Tag Archives: Religion and Spirituality

VERY SOON…….

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~Faith that is ALIVE!~

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The book of James speaks about two kinds of Faith, a living Faith, and a dead Faith. Obviously a living Faith is to be preferred over a dead Faith because dead things produce no fruit. The problem is, many people truly believe that they are operating in a living faith but they see no fruit, and get discouraged because their faith is dead. Here is why:

James 2:26 For as the body without t he spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
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In this passage we see that faith is likened to the body, and works is likened to the spirit. It
is making the point that spirit is what gives life to the body. The word “Works” simply means corresponding action that indicates that you actually believe.
So the question is: How do I apply “works” or “spirit” to my faith to insure that my faith is a alive and capable of producing fruit? The answer is found in 2 Corinthians 4:13.
2 Corinthians 4:13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak,
The “Spirit of Faith” is the primary way we apply “works” to bring life to our faith. It is simply speaking the answer, the end result, the desired outcome. Declaring that you have (present tense) what you are believing for is an indication that you believe you have the answer. For instance; if you are believing for healing in your body, you should be declaring “I AM HEALED!” You should be declaring the Word of God that states “By the stripes of Jesus, I AM HEALED!” ( 1 Peter 2:24)
This makes folks extremely uncomfortable because they feel like they are lying. It seems like foolishness to them. They don’t understand the creative power of the spoken word. There is a basic principle of faith that God has established from the beginning that calls things into existence. It took God over two decades to teach Abraham this principle. God even changed his name from Abram to Abraham so that every time he said or heard his name, he was speaking or hearing that he was a father of many nations. Abraham means, “father of nations.” God called him this before he ever had a the promise child,  Isaac. God had to get Abraham into agreement with Him before the child could be born.
We must set ourselves in agreement with God’s word if we want to see it come to pass in our lives. Here is the principle in the New Testament:
Romans 4:17  (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 
You see, God established this method of believing and speaking and He expects us to follow His example if we are to have a living faith. If we do not follow his example and be “DOERS” of THIS word … we deceive ourselves.
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Notice that the devil does not get credit for this deception, YOU DO!

It is not enough just to know God’s word, we must be doers of the word. This is the works of our faith. Corresponding action that indicates we actually believe it.

We must take control of  our tongue and force it to do its due diligence.
James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
There, we see that “self deception” again.
Understand that bridling and taming are two different things. Your tongue IS untamed, and the implication in scripture is that it CAN’T be tamed.
James 3:8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
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We bridle untamed horses and force them to do our bidding. We must treat our tongue in the same manner. WHY? Because the power of life and death rests in one of your members that is untamed!

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
faith1We have our hands full keeping our faith alive because we have our hands full controlling our tongue. The good news is that the number one way that you apply WORKS (spirit) to your faith is speaking the word. In many, and I would venture to say MOST instances, it is the ONLY action required for you to get results with your faith. As we declare the promises of God they become established and manifest in the physical realm.
Job 22:28  You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways.
 
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.
 
In the process of growing in your ability to bridle the tongue I will leave you with three rules that I try to apply to my life. It will help you stay in faith if you apply them to yours.
1) Give your heart time to tell your mouth what to say.
Proverbs 16:23 The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips.
Be slow to speak, put a bridle on your tongue and don’t allow yourself to speak words of unbelief
2) When you speak, make sure it is an improvement on silence.
If you can’t speak words that agree with your fait…keep silent.
3) Make sure your mountain is hearing your voice. Mark 11:23
Throughout the New Testament we see Jesus speaking to things like wind, waves, trees, fevers, demons, dead people, etc. They all obeyed Him. He is our example. Make sure you are speaking faith to your problems and circumstances.
JC

~ Bobblehead Christiany ~

So … What is a bobble head Christian? Oh you know a few! The ones with the
head so filled with knowledge about the things of God, the power of God, the
fullness of the Spirit. They know what the word says about virtually any
subject you bring up … yet they have no fruit of it in their life. The have
not walked ANY of it out. Their head is swelled with knowledge yet their
 spiritual feet are small and underdeveloped from not walking in what they know. Big ole head .. Itty bitty feet. BOBBLE HEAD! (Work with me here, I am trying to paint a picture)

Learning is important, knowledge is important, but what is MORE important is that we believe what we have learned enough to step out and walk in it. Not
 just cram our noggins so full of knowledge that our head grows so big we become unbalanced.

