God is Love…

God is Love

We’ve all heard the mantra “Love is Love.” The world has redefined what love is and it didn’t come from the Bible. The Bible says God is love and God defined love. It’s time we take a stand and take back the truth according to theWord of God.

Our world has redefined what God created, love, gender, freedom even!

We were all born into sin, BUT we all have a choice to walk away from that and be willing to change and transform our hearts and mind to the things of God! We alone can’t make anything righteous! GOD alone is righteous!

1 John 4:16b God is love! Those who are living in love are living in God, and God lives through them.”

We see the phrase “Love is love” and it makes us stop and think – has that phrase encompassed loving everything, including sin? And if we take a stand against sin and calling it out, does that make us hateful?? Judgmental?

1 Corinthians 2:15– “But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.”

We have become a generation so laxed in the things of God that we have turned a blind eye and somehow have an obligation to make sure everyone is included and accepted, even if that compromises Godliness.

Alter God's Plan

Lust of the flesh, abortion…So many of these issues have become tolerated in our society because we go by the phrase “Love is Love,” and that has enabled us to somehow feel “right” about allowing some sin in so others won’t feel left out. But what does God say about these things and why have we become so afraid to voice them?

I think the first step is we need to be clear about what Love is by the Creator of Love! The famous verse:

John 3:16 -17– “ For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

I John 4:7-8– “Those who are loved by God, let his love continually pour from you to one another, because God is love. Everyone who loves is fathered by God and experiences an intimate knowledge of him. The one who doesn’t love has yet to know God, for God is love.”

Our society confuses love and lust.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7-Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.”

Life Application Study Bible Concordance

“Our society confuses love and lust. Unlike lust, God’s kind of  love is directed outward toward others, not inward toward ourselves. It is utterly unselfish. This kind of love goes against our natural inclinations. It is possible to practice this kind of love only if God helps us set aside our own desires and instincts, so that we can give love while expecting nothing in return. Thus the more we become like Christ, the more love we will show to others.”

Yes, God is love and we are called to love everyone and we do!! But we are not called to love sin! We are called to spread the love of Jesus so that everyone who knows is accountable for their own walk. Unfortunately, there is a heaven and a hell. God never created hell for people! Hell was solely created for Satan and his demons. But by our own selfish desire to choose life contrary to the Word of God, we submit ourselves to hell.

When looking at 1 Corinthians 13:4-7– we see that love isn’t a feeling. Love is an action! It’s all about DOING something, not “feeling” something! First you CHOOSE, then you act!

Love isn’t a feeling and that’s where we get it wrong sometimes. We think it’s our right to love who and what we want to, what we feel like. Our generation is all about rights- we demand more rights, more freedom to do what WE want! We believe women have the “right” to choose over their own bodies! But don’t you know our bodies belong to Christ if you dwell in Christ? It’s not our choice, it’s God’s!! God is the one who chooses life and death, yet we have become little god’s choosing for ourselves and then wondering why everything is going wrong! We have become so self focused, that we are not God focused! We were not created to live according to our flesh – in fact we are instructed to kill our fleshly desires!! However, we have taken the liberties of God and sacrificed them for lies.

Love is a choice! It’s hard, often painful even. We don’t always want to choose what is right because it doesn’t feel good! If we all walked around serving our fleshly desires and demanding to live life as WE want and feel, we would be in such a dangerous position. Love is longevity in a world of temporal. And Jesus was our greatest example of choosing love for us as He chose to die on the cross and take on our sins. That didn’t “feel” good!

Love actually isn’t all romance and rainbows. We see love displayed contrary to the Word of God and we just say, “Well let them be happy!” It’s all about what we want! We have turned God’s selfless love into something so selfish. God created love and He created it to free us, not enslave us to sin.

1 Peter 1:13-16So then, prepare your hearts and minds for action! Stay alert and fix your hope firmly on the marvelous grace that is coming to you. For when Jesus Christ is unveiled a greater measure of grace will be released to you. As God’s obedient children, never again shape your lives by the desires that you followed when you didn’t know better.Instead, shape your lives to become like the Holy One who called you. For Scripture says:

“You are to be holy, because I am holy.”

John 14:15– “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

We can’t pick and choose what we want from the bible. We can’t take only the things we agree with and disregard the rest.

Filling Void

Revelations 22:18– “I testify to everyone who hears the prophetic words of this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone subtracts from the prophetic words of this book, God will remove his portion from the Tree of Life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”

The problem we have in our world is we look at people as the enemy. We have only one enemy – satan and his demons. We fight with weapons of this world, accomplishing nothing because our war is not with flesh and blood. Our war is not against people, but against sin…

Ephesians 6:13-15– “Your hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. For they are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage. Because of this, you must wear all the armor that God provides so you’re protected as you confront the slander for you are destined for all things and will rise victorious.”

We are a divided nation. We point fingers and are hateful with people who don’t agree with us. The bible tells us to be angry, but do not sin. We have spoken truth but with out love. Jesus was our example of love, in action, not feeling! Like scripture says, we don’t judge people! We love everyone – yes!! But we hate the sin!!

Love is not about accepting all things and compromising, sacrificing God’s Word so that people feel good in their sin. The Word is going to rub us the wrong way. It can even feel offensive, but the Word says below:

1 Corinthians 2:14– “Someone living on an entirely human level rejects the revelations of God’s Spirit, for they make no sense to him. He can’t understand the revelations of the Spirit because they are only discovered by the illumination of the Spirit.”

Romans 8:7-9– “In fact, the mind-set focused on the flesh fights God’s plan and refuses to submit to his direction, because it cannot!  For no matter how hard they try, God finds no pleasure with those who are controlled by the flesh. But when the Spirit of Christ empowers your life, you are not dominated by the flesh but by the Spirit. In fact, the mind-set focused on the flesh fights God’s plan and refuses to submit to his direction because it cannot! For no matter how hard they try, God finds no pleasure with those who are controlled by the flesh. But when the Spirit of Christ empowers your life you are not dominated by the flesh but by the Spirit. And if you are not joined to the Spirit of the Anointed One, you are not of him. And if you are not joined to the Spirit of the Anointed One, you are not of him.”

The time is now more than ever to walk in truth, reliant on the Holy Spirit, not our flesh. We must be willing to sacrifice and endure persecution for the sake of the gospel. We must take a stand for righteousness with boldness and courage, fearing only God and not man!

Too Settled

Fear of God Vs. Fear of Man

Moral RegressionThis isn’t an easy topic to talk about, but one we feel needs to be addressed.  For so long, we have allowed sin to creep in little by little. How did we allow this? How did we get here? We believe two reasons –  We lost the fear/reverence of God and the Holy Spirit. Without the two, we lack Godly wisdom and have been unable to speak up with boldness without the power backing us.

