Psalms 25:1-5 "To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul.2 O my God, I trust in You;Let me not be ashamed;Let not my enemies triumph over me.3 Indeed, let no one who (WAITS PATIENTLY IN FAITH) waits on You be ashamed;Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.4 Show me Your ways, O LORD;Teach me Your paths.5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me,For You are the God of my salvation;On You, I wait all the day.
Over the years -my fasting, especially during this consecration month- has become less about me - and more about what I desperately desire Jesus to do in others.
To overcome any crisis of faith, they may have questions about where one goes from here. I find a special touch from Jesus in prayers for others.
Today we remove all meats. Thus far, we've removed sugar products and fried foods, and most importantly, we've seen our greatest enemy diminished. The enemy of "self."
Jesus offers each of us a cross. His cross means we are forgiven, reconciled, and adopted by the Father. Our cross means we have personally followed Him, regardless of the cost. Our cost could never compare to His cost, His suffering, and the joy set before Him.
Heb. 12:2 "looking unto Jesus, the (ORIGINATOR) author and [PERFECTER] finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Remember to check each morning to make sure you're still tied to the altar! Alive! Yet sacrificed!!
1. Are we not in a time of spiritual and moral decay? Corruption and despair? Yet, in this woeful pandemic of "lost-ness" Jesus has strategically placed Light Bearers (such as yourselves).
2. There are so many new pathogens in the air that simple breathing can risk our health. So many souls are profoundly disturbed, but you know something; He knows that makes His Light Bearers even more noticeable.
3. Yesterday, I spent the morning at 100 Centre Street - responding to a summons for Grand Jury selection. A woman was sitting in front of me. I didn't ask her name, nor did I need to inquire if she knew Jesus Christ. She turned to me and asked a question concerning Grand Jury instructions, and responded with salt and light in her simple, "thank you." Church, I knew she was a sister in Christ. I knew she was a Light Bearer.
4. Let the Love of God be the first thing a stranger sees in you today. There is a prince of this age, this world, who delights when those disenchanted with life monopolize the front page. Folks, Jesus was all over this sister's face. Before she left, after volunteering for Grand Jury Duty, she turned and looked at me and said, "if I don't see you again, have a wonderful day." All I could do was smile, I wished her the same, and I hoped that my smile represented Jesus Christ as well as hers.
In Isaiah 14, the prophet Isaiah tells us of satan's eviction from heaven.
Isaiah 14:12-15 “How you are fallen from heaven, O [DAY STAR] Lucifer, son of the morning!How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;I will also sit on the mount of the congregation - On the farthest sides of the north;14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit."
Regardless of how many times satan says "I will" - notice God's response through the Prophet Isaiah; v:15 "Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol."
God says to satan, "yet you shall be brought down to Sheol" God's power is omnipotent power - (all powerful)! Yes, satan has power in darkness; but you are born again of light.
Colossians 1:11-14 "strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and [TRANSLATED] conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins."
In John 8, Jesus says that satan is the father of all lies;
John 8:44 " You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it."
Every born again believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit; who is also known as the Spirit of Truth.
John 14:16 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come."
Satan wants to erect a house of lies in the believers mind. That house can look like depression, oppression, fatigue, lethargy, a lack of confidence, low esteem. These are all lies from the devil; from the pit itself!
Romans 8:37-39 "Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Take authority over every disobedient thought today!
2 Cor. 10:3-6 "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled."
There's only one thing we can do this Sunday, and that is thank Jesus for all the great things He has done for us this year.
It's been a difficult season, one in which some time ago we may have quit; but that was before we invited Jesus into our hearts. We don't quit anymore.
Join me this Sunday in bringing in the praise! I am so grateful to have each of you in my life. The incredible Board of HCC, and you, it's incredible membership.
We will not look back, we will continue to look up! Deaconess Pat wishes she could be there with us this year, and sends her love to each and every one of you.
We are privileged to once again be together to celebrate the greatest day on the Christian calendar, the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
There's no better place to be than in His House with my church family this Resurrection Sunday.
