The Power of God among us


Would you recognize a miracle if it happened right in front of you?

Are you sure???

A miracle is defined by dictionary.com as this: an event in the external world brought about by the immediate agency or the simple volition of God, operating without the use of means capable of being discerned by the senses and designed to authenticate the divine commission of a religious teacher and the truth of his message (John 2:18″ But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.” )

Its an occurrence at once above nature and above man.God ordinarily effects his purpose through the agency of second causes;but he has the power also of effecting his purpose immediately and without the intervention of second causes, i.e., of invading the fixed order, and thus of working miracles. In the New Testament these four Greek words are principally used to designate miracles:
(1.) Semeion, a “sign”, i.e., an evidence of a divine commission; an attestation of a divine message; a token of the presence and working of God

Matt. 12:38,39 ” One day some teachers of religious law and Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority.” But Jesus replied,“Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah. “

Mark 8:11 “When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had arrived, they came and started to argue with him. Testing him, they demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.”

Luke 11:16; 23:8 “Others, trying to test Jesus, demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority…Herod was delighted at the opportunity to see Jesus, because he had heard about him and had been hoping for a long time to see him perform a miracle.”

John 2:11,18,23″11 This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him. 18 But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.” 23 Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. “

Acts 6:8 Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed amazing miracles and signs among the people.

(2.) Terata, “wonders;” wonder-causing events; portents; producing astonishment in the beholder
(Acts 2:19 And I will cause wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below- blood and fire and clouds of smoke. )

(3.) Dunameis, ” mighty works ” of superhuman power.

Acts 2:22 People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know.

Rom. 15:19 They were convinced by the power of miraculous signs and wonders and by the power of God’s Spirit.In this way, I have fully presented the Good News of Christ from Jerusalem all the way to Illyricum.

2 Thess. 2:9 This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles.

(4.) Erga, “works;” the works of Him who is “wonderful in working”

John 5:20, 36 ” For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished. 36 But I have a greater witness than John—my teachings and my miracles. The Father gave me these works to accomplish, and they prove that he sent me. “

Miracles are seals of a divine mission. The sacred writers appealed to them as proofs that they were messengers of God. Our Lord also appealed to miracles as a conclusive proof of his divine mission (John 5:20, 36; 10:25, 38).

Thus, being out of the common course of nature and beyond the power of man, they are fitted to convey the impression of the presence and power of God. Where miracles are there certainly God is. The man, therefore, who works a miracle affords thereby clear proof that he comes with the authority of God; they are his credentials that he is God’s messenger. The teacher points to these credentials, and they are a proof that he speaks with the authority of God. The credibility of miracles is established by the evidence of the senses on the part of those who are witnesses of them, and to all others by the testimony of such witnesses. The witnesses were competent, and their testimony is trustworthy. Unbelievers deny that any testimony can prove a miracle, because they say miracles are impossible. We have shown that miracles are possible, and surely they can be borne witness to. Surely they are credible when we have abundant and trustworthy evidence of their occurrence. They are credible just as any facts of history well authenticated are credible. Miracles, it is said, are contrary to experience. Of course they are contrary to our experience, but that does not prove that they were contrary to the experience of those who witnessed them. We believe a thousand facts, both of history and of science, that are contrary to our experience, but we believe them on the ground of competent testimony.

NOW, with this being defined: have you seen a miracle? I believe it depends on your FAITH…on your perception and depth of your FAITH. See, I believe that it takes the power of the Living God to enable us to BREATHE. I am absolutely positive that it takes His power to enable me to breathe considering my depraved existence. But, for the sake of the skeptic who requires more evidence that the inhaling and exhaling of our lungs to a perfect rhythm of the heart that beats without any effort of ours…I have witnessed the power of God among us. Before my eyes, I have seen the metamorphosis of men. I have witnessed a homeless, crack addicted, woman beating, rageful, doubter fall on his face and worship Jesus, weeping in humility and reverance. I have witnessed a woman who was Muslim ask question after question about “this Jesus” and “that Bible” and she was given the promise that if she would continue to SEEK HIM, He promises that she will FIND HIM. SHE DID! And now…she is faithfully serving the Lord and loves Jesus with more passion and fervor than she knew she had! She is even dedicating her life to serving the Lord by attending Powerhouse Training Center. This believer told her to “Never stop asking questions. That’s how you find Him. Keep seeking…never stop!” AND SHE HASN’T! I have witnessed a woman who was gripped with anxiety, fear, depression, alcoholism, lust, pride, rage, doubt, and paranoia be delivered and those demons cast out in the Name of Jesus. I have seen a woman who was diagnosed with endometrial cancer ask all believers that she knew to begin praying for her, she knew her faith was strong but she needed 2 or three gathered in His name for this one. So we did…she is healed and whole. The only prescription for her from the doctor is “see me once a year”.

