Doesn’t it seem like life is always throwing lemons your way? Then you hear someone say to make lemonades out of the lemons and sometimes that just does not seem like an easy thing to do. Making lemonade out of the lemons can sometimes mean not going through the struggle. There is nothing wrong with making lemonade out of lemons, but going through the struggle gives you a testimony and may be necessary because we live on earth. That means that we live in a place where the devil is the God of this world and just as Jesus had to suffer for the cause of God, we may have to suffer for the cause of Christ.
I am not talking about sickness, because Salvation delivered us from sickness. The Bible says that Jesus bore our sicknesses in His own body on a tree. Jesus does not want you sick. I am talking about suffering for the sake of the Gospel. I am teaching a series of lessons on finding joy. What the Lord has impressed upon me is that He was able to go through the suffering of the cross because of the Joy that was set before Him. Hebrews 12:2
We can go through difficult times because of the joy set before us. We know that through the resurrection of Jesus Christ we have a hope and an eternal redemption. Sure go ahead and make lemonades out of those lemons but understand that even if that doesn’t work, you have the joy of the Lord which you received through faith in Jesus Christ. It may not look good, in fact it may look really bad, but in the end you belong to God and He will see you through. Psalm 23 teaches us that we will go “through” the shadow of death. We don’t plan on staying there.
You are in a fight for your life. Did you know that? Your opponent is the enemy. His plan for you is to kill you, steal from you and utterly destroy you. (John 10:10) When the devil comes at you, he is not playing with you. He wants to sift you like wheat just as he wanted to sift Peter. (Luke 22:31-32) Apart from a relationship with God, the devil will whip you. You are no match for him. That’s why it is important that you not neglect the training. Preparing for the fight involves training and you training is in the Word of God.
Your fight with the devil is not a natural fight. You are not really wrestling or pulling on another human. This is a spiritual battle and if you are saved, you are fighting from the position of victory. You are fighting to maintain what Jesus got back for you . . . what the devil stole from Adam, being relationship/fellowship with God . . . in addition to your physical stuff. The fight is a faith fight. You have to resist the devil with all that you have. You have to stay in the fight and maintain your position of victory.
Join me as I teach a series of lessons on “Training for the fight of your life” Wednesdays at 12 noon EST on heaven983.com. First lesson this coming Wednesday!
Understanding God’s process for salvation is enough in itself to show you the awesomeness and detail of God and His love for you. I have been teaching a series of lessons on Following through until the end and God’s process for salvation is the example that I have been using to show how God followed through until the end specifically concerning His plan for salvation. You will learn from Ephesians 1:3-14 that there are 3 things that God did when He saved you and those things are enacted in our lives when we receive Jesus Christ as personal savior as defined by Romans 10:9-10.
- God chose you – the Bible teaches us that we were selected for His grace. I Peter 2:9 teaches that we have been called out of darkness. John 6:38-44 teaches that we have been drawn to Jesus by God. Romans 8:27-30 teaches that God predestined us to be conformed to the image of Jesus. The question is, will you receive it? You have free will so you can accept being chosen or you can reject it. Let me give you a practical exam. Let’s say you walk into a store and you are congratulated for being the 100,000,000th customer, and they give you a prize. You were selected right? Well, they can’t force the prize on you. You have to receive it. That’s the way God choosing you works. He chose you, but you have to receive it.
- Jesus redeemed you – I Cor 1:30 teaches you that Jesus became redemption for us. Galatians 3:13 teaches you that Jesus redeemed you from the curse of the law – that means you have been redeemed from the curses described in Deut. 30 and Genesis 2. You are redeemed from sickness, poverty and spiritual death. You will also see from Hebrews 9:11-12 that redemption is eternal. Glory to God!
- The Holy Spirit sealed you – Being sealed in Christ guarantees our relationship with God. II Cor. 5:5-8 teach you that the Holy Spirit is a pledge and His sealing guarantees that we belong to God. II Cor 1:20-22 teaches you that you are established in Christ and anointed by Him. Isn’t that good news? When I think of sealing I think of protection. It is a guarantee. You are protected. You are loved and you are preserved until the redemption plan is complete when Jesus comes back and we get our glorified bodies.
