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Monday, November 23, 2015

Fight Back With Praise 2

   Years ago my brother-in-law Professor Richard Hodges, did a study and experiment on his students at Fletcher High School. His study was about how people deal with Negativity? He brought a student up in front of the class and began to praise them for their intelligence, being bright, cheerful and their good looks. While placing pressure on their upheld arms, the person had no problem with holding steady and strong to the weight. Then he began to put him down with his words. He said, “You sure look bad today, are you sick, do you have fever? What really happen to you when you were born? I’ve noticed that your nose is crooked and you appear to be a real down and outer a loser in life! Within a few moments, the person began to struggle to keep their arms up, and quickly began to lose their strength. What happen? Pessimism changed their performance in keeping their arms up. 

I’m convinced that all of us are going to face negativity in life. At work, in our home, with a snooty neighbor or the waitress that’s having a bad day. How do we combat the erosion of negativity that attempts to affect our joy, peace and our Christian journey with God?

Fight Back With Praise!” David fought back by saying, “I will bless the Lord at all times and his praise shall continually be in my mouth. (Ps 34:1) He is challenged with a bear, lion and a giant named Goliath. Twenty one times, King Saul attempted to kill hm. His own dad Jesse didn’t even consider bringing him among his other sons when Samuel ask for them. Samuel stated, I’m about to anoint the next King of Israel.”
              Praise requires Faith
        It Changes your Focus
        It Produces Favor on your life

God says, “Let us lay aside EVERY WEIGHT and the sin that doth so easily besets us.”(Heb 12:1) When the enemy puts you down with his own gloom and doom, Fight Back and Praise your God who is Jehovah Jira your provider, Shalom your peace, Rapha your healer and Nissi who is your Victory.

Has worry, anxiety, stress, fear, doubt and discouragement got your weighed down? God teaches us to Fight Back with PRAISE! King Jehoshaphat of Judah WON against three huge armies who had outnumbered them, but he chose to Stand Still and Praise The Name of his Jehovah. In the battle, the three armies turned on each other and destroyed one another. Then Judah collected treasures off of dead bodies for three days. I wonder what treasure God has in store for you?

Why not lift up your voice right now and declare. “Thank you Jesus that You are for me.” You have said, “Nothing shall be able to pluck you out of MY hands.” “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.” Open your mouth today and declare, What God started in my life, He will complete it. Friend, He is for you, and if He is for you, who can be against you!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Fight Back With Praise 1

Have you ever noticed how powerful and potent it is when someone gives you a compliment or a word of praise? When was the last time you told “your wife” how beautiful she looked? Did you get a good response? If not, keep it up! Have you told your husband lately how much you appreciate him being so hard working so you don’t have to worry about putting food on the table? Have you told your kids lately how proud you are of them? Have you told mom or dad how thankful you are that they give so much of their time, work, and sacrifice so you could be blessed? Praise has power to lift someone UP out of their discouragement, doubts and despondency.

Someone once said, “Words are like buttons on an elevator; they either lift you up or take you down.”

It’s interesting that the Word states, “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel” (Ps 22:3) KJV. God is smiling and blessed when we STOP to give Him Thanks and Praise.

There Are Many Benefits In Praising God!

·                     It Changes The Channel In Your Thought Life.

·                     It Changes Your Focus In Where You’re heading.

·                     It Changes God’s Favor on Your life.

·                     It Changes Your Attitude and Altitude In Life.

·                     It Changes Who Desires To Hang Out With You.

          Is There Anything Blocking Your Praise?

·           Are You Upset With God About Your Last Setback?

Job could have been very upset about the loss of his health, wealth, and family, the confidence of his wife, and that of his friends. Job’s wife said, “Just curse God and die.” Job’s friends said, “Just confess your sins and everything will get better.” None of them offered any encouragement. But deep within Job’s heart, he found a way to bow down and worship his God. That’s what would bring him out of his deep despair!  Has God let you down? Have you been disappointed that He didn’t come through the way you had anticipated? When Job chose to worship God and blessed his friends with prayers for them, God gave Job back twice as much as he started with! God is no respecter of persons.

·           Are You Constantly Questioning Your Struggles?

