End Game – Know How to Be in Peak Condition

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

_________________________

End Game – Know How to Be in Peak Condition

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.

_________________________

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

End Game – Know the Rules

You CANNOT effectively compete unless you know the rules. Ultimately you CANNOT cheat and win.

___________________

Isaiah 55:11 – So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

______________________

If you don’t know the rules, regardless of how athletic you are, you can’t compete well in the game.  And no matter how honest you are, you can’t referee the game, this having true impact on the game’s outcome, unless you know the rules.  Almost anyone can umpire a child’s softball game.  But if you’re going to umpire a game of the world’s series, you must not only know the rules, but know them very well, and have a proven track record.  Well my friend, there is no more important competition you can enter than the good fight of faith.  That is a fight under the authority of God.  But just because you are God’s child does not mean you win.  You must still play by the rules, and to play by the rules, you must know the rules, and know them well.  Your decisions on how you play must often be made quickly.  You may not have time to go back to study the rule book.

Let me share some examples concerning rules of the game.  Look at various kinds of prayer; thanksgiving, praise, worship, binding & loosing, supplication, dedication, commitment, intercession, praying in the Spirit.  Not all the same rules of prayer apply to each of these kinds of prayer.  If you want your prayer to be properly effective, you must accurately apply the rules.  The five-fold ministry; apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, & teacher.  Not all rules of ministry apply equally to each office of ministry.  If you want your ministry to be most effective, you must abide by the rules that govern these offices of ministry.  When you fast, do you do so Biblically?  You must know the rules.  The laws of reciprocity (sowing and reaping) are different in each arena of the types of giving; tithing (Malachi 3:8-10), commanded giving, or 100-fold return giving (Mark 10:29-30), treasure measure giving (Luke 6:38), and piteous giving (Proverbs 19:17).  And there are rules concerning dealing with Satan and demons.  It is so needful here that you know the rules to keep yourself from being entrapped in Satan’s devices.

And walking in the Spirit in the times in which we now live can be dangerous, deceptive, and distracting.  We truly need to know the rules, or the order in which the Scripture reveals that certain things will happen.  It’s called “rightly dividing the Word of truth.”  We must be students of God’s Word at the highest level.  

Manna for Today – Deuteronomy 28; Joshua 1:6-9; Isaiah 45:11; Psalm 119:89; Matthew 18:19-20; Mark 16:15-20; Romans 8:17; 1 Timothy 6:12; Romans 10:6-17

End Game – Know Your Position

You can be on the team, but if you don’t know what position you play, how can you prepare?

__________________

1 Corinthians 12:14 – For the body is not one member, but many.

_______________________

The topic I will be addressing for a number of days is NOT about a game.  It is very serious.  The issues we face in today’s world, dangerously infectious diseases, racial discord, highly divisive political unrest, international intrigue, religious controversy, abortion, lawlessness, and more are sad, dangerous, and most of the time, cruel to everyone involved in them.  In reality, we are in a battlefield in our age.  This is not a game.  I use the term “End Game” to simply point to the truth that we are operating in the end times, or what many would call the last days of our present age.

In order to live victoriously and free from fear at this time in human history, we need a strong relationship with and strong faith in the One true God, represented in three persons; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  And for that relationship to be its strongest, and that faith to operate at its highest possible level so we can ultimately be clear winners of this “End Game,” each player needs to know his/her position.  A game that requires a team CANNOT be played by one person.  There MUST BE at least two players in the same team.  And when, for the sake of this writing, we call the body of Christ a “team,” we MUST realize that the “team” of which we speak is comprised of hundreds of millions of human beings living in the earth. 

The church “team” is called the “body of Christ.”  Let’s compare the “body of Christ” to the body of one person, for in fact, it is.  We are the “body of Christ.”  The human body is comprised of approximately 30 trillion cells. (That’s 30,000,000,000,000.)  While they all carry the same DNA, they do not all serve the same purpose.  The body is comprised of bones with marrow, ligaments, tendons, muscles, organs, glands, skin, nails, teeth, nerves, brain, cartilage, and hair.  Each of these elements of the human body is comprised of millions of cells.  The cells in one element of the body will not, as a rule, function in other elements of the body.  Surely, we are wonderfully and fearfully made.  Each of us desperately need to know what our function(s) is/are.  Unlike the natural human body in which God’s design places cells where they should be, you and I as member of His body, have a free choice in how we serve the body.  We can choose to follow Holy Spirit and serve where we were designed to serve, or we can try to force our way into a position where we have not true fit, and by doing so, cause far more problems than our attempts to do right can fix.  If we will each serve the body of Christ to our fullest, we MUST know the position for which Father has designed us.  Holy Spirit will show you and make a place for you.  Obey Him, get in the right place, and go to work at your highest level.

