Friday, July 11, 2014


To submit to another is seen by many as a negative idea. Everyone wants to be the leader. Nobody wants to be told what to do. But the reality for Christians is, submitting to God is the best thing for us!
Jesus acted on this truth as He walked in God’s will before going to the cross. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus struggled and wept over what was about to happen. Three times He pleaded with His Father for this suffering to be taken from Him. But He trusted His Father and submitted:“Nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42).
When you and I choose to become followers of Jesus, we must also submit to His authority. We are no longer the masters of our own lives. And that should be a cause for celebration because the Creator of the universe is now looking after us! While submitting might be difficult at times, God wants us to come to a place where we say, “I delight to do Your will, O my God” (Psalm 40:8).
Are you having trouble letting God take control of an area of your life? Submit to Him completely and you’ll receive the greatest blessing of all: that His perfect plan for you can be carried out in your life!

The Father says

The Father says today tap into the composure afforded you in Christ. The real you is never stressed out or extended beyond your measure. The real you is at one with Me. The real you is seated with Christ in heavenly places. The real you cannot be discouraged, defeated, dismayed or frightened in any way. I am THE rock therefore you are a rock. I am immovable therefore you are immovable. I am with you says the Father, fear not neither be dismayed.

Put on the FULLNESS of CHRIST today. Say within your heart "I shall ascend in worship and descend in warfare." Open your heart, spread the wings of your spirit and wend you way to the throne. The entitlements of the cross await you. The signet ring of My authority is available. The robe of righteousness. The staff of My strength. All hell trembles at the thought of one believer possessing their possession and walking in all that heaven affords. Be THAT believer this day says the Father. Accept My favor and know it as that which the blood that was shed affords you in this life. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

God wants you to rely on His grace

(Gen 3:19 NLT) By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return."

God wants you to rely on His grace.  By God's grace you can work hard doing what He has called you to do, but you can do it without getting overwhelmed, overloaded or stressed out.

Have you ever heard the phrase "By the sweat of your brow"?  It comes from our verse for today, which is Gen 3:19.  In Genesis chapter three Adam and Eve sinned.  This caused God to curse the serpent, the man and the woman.  The curse God spoke over Adam was that he was going to have to work hard for his food.  Prior to sin event Adam received everything by God's unearned grace.  God had given Adam purpose, power, partnership and parameters.  Adam lived in abundance.  Adam and Eve's only physical need was food and they had an entire Garden (more like a forest) to eat from.  They had more than they would ever need and it was all given to them by God's unearned grace.  However, Adam violated the one rule he had and his sin caused him to lose it all.  Adam was cursed, kicked out of the Garden, and forced to WORK for everything he was going to get.  Another translation reads, "You will work hard for your food, until your face is covered with sweat.  You will work hard until the day you die, and then you will become dust again.  I used dust to make you, and when you die, you will become dust again."  

So what does this mean to you?  A few things.

1.  Prior to the fall Adam was experiencing The Blessing.  He had communion with God, companionship with his wife, abundance and authority.  Adam was living the good life and everything he had was given to him by God's unearned grace.

2.  When Adam sinned he lost access to The Blessing.  Adam was cursed, kicked out of the Garden, and forced to WORK hard for everything he was going to get.

3.  The curse God spoke over Adam was that he (and man in general) was going to have to work hard for his food and earn his provision by the sweat of his brow.  Hard work by human effort, without the grace of God, is part of the curse and NOT The Blessing.

4.  Jesus came to redeem us, to get us out of everything Adam got us into.  Jesus did not redeem us back to Abraham, He redeemed us all the way back to Adam, prior to the fall and prior to the curse.  We are not supposed to earn everything we achieve in life now by hard work alone, relying solely on human effort, earning things through the sweat of our brow.  No.  That is not a picture of God's best.  

5.  God still expects us to work, because Adam was working prior to the fall.  God gave Adam a job before he gave him a wife.  But the way in which Adam was working before the fall, under The Blessing, was completely different than afterwards.  
-- Before the fall of man Adam worked, but he enjoyed grace based success.  Adam walked with God in the cool of the day, he received revelation concerning what to say and how to say it, and God blessed everything he put his hands to do.  

-- After the fall Adam was left on his own, working hard by human effort alone, and he had to sweat to earn everything he received.  

-- Which picture do you think God expects you to identify with?  Adam in the Garden or Adam after he was kicked out of the Garden?  I submit to you that God wants you to identify with Adam in the Garden of Eden.  That is the life He wants you to live.  God wants you to experience success, but success His way, graced based, with His favor on your work, so that you don't rely on yourself and your own ability to accomplish what God has called you to do.

