Tag Archives: Christianity

Sacrificing Your Authority In Prayer

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          I learned a very valuable lesson about authority in prayer and I would like to share it with you.

          During a prayer meeting at our church a faithful member of the prayer team came forward with a typed out prayer for our president that she said the Lord gave her the day before. She was allowed to read the prayer and we agreed with her. It was a very moving, scripture based prayer that was loving, considerate, compassionate and powerful. It immediately got the nod of approval of all in the room. It was a prayer that inspired confidence and faith in all who prayed it. This lady had obviously heard from the Lord.

          As those in the group were commenting about how powerful it was, the Lord spoke to me directly and said, “Why didn’t you pray for your previous president in this manner?” I immediately knew what the Lord was talking about. I remembered the many times we lifted this former leader up in “prayer” and I was reminded of some of the opinionated requests, the tone, the attitude, and the complete disregard for this man as an individual. We weren’t praying out of love for our president, or even love for our country. We were praying against him, not out of love, but out of selfishness and self righteousness. Our motives were wrong, our heart was wrong.

          I shared what the Lord had showed me and the entire prayer group received it and we all repented before God.

imagesKTTXQM40          When praying for yourself, or others, its important to consider your motives for praying. This may seem overly simple, however there are some areas in our thinking and believing that can be ever so slightly off kilter, and therefore making our prayers ineffective.

Luke 18:9-14  Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

          This is a powerful example of sacrificing authority because of selfish pride. The Pharisee presented himself as better than “other men.”  Notice in verse 11 that “he prayed thus with himself”. In other words God is not even listening, he is praying to sound spiritual and be heard by others.

          Although this sounds terrible, it gets much worse!

James 3:14-16 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

imagesQ0UZ0FDP          When we pray from a place of bitterness, envy, and selfishness we become a landing strip for every evil work. We actually invite demonic activity into our life and have absolutely no effect on what we are praying for.

          Lets look at the rest of this passage in James to see where our heart needs to be when we pray.

James 3:17-18 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

imagesQPX51M5D          Prayer that is made from a place of love, mercy and compassion is a prayer that is heard and answered by God. Prayer made from a place of selfishness is not heard by God, but is an invitation to demonic influence.

          Pray for people, never pray “against” people. Praying against a person is an invitation to confusion, demons, and every evil work. It is earthly wisdom learned from the fall of man and perpetuates the enemy’s agenda.

          If  we check our hearts and motives before we approach God with prayer and make sure we are praying from a healthy place of love for the person, we can be confident that our prayers are effective.

JC

Where does the Supply Of The Spirit come from? (you may be surprised)

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The supply of the Spirit is largely governed by the relationships with other Christians in our local assembly. 

Ephesians 4:16 talks about the body being knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working of every part.

           Take note that it is the joint that brings the supply, not the body part. Think about a joint in a physical body. The joint is the relationship between the parts. The place where two or more body parts meet. When the joint is healthy, and the adjoining parts are healthy (doing their part) it dramatically increases the overall abilities of every part. 

          When Christians give themselves completely to the betterment of  the other parts. It enables the Holy Spirit to come alongside and make you exceedingly more than the sum of all the parts.

Colossians 2:18-19  Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.

          The level of supply, nourishment and unity experienced through horizontal relationships, is a reflection of our vertical relationship. If we don’t have a healthy growing relationship with our Father, we won’t have healthy relationships with others. It is imperative we spend time with our Father, beholding Him so we can be more like Him.

are2          We are instructed in the Bible how to behave toward others so that spiritual empowerment would be available to all parties. We know from scripture that natural things must come before spiritual things.

1 Corinthians 15:46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 

Spiritual supply comes from natural behavior.

          Imagine all the body parts are sharing their strengths and abilities with all the adjoining parts, bringing their supply if you will. There is something in that exchange that honors God and invites the Holy Spirit’s involvement.

          When the parts share in the work of ministry, something supernatural occurs in the relationships between the parts, inviting the Holy Spirit to provide what is needed for growth and edification. Sounds a lot like Grace doesn’t it?

