Is Love a Part of Your Life Foundation? (part 4)

Sixteen things you should do with love.

5.19.2024

We are an antidote to the messy world we live in. Salt. Light.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (J B Phillips)

But you must realize that in the last days the times will be full of danger. Men will become utterly self-centered, greedy for money, full of big words. They will be proud and contemptuous, without any regard for what their parents taught them. They will be utterly lacking in gratitude, purity and normal human affections. They will be men of unscrupulous speech and have no control of themselves. They will be passionate and unprincipled, treacherous, self-willed and conceited, loving all the time what gives them pleasure instead of loving God. They will maintain a facade of “religion”, but their conduct will deny its validity. You must keep clear of people like this.

Matthew 24:12 (MSG)

For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in—nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes.

1 John 4:7-21 (NJKV)

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Last time, we covered 5 things about love:

1. Jesus gave the Jews two commandments to love that absorb the TEN.

2. Jesus gave believers a new commandment which, if obeyed, fulfills all others.

3. Love cures strife and keeps the dark kingdom out of your life.

4. Jesus introduced the concept of loving your enemies to the disciples.

5. This love is like an alien to our world.

Today:

Are you focussing on loving God and loving others, or are you focusing only on getting your personal needs met?

The NT repeats the admonition for us to love.

Teachers, politicians, parents, leaders in various fields of endeavor repeat what they say for added emphasis.

SO, here are 16 things you should do with love.

1. Use the love that God has deposited in you!

Don’t waste what He gave!

Romans 5:5 (NKJV)

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Why did He give it to us?

To love the people we are having a hard time with…

I have a bag full of tools in my truck. They help me. A wrench. A screwdriver. Pliers, etc.

God put love in your spiritual toolbox.

If you can’t remove the nut from the bolt, use a wrench!

If you can’t unscrew the screw, use a screwdriver!

2. Be real with people as you love them.

Nobody trusts a smarmy, unreal, put on, showy demeanor.

Are you the real deal, or do you put on?

Romans 12:9-10 (AMPC)

[Let your] love be sincere (a real thing); hate what is evil [loathe all ungodliness, turn in horror from wickedness], but hold fast to that which is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another.

 

3. Do nothing that hurts, offends, or takes away from another person’s life.

Romans 13:8-10 (NLT)

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. 9 For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.

Starts with your family…

If you do, go make it right.

After a growth spurt in love in my own life, I sent letters to people I thought I had been harsh with…

After I met Jesus, I called and apologized to a girl I hurt.

4. Make love the biggest achievement in your life.

On your tombstone – Here lies ________. He/she loved people.

1 Corinthians 14:1 (AMPC)

EAGERLY PURSUE and seek to acquire this love; make it your aim, your great quest; and earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual endowments (gifts), especially that you may prophesy (interpret the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching).

 

5. Let your words, thoughts, actions, motives, and deeds line up with putting others and their needs above your own.

1 Corinthians 16:14 (NKJV)

Let all that you do be done with love.

Ask yourself, is this love?

Before sending that text or email, is it love?

I have a personal policy of waiting 24 hours before responding when I get upset about something.

 

6. Allow your faith to work by being motivated by a heart of love – for God and others.

Galatians 5:6 (NLT)

For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.

Lack of love in relating can hinder your faith!

 

7. Use your God-given freedom for others and not just for yourself.

Galatians 5:13-14 (NLT)

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Ask each day, what have I done for someone else today.

I read one of these books from a person who says they had a near death experience and when they were in heaven they found that no one did anything for themselves, they only did things for others. Never for themselves.

When I focus only on me, I lose something. When I focus on others, I gain something.

 

8. Ask God to help you grow in love in each relationship you have.

1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 (NLT)

And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. 13 May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen.

 

9. Mimic God by loving others the way He loves you.

Ephesians 5:1-2 (NKJV)

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

He loves you when you’re on your game, and when you’re having a lousy day.

Give grace and space to others. You’ll need it one day.

 

10. Let your love for them be the first thing people notice about you.

Colossians 3:12-14 (NLT)

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.

Your clothes are the first thing people notice about you…

 

11. Let love be your normal response to every situation.

Hebrews 13:1-2 (AMPC)

Let love for your fellow believers continue and be a fixed practice with you [never let it fail]. 2 Do not forget or neglect or refuse to extend hospitality to strangers [in the brotherhood—being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for through it some have entertained angels without knowing it.

12. Love intensely.

1 Peter 1:22 (NKJV)

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,

Meditation in the Word will change your thoughts and develop love…

 

13. Love others as if they were a part of your family.

1 Peter 3:8 (NKJV)

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;

1 Peter 3:8-9 (MSG)

Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. 9 That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.

 

14. Let your love for people cover their mistakes.

1 Peter 4:8 (AMPC)

Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others].

Proverbs 10:12 (AMPC)

Hatred stirs up contentions, but love covers all transgressions.

Love does not broadcast other people’s failures…

Did you hear about…

Some people make it their job to share negatives…

 

15. Would others know that you are a Christian simply by how you treat them?

1 John 3:14 (NKJV)

We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.

 

1 John 3:14 (AMPC)

We know that we have passed over out of death into Life by the fact that we love the brethren (our fellow Christians). He who does not love abides (remains, is held and kept continually) in [spiritual] death.

 

16. Would your prayers be answered if they depended on how you currently love others?

1 John 3:22-23 (NKJV)

And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.

 

Paul’s prayer for the church to grow in love…

Ephesians 3:14-21 (NKJV)

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

 

Philippians 1:8-9 (NKJV)

For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,

 

Action Points:

1. What would need to change in my life for others to notice the love of God in Me?

2. What do I need to change to put love first in how I relate to others?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Love a Part of Your Life Foundation? (part 3)

Five Things We Need to Know about Love

5.12.2024

Review

This is my 3rd attempt to work through this outline!

Let’s see what the Holy Spirit does today!

Matthew 5:13-16 (NKJV)

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

The number one light in us is the love of God!

1 John 4:7-8 (NKJV)

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Romans 5:5 (NKJV)

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

1 John 3:14 (NKJV)

We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.

Two words set this kind of love apart:

Unconditional.

Self-sacrificial.

What life does to me is determined by what life finds in me!

When we choose to live life in the context of the love of God, friction in relationships decreases and listening, and slowly responding take the forefront.

Am I living selfishly, and is the most important opinion in the room my own?

Am I able to approach people with whom I do not agree in a kind, honest way, without blaming or blame shifting?

Can I be taken advantage of, misunderstood, or be blamed for something I did not do and be not bothered the least by it?

God has given us an ability to love, and to deal with hurtful words and actions from others.

Human love has self interest at the center.

God’s love has God’s interests as the center of all. What God thinks and how He cares about a person is most important when love rules.

Love is both the foundation and motivation for the kingdom of God.

 

Love is the central theme of all that God is and does.

 

*A step out of Love is a step away from God into darkness and into Satan’s territory.

*There is no spiritual growth without growth in love…

 

5 things we need to know about love:

1. Jesus gave the Jews two commandments to love that absorb the TEN.

Matthew 22:35-40

Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”(37) Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'(38) This is the first and great commandment.

Mark and Luke add…all your strength.

Mark 12:30 (NKJV)

And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.

Love for God is shown by obeying Him!

John 14:21 (NKJV)

He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

**If you are sleeping around, living with a person you are not married to, lying, cheating, holding grudges, gossiping, lashing out in anger when you don’t get your way, who do you love?

John 14:23-24 (NKJV)

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

Luke 6:46 (NKJV)

But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?

Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV)

Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

1 John 2:3-4 (NKJV)

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

Back to Matthew 22:

Matthew 22:35-40

Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”(37) Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'(38) This is the first and great commandment.

(39) And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (40) On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

They sum up our responsibilities towards both God and our fellow man.

Love God

Love your neighbor as yourself

Ask yourself these questions as you go through your day:

Is what I’m doing, saying, thinking, etc., showing my love and devotion to Jesus?

Would I want what I am saying ,doing to this person done to me?

If you love completely, you will not break any of the Ten Commandments.

You won’t curse using God’s name.

You will honor your parents.

You will not lie.

You will not covet other people’s property.

You will not commit adultery, or fornication, or lust…

You will not worship idols.

You will not murder, or hold a grudge…

You will not steal.

Romans 13:8-10 (NLT)

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. (9) For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (10) Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.

2. Jesus gave believers a new commandment which, if obeyed, fulfills all others.

John 13: 34-35

(34) A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (35) By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

As I have loved you:

Peter, I have prayed for you that your faith fail not…

Bread dipped in olive oil given to Judas. A token of honor.

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do…

 

How we treat people shows if we are Jesus lovers or not…

Not Bible Knowledge

Not Church Attendance

Not Church work

 

1981- Lady began to quote scripture…

What do people think about when they think of you?

Love, God’s love, is the greatest witness you have to those around you.

How are you doing showing the love God gave you to others?

3. Love cures strife and keeps the dark kingdom out of your life.

There is a huge rise in the demonic realm. You can feel it in the atmosphere as the spirit of Antichrist asserts itself worldwide.

It is creating an antagonism between races, nations, men, women, religions, politics, you name it, it is creating an angst!

James 3:14-16 (NKJV)

But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. (15) This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. (16) For where envy and (strife) self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

James 3:14-16 -Amplified

(14) But if you have bitter jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry, selfish ambition) in your hearts, do not pride yourselves on it and thus be in defiance of and false to the Truth. (15) This [superficial] wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual (animal), even devilish (demoniacal). (16) For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices.

Strife is necessary for Satan to work at his best!

As oxygen fuels a fire – strife fuels darkness.

What happens when you starve a fire of oxygen?

Cover your candle in a jar with the top and what happens?

Satan seeks to stifle your walk with God through strife.

 

1 Corinthians 3: 1-3

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. (2) I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;(3) for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?

Babies are sweet until they don’t get their way.

Philippians 2:3 -KJV

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

 

2 Timothy 2:24 -NKJV

(24) And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, (25) in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, (26) and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

 

4. Jesus introduced the concept of loving your enemies to the disciples.

Matthew 5: 38-44 – NKJV

You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth…

Deuteronomy 19:21 (NKJV)

Your eye shall not pity: life shall be for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

Matthew 5:39

(39) But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also…

Proverbs 20:22 (NLT)

Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.” Wait for the LORD to handle the matter.

