BEWARE!

BEWARE!

“Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.” —Mark 8:15

How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. —Matthew 16:11-12

Now here is an interesting warning! We are to “Be careful” and “Watch out” for the teaching of both religious and political groups. Everything needs to be measured by the Word of God… everything and everybody. What God has to say is what is most important. Our faith needs to rest on everything He has to say and it is our responsibility to make sure those teaching us have their teaching based on His Word. There are so many false teachers around these days. Let us be on guard. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkunT7BYCqw And we also need to watch out for those political groups that are white washed with a thin coat of Christian lingo to draw the unaware in.

One word added or taken away can change the meaning of a verse or passage drastically. Let’s just look at one well-known example. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” That is what God’s Word says. Now how does this differ? “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was a god.” One word added and now Jesus is portrayed as totally and perversely different. Adding the “a” and the Jehovah Witness are clearly seen as false witnesses and heretical with a veneer of Christianity, but they are not Christian. It is unfortunate that so many are deceived and sucked into this group that preaches a different Jesus and a different gospel. Let us proclaim God’s Word boldly to whoever we can— “Faith comes by hearing…” (Romans 10:17).

Dear Father, may I share Your Word with those around me and beware of those teachings of both false religious groups and political groups. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

FREE FROM THE SNAKE BITE

FREE FROM THE SNAKE BITE

The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived. —Numbers 21:8-9

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. —John 3:14-15

It is a matter of a person truly believing. Those in the wilderness were told that when bitten by a poisonous snake they were to look at the bronze snake on the pole and they would live. Well, a person had to believe that or they would not look. And if they did not look after being bitten then they would die. So it is with Jesus. A person who truly believes and looks to Jesus will be healed from the eternal snake bite of sin and have eternal life. But if they do not look to Him in faith and truly believe then they will experience eternal death in Hell forever! Oh, that people would look to Jesus in faith and live for Him! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbaHPmf9k40

Dear Father, thank You for the eternal life given in Jesus. May I be faithful to Your desires and run the race well that You have before me. May this be done in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

COMPASSION

COMPASSION

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. —Mark 6:34

Compassion… do we have it on the crowds of people around us who are like sheep without a shepherd? Jesus “felt compassion” for the people. He was “moved with compassion” for the people. The compassion of Jesus acted in teaching the people. He fed them spiritually and then fed them physically. His compassion moved Him to act in both of these realms.

What about us? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gupeRWCBybU How are we being compassionate? In what ways are we feeding those who have little or nothing?

What about us? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6U3LD_6cX-k How are we being compassionate? In what ways are we teaching those who have no Shepherd?

The question is… Am I really being compassionate or am I too self-focused?

Dear Father, please help me to feel compassion for others and to take action to help with their physical needs as well as their spiritual needs. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

FAITHLESSNESS AND GODLESSNESS BRINGS DEATH

FAITHLESSNESS AND GODLESSNESS BRINGS DEATH

Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the wilderness. —Numbers 14:33

This faithless, godless generation of Israel would impact their children for 40 years. Their children would wonder in the wilderness for those 40 years and all their parents would die in that wilderness. Yes, faithless, godless generations affect not only their own children, but even generations after them.

Children in the womb are suffering greatly because of the faithlessness and godlessness of our leaders and those who have put them into office. Leaders can claim they believe in God and even believe in Jesus, but their actions speak louder than words flowing off their tongue. Well over 50 million babies have been killed and the recent bill defeated that would have made it illegal to abort babies at 20 weeks and above shows the callousness, faithlessness and ungodliness of our leaders.

The killing of 17 students recently was terrible, but not surprising with the culture of death that our nation has created through abortion, the teaching of evolution (survival of the fittest) and glorification of death on the screen—violent T.V. and video games, the removal of Bible reading, prayer and the Ten Commandments from schools. Loss of one life is terrible. How the Lord God Almighty grieves over the killing of His Creation!