Over time, we started to feel the pressures and ideologies of the world make sense. At first, it didn’t seem like that big of a deal. But, over time, little by little, we failed to recognize that the more we accepted societal norms, the further away we were getting from God’s Word until it didn’t even convict us anymore. Some of us look at the things we stand for now and wonder how we got here. Little by little… Some of us have become so conditioned to the things of the world, we don’t even realize we have walked away from God’s principles. Sure, we may still be going to Church and claiming Christianity, but are we really taking a stand for Godly principles?

Dont Be Silent

Romans 12:2– “Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.”

1 Timothy 4:1-2– “The Holy Spirit has explicitly revealed. At the end of this age, many will depart from the true faith one after another, devoting themselves to spirits of deception and following demon-inspired revelations and theories. Hypocritical liars will deceive many, and their consciences won’t bother them at all!”

* Deceptionwe don’t even have the conviction anymore to understand that we’re not right. We believe lies to be true

We are trying to be so politically correct that we’ve sacrificed being spiritually correct. We have a greater fear of man’s disapproval than we do a reverence for God and it is a dangerous place to become hard-hearted to the things of God because when we are, we don’t even feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit guiding truth anymore. The enemy’s plan is to completely distract us from the things of God because then God can’t use us.

We are so afraid of offending people, wanted to be accepted and liked, not wanting to cause confrontation, that we compromise who we are and what our beliefs are to be liked and accepted. That fear of man has so debilitated us that we go along with the sin.

We read this on a blog called Desiring God by John Bloom and we just loved it – “Fear of man can immobilize us when we should take action and gag us into silence when we should speak. It feels powerful, but its power is deceptive.”

Prov. 29:25– “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.”

We have become a nation where sin is literally not just accepted, but applauded. Wrong has become right and right has become wrong. As children of God, we believe it’s time our generation steps up and redefine the Word of God in today’s society.

We have slowly turned away from our faith, allowing things to creep in until we believed them to be true. The media, social media, everything around us has clouded what we knew to be true. We have stepped away from spending more time in our Word and spend more time on social media, watching the News, feeding on everything the world is pouring into us. It is a cunning craft of the enemy to turn our hearts away from the things of God and believe we have to accept the things of the world.

1 John 2:15-17– “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

A lot of these issues we are talking about are controversial. Sure, we have ALL sinned and fallen short of the glory of God! But do we keep walking in sin taking advantage of grace?

Romans 6:15– “Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not!”

Why are girls who were born boys allowed to change in the same locker room as our daughters? Why when I take my kids shopping are there gay pride flags hanging in department stores? Why has this become so common and accepted that we aren’t taking a stand for holiness?

Abortion2

Why are we murdering children in the womb? Do we not remember that, not matter how conception happened that God beautifully and wonderfully created us in our mother’s womb?? Not some of us, depending on how the circumstances were, but ALL of us?

1 Corin. 6:9-11– “Surely you must know that people who practice evil cannot possess God’s kingdom realm. Stop being deceived! People who continue to engage in sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, sexual perversion, homosexuality, fraud, greed, drunkenness, verbal abuse, or extortion—these will not inherit God’s kingdom realm. It’s true that some of you once lived in those lifestyles, but now you have been purified from sin, made holy, and given a perfect standing before God—all because of the power of the name of the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, and through our union with the Spirit of our God.”

Matthew 10:28– “Don’t be in fear of those who can kill only the body but not your soul. Fear only God, who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Hebrews 13:6– “I know the Lord is for me and I will never be afraid of what people may do to me.”

It’s time to stop accepting and allowing ungodliness to rein our nation.

Revelation 3:16– “But because you are neither cold nor hot, but lukewarm, I am about to spit you from my mouth.”

We need to CHOOSE whom we will serve, God or the World. We can’t serve both. Either all of the Bible is true, or none of it is true! We can’t take what we want and see what fits our society best! We need to take the Word and change our society!

1 Corinthians 6:12 – 13– “ It’s true that our freedom allows us to do anything, but that doesn’t mean that everything we do is good for us. I’m free to do as I choose, but I choose to never be enslaved to anything. Some have said, “I eat to live and I live to eat!” But God will do away with it all. The body was not created for illicit sex, but to serve and worship our Lord Jesus, who can fill the body with himself.”

(Life Application Study Bible, Concordance)

“Apparently the Church had been quoting and misapplying the words, “everything is permissible for me.” Some Christians in Corinth were excusing their sins by saying that (1) Christ had taken away all sin, and so they had complete freedom to live as they pleased, or (2) what they were doing was not strictly forbidden by Scripture. Paul answered both of these excuses. (1) While Christ has taken away our sin, this does not give us freedom to go on doing what we know is wrong. The New Testament specifically forbids many sins that were originally prohibited in the Old Testament. (2) Some actions are not sinful themselves, but they are not appropriate because they can control our lives and lead us away from God. (3) Some actions may hurt others. Anything we do that hurts rather than helps others is not right.

Joshua 24:15– “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

“What are we thinking America? Are the men and women of our nation ready to kill a newborn because we have a new right to murder our unwanted children in their 9th month? Are we truly so demented that we can redefine our bodies which determine if we are men or women? Do we think we are wiser, more just, and greater than our Creator? Has man finally fallen into such darkness of soul that wrong becomes right and right becomes wrong? If we do not speak up and speak out truth – our salt will soon lose its flavor and be thrown out,”

Pastor Deborah Cobrae

 

Who Will You Take With You, Part 2

Delving deeper into the importance and how we all need an inner circle, we know that Jesus had a multitude and many followed him and probably wanted to be close to him. However, it’s impossible to have many close intimate friends. Its not about more, but few! We have said it before and we will say it again – its not about quantity but quality friends!

Shell_Ness2Who you take and bring along your journey will determine where you end up.

When we look at Jesus, he wasn’t concerned about impressing or pleasing the crowd. He didn’t allow the multitudes to continue to follow him, but he selected out of the hundreds, 12 to train up.

Now we want to focus in even more on Jesus’ 3, Peter, James and John.  Even Jesus needed and an inner circle that he could trust and be vulnerable with.

We want to take a look again at the scriptures we used in the last blog, but point out something important that God showed us.

