When the Going Gets Tough

Jason Silver  |  Pastor & Author

stress_ballIt’s unbelievable how many people I’ve run into lately that have left their churches. And it’s always for petty reasons, “I didn’t like how they did the offering.” “I didn’t like the music style.” “The Pastor wasn’t as friendly as I would have liked.”  Listen I could understand leaving a Church if they were preaching false teachings, denied the deity of Christ, or you were called out to another ministry. But these are rarely the reasons for most folks leaving.

I don’t understand this mentality in churches today??? It’s like some kind of rampid consumerism. When folks first come to your Church they love it, they say things like “Pastor we’re behind you all the way! Whatever you need, just ask!” But this offer stands only as long as they are happy with your performance, and you don’t preach anything that challenges them to change. Or they have a challenge or trial in a relationship with someone else in the Church.

Listen….The local Church is not a social club, it’s not there only to serve you and your desires. It’s purpose is to follow God’s desires and strive to be a representation of Jesus Christ body in the earth. Is any Church perfect in this purpose? NO! No! NO!

But it certainly doesn’t help when people keep leaving, and backing out of commitments every time they see something they don’t like in a Church. I ‘ve literally seen people do this for years, until there’s not one local church left that they haven’t found some fault with. So they just don’t go anywhere, they say things like, “Well I just read my Bible and seek Jesus at home…” Listen… if you get Jesus, you get His Church too! You cannot say you love God, but hate His body. It doesn’t work.

I’m not angry at anyone, but I am frustrated with this vicious cycle. I’ve grown up in the Church all my life, and this issue exists and persists in all Church circles. I watched so many minstries crash and burn. And what irks me about it is… it’s almost always an inside job.

Church… let’s get over our petty offenses and preference differences and get busy with spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom of light and hope in Christ! Let’s stop devouring one another with our words, let’s grow up and mature. And for the love of God let us stop majoring in the minors. Let us, let go of the non-essentials and focus on what brings glory to God as His body. Many parts working together as ONE!

http://www.newvictory.ca

Copyright 2011-12 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner

Defeating Doubt

Jason Silver | Pastor & Author

indecisionRight from the Genesis to this present day, the devil has been working hard trying to get God’s people to doubt what God has said and His faithfulness to fulfill what He has said. He started with Eve in the Garden… “Did God really say not to eat from that tree?” “Oh He did…well he said that because He knows when you do, that you’ll become like Him.” Did you notice Satan said this in a way that made it sound like God was withholding some kind of blessing from Adam and Eve?

The devil will use any available opportunity of wavering thought to get us to take the bait of doubt. And he’ll use any available person:

Mark 8:31-33
Jesus then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

The devil can use one’s most zealous follower to give what sounds like wisdom, but if you listen with spiritual insight, it carries the underlying interests of men.

I personally have played the part of Peter before… where I’ve given advice to someone that I thought was good at the time…and later I had to renounce the words I spoke….and go and tell them I missed it please forgive me. I realized it wasn’t God’s wisdom for them.

Can anyone else relate to that?

Or how often have we listened to someone sharing with us about something there standing in faith and believing God for…and we begin share with them all the reasons we see why it won’t work. Why do we do that, when the Bible says we are to live by faith, not by sight?

I’ve been there…done that…had it happen to me numerous times. The devil will use whatever situation, and whoever He can to get us to doubt God’s promises. In fact it’s one of the most successful tools he uses to rob us from receiving from God. “…because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”  (James 1:7&8)

Don’t ever think that when God gives you a vision that will take faith to see fulfilled, that the devil won’t try to take it. HE COMES FOR THE SAKE OF KILLING THE SEED!!!

In Luke 8:11-15 Jesus said:
“Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. 12 “And those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the seeded word from their heart, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 “And those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 “And the seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 “And the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

We often look at God’s dealings with the Israelites, and we think, after all God did for them… and there’s a long list of things…. I can’t believe they continued to doubt His faithfulness.  Yet many times we do the same thing, when circumstances arise in our lives that cause us to forget God’s past faithfulness to us in every other circumstance.

In Deuteronomy 6:10-12 Moses speaking on behalf of God said…

When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you–a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant–then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

So we see our first Doubt Defeating principle to live by…

DO NOT FORGET THE LORD’S FAITHFULNESS!!

