Break Free From Bondage

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Gal 5:1

It was never God’s intention for His people to live in bondage. However, we live in a fallen and sinful world. Without the cross through the sacrifice of Jesus, we would not have the opportunity to receive eternal life through salvation.

Through that one selfless act that Jesus did, we are set free.

Whatever has you wrapped up in bondage, there is a way out through deliverance.

The Lord wants you free from addiction, free from poverty, healed from sickness, released from your emotional or psychological prisons and released from guilt, shame, and condemnation.

You don’t live there anymore. There is a place called grace and mercy. It’s full of compassion and love. You can’t get lost on the way there because Jesus will meet you exactly where you are.

You may have traveled a long, hard road with many detours along the way but God is faithful and just. He waits patiently at the door waiting to embrace you, teach you and bless you with His abundant promises for your life.

The Lord’s ways are sure. His path is straight. Nothing is too hard for Him to handle.

There will be tests of your faith, lessons to be learned and transitions in life that are unexpected. The ultimate plan is in God’s hands. Are you willing to surrender? Are you ready to pick up your cross and follow him?

Just take one step of faith. He is waiting at the door for your arrival.  

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The God Who Sees

Kathie Lee Gifford & Nicole C. Mullen’s modern oratorio telling the stories of Hagar, Ruth, David, and Mary and the promises God made to them.

Blessings Upon Israel

36 “And you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, ‘O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God: “Because the enemy has said of you, ‘Aha! The [a]ancient heights have become our possession,’ ” ’ therefore prophesy, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Because they made you desolate and swallowed you up on every side, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you are taken up by the lips of talkers and slandered by the people”— therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God to the mountains, the hills, the [b]rivers, the valleys, the desolate wastes, and the cities that have been forsaken, which became plunder and mockery to the rest of the nations all around— therefore thus says the Lord God: “Surely I have spoken in My burning jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who gave My land to themselves as a possession, with wholehearted joy and [c]spiteful minds, in order to plunder its open country.” Ezkeiel 36:1-36

“Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, and the valleys, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy and My fury, because you have borne the shame of the nations. Ezkeiel 36:6

For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. 10 I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. Ezkeiel 36:9-10

What’s the difference between trust, faith and belief?

 

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Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Psalm 20:7

Do you wonder if trust, faith or belief means the same thing?

Although they sound the same or at least very similar, these words are not the same. However, they are part of the same family, per say, and weaved together in various ways.

TRUST

  1. A reliance on the integrity, veracity or reliability of a person or thing.
  2. Something committed to one’s care for use or safekeeping.
  3. The state or position of one who has received an important charge.
  4. Confident expectation; hope
  5. In commerce, credit
  6. To rely upon; to commit to the care of another
  7. The property or thing held in trust as in relation subsisting between the holder and the property so held.
  8. A combination of business firms formed to control productions or prices of some commodity.

In the world, people rely on the trust of their spouse, friends, doctors, teachers and other people in their communities. They depend on their opinions, advice, judgments, criticism, and perspectives. They depend on their status, position and intellect.

For the most part, they are self-reliant and value the ideas and opinions of others. Some people may even listen to the instruction or opinion of others before following their own minds.

The problem with trusting others is that they may not always use wisdom and could lean you towards the wrong decision. You may not have clarity on the right answer or correct decision to make (depending on the situation).

When making sound decisions, you should have a peace within which can easily be found through the Holy Spirit. When you put your trust in Him. You will eventually experience change. At times, you will wait endlessly for divine guidance with no answers in sight but you must remain diligent despite the circumstances. There may be a lesson to be learned while waiting for direction.

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Idolatry is another issue that arises by trusting in material things. Money, houses, fame, and fortune are all forms of idolatry. You may even be addicted to your cell phone or the internet. Whatever you put before God, will become a form of idolatry.

As a person strives for more, they become dissatisfied with their life. They begin to compare and judge others. The birth of greed, jealousy, envy, and depression cradles the mind and soul as they continue to pursue fleshy passions or possessions.

