High Priorities (3)

If God says you MUST have it, then you MUST have it.  It’s that simple.

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1 Peter 1:14-16 – As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

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I can’t think of a better place to begin than the beginning.  And as it regards FAITH as one of God’s highest priorities, there is no better place to begin than to realize where Father sets His regard for faith.  These are strong words that must not be set aside.  “Without faith, it is impossible to please Him (God).”  Dear friend, these words should be burned into our consciousness in such a way as to never be removed from our thinking.  I have a strong passion in my heart to please my heavenly Father.  If you are a child of God, I believe you do, too. 

To fulfill that intense passion, I MUST have a living and vital faith in my life to do so.  To do that, it is required of me to do whatever is necessary to have, maintain, and continually grow my faith in Him.  The Scriptures clearly define faith.  According to Father’s Word, faith is the NOW, and faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.  We know, too, that faith calls things that are not as though they were.  Faith is the parent creator force of all that exists.  Father used it to create the entire world, including the dust from which He formed us.  The just SHALL LIVE by faith, or they are NOT the just. 

We know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.  Every believer received “the measure of faith” at the point of the new birth, and that measure of faith is increased as we hear, receive, and believe the Word of God.  Faith should be an ever-increasing force of the Spirit in our hearts and lives.  We know that through faith we can receive from Father whatever we desire in our hearts, if we believe, and do not doubt in our hearts.  When we live in that manner, our lives are pleasing to Father.  His established will is performed in the earth through faith.  We receive whatever we need and desire through faith.  Mountains are moved through faith.  Fruitless elements in our lives can become fruitful or removed by faith.  Is it by the application of faith in Father’s Word, whether applied to life, healing, provision, abundance, deliverance, freedom, and honoring Father, that the evidence of faith becomes manifest reality, experience become testimony, and knowing that produces hope in our lives.  Living by faith is, without a doubt, one of God’s highest priorities for His children.  Embrace it, my friend, honor Father, and walk in blessings ONLY Father can provide.

Manna for Today – 1 Peter 1:3-25; Mark 11:22-24; Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Romans 4:17;   Romans 10:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 11:1-6; Romans 12:3; Galatians 5:6

High Priorities (2)

It was Paul who wrote the words, “But the greatest of these is love.”

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1 Peter 1:14-16 – As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

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Allow me to state some well-known truths.  Without faith it is impossible to please God.  Faith works by love.  Love never fails.  Perfect love casts out all fear.  The victory that overcomes the world is faith.  Each of these statements are absolutely Biblical, accurate according to the Word of God, and are fully true.  Each of these statements are generally well-known in the body of Christ, especially among those who have had any real time of study and reading in the Word of God.  The “high priority” we encounter today is LOVE – the love of God.

What is the love of God?  Let us define it accurately according to the Word of God.  The Scriptures declare, “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.”  That is the Bible’s own clear definition of the love of God.  There is nothing there about feelings or emotions.  What we DO SEE is that the love of God is a choice – a very clear choice.  The LOVE of God IS KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS.  It’s that simple.  Put aside emotions.  It has NOTHING to do with emotions.  Put aside feelings.  It has NOTHING to do with feelings.  Once again, it is a clear choice, and at that, a very clear PERSONAL choice. 

We read the very words of Jesus Himself saying, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”  Do you see that?  The love of God is a clear personal choice, and it requires action as a part of that choice.  The love of God is not demonstrated is word, but in action – your action – your PERSONAL CHOICE TO ACT.  And that action is to keep, to obey, to carry out, to be doers of the Word of God. 

Consider this.  GOD IS LOVE!  It does not say that God speaks love, though He does.  It does not say that God feels love, though I’m sure He does.  It does not say that God does love, though I am absolutely sure He does.  It DOES say, “GOD IS LOVE!”  It is Who He is.  And because it is Who He is, we know that God speaks, feels, and does love.  Who are you?  Are you a Christian?  If you are, you’re a child of God.  If you are a child of God, do you properly identify with your Father?  In the natural, I’m a Moorefield.  My children are Moorefield’s.  God is love.  Then you, too, are love.  Live it, speak it, feel it, do it, model it, and be it.  It is, indeed, among the highest of priorities.

Manna for Today – 1 Peter 1:3-25; 1 Corinthians 13; John 14:15-17; 1 John 5:3; John 3:16-17;               1 John 4:7-21; Galatians 5:6; 2 Peter 1:3-9

High Priorities (1)

Obedience can be a difficult choice, but not nearly as difficult as the results of disobedience.

