Monday, June 30, 2014

I Will Never Leave You or Forsake You

I Will Never Leave You or Forsake You

The link below lists 78 verses about, “I will never leave you or forsake you”.

Here are just two verses:
Deuteronomy 31:8     
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Hebrews 13:5
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

An excerpt from Charles Spurgeon Daily Devotions - 2 Chronicles 32-31

Hezekiah was growing so inwardly great, and priding himself so much upon the favour of God, that self-righteousness crept in, and through his carnal security, the grace of God was for a time, in its more active operations, withdrawn. Here is quite enough to account with the Babylonians; for if the grace of God should leave the best Christian, there is enough of sin in his heart to make him the worst of transgressors. If left to yourselves, you who are warmest for Christ would cool down like Laodicea into sickening lukewarmness: you who are sound in the faith would be white with the leprosy of false doctrine; you who now walk before the Lord in excellency and integrity would reel to and fro, and stagger with a drunkenness of evil passion. Like the moon, we borrow our light; bright as we are when grace shines on us, we are darkness itself when the Sun of Righteousness withdraws Himself. Therefore let us cry to God never to leave us. "Lord, take not thy Holy Spirit from us! Withdraw not from us Thine indwelling grace! Hast Thou not said, 'I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day'? Lord, keep us everywhere. Keep us when in the valley, that we murmur not against Thy humbling hand; keep us when on the mountain, that we wax not giddy through being lifted up; keep us in youth, when our passions are strong; keep us in old age, when becoming conceited of our wisdom, we may therefore prove greater fools than the young and giddy; keep us when we come to die, lest, at the very last, we should deny Thee! Keep us living, keep us dying, keep us labouring, keep us suffering, keep us fighting, keep us resting, keep us everywhere, for everywhere we need Thee, O our God!"

The author illustrates what happens to a person if and when God removes His Grace from his/her life. Those who don’t know Jesus, or who are bogged down in “religion”, will find themselves leaning towards an unfulfilled life… never quite knowing Jesus, and never experiencing His love and mercy.

Thank God that this DOES NOT apply to the born again believer!!!  Although we may fail you, stumble and fall, experience sin in our lives, God has provided the only way to forgiveness, love, mercy, and eternal life. There is no need to beg! Jesus is the answer!!!!

1 John 5: 14-15 (14) This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. (15) And if we know that he hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of him.

There is no need to think that He has left, for He has said and demonstrated numerous times that “He will never leave or forsake”. He provided His only Son to eternally pay for all our sin. It is He that we turn to in faith and His works becomes ours to behold and to keep forever. Let us rejoice that we have a Savior in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose love is so enormous that it encompasses the entire world, from the beginning to the end, throughout the history of the world, and indeed all the universe(s).

Father God, the expression of “thanks” doesn’t not seem to be enough to convey our deep appreciation for what you have done for us, and all of mankind. Your love cannot be adequately explained because of our limited vocabulary, no matter what language we speak. Our minds, wills, and emotions cannot fathom the depth of your love, nor can we speak the words worthy of your grace. We can only surrender ourselves, our complete being to you, faithfully and knowingly that it is by your grace and mercy we have “our being”. We acknowledge you immense love for us, and we thank you for coming to live with us and within us, to express your essence, and to live out the destiny you have planned for us. We praise you and love you, in the precious name of Jesus, Amen!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Words of Life (Part 1)

Words of Life (Part 1)

 There is life in every Word of God. In fact, Jesus said it this way: “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63 

In other words, there is “spirit life” in every Word of God. Since that is true, there must be spirit death in the words of the devil. Your words affect your spirit. You can speak words of life to your spirit by agreeing with God. You can speak words of death to your spirit by agreeing with the devil.

“The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit, who can bear?”  Proverbs 18:14

“The spirit of man, the human spirit, will sustain his weakness. One translation says the human spirit will hold off - or hold in - weakness or infirmity. It will work either way. The human spirit, the heart of man, will hold off - or hold in - weakness, depending upon what you speak into your spirit”.
Capps, Charles (2011-01-01). Seedtime and Harvest (Kindle Location 226). Capps Publishing. 