Manna for Today – 1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Ecclesiastes 1:8; Matthew 18:19-20; 1 Corinthians 1:10

End Game – Know Who You Are


Do you really know who you are in Christ? 

______________________

1 Corinthians 1:30-31 – But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:  That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

_____________________

One of the statements I use often in ministry is, “If God said it, that settles it.”  I sometimes expound on that statement, especially as it relates to who we are in Christ Jesus.  I say it this way.  If God says you are, then you are.  If God says you can, then you can.  If God says you possess it, then you possess it.  Once again, “If God said it, that settles it.”

With that in mind, let’s take a few moments to lay a foundation for WHO YOU ARE in Jesus.  Let’s begin with our Text for Today.  Look closely at it.  Put in simple terms, if you are in Christ Jesus, you are redeemed, sanctified, righteous, and wise.  That’s not a bad beginning towards identifying yourself the way God has.  This is what God has said about you.  That settles it.  According to what God has said, you are a new creature in Christ; that is a new species that has never before existed.  You are the head and not the tail.  You are blessed in the city and in the field, coming in and going out.  You are a lender to many nations and not a borrower.  You are an “heir of God,” and a “joint heir with Christ.”  You are one of God’s “BELOVED.”  Wherever you find that term used as a point of identification, that Word is speaking to you.  Invest your time wisely in a diligent examination of God’s Word.  You are whoever God says you are.  You can do whatsoever God says you can do.  You possess whatever God says you possess.  You can obtain whatsoever God says you can obtain.  These last four statements convey that broad and simple truth about who you are in Christ.  If who you are in Christ does not match who you are in your own mind, change you mind.  Let the mind of Christ dwell in your richly.  Remember, and NEVER forget, if God says it, that settles it.  Build the faith of that statement into your spirit.  Build the truth of that statement into your mind until your mind is completely renewed to it.  Build the reality of that statement even into your flesh, your natural memory, and NEVER allow it to escape you.

Allow this truth to become as set as reinforced concrete in your heart and mind.  Become so determined about it, that if someone asks who you are, you are as apt to respond, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus,” as you are to respond with your birth name.  So, my friend, who are you?  In my spirit I pray I can hear you say, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.”

Manna for Today – 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Galatians 6:7; Romans 8:17; 3 John 2

End Game – Know Whose You Are


Knowing the owner can make a world of difference in outcome.  Victory belongs to you.

___________________

Song of Solomon 2:16 – My Beloved is mine, and I am His: He feedeth among the lilies.

___________________

From the moment of birth, it is important for the development of a baby that it experience a sense of belonging, a connection that words cannot describe. As the child gets older, a major portion of his identity is connected to his sense of ownership; not so much that he owns his parents, but that he is owned by his parents.  While he doesn’t understand the responsibility of ownership, he certainly enjoys the security and comfort that comes when someone else is responsible for him.

My dear fellow believer, because Jesus Christ is your Savior, you enjoy the benefits of redemption.  And because He is your Lord, you enjoy the life of sonship that clearly indicates you are God’s child, and joint heir with His first-born Son.  In the identity of those two relationships is wondrous security that He is responsible for every Word that is written about your relationship.  He is responsible to make available to you, as His heir and joint heir with Jesus, resurrection life, renewed mind, healthy body, abundance of provision, safety from every device of Satan, favor with Himself and man, and through Holy Spirit, the dunamis (ability) to utilize your full exousia (authority) that belongs to you as a child of God.

