Matthew 12:43-45When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

1. Freedom is joyous. When you’re delivered or freed from an evil spirit or habit (i.e. pornography, smoking, drinking, etc.), you feel a great freedom and peace. The thoughts in your mind is silenced and your heart is happy. You’re full of peace and joy.

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By: Spiritual Combatants   -  In: July 2014,Perseverance,Sin/Temptation   -  Tags:        

1 Corinthians 12:13-14 – For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.

1. One God…many denominations. Across the landscape of Christendom, there are hundreds, if not thousands of separate denominations and churches. Some are separated due to personal convictions or callings to specific locations and people groups, but many are due to varying doctrinal beliefs and earthly traditions. Sadly, these differences have created great schisms in the body of Christ.

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January 26, 2012

Glory Train

Photo courtesy of Stock.XCHNG.com/bjearwicke

1 Corinthians 10:31Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

1. There are many compartments in our lives. Many Christians live their lives like train compartments. One compartment may represent their home life; another compartment is for work; and another for church, etc. Each compartment carries its own set of rules, standards, and customs.

In the compartment of our home life (for example), we may act, lead, and love according to our upbringing and our position in the home. Because the home is closed to the outside world (unless you welcome people over), you will often be the most ‘loose’ with your mouth and behavior than in any other compartment.

The work ‘compartment’ encompasses another set of rules, standards, and customs separate from the home compartment. Some work centers encourage (or influence) people to dress, talk, and conduct themselves in a specific manner to be accepted or promoted. There is an unwritten desire or need to become one of the ‘guys or girls’ in the office where they are known by their superiors positively. In many work centers, the goal is to reach the ‘top,’ and many do so without the slightest concern for how they get there. Such strivings may influence or ‘encourage’ people to compromise their moral standards and conduct.

The church ‘compartment’ is fitted with a set of rules, standards, and customs different from the other two. This compartment is filled with outward displays of piety and godliness. Some churches also carry specific (or unwritten) rules for dress or conduct. Additionally, congregations will often worship the Lord in similar fashion (based on their affiliation or cultural background). Their children are well kept and their family is pictured as the Christian model for all, even if this is not true in the home compartment.

2. Only one rule must exist among our life compartments. Our lives may have different compartments of home, work, church, etc., but only one rule must govern them all, to the glory of God. Jesus has given two great commandments that should govern our conduct (Matthew 22:36-40).

As Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, he stated that whether they ate, drank, or whatever they did, to do it for the glory of God. Some definitions of glory from the translated Greek are magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace; majesty; the kingly majesty that belongs to him as supreme ruler, majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity.1 In every thing we do and in every situation, God is to be glorified.

3. How to glorify God in each compartment of life.

Some people would ask, ‘how do I glorify God in eating or drinking?’

If we look back on the definition of glory above and consider the things that we eat, drink, and do on a daily basis, consider this:

  • Do you eat to where you become gluttonous? Filthy? Pig-like? Do you eat foods that God would not be pleased to see you eat? Do you eat fattening foods that cause you to gain excessive weight, creating numerous health problems? Would this type of eating honor God and your body, where the Holy Spirit dwells (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)?
  • For the things you drink, do you become drunk with alcohol (even if it is in your own home)? Do you drink to the point where you would dishonor your own body by consuming liquids that are clearly unhealthy and destroy your body? Would the Lord be pleased and glorified?
  • What about your conduct… When working with difficult bosses, do you apply Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:38-45? Or do you treat them like the world would treat them, curse at them, and ensure they know you don’t like them? Do you work each task and responsibility to the best of your ability? Do you love others as yourself and give each person the very best of what you have to give?

