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To receive salvation, you must believe Jesus is the Son of God and He died for your sins along with, be baptized, filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking in tongues, in church, a part of a life group, and serving in a ministry. This is fake news.

The Gospel is good news about grace. Jesus, sacrificed Himself, took on our sin, gave us His righteousness, so that we can be in right relationship with God. Unfortunately, people have added all sorts of things making it difficult to receive salvation. From how we dress to what we listen to. Don’t allow anyone to lead you down a path of works to receive the free gift of salvation.

To receive salvation, we only have to believe Jesus is the Son of God and He died for our sins. Any other additional thing is fake news.

Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Isaiah 55:6 Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.

Husband and Wife. Parent and Child. Supervisors and Subordinates. Friendships.

We spend so much time cultivating earthly relationships until sometimes, we neglect the most important relationship we could ever have. That relationship is with God.

Some tend to think God is there and He’ll always be there so, we’ll always have time down the road to develop a relationship with Him. In some cases, we focus on developing earthly relationships more so because we know we’re here temporarily.

God shouldn’t be on our back burner because His nature is to be ever-present. The fact that He’s ever-present, always loving us, protecting us, providing for us, and keeping us should be the reason we put Him first.

It can be a challenge to develop a relationship with God over people due to the fact we see each other everyday, but if we can reflect on what He’s done, read about Who He is, and receive the promises He has for us, it won’t be a problem to put Him first.

While working on developing earthly relationships with people, don’t forget to develop and maintain a great relationship with our heavenly Father.

Matthew 10:26 Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.

One of the biggest fears the devil tempts us with is the fear of the unknown. We don’t know what will happen if we open ourselves to the other person in a relationship making ourselves vulnerable. What will happen if we quit our jobs and go into business for ourselves? How will we make it if we go into full-time ministry?

By taking that bold initial step into the unknown and staying the course with God’s guidance will leave us in a better predicament. Taking that step may not make sense, it may seem illogical at first, and it may be a little scary.

Whatever area that’s unknown to us God will reveal it to us in due time. We’ll see the true colors of that person in that relationship, we’ll experience God excelling our business, we’ll testify to the fact that God provides.

Whatever God told you to do, do it. Whatever God said to you, believe Him and break free from the fear of the unknown.

Galatians 3:9 (NLT) So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.

Yesterday, we discovered everyone who’s made Jesus Christ as Lord, shares the same blessing as Abraham. Some of the blessing includes a great name, offspring, and wealth (Gen 12:2-3; Gen 13:2).

The next thought some may have says, “I’ve believed in Jesus as Lord, but I haven’t experienced half of the blessing. Where is it?”

There are a few reasons why some of us aren’t experiencing the blessing. The first reason is doubt. Genesis 15:6 says, Abraham believed God. If we doubt God’s Word, we can’t expect to receive anything from Him (James 1:6-7).
Another is condemnation. If we feel unworthy to receive God’s blessing because of our recent behavior, we’ll lack confidence to approach God (1 John 3:20-22). We must know God has forgiven us and boldly approach Him with our petitions.
The last reason we’ll mention is identity. Through Christ, we are children of God, we are righteous, loved, forgiven and have all authority on this earth. If we don’t know our identity, we’ll look at ourselves as insignificant and be willing to receive anything life throws our way.

Know who you in are in Christ and believe God’s Word and receive the promises of the blessing.

Galatians 3:9 (NLT) So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.

Everyone who has made Jesus Christ the Lord of their lives, share the same blessing as Abraham. Now, let’s see what type of blessing Abraham received.

Genesis 12:2 says, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” It doesn’t stop there. Abraham desires offspring. God granted him offspring. And according to Proverbs 10:22, the blessing of the Lord makes one rich, therefore, Abraham became very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold (Gen. 13:2).

As we can see, through our belief in Jesus Christ, everything we could ever need or want and more can be found in this blessing. Praise God for Jesus Christ. It’s because of Him we can have a blessed life.

