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In this blog, I share what the Lord shares with me. I reference scripture a lot in support of what is being said. I realize that what is in each entry is NOT a complete 'word' on what is being said, but is rather enough information to stimulate our spirits to dig deeper (remember the Bereans Acts 17:10-11) thereby gaining a fuller understanding for ourselves.

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Saturday, December 22, 2018

12-22-2018         The Flower, The Soldier, The Church

                  From bud to bloom

                                Recruit                            to                        soldier
                                      Babe                          to                       fully equipped

Father keeps showing me how things are coming in threes, the natural, the spiritual and the heart!
Follow me with this.  How does a flower, a soldier and the church all work towards the same end?

The Flower – bud to bloom

The planting of the seed, the young plant shooting up through the soil into the ‘heavens”, the sprouting of leaves and then the bud is formed. The bud is encased in a protective covering until it is time to bloom.  When the season is right, those petals start peeling back from the bloom inside and that bloom starts to emerge. The bloom continues to unfold and spread out until it reaches full maturity, at which time we can enjoy its beauty.

The Soldier – raw recruit to being ‘ready’ to serve

In the “old days” a soldier was drafted into service or he could enlist as they do today.  Irregardless after processing into the military, his first stop is ‘boot camp’.  Here the recruit gets into good physical shape so he/she can perform their duties without tiring and to learn military ways.  Next stop is what is (or at least was) called ‘advanced infantry training’ (AIT).  Here the recruit learns a specific skill which will be their job for the duration of their service.  Of course after AIT, the soldier is ready for ‘full bloom’ and show his skills.  The recruit is now ready to be deployed – sent to their duty station.  The soldier is now out ‘in the world’ performing their task, fully and effectively.

The Church – from babe to bold

When we first receive Jesus Christ into our heart, we are a ‘baby’ Christian, no matter what our chronological age is.  Like a new born babe, all we really know is what we can see, hear, touch, smell or taste (when a baby grabs something, where is the first place it goes, the mouth, right?).  The only real knowledge of God is that Jesus has ‘saved’ us.  Of course, we grow beyond ‘infantdom’ (right?), growing into our teenage years then to adulthood.  As we grow into adulthood, we learn how to interact with the world around us.  We can apply the things God has taught us our lives successfully.  In Christ, we learn what we can expect of God and what God expects of us.  Of course, as Christians, our ‘adult life’ is when we’ve come to understand what task Father has called us to and then being equipped to go out and effectively work in that calling as we walk in His will.

I’m going to go in stages, comparing the flower, the soldier and our Christian walk together.  Coming into an understanding of the natural man, the spiritual man and the heart of man has helped me get a better perspective on what I’m all about.  Hope it helps you.

The seed is planted

With the flower, this is obvious.  We put the seed into the ground (okay, or pot), water it and wait for the first shoot to spring forth.  The shoot still has sprout leaves as it grows into a mature plant in order produces the flower.

In the ‘old days’, a soldier may be drafted.  But today, was well as then, a soldier could enlist.  Enlisting is the ‘planting of that new life (in the military).  Is he yet skilled in what his ‘job’ will be?  Of course not.  He has to go through ‘boot camp’ and Advanced Infantry Training (AIT) to learn the skill he needs to become an effective soldier.  Boot camp gets him in shape and AIT prepares him to perform his selected military occupation.  Then the soldier can step out and perform his task.  

When we ‘give our life to Jesus’, all we know for sure is that Jesus has ‘saved’ us.  That He has brought us into the kingdom of God – given us the promise of eternal fellowship with the Father though Jesus Christ, the Son and given us the Holy Ghost as a security of that promise.  But, we still have to grow in the Lord, learning how to apply His love into our own lives and how to interface with those around us (2 Tim. 2:15).  As the Holy Ghost builds that foundation in our heart, we gain enough knowledge and maturity to go out and share what God has given us with others.  Even so, to be ready as a solid ‘soul winner’ we have to learn how to grow in God’s love and follow His direction, thus being sure of who we are in Christ Jesus (1 John 5:1-13). 

But understand, as the flower blooms, it is nurtured, gaining strength to continue blooming for its designated period of time.  The soldier is now out performing his ‘duty’ but he still continues to learn more about his ‘job’ and grows becoming even more efficient at his task.  Even though the Christian has received enough knowledge to share Christ with those around him, he doesn’t stop there.  He continues to pour the Word of God into his spirit so the Spirit can strengthen him to more boldly (and correctly) share the Word of God with others (Acts 1:8).

All this is about individual growth, but now, this brings us to today. 

