Saturday, November 30, 2013

What keeps Christians from being free?

Brokenness-haven’t come to the end of self and still have some confidence in their own resources and abilities. A good indication of this is when they say, “Tell me what to do!”
Unforgiveness-#1 way Satan robs us of our freedom. Most people have some unresolved anger. Forgiveness is God’s only way to deal with it. Unforgiveness=bondage (Eph. 4:26, 27).
Do Not Accept Themselves Just The Way They Are-Need to realize that God accepts them just the way they are, forgive themselves, and accept themselves.
Trying to Get Feelings to Line Up with the Truth-Which will never happen because freedom is experienced when we live by faith in the truth, regardless of our feelings.
Fail to Distinguish between Flesh and the Real You-The flesh constantly wars against the Spirit, but that is NOT who we are-we are not addicts, perfectionists, anorexics, etc.
An Inadequate Understanding of Grace-Do not know they are dead to the law, and everything is permissible, and are still trying to perform and measure up to get their acceptance and worth.
Wrong Concept of God-Don’t know that God accepts them as they are and has not changed as a result of their sin.
Never Appropriated Their True Identity in Christ-It is must information to them and/or they are still holding on to a false identity in the flesh. We always act consistently with how we perceive ourselves.
Have Not Learned to resist Satan-Do not understand spiritual warfare and that Satan was defeated at the cross, and we have authority over him and the demonic.

Have not Learned to Discipline Their Minds-No consistent victory unless we take every thought captive and renew our minds by thinking on what is true, noble, pure, right, etc.

Could this be you or someone you know looking for answers?

Would you like to learn more about:
v  The problem of strongholds
v  God’s solution to strongholds
v  Freedom from the past
v  The lies that keep us in bondage
v  The truth that sets and keeps us free
v  The price of freedom

Would you like to find freedom in you life from issues such as:
v  Addiction & Codependency
v  Anger & Bitterness
v  Perfectionism & Workaholism
v  Low Self-esteem
v  Eating Disorders, Gambling, and Other Compulsive Behaviors
v  Depression & Irrational Fears
v  Sex Addiction & Pornography
v  Stress & Anxiety
v  Strongholds
v  Habitual Sins\Negative Thoughts
v  Broken Relationships

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Unconditional love

Be a Love-Spreader

   The world is starved for love. It doesn’t take a survey or a study to figure out that a root cause of many social ills is a lack of genuine love. For those who do not know the love of God, the empty space in their hearts gnaws at them continually, regardless of whether they consciously acknowledge this void…
   With a Savior and Friend who attends to every need and covers your life with His promise of eternal care, you have His unlimited resources at your disposal. In difficult circumstances, under stress, in times of confusion, you have a relationship with the one with the answers and the strength to see you through. Now you have the opportunity to share this love with others…
   Before you really can be an effective love-giver, however, you must learn to love yourself properly. How you treat others depends in large part on how you love yourself…
   “And a second [command] is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
   Jesus is talking about treating others with the same respect and concern you naturally give yourself. If you have a low self-esteem, devaluing your worth in God’s eyes or paralyzed by a sense of inadequacy, then you are not equipped to reach out to someone else. You are a needy person yourself, and your interactions with others often become attempts to fill your own wants rather than satisfying theirs. You run the very real risk of becoming a “user,” perhaps even without knowing it.
   The best treatment for a low self-esteem,…is to supply your thinking with truth about your “Jesus-esteem.” Find verses in the Bible that reaffirm your value in His eyes and memorize them. (Psalm 139, Matthew 10:29-31, and 1 Samuel 16:7 provide a good start.)…
   Let the Lord pour His love through you. Being the vessel in His capable hands relieve you of countless stressful burdens He never intended for you to carry…
v  Love is not a feeling or passing emotion-it’s a commitment.
v  Love is an affirmation of belonging, competence, and worth.
v  Love continues to care, even when it is rejected or ignored.
   …And you’re right-nobody can love this way on his own…That is why you need to rely on the Holy Spirit to administer God’s love through you. He enables you to go beyond what you want or desire to treat others solely for their good.
   What is the meaning of life? It’s exactly what Jesus said it is-receiving the love of God and allowing him to use you to give it to someone else. (Galatians 5:6)

