VICTORY

Greetings to all of you, my sweet sisters in Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 38:16-17NIV personalized, “Lord, by these things people live, and in all these is the life of my spirit; You have restored me to health and let me live! Behold, for in my own belief before you rescued me I had great bitterness and hurt; But You kept me even then…because You love my soul from the pit of destruction and nothingness, and in Your great sacrifice You have hurled all my sins behind Your back.”

Today victory is mine…despite the doctors’ reports, despite what is ahead…Jesus saved me. 2 Corinthians 5:1-5MSG personalized tells me, “I know that when this body of mine is taken down like a tent and folded away, it will be replaced by MY new body in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and I will never have to relocate my “tent” again. Sometimes I can hardly wait to move—and so I cry out in frustration as my tent that is my flesh and bones age giving way to sickness. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and I am tired of it! I have been given a glimpse of the real thing, my true home, my heavenly spirit body! The Spirit of God whets my appetite by giving me a taste of what’s ahead. He has put a little of heaven in my heart so that I will never settle for less.”

I know that God will not relieve me from my earthly body not one minute before my great commission is finished. By now most of you have heard that I have been diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer. God has given me comfort in this because victory is already mine, I have received my miracle, my victory…salvation, which is the knowledge that I am forgiven and the daughter of the Most High King, loved and valued!

As you know this year God gave me the word “Grateful”, He knew what was coming and He wanted me to focus on all He has done in my life, how He saved me in my darkest times, how He lead me to taste His love and experience His Design for His children in such way that I would sing…NO SHOUT His Truth… “We all belong to Him and He wants to restore all that has been lost and redeem His children!”

A few weeks ago, I was thinking about what to write to you, my sweet sisters and God had me open His Word like many times before…He whispered “Just let it fall open and read…I have something for you there”. This was just days before I received the news my tent was stricken by this intruder… God said, “This is for you my daughter let this be your comfort.”

“God—you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you! I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God, traveling across dry and weary deserts. So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in your strength and glory. In your generous love I am really living at last! My lips brim praises like fountains. I bless you every time I take a breath; My arms wave like banners of praise to you. I eat my fill of prime rib and gravy; I smack my lips. It’s time to shout praises! If I’m sleepless at midnight, I spend the hours in grateful reflection. Because you’ve always stood up for me, I’m free to run and play. I hold on to you for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post.” Psalm 63:1-8MSG

God was telling me look at Me, not what you are hearing with your ears or seeing with your eyes…sweet daughter I AM your portion, NO MATTER WHAT! COME WHAT MAY!

There are tough days coming…surgery, reconstruction, chemo, radiation, hormone therapy…all of these things cannot…WILL NOT…disrupt or confuse the truth that Jesus is my King, my Forever Father! Father God, I pray for you to continue your work in me, cast out any thought or iniquity still in me…open any stronghold and destroy any fear for I am your creation God and You are my Savior in whom I trust.

2 Corinthians 5:7-8 tells us “for we walk by faith, not by sight… but we are of good courage and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.”

In closing, there are some lyrics of a popular worship song that has ministered to me, here it is for you to take in…be blessed and comforted.

CHAMPION by Bethel Worship
I’ve tried so hard to see it
Took me so long to believe it
That You’d choose someone like me
To carry Your victory
Perfection could never earn it
You give what we don’t deserve and
You take the broken things
And raise them to glory

You are my champion
Giants fall when you stand
Undefeated
Every battle You’ve won
I am who You say I am
You crown me with confidence
I am seated, in the heavenly place
Undefeated, with the
One who has conquered it all

Now I can finally see it
You’re teaching me how to receive it
So let all the striving cease
This is my victory

When I lift my voice and shout
Every wall comes crashing down
I have the authority
Jesus has given me
When I open up my mouth
Miracles start breaking out
I have the authority
Jesus has given me

You are my champion
Giants fall when you stand
Undefeated
Every battle You’ve won
I am who You say I am
You crown me with confidence
I am seated, in the heavenly place
Undefeated, by the power of Your name
I am seating, in the heavenly place
Undefeated, with the One you has conquered it all

Blessings, Sister Laurie

THE GIFT

Greetings to all of you, my sweet sisters in Jesus Christ.  “When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore.  A new life has begun!   All these new things are from God who brought us back to Himself through what Christ Jesus did.  And God has given us the privilege of urging everyone to come into His favor and be reconciled to Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 TLB

What an amazing gift we have in Jesus.  This gift is beautiful wrapped with paper and ribbons, the paper and ribbons can be thought of as salvation, a guaranteed home with Jesus and our Heavenly Father.  The sacrifice Jesus made on the cross confirmed our reservation in eternity when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior.

