Pastor Dean's Sermon ArchivesMay 23, 2023
God Has Given You Mighty Powerful Weapons
God wants to pour out His Spirit in our neighborhoods, cities, and churches in unprecedented ways, and we need to pray it in.
It comes by prayer and only by prayer.
We don't earn it, we can't deserve it. But the enemy will try to stop it from happening.
Just like Daniel we need to pray that His Spirit will be poured out and the powers of darkness are bound so that he cannot hinder it and stop it.
It is time for the church to pray.
In today's podcast I give you a couple of practical steps for walking in God's kingdom authority and using the mighty weapons He has given you.
How the Church Can Plunder Hell to Populate Heaven
Prophetic acts have great power.
Read through the book of Ezekiel sometime. Ezekiel lived in modern day Iran, but he was continually prophesying to Israel and the mountains of Judea.
He had that kind of power and authority.
If Ezekiel had that authority, and did not have the cross of Christ, no resurrection from the dead, and the Holy Spirit was not yet given without measure, how much more power and authority does the church have today?
We have the power of cross.
We have the power of the blood and the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
How much more authority do we have than Ezekiel to pray prophetic prayers and to do prophetic acts so we can watch God work.
It's time to rise up in Kingdom authority!
How to Live as a Victorious Christian
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation." - 2 Corinthians 5:17-19
God makes us a whole new creation.
We were born a sinner. That which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.
But when we receive salvation, Almighty God makes us a whole new creation with a whole new identity and a whole new life source.
How is that possible?
In today's podcast I share with you how we can begin living out of a new identity by changing our thinking.
Filling our mind and heart with what God says about who we are helps us walk in a whole new level of victory.
You Can Live as a Victor, not a Victim
Does it seem impossible to you to have the ability to leave your old life behind and walk as a whole new person?
Free from addiction?
Free from anger and bitterness?
Free from the pain of abuse and rape?
God's Word says that we have this ability to move from being a victim to living as a victor.
This isn't just a Charismatic slogan, this is a reality and it is the life God wants for His disciples to live each and every day.
You no longer have to be controlled by your past failures and hurts.
Find out more in today's podcast:
At every turn, we are being taught that Jesus was not God, but an exceptional human being and mere mortal.
If that is so, why are military and political personnel told they can't pray in the name of Jesus?
Why can our children wear t-shirts with any logos and images on them except Jesus?
But what does the Bible say?
All of Scripture confirms that Jesus was more than just a mere mortal; more than an exceptional human being.
The Old Testament prophesies the coming of Messiah - the Sent One.
The New Testament confirms Jesus deity.
Why is this important for us today?
This is Why It's Important We Understand God's Kingdom
Why did Jesus emphasize through His parables and in speaking with His disciples that the kingdom of God has come?
Why is it important to us today that we understand that the kingdom of God has come?
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14 There are 2 reasons why this is so important to us today so that we can be the disciples of Jesus Christ He created us to be.
So that we can live in this new identity we were given when we received salvation.
What Does it Mean to Live in the Kingdom?
What is life like in the kingdom of God?
When you came to Christ, you may have thought that the Christian life meant that you would live in God's blessings and good gifts all of the time.
You may not have expected to have to deal with the same struggles the world does.
But Paul said to Timothy:
"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." 2 Timothy 3:12
So, what's the point in living in God's kingdom if we have to face the same things the world faces?
That is what I am sharing about in today's podcast.
How to Be Used In the Kingdom
God chose to use Moses to free the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
Moses didn't feel qualified for this job, but God's response to him was to use what he had in his hand - his shepherd's staff.
What do you have in your hand?
God wants to use you, an ordinary person, to do an extraordinary task for the kingdom of God and He simply wants to use what you have in your hand.
We can start being used by God by seeking His kingdom.
