If My People ….(2)

There is NO name that is more powerful or above the Name of our Lord in any way.

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2 Chronicles 7:14-15 – If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.  Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.

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One of the greatest quandaries I encounter on a regular basis at this hour are believers who are living in fear, doubt, and unbelief, quaking under the threats toward the populous in general and the church more specifically.  I often question them about that.  Their answers are many and varied, but there is one thing in common with all of them.  There seems to be a great disparity between who they have been made to be in Christ Jesus and who they see themselves being in this present world.  In looking at our Text for Today, the phrase we are examining should stand out to anyone studying this passage and seeking for the truths revealed in it.  It is the phrase referring to those whom the Lord calls “my people.”  The phrase in we are examining is, “which are called by My Name.” 

Every believer should take very close notice that if one belongs to the Lord, he is “called by” the Name of the Lord.  It is that name by which every believer is named.  It is that Name by which one must be saved, there being no other name given under heaven by which man must be saved.  It is that Name that grants us access to the ear of the Father when we pray, and it is in that Name that Father has declared He would give us whatever we ask of Him in that Name.  It is as the mention of that Name that every knee of beings in heaven, earth, and beneath the earth will bow.  It is in that name that when believers are gathered together, He has declared He would be in their midst, and that for purpose.

So, allow me to share my quandary with you.  If one has been born again by that Name, possesses the authority to use that Name, should walk in full expectancy of every promise of that Name’s power to be fulfilled when they call upon that Name, then why, and I ask again, WHY would any such person fear in any way the events that are taking place in our world today?  I know the threats and dangers are real.  Multitudes of believers have already fallen prey to them.  But that is NOT by the will of our Father.  For that reason, I WILL NOT BOW MY KNEE TO ANYTHING BUT THE WILL OF MY FATHER.  What He has given me belongs to me.  He expects me to accept it, use it, hold fast to it, fight to keep it, and walk in the full blessing of it.  The same should hold true for every believer.  Are you “called by (His) Name?”  What will you do with it?

Manna for Today – 2 Chronicles 6:3 – 7:15; Psalm 148:13; John 14:12-14; John 16:23; Acts 4:12

If My People …..(1)

When God says, “IF,” He’s about to give great revelation.

2 Chronicles 7:14-15 – If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.  Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.

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If, then” is a combination of two words, each preceding a phrase.  When these two words are rendered in that setting, a contract is formulated.  As far as men are concerned, every contract ever made by man was entered into on an “if, then” basis.  Such are considered legally binding.  Yet we know that men often break contracts, and at times, pay great penalties for doing so.  But, I repeat, BUT . . . when God makes a contract, He NEVER breaks it.  The man, or men, with whom He makes that covenant may break it, BUT NEVER GOD

When God sets forth an “if, then” statement, He is offering a contract, a divine contract that, if honored by those to whom He offers it, will bring forth supernatural outcomes.  I urge you with all that is within me, set aside some time today to read the passages I have shared in our Manna for Today.  First you will see the prayer of Solomon, and then you will read God’s response.  Father’s response is one of the most powerful “if, then” statements ever set forth unto mankind.  I will be writing about this for some days.  I will certainly not be able to write all that is revealed here, but I do intend, with the help of the Lord, to unfold it before you in a way that will draw you into it in a manner as yet unprecedented in your life.  I have asked the Lord to take you deeper into this passage and its dynamic potential in your life, regardless of how much you have previously grown in the Lord.  Please join your faith to mine to that end.  You will find yourself blessed beyond any measure you have ever known.

In today’s Second Miler, I want you to see that this passage is not written to all me, but only, I repeat, ONLY to His people.  Look closely at the title of today’s Second Miler.  Likewise, look closely at the first three words of our Text for Today.  Father says, “If My people.”  Do you see it?  He is speaking directly to Solomon, and He is speaking specifically about “My people.”  He is not speaking to anyone who is unsaved.  He is not speaking to anyone who has not confessed Jesus Christ as Lord, and has been born again by the Spirit of the Lord.  If you are one of them, awake, my friend.  It’s time to get busy.  If you are NOT one of them, you can be.  Read and act upon Romans 10:9-10, and then rejoice.