The Spiritual Foundations Series, The Love of God by Dr. Charles Stanley

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

God's sacrifice for me

God Spells Love S-A-C-R-I-F-I-C-E
   “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13. This is the kind of love Jesus demonstrated when He came to earth to die for your sins. He gave up everything for a time on your behalf, forgoing the honor and glory that are His due to becoming a human being-God in the flesh, fully God and fully man. (John 1:1)
   Why did He go through all of this for you? He did it to get rid of the one thing that separates you from the love of God-sin. Anything in your life that is displeasing to God and contrary to His law, God calls sin, and all of us are born with sin already in our hearts. (Romans 3:23)
   Sin is the big love-blocker, and only someone without sin can remove it from you. That Someone is Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God. He literally took your place by taking your punishment. When you believe that He did this for you, placing your faith in Him as your Savior, He wipes away every ounce of guilt and wrongdoing. (John 3:16; 13:1; Romans 8:1; 1 John 4:9-10) You are covered by His love and continue to live in His love forever.
   Understanding the absolute, unconditional security of His love is vital to having a free and stable relationship with Him…
…Jesus’ sacrifice is part of God’s agape love; you cannot fall out of God’s favor or lose His love as a result of anything you say or do or think. Ephesians 2:8-9 gives you this assurance: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one may boast.”
   You did not have to perform certain actions to earn His love. God loves you because He want to, and He never changes His mind-no matter what. (Romans 5:8)

“Telling God “I Love You Too”
As you feel His love surrounding you, enveloping your whole being with divine affection and unending attention, your natural response is to show Him love in return. Gratitude, adoration, closeness, respect, affection, a holy awe, tenderness-all these feelings and more can well up inside you, causing you to want to celebrate your fellowship with Him.
   …What you do with God’s Word, how much you jpay attention to His directions and commands, reveals a great deal about your love for God…Obedience is not an evaluation measure of performance but an indicator of priority.
   …As Jesus moves you to maturity and instills His principles into your life, you have the growing desire to do what pleases Him…
   …Obedience is not a mechanical, dull exercise of drudgery; it is the key to a true, godly liberty that knows no boundaries.

The Spiritual Foundations Series, The Love of God by Dr. Charles Stanley

Sunday, November 24, 2013

God is love

   You were born to love and be loved. Did you know that?
   Your purpose in life goes far beyond earning a living, taking care of your family, or just making it from day to day. You were created by God to have a fulfilling, one-on-one relationship with Him and to share this love with others. In a complex world, filled with emotional pain and complicated social problems, this purpose statement may sound simplistic, but it is not.
   …A lawyer and Jesus Christ once had a very important conversation: “’Teacher,’ [the lawyer asked], ‘which is the great commandment in the Law?’
“And He said to him, “’ You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. And a second is like it, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets”’ (Matthew 22:36-40).
   …From the moment of your conception, and even before that, God loved you. (Ephesians 1:3-6, Psalm 139:15-16).
   …God’s goal for your life is that you come to know him as the one, true God. Through knowing God, you come to worship and serve Him, praising and honoring the Lover of your soul with your words and with your life. God did not have to make you; He does not ‘need’ you in the way that you need food or water or companionship. God is complete and lacks nothing, but He chose to create You. He chose to bring you into being as a person to receive His divine affection and to give affection back to Him. To God, this fellowship means everything.
   …Agape love is the perfect, consuming, unfathomable, unconditional love of God. It is completely unselfish, forgiving, and dedicated to your complete welfare. On your own, you cannot generate or experience agape love; it only can come from God. If you try to think of the most generous or benevolent act a human being could perform, even that does not compare with the magnitude of God’s eternal, unshakable love for you. Jeremiah 31:3
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8). His love is therefore unalterable.

The Spiritual Foundations Series, The Love of God by Dr. Charles Stanley

Friday, November 22, 2013

Surrender to God

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God―this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is―his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Romans 12:1-2

 If our hearts are going to truly surrender to God, we must be willing to allow God to define good and evil and shape us according to His will. We must be willing, not only to do what is right, but to let God define what is right. Good is whatever God desires, evil is whatever God prohibits.
   At first, conforming may simply be an act of the will. We may obey God, not necessarily because we want to, but because we may know we should. However, if we are faithful in surrendering our will to God, over time we will soon begin wanting to obey. [William] Law said, “When you love that which God loves, you act with Him, you join yourself to Him, and when you love what He dislikes, then you oppose Him and separate yourself from Him.”
   This is why it is so spiritually debilitating to ever willfully rebel against God. Obedience and disobedience are both habitual. Our appetites and passions are like our taste buds-we crave what we grow used to. To experience true surrender, we must die to our own desires so that God can give us new desires.
   When God birthed thanksgiving in my heart, my purest cry was simply, “God I want to be on your side.”

