"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcomes the world—our faith."
I John 5:4 NKJV
I want you to know that God has set you up for a complete and total victory over everything that raises its ugly head against you. Every demon from hell will tremble at your presence because of the presence and the power of God that resides within you. The devils acted that way around Jesus. When Jesus showed up they got nervous? God has given you that same potential!
Now potential is a wonderful thing but potential by itself is not enough. You must move from potential into power!
The power of God being manifested in our lives every day destroying the works of the devil - that's living the Christian life.
You are a carrier of His presence and power and have an amazing potential but unless that power is released nothing happens.
Father, I thank you that you have enabled us, with the same devil destroying, yoke breaking, anointing that was upon Jesus. And you have given us the authority over every work of the enemy. Glory to God!
In Deuteronomy 28 God clearly shows us how to live the blessed life! He also shows us the result of disobedience, our failure to do what he says we must do. Ouch!! It may step on your toes!
"Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God"
Deuteronomy 28:1-2 NKJV
He loves us beyond anything we can imagine or think and He wants only the best for His children!
I look at Deuteronomy chapter 28 as a warning to us and it must be taken seriously. I would encourage you to take a moment to read the entire chapter.
God shows us exactly what we are to do in His Word and He also speaks to us on a daily basis what we are to do. Listen and obey!
When we fail to do what he says we are to do we are in rebellion. It's a dangerous place to be! Here's what God said to Saul through the prophet Samuel:
"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king."
1 Samuel 15:23 KJV
Oh my friend let's not go there, but diligently do what He says we are to do. And when we do that, we will enjoy all the blessings God has for us.
Father I thank You that have clearly laid out the path, the way! Help us to be diligent in obeying what you say. Both through your Holy Word and by the inward witness.
Have You Discovered Your BIG WHY?
“Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things.”
Matthew 6:33 Good News Bible
Have you discovered your BIG WHY? Before I came to Christ the one question I had about life was why am I here? I had been very successful up to that point achieving success in my work and attaining higher levels of position where I worked.
We had a beautiful home in the suburbs, two cars and two beautiful children. Our marriage was very good.
But through all that I had that one nagging BIG question on my mind. Why am I here on planet earth? What is my purpose in life?
If it's being successful in the workplace, earning an excellent income, living in a wonderful home, with two beautiful children and a good marriage with a caring and loving wife then I missed something along the way!
It was none of those things! And it wasn't until someone sat down with me and shared the Gospel with me that I understood there truly was a purpose for me here on planet earth! Something significant and important to be accomplished through my life!
I prayed a prayer to receive Jesus that night 39 years ago and it was then that I knew there was a plan for me. The person that prayed with me to receive Christ didn't tell me what the purpose was but I knew within me I now have one and God would show me. And He has!
You may have discovered your BIG WHY, but if you haven't you want to discover it. For every day that passes it's a lost opportunity.
One thing I learned is that God's plan for my life is not about me. It's about Him. It's about His things, His plans and purposes for me.
Our lives are to be lived walking out His plans and purposes. Doing the Word and doing what He says is what that means.
If you reverence and take care of God's things he will take care of you and reveal to you your BIG WHY!
Everyone talks about how loyal and faithful he is, but just try to find someone who really is!
Proverbs 20:6 GNT
It was early on in our ministry and we were pastors of a church in northern Ohio and as I was setting up folding chairs in the auditorium for our Sunday service a young man came up to me and asked me a question.
I had not seen him before but I assumed he must have come for the Sunday service.
He asked me "Pastor I believe God has called me to full-time ministry, what should I do?" I remember this like it was yesterday, but it was 30+ years ago!
All I said to him was, come back next Sunday morning and help me set these chairs up. He looked at me with a rather quizzical look on his face and said thank you. To me it was very obvious that he expected a different answer. You know, receive some Bible training, get ordained and get on the platform and start preaching. Leave the "little things" to the Ministry of Helps because I am called to full-time ministry.
A number of things actually came to my mind when he asked that question. But one of the key prerequisites for ministry, for being one entrusted with the things of God, is can you be entrusted with what He gives you?
That young man had an opportunity! God was giving him with an assignment, I believe from God as I spoke to him.
Well next Sunday came and went and I never did see him again. That grieved my heart that day and still does today. I don't know if he ever went into ministry but this I do know, God is looking for faithful people. People He can trust!
