was successfully added to your cart.

Cart

Category

Uncategorized

EPHESIANS LESSON 6 (CHAPTER 5) 03/28/20

LESSON 6-Ephesians

Walking in Love, Light, Wisdom, and Worship

Ephesians Chapter 5:1-20

Eph.5:3 But fornication and all uncleanness (perversion) or covetousness, (idolatry) let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints.

5:3 Love has nothing in common with lust, immoral acts or greed. The absence of these motives even in the way you talk sets a standard of excellence. Mirror Translation.

Related Scripture:

Colossians 3:5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
Ephesians 5:4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

5:4 Any distorted language (disfigured, exaggeration), sarcasm or below the belt jokes are uncalled for; much rather let gratitude grace your conversation. Mirror translation

Related Scriptures:

Proverbs 17:7 Excellent speech is not becoming to a fool, Much less lying lips to a prince.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Matthew 12:34 “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
Eph. 5:4 b & c & d nor coarse jesting, (some translations say obscenity, ribaldry) which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. (thanksgiving)

5:4 Any distorted language (disfigured, exaggeration), sarcasm or below the belt jokes are uncalled for; much rather let gratitude grace your conversation. Mirror Translation

Eph.5:5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

5:5 You cannot live a double-standard life. Abusing people through adultery, lust and greed is like worshipping a distorted image of yourself, which is what idolatry is all about. Mirror Translation

ALL THESE THINGS WERE ASSOCIATED WITH THE PAGAN TEMPLES IN EPHESUS. AND DESCRIBE WHAT THE EPHESIANS WERE DELIVERED FROM.

By the way, the number of man is said to be 666, but doing some research, I found out the number 666 really means a man who acts like a beast. 666 also means the number of satan and the antichrist.

Continuing on in the same mode of putting off and putting on which Paul began in Eph.4:22, he now lists some more things to put on and put off.

a. we are to put on love – v. 2
b. but we are to put off the world’s corrupt idea of love.
c. which is nothing more than a mere brute beast, sexual mentality

A list of things to put on:

1. STRENGTH (Isa 52:1) Awake! Awake! Put on your strength, Zion; put on your beautiful robes, O Jerusalem, the holy city.

2. ZEAL (Isa 59:17) For He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head and a cloak of zeal.

3. ARMOR OF GOD- Is 59:17, Eph 6:13-18 (Eph. not really OC but all the verses say having) – We are told to put on every day but every part is Jesus; you are already clothed in Him. Take advantage of this. We will teach more on this in Eph. 6

4. PUT ON CHRIST – GAL 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

5. NEW MAN – Ephesians 4:24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

6. ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS- Is. 61:10

7. GARMENT OF PRAISE- Is. 61:3 – Garments represent all outward attitudes and external appearances. Garment are the symbol of who we are and how we present ourselves. Garments speak of our outer man, our actions, what others perceive of us.

8. GARMENT OF SALVATION-Is 61:10

9. TENDER MERCIES (kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, fruit of Spirit)

10. LOVE

1 Thessalonians 5:8-10 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

11. HUMILITY – 1 Peter 5:5 gives instructions on the kind of clothing which is pleasing to our Beloved: ‘Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility for God sets Himself against the proud but gives grace to the humble.

12. MERCY AND TRUTH
Prov. 3:3-4 Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart,4 And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man.

13. THE ADORNMENT OF THE BRIDE OF CHRIST

I have a teaching on this if you would like — email me: ms_davis@bellsouth.net

Related Scriptures:

Luke 6:45 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Do Not Be Silent, Oh God!

Do Not Be Silent, Oh God!
Becca Card
March 24, 2020

“Oh God, do not keep silence. Do not hold your peace or be still, Oh God!” (Psalm 83:1)

 

This psalm is a cry from the very beginning for help from Yahweh amidst all kinds of turmoil and trouble. As you look at the rest of the psalm you see that the context is people who are opposing Yahweh’s people.

Yahweh, we need Your peace in the middle of the unknown. Help us to turn to Your Word in dependence on You, for You are our only hope. The cry is something we hear all throughout the Psalms. I just want you to think about this verse, the first verse in this Psalm, “Oh God, do not keep silence. Do not hold your peace or be still, Oh God.” Why is the Psalmist crying out, Yahweh, don’t stay silent, don’t hold your peace, don’t be still?”

