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Monthly Archives : July 2019

PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT …… EPHESIANS 6: 18 ….. JULY 21, 2019

Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplications. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplications for all the saints. Ephesians 6:18 ESV

To pray in the Spirit, one must be a Christian. This is not implying that a person who is not a Christian is not able to pray, for that would not be true. God hears the the prayers of all who pray; but to pray in the spirit, you must have the Spirit of Christ in your heart. (Read Romans 8:1-11 concerning life in the Spirit.) The purpose of praying in the Spirit is to pray in harmony to the will of God. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8: 26-28 ESV

PRAYING AT ALL TIMES:
Praying at all times does not mean to be only hidden away in a closet somewhere on our knees, but also a lifestyle, communicating to God our love for Him. To have a conversation with another person, one needs to be in their presence or have the means by which to communicate. The Spirit is the means which enables us to experience the presence of God and communicate with Him in accordance with His will.
I DO believe that a closet time in which we verbalize our prayers and listen is important, but we also need to communicate our love for God with our lives. Praying / saying the words, “God, we glorify your name,” is important, but living on purpose as a Christian will cause our life to match our words. The old saying, “ Action speaks louder than words,” applies well here. Jesus said it this way to the Pharisees, “This people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” Matthew 15:8 ESV Living on purpose is not keeping a list of rules in order to show we are Christians; it is loving God the way Jesus taught. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all you soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12: 30 ESV ….. If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells WITH YOU and WILL BE IN YOU. John 14: 15-17 ESV To think a person needs to keep a set of rules to be loved by God is wrong theology. God already loves us more than we can imagine. We keep his commandments to show how much we love Him. We live in a state of prayer in all we say and in the way we walk / live for Him.

KEEPING ALERT WITH PERSEVERANCE:
ALERT: the state of being watchful for possible danger.
PERSEVERANCE: steadfastness in doing something, despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
Over the last few weeks we have studied each piece of the spiritual armor that we are to put on and why….
That you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:11
We are to ….. give no opportunity to the devil. Ephesians 4:27 ESV
We are to watch for danger….. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 ESV
Jesus gave us the greatest example of perseverance when he said upon the cross… “It is finished.” John 19:30 ESV… and calling out with a loud voice said, “Father into your hands I commit my spirit! Luke 23:46 ESV Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 ESV Life can, at times, seem like a race in which we can grow so weary, but we must, as Paul, persevere to the end. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7 ESV

MAKING SUPPLICATIONS FOR ALL THE SAINTS:
SUPPLICATION…. the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly. In our verbal prayers to the Lord, we need to be making requests and interceding for fellow believers by asking for God’s blessings in their life. This is one of the ways we can fulfill the will of God, by caring for and loving each other enough to pray for one another. We as Christians are all dressing in the same spiritual armor for the same reason… to stand. There is power in prayer, and we should never neglect to build each other up in this power from God to overcome sin. In this way we can defend each other in our battle against all the devil will bring against us. Paul, in his writings, asked many times that fellow believers would pray for him. (Colossians 4:3, 1 Thessalonians 5:25, 2 Thessalonians 3:1, Hebrews 13:18,) Paul also reminded many of those to whom he was writing that he was praying for them. (Colossians 1:3, Colossians 1:9, 2 Thessalonians 1:11, Philemon 1:4 ) May we never forget to pray for each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.

APPLICATION:
Love God on purpose with your actions and thoughts by following Christ’s example. Be imitators of God, as beloved children, And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1 ESV To do this effectively, you must study and learn as much as you can about the love of God. Love is a choice, and you need to know how to choose wisely. Secondly, commit to pray for fellow believes this week. You may want to take 5 or maybe 10 fellow believers a day and pray for them. Start with the ones you know best and pray for the specific needs in their lives and then pray for those who you may not know so well asking for blessings and strength in their lives. In doing so you are learning the love of God for others and you will personally experience a blessing in your walk with God.
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT …… EPHESIANS 6:17 ….. JULY 14, 2019

Take the helmet of salvation, and THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17 ESV

A sword can be used for defenses and to attack, but as Christians we use the sword to stand. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to STAND against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:11 ESV The helmet as the word of God is for protection, and the sword as the word of God is to enable us to stand. Stand firmly in the truth of God’s word, and the fact that the battle has already been won. Satan is no match for the Sword of the Spirit. Obviously, this is not a physical sword we carry in our hand, but a sword we carry in our mind/heart. This sword of the Spirit is the word of God!

S-WORD OF TRUTH
In today’s world I’ve heard it said, “There is no absolute truth.” Fact is, however, that… Jesus is absolute truth … for those who believe and are Christians. Jesus said, I am the way, and THE TRUTH, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 ESV As Christians we stand in this truth, for it was spoken and taught clearly to us by Jesus.

S-WORD OF POWER
For the WORD of the cross is folly to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the POWER of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV This is the s-word you use to stand against the devil when he whispers to you that God could never have saved you from your sins. The Devil will place doubts in your mind, attempting to cause you to question the salvation you have in Christ. However, when you know you have been redeemed by His blood that was shed for you upon the cross of Calvary, you can sing, “There is power, power, wonder-working power in the precious blood of the lamb”. – (Lyrics – Lewis E. Jones.) The WORD / TRUTH OF THE CROSS, is the power of God to save. Against this, Satan has no weapon, so all he can do is attack you where you stand, but he is defeated. So stand strong in the word/truth of the cross.

