The Accepting Church

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Romans 15:7 NIV - “Accept one another, as Christ accepted you”.

Divine acceptance will change the world! But before it does, it must first change the church. The problem with a “mixed” grace message (mixing grace with the law or a works based message) is that it makes the children of God fearful of their Heavenly Father. It paints a frown on the face of love. Can you imagine God the Father frowning at Jesus? Of course not. Neither is He frowning at you.

In the old covenant they prayed for the day when the Lord would make His face shine upon them, be gracious to them, and give them peace. The awesome news is, we are living in that day, right now. He is looking you in the face and beaming with a galaxy sized smile. You are the apple of His eye. He rejoices over you with singing. When we get a hold of this, it will transform us into the “accepting church”.

Freedom is found in the Fathers acceptance, when you know that you are your Daddy’s delight. When you know that He loves you and accepts you, unconditionally. You are accepted in the Beloved. People who know that they are accepted, are more apt to accept others. Be free! “Accept one another, as Christ accepted you”.

 

Come Away and Rest Awhile

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Mark 6:31 “come away ......and rest awhile”

Burnout is something that all of us face in one form or another in life. Burnout can look like: 1) overwhelming tiredness over what needs to be done or what is looming ahead. 2) frustration at the constant needs, demands, and expectations of others. 3) lack of vision of what the future holds 4) depression, agitation, anger, stress, and anxiousness. 5) physical illness and lack of care for yourself, and 6) judgement and offense towards those you feel are demanding of your time, energy and efforts.

There are always things to do. There is always more that could be done. More that should be done. The question comes up, are these things we’ve laid on ourselves from the heart of God or our own devised plans or demands of others? Wayne Cordeiro, author of Leading on Empty, says that “people’s needs are great and their expectations are endless. You can’t base your life on the expectations of others”. He said, “It is good to wean ourselves off the need to be needed.”

In Mark 6 it says “come away...and rest awhile”. I like that because you need to actually get away from some things to truly rest. Remember, God doesn’t give you a vision for your life that will end in burnout. That will hurt or destroy relationships, or cause stress or illness. Our visions and lifestyle are to be birthed out of our relationship with the Father, therefore they are sustained by that same relationship. Even in your thoughts and your mind, it’s good to “come away...and rest awhile”. His grace is always available to keep you refreshed, renewed, and refilled! So, how about you? Whether it’s for a minute, a day, a week, or a month…when the activity of this world starts to crowd your mind and your life…stop…come away…breathe...rest awhile…then head back refreshed.

 

End Time Global Chilling

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Matthew 24:10-12 “Then many shall be offended, and shall betray one another, and many false prophets shall arise and deceive many…and the love of many shall wax cold”.

The greatest end time threat to our lives and to our society is not global warming, but global chilling. Let me explain. In Luke 17:1 Jesus said “it is impossible that no offenses should come”. What a statement. Every one of us will have the opportunity to be offended, be misunderstood, experience an injustice, and a heartache of some kind. However, it’s our choice how to respond when these things happen, because they will happen. Unfortunately, offense has become the “legal drug” of the church.

When we get offended, we get deceived, and then we begin to view everything through the prism of our pain. Notice the progression, first the offense, then the decision to be offended, then betrayal, hatred, false prophecy, and then finally our heart becomes cold... frigid…and global chilling sets in toward others…brrrrrrrrrrrr!

But, here’s the good news. We can be set free from offense. Psalm 119:165 says that people who love the Word of God have great peace, and nothing offends them. They don’t judge other people’s motives behind their actions. In Exodus 15, the people of Israel came to a body of water and it was bitter. Then God showed Moses a tree, and instructed him to throw it into the waters, and they became sweet. That’s an example of the cross of Calvary when applied to bitterness in our souls. Nothing so bad has happened to you that is greater than what Jesus has done for you at the cross. So when offenses come, and they will come, let all bitterness be turned into sweet waters that will produce healing for others. The change starts with you. Put a stop to global chilling!

