Monday, January 31, 2011

We Need Some Cursing!

No, I am not talking about "cussing." I am talking about cursing those things that that should be cursed. Peter said in Mark 11:21: And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. (KJV) Yeshua had cursed the fig tree and it withered from the roots. The word "cursedst" is the Greek word kataraomai and it means to wish evil or to ruin. It carries the sense of proclaiming doom on something or someone. What should we be cursing? John 10:10 says: The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (KJV) Draw a line on the floor. If something steals from you, kills, or destroys, it comes from the thief. The thief is Satan. On the other side are those things that come from God; the things that give us life and life more abundantly. Where would cancer fit? What about financial lack? What about good health and money in the bank to pay your bills? It is really quite simple; curse the things that come from Satan and bless God for those things that come from him.

We have seen that words have power. Yeshua's words contained the power to wither the fig tree. When we speak anointed words from a believing heart, they have the power to curse the works of Satan. We need to look at the events of our lives and determine which category that they are in? Are they life producing words or words of destruction? We need to become more aware of our authority to curse the works of Satan. Too often we just accept sickness, disease, or lack. We should be actively engaged in using the power of God's word to defeat the enemy at every opportunity. We should concede nothing.

Start cursing those things that belong to the enemy. If something is giving life and life more abundantly, speak words of blessing. Give thanks to God who gives us the good things in life. Do not accept theft, killing, or destruction in your life. Speak words of power. Speak words of cursing when you confront the works of darkness.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Beginning

An Hebraic approach to living the abundant life is found in the book of Genesis. We need to start at the beginning to see what YHVH had planned for His creations. There are three principles found in the first chapter that if followed will bring you to a place of abundant living. First, there is the principle of dominion. Genesis 1:26 says: Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." (RSV)God gave man dominion over the earth, Man (and woman) are to be in control. We are to take action as opposed to being the helpless victim to random chance. Second, there is the principle of blessing. Genesis 1:28 says: And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." (RSV) The first words heard by Adam was the blessing YHVH gave Him. It was a blessing contained in the words of YHVH. Man is blessed. If we are blessed, why don't we act like it? We need to confess that we are a blessed people. We have no lack, no want, and the enemy has no power over us. Third, there is the principle of seed time and harvest. Genesis 1:29 says: And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. (RSV) This last principle governs how the dominion and blessing will become operational in your life. We plant seeds and they produce after their own kind. You plant love; you reap love. You plant hate and discontent; you reap hate and discontent. Whatever you want in life can be obtained by planting the right seed for it.

We have previously learned that you plant a seed of faith by speaking it. Matthew 17:20 says: He said to them, "Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you." (RSV) We plant seeds of faith and we reap the results. We speak to the problem, not about the problem. This is the opposite of most believers. They seem to emphasis the problem. Listen to prayer requests. They are more about the problem than they are about the solution. Speak the answer not the mountain. We are to command the mountains to flee. They have to if spoken from the lips of one who believes in his heart the truth of the words spoken.

The start of every answer to every problem is found when you act on knowledge received. You have dominion over your circumstances. You are blessed by YHVH. You can plant the seed that will produce the harvest for that you seek. Read and meditate on the Word of God. Speak the Word of God. Act as if the Word of God is true. The principles from the first chapter of Genesis will put you over and you are already a success (perhaps you just didn't know it).

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Your Confession

Hebrews 3:1 says: Therefore, holy brethren, who share in a heavenly call, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession. (RSV) The word "apostle" is the Greek word apostolos and it means to send. In this verse, who is the sent one? It is Yeshua (Jesus Christ). He is sent with what? He is sent with your confession. The word "confession" is the Greek word homologia and it means "to agree, confess, say the same. A confession, profession, or recognition." The word means that when you make a statement of confession, you are saying the same thing as another. Yeshua is taking your words (when they agree with His) and bringing them to the Father. That is why confessing God's Word is so vital to abundant living. If you speak doubt, unbelief, and fear, Satan takes those words and wrecks havoc in your life. Yeshua won't take those faithless words with Him. He is the Word and faith comes from the Word.

Yeshua is also our High Priest. The High Priest would take the sacrifices brought to Him by the people. He would then offer the sacrifice to YHVH on the altar. In the same way, Yeshua, as your High Priest, brings your words of confession to the Father for action. Faithless words will not be presented. Faithless words are an offering to Satan. He takes faithless words and will assist them to become a permanent reality in your life. Faith filled words will put you over and cause YHVH to move mightily on your behalf. Words of doubt or fear will bring greater doubt and greater fear in your life. Yeshua said you can have what you say. So, what are you saying?

Words come from thoughts. Actions come from words. You begin with confessing the Word of God. I have seen addictions broken by one who repeated the words: "I am the righteousness of Jesus Christ. I can do all things through Jesus Christ who gives me strength." A man who was addicted to drugs and alcohol was set free within seven days of repeating that confession. He said it while he was still drinking and doing drugs. However, those words eventually got on the inside of him. It became real to him. The power of God set him free. Your confession is powerful. It can work either for you or against you because it is a law. The law of confession can cause you to be victorious or it can cause you to fail. The choice, as always, is yours.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Do You Have Any Strong Holds?

2 Corinthians 10:4 says: "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds...." The Greek word for "strong holds" is ochyrōma and it means "to hold fast. A stronghold, fortification, fortress. Used metaphorically of any strong points or arguments in which one trusts." We normally think about a strong hold as a negative. However, we should have some positive strong holds for God. We should believe with all our heart and mind that the Word of God is true and then live it out each day. We should be so convinced that what God says about us is true that no one or no spirit could convince us otherwise. We should be so convinced that we walk in abundance and not lack, that nothing (including our bank book) could change our minds. We should so believe it is God's will to heal that we can not be convinced otherwise by symptoms or doctors' reports.