Consider this beautiful doxology recorded by Paul in Romans 11:34-36: “Who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”
   Paul’s amazing confidence in God shines forth throughout history and has affected innumerable generations. No matter what happened to Paul, he had faith in God. He trusted that God’s wisdom and power far outclassed his own.
   Which is why Paul admonished, “I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Romans 12:1).
As Paul, whenever anything happens in your life, it is an opportunity to worship God. You have a choice. Either you will turn away from God because you blame your troubles on Him, or you will turn to God and cling to Him.
Your life can be a song of worship to the God who loves you and has a perfect plan for your life. He is wise and full of love for you.

   Will you depend on God for every area of your life? Will you trust His hand in the most difficult circumstances? Will you reject His ways or sing His praise?
July 2001 In Touch page 27

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Freedom in Christ is God's gift

  “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the spirit who calls out ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.
  Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But not that you know God-or rather are known by God-how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?”

Galatians 4:6-9

  Frustration is defined as “a deep chronic sense or state of insecurity and dissatisfaction arising from unresolved problems or unfulfilled needs.”
  Though “frustration” hardly seems like a tool God would use, Romans 8:20-21 reports that it is an avenue by which God teaches us how to enjoy the freedom He so graciously provides: “The creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”
  Do you experience a deep sense of frustration that derives from problems or needs beyond your control?
  Remember God is in the process of revealing a great lesson to you. He allows frustrations to build so you will be driven back to Him in prayer.
  It is in times of quiet devotion that we hear the Savior whisper to our confused and frustrated hearts words of hope and peace.
  Only God can offer the freedom we need to survive the greatest frustrations. He is the One who knows how to satisfy perfectly our every need.
  Are you feeling frustrated today? Rejoice! God is at work in your life. Ask Him how you should handle this frustration. Never allow feelings of doubt and confusion to rule your emotions. God has set you free!
In Touch July 2001, page 23, July 4

Monday, November 18, 2013

Jesus Christ sets us free from sin

All sin is rebellion against God, but because of Jesus Christ, we can be set free from its entanglement.
  “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
  What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.”
Romans 6:11-18

  There is a sure way to deal with sin and that is by applying God’s Word to whatever temptation you are facing. If not dealt with, temptation will turn into sin, and sin will gain a stronghold in your life. From that point, it will permeate all you do.
  People like to think that sin only affects them. For example, they deny the seriousness of adultery by thinking it won’t hurt anyone else, but it always does!
  Sin destroys families, friendships, but most of all, it destroys our fellowship with God. The aftershock of David’s sin with Bathsheba was felt throughout his family and kingdom. It weakened his ability to rule Israel and cost him the respect of family and countrymen. However, the most dramatic result of his sin was how it clouded his fellowship with the Lord.
  In Psalm 51, David prayed this prayer to God: “Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified when You speak and blameless when You judge” (v.4).
  When we cry out to the Lord, He provides the strength and power we need to deal with our sin. He forgives and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. While there are consequences to sin, God will not caste us away. We may have to endure sorrow and embarrassment, but He will walk beside us and strengthen us in our walk with Him.
In Touch June 2001, page 35, June 29

Saturday, November 16, 2013


“…know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.
If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Galatians 2:16-20
Perhaps, you thought you had conquered every sinful impulse. That was, until temptation or a new set of trails brought to light some area of your life that you thought had been conquered. This is when you wondered, “How could this happen? I am supposed to be free from sin.”
Oswald Chambers explains, “The Savior has set us free from sin, but this is the freedom that comes from being set free from myself by the Son. It is what Paul meant in Galatians 2:20 when he said, ‘I have been crucified with Christ.’ His individuality had been broken and his spirit had been united with his Lord; not just merged into Him, but made one with Him.”
If you have accepted Christ as your Savior, then you are one with Him. His likeness and holiness are present within your life. However, there remains within you a sin nature that must be surrendered to God.
In Galatians 2:20, Paul says, “The life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
The gift of freedom that Jesus gives requires faith. We must believe that He can root out the strongholds within our hearts and that He continuously works to make us free from all sin and bondage. Our responsibility is to say no to sin and yes to God as we trust Him to provide the all-encompassing liberty that our souls crave.
In Touch July 2001, page 22, July 3

