Friday, August 29, 2014

Don't Focus On Your Weakness; Focus On Jesus!

forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead (Philippians 3:13).  Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).
  
The Father wants each of us to look away from our past successes and failures and keep our focus on Him and His ability that is available to us! This word for looking  here in Hebrews is the Greek word aphorao and it means to purposely turn your eyes away from other things and to fix your gaze purposefully onto something.
  
We often allow the distractions of personal weakness, inferiority, and of our past to hinder us from moving forward in God. Peter walked on the water as long as he kept his eyes fixed on Jesus. He began to sink when removed his gaze from Him. And we stop moving forward when we focus on anything but the Jesus and His ability in us through the Word!
  
Abraham’s life was changed at age 75 when God gave him a vision of a multitude of children living in a land God promised him! A man from a pagan family was transformed into the father of faith by a Word from God. He became what he looked for!
  
Jacob’s life was changed after he wrestled with an angel an entire night. His name was changed from Jacob (deceiver) to Israel (prince with God)! His vision of his life was never the same.
  
Joseph’s life was transformed when he had a dream of being great leader. Because he kept his focus on this dream, circumstances never got him down! Sold as a slave by his brothers, lied about and thrust in a prison, Joseph rose to the top regardless of circumstances. And it was because his inner gaze was on the dream! And he became that leader he dreamed about years later, after successfully overcoming daunting impossibilities.
  
Moses was born with a death threat on his life. He killed a man at 40 years of age and spent the next 40 year living in a desert in exile. Moses’ life was forever changed by a Word from God in the burning bush. He became one of the greatest prophets of Israel because He moved his gaze to the Holy God revealed in the bush! His legacy lives on!
  
Focus on your past, and you’ll never overcome it. Turn your eyes away from the hardship and troubles life has brought you and look purposefully at Jesus by focusing on the Word, and you’ll become a transformed person! A change of gaze will change your life course! Forget what has happened. You can’t change it. But you can do something with today! And what you see determines how you live! Let’s keep our focus on the promises of God today. He is faithful that promised!
 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Choice To Live By God's Word Is A Choice For Sucess!

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall (Matthew 7:24-27).

The foundation of a house determines its strength. Wind and water are powerful forces of nature, but a house built on the right foundation can remain strong when they rise against it.
 
Likewise, a person who chooses to be a doer of the Word of God, that is ,to put the Word into practice, has a firm foundation in life, and will suceed. Adversity has many faces and comes to us from so many sources, but a person who chooses to live life by obeying the Word will come out on top every time!
  
The Word of God never changes nor will it ever fade into useless nothingness. It’s eternal (Matthew 24:35). The Word of God will always accomplish the purpose for which it was sent (Isaiah 55:11). The Word has been sent by the Father to produce forgiveness, healing, strength, love, joy, patience, victory, prosperity, and abundance.

The Father is always watching over His Word to make it good where believed (Jeremiah 1:12). Earthly things wear out, but the Word of God endures and is ageless (Isaiah 40:8). It stronger than rock, and is forever established and settled (Psalm 119:89). The Father will never break the covenant He has with His Word. It will always produce fruit, and will be honored by the Father in the life of whoever believes it (Psalm 89:34)!
  
Since the Father’s Word is so sure, the best assurance of a blessed future is obeying and lining your life up with the Word of God right now. A step away from the Word is inviting disaster. A decision to go your own way at the neglect of the Word is an invitation for the thief to invade your life by stealing, killing, and destroying in some way. It’s a real bad idea to forsake the Word of God for your own way!
  
I’m still amazed at how a person can hear the Word week after week, month after month, and year after year, and still refuse to act on it when challenges come. Don’t ever let yourself get so burdened that you make a decision that is contrary to the Word. Never turn a deaf ear to God’s will as found in the Word. That decision is a disaster in the making. The flood and winds of life will destroy a person who willfully chooses to ignore the Father’s counsel.
   
Over the years I’ve seen people overcome great adversity and succeed when failure seemed apparent by simply firmly choosing to obey God’s Word when it was not the most convenient or the most comfortable thing to do. You’ll always come out on top if you’ll obey God and stand on His Word. It’s not always the easiest route. And yes, there are challenges when you choose the Father’s way through the Word. But the end result will always be the same. Victory, success, peace, and joy will rule your life!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Big Things Always Have Small Beginnings

For who has despised the day of small things (Zechariah 4:10).