How can we develop this type of strong hold for God? First, look how a negative strong hold develops. It begins with a thought. That thought is dwelt upon until it becomes a fixed imagination. Finally, that imagination becomes so strong that it begins to control the person. What starts with a thought eventually becomes an addiction that overpowers the individual. Second, begin to think about the Word of God continually. Get it fixed in your inner person that His Word is truth. Let that imagination become an addiction to you. Become so convinced in the truth that no force will be stronger to uproot your convictions. Become addicted to God and His Word.

You can develop a faith that can withstand all attacks. However, you must first develop a strong hold for God' Word. When it is so settled in your inner person that what God has said about something is the truth then your stronghold will enable you to defeat the enemy, failure, lack, sickness, disease, and want.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Worry: The Child of Fear and Unbelief

Worry is the offspring of fear and unbelief. Where you find fear and unbelief, worry will soon be forthcoming. Worry says that you believe that you have remembered something that YHVH has forgotten. Do you see that worry is an offense to Him? He has promised you certain things that if you believe Him, you would not worry. Isaiah 41:10 says: "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." If you believe that YHVH said that and if you believe He can do it, why would you worry? Peter wrote: "Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you." (RSV) The word "cast" is the Greek word epiriptō and it means to throw or cast upon. Envision playing catch with someone; you throw them a ball and they catch it. That is how we are to treat worry. We are to throw it to YHVH. Trust that He will catch it and never throw it back.

You are commanded not to steal. To steal something is to take something that does not belong to you. Worry, fear, and unbelief do not belong to you. They belong to Satan. They aren't yours and you have no business taking the enemy's stuff. The opposite of worry is trust. Proverbs 3:5 says: "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." The word trust is the Hebrew word bāṭaḥ and it means "to trust, to be confident. It expresses the feeling of safety and security that is felt when one can rely on someone or something else." If you feel secure in God, you will feel safe and secure.

We live in difficult times. However, we need not worry. We should not take something that does not belong to us and worry, fear, and unbelief do not belong to a child of God.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Force of Words

Job 6:25 says: "How forcible are right words!" If the followers of YHVH (God) could ever truly grasp the power of words, the world would take notice. You would not have to beg and plead people to come to Yeshua (Jesus). People would be driven to the truth of who He is. His words are spirit and life (John 6:63). Ours should be also. The word "forcible" is the Hebrew word maras and it means "to be sick, painful. It describes a curse as hurtful, pernicious (1 Ki. 2:8); destruction or punishment as painful (Mic. 2:10); words as unsettling, irritating (Job 6:25); an unknown motivation or cause as provoking an argument." Word can hurt. They can bring curses, but they can also heal. Right words spoken from believing hearts can make a difference in our lives. The husband that thinks he is a failure can be revived by a few words from a supportive wife. With her words behind him, he can face the day and obtain a victory. He will be a success because of her words to him. In the same way, a spouse can destroy the confidence of the other by condemning and criticizing them.

Job understood the power of words. David understood the power of words. Certainly, Yeshua knew their power. Everything that is seen was created by words. Our world was created by words. With that knowledge, why do we discount what we say. Our words will make a difference in our lives. Your tomorrow is going to be shaped by your words today. Do you want a better marriage? Speak words of love to your husband or wife. Do you want more money? Confess that you live in abundance and do not lack because Jesus Christ meets your needs according His riches in glory. Do you think you can't succeed? Declare that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. Your tomorrow is being shaped today.

Watch your words. Words spoken make a sound. That sound is a vibration and it affects things. Everything around you is composed of atoms and they are moving. Your vibrating words will impact the matter that you encounter. Let your words be pleasing to God and they will eventually be pleasing to man. Shape your tomorrow by speaking success today.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

You Are What You Think

Proverbs 23:7 says: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. (KJV) Now this translation, while typical, is not exactly correct. A better version is from the Jewish Study Bible: He is like one keeping accounts; "Eat and drink," he says to you, But he does not really mean it. (JPS) The study notes reveal: "Dinner with a stingy man is an occasion of hypocrisy on all sides and is nauseating." The point is that the stingy man says one thing, but really thinks another. However, there is a principle still here. The Hebrew word for "think" is sa ar and it means "to cleave, to divide, but it took on the meaning of to calculate, to estimate, to set a price on. The meaning was transferred to the sense of judging something, thereby setting a price to it." The word means to separate. You separate one thing from another in your mind.

You can think success or failure. You can think overcoming or defeat. You can think that you can do all things through Jesus Christ, or you can think you can't. You can think Jesus has defeated the enemy or you can think the battle is still in play. You can think that you have the power of Jesus' name and His authority or you can think you don't. You see that you have a choice. Your thoughts will divide one thing from another. You can think success or you can think failure. Your words will be the child of your thoughts. Yeshua (Jesus) said: "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." There are no accidents on the lips. You may have not meant to say it, but it still what you were thinking.

If we are going to be shining lights for God, we need to clean up our thinking. We do this by having our thoughts agree with God's thoughts. God's thoughts are found in His Word. By reading and meditating, i.e muttering, His Word throughout the day our minds will be transformed. Our thoughts will become His thoughts. When that happens, it is the Word of God that will proceed from our mouths. We are what we think. I would prefer to be in line with God. The choice is before us.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Serving Your Thoughts

Actions are the children of words. Words are the children of thoughts. Our thought life was important in the teachings of Yeshua (Jesus). In Matthew 6:24-25, Yeshua said: No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? (KJV) Yeshua was teaching that you can't serve both God and wealth. How did Yeshua think people would serve either one? The answer is in verse 25: "Take no thought." The Greek word for thought is merimnaō and it means to care, be anxious, troubled, or to take thought. Thoughts are those impressions formed in the mind. Thoughts guide us. They can be positive and based on God's Word, or they can be negative and grounded in the ideology of the world's system of thinking.

Yeshua teaches that our thoughts are not to be based on anything except seeking God's kingdom first. He says: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day. (RSV) We are not to allow our thought life to lead us away from faith in God. Thoughts are very powerful. They can be controlling and decisive in determining how we approach our spouses, our children, our business and friends.

