Miracles Pt.5 – Immediate Miracles

Miracles Pt.5 – Immediate Miracles 

God is able and willing to work miracles in and through any person who has a heart to believe in His unlimited power and unlimited possibilities. Miracles are for YOU today!

Psalm 77:14 NIV – You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.

Declaration:

“God wants my life to be full of Miracles. My Life itself is a Miracle. Miracles are happening to me continuously . I wake daily and experience the miracle of living. My miracles are expanding and accelerating. Today I expect and happily receive miracles.”

There is NO such thing as a hopeless situation. Every single circumstance of your life can change.

Miracle – an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs. A supernatural manifestation of divine power in the external world. a spontaneous expression of God’s elemental power.

Acts 10:44 NIV – While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.

Something IMMEDIATELY happened when they HEARD the WORD OF GOD. 

Romans 10:17 ESV So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

If what you hear preached doesn’t cause faith to come and build faith in your spirit, then it either isn’t the Word of God or else you’re not hearing it

1. God’s Word is Everything God is (Miraculous, Spirit, Breath, Life, Presence, Power)

John 1:1-5 NIV – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.

John 6:63 NIV – The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. 

2 Timothy 3:14-16 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

Inspiration is compound of the words “Theos” (God) and “Pneuma” (Spirit) – God Breathed – Inspiration of God

God’s Word is not the product of elevated human consciousness or enlightened human intellect. This is God breathing HIS very own breath and presence into something.

2. God’s Word has the ability to create, destroy, and perfect

Hebrews 11:3 NIV – By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

•We use words to describe, God uses Words to Create (Genesis 1)

Colossians 1:16 NIV – For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

Mark 11:12-14, 22-24 NIV12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. 22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly[d] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

•Your Mountain needs to hear God’s Word and Your Voice

By getting God’s Word deep into your spirit and speaking it boldly out your mouth, you release spiritual power to change things in the natural circumstances.

3. God’s Word is Living (All 66 books, 1, 189 Chapters, 31, 273 Verses)

Hebrews 4:12 NLT – For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

Isaiah 40:8 NIV – The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.

Matthew 24:35 NIV – Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

I Peter 1:23-25 NIV – For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.24 For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall,25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.”[a] And this is the word that was preached to you.

Abideth – To dwell, To remain, to last

4. God will Perform His Word

•Perform – to carry out an action or pattern of behavior; To begin and carry through to completion;

•Believing God’s word means What God says will come to pass

• Instead of believing what you see – Choose to believe what Jesus said!

Jeremiah 1:12 ESV – Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.”

Isaiah 55:8-11 NIV – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it

Ezekiel 12:28 NIV – Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

Hebrews 10:35-38 ESV – Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay;38 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”

5. God’s Word Can Produce Immediate Miracles

•Immediately – without delay

•Quit saying WHEN, and Start saying NOW

•Faith says I have it NOW – Hope says I’ll get it later. Bring your Faith into the NOW Realm.

Hebrews 11:1 KJV “NOW faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Amplified – 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].

“If you believe”….Numerous times in the Bible we are told that if we only believe THEN God will fulfill His promises. It starts with believing. There is incredible power in belief.

Ephesians 3:20 NKJV – NOW to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

In the Amplified version is says:…His power is able to do superabundantly, far over and above all that we dare ask or think {infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams}

WE can Expect Immediate Miracles

Psalm 31:5 NIV – Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.

Psalm 69:17 NIV – Do not hide your face from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.

Psalm 79:8 NIV – Do not hold against us the sins of past generations; may your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need.

Psalm 102:2 NIV – Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly.

What has taken time, can begin to happen IMMEDIATELY – We have a right to believe God for Immediate miracles

The Proof of Immediate Miracles 

Proof – the establishment of the truth of anything; demonstration. establishes validity

Luke 5:24-25 NIV 24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.

Acts 14:8-10 NIV In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10 and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.

Acts 3:1-9 NIV – One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God,

Mark 5:21-29, 38-42 NIV  When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

38-42- When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished

NOW IS YOUR TIME FOR YOUR MIRACLE 

2 Corinthians 6:2 NIV – For he says,“In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.”[a]I tell you, NOW is the time of God’s favor, NOW is the day of salvation

Extraordinary Pt.6 Expectations

ExtraOrdinary

Extraordinary Pt.6 – Expectations 

Paul is winding up his prayer, which is a lengthy prayer here, to the Lord on behalf of the Ephesians.

Ephesians 3:20 NKJV – Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

In the Amplified version is says:

…His power is able to do superabundantly, far over and above all that we dare ask or think {infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams}

What a tremendous amplification of that verse. God is able to do superabundantly, far over and above all that we dare ask or think, infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams.

That’s what God wants to do in your life and in my life – that which is infinitely beyond all our highest prayers or desires. In other words, God says, ‘Think of the greatest need in your life. Think of the greatest desire of your heart.” God says, “Think of the greatest thing you can imagine that I could do for you and I can top that if you come to me and ask me. I can do superabundantly beyond that. I can do infinitely beyond your highest prayers or desires, or hopes or dreams.”

What are you asking for? What are you thinking? What are you believing for? Most people never take advantage of God’s abundant resources that is made available to us

It’s time to raise the level of our expectations 

•I read the 2011 authorized biography of Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson – Steve created Apple Computer, was kicked out, and then returned as one of the most incredible leaders of all time. He revolutionized how the the entire world experiences computers, applications, music, animation, tablets, and telephones.

-Why? Steve had sky-high expectations. He believed impossible things could actually happen. (Many christians don’t)

-He believed so strongly that obstacles could be overcome that the guys at Apple invented a term called “Steve’s reality distortion field”. We have Reality Discouragement Field.

-The marketplace of business and finance believes impossible things are possible  – they’ve raised their expectations – while the Christian world has lowered our exceptions.

Expectations matter! Extraordinary people expect more from life and they almost always get it! You don’t get what you deserve you get what you EXPECT.

Extraordinary – beyond unusual, exceptional, amazing, astonishing, astounding, sensational, stunning, incredible, unbelievable, phenomenal; or remarkable. (1) a very special thing (2) something ordinary with something extra

1. Believe Impossible Things are Possible

“Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends.” George Muller 

The extraordinary Law of FAITH- It’s you asking, believing, expecting, God for a particular outcome, whether its a job, money, a person, whatever.

Expectation / Faith is a spiritual force based on the eternal laws of God that can change things in the natural.

Mark 11:22-24 ESV – 22 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever SAYS to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received[a] it, and it will be yours.

****Stop only believing in the possible! Extraordinary people believe in the impossible! You have to believe things as you would have them be instead as they are.

Expectation Believes 1. What God says will come to pass and 2. What I say will come to pass

The Law of Belief states, “What  person believes in their heart with conviction becomes their reality.

•We manifest what we believe/expect. You may or may not be aware of what you truly believe, but basically that is what “issues” are coming to pass in your life.

Don’t limit God down to the size of our brain

How do I create an extraordinary belief system that causes me to receive the answers to my prayers?

Mark 9:23 ESV – 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”

The problem is reality. We live on earth

Disappointment » Discouragement » Disillusionment » Despair

Disappointment occurs when reality does not match expectation

Discouragement sets in when reality does not change over time

Disillusionment is seeing a reality that you don’t like … no longer believe in “fairy tale” (illusion)

Despair sets in when there is the loss of all hope that reality will NEVER meet expectation

Matthew 9:29 NIV – Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”;

Jesus encountered the two blind men and made a dynamic statement. “According to your faith, so be it unto you.” The blind men came to Jesus and He said, “What would you that I do for you?” They said, “Lord, that we may receive our sight.” Jesus spoke to them and said, “According to your faith, so be it unto you,” and these blind men received their sight because they received what they expected, according to their faith. So, faith is expecting the best. I want you to think about that statement, in light of Ephesians 3:20.

