God’s Treasure

You are God’s greatest treasure! Romans 8:16-17 says, “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ…”

The devil will try to make you feel like you’re not special. Religion and other Christians can make you feel like you’re not worthy. However, when you get a revelation of who you are in Christ, no one can make you feel inferior or unworthy without your consent.

It doesn’t matter what you’ve gone through, what you’re going through, or what you will go through in the days ahead, you still have value and are important to God! For something to have value, it must have an owner. Think about the things you own! They’re important to you because you value them. You paid the price for them to be yours, or someone paid the price and then gave them to you as a gift. You are no exception. You have an owner in Jesus Christ, and if you were the only person in the world, He would search for you until he finds you, rescues you, and draws you to Himself because you are valuable to Him. He paid the price for you with His Blood.

God is no respecter of persons and has already blessed you with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:3) When you get an understanding of this, and that God is no respecter of persons, it is easier to receive everything that He has already blessed you with – peace, joy, revelation, finances, health, etc. If God will bless anyone, He will bless you!! Just receive what He’s already done for you!

Actually, God has actually picked you out for Himself before the foundations of the world. (Ephesians 1:4) You are chosen by Him; set apart for Him; handpicked just for God and His purposes! First Peter 2:9 tells you that “you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people.” You are a peculiar person! That means you are very special to God; His very own possession. Handpicked. Chosen. Worthy. God’s greatest creation and His very special treasure! He loves you with an everlasting love.

Extraordinary

Extraordinary means: “Beyond the common order, beyond the common method and beyond the common course of things.” Another definition is “Remarkable, uncommon or rare.” If you’ll believe God, what was once rare in your life is going to become the norm.

However, some people have trouble believing this – not only today but in Habakkuk as well as Paul’s day. Habakkuk 1:5 tells us, “Look among the nations and watch – Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you.”

God’s still saying “I’m going to work a work in your day that will be so marvelous, so wonderful, so extraordinary, that some will not be able to believe it, even if it’s clearly described to you in detail!” When God makes statements like this, we need to realize that it’s time to stretch our faith, stretch our imaginations and think bigger than we’ve ever thought before.

It’s time to forget the past. Isaiah 43:18-19 says “Do not remember the former things; neither consider the things of old, Behold I am doing a new thing…” God’s saying it’s going to happen and you can expect it to come to pass in your life or, you can just hear about it happening to others – which do you want?

To live an extraordinary life, you must learn to confess “I’m living in the realm of the extraordinary.” The question is “Do you believe He is able to bring the extraordinary to pass in your life?” God’s will was, and still is to heal people and make you wealthy; however, they aren’t healed automatically or become prosperous just because it’s His will. People have to take responsibility to receive their healing or finances.

If you’re going to see the extraordinary become the norm in your life, you must take responsibility for expecting God’s Word to come to pass. Not only for yourself, but so He can use you to be an example for others to see His goodness, and reveal how much He loves you. He wants to bless you with an extraordinary – rare, uncommon or remarkable – lifestyle to get the attention of other people and draw them near to Him to change their lives as well!

Today is the day to expect the extraordinary to manifest in our life!

Faith

“Every God-begotten person conquers the world’s ways. The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith.” (1 John 5:4, The Message Bible) I never tire of teaching and talking about faith, and what a great topic to stir you up about faith the first of the year!

No matter the circumstance or situation in your life today; the desires of your heart; or the secret dreams you are hoping will come to pass this year – faith is what will bring them into manifestation! It’s not begging, whining or crying that will bring them on the scene. It is simply your faith!

It doesn’t matter if it didn’t come yesterday or the day before yesterday! It is getting up today and confessing the promise of God you are standing on to get your manifestation of what you’re expecting.

Faith is an action. It’s not moved by what you see, what you hear, or what you feel. It’s not being moved by what your five senses are telling you. Faith is saying “Thank You!” no matter what you are facing in the natural realm.

Faith believes in your heart that what God said in His Word is true and that He is faithful to complete it, no matter how long it takes – it will come to pass. Your faith in God and His Word (because they are one in the same) is the power that enables you to simply say “Thank You!” in advance of a manifestation. Faith is what gives you the confidence to say “Thank You!”

We all need to build our faith and the only way to do that is by hearing the Word of God. Romans 10:17 reminds us that “… faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” You may think you know the Word, but when you hear it another time, that may be the exact time that it drops down into your heart and you have divine revelation that changes your life!

Your faith will change your world! It will bring a manifestation into your life of what God has already done for you. It will bring a manifestation of healing, finances, peace, joy, victory, a new job, clothes, deliverance for loved ones, promotion – you choose what you need in your life and exercise your faith! Be like Abraham, the Father of Faith, and say “Thank You!” because you know in whom you have believed! God is Faithful!

Focus

I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward–to Jesus.

So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision–you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.

Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.