The Lord is the only source of real and complete satisfaction. When people fail you or objects become old, lost, stolen or broken, Jesus is the one and only who satisfies and quenches the trust in a dry, parched world.

FAITH

  1. Belief without evidence.
  2. Confident trust
  3. Belief in God; the Bible
  4. A specific religion
  5. Anything given adherence or credence to a man’s political faith
  6. Allegiance

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In the Bible, it states, “Faith is the evidence hoped for the evidence of things not seen. Heb 11:1

In this culture, it seems foolish to believe in something that you cannot see. Have you ever heard the popular saying, “Seeing is believing?” This statement reinforces the belief of the natural realm or physical world while dismissing the reality of the spiritual one.

It’s not easy to believe in something you cannot see but everyone does it every day whether they realize it or not. The act of breathing is a form of faith. This simple yet necessary activity gives us life each and every day. Not one of us has ever seen oxygen but we know it exists.

The closest we ever got to see it is in the middle of winter when a puff of smoke comes out of your mouth or nostrils. The Lord also provides similar ways to reveal himself to us if we acknowledge His presence.

Another example is music. No one has ever seen music yet it exists. Although we hear it, we will never be able to see or touch it. Just like the Father, the Lord speaks to us within our spirit but we must be still enough to listen to the whisper of God.

BELIEF

1 The acceptance of something as true or actual

2. That which is believed true, as a creed

3.  Religious faith

4.  Confidence, trust

5.  An opinion

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The mere definition of belief opens up a Pandora’s box because there are so many belief systems in this world. So many opinions and perspectives of different cultures, ethnicities, races, religions, and regions. This aids in the chaos and confusion because everyone has their own opinions and what they feel is believed to be true.

The Lord loves us so much that He has given us freedom of choice. He does not force us, manipulate us or persuade us to believe in Him. He allows us free reign to seek Him or reject him.

Independence is a beautiful thing. However, when we depend solely on ourselves and the world system, it leads us to misery, deception, confusion, and frustration.

If you allowed a child, complete freedom to do what they wanted, they would self-destruct. They would probably eat all the candy, cookies or ice cream they wanted. Plus, they would watch TV or play video games all day and night and leave a mess in their rooms as well as the whole house.

Well, we are no different. We would choose all the pleasures of this world and ignore the consequences of our actions.

The Lord has defined certain principles and guidelines to abide by for our good. This is not to hurt us but to protect us. The Lord is a loving Father who guides us along life’s journey. There is a multitude of promises that align with the Lord’s instructions waiting for us. He is not waiting for the first chance we mess up so he can punish us if we do something wrong. He is full of compassion, grace, and mercy. However, you must be willing to cleanse your heart of all sin (repent) and walk as an example of Christ. The Lord has many gifts and treasures to enjoy on this earth as well as in heaven.

The Lord asks that you trust Him, walk in faith and believe in Him at all times.  Commit to His ways for His love endures forever.

Prayer

Lord, Thank you for being a loving Father. I honor and worship you in spirit and in truth. Help me to walk in your ways. When I mess up, let me be quick to correct my mistakes. I pray that you will give me a measure of faith that will shift all obstacles blocking my path. I rebuke all fear, self-doubt, addictions, temptation, anxiety or depression. Help me to trust in you alone. Reveal yourself to me in new ways and may I receive a fresh revelation. I believe your promises and I stand on your word in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

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Hope your day was filled with all things beautiful! He has risen! He lives in you! Rejoice!

 

 

 

Count it All Joy

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We can count it all joy when we fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:2-4

Life as a Believer

Living your life as a believer in Christ is never easy. We are supposed to resemble a Christ-like nature which consists of walking in the fruits of the spirit. However, living a life of self-control, long-suffering, gentleness, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity and faithfulness (Gal 5:22) takes discipline and your character can be challenged in a selfish, chaotic world.

Without the power of the Holy Spirit, we can never accomplish and fulfill these characteristics and traits of Christ without the guidance and strength of Christ working within us.

As a believer, you may be constantly scrutinized or criticized by the world because you claim to live a so-called “Perfect” life. They may also expect you to be judgmental and point out the faults of others. Far too many believers have a “hypocritical nature.”

