Archive for June 2014

“What Should You Do When “Goliath” Comes?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

Goliath comes 

What Should You Do When “Goliath” Comes?”

I have a sign mounted on the wall in front of my desk that says, “Don’t tell God how big your mountain is; tell the mountain how big your God is!”  The sign is there to remind me that we all will face some giants, but what we need is to respond in faith when we’re confronted by them.

You may want to run away in fear, you may try to avoid them and act as if they’ll just go away.  But the giants won’t just go away; they must be confronted and dealt with.  And they can be overcome and defeated!    As you journey through life, battles are inevitable, so you must learn to depend on Christ, take God at His Word, and believe Him for your breakthrough and victory.

In 1st Samuel, Chapter 17, we read a story many of us remember as a child. While we’ve all heard of young, unafraid David and the confrontational Goliath, the Holy Spirit of God has a few things there to reveal, remind and encourage you.

Goliath” represents any damnable hard time, any adverse or abusive circumstance, any negative persecution or stressful situation,  any overwhelming financial crisis, any physical, mental, emotional or spiritually painful condition, any  unshakeable, destructive bad habit or sin, or any surrounding demonic activity or satanic entrapment. Your ‘Goliath’ will confront you, challenge you, oppose you, discourage you and will attempt to defeat you!

You must know that, no matter what ‘Goliath’ confronts you, the love from the cross, and the grace from Christ’s empty tomb is MORE than enough to encourage, sustain and persuade you! In trusting Christ and taking God at His Word  you will daily realize that The Holy Spirit in you will enable you to become a giant killerand that it’s time to TRUST GOD.

In 1st Samuel 17:26, David strongly asks, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

After considering God’s glorious promises and his recent experiences of divine assistance in killing the bear and the lion, David was determined that he would go into battle with the things that had always worked for him in the past. David knew that God, who had always come through in the past, was the very same God who would still come through in this new present situation.

Can you believe that very same Lord that has brought you through trials and challenges before will do it again?  The very same Lord that saved you is more than able to keep you, as you look to Him and stand on His Word.

Initially, David was criticized and even opposed by those he thought supported him. But he trusted God.  Often we too must learn that if God is all we have, He’s really all we need.  So, we must rise and go forward in faith in Jesus Christ and know we can trust him.

David walked into that valley into an impossible situation only because he knew   God had been faithful and would remain faithful.  God had never left him in his dark, dire, and impossible situations, and David believed God would not fail him in this situation either.  And he will not fail you!  If God be for you, who or what can be against you?

You may not see your giants physically fall the very instant you exercise faith in God.  But, don’t let that cause you to lose hope!  For you often cannot believe what the eyes of your flesh see.  But, you can always believe what the eyes of faith see because we walk by faith and not by sight.

So, even if it may look like you’re outgunned, outnumbered and in an impossible situation, remember that it looked that way for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  It looked that way for Daniel.  It looked that way for the disciples when the storm raged outside their ship.  It certainly looked that way for Jesus as he was lifted high upon that cross.  But God had the final “say-so” in each of these life-changing experiences.

If you want to see the giants in your life lying dead at your feet, you must do as David did.  He believed God was greater than any giant that he could ever face.  He believed that the same Lord that brought him through challenges in the past still reigned on high, and the same sources (prayer, faith, praise, The Word of God and The Holy Spirit) that he used under prior conditions, were always available, and would work under any new challenge!  And that’s still true for you today as you confront the Goliaths in your own life.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

 

“Where Do You Go From Here?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

shark

Where Do You Go From Here?”

Sometimes as you go through life, you may have to begin a brand new chapter in your journal by starting all over again.  Initially you may also be filled with questions, anxieties, or uncertainties after being overwhelmed by the things that have happened around you.  But then you’ll have to learn how to proceed from that place of unhappiness or devastation.

