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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Overcoming The Wicked One

Overcoming The Wicked One 

For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8b

If we are to be winners we need to know who we are fighting against. We wrestle against spiritual forces, even if we cannot see them with our eyes we are in a struggle against them. We are defeating the enemies of God!

There is an adversary who accuses our brothers and sisters in Gods family. He stands day and night in the presence of God. But one day he will be cast down.

If we are lifted up in pride we can fall under the condemnation of the Devil. He has snares set for us and wants to kill us and destroy us. But Jesus has come to give us the opposite, he gives us life. Abundant life, eternal life. He has shown us the way of life that loves and obeys Father. The devil is tempting us to disobey Gods commands.

Why did the devil come up in my thoughts this last week? There has been some teaching in our church that I have received as Rhema spoken to me. An elder in my life has shared doctrine that I am laying hold of. We need to know who we are in Christ because we are in a war. There is a battle that is going on in our mind. " The flesh is at war against the spirit, and we end up doing the things that we don't want to be doing. We are commanded to perform spiritual warfare ( Eph 6 ) and victory is our destiny. 2 Corinthians 10:4,5 says "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"

What have I been feeling defeat in for the 34 years of following Jesus? My emotions, my tongue speaking evil. Bad habits, self destruction with eating to much, drinking to much coffee and many other worse things. Loving other things more than God. Loving my wife less than she deserves.

Jesus has overcome the world. We are not to fear persecution yet I stay silent when I could speak out the truth in the workplace or with friends that might reject me. My fear of man has been greater than my respect and desire to please God. When the trials and testings come, the best way to resist the Devil is to submit to God. Obey Father, is that simple enough? Jesus said that Satan wants to sift us like wheat. I do not know what all that means. A true experience that I have had over and over again is that I feel a conversion in my heart and mind. It is then that the scriptures declare my opportunities will open up to strengthen my brothers and sisters.

May there be grace to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil in some of the same ways Jesus did. What does the word of God, the word of truth say about what you are facing today? Jesus has shed his blood and we can stand on that fact that he has paid the price for our salvation. We have been set free, there is no more condemnation for us who are in Jesus. Being in Jesus means that in general as a whole we live by the the guiding and power if Holy Spirit and not our carnal nature. The flesh cannot please God. May we have a testimony of these things happening in our lives. May we be a testimony that points the attention of those around us to Jesus. We need to speak prophetically of the work that Holy Spirit is doing in us. There is a great reward for us who are called to be overcomers. G.W.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fearing God

"Always Be Zealous For The Fear Of The LORD" Proverbs 23:17 NIV

We have living back in Oregon 4 years now. A recent mission trip for me to Mexico worked a renewal of something. Zeal. Jesus had zeal. Today he is eager to find lost sheep. He serves his brothers and sisters by "washing feet". How can he do this if he is in heaven? Through us! Am I fervent to do this?

From 2002 to 2008 the occupation of "missionary" meant for me 6 months of service in Mexico and 6 months of tent making (work) . It took a lot of intensity to "make it happen". Some people who have known me for the last 4 yrs have said that I have enthusiasm and passion for seeing souls saved, and for all kinds of other good things. God knows my heart and I know what struggles there have been for me. Feeling lukewarm in my own personal walk, and a coldness of heart is what has been on the inside. The need for renewal in me has been to overcome apathy. Yes, there has been some good fruit come of some efforts to serve in the kingdom, but on the inside there has been rebellion to obey what Holy Spirit has been wanting to lead me in. Things like sanctification. Intercession. Fervent prayer. There is a prophesy of Jesus in Psalm 69 "zeal for your house consumes me," NIV When he made a whip of cords and drove out the animals and he turned over the tables of the merchants in the temple. Jesus put to action what was in his heart. He cleansed the temple of fraud and scandal, saying, "Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father's house into a market!" John 2:16 NIV

So, for Jesus to be telling me to be zealous is no problem. Zealous for what though? I have been zealous for things like football, hunting, romance, even serving other Christians. The "Fear of the LORD" is more than a term. It is an experience. Fearing God can be an emotion, a way of thinking, and a good perspective to have. Fear has to be in my relationship with Almighty God. What is this "fear of the LORD" that I am to be so passionate about? The scriptures explain that when we fear God we are going to learn wisdom. Passages speak of how we can be choosing to have a healthy respect for his discipline, even his wrath and punishment. I have been asking God for knowledge and wisdom. Isaiah 33 says that a reverence for God is like having an arsenal or a treasure room that I can draw from in life's circumstances.

