Doing the things you HATE and not doing the things you WANT to do: Here’s how to get out of that trap.

By on March 27, 2018

We cheat on our diets. Lose tempers with loved ones. Sabotage our own dreams. Neglect good friendships while chasing after relationships that will bring us pain and possibly shame. All the while, loathing ourselves for it. The Apostle Paul described it like this in Romans 7:24, “Oh wretched man that I am!…”

7:19 – “That which I hate, that do I…”

One of the most forceful arguments that the devil is alive and thriving on our planet is the fact that so many of the things we crave are the very things that will wipe us out, over the long term. We just seem to be pulled to things that are detrimental to our health, long term happiness, true success and spiritual well-being. That’s why you and I are faced with a daily struggle to beat temptation. Usually, the temptation to take the path of least resistance; to take the easy way out and to ignore the consequences that will spring from what we’re doing.

The battle that you and I find ourselves in is one that most people are losing – badly. Too many people in our society find themselves apparently unable to deal with the inner forces that seem to program them for self-destruction and failure. That’s why so many of our friends find themselves swept along by the anything-goes rip tide that at first gets people in over their heads – and then crashes them on the rocks of emptiness and despair. “The way of the transgressor is hard…” “The wages of sin is death…”

“Take up your cross daily and follow me…” I strive to have a conscience void of offense to ward God and man…”

The campaign to stop self-destructing has to be won every single day of our lives. Not just in the areas of our major goals, but even in the little things. It’s because ANYTHING worthwhile has a price. Years ago I read that “Heaven knows the right price to put on its goods.” That’s as true today as it ever was.

If you and I will walk close to God and follow the principles in the Word, we will have the strength and wisdom given to us so we can make it. We’ll understand the price of being a disciple…and the rewards that come as a consequence of walking with God.

If we’re walking according to spiritual laws rather than using carnal reasoning, we’ll become consistent in our actions. And, we’ll follow through on our decisions and commitments. We’ll do what’s right instead of what’s easiest at the moment.

If you and I are going to have positive and meaningful lives, we will HAVE to be consistent. Consistent in our relationships, in our moods and emotions, in our commitments to God, in our church involvement…in every area. That’s what the Bible calls “having a PATTERN of good works.”

Most of us have a pattern of false starts and unfulfilled promises. Here’s why: we listen to our darker side when it tells us to make exceptions to what we know we should or shouldn’t do. Then, we say, “I REALLY shouldn’t, but… We’ll, just this once!”

Right here is where the most sainted among us gets wiped out. We make an “exception” to our own rules and our own standards. There’s the ONE time we’ll take something that we have no right to have. The ONE “exception” to our rule of never repeating gossip. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?!
This is the way we end up DOING the things we hate to do and NOT doing the things we KNOW we should do. It’s as simple as giving in to exceptions. We set high standards, and then we allow ourselves to cave in or compromise when an “exception” comes up.

“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes…” Pro. 21.12. Soon, the exception becomes the rule. We always have a reason why we can’t do the right thing instead of the easy thing. We mean well. We tell God that, tomorrow, we’ll be a lot better than we were today. Tomorrow, we’ll get back to our normal selves. It’s just today that we have this problem, and have to make an “exception”.

I’ve just described how easy it is to totally mess up a perfectly good life and a promising future. The only way to protect yourself from being ruined like this is to live by the rule of NO EXCEPTIONS. This is where you will need all the help you can get from Jesus. This is where you will need to draw all the strength you can through prayer and the Word.

We need to build up our resistance because there will always be someone who will come by to try to get you to make an exception “just this one time.”
This is the moment you HAVE to draw on every ounce of strength that’s in you. To be STRONG and tough it out. Be able to say, “NO.” And STICK WITH YOUR COMMITMENT.

You and I have to walk by faith instead of by our senses. Otherwise, we’ll make exceptions just because we’re “tired.” Or “lonely”. Or “down”. Or “not feeling too good.” Or “bored”.

Gal 6.7 – “Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap…”

See, you can either play now and pay later or pay now and play later. It makes more sense to PAY now and PLAY later.

To get the rewards that God promises to those who will walk with Him by faith, we have to make it a personal creed to do the right thing whether or not we happen to feel like it at the moment. If we don’t FEEL like doing the right thing today, odds are that we won’t FEEL like it tomorrow either. So, do the right thing right NOW!

One way that the enemy wipes out multitudes of sincere people is by…

You can end up in the situation where you’re so far off track that it will take major help to get you back on! You get to where you’re already gone so far over the line that the next “exception” won’t make much difference anyway…You’ve already muffed it so bad, you might as well go all the way!
The making of exceptions is how we end up doing the very things that we loathe. So, how do we break the cycle?

