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. 

 

Spirit = Spirit

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1 Corinthians 6:17 “But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit” 

Did you know that the instant you were born again, your spirit became identical to the Holy Spirit!  That truth literally changed my whole life and identity.  Here’s something interesting…did you know that identical twins have the exact same DNA.  From birth they are 100% genetically identical.  Because they develop from the same fertilized egg they are exactly the same.  You have the DNA of God.  What’s true of the Holy Spirit is also true of your born again spirit, because they are “ONE”. 

Because there aren’t capital letters in the Greek text of the Bible, translators decided from the context of a passage whether to render it “Spirit” or “spirit”. In 1 Corinthians 6: 17, the word “one” in the Greek is the word Heis, which means “alike” or “agreement” or “one to the exclusion of others”.  In other words, your born again spirit is identical to the Holy Spirit.  That’s awesome!?!  You are wall-to-wall Holy Ghost.  You’re full of the power of God. 

Now, all you need to do is renew your minds to this powerful truth. Find out who He is and you will find out who you are. As He is, so are you, in this world (1 John 4:17).  Look into the mirror of the Word of God and see what it says about you.  Meditate day and night on the Word and see your life transform from the inside out! 

 

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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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!

 

Cloud Nine

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1 John 4:17 - "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is so are we in this world" 

According to the International Cloud Atlas, which defined ten types of clouds, the ninth type of cloud is a cumulonimbus, which rises over six miles, the highest a cloud can be.  Hence the phrase, "floating on cloud nine"…or a state of bliss, happiness, elation, and euphoria.  

Cloud nine seems pretty awesome, huh.  Well here's nine words that are even more amazing - "As He is so are we in this world".  Those are the nine words I wake up saying every morning.  Notice the verse doesn't say "as He was" or "as we will be".  It says, "as He is", right now, present tense, "so are we". 

Let me ask you a question, is Jesus healthy?  Of course He is.  As He is so are you.  Is Jesus worried today?  No.  As He is so are you.  Is Jesus poor?  No.  As He is so are you.  Is Jesus righteous?  Yes.  As He is so are you.  In your born again spirit, you are wall to wall Holy Spirit.  When the Father looks at you, He sees Jesus.    

These are the most powerful nine words in all the universe.  As you say them out  loud, you are declaring that everything that Jesus IS right at this moment, is released into your life.  Into your marriage.  Into your business.  Into your body.  Cloud nine?  It's no match to the "1 John 4:17 nine"!  

 

I Wanna Hold Your Hand

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Isaiah 41:13 "For I the Lord thy God will hold thy hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee" 

It seems like yesterday that my whole family would gather around our TV in our basement every Sunday night to watch the Ed Sullivan show.  Anyone with a TV set was doing the exact same thing, all across America.  On one particular Sunday night in February of that year, a band from England rocked the nation with their new hit called I Wanna Hold Your Hand.  The band…the Beatles.  

In Isaiah 41:13, the prophet Isaiah says "For I the Lord thy God will hold thy hand".  How many of you know that a child holding on to a mother's hand is never as secure as when the mother holds the child's hand. I would always grab hold of my daughter's hand when she was young, when we were in a store or at some kind of event.  I held her hand tighter and more secure than she held mine. 

I want you to encourage you, you're not holding on to God's hand, God is holding on to your hand, and He'll never let go. The verse says "I will hold your hand, fear not".   When God holds your hand, there's nothing to be afraid of.  Even when we are weak, His hand is strong. Hallelujah!  Do you feel weak today?  He's holding on to you. 

You might ask, "What about Psalm 51 where it says, "Take not your Holy Spirit from me"?  David prayed that because he was under a dispensation where the Holy Spirit would come upon you, and the Holy Spirit would go.  As a born again believer, the Holy Spirit lives and abides in you, and will never leave you, ever, no matter what. That's good news for us today.  Let that sink in.  Rest and be secure in His love for you. He will never let go.

 

Immanuel - GOD with us

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Matthew 1:23 - "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." 

The prophecy in this verse, when fulfilled, would change the course of history.  Never before had God walked "with" His creation.  He came "upon" them in the old covenant, but never "with" them.  "A virgin shall be with child", that's impossible!  Not when that child has been conceived by the Holy Ghost.  "She shall bring forth a son and they shall call his name Immanuel, God with us".  That's why this prophecy brought  such great joy.  The Messiah had come to deliver His people.  God had not forgotten them. This is awesome!  

For the first time ever, God took the form of a man, and walked among His people, healing the sick, raising the dead, delivering the oppressed.  The Word became flesh.  But when Jesus died on the cross, did God "leave us"?  Did His works come to an end?  No!  

Through His death, Jesus destroyed the separation between God and man, once and for all.  Then, on the day of Pentecost God sent the Holy Spirit to live and abide in every believer, and He has never left!  Imagine that, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, communes with you, works in you to will and to do of His pleasure.  GOD lives in you.  Wow!    

 

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!  

 

My Pillow

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Mark 4:38 "And He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master carest thou not that we perish?" 