Manna for Today – 2 Chronicles 6:3 – 7:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Proverbs 4:20-23

The Power of Thinking

There is a great difference between a seed and a process, yet their connection is unfathomable.

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Proverbs 23:7a – For as he (a man) thinketh in his heart, so is he:  (parenthetical insertion is mine)

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Let’s establish some basic parameters at the beginning today.  A thought is a seed.  Thinking is a process.  A thought is the seed that is planted that makes the process of thinking possible.  Having a thought does not mean one is thinking, but thinking is clear indication that one has a thought.  However, that does not mean the thought (seed) is a good one.  If one cannot identify the thought (seed), then one can know the fruit that will be produced through the process of thinking.  For instance, if you have a seed that is unidentified, you do not know what to expect as the end-product of the process of growing the seed, nor do you know how to properly tend to the seed (watering and fertilizing), what it will look like through the process, or the appearance of the fruit (if any) that will be produced.  Such is the work of the thought life that arises from the seed and the process of growing the fruit it will produce.

That is why the Word of God is so keenly important in our life.  We KNOW and can rest fully assured that any seed from the Word of God will produce fruit that is pleasing to Father, fruit that is healing and provisioning in nature, bringing forth life and light, and nourishing to the human spirit.  As one grows in the spirit, one can begin to recognize more quickly and easily if the thought (seed) that comes will produce fruit that is pleasing to Father and beneficial to one’s personal life and the lives of those around him.  Here we should clearly recognize the massive importance of “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”  Thoughts that are not brought into the captivity of Christ can potentially bring forth destructive, poisonous, life-threatening fruit of which the believer may not be aware, not knowing the nature of the seed planted. 

Thinking is a process that possesses potential power beyond belief.  The right thoughts can be processed to bring forth blessings beyond any mortal comprehension.  Likewise, wrong thoughts can do the same thing in producing that which curses the life of the believer.  It is precisely because thinking is such a powerful process that the Word of God so often addresses that process.  That is why we are commanded to renew our minds, for it is in the renewing of one’s mind that we prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  It is up to you, the individual believer, to allow the mind of Christ (the anointed One) to dwell (take up permanent residence) in you, so your thinking can be ordered to that which is pure, honest, just, lovely, true, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy.  When your thinking operates at that level, just imagine the outcome of our Text for Today.

Manna for Today – Proverbs 23:1-16; Joshua 1:8; Proverbs 4:20-23; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; Romans 12:2

It’s a “ME” Thing

There are some things in life you really need to take personally.

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Matthew 7:13-14 – Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

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Our Text for Today comes from what has been called “The Sermon On the Mount,” and comes from Matthew 56, & 7.  I encourage you to read it in one setting.  When you do, you will discover that the entirety of that wonderful message from the lips of Jesus Himself relates to people of covenant in this present life.  It was first spoken to the Jewish people of Jesus’s day, and today continues to live as a vital instruction and spiritual building block for His Church.  This marvelous message of our Lord and Savior is not about the hereafter, but of our current life in this world.  And the portion I share with you in our Text for Today likewise addresses our life in Christ in this present world.  It is NOT speaking to the issue of how many people are going to heaven, but to the issue of how many will enjoy the full level of the life God offered to us in this life.

Look closely at these two verses.  These words that Jesus spoke, while offered in a public address to a multitude of people, are, in truth, a very specific word spoken to each hearer who was present.  There may have been a great multitude of people around you when you were born again, but the message that brought you to Jesus was specifically addressed to you.  You are a “whosoever” of John 3:16.  There we read that God loved the world, but it does not say the world will believe on Jesus.  The word, “whosoever” is speaking to any individual who will call upon the Name of the Lord. 

