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Genesis 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

When Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the forbidden tree, their eyes were opened. Today, some people may refer to this as “being awakened” or “woke.”

Unfortunately, still today, people are going against God-inspired norms of society, attempting to become wiser than God’s system. We will never be wiser than the system God created. People may say, don’t get married, it’s a trap; going to church is nothing but, a gimmick, or God isn’t real. Like Adam, some of us will eat (listen to) fruit thinking we’re expanding our minds, but all we’re getting is deceived by the great deceiver.

There’s nothing wrong with questioning some of society’s norms and ideas, but if society’s concepts parallels the Word of God in context, our best bet is to respect and work within those norms because those norms will benefit our future.

If someone tells us to consult God about a certain decision, some of us say we’ll use the sense God gave us to work our way through this situation. We think we’re being wise, but what we’re really saying is we’d rather use our logic and human wisdom instead of relying on God.

We were never meant to be led by our senses or how we feel. Our senses are inconsistent and unreliable. We’re to be led by the Holy Spirit.

Our senses say, don’t go on that cruise because the ship could sink meanwhile, the Holy Spirit is telling us to trust in God’s protection and enjoy the abundant life Jesus paid for. Our senses say, don’t get married to prevent ourselves from going through the hassle of being divorced if it doesn’t work meanwhile, the Holy Spirit is instructing us to honor God with our bodies and participate in God’s divine plan called marriage.

Senses are here to enhance, but not govern our lives. Let’s free ourselves from ourselves and trust the living God.

Psalms 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.

Mark 10:21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Some of us may be in bondage to a certain sin. We’ve tried our best to be delivered from that vice, but we find ourselves back in that situation again.

It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to help free us from our vice. The Holy Spirit will have us making tough decisions. For instance, if we’re addicted to pornography, He may have us turn off our cable altogether. That’s a tough decision because we would miss out on all the other non- pornographic TV shows, but it’s either deliverance or entertainment. The Holy Spirit may have us leave a social scene where we know everyone so that we can renew our minds with the Word of God. That’s a tough decision because we would have to leave our social circle to develop our relationship with God.

These tough decisions will come periodically in our lives, but remember, these decisions are here to help and not harm us.

Exodus‬ ‭14:12 “Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”
It’s easy to say we trust God when everything is going according to plan. But when delays occur, or difficult situations take place, we find out if we really trust God. Thoughts of doubt may arise, but if we refute those thoughts with the Truth (that God is good and He always causes us to triumph), we know we are trusting God.
The Hebrews were so afraid of the unknown, of being pushed into a position where they had to trust God, that they wanted to return to a life of slavery. Know that there is freedom in trusting God, freedom in being at peace during the unknown.
Exodus 14:13 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. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.””

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, it’s important to look at all that Jesus has done for us.

Jesus created us and everything surrounding us (Colossians 1:16).

Jesus made us righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21). We don’t have to work to be righteous. We’re righteous through Him.
Jesus made us holy (Hebrews 10:10). We don’t have to work to be holy. We’re holy through Him.
Jesus healed us (Isaiah 53:5). We’re not going to be healed. We’re already healed through Him.
Jesus has completed us (Colossians 2:10). A spouse, a family, or a good career doesn’t complete us. We’re complete in Him alone.

Jesus took our sins (1 Peter 2:24). Jesus freed us from the penalty of our sins (Romans 3:24). We don’t have to walk around feeling condemned. All our sins have been paid for by the blood of Jesus.

Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:14). Jesus is the Author and the Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). The faith it takes to believe the Word of God is orchestrated through Jesus.

Jesus intercedes for us (Romans 8:34). After all that Jesus has done for us, He’s still presently, interceding to the Father on our (the believer’s) behalf.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND THANK YOU JESUS

Ecclesiastes 10:20 Curse not the king, no not even in your thought; and curse not the rich in your bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which has wings shall tell the matter.

Our words have power (Prov. 18:21). With this powerful tool, we’re instructed to not curse the king. For most of us, we don’t have a king, but we do have a president. Whether you agree with their policies or not, we have a mandate to keep negative words away from their lives.

Why? Because whether we like them or not, they have been put in charge over the country where we reside. They make decisions that can affect our way of living. If we’re hoping they fail or die, what type of life do we expect to have? What type of love are we showing?

Let’s pray that they operate in the spirit of wisdom, pray that their decisions are Spirit led, and pray for peace in their lives. As believers, it’s the best thing we can do for our leaders.

Too many times we think we need to be on a platform or accomplish something no one has ever accomplished to say we’re being used by God. Doing great and mighty things for the Kingdom of God is important, but the little and seemingly insignificant things matter too.

1 Corinthians 12:15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

When we tell someone an encouraging Word, post something uplifting, or volunteer our time, we’re being used by God. It doesn’t matter if we’re famous or if we’re acknowledged for our service. All that matters is God is glorified and we’re letting our light shine in this darkened world.

Let’s not always look for recognition for our services. If God tells us to do something (big or small), do it to be a blessing for someone else.

