Having the Mind of Christ.

Peter tells Christians that we are to arm ourselves or equip ourselves with the mindset of Jesus Christ when it comes to our suffering in this world. (1 Peter 4:1)

In order to do that we need to understand the suffering of Jesus Christ. Let’s take a look at Isaiah 53.

According to this prophecy which occurred in the future and is now in the past but which applies to the Christian in the present, Jesus Christ endured tremendous suffering.

We can see these main occurances which Jesus Christ endured. Let’s break them down.

Jesus was despised. 
This means that Jesus was not valued and seen as worthless. In other words who Jesus is and what he did for humanity is not respected and in fact is scorned by many people both in the past and today .

Since Jesus was despised why do we think that we should experience any better kind of treatment? Jesus himself said that the world hated him so don’t expect it to like us either. Are we armed with this mindset?

Jesus was rejected by men. Many people simply do not want Jesus Christ. They prefer their own ways.

Since Jesus was rejected because his values are not appreciated then we must also be armed with his mindset. We may not be liked or valued or accepted by those who are not disciples of Jesus Christ. It’s a given.

Jesus was afflicted. That means he had to endure pain, abuse, bullying and scoffing. He was beaten and murdered too. Are we armed with this mindset?

Now let’s look at some other things Jesus endured for our sakes. Isaiah 53 goes on to tell us that Jesus bore our sorrows, he endured shame, he bore our griefs, and he carried our burdens.

Galatians 6: 2 tells us to bear one another’s burdens. This means that when we are armed with the mindset of Jesus Christ we come alongside our brethren like he did and help them carry their burden. Whether it’s in prayer, giving, ministering, helping, or serving.

Paul tells us that when we consider our sufferings in this world to be unworthy of the glory that will be revealed in us we can see a positive outcome of all this suffering we endure. Our sufferings are not because God is a sadist but rather the suffering we endure for the present if we are armed with Jesus Christ’s mindset have both eternal and present benefits. Let’s check it out.

Jesus bore sorrow, pain and grief for our sake so that through his affliction he could bring us healing. Jesus was wounded so that through his stripes we could recieve forgiveness ,healing and restoration.

He endured the cross and the shame so that he could bring many out of darkness and make them his children. When we are armed with this mindset we can endure our sufferings for the benefit of others.

Maybe enduring a mean person at work or rejection by your family. Enduring name calling and bullying by class mates who are not Christians or even having to give up your pay check to help a relative in sickness or give up your life to be a witness for your faith.

These are just some examples of what a Christian may have to endure to represent Jesus Christ in this world and share the gospel to the lost.

Jesus suffering brought us not only salvation but righteousness and justification. He suffered in patience and endurance because he knew what the outcome would be. Armed with Jesus Christ’s mindset on suffering we learn to be patient and wait for a good outcome too.

No suffering in this life is pleasant scriptures tell us BUT it is working out a far greater work of glory. In heaven we will be rewarded and sometimes even here we will reap the benefits but do you know what the best part is? It brings honor to the Lord! (Hebrews 12:11)

Think about that! When we patiently endure and pray then God walks through the suffering with us (Isaiah 43:2) He helps us carry our burdens and with joy we can bear them.

The beneficial outcome will come in God’s perfect timing. Just continue to trust him for faithful is he who has promised. (Psalm 34:19)


Be Strong in the Lord.

Ephesians 6 tells us to put on the full armor of God in order to stand against all the schemes of the devil. However, prior to that in verse 10 this scripture gives us a perquisite for that armor to be effective.

Before we are told to put on the full armour of God we are commanded to be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Let us examine this exhortation.

To be strong, according to the ancient Greek language, means to be able to perform feats of strength. That is having the power to move heavy weights or perform physically demanding tasks.

We are called to be strong, not in our own strength but in God’s power.
Power in this verse is endowment. We are given by God through prayer his strength to perform tasks under his delegated authority.

So in effect we need the Lord’s empowerment to perform great feats of strength which we are commissioned by him to do.

We are called to be strong in the Lord with his mighty power, not reliance on our ability and resources but by his dumnis supernatural Holy Spirit power.

Power in this verse context means to be 
positioned in Jesus Christ’s supreme authority.

In other words we are to be strong in the Lord (positioned in his authority) and in the power of his might. Not just in authority but in power. Here is where many Christians miss it. They exercise authority in Jesus name but have not tapped in to Holy Spirit power.

Scriptures tell us that kind of teaching emphasizing form without power (concentration on our authority) has a form of knowledge but no power.

We can scream at the devil, demand that he jump to our command even using Jesus name and strut around in our Christian armor all we want but unless we have HOLY SPIRIT POWER to back up our claim its just a lot of noise.

