Monday, August 31, 2015

Coming Under Spiritual Attack

Whenever we feel or think we are under spiritual attack, it can mean that something is wrong in our spiritual life - walk with the Lord. Certainly, we can expect to come under spiritual attack from the enemy as we become closer to the Lord in our walk with the Holy Spirit. That is why, whenever we are experiencing bad things in our life, it may very well be that we ourselves have let the enemy in and the result is a spiritual attack on our life or on the life of those near and dear to us. It maybe a sign that that we have grown distant from the Holy Spirit, we are doubtful, or we are indulging in and pursuing and or engaged in sin activities. And, sometimes, it is because we are growing in our walk with the Lord. This is a fallen world and it is for us through Jesus Christ that we overcome it. So, in this fallen world the enemy is able to confront us and test our faith.

Given that, we must take a close look at our spiritual walk with the Lord and ask yourself, "am I doing what the Lord has called me to do with my life, am I speaking one thing and doing another? Am I forgiving those who have trespassed against me? Am I salt and light?"

Remember, what is unclean is what comes from your own mouth, not what goes into it.

"Listen to me, everyone, and understand this...nothing outside a man can make him unclean by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him unclean...Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him unclean? For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body...What comes out of man is what makes him unclean. For from within out of men's hearts come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy slander, arrogance, and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean." Mark 14-20

If you feel that your spiritual attack is from the enemy who is using another person for that attack, pray for that person for that is surely what they need as well as what you need.

Be mindful, that in these times, we can even expect to come under spiritual attack as the enemy is attempting to gain a stronghold here and now. The best means of combating the enemy is to declare the works of the Lord in your life and in the life of those near and dear to you, for they are dear to Him - the Creator of Heaven and Earth, of all things seen and unseen! Give thanks and praise to the Lord God Jesus Christ!

*And, remember to pray for not pray against anyone for that is wicked in God's eyes.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Our Qualification Comes from God!

Paul said that "It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life. The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses' face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. Shouldn't we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old way which brings condemnation, was glorious how much more glorious is the new way which makes us right with God!" 2 COR 5-10

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Called to be God's Children

We are called to be God's children, not to act like children. Because, here in this fallen world, children are not born without sin. They are born of the flesh which means born into sin and thus from the beginning they lust after the flesh. Hence, demanding temper tantrums, "I want it, its mine." Though we can teach our children to be nice and to share, their inner desire governed by the flesh is to be first and to get what they want when they want it. We can see that this is the culture we live in, a fleshly sin filled fallen world.

We as 'born against' Christian parents, are obligated by our own walk with the Lord to bring our children out of that existence and into the light of the Holy Spirit. And, the first step is baptism. Some faiths perform baptism early and others wait until a the child of the flesh shows it is becoming a more fully conscious being   ~ reasonable and able to choose for him/herself a more selfless life ~ a relationship with the Lord. We begin to see in them a desire for the light in this darkness.

Not that children are unconscious of the light which is in them or outside God's kingdom, but they are born of the flesh and into this fleshy sinful dark world which has the goal of total consumption of the flesh by the flesh which leads only to endless darkness, an abyss of the flesh without meaning.

This is why they /we  must be born again. By being born again we are 'woken up' and brought out of the darkness and into the light of eternal life. Though we continue to live in this fallen world, by being born again we no longer have to will for the darkness nor fear of the darkness which is the sin of death.

There are no laws that man can make here on earth that can make that happen nor by man's law can man create a better world as he/she would like it to be. We must improve ourselves first and the law cannot do that. We know this to be true as we read in God's word given to Paul who said just this to the Romans in his sermon on Life through the Spirit. While reading, we remind ourselves that the law condemns because God's law cannot be fulfilled here by the sinful flesh. The heart/mind and soul must change and no law created by man can make that happen. And, so it must be a conscious choice to change from flesh to spirit ~ to be born again. Though some faiths baptize early, if we are to walk with God, we must 'consciously' be born again ~ not as children of the flesh but of the Holy Spirit.

For those that baptize early, do so and with joy to begin your child's walk with the Holy Spirit but encourage them as they grow to become born again in the Holy Spirit and called to be Children of God. Show them what that is like through your own walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Mother's and Father's ~ God's Hierarchy

God's word is a sound social hierarchy which includes the family hierarchy. Mother's role and father's role is clearly laid out. This is to prevent evil getting in and winning over God's creation. If we stick to our roles, we will be blocking evil from getting the upper hand. Of course, some people say that in God's hierarchy women are subjected to being submissive but truly in God's hierarchy we all are asked to submit our will to the Lord, including men. In the God's hierarchy, God has the first position, then husband/father, then wife/mother and then children/family.

Why then does it seem like this hierarchy isn't working considering what we see happening around us and what we want in our lives?  Because this is a fallen world and sin is working in it against us. We live in a world of 'want it now and want it my way'. We forget that God's way is best and we must be diligent regarding God's hierarchy, diligent in repentance, forgiveness and love.