Today, I want to talk about the contents of the gift.  Deuteronomy 11:21TLB gives us a glimpse of what God has for those who believe in Him… it says, “so that as long as there is sky above the earth, you and your children will enjoy the good life awaiting you in the land the Lord has promised you.”

You see this gift is to be used here and now, embraced, pursued, practiced, and welcomed.  As you embrace God and walk with Him Psalm 115:14NASB tells us “May the Lord increase you, you and your children.”  This increase comes in the form of love, joy, peace, hope, grace, strength, mercy, and so much more.  He will meet your needs and restore what the Locust has eaten.  Now many might speak these scriptures and others spouting material riches however I caution you that while God tells us He will supply all our needs this does not necessarily mean prosperity as the world measures it.  I would much rather cultivate and harvest the Fruits of the Spirit along with an intimate relationship with Jesus than financial gain.

Galatians 5:22-23 MSG, “But what happens when we live God’s way?  He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity.  We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people.  We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.”

As the contents of the gift unfolds we find Jesus has given us…

“ For as you know him better, He will give you, through His great power, everything you need for living a truly good life: He even shares His own glory and His own goodness with us!” 2 Peter 1:3TLB

“yet now God declares us “not guilty” of offending him if we trust in Jesus Christ, who in His kindness freely takes away our sins.” Romans 3:24TLB

Paul tells us in Philippians 4:11-13NASB “Not that I speak from need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.  I know how to get along with little, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

“For because of our faith, He has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be.” Romans 5:2TLB

“who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was granted to us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.”  2 Timothy 1:9NASB

“He disciplines us for our own good so that we may share in His Holiness.” Hebrews 12:1NASB

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39NASB

In Closing, I urge you my sisters to step into all God has for you, there are many believers who once they take off the ribbon and paper leave their gift untouched for one reason or another.  This gift can only be fully experienced through daily pursuing Jesus with all our body, mind and spirit.  Allowing God to refine us…transforming us into the very image of Himself, our Father.  Ephesians 2:10AMPC confirms this… “For we are God’s own handiwork, His workmanship, recreated in Christ Jesus, born anew, that we may do those good works which God predestined, planned beforehand for us taking paths which He prepared ahead of time, that we should walk in them living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live.”

Blessings, Sister Laurie

ELEMENTS

Greetings to all of you, my sweet sisters in Jesus Christ.  “It was for freedom that Christ set you and I free…completely liberated; therefore, keep standing firm and do not be hampered and ensnared or allow sin to put a leash on you which Jesus Christ has removed.  There is no sin that can hold you captive unless you give in to it.” Galatians 5:1 personalized

This life we are living…the relationship we have with Jesus and others are as vital as the very air we breathe.  There are specific elements to our relationship with our Savior which are also necessary in our earthly relationships.  A couple weeks ago our youth pastor at Generations Church, Pastor Jesse Jamerson, spoke some words of Truth on this very subject.  Here find my takeaway from Pastor Jesse and God’s Truth.

God’s Word pours out the elements of our relationship with our Creator, His Son, and His children.  Let’s explore each of these elements so that you and I might find the Truth concerning a more intimate bond with God and others.  This has always been God’s Plan from those first days when Adam and Eve walked with God in the Garden until Jesus returns…God’s primary concern has been our relationship with Him.

We know from God’s Word (Genesis 1:26-28) we were created in His image.  Unfortunately, that image was twisted and distorted by sin.  Jesus came to restore that image, His sacrifice paid the price for our sin once and for all…past, present, and future.   Now this opportunity is for this moment, here in our earthly bodies, to experience God’s Love through a relationship with Jesus.  To claim our Kingdom position as His Children, the daughters of the Most High King.  This position can only be manifested in your life through a thriving relationship with Your Savior and Heavenly Father.

