RSS Feed http://godswordprofessor.com This is an RSS Feed en Tue, 01 Dec 2020 07:57:15 +0000 Tue, 01 Dec 2020 07:57:15 +0000 5 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-pledge-of-allegiance-gods-top-ten-executive-orders The Pledge of Allegiance & GOD's TOP TEN Executive Orders http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-pledge-of-allegiance-gods-top-ten-executive-orders <p><strong>Psalm 33:4-22:</strong> "For the WORD of the LORD is right, and all His work is done in truth. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose GOD is the LORD, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance. The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.</p><p>No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. Let your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, just as we hope in You."</p><p><strong>Galatians 5:13-15:</strong> "For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' But if you bite and devour one another; beware lest you be consumed by one another!"</p><p><strong>Ephesians 4:25-32: </strong>"Therefore, putting away lying, 'Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,' for we are members of one another. 'Be angry, and do not sin'; do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the HOLY SPIRIT of GOD, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as GOD in CHRIST forgave you."</p><p><strong>Colossians 3:12-17, 23-24:</strong> "Therefore, as the election of GOD, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering; bearing with one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as CHRIST forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of GOD rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of CHRIST dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the LORD. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord JESUS, giving thanks to GOD the Father through Him.... And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the LORD and not to men, knowing that from the LORD you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord CHRIST. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality."</p><p><strong>1 Timothy 2:1-7:</strong> "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of GOD our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one GOD and one Mediator between GOD and men, the Man CHRIST JESUS, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle--I am speaking the truth in CHRIST and not lying--a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth."</p><p><strong>Titus 2:11-15: </strong>"For the grace of GOD that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great GOD and Savior JESUS CHRIST, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you."</p><p><strong>Titus 3:1-11, 14:</strong> "Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of GOD our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the HOLY SPIRIT, whom He poured out on us abundantly through JESUS CHRIST our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in GOD should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and striving about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.... And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful."</p><p>WHEN we were kids in public school, in the eighties and nineties, in small-town East Texas, we learned to love our country, respect those in authority, from the teacher to those in law enforcement, especially the elder men and women, in our families, our churches and our communities, and we learned how to love others too and how to play well together, tell the truth, be held accountable for every action, and work well with others, many of us from different backgrounds and races and gender and ages, but we all used to come together and stand in class, after the morning announcements, with our eyes on the stars and stripes of the American flag, usually with our hand over our heart and we would collectively recite the pledge of allegiance every morning; then, we would collectively, enthusiastically and proudly sing, most often, the national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," and often, "My Country Tis of Thee" and sometimes, "O Beautiful," like Ray Charles used to sing. It was rarely about politics for us; it was always about loving HIM first and loving IT: our GOD and our nation--our country--the land of promise, freedom, and opportunity GOD blessed us with and gave us of His own good pleasure and free will. Later, in the cafeteria, as a group, we would all, most often, close our eyes, bow our heads and recite this "grace" of thanksgiving: "GOD is Good; GOD is Great. Thank You for this food today."</p><p>GOD the Father was our Superintendent; JESUS the Son of GOD was equally our Headmaster and Teacher/Instructor/Professor; The HOLY SPIRIT was equally our Administrator, Principal, and Disciplinarian; The WORD of GOD was our Lifetime Manual--our instructions for a biblical lifestyle and a kingdom-of-heaven/kingdom-of-GOD mindset; Thanksgiving, Teamwork, Respect, Love, Compassion, Helping Others, and Promoting Togetherness and Unity was part of our character education; And public prayer, regardless of what any secular official or "anti-christ" dictated, was our 24/7 knee-mail, our daily communication and fellowship with GOD, even on the school campus.</p><p>Even though they--the secular powers that be--tried to take GOD and prayer and worship and thanksgiving out of our schools and our government and our nation, they could never take GOD and prayer and worship and thanksgiving and gratitude and the fear and reverence of GOD out of us, the real-deal, souled-out followers and believers, because we were more interested in obeying and exalting and pleasing and kneeling and bowing down to and for and because of GOD than idolizing, exalting, bowing down and kneeling FOR, because of and TO some man and/or woman, outside of JESUS CHRIST, on the basis of race, gender, denomination, nationality, community, social, and/or political affiliation. GOD called us to be IMITATORS, REFLECTIONS, and AMBASSADORS OF CHRIST; He called us to be one nation UNDER GOD, and IN CHRIST JESUS, one Body, one Church, one Family, one Bride, inseparable, signed, sealed, and delivered, DIVERSE AND UNITED, not DIVERSE and DISTRACTED, DECEIVED, DISRUPTIVE, DECEPTIVE, DIVIDED, AND DIVISIVE, and GOD's TOP TEN EXECUTIVE ORDERS, biblically, are THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, which come down to LOVING GOD FIRST, with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and LOVING OTHERS, as we love ourselves. Likewise, this was always our pledge of allegiance, from elementary to high school: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under GOD, indivisible."</p><p>And for me, especially in school as a student and in band as a flute player, it was always an honor and a privilege to learn, then sing and play, the national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," because in our U.S. History classes, we actually learned the origin stories behind such patriotic songs such as this one and "O Beautiful," and I still love these songs today, including "GOD Bless America," and I will never stop praying for this country GOD blessed us with, nor will I stop praying for the citizens of America, including the men and women in law enforcement, healthcare, ministry, border and national security, and the military, here and abroad, nor will I stop praying for the leaders of America, here and abroad, from the White House to the Courthouse to the church house, and even my house, regardless of their race, gender, denomination and/or political affiliation, including the current, plus any future President the RIGHTEOUS, IMPARTIAL, and JUST LORD of Lords and KING of kings and ALMIGHTY GOD, not mainstream media, elects, mainly because GOD never called me as a follower, believer, disciple and "imitator" of His Son, JESUS CHRIST, to be like the dark prince of this world, catering to the world of "carnal-minded" men and women, doing what is right in their own eyes, nor to the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of culture, in gossiping, criticizing, bad-mouthing, cursing, mocking, judging, slandering, tearing down anybody, and causing discord, among the brethren, especially in the House of GOD and especially among those in authority, including enemies and adversaries; GOD called me as a believer, disciple and ambassador of CHRIST to love Him and others; to pray for my enemies and bless them, when and if I can; to be a Fisher of men and women, enlarging the Family of GOD and the kingdom of GOD, effectively bringing the kingdom of heaven to earth, in encouraging, instructing, and building others up, especially in the will, the WORD, and the WAY of GOD, because JESUS says, a tree is known by the fruit it bears, whether it be good or bad, and from the treasures of the HEART the mouth speaks. So, whatever is coming out of our mouths, whether good or bad, whether in line with the WORD, the will and the Spirit and the nature of GOD, or in line with the words, the will, the nature and spirit of the anti-christ and the adversary, the devil, is usually a good indicator or clue to our intimacy and relationship with GOD, to how much we love and fear--or revere--the LORD, and the "real" spiritual condition of our heart, in terms of it harboring the love and light of JESUS, GOD, or the hatred and darkness of the adversary, the anti-christ, the prince of this secular, humanistic culture and this kingdom of darkness, the devil.</p><p>What most seem to forget too is that GOD, including JESUS, tells us repeatedly, from Genesis to Revelation, that we all, including believers, must stand before JESUS, the Righteous Judge, in the end and give an account of every idle word we have spoken and every act we have committed during our time on earth, in our mortal body, which for believers is the "temple" of the HOLY SPIRIT, and by OUR words we will either be justified or condemned, and by our actions we are either affirming and honoring GOD, the Father and Son, or we are quenching the HOLY SPIRIT and grieving GOD.</p><p>So, today, during this time, in this season, I am no longer a lukewarm, undercover Christian, nor am I double-minded, "shady," and deceptive in terms of my love for Israel and the Jewish people; in terms of my love and passion for the WORD of GOD, the Bible; my beliefs, my values; my patriotic, often, conservative nature; my love of and devotion to prayer, praise, thanksgiving and worship; and my faith in JESUS, in GOD, in the HOLY SPIRIT; and I have an even greater, more binding, pledge of allegiance, as a child of GOD and as a saved and redeemed and "souled-out" follower and blood-bought believer in JESUS CHRIST:</p><p><br>"I pledge allegiance to the only living GOD, the Almighty heavenly Father and Creator of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and to His only Begotten Son, JESUS, the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One, the LORD of Lords and KING of kings, and in obedience to and accordance with the infallible, true, and eternal WORD of GOD, I pledge to trust in the LORD with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding but to acknowledge Him in all my ways and let Him, in the name of JESUS, through the Person and power of the HOLY SPIRIT, lead me, correct me, mold me, restore me, change me, transform me, equip me, empower me, and direct me, in every area of my life, and make straight my pathways, so I can be strong and courageous, more than a conqueror, not weak and cowardly, a wounded, defeated casualty; so I can be better, not bitter, so I can be a warrior, not a worrier, so I can be a victor, not a victim, so I can be faithful and faith-filled, not faithless and fearful, and so I can love HIM with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love and forgive others as myself, including my enemies and my adversaries, and so I can walk by faith, not sight, in humility, trust and obedience, worshipping GOD in sincerity and truth, like JESUS did, finding my divine purpose and fulfilling my destiny, according to the grace, mercy and will of GOD as well as working with and alongside GOD, in destroying the works of the adversary--the devil--also in alignment with the Great Commission of GOD, given through JESUS and found in Matthew 28:18-20 so that I might also complete every other GOD-given assignment He has for me, as part of the kingdom of GOD and the Body of CHRIST, all of us one family, diverse and United, in the name of JESUS, under the authority of GOD, one Church and one Bride, inseparable, indivisible, redeemed, reconciled, dedicated and devoted, foremost and primarily, to our heavenly Father, GOD, because no matter who sits in the seat of authority in the White House, Courthouse, Church house, and/or my house, GOD, the LORD of Lords and KING of kings, is always in control; sovereign, holy, RIGHTEOUS, good, just, loving, compassionate, matchless, majestic, incomparable, powerful, creative, awesome, all-knowing, merciful, gracious--eternally enthroned. So, to the King eternal, immortal and invisible, to GOD who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen--so be it."</p> Wed, 11 Nov 2020 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-hall-of-faith-decision-2020-heroes-heroines-justice-freedom-and-superheroes-4-god-country-diverse-but-united-never-diverse-divided "The Hall of Faith & Decision 2020: Heroes & Heroines, Justice & Freedom, and Superheroes 4 GOD & Country: Diverse but United, Never Diverse & Divided" http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-hall-of-faith-decision-2020-heroes-heroines-justice-freedom-and-superheroes-4-god-country-diverse-but-united-never-diverse-divided <!--StartFragment--><p><strong> Galatians 5:13-14:</strong> "For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.</p><p> For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"</p><p><strong> Colossians 3:16-17, 23-25: </strong>"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.</p><p> "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the LORD JESUS, giving thanks to GOD the Father through Him.</p><p> "And whatever you do, do it heartily as to the LORD and not to men, knowing that from the LORD you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the LORD CHRIST.</p><p> "But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality (favoritism)."</p><p><strong> 1 Timothy 2:1-7</strong>: "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.</p><p> "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of GOD our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."</p><p> "For there is one GOD and one Mediator between GOD and men, the Man CHRIST JESUS, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle--I am speaking the truth in CHRIST and not lying--a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth."</p><p> ONCE UPON A TIME, nearly a decade ago, during another election year, when I was getting more into praying fervently and digging deeper into the Bible, trying to be a hearer AND doer of the WORD of GOD, and trying to please GOD more than others, including my family, I was questioning seriously the strength, sincerity, and validity of my Faithwalk and my real motivation(s) for voting and selecting candidates year after year the way I traditionally and typically did and had been doing, since age eighteen, I asked a friend of mine, who was a published writer and college instructor, too, on our way back to work from a restaurant, if GOD really cared about how we voted, who we voted for, and the policies and practices of the culture we affirmed, promoted, advanced, advocated, tolerated, and condoned; what would really happen if JESUS, the Righteous Judge, actually did judge us, or if He really did call us to give an honest account, especially as believers, not just of our words and deeds, but according to all those people, men and women, we elected or voted into government/public office and the political platforms and policies and executive and/or legislative laws we advocated, promoted, affirmed, advanced, and/or condoned; would we be condemned or justified, according not just to our words and deeds but according to those political platforms, laws, policies and/or practices that compromised, perverted, and/or went completely contrary to the WORD, the WILL, and the WAY of GOD; would our choices, our voices, our votes, our values, our faith, our loyalties, our alliances, our endorsements, our politics, our platforms, our words, our deeds, our actions, and our allegiances really matter, in terms of our relationship and our eternity, in respect to JESUS, the Son of GOD; to GOD the Father; to GOD, the HOLY SPIRIT, who is equally Good, Loving, Just, Sovereign, and Holy (Righteous and Perfect)?</p><p> Really, of course, when we, as believers, are really and truly voting our faith and voting our values, we should prayerfully seek GOD first in all of our choices and all of our decisions, in terms of who should be elected into any government/public office, because we as believers will be held accountable, in the end, so we should always be advocating more than just one current issue and more than just one political party, especially out of tradition, in regard to a secular kingdom of culture; we should be voting for more than just one popular person or charming and/or charismstic man or woman and his or her personality, platform, policies, agenda, lifestyle, opinions, and worldview or perspective on any issue, especially in relation to faith, family, finances, the economy, (higher)/(public) education, marriage, (national) security, law and order, and/or healthcare.</p><p> We should be voting more for GOD's Platform and for the eternal heart, soul, mind, salvation, deliverance, protection, provision, peace, reconciliation, redemption, repentance, and forgiveness of our COUNTRY than for any one man or woman outside of JESUS CHRIST, who may or may not be around in his or her office or position in the next two, four, six, eight, or even more years. </p><p> After all, in eternity, in the spiritual realm, we as believers, only get extra credit in the Kingdom of GOD for being Fishers of women and men--for drawing all of those lost and wandering souls on board this ship and on board this plane called LIFE back HOME to the real Creator, the real Life-giver, the real Source, Architect, Builder, Designer, Manufacturer, Abba-Father, and Author and Finisher (Perfecter) of our Faith: The Almighty, Living GOD.</p><p> As believers, our foundation, our platform, and our standard is always found in one place and one Person, in the WORD of GOD (found in the Holy Bible) and in the Son of GOD, JESUS CHRIST, and we as believers, more than anyone else with a carnal nature and secular, earth-bound, and temporal perspective and worldview, should always be more CHRIST-centered than self-centered, looking GOD-ward, thinking eternally, with a Kingdom-of-GOD and Kingdom-of-heaven perspective, and we should be voting in every election in alliance with JESUS, alongside GOD, always in alignment, in allegiance and in obedience with and to His WORD, His will, His way, His agenda, His platform, His purpose, His plan, and His perspective.</p><p> For example, in 1 John 3:8-10, we learn that for this purpose, JESUS, the Son of GOD, was manifested, "that He might destroy the works of the devil," and "whoever has been born of GOD does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of GOD.</p><p> "In this the children of GOD and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of GOD, nor is he who does not love his brother (i.e. neighbor)."</p><p> In Proverbs 16:13 and 15, we learn that "whoever rewards evil for good, evil will not depart from his house," and "he who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD," and we learn what GOD hates, what really makes Him mad and often, brings about His judgment, individually and collectively, in Proverbs 6:16-19, for it says, "These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren."</p><p> Finally, in Micah 6:8, we learn what GOD would have us do, for it says, "He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your GOD," and this is in addition to the Great Commission that JESUS gives us in Matthew 28:18-20, where He says, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen (i.e. so be it)."</p><p> Basically, love for GOD is worshipping Him in spirit and truth; love for GOD is loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength; love for GOD is putting Him first in every area of our lives; trusting in Him--leaning on Him; depending on Him; relying on Him.</p><p> Love for GOD is seeking His Kingdom and His righteousness first and letting Him be the LORD of our lives, in every area, in every capacity, in every way, which means GOD is really the SOLE OWNER of our lives, and JESUS is always at the helm or in the driver's seat, at the wheel.</p><p> Love for GOD is blessing His first born in terms of people and nations: Israel and the Jewish people; it is praying for peace in Jerusalem, here, and that eternal City and future home or dwelling place of GOD, the New Jerusalem.</p><p> Love for GOD is blessing our neighbors, loving them, even as we love ourselves, and even praying for our enemies--including those that talk about us, tell lies on us, gossip on us, slander us, bully us, and persecute us.</p><p> Love for GOD is respecting, honoring, and praying those in leadership and authority, and maintaining law and order because justice and righteousness are the foundations of GOD'S throne, according to the WORD of GOD, and He is not the author of chaos and confusion, nor does He advocate nor promote nor tolerate violence, rebellion, pride, deception, hatred, gossip, idolatry, anti-Semitism, infanticide, unforgiveness, murder, witchcraft, divination, and division, especially among His people, those who make up the Church, who are in the church, who are the followers and the believers in the Body of CHRIST, who are the living "temples" of the HOLY SPIRIT. </p><p> And here's a great explanation to help us understand the difference between justice and vengeance that also reveals the difference between being Kingdom-of-GOD/Prince-of-Peace/CHRIST-centered and being kingdom-of-darkness/kingdom-of-culture/Self-centered/adversary/prince-of-this-world-centered: "Justice is the act of protecting and/or enforcing the law; justice is the act of correcting something done wrong; it is making something "right," or bringing back into alignment or back into "right standing" (or righteousness) something that has been corrupted, compromised, perverted, or done wrong.</p><p> In contrast, vengeance is the act of bypassing and/or subverting or overriding "traditional" law and order, like a vigilante, effectively taking matters into one's hands, and doing what "seems" right or acceptable according to one's own standard or code of behavior, usually in terms of getting "payback" or getting even with the "alleged" and/or "imagined" perpetrator(s)/wrongdoers."</p><p> In regard to the Bible, GOD is our Protector, our Provider, our Shield, our Defender, our Advocate, our Judge, our Avenger, our LORD of Lords and our KING of kings. He alone is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in time of trouble, and vengeance, according to His WORD, is always His, because as many verses, including Exodus 14:14 reveal, GOD is with us; GOD is in us; GOD is for us, fighting our battles.</p><p> In terms of comics, cartoons, movies, and superheroes, justice versus vengeance can also be illustrated in regard to The Justice League (including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Static, etc), usually working in company of or alongside traditional law enforcement (i.e. police, military, government) and The Avengers (including Iron man, Captain America, Black Widow, Black Panther, Thor, Hulk, Falcon, Guardians of the Galaxy, Antman, etc), often, working alone; sometimes, working together, usually, outside the jurisdiction and/or authority of traditional law/military/government, many times, exacting "law" and "order" as they deem right/just/acceptable/fair.</p><p> Finally, love for GOD is "fearing" Him, which is revering Him and obeying His commands, according to His Word and that of His Son, JESUS, for as one person writes, "the will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you."</p><p> In the natural, I never tell anyone who to vote for, nor do I tell anyone who to endorse, elect; however, in the spiritual, and in the natural, I do affirm, honor and reverence GOD; I do endorse, exalt and promote JESUS CHRIST; and I am a temple of the HOLY SPIRIT, and He is with me, wherever I GO, and my allegiance is first and foremost, to GOD, the Father, the Son, the HOLY SPIRIT.</p><p> So, the real question on this election day in 2020 is this: Are we as believers, disciples and followers of GOD, of JESUS CHRIST, really voting on the basis of our faith, of our values, which should be alongside, in alignment with the WORD, the WILL, the STANDARD, the PLATFORM, the PURPOSE, the PLAN, and the WAY of GOD? Or are we merely voting on the basis of personality, charisma, popularity, opinion, perspective, tradition, race, gender, affiliations, politics, preferences and parties? Because only what we do for GOD, for CHRIST, will matter in the end. </p><p> More than being in favor or in protest or for or against any particular politician or candidate, regardless of his or her party, gender, sound-bites, photo-ops, tweets, interviews, public relations, celebrity support, endorsements, and race, I'm always in favor of any person, policy, perspective, and platform that exalts GOD, honoring His name, including the name of JESUS; that affirms, honors, and venerates our GOD, the Living GOD, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, upholding HIS Standard, promoting HIS agenda, and protecting HIS BELOVED, including the nation of Israel, the Jews, and the innocent, including children, even those in the womb; that respects, protects, upholds the WORD of GOD, as infallible, as truth, promoting an eternal, kingdom-of-heaven, CHRIST-centered, and biblical perspective and lifestyle/worldview. </p><p> But that's just me, walking out my own faith, as one of the CHOSEN, one of the REDEEMED, one of the FORGIVEN, one of children of GOD, and as a SOULED-OUT, blood-bought believer, disciple, and follower, not fan, of GOD, of JESUS CHRIST, living my life LOUD for GOD, for JESUS, because I am not an undercover, lukewarm Christian, nor am I a passively silent believer, because we as believers are created, called and chosen to be KINGDOM KIDS, diverse but UNITED, never diverse and divided; we are commanded and commissioned to be CHAMPIONS 4 CHRIST; and we are encouraged, empowered, and equipped to be GOSPEL GLOBE TROTTERS, making a difference, not just an impression, from generation to generation, all for the glory and honor of GOD.</p><p> So, regardless of who wins this election on earth today, in this country, this nation, GOD is still in control, seated eternally on HIS throne, as the LORD of Lords and KING of kings, and GOD is unchanging; and JESUS is the same yesterday, today and forever--ever good, ever just, ever loving, ever majestic, ever sovereign, ever matchless, ever living, ever GOD, and as 1 Timothy 1:17 says, in affirming and honoring GOD, "Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to GOD who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen."</p><p><br></p><!--EndFragment--> Tue, 03 Nov 2020 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/grandmama-whipped-me-a-godsword-poem "Grandmama Whipped Me"--A GOD'sWORD Poem http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/grandmama-whipped-me-a-godsword-poem <p><strong>Proverbs 3:11-12:</strong> "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor detest His correction; for whom the LORD loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights."</p><p>GRANDMAMA WHIPPED ME</p><p>With that tree limb over there.</p><p>She ripped every green leaf from it</p><p>And swept </p><p>my dusty-brown legs</p><p>everywhere.</p><p>Even </p><p>though</p><p>at ages </p><p>eight,</p><p>nine,</p><p>and</p><p>ten,</p><p>I </p><p>didn't think</p><p>Grandmama </p><p>whipping </p><p>me</p><p>was</p><p>right,</p><p>just,</p><p>or</p><p>fair,</p><p>Grandmama whipped me</p><p>In front of cousins,</p><p>Near and far,</p><p>Young and old,</p><p>And</p><p>she dared me to cry;</p><p>She'd get offended, too,</p><p>If I didn't repent,</p><p>show</p><p>some remorse,</p><p>shed </p><p>some tears,</p><p>So</p><p>I knew, then,</p><p>Like </p><p>all </p><p>gifted</p><p>and</p><p>talented</p><p>and</p><p>smart kids do,</p><p>I had</p><p>To</p><p>sniffle</p><p>And</p><p>whimper;</p><p>I had</p><p>to</p><p>shake</p><p>And</p><p>quake,</p><p>Either</p><p>Faking it,</p><p>Like </p><p>when </p><p>my cousins</p><p>and I</p><p>said we'd stay </p><p>in the front </p><p>or the back yard,</p><p>but we always</p><p>went on adventures,</p><p>to and from,</p><p>always</p><p>outside,</p><p>always </p><p>out of sight,</p><p>always</p><p>away</p><p>from home,</p><p>traipsing </p><p>around,</p><p>like travelers,</p><p>through </p><p>dusty,</p><p>back roads,</p><p>along </p><p>grassy trails,</p><p>all the way</p><p>through </p><p>the woods</p><p>to Ms. White's house,</p><p>for snacks,</p><p>refreshments,</p><p>like</p><p>home-made </p><p>cookies,</p><p>either</p><p>red</p><p>Kool-Aid,</p><p>or </p><p>pink</p><p>or </p><p>yellow</p><p>lemonade;</p><p>always</p><p>gathering </p><p>green</p><p>apples</p><p>from Ms. Viola's</p><p>apple tree;</p><p>always</p><p>picking,</p><p>then</p><p>eating</p><p>pecans</p><p>off </p><p>the ground;</p><p>always</p><p>picking,</p><p>then</p><p>shelling</p><p>black-eyed</p><p>and</p><p>purple-hull</p><p>peas,</p><p>sitting</p><p>on</p><p>the front</p><p>porch,</p><p>with</p><p>buckets</p><p>or</p><p>baskets</p><p>in</p><p>our laps;</p><p>always</p><p>picking,</p><p>then</p><p>shucking</p><p>corn,</p><p>straight</p><p>from</p><p>the cob;</p><p>always</p><p>picking,</p><p>then</p><p>pulling</p><p>and</p><p>washing</p><p>turnip,</p><p>mustard,</p><p>and</p><p>collard</p><p>greens,</p><p>while</p><p>watching</p><p>and</p><p>feeding</p><p>white</p><p>and</p><p>red</p><p>chickens</p><p>and</p><p>dirty,</p><p>smelly</p><p>pigs;</p><p>always</p><p>churning,</p><p>always</p><p>turning</p><p>that</p><p>handle</p><p>for </p><p>Grandmama,</p><p>so we could have</p><p>some home-made</p><p>chocolate,</p><p>strawberry,</p><p>or</p><p>vanilla </p><p>ice cream;</p><p>always</p><p>grabbing</p><p>peaches,</p><p>pears,</p><p>and </p><p>plums</p><p>from </p><p>PawPaw's </p><p>vegetable</p><p>garden,</p><p>from</p><p>Mr. Cooter's </p><p>forbidden </p><p>fruit</p><p>trees;</p><p>living on</p><p>strawberries,</p><p>blackberries,</p><p>blueberries,</p><p>along </p><p>dusty roads,</p><p>along</p><p>grassy fields,</p><p>beside </p><p>the </p><p>county</p><p>roads,</p><p>along </p><p>the </p><p>high-</p><p>ways;</p><p>spending</p><p>our</p><p>church</p><p>money</p><p>at </p><p>Cousin Alfred's</p><p>store,</p><p>stocking</p><p>up</p><p>on</p><p>chips,</p><p>candy,</p><p>honey buns,</p><p>barbecue </p><p>sandwiches,</p><p>and</p><p>gigantic</p><p>pickles;</p><p>or </p><p>like </p><p>the</p><p>stay-at-home</p><p>days,</p><p>when we had</p><p>to stay</p><p>in plain sight,</p><p>and </p><p>we would sit in the shade,</p><p>fanning </p><p>in the sun,</p><p>under </p><p>a clump,</p><p>a house</p><p>of trees,</p><p>between </p><p>our house</p><p>and </p><p>Cousin </p><p>Bessie's,</p><p>all</p><p>of </p><p>us,</p><p>pretending</p><p>to be grownups,</p><p>playing games,</p><p>like family,</p><p>like church,</p><p>because </p><p>PawPaw hadn't just been</p><p>a sharecropper,</p><p>a farmer;</p><p>he had been</p><p>a truck logger;</p><p>and a preacher, too,</p><p>so all of us kids </p><p>knew how to act,</p><p>knew what to say,</p><p>knew what to do,</p><p>and </p><p>we would pretend--</p><p>preaching </p><p>and singing,</p><p>clapping</p><p>and </p><p>dancing,</p><p>shouting</p><p>and </p><p>falling</p><p>out,</p><p>supposedly</p><p>in</p><p>the </p><p>spirit--</p><p>and we would do</p><p>whatever</p><p>we saw and heard</p><p>some </p><p>of </p><p>those</p><p>so-called</p><p>good, </p><p>country,</p><p>church folks do; </p><p>OR</p><p>I could</p><p>make good</p><p>and</p><p>do right,</p><p>like walking,</p><p>then running,</p><p>upfront</p><p>To the altar,</p><p>In tears,</p><p>in truth,</p><p>in church,</p><p>in child-like</p><p>faith,</p><p>surrendering</p><p>my will,</p><p>my way,</p><p>my heart,</p><p>my soul,</p><p>my mind,</p><p>my might,</p><p>During</p><p>The real Altar Call--</p><p>The real Invitation--</p><p>and then,</p><p>get baptized,</p><p>with water,</p><p>Then</p><p>With fire,</p><p>By the Holy Spirit,</p><p>Just</p><p>by</p><p>Being real,</p><p>by</p><p>Being true,</p><p>by</p><p>Being sincere,</p><p>And</p><p>Showing Grandmama</p><p>The real</p><p>Waterfall,</p><p>Letting her see</p><p>The real</p><p>Heart of repentance,</p><p>The real</p><p>Heart of contrition,</p><p>The real </p><p>Heart of regret,</p><p>The real</p><p>Broken spirit,</p><p>By</p><p>Moving</p><p>my body,</p><p>My shoulders,</p><p>Up and down,</p><p>Just right,</p><p>Just so</p><p>my eight-year-old,</p><p>nine-year-old,</p><p>ten-year-old</p><p>Sinfully,</p><p>Sarcastic,</p><p>And</p><p>Rebellious</p><p>Self</p><p>Could get out of</p><p>the fiery furnace,</p><p>The lion's den,</p><p>Escaping</p><p>Another </p><p>round</p><p>Of discipline,</p><p>Another </p><p>Round</p><p>Of correction,</p><p>Another </p><p>Round</p><p>With</p><p>the belt,</p><p>the switch,</p><p>or</p><p>Grandmama's</p><p>Swinging hand.</p><p><br></p><p>So,</p><p>now </p><p>and again,</p><p>More often</p><p>Than not,</p><p>My eight-year-old,</p><p>nine-year-old,</p><p>ten-year-old</p><p>Perfectly imperfect </p><p>self</p><p>Would submit </p><p>And surrender</p><p>To </p><p>Grandmama's will,</p><p>Grandmama's way,</p><p>Grandmama's authority,</p><p>Grandmama's discipline</p><p>And correction</p><p>Because if I didn't</p><p>Listen,</p><p>If I didn't</p><p>Submit,</p><p>Or</p><p>If I didn't</p><p>Confess my sins</p><p>Or</p><p>Cry</p><p>Or</p><p>Show</p><p>Some</p><p>Remorse </p><p>Or</p><p>Contrition,</p><p>Grandmama, </p><p>Full of Faith,</p><p>Full of Strength,</p><p>Filled </p><p>With</p><p>The WORD of GOD,</p><p>And</p><p>The flaming fire</p><p>Of GOD's </p><p>Holy Spirit</p><p>would find </p><p>her second,</p><p>Mighty,</p><p>Rushing wind,</p><p>And</p><p>my hazel eyes </p><p>would not be dry land</p><p>But watery, </p><p>like a sea of red</p><p>then.</p><p>Grandmama whipped me,</p><p>Along with cousins, siblings, even childhood friends.</p><p>She lined us up front,</p><p>From the eldest to the youngest kid,</p><p>And she always flushed out the true culprit in the end.</p><p>Grandmama whipped me--</p><p>Why she made me pick the switch,</p><p>I still don't comprehend.</p><p>But she'd whip me</p><p>until the sweat cried, </p><p>dripping from her sun-baked face,</p><p>And then she'd say, "Hush up, child! You'd better not do that again."</p><p>She gave me </p><p>some good stings</p><p>and swipes</p><p>with that</p><p>ol' belt</p><p>or that bigger switch--</p><p>the one I thought I had hidden.</p><p>"Grandmama, I was using the bathroom. I wasn't outside, playing in the road, </p><p>with those other kids," </p><p>I said.</p><p>But she said, "Let this whipping be for something else you likely did."</p><p>Grandmama whipped me,</p><p>And she always made sure I was prepared.</p><p>She told me why I was being punished,</p><p>Why she had to discipline,</p><p>then correct me;</p><p>She was trying to protect me,</p><p>Teach me right from wrong,</p><p>Keep me safe </p><p>and secure,</p><p>All because </p><p>GOD had entrusted me </p><p>to her,</p><p>And because </p><p>she truly cared.</p><p>She whipped me,</p><p>And it wasn't an act of anger,</p><p>violence, </p><p>even child abuse,</p><p>Because through it all, </p><p>Grandmama loved me enough </p><p>To discipline me, </p><p>correct me,</p><p>Teach me right from wrong,</p><p>Just like Father GOD said, </p><p>In His Holy Word,</p><p>Building my character,</p><p>my integrity,</p><p>My sense of justice,</p><p>righteousness,</p><p>Grace, forgiveness,</p><p>Mercy, compassion,</p><p>Obedience</p><p>and love,</p><p>as the years rolled on,</p><p>By giving me </p><p>life lessons</p><p>In taking responsibility</p><p>for my actions,</p><p>good or bad,</p><p>By telling the truth</p><p>Instead of lying, </p><p>making excuses </p><p>or blaming others, </p><p>for my choices,</p><p>or my mistakes,</p><p>Like Adam</p><p>and Eve had,</p><p>Just to get out of trouble,</p><p>Out of the fire</p><p>In that ol' frying pan</p><p>And escape </p><p>The hurt, the pain,</p><p>The consequences,</p><p>The wages of sins--</p><p>The judge's sentence,</p><p>The jury's verdict,</p><p>The DIVINE</p><p>Court's penalty--</p><p>Like death,</p><p>In spirit,</p><p>In body,</p><p>In self,</p><p>Like my Grandmama's </p><p>swift </p><p>punishment,</p><p>Whether it be </p><p>a switch,</p><p>a belt,</p><p>Or Grandmama's </p><p>Swinging hand.</p><p>Grandmama whipped me,</p><p>Just like Father GOD, </p><p>Who is Good, </p><p>Who is Just, </p><p>Who is Love,</p><p>throughout His Holy Word</p><p>Instructed</p><p>and commanded,</p><p>And I am who I am today</p><p>Because Grandmama watched over me,</p><p>Grandmama protected me,</p><p>Grandmama prayed for me,</p><p>Grandmama "dragged" me to church,</p><p>Grandmama praised,</p><p>thanked, </p><p>and </p><p>worshipped GOD </p><p>every day;</p><p>She read her Bible </p><p>every morning,</p><p>every afternoon,</p><p>Every night,</p><p>And she always </p><p>sang around the house</p><p>And got on her knees,</p><p>so she could intercede</p><p>for others,</p><p>fellowship with GOD,</p><p>and fervently pray.</p><p>And every week,</p><p>we had Family Prayer</p><p>meetings,</p><p>Whether we kids wanted</p><p>to participate or not,</p><p>usually on Tuesdays</p><p>Or</p><p>Wednesday nights,</p><p>Or</p><p>often, when I was trying</p><p>to watch my favorite</p><p>night-time shows </p><p>on TV,</p><p>Like</p><p>Soap,</p><p>Benson,</p><p>Knots Landing,</p><p>Fantasy Island,</p><p>Gilligan’s Island,</p><p>Night Court,</p><p>Eight</p><p>is Enough,</p><p>The Golden Girls,</p><p>The Love Boat,</p><p>Cheers;</p><p>Frazier,</p><p>Seinfeld,</p><p>Rags </p><p>to Riches,</p><p>Barney Miller,</p><p>Head of the Class,</p><p>A Different World,</p><p>Taxi,</p><p>Amen,</p><p>The Wonder Years;</p><p>In the Heat of the Night,</p><p>The Jeffersons,</p><p>The Colbys,</p><p>Moonlighting,</p><p>Airwolf,</p><p>Street Hawk,</p><p>Dynasty;</p><p>Happy Days,</p><p>Falcon Crest;</p><p>MASH,</p><p>Home-front,</p><p>Charlie’s Angels,</p><p>China Beach,</p><p>The A-Team;</p><p>Matt Houston,</p><p>Magnum P.I.,</p><p>Murder, She Wrote,</p><p>Matlock;</p><p>Dallas,</p><p>Las </p><p>Vegas,</p><p>Nashville,</p><p>Blossom,</p><p>Webster,</p><p>Alf,</p><p>The Charmings,</p><p>Mr. Belvedere;</p><p>Once Upon a Time,</p><p>Three’s Company,</p><p>Three’s a Crowd,</p><p>Beauty and the Beast,</p><p>Perfect Strangers,</p><p>Good Times;</p><p>Family Matters,</p><p>Scarecrow </p><p>and Mrs. King;</p><p>Growing Pains,</p><p>Family Ties,</p><p>Empty Nest;</p><p>Roseanne,</p><p>The Simpsons,</p><p>The Cosby Show,</p><p>The </p><p>Facts of Life;</p><p>The Fresh Prince </p><p>of Bel-Air,</p><p>T.J. Hooker,</p><p>Jake </p><p>and the Fat man;</p><p>The Adventures</p><p>of Young Indiana Jones,</p><p>Wonder Woman,</p><p>Max Headroom;</p><p>WKRP in Cincinnati,</p><p>Knight Rider,</p><p>Spenser for Hire;</p><p>MacGruder and Loud,</p><p>MacGyver,</p><p>CHIPS,</p><p>Murphy Brown,</p><p>The Fall Guy;</p><p>Quantum Leap,</p><p>Freaks and Geeks,</p><p>The Pretender,</p><p>A Year in the Life;</p><p>Thirty-something,</p><p>Living Single,</p><p>Mad About You,</p><p>In Living Color—</p><p>The Bachelor,</p><p>The Doctors,</p><p>The Dating Game—</p><p>Mama’s Family,</p><p>Designing Women,</p><p>Coupling,</p><p>Walker, </p><p>Texas Ranger;</p><p>Law and Order,</p><p>JAG,</p><p>Hunter,</p><p>NCIS,</p><p>The People’s Court;</p><p>L.A. Law,</p><p>My Two Dads,</p><p>21 Jump Street,</p><p>227,</p><p>Just the Ten of Us,</p><p>7<sup>th</sup> Heaven;</p><p>Full House,</p><p>Hill Street Blues,</p><p>Highway to Heaven,</p><p>Little House on the Prairie;</p><p>The Proud Family—</p><p>Moesha,</p><p>The Parkers,</p><p>Different Strokes;</p><p>Sister, Sister,</p><p>Smart Guy,</p><p>Newhart,</p><p>Bob Hope;</p><p>Boston Public,</p><p>Gimme a Break,</p><p>New York Undercover,</p><p>Joanie Loves Chachi;</p><p>Boy Meets Word,</p><p>Laverne &amp; Shirley,</p><p>Kate &amp; Allie;</p><p>Cagney &amp; Lacey;</p><p>Simon &amp; Simon,</p><p>Remington Steele;</p><p>Hardcastle and McCormick,</p><p>The Greatest American Hero;</p><p>Star Search,</p><p>Fame,</p><p>Showtime</p><p>At the Apollo,</p><p>The Voice,</p><p>Songland,</p><p>That’s Incredible,</p><p>Ally McBeal,</p><p>Valerie,</p><p>Dear John;</p><p>Believe It </p><p>or Not,</p><p>Sisters,</p><p>Friends,</p><p>My Wife</p><p>and Kids,</p><p>Heroes,</p><p>Blue Bloods,</p><p>RoboCop,</p><p>Girlfriends,</p><p>Army Wives,</p><p>Married,</p><p>With Children;</p><p>Life Goes On;</p><p>Undercover</p><p>Boss,</p><p>Gossip Girl,</p><p>NewsRadio,</p><p>Spin City,</p><p>My Name is Earl;</p><p>The Game,</p><p>Hotel,</p><p>Superstore,</p><p>What’s Happening—</p><p>The Office,</p><p>Sports Night,</p><p>Friday Night Lights,</p><p>Birds of Prey,</p><p>Desperate Housewives,</p><p>Gunsmoke,</p><p>Sledge Hammer,</p><p>Green Arrow,</p><p>The Rifleman,</p><p>A Man Named Hawk;</p><p>The Equalizer,</p><p>The Closer,</p><p>All in the Family,</p><p>At the Movies,</p><p>House,</p><p>The Real World,</p><p>Lost—</p><p>Life Unexpected—</p><p>Step by Step,</p><p>Hart to Hart,</p><p>Third Watch,</p><p>ER,</p><p>Scrubs,</p><p>Wings;</p><p>Higher Ground,</p><p>Touched by An Angel,</p><p>I’ll Fly Away—</p><p>Finding Normal,</p><p>St. Elsewhere—</p><p>The Encounter,</p><p>Promised Land,</p><p>Resurrection;</p><p>Sweet Inspirations,</p><p>Last Man Standing,</p><p>Manifest,</p><p>Grace Under Fire,</p><p>It’s a Wonderful Life;</p><p>Lois &amp; Clark,</p><p>Jack &amp; Jill, </p><p>Jack &amp; Bobby—</p><p>Alice,</p><p>Martin,</p><p>Felicity,</p><p>Chuck,</p><p>The Brady Bunch,</p><p>The Gilmore Girls,</p><p>The Dukes </p><p>of Hazzard,</p><p>King of the Hill,</p><p>Party of Five,</p><p>This is Us;</p><p>Downton Abbey,</p><p>Smallville,</p><p>Gotham,</p><p>South Central,</p><p>One Tree Hill;</p><p>Krypton,</p><p>Dawson’s Creek,</p><p>Herman’s Head,</p><p>The West Wing,</p><p>Third Rock from the Sun;</p><p>Malcolm in the Middle,</p><p>That 70s Show,</p><p>The Bernie Mac Show,</p><p>The Redd Foxx Show,</p><p>The Tonight Show,</p><p>With Johnny Carson,</p><p>Late Night, </p><p>With David Letterman,</p><p>Miami Vice—</p><p>Everybody Hates Chris,</p><p>Everybody Loves Raymond,</p><p>Saturday Night Live,</p><p>Hawaii Five-0,</p><p>Chicago PD,</p><p>Brooklyn Nine-Nine,</p><p>NYPD Blue,</p><p>Bones,</p><p>CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,</p><p>Homicide: Life on the Streets—</p><p>Working Girl,</p><p>9 to 5,</p><p>Melrose Place,</p><p>Models, Inc.,</p><p>The Biggest Loser,</p><p>Beverly Hills 90210;</p><p>Property Brothers,</p><p>Home Improvement,</p><p>Fixer Upper,</p><p>Flip or Flop,</p><p>List it or love it,</p><p>Extreme </p><p>Makeover:</p><p>The Home Edition;</p><p>SeaQuest,</p><p>Farscape;</p><p>The X-Files,</p><p>Twin Peaks;</p><p>Battlestar </p><p>Galactica,</p><p>Starman,</p><p>Stargate,</p><p>The 4400,</p><p>Family Feud;</p><p>Win, Lose, or Draw,</p><p>The Supermarket Sweep,</p><p>The National Bible Bee;</p><p>Wheel of Fortune,</p><p>Ca$h Cab,</p><p>The Wall,</p><p>Strong,</p><p>Jeopardy;</p><p>The </p><p>American </p><p>Bible Challenge;</p><p>Deal or no Deal,</p><p>Who wants to be a Millionaire;</p><p>Whose Line is It Anyway;</p><p>Idiotest,</p><p>Are You Smarter </p><p>than a 5<sup>th</sup> Grader;</p><p>The Ten Commandments,</p><p>Jesus of Nazareth,</p><p>The Bible,</p><p>A.D. The Bible Continues,</p><p>Drive Thru History:</p><p>The Gospels,</p><p>Drive Thru History:</p><p>Acts to Revelation,</p><p>Praise the Lord,</p><p>Manna-Fest;</p><p>One Night with the King,</p><p>It’s Supernatural,</p><p>The Supernatural Now,</p><p>Signed, Sealed, Delivered,</p><p>The Watchman,</p><p>The Chosen,</p><p>The End of the Age—</p><p>and this</p><p>was the rhythm</p><p>and the rhyme,</p><p>the sunrise</p><p>and </p><p>the sunset</p><p>of my day-to-day,</p><p>week-to-week,</p><p>year-to-year</p><p>childhood,</p><p>adolescent,</p><p>young-</p><p>adult, </p><p>middle-</p><p>aged</p><p>life--</p><p>watching</p><p>and </p><p>praying-- </p><p>all in the family home--</p><p>At Big Mama</p><p>and Big Daddy's</p><p>Ol' wooden house,</p><p>On a dusty,</p><p>Country road,</p><p>Just up the green-grass trail,</p><p>From PawPaw's</p><p>Ol' pig</p><p>and vegetable farm,</p><p>near</p><p>that ol' outhouse</p><p>on Mr. Cooter's land.</p><p>Then,</p><p>Big Mama</p><p>and Pawpaw</p><p>died,</p><p>graduating</p><p>From earth to</p><p>Heaven,</p><p>and we all packed up</p><p>and moved out,</p><p>just down the road,</p><p>on that narrow</p><p>Commerce</p><p>street,</p><p>almost</p><p>in the beating</p><p>heart</p><p>of my hometown,</p><p>and these were</p><p>The garden homes,</p><p>and</p><p>The garden houses</p><p>GOD planted</p><p>and placed me in,</p><p>so I could grow,</p><p>so I could flourish,</p><p>so I could bloom,</p><p>From the ages of youth,</p><p>ignorance</p><p>and innocence</p><p>Into</p><p>The ages of maturity,</p><p>Adulthood,</p><p>and</p><p>knowledge,</p><p>understanding,</p><p>and wisdom,</p><p>spanning</p><p>from age eighteen,</p><p>all the way</p><p>Through</p><p>age twenty-six,</p><p>and</p><p>then,</p><p>I had </p><p>To get uprooted;</p><p>I had</p><p>To leave</p><p>That</p><p>Familiar</p><p>Territory—</p><p>every </p><p>comfort zone;</p><p>I had </p><p>To leave</p><p>That hometown</p><p>Garden—</p><p>All my family </p><p>and friends,</p><p>All my safety nets—</p><p>like Abraham,</p><p>like Isaac,</p><p>like Jacob</p><p>and Joseph</p><p>in the Book of Genesis;</p><p>like Moses,</p><p>like Ruth,</p><p>like Samuel,</p><p>like David,</p><p>like Esther,</p><p>like Daniel,</p><p>like Elijah,</p><p>and Elisha,</p><p>in the Old Testament;</p><p>like John the Baptist,</p><p>in the New Testament;</p><p>like Simon </p><p>Peter,</p><p>like Andrew,</p><p>like James, </p><p>like John,</p><p>and the rest of the Twelve Disciples,</p><p>Including the most</p><p>Notorious apostle, </p><p>Paul;</p><p>But </p><p>Even in the wilderness,</p><p>GOD made a road,</p><p>And</p><p>He gave me </p><p>Wells of water,</p><p>and</p><p>Even in the desert,</p><p>GOD made rivers,</p><p>And</p><p>He led me</p><p>to the ROCK</p><p>Of my salvation,</p><p>Along</p><p>The ROAD of redemption,</p><p>Through</p><p>HIS SON,</p><p>JESUS,</p><p>and</p><p>GOD </p><p>Has</p><p>Always</p><p>been</p><p>With me,</p><p>Protecting me,</p><p>And </p><p>Drawing me closer</p><p>To HIMSELF—</p><p>Inviting me</p><p>Into another homeland,</p><p>Another kingdom,</p><p>Another realm,</p><p>another Promised Land—</p><p>His eternal KINGDOM,</p><p>beyond the clouds,</p><p>beyond the stars,</p><p>beyond </p><p>everything </p><p>visible </p><p>in the natural </p><p>to me,</p><p>where there sits</p><p>and reigns</p><p>on a throne</p><p>of grace,</p><p>in majesty,</p><p>in holiness,</p><p>in power,</p><p>in love,</p><p>in goodness,</p><p>in faithfulness,</p><p>in might,</p><p>with the foundations</p><p>of justice </p><p>and righteousness,</p><p>the Sovereign</p><p>and</p><p>Matchless,</p><p>The </p><p>Incomparable</p><p>And </p><p>Great,</p><p>The Almighty,</p><p>All-Powerful,</p><p>All-Knowing,</p><p>All-Present,</p><p>And</p><p>True,</p><p>LIVING GOD--</p><p>the LORD of lords,</p><p>the KING of kings,</p><p>and </p><p>the PRINCE</p><p>of PEACE--</p><p>and HIS</p><p>is the greatness,</p><p>the power</p><p>and the glory,</p><p>the victory</p><p>and the majesty;</p><p>for all that is in heaven</p><p>and in earth is HIS,</p><p>and </p><p>both riches and honor</p><p>come </p><p>from HIM,</p><p>for in HIS hand</p><p>is power</p><p>and might;</p><p>in HIS hand</p><p>is the ability</p><p>to make great</p><p>and to give strength</p><p>to all--</p><p>for HE</p><p>is the </p><p>KING</p><p>eternal,</p><p>immortal, </p><p>invisible,</p><p>and</p><p>wise,</p><p>and</p><p>to HIM</p><p>belongs</p><p>all</p><p>glory</p><p>and </p><p>honor--</p><p>so</p><p>every year,</p><p>every season,</p><p>every cycle,</p><p>through</p><p>every</p><p>trial</p><p>and </p><p>triumph,</p><p>in my journey of life,</p><p>in my walk of faith,</p><p>as a believer</p><p>in </p><p>JESUS</p><p>CHRIST,</p><p>The </p><p>Messiah,</p><p>and</p><p>as a child</p><p>of </p><p>GOD,</p><p>I AM</p><p>finding more</p><p>of my purpose,</p><p>more</p><p>of my assignment,</p><p>more</p><p>of my identity</p><p>in JESUS,</p><p>In CHRIST,</p><p>and </p><p>I AM</p><p>becoming</p><p>MORE</p><p>Like</p><p>JESUS,</p><p>More</p><p>Like</p><p>the person,</p><p>the daughter,</p><p>the servant,</p><p>the ambassador,</p><p>the citizen,</p><p>the minister,</p><p>and the BRIDE</p><p>of CHRIST,</p><p>GOD</p><p>Imagined,</p><p>created,</p><p>called, </p><p>commissioned,</p><p>commanded,</p><p>designed,</p><p>and</p><p>planned,</p><p>me to be.</p><p>So, yes, Grandmama whipped me,</p><p>when I was young,</p><p>until I reached the age</p><p>of maturity,</p><p>The age of accountability,</p><p>when I knew the difference</p><p>between good and evil,</p><p>The difference between</p><p>right and wrong;</p><p>Grandmama whipped me then,</p><p>So nobody else in this world,</p><p>except the GOOD LORD,</p><p>my heavenly Father,</p><p>Would ever have the right,</p><p>the privilege,</p><p>the need,</p><p>to whip me,</p><p>strike me,</p><p>lay a hand on me,</p><p>at any time,</p><p>now or</p><p>later.</p><p>So, yes,</p><p>Grandmama scolded me,</p><p>And</p><p>Grandmama corrected me,</p><p>But</p><p>Grandmama also encouraged me,</p><p>Grandmama comforted me,</p><p>Grandmama hugged me,</p><p>Grandmama kissed me,</p><p>Grandmama laughed with me,</p><p>And Grandmama taught me</p><p>the will,</p><p>the WORD,</p><p>And</p><p>the Way of JESUS, of GOD,</p><p>And she showed me how to love</p><p>GOD with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, in good times and bad.</p><p>Because of her, I know that JESUS is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through HIM, because GOD so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.</p><p>So, if Grandmama hadn't whipped me</p><p>all those years,</p><p>back then,</p><p>I likely wouldn't be</p><p>the same,</p><p>"SOULED-out,"</p><p>JESUS-loving,</p><p>GOD-fearing,</p><p>HOLY-SPIRIT-filled,</p><p>WORD-professing,</p><p>Kingdom-spreading,</p><p>Eternal-minded,</p><p>Well-disciplined,</p><p>Spirit-led</p><p>believer,</p><p>Living Life</p><p>LOUD</p><p>for</p><p>JESUS</p><p>and</p><p>Blood-bought</p><p>child</p><p>of GOD,</p><p>I am</p><p>today--</p><p>walking in faith,</p><p>running this race,</p><p>as</p><p>a victor, not a victim,</p><p>as an overcomer,</p><p>not a casualty,</p><p>in favor,</p><p>in obedience,</p><p>in humility,</p><p>in grace</p><p>to serve,</p><p>to please,</p><p>to revere,</p><p>to honor</p><p>the HEAVENLY FATHER,</p><p>the PRINCE of PEACE,</p><p>the KING of kings,</p><p>the LORD of ALL--</p><p>JESUS,</p><p>GOD.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p><p><span style="font-size: 0.9rem; font-weight: lighter;">--A GOD'sWORD Poem by Terra Blakemore</span></p><p>Dedicated to Every Godly Grandmama, Just Like My Grandmama, Ruth</p><p>25 February 1997, original version,</p><p>11 July 2020, revised version</p><p><br></p> Sun, 12 Jul 2020 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/day-7-blessing-the-june-sabbath-day-prayer "Day 7 Blessing: The June Sabbath-Day Prayer" http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/day-7-blessing-the-june-sabbath-day-prayer <!--StartFragment--><p><strong>1 Thessalonians 3:11-13:</strong> "Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints."</p><p> MAY GOD bless you and keep you; may He shower you with love and bless you with favor; may He protect you, heal you, and deliver you, according to the PROMISES of HIS WORD; through the BLOOD of HIS SON, JESUS; through the POWER of HIS HOLY SPIRIT.</p><p> May He encamp His angels around you, to guard you and keep you in all your ways; may He bless your coming and your going; may He provide for your family and supply all YOUR need, according to His riches in glory in Christ JESUS.</p><p> May GOD redeem the time; may He restore everything you've lost; may He sustain you, encourage you, comfort you, and strengthen you; may He equip you and empower you; and may He plant you in the right garden in the right place at the right time, so you can grow into the man/into the woman of faith, He called, created, imagined, chose, planned, and commissioned you to be, so you can sow good seed, reap a good harvest, bear good fruit--the eternal FRUIT of HIS HOLY SPIRIT--(love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, kindness, and self-control)--and BLOOM, in every season, all for His glory and honor, for GOD knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future, and HIS WORD says, no weapon formed against you shall prosper and every tongue that rises against you in judgment shall be condemned; and HIS WORD says, NOTHING can separate you from the love of GOD, and HE is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in time of trouble; and HIS WORD says, all things work together for good to those who love GOD and are called according to HIS PURPOSE; and HIS WORD says, He will uphold you with HIS righteous right hand; and He will deliver you from every evil work and preserve you for HIS heavenly kingdom.</p><p> HIS WORD says, He has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind; and finally, HIS WORD says, we are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not forsaken; and we are struck down, but not destroyed, for GREATER is HE that is in us, than he that is in the world, and through HIM, we are more than conquerors, and we PERSEVERE, because through HIM, JESUS, we are VICTORS and OVERCOMERS, and we are not victims, and we are not prey, easily broken, easily defeated.</p><p> Even in the wilderness, in the desert, in the hurricane, in the fire, in the furnace, in the storm, GOD blesses us, GOD protects us, GOD sustains us, GOD encourages us, GOD carries us, GOD comforts us, GOD delivers us, GOD corrects us, GOD transforms us, GOD shields us, and GOD shows us the FOUNDATION of FAITH, the GATE of GRACE, the SPRING of SALVATION, the WELL of LIVING WATER, the ROAD to REDEMPTION, the HIGH-WAY to HEAVEN, the TREASURE of TRUTH, the LIGHT of LIFE, the DOOR of HOPE, the HOPE of GLORY, the LORD of LORDS, the KING of KINGS, the SON of GOD, the SON of MAN, the RISEN SAVIOR, the CONQUERING WARRIOR, the RIGHTEOUS JUDGE, and the PRINCE of PEACE, in JESUS, and WE BECOME NEW CREATIONS IN CHRIST--the BODY of CHRIST--and we focus on HIM, JESUS, GOD, moving beyond the pain of the past and the traps of the present--GOING GOD-WARD, with an eternal/KINGDOM of GOD perspective, for in Isaiah 43:18-19, it says, "Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert," and FOR EVERY WOUND WITHOUT A CAUSE, the WORD of GOD lets us know that our faith often triumphs in times of trouble, for in Job 5:17-18, it says, "Behold, happy is the man whom GOD corrects; therefore, do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole," and Romans 5:1-5 says, "Having been justified by faith, we have peace with GOD through our LORD JESUS CHRIST, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of GOD.</p><p> And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of GOD has been poured out in our hearts by the HOLY SPIRIT who was given to us."</p><p> So, may you find your purpose and identity in HIM--CHRIST JESUS, GOD--and may you walk in faith, not in fear, as one of the CHOSEN, one of the CALLED, one of the REMNANT, one of the BODY of CHRIST, one of the BRIDE of CHRIST, one of the AMBASSADORS of CHRIST, one of the CHILDREN of GOD, in the ministry of reconciliation, in the assurance that even though GOD may lead you through the valley of deepest darkness, fear will never conquer you, for HE--GOD--already has--and may you complete your journey in life, with no regrets, with a life well-spent and a life "souled-out," and lived LOUD for JESUS, for GOD, committing your works to the LORD, letting HIM direct your steps, and having completed and fulfilled your destiny and your GOD-given assignment.</p><p> May you walk in the spirit of humility, obedience, integrity, forgiveness, thanksgiving, worship, giving, gratitude, and prayer, being led by the HOLY SPIRIT, instead of the flesh, and doing all that GOD requires of you, all that GOD commands of you, loving HIM, with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; loving others as you would yourself; doing the will of the LORD, by loving your enemies, BEYOND HOW THEY TREAT YOU, even praying for them, in spite of any real or imagined offense; and putting GOD first, by`exalting and worshipping HIM--the CREATOR above every creation--even above yourself and every other idol (whether it be an object, person, place, animal, job, affiliation, organization, denomination, domestic and/or foreign god, whatever), and enlarging HIS territory and HIS influence and HIS standard and HIS platform and HIS agenda, and HIS purpose, by promoting the KINGDOM of GOD over the kingdom of darkness/the kingdom of culture; and doing that which pleases GOD, which is found in Micah 6:8, by doing justly; loving mercy; and walking humbly with your GOD; and may you be refreshed, blessed, and rewarded, even as you bless, refresh, encourage, help, and build up others, for in Proverbs 11:25, 27, 30, it says, "those who live to bless others will have blessings heaped upon them, and the one who pours out his life to pour out blessings will be saturated with favor....Living your life seeking what is good for others brings untold favor, but those who wish evil for others will find it coming back to them"; furthermore, "a life lived loving God bears lasting fruit, for the one who is truly wise wins souls."</p><p> So, may you find favor first with GOD; then, may you find favor with others, including your enemies.</p><p> May GOD give you wisdom, knowledge, understanding, enlightenment, and revelation--revealing more of HIMSELF to you, each and every day; and may you be grounded in faith, abiding in JESUS, walking in the will and ways of GOD, through the work of the HOLY SPIRIT; may you be given to worship and thanksgiving, in spirit and truth, to interceding for others in prayer, obedient to GOD, and rooted in the truth of HIS WORD; walking like JESUS DID; in the power of HIS HOLY SPIRIT, for in Psalm 18:28-36, 39, it says, "For You will light my lamp; the LORD my GOD will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, by my GOD I can leap over a wall. As for GOD, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.</p><p>For who is GOD, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our GOD? It is GOD who arms me with strength, and makes my feet like the feet of deer, and sets me on high places. He teaches my hands to make war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.</p><p> You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me, so my feet did not slip.... For You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me."</p><p> So, may you walk in forgiveness, faith, love, integrity, and hope, dwelling in the Presence of GOD--abiding in HIS KINGDOM--with JESUS CHRIST--the KING of kings--the LIGHT of the world--instead of walking in fear, anger, hatred, unforgiveness, rebellion, lawlessness, and despair, dwelling in the presence of the adversary, abiding in the kingdom of darkness, with the prince of this world, for GOD is GOOD, GOD is JUST, GOD is LOVE, and GREAT IS HIS FAITHFULNESS UNTO US, and JUSTICE and RIGHTEOUSNESS are the FOUNDATIONS of HIS THRONE.</p><p>So, be strong and be courageous, and do not be afraid, for the LORD your GOD is with you, wherever you go, for GOD is FAITHFUL, GOD is TRUE, and GOD is always FOR you, and GOD is always WITH YOU, because JESUS lives IN you, and the HOLY SPIRIT works THROUGH you, so have faith; trust in GOD, and only BELIEVE, that HE will help you, and HE will never leave you, nor will HE forsake you, for HE LOVES YOU, with an everlasting love, and when you accepted HIM--JESUS--as your LORD and your SAVIOR, receiving HIM, in the GREAT EXCHANGE, as GOD's PERFECT SACRIFICE, as YOUR SINLESS SUBSTITUTE, on the Cross of Calvary, HE--JESUS, GOD--became EVERYTHING YOU WOULD EVER NEED: THE ANSWER TO EVERY PROBLEM--past, present, and future--for as John 3:16 says, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."</p><p>So, indeed, GOD is your Healer, your Redeemer, your Deliverer, your Defender, your Savior, your Comforter, your Advocate, your Avenger, your Warrior, your Protector, your Provider, your Refuge, Your Strength, your LORD of lords, your PRINCE of PEACE, your KING of kings, your HOPE of GLORY, your WAY of ESCAPE, your SHIELD of FAITH, and HE's got you covered, 24/7, every second, every minute, every hour, every day, and He never slumbers nor sleeps, SO HOLD FAST to HIM, CLING to HIM, and DRAW NEAR TO HIM, so HE CAN DRAW CLOSER TO YOU, SUPPLYING ALL YOUR NEED, according to HIS RICHES IN GLORY BY CHRIST JESUS, and be encouraged, be loved, and be blessed, according to the AARONIC BLESSING, found in Numbers 6:24-26: "The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace."</p><p>Prayerfully and sincerely,</p><p> in the name of JESUS,</p><p> "so be it"--Amen.</p><p> Terra Blakemore</p><!--EndFragment--> Sat, 27 Jun 2020 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/chosen-by-god-the-joseph-calling CHOSEN by GOD: The Joseph Calling http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/chosen-by-god-the-joseph-calling <p><strong>1 John 2:15-17: “</strong>Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”</p><p>HERE’s a great book, that really applies to what I've been going through in my walk with GOD; it was recommended to me through a comment from someone I've never met, who read my earlier post, "THE SHIELD of FAITH: GOD's Vision 4 Me and HIS Standard of Law and Order in the 21st Century," and since then, I've ordered the book, and I've started reading the book: THE JOSEPH CALLING.</p><p>I'm only on chapter 3, but I'm already hooked, heart and soul, because I see how my journey with GOD and my journey through life have been similar to that of Joseph's from the book of Genesis and many other "souled-out" men and women, young and old, from the Old Testament and the New Testament, who were chosen and called by GOD to do GREATER things, EXTRAORDINARY things, SUPERNATURAL things, UNCOMMON things, PECULIAR things, LIFE-CHANGING things, IMPOSSIBLE things, all in the name of JESUS, all in the power of the HOLY SPIRIT, for HIS GLORY, HIS HONOR, HIS PURPOSE--GOD's--who often in their walks of faith had more hardship and pain, adversity and struggle, sweat and tears, heartache and betrayal, than butterflies and rainbows, sunshine and starlight, goodness and laughter, love and happiness.</p><p>What I've learned in my own walk of faith is this: More than anything else, including race, gender, denomination, nationality, politics/group affiliations, and hometown, I AM child of GOD, and my IDENTITY is found IN CHRIST JESUS; and my allegiance, foremost, is to HIM: JESUS, GOD. </p><p>And GOD is all about having UNITY, especially in the BODY of CHRIST, even though we may be DIFFERENT and DIVERSE, and what this means to me, as a "souled-out" believer, is this: I, as a believer, should be all-in--totally committed to GOD first--above any and everything else, and I should always be moving and looking GOD-ward, with my focus on HIM: JESUS, GOD. </p><p>And I should always be WALKING, TALKING, THINKING, LIVING, LOVING, and ACTING LIKE JESUS DID, in obedience, humility, service, holiness/righteousness/sanctification, set apart and dedicated completed to HIM: GOD. This means I should be in the world but not of the world, which means, exactly like the world, including the people of the world. </p><p>This means I should be wielding words for GOOD and wielding words for GOD; therefore, the words I SAY and the words I WRITE and the words I SHARE should be LIKE THOSE WORDS JESUS WOULD SAY, JESUS WOULD WRITE, and JESUS WOULD SHARE, and they should be said and/or written in love, even in correction, equally encouraging, edifying, gathering and building people up, drawing them closer to JESUS, to GOD, and these words should always ALIGN with the WORD of GOD, the WILL of GOD, the WAY of GOD, the HEART of GOD, the CHARACTER of GOD, the NATURE of GOD, and the SPIRIT of GOD. </p><p>If my words, either spoken or written, are negative, full of hate and anger and venom and resentment and mockery and cursing and contrary to any of the above, in regard to GOD, then my words are not pleasing to the LORD, and the SPIRIT of GOD (the HOLY SPIRIT) is not in those words, and my words do not give glory and honor to GOD, nor do they encourage, edify, and build people up, drawing them closer to GOD but actually cause more division and strife, more anger and rebellion, more discord, especially in the BODY of CHRIST, and I, even as a believer, will have to give an account of every idle word and every ill intent, when I eventually stand before JESUS, the RIGHTEOUS JUDGE.</p><p>So, for me--one of the chosen, one of the redeemed--this is part of the surrendered life, the crucified life, the Cross-centered life, the CHRIST-centric life, which is explained in Romans 14:8, and, basically, says, we are not our own; we are GOD's--paid for in full by HIS SON, JESUS, and HE LIVES in us, and HE WORKS through us, and we live unto the LORD, and we die unto the LORD, and whether we live or die, we are the LORD's. And while JESUS, the LORD, walked on earth, He "did not involve himself in activities that contradicted his purpose, and His purpose was to do the will of the Father, and he never did anything contrary to that purpose" (31, THE JOSEPH CALLING). </p><p>AND THIS WAS JESUS' ASSIGNMENT:</p><p>1-Defeat the work of the devil (1 John 3:8);</p><p>2-Be the payment for the sins of humanity (John 3:16);</p><p>3-Bring glory to His Father and do His will (John 5:30);</p><p>4-Bear witness to the truth (John 18:37).</p><p>And if we truly are walking like JESUS DID, shouldn't we be doing the will of GOD the FATHER, too? Shouldn't we be bringing glory to GOD? Shouldn't we be bearing witness to the truth? Shouldn't we be more KINGDOM of GOD-minded than kingdom of darkness/kingdom of culture-minded? </p><p>After all, GOD is GOOD; GOD is JUST; AND GOD is LOVE; He's not GOD in ONE; HE's GOD in ALL THREE.</p><p>So, we're either WALKING LIKE JESUS DID, as "souled-out" believers, being led by the SPIRIT OF GOD, or we're WALKING LIKE JUDAS DID, LIKE BARABBAS DID or LIKE LUCIFER DID, as "SOLD-OUT" rebels or double-crossing agents, being led by the spirit of the anti-christ, which is the spirit of demons. </p><p>Even in the Bible, GOD clarifies what He means by sin, which is lawlessness, wickedness, rebellion, witchcraft, and He identifies six things He hates and seven that are an abomination to Him in Proverbs 6:16: a proud look (pride), a lying tongue (lies, deception), hands that shed innocent blood (murder, homicide, infanticide), feet that are swift in running to evil (wickedness, violence, evil), a false witness who speaks lies (liar, deceiver), and one who sows discord among brethren (agitator, gossiper, slanderer, hater, rebel, etc). However, in Micah 6:8 we found out what is good, what GOD requires of us, and what really pleases Him: that we do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with HIM--our GOD.</p><p>In the Bible, these questions are often posed, usually by JESUS: How can you love GOD, whom you haven't seen, when you don't love your own brother, whom you have seen? How can you expect GOD to forgive you when you won't forgive others? How can you call yourself a "true" disciple--a real follower of JESUS CHRIST--when you HATE your enemies, REFUSE to forgive them; REFUSE to pray for them, REFUSE to love them, BEYOND HOW THEY TREAT YOU, and REFUSE to do unto them as you would have them do unto you? How can you call yourself a real son or daughter of GOD, a real follower of JESUS CHRIST, when you have no problem cursing others, mocking others, spreading lies, sharing fake news, deceiving others, giving false reports, slandering others, bad-mouthing others, judging others, and promoting hate, division, lawlessness, wickedness, violence, chaos, and rebellion?</p><p>Most people are quick to jump on a bandwagon today, giving their opinions, bad-mouthing people they don't like--throwing dirt on people, casting stones at people, mocking people, cursing people, criticizing people, making fun of people, in person, in the community, in the media, on social media, at home, even in the church house--but how many of the so-called believers and followers of JESUS CHRIST--who are supposed to be the "temples" or "houses" of the HOLY SPIRIT--actually get off those bandwagons and rally around the cause of JESUS, of GOD, actually sharing the GOOD NEWS--the GOSPEL of the KINGDOM--and actually doing what JESUS, what GOD, commands--loving HIM--GOD--first with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength; doing the work of an evangelist, the work of a disciple, the work of a child of GOD--by getting on their knees and loving others, too, BEYOND HOW THEY LOVE and TREAT THEM, enough to FORGIVE them, for any real or imagined offense; to INTERCEDE for them, especially the people they don't like, FASTING SINCERELY and PRAYING FERVENTLY and SEEKING GOD's PRESENCE, GUIDANCE, SPIRIT, WORD and INTERVENTION in the hearts of the people and the affairs of our nations?</p><p>Isn't this really what makes us different, peculiar, righteous, holy, and set apart, that we, as believers, as followers, and disciples, walk, talk, think, act, pray, love, and forgive, LIKE JESUS DID? </p><p>Didn't JESUS command us to love others and forgive them, to do unto them what we would want done unto us? Isn't justice and righteousness the foundation of GOD's throne? Didn't GOD say HE would fight our battles, that vengeance is HIS, and that HE--GOD--would be every believer's PROTECTOR and every child of GOD's AVENGER?</p><p>Didn't JESUS say, especially to the religious leaders and so-called chosen ones in that day, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone?" He also said, a tree is known by the fruit it bears, whether it be good or bad, and didn't JESUS also say out of the heart, the mouth speaks? And we must all remember, GOD searches and KNOWS what's really in our hearts, and GOD knows those who are REALLY HIS, whether they be HIS SHEEP or the devil's goats.</p><p>Finally, the book, THE JOSEPH CALLING, poses this question: WHAT IS YOUR GOD-SIZED ASSIGNMENT? Furthermore, according to the summary, <br>"God has an assignment for you--a God-sized destiny for you to fulfill," and THE JOSEPH CALLING "presents six unique stages that people pass through to fulfill their destiny. Such was the case for Joseph in the Bible--he was a dreamer with a calling. After being the favored son, his brothers betrayed him, which led to a thirteen-year journey of hardship, humble circumstances, accusations, and pain. But God used Joseph's adversities to fulfill a larger story--to be a spiritual and physical provider for others. "Josephs" today are men and women, old and young, who are set apart by God for his divine purposes.</p><p>God has a plan for you at every stage of life, and He wants you to know his assignment for you--and only you--so you can live an intentional and purpose-filled life."</p><p><br></p> Sun, 21 Jun 2020 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/shield-of-faith-gods-vision-4-me-his-standard-of-law-order-in-the-21st-century SHIELD of FAITH: GOD's Vision 4 Me & HIS Standard of Law & Order in the 21st Century http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/shield-of-faith-gods-vision-4-me-his-standard-of-law-order-in-the-21st-century <p><strong>John 10:9-10:</strong> "I [JESUS] am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.</p><p>The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."</p><p>SHOULD WE AS BELIEVERS BE HOLY--SET APART, CONSECRATED, SANCTIFIED, PECULIAR, DIFFERENT--in the World but not of the World--LIVING SACRIFICES--COMPLETELY DEDICATED to the LORD?</p><!--StartFragment--><p>Even in the dark times--with the storms, the trials, the challenges, the obstacles, the adversity, the setbacks, the hardships, the seasons of struggle and lack, the years of people talking about me, criticizing me, lying on me, deceiving others with respect to my character, my heart, and my motives, bad-mouthing and blacklisting me, so students won't take any of my classes, and misrepresenting me, calling me anything but a child of GOD, to my face and behind my back, so people will either hate me or avoid me, or those times when so-called "good" people and/or so-called believers, were trying to stab me in the back and/or get me fired year after year, while smiling in my face, playing the innocent friend or injured party, and during every battle in spiritual warfare--GOD is with me, GOD is for me, and GOD has me covered, for HE IS MY SHIELD--my refuge and my strength, a very present HELP in time of trouble, for He knows the plans He has for me, plans to prosper me and not harm me, plans to give me hope and a future, because HE ALONE KNOWS EXACTLY WHO and WHAT I AM and WHAT I AM CALLED and CREATED TO DO; and HE ALONE KNOWS that MY IDENTITY is NOT WHAT I DO but WHO and WHOSE I AM.</p><p>Even when the mountains seem high and the valleys seem low, and I'm walking in the wilderness, He gives me rivers in the desert, joy in the morning, and the hope of salvation, redemption, and deliverance, and the way of escape in JESUS, and He never lets me give up; He never lets me give in, and He always picks me up, carries me, and encourages me and strengthens me, until I can get up and stand again, fully equipped, empowered, and encouraged, in fulfilling my assignment in His grand design, according to His will and His way.</p><p>All through Scripture, GOD says, "be strong and be courageous, and do not be afraid, for I will help you; I will neither leave you nor will I forsake you. I will be with you wherever you go," and two great battle verses that GOD has put in my spirit for years are Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path," and Romans 8:28: "All things work together for good to those who love GOD, to those who are called according to His purpose." So I KNOW, I can do all things through CHRIST, who strengthens me.</p><p>Naturally, I am perfect in my imperfections, BUT I'm holy, righteous, justified, sanctified, and QUALIFIED through JESUS CHRIST. So, yes, I stumble; I fall down; I make mistakes; I get discouraged, sometimes even depressed. But I don't stay down; I don't lie down; I don't surrender or give up in defeat. I get back up; I keep fighting; I keep taking the punches, the hits and the attacks on my character, my heart, my motives, my abilities, even my qualifications, and I keep praying; I keep worshipping; I keep giving; I keep loving; I keep forgiving; I keep sowing good seed wherever GOD plants me, giving my ALL, giving my BEST; I bear the fruit of His HOLY SPIRIT, found in Galatians 5:22-23, and I expect a good harvest, 30-fold, 60-fold, 100-fold, not just in finances but in what matters most to GOD: HUMAN BEINGS--LOST BUT FOUND and SAVED and REDEEMED SOULS.</p><p>GOD created me to be a BIG DREAMER, maybe even a trend-setter, a visionary, a forerunner, a marketplace minister, all for HIM: GOD. So, my intention--my purpose--in this life of mine is not to roll over and play dead, not to be lukewarm and passive, not to be silent and invisible, like an Undercover Christian, and not just to live paycheck to paycheck, trying to make a living, and just make an impression, good or bad, just to get a pat on the back or a word of praise or just to please some man or woman or get some man-made reward on earth; my intention is to make an impact and make a difference, because I'm not interested in reading about history or writing about history all my life; I'm interested in being a mover, a shaker, and a history-maker--someone who leaves a lasting legacy for the next generation--one of eternal value, that leaves behind HIS imprint and HIS fingerprint--not my own and not for my glory and honor--but for HIS--GOD's.</p><p>Why do I keep doing this? Getting knocked down but getting back up, in HIS strength, in HIS wisdom, and in HIS Spirit, not my own? Why do I keep thinking like this? That I'm special, that I'm unique, that I matter, that I am valuable, a royal masterpiece? Especially in the face of trials and adversity, when others call me anything but a child of GOD, even calling me a failure according to the world's (i.e. man's) standard? Not because I'm black and not because I'm a woman; not because I see myself as a minority or because I'm trying to prove anything to anybody or because I believe the world or anybody in the world owes me something, because of my race or gender. But because with GOD all things are possible; without GOD, I can do nothing; and essentially, MY GOD--the living GOD--is EVERYTHING I NEED--always the GOD of MORE THAN ENOUGH: provision, protection, prosperity, purpose--health, wealth, deliverance, intercession, mediation, counseling, comfort, instruction, correction, grace, mercy, love, joy, hope, salvation, redemption, transformation, restoration, power, authority, dominion, and peace. So, more than any man or any woman's favor; I want the grace and favor of GOD, so I keep doing this ballroom dance--almost like the fox trot--in quick-quick-slow time, thinking this way, because I AM a child of GOD, above anything else, and GOD loved me so much, He gave all He had, including HIS SON JESUS, just to save me and redeem me and reconcile with me and adopt me into HIS FAMILY.</p><p>In HIS KINGDOM and HIS FAMILY: I'm not a minority; I'm included in the BODY of CHRIST; in HIS FAMILY, I'm not a victim; I'm a VICTOR; I'm an OVERCOMER; I'm MORE THAN A CONQUEROR through HIM WHO LOVED ME; in HIS FAMILY, I'm not a slave, not just a servant; I'm a PRINCESS, I'm ROYALTY; I'm not an orphan; I'm not a foreigner; I'm ADOPTED; I'm a daughter of the KING of kings, and I'm the BRIDE of CHRIST, and He's MY PRINCE of PEACE, my BRIDEGROOM, and I AM HIS BELOVED, for all eternity.</p><p>In HIS KINGDOM, in HIS GOVERNMENT, and in HIS FAMILY, I'm not poor and I don't need man-made governments to be my gods, taking care of me, so I won't have to work and giving me so-called "free" stuff to make my life easier, just because I feel "entitled" to free stuff, BECAUSE GOD, the KING, is MY PROVIDER, MY PROTECTOR, MY HEALER, MY COUNSELOR, MY COMFORTER, MY LORD, MY MEDIATOR, and MY SOURCE for everything I need, from wealth to health, and even Adam and Eve, the first couple on earth and the first children of GOD among mankind still had to WORK and take care of the garden of Eden, even the animals and so forth, even before they sinned and were cast out of the garden. So, GOD does not despise work at all, but He does have a problem with laziness: people who are able to work but choose not to, whether inside the home or out of it, for whatever reason.</p><p>Even after Adam and Eve sinned, they had to work, not because working was the curse though; after their fall from grace through doubt, deception, and disobedience--through sin--the ground and the earth, along with Adam and Eve, were cursed, not because GOD was mean or vengeful, but because GOD is HOLY and JUST, as well as GOOD and LOVING, so it would require more sweat, blood, toil, and labor to get the land to produce a good harvest; because everything was made harder, because Adam and Eve were spiritually dead and separated from GOD, who had previously been blessing them, providing for them, and fellowshipping with them, giving them authority and dominion on earth, which they basically forfeited and gave to the dark prince of the world, the devil, when they gave their allegiance to him, choosing him and his words over GOD and HIS WORD. But even then, GOD HAD A PLAN of SALVATION and REDEMPTION in the WORKS: ALL through JESUS, equally the Son of GOD and the Son of Man, and JESUS is still the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE today, the only DOOR and the only WAY to GOD the Father.</p><p>So, for us, it isn’t really about our choice of national borders or even open borders; it isn’t our choice for building walls or building bridges (and really, people should read the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, regarding this, instead of giving their opinions or even repeating someone else's, because they’ll soon find out that GOD the Creator, the Landowner, the Landlord, the Designer, and MASTER Architect, was the first in the book of Genesis to establish national borders, and He also was the ONE in the OT in the book of Nehemiah who called Nehemiah, a man of faith, prayer, compassion, and integrity, out of exile in a foreign country, as a cupbearer to the king of Persia (in modern-day Iran), to go back to Jerusalem, like Ezra in the book of Ezra, to rebuild and restore the earthly KINGDOM of GOD, (which would be in Jerusalem, where GOD had indicated in the OT, HE would eventually make HIS dwelling place).</p><p>And in this holy place--this city--JERSUSALEM, which had been invaded by the Babylonians, destroyed, decimated, and basically, left in ruins with broken walls and burned gates--around the same time when Ezra, also called by GOD, was rebuilding the Second Temple, GOD troubled Nehemiah and put on his heart, in his spirit to REBUILD the WALLS around JERUSALEM, with the help of a remnant of Jews left behind; and what is also interesting is that GOD, the KING of kings, in HIS HEAVENLY KINGDOM, also has at least 12 (pearly) GATES (possibly, even some walls), including around the New Jerusalem (which is to come in the end, according to the Bible). And for anybody who's against law and order, law enforcement, the military, criminal justice, national security, and border security, doesn't GOD have an army--a military force, an angelic force—mighty warriors--and a host of living beings, like the archangels, Michael and Gabriel? Doesn't GOD have border patrol, in Heaven, and on earth, like those gigantic cherubim with the flaming swords, in the book of Genesis, guarding the tree of life and preventing Adam and Eve from sneaking back into the garden of Eden, after GOD had kicked them out, after they had essentially committed high treason in being disobedient and disloyal, siding with a foreign agent--an undercover spy--the adversary--the devil in disguise as a serpent?</p><p>More so than Eve, the woman GOD had created in the beginning as Adam’s COMPANION, COUNTERPART, and HELPMATE (since, GOD had created her SUPERNATURALLY from HIM, ADAM, from a bone in Adam’s rib in his side, while he was in a deep sleep), who also had been deceived by the serpent (really satan in disguise) and had then persuaded her husband to follow suit in disobeying GOD and sinning, ADAM, the HEAD of the HOUSEHOLD, was really at fault, in terms of bringing a generational curse upon all mankind, even upon the animal kingdom and the earth, because GOD had created HIM first, among mankind, and GOD had given him, as a firstborn son and representative and ambassador and ruling prince/steward/king among mankind on earth, in person, too, A BIRTHRIGHT as the firstborn son—the right and privilege to rule and reign on earth, bringing the KINGDOM of GOD, to earth—but with that power and AUTHORITY, especially, GOD gave his son of man, ADAM, only one prime directive, law, commandment, instruction, or rule—which, was really a divine restraining order—which would ensure, among other things, that Adam, GOD’s firstborn son of man, in the book of Genesis, would really have FREEWILL and the CHOICE to either obey (worship and follow) GOD or disobey (and reject and rebel against) GOD, his heavenly FATHER, his LORD, his BOSS, and his KING. And THIS is ADAM’s divine restraining order—his DIRECTIVE and/or BOUNDARY as determined and/or commanded by GOD, which he, ADAM, as a man with freewill—FREEDOM OF CHOICE—can either choose to accept, follow, and abide by or choose to reject, rebel against, and violate—found in Genesis 2:15-17: “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’”</p><p>Likewise, GOD the FATHER even gave HIS SON, JESUS, a divine restraining order—which JESUS shares with others, including the Pharisees, the so-called experts in the Law (of Moses)—most of whom were his non-believing adversaries, and His disciples, most of whom didn’t understand the meaning or significance of what JESUS was saying or doing during this time—during His ministry on earth, when the land of Israel (or Judea) was occupied by foreigners, like the Romans, and the Jewish people were taught morality and the Law (of Moses) typically at home and/or in synagogues by the rabbis and/or religious leaders; where they often gave money; performed rituals; celebrated the appointed feasts; sacrificed unblemished animals for the remission of their sins in the Temple at Jerusalem; and where they were often, in terms of their faith and what was acceptable (morally right) and what was not acceptable (morally wrong), at the mercy of the religious leaders, many of whom, like the high priest, Caiaphas, were often politically powerful and morally corrupt; and where they were ruled with iron-clad fists by the Romans—in which time, JESUS says in John 5:19-23: “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these; that you may marvel. For the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”</p><p>So, really, from Genesis to Revelation, it has been shown, time and time again, that GOD CANNOT and WILL NOT USE anyone HE cannot RESTRAIN, TRUST, and/or CONTAIN in some way, whether that be ADAM, MOSES, SAMSON, KING SAUL, KING DAVID, or GOD’s ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, JESUS, and as the RIGHTEOUS JUDGE, IT IS ALWAYS GOD, whether the FATHER or the SON, JESUS, who enforces a divine restraining order, because GOD is always RIGHT and GOD is always JUST in how He deals with the people who reject HIM, disobey HIM, challenge HIM, and rebel against, or violate HIS divine restraining orders, because only the PERSON (i.e. the JUDGE or the REPRESENTATIVE of the LAW or the COURT) that issued the restraining order, especially THE DIVINE RESTRAINING or PROTECTION ORDER, is actually and LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE for MAINTAINING and ENFORCING the principles of the restraining or protective order.</p><p>So, there is ALWAYS a DIVINE RESTRAINING ORDER/LEGALLY-PROTECTIVE PRINCIPLE in place FOR ANYBODY GOD the FATHER ENTRUSTS with DOMINION and POWER and TO WHOM GOD the FATHER decides to use, elevate, protect, promote, raise, and GIVE HIS AUTHORITY, HIS APPROVAL, HIS SEAL AND HIS GUARANTEE (in our generation, especially, through the baptism and the indwelling of the HOLY SPIRIT, until the day of redemption), especially as one of HIS leaders, ministers, sons, daughters, prophets, apostles, preachers, teachers, pastors, stewards, evangelists, missionaries, representatives, and/or ambassadors (especially, in CHRIST), under GOD’s the Father’s LORDSHIP—RULE and REIGN—even on earth. And what about in 2 Kings 6:8-23, when GOD sends an angelic armty, with horses and "chariots of fire," throughout the sky to protect the prophet Elisha and his servant, as well as the nation of Israel, from certain death and destruction, from a Syrian invasion?</p><p>One writer says, in regard to GOD's DIVINE RESTRAINING ORDER, that in the Courts of Heaven, "it is possible to see the Lord as Judge set in place a restraining or protective order that will not allow the devil a right to interfere, hurt, destroy, or touch that which belongs to Him."</p><p>So, yes, GOD does have an army; GOD does have a military force; GOD does have border (control) agents; they just aren't human; they're supernatural beings; they're spiritual beings, most often invisible (unseen), but sometimes, manifested (or seen) in plain sight, like the angels sent to rescue and save Lot and his family and destroy Sodom and Gomorah; like the archangel Gabriel (who revealed himself to Daniel, to Zacharias, to the shepherds in Bethlehem, to the Virgin Mary, (the Virgin Miriam, in Hebrew), and her husband Joseph); and like the angel(s) who ministered to JESUS, (who is really called YESHUA, in Hebrew), first in the wilderness after His temptations; then, in the garden of Gethsemane, after JESUS had prayed, over His upcoming mission--GOD's plan of salvation--HIS crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection--agonizing even to the point of sweating drops of blood.</p><p>So, here are some good questions: If GOD created everything, the heavens and the earth, and if HE established all the national borders, especially after the Great Flood, and HE is the first WALLBUILDER and MASTER ARCHITECT, are borders, walls, fences, and gates around HIS KINGDOM, HIS PROPERTY, and HIS PEOPLE, discriminatory, wrong, and/or ‘immoral’?) Should GOD get rid of HIS military, HIS law enforcement agents, HIS angelic force, HIS border patrol, HIS host of living beings? Just to please us? Just so we won't be offended?</p><p>And is it fair or just that our names HAVE to be included or registered in the Lamb’s Book of Life BEFORE we can enter the KINGDOM of GOD? Can’t we just GATE-CRASH and FORCE our way into Heaven, into the KINGDOM of GOD, since we’re GOOD people and we haven’t killed anybody or committed any serious crimes, even though we really don’t believe in GOD, and we haven’t really accepted JESUS as our LORD and SAVIOR, and we really haven’t been obeying any of GOD’s commandments? We're not sinners; we haven't done ANYTHING wrong. So, why should we repent--confess ANY sin?