Was Jesus a man, was He God, or Both?

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           This is a very important question to answer. Was He a man, was He God, or was He both? Your perception of Jesus, yourself, and your understanding of the gospel will be completely different depending on which one you believe to be true. So let’s use the scriptures to find out exactly which is true so we will know what to believe and why we believe it.

Knowing who Jesus was helps us understand who we are. Understanding who we are helps us function in the authority that He has  given us.

           Jesus was born of the incorruptible seed of God. That seed was placed in His virgin mother and He was born a man, completely void of any heavenly powers or privileges.

Philippians 2:6-8  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! ~NIV~

The incorruptible seed gave Jesus God’s nature.

          The same incorruptible seed that was in Christ is now in us if Jesus is our Lord. This understanding is essential if we are to function in the authority that Jesus did when He was on the earth. When Jesus spoke to things and exercised His Kingdom authority He was not doing it to show off, He was setting an example for His Church to follow. He was demonstrating what could be done as a man so that we would know what we were capable of and know who we were in Him

Mark 4:38-40 ~ But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”

          Now this one really freaked the disciples out! They were fighting for their life while Jesus slept. Keep in mind that some of these guys were professional sailors and fishermen, they had been in bad storms before, so this must have been a real doosey! One thing to take away from this passage:

 Jesus slept! Does God ever sleep? NO.

Psalm 121:3-4  He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

           Jesus exercised this amazing authority AS A MAN with faith in God.

Mark 4:40 ~ And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

          Jesus showed them His faith and then said, “Where was yours?” He obviously expected them to have the same kind of faith. If Jesus expected them to exercise that kind of faith and authority BEFORE He went to the cross, how much more does He expect it from us as born again believers with the Holy Spirit? The real question is, why don’t WE expect to operate like that? They didn’t understand who they were, nor the power that was available to them…. And neither do we for the most part.

Consider the temptation of Jesus:

 In Matthew 4:1-11 we see Jesus tempted by the devil in the wilderness. And look at Hebrews 2:18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

Can God be tempted? No.

James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.

We then need to consider how Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power.

Acts 10:38  how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 

Does God need to be anointed? No.

Those three points above are very strong evidence, but here is the clincher:

Romans 5:15:19 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

In conclusion:

Jesus was, and still is a man, filled with all the fullness of God. He I called the LAST ADAM in 1 Corinthians 15:45. His blood, the blood of a man, was the only thing that could possibly redeem mankind and restore man to his original design. Is He fully God and fully man? If He is, then you and I are called to the same. Certainly Him and the Father are one, (John 10:30) I won’t argue that point. But He prayed that we would be one the same as He and the Father are one.

John 17:20-21  “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will[e] believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

          If Jesus was fully God, and fully man, then we have should have the ability to be the same. No, Jesus was fully man, fully submitted to God and in complete unity with Him. This is the relationship man was created for. This is what Jesus came to restore. This is available to US!

There is a man…THE MAN, Jesus Christ, seated at the right hand of God forever more, and He ever lives to make intercession for us.

the man

1 Timothy 2:5   For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 

JC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John 11:42-44 ~ And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. 43And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave-clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

This is an amazing account of Jesus demonstrating His kingdom authority and the power of the spoken word. There have been many confirmed, recorded accounts of people being raised from the dead in Jesus name. 14 accounts in the life of  Smith Wigglesworth alone. This is available to YOU … TODAY!

So we see that He spoke to trees, to the elements, to sickness, and even to dead people. So ask your self this;

“Can a tree, a fever, a storm, or even a dead person hear?” Obviously they can because they obeyed His voice!

These were just some of the mountains that Jesus had to move in His earthly ministry. What mountains are you facing in your life? If you don’t have faith enough to move your mouth, you will never have faith enough to move your mountain.

Your Mountain Should Be Hearing Your Voice!

Mark 11:23 ~ 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.

Summary:

Jesus was a man born of incorruptible seed and filled with the Spirit. Because of that He shook the world and performed amazing miracles. Signs and wonders were a way of life for Him after the Holy Spirit came upon Him. If you are Christ’s, then you are born of the same incorruptible seed.

1 Peter 1:23 ~ Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

The signs and wonders that followed Jesus should be following us if we truly believe.

Mark 16 ~ And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

The truth is we should be seeing greater works than Jesus did. That is what He told us in His Word.

