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A Greater Authority

In Luke chapter 7 of the Bible, Jesus goes to Capernaum and finds a centurion’s servant is dying.

The centurion had sent elders of the synagogue to ask Jesus to come heal his servant.

These elders told Jesus that this man, the centurion was “worthy” to be healed because of the good deeds he had done for their people. He had even built a synagogue for them.

Jesus went with these religious leaders and when he was almost there the centurion sent a message. He said, “Don’t trouble yourself to come because I am not worthy for you to come under my roof. I know that you have authority in your kingdom to make a command just as I have authority in my kingdom and it will be done. Just say the word and I know what you command will be done. ” (My paraphrase)

Jesus marveled at the centurion’s faith. Now it is true that the centurion did not have to see Jesus in person to know the command of healing would be done ( which it was ) but the faith Jesus marveled at was that the centurion recognized a greater authority than the Roman world authority.

The centurion recognized this because he considered himself to be unworthy for Jesus to enter his house. The centurion recognized that the kingdom of God is greater than the authority of Rome or the world system.

The centurion saw himself as a man of worldly authority who submitted to the greater authority of the kingdom of God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

The centurion recognized that even though he was put in a position of prestige having worldly authority in the land, that he was considered unworthy in the kingdom of God. His position he held in the world held no weight in the kingdom of God.

This recognition of the human sin nature (being unworthy) allowed the centurion to humble himself as an
unworthy person or in other words he put himself in a subservient position to a greater authority than the authority of Rome.

In other words the centurion recognized that Jesus was other worldly or from a kingdom not of this world. Therefore being familiar with athourity he knew that Jesus just had to say a word and the healing would occur.

This is the gospel message. Recognition of one’s sinful or unworthy nature, recognizing the need to be in subjection to Jesus Christ and his authority and trusting in Jesus Christ as the head of the kingdom of God with the power to save and to heal.

Jesus marveled at the centurion’s faith because he knew the steps to salvation. Recognizing one’s unworthiness and inability to save one’s self and being in submission to the authority of Jesus Christ for salvation.

What about you? Are you trusting in your “worthiness” because of all the good works you have done like those religious leaders did?

Jesus marvels at the faith of the person who recognizes their unworthiness and looks to his authority to be saved and healed.

Call on Jesus Christ to save and heal you.  All the authority and prestige of the world system will never get you into heaven.

Simple recognition of your inability to save yourself is the first step to salvation. Once you recognize that then you can call on Jesus Christ the King of all kings to save you from your sin.

If you do that then you can be saved, forgiven. healed and given eternal life. You will become a member of the kingdom of God!

Whoever calls on the Lord shall be saved. Roman’s 10:13

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Good From Nazareth?

Luke Chapter 4, tells us that Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by the devil. ” If you are really the Son of God then prove it,” (my paraphrase)

Jesus does not comply. He had nothing to prove. Jesus knows who he is!

Considering the source, Jesus rejects the temptation. He tells the devil to take a hike.

Then after that temptation trial Jesus returns in the power of the Spirit into Galilee.

There Jesus becomes well known throughout all of that region. Jesus teaches in the synagogues, heals the sick, casts out devils. All the people are blessed!

After that Jesus comes to the city of Nazareth where he grew up and where every one knows him as Jesus the carpenter.

It was in a synagogue in Nazareth (where he probably went every Sabbath as a kid) that Jesus reads from the book of Isaiah, announcing that he is the fulfillment of that Messianic prophecy.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Isaiah 61:1,2

After closing the Torah Jesus sits down. Everyone’s eyes are on him.

Then Jesus gives notice to all the people that he had grown up with that he is the promised Messiah.

This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. Luke 4:21

Only Messiah could fulfill that scripture. He knew that. They knew that.

The people of Nazareth were blown away by that announcement. Is this not Joseph’s son?

Whaaattt? Is he saying what we think he’s saying?

Then Jesus tells these people who he knows on a personal basis.  And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. Luke 4:23

Seems quite fantastic that Jesus knowing full well he would be rejected in Nazareth would make the announcement of his being the promised Messiah there. To all his friends and family.

