April 4. 2021

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. – John 19:30 ESV

Warrior;

In the Book of John, this is recorded as the final event of Jesus’ incarnate walk with Man. It is part of what is called the “7 Words”, these are the last seven sayings that Jesus said, and He said them as He HUNG on a CROSS.  Death on a cross was such a horrible, terrible way to die.  It was so horrible that from the cross came a brand-new word, “EXCRUCIATING”!  God loves us enough that He put His Son through excruciating pain, so that we may not have to endure our punishment.  Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:43, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” John 19:26-27, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” Matt. 27:46, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME? “John 19:28, “I am thirsty.” John 19:30, “It is finished!” Luke 23:46, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.” It is these 7, final words to mankind, that He finished the first part of His ministry on this planet.  He came on a RESCUE MISSION, and this part of the MISSION, was complete- IT IS FINISHED!

Leader, these are the last seven sayings that Jesus said on the cross. This is technically Jesus’ final sermon before He wrapped up His incarnate visit! These 7 things that Jesus spoke, prayed, or shared are unto themselves a message about how we should live. Christ gave us an example of how to respond, and how to put others before ourselves in suffering, pain and even death. No matter what we call these last “7 Words” of Christ, they are important for every believer to know and understand what He meant with each one. There’s a bit of a debate on the exact order of the sayings, but no debate on what they were. When you look into what He said, and what HE meant by what He said you will notice that some of the things that Jesus spoke were Old Testament scripture. This is because Jesus came to fulfill the Old Testament law (Matthew 3:15). This also again, shows the importance of knowing the entire bible! The Old Testament pointed TO JESUS, and the NEW TESTAMENT was about Jesus’ time on this earth and how the church took that event and changed the world! Jesus said that the Scriptures bore witness of him (John 5:39).

Conduit, many people are daily working to be acceptable to God. They believe that they need to work to be acceptable to God. Many are working for their salvation, believing that if only I can STOP doing this, or START doing this, then God will love me, then God will accept me. WE believe that if we start doing good works, then God will love us, then we will make ourselves acceptable to God. We must remember that we are NOT saved by WORKS, but saved unto works. It is NOT our effort that gets us into a reconciled relationship with CHRIST, it is HIS SACRIFICE that makes us acceptable to God! Religion is man’s attempt to be good enough for God. It started with Nimrod in Babylon (see Genesis 10), and it continues to this day- man working to create a CHECKLIST, so that God must accept us. According to Isaiah 64:6, our works are as filthy rags, the rags, according to scripture, that lepers wrapped around their putrefying flesh. In other words, our good works, apart from Jesus working in and through us, are puss-filled, awful-smelling bandages. Paul in his letter to the church in Ephesus told us; For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9) It is by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone, to the GLORY OF GOD alone, and it is the Bible alone! Keep it simple soldier! Jesus paid it all, all to Him we owe- IT IS FINISHED, HE IS RISEN! Today, put down your YOKE! Today, stop attempting to be GOODNUFF for God, you are NOT, only JESUS IS! You do not have to be GOODNUFF for God, Jesus bridged the gap between an unholy man, and a HOLY GOD! IT IS FINISHED, when JESUS ROSE, all who call on HIM, rose with HIM! It is said that a “rising tide raises all boats”. Christ is the TIDE that raises ALL BOATS, who call on the NAME OF JESUS! Happy Resurrection Sunday. Luke 24:1-6; “On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were puzzling over this, suddenly two men in radiant apparel stood beside them. As the women bowed their faces to the ground in terror, the two men asked them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen!” Believe on the Risen Christ and know IT IS FINISHED and be SAVED, UNTO GOOD WORKS!

