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What Would You Do…if You Weren't Bitter

I’ve noted in nearly 6 decades on earth, that temptations are rampant and are everywhere: temptations of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life; but my observation is that the easiest temptation to fall prey to is usually an invisible one. The temptation to become offended and angry, then bitter can so easily slip in between the cracks and burrows deep into our hearts. Much like a parasite, it feeds on the host and grows larger and larger over time, even though hidden in the dark places of our hearts.

Family and loved ones can hurt the quickest and deepest.

Church hurts…oh my, some of us could write a book on those!

Hurts from the past, even back to childhood; a bully, a hateful rival, comments from decades past that dug in deep can still be recalled.

Bitterness is a cancer. I can’t prove it, but I believe it sets off a chemical change in the brain and body that shortens life.

I’m adding bitterness to my list of hindrances that keep us from God’s purposes for our lives and to advance His kingdom.

Bitterness Fear Shame

What can we do? We are born again, seed of Abraham. We need not be locked in these prisons. We are heirs, according to the promise.

Bitterness is a result of unforgiveness. God warns us in His word of the consequences of this.

Forgiveness is not a feeling. It’s a CHOICE. As people of God, we can make the conscious choice, or CHOOSE, to forgive. It’s just that simple…choose.

It’s not easy, but it is a choice God allows us to make. Feelings will come later, but only you can CHOOSE to walk away from bitterness.

His grace is indeed sufficient.

-Rod Davis Kingdom Business Network

The Law of the Manchild: Part 2

There is a law in the Bible commanding us to bring forth the manchild. Jesus fulfilled the commandment initially, but the scriptures state that“out of the mouth of two or three witnesses, let all things be established.” The law to bring forth the manchild is found in Deuteronomy 25:5-6, “If brethren dwell together, and one of them die and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry unto a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in unto her and take her to him for wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her.” How does this apply to the manchild? Hebrews 2:11-12 states that He, Jesus was not ashamed to call us brethren or brothers. So, Jesus, in one of His man duties, was our elder brother. Jesus was to bring forth children like unto Himself, but He died childless at the cross. Many years after the cross, Paul said in Romans 8:19 that “the creation groaneth in travail awaiting the manifestations of the sons of God.“ Therefore, it is the duty of Jesus’ brethren, or brothers, to raise up seed like unto Himself. The Book of Ruth, with Boaz, is a type of brother who was willing to raise up seed unto their brother. Boaz means “in him is strength.”Israel, in the Old Testament, was formed into a nation and was given the first opportunity to bring forth the promise. The nation of Israel died when Titus came in and destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. Therefore, the commandment fell upon the nation of Israel brother, the New Testament church, to raise up seed like unto their elder brother Jesus, as the second witness. We, too, have failed or refused as a corporate body. In this refusal, we have lost our shoe, or our walk with God is impaired. But finally the Boaz people, a remnant number, have been given the opportunity. These will indeed do the work and bring forth the manchild in cooperation with the Lord Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus, in His office of the Melchizedek priesthood, is to bring many sons to glory, in, which will fulfill another law, which is Jesus’ tithe to the Father. Jesus went about sowing and reaping, so the law of the tithe belongs to Him. In Leviticus 27:31, it states that if any man wants to redeem his tithe, he shall add a fifth to it. Jesus’ initial tithe to the Father was the 120 in the upper room after His resurrection. Because He redeemed them through His blood, the law of the tithe prevails. If you add a fifth part, or 20%, to 130, you get 24 added to 120, which equals 144. The number 1000 is the number of glorification, the 1 representing the unity of the Godhead, the three zeros represent the infinite attributes of the trinity. When you multiply 1000 by 144, it equals 144,000, the initial number of the manchild people birthed from the woman’s travail. (Revelation 12:5) Afterward, approximately 1.2 billion souls will be birthed into the kingdom. At the same time, the great falling away will occur, which will be approximately 600 million. Remember, there were 5 foolish virgins, all during the tribulation period, which is three and a half years, not seven, prior to Jesus’ return when the seventh, or last, trumpet begins to sound, setting up the millennial kingdom.

-John McDaniel

The 10th Man.

This morning at Awakening Church, we had special prayer for a couple of individuals. My wife and I laid hands on a lady struggling with diabetes. After just a few seconds, the Holy Spirit showed up and we all three sensed something special had just happened.