See, God gets the glory in my life. NOT MAN. My entire life is a miracle and if you have read any of this blog from the beginning then you are aware of that. Check your surroundings…look at life from an eternal perspective. Give God the glory for all good things. The Word tells us this: “Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.”

It is a miracle that we manage to avoid destruction. God places people and situations in our lives where we must choose. Deuteronomy 30:11-20 tells us that this choice is between life and death, prosperity and disaster. But in that choice can come a miracle or a nightmare…

So, in your perception, what is a miracle?

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I am a SOLDIER


I AM A SOLDIER

I am a soldier in the army of God.

The Lord Jesus Christ is my Commanding Officer.

The Holy Bible is my code of conduct.

Faith, Prayer, and the Word are my weapons of Warfare.

I have been taught by the Holy Spirit, trained by experience, tried by adversity, and tested by fire.

I am a volunteer in this army, and I am enlisted for eternity.

I will either retire in this Army or die in this Army;

but, I will not get out, sell out, be talked out, or pushed out.

I am faithful, reliable, capable, and dependable.

If my God needs me, I am there.

I am a soldier. I am not a baby.

I do not need to be pampered, petted, primed up,pumped up, picked up, or pepped up.

I am a soldier. No one has to call me, remind me, write me, visit me, entice me, or lure me.

I am a soldier. I am not a wimp.

I am in place, saluting my King, obeying His orders,

praising His name, and building His kingdom!

No one has to send me flowers, gifts, food, cards, candy, or give me handouts.

I do not need to be cuddled, cradled, cared for, or catered to.

I am committed. I cannot have my feelings hurt bad enough to turn me around.

I cannot be discouraged enough to turn me aside.

I cannot lose enough to cause me to quit.

When Jesus called me into this Army, I had nothing.

If I end up with nothing, I will still come out even. I will win.

My God will supply all my needs. I am more than a conqueror.

I will always triumph. I can do all things through Christ.

Devils cannot defeat me. People cannot disillusion me.

Weather cannot weary me. Sickness cannot stop me.

Battles cannot beat me. Money cannot buy me.

Governments cannot silence me, and hell cannot handle me!

I am a soldier.

Even death cannot destroy me.

For when my Commander calls me from this battlefield,

He will promote me to a captain.

I am a soldier, in the Army; I’m marching, claiming victory.

I will not give up. I will not turn around.

I am a soldier, marching Heaven bound

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by Unknown Author

SIN, Justification, and Regeneration

SIN

Genesis 1:26 ~ Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like ourselves. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” {And then, man fell…}

• Hell is the eternal punishment for sin.
• Depravity = inborn or natural corruptness of human nature due to original sin.

Psalm 51:5 ~ For I was born a sinner – yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
Galatians 3:10 ~ But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under His curse, for the Scriptures say, ‘cursed is everyone who does not obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of Law’. {The law condemns – it cannot justify and save}

Romans 3:10 ~ As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous-not even one.” {We are all sinners}

Psalm 7:12-13 ~ If a person does not repent, God will sharpen his sword; he will bend and string his bow. He will prepare his deadly weapons and shoot his flaming arrows. {God HATES sin. We should take God’s holy hatred of sin and use it to provoke us to grow that much closer to Him.}

Man, in his original state of sin (depravity), hates God.

God sees us as:
1. Believers
2. Unbelievers
The rest is just distraction.

JUSTIFICATION

Justification is the judicial act of God as He pardons sinners.
1. He must punish sin.
2. He is merciful

Our justification came at the cost of Jesus’ blood. True salvation will cost the believer everything!
Jesus didn’t write the check to cancel our debt – He IS the check! It’s as if we had GUILTY written on our forehead and the wrath of God was coming at us directly. Jesus steps in between God and me and erased the GUILTY from my forehead and takes it on His.

Romans 3:23-25 ~ For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past.

Ephesians 2:5-10 ~ That even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’’ grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
{There is not a single good thing we can do to merit our salvation. Our righteousness is as filthy as rags. There is no justification apart from Christ.}

HOWEVER: James 2:14-26 confirms that we are not saved BY works, we are saved TO work. Good deeds serve as a verification of our faith. Our lifestyle is to be a WITNESS. If we boast about anything, it should be our King.

Propitiation ~ A sacrifice that satisfies justice. Reconciles us to God, but we MUST BELIEVE IT!