The first one is found in Matthew 17:1-12 (Read)

  1. They were given special revelation that not everyone else received

We cannot share and give to many. We have to be selective in who we share our battles and victories with. There are moments in our lives that are special to us, and we want to share that, but not everyone can appreciate it. How many times have you shared with the wrong person and they were unable to rejoice with you? That is why it’s not for everyone to share and open up to. We see that the moment Jesus’ appearance was transformed and Moses and Elijah began talking with Jesus, the reaction of Peter was “Lord its wonderful for us to be here.” He showed appreciation and then he asked Jesus if he wanted him to build a memorial. Then God spoke and the disciples were afraid and fell face down. They didn’t understand yet, but we see it was the beginning of worship. I love how it goes on to say that Jesus went over to them and touched them and said “ get up, don’t be afraid” He didn’t just speak to them but he went over and touched them. We see a very special bond between these 3.

  1. They were allowed into a intimate conversation amongst God, Moses and Elijah.

Matthew 17:1-2– “Suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus.”

We can also see that not everyone is invited into deep conversations. We need to at least have one that we can have intimate conversations with. One we             can open up with and be vulnerable with.

  1. Jesus tells them not to tell anyone what they had seen

Matthew 17:9– “As they all hiked down the mountain together, Jesus ordered them, “Don’t tell anyone of the divine appearance you just witnessed. Wait until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.”

Here we see something very important and that’s trust. Jesus in a sense let them in on a secret and trusted them not to say anything yet. We can learn from this example that we cannot trust everyone with our heart and things we share. He must have knew these 3 could be trusted not to go back and tell the other disciples what had happened.

The next scripture we want to take a look at is Mark 5:37 (it can also be found in Luke 8:51)

We know the story of Jesus going to heal Jairus’ daughter. We wanted to point out that when he got to the house, the crowd was weeping and mourning her death and Jesus replied, “she is not dead. She is sleeping.” The crowd laughed at him, but he made them all leave, except the parents, Peter, James and John.

We can see from here that there will be those that laugh at your belief; those that think you are crazy. Jesus was not moved. He didn’t break down and ask why they were laughing at him. He told them to go, get out! When you are believing for something, you may have to remove people. Don’t allow them to hinder what you do. Jesus knew he was about to raise her from the dead and he didn’t need any unbelief. He only allowed his 3 inner-circle of friends to be with him!

Mark 5:43– “Jesus had them bring her something to eat. And he repeatedly cautioned them that they were to tell no one about what had happened.”

We also see again here Jesus told them do not tell anyone what had happened. Again he had trust in them to keep it with them.

The last scripture is Matt 26:36 (also found in Mark 14:32-34)

What we want to point out here is when Jesus went to go pray at the Garden of Gethsemane, He took again Peter James and John. He was at such a vulnerable moment. He was distressed and anguished. He told the 3 “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me” Jesus showed vulnerability and opened up his truest feelings to the 3.

If you read down a little further, we see that the disciples fell asleep and Jesus stopped praying and went to them and found them asleep. Jesus didn’t get angry and say forget it, let me go get someone else. Instead he taught them something even in his weakest moment. He told them the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak and weren’t back to pray. This happened 3 times.

Friendship

Understand, that we will be let down and disappointed. Even your inner circle will fail, but remember it’s about the heart. Even though the disciples failed Jesus, Jesus knew their heart, He knew their flesh was weak and instead of being angry with them, He taught them!

Matthew 26:40– “Later, he came back to his three disciples and found them all sound asleep. He awakened Peter and said to him, “Do you lack the strength to stay awake with me for even just an hour?”

Sissy and I let each other down, but we are committed to each other and don’t exchange the other for someone else when we fail each other. We know each other’s hearts and I know my sister has me!

1 Corinthians 13:5– “Love keeps no record of wrongs.”

Part 2

Who Will You Take With You, Part 1

Shell_Ness“The world may not understand our bond, but as long as we stick together, that’s all that matters,” Anonymous

Who do you take with you on your faith journey? Not everyone can go with you. Who you take and allow to speak into you, will either guide you to your destination or deter you from it.

When you are believing God for something out of the realm of normal, whom do you trust with that God vision? Who can you take on that journey with you to stand and believe with you for the things that seem out of the ordinary, the things that are hard sometimes to believe for? Not everyone you call friend will be able to go where God is taking you, or have the ability to see what you are seeing.

We take the life of Jesus and we see how He chose His friends wisely, how He chose His select carefully and in our lives today, we tend to be pretty casual with choosing our friends. We have talked a lot about some of this in our Covenant blogs, but this goes hand in hand with whom that person will be to walk out your God dreams with you and continue to stand for you even when you get weak.

Jesus had the multitude that he taught. He had the 70 that he organized, then the 12 disciples he tookunder Him, and 3 that were his inner most circle.

There are three types of friendships – the outter court (aquaintances), inner court (closer friends) and the holy of holies (inner circle; the closest who you can trust with your heart).

Read Mark 3:13-19as it describes Jesus’s choosing of His disciples.

A disciple is simply one who accepts and assists in the spreading of the doctrines of another. In other words, for us as Christians – one who follows and spreads the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That would mean Jesus definitely had more than 12 disciples following Him, but He chose 12 to train up to go out and spread His ministry, to do the work He was doing and to be His hands and feet, to be in His inner circle so to speak. Not everyone you hang around with can be in your inner circle.

Mark 3:13-15– “Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him.He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.”

We see here that Jesus went on a Mountainside and already knew whom He was going to choose. He doesn’t specify in scripture WHY He chose these particular 12, but we can see throughout the New Testament different encounters Jesus had with them and they were all so very diverse –a fisherman, a tax collector and more.

The number 12 can be related to the 12 tribes of Israel in the following verse:

Matthew 19:28– “Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

So from there, we derive why the number 12 was so significant in the Ministry of Jesus.

But, my sister and I want to take this even further. While Jesus specifically chose 12 disciples to mentor and train, He couldn’t possibly have them all in sync, following His every move together. They were human. They doubted at times, rebelled, wavered, questioned like most of us at times. Jesus didn’t fire them or give up on them because of that. He continued to love and teach them because it’s us –just like them, imperfect and sometimes wavering, BUT with a heart for God and that’s what He can use!

That being said, we can all probably say we have friends we can ask to pray for us, friends we can have fun and laugh with and trust to hold us up when our faith is tested…But what about those times God gives you something or tells you to do something that is so far fetched that you can barely believe it yourself!! In those times, you can’t always turn to your 12. In those times, you have to see the select one or ones out of that even to trust with that God vision. Even Moses formed an inner circle, as it was Aaron who was his High Priest.

