January 26. 2021

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” -Luke 23:39-43 ESV

Warrior;
If you think about it, the whole of civilization is here. The enemy uses CONFUSION as his greatest weapon formed against a believer. The devil is the father of CONFUSION and the FATHER OF EASY. These Thieves represent all of mankind and it shows that there are ONLY 2 CAMPS. Both thieves wanted to be saved. One wanted to be saved by Christ ON THE CROSS, and the other wanted to be saved with CHRIST-apart from the CROSS- SANS CROSS. These are the WILES THAT THE Bible warns us about. If you pay attention and have discernment – this is how the SATAN works, his SCHEMES.

Leader, the TEMPTATION of CHRIST in the Wilderness in LUKE 4, shows us the DEVIL did everything to keep JESUS OFF THE CROSS. The three temptations of turning stones into bread, getting the Kingdoms of the world by bowing down to Satan and having him go to the highest pinnacle and throw Himself off- where all designed to KEEP JESUS OFF THE CROSS and to make it EASIER for CHRIST. Beware of the WILES OF THE DEVIL- He wants to make it EASY for you to walk away from God- to get off the Hard, Narrow path- and get on the Broad, Wide, EASY Path! Even Jesus said to Peter, who wanted to keep Jesus OFF THE CROSS, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Mark 8:33, Matt 16:23)

Conduit, If there was any other way, God would have done it! Hebrews 9:12 tells us; he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Cor 3:17) For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Gal 5:1) The one person who could have come down from the CROSS, JESUS- did not! One thief mocked Jesus, one thief accepted JESUS. One is in paradise, one is separated from God for eternity- in HELL! There is only ONE CHOICE, two outcomes- CHOOSE WELL! Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:13-14)

January 25. 2021

For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God. -Romans 10:3-4 NLT

Warrior;

The prophet Isaiah got a WORD from GOD: Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken. I will test you with the measuring line of justice and the plumb line of righteousness.(28:16-17a). Only Jesus can keep the Law of God’s righteousness. If we focus our attention on the LAW, our sinful nature will consume us! We can’t be GOODNUFF for GOD!

Leader, by focusing our attention on Jesus, we will be changed into HIS IMAGE. This is the image we were created to BEAR! In HIM there is NO SIN! This is why we are called to seek ye first the kingdom of God, and HIS righteousness! The LORD made us with the eyes in the front of our face because we MOVE in the direction we are LOOKING and we LOOK in the direction we are MOVING! Are you moving to be more like God or more like a better MAN? Matthew 5:17 reminds us, JESUS did not make an end to the LAW- by negating it, but by FULFILLING IT! HE has become our RIGHTEOUSNESS. When we “practice our righteousness” we are ABIDING IN HIM!

Conduit, for by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. (Rom 3:20) Jesus is the Cornerstone of creation. He is the only foundation for human life. When HE IS firmly placed in our lives- WE WILL NOT BE SHAKEN! When we have been BORN AGAIN in the SPIRIT, changes in our personality, our thoughts, actions and words- will come from WITHIN, and no longer from WITHOUT! IN HIM, we no longer are moved by FEAR; rejection, embarrassment, loss or even loss of LIFE! In HIM we do not live in fear, but we WALK BY FAITH! And we REMEMBER: God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor 5:21)

January 24. 2021

And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” – Mark 10:21

Warrior;
Jesus says “FOLLOW ME” at least 20 times in the four Gospels. Depending on your translation it could be a few more or a few less times. And one of his most poignant times where He alluded to the concept of FOLLOW ME, when He said; Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6) Jesus is saying if you want to get to Jehovah, Yahweh, Adonai, El Shadai, Allah- YOU MUST FOLLOW ME! We would never follow a stranger; we would never follow someone who wasn’t going where we wanted to go- we would never follow someone who wanted to do harm to us or our family. Today people follow people on Facebook, Tik Tok, Instagram, Twitter- keeping up with pithy comments and keeping abreast of what is going on in your life. THIS IS NOT what JESUS MEANS BY FOLLOW ME! What He means is; Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25)