Thank each and everyone of you in advance.
"Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ,To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.Thankfulness and Prayer3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; 7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace."
The Lord reminded me this morning how I used to labor in prayer that strongholds in our church and community be pulled down; then destroyed.
Isaiah 10:27 "It shall come to pass in that day That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, And his yoke from your neck,And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil."
Destroyed is used purposefully, because of the preverbal pogo-stick we sometimes find ourselves on. Up and down, up and down.
Destroyed is intentionally used because anything broke can be put back together again; and we should be tired of slaying Goliath, only to find that Goliath had five brothers that look, smelled and warred just like him. (Sa2nd m. 21)
So we command every stronghold in our life to be destroyed, that it never be formed again - that any "weapon formed against us shall not prosper."
Yes, they will be formed; No, they will not prosper!
Isaiah 54:17 "No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the Lord."
Fear not, for He who fights for you, is greater than he who fights against you. (Deut. 20:4)
A reminder of warfare, is also a reminder of the Greatness of God's promise provision!
Every intercessor has a closed door.
Somewhere they retreat to, to be alone with God.
Friday Night Prayer will be from this moment on known as: The Upper Room Prayer.
Same time, same number. But a different name that will produce a different commitment.
Thirsty hearts will always recognize the privilege God has given His Church in prayer.
The Upper Room Prayer MeetingActs 1:12-14 "Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. 13 And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. 14 These all continued with one [MIND AND PURPOSE] accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers."
I've learned when those musings come, instead of turning to Facebook, I encourage you to turn to God on their behalf. With me, what often begins as a warm harmless thought- in short order becomes a dart reminding me of a malicious, salacious encounter, what the blood of Jesus Christ has washed away. "Dead man thinking."
Quickly I find myself taking what innocently introduced itself as the adolescent thoughts of an unbridled childhood; fighting for my sanctified mind; and against thoughts I long ago took captive, thoughts that I took dragging and screaming bound to the obedience of Christ Jesus.
Here's a suggestion, when someone from your dead past pops up in your renewed mind, respond with your renewed mind in prayer for them. Know that if this is the Holy Spirit enlisting you to cover them, whatever occurred between you and that person when you were dead in sins and trespasses will remain securely under the blood of Jesus.
Instead of Face-booking them, wondering what's become of them, which is in itself a natural and great thing to do - pray laborers into their life. Pray for their loved ones, their retirement (if their my age), their life which you sincerely hope and pray is rooted in Christ Jesus.
Here's a thought, if Jesus could save you and I, there's nothing He can't do, except fail!!! Shalom!!!
What is a Divine Reversal? It's when our Sovereign Lord reverses a norm, and He is within His Sovereign rights to do so, without explaining why.
By grace, Jesus chooses to share His ways and plans with those He determines has a need to know. The Church, The Pastor, The Prophet, The Parent.
Esau sold his birthright to his conniving brother Jacob for a bowl of pottage. The birthright belongs to the firstborn male. Esau didn't esteem the privilege of the firstborn male. He sold it to satisfy his flesh. Esau, came in famished from the field and valued natural food above God's favor.
While Esau sold his birthright, he still held the right to the Blessing of the father.
Rebecca, the mother of Esau and Jacob schemed with Jacob to steal what was left, (The Primary Blessing), to control all the family fortunes once Isaac died.
Heb. 12:16-17 "lest there be any fornicator or [GODLESS] profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.”
We know that Rebecca was forewarned while pregnant with the boys that there were two nations in her womb, and the elder would serve the younger. But God used the natural character flaws of both boys to bring about this change of fortune.
Esau didn't have to sell his birthright, but God knew he would.Esau didn't have to lose the primary blessing, and settle for a secondary blessing. (Remember, Isaac did ultimately bless Esau, but is was a secondary blessing).
So you think you know all there is to know about why you are riding on horseback, and the superstar is walking. Spiritually speaking!