April 3. 2021

“Now I’m making known to you, brothers, the gospel that I proclaimed to you, which you accepted, on which you have taken your stand, and by which you are also being saved if you hold firmly to the message I proclaimed to you—unless, of course, your faith was worthless. For I passed on to you the most important points that I received: The Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures, he was buried, he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures—and is still alive! — and he was seen by Cephas, and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Next he was seen by James, then by all the apostles, and finally he was seen by me, as though I were born abnormally late. (1 Corinthians 15:1-7)

Warrior;

For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. (1 Corinthians 15:13-14) Jesus was not the only man who was ever crucified.  It’s impossible to be precise but suffice it to say that multitudes, in the hundreds of thousands, have faced the same fate as Jesus, including Peter, who watched his wife crucified and then was crucified, UPSIDE DOWN. It was his request, for he did not feel ‘worthy’ to die the same way as His Savior. Historically, we know 6,000 were crucified on a single day in 71 BCE, in the aftermath of Spartacus’ rebellion. According to Livescience.com; In antiquity, thousands upon thousands of people were crucified, which at the time was considered to be one of the most brutal and shameful ways to die. Crucifixion most likely began with the Assyrians and Babylonians, and it was also practiced systematically by the Persians in the sixth century B.C. At this time, the victims were usually tied, feet dangling, to a tree or post; crosses weren’t used until Roman times. From there, Alexander the Great, who invaded Persia as he built his empire, brought the practice to eastern Mediterranean countries in the fourth century B.C. But Roman officials weren’t aware of the practice until they encountered it while fighting Carthage during the Punic Wars in the third century B.C. For the next 500 years, the Romans “perfected crucifixion” until Constantine I abolished it in the fourth century A.D.  The fact that Jesus, the Christ, was crucified is not what we celebrate.  What we celebrate is HE IS RISEN!  We celebrate that Jesus conquered death and the grave!  Jesus is the only human, to be crucified, die and then LIVE AGAIN!  The entire basis of Christianity does not rest on the crucifixion, but on the RESURRECTION.  Why is it called, GOOD FRIDAY?  It was GOOD, because Jesus was crucified, hung on a cross with our sins, so that we may spend eternity with a Holy God, in a Holy paradise! Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)

Leader, there are at least 5 reasons to believe in the Resurrection and thus in the deity, and message of Jesus Christ: Non-biblical sources confirm Jesus was a real person and died on the cross, the news of Jesus’ resurrection spread too quickly to be a legend, the tomb of Jesus was empty, the earliest disciples died for their claim of a resurrected Jesus, multiple eyewitness accounts of people seeing Jesus alive after His death. I want to focus the rest of this devotional on that last point. At the end of the Gospel of John, he makes an incredible statement; Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. (John 21:25) In other words, our Bible contains information on a NEED-TO-KNOW basis, much that happened was not recorded. Jesus had to appear to many more people than Scripture indicates. However, what is recorded, tells us that at least 513 people had eyewitness accounts of Jesus, in the flesh, after he was buried in the tomb, over a course of 40 days. This is the strongest case for Jesus’s resurrection! In the court of law, it only takes one eyewitness to win a case! The biggest excuse for people not believing in the ‘eyewitness’ aspect of the resurrection is “It could have been people wanting to believe, or maybe they were hallucinating. Lee Strobel addressed this theory in the book, “The Case for Christ”: “I went to a psychologist friend and said if 500 people claimed to see Jesus after he died, could it have been a hallucination? He said hallucinations are an individual event. If 500 people have the same hallucination, that is a bigger miracle than the resurrection.” Our sins and Christ were crucified on the cross, and only one of those CAME BACK, 3 days later- JESUS! A.C. Dixon is quoted as saying, “In Jesus Christ on the Cross there is refuge; there is safety; there is shelter; and all the power of sin upon our track cannot reach us when we have taken shelter under the Cross that atones for our sins”.