The Psalmist knows that if Yahweh is silent, then he has no hope. The Psalmist knows that if Yahweh holds back peace, there will be no peace. The Psalmist knows that if Yahweh is still, nothing will happen to help His people in the midst of this trial and trouble. And that’s, in a sense, the heart of prayer, isn’t it?

We are crying out to Yahweh because we know we need His Word. If he is silent, we are hopeless. If He holds His peace, we will have no peace. If He is still, then we will have no help. We depend on Yahweh for all of these things. We depend on His Word for wisdom, for guidance. We depend on His peace in a world where there’s so much temptation to be anxious and worry, particularly in times like this.

When we’re walking through the middle of a pandemic, we cry out to Yahweh. We need His Word. Just think of all the different sources of information that we are prone to look to right now. We’re constantly attuned to our phones, just thinking, “okay, what does the latest person say here or there? What is the latest development here or there?” We need to look far beyond our phones, televisions or computers ultimately to Yahweh’s Word. We need to be hearing from the One Source who is ultimately able to bring an end to this pandemic.

We don’t need Him to be silent. We need to be hearing His Word and we need His Shalom peace. We need Him to move, to work and so we are driven to pray with the heart, with the cry of Psalm 83 verse 1. Yahweh, please do not keep silence.

Yahweh, we pray that as we read Your Word, You would direct our minds and our hearts, that you would form our thinking and our desire, in our acting, in our speaking. Yahweh, we depend on Your Word in a world where if You are silent, we have no hope.

We need your word and Yahweh; we need Your peace. Don’t hold Your peace. We pray for Your peace. Yahweh, I pray that your peace would overwhelm the hearts of every single person reading this prayer right now. Yahweh, I pray that people would know Your peace. A peace that Philippians 4 says passes all understanding and guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Oh Yahweh, I pray that amidst all the unknowns around us, Yahweh, that Your peace would reign in us. Amidst all the temptations to worry about this or that in our lives and our families and the world around us, we pray that Your peace would rule in our hearts and guard our hearts and our minds. Yahweh, may your peace be ours and we asked You, don’t be still.

If You are still, we are left to ourselves and we are hopeless. So Yahweh, don’t be still. We pray that You would provide and that You would help doctors and patients and researchers and officials, Yahweh. May Your mercy would be over ALL during these days in the United States and countries around the world, in Italy and Spain and China. Yahweh, we pray for Your mercy, for Your help. Do not be still, oh Yahweh. We praise You for this privilege to call out to You, to know that You hear us, that You answer our prayers and that you do according to Your Word. We trust that You will not keep silent, You will give peace and You will not be still, and in this, we find hope. In You, we find all our hope and all our peace and all our joy. In these days and whatever this world may bring, we say to You, Your Word is our Strength, Your Peace is our joy, and Your Work is our hope. In the name of Yahshua, let it be so!

MY THOUGHTS – MERI FORD

My Thoughts This Morning

Meri Ford

Renewed Hope Ministries

March 21, 2020

In reading scripture this morning over and over I read where the Lord said that various kinds of things would come upon a nation as a result of the people’s refusal to “return to the Lord God” and instead worshipped people and things, conjuring up demonic spirits and listening to people speaking who spoke lies and operated in magic and offering up of their children and their own bodies to the pleasure of idols of wood and stone ( commerce, entertainment, etc) controlled by evil spirits.

After 9/11 did we in the USA or elsewhere in the world, return to the Lord God whose name was invoked upon this nation in its inception? When on 9/11 when those of a foreign godless nation made their way through our system of pilot training and managed to fly planes and bring the death and devastation to multiplied thousands in the United States, did we return to the Lord God?

While there was a resurgence of church attendance did we as a people or nation return to the Lord? NO, instead leaders of our government said, Yes, the bricks have fallen, we recognize an enemy has attacked us. But our nation’s response was…we will rebuild, we will not yield to God but will amass our resources and build our manmade systems back up even better and will replace the ancient markers that were destroyed with our own choice of remembrances. And we will work vengeance upon those nations from which those men who flew the planes had originated.

We did not bow before the Lord our God and the lives lost in America’s longest war started as a result against a history of odds against such success of a war in that nation, live lost which continue to this day to mount. We did not bow.