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1 Peter 1:14-16 – As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 

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I have often heard people make the statement that obeying the Lord is never difficult.  People who make statements of that kind reveal a very shallow understanding of life, especially in the arena of leadership.  I can tell you unequivocally that while obedience is certainly better than sacrifice, there are times when obedience can be a difficult decision.  Jesus certainly acknowledged such through His life in His earthly ministry.  Consider the following moments in His ministry.

When Jesus encountered the man with the withered hand, He was angry with the religious minded folks when He healed on the Sabbath.

When Jesus took His stand to speak truth, regardless of how people reacted, His own mother and family walked away from Him.  It’s tough when you own parents turn away from your ministry.

When Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane before His arrest, the pressure in His obedient action was so great His sweat became like drops of blood.

Yet in times like these just cited, Jesus walked in obedience to Father.  He declared He always did those things that please the Father.  He was a son of covenant.  When a Jewish boy turns 13 years old, he celebrates the rite of bar mitzvah.  The word “bar” means “son of.”  For instance, King David was called “David ben (another way of saying “bar”) Jesse,” meaning the son of Jesse.  Solomon would have been Solomon ben (barDavid.  Jesus, as recognized by those among whom He grew up would have been known as Jesus bar Joseph.  But when used in the term bar mitzvah, it is not a matter of being a son through birth, but a son through growth and qualification, for the word “mitzvah” means “commandment.”  Hence, the term bar mitzvah means that one has grown up and passed the test to be known as a “son of commandment.”

Such a term was not only a ceremony, but a point of taking on a new identity that spoke to the highest levels of righteousness, obedience, and holiness before the Lord.  Jesus did not simply experience the rite, or ceremony, of bar mitzvah, He became Jesus, bar Mitzvah, or JesusSon of Commandment.  Far more than implication, He pledged Himself in that ceremony, and by accepted that title, to be completely obedient and compliant with Father’s will and commands.  My dear friend, when you made Jesus you Lord and Savior, being born again by Holy Ghost, and being washed in the blood of the Lamb, you became bar Mitzvah.  I became Beechard bar Mitzvah.  That is more than a title, dear one; it is a lifestyle to be deliberately lived by faith.

Manna for Today –  1 Peter 1:3-25; 1 Samuel 15:22-23; John 14:15-17; 1 John 5:3; Mark 10:29-30;     Mark 3:1-6; Matthew 12:46-50; Luke 22:39-46; John 8:29

For His Children

Some of God’s blessings are for every living person; some are only for His children.

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Luke 11:13 – If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

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The topic of my writing today as been a point of debate, likely throughout church history, but certainly so in the 20th , and so far, in the 21st centuries.  I do not write today to stir more debate, but to simply point at the truth of the Scriptures.  We MUST allow the Scriptures to speak for themselves, and not attempt to add to them or distract from them.  As I stated in my opening statement, there are blessings from God that can easily generally be accessed by any living person whenever they choose.  For instance, the air we breathe, the normal abilities available to any normally healthy person; all these are blessings made available by Jehovah God.  But there are certain blessings that are accessible ONLY to that person who is child of God, or to say it more distinctly, to one who has been born again.  The one about which I write today is the baptism in Holy Spirit, or the infilling by Holy Spirit.  Let’s consider accurately what the Scrip-tures declare.

Look at our Text for Today. This verse is clearly speaking to the issue of receiving Holy Ghost as a gift from Jehovah God.  Look closely at what it says.

  • “If ye then” – “ye” is “you.”
  • “being evil” – this means being human, or of earthly origin
  • “know how to give good gifts unto your children” – this speaks to the love of a parent for his child.  Do you have a child?  Do you love your child?  If your child asks something of you that is good for the child, and that you can legitimately provide to the child, would you provide it?  Of course, you would.  That is the point of this statement.  And the element of connection that creates such a giving attitude is a very specific relationship – parent to child.
  • “how much more shall your heavenly Father” – if a natural parent’s love for his child would create such a giving heart, then it would stand to reason that Jehovah God, Who is perfect, would have an even higher love-response to His children.  Surely God is greater in His capacity to His children than natural man is to his.  And again, we see a distinct father to child relationship.
  • “how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” – this element of our Text for Today should make it absolutely clear.  In order to receive the gift of Holy Spirit, there must exist a Father to child relationship between the one who asks and the One Who gives. 