Might in this verse is literally forcefulness which means to exert power,effort, strength stamina, exertion, pressure, to fight.

HIS MIGHT is the key. Not your might. Not your spiritual prowess or Biblical knowledge but through HIS MIGHT. This is because having Holy Spirit power requires surrender and that is just way too high a price for many Christians to pay.

Surrender to Holy Spirit requires death to self. Not just death to sin but death to self effort. Holy Spirit power requires depending on the Holy Spirit for everything. That’s why Paul said “If we live in the Spirit let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Many Christians are born again of the Spirit and live in the Spirit but they don’t walk in the Spirit. Walking is more than positional. Walking it is an action. To walk in the Spirit is to move in the Spirit in every thing that we do. To rely on Holy Spirit as our source for every thing in life. All our decisions and all our actions.

Putting it all together, Ephesians 6:10 says, to be STRONG IN THE LORD AND IN HIS MIGHTY POWER. This means to be positioned in his great power (with the ability to perform by the Holy Spirit)and having dominion (authority and jurisdiction of the government control of God’s Kingdom) and HIS MIGHT (possessing great and impressive power or strength, especially on account of size.)

THEN AFTER we are commissioned and empowered with the Lord’s strength for battle, we can put on the full armor of God.

No soldier goes out to battle without a commission and back up of military power. This is the same with the soldier in God’s army.

When we are delegated athourity to exercise power to perform tasks of strength then we are able to go into battle.

Ephesians 6 tells us that once we are commissioned with delegated power and strength we are to then put on the whole armor of God so that we are able to stand against the wiles of the devil and his principalities and powers of whom we wage war with or wrestle.

Our battle according to this chapter in Ephesians 6 takes place in the spiritual realm or high places of wickedness and our use of Spiritual weapons provided for us by God are demonstrated through the function of prayer. We are battling demonic powers and therefore we need God’s supernatural power in this battle.

We are called to be constant in prayer with all kinds of prayer; supplications, petitions, intercessions, declarations , praying the word, praying in tongues. This constant prayer life is for the purpose of being watchful over the saints. It is also for praying that souls be saved. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-28)

Lastly, after we have done all through prayer and what God shows us to do then we are called to stand in faith.

This is another area we miss it. If we don’t see a manifestation right away or answered prayer in our time schedule we give up. We should never give up but trust God in faith that he will do what he has promised to do in his timing and in is way.

BE STRONG IN THE LORD AND THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT and put on the full armor of God then you will be able to stand against all the schemes of the devil. Keep standing for victory is guaranteed to those who put their confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ.


Wait on the Lord!

The Bible reveals to us that in order to receive anything from the Lord we must accept it by faith. The salvation gift is free but even with that it is still up to us to receive. That requires acting in faith and surrendering our lives to Jesus Christ. ( Hebrews 11:6)

Spiritual laws work much like natural laws. They have a cause and an effect. In other words if said thing is initiated then said thing will occur. For example, if the right environment is cultivated a garden will grow. If you plant the seeds and continue to apply specific conditions then you will reap a harvest. Again, if you modify your portions, eat healthy and exercise then you will loose weight and if you surrender your life to Jesus Christ and recieve his salvation you can be forgiven and inherit eternal life.

Scriptures always give us conditions to the promises of God. After we have fulfilled the conditions such as give to recieve or seek to find then according to the Bible what is required is to wait.(Matthew 7:7,8)

Waiting is a cruscial part of getting our prayer request granted. 
Scriptures tell us not to throw away our confidence because in due time we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up. 
By faith and patience we inherit the promises of God. (Hebrews 6:12)

Faith is trusting with confidence and assurity in something without any material evidence and patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

So in other words we need to be waiting in confidence and patience with continual endurance in looking for something we hope for with expectation.

God’s promises are a part of our inheritance in Jesus Christ. Promises are divine assurances of good.

Scriptures tell us that the promises given to us at salvation are the forgiveness of sin and the born again experience but the Bible is loaded with many promises we can inherit if we will apply the preequist.

For example if we wait on the Lord and seek his face in prayer we can experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit and if we hold on to our faith until the end we can be saved from this earthly body and given a new heavenly body.

Another example is that if we watch our words and order our conversation properly we can reap a long life. (Proverbs 13:3)

All God’s promises are yes and amen, guaranteed as an inheritance to those who belong to him but they don’t come automatically. In fact sometimes the waiting is a long period of time but nevertheless he who has promised is faithful to fulfill his promises.

The promises of God are fulfilled according to timing and therefore faith and patience is required. One other ingredient which brings God’s promises to fruition is Grace. How could we even have faith or patience without his mercy bestowed upon us in the process ?