Consider the word “strait” in our Text for Today.  That word is NOT the same as the word “straight.”  While “straight” references a direct, unbending, uncurving line or direction, the word “strait” means narrow.  This does NOT reference a passage through which only a few can pass at a time, but a passage through which those who go through it is designed for the passage of one at a time, that ONE being YOU.  You were not born into the kingdom of God as a part of a group transaction.  You came through that gate individually in response to the invitation of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Many have come through that passage, but the number who walk in the fullness of the life it offers is fewer.  The “narrow” way is speaking of a life lived in victory; healed, blessed, provisioned with abundance so that you always having all sufficiency in all things may abound to every good work.  Think of that; always abounding.  This is not the walk of even a small group of believers, but of one, that one being you walking side-by-side, in step with your Lord.

Manna for Today – Matthew 7:12-14; John 3:16-17; Romans 10:13; Matthew 11:28-30

End Game – Know Your True Heart Language

Is your heart language the one to which you were born, or the one to which you were born again?

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Isaiah 28:10-11 – For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:  For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

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What is your native language?  Some folks call that your heart language.  That generally depends on the nation in which you were born; in America, English; in France, French; in Germany, German; in Zambia, perhaps Bemba; in Kenya, perhaps Swahili.  I refer to the language you learned to speak with your family; your native tongue that is spoken in the nation of your citizenship.  But when one is born again, things change.  While our physical location on the earth does not change, nor our physical nationality, the point of our citizenship DOES change.  At the point in time that one is born again, his citizenship is immediately changed.  He becomes a citizen of the Kingdom of God.  Earthly citizenship must give way to Kingdom citizenship.  He is IN this world but not OF this world. 

It should be clearly understood that when one is born (born again) into a kingdom, he should speak the language of that kingdom, especially if he is a part of the government of that kingdom.  When you were born again, my friend, you became a citizen of the Kingdom of God, and have become an ambassador of Christ, the Lord and King of the Kingdom of God.  As His ambassador, it is imperative that you learn His language, and moreover, that His language should become your heart language for the purpose of clear, accurate, and trusted communication on which the Lord can place His seal of approval and full trust.

The language of which I speak is the Word of God.  As an ambassador of the King of kings and Lord of lords, we become responsible for every word that flows forth from our mouth.  By our own words we are justified, and by our own words we are condemned.  As ambassadors of Christ, we become His voice in this earth to everyone with whom we communicate.  We MUST KNOW our heart language, and KNOW IT WELL!  And with the baptism in Holy Ghost, we can go even further.  With that gift from the Lord, we can speak the inner-circle language of Father that only the God-head understands.  The Scriptures call it a mystery.  And in that communication, we move into the highest level of spiritual authorization, for it is the perfect will and mind of our Father.  It is, if you will accept this, a language known only to Him, and which He can, upon His choosing, make know (understood) to His ambassadors.  It is by knowing well heaven’s heart language that our communication can rise to its highest level. 

Manna for Today – Isaiah 28:9-16; Ephesians 4:29; Philippians 4:6-9; Joshua 1:6-9; Isaiah 55:11;           Luke 1:37 (Amplified Bible); Mark 11:22-24; Matthew 12:37; Psalm 91; 1 Corinthians 12-14

End Game – Know Where You Are in the Game

When it’s a MUST-WIN moment, you want all your players at the peak of their game.

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Acts 2:17 – And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

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Jehovah God is NOT a loser.  He ALWAYS wins.  He has not lost in the past, He is not losing now, and He will not lose in the future, no matter how near of far that future is.  God has a plan.  You know that when you understand that Jesus was crucified before the foundation of the world.  God has a plan, and you are a part of it.  He NEVER retreats, or goes backward.  Think of this; the New Testament is more glorious than the Old Testament.  The second wine at the wedding feast of Cana was better than the first wine.  The second draught of fish was greater than the first draught of fish, and the net did not break the second time around.  He poured out the early rain, and has now poured out the latter rain, but in the last days, He will pour out the early and latter rains together.  He always saves the best for the last.  You were not born in this age by accident or chance.  When you were conceived in your mother’s womb, it was Father Who gave the spirit, the real you.  You have purpose.  Discover it, develop in it, and obey Holy Spirit in demonstrating it.  You need to know where you are in the game, and where you are is “the last days” of this age.  

