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HUMANITY’S BASIC NEEDS


by Neil Anderson

 

July 24
 
Philippians 4:19 
My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus
 
Adam and Eve were created spiritually alive. The attributes they experienced before the Fall became glaring needs after the Fall.
 
1. Acceptance was replaced by rejection, therefore we have a need to belong. Ever since Adam and Eve’s sin alienated them from God and disrupted human relationships, we have experienced a deep need to belong. Even when people come to Christ and fill their need to belong to God, they still need the acceptance of people. You will never understand the power of peer pressure in our culture until you understand the legitimate need to belong and the fear of rejection we all share.
 
2. Innocence was replaced by guilt and shame, therefore we have a need for a sense of worth. Many psychologists agree that people today generally suffer from a poor sense of worth. The secular psychologist responds by trying to stroke the human ego and psychologist responds by trying to stroke the human ego and encourage us to improve our performance. Your worth as a person is not an issue of giftedness, talent, intelligence or beauty. It’s an identity issue. Your sense of personal worth comes from knowing who you are: a child of God.
 
3. Authority to rule over creation was replaced by weakness and helplessness, therefore we have a need for strength and self-control. There is no one more insecure than a controller. The fruit of the Spirit is self-control, not spouse- or child-control.
 
Only Christ can meet the most basic needs of humanity such as life, identity, acceptance, security and significance. These needs are eternal, unlike our physical needs. If we present Christ as meeting only our physical needs, we will have stiff competition from every humanistic organization.
 
Prayer: Father God, I reject any counterfeit fulfillment Satan offers me. I will live by every word that proceeds from Your mouth.


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THE POWER TO CHOOSE


by Neil Anderson

 

July 23
 
Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve. . . . As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD
 
Adam and Eve’s sin also affected the area of their will. Do you realize that in the Garden of Eden they could only make one wrong choice? Everything they wanted to do was okay except eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16, 17). They had the possibility of making a myriad of good choices and only one bad choice– only one !
 
Eventually, however, they made that one bad choice. As a result, you and I are confronted every day with a myriad of good and bad choices. You can choose to pray or not pray, read your Bible or not read your Bible, go to church or not go to church. You can choose to walk according to the flesh or according to the Spirit. You and I face countless choices like that every day, and we eventually make some bad ones.
 
Other than the Holy Spirit in your life, the greatest power you possess is the power to choose. Someone has said that pure Christianity lies in the exercise of the will. The animal kingdom operates out of divine instinct. But we are created in the image of God, which means we have a self-operated, independent will. The essence of temptation is to function independently of God. The basis for temptation is legitimate needs.
 
Sinful behavior is often a wrong attempt at meeting your basic needs. The real issue here is are you going to get your needs met by the world, the flesh and the devil, or are you going to allow God to meet your needs “according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19)? It’s an issue of identity and maturity. The more you understand your identity in Christ, the more you will grow in maturity. And the more mature you become, the easier it will be for you to choose to live your life in dependence on your heavenly Father.
 
Prayer: Lord, I determine to exercise my great power of choice to live in moment-by-moment dependence on You today.


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BEHAVING YOUR WAY INTO GOOD FEELINGS


by Neil Anderson

 

July 22
 
John 13:17 
If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them
 
What happened to mankind emotionally as a result of the Fall? For one thing, we became fearful and anxious. One of the first emotions expressed by fallen humanity was fear (Genesis 3:10). Today fear is crippling our relationships and activities. Fear is a result of the Fall. If fear is controlling your life, then faith is not.
 
Another emotional by-product of sin is shame and guilt. Before Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they were naked and unashamed (Genesis 2:25). God created them as sexual beings. Their sex organs and sexual activity were holy. But when they sinned, they were ashamed to be naked and they had to cover up (Genesis 3:7). Many people mask their inner self in fear that others may see them for who they really are.
 
Mankind also became depressed and angry after the Fall. Cain brought his offering to God and, for some reason, God was displeased with it. As a result, “Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Then the LORD said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up?’” (Genesis 4:5-7).
 
I believe God established a principle here which echoes all through the Bible: You don’t feel your way into good behavior; you behave your way into good feelings. There are tons of things you don’t feel like doing, but you do them. I never feel like going to the convalescent hospital to minister. And the moment I step in the door, the smell alone does away with any positive feelings of wanting to continue on. But I always leave feeling great; I’m glad I went. Good feelings follow right behavior. Jesus said, “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them” (John 13:17).
 