The Law of Expectations says that, basically, we get what we expect out of life. We tend to see what we expect to see, we tend to feel what we expect to feel, we tend to act the way we expect to act, and eventually, we tend to achieve what we expect to achieve. Your expectations influence your happiness, they influence your health. Your expectations influence your relationships.

Expectation – is to have a strong desire and be filled with anticipation and confidence in obtaining what is hoped for and expected

Luke 5:17-26 NIV – One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

There are many “paralyzed” people. Many people feel trapped – imprisoned by

habits, hurts, and hang-ups.

Get Rid of 4 toxic words in your Vocabulary today – THINGS WILL NEVER CHANGE

•These 4 words can handcuff the hands of God and stop things from happening in your life

Matthew 13:58 NIV –  And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

•Care more than others think is wise

•Dream more than others think is practical

•Expect more than others think is possible. Faith…faith finds a way

•Risk more than others think is safe

•Start believing impossible things are possible – You will get what you expect! 

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Eliot”

Get over “can’t” and closed doors

2. God Makes Extraordinary Promises About What He Does WHEN WE SIMPLY ASK

Matthew 7:7-8 ESV – 7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

Ask – to want or desire something for which you are willing to sacrifice. Asking helps us bring clarity to our direction and desire.

John 14:12-14 ESV – 12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me[a] anything in my name, I will do it.

John 15:7 ESV – If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Anything: any thing whatever; something, no matter what: a thing of any kind. in any degree; to any extent; in any way; at all:

•If you want to see Extraordinary Results in prayer, then be specific when you ask God for what you want, need, or desire.

If you are not clear, Faith cannot bring you what you want, need, or desire. a mixed frequency with your asking may produce no results. Get SPECIFIC with God and ASK Him.

James 4:2 ESV – 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.

-In other words, we try everything else but Prayer. Go ahead, I dare you! ASK GOD!

I John 5:14-15 ESV – 14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

•Amplified – 14 And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us.15 And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him.

•“Whatever & Anything” is an Extraordinary promise. What is your Anything?

Job 22:28 NKJV – You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways.

-NIV – What you decide on will be done,

-NLT – You will succeed in whatever you choose to do

-MSG – You’ll decide what you want and it will happen;

•Expectation says You must know what you want is yours the moment you ask! not after you pray, not when you feel something, not when you see something. The moment you pray believe you receive!

3. God Is Faithful To Back Up Everything He Said

Matthew 24:35 NIV – Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

Matthew 7:11 NIV – 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

•Expectation sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible

•Expectation is not believing that God can but that God will!

•Expectation is believing in things when common sense tells you not to

•Expectation is the KEY that releases the resources of God into our situation

Numbers 23:19 ESV – God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

When God gives He always exceeds our expectations

Prayer of expectation: Lord I believe You are good and You desire to release into my life wonderful, unimaginable, miraculous, great, and mighty things. Today I pray with large expectations by the power of the Holy Spirit. Enlarge my vision. Increase my faith. Secure my future.

Ghost Stories Part 4

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Ghost Stories Part 4

The Holy Spirit is for today and is at work in the church around the world.

I really believe God has an incredible plan for your life and apart of that great plan is understanding and receiving  the life, power, freedom, and strength that the Holy Spirit can bring.

I Corinthians 2:9-14 NIV – However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”[a]—the things God has prepared for those who love him—10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.[b] 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

•If we want to receive all God has for us, then we’re going to have to move beyond the natural realm into the supernatural realm.

In my experience, take the Holy Spirit out of the equation of your life and it spells boring. Add it into the equation of your life and you never know where you are going to go, what you are going to do, or who you are going to meet.” Mark Batterson

(Luke 3:16 NIV) John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” 

Fire in scripture is the symbol or type of purifying on the inside of you

Why The Holy Spirit is Necessary

“Every time we say “I believe in the Holy Spirit,” we mean that we believe that there is a living God able and willing to enter into human personality and change it” JB Phillips

(1 Thessalonians 5:19, 23 NIV) “Do not put out the Spiritʼs fire…(Let God work out the stuff in our life) May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. (Holy Spirit so works on your life that you want to live for God & not do what you want to do) May your whole spirit, soul and body (He wants to sanctify us in three areas) be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

•Our spirit is drawn to idolatry.

Idolatry is nothing more than the worship of anything other than God

Apart of us that loves God – We leave and the war starts up

We get drawn to other Gods – Possessions, Money, Career, Cars, Stuff

We love God but he’s just one of our loves – He’s not content to be one of your lovers – He said there will be no other Gods before me

God doesn’t mind we have stuff that we love/enjoy but they can’t be before Him

He wants to be our primary love – Everything makes sense when he is

(Matthew 6:24 NIV) “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

Not talking about money in your pocket but the God of Money

Spirit that is on money – Spirit of possessions

Meaning that people think that money satisfies it all

•Our soul is drawn to pride. 

Emotions – Mind & Will – Unhealthy view of ourselves

Anger & Depression – Our soul is unhealthy

(Galatians 5:22-23 NIV) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and selfcontrol.”

War going on – Anger issues – Why do I do this – Respond this way

Your trying to live a certain way without the internal motivation to live that way

•Our body is drawn to lust.

God wants to sanctify our bodies – lust is your body controls you – calls the shot – Creating frustration on the inside of you

We Need the Holy Spirit so we won’t desire that – What would it be like if you let the Holy Spirit live in you?

(1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV) “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

What would happen if you invited the ministry of the Holy Spirit in your life?

Charles Stanley says, “God will never direct us to be prideful, arrogant and unforgiving, immoral or slothful or full of fear. We step into these things because we are insensitive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit within us.”

The Holy Spirit in Me 

Talking New Testament church that we live in today

(Ezekiel 36:26-27 NIV) “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” 

The difference between the got to or the get to – New spirit

Don’t try to do right let the Holy Spirit burn away the junk in our lives

He wants to put a HOLY SPIRIT in me

When we struggle with sin it is saying more about how close we are to God

Not asking you to work hard but to love more – You’ll get this

1. Invite the Holy Spirit to show me

I don’t want to be the law for you & tell you what is right & wrong

I Want you to ask the Holy Spirit to show you – Point it out in me God

(Psalm 139:23-24) “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (I dare you to pray that prayer)

(John 16:8) “When he (HolySpirit) comes, he will convict the world (Not my job to do the convicting – I am not going to be a pastor that will stand up here & tell you how good or bad you’ve been) of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:” (My job is to lead you to the one who will show you himself)

2. Invite the Holy Spirit to change me

Only the holy spirit, the spirit of the lord, can transform us.

(Psalm 51:10-11) “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.” 

(Romans 8:5-6) “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace” 

Galatians 5:16-17 NLT – So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants…These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict.

Sink your lives into the journey of God – Fresh Start with God Class 

Give us one year of your life – Show me, change me Holy Spirit

3. Invite the Holy Spirit to fill me

(Ephesians 5:18) “Do not get drunk on wine, (Drunkness is always a type in scripture that is an excessive out of control life) which leads to debauchery. (Excessive indulgence in your senses – My senses call the shots) Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” 

We need The Holy Spirit – He is powerful – He’s always there – Counselor – Comforter – Gives gifts

One of the main purposes of the Holy Spirit is to put a Holy Spirit in me.

GOD’S PROMISE TO YOU!

Acts 2:38-39  NIV – Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

The Gospel comes in power and the Holy Spirit, with much assurance. If you call upon the name of the Lord, God will transform you on the inside, give you the shock of your life, and give you everlasting life on top of that.