How to Live In the Kingdom
Before we can enter the kingdom of God, we must first be willing to do the following things:
- Repent of our sin, self-willed living, rebellion, and resistance to God
- Turn Jesus and see His love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness
- Choose a change of mind and direction concerning our sin
When this happens, our heart is made brand new and we are made a citizen of the kingdom of heaven.
As citizens of heaven, God gives us all we need for life and godliness.
We can live in the kingdom, enjoying God's multiple blessings, free from worry, fear, and anxiety.
How to Seek the Kingdom
All throughout history there have been kingdoms, and all kingdoms on earth have five things in common.
They all have:
- Kings and rulers
- Borders and boundaries
- Their own language
- Their own culture
Just as earthly kingdoms have these five things in common, so the kingdom of God has these five elements.
All kingdoms on earth also have a similar problem: the heart of mankind is desperately wicked.
There is one more thing that all kingdoms have in common: every kingdom has citizens.
As citizens of God's kingdom, we must seek that kingdom.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
This is the topic of my new podcast series about the kingdom of God.
How to Live Victorious Over Sin
It says in Romans 8:11, "But if that same Spirit..."
When you ask Jesus to forgive you of your sin and come live in your heart and life, Jesus puts the holy Spirit in you. The Scripture says it is the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit that then makes you a whole new creation.
You receive a whole new identity, free from a life of sin and free to live in newness of life in Jesus Christ.
This is the foundation of the concept that releases you to live as a whole new creation, living a victorious Christian life.
Are you living a life of victory over sin?
Victorious Christian living is directly connected to how we view our identity in Christ and this is what I share about in today's podcast.
How to Raise Up a Generation That Fears the Lord
Noah built an ark to save his family at a time when wickedness of human beings was extreme.
The Bible says every imagination of their thought was only evil continually. They had become so corrupted and filled with wickedness that every waking moment was filled with thoughts of wickedness.
Jesus spoke of that time and said that in the last days it would be as in the day of Noah.
We are rapidly approaching that time, and we must build an ark for our family, not to isolate our family, but to insulate our family.
"I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one." John 17:15 Isolation will not help your family stand in the fear of the Lord against a corrupt culture.
We want to build an ark with the right materials to insulate not only this generation, but also future generations.
"Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;" Deuteronomy 7:9
How to Raise a Generation With Strong Convictions
There are a lot of people who have very strong beliefs, but it's not convenient to live by that belief, they will adjust it according to the situation or the people that they are around.
They are called preferences: strongly held beliefs that may adjust when the situation requires it.
This is okay when it comes to what you eat for dinner: You may prefer a steak dinner, but fast-food is more convenient right now. But when it comes to building a family we cannot afford to raise our children according to preferences.
If we raise our children with strongly held beliefs that adjust when circumstances dictate it, we are building our family with the wrong kind of framework and it will not stand when faced with heavy pressure and storms.
Instead we must build our family on convictions: core values that a person is willing to give their life before violating.
How to Build an Ark of Protection With the Right Materials
If we are going to build an ark of safety for the family, we need to hold the principles of God's Word and live by them. It needs to be able to withstand the heavy seas of life and the storms that are certainly going to come against the family.
We need to build it of substance to be able to withstand the most severe storms that life can throw at it.
And there's only one product to build it from.
If you're concerned about what we're seeing in our culture today: The ever-increasing wokeism in our society, the flood of immorality and perversion, the heavy push for indoctrination and submission to political correctness and tolerance, then you need to listen to today's podcast.
In this mini-series, I share with you how we can build a lasting protection for our family, just as Noah built a lasting protection for his wife and sons and their families.
How to Build an Ark of Protection for Your Family
During the time of Noah, every imagination of men's hearts was only evil continually.
Do you ever wonder if there are a lot of people like that today? I don't get what Hollywood is putting out in their entertainment today. I can't imagine thinking on that level of evil and being able to portray it.
What are they thinking? Why do we feel like we need to create children's cartoons with that kind of language and debauchery? Why do we need to have cartoons with bodily noises?