So you see that God’s process for salvation involves 3 acts all orchestrated by Father God. You see where God followed through all the way until the end – meaning sealing you after your redemption by Jesus Christ. Let us follow His example and follow through to the end with the work that He called your hands to do. Join me on Wednesdays at noon EST on heaven983.com for more on the above points! Grow in God with Sow the Word where I am sowing the Word into the heart of man.
Are you guilty of starting something and not finishing it? I think that we all are. The challenge comes when it becomes a habit and it becomes routine with the things of God. God has called each of us to a specific work for the kingdom. He has graced us with His ability to fulfill the call that He has on our individual lives. Philippians 3:13-14 teach you that to complete the work that God called you to do is going to require you to press, reach and forget. You have to press toward the mark God set for you and reach for the prize, but you also have to forget those things that are behind you. These are things that hinder your progress toward completing the work that God called you to do.
Hebrews 12:1-2 teach you that you are to run the race that has been set before you. You need to not look across the aisle and see what other folks are doing and measure your work and progress by them, but seek God for the work that He called you to do and run that race . . . this is the race that has been set before you. What is God saying here? He is saying that it is important that you finish; that you run the race all the way till the end. Running the race until the end requires more than just knowing there is an end. It requires having seen the end, and yourself finishing the race . . . you see that in the spirit, and that’s where faith comes in. I remember a choir director saying that when he was a little boy he used to line up stuffed animals and direct them like they were a choir. Can you imaging directing stuffed animals in song? The gifting was in that choir director even as a child and he was working the gift that God put in him and growing up in God, under the influence of a Christian environment, he can grow into the choir director that God called him to be.
I am going to give an example of following through until the end on the weekly radio broadcast. There is no better example than God’s plan for salvation. Join me on the radio on Wednesdays at noon EST on heaven983.com to hear the series of lessons and grow in God with Sow the Word where I am sowing the Word into the heart of man.
The big message that I want to share with you concerning the drunkenness teaching is that God does not want you to be drunk with wine. In Ephesians 5:18, He contrasts being drunk with wine with being filled with the Holy Spirit. God wants you to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Filling is an experience subsequent to salvation. You see this in Acts 2 where the believers that were there on the Day of Pentecost were filled with the Holy Spirit. You also see that evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit is speaking in other tongues. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is an experience for others. Getting saved is an experience for you.
The way that you get filled with the Holy Spirit is that after you receive salvation, Romans 10:9-10, you can ask God to fill you. (Luke 11:13) Once you are filled, you can get drunk in the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches how to do this in Ephesians 5:19-21. Being drunk in the Holy Spirit is being so full of the Holy Spirit that the evidence of His presence can be visibly seen by others. This is confirmed by Acts 2:4 and specifically from verse 13 on out to the end of the chapter. There is an appearance associated with the fullness of the Holy Spirit and those who are unaware and have not been taught could possibly think that the appearance is related to an overindulgence in alcohol.
God wants you to live your life in the Holy Spirit. He wants you to be led by the Holy Spirit in all that you do and say and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to you. He is calling you to righteousness and a life in Him and He doesn’t want you to be given over to alcohol and a life of drunkenness.
I have been teaching a series of lessons on Wednesdays at noon on heaven983.com, on dangers of drunkenness and alcoholism. Christians and others, many times just want to know whether or not it is ok to drink. I believe that the desire to know just if the Bible says it is ok to drink or not is the quest for the person who really does not desire an intimate relationship with God. This person just wants the Bible to cosign on what he or she wants to do. The Bible teaches in John 2:1-11 at the marriage at Cana that Jesus turned water into wine. It also teaches in I Timothy 5:23 that Paul instructed Timothy to take a little wine instead of water because Timothy was sickly.