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Identity in Christ

If I No Longer Live. . .
If I no longer live…
Then why am I working so hard to sustain and improve my life?
If I no longer live…
Then why do I devote myself to that which is temporal and neglect that which is spiritual?
If I no longer live…
Then why do I chase after that which is perishing?
If I no longer live…
Then why do I fret so much about my castle?
If I no longer live…
Then why is it, no matter how much money I have, I don’t have enough to give to the needy or the Lord?
If I no longer live…
Then why do I invest so much time in my job and so little in my children?
If I no longer live…
Then why am I so intent on leaving in this world a legacy?
If I no longer live…
Then why are my children picking up my worldly values?
If I no longer live…
Then why do I invest so much time into pursuing fun and self-gratification?
If I no longer live…
Then why am I so proud of my accomplishments?
If I no longer live…
Then why do I get so angry with those who cross me or thwart my plans?
If I no longer live…
Then why do I stress out over “things” and why am I so intolerant toward those who mess with my stuff?
If I no longer live…
Then why are my feelings, wishes, and wants so consuming?
If I no longer live…
Then why do I live so much for myself and serve others so little?
If I no longer live…
Then why don’t I love others?
Author unknown

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Jesus Christ is the vine and I am a branch

  1. Jesus is the vine.
  2. The Father is the vine-dresser.
  3. You and I are branches.

Why would Jesus talk in such detail about growing grapes when He was only hours from death and His best friends' hopes had just been crushed?
Clearly, Jesus knew that the time and place were right to show the disciples a new way of looking at things. Jesus wanted them to see their future from the perspective of heaven...
You bear inner fruit when you allow God to nurture in you a new, Christlike quality: 'The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control' (Galatians 5:22)'
you bear outward fruit when you allow God to work through you to bring Him glory.... Whether you're chopping wood for a widow, taking care of an ill neighbor, or spending a lifetime as a missionary in the jungle, outward fruit appears when your motive is to bring God glory.
For the vineyard to really produce, the branches have to respond to the attentions of the vinedresser... all branches do not respond alike. In fact, every branch is the vineyard is unique, and when harvest day arrives, each will have produced a different-sized crop.
The above was quoted from Secrets of the Vine. To find out more about the different branches and their yield read Secrets of the Vine by Bruce Wilkinson.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

God my Father: How can I know Him?


¨      THROUGH HIS WORD “and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

¨      THROUGH HIS SON “…He who has seen Me has seen the Father…”
John 14:9

¨        THROUGH HIS ATTRIBUTES “…God is love.” 1 John 4:8 “Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant.”
1 Corinthians 13:4

¨      THROUGH HIS RESOURCES “…for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

¨      THROUGH HIS PROVISIONS “Don’t be anxious about life, food, and clothing. God cares for the birds, lilies, and grass. You are worth much more.” Matthew 6:25-34

¨        THROUGH MY NEEDS “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

¨      THROUGH MY LOSS OR SUFFERING “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8

¨      THROUGH HIS NAME “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10

Friday, November 8, 2013

God's truth: What we have learned wrongly can be relearned rightly!

 “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” 
2 Corinthians 11:3

“Ed Silvoso defines a stronghold as “a mind-set impregnated with hopelessness that causes us to accept as unchangeable what is known to be contrary to the will of God.” How are these destructive strongholds established in our minds? Usually, they are the result of subtle steps that lead us away from God’s plan for our lives…
Satan is the father of lies, and he will work on our minds to destroy our concept of God and our understanding of who we are as His children. People in bondage don’t know who they are in Christ… Remember, Satan can’t do anything about our position in Christ, but if he can get us to believe it isn’t true, we will live as though it isn’t true, even though it is.
Can strongholds of bondage in the mind be broken? Yes! If our minds have been programmed wrongly, they can be reprogrammed. If we learned something the wrong way, we can learn it the right way. Will this take time? Yes, it will take the rest of our lives to renew our minds and to develop our character. But nothing you do will prove more rewarding.

ü  What mental strongholds in your mind are keeping you from being free in Christ?
ü  What tempting or accusing thoughts does Satan give you to trigger your life-controlling problem?
ü  Does he accuse you about how bad you are and beat you down?
ü  Does he remind you of past failures? Does he tell you that God has given up on you?
ü  Does he tell you that it’s hopeless, that you will never be free?
ü  What does your life-controlling problem do for you that nothing else has been able to do?
ü  How can you exchange the lies for the truth?”

