The Great Exchange

I think Christians have forgot about something very, very important.

Romans 10:9-10 says, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus paid a great price for you and me to have the highest privilege of becoming born again! Not only are we born again but we will spend eternity in Heaven…eternity! That’s eternal love, joy and peace with absolutely no pain or suffering of any sort for all eternity. Heaven will be more wonderful and glorious than we ever imagined it would be—I can promise you that.

Now, once we are born again, all He asks from us is to:

“…love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’” Mark 12:30

He freely gave us His life, and eternity with Him, all He asks from us is that we freely give our lives back to Him. Not just part of our lives, but all of our lives.

If you are born again, you belong to Jesus now. You can’t live for yourself any longer. You are not your own:

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Do you comprehend the “exchange rate” we have with God? We repent, confess, believe, become born again and live for Him with all of our heart every day for the few years (compared to eternity, it’s a few years!) we are alive in this world. What does He give us in exchange? His very life, death and resurrection, the power to live for Him in this world and an eternal home full of joy, love, peace and fellowship forever with God. I think the “exchange rate” is in our favor! It’s a great exchange. He gives me His life, I give Him my life.

This is such good news that while writing this blog, I had to keep holding back the tears. He is so good to us. Why would we not want to live on this earth to please Him? Why would we not want to follow Him and become His disciple every day? We owe Him everything, my friend.

This is your wake-up call to get your heart right with God. Quit living for yourself and live to please Him every day. Time is short. If Jesus never did another thing for us, what He has already done for us is enough to rejoice, dance, sing, love and tell everyone else of His goodness.

Whatever is holding you back from loving the Lord with ALL of your heart, soul, mind and strength, take care of business. If you have to repent—repent. If you need your heart healed—turn to the Healer. Whatever you have to do, just do it. There is no more time to waste! He loves you and He is here for you now.

You are loved!

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New Mercies!

“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

Today, I felt to send you a short word of encouragement!

In these verses in Lamentations, it is made abundantly clear that God loves and believes in you! He knew exactly what he was getting into when He called you. He did not make a mistake. You are not a mistake. You are not a hopeless hypocrite. You are His beloved!

I am going to paraphrase these two verses for you as I have studied them out.

“Because of the Lord’s incredible favor and covenant loyalty that He has towards you, you are not finished. This is not your end but only the beginning! Father God will never cease to pour out His love to you, as His love comes from the deepest place within His heart. A love so deep, intimate and tender that it will heal the deepest longing within you. This morning, Father loves you with the SAME refreshing love and mercy that He had for you yesterday when you felt like you failed the Lord in a particular area. Father’s love and faithfulness is in great abundance for you—there’s more than enough for everyone to receive it every day”

Let these words refresh your heart today. You are loved. Today is a new day!

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People Are Complicated

A close friend of mine reminded me of this the other day—people are complicated. Here’s the definition of complicated:

Complicated: consisting of many interconnecting parts or elements; intricate.

Does that sound like anyone you know?

For a moment, let’s imagine someone who is 50 years old. That person has already lived half of a century. (Let alone someone who is 90 years old!). And just at 50, that person has lived a long time and has had the opportunity to experience the good, bad and the ugly of life.

Today, this 50 year old person that I’m describing is the sum of all that they have seen, experienced, walked through, dealt with, etc. They respond, react, cry, laugh, get upset, feel, think, believe, and process life and form opinions based on how they have spent these last 50 years.

I am complicated (intricately made). You are complicated. Where am I going with this? I feel that (at 45 years old), I have finally reached a point in my life that it’s not my job to figure everyone out, where they are coming from, why did they do this or that, how come they get so offended, why they got so happy, why they are so sad, etc. I love to help people yes, but it’s more than that. It’s understanding that every single one of us are:

“…fearfully and wonderfully made” Psalm 139:14

Give people a break. Quit trying to get everyone to think and feel like you. Love people. Let the love of Jesus flow in you and through you to others so that you will see people the way God sees them not how you want them to be.

Read 1 Corinthians 13 again. People need your love, that’s the secret to it all. If they reject your love—keep loving.

On the flip side of this, we all need to take our lives and hold them up before the Lord—understanding that you are the sum of your entire life—and say, “Jesus, here’s my life. Every last little detail. Every hidden thought within my heart. Every secret. Every pain, trauma and hurt. Here’s my upbringing. Here’s my fears and my joys. Here’s my ugly parts. Here’s my complicated, fearfully wonderfully made life. Any part of this life, Jesus, that is not yielded to You, take it. I want to be free of all the hindrances in my life and all those things that continually try to tether me to this world. I want Heaven’s joy, peace and love to fill me day after day. I want to be filled with the glory of the Lord!”