God began to remind me of the story of the ten lepers that Jesus cleansed. The story is told in Luke and is a type and shadow of law and grace.

Luke 17:12-19

12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14 And when he saw them, he said to them, Go show yourselves to the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 19 And he said to him, Arise, go your way: your faith has made you whole.

Anyone familiar with leprosy knows that it’s a horrible, disfiguring disease. It starts showing itself in the faces and appendages of the victims. The skin cracks open into oozing, running sores. Over time, the fingers and toes will rot and fall off.

Jesus had compassion on these poor people. He sent them, according to the Mosaic Law, to show themselves to the priests. The Bible says, as they went, they were then cleansed. If we could only learn to obey Jesus, through His word, or through the prompting and voice of the Spirit, we can live from miracle to miracle.

One leper…only one, came back to find Jesus, to thank Him and glorified God! Jesus asked him where the other nine were.

You see, they all obeyed. They all received a cleansing of their leprosy. The oozing and cracking stopped in its tracks. All ten received a healing.

By showing themselves to the priest, they fulfilled the legal requirements of the Law, making them acceptable to be received again into the people of Israel.

But the one man, he came back. He knew that he was healed, but he also sensed that he was healed: not by the Law, but by the grace of the carpenter from Galilee. His obedience to Jesus triggered the move of God in his body. He, like the others, was healed.

All were healed; however, only one returned…and only one was “made whole.”

I believe the leprosy was cured in the first nine. But the man that returned to the source of grace was “made whole”…any missing fingers were restored, and the scars and disfigurements were reversed. His skin was like a child’s.

Jesus, with His grace, will not only save and cleanse you, but He will make you whole. He wants to make you whole, complete, and without lack in all areas of life, restoring everything, lacking nothing!

Let’s not just be justified in the sight of the Law. Let’s ask the Master to make us whole…

Grace.

-Rod Davis Kingdom Business Network

The Law of the Man Child

Let us examine the Law of the Man Child. For New Testament grace fulfills Old Testament law. Jesus said, “I came not to do away with the law but to fulfill it.” In the beginning, God said, “Let us make man in our own image after our likeness and let him have dominion.” (Genesis 1:26.) God’s will and desire has always been to have children like unto himself; given a free will, but willing to submit that free will back to God in favor of His will, in all choices.Adam was the first man child, but he disobeyed God in the garden and was kicked out. The nation of Israel, starting with Abraham, was a type and shadow, but also sinned against God. Jesus Christ, as a man who knew no sin, but became sin for us on the tree, fulfilled God’s desire to have children like unto himself. Jesus was the pattern son, the corner stone, the example we all are to come to while alive; yet Isaiah 66:8 makes it clear there is also a corporate fulfillment. Verses 7-8 say “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? Shall the earth be made to bring forthin one day? or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought her children.” The scripture says first the natural, then the spiritual. The nation of Israel in the natural was born in a day, which is a type of man child, but there will be birthed a spiritual man child in which Jesus Christ will rule the nations with a rod of iron initially during the tribulation period. This is the high calling of God that Paul was pressing in to obtain in Philippians 3:14-15. “I press towards the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore as be perfect, be thus minded…”

-John McDaniel

Honor.

Honor Culture I will start the same way I will end by saying this: “Honor begins where you end.” A verse the Lord hit me with a couple months back was 1 Chronicles 16:27, which states “Glory and Honor are in His presence, strength and gladness are in His place.” Since reading this verse the Lord has taken me on a journey from today back to His original definition of the word honor. We have our own definitions for honor, but He pressed upon me to search out His. Not only what honor means, but how to truly live it out. This resulted in God calling me to begin cultivating a culture of honor in my place of influence. To not only teach honor, but also to practice it, recognize it, reward it, and eventually expect it.

If you asked 100 people on the street to define the word honor, I’d say 99 percent of them would give you a definition along these lines; “Honor is doing something for someone you respect that is in a higher position than you.” While this is a good practice and characteristic to have as a person, this doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of the true meaning.  Let’s begin by looking at the first time the word honor is used in the bible, Exodus 20:12. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” The word ‘honor’ here in Hebrew is ‘kabad’ כַּבֵּ֥ד (Strong’s 3513) which simply means – to be heavy, to make weighty, be or make glorious, to promote, to be rich, to assign the highest value, or the one I want to focus on, to glory.  As we begin to see the definition of honor unfold we must immediately tie it to the word ‘glory’ kabod (Strong’s 3519a.)  This will help us further understand what it means to honor someone or something.