Is there a bigger picture happening here?

Nazareth was a small town. Populated mostly with farmers, shepherds and labourers. It basically was a place with low social status.

That is why Nathanael said to Jesus “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” John 1:46

Jesus goes to his own home town, small and insignificant, tells them he is their promised Messiah and they out right reject him!

Who saw that coming?

After Jesus tells them that a prophet is never honored in his own home town the people in the synagogue get so riled up that they literally grab Jesus and haul him to a cliff in order to toss him off. They were intent on harming Jesus. Maybe even kill him.

The guy had the audacity to call himself a prophet! That’s it! He’s out of here!

But passing through their midst…what? How could that happen? They had him by the scruff of the neck and he passed through them?

Well Jesus transported or something because he got away.

Then Jesus goes to the next town and preaches in their synagogue. The people in that place were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.

That place loved him! At least they loved the miracles.

I think Jesus was making a point or a prophetic act if you will when he announced who he was in Nazareth.

Nazareth was a foretaste of what was going to happen to Jesus in the future. The whole nation of Israel would reject him but this time instead of throwing him off a cliff they would crucify him.

Interesting but it goes even further than that today. Now it seems the world is rejecting Jesus’ Christ’s claim to be Messiah or Savior of the world with the same old unbelief.

Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Where is the promise of his coming? Who made that guy a ruler over us?

Jesus gives the same answer today as he always does to the doubters. 

One day you will say to me …if you really are the Son of God ….prove yourself…make these stones turn to bread….fix all these problems we ourselves have created. You are only an historical figure. We don’t want you! Give us Barabbas. You know that rebel! We want him not you!

History really does repeat itself doesnt it?

There is a good ending to this story however. Remember what the angels said after Jesus rose from the dead and was taken up in the clouds in front of over 100 of his disciples?

Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!” Acts 1:11

And don’t forget this time, “Every eye will see him!” Revelation 1:7

Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

Maranatha! 

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“I Have Seen the Lord!”

It is interesting to note that the very first person that Jesus revealed himself to after he was risen from the dead was Mary Magdalene.

Why do you think that was? Something to think about!

Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. Mark 16:9

Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus’ disciples. She is mentioned many times in the gospels.

Because Mary was a common name of the time and several other women called Mary followed Jesus too the name Magdalene was given to distinguish her from the others.

Mary was probably from Magdala. A fishing village in Galilee. This is interesting because Mary Magdalene was the first evangelist to go and tell others that Jesus was risen from the dead!

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Matthew 4: 19

Mary Magdalene was a disciple of Jesus Christ who also supported his ministry.

Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means. Luke 8:1-56

Mary Magdalene was a woman that had seven demons cast out of her. Why would scriptures mention that Mary Magdalene had 7 devils cast out of her?

Scriptures do not tell us that any of the disciples had demons cast out of them. To be demonized meant she had some kind of suffering. Maybe sickness or trauma or a sinful lifestyle. We don’t really know. What we do know is that Mary Magdalene became devoted to Jesus Christ. This means that whatever ailments she had she was truly grateful to be healed! 7 is the Hebrew number for perfection. Mary Magdalene’s healing was complete. She was made whole!

Mary Magdalene stood faithfully with Jesus as he was crucified. She never fled. She was there praying.

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son[of God!”

There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. Mark 27:50-56

This may be one of the reasons why Mary Magdalene was the first person to see Jesus Christ risen from the dead and was commissioned to tell the disciples about it.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic,“Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her. John 20:11-18

Since women’s testimony was generally excluded under Jewish law the fact that Jesus revealed himself to Mary Magdalene first and commissioned her to tell the other disciples is significant.

“Women were not allowed to testify in court. In effect, this categorized them with Gentiles, minors, deaf-mutes, and “undesirables” such as gamblers, the insane, usurers, and pigeon-racers, who were also denied that privilege. (On the other hand, a king could not bear witness in court, nor could the Messiah, which somewhat lessens the stigma of that restriction.) ” https://jewsforjesus.org/publications/newsletter/newsletter-jun-1988/the-role-of-women-in-the-bible/

Jesus never put man’s traditions above his Kingdom. His ways are not man’s ways.