This relationship I am speaking of has elements or attributes, without them we CANNOT receive the love God intends for each of us.  These very elements also must be found in our relationships with others.  Let’s take a close look at what is required…

Be Yourself –  There is no need to try and make a false impression on God, He already knows…also be real with those around you.  The Apostle Paul puts it right out there…”And when I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come as someone superior in speaking ability or wisdom, as I proclaimed to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.  I also was with you in weakness and fear, and in great trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of mankind, but on the power of God.” 

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 NASB  We also find in 2 Timothy 2:15. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” False impressions to impress quickly fade.   Remember, God made you so let others see the real you.

Further study; Psalm 139:14, 2 Corinthians 4:7-10, Romans 12:1-21, James 5:15

Spend Time – It is said what you spend time with what you value.  Your relationship with God and others is dependent on the time you invest.  How can we know someone, or they know us if we don’t spend time with them?  God is passionate about a relationship with you.  God wants us to spend time with Him!  In fact, the more time we spend with God, the more He will be involved in our lives.  James 4:8 MSG says “So let God work his will in you.  Yell a loud “NO” to the Devil and watch him make himself scarce.  Say a quiet YES to God and he’ll be there in no time.  Quit dabbling in sin.  Purify your inner life.  Quit playing the field.  Hit bottom and  cry your eyes out.  The fun and games are over.  Get serious, really serious.  Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.”

More than anything, spending time with God not only builds your relationship but your faith.  “Come, let’s talk this over, says the Lord; no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool!” Isaiah 1:18 TLB  Our personal relationships also require time and conversation…How are we to know one another if there is no investment of our time. 

Further study: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Hebrews 10:25

Communication – 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” The Bible warns us that what we say and how we say it is important to God.  Conversation like spending time is crucial in every relationship.  God loves to hear our thoughts and ideas after all He created us to be unique and have a life purpose.  Through our conversations with Him that purpose is revealed.  With others God’s Word, speaks clearly about how through our communication we build or damage relationships.  “Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.”  Proverbs 18:13NLT Also, Colossians 4:6NLT says, “Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.”  What we say and how we say it makes all the difference.  “  If you speak to people in words they don’t understand, how will they know what you are saying?  You might as well be talking into empty space.”  1 Corinthians 14:9NLT

Further study: Proverbs 13:17, James 1:19, Psalm 19:14, Proverbs 15:1

Humility – This word often is confusing for us even the dictionary doesn’t really define what it means to walk in humility, in fact it is completely a world’s view and not Gods.  Simply stated to walk in humility is to fully understand “It’s NOT about you!”  Humility is better defined by servanthood, that is the way in which we serve others and God.  In fact, to serve God is to serve others without expectation of reward or recognition.  A true believer gives with a cheerful heart, quietly without expecting something in return.  You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure.  “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 NASB, Here it is so plainly put…meditate upon these words, “Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life.  Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God!  Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious free life.  Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God.  Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God.  That person ignores who God is and what he is doing.  And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.”  Romans 8:5-8  When we are unable or unwilling to humble ourselves we are saying we don’t trust God.

Further Study: 1 Peter 5:6-7, James 4:6, Philippians 2:3-4, Matthew 18:4, Ephesians 4:1-3

Trust – Putting your trust in God is the way forward.  Set aside your anxieties and doubts and turn it all over to the Lord.  God says “Trust in me, your Father, the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to me, and I will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6personalized  “You will keep the man in perfect peace whose mind is kept on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 NLT How can you find peace without trusting God, in this world with so much uncertainty.  In those you love as well, there must be trust, without trust every single  other element in the relationship will fail. 

Further study: Psalm 9:10, Proverbs 28:26, Philippians 4:19, 2 Corinthians 5:7

Listen – Are you a good listener?  Listening is one of the easiest things you’ll ever do, and one of the hardest.