Prayer: Lord, help me do what You want me to do even when it seems unpleasant. I seek Your blessing for obedience.


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On a day when America would normally be proudly looking back to Neil Armstrong’s famous “One giant leap for mankind,” they are lamenting the thousands of giant leaps across the southern borders by tens of thousands of illegal immigrants

Written by Michael Bresciani Copyright© 2014

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On a day when America would normally be proudly looking back to Neil Armstrong’s famous “One giant leap for mankind,” they are lamenting the thousands of giant leaps across the southern borders by tens of thousands of illegal immigrants.

Both sides of the issue were heard in cities across the nation this past weekend, but the naysayers far outnumber the few who seem to think it is a purely humanitarian crisis and the oppressed and displaced Central American children should be welcomed in with open arms.

Main stream America is at odds, as usual, with main stream media on the issue. Dem’s are using whatever news outlets that will yield to make their humanitarian spin, but it is largely failing as opinions and tempers flare because most Americans think Obama’s policies are at the heart of the problem.

To bolster the feeling of most Americans that the crisis is an Obama generated policy blunder is a report from Breitbart News that shows a leak from EPIC (El Paso Intelligence Center) clearly stating that it is not violence and guns in Central America that is driving the immigrants to the borders.

Breitbart says, “An elite, law-enforcement sensitive El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) intel report from July 7, 2014 was leaked to Breitbart Texas and reveals that homicide rates in Central America suggest violence is likely not the primary cause of the surge of thousands of unaccompanied minors and incomplete family units illegally entering the United States.”

Epic is comprised of several law enforcement agencies, DEA, Coast Guard, Local and State Police and a full roster of other agencies.

They all concur that the recent barrage of immigrants crashing the borders is not caused by rising homicides in Pan America.

Politicizing the plight of Central American youth is not only an Obama policy failure, but is the most amazing hypocritical turn the Democratic Party has ever made and it is impossible to hide.

Democrats with some exceptions are the nation’s abortion advocates hands down. Anywhere, anytime, if it were completely up to them an abortion could be had with or without parents’ consent, ultrasound requirements or any other deterrents.

Now, with thousands of diseased kids and members of dangerous gangs clamoring at the border – the Democrats have grown a conscience.

The nearly 4,000 abortions performed daily do not phase the Dem’s who seem to think only children from third world countries should have rights and constitutional protections.

The little ones thrown in medical waste receptacles every day are given no chance to live much less to pursue “life, and liberty,” a bit of aid until better times and an education would be all right considering that after all – they are American.

They are not considered for anything and the Dem’s have remembered to stay oh so silent about the abortion scourge they undergird and support. The word was, is and will always be hypocrisy – it cannot be hidden.

The deaths of 55,000,000 American children at the hands of abortion doctors under the auspices of the liberals and democrats cannot begin to be compared with some 45,000 children at the borders of a nation that is not theirs.

Never has hypocrisy had a better example in modern times. In fact, the liberal spin is several stages beyond hypocrisy and is now knee deep in the realms of all that is shameful and ludicrous.

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”  (Mt 7: 3-5)

Michael Bresciani is the publisher of American Prophet.org since 2005. The website features the articles and reports of Rev Bresciani along with some of America’s best writers and journalists, news and reviews that have earned the site the title of – The Website for Insight. Millions have read his timely reports and articles in online journals and print publications across the nation and the globe. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook


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A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP


by Neil Anderson

July 21

John 1:14 
The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth
 
What effect did the Fall produce in Adam’s mind? He and Eve lost their true perception of reality. We read in Genesis 3:7, 8, that they tried to hide from God. Doesn’t that reveal a faulty understanding of who God is? How can you hide from God? After the Fall, Adam and Eve weren’t thinking straight.
 
In essence, when Adam and Eve sinned, their minds were robbed of the true knowledge of God. In God’s original design, knowledge was relational. Knowing someone implied an intimate personal relationship. You can see it in Genesis 4:1: “Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived” (KJV). Yet we don’t generally equate a knowledge of someone with personal intimacy.
 
