Scripture is very repetitive about the believer’s life being similar to the life of a warrior or soldier.  For instance, we are told to fight the good fight of faith and we are admonished to put on the weapons of our warfare.

2 Corinthians 10:4:6  contains a significant key for us who desire victory in our prayer life.   “ For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God…. ….and consider the Ephesians 6, “Armor of God” command especially verse 15, which includes the footwear for this uniform.  “ And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace…..”

Maybe like me, you never thought of peace as a  powerful weapon to complete your “armor”.  Strong’s description of  peace is quietness, rest, or set at one again.  The Roman Soldier sported “combat  boots”,   and clearly these were designed to hold one in place when needed….(because of the spikes implanted in the soles), but also gave the warrior the ability to move forward….(because of the metal shin guards and the secure fit of the shoe).  Peace…….when things become one……..that’s a great advantage to holding ground in times of battle.  Just as we would never dream of leaving home without shoes, we should be as determined and bull-dogged about our gospel shoes of peace.  So it is with us as we advance on the enemy of our soul, and claim “Peace, peace to every broken heart and situation that’s beyond human recovery……..God’s supernatural intervention brings redemption to His Earthly family.  No one is immune to times of trouble, but Believers certainly have an advantage, because Peace creates such a sure footing for us and also helps us move forward even in the toughest of times. For believers, peace empowers us to “Get a Grip. ” Remember  peace is only one  part  of the whole armor of  God., and we should always be fully dressed for battle!   

       When my dad left this Earth for glory, there was only one thing left behind and that was his will, which he had finalized the week before.  This document contained a description of his possessions which he left to me and my brothers simply because we were his children.  We had done nothing to deserve these things, but now they became ours.  Often we speak about our inheritance that we have in Christ Jesus.  And the case is the same, we don’t deserve the “Eternal Package” of blessing, but it’s ours if we will take possession of it and receive it.  As we study scripture we find this inheritance to be precious and very costly. 

Joshua 18:1-3 has some interesting things to say about inheritance.  “The whole assembly of the Israelites gathered at Shiloh and set up the tent of meeting there. The country was brought under their control,  but there were still seven Israelite tribes who had not yet received their inheritance.  So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you? “  We could ask ourselves the same question, “How long will I wait before I receive what God has given me?”

In John 5, a certain lame man had waited 38 years when Jesus came on the scene. That’s a long time to wait!  Jesus simply asked him if he wanted to be well, and his reply seemed like an excuse for not already having possession of this healing.  We’ve all acted like him at some time or other……waiting for somebody to come along…..the healing evangelist, the  prophet with a word just for us…..or a miracle worker at a crusade.  But Jesus put the responsibility on the sick man when he said, “   “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”  At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.”  

What am I saying?  The death of Jesus has occurred and He left His kids a will or inheritance.  But don’t wait on everybody else to help you, be assertive and  do what Hebrews 4:16 says.  “ Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  Your inheritance is waiting for you to receive it!

       Because He Lives, you and I also have a quality of life which can only be obtained because of the Resurrection.  In the following passage, visit the tomb with Mary Magdalene on the day that the stone had been rolled away and join her as she runs to tell the disciples.  

Mark 16:1-4

 1 “Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.

 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

 3 And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?”

 4* But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away–for it was very large.”

As you continue reading this passage, you will notice how the Angel said, “Go tell the disciples, and Peter…..”  Significantly, Peter was the only disciple called by name.  After betraying Jesus 3 times, it’s very touching to see how quickly forgiveness was given.  You and I fret over trivialities much less consequential, and yet it’s possible here to see grace extended to one who had truly wronged Jesus.  The power of the resurrection was spontaneous, and so it is today.  Let’s embrace the monumental love gift provided us by the costly blood of Jesus everyday throughout the year.  And always be ready to pay it forward to those you meet as you continue to walk as He walked.  Happy Easter!

Palm Sunday

Matthew 21:6-10  “So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them.  They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them.  And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:

“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!‘
Hosanna in the highest!”

 And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”  This particular event marks the beginning of Holy Week.  

Notice Matthew’s observation following the processional….

“And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”   All the city was moved!   Everybody in Jerusalem was affected by the parade that day:  young, old, rich, poor, elite, lower class, men, women, boys, and girls…..everybody!

As we pray for our city of El Dorado, then, it’s possible for everybody in our town to be aware and notice our Savior, Jesus Christ.  If you’re not already praying for our town to be “Moved”, let me challenge you to do so.  Here’s the first concordance definition of moved in this scripture is “to rock.”    Also, it means quake or shake.  Let the presence and power of Jesus rock everyone in El Dorado and the world!  Amen! 