Because we're reaching the condition as it was in the times of Noah.
In Noah's time, they were gorging themselves with their appetites - every appetite they could imagine.
Homosexual and lesbian relationships were normal.
But they took it a step further, and it brought God's judgement: Mankind began seeking relationships with the demonic.
What does this mean for us today, especially as parents who seek to raise up godly children who will go on to raise up their own godly children?
We must build an ark for our family, and that is what I share with you in today's podcast: How to raise up an ark of protection for your family in this evil generation that is saturated with immorality, perversion, and debauchery.
How to Stand Alone In a Corrupt Culture
Joseph was in prison under false charges. That could have easily become his future and his identity, but he refused to let that happen. Instead, he became 2nd only to Pharaoh in Egypt.
It's a choice you make to stand up and stand alone in living a whole new life in Jesus Christ by a new identity that empowers you to stand against the cultural norms and stand for righteousness and holiness.
We can do this because all things are become new!
Learning to live in the power of "others may I cannot" will require you to keep a humble, gracious, loving spirit so that you're not being critical and judgmental.
It's also important that in this generation there is remnant that will rise up and say, I will not let culture and peer pressure to determine what I do."
Are You a Believer or a Disciple?
Many people throughout history have believed in God; just as today many people say they believe in God, and even attend church every Sunday.
However, there is a great difference between believing in God and calling yourself a Christian and being a disciple of Jesus Christ.
A disciple of Jesus Christ goes beyond believing that God exists and calling yourself a Christian.
Being a disciple of Jesus Christ means modeling your life after Jesus.
It means living your life in a way that is honoring to God.
It means obeying His Word no matter what it costs you, surrendering your right to have the final say in your life, and choosing to make God's Word the center of your life and worldview.
The question today is: Are you a believer or a disciple?
Let Jesus Transform Your Messiness
We all come to Jesus with messed-up lives.
It doesn't matter if you grew up in a Christian home with strong Christian values. You still have to have Jesus clean up your messiness.
While Jesus doesn't expect us to clean up our messiness before coming to Him, He will not leave us in our mess.
He doesn't set us free from sin and leave us bound to our sin.
When we come to Jesus, He will transform our messiness from the inside out so that we can live and walk in a way that glorifies Him.
But this has to be our choice.
We have to choose to allow Him to transform us and make us a new creation in Him.
How to Possess the Land God Has Promised
God promised the Israelites that if they would meditate on His law day and night, they would prosper and have good success. God was going to lead them into a land inhabited by their enemies; but He would prove that He was the one and only God by driving their enemies out before their eyes.
God has promised you a land, too.
But we live in a culture saturated by philosophies that are at war with God's Word. Choosing to live obedient to every word of God sets us at odds not only with our unbelieving friends, but with progressive Christianity.
The question is: will we hesitate to step out in faith to possess the land, like the Israelites did, or will we be willing to step out in obedience to God?
Your Upper Room is Your Home of Intercession
Daniel was able to advance and see God's blessing in his life, even in a pagan culture because he had an upper room and went to that room three times a day. His upper room relationship with God made it possible for God to work on his behalf.
Even in the fact of persecution and rejection, he refused to pull back from his upper room; and because of that he continued to see great blessing.
We may be wondering why God isn't moving or intervening on our behalf, and sometimes it's because we have the door to our upper room closed. But like Daniel we're in a spiritual war.
There are way too many Christians today wore out with the stuff of life, busy with their work and play and with their schedule, running their kids from one sport to another, thinking that sports will keep their children out of drugs and crime, not realizing that it's not sports that will keep them out of world, it is a strong spiritual walk with Almighty God that will keep them out of the world.
So many have closed their eyes to what's really happening.
We are in a war of spiritual strongholds, ideology, reasoning and philosophies and values. It's a war of world view.
How do we fight that war?
That is what I am talking about in today's podcast.