Mother's and father's raise your children well in this hierarchy. Don't let children get the upper hand, take over the household and get control of your life. Children need your guidance and your love and to see the your outward practice of God's hierarchy. Girls and boys need to see this. They need to know God's purpose in this hierarchy.

Father's should not dote excessively on their daughters by letting daughters think that they are above mother as that is not God's order, mother is father's gift from God and always will be. Daughters will  marry and raise their own families. They need to be good wives and if they are not properly prepared for this, their own marriage will likely fail.

The same can be said about boys who should not be doted on by their mother's replacing father's love with son's love. He must marry and love his wife.

All too often, we fail in God's hierarchy because of our own pride and selfish desires and do not realize the long terms effects.

Read ~  Ephesians 5 - "Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church..."

God's hierarchy is a guide to overcoming sin in this world. And, sin must be overcome to get back paradise!

*children of all ages honor thy father and mother

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Flame With Passion for World Evangelism ~ Richard Bonnke

The Good News is a declaration of the Lord's constant openness to mankind. "The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease." (Lam 3:22) The Lord's love for us does not change; He is not subject to moods. Though some human theologies propose God as preoccupied with anger toward sinners, and though some preaching thunders judgment far more than mercy, the starting place for capturing hearts for Christ is to capture the heart of God for the lost. Whatever heaven's clear dismay over the impact of sin and sinning, and whatever the eventual justice of God to be visited upon those refusing His love, all proclamation of the Good News must be preoccupied with the wonder of God's love. It abounds throughout His Word, it overflows in His Son, and it is the essence of the outpouring of His Holy Spirit (John 3:16; 1 John 4:16; Col 2:8,9; Rom 5:5)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Jesus Criticizes the Religious Leaders

Matthew 23

Then Jesus said to the crowd and to his disciples,"The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. So practice and obey whatever they tell you (about that law) but don't follow their example. For they don't practice what they teach. They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never life a finger to ease the burden."

"Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer bodes with scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. And, they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces and to be called 'Rabbi'."

So... "Don't let anyone call you 'Rabbi', for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters.  Why? Because, as Jesus continued, "What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law, justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes but do not neglect the more important things..."

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Do What is Good!

Do what is good... "Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time. If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. For people like that have turned away from the truth and their own sins condemn them" Titus 3:9-11

I was recently conflicted by this question. Did Jesus go about in official vestments? My response is that Jesus was called teacher = Rabbi. Jesus would only have had to wear a prayer shawl.  In fact, the Bible does not command the wearing of a unique prayer shawl or tallit. The tallit (or, in Ashkenazic pronunciation, tallis) is the robe with which the worshipper is wrapped during prayer and hence often referred to as a “prayer shawl,” though this is not the traditional Jewish name for the garment, which was not originally associated particularly with prayer. In the book of Numbers (15:37-40), the Israelites are commanded to put tzitzit (“fringes”) [Ashkenazic pronunciation: tzitzis] on their garments in order to remind them of God’s laws. But in the book of Deuteronomy (22:12) it is stated that these fringes have to be placed on the four corners of the garment, from which the Rabbis conclude that only four-cornered garments have to have tzitzit affixed to them. In Talmudic times people wore four-cornered garments and to these tzitzit were attached. In fact, the word tallit, of uncertain etymology, simply means a robe or a cloak (some connect the word with the Latin “stola”). The sole significance of the tallit was in the tzitzit. The tallit itself had no religious significance.


But was Jesus an official 'rabbi' like we think. What made a rabbi in Jesus’ time? Jesus’ response to the request in Luke 12: 13-14 suggests he was not eager to be called Rabbi.
Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher (Rabbi ), tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
What many agree upon is that traditionally a rabbi was not a clergyman but a teacher of Jewish values and customs, and as such the authoritative judge or arbitrator …… only in the 18th and 19th centuries did rabbis in the west come to be regarded like Christian priests.


Leaders in the Church

Paul wrote to Timothy - "This is a trustworthy saying: "If someone aspires to be an elder, he desires an honorable position. So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. he must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control and live wisely and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guest in his home and he must be able to teach. he mus not be a heavy drinker or be violent. he must be gentle and not quarrelsome and not love money. He must manage his won family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God's church." Timothy 3:1-5

Women in the Church

Women are to be modest in dress (1 Timothy 2: 9) and not to be 'officially' over and above men in the church (1Timothy 2: 11) though they can be a deacon (diákonos meaning servant or minister) and minister to people. We can read about this acceptable ministry 'service' in the letters of Paul who was instructed by the Lord Jesus Christ and who thus gave instruction to the new followers of Jesus Christ.

