Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Transforming the Mind II (Continue in the Faith)

Transforming the Mind II (Continue in the Faith)

Acts 14:22 Amplified Bible (AMP) “.…Stand Firm in the Faith
22 Establishing and strengthening the souls and the hearts of the disciples, urging and warning and encouraging them to stand firm in the faith, and [telling them] that it is through many hardships and tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.  

Perseverance is the badge of true saints. The Christian life is not a beginning only in the ways of God, but also a continuance in the same as long as life lasts…. The world does not object to your being a Christian for a time, if she can but tempt you to cease your pilgrimage, and settle down to buy and sell with her in Vanity Fair. The flesh will seek to ensnare you, and to prevent your pressing on to glory. Satan will make many a fierce attack on your perseverance; it will be the mark for all his arrows. He will strive to hinder you in service: he will insinuate that you are doing no good; and that you want rest. He will endeavor to make you weary of suffering. Wear your shield, Christian, therefore, close upon your armor, and cry mightily unto God, that by His Spirit you may endure to the end.   Charles Spurgeon 

Mr. Spurgeon and many of the greatest spiritual leaders of times past and today, rightfully so encourage all Christians to persevere against the attacks of our ancient enemy, who also perseveres relentlessly to destroy all who believe on the name of Jesus the Christ. Historical accounts have lamented the thousands of saints who kept “the faith” unto death. Many in modern times have died for not forsaking Christ, and we in America are beginning to see attacks on Christianity almost in every State of our Union. These attacks are from enemies within and without our great country, and we must “keep the faith”, and if not, the nation perishes. Make no mistake, even though these current enemies maybe made of flesh, they are soldiers of satan (our spiritual enemy) who endeavor to destroy the saints, any place they find an opening.

However, we have another enemy more destructive than those who don’t believe in God, or whose religion denounces Christianity. Who or what could that be? Our own selves, I’ll explain.

Let’s look to the “nature of sin” that every human is born into. Even though introduced to mankind through Adam and Eve, it is the spiritual offspring of satan; a virus that has infected all mankind; even the living earth itself inherits the cruelty of sin, for it cries out for the goodness of God to once again permeate every pore of its mountains and plains; the oceans and streams. The atmosphere (the heavens) seem to be in constant search for the return of the Son of Man, bellowing out storms and winds, seemingly in futility seeking to cleanse the earth’s surface of human corruption; preparing a world worthy of His return and His preeminent presence.

By His Almighty Grace, God provided a way out for all of mankind, Jesus the Christ. Jesus removed the penalty of sin, once and for all, and offers eternal redemption for all who will believe. Perfection awaits those who accept Him as Lord and Savior, and are born again… receiving a new nature, born of God and eternally incorruptible. Perfect in a newly created spirit, enclosed in a sin ruled body, and a soul corrupted by a nature which is completely opposite of the love of God.

So what is the problem here? Why hasn’t the world changed to reflect the presence of God? Why do people seem to be more evil and corrupt as each day goes by? Why are Christians being attacked so openly? Why haven’t more Christians grown into the exact person God made them to be?

The answer to all those questions is very simple, and can be answered in the followings statements.

Scripture Reference: Romans 12: 2
Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

(Yes, I know, I’m using the reference again. God is working on me regarding the staleness of my mind)
There was a line spoken by a so called villain in one of the Superman movies, when one of his flunkies failed in an attempt to get rid of Superman. It was, “I asked you to do one simple little thing, kill superman and you couldn’t even do that”. In that context of human existence, Superman was impossible to destroy. So that very simple request was received as impossible to achieve. I think that the statement “be transformed by the renewing of your mind”, seems to be impossible to achieve by Christians in general. Yet it reveals a command written by Paul that is alive and infused with the power of the Holy Spirit, and activated by faith.

God has not only asked us to “transform our minds”, but He has given us the most powerful force in all eternity to use to overcome any difficulties in transforming our minds…. The name of His Son Jesus! All of heaven reacts to the sound of that name. Every creature, visible or invisible, recognizes that name, and must obey any demand or command spoken in that name. Every living cell in every creature knows the power in that name. The devil and all of his cohorts, know that name and shiver in fear when the Christian acts and speaks with belief in that wondrous name! They have to obey; they must obey!!!

So do you think your body, your mind, your thoughts will react to the name of Jesus? Yes they will, nothing, not even your (so you think) circumstances are immune to the power of the name. If they are not of God, then they will leave by the power of the name of Jesus! Speak to your thoughts! Speak to you circumstances! Speak to your body, because they all MUST obey the name! Command and demand that ungodly issues and situations and thoughts leave your mind in that name!! Thus begins the renewing of your mind. The more you do it, the stronger you will be, and you’ll see amazing results!! All you have to do is ask and believe!!!

Statements 2, 3, & 4

John 14: 13-14 (Expanded Bible)
13 “And if you ask for anything in my name [C asking “in my name” means acknowledging that Jesus is the mediator between God and human beings; the name represents the person], I will do it for you so that ·the Father’s glory will be shown [L the Father might be glorified] ·through [or in] the Son.14 If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it.

 Proverbs 23:7 - “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Proverbs 21:2 - “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs and tries the hearts.”

Scientists and psychologist have discovered that in a human’s formative years, from the womb until about 5 – 7 years old, almost all self governing values are learned, from the environment. This means from the mother’s mental condition and experiences during pregnancy through childhood development. They also attest that those experiences become subconscious in nature, and when we have certain occurrences or stimuli, our reactions are automatic, without conscious thought. These reactions can be negative or positive. In general, children have been told “no” or “don’t” approximately 25,000 times by the time they reached 18 years of age. How does that number compare to the positive statements that are made during the same time period? Is that 5 year old person still running your life? Can’t be, can it??

Time for some serious reflection! Oh, that’s a ridiculous proposition!!!! We are all grown up, mature adults!

Add to that notion, a nature that is selfish and prone to anger, jealousy, revenge, and hate, that is the “pre-born again” nature…. a person without God, then what chance does he/she have of transforming the mind? That person’s heart, without the love of God, cannot help but suffer futility trying to deal with or control these negative traits. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he”, AND “he is right in his own eyes”.  Without God, one cannot help but sin, but Jesus gives us power over sin.

Folks, there is no human power that provides a way out of this dilemma. It is a spiritual condition that has a spiritual answer. The only permanent solution is through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Through Him, we are transformed by the renewing of our minds, by the power of the Holy Spirit and the name of Jesus!

There’s much more that could have been shared here, but it seems too long as it is. I leave you with a familiar scripture verse that may bring, at least a bit of closure.

John 16:33I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]”

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!!