You've Already Got It!

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Philemon 6 "That the communication of your faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus" 

You've already got it!  Everything that you will ever need for this life has already been provided for you. Your healing has already been provided.  Your deliverance has already been provided.  Financial prosperity has already been provided.  You’ve already got it! 

Where is it?  It's IN CHRIST JESUS!  Philemon 6 say's that if you're in Christ, then every good thing is already in you, in your spirit!  It's like a water well, and the pump is activated by "acknowledging every good thing that's already in you”.  In Christ Jesus you are now living from the inside out, not the outside in.  Peace is in you.  Joy is in you.  More than enough is in you.  Start declaring it.  Why?  Because you’ve already got it!

One definition of faith is - a positive response to what Grace has already provided!  God didn't provide healing the day you got sick, HE provided it over 2000 years ago.  God didn't provide finances the day you got that bill in the mail.  He provided it over 2000 years ago!  God didn't provide deliverance the day you fell into bondage or addiction.  He provided it over 2000 years ago!  

If you’re born again, every good thing is already in you, you've already got it!  All that you need is not “out there” somewhere, or in your future, you don’t have to go get it from God.  Simply release the healing that is already in your born again spirit.  Release the finances that are already in you through the finished work on the cross.  Release the peace that is already in you, a fruit of the Spirit.  Halleluiah!  Whatever you need, you’ve already got it.  It is finished!

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The 490 Forgiveness Club

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Mathew 18:21-22 “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive Him? Till seven times? Jesus said to him, “I say not to thee until seven times, but, until seventy times seven” 

There’s a tremendous amount of liberty that comes with recognizing and releasing Christ in you. When you’re really angry with someone, don’t turn the other cheek and say through gritted teeth, “I love you”.  It’s better to say, “Father, in my flesh, I’d like to punch them in the nose right now.  But in my spirit, I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”. Please live through me, help me to release supernatural compassion for this person so I can love them!”  

Peter thought he was being generous when he asked, “How many times should I forgive my brother, up to seven times a day?” Jesus answered, “Not seven times, but seventy times seven”…490 times in one day!  In other words, there shouldn’t be a limit on your forgiveness. 

In your flesh you might be able to forgive a person for something once, twice, or maybe seven times in a day, but what Jesus asked goes far beyond your human ability.  The only way you can forgive like that is by saying, “Father, I can’t do it, but You can.  Lord please love them through me.” 

When you humble yourself, and turn away from your own natural ability and look to God and His divine ability, you’ll discover a supernatural strength flowing through you.  You have an unlimited supply of the God-kind-of-love in your spirit. In your spirit, you have an unlimited ability to forgive, endure, believe, and hope. 

If you catch yourself saying, “I can’t stand this anymore, I just can’t take it, I’m at the end of my rope”, this is good news.  What you’re really saying is, “I’ve come to the end of my flesh!”  Now let your spirit take over. Pray, God, I’ve been trying this myself, which is why I’m burned out, frustrated, and angry. Live Your life through me.  I believe you’re Word. In my spirit, I’m a brand new person, in my spirit I know I can do this!”  Join the 490 Forgiveness Club, the membership is free!

 

Google or God?

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Proverbs 4:20 “Give attention to My words and incline your ear to My sayings” 

Is there any part of your body that is not experiencing life and health?  Many doctors have said that sometimes their patients know more about their illnesses than the doctors themselves!  Why?  Because they’ve gone online and “Googled” it and learned everything they can about their symptoms and sickness. 

The problem is, they know too much about their problem. We don’t need to know the problem better; we need to know the Problem Solver better! God has given us the solution for that. He said, “Give attention to My words and incline your ear to My sayings”. It all has to do with our focus and attention. 

When sickness comes against you, where do you immediately focus your attention?  Don’t Google it, get in the Word!  Google will instantly tell you all the information about the sickness.  God’s Word will tell you what He has to say about sickness.  Which source will heal you?  Which sources will tell you… 

By whose stripes you were healed (1 Peter 2:24)
I am the Lord who heals you (Exodus 15:26)
I will take away sickness from among you (Exodus 23:25)
He sent His Word and healed them (Psalms 107:20) 

Google or God?  It’s your choice!  His words are “life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh”, Proverbs 4:22.  Whatever you may be facing – illness, job loss, loneliness, financial issues, family problems, choose to go to God’s Word…not Google! 