You have access to the full authority (exousia) of Jesus in His Name, and His full ability (dunamis) by Holy Spirit.  We have full access to His Word.  We are His ambassadors, and as such, operate with His full backing, ability, and authority.  We have been authorized in His Name to do the same works that Jesus did, and even greater works.  Again I say to you, you have a divine purpose in the earth for this time.  Don’t miss it.  Believe it.  Accept it.  Take hold of it.  Your anointing will teach you, and the power of God will flow through you.  Father’s plan WILL BE fulfilled.  Don’t abdicate your role to someone else.  Go to the Word, abide in the Word, listen to and yield to Holy Ghost.  There are good works with your name on them waiting for your arrival.  Be on time.  To do that, you need to know where you are in the game right now.  You can only know that by the Word and Spirit of God.  He is waiting to guide you into this “End Game” so you can fulfill that which He desires of you.  Stand up, be counted, walk in obedience, and stay ready.

Manna for Today – Acts 2:14-41; Isaiah 2:2; Micah 4:1; Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 2:10; 2 Timothy 3:1; Hebrews 1:1-3; Hebrews 4:3; James 5:3; 1 Peter 1:20; 2 Peter 3:3; Revelation 17:8

End Game – Know the Play

Not knowing how to execute usually means defeat; maybe even a short career.

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Romans 10:17 – So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

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God said He would satisfy us with long life.  That, dear reader, is an awesome promise.  He didn’t promise to keep you here until He’s finished with you.  He said He would satisfy YOU with long life.  So why does it seem so many believers die so young, so early in life, well before a long life is experienced?  According to the Scriptures, there are three very clear reasons why people die prematurely; (1lack of knowledge, (2having no vision, & (3failing to discern the body of Christ.  This is not make-believe, my friend.  This is the Word of God.  All three could be summarized in one statement; NOT KNOWING THE PLAY.

Imagine showing up to play NFL football in a baseball uniform.  Someone is operating without knowledge, vision, or discernment.  That same line of thinking translates perfectly into the realm of the Spirit.  For example, all forms of prayer do not operate by the same rules.  The prayer of petition and supplication does not operate by the same rules as the prayer of dedication or commitment.  Prayers of thanksgiving, praise, and worship OFFER something to the Lord.  The prayer of petition and supplication ASK something of the Lord.  There are different rules.  Failure to know such things is a lack of knowledge, and that lack of knowledge could prove to be fatal, for there are times when one’s very life hangs on the prayer he prays.  Many Christians are merely existing, not knowing the true purpose of their life in Christ.  That is living without vision.  This, too, can be a deadly lifestyle.  Discerning the body of Christ involves recognizing placement of people within the body for the function they are anointed to perform.  And that includes recognizing the same for one’s self.  Failure here breeds, or opens the way for weakness, sickness, and even death.

Healing and provision, while both the will of God, are not manifest in the same way.  Healing has already been delivered to the body, and is the work of the believer to hold on to what has already been given.  Provision and prosperity are available to the body of Christ, but there are laws of reciprocity that need to be obeyed by the believer in order to receive at the fullest level.

In all these things, and in many others, one needs to know precisely what is happening and what one’s role is in that process in order to receive the full benefits from that process.  Father takes pleasure in giving the fullness of the kingdom to His people.  He is not withholding from you.  As a member of God’s family, of Father’s team, you need to know the play.  Pray, my friend, seek His face, keep yourself in the love of God.  He will show you the play and your role in it in all the detail you need.