Leader, Jesus is saying I WANT ALL OF YOU! With the Corona-virus and the shut down of the world for a bug we can’t see, many people are losing money, houses, relationships, and who knows what else will be lost when this is over- but if you are a follower of Jesus- you CAN’T LOSE YOUR HOPE! In order to keep our HOPE and pick up our cross daily and follow after JESUS we must know who He is. Jesus told us 8 I AM statements- He Himself told us WHO HE WAS, so we could FOLLOW HIM and FORSAKE the stuff of this world! 1.“I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51) As bread sustains physical life, so Christ offers and sustains spiritual life. 2. “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12) To a world lost in darkness, Christ offers Himself as a guide. 3. “I am the door of the sheep.” (John 10:7,9) Jesus protects His followers as shepherds protect their flocks from predators. 4. “I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25) Death is not the final word for those in Christ. 5. I am the good shepherd.” (John 10:11, 14) Jesus is committed to caring and watching over those who are His

Conduit, . 6. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) Jesus is the source of all truth and knowledge about God. 7. “I am the true vine.” (John 15:1, 5) By attaching ourselves to Christ, we enable His life to flow in and through us. Then we cannot help but bear fruit that will honor the Father. But the most significant “I AM” statement by Christ is that which He stated in John 8:58; 8. Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” The reason this “I AM” statement by Christ is most significant is that aside from describing Himself analogically throughout the book of John, here He is declaring that He is the Living God, the Creator of the universe. Colossians 1 confirms this: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (v 15-17) No matter what the government allows or doesn’t allow, no matter what we all lose during this forced shutdown we never have to LOSE OUR HOPE! If your hope is in anything other than JESUS right now, things are tough. You don’t have to give up your life, you don’t have to give up all your stuff- the world is taking care of that. All you have to do is PICK UP YOUR CROSS DAILY and FOLLOW the GOD of the universe because in these DARK TIMES- He is the only ONE who knows where He is taking us! Jesus is saying to us today, “ITS OK- FOLLOW ME, I know where we are GOING!” “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” (John 14:1-4)

January 23. 2021

for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.- Mark 9:31-32 ESV

Warrior;
The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. (1 Cor 1:18) How you feel, IF YOU FEEL anything when you read or hear about Christ, His Cross and His Resurrection will tell you the CONDITION of your HEART! If you consider it a FABLE or mythology, then your HEART is HARD! For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (2 Peter 1:16) After Jesus death and resurrection, the Bible denotes 12 times Jesus was seen after His Resurrection and states He is the FIRST! Jesus is both first in time and first in preeminence. In the book of Revelation Christ is called the FIRSTBORN of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. (1:4) But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back. (1 Cor 15:23)

Leader, we must understand the biblical meaning of the word “HEART.” The Bible considers the heart to be the hub of human personality, producing the things we would ordinarily ascribe to the “mind.” Scripture informs us that grief (John 14:1); desires (Matthew 5:28); joy (Ephesians 5:19); understanding (Isaiah 6:10; Matthew 13:15); thoughts and reasoning (Genesis 6:5; Hebrews 4:12; Mark 2:8); and, most importantly, faith and belief (Hebrews 3:12; Romans 10:10; Mark 11:23) are all products of the heart. Also, Jesus tells us that the heart is a repository for good and evil and that what comes out of our mouth – good or bad – begins in the heart (Luke 6:43–45). The Lord of Creation put our eyes in the front of our head because we MOVE in the direction we are LOOKING, and we LOOK in the direction we are MOVING. What we desire, what we focus on daily becomes our treasure; where our HEART IS! For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt 6:21)

Conduit, unrepentant sin causes HEARTS to grow hard. Now we know that “if we confess our sins, [Jesus] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins” (1 John 1:9). However, if we don’t confess our sins, they have a cumulative and desensitizing effect on the conscience, making it difficult to even distinguish right from wrong. Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared. (1 Tim 4:1–2) Scripture makes it clear that if we continue to engage in sin, there will come a time when God will give us over to our “debased mind” and let us have it our way. The apostle Paul writes about God’s wrath of abandonment in his letter to the Romans; For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, (Rom 1:21-22) Today, REPENT, change your MIND, OPEN your heart and allow JESUS to MEND your HEART! Then you can share with others: My HEART is FULL because HIS TOMB is EMPTY! And you can thank the GREAT PHYSICIAN by LIVING FOR HIM! Amen!