Revelation 4:11 says “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” This scripture speaks highly of glory in reference to it being a currency, which leads me to this truth; “Honor is the currency of heaven.” In a nutshell, honor is the way you buy, sell, and assign value to things, and/or people in the kingdom. This is why wealthy people understand honor. I am not talking about wealthy as in financially rich; I am talking about those who are rich in destiny.  People who understand who they are in Christ, sons and daughters, no longer slaves, but adopted by the King of kings, living in the penthouse, no longer in the basement; that’s the kind of people that understand honor. Proverbs 26:1 says this “As snow in summer and rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.” Honor at it’s core, or when you honor someone, it doesn’t make sense to the world. The darkness doesn’t understand it, it is full of light therefore the darkness cannot comprehend it.

Let’s dig further into this. “Honorable people, honor people.”  It is very interesting to me how God revealed His definition of honor to me. He did so in what most know as either a yoga move or a common Hindu greeting, ‘Namaste’.  The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is glory within each of us that is located in the heart. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the glory in one by the glory in another. Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore, namaste literally means, "bow me you" or "I bow to you." The best way of defining this is “The glory God placed in me recognizes and honors the glory God placed in you.” Think even about the way this gesture is performed; placing your hands together with your thumbs pointing toward your soul and your fingers pointing toward your God, you bow to whom you are honoring, and you are figuratively doing this; digging for glory. What do I mean by this? If you read Genesis 26:12-31 you’ll read about Isaac re-digging the wells of his forefathers. 6 things we can learn from this passage:

1.)    Isaac didn’t stop at blessing; he was hungry to fix/restore things. (v.18)

2.)    He didn’t dig new wells (fresh/new.) He opened up old ones and restored them. (v.18)

3.)    Not just Isaac, you see all digging together, working to restore glory/life together. (v.19)

4.)    It will be a struggle. Digging for glory in others will be faced with opposition/resistance. (v.20)

5.)    We must encourage that which we are digging for won’t be taken, but rather blessed and multiplied.

6.)    Your life of digging for glory will inspire others to dig for glory.  Your glory and ultimately His glory will be multiplied/increased.

This is what honorable people are called to do. Dig for, recognize, and honor the glory God has placed in an individual and bring it to the surface. It’s simple enough; to be a Jonathan to the David’s of this world. (i.e. everyone) To begin to love them for who God created them to be, instead of judging them for whom they aren’t. You can read in 1 Samuel 18 about Jonathan recognizing the glory in David, and in the midst of battle with the Philistines, honoring him by giving him his armor, signifying a transfer of power, recognizing him as next in line as king of the children of Israel.  The most powerful thing about this transfer was that Jonathan was the son of King Saul and in line to become his successor. WOW! Talk about honor.  That is the true definition of it. Recognizing and honoring the glory placed in David, and not stopping there but acting upon the recognition and making a way/enabling him to walk in his calling. That is good stuff. Let us be a Jonathan generation. One that is full of honor, one that is selfless. One that thinks less of denominations and more of His kingdom; a generation that focuses on the God-given glory, not what the world has to say about people.

This culture of honor will not be easy to grow because it goes against all we’ve been taught in society; “me first.”  This culture of honor requires placing God and others before you. (Prov. 3:9) We must focus on first honoring God because when we do, it will enable us to properly honor others. Let us have this attitude in practicing honor: Good athletes practice until they get it right. Great athletes practice until they never get it wrong.  We must know that in living in an “Honor Culture” that it is okay to make mistakes. It is okay to try to give honor and fail. My dad always said “If your bait doesn’t get stuck on the bottom every once in a while, then you’re not fishing deep enough.”

So when looking at honor as a currency, remember this; “Honor buys what pride can’t afford.” And always remember, “Honor begins where you end.” Namaste.

- Pastor Andy Stevens, Youth Pastor at Christian Fellowship of Nitro, WV.