Posts tagged ‘Luke’

BELIEVERS ACTIONS ARE ROOTED IN LOVE NOT FOR HONOR OR POSSESSIONS PART 1 of 3

BELIEVERS ACTIONS ARE ROOTED IN LOVE NOT FOR HONOR OR POSSESSIONS PART 1 of 3

MATERIAL WEALTH IS A HINDERANCE TO YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE     

Open Bible

Open Bible (Photo credit: Ryk Neethling)

 

In part one of these very important lessons we wanted to focus your attention only on the pure scripture of this message.  In lesson two we will go into the details of Jesus teachings on this subject.  Read it, pray on it, then spend some time and meditate on what Jesus is teaching you here.  This is taken from the Message Bible in (Luke 6:27-36).

To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, gift wrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.

Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.

I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.

WILL YOU BE OBEDIENT AND ANSWER THE CALL OF JESUS?

WILL YOU BE OBEDIENT AND ANSWER THE CALL OF JESUS?

YOU ARE DESTINED TO BE A HARVEST WORKER?

"RIPE FOR HARVEST"

“READY FOR HARVEST” PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES

WRITTEN BY SHIRLEY RHODES

 

Jesus gave the great command to “GO” which is known as the great commission to all believers, and he said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo I am with you always, even to the end of the earth.”(Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV). Now we simply ask the question, “ARE YOU DESTINED TO BE A HARVEST WORKER?” We know that the harvest is ready, but we also know that the laborers are few; therefore, we ask the question once again, “ARE YOU DESTINED TO BE A HARVEST WORKER?”

We are created in the image of God, and therefore should be productive in what he has instructed each of us to do. To begin the process we must first understand the true meaning of how Jesus patiently labored among mankind teaching and instructing how to become connected to the source that is to guide you in decision making as well as taking on the challenge to “Go” and guidelines to “FOLLOW”. As you dig deep into his methods of explaining the process that guides and direct you to the right course, you will be able to distinguish the intricate weavings of how it all comes together at the appointed time.

Remember, he told his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into the harvest field” (Luke 10:2-7 NIV). The harvest field is the world, and we are challenged to go forth with the mission of winning souls for Christ so that they can share in the true meaning of freedom that has been bought and paid for.

His message is one of love, how we perceive and describe that message is the assignment.

“ARE YOU DESTINED TO BE A HARVEST WORKER?”

Picture in your mind, how Jesus in love and urgency, released those he had instilled the vision of love and sharing to the dying world when he said; “Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves,” a prime act of love. “Love” hovers over and protects their off-spring while they are young, tender and unlearned. When he released his disciples, he knew that they had taken time to learn of him, yet he cautions them; telling them to travel light and to stay focused on the goal for kingdom building.

Reminding them that trials and temptations are bound to come, so be alert; if you see a friend going wrong, correct him, if he responds forgive him even if it’s personal against you repeated several times a day and seven times he says ‘I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,’ forgive him (Luke 17:1-4 MGS). Jesus set an example, he went from town to village; village to town, keeping on a steady course, teaching, preaching and healing as he went; spreading the good news of Gods Kingdom.

Once again we ask the question, “ARE YOU DESTINED TO BE A HARVEST WORKER?”

Jesus said, “The servant who knows what his master wants and ignore it, are does whatever he pleases, will be thrashed, but if he does a poor job through ignorance, he’ll get off with a slap on the hand” (Luke 12:47-48 MGS). As harvest workers remember, great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities.

You, who are destined to be harvest workers, take on the servant attitude in obedience and humbleness, reminded of your purpose move with fear of God, filled with love and care for all. The goal is bringing souls into knowledge and understanding of whom Jesus is and his desire for all to become a part of the pattern for Gods’ kingdom. Remember the command, “GO.”

We thank you for studying with us today, and pray that this lesson has been a blessing to your soul. May God bless you, your family and the kingdom work you are doing in helping to bring lost souls into presence of Jesus; Amen.

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BE PERSISTANT AND STAND YOUR GROUND

BE PERSISTENT AND STAND YOUR GROUND

THE SUNFLOWERS ARE PERSISTENT IN STANDING THEIR GROUND (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE SUNFLOWERS ARE PERSISTENT IN STANDING THEIR GROUND (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Neither this message nor this lesson is about the stand your ground laws that have sprung up all over the country, but it is truly a profound message and it is ironic that Jesus taught us the exact same message but with a different meaning than we have in the now famous stand your ground law that first sprung up in Florida. In Luke the eleventh chapter, verses five through eight, this is what Jesus said in these three verses about standing your ground.  He said, “Imagine what would happen if you went to a friend in the middle of the night and said, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread. An old friend traveling through just showed up, and I don’t have a thing on hand.’

 “The friend answers from his bed ‘don’t bother me. The doors are locked; my children are all down for the night; I can’t get up to give you anything.’