This may occur after experiencing the death of a loved one, after a divorce, a job layoff, the foreclosure of a cherished home full of precious memories, after being faced with a long-ranged road of recovery from an unforeseen sickness, an abusive situation, or an addiction of chemical dependency.  It may even come after a heart-wrenching decision to depart from a church you’ve been in for years and not being clear as to where you’re going next.

While God doesn’t promise to immediately unravel or resolve every one of our problems, He does instruct, encourage, and expect us to place our full confidence in Him, for He says in His Word that The Just Shall Live By Faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4)

The Prophet Habakkuk became perplexed and began to wonder, complain, and ask God questions regarding the things that were happening during his day.  Just like many today, he wanted to know:  “Why are the wicked prospering?    Why is God allowing such horrific and sinful crimes to go on?   Why does it seem as if God is silent during these evil times?  And why is God destroying the less evil nation of Judah by permitting a much more wicked nation, like Babylon, to conquer them?” 

Finally, in the very midst of all the confusion and difficulties, Habakkuk went up to the watchtower to get alone with God.  There, after praying, he learned to listen to God and hear His answers.  It was there that God revealed to him His ultimate plan for His people.

When a nation turns its face from God, its rebellion or sin will be judged.  So God revealed to the prophet that He was going to use Babylon to afflict Judah, but Babylon’s turn would then come and be blotted out.  But God, in His infinite wisdom and love, would remember His people and give to those that repented and sought His face a more glorious future.

The inspiration, insight, and revelation that Habakkuk received from The Lord was so great that he began to shout a special song of praise and place his total trust in God, despite what was yet occurring around him. (Read Habakkuk 3:17-19)

He realized that “today” is just a small part of God’s eternal plan and that “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His Purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

You too must come to realize that in the midst of every tribulation and in the darkness of every storm filled with misery, it’s through faith in Christ and standing firm on God’s promises that we will find ourselves being sustained, comforted, and strengthened by His Holy Spirit.  So, know that whatever you’re going through today, THIS TOO SHALL PASS!!!

Whenever you’re tossed, perplexed, and being overwhelmed by the circumstances around you, remember God’s precious promises to you that are in His Word.   For our hope is anchored in Christ. 

Observe, adhere to, and obey the answers given in His Word which are anointed and made alive through The Holy Spirit of God.  Then will you hear what Christ has to say to you in every situation.

Habakkuk learned and prophesied that those who wait to hear His Voice will not be disappointed.  Though the answer may seem as if it’s being deferred, it will come and be made abundantly clear as you wait on The Lord.

Just like a shipwrecked survivor will cling to a life preserver, we too must hold fast to God’s Living Promises, for He alone is Our Salvation, Security, Protector, and Deliverer.  Neither Christ nor His Word is confined, limited, or powerless to hard times, adverse circumstances, negative situations, painful conditions, or the demonic activity that surrounds us.

Then at the very end of our road, we shall find our great eternal reward through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

“Have You Ever Had A Dream But Never Acted On It?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

cancelled dreams 

Have You Ever Had A Dream But Never Acted On It?”

Have you ever had good intentions but never took the first step towards implementing them?  Before your dreams become lost and irretrievable, isn’t it time for you to be healed and spiritually refreshed so you can recapture your vision and find greater purpose and fulfilled joy?

Wherever you find yourself in life, there is always room for improvements.  And God is now calling you to go forward because He has something more for you. 

It doesn’t matter what you have achieved, accomplished or attained, there’s an exciting new challenge ahead for you with new victories to be won.  So you need to be pursuing the dream that God has placed within your heart.

In Deuteronomy 1: 6 & 8, God said to Moses and Israel, “You have stayed at this mountain long enough.  It is time to break camp and move on.  Go…  Look, I Am giving all this land to you.”

God spoke to Moses at Mt. Horeb and told him that the nation of Israel had stayed too long at that place and that it was time to arise and move forward.

For one year they sat at the foot of that mountain after their departure from Egypt.  Even though there they had received The Law, made The Tabernacle and they were all numbered and prepared for battle, they had grown used to where they were; perhaps even thinking it was their permanent home.   But God ordered them to move onward because God had something else greater and better in store for them:  “The Promised Land.”