</p><p>Aren’t there MANY ways to GOD, anyway? How do we really know JESUS existed? that HE IS the SON of GOD? the MESSIAH? that HE is even real?And do we really have to accept JESUS as OUR LORD and SAVIOR? Do we HAVE to be the BRIDE of CHRIST? Do we really HAVE to COMMIT to ONE GOD, to JESUS, alone? Do we HAVE to be MARRIED to JESUS? Can't we just be one of His mistresses? His concubines? maybe even a GOOD friend with BENEFITS? Aren’t those Ten Commandments outdated, old-fashioned, archaic, anyway?</p><p>After all, they WERE in the OLD TESTAMENT, and we don't read the OT, because we don't believe most of those stories, anyway, like those three Hebrew boys, and that fourth man, supposedly walking around in that fiery furnace and the three boys coming out alive, or like Jonah being stuck alive in the belly of that big fish, for three days, and we’re NOT living under the LAW anymore, anyway, right? Aren’t we all about the NEW TESTAMENT, where GOD is LOVE, and we’re living in the CHURCH AGE, the TIME of GRACE, and we’re covered, and we don’t even need to repent anymore, no matter how many times we supposedly sin (‘cause that’s what some preacher said, right?). So, we can pretty much live anyway we want, doing our own thing and still make it to Heaven, all without changing how we think, what we do, what we say, or how we behave, right? ‘Cause GOD is GOOD and JESUS is LOVE, so He really wouldn’t send us to hell, if hell is really REAL, right? We’re not criminals; we’re not drug addicts; we haven’t killed anybody; we haven’t even gotten a speeding ticket; we haven’t hurt anybody, not really; we’re GOOD people; so, aren’t we entitled to spend eternity in HEAVEN? Don’t we DESERVE it?</p><p>THIS is the mindset of a lot of people, including so-called believers, in this generation, where many of us don't know the ways of GOD, the will of GOD, the WORD of GOD, the acts of GOD, the character of GOD, the nature of GOD, the SPIRIT of GOD, or the heart of GOD—mainly because often—most non-believing JEWS do not read or know what’s included in the New Testament in the Bible, especially in the nation of Israel, where JESUS is often the most well-kept secret and/or the most hated name, and many of the so-called GENTILE (non-Jewish) believers, here and abroad, including some so-called preachers, won’t even read or even address many of the prophecies in the Old Testament, when the ENTIRE BIBLE, including ALL 66 books, from Genesis to Revelation, are all ABOUT HIM—GOD—JESUS—telling HIS STORY as much as anybody else’s, after all in the beginning was the WORD and the WORD was with GOD and the WORD was GOD, according to the GOSPEL of JOHN.</p><p>A lot of non-believing Jews think JESUS is CATHOLIC--and just for the GENTILES, too--and they, like some of us, as believefs, actually think CHRIST is His last name, (which it is not, but it is really HIS TITLE, in Greek, which means MESSIAH, in Hebrew, which really means, ‘THE ANOINTED ONE’), and a lot of misinformed and/or so-called believers think of JESUS as being anemic and weak, fit for punishment, a good beating, name-calling, all-out mocking and perpetual torture, and they often equate His “humility,” “obedience to the FATHER,” and “meekness,” as signs of weakness, and He is often portrayed in movies and the media as such, meek and weak, or as a good man, a good prophet, a good teacher, and a good “rebel” with a cause, or some see Him as only a suffering Servant, who really didn’t deserve all the torture and “hell” He got on earth; even more people see Him like some cool and trendy guru, all about “free” love, like some 1960s or 1970s hippie, with a bobble head, they can put on their dashboard, with his plastic smile, long dark hair, and pale-blue eyes.</p><p>Most of us really have no clue about WHO EXACTLY JESUS IS, because a lot of people have misrepresented Him, a lot of people have STOLEN and even hi-jacked HIS IDENTITY: So, it may be hard for us in this generation or this century to recognize and accept this truth: JESUS IS MORE THAN A SUFFERING SERVANT, MORE THAN OUR SAVIOR, MORE THAN SOMEBODY’s STATUE, MORE THAN SOMEBODY’s, PAINTING, MORE THAN SOMEBODY’s MAN-MADE IMAGE; MORE THAN SOME COMEDIAN’s PUNCHLINE, MORE THAN SOME ATHEIST’s CURSE WORD; and MORE THAN SOME SO-CALLED or LUKEWARM BELIEVER’s ‘GET-OUT-OF-HELL’ or “FIRE INSURANCE” CARD; because, really and truthfully,JESUS is the SON of GOD; JESUS is the SON of MAN; JESUS is the LORD of lords; JESUS is the KING of kings; JESUS is the CHRIST—the MESSIAH—the ANOINTED ONE; JESUS is the GOOD SHEPHERD; JESUS is the LIGHT of the WORLD; JESUS is the BREAD of LIFE; JESUS is the TRUE VINE; JESUS is the BRANCH; JESUS is IMMANUEL—GOD WITH US; JESUS is YESHUA—OUR SALVATION; JESUS is the LIVING WATER; JESUS is the RESURRECTION; JESUS is the WORD (MADE FLESH); JESUS is the CHIEF CORNERSTONE; JESUS is OUR HIGH PRIEST; JESUS is the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our FAITH: JESUS is OUR MEDIATOR; JESUS is OUR ADVOCATE; JESUS is OUR HEALER; JESUS is OUR DELIVERER; JESUS is OUR REDEEMER; JESUS is the PRINCE of PEACE;JESUS is OUR LAMB; JESUS is the DOOR; JESUS is the GATE; JESUS is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE; JESUS is THE LION of the TRIBE of JUDAH; JESUS is THE ALPHA and the OMEGA—the BEGINNING and the END; JESUS is the WARRIOR KING; JESUS is the RIGHTEOUS JUDGE; JESUS is the LORD of ALL; because JESUS IS EVERYTHING, and HIS IS THE NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES, and according to the WORD of GOD—in the Old Testament and in the New Testament—especially in the book of Philippians—EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW and EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS that JESUS CHRIST is LORD.</p><p>But it isn't really about our choice of socialism, communism, or capitalism; it isn't really just our vote for Republican or Democratic politicians and platforms; it's really our choice about who or what we put our faith and trust in; who or what we accept as our god, fit to rule and reign over us, controlling every aspect of our lives, and which political platform both honors and aligns with the WORD and the WILL of GOD: man-made governments (socialism, communism, capitalism, man-made kingdoms) or the Government/Kingdom of GOD, with the only true and living GOD, as the LORD of lords and the KING of kings in our lives.</p><p>The same happened in the Bible, with the nation of Israel, during the time of Judges, with the prophet Samuel; GOD was not only GOD; He was the KING of the Israelites. But the Israelites grumbled, complained, and rebelled, telling Samuel that they wanted a human king, like the other nations around them had, and when Samuel, who was troubled and disheartened, relayed their request or demands to GOD; GOD told Samuel, the judge and deliverer that He had chosen for His people, that the Israelites had not rejected him, Samuel; they had rejected HIM: GOD (as their KING, their LEADER, their PROTECTOR, their PROVIDER, their WARRIOR, and their AVENGER). So, GOD gave the people what they wanted: a human king: the first, KING SAUL, then KING DAVID, then KING SOLOMON who eventually turned them over to idolatry; then KING REHOBOAM, and then the KINGDOM was DIVIDED, as part of GOD's JUDGMENT against the idolatry through KING SOLOMON's reign, and there were good and evil kings in the NORTHERN KINGDOM (Israel, with 10 tribes) and good and evil kings through the lineage of KING DAVID, in the SOUTHERN KINGDOM (Judah, with 2 tribes), until finally the people rebelled and sinned so much against GOD, that GOD judged them, having the Assyrians attack Israel, the Northern Kingdom, leading the people into exile; and later, having the Babylonians attack Judah, the Southern Kingdom, and leading the Jews from the land into exile, for more than 70 years. Later, the Jews would return to their homeland, but they would then be ruled by others, including the Greeks and the Romans, who effectively destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD, some 40 years after the Jews had rejected JESUS as the Messiah and KING of the JEWS.</p><p>For three and a half years, JESUS, (YESHUA, in Hebrew), who unlike Adam, who was created by GOD, a full-grown man likely in his 30s, entered the earth as a baby born in Bethlehem, through a virgin birth made possible through the HOLY SPIRIT, with a Jewish mother, Mary, (Miriam, in Hebrew), of the lineage of KING DAVID, and through the legal adoption of JESUS by a Jewish father, Joseph, also of the lineage of KING DAVID, so JESUS would have a legitimate and legal right as the SON of GOD AND the SON of MAN (AND the SON of DAVID) to the future throne of KING DAVID, from the TRIBE of JUDAH, and JESUS, in HIS 30s, had an ongoing ministry on earth, as equally the SON of GOD and the SON of Man, a title alluding to some OT references regarding the Messiah, the CHRIST, the Anointed One.</p><p>Later, during the time of PASSOVER, JESUS was crucified, along with two thieves, and was buried in a borrowed tomb, fulfilling many OT prophecies, including those in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53; and afterward, He descended into hell, stripped the devil, death, and the grave of power and authority over mankind and the earth; and He was resurrected by GOD; spent about forty days, in the presence of some 500 people in His immortal, resurrected body, teaching on earth about the KINGDOM of GOD; and then He ascended into Heaven, to be seated at the right hand of GOD the Father in Heaven, as our High Priest, Advocate, and Mediator.</p><p>Meanwhile, on earth, during this time, the Christians were persecuted and most of them were scattered around the world; the Jews, believers and non-believers alike, who were not tortured and/or killed, were exiled throughout the world, and the nation of Israel was no more on earth UNTIL the OLD TESTAMENT prophecies were fulfilled when the nation of Israel was reborn in ONE DAY: May 14, 1948. And anybody who has a problem with the nation of Israel existing or is preaching some replacement theology about the Church taking Israel's place in GOD's eternal plan or those who want to rant and rave about the Jewish people inhabiting the land that GOD--who IS SOVEREIGN, who IS the KING of kings and the LORD of lords and who IS the CREATOR of everything, the heavens and the earth--has promised them and given them for all time and has returned to them yet again, should really READ the BIBLE, from Genesis to Revelation and voice their complaints and OPINIONS to GOD, the LANDLORD and LANDOWNER, because the WORD of GOD and the Scriptures are ALL ABOUT GOD, ABOUT JESUS, and ALL ABOUT ISRAEL and the JEWISH PEOPLE, WHOM GOD LOVES and GOD INTENDS to SAVE and REDEEM. And there are some verses in the BIBLE, where Israel is called GOD's FIRSTBORN, where ISRAEL is CALLED the APPLE of GOD's EYE, where ISRAEL is CALLED the NATION of GOD, where JEWS and the ISRAELITES are called the PEOPLE of GOD, where JESUS is CALLED the KING of the JEWS, where JESUS chooses and commissions 12 JEWISH DISCIPLES/APOSTLES, and where GOD says the GIFTS of GOD ARE IRREVOCABLE. And even in the OT, GOD told ABRAHAM that through HIM and HIS DESCENDANTS, the nations would be BLESSED, and in the NT, JESUS told one Samaritan woman, I believe at the well: SALVATION is of the JEWS.</p><p>THROUGH JESUS, we are all new creations, and through JESUS, GOD tore down the wall of separation between JEW and GENTILE, and HE created ONE NEW MAN, in CHRIST, which is mentioned by the apostle Paul, in the book of Ephesians, I believe: JEW and GENTILE, together, as part of the BODY of CHRIST: the two primary groups of witnesses for JESUS (the SON of GOD) and GOD the FATHER (the only true, living GOD in covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob).</p><p>In the OT and the NT, JESUS is called THE BRANCH, the TRUE VINE, and the Israelites and Jews were called symbolically the natural OLIVE TREES and we Gentiles, as believers, were the wild branches grafted into the FAMILY TREE of GOD, and our existence in part, according to the BIBLE and the apostle Paul, is to provoke non-believing Jews to jealousy, so they'll be drawn to JESUS, the Messiah, the Savior, and be saved, redeemed, and reconciled to the ONE,TRUE, LIVING GOD; later, in the NT, in the book of Revelation, JESUS reveals the CHURCH symbolically as a lampstand, and it is quite interesting, since most preachers teach that believers will be raptured or gathered with the saints and "snatched" out of here, without going through any of the Great Tribulation, mentioned in the Bible, and also because nothing is ever wasted in the WORD of GOD, that later in the book of Revelation, the two End-time witnesses are referred to as "olive trees" AND "lampstands," which some have suggested could represent BOTH GROUPS of Witnesses in the BODY of CHRIST, working together, spreading the GOSPEL and doing great exploits, similar to those of the OT prophet Elijah and the deliverer and lawgiver, Moses during their time, in our battle against the Anti-christ: both JEWS/Israelites (olive trees) and Gentiles/the Church (the lampstands).</p><p>So, what if believers aren't raptured or snatched away, at the beginning of the Great Tribulation, escaping all this One-World Order/One-World Government and One-World Church business, the persecution and killing of believers, the mark of the beast business (which doesn't mean getting a tattoo necessarily but may mean accepting the "mark" of the beast through this corrupt, often demonic world system, which will be under the anti-christ's control, by consenting to being genetically or biologically altered, and willingly receiving a "micro-CHIP," implanted in the hand or forehead, so it will be more convenient to travel, to buy and sell and to conduct business in a new digital age, so we don't need cash or cards or have that fear of contamination or contagious diseases, passed on through human contact or touch), or having to actually stand up for JESUS, for GOD, and challenge and confront the anti-christ? Just something else to consider or likely ignore and NOT think about, right?</p><p>THUS, the people of GOD were restored as a nation and they returned to the land GOD had promised them and had given them, years--thousands of years--before for all time, because it's GOD's property and He can give it to whomever HE CHOOSES; and thus, the tick-tock of the eternal clock and the calendar pages of times, along with the flipping of pages through Genesis to Revelation, with all the seasons and signs of wonders are hastily speeding THIS GENERATION--our GENERATION--ever closer to the END TIMES and the SECOND COMING of JESUS CHRIST: This Time as The WARRIOR KING.</p><p>Isn't it interesting that this Passover season in 2020, with the world-wide spread of the coronavirus and a global "stay-at-home" or international "quarantine" mandate seemed biblical and even similar to the first Passover mentioned in the Bible in the book of Exodus, in regard to the Israelites and the tenth plague against the Egyptians, in which the death angel claimed the lives of all of the firstborn, except those who were in covenant with and protected by GOD, indicated by their agreement to "self-quarantine" or stay closed in at home, and obey GOD's command, in terms of sacrificing a lamb and covering their doorposts with the blood? Their protection and salvation then was the blood of an unblemished lamb (an animal); our protection and salvation now is also the BLOOD of the LAMB, but our LAMB is the SON of GOD: JESUS (who is the CHRIST, the Messiah, the Anointed One).</p><p>But here's the sad part: most of us, as believers, don't know and often don't learn from history, so we're still making the same mistakes, and many of us don't know our Bibles that well, and we don't know how really to discern the season or times, so we aren't ready or even prepared for JESUS, the BRIDEGROOM or the KING of kings, because more than ever, when we should be united and working together, reaping the harvest; watching and waiting, expecting JESUS' return and getting our houses in order and getting our loved ones saved, and reviving our nations, turning them to GOD and expanding HIS KINGDOM, we are DISTRACTED and DIVIDED, clueless about what's really happening in the spiritual realm; not reading our Bibles, not obeying GOD; not confessing our sins or even repenting; not praying for the salvation, protection, and wisdom of our leaders, our families, our nations; more concerned with getting our "news" and marching orders and "sound-bites" and so-called "unbiased" and "objective" "truth" about hot topics, current issues, and "newsworthy" people from the late-night entertainment shows, from agnostic and often atheistic reporters and/or celebrities, who may or may not believe in JESUS, our GOD, or who may or may not have a hidden or not-so hidden agenda or personal or political bias; or from the daily news outlets, networks, newspapers, magazines, and media, including these: NBC, CBS, CNN and FOX or from social media through Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, relying on them more than relying more so on the Bible, the WORD of GOD, or the Spirit of GOD to guide us, direct us, and instruct us in how to live, how to think, who to vote for, who to pray for, and how to apply godly and biblical principles and values in a contemporary world; more concerned about getting refund checks, stimulus checks, reparation checks, and bail-outs, than getting right with GOD, going to church, sharing the gospel, applying the WORD of GOD, walking in faith, not fear, or drawing anybody else to CHRIST 'cause we think that's just the preacher's job, not ours, when in truth, JESUS, commissioned all of HIS DISCIPLES, past and present, to GO into all nations, sharing the GOOD NEWS, the gospel, teaching them to obey HIS commands, making them HIS DISCIPLES TOO and baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And these would be the signs following JESUS' disciples; they would teach, even preach, with authority and power, they would lay hands on the sick and the sick would be healed, they would cast out demons, they would raise the dead, and they would have supernatural or divine protection.</p><p>And here's the truth nobody really wants to hear: We ALL don’t go to Heaven or spend eternity in the presence of GOD just because we are all GOOD people, or because of any good deeds we have done or because of anything any priest or preacher has said or because of any money we have paid or charity we have supported, according to our standards; we only go to Heaven or spend eternity in the presence of GOD, because we are SAVED, we are REDEEMED, we are FORGIVEN, we are RECONCILED to GOD, and we are JUSTIFIED, SANCTIFIED, and MADE RIGHTEOUS and CLEAN through EVERYTHING JESUS DID and PAID FOR on the CROSS of CALVARY, through shedding HIS BLOOD, through HIS DEATH,<br> BURIAL, RESURRECTION, and ASCENSION, and, therefore, OUR NAMES are written in the Lamb’s BOOK of LIFE.</p><p>If our names are not registered in the BOOK of LIFE, we are not recognized as children of GOD, nor are we considered to be citizens of Heaven, so we will not be spending eternity in the presence of the LORD; we will be spending eternity in hell, then the lake of fire, and we will be separated from the presence of the LORD, GOD, forever, because it’s all a matter of the heart; it’s all a matter of choice; and it’s all a matter of free will.</p><p>Either we choose JESUS, accepting and receiving Him as our LORD and SAVIOR, we align ourselves and side with GOD, or we choose the adversary, rejecting JESUS, rejecting GOD, and spend eternity with him, the adversary, the devil, first, in hell, then in the lake of fire. THESE are the only two options, two sides, two camps, two teams, we have, as believers: JESUS (GOD) or the adversary (the devil). And we can think about it all as believers like this: The devil is PRO-CHOICE, DO WHATEVER YOU WANT RIGHT NOW: (His message: CHOOSE ME; WORSHIP ME, and your life will be a party, all about having a good time, being happy, and feeling nothing but pleasure, and you’ll be able to do anything and everything you want, whatever you think is right, for you and yours, because you don’t need any rules, any regulations, anybody telling you how to live, how to act, how to think, who to love, how to behave, or what to believe, and you don’t have to be accountable to anybody, but yourself);</p><p>JESUS (the SON of GOD) is PRO-LIFE, FOR ETERNITY (HIS message: I CHOSE YOU, because I HAVE LOVED YOU, since before the foundation of the world, and I WANT YOU to be MINE, and MINE ALONE--to ABIDE IN ME, as I ABIDE IN YOU, and as the FATHER ABIDES IN ME, and I ABIDE IN HIM, so REPENT, confessing your sins, turning away from WILLFULLY SINNING, from that carnal, flesh-centered, proud, rebellious, self-reliant, and pleasure-seeking mindset and lifestyle; ACCEPT ME as Your LORD and SAVIOR; HUMBLE YOURSELF; SUBMIT to GOD; SURRENDER to HIM; LIVE for HIM, WORSHIP HIM and BE HOLY, SANCTIFIED, PERFECT, CONSECRATED, RIGHTEOUS, a LIVING SACRIFICE—OBEYING GOD and RESISTING the devil, and doing whatever GOD wants, whatever HE commands you to do, because in the book of John, in chapter 17, JESUS says, ETERNAL LIFE is KNOWING HIM, GOD--FELLOWSHIPPING with HIM, BEING in HIS PRESENCE and HAVING a PERSONAL, INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP with HIM.) And GOD says in HIS WORD that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of GOD is ETERNAL LIFE; however, the adversary says, we can do anything we want; it’s our life; it’s our body; it’s our choice, after all. But again, GOD says, in HIS WORD, from Genesis to Revelation, we must love, worship, and obey HIM, because we are not our own; we are HIS ALONE (by creation, redemption, and adoption)—PAID FOR IN FULL—by HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON: JESUS CHRIST—so it’s all HIS WAY—the HIGH-WAY—the RIGHT WAY—the ONLY WAY.</p><p>And it's not about having any RELIGION, really; it's about a RELATIONSHIP with JESUS, with GOD. So, the life we live, especially as believers, is not our own; therefore, we live unto the LORD and we die unto the LORD, and whether we live or die, we are the LORD’s. And according to John 14:6: JESUS is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, and nobody comes to the FATHER except through HIM: and this is the GIFT of LOVE, the GIFT of GRACE, the GIFT of FAITH, the GIFT of Eternal Life--that JESUS TOOK OUR PLACE, in the GREAT EXCHANGE, and HE PAID for OUR SINS, so we could be RECONCILED to GOD the FATHER, EVEN THOUGH HE--JESUS--WAS PERFECT and SINLESS. So yes, GOD is GOOD, GOD is JUST, and GOD is LOVE; He is unchanging, and JESUS is the same yesterday, today, and forever. But NONE of us will enter the KINGDOM of GOD, including Heaven, if we are not BLOOD-BOUGHT, REDEEMED, SAVED, RECONCILED, TRANSFORMED, SPIRIT-LED, and ADOPTED—part of GOD’s FAMILY and if our names are not recorded in the Lamb’s BOOK of LIFE.</p><p>And here's something we should all take into consideration and remember, because it is found in the Bible, from Genesis through Revelation: in addition to IDOLATRY, (worshipping false gods), there are generally three national/collective acts that will eventually bring upon judgment from GOD: sexual immorality, shedding of innocent blood, and anti-Semitism (cursing, going against, promoting hatred of or inciting violence in or division of the Jewish people or divisions within the land of Israel, which GOD clearly has set aside, according to the Bible, as HIS PEOPLE, HIS NATION, and HIS INHERITANCE).</p><p>Once again the question we should have as believers are these: Are we casting our votes and giving our allegiance in favor of charismatic men and women or in favor and allegiance to GOD, who more than once in the Old and the New Testaments indicates that Judgment with GOD begins in the HOUSE of GOD, which would include the CHURCH--the BODY of CHRIST--and He clearly indicates that we will have to give an account of every idle word spoken on earth and every act and work will be tested by the Righteous Judge JESUS, according to the WORD of GOD. And this might not bode well for those so-called believers who promote hatred, violence, division, lawlessness, racism, and murder publicly, in word or action, because GOD searches and knows what's really in our hearts, and those who are really HIS, and even JESUS says, a tree (which would be us generally, as believers) is known by the fruit it bears, whether it be GOOD or BAD--of GOD or of the adversary, the devil.</p><p>And here's another nugget in the WORD of GOD: Even when we do get to Heaven or even when we are with CHRIST during HIS millennial reign on earth from Jerusalem, we won't be doing NOTHING, nor will we be floating on clouds playing harps; we'll be WORSHIPPING AND WORKING, ruling and reigning with CHRIST JESUS--the KING of kings. And which believer, follower, or disciple of GOD from Genesis to Revelation was ever exempted from doing something productive and meaningful with his or her life, including work? Even the apostle Paul, a great man of GOD, worked not only in ministry but in the marketplace, because he knew back then, nothing is ever really free, and the cost of following GOD, JESUS, means we're required to give everything, just like HE--GOD--DID, and that means we are living sacrifices--set aside for GOD--and we give him our lives, our hearts, our souls, our minds, our might, our time, our treasures, and our talents.</p><p>And this is what I try to do, as much as I can, through the instruction, the guidance, and the work of the HOLY SPIRIT, because I know GOD loves me, and He wants me to trust Him with every part of my life and my being, and I know that even though I may makes mistakes and take some wrong turns in life, making some detours, GOD still has me covered, as long I submit to Him, surrendering my will for His, and my ways for His, and He will lead me where I need to be, at the right time, in the right season, at the right place. I'm supposed to be looking GOD-ward, toward JESUS; I'm supposed to be living a Cross-centered life, which is really a Christ-centric life, which means a surrendered life, SOULED-OUT, 100 percent to JESUS, GOD.</p><p>I HARDLY EVER DO what other people expect me to do, because I consider myself one of GOD's ROYAL MASTERPIECES--AN ORIGINAL CREATION--UNIQUELY ME--not a clone or carbon copy of anybody else. So, after my double stint in the hospital, where I was basically doing nothing productive or creative; after my leave of absence from work; after my mom's double stint in the hospital; during this coronavirus quarantine, and this season of Passover, Resurrection, and Pentecost, GOD HAS RESET ME and PUT my focus, my heart, and my mind back on HIM.</p><p>That's why at my ripe old age, I am actively learning and engaged deeply in the WORD of GOD, striving to apply what I learn every week in such online classes as these: 1-Faith I; 2-Prayer I; 3-Introduction to Praise and Worship; 4-Old Testament; 5-Foundation of the Christian Faith; 6-End Times and the Book of Revelation. And in a week or so, I'll be writing my first few essays for these classes, with such topics and prompts as these: 1-Write an essay explaining how you have applied what you have learned in this class, about faith, prayer, praise and worship. 2-Write an essay in which you identify with one person from the Old Testament. And ALL of my instructors EXPECT me to be a DOER and not just a HEARER of the WORD, and all of these online classes are intense, with weekly videos that are nearly 2 hours long, full of information, Bible history, and Bible verses.</p><p>In addition to taking the online classes in ministry, I'm researching for and rewriting a novel that I had originally written in 2011, called SHIELD of FAITH, about a police officer named JUSTICE SHIELD, who lost his wife tragically three weeks after their wedding to a senseless murder, who also was involved in a shooting three months later that left one mentally-ill teenager with a gun dead in a family park and another teenage bystander paralyzed and left JUSTICE on administrative leave, angry with GOD, contemplating suicide, and sleeping with a gun under his pillow until his parents, his in-laws, and his friends set him up professionally and romantically with DR. FREEDOM WOOD, a fiercely independent and spirit-filled psychologist, who secretly dreams of marriage and a family but who is still dealing with the pain, betrayal, and heartache she suffered when she was jilted at the altar and later discovered that the man she had intended to marry had shortly married someone else.</p><p>That was the original story, that I had finished but never submitted to any agent or even tried to get published, but GOD has put on my heart to revisit and rewrite this story, looking at it from an eternal, kingdom of GOD perspective, similar to what I did in my second book, THE PRIDE PROMISE (2019): This means an all-inclusive, BODY of CHRIST, multicultural cast of characters, DIFFERENT and DIVERSE but UNITED as brothers and sisters in JESUS CHRIST: So, there will be Jews and Gentiles, SOULED-OUT for JESUS; there will be believers from different races and places: Blacks (African-Americans), Whites, Hispanics, Asians, Africans, Arabs, etc, worshipping TOGETHER and sharing the Gospel of the Kingdom, outside the four walls of a church building or temple in a ministry of reconciliation in what some call Marketplace Ministry. After all, GOD is creative and most of His ministry and His miracles have taken place outside the synagogue, the temple, and the church.</p><p>GOD promotes UNITY in the Kingdom of GOD and the BODY of CHRIST; mankind alone has perfected and promoted segregation and division, like kind with like kind, different kind with different kind, according to race, gender, nation, denomination, political party, region, class, socioeconomic status, etc., even though JESUS has said in the NT that a kingdom (even a nation) divided will not stand; only the Kingdom of GOD is eternal; only the Kingdom of GOD will forever stand. So, now that I'm more mature spiritually as a believer in JESUS CHRIST, and now that I am more grounded and rooted in the WORD of GOD, led by the Spirit of GOD, having the Bible, in different translations (NKJV, KJV, NIV, NLT, NASB, TPT, etc), including the Messianic Jewish Tree of Life translation, and I read the Bible(s) as much as I can, continually doing so, not out of duty or obligation, but out of great love for the WORD of GOD and a great passion for learning more about GOD through the 66 books of HIS story, and praying fervently every day and fellowshipping with the Lord constantly, fervently seeking His presence, and I am no longer a "politically correct" Undercover Christian, who remains invisible, passive, inactive, lukewarm, and silent, especially on matters of faith, I have no problem telling anybody that my first love and my first priority is JESUS, GOD, and my salvation and identity are found in HIM: not in what I do, where I come from, any group or gender affiliation, political party or church denomination.</p><p>More than any of these, I AM a child of GOD, a follower of JESUS CHRIST, and my first allegiance will always be to GOD, who is my Creator, my heavenly Father, my LORD, my Savior, my KING, the Author and Finisher of my Faith, and last, but not least, my Righteous Judge, for in His Word, in Psalms, He says it is better to please GOD than princes/men, and in the New Testament, JESUS even warns us that it is better to fear GOD, who can destroy both body and soul than man who can only destroy the body, and He poses this question: What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?</p><p>GOD's WORD, from Genesis to Revelation, is truth, and it doesn't return unto Him void, but it accomplishes that for which it is sent, and many times in the OLD TESTAMENT, the WORD of GOD says that Righteousness and Justice are the foundation of GOD's throne, and that GOD is not the Author of chaos and confusion; hence, we have the Ten Commandments, which are instructions for how GOD wants us as believers to live, and it is all about loving GOD and loving others, which JESUS teaches us more about in the New Testament, and as JESUS SAID, repeating the WORD of GOD from the OT, we are supposed to love the LORD with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and also, we are to love others as ourselves, and finally, He didn't come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it, and as 21st century believers in JESUS, we are to be equipped, empowered, taught, and led by the HOLY SPIRIT in obeying GOD's commands, abiding by HIS WORD, and living according to His Standard. Proverbs 6:16-19 in the OT of the Bible record the 6 things that GOD hates, 7 that are an abomination to HIM: 1) a proud look, 2) a lying tongue, 3) hands that shed innocent blood, 4) a heart that devises wicked plans, 5) feet that are swift in running to evil, 6) a false witness who speaks lies, 7) and one who sows discord among brethren.</p><p>Micah 6:8 in the OT of the Bible records what is good and what the LORD requires of us: 1) to do justly, 2) to love mercy, 3) to walk humbly with our GOD.</p><p>And here are the Ten Commandments: A Quick Review of GOD's Standard for Law and Order:</p><p>1) You should have no other gods before HIM. (This is idolatry, anything you put before HIM, which is basically rejecting GOD or putting Him on the backburner. GOD is jealous, so He takes offense to false gods, whether they be objects, people, or places)</p><p>2) You should not make any graven images. (This is idolatry, too, worshipping the creation or idols (of wood, metal, stone, clay, etc) more than or before the Creator, such as animals, statues, moon, sun, trees, etc. Again, GOD is jealous, so He will not tolerate idols and He considers these things CURSED, and they often bring curses upon the people who worship them or even have them displayed in their homes, etc)</p><p>3) You should not use the Lord's name in vain (This is profaning the Lord's name, and people will be judged for disrespecting His name, which is HOLY, set above every other name)</p><p>4) Honor the Sabbath (keeping it holy) (This means resting and relaxing and devoting at least one day (traditionally Saturday, the seventh day) to the LORD and/or family)</p><p>5) You should not kill (This means murder, and GOD really hates the shedding of innocent blood, (which would include child sacrifice, past and present), which GOD mentions repeatedly in the Bible, especially in the OT, and JESUS clarified in the NT that we are not to have an eye-for-an-eye type mentality, but we are to forgive and love and pray for our enemies and let GOD who is JUST, judge the wicked/wrongdoers and be our Avenger)</p><p>6) You should not steal (This means taking somebody else's property, somebody else's possession, somebody else's husband, wife, child or children, and this includes "looting" and taking those office supplies from work as well)</p><p>7) You should not covet (This means being jealous and envious, because you are not satisfied with what you have, and you don't have what somebody else has, or you don't think that person deserves what he or she has, and you want what that other person has, for instance, money or property, or somebody else's husband or wife or boyfriend or girlfriend or somebody else's job, business, or lifestyle. I'm pretty sure this also means respecting other people's property, which means arson, burning, destroying, vandalizing, robbing, and targeting somebody's else's business, car, home, or property, in order to loot or for personal gain or out of anger, vengeance, and spite is on GOD's Do-not-Do LIST, especially if you are calling yourself a follower or disciple of JESUS CHRIST. He didn't even take up John and James's offer to call fire down from heaven to destroy those townsfolk who had rejected JESUS and His disciples.)</p><p>8) You should not bear false witness (This means you should not lie, try to take somebody down by talking "trash" about them, without knowing the truth, intentionally trying to discredit somebody by spreading a negative report about them that is clearly not true, or intentionally deceiving others, which is basically giving a false/untrue report or spreading "fake news".</p><p>And GOD associates lying and giving a false report, to misrepresent somebody, with the devil, who is the father of lies, and He really hates lies, to the point of saying He will not tolerate liars in His presence)</p><p>9) You shall not commit adultery (This means cheating with someone else's husband or wife, defiling the marriage bed and not respecting the sanctity of marriage, as laid out biblically by GOD)</p><p>10) Honor your father and mother (GOD is family-oriented, so He expects love, honor, unity, fellowship, obedience, and respect, even at the family level, and this is HOW He sees the family dynamics, according to the WORD of GOD: GOD the Father, JESUS the Son, Father (Man of the House, the spiritual "priest" of the household), Mother (Woman of the House, the Husband's Companion, Helpmate), Child/Children).</p><p>So, that's the overview of GOD's Standard/HIS VISION, (what most of us should have learned in Sunday school or at least in a good Christian home), and here's something else: GOD is our BOSS, our LORD, our FATHER, our CREATOR, our MASTER, our KING, and He does not tolerate lawlessness, rebellion, pride, disobedience, violence, or willful sin, whether it be found in angels, women, or men.</p><p>What happened to Lucifer? to the fallen angels? to Adam? to Eve? to Cain? to the Tower of Babel? during the Great Flood? to Sodom and Gomorrah? to Pharaoh? to the unbelieving, idolatrous Israelites in the wilderness? to Miriam? to Korah the Levite and the 250 leaders protesting and opposing Moses' authority? to Moses after he struck the rock for water in anger, disobeying GOD's command? to the Canaanites? to Balaam? to King Saul? to King David? to his son Absalom? to King Hezekiah? to the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel? to Jezebel? to Jonah? to the Babylonians? to King Herod? to Ananias? to his wife Sapphira? to Judas? to Saul on the road to Damascus?</p><p>GOD is not interested in our opinions about what He says, what He does, who He favors, who He uses, who He elects, who He exalts, who He promotes, who He saves, who He delivers, who He condemns, who He judges, who He rejects, HOW He governs or HOW He operates, in word or action; He's more interested in our heart, our soul, our mind, our submission, our humility, our repentance, our redemption, our salvation, our obedience. WHY? Because He's Sovereign, HE's GOD, and He can do whatever He wants with anything that He has created, that He is the LORD OF and that HE OWNS--which is everything, including us; hence, the events of the Great Flood and the Tower of Babel in the book of Genesis.</p><p>All throughout history, including BIBLE HISTORY, from Genesis to Revelation, there have generally been two sides, two teams, two camps, two categories, and/or two groups of people who get bold and courageous, even zealous, at times, and really rally around a cause, in word and/or action: THOSE COMING OUT for JUSTICE (upholding, promoting, and enforcing law and order, legally, with authority and power) and THOSE COMING OUT for VENGEANCE (upholding and promoting law enforcement, illegally, usually through vigilantism, where one or more people are inflicting punishment in return for an injury or offense, often, without legal authority, and usually by consent or through the participation of a self-appointed group of people).</p><p>And we can probably classify these two groups like this: The JUSTICE LEAGUE and The AVENGERS. Haven't we heard of these before? In comics? graphic novels? cartoons? movies? You mean, we can use these, too? Tie them in--creatively? to the Bible? the spirit realm? To faith? To fiction? Non-fiction? Family fiction? Christian fiction? WOW! THAT's GREAT!</p><p>So, finally, here it is: The tie-in: The comic bookstores are open again, so I can indulge in my other passion, reading Batman (Rebirth), Catwoman, and other DC Comics, including all of the Justice League superheroes, because I've always been partial to the JUSTICE LEAGUE, whether on television, with the Saturday morning or daily cartoons or in recent years, in the DC animated films, released on DVD; however, I have acquired a recent taste over the last few years for some of the Marvel superheroes, like Ironman, Captain America, Black Panther, and the Guardians of the Galaxy, mainly through my introduction to them through the Marvel superhero movies, that have spanned a decade, including, of course, those mega-movies, THE AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR and THE AVENGERS: ENDGAME.</p><p>Even though I've flirted recently with MARVEL superheroes, I'm still, by nature, a DC superhero fan, and that really began back with those Superman movies, starring Christopher Reeve, that I grew up on from the late 70's and throughout the 80s; the Justice League and Superfriends cartoons from the 80s; the BATMAN: ANIMATED series, that really hooked me on Batman &amp; Catwoman from the 90s; the BATMAN movies from the 90s, starring Michael Keaton, and, especially the one featuring Michelle Pffeifer as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, where they both flirt, dance, and share that classic line: 'Mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it. But a kiss can be even deadlier, if you mean it"; and I always enjoyed the JUSTICE LEAGUE animated series that aired on television throughout the 90s, early 2000s; and, of course, all the recent DC-animated movies.</p><p>Even though I've always liked and respected Superman/Clark Kent, more so during the Christopher Reeve era; I've always liked, related to on a human level, and connected more to Batman/Bruce Wayne, more so in the cartoons, animated movies, and the comics and/or graphic novels, and I even have a book now on the psychology of Batman, written by another fan, from an academic perspective, and I've always loved, since BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, that partnership and "romantic" spark between Batman/Bruce and Catwoman/Selina, often wondering: Will they or won't they get together? Will they or won't they get married?</p><p>And this year, both Batman and Catwoman are celebrating their 80th anniversary, and since I have a fondness for these two and secretly hope they'll get married in the 21st century, I plan to incorporate them into my SHIELD of FAITH story in a creative and entertaining way; because, after all, BATMAN is known as the World's Greatest Detective, which will play well with my character, Justice Shield, who likes and admires Batman and Sherlock Holmes; and my re-imagined character, Dr. Freedom (Faith) Cross, will also admire Selina/Catwoman and will have her classic look, and she will also likely have Selina's spunk, spirit--because Selina (the Cat) from the beginning in the 1940s was created to be Batman's rival, equal, ally (at times) and potential love interest, with her trademark black hair and green eyes. And Selina was meant to be complex--a female version of Batman, neither completely evil nor completely good, and throughout most of their time together, as friends, foes--frenemies--partners and lovers, playing the Bat and the Cat since the 1940s, Batman/Bruce Wayne has been trying to get her to change and reform her ways.</p><p>Here's something interesting too: many of the creators of some of the most well-known superheros from the comics (DC and Marvel) were Jewish, like Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster (creators of Superman), Stan Lee, (co-creator of Spider-man, Black Panther) and Bob Kane, who, with co-creator, Bill Finger, saw Batman and Catwoman as rivals, equals, AND potential allies and partners (professionally and romantically). So, Bruce and Selina DID get married on Earth 2 back in the 1970s and 80s and they had a daughter named Helena, who later became the original Huntress after her mother died tragically.</p><p>Then there's my fascination with twins, like the twins in the Bible (Jacob and Esau through Isaac and Rebekah; Pharez and Zarah through Judah and Tamar) and those twins from my younger days as a reader: the Sweet Valley twins (Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield) in a young adult (YA) series (by Francine Pascal) and twin sisters (Louise and Caroline Bradshaw) in another YA book called JACOB HAVE I LOVED (by Katherine Paterson). So, every book of mine has at least one set of twins. Also, my mom is a (fraternal) twin.</p><p>And I'm more about building people up, praying for them sincerely, and encouraging them, regardless of race, affiliation, denomination, or politics, drawing them closer to JESUS, to GOD, than arguing with people, judging them, debating what’s right/what’s wrong; cursing people, hating people; and tearing them down, with my words, because I'm all about wielding words for GOOD and for GOD, because one writer and minister says, “our heavenly Father is the sovereign ruler of the greatest Kingdom in the entire universe. The Kingdom is not a congregation; it’s a real government with a king, country (heaven), military (angels), and citizens,” and “like all legitimate governments, the Kingdom of God has a judicial branch of the government of God.”</p><p>So, am I perfect? NO. Am I right all the time? NO. Am I good all the time? NO. Do I know everything? NO. Am I color blind? NO.<br> But I AM BLOOD-BOUGHT and CHRIST-CENTERED. So, this is the least I can do, as a believer and a child of GOD: Walk LIKE JESUS DID: IMITATING HIS Father: GOD. </p> Fri, 05 Jun 2020 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/family-reunion-the-gospel-of-the-kingdom-a-godsword-poem "Family Reunion": The Gospel of the Kingdom--A God'sWord Poem http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/family-reunion-the-gospel-of-the-kingdom-a-godsword-poem <p><strong style="font-size: 0.9rem;">The Gathering of the Saints</strong></p><p>United we stand,</p><p>a family we are,</p><p>blessed beneath the Son</p><p>of an awesome God.</p><p>We are a family of faith—</p><p>inspired and rooted,</p><p>with souls gifted,</p><p>with eyes lifted—</p><p>an integrated mix of present</p><p>and past.</p><p>We come within God's grace,</p><p>driving dusty miles,</p><p>flying cloudy skies,</p><p>drawn back to the sights</p><p>and sounds of the old home place.</p><p>We savor that music blaring,</p><p>those elders staring,</p><p>everyone eating</p><p>with summer flare</p><p>and relaxing</p><p>with country ease;</p><p>that sunlight bathing,</p><p>kids racing</p><p>across the green-grass family lot;</p><p>that moonlight chasing</p><p>adults gazing</p><p>beyond the family plot.</p><p>We sip and sup,</p><p>we sing and pray,</p><p>swinging our heels,</p><p>lounging in the front yard,</p><p>having a celebration,</p><p>a gathering</p><p>of generations,</p><p>a congregation</p><p>of family</p><p>and friends;</p><p>a gathering of the saints—</p><p>all of us,</p><p>perfect</p><p>in</p><p>our imperfections,</p><p>but</p><p>justified</p><p>and</p><p>made holy and righteous</p><p>through Jesus,</p><p>in the eyes of God, the Father,</p><p>because He sees us,</p><p>not as what we were, then,</p><p>or as what we are, now,</p><p>but</p><p>as He, at the beginning,</p><p>imagined,</p><p>planned,</p><p>intended,</p><p>and created us to be—</p><p>His Beloved—</p><p>His children—</p><p>His sons and daughters—</p><p>His Family—</p><p>All of us,</p><p>seen through HIS eyes,</p><p>as</p><p>Righteous,</p><p>Holy,</p><p>Perfect,</p><p>And</p><p>Clean—</p><p>In the color of LOVE—RED—</p><p>Under the Blood of Jesus—</p><p>His only begotten Son—</p><p>So, to HIM, the Greatest,</p><p>Most Loving,</p><p>Most Giving,</p><p>Most Forgiving,</p><p>Most Creative,</p><p>Most Encouraging,</p><p>Most Engaging,</p><p>Father Ever—</p><p>We’re simply, irresistible—</p><p>And we’re set up</p><p>For success,</p><p>Not failure;</p><p>For triumph,</p><p>Not tragedy;</p><p>For victory,</p><p>Not defeat.</p><p><br></p><p>God knows us,</p><p>Better than anyone else,</p><p>And He sees us,</p><p>AFTER the CROSS</p><p>Of CHRIST—</p><p>So, to HIM:</p><p>We’re not broken</p><p>but beautiful—</p><p>We’re not common</p><p>but uncommon—</p><p>We’re not ordinary</p><p>but extraordinary—</p><p>and this is who we are,</p><p>if we’re part of His Family</p><p>part of His Kingdom—</p><p>HIS—</p><p>and His alone—</p><p>sons and daughters,</p><p>fearfully and wonderfully made,</p><p>all of us—</p><p>the redeemed,</p><p>the saved,</p><p>the remnant,</p><p>the chosen,</p><p>the reconciled—</p><p>everybody forgiven—</p><p>everybody</p><p>Jesus paid for in full,</p><p>who put their faith,</p><p>hope,</p><p>love,</p><p>and</p><p>trust</p><p>in Him—</p><p>those who invited Jesus</p><p>into their hearts,</p><p>into their homes,</p><p>into their lives;</p><p>those who received</p><p>God’s gift of love,</p><p>God’s gift of grace,</p><p>God’s gift of mercy,</p><p>and God’s promise </p><p>of eternal life</p><p>in His Presence—</p><p>everybody reformed—</p><p>completely changed—</p><p>restored,</p><p>transformed,</p><p>and reborn,</p><p>a new creation in Jesus Christ—</p><p>living LOUD</p><p>for Jesus,</p><p>for God—</p><p>being Spirit-filled</p><p>and</p><p>Spirit-led;</p><p>living the crucified life,</p><p>the surrendered life,</p><p>putting God first, every time,</p><p>in everything;</p><p>and walking like Jesus did—</p><p>every second,</p><p>every minute,</p><p>every hour,</p><p>every day—</p><p>in reverence</p><p>and obedience;</p><p>in prayer</p><p>and fasting;</p><p>in fellowship</p><p>and communion;</p><p>in love and joy,</p><p>in peace and hope,</p><p>in thanksgiving and trust;</p><p>in gratitude and compassion;</p><p>in goodness and gentleness;</p><p>in faithfulness and patience.</p><p><br></p><p>In expectation</p><p>And jubilation,</p><p>We watch,</p><p>We wait,</p><p>drawing closer to God—</p><p>singing and praying,</p><p>humming and swaying,</p><p>giving thanks unto the Lord,</p><p>for His grace, His mercy,</p><p>His compassion, His love—</p><p>Every good gift that comes</p><p>From the Lord—</p><p>and</p><p>we sing and shout,</p><p>we clap and dance,</p><p>offering Him the sacrifice of praise,</p><p>not just thanking Him</p><p>for everything He’s already done</p><p>but praising Him</p><p>for everything else—</p><p>including, what’s to come—</p><p>the greater works—</p><p>the revival,</p><p>the outpouring</p><p>of God’s Holy Spirit,</p><p>the baptism of love,</p><p>the baptism of fire—</p><p>the manifested Presence</p><p>and Glory of God,</p><p>like a wildfire spreading,</p><p>from north to south,</p><p>from east to west,</p><p>from sea to sea,</p><p>from nation to nation,</p><p>until everybody’s caught up in the Spirit,</p><p>receiving the blessings</p><p>and the benefits</p><p>of being in the Kingdom</p><p>and the Family of the Almighty,</p><p>Living God.</p><p><br></p><p>We’re a family of faith—</p><p>The Family of God—</p><p>Gathered together,</p><p>In peace, in unity, in love,</p><p>sitting on the grass-green ground,</p><p>leaning into the Lord,</p><p>stirring up the spirit,</p><p>swaying back and forth,</p><p>in hand-made</p><p>rocking chairs,</p><p>singing,</p><p>praying,</p><p>humming,</p><p>praising,</p><p>worshipping,</p><p>in spirit and truth—</p><p>like we were having church—</p><p>coming together for the Lord’s Supper—Holy Communion—</p><p>and remembering Jesus</p><p>and thanking Him for His sacrifice</p><p>and His love—</p><p>not just on one day</p><p>but every day—</p><p>on Saturday,</p><p>on Sunday,</p><p>on Monday,</p><p>on Tuesday,</p><p>on Wednesday,</p><p>on Thursday,</p><p>on Friday—</p><p>every second,</p><p>every minute,</p><p>every hour—</p><p>every day.</p><p><br></p><p>We’re a family—</p><p>Different</p><p>But</p><p>United—</p><p>Some,</p><p>From the country,</p><p>Some,</p><p>From the city,</p><p>Some</p><p>From the North,</p><p>Some</p><p>From the South,</p><p>Some,</p><p>From the East,</p><p>Some,</p><p>From the West,</p><p>But we all love Jesus,</p><p>We all love God.</p><p><br></p><p>United,</p><p>we stand,</p><p>A family,</p><p>we are,</p><p>Blessed beneath the Son</p><p>of an awesome God.</p><p><br></p><p>We come in the name of Jesus,</p><p>In the grace of God,</p><p>In the power of the Holy Spirit,</p><p>Singing and praying</p><p>Sipping and supping,</p><p>Stirring up the gifts</p><p>of the Holy Spirit;</p><p>sharing the Good News,</p><p>the Gospel of the Kingdom of God—</p><p>not with persuasive words</p><p>of human wisdom</p><p>but in demonstration</p><p>of the Spirit</p><p>and</p><p>of power,</p><p>that the faith</p><p>of others</p><p>should not be</p><p>in the wisdom of men</p><p>but in the power of God.</p><p><br></p><p>We’re a family of faith,</p><p>Giving thanks every day;</p><p>and</p><p>rejoicing in the Lord every day;</p><p>as we celebrate life, love,</p><p>family, friends;</p><p>every blessing,</p><p>and every benefit,</p><p>while</p><p>sipping on lemonade,</p><p>crunching on ice cubes,</p><p>licking the vanilla sweetness</p><p>out of Big Mama’s home-made</p><p>ice cream;</p><p>grabbing the last slice</p><p>of Grandmama’s</p><p>delicious</p><p>but <em>sinfully</em> decadent</p><p>chocolate meringue pie;</p><p>and thinking ahead,</p><p>already packing everybody</p><p>and everything</p><p>UP—</p><p>in the truck,</p><p>in the car,</p><p>in the bus,</p><p>in the van,</p><p>for the cross-country,</p><p>road trip,</p><p>back home;</p><p>filling up every paper plate, bowl,</p><p>pan, and carry-out dish,</p><p>covered in plastic</p><p>and foil;</p><p>with leftovers,</p><p>all of it boasting the best</p><p>of everybody’s blue-ribbon,</p><p>Sunday Dinner,</p><p>carefully chosen</p><p>for taste,</p><p>flavor and season,</p><p>sometimes by request,</p><p>often by demand—</p><p>Soul Food,</p><p>Comfort Food,</p><p>Holiday Food,</p><p>the best in the South, the North,</p><p>the East, the West—</p><p>with&nbsp;family recipes </p><p>written in pencil,</p><p>then inked in pen,</p><p>by warm hands </p><p>once firm,</p><p>smooth,</p><p>and warm</p><p>then, rough hands,</p><p>wrinkled,&nbsp;</p><p>calloused,</p><p>unsteady,</p><p>with new recipes added—</p><p>copied</p><p>and pasted,</p><p>or printed,</p><p>then tested</p><p>and tasted,</p><p>time and time again,</p><p>collected</p><p>and catalogued,</p><p>cooked</p><p>and savored,</p><p>praised</p><p>and favored,</p><p>then passed on,</p><p>inside the Family Cookbook,</p><p>again and again,</p><p>from generation</p><p>to generation,</p><p>just like the Family History,</p><p>found in the Family Bible,</p><p>from generation</p><p>to generation</p><p>through every branch</p><p>of the Family Tree;</p><p>only the Cookbook,</p><p>inspired and penned</p><p>equally by the rich</p><p>and the poor,</p><p>the young</p><p>and the old,</p><p>the man</p><p>and the woman,</p><p>the common cook</p><p>and the celebrated chef,</p><p>includes a melting pot</p><p>of recipes,</p><p>from different races,</p><p>different places,</p><p>different nations—</p><p>sometimes shared,</p><p>sometimes borrowed,</p><p>but often,</p><p>GIVEN</p><p>AWAY</p><p>in comfort,</p><p>in sorrow,</p><p>in celebration,</p><p>in greeting,</p><p>in gratitude,</p><p>in fellowship,</p><p>in worship,</p><p>in service,</p><p>in blessing,</p><p>in obedience,</p><p>in abundance,</p><p>in compassion,</p><p>in love.</p><p><br></p><p>The is our family—</p><p>The Family of God—</p><p>We have faith;</p><p>We have food;</p><p>We have fellowship;</p><p>We have fun—</p><p><br></p><p>All of us unified,</p><p>working together,</p><p>praying together,</p><p>singing together,</p><p>laughing together,</p><p>worshipping together;</p><p>eating together;</p><p>sitting together;</p><p>rejoicing together;</p><p>resting together—</p><p><br></p><p>All of us—</p><p>Different</p><p>But</p><p>Equal—</p><p>Fearfully and wonderfully made—</p><p>God’s Original Creations,</p><p>His Royal Masterpieces—</p><p>One of a Kind—</p><p>Extraordinary,</p><p>Uncommon,</p><p>Peculiar,</p><p>UNIQUE—</p><p>Created</p><p>in HIS Image—GOD’s—</p><p>according to HIS likeness—</p><p>bearing the Fruit of HIS Spirit:</p><p>love,</p><p>joy,</p><p>peace,</p><p>patience,</p><p>goodness,</p><p>gentleness,</p><p>kindness,</p><p>faithfulness,</p><p>and self-control.</p><p><br></p><p>We’re a family—</p><p>HIS Family—GOD’s—</p><p>DIFFERENT</p><p>but</p><p>UNITED—</p><p><br></p><p>All of us,</p><p>Sons and daughters</p><p>Through Jesus,</p><p>All of us,</p><p>Brothers and sisters</p><p>In Christ;</p><p>All of us,</p><p>diverse—</p><p>from different races,</p><p>nations,</p><p>and places—</p><p>But we’re Family,</p><p>Just the same;</p><p>Sons and daughters,</p><p>Brothers and sisters,</p><p>All of us,</p><p>Kingdom Kids—</p><p>DIFFERENT</p><p>But NOT</p><p>DIVIDED—</p><p><br></p><p>All of us,</p><p>walking in faith,</p><p>not fear—</p><p>surrendering</p><p>our lives—</p><p>everything—</p><p>to Jesus—God—</p><p>because through HIM—GOD—</p><p>Everything we need is already supplied</p><p>And</p><p>anything above that is a blessing,</p><p>If not a blessing for us,</p><p>then</p><p>a blessing meant for somebody else.</p><p>So, yes,</p><p>we’re many members,</p><p>In this family,</p><p>In this BODY</p><p>of Jesus Christ,</p><p>and we’re different,</p><p>as members</p><p>in a big family</p><p>tend to be,</p><p>But</p><p>God is with us,</p><p>God is for us,</p><p>And God is in us,</p><p>And we worship Him—</p><p>Him alone—</p><p>In spirit</p><p>And</p><p>In truth,</p><p>So,</p><p>no matter who we are,</p><p>what we look like,</p><p>or</p><p>where we come from,</p><p>we’re family, just the same,</p><p>and we’re united—</p><p>all for One</p><p>and One for all,</p><p>in Jesus Christ,</p><p>through the Holy Spirit—</p><p>walking together,</p><p>talking together,</p><p>and</p><p>working together,</p><p>in faith,</p><p>in peace,</p><p>in power,</p><p>in authority,</p><p>in alignment,</p><p>in agreement—</p><p>in Heart,</p><p>in Word,</p><p>in Blood,</p><p>in Love,</p><p>as one family,</p><p>all of us,</p><p>diverse</p><p>but</p><p>never</p><p>divided,</p><p>all of us,</p><p>COMPLETELY HIS—GOD’s.</p><p><br></p><p>Like many members,</p><p>In one body—</p><p>THE BODY OF CHRIST—</p><p>We’re connected,</p><p>bound together,</p><p>all of us</p><p>ROYAL—</p><p>Kingdom</p><p>Kids,</p><p>Dual citizens</p><p>of Heaven</p><p>and earth,</p><p>brothers</p><p>and</p><p>sisters,</p><p>joint-heirs</p><p>with</p><p>JESUS,</p><p>through what HE DID,</p><p>the PRICE HE PAID;</p><p>All of us</p><p>Sons and daughters</p><p>ADOPTED;</p><p>All of us</p><p>GRAFTED</p><p>Into God’s Family Tree—</p><p>through HIM: JESUS, the Savior,</p><p>the Redeemer,</p><p>the Branch,</p><p>The True Vine—</p><p>and all of us</p><p>are grounded in the Word of God,</p><p>rooted in Jesus Christ,</p><p>planted by HIM: the HOLY SPIRIT.</p><p>So, this is it:</p><p>the Good News: the Gospel, in a nutshell:</p><p>For God so loved the world</p><p>That He gave His only begotten Son,</p><p>That whoever believes in Him</p><p>Should not perish</p><p>But have everlasting life.</p><p><br></p><p>We’re saved by grace</p><p>through faith,</p><p>in HIM: JESUS.</p><p>Not through anything we’ve done,</p><p>But through everything HE DID—</p><p>This is the love of God;</p><p>This is the gift of God,</p><p>So we can’t boast</p><p>Or take credit</p><p>for any of it,</p><p>For we are God’s workmanship,</p><p>Created in Christ Jesus</p><p>For good works,</p><p>Which God prepared</p><p>Beforehand</p><p>That we should walk in them.</p><p><br></p><p>And we are sealed by HIM:</p><p>the HOLY SPIRIT,</p><p>until the day of redemption;</p><p>so we’re living in the world,</p><p>but we’re not of the world;</p><p>Because</p><p>HOME for us is not one place,</p><p>In the natural—</p><p>not one physical address</p><p>in a city,</p><p>in a state,</p><p>in a country,</p><p>in a nation,</p><p>on a map,</p><p>on earth;</p><p>HOME is One Person:</p><p>JESUS—GOD—</p><p>The Lord of lords</p><p>And</p><p>the King of kings—</p><p>and</p><p>His Kingdom</p><p>is everlasting,</p><p>eternal, invisible,</p><p>and supernatural.</p><p><br></p><p>So, family for us isn’t just the one we’re born into on earth,</p><p>In the natural realm;</p><p>It’s the one brought into being</p><p>And made possible through Jesus,</p><p>In Heaven,</p><p>in the spiritual realm,</p><p>from the Heart of God,</p><p>in the Love of God,</p><p>through the Grace of God,</p><p>found in our faith in God,</p><p>when we surrender everything,</p><p>confessing our sins,</p><p>repenting,</p><p>and turning</p><p>completely</p><p>from that direction,</p><p>that lifestyle,</p><p>that darkness,</p><p>that path;</p><p>inviting JESUS</p><p>to be the Lord</p><p>and Savior of all—</p><p>living in us</p><p>and working through us—</p><p>then, we</p><p>as children</p><p>adopted,</p><p>become part of the family—God’s Family—</p><p>receiving the blessings of God, the Father,</p><p>and the benefits of being in His Family, in His Kingdom—</p><p>salvation, redemption, healing, deliverance,</p><p>protection, provision, prosperity, and peace—</p><p>through the Grace of God,</p><p>found in the FINISHED WORK of JESUS—</p><p>His DEATH, BURIAL, RESURRECTION,</p><p>and ASCENSION.</p><p>Having surrendered heart, soul, mind,</p><p>and strength to God,</p><p>we yield to the Holy Spirit of God—</p><p>so He can lead us, guide us, instruct us, correct us, change us,</p><p>transform us, equip us, empower us,</p><p>and plant us,</p><p>where we were called,</p><p>created,</p><p>and commissioned to be—</p><p>at the right place,</p><p>at the right time,</p><p>where we can exceed,</p><p>excel,</p><p>and bloom,</p><p>where we can fulfill our purpose</p><p>in God’s plan;</p><p>where we can complete</p><p>our assignment on earth;</p><p>where we can cross the finish line,</p><p>as a victor,</p><p>having fought the good fight,</p><p>having kept the faith,</p><p>having finished strong;</p><p>and</p><p>where we can reach</p><p>the last chapter</p><p>in our Book of Destiny,</p><p>having persevered,</p><p>having overcome,</p><p>having triumphed,</p><p>having pleased JESUS—</p><p>GOD—</p><p>and hearing HIM, the Righteous Judge,</p><p>say,</p><p>“Well done, My good</p><p>and faithful servant.</p><p>You were faithful</p><p>over a few things;</p><p>I will make you ruler</p><p>over many things.</p><p>Enter</p><p>into the joy</p><p>of your lord.”</p><p><br></p><p>Until then—</p><p>we walk in faith,</p><p>not in fear,</p><p>trusting</p><p>that the Lord is with us,</p><p>wherever we GO,</p><p>wherever we ARE—</p><p>guarding us, protecting us, shielding us,</p><p>defending us, fighting for us,</p><p>delivering us</p><p>from every evil work</p><p>and preserving us</p><p>for His heavenly kingdom; </p><p>Until then—</p><p>We live FOR the Lord,</p><p>UNTO the Lord,</p><p>And FROM the Lord,</p><p>like we’re SOULED-OUT,</p><p>like we’re WELL-SPENT,</p><p>like we’re SURRENDERED—</p><p>like we’re God’s Property—</p><p>heart, soul, mind, body, and strength—</p><p>because God the Father,</p><p>loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son,</p><p>that whosoever believes in Him should not perish</p><p>but have everlasting life.</p><p><br></p><p>That’s how much</p><p>He loved us;</p><p>That’s how much</p><p>He wanted us—</p><p>That’s how much</p><p>He cared—</p><p>That’s how much</p><p>He wanted us</p><p>to be His—</p><p>sons</p><p>and</p><p>daughters</p><p>in His Forever Family—</p><p>enough to go all-in—</p><p>give anything,</p><p>pay everything—</p><p>for us—</p><p><br></p><p>So, Jesus—the Son of God—</p><p>was the DOWNPAYMENT,</p><p>offered UPFRONT,</p><p>in the GREAT EXCHANGE</p><p>for US—the houses, temples and tents—</p><p>given in trust</p><p>to Adam—</p><p>the son</p><p>God </p><p>imagined</p><p>in heaven,</p><p>Created</p><p>in spirit,</p><p>formed on earth,</p><p>and</p><p>called into being—</p><p>the</p><p>son of man—</p><p>in the image</p><p>of God,</p><p>according</p><p>to His likeness,</p><p>made to rule</p><p>and reign,</p><p>to triumph</p><p>and succeed,</p><p>to manage</p><p>and multiply,</p><p>all the while,</p><p>reproducing—</p><p>replicating—</p><p>and</p><p>representing—</p><p>not</p><p>more</p><p>like himself—</p><p>in his image</p><p>and his likeness—</p><p>but more,</p><p>in the image</p><p>of his Creator,</p><p>according to</p><p>the likeness</p><p>of his heavenly Father—</p><p>GOD—</p><p>who,</p><p>in the beginning,</p><p>created the heavens</p><p>and the earth,</p><p>making <em>something</em></p><p>From nothing,</p><p>Framing the world</p><p>with His words,</p><p>making the natural</p><p>from the supernatural—</p><p>The visible</p><p>From the invisible.</p><p>He made <em>everything</em>,</p><p>And He saw that it was good.</p><p><br></p><p>But God wanted something <em>more</em>—</p><p>than a kingdom—</p><p><br></p><p>He wanted Family.</p><p>He wanted Fellowship,</p><p>Relationship,</p><p>Community,</p><p>Intimacy,</p><p>Unity.</p><p>He <em>wanted</em> children—</p><p>sons and daughters—</p><p>in His image,</p><p>according to His likeness,</p><p>just like Him,</p><p>in spirit,</p><p>in nature,</p><p>including</p><p>free will—</p><p>the right to choose—</p><p>whether to be with Him</p><p>or not—</p><p>So, God created man</p><p>in His own likeness;</p><p>In the image of God,</p><p>He created him;</p><p>Male and female—</p><p><em>He</em> created them,</p><p>Man and woman—</p><p>Adam and Eve</p><p>And</p><p>He put them in the garden of Eden—</p><p>a place he had already</p><p>prepared for them—</p><p>a place of protection,</p><p>provision, and peace—</p><p>where,</p><p>as children,</p><p>they had benefits</p><p>and blessings;</p><p>they had access</p><p>to God,</p><p>and they could walk with Him,</p><p>and talk to Him,</p><p>any time,</p><p>every day;</p><p>and they had the legal right</p><p>to rule and reign</p><p>on earth</p><p>with</p><p>power,</p><p>authority,</p><p>and dominion—</p><p>enlarging</p><p>and expanding</p><p>God’s territory,</p><p>influence,</p><p>and</p><p>impact</p><p>by bringing</p><p>the supernatural,</p><p>to the natural,</p><p>the invisible</p><p>to the visible,</p><p>the reality</p><p>of the kingdom of heaven</p><p>to earth.</p><p><br></p><p>Then a serpent—satan—</p><p>slid into the GARDEN,</p><p>in deception,</p><p>in pride,</p><p>trying to strike God,</p><p>trying to hurt God,</p><p>trying to sabotage</p><p>His plans,</p><p>through His Family;</p><p>through His children,</p><p>so satan tempted</p><p>the woman, Eve,</p><p>and the man, Adam— </p><p>and the woman</p><p>and the man,</p><p>through</p><p>deception</p><p>and</p><p>disobedience</p><p>fell</p><p>from righteousness to rebellion,</p><p>from family to foe—</p><p>from son to orphan—</p><p>from ruler to slave,</p><p>from spiritual to natural,</p><p>from perfect to sinful,</p><p>from life to death—</p><p>UNTIL HE CAME—</p><p>JESUS--</p><p>YESHUA--</p><p>The Son of God,</p><p>The Son of Man—</p><p>The Messiah—</p><p>The Christ—</p><p>The Anointed One—</p><p>Our Lord,</p><p>Our Savior,</p><p>Our Redeemer,</p><p>Our Healer,</p><p>Our Counselor,</p><p>Our Protector,</p><p>Our Provider,</p><p>Our Mediator,</p><p>Our High Priest,</p><p>Our Hope of Glory,</p><p>Our Way,</p><p>Our Truth,</p><p>Our Life,</p><p>Our Prince of Peace</p><p>Our King of kings—</p><p><br></p><p>Now, through HIM—</p><p>JESUS—</p><p>We are saved,</p><p>We are redeemed,</p><p>We are delivered,</p><p>We are healed,</p><p>We are cleansed,</p><p>We are forgiven,</p><p>We are reconciled,</p><p>We are adopted,</p><p>We are changed,</p><p>We are restored,</p><p>We are transformed,</p><p>And we are translated,</p><p>from</p><p>the natural</p><p>To the supernatural,</p><p>from death to resurrection,</p><p>from resurrection to eternal life—</p><p>the Gathering of the Saints—</p><p>the Marriage of the Lamb—</p><p>the Wedding Feast—</p><p>GOD’s FAMILY REUNION—</p><p>through JESUS CHRIST.</p><p><br></p><p>God, the Landowner,</p><p>the Architect and the Builder</p><p>Had already thought about,</p><p>planned and designed us,</p><p>Had already framed us</p><p>and built us,</p><p>according to</p><p>His Grand Design</p><p>And</p><p>Jesus PAID FOR US;</p><p>He purchased us IN FULL;</p><p>and the Holy Spirit is the seal,</p><p>until the day of our redemption,</p><p>because GOD is with us,</p><p>and GOD is for us,</p><p>and GOD is in us.</p><p>So, whether we live,</p><p>We live unto the Lord,</p><p>And whether we die,</p><p>We die unto the Lord,</p><p>So, whether we live or die,</p><p>We are the Lord’s.</p><p><br></p><p>We come together—</p><p>the Body of Christ—</p><p>UNITED—</p><p>to encourage,</p><p>pray,</p><p>edify,</p><p>comfort,</p><p>train,</p><p>impart,</p><p>disciple,</p><p>equip,</p><p>empower,</p><p>and</p><p>send</p><p>to do</p><p>the work</p><p>of the Lord,</p><p>for the glory</p><p>and honor</p><p>of God.</p><p><br></p><p>So, we listen to the elders—the preachers,</p><p>prophets, teachers, pastors, apostles, and saints—</p><p>speaking about Life, Love, Faith,</p><p>Hope, and Grace;</p><p>wielding the Sword of the Spirit,</p><p>the infallible Word of God--</p><p>walking us from Genesis to Revelation,</p><p>showing us the heart of the Father,</p><p>the sacrifice of His Son,</p><p>the power of His Holy Spirit;</p><p>pointing out in BIG letters—black and red,</p><p>the fingerprint of God,</p><p>the imprint of Jesus,</p><p>the comfort, conviction,</p><p>and seal of the Holy Spirit—</p><p>running us through the Field of Faith,</p><p>in every book, on every page;</p><p>touching the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians,</p><p>revealing the Armor of God in Ephesians;</p><p>and highlighting the Hall of Heroes in Hebrews;</p><p>drawing us from the wilderness of Sin</p><p>and the valley of deepest darkness,</p><p>to the high-Way of Hope,</p><p>the Bright and Morning Star,</p><p>the Light of the world—</p><p>the Compass,</p><p>the Gauge,</p><p>the Map,</p><p>the Standard,</p><p>God’s G.P.S.—</p><p>HIS “Global Positioning System”—</p><p>The Risen Son,</p><p>who gives us the way of escape,</p><p>delivering us from our destruction,</p><p>our bad choices, our wrong turns,</p><p>our miscalculations, our detours</p><p>and leading us to the straight path of righteousness,</p><p>to the road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert,</p><p>like the goodness, the grace, and the glory of God, forever with us,</p><p>the cloud that guides us by day</p><p>and the pillar of fire that guides us by night—</p><p>to the Land of Peace</p><p>and the Place of Promise,</p><p>where fear will never conquer us,</p><p>for He—GOD—already has!</p><p>God is our Maker,</p><p>our Creator,</p><p>our Builder,</p><p>our Father,</p><p>our King,</p><p>our Great Designer—</p><p>the Master Architect,</p><p>and He knows us—</p><p>by name, by heart.</p><p><br></p><p>He knows how much we can handle—</p><p>How much pressure,</p><p>How much heat,</p><p>How much grief,</p><p>How much struggle,</p><p>How much pain,</p><p>How much loss,</p><p>How much heartache,</p><p>How much testing,</p><p>How much responsibility,</p><p>How much power,</p><p>How much weight</p><p>we can bear,</p><p>and He knows the plans He has for us,</p><p>plans to prosper us</p><p>and not to harm us,</p><p>plans to give us hope </p><p>and a future—</p><p>and our names are written in RED—</p><p>Inked in the Blood of JESUS—</p><p>in the Lamb’s Book of Life—</p><p>even inscribed in the palm of</p><p>our heavenly Father’s hand,</p><p>He leads us, like Ezekiel,</p><p>from the valley of dry bones;</p><p>like Elijah,</p><p>from wells without water;</p><p>like Saul,</p><p>from the road of destruction,</p><p>into HIS place of peace,</p><p>HIS place of promise,</p><p>HIS place of provision,</p><p>and</p><p>HIS place of protection,</p><p>where dry bones live;</p><p>to streams of living water—</p><p>a fountain of water springing up to eternal life,</p><p>as we become new creations in Christ,</p><p>translated from earth to heaven,</p><p>from trials and temptations in the wilderness</p><p>to triumph and victory in the promised land</p><p>and power and authority in the Kingdom of God.</p><p><br></p><p>We have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to receive,</p><p>and our lives are well-spent, as we sit at the feet of the elders—</p><p>Grandmama, Granddaddy, Mama, Daddy, Uncles, Aunts,</p><p>Brothers and Sisters in Christ—</p><p>Hearing the Word,</p><p>Loving the Word,</p><p>Living the Word,</p><p>Falling in love with Jesus,</p><p>Falling in love with “ABBA”—Father, Daddy—GOD—</p><p>Singing,</p><p>Praying,</p><p>Dancing,</p><p>Clapping,</p><p>Shouting,</p><p>Giving,</p><p>Surrendering Everything—</p><p>In gratitude,</p><p>In thanksgiving—</p><p>Worshipping God in Spirit and Truth,</p><p>Generation after generation,</p><p>as old-time soldiers, souled-out saints, and generals of the faith,</p><p>give us lessons in HIS story,</p><p>reaching out to us,</p><p>time after time,</p><p>generation</p><p>after generation,</p><p>the Hands</p><p>and the Feet</p><p>of Jesus,</p><p>of God,</p><p>on earth—</p><p>like living Bibles,</p><p>sharing the Good News—</p><p>the Gospel of the Kingdom—</p><p>and leaving us—</p><p>the next generation,</p><p>an inheritance,</p><p>a legacy,</p><p>a treasure,</p><p>a reward,</p><p>a blessing,</p><p>a gift—</p><p>one of eternal value.</p><p><br></p><p>They tell us this:</p><p>That we are like eagles:</p><p>We rise, we soar;</p><p>We stumble, we fall,</p><p>But we get back up;</p><p>We endure,</p><p>We persevere,</p><p>We overcome,</p><p>And we prevailed,</p><p>For we are blessed,</p><p>Beneath the Son of God—</p><p>Bound by blood</p><p>In name,</p><p>In spirit,</p><p>In soul,</p><p>In heart.</p><p><br></p><p>As they tick through time,</p><p>flipping with the words of their mouths,</p><p>with their tongues like the pens of ready writers,</p><p>through the scrolls of men, under the inspiration of God,</p><p>through the spirit-and-life-filled words of eternity--</p><p>where in the beginning was the Word,</p><p>and the Word was with God,</p><p>and the Word was God;</p><p>where He was in the beginning with God,</p><p>and all things were made through Him,</p><p>and without Him, nothing was made;</p><p>and in Him was life, and the life was the light of men—</p><p>and as they—the elders—journey through the inked-in-pages of time—past, present, and future,</p><p>from Genesis to Revelation—</p><p>from eternity to life—</p><p>where we were created in the image of God,</p><p>according to HIS likeness,</p><p>as sons and daughters,</p><p>blessed</p><p>and highly favored,</p><p>with the Presence of God,</p><p>the Provision of God,</p><p>the Peace of God,</p><p>the Protection of God,</p><p>the Purpose of God,</p><p>and the Spirit of God;</p><p>in alignment</p><p>with the will and the way of God;</p><p>to the fall of mankind,</p><p>into sin,</p><p>through Adam;</p><p>They also show us the love of God, the grace of God, the presence of God, the peace of God, the provision of God, the commission of God, the purpose of God, the passion of God, the Spirit of God, and the power of God—</p><p>The Alpha and The Omega, the Beginning and the End—</p><p>what was, what is, and what will be—</p><p>according to HIM—GOD—the Great I AM—</p><p>through HIM—JESUS—The Author and Finisher of our Faith,</p><p>under the supervision and guidance of HIM—the HOLY SPIRIT—</p><p>so that our faith should not be in the wisdom of humans</p><p>but in the power of GOD.</p><p><br></p><p>They take us from the Sermon on the Mount—the Beatitudes—</p><p>to the Parables, the Good News—</p><p>the Kingdom of God preached,</p><p>The Power of God demonstrated—</p><p><br></p><p>To the palm trees spread out for Jesus</p><p>in His Triumphant Entry;</p><p>to the Garden of Gethsemane,</p><p>to the Passion of Christ</p><p>to the Cross at Calvary—</p><p>the Light of the World,</p><p>the Rock of Salvation,</p><p>the Road of Redemption,</p><p>the Door of Deliverance,</p><p>the Hope of Glory,</p><p>the Resurrection,</p><p>the Highway to Heaven,</p><p>The Way, the Truth, the Life—</p><p>Equally the Son of God</p><p>And the Son of Man—</p><p>The WORD MADE FLESH—</p><p>The MANIFESTED Presence of GOD:</p><p>Immanuel, “God is with Us,”</p><p><em>Yeshua</em>—JESUS, “The Lord is Salvation”</p><p>The Christ—the MESSIAH, “The Anointed One”</p><p>The Redeemer,</p><p>The Savior,</p><p>The Healer,</p><p>The Deliverer,</p><p>The Protector,</p><p>The Provider,</p><p>The Counselor,</p><p>The Advocate,</p><p>The Mediator,</p><p>The Root,</p><p>The Branch,</p><p>The Bridegroom,</p><p>The Chief Cornerstone,</p><p>The Lamb of God,</p><p>The Bread of Life,</p><p>The Living Water,</p><p>The True Vine,</p><p>The Good Shepherd,</p><p>The Light of the World,</p><p>The Prince of Peace,</p><p>The Great Warrior,</p><p>The Lion of Judah,</p><p>The Living God,</p><p>The Risen Son,</p><p>JESUS,</p><p>The Lord of Lords,</p><p>The King of kings,</p><p>The Righteous Judge,</p><p>The Alpha and the Omega—</p><p>The Beginning and the End—</p><p>The Great I AM—</p><p>The Holy One—</p><p>The Righteous One—</p><p>The Just One—</p><p>The Loving One—</p><p>The Almighty One—</p><p>The Majestic One—</p><p>The Matchless One—</p><p>The Jealous One—</p><p>The Creative One—</p><p>The Consuming One—</p><p>The Wise One—</p><p>The Perfect One—</p><p>The Eternal One—</p><p>The Victorious One—</p><p>The Conquering One—</p><p>The Sovereign One—</p><p>Always Good--</p><p>Always Just--</p><p>Always Love--</p><p>Always</p><p>The</p><p>GREAT</p><p>I AM</p><p>Always&nbsp;</p><p>GOD.</p><p><em>16 April 2020</em></p> Sun, 26 Apr 2020 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/back-in-school-an-open-door-a-new-direction-god-ward BACK IN SCHOOL: An Open Door, A New Direction: GOD-ward http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/back-in-school-an-open-door-a-new-direction-god-ward <p><strong>Proverbs 11:25</strong> (TPT): Those who live to bless others will have blessings heaped upon them, and the one who pours out his life to pour out blessings will be saturated with favor.</p><p>I'm always a work in progress, and GOD has been working on me for some time now, and He put on my heart earlier this year to go back to school and get some more education. At the time, I thought He wanted me to take some online classes and get a Master's degree in Creative Writing, but that wasn't the route He wanted me to take, nor was that the door He was opening for me in this season of my life.</p><p>For some time, GOD has revealed to me that I don't have to be just one thing in particular or just one thing in life, and I don't have to be what most people expect me to be or what most people label me; I can be many things, and I can do ALL things in CHRIST, exceeding other people's expectations.</p><p>During this time, GOD has wanted me to draw closer to Him, learn more about Him, get more serious, even intentional, in my prayer life, and get more grounded in the WORD of GOD, so I would have the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to do all that He would be calling me to do in this new, overcoming season of my life, which is basically, using my gifts, talents, and time creatively to share the gospel of the Kingdom.</p><p>He wants me to be more than a churchgoer, more than a bench or pew warmer, more than a passive or lukewarm believer in JESUS CHRIST: He wants me to be a real, active, SOULED-OUT and engaged disciple/student/learner of JESUS--not just a hearer of the WORD but a do-er of the WORD--an ambassador of CHRIST, sharing with others the gospel of the kingdom--the same message JESUS taught, preached, and demonstrated.</p><p>So, instead of following my plans, which included that Master's degree in Creative Writing, I surrendered my will and my plans for His will and His plans, for He knows the plans He has for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future, and I got out of my comfort zone, left my "old" traditional thinking behind, and I wrote an admissions essay and applied for admission into an online ministry program under the administration of a great man of GOD I have been following, learning from, and supporting for a number of years.</p><p>And basically, because I would have never naturally thought about or even chosen this path for myself, I got a bit bold and this is what I told GOD, who's been dealing with me about this for a while: If You really want me to take this path, I'll DO IT, regardless of what anybody else thinks; just OPEN the DOOR, GIVE ME FAVOR, GIVE ME THE FINANCES, and MAKE THIS POSSIBLE. And since GOD has a great sense of humor, especially with respect to me, HE DID JUST THAT.</p><p>This morning, I got this news in my email from yesterday: 'Dear, Terra, Congratulations! You have been admitted for the Leveling for the Master's Degree Program...Every course in this program contains several lessons, assignments, and exams that will ensure that you will receive in-depth knowledge on each topic."</p><p>The Leveling program is to prepare students; they will gain knowledge and understanding of all biblical courses."</p><p>One of the things that drew me most to this particular ministry and online program was its purpose--which is in line with what GOD has been dealing with me in regard to for years and the mission is included here: Teaching, Training, Equipping, Sending.</p><p>Within the mission/purpose statement, it says, "Students will discover their calling...; they will be activated, taught, trained, and sent out to fulfill their purpose. Our courses are not based only on knowledge but also on a personal experience with the living God." And this for me means, students won't just be hearers of the WORD but do-ers of the WORD.</p><p>So, I'm back in school, this time online, not merely as a college teacher in the real world in regular profession but as a newly-inspired student/learner/disciple of JESUS CHRIST, part of the BODY of CHRIST, serving in His kingdom and finding my purpose and place in His ministry, while being grounded in the WORD of GOD, under the authority of JESUS CHRIST, and being equipped, empowered, and led by the HOLY SPIRIT.</p><p>One person says it best of us, especially as believers; we are like ONIONS, because we have MANY LAYERS. And I would say this of myself as well; my life HAS been like an ONION, and not necessarily all in a negative way, because every year, GOD pulls back another layer, getting to the HEART of WHO I AM (IN CHRIST) and slowly revealing, especially to me, the person He called and created me to be.</p><p>And these are really my mottos/my BATTLE-HEART verses for life, not just random Bible verses to memorize: "All things work together for good to those who love GOD, to those who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28), and "I can do all things THROUGH CHRIST who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).</p><p>And this is the great mystery of LIVING LIFE LOUD for GOD, which is more about decreasing Self and increasing JESUS, bearing the Fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control) and being a real believer, having GOD WITH US and GOD IN US and GOD FOR US: The more we learn about WHO HE IS, the more we learn about WHO WE ARE (IN HIM)—Sons and Daughters in CHRIST--Original Creations—One of a Kind—Royal Masterpieces.</p> Wed, 01 Apr 2020 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/our-relationship-to-christ-the-body-the-bride-the-prostitute Our Relationship to Christ: The Body, The Bride, The Prostitute http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/our-relationship-to-christ-the-body-the-bride-the-prostitute <p><strong>John 17:1-3, 13-26: </strong>Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up his eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.</p><p>But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.</p><p>As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.</p><p>“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.</p><p>The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me before the foundation of the world.</p><p>“O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”</p><p><strong>The Father: The King of kings, GOD</strong></p><p><strong>Genesis 1:27-28: </strong>God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”</p><p><strong>Genesis 2:18, 21-24: </strong>Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”</p><p>So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.</p><p><strong>Matthew 22:1-14: </strong>Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.’” But they paid no attention and went on their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them. But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire.</p><p>Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’ Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests.</p><p>“But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”</p><p><strong>John 3:16-17: </strong>“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.</p><p><strong>Colossians 1:13: </strong>For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.</p><p><strong>The Bridegroom: The Prince, The Son of GOD, JESUS</strong></p><p><strong>Isaiah 54:5-8:</strong> For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.</p><p>“For like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, Even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,” Says your God.</p><p>“For a brief moment I forsook you, But with great compassion I will gather you.</p><p>“In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,” Says the LORD your Redeemer.</p><p>“For this is like the days of Noah to Me, When I swore that the waters of Noah Would not flood the earth again; So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you Nor will I rebuke you,</p><p>“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” Says the LORD who has compassion on you.</p><p><strong>Matthew 24:35-51: </strong>Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.</p><p>“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.</p><p>“Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.</p><p>“Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is not coming for a long time,’ and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.</p><p><strong>Matthew 25:1-13: </strong>“Then the kingdom of heaven will be compared to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep.</p><p>But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’</p><p>And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.</p><p><strong>Philippians 2:5-11:</strong> Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.</p><p>For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.</p><p><strong>Colossians 1:15-20: </strong>He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.</p><p>He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.</p><p><strong>Revelation 19:7-10: </strong>Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’”</p><p>And he said to me, “These are true words of God.” Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”</p><p><strong>Revelation 22:12-17: </strong>“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”</p><p>Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.</p><p>“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”</p><p>The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.</p><p><strong>The Helper—The Holy Spirit</strong></p><p><strong>John 16:5-15: </strong>“But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.</p><p>But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.</p><p>“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear <em>them</em> now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose <em>it</em> to you.</p><p>All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose <em>it</em> to you.</p><p><strong>Ephesians 4:30: </strong>Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.</p><p><strong>The Body</strong></p><p><strong>Romans 8:9-11: </strong>However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.</p><p><strong>Romans 14:7-9: </strong>For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord, therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.</p><p><strong>1 Corinthians 3:7-15: </strong>So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.</p><p>Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.</p><p>According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.</p><p>Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is <em>to be</em> revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.</p><p>If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.</p><p><strong>1 Corinthians 3:16-17: </strong>Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.</p><p><strong>1 Corinthians 12:12-14: </strong>For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.</p><p><strong>1 Corinthians 12:18, 27-28: </strong>But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now, there are many members, but one body.</p><p>Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.</p><p><strong>Ephesians 2:8-10: </strong>For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.</p><p><strong>Ephesians 3:1-19: </strong>For this reason I, Paul the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you; that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.</p><p>To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.</p><p>This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.</p><p>For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.</p><p><strong>Ephesians 4:10-16: </strong>He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) And He gave some as apostles, and as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.</p><p>As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.</p><p><strong>Colossians 3:17, 23-25: </strong>Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.</p><p>Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive a reward of the inheritance. If it is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.