          Think about an knee joint. If the joint is healthy it helps the entire body walk, run, carry heavy loads, etc. But if that joint is hurt or strained, it hinders the mobility, progress, and overall function of the rest of the body. Relationships in our Church are the very same way.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a  Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

This passage describes the Christian’s model for existence: LOVE! A life free of selfish behavior toward others. All Human behavior is either an act of love, or a cry of need for love.(selfishness)

Spiritual supply comes from natural behavior. So….. behave

Your Sovereignty, Free Will, and Saying NO to God

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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 made him a sovereign being giving Adam His own personal authority to use in making decisions and fulfilling God’s instructions for His stewardship. This sovereign authority is called FREE WILL.

Sovereignty – the quality or state of being sovereign, or of having supreme power or authority. The status, dominion, power, or authority of a sovereign; royal rank or position; royalty. Supreme power, especially over a body politic, freedom from external control, autonomy

fw1          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. this makes man sovereign.

Free will can potentially be the most destructive thing to the Kingdom of God, as well as your life! 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 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. God’s 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 selfishness rears its ugly head and provokes you to willfully say no to God.

no1           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 basis of authority that you operate from.

HONOR RELEASES THE POWER THAT AUTHORITY CONTAINS.

hon          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 stewardship 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 you to become.

JC

Great Prayer Quotes

pray“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” – Max Lucado

“Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” – Corrie ten Boom

“If you want that splendid power in prayer, you must remain in loving, living, lasting, conscious, practical, abiding union with the Lord Jesus Christ.” C. H. Spurgeon

 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” – Martin Luther

“True prayer is neither a mere mental exercise nor a vocal performance. It is far deeper than that – it is spiritual transaction with the Creator of Heaven and Earth.” – Charles Spurgeon

“Prayer is simply talking to God like a friend and should be the easiest thing we do each day.” – Joyce Meyer

 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. 1 John 5:14-15 (NKJV)

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” – Mother Teresa

“To get the nations back on their feet, we must first get down on our knees.” – Billy Graham

“Prayer should not be regarded as a duty which must be performed, but rather as a privilege to be enjoyed, a rare delight that is always revealing some new beauty.” – E.M. Bounds

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)

“The man who mobilizes the Christian church to pray will make the greatest contribution to world evangelization in history.” Andrew Murray

“The fewer the word the better the prayer.” – Martin Luther

 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. – Matthew 6:7 (NKJV)

 

The Importance of Prayer

        It has always been God’s plan to operate through man when dealing with the affairs of the earth. The earth is owned by God, and always has been. But, He gave man control over the earth for a season, to govern and take dominion. God gave man authority over the earth. Man gave away this authority to the devil, bringing sin and death to creation, separating us from God, and cutting us off from our birthright as sons of God.

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        Jesus Christ has abolished the things that separate us from God, restored our birthright, our authority on the earth, and our ability to take dominion over the power of darkness and destroy the works of the devil. We have a responsibility to exercise and execute this restored authority so that God’s plans and purposes for the earth can be fulfilled.

1 John 5:14-15 (NKJV) Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

        Prayer is simply man exercising his legal authority on earth to invite God’s influence on the planet. Because God will not violate man’s will or His own word, God waits for man to pray so that he can act on our behalf. Prayer is not optional. It is essential for the fulfillment of God’s purpose on the earth. Prayer gives God the right to intervene in man’s affairs.

        In the Garden, Adam walked with God in the cool of the day. This is our model for prayer, walking with God. Getting to know Him, discussing man’s mission, his stewardship, his fruitfulness, his potential. Man gets in trouble when he’s not there to meet with God and pray. Adam’s sin, and his new felt shame, guilt, and condemnation made him run and hide from God. This is the response of a sin conscious mind. Though Jesus has restored us all, like Adam, many are still silent and hiding.

        The greatest aspect of prayer is our ability to be with Him. He is our Father and we must know Him as such. Let nothing keep us from approaching Him in prayer. If we want God to act on our behalf we must pray.

JC

The Gift of Righteousness

  giftof right        How do we become righteous, holy and blameless in His sight? The simple answer is “by faith,” but what does that look like? How do I exercise faith to become what God says about me?