The bottom line? People need a radical encounter(s) with the love of God for themselves. Pastors, teachers, apostles, prophets, evangelists, and everyone in between, help equip you to encounter more of God. But until YOU have your own deep, personal encounter(s) with God’s love, things will stay the same for you. Seek Him with ALL OF YOUR HEART and you WILL find Him, I promise.

Today, see yourself and others through the Father’s eyes of pure love.

 

 

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I Saw Satan Last Night

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I know that’s an odd title for a blog, but it’s true. Last night I had a dream where I saw a very large image of satan himself suspended in a red sky, somewhat like the picture in this blog. What he looked like does not matter, but he doesn’t look like most images we see portrayed of him.

As he was suspended in the sky, he took his hand and kept hurling something down to the earth. He looked like he was sowing something like a farmer sows a seed. And that was exactly what he was doing. As he would fling his hand across the land, he would sow demons of discord across the earth to try to influence God’s children. He did it a few times, releasing hundreds if not thousands of demons. Then he caught me looking at him doing this and I knew that he knew he got caught!

 

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 2:11, “in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”

 

I have been sharing for a while now that God loves to show us what the enemy is up to—before things happen—so we can pray and stay ahead of his plans.

 

So what does this all mean for us right now? It is the desire of the enemy to release demons of discord, strife and disunity among husbands and wives, parents and children, neighbors, coworkers, brothers and sisters in Christ, church members and the like. Be watchful because God Himself HATES discord:

 

Proverbs 6:16, 19, “These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him…A false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.”

 

Each one of us can avoid being caught in the trap and influence of discord, strife and disunity by walking in love. Remember, love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

 

If you see or feel the enemy trying to bring discord, strife and disunity, take authority over those spirits and command them to leave in Jesus name. Plead the blood of Jesus, pray in your heavenly language and choose to walk in love. And, “do not give the devil a foothold” Eph. 4:27.

 

Watch and pray beloved! The good news is that God has showed this to us ahead of time so it does not have to affect our lives in any way!

 

 

 

 

 

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Experiencing Father In Desert Places

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Psalm 63:1, “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.”

There is a vast difference between religion vs. relationship with Father. Here’s what religion is: religion is trudging through the desert (that dry and thirsty land like David spoke of) and seeing a mirage in the distance. It looks refreshing. It looks like water. But the closer you get, you are let down…it was just a mirage…it was just religion. You see in our pursuit of God, religion does not satisfy…only relationship with our Father. From a distance it may look good, feel good and sound good but it’s only a mirage of the real thing. So we go back to trudging through the desert…getting worn out, burned out and still so thirsty for the real thing…hungry for God. And religion will keep setting a mirage before us to pursue if we are not careful.

We CANNOT truly know God without a relationship with Him. Father NEVER intended for a one sided relationship with Him. Remember what Adam had in the beautiful Garden of Eden? Walking and talking with His Father. They enjoyed sweet communion together until sin entered the Garden. You see our hearts were designed to live in Eden…communion with Father. And anything less than that does not satisfy. So good hearted people on their journey to find the joy of knowing Father, “in a dry and thirsty land”, will many times settle for religion and not relationship. Again the image of the mirage. There is no joy in religion in and of itself. Religion is supposed to point us to relationship not the other way around.

Religion is do, do, do to feel accepted and loved by Father. Religion teaches that you hike through the desert and maybe if Father is in a good mood, He might give you a little sip of water to continue your journey. And if you are REALLY good, He might just give you a morsel of bread to keep you serving Him. The truth is, our lack of revelation and understanding of what can be experienced in having a relationship with Father is causing us to go from one mirage to the next, and never really feeling the joy of His love and glad heart over us.

That was all about religion…the mirage of the real thing. But relationship? Beloved, this how we are supposed to live! Here’s what relationship with Father is like: trudging through that same desert (life), you are hungry and thirsty. And in the distance you see what looks like an oasis. Could it be? The closer you get, joy begins to fill your heart…it is just that…a beautiful oasis! You sit under the shade of the trees (Song of Songs 2:3) and enjoy the fruit. You are refreshed. Your heart is glad and satisfied. You feel such great peace. You have completely forgot about the difficult journey that it took to get there. You are lovesick. You feel His presence. You enjoy His fellowship. Love for Him grips your heart and your heart is wide open to receive Father’s great love for you. This is where you literally feel Father’s banner of love over you (Song of Songs 2:4) It’s where you experience sweet communion with the Father. Beloved, this is relationship.