4 Ways to Experience God's Multiplied Blessings in Your Life
Grace is not only something that we receive abundantly from God, but Scripture illustrates for us how we are to give that grace to others with equal generosity.
But not only does grace flow from God through us to others, but then it flows back to God in thanksgiving; and your thankfulness is grace back to God.
It is generosity - we're generous to others because God has been so generous to us.
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written: “He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.” Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. 1 Corinthians 6:6-11 - Emphasis Mine God wants to multiply blessings in your life!
There are 4 ways you can begin experiencing that right now; and that is what I'm sharing with you on my podcast today.
Are You Living the Blessed Life?
John 14:12 says, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father."
Jesus did not say "The apostles will do the works that I do" or "The evangelist will do the works that I do" or even "The pastors will do the works that I do". He said, "He who believes in Me...."
Walking in this level of signs and wonders isn't so that we can get goosebumps and feel really good. It's so that we can be a blessing to others.
God wants us both be blessed and to be a blessing, because the more we live the blessed life, the more we can be a blessing to those around us.
The question is: Are you living the blessed life?
That is what I'm talking about in today's podcast.
How to Live in a New Anointing
There is a verse in the New Testament that is very challenging for us today.
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father." John 14:12
Jesus is giving to us a deep, theological principle about His disciples, those who believe in Him. He is saying is that those who truly believe in Him should be doing the same works He did, and even greater works than He did.
This verse should lead us to ask ourselves, "If I believe in Jesus, am I doing the same works Jesus did and greater works than He did?"
We have to remember that Jesus wasn't talking to theologians and religious leaders of His day, He was talking to fishermen, tax collectors, housewives, and other ordinary people like you and me.
So, how do we begin living in this new anointing so that we can go out and do the works Jesus did?
That is what I'm talking about in today's podcast.
This is How God Makes All Things New In You
Jesus said, "Truly, truly I say unto you unless a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of heaven." Jesus called it being born again. Titus called it the washing and renewing of the Holy Spirit that makes us a whole new creation.
Salvation gives us a whole new life source so that we can begin living all things new.
But if we're going to go forward in that and consistently live all things new as a disciple of Jesus Christ, there are things that Scripture clearly says need to happen in our lives. It doesn't just happen all on it's own.
We have to cooperate with the work of God in our life so that we are consistently moving forward.
It's not about how fast you move forward, its how consistently you move forward.
And that is what today's podcast is all about: what we need to do to consistently move forward and live all things new.
How the Breastplate of Righteousness Defeats Fear
The enemy wants to paralyze the army of God with fear. It's a weapon he has used down through the ages.
He wants to intimidate, paralyze, and dominate because he knows that if he succeeds in this, he can control you and convince you to start doubting God's promises.
This is why God gave us the armor of God, to protect us from the attacks of the enemy.
If you want to walk in victory every day, free from the paralyzing fear, intimidation, and domination of the enemy, you need to wear the breastplate of righteousness!
In today's podcast, I share how the breastplate of righteousness defeats fear.
Are You Wearing the Right Armor?
In Ephesians 6:10-18, we are given the armor of God, the clothes that every Christian should wear if he or she wishes to walk in continual victory over the enemy.
The first piece of armor we're told to put on is the belt of truth.
On Roman armor, the belt is what held everything together. It is also what held the sword. The sword of the Spirit - the Word of God
Jesus said that if we are His disciples, we will know the truth and the truth will make us free. Truth (the Word of God is the final truth) is what makes us free!
So, I have a question for you.
Are you wearing the right clothes to go into this spiritual battle we're in right now?
If you're not wearing the right clothes, you will be caught unprepared to fight the way we need to fight in the ever-increasing heat of persecution that is coming our way.
That is what I talk about in today's podcast.
How to Pray the Prayer of Jabez
We don't know a lot about Jabez, because there are only a couple of verses that talk about Jabez; but we do know that his mother had a very difficult delivery with him, with a lot of pain.