Just like the Israelites, too many believers become accustomed to their daily routine or rut.   You have become too use to the place that The Lord only wanted you to pass through, but never to remain at.  He has something far greater, glorious, awesome and more exciting in store for you, so it’s now time to arise because you can’t get there unless you first leave where you are.

It’s time for you to arise and step out in faith and leave the place of certainty for uncertainty.  It’s time to launch out into the deep and leave your familiar place or comfort zone, for you have sat where you are too long.

Now Christ has given believers everything that we’ll ever need to face every new challenge and spiritual battle on this side of eternity.  All you need to do is to allow The Holy Spirit to direct your path, believe His Word, step out in faith, begin to do the things that you’ve envisioned, stop making excuses and never look back.

Remember, you’ll never achieve unless you fully believe.  And it’s God’s Will for you to go forward and possess new lands.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

“Do You Realize How Much You Mean To Our Heavenly Father?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

looking to God

Do You Realize How Much You Mean To Our Heavenly Father?”

Throughout Christianity, “GRACE has been defined as “God’s free, unmerited and undeserved favor,” which is expressed in the salvation of sinners,  the imparting of spiritual gifts and the conferring of blessings upon the life of a believer.

Because GOD IS LOVE, He bestows MERCY which demonstrates GRACE.  He grants to us what we don’t deserve and then removes from us the consequences which we truly do.  An excellent picture of this can be found in 2 Samuel chapter 9 which illustrates what believers mean to God and what He does for us.

2 Samuel 9: 6-8 NIV Says, “When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor. David said, “Mephibosheth!” “At your service,” he replied.  “Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”  Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”

Earlier, David had entered into a covenant with Jonathan that he would show unfailing kindness to him, or to his family if he were killed in battle, when he became king.  The word “kindness,” which is used several times in this chapter reveals “GRACE” or unmerited favor.

After David defeated his enemies and established his kingdom, his soul remembered Jonathan.  So he inquired if Jonathan had a son.  Mephibosheth was only five years old at the time of his father’s death and suffered a permanent injury as his nurse tried to hide him while attempting to protect him from any danger or attack. (Read 2 Samuel 4:4)

David was in exile during Jonathan’s death and had never seen his son, so after being informed about him and his seclusion, he sent for him to be brought immediately to the palace.

Mephibosheth probably expected execution, which usually happened to the members of a dethroned dynasty, where the successor put to death every male relative of his predecessor.

So when he arrived, he was in fear as he appeared before King David.  But David then promised to treat Mephibosheth with kindness for the sake of his father Jonathan.  It was immediately shown by restoring lands that had been confiscated from his family and in being told that he would have a special place of honor at the king’s table for the rest of his life, just as if he were David’s very own son.

David’s conduct was totally gracious and generous and for such a person, he could do no more.  Jonathan was David’s sworn friend, therefore he demonstrated grace to his son, Mephibosheth.

Sensing unworthiness to receive such favor, Mephibosheth fell on his face, did reverence to David as King and referred to himself as “a dead dog.”  But David called him “the son of Jonathan” and expressed great affection towards him.

What David did for Mephibosheth was wonderful, but it’s just an example of what God does for every child of His.  While we don’t deserve and  can’t earn His Grace, for Jesus’ sake, God’s Divine and Amazing Grace is extended to all those that turn to Christ.

While David did not personally know Mephibosheth, he did what he did for him for the sake of Jonathan, whom he loved.  So whenever David looked at Mephibosheth, he did not see a cripple, He saw Jonathan, talked about Jonathan and extended grace.  This revealed how much Jonathan meant to David.

Do You Realize How Much You As A Believer Really Mean To Our Heavenly Father?  When God sees us, HE SEES CHRIST IN US.  God doesn’t see us as “no-account” crippled sinners.  In Hebrews 10:17 God said, “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”

David was never able to make Mephibosheth walk, but none of David’s other guests would ever complain or talk about him as he ate at the king’s table.  They learned to respect, love and give honor for Jonathan’s sake.