Instead we divided ourselves over how we would restore America back to the prominence it once had, who the enemy was and how to protect ourselves, and how much money to spend trying to protect ourselves from those enemies who have come through the breaches in “the wall of the city.” The Lord God has said..Except He keep the city, the people labor in vain!!

And now a global disaster out of the heart of evil in the East has come killing thousands through a plague called covid19. Why is this different from the annual flu virus that has plagued nations around the world each year and killed thousands?

It is because mankind has “no sense of control” over this new virus, not that man has had control over other flu like diseases or things like driving while intoxicated, heart disease, domestic violence, homelessness or adultery or any other of our patterns of sin called iniquities that kill thousands and millions annually around the globe.

Instead we blame one another, we legislate controls over man’s fleshly wants and desires and “freedoms” uselessly, and then comes covid19 exposing the weakness of all fleshly efforts at control. Yet we continue.

YET when men pray, men raised in the house of the Lord, who bear leadership in the body of Christ…how do they pray and invite others to pray? What do we hear…cries for help, for containment, to have immediate solutions to shortages, to vaccines, to medicines.

Covid19 is helping us see the failure of governments around the world to have control over such a thing as a virus, much less human lusts and desires. And our natural response…more government!

In ancient human elemental times 19 was often thought of as the number of surrender, a prime number only divisible by itself and #1. Even among men, it is often considered the sign of completion..leading to a new beginning.

In scripture instead of looking at 1 and 9 as man does, it deals with 10 and 9.. representing God’s perfect order in regard to judgment in the bible. And 19 is the basis of the way of tracking years …a 19 year time cycle….Ps. 19 declares that the heavens and the earth and everything in it, is testimony to the existence of glory of the power of God.

So then what is God speaking to us about?

We are a weak and frail people. We have no control: governments have no real control. We as humans struggle to even deal with our own personal lusts and desires, or our tongue which cannot be controlled by man but only by the Holy Spirit.

Yet, in the face of this global virus we’re crying out to the Lord God to “help us.
Help us get through this virus…to heal us, to deliver us from this consequence of evil in the earth. This is not something God originated, but it originated in the heart of evil and is perpetuated by human weakness and failure to yield in our helplessness to the Lord who is in Control, who raised up governments to serve His purposes both good and bad for the ultimate saving of a godly remnant upon the earth to serve him for all eternity.

Does this mean we don’t pray healing into and upon those who are sick? Of course not!! That is our responsibility as citizens of the Kingdom of God…the reason the Source of Life himself is seeded into our spirits and it’s our choice and responsibility to release Him in power of healing, deliverance, encouragement around the world that it might bear witness that HE IS THE LORD GOD.

But to pray for release from these consequences of man’s self centered ways instead of repenting of our iniquities, our self centeredness as individuals and as a nation only reveals the carnal self centeredness of our lives, even those of us who proclaim the name of the Lord God. God is our healer and our deliverer…but he is also the one who shed the blood of his son that we might be freed from the power of our sins and iniquities and free from transgression to walk in relationship with Him eternally. Then we are free to move in all the power and authority that He is and has put in us to bless the nations.

This is the time to realize we are members of a different Kingdom, not like the kingdoms of men where these viruses and the sword and the wild beasts and pestilences abound. How we learn to walk in the Kingdom of God in 2020 is part of the invitation that 19 invites us…surrender…surrender the total lack of control we have as human being over anything, especially ourselves, much more a virus or the evil of the nation from whence it appears to have originated. To think that we as a nation can deal with China and Russia from a human standpoint refutes the fact of who God is and what is going on in the heavenlies.

This isn’t the end…but as men of this world in looking even at 19 would say…a new beginning….but for us who are in Christ Jesus, it is the recognition that judgment is upon the world in these days, and it will continue as the consequences of our independence and our choice is to be in this world but fully operating apart from the Kingdom of God. Our choice who are in Christ is to surrender our rights and desires and failures into the work of His love for us on the cross. Then we will give thanks knowing that HE IS IN CHARGE, even when nasty things happen by the force of evil. The end is known…Christ..the Anointed King already won…we’re just playing out the script to that triumphal day with praise and thanksgiving IN all situations.