Jabez means "He will cause pain".
That must have caused some interesting times for him as a child; but he didn't allow the meaning of his name to dictate his life and future.
And his prayer reflects his pursuit to live a life that pleased God.
There is so much we can learn from his prayer, and that is what I share in today's podcast; how you can use the prayer of Jabez as a template your own prayer life to help you move from a place of pain to a place of victory in Christ Jesus!
What Did God Design the Church to Look Like?
The church all over the world is under attack in four ways.
- Government and governmental entities
- Marginalizing the church
- Declaring the church is not essential
- Creating mandates that have closed down the church
The world continues to threaten to cancel the church while the enemy causes a great lethargy to descend on those content to do church at home while slowly leading them towards a deconstruction of faith and becoming a "done-er".
We're one generation from the church losing everything.
This was what happened with the halfway covenant. The church no longer required an authentic conversion to Jesus Christ; they let people become members and receive communion.
Then, the next generation of preachers were in the pulpit and had never been born-again or experienced the move of the Holy Spirit.
They preached from their intellect, not from personal experience.
So what did God design the church to look like?
Are You Praying Faith Filled Prayers?
All throughout God's Word, we read that God hears and answers our prayers; but there are times when we pray for something, even for a long time, and we don't seem to receive an answer.
Why is that?
Mark 11:24 says: "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them."
Many times, we pray for a need, but throughout the day our self-talk and conversation reveals that we don't have faith that God will answer our prayer. We have prayed for the need that morning, and then turned around and began whining about our problem.
It's not the real religious-sounding prayer that's heard by Almighty God, it's the passionate prayer of a faith-filled heart that is heard.
God wants us to pray faith-filled prayers! He wants us to believe that He hears and that He will answer.
3 Ways to Begin Seeing Real Answers to Prayer
In church history, we read about how whole communities and cities were completely transformed by spiritual awakenings; so much so, that bars were completely closed, police stations had no work, and jails were empty.
How does that happen?
Even more so, how can we see that kind of transformation today in our own communities? Do the principles that apply to this kind of transformation apply also to our homes and families?
There are people who take seriously the principles of interdiction, but they don't just believe it in their head but faithfully and diligently apply those principles actively.
There are three principles that have to be in place for this kind of transformation through interdiction in prayer.
- Truly believe in your heart that God answers prayer
- Persevere until God's visitation and habitation
- Pray passionate, unrelenting, united prayer for the powers and strongholds of darkness to be broken and banished
3 Things Jesus Taught Us About Prayer
Jesus disciples came to Jesus and asked Him, "Teach us to pray the way John taught his disciples to pray".
Prayer is not caught, it's taught. We often think that when someone receives Jesus Christ as their Savior, they will automatically learn how to pray.
But just the same way we teach our children how to speak, we have to teach new believers how to pray.
So, Jesus responded to them by giving them three things:
- A prayer model
- Assurance to be persistent in prayer
- Confidence in prayer
Jesus wanted them to know that prayer works; and He wants you to know that prayer works.
In today's podcast I share with you the prayer model that Jesus gave His disciples.
This is How We Know Prayer Works
Looking at our world today, there is violence all around us. Political corruption is crippling our nation. Woke philosophies are defiling our young people. Perversion is stealing their innocence. Marriages are falling apart. People are struggling financially while our economy is toppling.
Prayer is the only thing that's going to change this.
God gave us a promise: "...if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14
God is saying this to America again. We are not without hope; but my people must pray!"Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. "James 5:13-18
The Great Necessity for Every Believer
Every demographic in our culture today faces significant challenges in living out their life as an authentic disciple of Jesus Christ.
Truth is relative.
- Christianity is taught as an evil, violent, and hateful religion.
- A high percentage of those who attend church regularly, even they believe that there are many ways to get to heaven.
- Sexual intimacy is expected during dating - even on the first date.