</p><p><strong>The Bride</strong></p><p><strong>John 14:1-6: </strong>“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, <em>there</em> you may be also.And you know the way where I am going.”</p><p>Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”</p><p>Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.</p><p><strong>John 14:23-31: </strong>Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.</p><p>“These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.</p><p>Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.</p><p>You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.</p><p>Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe.</p><p>I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me.</p><p><strong>1 Corinthians 6:14-20: </strong>Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power.</p><p>Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?</p><p>Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body <em>with her</em>? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit <em>with Him</em>. Flee immorality. Every <em>other</em> sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.</p><p><strong>Galatians 5:16-25: </strong>But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. </p><p>But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.</p><p>But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.</p><p>Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.</p><p>If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.</p><p><strong>Ephesians 5:22-33: </strong>Wives, <em>be subject</em> to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself <em>being</em> the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives <em>ought to be</em> to their husbands in everything.</p><p>Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.</p><p>So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also <em>does</em> the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.</p><p>This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must <em>see to it</em> that she respects her husband.</p><p><strong>Colossians 3:1-16: </strong>Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.</p><p>Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience,and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.</p><p>But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, <em>and</em> abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its <em>evil</em> practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— <em>a renewal</em> in which there is no <em>distinction between</em> Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.</p><p>So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.</p><p>Beyond all these things <em>put on</em> love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms <em>and</em> hymns <em>and</em> spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.</p><p><strong>1 Thessalonians 4:1-8: </strong>Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us <em>instruction</em> as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. For you know what commandments we gave you by <em>the authority of</em> the Lord Jesus.</p><p>For this is the will of God, your sanctification; <em>that is</em>, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God;<em>and</em> that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is <em>the</em> avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned <em>you</em>. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects <em>this</em> is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.</p><p><strong>1 Thessalonians 4:13-18: </strong>But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.</p><p>For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of <em>the</em> archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.</p><p><strong>1 Thessalonians 5:4-11: </strong>But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.</p><p>For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of <em>the</em> day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.</p><p>For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.</p><p><strong>2 Timothy 1:8-14: </strong>Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with <em>me</em> in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher.</p><p>For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to <em>you</em>.</p><p><strong>2 Timothy 2:8-13: </strong>Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned.</p><p>For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus <em>and</em> with <em>it</em> eternal glory.</p><p>It is a trustworthy statement:</p><p>For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;<br> If we endure, we will also reign with Him;<br> If we deny Him, He also will deny us;<br> If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.</p><p><strong>GOD LOVES US </strong>with an everlasting love, and since the beginning of time, commencing in the Book of Genesis, He has always called us into RELATIONSHIP with Him, not into religion, because more than servants on earth, GOD desires His Family on earth—sons and daughters in CHRIST, ruling in HIS name, with power and authority, surrendering to His will and way, and submitting to His plan and purpose, which is basically enlarging His Family, expanding His influence, and bringing the kingdom of GOD to earth.</p><p>This was GOD’s original intent, even before the foundation of the world—reproducing Himself on earth—for in Genesis, chapter 1, verses 26 through 28 say, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”</p><p>In essence, GOD, who rules and reigns upon His Throne in Heaven, created us from the beginning to rule and reign in His name, as children of GOD, on earth, and from the beginning, even with Adam and Eve, He equips us and empowers us to fulfill our purpose in His plan, and He even makes provision for our mistakes and bad choices, for even Romans, chapter 8, verse 28, says, we know that GOD causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. GOD watches over us, ensuring that we have every opportunity to succeed in life, to overcome as victors, and prevail as more than conquerors through Him who loves us, because He created us to be victorious—victors, not victims.</p><p>According to John, chapter 4, verse 24, “GOD is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth,” and according to Psalm 139 verses 13 through 18, GOD thought of man and CREATED him in the spiritual realm before He formed him on earth or even birthed him into the world through a woman’s womb, after the fall of mankind, for the Scripture says, “You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.</p><p>My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake I am still with You.”</p><p>Even in Jeremiah, chapter 29, verses 11 through 13, it is clear that GOD, who is all-knowing, has foreknowledge regarding all of us and His own eternal plan and purpose for each of us in His Family and in His kingdom, because He knows us intimately, even before we make our arrival on earth, and He knows His expected end for us—what He created us for initially—for GOD says, “I know the plans I have for you, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” So, even from the beginning, GOD created us for Himself, and He created us for a purpose—an assignment on earth—and our journey in life is all about finding our identity in CHRIST and completing our assignment, thus fulfilling our purpose for GOD.</p><p>Most of us often have these questions: Who am I? (What’s my <strong>identity</strong>?); From where do I come? (Where’s my <strong>origin</strong>?); What am I supposed to do? (What’s my <strong>purpose</strong>?); Where am I going? (What’s my <strong>destination</strong>?) And the answers to all of these are found in GOD’s WORD, from Genesis to Revelation, and they are found specifically in ONE PERSON, ONE PLACE—JESUS, the SON of GOD, who is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. Our story begins and ends with HIM, who is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Author and Finisher of our faith.</p><p>And we see GOD’s original intent for mankind in the Book of Genesis, for GOD created Adam, in His image, according to His likeness, as a spirit, in the heavenly or spiritual, invisible realm, and He formed Adam, as a man, physically on earth, in a visible realm, and He put Adam in the territory in which he was created to live, succeed, and thrive—one in which mankind was destined, according to GOD’s original plan, to rule and reign as children, ambassadors, and stewards of GOD, bringing the kingdom of GOD to earth, for in Genesis, chapter 2, verses 7 through 9, the Scripture says, “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”</p><p>In essence, Adam wasn’t brought into earth through the womb of a woman, and he didn’t go through the process of childhood, learning how to be a man, how to rule and reign; GOD the Father created Adam in the spirit and formed him on earth, as a son of GOD, already equipped and empowered to rule and reign on earth, and GOD was with him and loved and honored him as His son more than His servant.</p><p>GOD loved Adam so much He wanted to bless him, so He held a conference among the Holy Trinity, just as He did when He was contemplating the creation of the man, Adam, and He thought of a companion—a helper—a bride—for His earthly son, and in Genesis, chapter 2, verse 18, it says, “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Later, in Genesis, chapter 2, verses 21 through 24, it says, “So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”</p><p>Once again, GOD had a plan in place: He thought of a helper suitable for His son; He created her in the spiritual realm and formed her physically on earth, before bringing her to the man who would be her companion, her husband. From the onset, GOD’s intent was that man and woman would be companions, working together, helping each other; they were created to rule and reign in unity, not in competition, walking in GOD’s presence, completing their purpose and fulfilling GOD’s plan.</p><p>Life for us all changed when Adam and Eve sinned—first eating the forbidden fruit, then shifting blame when they got caught and refusing to repent. In siding with the devil over GOD, they essentially gave their trust and allegiance to the devil in the guise of the serpent in the garden of Eden, and in doubting, disobeying, and rebelling against GOD, the Creator, the Father, the KING, they essentially betrayed The Royal Family, committed high treason, and handed the keys to the earthly kingdom over to satan, which are crimes worthy of death, by GOD’s just and righteous standard.</p><p>After the fall of mankind, we find the most disheartening verses in the Bible in Genesis, chapter 5, verses 1 through 3: “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created. When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own image, according to his image and named him Seth.” By this point mankind carries Adam’s sinful and corrupt nature, and mankind, though not physically dead, is spiritually dead and separated and alienated from GOD, who is Spirit, who is Holy, who is Righteous, and who is Just, by that sinful, rebellious, corrupt, wicked, and disobedient nature.</p><p>But GOD was never caught by surprise. Even before He created Adam and Eve, he knew they would sin, and He had already made provision and had a plan in place—namely, His only begotten Son, JESUS, the CHRIST—the Anointed One—the Messiah—the second and the last Adam, fully GOD and fully man, who would willingly pay the debt of sin all humanity owed GOD the Father and KING—that of death. Thus, JESUS, the SON of GOD, would give His perfect, sinless, and righteous life sacrificially on the Cross of Calvary in a great exchange for our corrupt, sinful, and rebellious ones, redeeming us, saving us, delivering us from satan’s control, and reconciling us to GOD the Father, thus reinstating us as sons and daughters in the kingdom of GOD, who are created in His image, according to His likeness.</p><p>Through Adam, the earthly son, sin entered the world, and through him, we’re condemned to death, punishment, hell, but as Ephesians, chapter 2, verses 8 through 10 proclaim, by grace through faith in JESUS, the heavenly Son, we are saved, redeemed, and reconciled to GOD, and through JESUS, we have eternal life, for the Scripture says, “by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”</p><p>So, we have this truth in GOD’s WORD: GOD loved us so much He created us in His image, according to His likeness, and He loved us so much He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, because He desires a relationship with us, and as John, chapter 14, verse 6 says, JESUS is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father, except through Him.</p><p>Unlike Adam, JESUS, though GOD, though uncreated—the same yesterday, today, and forever—came to earth through the womb of a woman, and He endured the process of birth and childhood—transitioning from baby to boy to man—equally GOD and equally man—not only to reveal GOD the Father to mankind but to reconcile GOD to mankind, restoring that spiritual connection and intimate relationship that was lost with Adam’s fall and reclaiming the power and authority that mankind had freely given to satan through Adam’s original sin.</p><p>Through the first Adam, we then have sin, rebellion, bondage, oppression, punishment, torment, and death, but through JESUS, the second Adam, we have redemption, salvation, righteousness, reconciliation, forgiveness, freedom, and life eternal, and Scripture explains in Romans, chapter 5, verses 12 through 21 this, saying, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.</p><p>Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned, for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.</p><p>For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.</p><p>So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.</p><p>The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”</p><p>We find out the extent of GOD’s love for us in Colossians, chapter 1, verses 13 through 20, for the Scripture says, “He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.</p><p>He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”</p><p>So, from before the foundation of the world, we were created in spirit and formed on earth through JESUS CHRIST and for JESUS CHRIST—the SON of GOD—for Romans, chapter 14, verses 8 through 10, say, “For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself, for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.”</p><p>In 1 Corinthians, chapter 15, verses 20 through 28, we learn that JESUS is the First—the LORD of ALL—and Head of the Church, which is the believing community or BODY of CHRIST, for He is the LORD of lords and KING of kings, subject only to GOD the Father, for the Scripture says, “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.</p><p>But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death.</p><p>For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, ‘All things are put in subjection,’ it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him.</p><p>When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.”</p><p>Just as GOD the Father blessed His earthly son, Adam, with a “suitable” companion, helper, bride; He has blessed His only begotten Son, JESUS, the LORD of lords and KING of kings, with a “suitable” BODY and BRIDE—and that includes all of us—for in 1 Corinthians, chapter 15, verses 45 through 57, Scripture says, “So also it is written, ‘The first Man, Adam, became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.</p><p>As in the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.</p><p>Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.</p><p>But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your victory? O Death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”</p><p>In JESUS’ prayer to GOD the Father in John, chapter 17, we find out that eternal life, according to JESUS, is <em>knowing</em> GOD, personally and intimately, and we can understand that in knowing JESUS, we, indeed, <em>know</em> GOD the Father, and if we examine the historical or ancient Jewish roots of our Christian faith, we can better understand this concept of JESUS, the SON of GOD, as the BRIDEGROOM and we—the BODY—and we—the Church—as His BRIDE—a suitable helper and companion—and we can better understand some of JESUS’ parables about the kingdom of heaven, such as those parables of the ten virgins and the wedding feast found in certain books of the Gospel—the GOOD NEWS.</p><p>Historically, most Jewish marriages during the days of the Bible had two parts: first, the betrothal, which wasn’t an engagement as we know it today but a real, legally-binding marriage agreement, and second, the taking of the bride for co-habitation and consummation, where the two—man and woman—joined together in unity and became one in body and one in spirit.</p><p>During the betrothal, the couple, though married, lived apart, because the bridegroom was typically “preparing” a place for the bride in his father’s house, and the bride was typically “preparing herself” for the bridegroom’s return and her “new” home.</p><p>We see this arrangement in the relationship of the Virgin Mary and Joseph in the Bible. They were legally married when JESUS was conceived on earth through the HOLY SPIRIT, and that’s why Joseph initially considered putting Mary away or quietly divorcing her when he learned she was pregnant. Until an angel told him otherwise, Joseph thought Mary had committed adultery, and during that time, a sin of that nature, if discovered, meant the woman would face certain death, usually by stoning.</p><p>In the ancient Jewish marriage tradition, the bride never knew when the bridegroom would appear to claim her, so she had to be ready to leave at any time.</p><p>Eventually, the bridegroom would appear to reclaim her and take her to her “new” home, so she had to be ready to leave at any time, even at a moment’s notice, and after the bridegroom came and reunited with his bride, there would be a wedding feast or marriage supper or dinner and a celebration that would generally last seven days.</p><p>As we read through our Bibles, from Genesis to Revelation, we begin to see how this ancient Jewish marriage tradition clarifies our relationship as BRIDE to JESUS, the BRIDEGROOM: Like the bride in tradition, we as believers and the BRIDE of CHRIST are supposed to be preparing ourselves and making ourselves ready for JESUS’ return, even as JESUS is away at His Father’s House, making preparations and preparing a place for us in His Father’s kingdom.</p><p>Like the traditional bride, we as believers who have invited JESUS into our hearts and accepted Him in our lives are CALLED and CHOSEN by GOD the FATHER and we are BETROTHED to JESUS, the BRIDEBROOM, and His desire for us is UNITY, where He is ONE with us in SPIRIT and BODY: GOD IN US and GOD WITH US.</p><p>So, basically, GOD joins Himself to us, as in a real marriage, and He is ONE with us, and we are ONE BODY IN HIM, and we find this concept of ONE BODY, ONE SPIRIT—GOD IN US and GOD WITH US—in the New Testament or the New Covenant, especially in the Gospel of John, chapter 17, where JESUS prays, saying, “The glory which you have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.</p><p>Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me before the foundation of the world.</p><p>“O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which&nbsp; You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”</p><p>Indeed, as the BODY of CHRIST, we are many members, under the authority of GOD, working in the name of JESUS, led of ONE Spirit—the HOLY SPIRIT, and we’re fulfilling our purpose in the plan of GOD on earth, and as the BRIDE of CHRIST, we are essentially BETROTHED to JESUS, SEALED by the HOLY SPIRIT—our Helper—until the day of redemption—and we’re getting ready and making preparations for JESUS’ coming—His Return.</p><p>However, some of us are great pretenders and we don’t even expect JESUS to return, so we are content to play the harlot or the prostitute instead of the BRIDE of CHRIST, and we’re more interested in using GOD to get whatever we want—provision, protection, wealth, riches—“stuff”—instead of sincerely seeking His Presence, getting to know Him, or building a real, intimate relationship with Him.&nbsp;</p><p>In this sense, we often cheat on GOD, even though Scripture tells us, He is a jealous GOD, and we rebel, disobey, doubt, and commit adultery, in a spiritual sense, finding love, comfort and riches in others—the <em>idols</em> of the world; seeking the treasures and pleasures of the world in foreign gods and foreign places, falling into the traps of our enemies, and yielding to the lies and the temptations of the adversary—satan—giving him our time, our allegiance, and our trust.</p><p>In our unfaithfulness to GOD, satan becomes the lover of our souls—our “friend with benefits”—and instead of joining ourselves primarily and exclusively with GOD and being sanctified—set apart for JESUS, our Eternal Prince and BRIDEGOOM, we’re often prostituting ourselves with the prince of darkness and the gods of this world, giving little or no thought to the eternal consequences of our wayward, cheating behavior. In the end, if we choose to serve, side with, and make our bed with the prince of darkness instead of remaining faithful to the PRINCE of PEACE, GOD will honor that choice, and He won't force Himself on us. Therefore, we WILL share our own part and place in the dark prince's fate, in his eternal destination, because GOD IS JUST and GOD IS RIGHTEOUS, and even though He is gracious and merciful, He will never overlook nor condone our continuous rebellion, disobedience, lawlessness, wickedness, immorality, or sin.</p><p>But here’s the GOOD NEWS in GOD’s WORD: GOD is GOOD, GOD is JUST, and GOD IS LOVE, and JESUS is the DOOR of HOPE, the HOPE of SALVATION, and this is the truth we have today: GOD will never leave us, nor will He forsake us, because in this moment, at this time, we have the hope of glory--GOD's AMAZING GRACE--all through faith in HIM: JESUS.</p><p>Therefore, there's still time, and GOD won’t give up on us, because He loves us, enough to pursue us, save us, redeem us, cleanse us, forgive us, heal us, change us, restore us, transform us, and reconcile with us, especially when we confess our sins to Him, repent, turn from our wicked ways, pray to Him, seek His face, His Presence, love Him with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, and worship Him in spirit and truth, not in hopes of personal gain but in reverence and respect for who He is--HOLY, RIGHTEOUS, GOOD, JUST, LOVING, FAITHFUL, KIND, ALL-KNOWING, ALL-POWERFUL, ALL-PRESENT, the LORD of lords, the KING of kings, the ALPHA and the OMEGA, the BEGINNING and the END—irresistibly and majestically—GOD.</p><p>But the GRACE PERIOD and the HONEYMOON won't last forever.</p><p>JESUS is COMING . . . SOON.</p><p>First, He'll return as the BRIDEGROOM, reclaiming HIS HOLY BRIDE.</p><p>Then, He'll come in all His Glory and Majesty as the DIVINE WARRIOR--THE LION KING, reclaiming His Throne, establishing His Kingdom on earth, and effectively putting all His enemies under His feet.&nbsp;</p><p>So, what we need to do is figure out or determine for ourselves before the clock of life stops and our time on earth comes to an end is this: <strong><em>who</em></strong> and <strong><em>whose</em></strong> we are? &nbsp;In relation to CHRIST, are we HIS BODY? HIS BRIDE? Or are we the prostitute? Are we children of GOD or pawns of the adversary—satan? Are we His allies or His enemies? Family or Foe? The answers to <strong><em>these</em></strong> questions will likely determine <strong><em>where</em></strong> and <strong><em>with whom</em></strong> we spend eternity.</p> Mon, 07 Oct 2019 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-nearness-of-god-our-good The Nearness of GOD: Our Good http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-nearness-of-god-our-good <p><strong>Psalms 73:28:</strong> But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.</p><p>GOD is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in time of trouble. He is our Lord of lords and our King of kings, our Redeemer and our Savior, our Comforter and our Counselor, our Protector and our Provider, our Healer and our Helper, our Creator and our Father, and JESUS, the Son of GOD, is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, and no one comes to the Father, except through HIM—the Door of Hope—the Hope of Glory.</p><p>He is everything we need, more than we can ever dream or imagine, for GOD is Good, GOD is Just, GOD is Love. He is unchanging—all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present, all-faithful, all-in—and JESUS is the same yesterday, today, and forever, for <em>He</em>, equally the Son of GOD and the Son of Man, is the Source of Life, the Bread of Life, the Light of Life, the Well of GOD, from whence we draw and drink living water, and through the work of HOLY SPIRIT, GOD fills us, revives us, sustains us, restores us, and resurrects us, redeeming us, saving us and calling us from the wilderness—the dead, dry, empty places in our lives—to rivers in the desert, the spring of salvation, the road of righteousness, the highway to heaven, the hope of glory, the promise of His Presence, eternal life, the kingdom of GOD—HOME.</p><p>We've been adopted into GOD's Royal Family, grafted into the KING's Family Tree, through His only begotten Son--His LIVING BRANCH--JESUS CHRIST.</p><p>And from darkness to light is where GOD calls us; in the wilderness is where He equips us and empowers us; on the field of faith is where we’re tested and find favor; on the mission field is where we’re commissioned, commanded, assigned; and on the battle field is where we’re challenged, wounded, scarred, bruised, broken, and hurt almost every day. But we never give up and we never give in, especially in defeat, because we’re more than conquerors through CHRIST who loved us, and we’re overcomers who persevere—VICTORS, not victims—because this is the truth in GOD’s WORD: The nearness of GOD is our good, for GOD is WITH US, and He will never leave us nor forsake us, for He loves us, and He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. </p><p>Without GOD, we can do nothing, but we can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens us, for nothing is too hard for GOD.</p><p>With Him, <em>all</em> things are possible, for there is no wound He cannot heal, no tear He cannot dry, no heart He cannot mend, no soul He cannot save, no life He cannot change, no person He cannot transform, no family he cannot restore, no bridge He cannot rebuild, no mistake He cannot forgive, no prisoner He cannot free, no dream He cannot fulfill…<em>if</em> we humble ourselves and let Him.</p> Mon, 16 Sep 2019 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/renting-owning-gods-hotels-or-gods-houses-ready-for-visitation-or-habitation Renting & Owning: God's Hotels or God's Houses? Ready for Visitation or Habitation? http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/renting-owning-gods-hotels-or-gods-houses-ready-for-visitation-or-habitation <p><strong>John 14:23-24: </strong>Jesus answered and said to him [Judas (not Iscariot)], “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.”</p><p><strong>1 Corinthians 3:16-17: </strong>Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.</p><p><strong>Hebrews 3:4-6: </strong>For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.</p><p>GOD is our BUILDER, and we are the houses He framed, built, and bought in love and blood, through the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of His Son, JESUS, the LORD of lords and the KING of kings. </p><p>We’re the houses GOD lives in, works in, and uses every day, and life is more about <em>Him</em> than us, more about us being SOULED-OUT, exclusively His; being VACANT—open and available—so He can use us; and making HOME IMPROVEMENTS, so we can get right with <em>Him</em>—GOD—and meet <em>His</em> standard, which is greater and higher than anyone else’s, including our own.</p><p>JESUS is the DOWNPAYMENT for FULL PURCHASE: He is the GATE—the DOOR of HOPE—for He is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, and no one comes to the FATHER except through HIM, and HOLY SPIRIT is our OCCUPANT—our RESIDENT—our HOME DWELLER—our GUARANTEE—and our SEAL of APPROVAL until the day of redemption—because when we open our hearts, invite JESUS in, let <em>Him </em>be the LORD—the OWNER—of all within us, and we honor GOD, furnishing the house with everything He likes—everything that pleases <em>Him</em>, like the FRUIT of the SPIRIT—love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, kindness, and self-control—and giving Him full access to <em>every</em> room in our lives, and we make ourselves available to use every day, then GOD <em>is</em> welcomed as more than a visitor, guest, or renter in our houses, and He actually wants to UNPACK and STAY forever, building an intimate, personal relationship with us, as no guest, renter, nor visitor but as HOMEOWNER: GOD WITH US.</p><p>GOD is unchanging, JESUS, the same yesterday, today, and forever, and right now, GOD is standing at our door, knocking, waiting patiently to see two things: <em>If</em> we will open the door and let Him come in, and <em>how</em> we will receive Him, as a Guest, Visitor, or Renter, like in a hotel, a <em>temporary</em> place, where He doesn’t need to unpack every bag, or as a Homeowner, in a house, a permanent dwelling, where He’s invited to unpack every bag, redesign the place, making it His own, and He can inhabit every room, resting and abiding there forevermore.</p><p>So, here are the real questions for us, as believers today: Are we SOULED-OUT, exclusively GOD’s? Or are we FOR RENT to anybody, including the adversary? Are we VACANT, open and available to GOD? Are we GOD’s HOTELS or GOD’s HOUSES? </p><p>Do we receive GOD as a GUEST, VISITOR, or RENTER? Or do we receive GOD as a RESIDENT, OCCUPANT, or HOMEOWNER? </p><p>Which ENCOUNTER or EXPERIENCE do we want: GOD’s temporary VISITATION or His eternal HABITATION?</p><p>In His prayer in John 17, JESUS says, eternal life is <em>knowing</em> GOD.</p><p>So, if eternal life is <em>knowing</em> GOD, our answers to these questions may reveal just how well we know GOD intimately and how close we’ll be to Him eternally, for if GOD paid for us in full through JESUS, accepted our invitation to abide in us, gave us His SEAL of APPROVAL through HOLY SPIRIT, guaranteed our redemption, and becomes our LORD of ALL, then He <em>owns</em> us legally, heart and soul, and our lives are completely His, but if we’re still denying Him the rights, honor, and privilege of a Homeowner, full use and access to every room in our lives, then He’s nothing more than a Guest, Visitor, or Renter, and we’re not VACANT; we're not OPEN to GOD; we're CLOSED to Him, and we're not the houses GOD owns and inhabits 24/7; we’re just the houses GOD rents or worse, the hotels GOD visits, then leaves.</p> Sun, 28 Jul 2019 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gracefully-broken Gracefully Broken http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gracefully-broken <p><b>Job 5:17-18: </b>“Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole.</p><p> </p><p>LIFE isn’t always easy, and we don’t always walk faithfully with GOD or trust JESUS with all the cares and burdens of our lives. But through everything, the good and the bad, the ups and the downs, the trials and the triumphs, GOD loves us, pursues us, picks us up, carries us, corrects us, changes us, heals us, strengthens us, delivers us, transforms us, rebuilds us, restores us, redeems us, and empowers us. </p><p> </p><p>Why? Because GOD is a warrior, good in search and rescue. He’s GOD WITH US, always loving us, encouraging us, forgiving us, delivering us, and fighting for us on our winding roads of redemption, throughout our long journeys of faith, and everything we need, we can find in the SON of GOD—JESUS—because He is our Redeemer, our Savior, our Advocate, our Counselor, our Healer, our LORD and our KING. He is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, and no one comes to the FATHER except through HIM.</p><p> </p><p>And this is the lesson some of us learn in the WORD of GOD: Sometimes, we have to be GRACEFULLY broken and DIVINELY healed, so we can be used MIGHTILY in CHRIST JESUS by HIM: GOD.</p><p> </p><p>Why? Because by grace we have been saved through faith, and that not of ourselves; it is the gift of GOD, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in CHRIST JESUS for good works, which GOD prepared beforehand that we should walk in them, and GOD, who has begun a good work in us, will complete it until the day of JESUS CHRIST. And this is the truth in GOD's WORD: GOD WORKS OUTSIDE the BOX, and GOD doesn’t always call the qualified, but He always qualifies the people He has called…for UNCOMMON things, GREATER things, EXTRAORDINARY things, SUPERNATURAL things. </p><p> </p><p>So, we should all live our lives LOUD for JESUS, for GOD, OUTSIDE the BOX, doing whatever GOD has called, created, and equipped us to do, all with excellence for the glory and honor of Him—GOD—and we should not always grumble and complain when GOD corrects us, breaks us, and refines us, molding us and making us more in the image of HIM: JESUS. For Job 5:17-18 proclaims, “Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole.”</p><p> </p><p>And here’s the PEARL of WISDOM in GOD’s WORD: GOD calls us JUST AS WE ARE, but He never leaves us JUST THE SAME. He changes us and transforms us every time, from the INSIDE OUT, so we can be eternally HIS—completely SOULED-OUT.</p> Mon, 20 May 2019 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/warriors-love Warrior's Love http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/warriors-love <p><strong>Zephaniah 3:17: </strong>The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.</p><p>He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”</p><p>THE LORD is a warrior; the LORD is His name, and He fights for us, defends us, and protects us, from adversaries and dangers seen and unseen. He is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in time of trouble. He is our sun and our shield; He is the light of our salvation, the shield of our faith. He is GOD with us and GOD for us, and He will never leave us nor forsake us. He is our helper, our savior, our comforter, our advocate, our defender, our intercessor, our LORD of Lords and our KING of kings.</p><p>GOD loves us, and He’s with us, in the trenches, in the storms, in the trials, the valleys, and the deserts—in every wilderness in our lives. He’s with us in the floods, in the flames, in the hurricanes and the tornadoes, in the hailstorms, the mudslides, the tsunamis, the avalanches, and freezing snow, and His hand upholds us, covers us, carries us, and brings us safely home, into His Presence.</p><p>His is strength and courage, His is power and might, His is grace and mercy, His is honor and valor, His is truth and wisdom, goodness and compassion, faithfulness and love, and we are His people, called by His name; we are His children created, conceived, and adopted into His Family—the First Family—and we have divine rights and privileges, as sons and daughters, princes and princesses—GOD's Royals and Kingdom kids.</p><p>GOD never slumbers; He never sleeps, but He watches over us and encamps His angels around us, for He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future, so He draws us, saves us, redeems us, forgives us, leads us, guides us, builds us, restores us, corrects us, convicts us, and transforms us through HOLY SPIRIT, changing us more into His image--JESUS'--and He loved us so much He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. He loved us so much He redeemed us, saved us, and reconciled with us through His Son, JESUS. He loved us so much He filled us, empowered us, and sealed with His HOLY SPIRIT until the day of our redemption.</p><p>Nothing is too hard for GOD, but all things are possible, because GOD is not weak but strong. He never gives up or gives in; He always perseveres; He always prevails; He always overcomes, because He is a warrior, the greatest one alive, and He is always the victor, not the victim. And here’s the truth: GOD loves us, and He is our warrior, always ready to fight with us and for us, from this moment and this day until eternity. </p><p>And here's the lesson in THE WARRIOR's LOVE: GOD loves us so much He pursues us, even when we run, even when we hide, even when we're lost and confused and not even trying to live right, because He wants to spend more than a lifetime with us; He wants to spend eternity with us, in a place like Heaven—HOME.</p><p><br></p> Thu, 16 May 2019 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/better-than-chocolate-sweeter-than-sin-hes-irresistible Better than Chocolate, Sweeter than Sin: He's Irresistible! http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/better-than-chocolate-sweeter-than-sin-hes-irresistible <p><b>Colossians 1:15-20: </b>He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.</p><p> </p><p>For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.</p><p> </p><p>TODAY’s WORD is <i>irresistible</i>, and it’s an adjective that means too attractive and tempting to be resisted; too powerful or convincing to be resisted; and this is GOD’s WORD: JESUS, our Bridegroom, Savior, Lord of lords, King of kings, and SON of GOD, is IRRESISTIBLE, BETTER than chocolate, SWEETER than sin, and what’s more amazing is JESUS LOVES US, and He wants to spend eternity with us.</p><p> </p><p>And this is the LIGHT, the HOPE, and the TRUTH in GOD’s WORD: JESUS is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE and no one comes to the FATHER except through Him, and ALL THINGS were CREATED THROUGH and FOR JESUS, and as SOULED-OUT believers—MATCHES MADE IN HEAVEN—we are DRAWN by GOD to His Son, JESUS, and most of our lives are WELL-SPENT and LIVED LOUD for Him—JESUS—because of the blood He shed—the price He paid in full for us—on Calvary’s Cross, for He gave His life for us and paid the BRIDE PRICE, the debt for our sins—our lawlessness and rebellion—which was death—and we are His, bought and paid for—redeemed, saved, and reconciled through Him to His Father, GOD, who is GOOD, JUST, HOLY, and LOVING.</p><p> </p><p>Like the PRINCESS BRIDE, we are royalty, watching and waiting for HIM, our BRIDEGROOM, our ONE TRUE LOVE: JESUS.</p><p>Like WIVES ALREADY, we’re getting our personal affairs in order, so we’ll be ready to GO when our HUSBAND comes.</p><p> </p><p>No matter where we’ve been, what we’ve been through, we come—some heartbroken, some burned out, some hungry, some thirsty, some weary and worn—our hope, future, and expectations in Him, GOD. And no matter our circumstances, our bad choices, insecurities, mistakes, fears, and flaws, when he calls us, we come from every background, race, nation, generation, because we know He is everything we need and with Him, all things are possible; without Him, we can do nothing.</p><p> </p><p>So, coming from darkness, we are drawn to the LIGHT of the WORLD: JESUS, the SON of GOD.</p><p>Coming from the deserts of life—the wilderness of sin—we are drawn to the WELL of GOD, the LIVING WATER—JESUS CHRIST—and we are equipped and empowered through the HOLY SPIRIT to do what GOD called and created us to do, for His glory and honor.</p><p>Coming from death spiritually, we are drawn to the RESURRECTION and BREATH of LIFE of GOD, JESUS—and we are REVIVED, REFRESHED, RENEWED, and TRANSFORMED into NEW CREATIONS in CHRIST.</p><p> </p><p>Why do we love JESUS? Follow Him? Wait for Him? Work for Him? Share the Gospel of the Kingdom? Why are we attracted to Him? Why do we live for Him? Die for Him? Because we were created and made for Him, and He’s good for us—better than chocolate, sweeter than sin—and the truth of the matter is this: JESUS is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He’s eternally, faithfully, and quite simply, IRRESISTIBLE!</p> Sat, 05 Jan 2019 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/in-heaven-on-earth-its-a-wonderful-life In Heaven, On Earth: It's a Wonderful Life http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/in-heaven-on-earth-its-a-wonderful-life <p><strong>Isaiah 9:6-7:&nbsp; </strong>For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.&nbsp; And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.&nbsp; Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.&nbsp; He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.&nbsp; The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.</p><p>JESUS, the SON of GOD, is our HOPE, our PROMISE, our SAVIOR, our LORD, our KING, and like Him, GOD the FATHER CALLED and CREATED us to be UNCOMMON; He CHOSE and APPOINTED us for GREAT, EXTRAORDINARY things for His glory and honor.</p><p>He called us from different races and nations, backgrounds and ages, out of our complacency, our comfort zones—out of our fears, doubts, insecurities, <em>pride</em>—into a life of service, giving, and forgiving, sharing and helping, comforting and encouraging, loving and listening, sowing and reaping, fasting and praying, and our lives are measured not according to our standard or in comparison to others but according to GOD’s STANDARD, for He searches our hearts and knows the truth of who we are, what we really stand for and believe in, and truly OUR CHARACTER is who we are in private, when we think no one’s watching; OUR REPUTATION is who other people think we are, what we lead them to believe; OUR CHARACTER is what JESUS, GOD says about us on JUDGMENT DAY; OUR REPUTATION is what a minister, other people say about us on our MEMORIAL DAY, and this is the truth, the only words that matter about us in the end are GOD’s WORDS, because they will determine WHERE and HOW we spend eternity.</p><p>And this is the heart of the situation: EACH LIFE is a gift, and the choices we make today matter, especially in relation to GOD, and the greatest Gift for Christmas is JESUS, the best presents for New Year’s, His Presence: GOD’s, because our lives are better lived and spent with GOD than without Him.</p><p>And here’s the truth in GOD's WORD: GOD made us FOR LOVING and FOR GIVING, and a WONDERFUL LIFE in GOD’s eyes is one lived with MEANING and PURPOSE, WELL-LIVED and WELL-SPENT with JESUS, GOD—one of SERVICE, given cheerfully and selflessly for others; one of LOVE, poured out as a drink for others to consume; one of COMPASSION, helping those less fortunate—those widowed, orphaned, homeless, or in greater need; one of SURRENDER, SACRIFICE, decreasing the desires of Self to offer precious time, money, advice, encouragement, food, shelter, or protection; one of GOODNESS, full of GIVING, sharing the best that dwells within, using one’s time, talent, and treasures for the glory, honor, and purpose of GOD; one daily bearing the FRUIT of the SPIRIT (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, kindness, self-control); one of FORGIVENESS, canceling the debts of others and choosing to remember their sins and mistakes no more; one of FRIENDLINESS, HOSPITALITY, inviting others inside the sanctuary of that heart, that home, that family, or that life; one of PEACE, living in the blessing, abundance, and joy of the LORD; one of PRAISE and WORSHIP, with a heart of devotion; one of THANKSGIVING, giving reverence to the ONE from whom all life and blessings flow; and one of FASTING and PRAYER, drawing near to GOD, conversing with Him, and hearing Him speak in that still, small voice, for only GOD knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us, plans to give us hope and a future, and only GOD knows where we're supposed to be and what we're supposed to be doing with our lives. So, maybe we should trust Him to lead us--guide us--to the right place at the right time in the right way.</p><p>After all, IN HEAVEN, ON EARTH, that’s a wonderful life, and that’s really the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, which is JESUS CHRIST—our Savior, our Lord, our King—and though, in the movie <em>It’s a Wonderful Life</em>, bells ring when an angel receives its wings, in heaven, there is rejoicing when one lost soul is saved and enters the Family and Kingdom of GOD. So, what better life can we dream of than this—one where there’s a chorus in heaven rejoicing over us when we accept CHRIST JESUS as our LORD and SAVIOR, and one in which we finally hear JESUS, the RIGHTEOUS JUDGE, saying in the end, “<em>Well done, my good and faithful servant.&nbsp; Well done”</em>? </p> Sat, 22 Dec 2018 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/doers-hearers-drivers-passengers Doers & Hearers: Drivers & Passengers http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/doers-hearers-drivers-passengers <p><strong>James 1:21-25: </strong>Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.</p><p>But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror, for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.</p><p>AS BELIEVERS, we are all GIFTED and TALENTED, EQUIPPED and EMPOWERED to do everything GOD called and created us to do, for His glory and honor, but only the FAITHFUL endure, only OVERCOMERS prevail, because in the race of faith, JESUS judges us well on how we FINISH, not on how we START.</p><p>As NEW CREATIONS IN CHRIST, we are the LIVING TREES in the KINGDOM GARDEN of GOD called upon to MULTIPLY and PRODUCE after GOD’s KIND, bearing the FRUIT of HIS SPIRIT: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, kindness, and self-control, and we are known and will have to give an account before the RIGHTEOUS JUDGE JESUS of the fruit we bear on earth, whether it be good or bad.</p><p>Regardless of who we are and where we’ve come from, GOD calls us to be DOERS, not HEARERS only; He calls us to be EXTRAORDINARY, ACTIVE, UNCOMMON, not ORDINARY, PASSIVE, and MEDIOCRE. But on the HIGHWAY to HEAVEN, on this JOURNEY to ETERNAL LIFE, there are usually two kinds of believers: DOERS and HEARERS, DRIVERS and PASSENGERS.</p><p>The DOERS are the FAITHFUL DRIVERS who usually have read the entire MANUFACTURER’s HANDBOOK—the HOLY BIBLE—and ACT boldly, courageously, on GOD’s WORD, HIS COMMANDS, and GO to fulfill JESUS' GREAT COMMISSION—TRUSTING in the LORD with all their heart, leaning not on their own understanding, acknowledging Him in all their ways, and letting Him direct their path. Instead of wandering around aimlessly without directions or guidance, following someone else, or taking detours and getting lost, DOERS are the FEARLESS DRIVERS who let JESUS, the SON of GOD, be their LIFETIME GPS (GOD Positioning System), mapping out their daily route, and they listen to the still, small voice of HOLY SPIRIT as He guides them to their destination, giving them instructions on a need-to-know basis, until they overcome all their obstacles and challenges and finally get HOME—in the Eternal Presence of GOD.</p><p>In contrast, HEARERS are the INACTIVE PASSENGERS who may have read some of the MANUFACTURER’s HANDBOOK—the HOLY BIBLE—but who often SIT and OBSERVE, without really participating or acting on GOD’s WORD, HIS COMMANDS. These are the shot-gun riders, the believers who often tag along for fun or company, and usually are at the mercy of the driver in terms of the destination, because they have little or no choice, control, or power to make any real impact in the current situation. Generally, all they can do is SIT STILL, LOOK OUT THE WINDOW, COMMENT ON THE SCENERY, the WEATHER, the ROAD CONDITIONS,&nbsp;the DRIVER's PERFORMANCE, or BE QUIET, letting someone else determine their destination or fate, and even if they do make suggestions or give directions, the final decision on what to do or where to go rests with the driver who sits in the seat of authority, because the passenger doesn’t have control of the steering wheel or the ability to redirect the driver without his or her consent.</p><p>In relation to the BIBLE though, HEARERS ONLY are those who never really APPLY GOD’s WORD to their own lives and situations; they don’t RECEIVE or APPROPRIATE GOD’s PROMISES or BELIEVE GOD’s WORD is RELEVANT today with respect to the challenges they are facing, and they often don’t see how GOD’s PRINCIPLES back in biblical times can benefit them on their job, in their communities, in their schools, or in their families, and this mindset speaks to UNBELIEF and DOUBT, not FAITH and CONFIDENCE, especially in GOD, who is UNCHANGING—the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. </p><p>But GOD never wavers; He never compromises: He wants us to be DOERS of the WORD, not just HEARERS of the WORD, and He wants us to be DRIVERS in the GREAT COMMISSION, sharing the GOSPEL of HIS KINGDOM, not merely PASSENGERS, sitting silent and still, buckled and bound, completely powerless, useless in ministry, soul-winning, and outreach.</p><p>And here’s the truth, even in GOD’s WORD: Some read history; some write history; some make history. The readers READ history; the writers WRITE history; the hearers HEAR history; and the doers MAKE history, like JESUS, living and revealing HIS STORY: GOD’s.</p><p>These are the real questions though: What’s OUR story? Are we Hearers or Doers? Drivers or Passengers? Movers, shakers, history makers? Or readers, waiters, church pew savers?</p> Sun, 09 Dec 2018 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-heart-of-thanksgiving-in-the-heart-of-grace The Heart of Thanksgiving: In the Heart of Grace http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-heart-of-thanksgiving-in-the-heart-of-grace <p><strong>Deuteronomy 6:5: </strong>You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.</p><p><strong>Romans 14:7-8: </strong>For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.</p><p><strong>Matthew 22:37-40: </strong>Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”</p><p><strong>Colossians 3:16-17: </strong>Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.</p><p>THE GREATEST GIFT of THANKSGIVING is the greatest HOPE, the greatest LOVE, the greatest GOOD, the greatest LIGHT, the greatest WAY, the greatest TRUTH, and the greatest GIFT of LIFE, bearing this FRUIT of the SPIRIT—love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control—and this is the GIFT of GOD: JESUS CHRIST.</p><p>In the HEART of GRACE <em>is</em> the HEART of THANKSGIVING, for we know as believers SOULED-OUT, we are BORN of GOD—<em>His</em> Spirit—through FAITH in His Son, JESUS CHRIST, who surrendered Himself and PAID IN FULL the BRIDE PRICE for every one of us—the DEBT of SIN, REBELLION, and LAWLESSNESS we owed to GOD, the ETERNAL FATHER and SOVEREIGN KING—which was HIS LIFE, HIS BLOOD freely given on CALVARY’s CROSS for our REDEMPTION, SALVATION, HEALING, FORGIVENESS, DELIVERANCE, RECONCILIATION, and FREEDOM, and we all know without GOD, we can do nothing, but with GOD, <em>all</em> things are possible.</p><p>We live because of HIM: JESUS, GOD.</p><p>We're saved because of HIM: JESUS, GOD.</p><p>What GOD the FATHER really commands is that we LIVE and WALK as His Son JESUS DID: in SURRENDER and SUBMISSION, in FAITH and OBEDIENCE—LOVING HIM (GOD) and LOVING OTHERS.</p><p>Only GOD the BUILDER, CREATOR, and MANUFACTURER knows our real frame and form—what we’re made of; only He knows our loads and limits—how much we can bear; only He knows our purpose, our potential, and which path is best for us; and only He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us, plans to give us a hope and a future. </p><p>But we know this much: GOD made us FOR LOVING and FOR GIVING; GOD blesses us to BLESS HIM and BLESS OTHERS; and GOD made us FOR WORSHIPPING <em>Him</em> and GIVING THANKS for every BLESSING we receive.</p><p>Our bodies are the houses that GOD lives and works in, and our lives are SOULED-OUT because our HEART, SOUL, MIND, and STRENGTH are FULLY COMMITTED—ALL-IN—FOR JESUS, GOD, HOLY SPIRIT, and this is the HEART of THANKSGIVING, the HEART of GRACE—John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8-10—that GOD so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in <em>Him</em> should not perish but have everlasting life; that we are saved BY GRACE through FAITH, not of ourselves and this is the GIFT of GOD, and we are HIS WORKMANSHIP, created in CHRIST JESUS for good works, which GOD prepared beforehand that we should walk in them; that JESUS DIED, was RESURRECTED that we might LIVE <em>through</em> and be LIFTED higher <em>in</em> Him.</p><p>GOD loves us, with an everlasting love, and He wants us to love <em>Him</em>, not second, third, or last but <em>first</em>, and He wants us to make a real heart-commitment to <em>Him</em>, and this is the real test of any believer's faith—the <em>Cs of Life</em> that reveal the treasures of our heart and determine our legacy in this world and the one to come: our <em>character</em>, our <em>convictions</em>, our <em>courage</em>, our <em>compassion</em>, our <em>choices</em>, and our <em>commitment</em> to the King, GOD, and the King of kings, JESUS.</p><p>For whom are we living? To whom do we give thanks? Without whom can we live? If JESUS, GOD, isn't the answer, is He really our First Love?</p><p>As believers, our Banner is JESUS, GOD, and we're better, stronger with GOD than without Him. As Americans, our banner in red, white, and blue has stars and stripes, but in the BODY of CHRIST, where JESUS is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, JESUS is the STAR who bore all our STRIPES, and we're BETTER, STRONGER when we're many members in ONE BODY, INDIVISIBLE under HIM, GOD, in HIM, JESUS 24/7.</p><p>And this is what we've got to remember, especially in times like these: Thanksgiving isn't just about us and our families; it's about HIM, <em>GOD</em>, and His Family, which is DIVERSE but UNITED, not DIVERSE and DIVIDED, and each day brings a new opportunity—to give and forgive, to love and obey, to live longer or die sooner—so every moment in life matters, especially this moment—<em>today</em>—the only time that’s guaranteed. </p><p>So, let us worship GOD in spirit and truth; let us celebrate every day with thanksgiving, love, and praise; and let us live our lives LOUD for GOD, JESUS, committing all our heart, soul, mind and strength—going all-in for the LIVING GOD, His Son JESUS, who gave everything, including His Blood, His Life, for us, because in the end, this is the greatest gift for thanksgiving, not that we live but that <em>He</em>—JESUS CHRIST, <em>GOD</em>—lives in us—and we can take Him—<em>share </em>Him—wherever we go.</p> Fri, 16 Nov 2018 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/wells-without-water-the-well-of-god Wells Without Water & the Well of GOD http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/wells-without-water-the-well-of-god <p><strong>John 4:7-14: </strong>A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.</p><p>Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”</p><p>Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”</p><p>OFTEN, when adversities come and we’re in the wilderness—dark desert places of our lives—weary and worn, life dries us up, makes us thirsty, and we draw from wells without water, when all we need is REFRESHMENT, LIVING WATER from the everlasting WELL of GOD: JESUS CHRIST.</p><p>Instead of putting our FAITH and TRUST in GOD, relying on HIM or HIS SON, JESUS, as our PROVIDER, our STRENGTH, our ROCK, our SOURCE, and our LIVING WATER, we usually try to draw everything we need from man-made wells that often leave us unsatisfied, still thirsty and dried up, and in our quest to have our needs met and our thirst quenched, we’ll often wander in our dark places, losing hope in the PRESENCE and PROMISES of GOD, losing sight of the LIGHT and LOVE of GOD, and we’ll drink from every fountain we can find except the FOUNTAIN of RIGHTEOUSNESS found in JESUS CHRIST.</p><p>We’ll often drink from the fountains of our families, our friends, our jobs, our communities, our spouses, our schools, our denominations, and our political parties, hoping they’ll fill and sustain us, strengthen and empower us. But what happens when these wells run dry or worse, they become empty idols we depend on, put our faith in, and worship more than we do the REAL SOURCE of LIFE, REFRESHMENT, POWER, PEACE: The LIVING GOD?</p><p>GOD wants us to put our trust in HIM, leaning on Him more than leaning on others. He wants us to know that without Him, we can do nothing, and LIFE ETERNAL is found in Him through His SON, JESUS CHRIST.</p><p>This means our BEST HOPE, our SALVATION, and our PROVISION are not found in wells without water or wells that run dry but in GOD, the FATHER, the SON, and HOLY SPIRIT, and maybe this should be our prayer when we’re in the wilderness—the dark desert places of our lives, weary and worn:</p><p><em>Father God, thank You for protection, provision, healing, deliverance, and strength. When we're thirsty and dried up, Lord, fill us with Your living water; fill us with Your Presence, Your Spirit, and help us rejoice in You, even in our wilderness—our dark desert places. Shine Your Light and Love in every dark, challenging, dried-up place, so that all things work together for good, and refresh our hearts in You, Lord. Thank You for being our Hope, our Salvation, our Comforter, our Well of Life, and our Living Water. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.</em></p> Fri, 26 Oct 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/rejected-or-exalted-set-aside-or-set-apart Rejected or Exalted: Set Aside or Set Apart? http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/rejected-or-exalted-set-aside-or-set-apart <p><strong>John 15:12-19: </strong>This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love no one has than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.</p><p>You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.</p><p>“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.</p><p><strong>2 Timothy 2:19-21: </strong>Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and “Let everyone who names the name of the Christ depart from iniquity.”</p><p>But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.</p><p><strong>2 Corinthians 4:7-10: </strong>But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.</p><p><strong>Ephesians 2:10: </strong>For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.</p><p>REJECTION hurts, and it usually lingers for a lifetime, bringing our painful past into the not-so-perfect present, spreading like a wildfire, like cancer until it burns or infects the future. But GOD loves us, enough to FIND us, SAVE us, HEAL us, DELIVER us, REDEEM us, FORGIVE us, CALL us, DRAW us, and TRANSFORM us, SETTING US ASIDE, so we’ll be SET APART for His PURPOSE, His PLAN, His HONOR, and His GLORY.</p><p>Rejection is often cruel too—faceless, heartless, and soulless—overlooking us and telling us—we’ve been weighed, judged, and cast aside—because we’re not good enough; we’re illegitimate, unskilled, unqualified, crazy, mad; we’re lacking something; we’re all wrong; we’re unacceptable, unlovable, worthless, useless; we’re damaged goods—totally beyond redemption, forgiveness, favor, or repair. But this is not the case with GOD, our CREATOR, our FATHER, our BUILDER, our MANUFACTURER—The KING; this is not the case with His Son JESUS CHRIST, our ARCHITECT, our CRAFTSMAN, our STONEMASON, our &nbsp;SAVIOR, our REDEEMER, our &nbsp;LORD, our BRIDEGROOM—The KING of KINGS, The AUTHOR and FINISHER of our FAITH; or with HOLY SPIRIT, our DESIGNER, our GUARANTOR, our DISTRIBUTOR, our SEAL—The INDWELLER, The TEACHER, The INTERCESSOR, The COMFORTER.</p><p>GOD knows us, better than anyone else, because He searches our hearts daily, and He encourages and exalts us, telling us we’ve been SET ASIDE in <em>this</em> world because we’ve been SET APART for GREATER THINGS in the KINGDOM of GOD. So, if the world rejects us, we should count it all joy because we are not of this world; we’ve been CALLED, CHOSEN, CONSECRATED, and SANCTIFIED for GOD’s PURPOSE, GOD’s PLAN, GOD’s KINGDOM, GOD’s GLORY, and GOD’s HONOR. So, instead of being CONFORMED to the world, we are TRANSFORMED by GOD.</p><p>Even JESUS, the SON of GOD, was rejected in His earthly ministry when He lived, walked, preached and taught among men and women: His own family rejected Him, especially His brothers, who thought He was mad—a lunatic—and sought to take Him home, thus ending His ministry, because they didn’t believe in Him or perceive the truth, that JESUS, their earthly brother, WAS the SON of GOD, and they didn't believe in JESUS' mission, vision, miracles, or assignment. Only after JESUS’ crucifixion and resurrection is it recorded in the Bible that JESUS’ brothers finally believed JESUS was who He said He was. At this point, His family, including His brothers, are part of His ministry.</p><p>Then there were those outside of blood family who should have known JESUS better than any other—His friends and disciples: They knew JESUS on a daily basis but didn’t really <em>KNOW</em> JESUS intimately, despite being with Him for three years because they all scattered and deserted JESUS, leaving Him to face His greatest challenge, assignment, and adversary alone, so they could save themselves when He was arrested and sentenced to death; Judas had betrayed JESUS for money; Peter had denied Him three times out of fear. Only John, the one JESUS loved, followed from a distance but only as an eyewitness and later surrogate son for Mary the mother of JESUS.</p><p>Even on the Cross at one point, JESUS felt like GOD the FATHER had forsaken Him. But JESUS was never truly alone, for GOD loved Him, even in silence, even in His pain, His suffering, and GOD was always with Him, even in the wilderness when JESUS was hungry and thirsty; through all His earthly rejections, with His people—the Jews, His family—His brothers and sisters, His disciples—the Twelve, His friends—the inner circle—Peter, James, and John; throughout every false claim and injustice; throughout every strike of fist or whip, throughout every wielded word of mockery, throughout the piercings of every thorn in His crown and every nail driven into His hands and feet, because GOD had SET HIM ASIDE to SET HIM APART for GREATER THINGS.</p><p>And this is the case with each of us—believers in GOD, in JESUS CHRIST: We are not alone; GOD is with us, and when everyone else rejects us, including family and friends, we can trust that GOD loves us with an everlasting love, and He hasn’t rejected us, but He has likely set us aside, so we can be set apart for His use, His glory and His honor. We are not alone; we have Family in GOD, brothers and sisters IN CHRIST; we are not alone; we have a Friend in JESUS, a Companion in HOLY SPIRIT; we are not alone; we have GOD's WORD, GOD's LOVE, and GOD's SPIRIT; we have everything we need, from now until eternity--a Father in GOD, a Bridegroom in JESUS; a Mentor, Teacher, Comforter, and Intercessor in HOLY SPIRIT.</p><p>And this is really what we’ve got to remember when the world rejects us and hates us, just because we live for JESUS, for GOD: GOD is the BUILDER, the ARCHITECT, the DESIGNER, and the SEAL, and GOD made us <strong>FOR&nbsp;LOVING HIM</strong> and <strong>LOVING OTHERS</strong>, and GOD made us <strong>FOR GIVING</strong>. If we’re truly SOULED-OUT and living faithfully and sincerely for GOD, for JESUS, then when others in the world reject us, setting us aside, GOD will always exalt us, setting us apart…for GREATER THINGS.</p> Sat, 06 Oct 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/give-us-this-mountain-a-prayer-for-strength-courage-and-endurance Give Us This Mountain: A Prayer for Strength, Courage, and Endurance http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/give-us-this-mountain-a-prayer-for-strength-courage-and-endurance <p><strong>Psalm 121:1-2: </strong>I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? My help <em>comes</em> from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.</p><p>Father GOD, You are the Rock of our salvation, our Refuge and our Strength, a very present help in time of trouble; You are the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, our Redeemer, our Shield, our Protector, our Provider, our Peace, and our best Hope.</p><p>Your Word is ever with us, in our hearts and in our mouths, and we lift up our eyes to the hills and <em>know</em> our help comes from You, LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth, who commands us to be strong and of good courage, to not be afraid, for You are with us, wherever we go, and You will never leave us nor forsake us.</p><p>Your Word is proven, faithful and true, that no weapon formed against us shall prosper, that every tongue that rises against us in judgment shall be condemned, that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world, that we can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens us, that You will deliver us from all evil and preserve us for Your heavenly kingdom, that all things work together for good to those who love You and are called according to Your purpose, and that we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of You, GOD, and not of us, for we are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the LORD JESUS, that the life of JESUS also may be manifested in our body.</p><p>LORD GOD, strengthen us—equip us, encourage us, and empower us—through Your Holy Word and Your only begotten Son JESUS, by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT, so we always prevail in righteousness, overcoming, enduring, and persevering as more than conquerors through You, who love us.</p><p>Pull down every stronghold in our lives and cast out all fear, for You have not given us the spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind.</p><p>Heal us, LORD, and we’re healed; save us, LORD, and we’re saved, for You are our praise.</p><p>LORD GOD, give us this mountain and the knowledge, wisdom, understanding, patience, and strength to climb it, overcome it, and conquer it in the name of JESUS CHRIST, for the glory and honor of You, GOD.</p><p> Uphold us in Your righteous right hand, deliver us from every evil work, and lift us above our mistakes, our circumstances, and every adversary who comes to steal, kill, and destroy, for we are Your children, LORD, called by Your name, and You know the plans You have for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us, plans to give us hope and a future.</p><p>LORD GOD, be our Strength, our Shield, our Protector, and our Provider, and lead us in the way You want us to go. Let Your will be done in heaven and on earth, even in our lives, and let us walk faithfully in Your direction, holding fast to You, obeying Your commands, serving You and worshipping You in spirit and truth, and loving you sincerely with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, from now until eternity.</p><p>LORD, we thank You for being faithful and true; we thank You for being Good, Just, and Love; we thank You for encamping Your angels around us, to keep us in all our ways; and we thank You for loving us so much You gave Your only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.</p><p>We thank You for every mountain, circumstance, fear, and adversary You help us climb, conquer, and overcome in the power of Your HOLY SPIRIT, Your awesome might.</p><p>We thank You for every word of comfort, encouragement, correction, and instruction.</p><p>We thank You for grace, mercy, forgiveness, reconciliation, and salvation through <em>Him</em>—JESUS—Your Son.</p><p>We thank You for leaving the ninety-nine sheep in Your pasture, just to find the wandering, lost one in the wilderness, someone like me.</p><p>We thank You for being who You are—Matchless, Awesome, Incomparable, Great—the LORD of LORDS, the KING of KINGS, the LIVING GOD—SOVEREIGN, HOLY, RIGHTEOUS, UNCHANGING—the same yesterday, today, and forever.</p><p>May You be loved and blessed, LORD, and may we be blessed in loving and serving You.</p><p>In JESUS’ name. </p><p>Amen. </p> Mon, 30 Jul 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/houses-souled-out-framed-built-purchased-by-god Houses Souled-Out: Framed, Built & Purchased by GOD http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/houses-souled-out-framed-built-purchased-by-god <p><strong>Psalm 103:13-14: </strong>As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.</p><p><strong>Psalm 139:13-15: </strong>For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.</p><p><strong>Hebrews 3:4: </strong>For every house is built by someone but He who built all things is God.</p><p><strong>Ephesians 1:12-14: </strong>In Him you also trusted after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession to the praise of His glory.</p><p><strong>1 Corinthians 10:13: </strong>No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.</p><p>INDEED, GOD is the BUILDER, MANUFACTURER, of all things, and we are the Houses FRAMED and BUILT by GOD, the ARCHITECT; resting and standing on the Foundation of Faith, JESUS CHRIST, the Rock, the CHIEF CORNERSTONE; equipped, furnished, and sealed by the HOLY SPIRIT, the CONTRACTOR, DESIGNER, and GUARANTOR.</p><p>And this is the SOLID GROUND we stand on, the LIVING STONE, not SINKING SAND—JESUS CHRIST, the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE—the AUTHOR and FINISHER of OUR FAITH—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.</p><p>GOD is WITH US, and GOD is FOR US: </p><p>GOD the FATHER is the HOME OWNER, the LANDLORD.</p><p>JESUS is the <em>FULL</em> PAYMENT—the PURCHASE PRICE—our REDEEMER.</p><p>HOLY SPIRIT is the HOUSE DEPOSIT—the DOWNPAYMENT—the GUARANTOR until the REDEMPTION of the PURCHASED POSSESSION—and we, SOULED-OUT believers, are the HOUSES GOD LIVES IN, WORKS IN, and USES every day for His GLORY, HONOR, and PURPOSE.</p><p>From Genesis to Revelation, this is GOD’s WORD, the TRUTH: GOD is GOOD, GOD is JUST, GOD is LOVE: For He loves us, cares for us, provides for us, and protects us through every season of our lives, the good and the bad, the trials and triumphs, through storms and floods, fires and flames, and He keeps us and sustains us, watches us and repairs us; defends us and equips us—changing us, rebuilding us, transforming us into the perfect image of Him, His Son, JESUS; and He never leaves us or forsakes us, because He formed us, framed us; He created us—called, consecrated, and commissioned us to BOLDLY GO. . . ENLARGE HIS TERRITORY. . . BRING the KINGDOM of GOD, Heaven to Earth.</p><p>After we’re DRAWN to Him, the CREATOR, SOURCE, FATHER, LIVING GOD, DEDICATED and CLEANSED of all unrighteousness through the LIVING WATER and ATONING BLOOD of the SON of GOD, JESUS CHRIST, our LORD, SAVIOR, and REDEEMER, we are ENCOURAGED, EQUIPPED, EMPOWERED, and ENLISTED by the HOLY SPIRIT, the ADMINISTRATOR—OVERSEER—DISTRIBUTOR, so we’re in the right place at the right time in the right spirit with the right gifts, talents, knowledge, wisdom, and understanding to do all GOD created, called, and commissioned us to do—the hard, uncommon things; the great, extraordinary things; the good, honorable things—for HIS PURPOSE, HIS GLORY—GOD’s.</p><p>In Him we trust, and like 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 says, “we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of GOD and not of us,” and we may be hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the LORD JESUS, that the life of JESUS also may be manifested in our body.</p><p>And since GOD is our CREATOR, our BUILDER, our MANUFACTURER, He knows OUR LOADS and LIMITS, just how much we can be tempted, just how much weight we can bear, just how much pain we can endure, and He COVERS US, CARRIES US, HEALS US, LIFTS US, ENCOURAGES US, and UPHOLDS US with His Righteous Right Hand. He FORTIFIES US, STRENGHTENS US, BUILDS US UP, SAVES US, DELIVERS US, and GIVES US the means to CARRY the weight, BEAR the cross, ENDURE the pain, persecution, and PERSEVERE through ALL as MORE than CONQUERORS through Him who loved us, until WE OVERCOME every challenge, adversary, trap, temptation, FINDING FREEDOM—LIBERTY—the WAY of ESCAPE—BY GRACE through FAITH in HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST, by the POWER of THE HOLY SPIRIT, our COMFORTER, HELPER—and He does this, because He loves us; He’s invested in us; and He knows what’s best for us, for He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us, not harm us, plans to give us hope and a future.</p><p>GOD is the FATHER, the BUILDER, the LORD of ALL; </p><p>JESUS, the CORNERSTONE—the KING of KINGS, the LORD of LORDS, the HOPE of our SALVATION;</p><p>HOLY SPIRIT, the SEAL, the INDWELLER—our HELPER, STRENGTH and SHIELD.</p><p>One GOD in three Persons, the HOLY TRINITY: Our Creator, our Cornerstone, our Comforter.</p><p>So, indeed, as Psalm 121 proclaims, all our help comes from the LORD, the MAKER of HEAVEN and EARTH: He is our STRENGTH and SHIELD, our PROTECTOR and PROVIDER, our LIGHT and SALVATION—the KEEPER of our SOULS, HOUSES, and He shall preserve us from evil; He shall preserve our souls; and He shall preserve our going out and our coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.</p> Sat, 07 Jul 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/love-hate-gods-list Love & Hate: GOD's List http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/love-hate-gods-list <p><b>Proverbs 6:16-19:&nbsp; </b>There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:&nbsp; haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.</p><p> </p><p>GOD is LOVE, yet He is also GOOD, JUST, RIGHTEOUS, and HOLY (PERFECT).&nbsp; </p><p> He shows no favoritism, and He doesn’t promote, condone, or tolerate sin—lawlessness, rebellion—even among His own.&nbsp; </p><p> GOD hates sin, which in 1 John 3:4 is defined as lawlessness, but GOD loves us, every sinner, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of GOD, and He tells us plainly through HIS WORD what He hates—what He detests—what is of the world and not of Him (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life)—and He gives us ample time to make our choice:&nbsp; live according to the standard of the world or according to HIS STANDARD of LOVE, GRACE, MERCY, FAITHFULNESS, PEACE, GOODNESS, GENTLENESS, KINDNESS, SELF-CONTROL, PATIENCE, FORGIVENESS, JOY, JUSTICE, SUBMISSION, OBEDIENCE, and RIGHTEOUSNESS.&nbsp; </p><p>He expects us to bear the FRUIT of HIS SPIRIT and to SHOW the FACE, CHARACTER, and LOVE of His Son, JESUS CHRIST, our Lord, Savior, Redeemer, and Advocate. He expects us to SURRENDER our will for His and to be led, taught, and empowered of and by HIS HOLY SPIRIT. &nbsp;</p><p>Even in the WORD, JESUS says that we’re either FOR HIM or AGAINST HIM; we either GATHER with Him or SCATTER away from Him.&nbsp; </p><p>So, if we’re really LIVING for GOD and SERVING Him; if we're really representing JESUS CHRIST, we’re LOVING GOD first and then others, and we’re SINCERE, OBEDIENT, and HUMBLE, bearing GOOD FRUIT for GOD’s GLORY and HONOR, for HIS KINGDOM.&nbsp; </p><p>We then encourage, edify, instruct, and BUILD UP others according to our faith, their needs, and if we’re not sincere in our faith and we’re led of the flesh and the world instead of GOD’s WORD and the HOLY SPIRIT, then we scatter, confuse, disrupt, distract, divide and destroy, doing all these things that GOD hates, even detests.&nbsp; </p><p>What we must remember is this:&nbsp; GOD is GOOD, GOD is JUST, GOD is LOVE, but GOD is equally HOLY, and these are what He hates:&nbsp; haughty eyes (arrogance, pride); a lying tongue (lies, slander, deception); hands that shed innocent blood (murder, homicide); a heart that devises wicked schemes (wickedness, evil); feet that are quick to rush into evil (malice, ill will); a false witness who pours out lies (a liar, deceiver) and a person who stirs up conflict in the community (an agitator, instigator).&nbsp;</p><p>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. He loved us enough to give us the gift of grace, life, redemption, salvation through His Son JESUS CHRIST, so, the final questions for us then are these:&nbsp; Since GOD has shown us He loves us and tells us what He hates, even detests, why would we want to do anything on His <em>hate </em>list? If the banner we wave is lawlessness, sin, are we serving GOD or the adversary?</p> Fri, 29 Jun 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/living-the-bible-not-just-reading-it Living the Bible, Not Just Reading It http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/living-the-bible-not-just-reading-it <p><strong>1 Timothy 4:11</strong>: Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.</p><p>WHETHER we're young or old, GOD commands that we be not conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of our minds.</p><p>We're supposed to be foreigners, living in the world but not of the world. We're supposed to be salt and light, representatives of GOD, ambassadors for CHRIST--sanctified, consecrated, "set apart"--walking in faith and love, acting in obedience, with reverence and respect. </p><p>We're supposed to forgive others, refrain from judging, love GOD first, and love others as we love ourselves. We're supposed to worship, give thanks, bless others, study the Bible, GOD's WORD, seek GOD, submit to Him, and pray without ceasing. </p><p>We're supposed to encourage, comfort, and edify, building others up in love and faith, not tearing them down in fear and hate.</p><p>We're supposed to speak life, not death; show love, not hate; use every word for GOD's glory, honor, with power and purpose, not with idleness, for gossip, slander, or as weapons of war against each other. </p><p>We're supposed to live life LOUD like Jesus, as the Body of CHRIST, serving where there's a need and showing lost souls the Way, the Truth, the Life, which is JESUS CHRIST, the Son of GOD. </p><p>And here's the truth of our times, this generation: We're living as in the days of Noah, except no Great Flood is coming--only the Son of GOD, the King of kings, JESUS CHRIST. He's coming back, and if we don't get our houses in order, our churches back under the authority of GOD, JESUS; our lives in alignment with GOD's WORD, GOD's will, GOD's plans; if we don't fully commit, go all-in, surrendering all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; if we don't walk in faith, in submission and obedience to GOD but continue letting the distractions, fads, pride, unforgiveness, temptations, idols, and pleasures of the world lead us astray, we won't be ready when JESUS returns. </p><p>GOD doesn't need more hearers of His WORD. But He can use more doers of His WORD.</p><p>He doesn't need more people reading the Bible but more people obeying, living the Bible, worshipping Him in spirit and truth.</p><p>In John 14:15, JESUS says, love for Him, GOD, is obedience, keeping His commands, because those who really love Him want to do His will; they want to please Him more than any other. It's all a matter of heart, commitment, devotion, surrender, faith. Therefore, we should make a commitment to be both hearers and doers of the WORD, living lives that are pleasing to GOD, representative of JESUS, GOD with us, because we may be the only living Bible some people ever read.</p><p><br></p> Thu, 28 Jun 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/content-or-contained Content or Contained? http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/content-or-contained <p><b>John 10:10:</b> The thief does not come except to <b>steal</b>, and to <b>kill</b>, and to <b>destroy</b>. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have <i>it</i> more abundantly.</p><p>GOD calls us to be uncommon, extraordinary, courageous, and strong, because He calls us to obedience, justice, love, faith, forgiveness, mercy, hope, service, adoption, righteousness, and He commands us to GO. . . beyond ourselves, our flaws, our insecurities, our fears, our friends, our families, our comfort zones, our church pews, our front porches, our city limits, our national borders, and find our identity, our purpose, our strength, our courage, our power and authority in Him, and then we’re able to do those greater but harder and seemingly impossible things, not for our glory but for His, not to please others but to please Him—GOD. </p><p>He doesn’t need us carrying on all our baggage but offering Him an empty storage, so He can fill us with His HOLY SPIRIT, and we can dwell in His Presence, in Light, Goodness, Peace, Love.</p><p>And He doesn’t need our abilities, just our availability—our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength—our surrendered will, our faithfulness, our full commitment, our immediate obedience and everything we are, everything we have ALL-IN, which speaks of love to Him, makes Him the LORD of ALL and says without fear, doubt, hesitation, shame, “Not my will, LORD. But let Your will be done.” </p><p>When we’re SOULED-OUT, GOD commissions us; He commands us; He purifies and transforms us through HOLY SPIRIT, equipping and empowering us to GO like His Son JESUS CHRIST and destroy the works of the adversary, do the work of an evangelist, sharing the Gospel, enlarging the Kingdom of GOD, and letting everyone know that GOD so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, that we are saved by grace through faith in Him, JESUS, and He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him, JESUS.</p><p>Our strength, our courage, our salvation, our best hope is in Him, JESUS: GOD with us. Without Him, we can do nothing. But with Him, we can do all things, including bring the LIGHT of SALVATION and the TRUTH of GOD, JESUS CHRIST, to a world bound in darkness, corruption, deception, and sin. And this makes us a threat to the kingdom of darkness, to the adversary, who comes like a thief to steal, kill, and destroy, for where there is no Light, there is only darkness, and where there is no Goodness, evil will prevail.</p><p>From Genesis to Revelation, anyone GOD called, anyone GOD chose for service, for sonship, for adoption, for use was targeted, challenged, often persecuted, abused, and/or killed. The cost of following JESUS, obeying GOD was everything, including one’s life, and even King David in 2 Samuel 24:24, says he would not offer to the LORD His GOD that which costs him nothing.</p><p> </p><p>And today, in matters of faith and spiritual warfare, the adversary uses the same plans, weapons, tactics against us. If he can't DISTRACT, DEFILE, or DESTROY us, he CONTAINS us until we get CONTENT, COMPROMISE, and CONFORM, becoming irrelevant or useless in service to the Kingdom of GOD. But we are not alone; GOD is with us, and we have a SWORD of the SPIRIT in the WORD of GOD and a good Advocate in Him: JESUS.</p><p> </p><p>And this is our victory: FAITH in HIM, GOD.</p><p> </p><p>Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen; faith comes by hearing and hearing by the WORD of GOD, and our faith is not in race, gender, institutions or traditions; our faith is in one Person, one AUTHOR and FINISHER, JESUS CHRIST.</p><p> </p><p>And faith is when we get out of the corner we’ve been boxed, knocked in, stand up and fight for what we believe in, because we have confidence that GOD is with us, JESUS lives in us, and we’re never fighting our adversaries, battles, or giants alone.</p><p> </p><p>So here are the real questions: Has the adversary cornered us? Stopped us? Detained us? Boxed us in? Are we content? Doing nothing? Have we been contained? Made useless, irrelevant? Or are we free and active? Equipped and empowered, doing what GOD called, created us to do?</p> Mon, 25 Jun 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/benched-in-battle Benched in Battle http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/benched-in-battle <p><strong>Psalm 46:10: </strong>Be still, and know that I <em>am</em> God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!</p><p>OFTEN, in the field of faith, in the game of life, we need to surrender control and bench ourselves, believing in JESUS, trusting in GOD, for He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us, not harm us, plans to give us hope and a future.</p><p>Usually, when we’re in the storm, the flood, the darkness, the trial, the battle, the fire, we can’t always see the light of victory, the road of salvation, the ray of hope, the dawn of a better day. </p><p>Often, we work; we labor; we toil; we struggle; we stumble; we fall; and we fail, trying to fix every problem, fight every adversary, make sense of every senseless act, and do everything in our own strength, in our own power, in our own knowledge, in our own way. But even JESUS, the SON of GOD, says, without Him, GOD, we can do nothing.</p><p>And this is our hope, our faith, and our salvation, that the LORD will fight for us, and we only need be still and move at His command, 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. So, for us, salvation is free, and we’re not alone or defenseless; we have an Advocate, because JESUS CHRIST, our LORD, our SAVIOR, fought our fight, paid our price, redeemed us and reconciled us to FATHER GOD. But the grace of GOD commands our faith in JESUS and love for GOD commands obedience and everything we have, so we’re ALL-IN and SOULED-OUT, giving GOD all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.</p><p>So, maybe GOD wants us to stop plotting and planning, hustling and striving, rushing into battle, danger, conflict, relationships, situations, storms, and trials, without His counsel, guidance, wisdom, instructions, approval, or advice. </p><p>Maybe He wants us to be quiet, bench ourselves, and let Him coach us to victory. </p><p>Maybe He wants us to release our grip on the wheel of life and let Him drive us to our destination—eternity in His Presence. </p><p>Maybe He wants us to STOP, BE STILL, and KNOW that He is GOD, the KING of kings and LORD of all, and with Him, nothing is too hard and all things are possible.</p><p>So, maybe we need to take a breath, find a quiet place, kneel, pray, and wait for GOD’s VOICE, GOD’s WORD, surrendering our will, our dreams, and our plans for GOD’s. </p><p>He commands us to be strong and of good courage, to not be afraid, to not be discouraged, for He, the LORD our GOD, will be with us wherever we go. So, maybe this is WISDOM, STRENGTH and COURAGE in the KINGDOM of GOD: Knowing when to RISE and STAND UP and when to KNEEL and SIT DOWN. </p> Mon, 04 Jun 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/couriers-for-christ Couriers for Christ http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/couriers-for-christ <p><strong>Isaiah 52:7: </strong>How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good <em>things,</em> who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”</p><p>WE ARE GOD’s messengers—COURIERS for CHRIST—entrusted with the Good News, the Gospel of the Kingdom, that of the LIVING GOD, that of JESUS CHRIST.</p><p>The Bible tells us, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the WORD of GOD, so how can others hear the Good News about the Kingdom, about GOD, about JESUS, without a preacher, a teacher, a courier, a messenger?</p><p>Ours are the feet of them who bring good news, who proclaim peace, and bring glad tidings of good things, who proclaim salvation, who say to all, including Zion, “Your GOD reigns!”</p><p>Ours are the voices of them who proclaim from the rooftops, from the mountains, in the valleys, in the storms, in the trials, in the flames, in the floods, in seasons good and bad, “GOD isn't dead! He is living! He is risen! GOD lives in us; GOD is with us, and JESUS, the KING of kings, is coming back in all His power, glory, and majesty, not in some distant future but in our generation, in our lifetime...soon.’ But we shouldn't get complacent or lazy. We've got work to do, dreams to reach, lives to change, souls to win, pages and chapters to fill in the books of our lives.</p><p>For GOD so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, and JESUS loved us so much He died for us and rose for us, just to save us, redeem us, heal us, deliver us, and reconcile us to His Father, the SOVEREIGN, ALMIGHTY, LIVING GOD.</p><p>On earth, JESUS was GOD’s emissary—His courier—transporting this message: ‘Repent, for Kingdom of heaven is near. Love GOD with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love others as you love yourself.’ He never compromised or deviated from GOD’s plan, His assignment; He never took detours, took liberties with GOD’s WORD, or went His own way, and His delivery never changed, regardless of His audience, the hearers of His WORD. JESUS did what He was called and destined to do—save us, redeem us, cleanse us, reconcile us, draw us back to GOD, and welcome us into the kingdom.</p><p>Now, JESUS, GOD, is with us, abiding in us, living in us, dwelling in us through the HOLY SPIRIT. So, we’re not alone, and we’re not worthless or useless. We’re called, chosen, changed, consecrated, created, equipped and empowered for greater things, and we’re sons and daughters, adopted into the First Royal Family—GOD’s.</p><p>So, GOD calls us to be uncommon, not ordinary but extraordinary.</p><p>GOD calls us to be courageous, not victims but victors.</p><p>GOD calls us to be engaged and active, not indifferent and passive.</p><p>GOD calls us from our comfort zones to carry crosses, climb mountains, weather storms, walk on water, build bridges, endure trials, conquer adversity, overcome fears, and persevere as more than conquerors in every situation and circumstance, believing and standing on this WORD, that no weapon formed against us shall prosper, that we can do all things through Him who strengthens us, that we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to GOD and not to us, that we may be hard-pressed on every side but we're not crushed, we may be perplexed but we're not in despair, we may be persecuted but we're not forsaken, we may be struck down but we're not destroyed, always carrying in the body the death of JESUS, so that the life of JESUS may also be manifested in our bodies.