" I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a deacon in the church in Cenchrea. Welcome her in the Lord as one who is worthy of honor among God's people... Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in the ministry of Christ Jesus."  Romans 16: 1-7

 Again I say as Paul wrote - Do what is good... "Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time. If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. For people like that have turned away from the truth and their own sins condemn them". Titus 3:9-11

* In reading from Luke, (see above) we come to understand that Jesus Christ was in fact God and thus was not a 'teacher of man's law' as in man's order of doing things... nor did he have to be called 'teacher' in order to be recognized as a teacher of the Holy Spirit or as God.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Diversity in Christ is not Diversity in the Body and Mind

Diversity is a buzz word and being taught at all universities as the way forward in our global community using the key 'buzz' word - tolerant. No one seems to understand that diversity means differences. We seem to have a problem with differences globally. Why? Because, differences among us are not just about having different skin colors. Most problems stem from not having a common world view- one that is grounded in the true essence of our spiritual being. Is toleration the simple solution? Rather not. Toleration is only a poor short term solution. Why? Because, tolerating differences of mind and habits of the heart is not easy unless when everyone is of the same spiritual being all reaching out to the Creator of Heaven and Earth. The name of the Creator has been written on every man's heart by Him from the beginning. Man has only to reach out to Hi, to God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, of all things seen and unseen; our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; not man and not a man run State.

Diversity among people's physical features is wonderful. It shows the creative diversity in the mind of God. Diversity in the fleshly body exists for God's glory. What is to tolerate? What is intolerant is sinful behavior, it is not Christ like. We are called to remind our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ of sin; so that, they can be saved from the sin of death. We are called to become one body, one temple, an earthly spiritual attribute in the mind of Christ. Once we are born again, our body becomes a member of a greater body, the body of Christ which has no 'flesh' as we think and thus in this knowledge we become a new body... one that houses the attributes of the mind of Christ. Thus, there is no diversity in the mind and body of the spirit of the living God Jesus Christ.

"The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgement. For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him? But, we have the mind of Christ."1COR 2:15

This past weekend, our family visited the beach. There were many people of different races and ethnicities. It was amazing to see the world in one place. When it was time for us to leave, I took the children to the outdoor shower-off area. Here in this place of living water, we showered our bodies among many different kinds of bodies, many flesh colors representing the beauty of God's diversity. Everyone happy dancing in the water, smiling and polite, gentle...  I did not know if they were Christians but I imagined that they were. In this imagining, I realized that this is what it means to truly have diversity and yet sameness in spirit/mind. This is precious! This is the divine nature of Christ in us. Toleration does not need exist here, we are one mind, one body. Anyone who rejects that is not just intolerant but a destroyer of God's diversity.

"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple." 1COR 3:16-18

"I appeal to you dear brothers and sisters by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church... Rather be of one mind, united in thought and purpose." 1 COR 1:10

Friday, August 7, 2015

Together We Are the Temple of God

"Don't you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God's temple is holy and you are that temple. Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this worlds' standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God...So, don't boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you - whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death or the present and the future, everything belongs to you and you belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God." 1COR 3: 16-23

 "I appeal to you dear brothers and sisters by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church... Rather be of one mind, united in thought and purpose." 1 COR 1:10

Monday, August 3, 2015

Nothing can Separate You from My Love

Jesus is Calling ~ Most of mankind's misery stems from feeling unloved. In the midst of adverse circumstances, people tend to fell that love has been withdrawn and they have been forsaken. this feeling of abandonment is often worse than the adversity itself. Be assured that I never abandon any of My children, not even temporarily. I will never leave you or forsake you!

If that is true, and it is, then why do we feel that way? That is a good question. We can feel the misery of being unloved when we sin and we condemn ourselves for our sin ~ God doesn't. He only asks that we seek His forgiveness, repent and sin no more which is for our good not His for He is a perfect Being. Since He is, He knows that we may sin again in this fallen world and likely will.  That is why, we must remind ourselves of His love! Because, as we condemn ourselves, we abandon ourselves, as we leave the presence of the Lord by walking away from his unconditional love which we think we don't deserve.

We are sinners and we know that, God knew that from the time Adam and Eve fell from paradise. Even so, He still love us, we are His creation. God's word is our salvation, for it reminds us of His love and His desire for our life though we can be caught up in everyday sin which can make us feel unloved.

The best example of everyday sin that can cause us to condemn ourselves and walk away from the love of God is through our words. We today are too quick with the tongue and we say things we regret. Or, we don't say things when we had the opportunity to lift someone else out of their darkness, we think "Glad its not me."  Jesus lived for others, not for himself. This is so very difficult to do these days, but it was just as difficult in His time.

Jesus is calling ~ Watch your words diligently. Words have such great power to bless or to wound. When you speak carelessly or negatively, you damage others as well as yourself. I think even more so... yourself. This world applauds quick-witted retorts. My instructions about communication are quite different: be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. Pray... "Help me, Holy Spirit, guide me in my words with others". Most importantly, as Christians, we don't want to create a feeling of being unloved in others.

"May God who gives patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be give glory."  Romans 15: 5-7