Monthly Archives: January 2020

Do You Measure Up To Love?

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Do You Measure Up To Love?

According to God this is what love is:
Love suffers long.
Love is kind.
Love does not envy.
Love does not parade itself.
Love is not puffed up.
Love does not behave rudely.
Love does not seek its own.
Love is not provoked.
Love thinks no evil.
Love does not rejoice in iniquity.
Love rejoices in the truth.
Love bears all things.
Love believes all things.
Love hopes all things.
Love endures all things.
Love never fails.
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If you can truly place your name in the following blanks then you are measuring up to what God says about love, if you can’t pray and ask God to help you measure up to His definition of love.
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__________ suffers long.
__________ is kind.
__________ does not envy.
__________ does not parade itself.
__________is not puffed up.
__________ does not behave rudely.
__________ does not seek its own.
__________ is not provoked.
__________ thinks no evil.
__________ does not rejoice in iniquity.
__________ rejoices in the truth.
__________ bears all things.
__________ believes all things.
__________ hopes all things.
__________ endures all things.
__________ never fails.

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1 Corinthians 13
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 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. 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.”

JESUS IS MY EVERYTHING

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JESUS IS MY EVERYTHING

As you take the communion elements, with your mind and heart focused on Jesus, everything that He has given you through His body and blood will become very real to you.
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It is in that intimate place that you are filled with an overwhelming confidence that …
JESUS IS MY REDEEMER
JESUS IS MY HEALER
JESUS IS MY PEACE
JESUS IS MY STRENGTH
JESUS IS MY SHELTER
JESUS IS MY PROTECTOR
JESUS IS MY PROVIDER
JESUS IS THE PROVIDER OF MY FAVOR
JESUS IS MY JOY
JESUS IS MY EVERYTHING!

Discern

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Discern

When taking communion we must discern what we are doing. Each one of us must know what it is and why they are doing it. It is not complicated, even a very small child can understand and participate in the Lord’s supper.
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Discern means to perceive or recognize something. It also means to distinguish someone or something or to tell the difference between. If a person fails to discern what they are doing when taking the Lord’s supper, communion, they won’t receive the benefits that Jesus has already paid for.
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We must discern the manner in which we take the Lords Supper, and we must discern the difference between the body and the blood.
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The Manner In Which You Take Communion Matters
The Lord’s supper was to be the center of worship – a time to remember Jesus – what Jesus has done and what He is going to do.
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1 Corinthians 11:17-22 NKJV
“ Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.”
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The Corinthians were not receiving the Lord’s supper in the correct manner (unworthy manner) and that displeased God
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The manner in which the Corinthians were taking the Lord’s supper, communion, was considered unworthy because when they came together they were making the meal a time of overeating and getting drunk. What was intended to be a time of unity and reflecting on all that Jesus paid for had become a time of disunity and all about self. What was intended to be the centerpiece of worship was turned into a sinful practice .
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Discern The Difference Between The Body And The Blood