- Boys and men dress up as girls while girls and women behave as boys.
- LGBTQ+ is not just acceptable behavior, but is taught that a person is born this way
- It is being taught that a person's biological sex does not have to align with a person's sexual preference
If you take a stand for truth against any of these systems or beliefs, you are marginalized, you may lose opportunities for a career advancement, or you may even be put in jail.
How is a disciple of Jesus Christ to live in such times?
There is a great necessity for every believer if we are to stand against the rising tide of deception and distortion in our culture, and advance the kingdom of God in our communities and our nation.
To find out what this necessity is, listen to today's podcast.
The Key to Living the Blessed Life
Are you living the blessed life, or are you living mired in discouragement, disillusionment, and asking God why He allows bad things and suffering to happen to good people?
God wants to take all of the painful experiences and disappointments in our life and turn them into gold and silver.
He promised us in Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
The key to living the blessed life and consistently being victorious in painful moments, has to do with learning to walk with Holy Spirit and fellowship with Him in a deep personal way.
Learning to fellowship to Holy Spirit.
In today's podcast we learn how to begin fellowshipping with Holy Spirit so we can live the blessed life and walk in consistent victory even in the painful moments of life.
How to Live in the Victory of a Renewed Mind
Living the blessed life doesn't mean you live a care-free life. It doesn't mean that you have to live in a perfect environment for the blessings of God to flow in your life.
Look at the apostles and all of the persecution and trials they endured.
One of the things that prevents Jesus' disciples from living the blessed life is in our thinking, our reasoning, our ideology, our worldview, our self-talk, and our tongue.Romans 12:1-2
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
We need to get our mind lined up right, we have to get our thinking and ways to line up with God's thinking and God's ways.
God wants to take it even deeper than that, He wants to go where you psychologist, psychiatrist, medicine and reach through shock therapy and other therapies.
Renewing the mind can go there, it can go to the subconscious where it has been damaged through PTSD and other traumas that has made you a victim and cause you to live in fear and depression.
God's Word can renew your subconscious so that instead of living out of a damaged subconscious mind you are living in victory through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
How to Live by the Power of the Holy Spirit
Authentic discipleship is living our life after the pattern of the Lord Jesus Christ. This includes patterning after Him:
- Our attitude
- Our behavior
- Our conduct
- Our worldview
But this doesn't happen in our own strength and by the grit of our own teeth. If we could change ourselves, we would have by now.
We have a spirit so we can be in relationship with Almighty God. We are a trinity. Although we are a trinity, we discover we have a problem. We are made in the image of Almighty God but the sin nature has broken that relationship.
That's why it says in Isaiah 53:1, "Your sin has separated you from Me."
The sin natures damages this, because with the sin nature, our spirit is dead. We're not in relationship with Almighty God. And our soul is broken, we are self-willed. We want to live by our own desires and ambitions.
So, knowing this about mankind, how do we live by a Holy Spirit dynamic?
That is what we discover in today's podcast.
God Can Bring to Life What is Dead in You
Can a person stop their addiction?
Can a person stop being bitter and resentful?
Can a person stop being depressed?
If they could, they would have by now; because surely they have tried many times.
So where is the hope for us, when we feel that everything that was good and hopeful inside of us is dead? What hope do we have of living the abundant life Jesus Christ has promised to us?
Can God bring back to life what is dead in us right now?
How to Make a Difference as a Disciple of Jesus Christ
As Jesus disciples, we not only pattern our life after Him, but we also do the same works He did because God wants disciples to make a difference in this world.
Have you noticed that when Jesus chose His disciples, He didn't go to the Sanhedrin? He didn't choose His disciples among the Pharisees or the Sadducees?
This was one of the reasons they were so angry with Him. He had gathered around Himself ordinary people and sent them out with the power to do what He did. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
You may think that you are just a homemaker...