</p><p>He calls us to be emissaries, ambassadors, couriers, messengers, letters of recommendation, epistles of JESUS CHRIST—living Bibles, covered by His Blood, inked with the Spirit of the LIVING GOD.</p><p>We are GOD’s couriers—His messengers—transporting the Good News, the Gospel, to every nation around the world, and GOD entrusts us with this message: “GOD is GOOD. GOD is JUST. GOD is LOVE. GOD lives, and GOD is with us. The KINGDOM of GOD has come, and JESUS, the KING of kings and LORD of lords, is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, and no one comes to the Father except through Him, and verily I say to you, wherever the KING is, there is the KINGDOM, and the KING of kings is coming back in all of His glory, power, and majesty…soon.’</p> Wed, 30 May 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/royal-garments-armor-robes-and-crowns Royal Garments: Armor, Robes, and Crowns http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/royal-garments-armor-robes-and-crowns <p><b>Isaiah 61:1-3, 10:&nbsp; </b>“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”</p><p> </p><p>I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.</p><p> </p><p>GOD has us covered—heart, mind, and soul—in His everlasting love, in His Son JESUS, and in His HOLY SPIRIT.&nbsp; </p><p>After we REPENT and SURRENDER, confessing our sins, and ACCEPTING CHRIST JESUS as our LORD, SAVIOR, REDEEMER, DELIVERER, PROTECTOR, and PROVIDER, we are SAVED, FORGIVEN of our SINS, CLEANSED of ALL UNRIGTHEOUSNESS, RECONCILED to GOD the Father, and FILLED with the HOLY SPIRIT.&nbsp;</p><p>Then as we walk in faith, abiding in GOD’s WORD, praying without ceasing, and living in and unto JESUS, GOD offers us His ARMOR; He gives us CROWNS of GLORY, LIFE, and RIGHTEOUSNESS; and He promises us that He shall never leave or forsake us, that no weapon formed against us shall prosper, that all things will work together for good to those who love Him and are the called according to His purpose, and that nothing shall separate us from His love.&nbsp; </p><p>GOD assures us that He has not given us the spirit of fear but of POWER, LOVE, and a SOUND MIND and that we are OVERCOMERS and MORE THAN CONQUERORS through Him who loved us, and He urges us to be not afraid but be STRONG and COURAGEOUS, for He is with us wherever we go, even unto the ends of the earth.&nbsp; </p><p>Then, as we PERSEVERE in FAITH, confronting and overcoming all adversity in CHRIST JESUS—in HIS NAME—GOD SHIELDS us with HIS ARMOR:&nbsp; the HELMET of SALVATION, the BREASTPLATE of RIGHTEOUSNESS, the BELT of TRUTH, SHOES SHOD with the PREPARATION of the GOSPEL of PEACE, the SHIELD of FAITH, and the SWORD of the SPIRIT (GOD’s WORD), and GOD ADORNS us for VICTORY and CELEBRATION as the bejeweled, beloved, and divinely gifted BRIDE of CHRIST in GARMENTS of SALVATION, GARMENTS of PRAISE and ROBES of RIGHTEOUSNESS as we await our GOOD, FAITHFUL, LOVING and MAJESTIC BRIDEGROOM, JESUS, and His triumphant return.&nbsp;</p><p> In His love then, GOD is forever giving and ever with us, giving us GOOD GIFTS, UNMERITED BLESSINGS, and EXTRAORDINARY THINGS, and as we surrender all to Him and trust Him with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, He continually shields, protects, and covers us:&nbsp; in His love, with His Blood, in His WORD, and through His Spirit.&nbsp; </p><p>Therefore, we are not powerless, defenseless, or alone, nor should we walk in shame or fear, for we are not naked, defeated, helpless, in poverty, or in lack.</p><p>We are STRONG and COURAGEOUS, OVERCOMERS and MORE THAN CONQUERORS; we are PRAYER WARRIORS and ANOINTED SERVANTS.</p><p>We are SONS and DAUGHTERS of the KING of kings and LORD of lords, ADOPTED into GOD’s FAMILY.</p><p> We are PECULIAR PEOPLE and CITIZENS of HEAVEN; we’re a ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, TEMPLES of the HOLY SPIRIT; and we are the BODY; we are the BRIDE of CHRIST clothed and covered in ROYAL GARMENTS--GOD’s APPAREL--with everlasting crowns, garments, and robes—not for our glory but His—GOD’s.</p> Mon, 07 May 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/crowning-moments Crowning Moments http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/crowning-moments <!--StartFragment--><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; font-family: " open="" font-style:="" -webkit-text-stroke-width:=""><strong open="">James 1:12:&nbsp;&nbsp;</strong><span open="">Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he is approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.</span></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; font-family: " open="" font-style:="" -webkit-text-stroke-width:=""><strong>1 Peter 5:2-4:&nbsp;</strong>Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; font-family: " open="" font-style:="" -webkit-text-stroke-width:=""><strong>2 Timothy 4:8:&nbsp;&nbsp;</strong>Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; font-family: " open="" font-style:="" -webkit-text-stroke-width:="">GOD LOVES US with an everlasting love.&nbsp;</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; font-family: " open="" font-style:="" -webkit-text-stroke-width:="">He loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son JESUS for our salvation, redemption, forgiveness of sin, deliverance, righteousness and reconciliation to Him, GOD. &nbsp;</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; font-family: " open="" font-style:="" -webkit-text-stroke-width:="">Once we SURRENDER to GOD our whole hearts, souls, minds, and strength, TRUST Him as the LORD of ALL, and make CHRIST JESUS our FOUNDATION and the HEAD of our lives, families, plans, present and future, the HOLY SPIRIT leads us, and He directs our paths.&nbsp;</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; font-family: " open="" font-style:="" -webkit-text-stroke-width:="">In His love GOD then promises us that He shall never leave us or forsake us; that no weapon formed against us shall prosper; that GREATER is He that is in us than he that is in the world; that we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS and OVERCOMERS through Him who loves us, CHRIST JESUS; that we are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed; that all things work together for good for those who love Him and are the called according to His purpose; that NOTHING—neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 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; and that weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.&nbsp;</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; font-family: " open="" font-style:="" -webkit-text-stroke-width:="">GOD, the KING of kings and LORD of lords, in His love for us, blesses us with GOOD gifts:&nbsp; salvation, forgiveness, healing, deliverance, freedom, adoption, righteousness, reconciliation, and the FRUIT of HIS SPIRIT (love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, faithfulness, kindness, goodness, and self-control).&nbsp;</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; font-family: " open="" font-style:="" -webkit-text-stroke-width:="">And when we humble ourselves before GOD, He lifts us up; He exalts us, bestowing upon us grace and honor, and as we WALK as JESUS DID, PERSEVERING in FAITH and OVERCOMING adversity IN and THROUGH GOD, relying on GOD’s WORD and His SPIRIT, then GOD promises us eternal CROWNS of LIFE, GLORY, and RIGHTEOUSNESS.&nbsp;</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; font-family: " open="" font-style:="" -webkit-text-stroke-width:="">So, if GOD loves us enough to offer us everything, including dominion, authority, and power in the world He created, why would we even desire the unreliable promises or perishable crowns of men?</p><!--EndFragment--> Thu, 26 Apr 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-good-news-we-are-not-ashamed The Good News: We Are Not Ashamed! http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-good-news-we-are-not-ashamed <p><strong>Romans 1:16-17:</strong> For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."</p><p>GOD LOVES US, and He shows it every day, giving us new breath, new life, open doors, new opportunities, blessings and promises, gifts and talents, purpose and passion, protection and provision. </p><p>Above all these things though, GOD gave us His only begotten Son, JESUS CHRIST, through whom we truly LIVE and have SALVATION, REDEMPTION, FREEDOM, DELIVERANCE, FORGIVENESS of SIN, RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE, REBIRTH, LIFE, STRENGTH, and LIGHT. </p><p>For those of us who love GOD, who have accepted JESUS as LORD and SAVIOR and have SURRENDERED our whole lives, hearts, souls, minds, and might, and will to HIM; to those of us who are FILLED with and LED of the HOLY SPIRIT and KNOW of the GOODNESS, GRACE, MERCY, and LOVE of GOD and have put our FAITH, HOPE, and TRUST in HIM, the GOSPEL is indeed "GOOD NEWS," and we are not ashamed to TELL IT, SING IT, WRITE IT, SHARE IT, and SPREAD IT throughout this city, this country, these nations, this world.</p><p> We're not ashamed to post verses, scriptures, or devotions on social media, knowing that some won't "like" us or the message; we're not ashamed to be labeled "holy rollers" or "Jesus Freaks" because we know who we are in CHRIST and whose we are for eternity. </p><p>We're not ashamed to be DIFFERENT, PECULIAR, or UNIQUE or to ALIGN ourselves with GOD, JESUS, when it is more popular for people to align themselves with celebrities, politicians, and leaders, or identify themselves by race, gender, school, work, community or social affiliations. </p><p>For those of us who are SOULED OUT for GOD, our worship is for real, and it is nothing to be ashamed of--nothing to hide from our families, friends, co-workers, strangers, or acquaintances. </p><p>We all might not be preachers in a pulpit, but if we read GOD's WORD, we all have learned that all of GOD's ministers are not confined to standing in a pulpit, giving a sermon in a building made with human hands. </p><p>We are the CHURCH as well as the BODY and BRIDE of CHRIST, and JESUS' GREAT COMMISSION was for HIS DISCIPLES--HIS FOLLOWERS--to ABIDE in HIM and in HIS WORD and to GO outside the BOX (that pew, that building, that comfort zone) into the highways and byways, into nations, and FISH for the SOULS of men and women. </p><p>We then PLANT and SOW in FIELDS ripe for HARVEST for GOD's KINGDOM and GOD through the HOLY SPIRIT draws, then GIVES the INCREASE.</p><p> Our lives then, whether we live or die, are UNTO the LORD, and He lives in us, and we live in and through HIM. </p><p>For those of us who have chosen to SERVE GOD, LIVING for HIM then isn't a shame but an honor and privilege for which we thank HIM daily. </p><p>After all, we've finally realized like the Apostle Paul that to live is CHRIST and to die is GAIN.</p> Wed, 25 Apr 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/our-assignment-the-greatest-success-or-the-greatest-failure Our Assignment: The Greatest Success or the Greatest Failure? http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/our-assignment-the-greatest-success-or-the-greatest-failure <!--StartFragment--><p><strong>Ephesians 2:8-10: </strong>For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.</p><p><strong open="" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: ; font-weight: bold; line-height: inherit;"><!--StartFragment-->2 Corinthians 5:10:&nbsp;</strong><!--EndFragment-->For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.<strong style="font-size: 0.9rem;">&nbsp; &nbsp;</strong></p><p>GOD is GOOD, GOD is JUST, and GOD is LOVE.</p><p>GOD gives us strength and courage, and He equips and empowers us to do everything He called us to do, for He knows the plans he has for us, plans to prosper and not harm us, plans to give us hope and a future.&nbsp;And GOD is not unjust so as to overlook our work and the love that we have shown for His name in serving the saints, as we still do, according to Hebrews 6:10, but according to one renowned teacher and leadership mentor, our "greatest failure in life is being successful in the wrong assignment."</p><p>Instead of following GOD's plan for our lives, some of us take detours, yield to temptation, pursue worldly dreams, or find assignments that are easier, more comfortable, convenient, pleasing, or appealing. And often, we put self-interest above GOD's interests, our business or the world's business above GOD's business, and our needs (for food, shelter, clothing, security, and survival) above His desire (for us to love Him whole-heartedly, obey His commands, and abide in Him as He abides in us), even when JESUS, in Matthew 6:33, advises us to "seek first the kingdom of GOD and His righteousness" and trust that "all things" will be added to us.</p><p>Instead of living for the LORD and letting Him be the LORD of ALL, some of us are living for ourselves and acting like we're the lords of all. And we're not living our lives in CHRIST, in submission, under GOD's authority; we're living our lives in pursuit of SUCCESS, WEALTH, PROSPERITY, and HAPPINESS, always trying to make a LIVING or make a NAME for ourselves, because we're proud, independent, self-reliant, fearful, and sometimes insecure, and we don't want to be poor, needy, powerless, inconvenienced, or lacking; we don't want to follow anybody else's rules, guidelines, or laws; and we don't want to be submissive, dependent, under anybody else's authority, control.</p><p>So, instead of humbling ourselves, trusting GOD, and letting Him be our Source and Strength, our Protector and Provider, our Counselor and King, our Lifetime Employer and Eternal Boss, we're walking away, doing our own thing, often bypassing Him completely, reclaiming the wheel in our lives, making our own decisions, finding our own assignments, chasing our own dreams, and driving to our own destinations. We can see the road in front of us, but we can't see long distance or what's coming ahead, and that's the problem. JESUS gave us all the GREAT COMMISSION in Matthew 28:19-20, telling us to "go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that [He] had commanded," but some of us have gotten distracted, sidelined, redirected, or lost on the journey. </p><p>When we accept JESUS as LORD and SAVIOR, GOD adopts us into His Family; drafts us into His army; employs us in His business; and gives us all unique assignments on Earth, according to the gifts and talents He's given us; then, He sends us like ambassadors in CHRIST and representatives of His, as walking letters and living Bibles, into this ministry of reconciliation to draw others to Him, to share the GOSPEL, the GOOD NEWS, and bring the KINGDOM of HEAVEN on Earth. And this is GOD's business: enlarging His Kingdom and territory from Heaven to Earth; reconciling and drawing others to Himself through JESUS; employing them in His service; and giving them dominion, power, and authority on Earth, in the NAME of JESUS.</p><p>What's ironic is some of us <em>have </em>attained power and authority, and some of us <em>have </em>found happiness and success, just in the <em>wrong </em>assignment.</p><p>So, the real questions are these: Are we as believers doing what GOD created, called, and commissioned us to do? Are we fulfilling our mission, our purpose, our assignment--the one GOD planned for us?</p><p>If our assignments are graded according to GOD's standard, will we get an "A" or an "F"? Will JESUS, the Righteous Judge, say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant," if we're successful but in the <em>wrong </em>assignment?</p><!--EndFragment--> Fri, 20 Apr 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-business-investments-rewards-101 GOD's Business: Investments & Rewards 101 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-business-investments-rewards-101 <p><strong>Matthew 6:19-21: &nbsp;</strong>“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart be will also.”</p><p>GOD's financial and giving advice is this: Invest eternally in treasures in heaven, not in treasures on earth, because everything belongs to GOD, and we are His stewards, His representatives, managing His property, assets and possessions until we die or JESUS returns.</p><p>GOD is the Owner, Master, Creator, Father and Sovereign King, and when our stewardship on earth ends, we will be called before JESUS to give an account of how we managed every gift, talent, resource, property, possession, opportunity, moment, day, month, year, position, and soul GOD entrusted to us. Every earthly work will be tested by GOD’s holy fire and only that which was rendered to GOD, done in CHRIST, for GOD's glory and His Kingdom will remain, resulting in eternal rewards or great losses.</p><p>Basically, throughout the Bible, especially during JESUS' ministry and in His parables, we are warned against putting our hope, faith, trust and future in earthly treasures that rust, rot, break, decay, are eaten or stolen. Instead we are instructed, commanded, to seek first the Kingdom of GOD and His Righteousness; to make GOOD, ETERNAL investments while we live on earth toward the Kingdom of GOD, loving, serving and giving foremost to GOD and then to others as the HOLY SPIRIT leads us--sacrificing whatever may be necessary or for a greater good--time, food, shelter, advice, wisdom, money, transportation, a hug, smile, prayer, or our undivided attention.</p><p>So then genuine compassion--one small act of kindness on earth for the glory of GOD--and even one moment taken out of a busy day to share the Gospel with a friend, a co-worker, a relative, or even a stranger will reap us more of a heavenly reward and GOD's good pleasure than our worldly fame, fortune, power, and influence among women and men.</p><p>What some of us are blind to see, refuse to acknowledge, or willfully ignore in our personal pursuits of the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is this: GOD is our HEAVENLY FATHER, our SOVEREIGN KING, our ETERNAL BOSS, and He made and owns everything, including us, for He created us in His image, according to His likeness, then redeemed us, saved us—paid for us—through His Son, JESUS CHRIST, at Calvary’s Cross after we had disobeyed, sinned, rebelled.</p><p>So now, after we accept JESUS as our LORD and SAVIOR, GOD adopts us into His family as sons and daughters, giving us the privilege of being part of His Family and an opportunity to spend eternity in His Presence.</p><p>And without GOD, we would be nothing; we could do nothing; and we would have nothing to manage, including our own lives. Therefore, our best investment is in GOD's business--His priorities and His interests, which are His Kingdom, His Plans, His Work, His Investments, His Word, His Son.</p><p>We shouldn't be so busy or obsessed with storing treasures on earth that we forget our purpose, our assignment, our destination, our Creator, our King. After all, when we die, we cannot take a moving truck with all our earthly possessions with us. All we can take are souls, and all we can do while we live is convert earthly treasure into heavenly currency and send it ahead of us as a deposit into an everlasting account. Then when we meet our Righteous Judge and King of Kings face-to-face, we may actually hear Him, JESUS, say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant. Well done."</p> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-lighthouse-refuge The Lighthouse & Refuge http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-lighthouse-refuge <p><b>Psalm 9:9-10:</b> The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.</p><p>GOD LOVES US, and He will never leave or forsake us. He is our strength and our salvation, our hope and our refuge, our comfort and protection, a very present help in the time of trouble. </p><p> When adversity comes, GOD is with us--through the flood, through the storm, through the flames, through the fire, and when the adversary comes to steal, kill, and destroy, GOD is with us, ever present to give us strength, courage, hope, faith, love, power, and victory. </p><p>But GOD never promised that life would be easy or that we would have no trials or trouble, yet He did promise to be with us wherever we go, and He did promise a way of escape, freedom, deliverance, and victory through His Son, JESUS CHRIST. </p><p>And when we trust Him, GOD, He is our refuge and our strength and though we be hard-pressed on every side, we are not crushed, though we be perplexed, we are not in despair, though we be persecuted, we are not forsaken, and though we be struck down, we are not destroyed. </p><p>Why? Because GOD is the LIGHT of our salvation, so whom shall we fear? </p><p>GOD is the strength of our life, so of whom shall we be afraid?</p> Wed, 18 Apr 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/tuesdays-blessing Tuesday's Blessing http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/tuesdays-blessing <p><b>Numbers 6:24-26:</b> The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.</p><p>BE BLESSED today, especially by GOD. He loves you with an everlasting love, and He promises never to leave or forsake you and to be with you wherever you go, in whatever you're going through, against any adversary. </p><p>Be strong and of good courage and remember that you are an overcomer and more than a conqueror through Him who loved you, and remember, with GOD all things are possible and that all things work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. </p><p>GOD knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. BELIEVE Him; LOVE Him; TRUST Him, and CALL UPON Him, and He will answer, deliver, redeem, save, forgive, protect, encourage, comfort, mend, heal, strengthen and empower you, and direct your paths and work all things together for your good.</p> Tue, 17 Apr 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/nailed-2-the-cross-redeemed-revived-reconciled Nailed 2 the Cross: Redeemed, Revived, Reconciled http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/nailed-2-the-cross-redeemed-revived-reconciled <p><b>Psalm 138:7-8:</b> In the day when I cried out, You answered me, And made me bold with strength in my soul. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand Against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me. The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.</p><p>GOD LOVES US, enough to find, forgive, redeem, save, heal, deliver, revive, refine, reconcile, and resurrect us, enough to strengthen, encourage, inspire and empower us, enough to protect, perfect, prosper, and guide us, enough to bless and provide for us, enough to draw us near and abide in us as we abide in Him. </p><p>For what purpose? But that we should love Him and love others.</p><p>That we should do more good than harm. </p><p>That we should love more than hate. </p><p>That we should give more than take. </p><p>That we should be more thankful than ungrateful. </p><p>That we should be more alive than dead, more hot than cold, even lukewarm. </p><p>That we should live with purpose, that we should make a difference, that we should share the Gospel, that we should fish for souls, that we should save more lives than we take.</p><p>That we should glorify, honor, and worship Him; that we should live for Him.</p><p>That we should be salt and light in the world.</p><p> That we should be light in darkness; that we should represent and reflect Him.</p><p>That we should celebrate Him more than national, foreign, or political idols.</p><p>That we should uphold His WORD and His standard more than any celebrity's, athlete's, race's, gender's, denomination's, leader's, commander's, prime minister's, queen's, or king's.</p><p> That we should draw others to CHRIST JESUS--the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE.</p><p>That we should live and we should die unto the LORD.</p><p> </p><p>And to walk as JESUS DID is basically this: To walk humbly, faithfully, prayerfully, compassionately, powerfully, lovingly, forgivingly, selflessly, obediently, relationally, sincerely, truthfully, spiritually, joyfully, patiently, peacefully, victoriously, whole-heartedly SOULED OUT to GOD, His Purpose, His Plan, His Mission, and His Will, which is all about ONE WORD: LOVE.</p> Tue, 17 Apr 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/words-wielded-well Words Wielded Well http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/words-wielded-well <p><strong>Matthew 12:33-37:</strong>&nbsp;"Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit....For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."</p><p>GOD searches our hearts and measures our words to see if we're like Him, like JESUS, and He isn't pleased when we hate and carry grudges but when we love and forgive. He isn't impressed when we curse and tear down but when we bless and build up, praying for good, not evil.&nbsp;</p><p>Our words matter, especially to GOD, and according to Matthew 12:36, we'll have to give an account of every idle word we've spoken, whether for good or evil, whether to build up or tear down, whether to bless or curse. </p><p>These words we wield are powerful, and every day, we're speaking LIFE or DEATH, and we're aligning ourselves either with GOD or with the adversary.</p><p>Our words matter, and GOD commands us to wield them well--to "build up," edify, instruct, minister, and encourage--and Ephesians 4:29-32 advises, "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you."&nbsp;</p><p>Words have power in the KINGDOM of GOD, and they do not return unto GOD void but accomplish that for which He sent them, for in John 1:1, we learn that in the beginning was the WORD and the WORD was with GOD and the WORD was GOD. In John 6:63, we realize it is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing, and the words that JESUS speak to us are spirit and they are life, and finally, in Ephesians 10:17, we discover the SWORD of the SPIRIT is the WORD of GOD.</p><p>GOD's words are not idle; they get results; they create and build, correct and counsel, instruct and guide, commission and command, redeem and restore, resurrect and transform, multiply and produce. So, we see every word matters to GOD, even the idle words we speak.</p><p>Honoring GOD, following JESUS, has never been easy, not for any of us in service, on missions, in comfort or in conflict, because GOD calls and commands us to do the hard but right things, to please HIM foremost, to be better than we naturally are--more faithful, forgiving, loving, prayerful, giving, selfless, GOOD. He calls and commands us to use every gift He gives us for His glory and honor; He calls and commands us to use our time, our treasure, our talent, and our words for His purpose, His plans, and His will, always for the greater GOOD.</p><p>So, our words matter, especially to GOD, and He wants us to use them wisely and wield them well, for in the end, we will all stand before JESUS, the Righteous Judge, to give an account of every idle word we've spoken to bless or curse, to praise or criticize, the build up or tear down, for good or evil, for the glory of GOD or the praise of women and men.</p><p><br></p><p><br></p> Fri, 13 Apr 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/approved-by-god-entrusted-with-the-gospel Approved by GOD: Entrusted with the GOSPEL http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/approved-by-god-entrusted-with-the-gospel <p><strong>1 Thessalonians 2:4-13: </strong>But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts. For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness--God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ.</p><p>But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God.</p><p>You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.</p><p>For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.</p><p>WHEN WE ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST as LORD and SAVIOR of our lives, we become citizens of the KINGDOM of GOD, part of GOD's FAMILY, His adopted sons and daughters, and our new identities are found in GOD's SON, JESUS CHRIST: GOD with us, GOD in us. We are cleansed and made new; we are purified and transformed, and we become new creations in CHRIST, consecrated, "set apart," for GOD's glory, honor, purpose, and use, and Romans 14:8-9 reminds us, "none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. For this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living."</p><p>2 Corinthians 5 assures us that He, CHRIST, "died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again," and "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."</p><p>So then, it is not we who live but CHRIST lives in us, and the life we now live we live by faith in the SON of GOD, who loved us and gave Himself for us. So, we are not seeking the approval of others nor are we seeking to continually please women or men. As servants of CHRIST, we're more interested in getting the approval of our heavenly Father and pleasing our King of Kings and Eternal Boss, GOD.</p><p>Only GOD knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us, plans to give us hope and a future; only GOD knows what He created, called, and commissioned us to do; and only GOD can equip and empower us to fulfill our purpose, complete our assignment, reach our destination, finish our race.</p><p>He entrusts us with HIS WORD.</p><p>He entrusts us with HIS SPIRIT.</p><p>He entrusts us with GIFTS: time, talents, and treasure.</p><p>He entrusts us with the GOSPEL: The Good News of the Kingdom of GOD, the Good News of JESUS CHRIST.</p><p>GOD loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, and GOD gives His approval for us to be entrusted with the GOSPEL because He is good, just, loving, faithful, merciful, gracious, and compassionate, and as 2 Peter 3:9 says, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."</p><p>GOD loves us so much He wants to spend eternity with us; He loves us so much He sent His Son, who died to pay our debt; and He loves us so much, He raised His Son, JESUS; He resurrected Him, so we could be saved, forgiven, redeemed, cleansed, and reconciled to GOD.</p><p>And this is our story and these are our chapters in the pages of GOD's BOOKS: We were created and chosen; we accepted GOD's call, His GREAT COMMISSION; and we were consecrated, "set apart," and now, we're appointed a certain time in GOD's service; and we're approved by GOD to be entrusted with the GOSPEL of GOD.</p><p>So, we are called and commissioned, consecrated and commanded, equipped and empowered, in the NAME of JESUS, under the AUTHORITY of GOD, by the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT, in a ministry of reconciliation, imploring others to be reconciled to GOD. So, it is not we who live but CHRIST lives in us, and the life we now live we live by faith in the SON of GOD, and if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord, for whether we live or die, we are, and will forever be, the Lord's.</p> Fri, 13 Apr 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/hold-on-dont-give-up Hold On: Don't Give Up! http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/hold-on-dont-give-up <p><b>Galatians 6:9-10: </b>And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to those who are of the household of faith.</p><p>SOMETIMES, we get tired, burned out; we grow weary, feel worn, and wonder whether anything we're doing is pleasing GOD or making a difference in the lives of others. Often, we feel empty, depleted, useless, beat-up and tapped-out, and our lives are battlegrounds, filled with opposition, challenges, adversaries, and distractions. But GOD gives us hope, strength, and light, even in our trials, even in our weaknesses, even in our darkest hours, because He is with us, and He promises to never leave us or forsake us.</p><p>GOD urges us to hold on and never give up; He commands us to be strong and of good courage, because no weapon formed against us shall prosper, and though we're hard-pressed on every side, we're not crushed; though we're perplexed, we're not in despair; and though we're struck down, we're not destroyed, because GOD's got us covered. He is our shield and our guide; He is our strength and our refuge, a very present help in time of trouble. Nothing is too hard, and nothing is impossible for Him.</p><p>When we're weary and worn, GOD gives us strength in His Son, JESUS CHRIST.</p><p>When we're empty and depleted, GOD fills us with His HOLY SPIRIT.</p><p>When we're beat-up and discouraged, GOD revives us and gives us HOPE, SPIRIT, and LIFE with HIS WORD.</p><p>He assures us that we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us and that all things work together for good to those who love Him, to those who are the called according to His purpose.</p><p>GOD urges us to persevere and overcome, to fight the good fight of faith in His strength, not our own.</p><p>So, let us not grow weary in doing good; let us not give up or give in.</p><p>Let us hold on; let us be strong and courageous; let us be faithful and true.</p><p>Let us remember, GOD is with us, and He will never leave us or forsake us.</p><p>Let us have faith and believe in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.</p><p>So, as we have opportunity, let us do good, especially to those of the household of faith, for GOD is not unjust so as to overlook our work and the love we have shown for His name in serving the saints, as we still do.</p><p><br></p> Wed, 11 Apr 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-unforgotten-in-gods-book-of-remembrance The Unforgotten: In GOD's Book of Remembrance http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-unforgotten-in-gods-book-of-remembrance <p><b>Hebrews 6:10-11: </b>For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.</p><p><b>Malachi 3:16-18: </b>Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name.</p><p>"They shall be Mine," says the LORD of hosts, "On the day that I make them my jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him." Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.</p><p>GOD IS NOT UNJUST: GOD is GOOD, GOD is JUST, GOD is LOVE.&nbsp;</p><p>GOD knows everything and everyone, and He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. But so often we as believers feel like we're the great unknowns, the most unappreciated, the most visible forgotten. We work and labor in love and conflict, often alone, so we get weary and worn--burned out; we sow and plant praying for a good harvest but often wonder if any of our labor will be rewarded with good fruit.</p><p>We're giving everything we have for the glory and honor of GOD, for the encouragement and ministry of others--time, talent, and treasure--and nothing comes easy. Instead, our lives are often battlegrounds filled with opposition, challenges, adversaries.</p><p>But even in our hard times and struggles, our trials and tribulations, our poverty and lack, our floods and fires, our disappointments and heartaches, our sorrows and griefs, GOD does not forget us, for GOD is with us. So, we may be hard-pressed on every side, yet we're not crushed; we may be perplexed, but we're not in despair; we may be struck down, but we're not destroyed. In GOD we trust and in faith, we believe that all things work together for good to those who love GOD and are the called according to His purpose. And even when the world discounts us, mocks us, persecutes us, vilifies us, and writes us off, GOD REMEMBERS, EXALTS, and REWARDS US for lives well-spent and work well-done for His glory, in His name, because we're serving Him, not idols or this world.</p><p>GOD is not unjust but gracious, loving, and merciful: He remembers everyone who believes in and confesses His Son, JESUS CHRIST, as LORD and SAVIOR, and He writes our names in the Lamb's BOOK of LIFE, 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.</p><p>GOD is not unjust but faithful and true: He is unchanging, the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He rewards those who diligently seek Him, those who worship Him in Spirit and Truth, and those who serve him faithfully, enduring and overcoming as good workers until the end.</p><p>GOD is not unjust to forget our work and labor of love which we have shown toward His name, in that we have ministered to the saints, and do minister, but He remembers us--the world's ignored, the world's nobodies, the world's forgotten--and He calls us His own, His sons and daughters, His princes and princesses, and He promises on that Day, His Day, to make us His jewels and to spare us as a man spares his own son who serves him.</p><p>GOD is not unjust but good: He promises us new identities in JESUS CHRIST, heavenly rewards according to our works, and eternal life in His Presence, for in Revelation 3, JESUS, the KING of KINGS, assures the faithful Church, "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie--indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.</p><p>Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name."</p><p>So, GOD is not unjust but majestic and matchless, for our GOD is LIVING, and our GOD is GOOD, our GOD is JUST, our GOD is LOVE.</p><p><br></p> Tue, 10 Apr 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/worth Worth http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/worth <p><strong>Matthew 8:8:</strong> The centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed."</p><p><strong>Psalm 107:20:</strong> He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.</p><p>SO OFTEN, we feel unworthy, like we have no place in GOD's House or His Presence. But being BLESSED is being LOVED by GOD and knowing He finds us WORTHY of love, forgiveness, redemption, salvation, deliverance, healing, protection, provision, hope and a future.</p><p>GOD looks beyond the damage and the dirt in our lives; He looks beyond our flaws and our brokenness and sees a life worth saving, a soul worth keeping, a heart worth redeeming. He sees who He created us to be, who He planned us to be--that prince or princess--that new creation in CHRIST. Even GOD'S WORD speaks to our worth in GOD's eyes, for He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us, plans to gives us HOPE and a FUTURE, and He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. GOD loves us so much, He wants to live in us and through us; He wants to spend eternity with us.</p><p>GOD finds us redeemable, forgivable, and lovable.</p><p>GOD sees us fearfully and wonderfully made, in His image, according to His likeness.</p><p>GOD loves us so much He searches for us when we're lost; He rejoices when we're found; He strengthens us with His Son when we're weak; He fills us with His Spirit when we're empty; He revives us with His WORD when we're weary, worn; He favors us with His grace when we stumble; and He restores us with His love when we fall.</p><p>GOD loves us so much, He promises to never leave us or forsake us; He promises to uphold us with His righteous right hand; He promises that no weapon formed against us shall prosper; and He promises to make our paths straight, if only we trust in Him with all our heart, lean not on our own understanding, and acknowledge Him in all our ways.</p><p>GOD finds us worthy of protection and provision, and He encamps His angels around us, to keep us in all our ways, so we can be assured that even though we're hard-pressed on every side, we're not crushed, though we're perplexed, we're not in despair, though we're persecuted, we're not forsaken, and though we're struck down, we're not destroyed. GOD is our refuge and our strength, and He's got us covered, every day, every hour, 24/7, even when we're in the wilderness, in the storm, in the flood, in the fire.</p><p>GOD finds us worthy of time, talents, and treasure, and He offers us all that He has, the best He has to give, including His Son, JESUS CHRIST, as our Savior, Bridegroom, and King.</p><p>GOD finds us worthy of service, stewardship, and ministry, and He commissions us to GO in His name, into every nation, as representatives and ambassadors of CHRIST.</p><p>GOD finds us worthy of crowns and mansions, robes and rewards for lives well-spent, work well-done, in His service, for His glory and honor.</p><p>And GOD finds us worthy of being named in the Lamb's Book of Life.</p><p>We often live in the past and see the present snapshots--fragments, brokenness, heartaches, betrayals, mistakes, darkness, ugliness, disappointments, insecurities, fears, weaknesses, infirmities, and lack--but GOD sees the full portrait--past, present, and future--so His vision of us is perfect, and He sees us through the atoning Blood of CHRIST, and He knows our true identity IN CHRIST: holy, righteous, GOOD.</p><p>So, our worth is more about how GOD sees us than how we see ourselves, because GOD is the Righteous Judge, and His verdict is always JUST, RIGHT, GOOD, TRUE. All we've got to do is BELIEVE and HAVE FAITH that we really are who GOD says we are and we can do everything He CREATED and COMMISSIONED us to do.</p> Sat, 07 Apr 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-field GOD's Field http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-field <p><strong>1 Corinthians 3:7-9:</strong> So then neither he who plants, is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. </p><p><br></p><p>For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building.</p><p><br></p><p>We are all God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should work in them. Each of us, created in His image, His likeness, are fearfully and wonderfully made, with gifts and talents for the glory of God, and each of us is loved and known by God the Father, who has a plan and a purpose for our lives. </p><p>We're called to LOVE God and others; we're called to PRAY, to HUMBLE ourselves, to FORGIVE, to BLESS, to GIVE, to SERVE, to OBEY. </p><p>We are the AMBASSADORS of Christ, the SONS and DAUGHTERS of the KING of kings; we're FISHERS of MEN and the EPISTLES of CHRIST, LIVING BIBLES to be known and read in our generation. </p><p>We're CO-LABORERS with God and FOLLOWERS of JESUS, commissioned to GO into the nations--into the field ripe for harvest, to MAKE disciples, to SEEK the lost and FISH for souls, not for the glory of Self but for the WILL and PURPOSE of God. </p><p>We're not called to merely sit and observe from the sidelines or to WATCH from the church pew but to GO beyond the walls, beyond our comfort zone--into the streets, the office, the workplace, the schools, the hospitals, the mental wards, the prisons, and the nations; we're to PREACH the GOSPEL--the uncompromised WORD of GOD, that of JESUS CHRIST CRUCIFIED and RESURRECTED.</p><p> We're to proclaim the KINGDOM of GOD, and then LET GOD convict the hearts of men, renew their minds, and DRAW those He has called into the SECURE HANDS and HEART of CHRIST, so they may repent of sins and receive forgiveness, salvation, and deliverance. </p><p> THIS is God's Field, and we are His fellow workers--PLANTING, SOWING, WATERING, LAYING A FOUNDATION, and BUILDING on that FOUNDATION of Christ Jesus--PRAYING for the HARVEST as God gives the increase. </p><p>In the end, those of us who have labored with God and with Jesus through the guidance, power, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, REAP the benefits of this LABOR of LOVE--eternal life in the presence of God. </p><p>But what's important for us to remember, especially today in this generation that often seems addicted to technology and material possessions is this: ONLY two things ARE eternal: the SOULS of men and the WORD of GOD.</p> Fri, 06 Apr 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/refueled-spirit-filled Refueled & Spirit-filled http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/refueled-spirit-filled <p><b>Matthew 4:1-4: </b>Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"</p><p><b>Ephesians 5:17-21: </b>Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.</p><p>SOMETIMES, when we're in the wilderness, when we're in the storm, we as believers feel empty, depleted, weary and worn, alone and seriously lacking in spiritual nutrients. These are the times we're tested and tempted, when we're weak and hungry, when we're thirsty and in a desert, often on our own, when our spiritual tank is empty, when GOD is with us, but we can't hear Him; we can't see Him, we can't feel His Presence. These are the times we've got to trust GOD and have faith; these are the times we've got to remember GOD's promise to never leave us or forsake us; these are the times we've got to believe we're victors, not victims; these are the times we've got to trust we're more than conquerors through Him who loved us; and we can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens us.</p><p>GOD is our Hope, our Source, our Strength; JESUS is our Bread of Life, our Way, our Truth; and HOLY SPIRIT is our Comforter, our Living Water, our Divine Fuel. Without GOD, we could do nothing; without GOD, we cannot live; without GOD, we have no compass; without GOD, we're lost in the dark, in the wilderness. GOD is our LIGHT and our LIFE, and His WORDS are spirit and life, and they revive us, encourage us, instruct us, guide us, correct us, build us, and fill us. In them we know we are hard-pressed on every side yet we're not crushed, we're perplexed but not in despair, we're persecuted but not forsaken, we're struck down but not destroyed. In them we know that no weapon formed against us shall prosper, for GOD knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us, plans to give us hope and a future.</p><p>When we're empty, GOD fills us with His Spirit.</p><p>When we're weary, GOD restores us with His WORD.</p><p>When we're weak, GOD strengthens us with His Son.</p><p>The KINGDOM of GOD is within us, because JESUS, the KING of kings, abides in us, and where the KING is, there is the KINGDOM. So, we are not alone: GOD is with us. Always. And He is the FUEL that drives us--even when we can't hear Him, see Him, touch Him, or feel Him. Like the wind, GOD is there, unseen but present.</p><p>When we're in the wilderness, GOD is the still, small voice, whispering in our ears, 'This is the Way; walk in it.'</p><p>When we're in the storm, GOD is our Prince of Peace who commands the wind and waves, 'Be still.'</p><p>GOD fuels and fills us, with His Son, His WORD, and His Spirit, for GOD is GOOD, GOD is JUST, and GOD is LOVE.</p><p>All we've got to do is have faith and believe, accept and receive, so GOD can fill every empty place in our lives and we can be made whole and complete in Him through JESUS CHRIST.</p><p><br></p> Fri, 06 Apr 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/entrusted-finding-wilderness-protection-provision Entrusted: Finding Wilderness Protection & Provision http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/entrusted-finding-wilderness-protection-provision <p><b>Exodus 16:1-8:</b> And they journeyed from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the Wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they departed from the land of Egypt. Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the children of Israel said to them, "Oh, that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger." </p><p>Then the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily." Then Moses and Aaron said to all the children of Israel, "At evening you shall know that the LORD has brought you out of the land of Egypt. And in the morning you shall see the glory of the LORD; for He hears your complaints against the LORD. But what are we, that you complain against us?" Also Moses said, "This shall be seen when the LORD gives you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to the full; for the LORD hears your complaints which you make against Him. And what are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the LORD."</p><p><b>Matthew 4:1-4:</b> Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward he was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"</p><p>GOD LOVES US, and when we are in the wilderness (physically, emotionally, psychologically, socially, financially, or spiritually), He is always with us--never to leave us or forsake us. </p><p>In the wilderness when we are being tested, the question is never whether or not GOD will hear, answer, lift, save, deliver, heal, protect, or save us; the real question--the one that reveals our FAITH more than the words of our mouths--is this: Will we TRUST GOD? </p><p>The HOLY BIBLE is full of men and women who were carried or led into the wilderness, and usually it was in their wilderness that they were tested, that they found true faith, and that they encountered GOD. </p><p>In the wilderness, we find ABRAHAM surrendering all to GOD, including his only son ISAAC; we find HAGAR, cast out with her son ISHMAEL and on the verge of death, never expecting a WORD from the LORD. </p><p>We find JACOB wrestling GOD for his blessing and a new name, ISRAEL. </p><p>We find MOSES, first at the burning bush and later trusting GOD to lead him and the Israelites to the Promised Land.</p><p>We find JOHN the BAPTIST preaching repentance, baptizing in water, and preparing the way for the Lord; and we find JESUS, fasting and hungry but faithful and strong because He knew JEHOVAH JIREH; He knew His Father, GOD. </p><p>Even in the wilderness, GOD DOES NOT CHANGE; He is the same today, tomorrow, and forever: He is GOOD. He is JUST. He is LOVE. HIS WORD is PERFECT and HIS WORD is TRUTH, and this WORD says, GOD shall supply all our need according to His riches in glory by CHRIST JESUS; this WORD says that all things work together for good to those who love GOD and are the called according to His purpose' and this WORD says, greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. </p><p>So, wherever we are, including in a wilderness--anywhere we are tested--GOD IS THERE, always with us. All we have to do when times get tough and we find ourselves in the wilderness is BELIEVE GOD's WORD and TRUST GOD for our protection and provision; then, we'll pass this test, and GOD will ENTRUST us with greater things.</p> Tue, 27 Mar 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/war-room War Room http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/war-room <p><strong>Matthew 6:6: </strong>But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.</p><p>OUR BATTLE isn't always physical; sometimes it's spiritual, and the most powerful weapon against any adversary that is not of flesh and blood is FERVENT PRAYER wielded with the SWORD of the SPIRIT, which is GOD's WORD.</p><p>We do not war against people; we war against demonic spirits that oppress and influence people.</p><p>We do not bind and tear down people; we bind the demonic Strongman and tear down his STRONGHOLDS in people's lives, homes, families, communities, cities, and countries.</p><p>We war as JESUS DID: on our knees, in the SPIRIT, with GOD's WORD on our lips, in our mouths. And our goal is the same as His: to destroy the works of the devil who comes to steal, kill, and destroy.</p><p>Our WAR ROOM is not in the Pentagon; our WAR ROOM is the PRAYER CLOSET--the place where JESUS lives in us, HOLY SPIRIT works through us, and FATHER GOD meets us, and together we intercede and change the course of generations, families, kings, leaders, cities, countries, nations, hearts, and souls--all for HIS GLORY: GOD's.</p> Mon, 26 Mar 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-heart-transplant The Heart Transplant http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-heart-transplant <p><b>Ezekiel 36:26: </b>I [God] will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.</p><p>GOD LOVES US, and He's the best HEART SURGEON with a one-hundred percent success rate for His patients' RECOVERY and SURVIVAL.&nbsp;</p><p>GOD takes our hearts of stone and gives us new hearts and new spirits. He revives all that is dead inside of us and gives us NEW LIFE, and through the HOLY SPIRIT, He transforms our lives, so we become NEW CREATURES--NEW CREATIONS--in JESUS CHRIST, and we have nothing broken, nothing lost.</p><p>So GOD is our HEALER, our REDEEMER, our GREAT PHYSICIAN, and in our hearts, He performs CREATIVE MIRACLES: He MENDS the broken heart, FORGIVES the repentant one, DRAWS every wandering heart, COMFORTS every troubled one, STRENGTHENS the weak heart, ACCEPTS every surrendered one, REPLACES every stony one, and TRANSPLANTS every fearful and rejected one with the brave, eternal heart of the LION of JUDAH, the KING of kings, the PRINCE of PEACE, the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our FAITH, the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, JESUS CHRIST.</p><p>GOD is the KEY that unlocks the heart of stone; HOLY SPIRIT is the SEAL that guarantees the change--that heart transplant; and JESUS is the DOOR through which we enter the KINGDOM of GOD as NEW CREATIONS IN CHRIST.</p><p>And this is the HOPE we have in life: GOD loves us with an EVERLASTING LOVE, and His greatest gifts of love to us are SALVATION, FORGIVENESS, RECONCILIATION, REDEMPTION, HEALING, DELIVERANCE, POWER, AUTHORITY, ETERNITY, JESUS, HOLY SPIRIT, and HIMSELF: FATHER GOD.</p> Mon, 26 Mar 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/bethesda-pursued-found Bethesda: Pursued & Found http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/bethesda-pursued-found <p><b>John 5:1-15:</b> Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie--the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"</p><p>"Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me." Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, "It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat." But he replied, "The man who made me well said to me, 'Pick up your mat and walk.'" So they asked him, "Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?" The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you." The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.</p><p>GOD LOVES US, and we don't find Him by chance; He always pursues and finds us intentionally wherever we are, in whatever condition we are in, in whatever state we're in, whether lost, wandering, seeking, rebelling, backsliding, in darkness, in light, in trial or triumph, in sorrow or happiness, in wealth or poverty, in sickness or in health. </p><p>GOD draws us, JESUS finds us, and HOLY SPIRIT changes us and seals us as a GUARANTEE that we are HIS--GOD's. </p><p>And throughout the HOLY BIBLE, we see men and women with divine encounters and GOD moments—ordinary people touched and transformed, healed and delivered, forgiven and redeemed for GOD's GLORY and HIS PURPOSE. </p><p>GOD finds us at the right time at the right place, in every season of life. He finds us as ABRAM and SARAI in the desert spiritually thirsty and physically barren. GOD finds us as NOAH struggling to walk in faith while being surrounded by perversion, sin, and temptation. GOD finds us as MOSES complacently hiding from the world and running from our calling and our purpose and even doubting our valor, worth, and effectiveness because of past sins and fears. </p><p>GOD finds us as RAHAB, prostituting ourselves and engaging in the pleasures and vices of the world. GOD finds us as JACOB running from our lies, our mistakes, and our own family. GOD finds us as JUDAH plagued with family problems, with episodes of jealousy, death, and deception, first with respect to siblings, then with children and finally with in-laws.</p><p>GOD finds us as RUTH, a dispossessed foreigner and widow who would rather stay with an in-law than return home. GOD finds us as DAVID in the field, pasture, or cave serving or hiding and often overshadowed by others who appear greater, stronger, and more important.</p><p> GOD finds us as HEZEKIAH in all our pride, power, and glory, never suspecting that death is on the horizon and pride comes before a great fall. GOD finds us as JOSIAH, a child but a leader who must assume the throne as king and lead a nation back to its true King, GOD.</p><p>GOD finds us as ELIJAH, full of power, Spirit, and His WORD but fearful of man or woman to the point we cower beneath a tree. GOD finds us as DANIEL, captive in a foreign country, surrounded by idols, and put into a lion's den because of our convictions, our faith.</p><p> GOD finds us as THREE HEBREW BOYS persecuted for our faith and cast into a fiery furnace.</p><p> GOD finds us as VIRGIN MARY, innocent and newly betrothed, living a life ordinary and never suspecting that we are called for a life extraordinary.</p><p> GOD finds us as JOHN the BAPTIST in the wilderness, in the river of life, and in ministry proclaiming the TRUTH and preparing the way for the true SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST.</p><p>GOD finds us as SIMON, ANDREW, JAMES and JOHN, working our regular jobs, supporting our families, and fishing for the world. GOD finds us as MATTHEW, a government worker, mocked and reviled by others because of the title or authority we have or the work we do.</p><p> GOD finds us as ZACCHAEUS, someone of small stature stuck in a tree, an outsider wistfully looking in.</p><p> GOD finds us as the SAMARITAN WOMAN, scandalous and lurking alone at the well.</p><p> GOD finds us as BARTIMAEUS, spiritually and physically blind, a beggar in life.</p><p>GOD finds us as MARY MAGDALENE, tormented, oppressed, and demonized. </p><p>GOD finds us as SAUL on a road to Damascus, misguidedly working against GOD on our path of persecution, death, and destruction.</p><p>GOD finds us as JOHN on the isle of Patmos—alone and imprisoned—awaiting either death or JESUS’ return. </p><p>And no matter where we go or where our personal Bethesda is, GOD pursues and finds us. He FISHES for our souls; He ROMANCES our hearts; He RENEWS our minds; and He TRANSFORMS our lives, giving us HOPE and a FUTURE. </p><p>So, the question is not whether or not we will find GOD; the real question is whether or not we will let GOD find us.</p> Thu, 22 Mar 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-stronghold-lighthouse-in-the-day-of-trouble The Stronghold & Lighthouse: In the Day of Trouble http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-stronghold-lighthouse-in-the-day-of-trouble <p><strong>Nahum 1:7:</strong> The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.</p><p>GOD LOVES US, and sometimes it's hard to remember or even believe that when trouble comes and a life of hard knocks would leave us wondering whether we were more cursed than blessed. But we should never doubt GOD's love, nor should we doubt His promises or His Word, for He is not a man that He should lie nor does His Word return unto Him void. </p><p>In this life, weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning, and we may be hard-pressed on every side yet not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed,&nbsp; because even in darkness, JESUS is our LIGHT, our WAY, TRUTH, and LIFE. And when we feel alone in the battles of life, He is with us and the HOLY SPIRIT, our COMFORTER, dwells with us, a SEAL and our GUARANTEE that we are His--GOD's. </p><p>So, let us remember when trouble comes and seems to overwhelm us, when we're disappointed, discouraged, afraid and doubtful, and when we're prepared to give up, walk away, or give in to the adversary who comes to steal, kill, and destroy, GOD intercedes, and He fights for us bringing to our remembrance His love, His Son, His Word, His grace, His mercy, His forgiveness and His promises.</p><p>Let us remember there is always HOPE, and there is always the WAY of escape through JESUS CHRIST. </p><p>JESUS lives in us, and we abide in Him, so no weapon formed against us, including fear, shall prosper and all things, including this trouble--this adversity, these challenges--will eventually work together for our good because we love GOD and have been called according to His purpose.</p><p>GOD has a plan and a purpose for our lives, and He promised us hope and a future, so all we have to do is TRUST Him and surrender our cares to Him. </p><p>GOD is our Stronghold, our Lighthouse, and when trouble and hard knocks come, we must believe in Faith that we will overcome, we will rise again, we will be saved, and we will be victorious because TODAY is a day the LORD has made and this is not the day nor the hour, minute or second we give up on life--on JESUS--and lose hope in Him. </p><p>If we must run, let us run this race of faith as victors, not victims.</p><p>If we must conquer, let us be more than conquerors through Him who loved us. </p><p>And if we must surrender all, let us surrender all to GOD, to CHRIST.</p> Wed, 21 Mar 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/g-harmony-soul-mates-help-meets G-Harmony: Soul Mates & Help-Meets http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/g-harmony-soul-mates-help-meets <p><b>Genesis 2:18-25:</b> The LORD GOD said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.</p><p>But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD GOD made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man."</p><p>That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.</p><p>GOD LOVES US, and He is the greatest Matchmaker on earth and in heaven, and this is one truth found in the pages and narratives of our Bible but not readily found on television or in today's cards, fairy tales, movies, and books: Soul mates are not born; they are made.Neither do they arrive as Prince or Princess Perfect or miraculously appear as Mr. and Mrs. Right. Basically, as one minister says, in a "great" marriage, soul mates are no more than two imperfect people (equal but different) who roll up their sleeves and work together daily on their relationship, end up as best friends, and in the trenches of life become soul mates. </p><p>And this is the heart of the matter: GOD knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future, and when we trust Him with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding but acknowledge Him and let Him direct our paths, then our "soul" mate will be our "help-meet"--a blessing, not a curse--and when we are led of His Spirit and live according to His Word, will, and purpose, then our relationship and intimacy with this mate will bring GOD honor and glory and bring us no sin or shame. </p><p>In matters of the heart, better and more successful than any matchmaking mother, website, service, friend, or Cupid, is the Supreme Matchmaker, our heavenly Father, GOD.</p> Tue, 20 Mar 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/jesus-do-we-really-know-him JESUS: Do We Really Know Him? http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/jesus-do-we-really-know-him <p><b>John 8:19:</b> Then they asked him, "Where is your father?"<br> "You do not know me or my Father," Jesus replied. "If you knew me, you would know my Father also."</p><p>What does the Bible say, really?: GOD is GOOD, GOD is JUST, GOD is LOVE. </p><p>GOD is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and GOD so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. </p><p>JESUS is LORD of ALL, JESUS is the SON of GOD, JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED; He DIED, WAS BURIED, then WAS RESURRECTED. He was a PREACHER, a TEACHER, a PROPHET, and a HEALER; He CAST OUT DEMONS, WELCOMED SINNERS, and SET CAPTIVES FREE.</p><p> He HUMBLED HIMSELF, EXALTED His FATHER, GOD, SERVED OTHERS, PRAYED DAILY, and INTERCEDED for OTHERS. </p><p>He WORSHIPPED IN SPIRIT and TRUTH and WAS OBEDIENT to GOD's COMMANDS. </p><p>He KNEW, QUOTED, and APPLIED GOD's WORD, and He LOVED GOD and OTHERS. </p><p>He is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, and NO ONE comes to the FATHER except THROUGH HIM. </p><p>Above all, JESUS abides in GOD and GOD in Him, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. </p><p>When we let go and surrender, when we humble ourselves, SUBMIT and RECEIVE JESUS in our hearts, He lives and abides in us and His WILL becomes ours. </p><p>When we walk in FAITH, this is what we as followers BELIEVE: GOD is with us, and He lives in us. Always. No weapon formed against us shall prosper. All things work together for good to those who love GOD and are called according to His purpose, and GOD knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper and not harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. </p><p>So, what's the message? </p><p>This is it: GOD loves us, enough to give us His only begotten Son, and JESUS loves us, enough to sacrifice His life, to forgive us, redeem us, heal us, save us, deliver us, protect us, comfort us, encourage us, strengthen us, empower us, inspire us, counsel us, guide us, uplift us, and draw us closer, GODWARD, home. </p><p>So, here's the question: Do we know about JESUS or do we really KNOW and have a personal RELATIONSHIP with JESUS? That's the heart of the matter.</p> Tue, 20 Mar 2018 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-best-candidate-the-servant-the-chaser God's Best Candidate: The Servant & the Chaser http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-best-candidate-the-servant-the-chaser <p><b>Galatians 1:10:</b> Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.</p><p>GOD chose PETER and PAUL; He called them from obscurity into public service and worldwide ministry. Neither seemed a good candidate or was even qualified based on his background, personality, temperament, previous occupation or past record. Simon was an impulsive man, an ordinary fisherman turned disciple who would deny JESUS three times and hide to save himself. Saul of Tarsus was smart but self-righteous, a law-abiding Pharisee who would stand on the sideline as Stephen, one of JESUS’ followers, was martyred, stoned to death, for his Faith, for the GOOD NEWS of JESUS CHRIST, and Saul would persecute the believers—men and women—even hunt them down, from Jerusalem to Damascus. He knew about GOD but didn’t know GOD, and he was zealous in fighting the wrong enemies for his righteous cause. </p><p>But GOD knew these men, Simon and Saul, the fisherman and the Pharisee; GOD knew the plans He had for them, plans to prosper and not harm them, plans to give them hope and a future, and He planned according to their DESTINATIONS, not their ORIGINS, EDUCATION, or CIRCUMSTANCES. He had searched these men's hearts and He had seen something good and special in them, something WORTH CLAIMING, and He called them into who He created them to be, not Simon the fisherman but Peter the Rock, not Saul of Tarsus but Paul the Apostle. GOD saved, redeemed, and changed these men, and they, in turn, inspired, influenced, and changed this world. </p><p>This is the real message about GOD's CHOSEN, HIS QUALIFIED, HIS CANDIDATES for OFFICE—for ELECTION: They’re not perfect; they’re not angels, but they’re STRONG and COURAGEOUS; they FEAR GOD MORE THAN PEOPLE; they STAND on GOD's PLATFORM; they WELCOME HIS PRESENCE; they PROMOTE HIS AGENDA; they AFFIRM HIS WORD; they REFLECT HIS SPIRIT; they HONOR HIS NAME; they EMPOWER HIS CHURCH; they UNITE HIS BODY; they STRENGTHEN HIS PEOPLE; they ENLARGE HIS TERRITORY; they PROTECT HIS PROPERTY; they BLESS HIS NATION; they FIGHT IN HIS WARS; they CONFRONT HIS ENEMIES; they CONQUER EVIL WITH GOOD; they ABIDE BY HIS RULES; they BUILD ON HIS FOUNDATION: they STAND ON HIS PROMISES; they WALK IN HIS TRUTH; they KNOCK ON HIS DOOR; they KNEEL AT HIS ALTAR; they ASK FOR HIS COUNSEL; they PRAY FOR HIS WISDOM; they SEEK HIS APPROVAL; they SERVE HIS PURPOSE; they SUBMIT to HIS AUTHORITY; they UPHOLD HIS LAWS; they OBEY HIS COMMANDS. </p><p>GOD's BEST CANDIDATES are not always popular (like Moses, Jeremiah and Elijah); GOD's best candidates often say the wrong things and make bad choices (like James and John, the Sons of Thunder, who wanted fire called down for destruction, who wanted the best seats in GOD's Kingdom beside JESUS or King David who committed adultery and had the woman's husband killed so he could cover the "initial" sin). </p><p>GOD's best candidates can be adventurers, travelers, and tent-dwellers like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob or married but barren like Sarah, Rachel, Elizabeth, and Hannah; or a widow and mother in poverty, in lack, like the woman of Zarephath, or wealthy, worldly tax collectors like Zacchaeus and Matthew. </p><p>God’s best candidates can be hot-headed and biased like Simon Peter or skeptical and unbelieving like Thomas; they can be oppressed but delivered like Mary Magdalene or scandalous and scarlet like Rahab or an outcast like the Samaritan woman at the well.</p><p>God’s best candidates can be young, inexperienced and royal like Josiah or unknown farmers, laborers, prophets, and shepherds like Elisha, Amos, and Hosea; they can be honest, passionate and misunderstood forerunners like John the Baptist; virginal and faithful like Mary or commanding and brave like Deborah; or patient and prayerful like Anna or selfless and heroic like Esther; trusting and obedient like Ruth or reluctant and rebellious like Jonah; fearless but reverent like Joshua, smart and proud like Saul of Tarsus, or powerful yet humble like Joseph the Dreamer. </p><p>The candidates that GOD chooses or calls are more GOD CHASERS than PEOPLE PLEASERS. These candidates are more SONS and DAUGHTERS than slaves or foreigners; they’re more GIVERS than TAKERS, more SERVANTS than PUPPETS, and they envision more than constituents or voters, and they see others more as BROTHERS and SISTERS than as different cultures, classes, races, denominations, ages, and genders. They see families, lives, hearts and souls; they see the FUTURE—LEGACIES—GENERATIONS. </p><p>God’s best candidates see beyond today; they see tomorrow; and beyond tomorrow they see life after death, and they CAMPAIGN for ETERNITY—TO LIVE IN GOD’s PRESENCE and TO DWELL IN GOD’s KINGDOM.</p> Tue, 06 Mar 2018 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/forgiven Forgiven http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/forgiven <p><b>Psalm 130:3-4:</b> If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.</p><p> </p><p>GOD loves us, even though we often sin and make mistakes. He is GOOD, GRACIOUS, FORGIVING, and MERCIFUL--the GOD of ANOTHER CHANCE.</p><p>GOD never leaves us or forsakes us, even when we doubt, fall, fail, rebel, or walk away. He's here, offering us His hand, His heart, His WORD, His SON, His SPIRIT, His LOVE.</p><p>Even as we wander away, lose ourselves and lose sight of HIM, and even as we get distracted by family, friends, jobs, money, the cares of the world, and the pleasures of life, GOD&nbsp;never gives up on us. He is patient--LONGSUFFERING--and He gives us ample time to return to Him, REPENT, and ACCEPT Him and His love. </p><p>When we do finally seek HIM--GOD--JESUS--in SINCERITY and HUMILITY and ASK for FORGIVENESS, HE is FAITHFUL and JUST to forgive us our sin and CLEANSE US of ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. But first, we've got to admit that we've made mistakes and done wrong; we've got to confess that we've sinned, that we're not perfect, that we're not right. After we do that, we're covered by the BLOOD of the LAMB--CHRIST JESUS--and our sins ARE forgiven, washed away and lost in GOD's Sea of Forgetfulness. </p><p>And once we're forgiven, GOD doesn't hold our past mistakes against us. He urges us to PAY GRACE and MERCY FORWARD--condemning not, judging not, and forgiving others as we have been forgiven. </p><p>We're to LOVE others as we love ourselves, especially those who have sinned (and that includes everyone, for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of GOD). </p><p>There are no sinless people in this world, including the saints of God, for we have all done things for which we need to be forgiven. We've lied, cheated, stolen, blasphemed, cursed, betrayed, doubted, killed, gossiped, and slandered. We've committed adultery, engaged in fornication (sex outside of marriage), immorality, pornography, perversion, and addiction. We've been jealous, angry, lustful, hateful, boastful, self-centered, stingy, and full of pride, and we've been greedy, foul, shady, hard-hearted and dirty in public and in private. But still, GOD loves us, and when we surrender these--our flaws, our imperfections, and our sins--to HIM, He forgives them all and He CHOOSES to REMEMBER THEM NO MORE. For GOD, this is the tenor--the nature--of LOVE. </p><p>What we have to do then is ACCEPT and RECEIVE GOD's LOVE and FORGIVENESS, and we have to forgive ourselves when we're less than perfect and forgive others who are just as prone to sin as we are. After all, there has only been ONE sinless man who walked earth and His name is JESUS. The rest of us are not perfect; we're just BLESSED because we have been DRAWN, REDEEMED, SAVED, and FORGIVEN.</p> Fri, 23 Feb 2018 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/compassion-a-life-well-spent Compassion: A Life Well-Spent http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/compassion-a-life-well-spent <p><b>Isaiah 58:6-11:</b>&nbsp; “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:&nbsp; to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?&nbsp; Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?&nbsp; </p><p> </p><p>Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.&nbsp; Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say:&nbsp; Here am I.&nbsp; “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.&nbsp; The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.</p><p> </p><p>GOD doesn’t forsake us; He fulfills our every need.&nbsp; He feeds the hungry, cares for the poor, shelters the homeless, strengthens the weak, heals the sick, frees the captive, cleans the dirty, guides the lost, befriends the lonely, remembers the forgotten, parents the orphan, protects the defenseless, rewards the penniless, and comforts the grief-stricken.&nbsp; </p><p>GOD is One of Goodness, Grace, Mercy, Love, Light, Forgiveness, and Giving, and we are His people—chosen, anointed, gifted, blessed, loved, protected, and empowered.&nbsp; </p><p> This GOD, our GOD, is compassionate, ever extending Himself to us, ever reaching out and calling us, even when we’re lost and wandering.&nbsp; </p><p>Our good deeds alone don’t commend us to GOD but our faith, our obedience, our stewardship, our reverence and our worship, and He faithfully draws us near, so we can have a genuine relationship with Him.&nbsp; </p><p>What some of us don’t understand is that there are no natural STEPS but a spiritual ALTAR to GOD where He offers the Invitation, Jesus Christ, His Son, and we accept Him as our Savior, in turn, inviting Him into our lives, our families and our hearts.&nbsp; </p><p>GOD then welcomes us into His family, His Kingdom, and as His children--his sons and daughters--we, like Him, show compassion to others, loving as we have been loved, forgiving as we have been forgiven, sharing the Gospel of the Kingdom, the Good News of JESUS CHRIST, and blessing others, especially the less fortunate, as we have been blessed.&nbsp; </p><p>And what greater gift could we give JESUS CHRIST and our Heavenly Father during this time than to GIVE of our hearts, our abundance, our time, and our gifts, to FEED, COMFORT, CLOTHE, and ENCOURAGE others, especially those in the Kingdom, in the Family of GOD?</p> Mon, 19 Feb 2018 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/true-vine-the-king-of-kings-within True Vine: The King of Kings Within http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/true-vine-the-king-of-kings-within <p><b>John 15:5 (NKJV):</b> I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.</p><p> </p><p>JESUS CHRIST is both our VINE and our KING, and what most of us often forget is that truly we can do nothing without Him. He is our Courage, our Strength, our SAVIOR, our DELIVERER, our HEALER, our HOPE, our HELP, our LIGHT, our WAY, our TRUTH, and our LIFE, and in Him and through Him, we live, move, act, breathe, overcome, conquer, and pray. </p><p> </p><p>As we abide in JESUS and in HIS WORD, He LIVES and ACTS through us, fulfilling GOD's purpose for us--His Kingdom plan. </p><p> </p><p>Our lives then are not our own, but we, who have submitted to GOD, who have surrendered to CHRIST, live unto HIM—JESUS—and our purpose goes beyond Self. But what we fail to remember is this: The King of kings lives in us; therefore, we have no need to be ashamed or defeated. We are not without power, authority, dominion, or hope through JESUS CHRIST, for wherever we are, He is—ever with us—and HIS SPIRIT comforts, empowers, and guides us in our God-given endeavors. </p><p> </p><p>Without GOD then, without JESUS, we can do nothing and we would be nothing. GOD is our King, JESUS our King of kings, our Lord of lords, our True Vine, and through Him we bear much fruit; we overcome all adversity; we climb mountains high and cross valleys low; we are hard pressed on every side but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not forsaken, and struck down but not destroyed; we are more than conquerors; we are the head and not the tail; we are blessed going in and coming out; we are strong, not weak; and we are powerful, not powerless. </p><p> </p><p>When we live in CHRIST and He LIVES in us and WORKS through us, then we indeed are a force to contend with on earth and in heaven. We're a royal priesthood, a peculiar people, citizens of both heaven and earth, and we have an assignment, a purpose, a destiny, an inheritance, a reward, an eternity in the PRESENCE of GOD.</p><p> </p> Fri, 02 Feb 2018 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/god-us-labor-sacrifice-sweat-blood GOD & US: Labor & Sacrifice, Sweat & Blood http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/god-us-labor-sacrifice-sweat-blood <p><b>Genesis 3:17-19 (NKJV):</b> Then to Adam He [God] said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you. And you shall eat the herb of the field. </p><p> </p><p>In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”</p><p> </p><p><b>Matthew 26:27-29 (NKJV): </b>Then He [Jesus] took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now own until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”</p><p> </p><p><b>Hebrews 9:11-28 (NKJV): </b>But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sacrifices for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?</p><p> </p><p>And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.</p><p> </p><p>For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. </p><p> </p><p>For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood and without shedding of blood there is no remission.</p><p> </p><p>Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another—He then would have had to suffer offer since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time apart from sin, for salvation.</p><p> </p><p><b>1 John 1:5-10 (NKJV): </b>This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.</p><p> </p><p>If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.</p><p> </p><p><b>John 14:23-24 (NKJV): </b>Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the world which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.</p><p> </p><p>GOD LOVES US, and He wants us to love Him with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength; to fellowship with Him; worship Him in Spirit and Truth; abide in Him as He abides in us; obey His commands—His WORD; believe in Him; and trust Him to supply all our need according to His riches in glory by CHRIST JESUS.</p><p> </p><p>Love in GOD’s eyes is obeying His commands—keeping His words, which JESUS says are Spirit and Life.</p><p> </p><p>Love is honoring and exalting GOD, making Him our first priority; it’s surrendering our will for His, casting all our cares upon Him, and letting Him be the LORD of ALL.</p><p> </p><p>Love is being SOULED-OUT—living life LOUD for JESUS and letting GOD through JESUS live and work WITH us and THROUGH us, so we FINISH WELL and FINISH STRONG, fulfilling GOD’s plans and HIS purpose for us. </p><p> </p><p>Even from the beginning with the First Family, Adam and Eve, GOD never intended for us to be separated from Him, spiritually dead, fending for ourselves, and living our lives like orphans—lost, abandoned, rejected, alone—nor did He want us to struggle and toil every day, laboring and sweating, working ourselves into early graves—premature death. We were created in the image of GOD according to His likeness, so we could reflect GOD’s nature, fellowship with Him, have dominion on earth, and be fruitful and multiply, enlarging GOD’s territory, extending His influence, and bringing to KINGDOM of heaven to earth.</p><p> </p><p>But SIN—lawlessness and rebellion—entered our world through the First Family, Adam and Eve, because they disobeyed and doubted GOD, breaking the one command He gave them (not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil) and rebelling against GOD and His Authority. Adam and Eve put their faith in the adversary and trusted him over GOD; they chose SELF-RULE over GOD’s RULE, so they were PENALIZED—CURSED—and CAST OUT—EVICTED—from the garden of EDEN—separated spiritually and physically from GOD, their CREATOR, their FATHER, their KING, who is PERFECT, RIGHTEOUS, JUST, and HOLY, who will not abide in the presence of sin.</p><p> </p><p>In the context of Adam and Eve’s sin and humanity’s curse, SELF-RELIANCE, SWEAT, LABOR, and TOIL represent rebellion against GOD and GOOD DEEDS and SELF-PERFORMANCE are often our attempts to reach GOD on our own merits, working ourselves into GOD’s presence. Basically, we’re the rulers, making every decision, and we leave GOD out of the equation (the process) and try to work out our own salvation. But our only hope of redemption, forgiveness, reconciliation, salvation, deliverance, and grace is found in One Person—the SON of GOD—JESUS CHRIST—whose ATONING BLOOD is PERFECT and POWERFUL enough to CLEANSE US of all unrighteousness and JUSTIFY US before GOD.</p><p> </p><p>For GOD so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but having everlasting life. So, all we have to do is REPENT, CONFESS, RECEIVE and BELIEVE: Admit we’re sinners in need of a Savior, GOD, and turn from the wrong path, the sinful things we’ve been doing; Confess with the mouth that JESUS is LORD, the OWNER of everything, including us; Receive the gift of grace, the gift of salvation through JESUS CHRIST; and Believe that GOD raised JESUS from the dead—He resurrected Him—and we have eternal life because we’re saved by grace through Faith in Him, JESUS.</p><p> </p><p>GOD doesn’t want us to SWEAT and TOIL, working without Him, working against Him, or trying to work our way into His Presence; He wants us to REST, RULE, and ABIDE in Him, working WITH Him, not FOR Him, putting all our HOPE, our FAITH, and our LOVE in Him, giving Him our whole HEART, SOUL, MIND, and STRENGTH. Because if GOD is not the LORD of ALL in our lives, He’s not the LORD at ALL in our lives.</p> Mon, 15 Jan 2018 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/royal-citizens-ambassadors-for-christ-not-of-this-world Royal Citizens & Ambassadors for Christ: Not of this World http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/royal-citizens-ambassadors-for-christ-not-of-this-world <p><b>John 15:18-19 (NKJV): </b>If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.</p><p> </p><p><b>John 17:12-19 (NKJV): </b>While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.</p><p> </p><p>I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.</p><p>Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.</p><p> </p><p><b>2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (NKJV): </b>Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.</p><p> </p><p>Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.</p><p><b> </b></p><p><b>Ephesians 2:14-22 (NKJV): </b>For He Himself [Christ Jesus] is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in putting to death the enmity. </p><p> </p><p>And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.</p><p> </p><p>Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.</p><p> </p><p><b>Philippians 3:17-21 (NKJV): </b>Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.</p><p> </p><p>For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.</p><p> </p><p><b>Colossians 1:9-18 (NKJV): </b>For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.</p><p> </p><p>He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have preeminence.</p><p> </p><p><b>Hebrews 11:13-16 (NKJV): </b>These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had the opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.</p><p> </p><p><b>1 Peter 2:9-17 (NKJV): </b>But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of the darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.</p><p> </p><p>Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.</p><p> </p><p>Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.</p><p> </p><p>GOD is SUPREME—the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Creator of heaven and earth, and everything is <i>His</i>—made <i>through</i> Him and <i>for</i> Him through His Son, JESUS CHRIST, our Redeemer and Savior, by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT.</p><p> </p><p>And we are GOD’s people—sons and daughters—created in GOD’s image, according to His likeness, reconciled to GOD through JESUS CHRIST, adopted into GOD’s Royal Family, and sealed until the day of redemption by the HOLY SPIRIT.</p><p> </p><p>So then we are travelers, colonists, and representatives—sojourners, pilgrims and ambassadors for CHRIST on earth—and royal citizens in the KINGDOM of GOD, ruled by GOD, with full rights and privileges through JESUS CHRIST, our BRIDEGROOM, the COMING KING, and we are called, chosen, and commissioned to spread the GOSPEL, the GOOD NEWS, INCREASING GOD’s INFLUENCE, REPOSSESSING GOD’s PROPERTY, ENLARGING GOD’s TERRITORY, and BRINGING the KINGDOM of GOD, the KINGDOM of LIGHT, to earth. </p><p> </p><p>GOD wants us to IMITATE CHRIST—to resemble, reflect, replicate and reproduce Him on earth; that’s why He renews our minds and equips and empowers us through the HOLY SPIRIT, so we can reach our potential, fulfill our purpose, complete our assignments on earth, and finally hear JESUS, the eternal KING and righteous JUDGE, say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”</p><p> </p><p>Nothing catches GOD by surprise. He knows the end from the beginning; He’s knows who we are and whose we are; He knows our real identity—not what we’ve made of ourselves but who He created us to be. </p><p> </p><p>GOD knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us, plans to give us hope and a future, and through JESUS CHRIST, GOD has given us the GREAT COMMISSION and the ministry of reconciliation so that others might receive the gift of grace and gift of salvation through JESUS CHRIST, be reconciled to GOD, and become ROYAL CITIZENS and AMBASSADORS for CHRIST as well, for 2 Peter 3:9 declares, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”</p><p> </p><p>GOD’s WORD is clear about our salvation, our citizenship, and our destination: JESUS is the PASSPORT. In John 14:6, JESUS says, He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him, and in Romans 10:9, the apostle Paul affirms, if you confess with your mouth the LORD JESUS and believe in your heart that GOD has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. </p><p> </p><p>Our hope, our lives, our purpose, and our future are found in JESUS, the SON of GOD, and where we spend eternity and in whose presence we spend eternity really depends on who we accept as SUPREME RULER or KING in our lives, our thoughts, and our families; who we surrender and commit our hearts, souls, minds, and bodies to; in whom we align ourselves or pledge allegiance to; and in whom we trust or believe in completely—GOD or the adversary.</p> Sat, 06 Jan 2018 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/jesus-everlasting-ever-living-prince-of-peace-king-of-kings JESUS, Everlasting, Ever-Living, Prince of Peace, King of Kings http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/jesus-everlasting-ever-living-prince-of-peace-king-of-kings <p><strong>Isaiah 7:10-17 (NKJV): </strong>Moreover the LORD spoke again to Ahaz, saying, “Ask a sign for yourself from the LORD your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the LORD!”</p><p>Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also?</p><p>Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings. The LORD will bring the king of Assyria upon you and your people and your father’s house—days that have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah.”</p><p><strong>Isaiah 9:6-7 (NKJV): </strong>For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.</p><p><strong>Micah 5:2-5 (NKJV): </strong>“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, through you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”</p><p>Therefore He shall give them up, until the time that she who is in labor has given birth; then the remnant of His brethren shall return to the children of Israel. And He shall stand and feed His flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God; and they shall abide, for now He shall be great to the ends of the earth; and this One shall be peace.</p><p><strong>Matthew 1:18-23 (NKJV): </strong>Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.</p><p>But while he thought about these things, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”</p><p>So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “<em>Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name, Immanuel</em>,” which is translated, “God with us.”</p><p><strong>John 14:25-31 (NKJV): </strong>“These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I have said to you.</p><p>Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.</p><p>“And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.</p><p><strong>Ephesians 2:13-22 (NKJV): </strong>But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.