Isaiah 65:16 (AMP) So [it shall be] that he who invokes a blessing on himself in the land shall do so by saying, May the God of truth and fidelity [the Amen] bless me; and he who takes an oath in the land shall swear by the God of truth and faithfulness to His promises [the Amen], because the former troubles are forgotten and because they are hidden from My eyes.

I am blessed. I am protected by all mighty God. The favor of God is on my life. All my needs are met. My children are mighty in the land. I am debt free. I am forgiven, and my past will not hinder my future.

All of these are confessions we can use to bless ourselves, bless our situations, and bless those attached to us. Confession can’t only be thought in our minds and confession can’t only be written down. Confession must align itself with the Word of God and it must be spoken. Confessions can be yelled, or whispered. Regardless of how it comes out, we just need to have faith that what we’re saying will come to pass.

Whatever you’re doing, stop, and take a moment to bless yourself.

Inspired by Bill Winston

It’s not common to fast unless it’s for weight-loss reasons. Why? Because it’s not fun and a lot of people don’t see the point, but there are real benefits in fasting.

First, for the believer, it’s not optional. In Matthew 6:16 Jesus begins a statement by saying “When you fast” which means it’s not optional. Will you make it to heaven if you don’t fast? Yes but, there’s a deeper relationship with God if we fast.

One of the key benefits of fasting is clarity. Look at it this way, when we turn off the TV, put down the phone, and eliminate all other distractions, we can be more in tune with our spouses. Fasting does the same thing with God. Fasting limits and could possibly eliminate all flesh-like distractions which allows our spirit to hear and be more in tune with God. Clarity allows God to guide us, give us instruction, and makes room for His Word to encourage our soul.

Other benefits include: bonds of wickedness removed from our lives, removing burdens from our lives, and driving out demons (Isaiah 58; Mark 9:14-29).

So, make up in your mind and discipline your flesh to fast. Fasting positions us to better hear from God.

Isaiah 58:6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?

Psalm 106:7 Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders; They did not remember the multitude of Your mercies, But rebelled by the sea—the Red Sea. 8 Nevertheless He saved them for His name’s sake, That He might make His mighty power known.

We’ve all rebelled against God at one point in time and we know people who continue to rebel against God. We did whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted, and however we wanted.

Regardless of how far we’ve strayed and how far others have strayed, God purposed in His heart to save us. God’s salvation is two-fold. He desires to save us because of His love for us, but He also saves us to display His power.

After we’ve rededicated our lives to God, others will take note of our change. They’ll see us genuinely worshipping God, they’ll experience our new positive disposition, and they’ll see the prosperity in our lives and have no other choice but to conclude the power of God has been working in our lives. They’ll remember all the rebellious things we used to do and realize God’s hand is now on our lives which may compel them to have a closer relationship with God.

If you’re tired of going down the wrong path, give your life to God and if you know some who are living the rebellious life, pray for their salvation so that God’s power can be displayed.

Matthew 9:38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

There are people who have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are people who heard the Gospel but don’t quite understand what it means. There are people who heard and understand the Gospel, but they got off track and don’t know how to get back on track.

All of these people require laborers. The enemy is working tirelessly to blind, distract, and discredit the Gospel to these people. As believers, we should desire to see others saved, set free, and come into the knowledge of God. With that desire, we need to pray for loving compassionate people to come across these lost individuals’ paths to preach, teach, and advertise the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

There was someone there to help guide us to Jesus and we should want the same for someone else. So, as you’re praying for your needs and desires to be met, pray that people from all across the world come out and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. 8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

God had Noah and Abraham act on the unknown. For Noah, God made him build an ark, to withstand a flood, prior to the existence of rain. For Abraham, God had him leave all that he knew and establish his home in a “to be determined” location.

Both individuals were dealing with the unknown, but they trusted God with their lives and their family’s lives. What is God saying to you? Where is He telling you to go? What is He telling you to do? How is He telling you to do it? If it’s unfamiliar territory or something that’s never been done, that’s okay. Like He led Noah and Abraham to prosper after they acted on His Word, He can do the same for you.

Trust Him. Don’t doubt. He will never allow the righteous to be forsaken (Psalm 37:25).