 “But let me tell you, even if he won’t get up because he’s a friend, if you stand your ground, knocking and waking all the neighbors, he’ll finally get up and get you whatever you need.

Jesus message was presented as a parable with a touch of humor teaching us that in our prayer life, our prayers to the Father, we must learn how to Be Persistent and Stand our Ground, knowing without a doubt that the Father is always ready to give to His Children.

Jesus further points out that the two people in this lesson are close friends and the one that has already gone to bed, put his children to bed and do not want to be disturbed he might not get up for the sake of the friendship.  However, if you keep knocking long enough, being persistent and not giving up, he will get up, although he might be angry, and ready to punch you out, but because of the friends persistent in continuing to knock, he will get up.

Jesus wants us to understand this very important fact and that is boldness in prayer overcomes the praying person’s apathy, not God’s perceived insensitivity to practice persistence changes the hearts and minds of those praying, and it helps them understand and express the intensity of their need.

Persistence in prayer helps them to recognize God’s work.  By praying persistently, believers are not trying to get a reluctant God to answer their prayers, instead, they are showing that they are very serious about their request.

Therefore, in all that you do from this day forward, “BE PERSISTENT AND STAND YOUR GROUND!”

 

 

THE ROAD MAP TO ACHIEVING YOUR VICTORY IS FOUND IN JESUS

THE ROAD MAP TO ACHIEVING YOUR VICTORY IS FOUND IN JESUS

THE ROAD TO VICTORY (Photo by Pastor Davis)

THE ROAD TO VICTORY (Photo by Pastor Davis)

THE TIME TO ACT ON THE VISION IS NOW

From the beginning of this year we have provided you with a road map from the word of God on the path He wants you to follow to help you make this year the year you ACHIEVE the VICTORY that you have been seeking all your life.  Today, we continue with God’s road map in laying out a clear VISION that will help you move forward by taking action to manifest your dreams into reality, and “THE ROAD MAP TO ACHIEVING YOUR VICTORY IS FOUND IN JESUS!”

Achieving the VICTORY requires you to take action.  The first step was when God gave you the VISION; He

A CHILD LEARNING TO WRITE IT DOWN (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

A CHILD LEARNING TO WRITE IT DOWN (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

told you to, “WRITE THE VISION.”  God made it crystal clear that you must take action before the VISION will appear as a reality to you.  In other words you must activate what God has given to you in order for you to begin the process where you find yourself going through.  The process is never going to be easy, but it is a necessary step that must take place.

One of the reasons so many of us never achieve any desired results from what has been set before us, is because we dislike going through the process.  We fail to write it down; we fail to ask God for wisdom, guidance and understanding.  We fail to seek knowledge and clarification of where we are in the process.  Then we come up against what seems like a brick wall when door after door is been slam shut in our face.  We stand in front of the door and look at it with disgust and ask ourselves, WHY?  But we refuse to take the next step and KNOCK, because fear has so gripped our minds and we find ourselves questioning our own ability to achieve what God has already given us.

Pastor Davis teaches you how to achieve the victory by studying the word of God

Pastor Davis teaches you how to achieve the victory by studying the word of God

However, I want you to know that the Bible is crystal clear on what God wants you to do in this process.  God’s intention is to teach you how to be successful at achieving the VISION which he has given to you.  Now listen to the words of Jesus, “So I say to you, Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you.”

For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10 Amplified)

Do not hesitate to move on your ideas and respond to situations that call for action in order to keep the momentum going. If you are sitting waiting for something to happen, doing other “important” tasks rather than those that you know will produce the results you desire, you are wasting time and you are no closer to achieving your VISION and desired goals, [the vision which God gave you]. You may realize that you have waited for so many things in your life that never showed up!

Act on your desire in order to get to where you want to be. Waiting will not do it. The best people are not those who have waited for chances, but those who have taken them, and made chance the servitor. It is better to act first and apologize later than to seek permission first. We often wait for the feeling to be right first; before we take the action we know will bring us satisfaction. The feeling of satisfaction only comes from accomplishment, not from pondering and procrastinating. Take immediate action, not out of fear, or to force things to happen, but because the next action you take brings you, one-step closer to your desire and you will see tremendous results come into your life.

TRAVELING THE LONG ROAD TO VICTORY (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

TRAVELING THE LONG ROAD TO VICTORY (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Now I realize that this might sound like a contradiction in terms of what God said when he told us to wait on the VISION.  But understand this, God was challenging us to have patience, and believe in the promise he had given to us when he said, “though the vision may tarry, the VISION will surely come.”

Sometimes opportunity knocks but sometimes you must knock. If you truly desire what is behind the door, you will knock until it opens. Sometimes you may even have to break down the door to get through to what you want. The difference between using the force out of power and using the force out of fear, doubt or worry, is that when you are powerful, you know what it is you are doing and are doing it powerfully. It does not feel forced but liberating to you.