And he said to them, ‘Well do ye put away the command of God that your tradition ye may keep; Mark 7:9

God sees differently than man sees. People value traditions, prestige, success and position.

Jesus sees into the heart. He judges by what is inside a person. He looks at the character.

Many times in scriptures we see what it is that God values.

Jesus values loyalty to him. 
Lowliness of mind,
Faithfulness to his ways
Commitment to his gospel
Obedience to his commands
Zeal for his glory
Faith in his word.

These are the characteristics that we can see in Mary Magdalene.

This is why Mary Magdalene was chosen to begin the very first evangelist outreach.

Have I not said if you would believe you would see the glory of God? John11:40

Good From Nazareth?

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God Declares HIS Word.

Have you ever heard of the idiom don’t put the cart before the horse?

What it means is don’t do things in the wrong order.

A spiritual principle many get out of order is the act of declaration.

To declare is to say something emphatically or to make it officially known.

A recent Christian trend today is to “declare God’s word.”

While it is true that God’s word has power to save, heal, provide and deliver, what is not true is that if you declare God’s word enough times that it will cause miracles to happen.

Not only is this not a Biblical concept but it is rather occultist in its application.

Let me explain.

To declare in the Hebrew is nâgad which means to announce, expose, predict or profess. To bring a report or speak forth an utterance.

Let’s look at the word used in context.

According to Genesis 41:24 the King of Babylon asked his magicians to interpret his dream but they were not able to declare it.

In other words magicians cannot declare a thing that God has hidden.

We know however from that story that Daniel was able to interpret the dream after prayer and fasting because God revealed the information to him. Then Daniel  was able to bring forth the interpretation to the king.

In Deuteronomy 1:5 Moses declared the law to the people.

Remember that the law was given to Moses through revelation from God. After the law was revealed to him then he declared it.

In Judges 12:12-14, Samson put forth a riddle and asked the Philistines to declare it to him but they could not. So the Philistines used devious methods through Delilah in order to obtain the interpretation of the riddle.

In Kings Chapter 22 we see that Micaiah declared the word of the Lord while the other prophets declared the word out of their own hearts to please the king. I guess they valued their heads more than they valued God’s revealed word.

In the book of Job we find God demanding Job to declare to him all his mysteries since he thought he had the mind of God and knew all the answers.

In Psalms 2:7, David says that he will declare the word that God has spoken unto him. David often declared God’s word that was revealed to him.

Now let’s go to the New Testament.

Declare in the Greek is phrazō which means to indicate by word or act. To expound upon.

Matthew tells us that Jesus declared to his disciples what his parables meant. He expounded to them his word.

John 17: 26, relaying Jesus’ prayer to the Father he said that he had declared his word to his disciples.

In Acts 13, the disciples declared the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In the book of Romans and other epistles Paul and John declare Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.

Do you see a pattern here?

When the word “declare” is used in scriptures it is used to make an announcement of a particular truth of God that is revealed to a person.

That being said, the word “declare” is not used in reference to making something happen.

It is used in cases when the word of God is revealed or expounded upon which bring revelation to the recipient. 

Then the word that is revealed is declared according to the publishing of it for a divine purpose.

The scriptures being declared at random for the purpose of receiving an outcome of one’s own desire is not a Biblical concept.

Why then do people do it? Probably to try and force God to do what they want.

Like I said when used in that way declaration actually becomes a form of manipulation. Manipulating through the use of scripture for personal benefit.

In its proper order we declare the word of God when God has revealed it to us by his Holy Spirit for his purposes. What is revealed in scripture many times had perquisites attached to them. Unless one is in obedient to the perquisite it is a useless objective to declare that particular word.

As the Lord reveals his word to our heart and we walk in obedience to that revealed word then we can be assured that God’s word declared to us will come to pass!