In a sense, listening is easy, or I should say hearing is easy. It doesn’t demand the initiative and energy required in speaking.  That’s why “faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ”. Romans 10:17NASB.  We must make listening to God a priority.  God is speaking to us continually; we must train our spirit to hear His Voice. But despite this ease — or perhaps precisely because of it — we often fight against it. In our sin, we’d rather trust in ourselves than another, amass our own righteousness than receive another’s, speak our thoughts than listen to someone else.  True, sustained, active listening is a great act of faith, and a great means of grace, both for ourselves and for others.   This happens when we invest time.  It is through reading His word, fasting, and praying we increase our ability to listen to God.  In our relationship with others the same applies, if you are so busy talking how can you know what your loved one is feeling or thinking.  Humility is at work in listening as well as having good communication skills.  So, learning to listen well won’t happen overnight. It requires discipline, effort, and intentionality.  You will get better with time.  Here are seven steps to becoming a better listener (1) Good listening requires patience.  Remember it’s not about you.  (2) Good listening is an act of love. (3) Good listening asks perspective questions.  (4) Good listening readies us to minister words of grace to precisely the place where the other is in need.  (5) Good  listening can be a greater service than speaking.  Lean in express concern with your body language. (6)  Put more emphasis on affirmation than on answers.  (7) Good listening should reflect our relationship with God.

Further Study: John 10:27, James 1:19, Matthew 7:27, Proverbs 12:15 and 18:13

Intentional – We must pursue God with intention.  Let’s be honest, the fast pace of life can easily whisk us away and into the busy grind, leaving the day void of conversations with God.  This is true for our relationships with others as well. “So then, be careful how you walk, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.  Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17NASB  Our deepest friends should be committed Christ-followers that encourage us spiritually, and whom we are actively encouraging.  We are to be a light in our relationships and conversations with non-believers. “and let’s consider how to encourage one another in love and good deeds, not abandoning our own meeting together, as is the habit of some people, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25NASB  We must actively pursue two types of relationships: ones that contribute to our spiritual walk and ones to whom we can contribute, both believers and non-believers. “Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.  Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:13-14

Further Study:  Ephesians 4:15-16, Philippians 2:2-4, Colossians 4:2-6, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Proverbs 13:20

Intimacy – “Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me.  Test my motives and my heart.  For I am always aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth..” Psalm 26:2-3NLT  When writing to the church at Philippi, Paul said this, “I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself.  If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.” Philippians 3:10 When we look at this word “know” in its fullness of translation we see there is or was nothing more intimate, more personal, this is experienced through the Holy Spirit residing within us.  We can confidently say when we know God we are never alone.  Jesus had such an intimate relationship with God that He knew He was never alone.  No matter the circumstance, no matter who was around Him or how people felt about Him or treated Him, Jesus was at peace, confident, and able to overcome. This is what it is like to experience intimacy with God. God  is the starting place for this kind of intimacy with others.  If we cannot be intimate with our Savior, then we will surely struggle to be intimate with people.  Yet if we can be intimate with God, He can and will show us how to be free to encounter the kind of intimacy in relationships that we all desire.

Further Study: John 15:4-6, Zephaniah 3:17, John 17:3, Colossians 3:1, Romans 5:8, Matthew 10:30

When you are pursuing a relationship with God built upon these elements, it affects every aspect of your life. You’ll love differently, treat people differently, you will see the world and others through Jesus’ eyes.

In closing here are a few more scriptures to meditate upon…

“Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.”  1 John 3:18NLT  

“You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters.  Love each other deeply with all your heart.”  1 Peter 1:22NLT

“But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.”  1 John 1:7 NLT

Finally, this is my desire for you sweet sisters…“I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love.  I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself.”  Colossians 2:2 NLT

Blessings, Sister Laurie

If you would like to reach out to me, I welcome you to do so.  I would love to share what God is speaking to me and pray for you, pour into you so that you may grow your relationship with our loving Savior Jesus Christ.  It is in the sharing and studying of God’s Word that we find the freedom only God, our Forever Father can bring.

God is Good

Greetings to all of you, my sisters in Jesus Christ.  I’m reading a new book, well at least a new book for me entitled, “Blessed Beyond Measure”, by Gloria Copeland.  In the first couple of pages, she got me thinking about God’s Word and how every circumstance, every word shows us just how much God loves us and wants absolutely the best for you and I.  Gloria’s book speaks to God’s Goodness and how we miss out on receiving all He has for us by our own misunderstanding, wrong thinking and actions.  God NEVER withholds, it is us who miss what He is offering.  God’s Holy Word clearly tells us the outcome of our obedience to Him and the outcome of disobedience.  In His Words God says “Place these words on your hearts.  Get them deep inside you.  Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder.  Teach them to your children.  Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning until you fall into bed at night.  Inscribe them on the doorposts and gates of your cities so that you’ll live a long time, and your children with you, on the soil that God promised to give your ancestors for as long as there is a sky over the Earth.” Deuteronomy 11:18-21 MSG  God is telling you right here what to do in order to make way for His goodness to be manifested in your life.

