Monthly Archives: March 2014

God Commands Obedience

Deuteronomy 4:1-4
(1) Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you.
(2) Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
(3) Your eyes have seen what the Lord did because of Baalpeor: for all the men that followed Baalpeor, the Lord thy God hath destroyed them from among you.
(4) But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day.

Although, we are no longer under the law, but under grace, God still commands that we be obedient.

Romans 6:1-2
(1) What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
(2) God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

We are to use the grace and time given here on earth to be transformed into the image of Jesus. Jesus was obedient unto death. Jesus went about doing good and showed compassion. Jesus said that we are to take up our cross and follow him. The 10 Commandments have been wrapped up / summarized into two; (1) Love God and (2) Love one another.

I don’t think I have to tell you to read 1 Corinthians 13 to find out what love is according to God; or advise that you also read Matthew 5 (The Beatitudes) or 1st John, 2nd John and 3rd John which all speak about love. I guess that’s why they call him the Apostle of Love. I believe we all know the fundamental things about our walk as Christians. I now encourage you to be obedient to His word. Pray for me also, that I continue to allow God to lead and direct my steps.

James 1:19-22
(1) Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
(20) For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
(21) Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
(22) But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

I recommend we all read James chapter 1 about 10 times this week and let us move on to perfection in Christ Jesus our Lord. So that when He calls us home we’ll hear those faithful words “well done!”

Prayer: Father, I commit this week to know your ways better and to be obedient to what you’ve said and taught me through your word. Teach me how to love as you love with all wisdom and understanding that I may not be deceived; either by others or my own desires. Amen.

Are You Moved?

Nehemiah 8:9-10 (KJV)
(9) And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.
(10) Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Nehemiah was a prophet who was the cup-bearer (slave) of the Persian King Artaxerxes (Xerxes the Great) who had captured the Israelite people. He was taken away from Jerusalem and served in a fortress called Susa which was located east of Babylon at the northern part of the Persian Gulf. In chapter 1 of the book Nehemiah had been paid a visit by some of the Israelites who had returned to Jerusalem and they reported how bad a shape the city was in and Nehemiah wept, fasted (hint, hint) and prayed for many days.

In this chapter, the city has been rebuilt along with the temple and all the people were gathered for the reading of God’s Word as given to them by Moses in Sinai. When the people heard about all the things that they had done wrong and against God according to the law, they were very sorrowful and wept. I believe they were truly repentant.

So my question is this: Are you moved to repentance when you read God’s Word?

Acts 2:36-37 (KJV)
(36) Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
(37) Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

I believe in this season, it’s important that we come to a place where the Word becomes a two-edged sword piercing our hearts and bringing us to a place of change. I don’t like to use the “He’s coming soon” mantra, but we all have only a limited time here on earth. While we are here we are instructed and it’s God’s will that we be conformed to the image of Christ as much as possible and bear fruit. Some 30, some 60, some 100 fold.

While I was meditating on that, my thoughts went to the fruit of the spirit and all those were not external fruits. THey’re internal and I caught this revelation: bearing 30, 60 and 100 fold fruit can also mean the percentage of change that takes place in us. How much are we conformed to Christ’s image. Have you ever thought about that? I don’t know about you, but the more I learn about Christ the more I realize that I’m probably not even bearing 20 fold fruit. Selah.

I say that not to make you sad and weep, but to help you understand the grace that we’ve been given.

Hebrews 6:1-3 (NLT)
(1) So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God.
(2) You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
(3) And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.

In closing, join with me and let’s move on to greater things and better promises in Christ Jesus. Nehemiah fasted and prayed for God’s favour and God gave it to him. And when Nehemiah asked Xerxes for time to build and resources, he gave it to him and he was able to rebuild the city and temple. Selah (pause and calmly reflect on that)

Prayer: Father, you are holy and sovereign. You show your mercy toward me in so many ways and I thank you. I’m sorry that I’ve abused the grace and the cross. I’ve sinned against you and have held bitterness in my heart. I’ve been angry and sinned. Lord, show me what I must do and I will do it. I commit to you all my hopes and I follow after you to be changed into your likeness for your glory. Grant me favour among all the people even my enemies. Amen.