Manna for Today – Romans 10:6-17; 2 Corinthians 2:5-11; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; Psalm 91; Hosea 4:6; Proverbs 29:18; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

End Game – Know Your Enemy – Part 2

There is a difference in a person and a device.  Know Satan’s devices.  Know God personally.

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2 Corinthians 2:11 – Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

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When Jesus was baptized by John, He departed that place being led by Holy Spirit to the battleground on which He would personally give Satan a sound defeat.  Jesus went into the wilderness, but He did not go alone.  He took Holy Ghost with Him; the Holy Spirit that came upon Him when He was baptized.  It was the same Holy Spirit that worked to bring about the conception of the Word in Mary’s womb.  It was that same Holy Spirit in that same power that now came with Jesus to the wilderness.  And please note one more thing.

When Jesus was conceived in Mary’s womb, it was by the Word of God.  Jesus became the living Word in the earth.  He was the Word made flesh.  Do you see the pattern?  First, the Word is given, then spoken, and then acted upon by Holy Ghost.  The angel gave the Word to Mary.  Mary said, “Be it unto me according to your Word.”  Holy Ghost came in His power and acted upon that Word, and Jesus came forth.  After His baptism, we can watch as that same principle is applied during His temptation in the wilderness.  Following His 40-day fast, Jesus came to the point of temptations.  He was hungry, and was tempted to provide for Himself and DISTRUST Father.  He was now empowered to win the victory over Satan, and was tempted to show how powerful He was and DISOBEY Father.  He was now about to retake all that man had lost, and was tempted to get it the easy way and DISOWN Father.  Every temptation Satan can put before fits one of these; DISTRUSTDISOBEY, OR DISOWN Father. 

But in every case, Jesus had the ANSWER IN the Word, along with the POWER OF the Word, and the EMPOWERMENT OF Holy Ghost.  That’s where you and I come to the “End Game” of this hour.  Jesus totally defeated Satan and all his devices, demonstrating to us how to use the tools He has given us.  Now it’s up to us to follow His example, imitate Him, and demonstrate that total defeat which He wrought over Satan.  You’ve been born again (authorized), baptized (obeyed), and now you need to be filled with (baptized in) Holy Ghost.  If you are already baptized in Holy Ghost, the baton has passed to you.  If not, then ask the Lord to fill you.  Find someone who can help you.  In the meantime, you need to know whose you are, who you are, your position, the rules, how to be in peak condition, and your enemy.  Satan is your enemy.  Anything crosswise with the Word of God is your enemy.  When you’re there, go to work.

Manna for Today – 2 Corinthians 2:5-11; Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; Isaiah 54:17;          Psalm 91; Luke 1:38

End Game – Know Your Enemy

You don’t have to behave like your enemy to know him, but to defeat him, you need to know him.

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2 Corinthians 2:11 – Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

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In professional sports, teams watch footage of the opposing team, seeking to discover their strengths, weaknesses, patterns, and idiosyncrasies.  After Patton gave Rommel a sound defeat, it is said that Patton of Rommel, “I read your book.”  My friend, Satan doesn’t have a book.  He works very hard to keep himself and his devices hidden.  But it’s impossible to stay hidden in the dark when the lights have been turned on.  It is the entrance of God’s Word that brings light.  If you want to recognize Satan and his devices, study the Word of God.  Know it intimately.  Rightly divide the Word.  Discover how the Lord always defeats Satan.  Read God’s book.  It’s called the Word of God, the Bible, the Scriptures.  Make it a major daily portion of your life.  Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that comes forth from the mouth of God. 