SALVATION CALL

Ghost Stories Pt.3

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Welcome today to Part 3 of “Ghost Stories” 

(1st Corinthians 14:1 MSG) Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it—because it does. Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you. 

Want to get you comfortable with the Holy Spirit

(2 Corinthians 13:14 Message) “The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, (Love from the Father) the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.” 

First relationship that you need is Jesus

Jesus is the one who gives us grace to rescue us from sin

Many uncomfortable with the Holy Spirit – Seen things heard things

Many people don’t know Him as a Him but as a IT – Give me blank pages

Strange mystical force – Seen strange things

A lot of Christians have distanced themselves from Him

1st Week – He is a Him/Person – Para-Kaletos Greek work in John 14

He’s Comforter, Counselor He will always be by your side

Last week looked at the part that is difficult for some – Literal translations – Ruwach – Pneuma – Blast of breath or wind

Spiritual gifts has presented controversy – 3 types of gifts are given

Three Gifts 

1.Eternal life / Salvation. 

We receive freely the gift of eternal life because…

You & I were supposed to pay the bill for the sins we committed

Hell is not a place that God sends people that he’s mad at. Religion loves to focus on hell – Jesus focused on heaven.

(Romans 6:23) “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

Can be a lot of confusion on this – Be very clear

Gift of Jesus Christ is the only thing you need for Heaven

Titus 2:11 NIV – For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.

2 Corinthians 5:19 NIV – that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

Everything we have talked about – Relationship with the Holy Spirit/Gifts

Has nothing to do with Heaven or Hell

To have a home in Heaven is receive the gift of eternal life

That only comes through Jesus & the payment made on the cross

2.The Holy Spirit. Second gift

This is a separate gift from the salvation gift – Jesus already paid for sins John 20

He ministered forgiveness of sins to His disciples – He breathed on them to receive the Holy Spirit – Forgiven you

Makes this statement…

(Acts 1:4-5) “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift (Not a Heaven or Hell gift) my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 

Acts 2:38-29 NIV –  Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

(Acts 8:14-17) When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

I believe God gave this intentionally as separate gifts

He didn’t want us to confuse the two

He wanted you to know salvation is all important settles your eternity

Tons of Christians that have received the first gift

But haven’t opened up the second gift – Gift is available to every believer. We will discuss this next week.

Another gift needed for our lives here on earth

3. Spiritual gifts. Topic today

(Romans 12:6) “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” 

Gift in the greek is the word Charis – Get the word charisma or charismatic

“Charis” Literally means – Grace Gift

He has given you a unique divine ability

Some have asked are we a charismatic church?

We don’t use that term – Don’t use any terms like that

Reason why is people have definitions for those terms  – People have re-defined it

It’s hard to use those terms any longer because – Many different attitudes, opinions on what those terms mean

Word Charis just means gift – has nothing to do with other associations

Because of cultural & traditional terms

Biblically the answer would be “yes”

God has given his church gifts – spiritual gifts

Seems to be a lot of confusion around spiritual gifts

It also happened in the early church – Paul planted a church in a city called Corinth – Received the Holy Spirit & got out of control, weird and wrong

Paul starts an entire chapter go read 12,13,14 of 1st Corinthians

(1 Corinthians 12:1) “Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant.” 

Appreciate your attempts – People are out of control on both sides

Two Extremes: Some say I want nothing to do with it

Another extreme where things are done that are not mentioned in scripture

People ask the question; Are spiritual gifts for today?

Some have a doctrine or belief they call it (cessationism)  (cessationists)

They believe the gifts in scripture stopped when the apostles died

Problem with that belief is scripture doesn’t say that at all

Jesus said the opposite

Gift I will give you is for you, children & all who are far off

(John 14:12 NKJV) He who believes in me, the works I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to my Father.

I want our church to do greater things then even what you read in the gospels

Others believe like us that spiritual gifts are for today

I never hear people argue about the gift of mercy, faith, giving

Argument centers around one gift & that is the gift of tongues

Some believe it’s of the devil

Some believe you have to speak it to go to Heaven

Some believe if you don’t speak in tongues you don’t have the Holy Spirit

It’s not what the bible says – In scripture you see tongues come in two different forms

In a personal prayer language that people pray in – You see it in the form of a spiritual gift

Topic today is on spiritual gifts – 25-27 gifts in the NT

Tongues is one of them – Focus shouldn’t be on that one

I think the enemy has tried to hi-jack the Holy Spirit – To get people focused on that one spiritual gift – At the same time I don’t think it ought to be avoided either

(1 Corinthians 12:11) “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.” 

I believe it shouldn’t be avoided or abused – I am introducing you to the Holy Spirit our friend

I would be careful about anything the Holy Spirit wants to give you

And talking about it like it’s some repulsive experience

If the Holy Spirit has anything for me – it is good

Some have asked if tongues are apart of our services?

It has never been apart of our services – The bible tells us it shouldn’t

(1 Corinthians 14:23) “So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?”

When we come together we don’t come together for us

We are a church on mission & a church trying to make a difference in our city and in our world – Reaching lost people

The bible says, we are to be sensitive to those who don’t understand

And for those who don’t believe

I love it! – Holy Spirit gives guidelines for the church

He is teaching us how to behaveThe Holy Spirit is a gentleman

Paul said I speak in tongues more than anyone

He said to us – God is more concerned about people coming to Christ

Then us doing our own thing

Gifts from a Friend – Want you to come to a comfort level with Him

 (1 Corinthians 14:1) “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts…” 

1. His gifts are unique.

(1 Corinthians 12:4-6) “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.”

Three times uses the word different – Means they are unique

Customized for you – Can see it – See it in families

2. His gifts are needed. 

We need the gifts in operation in the church

(1 Corinthians 12:27 NLT) “Now all of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it.”

We cannot fulfill the mission unless we get this & welcome the gifts

87% of Christians don’t know their gifts or purpose

In 2016 we will offer a Spiritual Growth Class – Spiritual Gifts profile to help you understand you

Our dream is everyone of you know your gifts/purpose

His gifts aren’t spooky you can see it

3. His gifts are fulfilling. 

When you operate in those gifts – You will say this is why I was made

Happiest people I know are those serving in their gifts/purpose

(John 15:8, 11) “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” 

You’re never going to be happy until you’re doing something that makes a difference for eternity

Most happy when you connect with the Holy Spirit, receive gifts, operate in it

4. His gifts touch other people’s lives. 

People have connected with the gifts for the way it makes them feel

That is not the point – Holy Spirit did not come for our personal entertainment

End of the day spiritual gifts are to be used to impact another persons life 

(1 Peter 4:10 NLT) “God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you.”

Definition of a spiritual gift: A spiritual gift is a special supernatural ability that God gives to each of His children, so that together they can advance His purposes in this world.

Two question test coming up; What did you do with my son? What did you do with the gifts I gave you?

SALVATION CALL

Ghost Stories Part 2

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Welcome today to Part 2 of “Ghost Stories”

This not so spooky series about the Holy Spirit is going to be powerful. So open up your heart to the Supernatural

In Christianity never been an area that has brought more

Anxiety, misunderstanding, disagreement, controversy. I am going to teach from a Biblical perspective on the Holy Spirit. (not a denominational, etc..)

Set the record straight what we believe here at GraceTown Church

Here’s what I need from you…Give me a blank page – Be here

Throw out all you’re preconceived ideas, notions, places of abuse, and concern. We have preconceived notions not because of what the bible says But because of what people have done

Sometimes we carry an old way of thinking of who God is – There is more

More to God then just calling on him when you are in trouble

Holy Spirit is like gas to a car, oxygen to our bodies…Can’t live without him

In scripture you see He’s not outdated, not unbiblical, He’s wonderful

Acts 19:1-2 (NIV) – While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you Believed? They answered, No we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit”.