Are you misunderstood

At every turn, Jesus was misunderstood and rejected. As John 1:11says, He “came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.” So how did Jesus endure this unfair treatment, and how can you and I resist the urge to fight back when we are rejected too?
When Jesus started His ministry, everyone seemed to love having Him around – as long as He continued to heal the sick and feed the masses. But the moment He challenged them with the principles of God’s Kingdom, they forsook Him: “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more” (John 6:66).
And even those disciples who continued with Jesus didn’t really understand His true mission. At least seven times Jesus told them about His death on the cross and the resurrection. Yet, they still didn’t get it. Peter even tried to rebuke Jesus for talking so much about His death!
While He was on the cross, Jesus still had patience and a love for those who didn’t understand Him. He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).
Do you sometimes feel misunderstood and maligned by those around you? Do they look down on you for your faith in Christ and your commitment to your Christian walk? Let Jesus be your example and ask Him to help you to always have patience and a forgiving heart toward others.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


The Bible is full of examples of successful people -- people who found, followed and finished their divine assignment by the grace of God.  Some of them were rich, but there were many who were not.  Some of them lived long lives, while others died at an early age.  Some had it relatively easy, while others seemingly went through hell on the road to their purpose.  My point is that there is no 'cookie cutter' path to divine success.  There is no blanket statement I can give you about the path we take to divine success that will apply to people, at all times.  Some truths are universal and timeless, and we will deal with those truths in this series.  But I can't tell you that everyone is going to have the money Solomon had, the strength Sampson had, or the challenges Paul had.  What I can tell you is that God has given every believer the grace to complete his or her divine assignment, whatever that assignment is.

Each of us take a path that is as unique as we are.  But at the end of the day, divine success boils down to doing what you were born to do, before you die.  That's it, and it's that simple.  While that is the "what" of success, this morning I want to talk about the "how".  Today I will discuss hard work and tomorrow I will bring God's grace into the equation.

So what does this mean to you today?  Let's learn a few things about hard work.

1.  God is not a rewarder of laziness.  In Proverbs chapter 10 Solomon said, "He becomes poor who works with a lazy hand, but the hand of the diligent brings wealth" (v.4).  In chapter 12 he said, "Work hard, and you will be a leader; be lazy, and you will end up a slave" (v.24) and "If you are lazy, you will never get what you are after, but if you work hard, you will get a fortune" (v.27).  In chapter 13 he said, "People who refuse to work want things and get nothing.  But the longings of people who work hard are completely satisfied" (v.4).  In chapter 21 Solomon said, "The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work" (v.25).  In the New Testament Paul said, "If a man will not work, he shall not eat" (2 Thes 3:10).  Jesus said, "My Father is always working, and so am I" (John 5:17).  And believe me, there are many, many more scriptures like this in the Bible.  My point is that God requires you to work.  The Lord expects you to bind your feet to the path He has laid before you and to put your hands to work on the assignment He has given you.  

2.  The Lord can favor your work.  I grew up in a family where 'hard work' was part of our DNA.  The men were taught to work hard to support their families.  The women were taught to work hard to make a home that was peaceful and practical.  All these years later I can say with certainty that He continues to favor the work of my hands.  Here's my point: the Lord cannot favor or bless the work of your hands if you do not put your hands to work.  If you want God to bless what you are doing, then you have to DO something.  Stop talking about your dreams and pursue them.  

3.  God wants you to be good at what you do.  Remember, you represent God.  I strive to be the best at what I do in the military and by the grace of God I can say that I am one of the best, if not THE best at what I do in the entire U.S. Army.  By doing my best I am able to represent God and give Him the glory whenever the spotlight is on me.  King Solomon said, "Observe people who are good at their work - skilled workers are always in demand and admired; they don't take a back seat to anyone" (22:29).  That is my testimony and I pray it be yours as well.  If you will be faithful to work, God will be faithful to bless the work of your hands!

Closing:  Father, I thank You for making plans for me before the world began, for shielding and protecting me for my purpose even before I acknowledged You as Lord, and for now blessing the work of my hands.  I want to maximize my purpose and potential.  I want to arrive at Your desired destination for my life.  I want to die empty, getting out of me everything You placed in me.  I want to leave a mark in this world that will not be erased.  I want to leave a legacy of righteousness for my children and my children's children.  I want to be the person I am called to be, and in order to do it, I know I will need to put my hands to WORK.  You don't bless laziness.  I am Your child, I represent You every day, and I declare that I shall represent You well.  I enter each day with a determination to do my best, by Your grace, with a full expectation that You will bless the work of my hands.  I am like the Blessed Man described in Psalm 1.  I am like a tree planted by the rivers of water, I bring forth my fruit in my season, my leaves do not wither, and everything I DO prospers.  I am faithful to work and You are faithful to bless the work of my hands.  Like Your Word says, my work is always in demand and I do not take a back seat to anyone.  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus' name, Amen!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Grace Based Prosperity

Grace Based Prosperity

Dr. Creflo Dollar recently taught a series entitled "Grace Based Prosperity" and his messages blessed me greatly.  As I listened to Pastor Dollar the Lord was speaking to me about the difference between pursuing success the world's way (through blood, sweat and tears) and God's way (by His grace).  In this series I will cover lots of topics as I seek to teach by both precept and example; giving you divine principles and Biblical examples you can glean from.