Everyone wanted to be close to Jesus but he didn’t allow access to everyone, but Jesus had his 3 that were allowed intimate insights… Out of His 12, there were 3 that were especially close to His heart: Peter, James and his brother John. These 3 were key to Jesus’s Ministry. These were the 3 Jesus saw something more in. When an extraordinary manifestation of Jesus’s glory occurred, it was Peter, James and John that Jesus took with Him.

JairusDaughter1. The raising of Jairus’s daughter (Mark 5:37) “So they left for his home, but Jesus didn’t allow anyone to go with them except Peter and the two brothers, Jamesand John.”

2. The Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1)“Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and hiked up a high mountain to be alone.”TRansfiguration

3. Jesus needing strength in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:33) “He took Peter, James, and John with him. An intense feeling of great horror plunged his soul into deep sorrow and agony.And he said to them,“My heart is overwhelmed with anguish and crushed with grief. It feels as though I’m dying. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

Gethsamane

These 3 walked closely with Jesus and showed more maturity in their faith when their calling was still so new to them.

These 3 were dear to Jesus and they got to see and behold things that others did not.

What did the other 9 disciples think? Did they think Jesus showed favoritism? The bible doesn’t tell us, but I wonder if there was any complaining going on among the 9. Was there talk amongst them about why Jesus didn’t take anyone else.

Don’t worry about what others may say. Don’t worry about trying to please everyone. It’s your journey and you get to choose who is in it with you.

Jesus did not worry what the other 9 would think; He knew the importance and value of close knitted friends. He knew in order to go and do certain things in ministry, He needed his inner circle.

Why Peter? It could be many reasons, but scripture tells us that Peters loved Jesus more than any of the other Apostles. John 21:15shows us that Jesus asked Peter 3 times if He loved Him and Peter replied that he had a burning love for Jesus.

In Matthew 16:16– Peter confessed His belief in Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God and that was something even the disciples were still struggling with. It was here we get the verse:

Matthew 16:18-19– “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that soon after, Peter was one of the 3 Jesus chose to experience the Transfiguration. In fact, Jesus called Peter blessed because His confession of Jesus as the Messiah had not yet been revealed by humans means. Peter still showed weakness in His ministry, denying Jesus 3 times; however even in His weaknesses He was still one of the most prominent Apostles, evangelizing the Word of God.

James and John were brothers that were very close to each other and very close to Jesus. Again, imperfect, though.

Luke 9:51-56– “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them. Then he and his disciples went to another village.”

As we see here, James and John were a bit harsh. You can almost say they reveled in their authority as Jesus’s elect. There was even a situation where these brothers, along with their “momager” asked Jesus if they could sit at His right and left sides in His Kingdom because they could surely endure the same cup and baptism Jesus was about to experience. BUT with all that, they had hearts for Jesus that truly stood out amongst the other disciples, allowing them to hold a special place with Jesus to be trusted more securely with His Ministry. These brothers loved Jesus and as Jesus was dying on the cross, it was John He entrusted His mother to. James was the first apostle to die – he was the first martyr. John was the last apostle to die and the only non-martyr. These brothers, though a bit harsh at times, endured intense suffering for their commitment to Jesus and the Ministry.

We can all have a group of friends. We can all have an Army on our side, but when push comes to shove and you need those who’s hearts are one with yours, who see your visions and will come along side you – it’s impossible to entrust many. They may not be perfect – they may not always agree, BUT they are willing to trust the God that is speaking to you and come in unity with your vision to help you believe and encourage you along the way.

Faith, Authority and Healing, Pt. 2

We are continuing our series on healing. We started off going into hindrances to receiving our healing that included unforgiveness toward ourselves or others, bitterness, etc. We also started talking about how our faith needs to be activated for our healing to manifest. Now, we are continuing this discussion on how faith and our authority actually activate the Word of God to be performed in our healing and how the three work in unison.

Faith_Hoping

Just to review, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. We know that without faith it impossible to please God. Summing up Hebrews 11:1-6…

Now, we will be talking about our authority.

The dictionary defines authority as: The power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.

The good news is that God has given us ALL power and authority! Throughout the Old and New Testament, God shows us the authority we have. Read Psalm 91 alone and it will encourage and equip you!

Luke 10:19“Now you understand that I have imparted to you all my authority to trample over his kingdom. You will trample upon every demon before you and overcome every power Satan possesses. Absolutely nothing will be able to harm you as you walk in this authority.”

We must get a revelation of the power and authority that has been given to us!  It is a gift and given to us upon salvation. Most of us are unaware that we have been given such authority. Most of us operate from our own ability and strength, but the Bible tells us in Ephesians 6:10 to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.

Here is a great example of a Roman Officer in the New Testament who understood his authority…

Matthew 8:8 (TPT) “But the Roman officer interjected, “Lord, who am I to have you come into my house? I understand your authority, for I too am a man who walks under authority and have authority over soldiers who serve under me. I can tell one to go and he’ll go, and another to come and he’ll come. I order my servants and they’ll do whatever I ask.”

What is so amazing is this man wasn’t a preacher, or one of the disciples that Jesus marveled at, but a soldier/officer.  If we truly begin to understand that we are Gods commanders/soldiers here on earth and have the power and right to command His word over all things, we truly would see His kingdom come on earth, as it is heaven.

Not even the enemy can resist a child of God who KNOWS their authority! Authority doesn’t just rest on the big and mighty and strong! Authority is WHO WE ARE as children of God!

When the enemy sees you, he should automatically see your faith and know he is under your feet!

We need to understand that there is a difference between knowing your authority and using it! You can have all the knowledge of God’s word but not use it. We can have head knowledge, but not have that truth cemented in our hearts…just knowing isn’t enough, but knowing and exercising it is where the difference is.

We can become fat Christians. We go to Church and get the Word, get fed and keep going, but that’s the extent of it. We don’t always do anything with it and just like eating – we feed ourselves, but we also need to exercise…we can’t keep the Word in us and not use it…we cannot be hearers only, but doers of the word.

Exercising authority strengthens our faith muscle. We have to have faith in the authority God has given us!

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Here are some scriptures about faith to help you:

Ephesians 6:16– “In every battle, take faith as your wrap-around shield, for it is able to extinguish the blazing arrows coming at you from the Evil One!”

Romans 1:16-17– “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

2 Corinthians 4:13– “We have the same Spirit of faith that is described in the Scriptures when it says, “First I believed, then I spoke in faith.” So we also first believe then speak in faith.”

“To learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings.” ~ George Mueller

There is so much more to be said about faith and authority, but hopefully this foundation will get you moving toward walking in that authority and exercising that faith muscle! Praying for you always!