Many people who call themselves Christians just change their habits – We discipline ourselves to do all sorts of things. This doesn’t mean we are saved, it just means we are a quick learner. We can change our habits, but only God can change our nature.

WHERE AM I? AM I REALLY SAVED, or DO I JUST FIT IN AT CHURCH???
AM I IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD DAILY?

REGENERATION

2 Corinthians 5:17 ~ This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.
Only the Power of the Holy Spirit can regenerate a man. We should be so saturated in Christ that we don’t even notice the old things.

Ezekiel 36:22-31 reminds us that we are brought back by mercy – not because we deserve it – but to reveal the holiness of God through the Holy Spirit that is within us. He offers us a fresh start no matter what our sins are. Why clean up an old life when you can have a new one? We deserve the deepest pit of hell. It has nothing to do with us at all – He saved us for His glory! We see people all the time who call themselves Christians, but act like the hellions of the world.

James 4:7-10 tells us how to come close to God:
1. Humble yourselves
2. Resist the devil
3. Lead a pure life (purify your hearts)
4. Let there be sorrow and deep grief for your sins
5. Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up in honor.

To understand regeneration, imagine a stone being whipped with a belt. The stone will not move, will not respond, will not bruise, and will not bleed. No matter how much discipline is thrown at it, it does not respond. Replace that with a fleshy heart (or imagine a man in front of you about to be whipped with the belt). When you strike the flesh with the belt, what happens? You get a response and eventually obedience. Obedience is God’s method of protection for our lives. Once our heart of stone is replaced (regenerated) with a heart of flesh, conviction follows by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Sanctification

I am attending Foundations class at Powerhouse Church. These notes (as well as the Loyalty post) are what I have learned in this teaching. I hope that you can learn from them as well. I’ve been told that we need to share everything that we learn because many believers don’t get this kind of meat.
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Sanctification is
• for believers only
• GROWTH

If salvation is rebirth, then sanctification is growth. Only healthy things grow.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 ~ God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor

1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 ~ God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

1. God’s will is for me to be sanctified- as long as I am a believer.
2. If I reject the Truth, then my argument is with God.
3. The Holy Spirit is our greatest helper for sanctification.

Sanctification is the process of believers becoming holy, like Jesus. Sanctification is for God’s glory and our good.

Romans 6:22 ~ But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do these things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life.

• Every person submits to something: either God or sin. A Christian is not someone who cannot sin but who is not longer a slave to sin, or bound to sin. He belongs to God.

• Sanctification can be painful. Example: When a silversmith is refining silver, he must put it through FIRE to remove all impurities. Fire burns them off. Then, he must polish the piece of silver until he sees his reflection in it. That is when he knows it is ready. {When the Master can see His reflection in me, I’m ready!}

Continual repentance: Psalm 73:1-5, 12-14, 17-19
• Falling in love with God
• Turning away from sin
• Yield to God – don’t fight against the Word
• A heart change is what separates Christians from the rest of the world.

Sanctification is motivated by LOVE and ADOPTION

Romans 8:15-17 ~ So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead you have received God’s spirit when he adopted you as his own children. No we call, “Abba, Father”. For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must share his suffering.
• Adoption ~ you will receive what my son will receive {rule and reign with Christ}
• We are all appointed as kings and priests and ambassadors
We only begin sanctification AFTER salvation

1 John 2:15-17 ~ For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions, these are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

Worldliness ~

1. Craving for physical pleasure
2. Crave everything we see
3. Pride in achievements and possessions

God values ~

1. Self control
2. Generosity
3. Humble service

The Pride of Life ~ education, sports, fame, money, property

• All of this is a false attempt to duplicate Jesus Christ
• It will all pass away ~ burn UP!
• **Don’t be so attached **
Proverbs 15:14 ~ A wise person is hungry for knowledge while the fool feeds on trash.

We pull together false teachers to justify and rationalize our sin. {Ex. Leaving a church because you don’t like it}

Sanctification is an act of God’s mercy.
God’s opposition of my selfishness sanctifies me. {MERCY}
When I am given my own way, it is a form of judgement. God is the author of life – just trust Him. Stop trying to “twist his arm” into giving me what I want.

Church discipline sanctifies us. {The individual and the church}

Correction sanctifies us. No one will see the Lord without sanctification.