Just a contractor
Just a rancher
Just a teacher
But Jesus delights in taking ordinary people and enabling them to do extraordinary things for Him and His kingdom by giving them His power and authority to do the works that Jesus did, and greater works.
The Call and Cost to Being a Disciple of Jesus
When we read in the Gospels about Jesus' disciples leaving everything to follow Him, it doesn't mean that they just causally followed behind Him.
It means that they walked in His footsteps, observed how He behaved and responded to different situations, and then patterned their lives after Him.
The Greek word for disciples means "a disciplined one".
It means one who has learned to discipline themselves to daily fulfilling their spiritual disciplines of reading the Word and prayer; like Job to controlling their eyes to not look at immorality.
There is a call to being a disciple, but there is also a cost.
And that is what I'm sharing with you in today's podcast.
God Has a Dream for Your Life
God has a dream for your life and he wants you to fulfill that dream; but you can only fulfill His dream when you do it God's way, not your own way.
When you try to fulfill God's dream your own way, you will not live the blessed life. You need to learn to lay down your own way and live life God's way because He's designed your life perfectly for you.
It's sadly uncommon for Jesus' disciples to live less than God has for them because they allow the enemy to steal God's dream for their life through tragedy and trauma in their life.
But we don't have to let the enemy steal God's dream.
He has promised to turn all things for our good and to make all things new in our life.
Living the Blessed Life is a Heart Condition
God promised us in Ephesians 1 that He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ. He wants us to live the blessed life!
But in every one of the scriptures of promised blessing there is a condition. Living the blessed life is a matter of the heart. You don't get it just because you crave it.
There is something we often fail to understand when we're not walking in the blessing.
We tend to get angry and wonder why if God is a good God he allows things to happen to us. But if we're not walking in the blessing we need to realize that each scripture that gives a promised blessing comes with a condition that deals with the condition of the heart.
Failing to guard our heart and mind puts up a barrier between us and God's blessing.
How to Understand What Is Happening Right Now
As we look at what has happened in our culture around the world over the past 2 1/2 years through the lens of biblical prophecy regarding the end times, we understand that we are living in the last of the last days.
How can the church understand the times and seasons we are living in and what should her response be?
There are three things the church needs to do in order to be the Church that God ordained to advance the kingdom of God in a culture of darkness, death, destruction, immorality, and distortion.
That is what I'm sharing with you in today's podcast.
This sermon was recorded toward the end of 2020, and while I deal mainly with how the church has responded in the face of the pandemic, the principles in this message apply to what we're seeing right now and the messages I've been sharing regarding God's great reset.
God Wants to Give You Hope
Do you believe God's Word to the degree that you would stake your very life upon it? Do you believe it to the degree that it is the very governor of your life, your decision making, your standard of what is true or not true.
Do you run to the Word of God before you run to your favorite news channel or website, before you listen to your favorite political commentator?
Many Christians know more about what Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Mark Levin know about politics than what the Word of God says. But they are not infallible.
God's Word, His report, is infallible and is relevant for all generations.
God wants to bring hope to you and to this generation that is on a bullet train of self-destruction, and He wants to bring it through the church.
The only hope for us and our culture is found in the Word of God, but Jesus' disciples must know the Word, believe the Word, and stake their very lives on the Word to be able to carry this hope to the lost.
God Redeems Us From the Curse
Are you living the blessed life each and every day? Or are you living under a curse, barely getting through your day, frustrated, angry, dissatisfied, and battling against the addictions and desires those in our culture who do not know God battle against?
God wants more for you!
He wants you to begin living the blessed life today, so that you live victorious over sin and addiction. It is through a blessed and victorious church that God will redeem our fallen culture.
He wants break generational curses over you and your family.
He wants give you the strength to live in this cursed world in victory and joy.
Jesus Redeems a Fallen Culture
Our culture is at a point where we've bought the narrative that truth is relative. If truth is relative, then a lie can be truth and truth a lie. This is a slippery slope where truth moves to deception, deception to distortion, and distortion to delusion.