 

Bed, Bath, and Beyond

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John 5:8 – “Rise, take up thy bed and walk” 

Many of you are familiar with the retail store called Bed, Bath and Beyond, great name, right?  Great truth too…from John’s gospel, a bed, bath and beyond experience like no other! 

In John, chapter 5, there was a pool called Bethesda, meaning house of mercy.  It was a public infirmary for the blind, weak, paralyzed and sickly.  It was told that when the waters started to move in the pool, the sick person who could make it in the water first would be healed.  One day, when Jesus was visiting this pool, He spoke to one of the sick folk and asked him a very important question “Do you want to be made whole?”  This is a key factor in receiving a change in your situation, because we can get so used to our “condition” that we can’t even imagine what it would be like without it.  

Notice that Jesus didn’t ask, “Do you want to be healed?”, He asked, “Do you want to be made whole?”  Why?  Because He knew that sickness, poverty, depression and any other prolonged negative circumstance affects every area in a person’s life.  It’s all they think about from morning until night.  They’re not thinking about others, or a bright future or all the amazing opportunities available to them.  It’s about survival.  Jesus is saying, “I’m offering wholeness, not only physical health, but restoration in every area of your life that has been stolen”.  

In John 5:8, Jesus said three things.  First, He said “rise”, meaning change your position, change the way you are thinking to the way He thinks, start to believe that this is not how it’s going to be forever, make the first move toward change by deciding in your mind to simply get up!  He wants us to come to where He is, and not just ask Him to come to where you are.  In John 17:24, Jesus prays for us to “be with Me where I am”.  

Next, He says, “take up thy bed”, meaning, you are NOT going back to that bed!  Everyone that sees that bed in your hands will know that you’ve been delivered.  Taking up your “bed” of affliction says that you are NOT the same, you are the victor and not the victim, and you are NOT going back. 

Lastly, He says “walk”, or live as the delivered, go “beyond” where you were, break through the barriers and limitations that have held you back, put one foot in front of the other!  Open up that savings account and deposit 25 cents a week if you have to, enroll in one college course at a time until you get that degree.  There is certainly nothing wrong with a gradual progression in a positive direction, there’s power in consistency.  In Exodus 23, they took the land little by little.    

So, next time you see a Bed, Bath and Beyond store, think of these three commands, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk!”…transformation God’s way!!!

 

Fast, Slow, Slow

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James 1:19 “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” 

Ever been in a conversation that starts out pretty calm, and then gets a little heated?  I think we all have.  In verse 19, James specifically starts with “my beloved brethren”.  He is speaking to believers…yes, believers get angry.  He is reminding believers that it’s important to know and remember that they are God’s beloved.  That their value comes from God and not the person they are in conversation with.  That people who know they are loved, find it easier to love others. 

Then he gives the progression of a productive conversation.  Be fast to hear.  Self-control makes you a good listener.  Be slow to speak.  Hear the person completely before you respond.  Be slow to wrath.  If things are heading in the wrong direction, wait for a more appropriate time. 

In Proverbs 20:12 it says, “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord has made both of them”.  God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.  I’ve been learning lately that I don’t always have to say something.  It’s okay to not always have to speak if we don’t have something to say. In other word, when someone is sharing something with you, you don’t have to force yourself to come up with something profound to say, you can actually just listen. 

One of the most powerful gifts that we have is to be a good hearer, or a good listener.  James said to be “fast” when it comes to hearing, be slow to speak, and take it to an even slower gear if you find yourself getting angry.  It’s easy…fast, slow, slow.  

 

May the Fourth Be With You

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Genesis 1:19 "And the evening and the morning were the fourth day" 

With Independence Day just behind us, I trust you enjoyed a day of rest and celebration of our nation’s birth, and the blessing that we have in being…the United States of America.    