Becoming like Jesus through grace = HUMILITY

Philippians 2:1-11
• Joy in serving
• Don’t be selfish
• Don’t try to impress others
• Be humble
• He gave up His divine privileges and became a slave
• He died a criminal’s death
• He was EXALTED
Suffering sanctifies us! Think about this: Jesus was homeless, a bachelor, had 3 years of ministry, and died. Look at what He accomplished!!! Lose your authority and identity in humility, just as Jesus did.

Psalm 119 Prayer

This is a prayer that I wrote composed of my favorite verses from Psalm 119. I added some of my own inspirations as the Holy Spirit led me. Please, pray this prayer and be filled.

Psalm 119 Prayer:

I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Guard my heart, O Lord. Open my eyes to see the wonderful Truths in your instructions. Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions. Search my heart, O God, and cleanse me of anything that keeps me from you. Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found. Turn my eyes from the worthless things, and give me life through your Word and your Son, who is the bread of Life, the Truth, and the only Way. Help me abandon my shameful ways, for your regulations are good. Do not snatch your word of truth from me, for your regulations are my only hope. Do not leave me Holy Spirit; abide in me that I may do Your will. I believe in your commands; now teach me good judgement and knowledge, O Holy Spirit. Father, You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands. Surround me with your tender mercies so that I may live, for your instructions are my delight! My life constantly hangs in the balance, but I will not stop obeying your instructions. Give discernment to me, your servant; then I will understand your laws. In Jesus mighty Name I pray, AMEN

Loyalty

Developing a culture of loyalty:

What is culture? The way we think and do things; a set of unique customs and values that the members are accustomed to.

I attend Powerhouse Church in Katy, Texas. It is obvious that there is a culture at Powerhouse. I remember wanting to be a part of that when I visited for the first time. I knew I was home.

Powerhouse culture is:

1. Discipleship – getting connected to someone who will mentor you, you give them permission to tell the TRUTH and to help you through it. They have to be committed. Talk to you about all major decisions. Your word is your bond. When you say something, that binds you. If you expect people to respect and trust you, keep your word. The same applies for the other person. Say what you mean and do what you say.

2. Serving – being spiritually employed (I am employed spiritually at Jordan Ranch). Commit to it once a month.
“Yes, I am a part of. I am connected and I believe in the vision of this church.”

3. Accountability – Being transparent and vulnerable. Be able to take correction and direction from your mentor. Obedience is God’s method of protection for you. This is also submitting. You can’t be in authority until you have first been under authority. You have to be a daughter of the House. When you are in the rain and someone invites you to get under an umbrella, you are protected and you won’t get wet. The moment you get under that umbrella, you are covered; and someone else is holding the umbrella. Once you step out (disobedience), you get soaked.

You must be fully convinced and persuaded to understand loyalty. “This is where my family should be” – Do you feel this way?
No one is born faithful and loyal – it has to be taught.

Spirit of loyalty:

Having a spirit of loyalty means this: Don’t allow others to speak against that person, whether it is God, your pastor, your husband, your friend, or your mentor.
We have a reverence and a genuine love for our senior pastor. We lose out on the benefits when we are disloyal. Disloyalty is betrayal.

Loyalty ALWAYS has a price. Loyalty to Christ says that I can not maintain old friendships.

Mark 8:38 ~ “If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Psalm 15:1-5 ~ Guidelines for living a blameless life
Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord?
Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right,
Speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
Those who refuse to gossip
Or harm their neighbors
Or speak evil against their friends.
Those who despise flagrant sinners,
And honor the faithful followers of the Lord,
And keep their promises even when it hurts.
Those who lend money without charging interest,
And who cannot be bribed to tell a lie about the innocent.
Such people will stand firm forever.

Giving

Mark 12:30-31 ~ “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
• God looks at our HEART when we give
• BEFORE we see the blessing of God, we give the tithe in FAITH
• Tithing is the primary way that we acknowledge that God is FIRST

**Judge a tree by its fruit**
Romans 11:16 ~ “And since Abraham and the other patriarchs were holy, their descendants will also be holy – just as an entire batch of dough is holy because the portion given as an offering is holy.”

Whatever I give to God, I keep. Whatever I keep, I lose.
• God will ALWAYS give us what we need, not what we want!
• Why does it take faith to give? (It is not natural!)
• Our giving IMPACTS the Kingdom of God

2 Corinthians 9:7 ~ “You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly OR in response to pressure. For the Lord loves a person who gives cheerfully.” WHY DO WE GIVE:
• Proves we are saved
• Needs of the believers get met
• Gives glory to God
• Furthers the Kingdom; proves we are Kingdom-minded

God DOES NOT need our money – we need to be BLESSED! Blessed means empowered to prosper. Don’t live under a curse by stealing from God.