All that belongs to you because you belong to the Lord.  It is recorded in the Word of God that shall never fail, and by which God upholds all things relative to covenant.  However, all that in no way absolves us of our own responsibility.  As God’s child, you carry distinct responsibility from which you will never be excused.  It is your responsibility to be obedient to the words of Covenant.  In the Hebrew language, there is a term that is used to describe a young man’s rise to manhood in covenant.  It is “bar mitzvah.”  That term, being literally translated means “son of commandment.”  You see, God and His Word are One.  To be a son of God means you are a Son of the Word, or a “son of commandment.”  You belong to God.  You belong to Jesus.  You belong to Holy Ghost.  You belong to the Word.  When you accept that truth, yield yourself to it, knowing whose you are so dramatically frees you to carry out whatever His Word commands of you.  Oh, the glorious liberty that becomes yours when you realize that by walking in obedience to your Owner, He steps in to be fully responsible to take care of you, provide for you, to sustain you, and to back up your faithfulness to His Word when you speak as His ambassador.  Knowing whose you are in foundational to your walk in faith.

Manna for Today – 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Romans 8:14-17; John 3:16-17; Hebrews 1:3; Isaiah 55:11; John 1:1 & 14

Jesus Will NOT Fail You


Times are bad.  God is GOOD.  The days are dark.  God is LIGHT.  Where is your faith anchored?

____________________

John 10:10 – 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.

_____________________

Let’s begin by settling some identity issues.  Who is speaking in our Text for Today?  JESUS!  Who is the “thief” to whom He refers?  Satan!  Who is the “I” to whom He refers?  HIMSELF!  Who is the “they” to whom He refers?  You and me, His joint-heirs!

Set the dividing point of your thinking at this point in the Scriptures.  Jesus clearly defined Satan’s intent in anything he does, regardless of how small or grand it may seem.  He comes to steal, kill, and destroy, in that order.  He comes to steal the Word from your heart and mind, to kill you and/or your influence (favor) with God and man, and ultimately destroy every good thing you have worked and trusted the Lord to bring forth.  The devil’s tools are many, his weapons cruel and cunning, and his attacks seemingly tireless.  But that, my dear friend, should in no way influence you, for no weapon formed against you shall prosper, and your faith is the victory that overcomes the world.  And while there are many things you should always carry in your heart, one of the greatest is knowing that greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.  You are more than a conqueror.

And from our Text for Today, while the work of Satan is clearly set forth, that should not be the focus of our attention.  Our attention should be constantly focused on this great truth.  Jesus has come so that we can have life, and have it more abundantly.  Jesus, the Word made flesh, love personified, NEVER fails.  He will NEVER fail you.  His Word NEVER fails.  And in Him, in His Word, using His faith, walking in His love, you, too, shall NEVER fail. 

Though Satan’s weapons are cruel and cunning, we are clad in the armor of God that will protect from every weapon he attempts to use.  Though Satan’s attacks seem endless, we shall you be weary in well-doing, but shall always have the victory in Christ.  Though the devil’s tools are many, the weapons of our warfare are supernatural, far greater, and never-failing.  As the words of one songwriter said, “I cannot be defeated, and I will not quit; redeemed by the blood of Jesus, I’ve been loosed from Satan’s pit.  Jesus fought and He won the battle, and He gave it all to me.  I cannot be defeated.  I’m saved, I’m healed, I’m free.”  Regardless of the age, the hour, the test, and the weapons against us, WE CANNOT BE DEFEATED so long as we live by faith and walk in love.

Manna for Today – Philippians 4:19; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Psalm 23; Psalm 64; Psalm 91; Luke 1:37; Mark 11:22-24; John 14:12-14; Joshua 1:6-9; Jeremiah 29:11; Isaiah 55:11

SHALL

We should ALWAYS hold fast to God’s Word, and in this hour, that needs to be highly emphasized.

__________________________

Philippians 4:19 – But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

_________________________

In the English language, there is no word with more declarative power than SHALL / WILL.  To say, “I shall,” or “I will,” and fail to do so makes one a liar.  I understand that circumstances may prevent us at times, but we can still explain and apologize for our failure.  But to do so willfully, without legitimate reason, is to lie.  The word SHALL or WILL is, without a doubt, as strong a declarative statement as can be made.  No additional words, oaths, or even crude expletives can strengthen SHALL or WILL.