There is a saying "no fear" and " fear no evil". I am not sure what it means to different young people. Fearing God is to turn away from evil. To hate evil and pride. I hate saying bad things. Gossip, swearing, all of it. I do it and don't want to any more.

Father, show me what it means to " number my days" Your promises for me if I fear you are a long life. I want to fear you more. I want to live a fulfilled life. Make me like you Jesus. Its your joy to obey Father. Please give me that kind of joy.

May we all be choosing to fear Jesus more than ever. May we be learning what it means to always fear God, to continually live in fear of him. Sounds unhealthy doesn't it? Listen, there was a king in Judah who told the Judges of the land: "Always think carefully before pronouncing judgment. Remember that you do not judge to please people but to please the LORD. He will be with you when you render the verdict in each case. Fear the LORD and judge with integrity, for the LORD our God does not tolerate perverted justice, partiality, or the taking of bribes."" - 2 Chronicles 19:6-7 NLT

I have prayed many times " Jesus, I want to fear you more than men. To seek your approval way above the favor and honor that I receive from other people." May the justice of our land come from leaders who are not partial but want to please God. Jesus promises to be with his disciples to the very end.Proverbs 28:14 says we have his blessing over our lives because we fear him. G.W.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Go And Tell The People Matthew 21:5

Go And Tell The People Matthew 21:5
The Sunday before Easter is a celebration and remembrance of when Jesus entered into Jerusalem. In that day the crowd stood along the road laying down palm branches. Palm Sunday was a welcome to a king. The crowd cried out “hosanna”!. I always thought this meant Praise, or Bless the Lord, but it means: “save us now. Deliver us. Help us!” How did it happen that this crowd knew that Jesus would be entering Jerusalem as a King? Jesus told the disciples to get a donkey so he could ride it into town, this was fulfilling a prophecy that the Jewish public knew of. They expected their king to come into town like he did. There was another part of the prophecy to be fulfilled from Zechariah 9:9 It is quoted in Matthew 21:5 "Tell the people of Jerusalem, 'Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey's colt.'" NLT I noticed in my reading this week the words, “ Go tell the people” Yeah Greg, go tell some folks about Jesus!
Our church has been able print up some invitations for the congregation to use for inviting others to our Easter Sunday service. In Mexico we gave out hundreds of new testaments and bibles. These pieces of paper are merely tools that lead to the “rhema” which is a spoken personal word that God gives us. It becomes “spirit and life” for us. An announcement was made to the people of their king coming into town. We are also called to give notice of Jesus death, his rising from the dead, and his second coming again.
The crowd knew they needed a deliverer. Our relatives, friends, neighbors, and even strangers and enemies are in need of this news of a deliverer. They are spiritually kidnapped people. Some are caught in slavery while others want to be rescued from a desperate situation. Jesus, who was God in the flesh, paid the price for our ransom. Jesus took the punishment for what we deserve, that is one of the things that happened at the cross.
We share Jesus as someone who can help us with our daily problems. There are temporal earthly benefits that are also given to us. This happened when Marianne and I prayed for a neighbor who had severe pain in his arm. Instantly he was healed. Jesus healed a woman who had a spirit of infirmity for 18 years. He said that Satan had bound her up, even though she was a rightful descendant of the promises given to Abraham. There are believers who are sons and daughters of God living around us that need to be loosed from the destroyers grip. Satan has plans to steal life from them, destroy them and kill them. We can give the words of life to them in Jesus name. John 6:63
Another aspect of the gospel is a hope of Eternal life, an assurance of our life after death. How much thought have I given to what it will be like in the next life? This is one of the best questions we can ask ourselves and others. Do you know where you will go when you die? There are so many opinions on that one! What does the scripture say? How will we or others we know be living in eternity?
Forgiveness of rebellion and disobedience to God is in the message also. We are announcing that Jesus let himself be tortured and killed, on the cross, as a sacrifice for our sins. We know this, and we know that we need to share this whether a person receives it or not.
May we have a passion for sharing the news of the lamb that was slain. May he receive the reward of his sufferings. May we be able to announce Jesus 2nd coming as king, and warn those we love and care about. There is a wrath of God, a real hell, and an outer darkness that awaits those who refuse to believe and submit to Jesus now.
Jesus is Lord. He is our Salvation. May we lift him up, that many will be drawn unto him. G.W.