If Jehovah God is your Father through the new birth, Holy Spirit is available to you for the asking.  All you must do is believe, ask, and receive.  Don’t pass up such a blessing.

Manna for Today – John 14:15-17; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:9-10

The Basics (6)

Proverbs 15:4 – “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.”

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2 Peter 1:3 – According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

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In our discussion over recent days, we have examined three powerful basics needed to serve the body of Christ and our Christian walk at the highest level.  Though not exhaustive in our study, we have taken a look at EARS to hear what Holy Spirit is saying, EYES to clearly see what Father in doing so we can accurately recognize signs, and HEARTS/MINDS of clear understanding that will enable us to build upon a long-lasting foundation.  Today I want us to look at one more element of these all-important basics, and that is having a MOUTH/TONGUE with the boldness to righteously speak, “Thus saith the Lord.”

We live in a day of a myriad of voices all about us, all seemingly seeking for our attention.  Some of them are intent upon speaking truth that carries the potential to free us and enable us to follow hard after the Lord.  But sadly, I believe the majority of those voices lead us to deception, either ignorantly or deliberately.  We must be aware that good intentions alone are not sufficient to guide us at this hour.  We MUST know and have the truth.  I am convinced there are many good people with right intentions who are deceived.  I am also convinced that there are many evil people who deliberately speak lies, flatteries, sweetened words intent upon deceiving the people of God and ultimately overthrowing the church and righteous living.  They need to be clearly recognized, identified, and challenged by those who know truth, boldly proclaim truth, and do so with such accuracy that the words from their mouths could be highlighted with “Thus saith the Lord.”

In times like these in which we find ourselves, multitudes of people are hurting, troubled, fearful, and deeply deceived.  In such conditions, it becomes easy for one to lean towards SWEET words that appear to comfort, and avoid the SALTY words that can often sting, especially in the wounds created by all the turmoil about us.  Still, the Scriptures do NOT declare that we are the SUGAR of the earth, but the SALT.  But because sweetness is so much more generally sought that saltiness, many voices give themselves to the sweet.  Because of that, many vocal platforms, including many pulpits, have replaced the true salt of God’s fiery breath that purifies and preserves with breath mints of social popularity kept in darkened pockets in religious wrappers.  Pray, my friend, that from the church will arise salted voices that heal, preserve, and retain the water of the Word in this world.

Manna for Today – 2 Peter 1:1-12; Philippians 4:9; Matthew 6:25-34; Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:6; Proverbs 15:4; Psalm 12:3; Proverbs 7:12; Proverbs 26:28; Ezekiel 12:24; 1 Thessalonians 2

The Basics (5)

I’ll say it again, “Without understanding, there is no long-lasting or sure foundation.”

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2 Peter 1:3 – According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

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Yesterday I write to you of King David being known as a man after God’s Own heart.  David sought to be a man of understanding.  I likewise mentioned several names of Biblical leaders who had that same frame of mind.  They sought to be people of true understanding in both heart and mind.  Being a person of true understanding requires commitment, time, discipline, a teachable spirit, purpose, and true, Biblical humility.  I’m not going to ask if you have those traits.  You do!  What I will ask you is this; “How badly do you want it?”

In the natural world, people seek, knowledge, then understanding, and finally wisdom.  In the kingdom of God, that is backwards.  In God’s kingdom, wisdom comes first.  In God’s mind, wisdom makes the choice to obey God above all else.  That is the first thing He expects from His children.  Obedience is better than sacrifice.  To obey, or keep, His commandments is to walk in love, and that is the basis upon which all in His kingdom rests, and by which faith works.  Likewise, in God’s kingdom, knowledge is last; that being true revelation knowledge of God’s life, light, and love, that surpasses understanding and is the building rock upon which the entire kingdom of God is built.  In both cases, whether viewed from the world’s perspective, or God’s, understanding is in the middle. 

If you have an understanding heart and mind, you have the basis for building a life-foundation that is absolutely unshakable.  The word, “understanding,” is a compound word, meaning “to stand under.  “To stand” is indicative of being upright, honest, having integrity.  It implies a choice to take a position.  But unlike standing alone, “to understand” is to take a position relative to something you regard more highly than self.  You position yourself “under” something.  You stand “under” something.  You firmly fix yourself “under” something.  And in the case of our discussion, “to understand” is to take a firm stance under the authority of God’s Word.  And note, too, that we are speaking in the sense of a gerund (a verb with an “ing” ending) – UNDERSTANDING.  If you have not already done so, I urge you to make your choice to be an understanding one today.  Rise up in faith, obey the Word to operate in a foundation of love, and refuse to move from your place of submission to God’s Word.  It is in such a relationship that your understanding will grow stronger and stronger, deeper and deeper, and clearer and clearer, and will begin to reveal to you more and more of the depth of God’s knowledge for the power and victory you need in these last days.