Be blessed,

Michelle and Vanessa

Faith, Authority and Healing, Part 1

Faith2We have been discussing healing and going over the past couple of blogs how hindrances like bitterness and unforgiveness toward others and ourselves can stop the plan of God in our lives and for our healing. We are continuing today and stepping into how faith and our God-given authority will activate the Word of God in our lives and our situation.

Let’s just start at the beginning…

What is faith? Let’s look at just a little of the famous Faith Hall of Fame…

Hebrews 11:1– “Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen. This testimony of faith is what previous generations were commended for. Faith empowers us to see that the universe was created and beautifully coordinatedby the power of God’s words! He spoke and the invisible realm gave birth to all that is seen.”

Hebrews 11:6– “ And without faith living within us it would be impossible to please God. For we come to God in faithknowing that he is real and that he rewards the faith of those who give all their passion and strength into seeking him.”

To have faith is to relinquish trust in oneself and to put that trust in another. That is so very hard to do because you don’t know if that person will let you down or walk out… That’s why we were never called to put faith in man, but in God alone.

Our Founding Pastor Deborah Cobrae parallels faith to our economic system. Money is what moves goods and services here on earth, BUT FAITH is what moves goods and services in the supernatural. They say money makes the world go round, but if you’re a believer, FAITH is what makes our world go round. You can’t do anything without faith!

Our Pastor, Jessica Roth says faith is the language of heaven! God only responds to the language of faith.

Now that we established a little foundation of what faith is, let’s move on to how that relates to your healing….

When it comes to healing, it cannot manifest without God’s Word being activated through faith and authority.

Where your faith is, that’s where your healing will be. You will have what your faith expects.

Let’s look at a few examples in the Word…

Read Matthew 9:18 –22

There are things going on here  – the man wanted Jesus to come lay hands on his daughter. He said “you can bring her back to life if you just come lay your hand on her

Second, the women with the issue of blood was desperate and she said “If I can only touch His robe, I will be healed.”

In these scenario’s, one man’s faith lied in Jesus coming to lay hands on his daughter. That’s where he believed her healing would come. The woman with the issue of blood only needed to touch the hem of His garment. Was her faith greater because it lied in touching the hem of His garment rather than Him coming to her and laying hands on her? No – that’s just where their faith was. Let’s look at another story.

Read Matthew 8:5-11

The roman officer came to Jesus for his sick servant and he said to Jesus “Just say the word from where you are and my servant will be healed.”

The Lord was astonished at this man’s faith and told him he hadn’t seen greater faith. This man didn’t even need Jesus to come to his servant side. His faith was in Jesus’s word and authority alone.

Where our faith is, is where our healing will be. We can’t compare our faith to others faith. We are all on our own journey of faith and at different levels.

If you are suffering a terminal illness and you believe chemotherapy is where your healing is, then take the chemo. If you believe that your healing is NOT going to chemo, then don’t go. Where you put your faith is where your healing will be!

If you believed God for your salvation, you can believe God for your healing. In fact, unbelief hinders healing! Let’s look at a story in Matthew 17:14-21…(READ)

Faith isn’t something we need more of. A lot of people tend to think they need more faith, we don’t need more, rather exercising the faith we have.

Faith is a muscle. If it isn’t exercised, of course it remains stagnant and we call that doubt…

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So then how do we grow our faith? Here are two ways:

First: We need to hear God’s Word

Romans 10:17– “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Second: We need to put the Word into action. The bible tells us not to be just hearers only.

James 1:22– “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

Think of a farmer. After he plants a seed, he has faith it will grow.

“If the farmer, without any definite promise can have faith in nature, why can’t the Christian have faith in the God of nature,” Robert V. Bosworth, Christ the Healer….

The Word waters our faith. We HAVE to be in the Word. Joshua 1:8 tells us to meditate on the Word day and night…

If we are not in our Word, we won’t even know how far our faith can get us and we definitely won’t have the ability to step into our authority! Watch out for our next blog on how to walk in your authority!! We pray this encouraged you and look forward to any comments or feedback you have! God Bless!

Michelle and Vanessa

 

Understanding our Make-Up; Toxic Thoughts

Today’s blog comes from a dear friend of ours! She is an amazing evangelist with an even greater testimony! Be encouraged as you read today’s blog on how to understand our make-up and how that relates to our thinking process, our souls and our thoughts! Thanks you, Deborah Martinez for your time and encouragement here!

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Anxiety1It can be so freeing to our whole existence when we understand how we are made, we don’t have to be governed by our unhealthy thoughts or mood swings and emotional ups and downs. Our make up simply means, what we’re made of (our entire being).

First we need to understand that we are a triune being – spirit/soul/body
 *spirit = intuition, communion, conscience
       *soul = intellect, emotions, free will = mind
       *body = physical substance, what we can see.

We are a thinking being = you think, you choose, you create intrinsically – not a robot! With our mind we are able to think like God because when we were born of the Spirit, God’s Spirit came to dwell in us therefore we can choose with our mind, our mind changes our brain function as we fill our thoughts with the Word of God. Our mind is more powerful than our brain, healthy thoughts produce a healthy brain, which causes in affect a healthy lifestyle. That is why the word of God says in Romans 12:2 and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we can live a life free of unhealthy thought patterns, which are called toxic thoughts, that can cause depression, physical and mental illnesses. It has been proven that there is no one beyond help through the power of God. He sent his son Jesus to give us Zoe life, His life, the God life(eternal life).

There are three different types of life that we actually live. There is the Bios life, this Greek word refers to the life of the physical body and is where we get the word biology. Then there is the Psuche life, the Greek word here refers to the psychological life of the human soul that is the mind the will and the emotions, this is where we get the word psychology. Lastly there is the Zoe life, here the Greek word refers to the uncreated, eternal life of God, the divine life uniquely possessed by God. Which means, the Spirit of God comes to live inside of us, we now therefore have the power to change the way we think and become healthy in our mind, soul and body.

It starts with choosing the life of God, Jesus offers us the eternal life of God  and we can say we receive it and still not live it. It has to do with what you feed your mind, it’s like our body, we can’t expect to eat junk food all the time and stay healthy, same thing with our mind we must replace wrong thinking (toxic thoughts) with Truth (the Word of God). As you begin the process of changing your thinking patterns, healthy cells are produced in your brain which promotes mental health. This obviously takes time and much effort, unfortunately many people choose to try and fix mental illness with medication, which has been proven to make matters worse. More than not there are no quick fixes. In my experience I have seen the Lord bring healing through a process of time. The first step is to admit you need help.

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Christian Psychologist and Nero Scientists have made surprising discoveries about the function of the brain, that have brought healing to our world today. For further information and help on how to heal from depression, anxiety, sleep deprivation or any other mental disorders you can research Dr. Caroline Leaf, through her work and study as a Christian Scientist she is helping many people learn how to become healthy mind, soul and body.