Humble The Soul

Psalm 35:13
But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.

If you’re looking to break free of the flesh and walk in the Spirit then you must develop a fasted lifestyle. Notice above that it says prayer returned…if your prayer life is lacking fire and answers, ADD FASTING. Many of you already know this favourite scripture of mine…

Matthew 17:19
(19) Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
(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.
(21) Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

You see, it’s because of unbelief that prayers go unanswered. Unbelief comes from the soul not the Spirit because the Spirit knows and does what God says. The Spirit was with God and created all things. So it knows that all things are possible with God. It’s our soul, imagined fear, faithlessness and doubt, that needs to bow to the truth, and that only happens when you put it under subjection.

1 Corinthians 9:27 (read the whole chapter it’s good food – pun intended)
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

I’ve already given you a testimony of how I delayed a 7-day fast for a year and when I finally obeyed the instruction, the Lord worked several miracles in me and in my life.

Today people of the world have fixated on themselves and their outward appearance. They have neglected the spirit to a point where they are walking dead men and women. Having an appearance of godliness, but denying the power thereof. Worse yet is we as believers know we are instructed to fast and yet we do not. We’d rather follow the scripture that says “eat, drink and be merry” (Luke 12:19), but if you read it in context it’s not a good motto. God calls that person a FOOL.

Matthew 6:17
(17) But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
(18) That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

Notice, Jesus doesn’t say “if” he says “WHEN” – meaning he expects us to fast. So why don’t we fast? Because it’s too hard [said with a winy childish voice for emphasis]?

I’m reminded of a story of a dog that was lying on a nail and complaining about the pain and when a passerby asked what’s wrong the owner said matter of factly, “he’s lying on a nail”. The passerby stunned then asks, why doesn’t he get off of it? To which the owner replies “I guess it’s not hurting bad enough”.

Mahatma Ghandi said “Be the change you want to see in the world”, but he also fasted for that change and the change came.

I know someone reading this will use poor health and life safety to excuse their inability to fast. I say, who do you trust more? Who can heal your incurable disease or change your spouse? Your doctor or your God. If it’s your doctor then don’t fast. If you trust God, seek His face and get medical advice on how you can safely fast and then trust God to keep you in the fast. Do not underestimate the power of fasting to change even your health. In fact, recently scientists have connected fasting with improved health.

Your soul will fight you tooth and nail in every area of your life, but once you’ve developed the ability to fast, it will weaken and you will see victory and growth in every area of your life.

When Israel faced potential annihilation by a wicked man named Haman, Esther and the people fasted and God helped them. There are countless testimonies both ancient and current. Start fasting and get your own testimony!

Task: Fast often.

Undefeatable Spirit…

2 Corinthians 11:22-33 (KJV)
(24) Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
(25) Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
(26) In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

I’ve only pasted a few of the verses here, but would encourage you to read the entire chapter (verse 1 to 33 – actually read the entire letter [Ken grins]. I want to point out that Paul is explaining, to the Corinthians, what he has gone through for speaking the truth about Jesus. He didn’t write these words to boast, but because there were people (false prophets, ministers, friends and enemies) speaking deception into the ears of the believers.

Now, I don’t want to speak about deception and how ministers have mishandled the Word of God; I want to encourage you with an understanding so important to our walk. But first, let me tell you how this Word came to me. My mentor was telling me a story and in the story he mentioned a minister who used the words “undefeatable Spirit” and that’s when I stopped listening for a moment as the Lord said, “take note of that”. I resumed listening to my mentor and when the meeting was over, I began to meditate on the the title of this message “Undefeatable Spirit”.

During my driving meditation (no radio, praying in tongues, weaving in an out of traffic [yes I need prayer ;-)]) this scripture came to mind:

2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

After all that Paul outlined in 2 Corinthians 11:22-33, how was He able to endure to the end and write “I have finish the race”? I know you know the answer…because of the Spirit that was in him. The Undefeatable Spirit of God! I looked up the word undefeatable and here is what the dictionary said:

undefeatable – incapable of being defeated or of accepting defeat

Spoiler alert; that same Spirit is in you!