Conduit, Dr. Norman Geisler notes the following 12 appearances of Jesus, after His resurrection. Mary Magdalene, John 20:11-17 notes Mary Magdalene as the first person to see Jesus alive again. The Other Mary and Salome, Matthew 28:9-10 and Mark 16:1. Simon Peter, Luke 24:34. The Two Disciples Walking on the road to Emmaus, Luke 24:13-32. The 10 Apostles, all except Didymus, doubting Thomas, Luke 24:33-39. The 11 Apostles, Thomas no longer doubts because he stuck his fingers in the holes in Jesus body, John 20:26-30. In the final chapter of John, John records seven apostles on an all-night fishing trip that occurred on the Sea of Galilee sometime after Christ’s appearance, roughly 10 days after His resurrection, John 21:1-14. John records this as the third time Jesus had appeared to a group of disciples following His resurrection. The Apostles in Galilee, Matthew 28:16-20. Matthew’s Gospel ends with the risen Jesus meeting the apostles in Galilee. Our morning text, 1 Corinthians 15:6, Paul notes 500 people who saw the risen Jesus as one time. Again referencing today’s text, Paul records Jesus appearing to James, the half-brother of Jesus. He became the first leader of the church in Jerusalem. Another half-brother of Jesus, Jude, would also become a follower and also write an epistle that became part of the Bible. Both brothers were skeptical of Jesus while alive, but now are willing to die for Jesus! When you see a dead man, alive, BELIEFS CHANGE! The 11 Apostles see Jesus again. Acts 1:4-9 records the ascension of Jesus 40 days after the resurrection. This would have been 10 days before Pentecost (Acts 2). Matthew 28:16-20 is believed to record the same event. The Apostle Paul is the final one to see the RISEN CHRIST. Both Acts 9 and 1 Corinthians 15:8 note Jesus appearing to Paul (then Saul) on the road to Damascus. In the Garden before His crucifixion Jesus pleaded with His Father: In both Mark 14:36 and Luke 22:42, Jesus asked God,” …If there is any other way… NOT my will, but yours, be done!” The question was, if there was another way to reconcile a sinful man, to a HOLY GOD…? The silence of the Father was the answer, “There is NO OTHER WAY!. Walter J. Chantry said, “As Christ struggled up Calvary’s hill and bled upon it, His aim was to eradicate self-love and implant the love of God in the hearts of men. One can only increase as the other decreases”. Today let us remember because JESUS ROSE FROM THE GRAVE; He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. (John 3:30) All glory and Honor to God the Father and His Son, our Savior, the first born of the resurrection- Jesus!!

April 2. 2021

Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these charges true?” And Stephen declared: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and told him, ‘Leave your country and your kindred and go to the land I will show you.’ So Abraham left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. After his father died, God brought him out of that place and into this land where you are now living. – Acts 7:1-4 BSB

Warrior;
The book of Acts is the book of the early church. How they did things, how they overcame things, how they moved people and how they took ONE MAN’S message of reconciliation and redemption, a message of forgiveness, grace, and mercy and started changing their world, and eventually changed THE WORLD-bringing the GOOD NEWS of salvation through Christ to the World. Whenever the early church leaders were accused, and stood before the magistrates they always used that situation to TESTIFY to their captors, about Jesus, the Christ and His redemptive work on the cross. Remember, Jesus, our Messiah came in the flesh (incarnate) and was crucified. Three days later He rose again in fulfillment of the scriptures. This was a big deal, all of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria were talking about this Jesus- then HE WAS HUNG ON A CROSS! This information ROCKED their WORLD! 13That same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. And as they talked and deliberated, Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing Him. He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along? “They stood still, with sadness on their faces. One of them, named Cleopas, asked Him, “Are You the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in recent days?” “What things?” He asked. “The events involving Jesus of Nazareth,” they answered. “This man was a prophet, powerful in speech and action before God and all the people. Our chief priests and rulers delivered Him up to the sentence of death, and they crucified Him. But we were hoping He was the One who would redeem Israel. And besides all this, it is the third day since these things took place. (Luke 24:13-21) This was big news! All the “World” was talking about it!