If you missed 1st message of this series you need to listen to it!

(2 Corinthians 13:14 Message) “The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.” 

God is not mad at you but madly in love with you

Intimate friendship – Jesus sent the Holy Spirit intentionally

Story: He wants to be your best friend

A best friend is a friend that is different from normal people

Comfort level that you can be you

May our comfort level change so we can be comfortable with the Holy Spirit

Why the disconnect with the Holy Spirit?

He is the Holy Spirit – KJV – Ghost – NIV – Spirit

Not the correct English word for Him – 800x spirit is said

Literal translations of the Holy Spirit is…

The Spirit of God 

Ruwach – a wind, breath, a violent exhalation, blast of breath.

(Genesis 1:2) “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.                    Pneuma – a current of air, blast of breath, a strong breeze.

Not a goofy weird experience – Giving you literal translations of those words – Unique Characteristics associated with Him

Three things unique to wind & breath…Understand it you will be comfortable – Associate it with the spirit of God…Wind is unseen

1. He’s unseen

You can feel him but you don’t see him – You know he’s there

Someone once said “We don’t run on feelings”

You need to feel what you are running on

He always intended for his presence to be experienced

Hopefully you felt that during worship

We were inviting the actual manifest presence of God to be in the room

That is our hope more than good music or preaching

Story: People new to our church impacted by God’s presence

Some of us don’t like the fact that he is unseen

We want him seen – Packaged (put in a denominational box)

I believe the reason why it is we, because want something we can control

Uncomfortable with what we can’t see/can’t control

I don’t think we would like it if we saw the wind – Couldn’t see anything else

Jesus spent about 40 days on earth before he ascended to Heaven

Doubting Thomas was missing

Disciples tried to tell Thomas they saw Jesus

Jesus comes into the room & he still says that’s not him

Unless I see the holes in his hands & side

(John 20:29) Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 

God is looking for a generation of people who don’t always need to “see” it

Have faith enough to believe Him – Experience him

Wind & Breath of God is here – Need to quit be so skeptical

Wind & breath can be unpredictable

2. He’s unpredictable

Story: Wind changes all the time – Evan loves to know the weather. In the natural it’s fun – bring it to the Holy Spirit & say its strange

Struggle with human nature is we want God to do what we want our way

We love to put God in a box

Some denominations form certain doctrines around one person’s experience

Spirit of God is unpredictable…He’s wind & breath

(John 3:8) Jesus answered…(Talking to Nicodemus be born again) The wind (pneuma) blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (pneuma)

If your going to be close to God must be ok with the unpredictable nature of God

Wind is powerful

3. He’s powerful. 

God is powerful – Some fine with a powerless God

People want a God they can wrap their minds around

Which means God will never be bigger than your brain

Some want to serve God on an intellectual level – It’s a disease

We want God to be studied, learned & understood in our minds

We live in a time where we need more than words & intellect – supernatural

Stuff we face today we need the power of God

Story: People suffering with sickness and disease

God is still in the power business – Still does miracles today

(Acts 1:5-8) “For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” 

You don’t need to always know stuff – you need power

Want to get you comfortable with the spirit of God – He’s unseen, unpredictable & has power

As the Pastor of this church I want it!

(Zechariah 4:6) “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit (Ruwach) says the Lord Almighty.”

We need more of God’s presence – More of his wind/breath

(1 Thessalonians 1:5) “…our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.”

For some have been turned off by Him or think this is crazy

He’s a breath of fresh air

We are so drawn to it in the natural – A nice breeze

We need to be drawn back to it in the spiritual

Catch Your Breath

(Ephesians 5:18) “…be filled with the Spirit.” Be filled with his wind, breath

We have heard terms in the church, If you get filled with the spirit you will get it with the evidence of…name things

In other words if you have it this is what will happen to you

Here’s why I don’t like the term “The Evidence Of”

Because that allows you to judge my level of spirituality

You didn’t get what I got

Holy Spirit creates unity not division

It’s not evidence it’s benefits that God gives you

To be filled with the Holy Spirit is to be filled with Christ

If I am filled I am led & empowered by the spirit to live for Him

Resurrection power & life works through you

In scriptures you find places where God’s spirit fell on people

You will find it’s probably different than what you thought

1. Rest. 

(Isaiah 63:14) “They were given rest by the (Ruwach) Spirit of the LORD. This is how you guided your people to make for yourself a glorious name.” 

If the presence of God is working in you, guess who doesn’t have to work

Truth is a bunch of you are tired – serving God out of human effort or intellect

You are worn out – You need His breath & rest to your life

It’s not a goofy expression, but it’s peace!

2. Focus & Direction. Benefit – The Counselor – He knows the future

He wants to be a voice, conviction & peace to lead you – He knows your future and wants to guide you there

(Romans 8:26-27) “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, (God knows what you want but he knows His plan for you) because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with Godʼs will.”

(John 16:13) “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” 

Story: God wanted this church planted – We had to follow his direction

Don’t be turned off by what others have tried to package this

3. Freedom. 

Romans 7 Paul talks about how hard it is to stay Holy

Expresses this frustration – What will we do

(Romans 8:9) “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.”

God uses the spirit to purify, to prompt, to produce

Holy Spirit creates a desire to help us become more like Jesus

Primary job of the Holy Spirit is to purify my heart, make me more like Jesus

Let the spirit of God live inside of you to change you

Freedom to not just overcome sin but to love God

Freedom to worship – lot of our eyes are on people not God

(2 Corinthians 3:17) “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

4. Power. 

Welcome power in your life – Jesus said greater works will you do

(1 Corinthians 2:4-5) “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, (If we don’t have it then we are another argument out there of another religion) so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” 

God’s wants people’s faith to not rest on man’s intellect but His power

5. Ministry. (He gives spiritual gifts many focus on just one)

The gifts are always a tool used to help people

We made it about the gift God just cares about the person

A spiritual gift is a special supernatural ability that God gives to each of His children, so that together they can advance His purposes in the world.

(Luke 4:18-19) The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

1 Peter 4:10 NLT – “God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you.”

SALVATION CALL

Dream Big Pt.3 – Dreaming is Praying

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Dream Big Pt.3 – Dreaming is Praying

(Ephesians 3:20 Message)  “God can do anything—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!”

•We have been programmed to live within the limitations that other people have set for us. I want to elevate our perception of what is possible for us.

•God gives us the ability to dream and imagine in order to move us into the purpose He has for our lives.

•A dream is a “faith picture”; seeing something with your mind’s eye that you hope to one day see with natural eye.

A few years I read a little book by Catherine Marshall titled  Adventures in Prayer and I’ll never forget one thing she wrote. She said, “Dreaming is praying.” I think she’s right. In my experience, the more I pray the more dream. Start with prayer!

Dreaming is a form of praying and praying is a form of dreaming. And as Catherine Marshall says, “There is no limit to what this combination of dreams and prayer can achieve.”

Luke 18:1 NIV  Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up

“Ought” – means we are under obligation, we are bound, and it is necessary for us to pray always.

1. All Dreams need to be designed in the context of prayer

•Prayer is the highest order of business. For it links a powerless human to the creative force of God’s sovereign power!

“When we work, we work; but when we pray, God works.”- Max Lucado

Ephesians 1:17-23 NIV I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[a] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

You need a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention because it will force you to get on your knees and seek God. Big dreams are the best thing for us spiritually. They make us pray. They make us seek God. They force us to live the way we ought to live—in complete dependence on God.