Manna for Today – 2 Peter 1:1-12; Philippians 4:9; Matthew 6:25-34; Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:6

The Basics (4)

Without understanding, there is no long-lasting and sure foundation.

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2 Peter 1:3 – According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

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King David was call “a man after God’s Own heart.”  David was longing to manifestly known as a true son of God.  He cried out for God to “renew a right spirit” in him.  What a beautiful Old Testament insight into what we now know would be known as the new birth; to be born again with a new nature.  In this hour of time, as never before in human history, mankind is starving and desperate for men and woman of God who are truly endowed with and know how to use the “mind of Christ.”  We are told to “let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus.”  Those are strong words beyond natural human comprehension, and without the manifest presence of Holy Spirit, impossible to be known through man.

As the Scriptures clearly tell us that we have many instructors, but few fathers.  Instructors pass on information; data.  Fathers pass on life, history, vision, purpose, and truth.  In our present age, we are living in a society saturated with information.  It is called the information age, and that natural knowledge that is being passed down is multiplying at an exponential rate.  Sadly, that which is passed on to sons from fathers seems to be in short supply.  Oh that our heavenly Father would raise up among His sons those who would willingly and purposefully accept His assignment as fathers who not only have hearts and minds that understand the will and plan of Father, but are anointed to pass it on.  Dear reader, the church is in desperate need of men and women with such intent that the lust of the flesh, the pride of life, and the cares of this life holds NO sway over them, but with the boldness of the Lion of Judah will shine forth the light of the glorious Gospel.

The Scriptures clearly tell us that Jesus is coming for a glorious church that is without spot, wrinkle, or blemish.  Such a church will be comprised of people who put their complete trust in the Lord, will stand for and truth regardless of the cost, and will be living representations of the Word of God in the midst of a corrupt and perverse generation.  Such leaders were found by several names in the Old Testament; Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, Gideon, Deborah, Elijah, Joseph, Daniel, Samson, Elihu, and Elisha are examples.  In the New Testament, too, they are found in the Apostles and many of their followers.  All those, however, were before us.  We have need of such leaders today.  Will you be one?  You can be.  It’s up to you.

Manna for Today – 2 Peter 1:1-12; Philippians 4:9; Matthew 6:25-34; Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:6; Romans 8:14-19; 1 Corinthians 4:15

The Basics (3)

More important than WHAT we see are the eyes WITH WHICH we see it.

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2 Peter 1:3 – According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

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Do you prize clear, sharp, accurate vision?  I certainly do, and for so many arenas of life-activities.  I am deeply appreciative for having been able to see the things I’ve seen – sites in nations of the world, the people I have seen, the events I have enjoyed and the many in which I have been able to participate.  I am especially thankful for the joys I have beheld; my bride coming down the aisle, my sons at birth, and the joy of seeing the hand of God do so many marvelous works in ministry to people.  For all these sights I am deeply grateful.  But even many blind people have amazing perceptive abilities.  However, I truly believe there are certain experiences in their life they would gladly have missed for the ability to see clearly. 

God has given you five physical senses.  Among them is sight.  As a general rule, it is believed that the vast majority of sensory input and knowledge uptake that comes into our lives comes through sight.  Sight is so very important.  We know that we can be deceived by what we see, so seeing accurately and clearly should be highly valued. 

Our world is filled to overflowing with deception, destruction, and distraction.  The deception flows from liars all about us.  The destruction flows from the will of the deceived.  The distraction arises from all the scenes being played in full emotional frenzy before our eyes.   And then factor into all that the powerful catalyst of the lust of the eyes; men desiring what others have, and more, while possessing no true ability to use it for any kind of true good.  Such greed leads to stealing, plunder, spiteful destruction, and the slaying of the innocent.

I pray to God that He will grant His people eyes to see clearly what He is doing, and to recognize the true signs of the time.  I beseech you, almighty Father, give your people eyes to see that the glitter of this world is nothing more than store-bought plastic and foil that is without value; fake gold.  But may they clearly recognize the true gold of the kingdom of God that has been purchased by the blood of Jesus, and is to be used in the power of Holy Spirit through faith.  May Your church clearly see your call for it to be glorious, without spot, wrinkle, or blemish.

