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You’ve got to know who your enemy is and who he isn’t

By on February 13, 2018

A neighbor quarrels with you over every little thing. It seems like not a Saturday goes by that she’s not complaining about something. Jesus told us to love our neighbor, but was He really including HER when He said that?

On the job, a coworker wants you out. So, he points out your faults to others, and stabs you in the back in front of the boss. He never misses a chance to make a snide remark about you or the work that you’re doing.

Even at home, you feel like the odd man out. Your family members are frequently thoughtless, uncaring and just downright mean to you at times. You feel like you’re surrounded by enemies. No wonder your patience wears thin and you find yourself snapping at people and losing your temper!

Well, guess what? Your enemy isn’t that neighbor. Your enemy isn’t that coworker. And, your enemy isn’t the other members of your household. No, your enemy is the devil. He doesn’t want you to know he’s your real enemy. He wants you to think that PEOPLE are your enemy.

People are NOT your enemies. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:12 that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Because we think that people are our enemies, we end up letting satan steal our money, our dreams, our happiness and our families. He diverts our attention by getting us to be angry against other people. This leaves him free to roam the earth, like a thief, attacking innocent victims.

Like any thief, satan hates the light, because the only way he can operate freely is to hide in a cloak of darkness. That’s why he wants to keep you and me in the dark. If you’re not aware of his wicked devices, he’ll be able to come back to you again and again and rob you, cheat you and harass you.

What’s the devil like? First of all, he is your adversary, or, one who is totally against you. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” He hates God, and since you’re in the image of God, he hates you, too. He wants to remove all that’s God-like from your character and to make you devilish. In Ezekiel 22:25, people under satan’s spell are described as, “…like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made many widows…”

Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill and to destroy: but I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Satan comes to steal from you. To take your joy, your hope, your possessions, and your position and to stop you from living the life that God plans for you.

Satan attacks us through trials, misunderstandings, distresses and disappointments. He wants you to be so overcome that you don’t even try to do any better. He wants to see you fall and never get up again. He’s trying to make your life deteriorate and become just a frustrating mess.

He speaks words against God, like it says in Daniel 7:25, to “wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change the times and the laws.” He’s trying to get you to become impatient with God’s timing, and to disobey God’s laws of sowing and reaping. Like a lion, he’s able to paralyze you with fear. He’s big, powerful, loud and ferocious. When he’s attacking, you feel like you don’t stand a chance. So you just throw in the towel, which is exactly what he wants you to do.

Then, the devil has a field day in your life. He comes and goes from your situation as the whim take him. He’ll stir up your neighbor against you, he’ll agitate your coworker and cause your family to resent you. You’ll be so upset that you don’t eat right, can’t sleep and get all worn down. Then, you’ll be grouchy, irritable and overly sensitive and negative.

Once you’re in this kind of worn out state, you’ll be talking and acting in such a way that satan no longer has to stir people up against you. You’ll be doing it yourself! Your own behavior will alienate you and keep God’s goodness from operating fully in your life.

What can we do about it? First of all, learn what God says about dealing with the devil. God said in Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Through our lack of knowledge, satan gets and advantage over us. He knows what he’s going to do, and we don’t. That gives him the ability to “surprise attack.”

Jesus said in John 8:32, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Read and study what God says about dealing with the devil in the Bible, “lest satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices (2 Cor. 2:11).” Satan will get a foothold in your life, in your finances through your ignorance. That’s why we need to gain information from the Bible to have the kind of knowledge we need to break the devil’s hold on our lives.

Second, we need to guard our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Guard your heart with diligence, for out of it flow the issues of life.”
Don’t allow satan to plant any of his thoughts there! Not even for a minute! Don’t entertain it. Once they’re in your heart, they WILL affect your life!

Third: don’t give satan ANY room to operate in. Ephesians 4:27 says, “Neither give place to the devil.” If you let him operate in just one area of your life, before long, he’ll be expanding his operations, and entering other areas. You can be sure of this – any place you give place to the devil, you will soon find hurt, pain and destruction. So, don’t give place to him to work in your life.

Fourth: Resist. He’s going to come back again and again, making new and more tempting offers, trying to find your hot button. He’s going to try to harass you and upset you, to get you to sin with your attitude, behavior and mouth. Here’s a nugget from God that’ll assure you the victory: “…Resist the devil and he will flee from YOU!” That’s in James 4:7.