John 14:12 ~ Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

The Bible is called the “Cannon” of scripture. Cannon means ruler, or measuring stick. We must judge our own lives and experience by the measuring stick of God’s written Word. If our experience does not measure up to what we see in scripture then we need to make adjustments and pray for God to help us elevate our experience to match His Word, not water down God’s Word to match our lack of experience.

Love Opens Your Spiritual Ears

          I think we all know that a “Hard Heart” is what causes us to be “Spiritually Deaf.” So maybe we should find out what causes a hard heart and avoid that condition entirely. Makes sense, right?

A hard heart comes from unbelief.

          Unbelief is the cancer of Christianity. It eats away at us from the inside, causing us to weaken and die spiritually.

          Hardness of heart comes from a misuse of our free will. We refuse to submit our will  to the Father, and it becomes committed, for the time being, to some form of selfishness. We actively choose to disobey or ignore God’s word, thereby departing from God, compromising the relationship, and violating our conscience. If our conscience isn’t clear, our confidence in God s compromised.

Hebrews 3:12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;

1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,

          A hard heart will not yield to, or acknowledge the truth. It makes you and your desires the center of the universe instead of God. Understand this:

THE SMALLEST WORLD YOU WILL EVER LIVE IN, IS THE ONE THAT YOU ARE THE CENTER OF.

          In Mark 8 Jesus spoke to His disciples about the characteristics of a hard heart:

Mark 8:17-18 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still[a] hardened? 18 Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember?

         In these verses, Jesus gives us the symptoms that are descriptive of a hard heart:

(1) unable to perceive, (2) unable to understand, (3) unable to see, (4) unable to hear, and (5) unable to remember. These are all speaking of inabilities in the spiritual realm.

          A hard heart is characterized by an inability to perceive spiritually. And when spiritual things are perceived, a hard heart will keep a person from totally grasping the few things they can perceive. They might see what the Lord is trying to show them, but they can’t get a hold of it in a way that they can apply it to their life.

You can reverse the condition of a hard heart. You have the power to determine what your heart accepts or rejects. You must control your will, and thereby control your actions. It starts with obedience. Obedience is the “love language of God.

John 14:23-24 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

          It’s not a hearing problem, it’s a love problem! Love can only be known by the action that it prompts.  It is the act of obedience that shows your faith and love for the Father. If you have a problem hearing God’s voice, you probably know the area that you are in disobedience, but if your heart is too hard to be clear, you can pray like the Psalmist:

Psalm 139:23-24. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 26:2 Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart.

god-opens-ears          If you are sincere about obeying God, your spiritual ears and eyes will be opened and you will begin to see everything and everyone different, including yourself. Having your spiritual eyes and ears opened is a condition of the heart. When your heart is tender and sincere before the Father, you gladly obey and He uses your heart as a conduit for His life and love to pour forth from.

Proverbs 4:23  Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.

JC

How You Love Determines How You See.

Love for God’s word brings the abiding presence of God into your life and gives you Heaven’s perspective.

John 14:23  “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

          Love for truth opens your eyes to more truth, and changes you perception of reality. You move from a worldly perspective to Heavens perspective. We must fight every day to maintain heaven’s perspective.

Love for people changes yours, and other peoples perception of yourself.

John 13:35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

          How you treat others not only effects how others see you, but it greatly effects how you see yourself. How you see yourself greatly effects you ability to believe.

Love for God changes your perception of Him because He manifests His love to you.

John 14:21 …”He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

Nothing solidifies your faith more than God manifesting Himself to you in a personal way. You move from “believing in Him” to knowing that He is real and He loves you.

Love for God and people empowers your faith.

Galatians 5:6  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

         Love is to faith, as gasoline is to a car. Love supplies the dynamic energy to make your faith become a reality in your life.

JC

 

 

 

People Flourish At The Place Of Their Assignment

          God is committed to who you were created to be, not necessarily who you are at the moment. Change and growth are a vital part of the Christian walk. We are to be ever growing into what He paid for us to be, which is the express image of His person.

          The problem I see many Christians fall into is not finding, or staying in the place of their assignment. God has a specific place He has called you to be, a specific body of believers he has called you to assemble together with, a specific group of people He wants you to be in relationship with. When you find the place He has assigned you to, you will flourish in your spiritual development.

Hebrews 10:25  not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

          God’s grace functions best in the place of your assignment. When you try to be, or do something you shouldn’t, you frustrate the grace of God. This includes being in the wrong place and connected to the wrong assembly of believers. I heard a pastor say it this way:

“If you’re out of your place, you’re out of your grace, and you’ll fall on your face!”