Prayer is the activating force that puts authority and the power of God to work in your life and make your dreams come true

Ephesians 3:20 NIV – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

I was challenged and convicted a few years ago by something David Yonggi Cho said: “God doesn’t answer vague prayers.” Let me explain why. I think vague prayers are cop-outs. God doesn’t answer vague prayers because they don’t require any faith and God doesn’t get the glory. Sometimes we pray in such vague terms that there is no way God can or cannot answer our prayers. I think we’re vague because we don’t want to hold ourselves accountable. Or we’re afraid.

2. A Big God = Big Prayers and Big Dreams

God asks Moses a question. It’s more than a question. It’s the question. Your answer to this question, the question, will determine the size of your prayers and dreams.

Numbers 11:23 NLT –  Then the Lord said to Moses, “Has my arm lost its power? (Is there any limit to my power?) Now you will see whether or not my word (dream) comes true!”

The obvious answer to that question is no. God is omnipotent, which means by definition, there is nothing God cannot do. Yet many of us pray as if our problems are bigger than God. So let me remind you of this high-octane truth that should fuel your faith: God is infinitely bigger than your biggest problem or biggest dream. And while we’re on the topic, His grace is infinitely bigger than your biggest sin

The modern mystic, A. W. Tozer, believed that a low view of God is the cause of a hundred lesser evils, but a high view of God is the solution to ten thousand temporal problems. If that’s true, and I believe it is, then your biggest problem isn’t an impending divorce or failing business or doctor’s diagnosis. Please understand: I’m not making light of your relational or financial or health issues. I certainly don’t want to minimize the overwhelming challenges you might be facing. But in order to regain a godly perspective on your problems, you have to answer this question: are your problems bigger than God or is God bigger than your problems? Our biggest problem is our small view of God. That is the cause of all lesser evils. And it’s a high view of God that is the solution to all other problems.

Is there any limit to God’s power? 

Ephesians 3:20 NIV – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

•(amplified version-  “Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]”

Have you answered the question? There are only two options: yes or no. Until you come to the conviction that God’s grace and power knows no limits, you will pray small prayers and dream small dreams.

We serve a BIG God!

Isaiah 40:12 NIV – Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?

Once you embrace the omnipotence of God – you will pray big prayers and dream big dreams!

Isaiah 44:24 NIV – This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, who formed 

you in the womb:I am the Lord, the Maker of all things,who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself,

Isaiah 45:12 NIV – It is I who made the earth and created mankind on it.
My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.

The size of prayers depends on the size of our God. And if God knows no limits, then neither should our prayers. God exists outside of the four space-time dimensions He created. We should pray that way! We should dream that way!

•••It reminds me of the man who was sizing up God by asking, “God, how long is a million years to you?” God said, “A million years is like a second.” Then the man asked, “How much is a million dollars to you?” God said, “A million dollars is like a penny.” The man smiled and said, “Could you spare a penny?” God smiled back and said, “Sure, just wait a second.”

3. The Secret to Big Prayers and Big Dreams

It’s not difficult. It’s quite elementary. It’s crucial to change the way that we pray in order to obtain positive results.

Jesus taught a fundamental formula of Praying that gets results. Answers to our Prayers can be a reality. 

The PRAYER of FAITH – It’s you asking God for a particular outcome, whether its a job, money, a person, healing, family, etc…whatever.

Mark 11:22-24 ESV22 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever SAYS to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received[a] it, and it will be yours.

A. Ask God

Matthew 7:7-8 ESV “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be open.

God Makes Outrageous Promises About What He Does WHEN WE PRAY

John 14:12-14 ESV 12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me[a] anything in my name, I will do it.

John 15:7 ESV – If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Anything: any thing whatever; something, no matter what: a thing of any kind. in any degree; to any extent; in any way; at all:

•If you want to see Great Results in prayer and our dreams then be specific when you ask God for what you want, need, or desire.

If you are not clear, Faith cannot bring you what you want, need, or desire. a mixed frequency with your asking may produce no results. Get SPECIFIC with God and ASK Him

I John 5:14-15 ESV 14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

•“Whatever & Anything” is an Amazing promise. What is your Anything?

We have some WHATEVER and ANYTHING Dreams and Prayers for God to do! 

B.  Believe That You Receive

Mark 11:24 ESV – Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received[a] it, and it will be yours.

•You must know what you want is yours the moment you ask!

•The Rule here is “Ask in Prayer” (When you pray) – not after you pray, not when you feel something, not when you see something. The moment you pray believe you receive! NOW! This is very difficult for many people. Why? Because they struggle with their belief.

“I can get more out of God by believing Him for one minute than I can by shouting at Him all night.”- Smith Wigglesworth

The Law of Belief states, “What  person believes in their heart with conviction becomes their reality.

•We manifest what we believe. You may or may not be aware of what you truly believe, but basically that is what “issues” are coming to pass in your life.

How do I create a belief system that causes me to receive the answers to my prayers?

Mark 9:23 ESV – And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”

Don’t Give Up, Don’t Get Frustrated, disappointed, or lose hope – Praying is what we do in our time, and the answer manifests in God’s time! 

Psalms 37:4 -5 NIV – ”Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.”

-The desires placed within us can be an indication of God’s will for our lives

When We Pray and Dream our promise is the following 4 things:

  1. Nothing shall be impossible to you
  2. Ask what you will, and it will be done
  3. Ask anything in Jesus’ name, and He will do it!
  4. Whatsoever things you desire when you pray, You will have them!

One dream, one prayer can change ANYTHING. one dream, one prayer can change EVERYTHING

Prayer: More than Just a Spiritual ATM – Steve Light

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Prayer: More than Just a Spiritual ATM

As the storm raged, the captain realized his ship was sinking fast. He called out, “Anyone here know how to pray?” One man stepped forward. “Aye, Captain, I know how to pray.” “Good,” said the captain, “you pray while the rest of us put on our life jackets – we’re one short.

Is your prayer life like the captain’s? Do you turn to Jesus when the storms of life are sinking you? Certainly Our Father is there to protect us in times of trouble. But what if our prayer life was intended to be so much more? What would it look like? How would we know how to live it? Today we will explore together how to build a powerful, spirit filled prayer life for you and your family based on three focus points.

1 Learning God’s will for you (clarity)
2 Asking help of God for others (intercession)
3 Asking God for help for yourself (blessing)

As we explore these three types of prayer we will also explore five very important elements that fuel your prayers and are guidance given to us in the Bible.

We will discuss the importance of asking in the name of Jesus, we will discuss the role of the Holy Spirit, we will examine the impact of our own faith, consider the power of community prayer and touch on fasting’s role in prayer.

Prayer is not a spiritual ATM that we make small deposits and big withdrawals from. Instead it is an ongoing, vibrant conversation with our Father. He wants a real, trusting, intimate relationship with Him. He wants us to know Him, rely on Him and trust Him with everything in our lives. But in order to have these conversations be effective, we must listen and learn who He is and who He wants us to be. God is wired in. He had a Facebook page long before it was the rage. He has used the Bible for 5,000 years to reach out to each of us to join his family as sons and daughters of heaven.

So it’s fitting that we will use a great story in the Old Testament to illustrate the prayer conversations with are to have with Jehovah Jireh – the great provider.

Turn with me to I Samuel chapter 1 and join me in the reading of God’s word. Read chapter 1, verses 1-18.

Here we have the story of Samuel and his mother Hannah. Hannah was the 2nd wife of Elkanah. His first wife Penninnah, who had lots of sons and daughters but Hannah was barren. She was sad that she was childless but it was made even worse as Penninnah tormented her about it. Elkanah told Hannah how much he loved her even without children, but her heart was broken. Each year the family went to Shiloh to worship at the temple.

As we learn about how Hannah engaged in her prayer life, we can draw out several important lessons on how to approach God in conversation. Hannah wanted a child so much she was willing to even give the child back to God after giving birth. She was willing to tithe her firstborn if she was blessed with a child.