Romans 12:17-18 (NLT)

Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

1 Peter 3:9 (NLT)

9 Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.

Matthew 5:40

(40) If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.

(41) And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. (42) Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. (43) “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

Leviticus 19:17-18 (NKJV)

You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

Matthew 5:44

(44) But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, (45) that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (46) For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? (47) And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? (48) Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

 

They were accustomed to eye for eye tooth for tooth. I will do to you what you do to me. This love was foreign to them.

Matthew 5:44-48 (Message)

I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives His best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.

 

5. This love is like an alien to our world.

1 John 3:1-NKJV

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

This Love is a Stranger

What manner of – Gk – potapen –

from what country, tribe or race; something foreign;

Other translations – from what far realm; what unearthly; how otherworldly…

Wuest, Volume III, p. 143

The foreign kind of love produced in us by the Holy Spirit constitutes us a foreign kind of person to the people of this world, and since they do not understand foreigners, people of a different race from themselves, they simply do not understand Christians. Children of God could just as well have come to earth from a strange planet so far as the people of the world are concerned. They are strangers to them.

This is by far the most difficult thing you will ever do.

 

This love will cause people to notice a difference in you, and will become the oil as it were in the machinery of relationships.

Action Points:

1. What would need to change in me for the two great commandments to get top priority each day?

2. What makes the love of God look so different from human love?

3. Talk about Matthew 5:43-44 and how it could change a current difficult relationship.

4.30.2019

A Word to my Enemies

 

You are not really my enemies at all…in reality you are some of the best friends I have.

 

I speak in sincerity and truth, there can be no perfection in the lives of God’s elect without the chastising work of a real enemy. When a friend extols all my good virtues and praises me from their heart of true friendship, I feel nothing but love for them. But when I hear of an enemy who has unjustly brought shame upon me, there rises up a spirit of defending myself, and a spirit of “righteous indignation” to refute the enemy. It is then that the wrongness of my own spirit I see in me, the things I did not know were there before. With repenting and sorrow of heart I cry to God, and He delivers me from that which I have seen in my life. It was hidden, lying dormant, until you, my beloved enemy brought it to light with your crucifying process. The prophets of old would never have had the glory of being stoned for the Word of God – no martyr’s crown could ever have been won by early Christians without real enemies.

 

You see, I cannot crucify myself, and my friends will not do it. So it takes you, my enemy, to bring me to the cross. And to the cross I must come, if ever I am to come to the glory of perfection. But I have much progress yet to make before coming to the image of my lovely Jesus. There is much I must yet learn. And you, my enemy, are teaching me. I have learned that the road to glory is by the way of the cross. Without you I would not have found the way. I’m sure if you knew the good your efforts are working out in my life, you would not want to help me so much. But the work is being done, and I have learned to love you because of it. “Love you enemies” He said, and I wondered how I could do it. But you have taught me. For because of you I have grown in God, increased in His grace, and partaken of His divine nature.

 

Your work has been sharp and cutting, and many times I was hurt and wounded deeply. But out of these trying experiences I have come forth a better Christian, and further on my way to being an overcomer. I doubt that you will receive any rewards for your lies and your efforts to destroy me, for “woe unto them through whom these offenses come.” But I want you to know that though your loss may be great on the Day of Judgment, I love you and appreciate the ministry you have had in perfecting this life of mine.

 

Bill Britton

 

 

 

 

 

Is Love a Part of Your Life Foundation? (part 2)

Five Things We Need to Know about Love

4.21.2024

Review

Matthew 5:13-16 (NKJV)

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

When I open up and let God love me, it revolutionizes who I am.

It changes how I think of myself, and how I treat myself, and that changes how I treat others!

God IS LOVE!

1 John 4:7-8 (NKJV)

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

We are reexamining our spiritual foundations this year!

Love is the foundation for a growing walk with God.

Faith works by love – Galatians 5:6

Galatians 5:6 (NKJV)

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

I plant flowers every April for the spring/summer months.

To do so, I must prepare the soil and use something other than the red clay we have here in NC!

Flowers grow very well if the soil is right!

Love is the soil on which the plant of faith thrives!

The love of God will enable us to represent Jesus in a day of divisiveness, disagreement, and darkness.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (MSG)

Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people.

Matthew 24:12 (MSG)

For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in—nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes.

By the Holy Spirit, God has placed an amazing kind of love within us so we can make a difference in the harsh climate of today.

Two words set this kind of love apart:

Unconditional

Self-sacrificial

What life does to me is determined by what life finds in me!

When we choose to live life in the context of the love of God, friction in relationships decreases, and listening, along with slowly responding, take the forefront.

Am I living selfishly, and is the most important opinion in the room my own?

Am I able to approach people with whom I do not agree in a kind, honest way, without blaming or blame-shifting?

Can I be taken advantage of, misunderstood, or be blamed for something I did not do and be not bothered the least by it?

God has given us an ability to love, and to deal with hurtful words and actions from others.

Human love has self-interest at the center.

God’s love has God’s interests as the center of all. What God thinks and how He cares about a person is most important when love rules.

When I came to Jesus, I was introduced to a love I had never experienced that revolutionized how I think about me.

And that changed how I treat others. How we think about ourselves has a direct bearing on how we treat others.

My fruit reveals my roots.

Over the next few weeks, we are going to examine what love looks like.

I encourage you to allow the Lord to deal with you about what the Bible terms walking in love. Or we would call it living a lifestyle of love.

This could transform everything about life for you.

Love is both the foundation and motivation for the kingdom of God.

 

Love is the central theme of all that God is and does.

 

*A step out of Love is a step away from God into darkness and into Satan’s territory.

*There is no spiritual growth without growth in love…

 

5 things we need to know about love:

1. Jesus gave the Jews two commandments to love that absorb the TEN.

Matthew 22:35-40 (NKJV)

Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Love for God is shown by obeying Him!

John 14:21 (NKJV)

He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

John 14:23-24 (NKJV)

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

1 John 2:3-4 (NKJV)

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

They sum up our responsibilities towards both God and our fellow man.

Love God

Love your neighbor as yourself

If you love completely, you will not break any of the Ten Commandments.

You won’t curse using God’s name.

You will honor your parents.

You will not lie.

You will not covet other people’s property.

You will not commit adultery.

You will not worship idols.

You will not murder.

You will not steal.

Romans 13:8-10 (NLT)

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. 9 For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.

2. Jesus gave believers a new commandment which, if obeyed, fulfills all others.

John 13: 34-35 (NKJV)

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

 

  • Not Bible knowledge
  • Not church attendance
  • Not church work

 

1981- Lady began to quote scripture…

What do people think about when they think of you?

Love, God’s love, is the greatest witness you have to those around you. How are you doing showing the love God gave you to others?

3. Love cures strife and keeps the dark kingdom out of your life.

James 3:14-16 (NKJV)

But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and strife self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

James 3:14-16 (AMPC)

But if you have bitter jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry, selfish ambition) in your hearts, do not pride yourselves on it and thus be in defiance of and false to the Truth. 15 This [superficial] wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual (animal), even devilish (demoniacal). 16 For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices.

Strife is necessary for Satan to work at his best!

As oxygen fuels a fire – strife fuels darkness. What happens when you starve a fire of oxygen?

Cover your candle in a jar with the top and what happens?

Satan seeks to stifle your walk with God through strife.

 

1 Corinthians 3:1-3 (NKJV)

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?

Babies are sweet until they don’t get their way.

Philippians 2:3 (KJV)

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

 

2 Timothy 2:24 (NKJV)

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

 

4. Jesus introduced the concept of loving your enemies to the disciples.

Matthew 5: 38-44 (NKJV)

You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

 

They were accustomed to eye-for-eye tooth-for-tooth. I will do to you what you do to me. This love was foreign to them.

Matthew 5:44-48 (MSG)

I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.

5. This love is like an alien to our world.

1 John 3:1 (NKJV)

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

 

This Love is a Stranger.

What manner of – Gk – potapen –

from what country, tribe or race; something foreign;

Other translations: from what far realm; what unearthly; how otherworldly…

Wuest, Volume III, p. 143

The foreign kind of love produced in us by the Holy Spirit constitutes us a foreign kind of person to the people of this world, and since they do not understand foreigners, people of a different race from themselves, they simply do not understand Christians. Children of God could just as well have come to earth from a strange planet so far as the people of the world are concerned. They are strangers to them.

This is by far the most difficult thing you will ever do.

 

This love will cause people to notice a difference in you, and will become the oil, as it were, in the machinery of relationships.

Action Points:

  1. What would need to change in me for the two great commandments to get top priority each day?
  2. What makes the love of God look so different from human love?
  3. Talk about Matthew 5:43-44 and how it could change a current difficult relationship.

 

 

Is Love a Part of Your Life Foundation? (part 1)

Five Things We Need to Know about Love

4.21.2024

Introduction

We are reexamining our spiritual foundations this year!

Love is the foundation for faith. Faith works by love – Galatians 5:6

Galatians 5:6 (NKJV)

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

I plant flowers every April for the spring/summer months.

To do so, I must prepare the soil and use something other than the red clay we have here in NC!

Flowers grow very well if the soil is right!

Love is the soil on which the plant of faith thrives!

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (MSG)

Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people.

Matthew 24:12 (MSG)

For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in—nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes.

By the Holy Spirit, God has placed an amazing kind of love within us so we can make a difference in the harsh climate of today.

1 John 4:7-21 (NLT)

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. 13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.

18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other because he loved us first. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.

Two words set this kind of love apart:

Unconditional

Self-sacrificial

What life does to me is determined by what life finds in me!

God has given us an ability to love unlike anything we experience without Him.

Human love has self at the center. God’s love has God as the center of all.

When I came to Jesus, I was introduced to a love I had never experienced that revolutionized how I think about me. And that changed how I treat others.

Over the next few weeks, we are going to examine what love looks like.

I encourage you to allow the Lord to deal with you about what the Bible terms walking in love. Or, we would call it living a lifestyle of love.

This could transform everything about life for you.

SO:

How’s Your Love Life?

Years ago Tina Turner sang – What’s love got to do with it?

Answer – Everything!