But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.

My dear, dear friends! I love you so much. I do want the very best for you. You make me feel such joy, fill me with such pride. Don’t waver. Stay on track, steady in God. Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity. Receive and experience the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves. (Philippians 3 & 4, The Message Bible)

Belief

It’s the beginning of a new year and although the calendar has been changed, God is not moved by the date on your calendar! However, how many of us think that with the beginning of the New Year we need to make new goals, new resolutions, and create a new vision – only to be disappointed and discouraged within the month because we have not met those goals, dreams, plans, and new resolutions?

As you start this New Year, I would like to encourage you to try something new. Don’t do the same thing you’ve done every year – don’t make futile, unreasonable expectations for yourself. Instead, spend some time with God, pray in the Holy Spirit and get His plan for you for this year. Then, make your plans in accordance with His plan for your life.

When you have His plan – His vision – for your life, you can go forward with great expectation. What you believe in your heart will determine your expectation level. If you expect to success, you will surely succeed. On the other hand, if you expect to fail or think thoughts of failure, you will undoubtedly fail. What you believe in your heart is what you will become on the outside.

If you want a personal breakthrough in your life, you will want to change what you believe in your heart because your belief system will determine your level of expectation. In turn, your expectation will determine your actions. John Maxwell says a “belief is a habit of mind in which confidence becomes a conviction that you embrace. In the long run a belief is more than an idea that a person possesses. It is an idea that possesses a person.”

Benjamin Franklin said, “Blessed is he who expects nothing for he shall never be disappointed.” If you want to achieve something great this year, or in the future, you must be willing to be disappointed; however, you must expect to succeed. Although you will make mistakes, you must expect to win and keep on trying because you will eventually succeed.

Contrary to what many people think, life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by a choice to change. It’s the change in your thoughts that create a change in your actions which creates the results you desire in life. If you don’t believe in something, you won’t be able to live it. I challenge you this year to be the kind of person that wants to get things done without the concern of making mistakes and failing.

Believe in yourself, your gifts and your talents and go confidently in the direction of your dreams this year! Proverbs 23:7a says, “As a man thinks in his heart so is he…” If you want different results this year, change what you are thinking!

Victory Enforced

At church last night, a friend shared a Bible verse with me that’s my new ‘refrigerator’ verse! I’m so excited about it because this verse has stirred up that ‘bulldog tenacity’ attitude inside me to enforce the enemy’s defeat in my life and will bring great victory and joy to my life. I recognize this verse as a new weapon in my spiritual arsenal to use against the enemy when he tries to attack me again with the same symptoms in my body or my life that I’ve previously overcome.

She shared Nahum 1:9 with me, “…He will make an utter end of it. Affliction will not rise up a second time.”  OMG! (Oh my gosh!) That was a light bulb moment for me! I got so excited when she read that to me. When I got home I had to read it for myself!  Nahum 1:7-9 reads, “The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him. But with an overflowing flood He will make an utter end of its place, and darkness will pursue His enemies. What do you conspire against the LORD? He will make an utter end of it. Affliction will not rise up a second time.”

This is a Selah verse for me!  I’ve paused and I’ve thought about this…not just last night but it was on my mind again this morning! This verse is an answer to prayer because I have an issue, actually several, that keep trying to come back in my body and my life that torment me; HOWEVER, I now have this verse – God’s promise to me – to use on my enemy to enforce his defeat in my body and my life!  How awesome is that?!!  

God has given me the authority to enforce the utter end of my enemy and the affliction he tries to bring back into my body and life will not rise up against me a second time! Hallelujah!!! That is victory my friend!!  

I challenge you, as you read this, to take this verse and make it your own. Enforce the enemy’s defeat in your life today! Settle in your heart and in your mind that you don’t have to live with whatever sickness or disease the enemy is trying to put in your body; or the poverty and lack he tries to bring to any area of your life. Think about it; get ahold of it: “Affliction will not rise up a second time.”

Yes and Amen!

“God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.” Romans 8:29-30

     As 2011 comes to a close, God’s promise is still with you, helping you to fulfill your dreams, hopes, goals and desires! This has been an awesome year for us. Dreams have been rekindled; new dreams have been birthed; and goals are becoming a reality. The promise of restoration of what the enemy has stolen from us is manifesting. The tests and trials that have come to pass in our lives have proven the Word of God works for us because we chose to stand on the promises of God!

     I have come to the realization that once the Word of God is planted in your heart, the thief comes immediately to steal it through tests and trials. When a person becomes on fire for God and starts sowing His Word in their heart, the enemy will try to steal that Word before it takes root and changes their life. That’s why bad things happen to good people. The enemy doesn’t care about you; he just wants to get the Word of God out of your mouth and out of your heart to keep you in a defeated state of mind.     