S-WORD OF LIFE
When Jesus was teaching concerning himself being the bread of life, many questioned him and stopped following him. (John 6:22-59) So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE, and we have believed, and come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:67-69 ESV In Acts 5:19 An angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the WORDS OF THIS LIFE. As Christians, we stand with the same message, living, teaching, and preaching that Jesus is the word of life. What other message do we have? NONE! Jesus is the resurrection and the life we teach and believe, for without the resurrection we do not have a message upon which to stand. (1 Corinthians 15)

APPLICATION
As I taught last week, the helmet is for protection that God gives us accordingly and by His word. The sword is using that protection to stand against the Devil. The protection that God gives is no match for Satan…. Remember what Jesus said, “I give them eternal life, and they will NEVER PERISH and NO ONE WILL SNATCH THEM OF MY HAND.” John 10:28 ESV… The sword is using the word of God against the Devil by striking / blocking his blows of doubts, temptations, lies, and __________ (fill in the blank that applies to your life.) Remember in the desert when Jesus was tempted by Satan? In every temptation he used the words of God, His Father, to block / strike back concerning the temptation. (Luke 4:1-12) We have been issued the whole armor of God in order to stand, but it is of upmost importance to get spiritually dressed in it. The sword is sharpened and made effective by the word of God being implanted in your mind. What sin or temptation is strong in your life? There is a word for that…. literally!!!
Fear.. Psalm 23:4 I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Psalm 27: The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
You can use these verses along with others God has given you, to strike / stand against fear. When you have an area of your life in which you are struggling, ask the Lord to give you scripture to battle / stand strong in life.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

THE HELMET OF SALVATION…… EPHESIANS 6: 17 ….. JULY 7, 2019

And take the helmet of salvation. Ephesians 6:17a ESV

The helmet of salvation for a Christian is the protection needed to be able to wear and utilize all the other pieces of armor properly. As I have said numerous times, “Every battle begins in the mind.” Protecting the mind is of upmost importance, for it is where battles are won and lost. It is extremely important to understand the salvation we have in Christ, for it is essential in protecting the mind. Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:13 ESV ( Reading 1 Peter 1: 3-15 would be beneficial in understanding the whole context of this verse.) Years ago, when I worked for a company that introduced computers to help accomplish our daily tasks, a statement was made that I have remembered to this day: “Garbage in, garbage out.” In other words, the computer will only give out the information it has been given. How the Christian lives will be determined by how he or she believes, concerning the word of God. The beliefs and thoughts one feeds into the mind will determine what comes out. A few thoughts from scripture to remember concerning how Christians should live and believe are as follows: Be diligent to present yourself approved to… ( KJV, Study to show thyself approved unto)… God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV …. There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Proverbs 14:12 &16:25….. Jesus said to him, “ I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14: 6 ESV….. There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved. Acts 4: 12 CBS  When you grasp in your mind the grace by which you have experienced God’s salvation, you will live differently. (Ephesians 2:8-9) You will love God much when you realize and know that you have been forgiven much. (Luke 7: 37-50 ) Again…. what a person believes will determine how he lives.

WHAT IS THE HELMET OF SALVATION ?
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit — which is THE WORD OF GOD. Ephesians 6:17 ESV  We will study more concerning the sword next Sunday, but for now, I want us to look at the helmet along with the sword as the word of God. The word of God, as a helmet, is for protection. The word of God, as a sword, is used to fight spiritual battles. When putting on the helmet we must remember, IT IS the putting on of that which you know you already have. We aren’t saved only when we put on the helmet so to speak, for salvation is secured by the grace of God. IT IS the acknowledgement of His salvation already established in our mind / heart. IT IS the protection for our minds from the battles of doubt and insecurities thrown at us by Satan. IT IS…… THE WORD OF GOD being established in our mind, growing the hope and faith in which we stand.

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HOW DO I PUT ON THE HELMET OF SALVATION ?
As a child you were taught how to dress yourself physically. As a Christian you need to learn how to dress yourself spiritually in THE WORD OF GOD. Years ago my pastor gave me a Bible in which he wrote this quote, “Sin will keep you from this book and this book will keep you from sin.” Dressing ourselves spiritually is dressing the mind with the WORD OF GOD. His word of salvation is the helmet of protection for our minds. The less you know of his word, the more vulnerable to the attacks of Satan on your mind. As a Christian, you can never have too much of GOD’S WORD in your mind. How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your WORD. Psalm 119:9 ESV….. I have stored up your WORD in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalms 119:11 ESV….. Your WORD is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path. Psalm 119:105 ESV  The spiritual battles and wars are real in life and the only protection is the HELMET OF SALVATION, WHICH IS THE…….. WORD OF GOD!