Love is both the foundation and motivation for the kingdom of God.

 

Love is the central theme of all that God is and does.

 

A step out of love is a step away from God into darkness and into Satan’s territory.

There is no spiritual growth without growth in love…

 

5 things we need to know about love:

1. Jesus gave the Jews two commandments to love that absorb the TEN.

Matthew 22:35-40 (NKJV)

Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

They sum up our responsibilities towards both God and our fellow man.

Love God.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

If you love, you will not break any of the Ten Commandments.

You won’t curse using God’s name.

You will honor your parents.

You will not lie.

You will not covet other people’s property.

You will not commit adultery.

You will not worship idols.

You will not murder.

Romans 13:8-10 (NLT)

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. 9 For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.

2. Jesus gave believers a new commandment which, if obeyed, fulfills all others.

John 13: 34-35

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 

· Not Bible knowledge

· Not church attendance

· Not church work

 

1981- Lady began to quote scripture…

What do people think about when they think of you?

3. Love cures strife and keeps the dark kingdom out of your life.

James 3:14-16 (NKJV)

But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

James 3:14-16 (AMPC)

But if you have bitter jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry, selfish ambition) in your hearts, do not pride yourselves on it and thus be in defiance of and false to the Truth. 15 This [superficial] wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual (animal), even devilish (demoniacal). 16 For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices.

Strife is necessary for Satan to work at his best!

As oxygen fuels a fire, strife fuels darkness. What happens when you starve a fire of oxygen?

Cover your candle in a jar with the top and what happens?

Satan seeks to stifle your walk with God through strife.

 

1 Corinthians 3:1-3 (NKJV)

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?

Babies are sweet until they don’t get their way.

Philippians 2:3 (KJV)

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

 

2 Timothy 2:24-26 (NKJV)

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

 

4. Jesus introduced the concept of loving your enemies to the disciples.

Matthew 5: 38-44 (NKJV)

You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

 

They were accustomed to eye for eye tooth for tooth. I will do to you what you do to me. This love was foreign to them.

Matthew 5:44-48 (MSG)

I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.

 

5. This love is like an alien to our world.

1 John 3:1 (NKJV)

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

 

This Love is a Stranger

What manner of – Gk – potapen

from what country, tribe or race; something foreign;

Other translations – from what far realm; what unearthly; how otherworldly…

Wuest, Volume III, p. 143

The foreign kind of love produced in us by the Holy Spirit constitutes us a foreign kind of person to the people of this world, and since they do not understand foreigners, people of a different race from themselves, they simply do not understand Christians. Children of God could just as well have come to earth from a strange planet so far as the people of the world are concerned. They are strangers to them.

This is by far the most difficult thing you will ever do.

 

This love will cause people to notice a difference in you, and will become the oil as it were in the machinery of relationships.

Action Points:

  1. What would need to change in me for the two great commandments to get top priority each day?
  2. What makes the love of God look so different from human love?
  3. Talk about Matthew 5:43-44 and how it could change a current difficult relationship.

 

And Loving Not My Life Even Unto Death

Meera Short

April 14, 2024

Today I will share with you something that at the end of my last message the Lord began stirring in my heart.

Revelation 12:11 NKJV

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

This verse is teaching us about “overcoming.” A war has broken out, Satan is cast down from heaven into the earth, and no longer is he able to go before God to bring accusations about His people.

In light of me using my base scripture from the Book of Revelation, and being overcomers, I sense with a deep conviction in my spirit that we are indeed living in the last days before Jesus comes back. My heart is to convey that the Lord wants to help us to persevere and keep our eyes on living a life that will cause us to indeed overcome.

In this scripture, we are given three keys that allow one to overcome and defeat Satan.

1- The Blood of the Lamb – this is Jesus. Pastor Hagin talked about this during his evening sermon (04/11/24).

2- The Word of their testimony – This is the message of what Jesus has done. It is used in this context 15 times in scripture, and it’s just not a story of your life. It is a story of how God and His Word has manifested, transformed and changed our lives. It is more than just mere words, it is how we live every day, hour, minute, and second.

3- And they did not love their lives to the death – this is the key that I want to expound upon today.

It seems to me that we tend to quote this verse of scripture partially. And when the last part of the sentence is stated, that we tend to think of martyrdom.

The “Selfie” World – Self-Love will cause us to fail:

The word overcome means to prevail, to gain the victory. If the scriptures teach us that we can overcome, then the implication that is also understood is that we can fail to overcome.

The Bible tells us that we are to love others like we love ourselves.

Matthew 22:39, Leviticus 19:18, Luke 10:27, Mark 12:31, Galatians 5:14

These scriptures are not telling us that we must learn to love ourselves. It is being stated with the assumption that we already do love ourselves.

We feed ourselves, clothe ourselves, protect ourselves, provide for ourselves, bathe ourselves, take care of ourselves. If we look around long enough, we see that the world around us has no problem loving ourselves.

Culturally, I would say that we are in love with the idea of ourselves. I call it the selfie world generation. Our media is filled with images, reels/videos, of people who are constantly posing and showing us their best images and self-talk. Everyone wants to be acknowledged, heard, praised, propped up, receive the thumbs up and the hearts. We have no problem with loving ourselves. It’s a lie that we have to love ourselves more in order to love others.

What Jesus and the apostle Paul were pointing out here is regarding the care that we offer to ourselves in wanting to have our basic, life-sustaining needs met. We must also want to see that these needs are met in the lives of others.

Corrupting Self-Love:

The world’s way, the culture around us, promotes happiness and self-love. This can cost a believer more than they expect to pay. Here are some self-love cliches that we hear:

“Follow your heart, listen to your inner voice, stop caring about what others think.”- Roy T. Bennett

“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” – Allen Ginsberg

“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.” – Coco Chanel

“Be your own celebrity. Chase your own self. You are worth infinite treasures of this planet.” – Hiral Nagda

“Don’t sell yourself short; you are your best asset.” – Matshona Dhliwayo

“Don’t compromise yourself – you’re all you have.” – John Grisham

“To shine your brightest light is to be who you truly are.” – Roy T. Bennett

These are twisted statements. It places all of the emphasis on being the best you. There is nowhere in the Bible that God tells you to be the best you. God has called us to be like Jesus. He has called us a “new creation.” We have been called to walk in the spirit, not our “self,” not our flesh.

Galatians 5:13-26 Easy to Read Version (ERV)
My brothers and sisters, God chose you to be free. But don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do what pleases your sinful selves. Instead, serve each other with love. 14 The whole law is made complete in this one command: “Love your neighbor the same as you love yourself.” 15 If you continue hurting each other and tearing each other apart, be careful, or you will completely destroy each other.
The Spirit and Human Nature
16
So I tell you, live the way the Spirit leads you. Then you will not do the evil things your sinful self wants. 17 The sinful self wants what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit wants what is against the sinful self. They are always fighting against each other, so that you don’t do what you really want to do. 18 But if you let the Spirit lead you, you are not under law. 19 The wrong things the sinful self does are clear: committing sexual sin, being morally bad, doing all kinds of shameful things, 20 worshiping false gods, taking part in witchcraft, hating people, causing trouble, being jealous, angry or selfish, causing people to argue and divide into separate groups, 21 being filled with envy, getting drunk, having wild parties, and doing other things like this. I warn you now as I warned you before: The people who do these things will not have a part in God’s kingdom. 22 But the fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these kinds of things. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their sinful self. They have given up their old selfish feelings and the evil things they wanted to do. 25 We get our new life from the Spirit, so we should follow the Spirit. 26 We must not feel proud and boast about ourselves. We must not cause trouble for each other or be jealous of each other.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 AMPC
But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear]. 2 For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane. 3 [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good. 4 [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God. 5 For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].

The scripture speaks for itself. We lack no evidence that this is untrue. Our culture is seeped in self-love. Our conduct is filled with attitudes that are demanding that our needs be met, that we are heard, that we are understood, we seek to constantly self-protect. Which causes us to be suspicious of others and their motives. We are defensive with others. We tear others down in our hearts in order to build ourselves up. We think that speaking our minds at the cost of hurting and silencing others that disagree with us is normal and Christ-like. We lack honor and respect towards authority. All of this is because we are loving ourselves.

What if Jesus came to have His needs met, or to be heard, or to be understood, what if He sought to protect Himself? What if He was suspicious of us? What if He defended Himself when accusations were brought against Him? In fact, the scriptures say that He never defended Himself when He was accused. He loved not His life even unto death.

Hebrews 12:2-3 JB Phillips

Surrounded then as we are by these serried ranks of witnesses, let us strip off everything that hinders us, as well as the sin which dogs our feet, and let us run the race that we have to run with patience, our eyes fixed on Jesus the source and the goal of our faith. For he himself endured a cross and thought nothing of its shame because of the joy he knew would follow his suffering; and he is now seated at the right hand of God’s throne. Think constantly of him, enduring all that sinful men could say against him, and you will not lose your purpose or your courage.

AMPC
2 Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith Give and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.

If we seek to fulfill the best version of ourselves instead of who God has called us to be, we will certainly fail to overcome the enemy.

Dying to self – a key to overcoming Satan:

Matthew 16:24-26 AMPC
Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also]. 25 For whoever is bent on saving his [temporal] life [his comfort and security here] shall lose it [eternal life]; and whoever loses his life [his comfort and security here] for My sake shall find it [life everlasting]. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life [his blessed life in the kingdom of God]? Or what would a man give as an exchange for his [blessed] [c]life [in the kingdom of God]?

Here in this passage of scripture we hear Jesus telling His disciples that in order to follow Him they must deny themselves, their interests, their rights, and take up their cross and follow Him.

He is telling them this right after He told them that He was getting to suffer and give His life.

Matthew 16: 21-23 AMPC
From that time forth Jesus began [clearly] to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders and the high priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised from death.

Then here comes Peter, to His rescue – 22 Then Peter took Him aside [i]to speak to Him privately and began to reprove and charge Him sharply, saying, God forbid, Lord! This must never happen to You!

Jesus’ response to Peter

23 But Jesus turned away from Peter and said to him, Get behind Me, Satan! You are in My way [an offense and a hindrance and a snare to Me]; for you are minding what partakes not of the nature and quality of God, but of men.