Waiting on the Lord requires faith and patience and in the right timing we will inherit the promise if we don’t give up. Wait on the Lord with joyful expectation. (Hebrews 6:12)


A New Standard of Living

The New Covenant given through Jesus Christ has a new standard with new laws and commands.

(Hebrews 10:20)

We are not under the law of Moses which was the written code of standards given to the Jews for behavior, religious conduct and rites. These are now done away with because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The old has passed away and the new has come.

No longer do we have to observe the OT law including the ten commandments for our justification.

We are now justified by faith in Jesus Christ and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise. However, the Bible tells us that if we are truly born of God our life will reflect it by our behaviour. We now are held to a new standard. (Romans 5:1)

The old covenant has been replaced with a new covenant. A covenant is an agreement between two parties. Instead of trying to live up to the letter of the law in our own power through the fallen human nature and then having to have animals sacrificed on our behalf because we have blown it we can now live as new creatures in Jesus Christ under the new system set up for us by God. (Hebrews 10:19-25)

This might surprise some but we can’t become a Christian and then live any way we want to!

In fact Christians now have been given a new standard of living according to the Bible.

The sacrifice of Jesus Christ was the way in or entrance to a new way of living. Our justification was through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. Some Christians stop there but in reality the resurrection of Jesus Christ brought a new and living way for the Christian to live by. (Hebrews 10)

But does that mean we are still under laws? Yes! What are laws anyway you may be wondering ? A law is a regulation or a principle. A standard in which we conduct our life. If we obey a law there are benefits but if we disregard a law there is always a consequences.

According to the Bible Christians are now under the law of the Spirit of life and liberty in Christ Jesus and the law of faith.

(Roman’s 8:2, Romans 3:27)

Upon these two principles the Christian must conduct their lives. Through life and liberty in the Holy Spirit by the principle of faith a born again believer now becomes a living epistle read by all. (2 Corinthians 3:1-3)

In other words if the Christian yields to the Holy Spirit who dwells in them then they will live a life that pleases God and reap all the benefits of obedience but if the Christian quenches the Holy Spirit, forbids him from operating, insults him, grieves him, resists him then the Christian will find himself or herself living a defeated life bound up by sin and reaping all the consequences of disobedient behaviour.(Galatians 5)

Disobedience will find themselves in the fire being refined, going through endless trials and hardships and maybe eventually die if there is no repentance.

The Holy Spirit is speaking to you today. Do not harden your heart in the wilderness of your life experience.

It is only the yielded to the Holy Spirit life that brings God’s blessings. Only through the Holy Spirit of promise given to the believer can we overcome the flesh and the devil. (1 John 5:4)

If we continue to do our own thing even if we use God’s name in vain in order to justify it then we will find ourselves in a whole heap of trouble.

Things may look alright now but the Bible is clear that whoever sows to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption. In other words our own ways will come back to bite big time. (Galatians 6)

How can I know God’s will? One good indicator of whether we are in the truth or not is to examine ourselves in light of the scriptures and that is the scriptures illuminated by the Holy Spirit as we spend time in his presence seeking him.

Reading the Bible is not an indication of being in the truth. Remember that Satan can quote scripture. He will even twist it to fit into his agenda. Human nature does that too. We can find all kinds of scriptures to twist for our own benefit.

That is why the Bible says that the Spirit and the word always agree together.

Not many Christians have wanted to live the surrendered life and that is why we have lived such defeated lives void of Holy Spirit power. The church has made a lot of noise but not a lot of impact. (James 1:22-25)

For a time the Lord has let us go our own way. This was to show us that doing things our own way leads only to failure. Are we ready to listen now?

Another law that we need to adhere to in order to live a life that pleases God is to operate by the principle of faith. (Hebrews 10)

The Bible says that faith is the substance or physical material construct of things hoped for but not yet realized. In other words, when God says something to us through his Holy Spirit and confirms it by his written word then we believe it to be true regardless of whether we see it manifest for a time.

Faith in God will always be tested according to the Bible but God has declared his promises to be Yes and Amen.

When we believe God’s word without actually seeing with the natural eye then faith in God ignites the reality of the thing hoped for to be manifest in our natural world in God’s time.(Hebrews 11)

Doubt and unbelief is the enemy of God. It says, “Has God really said?” Satan’s lie received by people is what causes sin, death and destruction in their lives. That age old lie limits God so that he CANNOT do any mighty works.

So then as Christians under the new covenant we are called to adhere to the law of faith and the law of the Spirit of life and liberty in Christ Jesus. When we follow these two principles we will not only reap eternal rewards but live in godly freedom under an open heaven of both spiritual and material blessings.