As believers in Christ Jesus, we are the beloved of our Heavenly Father.  Our Father always sees us through the eyes of our Lord, Jesus Christ. As we too sit at His table, we’ve been blessed with all spiritual blessings. 

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

 

“Are You Going To Church But Returning Home The Same Way?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

worried 

Are You Going To Church But Returning Home The Same Way?”

Do you have questions that need real answers?  Are you in need of a fresh revelation from The Lord?    Are you praying but not seeing answers?  Do you want to see the power of God moving in your life?

Experiencing the grace and power of God is MUCH MORE than just routinely attending a religious service, sitting in a church pew, clapping your hands to the beat of the praise music or saying an occasional “Amen” as the pastor preaches.

The Word of God is The Power of God Through Christ Jesus.  The same Word that became flesh through the incarnation is very real today through His resurrection. And today, Jesus still saves, forgives, delivers, heals, provides for, comforts, enables and strengthens.  DO YOU KNOW AND BELIEVE HIM?

In Acts 8:26-40, we are given an amazing story in which The Holy Spirit goes into great detail to tell us about a man returning home unsatisfied about his religious experience and was still hungry for the truth.

Returning from the Jewish worship services in Jerusalem, he sat reading a scroll of Isaiah 53: 7-8, with a great desire to know more.  There was still a void in his heart as he left, but God went into action on the dusty road as he was on his way back home.

Philip, who was one of the original deacons selected to serve tables in the church, was now mightily being used by God to evangelize the region by preaching Jesus Christ.

Philip, who wasn’t told what to expect, was being divinely guided to go to a desert road as The Lord was supernaturally controlling the events.  So upon arrival, he found this Ethiopian Eunuch of great authority sitting in his chariot reading.

When Philip appeared, the Ethiopian Eunuch didn’t question Philip about who he was or where he’d come from.  He needed something else, ANSWERS!   Answers that only God could supply.

So a man of God, full of The Word of God, anointed with The Spirit of God was being used to preach Jesus Christ.

God had gone and still goes to great lengths for you to know and experience Him.  The only question that remains is “Are you willing to allow Christ to impact your life through His Word and Holy Spirit?”

In Acts 8:30-31 NASB, the Bible says, “Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

Philip did more than just interpret this portion of scripture, HE PREACHED JESUS to this eunuch.  He didn’t offer any religious philosophy, church traditional views or new age doctrine.  HE PREACHED THE RESURRECTED AND ASCENDED JESUS CHRIST! 

God knows who you are, where you are and what you need most.  If you give Him all of yourself, He will give you all of Himself. 

“Is your heart hungry for Him?” What is it that you’re missing or lacking?   What do you need from The Lord?  What void do you have that needs to be filled? What emptiness are you experiencing that needs to be satisfied?  What do you need from The Living Christ?

Christ, through His Word and Holy Spirit, wants to move in your heart and life and orchestrate in your affairs.  Will you walk with Him and allow God to do something gracious and amazing that only He can do.

The Jews of that day believed that eunuchs were prohibited from coming into the assembly of God’s people because they were regarded as ritually impure according to Lev. 21: 20 and 22: 19-25.   But Isaiah had prophesied that one day eunuchs would be allowed into the assembly of God’s people in Isaiah 56: 3-5, and that prophecy was fulfilled here in Acts.

So when the eunuch saw there was water near, he asked Philip to baptize him and after making his confession to Christ, Philip didn’t hesitate to baptize him.

Finally, upon returning back to his chariot, he wasn’t troubled that Philip was snatched away by The Spirit of God and it didn’t seem to bother him.  For he now had come to experience the Risen Christ and kept on rejoicing as he went on his way back home.

 

“Why Don’t You Rise Up And Do Something That The Enemy Doesn’t Expect You To Do?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

teacher 

Why Don’t You Rise Up And Do Something That The Enemy Doesn’t Expect You To Do?”