Jesus’ response here is telling. He is telling us that Peter is concerned with the things of the flesh and that this is an offense to Him. Peter is concerned about his life here on this earth; Jesus is concerned about redeeming mankind and reconciling them to Father!

Jesus came to give His life, even at the cost of pain and humiliation, “The Cross.” He died to His own rights. He tells us that in order to follow Him, we too must be willing to take up our cross and follow Him. This cross is the way of abasement (to lower oneself) and having the willingness to suffer humiliation and rejection for His sake.

Dying to self is denying yourself the right to self-satisfaction, self-promotion, self-preservation, self-reliance, basically self-entitlement based on an over-inflated image of oneself. It’s not denying yourself of a necessity or even a desire such as a nice vacation, home, car or a certain meal. What I am speaking about here is denying ourselves of things that will harm others and compromise our walk with God. Our motives directing the lives that we live are key. Meaning, that everything I gain in this life is done with the motive of loving and serving God and loving and serving others.

If I pursue a career, I first pursue this with the mindset of: Is this God’s plan for me? How can I make Jesus known and the kingdom of God expand? Whatever we do, we do for the glory of God. What we do is not for people to see us; it is for them to see Christ in us.

1 Peter 1: 18-21 MSG

Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you. It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.

If it cost Jesus His life for me, and He paid for me in this grand exchange, I do not belong to myself. I have no rights of my own will.

Again, we are living to overcome!

The Little Foxes that distracts us and brings ruin:

Throughout the entire Bible, we see Jesus. We see Him beckoning us onward, and we see the promise of His coming.

Song of Solomon 2:15 TLB

The little foxes are ruining the vineyards. Catch them, for the grapes are all in blossom.

In context of this scripture (read Song of Solomon 2), the grapes are blossoming, the woman’s eyes and ears are on her beloved, and she looks over to see that there are foxes on the grape vines. It’s like we begin to walk with Jesus, we are born again, and begin bearing fruit, then here comes the distractions.

Everything in light of eternity is small and short. Our lives in this physical body are short. If we live 120 years, that is but a grain of sand in comparison to all of the sand in the earth. Yet, we make choices that will wound us, wound our testimony, and make us fall short every time.

We compromise and flirt with the flesh.

James 1:14 KJV

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

Remember Galatians 5, the flesh is at war with the spirit.

We may think that we are willing to die for Jesus, that we will not accept a mark or denounce His name, but if I can’t say NO to sin now, to lying, to cheating, to loose living, to illicit sex and addictions, hatred, disdain, vengeance towards others, how will I be able to stand then? If I cannot be uncomfortable now, how will I be uncomfortable when it is forced? It’s a lot to truly consider.

Romans 6:1-14 NCV
So do you think we should continue sinning so that God will give us even more grace? 2 No! We died to our old sinful lives, so how can we continue living with sin? 3 Did you forget that all of us became part of Christ when we were baptized? We shared his death in our baptism. 4 When we were baptized, we were buried with Christ and shared his death. So, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the wonderful power of the Father, we also can live a new life. 5 Christ died, and we have been joined with him by dying too. So we will also be joined with him by rising from the dead as he did. 6 We know that our old life died with Christ on the cross so that our sinful selves would have no power over us and we would not be slaves to sin. 7 Anyone who has died is made free from sin’s control. 8 If we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. 9 Christ was raised from the dead, and we know that he cannot die again. Death has no power over him now. 10 Yes, when Christ died, he died to defeat the power of sin one time—enough for all time. He now has a new life, and his new life is with God. 11 In the same way, you should see yourselves as being dead to the power of sin and alive with God through Christ Jesus. 12 So, do not let sin control your life here on earth so that you do what your sinful self wants to do. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to serve sin, as things to be used in doing evil. Instead, offer yourselves to God as people who have died and now live. Offer the parts of your body to God to be used in doing good. 14 Sin will not be your master, because you are not under law but under God’s grace.

Praise be to God, that He can help us in our weaknesses.

1 Corinthians 10:13 AMPC
For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and [c]adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently. 14 Therefore, my dearly beloved, shun (keep clear away from, avoid by flight if need be) any sort of idolatry (of loving or venerating anything more than God).

We have to choose, and He tells us He will help us! Jesus is our mediator, and He is rooting for us all the way.

Things to Consider:

**The goal of this is to consider anything that we feel we have a right to. The truth is, we have no rights to our own way of things. If we have given ourselves to the Lord, we have been purchased with the price of His life, and our life is not our own.

Is there anything, or anyone that I am loving more than Jesus that causes me to compromise my walk with Him?

Is there anything that is causing me to compromise what is clearly against scripture simply because it makes me feel good?

Am I willing to give up being comfortable if it causes me to compromise Godly principles? A job, a friendship/relationship, a habit?

Am I willing to serve God and others even when it’s not pleasant?

Do I seek vengeance? Do I hurt others when they hurt me?

Am I willing to give up my right to be right when it leads me to strife? Will it accomplish any good?

Am I holding on to unforgiveness because it’s my right to do so?

 

Nurture a Strong Foundation of Spiritual Authority in Your Life!

Submit to God and Exert Your Authority in Christ

4.7.2024

3 reasons for problems:

1. Physical Issue. Diet/rest/illness

2. Sin Issue/personal responsibility issue

3. Demonic Influence

There is an intense and increasing spiritual resistance that we must deal with today!

Just before Jesus returns, there will be increased spiritual resistance!

It’s happening right now!

Revelation 12:10-12 (NLT)

Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has come at last— salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth— the one who accuses them before our God day and night. 11 And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. 12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens! And you who live in the heavens, rejoice! But terror will come on the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you in great anger, knowing that he has little time.”

1 Timothy 4:1-3 (NLT)

Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. 2 These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead. 3 They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten with thanks by faithful people who know the truth.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (MSG)

Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. 2 As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, 3 dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, 4 treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. 5 They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people.

2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 (BBE)

For the secret of evil is even now at work: but there is one who is keeping back the evil till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then will come the revelation of that evil one, whom the Lord Jesus will put to death with the breath of his mouth, and give to destruction by the revelation of his coming; 9 Even the one whose coming is marked by the working of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 And with every deceit of wrongdoing among those whose fate is destruction; because they were quite without that love of the true faith by which they might have salvation. 11 And for this cause, God will give them up to the power of deceit and they will put their faith in what is false: 12 So that they all may be judged, who had no faith in what is true, but took pleasure in evil.

2. Adam gave our spiritual authority on earth away to our enemy!

We lost our spiritual relationship with God and our authority over our spiritual enemy when Adam, the first man sinned.

Genesis 1:26 (NKJV)

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Hebrews 2:5-8 (NLT)

And furthermore, it is not angels who will control the future world we are talking about. 6 For in one place the Scriptures say, “What are mere mortals that you should think about them, or a son of man that you should care for him? 7 Yet for a little while you made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. 8 You gave them authority over all things.” Now when it says “all things,” it means nothing is left out. But we have not yet seen all things put under their authority.

Luke 4:5-6 (AMPC)

Then the devil took Him up to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the habitable world in a moment of time [in the twinkling of an eye].

6 And he said to Him, “To You I will give all this power and authority and their glory (all their magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, and grace), for it has been turned over to me, and I give it to whomever I will.”

Adam’s (or mankind’s) authority over the earth was transferred to Satan when man sinned (it has been turned over to me).

3. Jesus transferred to us our lost authority over Satan and the demonic realm!

This is what we must be grounded in today!

Jesus is the prototype new creation man!

As He is, so are we!

1 John 4:17 (NKJV)

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.

Colossians 1:15-18 (NKJV)

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

This is what we must be grounded in today!

Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Mark 16:17-18 (NCV)

And those who believe will be able to do these things as proof: They will use my name to force out demons. They will speak in new languages. 18 They will pick up snakes and drink poison without being hurt. They will touch the sick, and the sick will be healed.

James 4:7 (NLT)

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7 (GW)

So place yourselves under God’s authority. Resist the devil, and he will run away from you.

James 4:7 (NCV)

So give yourselves completely to God. Stand against the devil, and the devil will run from you.

Colossians 1:13 (NKJV)

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,

Colossians 1:13 (NCV)

God has freed us from the power of darkness, and he brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son.

Colossians 2:15 (NKJV)

Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Colossians 2:15 (NLT)

In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

Colossians 2:15 (NCV)

God stripped the spiritual rulers and powers of their authority. With the cross, he won the victory and showed the world that they were powerless.

Ephesians 2:6 (NLT)

For He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.

4. Be aware of these 40 signs of a spiritual attack:

Though we have authority, we must on purpose resist and assert our spiritual authority!

Spiritual slackness and laziness will cost you!

Ephesians 6:10-13 (NLT)

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.

Satan is a liar! He trafficks in lies and deception.

Anyone who lies wears his anointing…

John 8:44 (NLT)

For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.

You carry an atmosphere around you.

Buildings can have an atmosphere.

Homes have an atmosphere.

Churches have an atmosphere!

These can be fleshly things you deal with.

Understand that the demonic realm looks for weakness in us. And the demonic realm is based on lies and deception.

Here’s a list of 40 things that the demonic realm want to use to control you. Resist them!

Remember, Satan and the demonic look to exacerbate or stretch weakness into control over you. Don’t allow it!

There is a fine line between fleshly desires that come from sin and demonic intrusion.