</p><p>And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.</p><p>Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.</p><p>GOD LOVED US, enough to give us His Son, JESUS, and through Him, the Gift of Salvation, the Gift of Forgiveness, the Gift of Redemption, the Gift of Righteousness, the Gift of Reconciliation, the Gift of Adoption, the Gift of Grace, the Gift of Love, the Gift of Hope, the Gift of Faith, the Gift of Healing, and the Gift of Peace.</p><p>GOD loved us enough to send us His best—His Everlasting, Ever-living Son, the Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings—and JESUS is not just our Gift from GOD on Christmas day; He's our Gift from GOD every day, from now through eternity.</p> Fri, 22 Dec 2017 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/8-traps-for-believers-to-recognize-overcome 8 Traps for Believers to Recognize & Overcome http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/8-traps-for-believers-to-recognize-overcome <p><strong>2 Timothy 2:15-26 (NKJV): </strong>Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.</p><p>Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”</p><p>But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.</p><p>Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.</p><p><strong>Proverbs 6:16-19 (NKJV): </strong>There are six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.</p><p><strong>1 Corinthians 10:12-13 (NKJV): </strong>Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.</p><p>EIGHT TRAPS of the adversary exist that we as believers must recognize and overcome, if we hope to spend eternity in the presence of GOD: <em>fear</em>, <em>doubt</em>, <em>pride</em>, <em>idolatry</em>,&nbsp;<em>unforgiveness</em>, <em>deception</em>, <em>distraction</em>, and <em>division</em>. But we are not defenseless; we are not alone. GOD is with us, instructing us, encouraging us, protecting us, correcting us, transforming us, and empowering us, and we can always find strength, hope, courage, power, and authority in the Son of GOD, JESUS CHRIST, who is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. </p> Sun, 17 Dec 2017 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/prayer-for-healing-deliverance-and-protection Prayer for Healing, Deliverance, and Protection http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/prayer-for-healing-deliverance-and-protection <p><b>Jeremiah 17:14:</b> Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise.</p><p>MAY the GOD of HOPE, COMFORT, GRACE, MERCY, and LOVE forgive you and help you forgive others and release them to Him. May He bless you with grace and peace, power and protection, health, and healing, holiness and godliness. May He sustain you as you cast all your cares upon Him. May He fulfill the plans He has for you--plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.</p><p> May GOD’s perfect love cast out all fear and strengthen and encourage you with the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. May GOD bless you with the gifts and the fruit of His Spirit (love, joy, peace, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, patience, kindness, and self-control).</p><p> May no evil befall you, nor any plague come near your dwelling. May GOD encamp His angels around you and give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.</p><p> May GOD establish you and guard you from the evil one, and may He deliver you from every evil work and preserve you for His heavenly kingdom.</p><p> May no weapon formed against you prosper.</p><p>May you be an overcomer and more than a conqueror through Him who loved you. </p><p>May the GOD of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT. </p><p>May GOD supply all your need--physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, and financial--according to His riches in glory by CHRIST JESUS.</p><p> May you prosper in all things and be in health just as your soul prospers.</p><p> May the GOD who heals all your diseases and by whose stripes you are healed restore health to you and heal you of all your wounds.</p><p> May GOD sustain you, raise you, encourage and empower you to RECEIVE your promised and complete healing and deliverance in the NAME of JESUS by the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT. </p><p>So, in the NAME of JESUS, I bind SICKNESS, INFIRMITY, and DISEASE, and I release HEALTH, HEALING, DELIVERANCE, BREAKTHROUGH and PEACE over you. </p><p>In the NAME of JESUS, I command FEAR, ANXIETY, INSOMNIA, DEPRESSION, PAIN, DISCOMFORT, DIABETES, HYPERTENSION, and CANCER to leave and not return, for GREATER is HE that is in you than he that is in the world.</p><p>GOD has not given you a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind, and by JESUS' STRIPES you are and were HEALED. </p><p>So, in JESUS' NAME, I declare and decree prosperity and abundance in your health, your home, your family, and your finances. I declare and decree peace over you, with nothing broken and nothing lost, and in FAITH, I thank JESUS for all that He's already done for your healing, deliverance, and protection on the Cross. </p><p>NOW, may you RECEIVE, BELIEVE, and CLAIM this WORK in you PAID IN FULL and ALREADY DONE. </p><p>GOD SAID IT, SO TRUST HIM, and BELIEVE IT. </p><p>In JESUS’ name, Amen.</p> Wed, 13 Dec 2017 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/hope-notes-for-the-dream-dreamers Hope Notes: For the Dream Dreamers http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/hope-notes-for-the-dream-dreamers <p><b>Hope Verse: Joel 2:28-29</b></p><p>Dear Dreamer:</p><p>When your future seems uncertain, kneel and pray, and GOD will give you an answer and show you the right way. </p><p>When your dreams seem impossible--almost out of reach--surrender those dreams and your heart to GOD, and He'll lead you into your purpose, your future, and your destiny. </p><p>Remember, He's in control, and He knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future, so He will position you and protect you, guiding you in the right time to the right place.</p><p>Never give up and never give in, but look GODWARD and FORWARD and step out on faith, believing GOD will work all things together for good because you love Him and are called according to His purpose. Walk in faith, and remember, nothing is too hard for GOD, and with Him, all things are possible, even dreams deferred--dreams delayed.</p><p>GOD can redeem the time, restore the lost, mend the broken, and resurrect the dead, so don't give up and don't give in; don't lose hope and don't lose faith; and don't doubt GOD's promises or His power. He loves you with an everlasting love, and He's with you; He's on your side; and He will never leave you or forsake you.</p><p>You may be hard-pressed on every side, yet you're not crushed; perplexed but you're not in despair; persecuted but you're not forsaken; struck down, but you're not destroyed. GOD's got you covered; He's upholding you with His righteous right hand; and He's encamping His angels around you, to keep you in all your ways, so you'll arrive at the appointed place at the right time and complete your divine assignment in life.</p><p>You're not alone, and you're not forgotten; you're the Called and the Chosen, the Anointed and Appointed; and GOD has plans and a purpose for you. So, hold on; be strong; and don't settle for less than GOD has planned, prepared, and purposed for you. GOD's dreams are greater than yours, and those dreams that GOD gave you will come to pass in time, if you persevere and overcome, if you run your race with endurance, if you fight the good fight, keep the faith, and hold on until the end.</p><p>GOD loves you, and He's with you, always and forever, so don't get discouraged; don't give up on your dreams. Chase your dreams; pursue them every day.</p><p>Dream the dreams GOD gave you; live in the power and authority JESUS gave you; walk into your destiny with confidence and hope; and remember, you're not alone; you've got an Advocate in JESUS CHRIST and a prayer partner and fellow dreamer in me. So, be loved, be encouraged, and be blessed.</p><p>Sincerely,</p><p>God'sWordProfessor</p> Sun, 10 Dec 2017 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/god-the-lifetime-gps-a-conversation God & the Lifetime GPS: A Conversation http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/god-the-lifetime-gps-a-conversation <p><strong>ME: </strong>Lord, I'm at a crossroads in life, and I've made so many mistakes, taken so many detours, I don't know if I'm still headed in the right direction, if I'm where You want me to be, or if I'm doing what You called me to do. Am I on the right road, driving along the right highway, or have I gotten myself completely lost? I'm clutching the wheel, and I'm in the driver's seat, but I don't know if I'm anywhere near my destination--that place where You assigned me to be. So, I need some guidance and direction, some words of wisdom, knowledge, and encouragement. </p><p>It's been a while since I last heard You whisper in my ear, 'This is the way; walk in it,' so I need to hear from You now, before I make another move--take another detour. I know I haven't always read faithfully or used wisely the Life Map You left me; I haven't always listened to Your instructions or obeyed Your commands; and I haven't always believed in Your promises or trusted in Your plans for me. Basically, I've relied more on myself and others than I've relied on and trusted in You, and for that, I'm truly sorry, and I pray You'll forgive me, and show me the way I should go from this place in which I currently find myself. Please, tell me: What should I do?</p><p><strong>JESUS</strong>: Draw near to Me; Follow Me; Trust Me; Obey My commands; and GO where I lead you, for I AM with you, and I will never leave you or forsake you, and I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. </p><p>Even though you've made your plans in the past, I've always ordered your steps so that you would arrive at the right place at the right time, especially when you've trusted in Me with all your heart, leaning not on your own understanding but acknowledging Me in all you ways and letting me make your paths straight. </p><p>Even in your unfaithfulness, I've remained faithful, because I AM the same yesterday, today, and forever, and My word does not return unto me void but accomplishes that for which I sent it. So, I've worked all things, including your mistakes and your detours, together for good because you love Me and are called according to My purpose. In your weakness, I've been Strength; in your darkest moments, I've been Hope; in your pain, I've been Comfort; in your trials, I've been Protection. In your deception, I've been Truth; in your sickness, I've been Healing; in your lack, I've been Provision. In your loss, I've been Restoration; in your guilt, I've been Forgiveness; in your obedience, I've been Reward. In your sin, I've been Salvation; in your bondage, I've been Deliverance; in your loneliness, I've been Friend. In your death, I've been Resurrection; and in your faith, I've been the Gift and the Grace of GOD.</p><p>Nothing is too hard for Me, and nothing--neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing--shall be able to separate you from the love of GOD, which is in Me, CHRIST JESUS, your LORD.</p><p>I AM your refuge and your strength, a very present help in time of trouble; I AM the Way and the Truth and the Life, and no one comes to the FATHER except through Me, and you can only come to Me because My FATHER draws you near, even as you draw near to Him.</p><p>Lean on Me and let Me take your wheel and steer you in the right direction.</p><p>Trust in Me more than you trust in others, and I will guide you and position you according to My will and purpose.</p><p>Above all, believe in Me and have faith that I AM who I say I AM, and I will do what I said I would do. If you let Me be your lifetime Compass and GPS, you will always be on the right road, driving along the right highway, heading in the right direction--GODWARD--not just GLOBALLY but ETERNALLY.</p> Sat, 09 Dec 2017 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/once-upon-a-time-asleep-awake Once Upon a Time: Asleep & Awake http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/once-upon-a-time-asleep-awake <p><b>Romans 13:11-14 (NKJV): </b>And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.</p><p> </p><p><b>1 Corinthians 15:50-58 (NKJV): </b>Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”</p><p> </p><p>“O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”</p><p> </p><p>The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.</p><p> </p><p><b>1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NKJV): </b>But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.</p><p> </p><p>For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.</p><p> </p><p><b>1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (NKJV): </b>But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.</p><p> </p><p>But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. </p><p> </p><p>But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.</p><p> </p><p>SOME OF US are SLEEPING through life, unaware of the times and the seasons, and if we don’t WAKE UP soon, the Day of JESUS’ RETURN will catch us like a thief in the night. </p><p> </p><p>A TV show called ONCE UPON A TIME has fairy tale characters from an enchanted land cursed by a villain, stripped of their identities, separated from their loved ones, frozen in time, and trapped in our world. The cursed characters have no recollections of their past lives or their loved ones, and their happy endings depend on the success of the savior in fulfilling her destiny—breaking the curse and effectively waking everyone up.</p><p> </p><p>This too could be our lives on earth: Some of us are cursed, lost, and asleep, with no memories of whose we are and from whence we come; we’re unmindful of who we are—our real identities—and we’re trapped in darkness, sleepwalking through life, with no real purpose, plan, identity, or destination. But some of us are saved, redeemed, and awake, 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. And because we have ACCEPTED and RECEIVED GOD’s gift of LOVE and GOD’s gift of GRACE through FAITH in JESUS CHRIST, we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS over every adversary and we have ETERNAL LIFE and ETERNAL VICTORY.</p><p> </p><p>Because we’re AWAKE, living in Daylight, we know WHO we are, WHOSE we are, and from WHENCE we come, and we know GOD knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper and not harm us, plans to give us hope and a future, and because of Him, we have HOPE, SALVATION, DELIVERANCE, and LIFE in JESUS CHRIST.</p><p> </p><p>But some of us are still asleep, living in darkness, and we don’t really know or don’t want to believe JESUS, the CHRIST, our SAVIOR has come and fulfilled His destiny—breaking the curse and ensuring our happy endings. So, we’re cursed in the night, trapped in a world of darkness and sin, with no hope, no future, no Day, no Truth, no Light.</p><p> </p><p>So here’s the real question: Are we asleep or awake? </p> Mon, 04 Dec 2017 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/one-in-all-we-are-one One in All: We are One http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/one-in-all-we-are-one <p><b>John 17:6-26 (NKJV): </b>I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.</p><p> </p><p>“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept, and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.</p><p> </p><p>But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.</p><p> </p><p>“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.</p><p> </p><p>“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous, Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”</p><p> </p><p><b>Romans 12:1-8 (NKJV): </b>I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. </p><p> </p><p>For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.</p><p> </p><p>Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.</p><p> </p><p><b>1 Corinthians 12:4-31 (NKJV): </b>There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.</p><p> </p><p>For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.</p><p> </p><p>If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be?</p><p> </p><p>But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you.” No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.</p><p> </p><p>Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.</p><p><b>Ephesians 4:1-16 (NKJV): </b>I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.</p><p> </p><p>But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.” (Now this, He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)</p><p> </p><p>And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.</p><p> </p><p><b>Philippians 3:17-21 (NKJV): </b>Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.</p><p> </p><p>For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.</p><p> </p><p><b>Colossians 1:9-23 (NKJV): </b>For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.</p><p> </p><p>He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.</p><p> </p><p>For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.</p><p> </p><p><b>Colossians 2:6-10 (NKJV): </b>As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.</p><p> </p><p>Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.</p><p> </p><p>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. So then, JESUS CHRIST, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, and no one comes to the FATHER, except through Him. </p><p> </p><p>He is the ALPHA and the OMEGA, the BEGINNING and the END; He is the AUTHOR and the FINISHER of our FAITH, and He is GOD WITH US, and He will never leave us or forsake us. In Him, we LIVE and ABIDE; through Him, we’re SAVED and FORGIVEN; and because of Him, we’re CLEANSED of all unrighteousness and RECONCILED to GOD, the FATHER. </p><p> </p><p>When we ACCEPT and RECEIVE GOD’s gift of LOVE and GRACE, the gift of SALVATION and ETERNAL LIFE through JESUS CHRIST, we become the BODY and BRIDE of CHRIST; and WE ARE ONE.</p><p> </p><p>JESUS is ONE in ALL, and we’re ONE in Him. So basically, we’re MANY MEMBERS in ONE BODY, and EACH of us is CALLED and GIFTED according to GOD’s PLAN and PURPOSE to ENCOURAGE, EQUIP, and EMPOWER others in the FAMILY of FAITH for the GLORY and HONOR of GOD.</p><p> </p><p>So the real question is this: As MEMBERS in the BODY of CHRIST, are we doing what GOD CREATED, CALLED, COMMANDED, COMMISSIONED, and GIFTED us to do?</p> Sun, 03 Dec 2017 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/weight-loss-a-conversation Weight Loss: A Conversation http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/weight-loss-a-conversation <p><strong>ME: </strong>Lord, sometimes I feel overwhelmed and overweight, distracted by the cares of the world and bound by the choices I've made. How do I lose the weight; how do I get free from the prison I've created, so I can be who You created me to be?</p><p><strong>JESUS:</strong>&nbsp; Cast all your cares upon Me, for I care for you. </p><p>Have faith in Me; believe in Me; and trust in Me with all your heart, and let Me perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you, for My Father sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, and proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.&nbsp;</p><p>You're not alone; I'm with you always, and I will never leave you nor forsake you.</p><p>I AM your Helper, your Redeemer, your Savior, your Comforter, and your Deliverer, and through Me, you're strong and courageous, and you're victorious, more than a conqueror.</p><p>So, hold on; keep your eyes on Me; and run your race with endurance.</p><p>Above all, remember, you are loved, and you are Mine, and the GOD of peace who raised Me from the dead will make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Me, for you are GOD's workmanship, created in Me for good works, which GOD prepared beforehand that you should walk in them.</p><p><br></p><p><br></p> Sun, 26 Nov 2017 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-race-of-faith-a-conversation The Race of Faith: A Conversation http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-race-of-faith-a-conversation <p><strong>ME:&nbsp; </strong>Lord, sometimes I feel like I'm running in a life-time marathon, racing against time, running against the wind, surrounded by fearsome adversaries, with so many obstacles, challenges, and hurdles in my way. This race of faith gets hard sometimes, and there's no army of loyal supporters cheering me or tossing me water from the sidelines, so I get tired of struggling and fighting, sweating in the scorching sun, beating sore hands against the whipping wind, and pounding hurting feet on hard pavement, and sometimes, I feel weak, weary and worn, discouraged, dehydrated, and defeated, like I'm not in good shape, like I'm not equipped to run this race, like I'm running in circles, lagging behind, going in the wrong direction, just watching helplessly and passively as others more fortunate, faster, smarter, and stronger easily overtake me and pass me by. So tell me, please, what do I do?</p><p><strong>JESUS:&nbsp; </strong>Be not discouraged, and be not afraid. Have faith in GOD; believe in Me; trust in Me with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Me, and I shall direct your paths. Remember, I AM with you, and I will never leave you nor forsake you. I will stand with you and strengthen you. I will encourage and empower you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand; and I will whisper in your ear, 'This is the way; walk in it.' </p><p>Fight the good fight; finish the race; and keep the faith, for there is laid up for you the crown of righteousness, which your Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to you on that Day, and not to you only but also to all who have loved His appearing.&nbsp;</p><p>Do not grow weary while doing good for in due season you shall reap if you do not lose heart, and remember,&nbsp;you're an overcomer, more than a conqueror through Him who loved you, and greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.</p><p>Trust in Me more than you trust in others, for I AM your Advocate, and I AM your Provider, and I will supply all your need and quench all your thirst with living water. </p><p>Remember, you're never alone, but you're surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. So, lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares you, and run with endurance the race that is set before you, looking unto Me, the author and finisher of your faith, who for the joy that was set before Me endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of GOD.</p><p>Finally, remember, you're not running in circles; you're running toward Me, and the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill, but time and chance happen to them all. So, be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your GOD is with you wherever you go.</p> Sat, 18 Nov 2017 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/faithful-fruitful-the-sower-the-seed-the-spirit-souls Faithful & Fruitful: The Sower, the Seed, the Spirit & Souls http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/faithful-fruitful-the-sower-the-seed-the-spirit-souls <p><strong>Genesis 1:26-31 (NKJV): </strong>Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”</p><p>So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”</p><p>And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.</p><p><strong>Genesis 2:8-9, 15-18, 21-25 (NKJV): </strong>The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.</p><p>Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”</p><p>And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.</p><p>And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.</p><p><strong>Genesis 3:1-15 (NKJV): </strong>Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”</p><p>Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”</p><p>So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her; and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.</p><p>And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”</p><p>And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you should not eat?” Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”</p><p>So the LORD God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”</p><p><strong>Genesis 5:1-2 (NKJV): </strong>This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created.</p><p><strong>Genesis 6:5-13, 18-22 (NKJV): </strong>Then the LORD saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.</p><p>This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.</p><p>But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.”&nbsp; Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.</p><p><strong>Genesis 7:1-7 (NKJV): </strong>Then the LORD said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth. For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.” And Noah did according to all that the LORD commanded him.</p><p>Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth. So Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the flood.</p><p><strong>Genesis 8:15-22 (NKJV): </strong>Then GOD spoke to Noah, saying, “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark.</p><p>Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.</p><p>“While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.”</p><p><strong>Genesis 9:1-7 (NKJV): </strong>So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.</p><p>But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man.</p><p>“Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man. And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; Bring forth abundantly in the earth And multiply in it.”</p><p><strong>Genesis 28:10-22 (NKJV): </strong>Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.</p><p>And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: “I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.</p><p>Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”</p><p>Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel, but the name of that city had been Luz previously.</p><p>Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”</p><p><strong>Genesis 32:24-31 (NKJV): </strong>Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”</p><p>So He said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.” And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.” And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Just as he crossed over Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip.</p><p><strong>Genesis 35:1-4, 9-15 (NKJV): </strong>Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.” And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone.” So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree which was by Shechem.</p><p>Then God appeared to Jacob again, when he came to Padan Aram, and blessed him. And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name.” So He called his name Israel. Also God said to him: “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body. The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land.” Then God went up from him in the place where He talked with him.</p><p>So Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He talked with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it. And Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him, Bethel.</p><p><strong>Isaiah 5:1-7 (NKJV): </strong>Now let me sing to my Well-beloved A song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard: My Well-beloved has a vineyard On a very fruitful hill. He dug it up and cleared out its stones, And planted it with the choicest vine. He built a tower in its midst, And also made a winepress in it; So He expected it to bring forth good grapes, But it brought forth wild grapes.</p><p>“And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, Judge, please, between Me and My vineyard. What more could have been done to My vineyard That I have not done in it? Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, Did it bring forth wild grapes?</p><p>And now, please let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned; And break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will lay it waste; It shall not be pruned or dug, But there shall come up briers and thorns. I will also command the clouds That they rain no rain on it.”</p><p>For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, And the men of Judah are His pleasant plant. He looked for justice, but behold, oppression; For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help.</p><p><strong>Isaiah 7:10-17 (NKJV): </strong>Moreover the LORD spoke again to Ahaz, saying, “Ask a sign for yourself from the LORD your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the LORD!” Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.</p><p>Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings. The LORD will bring the king of Assyria upon you and your people and your father’s house—days that have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah.”</p><p><strong>Isaiah 9:6-7 (NKJV): </strong>For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.</p><p><strong>Isaiah 11:1-5, 10-12 (NKJV): </strong>There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.</p><p>His delight is in the fear of the LORD, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears; But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, And faithfulness the belt of His waist.</p><p>“And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious.” It shall come to pass in that day That the Lord shall set His hand again the second time To recover the remnant of His people who are left, From Assyria and Egypt, From Pathros and Cush, From Elam and Shinar, From Hamath and the islands of the sea.</p><p>He will set up a banner for the nations, And will assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth.</p><p><strong>Isaiah 56:1-8 (NKJV): </strong>“Keep justice, and do righteousness, For My salvation is about to come, And My righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, And the son of man who lays hold on it; Who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”</p><p>Do not let the son of the foreigner Who has joined himself to the LORD Speak, saying, “The LORD has utterly separated me from His people”; Nor let the eunuch say, “Here I am, a dry tree.” For thus says the LORD: “To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, And choose what pleases Me, And hold fast My covenant, Even to them I will give My house And within My walls a place and a name Better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name That shall not be cut off.</p><p>“Also the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, And to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants—Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant—Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”</p><p>The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says, “Yet I will gather to him Others besides those who are gathered to him.”</p><p><strong>Isaiah 59:15-21 (NKJV): </strong>Then the LORD saw it, and it displeased Him That there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, And wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; And His own righteousness, it sustained Him. For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, And was clad with zeal as a cloak.</p><p>According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, Fury to His adversaries, Recompense to His enemies; The coastlands He will fully repay, So shall they fear The name of the LORD from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.</p><p>“The Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” Says the LORD. “As for Me,” says the LORD, “this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the LORD, “from this time and forevermore.”</p><p><strong>Isaiah 59:19-22 (NKJV): </strong>“The sun shall no longer be your light by day, Nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; But the LORD will be to you an everlasting light, And your God your glory. Your sun shall no longer go down, Nor shall your moon withdraw itself; For the LORD will be your everlasting light, And the days of your mourning shall be ended. Also your people shall all be righteous; They shall inherit the land forever, The branch of My planting, The work of My hands, That I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, And a small one a strong nation. I, the LORD, will hasten it in its time.”</p><p><strong>Isaiah 61:1-3, 10-11 (NKJV): </strong>“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”</p><p>I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its bud, As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring before all the nations.</p><p><strong>Isaiah 65:1, 17-24 (NKJV): </strong>“I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’ To a nation that was not called by My name.</p><p>“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, And her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, And joy in My people; The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, Nor the voice of crying.</p><p>No more shall an infant from here live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, and My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, Nor bring forth children for trouble; For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD, And their offspring with them.</p><p>“It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear.</p><p><strong>Malachi 3:1-3, 6-12 (NKJV): </strong>“Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” Says the LORD of hosts. “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire And like launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD an offering in righteousness.</p><p>“For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the LORD of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’ “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.</p><p>You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.</p><p>“And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the LORD of hosts; “And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a delightful land,” Says the LORD of hosts.</p><p><strong>Matthew 12:33-37 (NKJV): </strong>“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”</p><p><strong>Matthew 13:18-23 (NKJV): </strong>“Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears sixty, some thirty.”</p><p><strong>Matthew 13:36-43 (NKJV): </strong>Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And his disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.</p><p>The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!</p><p><strong>Matthew 21:18-22 (NKJV): </strong>Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away.</p><p>And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither away so soon?” So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”</p><p><strong>Mark 11:12-14, 20-26 (NKJV): </strong>Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” And his disciples heard it.</p><p>Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.” So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.</p><p>“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”</p><p><strong>Luke 6:43-45 (NKJV): </strong>“For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.</p><p><strong>Luke 8:4-8, 11-15 (NKJV): </strong>And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”</p><p>“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.</p><p><strong>Luke 13:6-9 (NKJV): </strong>He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’”</p><p><strong>Luke 20:9-16 (NKJV): </strong>Then He began to tell the people this parable: “A certain man planted a vineyard, leased it to vinedressers, and went into a far country for a long time. Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that they might give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the vinedressers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent another servant; and they beat him also, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent a third; and they wounded him also and cast him out.</p><p>“Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Probably they will respect him when they see him.’ But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’ So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others.”</p><p><strong>John 12:20-26 (NKJV): </strong>Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus. But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.</p><p>He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.</p><p><strong>John 15:1-8 (NKJV): </strong>“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.</p><p>“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.</p><p><strong>Acts 13:20-33 (NKJV): </strong>After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.</p><p>From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior—Jesus—after John had first preached, before His coming, the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘Who do you think I am? I am not He. But behold, there comes One after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to loose.’</p><p>“Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him. And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. Now when they fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb.</p><p>But God raised Him from the dead. He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people. And we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers. God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’</p><p><strong>1 Corinthians 15:35-49 (NKJV): </strong>But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come? Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other grain. But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.</p><p>All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.</p><p>So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.</p><p>The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.</p><p><strong>Galatians 3:26-4:1-7 (NKJV): </strong>For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.</p><p>Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.</p><p>And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.</p><p><strong>Galatians 5:16-26 (NKJV): </strong>I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.</p><p>Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissentions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.</p><p>But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.</p><p><strong>Galatians 6:7-10 (NKJV): </strong>Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.</p><p>And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.</p><p><strong>Philippians 2:3-11 (NKJV): </strong>Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.</p><p>Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.</p><p>Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.</p><p><br></p><p>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. GOD loved us so much He sowed His Seed—JESUS—to reap an eternal harvest—us. GOD loved us so much He created us in His image, according to His likeness; male and female He created us, commanded us, blessed us, and commissioned us from Adam and Eve to Noah and his family through Abraham and his descendants, even to our generation, to be good stewards of everything He’s entrusted to us, to be fruitful and multiply, producing in abundance and rendering to GOD that which is GOD’s, which is basically everything—including us.</p><p>We are GOD’s stewards and ambassadors; GOD’s sons and daughters; GOD’s servants and ministers; GOD’s property and GOD’s workmanship, created in CHRIST JESUS for good works, which GOD prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. And this is real truth in GOD’s WORD: Our good works don’t produce salvation, but our salvation produces good works, and we will reap according to the life-time seeds we’ve sown, for a tree is known by the fruit it bears, whether it be good or bad.</p><p>Every seed that comes from GOD, the Sower, has SPIRIT and LIFE in it, from JESUS CHRIST, the SON of GOD, to the WORD of GOD. But every seed sown in good soil must die before it produces fruit after its own kind, and this is the mystery of GOD’s plan revealed: JESUS CHRIST, the Seed GOD sowed, died on the Cross and was raised from the dead so that we might be saved from the penalty of sin, which is death, and we might be reconciled to GOD and live eternally in and through Him—CHRIST JESUS.</p><p>This is the GREAT EXCHANGE: JESUS sowed His life for ours. He died that we might live, and He was resurrected that we might be resurrected to eternal life by grace through faith in Him.</p><p>And this is the GREAT EXPECTATION of GOD, that we will deny ourselves, die to Self, surrender our lives, live for CHRIST, and bear the FRUIT of the SPIRIT: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Since we’re created in GOD’s image, according to His likeness, He expects us to resemble, reflect, and reveal <em>Him</em>. He expects us to be good stewards, good sowers and planters, sowing good seeds into good soil and producing a good harvest—one that’s acceptable and pleasing to Him.</p><p>Our GOD is living, and our GOD is unchanging, and JESUS CHRIST is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and GOD knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. Since the fall of Adam in Genesis, GOD has been sowing seeds in our lives, in our generations, and He wants a good return on His investment. He wants a good harvest. He wants a perfect Church, without spot or wrinkle, and a perfect Bride for His Son, JESUS. So, He expects faithfulness, fruitfulness and fellowship, not just addition but multiplication, and He’s seeking workers <em>and</em> worshippers, ambassadors and children, young and old. That’s why from Genesis to Revelation, we see the faithful, obedient, fruitful, and honest blessed and rewarded and the faithless, disobedient, barren, and corrupt cursed and cut down, even from the root.</p><p>GOD is clear in His WORD, from Genesis to Revelation : Any tree that does not bear good fruit will be rejected--struck down and burned. So, we must ask ourselves: Are we sowing good seed in good soil? Are we bearing good fruit—the FRUIT of the HOLY SPIRIT? If we stood before JESUS the RIGHTEOUS JUDGE this very day, would He commend us and say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant,’ or would He rebuke us and say, ‘Depart from me, you worker of iniquity’?”</p> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/passion-purpose-a-conversation Passion & Purpose: A Conversation http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/passion-purpose-a-conversation <p><strong>ME: </strong>Lord, I feel empty sometimes, almost depleted, like I'm weak, like I'm alone, like I'm a failure, like I'm lost and I can't hear Your voice, and like I'm wasting time and talents, spinning wheels in the wilderness of Discontent. Am I doing what You called me to do, what you created me to do? Have I lost my way, my passion, my purpose?</p><p><strong>JESUS: </strong>You're not alone; I AM with you. Always. And I love you with an everlasting love, higher than any mountain you climb and lower than any valley you cross. Nothing in all creation will ever separate you from My love, because I abide in you, and you abide in Me. You're Mine--My beloved--and I AM your strength and your courage, and I order your steps and make straight your path, when you trust in Me with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding,&nbsp;when you cast all your cares upon Me, when You surrender everything to Me, letting Me be the Lord of all in your life.&nbsp;</p><p>You're not lost; you're found, and you have a purpose and a destiny through Me, for I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. I delight in you with gladness, for you are fearfully and wonderfully made in My image, according to My likeness. In you I see the fruit of My Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, kindness, and self-control; in you I see the reflection, resemblance, and revelation of Me.</p><p>You are loved; you have a purpose; and you're not alone, so don't give up, don't despair, and don't give in. I have not forgotten you. I see you, and I hear you, even in your wilderness. Every hour. Every day. I'm the still, small voice encouraging you, whispering in your ear, 'This is the way; walk in it.' I'm the consuming fire within you, the whirling wind around you, and the guiding Spirit that dwells within, filling you, strengthening you, perfecting you, equipping you, empowering you, teaching and directing you. </p><p>I AM your passion, and I AM LOVE, so LOVE lives in you, and LOVE abides in you. Always. </p><p>And when you get discouraged and feel like you're wasting time, remember this truth: NOTHING is too hard for Me. With Me, ALL things are possible, and in Me, nothing is lost. Just like I redeemed you, I can redeem time, because all things work together for good to those who love GOD and are the called according to HIS purpose.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 13 Nov 2017 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-mirror-the-mask-the-savior-the-adversary-the-truth-the-masquerade The Mirror & the Mask: The Savior & the Adversary, the Truth & the Masquerade http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-mirror-the-mask-the-savior-the-adversary-the-truth-the-masquerade <p><strong>Genesis 1:26-31 (NKJV): </strong>Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”</p><p>And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.</p><p><strong style="font-size: 0.9rem;">Genesis 2:7, 15-18, 21-25 (NKJV): </strong>And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. . .&nbsp; Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”</p><p>And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.</p><p><strong>Genesis 3:1-8 (NKJV): </strong>Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die’”</p><p>Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.</p><p>And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.</p><p><strong>Genesis 3:9-19 (NKJV): </strong>Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”</p><p>Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”</p><p>So the LORD God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”</p><p>To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.”</p><p>Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, “You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”</p><p><strong>Genesis 5:1-2 (NKJV): </strong>This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created.</p><p><strong>Genesis 6:5-11 (NKJV): </strong>Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.</p><p><strong>Genesis 7:1-4 (NKJV): </strong>Then the LORD said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth. For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.” And Noah did according to all that the LORD commanded him.</p><p><strong>Genesis 8:1-3, 15-22 (NKJV): </strong>Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided. The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained. And the waters receded continually from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters decreased.</p><p>Then God spoke to Noah, saying, “Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark.</p><p>Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.”</p><p><strong>Genesis 9:1-17 (NKJV): </strong>So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.</p><p>But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man.</p><p>“Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man. And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; Bring forth abundantly in the earth And multiply in it.”</p><p>Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying, “And as for me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth. Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”</p><p>And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations. I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”</p><p>And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”</p><p><strong>Genesis 12:1-4 (NKJV): </strong>Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation, I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.</p><p><strong>Genesis 15:1-6 (NKJV): </strong>After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” But Abram said, “Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!” And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir.” Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.</p><p><strong>Genesis 17:1-8 (NKJV): </strong>When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.</p><p>Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”</p><p><strong>Exodus 33:12-19 (NKJV): </strong>Then Moses said to the LORD, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But you have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”</p><p>And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”</p><p>So the LORD said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”</p><p>Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” And the LORD said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.”</p><p><strong>Deuteronomy 30:11-20 (NKJV): </strong>For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it too far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it? Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it? But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.</p><p>“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your GOD, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.</p><p>But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”</p><p><strong>Job 1:1-12 (NKJV): </strong>Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”</p><p>Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”</p><p>So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”</p><p>And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.</p><p><strong>Job 1:13-22 (NKJV): </strong>Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house; and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided them and took them away—indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”</p><p>While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”</p><p>While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”</p><p>Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.” In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.</p><p><strong>Job 2:1-10 (NKJV): </strong>Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?”</p><p>Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.”</p><p>So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”</p><p>And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.</p><p>And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes. Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.</p><p><strong>Job 3:1-5, 11-19 (NKJV): </strong>After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. And Job spoke, and said: “May the day perish on which I was born, And the night in which it was said, ‘A male child is conceived.’ May that day be darkness; May God above not seek it, Nor light shine upon it. May darkness and the shadow of death claim it; May a cloud settle on it; May the blackness of the day terrify it.</p><p>“Why did I not die at birth? Why did I not perish when I came from the womb? Why did the knees receive me? Or why the breasts, that I should nurse? For now I would have lain still and been quiet, I would have been asleep; Then I would have been at rest With kings and counselors of the earth, Who built ruins for themselves, Or with princes who had gold, Who filled their houses with silver; Or why was I not hidden like a stillborn child, Like infants who never saw light?</p><p>There the wicked cease from troubling, And there the weary are at rest. There the prisoners rest together; They do not hear the voice of the oppressor. The small and great are there, And the servant is free from his master.</p><p><strong>Job 38:1-21 (NKJV): </strong>Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: “Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.</p><p>“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?</p><p>“Or who shut in the sea with doors, When it burst forth and issued from the womb; When I made the clouds its garment, And thick darkness its swaddling band; When I fixed My limit for it, And set bars and doors; When I said, ‘This far you may come, but no farther; And here your proud waves must stop!”</p><p>“Have you commanded the morning since your days began, And caused the dawn to know its place, That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, And the wicked be shaken out of it? It takes on form like clay under a seal, And stands out like a garment. From the wicked their light is withheld, And the upraised arm is broken.</p><p>“Have you entered the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in search of the depths? Have the gates of death been revealed to you? Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death? Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth? Tell Me, if you know all this.</p><p>“Where is the way to the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its place, That you may take it to its territory, That you may know the paths to its home? Do you know it, because you were born then, Or because the number of your days is great?</p><p><strong>Job 42:1-8, 10-16 (NKJV): </strong>Then Job answered the LORD and said: “I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’</p><p>“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees you. Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”</p><p>And so it was, after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the <br> Temanite, ‘My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.”</p><p>And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then all his brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been his acquaintances before, came to him and ate food with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversity that the LORD had brought upon him. Each gave him a piece of silver and each a ring of gold.</p><p>Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first Jemimah, the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-Happuch. In all the land were found no women so beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers.</p><p>After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations. So Job died, old and full of days.</p><p><strong>Psalm 19:1-5, 7-11 (ESV): </strong>The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.</p><p>The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.</p><p><strong>Mark 16:14-18 (NKJV): </strong>Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink any thing deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”</p><p><strong>Luke 9:1-2 (NKJV): </strong>Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.</p><p><strong>John 1:1-18 (NKJV): </strong>In 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 nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.</p><p>There was a man sent from God whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.</p><p>He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.</p><p>And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”</p><p>And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.</p><p><strong>John 2:23-25 (NKJV): </strong>Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.</p><p><strong>John 8:37-47 (NASB): </strong>I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.”</p><p>They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.”</p><p>Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.</p><p>Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”</p><p><strong>John 10:7-10 (NKJV): </strong>Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.</p><p><strong>John 10:22-30 (NKJV): </strong>Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”</p><p>Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”</p><p><strong>John 14:5-6 (NKJV): </strong>Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.</p><p><strong>John 15:18-27 (NKJV): </strong>“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you from out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.</p><p>He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’</p><p>“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.</p><p><strong>John 17:6-8 (NKJV): </strong>I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.</p><p><strong>John 18:36-37 (NKJV): </strong>Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”</p><p><strong>Acts 17:22-31 (NKJV): </strong>Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.</p><p>And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us, for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.</p><p>Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom he has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”</p><p><strong>Romans 1:16-25 (NKJV): </strong>For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”</p><p>For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.</p><p>Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen</p><p><strong>Romans 2:1-11 (NKJV): </strong>Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?</p><p>But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality, but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.</p><p><strong>Romans 5:6-11 (NKJV): </strong>For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.</p><p>For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.</p><p><strong>Romans 13:11-14 (NKJV): </strong>And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.</p><p>Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.</p><p><strong>Romans 14:7-10 (NKJV): </strong>For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.</p><p><strong>Romans 16:17-20 (NKJV): </strong>Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.</p><p><strong>1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (NKJV): </strong>Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.</p><p><strong>1 Corinthians 11:3, 7-12 (NKJV): </strong>But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.</p><p>For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.</p><p>For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.</p><p><strong>1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 18, 27-28 (NKJV): </strong>For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.</p><p>But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.</p><p>Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.</p><p><strong>1 Corinthians 13:9-13 (NKJV): </strong>For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.</p><p>For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.</p><p><strong>1 Corinthians 15:35-49 (NKJV): </strong>But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other grain. But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.</p><p>All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds.</p><p>There is also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.</p><p>So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.</p><p>However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.</p><p><strong>2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NKJV): </strong>Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.</p><p><strong>2 Corinthians 4:7-11 (NKJV): </strong>But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.</p><p>We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.</p><p><strong>2 Corinthians 5:9-10, 17-21 (NKJV): </strong>Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.</p><p>Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.</p><p>Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.</p><p><strong>2 Corinthians 6:1-10 (NKJV): </strong>We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”</p><p>Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.</p><p>We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings, by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.</p><p><strong>2 Corinthians 10:17-18 (NKJV): </strong>But “he who glories, let him glory in the LORD.” For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.</p><p><strong>2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (NKJV): </strong>For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.</p><p><strong>Galatians 3:21-29 (NKJV): </strong>Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.</p><p>But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.</p><p>For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.</p><p><strong>Galatians 4:4-7 (NKJV): </strong>But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.</p><p><strong>Ephesians 4:20-24, 28-32 (NKJV): </strong>But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.</p><p>Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.</p><p>And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.</p><p><strong>Colossians 1:13-23 (NKJV): </strong>He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.</p><p>He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.</p><p>For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.</p><p>And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.</p><p><strong>Colossians 2:6-10 (NKJV): </strong>As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.</p><p>Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.</p><p><strong>Colossians 3:12-17, 23-25 (NKJV): </strong>Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.</p><p>But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.</p><p>Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.</p><p>And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.</p><p><strong>1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 (NKJV): </strong>For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.</p><p><strong>1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 (NKJV): </strong>Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.</p><p><strong>1 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV): </strong>And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.</p><p><strong>Titus 2:11-14 (NKJV): </strong>For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.</p><p><strong>James 1:16-18, 21-27 (NKJV): </strong>Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.</p><p>Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.</p><p>But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.</p><p><strong>1 John 2:15-17 (NKJV): </strong>Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.</p><p><strong>1 John 2:18-29 (NKJV): </strong>Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.</p><p>But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.</p><p>Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. Therefore let that abide in you which heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.</p><p>These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.</p><p>And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.</p><p><strong>1 John 3:4-12 (NKJV): </strong>Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.</p><p>Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.</p><p>In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.</p><p><strong>1 John 3:18-24 (NKJV): </strong>My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.</p><p>And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as he gave us commandment.</p><p>Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.</p><p><strong>1 John 4:1-16 (NKJV): </strong>Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they be of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.</p><p>You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.</p><p>Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.</p><p>In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.</p><p>No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.</p><p>Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.</p><p><strong>Revelation 3:5-6 (NKJV): </strong>He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’</p><p>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. FOR JESUS SO LOVED US that He sacrificed His life and His blood on Calvary’s Cross; He overcame death and the grave and was resurrected and raised to life, so we could be redeemed, saved, forgiven, and reconciled to GOD, His Father. JESUS loved us so much, He sent us a Helper, a Comforter, a Teacher—the HOLY SPIRIT—who dwells within us, who equips and empowers us, who convicts and compels us, who purifies and perfects us, who seals and transforms us.</p><p>GOD is not only for us, but GOD is with us: He abides in us, and we abide in Him. And like all GOD’s apostles and disciples, followers and servants, sons and daughters, we are called, commanded, and commissioned to be BE FRUITFUL and MULTIPLY, to GO beyond the four walls of our churches and our comfort zones, and to be IMITATORS and AMBASSADORS of CHRIST in this ministry of reconciliation.</p><p>Like MIRRORS, we are made to REFLECT, RESEMBLE, and REVEAL GOD, the FATHER, and the SON, JESUS CHRIST, who is the LIGHT, the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, and we are created to BEAR and PRODUCE the FRUIT of the HOLY SPIRIT: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, and self-control.&nbsp;OUR GOD is LIVING, and OUR GOD is LOVE, and according to His WORD, we are fearfully and wonderfully made, in the IMAGE of GOD, according to His likeness. So, if GOD is with us, and GOD abides in us, LOVE abides in us, LOVE lives in us, and we DO reflect, resemble, and reveal that love, first to GOD, then to others. And this is love in GOD’s sight, obeying His commands, surrendering our wills for His, and doing that which is pleasing to Him. But those who MASQUERADE as children of light bear the dark fruit of the adversary, their father, who comes to steal, kill, and destroy; to deceive and distract; to disillusion, divide, and conquer; to sow discord, rebellion, disobedience, lawlessness, and confusion. </p><p>So, who do we REFLECT most--the SAVIOR or the DECEIVER? Are we firmly holding GOD'S MIRROR? Or proudly wearing Lucifer's MASK?</p> Sat, 11 Nov 2017 06:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/to-save-serve-worship-wait-the-bridegroom-bride-vessel-virgin To Save, Serve, Worship & Wait: The Bridegroom, Bride, Vessel, & Virgin http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/to-save-serve-worship-wait-the-bridegroom-bride-vessel-virgin <p><strong>Isaiah 54:5-6 (NKJV): </strong>For your Maker is your husband, The LORD of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. For the LORD has called you Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, Like a youthful wife when you were refused,” Says your God.</p><p><strong>Isaiah 61:10-11 (NKJV): </strong>I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its bud, As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.</p><p><strong>Isaiah 62:5 (NKJV): </strong>For as a young man marries a virgin, So shall your sons marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you.</p><p><strong>John 3:27-36 (ESV): </strong>John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. “You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ “The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. “He must increase, but I must decrease.”</p><p>He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.</p><p>The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.</p><p><strong>1 Corinthians 7:29-35 (NKJV): </strong>But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away.</p><p>But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord. But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife. There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband. And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.</p><p><strong>Luke 10:38-42 (ESV): </strong>Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.</p><p>But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”</p><p>But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, “but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”</p><p><strong>John 12:1-8 (NKJV): </strong>Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper, and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.</p><p>But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.</p><p>But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”</p><p><strong>Matthew 24:35-51 (ESV): </strong>“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.</p><p>“For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, “and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.</p><p>“Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. “Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. “Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day the Lord is coming.</p><p>“But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.</p><p>“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? “Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. “Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.</p><p>“But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ “and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, “the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know “and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.</p><p><strong>Matthew 25:1-13 (NKJV): </strong>“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.</p><p>“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’</p><p>Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’</p><p>And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’</p><p>“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.</p><p>FOR GOD SO LOVED US, He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. He loves us so much that He draws us to Himself; He pursues and perfects us; He saves and seals us; He defends and He delivers us; He heals and helps us; He renews and repurposes us; He redeems and reconciles us; He calls and commissions us; He prepares and protects us; He equips and empowers us; He loves and lives in us; and He resurrects and raises us.</p><p>For GOD the FATHER so loves us, He betroths us individually and collectively to His Son, JESUS, for we, the Church, are equally the BODY and the BRIDE of CHRIST, who is the ANOINTED ONE—the MESSIAH—the SON of GOD—the SAVIOR, the PRINCE of PEACE, the KING of KINGS, the LORD of ALL, the AUTHOR and FINISHER of OUR FAITH, the ALPA and OMEGA, the BEGINNING and the END.</p><p>As BRIDE and SERVANT, VESSEL and VIRGIN, we DRAW NEAR to GOD, we HUMBLE ourselves before Him; we SURRENDER our will for His; we COMMIT our lives and our works to Him; we ENTRUST our plans, our present, our hope, and our future to Him; and we BEAR the FRUIT of HIS SPIRIT: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.</p><p>We LOVE GOD with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength because we have a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Him. We WORSHIP and EXALT Him more than ourselves and others; we SEEK HIS KINGDOM, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and HIS APPROVAL; and we PUT OUR CONFIDENCE in HIM because we want to PLEASE HIM more than anyone else.</p><p>So then TO LOVE GOD is to OBEY HIS COMMANDS, to LOVE HIM and the LOVE OTHERS as OURSELVES; to GO all-in and COMMIT to GOD, with our whole heart, soul, mind, and might; to WORSHIP HIM first, in SPIRIT and TRUTH; to HAVE FAITH and BELIEVE IN HIM, the SON of GOD, JESUS, the CHRIST; to LIVE and ABIDE in HIM; to COMMIT EVERY WORK and EVERYTHING to GOD; and to SERVE the LORD without distraction.</p><p>GOD gave everything for us, so He expects us to give everything back to Him, including our lives. For His word declares, “none of us live to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living” (Romans 14:7-9, NKJV).</p><p>John the Baptist in the third chapter of the Gospel of John says this of us as earthly vessels and of JESUS, the SON of GOD and the CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE: </p><p>“A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven…He who has the bride is the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all…For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides in him.”</p><p>GOD the FATHER has redeemed us, GOD the SON, JESUS, the CHRIST, has paid the BRIDE-PRICE and has saved us from the penalty of sin—death—and He has reconciled us to GOD, and GOD the HOLY SPIRIT is perfecting us, so we may be glorious and presented to our Bridegroom without spot, wrinkle, or blame, and all we have to do is this: ACCEPT GOD’s GIFT of LOVE—GOD’s GIFT of GRACE—INVITE the BRIDEGROOM inside and RECEIVE Him with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength.</p><p>As the BRIDE, the SERVANT, the VESSEL, and the VIRGIN, we must SUBMIT to GOD, the FATHER, the SON, and the HOLY SPIRIT; we must abide in GOD just as GOD abides in us; and we must commit everything we have and everything we do to the LORD GOD, for we are engaged to the PRINCE of PEACE and the KING of KINGS; we are the BRIDE of CHRIST; and our BRIDEGROOM is COMING BACK for us soon. But are we watching and waiting? Are we worshipping GOD in Spirit and Truth? Are we like Martha, the distracted servant, or Mary, the devoted worshipper? Are we serving GOD? Without distraction? Are we honoring and exalting Him? Is GOD our First Love? Have we put Him on the backburner? Are we taking a break from Him? Are we like the five foolish or the five wise virgins? Are we stuck on ourselves? Caught up in politics, pleasure, and the cares of the world--the pride of life, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes? Are we stressed out and overwhelmed with family, work, and school? Have we decreased, so GOD can increase in and through us? Are we the Faithful Bride running toward GOD or the Runaway Bride hiding from Him? Are we ready to marry the Bridegroom? Are we too independent? Too self-reliant? Are we better off staying single? Are we ignoring GOD? Doubting him? Cheating on Him? Having affairs with our National Idols? Are we ready for JESUS’ return? Do we want Him to return? Or do we fear His return?</p> Sat, 28 Oct 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/dry-bones-dry-seasons-a-conversation Dry Bones & Dry Seasons: A Conversation http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/dry-bones-dry-seasons-a-conversation <!--StartFragment--><p>ME: Lord, I'm standing in a valley, stuck in a dry season, with dry and broken bones. My life is on hold, stuck in one place, and even my dreams seem dead, almost impossible.</p><p>JESUS: Have faith in GOD! I AM with you. Always. And I am not the GOD of the dead, but the GOD of the living. I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me shall never die. Only believe! I AM the Way, and the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the FATHER, except through ME, and you abide in Me, and I abide in you, and in Me is life eternal. In <em>Me</em>, dry bones live, and in <em>Me</em>, you shall not die but live and declare the works of the LORD.</p><!--EndFragment--> Sun, 15 Oct 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/saved-but-single-a-conversation Saved But Single: A Conversation http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/saved-but-single-a-conversation <!--StartFragment--><p><strong> ME</strong>: Lord, I'm saved but single. And sometimes, I feel like an outsider intruding on a Valentine's Day party, and I'm all alone, and everyone else is living in the chapters of a life-time romance or skipping through the pages of a well-known fairy tale, because they've made a connection, found happiness, and fallen in love; they've met someone special, and they've married their forever love or their soul mate--everybody except me.</p><p> So, what's up, GOD? Don't I deserve someone too? I've crossed off and chased away all the Bozos 'cause I've been waiting for my perfect prince--my family redeemer--my Boaz. But now I'm wondering: Where is my prince? Is he lost in the woods? Dead? Trapped in another realm? Is he locked in the enemy's dungeon? Is he a rebel, a runaway groom, a lost cause? Does he have amnesia? Is he homeless? In a coma? Overseas? Or is he the one that got away? Have I missed my chance at true love? Am I meant to be eternally saved but single?</p><p><strong> JESUS</strong>: You're never alone. I AM with you. Always. And you ARE saved, but you're not single. You're Mine because My FATHER betrothed you to Me, when you invited Me into your heart and surrendered your life to Me.</p><p> So, you're My Bride--My Beloved--My wife--and I'm your Bridegroom--your Prince--and your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is His name, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your GOD rejoice over you.</p><p> I love you with an everlasting love, and you are pleasing in My sight, for you are fearfully and wonderfully made. My FATHER drew you to Me, and I gave Myself for you on the Cross that I might sanctify and cleanse you with the washing of water by the word, that I might present you to Myself as glorious, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that you should be holy and without blemish.</p><p> So, be patient and don't lose hope. Watch and wait for My return, for I AM your Prince. I AM your Bridegroom. I AM your husband, and you ARE My Bride--part of My Family--for all eternity. </p><p>Remember these words: I love you, and I will never leave you or forsake you, and I'm coming back for you. Soon.</p><!--EndFragment--> Sun, 15 Oct 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/resurrection-restoration-dry-bones-dry-seasons Resurrection & Restoration: Dry Bones & Dry Seasons http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/resurrection-restoration-dry-bones-dry-seasons <p><strong>Ezekiel 37:1-14 (NKJV): </strong>The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” So I answered, “O Lord GOD, You know.”</p><p>Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.””&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p>So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.</p><p>“Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, “Thus says the Lord GOD: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.</p><p>Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it,” says the LORD.’”</p><p>GOD LOVES US, and He is not the GOD of the dead, but the GOD of the LIVING.</p><p>He’s GOD WITH US—the GOD of REDEMPTION, RESURRECTION, RESTORATION, RIGHTEOUSNESS, and REVIVAL; the GOD of PROMISE, PROTECTION, PRESERVATION, PROVISION, PURPOSE, and PEACE; the GOD of HOPE, HEALING, HOLINESS, and HELP; the GOD of COMFORT, COMPASSION, and CONSECRATION; the GOD of GOODNESS, GLORY, and GRACE; the GOD of SALT, SALVATION, and SANCTIFICATION; the GOD of LIGHT, LIBERTY, and LIFE; the GOD of VALOR and VICTORY; and the GOD of MIRACLES and MERCY.</p><p>He’s the MIGHTY, AWESOME ONE; the SOVEREIGN, COMPASSIONATE ONE; the DIVINE, HEALING ONE; the GRACIOUS, REDEEMING ONE; the MERCIFUL, FORGIVING ONE; the HOLY, RIGHTEOUS ONE; the FAITHFUL, PATIENT ONE; the JUST, GOOD ONE; and the LOVING, IMMUTABLE ONE.</p><p>Nothing is too hard for GOD, and with Him, all things are possible: <em>redemption</em>, <em>salvation</em>, <em>forgiveness</em>, <em>reconciliation</em>, <em>resurrection</em>, and <em>restoration</em>.</p><p>He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future, and we can come to Him and pray to Him, and He will listen to us, and we can seek Him and find Him when we seek Him with <em>all</em> our hearts. And we can have this confidence in Him, that when we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us, and He will never leave us or forsake us.</p><p>IN CHRIST JESUS—the SON of GOD—we’re covered, so when our bones seem dry, our dreams are deferred, our spirits are depleted, and our seasons are dark, GOD IS STILL THERE, READY to REVIVE, RESURRECT, and RESTORE every dry and broken bone, every dark and dead season, every lost and misplaced thing in our lives, so that all <em>His</em> plans for us come to pass and so that <em>His</em> Word does not return unto Him void but accomplishes that for which He sent it.</p><p>But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of GOD and not of us, and we’re hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed, always carrying about in the body the dying of the LORD JESUS, that the life of JESUS also may be manifested in our body. So then, we were <em>crucified</em> with CHRIST. But now we <em>live</em> in CHRIST, through CHRIST, because of CHRIST, and eternally for CHRIST. And because of Him, the GOD of the living, not the GOD of the dead, dry seasons end, impossible dreams come true, and dry bones <em>live</em>.</p> Sat, 14 Oct 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-heartfelt-word-faith-in-good-soil The Heartfelt Word: Faith in Good Soil http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-heartfelt-word-faith-in-good-soil <p><strong>Matthew 13:18-23 (NKJV): </strong>“Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.</p><p>But he who received seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.</p><p>Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.</p><p>But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”</p><p>GOD LOVES US, and GOD’s WORD is the seed sown in the soils of our hearts, and these are the soils: the HARD HEART (seed received by the wayside), the SHALLOW HEART (seed received on stony places), the STRANGLED HEART (seed received among thorns), and the OPEN HEART (seed received on the good ground).</p><p>Out of the hardened heart, the shallow heart, the strangled heart, and the open heart, the only soil that receives the seed of GOD’s WORD and produces the FRUIT of the SPIRIT (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control), some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty is found ON THE GOOD GROUND—in the OPEN HEART—one surrendered, redeemed, saved, delivered, and offered freely to GOD’s WORD, GOD’s SPIRIT, GOD’s WILL, GOD’s PURPOSE, GOD’s PLAN, GOD’s SON—JESUS CHRIST.</p><p>So then, our faith is not just planted in the seed sown, which is the WORD of the KINGDOM—the WORD of GOD—but it’s rooted deeply in the GOOD and FRUITFUL soil of every SOULED-OUT believer’s heart.</p><p>So, the real heartfelt questions are these: On what kind of soil has the seed sown—GOD's WORD—fallen in our lives? In what kind of heart has it been received?</p> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/qualifications-a-conversation Qualifications: A Conversation http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/qualifications-a-conversation <p><strong>ME: </strong>Lord, I can't do this. It's too hard. I'm not qualified.</p><p><strong>JESUS: </strong>You can do all things through Me. I strengthen you. I empower you. I qualified you. I AM with you, until the end of the age, and I will never leave you or forsake you, and nothing you do can surpass anything I've already done.&nbsp;</p> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/hope-notes-god-loves-you Hope Notes: GOD Loves You http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/hope-notes-god-loves-you <p><strong>Hope Verses: John 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8; 1 John 4:4-21</strong></p><p>Dear Friend:</p><p>GOD LOVES YOU, with an everlasting love--higher than all mountains, deeper than all oceans, and beyond every border and boundary. His love is perfect and true; His love is patient and kind. It does not envy; it does not boast; it is not proud. It does not dishonor others; it is not self-seeking; it is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs. His love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. His love never fails.</p><p>GOD loves you so much He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. He loves you so much He offered you His beloved Son, JESUS, as Savior, Redeemer, Mediator, Healer, Lord, Prince, King, and Bridegroom, so you could be reconciled to Him, your heavenly FATHER, and adopted into His family and His kingdom, with all the rights, privileges, and benefits of a son and daughter, a prince and princess--blood-bought royalty and joint-heirs with JESUS CHRIST, the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings.</p><p>GOD loves you more than the mother who carried you in the womb for nine months and nurtured you throughout your life; He loves you more than the father who braved the winter rain and summer heat year after year to protect you and provide for your daily needs. He loves you more than your grandmothers or grandfathers, more than your in-laws, foster parents, adopted parents, spouses, partners, children, and friends. He loves you for who you are--who He created you to be--wonderfully and fearfully made, in His image, according to His likeness. He loves you for being uniquely you--strong and courageous, gifted and talented, full of passion and purpose, full of faith, hope, love, and dreams.</p><p>He knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future, and He's working all things together for good because you love Him and are called according to His purpose. He's got your back; He's got you covered, and no weapon formed against you shall prosper, for greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. He's with you, wherever you go, wherever you are, and He will never leave you nor forsake you, so be strong and courageous. </p><p>You're not a victim; you're a victor, and though you may be hard-pressed on every side, you're not crushed; though you may be perplexed, you're not in despair; though you may be persecuted, you're not forsaken; though you may be struck down, you're not destroyed. Why? GOD is with you, forever and always, and He's your refuge and your strength, a very present help in time of trouble. He's the mighty, awesome One; He's the Strong One, so lean on Him, cast your cares on Him, and let Him love and protect you in the good times and the bad. And remember, nothing--neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall separate you from the love of GOD which is in CHRIST JESUS our LORD.</p><p> GOD loves you, and He doesn't change; He's the same yesterday, today, and forever. So, hold on; don't give up and don't give in; fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith. Above all, remember this: GOD THINKS YOU'RE WORTH SAVING, WORTH FORGIVING, WORTH HEALING, WORTH LOVING, WORTH KEEPING, WORTH PROTECTING, WORTH TEACHING, WORTH ADOPTING, WORTH DYING FOR. So, if GOD loves you like that and JESUS is with you--GOD is in you--and GOD is for you, who can be against you? Who can overcome you? Nobody, because you're more than a conqueror through Him who loved you.</p><p>Now, may the LORD bless you and keep you; may He make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; may the LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.</p><p>With Love &amp; Blessings,</p><p><em>GOD'sWORD Professor</em></p><p><br></p><p><br></p> Fri, 15 Sep 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/godsword-prayer-strength-deliverance GOD'sWORD Prayer: Strength & Deliverance http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/godsword-prayer-strength-deliverance <p><b>Prayer Verses: Jeremiah 20:11; 2 Timothy 4:17-18</b></p><p>LORD, be with me as the mighty, awesome ONE.&nbsp;</p><p>Stand with me and strengthen me so that the message might be preached fully through me.</p><p>Deliver me out of the mouth of the lion and the adversary.</p><p>Deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for Your heavenly kingdom.</p><p>In Jesus' name.</p><p>Amen.</p> Wed, 13 Sep 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/godsword-prayer-strength-courage GOD'sWORD Prayer: Strength & Courage http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/godsword-prayer-strength-courage <p><b>Prayer Verse: 2 Timothy 4:2, 5, 7</b></p><p>LORD, help me be strong and courageous.</p><p>Help me preach the word and be ready in season and out of season.</p><p>Equip and empower me that I might convince, rebuke, exhort, with all patience and teaching.</p><p>Help me be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, and fulfill my ministry.</p><p>Help me fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith, </p><p>because my faith, hope, and love rest and abide in You.</p><p>In Jesus' name.</p><p>Amen.</p> Wed, 13 Sep 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/godsword-strength-in-jesus-the-strong-one GOD'sWORD: Strength in JESUS, the Strong One http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/godsword-strength-in-jesus-the-strong-one <p><strong>1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV): </strong>Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.</p><p>BE STRONG and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your GOD is with you wherever you go. He changes not; He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is your Helper, and He will never leave you nor forsake you.</p><p>GOD is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble; therefore, we will not fear. The LORD is our light and our salvation; whom shall we fear? The LORD is the strength of our lives; of whom shall we be afraid?</p><p>Let us bless the LORD, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all our iniquities, Who heals all our diseases, Who redeems our lives from destruction, Who crowns us with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies our mouths with good things, so that our youth is renewed like the eagle’s.</p><p>Let us not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. We are of GOD and have overcome them, because He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. For whatever is born of GOD overcomes the world, and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world but he who believes that JESUS is the Son of GOD?</p><p>Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of GOD rests upon you.