Archive for January 2015

“What Should You Do When Someone You Trusted Turns Against You?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Bishop Andrew Bills

deceivers 

What Should You Do When Someone You Trusted Turns Against You?”

In this world filled with human depravity, no one is exempt from an attack rising from jealousy or envy.  While it may begin with a silent whisper in a corner, then move to a closed door meeting and result in a full blown confrontation, those that walk upright with God are marked for an attack against them.

Such was the case in the life of Moses in Numbers Chapter 12, but more importantly we are given a key principle on how we should handle these situations regardless if they occur in our home, place of business or even in our church.

Numbers 12: 1-2 NIV says, “Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. ‘Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?’ they asked. ‘Hasn’t he also spoken through us?’ And the LORD heard this.”

Miriam, as the sister of Moses, was a prophetess and held high rank among the women of Israel.  As a young girl, she was the one who pushed baby Moses, in his sealed basket, down the Nile River until it was found by Pharaoh’s daughter.  She was the one who spoke up and recommended that Pharaoh’s daughter get a Nanny for the infant Moses and ran and got their very own mother.  Later, upon  the destruction of all the enemy at the Red Sea, she was the one that started singing and a great revival service broke out as Israel stood on the banks after God’s miraculous deliverance.

But on this occasion, jealousy began to flood her heart as envy began to stir her soul.  While all of the exact details are unrecorded in scripture, it’s clearly evident that Miriam began to resent the wife of Moses, who was a descendant of Ham.

Perhaps Miriam believed Moses was indulging her too much, allowing himself to be swayed by her relationship, persuaded by her suggestions, and be led by her foreign feminine ways.  All of which she believed were effecting both her and Aaron’s positions of authority and could diminish their reputations.

So, Miriam became the moving force or chief instigator in this attack against Moses, with Aaron allowing himself to be drawn into the opposition.

While they didn’t deny Moses’ prophetic leadership, they claimed equality with him as they began to dispute his judgment.   Miriam reminded Israel that she was a prophetess and that Aaron also received divine revelations from God, being the high priest.  In doing so, they glorified themselves as they tried to convince the people that Moses had no monopoly on God’s communication and leadership towards Israel.

But our Lord, who reigns on high is a discerner of human hearts and will always have the final say-so in every matter.  For as your read on throughout Chapter 12, it was solely recorded to let all readers know that “a person will always reap what they have sown.”   Even a God of grace is a God of judgment in the cases before Him.

Miriam was struck with leprosy and became “as white as snow.”  And the one she so vehemently spoke out against (Moses) had to intercede for her to be healed, cleansed, forgiven and restored.

How many pastors have returned from vacations only to discover that a once trusted minister on their staff has lured some members away?   How many diligent employees have been affected by another back-stabbing, butt-kissing, and position stealing employee?  How many people have faithfully performed in their role or assignment only to suffer loss because of another person’s underhanded,  manipulative, shady, corrupt and deceptive ways?

No matter how painful or hurtful these attacks may seem to be when they come, even if you suffer a loss, there’s no room for your personal retaliation or revenge.  Realize that your trusting Christ will always result in new doors or greater opportunities appearing. 

And even if you never personally witness God’s judgments on your attackers, they will answer to God and they will also reap what they’ve sown and may have to come back before you to repent  and ask for your prayers.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

 

“Is There Anything In The Word Of God That You Really Wish Was Not There?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Bishop Andrew Bills

jeffersonbible2

“Is There Anything In The Word Of God That You Really Wish Was Not There?”

In 1804, at the end of his busy day, Thomas Jefferson sat down and opened a Bible and began to cut out various portions of The Word of God with a knife that he did not believe or accept.

In his cut out rendition, while he kept the words of Jesus and some of his deeds, he carefully eliminated all the miracles of Jesus, all the references to His virgin birth, all mentions of Christ’s Resurrection, and any suggestions that Jesus is God. Jefferson’s version ends with Jesus’ burial on Good Friday and he called his account, “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth” but is today more commonly known as “The Jefferson Bible.”

Years later Jefferson wrote that he had edited the Bible in order to separate the sublime from the ridiculous. He said, “I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.”

Maybe your actions are not quite as dramatic as those as Thomas Jefferson, but is there anything in the Bible you really wish was not there because it clashes with you intellect, interferes with your natural desires, does not fit into your agenda, is unacceptable to your plans or that you believe is culturally outdated?