Galatians 5
2 Corinthians 3
Romans 8
Romans 3 
Hebrews 11

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/raising-standard-kim-balogh

Baptism By Fire

Jesus said that he would baptize his followers with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (Mathew 3:13)

While many Christians see this fire as a type of anointing that is not the only thing that the fire represents.  Let me explain.

Jesus told the sons of Zebedee that he had a baptism to be baptized with and then he asked them if they would be able to be baptized the same way. (Luke 12:50)

The disciples agreed. Jesus confirmed that those men would indeed go through the same baptism that he was going to go through. 

The scriptures tell us that the fire will come to test every person’s work in the Lord to see what it is made of. (1 Cor. 3:23)

History tells us that James was killed by the sword and John was imprisoned for the rest of his life. 

Why this testing or baptism ? God allows it to determine if we really belong to him or not.  Are we really a true disciple of Jesus Christ or an impostor?

Jesus was led of the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tested of the devil scriptures tell us. What was the test about? To determine if Jesus was who he said he was. (Matthew 4:1)

The Father knew who Jesus was but Satan and his cronies weren’t sure. After the testing they soon found out what Jesus was made of! 

Satan asked Jesus . If you really are the Son of God like you say you are then….don’t fast….stop praying…rise up and eat. Perform a selfish act. Make these stones bread and oh yeah how about jumping off a cliff? Prove it if you are who you say you are. Give up….don’t take the hard way….come and serve me instead. (my paraphrase)

Jesus’ temptation was part of his baptism of fire. The same test which happened to the three Hebrew guys who refused to bow to the king of Babylon. It’s also the same baptism of fire all Christians will go through. 

Why you ask does God allow this baptism of fire to happen? Simply because this test by fire will prove that you are who you say you are. Are you really a child of God? Will you cave under pressure? Give up when it gets tough? Run away when the fire gets too hot? 

There are many tares among the wheat the Bible informs us. False brethren are everywhere in the church but they are soon discovered when the fire comes to test them. Not only do we find out who were are during the fire but so does every one else around us. (1 Corinthians 3:13)

The outcome of the fire testing will determine whether you really are a child of God or not. Hirelings always run away when persecution and affliction comes. The false Christian will backslide, turn away from God, become bitter and angry. Many atheists consider themselves to have been Christians at one time but were they really? 

A true Christian comes forth out of the fire victorious. Job said that after he had been tried he would come forth as pure gold and he did.  That doesn’t mean a Christian won’t have questions or feel pain but the fire will purify the true Christian to become even more holy and devoted to the Lord. (Job 23:10)

When the fire falls upon the false Christian, the fire reveals their true nature. They may fall away, get angry, bitter, even in some cases turn to the dark side. Some hard core famous atheists were once preachers. (1 Peter 4:12)

Are you going through the fire right now? Is your faith being tested?

Then look to Jesus the author and finisher of your faith! Don’t give up. Fast and pray. Endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Trust in the Lord and be patient for his deliverance. Stand on his promises that are yes and amen. (Hebrews 12:2, 2 Corinthians 1:20)

If you really belong to the Lord you will come through your baptism of fire as pure gold and be prepared as a vessel refined for the service of good works in the kingdom of God. Tested and tried by fire!


Is it God’s Will For You to Prosper?

Is it God’s will for you to prosper? Let’s examine this controversial topic based on the Bible. First of all let’s define prosper. In the Greek the word is euodoō and it means to be successful and in particular in business affairs.

3 John 1:2 John says that he prays for the brethren to prosper and be healthy in body according to the prosperity of their spirit man. 

In other words if the spirit man is prospering then that prosperity will be evident in the natural realm as well. 

Jesus never said money or wealth was evil. In fact what he did say was to make use of mammon or worldly money for good purposes, make wise investments with money and be faithful with it. This your faithfulness with money will return to you a benefit. Matthew 6
Luke 16

God said the love of money was the root of all evil. To serve money and put it before God is the sin. Not having money. I Tim 6

If we use money for fleshy indulgences and greed this is sin but to use money for God’s kingdom this is not sin. 
James 4

Matthew the tax collector restored what he stole and when he repented he said to the Lord that he would give of his riches to help the poor. This pleased Jesus. Mark 2

According to the Bible poverty is a curse. Many times Christians are dirt poor because of un dealt with sin in their lives, mismanagement of what they did have (story of the talents) or simply because of ignorance of the Bible.

Deuteronomy 28
Galatians 3

Prosperity is also relative. A person living in a western nation may have to make more money than a person from a third world nation in order to live. For example the price of a days wages in one country may be the cost of a loaf of bread in another. The cost of a rental house for one month in one country may be a years wages in another. 