</p><p>Remember, GOD has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the LORD JESUS, that the life of JESUS also may be manifested in our body. But fear not. GOD is with us, and He will help us. He will uphold us with His righteous right hand.</p><p>Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting GOD, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might, He increases strength.</p><p>Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. </p><p>GOD knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper and not harm us, plans to give us hope and a future, and we know that all things work together to those who love GOD, to those who are the called according to His purpose.</p><p>Neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 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. And if GOD be for us, who can be against us?</p><p>Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of GOD, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Do not grow weary while doing good, for in due season you shall reap if you do not lose heart.</p><p>Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. Let us preach the word and do the work of an evangelist! Let us fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith! Let us be strong and of good courage; let us never give up and never give in, for JESUS is coming back quickly, and His reward is with Him, to give to every one according to his works.</p><p>So, let us watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong, and let all that we do be done with love. Let us be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let our requests be made known to GOD; and the peace of GOD, which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds through CHRIST JESUS.</p><p>Above all, let us remember GOD is with us, JESUS is our STRONG ONE, and we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.</p><p><br></p> Tue, 12 Sep 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/birth-pains-eager-expectation-labor-delivery-sorrow-joy Birth Pains & Eager Expectation: Labor & Delivery, Sorrow & Joy http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/birth-pains-eager-expectation-labor-delivery-sorrow-joy <p><strong>Isaiah 26:17-18 (NKJV): </strong>As a woman with child Is in pain and cries out in her pangs, When she draws near the time of her delivery, So have we been in Your sight, O LORD. We have been with child, we have been in pain; We have, as it were, brought forth wind; We have not accomplished any deliverance in the earth, Nor have the inhabitants of the world fallen.</p><p><strong>Isaiah 13:6-8 (NKJV): </strong>Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. Therefore all hands will be limp, Every man’s heart will melt, And they will be afraid. Pangs and sorrows will take hold of them; They will be in pain as a woman in childbirth; They will be amazed at one another; Their faces will be like flames.</p><p><strong>Isaiah 66:7-13 (NKJV): </strong>“Before she was in labor, she gave birth; Before her pain came, She delivered a male child. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, She gave birth to her children. Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” says the LORD. “Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?” says your God.</p><p>“Rejoice with Jerusalem, And be glad with her, all you who love her; Rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her; That you may feed and be satisfied With the consolation of her bosom, That you may drink deeply and be delighted With the abundance of her glory.”</p><p>For thus says the LORD: “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, And the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream. Then you shall feed; On her sides shall you be carried, And be dandled on her knees. As one whom his mother comforts, So I will comfort you; And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”</p><p><strong>Matthew 24:3-14 (ESV): </strong>As he [Jesus] sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. “For many will come in my name, saying, “I am the Christ; and they will lead many astray. “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.</p><p>“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. “All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.</p><p>“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. “And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. “And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. “And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. “But the one who endures to the end will be saved. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.</p><p><strong>John 16:19-22 (NKJV): </strong>Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, “Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, “A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’? Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.</p><p>A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.</p><p><strong>Romans 8:18-25 (NKJV): </strong>For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.</p><p>For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.</p><p><strong>2 Timothy 3:1-5 (ESV): </strong>But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.</p><p><strong>2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NKJV): </strong>For I [Paul] am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.</p><p><strong>2 Peter 3:4-16 (ESV): </strong>They [scoffers] will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, By which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and earth which now exist are kept in store by the same word, reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.</p><p>But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.</p><p>But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, Looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?</p><p>Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.</p><p>Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; And consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.</p><p><strong>Revelation 22:12-17 (NKJV): </strong>“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”</p><p>Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.</p><p>I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.</p><p>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, and GOD’s greatest commands are these: LOVE the LORD your GOD with <em>all</em> your heart, soul, mind, and strength and LOVE OTHERS as you love yourself.</p><p>And this is US and OUR LOVE in this generation, this time and season: We are the REDEEMED and the SAVED, the RECONCILED BODY and BRIDE of CHRIST, WATCHING and WAITING for the SECOND COMING of our BRIDEGROOM, and we like ALL of GOD’s CREATION are GROANING like women in childbirth, in the beginning of sorrows, suffering through birth pains.</p><p>We LABOR and TRAVAIL because we are PREGNANT with PREVAILING HOPE and ENTHUSIASTIC EXPECTATION; we LONG FOR and EAGERLY AWAIT the RETURN of our KING of KINGS and LORD of LORDS, JESUS CHRIST, and as we get CLOSER to the BIG EVENT—DELIVERY—two forces DRIVE our BIRTH PAINS and PANGS: FREQUENCY and INTENSITY, and OUR CONTRACTIONS and BIRTH PAINS and PANGS—everything we must labor through, overcome, and endure—INTENSIFY and ACCELERATE.</p><p>But THIS is LOVE—HOPING and TRUSTING in JESUS—BELIEVING that GOD is IN CONTROL and ALL THINGS work together FOR GOOD to THOSE WHO LOVE GOD and are THE CALLED according to HIS PURPOSE. And this is LOVE, that GOD WILL SAVE, STRENGTHEN, and DELIVER US, because GOD knows the plans He has for us, plans to PROSPER US and not harm us, plans to GIVE US HOPE and a FUTURE.</p><p>Basically, LOVE is obeying GOD’s commands; it’s looking GODWARD and exalting GOD more than we exalt ourselves and others.</p><p>This LOVE calls us to WORSHIP GOD in SPIRIT and TRUTH; it calls us to HUMBLE ourselves, REPENT, SEEK GOD, and PRAY; it calls us to SUBMIT everything to GOD, SURRENDER our LIVES to CHRIST, COMMIT our WORKS to HIM, FORGIVE as we have been forgiven, CONDEMN NOT and JUDGE NOT but BUILD UP and STRENGTHEN OTHERS in the WORD of GOD, which is the WORD of FAITH.</p><p>GOD’s LOVE is EVERLASTING and PERFECT, and it CASTS OUT ALL FEAR, and His DEFINITION of LOVE is proclaimed in HIS WORD as this: LOVE is patient and kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. LOVE does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. LOVE never fails.</p><p>GOD’s LOVE inspires HOPE, and it builds TRUST.</p><p>GOD’s LOVE redeems, forgives, saves, restores, heals, transforms, and reconciles.</p><p>But above all these, in the heart of GOD’sWORD, is this: GOD is GOOD, GOD is JUST, GOD is LOVE, and though we labor and travail, suffering through birth pains and pangs, though we groan and weep, enduring hardships and adversity, we are not alone; GOD IS WITH US, and JOY COMES in the morning.</p><p>And we have this TREASURE in EARTHEN VESSELS, that the excellence of the power may be of GOD and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the LORD JESUS, that the life of JESUS also may be manifested in our body.</p><p>And here’s the TRUTH of GOD’sWORD: </p><p>GOD LOVES US;</p><p>GOD DRAWS US;</p><p>GOD SAVES US; </p><p>GOD DELIVERS US;</p><p>GOD HEALS US;</p><p>GOD REBUILDS US;</p><p>GOD RESTORES US;</p><p>GOD CALLS US;</p><p>GOD EQUIPS US;</p><p>GOD EMPOWERS US;</p><p>GOD STRENGTHENS US;</p><p>GOD WARNS US;</p><p>GOD PROTECTS US;</p><p>GOD PREPARES US;</p><p>and GOD TELLS US, “Watch and Wait. Pray without ceasing. Get Ready, Get Right, and Get your house in order, for the BRIDEGROOM and the KING of KINGS is coming. JESUS is coming back. <em>Soon</em>."</p> Fri, 08 Sep 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/god-with-us-in-the-storm GOD WITH US: In the Storm http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/god-with-us-in-the-storm <p><strong>Joshua 1:9 (NIV):</strong> Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.</p><p>EVEN WHEN we’re struggling, living through hurricanes, wading through flood waters, being battered by the storms of life and standing in the path of destruction, GOD IS WITH US, and all we’ve got to do is HAVE FAITH, TRUST GOD, and HOLD ON; we’ve got to be STRONG and COURAGEOUS and NEVER GIVE UP but always ENDURE, PERSEVERE, HOPE, PRAY, TRUST, and OVERCOME as MORE THAN CONQUERORS through HIM who LOVES US. </p><p>We’ve got to CARRY the SHIELD of FAITH, BE NOT AFRAID, and BE NOT DISCOURAGED but LEAN on HIM—GOD—and TRUST that HE’s GOT US COVERED and HE’s IN CONTROL as our LORD and SAVIOR, our PROTECTOR and PROVIDER, our DEFENDER, our COMFORTER, and our ROCK; and we must believe that He’ll guide us through the storm, through the floods, beyond the wind, beyond the rain, and beyond the hurricane.</p><p>We must believe that GOD LOVES US and GOD IS WITH US, GOD IS FOR US, and GOD will never leave us nor forsake us. We must believe that ALL THINGS WILL work together for good to those who love Him and are the called according to His purpose; and we must believe that though we are hard-pressed on every side, WE ARE NOT CRUSHED, though we are perplexed, WE ARE NOT IN DESPAIR, though we are persecuted, WE ARE NOT FORSAKEN, and though we are struck down, WE ARE NOT DESTROYED, because we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us, and we are VICTORS, not VICTIMS, even in the middle of the trials, the floods, the winds, and the storms. We’ve got to TRUST GOD and WALK IN FAITH, even when our world seems dark and out of control, and we’ve got to believe that NO WEAPON formed against us shall prosper; we've got to remember when trouble comes and there’s no light or sunshine in sight this TRUTH: GOD LOVES US, GOD SUSTAINS US, GOD HELPS US, GOD SAVES US, and GOD KNOWS the plans He has for us, plans TO PROSPER US and not harm us, plans TO GIVE US HOPE and a FUTURE; and we’ve got to humble ourselves and surrender everything, including self-reliance and fear and LEAN ON GOD, not our own understanding. </p><p>We've got to go ALL-IN and COMMIT to GOD and TRUST HIM to LEAD US, GUIDE US, EMPOWER US, ENCOURAGE US, COMFORT US, STRENGTHEN US, RESCUE US, and SAVE US before, during, and after the hurricane, the flood, and the storm, because being BLESSED is having GOD WITH US, all the time, especially in the storm.</p> Tue, 29 Aug 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/repurposed-for-gods-glory-the-house-masters-and-the-potters-honorable-earthen-vessels Repurposed for GOD's Glory: The House Master's and the Potter's Honorable & Earthen Vessels http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/repurposed-for-gods-glory-the-house-masters-and-the-potters-honorable-earthen-vessels <p><strong>2 Corinthians 4:7-18 (NKJV): </strong>But we have this treasure in earthen <strong>vessels</strong>, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you.</p><p>And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.</p><p>Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.</p><p><strong>Joshua 6:15-19, 23-25: </strong>But it came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner. On that day only they marched around the city seven times. And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: “Shout, for the LORD has given you the city! Now the city shall be doomed by the LORD to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But the silver and gold, and <strong>vessels</strong> of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the LORD; they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.”</p><p>And the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father, her mother, her brothers, and all that she had. So they brought out all her relatives and left them outside the camp of Israel. But they burned the city and all that was in it with fire. Only the silver and gold, and the <strong>vessels</strong> of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD. And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father’s household, and all that she had. So she dwells in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.</p><p><strong>2 Timothy 2:20-21: </strong>But in a great house there are not only <strong>vessels</strong> of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a <strong>vessel</strong> for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.</p><p><strong>Isaiah 29:15-16: </strong>Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the LORD, And their works are in the dark; They say, “Who sees us?” and, “Who knows us?”</p><p>Surely you have things turned around! Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay; For shall the thing made say of him who made it, “He did not make me”? Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?</p><p><strong>Isaiah 64:4-8: </strong>For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him. You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness, Who remembers You in Your ways. You are indeed angry, for we have sinned—In these ways we continue; And we need to be saved.</p><p>But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away. And there is no one who calls on Your name, Who stirs himself up to take hold of You; For You have hidden Your face from us, And have consumed us because of our iniquities. But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.</p><p><strong>Jeremiah 18:1-11: </strong>The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying: “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the <strong>vessel</strong> that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another <strong>vessel</strong>, as it seemed good to the potter to make.</p><p>Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the LORD. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant that I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it. Now therefore, speak to the men of Jerusalem, saying, “Thus says the LORD: “Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.</p><p><strong>Matthew 13:47-52: </strong>“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into <strong>vessels</strong>, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Jesus said to them, “Have you understood all these things?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”</p><p><strong>Romans 9:21-24:</strong> What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the <strong>vessels</strong> of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the <strong>vessels</strong> of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?</p><p><strong>Ephesians 2:4-10: </strong>But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.</p><p>For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.</p><p><strong>Colossians 1:13-23: </strong>He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.</p><p>He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.</p><p>For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.</p><p>And you who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which, I, Paul, became a minister.</p><p>GOD LOVES US, enough that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, and He sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.</p><p>GOD loves us with an EVERLASTING LOVE that is patient and kind, that does not envy or boast, that is not proud; it does not dishonor others; it is not self-seeking; it is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs. His love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth; it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. His love never fails.</p><p>In this GREAT LOVE, GOD CREATED US, in HIS IMAGE, according to HIS LIKENESS, and we are HIS WORKMANSHIP, created in CHRIST JESUS for GOOD WORKS, which GOD PREPARED BEFOREHAND that we should WALK in THEM.</p><p>We are THE CALLED according to GOD’s PURPOSE, and OUR WILL is to do the WORK of the LORD, for we are GOD’s EARTHEN VESSELS who are CHOSEN for SERVICE and HONOR, who are SET APART and MADE HOLY, who are PURIFIED, SANCTIFIED, and CONSECRATED to the LORD through the redemptive BLOOD of JESUS CHRIST, and because JESUS was RESURRECTED, and HE LIVES, we are RECONCILED to GOD through HIM, and we have ASSURANCE through the HOLY SPIRIT that we are BORN of GOD, that we are SONS and DAUGHTERS through CHRIST JESUS, because of the FULL PRICE JESUS PAID on CALVARY’s CROSS.</p><p>So, we are CHOSEN VESSELS for GOD’s GLORY and HONOR: we LIVE LIFE LOUD for JESUS CHRIST the SON; we’re SOULED-OUT for GOD the FATHER; and we’re AVAILABLE for the HOLY SPIRIT, because we’re GOD’s AMBASSADORS, we’re the BODY of CHRIST, and we’re the TEMPLES of the HOLY SPIRIT. We’re SURRENDERED VESSELS who LOVE GOD like ADDICTS with ALL OUR HEART, SOUL, MIND, and STRENGTH, and we LOVE OTHERS like ourselves, because GOD is LOVE, and GOD is in our SPIRITUAL DNA, and this LIVING GOD is UNCHANGING; He’s ETERNAL, and He’s EVERYTHING, the SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY, and FOREVER.</p><p>GOD is our SOURCE, our CREATOR, our FATHER, our KING.</p><p>GOD is our LORD, our SAVIOR, our REDEEMER, our DELIVERER, our PRINCE, our BRIDEGROOM.</p><p>GOD is our COUNSELOR, our ADVOCATE, our HEALER, our PROTECTOR, our PROVIDER.</p><p>GOD is our TEACHER, our COMFORTER, our SEAL, our GUARANTEE.</p><p>GOD is our HOPE, our FAITH, our LOVE, our PEACE.</p><p>GOD is our REFUGE, our CORNERSTONE, our STRONG TOWER, our ROCK.</p><p>GOD is our GOOD SHEPHERD, our TRUE VINE, our BRANCH, our GATE, our DOOR.</p><p>GOD is our LIGHT and our SALVATION; GOD is our STRENGTH and our SHIELD.</p><p>GOD is ALPHA and OMEGA, the BEGINNING and the END.</p><p>GOD is the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our FAITH.</p><p>GOD is our VICTORY; GOD is OUR WORD.</p><p>GOD is the KING of KINGS and the LORD of ALL, and JESUS, the SON of GOD, is the WAY and the TRUTH and the LIFE, and NO ONE comes to the FATHER except THROUGH HIM.</p><p>Without GOD, we can do nothing, for we were created through and for GOD, and in CHRIST JESUS, we are REPURPOSED for HONORABLE and EVERYDAY USE in a ministry of reconciliation. And here are the real questions that will help us gauge where we are on our spiritual journey: Are we vessels for HONORABLE or DISHONORABLE use? Vessels for GOD or vessels for the adversary? Who do we serve--GOD or Satan? Who’s our Master? Who do we love more?</p><p>If we died today, where would we spend eternity: in the presence of the LIVING GOD in the kingdom of LIGHT or with the adversary, outside of GOD's presence, in a kingdom of darkness?&nbsp;</p> Sat, 22 Jul 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/family-matters-the-house-divided-the-house-god-builds Family Matters: The House Divided & the House GOD Builds http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/family-matters-the-house-divided-the-house-god-builds <p><strong>Matthew 10:32-39 (NKJV): </strong>“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.</p><p>“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and a ‘man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’</p><p>He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.</p><p><strong>Mark 3:20-27: </strong>Then the multitude came together again, so that they could not much as eat bread. But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, “He is out of His mind.”</p><p>And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebub,” and “By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.”</p><p>So He [Jesus] called them to Himself and said to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end. No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.</p><p><strong>Matthew 12:25-30: </strong>Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.</p><p>But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.</p><p><strong>Matthew 13:46-50: </strong>While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.” But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”</p><p><strong>Luke 8:19-21: </strong>Then His mother and brothers came to Him, and could not approach Him because of the crowd. And it was told Him by some, who said, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You.” But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”</p><p><strong>Matthew 13:53-58: </strong>Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables, that He departed from there. When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things? So they were offended at Him.</p><p>But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.</p><p><strong>Matthew 19:25-30: </strong>When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed you. Therefore what shall we have?”</p><p>So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.</p><p><strong>John 7:1-18: </strong>After these things Jesus walked in Galilee, for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him. Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world. For even His brothers did not believe in Him.</p><p>Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. You go up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come. When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee. But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.</p><p>Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, “Where is He?” And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, “He is good”; others said, “No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.” However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.</p><p>Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. And the Jews marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?” Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.</p><p><strong>Acts 1:6-14: </strong>Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”</p><p>Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”</p><p>Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. 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. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.</p><p><strong>Romans 8:14-17: </strong>For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.</p><p>GOD LOVES US, enough that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. And GOD loves us with an EVERLASTING LOVE that PURSUES US, DRAWS US, SAVES US, REDEEMS US, HEALS US, RENEWS US, EMPOWERS US, TRANSFORMS US, and COMMISSIONS US to GO fulfill our purpose in His plan.</p><p>We’re COMMANDED to LOVE the LORD our GOD with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to LOVE OTHERS as WE LOVE ourselves; we’re CALLED to be HEARERS and DOERS of GOD’s WORD; we’re INSTRUCTED to DENY OURSELVES, TAKE UP THE CROSS, and FOLLOW JESUS; and &nbsp;we’re urged to MAKE GOD our FIRST PRIORITY, even before family—father, mother, sons and daughters--because anything we put before GOD becomes an IDOL.</p><p>In essence, the FAMILY GOD CREATES and the HOUSE GOD BUILDS come through and stand on the FOUNDATION of His Son, JESUS CHRIST, and the BLOOD of JESUS SHED for us on CALVARY’s CROSS RECONCILES US to GOD the FATHER and UNITES US more than any familial blood coursing through our veins. So then, a FAMILY isn’t only the one we’re NATURALLY BIRTHED or BORN into but also the FAMILY we’re SPIRITUALLY or SUPERNATURALLY BIRTHED, ADOPTED, or ENGRAFTED into by GRACE through FAITH in JESUS CHRIST. And the only BLOOD thicker than water in our SPIRITUAL LIVES and FAMILIES is JESUS'. And according to JESUS, HIS FAMILY are THOSE who DO THE WILL of HIS FATHER in HEAVEN—THOSE who HEAR the WORD of GOD and DO IT.</p><p>So, here are the real questions: Are we WITH GOD or without Him? For Him or against Him? Part of GOD’s FAMILY or the advesary's? Are we joint-heirs with CHRIST, adopted sons and daughters? Are we living in a HOUSE DIVIDED or a HOUSE UNITED--a HOUSE made by the HANDS of MEN or a HOUSE made by HANDS of GOD? &nbsp;</p> Sat, 15 Jul 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/every-hallelujah-for-god-the-king Every Hallelujah for GOD, the KING http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/every-hallelujah-for-god-the-king <p><b>Revelation 19:4-7 (NIV):</b> The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: "Amen, Hallelujah!" Then a voice came from the throne, saying: "Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both great and small!" Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!</p><p>GOD IS OUR KING, and He's &nbsp;WORTHY of ALL GLORY, HONOR, and PRAISE.</p><p> He's WORTHY of every SERMON, SONG, PSALM, and PRAYER, WORTHY of every BOWED HEAD, BENT KNEE, and RAISED HAND.</p><p> He's WORTHY of every person's WHOLE HEART, SOUL, MIND, BODY, and STRENGTH; and He is WORTHY of EVERY HALLELUJAH, from all of HIS CREATIONS, great and small, for GREAT IS THE LORD, and HE IS WORTHY to BE PRAISED.</p><p> So, LET GOD, the KING of KINGS be CROWNED with ALL GLORY, ALL PRAISE, and EVERY HALLELUJAH. </p><p>Amen ("So be it").</p> Fri, 14 Jul 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-gospel-living-life-loud The Gospel: Living Life LOUD http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-gospel-living-life-loud <p><b>Romans 1:16-17 (NKJV):</b> For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."</p><p><b>Ephesians 1:3-14 (NKJV):</b> Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.</p><p>In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth--in Him. </p><p>In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.</p><p><b>Ephesians 2:4-10 (NKJV):</b> But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. </p><p>For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them,.</p><p>GOD LOVES US, enough to SAVE US through JESUS CHRIST and STRENGTHEN US through the HOLY SPIRIT. And from the time that was, GOD WAS THERE, and for the present time, GOD IS, and for those of us WHO BELIEVE, GOD IS WITH US, never to leave us, never to forsake us, So, let us walk out our faith with passion and purpose, let us act in accordance to GOD's WORD, let us LIVE LIFE LOUD for JESUS, and let us BE READY when JESUS RETURNS for His Church, His Body, His Bride, His Family, His People. </p> Tue, 11 Jul 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/evidential-faith-beyond-reasonable-doubt Evidential Faith: Beyond Reasonable Doubt http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/evidential-faith-beyond-reasonable-doubt <p><strong>Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV): </strong>Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.</p><p><strong>Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV): </strong>But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.</p><p><strong>Luke 4:16-22 (NKJV): </strong>So He [Jesus] came to Nazareth where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:</p><p>“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”</p><p>Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”</p><p>So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”</p><p><strong>Matthew 11:1-6 (NKJV): </strong>Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities. And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”</p><p>Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”</p><p><strong>Matthew 16:13-17 (ESV): </strong>Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him,“Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”</p><p><strong>John 10:14-30 (ESV): </strong>“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, “just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”</p><p>There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind”?</p><p>At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”</p><p>Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, “but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. “I and the Father are one.”</p><p><strong>John 10:31-39 (ESV): </strong>The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said you are gods’? “If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken—do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, “You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?</p><p>“If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; “but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.</p><p><strong>John 14:1-7 (NIV): </strong>“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”</p><p>Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”</p><p><strong>Mark 14:60-65 (ESV): </strong>And the high priest stood in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”</p><p>And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? “You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.</p><p><strong>1 John 5:1-12 (NIV):</strong> Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.</p><p>In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.</p><p>We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.</p><p>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. For GOD did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.</p><p>JESUS—the SON of GOD and the SON of MAN, the MANIFESTATION and DIVINE EXPRESSION of GOD and the CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE—came that we might be REDEEMED and SAVED by GRACE through FAITH in Him; that we might be FORGIVEN of SINS, CLEANSED of UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, and RECONCILED to GOD the FATHER through Him; that we might LIVE and ABIDE in Him; and that we might HAVE ETERNAL LIFE through Him, our LORD and SAVIOR, our PRINCE of PEACE, our REDEEMER, our CHIEF HIGH PRIEST, our JUDGE, our BRIDEGROOM, our CORNERSTONE, our ROCK, the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our FAITH, and our KING of KINGS.</p><p>While JESUS walked the earth in ministry, He made numerous claims, identifying Himself as the SON of GOD and the prophesied MESSIAH (the CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE, the DIVINE PRIEST and KING), and of great importance to JESUS was who people believed Him to be, and He even asked His disciples two questions that are still relevant today: “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” and “Who do you say I am?”</p><p>JESUS challenged followers and skeptics alike to BELIEVE IN HIM based on the EVIDENCE of GOD’s WORK if they didn’t have enough faith to believe based on His testimony that GOD the FATHER sent Him to SAVE the world or His Word that He and GOD are ONE. So, our faith is not a BLIND, IGNORANT FAITH like most unbelievers would have everyone accept; our faith is an INTELLIGENT, EVIDENTIAL FAITH that we EXERCISE daily, as we trust and believe in GOD, GOD’s WORD, and GOD’s SON, JESUS CHRIST, and even JESUS, referencing Deuteronomy 6:5, commands us in Mark 12:30 thus: “And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” He doesn’t ask us to turn off our brains or lose our minds but to HAVE FAITH in GOD, EXAMINE the EVIDENCE, and let Him, through the HOLY SPIRIT, RENEW our minds, so we have the MIND of CHRIST.</p><p>And GOD doesn’t force us to love Him or believe in Him. But GOD loved us enough to give us FREE WILL—the GIFT of CHOICE. So, LOVE is a CHOICE and BELIEF is a CHOICE, and regardless of what we choose in respect to JESUS CHRIST, GOD HONORS our FINAL DECISION: FAITH or UNBELIEF, ACCEPTANCE or REJECTION.</p><p>Basically, the only charge for which JESUS was tried and condemned in a criminal trial was this: <em>blasphemy</em>, claiming He was the SON of GOD, with supernatural powers. He wasn’t charged, tried, and crucified on the basis of any crime He committed, anything He did, but solely on the basis of WHO He was—HIS IDENTITY. And during His trial, JESUS had no friends on His side or character witnesses ready or willing to defend Him or vouch for Him; most of His disciples had fled in the night, deserting Him, and Peter denied Him three times. JESUS was tortured, whipped, struck, spat on, and taunted. For us. For GOD. During His crucifixion, JESUS’ adversaries mocked Him, challenging Him to save Himself, if He trusted GOD and was the SON of GOD. But JESUS surrendered His life, committing His Spirit to GOD. He died. He was buried. But He rose. He lived. He appeared to His disciples many times over many days. He ascended to heaven. And finally, THEY BELIEVED and were EMBOLDENED and EMPOWERED, and they SPREAD the GOSPEL. And most of them were PERSECUTED and MARTYRED; only the Apostle John died naturally.&nbsp;</p><p>That GOD raised JESUS from the dead on the third day, just as JESUS had prophesied; that JESUS WAS RESURRECTED; that HIS TOMB is EMPTY and HE IS RISEN; and that He fulfilled the Old Testament Messianic prophecies verify JESUS’ IDENTITY as the CHRIST, SON of the LIVING GOD.</p><p>And we, like every other person on the planet, have to EXAMINE the EVIDENCE and EXERCISE FAITH enough to answer this question honestly: “Who do we BELIEVE JESUS is?” How we answer the question will influence our choices and eventually determine WHERE and WITH WHOM we spend eternity.</p><p>Some contend JESUS is a myth, pure fiction.</p><p>Some contend JESUS is a good moral man.</p><p>Some contend He’s a good moral teacher.</p><p>Some contend He’s a wise man.</p><p>Some contend He’s a prophet who said a lot of profound things.</p><p>Some contend He’s a rebel.</p><p>Some contend He’s the Son of God, our Lord and Savior.</p><p>But really, if we’ve read and understood JESUS’ claims about Himself in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), which are basically eyewitness accounts, there’s only three options: Jesus is a <strong>Liar, </strong>Jesus is a <strong>Lunatic, </strong>or Jesus is <strong>Lord</strong>.</p><p>So, here’s the Trilemma: <em>Is JESUS LIAR, LUNATIC, or LORD?</em></p><p>To make a choice or give our verdict, we’ll need to examine the evidence, using the Legal-Historical Proof, which depends on 3 types of testimony: <strong>Oral Testimony, Written Testimony</strong>, and <strong>Exhibits</strong>.</p><p><strong>Internal Evidence: The Holy Bible</strong></p><p>The New Testament presents JESUS as GOD:</p><p><strong>JESUS is called GOD.</strong></p><p><strong>The Scriptures attribute characteristics to Him that can only be true of GOD.</strong></p><p><strong>JESUS is self-existent.</strong></p><p><strong>JESUS is omnipresent.</strong></p><p><strong>JESUS is omniscient.</strong></p><p><strong>JESUS is omnipotent.</strong></p><p><strong>JESUS possesses eternal life.</strong></p><p><strong>JESUS received honor and worship that only GOD should receive.</strong></p><p><strong>JESUS demanded to be worshiped as GOD.</strong></p><p><strong>Devout Jewish disciples recognized JESUS as GOD incarnate.</strong></p><p>JESUS makes claims about Himself:</p><p><strong>He’s equal with GOD.</strong></p><p><strong>He’s one with the Father, in essence or nature.</strong></p><p><strong>He’s the Son of GOD.</strong></p><p><strong>He’s the Son of the Blessed One. </strong></p><p><strong>GOD is His Father.</strong></p><p><strong>He has authority to forgive sins committed against GOD.</strong></p><p><strong>He’s the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Him, though he may die, he shall live.</strong></p><p><strong>He’s the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him.</strong></p><p><strong>He’s the One who will sit at the right hand of Power.</strong></p><p><strong>He’s the Son of Man who will come on the clouds of heaven.</strong></p><p><strong>External Evidence: Outside the Bible</strong></p><p>History records these minimal facts in defense of the RESURRECTION of JESUS CHRIST that most historians and scholars commonly accept:</p><ol start="1" type="1"><li>Jesus died by crucifixion.</li><li>Jesus’ tomb was found empty.</li><li>Jesus’ disciples believed He appeared to them.</li><li>Jesus’ resurrection was proclaimed early (just after the actual event).</li><li>Saul of Tarsus, also known as Paul, was a harsh opponent of Christianity, but he was transformed into a defender of the faith after he believed he encountered the risen Jesus. &nbsp;</li></ol><p>Additional minimal facts are these:</p><ol start="1" type="1"><li>James the Skeptic became a disciple of Jesus, his brother</li><li>The Christian Church was established and grew</li><li>John the Baptist baptized Jesus</li></ol><p>Here’s some external evidence corroborating New Testament eyewitness accounts:</p><p><strong>Nonbiblical Eyewitnesses Corroborate the Gospels</strong></p><p><strong>Titus Flavius Josephus</strong> (AD 37-ca. 100), Roman/Jewish historian</p><p>Mentions the death of John the Baptist</p><p>Mentions the execution of James, the brother of JESUS</p><p>Describes JESUS as a “wise man”</p><p>CONCLUSIONS DRAWN FROM JOSEPHUS:</p><p>JESUS lived</p><p>He was a wise, virtuous teacher who reportedly demonstrated wondrous power</p><p>Had followers who reported that He appeared to them 3 days after His death on the cross</p><p>Was believed to be the Messiah</p><p><strong>Cornelius Tacitus</strong> (AD 56-ca. 117), ancient historian</p><p>Reluctantly admits that JESUS lived in Judea during the reign of Tiberius Caesar</p><p>JESUS was crucified under Pontius Pilate</p><p>JESUS had followers who were persecuted for their faith in Him</p><p><strong>Mara Bar-Serapion</strong> (AD 70-unknown), Syrian philosopher writing to encourage his son, compares JESUS with other philosophers like Socrates and Pythagoras who were persecuted for their ideas.</p><p>Contends JESUS was a wise and influential man who died for His beliefs</p><p>Contends Jews played a role in JESUS’ death</p><p>Contends JESUS’ followers lived lives that reflected JESUS’ beliefs</p><p><strong>Ancient Jewish Corroboration</strong></p><p><strong>Jewish Talmud </strong>(the writings and discussions of ancient rabbis, dating to the 5<sup>th</sup> century; makes references to JESUS)</p><p>Contends JESUS had magical powers</p><p>Contends JESUS led Jews away from their beliefs</p><p>Mentions JESUS was executed on the day before Passover</p><p><strong>Ancient Nonbiblical Evidential Review</strong></p><ol start="1" type="1"><li>JESUS was a true historical person</li><li>He was a virtuous, wise man who worked wonders.</li><li>He predicted the future and taught His disciples.</li><li>His teaching drew a large following of both Jews and Gentiles.</li><li>He was identified as the “Christ,” believed to be the Messiah.</li><li>He was widely known was the “wise King” of the Jews.</li><li>His disciples were eventually called Christians.</li><li>His followers became a threat to the Jewish leadership; they were accused before Roman authorities.</li><li>Pontius Pilate condemned JESUS to crucifixion during the reign of Tiberius Caesar.</li><li>A great darkness descended over the land when JESUS was crucified, and an earthquake shook a large region surrounding the execution.</li><li>After the execution, allegations of JESUS’ resurrection spread.</li></ol><p><strong>&nbsp;Archaeological Evidence Corroborates the Gospels</strong></p><p>Quirinius Has Been Corroborated from the Book of Luke</p><p>Lusanius Has Been Corroborated from the Book of Luke</p><p>The Pool of Bethesda Has Been Corroborated</p><p>The Pool of Siloam Has Been Corroborated</p><p>Pontius Pilate Has Been Corroborated </p><p>The Custom of Crucifixion Has Been Corroborated</p><p>This is by no means an exhaustive look at the evidence available in the CASE for JESUS CHRIST. But it’s a start in the historical investigation and examination of the evidence for our faith. After all, we're all called in 1 Peter 3:15 to sanctify the LORD in our hearts and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks us a reason for the hope that is in us, with meekness and fear.</p><p>So, here are the final questions, which are really CHOICES we’ve got to make about GOD, HIS WORD, and about JESUS, if we call ourselves followers or believers: “Is JESUS real? Does He exist? Is He the SON of GOD? Is the BIBLE reliable or accurate? Are the GOSPELS reliable eyewitness accounts? Who do <em>you</em> believe JESUS is? Is He your LORD and SAVIOR? Do you love Him? Do you trust Him? Will you follow Him? Will you serve Him? Will you live for Him? Would you die for Him? Will you ACCEPT JESUS or REJECT Him?</p><p>According to GOD'sWORD, from Genesis to Revelation, our ETERNAL DESTINY rests on this: What we CHOOSE to BELIEVE.&nbsp;</p> Sat, 08 Jul 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/entrusted-gods-word-the-gospel-the-gifts Entrusted: GOD's WORD, The Gospel, & The Gifts http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/entrusted-gods-word-the-gospel-the-gifts <p><strong>Romans 1:16-20 (ESV): </strong>For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”</p><p>For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.</p><p><strong>1 Corinthians 4:1-5 (NIV): </strong>This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.</p><p>I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.</p><p><strong>1 Thessalonians 2:3-4 (NIV): </strong>For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.</p><p><strong>1 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV): </strong>And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.</p><p><strong>2 Timothy 1:6-10, 13-14 (NIV): </strong>For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.</p><p>So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.</p><p>What you have heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.</p><p><strong>2 Peter 1:2-11 (NIV): </strong>Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.</p><p>For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is near-sighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.</p><p>Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.</p><p><strong>2 Peter 1:16-21 (NIV): </strong>For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.</p><p>We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.</p><p>GOD LOVES US, and EVERY GOOD GIFT comes from GOD, the FATHER, the SON, and the HOLY SPIRIT. So then, we’re BLESSED when GOD CALLS US, DRAWS US, SAVES US, REDEEMS US, FORGIVES US, FREES US, TRANSFORMS US, EMPOWERS US, COMMISSIONS US, and SENDS US, ENTRUSTING US with HIS WORD, the GOSPEL of JESUS CHRIST, and the GIFTS to share this GOOD NEWS with others. </p><p>GOD CALLS US to be REBORN and REPURPOSED—CONSECRATED, SANCTIFIED, and SET APART—COMMITTED, SURRENDERED, YIELDED, and DEDICATED EXCLUSIVELY to HIM.</p><p>And GOD Himself EQUIPS US, ENDOWS US, and PERFECTS US for MISSIONS, MINISTRY, GOOD-WILL, STEWARDSHIP, EVANGELISM, and OUTREACH through HIS SON JESUS with the FRUIT of HIS HOLY SPIRIT: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, kindness, and self-control.</p><p>And these, in turn, are the four steps in the process one minister of GOD finds in our MINISTRY of RECONCILIATION: ENGAGE, ESTABLISH, EQUIP, and EMPOWER.</p><p><strong>We ENGAGE</strong>: We ENGAGE UNBELIEVERS with the GOSPEL—the GOOD NEWS—in respect and love, bringing them the TRUTH of GOD’s WORD and the knowledge of GOD, CHRIST JESUS, and salvation.</p><p><strong>We ESTABLISH: </strong>We ESTABLISH BIBLICAL FOUNDATIONS in people’s lives and help them learn GOD’s WORD, storing it in their hearts, so they don’t sin. And this SOLID FOUNDATION is two-sided, including REPENTANCE and FAITH, turning from everything else we’ve been trusting in and putting all our faith and trust in our LORD, JESUS CHRIST.</p><p><strong>We EQUIP:&nbsp; </strong>We EQUIP BELIEVERS, teaching and training them, helping them grow spiritually, encouraging them, and helping them understand their own gifts, calling, and purpose in God’s work and ministry.</p><p><strong>We EMPOWER: </strong>We EMPOWER DISCIPLES to do what they’ve been called and created to do, helping them fulfill their God-given purpose.</p><p>And here's the definition of the GOSPEL or GOOD NEWS that another minister of GOD gives us:</p><p>GOD became a man in JESUS CHRIST. He lived the life we should have lived and died the death we should have died—in our place. Three days later He rose from the dead, proving that He is the SON of GOD and offering the GIFT of SALVATION to those who REPENT and BELIEVE in Him.</p><p><strong>Finally, here's the GOSPEL in GOD'sWORD, from Genesis to Revelation: The Reason for Our Faith</strong></p><p><strong>Part I: GOD became a man in JESUS CHRIST. </strong>GOD, sovereign and uncreated, all-powerful and all-present, stepped into the world, into time, taking on human flesh. GOD humbled Himself and came down to us, because He wants a relationship with us, and unlike other religions, in Christianity, we don’t have to ascend and work our way to Him.</p><p>So, JESUS CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE, and second Person of the TRINITY of GOD the FATHER, SON, and HOLY SPIRIT, is called the SON of MAN—GOD who BECAME Man. In natural terms, the HOLY TRINITY could be explained like this, using water: GOD the FATHER is water in its natural state—<em>liquid</em>; GOD the SON, JESUS, is water in its solid or manifested state—<em>ice</em>; and GOD, the HOLY SPIRIT, is water in its boiling, evaporated, or invisible state—<em>steam</em>. At every stage, the water, though different, is still water. So, we have IN ESSENCE ONE GOD in THREE PERSONS, ALL SEPARATE BUT EQUAL. And GOD the FATHER stepped from eternity into time and MANIFESTED or REVEALED Himself on earth in human flesh as JESUS CHRIST, His only begotten SON, through the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT.</p><p><strong>Part II: &nbsp;He lived the life we should have lived. </strong>GOD is holy and righteous, and He expects us to be holy, righteous, and morally sound. So, JESUS CHRIST, tempted in all ways as we are, lived a perfect, sinless life. And His life on earth modeled a life completely committed, surrendered, and yielded to GOD the Father. This is the life GOD intends all of us to live—completely SOULED-OUT to Him—fully committed in love, obedience, and worship to Him, heart, soul, mind, and strength.</p><p><strong>Part III: He died the death we should have died—in our place. </strong>GOD is GOOD, GOD is JUST, GOD is LOVE. Although GOD is good and GOD is love, most of us forget GOD is also just, and GOD is equally the LAWGIVER, the SAVIOR, and the JUDGE.</p><p>Since GOD is GOOD, HOLY and PERFECT, sin and evil cannot exist in His presence, and SIN, lawless, wicked, or rebellious acts that separate us from GOD and His standard of righteousness and perfection, MUST BE PUNISHED, for the wages of sin is death, but GIFT of GOD is eternal life in CHRIST JESUS our LORD. Sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, the first people to rebel against GOD, and because of their ORIGINAL SIN, all human descendants DIED SPIRITUALLY and were cursed in the flesh with a sinful, rebellious nature. GOD the Father wanted RECONCILIATION and RELATIONSHIP with us, and GOD so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. So, JESUS CHRIST, the SON of GOD, bore our punishment and paid in full with His blood and life the debt of our sins by taking our place through His death on a cross at Calvary. He made the GREAT EXCHANGE, giving His perfect life for our sinful ones, so that we could be redeemed and covered by His blood, found righteous and holy in the eyes of GOD through Him, JESUS CHRIST, and be reconciled to GOD the Father.</p><p><strong>Part IV: Three days later, He rose from the dead. &nbsp;</strong>The entire foundation of our faith in Christianity stands on this one truth, even according to the Apostle Paul: The RESURRECTION of JESUS CHRIST. When GOD raised JESUS from the dead, this verified JESUS’ identity as the SON of GOD and it proved His authority in heaven and earth was real. Neither death nor the tomb could hold JESUS, neither sin nor Satan could destroy Him, because He overcame sin, death, Satan, and the grave, and through Him who loved us, we are now victorious, more than conquerors. And this is the victory that has overcome them--our adversaries--our faith in Him, JESUS CHRIST. </p><p>His resurrection also demonstrates His exclusive claim that <em>He, JESUS,</em>&nbsp;is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, and no one comes to the Father, except through Him. Other religions have graven images and idols and dead gods or leaders found in gravesites they can visit. But JESUS CHRIST is ALIVE; He is RISEN, and His tomb's empty, because He's seated in heaven, at the right hand of GOD, as our CHIEF HIGH PRIEST, COUNSELOR, and ADVOCATE, interceding for us. He's not a created, man-made, or dead god either; He's the LIVING GOD, the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our FAITH; He's ALPHA and OMEGA, the BEGINNING and the END; He's the PRINCE of PEACE and KING of KINGS; He's the BREAD of LIFE, the GOOD SHEPHERD, THE BRANCH, the LIVING WATER, the TRUE VINE, GOD WITH US. </p><p>While other religions celebrate human leaders, graven images, foreign idols, and dead gods, touting many ways to heaven and telling people they can DO SOMETHING, like work, perform, or earn their way to salvation, pleasure, enlightenment, immortality, or paradise, GOD'sWORD and GOD's GOSPEL celebrate the CREATOR--the SOVEREIGN, LIVING GOD who <em>is </em>LOVE, and they declare the GIFT of SALVATION BY GRACE through FAITH that comes through ONE PERSON and ONE WAY: JESUS CHRIST.</p><p> In Christianity then, SALVATION is a PERSON, JESUS CHRIST, and our good deeds, good works, or good behavior can't save us; ONLY JESUS CAN. So, in our faith, GOOD WORKS don't produce SALVATION, but SALVATION does produce GOOD WORKS and the FRUIT of the SPIRIT (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, kindness, and self-control). Furthermore, because GOD raised JESUS from the dead, we as believers KNOW that CHRIST JESUS LIVES IN US through the HOLY SPIRIT and we have hope in a resurrection from death to life through JESUS CHRIST and the assurance that if we believe and walk in faith, we will spend eternity in the presence of the LIVING GOD. Because GOD raised JESUS from the dead and JESUS LIVES today, death has lost its sting--its victory over us.</p><p><strong>Part V: He offers salvation and forgiveness of sins to those who repent and believe in Him. </strong>The wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of GOD is eternal life through CHRIST JESUS. And through Him, we can receive the gift of salvation, the forgiveness of sins, healing from sickness and disease, deliverance from the power and oppression of sin and darkness, and life eternal in the presence of GOD. We are saved BY GRACE through FAITH, not by works, and all we’ve got to do is <strong><em>accept</em></strong> GOD’s GIFT of GRACE and SALVATION, <strong><em>receiving</em></strong> and <strong><em>confessing</em></strong> JESUS CHRIST as our LORD and SAVIOR; <strong><em>repent</em></strong>, turning from evil and from trusting in our own efforts, trying to earn salvation; and <strong><em>turn</em></strong> to JESUS CHRIST, <strong><em>believing</em></strong> in Him, for this is GOD’sWORD: 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.</p><p>GOD LOVES US, enough to BLESS US, COMMISSION US, EMPOWER US, and SEND US OUT with these three things: The WORD, the GOSPEL, and the GIFTS. </p><p>So, wherever you are, in comfort or conflict, on the mountain or in the valley, in peace or in storm, BE STRONG and COURAGEOUS, DON'T BE AFRAID, for GOD IS WITH YOU and you're never alone; CARRY the WORD of GOD with JESUS CHRIST in you; and GO wherever GOD sends you, SHARING the GOOD NEWS about the GIFT of SALVATION found in ONE PERSON--the SON of GOD, JESUS CHRIST. Because really, GOD LOVES YOU, and He doesn't need your ABILITY; He needs your time, your treasure, and your talents; your heart, your soul, your mind and strength; your full commitment, your life surrendered. But mostly, for all GOD's ENTRUSTED you with, He needs your AVAILABILITY.</p> Tue, 27 Jun 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/love-letters-from-home Love Letters from Home http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/love-letters-from-home <p><strong>1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV):</strong> Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.</p><p>GOD is LOVE, and He INSPIRES LOVE in us for Him and for others; and there is NO GREATER LOVE than GOD's. </p><p>GOD's LOVE HEALS, REDEEMS, and SAVES.</p><p> GOD's LOVE ENCOURAGES, INSTRUCTS, and UPLIFTS.</p><p> GOD's LOVE AFFIRMS and EMPOWERS.</p><p> GOD's LOVE HONORS and PROTECTS.</p><p>GOD's LOVE FORGIVES and RECONCILES, KEEPING NO RECORD of WRONGS.</p><p>GOD's LOVE BUILDS UP and DRAWS CLOSER.</p><p> </p><p>GOD's LOVE is PATIENT and KIND; and GOD's LOVE REJOICES IN TRUTH. </p><p>GOD's LOVE FLOWS through JESUS and DWELLS in the HOLY SPIRIT, and within each of us who have SURRENDERED our HEARTS, our MINDS, our SOULS, our STRENGTH, and our LIVES to GOD, this GOD, who is LOVE, LIVES, ABIDES, and WORKS through us, and as we BEAR the FRUIT of HIS SPIRIT (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, kindness, and self-control), we become what GOD CREATED US TO BE--HIS AMBASSADORS, HIS LOVE LETTERS, HIS LOVE NOTES from generation to generation throughout the world. </p><p>And this is the GREATEST GIFT of GOD's SPIRIT, the TRUE MESSAGE of GOD's SON, and the REAL TENOR of GOD's WORD: LOVE.</p><p>THIS is the GOSPEL: For GOD so LOVED the world that HE GAVE His only Begotten SON that whoever BELIEVES IN HIM shall not perish but have ETERNAL LIFE. </p><p>THIS is GOD's WORD: JESUS CHRIST is the same YESTERDAY, TODAY, and FOREVER, and JESUS IS the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, and NO ONE COMES to the FATHER except THROUGH HIM. </p><p>And THIS is the SPIRIT of GOD: He knows the plans He has for us, PLANS to PROSPER and not harm us, PLANS to GIVE US HOPE and a FUTURE, and though we are hard-pressed on every side, we are not crushed, though we are perplexed, we are not in despair, though we are persecuted, we are not forsaken, though we are struck down, we are not destroyed, because GOD IS WITH US, and HE WORKS ALL THINGS TOGETHER FOR OUR GOOD because WE LOVE HIM, and we are the CALLED ACCORDING to HIS PURPOSE.</p><p> GOD hasn't given us a spirit of fear but of POWER, LOVE, and a SOUND MIND, and GOD's PERFECT LOVE casts out all fear because fear has to do with torment (punishment). And THIS is LOVE--unfailing and enduring; THIS is OUR GOD, the GOD of HOPE, COMFORT, MERCY, FORGIVENESS, RECONCILIATION, and PEACE: GOD who is GOOD, GOD who is JUST, and GOD who is LOVE.</p> Sat, 24 Jun 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-construction-the-builder-his-buildings GOD's Construction: The Builder & His Buildings http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-construction-the-builder-his-buildings <p><strong>Psalm 127:1 (NKJV):</strong> Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.</p><p><strong>Hebrews 3:1-4 (NKJV): </strong>Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also <em>was faithful</em> in all His house. For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things <em>is</em> God.</p><p><strong>Isaiah 62:5 (NIV): </strong>As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.</p><p><strong>1 Corinthians 3:7-17 (ESV): </strong>So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.</p><p>Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.</p><p><b>2 Corinthians 5:1-10 (ESV): </b>For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened--not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.</p><p>PRAISE GOD for His construction, for we are fearfully and wonderfully made, in His image, according to His likeness.</p><p>GOD is our Builder, and we are GOD’s fellow workers, GOD’s field, GOD’s buildings, and GOD’s workmanship, created in CHRIST JESUS for good works, which GOD prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. GOD is with us, GOD is in us, and GOD is for us, and this is our ROCK of SALVATION, our CHIEF CORNERSTONE and the FOUNDATION of OUR FAITH: JESUS CHRIST. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, and all things were created through Him and for Him, the AUTHOR and FINISHER of OUR FAITH.</p><p>And JESUS has commissioned us like skilled MASTER BUILDERS to lay foundations while we live on earth, and in Matthew 7:24-27 He says, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 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. 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. 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.”</p><p>As believers with every choice and action, every word and work, we’re constructing, building on foundations with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw—materials everlasting or materials that perish—and the final test of <em>our</em> workmanship is this, whether it be good or bad, eternal or worthless, gain or loss, when tested, tried, and judged for reward in the fire of our HOLY, RIGHTEOUS, GOOD, LOVING, and JUST GOD: JESUS CHRIST.</p> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-love-music-for-heart-soul GOD's Love: Music for Heart & Soul http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-love-music-for-heart-soul <p><strong>Romans 8:38-39 (NKJV):</strong> For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.</p><p>One thought we all need to carry with us, especially when times are tough, when trials come, when fires rage, when tempers flare, when provisions seem lacking, when friends seem few, when family is absent, when loneliness looms, when trouble is a companion, when flaws are visible, when dreams are delayed, when relationships fail, and when pain, heartache, and betrayal sting is THIS: NOTHING can separate us from the love of God which is in CHRIST JESUS our LORD. He draws us to Himself and fishes for our souls, calling us through His Son, JESUS. Through Him, we are redeemed and saved, forgiven and reconciled--transformed into new creations and ALL things become new. And GOD is Love, and He loves us, often when we don't accept, acknowledge, or love Him.</p><p> GOD's love is like music for the soul chiming in our hearts, drawing us in, chasing and pursuing us, wherever we are, wherever we go, and NOTHING diminishes His love for each for us, for it stays with us and becomes part of us, and if we <em>are</em> separated from Him this minute, this hour, this day, this year, He isn't the culprit; neither is our adversary. <em>We are</em>, for GOD extends the invitation through JESUS, and He loves us enough to give us second chances and more opportunities than we deserve to make the right choice. And if we choose not to accept Him, open the door, or invite JESUS into our lives, it's nobody's fault but our own when we find ourselves lost, spending eternity outside the presence of GOD.</p> Tue, 20 Jun 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/love-restoration Love Restoration http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/love-restoration <p><strong>Jeremiah 30:17 (NKJV):</strong> For I will restore health to you And heal you of your wounds,’ says the Lord, ‘Because they called you an outcast <em>saying:</em> “This <em>is</em> Zion; No one seeks her.”’</p><p>GOD LOVES US, enough to restore all that’s been damaged, broken, battered, beaten, corrupted, stolen and lost in our lives. All He asks in return for His goodness, grace, mercy, and faithfulness is this: LOVE, for Him and for others.</p><p>GOD's LOVE is a WATERFALL, furiously poured out on us. And when we love GOD sincerely and passionately with our <em>whole </em>hearts, soul, mind and strength, we live SOULED-OUT in LOVE, in GOD's Presence, in His Word, in His Spirit, in His Light, in His Truth, in His Protection, in His Forgiveness, in His Provision, in His Compassion, in His Son, in His Grace. And GOD IS WITH US, the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He is our Lord, our Redeemer, our Savior, our Prince, our Comforter, our Advocate, our Counselor, our Healer, our Defender, our Father, and our King. He is ours, and we are His—<em>beloved</em>, saved, redeemed, delivered, healed, renewed, changed—transformed and repurposed. That’s grace and mercy, forgiveness and love; that's complete restoration and perfect peace—always found in EVERLASTING LOVE, ENDURING LOVE, and LOVE ETERNAL, which <em>is</em> ONE PERSON in HOLY TRINITY: GOD.</p><p>OUR GOD is living and eternal, sovereign and holy.</p><p>OUR GOD is GOD of GRACE and MERCY, GOD of LOVE and COMPASSION.</p><p>OUR GOD is GOOD.</p><p>OUR GOD is JUST.</p><p>OUR GOD is LOVE.</p><p>OUR GOD is LIGHT.</p><p>OUR GOD is ALPHA and OMEGA, the Beginning and the End.</p><p>OUR GOD is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, the AUTHOR and FINISHER of OUR FAITH.</p><p>OUR GOD draws, saves, reconciles, and forgives.</p><p>OUR GOD is ALL-POWERFUL, ALL-PRESENT, and ALL-KNOWING, always in control, working all things together for good because we love Him and are called according to His purpose.</p><p>OUR GOD knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us, plans to give us hope and a future.</p><p>OUR GOD is known by the FRUIT of HIS SPIRIT: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Kindness, and Self-Control.</p><p>NOTHING is too hard for OUR GOD, and NOTHING can separate us from HIS LOVE, for WITH OUR GOD, all things are possible, and we can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens us. </p><p>And from Genesis to Revelation, this is OUR GOD: The GOD of REDEMPTION, RECONCILIATION, and RESTORATION, more than able to find the lost, heal the sick, and mend or rebuild the broken, for we may be hard-pressed on every side yet we're not crushed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed, for we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through Him who loved us, and we are VICTORS, not VICTIMS, in HIM, JESUS CHRIST, and through HIM, the HOLY SPIRIT, and for HIM who will never leave us or forsake us, OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, GOD.&nbsp;</p><p><br></p> Sat, 17 Jun 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/foundations-of-faith-god-prayer Foundations of Faith: GOD & Prayer http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/foundations-of-faith-god-prayer <p><strong>Psalm 11:3 (NIV):</strong> When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?</p><p>OUR FOUNDATION is the LIVING ROCK: GOD. Our FOUNDATION is GOD's WORD.</p><p>Our FOUNDATION is the CORNERSTONE, the WORD MADE FLESH: JESUS CHRIST, the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our FAITH. </p><p>And this is the victory that has overcome the world: OUR FAITH.</p><p> And upon this, GOD has built HIS CHURCH and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. </p><p>SO, when our foundations are being destroyed, we as believers can always DRAW NEAR GOD, SUBMIT and SURRENDER to Him, PRAYING fervently for ourselves and INTERCEDING daily for others--our families, our neighbors, our friends, our colleagues, our leaders, our nations, our world, for in GOD we HOPE and TRUST, for GOD is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in time of trouble; GOD is our ROCK of SALVATION; and GOD HEARS and ANSWERS our prayers. Always. And GOD IS WITH US; He will never leave us or forsake us, even when the foundations <em>we </em>build ourselves are being shaken or destroyed--for GOD IS IN US and GOD IS FOR US, so WE are hard-pressed on every side yet not crushed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed.</p><p><strong style="font-size: 0.9rem;">GOD'sWORD: A PRAYER of FAITH</strong></p><p>Father God, Thank You for Your unfailing love and your great compassion. Forgive me of my sins, those confessed and secret or still hidden--the rebellion, disobedience, doubt and unbelief. Wash them away in the Sea of Forgetfulness and cleanse me of all unrighteousness in the redemptive blood of Your Son, JESUS. Let me stand before You in CHRIST as perfect, holy, and righteous. Let me receive Your love and know You as You truly are: Good, Just, and Love, Everlasting and Unfailing, the same yesterday, today, and forever. </p><p>You only are the Living God, the God of Hope, the God of Comfort, the God of Grace, Mercy, and Truth. You only created me in Your image, according to Your likeness; You only see me as fearfully and wonderfully made, worthy of forgiveness, salvation, redemption, Your only begotten Son's life and sacrifice. </p><p>You only know the plans you have for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future. </p><p>You only are Good, Holy, Perfect, Powerful, and Sovereign, Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. </p><p>You only KNOW me intimately and personally; You only search my heart and KNOW the dreams and treasures hidden there. </p><p>You only are right about me, about who You created me to be, and You only can bless me with the fruit of Your Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, kindness, and self-control), and You only can give me power and authority through the HOLY SPIRIT in the name of JESUS. </p><p>You KNOW me, better than I know myself, and You are right about my gifts, my calling, and my purpose, so help me press toward the prize, the mark of my high calling. Help me persevere against every situation, every roadblock and challenge, against every adversary, and help me overcome as more than a conqueror and stand victorious as I complete my assignment and fulfill my purpose and reach my destiny at the right time at the right place. </p><p>Work all things together for my good because I love You and am called according to Your purpose. Order my steps and direct my paths and let me not lean on my own understanding but trust in You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.</p><p>Help me be strong and courageous and trust that You'll never leave or forsake me, that You'll be with me wherever I am, wherever I go, and neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate me from your love which is in Christ Jesus. </p><p>Above all, show me Your glory, hide Your Word in me, and bless me with Your Presence, Your Spirit, Your protection, Your power, and Your favor, and let me remember that without You, I can do nothing. And to You be all glory and honor, and praise. Forever. In Jesus' name. Amen.</p> Fri, 16 Jun 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/faith-dreams-stepping-godward Faith & Dreams: Stepping GODWARD http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/faith-dreams-stepping-godward <p><strong>Hebrews 11:6 (NIV): </strong>And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.</p><p>NOW FAITH is the substance of things HOPED FOR, the evidence of things not seen. And TAKING A STEP OF FAITH means walking into the unknown, striding into destiny and purpose, in patience, courage, and trust, even when dreams don't seem possible, when life doesn't seem easy, nor the way paved in prosperity, success, or comfort. It's believing that GOD does have an extraordinary plan and purpose for your life, even when you're presently stuck in a life just ordinary, seemingly doing nothing, going nowhere while others are driving forward, onward, passing you by. </p><p>LIVING IN FAITH is living with passion, purpose, vision, perseverance, endurance, and courage, dreaming the impossible and refusing to surrender--give up or give in--even when the odds are stacked against you and all your dreams seem deferred. </p><p>WALKING BY FAITH means trusting in the LORD with all your heart and leaning not on your own understanding, acknowledging GOD in all your ways and letting Him direct your paths and order your steps. FAITHWALKING means leaving your comfort zone, going into conflict, into the dark with the LIGHT, LOVE, and TRUTH of JESUS CHRIST, and it means praying fervently and believing that GOD hears you and will answer at the right time, guiding you to the right place.</p><p>HAVING FAITH means guarding every god-given word, promise, and dream in your heart for days, months, years, and decades, because you trust that GOD knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future; and it means trusting that GOD will make all those dreams come true, so you can walk into the destiny and purpose GOD has planned for you.</p><p>And here's the truth of GOD'sWORD: Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him. With GOD, <em>all</em> things are possible, especially dreams deferred.</p> Tue, 13 Jun 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/mended-broken-rebuilt MENDED: Broken & Rebuilt http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/mended-broken-rebuilt <p><strong>Philippians 4:12-13 (NKJV): </strong>I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ&nbsp;<sup data-fn="#fen-NKJV-29456a" data-link="[&amp;lt;a href="></sup>who strengthens me.</p><p>BLESSED is when we’re broken and GOD rebuilds us, when we’re lost and GOD finds us, when we’re weak and GOD strengthens us; when we’re hungry and GOD feeds us; when we’re homeless and GOD shelters us; when we’re sick and GOD heals us; when we’re troubled and GOD gives us peace; and when we fall under the weight of the world and sink in the sands of life, but GOD lifts us up and keeps pursuing us—chasing us—calling us, carrying us, and drawing us closer to Himself through JESUS, back into the love, comfort, protection, provision, and heart of home.</p><p>When we’re alone, GOD IS WITH US, and He never leaves us or forsakes us; when we feel worthless or insignificant, GOD EXALTS US, because we’re fearfully and wonderfully made, in His image, according to His likeness; when we’re alone, feeling unlovable, GOD BEFRIENDS US and GOD LOVES US, enough that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life; and when we’re broken in spirit, heart, body, and mind, GOD mends us, covers us, fills us and renews us, supplying all our need according to His riches in glory by CHRIST JESUS, planting in us the FRUIT of HIS HOLY SPIRIT: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, kindness, and self-control; and He works all things together for good because we love Him and are the called according to His purpose, because He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us, plans to give us hope and a future.</p><p>And whether we’re celebrating triumphs and victories or suffering through trials, weathering storms of defeat, whether we’re climbing rough mountains high or crawling in the desolate valleys low, GOD IS WITH US, wherever we go, ordering our steps and directing our paths; and GOD PROTECTS US, EMPOWERS US, COVERS US, and REBUILDS US, so we’re hard-pressed on every side yet not crushed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed. And this is the truth of GOD’sWORD from Genesis through Revelation: In good times and bad, in joy and sorrow, in comfort and conflict, we can do all things THROUGH CHRIST who strengthens us.</p> Tue, 13 Jun 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/tombstones-whats-in-the-dash Tombstones: What's in the Dash? http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/tombstones-whats-in-the-dash <p><strong>Galatians 2:20 (NIV):&nbsp; </strong>I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.&nbsp; The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.</p><p>ON A TOMBSTONE the dash represents the history of our lives on earth--the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years GOD blessed us with heart, soul, spirit, breath and life. That dash is our story filled with characters, conflict, action, emotion, dialogue, trials, triumphs, tears, smiles, hugs, kisses, gains, losses, mystery, suspense, fiction, nonfiction, courage, cowardice, heroes, villains, dreams, nightmares, plans, and plots. </p><p>In that dash we live lives souled-out, well-spent or well-wasted, lives ordinary or extraordinary, in faith or in fear, in trust or in doubt, in prosperity and abundance or in poverty and lack; in love or hate, in peace or strife, in health or sickness, in freedom or bondage. And our lives are pages in the BOOKS of GOD's library. And He watches over us and opens our books and reads our stories every day--cheering us on, encouraging us, and letting us know that HE IS WITH US and He will never leave us or forake us, because HE LOVES US, enough that He gave His only begotten SON JESUS so that whoever believes in HIM should not perish but have everlasting life. </p><p>GOD loves us so much He's investing His time, His heart, and all His resources in us, so we'll arrive at the right place at the right time, so we can fulfill our purposes, our destinies, according to His purpose and His will.</p><p>And we are LIVING BIBLES in GOD's BOOK of REMEMBRANCE, and this TOMBSTONE DASH is <em>our </em>Chapter but really HIS story, because EVERY DAY, EVERY BREATH, and EVERY ACTION in that dash is all about finding and accepting CHRIST JESUS, while we're making history, changing lives, building bridges, mending relationships, reconciling differences, enlarging territories, transforming the world, fishing for souls, making a difference, and leaving imprints--a legacy for generations to come.</p><p>In the dash, we live and learn; we're broken and GOD rebuilds us.</p><p>In the dash, we repent and surrender; we walk in faith, not fear.</p><p>In the dash, we seek and find; we're strong and courageous.</p><p>In the dash, we rise, we overcome; we're more than conquerors; we're victors, not victims.</p><p>And in the dash, we pen the pages of the greatest stories ever told, about GRACE and MERCY, about GOD's EVERLASTING LOVE for us--His sons and daughters, princes and princesses.</p><p>And here's the truth in GOD'sWORD: In His 33 years on earth, JESUS CHRIST, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, LIVED in that dash and changed the hearts and souls of people and the nature and course of the world for generations well beyond His earthly time. And today HE LIVES, ALPHA and OMEGA, the BEGINNING and the END, the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our FAITH. </p><p>And as GOD the FATHER looks over the history of our lives and reads the pages of our stories, searching the character and nature of our hearts, will He see reflections of Himself or His Son JESUS in our days, our nights, our thoughts, our actions, our deeds, our works? If we've accepted JESUS as LORD and SAVIOR and worship and serve GOD in SPIRIT and TRUTH, will GOD the FATHER and GOD the KING and GOD the JUDGE see in that dash all our sins CONFESSED and COVERED by the BLOOD of JESUS and all our LIVES SURRENDERED, fully COMMITTED, and SOULED-OUT for HIM?</p> Sat, 10 Jun 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-compass GOD's Compass http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-compass <p><strong>Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV):&nbsp; </strong>Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.</p><p>FAITH is BELIEVING IN GOD's WORD, GOD's SON; </p><p>FAITH is BEING LED by GOD's SPIRIT, BELIEVING to right living, right thinking, right speaking.</p><p> FAITH is LETTING GOD order our steps, direct our paths, letting JESUS be the LORD of ALL;</p><p>and FAITH is REJECTING fear and&nbsp;TRUSTING GOD's COMPASS, for GOD is TRUE NORTH, and JESUS is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE; He is GOD WITH US, wherever we go.</p> Fri, 09 Jun 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/grace-under-fire Grace Under Fire http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/grace-under-fire <p><strong>Isaiah 43:2 (NKJV)</strong>: When you pass through the waters, I <em>will be</em> with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.</p><p>NEVER doubt that GOD’s got us covered. No storm can overtake us, no flood can drown us, no flame can destroy us, no trial can imprison us, no lie can defeat us, no weapon can overcome us, no enemy can overthrow us, no fear can vanquish us, nor can any thing separate us from the love of GOD which is in CHRIST JESUS, our LORD, for we are His people, called by His name, and He is our Father, our Shield, our Guide, our Protector, our Provider, our Help, our Hope, our Light, and our Life. And we may be hard-pressed on every side yet not crushed, perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed, for GOD knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us, plans to give us hope and a future, even when we pass through the waters, even when we walk through the fire, because even in the storms, the flames, and the trials of life, GOD is with us, and He commands us to be strong and courageous, to be not afraid, for He is with us, wherever we go, and GOD is unchanging, the same yesterday, today, and forever.</p> Tue, 06 Jun 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/loves-comfort-a-prayer Love's Comfort: A Prayer http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/loves-comfort-a-prayer <p><strong>2 Corinthians 1:2-5 (NKJV): </strong>Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.</p><p>MAY GOD wrap you in His strong arms of protection and supply all your need according to His riches in glory by CHRIST JESUS. May He dry every tear and soothe every pain and remind you that weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning, and may you remember that GOD is your refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble, and He will never leave you or forsake you, for you are born of His Spirit, and you are fearfully and wonderfully made in His image, according to His likeness.</p><p>May you see in your life time the character and reflection of the LIVING GOD who is GOOD, who is JUST, and who is LOVE—EVERLASTING—and may you experience the safety and security of His embrace, know the compassion, faithfulness, greatness, and grace of His heart and receive the eternal rewards of a life SOULED-OUT and a life WELL-SPENT when you graduate from earth to heaven, from time to eternity.</p><p>May you feel GOD’s comforting presence and encounter the power of His transforming touch, and may you bear the Fruit of His Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness, and self-control.</p><p>May you feel the hand of GOD lifting you, see the finger of GOD guiding you, and believe that GOD is in control and knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future, to work all things together for good because you love Him and are called according to His purpose.</p><p>May you hear the still, small voice of GOD urging you to be still and know that He is GOD and reminding you to be strong and of good courage, to be not afraid and know that He is with you, wherever you go, and GREATER is He that is in you than he that is in the world.</p><p>May the everlasting FATHER of MERCIES bless you richly, and may the GOD of ALL COMFORT be with you in times good and bad, in triumphs and trials, so that you who are comforted are blessed to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort that you have received.</p><p>May the LORD bless you and keep you; may the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; may the LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.</p><p>May you always remember GOD LOVES YOU and be blessed, loved, uplifted, comforted, and encouraged, foremost by HIM—your heavenly FATHER, your LORD and SAVIOR, and your COMFORTER—GOD.</p><p>Finally, may the grace of the LORD JESUS CHRIST and the love of GOD, and the fellowship of the HOLY SPIRIT be with you all.</p><p>In Jesus’ name.</p><p>Amen.</p> Sat, 03 Jun 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/arrested Arrested http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/arrested <p><strong>Deuteronomy 6:5 (NIV):</strong> "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."</p><p>To be arrested is to be captured, drawn, and secured; to be arrested by GOD is to be captured by GOD's heart, drawn by His Spirit, and secured in His grace, love, mercy, protection, and provision. </p><p>And GOD's Son, JESUS, is the great Fisher of souls--those of men, women, and children, who thirst and hunger for Him, who seek a life better than ordinary, a purpose divine and extraordinary. He watches us, in our seasons of triumphs and trials; He catches us when we fall, lifts us when we sink beneath the burdens of the world; then, He reels us in, romancing and capturing our hearts, our souls. He draws us to Himself, and we're at peace, for we know He is our strength, our joy, our protection, our hope, and our salvation. He is the&nbsp;GOD of COMFORT and COMPASSION, GRACE and MERCY, FORGIVENESS and RECONCILIATION, and He gathers the fragments of our lives, pieces us together and redeems us, restores us, and repurposes us, so we won't be alone, we won't be broken, we won't be rejected, we won't be lost but so we will be victors, not victims; sons and daughters, princes and princesses of the KING of KINGS; and more than conquerors through HIM who loved us. And this is all GOD the FATHER asks for when He has us arrested: LOVE, with all our hearts, all our souls, and all our strength.</p> Fri, 02 Jun 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-battle-for-home-a-game-of-chess The Battle for HOME: A Game of Chess http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-battle-for-home-a-game-of-chess <p><strong>Exodus 14:14 (NIV):</strong> The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.</p><p>GOD loves us, and sometimes our lives as believers play out like A GAME of CHESS, and GOD the MASTER, the FATHER, and the KING of KINGS just wants us to be still and know that HE IS GOD and He will redeem us, protect us, empower us, abide in us, and fight our battles. So then, COURAGE is TRUSTING GOD in every circumstance and situation, in every battle against every adversary; FAITH is BELIEVING IN GOD and IN HIS WORD, BEING LED of HIS SPIRIT to the right place at the right time; STRENGTH is ABIDING IN GOD as He abides in us and TRUSTING IN the POWER of HIS MIGHT; WISDOM is KNOWING when to LET GO and LET GOD, when to MOVE FORWARD, when TO GO BACK, and when to STAY IN POSITION and BE STILL; and SURRENDER is GIVING EVERYTHING to and for GOD, LETTING HIM LEAD US, TEACH US, LOVE US, CHANGE US, MOVE US, COVER US, DEFEND US, CARRY US, SAVE US, and BRING US into HIS EVERLASTING LOVE and PRESENCE in a place called HEAVEN, which is the HEART of HOME.</p> Tue, 30 May 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/unmasking-perfection Unmasking Perfection http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/unmasking-perfection <p><strong>2 Corinthians 12:6-10 (NKJV): </strong>For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me. And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.</p><p>GOD is REAL and UNCHANGING, the same yesterday, today, and forever, and GOD is TRUTH. He loves us and wants us to be real--honest--in who and whose we are. He wants us to remove our masks of perfection, so we can actually relate to and reach those who are hurting, wounded, broken, depressed, sick, lonely, and lost. He tells us there are no perfect people except JESUS, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of GOD. Likewise He tells us that His strength is made perfect in our weakness, for when we confess our sins, our brokenness, our infirmities, our thorns, our flaws; when we humble ourselves and surrender all to GOD; when we admit that we are imperfect; and when we are TRUTHFUL and TRANSPARENT and REVEAL our real HEARTS first to GOD and then to others as we are led of the Spirit, THEN GOD can FORGIVE, HEAL, DELIVER, TRANSFORM, STRENGTHEN, EMPOWER, and USE us for His purpose, His plan and His glory. When we ADMIT that we are weak in our own strength but MIGHTY IN THE LORD'S and that we truly NEED JESUS as SAVIOR, LORD, REDEEMER, HEALER, PROVIDER, PROTECTOR, COUNSELOR, HIGH PRIEST, ADVOCATE, and FRIEND, then we become STRONG and can actually FISH FOR OTHERS and DRAW THEM CLOSER to GOD the FATHER; and through CHRIST, we can CHANGE a LIFE, SAVE a SOUL, ENLARGE GOD's KINGDOM, and TRANSFORM our world. All we've got to do is REMOVE our own MASK of PERFECTION and BE REAL, especially with GOD.</p><p>And here's the truth of GOD'sWORD: We are SAVED BY GRACE through FAITH, so we don't need to PRETEND we're PERFECT or wear a PERFECT MASK on our faces; we just need to REPENT, CONFESS our sins, RECEIVE GOD's FORGIVENESS and JESUS' RIGHTEOUSNESS, BELIEVE we're SAVED, and carry JESUS the PERFECT SON and GOD the PERFECT MASTER in our hearts. Then, GOD WILL BE IN US and GOD WILL BE WITH US wherever we go, even until the end of the age.</p> Sat, 27 May 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/boxing-with-god Boxing with GOD http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/boxing-with-god <p><b>Deuteronomy 20:4 (NIV):</b> For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory. </p><p>GOD loves us, enough to fight with us and for us. He is our Defender, our Avenger, our Strongtower, and our Protector, and He considers us worth the fight, worthy of every battle. But sometimes He even has to save us from ourselves--our fears, flaws, weaknesses, insecurities, doubts, unbelief, choices and mistakes. He fights because He loves us and sees beyond what we presently see to that person we are destined to become in and through JESUS CHRIST--that apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher, evangelist, soul winner, worshipper, doctor, nurse, judge, missionary, ambassador, leader, or president. </p><p>GOD sees us as we are in the spirit, as we are in His Kingdom, as we are in the BODY of CHRIST, as we are as the BRIDE of CHRIST--as He created and planned us to be--sons and daughters, a royal priesthood, princes and princesses, overcomers, more than conquerors, fishers of women and men. He gives us a future and a hope, a purpose and a vision or dream, and He goes with us as we walk by faith, sustaining and helping us, strengthening and encouraging us, instructing and guiding us, defending and empowering us so we reach the appointed place at the appointed time. And He never leaves or forsakes us but prepares us for battle against every adversary with His Spirit, His Word, and His Son, JESUS, and as long as we trust Him, abiding in His love, His Word, and His Presence, we are always victorious; we are always victors, not victims. So the questions then are these: If GOD is our strength and our salvation, whom shall we fear? If GOD is with us and for us, who can be against us? Nothing and no one, for no weapon formed against us shall prosper because GREATER is HE who is in us than he who is in the world. </p><p>This is the truth of GOD'sWORD: We're not alone; GOD is WITH US, especially in our battles when we're boxing the adversaries in our lives. And when we box with GOD, we're always victorious, always more than conquerors through Him who loved us, and this is the victory that has overcome them--our adversaries or opponents: OUR FAITH IN HIM: JESUS, GOD.</p> Fri, 26 May 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/love-them-like-jesus Love Them Like JESUS http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/love-them-like-jesus <p><b>2 Corinthians 5:20-21 (NKJV)</b>: Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.</p><p>GOD is LOVE, and He loves us with an EVERLASTING LOVE. And His greatest commands to us are these: LOVE GOD and LOVE OTHERS. We are to love Him with our whole hearts, souls, minds, and strength, and we are to love others as ourselves. </p><p>THIS LOVE is a CHOICE, not merely an EMOTION or FEELING; it is SACRIFICIAL, SELFLESS, SINCERE, and GIVING, and THIS LOVE is PATIENT and KIND; it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud; it does not dishonor others; it is not self-seeking; it is not easily angered; it keeps no records of wrongs; THIS LOVE does not delight in evil but REJOICES with TRUTH; it ALWAYS PROTECTS, ALWAYS TRUSTS, ALWAYS HOPES, ALWAYS PERSEVERES; THIS LOVE never fails. </p><p>JESUS walked in THIS LOVE, and He expressed it throughout His earthly ministry as He was LED of the SPIRIT, with a HEART of COMPASSION for those in spiritual, emotional, and physical need. He met people where they were, in whatever condition or state they were in, and He wasn't afraid to TOUCH THEM in their affliction, turmoil, ignorance, lack, sickness, pain, suffering, brokenness, or heartache. He wasn't afraid to TOUCH DIRT or to LOVE OTHERS when it was inconvenient, unpopular, or unacceptable. </p><p>Despite THIS LOVE, JESUS never compromised HIS MESSAGE or HIS MISSION: He PREACHED, TAUGHT, and DEMONSTRATED the WORD, KINGDOM, and POWER of GOD; He REVEALED the CHARACTER, HEART, and WILL of GOD the FATHER to sinners and believers alike, and He PROCLAIMED the GOSPEL upon which we base our Faith, that He JESUS is the only WAY, TRUTH, and LIFE, and that NONE shall enter unto the FATHER except THROUGH HIM. </p><p>JESUS' LOVE affirms through GOD's WORD; it encourages, uplifts, inspires, edifies, motivates and instructs through words that are SPIRIT and LIFE; HIS LOVE pursues every soul, heart, and mind, every man, woman, and child who has ears to hear and eyes to see; HIS LOVE PERSEVERES and NEVER GIVES UP, despite the odds, the challenges, or the adversary. HIS LOVE is UNCONDITIONAL; it looks beyond the physical package straight to the heart, and it sees a SOUL WORTH SAVING, one WORTH FIGHTING FOR; HIS LOVE INVITES everyone to the ALTAR, the TABLE, the KINGDOM, the THRONE of GOD.