In Luke 21:33, Jesus personally said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
While His disciples were observing or admiring the beauty of the buildings in Jerusalem, Jesus spoke those prevailing words as He foretold of Jerusalem’s impending destruction in 60 AD. But, the depth and truth of His statement is forever applicable to all of His Words, statements and promises which are given unto us.

Jesus was saying that “No word of mine will ever pass away unfulfilled.” The words and promises of Jesus Christ still remain for our direction, purification, comfort, redemption and assurance. But, they shall never pass away, for His words are ETERNAL.

Fashions may change, technology advance, possessions disappear, and prices fluctuate, but His Word is a sure foundation that will see you through any tough situation.

So take heed that you don’t be overcome by any temptation, led astray by any attack of atheism, sinful rebellion against God, or defeated by any negative circumstances that may surround you.

As He kept His promise that He would arise from the dead, know that He can be trusted to keep all of His promises towards you.

“I Though You Said You Were Going To Serve Me?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

vows 

I Though You Said You Were Going To Serve Me?”

These were the loving words that The Holy Spirit spoke to a dear lady that I was ministering to a few days ago.  The Lord was reminding her of His love towards her as she was wrestling with her commitment and full surrender.

Have you made a vow or commitment to The Lord and you’re failing to keep it?  So often people “flirt” around with different aspects of sin or the world until their  passion for Christ begins to diminish and grow cold.

While we all struggle in dealing with the cares of the world, the love of the flesh is often the cause of many turning back from Biblical truths and the fellowship of Jesus Christ.

In II Timothy 4:10, The Apostle Paul referring to one of his co-workers said, “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica…”

Demas, who was a Gentile convert and became a close laborer with the apostle, could no longer bear the suffering that was going on with preaching the gospel with Paul.  This once faithful companion of Paul, who had been with him during the first imprisonment of the Apostle at Rome, now began to allow his heart to turn away.

The Holy Spirit of God will always commune with your heart as a believer begins to gradually move in the wrong direction.  Nevertheless, Demas still allowed his heart to turn away and deserted from the ministry he had been called to do. 

He lacked the courage to stand, then permitted himself to succumb to the enticement or temptation of the things that he missed and chose to abdicate his faith and abandon the work.

This was not a decision he made at the spur of a moment.  Despite the grace of God and the communion of The Holy Spirit, a person gradually allows the devil to speak to their mind, challenge their thinking, entertain their conscious and then shipwreck their faith in God.

Demas was not some sort of monster, but like so many, he failed to resist the constant attractions or seductions and returned to the sins of the past.  Whether it was lust of the flesh, a desired wealth, or the comfort away from the persecutions of ministry, he turned his back His Savior and the friendship, honor and duty of serving God with the Apostle Paul.

Don’t become a “Demas” and run away.  When we are weak, know that He is strong and we can be led and made to stand in the power of His might.  Know that there’s nothing that you cannot overcome in this world through Christ Jesus.

Once you’ve accepted Christ and have become a “partaker of His Divine nature by being filled with His Spirit,” YOU ARE NEVER ALONE!

Run to Him, not away from Him.  Draw closer to Him and listen to His voice.  Allow The Holy Spirit to direct your path and experience the wonderful joy of walking with Jesus Christ.

 

“Are You Aware That You Just May Have Too Many Clothes On?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Bishop Andrew Bills

too many clothes

“Are You Aware That You Just May Have Too Many Clothes On?”
When I was a little boy, my brother and I loved to play a special game. We would get into our closets and race to see who could put on the most layers of clothes first and still be found standing. After putting on layers of different pants, shirts, sweaters and coats, we soon both discovered how uncomfortable, bulky, awkward, restrictive and hot things became.
Suddenly, we found ourselves racing to take off, disrobe, or pull off all of these clothes because it wasn’t a proper fit for us to carry on our usual activities.
As I reflected on this contest, The Holy Spirit quickly reminded me of the words given by the Apostle Paul in the book of Ephesians.

Ephesian 6:11 ESV says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”

Are you aware that before a person can put on the armor of God, there first must be a complete disrobing, taking off or getting rid of the old man in order to put on the new man? But, it is even more important to realize that once you’ve put on the armor of God, not to try and put back on the old clothes again.

Just as God clothed Adam and Eve in the Garden, because after The Fall when they realized that they were naked and adorned themselves with leaves, God disrobed them and then made them fit to stand before His presence with a special garment prepared by Him. Once a person comes to Christ, God dresses you in Christ, which is the new wardrobe for every believer to wear.