However, there is another “fourth” that is very, very meaningful to all of us, no matter where we live. On the fourth day of what is called "creation week", God spoke into existence our sun, the moon, all the stars and the seasons. (Genesis 1:14) Interestingly, the Hebrew word for "seasons" is MOED, which is literally translated as "appointed times" (divine appointments).  Get ready for divine appointments in the coming days and some appointed times that are waiting specifically for you. 

“In the evening and the morning were the fourth day".  The Hebrew day started in the evening.  This means that while you are sleeping and resting, God's day has already begun.  Before you open your eyes in the morning, God is already causing favorable opportunities to be presented to you in your life, career, relationships, and pursuits.  

I really believe this means that God wants us to rest.  In the days, weeks and months ahead, as you rest in what He has already finished, divine appointments, key relationships, and Holy Ghost led associations are coming your way.  It's your appointed time.  A time where you will be at the right place with the right person.  

May the 4th be with you!...divine rest, divine activity, totally directed by the Spirit of God, that brings you to your appointed time.  So get ready and get excited because the 4th is with you, and His name is Jesus!

 

Jesus Adds Life to Your Years

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John 6:51 "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he will live forever and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world" 

In this powerful verse, Jesus is telling us that He has given us a conduit for HIS life to affect every area of OUR life…Holy Communion.  Jesus said, "the bread that I will give is my flesh".  The more you partake in communion, the more life is released into your physical body and every other natural part of your life. The more you partake the stronger you become, the more you partake your youth is renewed.  

He has prepared a table of benefits in the presence of all of your enemies. The more you partake the more prosperous you become. He said "as often as you do this you remember His death till He come".  When Jesus died, Colossians 2:15 says that He "disarmed" principalities and powers.  So if you're going through a battle today, release the total disarming of every enemy through Holy Communion.  Fear is an enemy, depression is an enemy, arthritis is an enemy.  

Yes, you can add years to your life and life to your years! How often? It depends, how often you want to disarm you're enemies? It depends how much life you want released into your organs, your brain, your arteries, your joints. How often do you want life released into your finances? Into your home? Into your marriage? You decide!

 

Comparison: The Thief of Joy

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John 21:21-22  "When Peter saw him [John], he asked, 'Lord, what about him?' Jesus answered, 'If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you, you must follow me'" 

Theodore Roosevelt once said, "Comparison is the thief of joy".  Folks, there is no joy to be found in measuring your life against anyone else's. One of the best pieces of advice I've received is, "Never compare your beginning to someone else's middle".  

I hear all the time…I want to be further along in my career. I want to provide better financially.  I want a bigger house.  I want a nicer car.  Why is it easy for her to talk to people?  Everyone loves her.  Why am I not more like that?  I wish I was more outgoing and popular.  He has such a good handle on life, why do I constantly feel like I am struggling to figure things out?  I wish it would be easier, why not me?  These thoughts are like a vacuum that sucks the joy right out of life.   

In John 21, Peter was consumed with what John was going to do.  He was comparing himself to John, and Jesus answered and said "What is that to you?" In other words, Jesus had something unique and special for both John and Peter, but in essence was saying, "Get your eyes off of what he's doing and get your focus on what I've told you to do and Me". 

Listen family, you’re an original, you're not meant to be a copy of someone else.  Don't let comparison be a thief in your life.  Comparing who God has made you to be to someone else, comparing your child to someone else's, or comparing your spouse to someone else's.  That’s a recipe for frustration, disappointment, bitterness, and resentment.  Listen to what Jesus is saying to you…"Don't worry about everyone else, follow Me, listen to me, keep your eyes on ME!

 

Grace for the Last, the Lost, and the Least

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Genesis 32:24 "And Jacob was left alone: and there wrestled a man with him until the break of day" 

Did you know that grace is attracted to our weakness?  So why do we always try to "put our best foot forward" and fix things ourselves?  Why do you we think that God is waiting for us to turn our weaknesses into strengths?  Why do we think God is only interested in our strengths?  Hmm, that leads to another question.  If God is only after strengths, why are the parables all about "the last, the lost, and the least"? 