Just like God’s children of the Old Testament, it is our life choices, our decisions and actions that put us into captivity.  Many believers and non-believers get confused about the sovereignty (supreme power or authority) of God, they find themselves blaming God for the misfortunes, disasters, heartbreaks, sickness…saying this must be a curse put on us by God.  The truth is it is our own curse,  through man’s sinful nature and the influences of the devil.  Now I must make something perfectly clear…illness in most cases is not the result of sin however sinful behavior can weaken our body making it vulnerable to sickness.  An example of this would be drug addiction which damages God’s perfectly created body and makes it susceptible to health conditions, often leading to death.

The famous scripture which hangs in many homes today says, “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11 NASB  But most people stop right there believing all I have to do is believe and I will live in prosperity.  We have a responsibility in receiving the “goodness” God is speaking of…read further, “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.   And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.  I will let Myself be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.”  Jeremiah 29:12-14 NASB

Now let me get to the entrée of what I wanted to share with you, we are sitting at God’s Table, and He wants to serve a full course meal including dessert, I believe one of the best scriptures that describes God’s Goodness is found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  I know your thinking that’s the “love” chapter and is not God telling us how to behave?  How to love?  Well, yes but how much better we can understand if we look at it as a description of God and know with confidence that we being made in His image have the ability within our spirit with the help of the Holy Spirit to demonstrate the same goodness in our lives. We know that God is love and all true love flows from Him into us therefore let us look at these precious words exchanging the word “love” for God to gain a deeper understanding of the depth of God’s goodness. I have personalized these scriptures using several translations.

God  is patient, enduring, understanding…God is kind,

God is not suspicious or bitter however He desires for us to keep our eyes on Him some might say He is jealous, but I say protective.

God has no need brag He is sovereign, God is not arrogant, boastful, proud or rude there is no need for there are no other Gods only those manmade with no power and influenced by Satan to distract us.  If we look at nature and all of God’s creation we see there is no need for God to boast or demand His own way…He is a gentleman who never forces.

God never acts disgracefully, God does not seek his own benefit; God cannot be provoked, He is not irritable, God does not keep an account, no record of a wrong suffered, God exists in the light never in darkness, no good thing EVER comes from darkness.  God is GOOD!

God does not rejoice in unrighteousness or wrongdoing; He never rejoices concerning injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.   God’s heart breaks at man’s sinful nature, His Word was meant and remains our personal guide in life to experience God and all He has for us. God’s great sacrifice is the evidence of His love, that He Himself is Love…to suffer and die for each of us upon the cross.

God’s truth bears up under anything and everything that comes, God is always ever ready to believe the best all His children, God’s hopes are fadeless under every circumstance…

God will  never fail you…He will never change, fade out or become obsolete…GOD IS THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY and TOMORROW!

In closing, I will leave you with this final truth.  The goodness of God and the glory of God spoken in the Bible are practically synonymous meaning interchangeable, identical, equal or it might be said one in the same.  In the Hebrew language the word “glory” means “to be heavy with everything good.”  In today’s world and language, we might find words that seem superior to the word “good” such as best, better, or excellent, however, in Hebrew “good” is the superlative word meaning there is no higher word, nothing more grand or descriptive.  In other words, the word “good” found in God’s Word speaks of the highest and greatest, everything that is positive and desirable.  Ladies that is who God is…God is Good.

Blessings, Sister Laurie

Peripheral

Greetings to all of you, my sisters in Jesus Christ.  I am just going to jump right in.  There is a battling raging in the world.  Our position with God is solid, however God tells us in His Word…”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  John 2:16KJV

Today, the kingdom of God is under full attack…the forces of evil are out there bringing confusion and destruction.  While we know with confidence the battle is won for God’s eternal purpose people are still perishing daily.  The lines of identity, social justice, moral value have been blurred.  You might ask why is this happening?  It is because believers all over the world have taken the back seat and allowed God’s Truth to be silenced.

