Archive for September, 2012

Demonic Possession

JESUS SPEAKING

                “When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.  Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’  When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order.  Then it goes and takes seven other spirits, more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there.  And the final condition of that man is worse than the first” (Luke 11: 24-26.)

 

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                Evil spirits, although often considered to be a myth, are very real.  They dwell within the hearts of those who deny God.  When an individual receives Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, all demonic apparitions are expelled; the child of God is set free; the chaos and devastation of evil living subsides; the believer ceases to engage in self-destructive behaviors; their hearts are purified and their minds are quieted.  The dispossessed demons however, are not satisfied unless they are causing misery and pain.  So, they often return to their previous hosts, stronger and more determined than ever.  They tirelessly seek to turn the faithful away from God; sadly some fall victim to their schemes and reject the Holy Spirit.  Without the Lord’s protection, the blasphemer is again invaded by demons and their lives plummet back in to destruction (a destruction far greater than any they had previously known.)

                I once met a man who had been a pastor for many years.  After he had received the Holy Spirit his life began to change in wonderful ways.  He experienced an immense peace and began to preach the gospel with great enthusiasm.  He served the Lord for some time, before suddenly renouncing the faith.  Soon after his denial of Christ, he joyfully began to engage in strange sexual deviancies with multiple partners; he also started smoking, and boasted of his severe daily dependence upon alcohol. Additionally, as an atheist, he actively attempted to turn others away from the faith.  I still occasionally see him out in the community and he appears to be physically and mentally deteriorating (a condition I can only attribute to demonic possession.)  The words of Christ are true, in that this man’s situation is worse today than it would have been if he had never received the Lord.

                Demons are very real; they travel about on the earth, trying to possess those who are weak.  Individuals who receive the Holy Spirit are no longer capable of being possessed.  Unfortunately some believers do eventually reject the Holy Spirit; in turn they are possessed and their lives plummet in to even greater chaos.  Maintaining our close relationship with God through prayer, bible reading, fellowship, and obedience, is the best defense against evil spirits [If you have never received the Spirit of God and you would like too, please contact me and I can lead you in a prayer of acceptance and faith.]

                “Lord Heavenly Father, give us more of Your Holy Spirit.  Deliver us from evil, and protect us from demonic attacks.  Remain in us and continue to work through us; give us the strength to endure; may we never turn away from You; may we always continue in Your ways; and may we never return to the bondage of sin and death.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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Give without expecting repayment

JESUS SPEAKING

                “And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back” (Luke 6: 34.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                Even the most evil individuals will give money to those who promise to pay them back.  Jesus desired that his disciples be completely selfless; therefore he taught them to give expecting nothing in return.  Everyone who longs to practice true Godliness must freely give (when they are able) to those who are in need.

                One day, as I was getting ready to leave the gym, I bumped in to an acquaintance who asked to borrow $10 dollars.  After giving him the money he continued to insist that he would pay me back.  (With this scripture in mind) I told him that the money was from God, and that I did not desire any form of repayment.  He understood that it was a gift and not a loan; as we parted ways I felt a warm blessing in my heart.

                The Lord is pleased when His disciples standout; when they shine; when they are more loving and more charitable than those around them.  Giving without expectation or the desire for repayment is just one identifiable characteristic of a true believer.  Whether we pass by a stranger begging for change, or a family member who needs help to pay the rent; if we cannot give freely we will not receive an eternal reward; may you always choose to freely give; may you love without restriction, and may you receive the ultimate compensation for your unconditional obedience.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, help us to be obedient, to be caring, and to be generous.  May we always freely give expecting nothing in return; for we desire heavenly rewards over earthly rewards.  May Your love for others flow through us, that our faith might be a light to all those who walk in darkness.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you.

Death leads to life

JESUS SPEAKING

                “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.  I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.  But if it dies, it produces many seeds.  The man who loves his own life will lose it, while the man who hates his own life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am my servant also will be.  My Father will honor the one who serves me” (John 12: 23-26.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                Jesus Christ lived a completely selfless life.  He continually denied his own wants and desires in order to serve and love others.  Eventually he was whipped, beaten, and crucified so that many could come to know and be reconciled to the almighty and everlasting God.  Because Jesus died, millions have received the gift of life.