 

Stressed Spelled Backwards

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1John 4:19 - ESV Translation - “We love because He first loved us”.

This morning I was in a beautiful town of Woodland Park, CO and I noticed a little donut shop with lines going out the door, onto their porch, and down their stairs. Can’t beat that for advertisement! I got in line to see what was so great about the place. When I finally got inside, I saw a sign that read “stressed spelled backwards is desserts”…LOL! I know some of you who would love that!

In the New Testament, 1 John 4:19, says, “We love because He first loved us”. In the Old Testament, Deut. 6:5 says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength”. That’s backwards. It’s impossible to love the Lord with all your heart, soul and strength. Utterly impossible. When we live backwards from the new covenant we get stressed. When we live under the old covenant, it’s all works. We are trying to get something through our own works that’s already ours through the finished work on the cross.

If I had a choice between being stressed and enjoying desserts, I choose desserts. They’re much more fun. God wants us to live the sweet life, the good life, the new covenant life. Like 1 John 4:19 says, it’s what He has done first that empowers you second. You decide, old covenant , performance, comparison, impossible standards, always falling short, looking at yourself…OR new covenant, all eyes on Jesus and His finished work! God always serves dessert first. Enjoy it. Guilt free!

 

R&R

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Isaiah 28:12 “To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith you may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not” 

The phrase “R&R” is an abbreviation for rest and recuperation.  It originated as a military term referring to the time members of the armed forces spend relaxing and resting away from the war or the battle. The military knows that for their forces to be effective and at their optimum, and to avoid burnout, they need R&R!  I love the dictionary definition of R&R, it’s awesome.  It means” relaxing when you’re not working”. 

So how does a believer enjoy this rest that verse 12 talks about?  You need to go back to verse 11 which describes one of, if not the most important, grace gifts, speaking in tongues.  “For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people”. This is so powerful. 

Many of you have been facing battles and you’re wondering “What should I do?”  Here’s what you should do…get some R&R, praying and singing in the Spirit.  Praying in your prayer language gives you rest and refreshing in the presence of your enemies.  Raise your hand if you could use some R&R!   If you feel tired and worn out, if you’re on edge with your emotions, or having trouble sleeping, get some R&R.  Are you irritable? Frustrated?  Anxious?  All of the above? Take five.  Take five minutes right now and pray in tongues. 

If you’ve never heard of speaking in tongues, or would like to know more about it, Pastor Joe has a free message for you called Speaking in Tongues.  It will truly help you understand and receive this powerful gift.  Receive this grace gift today and start enjoying an unlimited supply of R&R, anytime and anywhere. 

 

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!

 

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!!!

 

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". 

 

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!!

 

Don't Let Fear Shut You Up

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John 20:19-20  "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and said unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord." 

Why were the doors shut?  "For fear of the Jews".  Fear will always try and shut you up, close you in, and restrict you in every way.  It will try to stop you, keep you from moving forward, and from breaking free of all limitations. But be encouraged, fear did not stop Jesus when He found His disciples gathered together, behind closed doors, and it can't stop you. He came and stood in the midst of their fear.    

And what was the very first word the resurrected Jesus said to His frightened disciples?  In our English bibles, it says "peace be with you", but our Lord would have spoken in Hebrew.  He would have used the word shalom.  Shalom is taken from the root word shalam, which means, “to be safe in mind, body, or estate.” It speaks of completeness, fullness, or a type of wholeness that encourages you to give back. 

"Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side."  These were the receipts of His payment for their shalom, and of His guaranteed peace.  Jesus paid the price for your shalom. You don't have to be full of worries and cares.  For every fearful and threatening situation in your life, you can declare the same thing that Jesus said to His disciples, "shalom".  Fear can't shut you up, unless you let it.  So don't let it.  Shalom.  

 

God's Grace Graph

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Romans 5:9 "Much more then, being justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him" 

If you followed the news recently, you may have heard about the sudden shift in the stock market.  How it skyrocketed for twelve months, and then a few weeks ago declined at a rapid rate.  When it was going up people were up.  When it went down, some commentators were reporting that the "sky was falling"!  Well guess what, it started back up again. 