When our heads are puffed up with knowledge and we try to take a step on
those tiny atrophied feet … we fall. Then we realize that we are immobilized
by our lopsided development. Some of us are just going to have to step out at
the risk of falling on our face just to get our WALK developed.

We live in the information age. Google any subject you want and you will
find countless “experts” on any given topic. Folks in general don’t know the difference between true revelation and mere head knowledge. when YOU experience God unveiling a truth to YOU personally, THAT is TRUE revelation. Getting true revelation for yourself will empower you to walk in it. We must not confine the demonstration of the Holy Spirit to mere intellect. That is RESISTING the Holy Spirit. We must submit ourselves to Jesus command.

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

God wants to show up BIG right where we are! We need to be willing to let the Spirit lead us, even into situations that we don’t understand and trust Him to back our play. Have the courage to step out and actually DO what you believe to be true.

~ Faith Confessions For Wisdom ~

 

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Got Wisdom? Wisdom only comes from ONE place, the ONLY wise God. THESE ARE FAITH CONFESSIONS FOR WISDOM

Jude 1:25 ~ To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Proverbs 4:7 ~ Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get  understanding.

Proverbs 3:5 ~ Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

SAY THIS ~ I trust in you Lord with all my heart, and I do not lean on my own understanding.

Proverbs 3:6 ~ In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

SAY THIS ~ In all my ways I acknowledge you Lord, and I thank you that you direct my path.

Romans 12:2 ~ 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of  your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect,  will of God.

SAY THIS ~ I am not conformed to this world, but I am continually transformed by renewing of my mind, that I may prove what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.

Psalm 138:8 ~ 8 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

SAY THIS ~ I thank you Lord that you perfect that which concerns me, your mercy O Lord endures forever.

John 14:26 ~ 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

SAY THIS ~ Father I thank you that you have sent the Holy Ghost to teach me all things, and bring all things that you have said to my remembrance.

James 1:5 ~ 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.

SAY THIS ~ Lord I ask you for wisdom. I ask in faith and I believe that I receive it. Thank you lord for the wisdom that you have given me.

So you fell flat on your face- Ahh!

There is no need to throw your hands up in the air when things don’t go as planned. Resist the temptation to embrace frustration or to have a meltdown. There is no need to hide from the world to disconnect, and there is no need for you to try to find someone to blame for the failure. Frustration is the everyday bread to those who give up and that is not you!

So you fell flat

on your face… Oh no!

What to do?

Just get back up! Go back to the drawing board and do things God’s way. He is more than able to help and lead you to success if you follow His lead! He will make your path strait. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

There is one thing to keep in mind. We do need people in our world to speak truth and to counsel us as we prepare to make big decisions. We don’t know it all. If you ask God, He will lead you to these people so that you have all the insight you need. Even though you make your own decisions, remember as well that you can’t ignore God’s council and expect things to go right. A one-man band is only good for entertainment…

P.L.A.N.S.

P– Pray for direction.

L– Listen to counsel.

A– Always let God have the final word.

N– No need to rush. God’s timing is the right one.

S. Success should always be measured by God’s
standards and not men’s standards.

–>Wisdom from Proverbs

Proverbs 16:3 Proverbs 4:26

Proverbs 16:20 Proverbs 15:22

Proverbs 3:6 Proverbs 11:14

Proverbs 16:9 Proverbs 4:18

I drew the acronym for the word PLANS from these verses. It is not meant to be your ABCs of life, but more as key components that should be part of your decision-making process.

hc

~I Am God’s Word~

Some say I am just an expression of an idea, that I have no real effect on people’s lives. Some don’t believe in me at all. I wish they knew me better. I have been misused, misspoken, misinterpreted, and misunderstood; yet I remain faithful and true.

I am far more than mere words, I am Spirit and I am Life. I was there in the beginning. When I was spoken, things were created, and everything in the universe is upheld by me. I am quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword. I am the spirit of faith, and I am truth.

I am a light unto your path and a lamp unto your feet if you choose to follow me. I am incorruptible seed, and when I am spoken in faith God watches over me to make sure I perform. I do not return void or incomplete but I accomplish that which I was sent to do. I am very pure, unchanging, and holy.

