Archive for November, 2012

THE BATTLE BEFORE US

Monday, November 19th, 2012

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

Revelation 12:11 

God is on the Throne!  And His unfailing love endures forever!  He has a plan to guide, guard, and be glorified through each of His children’s lives regardless of what’s taking place in the world around us.  Jesus’ last encouragement to His disciples is a good reminder for us today: 

“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20 NLT

 Jesus said it wouldn’t be easy as we near His return.  He said in Matthew 24 that we would witness:  

  1. Deception beyond anything the world has ever seen. 
  2. Evil behavior “abounding” in culture. 
  3. People’s love for God and for others growing cold.
  4. Intense persecution for those who stay true to Him. 

I believe we are entering the season of which Jesus spoke… and it is a time of war. 

War Means Sacrifice 

Recently I had the privilege of listening to one of America’s most highly-decorated veterans talk about his battle experiences in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.  I can share the essence of his memoirs in one word: sacrifice. 

He told of men who put themselves in harm’s way to defend our freedoms and our Constitution, of families whose sons or husbands never returned from Normandy, of doctors and nurses who sacrificed money and comfort in America to care for wounded soldiers in Korea, and of many who “made the ultimate sacrifice” for our nation. 

He spoke of other’s sacrifices, but only mentioned in passing that he had been injured a time or two (in reality, he was nearly killed in Vietnam, lost one leg in an explosion, spent three months as a prisoner of rebels in Africa, and earned a total of four Purple Hearts in addition to his four Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars).

His message was clear: being a soldier means making a sacrifice for a higher cause. 

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.

2 Timothy 2:3-4

Compromise or the Cross

Life is not always going to be easy for true followers of Jesus in the years ahead, including in America.  The pressure to compromise with the world will be intense, and Biblical Christianity is going to be mocked and maligned.  And many will choose not to count those costs, but will choose to stray from the faith (see 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 1 Timothy 4:1).   Compromise will appear to be the easy way out

The time to make our decision is now.  We are being summoned to an army, and our Commander calls us to follow in His blood-stained footsteps.  Let’s remember Jesus’ invitation to you and me:

“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”

Luke 9:23-24

My friends, I believe we have a short season to prepare for a long war.  I’m looking at my own life, and asking the Holy Spirit to show me where I can draw nearer to God, where I can set aside the distractions of this world, and how I can become “battle ready” for the days ahead.   I’m heeding the Spirit’s call to seek the Lord like never before.  

I urge you to do the same. 

For the glory of our Conquering Messiah,

Pastor Matthew Casey

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2012

F4F #39: If the Devil Says It…

Monday, November 12th, 2012

If the devil Says It…

“…there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

John 8:44

It’s a LIE!!!

If the devil says it, you know it’s a lieJesus made it plain: there’s no truth in the devil, he’s a deceiver, and lying is his mother tongue. 

Now then, think about the stick the enemy has been hitting you with lately…  Is it the “God doesn’t really love you” lie?  Or perhaps the, “God’s upset with you – disappointed in you – He isn’t going to bless you” theme? 

ALL LIES… but the best way to combat a lie is by replacing it with truth

As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love.

John 15:9

The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

Satan is the old dog that doesn’t learn many new tricks; he’s been using the same old schemes against God’s people for thousands of years.  Maybe he’s using one of these against you:

DISCOURAGEMENT whispers, “Your life is a bummer, you’ve got good reason to be blue, you and Job could really relate to one another, things are bad and are probably only going to get worse…” etc.

The TRUTH speaks thus: 

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Philippians 4:4

(Note: Paul wrote the above statement while chained in a Roman prison cell.  If he could rejoice there, you and I can rejoice here!)

You love Him even though you have never seen Him. Though you do not see Him, you trust Him; and even now you are happy with a glorious, inexpressible joy.  Your reward for trusting Him will be the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:8-9 NLT 

(Hey!  Not going to hell is a REALLY good reason to be happy!) 

 

TEMPTATION tells us, “Sin is exciting, glamorous, good, fulfilling, satisfying, and superior to the life God has given you.  You’d be much happier if you could indulge your flesh ~ you’re missing out!” 

Oh, you’re missing out all right!  You’re missing out on DEATH in the form of misery, shame, guilt, and being the proud owner of a broken heart and fragmented soul.  You miss out on the joys of addiction, the thrill of wasting all your money, and the ecstasy of struggling with a guilty conscience and self-hatred due to having wounded people who love you.  ALL THIS AND MORE could be yours if you’d just give into sin! 

Here’s the TRUTH about being enslaved to sin:

…the wages of sin is death.

Romans 6:23 

“if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die.

Romans 8:13 

… sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

James 1:15   

Do you find death glamorous?  Me neither… but here’s the GOODnews: 

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

John 10:10 

Speaking of DEATH, what about those of us whose lives feel like a slow death due to a heavy burden of guilt, shame, and condemnation because of the sins we’ve committed ~ is there freedom for us?  God’s Word says “YES!”

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…

Romans 8:1

(* NOTE: How much condemnation is there for you in Christ?  NONE!  ZERO – ZIP – ZILCH!!!  Why – because of your righteousness?  NO!  Because of JESUS’ righteousness, GOD’S love, and YOUR faith in Him. Forgiveness is a GIFT, my friend ~ you can’t earn it… You must receive it as a gift.)

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?  It is God who justifies.  Who is he that condemns?  Christ Jesus, who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

Romans 8:33-34

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Psalm 103:12

Whatever whispers the enemy has been dogging you with ~ whether discouragement, or condemnation, or fear, or a bad report about the future ~ it’s ALL a lie!  And the answer is to get into God’s Word and find the TRUTHthat silences satan’s lies. 

* Need help finding the promises from Scripture that apply to your situation?  I’d love to help you… feel free to email me, and we’ll dig into His Word together.

 

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 8:32

For Prayer:  “Father, I ask that You would expose, silence, and destroy every lie the enemy has been whispering to my brothers and sisters this week.  Shine the light of Your Holy Spirit into our hearts and minds, and lead us in the freedom Jesus promised us.  Teach us to take authority over the enemy’s lies, and replace them with Your truth.  In Jesus’ name and for His glory, Amen.”  

 

May the truth of Jesus’ love and victory set you free in His glorious liberty this week,

 

Pastor Matthew Casey

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2012