Monthly Archives: October 2011

~Scriptural Illiteracy~

Illiteracy is a huge hinderance on human development, likewise scriptural illiteracy hinders spiritual development. Many Christians are suffering from scriptural illiteracy. They attempt to live a Christian life based on books written about the bible, what people say on Christian radio and TV programs, pastors and friends advice, and posts on Facebook or blogs just like this one. All of these thing have some value but they are only supplements to the real thing: THE BIBLE. We cannot live on supplements alone.

We must be intimately familiar with Gods Word. This is the foundation that we build our lives on. Without this foundation we are incapable of weathering the really tough storms in life. Building a Godly life on the sands of scriptural illiteracy is impossible.

Don’t be deceived into thinking that you can live the Christian life and fulfill Gods purpose without the YOU reading YOUR bible. Realize that the bible is God speaking to you.

A man told me once: “You must have daily exposure to, and intake of Gods Word.” and you know what? He was Right.

Proverbs 4:20-22 ~ 20My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.  21Do not let them depart from your eyes;  Keep them in the midst of your heart; 22For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh. 

~ Freely You Have Received, Freely Give. ~

If you have received something from God, YOU now have the right, ability, the anointing and the responsibility to give it away. Salvation, healing, blessing, the Holy Spirit. We see this biblical principle in the book of Matthew:

Matthew 10:8 ~ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead,  cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Remember Peter?

Acts 3:6 ~ Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”

What did Peter have that he was able to give away? The authority of Jesus name. You have been given that same authority.

The Chief expression of Love (God) is to give. If you receive a blessing from God, like a healing in your body, and you see a person that needs that same type of healing, YOU have an anointing and a right to freely give that person what you have received.  I have seen this done hundreds of times in the last 23 years and just understood this principle this week.  There is a ton of scripture that supports this too. MAN, GOD IS GOOD!

~ To Love God ? ~ So… What Does That Look Like? ~

I was in a time of worship and prayer. I had one of my favorite worship tapes playing and I had been singing to the Lord for about an hour. My devotional time had changed over the last couple of weeks from prayer and reading the Bible to just worshipping Him. Every day God honored me with His presence, and every day that went by, my life seemed to get clearer and less complicated. I began to see everything differently, God, people, myself.

There is something about worship that purifies you and puts life into its proper perspective. It’s like getting into a vehicle that takes you into the presence of the Almighty God. In His presence there is a wonderful exchange that takes place, and we always get the better of that exchange. You honor God with your love and devotion, and He transforms you, and you become more like Him. What a powerful thing worship is. Worship is also anther vital life connection which we will discuss in a later chapter.

As I was enjoying the sweetness of His presence the tape had ended and I just sat there in a holy silence. The joy that I felt was overwhelming. You can’t worship God for more than a few minutes without it bringing some kind of joy in your life.

I wasn’t sure what to do, I really didn’t want to move but I wanted to bless Him, so I said “Lord I love you SO MUCH!” Then I heard this still small voice on the inside, “Jack, how much do you love me?”  Without thinking I burst out with my reply, a phrase that we all have used or at least heard. I said “Lord I love you with all of my heart!”  The Lord then replied in that same small voice “That’s not enough”. With those words I became very still.

The entire atmosphere in that room had just changed. I was very aware that God had just asked me a question and I gave Him the wrong answer. I also realized that the Lord doesn’t ask us questions because He is looking for information. I could still sense His presence, but it was the presence of a Father bringing correction and instruction to His child in a loving and tender way. He was trying to teach me something and I was intently listening on the inside. He immediately brought to my remembrance this scripture:

 Mark 12:30 ~ And you shall  love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’  This is the first commandment.

It didn’t take my little brain long to do the math on that one. Loving God with all your heart is only one-fourth of what we are commanded to do. 25%! I thought to myself, “that’s pretty weak”.

I began to meditate on what it meant to love God with your soul, to love Him with your mind, and to love Him with strength. I had to admit that I really didn’t know what that meant. I was intrigued by this new line of thought, and at the same time, I was appalled to think that those three major areas were either weak or non-existent in my walk with God.

I was doing my best to show the Lord how much I loved Him, but my best is only my best until I can do better, I saw areas of my life that I could improve on. God was showing me that I could do better and I realized that I should have been looking for ways to do better all along.

From that point I began to take a long hard look at my life and my relationship with God. A relationship that I thought was pretty strong. I knew God was about to redefine my definition of “strong relationship”. The first thing I did was ask God to teach me about His love. He was obviously trying to show me something and I wanted to get everything He was trying to give me.