Unfortunately, some believers receive a bad rap because of misrepresentation due to other believers who are not walking as a true representative of Christ but walking in a religious spirit rooted in legalism.

With so many denominations and backgrounds, it’s a melting pot or hodgepodge of multiple belief systems which makes it even more confusing for a non-believer to justify why they should even change their life or go to church.

Little do non-believers understand, there is no such thing as a “Perfect Christian.” That’s the reason why Christ paid the penalty of sin on the cross. We are redeemed by faith through Christ. We are called to love each other despite our character flaws, mindsets, beliefs or lifestyles.

You may not feel worthy or you may feel like an outcast when surrounded by a congregation of believers. However, the Lord desires and chooses you. Every one of us is broken or flawed in some way. No one is perfect. Jesus loves you!

People may watch and wait for you to fail, fall or mess up. There is no doubt a lot of pressure to live as a believer in the flesh. In fact, there is no way possible to achieve a life as a believer while living in the flesh. It’s a spiritual journey.

As a believer, once you realize that you’re delivered from people and their opinions, you will no longer appease others but have a stronger desire to please the Lord. You will no longer be controlled or manipulated by peers, teams, groups or audiences because you don’t have an appetite to blend in or be accepted by your associates, friends or even family members.

Come as You Are

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Jesus welcomes the broken-hearted, the sick, the addicted, the poor, and the widowed. Jesus does not discriminate. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.

There is no such thing as guilt or shame. Once you repent of your wrong thoughts, intentions, attitudes, wrong actions and behaviors, it is erased for eternity. The Lord remembers our sin no more. (Heb 8:12) However, that is not an excuse for us to live careless, reckless and carefree lives. When we mess up, we must continuously begin again and make an honest effort to change for the better.

Through the Fire

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The world will pull you in many directions and you will fall into many problems or difficult circumstances.  Just when you feel doubt, fear, insecurity, or discouragement creeping in, the Lord will step in and give you comfort, peace, strength, and reassurance whispering, “I got you!”

You can only achieve this experience and deeper revelation while resting in the secret place of the most high (Psalm 91:1) which starts by building a foundation on His word, persistent prayer, and continual praise and worship.

In the quiet hours, the Lord will reveal himself to you in unspeakable ways. Although you will be thrown into many trials, tribulations, and test, each test is preparing and positioning you for greatness. It strengthens and grows your faith in Him. He may not quickly rescue you from the fire but He is sure to walk with you through the flames just like he did with Shadrach,  Meshasch, and Abednego. (Dan 3)

Spiritual warfare is an opportunity for God to demonstrate his power. The Lord will make the enemy your footstool. (Mark 12:36) Put on the full armor of God and He will fight every battle. (Eph 6:10-34)

For every test is perfectly designed by the master’s hands to shape and mold you into what He wants you to be. There is a specific purpose and assignment He created for you to complete.

No Matter What it Looks like You’re Not Coming Out Smelling Like Smoke

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You may feel unqualified. You may feel like Moses who felt like he did not have the skills or abilities to defeat Pharaoh and lead the Israelites through the Red Sea. However, the Lord chose him for a specific purpose and for a specific season. Your insecurities, flaws, quirks, lack of education or experience is not a prerequisite for God’s work.

The Lord chose the most unqualified people to represent his Kingdom to preach the gospel, cast out demons or defeat giants. The one thing that has been the thorn in your side may just happen to be the one thing God uses in your life to promote you.

The Lord calls the weak to confound the wise. (I Corth 1:27)  The same problems, situations, and circumstances that you’ve dealt with or may be dealing with is part of your test, part of your story and the bigger part of who you’ll become.

Despite what you go through, with Jesus, you will come through the fire untouched. You will come through in victory!

Through patience and faith, you will inherit the promises of God. It takes strength, endurance, and courage to walk with faith, hope, and trust. In the meantime, count it all joy!

Related Scriptures

James 1:12

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Heb 8:12

For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

Mark 12:29-31

29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

James 1:5-8

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. 