Just a place of praise and thanksgiving allows me to see His hand in things; it allows me to see where I can operate in his power and authority, praying over the sick, casting out demons where they raise their heads against the saints, walking in proper alignment and authority with God’s leadership and the leadership of the nations that he has allowed to reign in these days. Interceding from that dwelling place of rest under the shadow of His wings where fear and alarm cannot enter. It is the place where death doesn’t reign though it may manifest itself in the earthly body. It it is not the victor, for the Victor lives and dwells in my body by Holy Spirit, my hope of resurrection, the hope of being found in His image when I see him face to face! The Hope of the ages…all glory and honor be unto Him!

 

FS Word of Power – What Is It, Man-na?

“What Is It, Man-na?

Every morning I pray the Lord´s prayer before going up. It´s something I do to start the day.

Just recently I heard the Holy Spirit speak when I was about to pray:” Give us this day our daily BREAD”. I always thought of “bread” being a metaphor for provision and income in regard to God being our provider. But the Holy Spirit spoke to me and pointed to a different type of BREAD, spiritual bread. We read in Exodus 16:15: “And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is man-na: for they did not know what it was. And Moses said unto them, this is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat.”  The Israelites had never seen Angel food before.  “He rained down manna upon them to eat and gave them food from heaven. Man did eat the bread of angels; He sent them food in abundance.” (Psalm 78:24-25)

It contained all that they needed- for a whole day and they were advised to not store or keep manna until the next day. The Bible describes it to us by saying: “it was like coriander seed, white, and its taste was like wafers with honey.” (Exodus 16:31 ) Yummy indeed! They would gather it in the morning…”  When the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna would fall with it.” (Numbers 11:6-9). You see, God wants to bless us with heavenly manna i.e. food every morning.  He wants to nourish us and give us supernatural breakfast each day! Why? Because we really need it. We need spiritual strength to survive the battle we are in and overcome the struggles of life. Yeshua knew that when He told his disciples and pointed out that: ”Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.  For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world. Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.” (John 6:32-35) Yeshua also reminded them and said: “He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD. (Deuteronomy 8:3).

God wants to provide us with fresh manna every morning- every day. It is to be consumed and not be stored where it can mold, and it is wasted. That is why we pray “gives us today OUR DAILY BREAD”. I don´t know about you but I personally love fresh bread and I ask God every morning to send His heavenly manna; meaning I long to hear the voice of Yeshua, the true manna.  He who is the true bread from heaven. I long for him to give me a fresh word for the day which can sustain me and nourish my spirit, soul and body.

Let me encourage you to get some fresh bread every day and you will find it tastes like honey- sweet and delicious. I want to close with yet another manna word from the book of  Revelation 2:17:” ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches to him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one know.” There is so much more to come… and manna is just the beginning.

<3 / Bless

 

Sex, The God Of Fornication

Dear Firestorm:

Today I am releasing a report concerning the celebration of abortion being birthed here in America. To say my heart hurts is putting it lightly. I read this article on my lunch break at work and was in tears as grief spread throughout my body. This report should drive us to our knees, not make us stand up to shout and celebrate an abortion.

I marvel at the callous heart which engages to celebrate abortion, not understanding the emotional destruction, which the enemy
will use to release regret, condemnation and guilt over many. How do I know this, because my mother had four abortions. I found out when she was fighting Ovarian Cancer. We had been in the hospital for 11 weeks after a radical hysterectomy, trying to remove all the Cancer.

One afternoon she said, “I have wasted my life.” I didn’t understand and tried to lighten the moment saying, “Hey you’ve got me.” She said, “You don’t understand, there were others.” She was right, I didn’t understand and I believe this same spirit of abortion, is alive and well, moving through thousands plus of women here in the US.

I asked her how I got through and she said, “Because I wanted you.” Really what she said was, “I fought for you.” My father, whom I thought was God before I met God, had previous children and evidently did not want anymore, but my mother was literally haunted by these abortions on her deathbed. So much for the so called celebration of young women today, who are unsuspecting about the emotional and spiritual issues they will be facing, sooner or later.

At this point, a lot of things were going through my mind and my heart, but I knew we had to pray and seek Yahweh to help her get some piece. She repented of the abortions and did get “some” peace, but not all. I told her she would see all four of her babies, when the Kingdom of Heaven was established by Jesus.