Paul declares, “And we know that all things work together for the good to them who love God and those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom 8:28) Paul could have easily complained about being beaten and placed in a prison cell. But he and Silas in their midnight hour decided to Praise the Lord. Nobody said that life would be simple and easy. But God is working out a plan that is higher than your ways. As they chose to praise the Lord at midnight, God sent His angelic host and opened the prison doors. Do you need a breakthrough? Do you need for God to show up in your pain and sorrow? Start Praising Him and watch the heavens open up to show Himself strong to you!

Praise can turn the trajectory around for your life and your future. Why are you waiting? Why not start right NOW! “Lord, I praise You for who You are and all You have prepared for my life.”

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Pray First "Warfare Prayers"

Prayer is not only Communion with God, it is Confrontation with the enemy. Those PRAYERS are very helpful in spiritual warfare. Forty hours before a recent Isis terrorist group started a carnage killing of 129 people in Paris, our Oceanway Missions Team loaded up on an airplane from Paris to return to Jacksonville, Fl. Satan continues his plots and schemes against God’s creation.

Paul gives a Finishing and Fighting words to the Ephesians.10 A final word: “Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we[a] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.[b] 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.[c] 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Eph 6:10-18) Daily we should thank the Lord for our Salvation and declare, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.” (Ish 54:17) God warns us to 8 “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” (1 Peter 5:8-9) ESV

Satan has several weapons that he will FORM against us, but God promises that they are nothing in comparison to the weapons he gives his kids to fight against Satan’s schemes. I must put on the belt of truth. I choose a lifestyle of honesty and integrity. Expose the lies I have believed and show me the truths I need today. Show me where You are working and lead me to it. Give me strength to walk daily with You. I believe that You are powerful against every lie and assault of the enemy. You have good in store for me. Nothing is coming today that can overcome me because You are with me.            

Everyday pray for the Holy Spirit to bring Scriptures to your mind and pray, “I agree to walk in step with You in everything as my spirit communes with You in prayer throughout the day.” Pray this, “Lord Jesus, I confess to You all of my sins this day, yesterday and everyday past. I repent and renounce them, those known and unknown, those of omission and commission, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do. I lay down at Your feet all of the sins of the flesh, the tongue, and of the heart, and all unholy thoughts and actions. Thank You for shedding Your precious blood for me.”

“I stand on Your Word. The enemy is driven out from before me, above me, around me, and below me; from my home, workplace, church and its ministries, children, and loved ones. I declare that he is not able to stand against me and his works are taken captive and destroyed.”

Pray First "To Be A Winner"

The movie “Taken,” shows on underground band of men who steal young beautiful teenage girls to be sold into prostitution. A dad’s daughter (Kim) is taken, but the dad (Bryan) has a sense of duty and unconditional love towards his daughter. He’s a former military expert dealing with dreadful situations. He tells the kidnapper,  “Let my daughter go and I won’t harm you. If you don’t, I will find you and kill you!” It’s a high thriller action movie to say the least!
Why is it that we allow the enemy to TAKE our confidence and faith in dealing with Satan who steals, kills and destroys? The Lord instructs us in How to defeat the kidnapper and come out successfully, victoriously and triumphantly. Without PRAYING FIRST, we lose.
David was a man who learned how to WIN his Battles. He declares, “He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.” (Ps 18:34) Are there some things that are stripping you of your confidence in “Winning?
A lot of what David learned was from his humble beginnings. He watched and protected his father’s sheep, yet his dad lacked any confidence in David being anointed to be the next King of Israel. When Samuel told Jesse to bring his sons, he leaves David out of the potential possibilities. After Samuel attempts to anoint one of Jesse’s sons, God tells Samuel, “No, no, no, no, no, no.” He asks Jesse, “Do you have another son?” Jesse answers, “Yes.” Samuel declares, “We won’t leave until you bring him here.” When David arrives, Samuel turns the vessel over and the oil runs out and is released upon David to become Israel’s next King.
Regardless of what a man says about your potential, all that matters is what God says and your confidence to do what He calls you to do. Each of us needs to be reminded that anything we do for the Lord doesn’t happen by our own talents, giftings, or resources. “It’s not by might nor by power, but by His Spirit says the Lord.” (Zech 4:6)
David learns to defeat a bear and a lion that threaten his sheep. He would soon learn that God would help him to take down a huge giant among the Philistines. What are you dealing with that has attempted to strip your confidence? Prayer has to be deliberate and intentional. I cannot WIN against the enemy without God’s power that comes from above. David continues to learn, “In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall. (Ps 18:29) NLT
Realize that God didn’t call you to be a LOSER! He didn’t call you to go under or live being intimidated or defeated. He has chosen us to WIN! Later, David was being hunted down by a jealous King Saul. He made 21 attempts to kill him, but David stayed strong realizing that “No weapon formed against him would prosper.”
Later, David would fight again. He came to Ziglag and saw that the enemy had burned their city down and taken all their wives. David asked God, “What should I do now?” God said to David IN PRAYER, “Pursue them, and you shall recover everything that you have lost.”  Yes, David got back everything Satan had TAKEN. Just like in the movie TAKEN, eventually the dad, Bryan overtakes the kidnappers and saves his daughter Kim. There is nothing impossible to HIM who believes. Take back what Hell has stolen from you and live with His favor and God’s Peace.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Pray First! “Are you Being Persistent In Asking?”