I pray this little insight was helpful and a blessing to all who read it.
In His Service,
Deborah Martinez

Healing Part 4: Walking in Unforgiveness


IMG_1171The last few blogs have been discussing forgiveness. We started this series to tap into how to be healed, mainly physical; however upon research and studying the Word of God, there are hindrances to receiving our healing and most of it deals with issues of the heart – unforgiveness, bitterness, fear…the list goes on. We discussed what unforgiveness and bitterness does to our soul in the last few blogs, and even went into the bondages of not forgiving yourself. Today, we are sharing what the Word says about forgiving ourselves and ultimately walking in freedom spiritually and physically!

In Psalms 32, King David is expressing his joy from being released from his great suffering. It’s actually divided up into 2 parts – verses 1-5 King David proclaims the joy of seeing his fault remitted by God and in verses 6 – 11, he shows his confidence in the fact that God is the guide on the right path. Let’s take a look:

***Read Psalms 32:1-11***

From the Psalms during the time of King David, believers were increasingly becoming aware of their own sins and found confession as a ray of hope. There was a particular pattern you can follow :

  1. The recognized their sins
  2. They realized their sin was rebellion against God
  3. They admitted their sins to God
  4. They trusted God’s willingness to forgive
  5. They accepted His forgiveness

Psalm 32 alone could be a whole new blog. Reading just verses 5-7 illustrate God’s willingness and grace to protect you from life’s storms when you confess to Him. Instead of hiding our sins from Him, when we confess, the opposite happens – HE becomes our hiding place!!! He can’t protect us if we are running from Him!

As Adam and Eve hid themselves when they realized they had sinned, we too hide in shame from ours,  BUT when we run TO Him, no matter the depth we have found ourselves in, HE promises to forgive and shelter us! God doesn’t hold us in condemnation, WE DO!

And if we can’t forgive others or ourselves, how can we even accept the forgiveness of God?

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***Read Matthew 18:21-25 in the Passion Translation***

Here are a few scriptures that guide us along the path of how to walk in forgiveness. Once you make that choice to forgive, you don’t just feel great and everything’s peachy! You most times will still FEEL the same!! You have to replace those negative and unhealthy thoughts with thoughts that are pure, holy, empowering… Meditate on scripture day and night, Joshua 1:8 tells us… You’re going to have to fill your mind and thoughts with the Word of God to dissipate all the negative thoughts, bitterness, anger and fear you have allowed in.

Philippians 4:8 – “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”

God is a Father. He wants His children walking around in harmony, not division. When we don’t forgive ourselves, there is still a poison in us and it won’t take long for us to infect those around us, too.

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Some principles to help you on the path to forgiving yourself…

As you meditate on the Word, study scriptures that help you focus on praise and worship, accept and declare that you are a new creation in Christ – old things have passed away and all things are made new! That’s truth, not a feeling!

Hebrews 8:12– “For I will demonstrate my mercy to them and will forgive their evil deeds, and never remember again their sins.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 –18– “Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new creation. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new. And God has made all things new and reconciled us to himself, and given us the ministry of reconciling others to God.”

Pray without ceasing and don’t depend on your own strength to forgive or walk this journey – you won’t be able to do it without God. We are fickle, wishy-washy human beings in our own strength BUT with the power of God infused through us, there’s nothing we can’t do! 2 Corinthians 12:9states that His strength is made PERFECT in our weakness!!!

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Philippians 3:13– “I don’t depend on my own strength to accomplish this, however I do have one compelling focus: I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead.”

Another way to help in forgiveness and dealing with our own pain is to take the focus off of ourselves and begin to help others. On our journey to healing, we are so focused on ourselves and so close to our situation that we need to step away and put our focus on helping others in their journey. Often times seeing the struggles of someone else and walking them through theirs ushers in our own healing too!

Scientific studies have actually proven that helping others while we ourselves are in pain help boost, motivate and encourage us! A recent study done in 2018 suggests one way our well-being can benefit from practicing pro-social behavior is: helping others regulate their emotions helps us regulate our own emotions, decreases symptoms of depression and ultimately, improves our emotional well-being.

Another recent study from Columbia University has revealed that when helping others navigate their stressful situations, we are enhancing our own emotion regulation skills, and thus, benefiting our own emotional well-being.

We all need one another. We are called to walk in unity, harmony and edify and uplift each other…not just when we are good, but mostly when things are tough! We need that encouragement and it unifies and uplifts our confidence and spirit man!

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A few scriptures to help along with that:

1 Thessalonians 5:14– “We appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, to instruct those who are not in their place of battle. Be skilled at gently encouraging those who feel themselves inadequate.  Be faithful to stand your ground. Help the weak to stand again. Be quick to demonstrate patience with everyone.”

Galatians 6:2-3– “Love empowers us to fulfill the law of the Anointed One as we carry each other’s troubles. If you think you are too important to stoop down to help another, you are living in deception.”

James 5:16– “Confess and acknowledge how you have offended one anotherand then pray for one another to be instantly healed, for tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer!”

Proverbs 27:17– “It takes a grinding wheel to sharpen a blade, and so one person sharpens the character of another.”

Romans 12:16– “Live happily together in a spirit of harmony, and be as mindful of another’s worth as you are your own. Don’t live with a lofty mind-set, thinking you are too important to serve others, but be willing to do menial tasks and identify with those who are humble minded. Don’t be smug or even think for a moment that you know it all.”There are tons more, but hopefully that gave you a good start! Next blog, we will be delving into faith and how faith is needed to activate the healing power of God in your life and body!

Stay tuned as we discuss the power of faith with regard to healing next week and how activating your faith can usher in your healing!

 

Healing, Part 3: Learning to Forgive Yourself

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In our last two blogs, we discussed the topic of healing with regard to forgiveness. We started this series wanting to discuss how to believe God for physical healing and what the Bible says about healing. After studying and researching on the topic, we realized there was so much more to it and it began with our heart and unforgiveness; how holding onto unforgiveness affects our emotions, thoughts, and even our physical bodies. When unforgiveness is left untouched, it grows and becomes a root of bitterness. The Word tells us that bitterness causes trouble and poisons the hearts of many.

So, last week we wrote about holding unforgiveness with others and now, we want to take it a step further and address unforgiveness with ourselves. It seems there is a tendency in most of us to hold ourselves more accountable than others, therefore making it a lot more difficult to forgive ourselves for things we have done or feelings we have harbored, than it is to forgive someone else. We often think that if we let ourselves off the hook, we are dismissing our behavior and may not deserve forgiveness. This kind of thinking only digs ourselves deeper in despair and the further in we go, we take the risk of hurting others again.