The second thing I did was get a concordance and look up the meaning for the Greek word Love. I thought I knew what it meant but after that kind of correction from God I did not want to take any thing for granted. To know how to love I first needed to make sure that I knew exactly what love was. The word for love that is used in Mark 12:30  is the Greek verb agapeo.

Now, I knew that “agape” was the Greek noun for the God kind of love and I had read 1 Corinthians 13 more times than I could count, but this word was new to me. It was far more powerful in its explanation. The definition in short is simply this:

agapeo = Love,  a verb.  “the commitment of devotion that is directed by the will…and can be commanded as a duty”.

It has been said that love can only be known by the actions that it prompts. In other words, love gives of itself and expresses itself in action or it is not love. Love is as love does. It’s not enough to just say you love someone, love is active and  alive, an aggressive force, to love is to give. In fact love is the highest and most honorable form of giving, while giving is the chief expression of love.

Look at the language that is used in the definition, words like commitment and devotion. If you have ever been committed or devoted to something or someone, you know full well that it takes some effort and some work.

Love is tied to your will. We must make a choice to love. By choosing love we have automatically chosen to give something of ourselves. Love is an act of your will, without action it is not love.

I come from a faith background and I knew that faith without works is dead according to James 2:26, but I just found out that love without works is dead also. That made perfect sense to me because Faith works by Love according to Galatians 5:6 . I began to see why my faith was not working at the level I knew it could.

We have all heard the old phrase “I’m falling in love” but you can’t fall in love, that is just infatuation. To fall into something indicates a mistake or something accidental. Love is far more purposeful than that. It takes concentrated effort and focus.

Love is not defined until you have worked at it for a while and invested something in it.

There are a lot of Christians today that are merely infatuated with God and they think that they really love Him. In fact if you told these folks that they really don’t love God they would be ready to fight you to defend their position.

Those that are infatuated with God are the folks like this: They go to church on Sunday (most of the time) because they don’t want to make the spouse mad or they don‘t want to feel guilty. These people know in their heart that God is real and they may even believe that God has great things for them. Unfortunately they don’t serve Him in the church, they don’t give of their finances and they don’t get involved with supporting the vision of the local church body, not even in prayer. Their bibles are dusty and all they do is play church. They always have an excuse why they can’t get involved in serving somewhere in the church and they will drop a few bucks in the offering plate as it goes by so it looks like they are givers and “doing their part” to those around them. These are the people who haven’t committed or devoted themselves to God.

Don’t be discouraged if I have just summarized your Christian life and walk with God. The good news is that it is very easy to move from being infatuated with God to truly loving Him. I have seen many people in my church make this transition as their faith develops. It is a glorious thing to see.

It is easy to tell if someone is really in love with God. You can see it in their expressions, their actions, and even the tone of their voice when they mention “The Lord”.

As a church in these last days we must make this transition into truly loving God with everything that is in us. No more half-hearted, part-time, milky toast Christianity. There is a world out there that is desperate to see this level of sold out commitment. The greatest witness that we have is our love for God and people. A lot of folks are searching for this and don’t even know it. The saved and lost alike.

I have asked the Lord to show me how to Love with the soul, mind and strength and have found that this is revelation that our entire Christian life is built on. Knowing what each aspect of this command looks like can make a huge difference in your life and ministry.

~ What Is Your Testimony? ~

Revelation 12:11 ~ And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

How do we overcome? Part of the way we overcome is by our testimony. This is not just limited to the story of how you came to a relationship with Jesus Christ, in fact it is more about what you are TESTIFYING on a DAILY BASIS.

Do you testify about your illness and how you never have enough, or are you “calling those things that be not as though they were.” (Like God does … like Abraham did, Romans 4:17 ) and declaring the promises of God in the face of your adversity?

Search this site and find the biblical confessions that address your concerns. They are all organized and printable for your convenience. Begin speaking the promises of God every day and TESTIFY of what God is saying about you.

Things are WON in the spirit realm before you see them in the natural realm. Use the Sword of the Spirit and FIGHT for what is rightfully yours! WIN IT IN THE SPIRIT, THEN EXPECT IT IN THE NATURAL!

JC

~ Never Say “I Don’t Get Offended” ~

I don’t know how many times I have heard this expression from Christians. Not just from immature Christians, but people I love and respect as being mature in the faith. I feel the need to shed some light on this subject; not as a correction, but to bring solid understanding because it IS a tool the enemy uses to trick us into hurting others and falling into sin.