Divine Reversals happen when we least expect, and feel least worthy; then God flips the script, and we love Him even more.
Romans 2:4 "Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?"
While sitting in my office, the Lord told me to tell you; "Today, and every day that you live must never be seen as your success or failure.
Today is the day that the Lord has made, and that can only be for your success - because He made it for you.
Each and every day of your life - begins and ends with success. Because you are In Christ Jesus - your life is always to the praise of His Glory!"
We don't fight for victory, we fight from the position of victory!
Zech 3:1-2 "Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan [THE ADVERSARY] standing at his right hand to oppose him. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem (HCC) rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”
My Pastor - Dr Earl Johnson, years ago was ministering to us at the American Legion on west 132 street. In the middle of his sermon he paused and said “this is an emergency room - people will come here broke and shattered.” And that beloved, has been our history.
The adversary has resisted HCC every step of the way. What you're experiencing is nothing more than preparation for the Day of the Lord. He has chosen HCC, not we ourselves!
You may have arrived at HCC a patient - and in short order became a trained spiritual physician. Hands that once hung low, are equipped for recognizing and ministering to symptoms of hopelessness - dreams deferred - abuse - depression.
Beloved this is the season where we see that our suffering has not been in vain. This is our redemptive season. Where we redeem the seasons of our toil and suffering - and those very seasons have now become - testimonies of His greatness and glory! The seasons of our joy in the Lord!
We recognize the symptoms of others, because we were once the patient.
To God be the Glory for all the great things He has done, and is doing!
We use to sing a song early in the ministry; "Abraham's blessings are mine!" Not sure who wrote the song; but I gather the writer had Galatians 3:9 in mind.
Galatians 3:9 "So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham."
I woke up this morning, knowing I would enjoy my prayer walk - the Lord whispered to me as I walked; "you have a dream job." I know that sharing the gospel is both and honor and a privilege; the high call of each believer, but I felt the Lord wanted me to seek further concerning His statement.
He that seeks more - finds more!
Here's where the Spirit of God led me.
Phil 2:17-18 "Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me."
I challenge each of you today share your faith in Jesus Christ with someone.
Maybe this is your day off. Maybe you didn't plan on being around people today. Then send a text encouraging someone the Lord puts on your heart. Send an email, post on your Facebook page a scripture of encouragement. God will give your heartfelt intention wings to reach who it should.
I pray God fills you with His evangelistic zeal today.
The Lord bless you richly.
Beginning Saturday, March 27 - Saturday April 3 - you select a food or drink from your normal daily choices; (coffee, muffin, soda, sugar) sacrifice that food for 7 days. It will be leaven that you are removing, as you prepare to celebrate the Passover; as we remember God's great deliverance - into the eternal liberty in Christ Jesus.
Exodus 13:6-7 "Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day, there shall be a feast to the Lord. 7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And no leavened bread shall be seen among you, nor shall leaven be seen among you in all your quarters."
Bless you, beloved,
I awakened this morning feeling physically tired but spiritually energized. I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit saying;
"Tell My people that they are anointed for this season."
That was it.
That doesn't make this season any less traumatic - but it means you will not only persevere, but you will also prosper! Because the Lord has anointed you for this, and all seasons.
"If we are standing, we must be praying."
I will see you in God's House by zoom on Sunday, 2/14/21!
John 3:13-17February 14, 2021 "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man [b]who is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should [c]not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
there will be deliverance!
This passage must hold a special significance in our Christian walk. When I first read it, being still new to the faith, I understood what the writer was saying.
God is a God of completion. I once tried to convince myself that God told me to do something. When those close to me asked what did God say? I responded; I'm waiting to hear from Him?
(they loved me enough to let me know that made no sense at all). Brother Manny, they responded; you just said God told you to do something, and in the same breath you tell me that you're waiting to hear from Him? Huh?
They knew the character of God better than I did. If He has brought us out of something, it's not to leave us midpoint - He brings us out, to bring us in!
Your latter days, shall be greater!!!!