Before the Fall, Adam and Eve knew God, not sexually of course, but in the intimacy of a close, personal relationship which we associate with marriage. They knew God by being with God. When they sinned and were banished from the garden, Adam and Eve lost their relationship with God and the knowledge of God which was intrinsic to that relationship. And you and I inherited Adam and Eve’s darkened mind. Before Christ, we knew something about God, but we didn’t know God because we had no relationship with Him.
 
The necessity of being in relationship to God in order to know God comes into sharp focus in John’s announcement: “The Word”– logos in the Greek–”became flesh” (John 1:14). The word logos represented the highest form of philosophical knowledge. For the Greeks, saying that the logos became flesh was the same as saying that ultimate knowledge became personal and relational. God was announcing to the world through John: The true knowledge of God, which can only be discovered in an intimate relationship with God, is now available to the world through God in the flesh–Jesus Christ. In Christ we are able to know God personally, not just know about Him.
 
Prayer: Lord, I thirst for deeper intimacy in my relationship with You. I want to know You more personally today.


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PERCEPTIONS AND EMOTIONS


by Neil Anderson

 

July 20
 
Lamentations 3:22, 23 
The LORD’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compasssions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness
 
In a general sense, your emotions are a product of your thought life. If you are not thinking right, if your mind is not being renewed, if you are not perceiving God and His Word properly, it will be reflected in your emotional life.
 
One of the best scriptural illustrations of the relationship between perceptions and emotions is found in Lamentations 3. In verses 1-6, Jeremiah expresses despair as he wrongly perceives that God is against him and that He is the cause of his physical problems. In verses 7-11, 18, he vents his feelings of entrapment and fear. If your hope was in God, and these words were a correct portrayal of God, you would probably feel bummed out too.
 
What was Jeremiah’s problem? His perception of God was way off center. God wasn’t the cause of his affliction. God isn’t a wild beast waiting to chew people up. But Jeremiah wasn’t thinking right, perceiving right, or interpreting his circumstances right, so he wasn’t feeling right or responding right either.
 
Suddenly, Jeremiah’s countenance changes: “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The LORD’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness” (verses 21-23). What a turnaround! Did God change? Did Jeremiah’s circumstances change? No. His perception of God changed and his emotions followed suit.
 
You are not shaped so much by your environment as you are by your perception of your environment. Life’s events don’t determine who you are; God determines who you are, and your interpretation of life’s events determines how well you will handle the pressures of life. In reality we have very little control over our emotions, but we do have control over our thoughts, and our thoughts determine our feelings and our responses. That’s why it is so important that you fill your mind with the knowledge of God and His Word. You need to see life from God’s perspective and respond accordingly.
 
Prayer: Lord, continually adjust my perception of my environment to match Your perspective found in Your Word.


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CONFESSING WHAT WE BELIEVE


by Neil Anderson

 

July 19
 
Romans 10:9, 10 
If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
 
One primary means by which we express our belief is confession–verbally expressing what we believe. In fact, God requires us to take our stand in this world. Jesus says, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38).
 
In rebuking the Pharisees, Jesus said, “For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned” (Matthew 12:37). And in Mark 11:23, He said, “Whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted him.” Notice that Jesus does not say we shall have whatever we believe, but we shall have whatever we believe and confess. Confession gives expression to what is believed. The confession of the mouth must accurately express the belief of the heart.
 
To defeat Satan, we must speak forth the Word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). In our English translations, two different words are used for the “Word” of God. The most common is logos and it indicates the whole revealed Word of God (John 1:1). The other word is rhema . There is only one Word of God, but the emphasis of rhema is in its expression. We are to hide the whole Word ( logos ) in our hearts, and when Satan attacks, we stand against him by confessing God’s Word ( rhema ).
 
Confessing what we believe gives proof to our faith. Confession doesn’t create faith; faith makes possible true confession. Confession is agreeing with God. It is living in the light by letting our life and our mouth demonstrate what we believe in our heart.
 
Prayer: Father, I desire that what my heart believes and what my mouth confesses today line up with the truth of Your Word.


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DEMONSTRATING WHAT WE BELIEVE


by Neil Anderson

 

July 18
 
James 2:17 
Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself
 
Faith is an action word. We cannot passively respond to God. You may have heard the story of the circus performer who strung a wire over a river and proceeded to ride across it on a unicycle. When he returned, everyone applauded. Then he asked, “Who believes I can do that with a man on my shoulders?” Everyone responded in affirmation. He said, “All right, who will hop on?” The person who hops on is the person who really believes. Faith is not just giving credence to something or someone. Faith is demonstrated reliance upon something or someone.
 