January 22. 2021

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. – James 5:7-9 ESV

Warrior; Paul in his first letter to the church at Corinth, put it bluntly: If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed. Maranatha. (1 Corinthians 16:22) That is one of those “Interesting words”, Maranatha: consists of two Aramean words, ‘Maran’ and ‘athah’, meaning, “our Lord comes,” or is “coming.” If the latter interpretation is adopted, the meaning of the phrase is, “Our Lord is coming, and he will judge those who have set him at nought.” In other words: to treat as of no account; to disregard; to despise; to defy; to treat with ignominy. And IGNOMINY means deep personal humiliation and disgrace: dishonor; public contempt, public embarrassment; the state or condition of suffering loss of esteem and of enduring reproach. For those who treat JESUS with this disdain, HE WILL JUDGE! There are only 2 teams in this world. No, not Republican or Democrat, not conservative or liberal, not PRO TRUMP and those of you who believe TRUMP is somehow an existential threat and therefore, he and his followers must be destroyed….You are either in Love with Jesus or you are bitter toward the WORD OF GOD. The word MARANATHA separates the 2 teams. Those who DESIRE it- the coming of CHRIST, and those who MOCK HIM and anyone who calls on the name of JESUS.

Leader, Jesus Himself knew that HE WOULD BE THE SEPARATOR! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” (Luke 12:51-53) Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:11-13) The fair question to check on our spiritual health: are you seeking, hoping, craving, begging that Yeshua come? Do you speak publicly about your LOVE of JESUS, or do you let the politics of the day silence you and make you believe SATAN’S lie that your relationship with JESUS is personal and supposed to keep separate from other aspects of your life? Do you cry out, MARANATHA, or -NOT YET?

Conduit, we are a time of DECISION. We can no longer keep our FAITH and BELIEF in JESUS private. We are called to speak the name of JESUS, to DEFEND the name of JESUS and to SHARE THE LOVE OF JESUS. Jesus Himself made clear that HE IS WATCHING, and IT DOES MATTER! “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. (Matthew 10:32-33) Read the entire 10th chapter of Matthew and you will read of the division that will come down between those who CRY MARANATHA and those who claim followers of JESUS, believers in the WORD will be called names; homophobic, hateful, self-righteous and enemies of progress. In the final book of the GOOD BOOK, when Jesus tells us how the time of the GENTILES wraps up and how the END OF MAN’s TIME in charge, is put to rest that MARANATHA will cause much division, much fear and pain. This is why we are called to be WARRIORS, fighting the good fight, speaking the name of JESUS with love and with awe. It is time to get serious about the COST of following JESUS CHRIST. “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. (Matthew 24:9-10) There is a big cost in today’s world for believing in and speaking about MARANATHA- are you willing to publicly state WHOSE TEAM YOU ARE ON? Are you willing to forgo the praise of man for the PRAISE OF JESUS? For they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God. (John 12:43) It is time to decide…JESUS, or THE WORLD? MARANATHA or MALARKEY? And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. (1 Kings 18:21) The time of DECISION is at hand! “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live”! Amen and MARANATHA!

January 21. 2021

The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. – Genesis 12:1 NIV

Warrior;
In order to understand the ending, we need to go back to the beginning! Abram was the first person “CALLED OUT” by God. We know ABRAM as ABRAHAM, but when God CALLED HIM HE WAS ABRAM. Why was his name ABRAM, because he was a gentile. Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. (Romans 4:9-12)

Leader, when ABRAM was ‘called out’, he was a worshipper of idols, as was his father. This is the account of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. And Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. Abram’s wife was named Sarai, and Nahor’s wife was named Milcah; And Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai the wife of Abram, and they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans for the land of Canaan. But when they arrived in Haran, they settled there. (Genesis 11:27,29,31) Joshua 24:2 is even clearer; And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods. Then God CHANGED IT ALL- Genesis 17- He called out ABRAM and HE DID ALL the heavy lifting: When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty. Walk before Me and be blameless. I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, “As for Me, this is My covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram, but your name will be Abraham. (Genesis 17:1-2,4-5a) Then God says the great statements, ‘I WILL’, NOT- you will: I will make you exceedingly fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will descend from you. I will establish My covenant as an everlasting covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. (Genesis 17:6-7) GOD initiated the relationship, God sealed the relationship and GOD did the primary work in the relationship all Abraham had to do was BELIEVE! Let God be God and you be HIS SERVANT, SON\DAUGHTER and follower!