Several years later at a Firestorm Event in Alabama, a speaker was talking about abortion and I was reminded of what my mother had said. I didn’t have it in my heart to hate my dad, because even if he did not want me, when I got here, he was my biggest fan. Was he perfect – No, but God did not put it in my heart to let any bitterness toward him come forth in me.

I know Yahweh is grieving over what is happening to the spark of life He puts in a woman’s womb, which brings life. Scientists will back me up on this, as an unexplained spark of electricity comes when conception happens. They don’t know why, it just does.

I pray we will all stop and think about the recreational desire for sex at any cost. There are over 100 free birth control methods available to women and men, which could take away the need for most all of the abortions happening today.

May this article, bring truth and a reverential fear of spiritual repercussions from the very throne room of Yahweh and when you reach to push the red button at the voting polls in November, try not to focus on “personalities” but know the “platform” you are coming into agreement with. Choose Life!

In the Name of Yahshua may Yahweh help us to make a difference and let our spark shine during this dark time of people worshipping the God of Fornication, who’s name is Satan.

Fornication: In either the Hebrew or Greek can have a wide range of definitions. It can mean literal fornication, adultery, harlotry, incest, pedophilia, bestiality, or any other sexual restriction that Yahweh has placed on mankind.

If you have play around with any type of fornication, at the least use some kind of birth control and save a life. It’s more important than
saving a kitten, a frog, a cute puppy or donating to your favorite charity, in the eyes of our Father – Yahweh.

If Girls Want To Be ‘Candid’ About Abortion On TikTok, They Should Livestream It All

MARCH 4, 2020 By Joy Pullmann

This article deals with sensitive information that may be traumatizing especially for postabortive men and women and those who have experienced miscarriage. My heart goes out to you.

You can heal.

Pro-life activist Lila Rose says Twitter forced her to remove a viral video she reposted of a young woman celebrating her Planned Parenthood abortion on the social media platform TikTok.

It’s hard to know where to begin. With what looks like teenagers joyfully making the choice to have their wombs suctioned out or induced with a miscarriage? With the weird and sick trend of abortion-happy posts on the social media platform saturated with young Gen Zers? With a “reporter” who has a huge platform encouraging murderous and self-damaging behavior among teen girls? Read more at:

https://thefederalist.com/2020/03/04/if-girls-want-to-be-candid-about-abortion-on-tiktok-they-should-livestream-it-all/?

Are You To Tired to Love Others Well? – 03/08/20

FS Sunday Sermon
Are You Too Tired to Love Others Well?
By: Rick Warren

“You made my body, Lord; now give me sense to heed your laws” (Psalm 119:73 TLB).

It’s hard to love when you’re tired.
That’s right: Your physical condition has a strong impact on your relationships. Being energetic makes a big difference!

What happens to your relationships when you’re run-down? Things that are usually small issues become big problems. You may be crankier, defensive, or more critical when you’re low on energy.

If you’re committed to becoming better at loving others, develop habits that refresh you physically. The Bible teaches us many principles for health, but the three most basic are proper rest, a balanced diet, and regular exercise.

Rest. Psalm 127:2 says, “It is senseless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night . . . for God wants his loved ones to get their proper rest” (TLB). If you are too tired to love your kids, your spouse, or a roommate, then your problem is first physical, not spiritual. It’s amazing how much better things look after a good night’s sleep.

Balanced diet. The Bible says, “You made my body, Lord; now give me sense to heed your laws” (Psalm 119:73 TLB). God provides wonderful delights for us to enjoy and savor. We are meant to enjoy food! But he has also given us wisdom to know what and how much is good to put in our body—and what is not. We just need to do it.

Regular exercise. “God has bought you with a great price. So use every part of your body to give glory back to God” (1 Corinthians 6:20 TLB). To overcome fatigue, you must commit to regular exercise. Study after study shows that exercise doesn’t deplete your energy. It actually increases your energy.

God never meant for you to go through life exhausted. When you’re too tired to love others well, take a good look at how much you’re resting, what you’re eating, and how often you exercise. Then make better—and often more difficult—choices to take care of yourself.

You and those you love will only benefit in the long run.

FS Sunday Sermon When You’re Tempted to Give Up By: Ryan Chase 03/01/20

FS Sunday Sermon
When You’re Tempted to Give Up
By: Ryan Chase

Suffering of any kind can be a dangerous threat to faith. Pain provokes us to doubt that Jesus is better than what we have lost, whether health, money, dreams, independence, or the life of a loved one.