The politicizing and sensationalizing of such personal tragedy is despicable. Those who do such things are completely selfish and hard-hearted. What about the 3000 shot in Chicago and the 572 that were been killed in the year 2017 through October 9th of this article? http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-34-shot-5-fatally-over-the-weekend-in-chicago-20171009-story.htm And this is on-going from year to year! Where is the outcry for those people?

Children are suffering alright and it is not because of guns… it is because of godlessness and faithlessness of our leaders and the population that put them in office. Say what you will about believing in God and trusting in Jesus… but your actions are what speaks and He knows all about it. The more our leaders encourage ungodliness and unfaithness… the more our culture and nation will glorify death and many will carry out what they have been taught— the survival of the fittest…

Dear Father, please give our leaders wisdom to turn to You and do Your will. Oh, that we would be a positive influence, a godly influence on our children and this next generation. Guide us, oh Lord, into being and doing what is right in Your sight by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. So be it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTSWxY0yLo8

DO HIS WILL!

DO HIS WILL!

Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size.” —Numbers 13:30-32

These 12 men were sent to explore the land. It was not up to them to make a decision to go into the land— “The Lord said to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites” (Numbers 13:1-2). The Lord was giving them the land and Caleb & Joshua were ready to go into the land to take possession of it. But the 10 others said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size.” Two men wanted to be obedient and they did not see obstacles because they trusted the Lord was guiding them. The other 10 saw the obstacles and did not trust the Lord to guide them.

Does this happen today? Are those seeking to follow the Lord and enter the work He desires them to do up against a majority group that will only see obstacles and not the goodness and greatness of the Lord? Is the majority of the church distrusting of the Lord to accomplish great things through His people? Does the majority of the church lack the faith to go forward and trust the Lord for things they cannot do in their own strength? Or, is the church only comfortable with doing those things that they can accomplish in their own strength without the supernatural need of our Lord God Almighty?

What is it you have seen the Lord do that you could not do? How have you seen His hand at work beyond your own strength? Or are you comfortable with the status quo? Do you have a desire for the Lord to work through you to accomplish what He desires or are you satisfied with what you can do on your own? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rR_Rdb1CTE&list=PLNthtYb5e0ZrIfazjXZThaPHVBMvJOc9k

Dear Father, I want to be available to anything You desire to do through me. May I be sensitive to Your guidance and obedient to it— all for Your honor and glory and for the benefit of others. May this be so on the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus Your Son.

SET FREE!

SET FREE!

They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”

Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

Today people would say this man had a case of mental illness, put him in a mental institution of some sort and drug him. I wonder how many people today are in a similar situation as this man and are being treated for mental illness by the world? Is the church able to recognize those who are impacted by demons and serve to set them free as the Lord enables? May it be the case! This man’s mind was messed up, was in a lot of pain, but wanted to be set free and went to Jesus. This is key— do people in this man’s condition want to be set free? If so, Jesus can set them free! This man, once set free by Jesus, was sitting (he had been a driven man), dressed (he had been running around naked) and in his right mind (his mind previously bound by demons). The once demon possessed man wanted to go with Jesus, but Jesus sent him home to bear witness to what the Lord had done for him. Jesus can set any bound person free if they desire and call on Him. Let us take them to Jesus if they so desire! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jhe37sB0ZWY&list=PLGe3V95NX0OZpR5PHrdcVosro0cTDfom6

Please, Dear Father, work through me to set them free in Jesus authority and by Your Spirit!

SOW FOR THE HARVEST

OW FOR THE HARVEST

He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” —Mark 4: 26-29

Seed scattered that lands on “good soil” will produce a crop. It is a process of time for it to mature for harvest, but whether in our sleeping or waking hours the seed in a person’s life starts to germinate, sprout and grow toward harvest. Harvest will come for those who are scattering seed! Don’t fret… just keep serving the Lord and trust Him for the harvest…

Dear Father, may I be faithful in scattering Your seed and trust You for the harvest. May I be sensitive to those around me who are ready to call on Your Name. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus Your Son. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7JsK50NGaA

SOW!

