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Overcoming Discouragement Part 1

By on April 24, 2019

Everybody in the world gets discouraged once in a while, and the devil will use discouragement to get you out of the will of God. He’ll use discouragement to cause you to speak wrong and to act wrong. You notice here that it says, Jesus will have the spirit of God upon Him, and it says that He will not fail nor be discouraged until He finishes the work God gives Him to do. He said, I’m going to set My face like a flint, and I refuse to fail. I refuse to be discouraged. I’m going to do what My Father sent Me to do.

You know, that’s the attitude we ought to have. We ought to be little willows that bend over with every wind that comes along. We ought to be strong oaks or mighty red woods that cannot be uprooted. The devil wants to send discouragement. We ought to resist discouragement. He’ll discourage you in many ways, but Jesus said He will not be discouraged nor fail until He has finished the job.

Notice what God says about Him and He says it about us: I have called You. Thank God His call has come to us. I have called You in righteousness. I will hold Your hand. No use to be discouraged. He’s going to hold your hand. I will keep you. Well, that’s enough. If He’s called you and holds you by the hand and says, I’m going to keep You, well, let discouragement come. You can whit it every time.

Many of you of you may be concerned and discouraged about your family, finances, business, circumstances, about yourself, about your body or even about people. People have a way of discouraging you. Children have a way of discouraging you. Husbands have a way of discouraging wives. Wives have a way of discouraging husbands. But what I want you to know is that we are well able as children of God to overcome all discouragement.

You know, the Bible talks about people – and I’m going to give you examples of people who got discouraged in the Bible and they overcame it.

Paul the apostle got discouraged. You know, it’s almost unthinkable that this great apostle could become so discouraged. But then again, we are made out of flesh. So, you CAN get discouraged. But you don’t have to stay discouraged.

Now, listen to what Paul says. He said, “For when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest. We were troubled on every side. Without were fighting’s, within were fears.” Paul had to fight fear.

Here’s this great apostle and he said all these troubles upon – we’re getting discouraged by the hour. Nevertheless God that comforteth those who are cast down – I want to say that to you.

God is the God who comforts those who are cast down.

Are you cast down today? Has something come into your life to discourage you? God is the God who comforts those who are cast down.

You may be cast down. You may have fighting’s without and fears within. You may have trouble on every side; but be of good cheer, Titus has come. I’m here as Titus to bring you comfort that Jesus will see you through.

So, we have Paul as one example. He fought discouragement.

PEOPLE GOING SOMEWHERE CAN GET DISCOURAGED

Numbers 21:4-5 says, “as the people journeyed, they became greatly discouraged.” You’re making a journey through life all the way to heaven; and on that journey sometime, you can get mighty discouraged. Nobody is beyond discouragement. And as they journeyed, the people became greatly discouraged.

Don’t get discouraged and give up. Keep your mouth shut if you’re discouraged. The Bible says, and the people on their journey were greatly, much discouraged; and they spake. That’s the biggest mistake you can ever do, is start speaking your mind when you’re discouraged.

The Bible also says, they were much discouraged and spake against God and against Moses. See, when you’re discouraged, if you’ll just keep your mouth shut, you won’t get into trouble. But if you open your mouth, you’re going to say, “Why God?” “Why did you do this to me, God?” “Why did you let this happen to me, God?” People today are shaking their fist in the face of God. Why? Why? Why? Let me ask you something: Don’t you know there’s not only a God, but there’s also a devil.

When you open your mouth and you’re discouraged, you’re liable to blame God and then you’re liable to blame the preacher. For goodness’ sake, don’t take it on me.

JESUS IS ALIVE! WHAT HIS RESURRECTION POWER WILL DO IN YOUR LIFE

By on April 17, 2019

Easter! We all know it’s not about Easter bunnies and colored eggs or candy. It’s about Jesus. More specifically, Jesus raising from the dead. But, do you know WHY that’s so important?

First off, it’s the one thing that makes it possible for you to receive forgiveness of sins by faith. 1 Corinthians 15:14 says, “If Christ be not risen, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is also in vain.” In other words, it’s the power of God to resurrect Jesus that makes your faith possible. Otherwise, the whole thing is a waste of time – from preaching to believing, to repenting and even praying. It all hinges on the resurrection of Jesus.

In verse 17, of the same chapter, we find that, “If Christ be not raised, your faith is in vain; ye are yet in your sins.” That’s right, if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, you and I are still lost and under the power of sin.

Why? Because when Jesus died for us, He poured out His blood as the price for our sins. “The wages (or payback) for sin is death. Something or someone dies when there’s sin. “Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission” of sins (Hebrews 9:22).”

Jesus gave His life as a substitute for you and me and for everyone else in the world, when, He died on the cross. His blood was given to purchase eternal life for you and me…and for anyone and everyone who will partake of the Gospel.

But, how do we know God accepted Jesus’ blood as the price for our salvation and eternal life? By the resurrection! If He had just died and His body rotted in the grave, we’d never know whether or not God accepted His sacrifice. We’d still be lost in our sins. It’s the resurrection that PROVES God accepted Jesus as our sacrifice and as the atonement for our sins.

That’s why, to be saved, one of the conditions is to BELIEVE that God raised Jesus from the dead. “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved (Romans 10:9).

Jesus died to pay the outrageous debt we incurred with God by our sinning. The evidence that God accepted Jesus is that God raised Jesus from the dead, conquering our last enemy, death.