Judgements:
Can you believe she’s pregnant again?
How stupid can you be to go to prison again?
You know he has a problem with pornography.

Some people have a tendency to judge and criticize others as if they’ve never done anything wrong in their lives. We fail to realize that we’re only one Jesus away from hell ourselves. If all our shortcomings could be displayed, we would hold our heads in shame. It’s because of Jesus that we’re saved, forgiven, and made the righteousness of God. Just because all of our sins aren’t on display, doesn’t give us the right to judge or criticize others.

Compassion, love, and wisdom are what we should be expressing to those who have missed the mark. Not judgement. Let them know they’re only one Jesus away from heaven, forgiveness, and a prosperous, abundant life. Pray that demonic influences are removed from their minds. Give them hope.

We’re looking and living good now, but never forget we too needed a Savior to save us from all of our sins.

Matthew 7:1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

How do we know if we really believe the Word of God? We may say we believe the Word, but when the trials of life arrive, that’s when we truly find out what we believe.

Trials have a way of exposing our belief. If we respond to trials with worry, fear, panic, stress, or sadness, we should be honest with ourselves and say we believe more in the possibility of a negative outcome than the Word of God.

True evidence to show that we believe the Word of God in any situation is rest. Rest doesn’t mean inactivity. Rest is taking our hands off the situation and constantly reminding ourselves that through the blood of Jesus, this situation has already been worked out. It’s placing our belief in what Jesus has already done and not what we can do.

We may not know how or when it’s going to be worked out, but because the Word says it (healing, provision, deliverance, etc.) is already done, we believe it and move on. Rest by believing the Word of God over everything.

Hebrews 4:11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.

Exodus 14:14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

“For your peace, let the Lord fight for you.” –Hezekiah Walker

For those who had an older brother or maybe an older sister in the same school, there was a type of peaceful confidence displayed. Those people knew that if anyone would tease them, they could tell their older sibling who would intimidate or fight the bully.

We have Almighty God on our side. Who or what can stand against Him? Trials, sickness and disease, a problematic marriage, and lack attempt to bully our lives. Instead of trying to fight these things ourselves, we need to tell our bully about our God. We need to let the Lord fight our battles.

It does us no good to face these situations alone because these problems are too big for us to solve, but they’re not too big for God to handle. Placing our trust in God’s abilities and knowing His love for us, will give us a peaceful confidence we need when these situations attack our lives. Let’s be still and let the Lord fight our battles.

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

The difference between sanity and insanity is the presence or absence of peace. How we handle the difficulties we all face determines who we trust. We can attempt to handle these difficulties ourselves and be stressed, worried, and in fear, or we can give our situations to God.

When giving our situations to God, it doesn’t mean that stress or fear won’t attempt to invade our minds, but we can (by faith) apply the peace of God in our lives. When God’s peace is present, fear, stress or worry can’t stay. It’s an ongoing battle to maintain peace in the time of the storm, but it’s well worth the fight. God’s peace keeps us from having nervous breakdowns, diseases, gray hair, and more.

So whenever we go through spiritual warfare and trials, remember to apply God’s peace. It’s the only thing that will keep us joyful, sane, and focused on His plan for our lives.

The schemes of the devil are obvious to some, but deceptive to most. Today, this generation is claiming to be “woke” which means, they’re not being fooled anymore by the norms, rules, and regulations of society.

Unfortunately, this “woke” theology has infiltrated the minds of some believers. People are starting to believe God isn’t real based on the conditions of the world, the Bible is a book written by man, “religion” is a tool to enslave our minds, and we are our own gods. These deceptions are popular because it appeals to our logic.

No one questions where these ideas came from. Revelation 12:9 says, Satan is a deceiver and he deceives the whole world. Obviously, these thoughts, ideas, and suggestions that contradict the Word of God came from Satan. If we looked into the mindset of Satan, we would see he would suggest anything that would lead people astray. We shouldn’t be too surprised by this infiltration because in 1 Timothy 4:1 it says, in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.

There’s nothing wrong with obtaining knowledge from other sources outside of the Bible, but when this knowledge begins to affect our beliefs and the truth in God’s Word, we’re not being “enlightened” we’re being deceived. Be aware of the devil’s schemes because it could impact our eternity.

2 Corinthians 2:11 so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes.

Hebrews 10:28-31 (The Message Translation) If the penalty for breaking the law of Moses is physical death, what do you think will happen if you turn on God’s Son, spit on the sacrifice that made you whole, and insult this most gracious Spirit? This is no light matter. God has warned us that he’ll hold us to account and make us pay. He was quite explicit: “Vengeance is mine, and I won’t overlook a thing” and “God will judge his people.” Nobody’s getting by with anything, believe me.

God desires everyone to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). We are saved by confessing with our mouths and believing in our hearts Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:19). If we reject Jesus, Who is the payment for our sins, we are destined to eternal damnation.