It begins by understanding the Bible principle of salvation. Where Jesus came into your life while you were yet in sin (missing the target in life) and redeemed what was left – and strengthened the things that remained.

On days that you’ve blown it, instead of sinking deeper, you want to repent. You stop before you go from being all wet to crashing on the rocks. Even if you FEEL like one more transgression won’t hurt, you stop anyway. You change your mind and attitude. So, you turn around midstream. You salvage the day, instead of pushing further out from shore…and being lost at sea.

Now, we’ll explore MORE principles for pleasing God and living an upright life when most people are flat on their backs.
• The secret of salvaging bad days. ADMIT to yourself that you’ve already tolerated intolerable behavior. Just because you just drank a beer, or popped a pill, or over ate DOESN’T mean that whatever ELSE you do won’t count! Catch yourself before you go from bad to worse! No matter WHAT you tell yourself, going ahead and drinking another beer, popping another pill, taking ANOTHER bite DOES hurt.

No matter HOW bad you’ve blown it, doing more ISN’T going to make things any easier for you. But it WILL make things WORSE! Learn how to rescue your bad days. Anybody can do well on a GOOD day – only those who draw on the strength of God can move ahead on a bad day.

• You’ll learn three keys to being consistent.
1. Realize that EVERYTHING has a comeback. A result. An outcome. Is the outcome from what you’re doing something that you’ll feel comfortable with when it comes?

2. Understand that PAYING IN ADVANCE is the way to get anything worthwhile. The bad stuff you pay for later. GOOD STUFF YOU PAY FOR UPFRONT. BAD STUFF YOU PAY FOR AFTERWARDS.

3. FAST FORWARD YOUR LIFE – Use the “How will I feel about this in a month? A year? 5 years? 20 years? On the Judgement Day? Since tomorrow will definitely become today, you want to have sown the seeds for a good today.

The fast forward person will be likely to be moderate in eating habits. The inconsistent, live for how I feel right now person will be munching away at snack foods and junk.

The fast forward person will be reading and learning as much as possible about outcomes and results. The live for right now person will spend more time watching TV. A fast-forward person will be more likely to emphasize growing, producing, learning and working. The inconsistent person will emphasize relaxing and playing and recreation.

If you’re a fast forward person, when tomorrow becomes today, you’ll have a lot fewer problems than right now.
• You’ll learn how to make headway even when everything and everybody’s against you. This comes when you operate by PRINCIPLES rather than how you feel at the moment. Understand what produces the kinds of results you want in each area of your life, and stick to the principles that produce them.

No matter WHAT happens and WHAT other people are saying about you, you’ll be able to stick to your course and get the best of what God has planned for you, anyway.

Bringing Your Dreams into Reality: How to make it happen for you!

By on March 13, 2018

One thing that most of us have in common is this: None of us want to be average and ordinary. God put it on the inside of you to want to BE somebody and to DO something SPECIAL with your life. He out it into your heart to make your life count for something.

When I meet people, one question I like to ask them is, “WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU HAD NO LIMITATIONS?” If you could live your life any way you choose…what would you do with it? What would you be in life?

These are your dreams. Then, I usually ask a second question, specifically, “IS IT HAPPENING FOR YOU?” Are you at least WORKING on a way of bringing it to pass? Can you at least see a time in the future when you’ll be able to fulfill that purpose in your life? If you keep on doing like you’ve BEEN doing, is it likely to happen for you?

I hate to say it, but most people sadly shake their heads and say, “No…it isn’t happening that way at all.” And then they tell me about the reasons it isn’t happening for them and probably won’t happen in the future.

Reasons like getting married too young, or marrying the “wrong” person, not going to college when they had the opportunity, taking the wrong job, being too old, too young, too late, too early, too big, too ugly, too small, not smart enough, or any other of about a dozen factors that I won’t bore you with.

The next question I ask is, “DO YOU REALLY WANT TO JUSTIFY YOURSELF OUT OF YOUR DREAMS?” It’s too easy to whittle our dreams down to match the size of our lives. That’s a lot easier than stretching our lives to make them the right vehicle for taking us to our dreams.

The problem with putting our life’s dreams on the shelf is that they never go away. They’re always there, saying, “This is how your life COULD be; and SHOULD be.” And, in your heart of hearts, you know it’s TRUE. And, that’s unsettling.

Fortunately, they don’t HAVE to be few. Or far between. Those times are given to you to REMIND you that your dreams are given to a YOU for one reason; to be lived out and fulfilled, so you can fulfill the purpose that God put you on Earth for.