God’s word declares that it’s possible to face the agonizing realities of life with joy because the testing of our faith produces steadfastness (James 1:2–3), and suffering gives rise to endurance (Romans 5:3). But suffering doesn’t automatically produce pleasant things. In fact, trials commonly make people increasingly bitter, despondent, impatient, envious, or angry. If we respond in unbelief, suffering produces bitter fruit. But if we do not give up, suffering can produce a harvest of righteousness (Galatians 6:9; James 3:18).

So what practical steps can we take in the midst of suffering in order to persevere in faith?

1. Please don’t stop gathering with your church.

When our twin boys were born with a devastating condition called nemaline myopathy, we went through a season when we didn’t feel like attending corporate worship gatherings. I’m not talking about the times when we were circumstantially unable to leave the home because we had two ventilator-dependent babies. I’m talking about the times when there was something in our hearts that didn’t want to be around God’s people. That is the kind of unbelieving attitude we need to guard against.

The excuses always feel legitimate. It’s too exhausting to be around people. I don’t want to answer the same questions over and over. I can’t take the well-meaning-but-unhelpful comments.

But feelings are unreliable guides. Lack of desire to participate in the body of Christ is never a reason not to. In fact, it’s a clear and alarming reminder that we desperately need to. If we are going to persevere, it’s going to be with the help of gospel community. Hebrews 10:23–25 says,
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another.

Belonging to the body of Christ means belonging to a community of believers who are called to intentionally think of ways to help us not give up. Corporate worship is where we stand shoulder to shoulder with the saints, raise our voices together in worship, publicly professing that we are still clinging to Jesus.

2. Don’t stop consuming God’s word.

Suffering provides all kinds of excuses to neglect God’s word. Perhaps my schedule is so dramatically disoriented that I can’t find the time. Or the word suddenly tastes stale and falls with a hollow thud on my pallid soul. When the comfort and hope we once knew is nowhere to be found, the temptation is to quit opening the Bible.

But we have a body and a soul. That’s why we don’t live by bread alone (Matthew 4:4). It’s not a question of whether our souls will consume spiritual calories; it’s a matter of where we will find them. Instead of looking to cheap diversions that numb our souls without satisfying them, we must continue to consume the word any way we can. Read it. Listen to it. Memorize it.

Jeremiah 15:16 says, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart.” Keep consuming the word of God whether or not it feels like joy and delight. Keep consuming until it becomes a joy and delight. It doesn’t change our circumstances, but it changes us. It proactively fills our minds with truth that serves as a sentinel to block out the creeping lies of unbelief.

3. Don’t stop asking for help.

Anxiety, depression, marriage conflict, grief — we’ve experienced it all. While pride would keep us from admitting we need help, God’s grace humbles us by reminding us that our temptations aren’t unique to us and that God promises to enable endurance and provide ways of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). Knowing that everyone needs help encourages us to ask for it.

God has also supplied all the resources needed to instruct, correct, and encourage us in his word (2 Timothy 3:16–17), but we often need the help of wise believers who can bring the truths of the gospel to bear upon our souls from outside of our suffering. Thankfully, God has also equipped the church with people who are gifted to instruct, admonish, and counsel others.

One practical way to not give up is to seek out wise counselors who are convinced that God’s word is sufficient for every malady of the soul. In both formal and informal settings, we want to surround ourselves with people who can gently help us identify our attitudes of unbelief and our sinful responses to suffering, and then skillfully help us remember all that God promises to be and do for us in Christ.

4. Don’t stop clinging to God’s promises.

When we look at the future through the lens of past and present pain, the only thing we feel is despair because the only thing we see is more of the same. But through faith we obtain a glorious vista that looks back on our suffering in light of eternal glory.

From that perspective, we see that our suffering will maximize our eternal joy in the glory of God. And when we see that our present suffering is producing an eternal weight of glory that eclipses our momentary afflictions (2 Corinthians 4:17–18), we can affirm now what we will declare then: “We would have it no other way.”

5. Don’t stop serving others.

Suffering certainly changes our capacity to serve. It upends routines, saps strength, and crowds out emotional margin. But it doesn’t change that word that says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4). Serving others is a vital part of not giving up because it guards us against toxic self-pity and gives us the opportunity to prioritize the needs of others.