I want to ask you a very important question…is your view of God's love for you up some days and down the next?  If it were charted on a graph, how would it look?  Perhaps after a great church service, you feel God's love for you is "up".  Then you do something you shouldn't have, and you feel God's love for you is "down".  Then you read your Bible, and you feel like God really loves you!  Then you don't read your Bible one day, and your graph shows a decline.  Here's some good news.  God's love for you is constant.  It never changes.  Your behavior does not change God's love for you.  

Romans 5:8 says "But God commended His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us".  Then in verse nine it says, "Much more then, being justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him".  In other words, before you were saved, as a sinner, God's grace abounded toward you.  How "much more then", after you were saved, did His grace super abound toward you. That's really big.  

Fix your eyes on His love for you, not on your performance or behavior.  His love for you is unshakable and immovable.  When you do, you remain stable, settled and strong no matter how you "feel".  No more up one day, and down the next.  God's grace graph is always the same…love, love, love.   

 

Fix or Facts by Natalie Fortunato

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James 1:14 - "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed" 

Some of you might remember a song from the early 70's called If Loving You is Wrong (I Don't Want to Be Right).  It's a song about a man that's in love with a woman, but he's married, and the woman he's in love with is not his wife!  For some reason, that title has always stuck with me.  I guess it's because I've seen it play out over and over again in people's lives.  They know that something's totally wrong for them, but they want it anyway.   

Are you holding on to or involved in something that you know is not good for you, but you want it anyway?  Are you holding on to something that's hurting you, but you think that letting go will hurt even more?  If yes, then you have a choice to make, do you want a fix or the facts?  

A fix: when you take matters into your own hands, and try to satisfy your desires your way.  When you do things, and won't allow God to do them for you, in His way and in His time. When you decide what's best.  When you answer your own prayers.     

The facts: When you surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth from God's Word, and you make yourself accountable to them.  When you know who you are in Christ and find your value and identity in Him. When you stick to what God has told you to do, no matter what.  

A fix or facts.  You choose.  (Choose facts!)

 

 

Trust Now, Understand Later

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John 13 :7 " What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand" 

Much of the Christian life is spent trusting Jesus now and understanding later. Jesus typically doesn't always explain on the front end why He is doing something the way He is doing it. Like Peter, when something looks wrong to us, we are tempted to go against the Lord's will.  God wants us to trust Him.  During those times when we don't understand, we need to remember Jesus' words to Peter, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand". 

Peter had grown used to Jesus doing and saying unpredictable things, but in the context of John 13:7, the way Peter saw it, Jesus washing the disciples feet was just plain wrong.  He believed Jesus was the last person in the room who should be washing feet, that was a house servant's job, a non-Jew.  People traveled in sandals, their feet were smelly, dirty and came in contact with things the law declared unclean.    

Here's the twist.  Under the law the unclean makes the clean, unclean.  But under grace, the clean makes the unclean, clean.  Jesus washed the disciples feet, when it should have been Peter down washing the feet of Jesus.  It looked like it was all backwards.  Peter didn't understand in the now, but he would later.

Today you may not understand what God is doing in your life, but trust Him, you'll understand later.  Follow the example in His Word, listen to that still small voice that says "This is the way, walk ye in it" (Isaiah 30:21). Remember this simple truth, God is good, all the time. When your down to nothing, God is up to something!  Something good.  

 

Step Into Peace

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Mark 5:34 "and He said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague" 

Imagine being healed of a blood disorder after 12 years of going to every doctor you could find, spending every penny had, and things just getting worse.  Just like that, one encounter with Jesus and she was instantly healed.  What happened next?  He said to her "Go in peace", or in the original Greek, "Go into peace".  This is really important.  Jesus wasn't bidding her farewell.  He was telling her to step into the realm of peace, the way you would step into a house. 