I Corth 1:27

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

I Chron 16:24

24 Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations.

Eph 6:10-24

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:

22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.

23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. 

Thirsting for You

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In the last days, there will be more confusion, chaos, deception, distraction, and corruption in the world because Satan knows his time is up.

The only thing left to be able to stand on will be the Bible to light our path. In fact, it should not be the last resort but the first thing we run towards for safety, protection, and security.

The Bible is our daily manual for life. It is the living word that sustains us. We simply cannot navigate through life without a spiritual compass. We need guidance and reassurance that there is one higher and greater that is leading, providing and protecting us.

Sure, many will believe that they are the product of their own success or failure. However, just like water can be transformed into ice, steam or liquid so can the one and only living God who is transformed into the Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit (Ghost).

It is within the divine plan of God that lights our path, however, He gives us the option to choose whether to believe and follow Him. Every man or woman must pick up their cross daily and follow him freely. (Mark 10:21) No man can come to the Father but through Jesus Christ. (John 3:5)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth Him shall not perish have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

You cannot mix half-truth with the whole truth. You simply cannot water down the truth.

As the birth pangs continue to increase and grow and the sorrow, pain, heartache, and destruction magnifies, your soul will continue to cry out for truth, protection, hope, and security.

You may already be searching for truth and clinging to hope. The only true hope comes from the encouragement of the Word of God who is the Creator of Heaven and earth, the only true God who created and designed you in the womb. He knows everything you’ve been through and exactly what you’re going through right at this present moment in time.

God loves you and desires for you to have a relationship with Him. You may even have a relationship with Him but He desires a deeper intimacy with you. God is a jealous God. He requires your full attention. He does not want to compete with Facebook, Instagram, text messages, corporate meetings or the latest sports event.

If you put God first in your life and make Him priority daily, He will not disappoint. The raw truth is in the scriptures. It is healing for the spirit. Start by picking up the Bible and ask Him to give you the wisdom to understand the words on the page.

The Bible is life to the bones so it cannot be read like a novel or a textbook but by meditating on small chunks of scriptures at a time. It’s like eating a really delicious meal slowly so you can enjoy each bite and savor the flavor and by allowing it time to digest.

Life is a process as well as growing with Christ. The Spirit of God will guide and teach you along the way but you must remain open to His calling. He has a divine plan for your life. You also can’t escape life without struggle, pain, discomfort, rejection, and opposition for those were also Jesus’s challenges also. Those were the same exact issues Jesus faced in life and on the cross to sacrifice His life for our sins. He paid the penalty for our sins. We no longer carry the same burden of sin on our backs. This is the good news of Christ. He arose from the grave and Jesus is alive!

As you draw closer to the Lord, your Spirit will also come alive. Your old man (old nature) will pass away and you will become a new creature in Christ. You will begin to desire what pleases the Lord. (2 Corth 5:17)

Temptation will always lurk at your doorstep but the Lord can and will give you the strength to supersede the devil’s request. It’s a matter of will and with the Lord’s power, you can fight and win! So, be not entangled with false doctrines or false prophets and mixed truths which equal untruths and no truth.

The one thing you hunger and thirst for is the one and true God. You may satisfy yourself by striving for status, fame, material objects, success, and money, however, all those things are temporary and fickle. They’re not stable nor secure.

You will continue to search and strive for something that quenches but never fully satisfies. As soon as you gain, you desire more and more leading to an unfulfilled life. When you lose, you grow deeper into despair, anxiety, and fear. It’s a cycle of emptiness. It’s a process where you grow weary, tired and discouraged and it eventually leads to depression and hopelessness.

There is another way to this thing called life. Will you continue to be parched and dry or will you begin to drink from the well of everlasting life?

 

Related Scriptures:

Luke 24:45

45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures

2 Tim 1:9

Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began

Romans 3:4

Let God be true, but every man a liar.

John 3:3-7

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

John 4:7-15

There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.

(For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)

Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?

12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

John 4:23-24

23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Luke 10:21-28

21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.

23 And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see:

24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.

28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.