The truth is that we serve our thoughts. Yeshua knew that (He could even read thoughts while He walked the earth) and He wanted our thought life to be pure. The Apostle Saul (Paul) stated: Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (RSV) Yeshua understood that we would serve our thoughts. Saul knew we served our thoughts. The real questions are: (1) Do you understand that you serve your thoughts? and (2) What are you thinking about?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Planting Your Faith

Yeshua (Jesus) said in Matthew 17:20: And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. (KJV) Yeshua was responding to His disciples' questions about their failure to remove a demon that was afflicting a man. First, notice that Yeshua compares faith to a mustard seed. Every farmer knows that a seed must be planted in the ground before it will produce a harvest. If you don't plant the seed, you will see no results. You could place the seed in a special place in your home and protect it; however, it would do nothing. This is one of the reasons that so many believers live in a land of discouragement and failure. They don't understand that faith is like a seed.

Second, notice Yeshua's explanation of how to plant the faith seed: If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place...." Faith is planted by speaking it. People do not seem to have any problems talking doubt and unbelief. If someone says, "I believe I am coming down with the flu," they will most likely receive comforting words. However, if that same person upon manifesting early symptoms of the flu says, "By the stripes of Yeshua I am healed," they will be considered odd or strange. The reason that negative doubt and unbelief is acceptable is that that is the way of the world. The world talks failure and sickness. The believer in Yeshua should talk positive and have faith-filled words.

Finally, notice the result of speaking faith-filled words: "and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." The word "impossible" is the Greek word adynateō and it means the opposite of weak and unable. If someone plants their seed of faith, they will see a harvest that is the opposite of weakness and being unable. The faith-filled walk is one of power in God. Yeshua did not leave us defenseless in this world. He has given us everything we need to be a success for Him. One great thing about planting our faith is that we don't have to wait for a special season to plant. Everyday is a good day to begin sowing seeds of faith. Plant your faith by speaking it and expect a harvest.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Looking Back Running Forward

Previously, I have discussed the Hebraic approach to the future. It is like rowing a boat. You focus on where you have been as you approach where you are headed. In other words, your back is facing the direction you are rowing. "Looking Back Running Forward" is the way to encounter any problem or difficulty you face. Most everyone knows the story of David and Goliath. The young shepherd boy defeats the giant with nothing but his sling and five smooth stones. On closer examination, we can see five steps David took to defeat the giant. I call them the five steps of "Looking Back Running Forward":

1. Step 1: Look back. 1 Samuel 17:37 says: And David said, "The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." And Saul said to David, "Go, and the LORD be with you!" (RSV) David looked back at the past protection and deliverance from God. By looking back, he was able to face the future with confidence. He knew he would be a success because God would not fail.

2. Step 2: Say it. 1 Samuel 17:45-46 says: Then David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin; but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down, and cut off your head; and I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.... (RSV) David understood the power of words. He didn't speak the problem, he spoke the desired end. Oh, that we might speak the solution and not the problem. Too many prayer meetings are glowing tributes to the power of the enemy. We need to focus on the solution.

3. Step 3: Do it. 1 Samuel 17:48 says: And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. (KJV) Once David had spoken the desired end, he ran toward the problem. Once we have heard from God, we need not fear. We can with confidence run toward the difficulty with confidence that we will prevail.

4. Step 4: Receive it. 1 Samuel 17:51 says: Then David ran and stood over the Philistine, and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath, and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. (RSV) David received the victory. He had spoken he would take the giant's head, but he had no sword. After striking Goliath with the stone, David took his sword and fulfilled his words in verse 46: This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down, and cut off your head; and I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.... (RSV) He received the victory.

5. Step 5: Proclaim it. 1 Samuel 17:54 says: And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armor in his tent. (RSV) David proclaimed the victory by bringing the giant's head to Jerusalem. You know that they had a celebration!

David's actions teach us how to be a success in the face of any giants that are standing before us. We need not fear. Look back and then run forward!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Decree A Thing

Job 22:28 says: Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways. (KJV) The word translated "decree" is the Hebrew word gazar and it means to cut, to divide, to separate. The basic meaning of this word can be seen in Solomon's command to divide the baby in two pieces (1 Ki. 3:25, 26); in the act of cutting down trees (2 Ki. 6:4); or when God divided the Red Sea. Simply put, the word means to divide something or to separate from something. The verb has the connotation of making a pronouncement. This verse is informing us that we have the authority to make a decree that can separate things. Do you want to be separated from sickness, disease, poverty, or lack? If so, decree or make a pronouncement that you are free from such afflictions.

Can you make any decree? No, you are to only make decrees consistent with the Word of God. If you say the same thing, i.e. have the same language as God on a subject, you can accomplish anything. In Genesis 11:6, God says the following: And the LORD said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them." (RSV) God has established a principle that if people speak the same language, "nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them." This would include you and God's Word. If God's Word says you are healed and you agree with Him, are you healed? If God's Word says that He supplies your needs, are they met?

God has given you the power of speech and the power of agreement. Too often we look for another person to agree with. While that is fine, we always have a God who will agree with us if we speak His Words. Are you walking with God and His Word, or are you speaking a man's opinion. Why would you ever choose man's word over God's Words? It just doesn't make good sense.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Making God Happy

Did you know that you can make God happy? Psalm 35:27 says: "Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant." (KJV) Read that slowly. God has pleasure when we are prosperous. The Hebrew word for pleasure is hapes and it means having delight in, or having pleasure in. The word is an adjective. This means that it is describing how God feels. He feels pleasure when what occurs? When His children are prosperous. What does the word prosperous mean? The Hebrew word is shalom and it means peace or tranquility. Another good definition for shalom is "nothing broken and nothing missing."

