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Sermon 4/6/2014: Faith

I received a request to post a written copy of the sermon I preached tonight! God completely took over this sermon! People were literally healed, set free, and slain in the Spirit. What I got to witness tonight was incredible and I can’t express how happy I am that God allowed me to participate in this. He is a God of awesome power. And as I witnessed so powerfully tonight, miracles still happen. We just have to believe!

-Austin

 

Mark 5:21- 43:

 

When Jesus had crossed over again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around Him; and so He stayed by the seashore. 22 One of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and on seeing Him, fell at His feet 23 and implored Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, so that she will get well and live.” 24 And He went off with him; and a large crowd was following Him and pressing in on Him. 25 A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, 26 and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse – 27 after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. 28 For she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.” 29 Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 30 Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?” 31 And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ” 32 And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. 33 But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.” 35 While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?” 36 But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.” 37 And He allowed no one to accompany Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 They came to the house of the synagogue official; and He saw a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing. 39 And entering in, He said to them, “Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep.” 40 They began laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He took along the child’s father and mother and His own companions, and entered the room where the child was. 41 Taking the child by the hand, He said to her, “Talitha kum!” (which translated means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl got up and began to walk, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded. 43 And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this, and He said that something should be given her to eat.”

 

 

Note that the woman should have been outside the city. She was unclean and should not have been around anyone. During this whole 12 years that she had the issue, she was unclean according to the Law. Actually, when she pushed through the crowd, everyone that she even slightly brushed against became unclean. So, she didn’t care about what the law said or what might happen to her if she were to get caught. All she wanted is to act on her faith that Jesus could heal her. She was convinced that even coming into contact with Jesus’ clothes could heal her.

 

She had also seen many doctors who couldn’t do anything for her. She tried putting her trust in man, but they failed her. Sometimes doctors can’t help with our ailments. If you put your stock in other people, they will fail you. This goes for all circumstances. You can’t rely on other people to bring you happiness. But God knows every cell in our body. He created us. God can heal anything from a common cold to cancer. Jesus can heal what man can’t even touch. Nothing is impossible with Him.

 

What I want to focus on however is the statement Jesus makes in verse 34. Jesus says, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.” He could have told her that it was his power that healed her. That’s certainly true, but there’s something deeper here that Jesus is getting at. The woman’s faith is what made the difference. She came in a terrible state. She had had this hemorrhage for 12 long years. She was in pain. Suffering for 12 years with the same constant, nagging problem was probably getting unbearable. Just look at her. She had spent all that she had on doctors and had only gotten worse. She was feeling completely hopeless. Then, she heard about Jesus. It seems likely to me that she had heard from the people around the area she was in what Jesus has done for many others and what he had been teaching (Man with the 5,000 demon spirits). That’s what her faith was built upon. She knew that Jesus had worked miracles. At this point, talk had to be getting around at what Jesus of Nazareth was doing. She knew Jesus was her last hope at healing. And she truly believed Jesus could heal her. Not only did she believe it, but also she expected it. She expected to be healed of her affliction. That’s the faith Jesus wants from us. When you come wanting and expecting the power of God, His power will fall. That’s when the miracles happen. I think it’s incredible that she didn’t want Jesus to touch her with his hands. All she wanted was to simply touch his garments. That’s knowing the power of Christ!

 

She was immediately healed! She didn’t have to wait or do any special ritual. It happened at that very instant! Mark use “immediately” several times in the passage we just read. It’s also a key word throughout the whole book. He repeats this style throughout his account of the Gospel to emphasize the fact that when Jesus worked miracles, the manifestation occurred at that instant. They didn’t have to wait. Because they had faith of healing for that moment, that’s what happened.