We must arm ourselves and not be shy, the back seat is not working, God wants us driving!  We must remember who has been given authority against the forces of darkness in this world right now!  Who has been called to share God’s love in this world with power and influence?  It is you and I my sister!  So, what can we do?  Let me make it clear…everyone is important and has value!  No matter how far astray they have become from the beautiful person God created them to be.

First, in God’s Word and Truth as spoken in Luke 4:18AMP, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me (the Messiah), Because He has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor.  He has sent Me to announce release (pardon, forgiveness) to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed (downtrodden, bruised, crushed by tragedy).” 

Second, we have a responsibility in our relationships, not just family but those we encounter in our peripheral daily life, Colossians 2:2TLB says, “This is what I have asked of God for you: that you will be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love, and that you will have the rich experience of knowing Christ with real certainty and clear understanding.  For God’s secret plan, now at last made known, is Christ himself.”  Further, Colossians 3:13-14NTL “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.  Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.”

We must stand up in a loving way to Satan’s attempts at destroying or should I say taking as many as he can with him, that really what it amounts to…Jesus is coming and those who have not heard, have not taken Jesus Christ as their Savior will suffer the consciences.  That is the harsh truth!

Here are some steps we can take to help those lost in the devil’s grip find freedom.

  • Arm yourself, know God…daily talk, pray and read His Word, seek out Godly instruct, worship, prophecy and sing of His power and goodness.  The more time we invest in Him the closer we grow and the more power to free those captives is revealed.  It is all about relationship with Him and then taking it to others.
  • Meet people where they are both physically and spiritually.  Right in their mess…reach out in love, offer encouragement that there is something so much better coming.  Identify with their situation, remember one size does not fit all, we must be relevant to the culture and situation.
  • Use world tools to reach people, don’t engage in political arguments instead promote God’s love.  Consider who is in your peripheral, their culture, background, past, outward appearance.  Remember everyone deserves to be loved.  Forgiveness is key.  We must live without offence, quick to forgive.  Please know I am not talking about living in an abusive relationship or tolerating abuse, it is how we react that shows our forgiveness and love. Live with healthy, Godly boundaries.
  • Listen…less words more listening.  Are you taking the time to really listen?  Do not be in a hurry, there is nothing more important than representing Jesus Christ, we do this through listening.  Be slow to speak and make sure your response is not coming from hidden hurt.  We must look to God for the Godly counsel that is what is needed in today’s world.  That doesn’t not mean pointing out sin.  As a person comes to Christ, Jesus will lead them out of their sin.  Romans 8:1TPT says…”So now the case is closed.  There remains no accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus, the Anointed One.”  We must not give a list of rules to the one searching for it can be a huge stumbling block.  The first step for the one searching is to come to a place of encountering God and asking Jesus into their hearts, confessing He is Lord and asking for forgiveness.  Scripture does not tell us to point out their sin.   
  • Am I approachable?  1 Timothy 1:12-16TPT personalized says “My heart spills over with thanks to God for the way he continually empowers me, and to our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, who found me trustworthy and who authorized me to be his partner in this ministry.  Mercy kissed me, even though I used to be a blasphemer, a persecutor of believers, and a scorner of what turned out to be true.  I was ignorant and didn’t know what I was doing.  I was flooded with such incredible grace, like a river overflowing its banks it is a superabounding grace,  until I was full of faith and love for Jesus, the Anointed One!   I can testify that the Word is true and deserves to be received by all, for Jesus Christ came into the world to bring sinners back to life—even me, the worst sinner of all!   Yet I was captured by grace, so that Jesus Christ could display through me the outpouring of his Spirit, a demonstration of his perfect patience as a pattern to be seen for all those who would believe, in fact they are destined to believe in him for eternal life.”  We must consider, Colossians 4:4-6TPT personalized which instructs us through Paul “And please pray for me, that God will open a door of opportunity for us to preach the revelation of the mystery of Christ, for whose sake I am imprisoned.  Pray that I would unfold and reveal fully this mystery, for that is my delightful assignment. Walk in the wisdom of God as you live before the unbelievers and make it your duty to make him known giving this purpose your all.  Let every word you speak be drenched with grace, compassion and tempered with truth and clarity. For then you will be prepared to give a respectful answer to anyone who asks about your faith.”

Who can you bless today?  With a Word, a gesture or action?  Who is in your peripheral?

Blessings, Sister Laurie