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Ephesians 6:2 Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise) that it may be well with thee,

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.

Isaiah 26:3, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee.

1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.

Deuteronomy . 11:26-28 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God.”

Mustard Seed Faith

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THE BREASTPLATE

The Bible tells us to be strong IN THE LORD and stand in his mighty power . We are then told to put on the full armour of God in order to stand against the trickery of the devil.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Ephesians 6:10

That your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:5

Paul uses the analogy of the Roman armour because in his day the Romans had an advanced system of warfare.

The Romans perfected a light, full torso armour which provided protection for vital areas. With this armour they could advance towards the enemy being protected from any retaliatory weapons.

In the same way soldiers in the Lord’s army need to be dressed in spiritual military armour in order to battle the powers of darkness.

The breast plate of righteousness is one part of the armour of God.

The Roman soldier’s breastplate was called a cuirass. It was molded to fit over the chest with another part for the back.

The breast plate was protection for the vital organs. One being the heart.

The breastplate of righteousness is to be worn to protect the heart.

In Hebrew the Old Testament word for heart heartlêbâb, lêb, lêbâb,
is the intellect, emotions, and understanding.

In Greek the New Testament word for the heart is kardia which also refers to the mind. (thoughts, feelings)

The breastplate or protection for the mind is a breastplate of righteousness. In other words the Christian mind must be protected by the Lord’s righteousness.

What is righteousness?

In the Old Testament righteousness tsedâqâ is moral virtue and justice.

The New Testament defines righteous dikaiosunē as equity or justification.

To be justified dikaioō is to render innocent, to free.

The heart or mind must be covered in righteous, (rendered innocent )to be protected from enemy onslaughts.

This is done by putting on the breast plate of righteousness. Being conscious of our justification provided by Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 4:23 tells us to keep or guard nâtsar our heart. lêb

That is to put a watch over our mind like a prison guard or gate keeper. To watch over.

With the breast plate of righteousness our minds are guarded from enemy attacks.

When the devil came to Jesus to tempt him with lies Jesus referred to the word of God as his defense. “It is written.

Out of the heart or mind are the issues or source of our life. Proverbs 4:23

As we put on the breastplate of righteousness we can see ourselves clothed in Jesus Christ’s righteous. Our minds filled with God’s word will keep us from the trickery of the devil.

Negative thinking contrary to the Bible are arrows of the evil one. The purpose of the evil one is to kill, steal, an destroy.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. john 10:10

Scientific Studies confirm the Bible. A mind not guarded can result in negative effects.

Studies on negative thinking.

https://alz-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/alz.12116

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200607195008.htm

Keep your heart with all diligence! Put on the breastplate of righteousness! Be a watchman over your thoughts! Then you will be sure to walk in victory!

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:7

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 5:8

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Be Faithful

In Matthew Chapter 25 Jesus is talking to his disciples about the kingdom of God which was to come.

The disciples were so exited that they thought this was going to happen right away. Jesus, however, tells them a parable about a man who sets his servants in charge of his estate while he goes away for a while on a journey.

In the story the Lord gives each of his servants some talents to put to use on his behalf while he goes away. Before he leaves, he gives his servants this one instruction. “Occupy till I come”.

Occupy in the Greek is pragmateuomai which means to keep busy.

During Jesus’ time Roman servants or slaves were the property of their owners. Many slaves were educated, and some were even doctors and others were businessmen.

Roman culture had influence even in Israel and that is why some of Jesus’ parables drew from Roman analogies.

Jesus talked about giving servants talents to use to further the estate of their Lord. This was a common practice of the Romans. A Roman slave could hold property and actually use it as his own. However, the property belonged to the Lord or Roman Citizen. All credit from the business of the estate while run by a slave or servant was credited to the Owner. The servant was responsible to gain interest for his Lord.

 A servant could be trained in various business ventures like real estate, husbandry, or farming.  

The servant was expected to get increase or profit from the business. A servant who failed to do this could be beaten or even killed.