 

In verses 30-32 how did Jesus know who touched his clothes? This is so cool. I talked to Pastor about this. At first, I didn’t think he knew who did it. Verse 30 indicates that he knew power had gone from him, but I was failing to see how or even if he knew who touched him. Then Pastor showed me the Greek word used for “perceiving” in verse 30. That word is epiginōskō. The meaning of epiginōskō is to recognize. But not only that it means to perceive who a person is. With the crowd surrounding him, Jesus couldn’t have possibly seen at first who touched him, so he had to be seeing something in the spiritual realm. For example, have you ever seen someone who was hopeless? They have no faith in Jesus and they’re at rock bottom. You can see the deadness and the hollowness in their eyes. But, when you see someone who was made alive through the power of Christ, you see an abundance of life in their eyes. In verse 31, his disciples question him like he’s gone completely off his rocker. I think the King James Version has a better translation of verse 32: “And he looked around to see the woman who had done this.” Now it doesn’t seem like Jesus was looking around aimlessly. Pastor helped me see what the text was saying here. Jesus seems to look directly at that woman and waits for her to present herself to him. At that point she came forward and fell to ground in fear. This is the same way people responded to the presence of God in the Old Testament. The woman acknowledged the divinity of Jesus. She knew he was the Christ!

 

Let’s look at the second part of this passage again because it ties directly in with what I’m trying to get across here (pickup in verse 35): While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?”

 

Many will come along and try to discourage your faith. Those who came telling Jairus that his daughter was dead were actually just saying, “This man doesn’t have the power to anything anymore.” They lacked the faith Jairus had. Sometimes what you are seeking seems impossible. The world likes to tell us it is too. The Enemy loves nothing more than to cause us to lose faith in God and His promise. But verse 36 tells us that Jesus says not to fear! Just believe. Now skip down to verse 39:

 

39 And entering in, He said to them, “Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep.” 40 They began laughing at Him.

 

Again here are people trying to make a fool out of Jesus. They are faithless. Jesus was trying to teach them something here. You see, for Jesus death isn’t final. Those who are without faith view death as the end of existence. Death is it. The end. But for the people of faith, death is really just the beginning because Jesus conquered death. For us, we have faith that when we die, we immediately wake up in the presence of God.

 

I want to look at another miracle that Jesus performed that has similar circumstances. 

 

Matthew 8:5-13

 

“When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.” 7 Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.” 8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very hour.”

 

Again Jesus talks about faith as playing a key role in the healing that was taking place. The centurion was Roman, first of all. That’s what’s so incredible about his faith. The Jews were God’s chosen people (and that still hasn’t changed, it’s just the Gentiles like us are now included in God’s Promise). However, most Jews did not believe Jesus. They didn’t have the faith this Roman did. Actually the other Romans didn’t share this faith either. Jesus rewarded the centurion with what he believed and expected to happen. His servant was set free from his suffering. And again, this miracle occurred immediately.

 

Jesus says in Matthew 7:7: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

 

 

Matthew 17:20-

 

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. “

 

Church, faith is not only the fact that we believe in Christ. That’s an important part, but that’s not all. The Greek word for faith used in Mark 5 is the word pistis. Pistis not only means a belief, it’s a belief that causes action The woman with the issue of blood had faith that Jesus could heal her. That faith caused her to push through the crowd even when she wasn’t supposed to be in contact with others! In the same way, our faith had better cause action. It should cause us to worship God at any given moment, whether we feel like it or not. Everything we do should be done in a way that pleases God.

 

 

A Christian’s entire life begins at the point of faith. Our faith is what saves us; it’s our ticket to Heaven. Much of today’s church has lost faith. Pressure from the world has deflated our spiritual balloon. Many people no longer believe in miracles, the gifts of the spirit, or that God still moves in His people today. We know that’s false. It seems that week after week, God has been telling this particular church to reach out and He will move. He always fulfills His promises. We have had powerful services here when we reach out and leave all we are before God. When we put all of the faith we have, God moves.

