“So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.” Hebrews 6:18 Hope is an optimistic attitude of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large. Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness. We live in a hopeless world. There is storms and fires and earthquakes all over the world. There is nothing but chaos in our government. It seems there is nothing but chaos in all the world. Life seems to be one problem after another. At times we just don’t know where to turn. I have some good knew for you. I know where to turn. We turn to our only hope which is Jesus Christ. God has given both His promise and His oath that He will be with us forever. God is our refuge that we go to when we are going through problems. When all looks hopeless, we have a friend that will be with us no matter what happens. He did not just promise us that He would be with us, He promised us that when we feel we cannot go on any longer, He will carry us. “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah […]
“I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.” Matthew 8:9 Let’s look at the background of this scripture. A Roman officer came to Jesus and asked Jesus to heal his servant. Jesus’ reply was, “I will come and heal him.” The Roman officer knew that Jesus had the authority to heal his servant and he felt that he was unworthy for Jesus to come to his house. He knew that all Jesus had to do was speak the word and his servant was healed. This officer knew the power and authority of Jesus. He believed in this authority. Our churches today do not believe in the authority of Jesus. We come to church wanting to see the miracles. We pray that people will be healed, but do we believe that Jesus has the authority to heal. Do we believe that Jesus working through us, has the power and authority to heal and do the impossible? Until we realize and believe that Jesus has this authority, we will never see the move of God in our churches that God wants to see happen. “When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!” (Matthew 8:10) Having faith like this is victorious living. “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.” (John 1:1-3)
“Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them.” John 1:38 John the Baptist was baptizing in the Jordon River with two of his disciples. Jesus came by and John told them to look and he said “There is the Lamb of God.” At that moment, two of the disciples followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned and asked them a question, “What do you want?” This is such a profound question. Jesus is asking us this same question today. What do we want as we become followers of Jesus? Do you follow Jesus for the life that is easy? “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) This does sound good, but Jesus added something to this scripture. He said “take my yoke.” This means, yes the life with Jesus can be a life that is easy, but it is a life where we have to surrender all to Jesus and allow Him to control our lives. Most of us don’t like that part of following Jesus. We want to control our lives. We want for Jesus to give us the easy life with our commitment. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33) What do you want from Jesus? This is victorious living, seeking the Kingdom of God above all else.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 The mind must be transformed from earthly, natural and reasonable thinking that holds us back, to heavenly thinking that releases us to victorious living. I had a lady in our church ask me to pray that God would give her the Holy Spirit so that she would feel God’s presence in her life. Now this lady has told me many times that she feels that she has sinned too much and that God does not love her. She feels that she is really not good enough for God to love her. I know that there are many people that feel that way. I told her that I was not going to pray that prayer, but I would pray that her thinking would change. That she would come to believe that God loves her and what she did in the past does not matter to God. I told her that God is ready to give her the Holy Spirit, she only has to change her thinking to receive the gift that God has for her. This scripture tells us that we should not copy the behavior and customs of the world. This lady is thinking as the world thinks, not as God thinks. God wants to invade us with His kingdom. God wants the reality of heaven to be part of our thinking. He wants to transform our thinking if we will just allow Him control.
“Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 This was Jesus’ last words to the church and in this scripture Jesus gave us the authority to build His Church. He told us to go out and make disciples and as we made disciples He would be with us even unto the end of the ages. How in the world are we to have this authority? To have this authority, we need to learn to give it all to God. We are not the authority. Jesus Christ is the authority and we are only His instruments. Without Jesus in our lives, we have no authority. The works of the Kingdom of Heaven are performed through us. Our purpose is to witness about what God has done, is doing and will do. Just like Jesus, we are here to do the will of the Father. We need to learn to hear God’s instructions to us. We get so wrapped up in our little world that we forget that God can do the impossible. With God’s authority and power, we are to reach out and do the impossible. Until we realize that we have the authority of God in our lives we will never live victorious.