Leaders, the reason I mention that is because within 3 days, Jesus was to rise again, and be spotted by thousands of people: EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS! “Now I’m making known to you, brothers, the gospel that I proclaimed to you, which you accepted, on which you have taken your stand, and by which you are also being saved if you hold firmly to the message I proclaimed to you—unless, of course, your faith was worthless. For I passed on to you the most important points that I received: The Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures, he was buried, he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures—and is still alive! — and he was seen by Cephas, and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Next he was seen by James, then by all the apostles, and finally he was seen by me, as though I were born abnormally late. (1 Corinthians 15:1-7) We tend to read the BIBLE and not always connect the dots, to the OMNI-purposes of WHAT exactly we are reading and the implications. This was the MAIN TOPIC of conversation, of preaching, of conversion, of their message! CHRIST IS ALIVE, WE SAW HIM! This was the early church’s message, this was\is their SERMON, their GOOD NEWS! CHRIST IS RISEN, and we too will rise with CHRIST, if we will just believe ON HIM! Remember, HE was alive, and then HE DIED on the CROSS, in fulfillment of the scriptures. Three days later HE ROSE and IS RISEN and in that we have the HOPE THAT SURPASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING! This was their message, and this is to be OUR MESSAGE! They took every opportunity when they were attacked, accused, lied about, mistreated, CANCELLED by their culture, driven out of town, off of SOCIAL MEDIA…. Everything was an opportunity to talk about the RISEN CHRIST! How many opportunities, daily, do you talk about the RISEN CHRIST?

Conduit, where has our LOVE FOR THE RISEN CHRIST gone? How often, outside of EASTER do we celebrate the RISEN KING and talk about HIS PURPOSE in coming, dying, and conquering the grave? Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:54-57) Stephen is full of the HOLY SPIRIT. This is not Stephen speaking, this is the HOLY SPIRIT speaking through Stephen! Stephen is a CONDUIT! Luke recounted what Jesus told the Apostles; And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” (Luke 12:11-12) I would encourage you to read Stephens entire defense, Acts 7:1-53, because God had Stephen identify a PATTERN with the JEWS and their Fathers. It is a pattern that applies to all men\women, it is a pattern of the flesh, played out in the flesh of our church Fathers\Mothers. What is that pattern? That they have a history of missing things the first time, but SEEING IT the second time. When going through the Jewish history he focused on 2 shadows of Christ, 2 forerunners of the Messiah, “types” of Christ: Joseph and Moses. Both Joseph and Moses were ‘types’ of Jesus. They were redeemers, they were Saviors of their people and both of them were denied by those that they came to help, the first time! When they appeared a second time, the people were then able to identify them as their Savior! “Do you intend to reign over us?” his brothers asked. “Will you actually rule us?” So they hated him even more because of his dream and his statements. (Genesis 37:8) When Joseph re-met his brothers 17 years after they left him for dead, they did not recognize him, even though he knew them. But later they then recognized him and bowed down to him. Moses at first was rejected by the Jews, the man replied, “Who appointed you to be our prince and judge? (Exodus 2:14) But Later, and they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!” (Exodus 20:19) The Holy Spirit was showing the pattern, with the implication being; When Jesus comes back a SECOND TIME, they will bow down and worship Him for HE IS RISEN! “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11).

LIM RADIO- Cockwomble.

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Today on Like It Matters Radio Mr. Black will be having a ‘heart to heart’ discussion with his listeners about the status of our environment. Like a doctor who visits with a patient, then leaves the room to put together their thoughts based on their notes from the checkup- then returns to the patients room with the diagnoses and recommended therapy. It is classic Mr. Black wielding the truth with the precision of a skilled surgeon! Tune into Like It Matters Radio for an hour of power as Mr. Black goes deep in today’s Like It Matters Radio Show titled; Cockwomble?
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April 1. 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)