Serving others also positions us to receive divine strength. “Whoever serves, [let him do so] as one who serves by the strength that God supplies — in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:11). Suffering may limit the ways we are able to serve, but it can’t nullify God’s provision of strength.

Keep Looking to Jesus

These are effective ways to persevere in faith because they are all ways of fixing our eyes on Jesus, who is the only source of endurance for the fainthearted (Hebrews 12:1–3).

Corporate worship is where we are built up as members of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11–16) and where our souls are nourished with the body and blood of Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:23–26). We read the Bible because it points us to Jesus (John 5:39). We seek wise counsel rooted in God’s word because Jesus himself is our wisdom and our sanctification (1 Corinthians 1:30). We cling to every promise spoken by God because they are all yes for us in Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20). And we serve others because that mind-set is ours in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5).

Whatever else comes our way, let us never stop looking to Jesus.

FS WORD OF POWER – EVA WINDAHL 01/15/20

FS WORD of POWER

Eva Windahl

January 15, 2020

How to Overcome Seven Giants in 2020

As we continue walking into 2020, I would like to share something important that might help us during our journey. Just as Joshua and the Israelites, we too, are going to encounter resistance and enemy forces and attacks as we travel through 2020 trying to claim the promised land. God spoke to his people encouraging them to enter boldly reassuring them that he was on their side, but only two of the spies, Caleb and Joshua, made a case for entering the land stating: “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:30). But the other 10 spies replied: “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we,” they said. “We were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight” (Numbers 13:31, 33).

As the Israelites prepared to enter the Promised land, God told them he was going to destroy 7 nations with giants who were greater and more powerful than Israel. “When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are about to enter and occupy, He will clear away many nations ahead of you: the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. These seven nations are greater and more numerous than you.” (Deuteronomy 7:1)

These nations represent 7 “life giants” that God wants to help us OVERCOME in 2020.

The word “Hittite” means to “be broken, fearful and full of terror.”  In 2020, the Lord is going to remove the giants of brokenness that come from fear and terror and restore peace to us and our families.

The word “Girgashite” refers to being drugged away; living in the gray area of compromise. In 2020, the Lord is going to destroy the gray areas of compromise- living in defeat. He wants to help us walk in the freedom of moral and emotional victory.

The word “Amorite” signifies self-exaltation and pride. The Amorites were a mountain people who talked and boasted about themselves. In 2020, the Lord will bring down the giants of pride and the exaltation of people and nations who have lifted themselves above His will and name.

The word “Canaanite” referred to the merchant and trader occupation of these people who were consumed with materialism. In 2020, the Lord is going to deal with the giant of self-consumption and selfishness encouraging us to be generous helping those in need and building his Kingdom.

The word “Perizzite” speaks of the people who lived in un-walled and unprotected cities. In 2020, the Lord is going to be a wall of protection from the giants that easily attack our minds, bodies and spirits.

The word “Hivite” means to fool and refers to this group of Hivite men who lied to Joshua and deceived him about their true identity. In 2020, the Lord is going to bring down lies and deceptions, exposing what has been hidden.

The word “Jebusite” means “to tread down or trample.” In 2020, the Lord is going to remove discouragement and defeat transforming our defeats into places of joy and victory.

Giants remind us of how small and helpless we are. On our own, we can’t beat them. When we give up control over our own lives, when we decide beforehand that we can’t win these battles, we forfeit any hope of growth, of overcoming and of breaking free. Choosing not to fight means accepting defeat as a lifestyle.

The key difference isn’t what these Israelites saw; it’s how they saw itMost of the spies saw the giants and knew there was no way they could win. Caleb and Joshua looked at the giants and knew there was no way God couldn’t win.

The giants in your life are standing in the way of God’s plan for you, and how you look at them is going to change how you deal with them. Caleb and Joshua knew the answer. They could both look back at the miracles God had performed in their lives—in the lives of all of Israel—and know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that God was able to give them every victory, no matter how improbable, unlikely or, yes, even impossible. You are a potential son or daughter of God Most High (2 Corinthians 6:18), and He wants you to succeedRight now, giants are standing between you and the future God has in store for you. They’re intimidating, but with God’s help they’re far from invincible. Stand firm in faith! and then GO and drive them out!

Blessings