 

 

When we finally started doing that God has moved in ways I’ve never seen before. But guess what? That’s not all He has for us. If we continue to reach out to God, He will move in an even more powerful and unique way. Miracles will begin to just flow again. Will you reach out? Isaiah tells us that if we don’t stand firm in our faith we won’t stand at all. Will you have faith? Church, Jesus will meet you at the level of your faith. Are you willing to push through the crowd to get to him? 


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Bad Bosses and Irritating People, part III

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Bad Bosses and Irritating People, Part III

Philippians 1:27 (NAS): “Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”

Ephesians 6:5-8 (NAS): “Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, AS TO CHRIST…as SLAVES OF CHRIST, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, AS TO THE LORD, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this HE WILL RECEIVE BACK FROM THE LORD…”

I Timothy 6:1-2 (NAS): “All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that (here’s the “why” of it) the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against. Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but must serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles.”

 

Verse after verse we read God’s instruction as to how to treat a boss, believer or non-believer. Since all authority is placed by God, good or bad in the natural, they are there to serve so as to refine us in our walk with Yahweh. We are to honor them, not for our sake or theirs, but more so for the sake of God’s great name and His kingdom. When we refuse to obey, we are refusing obedience to God; of course we are not speaking of doing that which is ungodly.

If you, for instance, have a boss that is constantly making demands of you that you feel are unreasonable, you should do it without grumbling or complaining. Certainly if you need to go up the chain of command, that is not out of the question. However, in the mean time, you are commanded of God to honor and respect whoever is in a position of authority over you. This is when you would need to rely solely upon the promise of Yahweh that says that God will repay you. When God’s people honor those in authority, we honor God. Our reward if forthcoming; it is not an if, but a when.

If you are dealing with law enforcement, they are not your boss from whom you receive your pay, but they are in fact your authority. If you don’t want to be in fear of them, it would behoove us all to obey the law. Romans 13-7, reads “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.  Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves…therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake… render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”

I often think of Daniel when the law was set against him for the purpose of entrapment. He did not kick and scream and shout profanities at the king or his enforcers. He did not protest by chaining himself to a tree or hold a sit-in. He did not demand that they make things right and boastfully state, “Don’t you know who I am? I’m the servant of the Most High God! You better make things right or else!” – on the contrary.

Daniel being the true man of God that he was quietly continued to do as he always did. He didn’t change anything. He wasn’t loud or obnoxious – he remained steady and sure. He did not obey the wicked law because it was against God. At the same time, he did not disrespect the king who made the law, foolish though it was. By humbly conducting himself in a manner worthy of the King of kings, God protected him. Even the king who made the law did everything he could to release and save Daniel.

That is how the supernatural Kingdom of God is able to manifest itself in the earth! When we do things God’s way, solely depending upon God to render good back to His people, the atmosphere shifts in ways that we ourselves could never make happen. Because of Daniel’s humility, faith, and steadfastness, multitudes witnessed the righteous, supernatural, mighty had of God.

Let us be ever mindful of doing things God’s way as unto Him so as to preserve the good name of Yahweh whom we say we serve. Taking matters into our own hands will surely cause chaos. Hebrews 13:17 states “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.”

I hope you’ll come back next week. If you’re interested in reading more, please go to my website and check out my books or my ministry Facebook page.

Peace and blessings,

Alexys V. Wolf

www.thefierysword.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251

http://thefierysword.wordpress.com/


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RENEWING YOUR MIND

Neil Andeerson
March 29 
Romans 12:2 
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind
 
If the strongholds in your mind are the result of conditioning, then you can be reconditioned by the renewing of your mind. Anything that has been learned can be unlearned. Certainly this is the major path of renewal in the New Testament. Through the preaching of God’s Word, Bible study and personal discipleship, you stop being conformed to this world and experience the transformation of the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).
 
If your past experiences were spiritually or emotionally devastating, then counseling and Christ-centered support groups will help the transformation. Since some of these strongholds are thoughts raised up against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5), learning to know God as a loving Father and yourself as His accepted child is your starting place.
 