The following is a list of 'just a few' of the things you will learn in this series:
-- How to define success in life
-- Right thinking and right believing concerning Godly success
-- Redemption from the curse of Adam (Gen 3:19)
-- Confidence in God's love towards you
-- Finding grace in a net-breaking boat-sinking load of fish
-- The grace to work hard
-- Entering into God's rest
-- Freedom from dead works
-- The favor of God
-- Everything you need to fulfill your divine assignment is already yours
-- God wants you to succeed in your life's assignment
-- God is not opposed to wealth or health
-- The power of the Presence of God
-- Joseph had the grace to succeed
-- Paul had the grace to succeed
-- Gideon had the grace to succeed
-- King Jehoshaphat had the grace to succeed

These are in no particular order, but for this morning I will share a few nuggets about the term "success in life."

So what does this mean to you today?  A few things.

1.  How do you measure success in life?  Success in life cannot be measured by what you drive, where you live or the size of your bank account.  In society today many equate success to fame or fortune.  Having money or being known is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is far from being "only" thing.  The dictionary defines success as "the accomplishment of an aim or purpose."  In the case of your life, the aim should be the accomplishment of God's divine purpose for you.  You were born for a reason and your job is to FIND, FOLLOW and FINISH your purpose.  If you do, if you accomplish what God brought you into the earth to accomplish, then you succeeded.  That's it.  It's that simple.

2.  Can you be successful at the wrong thing?  Wouldn't it be a shame to think you were 'winning' at life, enjoying what you thought was success, only to get to the end of your life and find out that your spent it doing the wrong thing?  God is not going to favor and bless the work of your hands when you are doing it on your own and you are determined to live a life you were not intended to live, but make no mistake, you can WORK your way to earthly success at something you are not supposed to be doing, and if you do, you will have to work hard and your labor, at least in God's eyes, will be in vain.

3.  Are you succeeding?  Since I gave you a simple definition for success (accomplishing your divine purpose), I can now ask this simple question.  Are you doing what you were born to do?  Are you living the life God intended for you to live?  Is the path that you are on taking you incrementally closer to God's overall desired destination for your life?  If it is, and if you are, then you are succeeding at life.  It doesn't matter how much money you have in the bank, what you drive or where you live.  If you are doing what God placed you in the earth to do, then you are succeeding, and you should enjoy every minute of it.  However, if you are not, then don't allow the trappings of this world (money, fame, position, prominence, etc.), to keep you on a path you know is wrong.  Repent, ask the Holy Spirit to lead you, and get back on the path to God's best for your life.  Don't worry about money.  If you do what God purposed you to do, the money will be there and you will always have more than enough to meet your needs and to be a blessing to others.  Money makes a great servant, but a poor master.  Don't chase money, chase God, and money will chase you.

Father, I thank You for dealing with me concerning my definition of success.  I know You made plans for me before the world began.  I know I was born for a reason and that reason is Your divine purpose for my life.  I know I am not a mistake.  I know I am here on purpose.  I also know that there was a time when I did not know Your purpose for my life, so I came up with my own and I was the Captain of my own ship.  However, after I came in contact with Your Son Jesus and made Him my Lord, You gave me Your precious Holy Spirit and He now reveals things to me about my purpose.  I have made changes based upon what I now know my purpose to be.  I have rearranged my priorities.  Now what is first and foremost in my life is the accomplishment of my divine purpose.  I don't chase money, I pursue my purpose.  I don't chase fame, I seek to accomplish what I was born to accomplish.  And as I do, You make all grace abound towards me, to the point where I always have everything I need to do what I am called to do, and You make my name great, putting the spotlight on me, so I can deflect the glory right back to You.  Thank You Father for helping me to understand success.  I am succeeding and I shall be successful in life, because my life is no longer about me.  My life is ALL ABOUT YOU.  You brought me into the world for a purpose and I will accomplish my divine assignment before I die, by Your grace, living by faith.  And that is success to me!  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus' name, Amen!

Be of Good Courage

The following night the Lord stood by him and said, "Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome."

Even the most committed believer has those times when fear and worry can kick in. Anxiety can overtake us. Maybe we are concerned about our future. Maybe we are discouraged or afraid. If that is the case, you might be surprised to know that even the great apostle Paul experienced emotions like this.

Paul had gone to Jerusalem, and the next thing he knew, he was locked up in a cold, damp, dark prison cell. All of this happened as a result of his bold proclamation of the gospel. Acts 23:11 tells us, "The following night the Lord stood by him and said, 'Be of good cheer, Paul.' "

That phrase be of good cheer could be better translated "be of good courage." Whenever we read in Scripture that an angel of the Lord appeared and said, "Fear not," it was usually because someone was afraid. So I conclude that when the Lord himself stood by Paul and said, "Be of good courage," the apostle needed that special word of encouragement at that particular moment.

Sometimes it seems as though God is the only one standing by us. But if everyone else had forsaken Paul, Jesus was company enough. If all the others despised him, the smile of Jesus was approval enough. Though his circumstances were less than ideal, I am sure he knew it was better to be in that jail with the Lord than to be anywhere else without Him.

Jesus is there in your prison as well, whatever and wherever that prison may be. And He knows what you are going through.