  • Doubt – yourself, your friends, God
  • Rejection thinking – Nobody cares about me. They don’t like me…
  • Condemnation – thinking about what you did wrong in the past/ or what you should have done in the past. It becomes an obsession.
  • Obsession with failure, defeat, or the negatives of the past
  • Fear – chronic, not rooted in reality. False Evidence Appearing Real
  • Rebellion to established authority.
  • Lying – telling only part, but not the whole truth
  • Thoughts of strife, discord, or offense. James 3:16.
  • Erratic thoughts out of nowhere, creating self-doubt or doubts about others
  • Compulsive desires to binge-eat, to lust, to overwork, to overdo whatever. The Holy Spirit gives self-control.
  • Overcompensating in some way
  • Constant worry thoughts
  • Lust – thoughts about illicit sex / homosexuality / compulsion to view pornography
  • Gossip. Have to repeat salacious tales about others…
  • Sudden distrust in people that have given you no reason to distrust them.
  • Accusing thoughts about yourself
  • Accusing thoughts about others
  • Compulsive, uncontrolled anger
  • Disunity. Seeking to pit one person against another. Seeking to create doubt about a person or group. Galatians 5:20 – variance, disputes, quarreling. Romans 1:29 – debate, quarreling.
  • Thoughts of compromise with the flesh and known sinful things
  • Overwhelming panicky emotions (panic attacks)
  • Self-doubt
  • Thoughts that nobody loves me, nobody cares about me.
  • Excessive pride in looks, work, church activity. Excessively wanting to be seen, known, heard…
  • Rigidity – (spiritual) a compulsion to be overly strict when grace should be given
  • Feelings of loneliness and detachment
  • Thoughts that you do not fit in anywhere
  • Judgmental, angry thoughts about others.
  • Thoughts that question God’s love, faithfulness, and Word
  • Selfish thoughts – Why didn’t they include me/ Why was I left out.
  • Thoughts like – You/they don’t care about me.
  • Hopelessness. Nothing will get better/improve.
  • Lack of ability to focus
  • Lack of desire to read the Word / pray / attend church
  • Thoughts of isolation
  • Thoughts and feelings of panic
  • Over-religiousness – spiritual involvement to the neglect of personal needs, family, friends, work, etc.
  • Duplicity – Acting one way in public, another way in private
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Compulsion to drink, smoke marijuana, use drugs

5. How to stand in your authority and resist:

1 Peter 5:8-9 (BBE)

Be serious and keep watch; the Evil One, who is against you, goes about like a lion with open mouth in search of food; 9 Do not give way to him but be strong in your faith, in the knowledge that your brothers who are in the world undergo the same troubles.

1 Peter 5:9 (NLT)

Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.

You stand against spiritual attacks with your faith:

2 Corinthians 5:7 (CEV)

But we live by faith, not by what we see.

2 Corinthians 4:18 (NLT)

So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

2 Corinthians 4:18 (TPT)

Because we don’t focus our attention on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but the unseen realm is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:18(CEV)

Things that are seen don’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That’s why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen.

By commanding it to go in the name of Jesus and by His blood!

By speaking God’s Word OUT LOUD.

By worshiping and praising God, by singing out loud.

By meditating on scripture.

By resisting and refusing wayward feelings and thoughts.

Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me — everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Stay away from items that are occult in nature.

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 – NLT

For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, 11 or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord. It is because the other nations have done these detestable things that the Lord your God will drive them out ahead of you.

 

Rid your home of any association with the demonic:

 

Books, toys, magazines, horoscope info, religious artifacts (Buddhism, Hinduism, etc), movies, dream catchers, crystals, spirit lamps.

 

Pray over your home!

 

Don’t read junk!

Take time to meditate the Word every day.

Colossians 3:16 (NKJV)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Action Points:

1. Are you aware of the spiritual pressures of the times?

2. Have you embraced the spiritual authority Jesus gave you when He was raised from the dead?

3. Are you actively yielding your areas of challenge to Jesus by prayer and by meditating on scripture to strengthen you in that area?

4. Are you seeking God with your whole heart and seeking to live by faith and not feelings?

 

From the Beginning to the End:

The story about why Jesus Christ was raised from the dead!

3.31.2024

10 things to know about why Jesus Christ was raised from the dead!

God has a deep desire for family. He has a deep desire to know you personally.

His original plan in creating the earth and in creating us is so that He could have a family to enjoy. Human life was to be an eternal life lived on earth in physical bodies, enjoying God and His creation.

John 3:16 (NKJV)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Revelation 4:11 says that all things were created for His pleasure.

1. Jesus’ mission on Earth was to die.

Jesus’ entire reason for being born as a man was to die for you!

1 John 3:8 (NKJV)

He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

John 10:10 (NKJV)

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Hebrews 2:14-15 (NKJV)

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

1 Timothy 2:5-6 (NKJV)

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,

Why did Jesus Christ have to die?

Why is He so important?

What does Jesus Christ have to do with my life?

Why do I hear talk about Jesus’ virgin birth?

Why is the resurrection of Jesus such a big deal?

What if I choose to just ignore all this Christian stuff? We are all going to die. Why not just have fun while I live?

2. Why is the world in such a mess?

Here’s the narrative from the Bible…it starts with a rebellion in heaven.

Lucifer, an angel created by God to help Him, turned against God and caused a third of the angels to rebel with him. Lucifer (Satan) was kicked out of heaven.

Rebellion against God started in the heart of Lucifer.

Ezekiel 28:11-18 (NKJV)

Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 12 “Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes Was prepared for you on the day you were created. 14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God;

You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. 15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you. 16 “By the abundance of your trading

You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones. 17 “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you. 18 “You defiled your sanctuaries By the multitude of your iniquities,

By the iniquity of your trading; Therefore I brought fire from your midst; It devoured you, And I turned you to ashes upon the earth In the sight of all who saw you.

There was a war in heaven.

Lucifer – The most perfect and beautiful of God’s creation actually created iniquity – sin

led an insurrection of angels against God and was subsequently kicked out of heaven by God.

Luke 10:18 (NKJV)

And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

Satan Fell to the earth and corrupted it.

Revelation 12 – ⅓ of the angels fell with him.

Revelation 12:3-4 (NKJV)

And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.

3. There is a belief called The Gap Theory with earth in eternity past.

Genesis 1:1-2 (NKJV)

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

The belief is that there was a gap of undetermined time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 where a humanlike civilization lived here on earth, along with the dinosaurs and such. That civilization was corrupted by Satan and had to be destroyed.

Satan fell to the earth and corrupted a civilization that may have been here prior to us through Adam.

There is not enough info to make it a doctrine – but there is a glimpse there and it does answer so many questions.

The idea is that fallen angels corrupted this race of whatever it was – this human-like race – and it had to be destroyed because there was no way to salvage it.

Some call it the pre-Adamite race.

Perhaps you get a small glimpse of what may have occurred from Genesis 6 and the flood of Noah. It says the sons of God, or fallen angels, had relations with women and their offspring created a corrupted species of human giants – Nephilim.

This corrupted DNA began to enter the human race and corrupt it, changing the DNA of humanity and creating a race other than what God originally created!

Noah and his family were still human 1.0 as it were and were still pure from this mixture of angel/human DNA.

God saved the human race by putting Noah and his family on a big boat with two of every kind of animal, and then destroying all other DNA tainted life in a flood.

These fallen angels are now bound in hell. They will be let loose just before Jesus Christ returns. 2 Peter 2 and 3, and the book of Jude mentions them.

Anyway, it seems that this happened one time before – during this time period before Adam and Eve.

God remade the earth from the chaos that came from Satan’s fall.

There was a catastrophic flood prior to Adam being here.

Genesis 1 is a re-creation of our current social order of humans and animals. The dinosaurs and man-like species found in the earth’s strata are from the original social order on earth that had to be destroyed because of DNA corruption with fallen angels!

4. In Genesis 1, we find that man was created to be God’s companion, His under ruler on earth.

Man was created to fellowship with God. Man is an eternal spirit!

Genesis 1:26-28 (NKJV)

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Genesis 2:7 (NKJV)

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Revelation 4:11 (KJV)

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

God gave mankind authority as His underruler over the earth.

Psalms 8:4-6 (NKJV)

What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? 5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;

You have put all things under his feet,

5. Man committed treason against God and gave the authority God gave him over the earth to God’s arch-enemy Satan.

The woman, created from the body of the man, was tempted by Satan, yielded, and disobeyed God.

Sin broke man’s fellowship with God

Her sin led to Adam’s sin. Fellowship with God broken.

Every person now born earth would be born in sin, and would be away from God.

Psalm 51:5

Jeremiah 17:9

The human spirit was corrupted by sinful desires that came from Satan himself.

Romans 3:23

Romans 6:23

Satan took Adam’s God given authority over earth and began to dominate the human race.

The authority as God’s under ruler over the earth given to them by God is now snatched by Satan.

Sin broke our fellowship with God. And, sin gave our authority away to God’s arch-enemy, Satan.

Satan puts a legal stranglehold on man and earth.

2 Corinthians 4:4 (NKJV)

Whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

John 14:30 (NKJV)

I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me

Satan now rules man and corrupts the earth.

John 10:10 (NKJV)

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

1 John 5:19 (NKJV)

We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

1 John 5:19 (NLT)

We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.

Luke 4:6 (AMP)

And he said to Him, To You I will give all this power and authority and their glory (all their magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, and grace), for it has been turned over to me, and I give it to whomever I will.

All of us are born in sin. All of us are under Satan’s tyrannous rule because of Adam’s sin.

6. God promises to get His man out of the trap of sin, disease, death, and bondage to Satan through a a human being that would defeat God’s enemy Satan.

Genesis 3:15 (NKJV) And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”

The Seed of woman is Jesus Christ!

The seed of Satan is the unredeemed human race.

God kills an animal and covers the nakedness of Adam and Eve with animal skin.

This was the first time blood was shed to cover sin.

Leviticus 17:11 (NKJV)

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’

Cain and Abel were taught by Adam and Eve to offer the firstfruits of their labor to God as a way to keep the curse that was placed on the earth off of their lives.

To deal with the curse, they offer a sacrifice of firstfruits to God – you are now aligned with Him and protected and provided for by God.

The flood of Noah

Satan tried to replicate what he did once before on earth in corrupting the DNA of the human race, but God saved humanity through Noah and had no other choice but to destroy all living things due to corruption of human biology with fallen angel DNA.

I am mentioning this today because there is a rise of strange sighting of UFO’s and such and a mention of alien life here. There was even a recent congressional hearing about it. I believe these sighting are fallen angels and demon spirits that are interdimensional, and they are seeking to corrupt human DNA the way they did in Noah’s day.

I believe that this once again is Satan desiring to corrupt the human race before Jesus returns.

Jesus said it would be like the days of Noah before He returned. (Matthew 24/Luke 17).

There are now experiments where they are implanting hardware in the human brain so human thought can be mixed with Artificial Intelligence! It is again I believe the demonic seeking to mix with the human DNA…

Babel

After the flood of Noah, an astrological tower was built called the Tower of Babel. God confused their languages and kept it from happening. All pagan religions got their start there at the Tower of Babel.