1 Corinthians 11:23-26 NKJV
“ For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

When we read the above verse many times we miss a lot of the meaning concerning what was really taking place at Jesus’ last meal, which was a Passover meal. It was a Passover seder, which means there was a certain order to the meal. During a seder the people would eat from the bread and drink from the cup several times, with each time having it’s own symbolism and meaning.
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On the Passover table would have been a special three part container for the bread / matzah, called the unity. Earlier in the meal Jesus had taken the bread that was in the middle section (lechem onee, meaning bread of affliction) out. He had broken it in half, wrapped it up in a linen napkin and placed half of it in another special container. This special half then became the afikomen which mean “He who comes.” After the actual meal / food was eaten Jesus took the afikomen out of the container, blessed it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” After the disciples had eaten the bread Jesus picked up the third cup of wine known as the cup of redemption. As He held up this cup He said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
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There is a difference between the body of Jesus and the blood of Jesus. He gave both for a reason. By giving His body He provided healing, of EVERY TYPE. By giving His blood, He provided redemption. If Jesus had only given His blood that would have been enough for our salvation. We would have had a way of being restored into a right relationship with God, but we would have still lived in a world where the is sickness and disease. By giving His body He paid for our healing.
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God tells us that Jesus is our Passover Lamb. As you read about the first Passover lamb (in Exodus) you will see that the benefits of the first Passover lamb ware endless (healing, strength, vitality, favor, protection, deliverance from bondage, direction / guidance, provision, a closer relationship with God…) And so it is true with our Passover Lamb, Jesus. He has already provided EVERYTHING that we need – for this life and the one to come.
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Jesus’ Body
The bread / matzah represents Jesus’ body. When we eat it we are to remember what He paid for with His body. Matzah is unleavened, it is striped and it is pierced. Jesus was sinless, He was striped and He was pierced. All the stripes and wounds that He received in His body was for us, for our healing – body, soul (mind, will, emotions) and spirit.
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Jesus’ Blood
The third cup of wine at the Passover meal was the Cup of Redemption. It came with the promise of , “I well redeem you.”
One meaning of redeem means to buy back. Jesus gave Himself as the redemption price for each one of us. We were in slavery / bondage to sin/Satan but Jesus, our Kinsman Redeemer, purchased us with His very own blood. However, redemption covers many needs.
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Jesus said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
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Examine Yourself
God tells us what an unworthy manner is (remember the Corinthians) and that we are to judge, or examine, ourselves to make sure that we are taking the Lord’s supper for the right reason.

1 Corinthians 11:27-34
“Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.”

 

If we take the communion elements for the right reason then we will reap the many benefits that Jesus paid for, if not we won’t. God tells us that because many fail to discern and as a result many are weak, sick and some have died.
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Jesus Paid It All
As we read the following verses we can truly see that Jesus paid it all – He paid for everything that concerns us. He is the Great I Am. Anything you have need of has already been paid for.

Isaiah 53:4-6
“Surely He has borne griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

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As you take the communion elements, with your mind and heart focused on Jesus, everything that He has given you through His body and blood will become very real to you. It is in that intimate place that you are filled with an overwhelming confidence that …
JESUS IS MY REDEEMER
JESUS IS MY HEALER
JESUS IS MY PEACE
JESUS IS MY STRENGTH
JESUS IS MY SHELTER
JESUS IS MY PROTECTOR
JESUS IS MY PROVIDER
JESUS IS THE PROVIDER OF MY FAVOR
JESUS IS MY JOY
JESUS IS MY EVERYTHING!