But you’re not just up against the world and the flesh. You’re also up against the devil who is scheming to fill your mind with thoughts which are opposed to God’s plan for you.
 
Notice how Paul uses the word for thoughts (noema) in 2 Corinthians in relation to Satan’s activity. We’ve already seen it in 2 Corinthians 10:5: “We are taking every thought [ noema ] captive to the obedience to Christ.” Why do these thoughts need to be taken captive? Because they may be the enemy’s.
 
In 2 Corinthians 3:14 and 4:4, Paul reveals that Satan is responsible for our spiritual hardness and blindness when we were unbelievers: “But their minds [ noema ] were hardened. . . . The god of this world has blinded the minds [ noema ] of the unbelieving.” In 2 Corinthians 11:3 and 2:11, Paul states that Satan actively plots to defeat and divide believers: “I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds [ noema ] should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. . . . We are not ignorant of his [Satan's] schemes [ noema ].”
 
If Satan can place his thought in your mind–and he can–it isn’t much more of a trick for him to make you think it’s your thought. That’s the deception.
 
Prayer: In the name of Jesus, I renounce and refuse any thoughts which are raised up against the knowledge of God.


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THE ONLY LIMIT TO FAITH

Neil Andeerson

By Neil Anderson

March 22

Romans 10:17 
Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ

When people struggle with their faith in God, it’s not because their faith-object is insufficient. It’s because people have unreal expectations of God. They expect Him to operate a certain way or answer prayer a certain way–their way, not His–and when He doesn’t comply they say, “Forget You, God.” But God doesn’t change; He’s the perfect faith-object. Faith in God only fails when people hold a faulty understanding of Him.

If you want your faith in God to increase, you must increase your understanding of Him as the object of your faith. If you have little knowledge about God and His Word, you will have little faith. If you have great knowledge of God and His Word, you will have great faith. Faith cannot be pumped up by coaxing yourself, “If only I can believe! If only I can believe!” Any attempt to push yourself beyond what you know about God and his ways is to move from faith to presumption. You choose to believe God according to what you already know to be true from His Word. And the only way to increase your faith is to increase your knowledge of God, your faith-object (Romans 10:17).
 
“Well,” you may say, “that means there’s a limit to our faith.” Yes, there’s a limit. But God isn’t controlling it; you are. As the object of your faith, He is infinite. The only limit to your faith is your knowledge and understanding of God, which grows every time you read your Bible, memorize a new Scripture verse, participate in a Bible study, or meditate on a scriptural truth. Can you see the practical, tangible potential for your faith to grow as you endeavor to know God through His Word? It’s boundless!
 
Furthermore, it is important to know that God is under no obligation to us. There is no way you can cleverly word a prayer so that God must act on your behalf. If God declares something to be true, you simply believe Him and live according to what is true. If God didn’t say it, no amount of faith in the world will make it so. Believing doesn’t make God’s Word true; His Word is true, therefore I believe it.
 
Prayer: Dear Lord, increase the boundaries of my faith today as I increase my understanding of You through Your Word.


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Bad Bosses and Irritating People, part I

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“For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil (Romans 13:3-4, NAS).”

“Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord (Romans 12:19, NAS).”

 

Since we are called to be obedient, any rebellion against God’s word is as witchcraft as we read in I Samuel 15:23: “For rebellion is as the sin of divination (witchcraft), and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry.” When Yahweh instructs His holy people to submit to authority, good or bad, we are to do it with joy knowing that God (not the person) will repay/reward us in due season. We must view obedience and submission to a bad boss as unto the Lord, not as unto man.

 Colossians 3:23: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, AS TO THE LORD, and NOT UNTO MEN.”