God is looking for people who can be faithful in the even the smallest, seemingly, insignificant assignments.
Being faithful in the "little things" will bring more opportunities in life from God. But it always starts with the small things.
"If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities?"
Luke 16:10 NLT
Can God trust you?
I like what the Apostle Paul said to young Timothy whom he was training for the ministry.
"And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry"
1 Timothy 1:12 KJV
“Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.....So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”
Luke 14:25-27, 33 NKJV
This is one of those, what I would call, hard Scriptures in the Bible. One thing about our Master He did not mince words. And He told us Himself that whatever He would say would be exactly what the Father has told Him to say. So this is what the Father thinks about this.
Always remember we are to read the Bible in its context. Very important! The Bible has lots of Scriptures about loving others and honoring others.
What Jesus is saying is that we must be willing to give up and leave behind all of those things that we consider as precious to us. And follow Him. Here's how the Message Bible renders Luke 14:33:
“Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can’t be my disciple.
It's a matter of deciding what comes first in our life? His things or mine?
It won't be easy! But with His help we can do exactly what He says we must do to truly be a disciple and follower of His.
“The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need.."
Psalm 23:1 Good News Bible
What a precious promise this is! My friend when we make Jesus the Lord of our lives He takes on the responsibility of being our Good Shepherd! This is a BIG DEAL!
When you make Him Lord of your life you enter into a covenant with Him. That if you will do what He says He will do what He says in His Word!
Doesn't get any better that that!
You are His and He will take care of you if you truly allow him to be Lord of your life. That means that you put Him first place. Not when it's convenient but ALL the time.
If you do that you will have not only your needs met but you will have more than enough to be a blessing to others. That's the position you want to be in, a blessing to others!
So I would encourage you today to take a moment and talk to Him about helping you to put Him first in every decision you make. About making Him truly first in your life.
Our Good Shepherd will show you what adjustments may need to be made. He will help you!
"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."
Matthew 7:24-27 NKJV
Here in Florida the possibility of a tropical storm or hurricane is very real. Just recently we had a tropical storm, Emily, that dumped up to 8 inches of rain in some parts of our area. It formed so quickly I know it took many by surprise.
Well right now we are in the middle of hurricane season and there is always the constant reminder that we should be prepared.
Hurricane Gert is kicking up her heels off our eastern seaboard of the United States and there are two areas of disturbance marching westward from Africa across the Atlantic towards the Caribbean. The storms are expected to intensify over the next 5 to 7 days and I'm sure we will be reminded to get ready, be prepared!
Today's Scripture, the words of Jesus, is a reminder to get ready, be prepared because storms will come. These storms are more than just wind and rain. They are the issues and challenges that we face in every day life.
Jesus said we can be like the wise man or the foolish one. The difference between the two is that the wise one not only heard what Jesus said but they did what Jesus said. Whereas the foolish one heard what Jesus said but failed to act on it. One put feet to their faith and the other did not.
Check out the Message Bible: “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.
26-27 “But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”
28-29 When Jesus concluded his address, the crowd burst into applause. They had never heard teaching like this. It was apparent that he was living everything he was saying—quite a contrast to their religion teachers! This was the best teaching they had ever heard.
It's up to you and I which one we will be! Oh and one other thing, let's not wait for the storm to hit but let's get ready and be prepared before hand!
"The Lord is my shepherd.....He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name."
Psalms 23:1,3 NLT
When we trust Jesus as our Good Shepherd He will take amazing care of us! Scripture tells us that He can do above and beyond anything that we could imagine or think. Jesus said nothing is impossible with God. How awesome is that?
Young's literal translation (author of Young's Concordance) renders verse 3 this way, "My soul He refresheth...."
You can enter into times of refreshing and gaining of strength no matter what is happening in the world around you. It doesn't matter....unless you let it matter!
As you follow your Good Shepherd He will renew and refresh you. And He will guide you in the right direction. Always! Guaranteed !
So when you're stuck not knowing what to do, ask Him. Novel idea huh? In fact that's a great habit to get into. Before moving, or making a decision check with Him. Make it part of your daily lifestyle.
Speaking from experience too often we can be quick to act. Do something, anything! Now! That's where we get in trouble or should I (Ron) say I've gotten in trouble. But if you don't have a particular leading from Him don't make a move. Wait and listen until you hear from Him and know what to do.
Our amazing and wonderful Good Shepherd will take good care of us!