2 Timothy 2:13 says
Even when we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself.

ONE OF THE NAMES OF JESUS IS FAITHFUL!!!

Revelation 19:11 says, “And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True.”

Faithful is His very nature!! He can’t deny it!!

Jesus is always there when you need Him…and we need Him always!!

The second Doubt Defeating principle to live by is this:

DO NOT RECEIVE THE SEEDS OF DOUBT, FROM PEOPLE, OR FROM CIRCUMSTANCES!!

People | 
Mark 5:38-42
When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.

After this he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.

Jesus didn’t allow the doubt and wavering seeds of others to be planted in His heart. He always threw doubt out of the circumstance. He was given many opportunities from those even closest to Him to take the thought, but He never did. He was unwavering in His trust and reliance on the Father’s word and His faithfulness to fulfill it. There’s a lot of doubt seed sowers out there…don’t let them plant it in the garden of your heart!! Jesus didn’t…and look at what He accomplished!!

Circumstance | Luke 8:22-25
One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. 24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.

LISTEN…

You can measure your level of faith, by your level of peace amidst the storm.

REMEMBER: WITH FAITH, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD. AND WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE GOD.

 So again, the second principle of defeating doubt is…

DO NOT RECEIVE THE SEEDS OF DOUBT, FROM PEOPLE, OR FROM CIRCUMSTANCE!!

Nip it in the Bud so to speak!!!

And the last doubt defeating principle…but definitely not the least is to … RELY ON GOD’S HELP…through JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT 

Mark 9:20-24
And they brought the boy to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling about and foaming at the mouth. 21 And He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 “And it has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can!’ All things are possible to him who believes.”  24 Immediately the boy’s father cried out and began saying, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”

I believe this man was genuine in his request for Jesus to help his unbelief, and I believe we can be too. Jesus didn’t let Peter sink; He took him by the hand., and lifted him up. Why? Because even when we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny His very nature!! AMEN???

Acts 4:29-31 says…
Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Whenever I feel like giving into doubt, or have already, I try to think of the power of the Holy Spirit in my life…I ask him to fill me anew…I start to speak in my personal gift of tongues, and the doubt begins to lift. And faith comes. After all, isn’t this what the scripture tells us will happen?

Jude 20
But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit…

So the 3 Doubt Defeaters Once Again are:

DO NOT FORGET THE LORD’S FAITHFULNESS!!
DO NOT RECEIVE THE SEEDS OF DOUBT, FROM PEOPLE, OR FROM CIRCUMSTANCE!!
RELY ON GOD’S HELP…through JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

http://www.newvictory.ca

Copyright 2011-12 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner

Pentecost: Gods Resource for His Church

Jason Silver | Pastor & Author

holy_spirit_fireReading: Acts Chapters 1 and 2

Wikipedia describes it this way:
The word Pentecost is from the Ancient Greek Pentēkostē, meaning “the Fiftieth [day]”) it is one of the prominent feasts in the Christian liturgical year commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ. Pentecost is celebrated seven weeks (50 days) after Easter Sunday, hence its name. Pentecost falls on the tenth day after Ascension Thursday.

Pentecost is historically and symbolically related to the Jewish harvest festival of Shavuot, which commemorates God giving the Ten Commandments to Moses at Mount Sinai fifty days after the Exodus. Among Christians, Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus as described in the New Testament book of Acts chapter 2 verse 3.  For this reason, Pentecost is described as the “Birth of the Church”. The Pentecostal movement derives its name from this biblical event.

However Pentecost is not limited to a particular movement or denomination, it is a divine resource provided by God to every believer who would receive it. It is more than just tongues; it is the power and boldness to be witnesses of Jesus Christ in the Earth!! Jesus Himself proclaimed this in Acts 1:8 when He said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses.” How can we effectively witness about Jesus who Himself walked in the power of the Holy Spirit, if we too were not able to walk in the same manner? 1 John 2:6 says, “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” Now many would say that John meant love and holiness here… I agree. Jesus walked in love and holiness, but Jesus also walked in the Power of the Holy Spirit. As matter of fact, that was HOW He walked in love and holiness; by the power of the Holy Spirit. You can’t really separate the two.

When those in the Church were first called Christians, it was because they were speaking and acting (in power) like Jesus did. FOLKS… They were able to do this because of PENTECOST POWER!!