We’re in a season, which began approximately January 2015.  Understand, that the Hebraic calendar begins in September, so I say ‘approximately’.  This season could actually have started in September 2014.  Let’s not bicker.  We’re still in a seven year period which is into its second half.   

In the first half, Father was raising up people to train so they could be ready for the next season.  The next season is also a seven year period.  During the remainder of this seven year period, The buds are blooming, the soldier is approaching the end of his AIT and the Christian is just about ready to go out and do God’s work.  He should have reached ‘full bloom’ by the end of these seven years.

Now don’t get me wrong, since the time of Jesus, Christians have been witnessing and drawing souls into the kingdom of God, but the stage is being set for something special.  For centuries the church has been learning about God but some have come into a ‘relationship’ with Him but during this this ‘training’ period,  they and others will come into a much closer walk with the Creator of all things. 
Have you been hearing the early rumblings of the coming of a Spiritual revival?  Revival means awakening something from a deep slumber or, perhaps, even that which has been dead.   Believe it, the church (as a whole) has been in a deep sleep for centuries.  Oh it looks like what it is supposed to be but it has fallen very short of what Father intended.

Beginning when John Wycliffe (and a little later Martin Luther) started providing a bible for the common man, through the Protestant Reformation and several ‘Awakenings’, Father has been bringing His church back to the maturity it has sorely has needed.  Into a relationship with Himself (through Jesus, John 14:1-21).  A closer walk with God!  Coming through the torn veil and communing with Him.

As we approach the end of this season the flower will burst forth in “full” bloom, the soldier will be all but an expert in his calling and the Christian will be prepared, as never before, to go out and share the Word of God.  Our bud is starting to unfold and by the time the next season starts, God’s ‘flower’ will be in full bloom showing the world His glory – big time! 

We read about what Jesus did as He ministered to the people.  We read about what the apostles did as they ministered to the people.  A revival would just be a renewal of all that.  A revival is just re-awakening a sleeping church to do what it ‘used’ to do. 

What’s coming is more than a just revival.  IT IS a Spiritual explosion! 

The former rain prepares the ground for planting but the latter rain brings the fruit to maturity so it can be harvested (Joel 2:23-24).  The latter house (today) will be greater than the former (2000 years ago) (Haggai 2:9).  Jesus said that those who come after Him shall do greater works than He because He goes to the Father and we will have the Holy Ghost, the same that infilled Jesus, operating within us (John 14:12-14). 

I call what is coming a Spiritual Explosion because what Father is bringing soon will far surpass what they did in the early church.  We can’t do anything more than bring souls to Christ, heal the sick, raise the dead or cast out demons (Mark 16:17-18), but the expression of working in those gifts is what will far surpass what we’ve read about or, perhaps, may have already seen.  We won’t be just looking to the ‘super’ preachers to perform these works, but the ‘average Joe’ will add in his two cents worth.  Christians will come to not only believe that God ‘can’ do but ‘will do’ what He says through their obedient hands in faith.  Father will start showing the magnitude of His kingdom – here (Isaiah 55:11).   

 These gifts will be magnified as this season draws to a close and even that won’t compare to what follows (Joel 2:28-30, Acts 2:17-21). 

The power of the living, Almighty God is coming.  All we have to do is receive, then be obedient to do His will (Matt. 5:1-16).

The flower, the soldier and our walk with God are all pointing to the completion of this season and the incoming of the next.  A lot of people claim they believe (have faith), but does anyone else see that faith (James 2:18)?  After all our righteousness comes through our faith and salvation come through our confession (of Jesus) (Rom. 10:9-10).  Confession is an action.  We have to put our faith into action! 

Now, the next question is “Are we going to be ‘just’ bystanders watching the events or are we going to be a part of it?”  Listen to the Holy Ghost and be obedient!


Saturday, December 8, 2018

God is Love
Jesus is the manifestation of that love

Our pastor usually assigns bible study topics and teachers at the end of one month for the coming month.  Of course, she asks for volunteers so no one person is bringing the lesson each and every week so we can get a variety of how the Holy Ghost has been speaking to people on a specific topic or on various topics.  You know, it’s like a quarterback spreading the passes out to multiple receivers, everyone gets a shot.  Now, our bible studies are interactive.  Someone has a question, they ask, if the Spirit has shown someone an insight pertaining to the subject, they can share it.  This past Sunday and this coming Sunday are “Celebrating Jesus”.  In light of the current season (Christmas) we are sharing something about our Lord and Savior and what the celebration of His birth may mean to us.  The following is basically what I shared last Sunday.

In celebrating Jesus, understand, that we also celebrate the fullness of God, including the Father and the Holy Ghost (the Godhead).

