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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Make Your Way Prosperous

“Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” Joshua 1:7-8 NASB

God’s final instructions to Joshua were clear, obey My Word. God told Joshua to take His word and not turn from it to the right or to the left. He said if you do this “you will have success wherever you go.” God also instructed Joshua on how he would make his ways prosperous, “be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.”

Notice God told Joshua, “you will make your way prosperous.” Joshua will make his way prosperous by living in obedience to God. When God led Israel to their first battle they stood against the greatly fortified city of Jericho. God gave them very specific instructions of how He wanted them to win this battle. Marching around the walls of the city one time a day for six days then seven times on the seventh day and ending it with the blowing of a trumpet was a unique battle plan to say the least. But it worked. Why? Because they were obedient.

The next stop on the battle should have been a breeze compared to the fortified city of Jericho. Ai was far from a Jericho. It was more of a village than a city. However, the men of Ai soundly defeated Israel. How could this be? Israel had sin in their camp. God’s instructions were clear. “Do not turn from it, (God’s Word), to the right or to the left.” The disobedience of God caused the hand of God to be lifted from among them causing a great and humiliating defeat.

Israel saw the error of their way and repented. After they removed the sin from the camp God bestowed upon them grace and restored His mighty hand of anointing. Israel then went on and claimed the land for the Lord.

If we want the hand of God’s blessing to be upon our lives, our ministries, and our churches we must be obedient. If there is sin in our midst we must remove it. God has given to us the choice. We can choose blessings or cursing. If we want to make our ways prosperous, we must be obedient. If we have sin in our midst we remove it and ask God to restore His hand of blessing. He is a God of grace, therefore, He will. We then stand in obedience to Him and conquer the land in the power and prosperity He gives and give Him the glory. Repentance is the first step to revival.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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It’s Done!

“Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous.” Joshua 1:6,7

As Joshua stood at the banks of the Jordan about to cross over and take possession of the land, he knew there was an enemy on the other side willing to fight to the death to keep what they perceived as their land. He knew he was in for a major battle. The enemy wasn’t going to simply hand over the deed to the land once they crossed over. They would have to fight for it.

However, God promised them victory. Three times in chapter one God declared that He would give them possession of the land. In verse three God said in the past tense, “I have given it to you.” It’s already done. When God makes a promise, although it has yet to come to pass, it is done. Jesus has promised that He will return again one day. It hasn’t happened as of yet, but the promise has been made; therefore, it is as good as done. In the same way Jesus perfectly fulfilled the promises of His first coming, He will perfectly fulfill them with His second. It hasn’t happened yet, but it is done. How, you may ask. Because God said it.

With this in mind God told Joshua twice in this verse to be strong and courageous. God said again to Joshua in verse nine, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” I John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.” If we know that God loves us perfectly, which He does, and we are walking in accordance to His path and plan, we have no reason to fear. God is with us; therefore the enemy has no chance at victory, because we already have the victory.

When you choose to callously sit in your comfortable pews, in the midst of your cozy climate controlled coliseums, listening to the cares only of the called standing behind his craftily carved pulpit, you are no threat to the enemy. You are still wandering in the wilderness. As a matter of fact, you are among Satan’s favorite Christians. However, when you come to the point where you are sick and tired of seeing Satan and his minions trample God’s creation and blaspheme His holy name you will chose to stand and fight the good fight. Be warned, when you do Satan will take notice and he will fight back. You are now a threat to him. But don’t fear, be strong and courageous. God will be with you.

Satan’s only hope at victory is for the Christians to remain within the walls and play church. Just like most churches have been doing for years. His greatest fear is for the church to rise up and be the church. For he knows when the church rises to the occasion to fight the good fight he stand no chance at victory-for God’s promises are done! Therefore, stand up and fight the good fight in the name of Jesus!