Mark 2:2 Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, 3 four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4 They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. 5 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”

The faith of these men is the focus; however, let’s focus on something that’s not often mentioned. Let’s look at their compassion.

First, it’s unknown how far these men had to carry this paralytic man to be in the presence of Jesus, but no matter how far it was, their compassion got him there. Secondly, their compassion compelled them to risk injury to themselves or injury to the paralytic man by carrying him on the roof of the house. Finally, their compassion could have cost them time and money after destroying another person’s roof to let him down.

How many of us have the compassion of these men to see another person saved, healed, and delivered until we’re willing to inconvenience ourselves or spend more time and money than we anticipated to get them in the presence of Jesus? Are we willing to take time out of our day away from our families to visit, encourage, and pray with them? Are we willing to get up earlier and go out of our way to take them to the house of God? Are we willing to simply buy them a meal? We should be.

God has been so good to us and we should desire for everyone to experience this blessed abundant life.

James 4:3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Regardless if you play the lottery or not, when you see that sign that says, “Powerball $247 Million” what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Is it buying a new home, going on a big vacation, or buying a car? If we could be honest with ourselves, if God (not the lottery) gave us that kind of money, how many of us would prioritize building the Kingdom of God? If I had to guess, I would say not that many.

Could the lack of prioritizing the Kingdom of God be the reason why this kind of money hasn’t materialized in a lot of our lives? Have our motives been selfish? Do we even think about helping the poor?

So what do we do? We ask the Holy Spirit to help us with our motives. As we’re readjusting our motives, we should generously give towards the Kingdom of God. If we have the correct motives and remain faithful towards the expansion of the Kingdom of God, God will bless our household, He ensures us He’ll give us more money to sow into the Kingdom, and we’ll have enough money or favor to get the house, vacation, and cars we desire (Mal. 3:10-12; 2 Cor. 9:10-11).

Proverbs 14:12 (GNT) What you think is the right road may lead to death.

There are people who think they’re doing and living correctly, but their foundation for what’s correct has been perverted. People, logic, societal norms, and experiences attempt to corrupt our foundation for what’s appropriate.

If we’ve seen our parents have multiple live-in relationships with multiple partners, we’re not going to see a problem with cohabitation and premarital sex. If we know Uncle Joe is selling drugs and our family glorifies him as a “hustler,” we may be corrupted to think we have to do whatever it takes to get ahead. If we see our friends buying expensive items on a credit card, we may be corrupted to think it’s okay to go in debt to buy what we desire.

As we get older and new situations come, our sense of what’s correct can be more perverted or we can become wiser.

This wisdom is not from man because man’s wisdom is constantly changing. Our wisdom and foundation for what’s right needs to be rooted in the Word of God. The Word of God covers every issue we’ll face in life.

If we follow God’s commands, in context, we’ll live a blessed, more productive, and prosperous life and we’ll have a foundation that will never crumble. Let’s renew and readjust our minds to unpervert our sense of what’s right and align it with God’s Word alone.

James 1:20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

There are some legitimate reasons to be angry. There’s, infidelity, inequality, abuse, and more. However, the fruits of our anger do not produce the righteousness of God. Anger tempts us to meditate on what we can do to get even, introduces hate in our lives, or how we can protect ourselves in the future. None of this meditation honors God.

So what do we do? Be angry and sin not (Eph. 4:26). How do we do that? By casting our cares on the Lord (1 Peter 5:7). It’s okay to let God know we’re angry about a particular situation, but we also let God know we trust Him to handle this situation on our behalf.

It’s been scientifically proven that anger and strife produce toxins that are detrimental to our health and now we have God saying anger is detrimental to our souls.

Let’s do ourselves a favor. Whenever anger arises, ask yourself these questions: Is this situation unsolvable for God? Can God not work this out for my good?

Since the answers are no, there’s no need to carry that anger around anymore. Give it to God and move on.

There are people who believe in the Lord Jesus, but are not affiliated with the body of Christ. They always seem to have an excuse as to why they don’t associate with other believers. They’ll say the church is full of hypocrites, they’re too “fake,” or the pastor only wants our money. It’s obvious these excuses are demonic because they don’t make sense.

