For someone searching today for answers:
Consider the seed. It goes in the ground and gets covered up by soil. Rain, wind, sunshine, and fertilizer influence the seed into what it becomes. The seed doesn’t change anything but itself, only after being influenced by these elements. You are that seed.
In the event of a transplant, whatever grew from seed to plant form continues to be influenced by the elements that surround it.
When you manipulate your surroundings to better serve you, growth is hindered.
In the end, the seed, which becomes a tree, plant, flower, or food, only stands to influence those that benefit from it. Your plan and purpose as a tiny seed – is to help others.
Questions to consider:
- Am I willing to change so I can grow?
- What influences are in my life that are good? Which are bad?
- Looking through the lens of the Holy Spirit, what purpose and plan did God put inside me so others could benefit?
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Romans 10:17 | NASB
Faith has always intrigued me.
It’s both a gift of the Spirit and a fruit of the Spirit.
Without it, we cannot please God. With it, we can move mountains.
It comes from hearing the good news of the gospel, and the testimony of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior.
Faith is in direct proportion with the heart of God.
The most interesting aspect of faith to me is that, in most ways, it’s immeasurable. We’re each given a measure, but that measure is limitless.
Within every believer, there’s a limited . amount of limitless faith.
In other words, we cannot ascertain or wrap our minds around what faith can do through us. There’s great and mighty things waiting for us in that place of faith. All we have to do is hear. But hear what? The direct voice of the Holy Spirit.
Ask yourself this:
- What do I have faith for?
- What will faith do through me today?
- How limitless will my faith be this week? Next week? Next month? A year from now?
Please God by moving the mountain.
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 | NASB
The writer compares God’s word with one of the deadliest weapons of their time. But still, the sword pales in comparison. For what can separate our soul from the Spirit?
If the word is living and active, why then are so many today alive yet inactive? Our thoughts and intentions have caused division with the Lord.
Allow the Holy Spirit to penetrate your soul with the word of God. Let there not be found any division between you and others or with God. Draw near to God with confidence, as He costs in on you.
Job 28:12 | NASB
Wisdom, by nature, is supernatural.
It’s birthplace is heaven.
It’s packaged and delivered by God to the just as well as the unjust.
It’s usually acquired with much struggle and pain, called experiences.
Wisdom comes at the end of the life lesson, guiding you in truth on what not to do.
If you pray for wisdom, receive it with an open heart under an open heaven, because it’s not found where you seek it the most.
When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill.
Matthew 8:16 | NASB
“And He cast out the spirits with a word”.
This phrase leaped at my spirit this morning. What word? Matthew didn’t say words, or prayer, but simply used “word” as the catalyst for healing and delivering those afflicted with demons.
This is Jesus modeling for us how to use the power gifts of healing and deliverance to break the yoke of spiritual and physical bondage that seeks to destroy. It takes a certain anointing to operate in this area.
Some will say, “That’s not for today”.
I say it never ceased to exist. The key is in the “word”. The modern comfortable church has watered down and in some cases, changed the word to entertain the same people that need healing and deliverance. It’s too messy, right leader? It may cost you something, right pastor? Vanity and pride hold the key to the prison cell door.
I would rather heal and deliver millions of people that flow through the doors of a church they do not attend regularly, than have twenty thousand in attendance every Sunday that are suppressed and bound and kept at bay by a twisted and perverted gospel.
People need help. The Lord is ready to work through you if you are gifted with a healing and deliverance ministry. You will need to fast, pray, and seek God’s face. He will give you the word. Don’t compromise the gift of the word.
So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.
Luke 11:9-10 | NASB
I’ve read this verse hundreds of times. It’s used by preachers and teachers quite often. To fully understand what Jesus is saying, you have to read the parable that is connected to it in the verses before. The parable is the friend asking for bread at midnight. The doors were already locked, he was in bed, he didn’t want his family disturbed. But, it was the persistence of his friend…asking for three loaves. Not one, or two, but three. Ask. Seek. Knock.
The importance of all this is in the persistence. I believe God is calling the persistent to action in the days ahead. The word persistent in the Greek is made up of two words, ‘alpha’, and ‘aidos’, which translates to mean shameless.
As I write this, I’m hearing the Holy Spirit ask:
- “What are you shamelessly seeking My attention for?”
- “What are you being persistent about?”
- “What do you so desperately need that you’ll stand at the door in the midnight hour to ask for in My name?”
He is that friend with the bread. He’ll gladly give to you. He wants your persistence. Ask, seek, and knock…the door will be opened.
Receive it in Jesus’ name.
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
Romans 11:33 | NASB
This particular verse is interesting to find in the New Testament. It’s almost as if Paul just finished with his daily devotional, perhaps reading a Psalm of David. But for someone to go through and experience the level of persecution that Paul did, he had a reason to bless the Lord.
Have you gone through a thing or two that is worthy of giving God glory?