In Luke 11, Jesus is teaching His disciples how to Pray. Then he shares a story of a man knocking on a house door AT MIDNIGHT for a loaf of bread. Jesus explains that the man continues to knock on the door with “Great Persistence” after being told, “Go away, my family is already in bed; don’t you realize what time it is?” Jesus says, “But the man “KEPT KNOCKING” until the man inside DELIVERED the bread. Not because it was his friend or because of their relationship, but because of his PERSISTENCE TO KEEP KNOCKING!

Are you being Persistent in ASKING God for the deepest needs of your life? Have you gotten discombobulated and discouraged in asking God for what you have need of?

There are “Too Many Quitters” in our society today. Teenagers who work in the fast food industry, if they make it past the initial few weeks, usually quit within 6-8 months. The turnover rate for the crew in that industry is around 100%, so they expect to lose all their crew every 12 months.  What about policeman, fireman, nurses, pastors? Pastors nationwide leave their church within 3.5 years. Fifty percent of pastors leave their church within 5 years. Seventy percent of pastors leave the ministry in 7 years. Fifty percent of first marriages fail while 60-67% of 2nd marriages quit and 70-73% of 3rd marriages don’t make it. Why is it that so many lack being “PERSISTENT” in this journey?

Is it just by nature itself that people have a propensity to quit? Let me ask, “Why would you quit on ASKING God for the bread that you need?” He is the creator of the universe who is greater than ALL your setbacks, struggles, stress and disappointments in life.

 Jesus said, Keep Asking with Persistence! Have You LOST Your Persistence....

In Praying About Your Dream? What if Abraham would have quit on his dream? Yes, he made a crucial mistake and had a son from Sarah’s handmaiden who gave birth to Ishmael. That brought him a lot of pain, but God said, “Walk before me and be thou perfect.” God was saying, “I still have an Isaac in the making!” What if he had quit on the dream? Where would Israel be in history today? What does God have in the making for you? Are there “loaves of bread” in the kitchens of heaven today? Are you still at Heaven’s door knocking with your request? I’m glad I didn’t give up on the bread that God gave me for an Isaac ministry! He did it “IN HIS TIME.”

In Praying About Your Breakthrough? Nehemiah was told that the walls of Jerusalem had been destroyed and broken down by the enemy. Would he sit down and give up? “No” Listen, Hell is still breaking people apart with hopelessness in their family through drugs, alcohol, porn, sickness and diseases. Have you forgotten that Jesus is still interceding for you in prayer? Nehemiah put a plan into action and rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in 52 days. Mark it down, you will always face Resistance to your Persistence. Nehemiah faced hell in getting the job done and so will you and I in doing ALL of God’s Plan.

With A Made Up Mind?  God is no respecter of persons. He reminds you to be “Confident” of this very thing who He that started a good work in you will complete it till the day of Jesus Christ. “Don’t get weary, because in due season you will reap if your faint not.” (Gal 6:9) There is bread in store for you “IF” you’ll “Keep Knocking!”

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Pray First “Are You Asking?”

Several years ago when the Atlanta Braves made the playoff games, I told my 13 year old son Daniel, “Let’s go see our Braves!” The next day, we drove to Atlanta not having any assurance of any tickets for the game. On line, the only tickets left were some far away seats. Daniel was very nervous about not getting in to see our team. As we approached the ticket booth, I could hear ahead of me that the only tickets left were in the “nose bleed” section. As we approached the ticket counter, I ASKED the man, “Can I have the two best tickets you have in the house?” Just about that time, a man came from behind and handed him two tickets. The counter man said, “This must be your lucky day, a family member with the Atlanta Braves just turned in two tickets they’re not using tonight. How does a total of 40.00 sound?” “I said with great enthusiasm, “We’ll take them.”  Daniel was excited beyond words. We ended up sitting right down close to home plate in the Atlanta Braves family section. We were even next to the Atlanta Braves team doctor who had a World Series ring on his hand! There’s something amazing that can happen by just “ASKING”! What are you asking God for today? Are you really asking or have you gotten discouraged?