Jesus likened his kingdom in the same way. He gives his servants each a certain amount of talents. A talent can be a natural aptitude or a skill. Not just monetary. In fact, the word talent is from the Latin. Jesus used a Latin term to explain a spiritual principal. A talent was a unit of weight. Today we use the word to convey a natural skill or gifting but in effect it is the same thing. With out a skill you will not be able to get monetary increase.

Notice how Jesus gives each person a different amount of talents. In other words, one is responsible for what they have and not for what they do not have.

 What Jesus said in Matthew 25, is this. (my paraphrase) “I have given you a gift or gifts as my servant. Keep busy while I am away. Give to me when I return increase on the talent (s), I have given you.”

Are you being faithful with your gifts? Remember that the Lord rewards those who gain or add to those gifts that he has given. To the one who fails to use their gift(s) they are not rewarded when Jesus returns according to this parable.

For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. Matthew 25:29

Let us use all that the Lord had given us for his glory! Occupy or keep busy till he comes back!

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THE GOSPEL BOOTS

Part of our spiritual warfare armor is the gospel boots. Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say concerning this part of our armor.

Ephesians Chapter 6 vs 15

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

The KJV uses the Greek word hetoimasia which means preparation.

To be in a constant state of readiness or make ready for use.

In other words we must always be prepared to minister the gospel at all times.

How do we prepare? Scriptures tell us it is by studying the Bible.

2 Timothy 2 : 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

We need to know the Bible in order to answer people who ask us questions about our faith. Now we don’t have to go to theological school in order to do this. In fact, many times people just end up being indoctrinated with denominational interpretations that omit or add their own take or lean on scriptures anyway.

It is best according to any lawyer, good journalist, writer or historian to research all angles of interpretation in order to get a balanced view. Bias always resides in the mindsets of men.

Even God says that out of two or three witnesses is truth established. (1 Corinthians 13:1)

Our doctrinal lean should always line up with the Bible and not any man made versions of a scriptural doctrine.

We must know the truth in order to share the truth. How can we minister to an unsaved person Bible truth if we don’t know Bible truth?

The Bible tells us to be prepared at all times in order to present the gospel of peace to others. What is this peace? Peace with God through Jesus Christ the Savior.

The Gospel boots not only prepare us to present the gospel message but they are also used to wage war against the devil.

During Roman times the soldier wore a sandal called a Caligae. This sandal actually had nail like studs embedded in the sole. These boots or sandals were deigned to march for long periods of time but they were also used as deadly weapons. A solder could take off his shoe and club the enemy to death with it.

That is what the gospel boots do too. They take us into all the world to preach the gospel of peace and they are also used to clobber the devil with. Every time we minister the word of God to someone we are beating the day lights out of that old devil.

Put on those gospel boots today! Be prepared and ready to preach the good news! At all times, in all places and every where you go!

ROMANS 15: 29

And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.


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The Acceptable Offering

In Genesis Chapter 4 we read that Cain brought his offering to the Lord. He brought the work of his hands, the toil of his labor.

God was not impressed with Cain’s offering. The Lord did not consider Cain’s offering to be acceptable.

Able was a tender of sheep. He also gave an offering to God. He took the first born of his sheep and gave that offering to God.

God accepted Abel’s offering but not his brother Cain’s offering.

It is interesting to note that both brothers gave an offering to the Lord. That is they felt the need to have God’s approval in their lives.

They also gave an offering in accordance to their respective vocations.

Cain who labored as a husbandman or a worker of soil produced the fruit of his labor. He was blessed in his vocation or ministry but when Cain tried to earn the Lord’s favor based on that vocation he was rejected.

Cain’s problem was that he thought his fruit came from his own effort. All that hard work he put in. All those hours of toil.

Cain was totally insulted because the Lord rejected his offering.

Cain obviously had good intentions. He wanted to please the Lord but according to the Lord, Cain’s offering was not acceptable. That is it was not considered to be valid, it was unsuitable.