Wait!  As Spirit-filled Christians who love God, are we sometimes amongst the last, the lost, and the least?  Yes.  Nobody has arrived, we are all in a process of growth.  Before God, we need to "put our worst foot forward" and tell God "I'm weak, God, I have this problem, I can't do that".  God then says, "no problem, I'll be your strength".

In Genesis 32, Jacob wrestled with God.  We heard this taught that Jacob was implying, "God I won't stop wrestling until You bless me".  But if you read it carefully, as Jacob wrestled with God, God said in verse 26, "let Me go".  God wanted to leave, but when God touched his thigh, Jacob now needed God, and God couldn't  go.  There was no way Jacob was going to let God go, he needed Him in this state of weakness.  That's when God's grace came…when Jacob was at his weakest.   

If a person is drowning in an ocean, and someone comes to rescue them, if the person who is being rescued is thrashing in the water, he will bring both people down.  If the person being rescued simply lets go, and stops exerting his own strength, he will live.  

Jesus loves to help the last, the lost, and the least.  It's the self-sufficient and self-confident that He can't help.  When you're at the end of yourself, you have just found the beginning of God!  He loves to help those that have no more hope, no more help, no end in sight.  If you are at the end of your rope, there is a life line waiting for you, His name is Jesus, and He is a very present help in your time of need.

 

I'll Be There

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Judges 6:15-16 -  "So he said to Him, 'O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house'.  And the Lord said to him, 'Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man'.” 

Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 recorded a song in August, 1970 called I'll Be There.  In his autobiography Moon Walk, Michael Jackson said I'll Be There was one of the most important songs that they had ever recorded. All Music said about the song "Rarely, if ever, had one so young, sung with so much authority and grace, with wisdom and understanding far beyond his years". It was the most successful single ever released by the Jackson 5. 

Well, 5 is the number of unmerited favor and grace in the Bible. In Judges 6:15-16, it's speaking about a young man named Gideon who God had chosen to deliver all of Israel. His response when he was called?  "My family is poor in Manasseh", and did you notice, Lord? "I'm the least in my father's house". 

You see, grace flows best when we feel the weakest, the smallest, the poorest, the least qualified.  But in God's economy, He doesn’t "call the qualified", He "qualifies the called".  God loves choosing the foolish things to confound the wisdom of the world.  Him?  Her?  Are you serious? 

Great confidence rises up on the inside of you when you hear God say to you, "Surely, I will be with you".  Whatever the task is, no matter how big the situation looks, if He called you, He has promised to "be there".  He will never leave you or forsake you.  Verse 17 goes on to say, "Lord, if I have found grace…"  Grace is a person, and His name is Jesus, and He is in you.  Grace is with you in the impossible situation you are facing, rely on Him. Hear Him saying to you this week, "I'll be there". 

 

The Miracle that comes AFTER

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John 6:23 "Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after the Lord had given thanks" 

The Father was so glad about this that He wanted the Holy Spirit to write this down - the miracle happened after the Lord had given thanks. This is referring to the miracle of multiplying the loaves and the fishes to feed over 20,000 people in John 6:11. 

The miracle happened after Jesus had given thanks. We can have 98% health in our body, but still focus on the 1 or 2% that hurts.  God wants us 100% healthy, but we tend to focus on the little that we don't have at that moment. You may not be in the home of your dreams yet, but the miracle will happen "after" you give thanks. It could be that your child is out there doing his or her thing.  What will happen when you give thanks for full restoration?   

But why did the Lord give thanks?  He is the Lord Himself.  Because He is showing us how we need to receive a miracle.  A miracle of provision, a miracle of healing, a miracle of parenting your child, a miracle in your marriage, or a miracle for your mind.  If you're always distracted, remember, that's the work of the enemy who wants you to take your eyes off of Jesus and onto your need. 