In the Old Covenant, under the law of Moses, the penalty for breaking the law was physical death. The benefit of dying under the Old Covenant after breaking the law was a second chance. If these people believed the Messiah was coming prior to their death and they received Him once His sacrifice was available, they were saved. For those who reject Jesus and die under the New Covenant, there are no more chances (Hebrews 10:29). It’s eternity in a tortuous hell based on unbelief.

This is not meant to scare anyone to receive Jesus, but it’s the truth. Regardless of what’s being said in the world, popular theories, and new ideas, accept Jesus as Lord. It’s better to accept Him as Lord and be wrong than to not believe and spend eternity in hell. Receive Him.

This message is for those who can’t seem to “get it right.”
This message is for those who find themselves right back at the place they were delivered from.
This message is for those who feel like the moment has passed.
This message is for those who feel like they’ve done too much wrong.

Everybody’s got a blank page
A story they’re writing today
A wall that they’re climbing
You can carry the past on your shoulders
Or you can start over
Regrets, no matter what you’ve gone through
Jesus, He gave it all to save you
He carried the cross on His shoulders
So you can start over. –Flame

Jesus came to seek and save those who are lost (Luke 19:10). Once we’ve received Him, we are forgiven, holy, and made righteous. It doesn’t matter how far we’ve strayed, we’re His beloved. Even if we’ve received Him, but for the past 10 years we’ve been living like a hellion, we are still children of God. God has forgiven us and He doesn’t remember our sins (Hebrews 8:12). So, although we may remember everything we’ve done wrong, God doesn’t see anything except a righteous being that has done no wrong.

Don’t get discouraged because it seems like every time you try to live a holy life, something pulls you back the other way. Start over. Claim the victory over that vice. Don’t settle for less because it didn’t work last time. Start over. Declare prosperity in that area. Jesus did it all for us. We just have to receive EVERYTHING He’s made available for us.

Hebrews 8:12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

If we go to arboretums or see beautiful flowerbeds in front of homes, they don’t always look that way. Weekly, if not daily, someone is out in the flowerbeds performing maintenance clearing out ugly weeds that attempt to choke flowers and invade beautiful landscapes.

God provided a beautiful world for us; however, because sin is in the world, ugly schemes and attacks from the devil attempt to invade this world of ours. People are demonically influenced to drive a vehicle through a crowd, shoot at large gatherings, or provoke war. Like a person in a garden, believers have to perform maintenance. Using our God-given authority, we have to rebuke every influence or plan of the devil on a daily basis. A quick, “I cancel every demonically influenced plan today” will do it.

It’s our responsibility to continue the work of Jesus. His quest was to destroy the works of the devil and we should too. Begin to do maintenance and destroy the weeds in the world.

1 John 3:8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

My one-year-old daughter enjoys eating. When she’s at the dinner table and she’s not getting food fast enough, she may start to whine. Understanding that whining is not acceptable in our house, my wife and I taught her to say “More Please.” We want her to use her words because she won’t receive anything by whining.

Some may think this style of parenting is harsh, but we’re only using the same principles that our Heavenly Father uses on us. When facing a difficult time in their lives or a pressing desire, some people go to God crying, whining, or complaining. God doesn’t respond to tears. God responds to faith.

When we boldly ask God for our needs or desires and know that we have our needs and desires met the moment we prayed, we can expect to receive our requests. It’s understandable to feel overwhelmed or pressured by the issues of life, but there’s no need to whine and cry about the situation. If we’re truly asking in faith, we’ll receive our needs and desires from God.

1 John 2:2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

In the Old Covenant, our sins could only be covered annually through the sacrifice of animals. We still would have been held accountable for our sins and behavior at the end of our lives. This gave people great uncertainty because they never knew if their behavior was good enough to please God to the point of having a blessed afterlife.

Under the New Covenant, there was a great removal. The sacrifice of Jesus didn’t cover our sins. His sacrifice removed all our past, present, and future sins (Hebrews 9:26). This is great news for the New Covenant believer. Although we may sin, through the blood of Jesus, we’re not held accountable for our sins (2 Corinthians 5:19).

Praise God for Jesus. It’s He that makes us holy, righteous, and has removed all our sins. It’s not our behavior or “sin count” that keeps us out of heaven. It’s the rejection of that payment (Jesus) that keeps us out of heaven.

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

Sowing and reaping is a principle found throughout the Word of God. The concept is whatever we sow, that is what we’ll reap (good or bad).

If we know someone has a desire, we can sow a prayer for their desires. We can pray that they’ll get a new job, house, or car. When we’re in agreement with someone else for their needs or desires, it shall be done by God (Matt. 18:19).

When we act on the principle of sowing a prayer, we then set ourselves up to reap a harvest of a prayer on our behalf from someone else. Someone we know or don’t know can be praying that we receive our needs and desires. By knowingly or unknowingly having that agreement with someone else, we can expect to receive the promises of God in our lives.

Begin to sow a prayer because it can greatly benefit our lives.

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Scriptures of the Day

December 2017
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