SOW!

The farmer sows the word.

Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.

Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.

Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.

Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.” —Mark4:14-20

In this parable we see four different results from the seed that is sown. The sower sows the seed everywhere (preach the gospel every creature—Mark 15:15). Some of it falls on a hard packed path— hearts that hear the Word, but is not receptive at all to it and Satan takes the seed away from them and it does not have any impact in their life.

Some falls on rocky places— a thin veneer of soil on rock. These people also hear the Word of God and immediately receive it with joy. But they do not have any root and only last a short time. The same Word they received with joy causes them to fall away when persecution comes because of it.

Some falls among thorns— These people hear the Word but the worries of life, deceitfulness of wealth, desire for things choke the Word and make it unfruitful.

It is only the seed that is sown on good soil that produces varying crops— some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown. These are the people who hear the Word of God, accept it and produce a crop. There is a transformation that takes place (Romans 12:2).

The path, rocky and thorny soils do not produce any crop. It is only the good soil that produces a crop. Which are you? Brother and sister may we be praying that the Word of God will fall on good soil as we so— hearts that hear, accept and produce a crop for our King. May it be so! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zaaiFp4RSM

Dear Father, be please to have Your Word fall into good soiled lives that they would honor you by bearing much fruit. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus Your Son? So be it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biz8X1gTY-0

THE UNFORGIVABLE SIN

THE UNFORGIVEABLE SIN

And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.” —Mark 3:22-30

What is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? I have run into believers from time to time who believe they have blasphemed the Holy Spirit, but what was Jesus talking about when He said this?

In the context above the teachers of the law from Jerusalem were saying that “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” These teachers of the law were saying that Jesus had “an impure spirit.” They were attributing the power that Jesus had to Satan and not to the Holy Spirit. They were saying Jesus was possessed by “the prince of demons”— Beelzebul. This is the sin that will never be forgiven.

Jesus was talking to unsaved people, not saved people. This is the context. Those who have truly trusted Jesus rejoice in their Savior and the power of the Holy Spirit. Those who do not want to trust Jesus will not yield to the Holy Spirit and speak against Him. Believers seek to yield to Him. Only those who have the Holy Spirit can truly say that “Jesus is Lord” and “no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed” (I Corinthians 12:3). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zARVp3420I&index=4&list=PLcHqC9YNzSaD-O-rkP9o8hDA9jJ_oja4l So brother and sister, let us yield to what God’s Holy Spirit wants to do in our lives through the authority of His Son. So be it!

Dear Father, I thank You for Jesus my Lord and Your Holy Spirit given to me that I might know You and live for You. I could not do this in my own strength and I thank You that He empowers me to live for You. May I yield to Him more and more in the authority of Jesus.

NOT THINKING RIGHT

NOT THINKING RIGHT

When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” —Mark 3:21

At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.” —Acts 26:24

Vice President Mike Pence was recently mocked for his faith in Jesus by someone on the show “The View.” This is no great surprise. Jesus’ own family thought He was “out of His mind” and so it was stated of Paul as well.

The View’s Joy Behar then said: “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you.” Behar said hearing voices is a “mental illness” before Sherri Shepard offered a limited defense of Pence.

Recently someone posted a statement saying, “I don’t understand why we need the Secret Service when we can protect the president with thoughts and prayers?” Of course they were mocking. But I do agree with part of the statement that says they don’t understand. They do not understand because they need to “come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will” (II Timothy 2:26). Satan “has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (II Corinthians 4:4). Those in darkness cannot understand the Light; those under the power of Satan cannot understand Jesus or those that follow Him.

If there were those who thought Jesus and Paul were out of their mind then “Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also” (John 15:20). Let us share the gospel and pray for them that they might “come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” https://youtu.be/IlbM99I3gYs?t=24

Dear Father, I am grateful to know Jesus. May I be faithful to share Your Word with all those around me in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.