4. Living for God’s glory is moment-to-moment. Living for God’s glory requires a concentrated effort with each situation and circumstance. It will require some of the following (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Times of prayer and intimacy with the Lord throughout the day
  • Bridling the tongue from speaking falsely, course joking, and saying evil things (Proverbs 21:23; Ephesians 4:29, 5:1-4; James 1:26, 3:3-13)
  • Meditating on scriptures throughout the day that help us stay focused on the Lord (Psalm 1:1-3)
  • Fellowship with like Christians that motivate and encourage you
  • Remaining unspotted from the world and its ways (this may require separating yourself from certain events and people) – Psalm 1:1; James 1:27

1 – Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for doxa (Strong’s 1391)”. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 26 Jan 2012. http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1391&t=KJV

Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Two become one flesh…

This is what the Lord explained to Adam after the woman God made from his rib was brought to him. Adam said, 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 (Genesis 2:23). Though we are two people, in the eyes of God we are one flesh.

Very often today, many people in ministry are giving themselves over to lustful desires. Where much of this is based upon the lack of self-control and obedience to the Lord (James 1:13-15), there are also means from which those in ministry can and should protect themselves. Therefore, foundational principles should be established for those that are married (in ministry).

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By: Spiritual Combatants   -  In: December 2011,Ministry/Service   -  Tags:    

August 21, 2011

Thirty One Flavors

Ephesians 4:1-6I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are 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.

For many children, going to the local ice cream shop is exciting. The ice cream shop has several flavors (even 31) to choose from: Vanilla, Strawberry, Chocolate, Gold Medal Ribbon, Mint, Cookies and Cream, Old Fashioned Pecan, etc. The children rush into the store with their favorite flavor on their mind. Sometimes if there’s a new flavor, they may ask for a sample taste to see if they like it. If they like it, they want more of it on a cone or a cup. They may want a waffle cone instead or a sugar cone…maybe have it in a milkshake or part of a sundae. As each child selects something different, they don’t fight to ensure each of them have the same flavor and type (i.e. cone, shake). Each child is free to eat their flavor and when they leave, they each enjoy their flavor of ice cream together.

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By: Spiritual Combatants   -  In: August 2011,Church   -  Tags:    

What is Doctrine?

Doctrine is considered an instruction or teaching that can be learned or developed through experience. Doctrine is associated with a person’s beliefs; the way they ‘see,’ perceive, or relate to the world around them. Each person has a countless number of doctrines on the issues, people, and situations they experience on a daily basis. The number of doctrines a person has is countless and continues to be shaped and expanded throughout a person’s lifetime.

Within Christianity, sound biblical doctrine is based on the biblical teachings, experiences, pastors, ministers, and interactions with fellow brothers and sisters in the local church community. Within the context of this message, doctrine will encompass God’s Word. God’s Word is the foundation of good sound doctrine:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

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Matthew 12:36-37 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

In Matthew 12:22-37, Jesus healed a demon-possessed man and the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out devil through the power of Beelzebub (read Matthew 12:22-37 for context).  Through this dialogue, Jesus illustrates what the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is, and how we will be give an account of the negative things we say.  Think about the negative and useless things you’ve said over the last week.  On the day of judgment, you will stand before the Lord and give an account of each of those words.  Not only that, but it is by our words that we will be justified or condemned.

In the original translation, the word idle is translated as inactive, lazy, useless, barren, and slow.  When writing to the church in Ephesians, Paul admonished the church to use their words for edifying others:

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

We can say many things about many situations each day.  Some situations ‘scream’ for you to say something negative or in anger.  However, allow the words you speak to build others up rather than tear them down.  If you don’t have anything kind to say, don’t say anything.

Remember that the idle words you speak will come back to you when you will stand before the Lord.  You will have to account for them.  Do not allow the idle words you speak to condemn yo before God.  Speak life!

Photo courtesy of Stock.XCHNG.com/BJN

By: Spiritual Combatants   -  In: Christian Living,March 2011   -  Tags:  

Ephesians 4:27 – Neither give place to the devil.

Giving place (or a foothold) to the devil is dangerous beyond measure. The ‘place’ you give him will leave you and those connected to you in the crosshairs of sin. When you allow the devil to be given a place within your life (via disobedience, acceptance of temptation, sin), you open a doorway for every imaginable evil spirit to enter into your life.