The problem is that too many people are refusing to disrobe, take off or put away their old clothes and are still trying to wear them underneath while attempting to wear these new clothes.

Their old clothes reflect their refusal to die to self and keep their old nature alive while conducting activities that God’s Word warns against and condemns. While at the very same time, they attempt to represent themselves as “spiritual,” people of faith and ambassadors of Christ Jesus.

This activity is referred to as carnal or deceptive and is an open scandal before the face of God.
God has given Christ to every believer, and He is to be worn at all times, until we have finished our course on earth. For our combat is against the devil and all the forces of darkness, which attempts in many ways to deface the image of Christ and remove faith from within our hearts of all believers.

As you put on Christ, read the Word of God and are led by The Holy Spirit, you have been enabled with the heavy armor of God, which can sustain you against the fiercest assault and every violent temptation from the enemy.

As you put on the whole armor of God, Christ becomes your protection in every conflict and your defense against every act of aggression. Dressed in the whole armor of God, no part of us should be given over to the enemy at any time.

As a believer in Christ, you can rejoice that you have not be left unguarded at any time by God and that He will never forsake you.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

“What Steps Should You Take To Keep The Fire Burning?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Bishop Andrew Bills

fire 

What Steps Should You Take To Keep The Fire Burning?”

While an out of control wildfire can have devastating effects in our environment, fire controlled and properly used has great advantages.  Fire cooks food, sterilizes medical instruments, boils water, heats homes, welds metal, refines gold and purifies against bacteria. Fire is one of the most forceful and needed natural elements in our world which, if properly used, can manufacture or produce change.

So, in 2 Timothy 1:6, The Apostle Paul instructed Timothy to “Stir up the gift of God that is within you,” because he knew that the word “stir” means to “fan the flames of the fire.”

Evidently Timothy was struggling with discouragement from imprisonment or from facing other imminent dangers, so Paul wrote to encourage and strengthen him.  Therefore, that which Christ has placed inside of you, that which you’ve been called to do, “STIR IT UP!”

Paul exhorts Timothy to stand fast on God’s Holy Scriptures and to stir up the gift of God within him through the laying on of The Apostle’s hand, under the anointing of The Holy Spirit, when he was ordained by God.

The gift which Timothy had received was The Holy Spirit, and through Him, he received the anointing and the power to preach and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

While Timothy, like so many believers today, didn’t possess the tenacious or relentless zeal of The Apostle, Paul urged him to unleash the invincible power of God’s Spirit against all the various storms that will come to rise up against us.

Like Timothy, we are to rekindle the fire, blow on the coals, cause the flames to burn more brightly, be more zealous about what Christ has set you apart to do and keep adding more fuel to the fire.

You do these things by keeping you mind renewed through The Word of God, fellowshipping with Christ, remaining prayerful, keep piercing through the darkness, not quenching The Holy Spirit, listening to some inspirational gospel music and good Bible messages, recalling what God has done in your past and reading some inspiring articles and testimonies about what God is doing through the lives of others around the world.

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of faith, love, courage and power to face and handle all the difficulties, dangers and adversities that will come our way.

When your flesh or the devil attempts to extinguish the fire within your heart, do all that you can to keep it ignited and burning.

If there is no fire, then there will be no excitement, no joy, no enthusiasm, no hope and no anointing.  You can’t touch the lives of others around you with a discouraged, broken-hearted, depressed and defeated soul.

But underneath those gray dusty ashes, there’s still a spark that God’s able to set ablaze again, if you’re willing to start “fanning the flames within you.”

In Jeremiah chapter 20, the prophet grew weary and became so discouraged regarding the insults and the injuries that he was experiencing until he privately declared that he wouldn’t preach or prophesy anymore.  In His heart he even said, “I will not make mention of Him nor speak His name anymore.”

Jeremiah’s flesh, along with the devil’s attacks to his mind, convinced him that every time he spoke, his conditions worsen.  So as he attempted to take off his prophet’s robe, lay aside the Old Testament scrolls, cease, refrain, stop preaching  and quench The Spirit of God, the Word of God burned so hot and deep within his soul until he screamed, “It’s like a fire, shut up in my bones! And I cannot hold it in”  (Read Jeremiah 20:9)

It doesn’t matter what happened to diminish or put the fire out in your life.  Persecution, criticism, depression, burnout, sickness, divorce, abusiveness, financial hardships, an unforeseen event or accident or even the death of a loved one.

You will never recover, rise up or reach your potential unless you “fan the flames of the gift of God that’s within you.”

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!