When you recognize the enemy and his ways you can defeat him with the Word of God every time; however, you have to open your mouth and speak to him using God’s Word to enforce his defeat in your life! You may not see change after the first scripture you quote, but as you walk by faith and not by sight and keep quoting the Word, you will see victory in your life!     

God is no respecter of persons. The good work he began in you, He will be faithful to complete it!  Don’t be moved by a date on the calendar – although this calendar year is coming to a close, God is not finished with you. Your dreams and goals are not over. Keep moving forward in faith and you will see the end of what you have been praying for; the manifestation will come!  It has no choice but to come to you if you don’t give up. The enemy will try to delay it, but he can’t stop it when you know who you are in Christ! Your faith will bring a manifestation of what your heart desires!      

 All of God’s promises to you are Yes and Amen!  “Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge–a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete.” 2 Corinthians 1:20-22, The Message Bible

God Answers Prayers

In Exodus 33:12-23, Moses told God that He said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight,and he asked God to let him see His face; see His Glory so Moses and the people would know God’s way, His grace, and His presence. Then Moses told God, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.” So the LORD said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”  And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.” Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” And the LORD said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”

Moses wanted to see God’s face; however, that was not possible at that time. Fast forward 1500 years to Matthew 17:1-3 to the day Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. Jesus’ face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.”

Now is the time to evaluate your faith!  Do you have faith to stand and believe for 1500 years? We know the answer to that question!!  Some people can’t believe for a day while others stand in faith for years to see answers to their prayers.  As you think about Moses’ desire to see God’s face being fulfilled when he looked into the face of Jesus, know that it doesn’t matter how long it takes for the answer of your prayer to manifest – God will answer your prayer.

Keep believing; keep confessing the answer to your situation; and watch God bring a manifestation of what you are praying and asking Him for.  It will surely come to pass if you don’t faint, grow weary or give up!

Thankfulness

With this being November, it’s naturally the time of year our hearts become full to overflowing with love and we become more aware of the people and things we’re thankful for in our lives. Besides being thankful for my natural, earthly family, I’m so very thankful for my spiritual family. I’m thankful for my Pastor and His Wife for loving me enough to speak the truth of God’s Word into my life.

Recently, Pastor Tony was explaining to us that as people, we are 99% the same in every way.  It’s that 1% that makes us special and unique from everyone else. I’m so thankful there’s no one else like me; as I’m sure you’re thankful there’s no one else like you! Psalm 139 tells us that we can’t go anywhere and avoid the Holy Spirit…in the sky, underground, or the far western whether you’re coming or going! No matter where you are, He’s already there watching you.

More importantly, He shaped you and formed you in your mother’s womb!  In the Message Bible, in verses 13-22 we read, “I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation!  You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day. Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful! God, I’ll never comprehend them! I couldn’t even begin to count them—any more than I could count the sand of the sea. Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!”

In Colossians 3:15 we are told to “Cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.”

As we celebrate the season of being thankful, remember to thank God that He made you uniquely special with a special plan for your life.

Relationships

“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)  Who have you been associating with over the past few weeks or months that has sharpened you spiritually, physically, emotionally, financially?  A recent trip to the Smokey Mountains presented this subject to me; as a matter of fact, it was an in-your-face presentation! Up close and personal presentation!

I will tell you straight up – I was sharpened! My flesh was in great pain. My emotions and attitudes were called to attention. Change was on the horizon!

Imagine a dull knife blade being laid on the grinding stone to be sharpened by the blade smith.  Although the metal resists, the pressure of the blade against the stone creates a smooth, razor sharp edge removing all the dull edges. A knife sharpener doesn’t always move quickly, but applies steady, consistent pressure. To sharpen a good quality steel knife that is new, he uses a high quality, diamond, knife sharpening steel. A few strokes every time before being used and it will keep the knife razor sharp.

It is the same principle when you position yourself to be sharpened by a friend. Find that “diamond” friend who will speak high quality words into your life so you’ll be sharpened to a razor sharp edge.

If the knife is very dull, a carpenter’s sharpening flat stone is very good at reviving the knife’s edge. Just be aware that the angle you sharpen a knife at is crucial. It’s best to take dull knives to a professional sharpener, and then maintain them as noted above. There will be times in our life when we get dull.  As painful as it may be at the moment, present yourself you to your “diamond” friend and allow their words to sharpen you.  At times, it may not be the words you want to hear; however, a “diamond” friend will present those hard words to turn dull edges into razors sharp tools.   

Contrary to what some people believe, sharp knives cut people far less than blunt knives. When a knife is sharp, less pressure is used to cut. Care for your knives and they will last a lifetime.  How fitting for this subject.  When you stay sharpen by the Word of God and the relationships you cultivate, you don’t hurt other people and you can help others become sharp.  The sharper you are, the less pressure you have to withstand. 

Take time to hang out with those people who will sharpen you and help you become a better person.