My purpose in life as a minister of the Gospel is FIRST, to help people to come to Jesus, so they can live the kind of life that Jesus purchased for them on the cross; and to be able to live that kind of life not just here on Earth, but to continue to live it in the hereafter.

Secondly, my purpose, or the calling that God has put on my life as a Pastor is to help as many people as possible to discover their purpose in life and then to help them to live it. To ME, that is success. I have been successful in God if that’s how my life’s spent.

And, thanks to the hundreds of responsive people who also want to break out of the rut of a dull gray average life, my purpose is being fulfilled – the dream is happening.

Now, I want to help it to happen in YOUR life. I want to help you to have it happen like it is for so many who have desperate enough for it that THEY DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

What’s the difference between those whose lives are rich, full and filled with purpose and those who live meager, empty and frustrated lives? I can tell you this much: Those who are living their lives in accordance with the dream that God put in their heart aren’t any smarter than other people. In fact, some of them have lower than average people and have frustrated lives? Some of them are what you would possibly call “homely.” And they’re not any richer, luckier, healthier or any of the other things that you might want to use to justly yourself out of a satisfying and full life.

NO, LIKE I SAID EARLIER. THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT THEY WANTED IT SO BADLY THAT THEY FINALLY DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

They went out on a limb, they took a step in faith, they made a vow to God, they took a risk…and something incredible started to happen on the inside of them. New vision came to them. A new sense of purpose was born in their hearts. Zeal returned. Joy was awakened.

And God began to open doors of opportunity to them that had seemed IMPOSSIBLE – out of reach just a few months before. Things like having a bad credit report from “the old days” wiped clean…being able to send a kid to college on scholarships…being able for the first time to buy a decent car, at affordable payments…getting a raise and a promotion on a job where the boss had been “out to get” the employee…having people who owed money for years, big money, suddenly decide to pay it back…All these things are happening for people, because it’s a part of fulfilling their purpose and living out the dream that God put into their hearts.

I know YOU have a dream. Something that maybe you haven’t taken out and looked at lately. Because when you do, it only makes you sad. But, on the other hand, it has never completely died.

I want to urge you: STIR UP THE DREAM THAT’S INSIDE OF YOU! LEARN TO DREAM AGAIN! GET OUT THERE AND FIGHT FOR YOUR DREAM! FIGHT MEDIOCRITY AND AVERAGENESS AND BECOME SOMEBODY! SOMEBODY WHO IS LIVING LIFE – ABUNDANTLY!

I’d like to know what God has put into your heart. Even if it was several years ago and it sort of seems silly to you now. I know a man who had a dream to open a home for abused children more than 20 years ago. He and his wife have recently opened that home, fully staffed and licensed, and are caring for about a dozen abused children. All because they nurtured their dream for more than 20 years and refused to let it die!

BRING YOUR DREAMS INTO REALITY, and see what’s instore for you!

How Faith in God Changes Your Life and Opens the Door for Good to Come

By on February 27, 2018

Prayer works, when you believe. When you read your Bible, faith comes. And that faith that comes from reading and feeding on the Word of God will soon lead you to start praying in faith. You won’t be praying those weak, whining prayers of people who don’t believe God. Your praying becomes different when your believing becomes different.

God hasn’t run out of power. That’s one thing you realize as you spend time getting to know Him through your Bible. No, God hasn’t run out of power, some people have run out of faith.

Why didn’t Jesus do many miracles when He went to His own hometown? Matthew 13:58 says that, “He didn’t do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Unbelief limits God. He isn’t limited by time. God isn’t limited by lack. He isn’t limited by sickness, education, skin color, age or any other thing that we think limit what He can do in our lives.

The only two things that limit God are sin and unbelief. Sin in your life will hinder God’s moving and working in your situation. And, unbelief in your heart will hinder Him in the same way. Both can cause people to live as if there was no Almighty, All powerful God in Heaven.

Isn’t it unbelief that kept the children of Israel out of the Promised Land? Hebrews 3:19 says, “that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” It wasn’t their sin that kept them out there wandering around the wilderness, surrounded by enemies. It was their unbelief. When they stopped believing God, that’s when they got into sin. Many peoples’ lives today are like that. They feel like they’re wandering around in a wilderness, surrounded by hostile forces.

Like the children of Israel, your faith shapes the world you live in. That’s what Jesus meant when He talked about removing mountains by faith (Mark 11:23). That’s what Jesus was talking about when He told about having trees plucked out by the roots, and replanted using faith (Luke 17:6). It’s what He was proving when He spoke to the useless fig tree that was cumbering the ground, and it withered up, right there on the spot. (Matthew 21:20-21).