Now stop for a moment and re-read our Text for Today.  The person of whom this verse is written is our God, the great God Jehovah, and that would also include Jesus and Holy Ghost.  The three are One, and it is impossible for God to lie.  He always speaks truth, and this statement about His character and ability that was inspired by Holy Ghost cannot be anything but truth. 

Consider for a moment this age in which we are living.  This present hour of time is one of which we are warned in Scripture.  Many people are lovers of self more than anything or anyone else.  They lie to, cheat, steal from, devour, and corrupt many of the people around them.  They dishonor God.  They hate Christians and the church, and will do what they can to subvert and destroy the church.  They will seek to have Christians killed, imprisoned, abused, persecuted, and destroyed.  This is the age in which we live.  Being a Christian will not prevent these things form happening, and to ignore them can, and likely will be very costly to anyone who does. 

While all these things are true, we MUST not allow ourselves to lose clear sight of our covenant relation-ship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  I encourage you to read Deuteronomy 28:1-14 and Psalm 91.  While there are many other passages that address the issues about which I write today, these two are foundational to all God has promised His covenant people.  Regardless of what is happening in this world, regardless of its horrible estate and condition, God’s covenant with me still stands.  I am His child, His heir, a joint heir with Christ, a recipient of life in Christ and the infilling of Holy Ghost.  I am one of His anointed.  I am the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath, blessed coming in and going out.  The enemy that comes against me one way must flee seven ways.  My God supplies all my need.  I am redeemed from the curse of the law.  None of these Scriptures have in any way been made void in my life, regardless of the age in which I live, the conditions around me, or the people and spiritual estates about me.  I live by my faith in God!  I SHALL live in victory!

Manna for Today – Joshua  1:6-9; Proverbs 4:20-23; Psalm 23; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; James 1:1-8; Hebrews 6:18; Matthew 24; Psalm 91

Don’t Worry, Ever

Worry is meditation on the possibility of the unknown holding potentially bad outcomes.

__________________

Matthew 6:31 & 34 – Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  ….  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

_____________________

Worry expects the negative, the defeat, the loss, the pain, the fruitless struggle, and the like.   None of that is real while it dominates one’s spirit and soul, but it still drains all the energy necessary to overcome these things IF they become reality.  Faith, on the other hand, takes hold of the unseen evidence of the positive, the victory, the win, the gain, the joy, the harvest of wonderful fruit, and the like.  In faith, all these things are real, for they rise from a force of the spirit and not the impressions of the mind based on circumstances.  However, we all face circumstances each day we live, and they are often powerfully effective in the way they attack our minds and our faith.  All of us have, at some point in our walk with the Lord, fallen prey to the fears of life, and by that, fallen into the snare or worry where we have been robbed of peace.  We have been discouraged from the faith in which we stood, delayed or completely thwarted from the answer to our prayer, and damaged by what feels like brokenness of heart.  These things ought not be.

So, how can the believer completely overcome worry, and by that, walk in the victory promised to us by our Lord?  The answer, while simple in scope, requires one’s whole “heart, soul, mind, and strength.”  It is called the walk of love.  That is a walk in the agape love of God.  It is not about feelings or emotions.  It is a quality decision in life that one makes to walk in obedience to the Word of God.  And it when we walk in love that our faith can and will work at its highest and most effective level, for faith works by love.  When our walk of love is paramount, and our desire to please Father by living by faith is unflinching, worry will have no place in our lives.  Worry and all that is connected to it will be defeated.  Fear will be cast out and faith will serve you.  Worry shall be cast down and brought into captivity along with every worrisome thought that can arise against you.  Anxieties and cares will be cast upon the Lord who cares for us.  If there is ANY caring to be done, leave it to the Father.  He can handle it perfectly, and the believer can be free to honor the Lord, living by faith and walking in the love of God.

Manna for Today – Matthew 6:25-34; 1 Peter 5:1-11; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; 1 John 4:18; Mark 12:30; Deuteronomy 6:5; 1 John 5:3; John 14:15-17

It Is Commanded

Whatever God commands you to do, He empowers you to fulfill.