                Often one of the first words a toddler learns is “mine.”  Small children tirelessly seek out self-gratification, because from birth, selfishness is inherent in human beings.  Many however are eventually ‘reborn,’ as the children of God.  The Lord then enables them to display signs of true spiritual maturity.  Those who are genuinely mature consistently deny their own wants and desires in order to love and serve their’ fellows.  The apostle Paul was one of the greatest examples of selflessness and Christian maturity the world has ever known.  After persecuting the church for many years, he converted to the faith.  He denied his own desires for a wife and family, knowing that as a single man he could more effectively spread the gospel message throughout the nations.  He traveled from city to city calling ‘nowhere’ his home.  He willingly embraced the hatred of the masses; he received many beatings, and was formally scourged (whipped) on numerous occasions.  One day he was stoned to death, and his lifeless body was disposed of outside the city; suddenly he sprang to life; he did not flee as most would have; instead he marched back in to the city to continue preaching.  Ultimately, after many years of bringing others to Jesus, he was imprisoned and executed for the faith.  Paul continues to be a wonderful example of self-denial and genuine Christianity to millions around the world.

                Like Paul, those who seek to follow Jesus Christ must deny themselves and embrace a life of selflessness.  Every Christian must actively put to death their own desires so that others might see the true love of God.  We are called to serve others in church, at work, in our homes, and out in the community.  We must continually elevate the needs of our fellows above our own.  Denying ourselves will produce much fruit for the Lord.  Selflessness isn’t easy but it is always rewarding; for those who die in this life, will one day live forever in God’s eternal kingdom.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, may we die so that some might live.  May we continue to serve others, love others, and provide for others.  Give us the strength to lay aside our own wants and desires in order to fulfill Your perfect will.  May our hearts and minds be devoid of selfishness, that we, by our actions, might draw many to You.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

God fills us up

JESUS SPEAKING

               Therefore they said to him, “What sign will you perform then, that we may see it and believe you?  Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”  Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”  Then they said to him, “Lord give us this bread always.”  And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me shall never hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6: 30-35.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                After leaving Egypt in a mass exodus, the Israelites wandered around in the desert; they lacked the two most basic essentials for life; food and water.  God however, who had led them in to the wilderness provided for all of their needs.  The Lord made water spring from the dry, arid soil.  Also, every day, God sent down a strange dew from the sky that settled on the desert floor; the people were able to eat it and were filled (because the Israelites didn’t know what it was, they named it “manna,” which translated, means “what is it?”  Later it became known as ‘The bread from heaven.’)  Jesus referred to himself as the ‘bread from heaven;’ for he was sent to provide life to those who would receive him.  Each person in this world is wandering in a desert; everyone is thirsty; everyone hungers for spiritual sustenance.  Every man woman and child has a hole inside of them that can only be filled by God.  Most try to fill that hole with other things; drugs and alcohol, sex, careers, material possessions; yet such pleasures only satisfy for a moment; they are fleeting; they can never produce a lasting peace.  Jesus Christ however, can fill the empty space where God is meant to dwell; only he can provide eternal satisfaction and everlasting life.

                Before I became a Christian, I was hopelessly addicted to cigarettes.  I smoked first thing in the morning and before bed; I smoked before meals and after meals; I smoked in my car and in my house; I smoked everywhere (I often left the movie theatre halfway through the movie to have a cigarette.)  I was obsessed with nicotine products; I used them for comfort and security; one cigarette would bring me a momentary measure of peace; when that peace ran out, I had to smoke another; the serenity never lasted more than an hour; I was a slave to my addiction.  After receiving Jesus Christ, I found a lasting peace; a peace that was not fleeting.  The God shaped hole in my heart had been filled; I no longer needed to fill it with anything else.  The cigarettes began to lose their power over me.  Soon, I no longer needed them.  With God’s help, I was one day delivered from my nicotine addiction.

                Everyone has a God shaped hole inside of them that can only be filled by Jesus Christ.  Those who refuse to accept him will never know true peace.  Those who receive him, will be set free from their addictions and from the bondage of sin and death; their hearts and minds will be renewed and their lives will be transformed.  They will experience everlasting joy, and they will one day dwell in the house of the lord forever [If you have never received Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior and would like too, please contact me, and we can discuss how you can make that decision today.]        

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we desperately desire new life.  Fill our hearts with Your Holy Spirit.  May we receive Your Son and submit our lives to Your leading.  Help us to be fully committed to You; set us free from our vices and addictions.  Give us Your peace; the peace that surpasses all understanding; may we never again thirst or hunger for anything but You.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you.


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