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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I Will be With You

“No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.” Joshua 1:5,6 NASB

What an amazing promise God gave to Joshua, “No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life.” In other words, all opposition will be shut down, it will not be successful. This doesn’t mean that people will not try to stand in opposition. It means they will not be successful in their futile efforts.

Why was Joshua such a successful leader? Was it his charisma, charm, or upright character? No, it was the hand of God on his life. God told Joshua in verse five, “I will be with you,” and “I will not fail you.” Then again in verse nine God told Joshua, Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Three times in this text God promised Joshua, I will be with you.

Our success is not found in our abilities; rather, in God’s hand of anointing. God called Joshua to lead the nation of Israel into an impossible situation. Left to his own abilities Joshua would have led the people to a sure demise. However, the Word of God is clear; there is nothing impossible for God. Joshua was successful only because God gave him success. Likewise, our success is only found in God’s hand on our lives.

Today I hear so many Christians talk of how hopelessly lost our nation is. They have simply given up and surrendered the land to Satan. I however, chose to believe that God is rising up Joshua’s all over this land; Joshua’s that will stand in the anointed power of Jesus Christ and reclaim this land for His glory. Joshua’s that no man, no government, no entertainment industry, no media, no judicial system, no one will be able to stand against. Then revival will come. Why? Because God said “I will be with you,” and we believed it, and therefore walked in it.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Putting our Feet to Faith

“Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying, “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory.” Joshua 1:1-4 NASB

The time had come for the nation of Israel to cross the river and take possession of the land that God had promised them. God’s Promised Land was very detailed and specific leaving His children with no doubt of their duty. God told them prior to stepping foot on the land, “I have given it to you.” It’s already yours. They simply needed to step out and claim the promise God had already given.

God told them, “every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you.” To tread upon the land is warfare terminology. It means that you have physically entered into the enemy’s territory and claimed it as your own. You have taken it from them and you are now in sole possession. God had given Israel the land. It was already theirs. However, they needed to cross over the Jordan and put their feet into action and physically claim the spiritual promise. They needed to personally deliver to the current residents God’s eviction notice.

In the Old Testament God dealt with a physical nation in a physical way. Today, God deals with us in Spirit and in truth. Therefore, our warfare, although it has physical implications, is spiritual. When we tread upon the enemies territory we do it through the power of prayer. When a missionary goes into an unreached land they will often spend a great deal of time payer walking the region, claiming it for the Lord.

The missionary however, is still faithful to put his feet to faith. He has prayed, and he has believed in God for the preparation of the soil. However, he knows it is still his responsibility to sow the seed and then reap the harvest. If he leaves the prayed over region unevangelised, he has only done half the job. He has not crossed the Jordan nor put his feet to faith.

So many today are satisfied with simply attending church. Nowhere in scripture are we simply commanded to go to church. God wants us to be the church. There is a major difference in the two. For this reason many of our churches are simply wandering around in the wilderness. God however, has called us to put our feet to faith. God has promised the church that whatever we loose in heaven will be loosed on earth. We loose the power of God in heaven onto the earth through prayer. We then cross over the Jordan, put our feet to faith and claim the land for the Lord. We deliver the devil his eviction notice. Revival will not happen while attending church. It will however, happen when the church decides to be the church. God will do His part. However, we need to be faithful and do our part. Put your feet to faith today.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Facing the Giants

“Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying, “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel.” Joshua 1:1,2 NASB

For four hundred years the nation of Israel was slaves of the Egyptian Pharaoh. They were forced into brutal labor and even required to take the lives of their own children at the command of Pharaoh. Their prayer for a deliverer was finally answered through God’s servant Moses. God told Moses, “Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.” (Exodus 6:6). As always, God kept His word.

Shortly after humbling the most powerful nation on earth, at that time, God led His people to the Jordan. God told them Cannon was their land, for He had given it to them. They simply needed to drive out the inhabitants of the land and take possession of it. Prior to crossing the river they sent twelve spies into the land to observe it. They came back reporting that the land was everything God said it was. However, ten of the twelve spies told of giants in the land, stating, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.” (Numbers 13:31). Joshua and Caleb, the other two spies, agreed that there were mighty giants in the land. However, they knew that they were not going in their own strength; they were going in the power of God.