We find this “oasis” of divine fellowship and communion throughout each day. Sometime many times a day. Father longs for you to encounter Him in this way. He has so much to show you and share with you. He wants to talk to you about your past, present and future. He so longs for you to receive and know the depths of His amazing love. Finding Father (this figurative oasis) in desert places is one of the greatest experiences of living on this earth. Refuse anything less. Ask Father to remove all that hinders relationship. Whether it’s old religious thinking, sin, old hurt and wounds, etc. Come away and be with with Father. You are loved and He is pursuing you now. Enjoy Father’s fellowship today and every day!

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What Does Father Think About You?

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We did something at our House Church yesterday that really ministered to me personally and I hope it does you. For just a few moments, we had everyone be completely silent and hear the word or words that Father thought about them. We told them not to strive to hear, just listen to that still small voice…and it the results were amazing! What God spoke to my own heart filled me with joy! Try it. Wherever you are today, quiet yourself just for a moment and hear God thoughts about…you! He loves you so much and wants to share His heart with you…also:

We all have people in our lives that are hard to get along with, or aggravate us and so on. Practice this same principle for them. Hear God thoughts for what Father thinks about others. It doesn’t mean that you necessarily tell them, but you will hear a word or words about how Father feels towards that person that is a candidate for a “thorn in your flesh”! It works, trust me! It will change your heart and perspective towards others.

Again, same with you. What is Father thinking about you? Quiet yourself and ask Him and listen to the first thing that comes to your spirit and once you hear it (because it will not come with any condemnation), believe it and do not doubt…it is truth from the Father!

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Where is your compassion?

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Do you find this true for you?

I tend to have more compassion on those people who have been through what I have been through. Whether it was a trial, test or temptation…I feel that I can compassionately relate. However I feel I don’t have as much compassion for those people that I can’t relate with their trial, test or temptations. I find myself moving more into a judgmental attitude rather than love…because what they have done or are going through is foreign to me.

But sometimes down the road I end up going through the same test and surprise, surprise I now have compassion for others in that area.

My friends, we are took quick to judge rather than to have compassion and walk in love. The name of Jesus is synonymous with compassion. He was moved by it…and still is. We have to ask the Father to give us compassion for people and what they are going through whether we can relate or not.

I have met a few people like this over the years. They are very compassionate, understanding and full of love for people. My Grandma who went to be with Jesus a few years ago was like this…she loved me unconditionally at my worst…just like Jesus.

Let’s us all examine our hearts to see where we are at with our level of love and compassion for those things we can and cannot relate to.

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Where Does Joy Come From?

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“You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.”

The source of authentic, deep, joy and gladness comes from God and not anything this world has to offer. Yes, when the blessing of God is on our lives and when there is an overflow of finances, food and fellowship there is joy in the house. However, this type of joy and gladness fades when there is lack. BUT, there is that greater joy and gladness originating from the Father that will overflow the heart whether we are prospering or have lack. A truly blessed life is one that does not consist of material things but a heart full of the joy of the Lord!

“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalms‬ ‭16:11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

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Be You!

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Be free today from comparing yourself to others! Be who God made you to be. Enjoy your uniqueness. You are an amazing gift to the world. Father loves who you are all by yourself!

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I’m A Big Boy!

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I’m a BIG BOY!

I am sitting at Panera Bread working on a few thoughts for the word I am sharing tomorrow, when this real little boy was in front of me at the trash can and was juuuust able to throw his trash away. As he hurled it into the “massive” trash can, he proclaimed, “I’m a big boy”. With a big smile he started to jump up and down like an olympic athlete who just won the gold! My own kids have done the same thing so many times…but the older we get, we seem to lose the joy of the simple things of life. We forget to conquer the trash can, jump over a puddle (rather than adamantly walk around it), dance in the rain, spit off a bridge…you get the point. Remember those silly things you did as a kid…? I know you do. All your family and even friends would cheer as you made even the smallest of accomplishments.

Jesus encourages us in the Scripture to “change” and become like children (Matt. 18:3) in our hearts if we are to enter the Kingdom. And I also say that once you have by faith received Jesus into your heart like a little child…DON’T STOP living out of a childlike heart. Enjoy life. Enjoy sunsets and sunrises, birds that sing, family that loves you, long car rides, moments with friends, an airplane ride, an amusement park, the local sports team, fine art, beautiful music, working with your hands, playing the guitar, beautiful flowers, holding the hand of the one you love and on and on goes the list. And of course enjoy the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit and the precious Word of God.

Search your heart. Have you become too rigid? Cynical? Hard hearted? Too grown up? Maybe it’s time that you sit down, take a deep breath and reevaluate how you look at the world around you.

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