God wants His servants to live a life of nothing broken and nothing missing. If you are ill, something is missing, i.e. health. If you can't pay your bills, something is missing, i.e. money. If you are worrying about something, something is missing, i.e. peace. Do you think that God is able to create the circumstances in your life that would enable you to have peace? Yes, He can and will do that for you. God desires to make you an object of His blessing. Look back at Genesis. What were the first words Adam heard? They were words of blessing. God wants His children blessed, i.e. prosperous, so He can reveal His true nature to those that do not know Him. Somewhere the church got off track when it began to make an idol out of suffering. The Hebraic mindset was to avoid being a martyr. The reason is that to the Hebrew, life was sacred and intended to be enjoyed.

Today, confess that your prosperity will bring pleasure to God. Now understand, you have a part to play in the equation. You can't just sit back and wait. God does not reward laziness. Tell yourself that God wants you prosperous and go make it happen. If that means studying more, do it. If that means working harder, do it. Whatever He tells you to do, just do it. You will find shalom overtaking you and surrounding like the brilliance of the Son.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Key to Success

Joshua 1:8 says: This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success. (RSV) The Hebrew word for "mouth" is peh and it used as the instrument of speech and figuratively for speech itself. The Hebrew word for "meditate" is haga and it means to growl, to groan, to sigh, to mutter, to speak; used figuratively: to meditate, to ponder. When we breakdown the verse we see that speech plus meditation (i.e. muttering) plus obedience equals prosperity plus success. It is quite easy to be a success even though the economy is difficult. Speak the word of God to others; mutter the word of God to yourself throughout the day and obey it.

The Hebrew word for "prosperity" is salah and it means to prosper, to succeed, and to be victorious. It is used of causing something to turn out successfully. The Hebrew word for "good success" is sakal and it means to act with insight, to be prudent, to give insight, to teach, to prosper, to consider, to ponder, to understand, to act prudently, or to act with devotion. The primary meaning of the word is to be prudent. To be a good success is to act with Godly wisdom in all your dealings, whether personal or business.

The passage in Joshua is giving clear instruction in how to be prosperous. It is great advice. It is as good advice today as it was when it was written for the first time. If you don't consider yourself a success, pay attention to what you are saying throughout the day. Grant permission to those close to you to call your attention to negative words coming from your lips. If you want a turn around, start by speaking what God says on the subject. You can be prosperous and successful. The choice is yours.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Being Afraid

I do not think we fully comprehend the power that God has granted to His creations. Job 3:25 says: "For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me." The literal Hebrew is: "I feared a fear and it came upon me." The events of Job's life had a start in his fears. We must guard ourselves from fear because what we fear will manifest in our lives. Sometimes, we have greater faith in our fears than we do in God's Word. The word "feared" is the Hebrew word pahad and it means to dread, to be in dread, or to be in awe. The word "afraid" is the Hebrew word yagor and it means to fear a specific occurrence such as catching a disease; being reproached or scorned; or being delivered into the power of specific people. While the first word speaks to a general sense of fear, the second word involves a specific thing being feared. Fear will attract the object of fear.

How do we stop fear? We stop fear with faith. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. The more Word you have in you, the less fear you will have. We need to be people of "The Book." God's Word on a subject should settle the issue. How can you fear sickness and disease when the Isaiah says, "By His stripes you have been healed." How can you fear financial lack when the Word says, "My God shall supply all your needs." How can you fear when people come against you when the Word says, "No weapon formed against you shall prosper." How can you fear the economic recession when Jeremiah says, "You shall be like trees planted by the river and you will not wither."

The choice is between faith and fear. If you concentrate on fear, like Job it will come upon you. If you have faith in the Word of God, His promises will become true in your life. Again, it comes down to choices. You can have either faith or fear. Which do you have?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Do Thee Good

Do you deep down know that God wants to "do thee good?" Or, have you accepted traditional teaching that God might send you cancer or some other dreaded disease just to teach you something? No, God wants to do good for you. Deuteronomy 8:16 says: Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end.... (KJV) The word "good" is the Hebrew word yatab and it means to be well, to be pleasing. In the causative stem, as it is in this verse, it means to do good, to do well, to please, or to make pleasing. It is often used in idiomatic expressions with heart meaning to be pleased or to be happy. According to the Hebrew grammar, this verse means that God is going to cause you to be happy.

If this is the case, why do so many believers live far below this standard. Notice the typical church service; it looks like a funeral. People can't wait to leave. God wants to do us good, but we need to begin to speak that goodness. We need to be people with a smile on our faces. We can approach each day knowing that God intends to do me good today. Whatever you may face today, God is working (sometimes behind the scenes) to do you good. That is my confession. If you speak it long enough you will get this on the inside of you. God wants to do me good!

Today, say the following: I am a child of the King. I have no worries because I have cast them over to Him. God wants to do me good today and I receive His goodness. I walk in abundance and have no lack.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Possibility of the Impossible

Do you face a situation that seems impossible? Is there a mountain of doubt and unbelief that prevents you from seeing the power of God in your life? Or, have you reached a place that God is too small to really do something in your life? In the 9TH chapter of Mark, a man brings his son who has a spirit possession problem to Yeshua's (Jesus') disciples. They are not able to deliver the son. Then Yeshua gets involved. The father asked could Yeshua do anything about his impossible situation. Yeshua said in Mark 9:23: And Yeshua said to him, "If you can! All things are possible to him who believes." (RSV) Yeshua sets a standard for receiving from Him. The standard is one has to believe. The Greek word is pisteuo and it means to be firmly persuaded as to something, and when spoken in reference to God to trust in Him as able and willing to help and answer prayer. That is where so many miss the possibility of the impossible. They think God is able, but they question His willingness.

While preaching a revival service on the will of God to heal, I was approached by an older leader of the church who said to me: "Pastor Jenkins, I wish you would not talk so much about healing. The devil does a lot of healing today to mislead people." I looked at him and said that things sure have changed from Bible days. "Back then," I said, "Yeshua used to heal and the devil made people ill. But now, you are telling me that God makes people sick and the devil heals them." This man could not see the possibility of the impossible. Yeshua has told us that "All things" are possible; He didn't say, "All things except what the doctor said is impossible." He carved out no exceptions. If we can be firmly persuaded that something is possible, then it is possible. That was the difference between Yeshua and the disciples. They really didn't believe the son could be set free. Yeshua knew that the realm of impossibility could be brought into the possible through faith.