The resurrection is also proof that Jesus really is who He said He was. Anybody could claim they were the Son of God. Some people might even be able to work miracles by the power of the devil, just to deceive people. But Jesus, after bringing the love of God to the multitudes, laid down His life, and took it up again.

Jesus, the Great Shepherd said in John 10:15,17, “…I lay down my life for the sheep. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it up again.”

Jesus laid down His life for us because He loved us SO much. He could look ahead and see your life, your pain, your sorrows, and also your deliberate sins and rebelliousness. Even with all that, He loved you enough to lay down His life for you. All this, so you could have a real chance to know God and walk with Him in this life. Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down His life for his friends (John 15:13).

Another thing about the resurrection of Jesus, is that by releasing your faith in the resurrection, you receive power over sin and self-destruction in your life.

The power in the Apostle Paul’s lie came from his faith in the resurrection of Jesus. He said his goal was this: “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection (Philippians 3:10).” It’s the resurrection power of God that gives you power over the sin in your life.

Romans 8:11 says, “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.” This means that, if you have the Holy Spirit in your life, God’s power will be released in you, so that you’re no longer ruled by your carnal nature and self-destructiveness.

If God could raise Jesus from the dead, couldn’t He raise YOU out of your sins? Couldn’t He raise YOU out of your hopelessness? Couldn’t He raise YOU out of that same old sin that keeps on taking you again and again?

Here’s a story told by Richard Hoefler in his book, Will Daylight Come. A little boy and his sister spent the summer at their grandparents. Grandpa gave Johnny a slingshot. He said, “be careful with this, and never shoot it at people or animals.

Johnny agreed and spent the next couple of days shooting trees, cans and rocks. On the third day, he saw Grandma’s pet duck swimming lazily on the pond. Without thinking, he let fly a big round rock across the pond. It flew through the air and hit the duck squarely on the head.

Scared of getting in trouble, Johnny ran out into the pond, grabbed the duck’s body and buried it under a pile of wood near the barn. When he stood up, proud of his quick thinking, he turned and saw his little sister, with both hands on her hips. She called him in the house to eat dinner, and never mentioned what she saw.

Johnny didn’t say a word throughout the meal. He kept waiting for his sister to tell on him. Instead, when dinner was over, and Grandma asked her to do the dishes, she said this: “Johnny told me HE wanted to do the dishes for the rest of the summer, Grandma!”

Then Sis turned and said super sweetly, “Isn’t that RIGHT, Johnny?” what could he do? He did the dishes! Each day, when it got time for chores, Sis had Johnny do HER chores as well as his! One day, he started to protest and she kicked him under the table and whispered, “Remember Grandma’s duck!”

After a few weeks, Johnny just couldn’t take it any longer. He went to Grandma and cried as he told her the full story. “I didn’t mean to, Grandma, but I killed your duck, and his the body!”

Grandma hugged him and said, “I know! I was standing at the window and saw the whole thing! I forgive you! But I had to wait until you came to me and told me what you did. I wondered how long you’d let your little sister keep you as her slave!”

It’s the power of Jesus’ resurrection that breaks the bonds of slavery and guilt off of us. When you and I know that Jesus paid the price for our sin, and that the Father loves us, we can come to Him for forgiveness and strength to overcome sin.

Realizing that nobody took Jesus’ life from Him, but that He willingly laid it down for you, because He loves you and helps you to be faithful to Him. You know that He loves you and believe in you.

Last, knowing that He’s been resurrected means this: He’s alive today to give you strength, power and help to overcome those forces that are trying to destroy you and your loved ones. You can call on Him and He will help you with His resurrection power. He has the power to pull you out of any situation and to plant your feet on the solid rock!

Hebrews 7:25 says, “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come to go by him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession (that means He’s praying for you) for them.”

Jesus is alive right now! Death couldn’t hold Jesus in the grave. That means that NOTHING can hold Jesus back in YOUR life, either! There’s NOTHING that is too great for Jesus to overcome in your life!

That’s why you NEED to turn your life over to Him. Give him your fears, worries, problems and sins. He’s able to handle ALL of it! If death couldn’t stop Him, neither can that problem that keeps coming back to you! Give it to Jesus and let Him prove His resurrection power in YOUR life!

HOW FAITH IN GOD CHANGES YOUR LIFE AND OPENS THE DOOR FOR GOOD TO COME

By on April 10, 2019

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 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 was it that Jesus didn’t 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 2 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 the same way. Both sin and unbelief 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 people’s 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 was 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 gave 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 and evil habits. 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.

Romans 5:1-2 says this about faith and having access to God: “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our 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, sex, education or past failures.

The Word of God literally transforms you from what you are in yourself to what you CAN be in God (Rom. 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 limitation 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 Linda’s and my life 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 a failure in life? That you’re inferior to other people? 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.

Getting to really know God is important that you’ll want to read His book more than anything else. Each day, feed your spirit on these good works 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 GO 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 OD 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 TEST. AND THE NEW TEST. THIS WAY, YOU’LL GET A WORKING KNOWLEDGE OF HOW THE PRINCIPLES OF FAITH OPERATE.

5. READ GOOD EDIFYING BOOKS AND MAGAZINES, AVOID DESTRUCTIVE MUSIC, TV AND VIDEOS THAT DAMAGE YOUR SPIRIT. IF IT DOESN’T STRENGTHEN YOU, TRASH IT. SAME WITH YOUR CASUAL CONVERSATIONS AND FRIENDSHIPS. STAY AWAY FROM NEGATIVE CONVERSATIONS AND CRITICAL PEOPLE. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you (2 Cor. 6:17).

Believe 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.

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