John 1:1-4, 14. 16-18

1          In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God
2          The same was in the beginning with God

We know that the “Godhead” consists of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  Knowing that they are one is not the issue but ‘how’ they are one is often discussed.  What Father has shown me, briefly) is that when He created all things God (the Father) spoke the Word (Jesus) and the breath of God (the Holy Ghost) carried that Word into action.

3          All things were made by Him and there wasn’t anything made without Him
4          Life is in Him and that life is the light of men
14        And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory as the only begotten Son of the Father full of grace and truth.

(Jesus is the only one without earthly dad since Adam (Gen. 1:26-27, Gen. 2:7)
Death came into the world with Adam and Eve’s disobedience (Gen. 3:1-24)
 All things were created through Jesus and Father sent Him to earth to show us how we can come back into the kingdom of God – John 3:16)

16        And we all have received of His fullness, grace for grace (by grace we are saved!, Eph. 2:8-9)
17        For the law came by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ
18        For no man has seen God at any time except the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father and has declared Him

(Moses didn’t see God’s face.  Like us, Moses experienced Him Exod. 33:17-23) but he did ‘literally’ experience God.  Father allowed him to see His backside.  The glory of God is so awesome, that even Moses had to cover his face, after having been in the presence of God, when he came before Israel (Exod. 34:34-35)

That Word is the light of man.  He shows us and is the way into eternal fellowship with Father by Coming into this world and living as we do for a season.  He brought grace into this world.  He gave us grace, enabling us to attain that fellowship thereby experiencing the Father in our own lives.  
I got curious about that word ‘bosom’.  I know what I think about first so I checked out Strong’s Concordance.  The Greek word is kolpos (2859) means bosom or creek (like a bay).    Now when John lay his head on Jesus’ bosom (John 13:22-23) I assumed that the word meant ‘chest’.  I wasn’t totally wrong.  I understand Strong’s definition to indicate ‘running’ or ‘living’ ‘water’ yet ‘all encompassing’.  I envision like a Wellspring of Life with protecting arms surrounding us.  Then Father said take a look at Webster’s definition and as I did, the Holy Spirit said “what do you see?”.  I did and I said “oooh”.  The part of the definition citing ‘center of secret thoughts and emotions’ and ‘close relationship” caught my attention.  Can we get any closer in a relationship than that?  ‘Nuff said?

That explains the relationship between the Father and the Son.  Well, for me anyway and now we bring in the Holy Ghost

John 14:23-26

23        … If a man loves me, he will keep My words.  My Father will love him and we will come and make our abode with him
24        He who doesn’t love me does not keep my sayings.  But the word you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me
25        I’ve spoken these things being in your presence

Jesus said “I’ve spoken the things” trying to get the light to come on in our hearts that He wants the same type of relationship with us as He has with the Father.  which is why He says:

26        But the Father will send you the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, in my name and He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance whatever I have said to you

The NIocene Creed, which the church generally refers to as the Apostle’s Creed and is what the Christian church generally believes, states in part:
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.  With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.
Thus identifying the fullness of the Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) which dwelled completely in the body of Jesus Christ (Col. 2:8-10) as He walked this earth.  
So in celebrating Jesus, we also celebrate all that God is.  That means abiding in His love for which he has given us His example.  So, as the Holy Spirit dwells in our lives (through salvation), Jesus has not only told what type of a relationship He wants with us, but through the Holy Ghost, He has given us the ability to accomplish this – as we yield our lives to Him. 

 So, in celebrating Jesus, there are some things we need to know and do.

1 John 4:7-19

7          Beloved, let us love one another for love is of God and everyone that loves is born of God and knows God.
8          He that doesn’t love doesn’t know God for God is love

Our connection with the Father is His love which He showed us in and through Jesus and shares with us through the Holy Ghost.  As we love God, we will show that love in our own lives – to some degree as we grow.

9          God’s love was manifested towards us because He sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him.  (while we were yet sinners – Rom. 5:8)
10       This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (atonement/replacement) for our sins  (no greater love than to lay our life down for our friends, John 15:13)

Don’t get me wrong here.  This doesn’t necessarily mean literally dying for someone else. It could but it also means setting our own egos aside and not withholding the Love of Christ from people.  It also means that when we interact with them, we do what is best for them and not ourselves.  We don’t forget ourselves but we consider others first (Phil. 2:3)

11        Beloved, if God so loved us, we should also love one another

How can we show this?  God told Abraham to sacrifice his most beloved son.  As Abraham readied to plunge the knife into his son’s body, God sent an angel to stop him and showed him a ram caught in the bushes nearby to use instead.  Earlier, Abraham had told Isaac that God would provide Himself a lamb for sacrifice (Gen. 22:1-14).  Abraham showed his obedience to God was more than even his love for own beloved son, Isaac.