REMEMBER: Jesus told them to do nothing but wait UNTIL they received the Promise of the Father!! Jesus did not want His followers to be ill equipped! We need to understand that while Jesus was with the disciples, they operated alongside the mantle that was on Jesus. But when Jesus left Earth they needed their own mantles. Jesus explains this  to the disciples in John 16:7-8 he says… “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.”

Pentecost is for today… God’s resource is not recorded anywhere in scripture as drying up, so to speak. It did not die with the Apostles, there is nowhere in scripture saying anything like this. As matter fact, it’s just the opposite.

In Acts 1:7-8
Jesus said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The Power of the Holy Spirit was given to reach “the ends of the Earth”, so until we reach every nation, and every tongue, the power will still be required to do so.

Romans 15:17-20
“Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.”

A Few Arguments “for” a Present Day Pentecost  Experience:

A. Multiple Baptisms, Not Just Water
In Acts 19  Paul the Apostle  asks, “Which baptism are you of?” Which implies more than one. In fact there are 2 baptisms!! With water representing our cleaning from sin and identification with Christ death and resurrection. Secondly with Spirit and Fire to be witnesses in power that are holy!

B.  When Diverse Tongues Cease
1 Corinthians 13:8-12 | “Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

That which is perfect is clearly the Kingdom of God come to Earth! Not the completed Bible. God’s will done on earth as it is done in Heaven… perfectly! We’re not seeing that yet, the imperfect is still here all around us. So until God’s kingdom comes; Pentecost is needed.

C. Pentecost Power Was Only for the Apostles to Start the Church… Really?Ephesians 4:11-13 says… “It was he (Jesus) who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up UNTIL WE ALL reach unity of faith in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

The five fold ministry is given until we “the church” attain perfection in Christ… FOLKS Paul is obviously referring to the KINGDOM OF GOD!!! Even to his own admission, he had not yet attained the goal of his faith… to become wholly like Christ.

The divine provision of Pentecost is for today, is for tomorrow, and will be “for” until Christ returns!!

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http://www.newvictory.ca

Copyright 2019 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner

Living in the Grace and Holiness of God | Part 2

Jason Silver | Pastor & Author

holy-spirit-best-best2 Corinthians 12:1-10
Must I go on boasting? Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know — God knows. 3 And I know that this man — whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell. 5 I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say.

7 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Now Look back at 2 Corinthians 11:24-31 and Paul describes what God’s grace has allowed him to endure…

24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.   25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and do I not feel weak also? Who is led into sin, and do I not inwardly burn?

30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

God’ grace allows us to be refined, to become holy not just in a spiritual truth and position in Christ sense, but in character and action!

1 Peter 1:3-9
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.


LISTEN NOW….

7 These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your

1 Peter 4:12-16
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

Again it is the grace of God that allows us to be refined and to not perish in the process!!

Thank God for his grace! Thank God that’s it’s sufficient for me! AMEN!

Say this with me!! “God’s Grace… is enough for me!”

Say this! “God’s grace…. Is allowing me…  to become holy.”

“I can walk… in the Grace… and Holiness of God!”

The scriptures do not speak of God to be like a forest fire, or like an incinerator’s fire. It says that he is like a refiner’s fire. A forest fire destroys indiscriminately. An incinerator consumes completely. Even the prophet Malachi in chapter 3 verse 6 says, “I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, you are not consumed — you are not destroyed.”

He is a refiner’s fire. A refiner’s fire does not destroy indiscriminately like a forest fire. A refiner’s fire does not entirely destroy like the fire of an incinerator. A refiner’s fire refines. It purifies. It melts down the gold, and separates out the impurities that ruin its value, burns them up, and leaves the gold intact and worth far more in value. God is like a refiner’s fire

Yet God is a consuming FIRE. And therefore purity and holiness will always be a dreadful thing. There will always be a reverential “fear and trembling” in the process of becoming pure.

We learn if from the time we are little children: never play with fire!
And it’s a good lesson! Therefore, Christianity is never a play thing. And the passion for purity is never flippant. He is like fire and fire is serious. You don’t fool around with it.

But He is like a REFINER’S fire. And therefore this is not merely a word of warning, but a tremendous word of hope. The furnace of trials in the family of God is always for refinement, never for destruction.