The point is that prosperity and health while relative is a sign of God’s blessing. Many sickness and diseases are caused by sin and demonic power such as unhealthy life choices, occult practices, generational sins, and word curses. 

Exodus 15
Deuteronomy 7
1 Peter 3
Colossians 4

God says that his people perish for lack of knowledge and so many Christians suffer at Satan’s hands due to their ignorance of God’s word. Hoses 4:6

Does God allow suffering sometimes? Yes he does and scriptures tell us some reasons that he does this; such as for his glory to be revealed, to further the work of God, and chastisement for disobedience.

John 9
Job 42
Dan 4

God promises to supply our needs. Not our greeds. If he wants to give someone a lot of money in order to further the kingdom of God then that’s his buisness but if some of us have to pray for our needs to be met every day because the Lord wants to increase our faith then again that is his buisness. We each have been given different gifts and we should just accept that.

Phil. 4
Romans 12
1 Corinthians 12 Ephesians 4

It is not wrong to pray for your needs to be met but you don’t have to live up to the Jones. A guy with a ministry to the poor may not need a Cadillac but an ambassador to the rich and famous maybe he does. 
2 Cor. 10 :12
1 Timothy 6

Paul said that he became all things for all people that he might win them to Jesus Christ. We need to take that into consideration. 

1 Corinthians 9

Paul also said in the Bible to be content in your situation whether you have a lot or not. 

Phil. 4

The important thing is to live for Jesus and be in the center of his will. 

Matthew 6

Heaven’s streets are paved with gold and all God’s children have shoes so in eternity we have an inheritance incorruptible to look forward to and since that’s the final outcome we all prosper in the end anyway . 
(1 Peter 1:4 )

Things God Cannot Do

Did you know that even though God is sovereign (omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent) that there are certain things that he cannot do?

The Bible tells us that God can be limited and grieved. When we doubt God we limit him and make him sorrowful. He is sad because he cannot do any mighty works on our behalf. 
(Ps. 78:41)

All heaven is blocked by unbelief. Angels can’t move and God can’t move. Faith is the vehicle in which the miraculous moves. Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God but with even just a tiny bit of faith God will move a mountain on our behalf. (Heb. 11:6 Mark 11:23)

There are two kinds of faith that the Bible talks about. Our faith and God’s faith. When we trust God to work on our behalf he will do great things for us. Faith is not a feeling. It’s an action word. I believe therefore I have spoken. I believe therefore I take up my bed and walk. (Mark 5 :34, John 5 :8)

God’s faith is much more powerful. It is a supernatural endowment to believe a specific thing. Sometimes in order to do a supernatural feat we need a supernatural faith. (1Cor. 12:9)

Faith comes by hearing. Taking time to bend our ear to heaven. Hearing or getting the answer to our seeking comes from getting a word from God. We need to seek God through prayer, fasting and Bible reading to get a word from heaven. (Romans 10:17)

When we get a word from heaven faith comes. We know that we know that we know we have our petition granted.

Another way that God is limited is through unforgiveness. If we do not forgive others then God will not forgive us. 
(Matt. 6:15)

Sometimes the reason we don’t get our prayers answered is because we are still holding on to grudges and offense. Forgiveness is not a feeling either. It is also an action word. I choose to pray, bless and do good regardless of feelings.

Now that does not mean we have to be a carpet for other people to walk on. If there is no repentance from the other party we separate ourselves from the relationship and just continue to pray for them. That is Biblical protocol.

(2 Thess. 3:6)

Another way that God is limited is by failing to give. When we do not give the Bible says that he shuts the window to his blessings. When we give he gives back to us in good measure. (Mal. 3:10)

What we give, how we give and by our heart attitude determines the out come of the measure of blessing we get from God as well.

Another way we limited God is by our speach. God says that he will honour those who honor him. If we have wholesome conversation then the Lord will bless us. He says that by our words we will either be justified or condemned. By our words we will be blessed or cursed. (Ps. 50 :23 Matt. 12:23
Prov. 18:21)

Our speach reflects our heart attitude. What ever comes out of our mouth is what’s in our heart. When will fill our heart with God’s word and line up our conversation according to his agenda we will find ourselves walking in victory. (Luke 6:45)

Praying the word is a powerful weapon of faith against demonic powers. When we walk in forgiveness and pray for others we will live victorious in this life. When we give into God’s kingdom for his purposes we will be blessed. We will be more that conquerors because the battle is already won! Jesus defeated Satan and all we have to do is walk it out by faith in his victory. (Rom. 8:31 -39)