Remember, all things come to those of us who, seek, ask and knock.  “THE ROAD MAP TO ACHIEVING YOUR VICTORY IS FOUND IN JESUS!”  Never give up, and never give in, because you are truly a winner, and a winner never gives up, and never gives in.  Jesus said, He would never put on you more than you can not bear, nor would He ever leave you are for sake you, and you can always stand on the promises of the Lord.

THE VICTORY IS IN THE RISING SUN (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE VICTORY IS IN THE RISING SUN (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

GOD HAS A DIVINE PLAN FOR OUR LIVES

GOD HAS A DIVINE PLAN FOR OUR LIVES

Written by Shirley Rhodes

 

The Angel Gabriel announcement to Mary by Photo Bucket

The Angel Gabriel announcement to Mary by Photo Bucket

God still has A Divine Plan for his people, the Birth of Jesus, a story of love and redemption is unique and ordained by God. It is a story worth taking time to study and try to gather an understanding of how much God cared for his creation. Jesus came from humble beginnings within this earthly realm. Joseph and Mary, people who lived simple lives, had a deep connection to God and were therefore his choice to share in his eternal plan to redeem mankind to himself through his Son, they were chosen vessels whose purpose was to fulfill the Promise. The mystery of God:  A Divine plan, A Divine appointment with A Divine purpose with us in mind.

A DIVINE PLAN:

BABY JESUS IN A MANAGER

BABY JESUS IN A MANAGER

When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced that she would bear a son to be named Jesus she objected and said she had no husband, the angel then said to her “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and power of the Most High will overshadow you”; the child would be called “Holy, the Son of God.” An enduring example of obedient faith, Mary replied, “I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:35, 38). As the events of Jesus’ birth unfolded, Mary continued to meditate on them. “Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). All of this took place as a part of Gods’ plan of redemption for mankind.

A DIVINE APPOINTMENT:

Mary and Baby Jesus in the Manger

Mary and Baby Jesus in the Manger

Imagine the emotional roller-coaster Mary must have experienced as the events of A Divine Appointment unfolded foretold by early prophets. It began with the threat of divorce from Joseph, which was brought to a halt by an angelic intervention assuring him that her conception was “of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:20). Then A Divine Appointment cumulating in Bethlehem where she gave birth to baby Jesus in a stable, using a feeding trough for his bed, shepherds telling that angels had announced the birth of the Messiah, aged prophets in the temple exalting her month-old infant, wise men arriving from the distant east with wonderful gifts for her child , then the angel’s warning that King Herod the Great would try to kill the boy, they hurried escape into Egypt to await the death of King Herod, then finally able to return home and settling in Nazareth, Mary had so many things to ponder in her heart.

A DIVINE PURPOSE:

For thirty years the Gospels are silent as the child grew up under the watchful eyes of his parents. When he was aged twelve he accompanied his parents to Jerusalem for Passover (a celebrated event) and remained in the temple as his parents started their journey home; realizing he was not present with them they turned back to find him; Jesus seemed perfectly at ease “sitting among the teachers” in what he referred to as “my Father’s house” (Luke 2:46). A Divine Purpose was unfolding as Jesus set about his Fathers business of spreading the good news.  He chose his disciples, and started the process of seeking to save the lost. He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also; for this is the reason I have come” (Luke 4:43). Let us remember this holiday season; God has A Divine Plan for his people, as we celebrate the birth of the Promise.

 

Old Little town of Bethelem (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Old Little town of Bethelem (Photo by Pastor Davis)

JESUS CALLED OUT A WEALTHY SINNER TO REPENTANCE AND SALVATION

JESUS CAME TO SEEK AND SAVE THOSE LIKE ZACCHAEUS WHO ARE LOST. (Luke 19:1-10 MSG)

Zacchaeus climbed the Sycamore Tree to see Jesus (Photo by Pastor Davis)

While Jesus was in Jericho, he sought out a wealthy and corrupt tax collector by the name of Zacchaeus, which was the chief tax collector at the time of Jesus visit, and Jesus took the liberty to invite himself to this individuals home.  Zacchaeus was despised and hated by the people; he would soon become an example of a rich man coming to salvation.

Now here is how Luke tells the story of what took place.  “He said, when Jesus entered and walked through Jericho. There was a man there, his name Zacchaeus, the head tax man and quite rich. He wanted desperately to see Jesus, but the crowd was in his way—he was a short man and couldn’t see over the crowd. So he ran on ahead and climbed up in a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus when he came by.”

Zacchaeus, like the rest of the people in Jericho, was curious to see this man whose healings and teachings had been astounding people all over the country.  Moments earlier, a blind man sitting on the side of the road had been healed.  The news had spread, and Zacchaeus wanted to get a look at Jesus.  The text reveals another detail about this wealthy tax collector: he was so short that he could not see over the people in the crowd.  Zacchaeus would not be put off.  He ran on down the road and climbed a sycamore tree.  The sycamore tree was easy to climb, it was like an oak tree with wide lateral branches.