It is only the grace of God that’s allows us to go through the fire, to be refined and made holy!

http://www.newvictory.ca

Copyright 2011-12 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner

Compassion and Justice

Jason Silver | Pastor & Author

crucifix-2-flashREAD Isaiah 30: 1-18

Here’s a quick break down of this passage:

God rebuke’s those in Judah who looked to Egypt for deliverance
God tells them that their trust in Egypt will gain them nothing.
The Lord documents Judah’s rejection of His life giving message.
The judgment to come upon Judah for their trust in Egypt and for their rejection of His message. Judah is brought low because of their self-reliance and rejection of God’s message.
And then this right in the middle of it all…
Isaiah 30:18
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!

For the Lord is a God of justice: On the surface, compassion and justice seem to oppose each other. If a guilty criminal stands before the judge, he has the choice to show either compassion or justice. But God is so great, He can show both at the same time. Like on the cross, Jesus took the punishment we deserve, God’s justice is satisfied. And at the same time, He shows compassion by extending the work of Jesus to us as payment for our sins. Only God can reconcile compassion and justice, “that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:26).

Psalm 111:2-9
The works of the Lord are great, Studied by all who have pleasure in them. 3 His work is honorable and glorious, And His righteousness endures forever. 4 He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; The Lord is gracious and full of compassion. 5 He has given food to those who fear Him; He will ever be mindful of His covenant.  6 He has declared to His people the power of His works, In giving them the heritage of the nations.

7 The works of His hands are verity and justice; All His precepts are sure. 8 They stand fast forever and ever, And are done in truth and uprightness. 9 He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome is His name.

Psalm 145:8-9
The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy. 9 The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.

Mark 1:40-42
A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” 41 Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”  42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.

Jesus was full of compassion and it moved him to do what He saw the Father doing.  REFER BACK TO PSALM 148:8 “The lord is gracious and FULL of compassion…”

Now to the Justice side of God…
First of all justice must be defined. A simple definition taken from the book of Romans is that justice is defined as rewarding the law abider and punishing the law breaker. The definition according to Dictionary.com would concur with this definition it says, JUSTICE: the administering of deserved punishment or reward.

Just as much as God will reward those who diligently seek Him, He is also the punish those who outright reject the truth and stand in dreadful fear of judgment. The scriptures are clear that both are of God.

However we cannot fully understand God’s justice only using human ideas, we must view it from scripture.

Zechariah 7:8-9 says… Then the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying, 9 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Execute TRUE JUSTICE; show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother.

Aren’t you thankful that God’s definition of Justice is to show mercy and compassion?

However, Godly justice does not allow wrong to go unpunished or undisciplined either. We also must understand the difference between punishment and discipline. God’s children are disciplined as we are told in Hebrews, while those who reject Him will one day be punished. God is just, He must reward and punish otherwise He would not truly be just. How would you feel about a judge that constantly overlooked crimes, and let criminals go? We would call that judge corrupt. God is not corrupt!

Mercy always comes before judgment, but if that mercy is rejected, judgment still has to take place to satisfy the requirement of JUSTICE.

2 Thessalonians 1:3-10
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. 4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.

5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes all of you, because you believed our testimony to you concerning Jesus.

Isaiah 30:18
“…the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!”

http://www.newvictory.ca

Copyright 2011-12 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner

Living in God’s Grace and Holiness | Part 1

Jason Silver | Pastor and Author

holy-spirit-best-bestEphesians Chapter  2
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.


A lot of Christians stop here at that thought and think, “Well… Grace made it so I had to do nothing but believe to be saved.” People continue this line of thinking throughout their Christian lives and think that because of God’s grace they don’t have to do anything with their salvation once they have it. For us to believe that we don’t really have to live different, think different, and speak different is simply not true. Grace is not an excuse to do nothing, it’s empowerment from God to do everything! He’s given us everything for “life” and “godliness” or God-Likeness, meaning to become more like God in character, and in action.

Continuing on in verse 10

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

We are fellow citizens with God’s people! We are members of God’s household!

Every household has principles and rules even that the family lives by; God’s household is no different! As much as there are expectations for how we live in our earthly homes, there are expectations for how we live in God’s home! We must realize that God’s grace does not excuse us from living out these principles at all!