First off, being offended is NOT a sin, so get rid of that thinking. (I will prove this with scripture in a minute.) This line of thought alone will set you up for deception by the enemy and make it easier for him to trick you into getting into pride and unforgiveness. We all get offended at times; in fact Jesus said that it was impossible for offences NOT to come.

Luke 17:1-3 ~ 1Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! 2It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. 3Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

We get offended when someone sins against us. Being offended hurts. It stirs up emotions of anger, sadness and disappointment. If we let those emotions have control, we will move from being offended into sins of pride and unforgiveness. Offence is the temptation, not the sin. By not understanding the temptation we make it easy for the enemy to trip us up.

If Jesus said it was impossible that offenses NOT come, then He had to have experienced being offended too because the bible says that He was tempted in every point as we are.

Hebrews 4:15 ~ For we have not a high priest which cannot be
touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Here is an account in Matthew of Jesus getting offended. That’s right, JESUS GOT OFFENDED. It freaks most people out the first time they hear that, nevertheless, here it is. Notice how Jesus deals with it using a strong rebuke as described in Luke 17:3 above.

Matthew 16:22-24 ~ 22Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” 23But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” 24Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

The big problems that the church faces are that most of her offences are either imagined or people are getting offended because of their pride. When we start rebuking people for an imagined offence, or because we are full of pride, we cause division and strife in the body, hurting more people and scattering more temptation around. The Devil just loves this.

Offense is the “bait” to get you into sin. It is a neat trick of the enemy to get the prey to scatter his bait around so he can subdue MORE prey. As a hunter I can really appreciate this tactic and its effectiveness.

If someone legitimately sins against you, then the way to deal with it is to rebuke him or her. Let them know that what they did is wrong, that it offends you, and make it clear that is not acceptable behavior.

On the other hand, If what they did hurt you and you feel offended, yet you know they did not sin against you, you need to take heed to yourself. (Luke 17:3) Issues of pride are the common cause in this instance. Be aware enough and mature enough to recognize it and repent. It will save relationships and keep you from being a tool of the enemy.

Don’t let offense be a stumbling block for you. If you do, Satan will use you to scatter his foul bait around the body of Christ to bring division and strife through you and hurt people. I don’t know about you, but I would rather not help the Devil with his agenda.

JC

 

~ Building Faith In Your Child’s Heart ~ Confessions for Kids ~

For those of you who know me, you know that speaking the Word of God is a HUGE deal with me. The reason it is so important, and I put so much emphasis on it, is because I know the impact it has had on my life. I have also seen the difference it makes in people’s lives when they get a hold on biblical confession.

There is a scripture that I confess over my children that has inspired me to put together some confessions for children to speak. The passage that inspired me is this:

God said that this is His covenant with me: His Spirit that is upon me and His words which He has put in my mouth, will not depart out of my mouth, nor out of the mouth of my seed, nor out of the mouth of my seed’s seed ~ Isaiah 59:21 ~

It occurred to me that for the Word to NOT depart out of my seed’s mouth, it must first be in there. So I have put these confessions together for children to speak and memorize.

This will help kids learn God’s Word. As they confess what God says about them, their confidence will grow. By realizing who they are in Christ, they will be able to stand against all the tricks of the enemy that plague our young generation today.

These simplified paraphrases of God’s Word can make a lasting positive impression that will help your children be victorious in this life. ENJOY!

SAY THIS ~ God is the strength of my life. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Psalm 27:1 – Philippians 4:13)

SAY THIS ~ I am taught of the Lord and great peace belongs to me. (Isaiah 54:13)

SAY THIS ~ I thank God because He always causes me to triumph in Christ Jesus. I am a winner! (2 Corinthians 2:14)

SAY THIS ~ I love others because Jesus first loved me.           (Ephesians 5:2)

SAY THIS ~ I guard my mouth and my tongue and I keep my soul from trouble. (Proverbs 21:23)

SAY THIS ~ I will fear no evil for you are with me Lord, your Word and your Spirit comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

SAY THIS ~ I trust in the Lord with all my heart and I do not lean on my own understanding. In all my ways I acknowledge Him, and He directs my path. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

SAY THIS ~ I will always respect and obey my parents so I will have a good long life. (Exodus 20:12)

SAY THIS ~ Thank you Lord, for angels that watch over me. Any weapon the devil throws at me will not work.                                    (Isaiah 54:17 – Psalm 91:11-12)

SAY THIS ~ Thank you Lord, that you never leave me alone or give up on me. (Hebrews 13:5)