PREPARATION, EXPECTATION AND PARTICIPATION

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PREPARATION, EXPECTATION AND PARTICIPATION

How does a church ( the corporate body) go from being an on fire, vibrant body to a church full of memories? If asked that question everyone would have a different opinion. And the truth is, most of them would be right because there could be many reasons. However, I think it all boils down to the lack of three things: preparation, expectation, and participation.
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If you fail to make preparations it effects EVERYONE.
If you fail to expect it effects EVERYONE.
IF you fail to participate it effects EVERYONE.
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I. LACK OF PREPARATION
Leadership and lay people alike must prepare themselves for meeting with God. Everyone must spend time in personal devotion, worship and reading/meditating on God’s Word and in prayer.
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In life we prepare for many things but when it comes to spiritually preparing to meet with God (in the assembly of saints) many times we fail to do so. Throughout the Bible God often says to prepare yourselves or to consecrate yourselves.
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In the tabernacle in the wilderness the priests had to take a bath and put on clean clothes to carry out their priestly duties. But when it was their turn to minister in the holy place they had even more preparation – they had to clean their hands and feet with the water in the bronze laver. They could not enter into God’s presence any way they wanted.
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The Shunammite woman prepared a place for the man of God, the presence of God, (2 Kings 4). If she had not prepared a place for the man of God (the presence of God) she would have missed out on what God wanted to bless her with.
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The cares of life and activities keep many from making preparations for meeting with God. Satan doesn’t have to try to lure most believers away with sin – all he has to do is keep them so busy with activities that they don’t have time to spend alone with God. Just like in some marriages, the marriage fails not because of adultery but because of working too much – not enough time together. The lack of alone time together in a marriage can lead to a breakdown in their relationship and the same is true in our relationship with God.
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Preparing and consecrating go hand in hand. Many times God told the people to consecrate themselves because He was going to meet with them. Consecration simply means being set apart for God. You are not set apart for God if you look like the world, talk like the world, act like the world, or have the morals / standards of the world.
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If we knew a tornado was heading straight toward us we would prepare, to the best of our ability, for it. Which brings me to the second reason – lack of expectation.
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II. LACK OF EXPECTATION
Expectation is a strong belief that something will happen. When we get our eyes off God and on people it will effect our expectation.
Many times in a spiritually dry place we come to expect it to always be that way. This doesn’t happen overnight – it is a slow, gradual process. Much like the story of the frog in a pot of water. If the water is gradually heated until it is boiling the frog won’t notice it and it will lead to it’s death.
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The woman with the issue of blood expected to be healed when she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment (Matthew 9).
The lame man expected to receive from Peter and John. (Acts 3:5).
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Lack of expectation may cost you your healing, deliverance, joy, and the list is endless.
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In Psalm 137:7 the Bible tells us that after being taken into captivity the people hung their harps on the willow tree. These people looked at their current situation instead of God and it cost them their joy, and their vibrant worship to God. The failed to participate in worshipping God.
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III. LACK OF PARTICIPATION
When the body assemblies together worship is not to be a spectator sport for believers. We are all to worship and as we worship we will be drawn closer to God and to each other. Your worship just might be what is needed to set others free.
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Paul and Silas worshipped in prison and it set everyone free and brought salvations (Acts 16:25).
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Just like the other two points, there are many reasons for lack of participation. Spiritual slumber is probably the greatest reason.
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When the body lacks preparation, expectation, and participation it will lack fresh moves of the Holy Spirit.
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There is a little mouse in Africa that spends a long period of time underground. When it finally comes out it runs around so fast and hard that it is so exhausted and it falls asleep on top of the ground. While it is asleep a bird or other animal will eat it.
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Sometimes a church will be in a dark place spiritually for so long that when the light does start to shine in them again they run around like the little mouse ( programs, works and number focused) until they are so tired physically and spiritually they begin to slumber. If they don’t wake up and return to their first love they will be picked off by the enemy.

Are You A Good Waiter or Waitress?

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Are You A Good Waiter or Waitress?

In Isaiah 40:31 the word wait entails confident expectation and active hope in the Lord – never a passive resignation. The dictionary gives several definitions of wait. Two of them are: (1) Stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens. (2) To act as a waiter or waitress.

Isaiah 40:31 KJV
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

We could say:
Those that minister to the Lord…
Shall renew their strength.
Shall mount up with wings as eagles.
Shall run, and not be weary.
Shall walk, and not faint.

Ministering to God can sort of be compared to being a waiter or waitress. Their only mission is to serve.

A good waiter or waitress will:
Make you feel welcome.
Anticipate your needs – you don’t have to keep asking for things.
Have an attention to details.
Be attentive.
Be a good listener – pays attention when others are talking.
Not try to sell you something right off the bat.
Not be afraid to approach your table
Be friendly and warm – caring and pleasant.
Always offer a warm greeting.
Listen for the answer when they ask a question.
Not have a personal conversation with another server within earshot of customers.
Never reeks from perfume or cigarettes.
Not turn on the charm when it’s tip time.
Not make you wait or beg for a condiment.
Not stand behind you when you are ordering. They make eye contact.
Not let your glass go empty.
Not act like they are in a hurry.

When we minister to the Lord …
we should make Him feel welcome.
we should anticipate His needs – Don’t make God have to keep asking for things.
we should pay attention to details.
we should be attentive. Don’t try to minister to God with your mind a thousand miles away.
we should be a good listener – pays attention when God is talking.
we should not ask Him for things right off the bat – wait until He asks us what we have need of.
we should not be afraid to approach Him.
we should be friendly and warm – caring and pleasant.
we should always offer a warm greeting.
we should listen for Him to answer when we ask a question.
we should not have personal conversations with others while we are ministering to Him.
we should never reek from things that are a stench to Him.
we should not turn on the charm when we want or need something from Him.
we should not make Him wait for anything or His needs go unmet.
we should make eye contact – Look into His face. Get personal with Him.
we should not be in a hurry.