12        No man has seen God at any time.  If we love one another, God dwells in us and His love is perfected in us

As God’s love abides in our hearts, He enables us to love those around us.  Need any further explanation?

13        This is how we know that we dwell in Him and He in us because He has given us His Spirit
(Ezek. 37:12-14 [God’s Spirit in us], John 15:1-12 [the vine], Acts 1:8 receipt of HG). 
We receive His Spirit with our confession of faith that Jesus is Lord and Savior as the Holy Spirit takes up residence within our heart (John 20:22-23).  But we receive power through the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:8, Acts 2:1-4).

14        We have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world (Apostle John speaking but ought we not do the same?)
15        Whoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him and he in God
16        We have known and believed the love that God has towards us.  God is love and he who dwells in love, dwells in God and God is in him.

Where does God live, and why?  In case you missed it – God (through the Holy Ghost) lives in our hearts to we can give our love back to Him  and share that love with those around us.

17        This is how our love is made perfect that we may have boldness in the day of judgment because as He (God) is so are we in this world

We reflect who God is by living in Him and for Him in front of the world.

18        There is so fear in love because perfect love casts out fear because fear has torment.  He who fears is not made perfect in love.

Fear is being afraid and when we love God with all our heart, we fully trust Him for anything and everything.  If we are afraid to die in this world, our love for Father still needs perfecting because we aren’t trusting Him for everything.  When we truly love God with all our heart natural death is spiritual gain for when we die physically in this world we gain presence with Almighty God (Phil. 1:20-24).  It just might happen a little quicker with some than with others.  Martyrs, etc.  but we don’t take ourselves out of this world.  All is in God’s timing and for His purpose (Ecc. 3:1-14).

19        We love Him (Father/Son) because He first loved us


This lesson was presented to our fellowship on December second.  It is fitting that this lesson coincided with this day of this month.

December is the twelfth month.  Twelve is governmental perfection (authorities over us), God’s power and authority

It was the second day (#2) of the month.  Two represents union and/or witnessing
This reading from 1 John helps us to understand the Father’s power and authority, which He has given us, in partnering with Him to be witnesses for Jesus.

We celebrate Jesus because He is the Father, come in the flesh, into this world and after His departure He has given us the Holy Ghost so that the love of the Father can dwell within our heart. 

The best way we can celebrate Jesus is by living in His love and expressing that love towards those whom we encounter.  Christians are the only image of the living God the world sees – until they give their hearts to Him.  Once we’ve let Jesus into our heart and we seek His love, He will grow us and mature us so we can be His effective light in this dark world.  We celebrate Jesus with everything that we are and that we have (Psalm 150:1-6).

Saturday, November 24, 2018

11/24/2018            Who’s fighting Whom?

Ephesians 6:14-18

Laying in bed, early one recent morn, Father had me thinking about the woman my childhood friend, Ron, and I met at the Golden Corral as we celebrated Veterans Day (free meal, you know).  She was in our same age bracket and though she was never “in” in the military her deceased husband had been a career man. 

We got to talking as we were in line to get into the Golden Corral so we sat together and continued talking.  Eventually ‘religion’ was mentioned which Ron brought up that I was into more than he.  Part of my prayer is that Father keep me sensitive as to where other people are at in their relationship with God so I didn’t jump into a religion vs relationship situation (and shake some booties) but Father did lead me to mention what He has been showing me very recently – the significance concerning how the ‘natural man’, the ‘spiritual man’ and the ‘heart of man’ are impacted by the natural and spiritual realms (as if that may not shake some booties!). 

Because some of what I was sharing that night was as fresh as the morning dew (some just that morning), I only had (and still only have, as of this writing) the basic concept.  Father is still working out the details.  In fact, even as I jot this (and previous adjustments leading up to this publication) down, revelation continues to come.

In studying the Armor of God, Father has shown me the three areas that are addressed, the natural man, the spiritual man and man’s heart. 

He showed me how the first three pieces of the armor, the girdle of truth, breastplate of righteousness and the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace all reflect protection for the natural man.  The shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the Sword of the Spirit all protect the spiritual man.  I said, Father, that’s only six pieces of armor covering only two areas.  Then Father asked me “What about verse eighteen?”  Always praying in the Spirit, watching and praying for the saints.  All about where our heart is!  I said “Wow! That’s pretty cool.”  Father showed me that the first three pieces don’t require salvation to be true.  People who don’t know the Lord can (and some still do) refrain from lying.  They can live (what they think) is a righteous life and they can read the bible.  May not understand it, but they can read it.  Without the leading of the Holy Ghost, they can only get a 
‘surface’ understanding of what the Word says (John 16:13). 