The Bible doesn’t specify scriptures that pertain to forgiving ourselves, yet if we hold the truths of the Word of God for ourselves as we do others, then we see that those same principles that apply to forgiving others, apply to us, as well…

We can be so hard on ourselves and have a very difficult time forgiving ourselves for our sins, but the Bible says we have ALL sinned! We were born into a fallible, sinful world upon birth.

Romans 3:23– “for we all have sinned and are in need of the glory of God…”

Knowing that we all fall short and are in need of God’s grace relieves us from guilt. We are not perfect but being perfected. We need to stop putting pressure on ourselves to be perfect, but remember that we go from glory to glory.

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We have to be careful with holding unforgiveness towards ourselves. We believe when we have a hard time forgiving ourselves it’s because we are carrying condemnation, guilt, and shame. These three things are a hindrance to forgiveness. We are going to take a look at what the bible says about these.

Condemnation

  • Condemnation is not the same as conviction. Conviction leads to repentance, whereas condemnation keeps us bound to our sin believing we deserve punishment.
  • If we truly believe the Word of God, that His mercy extends to even the most unspeakable of sins, then we have to walk in that and stop holding ourselves condemned.
  • Sometimes we think that as long as we forgive others, then that’s all we need to do. WE somehow believe that if we still hold that condemnation over ourselves, it won’t affect anyone else, yet it does. When you are in close relationship with anyone, their weaknesses and faults very much affect you too. Their behaviors subsequently affect your mood. We see it in marriage, we see it in friendship, any close relationship…If we are holding onto something, it will begin to hinder our relationships.
  • Drop a rock in a pond. You drop it in by itself and although it is carrying the weight, the ripple effect starts to pan out in circles around it, touching and affecting anything else in it’s path…Same goes with unforgiveness with oneself.

Guilt

Guilt is another hindrance to forgiveness. If we are not careful, guilt will keep us stuck in our sin and past.  It will keep us from forgiving ourselves because we can’t let go or forget.

  • Psalms 38:4 TPT – “I’m overwhelmed, swamped, and submerged beneath the heavy burden of my guilt. It clings to me and won’t let me go”
  • Cling in both the Greek and Hebrew mean to cleave to, to adhere and don’t let go! Don’t allow guilt to cling (adhere) to you! Let it go!
  • Here is a beautiful scripture to pray….
  • Psalms 51:1 TPT-“God give me mercy from your fountain of forgiveness! I know your abundant love is enough to wash away my guilt. Because your compassion is so great, take away this shameful guilt of sin. Forgive the full extent of my rebellious ways, and erase this deep stain in my conscience.”
  • Acts 13:9 TPT– “Everyone who believes in him is set free from sin and guilt….”
  • BUT the Bible also says that there’s a way out! Jesus died that we might be forgiven!
  • Jeremiah 31:34 – They’ll know me firsthand, the dull and the bright, the smart and the slow. I’ll wipe the slate clean for each of them.I’ll FORGET they ever sinned!”
  • God forgets our sins and that’s not to say He’s forgetful, rather He’s merciful and CHOOSES to look at us with eyes of mercy and purity through Jesus, rather than our actions…. WE are the ones who often choose to continue dwelling on the thoughts of our sins instead of His promises…
  • We can’t keep rehearsing our sin and allow the accuser to keep reminding us either.

Shame

  • Last, but not least – shame…. We have to be careful not to also carry shame. Shame keeps our focus on ourselves. We are ashamed and embarrassed of our sin, but shame will keep us from approaching God.
  • Shame makes us feel unworthy, humiliated, embarrassed and will hinder our relationship with God.
  • Psalms 34:5 TPT – “Gaze upon him, join your life with his, and joy will come. Your faces will glisten with glory. You’ll never wear that shamed-face again.”
  • Psalms 146:8 TPT – “You open the eyes of the blind and fully restore those bent over with shame.”

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Like we discussed in our last shows about forgiving others, it is a choice. It’s not an easy choice, BUT it is a choice, probably the hardest, yet most selfless one to make – to let go and let God! We see that pretty saying on cards and bookmarks and it sounds so reassuring, but have you ever had to actually DO that??? Letting go means releasing every part into the hands of God and trusting Him to restore.

1 Peter 5:7– “Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you…”

Psalm 103:10-12– “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Romans 8:1–3– “So now the case is closed. There remains no accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus, the anointed One.

The case is closed. stop keeping it open! Don’t open what’s been closed, forgiven, wiped clean!

Colossians 2:14 TPT – “He canceled out every legal violation we had on our record and the old arrest warrant that stood to indict us. He erased it all- our sins, our stained soul- he deleted it all and they cannot be retrieved!”

We all wish we could go back and undo our sins, but we don’t have to…Jesus did! It’s time to take the forgiveness He paid for us to have and walk in our freedom! We will continue this series on the next blog!

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The Pain of Unforgiveness, Part 2

IMG_1025We’re addressing a topic that isn’t exactly fun, BUT something we can’t keep ignoring if we are truly going to be a generation to rise up for the Kingdom of God. We can’t keep doing things the way we have. We can’t keep passing the sins of our past down to our children and expecting the next generation to fix our mess. Yes, we are talking about healing, but as we dig into how to receive healing, there is so much more we need to dissect in order to fully understand and even receive healing in our bodies.

As we discussed, there is a direct relation of physical sickness to a heart issue…

  • “Chronic unforgiveness causes stress. Every time people think of their transgressor, their body responds. Decreasing your unforgiveness cuts down on your health risk. Now, if you can forgive, that can actually strengthen your immune system.” Everett Worthington, PhD

We’re living in an interesting time. We seem to have it all, social media, technology running the world, everything handed to us in 30 minutes or less, but at what cost did we lose integrity, morals and Godly conviction? We are witnessing our nation more divided than it’s ever been, even the Church dividing on issues that should never be a question. Christians, stop supporting issues you KNOW are not Godly just to be politically correct and accepted!!!

Mental illness and suicide is higher than it’s ever been and if you look around, there are more sick people and commercials for medications than we’ve ever witnessed. I can’t watch TV for more than 30 minutes and not see at least 5-6 commercials for prescription drugs and each commercial takes about 90% of their time highlighting side effects worse than the ailment. What is going on with us? And if these meds are really working, why do we need more and more? The world has it right – there is a serious health epidemic going on, but the root isn’t our physical bodies, it’s our spirit! And the minute we stop and ask God what is going on and listen to Him, HE will speak! Problem is, we’re too busy! We want a quick fix! We don’t want to take the long road, even if the long road leads to permanent health- physically, spiritually and mentally. We have traded truth for so many lies and it’s cost us our own health and bondages forming in the generations after!