I am forever settled in heaven. I am steadfast and I am at work all the time. I can be trusted and I am never wrong. I am the sword of the Spirit and I am like a hammer, yet I can wash your soul like the purest of water. When I am spoken things are established in your life. I am eternal.

I am sweeter than honey on your lips. When I enter your heart I give light and understanding. If you love me you will have great peace, and nothing shall offend you. I give you wisdom, and I am life to those who find me, and health to all their flesh.

If you love me and keep me in your heart, when you go out, I will lead you; when you sleep I will keep you, and when you awake I will talk with you. When you need instruction I am there to instruct you, when you need correction, I am there to correct you.

I know I can change your life. I am just waiting to be loved, spoken, and believed in. I have every answer to every question that you will ever have. If you would meditate on me day and night, keep me before your eyes and in your mouth, you would make your way prosperous and you would have good success. If I were in your heart in abundance, you would be speaking me all the time.

I am God’S word.

 

 

~What Makes A Healthy Church?~

river church

This is a metaphor that paints a clear picture of two very distinct church models.

 The River model, and the Lake model.

First off, what is church? How do we define it? How we think about church and what makes a successful church will determine how effective we are at pastoring and leading God’s people. Do you have “Lake” vision for the church or “River” vision?

A River and a Lake are made of the same stuff, water, but Rivers and Lakes work very differently. Lakes are limited to either growing or shrinking while Rivers change and move. They have momentum and power and they transport people and goods, taking them further along than where they entered the River. Also, a river can change course, which is an option available only to moving things.

Lake model churches are static and they lack the vital process of discipleship, of developing and maturing people to the point that God sends them out to go make more disciples. They lack direction on how members should progress in faith. The measure of success is a larger congregation, not a fruitful one, and if a pastor looses a mature member of the body that is answering God’s call they see it as a loss, not a victory.

The Lake model forces you to invest a lot of attention, time and finances on material things and programs that the people can attend. Success is measured in attendance and growing a congregation not the healthy growth of the people.

The thing that I appreciate most about my pastors is that they are committed to investing in people. They get excited about seeing people fulfill their purpose, grow in their gifts, function effectively in the body of Christ and answer the call to ministry. They measure success in reproducing people of like faith. They understand the “River” process.

“How many people showed up?” …is Lake thinking.

“What happened to the ones that did show up?” …is River thinking.

Ezekiel 47:9 ~ And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.

If pastors have a heart to invest in, and develop people, knowing they will leave, they will have an urgency to help them through the process. By getting everyone in their church ready for a possible departure they will ensure the health and vitality of those whom God decides to keep in their church. If they remember that their responsibility is to produce fruit, they will rejoice when God decides to ship the fruit.

The challenges that we face today in building a strong body of equipped believers is greater than ever. The commitment to invest in, and disciple people must be foremost in our thinking. How we measure success in our church will help determine how successful the church will be.

Matthew 28:19 ~ Go therefore  and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

~ Are We Making Jesus An Invalid? ~

While praying in the spirit one morning this phrase came out: “I thank you Lord for the body of Christ that validates you to the world.”

That was a new thought to me, however it makes perfect sense. He is the head. We are the body. Without His body, He is incomplete. As I thought on this and asked the Lord what He was trying to show me, I thought of a person that was an “invalid,” with no use of his limbs, paralyzed. Then I thought of the word “invalid”. NOT VALID!

I realized that this is a picture of the present day body of Christ. Without power. Not valid in the worlds eyes.

The body does not have the understanding, nor the power, to carry the Head to a lost and dying world.

We MUST become the body of Christ that we were designed to be. We must walk in the fullness of the Spirit. We must stop thinking and acting independent of the Head.

If I want a drink of water, My head tells my hand to pick up the water bottle and put it to my mouth. If Jesus (the head) wants to heal someone and he tells you (the hand) to go and minister to that person and raise them up by His power  … and you don’t do it … You have just made Him an invalid, and to the world, you have just made Christianity “NOT VALID.”

Jesus is very clear on what He wants us to do:

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

Do you really have the guts to walk that out? Do you have the faith to take Him at his word and believe that He will back you up? I am not pointing fingers, I am asking myself. You ask yourself.

JC.

~ God said: “You Are A Dirt Bag?” ( it’s not what you think :)~

YEP! That’s what He said.