This rejection of his offering caused Cain to go into a depression. That’s what it means to be downcast of soul. Really depressed. That depression ended up turning into jealousy towards his brother.

Why would Cain turn on his brother? Simply because he did not heed the advice God gave him when his offering was rejected.

God told Cain, that if he wanted to do well or what is right and acceptable, then he would be accepted. In other words Cain needed to do things God’s way not his way.

Cain ignored God’s advise we know because he saw that Abel was accepted by the Lord and he was jealous. What happens when a person is accepted by God? They are blessed.

To be accepted is to have favor. Be lifted up in a position of opportunity. To have a good reputation among others. Having worth or value.

Cain refused to do what was right. He refused to humble himself and get a sheep from his brother to present as an offering to the Lord.

That would require admitting failure. Admitting that he wasn’t such a hot shot. It would be like coming to terms with the fact that maybe his younger brother had more revelation in spiritual matters than he did.

God warned Cain. He said that “if you refuse to do well (yâţab) or what is right, what is acceptable then sin or offense lies or crouches like an animal
at your door.

Sin is looking to gain entrance, or place in your life.

If you don’t make it right Cain and do what is acceptable then the devil is going to come a knocking!

Many times we think that God is going to respect us because we are hard workers in his vineyard. So we offer up all our labor hoping for his approval. Just like Cain did.

Then the brother who is a wet behind the ears Christian comes along and lays down his love offering. He just simply relies on grace. Doesn’t do a thing but sit at the cross! Blessings coming out of his ears!

If we try to gain favour with God by our works then sin is crouching at our door! Waiting to spring on us at a weak moment.

We need to do what is right. That is go to the cross and rely on the lamb of God whose offering makes us acceptable. The Lord’s favor is bestowed on those who trust in his way of doing things not our own way.

God tells us to rule over the sin that is crouching at our door.
Don’t let it have any place!

Stick the pride back in our pocket where it belongs and count it all loss for Christ!

Who cares how many hours we have labored in the vineyard. The guy who just gets saved and works for one hour in the vineyard is going to get the same reward anyway! (Matthew 20)

Might as well just join him and sit at the cross because that is what makes us perfectly acceptable in the beloved anyway!

Our labor in the Lord is not in vain. It always produces fruit if we belong to God but our works should never supersede the sacrifice of God’s Son Jesus Christ.

That was the problem with Cain’s offering. Works in the vineyard no matter how noble will not make us acceptable to God.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8,9

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bible, Faith, grace, Holiness, prayer, salvation, Walking in the Spirit

Self Importance

Lately I have been noticing that more and more Christians on social media are using spamming methods in order to be heard. At first it seems like just a little annoying factor but if you examine this phenomena in light of scriptures you will find a very problematic heart attitude being exposed.

Philippians 2:4-8

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Paul tells us that even though Jesus was God in the flesh he did not make a big deal of it. Jesus did not stand on the streets shouting out who he was nor did he bulldoze past the religious leaders and hijack their pulpits.

Rather Jesus made himself of no reputation. That means that he just did what the Father told him to do and then left the outcome to the Father.

Another interesting thing I have noticed is how some ministries confined to their homes due to the “plague” are now in order to stay relevant coming up with all kinds of new sensational methods in order to keep their followers.

All of a sudden a preacher is now a talk show host, a motivational expert, and a political analyst. Well what do you expect them to do? After all their whole livelihood is based on donations to their ministries! You really can’t blame them! They have to live some how!

Jesus preached on the street corners. He had no where to lay his head. He did not always have money to buy food, (he had to eat raw grains of wheat from a field on the Sabbath! ) He was almost thrown off a cliff . Yet some of his modern day followers today live in mansions and have a million bucks in the bank! It is very competitive in Holywood!

Self importance seems to lead Believers into using gimmick after gimmick. Raising money with sensationalism or manipulative tactics is becoming rampant on the internet.

I NEED TO BE RELEVANT!

Really?