Then Luke says, “When Jesus got to the tree, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry down. Today is my day to be a guest in your home.” Zacchaeus scrambled out of the tree, hardly believing his good luck, delighted to take Jesus home with him. Everyone who saw the incident was indignant and grumped, “What business does he have getting cozy with this crook?”

Zacchaeus must have been a pretty bad character, for the crowd reacted with great displeasure that Jesus would have chosen him out of everyone.  No one else in the crowd could have known that Jesus visit would change this tax collector’s life.

Zacchaeus just stood there, a little stunned. He stammered apologetically, “Master, I give away half my income to the poor—and if I’m caught cheating, I pay four times the damages.”

The crowd grumbled, but Jesus knew that Zacchaeus was ready for a change in his life.  After Jesus took the initiative with him, Zacchaeus took the initiative to follow wherever the path of obedience to Jesus might lead.  The rich young man had come asking and had gone away empty, unable to give up his money and possessions.  Zacchaeus, however, was able to give away his wealth in order to follow Jesus.  This is the heart attitude that Jesus was looking for.  Perceiving it in Zacchaeus, he quickly brought this man the Good News.  So eager was Zacchaeus to rid himself of the shackles of wealth that he said he would pay back four times as much of the overage that he had charged people.  His attitude was correct, and his actions showed his inner desire to obey.  Zacchaeus was setting his priorities right and he would be ready for the Kingdom.

Jesus said, “Today is salvation day in this home! Here he is: Zacchaeus, son of Abraham!  For the Son of Man came to find and restore the lost.”

This tax collector was perceived as a traitor by his people, so they would not have considered him a son of Abraham in the sense of a Jew looking for the Kingdom, but also a son of Abraham in the truest sense of the word because he experienced salvation.  Salvation came to Zacchaeus, not because he did good deeds, but because he truly believed in Jesus and set aside anything that might get in the way of obeying him.  To the grumblers, detractors, and self-righteous, to those who thought they were saved simply because they were descendants of Abraham, Jesus explained his mission, he came to seek and save those like Zacchaeus who are lost.

BELIEVERS ACTIONS ARE ROOTED IN LOVE NOT FOR HONOR OR POSSESSIONS PART 1 of 3

MATERIAL WEALTH IS A HINDERANCE TO YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE    

Open Bible

Open Bible (Photo credit: Ryk Neethling)

In part one of these very important lessons we wanted to focus your attention only on the pure scripture of this message.  In lesson two we will go into the details of Jesus teachings on this subject.  Read it, pray on it, then spend some time and meditate on what Jesus is teaching you here.  This is taken from the Message Bible in (Luke 6:27-36).

To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, gift wrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.

Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.

I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.

FIND YOUR TRUE SELF BY TAKING UP YOUR CROSS DAILY

Jesus Christ!

Jesus Christ! (Photo credit: wormwould)

FIND YOUR TRUE SELF BY TAKING UP YOUR CROSS DAILY

Jesus’ teaching was as tough and straight forward as it comes, the manner in which He spoke to His Disciples, He speaks to us in the same manner this day.  He told His Disciples just before His death on the cross these words; “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”  (Luke 9:23 KJV)

Then he told them what they could expect for themselves: “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it.

Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? If any of you is embarrassed with me and the way I’m leading you, know that the Son of Man will be far more embarrassed with you when he arrives in his entire splendor in company with the Father and the holy angels. This isn’t, you realize, pie in the sky by and by. Some who have taken their stand right here are going to see it happen, see with their own eyes the kingdom of God.”

To shoulder one’s cross daily means to follow Jesus to the death if necessary.  It means identifying with Jesus and his followers, facing social and political oppression and ostracism, and no turning back.  And this would not be a once-for-all deal; believers would need to be willing to take up this cross “daily” as they face new situations, new people, and new problems.  And finally following Jesus means recognizing that belief is only the beginning of discipleship, because Jesus walks ahead, and leads by example, as he stands with his followers as the encourager, guide, and friend.

Where are you on this day?  Are you still willing to pick-up your cross and follow Jesus after all he has set out for you?  Remember, the choice is yours, and each moment of each day, you are given the freedom to make the right choice.  “WHY?”  Because this is what Jesus told you, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it.”  “The Choice is yours!”