        Salvation, grace, righteousness. These are all gifts. Not something we deserve, not something we work towards. These are gifts, they cannot be earned, they must be received.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

        We don’t seem to have a problem believing that Christ has made us all these thing positionally, we have a hard time believing that we ARE these things ACTUALLY.

        God said He made us righteous. This is not just a declaration of our position in the Kingdom of God and our right standing with the King, but also a promise to become righteous in thought and deed. We tend to follow Abram and try to help God out by trying to do good, behave better, sin less, etc. and in doing so, we become so aware of sin and conscious of our own shortcomings and our ability fail, that we walk around with a sin consciousness and actually war against the grace of God that is meant to change us.

We must believe that God has made us righteous, not just in theory, not just positionally, but actually righteous in behavior and thought, even in the face recent, or even ongoing sin.

        By believing this, we are actually laying ourselves down on the great Potter’s wheel so that grace can mold us and shape us into that very image. This is not a denial of sin, nor does it accommodate sin.

 Romans 5:17  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.

        God’s word contains the creative power within itself to become a reality if we will set ourselves in agreement with it. This takes the stewardship of our thoughts and words, speaking only faith and refusing to speak words of doubt and unbelief.

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        Any concept of grace that makes us feel more comfortable sinning is not biblical grace. God’s grace never encourages us to live in sin; nor does it make room for us to stay the same, on the contrary, it empowers us to change so we can say no to sin and yes to truth.

 

Leadership Basics: Power vs. Authority

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Leadership – The ability or skill of influencing people to willingly follow you toward a common goal.

          The best Leaders in any capacity are, without fail, the best of servants to those he is leading. When we hear the word, “servant” we tend to think of a slave or a hired hand. In the case of leadership it takes on a much higher and more noble meaning. A servant leader is one who is devoted to meeting the needs of those he is leading

“If you are not willing to serve, you are not qualified to lead.

Power vs. Authority

Power – The ability or right to force or coerce people to do your will, regardless of their willingness to do so, because of your title, position, or might. or skill.

          Maybe you have heard phrases like: “Do it or else!” or “Do it because I said so!” or “Do it or you’re fired!” This is the use of Power. Power forces people do your will. Power can be given and taken away. It can be bought or sold. People can attain a position of power by any number of unjust means. Not so with Authority.

          The use of Power has its place, but continued use of power will erode relationships and create tension. You may be able get a few seasons out of Power, you may even accomplish some great things, but it is usually at the expense of healthy relationships.

Authority – The ability or skill of getting people to do your will because of your personal influence in their life just because you asked them to.

          We are all called to lead in some capacity. In our families, at our jobs, or maybe on a sports team. Although we may not see ourselves as leaders, we are all called to live a life that leads others to Christ.

          How we live our daily lives determines the amount of influence we have on those around us. When we are examples in speech, conduct, and character we build confidence in others to follow us and create a desire within them to help us.

          Pastors and ministry leaders that work primarily with volunteers must be skillful in leading with authority because the use of power will drive volunteers away.

          Authority grows as respect for the individual grows. Once you have earned respect your authority will begin to increase as long as you are consistent.

          Power can be handed from one person to another. Authority must be developed and maintained.

          When power is used consistently, resentment and discord will surely follow.

          Consistent development and use of authority is what builds winning teams.

JC

Faith To Become What Jesus Paid For

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          What are you using your faith for? To receive a blessing, or obtain your healing? To lead your family to Christ? To build a business? To get out of debt, or prosper financially? These things are all well and good but they must not be the main focus and predominant use of your faith.

          Falling into the trap of believing for “stuff” is a common occurrence in the body of Christ. We get so caught up in applying faith principles to all areas of our life that we forget, the primary role of faith is to be used in our relationship with our creator. More specifically, we should be exercising our faith to become what He paid for us to be.

We should be exercising our faith to become what He paid for us to be.”

          The primary use of the phrases, “the faith, or the gospel,” in the New Testament always refers to your imputed righteousness, and the good news that you are now free from the curse of the Law and free from sin.

           “The Gospel,” refers to the good news that Peace has been made between God and man. We can now come before God without guilt, condemnation, or shame.