I often think of Joseph. He had to submit to rulers that were set against God; he was a slave to an Egyptian (the enemy of the Israelite’s and God). When propositioned by Potiphar’s wife, a beautiful woman, Joseph refused because of His dedication to God, not his dedication to Potiphar. Joseph did not argue or defend himself to Potiphar when falsely accused. He merely went to prison trusting that God had a better plan in store – he trusted God’s prophecy. In addition, he served the Lord to the fullest extent while in prison instead of murmuring against and second-guessing God who had proclaimed greatness over him. Humility in tough situations is something completely supernatural – of Holy Spirit and not of the fleshly man.

Few accomplish this because most allow their flesh to rule instead of Holy Spirit within – an earthly (external) mindset instead of a Kingdom (eternal) mindset. It requires prayer and supplication (constant communion with and focus on Yeshua) at all times and in all things being willing to submit to God and trusting in His ways instead of seeing it only as unto the unreasonable boss or set of earthly rules.

Though no one has perfected this, myself included at times, isn’t it time we begin to purpose to walk in the ways of the Lord as unto God? We need to stop looking at the man/person (earthly), and look only The King, The Ruler (supernatural); but instead, we look only at what pleases or displeases us in the moment. To usurp authority positioned by God in the earth is rebellion against God.

Humility in hard places is something completely supernatural – of Holy Spirit, not of the fleshly man. It requires prayer and supplication (constant communion with and focus on the Lord) at all times and in all things being willing to submit to God and trusting in His way instead of seeing it only as unto the unreasonable boss, person, people or set of earthly rules.

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments (John 14:15, NAS).”

“But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you (Deuteronomy 28:15, NAS).”

I hope you’ll come back next week as we continue to explore the subject of humility with bad bosses and irritating people. If you’re interested in reading more on this subject, please go to my website and check out my books.

Peace and blessings,

Alexys V. Wolf

thefierysword@windstream.net

www.thefierysword.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251

http://thefierysword.wordpress.com/


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PLACED INTO CHRIST

By Neil Anderson

 Neil Anderson

March 16
 
Galatians 2:20 
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me
 
All unbelievers have an old nature which is characterized by sin. Before you came to Christ you were one of those individuals. You were a sinner because it was your nature to sin. This “natural man” cannot accept or understand the things of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14).
 
What happened to the old you at salvation? You died–not the physical you, of course, but that old inner self which was empowered by the old nature you inherited from Adam (Romans 6:2-6; Colossians 3:3). What was the method of execution? Crucifixion with Christ. Paul announced in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ.” And in Galatians 6:14, Paul disclaimed any right to boast “except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” At salvation you were placed into Christ, the one who died on the cross for your sin. Being in Christ, your old self died with Him there.
 
Notice the remarkable difference. In Adam you had an old self; in Christ you have a new self. In Adam you had a sin nature (Ephesians 2:1-3); in Christ you are a partaker of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). In Adam you were in the flesh (Romans 8:8); in Christ you are in the Spirit (Romans 8:9). In Adam you could only walk after the flesh; in Christ you may choose to walk after the Spirit or after the flesh.
 
Aren’t you glad to be a new creature in Christ?
 
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, that You have set me free from my old sin nature and that I can choose to walk after the Spirit today.
**Trust In Themselves R Fools Prv 28 DPI 27


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A Fool

**Trust In Themselves R Fools Prv 28 DPI 27

“Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from ANY direction.”  ~Unknown

“Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.” Proverbs 28:26 (NIV)

“And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. Thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men—than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all the surrounding nations.”  1 Kings 4:29-31 (NKJV)

A fool is a person lacking wisdom and common sense. They act imprudently and are easily tricked or deceived. If you wish to avoid the label of simpleton, dunce, blockhead, or imbecile I encourage you to seek out and find someone wise and sit at his or her feet for a while. Soak in their knowledge and try to apply it to your life.

King Solomon had many faults but he did appreciate the value of wisdom and understanding. He had the common sense to ask God for wisdom in order to lead the children of Israel. God blessed this son of King David with a wisdom so great it was known around the world. A fool leading a nation is dangerous and both King Solomon and God wanted a wise and competent ruler.