Jesus turned water to wine at the request of His mother. We see that the Bible does not prohibit us from taking a drink of wine. What the Bible does teach strongly against is alcoholism and drunkenness.
The danger in drunkenness is at least 4 fold.
- It promotes a tearing down and destruction of the physical body
- It is a Spiritual rejection of the filling of the Holy Spirit and a denial of the power of God released through being filled
- It attacks watchfulness and sober minded thinking causing poor judgment and the consequences there of.
- It can be a stumbling block to others which is directly against the command of God.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:12 that we should not be taken over by anything. He is talking about being controlled by something. Alcohol can be a controller. Folks have lost their families, jobs, houses, money, etc., because of being addicted to alcohol. If you are dealing with that addiction or know someone who is, lead that person to the Lord and help them turn to God’s Word concerning salvation and health and wholeness of the body to break that stronghold. If the person won’t hear, begin to pray, pray in the Holy Ghost, and ask God to send laborers across that person’s path. Join me for additional lessons on drunkenness. To see what’s to come click the Facebook link from the website stwteachingministry.com
Don’t surrender to laziness. Resist it. Realize that there is increase in God with diligence and hard work. If you don’t faint, you will reap. Don’t forget that God wants you to reap. It only takes a little folding of the hands, a little folding of the hands to sleep and poverty will come on you suddenly and violently. Poverty limits the reach of the gospel and it is not God’s will for you to be poor and unable to finance the needs of the ministry. The anointing overcomes poverty. It is tangible. You should be able to feel the transfer of power. When the woman with the issue of blood touched Jesus’ garment He knew that power flowed out from Him. You should be able to sense when the power of God flows out of you into someone else. Out of your belly should flow rivers of living water. Laziness inhibits the power of God because of an unwillingness to yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit. He is our teacher and should be acknowledged as such. You can overcome laziness with the Word of God .
We are to be righteous judges of teachings and actions. Our standard with which to judge is the Word of God. We are supposed to be able to weigh comments and actions of others against the Word of God to see if they align or if they don’t. I am not talking about judging people. Judging is based on the standard that is God’s Word, no biases or stereotypes that we may have.
Laziness impacts the ability of someone to judge. Laziness can cause someone to talk themselves out of the blessing of God. (Prov. 26:13-16) Lazy feeds on lazy as lazy folks are usually surrounded by other lazy folks. God’s Word teaches that laziness is evil and that judgment is flawed. (2 John 1:10-11, 2 Timothy 4:3-4) Because laziness impairs judgement, it opens up to poverty, and Proverbs 24 teaches that poverty can overtake folks suddenly and violently. Don’t let laziness cloud your judgement and make you hard-hearted where you have become dull to hearing from God. Don’t allow laziness to cause you to accept wrong teaching – we are to be rightly dividing the Word of truth and we are to be doers of the Word. Laziness inhibits both of these.
Overcoming laziness is as simple as overcoming the unwillingness that comes with laziness. Once you are willing and obedient, then you can eat the good of the land and enjoy the prosperity that Jesus came for you to enjoy.
I believe God can use anything to teach us. What He uses first and foremost is His word. He teaches un in the book of Timothy that His Word is profitable for instruction. As I have been studying on laziness, it struck me how the person who observes the lazy man mentions the lessons and instructions that he received from observing the actions of the lazy man. This can be found in Proverbs 24:30-34. The lesson that the observer learned is that laziness can lead to poverty and that poverty can come on suddenly.
The Bible teaches us to watch and pray that we fall not into temptation. Watching means that you are observing all that goes on around you and that you recognize when God is trying to teach you things through the lives and activities of others. God’s desire for you is to grow in faith and in the knowledge of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Your growth is dependent on God giving you instruction as to what you should be looking at. Be quiet enough to hear God when He gives instruction no matter where the instruction comes from. He may be warning you of impending destruction.
Grow in God with Sow the Word, where we are sowing the Word into the heart of man.