There may come a time when you’re angry at one situation, and begin to break laws, yell at people, and do things you normally wouldn’t if you were in your ‘right’ mind. Your willingness to allow the devil to have a place in your life will bring continued death and destruction. Isn’t that the purpose of the devil: to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10)?!

Remain with the Lord…He has come to give you life!

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By: Spiritual Combatants   -  In: Sin/Temptation   -  Tags:    

Why do I always have to go through trials and temptation? I don’t want to continue facing the same things over and over and over AND OVER again! I just want to be free.

Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever felt like the Apostle Paul when he said that when he wants to do right, sin is right there (Romans 7:21)? OR the things you want to do you don’t do, but the things you don’t want to do, THAT you find yourself doing (Romans 7:15)? Many of us can relate to Paul’s statements of temptation and sin, but we often stop there without going any further. We continue to live in a cycle that goes from temptation-sin-repentance-temptation-sin-repentance and it never seems to stop. We want to get off the merry-go-round, but it doesn’t seem like we ever can. Why do I have to go through this? Why can’t God just take it away because He knows I want to serve Him. If I didn’t have this ‘sin’ issue, I could just run for Him.

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Each day, you’ll encounter many different situations, problems, and people. Each one might require different actions, but it’s important to maintain a steady countenance. If you allow your circumstances to dictate your emotional state, you’ll ride a roller coaster of emotions that will keep you unpredictable, unapproachable, and eventually out of God’s will. Don’t allow circumstances to leave you an emotional wreck. It’ll only hurt you and those around you.

Ecclesiastes 7:9Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.

Proverbs 16:32He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

Ephesians 4:31-32Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Proverbs 19:11The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.

Photo courtesy of Stock.XCHNG.com/blary54

By: Spiritual Combatants   -  In: Anger,September 2006   -  Tags:      

Scriptures

Genesis

2   3   4   9   10   12   13   15   25   28   41


Exodus

2   3   17   18   22   23   31   32


Leviticus

24


Numbers

14   15   16   19   20   21


Deuteronomy

1   6   7   17   24   27   32


Joshua

1  9  22


Judges

3


1 Samuel

1   16


2 Chronicles

20


Ezra

8


Nehemiah

9


Job

1  2  16


Psalms

1  5  9  11  15  16  18  90  19  33  34  37  39  46  51  55  63  68  78  90  91  94  101  104  103  119  121  122  139  145  146  147


Proverbs

3  4  5  6  8  9  10  11  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  21  22  23  24  25  27  29  30


Ecclesiastes

3  4  5  7  11


Isaiah

1  14  25  26  43  55  59  64


Jeremiah

1


Ezekiel

2  28


Daniel

3  10


Jonah

1  2  3  4


Habakkuk

2


Zechariah

7


Malachi

2


Matthew

4  5  6  7  8  9  10  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  24  25  26  28


Mark

2  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  16


Luke

4  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  16  17  18  19  24


John

1  2  3  4  6  7  8  9  10  12  13  14  15  16  17


Acts

1  2  4  8  9  6  10  13  17


Romans

1  3  4  5  6  7  8  10  12  13  14  15  16


1 Corinthians

2  3  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  15


2 Corinthians

4  5  8  9  10  11  12


Galatians

3  5  6


Ephesians

2  4  5  6


Philippians

1  2  4


Colossians

1  2  3


1 Thessalonians

4  5


2 Thessalonians

2


1 Timothy

2  3  4  5  6


2 Timothy

2  3  4


Titus

1  2  3


Hebrews

1  2  3  4  5  6  8  9  10  11  12


James

1  3  4  5


1 Peter

1  2  3  4  5


2 Peter

1  2  3


1 John

1  2  3


2 John

1


3 John

1


Jude

1


Revelation

1  2  3  12  14  20  21  22

Dates

2020

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12

2019

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12

2018

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2017

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2016

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2015

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2014

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2013

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2012

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2011

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2010

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2009

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2008

 1  2  3  4  4  5  6  8  9  10  11  12


2007

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2006

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2005

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2003

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2002

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12


2001

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12

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