APPLICATION:
Our minds can feel like a vast battle ground in which, at times, the battles seem to become increasingly intense or never-ending. The first part of winning the battle is to remember you are protected by God’s salvation and secure in His hand. Jesus said this concerning a believer, “I give them eternal life, and they will NEVER PERISH and NO ONE WILL SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND.” John 10:28 ESV  Battles can be dark, and I want you to remember this phrase I once heard, “Never question in the darkness what God has shown you in the light.” When in the dark times you can not see clearly that God has redeemed you, do not let Satan cause doubt by whispering lies to you that you know are not true. When Satan strikes you with a blow of doubt, it might jar you, but your mind is protected by THE WORD OF GOD……… NO ONE WILL SNATCH YOU OUT OF HIS HAND…… NO ONE!!!!!  When you dress for battle, this is the helmet you put on…. GOD’S WORD.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

THE SHIELD OF FAITH…… EPHESIANS 6: 16 ..… JUNE 30, 2019

     In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.  Ephesians 6:16 ESV

     The Christian, when living and loving Jesus will face many battles as the evil one will rise up against you.  Never treat a situation as a small battle, but be alert having the shield of faith, and be ready for even one flaming dart.  Knowing that we are referring to spiritual battles, how would you describe a flaming dart?  Here are some descriptive words: fear, lies, doubt, anxiety, uncertainty, and on this list might go, but you get the idea.  The effect of these arrows/darts of thoughts and situations can be crippling in anyone’s life, but the Christian has available to them a shield to use in every battle.  It doesn’t mean you won’t battle with these thoughts, but faith causes you to look to God.  When looking to God in faith, you are believing what God says and promises over the doubt, lies, or perhaps horrible situations the devil shoots at you.  For example, the devil will tell you that you are worthless, but in reality you are of great value. Why?  Because you were made by God.  For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mothers womb.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139: 13-14 ESV  The devil will tell you that you could never be forgiven, but the Bible teaches, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleans us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 ESV  You may experience a horrible situation in which there seems to be no end, and Satan wants you to feel and believe you are defeated, and that God really doesn’t care. This is a lie. Faith believes the teaching of Romans 8: 18-37.  Faith is an essential part of being a Christian and faith is believing God no matter what life deals you.  It is believing that He will never leave nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)  Faith is not something we can’t necessarily see, but a walk we walk because …  We walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV   This faith does not need to be measured as big or small, for just a little faith can do great things when you believe.  This is so because faith is not in ourselves but in the God that can move mountains.  Jesus said,“For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like the grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain,  Move from here to there, and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”  Matthew 17:20 ESV   The shield of faith is believing God who is bigger than any lie or situation that Satan can attack you with.       

IN ALL CIRCUSTANCES:
     Never treat an attack from Satan or his demons as small.  Don’t take confidence in yourself…EVER!  In all circumstances we must look to Jesus, the founder and protector of our faith.  Hebrews 12:2 ESV  The NewAmerican Standard Bible says it this way. Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.  Peter, when looking at Jesus, walked on water, but when he started looking at the raging storm around him, He began to sink. (Matthew 14: 28-31)   In life you will have storms, never underestimate the severity of the storm, but most importantly …DON’T TAKE YOUR EYES OFF JESUS.

TAKE UP THE SHIELD OF FAITH:   
            Faith is essential in the Christian walk.  Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and rewards those that seek him. Hebrews 11:6  CSB  Hebrews chapter 11 is the so called Hall of Fame of those who believed in faith.  Faith in God alone is what pleases God.   The shield we have is the confidence we have in God by believing and focusing upon him and not entertaining the world’s way of thinking.  It is believing, even though  by worldly standards it may not make sense.  It is trusting in only God and His word ….. the Bible.     

EXTINGUISHING ALL THE FLAMING DARTS OF THE EVIL ONE:
     What extinguishes fire?  Water.  The flaming darts of Satan will be extinguished by Jesus, who gives and is the living water.  Satan’s desire is to burn you and cause you much pain.  Jesus wants to refresh you and quench the thirst caused by the doubts and lies of Satan.  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of FAITH, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.  Hebrews 10:22 ESV  When Satan reminds you of past sin and failures attempting to cause you to doubt, remember he is the father of lies. Remind the devil you are washed in he blood of the lamb and have been redeemed by the blood of the lamb.   

APPLICATION:
     It is not a question that the flaming dart will come but when.  Obviously we are to dress in the armor of God for battle and take up the shield of his protection in our lives.  The application of faith is this …. look to Jesus.   Whenever you face all that the forces of evil shoots at you …. look to Jesus.  When storms of life happen…. look to Jesus.  When overwhelmed ….. look to Jesus.  When weary …. look to Jesus.   Focus, focus, focus on Jesus. (Hebrews12:2)  Focus with songs, prayers, and scripture memorization.  Meditate and think often upon him and give no place for the father of lies in your thoughts.  I will meditate on you precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. Psalm 119:15 ESV …..    Give no opportunity to the devil.  Ephesians 4:27 ESV…..   For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.   For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.  We destroy arguments and every lofty option raised against the knowledge of God,  AND TAKE EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE TO OBEY CHRIST.  2 Corinthians 10:3-5 ESV 
               Live strong in the Lord and live for God on purpose. 

 Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David 

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