In Proverbs 24:30-34 you will see that the lazy man has a field and that the walls around the field are broken down and that it is full of weeds and overgrown. Laziness can cause you to go unprotected. Because the lazy man is unwilling to work, his field goes uncared for. The wall being broken down suggests that pests, robbers, wind and other things determined to cause destruction can enter. Laziness is against God and through unwillingness to obey God all that you have can be destroyed.
God is our protector. There are several instances in the Bible where we see God serving as protector, but two that really stand out to me are Psalms 91 and Job 1. Let’s look at Job first. In the first chapter of Job, the Bible talks about the hedge that God put around him, his family and his possessions. Job was a God-fearing man and walked righteously before God. In his case, fear is what tore down the hedge and gave the enemy access to come in and destroy, but the message I want to get across here is that Job was protected by God.
Psalm 91 talks about the protection of God. How he will hide you in the secret place and cover you with His feathers.God protects us by the leading of the Holy Spirit. He may tell you to take a different route to work to avoid a car crash or have you leave work early to avoid a confrontation. Laziness pulls you from behind God’s wall of protection and opens you up to the snares of the enemy. You don’t want your field overgrown with weeds and its walls broken down and pests and robbers entering in. That’s why you can’t be lazy! What has God called you to do? Have you answered His call or is your field dormant and unproductive?
Grow in God with Sow the Word, where we are sowing the Word into the heart of man. Join us Wed at noon EST on heaven983.com for our next lesson on laziness.
God expects us to lead productive lives. There should evidence of productivity in your workplace, at home, at church and in the community. Laziness robs you of productivity. I mentioned in the last post that laziness is an unwillingness and really has nothing to do with your ability. It has to do with your desire. You may just not desire to do something. The danger is when the Lord instructs you to do something and you are unwilling to do it.
In the text for the lessons on laziness, Proverbs 24:30-34 you learn that the lazy man has a field and a vineyard. The fact that he has those things means that God is expecting a crop from him and if he works God’s ability in himself, he will go on to produce from the field and the vineyard. Well, how much are you supposed to produce? You produce according to your ability. In Matthew in the story of the talents you learn that if God gives 5 dollars, he expects you to multiply that 5 dollars by at least another 5 dollars. But God gives dollars based on your ability and ability between people can vary. The message here is that God expects your production to match your ability.
I heard of a pro football player who played football only long enough to make enough money to start a potato farm. He now is producing potatoes and from what I heard has been blessing disadvantaged people with potatoes. What are you producing our what God has enabled you to do? Are you producing in proportion to your ability? Don’t be lazy and unwilling. God will show you how if you seek His wisdom and direction as to how to use the talents and gifting that He has given you. Grow in God with Sow the Word where we are sowing the Word into the heart of man.
There are times when I don’t want to do anything but exist. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. That doesn’t mean that I am lazy. I define laziness as an unwillingness to work or use energy. Unwillingness introduces desire and not ability. So the lazy person is able to do, but does not desire to do, and because the desire is not there, nothing gets done.
Proverbs 24:30 – 34 teaches us about a lazy person. While I was studying these verses it really struck me that the lazy man has a field. I learned from those scriptures that God has equipped all of us with ability, it’s just a matter of whether or not we are willing to work for the Kingdom in the way that God called us. In other words, are we too lazy. Isaiah teaches us that we have to be willing and obedient to eat the good of the land. I take that to mean that willingness and obedience give us the ability to tap into the power of God and use the “field” that He has given us to His glory.
An unwillingness to work is against the commandment of God. In Genesis 2:15 God shows us that even the Garden of Eden, where there were no weeds, needed to be cared for. Work came before Adam was given Eve and work came before the earth was cursed because of Adam’s disobedience. Man was equipped by God to work bodily (with his muscles, bones and joints) and materially (with a field – Adam’s field was the Garden of Eden).
What are you doing with the field that God gave you? Are you productive at work, in your church or in your community? Do you feel like you are doing what God would have you do? Or do you feel like you spend more time lying around in the comforts of home, unwilling to get us and get active for God? Overcome laziness! The power of God is available for you!