March 31. 2021

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. – John 10:1-3 ESV

Warrior;
There is so much here in John 10. The biggest problem with the Bible is the fact that few read it regularly, and fewer yet, STUDY it and seek to understand its meaning and implications in the lives and the world. In this Chapter we get one of the most mis-interpreted verses in the Bible. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) The “Thief” is thought to believe is the “Devil”, and he is the SPIRIT behind the thief, but the thief is actually anyone who attempts to get to God the Father, Abba, without going through Jesus. There are many today who are believing that they are getting close to God by other means, than Jesus. Yet, Jesus Himself claimed that there was only one way to ABBA, Father God and that is through Him! Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!” (John 14:6-7) Jesus says, if you had REALLY known me, you would have known who MY FATHER is! The thief is the “Attempter” to fool, to use wiles, methods and mans ‘search for knowledge” to achieve reconciliation with the Father-outside of the Conduit of Jesus. The THIEF is the one who attempts to make you believe there are other ways to God, than through Jesus. Treasure is defined as something valuable, wealth or riches stored or accumulated, especially in the form of precious metals, money… jewels.

Leader, when someone is made to believe that they are RECONCILED with God, in any fashion other than a close, intimate, humbling, repentant, volitional relationship with God the Son, Jesus the Christ- they are being ROBBED! They have been counterfeited! They might “Be at peace” with it, they might think they are RIGHTEOUS before God, they might feel as though they are close to God and even in the presence of God, but they are mistaken. It is like ‘FOOLS GOLD’, one might think they have great value in their hands, but it is nothing but mere rock and it shall become ash again! We are told to beware of the wiles of the devil, the ways that we are deceived to believe the lies of the devil. One of the greatest wiles of the devil, outside of wanting people to believe in his NON-EXISTENCE, is the deception of getting to God the Father without Going through God the Son. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44) When the devil gets someone to believe that they can be a child of God, reconciled to Jehovah, Yahweh, the Almighty God- without bowing at the feet of Jesus, they have been lied to and thus, robbed! They have been robbed of eternal salvation, peace with God, the peace of God and the Peace that surpasses all understanding. They have been ROBBED…thief! Treasure has another definition which means to hold or keep as precious; cherished, prized. That is what we are to God! We were valuable gifts given to Jesus by the Father. “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. (John 17:6,10)

Conduit, in the 12th chapter of Luke, under the heading of TREASURES IN HEAVEN, it says: Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide yourselves with purses that will not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12:32-34) Again, notice how God equates our rewards in heaven for TREASURE, for where our treasure is , there our heart will also be. Jesus makes it clear that in the realm of God, the devil cannot take, nor can the thief- from the hands of God! My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else.d No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” (John 10:27-30) 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39) Do you TREASURE your relationship with God? Do you TREASURE those that you get to feed daily with the WORD of GOD? Remember three times, Jesus told Peter; Feed my sheep! We must remember that Man does NOT live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God! Today it is time to TREASURE our relationship with God. Today, let us TREASURE His Word, His work He is doing in us and through us- let us TREASURE our moment in time to be the HANDS, FEET and HEART of Jesus to a BROKE and BROKEN world! God finds that you are a great TREASURE TO HIM- ACT, in that GREAT VALUE!

March 30. 2021

We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. – Colossians 1:11-14 NLT

Warrior;
What a great Prayer. People who know how to pray, usually know the Lord, know His Word, and desire HIS WAY! Colossians 1:9–14 is a prayer on behalf of the Colossian Christians. Paul prays for their continued spiritual growth, including knowledge of God, knowledge of His will, and wisdom. Paul also prays for their strength and endurance. In so praying, Paul reminds the believers of Colossae that salvation is entirely the work of God, who drastically changed their fate by rescuing them from sin. We must remember that we live in a world that is fading away, that is temporal. This is why we are to LOVE GOD and the things that are eternal and NOT LOVE THIS WORLD, which is temporal, and which pulls us from the Love of God the Father. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever”. (1 John 2:15-17)

Leader, this is why we are encouraged to focus on the Kingdom of God. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:33) “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21) Paul, Abba, Jesus, Peter, John- all those who are Great in the Lord, tell us that we are to focus on the Kingdom of God and fight against the flesh, the world and the devil who wants to keep our focus on the Kingdom of darkness. Where are focus is, we move in that direction. Our eyes are in the front of our head, so we can MOVE in the direction of our FOCUS, and we FOCUS in the direction we MOVE! Which is why the great theologian C. S. Lewis said, “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither”. Today refocus your attention, your aim. Focus on God’s Kingdom, and not America’s kingdom, or your Kingdom, or your temporal desires.