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          Relationships can be messy. Still, God wants us to engage in community, specifically, the community He’s called us to. It is the tension and challenges these relationships bring that develops us spiritually and pushes us to change for the better.

JC

 

Why was Jesus called “the Word”?

John 1:1-2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

          What is a word? Why was Jesus called “The Word?” Why are words so powerful? Why, according to Proverbs 18:21, is death and life in the power of the tongue?

“A word is a verbal or written expression that carries ideas and creates IMAGES. The very nature of the word shapes the image that it produces.”

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          If I say; “Black Labrador Retriever with a red collar,” I just put a specific image in your head. You took what I said, you processed it through your memory and experience, and it produced a specific thought/picture in your mind. It produced an image!

          We must have a preconceived image already present in our thinking for images to form. Unfortunately, we have so much memory and experience of our fallen, carnal nature that these images tend to dominate our thought life and make up our minds in advance that this is who we really are. Jesus didn’t die for us to remain the same and someday go to heaven, He died so that we could be transformed into His IMAGE, so that God’s original purpose for mankind could be restored in you.

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          The written Word helps us create, and maintain the image of God in us.

James 1:23-25   For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

          If we read the Bible, keep it before our eyes and in our thoughts, we will have a good idea of what the image of God is because Jesus was the express image of God.

The whole reason He was able to redeem man from sin was that He was the Image of God.

Hebrews 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

          We see in this verse that Jesus was not only the express image of God, but He upheld all things by His word. This means that, among other things, the image of the Father was upheld in Him by the power of His words.

God’s image IN YOU is upheld by exposure to the written word, and the power of His word SPOKEN BY YOU!

Make an effort to know what God says and begin to say what He says about you.

JC

Are you a Servant or a Son?

          This is a loaded question, I know. Most Christians immediate response would be an emphatic, “Both!”

          That is the right answer on the surface, however, to truly answer that correctly, you must ask yourself the question, “Why do I serve?” because your reason for serving determines your view of who you are in God’s eyes. You see….

A Servant serves FOR approval… A Son serves FROM approval.

          A servant has the mentality of owing the service. A son serves because he loves, and knows that he is loved.

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 Identity does not come from ministry, ministry flows out of identity.

DOING FLOWS OUT OF BEING. SON IS WHO I AM SERVE IS WHAT I DO.

JC

 

 

JC

Understanding Hope And Faith

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Proverbs 13:12 ~ Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

          This is a very important verse for us to understand if we are going to live and walk by faith. Understanding what hope is and how it works will help us be more effective when using our faith to get results. Understanding how deferred hope hurts our faith will keep us from hopelessness, and ultimately, making shipwreck of our faith. So first lets define hope and see how it works.

          Hope has been defined as “earnest expectation,” derived from Philippians 1:20 and I think that is an accurate definition … up to a point. You see, hope and faith are tied together just the same as fear and hopelessness are tied together. They operate on the same principles and are governed by the same spiritual laws.

I think a better definition of hope is: “A vision of good and blessing obtained from God and His Word”.

In contrast, here is my definition, as I understand it, of hopelessness: “A lack of establishing and maintaining proper vision.”

The Lord said this to me:

“Hope is a picture that God paints on the heart with brushstrokes of revelation.”

          Hope is the vision, or picture, of our faith. It is the blueprint for what we are believing for. Hope is the spiritual eyes of our faith, and our faith gives the substance to our hope, and is the evidence to us, and others, of the things hoped for.

Hebrews 11:1 ~ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

          Hope does not see with the natural eye. Hope sees with the heart, or more accurately, the inner man. Hope sees things finished before they even start. Hope sees the future, the end result, the goal, the vision. Hope is the eye of faith.

          Hopelessness sees with the natural eye. Hopelessness sees with the 5 physical senses and it has more faith in the current circumstances and the bad reports than in God’s promise. Hopelessness sees the future too, and it is dreadful. Hopelessness is the eye of fear.

What does it mean to have hope deferred?

Proverbs 13:12 ~ Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

          When something is deferred it is put off, postponed, or moved from one place to another. When our hope is deferred in means that we begin to look away from the vision of hope in our inner man, and begin looking at another blueprint, another picture, another vision, one that is contrary to our hope. When we defer our hope for another vision, another blueprint, another end result, we hurt our heart and do damage to our inner man … we make our heart sick.