I love what Evangelist and our friend and mentor Cheryl Salem says, “Healing is a lifestyle. We can’t just live healed moments. We need to live healed lives.”

We may recognize there is a spiritual disconnect when we’re sick or struggling and we may go to the alter and receive our healing. I know I did that for years! I’d walk out of a healing service and claim my healing and then not too long after, I’d realize I was in the same place I was before. What happened? Did I lose it? This merry-go-round went on for decades!!! I’d go up for healing, claim it, go home and lose it. The problem wasn’t God’s inability to perform. It was my inability to receive. I love how Tom Barkey puts in his book, “Healing Grace…”

Tom Barkey, “Healing Grace”

“Does God want to heal everybody? Yes. Does everybody get healed? No. Why? WE can answer it with another question: Does God want everybody saved? Yes. Does everybody get saved? No. What stands in the way? The person,” Tom Barkey

The outcome of what you want is not based on what God is going to do! He already did it!!! He isn’t scheduled to go back to the cross. The Bible says “IT IS FINISHED!!” Who’s left here to make those changes?? YOU ARE!! You and the Holy Spirit, so get up and DO something! How big is your faith? How bad do you want to be healed? What are you willing to risk??? Are you willing to trust God to take you back to those broken places so you can be fully healed or are you content with temporary healed moments? YOU determine the outcome of your destiny!!

Another nugget from Cheryl, “The Church is just fat! We get the Word and fill ourselves up, but we don’t exercise it!” When will we stop being afraid to take the authority He left us to perform miracles, lay hands on others, see things we’ve never seen? It’s easy to go to Church, serve, lay hands on others and feel like we are doing the work of God, when WE in fact are not living that same Word over our own lives! It’s easy to tell someone else to trust God and allow Him to cleanse you and take you down those paths, but are YOU willing to do that for yourself??

Once you begin to study your Word, ask God what is hindering your healing? What is standing in the way? Most times it’s unforgiveness, bitterness, hurt, fear…These are all things that will hinder our blessings. We have all heard the saying, “Holding onto unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”  Actually, we are dying inside. Unforgiveness that isn’t dealt with or pain that is left unhealed will grow and we become bitter and angry.

Hebrews 12:14-15 “In every relationship be swift to choose peace over competition, and run swiftly toward holiness, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Watch over each other to make sure that no one misses the revelation of God’s grace. And make sure no one lives with a root of bitterness sprouting within them which will only cause trouble and poison the hearts of many.”

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No matter how many times we meditate on this truth, hear it in church, sing it, whatever, we STILL can’t seem to live it, and that’s this: Forgiveness is NOT for the other person. It’s for YOU!!!! If you TRULY believe that, you have made your first step in the process!

WE are the ones walking around depressed, spiritually lethargic, putting on masks, living a lie basically because we have bestowed the very power GOD gave US to that person. WE tie ourselves to them and then wonder why we can’t stop thinking about what they did! Honey-untie yourself!

Forgiveness is a choice. We have to willfully choose to forgive. It is not based off of feelings, because we will never feel like forgiving. If we did, this wouldn’t be so hard! Our flesh will scream at us! What’s really hard is that in reality, we do have a right to be mad! We have a right to not forgive! We were hurt! We were violated, we were abandoned, abused, cheated on, neglected…WE HAVE A RIGHT!!!! But what has that right gotten you?? Depression, anxiety, fear, bottles of anti-depressants that make you sleep your life away instead of walking in your calling and changing the world for God!! Ya, the enemy knows what he’s doing, unstabiliziing us one by one and we are falling for it left and right! And our kids are watching! They’re watching us pop pills, sleep all day, walk around like zombies because we are too lazy to get up and take authority! And we are passing this epidemic right on down to them!

And can you do this, go one step further? Pray for the person who hurt you! Pray blessings over them! Hurt people, hurt people. 9 times out of 10, the person who hurt you was hurt themselves and the line goes on and on, so YOU stop it! You’re responsible for what YOU do, not what they do! Take the load off yourself and let God deal with them!

Mark 11:25  And whenever you stand praying if you find that you carry something in your heart against another person, release him and forgive him so that your Father in heaven will also release you and forgive you of your faults. But if you will not release forgiveness, don’t expect your Father in heaven to release you from your misdeeds.”

So, if we want God to heal us and forgive us, it is ESSENTIAL that we extend that grace and forgiveness to others. He didn’t ask us if we feel like it or if we want to it even if they deserve it! He just told us to do it!

And we have to understand that forgiveness does not mean you are condoning what the person has done. It isn’t letting them off the hook. It is letting yourself off the hook. It’s releasing yourself from the person. If we hold onto unforgiveness, we are not allowing God in the situation. When we forgive, we release ourselves and allow God to deal with the person.

We shared this scripture in the last show, but it’s worth repeating…

Hebrews 12:14 “In every relationship be swift to choose peace over competition, and run swiftly toward holiness, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Watch over each other to make sure that no one misses the revelation of God’s grace. And make sure no one lives with a root of bitterness sprouting within them which will only cause trouble and poison the hearts of many.”

Forgiveness, like we said is a choice. You make that choice whether you feel it or not. You may not feel any different after you forgive and you may have to continue forgiving the person. Sometimes its not a once and done. God knows the heart. We can say, “Ok I forgive you,” but inwardly we really didn’t mean it.

Matthew 18:21-22 “Later Peter approached Jesus and said, “How many times do I have to forgive my fellow believer who keeps offending me? Seven times?” Jesus answered, “Not seven times, Peter, but seventy times seven times!”

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 We are all imperfect people and we will be hurt and we will be the ones to hurt. We have to practice a life of forgiveness!

Colossians 3:13 “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”

Ephesians 4:31-32 “Lay aside bitter words, temper tantrums, revenge, profanity, and insults. “But instead be kind and affectionate toward one another. Has God graciously forgiven you? Then graciously forgive one another in the depths of Christ’s love.”

Matthew 6:14 “And when you pray, make sure you forgive the faults of others so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you withhold forgiveness from others, your Father withholds forgiveness from you.”

Forgiveness and healing starts in the spirit before it can ever work in the flesh. We haven’t even touched on physical healing yet or how to exercise your faith and believe for healing once you’ve asked for forgiveness. There is so much more to share and we will continue discussing healing and forgiveness in the coming weeks.

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