In his praise to the church in Rome, Paul is setting an example for them to follow. There’s no end to the resources God has for us. We just have to ask. He’s the righteous Judge and we can’t begin to understand all His ways because in every circumstance we find ourselves in, whether good or bad, He’s on our side!
It’s a sobering thought when humanity seeks to find the answers to life’s problems in things that are temporal. It won’t last, but the Everlasting Father will. God is the answer.
Praise him, even in the midst of the storm.
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.
Romans 12:9 | NASB
I’ve heard it said on more than one occasion that “you have to love what God loves, and hate what God hates”. Do you believe that?
I used to say it myself, but the more I think about it, the more I question the statement.
Here’s why: As imperfect as we are, unrighteous and unholy, can we really live up to that statement?
If we truly love without hypocrisy, why are there so many homeless? Why are there so many that take one side or the other because of the color of their skin?
God hates evil, that which drives people to do bad things. We associate evil with people, God doesn’t. God’s not a hypocrite but humanity is.
It’s not people who are evil, but evil that is in people. God told Jeremiah the prophet, “Before you were formed in the womb, I knew you”.
God knows the potential every one of us has because He put it there. He gave us the ability to love without hypocrisy, we just have to act upon it. What a challenge!
For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.
1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 | NASB
Keep in mind that this letter was written to the church. We often gloss over material and think it doesn’t pertain to us. This is a common mistake when studying the Bible.
We know that history shows the Thessalonians as the church that set the standard for all others. They were persecuted and ridiculed quite often but persevered. Paul admonishes them to keep the faith and to “excel still the more” in verse one.
Like churches today, they had issues. When you get a bunch of broken vessels together, you’re going to have problems. I know some that blame church on their problems. I used to as well. Then I moved my efforts to blaming people in the church. I realized one day that people are not perfect–everyone has some type of hangup.
Apostle Paul is encouraging us to live a life full of the Spirit, apart from our sin. In today’s modern church, there’s a false doctrine of grace being taught, that God will accept you as you are, that you can still live your old lifestyle and live for God too. I call that double-minded. Sanctification means consecrated, set apart, separate.
I believe this is why we don’t see real change in people today. Because The verse says “he who rejects this is not rejecting man, but God”. The miracles of healing and deliverance aren’t happening because there’s sin on both sides of the isle. You’ve got people not wanting to let go of their impurities and there are those in ministry who won’t get right with God either. Tough words, I know. Someone has to speak truth. We will not see a major shift in the church until the people allow Almighty God to fix their brokenness.
Recognize when the Holy Spirit comes, allow Him to strip away all that doesn’t belong there. Sanctify yourself before God. He wants you. He loves you. You’re worth it in His eyes. Be apart of something big. Be the church that He wants.
From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus.
~Apostle Paul | Galatians 6:17 | NASB
What apostle Paul is saying here is that all the beatings, the boiling, and imprisonment that he has endured was for the sake of Christ. No evil or hurtful thing will set him back in delivering the message of hope and love through Christ the Redeemer.
The scars remain as a reminder of what he used to do, and the person he used to be…nothing. But when he answered the call on that dark and lonely road to Damascus his life started!
Do you remember your life before Christ?
Does your body bear the brand-marks of Jesus?
They may not be visible to the eye, but the things you’ve been through have made their mark on your spirit- man. God knows. The Holy Spirit recognizes them and will help you use them for a testimony like no one else.
Be branded for Christ. Branded for life.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.
Genesis 3:7 | NASB
The very first spiritual battle took place at the forbidden tree. I believe that this was the first recorded murder as well. The serpent was able to convince Eve to commit spiritual suicide by twisting God’s word. God stood by and watched as a jealous and caloused fallen angel convinced Adam and Eve to eat.
Sometimes I wonder: Do you think they were even hungry or did they feel forced to eat?
There are times when in spiritual battle, that the body will make involuntary responses in a physical manifested form. This is proof that there’s a battle that wages war on the inside of you. You seem to feed off of things that aren’t necessarily good for you to eat physically or spiritually.
In the scripture above, their eyes were not opened to the truth, but that the serpent had lied. They already knew the truth in that God told them not to eat or they would die.
Sin, when recognized, reveals one thing: shame. When in the middle of the battle, its hard to separate the truth from the lie. When you come to the reality of the truth, the shame of the sin is revealed, hence the need to clothe themselves. But when you are found in the arms of Christ the Redeemer, there’s no more shame or condemnation, only mercy and grace draped by the love of God.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
The opening statement has several commands that seem to be unreasonable. Completely humble, gentle, patient, and bearing are words we don’t use much. I for one have trouble! But the scripture is clear when it says “Make every effort”. Bring peace to every situation through the Spirit of unity. First off, your soul, body, and spirit must be in agreement, in unity. How can one ask to accomplish all this without first getting themselves ready?
Someone is always watching and waiting for you to ready yourself and they will follow when they see you do the right thing.
Be bearers of peace, this world needs it so desperately.