Scriptures tell us that God so loved the world that he GAVE. Jesus did not come to take but to give. In fact, God gave his most precious Son so that whoever believes and receives him could inherit eternal life! (John 3:16)

God reveals his love for us by giving his Son. Scriptures tell us that if we abide in his love then God will abide in us. ( 1 John 4:16)

what is God’s love?

God’s love overcomes the world. ( Romans 8:37, 1 John 4:4)

God’s love does not fear in the time of trouble. ( 1 John 4:18)

God’s love lives by faith in God’s ability. (Galatians 2:20)

God’s love lays down one’s life for others. ( John 15:13)

God’s love reaches out to the unsaved. (Roman 5:8, Ephesians 2:4,5)

God’s love is humble. ( 1 Peter 5:6,7)

Gods love is patient and kind. It is not arrogant or boastful. (1Corinthians 13)

Gods love does not insist on having its own way. (1Corinthians 13)

It is a crazy time we live in where self importance is vying to be relevant!

Abide in God’s love !

Rest in God’s faithfulness!

Be still in his presence!

Wait on his timing!

Most of all humble yourself under God’s mighty hand for his word says:

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalms 46:10

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Faith, salvation, Walking in the Spirit

The Word of God

The Scriptures tell us that God has magnified his word above all his name. (Psalms 138:2)

Magnified in Hebrew is gâdal which means to lift up in power, high estate, to increase and grow.

God magnifies his commandments, his speech, his word both written and oral above all his name, shêm which means individual position, honor and authority, renown.

The reason for this is that a person’s word proves their name.
If my word does not back up my name then my name has no credibility. It’s discredited if I do not honor my word.

Have you ever had any “friends” like that? I have. Say they will do something and they don’t. Talk a good talk but don’t do what they say? Yeah, not someone you can count on and so they end up on your “not reliable list.”

When one gives their word it is like drawing a contract. It is binding. To break one’s word dishonors one’s character and then their name is not worth very much. One’s name must back up their character.

The legal term in contract law is “good faith” which means fair dealings that are honest and sincere towards the other party in a contract.

In other words God’s name is only as good as his word.

When you enter into contract with another person whether a marriage or business contract for example the contract terms must be binding in order for that contract to have any credibility.

I can tell you what my name is or my company’s name but so what if I can’t back up the terms of the contract.

In the same way the name of Jesus is validated by his word. His contract with the other party.

The name of Jesus is honored and glorified because his word has preeminence.

In other words the word of God as laid down in scriptures (contract in writing) represents who Jesus is. All the word (Bible)had to say is all about who Jesus is and like every contract it must be entered into by two parties for the contract to be binding.

Jesus tells us in scriptures that he is the word. The significance of that is that he is what he says. 1 John tells us that in the beginning was the word. God’s word existed before anything in our natural realm existed.

The word was with God, that scripture goes on to say.

God’s word accompanies him at all times even from the moment of creation.

The word was God. Jesus is God’s word.
God actually became flesh in order to demonstrate his word.

Like they say, talk is cheap or unless backed up by action is worthless but God not only spoke his word in the beginning and created our natural realm but he became his word through taking on flesh.

Jesus demonstrated who God was.

But it doesn’t stop there. Scriptures tell us that those who receive Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord become born again of his word. (1 Peter 1:22)

Now God’s seed can propagate the Kingdom of God in the earth. We are epistles read of all men. Not written in ink on tablets of stone (written law) to bring the message of reconciliation between God and man but in fleshly tablets of the heart. ( 2 Corinthians 3:3)

This is significant in regard to God’s word magnified above his name in that as God’s seed the Holy Spirit bears witness in the world that we are the sons of God. Therefore our representation in the world proclaim God’s word to the world. For we are temples of the Holy Spirit which demonstrates through us the word of God to every one we come in contact with.

In conclusion God’s word which represents who God is through the Holy Spirit is manifest through Jesus Christ and consequently through the born again person to manifest the Kingdom of God and bring reconciliation between God and mankind.

God has magnified his word above all his name. At the name of Jesus who is the word manifest in the flesh every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!

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