Knowing God’s Word intimately is one of the paramount tools God has given you to defeat Satan.  You don’t have to study the enemy to know his devices.  You don’t have to follow him around to know what he is attempting to do.  You don’t need tests and trials to determine if you are ready to defeat him.  What you need is the Word.  We see this principle and pattern put to work in the early part of the ministry of Jesus Himself.  When Jesus was about 30-years old, He came to John to be baptized where He said it was necessary that He fulfill all of righteousness.  We are talking about (at that time), the “only begotten Son of God.”  After being baptized, Holy Ghost came upon Him, and Father said He was well pleased with His Son.  Jesus was born, but you need to be born again.  Have you been born again?  If so, you need to be baptized, not to be saved, but to fulfill all of righteousness and follow in obedience to Jesus.  Have you been baptized?  if so, well.  If not, get busy.

It was at this point that Jesus was led of Holy Spirit to a place where Father knew Satan would come against Him and face his first big defeat by Jesus Himself.  In the wilderness, Satan tempted Jesus three times with the three greatest temptations he can bring; the lust of the flesh (hunger), the pride of life (show me what you can do), and the lust of the eyes (look at what you can have.”  In all three temptations, Jesus used the most powerful tool He had . . . the Word of God.  At each temptation, Jesus used the phrase, “It is written.”  He was talking about the written Word of God.  If Jesus had to use this method, then you and I MUST imitate Him, for by so doing, we can overcome every device Satan has.

Manna for Today – 2 Corinthians 2:5-11; Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; Isaiah 54:17;          Psalm 91

End Game – Know How to Be in Peak Condition

If a competitor expects to win, being in peak condition is an absolute MUST.

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Jude 20-21 – But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

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Having been deeply involved in martial arts (second degree Black belt in Taekwondo and Kempo) for more than 50-years, and being a certified physical trainer, I believe I have a clear understanding of the need to be in peak physical condition for certain activities.  This truth can also be accurately applied to issues of the human spirit and soul (mind, will, intellect, & emotions).  Less than peak physical conditioning can seriously elevate one’s chances of being injured or killed in some sports.  Less than peak soulish condition can almost assure a weakened will, diminished intellectual capacity, or out of control emotions.  Less than peak spiritual condition can leave you vulnerable to spiritual attacks, especially in those areas in which the Lord has anointed you for service, or as it could be said, in your place of anointing, or when you step outside your anointing.  I have already written about your need to “Know Your Position.”  If that is true in human sports, it is exponentially true in the realm of the spirit.

The body needs physical proper diet, exercise, rest, and proper training.  The soul needs the same things, as does the human spirit.  Here I will deal with the spirit-man. 

  • Proper Spiritual Diet – feed your spirit on that which edifies; feed daily upon the Word of God; glean all you can from sound ministers of the Word of God through their writings, speaking, and modeling; avoid polluting elements; take heed how and what you hear.
  • Proper Spiritual Exercise – the just shall live by faith that works by love; without faith it is impossible to please God; build yourself up on your most holy faith, praying in the Spirit; when your faith is tried, let patience have her perfect work; avoid worry, fret, fear, and anxiety; walk in love.
  • Proper Spiritual Rest – the Lord expects and commands us to rest; man should have at least one day of rest out of each seven; this is more than physical rest; praying in the Spirit is our God-given mode of rest for the spirit-man.
  • Proper Spiritual Training – we have been given the five-fold ministry whose work is the “perfecting of the saints.”; Jesus is our example to be imitated; meditate upon the Word; whatever you do in word or deed, do it unto the Lord; be led by the Spirit.

It’s up to you.  You have been presented with all the tools you need.  Grow up in the Lord.  Be sure you choose wisely those to whom you turn for training.  It’s your choice.  Once again, it’s up to you.

Manna for Today – Jude 17-23; Ephesians 6:10-18; Romans 10:6-17; Ephesians 3:14-21; Mark 4:24; Luke 8:18; Proverbs 4:20-23; Joshua 1:8; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38; Hebrews 11:6;       Matthew 6:34; James 1:1-8; 2 Corinthians 10:4-6; 1 Peter 5:6-7; 1 John 4:18; Isaiah 28:9-13; Ephesians 6:10-18; Philippians 2:5; Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:11; Colossians 3:17