Abraham

God called a man named Abram from his family and made a covenant with Abram and his wife.

He promised them a child in their old age and promised that they would have more kids than they could count.

And through Abram, whose name was changed to Abraham, God would bring a redeemer to the human race.

Genesis 12 – Abraham and Sarah were old and barren.

Genesis 12:1-4 (NKJV) Now the LORD had said to Abram: Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” 4 So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

You will have a son in old age.

I will bless every family on earth through you.

Romans 4:3 (NKJV)

For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

Isaac, Abraham and Sarh’s miracle son was born as a sign of the covenant God made with Abraham.

Abraham had Isaac,

Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob.

Jacob/Israel

Jacob’s name was changed to Israel – Prince with God.

Jacob had 12 sons – they are called – the children of Israel.

From this family, Jacob’s sons – called the children of Israel, came Jesus Christ – the God man who redeemed us from sin.

Israel moved to Egypt during a famine in the Middle East.

Joseph

Joseph, one of Jacob’s sons has a dream that he would rule over his family, and it happened during a severe famine.

Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave and he ended up in the Pharaoh’s household. Years later, he became what we would call prime minister of Egypt.

There was a terrible famine in the Middle East during this time that threatened the food supply, and God gave Joseph a plan to prepare for it and feed the hungry.

Jacob and his children were invited to Egypt by Joseph so they could eat and survive the famine.

His brothers bowed down to Him just like he dreamed.

Israel stayed in Egypt for 400 years.

Moses

Egyptian leaders came to power that were not aware of Joseph, and they made slaves of the Israelites and used them as builders in Egypt.

Israel began to ask God to free them from slavery.

A man named Moses was called by God at age 80 to deliver Israel from Egypt.

Not only was Israel delivered from Egypt under Moses, but God gave through Moses the Ten Commandments.

Spiritual Death had reigned from Adam to Moses.

Romans 5:14 (NKJV)

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come

7. Through Moses, God gave the world 10 commandments for people separated from the Creator to live by.

John 1:17-18 (NKJV)

For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

A system of sacrifices of animal blood on an altar was set up to show sin is cleansed by death and blood.

Leviticus 17:11 (NKJV)

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’

The killing of a lamb in sacrifice to God, and placing its blood on the lid of a box called the Ark of the Covenant would point to a man that would come one day to pay man’s sin debt to God.

Moses went to the top of a mountain to meet with God came the law, the sacrifices and the priesthood – which would one day be replaced by a better covenant with God based on the sacrifice of a perfect human on man’s behalf that would cleanse sin forever.

A tabernacle or portable tent and then a permanent Temple were set up where God’s Presence would once again dwell among His people.

God dwelt in a place called the Holy of Holies in a closed off from the public place in the Tabernacle and Temple.

8. Jesus Christ, Mary’s son, was both God and man in a human body. Jesus became our sin sacrifice. Jesus paid you sin debt.

This is how it happened:

The Old Testament prophets foretold that a virgin girl would have a baby and that baby would be God Incarnate in a human body.

Isaiah 7:14 (NKJV)

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Isaiah 9:6-7 (NKJV)

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever.

1400 years after Moses

Jesus Christ was born of a woman who was a virgin, Mary. Jesus Christ never had a human father – Mary became pregnant by the Holy Spirit.

Luke 1:30-36 (NKJV)

Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

Jesus was a sinless man. He Knew God as His Father, intimately!

Satan had no rule over Him.

Death could not touch Him. He was immortal.

Jesus never sinned – He faced every challenge perfectly without sinning against a Holy God.

Jesus willingly became a lamb of sacrifice for humanity – forever paying our debt of sin before God.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Jesus died in our place and went to hell for us.

Matthew 27:45-46 (NKJV)

Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Jesus went to hell.

Matthew 12:40 (NKJV)

For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Before Jesus died and was raised from the dead, hell was divided into two compartments.

There was the righteous side called Paradise or Abraham’s bosom. Those in the Old Covenant went there at death awaiting the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, who would bear their personal sin penalty and release them from spiritual death. And there was the unrighteous side of hell where there were flames of torment. Those before the cross of Jesus who did not trust in the blood covenant with God died without faith, and were cast into the burning side of hell.

Luke 16:19-26 (NKJV)

There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

Jesus Christ preached to the Old Testament saints who were in Paradise or the righteous side of hell, telling them that He was the true Lamb of Sacrifice that bore the sin of the world.

1 Peter 3:18-19 (NKJV)

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison,

1 Peter 4:6 (NKJV)

For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

Jesus Christ was raised from hell and death when God was satisfied with His sin payment for all people.

Revelation 1:18 (NKJV)

I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

Matthew 27:51-53 (NKJV)

Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

Jesus came alive spiritually in hell after God was satisfied that our sin debt was paid in full.

Jesus then rose from the dead, His body became a new body and came out of the grave.

Jesus is the prototype of a brand new kind of person, a new creation human, born again inside, no longer held in spiritual death.

Heisthe firstborn of many brethren!

Colossians 1:15 -18.

9. The New Birth available to those who believe in Him as the virgin born, God sent, sin sacrifice.

The first man, Adam, lost our fellowship with God through disobedience to Him. Jesus Christ restored our fellowship with God through the New Birth. In the New Birth, the human spirit that has been separated from God, comes alive unto God!

John 3:3 (NKJV) Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3:16-17 (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Romans 10:9-10 (NKJV) That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

10. Jesus will return one day to defeat Satan’s rule of sin and remove the curse from the earth.

Then there will be a new heavens and earth. The curse will be removed fro earth and the earth will be like it was before Adam sinned!

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ will return to earth – we call it the Second Coming of Christ.

He will come to judge Satan, fallen angels, the demonic forces that plague humanity, and Jesus will set up His heavenly Kingdom here on earth for 1000 years.

Then there will be a new heavens and earth. The curse will be removed fro earth and the earth will be like it was before Adam sinned!

Those who know Jesus Christ will get brand new bodies – glorified bodies that will never die and they will live in eternity on earth and in heaven.

Ephesians 1:9-10(PHILLIPS)

For God had allowed us to know the secret of his plan, and it is this: he purposes in his sovereign will that all human history shall be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in Heaven or earth shall find its perfection and fulfillment in him.

2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 (NLT)

And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power. 10 When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people—praise from all who believe. And this includes you, for you believed what we told you about him.

1 Corinthians 15:24-26 (NKJV)

Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.

2 Peter 3:13 (NKJV)

Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Revelation 20:1-2 (NKJV)

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;

Revelation 21:1 (NKJV)

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of manthe things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Ephesians 2:7 (NKJV)

That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Action points:

  1. Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the virgin born Son of God?
  2. Do you believe that He became your sin when He died?
  3. Do you believe that He was raised from death?
  4. Have you repented of your sin and given your life to Jesus Christ by faith?
  5. Pray this prayer to receive Jesus:

God, I repent of my sins. Today I change my heart and mind about how I have been living my life. I ask you to forgive me for every sin that I have committed from the time I was born until today. I believe that Jesus Christ is the virgin-born Son of God, that He died in my place to pay for my personal sins, and that He rose from the dead to make me right with You. Jesus, I give myself wholeheartedly to You for the rest of my life. Change my interests and desires. Thank you Father for saving me from my sin, in Jesus’ name.

 

How Much of Judas is in Me?

3.24.2024

Introduction

Since Easter is next Sunday, I want us to look for a few minutes at Judas’ betrayal of Jesus from the Gospels of Matthew and John.

Judas had been a disciple for over 3 years.

He had seen the miracles, heard Jesus’ personal teaching, and was personally involved with Jesus as one of His closest associates along with the other eleven disciples.

Yet, he forsook Jesus. He turned against Jesus, and was paid money to hand Jesus over to His enemies.

How could this happen?

It’s an amazing phenomenon of human personality that we can be in the middle of something God is doing, yet it does not affect us.

Judas was right there with Jesus. The power of God manifested through Jesus. Jesus taught His disciples as well as the multitudes, and Judas was right there.

Yet, strangely, Jesus’ influence did not go deeply enough into Judas to change who he was.

You can be right in the middle of what Jesus is doing, and yet it affects no change in you!

Perhaps the parable of the seed that Jesus taught in Mark 4 applies here. Seed that fell on the footpath, on the stony ground, and among thorns did not germinate enough to bear fruit.

This moves me to ask myself – is what I am preaching and teaching affecting my personal daily life? Has it transformed what I do, what I value, how I speak to people, the decisions I make, and how I treat my closest family members?

Does what you read in the Bible and hear in church services and such affect how you live? Is it that a person may live one way around Christians at church and a completely different way around his or her friends, or classmates, or co-workers?

Demas forsook Paul after ministering with him:

2 Timothy 4:10 (NLT)

Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus has gone to Dalmatia.

We need to watch out for our spiritual life today:

2 Corinthians 13:5 (MSG)

Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need first-hand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it.

As we look at Judas, stay aware that from the time we give our lives to Jesus, we are all in the process of change.

Philippians 2:12-13 (GW)

My dear friends, you have always obeyed, not only when I was with you but even more now that I’m absent. In the same way continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. 13 It is God who produces in you the desires and actions that please him.

And let’s ask ourselves the question: what compromises in me could lead me away from Jesus and hinder me from life change?

The Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread

Luke 22:1-6 (NLT)

The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is also called Passover, was approaching. 2 The leading priests and teachers of religious law were plotting how to kill Jesus, but they were afraid of the people’s reaction. 3 Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples, 4 and he went to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them. 5 They were delighted, and they promised to give him money. 6 So he agreed and began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus so they could arrest him when the crowds weren’t around.

After Israel left Egypt, God instituted the feast of Unleavened Bread to commemorate Israel leaving Egypt in haste.

After the Passover, commemorating God delivering the firstborn of Israel and the firstborn in all of Egypt being slain, and Israel leaving the bondage of Egypt, God instituted the feast of Unleavened Bread. During this feast of 7 days, the Israelites were to spotlessly clean their homes, removing any leaven.

Ancient Jewish Rabbis believed that leaven represented the evil impulses of the heart.

(From The Feasts of the Lord by Kevin Howard and Marvin Rosenthal – Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1977. Digital location 604).