Can you see the impossible becoming possible? Better yet, can you see the impossible becoming probable? If we believe and act on the proposition that God can and will answer prayer, we will see the impossible pass away to the possible! We have the authority and right to use Yeshua's name to command spirits, sickness, and disease to depart. Do you believe?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

He is Watchful

Have you ever taken a small child to a public park? How would you describe your watching the child? Do you only occasionally check on the child while you talk with someone? Or, do you keep your eyes glued on the child to make sure that nothing happens to him or her? Most people are very attentive to their small children. They don't take their eyes off them. They do this to make sure the child is safe. In the Jewish Study Bible, Jeremiah 1:12 says in part: "For I am watchful to bring My word to pass." If God has spoken something in His Word, He is going to keep an eye on that word to make sure that it comes about.

It should be obvious why we are to speak God's Word on a subject. If there is sickness or lack, we need to speak God's Word over the circumstances so there is something for God to watch over. It is our duty to impose His Word on the situation. We do that by our confessing, i.e. saying the same thing He says, His Words. We make His Words our words. The two are in alignment and now He will make sure that His Words come to pass. Contrary, if we speak doubt and fear, there is nothing for Him to watch over. Our speech will demonstrate faith in His Words or faith in the world's words. The world speaks fear and unbelief. God's Word is faith-filled. God's Word is full of faith. Some say that God's Word is pregnant with faith. Our speech should reflect the "now" of faith. Faith is now. We speak it, live it, and God will bring the end result to pass.

What do your words say about your circumstances? Does your speech provide something for God to watch over? Or, does your speech reflect failure, doubt, and fear? God wants you to talk like Him. He wants you to have the same opinion about your circumstances as He does. He speaks words of faith and so should you. The choice is yours. Choose wisely.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Words of Life

John 6:63 says: It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. (RSV) The Greek word for "life" is zoe. Zoe can be defined as the "God-kind of life." This is not some ordinary existence. This is the type of life that is full of action and compassion. This is seen in the person who understands and acts on the knowledge that words can contain either life or death. The words of Yeshua (Jesus) contain life. They still do. They have loss none of their power since they were uttered from the lips of the Master. When we speak the same words of life they can contain the same power.

Yeshua instructed His disciples in Matthew 10: And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity.... And preach as you go, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay. (RSV) What the body of Christ needs today is men and women that understand the power of words just like the early disciples. Do you think that Yeshua was instructing them to use natural means to heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out every infirmity? No! He was instructing them to use the power of words to accomplish the task. The "church" doesn't need another building or program. It needs people who will accept the Great Commission with the power of words.

Words can put you over, or they can defeat you. Words will dictate your tomorrow. If you don't like where you are today, consider your words that brought you to today. What do your words contain? Do they contain life or death? Create your future of success by speaking words of life today.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Keep At It

You have heard the old saying: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." There is more Biblical truth in this saying than one might expect. Mark 5 tells us about the woman who had an issue of blood for twelve years. She had spent all her money on doctors and treatment. All her efforts had failed. She was just as sick as she ever was. However, when she heard Yeshua (Jesus) was coming to town, she made the following confession: "For she kept saying, If I only touch the hem of His tallit (prayer shawl), I shall be restored to health." Notice that she had been continually saying the confession to herself. Don't bother confessing to others who don't understand faith. You will become frustrated and discouraged. Others may laugh at your confession of the Word of God over your life. Let them; you can't control them. They may call you crazy, or laugh at you. They laughed at Yeshua when He went to heal the girl and said she was only sleeping. They laughed at Him and He put them out of the room. You don't want unbelievers around you when you are standing on faith. You need to be around those who can support your confession.

As important as confession is, you must add corresponding actions. The woman was not healed just from her confession; she was healed because she had faith in action. She pressed through the crowd. She risked public humiliation. She risked being injured. However, her faith had legs. She was on the move and she pressed through and touched Yeshua's tallit. Just like she said, when she touched it, she was healed instantly. Her confession became reality. Do you think she doubted? Of course not; if she had doubted, she would never had the required action to see it through.

Is there something you need God to do in your life? Find a Scriptural promise and begin to confess it continually. Put corresponding action with the confession. Keep at it and don't quit. The only thing that can stop you is you. The devil can't stop you. He is powerless against a man or woman who knows and confesses the Word of God with action. Talk your faith and walk your faith. Keep at it. Your miracle will come.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Getting a Rhema Word

There are several Greek words in the New Testament that are translated as "word" in our English Bibles. One is rhema. Rhema means "that which is spoken, which uttered in speech or writing." Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary explains the difference between logos (another Greek word translated "word") and rhema: "The significance of rhema (as distinct from logos) is exemplified in the injunction to take 'the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,' Eph. 6:17; here the reference is not to the whole Bible as such, but to the individual scripture which the Spirit brings to our remembrance for use in a time of need...." The rhema word is alive. It has been spoken to your inner person. It has power in your life. Sometimes it is a specific Scripture and other times it may be a Biblical principle. It is something that can be used in a spiritual battle with darkness.

I was looking at one of my Bibles I used during the time period of 2005-2006 when I preached number of revivals across the USA. I found the following rhema words that I had recorded and I wanted to share them with you. They may speak to you and become a rhema word to you.

1. January, 2006 "What you talk, you walk."
2. December 1, 2006 (right after the birth of my son Seth) "If the Word says its done, IT'S DONE!"
3. December 5, 2006 "Nothing is impossible with God. Nothing is impossible to us." To accomplish this, (a) our faith links us to God; (b) we have the Name that gives us the authority; and (c) we use the Word as the source of power (word of His power) to accomplish the impossible."
4. June 28, 2005 "You live today, what you said yesterday."
5. May 31, 2005 "If Satan can deceive you, he can defeat you. Stay in the Word!
6. April 30, 2005 "You can possess what you confess when it it is the Word you profess!"