A surprise attack before dawn on MAY 10, 1775, gave America one of its first victories of the Revolutionary War.  Ethan Allen, who commanded the Green Mountain Boys of Vermont, captured Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain, without the loss of one man, by overrunning the British stronghold in the early morning while the British troops were sleeping.

Rushing suddenly upon the enemy, Ethan Allen shouted: “In the Name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress we demand your immediate surrender.”  The British surrendered and were sent back to Great Britain.  Then three weeks later, in addressing the Massachusetts Congress, the joyous shout was, “If God be for us, who can be against us?”(Romans 8:31)

Amazing things can and will happen in our lives when we start looking to Jesus, trusting God, and rising up to go forward in faith.  “The Lord is our refuge and strength, a very present help in the time of trouble.”  (Psalms 46:1)

Too often, to keep you discouraged and procrastinating, Satan sends forth the spirit of hopelessness to implant his lying thoughts to your mind to paint a vivid picture of gloom and doom before your eyes.  In speaking to your mind, Satan is trying to convince you that “there’s absolutely no possible solution or any way out of your situation.”

By stealing away your hope today, Satan is trying to rob you of your future.  He knows that if you’re experiencing hopelessness by keeping your eyes on yourself, your feelings and your present situation, you will be distracted from following God’s plan and purpose for your life.  Satan knows that you are covered by Christ’s blood atonement, and does not want you to walk in the victory that is yours.  He’s working overtime giving you pictures of mental defeat, financial destruction and a hopeless future. But remember he IS a defeated foe!

God wants you to realize that the only situation that’s hopeless belongs to the Devil.  He’s the defeated one, the liar, the deceiver, the thief, the manipulator, the destroyer, and might I add, The loser!”  Satan’s unchangeable destiny is to be cast into The Lake of Fire!  Even NOW we, as believers, are given authority over him in Jesus’ name! He is UNDER our feet!   So, how can the devil really mess with your mind about your future, when Christ has already predicted and announced his?

Remember, whenever your outlook isn’t looking so good, Try Looking UP!”  Depression isn’t a stage you go through, IT’S AN ATTACK!”   Discouragement and depression can lead to a physical and spiritual breakdown.  It will immobilize you through frustrations and fatigue, and cause fear and bitterness.  It will have draining, damaging and paralyzing effects.  If you let yourself, your enthusiasm will dry up and your conversation will become sour as you become dazed and engulfed in self-pity and grief.  But, The Holy Spirit of God has called you to be more than a conqueror through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:37)

Realize that you will completely surprise and anger the devil when you rise up in faith in the name of Jesus Christ and remind Satan of his place.  Satan knows the power within you, but does not expect that you know it, or will use it!

NO!  Satan thinks that you believe the thoughts he’s implanted that tell you that you are defeated and finished. Therefore no matter how beat up or drained you might be feeling, realize that it’s time for you to fight back, stand up against those negative thoughts, and rise above circumstances, by praising God.  Know that you are NOT alone!

Stand on God’s Word, get before His Presence, learn who you are in Christ, be filled with His Holy Spirit and step out in faith!  Then you’ll find significance and value, break the bonds of demonic influence, overcome discouragement and depression, and break free from the stress, grief, anxiety and guilt that have been holding you prisoner.

Go join that prayer group and start interceding for others. Move out from your comfort zone and start sharing Christ with others in your community.  Start giving with a cheerful heart to your church or ministry and support others.  Rise up and do whatever God has placed in your heart to do.

God has called you unto Himself, placed His Spirit inside of you, and now desires to work in you, through you, by you and with you.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

 

“Are You Allowing Uncertainty To Crush Your Heart And Rob You?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

uncertainty

Are You Allowing Uncertainty To Crush Your Heart And Rob You?”

On different occasions doubt, uncertainty, skepticism, indecision, insecurity or instability has arisen in the hearts and minds of God’s people to trouble or perplex them regarding God’s power and His promises during  difficult times.