One Day at a Time Mike & Julia Quarles pp 353-356, Ed Silvoso, “Setting Your Church Free” conference, March 1994, Minneapolis, MN.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

God's victory: The key to victory is to practice “threshold thinking.”

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."                                                         1 Corinthians 10:13

“Anabel Gillham tells a story of the time when she was cooking dinner and heard what she thought were her two young sons at the front door. She called out, ‘Come on in, dinner’s almost ready.’ However, it wasn’t her two sons. It was a vacuum cleaner salesman. Once he entered the house it took them almost two hours to get him out.
  We have all unwittingly invited intruders into our minds. Once we allow a tempting or deceiving thought to enter, it is very difficult to get it out…
  The spiritual battle is in the mind, and if we don’t renew and discipline our minds by choosing the truth, we will likely lose the battle. The stakes are huge. To lose could mean personal destruction, alienation and bondage. It is a battle, not a game, and Satan is determined to inflict as much damage as he can.
  The good news? God has promised to provide a way of escape for every temptation. We are promised that no temptation will come our way that is not common to everyone else, and God will enable us to withstand every one. The key to victory is to practice threshold thinking.
  Every temptation comes by way of an initial thought to your mind. It matters not whether the thought is from your own carnal nature, the world or the devil. If you ruminate on that thought and consider it an option, you will eventually act on it, and that’s sin. Instead, Paul instructs us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (see 2 Cor. 10:5b). The first step for escaping temptation is to apprehend every thought as soon as it steps through the doorway of your mind.
  If it isn’t true, don’t think it.
  The way of escape is to choose the truth when any tempting, accusing or deceiving thought first enters your mind…Having the Word of God tucked in your heart and on the top of your mind will help you choose the way of escape.
  We have to practice the presence of God and assume 24-hour responsibility for our thoughts. Hannah Whitall Smith said that our thoughts are what we feed on and what determines our spiritual vitality. Hannah wrote:
   ‘Very few persons realize the effect of thought upon the condition of the soul, that is in fact its food, the substance from which it evolves its strength and health and beauty, or upon which it may become weak and unhealthy and deformed. The things we think about are the things we feed upon. If we think low and corrupt thoughts, we bring diseases upon our soul, just as we bring diseases upon our body by eating corrupt and improper food. If we will take the words of God, that is, His revealed truth, into our lips and eat it; that is, if we will dwell upon His words…we will find that our soul-life is fed and nourished by them, and is made strong and vigorous in consequence.’
  Have you understood how important your thought life is for living a responsible and victorious life? What negative patterns of thinking get you into trouble or weigh you down? Can you identify these thoughts and stop them at the threshold of your mind?”
One Day at a Time Mike & Julia Quarles page 332-334 also The Bondage Breaker, Neil Anderson, p 138 and The Common-Sense Teaching of the Bible, Hannah Whitall Smith pp 25-28

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

God's treasure - love, power, eternal life


2 Corinthians 4:7
His Power “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” Ephesians 3:20

His Love “and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5

The Holy Spirit “Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
I Corinthians 3:16

The Lord Jesus Christ “to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27

God the Father “If anyone loves me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make our abode with him.” John 14:23
“and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:19

Rivers of Living Water “He who believes in Me, as the scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall glow rivers of living water.’” John 7:38

His Wisdom and Knowledge “..resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself (who dwells within us), in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:2-3

You are Complete in Him “and in Him you have been made complete…” Colossians 2:10

Eternal Life “and the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” I John 5:11-12

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Belief in God

Greater is the One who is in you than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set you minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