Martha was "much distracted"…how can you be distracted when the Lord Himself is right there in your living room!!?  Why are you thinking about food when the one who multiplied the loaves and fishes is in your presence?  This was purposely put there for us.  I believe that many of you will testify to awesome miracles before this year is out "after you have given thanks".  We are already seeing them in our family.  Give thanks, then get ready!

 

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

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James 1:17 NIV "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" 

The grace of God can be described in two words "free gift". Everything about the grace of God is simply "the gift that keeps on giving".   Grace is always giving in every circumstance, it's a gift that never stops! 

To understand the grace of God you have to understand that life is all a gift. Health is a gift, a promotion is a gift, a love one finding his way home is a gift, life is a gift. In James 1:17, I'm so glad it says "every GOOD GIFT" and every "PERFECT GIFT".  Sickness isn’t included as a gift from God, a car accident isn’t a gift, although walking away without a scratch is a gift.  Losing your job isn’t a gift, unless very soon after you get a better job with better pay and better opportunities, that’s a gift.   

What's really great is that the Father doesn’t change, He's always "good" and His gifts are always "perfect", that’s good news. The scripture says that God is not like a "shifting shadow".  I love that because a shadow is constantly changing second by second minute by minute day by day.  His love for us is a gift that never shifts like a shadow.  His provision for us is a gift that never shifts like a shadow.  

Since Jesus is full of grace and truth, then Jesus is a gift.  Our relationship with Him is a gift.  His friendship with us is a gift.  He is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. That's great, great news to me.  It's the nearly too good to be true news.  So enjoy a life of gifts, God's grace that just keeps giving and giving and giving every day!

Better ATE Than Never

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Job 23:12 ESV "I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my favorite food" 

Here’s something interesting.  Well known chefs are teaming up to advocate for food waste reduction in the U.S.  This food campaign encourages Americans to make simple lifestyle changes like making shopping lists, freezing food and using leftovers to reduce waste in the home. Every year, 40 percent of food in the U.S. is thrown away without getting eaten, contributing to the 1.3 billion tons of perfectly edible food that are lost or wasted worldwide annually. 

Our scripture for today compares a love for natural food to a love for the Word.  I have a few questions for you today, are you “eating” right?  Are you eating a regular diet of the Word of God?  Are the words you’re speaking wasted on negativity?  Are they filled with doubt? Do you esteem Your time with the Word more precious than your basic natural necessities?  Imagine your favorite food.  Now imagine loving the Word of God, and enjoying it as much as and more than your favorite food.    

Proverbs 4:22, says that His Word is "life to those who find them and health to all your flesh".  Think about it, the Word of God will affect ALL your flesh, that's your physical body, that's all the natural areas of your life!  Eating God’s Word daily is what will give you a healthy life.  Whatever it takes, don’t go without a steady diet of God's Word.  Make it your highest priority.  Enjoy a God-meal today…it’s better ATE than never!

Out on a Limb

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Mathew 14:28,29 "Lord, if it's you, Peter replied, tell me to come to You on the water. Come, He said, then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus" 

Anybody feel like they're living life "out on a limb"?  Taking risks?  Living on the edge?  That's great news.  Why?  Out on the limb is where the fruit is!  

In Mathew 14, the disciples were in a boat in the middle of a huge storm way off shore, and Jesus came toward them walking on the water.  The first thing He said to them was "Don't be afraid, I'm here".  Peter took one look at Jesus and said, "If that's really You, tell me to come".  Did you know that there was really very little difference between being in the boat and getting out of the boat?  A storm is a storm, no matter where you are.  But to get to Jesus or to get to the supernatural, Peter had to make a decision to do something different than what everybody else was doing. 

Jesus said, "Come!"  Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on water!  In verse 30 it says that Peter took a look around and "began to sink".  Technically speaking, he should have sunk as soon as he stepped on water.  But not Peter.  He was doing the miraculous, walking on the water, and only "began" to sink when he focused on the surrounding circumstances.  