Leaven (yeast) permeates dough and sours and ferments and causes the dough to become much larger than normal. It changes the dough significantly. It contaminates the dough and infects the dough with its fermenting properties.

Paul refers to leaven as sin in 1 Corinthians 5:

1 Corinthians 5:6-8 (NLT)

Your boasting about this is terrible. Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. 8 So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth.

Here is the story of Judas betraying Jesus.

This story is more significant to us than we realize.

Judas allowed the leaven (yeast) of greed into his life, and it remained undealt with by him.

How much of Judas do you have in you?

Let’s read:

Matthew 26:1-5 (NLT) The Plot to Kill Jesus

When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2 “As you know, Passover begins in two days, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” 3 At that same time the leading priests and elders were meeting at the residence of Caiaphas, the high priest, 4 plotting how to capture Jesus secretly and kill him. 5 “But not during the Passover celebration,” they agreed, “or the people may riot.”

Matthew 26:6-13 (NLT) Jesus Anointed at Bethany

Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. 7 While he was eating, a woman (Mary) came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head. 8 The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste!” they said. 9 “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? 11 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. 12 She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. 13 I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”

Matthew 26:14-16 (NLT) Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests 15 and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.

In the passages we just read, there are four valuations of Jesus’ worth:

Leading Priests and elders: Jesus was worth only death.

Mary – Jesus was worth (supposedly) wasting a year’s salary on. Nard was expensive and was imported from India – worth a year’s salary!

Disciples – Jesus was just like anyone else – What a waste…

Judas – Jesus had no more value than a slave – 30 pieces of silver was the price for buying a slave.

What is Jesus worth to you?

Matthew’s angle on Jesus’ betrayal

Think about this for a moment. Judas had been on Jesus’ staff team for 3½ years, and Jesus knew he had some bad stuff in him.

Matthew 26:17-25 (NLT) The Last Supper

On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?” 18 “As you go into the city,” he told them, “you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there. 20 When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the Twelve. 21 While they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.” 22 Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one, Lord?” 23 He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. 24 For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!” 25 Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?”

And Jesus told him, “You have said it.”

John’s angle on Jesus’ betrayal

John 12:1-8 (NLT) Jesus Anointed at Bethany

Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. 2 A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. 3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance. 4 But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, 5 “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” 6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself. 7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

John 13:18-30 (NLT) Jesus Predicts His Betrayal

I am not saying these things to all of you; I know the ones I have chosen. But this fulfills the Scripture that says, ‘The one who eats my food has turned against me.’ 19 I tell you this beforehand, so that when it happens you will believe that I AM the Messiah. 20 I tell you the truth, anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me.” 21 Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!” 22 The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean. 23 The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table. 24 Simon Peter motioned to him to ask, “Who’s he talking about?” 25 So that disciple leaned over to Jesus and asked, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus responded, “It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl.” And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. 27 When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.” 28 None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. 29 Since Judas was their treasurer, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to give some money to the poor. 30 So Judas left at once, going out into the night.

Jesus let Judas stay on His team, knowing what He would do. Why?

Was Jesus giving Judas a chance to change?

Was Jesus believing the best of a man who would betray Him?

I have to ask myself: How much of Judas is in me?

How much of Judas is in you?

You see, you can have something working in you that could ruin you, and Jesus will love you and even let you be on His team.

He knows it’s there; you know it’s there.

But maybe no one else sees it.

He will not do anything about it until you ask Him to do it.

God allows such imperfect people into His family by Grace through Faith.

We all have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

Philippians 2:12-13 (NKJV)

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

We are imperfect, and God gives us an opportunity to change day after day, year after year.

What seeds in you could germinate like leaven or yeast and spoil your life in God?

1 Timothy 5:24 (NLT)

Remember, the sins of some people are obvious, leading them to certain judgment. But there are others whose sins will not be revealed until later.

Song of Solomon 2:15

Catch us the foxes,

The little foxes that spoil the vines,

For our vines have tender grapes.

Remember that sin will:

Take you farther than you want to go.

Make you stay longer than you planned to stay.

Make you pay more than you planned to pay.

Sin left unopposed opens a crack in the door of life for Satan to enter.

What leaven (yeast) is in you that Jesus wants to put His finger on and deliver you from?

What do you need to submit to Him by faith?

It may be:

Pride

Jealousy

Greed

Stinginess

Anger

Lust

Stubbornness

Gossip

Selfishness

Addictions – Food, work, drugs, sex.

Action Points:

1. What in my life leaves an open door for Satan to take advantage of me?

2. Silence does not mean approval. Jesus knew what Judas was about for a long time.

3. God in His grace gives all of us opportunity to change and grow.

4. Take regular time for self-introspection. What do I need to give to Jesus by faith?

Reference: Festival of Unleavened Bread

Exodus 12:14-20 (NLT)

This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to the Lord. This is a law for all time. 15 For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast. On the first day of the festival, remove every trace of yeast from your homes. Anyone who eats bread made with yeast during the seven days of the festival will be cut off from the community of Israel. 16 On the first day of the festival and again on the seventh day, all the people must observe an official day for holy assembly. No work of any kind may be done on these days except in the preparation of food. 17 Celebrate this Festival of Unleavened Bread, for it will remind you that I brought your forces out of the land of Egypt on this very day. This festival will be a permanent law for you; celebrate this day from generation to generation. 18 The bread you eat must be made without yeast from the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day of that month. 19 During those seven days, there must be no trace of yeast in your homes. Anyone who eats anything made with yeast during this week will be cut off from the community of Israel. These regulations apply both to the foreigners living among you and to the native-born Israelites. 20 During those days you must not eat anything made with yeast. Wherever you live, eat only bread made without yeast.

Leviticus 23:6-8 (NLT)

On the next day, the fifteenth day of the month, you must begin celebrating the Festival of Unleavened Bread. This festival to the Lord continues for seven days, and during that time the bread you eat must be made without yeast. 7 On the first day of the festival, all the people must stop their ordinary work and observe an official day for holy assembly. 8 For seven days you must present special gifts to the Lord. On the seventh day the people must again stop all their ordinary work to observe an official day for holy assembly.

 

How Are You Treating Jesus?

3.20.2024

Unity creates an atmosphere for the Holy Spirit to manifest Himself.

1 Corinthians 1:10 (NLT)

I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.

The Holy Spirit can manifest the presence of Jesus to individual hearts.

He can also manifest spiritual gifts.

1 Thessalonians 5:19(NKJV)

Do not quench the Spirit.

Amplified

Do not quench or suppress or subdue the Holy Spirit

A.S.Way

In your church gatherings do not repress manifestations of the Spirit’s gifts.

(Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary)

The peace, order, and edification of the saints were evidence of the ministry of the Spirit among them, 1 Cor. 14:26, 32, 33, 40, but if, through ignorance of His ways, or through failure to recognize, or refusal to submit to, them, or through impatience with the ignorance or self-will of others, the Spirit were quenched, these happy results would be absent. For there was always the danger that the impulses of the flesh might usurp the place of the energy of the Spirit in the assembly, and the endeavor to restrain this evil by natural means would have the effect of hindering His ministry also. Apparently then, this injunction was intended to warn believers against the substitution of a mechanical order for the restraints of the Spirit.”

Kenneth Hagin mentioned that when he traveled from church to church in the 1950’s, the Holy Spirit would manifest in one church, but not in another.

He said in both churches, the people loved his ministry and his teaching, but in some he just could not get the Holy Spirit to manifest.

Kenneth Hagin said that he learned later that if there were division and disunity in a church, the Holy Spirit would not manifest Himself.

Today, demonic forces are seeking to pit believers against one another.

If we are divided, the Holy Spirit will not manifest.

Notice in Acts that the Holy Spirit manifested in an atmosphere of unity:

Acts 1:12-14 (NKJV)

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. 13 And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. 14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

Acts 2:1 (NKJV)

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

Acts 2:42-47 (NKJV)

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

Acts 4:23-31 (NKJV)

And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25 who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, and the people plot vain things? 26 The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the LORD and against His Christ.’ 27 For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. 29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

Acts 4:32-33 (NKJV)

Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.

Acts 5:12-16 (NKJV)

And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. 13 Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. 14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. 16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

The way we treat other members of the body of Christ is the way we treat Jesus.

Acts 9:1-5 (NKJV)

Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”

Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

Matthew 25:34-40 (NKJV)

Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

1 Timothy 3:14-15 (NLT)

I am writing these things to you now, even though I hope to be with you soon, so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth.

In a time of great individualism, God wants us to become conscious that we are a body of believers that create a place for Him to work.

Totally crossgrain to the atmosphere today…

Are you willing to work with us as a body of believers?

Are you willing, for the sake of your spiritual life, to deny yourself and commit to the family of a local church and become involved in helping, not just consuming?

There will be things you don’t like, but that is part of the process of growing spiritually…

Your bones get denser through challenge – exercise. Your heart too!

Grass, vegetation tempers itself when challenged by climate…

We grow when things don’t go our way. We are tempered.

Action Points:

  1. Are you helping create a sense of unity in your church, or are you creating division by how you treat others and how you speak of them?
  2. What would Jesus say about your attitude towards and words about others in the church you attend?
  3. Would you say to Jesus what you say to other believers? Would you treat Jesus the way you treat other believers?
  4. What do you need to change about you to help create a sense of community in your local church?

 

How Are You Thinking?

Meera Short

March 17, 2024

Daniel 10:12 AMPC

Then he said to me, Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind and heart to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come as a consequence of [and in response to] your words.

 

I will present today that our thoughts are heard in the spirit realm. They can be read by God. They can cause us to experience kingdom living or defeated living.

I heard over 29 years ago that if you sow a thought, you reap an action, sow an action, reap a habit, sow a habit, and you will reap a lifestyle.

 

Where do our thoughts come from:

Our thoughts develop from a lifetime of memories and experiences. Each thought will build upon another. Like how a tree grows. A seed gets planted and from there it begins sprouting.

 

Dr Caroline Leaf states in her book Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess, “The mind is made up of trillions and trillions of thoughts. A thought is a real physical thing that occupies mental real estate in the brain and mind. A thought is built into the brain as you use your mind—that is, as you think, feel and choose. Thoughts are located in three different places: your brain, your mind, and the cells of your body.”