Malachi 3:8-10 ~ “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you, I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!”
• WOW! What a promise…a blessing that I can’t even contain!
• He almost dares us…He says TEST ME!
• The House of the Lord (the Church) is the proper place to tithe.
• Consecrated or cursed???

Malachi 3:6 ~ “I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed.”
• The one who says ‘I can’t afford to tithe’ is a nonbeliever. (Lack of faith)
• We can not argue that we are “under grace now”. If we were commanded under the law, then how can we justify doing any less under grace? He says here…I do not change.

Acts 20:35 ~ And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’
• Be faithful with a little so He can bless you with a lot
• It is an expression of thanksgiving for our salvation
• Human- I breathe. Christian – I give.
• How we give often reflects our understanding of our salvation

**Let’s stop seeing all we can get and comparing it with the world. We should give all we can in order to CHANGE the world!**
Whatever we have that we give back to God, the devil can not touch it. It is a treasure stored up in heaven and he has been thrown out!

God will NOT bless a mess! If we did not ask His guidance and direction before we bought it, spent it, or blew it then we can not expect Him to bless the mess we have gotten ourselves in to. Moving forward…now we know that obedience brings the blessing and God’s Word tells us to tithe our first portion, not our tenth or twentieth portion…our FIRST TENTH. PRAY before you PAY!

Choices

I looked upon my daughter this evening after I prayed her out for bed…I had a revelation and I know God spoke to me.

There are pieces of me that are lost…never to be found: OR SO I THOUGHT. I looked at this absolutely beautiful 13 year old angel and He told me, “It’s you.” She is the personification of my innocence lost. She is the pieces of me. I get frustrated because I don’t understand her. She’s nothing like me, yet everything I want to be. In a way, I envy her and I repent for that. She has everything that I forfeited because of choices. Choices determine our lot in life…

Deuteronomy 30:11-20 says this:

11 “This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand, and it is not beyond your reach. ~ [You can get this…ALL can understand this~ Isaiah 45:19 “I publicly proclaim bold promises. I do not whisper obscurities in some dark corner. I would not have told the people of Israel to seek me if I could not be found. I, the LORD, speak only what is true and declare only what is right.”]

12 It is not kept in heaven, so distant that you must ask, ‘Who will go up to heaven and bring it down so we can hear it and obey?’ ~[No spiritual authority or angel of the Lord needs to come up to heaven to bring you this message. It is clear and it is HERE.. It is right here before you and available. “But faith’s way of getting right with God says, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven’ (to bring Christ down to earth). And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead’ (to bring Christ back to life again).” In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart. And that message is the very message about faith that we preach” Romans 10:6-8]

13 It is not kept beyond the sea, so far away that you must ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to bring it to us so we can hear it and obey?’ ~ [It is close to you…not far away]

14 No, the message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it. ~[ The message is within you, it is near you. His Word is before you…devour it and get it in you.]

15 “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. ~ [HEAR ME NOW! This is it, you have a choice and it is defined. Life (Christ) or death (Satan), prosperity (success) or disaster (failure). Matthew 7:13-14 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”]

16 For I command you this day to love the LORD your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy. ~ [He COMMANDS us to love Him and keep all of His regulations by doing what is right. We know right and wrong, our heart always tells us because His Spirit is in us. If we do what is right and not what is wrong, we will live and be successful. He promises to bless us. He will bless us and our home. But it is obedience that brings this blessing.]

17 “But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, 18 then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy. ~[He is jealous. He warns us to listen and draw near to Him and only serve and worship Him or He will destroy us. We will not live a good life. We will be cursed if we turn our heart from Him.]

19 “Today, I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! ~ [He has given us a choice. We must decide. It requires us to DO something…keep His commands, decrees, and regulations. He knows our heart, and He knows what choice we have made. WE must reinforce this commitment DAILY. Mark 8:34-35 “Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.”]

20 You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the LORD, you will live long in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” ~ [The choice to love Him and obey Him and commit ourselves to Him requires us to submit, not only unto the Lord but those He has called to lead us. Hebrews 13:17 “Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit”. He tells us that this is the key to life: obedience, love, and commitment to Him. This is how we receive the promises of God. Obedience is God’s method of protection for our lives.]
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Maturity comes with the acceptance of responsibility. When we make a choice, we are accepting responsibility for that choice. The same is true when we decide NOT to do something. That is a choice and we accept responsibility for it. If we want everything that God has in store for us, it is laid out in His Word, plainly and in clear form. This is our spiritual milk, just as a baby needs milk so do we.
1 Peter 2:1-3 says “So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.”