          There are many words in the Old Testament Hebrew that we translate sick. This particular word means to crack open and split apart as with an opening wedge. If you have ever seen someone split firewood with an axe or a maul, this is the picture of what happens to our heart, when our hope is deferred. Not a pretty picture is it? Furthermore, we don’t just hurt our spirit, but our entire inner man.

          Without going into a long lesson of the three parts of man, understand that we are a triune being. We are a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a physical body. The word heart used in Proverbs 13:12 doesn’t just refer to the spirit man, but the entire inner man. We have and outer man, (our body) and we have an inner man, (our spirit, and soul). Our inner man is the eternal, spiritual part of our being. The body is the temporal, or temporary part of our being.

          The inner man is our spirit, and soul, which includes our mind, our will and emotions, the seat of our thoughts, appetites, passions, and desires. I like to call it, “our believer, thinker, and our chooser.” It is important to understand that these parts of the inner man are ALL spiritual, and are influenced spiritually. This is what gets damaged when our hope is deferred. Are you beginning to see how serious this is? Can you see why we have multitudes of believers that are sick on the inside? This can be avoided!

Tactical Faith 

Being tactical is characterized by being strategic, efficient, smart, and skillful. I learned a long time ago that when it comes to faith, tactical is practical. One of the greatest tactics we can learn is how to establish and anchor our hope so that it is immovable, and unshakable. there is only one way to do that, and only one place to drop the anchor, the Word of God.

Hebrews 6:18-20 ~ 18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; 20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

         Hope, in this passage, is refered to as an anchor of the soul. Your soul is the eternal part of your inner man that consists of your mind, emotions and will. If hope is the anchor, then the ship that the anchor is tied to is your thinker, feeler and chooser. If that anchor is not properly set, when the storms come and the going gets rough (and it will), your thoughts, emotions, and will, are tossed around and driven by the winds of circumstance. Your hope is not anchored to anything solid so you begin to entertain the possibility of a different outcome.

          The vision that you have of victory becomes blurry and indistinct. The picture that is most clear to you now is the storm and the damage that it is doing. Your hope has been deferred … and you become heart-sick, divided, split in two, a wedge of doubt driven into your inner man … you become double minded!

James 1:5-7 ~ If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

          This principle doesn’t just apply to wisdom, but anything that you ask God for. So how do we stay strong in our faith, nothing wavering, even in the midst of great storms, bad reports and terrible circumstances? Strong faith always begins with clear, strong hope.

          Remember that hope is the blueprint for our faith. If you were going to build a house, the first thing you would do is get the blueprints for the house you want so that the builder would know how it is supposed to look. Every detail of that house is on the blueprint so that the end result, when it is put together, looks exactly like the house you envisioned.

          Without a blueprint the builder does not have the ability to give you what you want.  If you tell the builder to build a house and don’t specify exactly what you want, he may build you a doll house, a dog house, or an outhouse! Give the builder (YOUR FAITH) the right blueprint and as he builds it and gives substance to the blueprint you will have ongoing evidence that your house will be built exactly the way you had hoped.

Hebrews 11:1 ~ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

F.F. Bosworth made this statement: “Faith begins where the will of God is known.”

          I love that quote. If you are not fully persuaded of God’s will BEFOREHAND, and get a blueprint of God’s desire for you concerning what you are hoping and believing for, then you are basing your faith on a shaky foundation. When tests and trials come you will be easily discouraged and your hope will easily be deferred. You WILL become wavering and double minded and will not receive what you are believing for.

          The mistake most people make is that they never establish God’s will for their situation in their own heart and mind before releasing their faith. Their hope is not a clear picture of God’s desire for them, but a blurry nondescript picture formed by beliefs based on other people’s knowledge and revelation of God’s Word. We MUST know what we believe and WHY we believe it before exercising our faith.

          I see many people who are physically sick that have become discouraged, hopeless and even blaming God because of deferred hope. They can’t understand why God did not answer their prayers for healing. Their beliefs have been shaken, they are confused, and even angry at God. And yet they can’t even quote one scripture on divine healing. They have not familiarized themselves with God’s promises of healing that are literally everywhere in the bible. They are NOT convinced that it is God’s will that THEY should be healed. They never had a clear vision of hope to base their prayers and faith on. They never bothered to get a clear blueprint for their healing, so they wavered in faith and became double minded. They used poor faith tactics and they got no results.