 

HOW JESUS TURNED HIS DEFEAT AT THE CROSS INTO THE MOST GLORIOUS VICTORY THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN

HOW JESUS TURNED HIS DEFEAT AT THE CROSS INTO THE MOST GLORIOUS VICTORY THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN(Luke 23:26-35MSG)

THE CRUCIFIXION (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

As they led him off, they made Simon, a man from Cyrene who happened to be coming in from the countryside, carry the cross behind Jesus. A huge crowd of people followed, along with women weeping and carrying on. At one point Jesus turned to the women and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children. The time is coming when they’ll say, ‘Lucky the women who never conceived! Lucky the wombs that never gave birth! and Lucky the breasts that never gave milk!’ Then they’ll start calling to the mountains, ‘Fall down on us!’ calling to the hills, ‘Cover us up!’ If people do these things to a live, green tree, can you imagine what they’ll do with deadwood?”
Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for execution.
When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, and the other on his left.
Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.” Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God—ha! The Chosen—ha!”
At the time of Jesus death, crucifixion was considered the most painful and degrading form of capital punishment in the Roman Empire. It was considered so horrible that it was used by the Romans only for slaves, those from the provinces under their control, and the lowest types of criminals. It was not to be used for a Roman citizen. This is in accord with the biblical account of Christ’s death and with church tradition, which asserts that Peter was also crucified, but Paul, a Roman citizen, was beheaded.
Crucifixion as a means of execution probably grew out of the practice of displaying the heads of captured enemies or criminals on a wooden stake, like those used to build a wall or erect fortifications. Later, entire bodies were impaled. By Jesus time, crucifixion was a common sight.
Although methods of crucifixion seem to have varied throughout the Roman Empire, through biblical and historical accounts the basic pattern is known. The condemned person was first scourged with a flagellum, a whip of leather thongs with bits of metal or bone attached. This whipping greatly weakened the victim, who then had to carry the crossbeam to the place of execution. A sign specifying the crime was often placed around the criminal’s neck or on the cross. The person was stripped naked, laid on the ground with the crossbeam under his shoulders, and tied or nailed to it. Nailing made the victim die quicker, as it did Jesus, whom the Jewish officials wanted dead before the Sabbath. The crossbeam was lifted and secured to a post so that the person’s feet were hanging just off the ground. Some archaeologists think a pin or wooden block was placed halfway up the post to provide a seat for the body so that the nails would not tear open the wounds, causing the body to fall. The feet also could be nailed or tied to the post.
Although the pain was excruciating, some victims survived on the cross for days. As in the case of the two criminals crucified with Jesus, the legs of a crucified person were sometimes broken to make the sufferer die. This caused massive shock, followed by loss of circulation and heart failure.
Although completely innocent of all sin, Jesus suffered the most horrible, disgraceful punishment known. But His agonizing death was not an ordinary death, for it was not the final chapter. Jesus turned this apparent defeat into the most glorious victory the world has ever known. At the Cross, He suffered for the sins of the world. Then after His resurrection from the dead three days later, Jesus empowered His disciples with a new message, the Good News that He had finally defeated the power of sin and death. Through the Cross, Jesus offers salvation to all who will believe in Him.
Now listen to the words Jesus spoke to his disciples, He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day:
And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And ye are witnesses of these things.  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:46-49 KJV)
As this story clearly shows, there is power in the word for those who believe. God never makes a promise that he cannot fulfilled. It is up to you to always stand on God’s promise, believe it and watch God work in your life. When the light seems to be the dimmest and the enemy is attacking you on all fronts it is time to stand still and watch God work. With God there is nothing that is impossible. God is truth, he is also the light, when you know the truth, not what you perceive is the truth, but what God has spoken of as truth, you can rest assured that you will have peace in your life, and your soul will be free to experience the manifestation of that truth and the light that God has promised. No weapon that the enemy may train its sights on you with, can penetrate the armor that God places around you. You are a child of God, and God will never allow any harm to come to those who keep his word, stand on faith, and not be swayed like the motions of the ocean, always going back and forth.
Now know this, God wants you to experience victory over all aspects of your life. He allowed himself to experience a horrible death on the cross in order that you might enjoy the fruits of life. He defeated sin and death in order that you may have eternal life. What more can anyone ask for, to know that if you believe in the word, except the word as ruler of your life, you can experience the joy and satisfaction of knowing that you can have victory over the world.
Now in closing, let me state that believers today should always look to the cross in understanding God’s plan and purpose for their lives. The cross is no joke; it is the reality of Christ’s death for your victory over the world. You can continue to live in this world, partying and having fun, proclaiming that you are a Christian, but remember, your actions speak louder than your words. Jesus was not pretending when he allowed himself to be executed for our sins. We should obey the Lord in every detail as we seek to live a Christian life as we help those that are lost in Christ, find their way and understanding of the Heart of the cross and what salvation truly means in their lives. If we truly want to know how to live a perfect life and experience victory over the enemy attacks on our well being, then I say to you right here in now, turn away from the world and look to Jesus as the perfect example.
I minister to you today from a position of peace, purpose, power and prosperity. I remain your brother in Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.

The Christmas Story “Birth of Jesus Christ” Silent Night

The Christmas Story “Birth of Jesus ChristSilent Night

THE BLESSINGS OF CHRISTMAS BY PASTOR DAVIS

Today, we present to you one of the most Incredible Christmas Story ever told.  It was told to us by Luke, “a Disciple of Jesus Christ,” with no trees or lights, just a manger and animals and a too-crowded inn.  It isn’t surprising that there was no room for them in the village inn considering the number of travelers flocking to various cities during the time of this census.