Plants, trees, and shrubs begin life as a small seed that germinates. Human life begins as a zygote. Speech development in a child begins with one syllable words.

The kingdom of God operates on the principle of the seed. Something begins small and then grows a little at a time. When you are born again, God plants the seed of His nature within and it begins to grow and develop. With that seed from Him comes a talent, an ability, a skill, a calling.

Faithfulness in the small things causes the seed of His call on your life to germinate. No person in God’s kingdom starts out immediately after salvation functioning in their full calling. The seed must grow.

I began my ministry cleaning a large local church. There I learned humility, faithfulness, integrity, endurance, submission, respect for leaders, unselfishness, and how to adapt to different personalities. I also studied and developed my fellowship with God. The seedbed of my ministry now found its fertile soil in faithfulness in small things.

You may feel the call of a pastor, an evangelist, or a teacher in the body of Christ. You sense a seed of ministry in you. Find a way to be faithful in small things. Minister in nursing homes, prisons, Bible studies, home groups, in children's ministry, in youth groups. Assist your pastor in the local church in any way he needs you. Usher, greet, cut the grass, repair the building, help with the sound, teach a children’s class, minister in a nursing home, or lead a small group. Look for areas of need and lend a hand.

Promotion in ministry comes from the Lord. Don’t despise the day of small things. Those days are the proving ground for what God can do through you for the rest of your life.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Keep Your Chin Up When Things Are Tough And Don't Quit!

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise (Hebrews 10:35-36).Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him (Hebrews 10:38).
 
Endurance or patience is an important ingredient of faith. It’s faith and patience that inherits the promises. The Greek word for endurance is hupomeno and it means to remain when under pressure. It’s the ability to keep your chin up when things aren’t going well. It’s the ability to remain joyful and expectant when it looks as though nothing you believe is coming to pass. It’s the ability to remain unmoved and unshaken by circumstances.
  
The very nature of what faith is makes patience so necessary in the faith fight. Faith is for what you don’t have in the physical realm yet. Faith takes the place of what God has promised you until it arrives in the physical and you can see it. Faith is the substitute for the thing God has promised you until you can physically see or feel it.
The Word promises healing, so you have prayed and exercised your faith. The pain increases and the symptoms worsen. Patience enables you to stand your ground in the tough time. Patience or endurance enables you to look away from the symptom and look at the promise of God, knowing that God is faithful to fulfill His Word.
The faith life is very challenging to the flesh! So many think that walking by faith means you receive instantly, but that is just not true! Abraham waited 25 years for the child of promise to come! And his patience enabled him to keep going strong when the impossibility of what he believed weighed on him.
  
Faith and patience are the twins of success! Patience keeps you from letting go of your faith! Since I have been pastor of at Victory Church, we have undertaken three major building projects. And with each one it seemed that obstacles manifested every hour to keep the project from being completed. Each time I prayed, and I was believing that I received the answer to my prayer, which was a building project being totally completed.
 
At times I would get so tired of resisting the circumstances that just kept compounding! But it was the hupomeno, the ability to keep on going when the chips are down, that refused to let me quit. I gritted my teeth and praised God for honoring His Word! And you can see the results.
  
Don’t quit if you’re in a faith battle. Rest in the promises of God. He is faithful that promised. He watches over His Word to make it good. Heaven and earth may pass away, but His Word never will! Allow patience to under gird your faith today. Keep your eyes on God’s promises and not the unmoving circumstance. You will receive if you just don’t quit!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Live in Your Authority in Christ!

Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions[demonic forces], and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you (Luke 10:19).
Adam’s sin gave Satan a temporary control over humanity and over the earth in general. Since that time he has become skilled in his killing, stealing, and destroying tactics (John 10:10). Romans 5 tells us that death reigned from Adam to Moses, indicating that there was a lessening of that reign when the law of Moses was established among those in covenant with God.
 
Under the Old Covenant sin was atoned or covered by the application of blood from a sacrificial animal to the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies where the presence of God dwelt. This atoning of sin severely limited Satan’s reign over God’s Old Covenant people. The problem with the Old Covenant was their rebellion to the will of God by wandering off into idolatry and gross personal sin. Humans are sinful to the core. So this Old Covenant was flawed because of sin and the wandering heart of man.
Jesus through the new birth gives us a new heart! We’re new creatures in Christ! The nature of sin is replaced by the nature of God in the heart of the believer! And Jesus captured Satan’s Adam given authority over man when He rose from the dead! That authority over Satan has been given to us, the church of the Lord Jesus Christ!
The demonic forces that have terrorized men for thousands of years are afraid of believers understanding and walking in their authority in Christ. Their scheme now is two-fold.
 