Romans 8:11
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Romans 8:15
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Romans 8:18
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

John 16:33
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

The more we understand the Spirit, the more we’ll be able to tap into it and take authority over the devil and have complete victory in every area of our lives and even over the devils in the lives of others. Then life gets really fun! Hallelujah!

I’ll leave you with this:

Colossians 1:22-23 (KJV)
(20) And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
(21) And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
(22) In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
(23) If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

You see, nothing can separate you from the love of God. The only way you can be moved away is if you quit. Nothing can defeat you because you are in Christ and Christ has overcome the world. The same Holy Spirit that fell on Jesus during his baptism, is the same Spirit that raised him from the dead. That same Spirit created the entire universe and fell on Peter and the multitude during the day of Pentecost. And it is the same Spirit that is in you! Plain and simple! No if, ands or buts! If it were not so He would have told us. Oh hallelujah!!!!!

Confessions:

  • I will be unblameable, because I am undefeatable!
  • I will be unreproveable, because I am undefeatable!
  • I am unstoppable, because I have an undefeatable Spirit!
  • I will never quit because I have an undefeatable Spirit from an unbeatable God!

Walk in Love

Ephesians 5:1-2 (KJV)
(1) Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
(2) And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been on this WALK thing. I didn’t realize there were so many scriptures referring to “our walk” as believers; and I’m only pulling a select few.

Whenever, I’m studying and come across one, I make a note and add it to my list of studies. It’s important to note that WALK, IS AN ACTION word. Equally important to note is that I haven’t yet found a scripture that says “go ye sit in a pew”. Selah.

In any event, I want to talk about the walk of love. In Galatians 5, Paul lists the fruit of the spirit and at the top of the list is Love. In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul says, that out of all the spiritual gifts, love is the greatest and he then describes what love is. In the Book of Matthew, Jesus said that two commandments sum up the entire law and the prophets’ teachings:

Matthew 22:37-40 (KJV)
(37) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
(38) This is the first and great commandment.
(39) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
(40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Now I know most of you reading this would say you love God, but what about your neighbour? Here is what the Apostle John says:

1 John 4:20 (KJV)
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

Ouch!!!!

Okay, so now that I’ve picked myself up off the floor, I’ll tell you something my wife taught me several years ago while we were discussing our marriage and love. We determined (she taught me) that love is less of an emotion than it is a decision and commitment (we’ll celebrate 19 Years of marriage 0n July 22, 2014). I didn’t say I’ve been perfectly loving through the 19 years, but we’re still fighting the good fight of faith – to God belongs all the glory!

And so, as it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. We must decide to be committed to growing in and showing love. Jesus is our example. He could have used his will and rights to take himself off of the cross. However, because he loved us, he took the brutality and torture so that we could be reconciled to God. Let us not use that grace to trodden under foot the blood of Jesus.

John 15:2 (KJV)
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Let us bear fruit in love. Forgiving one another, making peace in our homes and communities; lest we be cast out of His everlasting presence.

John 15:13 (KJV)
(12) This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
(13) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
(14) Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

I always say it’s easier to take a bullet for someone than it is to lay down our pride and our personal desires. Let’s pray that the Lord help us to truly lay down our lives for the sake of Love, Joy and Peace.

Prayer: Father I surrender my will and pride to your loving power. Work in me, through your Holy Spirit a new thing, so that I may love as you love. Purge me from all unrighteousness and cleanse me of hidden bitterness and hate so I may truly love my neighbour/brother as myself.

Walk in Patience

Ephesians 4:1-3
(1) I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
(2) With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
(3) Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

I don’t know about you, but I really used to struggle in this area. In fact, I hate the word they use for patience – longsuffering – and I still have some challenges, but thank God they’re not like they used to be.

Years ago when both my business and I weren’t prospering and I saw others cheating and they were prospering, I would grow frustrated and angry. It seemed everyone was happy and satisfied, but me. I would lash out with critique and bitterness in my heart at everyone around me; often times moving myself out of the will and plan of God for my life.  I’ve since apologized to my wife and children.