This is where faith comes in.  We have to have faith to receive Jesus into our hearts (1 John 5:10).  If we don’t believe who He is, we’ll never accept Him.  If we don’t have Jesus in our hearts, the bible will never truly open for us.  Faith is the beginning of our spiritual experience (Heb. 11:6) and it carries through protecting us from the fiery darts of the enemy.  If we don’t believe in our hearts that Jesus is for us, how can the shield of faith protect us? 

The helmet of salvation is self-explanatory (I think).  I mean, through Jesus, our eternity is secured (1 John 5:13) but without some sort of faith, we would never have accepted Jesus to begin with. 
 Also, without Jesus, how can we effectively use the Sword of the Spirit how can we rightly divide (understand) what is before us without His guidance through the Holy Ghost dwelling in us (Heb. 4:12)?  All this deals with our spiritual man.  After all, the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God and the Word of God IS Jesus Christ and Jesus IS God (Eph. 6:17, John 1:1)!  The sword shows us how to deal with what is before us and without Jesus we would have no effective sword and Father had to give us a touch of faith to receive Jesus to begin with.  Ergo, our spiritual man is being dealt with.

Father gives us the Holy Ghost when we accept Jesus into our hearts (John 14:16-17), but Jesus promised His disciples a greater impact on their lives once they receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which is evidenced by speaking in the Spiritual language (tongues) God gives us at that time.  Jesus says that when the Holy Ghost is come upon us we shall receive power (Acts 1:8).  Power (strength) to do what?  For one, live this life in this world.  To have the authority to do what Jesus did (just as He said we could John 14:12-14) while He walked with us and helps us to witness to His love in this world.  Paul says we should always be “…praying … in the Spirit …”.  Communicating with Father with our heavenly language because the Spirit speaks mysteries (1 Corinth. 14:2).  We should always be watchful for we don’t know when or how the enemy will strike.  And because we all need support, we should pray for the saints and they should be praying for us.  These things reflect where our heart is as well as strengthening our hearts in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Father knows our hearts (Jer. 17:10) and He wants our hearts to always be right with Him (Acts 8:18-21).

Father also showed me how the spheres and choirs of angels (according to Origen, 184 AD – 254 AD) also reflected angelic interaction in these three areas.  The third sphere deals with the natural man.  It contains Principalities (rulers), archangels and angels, all who are responsible for what goes on in this natural world. 

The second sphere consists of dominions (lordships), virtues (strongholds) and powers (authorities) which deals with matter (creation) and ruling spirits.  If you will – the heavenlies.

The first sphere includes Seraphims who continually glorify and praise God, the Cherubims who protect God’s throne and then the Thrones who serve God’s justice and authority.  Think about it.  When we enter God’s presence (spiritually we enter His throne room) and can’t help but praise Him. We enter His presence and we are under His protection.  And when we enter His presence we willingly subject ourselves to His justice and authority which are administered (to us) only for our benefit. These are things that deal with our heart, our relationship with our heavenly Father.     

More recently, Father had me up at four AM, one morning, showing me how the law (the Ten Commandments, Exod. 20:3-17) also dealt with these three areas.  The last five commandments (killing, adultery, stealing, lying and covetousness) deal with the natural man, Four and five (honoring the Sabbath and mom and dad) deal with the ‘spiritual man’ (how we view things around us) and the first three (no gods before Jaweh, no idols and not taking His name in vain) deal with our relationship with the Father, our heart. 

He wasn’t finished.  He reminded me of the three temptations of Jesus (Matt. 4:1-11) (originally He  had shown me this one a while back).  Jesus fasted for forty days so Satan knew (in the natural) He had to be hungry.  So he tempted Jesus with the stones, then the pinnacle of the temple and then the mountain which overlooked nations.  The stones into bread – the natural man; jump off the pinnacle – the spiritual man and all these nations, putting Satan first – our heart. 

 There’s more.  He showed me how Jesus’ ministry follows suit.  For thirty years Jesus lived as we do.  He walked a mile (or three) in our shoes and didn’t sin.  Then He spent three and a half years teaching us how to deal with our spiritual man.  THEN He ascended back into heaven, sending the Holy Ghost back to dwell within us so He could continually help us to grow within our heart.  That is, impacting our attitudes and our relationship with the Father. After all, didn’t He tells us I am in you and I would that you would be in me as the Father is Me and I in the Father (John 14:11-21).
He also showed how the Godhead influences these three areas.  Jesus came to this earth to redeem the natural man (because we are born into sin – thank you Adam & Eve).  The Holy Ghost helps us to get our spiritual man ‘together’, while Father (working through Jesus & the Holy Ghost) works on our relationship with Him, getting our heart right.