</p><p> HIS LOVE TRANSFORMS, renewing minds, changing lives, saving souls; HIS LOVE FORGIVES, BEARS NO GRUDGE, CARRIES NO OFFENSE; HIS LOVE INTERCEDES for those who cannot or will not come to GOD and PRAY for themselves; and HIS LOVE CARRIES US HOME, into the eternal presence of GOD because JESUS LOVES without RESERVATION, BIAS, FAVORITISM, or DISTINCTION. And as HIS AMBASSADORS, this is our MISSION, the GREAT COMMISSION: To love GOD enough to GO beyond ourselves, our fears, our insecurities, our limitations, our comfort zones, our churches, our homes, our communities, our jobs, our schools, our cities, our states, our countries, and our territories to LOVE OTHERS, SHARE the GOSPEL, and DRAW the LOST to GOD. All we are really CALLED to DO is LOVE THEM LIKE JESUS.</p> Fri, 26 May 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/pray-push-praying-until-something-happens Pray & PUSH (Praying Until Something Happens) http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/pray-push-praying-until-something-happens <p><b>Psalm 138:3 (NIV):</b> When I called, you answered me; you greatly emboldened me.</p><p>GOD loves us and He wants us to PRAY fervently, daily, strategically, desperately, and extraordinarily.</p><p> When we pray, GOD hears; He listens. </p><p>When we pray; GOD moves; He releases His angels and He acts. </p><p>One pastor sums the supremacy of GOD and the power of prayer best, saying, "God can do more in a moment than we can do in a lifetime, when we pray." </p><p>So, what are we called to do? Love GOD, Love Others, Walk by Faith, Share the Gospel, Forgive Others, Study God's Word, Surrender to God's Will, Give Selflessly, and PRAY FERVENTLY--<em>PUSHING</em>: <em>Praying Until Something Happens</em>.</p><p>Just like GOD can do more in a moment than we can do in a lifetime, GOD can do more with one SOULED-OUT believer than the world can do with one million unbelievers, WHEN <strong>WE </strong>PRAY.</p> Thu, 25 May 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/prayer-for-courage Prayer for Courage http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/prayer-for-courage <p><strong>Joshua 1:9 (NIV):</strong> Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.</p><p>GOD, help us be strong and courageous and not be overcome by evil but help us overcome evil with good. Help us stay focused on Your will; let Your HOLY SPIRIT keep us walking in truth; cast down every false accusation; and let love and unity reign in our relationships. Let us discern these schemes of the adversary who comes to steal, kill, and destroy: <em>Distraction</em>, <em>Deception</em>, <em>Derision</em>, and <em>Division </em>and let us put on the whole armor of GOD, standing our ground against this enemy, destroying his works and taking new ground for Your Kingdom. </p><p>Help us be strong in You, LORD, and in the strength of Your might and let us <em>R.E.S.P.O.N.D</em>&nbsp;as one ministering believer instructs<em>: Resisting Satan in JESUS' name; Escaping with Scripture; Searching for unconfessed sin; Pleading the blood of JESUS; Overtaking ground given to Satan; Naming someone in targeted prayer; and Delighting in the Lord.</em></p><p>LORD, help us remember that GREATER are You in us than he who is in the world and that NO WEAPON formed against us shall prosper and we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through HIM who loved us. Help us remember that we may be hard-pressed on every side yet we're not crushed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed. Help us remember that You're our refuge, a very present help in time of trouble, and that You will never leave us or forsake us. And help us remember that You love us with an everlasting love that is faithful and true--an eternal love that keeps no record of wrongs, a love that never fails. LORD, thank You for showing Yourself more than capable of giving us everything needed, including Your only begotton Son and Your HOLY SPIRIT.&nbsp;</p><p>Now help us walk in the victory JESUS has already won on the Cross. Help us believe Your WORD, receive Your Son, and accept this TRUTH, that we are saved BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH, that our debt is PAID IN FULL, that our sins are forgiven, that we are the BODY and the BRIDE of CHRIST, and that we are NEW CREATIONS in CHRIST, born of GOD and led by HIS SPIRIT. </p><p>Please, help us recognize every area of our lives where sin is in operation, so we can shine the light, love, and truth of JESUS CHRIST on those areas, surrendering everything to HIM. Give us the wisdom and grace to overcome every lie, stronghold, addiction and area of defeat in our lives. Teach us how to be strong in Your mighty power and stand firm in the evil day. LORD, show us how to trust in Your Word, to dwell in Your HOLY SPIRIT, to abide in JESUS as He abides in You, and teach us how to walk as He did and live courageously, not for our glory but for Yours. LORD, let us never give up and never give in; let us never surrender in defeat but always believe in faith that we are VICTORS, not victims, for we are confident in You, LORD, and in how much we need You. In JESUS' name we pray, Amen.</p> Wed, 24 May 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-eyes-of-our-hearts The Eyes of Our Hearts http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-eyes-of-our-hearts <p><b>Ephesians 1:18-23 (NIV):</b> 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, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms 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. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.</p><p>GOD, open the eyes of our hearts, so we can HEAR Your WORD, which is Spirit and Life; SEE JESUS, who is Hope and Salvation; DISCERN the HOLY SPIRIT, who is Truth and Power; KNOW You, our Creator, Father, and Redeemer; and FEEL Your LOVE, which is incomparable and everlasting. OPEN the eyes of our hearts; CLEANSE the heart of our souls; RENEW each part of our minds; LIGHT, TOUCH, and FILL every dark and empty corner of our lives. Be LORD of ALL and FILL us in every way, so we can fulfill our purposes in Your MASTER PLAN.</p> Fri, 19 May 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/unveiled-jesus-vailed-his-crown-glory-for-love Unveiled!: JESUS VAILED HIS CROWN & GLORY for LOVE http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/unveiled-jesus-vailed-his-crown-glory-for-love <p><strong>Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV):&nbsp; </strong>In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.&nbsp; And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!&nbsp; Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.</p><p><strong>Colossians 1:15-23 (NIV):&nbsp; </strong>The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.&nbsp; For in him all things were created:&nbsp; 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.&nbsp; He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.&nbsp; And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.&nbsp; For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.</p><p>Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.&nbsp; But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.</p><p><strong>John 15:1-17 (NIV):&nbsp; </strong>“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.&nbsp; He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.&nbsp; You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.&nbsp; Remain in me, as I also remain in you.&nbsp; No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.&nbsp; Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.&nbsp; I am the vine; you are the branches.&nbsp; If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.&nbsp; If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.&nbsp; If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.&nbsp; This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.</p><p>“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.&nbsp; Now remain in my love.&nbsp; If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.&nbsp; I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.&nbsp; My command is this:&nbsp; Love each other as I have loved you.&nbsp; Greater love has no one than this:&nbsp; to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.&nbsp; You are my friends if you do what I command.&nbsp; I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.&nbsp; Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.&nbsp; You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.&nbsp; This is my command:&nbsp; Love each other.”</p><p><strong>John 10:25-30 (NIV):&nbsp; </strong>Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.&nbsp; My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.&nbsp; I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.&nbsp; My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.&nbsp; I and the Father are one.”</p><p><strong>John 11:25-26 (NIV): </strong>Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.&nbsp; Do you believe this?”</p><p>TO LOVE sincerely is to LOVE GOD and LOVE OTHERS:&nbsp; JESUS DID THIS DAILY and WHOLE-HEARTEDLY.&nbsp; </p><p>JESUS loved GOD, and He loved us, enough to SAVE, DELIVER, REDEEM, and FREE us, enough to SACRIFICE and SURRENDER everything He had, enough to SUBMIT to GOD’s purpose, plan, mission, work, and will, enough to STEP DOWN from heaven’s throne, DESCEND to earth and LIVE as Man, enough to VAIL His CROWN and GLORY for GOD, for LOVE, to SAVE, HEAL, FREE, and DELIVER us. </p><p>In the dictionary, TO VAIL as a transitive verb has an archaic meaning: “to take off or lower (one’s hat or crown) as a token of respect or submission; to take off one’s hat or otherwise show respect or submission to someone,” and this word VAIL best illustrates JESUS’ CONDUCT, CHARACTER, NATURE, and HEART, for He TOOK OFF and LOWERED the INSIGNIAS—the BADGES and SYMBOLS—of His ROYALTY, His IDENTITY, and His MAJESTY, and He DESCENDED to earth for us, LEAVING in heaven His THRONE, His KINGDOM, His SERVANTS, His SPLENDOR, His MAJESTY, His PRIVILEGES—HIS RIGHTS and BENEFITS. </p><p>JESUS was the SON of GOD who became the SON of MAN: FULLY GOD and FULLY MAN. OUR LORD JESUS LOVED GOD the FATHER and US enough to HUMBLE Himself as a child, then as a man for thirty-three years on earth, enough to SURRENDER His will for His Father’s—GOD’s—to endure SIN, SHAME, PAIN, REJECTION, and SUFFERING on CALVARY’s CROSS, enough to GIVE His LIFE and His BLOOD for our SALVATION and REDEMPTION, for our FORGIVENESS and RIGHTEOUSNESS, so we could be REDEEMED and RECONCILED to GOD.&nbsp;</p><p>Because of HIM, we who BELIEVE and RECEIVE JESUS as SAVIOR and LORD now have the PROMISE and ASSURANCE of ETERNAL LIFE and EVERLASTING LOVE in the PRESENCE of GOD, for the VEIL between GOD and us has been torn—ripped apart—and JESUS CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE, now seated at the right hand of GOD, no longer has TO VEIL HIS IDENTITY or VAIL HIS CROWN, HIS LIGHT, HIS ROYALTY, or HIS GLORY, and we who WALK BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT, who LOVE GOD with all OUR HEARTS, SOULS, MINDS, and MIGHT, and PUT OUR TRUST IN HIM, can look to the hills from whence comes OUR HELP, and SEE, KNOW, and FEEL through the HOLY SPIRIT, GOD WITH US, the LIGHT, LIFE, and TRUTH of JESUS and the GLORY, MAJESTY, POWER, and SOVEREIGNTY of GOD, and we can HUMBLE ourselves, SUBMIT TO GOD, WALK IN FAITH and LOVE LIKE JESUS DID while we’re here on earth. And when we’re in heaven, IN THE ETERNAL PRESENCE OF GOD, we can PRAISE and WORSHIP in SPIRIT and TRUTH, and we can STAND, KNEEL, or BOW before JESUS and GOD’s THRONE of GRACE, VAILING our heavenly rewards, our FIVE CROWNS:&nbsp; the Crown of Righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8); the Crown of Victory (1 Corinthians 9:25-27); the Crown of Life (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10); the Crown of Glory (1 Peter 5:2-4; Matthew 5:19); and the Crown of Rejoicing (1 Thessalonians 2:19; Daniel 12:3; Proverbs 11:30).&nbsp; </p><p>But these are the real questions for us: &nbsp;Have we SURRENDERED our lives to GOD? Are we living for Him? Are we serving Him? Have we given Him our time, our talents, and our treasure? Is JESUS CHRIST really our LORD and KING? And when we finally meet Him face to face, will we have ANY CROWNS to VAIL to JESUS, or will we stand, kneel, or bow before JESUS, the KING of KINGS and LORD of LORDS, with our heads bare and our hands empty, with nothing to give?</p> Wed, 03 May 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/father-son-spirit-god-the-servant-the-seal FATHER, SON, & SPIRIT: GOD, the Servant, & the Seal http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/father-son-spirit-god-the-servant-the-seal <p><strong>Isaiah 42:1-9 (NIV):</strong> "Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope."</p><p>This is what God the LORD says--the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it:</p><p>"I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.</p><p>"I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you."</p><p>JESUS CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE, is our REDEEMER, our LORD, and our SAVIOR, but more importantly He is GOD's only begotten SON, and when He walked on this earth, He was GOD the FATHER's SERVANT.</p><p>And this is GOD'sWORD from Genesis to Revelation: 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, for GOD DID NOT SEND HIS SON into the world to condemn the world but that the world THROUGH HIM MIGHT BE SAVED, for JESUS is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, and NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER except THROUGH HIM, and we are saved BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH in JESUS CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE. </p><p>Basically, in GOD's MASTER PLAN, JESUS had a divine assignment, a purpose, a plan and a destiny, which He FULFILLED COMPLETELY and PERFECTLY, and that's why He is presently sitting in heaven at the right hand of His Father as our CHIEF HIGH PRIEST, MEDIATOR, INTERCESSOR, CORNERSTONE, and ADVOCATE, for on the Cross when JESUS says, "It is finished," He means HIS EARTHLY MINISTRY, PURPOSE, ASSIGNMENT, and SERVICE, that of SECURING REDEMPTION, SALVATION, FORGIVENESS, RIGHTEOUSNESS, and RECONCILIATION for us. And now He ABIDES IN US, and we ABIDE IN HIM, and GOD IS WITH US, GOD IS IN US, and GOD IS FOR US, even until the end of the age.</p><p>And now we must write the next chapters in the pages of this BOOK of LIFE, for we, who are the FOLLOWERS, the BODY, and the BRIDE of CHRIST, have been adopted and grafted into the FAMILY and KINGDOM of GOD, and we are now CALLED to be SERVANTS of the LORD, each of us with a GOD-GIVEN assignment, purpose, plan, and destiny to fulfill while we're on earth, for GOD knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us HOPE and a FUTURE, and to whom much is given, much is required, for GOD has CALLED and CHOSEN US to SERVE HIM in this MINISTRY of RECONCILIATION, and we, just like JESUS, have our unique assignments to complete in our allotted time on earth: a gift to give, a word to share, a cross to bear, a mountain to climb, an adversary to defeat, a testimony to give, a song to sing, a story to write, a message to deliver, a life to impact, a duty to perform, a move to make, a family to mend, a heart to touch, and a soul to save, because we are CALLED and CHOSEN to WALK AS JESUS DID--humbly, sincerely, fearlessly, patiently and faithfully--GIVING MORE THAN TAKING and LOVING, HONORING, and SERVING the LORD of ALL--GOD--more than loving, exalting, worshipping, and serving MAN-MADE, FOREIGN, or DOMESTIC IDOLS.</p><p>OUR GOD is JEALOUS, and He hates IDOLS--anything or anyone we put ahead of Him or in His place--so He commands us to LOVE HIM with ALL OUR HEARTS, SOULS, MINDS, and STRENGTH. And since OUR GOD is AWESOME and POWERFUL, FORGIVING and MERCIFUL, LOVING and ETERNAL, He is WORTHY of all GLORY, HONOR, and PRAISE.</p><p> And this is OUR GOD: GOOD, JUST, and LOVE; this is OUR GOD: SOVEREIGN, LIVING, and RISEN; this is OUR GOD: the FATHER, the SON, and the HOLY SPIRIT; and this is OUR GOD: &nbsp;the KING of KINGS, the LORD of LORDS, the SEAL and SERVANT, the REDEEMING SAVIOR and ETERNAL HOPE of us all, for this GOD is the CREATOR, the SOVEREIGN KING, the LOVING SERVANT, and the AUTHOR and FINISHER of OUR FAITH: The TRIUNE GOD of GRACE, HOPE, COMFORT, and LOVE. And this is the SOUL QUESTION He wants us to ask ourselves as professing believers and followers of JESUS CHRIST: Who are we serving--ourselves, the adversary, or GOD?</p> Mon, 01 May 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/roses-the-love-chapter ROSES: The LOVE Chapter http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/roses-the-love-chapter <p><strong>1 John 4:7-12 (NKJV):</strong> Beloved, let us love one another, for everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.</p><p>GOD is LOVE, and He loves us with an everlasting love. His love is patient and kind; it does not envy or boast; it is not proud; His love does not dishonor others; it is not self-seeking; it is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs. His love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth; it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. His love never fails and He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, JESUS, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. </p><p>This is GOD's LOVE: JESUS CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE. And through Him by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT, we are LOVED, SAVED, REDEEMED, FORGIVEN, DELIVERED, CLEANSED, RENEWED, HEALED, TRANSFORMED, ANOINTED, GIFTED and EMPOWERED. </p><p>GOD's LOVE is everlasting, unfailing, and His love comes with benefits and blessings, for He is the One who forgives all our iniquities, who heals all our diseases, who redeems our lives from destruction, who crowns us with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies our mouths with good things, so that our youth is renewed like the eagle's. </p><p>GOD's LOVE gives comfort and strength, courage and power, authority and dominion, faith and trust, hope and deliverance, refuge and security, peace and humility, gratitude and praise, protection and provision, a sound mind and a pure heart. And even when we mess up, fall or walk away, GOD in His love forgives us, pursues us and draws us back home, into His family, His Kingdom, His Light, His Truth, His heart, His arms, His Word, His Spirit, and His Son, and He works all things together for our good then because we love Him and are called according to His purpose. </p><p>GOD LOVES US so much that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 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. </p><p>GOD's LOVE is not ONE CHAPTER in the PAGES of OUR LIVES, but HIS LOVE is an EVERLASTING COVENANT of GRACE through FAITH found in the WAY, the TRUTH, the LIFE: JESUS CHRIST. And HIS LOVE is His Will and Wisdom given through the WORD MADE FLESH; HIS LOVE is the HOLY BIBLE--HIS WRITTEN WORD and HIS LOVE LETTER to us; HIS LOVE is His HOLY SPIRIT who comforts and dwells within us, revealing to us the Will, Word, Son, grace and glory of GOD. </p><p>And this is the EXPESSION of LOVE: HONORING GOD and HONORING OTHERS, and LOVE in this sense is not an emotion nor is it passive, but this LOVE is a CHOICE and an ACTION. This LOVE is not a secret; it is not silent; it is not hidden; it is revealed through our words AND our actions; it EXPRESSES, DOES, PERFORMS, WORSHIPS, GIVES and RECEIVES, because love in GOD's eyes is SELFLESS, not SELFISH, and it flows in three directions: GODWARD, INWARD, and OUTWARD, first to GOD, next to ourselves and finally to others. </p><p>And it all comes down to this in GOD'sWORD: GOD is LOVE, and He abides in us through JESUS by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT, and we always have a CHOICE--FREE WILL--and we can CHOOSE to CELEBRATE LOVE and HONOR GOD and OTHERS EVERY DAY, or we can CHOOSE EVERY DAY to DECLINE or REJECT the ROSE of LOVE, which is the GIFT of GOD and the GIFT of GRACE freely given through JESUS CHRIST. And here are the real questions, the test of our faith: Will we ACCEPT and RECEIVE GOD's ROSE of LOVE, or will we REJECT it again? Will we ACCEPT and RECEIVE JESUS, or will we REJECT HIM again?</p> Sat, 29 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-father-of-compassion-the-fruit-of-his-spirit The Father of Compassion & the Fruit of His Spirit http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-father-of-compassion-the-fruit-of-his-spirit <p><b>2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV):</b> Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.</p><p> </p><p>GOD IS LOVE, and JESUS CHRIST is the SON of GOD--the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our Faith.</p><p>And here is the truth of GOD'sWORD from Genesis to Revelation: GOD is the FATHER, our REDEEMER and our KING, who is good, faithful, and just, promising us protection, provision, redemption, reconciliation, comfort, healing, deliverance, joy, compassion and peace; GOD is the SON, our LORD and our SAVIOR--the One who rescues us from sin, even from ourselves, and cleanses us, forgives us, and reconciles us to HIS FATHER, the KING of KINGS; and GOD is the HOLY SPIRIT, our COMFORTER and our GIFT-GIVER--the One who dwells in us, empowering us and sealing us until the day of redemption; and GOD IS ALIVE--LIVING--and He will never leave us nor forsake us.</p><p>GOD LOVES US so much that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, and He loves us so much He gives us grace and mercy we often don't deserve, and He sustains us through every trial, storm, and hardship through all sorrow, grief, and pain. He gives us light in darkness, hope to conquer despair, and faith to overcome all doubt and fear and combat every adversary of flesh and spirit, FOR we are hard pressed on every side but not crushed, perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed. Through GOD, we are overcomers--more than conquerors through Him who loved us--and no weapon formed against us shall prosper, for HE is our GOD, the FATHER of COMPASSION, who promises us an everlasting love and who comforts us in all our troubles, all our adversities, against every adversary, physical and spiritual attack, so that we may likewise encourage and comfort others, FOR we are His ambassadors, His fishers of souls--the EPISTLES of JESUS CHRIST--and GREATER IS HE that is in us than he that is in the world.</p><p>And the greatest gifts we can give to others in need of comfort, friendship, encouragement or provision are these: our attention, our hearts, our hands, our voices, our time, our kindness, our generosity, our goodness, our faithfulness, our gentleness, our patience, and our love because every child of God is best known by the fruit he or she bears, and these are the FRUIT of HIS SPIRIT: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.</p> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/sunlight-in-the-rough SUNLIGHT: In the Rough http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/sunlight-in-the-rough <p><strong>Psalm 46:11 (NIV):&nbsp; </strong>The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.</p><p><strong>Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV): </strong>Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.</p><p>WHEN WE'RE IN THE ROUGH is when we need GOD most--in those times of adversity and stress, those times of pain, sorrow, injustice, sickness and fear. In the rough is in loneliness, silence and confusion; in the rough is in darkness with seemingly no exit, no solution--no escape.</p><p> But for us there <em>is </em>light; there is hope; there is an answer; there is an escape; there is a solution--JESUS CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE, the SON of GOD. And He is with us even in the rough, and He won't leave us or forsake us, for He is the Light, and He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the FATHER except through Him.</p><p>Because of JESUS' sacrifice of blood and life on the Cross for us, because of His resurrection from death and the grave, and because of GOD's amazing grace, tender mercy, and everlasting love, we are REDEEMED, SAVED, FORGIVEN, and RECONCILED to GOD the FATHER, and we are sealed and empowered by the HOLY SPIRIT, and GOD, who loves us with an unfailing, everlasting love, carries us through the rough and gives us hope that weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning, that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world, that no weapon formed against us shall prosper, and that all things work together for our good because we love Him and are the called according to His purpose. </p><p>GOD promises never to leave us or forsake us; He promises to be our refuge and our strength, a very present help in time of trouble, and He is ever with us, especially in the rough-- when we have no other friend, when we're the outcast or the orphan, when we're estranged from family, when we have no money, no food, no transportation, not even a home to call our own. When we're in the rough, feeling down and out, GOD IS WITH US and GOD IS FOR US and GOD IS IN US, always there, urging us to live for Him, to trust in Him, to depend on Him, and to keep walking in faith.</p><p>And no matter how dark the situation looks or how hopeless it seems, GOD doesn't want us to give in or give up, especially on Him and His Word. He wants us to be strong and courageous and know He loves us, He's with us, He's got us covered, and He's got a purpose and a plan for us, even in the rough, for GOD knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us HOPE and a FUTURE. So, all we've got to do is BELIEVE IN JESUS, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and TRUST that GOD IS WITH US in our trials and triumphs, our good days and bad days, on sunlit fields of dreams or in dark sinkholes in the rough.</p> Fri, 28 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/hope-well-trouble-doesnt-last-always Hope-Well: Trouble Doesn't Last Always http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/hope-well-trouble-doesnt-last-always <p><strong>Nahum 1:7 (NKJV):</strong> The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.</p><p>GOD LOVES US, and sometimes it is hard to remember or even believe that when trouble comes and a life of hard knocks would leave us wondering whether we were more cursed than blessed. But we should never doubt GOD's love, provision, and protection, nor should we doubt His promises or His Word, for He is not a man that He should lie nor does His Word return unto Him void.</p><p>We have HOPE in GOD'sWORD, for it declares that weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning, and He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us HOPE and a FUTURE, and we may be hard-pressed yet not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed, for even in darkness, JESUS is our LIGHT, our WAY, TRUTH, and our LIFE, and when we feel alone in the battles of life, He is with us--GOD IS WITH US--and the HOLY SPIRIT, our COMFORTER, dwells with us, our SEAL and our GUARANTEE that we are His--GOD's. </p><p>And when trouble comes like a thief in the night and seems to overwhelm us, when we are disappointed, discouraged, afraid and doubtful, and we are prepared to give up, walk away, or give in to the adversary who comes to steal, kill, and destroy, GOD intercedes, fighting for us and bringing to our remembrance His love, His Son, His Word, His grace, His mercy, His forgiveness and His promises, that there is always HOPE and there is always one WAY of escape through JESUS CHRIST, for He lives in us, and we abide in Him, so no weapon formed against us, including fear, shall prosper and all things, even trouble, will work together for our good because we love GOD and have been called according to His purpose. </p><p>So, in our trials and our triumphs, we must remember that GOD IS IN CONTROL, and He is MORE THAN ABLE to use ANYTHING in our lives, good or bad, for HIS PURPOSE, HIS PLAN, and OUR GOOD, for GOD has a plan and a purpose for our lives and He promised us hope and a future; all we have to do is TRUST HIM and surrender everything, including our cares, to Him, and we must BELIEVE and TRUST that WITH GOD, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. </p><p>And when hard knocks come we must HAVE FAITH and BELIEVE that we will OVERCOME as MORE THAN CONQUERORS through HIM WHO LOVED US; we must believe that we will rise again through HIM--JESUS CHRIST--the ANOINTED ONE--and we must believe that we will be rescued from all hurt and harm; we must believe that &nbsp;we are saved BY GRACE through FAITH IN JESUS; and we must believe that we are victors, not victims, and we will be victorious in every battle against the adversary because we have POWER, AUTHORITY, and DOMINION, and GOD IS WITH US, GOD IS FOR US, and GOD HAS US COVERED, and TODAY is the DAY the LORD has made, and this is not the day nor the hour, the minute nor the second that we give up on life--on JESUS the SON or GOD the FATHER; this is not the day we lose heart or give up hope, for if we must surrender our lives, we should only surrender them to GOD at the altar or on our knees before His throne of grace.</p><p>This is the HOPE-WELL of GOD'sWORD from Genesis to Revelation: GOD IS WITH US, GOD IS FOR US, GOD LOVES US, and TROUBLE DOESN'T LAST ALWAYS.</p> Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/souled-out-the-winners-gift SOULED-OUT: The Winner's Gift http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/souled-out-the-winners-gift <p><strong>Proverbs 11:30 (NKJV)</strong>: The fruit of the righteous <em>is</em> a tree of life, And he who wins souls <em>is</em> wise.</p><p>GOD is the best GIFT-GIVER, for even when we lose for Him, we win. For instance, when we lose Self, we gain CHRIST, and when we cancel debts, forgiving others, GOD, &nbsp;seeing the sincerity of our hearts, forgives us; when we decrease and humble ourselves, GOD exalts and increases us; when we sacrifice, serving others--giving time, money, food, advice, encouragement, and love--GOD blesses us abundantly with so much more, for GOD searches the heart, its motives and the wealth therein, and the eternal winner is not necessarily the one with the most "stuff" on earth like money, cars, homes, clothes, or jewelry, nor is he or she the one with the most awards, accolades, or fame.</p><p>In GOD’s eyes the real winner is the one who most reflects HIS SON JESUS and HIS SPIRIT; it is the one who endures the race of life, storing up heavenly treasures; it is the one who lives in and through JESUS CHRIST, honoring HIS NAME and showing HIS FACE, HIS NATURE, and HIS CHARACTER on earth; the one who worships GOD in Spirit and Truth, giving HIM all glory, honor, and praise; the one who bears the FRUIT of GOD's SPIRIT: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, and self-control; and the one who perseveres despite all challenges and fulfills his or her GOD-GIVEN purpose.</p><p>This is GOD'sWORD from Genesis to Revelation: GOD LOVES US, enough that He gave His only begotten SON that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, and these are the GIFTS of HIS LOVE and GRACE: SALVATION, REDEMPTION, FORGIVENESS, RIGHTEOUSNESS, RECONCILIATION. </p><p>GOD LOVES US, especially when we are SOULED-OUT, and He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us HOPE and a FUTURE. So, GOD has CALLED, CHOSEN, and COMMISSIONED us to be HIS LOVE LETTERS and HIS AMBASSADORS, to GO into cities, communities, and nations to FIND and FISH for men, women, and children, DRAWING them to GOD and WINNING them for HIM in a ministry of reconciliation, so He can spend eternity with them, and our best gifts to GOD the FATHER are the only gifts that would please the LORD of ALL who has and has given everything--the only gifts we can take with us into eternity: SURRENDERED HEARTS &amp; SOULS.</p> Tue, 25 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-masters-plan-redemption-reconciliation-revelation-reward The Master's Plan: Redemption, Reconciliation, Revelation & Reward http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-masters-plan-redemption-reconciliation-revelation-reward <p><strong>Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV):</strong> For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.</p><p>GOD, as Creator, considers us masterpieces, fearfully and wonderfully made in His image, according to His likeness, but as heavenly Father, He loves us immeasurably, with an unfailing, everlasting love, and He considers us valuable enough for salvation, redemption, reconciliation, and adoption through His Son, JESUS. And He loves us not for what we've done, for what we have, or for who we are but because He chooses to love us, just as He chooses to forgive our sins once we've repented of them and confessed them, changing our minds, our lifestyles, and our direction.</p><p>GOD, in His love and compassion, pursues us wherever we are, in whatever state we're in, and He draws us to JESUS and to Himself, letting us know that salvation is His gift of grace, not something we work toward or earn through good deeds or good works.</p><p>We're saved "by grace through faith--not by works," so we, then led by the HOLY SPIRIT, can use our gifts to glorify and honor GOD, the Father; fulfill our purposes (according to His plan and His will); bear good fruit (love, joy, patience, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control); and share the Gospel with neighbors and nations. </p><p>In essence, GOD gave everything—all—for us, so we can freely give everything—all—to Him and spend eternity in HIS PRESENCE.</p><p>So, the Master's Plan from Genesis to Revelation is one of LOVE, GRACE, and FAITH IN ACTION: &nbsp;GOD sacrificed His BEST—His SON—for us; JESUS gave HIS BLOOD and HIS LIFE on CALVARY's CROSS for us; and the HOLY SPIRIT now dwells in us, freely giving REVELATION of JESUS CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE, and empowering us with the GIFTS of GOD and the FRUIT of HIS SPIRIT, so we may be fully equipped for every good work and fully sealed until the day of our redemption when JESUS CHRIST RETURNS. </p><p>And here’s how one teacher explains GOD's Redemptive Plan: The FATHER PLANNED IT; The SON PAID FOR IT; and The SPIRIT APPLIED IT. </p><p>And since GOD DOES NOT CHANGE, and JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY, and FOREVER, the MASTER's PLAN is still being fulfilled in our generation, for we are SAVED BY GRACE through FAITH, not by works, so no one can boast, and this is the GIFT of GOD even today to ANYONE who BELIEVES IN JESUS, our REDEEMER, our LORD and our SAVIOR. And this is the MASTER PLAN for the LORD of LORDS and the KING of KINGS: Redemption, Reconciliation, Revelation, and Reward: ETERNITY WITH GOD, where GOD <em>IS </em>ALL, and GOD IS OVER ALL.</p> Tue, 25 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/what-to-wear-gods-apparel What to Wear: GOD's APPAREL http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/what-to-wear-gods-apparel <p><strong>Colossians 3:12-17 (NIV):</strong> Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.</p><p>Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. &nbsp;Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.</p><p>And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.</p><p>OFTEN our clothes, expensive or not, reflect our personalities, our interests, our hobbies, our styles, our jobs, our schools, our heritage, our cultures, our communities, our statuses, and our affiliations, and we dress as we do for a purpose—to promote ourselves, others, or worthy causes. So, basically in life, we clothe ourselves for IDENTITY: to be sociable, comfortable, silly, casual, formal, fashionable, professional, or elegant because in our society a picture is worth a thousand words, and presentation means something—sometimes, everything—and the image—the package—does matter. So, we often clothe ourselves in the way we want others to see or perceive us. &nbsp;</p><p>But our lives and our identities are not all about visible and tangible clothes. In the spirit, what we wear or clothe ourselves in—our SPIRITUAL attire—also matters and identfies us, especially to GOD. And He's not interested in the cost, the quality, or the man-made BRAND—that designer's name on the earthly label; GOD's looking for HIS SON CHRIST JESUS IN US, and He's searching for HIS NAME and HIS APPAREL on and within us who are MADE IN HIS IMAGE, ACCORDING to HIS LIKENESS, and these are the DESIGNER CLOTHES GOD wants us to wear: COMPASSION, KINDNESS, HUMILITY, GENTLENESS, PATIENCE, FORGIVENESS, LOVE, PEACE, GRATITUDE, WISDOM, and SERVICE. And these are GOD's ACCESSORIES for HIS CREATIONS, the FRUIT of HIS SPIRIT: LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, GOODNESS, GENTLENESS, FAITHFULNESS, KINDNESS, and SELF-CONTROL.</p><p>Therefore, the questions we have to ask ourselves are these: &nbsp;Do we possess any of these virtues that matter most to GOD? Do we wear them in public and keep them on in private? Is GOD's NAME stamped, sewn, or imprinted on anything we own, possess, or steward? &nbsp;If not, have we WALKED IN FAITH and VISITED OUR PRAYER CLOSETS recently to SEEK GOD's face, to be in His presence, to HEAR His still small voice, and ASK for more than the material things—for NAME-BRAND CLOTHES such as these: GOD's APPAREL?</p> Mon, 24 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/peace-god-be-with-you Peace: GOD Be With You http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/peace-god-be-with-you <p><strong>Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV):</strong> The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.</p><p>GOD LOVES YOU; He is with you and for you, always preparing a way for you to succeed, to persevere, to overcome, to come home—victorious, strong, and courageous. He is your Strength, your Helper, your Comforter, your Guide, your Advocate, your Savior, your Redeemer, your Deliverer, your Healer, your Provider, your Protector, your Intercessor, your Counselor, your Father, and your Friend, and He takes pleasure in blessing, encouraging, edifying, and strengthening you in your walk of faith.</p><p>GOD IS WITH YOU through every trial and triumph, cheering you on, helping you through, sustaining you, and carrying you when you cannot carry even the weight of yourself. Even in the midst of your pain, suffering, sickness, or grief, He promises you that all things work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose; He promises that you are HEALED, DELIVERED, and in GOOD HEALTH now, today, because by JESUS' stripes you ARE HEALED, with nothing broken, nothing lost. </p><p>GOD PROMISES&nbsp;that no weapon formed against you shall prosper, that Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world, that weeping may endure for a night but JOY comes in the morning; that you shall not die but LIVE doing the works of the Lord. He promises you UNCONDITIONAL LOVE—an EVERLASTING LOVE—a Father who will never leave you or forsake you—one who sacrificed His Only Begotten Son JESUS, just so you could REPENT, CHANGE YOUR MIND, YOUR LIFESTYLE, and YOUR DIRECTION and BE SAVED, REDEEMED, and RECONCILED to Him--GOD--BY GRACE through FAITH IN HIM--CHRIST JESUS--and so you could spend eternity in His presence. </p><p>GOD LOVES YOU beyond your dreams, hopes, and imagination, higher than any mountain, more profoundly than even your natural father or mother. GOD loves you MORE than your spouse or children; He loves you to LIFE, not death, and HIS WORDS to you are SPIRIT and LIFE.</p><p>Even when you make mistakes, He gives you another chance, a fresh start, NEW LIFE through JESUS CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE. And once you've REPENTED and CONFESSED your sins, HE is faithful and just to FORGIVE YOU and CLEANSE YOU of all unrighteousness, for HIS LOVE keeps no record of what you have done wrong (because you are forgiven, and you are loved). </p><p>GOD IS WITH YOU through every step of life, even when He seems so far away, and He wants you to trust Him and lean not on your own understanding; He wants you to acknowledge Him in all your ways, so He can direct your steps; He wants you to love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; He wants you to obey, revere, and worship Him in sincerity, humility, in Spirit and Truth. He wants you to surrender your will for His, and to KNOW that He is GOOD, He is JUST, and He is LOVE. </p><p>He wants a personal, intimate relationship with you, and He wants to spend eternity with you. Above all, He wants you to know that you are precious in His sight and that you are not alone. You are His, and He loves you. Regardless of what you do or where you have been, His love remains and it will never fail, for He does not change, and JESUS CHRIST is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So, be loved, uplifted, and blessed, resting under your heavenly Father's protection, in His unfailing and everlasting love.</p> Mon, 24 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/paid-in-full-finished-on-the-cross PAID IN FULL: Finished on the Cross http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/paid-in-full-finished-on-the-cross <p><strong>Galatians 2:20 (NIV):</strong> I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.</p><p>JESUS LOVES US, and because of His sacrifice on Calvary's Cross--because of His FINISHED WORK there--we who receive HIS GIFT of LOVE and GOD's GIFT of GRACE through FAITH can now LIVE IN and THROUGH CHRIST JESUS, the ANOINTED ONE. </p><p>HIS CROSS was for us the GREAT EXCHANGE, for on it JESUS gained us SALVATION, FORGIVENESS, DELIVERANCE, HEALING, RECONCILIATION, FREEDOM, PROSPERITY, ABUNDANCE, HEALTH, PEACE, REDEMPTION, RIGHTEOUSNESS, and ETERNAL LIFE. </p><p>One renowned apostle shares 8 aspects of the Cross which reveal what JESUS actually did for us: </p><p>1. JESUS was PUNISHED that we might be FORGIVEN; </p><p>2. He was WOUNDED that we might be HEALED; </p><p>3. JESUS was made SIN with our sinfulness that we might be made RIGHTEOUS with His righteousness; </p><p>4. JESUS DIED our death that we might SHARE HIS LIFE; </p><p>5. JESUS was made a CURSE for us that we might RECEIVE HIS BLESSING; </p><p>6. JESUS endured our POVERTY that we might SHARE HIS ABUNDANCE; </p><p>7. JESUS endured our SHAME that we might SHARE HIS GLORY; </p><p>8. JESUS endured our REJECTION that we might have HIS ACCEPTANCE. </p><p>Therefore, on the Cross when JESUS said, "IT IS FINISHED," it WAS, and EVERYTHING was PAID IN FULL--everything we would ever need. So, all we have to do is ACCEPT and RECEIVE HIS GIFT and APPROPRIATE GOD's PROMISES, claiming all JESUS bought for us on the Cross as our own. </p><p>This means OUR FAITH believes <strong>NOW </strong>that WE ARE SAVED by GRACE through FAITH; <strong>NOW </strong>we are HEALED; <strong>NOW </strong>we are DELIVERED; <strong>NOW </strong>we are HEALTHY; <strong>NOW </strong>we are BLESSED; <strong>NOW </strong>we are DEBT-FREE, living in ABUNDANCE, not lack; <strong>NOW </strong>we are FORGIVEN; <strong>NOW </strong>CHRIST lives in us; <strong>NOW </strong>the HOLY SPIRIT works in and through us; and <strong>NOW </strong>we are RECONCILED to GOD. </p><p>This is GOD'sWORD from Genesis to Revelation: We are not defeated, and we are not victims. We are VICTORS, OVERCOMERS, and MORE THAN CONQUERORS through JESUS CHRIST who loved us. And we're not ANYONE's ORPHANS or OUTCASTS; we are GOD's ADOPTED SONS and DAUGHTERS. And we may be hard-pressed on every side yet we're not crushed, perplexed but we're not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed, always carrying around in our body the death of JESUS so that the life of JESUS may also be revealed in our body. </p><p>So then we HONOR and REVERE JESUS, HIS LOVE, and HIS CROSS with all we possess and have been blessed with: our lives, our bodies, our words, our thoughts, our gifts, our talents, our treasures, our money, our families, our hearts, our souls, our minds, our property, our time. And we HONOR Him as LORD of ALL through FASTING, PRAYING, and GIVING; we HONOR Him through OBEDIENCE, HUMILITY and HOLINESS; we HONOR Him through THANKSGIVING, PRAISE, and WORSHIP; we HONOR Him by TRUSTING HIM, His PROMISES and GOD'sWORD. And HONORING JESUS is not merely about wearing crosses for jewelry or adorning our walls or doors with decorative crosses; it's about LIVING OUR LIVES as JESUS WOULD—as JESUS DID—CRUCIFYING the FLESH, being LED of the HOLY SPIRIT, and LIVING UNTO THE LORD, who is GOD the FATHER.&nbsp;</p><p>THIS is the COST of CALVARY's CROSS--the COST of SALVATION, REDEMPTION, FORGIVENESS, and RECONCILIATION--EVERYTHING WE HAVE, ALL that WE ARE and ALL that we POSSESS and STEWARD: OUR LIVES, OUR HEARTS, OUR SOULS, OUR MINDS, OUR BODIES, OUR GIFTS, OUR TREASURES, OUR TIME, and OUR TALENTS. </p><p>JESUS PAID IN FULL our debt of death to GOD, so we could RECEIVE IN FULL GOD's GIFT of LIFE ETERNAL in HIS GRACE, HIS LOVE, and HIS PRESENCE. So, whether WE LIVE or WE DIE, we LIVE or DIE unto the LORD, for we are HIS ALONE: GOD's.</p> Sat, 22 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/furious-love Furious Love http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/furious-love <p><strong>Romans 8:35-39 (NIV):&nbsp; </strong>Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?&nbsp; Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?&nbsp; As it is written:&nbsp; “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ </p><p>No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.&nbsp; For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.</p><p>GOD LOVES US with a FURIOUS LOVE—one everlasting, all-encompassing, unconditional, and eternal. His love is perfect, casting out all fear that torments; it is persistent, pursuing us up mountains high, down valleys low, through every temptation and sin, through every storm, flood, and fire. His love knows no boundaries, for it crosses cultures, races, countries, nations, genders, ages, denominations, oceans, hearts, and time; it spans years and generations, sending surging waves through families, communities, governments, and kingdoms.</p><p>His love finds us wherever we are in whatever state and condition we are in—whether good or bad—and it overtakes us, flooding our hearts and our spirits with the essence of Him, and we KNOW we are HIS and we are LOVED, and we then FEEL more of His Presence, His Spirit, His Grace, and His Great Love.&nbsp; </p><p>In this we know GOD's FURIOUS LOVE:&nbsp; For GOD so loved us that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life; JESUS CHRIST loved us so much that He died for us while we were still in sin, and He who was without blemish or sin was punished until he died--crucified--then was resurrected for our salvation, our redemption, our reconciliation with God, His Father, and for the forgiveness of our sins; and the HOLY SPIRIT loves us so much that HE dwells within us and has sealed us for the day of redemption, and He is our COMFORTER and Intercessor, our Gift Giver, and the Revealer of GOD’s WORD and JESUS, the SON of Almighty GOD. And through the HOLY SPIRIT, we know we are adopted, joint-heirs with JESUS, and sons and daughters of GOD, whereby we can call GOD, ‘ABBA,’ FATHER.&nbsp; </p><p>This is GOD's &nbsp;LOVE—Furious, Beyond Boundaries, Beyond Four Walls, and OUT OF THE BOX.</p><p>GOD'S LOVE includes ALL, even those who deny Him, ignore Him, mock Him, curse Him, and reject Him and His love; He loves the outcast, the forgotten, the unloved, the doubter, the skeptic, the seeker, the wanderer, the fatherless, the orphan, the widow, the prisoner, the wounded, the sick, and every sinner, disciple, and saint, and He shows no favoritism, even among those in His own family, for His desire is that ALL should KNOW Him, that ALL should LOVE Him, that ALL should SERVE Him, that ALL should TRUST Him, that ALL should BELIEVE and HAVE FAITH in Him, that ALL BE SAVED, for His will is that none should perish, but that ALL should spend eternity with Him—in His Presence. This is why GOD CALLS US to FISH for the SOULS of men, women, and children, for He loves every soul there is—even the sons and daughters who do not yet know that they are HIS—and THIS is the glorious evidence of HIS LOVE—His FURIOUS LOVE—JESUS, our SAVIOR, our LORD, our REDEEMER, our HEALER, our DELIVERER, our ADVOCATE, our COUNSELOR, our BRIDEGROOM, our KING.</p> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-time-in-this-moment GOD's TIME: In This Moment http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-time-in-this-moment <p><strong>Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV):&nbsp; </strong>The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.&nbsp; Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.</p><p>GOD IS HERE. He's in this moment, this second, this minute, this hour, this day, this month, this year. He's present in every breath, and He dwells in every souled-out, sincere and surrendered heart. He's the answer to every question, the solution to every problem; He is unchanging, and JESUS CHRIST is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and HE is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and no one comes to the FATHER except through Him--JESUS--and He lives in the moment, and He lives in us as we live in Him. And this is the hope and promise of GOD'sWORD: GOD IS WITH US, and He will never leave us nor forsake us, because HE LOVES US, and HIS LOVE is EVERLASTING--LIKE HIM, ETERNAL.</p> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-watcher The Watcher http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-watcher <p><strong>Psalm 121:3-8 (NIV): </strong>He will not let your foot slip--he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you--the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm--he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.</p><p>GOD IS WITH US--ever present and ever vigilant. He never slumbers—never sleeps--nor does He make Himself unavailable during holidays and vacations. He is with us, watching, guiding, comforting, consoling, strengthening, protecting, providing, prompting, loving, forgiving, inspiring, gifting, anointing, calling, and drawing.</p><p> He is with us as ABBA FATHER, greater than any natural father we have ever known--loving us higher than the highest mountain--lavishly, unconditionally, and immeasurably--and inspiring us to unknown heights, to extraordinary and greater things, even beyond our own imaginations.</p><p> He is with us as SAVIOR, REDEEMER, DELIVERER, PROTECTOR, MEDIATOR, HIGH PRIEST, LORD, and KING, JESUS CHRIST, giving us new life, true faith, and future hope and letting us know that GREATER is He who is in us than he who is in the world, that we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through Him who loved us, and that NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST US will prosper, for we are OVERCOMERS THROUGH HIM and NOTHING, neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither principalities nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor things present nor things to come, nor any created thing shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of GOD which is in CHRIST JESUS our LORD. After all, it is through Him that we now have DOMINION, POWER, and AUTHORITY, especially over our adversary and his kingdom of darkness. </p><p>GOD is ever with us as our COMFORTER, the HOLY SPIRIT, giving us power, wisdom, knowledge, understanding and revelation of GOD's WORD and GOD's SON, JESUS, and He distributes our gifts, renews our minds, transforms our lives, and instills within us the FRUIT of the SPIRIT (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, kindness, and self-control). </p><p>GOD LOVES US, and GOD IS WITH US, ever present and ever vigilant, WATCHING and PROTECTING but also LIVING IN and THROUGH US. And as WE DRAW NEAR HIM, HE DRAWS NEAR US, calling us into His Family and His Kingdom, calling us home, and as WE ABIDE IN HIM, HE ABIDES IN US--strengthening, encouraging, and empowering us--and if GOD IS WITH US, GOD IS IN US, and GOD BE FOR US, who can be against us?</p> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/under-gods-protection Under GOD's Protection http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/under-gods-protection <!--StartFragment--><p><strong>Isaiah 54:17 (NKJV):</strong> No weapon formed against you shall prosper,<br>And every tongue which rises against you in judgment<br>You shall condemn.<br>This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,<br>And their righteousness is from Me,”<br>Says the Lord.</p><p> </p><p>GOD LOVES US, enough to PROTECT US and FIGHT FOR US, especially against the adversary who comes to steal, kill, and destroy; to divide and conquer; to hurt, harm, distract, and deceive. GOD HAS US COVERED yesterday, today, and forever, especially when WE WALK IN FAITH, LIVING IN CHRIST JESUS, EMPOWERED by the HOLY SPIRIT. So, we don't have to be afraid, only STRONG and COURAGEOUS, for we are not alone; GOD IS WITH US; and we are not victims either; we are VICTORS--MORE THAN CONQUERORS through HIM WHO LOVED US, and NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST US SHALL PROSPER, for we serve the GOD of TRUTH who EXPOSES the adversary and his works and REVEALS what's done in the dark with the LIGHT and TRUTH of JESUS CHRIST. And this is GOD'sWORD from Genesis to Revelation: GREATER IS HE WHO IS IN US than he who is in the world. So, IF GOD BE FOR US, who can be against us?</p><!--EndFragment--> Thu, 20 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-gift-the-water-of-life GOD's Gift: The Water of Life http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-gift-the-water-of-life <p><strong>Revelation 22:17 (NIV)</strong>:&nbsp; The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!”&nbsp; Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.</p><p>GOD LOVES US, for He gave His only begotten Son that WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM should not perish but have EVERLASTING LIFE. So, each life is a gift; each breath, a miracle; each second, a choice; each minute, an opportunity; each hour, a decision; each day, a feat; each month, another chance; each year, another blessing; and each surrendered heart is a breakthrough; each soul saved, a celebration; each mind renewed, a rebirth; and each life changed, a testimony, for GOD knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us, plans to give us HOPE and a FUTURE through HIS SON, JESUS. And when we ACCEPT this FREE GIFT of the WATER of LIFE, and we LIVE IN, FOR, and THROUGH CHRIST JESUS, COMFORTED, INDWELLED, and EMPOWERED by the HOLY SPIRIT, we hunger and thirst no more in the spirit, because our hearts are not empty and our lives are not wasted, but our hearts are FILLED and our lives are WELL-SPENT, for we have the seal and guarantee of the HOLY SPIRIT and the promise and hope of this truth in GOD'sWORD: EVERLASTING LIFE in the ETERNAL LOVE and PRESENCE of GOD: our FATHER, our REDEEMER, and our COMFORTER.</p> Wed, 19 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-great-mystery-of-god The Great Mystery of GOD http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-great-mystery-of-god <p><strong>1 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV):</strong> And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: </p><p>God was manifested in the flesh,<br> Justified in the Spirit,<br> Seen by angels,<br> Preached among the Gentiles,<br> Believed on in the world,<br> Received up in glory.</p><p>THIS IS GOD’sWORD—the TRUTH, the GOSPEL, the PEARLS of WISDOM, and the GREAT MYSTERY of GOD—GOD is GOOD, GOD is JUST, GOD is LOVE, and GOD is IN US, WITH US, and FOR US, for GOD SO LOVED US that He gave His only begotten Son that WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM should not perish but have EVERLASTING LIFE. </p><p>OUR GOD is LIVING, and He is the GOD of LOVE, the GOD of HOPE, the GOD of GRACE, the GOD of MERCY, and the GOD of COMFORT, and this is the truth of GOD'sWORD from Genesis to Revelation: GOD does not change, and JESUS CHRIST is the same yesterday and today and forever, for this is GOD, and this is JESUS: ETERNAL.</p> Tue, 18 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/a-testimony-the-family-drug-problem A Testimony: The Family "Drug" Problem http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/a-testimony-the-family-drug-problem <p><strong>Deuteronomy 6:5-9 (NIV):&nbsp; </strong>Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.These commandments that I give to you today are to be on your hearts.&nbsp; Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and your gates.</p><p><strong>Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV):&nbsp; </strong>Jesus replied:&nbsp; “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.&nbsp; And the second is like it:&nbsp; ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’&nbsp; All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”</p><p><strong>Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV):&nbsp; </strong>Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.</p><p><strong>2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (NIV):&nbsp; </strong>Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:&nbsp; The old has gone, the new is here!&nbsp; All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:&nbsp; 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.&nbsp; We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.&nbsp; We implore you on Christ’s behalf:&nbsp; Be reconciled to God.&nbsp; God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.</p><p>ONE SUNDAY during his sermon, my uncle shocked the hometown congregation and surprised even me when he made this announcement from the pulpit:&nbsp; “My family has a drug problem.”&nbsp; I snapped to attention and stared at him, my eyes bulging like everybody else’s, and I thought, <em>We do?</em>&nbsp; </p><p>My uncle relaxed, smiled, and leaned over the podium, his hands resting on both sides of his Bible.&nbsp; “Yes, the Blakemores have a drug problem. As kids, we were “drug” to church, whether we wanted to go or not.”&nbsp; </p><p>Everyone laughed because they got it—they understood it, the lifestyle of faithful, souled-out believers.&nbsp; So did I—get it—finally—years later.&nbsp; </p><p>From that “drug” problem, that I often took for granted, I learned to love, fear (revere), and submit to GOD, but I learned after traveling the long, hard way, after a dark season of hard knocks, trials and errors, pain and suffering, fear and stress, storms and floods, mountains and valleys, flames and fire—years after stress and anxiety had attacked me, fear and depression had bound me, Satan had sifted me, life had broken me, preachers had overlooked me, doctors had labeled me, friends had left me, enemies had mocked me, family had doubted me, strangers had misunderstood me, and peace had escaped me.&nbsp; </p><p>I had been “drug” to church since birth; I had been baptized as a child, when I was less than ten years old, so I knew about the Bible, and I knew about GOD and about JESUS, but I didn’t really KNOW, understand, read, or study the Bible daily, and I didn’t KNOW GOD or JESUS intimately or personally; I didn’t have a relationship with GOD beyond the four walls of the church. So, from the outside I looked like a believer, I talked like a believer, and people assumed I was a genuine believer, but GOD had searched my heart and He knew the real condition of it, better than anyone, including family and friends. He knew my faith was shallow, less than a mustard seed, for my faith had never been tested, nor did I know much about spiritual warfare, healing, deliverance, or the HOLY SPIRIT, the COMFORTER, who I later learned is a HE, not an “IT”.&nbsp; </p><p>I was living on SPIRITUAL MILK, and I needed to be fed SPIRITUAL MEAT and to be covered by the FULL ARMOR of GOD because I was about to be TESTED IN THE WILDERNESS; I was about to be sifted by Satan, then refined—PURIFIED—through GOD’s consuming fire. Unlike JESUS though, I failed the wilderness test—multiple times—because I didn’t have GOD’s WORD hidden in my heart, not well enough to use against a worthy adversary, and what spiritual weapons I did have, I didn’t know how to use or wield effectively, especially GOD’s WORD, the SWORD of the SPIRIT. </p><p>So, when the adversary attacked me—ready to steal, kill, and destroy—and the battle waged was against my mind, I wasn’t physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually prepared, and I didn’t know what to do, how to handle his aggressive attack or protect myself. And even GOD’s WORD says, His people perish from a lack of knowledge—IGNORANCE.&nbsp; </p><p>When I hit rock bottom physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and was all alone, with no resources and no freedom, nearly out of my “right” mind—with no family but the faithful three; no friends but one concerned co-worker; no money but personal items in labeled paper bags; no church congregation but a group of equally broken patients on a mental ward; no fiery preachers, prayer warriors, or worship leaders engaged in prayer, praise, or battle, but the confused, the lost, the fearful, the needy, the combative, the angry, the outcast, the broken, the depressed, the misunderstood, the loner, the bipolar, the schizophrenic, the suicidal, the young, the old, the churched, the unchurched, the nerd, the average person—basically the rest of us, searching, seeking, hoping for three things really:&nbsp; RECOVERY, RELEASE, and PEACE—there didn’t seem to be a preacher like JESUS CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE, who dared to bring LIGHT into the darkness--some SOULED-OUT man or woman of GOD ready to boldly enter the mental ward like JESUS visited the demonized man’s world--that kingdom of darkness and despair—someone ANOINTED by GOD’s SPIRIT, someone willing to SET THE CAPTIVES FREE and BOLDLY PROCLAIM and DEMONSTRATE the WORD, the POWER, and the AUTHORITY of GOD.&nbsp;</p><p>During that time, fear and depression clung to me like overbearing friends, and I didn’t see light at the end of a tunnel and I had a hard time seeing, feeling, or even hearing GOD, so my situation seemed dismal, beyond hope, beyond happiness. I saw more dark than light, and loneliness seemed a constant companion. I didn’t know how to pray for myself because my grandmother had been my PRAYER WARRIOR, my SPIRITUAL MENTOR, my FAITH WALKER, and my CONFIDANTE, and she was gone—had graduated to heaven--and was already supping at GOD’s table.&nbsp;Despite the uphill battle, GOD had me covered, and my mother never gave up on me; she fought for my freedom, my recovery, my life, and my soul, most of the time with little comfort, help, or relief, and she became my advocate, my strongtower, my prayer warrior, my encourager, my intercessor, and my faith partner—the voice and presence of home.&nbsp;</p><p>But neither of us realized GOD didn’t want to me to GO BACK to the PERSON I was or to the PLACE that I had been—IGNORANT, SELFISH, REBELLIOUS, PRIDEFUL, ENVIOUS, FEARFUL, GREEDY, MATERIALISTIC, NEGATIVE, JUDGMENTAL, and UNGRATEFUL.&nbsp; Back then, I was an UNDERCOVER CHRISTIAN, afraid to pray publicly or talk about JESUS outside the church, and although I had Bibles, I was CLUELESS about GOD’sWORD, even about my own SALVATION.&nbsp; And GOD wanted me BETTER than I was; He wanted me to be MORE LIKE JESUS, HIS SON; He wanted me to have a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with HIM, outside the four walls of a church; and He wanted me to BEAR this FRUIT of HIS HOLY SPIRIT:&nbsp; love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, kindness, and self-control.&nbsp; </p><p>So, one night as I lay in bed at home, physically free but still spiritually bound, in utter darkness and depression, all I knew to do was HUMBLE myself, SURRENDER to GOD, and CRY OUT:&nbsp; “GOD, help me!&nbsp; Give me peace.”&nbsp; And GOD, who knew me before I even entered my mother’s womb, heard my cry and answered, giving me peace. Then, I knew He had never left me, nor had he forsaken me, and He already had a plan for me, a plan to prosper me and not harm me, plans to give me HOPE and a FUTURE, and JESUS through the HOLY SPIRIT, SAVED, DELIVERED, HEALED, FORGAVE, REDEEMED, STRENGTHENED, TAUGHT, and TRANSFORMED me into a NEW CREATION IN CHRIST.&nbsp; </p><p>GOD RENEWED my MIND and EVICTED the adversary from His property, and over time, my priorities, my attitude, and my lifestyle changed. I CRAVED more SPIRITUAL than WORLDLY food, and I developed a thirst and hunger for JESUS, for GOD’sWORD, and a desire for more of GOD’s PRESENCE. I didn’t just want to HEAR ABOUT GOD in some preacher’s sermon; I wanted to KNOW and EXPERIENCE GOD myself, and I wanted to learn more about the HOLY SPIRIT, so I REDEDICATED my life to CHRIST, got BAPTIZED a second time as an adult, with full understanding of what it signified, and I put my trust IN GOD, not in man or even my own intellect. </p><p>As years passed, I began to WALK IN FAITH, in GOD’s WORD and in GOD’s LIGHT, and after that, GOD gave me a SPIRITUAL DOWNLOAD—the PEARLS of WISDOM—and these are the gifts that GOD gave me, the verses that became the soundtrack of my new life in CHRIST:&nbsp; “No weapon formed against you shall prosper”; “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God”; “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He shall direct your paths”; “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind”; “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning”; “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”; “Be strong and courageous; the LORD will be with you wherever you go”; “All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose”; and “We are hard-pressed on every side yet not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed.”&nbsp; </p><p>So, yes, as a child, I inherited the Blakemore “drug” problem; I was “drug” to church. Later, I found myself alone, and I got lost and confused; I got scared, and I started wandering, but GOD never left me. He was drawing me home, but I got stuck seemingly for years in the wilderness, and the adversary beat me down, but GOD raised me up, and JESUS delivered me and the HOLY SPIRIT comforted, taught, and transformed me.&nbsp; </p><p>Now, GOD IS WITH ME, and I’m SOULED-OUT for Him—heart, soul, mind, and strength—and I can truly say today:&nbsp; “I’m a believer in JESUS CHRIST. I’m a child of GOD, a daughter of the KING of KINGS, a JOINT-HEIR with JESUS, His redeemed bride, and a member of His Body, the Church.&nbsp; </p><p>I have a ‘drug’ problem, and I’m an addict—GOD’s ADDICT—and I thank my mother and grandmother for “dragging” me to church, whether I wanted to go or not; I thank my grandparents for “making us” have Family Prayer meeting at home and “making us” say our verses around the supper table and our prayers at bedtime; and I thank GOD for choosing me, for anointing me, for drawing me back home, into his Kingdom and His family; I thank Him for fighting for me, for never giving up on me—for never leaving me or forsaking me, even when others did.&nbsp; </p><p>And this is why I do what I do, why I share the GOSPEL through these PEARLS of WISDOM; these are my PEARLS of PRAISE, my way of telling GOD, “I love You,” and telling others, “I love you too.&nbsp; Be strong and of good courage, the LORD will be with you wherever you go.”&nbsp; </p><p>Today, I am a NEW CREATION IN CHRIST--saved, healed, and delivered--and my life will never be the same, for GOD saved me, even in the midst of my sins; JESUS redeemed me, even though I didn’t deserve it; and the HOLY SPIRIT keeps blessing me, more than I know or can even imagine.&nbsp; And this is what I am, regardless of my circumstances:&nbsp; BLESSED. And this is who I am, regardless of my past:&nbsp; GOD’SWORD Professor—GOD’s ambassador—GOD’s addict.</p><p><br></p> Tue, 18 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/testimony TESTimony http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/testimony <p><strong>Genesis 50:19-21 (NKJV): </strong>Joseph said to them [his brothers], "Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? "But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. "Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones." And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.</p><p>GOD can use everything in our lives--the good and the bad, especially our challenges, failures, flaws, mistakes, weaknesses and adversaries--and He works them for our good, even when we with our limited sight, knowledge and understanding cannot see that greater good on the horizon.</p><p>Often we lament the test, the trial, the persecution, the tragedy, the illness, the sorrow, the sadness, the grief, the pain, the suffering, the loss, the betrayal, the rejection, the disappointment and the humility--the crosses we must often bear--because in the midst of it all we often don't see GOD the LIGHT in all that darkness, nor without walking by faith and not by sight will we be able to DISCERN GOODNESS, GRACE and GOD in the trenches, on the battleground, in the valleys, in the gutters, in the prisons, in the hospitals, on the mental wards, in the flames, or on those mountains with us. But GOD promises to never leave us or forsake us, especially when adversity comes or when adversaries surround us and attack when we are seemingly most vulnerable. What we must remember, even when circumstances seem unfavorable and the odds stacked against us seem insurmountable is this: GOD IS WITH US; we are not alone, nor are we without help, strength, escape or hope.</p><p>What others mean for evil against us, GOD will use it for our good, according to His will, His plans, and His purpose, and then our tests will become our testimonies, whereby others may be edified and encouraged, and GOD alone gets the glory.</p><p>When we reach this point of NOW FAITH from Hebrews 11:1, and we are led of GOD's Holy Spirit through the darkness, through the battle, through the fire, through the flood, BELIEVING IN JESUS and TRUSTING that GOD IS WITH US even when we cannot see His face, hear His voice or feel His presence, then we will always be STRONG and COURAGEOUS, even in the midst of physical, emotional, and spiritual battles, with enemies and adversaries all around us; and we will always carry the LIGHT of JESUS CHRIST in us even on the streets, in the prisons, or in the mental institutions; we will OVERCOME as MORE THAN CONQUERERS through Him who loved us; we will FORGIVE those who have hurt, betrayed, and wounded us; and we will SHARE the life lessons we have learned and the pearls of wisdom we have gleaned from GOD’sWORD through the HOLY SPIRIT, giving all glory and honor to GOD. And possibly our testimonies of GOD's GOODNESS, GRACE and MERCY and our commitment to sharing the GOOD NEWS--the GOSPEL of JESUS CHRIST--will SAVE another person's life or another person's soul, for as GOD’sWORD proclaims in Romans 10:17, ‘Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of GOD.’</p> Mon, 17 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/love Love http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/love <p><strong>John 15:12-13 (NIV)</strong>: My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.</p><p>OFTEN, we get so busy with life that we forget or disregard the commandments that GOD has given us--to love Him and one another. We let our adversary distract us with the cares of this world, and divisions arise because of our political affiliations, our religious denominations, our races, our genders, and our regions.</p><p>Even though collectively we are the BODY and BRIDE of CHRIST, we find so many reasons to hate or dislike one another, and our adversary gladly exploits these differences, driving us farther away from one another and farther away from GOD, His Word, His Purpose, and His Will. But JESUS is our MEDIATOR and our BRIDGE; He is the WAY, the TRUTH, the LIFE; He is the LIGHT, He is LOVE PERSONIFIED, and He is GOD WITH US, so we're not lost, forgotten, forsaken, or alone. We are saved, redeemed, forgiven, cleansed, transformed, and reconciled, foremost to GOD, then to others, by GRACE through FAITH. </p><p>LOVE is a CHOICE, and GOD chooses to LOVE US, and He loved us so much that He GAVE His only begotten SON so that whoever BELIEVES IN HIM should not perish but have EVERLASTING LIFE, and JESUS LOVED US so much that He GAVE His Life and His Blood on Calvary's Cross, so that we would be SAVED and FORGIVEN of SINS, REDEEMED, CLEANSED, RENEWED, DELIVERED, HEALED, and RECONCILED to GOD, the FATHER. So, instead of boasting and priding ourselves on being self-made and self-reliant or being better and having more than others, we should remember the most important commandments that GOD, who is LOVE, has given us, according to JESUS CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE, who is our LORD and SAVIOR: TO LOVE GOD and TO LOVE OTHERS, for in GOD'sWORD from Genesis to Revelation, we learn that GREATER LOVE has no one than this: TO LAY DOWN ONE's LIFE for ONE's FRIENDS.</p> Sat, 15 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-cost-of-salvation The COST of SALVATION http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-cost-of-salvation <p><strong>John 3:16 (NKJV):&nbsp; </strong>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.</p><p>SALVATION is a GIFT freely GIVEN of GOD, our Heavenly Father, and HIS WORD assures us in Ephesians 2:8-10 that “it is by grace [we] have been saved, through faith—and this is not from [ourselves], it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”</p><p>Although SALVATION through JESUS is FREELY GIVEN, for US—those of us who accept that we’re created in the image and likeness of GOD who’ve answered the CALL and CHOSEN to WALK IN FAITH and LIVE FOR GOD, and those of us who CALL ourselves BELIEVERS—completely committed FOLLOWERS—and not fans—of JESUS, the CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE, the SAVIOR, THESE are the COSTS:&nbsp; </p><p>(1) <strong>LOVE </strong> (GOD loved us enough to give His Only SON, and He requires us to love Him equally—enough to give wholeheartedly—ALL that we have—our hearts, souls, minds, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5), and He also commands that we seek and love Him foremost and then others—our neighbors (Matthew 6:33));&nbsp; </p><p>(2) <strong>FAITH </strong>(This is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1), and without it, it is impossible to please GOD, for he who comes to GOD must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6)); </p><p>(3) <strong>SUBMISSION </strong>and <strong>OBEDIENCE </strong>(GOD expects us to submit to Him (James 4:7-8), so He can come to us, and He wants us to do what pleases Him, surrendering all to Him, including even our lives, so He can lead us where we need to go, and in 1 John 3:23-24, it says, “this is his command:&nbsp; to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them.&nbsp; And this is how we know that he lives in us:&nbsp; We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”); &nbsp;</p><p>(4) <strong>TRUST </strong>(We’re instructed in Proverbs 3:5-6 to trust in the LORD with all our hearts, leaning not on our own understanding; in all our ways submit to him, and he will make our paths straight. GOD wants us to not only believe in JESUS but to trust Him—have confidence in Him, His promises—HIS WORD);</p><p> (5) <strong>ACCEPTANCE </strong>(We must RECEIVE the GIFTS of GOD—His love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness, and we must ACCEPT that we are SAVED and REDEEMED through CHRIST JESUS. We must acknowledge our sins, (Romans 3:23-26), confessing and repenting of those sins (1 John 1:9-10), and we must acknowledge and confess JESUS CHRIST, GOD's SON, as our LORD and SAVIOR, and invite Him into our hearts—our lives (Romans 10:9-10)—so He can cleanse us of all unrighteousness, renew our minds, purify our hearts, and transform us into new creations in CHRIST (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)); </p><p>(6) <strong>ACKNOWLEDGMENT </strong>(We’re to confess JESUS before others, identifying ourselves with Him, if we expect Him to acknowledge us before His Father (Matthew 10:32-33); we’re not to be ashamed of Him or try to conceal our faith.);&nbsp;</p><p>(7) <strong>GRATITUDE </strong>(We’re to give thanks for this gift of salvation, for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life (Romans 6:23)).&nbsp; </p><p>Indeed, SALVATION is a GIFT, but it has to be RECEIVED in a spirit of <em>humility</em>, <em>love</em>, <em>faith</em>, <em>submission</em>, <em>trust</em>, and <em>gratitude</em>, and ultimately, the COST of SALVATION is EVERYTHING--our hearts, our minds, our strength, our lives, our souls--but the REWARD of SALVATION is LIFE EVERLASTING IN THE PRESENCE of GOD.</p> Fri, 14 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/faith-in-four-letter-words-hope-love FAITH in Four-Letter Words: HOPE & LOVE http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/faith-in-four-letter-words-hope-love <p><strong>Romans 15:2-6, 13 (NKJV)</strong>: Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, 'The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.' For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.</p><p>Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.</p><p><strong>1 John 4:7-11 (NKJV): </strong>Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son <em>to be</em> the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.</p><p>WITHOUT FAITH, it is IMPOSSIBLE to PLEASE GOD, but WITH FAITH come HOPE and LOVE <em>through&nbsp;</em>GOD, for GOD is both the GOD of HOPE and the GOD of LOVE, and He commands us as BELIEVERS, as FOLLOWERS of JESUS and as CHILDREN BORN of HIM to HOPE in HIM; to WALK by FAITH, NOT by SIGHT; to TRUST in HIM with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding; to SURRENDER unto Him our whole hearts, souls, minds, and might; to SEEK HIM first; to SERVE HIM faithfully; to WORSHIP HIM daily, to PRAY TO HIM ceaselessly; to GLORIFY HIS NAME; to YIELD to HIS WILL; to REVERE HIS SPIRIT; to BELIEVE HIS WORD--HIS PROMISES; and to LIVE IN and THROUGH HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST, TRUSTING that ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD to those who LOVE GOD and are CALLED according to HIS PURPOSE and BELIEVING that NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST US shall prosper and that GREATER is HE IN US than he in the world.</p><p>The GOD of HOPE is OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, OUR LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, and OUR COMFORTER, the HOLY SPIRIT, and HE, GOD, urges us to HOPE in HIM and to EDIFY others, INSPIRING them to HOPE as well.</p><p>Secondly, GOD is LOVE and He commands us to LOVE HIM and to LOVE OTHERS as OURSELVES. This LOVE speaks LIFE, not death; it ENCOURAGES and UPLIFTS, MOTIVATES and BUILDS UP, GLORIFYING GOD and EDIFYING OTHERS, who, in turn, BLESS OTHERS, PAYING LOVE FORWARD, and this LOVE is ETERNAL; it is PATIENT and KIND, and it keeps NO RECORD of WRONG, but it FORGIVES, and it NEVER FAILS.</p><p>HOPE and LOVE are the GIFTS GOD GIVES US everyday by GRACE through FAITH in HIS SON JESUS, through the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT, and these are what GOD BLESSES US WITH in HIS WORD in 1 Corinthians 13:13, so we'll PRESS ON TOWARD the PRIZE of OUR HIGH CALLING, even through adversity, for GOD'sWORD declares, 'And now these three remain: FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE. But the greatest of these is LOVE.'</p><p>So, regardless of our circumstances, whether good or bad, GOD IS WITH US, never to leave us or forsake us, and as long as we have FAITH, and we BELIEVE and TRUST in the FATHER, SON, and HOLY SPIRIT, we will have ETERNAL HOPE and LOVE, and we will have ETERNAL LIFE through HIM--JESUS CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE.</p><p><br></p> Thu, 13 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-not-done-hes-in-control GOD's Not Done: He's in Control http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-not-done-hes-in-control <p><strong>Romans 8:28 (NKJV): </strong>And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.</p><p>GOD LOVES US, through good times and adversity, and He uses every choice, action and circumstance in our lives to accomplish or fulfill His plans and purpose. And as one minister says, "If it's not all good, then God is not done."</p><p>GOD is GOOD, GOD is JUST, GOD is LOVE, and GOD knows our situations--our circumstances--whether they are favorable or not, and He assures us that as we TRUST HIM and SURRENDER all to Him, leaning not on our own understanding, He will STRAIGHTEN our paths; He will HELP us, STRENGTHEN us, PROVIDE for us, PROTECT us, LOVE us, COMFORT us, BLESS &nbsp;us, HEAL us, DELIVER us, REDEEM us, FORGIVE us, EDIFY us, EMPOWER us, and GUIDE us. He takes our good and bad in life and uses both for His purpose and our well-being.</p><p>So, we are not without hope, even when trials and adversity come. And we are not victims but VICTORS; we are not powerless but POWERFUL, and we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us; we are overcomers through CHRIST JESUS; we are the TEMPLES of GOD, the HOLY SPIRIT, and THROUGH CHRIST, we have been given POWER, AUTHORITY, and DOMINION over the enemy--our soul's adversary. </p><p>Even when we are in the storms or in the wilderness, GOD blesses us, letting us know that we are not alone, that He will never leave us or foraske us, for we are hard-pressed on every side but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed. We are children of GOD, and we have overcome them--our adversaries--because whatever is born of GOD overcomes the world, and this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith. So, we are VICTORIOUS, not defeated; we are SPIRIT-FILLED, not depleted. We are STRONG, not weak; we are COURAGEOUS, not afraid; we are ACTIVE, not passive. We are SAVED and DELIVERED by CHRIST, not condemned and bound to sin. We are healed, not sick. We are GOD's&nbsp;children, no one's orphans.</p><p>And this is GOD'sWORD from Genesis to Revelation: GOD LOVES US; GOD IS IN CONTROL; and WITH GOD, ALL THINGS are POSSIBLE, for GOD can and will use anything in our lives, including our mistakes, to strengthen us and draw us closer to Him. What we have to believe then is this: GOD is GOOD, GOD is JUST and GOD is LOVE, and if everything in our lives is not well and does not look good right now, GOD IS NOT DONE.</p> Thu, 13 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/addicted-2-love-heart-soul-mind-strength ADDICTED 2 LOVE: Heart, Soul, Mind & Strength http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/addicted-2-love-heart-soul-mind-strength <p><strong>Deuteronomy 6:5 (NIV):&nbsp; </strong>Love the LORD with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.</p><p>GOD IS LOVE, and GOD cares about two things: HEARTS and SOULS. If He has these, He has everything we have to offer, and that hasn't changed much since the first couple, ADAM and EVE.</p><p>GOD is a HEART-and-SOUL SEARCHER, so He FISHES for us and SEEKS a place in our hearts. GOD the FATHER draws us, JESUS the SON saves us, forgives us, and redeems us, and GOD the HOLY SPIRIT guides us, teaches us, and empowers us, giving us a REVELATION of GOD through HIS WORD which draws us ever closer to JESUS CHRIST, the LORD of LORDS and the WORD MADE FLESH and GOD the FATHER, the KING of KINGS and the LORD of ALL. </p><p>GOD wants us to LOVE HIM like ADDICTS, SURRENDERING EVERYTHING TO and FOR HIM, FOR HE SO LOVED the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever BELIEVES IN HIM should not perish but have EVERLASTING LIFE. GOD GAVE EVERYTHING FOR US; JESUS GAVE EVERYTHING FOR US, so when we COME TO GOD and INVITE JESUS into our hearts and lives, WE MUST GIVE EVERYTHING--all we have--and that's the PRICE of SALVATION and REDEMPTION--OUR LIVES--for JESUS PAID IN FULL our debt to GOD with HIS LIFE and HIS BLOOD; He GAVE HIS LIFE for OURS, so we, in return, are CALLED UPON to LIVE and ABIDE IN HIM--CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE--GIVING OURSELVES as LIVING SACRIFICES to GOD. For this is the GRACE of GOD and the GREAT EXCHANGE of CALVARY's CROSS: JESUS' LIFE was SACRIFICED--GIVEN--for OURS. And when our lives are SURRENDERED to HIM, HE LIVES IN and THROUGH us. But we have FREE WILL--A CHOICE--and we can choose whether we will ACCEPT and RECEIVE GOD's GIFT of LOVE and GRACE through FAITH IN JESUS or REJECT and DISREGARD GOD's GIFT, and GOD who is GOOD, JUST, and LOVE, WILL HONOR OUR CHOICES, especially of where we want to spend eternity--IN HIS PRESENCE or AWAY FROM HIS PRESENCE--IN LIGHT or IN DARKNESS--IN PEACE or IN TORMENT. </p><p>Those of us who LOVE GOD, CHOOSE JESUS, and SURRENDER our whole hearts, souls, minds, and strength to GOD are ADOPTED into HIS FAMILY, COVERED by JESUS' BLOOD, QUICKENED by the HOLY SPIRIT, and GIFTED with the FRUIT OF HIS SPIRIT: love, joy, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, kindness, self-control, and peace, for GOD LOVED US, enough to GIVE HIS SON FOR US, and JESUS LOVED US enough to SACRIFICE HIS LIFE FOR US, and the HOLY SPIRIT LOVES US, enough to DWELL IN US, and ENCOURAGE, INSTRUCT, and EMPOWER us, and that's the NATURE of LOVE and GIVING--to HELP, SERVE, BLESS, UPLIFT, ENCOURAGE, COMFORT, CONSOLE, COUNSEL, BEFRIEND, STRENGTHEN, and EMPOWER.</p><p>FOR LOVE OF US-our hearts, souls, minds, and strength--our very lives--GOD NEVER LEAVES US or FORSAKES US, and He INVESTS all of His resources in us, because He wants us in His presence not just today, not even on Sunday, but for eternity. That's why He keeps calling us, drawing us, pursuing us, and beckoning us with that still small voice: He's trying to wake us from our slumber and show us the reality of who we are, whose we are, and what we're here to accomplish--our purpose. </p><p>GOD is waiting for us to finally LISTEN TO and ABIDE BY HIS WORD, BELIEVE IN and ACCEPT HIS SON, HEAR and HEED HIS VOICE, and FREELY SURRENDER to HIM that which is more precious than jewels or money: OUR HEARTS, SOULS, MINDS, and STRENGTH. And if we give these to Him, He has everything we have to offer, and we gain everything He has to give, foremost ETERNAL LIFE IN HIS LOVE and PRESENCE. And this is the truth of GOD'sWORD from Genesis to Revelation: GOD is LOVE, and HE LOVES US--HIS ADDICTS.</p> Wed, 12 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/thread-of-three-a-cord-not-broken Thread of Three: A Cord Not Broken http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/thread-of-three-a-cord-not-broken <p><strong>Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV):&nbsp; </strong>Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.&nbsp; A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.</p><p>GOD is LOVE and the heart of GOD is for SOULS. That's why GOD sent JESUS, His SON, and that's why He gives the HOLY SPIRIT. He loves us, and He wants to spend eternity with us. To this end GOD calls us in that still small voice, and He draws us to Himself and to His Son. He wants us to HEAR HIS VOICE, HEED HIS WORD, and COME, SURRENDERING EVERYTHING to Him. When we come in sincerity and humility, surrendering our wills for His and our lives and futures to HIM, we're ADOPTED into GOD's FAMILY, and He can use us, for indeed, we are SAVED to save, BLESSED to bless, GIVEN to give, and LOVED to love.</p><p>When we come, accepting JESUS as our SAVIOR, LORD, and REDEEMER, we become the BRIDE and BODY of CHRIST--HIS CHOSEN and HIS MEMBERS, each of us gifted for a certain purpose according to GOD's will. We then LIVE in CHRIST and He lives in us and works through us, helping us fulfill that plan and purpose for our lives.