These words were very powerful when spoken to me. You might want to consider getting a journal and recording rhema words that are spoken to you. They are a source of faith and a reminder that God still speaks to His children.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Overcoming Fear

In our day, there is much to be afraid of. There is economic instability. Many are out of work. Real estate values have plummeted. Inflation is around the corner. Gas prices are almost $3.00 a gallon. Plus, there is the uncertainty of living in a fallen world. Just this past weekend a senseless act of gun violence took the lives of six people and wounded many more. How can we overcome the fear that comes knocking at our door with facts, i.e. reasons to be afraid? The opposite of fear is faith. Faith is believing what God says about the situation and fear is believing what evil says about the situation. It again comes down to our choice. Who or what are we going to believe about the situation?

This is not about denying reality. I do not deny sickness, disease, poverty, lack and violence. However, I do believe in a higher reality. Jeremiah 17:5-6 say: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart turns away from YHVH (LORD). For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and not see when good comes, and shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, a salt land that is not inhabited." These verses describe the person who looks to man to solve all the problems and be the protector. He looks to others to meet his needs. The Word says you are cursed, because you have not trusted in God. Verses 7-8 say: "Blessed is the man who trusts in YHVH, and whose trust is YHVH. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and does not see when heat comes. And his leaf shall be green, and in the year of drought he is not anxious, nor does he cease from yielding fruit.

Let us compare the two people:

1. The man who trusts in man
a. He is in a dry desert with no water. If he stays here too long he will die.
b. He does not even see good when it comes. This person is so negative. Everything is falling apart to this person. He is difficult to be around.
c. He inhabits the wilderness in despair.

2. The man who trusts in YHVH
a. He is planted by the river. There is water. He is alive and refreshed. He has a bounce in his step. He is not afraid.
b. He does see heat when it comes. He is protected from the heat that could kill.
c. His leaf is green. He is alive and full of energy. He cannot be stopped. He is fully equipped for whatever task he undertakes.
d. He is not anxious. He can sleep at night. He is not afraid of tomorrow. He embraces each new day as an opportunity to be present with YHVH.
f. He continually yields fruit. He is productive. While others may be failing around him, he is a success.

So, which one looks good to you?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Divine Protection

Are you of the opinion that believers must suffer the same sorrows as those of the world? While it is true that some things happen to both believers and non-believers, e.g. death, aging, and sorrow at the loss of a loved one, does this mean that we are subject to the world's economy? If we as a nation are in a recession, do we have to be in one? The short answer is, "No." Exodus 9:4-6 says: But the LORD will make a distinction between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt, so that nothing shall die of all that belongs to the people of Israel. And the LORD set a time, saying, "Tomorrow the LORD will do this thing in the land. And on the morrow the LORD did this thing; all the cattle of the Egyptians died, but of the cattle of the people of Israel not one died. (RSV) Exodus 9: 25-26 says: The hail struck down everything that was in the field throughout all the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and the hail struck down every plant of the field, and shattered every tree of the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the people of Israel were, there was no hail. (RSV) Finally, we see in Exodus 10: 22-23: So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days; they did not see one another, nor did any rise from his place for three days; but all the people of Israel had light where they dwelt. (RSV)

The above passages clearly demonstrate God's ability to protect His people from the effect of sin on those who disobey Him. This should be a great comfort to us that live in a struggling economy. Just because the world says things are bad, we don't have to accept that for ourselves. God is well able to protect and prosper His children. Let me go a step further. I think God wants to set His children apart in the midst of trouble so His Name will be glorified. A problem is His opportunity to show Himself strong on our behalf. However, we can stop Him.

We can stop Him by buying what the world is selling. It is selling gloom, despair, and excessive misery (from "Hee-Haw"). If that is your song, you would be like an Israelite that left the secure land of Goshen to spend a night with the dying cattle, hail, and in the dark. On the other hand, we can proclaim in faith God's provision for us. The righteous are not forsaken; their seed does not beg for bread. Stand firm on the Word of God. You can be a success even when the world says you can't. Take God's Word for it and not the world's.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

You Need To Forget*

The title contains an asterisk (*). The reason is that while we need to forget somethings to be a success in in life, there are some things we should never forget. The Hebraic method of addressing the future is to act the way you do when you row a boat. When rowing, you face the direction you are coming from as you back into where you are headed. To the Hebrew, you should remember God's faithfulness in the past as you face the present and future. So, while we should remember God's past, we need to forget some our own.

Too often, what holds someone back from being all they are capable of being is that they remember their past failures. Those memories of trying and failing can cause one to become so negative about their future that they are defeated before they start. I John 4:4 says: "Greater is he (God) that is in you, than he that is in the world (Satan)." Do you believe this? Do you believe that the Greater One is inside you. Try standing in front of a mirror and proclaiming, "The Greater One is inside me!" If the Greater One is inside you, how can you fail? You can do all things through Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) who gives you strength! Notice that it is He who gives you the strength to succeed; however, it is you who has to work through to that place of success. You have inside you every thing you need to succeed in life. There is no lack on the inside. We need to forget our past failures and mistakes and focus on God's past faithfulness. That faithfulness is inside you. He will not let you down. Don't you let Him down.

Determine your dream. Make sure it is Scriptural. Then believe and act that you can accomplish it. Don't allow your past to hinder your present and destroy your future. The world awaits for men and women who are full of God and can't be stopped. Don't allow "you" to stop "you!." You can succeed.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Faith in the Present

In Hebrew thought, you don't know something until it shows in your actions. It is not enough to speak what you know, the knowledge must manifest itself in your life. That is the way faith is. Hebrews 11:1 begins: "Now faith is...." Faith is present tense. It is in the present moment. It is not a "hope so," it is a "know so." The word "is" in the Greek text of Hebrews 11:1 is in the present tense indicative mood and active voice. This means that the act of faith is occurring while the speaker is making the statement. The indicative mood means that it is a statement of fact. The active voice means that the subject is performing or causing the verbal action. The writer of Hebrews is telling us that faith is happening now and we are causing it to come about.