"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth must be what is already loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:19)

“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. The power of binding and loosing is here on the earth. Binding and loosing is done with faith-filled words. We speak words: either words of faith or words of fear. Words of faith bring God on the scene with all His ability. Words of fear bring the devil on the scene and release his ability.” Capps, Charles (2011-01-01). Seedtime and Harvest 

So, I was challenged by the Spirit of the Lord, saying: “What words do you speak, during a normal day? Are they from the ‘born-again spirit’ or from the world?” At first, I tried to examine myself through my own efforts, in which I failed because I used my worldly judgment to do the examination. Afterwards, I asked God to remind me every time I spoke worldly words, or when I even thought my “natural responses” to daily situations. Compared to my own judgment versus that of the Holy Spirit, mine were few and far between; the Holy Spirit’s account was to my astonishment, almost 95% of the time! “How could this be?” I thought. Then I was asked the most sobering questions… “How much time to you spend with worldly things on your mind?” “What about television? Or Radio? Working? Visiting with friends?” During those times, if you believe what you are saying, you are planting seed, and it WILL produce fruit?”

In the business world, leaders, decision makers, policy makers, managers, Directors vice-presidents, presidents, CEOs, and especially politicians choose their word very carefully. They all choose words and phrases to affect certain responses from their audiences, whether it be employees or peers or the general public. They know that certain phrases and words can trigger predetermined responses, based on previous history. Policies are developed and passed along to organizations to effect changes in operational processes, business practices, and human behavior. How are they communicated? By words! Regulations, rules, laws, are all written, and ultimately meant to alter and/or control human behavior. Combine that with powerful systems of business and government and a paradigm of systematic mass control is imbedded in a society, and eventually a nation. All of this is done with words.

So let’s take a brief look at what God has created for and through man. We understand that God created the universe through the mediums of Jesus…. “everything that was made, was made by, through, and for Him.” God spoke and whatever He spoke became a reality, a physical reality.

The substance from which our world was made of is influenced and manifested by words. The things that you desire are made up of atoms. They know what you believe, hear what you say and behave accordingly! God did it! He made us/man in His image. To speak words (in faith) and it must manifest in this realm. God has given mankind all the tools: His Spirit, His words, and salvation, by and through His Grace and magnificent love. It’s not earned, nor is it by being good enough; it’s by faith in Jesus Christ.

Your thoughts and beliefs produce an energy that people can perceive and react to. If you believe that no one likes you, then you emit that rejecting type of energy, and people will be driven away from you. If you love people and care about them, they will feel that and be drawn to you. Have you ever been around someone who is pleasant and full of love?  They emanate energy that draws people to them.

 So, what about this system of human existence that God created?  Human understanding cannot fathom a being that could create the universe. We are limited by our knowledge and understanding of the spiritual realm, but mostly because we are the “created” beings. Since God is spirit, and He created all things, “He is not limited to the things that you and I see. There is an infinite supply of substance waiting to be manifest according to your beliefs and words!   (Annette Capps) Quantum Faith

“Things are responding to your words every day, so speak good things to all that surrounds your life. If you really believe Jesus’ words, you will monitor your thoughts and conversations, because you are the one giving substance to your world through faith words! Isn’t it ironic that it works in the positive(faith)and the negative (fear)?

“Your expectations and beliefs (or what you observe) is of primary importance. If you observe and expect failure, sickness or disaster, that is exactly what will manifest for you. There are an infinite number of possibilities that exist for your life. You alone have the power to choose which possibility becomes reality in your life. Choose wisely.” (Charles Capps)

“God’s Word that is conceived in your heart, then formed by the tongue, and spoken out of your own mouth, becomes a spiritual force releasing the ability of God within you.” (And out into the world) Charles Capps.
Proverbs18:21 What you say can preserve life or destroy it; so you must accept the consequences of your words. (The Good News Bible)

21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]. (Amplified Bible)

Mark 11:22-24
22) So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. (23) For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

 (24) Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. New King James Version (NKJV)

So, can it get any more plain than the above scriptures? What you “say” has a profound effect on the invisible world around you; a world with limitless possibilities. “With God all things are possible.” The words you speak carry creative ability; change ability; those words are energy that perform gigantic creative, life changing power… life and death! God said it, and what He says is truth.

Father God, may we be ever so careful to guard our tongues, by speaking what you tell us to speak, for your words are “spirit and they are life”. Let us endeavor to keep our hearts mindful of the creative power of the words we speak, so that love, kindness, grace, and mercy will be the fruit manifested in our lives and in the world around us. Father we thank you that you have privileged us with the power of spoken words (words of life), that we may tell all the nations of your great love for us through the Lord Jesus Christ. In Jesus name, Amen!!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

And You Are In Him

Colossians 2:8 – 10 Amplified Bible

See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition (men's ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world), just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ (the Messiah).

For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature].

10 And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power].

Since we became Christians, we have trended in thought that we cannot be easily deceived by unscrupulous people or even the world’s system, or maybe that is just my issue. After all, I have “the Mind of Christ” I think, “and He guides me”. Lately, God has been showing me that I have deceived myself by spending most of my time, thought time, on worldly things. And since the “world” is run by our notorious adversary, the “father of lies”, how can I not be caught up in some of his deceptive practices. 