 Jesus said,Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” (Matt 7:7) I wonder how many packages, tickets, and surprises are still sitting in heaven waiting for our earnest request.

A widow woman faced a crisis in 2 Kings 4:3 when her husband died. She went to the prophet Elisha and said, “If I don’t come up with some money to pay my bills, the creditors are going to take my sons as slaves. What should I do?” Elisha said, “Go ask your neighbors for jars; then fill them up with the oil that you have left in your house.” She did just that. She asked her neighbors for their jars. When she took that little bit of oil, she filled ALL of the jars and “THEN” the oil stopped. I wonder what would have happened if she would have asked for MORE Jars. Did she stopped asking too soon? She sold the oil and was able to keep her sons and live in success.


Remove the Clutter! What is it that’s hindering your faith? Doubt, discouragement or delays?

 Remove Condemnation From Your Mind “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to Him, the power[a] of the life-giving Spirit has freed you[b] from the power of sin that leads to death.” (Romans 8:1,2) Quit allowing the devil to condemn you over your past. “His mercies are fresh and new each and every morning. Great is His faithfulness.” Confess your sins and then Change your thoughts and walk in freedom.

 Stay Off The Wrong Frequency. God’s Word is the Right Frequency which says, “If God be for us, who can be against us?”(Rom 8:31) “No weapon formed against you will prosper.” “Nothing shall be able to pluck you out of My hands.”(John 10:28) “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning.”  Putting His Word inside your heart will give you faith and confidence to ASK.

 Remember that God is Greater “If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.” (1 John 3:20) Believe today that Christ’s Blood, His Mercy and Grace is greater than all our hiccups, hang-ups and inconsistencies that hell reminds us of. Today, Accept His love and forgiveness and live with confidence and boldness to ask Him daily for all of your needs according to His RICHES in glory by Jesus Christ.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Tabernacle Prayer 2

The Candlestick- The Holy Spirit “It’s not by might, nor by power but by my Holy Spirit says the Lord.” (Zech 4:6) The next piece of furniture in the Tabernacle was a seven-branched golden candlestick. The fire represents the Holy Spirit. Every day you should invite the presence of the Holy Spirit into your life. He is the Spirit of Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Might and Knowledge, We should ask God to give us spiritual gifts. (1 Cor 12:8-10)

The Table of Showbread- The Word of God

Success comes through meditating in His Word day and night. A table with twelve loaves of bread represents the importance of reading Gods Word for daily sustenance. Claim His many great promises. Ask for fresh revelation of the Word. Take time to read and mediate on the Word.  Get a Word for the day.

The Altar of Incense- Worship

 “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” (Pro 18:10)

A small altar of “burning incense” stood at the entrance to the Holy of Holies where God’s presence dwelt. The altar represents worship. The people of God literally entered God’s presence worshipping the Names of God, including:

·                     God is My Righteousness

·                     God is My Sanctifier

·                     God is My Healer

·                     God is My Provider

·                     God is My Banner of Victory

·                     God is My Peace

·                     God is My Shepherd

·                     God is Always There

The Ark of The Covenant- Intercession

The final place in the Tabernacle was the place where God’s presence dwelt. It was there that the priest interceded on behalf of the people. In the New Testament, you and I are all called priests and instructed to intercede for others.

Pray for those

·                     In authority- spiritual, civil, family and workplace

·                     My family

·                     My church pastor, small group, members, and vision and mission.

·                     My city, nation, and world

·                     My needs

I’m so personally grateful that somebody stood in the gap and prayed for me during some of my most critical crises in life. God says, “Pray for one another.” It may be your prayers that see your son delivered, your neighbor come to Christ and your family receive a breakthrough.

Why don’t you begin today turning up the fire of God in you by walking through a new model you may have never used before? Watch God do something fresh and new in you, your family, your business or job, your health, personal vision, mission and your assignment in life. Turn it up today and go places you have never been, do things you have never done and become something you’ve never been before.