Here’s the other part of breaking the devil’s foothold. It’s also in James 4:7: Submit yourselves to God.” Be obedient to the One who gives you power over the devil. Do what God says. Don’t just agree with it, but actually DO what He says. And stop doing what He says STOP. That’s where most people mess up. They have an area in their lives where they’re disobedient to God. In that one area, they DON’T resist the devil. Like a stubborn encyclopedia salesman, once he’s got his foot in the door, there’s no getting rid of him.

Through ignorance, misunderstanding and disobedience, satan gets an advantage over us. But through knowing what God’s word says and being obedient, satan loses that advantage.

Remember, it’s not your neighbor, your coworker or your family that’s your real enemy. Your real enemy is satan. So don’t ever be tricked into treating them like enemies. Understand that he might be using YOU to get to them, as well! When you say something, he might be twisting it the moment it comes out your mouth, and they might be responding to something you never even said!

You’re ignorant of satan’s devices. And, when you resist him, He will flee from YOU!

The Power of Choice…(so you don’t have to be the victim in life)

By on February 6, 2018

Many people live as victims in life. They take whatever life dishes out and they figure that whatever they get must be God’s will. God doesn’t do things like that. He says, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore choose life that both you and your seed may live (Duet. 30:19).”

When God talks about choosing life, that we might live, He’s talking about more than just having our hearts beating and our lungs processing oxygen. People are living longer nowadays than ever before in history, but they’re finding living to be a scary and difficult task.

We even benefit from more and more government concern and help with our problems. We have one of the highest standards of living in the history of the world. Many of the external circumstances in our lives have changed. But, on the inside, we’re just the same as we are when God gave us His words about how to live and what kinds of choices to make.

In the natural, our thinking is shaped and molded by the teachings of a secular society. That’s why there’s such a feeling of uselessness and lack of meaning. That’s why there’s such little sense of human worth in our society today.

One reason God gave us the dynamic principles in the Bible is to show us that we don’t need to allow negativism and defeat press us into the world’s mold and pessimism and emptiness. We don’t need to cave in to the feeling that we don’t have too much say in our own lives.

In your miracle book, the Bible, you’ll find that God’s will is for you to have an abundant life and to be blessed. Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10).” The choice is between life and blessing, or death and cursing. Then, He says, “Choose life (and blessing), that you might live.”

When you learn what kind of life is possible and is within easy reach, you get filled with hope. You discover that life is more than a series of twenty four slots of time to kill. We think we have to wait until we get to Heaven. But when you read the Bible, you find that Heaven is waiting for you.

Procrastination. Putting it off till later. That’s the main tool that the enemy uses to destroy people. He tells people that they can put off getting right with God saved until they’re ready to die. So, they spend their lives misery, and die expectantly and unprepared to stand before God.

The devil tells people that they’re just meaningless specks in a huge universe. That all they are is a series of chemical reactions that evolved from amoeba. He says, “You’re born, you live, you die. That’s it.”

When you don’t have any faith in an afterlife, you fall into a passive lifestyle, pampering yourself on a diet of mindless entertainment and embarking on a never ending quest for pleasures. You become a spectator in life, watching the world pass you by. You become like it. In Ephesians 2:12 it says, “…having no hope, and without God in the world.”

That’s why many people waste their lives feeling depressed and wondering what life is for. That’s why our society as a whole is being eaten away by the negative thinking that creeps into the minds of our people.

You were never created to spend your years in an emotional prison. You were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), and have the birthright to live usefully, with purpose and fulfillment. As you’re “transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2),” your life becomes focused, pleasing and satisfying, even though “a thousand fall at thy side, yea ten thousand at thy right hand but it shall not come near thee. (Psalm 91:7).”

There’s no such thing as a full and satisfying life just happening. Like it says in James 4:2, the greater the joy and blessing, you wish to have, the higher quality your choices have to be.

“He that soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly. But he that soweth bountifully shall also reap bountifully. (2 Cor. 9:6).” “Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall be also reap (Galatians 6:7).” God’s telling us this so we can decide BEFORE we take an action, if it will bring God’s blessing in our lives, or if it will just multiply sorrows.

Now is the time to make the choice. “Choose this day whom ye will serve (Josh. 24:15).” Since most of us hate decisions, many of us choose to just “not choose”, in case we’d do the wrong thing. So, instead of sowing good seed now, like God says to do, we put it off. As a result, many of us have lives that are caught up with “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, which choke the word and they become unfruitful (Matthew 13:22).”

Or, we avoid the immediate pain of making decisions and commitments. But what happens is that we then have to live with the chronic pain of making do with what we got instead.

It boils down to this. You and I have one life to live on earth. That’s why it’s important to make this one life less painful, less depressing and as fulfilling and satisfying as possible. That’s why God is giving us the benefits of living by free choice rather than as victims of blind chance.