Many times we quote from the book of Esther 4:14.

“Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”  As the body of Christ we believe that each of us is strategically placed for a certain period of time in a certain place.  The NIV  brings another thought into play when it describes Queen Esther’s role in the palace of Shushan.”And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” 

As Christians, each of us has a royal position!   

1 Peter 2:9 ,  “You are a royal priesthood, a chosen generation…..”    And position is everything in the arena of influence.  The journey of life will cause your arena of influence  to change from time to time, but your position of royalty in Christ Jesus is a constant.  So, wherever life takes us, we should always be aware that the Creator of the Universe is working on a big plan in which we are like pieces of a puzzle.  

Every season brings us new opportunities to shine light into darkness and bring hope where hopelessness has prevailed.  Let’s challenge ourselves to be ready with the Gospel message of good news wherever we are
       Recently, we’ve all faced a quarantine in our nation as many businesses and schools have been closed.  We’ve been told to help flatten the curve of the outbreak of a Coronavirus by social distancing.  The storm is horrific and it has interrupted us all, but, take heart from the the most read book on Earth, the Bible.  
Proverbs 24:13-16    Passion translation
“Revelation knowledge is a delicacy, sweet like flowing honey that melts in your mouth.  Eat as much of it as you can, my friend!  For then you will perceive what is true wisdom, your future will be bright, and this hope living within will never disappoint you.  Listen up, you wicked, irreverent ones——don’t harass the lovers of God and don’t invade their resting place.  16 For the lovers of God may suffer adversity and stumble seven times, but they will continue to rise over and over again.”  It’s a great encouragement to think about this powerful truth describing the “lovers of God.”  Adversity comes, that’s for sure!  But if you are one who has chosen to live for the Lord, you continue to rise over and over again. 
In Acts 27, Paul faced a storm which seemed endless.  Acts 27:20  “Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.”  Paul turned aside from the raging storm, and God spoke to him.  In Exodus, chapter 3, Moses also turned aside to hear what Go would say.  Today, we can also “turn aside” and listen to the voice of God.  
The Kingdom of Heaven is never closed. As you read Psalm 91,starting with verse 14, you’ll find 7 promises God has made to those who love Him.  Encourage yourselves daily with these words.  
And remember this,  Proverbs 24:13
“Revelation knowledge is a delicacy, sweet like flowing honey that melts in your mouth.  Eat as much of it as you can, my friend!”

       In the book of beginnings, God gave the awesome task of dominion to Adam in the garden of Eden.  

Ge 1:26 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.”   Ge 1:28 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.”  Many battles are the result of a contest over dominion.  Ours is a spiritual one concerning the voice of authority in the Earth.

Consider satan’s priority assignment.  When the Word is sown into peoples’ hearts, what is satan’s first move?  Did you say, ”Steal the Word immediately!”?   Mark 4:15 verifies this, and why is this so?  Words are containers of faith or doubt.  Dominion is won by the believer who continues in faith saying the truth rather than accepting the reasonable taunts of the devil.  Mark 11:23 enforces saying 3 times more than believing.  Our continued response of speaking truth in the face of adversity will ensure victory, but if one hesitates and considers the appeal of the senses, the battle is over!  

A couple of years ago, Susan and I did the “Bottom LIne” broadcast using Growing Up in Christ Jesus as our subject.  We could have called it the ABC’s to maturity because the items addressed were all related to choices we make after accepting Jesus as our Savior. Here’s the topics we discussed:  Learn to forget, learn to forgive, learn to pray,  learn to believe, learn to worship, and learn to give.  Of course this isn’t an exhaustive list, but it certainly is a good place to begin.  

I told Susan that I believed one of the most significant keys to “growing up” is learning to forgive.  Forgiveness is not optional to us as believers, and actually puts us into the place of power.  So many times I hear folks say things like, “well, if you knew what they did,” you’d know that I’m entitled to hold this grievance.  But, someone once said that holding unforgiveness  is like  drinking poison and expecting the perpetrator of your misery to get sick.  Well he or she won’t!  That stuff you or I are holding onto will only affect us, and that in a very detrimental way.   So forgive, let it go, and be blessed.

Also, learn to forget.  Pressing forward in life only happens when we lay the past to rest, good or bad!   People get stuck when they want to hang on to the way it was.  Remember the only thing you can count on is change.  Change is the most constant thing we experience!  So let’s move forward…..if guilt has anchored your soul, learn to forget!  The past is just that; it has passed, and we have to live in today.  This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!