The report of the ten struck fear in the hearts of the people, keeping them from taking possession of the land, causing them wandered in the wilderness until every one of the unbelievers was dead. Now, only Joshua and Caleb remained from their generation, the only two who believed in the power and promises of God.

Now, Joshua was once again standing on the banks of the Jordan River waiting to cross over and take possession of the promise given forty years prior. Joshua knew that there were still giants in the land. However, he also knew that his God was almighty and all powerful. He had seen the strength of his mighty God’s outstretched arm in action and knew that the giants did not stand a chance. He had also seen God keep His promise time after time and knew that this time would not be different.

The reality is we all face giants within our lives that are much bigger than our abilities. Therefore, the question isn’t, “What are we going to do about it?” The real question is, “Are we going to trust in God to do something about it?” We need to be like Joshua and Caleb. We must stand in faith, even when the situation is seemingly impossible, knowing that there is nothing impossible for God. Over the course of this week I will share some of the promises, that we can stand on, that God gave to Joshua just before crossing the Jordan.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Because I am Saved

“ who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity” II Timothy 1:9 NASB

In verse eight of this same chapter Paul asks Timothy to take a huge step of faith and follow him. Hold this into its biblical context-Paul has suffered greatly for his faith, he is in prison for his faith, he is about to be executed for his faith, and now he is asking Timothy to follow him. Paul’s specific request was, “join me in suffering for the gospel.” If anyone were to read verse eight by itself their response to Paul’s request would be, “Have you lost your mind?”

Why would anyone willingly pursue a life that would likely lead to suffering? Because, He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose. Clearly all Christians are called to work for the Lord. Just as clear, we are not saved by our works or good deeds. Works do not save us. (Ephesians 2:8,9). We are saved by placing our faith in the brutal, bloody, and torturous work of Christ on the cross. Faith in Christ’s redemptive work is the only means of salvation.

Why should I serve? Because I am saved. I don’t deserve salvation. Prior to my salvation I was a sinner condemned to eternal death and condemnation because of my sins. However, Christ died in my place so I could have life-and life everlasting. Not only has He saved me, He has also set me on a path of service. He has called every Christian to serve Him. Paul said this calling is a “holy calling.” A holy calling that is gospel centered.

Paul said that the gospel, which is the death burial, and resurrection of Jesus, is of first importance. (I Corinthians 15:3). He also said that he was not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power unto salvation to those who believe. (Romans 1:16). Apart from the gospel all humanity is hopelessly lost and eternally condemned. However, through the power of the gospel, God transforms even the most sinful into a sanctified saint.

Why should I serve? Because I am saved. And, God’s heart is for everyone to be saved. I believe the most wicked form of sin this world has ever seen is not from the actions of the hedonistic people of this world. Lost people will act like lost people because they are lost people standing in need of salvation. The most wicked form of sin comes from the selfish Christian that refuses to serve and hoards the gospel unto themselves. They stand in great need of repentance.

Why should I serve? Because I am saved. My faith tells me that this life is only temporary. I may suffer as a result of my service to the Lord, but that suffering is only temporary. I know where my eternity rests, therefore, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18). Jesus, “who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame” knew that the other side of the cross was eternal joy and everlasting redemption. (Hebrews 12:3). Although those who don’t know Christ as their Lord may have riches and blessings in this life, they will fall into eternal hell and condemnation at the very moment of their death.

Why then do I serve? Because I am saved, saved with a holy calling, saved by my faith in a powerful gospel and I love the God who has saved me knowing He desires all others to be saved as well. I will serve, even if it means I will suffer, because I am saved.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Step Out in Faith

“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God.” II Timothy 1:8 NASB

After Paul’s words of encouragement to Timothy to stir up his gifts and stand in faith he then encouraged Timothy to take a step of faith, a step of faith with the full knowledge that he may suffer for his faith, a step of faith that would move him from his safe zone into a world of hostility.