</p><p> And whether we believe it or not, we as the BODY of CHRIST and as FOLLOWERS of JESUS, have other souls assigned to us--those in our sphere of influence--that person or child who has never read the BIBLE--GOD'sWORD--or has never heard about JESUS; that co-worker who doesn't attend church and doesn't know the GOSPEL--the GOOD NEWS--or is even aware that there is a SAVIOR who FORGIVES sins, HEALS diseases, or SETS the captives free; that foreigner who puts his or her faith in idols and dead, man-made gods--graven images of wood, metal, stone; that person who has never heard that there is only ONE WAY to the LIVING GOD through HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST, who is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE; that roommate who's living in dysfunction and considering suicide because he or she doesn't know there is HOPE, ESCAPE, COMFORT or PEACE in JESUS, the SAVIOR, the REDEEMER, the COUNSELOR, the PRINCE of PEACE; or that stranger who just happens to be where we are at the right time and the right place and is in dire need of what we know or what we have--GOD's WORD, GOD's PROVISION, GOD's LOVE, GOD's GRACE, and GOD's WISDOM. </p><p>WE are the BRIDE of CHRIST, the BODY of CHRIST, GOD's SONS and DAUGHTERS, and GOD's AMBASSADORS--LIVING BIBLES and LOVE LETTERS--the only ones some people will ever read. We are THREADED CORDS that BIND; we are the SPIRITUAL LINKS in a NETWORK or CHAIN of SOULS passing what we gain FORWARD and GODWARD. We are the unified pieces of a divine jigsaw puzzle, royal chess pieces that move across an international board, and when GOD calls us, we must COME to HIM and REACH OUT to others; when He fishes for us, we must surrender, willing to be captured and changed--to be empowered and transformed. </p><p>We must not be content to be passive, sitting quietly on a church pew, but when GOD speaks in that still small voice, we must LISTEN and HEED HIS WORD and ACT according to HIS WILL, for if we don't, we won't be in position--at the right place at the right time--and when time has passed and death has carried us on; when our earthly deeds are taken into account, we might have regrets for not having done more for the KINGDOM of GOD, for it would be heartbreaking at life's end to hear one wayward, lost soul, especially one we know--someone in our own family, cry out to GOD against us, saying, "If he or she had only COME, SHARED YOUR WORD, and TOLD me the TRUTH--WHO YOU REALLY ARE, I would have BELIEVED and COME TO YOU. I would have ACCEPTED YOU with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and I wouldn't be LOST but SAVED."</p><p>And this is the truth of GOD'sWORD from Genesis to Revelation: OUR THREE-THREADED CORD unbroken is the TRIUNE GOD--ETERNAL LOVE that never fails found in the NATURE, NAME, and POWER of the LIVING GOD: The FATHER, the SON, and the HOLY SPIRIT.</p> Wed, 12 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-foundation-of-faith-the-rock-the-fortress-the-sandcastle The FOUNDATION of FAITH: The Rock, the Fortress, & the Sandcastle http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-foundation-of-faith-the-rock-the-fortress-the-sandcastle <p><b>Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV):</b> "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."</p><p>FAITH COMES by HEARING, and HEARING by the WORD of GOD, and this is our FOUNDATION: 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. GOD has highly exalted Him and given Him the name above every name, that at the name of JESUS every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that JESUS CHRIST is LORD, to the GLORY of GOD the Father, Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in CHRIST JESUS before time began. </p><p>For by grace we have been saved through faith, and that not of ourselves; it is the GIFT of GOD, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in CHRIST JESUS for GOOD WORKS, which GOD prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. For if we live, we live to the LORD; and if we die, we die to the LORD. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the LORD's. And the LORD will give STRENGTH to His people; the LORD will BLESS His people with PEACE; and the GOD of PEACE will crush Satan under our feet shortly. He is GOD WITH US, and when we pass through the waters, He will be with us, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow us. When we walk through the fire, we shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch us. </p><p>The LORD is FAITHFUL, who will ESTABLISH us and GUARD us from the evil one. He is a SHELTER for us, a STRONGTOWER from the enemy, and He also has SEALED US and GIVEN US the Spirit IN OUR HEARTS as a GUARANTEE, and GOD is able to make all GRACE abound toward us, that we, always having all SUFFICIENCY in ALL things, may have an ABUNDANCE for every GOOD work. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but OUR SUFFICIENCY is FROM GOD. </p><p>The LORD is our LIGHT and our SALVATION, whom shall we fear? The LORD is the STRENGTH of our lives, of whom shall we be afraid? And GOD's WORD is PURE, POWERFUL, PURPOSEFUL, and EVERLASTING; HIS WORDS are SPIRIT and LIFE; and GOD'sWORD is the SWORD of the SPIRIT.</p><p> And JESUS, the CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE, is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, and no one comes to the Father except THROUGH HIM, the STONE which the builders rejected WHO HAS BECOME the CHIEF CORNERSTONE, and ON THIS ROCK, the AUTHOR and FINISHER of OUR FAITH, GOD has built HIS CHURCH, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. </p><p>But without FAITH it’s impossible to please GOD, for the one who comes to GOD must believe that He is, and that He is a REWARDER of those who diligently SEEK HIM, for WITH GOD, all things are possible, and GOD IS IN CONTROL, able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask and think, according to the POWER that works in us, and we know that ALL THINGS work together FOR GOOD to those who LOVE GOD and are the called according to His purpose, for whatever is BORN of GOD OVERCOMES the world, and this is the VICTORY that has overcome the world--OUR FAITH. This is the FOUNDATION--THE ROCK--upon which we build our houses and stand: JESUS CHRIST. And any other foundation when tested by time, ravaged by storms, and purged by fire will eventually crack and fail, buckle and fall, and the house, castle, or church built upon it will be tossed and turned, battered and broken, inflamed and burned, and it will crash and sink beneath shifting sand.</p> Tue, 11 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-blessing GOD's Blessing http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-blessing <p><strong>Numbers 6:24-26 (NKJV):</strong> The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.</p><p>BE BLESSED today, especially by GOD, your HEAVENLY FATHER. He loves you with an EVERLASTING LOVE, and He promises never to leave or forsake you and to be with you wherever you go, in whatever you're going through, against any adversary. BE STRONG and OF GOOD COURAGE and remember that you are an OVERCOMER and MORE THAN A CONQUEROR through Him who loved you, and remember, WITH GOD all things are possible and that all things work together for good to those who LOVE HIM and are called according to HIS PURPOSE. He knows the plans He has for you, PLANS to PROSPER YOU and not harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a FUTURE. BELIEVE Him; LOVE Him; TRUST Him, PRAY to Him, and CALL UPON Him, and He will ANSWER, DELIVER, REDEEM, SAVE, FORGIVE, PROTECT, ENCOURAGE, COMFORT, MEND, HEAL, FILL, EMPOWER, EQUIP, STRENGTHEN you, and DIRECT your paths, WORKING all things together for your GOOD, 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. And this is GOD'sWORD from Genesis to Revelation: He loves you; He will never leave you or forsake you; He will help you; He will save you; He will protect you; He will provide for you; He will heal you; He will strengthen you and encourage you; He will comfort you and counsel you; He will guide you and teach you; He will fill you and empower you; He will bless you and keep you, make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; He will lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace, for GOD loves you so much, He gave you HIS SACRED WORD, HIS ETERNAL PROMISE, HIS HOLY SPIRIT, HIS GRACE, HIS MERCY, PEACE that SURPASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING and ETERNAL LIFE through HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, JESUS CHRIST. So, be encouraged, loved, and blessed, foremost by HEAVENLY FATHER: GOD.</p> Tue, 11 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-field-his-planters-his-buildings-his-workmanship GOD's FIELD: His Planters, His Buildings & His Workmanship http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-field-his-planters-his-buildings-his-workmanship <p><strong>1 Corinthians 3:6-17 (NKJV):</strong> I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, <em>you are</em> God’s building.</p><p>According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.</p><p>Now if anyone builds on this foundation <em>with</em> gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on <em>it</em> endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.</p><p>Do you not know that you are the temple of God and <em>that</em> the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which <em>temple</em> you are.</p><p><strong>Ephesians 2:8-10 (NKJV): </strong>For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; <em>it is</em> the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.</p><p>WE ARE GOD’s PLANTERS, GOD's SOWERS, and GOD's FIELD, GOD’s BUILDINGS, GOD's TEMPLES, and GOD’s WORKMANSHIP, created in CHRIST JESUS for GOOD WORKS, which GOD prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Each of us, created in GOD's image, according to His likeness, are fearfully and wonderfully made, with gifts and talents for the glory and honor of GOD, and each of us is LOVED and KNOWN by GOD the FATHER, who has a divine PLAN and PURPOSE for our lives.</p><p>We're called to LOVE GOD and LOVE OTHERS; we're called to PRAY, to HUMBLE ourselves, to BLESS, to GIVE, to SERVE, to FORGIVE, to SURRENDER, to OBEY, for we are the AMBASSADORS of CHRIST, the SONS and DAUGHTERS of the KING of KINGS: GOD; and we are JOINT-HEIRS with the LORD of LORDS and PRINCE of PEACE: JESUS. We're FISHERS of MEN, WOMEN, and CHILDREN; we're the EPISTLES of CHRIST--LIVING BIBLES and LOVE LETTERS to be READ in our generation.</p><p>We're SOJOURNERS--SOUL-SEARCHERS and WORLD TRAVELERS--MISSIONARIES and TEACHERS, EVANGELISTS and LEADERS, PROPHETS and PASTORS, APOSTLES and SERVANTS; we're CO-LABORERS with GOD and FOLLOWERS of JESUS, COMMISSIONED to GO into NATIONS--into FIELDS RIPE FOR HARVEST, to MAKE DISCIPLES, to SEARCH for SOULS, SEEK the LOST, and FISH for MEN, WOMEN and CHILDREN, not for the GLORY and HONOR of Self but for the WILL and PURPOSE of GOD.</p><p>We're not called to be PASSIVE and SILENT, to merely SIT and OBSERVE from the sidelines and comforts of our homes or to WATCH from televisions or church pews but to GO BEYOND OUR BUILDINGS, OUR SMARTPHONES, OUR TELEVISION SCREENS, OUR WALLS, and OUR COMFORT ZONES--into the streets, into the offices, the workplaces, the schools, the hospitals, the mental wards, the prisons, the cities, the countries, and the nations. We're to SHARE the GOOD NEWS, LAY the FOUNDATION of FAITH, and PREACH the GOSPEL--the UNCOMPROMISED WORD of GOD, that of JESUS CHRIST CRUCIFIED and RESURRECTED, that of THE RISEN SON, the LIVING GOD, the KING of KINGS.</p><p>We're to PLANT, WATER, and SOW, PROCLAIMING the KINGDOM of GOD and LETTING GOD GIVE THE INCREASE, CONVICTING the hearts of others, DRAWING HIS CALLED and CHOSEN into the SECURE HANDS, PROTECTION, HEART, and HOPE of JESUS CHRIST, after they have SUBMITTED to GOD, REPENTED of their sins--CHANGING THEIR MINDS, LIFESTYLES, and DIRECTIONS--and they have ACCEPTED GOD's GIFT of GRACE and have RECEIVED FORGIVENESS, SALVATION, HEALING, RENEWAL, PEACE, RECONCILIATION, and DELIVERANCE through JESUS' SACRIFICE of LIFE and BLOOD on CALVARY's CROSS.</p><p>THIS is GOD's FIELD of SOULS, and we are HIS FELLOW WORKERS, SERVANTS, TEACHERS, LEADERS, and MINISTERS--PLANTING, SOWING, and WATERING--LAYING A FOUNDATION of FAITH and BUILDING on that FOUNDATION of CHRIST JESUS--THE ROCK and CHIEF CORNERSTONE--and PRAYING for the HARVEST as GOD GIVES THE INCREASE--the SPIRITUAL GROWTH.</p><p>In the end, those of us who have LABORED WITH GOD, through JESUS CHRIST, through the GUIDANCE, POWER, and GIFTS of the HOLY SPIRIT, will REAP the BENEFITS and REWARDS of this LABOR of LOVE--ETERNAL LIFE in the FAVOR and PRESENCE of GOD. And what's important for us to remember, especially today in this generation that seems more addicted to possessions, creations, and technology than to the CREATOR, SAVIOR, and GIFT-GIVER: GOD, the FATHER, the SON, and the HOLY SPIRIT, is this TRUTH in GOD'sWORD: ONLY THESE THREE REMAIN--FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE--and only THESE THREE &nbsp;ARE ETERNAL: the SOULS of PEOPLE; the WORD of GOD; and the LIVING, TRIUNE GOD, who's unchanging--the same yesterday, today, and forever. And we are GOD's FIELD and GOD's PROPERTY--HIS BUILDINGS and HIS WORKMANSHIP--and HE IS and ALWAYS WILL BE OUR CREATOR and MASTER BUILDER, OUR HEAVENLY FATHER and OUR SOVEREIGN KING of KINGS: <strong><em>GOD</em></strong>, who IS the HEART, SOUL, and SPIRIT of LOVE.</p> Tue, 11 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/jesus-the-undercover-boss JESUS: The Undercover Boss http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/jesus-the-undercover-boss <p><strong>Isaiah 53:1-3 (NJKV):</strong> Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.</p><p><strong>John 1:1-5, 10-13 (NKJV):</strong> In 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 nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.</p><p>He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.</p><p><strong>1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 (NKJV):</strong> But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.</p><p><strong>Revelation 16:15 (NKJV)</strong>: "Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame."</p><p><strong>Revelation 22:12-17 (NKJV):</strong> “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”</p><p>Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.</p><p>“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.</p><p><em>UNDERCOVER BOSS</em> is an American television series where the President, Founder, or CEO of a company disguises himself or herself, changes his or her name, and travels across the country, infiltrating and assessing his or her own company, working and interacting with company employees (who usually have no clue about this person’s real identity). The employees are told that this person being filmed is a contestant in a competition and they must evaluate his or her performance, deciding whether he or she should win the grand prize. The Big Reveal doesn't come until the end of the show when the employees arrive at a designated location with the intention of giving their assessment of the contestant, and they ultimately find themselves confronting the "contestant" without his or her disguise, and he or she reveals the truth, often giving the employees praise and rewards or rebuke and punishment, depending on <em>their&nbsp;</em>words, actions, attitudes, works, personalities and performances.</p><p>And in reality, we as believers have an UNDERCOVER BOSS, and we have a day of reckoning with this CEO, Employer, President, Founder, Creator, and KING of KINGS: JESUS. </p><p>The first time JESUS came and walked the earth as the SON of GOD who became a man and was called the SON of MAN, most of His own denied and rejected Him, and even His enemies, including the law-abiding and religious ones, threatened, slandered, and mocked Him and sought every opportunity to trap and kill Him. They were led of the flesh, not of the SPIRIT, so they were blind to see and deaf to hear, most notably the truth. They saw an uneducated man, not the WORD MADE FLESH. They saw a poor peasant, not the PRINCE of PEACE, the KING of KINGS. They saw a rebellious criminal, not the RIGHTEOUS JUDGE. They only saw through natural eyes JESUS of NAZARETH, a carpenter's son; they didn't believe Him to be and some didn't want Him to be MESSIAH, the CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE, the SON of GOD and the SON of MAN, so in the end, JESUS, who is perfect and good, holy and pure, was crucified, for crimes--SINS--He didn't commit. His life and His blood weren't taken from Him but were given for ours, because our debt to GOD was the wages of our sins--death. And JESUS PAID IN FULL our debt with His life and His blood. But He didn't stay dead; He ROSE, RESURRECTED by GOD, through the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT. Now, He sits in heaven at the right hand of GOD, INTERCEDING FOR US DAILY. And we who RECEIVE Him and INVITE Him into our hearts, ACCEPTING Him as SAVIOR and LORD, are now SAVED, REDEEMED, FORGIVEN, DELIVERED, HEALED, CLEANSED, JUSTIFIED, and RECONCILED to GOD the FATHER through HIM, JESUS CHRIST. This is the GOOD NEWS--the GOSPEL of GOD'sWORD--but that's not all, JESUS is coming back soon, for HIS CHURCH, HIS BODY, HIS FAMILY, HIS BRIDE, HIS OWN. And He will return like a thief in the night, in the twinkle of an eye, and we will all be called to give an account of our performance, our words, our thoughts, our actions and our attitudes during this window of time in GOD’s grace on earth.</p><p>Those of us who have endured, overcome, persevered and walked in faith as JESUS DID; those of us who have been obedient and faithful, compassionate and humble, forgiving and giving; and those of us who have borne the FRUIT of the SPIRIT (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, kindness, and self-control), seeking GOD and His Righteousness first; and those of us who have revealed the FACE, CHARACTER, and HEART of CHRIST and have abided in Him and His WORD, surrendering our wills and purposes for His, will receive praise and rewards for MISSIONS, ASSIGNMENTS, MINISTRIES, SERVICES, and LIVES well-done and well-spent, and we will then spend an eternity in GOD’s Presence. However, those of us who have rejected and denied JESUS; those of us who have compromised the TRUTH and the GOSPEL and have sanitized and distorted GOD’sWORD and have rewritten and reimagined JESUS, stripping Him of HIS TRUE IDENTITY, NATURE, CHARACTER, and PURPOSE and denying, belittling, or discounting HIS POWER, AUTHORITY, DIVINITY, and HUMANITY; and those of us who have aligned ourselves with the adversary and the world and have been content to be NOMINAL, LUKEWARM, or UNDERCOVER CHRISTIANS, vocal and visible in church but silent and invisible in the community, on the job, in school, in society, or in public, may find ourselves standing before JESUS, the RIGHTEOUS JUDGE, who rebukes and punishes us, denying us eternity in His Presence.</p><p>So, here are questions we professing believers must ask ourselves: If JESUS went UNDERCOVER today and infiltrated and assessed HIS CHURCH and HIS BODY of BELIEVERS, or if He visited our homes, our jobs, our schools, and our communities, would He be pleased with our conduct, our thoughts, our words, our attitudes, our relationships, our lifestyles, our beliefs, our values, our ministries, our services, or our good works? Would He recognize the Church or the Believers as His? Would He see a reflection of Himself in us? Would He find the FRUIT of HIS SPIRIT in us: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, and self-control? Would He commend us or condemn us? Reward us or rebuke us? Welcome us or reject us? Acknowledge us or deny us? If JESUS arrived like a thief in the night, would we be ready—well-prepared?</p><p>Finally, after the Big Reveal, would JESUS as JUDGE say to us, "Well done, my good and faithful servant," or would He say, "Depart from me. I never knew you"?</p><p>For many believers, past and present, JESUS has been the ultimate UNDERCOVER BOSS, but here’s the truth of GOD’sWORD from Genesis to Revelation: JESUS IS COMING SOON, and if we want to be reconciled to GOD and spend eternity with Him, we need to be FAITHFUL, VIGILANT, PRAYERFUL, EXPECTANT, SPIRIT-LED, and READY, with ears to hear and eyes to see, so we can discern Good from Evil, Truth from Deception, divine signs and wonders, and the time and season of our LORD JESUS’ return.</p><p><br></p> Mon, 10 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/final-countdown-gods-window-of-time FINAL COUNTDOWN: GOD's Window of Time http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/final-countdown-gods-window-of-time <p><strong>2 Timothy 4:1-8 (NIV):</strong> In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I [Paul] give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.</p><p>For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.</p><p><strong>Revelation 22:12-20 (NIV): </strong>“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.</p><p>“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.</p><p>“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”</p><p>The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.</p><p>I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”</p><p>Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.</p><p>GOD LOVES US, enough to give His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life; GOD loves us, enough to SAVE, REDEEM, FORGIVE, HEAL, DELIVER, CLEANSE, RESTORE, and RESURRECT us, RECONCILING us to Himself through HIS SON, JESUS, the CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE, by the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT; and GOD loves us, enough to OFFER us the FORGIVENESS of SINS, GIVE us the GIFT of GRACE, IMPART to us the GIFT of RIGHTEOUSNESS, and REWARD us with ETERNAL LIFE through FAITH IN JESUS and by RECEPTION and ACCEPTANCE of HIM as our SAVIOR and LORD. And because of GOD’s GREAT LOVE, He has blessed us with these freely and abundantly: TREASURES, TALENTS, and TIME. But they are not given for SELFISH INTENTS and PERSONAL GAIN merely but for GOD’s GLORY and HONOR, in accordance to HIS WILL, HIS PLANS, and HIS PURPOSE, for GOD knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us HOPE and a FUTURE.</p><p>GOD loves us with an EVERLASTING LOVE, and He wants us to LOVE HIM with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength, and He wants us to be GOOD STEWARDS of all the resources that He has given us; He wants us to USE EVERYTHING He has given us, EVERYTHING HE CREATED, for HIS DIVINE PURPOSE. He wants us to PRAISE, GLORIFY, and EXALT HIM more than we boast in ourselves, glorify, exalt, and idolize others. He wants us to WORSHIP HIM in SPIRIT and in TRUTH, to be SONS and DAUGHTERS—HIS RECONCILED and HIS BELOVED—not REBELS and SINNERS—THE SEPARATED and HIS REJECTED. He calls us to be ROYALTY--HIS PRINCES and PRINCESSES REDEEMED, RESTORED, and RECONCILED BY JESUS’ SACRIFICE, through HIS LOVE, HIS BLOOD, and HIS LIFE—JOINT-HEIRS with JESUS, INVITED into GOD’s KINGDOM and ADOPTED into HIS FAMILY; this is why GOD gives us CHOICES and TIME—FREE WILL and a LIFETIME, because LOVE is a CHOICE, not merely a feeling or emotion, and GOD wants us to CHOOSE and ACCEPT HIM, PUTTING HIM FIRST, OBEYING HIS WORD, and LIVING FOR HIM, RETURNING UNTO HIM all the gifts and blessings He has given to us—our hearts, our souls, our minds, our strength, our treasures, our talents, and our time, for LOVE to GOD is OBEYING HIS COMMANDS, and this is the FRUIT of GOD’s LOVE—the FRUIT of HIS SPIRIT: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.</p><p>GOD IS GOOD, GOD IS JUST, GOD IS LOVE, and He’s given us the GIFT of GRACE and this WINDOW of TIME to make some LIFE CHOICES of ETERNAL VALUE: BELIEVE IN GOD or DOUBT HIM; BELIEVE IN GOD’SWORD or DOUBT IT; RECEIVE JESUS as LORD and SAVIOR or REJECT HIM; DENY OURSELVES or DENY JESUS; WALK IN FAITH or WALK IN FEAR; SPEND ETERNITY WITH GOD or SPEND ETERNITY WITHOUT GOD.</p><p>GOD’SWORD is CLEAR: JESUS is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, and NO ONE comes to the FATHER except through HIM, and JESUS CHRIST is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And this is GOD’SWORD: JESUS IS COMING SOON, but He’s coming for a SPECIFIC PURPOSE, for a SPECIFIC HARVEST OF SOULS—the CHILDREN of GOD, the BRIDE and BODY of CHRIST. And whether we are part of this HARVEST of SOULS or not depends on the LIFE CHOICES we make on earth: accepting or rejecting JESUS; choosing to align ourselves with GOD or the adversary; choosing to exalt the LIVING GOD or exalt others and idolize dead, foreign gods; and choosing to live eternally in GOD’s presence or eternally outside of His presence. Every choice we make has eternal consequences, drawing us CLOSER to GOD or leading us FARTHER astray.</p><p>GOD SEARCHES OUR HEARTS and keeps records, numerous books on us all; they are the books of our lives, including PERSONAL ACCOUNTS--our actions, our thoughts, our attitudes, and our words--and only those whose names are written in the LAMB's BOOK of LIFE, whose sins have been covered by the BLOOD of the LAMB, JESUS CHRIST, will spend eternity with GOD. So, like GOD, the DIVINE HEART and SOUL-SEARCHER, we must search our own hearts and lives to find the true nature of our spirits, whether we are FOR GOD or AGAINST HIM, WITH HIM or WITHOUT HIM. </p><p>For this personal inventory into our lives, here are some important questions for us all to answer: Do we truly believe in GOD? In JESUS? In the HOLY SPIRIT? In GOD’SWORD? Do we believe the HOLY BIBLE is inspired by GOD? Do we believe ALL of the BIBLE or just some of it? Are we believers or unbelievers, followers or pretenders? Have we repented of the sins operating in our lives? Have we changed our minds, our directions, and our lifestyles? Have we confessed our sins, foremost to GOD, acknowledging that we are dependent on GOD? Have we surrendered all to JESUS? Are we hot, cold, or lukewarm in faith? Have we invited JESUS into our hearts, accepting Him as SAVIOR and LORD of ALL? Have we given GOD our whole hearts, souls, minds, and strength? Are we lovers and servants of GOD more than we are lovers and pleasers of others--women and men? Have we accepted GOD's call on our lives or have we run from it? Are we listening to GOD or are we tuning Him out? </p><p>Have we fought the good fight of faith? Have we fulfilled our purpose, our calling, our ministry? Have we shared the GOSPEL or spread the GOOD NEWS? Have we shown anyone the FACE, HEART, or LOVE of JESUS CHRIST? Have we won anyone to CHRIST lately, including those in our families? Have we lived IN and FOR CHRIST? Have we been good stewards of all GOD’s resources? Do we thank GOD or praise Him? Do we pray to Him? Do we exalt GOD's name, or do we use HIS NAME in vain? Do we fear or revere GOD, or do we mock and blaspheme Him? Have we used our treasures, talents, and time for GOD’s glory and honor? Have we obeyed GOD’s commands, loving HIM and others? Are we willing to die—to lose our lives—FOR CHRIST? Are we LIVING sacrifices to GOD or dead ones? Are we LOVERS or HATERS? Forgivers or Unforgivers? CHRIST RIGHTEOUS or Self-Righteous? Are we waiting in expectation, unbelief, or dread for JESUS' return? Are we longing for JESUS to come, or do we want Him to stay away? Are we ready for JESUS' return, or do we still have work left undone? And when we look through the WINDOW of TIME in GOD’s GRACE, what will we see in our lifetimes: lives WELL-SPENT or lives WASTED? These are LIFE QUESTIONS for HEART-AND-SOUL-SEARCHERS, and our answers to questions like these reveal the nature of our spirits, hearts, and faith and the depth, maturity, and intimacy of our relationships with GOD.</p><p>A WORLDWIDE EVENT is on the horizon, and it is not being announced with any urgency on television or in headline news, so most people are not aware of it or even prepared for it, even those in the church: JESUS IS COMING BACK SOON, for HIS BODY, HIS BRIDE, HIS CHURCH, HIS FAMILY, HIS OWN, and some of us are going to be shocked or surprised, because we are going to get caught unprepared, and some of us who have been spiritually blind, deaf, and deceived, are going to be tormented when we are left outside in the dark, for when JESUS comes, we will not have time to get right or get ready, or get our affairs in order. And for those of us who have been LUKEWARM or UNDERCOVER CHRISTIANS, there will not be time to REPENT and WORSHIP GOD IN SPIRIT and TRUTH, for if we are ashamed to ACKNOWLEDGE JESUS PUBLICLY, and we DENY HIM before others on earth, He will DENY US and REJECT US from HIS SEAT of POWER and AUTHORITY in heaven; this is in GOD’SWORD. So, we need to study GOD’SWORD faithfully; pray without ceasing; work on having a personal relationship with GOD, the FATHER, the SON, and the HOLY SPIRIT; open the eyes of our heart; listen to GOD’s still, small voice; and pay attention to the signs and seasons of our times, so we do not get sidetracked, waylaid, deceived or distracted and misjudge or miss the TIME of JESUS’ RETURN.</p><p>The FINAL COUNTDOWN is today, because tomorrow is not guaranteed, so we must be PRAYERFUL, WATCHFUL, VIGILANT, FAITHFUL, RECONCILED, and READY when JESUS COMES, not relying on our own goodness or our own good deeds, for as one minister says, “Heaven isn’t for GOOD people; Heaven is for FORGIVEN people.” </p><p>And we know from GOD’SWORD, there is only ONE who is PERFECT and HOLY who FORGIVES ALL OUR SINS, who CLEANSES US of ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, IMPARTING HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS to us; only ONE whose NATURE is HIS NAME and HIS TITLE: JESUS, the CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE—JESUS, who has POWER in HIS NAME, for HIS NAME means, “The LORD is SALVATION”. </p><p>JESUS is GOD WITH US, who DIED FOR US, so we could LIVE IN and THROUGH HIM, and the GREAT EXCHANGE on CALVARY's CROSS is this: JESUS' life was GIVEN for ours; JESUS PAID IN FULL our debt to GOD. This is the tenor of GOD's LOVE--the HEART of COMPASSION and GRACE-- that GOD LOVES US, enough to SAVE US, enough to REDEEM US, enough to FORGIVE US, enough to CLEANSE US, enough to HEAL US, enough to DELIVER US, enough to EMPOWER us, and enough to GIVE US GRACE, MERCY, and TIME. JESUS is the DEMONSTRATION of LOVE, 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. So, JESUS is our GOD WHO SAVES, the only SON of GOD <em style="font-size: 0.9rem; font-weight: lighter;">and </em>SON of MAN, and there is only ONE LIVING who is GOOD, who is JUST, who is LOVE: GOD.</p> Sat, 08 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-gospel-we-are-not-ashamed The GOSPEL: We are Not Ashamed! http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-gospel-we-are-not-ashamed <p><strong>Romans 1:16-17 (NKJV):</strong> For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."</p><p>GOD LOVES US, and GOD IS GOOD, GOD IS JUST, GOD IS LOVE. And He shows it every day, giving us new breath, new life, second and third chances, open doors, new opportunities, blessings and promises, gifts and talents, purpose and passion, protection and provision. Above all these things though, GOD gave us His only begotten SON, JESUS CHRIST, through whom we truly LIVE and have SALVATION, REDEMPTION, FREEDOM, DELIVERANCE, FORGIVENESS of SIN, RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE, REBIRTH, LIFE, STRENGTH, and LIGHT.</p><p> For those of us who love GOD, who have accepted JESUS and have SURRENDERED our whole lives, hearts, souls, minds, and might, and will to HIM; to those of us who are FILLED with and LED of the HOLY SPIRIT and KNOW of the GOODNESS, GRACE, MERCY, and LOVE of GOD and have put our FAITH, HOPE, and TRUST in HIM, the GOSPEL is indeed "GOOD NEWS," and we are not ashamed to TELL IT, SING IT, WRITE IT, SHARE IT, and SPREAD IT throughout this city, this country, these nations, this world. We're not ashamed to read the Bible, have Bible studies or prayer meetings; we're not ashamed to quote scriptures or post verses or devotions on social media, even knowing that some folks won't "like" us or want to read or hear GOD's message. We're not ashamed to be labeled "holy rollers," "JESUS Freaks," or "Bible lovers" &nbsp;because we know who we are in CHRIST and whose we are for eternity. We're not ashamed to be DIFFERENT—PECULIAR—UNIQUE—nor are we ashamed to ALIGN ourselves with GOD, with JESUS, with the HOLY SPIRIT, when it is more popular in this generation for people to align themselves with politicians, leaders, kings, queens, celebrities--the powerful, the wealthy, and the elite.</p><p> For those of us who are SOULED OUT for GOD, our worship is sincere; it's for real, and it is nothing to be ashamed of--nothing to hide from our families, friends, colleagues, strangers, or acquaintances. We might not be called as preachers in a pulpit, but if we BELIEVE IN JESUS, the SAVIOR, REDEEMER, DELIVERER, HEALER, KING of KINGS and LORD of ALL, and we read GOD'sWORD as TRUTH, then we know that all of GOD's ministers are not confined to standing on a platform, giving a sermon from a pulpit, in a building made with human hands. </p><p>WE ARE the CHURCH as well as the BODY and BRIDE of CHRIST, and JESUS' GREAT COMMISSION was for HIS DISCIPLES--HIS FOLLOWERS--to ABIDE in HIM and in HIS WORD and to GO outside the BOX (that pew, that building, that comfort zone) into the highways and byways, into nations, and FISH for the SOULS of men, women, and children. </p><p>Our CREATOR, BUILDER, and FOUNDER is GOD; our ROCK, CHIEF CORNERSTONE, and TRUE VINE is JESUS. And we're sons and daughters IN CHRIST, ADOPTED BY GOD; we're BRANCHES and FRUIT-BEARERS GRAFTED into GOD's FAMILY TREE, into HIM--JESUS--our DIVINE TREE of LIFE. </p><p>We're SEED-SOWERS, LIFE-SAVERS, LIGHT-BEARERS, and CO-LABORERS BEING SALT and LIGHT in a WORLD of GOOD and BAD; PLANTING and WATERING in a FIELD of DRY DIRT, HUNGRY and THIRSTY SOULS. </p><p>We then PLANT and SOW in FIELDS ripe for HARVEST for GOD's KINGDOM and GOD through the HOLY SPIRIT draws, then GIVES the INCREASE. Our lives then, whether we live or die, are UNTO the LORD, and He lives in us, and we live in and through HIM.</p><p>So, if we live, we live in faith IN CHRIST, and if we die, we die in faith IN CHRIST; and this means JESUS IS LORD of the living and the dead. And for those of us who have SURRENDERED our hearts, our souls, our minds, and our lives to CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE, and for those of us who have chosen to SERVE GOD, LIVING for HIM, LEAVING our COMFORT ZONES, GOING BEYOND ourselves and our boundaries, and SHARING the GOSPEL bring us no shame but give us an honor and privilege for which we should THANK GOD daily, for we BELIEVE IN GOD, and we KNOW in our hearts, our minds, and our souls like Paul the Apostle that to live is CHRIST and to die is GAIN.</p> Fri, 07 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/godsway-conflict-comfort GOD'sWAY: Conflict & Comfort http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/godsway-conflict-comfort <p><strong>Romans 5:1-5 (NIV): </strong>Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.</p><p>GOD’sWORD tells us that nothing will separate us from His love, which is in CHRIST JESUS, our LORD—neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, neither height nor depth, nor any other created thing.</p><p>GOD tells us that He loves us with an EVERLASTING LOVE, and He will never leave us or forsake us, for HE IS our Refuge and our Strength; He IS our Helper and our Comforter. He IS our Savior, our Redeemer, our Provider, and our Protector--our very present help in time of trouble. He is our SHIELD (of Faith), and HIS WORD is our SWORD (of the Spirit), yet He never promised us that as His followers our lives would always be easy nor that everyone would love and applaud us for our good words or good deeds. In fact, JESUS tells us adversity and persecution are to be expected for us as they were for Him and that we too have to pick up our crosses and FOLLOW HIM.</p><p>So, in our lives there will be rough mountains (HIGH); there will be valleys (LOW); and there will be challenges and obstacles ahead, some seemingly beyond what we can conceive, comprehend, or bear, YET GOD'sWORD declares, there will always be a way of escape, for we are more than CONQUERORS THROUGH HIM WHO LOVED US; we are OVERCOMERS, VICTORIOUS IN FAITH; and GOD'sWORD says, NO WEAPON formed against us shall prosper, even those tongues that condemn us; and GOD'sWORD proclaims, GREATER is HE who is in us than he who is in the world. So, we are not victims, easily broken and defeated; we are VICTORS, always sustained and empowered by GOD: The FATHER, the SON, and the HOLY SPIRIT.</p><p>But after we SURRENDER to CHRIST and CHOOSE to SERVE GOD in soul-winning or in ministry, we often find ourselves in one of two places: in conflict or in comfort. One brother in CHRIST says we, who are the BODY of CHRIST, are divided in two zones: the conflict zone and the comfort zone. </p><p>Those of us in the CONFLICT zone are drawn closer to GOD through persecution, adversity, suffering and hardship. We are the ones daily engaged in spiritual warfare, confronting evil firsthand and battling not just in the physical but in the spirit for lives and souls. We’re in the trenches, in the highways and byways, in the streets and on the corners, in the hospitals, the mental wards, and the prisons fighting the good fight of faith and fishing for souls; we’re in hostile territories, countries, and nations endangering our lives to spread the GOSPEL of a RISEN SON, an ETERNAL SAVIOR called JESUS, the CHRIST. </p><p>Then there are those of us in the COMFORT zone whose lives seem relatively calm, prosperous, and carefree. We love GOD and we serve Him, but we mostly know Him in these times of favor, blessings, and peace. We teach, minister, counsel, serve, and preach, often in the local community or church, sometimes in our neighborhoods, on our jobs, in our schools or on the streets. Sometimes, we confine GOD within the four walls of our churches; other times we serve God outside of the box because we realize that WE ARE the CHURCH and we can CARRY Him with us wherever we go, REVEALING and RELEASING Him in our homes, on our jobs, in our families, and TAKING Him wherever there are lost souls who are in pain, who are hurting, who are in desperate need, so He can do what He does best: draw, love, forgive, save, redeem, deliver, and heal.</p><p>But whether we live in the conflict zone or the comfort zone, GOD LOVES US ALL, and we should remember Romans 8:28 which lets us know that GOD IS IN CONTROL and MORE THAN ABLE to USE ANYTHING IN OUR LIVES, GOOD or BAD, for HIS PURPOSE and OUR GOOD, for GOD'sWORD declares that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. &nbsp;So, whether we are in conflict or comfort, GOD CAN USE US, OUR GIFTS, OUR TIME, OUR TREASURES, and OUR TALENTS. And this is one pearl of wisdom one minister has found in GOD'sWORD, through the pages of history, and in the nature of our own lives: “Adversity is the test of faith; prosperity is the test of integrity.”</p> Fri, 07 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/jesus-the-passport JESUS: The Passport http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/jesus-the-passport <p><strong>Ephesians 2:13-22 (NIV):</strong> But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups [Jews and Gentiles] one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.</p><p>Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God's people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.</p><p>GOD LOVES US, enough to SAVE, REDEEM, FORGIVE, and RECONCILE US to HIMSELF, by giving us a PASSPORT, defined simply as "an official document issued by the government of a country to one of its citizens, authorizing travel to foreign countries and authenticating the bearer's identity, citizenship, right to protection while abroad, and right to reenter his or her native country; anything that ensures admission or acceptance; any authorization to pass or go somewhere; and a certificate intended to secure admission."</p><p>But OUR PASSPORT is not a book or paper issued by any earthly government; OUR PASSPORT is a PERSON, a SON, a SAVIOR, a REDEEMER, a LORD, a PRINCE, a KING: JESUS, the CHRIST—our gift from GOD—“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.” So, OUR PASSPORT is not paper issued by a government of people on earth, but OUR PASSPORT is a Person received through faith by GRACE from the KINGDOM of GOD. And THROUGH HIM--JESUS--we have citizenship and we have the right of protection while abroad; THROUGH HIM, we are accepted and have the right to enter HIS KINGDOM, our native land; THROUGH HIM, we have POWER and AUTHORITY to PASS or GO anywhere, FREE and SECURE, IN HIS NAME and UNDER HIS PROTECTION.</p><p>GOD’sWORD heralds JESUS as our GOVERNOR and KING of KINGS in Isaiah 9:6-7, saying, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”</p><p>GOD’sWORD reveals JESUS as our COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF in Matthew 28:18-20, when JESUS says, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age," and as our BENEVOLENT RULER in Luke 22:29-30, when He tells his disciples, “I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”</p><p>And GOD’sWORD declares JESUS our LIVING HOPE in 1 Peter 1:3-9, which says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”</p><p>So, OUR PASSPORT is not an official document issued by the government of any country in this land; OUR PASSPORT is the ETERNAL PROMISE issued from heaven by the SOVEREIGN, LIVING GOD, who is THE KING of KINGS. </p><p>Our PASSPORT is JESUS, the <em>SON</em> of GOD, who is the WORD MADE FLESH, the PROMISE COME TRUE; who is the HOPE, the PROTECTION, and the GUARANTEE of our forgiveness, salvation, redemption, reconciliation, and immortality. He is the ROCK, the STONE, the DOOR, the GATE; He is the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our Faith. He is ALPHA and OMEGA, the Beginning and End; He is CHRIST, our RIGHTEOUSNESS. He is our MEDIATOR, our INTERCESSOR, our ADVOCATE, our CHIEF HIGH PRIEST, and our FRIEND, and HIS NAME is above all names, because He has all POWER and AUTHORITY in heaven and on earth, and He is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, and NO ONE comes to the FATHER except THROUGH HIM.</p><p>And this is the TRUTH of GOD’sWORD from Genesis to Revelation: JESUS is our PASSPORT, from earth to heaven, from here to GOD, and this PASSPORT is not temporary but eternal.</p> Thu, 06 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/godsword-awards-faith-spirit-truth GOD'sWORD Awards: Faith, Spirit & Truth http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/godsword-awards-faith-spirit-truth <p><strong>Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV):&nbsp; </strong>Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing <em>I do,</em> forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.</p><p>THESE are GOD’sWORD Awards:</p><p><strong>Outstanding Winners:</strong></p><p>Best Trinity:&nbsp; God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit</p><p>Best Father, Provider, Healer, Protector, Ruler, Author, Creator, Designer, Potter, Builder, Architect, and Sovereign King:&nbsp; GOD</p><p>Best Word, Son, Prophet, Teacher, Preacher, Savior, Counselor, Redeemer, Mediator, Lord, Prince, Shepherd, Bridegroom, Husband, King, and Judge:&nbsp; JESUS, the CHRIST</p><p>Best Comforter, Indweller, Gift-Giver, Teacher, Administrator, Intercessor, and Advocate:&nbsp; the HOLY SPIRIT</p><p><strong>Nominees for Faith, Spirit &amp; Truth Awards:</strong></p><p>Best Gardeners:&nbsp; Adam and Eve; Best Offering:&nbsp; Abel, Abraham, and the Poor Widow; Best Boat Builder and Sea Dweller:&nbsp; Noah; Best Father of Nations:&nbsp; Abraham; Best Laugh:&nbsp; Sarah; Best Tither:&nbsp; Abraham; Best Family Man:&nbsp; Isaac; Best Wrestler and Son-in-Law: Jacob;&nbsp; Best Name Changes:&nbsp; Abraham, Sarah, Israel, Peter, and Paul; Best Twins:&nbsp; Jacob and Esau (via Rebekah), Perez and Zerah (via Tamar); Best Coat of Many Colors:&nbsp; Joseph; Best Dreamers:&nbsp; Joseph and Daniel; Best Lawgiver and Mediator:&nbsp; Moses; Best Water Crossovers:&nbsp; Moses (Red Sea), Joshua (Jordan River), Elijah (Jordan River); Best Spies:&nbsp; Joshua and Caleb; Best Nazarites:&nbsp; Samson and John, the Baptist; Best Negotiators:&nbsp; Abraham (with God), Moses (with God), and Rahab (with Israelite spies); Best Daughter-in-Law: Ruth; Best Family Redeemer: Boaz; Best Queen:&nbsp; Esther; Best Lion Tamer: Daniel; Best Barren Mothers:&nbsp; Sarah, Hannah, and Elizabeth; Best Virgin Mother: Mary; Best Tribe of Kings:&nbsp; Judah; Best Shepherd, Warrior, Musician, Worshipper, and King:&nbsp; David; Best Friends:&nbsp; Jonathan (David) and Peter (Jesus); Best Priestly and Prophetic Advisors:&nbsp; Samuel and Nathan; Best Wise Man:&nbsp; Solomon; Best Prophetic Battle:&nbsp; Elijah (Mount Carmel);&nbsp; Best Exit from Earth: Enoch, Elijah, Jesus;&nbsp; Best Follow-up:&nbsp; Joshua (for Moses) and Elisha (for Elijah); Best Young Prophet:&nbsp; Jeremiah; Best Escape:&nbsp; Jonah; Best Godly Kings:&nbsp; David, Hezekiah, and Josiah; Best Prophetess for a King:&nbsp; Huldah (Josiah); Best Prophetic Ministry:&nbsp; Isaiah, Ezekiel, Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, Daniel; Best Husbands:&nbsp; Hosea and Joseph the Carpenter; Best Warriors:&nbsp; Deborah, Jael, Samson, and David; Best Hostess:&nbsp; Woman of Zarephath (Elijah) and the Shunammite Woman (Elisha);&nbsp; Best Angelic Messenger: Gabriel; Best Preacher, Cousin and Forerunner: John the Baptist; Best Winemaker, Humanitarian, Teacher, and Healer:&nbsp; JESUS; Best Fishermen:&nbsp; Simon (Peter), Andrew, James, and John; Best Waterwalkers:&nbsp; Peter and JESUS; Best Mass Feeding:&nbsp; Elisha (100 men) and JESUS (5000 men); Best Commander in Faith:&nbsp; the Centurion; Best Recovery: Woman with the Issue of Blood; Best Newscasters:&nbsp; Woman at the Well and Mary Magdalene; Best Transfiguration:&nbsp; JESUS; Best Sons of Thunder:&nbsp; James and John; Best Witnesses:&nbsp; Peter, James, and John; Best Tree climber: Zacchaeus; Best Tax Collector:&nbsp; Matthew; Best Pardon from Execution: Woman Caught in Adultery; Best Blind Men:&nbsp; Bartimaeus and Saul of Tarsus; Best Sacrifice:&nbsp; JESUS; Best Resurrections:&nbsp; Shunammite Woman’s Son, Lazarus, Jairus’ daughter, JESUS, and Eutycus; Best of the Twelve Apostles:&nbsp; (1) Simon (Peter), (2) Andrew, (3) James, son of Zebedee, (4) John, (5) Philip, (6) Bartholomew, (7) Thomas, (8) Matthew, (9) James, son of Alphaeus, (10) Lebbaeus (Thaddaeus), (11) Simon the Cananite, and (12) Judas Iscariot the Betrayer; Best Physician: Luke; Best Entrance:&nbsp; the HOLY SPIRIT; Best Martyr: Stephen; Best Roadside Conversions:&nbsp; Ethiopian Eunuch (via Philip) and Saul of Tarsus (via JESUS); Best Evangelist: Paul; Best Sermons:&nbsp; Moses, JESUS, Peter, Stephen, and Paul; Best Son in Ministry:&nbsp; JESUS, Timothy; Best Church Leader:&nbsp; James; Best Brothers in the Ministry: Simon (Peter) and Andrew, James and John, and James and Jude; Best Prison Breaks: Peter and Paul; Best House Arrest: Paul and John the Apostle; Best Visionary and Revelator:&nbsp; John the Apostle; Best AUTHOR and FINISHER of FAITH:&nbsp; JESUS, the Son of GOD; Best Bride:&nbsp; the CHURCH; Best Best-selling Book:&nbsp; the HOLY BIBLE.</p> Thu, 06 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/g-harmony-soul-mates-helpmeets-the-perfect-bridegroom G-Harmony: Soul Mates, Helpmeets, & The Perfect Bridegroom http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/g-harmony-soul-mates-helpmeets-the-perfect-bridegroom <p><strong>Genesis 2:18-25 (NIV):</strong> The LORD GOD said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.</p><p>But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD GOD made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.</p><p>GOD LOVES US, and He has called us into His Kingdom and His Family, and He has chosen us for His Son JESUS, to be royalty—the perfect bride for the perfect Son—the BRIDE of CHRIST—our ever-loving, ever-faithful, ever-present, ever-true BRIDEGROOM. And this is the nature of GOD, especially as the FATHER: He is GOOD, He is JUST, He is LOVE. And GOD is the greatest MATCHMAKER in heaven and on earth, and this is one truth found in the narratives of GOD’sWORD but not readily found on television or in today's cards, fairytales, movies, and books: Soul mates are not born; they are made. Neither do they arrive as Prince or Princess Perfect or appear as Mr. and Mrs. Right. From Genesis to Revelation in GOD’sWORD; from Rahab, the prostitute, to Esther, the queen; from Ruth the widowed foreigner to Mary, the virgin mother of JESUS, GOD has called and chosen soul mates and helpmeets, “making them” perfect or right for their intended bridegrooms and husbands, respectively Salmon, King Xerxes, Boaz, and Joseph, the carpenter. And every relationship and marriage, intended to foreshadow our relationships and marriage to JESUS CHRIST, requires dedication, perseverance, a perfect effort and hard work on both people’s part, even with GOD’s instructions, guidance, and strength, and as the BRIDE of CHRIST in expectation of HIS COMING, we are supposed to be making preparations, getting our affairs in order, and making ourselves ready for HIS RETURN and for that great day—our wedding, our marriage to CHRIST JESUS.</p><p>Basically, as one minister says, in a "great" marriage, soul mates are no more than two imperfect people who are equal but different who roll up their sleeves and work together daily on their relationship, end up as best friends, and in the trenches of life become soul mates. And this is the heart of the matter and the truth of GOD’sWORD: God knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future, and when we trust Him with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding but acknowledge Him and let Him direct our paths, then our "soul" mates—our “helpmeets”—will be a blessing, not a curse; they will help us, not hurt us; “build us up,” not “tear us down; speak LIFE into us, not DEATH over us; and “help us meet” our daily needs—physical, emotional, or spiritual—and "help us overcome" our challenges in victory through faith IN JESUS CHRIST. Therefore, when we are led by and of GOD’s Spirit and live according to His Word, His will, His plans and purpose, we have <em>G-harmony</em>, and our relationships with our mates and helpmeets please GOD, bring HIM honor and glory, and bring us no sin, sorrow, or shame. </p><p>GOD is patient and gracious, compassionate and loving, and He is ever faithful and concerned about us, because He is the FATHER of the BRIDE and the BRIDEGROOM, and He loves us and wants the best for us, and His love never fails; it’s everlasting. Even in His WORD in Ephesians 5:25-27, He guides us, letting us know what we should do, for He tells husbands to “love their wives just as CHRIST loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and presenting her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain and wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless."</p><p> Thus, the CORNERSTONE in our lives, our relationships, and our marriages is JESUS the SON; and the FOUNDATION upon which we stand, move, act, live and breathe is GOD the FATHER, for in Ephesians 5:23, GOD’sWORD proclaims, “the husband is the head of the wife as CHRIST is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the SAVIOR,” and in 1 Corinthians 11:3, “the head of every man is CHRIST, and the head of every woman is man, and the head of CHRIST is GOD.” And every sanctioned union or relationship and marriage GOD joins together and endorses, no person can put asunder or easily break apart, for GOD as CREATOR and FATHER is divinely invested, especially in that union's offspring and in the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT produced through CHRIST JESUS: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. So, whether we call ourselves soul mates or helpmeets, husbands or wives, we are called by GOD, chosen by HIM, and perfected--refined--through the HOLY SPIRIT for marriage to JESUS CHRIST, the PERFECT BRIDEGROOM, and better and more successful than any matchmaking mother, online service, or well-meaning friend is HIM—the Supreme Matchmaker—our heavenly Father, GOD.</p> Wed, 05 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-tent-of-meeting The Tent of Meeting http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-tent-of-meeting <p><strong>Exodus 33:7 (NIV):</strong>&nbsp; Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp.</p><p>WE live in a world where time is a hot commodity in short supply. From sunrise until sunset, we generally have somewhere to go and something important to do, and every minute of our lives is controlled and accounted for. Often, with our busy lives and hectic schedules, with our family obligations, hobbies, extracurricular activities, and job requirements, we forget to schedule GOD an appointment, or if we do remember Him, we give Him what’s left over of our time and offer Him a quick, drowsy prayer before bedtime.</p><p>In order to find GOD though—to meet Him and have a spirit-filled encounter—we must seek Him, putting ourselves in the right place at the right time. We must make Him a priority in our days, our nights, and our lives, and we must endeavor with every breath of every day to have a conversation with Him, to build a relationship with Him, to worship Him, and to love Him, not for what He can do for us but because of Who He is—Our Creator, Our Heavenly Father, Our Sovereign King--the Almighty, LIVING GOD.&nbsp;</p><p>We must enter our prayer closets, our secret places, or carry and secure our own “tent of meeting,” giving GOD what He deserves—First Priority—the number-one preference and our full, undivided attention.</p><p>We must put our faith, hope, and security in GOD instead of in other people, in our finances, or in our jobs. We must take our tents, GO, and pitch them “outside the camp”—away from others and away from the cares of the world and the distractions of life. </p><p>To meet God we must be consecrated, “set apart,” and devoted to Him; to reach Him we must go through His Son, JESUS CHRIST, the only Way, Truth, and Life--the only Gate and the only Door to GOD the Father. &nbsp;And we must be willing to BELIEVE IN and TRUST HIM—GOD—not only with our hearts, our minds, and our souls but also with our time, our treasures, and our talents.&nbsp;</p><p>We must make ourselves AVAILABLE&nbsp;anytime and anywhere, because GOD is ever faithful and always available to us. He even promises in Hebrews 13:5 that He will never leave us; neither will He forsake us. But we’re the ones who are too busy to receive Him, the ones who don’t have any time to spare.&nbsp; </p><p>One pastor explains our situation best when he says, “We must redeem the time: cancel hobbies, forsake television, and put away the newspaper and magazines,” for “Those who would find God find time.”&nbsp; And this is true; we should not forget GOD, push Him aside, or offer Him our crumbs—that one-minute prayer before bedtime, that hasty or selfish prayer for what we want but do not really need. Instead, we should offer GOD an open invitation; we should give Him everyday for a divine appointment; and we should make HIM feel loved, appreciated and welcomed in our quiet moments, our private corners, our prayer closets, our homes, our offices, our vehicles, and our personal tents, so He will come, sup with us, whisper in that still, small voice, and fill us with His HOLY SPIRIT until we overflow, bearing the FRUIT OF HIS SPIRIT: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. </p><p>As GOD'sWORD declares in James 4:8, when we draw near to GOD, HE will draw near to us. So, let us make this commitment for ourselves--to make time every day and find a quiet moment, go into our tents, closets, or personal spaces, and meet to the MOST AMAZING PERSON ALIVE: The LORD of ALL, the KING of KINGS, the HOLY ONE--our HEAVENLY FATHER--GOD.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 04 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/footprints Footprints http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/footprints <p><strong>Psalm 37:23-24 (NIV):</strong>&nbsp; The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.</p><p>GOD carries us, especially when we cannot carry ourselves. His hand covers us; His heart loves us; His Spirit anoints us; and His breath sustains us. We are His people, called by His name; we are created in His image, according to His likeness; we are reflections of His love, His creativity, His vision.</p><p>He walks with us, even when we think we walk alone. He rides with us when we travel, protecting us on dangerous roads. He takes the wheel when we can't steer beyond sight, beyond tears, beyond pain, beyond heartache, betrayal, rejection, and disappointment. He lifts us when we fall; He hears us when we call; He sees us when we kneel or bow; He listens when we PRAY, lifting our voices in faith in JESUS' name, and He answers, reminding us that HIS SON, JESUS, is the only WAY, TRUTH, and LIFE--the only DOOR to the HEAVENLY FATHER, the only GATE to the LIVING GOD. </p><p> Often, we push Him aside until we need Him; we relegate Him to the background, rarely understanding the magnitude of His footprints in our spiritual sand. But His legacy is eternal, for His touch delivers and heals, imprinting the soul. His hand transforms, shaping worlds and changing lives, and His feet are divine, leading us along the path of righteousness. </p><p>His greatest gift is JESUS, the Risen Son, Savior, Prince, Lord, and King of Kings, and we are His reflections, leaving an impression of Him for others to see, and as long as we walk in faith, in a spirit of boldness, spreading the Gospel, beautiful are our feet, lasting are our footprints, for we are GOD's AMBASSADORS in this ministry of reconciliation; and &nbsp;we are CHRIST's EPISTLES--love letters and living Bibles for a new generation to read. And as we abide in GOD and HIS WORD abides in us, and we walk with feet shod in preparation of the GOSPEL of PEACE, following JESUS as others watch and follow us, our footprints in the sands of these travelers' lives will guide them to an eternal place, where they will find rest and peace, acceptance and love, everlasting life and amazing grace in the presence of HIM: GOD.</p> Tue, 04 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/mondays-blessing Monday's Blessing http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/mondays-blessing <p><strong>2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (NIV)</strong>: May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.</p><p>MAY this day be a blessing for you, one of favor, love, encouragement, and goodwill; may the people you encounter enrich your life and may you speak life into theirs, sharing the good news of faith, hope, joy, goodness and GOD. May you be blessed going in and coming out; may you walk in confidence, with a smile on your face, a twinkle in your eyes, and love in your heart. May you know peace even in the midst of a storm, and may you find GOD in every corner, on every street and in every room. May you find strength in weakness, joy in sorrow, hope in every circumstance, purpose in every moment, giving thanks for every opportunity, every miracle, every breath. May you be content with what you have and grateful for what GOD gives you of Himself and through others, and may you be blessed enough to give, sharing with others what GOD has given you.</p><p>May GOD the FATHER, the SON, and the HOLY SPIRIT encourage your heart, give you hope and a future, and strengthen you in every good deed and word, and may you forever be drawn faithfully by GOD, loved unconditionally by JESUS, and filled powerfully by the HOLY SPIRIT. And may the LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn His face toward you and give you peace.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 03 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/touching-dirt-the-finger-of-love-the-heart-of-grace Touching Dirt: The Finger of Love, the Heart of Grace http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/touching-dirt-the-finger-of-love-the-heart-of-grace <p><strong>1 John 1:9 (NKJV)</strong>:&nbsp; If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us <em>our</em> sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.</p><p>One night during Bible study the pastor spoke from John 8:1-11, regarding the woman caught in adultery and accused before JESUS, and these words from the pastor resonated in my spirit: “Jesus wasn’t afraid to touch dirt.” At that moment GOD inspired me and gave me a revelation: Dirt is important—in our earthly and spiritual lives.</p><p> First, GOD created us, commencing with Adam, who was made from dirt, and, secondly, JESUS' earthly ministry revolved around touching those the proud, self-righteous, and religious of His day considered “dirty” or morally and physically “unclean”—the scandalous, corrupt, diseased, demonized, rebellious, weakened, broken, rejected, hungry, thirsty, homeless, foreign, and dead. He touched these people’s lives, bringing peace into their chaos, life to their dead, and light into their dark situations. </p><p>JESUS changed men, women, and children for the better—physically, mentally, and emotionally, and He inspired STRENGTH, COURAGE, BOLDNESS, GOODNESS, GREATNESS, PATIENCE, LOVE, and COMPASSION, and most who came into His presence never left Him the same, because He invited everyone to come and accepted what little faith, hope, or sincere offering they had to give Him, and He gave thanks for it and multiplied it, making the ordinary into something special—something unique—something miraculous and extraordinary.</p><p>In the Bible we see snapshots--portraits--of “dirty” souls, and we see just how much GOD loves them, just how much He willingly courts, draws, and reforms them, forever altering their lives—their destinies: There's Jacob, who lied and betrayed his brother; there's Moses, who killed a man and ran away; there's Rahab, who sold herself; there's King David, who committed adultery and had the woman’s husband killed; there's the Samaritan woman at the well, who had been with men, the last one not her husband; there's the woman with the issue of blood who was physically unclean; there are the beggars, the blind, and the demonized, who were social outcasts publicly labeled damaged, weak—“unclean”.&nbsp;</p><p>But GOD is GOOD, GOD is JUST, GOD is LOVE. GOD does not change, and JESUS CHRIST is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He still touches us today, with a finger of love and a heart of compassion, even with our “dirt,” even in the middle of our sins—our lawlessness and rebellion. He touches us to our very souls, and He leaves a spiritual imprint, even as He tells us this: “Repent. Go, and sin no more.” And as we draw near to GOD through JESUS, GOD draws near to us, always knocking on the door of our hearts, patiently waiting for us to ACCEPT the INVITATION that JESUS gives to all, to COME and to BELIEVE IN HIM and to INVITE HIM into our hearts, our lives, our circumstances and situations. And when GOD looks at us with the EYES of LOVE through the REDEEMING BLOOD of HIS SON, JESUS, He sees us as CLEAN--MADE RIGHTEOUS--BY HIM, JESUS--and old things pass away, and we become NEW CREATIONS--JUST-AS-IF-WE-HAD-NEVER-SINNED. That's the demonstration of GOD's LOVE; that's the nature of GOD's GRACE, that HE KNOWS that we are by nature DIRTY, but He still DRAWS US TO HIMSELF; He still TOUCHES US, WASHES US CLEAN, and MAKES US WHOLE, with nothing broken and nothing lost. Even IN DIRT, GOD sees POTENTIAL; GOD sees LIFE.</p><p>So, our dirty habits, thoughts, and words do not surprise GOD; our secrets and our sins do not shock Him, and our brokenness and ugliness do not repel Him, for GOD’sWORD declares that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor things present nor things to come, nor any created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of GOD, which is in CHRIST JESUS our LORD. GOD loves us with an everlasting love, and GOD so loved the world that He gave His only begotten SON that whoever believes in HIM should not perish but have everlasting life. &nbsp;</p><p>All GOD desires is our surrendered lives, our whole hearts, souls, minds, and strength; all He wants is US—fully committed to HIM. And all He asks is that WE COME TO HIM, and when we do, in REPENTANCE—changing our minds, our directions, and our lifestyles—confessing that we are sinners who need Him as our SAVIOR and LORD, then He who is just and faithful, who is loving, compassionate, and gracious, FORGIVES US our sins and CLEANSES US of all unrighteousness. He redeems and heals us; He delivers us and frees us, turning our brokenness into beauty, our pain into joy, our trials into triumphs, and our tests into testimonies, and we become NEW CREATIONS IN CHRIST--SONS and DAUGHTERS, BROTHERS and SISTERS in the KINGDOM of GOD. </p><p>From Genesis to Revelation, this is GOD’sWORD: GOD is GOOD, GOD is JUST, GOD is LOVE, and WITH GOD ALL THINGS are POSSIBLE, including NEW LIFE from GOD’s BREATH and PLAIN DIRT and SALVATION and ETERNAL LIFE through GOD’s SON, HIS LOVE, and HIS BLOOD. JESUS paid in full our debt to GOD, which was death--the wage or penalty for sin; He CARRIED our crosses; He BORE our stripes; He ACCEPTED our punishment, so we could ACCEPT HIS SACRIFICE--HIS SUBSTITUTION--HIS PERFECTION--HIS BLOOD--HIS LOVE--HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and we could be RECONCILED TO GOD, who is HOLY, PERFECT, and GOOD; and JESUS' RESURRECTION is the demonstration of GOD's love, which declares to us all that our sins are now forgiven THROUGH HIM--JESUS CHRIST, the ANOINTED ONE. This is the GREAT EXCHANGE: JESUS' life for ours, His righteousness for our sins. And this is the FINGER of GOD and the HEART of GRACE, that we are saved by grace through faith IN HIM—JESUS—and our righteousness—our right standing with GOD—comes THROUGH HIM—JESUS. So, righteousness is not something WE WORK FOR; righteousness is A GIFT--A FAVOR--<em>GRACE</em>--WE RECEIVE from GOD.</p><p>Because of Adam, the first MAN of GOD, and the ORIGINAL SIN, that first act of rebellion, we are all born with a sinful—dirty—nature and when we humble ourselves enough to surrender our hearts, souls, minds, and lives to JESUS, the SON OF GOD, and when we ACCEPT HIM as our SAVIOR, REDEEMER, and LORD, we are washed clean through HIS BLOOD and HIS SACRIFICE, and we are JUSTIFIED and seen as RIGHTEOUS--MADE RIGHT WITH GOD--not because of our perfection or any of our good works but because of JESUS’ PERFECTION and ALL HE DID--HIS GOOD WORK. And we have a Life-choice to make: ACCEPT GOD or REJECT HIM. And our choice--our final answer-- will determine our futures, our final destinations: Whether we will live forever IN ADAM as REBELS and SINNERS separated from and rejected by GOD or IN CHRIST as SONS and DAUGHTERS forgiven and reconciled, in the eternal presence of GOD. This is GOD's gift to us: FREEDOM--FREE WILL.</p><p>So, if JESUS in His ministry was not afraid to HUMBLE HIMSELF, SEEK and SERVE OTHERS, TOUCH DIRT, and CHANGE LIVES, why, as today’s FOLLOWERS, BELIEVERS, and FISHERS of men and women, should we be? GOD is our LIGHT and our SALVATION, so whom should we fear? GOD is the STRENGTH of our lives, so of whom shall we be afraid? Nobody but Him: The LIVING GOD.</p> Sat, 01 Apr 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/social-networking-the-triune-network Social Networking: The Triune Network http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/social-networking-the-triune-network <p><strong>Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV):</strong> Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”</p><p>OURS is the generation of social media and social networking, but during His earthly ministry, JESUS CHRIST didn’t need Facebook or one million people liking Him or reading His status every day, nor did He need Twitter or one million people tweeting to spread GOD’s WORD. He didn’t need to upload a YouTube video for His message to go viral, cross oceans and infiltrate countries. His ministry began with twelve disciples, later apostles filled with the Holy Spirit, and with those empowered followers, servants, and missionaries, JESUS reached multitudes and influenced nations, and His ministry is still thriving in and through us today.</p><p>JESUS has forever changed our lives and transformed this world because He is the SON of GOD, the LIVING GOD, the RISEN KING, the LORD of ALL, and He’s part of the divine TRIUNE Network—that of GOD, the Father (The Creator), GOD, the Son (The Producer), and GOD, the Holy Spirit (The Administrator). And since JESUS is the same yesterday, today, and forever, He’s still networking socially and influencing nations, even unto this generation, and when we abide in Him and GOD’s WORD abides in us, we become many members in ONE BODY IN ONE PERSON--JESUS CHRIST--and we're part of a worldwide network, a spiritual Kingdom--this BODY of CHRIST--and through GOD, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we as believers are commissioned to GO into every nation, sharing the GOOD NEWS--this GOSPEL of GOD's Kingdom and that of JESUS CHRIST--and as we GO, we are endowed with all POWER, AUTHORITY, and DOMINION through HIM—JESUS, the CHRIST—the ANOINTED ONE.</p> Fri, 31 Mar 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/live-you-shall-live-not-die Live! You Shall Live, Not Die http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/live-you-shall-live-not-die <p><strong>Romans 14:7-9(NKJV):</strong> For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.</p><p>GOD is LIVING, and He is the LORD and LOVER of the LIVING, so don't give up and don't give in; be strong and courageous; be an overcomer in CHRIST and more than a conqueror through Him who loved you, for YOU are a VICTOR, not a victim, and YOU have GOD WITH YOU and GOD IN YOU, so YOU have LIFE and LIGHT in you, not death and darkness. So, abide in GOD as He abides in you, and trust in GOD'sWORD, that IN CHRIST, you shall live and not die.</p> Thu, 30 Mar 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/home-in-gods-heart-presence HOME: In GOD's Heart & Presence http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/home-in-gods-heart-presence <p><strong>Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV):</strong> For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.</p><p>GOD LOVES US, enough to PURSUE US when we're LOST or when we BACKSLIDE or RUN AWAY. HIS LOVE CHASES US; HIS WORD DRAWS US; HIS SON SAVES US, REDEEMS US, FORGIVES US, HEALS US; HIS SPIRIT COMFORTS US, STRENGTHENS US, CHANGES US, TRANSFORMS US, LEADS US; and HIS GRACE FAVORS US, BLESSES US, and CARRIES US all the WAY from SEPARATION to RECONCILIATION, from DEATH TO LIFE, from EARTH to HEAVEN, into GOD's ETERNAL PRESENCE--HOME. And this is GOD'sWORD: GOD loves us, and GOD wants us, 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.</p> Thu, 30 Mar 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/amazing-grace-gods-rendition Amazing Grace: God's Rendition http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/amazing-grace-gods-rendition <p><strong style="font-size: 0.9rem;"></strong></p><p><b>2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV):&nbsp;</b>But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.</p><p>GOD blesses us with amazing grace, unmerited favor, even though we don't deserve it. God loves us, even when we hold grudges, judging, condemning, and failing to forgive others in spite of His commands that we love and forgive others, even as He loves and forgives us. God loves us, even when we deny, reject, avoid, grieve, disappoint, discount, disregard, disbelieve, blaspheme, mock, slander, and ignore Him. He provides for us, supplying all our need according to His riches in glory, even when we're ungrateful hoarders, complaining about the "wants" we lack and refusing to share what we have with others. God grants us a new heart, a renewed mind, fresh breath, and new Life, even when we yield to sin and seek darkness and death, warring with others, even among and within ourselves. God offers us a choice, free will--everlasting life with Him and eternity with Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life or eternal torment with the adversary and eternity without God’s presence--even though we're selfish and self-destructive, more proud than humble, more self-reliant than dependent, more wrong than right, more lost than found. But in spite of our faults, our falls, bad choices, missteps, detours, and wayward words, God is patient and faithful; He loves us with an everlasting love, and He loves us enough to offer salvation, redemption, forgiveness, reconciliation, and mercy through Jesus Christ--the Lord, Savior, Redeemer, Healer, Deliverer, Counselor, King, Advocate, Defender, Protector, Truth, Life, Way, Door, Gate, Good Shepherd, Vine, Living Water, Lamb, Prince of Peace, Bread of Life, Bright and Morning Star, Lily of the Valley, the Author and Finisher of our Faith. That's amazing grace, God's rendition.</p><p><br></p> Thu, 30 Mar 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/from-abba-your-heavenly-father From ABBA, Your Heavenly Father http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/from-abba-your-heavenly-father <p><strong>Romans 8:15 (NKJV):</strong> For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”</p><p>Dear Son and Daughter:</p><p>I love you with an everlasting love, in spite of your mistakes, choices, insecurities, doubts and fears. You are My child, adopted into My family, so you are not illegitimate, an outcast, or an orphan. I call you My own, My beloved, My prince and princess, for you are a child of the King of kings, and you are fearfully and wonderfully made in My image according to My likeness. You are not forgotten or forsaken, for I AM with you always, even until the end of the age. I knew you before you were formed and knit together in your mother's womb; I called you into being, and I KNOW you by heart and by the name I love—one faithfully written in the pages of My Book.&nbsp;</p><p> You are not a mistake, nor are you without worth, for I have a plan and purpose for your life—your future.&nbsp; And despite what you feel, you are never alone, for I AM with you through every triumph and every trial or tribulation. I AM your strength in weakness, your hope for today and tomorrow, your refuge in every storm, your courage and comfort in adversity, sickness, and grief. I hear you even before you call and answer even while you pray. I AM He who supplies your every need, the One who is your Healer, Protector, Provider, Deliverer, Comforter, Redeemer, Advocate, Counselor, Father, Savior, Friend and through Me you move, live, work and breathe.&nbsp;Yours is the breath of My HOLY SPIRIT, and the dwelling of My Beloved Son, JESUS, and My love for you is boundless and immeasurable, higher than any mountain and beyond compare. My love is such that it pursues you, wherever you go, in whatever state or condition you are in, until it draws you home, under My protection and authority. </p><p>My love casts out all fear, moves every mountain, forgives all sin and gives so selflessly; it is patient and kind, and doesn't keep record of wrongs; My love is constant, and it never fails. </p><p>This love is expressed in My WORD, My Spirit and My Son, and it promises you the certainty of these: Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world; no weapon formed against you shall prosper; all things work together for good to those who love Me and are called according to My purpose; you are healed by JESUS’ stripes; you shall not die but live to declare My works; you are blessed, not cursed; I have not given you the spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind; you are debt free, for riches and wealth are in your house; you are in good health, and your soul prospers; you are in joy and peace, with nothing broken and nothing lost; you are found, not lost; you are a child of Mine, not a pawn of the enemy; you are forgiven through My mercy; you are saved by My grace; you are cleansed of all unrighteousness because you have repented, confessing your sin. </p><p>You are no victim but an overcomer, more than a conqueror and you have at your disposal the full armor of GOD: the helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, belt of truth, shield of faith, shoes gird in the gospel of peace, the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of GOD, and the lance of prayer.</p><p> I AM with you, wherever you go, wherever you are, and I love you, not because of anything you do, not because of who you are or because of what you possess, hold, treasure, or give. I love you because LOVE is who I AM and I choose to love you, even when you rebel, fall, sin, walk away, take Me for granted, or refuse to love Me whole-heartedly as your "first" love in the manner in which I deserve. </p><p>Despite what the world tells you about Me, know that I AM real, more so than the earth beneath your feet or the lifelines in your hands; I AM Spirit, I AM Truth, and I AM Life, and this is My Word: l love you, I will never leave you or forsake you, I hear your prayers, I have a purpose for you and a plan for your life better than what you can dream, hope or imagine; and if you trust Me with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, and if you acknowledge Me in all your ways, I will direct your path. Why? Because you are precious in My eyes and I will not lose you to sin, death or the adversary.&nbsp; After all, your debt has been paid; your life has been redeemed, and soon we'll spend eternity together—the Father and His beloved child. Until that time, walk by faith; love Me with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; and love others as yourself. Never give up and never doubt My love, My goodness, My Spirit or My Son, JESUS. </p><p>Eternally Yours, Abba, Father (GOD)</p> Thu, 30 Mar 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-shout-out-calling-all-nobodies GOD's Shout-Out: Calling All Nobodies http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/gods-shout-out-calling-all-nobodies <p><strong>John 1:19-23 (NKJV):</strong> Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ." And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No." Then they said to him, "Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?" He said: "I am 'The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the LORD,'" as the prophet Isaiah said."</p><p><strong>Matthew 11:2-15 (NKJV):</strong> And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?" Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me." </p><p>As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom is written: 'Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.' Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.</p><p>And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!</p><p>GOD LOVES US, and He SHOWS NO FAVORITISM. GOD calls EVERYBODY and ACCEPTS ANYBODY willing to COME and SERVE as an AMBASSADOR for His Kingdom according to His Will for His Purpose; ANYBODY willing to REPENT of his or her sins--disobedience, lawlessness, &nbsp;and rebellion--ANYBODY willing to CHANGE his or her mind, his or her lifestyle, his or her direction, moving forward and GODWARD; ANYBODY who TRULY BELIEVES in GOD's SON JESUS CHRIST and ACKNOWLEDGES HIM as LORD and SAVIOR, as the WORD, the LIGHT, the AUTHOR and FINISHER of OUR FAITH, the MEDIATOR, the CHIEF HIGH PRIEST, the CORNERSTONE, the ROCK, the HEALER, the DELIVERER, the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, the GATE, the DOOR, ALPHA and OMEGA, the BEGINNING and the END; ANYBODY willing to HUMBLE HIMSELF or HERSELF enough to OBEY GOD's Commands and LOVE HIM and OTHERS; ANYBODY willing TO BE A NOBODY willing to GO ANYWHERE ANYTIME to TELL EVERYBODY about SOMEBODY who CAN SAVE ANYBODY. </p><p>But this is our problem: GOD is calling &nbsp;US all the time, EVERY DAY, but most of us are not listening or paying attention. And these are the questions we have to ask ourselves: Are we willing to SURRENDER EVERYTHING and SUBMIT to HIM, OFFERING HIM our whole hearts, souls, minds, and strength? Are we willing to TRUST HIM or BELIEVE HIM at HIS WORD? Are we willing to DECREASE ourselves, so JESUS can be LIFTED--EXALTED--in us? Are we &nbsp;truly willing to be NOBODIES telling EVERYBODY about SOMEBODY who can SAVE ANYBODY? Are we willing to WALK AWAY FROM or GIVE UP our IDOLS--anything or any one we put before or in place of GOD? Are we willing to DENY OURSELVES, FOLLOW JESUS, and LET HIM BE LORD of OUR LIVES? Our answers to these questions, the choices we make, and the actions we take today will determine WHERE and HOW we spend eternity: in love, light, and peace in GOD's presence or away from GOD's presence in hate, darkness, and torment. </p><p>This is GOD'sWORD from GENESIS to REVELATION: the only HEADLINER in the GOOD NEWS is JESUS CHRIST, the SON OF GOD, and the only WAY, TRUTH, and LIFE is HIM--JESUS CHRIST--and NO ONE comes to GOD the FATHER except THROUGH HIM. This is GOD'sWORD found in John 14:6. So, as GOD gives HIS SHOUT-OUTS, calling and drawing us into HIS FAMILY, HIS MINISTRY, and HIS KINGDOM, the most important choice we have is this: Will we ACCEPT or REJECT GOD'sWORD--JESUS CHRIST?</p> Wed, 29 Mar 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/godsword-the-sword-of-the-spirit God'sWord: The Sword of the Spirit http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/godsword-the-sword-of-the-spirit <p><strong>Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV):</strong> For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.&nbsp;<span id="en-NIV-30028">Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.</span></p><p>GOD's&nbsp;WORD is authoritative and powerful: FOOD&nbsp;for our spirits, INSTRUCTION&nbsp;for our lives, and STRENGTH&nbsp;in our struggles. In John 6:63, Jesus describes His words as “spirit” and “life”; they are active and life changing, not meaningless or void. They are eternal, and they transform our lives, translating us to God’s kingdom and guiding us to His purpose. Isaiah 55:11 reveals the perfect nature of GOD's WORD, declaring that “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.” GOD's WORD is truth, and confessed with our faith in JESUS CHRIST, it strengthens us, edifies others, and combats the enemy—our adversary—every imagination or high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. Faith is our shield; GOD'sWORD is our weapon, the SWORD of the SPIRIT,&nbsp;and as children of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, we are not defenseless, nor are we defeated. We are saved; we persevere; and we overcome, for our strength and victory come not through our own carnal intellect or our natural ability but through God, our Heavenly Father who loved us enough to sacrifice His only begotten Son, through Christ Jesus who redeems and empowers us, and through the Holy Spirit who anoints and guides us. As 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 affirms, “we are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” We are blessed—consecrated (set apart)—and we enjoy God’s grace and mercy because we believe in and&nbsp;confess His Son Jesus, our Lord and&nbsp;Savior, the Living God, and the Living Word. He is our greatest gift, our greatest hope, and our greatest weapon, for&nbsp;JESUS is the LORD of ALL, the PRINCE of PEACE, the KING of KINGS:&nbsp;The Expression of GOD the Father, the Truth&nbsp;of the HOLY SPIRIT,&nbsp;the manifestation of&nbsp;GOD'sWORD—the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE--Alpha and Omega,&nbsp;the Beginning and the End. He is the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our Faith, and GOD'sWORD is the SWORD of the SPIRIT. So, let us read and study&nbsp;GOD's WORD faithfully, prayerfully and&nbsp;sincerely&nbsp;and wield this SWORD of the SPIRIT&nbsp;with POWER, AUTHORITY, and DOMINION.</p><p><br></p> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 05:00:00 +0000 http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-call The Call http://godswordprofessor.com/blog/post/the-call <p><strong>Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)</strong>: Come to Me, all <em>you</em> who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke <em>is</em> easy and My burden is light.”</p><p>GOD is gracious: loving, caring, forgiving, and patient. He cares for us, despite our faults, fears, and failures; above our doubts, disbelief, retreats, rejections, rebellions; in spite of our sins (Romans 3:23)--our unrighteousness (Romans 3:10): closed minds, blind eyes, covered ears, tainted tongues, hard hearts, idle hands, and wayward feet. God is compassionate, merciful; He offers us His only begotten Son Jesus, even while we yet separate ourselves from Him, through sin (John 3:16-18; Ephesians 2:1-10). God's free gift of grace saves us though (Romans 5); we are justified (made right with God) by faith, by Jesus' redeeming blood, His selfless sacrifice; we are reconciled with our Heavenly Father through Him, our salvation, our gate, our door, our Way (Ephesians 2:8-9; John 10:9; John 14:6). The blessing—salvation—is ours, if we only believe and confess Jesus Christ as our Lord, our Savior, our King (Romans 10:9-10; 1 John 4:15; Ephesians 2:13-22); if we only obey God and walk in faith, trusting His Word, praying without ceasing, listening for God's voice, and heeding His Call (1 John 5:1-4). </p><p>GOD&nbsp;loves us (John 3:16-17; 1 John 4:16, 19; Romans 8:38-39), and He calls us according to His purpose: He calls us to repent of our sins (anything that separates us from the knowledge, love, purpose, presence, words, wisdom, and will of God) (Luke 13:3; Luke 15:7: 1John 1:9); He calls us to seek His face first—first in faith, not last in fear (Matthew 6:33), to serve, obey, and worship Him as the One, True, and Living God (Deuteronomy 5:7-9; 1 John 5:20-21; Psalm 100:2); and to love Him like a spiritual addict (Deuteronomy 6:4-5), with life-long intimacy, with consuming love; He calls us to forgive, love, and serve others (Matthew 6:14; John 13:35; 1 John 4:7,21; Galatians 5:13; John 13:14-17; Luke 6:35-38), all of which Jesus taught and demonstrated while on earth; He calls us to give of our gifts, our talents, our treasures, our time, and ourselves for His glory, for His purpose, for His honor, and for the blessing and benefit of others (Romans 12:1; Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:3-12; Luke 6:38; Galatians 6:9-10; Ephesians 4:7-16).</p><p>From Genesis to Revelation, here’s the truth of God’s Word: GOD&nbsp;is Good, GOD is Just, and GOD&nbsp;is Love. </p><p>GOD&nbsp;is on call, patiently waiting for us, and His is the best guarantee anywhere: His rates are free; His reach, worldwide; His connections, limitless; His warranty, a lifetime, with an extension—eternal salvation—through His Son, Jesus; His applications are supernatural, His features, original creations; and His performance, perfect every time, beyond imagination through the Holy Spirit. Once we accept Jesus as our Lord and our Savior, choosing God as our Provider, He doesn't drop or disconnect us; He neither leaves nor forsakes us, hanging us out to dry, abandoning us to die. Instead, God offers us Life and Liberty through Jesus Christ, and Power and Authority through the Holy Spirit, a divine seal and spiritual indicator dwelling with us wherever we go; this Spirit is our Comforter, Helper, Intercessor, Gift-giver, and Truth-bearer, so by Him Jesus Christ we will know. </p><p>GOD&nbsp;is available 24/7, just waiting for us to hear, to listen, to believe, to act, and to heed His Call. With God we don't need land-line telephones, and we don't need cell towers; we just need a private place, a prayer closet, and spiritual access—the Holy Spirit—and we need faithful, fervent prayer. Neither do we need cell phones, smart phones, laptops, iPads, Wi-Fi or wireless connection; we can dial God any time with a touch of Faith, a sincere heart, and a spirit of forgiveness, thanksgiving, worship, praise, intercession, and submission through Jesus Christ via the Holy Spirit. God's calling us daily, but most of us are screening our calls, often in fear because we're not ready for a life-long commitment with God; we're not prepared to live for His glory, to fulfill His Great Commission (to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ and the&nbsp;reality of God's Kingdom to the nations, to fish for men and women, to save lost souls); we're not ready to deny ourselves first privilege, personal gain, and self-reliance, and surrender to His will, to work toward His purpose, to walk by faith, not by sight, dependent on God to supply all our needs according to His riches in glory; we're not confident that we can trust Him with our hearts, our circumstances, our families, our finances, our careers, our friends, our souls, our lives. </p><p>Despite our reservations though, our putting Him on hold, God faithfully, paternally, and patiently waits on us, still calling with extended arms, ever-reaching fingers. He doesn't give up on us, even when we ignore Him; instead, He G-mails us, He leaves voice mail, and He releases instant messages, giving us multiple chances to answer His call, to unlock the doors to our minds, spirits, and hearts. He wants us to trust Him, to cast all our cares—burdens and anxieties on Him (1 Peter 5:7); He wants those of us who are called by His name to be obedient, to humble ourselves, to pray, to seek Him and turn from our wicked ways, so He can hear from heaven, forgive our sins and heal our land, and sanctify our house—our temple of faith—making this His dwelling place (2 Chronicles 7:14-16). Will we continue to ignore His call or will we answer Him, discovering our purpose in His divine master plan, our place in this faith walk?</p><p>In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me"; earlier in Matthew 4:4 Jesus says, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God," and He clarifies the importance of heeding God's voice—that still, small voice (1 Kings 19:12); He indicates the relevance and impact of God's words, especially His spoken words. He says in John 10:4-5 that His sheep will follow Him, for they know His voice, yet they will flee from strangers. Those who don't recognize God's voice or His Call generally haven't spoken to Him or prayed much; they haven't developed a personal relationship with Him, so they're deaf to His Voice and