I Samuel 1:10 tells us that “deeply hurt, Hannah prayed to the Lord and wept with many tears”. This state of mind showed she was genuine in her pain and came to the Lord for the solution she could not produce on her own.

She then immediately makes a vow to God to give Samuel back to serve God. This is a sign of gratitude for the blessing. And WHERE was she praying? In the house of God.

She was so wrecked in her prayer that Eli the chief priest thought she was drunk and he scolded her for it. As she explains to Eli her situation, she tells him in verse 16 that “I’ve been praying from the depths of my anguish and resentment”. Notice how she is confessing her anger towards Penninnah, which opens the channel to heaven through her repentence. Finally we see in verse 17 that Eli intercedes on her behalf and prays a blessing for her.

So what happens? Ordinary life goes on.

And then after a while – in the Lord’s time, He shows up. A baby is born. She gives birth to Samuel, which means “I requested him from the Lord” in Hebrew. We learn here a couple of other key elements about prayer life. First we have to be patient. Wait on God. He always answers. Second, give praise to God for answered prayers no matter what the outcome because it reminds us God is at the helm. She returns to the temple with Samuel to give him to Eli to serve there. Important to note that Elkanah was from the Levite tribe so Samuel was eligible to serve in the temple. In verse 28 she says “I bowed and worshipped the Lord there.”

But that is not the end. Seems a harsh deal for a new mom. Get the child you always wanted and then you have to give him back? Seems an unkind blessing from God. Yet, I know she had faith. Since her first blessing went right back to God, he blessed her 5 times over. She had three more sons and two daughters. Faith in prayer matters.

Let’s turn to the here and now. Let’s think about for each of us our walk with Jesus and how our conversations are going. In fact, let’s spend some time actually working on prayer in a real way that is based on the guidance God gave us in scripture. On you seat is a sheet of paper. On one side are four questions. On the other side are key authoritative scriptures that we will use today for our prayer journey.

I want you to take a few minutes to think about and answer four questions.

1. Where in your life do you need Jesus to forgive you? This helps sanctify us before God.

2. Where do you need and want clarity from God in your life?

3. Who needs you to intercede for them? What help from the Lord do they need?

4. How would you like God to bless you?

Now before we move to the three types of prayers today we will experience, let’s lay an important foundation around five key elements that strengthen our conversations with God.

We start by confessing. We tap into the grace of salvation through Jesus Christ. James 5:16 tells us “confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The intense prayers of the righteous is very powerful”.

Confessing sanctifies us and makes us righteous, which powers are prayers. We also learn in this scripture the importance of praying as a community – in service, in small groups, in fellowship.

Faith is critical. Proverbs 3:5 tells us to trust in the Lord with all your heart and Jesus taught us in Matthew 21:21-22:

“I assure you if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done for the fig tree, but even if you tell this mountain ‘be lifted and thrown onto the sea’, it will be done. And if you believe, you will receive what ever you ask for in prayer”.

Now this is not a magic formula to hit the lotto. Our faith must be centered and anchored around God’s will and focused on living a life like Christ’s. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to help guide us in that journey. The Holy Spirit does three things for us in prayer. He brings truth, He prays on our behalf in heaven before God and He gives us strength.

Shows us the Truth

John 16:3 “ when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth”.

Intercedes for us

Romans 8: 26-27 “In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes with unspoken groanings. And He who searches the hearts knows the Spirit’s mindset, because He intercedes for the saints according to His will.”

Now turn to your neighbor and give them your best prayerful groan.

Provides strength

Ephesians 6:18 “With every prayer and request, pray at all the times in the Spirit and stay alert in this, with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints”.

I Thessalonians 5:17 “pray constantly”.

I don’t know about you but usually about this time in the sermon I start day-dreaming about lunch. I am hungry. Being hungry can be a powerful motivator to action, particularly when used with prayer.

It can also be a powerful element in your conversations with God. We call this fasting. The simple idea is that when we have worries, need guidance or want a focus on The Lord, we can abstain for a time from eating. This tells God we are relying on Him for spiritual nourishment. We are giving honor to God and showing Him he gives us life, not the food and water of this world.. Jesus was clear about how to fast.

Matthew 6:17 tells us “ but when you fast, put oil on you head and wash you face so that you don’t show your fasting to people but to your Father who is in secret”.

Fasting sharpens us, focuses are prayers and helps us get closer to the Lord. Remember that Jesus fasted for forty days in preparation for His tussle with Satan. He was sharp, focused and centered on the Father and His word.

Our last key foundation for prayer is leveraging the power of Jesus’ name. Jesus is really clear about this in scripture. Jesus guides us to come to Him with all our needs. A study of John chapters 14 to 17 provide the complete picture of this guidance but a few verses here help lead the way.

John 14:14 – “if you ask Me, anything in My name, I will do it”.

The gist is we must be in a relationship with God and seeking His will and be righteous. He doesn’t mean all things, but the right things.

John 15:16 – “ whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.” Asking in Jesus’ name means asking in a righteous way that is consistent with the Gospel and the Word of God.

Let’s now turn to seeking and understanding God’s will for our lives. I want to provide you five scriptures you can use as authority when asking God for clarity and confirmation of His will.

God wants to be the priority in your daily life

Matthew 6:33 –“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be provided to you”. God will bless you when you are first focused on Him.

God listens

Jeremiah 29:12- “You will call to Me and come and pray to Me and I will listen to you”.

God wants our faith

James 1:5 – “Now if any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without fault, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, without doubting.

God wants us to trust Him

Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding. Think about Him in all your ways and He will guide you on the right paths”.

The Lord wants to show you His plan for your life

Psalm 143:10“Teach me to do Your will, for your are my God. May Your gracious Spirit lead me on level ground”.

Turn to the prayer of clarity you wrote down. Let’s take a few minutes and using one of these scriptures, make a prayer to Jesus asking for clarity and direction in your life.

Let’s now focus on intercession – a type of prayer that you make on behalf of others to the Father. Remember Samuel? Let’s return to Him as a grown man and a great prophet of Israel. The Israelites were in trouble. They had lost the ark twenty years earlier and wanted to recover it. They wanted to set out to recover it. Samuel prayed for them, asking God that their venture be successful.

I Samuel 7:5 – “I will pray to the Lord on your behalf”. It worked.

But to support his prayers, the Bible tells us in verse 6 that Samuel fasted and confessed that day. Sound familiar? He had to get his mind and his heart right to come before the Lord.

God gives us guidance to pray for our leaders

II Chronicles 7:14 – “And My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray, and seek My face and turn away from their evil ways, then I will hear them from heaven, forgive their sins and heal the land”. Are we in a time when we need to pray daily for our nation and this world?

No matter what your political leaning, we are instructed in our intercessory prayers to pray for our leaders.

I Timothy 2:1-2 – “I urge that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgivings be made to heaven for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity”. Jesus cared for everyone and we are called to do the same in prayer and in our works.

One of the greatest lessons of national prayer in the Bible is the story of Nehemiah. He cared for His nation. He was in Babylon during captivity. Word got back to him that Jerusalem was in ruins and the people were lost. Take a look at his approach to intercession.

He wept and mourned for days
THEN he fasted and prayed
THEN he confessed his and the nation’s sins
THEN he reminded God of His promise to Israel
THEN he asked for God to bless Him with wisdom on how to proceed in helping

He closes the first chapter with this “I was the cupbearer to the King”. He put God first and his personal power last. He came to God with the full power of the conversation in His relationship with God in play. God did not disappoint. He provided Nehemiah even more than he asked for to help him with his calling to rebuild the city and the nation. I often wonder what the prayers of Martin Luther King were like? He helped rebuild a nation and do it through the power of prayer.