SAY THIS ~ The sword of the spirit is the Word of God. When I say what god says about me, it brings me life and makes me strong. (Psalm 119:130 – Ephesians 6:17)

SAY THIS ~ I think on the things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report. If there is any virtue or praise, I think on these things. I am a doer of the word of God and the peace of God is with me. (Philippians 4:8-9)

SAY THIS ~ I love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and I love my neighbor as myself. (Mark 12:30-31)

SAY THIS ~ Because the love of God is in my heart, I am patient and kind. I do not envy or brag and I am not proud. I do not dishonor others, I am not selfish, I am not easily angered and I forgive when someone does me wrong. I do not like evil but I rejoice in the truth. I believe the best of every person. I always protect, trust, hope and persevere. I never fail. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

~ Confessions To Strengthen Your Faith In God ~

Psalm 3:3 ~But You, O LORD, are a shield for me, my glory and
the One who lifts up my head.

Psalm 8:9 ~ O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all
the earth!

Psalm 9:1-3 ~ 1 I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole
heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. 2 I will be glad and
rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High. 3 When
my enemies turn back, They shall fall and perish at Your presence.

Psalm 139:14 ~ I will praise You, for I am fearfully and
wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

Psalm 12:6 ~ The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver
tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times.

Psalm 13:6 ~ I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt
bountifully with me.

1 Samuel 2:2 ~ “No one is holy like the LORD, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.

2 Samuel 22:32  ~ “For who is God, except the LORD?
And who is a rock, except our God?

Psalm 18:2 ~ The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my
deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 18:46 ~ The LORD lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of
my salvation be exalted.

Psalm 19:7-9 ~ 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

Psalm 23 ~ 1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for
His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I
will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You
anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

 Psalm 24:8-10 ~ 8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah.

Psalm 25:4-6 ~ 4 Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. 5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.
6 Remember, O LORD, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, For they are from of old.

Exodus 15:2 ~ The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him;

Psalm 27:1 ~ The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall
I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 28:7 ~ The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart
trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.

Isaiah 12:2 ~ Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be
afraid; ‘ For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.
 

Psalm 31:19 ~ Oh, how great is Your goodness, Which You have laid
up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who trust in You In the presence of the sons of men!

Psalm 34 ~ 1 I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my
fears. 5 They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed. 6 This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.
8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! 9 Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. 10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing. 11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 12 Who is the man who desires life, And loves many days, that he may see good? 13 Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit. 14 Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are
open
to their cry. 16 The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. 17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. 18 The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. 20 He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken. 21 Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
22 The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who
trust in Him shall be condemned.

And you will be my witnesses…

We live in the information age, but not all of us share the most important
information we have, the story of our new birth in Christ. This is  my story, friend. Don’t be afraid to share yours.  If you tell your story… they will listen.

Knowing was not enough!!

I used to invite people to church. I used to tell them that God loved them. That God was good and that He could change their lives for the better. I told many people  the most important decision in their life was to receive Jesus as their Savior and I truly believed it. For years I had witnessed God’s  love, power, and salvation. I wanted everybody to experience it.

And one good day… I realized that I needed God too! I needed to answer my own invitation. The truth I shared with others was not my own. I knew God through the experiences of others, but had not made Him my Lord and Savior. I knew Him from a distance, but that changed with one simple prayer. I called on the name of the Lord and He saved me, Alleluia!


I got on my knees on my livingroom floor and cried out to God and asked Him to be my God.

It was a wonderful moment.  My eyes were open to a greater truth, one I could be a part of. I was loved and forgiven.  Later on that week I publicly accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior in my Sunday school class. For many people I was just a 12-year-old girl, but God took me seriously. He was now my God and my Savior too. Romans 10:13

Many years have passed, but receiving Him as my personal Savior has turned out to be the most important decision of my life. I have since experienced the transforming power of His love and salvation in my own life and I can tell you this. Knowing about truth and experiencing the truth are two very different things. I am so happy that I chose the second.

 *Do you truly know God as your personal God and Savior? Do not assume that you are  a Christian because of your good moral values, because you are a member of a church, or have been raised by Christian parents.  I was all that and found out that knowing about Him was not enough.  Job 42:5 was my redemdion story. ~I have heard of You only by the hearing of the ear, but now my spiritual eyes see You.~ If you don’t know Jesus as your personal savior – a simple prayer from your heart is all it takes. Romans 10:13

~

If you have receiced Jesus as your savior, share your story.  And you will be my witnesses…

~ How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  Romans 10:14