Strong’s Concordance 3820: The heart – inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding. Inner part, midst; midst of things; heart of man; soul, heart of (man); mind, knowledge, thinking, determination (of will); conscience; heart (of moral character); as the seat of appetites; as the seat of emotions and passions; as seat of courage.

 

Proverbs 4:23 ERV (Easy to Read)

Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life.

Proverbs 4:23 EXB (Expanded Bible)

Be careful what you think [L Above all that you guard, protect your heart], because ·your thoughts run your life [L life flows from it].

 

Is God concerned about our thoughts:

Jeremiah 17:9 AMPC

The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]?

Psalm 139:4 MSG

You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence.

Mark 7:20-23 MSG

He went on: “It’s what comes out of a person that pollutes: obscenities, lusts, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, depravity, deceptive dealings, carousing, mean looks, slander, arrogance, foolishness—all these are vomit from the heart. There is the source of your pollution.”

Luke 5:21-22 HCSB
Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to think: “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 But perceiving their thoughts, Jesus replied to them, “Why are you thinking this in your hearts?”

Romans 8:5-8 ESV
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Jesus is concerned about what we think in our hearts.

Our thoughts can cause God to respond and come near (Kingdom Living):

Luke 8:40-55 HCSB

This is the story of Jairus and what he was able to receive from God. I am certain that Jairus had to conquer his thoughts too. He was a synagogue ruler, someone respected by his community and recognized by his colleagues. I would presume that he had heard Jesus before, because Jesus taught at the local synagogues in Galilee. Jairus would have known that the synagogue leaders and rabbis hated Jesus. They were trying to kill Jesus in chapter 5 of Luke’s gospel and throw him off a cliff for proclaiming that He was the anointed one. Here in verse 41, we see Jairus falling to Jesus’ feet and imploring Him to go to his house because his daughter was at death’s door.

Our thoughts lead to actions. He is humbling himself in front of others who are familiar with him and his position in their community.

Then our story takes a little pause, and we see another person show up during Jesus walking with Jairus.

We see the woman with the issue of blood. In Matthew’s account:

Matthew 9:21 AMPC
For she kept saying to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I shall be restored to health.”

This woman was suffering from something incurable for 12 years, she was at her wits’ end, the end of all her resources. Scripture tells us she depleted her money seeing every doctor with zero results. Then she becomes aware that Jesus is walking through her streets.

When we are at the end of our solutions, we become desperate.

Luke 8:24 tells us she desired to touch the “tassel of His robe”. This is perhaps the most exciting thing here for me to see. It takes us back to:

Numbers 15: 38-41 AMPC
38
Speak to the Israelites and bid them make fringes or tassels on the corners in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and put upon the fringe of the borders or upon the tassel of each corner a cord of blue. 39 And it shall be to you a fringe or tassel that you may look upon and remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them, that you may not spy out and follow after [the desires of] your own heart and your own eyes, after which you used to follow and play the harlot [spiritually, if not physically], 40 That you may remember and do all My commandments and be holy to your God. 41 I am the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 15:19-30 Shows us that the priest can make atonement necessary for someone unclean, like this woman.

I submit to you that she was aware in her heart, in her thoughts, that this was more than a mere man, that this Jesus could make her whole!

Jesus fulfills the promise, He has the power to heal, deliver and set free. He has the power to redeem. Look at what He does in this moment, He turns around and tries to figure out who has touched Him. He makes His way to this woman, Luke 9:4-48 HCSB and she comes trembling and falls down before Him. In the presence of all the people, she declared the reason she had touched Him and how she was instantly cured. Jesus responds by calling her “daughter,” declaring that her faith has made her whole.

She was willing to crawl, we see her thoughts of unworthiness here. She’s afraid that she was uncovered, and then we hear the Master declare that she is a daughter. He not only healed her, but by stopping and turning to find her, He shows us that He heard her and responded to her thoughts, to her faith. He wanted this to be recorded and He stoops to pick her up and restores her! He is our High Priest, and her actions revealed that her mind, I believe her thoughts, were on this revelation. After 12 years of suffering, she gets connected to Kingdom Living. Her thoughts drew out of Jesus the very Kingdom of God!

The story goes right back to Jairus. We see that someone came from his house bearing the news that his daughter was dead “Don’t bother the TEACHER” anymore.

They did not have the revelation that He was more than a teacher; they did not accept Him as their High Priest, the Anointed One of whom it was prophesied that He would proclaim the favor of the Lord. Jesus was quick to look at Jairus after hearing their report and said to him, “Do not be afraid. Only believe and she will be made well.”

Our thoughts are heard by God! Jesus let Jairus know that it was going to be ok.

We should be aware that everything that Jesus does is absolutely intentional. He called the woman with the issue of blood “daughter.” And here too in the scripture, we see that Jairus was willing to go to any lengths, particularly bowing before Jesus, the teacher that every other synagogue leader wanted to kill. Jairus was crying out for his own daughter. He didn’t care what they thought; he had one mission: to see his daughter healed.

We go back to the story (Matthew 9:8-2; Mark 5:21-43 and Luke 8:40-54), we see Jairus and Jesus arriving at the house, we see that people are lamenting and wailing, they are mourning the child’s death. Then we can almost hear the laughter of the people, laughing at Jesus, mocking Him because He is saying the girl is asleep. He puts them out, takes the parents with him and the three disciples, and He speaks to the child. And she gets up.

He responded to Jairus’ faith. Raising the dead is part of Kingdom living.

I see the heart of Father God, in that He went through the crowd of 99+ to find the one that cried out in her heart, “If I can only touch the hem of your garment!” Jesus picks her up and restores her to her position, He reconciled her to being a child of God. Would He not understand that this father, Jairus, wanted a restored daughter, would He and could He not do this and so much more!

Our thoughts can cause us to live defeated, bring a curse and miss God’s best:

Jeremiah 17:9-10 EXB (Expanded Bible)

9“·More than anything else [T Above all things], ·a person’s mind is evil [T the heart is deceitful; L the heart is devious/crooked] and ·cannot be healed [T desperately wicked; L it is perverse/sick]. Who can ·understand [know] it? 10 But I, the Lord, ·look into a person’s [investigate/test the] heart and test the ·mind [L kidneys]. So I can decide what each one deserves [L …to give to each according to his way/path];I can give each one the right payment for what he does.”

Luke 6:45 EASY (Easy English Bible)
People are also like that. A good man keeps good things in his mind. In his life, he brings those good things out from there. But a bad man keeps bad things in his mind. He brings those bad thoughts out from there. When a person speaks, his words show what is really in his mind.

Luke 6: 43-45 JB Phillips
“It is impossible for a good tree to produce bad fruit—as impossible as it is for a bad tree to produce good fruit. Do not men know what a tree is by its fruit? You cannot pick figs from briars, or gather a bunch of grapes from a blackberry bush! A good man produces good things from the good stored up in his heart, and a bad man produce evil things from his own stores of evil. For a man’s words will always express what has been treasured in his heart.”

Dr Caroline Leaf, Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess: “toxic thoughts—such as stress, worry, fear, anger and unforgiveness—actually cause damage to the brain. Chemicals are released into the brain, causing chaos and damage. Those toxic thoughts can cause a loss of sleep or the ability to do your job right, physical illness and more.”

Let’s look at a biblical example of this.

1 Chronicles 21:1-22 HCSB

Satan stood up and “incited” David. This word means that the enemy moved David. He stirred him up, manipulated his emotions, he caused a thought to come to David in his mind.

David took a census of God’s people, and it angered the Lord. Could it be that David was tempted to place more trust in his military might rather than God’s supremacy? Is it wrong to know how many people were in the army? Not at all, God instituted the census (Numbers 1:2; 26:2). Could it be that he was looking at the army and the kingdom like he was looking at Bathsheba from the rooftop, and his heart became proud?

I tend to think so, because his order to number the troops caused God to respond. And the response was destruction and plague. God also gave clear instructions that when the census (Exodus 30:11-16) was taken that money was to be donated/given to the temple or a plague would ensue. And because of David’s decision to number the men without being moved by God, 70,000 men died.

A key thing that we should think about, is that David experienced some great tragedies in his life because of his thought life. The sword came to his house because of his sin with Batheshba. Again, his sin with her all began in his heart (2 Sam 11). His thoughts led him to murder her husband. The results ended up bringing death and division to his house and his children.

If we considered David’s life, we know that he is seated with the Lord. But how much heartache could have been avoided. His children died and repeated his sins. Not all of his children walked with God.

We must control our thought life and persevere to receive from God:

Psalm 119:11 MSG
I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 JB Phillips

The truth is that, although of course we lead normal human lives, the battle we are fighting is on the spiritual level. The very weapons we use are not those of human warfare but powerful in God’s warfare for the destruction of the enemy’s strongholds. Our battle is to bring down every deceptive fantasy and every imposing defense that men erect against the true knowledge of God. We even fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ.

Philippians 4:8-9 MSG

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Romans 12:2 ESV

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I will go back to the opening verse:

Daniel 10:12 AMPC

Then he said to me, Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind and heart to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come as a consequence of [and in response to] your words.

Daniel set his mind on the Lord for a period of 21 days; he fasted and prayed to gain understanding from the Lord. In this Bible passage, we see that there is a heavenly/spiritual conflict taking place. Daniel’s thoughts were heard in the spiritual realm. The angels of God had to battle against a prince demon in order to come to Daniel.

If we are going to receive anything from God, it begins with our faith in God, how we believe. And belief starts in the heart of man. If we see ourselves in the light of the Word of God, who Jesus is in us, we will live a life that is filled with God’s best. It doesn’t negate the issues and trials we will face. It just means we will fight and we will win if we persevere.

Romans 10:10 ESV
For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

Luke 6:45 ESV
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Moving Forward:

1- Identify your thoughts and feelings.

Remember that your thoughts lead to actions, actions lead to habits, and habits will inevitably place you into your lifestyle.

2- Think before you act or speak:

T – is it True?

H – is it Helpful?

I – is it Inspiring?

N – is it Necessary?

K – is it Kind?

If it doesn’t fall into what Phillippians 4:8 says, then it is exalting itself against Jesus! And anything that is against who Jesus is will leave us defeated.