  “When I (Neil) was a boy on the farm, my dad, my brother and I would visit our neighbor’s farm to share produce and labor. The neighbor had a yappy little dog that scared the socks off me. When it came barking around the corner, my dad and brother stood their ground, but I ran. Guess who the dog chased! I would escape to the top of our pickup truck while the little dog yapped at me from the ground.
  Everyone except me could see that the little dog had no power over me except what I gave it. Furthermore, it had no inherent power to throw me up on the pickup; it was my belief that put me up there. That dog controlled me by using my mind, my emotions, my will and my muscles, all of which were motivated by fear. One day I finally gathered up my courage, jumped off the pickup and kicked a small rock at the mutt. Lo and behold, the mutt ran!
  Satan is like that yappy little dog, deceiving people into fearing him more than God. His power is in the lie. He is the father of lies (see John 8:44) who deceives the whole world (see Rev. 12:9), and consequently the whole world is under the influence of the evil one (see 1 John 5:19). He can do nothing about your position in Christ, but if he can deceive you into believing his lies about you and God, you will spend a lot of time on top of the proverbial pickup truck!
  You don’t have to out shout or out-muscle Satan to be free of his influence. You just have to out-truth him. Believe, declare and act upon the truth of God’s Word, and you will thwart Satan’s strategy. Truth is the liberating agent. The power of Satan is in the lie, and the power of the believer is in knowing truth.
  Many Christians are not living a victorious life because they focus on negative thoughts and circumstances (yappy little dogs) instead of fixing their eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (see Heb. 12:2). When people focus on the dogs, their emotions follow suit and they feel powerless and defeated. If they feel like that long enough, they begin to believe that’s the way it is, so they continue to live that way.
  Scripture has a different order. We have to know the truth; then believe the truth; then live accordingly, by faith, and our feelings will follow. When our Christian experience doesn’t match the truth, we wrongly ask, “What experience must I have in order for that to be true?” Experience will never get you there. You walk by faith according to what God says is true, and your experience will work out.
  The same order applies to our relationship with God and our works of service. I don’t labor in the vineyard, hoping that someday God will accept me. I am already accepted by God; that is why I labor in the vineyard. I don’t do the things I do, hoping that God will someday love me. God loves me; that is why I do the things I do. Remember, it is not what you do that determines who you are. Who you are determines what you do.
  Paul admonishes us in Colossians 3:5-14 to put to death whatever belongs to our earthly nature; to rid ourselves of anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language; to refrain from lying and to practice compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; and, most difficult of all, to bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances we may have. How are we going to do that?
  The first three verses of Colossians 3 tell us that we should set our minds on the things above and our new life within. If we set our minds on the truth that our old self has died, that a new self has been raised up with Christ and that Christ is now our life, then we can walk by faith. The remnants of our old self will fall away and we will become more and more like Christ.”

One Day at a Time Mike & Julia Quarles pp 344-347 also The Bondage Breaker, Neil Anderson pp 23,24.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Humility - what is it?

Humility the Pathway to Greatness

This is the title of the May 2001 issue of “In Touch” magazine.  “Sometimes only though our trails, adversity, and pain, can we truly submit our will to God, which then allows us to turn our hearts to our true home.”

  Dr. Stanley writes, “Humility is not denial of self. It is an embracing of Christ’s life within you where you lay aside your personal wants and needs and adopt His desires and goals for your life.”
  Dr Stanley reminds us of verses in 1 Peter 5:5-7 and James 4:10. Then he goes on to write, “At first, James’s exhortation of humility must have seemed cruel. After all, they were suffering. However, James knew that if they focused on their situation, they would be consumed by it. He also realized that God had a plan for their lives. However, the only way they would discover it was by embracing their circumstances in light of God’s present will for them…
  How do we gain godly humility? The first step toward true humility involves truth-God’s truth. This means that we must commit to studying His Word and be willing to submit ourselves to Him. Only He knows the steps we must take to gain true humility…
What is our motivation for pursuing the spirit of humility?
  • A greater intimacy with Christ.
  • A greater degree of wisdom.
  • A greater sense of blessing-personal and spiritual.
  • A greater sense of doing God’s will, which leads to fulfillment and peace.
Why does God emphasize the idea of humility?
  • There is no salvation apart from humility. The spirit of humility always precedes salvation.
  • All the other graces such as compassion, kindness, gentleness, and forgiveness are affected by humility.
  • Jesus cannot be Lord of your life if there is not a spirit of humility.
  • A lack of humility indicates a lack of fellowship with God.
  • Sincere prayer requires humility.
  • A lack of humility hinders the work of the Holy Spirit.
  • Our relationships with one another suffer when we are not humble in our hearts.
Humility provides an opportunity
  • for us to identify with Christ.
  • to be exalted by Him at the proper time.
  • for Him to embrace our lives with His eternal care.”
This information is from Dr. Stanley’s series, The Path to Greatness-Humility.    May 2001  In Touch pgs 6-9