But, nothing should be allowed to give us such a lack of assurance or separate us from the love, grace and the promises of Our Living Savior & Lord, Jesus Christ.  No, not even death itself.

To help us be reminded of this, let’s reconsider the story in Matthew 14: 22-36 of Peter walking upon the water.  After struggling and exhausting themselves to keep their boat afloat on the sea during a turbulent storm, Jesus goes to their rescue by the means of walking on the water.  But when they see Him coming, they’re even more afraid believing him to be a ghost.

So Jesus calls out to them, identifying Himself and tells them not to fear.  Peter responses, “If it is you then permit me to come to you.”  Jesus said, “Come” and Peter began to walk on the water towards Christ.

Then Matthew 14: 30-31 says, “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”  Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” He said, “Why did you doubt?”

In this familiar story Peter, being upheld by the power of Christ, walked upon the water not for any personal gain but to go to Jesus. As long as his full focus remained on Jesus, he was wonderfully borne up.  But when Peter saw and felt the strong hard wind blowing against him and the violent waves of the sea increasing to rise, his eyes became distracted and his attention diverted away from Jesus, who initially was empowering him to walk on top of those opposing conditions.

Even in our worst or most severe stormy days, HE IS OUR VERY PRESENT HELP.  Our dependence should be on Christ.  For He’s far greater and more superior than any hard time, negative situation , painful condition or demonic activity that you could ever encounter or experience. 

To show the greatness of His love, mercy, power and grace, various adversities will arise in our lives to often tempt, discourage, oppose, defeat and even try to destroy us but special promises and grace have been given to all, whose eyes remain focused on Christ.

It was through FAITH in Jesus that Peter was being supernaturally and divinely upheld, but when that faith wavered, the laws of gravitation were re-activated during his supernatural walk and then he began to quickly sink.  The violent winds and raging sea may have distracted his attention away, but it was the reduction of his faith that caused him to quickly sink and endanger his life.

After saving his life, The Lord rebuked Peter for his weakness of faith in allowing doubt to prevail to rob him of blessing.  For there is no good reason why Christ’s believers today should be of a doubtful mind when we’ve been given so great a salvation with so many assurances.

According to the Word of God, we should always expect our Lord’s divine intervention into our lives and affairs through faith.  We should trust that His almighty outstretched arms will rescue and deliver us in every situation. 

Satan will speak to your heart and minds in an attempt to distract, divert, discourage and depress your mind and crush your spirit as you face the circumstances in your life.  But don’t allow doubt and unbelief to rob you of the blessings and victory God wants you to experience through Christ.

Know that the cure for doubt and unbelief in all situations is to keep your mind  and heart renewed in The Word and Promises of God.  Learn God’s Word, renew it in your heart, recite it daily, meditate on it day and night, never let it depart from you and your life will be descriptive of Psalm 1: 3, which says “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

“Do You Really Believe In The Power Behind The Cross Of Jesus?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

cross 

Do You Really Believe In The Power Behind The Cross Of Jesus?”

On July 1, 1824, Charles Finney, an ordained Presbyterian minister, appeared in a number of churches and other buildings to lead revivals over the next few decades throughout New York and Pennsylvania.

Preaching three times on Sundays and three more times during the week throughout the “red light district”areas in these states, great revivals broke out as Finney taught that the atoning blood of Jesus Christ was all that was needed to open up the way for God to pardon people of their sin and only by repentance and the acceptance of Christ in one’s soul could one be saved from damnation and Hell’s fires and be assured of a place in Heaven.

A great decrease of the criminal activity in these areas was solely attributed to his gospel preaching and leading of thousands of sinners to Christ.

On one particular occasion, as Finney was about to enter the church he was to preach at, a man approached him and asked if he could privately speak with him after the service.  Finney said yes, and after entering the building, a deacon pulled him quickly to the side and said, “Do you know who that man is?”  Finney said no.  The deacon said, “Don’t have anything to do with him.  It’s rumored that he’s the one responsible for all the gambling, drugs, prostitution, and murders in this city.  He’s a really bad man!  Don’t have anything to do with him!”