At some time during their visit in Bethlehem, the promised child was bornMary wrapped the baby in strips of cloth, which were bands of cloth that were used to keep a baby warm and give it a sense of security.  These cloths were believed to protect its internal organs.  This custom of wrapping infants is still practiced in many Mid-eastern countries.  Then Mary laid him in a manger, an animal’s feeding trough.  She may have filled the manger with hay to make a soft bed.  This mention of the manger is the basis for the traditional belief that Jesus was born in a stableStables were often caves with feeding troughs (mangers) carved into the rock walls.  Despite popular Christmas card pictures, the surrounding was dark and dirty.  Everything pointed to obscurity, poverty, and even rejectionLuke showed the King of Kings born into poor and humble circumstances, born as a human, born to serve.  Now listen to this great story and continue reading on the other side of this clip.

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.  (Luke 2:1-20 KJV)

We bless this message to you this day, that you and your family will receive the promise of hope, and that the joy of this Christmas will be an everlasting experience for all to enjoy. Now as you watch this final video clip, let all remember the reason for celebrating Christmas.  From our family to yours, I remain your brother in Christ Jesus, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher!

HOW PRAYER CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE (PART THREE)

LEARN HOW TO GET YOUR PRAYERS ANSWERED

PRAY IN DETAIL: Some have reasoned, “Why should I pray? Doesn’t God already know everything, including what I think?”

Yes, He does. In fact, God knows you better than you know yourself, down to the number of hairs you have on your head (Matt. 10:30; Luke 12:7).

God knows everything you need even before you ask Him (Matt. 6:8).

He knows your inner thoughts and desires: “I the Lord search the heart [mind], I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruits of his doings” (Jer. 17:10).

Yet God wants you to pray to Him. Here are five reasons why:

(1) God wants you to draw close to Him and show Him where your heart is (Matt. 6:19-21).

(2) He wants you to express out-going concern for others. Praying for others is an opportunity to do this.

(3) He wants you to prove and test Him by claiming His many promises (Mal. 3:10; I Thes. 5:21).

(4) He wants you to submit your will to Him. If you believe God’s Word and pray from the heart, God’s thoughts will saturate your mind. You will come to think—and act—like Him (Eph. 1:17-19).

(5) Like any good parent, God wants to know His children. Specific, highly detailed prayers please God.

Consider this scripture: “And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb [Christ], having everyone of them harps, and golden vials full of odors [incense], which are the prayers of saints(Rev. 5:8).

Your prayers should be like sweet-smelling incense to God.

To capture its full body of richness and flavor, incense must be beaten and ground into a very fine powder. Likewise, your prayers should be “finely ground”—specific and highly detailed. They should “smell good” to God. But if you are not careful, they could smell like something else.

Prayers that consist of the “gimmes,” or that start out with self-righteous attitudes, are a foul stench to God’s nostrils, like sulfur dioxiderotten egg gas—or burned rubber.

ALWAYS THANK GOD: Paul wrote, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thes. 5:18) You should always give thanks to God in your prayers. If you do not, you will miss a vital key to having your prayers answered.

PRAY FROM THE HEART: When most pray, they mumble a few words and hope for the best. Or, like the Pharisees 2,000 years ago, they give long, monotonous prayers that go no higher than the ceiling (Luke 18:10-12). Either way, they are not putting their hearts into their requests.

Regarding the modern-day descendants of Israel, the Prophet Isaiah wrote, “And there is none that calls upon your name, that stirs up himself to take hold of you: for you have hid your face from us, and have consumed us, because of our iniquities” (64:7).

The Prophet Hosea adds, “Woe unto them! For they have fled from Me: Destruction unto them! Because they have transgressed against Me: though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against Me. And they have not cried unto Me with their heart, when they howled upon their beds” (7:13-14).

Contrast this with what James wrote: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (5:16). Always be fervent!

God used the Prophet Elijah as an example (vs. 17-18). Elijah was human, fallible. He had the same passions and frustrations that people still struggle with today.

Yet Elijah was a righteous man—he obeyed God. And when he prayed, he did it from the heart. Study his example in I Kings 17, 18 and 19.

Look at Christ’s example: “Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared” (Heb. 5:7).

Fervent, heartfelt, sincere prayer gets results.

And as you have seen, God’s Word shows that there are many conditions for answered prayer. You can discover other conditions by thoroughly studying the Bible.

Study to show yourself approved!  It is not an option.  It is your obligation to develop a personal relationship with God, and the only way you can do that is by studying the WORD OF GODGod’s word is truth in action.  If you want to see it work in your life, study the WORD.  It will cut like a two edge sword, cutting away the evil spirits that are lurking at your front door.  By doing this, you will have developed the right attitude of “LEARN HOW TO GET YOUR PRAYERS ANSWERED.”