          “The Faith,” refers to our belief that we are righteous sons, regardless of our past or present performance. When we present ourselves to God as holy by faith , it produces the fruit righteousness and holiness in our lives with the help of Holy Spirit. It opens us up to divine influence (grace) that causes transformation. It places us on the potters wheel so He can shape us into what He paid for.

           The Church has reduced “The Gospel,” to meaning, “good news that we don’t have to be sick or poor any more,” and “The Faith,” has been redefined as a method of getting our barns and vats full.

Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.

          Not understanding what “The Gospel” is, and believing that faith is a vehicle to get the things we need from God, is a subtle deception of the enemy to keep us focused on who we were, and not on becoming what He paid for us to be.

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Don’t get too busy dwelling on who you were

and miss believing to become what He paid for.

 

 

JC

 

 

 

The Smallest World You Will Ever Live In Is The One You are The Center Of.

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           If you ask most people what the opposite of Love is the common answer is Hate. However, hate is not the opposite of love, selfishness is.

Love, The God kind of love that we see in the Bible, is described in detail in the book of 1st Corinthians.

1Corinthians 13:4-8a Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

          This passage describes SELF-LESS behavior toward others.

          Our original design was to live for others. We were created in the IMAGE of God. That doesn’t mean 2 arms, 2 legs, a head, and a torso. It means that we were designed to be LIKE HIM. And what is God like? John tells us.

1 John 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 

WOW! What a loaded statement! GOD IS LOVE!

          Love isn’t just what God does, it is who He is. It is His nature, His character, His IMAGE. We were created to be like Him, LOVE. Love opens up realms of possibilities and allows us to see things from a higher perspective. The world becomes a bigger place when we are always seeking to help and bless others.

           Love expands our influence and broadens our impact. Love makes room for others, love seeks to be someone’s answer to prayer. Love looks to sacrifice for the benefit of others.

          Selfishness on the other hand seeks his own benefit at the expense of others. Selfishness puts “me” first, closing the door on the blessings of relationship. Selfishness withholds and hides from others. Selfishness cheats and connives to make sure he gets the best, the most, the greatest. Selfishness creates a very small, insignificant world of his own. Selfishness stands alone in a house made of straw, built on a foundation of sand where he can be king of his pathetic little kingdom. It is a sorry existence, and the smallest possible world one could possibly live in.

          When we make Jesus the Lord of our life, the proper response is to lay down your life for Him. That means laying down your life for others just like He did.

          To overcome in this life we must be self-less. We must love people with His love.

Romans 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Revelations 12:11  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 

            What’s love got to do with it?  …Everything!

More Life Changing Christian Quotes

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“The Smallest world you will ever live in is the one you are the center of.”

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“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”

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“Where love is, God is.”

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“In order to be happy with oneself you must

Make at least one other person happy.”

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“Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.” Proverbs 21:21

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“When we ask God to do what He has already done, or ask Him to do what He told us to do, we war against His purpose and provision for our life.”

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quo7“It’s not enough to be delivered from sin.

It is enough to be delivered to righteousness.”

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“WHEN GIVEN THE CHOICE BETWEEN BEING RIGHT

OR BEING RIGHTEOUS,

CHOOSE RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

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“The people who really rule the world are those who know how to pray.”

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“Rule with the heart of a servant, serve with the heart of a King.”

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“Gifts are free, but maturity is expensive.”

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“Anyone who knows who God made them to be

Will never try to be someone else.”

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“When you know who you are

You can’t be seduced by who you were.”

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“Being willing to do what you are not qualified to do

is sometimes what qualifies you.”

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“If you can’t be free from sin until you die, then Jesus isn’t your Savior, death is.”

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“Apostles govern, prophets guide, evangelists gather, pastors guard, and teachers ground.

We need all five of them, working together to properly equip the Church.”

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“Purpose to live in such a way that nothing ever gets bigger than your consciousness of God’s presence.”

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“Revelation is not the product of laborious search and study, but it is the fruit of your relationship with God.”

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“Every time we demean ourselves we are talking badly about the Artist and the Model.”

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“If you are too busy to pray, you are busier than God wants you to be.”

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“Worry is the darkroom

in which negatives can develop.”

Thanks for visiting.

JC