Finney said that he had given his word to meet him after the service and must keep his word to see what he wanted, and he entered the church.

After the service, that man was waiting for Finney on the doorsteps of the building.  Finney greeted him and the man said, “I would like to speak privately with you.  Can you come to my office?”  Finney said yes and began following him.

They walked a couple of blocks and then suddenly turned down a dark alley before coming to a door that led downwards into a small room in the cellar.  In the room were just an old desk and one chair. 

As the man sat down, looking up at Finney he said, “Do you know who I am?” And Finney responded, “Yes.”   Then the man slowly reached into his desk drawer and pulled out a gun and laid it on top of the desk and said, “I’d like to ask you a question.”

He proceeded, “It has been said that I’m the one responsible for all the gambling, drugs, prostitution, and crime in this city.  Can God forgive a man for having done all of these things?”  Finney replied, “First John 1:9 it says, if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 

The man just nodded and then said, “There are several families that have been ruined because I’ve had their husbands or fathers murdered.  Can God forgive a man for having done all of these things?”  Finney again responded, “First John 1:9 it says, if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  Again, the man just slightly nodded his head.

Then the man said, “I’m married and have a little daughter that I rarely see because I’ve been with several other women.  Can God forgive a man for all of this?”  Once again Finney declared, “In First John 1:9 it says, if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 

Finally, the man just looking up from his desk at Finney in the dimly lit room said, “You can now go.”  And without another spoken word from either, Finney departed.

After sunrise the next morning, the man went home.  Upon hearing the front door unlock, the man’s wife quickly told her daughter that “Your daddy’s home but whatever you do, stay out of his way.”  The man entered his home.  Upon smelling the scent of the breakfast, he entered into the kitchen where they were nervously standing.  He walked over to his little daughter and picked her up and held her for the first time in his arms and kissed her cheek and told her how much he loved her.  Then he proceeded to embrace his wife, and after kissing her, he asked her forgiveness for all that he’d ever done to her and announced that their lives would never be the same again because of Christ.

You don’t get to Heaven by being “good” or go to Hell for being “bad.”  The Bible says we’re ALL born in sin or all bad, and we’ve ALL fallen short of the Glory of God and in need of a savior.  God therefore saves those who believe in His Son, that He died on the cross for them and washed their sins away.  Then God not only forgives our sin, but also purifies our heart. 

The Eternal Son put on flesh and blood and died to wash us from our sins in his own atoning blood that we may have a new relationship and intimate fellowship with Christ and be destined for Heaven.

God Himself has provided the sufficient and effectual Sacrifice for sin that is needed throughout all the generations of mankind, without which a person is lost forever.

 

“Is The Way You’re Going God’s Way?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

tug 

Is The Way You’re Going God’s Way?”

Do you ever remember playing a game called, “Tug of War?”  It’s a strenuous contest between two sides, in which participants holding opposite ends of a rope try to pull each other across a dividing line into their area or zone.

In their struggle for supremacy, the physical strength, mental will-power and firm resistance of every player is fully engaged, as both teams on opposite sides utilize all their energies and efforts, digging their heels into the ground and screaming their lungs out in the process, just to win.  But, just like in this physical entertaining game, many are tugging, withstanding and struggling spiritually against The Lord for direction and full control over their lives and circumstances.

Are you opposing, resisting or quenching The Lord in your life?  Are you procrastinating by putting off those things that God’s calling you to do?  Are you doing whatever you want to do, without the consideration of others around you and despite the dictates from God?

Are you walking in the strength of your mind, exerting your own way, even if it comes to things within your church or religious community?  Are you tugging against The Holy Spirit of God?

In Matthew 9:9 NASB we are given one amazing verse which says, “As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He said to him, Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him.”