So many today view the inside of the church as a place of protection from the outer world. They go to church hiding from the evils of the outside world. In a since we have turned our churches into communes rejecting the commission Christ has called us to. We have become like the ostrich sticking its head in the sand hiding from the wicked world not realizing the reason the world is so wicked is directly due to the fact that the church has become trapped inside of its own walls. Satan is perfectly happy with that.

The church does bring an element of protection. However, the purpose of the church is to rise up warriors to go out into the fields of battle for the kingdom of God. Remember though, our battle is a spiritual battle and not a physical one. It is more than a place of protection, it is a place of production; production of powerfully anointed Christians, empowered by an all powerful God, proclaiming a powerful gospel, unashamed of Christ, but joining in suffering denying themselves for the progress of the kingdom of God.

Unfortunately, most churchgoers today are not willing to suffer the loss of time, much less step out in faith and suffer any other loss. They are too consumed with self to serve an almighty mighty God and therefore, stand in need of repentance. Yes, we stand in great need of revival.

Paul’s request was to join with me in suffering-suffering for the gospel. Though we may suffer loss for the gospel in this life our faith assures us that our gain will be much greater than our temporary loss. Jesus said in Mark 10:29-30, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last, first.” Apart from our personal salvation, I can’t think of a greater reward than to know God uses us as a tool to impact someone’s eternity through His powerful gospel. However, I need to make the choice, will I put myself first, or will I step out in faith and put Jesus first in my life through my service of Him?

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Stand Firm

“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” II Timothy 1:7

Keeping this verse within its biblical context we should be reminded of where Paul is. He is in a Roman jail soon to be executed for his faith in Jesus Christ. He is now encouraging Timothy to continue on in the midst of trials and persecutions and stand firm in the name of Jesus.

The world that we live in today is becoming increasingly hostile to those who stand up for their faith. Christians around the world today are being murdered, tortured, and imprisoned for their faith. Although we don’t fear those things in the U.S. we clearly see attempts at character assassination on the rise for those who claim the name of Christ and stand up for biblical principles. Later in this same letter Paul told Timothy, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (II Timothy 3:12).

Paul was encouraging Timothy not to focus on what man is capable of but to stay focused on the Lord. Jesus said in Matthew 10:28, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Our reverent fear should be the awe of God rather than the roar of man.

God has not given us a spirit of timidity, or fear. If God has not given it to us than who has? Satan! Ephesians 6:12 reminds us of who we are battling with,  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Our struggle is not with other people; it is with Satan and his demonic army. We as Christians need to make a choice; are we going to believe the lies of Satan or are we going to stand firm for Jesus? Satan will stop at nothing to prevent every Christian from standing firm in their faith. Why? Because he knows that the Christian who stands up in the Spirit of God is dangerous and deadly to his kingdom.

Remember though, God has not given to us a spirit of timidity. However, He has given to us a spirit of power. Power to stand firm in the name of Jesus and overcome all Satan throws our way. He has given to us a spirit of love. The kind of love that overcomes even the most fierce forms of hate and says, Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing, remembering that our struggle is not against flesh and blood. He has given to us a spirit of discipline. Discipline as of an athlete who stays focused on the goal regardless of the opponent’s efforts to stop him, knowing that the end result of faith and service of Christ is worth every effort. The faithful Christian knows once he reaches the goal the sufferings of this temporary life will be forever behind him and that his service to the Lord will be eternally rewarded. Therefore, stand firm.

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Posted by on January 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Stir up Your Spiritual Gifts

“For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” II Timothy 1:6 NASB

Paul, knowing the time of his death was soon approaching, wrote his last letter to encourage Timothy to carry on with the ministry. He reminded Timothy of his ordination to the work of the ministry and that it was Paul himself who laid his hands on Him. Paul also reminded Timothy of the spiritual gift of God that was in him.