I am teaching on laziness this month on the Sow the Word Teaching Ministry Radio broadcast on Wednesdays at noon EST on heaven983.com. Join me for the next airing and grow in God with Sow the Word where we are sowing the Word into the heart of man.
Coming soon! Sow the Word Teaching Ministry is happy to be bringing you the Relationships and Marriage Messages Workbook! This is a workbook with questions for you to consider and discuss along with key concepts based on the Word of God. The messages workbook can be used for large or small group Bible studies, sessions for youth groups or womens’ conferences. It is a companion to the Relationships and Marriage: Messages to My Daughters Book that was published by the ministry in Nov 2015 and available on amazon.
Grow in God with Sow the Word where we are sowing the Word into the heart of man.
God made a way for man to get to Him from the beginning. God’s making is through Jesus and we learn from I Corinthians 8:6 that all things come from God and that they come through Jesus. We learn from John 1 that Jesus was in heaven with God in the beginning and that God put flesh on Jesus and sent Him to earth to redeem man from sin. Knowing that God prepared a way for us to get back to Him from the very beginning is evidence of His love for us. He loved us so much that He gave Jesus to the world to right the sin of Adam. (John 3:16)
Believing in the way God provided as a connection to Him is how we access God. You can’t get around Jesus, you have to go through Him to get to God. Hebrews 10:20 teaches us that there is a new and living way to get to God and that way is Jesus. Before Jesus, the people had to go to the priest and had to have animals sacrificed to cover sin. Jesus’ death and resurrection didn’t cover sin, it did away with sin, along with shame and the consciousness of sin. That means sin has no more reign in your life! No matter what you may have done! That’s why you want to go through Jesus! His blood was sinless and paid the price for our sins. Without the blood of Jesus there is no remission of sins. God made is so from the beginning because of His love for us.
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I have been teaching on how to get to God and want to bring forward the final lessons from this teaching. Jesus is the path to God and if you disregard the path, you will not be able to get to God. God created the way to reach man from the beginning and you can’t disregard Jesus and think that you are going to get to God. (John 1:1-3, 14)
Where I see folks disregard God is in prayer. Prayer has to be in Jesus’ name. We learn from John 14:6 that He is the way, the truth and the life and that you can’t get to father God but by Jesus. Why you pray, you have to pray in the name of Jesus. Don’t be ashamed to pray in Jesus’ name. Don’t let folks intimidate you when it comes to praying to God. Don’t offer up vain repetition, saying the same words over and over and trying to sound holy. The faithful and fervent prayers of the righteous avails much. You have to talk to God like you would talk to a loved one and it has to be in Jesus’ name. Send us a comment or visit the website at stwteachingministry.com
Forgiveness is a choice. That means that you are capable of doing it. Capability is based on the works of Jesus. In other words, when you received Jesus Christ as your personal savior, according to Romans 10:9-10, you were given the ability to choose. That means that the born again believer cannot say that he or she cannot forgive. He or she may not forgive because of a lack of desire to forgive, but because the Holy Spirit lives on the inside, the ability to forgive is there. In other words, there is no excuse for the believer to walk in unforgiveness.
Ephesians 1:4 teaches us that God chose us to be in Christ. Isn’t it great to be chosen of God. God also teaches us that Him forgiving use is dependent on us forgiving others. You can forgive because God made you capable of forgiving. Don’t say that you can’t forgive because of how severe someone treated you or what they did to you. You can forgive because you have Christ.
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God has had me present these lessons from the negative. This series has been titled How to get to God, however God has had me bring for how not to get to God to show you how to get to God.
Repentance is a requirement to access God. Repent means to turn away from something that you were doing that you shouldn’t have been doing – sin. We learn from Isaiah 30:15 that salvation and rest are in repentance and we know from Luke 5 that Jesus calls sinners to repentance.
What we see here again is unwillingness. This is the same thing that we talked about when we talked about unbelief. God is seeking purity and holiness and those cannot be found apart from Him. If there is no repentance there is no access to God.