Conduit, Abraham, the uncircumcised Gentile was counted righteous because he believed the promise of God. “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Romans 4:3) “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. The Law didn’t come till Moses sojourned in the desert with the Israelites, and we all know that the law was a conditional law. IF you do A, then B will take place. And the law doesn’t justify anybody it only condemns. Is the law, then, opposed to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come from the law. …so that by faith in Jesus Christ the promise might be given to those who believe. Before this faith came, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law became our guardian to lead us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. (Galatians 3:21-25) God is NOT a respecter of persons, there is no group of people better than another group of people. Those who will spend eternity with God are those who have been ‘Called out’ of the ‘ways of the world’ and who are willing to BELIEVE in the WORD of GOD. The problem today is not our willingness to believe in God, even the devil believes in God. The problem today is BELIEF in THE WORD OF GOD! Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the WORD of GOD. Believe in the WORD and ACT AS IF it is true! We call that Faith and WITHOUT FAITH it is impossible to please God, nor is it possible to be His children, HIS CALLED-OUT ONES!

January 20. 2021

And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the LORD, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD. – 1 Kings 8:10-11 ESV

Warrior;
This should be our MOST DESIRED OUTCOME. To be so filled with the HOLY SPIRIT, to be so STUFFED with HIS WORD, that there is no room for anything else. We must have discernment, the Bible tells us; My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27) When we tune into the voices in our head, we must ask ourselves is this ME (my flesh), is this the devil (the world), or is this MY GOD (my guide, THE WAY), speaking to me? In our heads it all sounds like us, because it is in our head. It is written; 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. (Luke 6:45) When we are filled with things of the world, we are getting input and narratives from those things that we allow to be IN US. And if this is the case- it might look good on the outside, but the insides are corrupt.

Leader, this is why Jesus was always concerned with the heart. Many times, Jesus would say, “you have heard it is said, but I say….” In other words, He is more concerned with what is in their heart. When a sponge is squeezed, the only thing that can come out of it, is what was put IN IT. He called the religious people of His time; whitewashed tombs, hypocrites, brood of vipers, children of the devil. See Matthew 23:27-28, Matthew 12:34 and 23:33, John 8:44. God is always concerned with what is INSIDE THE HOUSE, versus what the outside of the HOUSE looks like. We are living in tabernacles, tents- temporary dwelling places and our home, if we are children of God- is our Heart, Body and Soul- it is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Conduit, in Luke 15:11-32 we read the story of the LOST SON, or the PRODIGAL SON. Might I suggest that we are dealing with 2 lost sons, with 2 prodigal sons. We all know about the one who left and came back to Daddy and GOD ran out to meet him and welcome him home. But many miss the ‘lostness’ of the second son. “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.(Luke 15:28-31) The second son was doing all the right things on the OUTSIDE, but inside was resentment, bitterness and his performance based belief system. It is time to clean out the CRAP from our home, and let only God and HIS WORD, HIS WILL and HIS WAY- occupy our hearts, minds and souls! Can I get a witness! Amen.

January 19. 2021

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. – 1 John 4:7-10 NIV

Warrior;
Whether we are talking about Jesus the Christ, the Beatles, Burt Bacharach, or Wes Montgomery- it has been said over and over; What the world needs now is LOVE, sweet love! Therefore we NEED GOD; FOR GOD IS LOVE. The most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16 tells us; For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. And God tells us the POWER OF LOVE in 1 Peter 4:8; “Love covers a multitude of sins”. The book of wisdom confirms this as well. “Hatred stirs up strife but love covers all sins” (Proverbs 10:12).

Leader, If God is love and we all need love and it covers a multitude of sins, what is it? I might suggest that TRUE LOVE, IS A VERB, and yet we get wrapped up in the noun, the feeling. But if you read John 3:16 with the guidance of the HOLY SPIRIT, then you can plainly hear it; For God so loved the world- He did something about it. If you read further in Johns Gospel we are told; There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13) The Gospel of John is called the Gospel of Love and He says it many times, in many ways- because He heard it from the mouth of Jesus: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. (John 10:11)

Conduit; It is sometimes hard to see LOVE, but what we can see is the bi-products of Love; Mercy, Grace, Forgiveness, Sacrifice, putting other people first….As we do this time of year; We look back so that we can look forward. Let us remind ourselves of those who have loved us, the times we have forgotten to love and the desire to love better and more often. Let us BE LOVING, by demonstrating the FRUIT OF LOVE. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

January 18. 2021

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 ESV

Warrior;
We have three enemies, three forces working against us and the WILL OF GOD! We are continually under attack if we are serving the KING of KINGS and the LORD of LORDS! What are these three foes named? The world, the flesh and the devil, and all 3 have the same outcome: To keep us falling short, missing the mark, living to our own desires, means and machinations. That is where GRACE comes in, a new LAW, if you will! As a believer- HIS GRACE is supposed to be sufficient! In our weakness HIS strength is perfected! It allows us to be more than our FLESH, victorious despite the PRINCE OF THIS AIR and it brings a PEACE when there is little peace around us!