We BLESS this WORD to you this day.  Now allow your heart to be filled with nothing but pure joy.  It will change your life.  I minister to you from a position of PEACE, PURPOSE, POWER AND PROSPERITY.  I remain your brother in CHRIST, PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

IS YOUR PLANNING FOR TOMORROW IN VEIN?

 

 

 

PLANNING FOR TOMORROW WITHOUT GOD IN THE MIX IS PLANNING FOR A DISASTER (JAMES 4:13-17 MSG)

The grave yards are filled with many great and not so great people who had dreamed of a better tomorrow, but didn’t have the time to turn those dreams into reality because they were always putting off what they could have done today for tomorrow. They were always boasting in themselves, and the main ingredient that could help them to bring their dreams into the manifestation of reality was always, left out of their thinking and planning.  On the other hand, we find people, especially business people making great plans to move their businesses to other countries and their only concern is how much profit they can make for their companies.  Now please do not miss understand me on this point.  I am also a businessperson and I love to make plans for another day and earn a profit for my company and the people who work there. Because we understand how to do things God’s way and know that by following God, planning is not evil—in fact, businesspeople are wise to plan ahead.  The problem that we are addressing here is how God is not included in those plans.

Therefore, in today’s lesson, we are going to discuss with you, three essential facts that makes for good planning.  (1). God is in control of all things.  (2). our lives are a daily gift from God. (3). All our going and doing must be, carried out, with the first two points in mind.

Now let us begin this study by listen to God telling us that our lives are nothing more than a, “Wisp of Fog.”  Think about that for a moment before you start talking about and planning for tomorrow. Then listen to the word as it speaks truth to power, “And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, “Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.” You do not know the first thing about tomorrow. You are nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.” (James 4:14-15 MSG).

God wants us to understand that whatever we do, whatever plans we make, we must always make them with Him in mind.  We cannot do anything on our own.  We are God’s perfect creation, created in His image and likeness, to carry out His plans while we are here on this earth.  Try as we may to separate God out of the equation, we will find it difficult to make it all work in the end.

God gave you this day, but never promised you tomorrow.  What God wants each one of us to do is to take one day at a time.  Use our energies on the task he has given us this day.  Be thankful that we have the opportunity to be right where we are today.  Plan for tomorrow, but the things that God has given to you today is for you today.

The merchants in this story were planning with arrogance, thinking they can go wherever they like and stay for as long as they wanted to stay. Their way of planning, doing business, and using money may be honest, but it is no different from the planning of any pagan businessperson.  These Christian business people ought to have known better.

I can truly say that there is a problem with these well-laid plans; no one will know what will happen tomorrow, to say nothing of a year in the future.  In Proverbs 27:1, the Bible says this, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. These merchants were planning as if their future was guaranteed.  We are not suggesting that they should not have been making plans, but what we are suggesting is; because of possible disaster, but to be realistic about the future, as they trust God to guide them.

Now please allow me to share one final story with you to illustrate my point.  This story is told by Luke as a young rich farmer after God had blessed him with an abundant crop, he begin to believe it was all about him and forgot about what God had done for him.  Now listen to the words of Jesus, “Speaking to the people, he went on, “Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.”

Then he told them this story: “The farm of a certain rich man produced a terrific crop. He talked to himself: ‘What can I do? My barn isn’t big enough for this harvest.’ Then he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll gather in all my grain and goods, and I’ll say to myself, Self, you’ve done well! You’ve got it made and can now retire. Take it easy and have the time of your life!’

Just then God showed up and said, ‘Fool! Tonight you die. And your barn full of goods—who gets it?’

That’s what happens when you fill your barn with Self and not with God.”  (Luke 12:15-21 MSG)

Because the future is uncertain, it is even more important that we completely depend on God.  Our lives are uncertain, like the morning fog that covers the countryside in the morning and then is burned away by the sun.  Life is short no matter how long we live.  We should not be deceived into thinking we have plenty of time left to live for Christ, to enjoy our loved ones, or to do what we know we should.  Today is the day to live for God!  Then, no matter when our lives end, we will have fulfilled God’s plans for us.

We as Believers cannot live independently of God; therefore, our plans cannot ignore him.  We must make sure those plans include the clause, if the Lord wants us to.  We are to plan, but we are to recognize God’s higher will and divine sovereignty.  This means far more than simply saying, “If God wills,” whenever we speak about future plans, for that to, can become meaningless.  It means planning with God as we make our plans.  Our plans should be evaluated by God’s advice.  Such planning pleases God.

Now here is God’s final word to you, “As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil. In fact, if you know the right thing to do and do not do it, that, for you, is evil.” James 4:16-17 MSG.  If God has directed you to do a kind act, to render a service to others, or to restore a relationship—do it.  You will experience a renewed and refreshed vitality to your Christian faith.