Let’s turn now to your prayer of intercession. Using the authority of scripture we have learned, ask God’s help and blessing for someone in your life.

The last prayer type we will discuss today will be a blessing prayer. While God already knows what we need, He likes for us to ask. It shows are faith in Him and our dependency on Him as our Lord and Father.

There are three authoritative scriptures I want to share with you this morning to use in your prayer life.

If you are worried and need peace

Philippians 4:6 – “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God.”

You can’t get if you don’t ask

James 4:2-3 – “You don’t have because you do not ask. You ask and don’t receive because you ask wrongly, so that you may spend it on your desires for pleasure”.

Finally, Psalm 106:4-5 gives us a complete picture of our rights as Christians to be sealed, sanctified and adopted into sonship in heaven and as such to be blessed in this life by the Lord.

“Remember me, Lord, when You show favor to Your people (sonship). Come to me with Your salvation (sealed), so that I may enjoy the prosperity of Your chosen ones, rejoice in the joy of Your nation (holy priesthood of Israel – we are sanctified by the sacrifice of Jesus – the chief priest) and boast about Your heritage (spread the Gospel)”.

Let’s now turn to your prayer of blessing for yourself. What would you like from God? Healing of body? Healing of relationships? New job? Blessings in your career? With authority, come to the Lord now with your prayer.

Amen? Amen. Our journey today has been with a singular focus – to strengthen our daily prayer life by transforming our thinking on prayer from a spiritual ATM we use when we are in trouble to one that is a daily, on going conversation with a Father that loves us, cares for us and wants to bless us. Like any great parent, he has sound, helpful direction for us if we will listen.

If you want to build even a deeper understanding and practice on prayer, these two books are excellent resources. The first is Prayer by Richard Foster. The second is Prayer: The Ultimate Conversation by Charles Stanley.

As we close, many of you may not be aware but I’ve been blessed today by being able to spend a few minutes with you all talking about prayer and our walk with Jesus. This is my first sermon, and God willing, hopefully not my last. I praise God for His word, for this life and this church. Will you allow me to say a blessing for you all?

For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you. From Deuteronomy 30:16

All scripture references have been taken from the Holman Apologetics Bible.

Closer: How Should We Worship?

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Closer: How Should We Worship? 

Psalm 100:1-4 NIV – Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his[a]; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name

Luke 19:37-40 ESV37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

What is worship?

Worship means to “attribute worth to an object”. Worship is not defined in the Bible but its meaning can be determined from the terms employed and the context of the passages. In the New Testament the most common word is ‘proskuneo’ which means to revere and is from two Greek words meaning ‘kiss towards’. Another word often used – ‘sebomai’ – is derived from a word meaning fear or revere.

John 4:23-24 NIV – Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

It doesn’t say we can worship God anyway we want, but we “must worship Him in spirit and in truth”. The word “must” makes it absolute. There is no other way we can worship God and be acceptable to Him. The word “must”, according to Webster, expresses “an obligation, a requirement, a necessity, a certainty, and something that must be done”. When “must” is used it means that it is not optional.

Since God is the object of our worship, He and He alone has the right to determine how we are to worship Him.

Jeremiah 10:23 NIV , Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.

We are not granted the option of directing our own ways in religion. God is the One who we look to for guidance and direction in our lives. The worship God has prescribed is the only way we can be pleasing to Him in this life

example: “You worship God your way, I will worship God my way” – There is NO my way. Only God’s Way

•Worshiping “in spirit” means that you mean it; that you’re worshiping inside out, not just going through the motions.

•Worshiping “in truth” means that you’re worshiping the true God and not some idol you’ve created. And it means you’re being truthful with your words and thoughts that you bring to worship; you’re not trying to put on a religious act to impress someone.

Throughout history, Christians have agreed that several key elements are important in worship:

1) Praise. Giving honor and glory to God with words, songs or art.

2) Confession. Worship means acknowledging who God is (holy and good) and who we are (not so holy and not so good) in relation to him. This means admitting and confessing our sin, and accepting God’s forgiveness.

3) Prayer. In worship, we speak directly to God about what’s on our minds (our needs and the needs of others) and what’s on God’s mind (his desire for love and justice and redemption in the world).

4) Hearing God’s Word. This means reading the Scripture. It also means listening for what God is saying to you through the music, the sermon and everything that happens in worship.

5) Remembering Christ’s sacrifice. This is most clearly done by taking Communion. Thinking about how God saved us from sin is at the very center of our worship.

6) Responding to God’s love. Worship doesn’t end when the service is over. Worship means we leave the service so aware of God’s greatness that we find ways to obey and honor and serve him throughout the week.

How Should We Worship?

Remember: We Must Have a Theocentric View of Worship

Worship is not about us! We are not at the center of worship with our styles, preferences, song choices, etc… It’s not about what we want and what we can get.  Worship is about GOD.

We must be careful that we do not exclude certain forms of worship simply because we are uncomfortable with them.  Rather, we should seek to understand why we are uncomfortable & make adjustments that will challenge our comfort zone

Psalm 103:1 ESV – Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me,  bless his holy name!

Halel – (root for Hallelujah) to rave, boast, to enjoy, celebrate. to audibly praise the Lord, to be clamorously foolish

Psalm 22:26 NIV The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise him—may your hearts live forever!

Psalm 113:1 ESV – Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord!

Yadah – means to worship with raised hands, to throw out the hands. Being active not passive

Psalm 63:4 ESV  So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands

Psalm 134:2 ESV – Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord!

Barak – to bless by kneeling or bowing in a worshipful attitude and declare God as our total source of blessing, prosperity, power, strength, and victory. (an expectation to receive that blessing from God)

Psalm 96:5 ESV – Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

I Chronicles 29:20 ESV– Then David said to all the assembly, “Bless the Lord your God.” And all the assembly blessed the Lord, the God of their fathers, and bowed their heads and paid homage to the Lord and to the king.

Zamar – making music to God with strings.

Psalm 92:1 NIV – “It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High.”

Psalm 33:1-2 ESV – Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright.2 Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!

Shabach – to address in a loud tone, to shout unto the Lord. A loud vocal expression of Victory, crying out to God in a loud praise.

Psalm 35:27 ESV – Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, “Great is the Lord, who delights in the welfare of his servant!

Psalm 47:1 ESV – Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!

Tehillah – exuberant singing. Throughout scriptures we are to celebrate audibly and we can do that by singing. Whether you have a voice of an angel or a bullfrog – SING!

Psalm 34:1 NIV “I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.”

Psalm 30:4 ESV – Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name

One Result of Praise & Worship To God

1. Our Spiritual Enemies (problems) are Silenced

Psalms 8:1-2 NKJV – O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your  name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens! 2  Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.

Silence – To cause to fail, to put down, to take away. When we Worship God we cause the enemy to fail!

•3 Different Armies had gathered against Judah and Jehoshaphat was faced with insurmountable odds . He receives prophetic strategy from a 14 yr old Musician / Worship Leader

2 Chronicles 20:21-22 ESV  And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say,“Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.” 22 And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.

God’s Mercy is in the destruction of our spiritual enemies (Problems)

Psalms 143:12 ESV – And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies, and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul, for I am your servant.

Your Praise To God changes your Position from being under problems to being over them

I Peter 2:1-5, 9 NIV – Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

SuperNatural – The Power of God’s Word

Supernatural web

SuperNatural – The Power of God’s Word

From our Statement of Belief at GraceTown

We believe the Bible is the unchangeable, inspired Word of God to all people. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living.

In America, Bibles are everywhere. You can find them in grocery stores, bookstores, motel rooms, everywhere. They’re available in all sizes, shapes, translations, versions, leather bound, paperback. Every year the Bible out sells every other major bestseller. Last year there were 500 million Bibles published in the world in 18,000 different languages. In America we are glutted with the word of God on the airways, radio, TV, books, magazines. It’s everywhere. Yet millions of people still miss the blessing of the Bible.