__________________

1 John 2:6 – He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

______________________

A commandment of the Lord is an order from God about which there is no choice, and from which there is no turning.  That being stated, look once again at our Text for Today.  These are marvelously powerful words that are written to us in the Scriptures.  Look at it closely.  We are to walk as Jesus walked.  Think on that.  “as He walked.”  Many would say that is not possible.  I remind you of this truth.  If God commands you to do a thing, He equips, enables, and empowers you to do it.  There will be no excuses.  We are COMMANDED to “…walk, even as He walked.”  So, how did Jesus walk?

He surely lived by faith, for He was just, and the just shall live by faith.  He perfectly pleased the Father, so, He surely walked by faith, for without faith, it is impossible to please God.  Jesus walked this earth without sin, so He surely lived by faith, for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

He walked in love.  We know that faith works by love, and Jesus never failed in any  endeavor of faith in which He engaged.  The Bible defines the love of God as keeping His commandments.  Jesus perfectly kept every command His Father gave Him, so He therefore walked in love at all times.  Likewise, the Scriptures tell us that love NEVER fails, and we know from the Scriptures that Jesus NEVER failed.

Jesus, the Word made flesh, lived the Word out in His life to the fullest.  Though heaven and earth shall pass away, the Word of God shall never pass away.  Jesus was, and is, the Word made flesh.  He shall never pass away.  Oh, but how can any human being live up to such a standard?  In the natural, it is not possible, but with God, all things are possible.  We are commanded in the Word to be “imitators of God as dear children.”  To imitate Him is to live like He lived. That does not refer to walking everywhere we go, wearing first century clothing, or speaking Aramaic and Hebrew.  What is DOES mean is to speak with the authority with which He spoke, to perform the same signs and wonders that He did, and to even do greater than He did.  James tells us that if any man does not offend in word, the same is a perfect man, and able to bridle his whole body.  Jesus spoke only that which pleased Father.  That should be our own standard.  Bridle your tongue.  Before you speak, consider what the Lord would say about your words, and speak accordingly, led by Holy Spirit and pleasing Father.

Manna for Today – 1 John 2:1-6; Ephesians 5:1; Proverbs 4:20-23; 1 Peter 1:16; 1 John 5:3; James 3:2

Needed for Fellowship and More

God’s light if filled with divine purpose.

___________________

1 John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

_____________________

We cannot say or write enough concerning the need for unity in the body of Christ, or the need of agreement in the Church, and the power of the Spirit that is manifest when the body of Christ operates together in the unity of the Spirit.  The power of God ready to be manifest when unity prevails is surely exponential in its measure.  Take the time today to read our Manna for Today passages.  They speak so profoundly to our topic here.  The power of God that can be manifest in agreement goes beyond anything our minds can grasp. 

Where two or more of us agree on anything we ask of our Father, He said He would grant it.  We are commanded to not only assemble together, but to exhort one another and the more so as we see the end of the age approaching.  And dear one, that time is surely rapidly approaching at this moment.  And the reasons for coming together expand well beyond the power level that is attained.

Take a close look at our Text for Today.  There is one of the most profound reasons for our coming together in fellowship, unity, and peace.  Look closely at its words.  When we “walk in the light,” that is, we live our lives according to the teaching of God’s Word, it will increase our fellowship, its depth and richness, and all that comes from such unity.  I want to particularly point to an element in this text that is so vital to loving a victorious Christian life.  As Christians, we should live apart from, separated from and free from sin.  In our Text for Today, we see that living the Word, obeying Father’s commands, keeping His instructions is indicative of walking in the light of God.  The Scriptures tell us that the entrance of the Word brings light.  The light in which we must walk is the instruction of His Word for our lives.  When we walk there, we have fellowship with Father, Son, Holy Ghost, AND our fellow believers who are doing the same.  When a group of believers, even a small group, has the fellowship that arises from walking in the light, the subsequent power is enormous.  I’m not writing about just gathering together in a group, but coming together in the unity of the Spirit.  In that place is the highest level of fellowship, and in that place, there is a continual cleansing for our lives by the blood of Jesus.  Just think of that; living in a place, along with others, where the presence and washing of the blood of Jesus is continually present, keeping us in a state of continued cleanness from every contaminating element of this world.  That place exists in fellowship around the Word of God.

Manna for Today – 1 John 1:1-10; Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Corinthians 1:10; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Deuteronomy 32:20; Matthew 18:19-20; Psalm 119:130