Then one day, March 8, 2009 to be exact, I was reading Habakkuk and the Lord spoke a glorious revelation into my spirit. First, here is the scripture:

Habakkuk 2:2-3
(2) And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
(3) For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

Notice the last part, though it tarry…it will not tarry? I said “ah ha! a contradition in the Bible, just kidding, I actually said, Lord there are no contradictions in your word so what does this mean? And he said:

The first “tarry” is your expectation and time frame, the second “tarry” is My time frame. Your anger and frustration stem from your lack of patience and perspective in relation to the size of your vision and My timing to make it come to pass.

I cried and repented. If you notice the date, it was 5 years ago almost to the day that the Lord spoke and since then He has worked and continues to work out much of what I had envisioned. Hallelujah! To top it off, I have much greater peace and I’m not frustrated or envious of others and their prosperity. I just have to wait for the Lord to speak, do what He says and wait for it to come to pass. Hallelujah!!!!

Let me encourage someone who is having marriage challenges. As noted above in Ephesians – unity and peace shall be yours if you operate in patient love.

If you have a business that needs an income boost, consider James’ words:

James 5:7-8
(7) Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.
(8) You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

If you are sick in your body or needing energy, consider the words of Isaiah

Isaiah 40:31
Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

For those who have loved ones that are not yet saved…

Galatians 6:9
And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.

I’ve taken the verses out of context, but I wanted to show you this: If you put your trust in the Lord and “walk” patiently (meaning do not sit around doing nothing – do something with full confidence in the Lord) God will come through in due season. The something I would recommend you to do is the “four pillars” – Prayer, Fasting, Worship and the Word.

Prayer: Father, I put my full trust in you today. I will be patient in love and wait upon you in prayer and in all that I do. I believe you will in your timing work all things to my good. I thank you for the strength to endure to the very end. Amen.

Walk in Power

John 6:1-2 (KJV)
(1) After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.
(2) And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.

Quick question: How many of your unsaved friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances would inquire of your Jesus if you healed someone of a terminal illness, schizophrenia, depression or blindness?

If you look back on your years of church teachings (I’m looking back 15 years now) what percentage of ministers demonstrated any POWER? Yet, Jesus and the apostles and the early church constantly demonstrated POWER. It wasn’t a one off scenario; it was whenever and wherever they went. Even in Mark 6:5 / Matthew 13:58 where it is recorded that Jesus couldn’t perform many miracles, he still performed some and healed the sick.

Looking around again, how consistently is POWER (dominion) being taught in the church? I don’t know about you, but what I’ve heard is that the gifts are given in measure (as outlined in 1 Corinthians 12)…to one is given… The problem is those scriptures are always taken out of context and many skip right over 1 Corinthians 12:7 – But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. In fact, we have many more scriptures that speak to POWER than we do limitation. If you look in 1 Corinthians 1:7 you will see that the Corinthian church came behind (lacked) in no gift. Jesus himself said on several occasions “ask; pray; believe; receive;” – John 14:14 / Matthew 18:19 / Mark 11:23-24 / Matthew 21:22

Why do you think we’re not taught those scriptures? Why don’t we see more people (uh um…ministers) walking in power (myself included – for now)?

There are many reasons to which I’ll point out a few that I’m currently praying on:

  1. Unbelief = limited prayer and limited fasting
    Mark 9:29
    – And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
  2. Faithlessness = limited word and limited prayer in the Holy Ghost
    Jude 1:20 – But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
  3. Slothfulness = not willing to pay the price (Oprah, Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz, video games, movies, parties and socializing) have our attention more than God.
    2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
  4. Lukewarm = indifferent about bringing God’s Kingdom to the nations – when was the last time we asked “Lord what would you have me to do today?”
    Revelation 3:16 – “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth”

God confirms the preaching of His gospel with signs & wonders:

Mark 16:20
And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Today, the gospel is rarely preached or followed in it’s purest form and so there isn’t any reason for God to confirm it. Today, the Word and power are often mixed with the kingdom of darkness (the world’s philosophy and sin).

Last note: Jesus and the early church were prepared spiritually before the need for a miracle ever presented itself.

Task: If you want to walk in any level of power, whether that be answered prayer, dominion over depression, boldness or even healing the sick, then establish a prayer and fasting regiment and seek the gift giver – GOD. There is just too much at stake to do anything less than what His Word says.