          So what do good faith tactics look like?

Joshua 1:8 ~ This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Proverbs 4:20-23 ~ My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. 22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. 23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

          These scriptures, and many others, tell us how to establish and maintain hope. It tells us how to get the blueprint of our faith on the inside of us. Hope must be established before true faith can be released, and true faith begins where the will of God is known.

          God’s Word is His will for you. Whatever it is you need, find out God’s will for you in His Word first. Wether it is healing, favor, wisdom, direction, or provision, you must be fully persuaded from God’s Word that it is His will FOR YOU.

          Good faith tactics will find as many passages of scripture possible that speaks to your situation. Pay close attention to the ones that really jump out and stir you up. These are the blueprints of your faith. These are the passages that paint a picture of hope in your heart. This is what gives you a vision of victory. This is where you drop your anchor!

          After you have taken some time to establish that it is God’s will for you to receive what you are believing for, it is time to release your faith. Before you do that however, you need to make a decision on the inside that no matter what I see or feel I will not let up, back up, or waiver. I will not be moved by what I see or feel, I will hold on to God’s promise until I see it in my life.

          Every time you put your faith on something and it does not come to pass,  your hope was deferred, you hurt your faith, you damage your believer. The more you do that, the harder it will become to establish hope and walk in faith. You will not only lose confidence in your ability to get results by faith, but lose confidence in God.

          Faith is a fight, it’s a good fight, but it IS a fight. The reason it is called a good fight is, we WIN if we don’t quit. Winning the fight of faith starts and ends with hope. Establish the blueprint of hope in your heart before you start, this is good tactics, and then resist any thought, feeling, or imagination that would turn you away from, and defer that hope. This is spiritual warfare.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 ~ For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

          This may sound a little carnal, but picture a big bouncer outside the door of your heart and mind. Every thought, feeling, or imagination that tries to enter must get carded by that bouncer. If the wrong picture is on the ID, deny it entrance and BOUNCE IT OUT of there!

Remember, TACTICAL IS PRACTICAL!

JC

Understanding Kingdom Authority

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AUTHORITY

GREEK: Exousia ~ THE RIGHT TO INFLUENCE, COMMAND, CONTROL AND DELEGATE.

          When man was created, God established His authority over the earth and delegated it to Adam for a season. Adam was God’s steward over the earth, and He gave Adam specific instructions for his stewardship. We find Adam’s instructions in Genesis 1 and 2.

Genesis 1:27-28  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Genesis 2:15-17 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

           When God created Adam, He gave Adam His own personal authority to use in making decisions and fulfilling God’s instructions for His stewardship. This authority is called FREE WILL.

          Free will was given to man so he could willingly choose, without any coercion or pressure, how he would serve his creator. Free will allowed man to express himself freely and creatively as he learned and grew in knowledge and experience. Unfortunately, it also gave man the power, and the right, to say NO to God.

YOU WERE CREATED WITH YOUR OWN PERSONAL AUTHORITY, A FREE WILL.

          Free will can potentially be the most destructive thing to the Kingdom of God. Exercising your free will in saying NO to God will limit God’s influence and power in your life. 

THE KINGDOM OF GOD, or THE KINGDOM OF ME?

          The Kingdom of God in your heart has boundaries. Operating within those boundaries enables God’s influence and power to flow into your life to meet your needs and the needs of others. You violate authority when your choices don’t align with the will of the authority you are under. When you violate authority it cuts off the influence and power of that authority. Not just in your own life, but in the lives of those you are involved with.

          We must walk in HIS ways, not OUR ways if we want the promises of GOD, and the power of GOD to be a reality in our life. Gods power only flows under the covering of his authority. His authority can only be exercised within the confines of His Kingdom. When you exit the covering of the Kingdom, you exit the flow of power. When you say NO to God, in essence, you establish another kingdom, I call it: The Kingdom of ME.

          The Kingdom of Me is established when you willfully say no to God. Saying “NO” to your Lord means that He is not your Lord in that area of your life, and if He is not Lord in one area, He is not Lord in any. Being Lord of your life means that He is the Master of ALL areas of your life. God will not invade and overthrow your kingdom, it is out of His jurisdiction. It would be a violation of your free will. If you say no to Him in any area, you are declaring that YOU are the master of that area….and you cannot serve two masters.

Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?

Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Say “NO” to God, and you’ve set up boundaries to keep God out of your kingdom. It is your own free will that determines the boundaries for both the Kingdom of God, and the Kingdom of Me. How you steward your will determines the authority that you operate from.