I said “Lord, that’s only six areas (the armor, the angels, the Law,  temptations of Jesus, life of Jesus and the godhead).  Six is the number of man, our weakness.  I’m not comfortable with that.  What about seven?”  I searched my mind and heart but for the love of me I couldn’t come up with a seventh area.  Finally, Father said to me “Buck, are you (humans) a three part being?”  I said “Yes.”  “What are they?”  I responded “Body, soul and Spirit.”  Then the light came on 

and I humbly received the ‘duh’ award as Father helped point out that our body is the natural man.  Here, our soul equates to the spiritual man and our spirit relates to our relationship with Father, our heart.  SEVEN! (God’s number representing spiritual completeness!)

So Father has shown me six areas that are broken down and interfacing with our three part being – natural, spiritual and our heart.  He’s shown me areas (in scripture) where He has pointed this out to us so we can be aware of the need to address all three areas of our being so we can live fully in Christ Jesus.  So we can successfully stand against the enemy (Satan). Father doesn’t leave us hanging on our own (Heb. 13:5) as He shows us the protection we have and the help we have at our disposal.

All of this to ask the question “Who is fighting whom?” 

Father gave me the example of two women contending over one man’s affection (hey, I’m a guy – my perspective).  The woman coming up on the short end of the stick will submit to trickery, deceit and anything else to promote her cause to ‘win her man’.  So, even though at times, she may hurt the man, who is her real opponent?  The other woman, of course.  But she knows she can’t defeat the other woman in a fight (fair or otherwise), so she turns and works on the subject of the other woman’s affection.  In the end, the sad thing is, the woman may not even really want the man.  She’s simply fighting to keep the other woman from having him. 

Does this sound familiar?  The spiritual battle for our souls!  Satan trying to keep us from our rightful place with our Father in heaven????  It’s not that he wants us all that bad.  He just doesn’t want God to have us.

We have a three-pronged battle to fight.  The natural man, the spiritual man and where our heart abides.

We are a three part being: with our body reflecting the natural man, soul reflecting our spiritual man and our spirit reflecting our heart.  The law in the last five commandments reflecting the natural man, the forth and fifth reflect our spirit man then the first three expresses that this battle is a real and a fight for our hearts.  It is emphasized in Jesus’ life, ministry and resurrection.  And even in the three recorded temptations which Jesus faced in the wilderness.  The stones, the pinnacle and the mountain all point to the reality of the need to address all three areas.  Oh, and don’t forget God, Himself, in the Godhead, He shows us the three areas that need our attention as Jesus (the Son) has redeemed our bodies, the Holy Ghost helps our spiritual man to stay in proper alignment and the Father deals with our hearts.  Then the armor of God, which He gives us for our protection: the belt, the breastplate and the shoes for the natural man, then the shield, the helmet and the sword for the spiritual man and finally praying in the Spirit, watching and praying for the saints to get our hearts right.  

You say “You said there were seven areas!”  Right, God also gives us the angels to help us in our fight.  The three spheres (mentioned above) provide help for our natural man (sphere #3), our spiritual man (sphere #2) and our heart (sphere #1).

As I said, we have to be aware of all three areas of contention (body, soul & spirit) if we are to give 
ourselves to the One who truly loves us (Father through Jesus) and become aware of  all He has provided to  help us to victory over the forces of darkness.  After all, we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood.  We do contend with powers, principalities, rulers of darkness and spiritual 0wickedness.  Don’t we?

Praise the Lord!  We are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ.  All we have to do is realize what we are fighting, the protection Father provides us then take up the weapons He has afforded us.


Saturday, November 10, 2018

11-10-2018         The fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-25

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

The first fruit of the Spirit is “love’.  Why?  Because the rest of the fruit are a product of love.
I have three songs for you.  The first is “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers, the other two are children’s songs.  They are simple but to the point and I think they get the message across.  I thought you might enjoy them, too.

Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield formed the group “the Righteous Brothers” and Bobby took the lead in Unchained Melody.  Father put “Unchained Melody” on my heart because it is a powerfully done song.  Bobby is singing, of course, about a lost love, a girl, but if we just turn the direction of the song and focus on Jesus, how would we feel if our relationship with our Lord were severed?  Just how close is our relationship with Him?

 Unchained Melody,   Fruit of the Spirit Worship Song,    Fruit of the Spirit for Kids

What does ”Unchained Melody” have to do with the fruit?  It reflects how we need to approach Father so the fruit of His Spirit may abound within us. 

I’d like to present a brief overview of each of the fruit of the Spirit so we may have a general idea of what we should be seeing in operation in our lives.