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I have been teaching on How to get to God. I have discussed several areas that can hinder or prevent you from getting to God. Points that I made in previous blogs and on the radio ministry include: 1. Unbelief, 2. Refusing Spiritual growth, and 3. An unwillingness to repent. If you haven’t heard those lessons and would like to, please contact the ministry at stwteachingministry.com and I can make them available to you.
In this post I want to begin a discussion about unforgiveness. Unforgiveness will prevent access to God. Because God gives us choices, we have the ability to align our will with the will of God and we can choose to forgive. We have to choose to forgive others in order to be forgiven by God. We learn through Mark 11:25 that access to the forgiveness of God requires that we forgive.
How do we forgive folks who mistreat us? You have to consider where the mistreatment comes from. Anything that is good comes from God. (Psalms 86:4-5) That means any evil acts or meanness, or things that are not good that are done toward you by someone else, come from the enemy. Knowing this helps us know where to direct our anger. Our anger should be directed at the devil and we should attack him with the Word of God.We should not attack or direct our anger at people . . . who are essentially being used by the devil to create disorder and confusion. People who are being used to get us out of the peace of God. We know this when actions are not inline with the Word of God. In other words, if people do things that are not consistent with God or what God says, they are acting of themselves and not being led by the Spirit of God.
Hebrews 12:14 teaches us that we should follow peace and that following peace is forgiving. When you are mad with someone you should never forget who you are in Christ. You should never tell anyone that you are going to put down your religion. Christ has given you the ability to forgive. You can walk in forgiveness, and walking in forgiveness is walking in the peace of God. When you are angry and you don’t want to forgive you should pray to God and get His wisdom as to how to handle the situation. He will show you how to forgive, pray for the person and walk in peace, even if the person does not want to be peaceful with you.
God wants you to forgive because He wants to forgive you. In fact, He has made forgiveness available for you through the finished works of Jesus. All you have to do is receive Jesus, and ask God to forgive you of your sins and God will cleanse you from all things that are not like Him. (I John 1:9). I hope this post has blessed you and helps you forgive others. Contact the ministry at stwteachingministry.com as we would really enjoy hearing from you. Praying for you a Happy and Prosperous 2017 in which you continue to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I have been teaching on How to get to God. I have explored the need for access to God, even if you are saved. I have also discussed unbelief and how unbelief can keep you from accessing God.
In this post I want to talk about how refusing Spiritual Growth can keep you from getting to God. We know from Jeremiah 33:3 that there are deep things of God and that they are great and mighty things. Knowing that there are deep things of God let us know that we need to be meditating on the Word of God – hearing the Word of God – so that we may grow thereby. Second Peter 3:18 teaches us that we are to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
If you are not growing in the Word of God – learning more and more about Kingdom principles, the Word of God and the finished work of the Christ, then you are stagnant in Christ and God is not pleased – actually you are walking in disobedience. If He says that we are supposed to grow in the knowledge of Jesus, if we don’t grow then we are being disobedient.
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How do you get to God? I established the point that we need to have access to God whether a person is saved or not. Hebrews 4:14-16 teach us about mercy and grace and how in the time of need, they can be accessed by accessing God. This was written to Christians which underscores the fact that we will have times of need where we need a move of God on our behalf. We need to be able to access the fullness of God – His ability, His grace and mercy and His power that is working in us.
Unbelief is stubbornness, hard heartedness, arrogance, stiffened neckish, rebellion – unbelief means that you must have heard about Christ, and after hearing and understanding the finished work of Jesus – you make the conscious decision to reject Jesus. You make the conscious decision to not believe. Acts 7:51 teaches that resisting the Holy Spirit is resisting the Power and Instruction of God. Unbelief prevents access to God – which leaves one alone to grope around in the dark with out direction or insight from the mind of Christ.
For more information about getting to God, list to our radio broadcast on Wednesdays at noon EST on http://www.heaven983.com