If we are going to be people of faith, it should be seen in our lives. We should demonstrate the power of faith in our walk. We should approach each day with an attitude of, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Further, we should never allow ourselves to feel or act defeated. Our words and actions should demonstrate a present day faith. "If God be for us, who can be against us," should be our battle cry. We do not survive the day; we seize the day. Every day should be a testimony to the power of God in our lives!

How do you see today? Are you looking to just get by? Or, do you anticipate the great things that may occur because you walk in a present day faith? The choice is yours. Choose wisely.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Settle The Question

You need to settle the issue for yourself that you can be a success even when the world's system is failing. There is a theology that God brings evil and sickness upon you to teach you faith. Would you send cancer to your child to teach him or her a lesson? Are you more righteous than God? However, there is still a place of weeping. You may be there today, or it may be tomorrow. We need to know how to address the issue of being in a valley of suffering. Psalm 84:6-7 in the Amplified Version states: "Passing through the Valley of Weeping (Baca), they make it a place of springs; the early rain also fills [the pools] with blessings. They go from strength to strength [increasing in victorious power]; each of them appears before God in Zion."

Notice the following:
1. There is a place of sorry and sadness that we may pass through.
2. That we can travel through the valley and make it a place of springs. Rain meant that the people would have a harvest. In the valley, you can have a harvest.
3. That in the valley, you can increase in victorious power. This is not a "getting by." This is winning!
4. Finally, there is a blessing in the valley. Based on the harvest and the increase in victory, I don't think this is a place of misery that you convince yourself is a blessing. This is not the place for a "pity party." This is a place of rejoicing.

You need to have a mindset that even if you are in a place of weeping, you will pass through it. While you are there, you can still experience a harvest of blessings. You can have increasing victorious power. You can be blessed even the world's economy is in trouble. God intends to take you through and put you over. If you have the right mindset, correct actions will follow. Remember that thoughts, words, and actions must be consistent.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Power of Spoken Faith

Yeshua (Jesus) is approached by a Roman Centurion. The centurion was a Roman soldier and he had a servant that was paralyzed and suffering. He sought healing. Yeshua offers to come to his home and heal the servant. The centurion replied that he understood authority. As a leader of soldiers, he knew his words of command would be obeyed because he had authority over his men. The centurion knew that Yeshua had authority over the sickness; he knew that Yeshua could speak the word and healing would occur because of His authority. Yeshua marvels at his faith and actually calls it, "Great faith." Yeshua tells the centurion to go and it is done just as he believed it would. The servant was healed from that very hour.

Some points of observation:
1. The Roman centurion was not part of the covenant with Israel. He had no right to ask Yeshua for anything. However, that issue was separate from the issue of authority. This healing was about authority and faith not covenant.
2. The centurion understood the power of the spoken word. He knew that words contained authority when spoken from the lips of someone who possessed authority.
3. The centurion understood that Yeshua had authority over sickness and disease. Since He did, when Yeshua spoke, the sickness or disease had to obey the spoken word of healing.

How does this apply to us today? Yeshua has been raised from the dead and seated at the Father's right hand, far above all rule and authority, and every name that is named. Yeshua is the authority over anything that has a name. Once I was preaching a revival and woman who had been given less than 30 days to live contacted the pastor hosting the meetings. She was too weak to come to the services. She had a very serious disease that was to take her life in less than a month. She wanted prayer. I came to her hospital room and spoke faith to her. I told her that her disease had a name and since it had a name, it had to bow to the authority of the name of Yeshua. I prayed in the name of Yeshua and commanded the disease to depart. I lost touch with her two years later, but she had long outlived her 30 day death sentence. There is power in the spoken word of faith.

So what do you speak? Do you speak words of doubt and failure? Begin to trust in the power of the name of Yeshua. If your problem has a name, then the power of the spoken word will prevail.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dealing With Delay

Are there things in your life that you want to change? Is there something you have been praying for, but you have not seen the answer. Do you feel discouraged because of the delay between the time of your request and the answer you sought? Many face this problem. It can cause one to become depressed and lose faith in the God who hears and answers prayers. Sometimes I ask God, "Why have you not done that for me?" I don't want a theological answer from someone who tells me that God doesn't do miracles anymore. Neither do I want someone to tell me that it is my fault. I want God in action. Yet, I am confronted with delay.

Delay can be crushing. However, when we focus on the Word of God, the problem begins to disappear. Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Faith is evidence. The Greek word for "substance" refers to the residue of an experiment that has been performed. Our faith is evidence that we will receive that for which we have sought from God. Now of course, the request must be consistent with God's will. His will is His Word. He exalts His Word above all else. He watches over His Word to insure that it comes to past. While I am in delay stage, I do the following:
1. I verify that my request is according to the will of God. I find a Bible passage and read it to God.
2. I speak my faith that I believe and act on the passage I have just read to God.
3. I believe that I receive what I have spoken.
4. I thank God for His answer.

That is the key to dealing with delay; we are to have faith in God's Word. To the Hebrew, words are tangible. As I speak faith, faith exists. As I continue to speak the result of faith, I shall possess that which I seek. Remember, this is not some "name it, claim it," because it is based on specific provisions in the Word of God. It is declaring that I have what God says I have. It is speaking that I am what God says I am. If God says it, then it is now. And, there is plenty of evidence to support it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Your Belief System

Years ago, I taught martial arts classes. People would come to learn how to defend themselves. I would explain the importance of their belief system in self defense. For example, if I believed that could defeat anyone who was no larger than 6 foot 4 inches and weighed no more than 275 pounds, as soon as an adversary appeared at 6 foot 5 inches weighing 300 pounds, I would be defeated. My belief system would serve as a limit on my abilities. It is the same in the spiritual. Yeshua (Jesus) said in Matthew 12:34: For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (RSV) Your belief system is in your heart. In other words, what you really believe from the heart is going to set the ceiling of God's work in your life. We need to examine our confessions.