Now let me close with this final thought for each one of you who have taken the time to read this entire lesson and the many lessons we teach here daily, “Think globally, and work locally. Looking beyond ourselves in the real and on line world, to reach out to others who might be in need, for we all are truly our Brothers Keeper, salvation is FREE for the asking. Take a moment wherever you may be, and ask the Lord to come into your heart. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins, and if you have spoken these few simple words in truth, you are saved, and now have eternal life.

May God continue to bless each one of you? Today I minister to you from a position of peace, power, purpose and prosperity in Jesus name. I remain Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.

MY MAXAMIZED PRAYER FOR MOVING SELF OUT OF OUR EQUATIONS

Father, in the name of Jesus we beseech you to help us move self out of the way, and in all we do, put you first in all things.  Guide our minds to a higher level of thinking, that we may bring out the good that you have already granted us in our daily lives, that we may use it to help our fellowman, in Jesus name, Amen.

LEADERSHIP FAITH AND FORGIVENESS GOES HAND IN HAND

Close-up photo of a mustard seed.

CLOSE UP PHOTO OF A MUSTARD SEED

LEADERSHIP FAITH AND FORGIVENESS GOES HAND IN HAND

Leaders are trained equipped and prepared to lead at all times. Jesus was a real leader, and he demonstrated his ability to lead in everything that he did. Jesus never hesitated to tell his followers that he wanted all or nothing. If indeed, Jesus said that their love for him needed to be so great that all other human relationships would be pale by comparison. While only Jesus qualifies for that kind of devotion, we can learn from Jesus that skilled leaders do not blank when urging others to count the costs. They know that no follower who has a halfhearted commitment will ever become a leader. Jesus demonstrated his ability to lead despite the strong opposition against him, that we too can do the same if we follow in Jesus footsteps.

Jesus also made it clear that a conflict should be handled personally, privately and with a forgiving spirit.  The disciples thought that such an act of forgiveness would require an added measure of faith, but Jesus taught them that they needed only to use the faith they already processed. Even a little faith in God would unleash enough power to uproot a tree. God has the power to uproot anger and bitterness.  He says, “Pay attention and always be on your guard [looking out for one another]. So if your brother sins (misses the mark), solemnly tell him so and reprove him, and if he repents (feels sorry for having sinned), forgive him.  And even if he sin against you seven times in a day, and turns to you seven times and says, I repent [I am sorry], you must forgive him (give up resentment and consider the offense as recalled and annulled).” (Luke 17:3-4 AMP)

Careful leadership is important for Jesus followers, but so is constant forgiveness. When there is sin among God’s people, they are responsible to rebuke one another. To “rebuke” does not mean to point out every sin, for Jesus also warns against being judgmental. To “rebuke” (always in love) means to bring sin to a person’s attention with the purpose of restoring that person to God and to fellow humans. In context here, and this refers to sin that could put that person or others away from God, and thus result in the horrible judgment Jesus spoke of in Luke 17:2. When a person feels that he are she must rebuke another Christian for a sin, it is wise for that person to check his or her attitudes and motivations first. Unless rebuke is tied to forgiveness, it will not help the sinning person.  Jesus explained, in fact, that if the other person repents, the rebuker must forgive. And that forgiveness extends constantly.

The disciples told Jesus, “We need more faith.” Jesus did not directly answer the question because the amount of faith is not as important as its genuineness. What is faith? It is dependence on God and a willingness to do his will.  “And the Lord answered, If you had faith (trust and confidence in God) even [so small] like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, be pulled up by the roots, and be planted in the sea, and it would obey you.”  (Luke 17:6 AMP).

A mustard seed is small, but it is alive and growing. Like a tiny seed, a small amount of genuine faith in God will take root and grow. The apostle did not need more faith; a tiny seed of faith would be enough, if it were alive and growing.

Jesus pointed to a nearby mulberry tree and said that even small faith could uproot it and send it into a sea. Mulberry trees grow quite large as high as 35 feet. Matthew’s gospel records a similar teaching when Jesus said that a mountain could be told to throw itself into the sea. It is the power of God, not faith, that uproots trees and mountains, but faith must be present for God to work. Even a small seed of faith is sufficient. There is great power in even a little faith when God is there.

Now here is how faith is described in Hebrews, “NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, [a]the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].” (Hebrew 11:1AMP)

Those who do not have faith cannot see pass the physical world around them. They are limited by their said temporal circumstances and are blind to what God is doing. Nevertheless, those who open their spiritual eyes can see the spiritual realities, which transcend this world. There hope is in God’s strength and in his faithfulness. In that hope, they find the strength to endure. When it comes to faith, the world scoffs. Faith, at best, seems like a great waste; at worst, it seems almost suicidal. Do we really want to give up the pleasure to have this world for something elusive and ethereal?

Faith is never easy. However, the more convinced we are of the reality of an all-good, all-powerful God, the more I have trust will grow, and the less we will be overwhelmed, by doubts and temptations.

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