Leader, Pastor Tony Evans calls it the overriding ‘law of Grace’. He goes onto say, “Did you know that grace gives you the ability to either override or to work through adverse circumstances in your life? We all face things that seem difficult to overcome: problems, pain, frustrations, people. What grace does is it comes alongside of us either to override something or to take us through something that seems to be overwhelming. You take the law of gravity which holds us down, and you take the law of aerodynamics which lifts us up. It doesn’t cancel the law of gravity, but it does override it so that we can fly in an airplane even though the law of gravity is still working.”

Conduit, Tony tells us to think about GRACE, as being like WINGS. Grace- like wings- can lift us up and take us beyond what our experience is saying and what our flesh is feeling! Jesus prepared us when he said, “In this world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Grace is SPIRITUAL overcoming, it provides strength that comes in one of three ways, as Pastor Evan’s posits,” It is strength to be delivered from, strength to be moved through or it is strength to be changed in the midst of the trauma or drama. Strength you didn’t have initially until heaven joined you on earth to help you lift the weight that appeared too heavy. Grace gives you and me the power to overcome. We must remember in our weakness; HIS STRENGTH is perfected. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. LIVE IN HIS GRACE and be lifted up, by the HOLY WINGS OF GRACE!

January 17. 2021

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. – James 1:22-25 ESV

Warrior;
The moon puts off no light, yet it lights the night sky. The moon get’s its light from the sun. The moon reflects the light of the sun and it can light up the night sky on an entire planet. How many lives are you lighting for Jesus? We are to be like the MOON, and reflect the SON. If you have ever used a mirror to reflect light then you know it is a 2-step process. First you must BEHOLD the LIGHT and then you must DIRECT the LIGHT. To “behold” for the Christian is to look to God, to Jesus and to the Holy Spirit to see, observe and comprehend His will and ways through His Word, the Bible. It means we have a choice – a choice to behold or not to behold. It represents the responsibility that is our part in the Christian walk.

Leader, the biblical definition of BEHOLD is ‘To fix the eyes upon; to see with attention; to observe with care’. There are many times in the Bible where we are told to BEHOLD. John the Baptist was a ‘Rock star’ in Jesus day. There is far more written about Jesus by the Jewish Historian Josephus, than Jesus. And John spoke this infamous word; The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29) John knew that HE MUST DECREASE, so Christ can INCREASE. (John 3:30) The Christmas story begins with; Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:23) And the illustration of the Messiah to come was in the desert with the wandering Israelites; And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it on a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. (Numbers 21:9)

Conduit, why do we BEHOLD? Because of how God made us. God put the eyes in the front of our face because we MOVE in the direction we are LOOKING, and we LOOK in the direction we are MOVING. We have the tendency to become like the things we look at most often; WE REFLECT. A mirror gives us the opportunity to see what is right and what is wrong about something. It gives us a broader picture of what is really going on. Once we understand, what is really going on and who really matters; Jesus- then we reflect to others what we see in HIS MIRROR. We become more like the object of our gaze. A mirror allows us to see the GOOD and the BAD and then ONE can make choices about the image we REFLECT. The mirror allows us to see what needs to be corrected and allows us to put off a better reflection of who we are and what we do. In these closing days of the ‘Time of the Gentiles’, let us reflect JESUS and His attributes. When Jesus was on the cross He said 7 things, with the first being; “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) Jesus Himself said, I AM the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE; in other words HE is our example- we are to BEHOLD HIM. Then, we are to REFLECT HIM, as we walk this planet. In John 10:23 when the Jews were ready to stone Jesus, He said He reflected the Father; But Jesus responded, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone Me?” If being a Christian was a crime, do you reflect enough of Jesus to be found guilty? UP UNTIL NOW…?