So, if King Solomon was incredibly wise, how did he fall into such great sin that it tore his kingdom apart? How could the ruler who built the first temple of Jerusalem fall into idolatry and turn away from God? I will suggest that pride had a lot to do with the downfall of this king, and possibly an unwillingness to seek out and accept wise counsel.

Pride leads to disobedience and King Solomon did not heed the words of Deuteronomy 17:16-17 (NKJV).

“But he (a king) shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’  Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.”

King Solomon was guilty of ignoring all three of these commands. Did he think he was above the law?

Oh, if only King Solomon had kept the company of insightful men who were willing to speak God’s truth! He may have been the author of such books as Proverbs and Ecclesiastes but ALL men are tempted and can easily find themselves entangled in sin. A lack of wise counsel and accountability for actions has been the downfall of many world leaders, kings, and rulers. Sin is not a disease assigned to just the common man.

So here is a warning and I pray you heed my counsel. You may be in a spiritually mature place right now. Your relationship with God might be intimate and close. The thought of ever stepping out of His will is beyond your imagination. But this is pride! We ALL have the capacity to fall away from God. 1 Peter 5:8 warns us to be alert and sober of mind for the devil prowls about like a lion looking for someone to devour.

The story of Solomon is in the Bible for a reason. We must learn from the mistakes of others and King Solomon made some real whoppers. The great can fall. The righteous can become unrighteous.  Sin has no prejudice and will latch on to anyone in sight.

You may be highly favored in the sight of God, just as King Solomon once was, but this will not excuse you from judgment and discipline if you ignore the commandments and instructions found in the Word of God. Our Lord has no favorites. He is impartial. Although longsuffering, He is also just.

Fools may read scripture but this doesn’t mean they apply the instruction to their lives or memorize and keep the words hidden in their heart. King Solomon stopped relying on God and trusted more and more in himself. He forgot the source of his wisdom, wealth, and power.

Oh, how the great have and will continue to fall! I desperately want everyone reading this devotion to consider his or her ways. Are you relying on God or have you put your trust in your own resources? Are you in fellowship and do you surround yourself with wise advisors? Does pride cause you to turn a deaf ear to instruction and has a sin distracted you from the things of God?

Learn from Solomon and fear God. For the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom and the foolish do not desire or understand her ways.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10 (NKJV)

“He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.” Proverbs 13:20 (NKJV)

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)

“On that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, ‘Ask! What shall I give you?’

And Solomon said to God: ‘You have shown great mercy to David my father, and have made me king in his place.Now, O Lord God, let Your promise to David my father be established, for You have made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?’

Then God said to Solomon: ‘Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life—but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king— wisdom and knowledge  are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.’” 2 Chronicles 1:7-12 (NKJV)


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GOD’S FEEDBACK SYSTEM

By Neil Anderson

 Neil Anderson

March 13
 
Jeremiah 29:11 
“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope”
 
I believe that God desires all His children to be successful, significant, fulfilled, satisfied, joyful, secure, and to live in peace. From birth you have been developing in your mind a means for experiencing these values and reaching other goals in life. Consciously or subconsciously you continue to formulate and adjust your plans for achieving these goals.
 
But sometimes your well-intended plans and noble-sounding goals are not completely in harmony with God’s plans and goals for you. “How can I know if what I believe is right?” you may be wondering. “Must I wait until I am 45 years old or until I experience some kind of mid-life crisis to discover that what I believed was wrong?” I don’t think so. I believe that God has designed us in such a way that we can know on a regular basis if our belief system is properly aligned with God’s truth. God has established a feedback system which is designed to grab your attention so you can examine the validity of your goal.
 
That system is your emotions. When an experience or relationship leaves you feeling angry, anxious or depressed, those emotional signposts are there to alert you that you may be cherishing a faulty goal which is based on a wrong belief. If our goals are blocked, we become angry. If our goals are uncertain, we feel anxious. If we perceive our goals as impossible, we become depressed because the heart of depression is hopelessness.
 