First, they want to keep Christians ignorant of their position and authority in Christ by watering down what churches teach with man-made traditions. This makes void personal spiritual authority over Satan in the average church going believer. Because they never hear their rights and privileges in Christ preached, most believers are unaware of what they can do to hinder Satan’s kingdom. Hosea said my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). Make sure you go to a church that strongly proclaims what Jesus did for us in His death and resurrection!
  
Secondly, if a believer knows about his personal spiritual authority over Satan, then the enemy schemes to push that believer to walk in the flesh. This will cancel the authority that believer has over him. Strife discord, disunity, unforgiveness, and lack of holy living are tools the enemy uses to keep an informed believer neutral in spiritual authority over him.
So the key to our walking in our God given authority is to feed our faith on the truths of who we are in Christ and on our position and standing before God in Him. And then make a choice to walk in the spirit by walking in love and by choosing to be a doer of the word.
Keep short accounts with the Father. Confess your sin when you miss it. The moment you mess up, fess up! Feed your faith daily on who you are in Christ Jesus. Pray the prayer of faith for yourself and your family. Believe you receive answers when you pray even when it seems as though the prayer isn’t answered. Pray on behalf of others. Take their needs before the Father and ask Him in specific ways to meet them. Take time daily to pray in the spirit. If you do these things, demon forces will fear the Jesus in you. You’ll be used by the Father to set others free. And you’ll live in the cubicle of the Father’s care while living in a fallen world.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Make Prayer the Most Important Part of Your Day

And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. (Luke 24:53).

These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers (Acts 1:14).

So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart (Acts 2:46).

And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31).

Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God (Luke 6:12).
  
The foundation for all that God does in us and through us is in our prayer life. Jesus set the standard. Jesus’ days of ministry were preceded by nights of intense praying. The early church was formed after Jesus ascension in the incubator of prayer.
  
The kingdom of God functions on the prayers of the saints. The mighty forces that shape the world are not physical but spiritual. The answer to every challenge we face is first of all found in that place of solace with the Father. If Jesus heeded the importance of praying things out in His earth walk, should we not heed His example?
We’re facing pressures unheard of in previous generations. The climax of the ages is upon us. God has a grand and glorious strategy for the church in this hour. And it begins and ends on our knees! To neglect the place of prayer is to neglect the very purpose and plans of the Father for life.
  
Start today. Move yourself into a deeper place of prayer. Find a private place, and begin to tell the Father how wonderful He is to you. Ask Him to help you pour out your heart to Him. Then, take to Him every concern and problem. Give Him the details of what bothers you. Then ask Him to intervene and bring the solution. Remind Him of the promises of His Word to you. Spend time in thanksgiving for the answer.
 
While praying, take time to pray in tongues. This is the most effective form of prayer. Praying in the spirit enables you to pray the perfect will of God about the unknown future. It enables you to pray the will of God into manifestation in so many ways! Don’t neglect this secret weapon God has given to you! Use it regularly and watch the forces of the enemy back up!
  

The success of your day today begins in your prayer closet. Make it count!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Praise God In The Hard Place!

Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls —  Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills (Habakkuk 3:17-19).
  
Praise is the language of faith. When life turns sour, turn up the praise! James tells us to count it all joy when hard times arrive. Paul tells us to rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice!
  
Praise brings a manifestation of the presence of God that will give inward strength and that will attack the problem and bring a solution. Enemy armies had surrounded the people of God in 2 Chronicles 20. King Jehoshaphat and the people began to seek the Lord.
 
Through the prophet God told them that He would fight their battle for them. All they needed to do was to send the praisers to the front line of the battle and God would do the fighting for them.
They obeyed and the praisers began to sing Praise the Lord for His mercy endures forever. As they sang, the presence and power of God manifested and the enemy were slain before they could lift a sword!
 
God will undertake to bring you out of the hard place if you will choose to put on the garment of praise. There is no feeling in this, it’s a total act of faith! When your flesh is screaming at you and the problems pile up, the best thing to do is to praise God. Paul and Silas were set free from prison because they chose to pray and to sing praises to God while sitting in a dungeon (Acts 16).
 
Stop the complaining and begin to praise God in the troubles of life. God is not partial. He helped His Old Covenant people and fought for them. He will do the same for you!