HONOR RELEASES THE POWER THAT AUTHORITY CONTAINS.

          Eternal salvation comes from your Savior, but the power to live this life, and the authority to subdue and conquer it comes from your Lord. When you honor Jesus Christ as your Lord, all of His authority is released into your life. If you fail to honor His authority as Lord, His power stays contained. Honoring authority releases the power that authority contains.

           The extent of Kingdom authority in your life is determined by your use of free will. If your will is completely submitted to God, you have truly laid down your life, you have denied yourself, your old man has died and you can now truly walk in the highest authority in the universe, the authority of God. This is your original design and purpose. This is what was lost at the fall of Adam. This is what Jesus Christ paid for and came to restore.

 

 

 

The Gospel? ~poem~

gospel1

What is the gospel and what does it mean?

Have we made the good news into something obscene?

Is it good news of blessing, prosperity, and healing?

This candy-coated gospel seems very appealing.

 

We’ve abandoned the message that our Lord has conceived

And embraced a gospel that has left us deceived!

Where did we miss it, was it one certain sin?

Or did we just allow a little leaven to creep in?

 

It didn’t take much to stray from what is true,

A self-serving gospel has perverted our view.

Repentance is the answer, it’s the only decision

That will help us restore God’s original vision.

 

The gospel is the message that Christ did conceive,

Our sin for His righteousness, if we’ll only believe!

Accept what He’s done, and believe what He said,

Let Christ live in you, and your old man be dead.

JC

Here is a link to more poetry on this site. Enjoy!

How to Know God’s Will

daly mna        

          The Old Testament is full of amazing stories that are types and shadows of our Christian life and the problems we encounter in that life. Understanding the significance of these events and what they point to in our lives today will give us the tools we need to navigate our life of faith in Christ.

          Let me throw a few thoughts out there that will help you understand some of the basics of interpreting the Bible.

  1. Many of the writings of the New Testament assume a pre-existing knowledge of the Old Testament.
  2. The Old Testament was written to spiritually dead people who had no revelation of the devil. Therefore, anything that happened, good, or bad, they thought God did it.
  3. The Old Testament Law was never meant to be kept. It was given to man to be broken so that man could see the futility of His own righteousness and expose his need for a Savior. This is why no man, except Jesus, was ever able to keep the Law. It is referred to in the New testament as “the Law of Sin and Death” (Romans 8:2) 

          Understanding these three facts will help you understand the writings of the New Testament and protect you from wrong theology.

          For this teaching we will focus on Israel’s deliverance from the bondage of Egypt and their journey to the Promised Land. This entire story is a type of our deliverance from the bondage of slavery to sin, and the Christian life of pursuing the New Testament promises of the Kingdom of God and our eternal reward. We are going to focus on one small part of their story which, I believe was a huge contributing factor as to why they didn’t enter the promised land. It is the story of the manna that fell from heaven.

          The children of Israel walking around in the desert for 40 years is a type of the modern day Church. It is a picture of us walking around in this broken, corrupt, and fallen world.

          While in the wilderness, God rained down manna from heaven to sustain them every day, for FOURTY years. They were required to go out daily and gather this manna that fell in the form of little pieces the size of coriander seeds. Through all the drama, through all the amazing events that happened on their journey, this was the one constant that they had to do to survive. How they dealt with this supernatural provision gives us a clue into our own spiritual lives and the importance of daily spiritual food to sustain us in our Christian walk.

Exodus 16:35 And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.

          God gave Israel specific instructions on how to handle this manna. This was a way for God to test His peoples faith. You could only gather as much as you could eat in one day. Any more and it would rot and produce worms. It was useless.

Exodus 16:4  Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.

          God provided food to sustain their physical needs and to test them. This is a type of what He has designed for us spiritually. For us to live a successful Christian life, we need daily exposure to, and intake of The Word! Jesus Christ is the Word of Life, The Bread of Life!

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 

John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

          We need this spiritual sustenance to develop and fulfill what God has purposed for us. We need it to grow into the fullness of the stature of Christ. If we do not pursue relationship with Him daily through His word, fellowship through prayer, worship, etc. we become spiritually starved and try to satisfy our starving spirits with the inferior substitutes that this fallen world has to offer. Without this daily manna, we become dry clumps of clay, difficult for the potter to mold and shape into His likeness. We hinder the work of grace and quench the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives.