You might be going through a prolonged season of challenges where nothing you have done seems to work. Perhaps you are dealing with a chronic condition.  Or maybe you’re a single parent struggling to make ends meet. Or possibly you have done all that you can to mend a broken relationship, but all your efforts have come up short.  

Jesus is inviting you to receive grace for your situation, step out of your place of fear, worry, and anxiety, and step into the realm of peace.  Peace is a key component to keeping what grace has given through the finished work of the cross.  Grace and peace always go together, as seen in so many of Paul's epistles.  So, go ahead, receive your victory, and step into peace, it will change the course of your life.  

 

Never, Never Land

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Hebrews 13:5-6 - "…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." 

In the popular children's story Peter Pan, there is an imaginary place that is so ideal and perfect called Neverland.  As believers, we too have an ideal "Never" land of our own.  In fact, it's a "Never, Never" land.  The only difference, it's not imaginary, it's real.  

As described in Hebrews 3:5, it's a place in Christ that God promises to never leave us.  Never.  When things are going great, He's with us.  When things are falling apart, He's with us.  When we are doing everything "right", He's with us.  When we're doing everything "wrong", He's with us.  

He said it twice, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you", meaning never, never.  God is saying to us in the strongest possible way, that He will never ever leave us or forsake us.  

Still not convinced, look at this verse in the Amplified Bible:  "…for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]" 

No matter what is happening in your life today, God is with you.  Living and abiding in you.  Even if you have turned your back on Him, He will never, never leave you.  He doesn't come and go based on your performance or behavior.  He is committed to you.  He loves you.  

 

Toes, Heels, Soles

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Joshua 1:3 "Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said to Moses" 

There's basically three types of people that I have met in life.  First, people that walk on the toes of their feet.  Second, people that walk on the heels of their feet. And third, people that walk on the soles of their feet. 

People that walk on the toes of their feet tip toe through life, like the teenager who walks in two hours after curfew, and his dad is sitting on the Lazyboy in the living room waiting for him.  He tip toes in because of fear.  Fear causes people to walk on "egg shells", afraid of situations, people and challenges.

 People that walk on their heels are those who are ready to go backward at the first sign of opposition.  If it doesn't happen immediately they assume, "Well I guess it wasn't God".  A little wind can push them back into neutral.

People that walk on their toes are those who are ready to move forward at a moment's notice.  They are well balanced.  They walk with confidence of "knowing the One in whom they believe".  

The key for Joshua is that four times God instructs him to "be strong and of a good courage".  Under God's grace we know that His strength is made perfect in our weakness.  When we are weak then He is strong. Whatever you're facing today…financial hardship, pain inyour body, a child who's not acting right…, "walk on the soles of your feet".  Press toward the mark with confidence in God's Word, toward the victory that is already yours in Christ, waiting for you to receive it.  Toes, heels, soles…you get to choose.   

 

Breaking Through Resistance

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Philippians 3:14 "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God In Christ Jesus" 

Even a dead fish can swim downstream.  Know why? There's no resistance!  How do you respond to resistance in your life?  When you decide to live in the "high calling", you will face opposition and resistance.  "…all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" 2 Tim3:12. 

So, if there's a "high calling", there must also be a "low calling". The high calling is a life lived on earth according to heaven's standards; it's seeing the kingdom of God manifestedthrough an individual's life. People who live in the high calling control their surroundings. By staying in their authority, they change the spiritual climate around them. 

Darkness cannot overpower light, light always expels darkness.  The brighter the light, the more darkness is displaced. This is how it is when we walk in the authority of God's kingdom.  We place our surroundings under its rule.  Jesus could eat with sinners because HE controlled the atmosphere. If you are stronger in God then the unbeliever is in the devil, you will control the atmosphere.  If the sinner is more dominant  in evil than the believer is in righteousness, the unbeliever will control the atmosphere. 