It’s interesting how we can easily go a job full of hypocrites and fake people, but some of us don’t associate with the church. It’s funny how we can go to concerts where the artist only wants our money, but if the pastor takes a second offering to build the Kingdom of God, some of us are offended.

God never intended for us to do life by ourselves. We should associate ourselves with other like-minded believers. We can be encouraged by hearing someone else’s testimony and we encourage someone else by telling them about the goodness of the Lord in our own lives. We can be blessed by other believers and we can be a blessing to someone else. Together, we can destroy the works of the devil.

Let’s renew our minds to understand there is power in coming together as one.

Hebrews 10:25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Luke 17:27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 “It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 “It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.

Jesus is telling us prior to His return, things will appear normal. People will be working, shopping, eating, and living their lives then…BAM!!! The Son of God will be revealed. Instantly, people will be raptured to be with Jesus. The rest of humanity will have to suffer here on earth for an extended period of time.

There’s not going to be a sign, warning, or an eerie feeling on that day. It’s just going to be the appearance of Jesus.

So, we need to be ready. If you have not made Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior, you need to do so (Romans 10:9). If you’re already saved and you love or halfway like someone else and you’re unsure about their salvation, check with them and confirm their salvation. Let’s all do something to advertise salvation through the One and only Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3:5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

God’s Word tells us to put to death fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. By God using the word “put” means, we have control whether we keep these things alive in our lives or not.

Some of use the “can’t help it” excuse however, God wouldn’t ask us to kill off something we couldn’t control. I know it seems fun and common to engage in these behaviors and activities, but these things lead to natural, emotional, and spiritual consequences.

Let’s do ourselves a favor and allow God to show us how to kill off these behaviors. It will make for a better more productive God honoring life.

I don’t feel healed.
I don’t feel forgiven.
I don’t feel blessed.
I don’t feel saved.

If we’re waiting on a “good feeling” when experiencing the supernatural things of God, we’ll be waiting forever. We can only experience supernatural things by faith and not by our physical senses or feelings.

With pain going through our bodies, we declare we’re healed. After we know we went against the will of God, we receive God’s forgiveness and move on. With chaos all around us, we declare we’re blessed and expect our situations to change for the better. Without ever seeing God, we receive our salvation.

If God said it, it must be so. The situations surrounding us and our feelings towards those situations, don’t negate what God said. Let God’s Word be true and everything else a liar (Romans 3:4).

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

1 Peter 5:7 casting all you care upon Him, for He cares for you.

A good husband, who sees his wife carrying a load of groceries, will offer to take the load from her. Why? Because he doesn’t want to see his beautiful bride struggling with anything he can easily handle himself. The husband’s love for his wife compels him to assist her.

God’s the same way, but better. When He sees us struggling to carry the cares of the world on our shoulders, His love compels Him to offer us a helping hand. From our children’s well-being to our finances, God is capable and willing to carry and perfect our cares (Psalm 138:8).

God’s a gentleman. If we try to retrieve our cares back from God’s hands He’ll let us, but that’s not His divine will for our lives.

Let’s stop being fearful, prideful, and stubborn and trust God to carry our cares.

When we experience a problem, we may have initially tried to figure it out on our own. We may have researched the internet, asked our friends, or spent money for a solution. After we exhausted all our resources, then we’ll go to God.

Some believers may criticize or condemn us for not going to God first. Although that may be true, the criticism is unnecessary. Look at Jesus with the woman with the issue of blood. Jesus could have criticized the woman for going to multiple doctors and spending all her money instead of coming to Him first but, He didn’t. He was simply glad she came and put her faith in Him.

There are two lessons we can learn from this. If we have a problem, no matter how long we’ve waited, we can always go to God with an expectation to receive a solution. Secondly, if we see someone trying this or that to fix a problem, don’t criticize them. Lovingly lead them to God and pray they won’t be swayed elsewhere.

Mark 5:26 She had suffered greatly under the care of many physicians and had spent all she had, but to no avail. Instead, her condition had only grown worse.

Mark 5:32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

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August 2018
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