The enemy, satan “blinds the minds of those who believe not (2 Cor. 4:4).” If you won’t use your faith, you’ll be blinded, you’ll lose vision. And, “where there is no vision, people perish (Prov. 29:18).”

You’ve GOT to choose how you’re going to live and whom you’re going to serve. God’s spiritual laws and principles cannot be broken without bringing bad results. They won’t bend or budge, no matter how hard you try to go against them.

Every good thing in life has a seed that has to be sown, an action that has to be taken, in order to bring it to reality in life. Choose that good seed, plant it, water it and never, never uproot it!

What about unexpected problems? Will they still come? YES! Of course! What do you do? You take it into account and plow around it, asking God for strength and guidance.

For example, one factor that a lot of people have a hard time dealing with is that things change. Circumstances don’t say the same. We have to stay flexible. That’s why in James 4:13-15 it says, “Come now, ye that say today or tomorrow we will go…and continue a year, and buy and sell, and get gain. Through ye know not what shall be on the next day. Ye ought to say if the Lord will, we will do these things.”

So, you choose, you plan, but you make your plans in the will of God and don’t assume that everything is going to happen just the way you planned. Otherwise, you’ll be upset and disappointed a whole lot in your life, because unpredictable things happen every day!

Second, you won’t ALWAYS win the way that you think you will. You won’t always be right. You won’t make the right decision. Being on earth means that life won’t always co-operate with your plans. That’s why you have to stay of a “ready mind” so when things DO fall into place, you’ll be in the place where you can receive.

You have to make the choice to be faithful and steady, no matter what. In every storm, in each trial, in every scrape and bruise, the Holy Spirit wants to give you an education. There’s a lesson that He wants to extract for you, so you won’t be caught off guard the next time around.

Be armed with this fact: The good fruit that you want in life doesn’t just grow. It has to be planted. And that’s a choice. The good fruits I’m talking about are love, happiness, friendship, prosperity, peace of mind; A satisfying career, a close walk with God, a happy family life.

Anything beyond just the basic blessings in life comes from the power of choice. Any good quality in your life has to be sown. It’s deception to try to live as though it wasn’t like that. If you try to delude yourself to thinking that they’ll just “happen”, you’ll be a frustrated and miserable individual.

Knowing what and when to sow. When you read and meditate in the Word, the Holy Spirit will plant certain things in your heart. He’ll put specific people on your heart to pray for and to speak to. He’ll reveal the seeds of what you’ll have to sow to bring these desires to pass
Once you know what seed you have to sow to activate God’s blessing, go ahead and sow it; get it over with! Don’t put off sowing your seed. “He that observeth the wind shall not sow…(Ecclesiastes 11:4).”

Don’t put off making that commitment to God, figuring you’ll do it next week or next year, or even tomorrow. Most of us have found that tomorrow never comes. Meanwhile, the problem gets deeper and more and more weeds spring up in your garden. “Now is the accepted time…(2 Cor. 6:2).”
The sooner you sow your seed, the sooner you’ll be able to enjoy the results of God’s blessing in your life!

The Secret Place where God has Hidden Treasure for you – It’s closer than you think!

By on January 24, 2018

God’s Word is manna from Heaven (John 6:58). When you eat earthly food, you get earthly strength; when you eat Heavenly food, you get Heavenly strength. That’s what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 4:4 when He said, “man shall not live by (earthly) bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

My calling as a Pastor is to feed you Heaven’s food, to give you strength from Heaven, so you can live in victory and holiness. 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 talks about the job of the minister as distributing God’s blessings to the people by exploring God’s secret. Yes! God does have secrets!

Many times the Bible refers to the secret things that belong to our God. For example, it says in Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

A secret is something that isn’t readily seen, or found out. It has to be revealed or explained. And that’s my calling as a minister of God’s Word.

In Matthew 13:44, Jesus told us that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure buried in a field. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hid in a field; which when a man hath found, he hideth, and from joy over it goeth and shelleth all that he hath and buyeth that field.”

The man found out about the riches that were hidden beneath the surface of the earth, and sold all that he had, so he could buy that field. Then, even though he had sold all that he had ever been able to get for himself, he was richer than he ever could have gotten on his own! Now, he had real estate AND the wealth of the treasure that was buried in the earth!

How could he sell all that he had? He could do it because of what he had SEEN! The treasure was there, no doubt. The man had seen it. All he needed in life was in that treasure hidden in the earth. The only way he could get the buying power to purchase that field was to sell all that he wanted more than anything!

