak; quite the contrary!

It is taken from a word, in Greek, which also mean to tame wild horses. In other words, it implies high spirited energy that is under control, and has been channeled and directed.

Such are these people… who are God’s risk takers!

The point is, we too can have that label, if we would but be willing to launch our faith out beyond the safe harbors of our life; out into the deeper waters of faith.

As created being, who are made in the image and likeness of God, certainly we have not been made for safe harbors; no more than a battle frigate is made to remain close to shore.

It looks impressive to see it there, sure, and we can all admire its construction and beauty; but that is certainly NOT why it was created… and neither were we. Selah

Shalom,

Skip Barland


—–Original Message—–
From: Pentecostal Evangel [mailto:tpedevotionals@ag.org]
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2010 12:03 AM
To: Skip Barland
Subject: Daily Boost – June 1, 2010

Welcome to the

DAILY BOOST

Taking Risks
June 1, 2010
By Danny Cheney

Are you willing to take risks for God?

Many people will take plenty of risks in their lives for seemingly unimportant reasons, but are afraid to do something big for God.

Why are we so afraid of doing something big?

Because if it doesn’t work, we feel like we fail big!

God, however, is looking for risk takers, people who are not afraid of failure.

A couple of years ago we had a Speed the Light fundraiser that was a big risk taker for us. Skydiving!

At 10,000 feet (nearly 2 miles) in the air, we were to jump out of a perfectly good airplane and parachute to the ground.

Just before the sky diving trip they made us all sign waivers that they were not responsible in the event of death.

In the video they showed us, it stated over and over that you could die from this.

What would make us go through with this adventure? It is exhilarating to

take a risk; and sure I was nervous, but this was for God. To raise money for His kingdom.

The moment came. The door of the plane opened. There was no turning back now. It was jump or jump.

Guess what I did? I JUMPED!

Free-falling at 120 mph for more than a minute was the most incredible experience of my life. I made it out alive. We landed safely, and I was ready to go again.

When you take risks for God, it might be scary, but it is the most exciting part of the Christian life.

Many Christians never discover the joy in risk taking; and they never go to the next level in their spiritual journey either, because they are always afraid of the unknown.

In obedience to God’s leading, Abraham went to a land he had never seen.

Noah built an ark on dry ground at God’s command, trusting God’s promise of a flood.

Moses went to deliver the Children of Israel even though he was a stuttering coward.

Each of these servants of God, and many others in Scripture, were willing to take a risk.

People might think you are nuts for doing something “crazy” for God, but obedience to God is vitally more important and immeasurably more rewarding.

Individual believers and even entire congregations can become spiritually stagnant when the safe and status quo are cherished realities.

We must break out of our comfort zones and do something “risky” for God.

“We’ve never done it that way before;” “we like it the way it is.” “I don’t think it will work;” or “we better not try.”

Do these excuses sound familiar?

We can stay the way we are. But if we do, we will never grow past where we are.

We will never go forward unless we are willing to take risks.

So let’s dare to be different and let’s dare to make a difference.

Danny and Sonya Cheney pastor Rogers First Assembly in Rogers, Ark.

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