If you "stay in the boat", you're never going to see the miracle of walking on the water.  To see the supernatural you'll have to sometimes, well…no…most of the time, take a risk. Jesus said in Ephesians 3:30, "according to the power that works in us" . God wants us to participate in our own miracle. Come on, get out on the limb, walk in the supernatural, get out where the fruit is!!

 

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1 Timothy 1:10,11 "Sound doctrine (is) in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed (happy) God" 

A great part of God's glory is His happiness.  Paul says that "sound or healthy doctrine" is in agreement with an understanding that God is a happy God, not an angry God.  Paul used the phrase "the glory of the happy God" because it is a glorious thing for God to be as happy as He is, infinitely happy. 

Gods glory consists much in the fact that He is happy beyond our wildest imagination.  This is the gospel, the gospel of the glory of the happy God.  It is great news that God is gloriously happy, no one would want to spend eternity with an unhappy God!  

Jesus invites us to spend eternity with a happy God when He says, "enter into the joy of your master", Mathew 25:23.  Jesus lived and died that His joy, God's joy, "might be in us and our joy might be full", John 15:11. The happiness of God is first and foremost for His Son.  So, the exact same happiness that God has for Jesus, He has for you and me.  

Revelation 4:11 says, "for thou has created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created".   You and I were created by God for a very important purpose, we make God happy!  Certainly not because of our behavior, but because of His extreme love for us and His son Jesus.  We bring Him great joy.  He is a happy God.  Enjoy Him today the way He enjoys you…be happy!

 

A la carte Grace?

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Romans 11:6 "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work" 

When it comes to restaurants, a la carte is the way to go.  You can pick and choose, and mix and match from a variety of items on the menu.  A little of this and a little of that.  It makes the dining experience fun and exciting.  But when it comes to grace, a la carte is NOT the way to go.  Here's why… 

Grace and law don't mix.  It's either one or the other.  Yet some people try to live in both.  They know they are saved by grace, but they believe they are sanctified by works.  But according to the Word, you are saved by grace and sanctified by grace.  In other words, all the blessings of God come to us as free gifts.  Forgiveness, salvation, righteousness, healing, holiness…all free gifts.  

Mixing grace and the law (works and performance based righteousness) is like "carrots and sticks".  Carrots are the blessings you get for obedience and sticks are the penalties you pay for disobedience.  If you do good, you get good , if you do bad, you get bad,  If you confess, you'll be forgiven; if you do right, you'll be accepted; if you act holy, you'll be holy, and so on. 

An a la carte grace puts the emphasis on you and what you have done.  Your identity will be defined by your productivity, you will start to think of yourself as God's servant instead of His beloved son or daughter.  Worst of all, you'll end up totally distracted from Jesus and focused on your works instead of His finished work on the cross.  

So remember you were saved by grace and you now live by His grace.  All of life is now a gift, so simply receive and be empowered unto total salvation.  No more picking and choosing, mixing and matching grace and law.  Stay focused on Jesus.  Enjoy pure grace!

 

Raiders of the Lost AARP

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Deuteronomy 30:19-20 ….."For He is your life and length of your days…" 

The American Association of Retired People (AARP), founded in 1958, was established with the goal of helping Americans, age 50 and older, remain physically and intellectually active by serving others.  Why?  People are simply living longer.  In 2015, the world was home to nearly half a million centenarians (people ages 100 and older), more than four times as many as in 1990, according to United Nations estimates. 

So many studies have been done on centenarians and longevity, concluding that long life is something you can "achieve" if you do all the right things.  Two scientists in Okinawa, Japan studied centenarians for over three decades.  They attribute long life to genetics, diet, an active lifestyle, a relaxed life, and a "don't worry, it will work out" mindset.  

Would you like to hear God's supernatural prescription for long life?  The Bible says the Lord is your life and the length of your days. In other words, the length of your days is a person, and His name is Jesus!  Psalm 91:14-15 says, "With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation".  The secret for long life is found in the last word of the last line…salvation.  