Many people, in fact, anybody, COULD have gotten that treasure, but they didn’t. Like many Christians today, they didn’t have eyes for what was on the inside of that field. All they could see was what was on the surface. Most Christians won’t get rid of their old ways of thinking and believing in order to get the treasure that God has for them in life. They hang on to their old ways and lose out on the treasure that God has for them.

Who owns the field? The Bible says that “the earth is the Lord’s and all it containeth.” The field is God’s and the treasure, beneath the surface of the earth. What’s that got to do with you?

Simply this: God made man from what? Genesis 2:7 says “…God formed man of the dust of the ground.” Man “is of the earth, and is earthly (John 3:31).” Then, 2 Cor 4:7 says that WE are earthen vessels, or containers. It also says that THIS is where the treasure is. Specifically, “We have this treasure in earthen vessels!”

The field was an earthly container of a treasure and the Bible says YOU are an earthly container of treasure! The treasure, God’s treasure is on the INSIDE OF YOU!

That’s why we “look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are NOT seen. (2 Corinthians 4:18)”. We don’t look at the field, but at the treasure that’s beneath the surface of that field, in your heart!

Where is the treasure? Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Luke 12:34).” By adding the word, “also”, He was saying, where your treasure is. They’re the same place. Your treasure is already in your heart, on the inside of you.

That’s why Jesus said, “A good man (or woman, boy or girl), out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth a good thing. (Matthew 12:35).” When you have faith, you have on the inside of you the substance of the things God wants to bring into your life. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for…” And, Proverbs 4:23 says, “…out of the heart are the issues of life.”

Back to the man who bought the field. A few weeks after his buying the field, suppose a stranger was traveling past the field and noticed a great house, where the poor were being fed and missionaries were being cared for. He’d probably ask who lived there. When the answer came, the stranger would be shocked. The owner of that little field was also the owner of the house that was bringing great blessings to the world! All the abundance that was coming forth came from that little patch of earth!

“How does he do it, with just this little field? How can all this abundance come from these little patches of tomatoes, corn, wheat and melons that I see? There must be some other source! There’s more here than meets the eye!”

Exactly! Like it says in Hebrews 11:3, “things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” In other words, the great house, the food and clothes for the poor, the funds for the missionaries and the rooms for the homeless do not come from the crops of the field that you see. No, they come from the treasure in the field that wasn’t readily visible!

The treasure in the field is what brought forth all these blessings. The crops produced on the ground are almost worthless compared to what came from beneath the surface!

Other people had only seen that field for the few meager crops it could produce. But, the man who brought that field saw what could come from what the others couldn’t see. You’ll either live from what’s on the surface of your life, what can you do for yourself and get for yourself, or you’ll live by what God can do for you from His Spirit on the inside of you.

“The Kingdom of Heaven is within you,” Jesus said in Luke 17:21. That’s why I try to preach the Word to you, to get it into your heart. When you get the Word in you, it starts building up your inner spirit.

Then you begin to feel what God can bring forth in your life, if you’ll just let Him. Jesus said, “it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom (Luke 12:32).” It gives God PLEASURE to give to his children!

When you become aware of the treasure, the blessing of God that’s on the inside of you, you learn to draw out of that treasure and minister to others the things of Jesus Christ.

God’s secret hiding place is on the inside of you! The things of God begin on the inside and work their way outward, into your world. The inward produces the outward. It begins in the spiritual realm and works its way into the natural.

In the same way that sin begins on the inside, in the heart, so does righteousness and blessing. When man sinned in the Garden of Eden, he lost dominion, or control because control begins within. Control over his own spirit was lost first. That’s the way it is with all sin. Then, the sin came outwardly. The outward is a measure of the inward. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).

It’s by acknowledging that treasure in the field that your life changes. It’s by drawing on God’s grace and riches on the inside of you that you become a blessing in the earth. “The communication of thy faith becomes effectual by acknowledging the good things that are in you, by Christ Jesus. (Philemon 1:6).” Your faith begins to work effectively when you draw on that treasure placed on the inside of you, in your heart, by Christ Jesus.

So, stop acknowledging how things appear! Stop trying to live on the little bit that you can do for yourself! God has planted on the inside of you great wealth for meeting every need you have! Stop acknowledging or living by inferiority and lack! Begin to live on that treasure on the inside of you that treasure in the field! Let go of all that YOU have and partake of all that Jesus Christ has for you in God!

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Event Calendar

  • February 2018
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
     1 6:30 pm: The Wesley Class 23
4 12:40 pm: Men on a Mission Meeting 2 events5678910