Galatians 5:13-26
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who practice these things cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Ephesians 5:1-5
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

What are some principles to help us make righteous decisions and live a holy life?

These are principles by which I strive to live my Christian life, and I know they will help you.

Principle One
1 Corinthians 6:12-13
“Everything is permissible for me”-but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”-but I will not be mastered by anything.

Principle 2
1 John 2:5-6
This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

Asking ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” Really does still apply!
It’s a great litmus test, so to speak,  to help us make right decisions, and walk in holiness

Principle 3
Ask yourself? Does it bring glory to God?

1 Corinthians10:31-32
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Principle 4:
The Hidden Word

Psalm 119:11
I’ve hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you

Many folks could get victory over sinful habits in their lives just by gettin the Word of God into their hearts more. We say we don’t have time, yet we all find time for less important things. What could be more important than learning to walk pure before God?

http://www.newvictory.ca

Copyright 2011-12 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner

What Does God Think of Witchcraft?

Jason Silver | Pastor and Author

witchcraft-supplues“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6

The context of this passage refers to priests who knew what was right and wrong, and it would destroy the people, but they ignored God. And they said nothing to the people. And the Lord grew very angry with them.

As a Pastor, as a leader, and as a fellow Christian, it is my responsibility before God to provide knowledge that can save people from harmful ways, and destructive deceptions of our one true enemy….the Devil.

Ephesians 6:11-12
“For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies-the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world.” 

One of the more prominent ways the Devil is becoming more active in our society today  is through the fascination and actual practice of witchcraft… or named the more innocently sounding “white magic”. Which by the way is like saying “good evil”. As a Christian leader I refuse to sit back and watch people fall into this dangerous curiosity.

So what does the Bible say about it? And what does God think about it? Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what you or I think about it.

Galatians 5:19-21 says…
“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Deuteronomy 18:9-13
“When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the LORD your God.”

What’s the attraction to witchcraft really?

1. It provides a sense of quick power control. In an out of control world, we feel more secure if we think we can personally have power to control it.

2. It promises you personal control of the affections of your life – money, people you have infatuations towards, and material extravagance.

Note the word CONTROL!

The reality however is that the only control going on is your free will is being controlled to perform mantras, spells, incantations, and all this out of the drive to please your selfish nature.

We see an example of this in Acts 8:9-24
“Now there was a certain man named Simon, who formerly was practicing magic in the city, and astonishing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great; 10 and they all, from smallest to greatest, were giving attention to him, saying, “This man is what is called the Great Power of God.” 11 And they were giving him attention because he had for a long time astonished them with his magic arts. 12 But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike. 13 And even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip; and as he observed signs and great miracles taking place, he was constantly amazed.

14 Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, 15 who came down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. 18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 “You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. 22 “Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 “For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity.” 24 But Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”

We can see witchcraft throughout all kinds of areas we are touched by every day. Horoscopes…fortune tellers…movies… music…and one of the more  prominent form of medias today… computer games. Here’s the names of but a few computer games like this: Diablo, Hexen, Heretic. Just listen to the names. It’s quite obvious. In one of these games you can actually play as the Baal’s, the false Gods mentioned throughout scripture that caused Israel to fall time and time again.

We try to justify everything we do that we like… but deep down we know God does not approve, and our involvement in it does not give him glory in the least.

So what am I saying in all of this?

That at all costs, we must stay away from witchcraft in all forms, even fictional books (ie. Harry Potter) music, and games. And if you’re involved in it now, you can ask God for forgiveness, and ask for him to free you from its control.

Ask for forgiveness? Yes… witchcraft is sin. In the Bible, rebellion is compared to the “sin” of witchcraft. This is what it comes down to. You can make a choice to obey God fully in this, and view witchcraft in any form for what it really is; or you can try to sooth your conscience by justifying it with human reasoning.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people use “Well it’s just entertainment.” as a justification. Pornography is also considered entertainment, yet that still does not justify a Christ-follower watching it.

In all of this however, we do not need to fear witchcraft, we need to deal with it.

“For greater is He who is in us, than he that is the world, that is the Devil!!!”

 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. “

Ephesians 6:10-18
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

 www.newvictory.ca

Copyright 2011-12 | Permission to copy, print, or use material is freely granted. Provided that the integrity of the material is not compromised in any manner