Have you heard the pillow commercial on TV and Radio with a catchy jingle that says, "For the best night's sleep in the whole wide world, mypillow.com".  Now, I’m not endorsing "My Pillow", but I love the concept. You probably didn’t know that My Pillow is the official pillow of the National Sleep Foundation.  Founder, Mike Lindell, tells the purpose behind the pillow, "When I invented My Pillow, my dream was to help as many people get a good night's sleep as possible". 

In Mark 4:38, it says that Jesus was in the back of a ship sleeping on a pillow in the middle of a storm. I think most of us would be busy bailing water out of the ship, or screaming for help!  Not Jesus, He's asleep on a pillow in the middle of the storm.  It was the peace that was already on the inside of Him, that allowed Him to sleep through a storm.  It was that same peace that was spoken out of His mouth, "Peace, be still", that calmed the storm.  Jesus shows us a picture of restful increase.  His sleep was evidence of his trust, faith and rest that "all is well".  

We have that same peace, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, on the inside of our born again spirit, that is to be exhibited in our actions and our words. When we rest He works, but when we work He rests.  More happens when we rest, than when we don't rest.  So grab your grace pillow, lay your head down, and rest on the promises of God.  

 

It's Worth the Wait

Acts 1:4-5 - "And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 

Jesus didn't recommend or suggest that the disciples not depart from Jerusalem until the "Promise of the Father" had come, He commanded them. After His resurrection, they had spent many amazing days together, He taught them kingdom principles, and He knew the disciples were eager to share the good news all over the world.  But He commanded them not to get started until they had been clothed with the Spirit's power (Luke 24:49).  

In 1 Corinthians it says that He gave this command to about 500 people, yet in Acts 1:15 it says there were only 120 men and women in the upper room filled with the Holy Spirit.  What happened to the other 380?  Perhaps they didn't want to wait.  They wanted to get started doing the work of the ministry…without the power of the Holy Spirit!

When God calls us to do something, we need to make sure that we don't get so excited about the task, that we move out ahead of Him.  Moving out in our own power and timing will actually interfere with what He wants to do in our lives, and interrupt the process.  Our decisions greatly affect the lives of those around us, and the people that God has called us to reach.  Slow down!  Don't worry, you'll know when the Holy Spirit says to move, and He will empower you for the task at hand.  It's worth the wait.

 

Who is the Holy Spirit? by Natalie Fortunato

John 14:16-17  "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, so that He may be with you forever, the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it does not see Him nor know Him. But you know Him, for He dwells with you and shall be in you."

Many want to understand the gifts, fruit, voice, power and workings of the Holy Spirit without first coming to know Him as a Person.  Yes, a Person, not a human, but a divine Person, the third Person of the Godhead.  He is not an "it", or a mystical power that flows from God, He is God.  

I encourage you to take a minute and think about what place you give Him in your personal day to day life.  Ask yourself, "Do I honor and reverence Him as a Person?  Am I aware that He knows me best, and loves me most.  Or that He has made His home in my heart and wants to be actively involved in my life?  Do I long to spend time with Him, getting to know Him through the Word, and developing an intimate relationship with Him?"  

If you can honestly say that you have pretty much ignored Him, or give Him little room in your life, let me re-introduce you to the most amazing, wonderful, kind, tender, sensitive, mighty Person on the face of the earth. He is all-knowing and all-powerful.  He is a lifelong and permanent companion who is willing and able to teach, help, protect, counsel and guide you.  He is infinite in majesty, glory, splendor, wisdom, knowledge, and holiness.  He is God. 

 

The Weight is Over

Galatians 5:22 (The Living Bible) “But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.” 

As the New Year begins, so does the tradition of making New Year resolutions.  What is number one on your list?  If you're like most Americans, it's to shed the extra pounds you gained over the holidays, or last summer, or your "baby weight".  So, what's the plan? 

In Galatians 5:22-25, God shows you how to live a Spirit lead, powerful, supernatural life.  When we are born again and filled with the Holy Spirit, everything we need is already on the inside of us.  Regarding eating habits, all the self control you need is already on the inside of you.  Will power and positive thinking can only take us to a certain level, but through the power of the Holy Spirit we can overcome in every area of life.  

There you go, “the weight is over”. 

 

Don't Judge a Book by its Cover

2 Kings 6: 15 "And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master!  How shall we do?” I heard a story about a young lady who was at the vet with her pet, and in walks a man with a yellow Labrador Retriever...

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Absalomic Vinegar

2 Samuel 15:2 – “And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so , that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel.”  I really enjoy a nice salad with my dinner…and my dressing of choice – balsamic vinaigrette!  Did you know that the name balsamic comes from...

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"Thanks-given"

2 Peter 1:3 "According as his divine power has "given" unto us all things..."  My favorite holiday to celebrate has always been Thanksgiving.  As a child, I have great memories of our family going to the big rivalry football game on Thanksgiving morning and then...

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The "Mess-terpiece"

Ephesians 2:10 (New Living Translation) “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago”.  If you haven’t seen it already, I highly recommend the movie Moms Night Out for you and your family.  It’s a wonderful celebration of the “mess” that sometimes comes with parenting.  In the movie, when the moms go out for a much needed night out with the girls...

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Have Your Logged Onto "Faith-Book" Today?

Romans 10:17 – “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”.  Did you know there are currently 1.32 billion monthly active users on Facebook?  That’s astounding to me.  Americans spend an average of...

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