The Hebrew word for salvation in this verse is Yeshua, meaning Jesus.  Glory to God!  In other words, you could say, "With long life I will satisfy him by showing him My Jesus".  Wherever you see Jesus in the Word, you see long life and length of days.  See Jesus and see longevity.  And not just surviving or existing either, God promises us a long, strong and satisfying life.  So, today I am here to announce to you, you're later days shall be greater than your former days, in Jesus' name.  Can I get an amen?!!

 

There's a Ram in the Thicket

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Genesis 22:13-14 "And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah Jireh [the Lord will provide]…" 

Once in a while, our dog Benny will find himself stuck halfway inside the rung of our kitchen counter stool.  We have to go and get him unstuck.  Then we find him stuck halfway under the laundry room bench.  Then the kitchen chair.  And we have to go and get him unstuck.  He's something else! 

In Genesis 22:13, it says, the ram was "caught in a thicket by his horns".  Most rams get caught in a thicket by their fur and are cut by the thorns.  But this ram had to be a without blemish or cuts of any kind to qualify as a perfect sacrifice.  It was a type of our Lord Jesus Christ,  Hallelujah.  As Abraham went up the mountain in obedience to God's instruction, a "ram" was going up the other side of the mountain.  Glory to God!  

Here's a word from the Lord for you today.  There's a "ram in the thicket" for you in your situation.  Whatever your need is today, be encouraged, there is a "ram" going up the other side of the mountain for you.  Jesus is called "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world".  That means, before you had a problem, God had the answer.  Before you had a question, God had the answer.  Before you had a diagnosis, God already provided the healing!  So get up and dance and shout!  Lift up your eyes. God provided His Son, His only Son, for you.

 

Son-Burn

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Luke 24:32 - "Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures?"

Summer is on its way, which means it's time to stock up on the sunscreen.  Nothing worse can happen on vacation than a bad sunburn.  Everything is sensitive when you even touch it, sometimes you can actually feel the heat coming off of your skin. 

After Jesus rose from the dead He gave us the secret to a different kind of sunburn…a "Son-Burn"!  Something happens to you when the scriptures are opened up to you.  Revelation, understanding, insight, joy…something supernatural.  It causes your heart to burn within you. It's the light of God's Word exposing every area of darkness and bringing deliverance, healing, freedom, excitement and fulfillment like nothing else. 

On this Resurrection Sunday weekend, my prayer for you is that your heart would burn on the inside of you, as you open up the scriptures.  That you would receive a "Son-Burn"!  But I must warn you - excessive exposure to the Word of God can cause side effects such as raising the dead, healing the sick, extreme favor, restoring the lost, miracles, and so much more!

 

Elisha...the Water Boy?

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2 Kings 3:11 "But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the Lord, that we may enquire of the Lord by him? And one of the king of Israel's servants answered and said, Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah" 

Elijah and Elisha are two of the most recognized and powerful prophets of the Old Testament. When it came time for Elijah to leave earth, he was taken to heaven in a whirlwind. He was instructed by God to anoint the man that would be his successor. His name was Elisha. 

Just before Elijah went to heaven, Elisha requested that he might have a double portion of the spirit of Elijah. In the new covenant, in John 3:34, it says, "For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him." Therefore, there is no such thing as a "double portion" in the new covenant.  We have no measure of the Holy Spirit in us on this side of the cross.  If you're saved and filled with the Holy Spirit you are "wall to wall Holy Spirit". 

Nevertheless, there is a powerful principle here.  King Jehoshaphat was looking for a man of God to advise him about a certain military campaign.  When Jehoshaphat inquired about a prophet of the Lord, Elisha was recommended.  Elisha was referred to as being the one "which poured water on the hands of Elisha".  These were his credentials. He had been a faithful servant to Elijah. 

Imagine that.  Before Elisha was promoted, he was a servant, he helped in menial tasks, including washing the hands of his mentor.  Elisha became a mighty man of God, but he received his training as a servant!  This is the way spiritual leaders are formed. It involves serving others and learning from those we serve. Servants learn by serving.  We prepare to lead by following.  It is next to impossible to be a great leader if you haven't been a servant. Would you like to be promoted?  Then get you water pitcher ready and get in line, you could be next!