The NASB tells us to, “kindle afresh,” while the NIV says, “fan into the flam.” It illustrates a picture of a fire that has dwindled down to embers and stands in need of being kindled afresh or fanned so it will grow from an ember to a flame. I like the King James wording the best. It says, “stir up the gift of God.” These words give a picture of a fire that is about to die out and stands in need of revival.

For eleven years of my childhood I lived in central California on Vandenberg AFB. That part of California had a very dry climate leaving the land parched and therefore susceptible to wild fires. We were constantly warned to be careful knowing that the smallest spark could set off a raging fire. However, it wasn’t the parched land in and of itself that caused such raging fires. The Santa Ana Winds would kick up out of the east quickly turning the smallest of embers into an inferno.

The Word of God teaches that all Christians have spiritual gifts. Those spiritual gifts are given to us for the purpose of building up the Kingdom of God. (I Corinthians 12:1-11). Clearly, God has called all His children to serve Him. If we chose not to use the spiritual gifts God has given to us, they will die down to a small ember and are of little use. However, if we chose to walk in the gifting and calling God has placed upon our lives the spiritual gifts will be stirred up, kindled afresh, and set aflame for the Lord. If you are unsure of what your spiritual gifts are pray to the Lord that He would show you.

There is no doubt we live in a spiritually parched land. I am thoroughly convinced that it wouldn’t take much of a spark to set off the fires of revival within this dry and weary land. People are hurting, and therefore searching today like never before. They don’t know it yet but what, or who, they are truly searching for is the Lord. It is our responsibility to tell them-whether by word or action.

Imagine, if God’s people as a whole stood up and started stirring up their spiritual gifts in service to the Lord. Imagine, those same people praying for the wind of the Spirit of God to blow a mighty anointing upon those spiritual gifts. Wow! What a fiery, inferno, of a revival we would see. The only question now is, what are we waiting for?  

Raging fire

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Shaping a Sincere Faith

“I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day,  longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy. For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.” II Timothy 1:3-5 NASB

 

As Paul reflected upon the life of young Timothy he thanked God for him and his sincere faith. This was the last letter of Paul. Paul told Timothy in II Timothy 4:6, “The time of my departure has come.” Paul was in a Roman jail persecuted for proclaiming the gospel and knew that the time of his martyrdom for the Lord was soon to come.

Paul reminded Timothy of how the roots of his faith were first formed. His grandmother Lois and mother Eunice were faithful women of God who taught Timothy the ways of the Lord from childhood. The mighty man of God Timothy grew to be was greatly attributed to his godly upbringing.

Paul, knowing his time of death was near, wasn’t concerned for himself. He stated he had a clear conscience. There is no mention of Timothy’s father; however, Paul had taken Timothy under his wing as a son in the faith. After many years of Paul investing into Timothy’s life through mentoring him Paul, now desired to give his last words as words of encouragement to Timothy. Words of encouragement from Paul to Timothy to stand strong, stand firm, stir up your gifts, and step out in faith, even after he’s gone.

Oh, how great a need we have today of children being brought up in a godly upbringing. Oh, how great a need we have today of mentors taking those who are young in the faith under their wing as Paul did Timothy and disciple them. One of the greatest downfalls of the church today is the lack of discipleship. One of the greatest ways of discipleship is for the mature men and woman of God to simply take the babes in Christ by the hand and say, “Walk with me, and I will show you how it’s done.” I am so very grateful for the Paul’s God has put in my path over the years. Timothy, who was now pastor of Ephesus, now had a sincere faith; a sincere faith that was shaped and molded by godly people that God had put in his path. Who has God put in your path? Your children or grandchildren? New believers or those with struggles? Are you shaping a sincere faith within them? Will they carry on after you are gone?

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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