Christ is always calling for an immediate surrender to the will and work of God.  Where there was an invisible void in Matthew’s heart,  the power of Christ’s Words and the tugging of The Holy Spirit now overwhelmed him, summoned for a reaction and he fully surrendered. 

Never again would he allow his occupation, his infamous ways or his deceptive financial profits detain him after Christ called him.  

Without telling him what work he was going to do, Matthew immediately arose.  Without consulting with flesh and blood, he stood up and followed Jesus.  He left the place where he collected the taxes which were levied by the Roman Officials against the Jews and never again looked back or returned to that place.

God’s calling you to surrender everything that’s evil, every weight that would hinder your complete commitment, fellowship or service and arise to follow Him.  He’s calling you to walk in agreement with Him and be led by His Holy Spirit. 

So, without any further delay, are you ready to surrender and willing to do things God’s Way?

“How Real Are The Promises Of God To You?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

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How Real Are The Promises Of God To You?”

It has been said that the national paper currency in any country is only as good as the amount of gold in it’s treasury that backs up it’s paper money.  While this is not a lesson on economics, this same principle is extremely important in the arena of faith because God’s Word is backed up by His Character, the sacrifice that was made on Calvary by Jesus and by the Resurrection of Christ from the grave.

The issue at stake is not if “GOD CAN?”  The issue at stake is “Do you really believe His Character and His Promises?”

The thing that stands in the way of so many people is their very own sense of reasoning or human logic.  While the person of faith does not reject the capability of human reason, he’s learned that there are things that human reason just cannot do or comprehend.

Faith and human reason are NOT contrary to one another, FAITH JUST OVERLOOKS, IGNORES OR DISREGARDS REASON, BY RISING ABOVE IT AND LIVES IN A HIGHER REALM.

While we are not expected to leave our minds behind or check our brains in at the door, we must not permit our reasoning to keep us bound.   We are to allow faith to arise in our hearts and enlighten our understanding.

Simply walking in your own intellect is NOT the same as walking in The Spirit of God.  Walking in your own natural intellect, is a life filled with limitations and restrictions as you attempt to reason things out or comprehend before trusting.  And unbelief always results in disobedience because you fail to act in faith.

Unbelief is NOT the failure of your human mind to logically understand God’s truths, unbelief is sin within the human heart that prevents or keeps you from believing Christ.

That’s the reason that there are so many unanswered prayers in many congregations today.  Many church members are living in their own opinions of what they think or how they view things rather than accepting and believing The Word and looking at the character of God, who cannot lie.

Numbers 23:19 NASB says “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

The character of God is Holy and Pure and thereby can be trusted.  Men change their minds and break their vows constantly, but God never changes His mind and never nullifies His promises.  The counsels of God stand forever.   God is faithful and true and “His promises in Christ are yea and Amen.”(2nd Corinthians 1:20)

Reason cannot explain or accept that Jesus Christ was born of a young virgin, but faith knows that He was.  Reason cannot explain or accept that Jesus Christ, upon the cross, became sin for us, but faith knows it.  Reason cannot prove, explain or accept that Jesus Christ arose from the grave after being dead for 3 days, but faith knows that HE AROSE, LIVES AND REIGNS FOREVERMORE.

By faith all believers KNOW that their sins have been forgiven and that Jesus is coming back again one day, but reason cannot comprehend these things.

By faith, believers believe that Christ saves, indwells, heals, delivers, strengthens, provides for, comforts and hears the prayers of His people.  But all of these things are above the realm of human reasoning, for indeed they are MIRACULOUS.

Faith believes that God and His Promises are far greater than the threats of any enemy, adverse circumstance, negative situation, painful condition or demonic activity, which is beyond any human reasoning.

His covenant and grace through Jesus Christ is a sure foundation to all that will believe and live in Him.  Nothing should assure us more of the faithfulness of God’s promises than the life, death, resurrection and ascension of His Son, Jesus Christ.  And nothing should confirm our faith more than the indwelling of The Holy Spirit of God within our hearts.

All of which are beyond human reason but believed and accepted by faith.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!