Again, when you decide to live the high calling, you will face opposition.  But you've already overcome because of the finished work on the cross.  Yet many settle and live for the low calling.  Why?  They don't want to face the resistance that accompanies pressing toward the high calling.  They would rather conform to their surroundings than change them with godly confrontation.  It's much easier to blend in than to stand out. 

The word "press" signifies an aggressive mentality that refuses to give up, rather than a "passive" mentality that follows the path of least resistance.  Keep pressing forward with the Grace of God and the power of the Holy Ghost.  Greater is He that is in you than what you are facing in the world. Break through the resistance!  Press toward the mark!  Start today!

 

Why is it Taking So Long for God to Answer My Prayer?

Daniel 10:12  "Then he said to me, 'Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words"' 

Day 1: Daniel prayed.  Day 10: Didn't see the answer yet.  Day 20: Still didn't see the answer.  Day 21: Angel shows up, Bam!  He sees the answer to his prayer.  Wow.  Have you ever prayed for something, and it came rather quickly, and then at other times it seems like it took a long time?  

Why does God answer some prayers in a short period of time, and some prayers in three weeks or three years?  Here's the problem with that question.  God answered your prayer the moment you prayed it.  However, we think God answered it when we see it with our own eyes.  God told Daniel, "from the first day…your words were heard, and I have come because of your words".  The variable is not God.  It says in John 4:24 that "God is Spirit", He moves instantly. 

So what happened?  In verse 13, it says, "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days".  Your faith is like a bridge from the spiritual world to the physical world.  If you quit standing in faith to see the answer to your prayer because you can't see it, you can stop the manifestation.  What if Daniel had quit on the 20th day, right before the 21st day when he got his answer?  When we pray, we must believe that the power of God is released instantly on the first day that we pray. Period.  Expect to see it, no matter how long it takes.  Don't quit.  Every day is the "20th day" until you see it!  You're "21st day" is coming.  

 

Truth = Grace

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John 8:32 "And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" 

The breakthroughs you have been fighting to have for years can happen in a supernatural instant. I want to ask you a very important question, "Have you often felt anxious, worried, or fearful that the worst would happen to you and your family?  These negative, exhausting emotions are merely flags that indicate what we truly believe about ourselves, our lives, and God. 

If worrying or being fearful seems to be your natural mode, what you need to do is keep hearing and learning about how much God loves you and how precious you are to Him.  

John 8:32 is a verse that has been widely used, even in secular circles.  But what does it really mean?  What is the truth that sets you free?  We need to recognize that Jesus said this to the Jews of His day. These were people who at an early age grew up studying and learning the law. Yet these people, much like today, still battled with fears, anxieties, sicknesses, and all kinds of oppression, bondage and addictions.  So what is the truth that Jesus was talking about, this truth that would set them free from a destructive lifestyle? 

It clearly couldn’t be the law because they were already well versed in the law. The truth Jesus was talking about, the real truth was the grace and unmerited favor of God.  Freedom can only be found in grace.  Jesus came by "grace and truth" (John 1 :17).  The word "came" in this context is used as a singular verb, meaning grace and truth are one in the same thing.  Truth = Grace.  It's the truth of God's grace that sets you free.

 

Wounded Time, Is Wasted Time

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by Natalie Fortunato

Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." 

"If you're going through hell, don't stop!".  Heard this line in a country song while I was waiting at the car dealership for my oil change.  Loved it!  Totally got my attention.  Such great advice, right?  

When we really mess up, totally miss God, sometimes the guilt and shame is paralyzing.  It's almost unbearable.  But the worse thing we can do is stay there. All wounded and condemned, kicking ourselves.  What a waste of time.  

The enemy loves to rehearse the incident over and over again in our minds.  How we failed.  But the Holy Spirit is the exact opposite.  When we miss it, He loves to remind us of who we are in Christ.  He reminds us that we are loved, accepted, forgiven and righteous.  He reminds us of our calling and our assignment.  

If you've messed up big time, change your mind and change your direction.  Admit where you got off track, take responsibility for your actions, take dominion and authority over the enemy, and allow the Holy Spirit to get you back on track…and move on!