God has given you the measure of faith from Heaven so you can rearrange your life here on earth. He have you His Word, so you can know His will, and then He gave you faith, so you can bring His will into your daily world.

Jesus was teaching us to remove that mountain of sin. To pluck out that tree that blocks your path, and put it into the right place in your life. He’s telling you to speak to that situation that just isn’t getting any better, and let God’s power deal with it!

Listen to this. Jesus said “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost comes upon you…(Acts 1:8).” There is a power in the Believer that’s incredible, and God is waiting for us to stand up and live as the sons and daughters of God on the earth.

That’s why we have to allow the Holy Spirit to renew our minds by the Word of God, like it says in Romans 12:2. As we grow in spiritual understanding, we learn how to release our faith.

God is no Respecter of persons. This means that He is not partial, or that He doesn’t play favorites (Acts 10:34). You have the same access to God that Peter had, or Paul or even your favorite minister on TV or radio. Wow!

Romans 5:1-2 says this about faith and having access to God: “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through your Lord Jesus Christ; by Whom also we have access by faith…”

That’s why I press so hard for people to read God’s Word, to get filled with faith and then to act on that faith. People have found that, when they feed on God’s Word, believe on it and then ACT on it, that God is not limited by their age, gender, education or past failures.

The Word of God literally transforms you from what you are in yourself to what you CAN be in God (Romans 12:2, 2 Cor. 3:18). Faith in God is what transformed a little shepherd boy into a giant killer. Then, by faith in God, David the shepherd boy became king. In Judges 5:7, faith in God turned a housewife, a mother in Israel into a prophetess and leader. In Acts 9, a murderous Saul the persecutor of Christians into Paul the Apostle of God. The power of God to change your life is not limited! The only limitations is what you’ll ACT on!

Your life is only as limited as your faith in God. If you don’t like what you’re receiving, then get into the Word of God and change what you’re believing! Change from faith that is weak and unsure to faith that is strong and giving glory to God!

God says in Isaiah 55:11, “My word…shall not return to me void, but it SHALL accomplish that which I please and it shall prosper.” God’s Word accomplishes and prospers wherever it’s sent, or wherever it’s applied! That’s why you need to find out what God says about your spiritual life, and then apply his Word to it.

That’s why you need to find out what God says about your family and relationships, and then apply, or send His Word into those situations. A major change came into my wife and I lives when we discovered what God said about true spiritual riches. We applied His Word to our lives, responded to His call to ministry, and He has supplied our every need.

After spending time in the presence of God, you slowly begin to realize that you have the same basic brain cells, muscles, nerves, heart and spirit as anyone else has.

The difference in life comes from the faith in God that a person uses to release His power through those brain cells, muscles, nerves, heart and spirit. That’s what propels a person to victory…faith in God!

Because so many people are afraid to use their faith, they have to be pushed and prodded and encouraged. Because He cares so deeply, God has sent me to people who need a little extra nudge, or who need a little extra care and feeding.

What you’ve been believing has shaped your life up to now. What have you been believing? That you’re inferior to other people? That you’re inadequate? That you’re doomed to poverty? These negative beliefs short circuit your faith from Heaven and cause you to act, speak and feel against God.

Get into your Bible and feed your spirit on Heaven’s food! God has no “variableness.” There’s not even a shadow of Him turning from being the Giver of every good and perfect gift! That’s what James 1:17 says, Read it!

Getting to really know God is so important that you’ll want to read His book more than anything else. Each day, feed your spirit on these good words from God. Think on the promises of God, these self-fulfilling prophecies He’s given us in His Word.

When you do this, you’re shaping your thinking. When you speak and act according to what you read in the Word, you’re bringing God’s blessings from the inner part of your life to the outside realm where you live.

To change your life by faith in God, try this on a daily basis:
1. Spend 10 minutes asking God to show you what you can do differently on your job, in school, your church and in your family. Give these 10 minutes totally to God. Tell Him you want to let Him do His best in you.

2. Using your faith, begin to experience in advance having God at work in the different areas of your life. Experience in advance the joy of answered prayers and of total victory as God moves more and more in your life.

3. Jot down a promise or two from your Bible reading and carry it around with you. Throughout the day, run these words from God through your mind, developing habits of active, living faith.

4. Increase your knowledge of God, and of His spiritual laws. Read in both the Old and New Testaments. This way, you’ll get a working knowledge of how the principles of faith operate.

5. Read good edifying books and magazines. If it doesn’t strengthen you, trash it. Same with your casual conversations and the people you hang around. Stay away from negative conversations and critical people.

Believe in God! Let Him save you and forgive you! Let Him change your life from the inside out, by the power of His Word and His faith operating in your life!