So, if our relationship with Jesus were severed, what would we be missing?  The fruit would diminish and disappear until that relationship is repaired.


When we talk about love, we have to mention at least four things or areas o of our expression of love.
Love God the Father above all else:  1& 4) We love God above everything else and our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:26-28); 2) Men, we love our wives as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:25); and 3) Raise our children by nourishing them and admonishing them in the Lord (Eph. 5:4).  In these, we cover God, family and those around us.  Express Christ’s love in us towards all.

My wife and I went to something called “Marriage Encounter”, the Episcopal (the denomination) version – twice (I was a little dense).  Here, husbands and wives were supposed to learn how to love, respect and communicate with each other.  What Father showed me that behind God, my wife was the most important thing in my life.  I was to treat her as the most precious thing in my life, in this world.  We did exercises on how to be honest with our feelings by writing them down then discussing them with our spouse.  We (OK, I) discovered how to listen to each other without getting hurt or angry so we could effectively work towards resolution of problem areas.  It took me a little longer, but we eventually got there.

We should seek the Father as the woman who stopped everything to find her lost coin (Luke 15:8-9).  Then we become like the four beasts and the twenty-four elders (Rev. 4:6-11) giving God thanksgiving and praise for all that He has done. 

How do we love our wives?  Read Song of Solomon.  Why?  Read Proverbs chapter thirty-one.
When we raise our children in the Lord they won’t depart (Prov. 22:6) or, at least, they will come back.

We should treat our neighbor as we would like to be treated (Luke 6:27-31).   
Read 1 Corinthians chapter thirteen.  Love is the foundation of everything.  When we express true love from our heart, the rest of the fruit will follow suit.  People will see it.


The book of the Acts of the Apostles gives us a pretty good idea that we can receive joy with our salvation experience (2:25-28, 8:5-8, 13:48-52, 15:3, 20:22-24).  Now, other things can bring us joy (you can do the study), but true joy, as with love, starts with God.  We can’t have true joy unless we love.

So what is joy?  Checking out Strong’s Concordance (2167 and 5479) joy is cheerfulness, a calm delight, gladness or a fullness.  Webster’s, in part, adds possessing one’s desires, happiness, delight and we could probably include contentment.  All products of love.


As we are in Christ Jesus, we know that God gives us a peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7), but what does that mean to us?

The Greek word used in Phil. 4:7 (1515) means peace, quietness, prosperity, rest and set a one again.  It comes from a root word meaning to join.   Webster’s adds the state of tranquility.
 We may conclude that we find peace when we rest in the Lord, that is cast all our cares upon the Lord.  Jesus says “Take my yoke, it is easy.” (Matt. 11:28-30)

Again, peace is a result of love operating in our lives.


What is longsuffering?  Putting up with people and being a good martyr because we’re Christian?  How many of us have heard of being assertive?  Jesus was/is the epitome of assertiveness.  Being assertive is being confident in what you are doing or saying.  Assertive is standing your ground knowing that we are correct.  Assertive is being firm.  It is all this but lacking one thing – being aggressive.  Though Jesus blasted the scribes and Pharisees for not being whom they should he didn’t jump up and down or becoming intimidating to get His point across.  Yes He got angry with the money changers in the temple but that wasn’t just sticking it to them.   By their actions, they were desecrating the house of God. 

I speak for myself.  Though I have done a lot of stupid things over the years, even after salvation, Jesus never gave up on me.  He waited me out until I was ready to go where He was leading me.  When I was wrong, He let me know.  When it didn’t matter, He let me go.  some things just didn’t impact my relationship with Him.

Longsuffering is being patient with someone or something until the point is reached where they can deal with the issue, but being there all along to help.  Look at how patient Jesus was with sinners, for while we were yet sinners, He died for us (Rom. 5:8) leading those of His time on earth  and biding with us until we can see the light.  With some, He is so longsuffering, He is still drawing them in at natural death.  Consider how patient He was with the disciples as they learned His ways (read Matt., Mark, Luke & John).

Longsuffering is not yielding our principles as we wait for others to get where they need to be.  We don’t get angry (now matter how dense they are), frustrated or give up, but our love enables us to be longsuffering with them. 

Kindness can also be considered gentleness which is akin to longsuffering.  Kindness is doing something good for another.  Kindness is treating another with respect and gentleness.  It is being pleasant towards another.  In other words, when we encounter someone, we don’t yell and scream at them or try to bully or intimidate them.  We do treat them as equals, not being a respecter of persons.  God doesn’t consider a person because of his station in life, He treats all alike (Acts 10:34).  Should we do any less?  God’s love operating in us helps us to be so.