Our nation has moved from enlightenment to relativism, then to post-modernism, and finally to post-Christianity. We're rapidly headed for anti-Christianity.
But there is an even greater danger.
When this distortion and delusion is embraced by the Church in a culture, and instead of preaching the truth they embrace and teach the lie, where does culture go for truth, hope and salvation.
This is what Jude was writing about in verse 3.
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. - Jude 3
God has ordained the Church to be a great guardian of the faith, but when she fails to guard the truth culture loses all hope and salvation.
Two Kingdoms are At War on Earth
I am concerned that many people are not aware, or are not concerned, with the fact that we are in a great spiritual war.
The Bible teaches that there are two kingdoms at war against one another on Planet Earth: God's Kingdom filled with love, joy peace, goodness, and life, and the kingdom of darkness filled with lies, deception, distortion, hate, violence, wickedness, every form of evil, and death.
Two opposing kingdoms at war on earth.
We have weapons of war, but not kind of weapons we use in a physical war but spiritual weapons mighty through God.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:10-12
Our culture is calling evil good and good evil. We are living in a time of great deception and distortion; and in the midst of all of this evil there must be those who stand up who know truth, who will stand by the truth, and live by the truth.
Jesus' Disciples Must Stand Fast in a Culture of Delusion
The culture of deception, distortion and delusion is creeping into the church, and is distorting the preaching of the Word of God. Jesus' disciples must learn to stand fast - strong as an unmovable rock.
We have to be committed to the Word of God in our heart.
What does it means to stand fast? Paul wrote to Timothy, who was also struggling with similar battles as we are facing today.
If we are not strongly committed in our heart to the Word of God, we will grow confused by the narratives the world is feeding us, and many in the church are caving into right now.
There are three things we need to remember as we choose to stand and refuse to give into fear, uncertainty, anxiety and doubt.
God Wants the Church to Be Woke
The Bible talks about a woke church, but our culture of delusion has coopted this idea of being woke and distorted it's meaning. God wants to awaken the church because His return is coming nearer.
While our culture and political arenas are filled with paganism, we have a church that is asleep.
We have a form of godliness, our music is professional. We have celebrity worship leaders. We have celebrity pastors on TV, but the church is anemic with a form but no power.
And we must turn away from this!
We must turn away from the Laodicean, anemic spirit in the church today. We must rise up, awaken, and put on strength - strength that only comes from the power of the Holy Spirit.
Learn How to Hear the Voice of the Lord
Have you ever had a time in your life when you knew you had to hear from God? You needed specific direction, and you knew that you needed to hear a word of wisdom from God.
In order to really hear his voice, we have to turn off all of the things that keep us distracted: our TV, our phone, our devices. We need the silence to hear His voice.
But many times, instead of waiting on the Lord to clearly hear His voice, we make quick decisions that seem logical to us.
We act on it, and the result of that decision becomes a curse instead of a blessing, because we failed to stop and wait for the voice of the Lord giving us a confirmation of His will.
As believers and disciples of Christ, we are supposed to do life with Jesus, not just add Him on to whatever we are doing. Even better is when we do life through Jesus
But in order for us to do life through Jesus, we have to learn how to hear His voice.
How a Christian Can Guard Their Heart
Our culture today is so distracted by all of the toys of technology that keep our attention glued to the glitter of fool's gold the enemy is using to keep us from hearing the voice of God.
If we want to walk in the truth of God's Word, we must first take crucial steps to guard our heart from the "new truth" the enemy wants to use to deceive us.
Our culture is steeped in evil deception and refuses to hear the truth, but rather chooses to embrace it and has now moved into strong delusion, rejecting a love for the truth.
We cannot afford to walk in compromise.
We must boldly stand for the absolute truth of the Word of God in this culture of darkness and be the salt and light God has called us to be.