All our lives, from birth to the present, have been spent living in and being educated by the worldly systems, and our five senses have taught us to trust them rather than trust God. In turn, our spirits were receptive to the things of the world, and fully complied with the teachings of “sin nature”. We in turn relegate those things we see, hear, taste, feel, and smell as the only truth, such as, “I have to see it before I can believe it”. Or, “I heard someone say”, and the list goes on. We accept those things as truth, because we live in a physical environment. Sadly enough, even with God in us, we allow this world to rule over us, therefore living our lives thinking that it is on track (actually according to worldly standards), when it is a life of defeat. By defeat I mean, living outside of our true purpose, a tree planted in a garden of fertile soil and producing little or no eternal fruit. 

What I have briefly described (could be expanded into an entire book) is living from the soul (mind, will, emotions). While the spirit has been reborn, the soul has not been transformed into the “renewed” mind as indicated by Paul: Romans 12:2“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”.

But being born again, becoming a new creation, we have the power to resist those worldly things, and go in a new direction, towards a meaningful and eternal life with God the Father, through the door of the cross of Jesus the Christ. The door is open to everyone who will listen and follow Jesus… then comes the renewing of the mind…. transforming of the mind by reading and studying the Word of God.

Proverbs 4:20-24 (Expanded Bible)

20 My ·child [Lson], pay attention to my words;
   listen closely to what I say [L
bend your ear to my speech].
21 Don’t ·ever forget my words [Llet your eyes slip];
   keep them always in mind [L
guard them in your heart].
22 They are ·the key to life [Llife] for those who find them;
    they bring health to the whole body. 

23 Be careful what you think [LAbove all that you guard, protect your heart],
    because ·your thoughts run your life [L
life flows from it].

24 Don’t use your mouth to tell lies [LHave nothing to do with a perverse mouth];don’t ever say things that are not true [Lkeep loose lips far from you].

The transformed mind, in this context, is studying, meditating on, and living the “Word of God”, and being filled with the “Holy Spirit”, so that His Wisdom, His guidance, His strength, His ability, is a vibrant, living, reliable attribute that governs one’s life. “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” Colossians 1:27

(With a birthday coming this month, I had been thinking about my life and entertaining thoughts of things I would or would not change, and also about my age. Then I heard a voice say “you know your spirit doesn’t age nor lose its power. Christ, the Holy Spirit in you has not aged! It is the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead”[Romans 8] It has been the instigator or power behind and in every miracle ever performed, from healing of the sick to raising Jesus from the dead to every miracle today. That same spirit, through Jesus created everything on and in the earth”. Indeed, something to think about when we approach life today.)

I actually marvel at myself that I am so hardened in my mind that I can see the benefit (not all benefits) of living in in Christ, yet a part of me does not want to “change”… spiritual laziness. I’d rather settle for the status quo of shameful victimhood, than stand as a conqueror, because I have believed the deceptive lies of the devil; “it’s too hard”, or “you can pray later”, or “what will people say if”, or “I’m too busy”. Get the picture?  Yet whenever I listen to the Holy Spirit and follow His direction or exercise His wisdom, good things happens to others first, then to me. As a result, I act surprised when God says, “well didn’t you ask me for that?” So, at times, when the answer does come, I marvel at the how, and when it happens.

Therefore, I’m learning patience and trust. Maybe it’s trusting in Him, by faith believing Him and in Him, and being patient beyond my “worldly self”, to live up to that trust and faith. I trust Him to deliver whatever He wants to deliver, and He trusts me to act according to His word and direction. By His presence, He gives us all we need to withstand anything the adversary throws at us. His wisdom is more than enough to recognize the works of satan and defeat him. If it’s destructive, it comes from the devil; if it’s blessing, it comes from Father God. If it is anger or revenge, it’s from the devil; from God comes love and kindness. 

It is in Christ! And if we are in Christ, we (the spiritual we), have that same nature… same characteristics as the Christ…. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power]. Col 2:10

Revelation 1:8, 18 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,”[c] says the Lord,[d] “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”….    (18) “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

My prayer today, for all believers is that we come to the full and complete understanding of who we are in Christ; that we are not so involved in the world that we are concerned mostly with temporal things and lose sight of eternal things.  God’s commandments say; “to love Him with all our hearts and minds (our being) and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We all fail at these commandments, and hopefully recognize it and repent, because we have a Savior that has said in 1 John 5:14-15:  “14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. 

Who are you in Christ? Are you listening and adhering to the world’s reasoning instead of God’s Word?