Strong’s defines goodness as benefit, or virtue.  In short, we do things because it is the right thing to do and it’s for another’s benefit.  What does Paul tell us?  All things are done for the edification of the body (Eph. 4:11-13 & 1 Corinth. 14:26).  When we don’t have love in our hearts, we become self-centered, egotistical SOBs thinking only of ourselves.

The three Greek words used to define faith or faithful carry the connotation of trusting, believing, having fidelity (allegiance) towards. 

When we are married, we are faithful to our spouse.  That is that person has now become our one and only.  We don’t date or pursue other people, especially for romantic interludes.  Spouses who practice ‘open marriages’ are not faithful people for they are seeking that romantic interlude with another person.  The same would be true if we confess Jesus Christ as Lord then we go to a church which does not serves the God the Father, Creator of the heavens and the earth.  No matter what religion or even denomination (all that claims to be Christian isn’t necessarily).

Faithfulness means our allegiance is towards only one, the God of the bible, Jehova, the Great I AM.  When we are faithful, God can trust us.  God is always faithful (2 Tim.2:11-13) so we can always trust Him.  God searches the earth to show His strength to those who have given their hearts to Him (faithful) (2 Chron. 16:9).  Whether in the natural or in the spiritual, love is expressed through faithfulness.


You’ve heard the expression “gentle as a lamb”?  When someone is as gentle as a lamb they are pleasant, caring calm, gentle, kind and non-aggressive (peaceful).  The word used in Galatians for gentleness means good or kind but its root word carries the connotation of ‘useful’ meaning were are usually pretty easy to work with or perhaps ‘ready’ to work with.  As we exercise that last fruit (temperance) we find that gentleness is an automatic by-product.  Paul tells the Thessalonians that he could have been really rough in handling them but instead he was gentle, like a nurse handling children (1 Thess. 2:7).  Consider how Jesus dealt with the adulterous woman who was about to be stoned.  He reminded her accuser that if they had no sin in their lives, go ahead and stone her.  After a few minutes (or so), Jesus asked the woman where were those who condemned her and she said ‘gone’.  Then he told he that he wouldn’t condemn her either but she should go her way and quit sinning (John 8:1-11).  Gentleness is also compassionate recognizing who may be truly against you and those who just may not know any better.  When we truly love, gentleness should be ‘second nature’.


Temperance, or self-control is probably one of the hardest things for people to master.  The word used in King James version of Galatians uses the word temperance which means temperance.  But root word indicates a hindering, or to impede.  We limit whatever it is that we’re dealing with.  WE take charge and don’t let ‘it’ get the best of us (blow our stack or loose control).  If we have an anger problem, we put great effort into not getting angry.  If we eat too much, we learn to cut back on the amount of food we take in.  Temperance helps us to bring anything we do into moderation, or perhaps even elimination.  In the scriptures, we only see Jesus popping His cork only once and that was when he overturned tables and threw the money exchangers out of the temple.  If you remember, they had made the house of God a den of thieves.  They were desecrating the temple of Jahweh (Matt. 20:12-13).  Jesus did not sin in His anger rather He was correcting the situation (Eph. 4:26). 

Self-control is remaining even tempered and not letting your emotions run amok.  That is bringing our body under control of our spirit (1Corinth. 9:24-27) because I yield myself to God (Rom. 6:13).  As I live in His love, then I’m have self-control. 


As I live in God’s love, as I yield to His will, He make it so much easier to deal with whatever situation I face.  His love prevails and I discover that I have joy, peace and good-will.  I see that I have become gentle and longsuffering I find my faith increasing making it easier to be meek (humble) and my self control makes it possible for all the fruit to manifest in my life.

Thank God we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  Should we stray, all we have to do is repent our thoughts or actions, truly repent, and We are forgiven through the blood Jesus shed for us on Calvary.  As I say “truly repent” I mean to have a heartfelt sorrow for what we have done to the degree we make a decision not to do it again – and mean it.  with that decision, we determine to stick to abide therein.  God tells us when we truly confess and repent our sin, He puts that sin behind His back – not to look at it or consider it ever again (Isa. 38:17, Isa. 43:25).  Should we do any less?  Father, through Jesus, through the Holy Ghost, will help us get back up on our feet giving us the strength and confidence to once again press forward in life’s race (Pslam 145:14,  2 Corinth. 4:7-15).

So we are able to run this race because as He has forgiven us our sins, we are able to run this race effectively.  As we run, we endeavor to grow in the fruit He has given us through His Spirit.  We grow by yielding ourselves to Father through Jesus and as the fruit expands and matures in our lives we find that it spills over (outward) into the lives of those around us.  Those around us can then witness the love of God in full operation and hopefully will choose to serve the one, true, living God as well.