“One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” Luke 9:1-2 As God started me writing on victorious living, I felt that I was to write about our authority in Jesus Christ. It did not quite go in the direction that I first felt it would go. It went in the direction that to live victorious, we need to slow down and smell the roses or slow down and spend time with God. We are too busy to live the victorious life. It also went in the direction that we will have a hard time living victorious until we allow God to heal us. We carry so many hurts in our life that living victorious is near impossible. I know in my life if I am not allowing God to show me what He needs to heal, I have a hard time walking close to God so that I can live the abundant life. Now God is leading me to write about our authority in Jesus Christ. Until we realize that we do have the authority in Jesus, we will always live below what God has for us. In this scripture in Luke, we see Jesus giving the disciples the power and authority to carry His message to the world. We are His disciples and we have that authority. What is the power and authority? You are standing on a street corner waiting to cross the street, but there are cars coming. Suddenly a man in a uniform raises a hand. Instantly the cars come to a stop. The officer has little power in himself to stop […]
“The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.” 1 Timothy 1:5 “If your heart were right, then every created thing would be a mirror of life for you and a book of holy teaching, for there is no creature so small and worthless that it does not show forth the goodness of God. If inwardly you were good and pure, you would see things clearly and understand them rightly, for a pure heart penetrates to heaven and hell, and as a man is within, so he judges what is without. If there be joy in the world, the pure in heart certainly possess it; and if there be anguish and affliction anywhere, an evil conscience knows it well.” (Thomas A. Kempis) The book of Timothy is a book Paul wrote to Timothy instructing him in the ways of ministry; how the church should act toward God. The church Paul was writing about had moved away from their love of Jesus into their love for the law. It seems that we humans cannot just love Jesus and allow Him to love us. We see the same problem in the church today. If you don’t do certain things in a certain way, you are not really following God. Nearly all of Paul’s letters were talking about this same problem. The problem that we have to get our life right before we can come to God. No, this is a lie, we come to the love of God then we allow Him to change our lives. The quote from Thomas A. Kempis is from his book, “The Imitation of Christ,” In this book, he tells us that we need to be imitating Christ. Imitating Jesus […]
“So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!” Psalm 32:11 “A man is raised up from earth by two wings – simplicity and purity. There must be simplicity in his intention and purity in his desire. Simplicity leads to God, purity embraces and enjoys Him. If your heart is free from ill-ordered affection, no good deed will be difficult for you. If you aim at and seek after nothing but the pleasure of God and the welfare of your neighbor, you will enjoy freedom within.” (Thomas Kempis) We live in a fast and complex world today. It is so hard to find anything that is simple. We sometimes make victorious living so very hard and complicated when victorious living is simple, because the love of God is simple. There is nothing complicated about God’s love. We think that we have to work hard to earn the love of God. This is one of the great lies of Satan. God loves us and He has loved us from the beginning. In order to find the purity of the heart, we must realize how simple the love of God is. “How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 36:7
“I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.” Isaiah 48:10 “An iron cast into the fire loses its rust and becomes glowing white, so he who turns completely to God is stripped of his sluggishness and changed into a new man. When a man begins to grow lax, he fears a little toil and welcomes external comfort, but when he begins perfectly to conquer himself and to walk bravely in the ways of God, then he thinks those things less difficult he thought so hard before.” (Thomas A Kempis) It is amazing that if we are looking for rest, we must give it all to God and allow His fire to burn in our soul. It is so easy to walk with God when we allow Him to burn up the things in our lives that are getting in the way of our complete surrender to Him. To find that rest we are longing for in God, we must allow God to heal our wounds. We are carrying so many hurts in our spirit. No matter where you have walked in this life, you have wounds that God needs to heal. Some of us have more wounds than others and it takes us longer to find that rest that God has for us. Some of us are hardheaded and it takes us longer for God to convince us that He wants to heal us and give us His rest. It is only by the fire of God in our life burning up the chaff that we can have this rest. Total spirituality is living life forward but understanding it backward.
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice! That at times is the hardest thing that we can do is rejoice in the Lord. When our world is falling apart and we just don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, this scripture tells us to rejoice. This year has not been the best year to rejoice in the Lord. I should have known that it would be a year that would try my patience. God spoke to me the first of the year and told me that there was things in my life that needed to be corrected and He was going to lead me in the direction so that I could draw closer to Him. It has been one of those years. It has been a time of change, but it has been a time of rejoicing in the Lord. I have come to realize that God brings us through these hard times to show us how much He loves us and wants the best for us. In my case I am very hardheaded and it takes some time to get through to me. During this time of correction, God has never left me. His presence and His love has always been with me. Every day that I walk with God is better and better. I rejoice that He is with me showing me the […]