Faith has the same operating dynamic as agape love. When we refer to love as a noun, we’re talking about character: patience, kindness, etc. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). When we say that God is love, we are describing His character. Paul says the goal of our instruction is love (1 Timothy 1:5); therefore, the goal of Christian education is character transformation.
 
When love is used as a verb, it is expressed by action: “For God so loved the world that He gave . . .” (John 3:16). If we say we love someone and do nothing on their behalf, it’s only sentimentality and not agape love. True love is expressed by meeting the needs of others.
 
Faith has a similar dynamic. When using faith as a noun, we’re talking about what we believe. But if we’re talking about faith as a verb, then it is expressed in the way we live. James says it like this: “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, ‘You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.’ You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder” (James 2:17-19).
 
The devil believes in the existence of Jesus and knows that God’s Word is true. But he doesn’t seek to glorify Jesus or to obey Him. He seeks his own glory, being a rebel at heart (Romans 1:25).
 
We demonstrate what we believe by how we live our lives. If we believe it, we will do it. If we don’t, then what we believe is just wishful thinking.
 
Prayer: Lord, help me put feet to my faith every day and not rely on past accomplishments.


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SUCCESS COMES IN CANS, PART II


by Neil Anderson

July 17

Romans 1:17 
The righteous man shall live by faith
 
Believing that you can succeed at Christian growth and maturity takes no more effort than believing you cannot succeed. So why not believe that you can walk in faith and in the Spirit; that you can resist the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil; and that you can grow to maturity as a Christian. Allow the “Twenty Cans of Success” you began yesterday to encourage you.
 
Twenty Cans of Success (continued) Why should I ever be in bondage knowing that there is liberty where the Spirit of the Lord is (2 Corinthians 3:17)? Why should I feel condemned when the Bible says I am not condemned because I am in Christ (Romans 8:1)? Why should I feel alone when Jesus said He is with me always and He will never leave me nor forsake me (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5)? Why should I feel accursed or that I am the victim of bad luck when the Bible says that Christ redeemed me from the curse of the law that I might receive His Spirit (Galatians 3:13, 14)? Why should I be discontented when I, like Paul, can learn to be content in all my circumstances (Philippians 4:11)? Why should I feel worthless when Christ became sin on my behalf that I might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21)? Why should I have a persecution complex knowing that nobody can be against me when God is for me (Romans 8:31)? Why should I be confused when God is the author of peace and He gives me knowledge through his indwelling Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:33; 2:12)? Why should I feel like a failure when I am a conqueror in all things through Christ (Romans 8:37)? Why should I let the pressures of life bother me when I can take courage knowing that Jesus has overcome the world and its tribulations (John 16:33)?
 
Prayer: I rejoice in Your eternal promises, Lord. You are a Rock that never crumbles.


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SUCCESS COMES IN CANS, PART I


by Neil Anderson

 

July 16
 
Mark 9:24 
I do believe; help my unbelief
 
Someone has said that success comes in cans and failure in cannots. The “Twenty Cans of Success,” taken from God’s Word, will expand your knowledge of our faith-object, the Almighty God. Building your faith by internalizing these truths over the next two days will help lift you from the miry clay of the cannots to the reality that in Christ you can do all things.
 
Twenty Cans of Success Why should I say I can’t when the Bible says I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13)? Why should I lack when I know that God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19)? Why should I fear when the Bible says God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)? Why should I lack faith to fulfill my calling, knowing that God has allotted to me a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)? Why should I be weak when the Bible says that the Lord is the strength of my life and that I will display strength and take action because I know God (Psalm 27:1; Daniel 11:32)? Why should I allow Satan supremacy over my life when He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4)? Why should I accept defeat when the Bible says that God always leads me in triumph (2 Corinthians 2:14)? Why should I lack wisdom when Christ became wisdom to me from God and God gives wisdom to me generously when I ask Him for it (1 Corinthians 1:30; James 1:5)? Why should I be depressed when I can recall to mind God’s loving kindness, compassion and faithfulness, and have hope (Lamentations 3:21-23)? Why should I worry and fret when I can cast all my anxiety on Christ who cares for me (1 Peter 5:7)?
 
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your loving care reflected in the incredible promises in Your Word.