The Bible is not just a book; it is a God breathed, God indwelt, God inspired message. We are to believe what the Bible says, not what we think it says of what someone else says that it says.

The Bible is God’s Word to man, written and preserved for eternity. It is God’s official declaration and final decision. When invoked, it sets the standard to which all circumstances must conform. it is the absolute truth and the foundation of our Christian Faith.

The Scriptures contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation! Read it to be wise, believe it to be saved, and practice it to be holy. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of Glory, and a river of pleasure. It is the book of all books!

1. The Scriptures are Supernaturally Inspired By God

2 Timothy 3:16-17 AMP – Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action),17 So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Hebrews 4:12 NIV – “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to the dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

“The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me.” Martin Luther

“If we take the supernatural out of Christianity all we are is a philosophy”

2 Peter 1:20-21 ESV knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Charles Spurgeon said – “The Book is a divine production; it is perfect, and it is the last court of appeal, the judge which ends all strife. I would as soon dream of blaspheming my Maker as of questioning the infallibility of His Word.”

Scripture is of no private interpretation. God has an intended meaning for each passage. There is only one correct interpretation. God did not gives the Bible so that we could find in it what we want it to mean. God gave us the Bible so that we could study it diligently to find out what it actually means. Many applications but only one interpretation.

The Bible Is An Eastern Book

•It was not written for theologians.

•It was never intended to be exhaustive, only comprehensive.

•It was written with a supernatural frame of reference.

•It’s the oldest book in the world—whose Author is still alive.

•It can best be understood from the standpoint of experience.

•It is a “living” document. It’s Author hovers over the pages.

•It can be understood without the aid of Greek or Hebrew.

•The Holy Spirit will never lead you to do anything contrary to what He has already

written.

Interesting Insights Concerning The Bible

•The Bible is a library made up of 66 books.

•Two main sections: the Old and the New Testament.

•The Old Testament has 39 books

•The New Testament has 27 books.

•These 66 books, have a total of 1,189 chapters

•The chapters total about 31,273 verses.

•The Bible was divided into chapters only 800 years ago.

o (More than 1100 years after New Testament written.)

•In A.D. 1551 the New Testament was divided into verses.

•20 minutes a day, read the whole Bible in one year.

Pope Francis said, “If faith is to be strong and healthy, it must be constantly nourished by the Word of God.”

2. The Scriptures were not given to increase our knowledge but to supernaturally transform our lives

Matthew 7:24-27 ESV “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

Mark Twain said, “It ain’t the those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”

“People do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself but because it contradicts them.”

Joshua 1:8 NIV – “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

“Dusty Bibles always lead to dirty lives. In fact, you are either in the Word and the

Word is conforming you to the image of Jesus Christ, or you are in the world and

the world is squeezing you into its mold.” Howard Hendricks

Psalms 1:1-3 ESV Blessed is the man[a]  who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2  but his delight is in the law[b] of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3  He is like a tree
planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.

3. Knowing God’s Word is the Pathway to Knowing God well

John 5:39 NIV–  “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me..” 

John Calvin said, “We owe to the scripture the same reverence which we owe God bc it proceeded from Him alone and has nothing belonging to man mixed with it”

God and His Word are the same

John 1:1-5 ESVIn the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Everything we are spiritually is because of God’s Word at work in our life. Therefore you will never be more spiritual than you are scriptural.

John 6:63 ESV –  It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

Growing in the knowledge of the Word of God is essential to growing in the SuperNatural! The Words of God is the Works of God!

4. God’s Word will Outlast heaven or earth

Matthew 24:35 ESV – Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Bottom line: God’s word is eternal. Hold on to it! It will last longer than your problems

I Peter 1:23-25 ESV since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for “All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls,
25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

“God’s Word is not obsolete, it is absolute.”

John 15:4-7 ESV Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

5. Be Persuaded to Read the Word of God Habitually

Luke 4:16-19 ESV  And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

The Secret to your spiritual success is hidden in the daily routine of reading God’s Word

 

Spending time with God should be a lifelong habit, not a passing fancy. Research shows you need to do something for about six weeks straight to build a habit. Make God’s Word part of your life today — and for the rest of your life.

Hebrews 10:16 ESV – “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”

“In our prayers, we talk to God, in our Bible study, God talks to us, and we had better let God do most of the talking.” – D.L. Moody

John 8:31 NKJV – Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.

When you get interested in God’s Word you get interested in God

•You can hear it, You can read it,You can study it,You can memorize it, You can meditate on it, and You can apply it

Charles Spurgeon said, “Nobody ever outgrows scripture, the book widens and deepens with our years.”

SuperNatural – The Holy Spirit

Supernatural web

SuperNatural – The Holy Spirit

I’ve talked to many Christians about the Holy Spirit, many are uniformed; they’ve never been taught about the Holy Spirit. Others are misinformed, having been taught inaccurate, non-biblical things about the Holy Spirit. Some have been told the Holy Spirit isn’t for today or even that it is of the devil.

The Holy Spirit is for today and is at work in the church around the world.

I really believe God has an incredible plan for your life and apart of that great plan is understanding and receiving  the life, power, freedom, and strength that the Holy Spirit can bring.

I Corinthians 2:9-14 NIV – However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”[a]—the things God has prepared for those who love him—10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.[b] 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

•If we want to receive all God has for us, then we’re going to have to move beyond the natural realm into the supernatural realm.

John 14:16-17 NIV – And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

John 16:7 NLT – But it is actually best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Counselor won’t come. If I do go away, he will come because I will send him to you.

“Every time we say “I believe in the Holy Spirit,” we mean that we believe that there is a living God able and willing to enter into human personality and change it” JB Phillips

Why The Holy Spirit is Necessary

(1 Thessalonians 5:19, 23 NIV) “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire…May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

•Our spirit is drawn to idolatry.

(Matthew 6:24 NIV) “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

•Our soul is drawn to pride. 

(Galatians 5:22-23 NIV) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and selfcontrol.”

•Our body is drawn to lust.

(1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV) “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

THE HOLY SPIRIT GIVES YOU THE POWER

  1. OF SALVATION.

John 3:5-6 NIV – Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

Romans 8:16 NIV – The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

2) TO WALK IN GOD’S WILL.

John 14:26  NIV – But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

John 16:13 NIV – But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come

3) TO SHARE CHRIST BOLDLY.

1 Corinthians 2:4-5 NIV – My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

Acts 1:8 NIV – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

4) TO LIVE A HOLY LIFE.

Romans 8:5-6 NLT – Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace.

“Without the presence of the Holy Spirit there is no conviction, no regeneration, no sanctification, no cleansing, no acceptable works…Life is in the quickening Spirit” – WA Criswall

Galatians 5:16-17 NLT – So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants…These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict.

5) TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH SPIRITUAL GIFTS.

A spiritual gift is a special supernatural ability that God gives to each of His children, so that together they can advance His purposes in the world.

1 Peter 4:10 NLT – “God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you.”

1 Corinthians 12:7 NLT – A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church.

SPIRIT-FILLED ADVICE

•YOU WILL NEVER BE MORE SPIRITUAL THAN YOU ARE SCRIPTURAL

John 6:63 NIV – The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit[a] and life.

The Holy Spirit will always reveal God’s Word to us. The Holy Spirit never contradicts God’s Word

  • DON’T RESIST THE SPIRIT.

Acts 7:51 NIV – “You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!”

  • BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT.

Ephesians 5:18  NIV – Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

GOD’S PROMISE TO YOU!

Acts 2:38-39  NIV – Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call.”