We don’t forget to give our bodies three square meals a day, so why are we feeding our spirits only one or two small snacks a week? Our spiritual health depends on a daily  diet of spiritual sustenance.

          It takes natural food to fuel your physical body. If you maintain a diet of healthy food in the right proportions, you will be physically strong, and able to move around, working and accomplishing what is needed in the life. If you only eat once or twice a week, or only eat junk food with not much nutritional value, you will begin to decline physically, become weak and be susceptible to sickness and disease.

          It also takes spiritual food to fuel your spiritual body. You need DAILY spiritual manna to insure you are strong spiritually. If neglect to feed your spirit you will become weak and susceptible to deception, confused about what God’s will is for you. discouraged and a prime target for the enemies attacks. Another mistake is to always read books about the Bible or listen to sermons about the Bible instead of reading the Bible for yourself. This can be like eating fast food in the natural. it is not healthy to live on that alone. Understand that these are just supplements to the real thing and they lack the pure spiritual nutrients to make you develop properly. You need to allow the Holy Spirit to teach you personally. There is NOTHING that can take the place of you own personal revelation of God’s word.

          If you are struggling to find God’s will, the best place to start is to fill your spirit with His written will, the Bible. I remember a certain minister telling me a story about asking God to speak to Him. He saw other Christians having these great experiences of God speaking to them personally and giving them direction concerning His will for their life. He was seeking God’s will about some big life decisions and just couldn’t get clear on what God’s will was. So set apart some time to pray about by himself. He said he fell across his bed and wailed and cried for about 45  minutes for God to speak to him about these things he was confused about. He finally ran out of steam and became quiet and the Lord DID speak to him! The lord said, “You don’t know what I have already said to you. I have said many things to you already in MY WORD. Find out what I have already said and if I need to say something else, I will.”

          That should be a revelation to a lot of folks. Open the Bible and find out What God has already said to you. God has a lot to say and he has written it down for us so we can read it and re-read it at our convenience. There is no excuse for us being ignorant of His will for us.

          Many places in the Bible we are shown the importance of daily keeping His Word before us. Here are just a few.

Joshua 1:8  This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

2 Timothy3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Proverbs 4:20-23 My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; 22 For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh. 23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

John 15:7  If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 

          We must understand that the Bible is God talking to us. We can’t take that for granted! If we really believe in God, the creator of the universe, the one who actually made us, and He has some things to say, shouldn’t we put forth the effort to find out what He said?

          His words are Spirit and they are Life. They are needed daily for our spiritual health and development. The Lord feeding the children of Israel with manna is a type of what we should be walking in today. We must put forth DAILY effort to ensure our spiritual health and growth. 

          I have encountered many people over the years asking the same question, “why doesn’t God speak to me?” The answer is obvious to those who are a student of the Bible. God has already said many things in His word. Find out what He has already said and He will surely begin to speak to you further. God wants relationship with you. He is serious about it. When you begin to take it serious a whole new world of light and revelation begins.

           God’s word is His will. If you are not sure what the will of God is for your life, you will find it by a daily pursuit of Him through reading and studying the Bible, worshipping from your heart when no one is looking, and giving yourself to having a hearing and receptive heart. This is what being a true disciple looks like. God’s word prepares your heart to receive His life and nature. It gives you direction and illuminates His will and plan for your life.

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feetAnd a light to my path.

          God’s word is a treasure of riches just waiting to be discovered. I love how Job says it:

Job 23:12  I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.

          Look at the language, “… treasured the words of His mouth…”  Every day should be a new treasure hunt. The value that you place on God’s Word is evident by the time you are willing to spend on it. The value that you place on your relationship with Him is evident by how much you invest yourself in the relationship. The greatest investments you can make in this life are the attention that you give to His Word and your relationship with Him.

          When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, a part of that prayer was “give us this day our daily bread.” Have you asked for your bread today? Have you found your treasure today? …Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find. (Matthew7:7-8)

          A great way to read the Bible, get daily devotionals, and study the word of God is BibleGateway.com  This online resource makes it convenient and fun to explore God’s word in any translation you prefer. All Bible links to this site are from BibleGateway and I use it on virtually every blog post on this site. There is a wealth of study tools dictionaries, and commentary that will feed you spiritually and encourage you in your walk with God. BibleGateway also has a convenient phone app and a Scripture Engagement section that is a fun, interactive approach to learning the Bible.

JC