Conduit, there are 2 Spiritual kingdoms. They are real and they are political or geographical kingdoms. They are universal-wide and exist in people’s hearts. Every person in the world belongs to one of these kingdoms. In a sermon from simplybible.com, it was put into simple understanding. There are certain things that need to be considered in every kingdom. There needs to be a ruler, a monarch. Every kingdom is concerned with having someone crowned and enthroned as ruler. Every kingdom has to have a realm or territory over which its ‘Leader’ rules. All Kingdoms have subjects, citizens. The citizens must abide by certain laws issued by the leader, to keep order in the Kingdom. The citizens live by certain distinguishing customs. A kingdom is concerned with its strength and power in conquering and defending. A kingdom is also concerned with its destiny —whether it will fall to ruin or rise to glory. The seven considerations above are true of spiritual kingdoms too. They are true of Christ’s kingdom, and they are true of Satan’s”. Some questions that will help us identify where we are currently at: Am I acknowledging Jesus as my Lord and King? Where is my life and heart centered? Are my affections for this world or for the heavenly realms? What would those closest to you say about your affections? Do I strive to keep the law of Jesus, working to be both- hearing and DOING the gospel? Do I purpose to make it a custom and habit to show the light and Spirit of Christ in my daily conduct? Do I daily seek God in prayer and His Word? What makes a ‘good day’, a GOOD DAY? If a good day has to do with things of the flesh, versus things of the Spirit, then maybe it is time to RE-ADJUST your focus and your life? We are told to live an examined life! Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? —unless indeed you fail to meet the test! (2 Corinthians 13:5) Why? Because planes crash and people die, it is a fact of life, and God tells us that if we judge ourselves then He will not feel the need! But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. (1 Corinthians 11:31-32) Check your passport and make the proper adjustments! The Time is NOW, repent; Change your mind, do something different- for the Kingdom of God is at hand!

March 29. 2021

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. – Ephesians 5:15-17 KJV

Warrior;
John MacArthur vehemently rails against the foolishness of many in the church today. He says that ‘Cheap Grace’, ‘Easy Believism’ and ‘Quickie Salvation’ are hurting the church as we attempt to be married to the WORLD. The Biblical definition of a fool is ONE who exists apart from God. The same Bible defines WISE as LIVING in accordance to God’s Divine Purpose! Many in the church treat the BIBLE like it is Aesop’s Fables and daily are focused on the same things that FOOLS of this world are focused on- they act just like them!

Leader, our WALK is our DAILY conduct, our REGULAR pattern played out in our daily LIFE. In the Book of Wisdom, Proverbs 9:10 we are told; The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. A believer who walks in WISDOM knows three things: Their Life Principles, their Limited Privileges and their LORDS PURPOSES. In other words they KNOW what HIS RULES are for their life, they know they have a LIMITED TIME to fulfill it and they know what GOD wants of them!

Conduit, in Paul’s letter to the Christians in Colossae he is encouraging them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Col 2:2-3) We are called to walk CIRCUMSPECTLY! That means walk carefully, exactly and accurately. In Galatians 3:1 Paul puts it plainly; O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? BE WISE: KNOW God, FEAR God and OBEY GOD. You do this by KNOWING HIS WORD and PRACTICING your WALK daily- using HIS WORD as your compass!

March 28. 2021

Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. -Matthew 14:22-24 NLT

Warrior;
It is a SHALLOW theology to believe that if you are in the WILL OF GOD, then nothing bad can happen to you. It is a false gospel to believe that if you are walking with God you will have no problems ,no sickness, no STORMS.

Leader, they were IN THE STORM, because they were IN THE WILL of God. God has 2 types of storms; Correcting Storms and Perfecting storms. Jonah was in a correcting storm because he was outside of the will of God. Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. (Jonah 1:4) The disciples were in this storm because of the Providence of God, upon His command.