Manna for Today – 2 Peter 1:1-12; Philippians 4:9; Matthew 6:25-34; Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:6; Psalm 34:8; Hebrews 2:9

The Basics (2)

If you don’t know how to possess what is yours, keeping it can be difficult.

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2 Peter 1:3 – According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

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Do you have ears to hear what the Spirit of God is saying to the church?  You should, for Father has given you all things that pertain to life and godliness.  That includes ears to hear.  The next question that arises is this; do you know how to use them correctly to assure that what you are hearing is indeed the voice of the Spirit as He speaks to the church?  In this hour, dear reader, the answer to that question is absolutely critical to your ability to walk and live this life in victory.

We are surrounded by more voices of spiritual influence at one time than ever before in history.  They come at us from every point of the conference, from every plane of existence, from all around us, not just circumferentially, but spherically, too.  They come at us from every media stream, every estate of our life, every place in which we draw breath, and that includes friends and family.  They come as ideas, belief systems, individuals, groups, institutions, and even our churches.  The air waves about us are absolutely embalmed with them.  And what is so dangerous about most of those voices is that they are dangerous.  There is only ONE true source of  truth, and that is from the Word of God made flesh.  Anything, and I truly mean ANYTHING that is counter to the Word of God is dangerous, and must be filtered through the capturing element of the Word of God rightly divided. 

There are voices that intend to deliberately hurt you.  There are voices with good intentions, but with the foundation of the truly divided Word of God, are very dangerous to you.  But, thank God there are voices that are properly tied to the heart of God, speaking truth, shedding forth light, and opening doors through which the glory of God can cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.  These are the voices we most need to hear, the voices for which our hearts cry.  It is to that end that I write this today.  We have ears.  Let us believe the Lord that our ears are hearing ears, ears that hear and recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd.  May we be able to cry out to Father, we have ears to hear what Holy Spirit is saying to the church.  We will give our ears, not to the clamoring self-serving, not to the clanging strife-sowers, not to the fear-mongering victim-minded, and not to those out to obviously destroy the Lord, His true influence, the body of Christ, and His kingdom; BUT WE GIVE OUR EARS TO YOU, O LORD, THAT WE MIGHT CLEARLY HEAR THAT WHICH YOU DESIRE US TO DO.  AND WE WILL OBEY.

Manna for Today – 2 Peter 1:1-12; Philippians 4:9; Matthew 6:25-34; Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:6; Mark11:15, 13:9, & 13:43; Luke 8:8 & 14:35

The Basics (1)

All people don’t have the same needs, but there are some things all people need.

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2 Peter 1:3 – According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

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There are certain things in life that EVERY human being MUST have; air, water, food, and shelter of some sort.  And even in these elements, not all human beings have the same requirements.  For example, while we all need air, some people, having grown in the high Andes seem to be able to get along excellently in life, while others, having grown up in coastal parts of the same continents find it difficult to function for long periods of time at altitude.  While both sets of people need air, they don’t all need air with the same level of oxygen.  There are many other such examples, but for time and space, I will settle for that one.

Take a moment and read our Text for Today once more.  There is absolutely NOTHING that anyone needs for life and godliness that our Father has NOT provided to us, and that in abundance.  Every believer should make that knowledge a part of their unshakable faith in the Lord Jesus.  When one is a legitimate LORD over any other person, the LORD, by virtue of his title, is fully responsible for the basic life needs of anyone subject to him, as well as for the things necessary for that person to be a growing, productive, and supportive member of the community or kingdom under that LORD.  While there have been many good men who have sought to fulfil that standard in life, no natural man has ever been able to rise to that standard, except ONE.  His Name is Jesus.  He is King of kings and Lord of lords.  If Jesus is your King of kings and Lord of lords, you live in the only kingdom in which you can live being fully assured that you NEVER have to worry or be concerned about suffering lack in any arena of need in your life.  All you must do is BELIEVE

Jesus has said that all your basic needs of life, including air, water, food, clothes, and shelter will be provided to every covenant member of His kingdom, shall be provided, even to those of little faith.  All that is needful for that person is to believe what Jesus said, and avoid being full of care, worrying, fretting, or being anxious about it.  On the part of the believer, that requires constantly feed and meditating upon the Word of God, for the faith required to live in such a life come by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.  Don’t allow yourself to be drawn into the worry trap by the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things.

Manna for Today – 2 Peter 1:1-12; Philippians 4:9; Matthew 6:25-34; Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:6