Consider the following statements:
1. I will always be in debt.
2. I think I'm coming down with something.
3. Bad things seem to always happen to me.
4. If something can go wrong, it will for me.
5. I just know we will get into an accident.
6. I am a failure.
7. Nothing goes right for me.
8. We will just have to put up with the situation.
9. My folks had poor health, so I probably will also.
10. We will not have enough money to pay our bills this month.
11. It seems we can't get ahead, and when we do, we get knocked down.

In Mark 11:23, Yeshua said: He shall have whatsoever he saith. (KJV) What are you saying? What is your confession? Take a few days and listen to what comes out of your mouth. Confession is powerful. It can bring good or bad. The choice is yours.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Make A Stand

Yesterday, we saw that the children of Israel chose to believe their opinions about their abilities instead of God's Words of promise to them. God said to take the land because He was giving it to them. They said, "Thanks, but no thanks." Their faith was overcome by fear. However, there were two that made a stand. Numbers 14 also says: And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, rent their clothes, and said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, "The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land which flows with milk and honey. Only, do not rebel against the LORD; and do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us; their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them." (RSV) Notice that to lose faith was considered an act of rebellion.

Joshua and Caleb took a stand for God's Word. They were out numbered. They were subject to threats, i.e. the crowd wanted to stone them. They were walking in faith not fear. What are you willing to make a stand for? Has God promised something to you in His Word and yet you are afraid of making a stand? Do not be afraid. You can trust God. He loves you. His Word is secure. It is settled in heaven. However, it is up to us to settle that Word on earth. We settle it by speaking it.

Today, don't be afraid to make a stand for God's Word. If He has said it, it is secure. Fear will flee when confronted with faith. Faith will put you over, but you are going to have to speak it. Joshua and Caleb spoke faith to the crowd. They heard them. This is not the time to be silent. It is a time to proclaim the truth of God's Word. It is time to make a stand!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Don't Limit God

As we begin our journey, let us be mindful that we can limit God in our lives. There is a theological position that maintains that everything that happens is God's will. It is just that we can't see how it is the best thing for us; however, in the sweet bye and bye, it will all make sense. Six million Jews died in the Holocaust of which one and one half million were children. Was that God's will? Of course not! Man can limit God and prevent His best for our lives. Consider the following.

The Hebrews had just been delivered from over 400 years of bondage at the ruthless hands of the Egyptians. God tells them to take the land He has provided for them. They send spies and bring back a report that agrees that the land is full of milk and honey, but the people who occupy the land are too strong for them to overcome. There is a generally a "but" whenever people begin to limit God. Numbers 14 reads: Then all the congregation raised a loud cry; and the people wept that night. And all the people of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron; the whole congregation said to them, "Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why does the LORD bring us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey; would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?" And they said to one another, "Let us choose a captain, and go back to Egypt." (RSV) The people have a choice to believe God or believe their opinions about themselves. God has said "Go!" and they have said "No!" Notice the bold portion. They spoke a death sentence over their lives. Hear what God Almighty said a few verses later: "How long shall this wicked congregation murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the people of Israel, which they murmur against me. Say to them, 'As I live,' says the LORD, 'what you have said in my hearing I will do to you: (RSV) They spoke it; God heard it; and He gave them the fruit of their words.

Let me summarize:
1. God is listening to what you say;
2. You can speak faith and get the blessing or you can speak unbelief and write your own ticket;
3. You can limit God by your speech, but you don't have to; and
4. Death and live is in the power of the tongue.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Starting Right

Today, some will awake with a headache from too much celebration last night. Others, have made resolutions that they believe will make them better in 2011. Generally, they involve commitments to lose weight, stop smoking or drinking, and to exercise more. Notice that many resolutions involve the physical body. What about spiritual resolutions? Are you resolved to improve your spiritual side this year? You are composed of two parts: the physical and the spiritual. They are interconnected. This means that they are not two separate parts; there is one you composed of an inner person and a physical body. So, what spiritual resolutions should you make. I have three for you to start with.

First, control your anger. Proverbs 16:32 says: "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city." (RSV) Learn to control your emotions. If you allow someone to "get under your skin," you are giving that person rule over your life. The one that angers you controls you. On the other hand, if you control your anger, you are controlling the situation. Who would you rather be in control: the one that angers you, or yourself? The answer is obvious.

Second, understand the power of your speech. Proverbs 18:21 says: "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits." (RSV) Notice that you are going to eat the fruit of your speech. It will either be death or life. That is like choosing between a terminal disease or health. Your tomorrow is going to be based on your speech today. You get to decide which you will have. God says to His people: "I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live...." (RSV) God has placed before you death and life and it begins with the tongue. Choose wisely.

Third, remove the wrong fear from your life. We can fear many things: failure, other people, and loneliness. Fear can paralyze you and cause you to miss the blessing that could exist. Yesterday, I saw a number of birds searching for food by our home. There was still snow on the ground so I decided to throw some bread out for them to eat. Most of the birds were too afraid to come close enough to the front door to eat. I was trying to help them, but they were too afraid to come forward. Finally, one came close enough to take some bread. Then, others began to inch forward to eat. Sadly, most of the birds were too afraid to get close enough to the house where the bread was. This is our problem sometime; we are too afraid to take a chance. Don't allow fear to rule your life. Instead, trust in God's Word on the subject. I like the quote: "God is who He says He is. I am who God says I am. God can do what He says He can do. I can do what He says I can do. God has what He says He has. I have what God says I have." If that is your confession, you should never be afraid of anything except God because that is the beginning of wisdom.

It is a New Year. Make it a great one.