Can any God-given goal be blocked, uncertain or impossible? Put another way, if God wants something done, can it be done? Of course! The question is do we have a biblical understanding of success, significance, fulfillment, satisfaction, joy, security and peace? When we see and pursue these values from God’s perspective, we will reach our goals because they are God’s goals for us.
 
Prayer: Lord, help me recognize when my goals today are not in line with Yours and make the proper adjustments in my belief system.


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Love that Never Ends

We’ve all fallen, haven’t we? We’ve all had bad days. Problems in life. Stress. Confusion. We all just have struggles in general. It’s in those times that we feel like we can’t get to God. Our problems and our struggles hold us back from communing with Him. However, Psalm 51:17 tells us something different: 

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”

As David is writing this and praying this, he knows that all he can offer God is a broken heart. Because, honestly, that’s all we have. Our heart, our soul is the only thing we really own. Everything else will stay behind when you enter eternity. So, the only thing we can truly offer God is our heart. That’s not much, is it? I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’m anything special. I know that I’ve failed time and time again. The thing is, God accepts what we offer him when we do it with everything we have. When we really mean it, He eagerly accepts our offerings. And they thrill Him because that’s all He wanted in the first place. He wants fellowship with the very people He gave the breath of life. 

I hope this short post has encouraged you tonight! God bless!

-Austin

“Well my love is over
It’s underneath
It’s inside
It’s in between 

The times that you’re healing
And when your heart breaks
The times that you feel like you’ve fallen from grace 

The times you’re hurting
The times that you heal
The times you go hungry and are tempted to steal 

In times of confusion
In chaos and pain
I’m there in your sorrow under the weight of your shame 

I’m there through your heart-ache
I’m there in the storm
My love I will keep you by my power alone 

I don’t care where you’ve fallen or where you have been
I’ll never forsake you
My love never ends”- Tenth Avenue North


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THE TWO ADAMS

By Neil Anderson

 Neil Anderson

March 1

Romans 5:18 

So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
 
The reason so many Christians are not enjoying the maturity and freedom which is their inheritance in Christ is because they hold wrong self-perceptions. They don’t see themselves as they really are in Christ. They don’t understand the dramatic change which occurred in them the moment they trusted in Him. They don’t see themselves the way God sees them, and to that degree they suffer from a poor self-image. They don’t grasp their true identity. They identify themselves with the wrong Adam.
 
Too many Christians identify only with the first Adam, whose sad story of failure is found in Genesis 1-4. Sure, you inherited physical life from Adam. But if you’re a Christian, that’s where the similarity ends. You are now identified with the last Adam, Jesus Christ. You are not in Adam; you are in Christ. You are seated with Christ in the heavenlies (Ephesians 2:6). The difference between the two Adams in your history is eternally profound. You need to be sure you’re identifying with the right one.
 
The first thing we notice about Christ, the last Adam, is His complete dependence on God the Father. The first Adam was tempted to live independently of God and chose to believe the serpent’s lie about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But Jesus was totally dependent on the Father (John 5:30; 6:57; 8:42; 14:10; 17:7).
 
A second vital difference between the two Adams relates to spiritual life. Adam was born physically and spiritually alive. But when Adam sinned, he died spiritually. Like the first Adam, Jesus was born spiritually alive as well as physically alive. But unlike the first Adam, Jesus did not forfeit His spiritual life at some point through sin. He kept His spiritual life all the way to the cross. There He died, taking the sins of the world upon Himself. Now in His resurrected, glorified body, Christ lives on today and for all eternity.
 
Are you identifying with Jesus Christ, the last Adam, today?
 
Prayer:
 
Thank You, Father, for the last Adam–Jesus Christ–through whom I am saved and sealed. I purpose by Your help to live in my true identity today.