Conduit, Peace is not the subtraction of problems from life. Peace is the addition of God’s power to meet those problems. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Amen!

March 27. 2021

When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people and shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the LORD your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.’– Deuteronomy 20:1-4 ESV

Warrior;
There are so many instances throughout the Bible that God tells us, “The Battle is the LORDS”! It is God’s battle- which is already won, see the book of Revelation. God is all about Glory and in DRAMA, in CONFLICT and RESOLUTION, there is always drama, ups and downs, there is always more glory! Moses was used by God to bring His people out of slavery and into their own nation. God used Moses to free over a million of His children from the most powerful nation of the time, without raising a single weapon of war against them. Then God used Moses to create a country for themselves, by removing many peoples, and fighting many wars with better equipment, more numerous people, and with resources and experience that would dwarf the wandering marauders. God did this for HIS WILL, and then recorded it so that thousands of years later, many would read of their exploits and become equipped to fight the same battle, at a different time. At the Red Sea, when it looked THE WORST for the wandering Children of God, it was there that God established the understanding, “The Battle is the LORD’S”. And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14:13-14) The Lord is fighting for us today as well! We just have to have Faith and realize, “THE BATTLE IS THE LORDS”!

Leader, throughout the Old Testament this theme was reinforced, and we were reminded, “The battle is the Lords”, because we are a ‘stiff-necked’ people, and we have short-term and long-term memory problems. We know a little boy David, took on a giant named Goliath from Gas, and was successful because the BATTLE IS THE LORDS. David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!” (1 Samuel 17:45-47) Then again, we hear this message in the story of Gideon and his 300 men against the powerful Midianite army of over 135,000 soldiers. “While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled. When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the LORD caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. The army fled to Beth Shittah toward Zererah as far as the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath. Israelites from Naphtali, Asher and all Manasseh were called out, and they pursued the Midianites.” (Judges 7:21-23) THE BATTLE IS THE LORDS!

Conduit, you can find the same scenario, same mindset, the same outcome all throughout the Old Testament; God fighting for his people as they receive victory after victory- BUT, the BATTLE IS THE LORDS. See this in 2 Kings 18:13-19:37, with Hezekiah and the Assyrians. See this in 2 Chronicles 20 with Jehoshaphat’s victories against a unified army of the Moabites, Ammonites, joined together with some of the Meunites. This is why the book of DEUTERONOMY is so critical to a WARRIOR OF GOD! It is one of my favorite books of the Bible. One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is the 8th chapter of this WARRIORS BOOK. Remember how the LORD your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. For all these forty years your clothes didn’t wear out, and your feet didn’t blister or swell. (Deuteronomy 8:2-4) This is why it is important to know the WHOLE BIBLE, the OLD and NEW Testaments. Jesus’ most quoted book of the Bible is…Deuteronomy. However, there is debate whether it is actually Deuteronomy or the book of Psalms- I trust those who Say DT! Chuck Missler stated: “Not surprisingly, the New Testament authors mentioned Moses more frequently than any other Old Testament person. His concluding remarks after a 120-year lifetime have been handed down to us as the Book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is essentially a series of sermons by the greatest Old Testament prophet. Jesus Himself quoted more from Deuteronomy than from any other portion of the Old Testament. In a sense, Deuteronomy is the “Book of Romans” of the Old Testament. The Hebrew title of the book is ‘elleh haddebarim (“these are the words”) in keeping with the Hebrew custom of often titling a work by its first word(s). The English title Deuteronomy stems from the Septuagint’s mistranslation of Deuteronomy 17:18, “this repetition of the Law.” The Septuagint translated those words deuteronomion (deutero means “two” or “second,” and nomion is “law”; lit., “second Law.”” If Jesus’ 3 rebuttals to the Temptations of the Devil, (see Luke and Matthew 4), were all quoted from Deuteronomy, this should tell us- it is important! Today, fill your heart and mind with God’s whole WORD, so you can remember: The Battle is the Lords!