First let me explain what “dirt bag” is in this context. As you may know, you are a spirit being, with a mind and soul, and you exist on this earth in a body, your “earth suit” so to speak. Your earth suit is made up of basic elements that are found in dirt. (Remember, God created Adam from the dust of the ground so this should make sense.)

Your skin, the largest organ of your body, is the “bag” that all of this “dirt” is contained in. That being clear, let me share an important revelation that can help you in your walk with God.

Years ago I remember struggling with this one particular sin that I just COULD NOT seem to overcome. I was praying and asking forgiveness for the umpteenth time and being disgusted with myself I said “LORD, I am such a DIRT BAG!” The Lord spoke back to me very strong and said: “Yes Jack, you ARE a dirt bag. As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.”

I was shocked!
All I could think about was that the Lord called me a “dirt bag” and then gave
me scripture to back it up by quoting Proverbs 23:7 ! I was like … Lord!? … for real!?

It was at that moment that it seemed like He downloaded this huge revelation into my “hard drive” about how we see ourselves. What you are mindful of has tremendous impact on our spiritual growth and our ability to walk in the spirit. Today I saw how it impacts our ability to minister to the needs of others. Romans 8 holds the key to understanding this.

Lets break it down.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

(You see, it is not enough to just “be saved” (in Christ Jesus) but you must be “after the Spirit.” Notice the capital S in Spirit? We must be ever conscious of the Holy Spirit and His agenda.)

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.  3For what the law could not do, in that
it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 
 4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

There are two laws mentioned here; the law of the Spirit of life in Christ and the law of sin and death. We are FREE from the second law because God CONDEMNED SIN IN THE FLESH.

When the devil is successful in getting you into self-condemnation and thinking of yourself as a “Dirt Bag,” you are in essence saying: “What God did was not enough, I have to condemn sin myself.” This can be as simple as you just focusing on the carnal, fallen nature most of the time instead of being mindful of spiritual things. This renders you helpless and powerless. (Which is the devils goal if he can’t kill you.)

 5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

We understand that actively pursuing sin brings death, but did you know that condemnation does the same thing? Condemnation IS “minding the things of the flesh.” We can’t be effective at helping others with death working in us.

 7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Having the “Dirt Bag” (carnal) mindset is enmity against God. You cannot please Him. It reminds me of another scripture.

Hebrews 11:6 ~ But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

It takes faith to break free of the “Dirt Bag” mindset.

 9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the
Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.

Do we really get it? That we are NOT in the flesh? Just because we live in a flesh and bone “earth suit” and walk around in a fallen world does not mean we can’t be spiritual. Obviously I did not get that when the Lord spoke this to me.

Condemnation quenches the Spirit and puts the focus inward instead of upward and outward. It renders the Christian powerless, ineffective and no threat to the devil.

We MUST walk in power. That power is for OTHER PEOPLE. It is not for you. It is not for you to execute your own agenda or for you to market it so you can be financially secure. It is not to play with or for you to draw attention to yourself. The devil tries to keep you from walking in this power by substituting it with an
opposite power, the power of condemnation. He tries to get you focused on the
“DIRT BAG” so much that it is all you can see. Instead of being mindful of
spiritual things that can help others, you become only mindful of you, and you
can’t even help yourself.

DON’T BE A DIRT BAG! (CARNAL)  BE  SPIRITUAL!

1Corinthians 2:15 ~  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is  judged of no man.

~The Battle Within~

One evening an old Apache War Chief told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said,”My son, the battle between two wolves is inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, greed, arrogance, selfishness, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

The grandson thought about this for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”

The old War Chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”

This is an old story. Maybe you have heard it before, but the truth is real. Consider what things you are feeding and what things you are starving in your life. Keep in mind that the words you speak have spiritual power that feeds and gives life to certain areas of your life. Jesus said that God’s Word is Spirit and Life.

John 6:63 ~ It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

The Word of God is full of commands to speak the Word of God, to keep it before you and in your mouth. Bible confessions are a valuable tool in winning the battle within. Build your faith and strengthen your heart by feeding that “Good Wolf” the Word of God on a daily basis by reading and speaking God’s Word.

Deuteronomy 30:18-20 ~ 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. 15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, 16 in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.

Proverbs 18:21 ~ Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

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.