We All Need Love


Human beings love in various ways. The variants stem from the origins of physical and emotional love which spring up in the flesh. In addition, spiritual love shows up in multiple manifestations as it is produced exclusively in a regenerated spirit.  Therefore, when we hear someone say “I love you” it is necessary to discern whether their love originates in the flesh, spirit

or both.

1Johnn 4:18  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
1Johnn 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Love is a powerful emotion stimulating our beings from the annals of our soul and spirit.  Physical manifestations, whether overt or covert, can cause a man or woman to act out their character to the point where their behavior is almost animal like. This is extreme but true. The same scenario applies when emotional love creates all kinds of unwarranted, unrealistic expectations and demands on “loved-ones” absent of any rationality. This example is best realized when we love someone emotionally to the degree that “I don’t want them to be in pain – physical, mental, emotional – and suffer” is a driving expectation absent of any acceptance of God’s Sovereignty. Physical and emotional love originate in our souls where the seat of our intellect and emotions are.

The soul is the part of a human being that God gave life to when He “breathed the breath of life into him and man became a living soul.”

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Every human being’s flesh is controlled by the soul. The soul is realized in our thoughts, desires and feelings. It is a spiritual mistake to connect soulish tendencies with spirituality. Every human being is capable of love whether they are saved by grace or not.  What is most important to understand is the soul is where sin originates in us all. It is Satan who uses our souls to manifest sin in us. He uses our thoughts, desires and feelings to draw us away from God. Our mistake is when we trust our thoughts, desires and feelings to be Godly leadership when it is actually Satanic. See what James says:

James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away (from God) of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

Physical love and emotional love aka eros and phileo respectively, are natural tendencies. Unregenerate souls produce them. But when a human being hears the gospel of Jesus Christ -He came to save sinners from the penalty of sin which is eternal spiritual death by shedding his blood and being crucified, dying and resurrecting from the grave – and faith in the gospel originates, his/her spirit awakens from a deadened state because of the sin of our flesh.

Ephesians 2:1-10 confirms this:And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the]mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and]that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

We all need a daily infusion of the LOVE of Jesus Christ in our spirits. His blood that was shed has the POWER to cleanse us, save us and renew the spirit within us. Adam had this spiritual connection with God before the human race was infected with sin. From then to now man’s spirit is dead and in need of revival. Man’s spiritual renewal is through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Christ which raised Him from the grave – in our revived spirits making it alive and occupied with God’s Sovereignty that produces an unlimited supply of AGAPE LOVE. The epitome of Godly spirituality is the regular experience of agape love.

Agape love is spiritual love as it can only come from God – man can NOT manufacture AGAPE love without a revived spirit. A revived spirit, makes the mind renewed (i.e. the soul is now under the control of the spirit now indwelt by the Spirit. A renewed mind manifests new life that is lived in our human bodies as a result of new spiritual life being infused in us daily.   Ultimately, we can know, feel, receive and give spiritual love that overrides human love. Spiritual love never fails. WE ALL NEED HIS LOVE!

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If You Believe……..



Imagine Her Cameo Perfomance in "The Wiz"

“If you believe
Within your heart
You’ll know that no one can change
The path that you must go
Believe what you feel and know you’re right because the time will come around when you’ll say it’s yours…………That’s why I want you to believe in yourself right from the start. Believe in the magic right there in your heart. Go ahead believe all these things not because I told you to. But believe in yourself; If you believe in yourself; Just believe in yourself as I believe in you.” source:http://www.lyricsondemand.com/soundtracks/w/wizmusicallyrics/ifyoubelievelyrics.html

The Wiz was released on October 24, 1978. I was entering the preadolescent stage of development. My toddler aged sister was with my mom and I when we saw this groundbreaking movie. This was during a tumultuous season in my history as the dysfunction of my family was negatively impacting my maturity. The imagery of Ms. Lena Horne‘s performance singing “If You Believe” was a breathtaking moment as she entered the scene with an entourage of small, black babies, adorned in identical, purple outfits, complete with head coverings, as Ms. Horne captivated the screne and a stellar display of sparkling stars illuminated their background. At the close of her dialogue with Dorothy, the orchestral score initiated the transition and Ms. Horne delivered the soul stirring vocal captioned above.

How does this timeless portrayal of Glenda the good witch tie into this month’s theme – spiritual integrity? Here at ConquerorShots we maintain the definition of integrity as the quality or state of our spirit being complete or undivided. We stand on the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and rely on the finished work at Calvary to realize spiritual completeness. This is the foundation of our belief in the power of God, NOT THE “MAGIC” IN YOUR HEART, through the Holy Spirit working in and through us from day to day. The results of which are a cumulative source of power to spiritually conquer our biggest enemy – sin.

The lyrical content of “believe” in the song has a strong identification in one’s self. However, ConquerorShots maintains that “self” needs a Savior in order to be its best. The Word clearly defines the condition of our heart i.e. “self” as “deceitful and above all desperately wicked…..”So, today the lyrical content helps to apply the principle of spiritual integrity in a defining way where we can attain belief in “self.”

When you have “Blessed Assurance” in your heart – not in your mind – about the finished work at Calvary and how it serves your spiritual needs from day to day, you are NO LONGER left with the task of being the source of your own destiny. God has provided all of the Mastery of ordering your steps before you lived your first day. Ephesians 2:10 reminds us that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, unto good works, which God has prepared in advance that we should walk in them.”

The spiritual principles of Honesty, Hope, Faith and Courage, all stemming from a healthy spiritual appetite for the Word of God and prayer, serve our daily belief system in “The Christ in us”. If you believe in yourself from this prospective, as God believes in you because He CREATED you, you have a ROCK SOLID foundation in spiritual integrity that can NOT be shaken from day to day.

Experience the blessing of SECURITY in CHRIST which yields FREEDOM to be who GOD created you to be IF YOU BELIEVE.



Blessed Delay


 

 “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.  Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.” Psalms 27:13-14

Delayed
Delayed (Photo credit: Aquila) WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN THERE IS A SUDDEN DELAY?

Recall a time when you were in need of DELIVERANCE and instead of an “IMMEDIATELY” result, you encounter a significant DELAY. Nothing is more dreadful than having to wait for a particular outcome you KNOW you need. The difficulty you face as you MUST “endure the hardships” of the circumstances can work in one of two ways:

 

 

1. The delay can distract you from the plan and purpose of the circumstance. This personal response fuels hopelessness and despair as you move away from God.  You will find human alternatives that can serve you like band aids on a bleeding wound.
2. The delay can propel you towards the plan and purpose of the circumstance. This personal response fuels hope and faith in God through prayer and reading and studying His Word. "His word is a lamp unto your feet and a light to your pathway." DARKNESS OR DESPAIR WILL NOT BE ABLE TO HINDER YOU. You will find His power and peace to preserve you while you "wait" and His Heavenly purpose will ALWAYS be revealed,BLESSED DELAY results in His Faithfulness.

I am blessed to have the gift of “waiting on the Lord” in my spiritual arsenal. However, I did not always consider the delays that God allows as a blessing. In fact, there was a particular delay in my life in which I thought I was receiving NO additional Godly intervention. I believed that it was God’s will for this particular matter  in my life and HE WAS NEVER GOING TO ALLOW FOR CHANGE. I WAS SO WRONG! While this was a painful reality for me to accept, it FORCED ME TO DRAW CLOSER TO HIM BECAUSE OF A PERSONAL NEED FOR HIS POWER TO SUPPLEMENT MY POWERLESSNESS. “His STRENGTH IS PERFECT WHEN OUR STRENGTH IS GONE!” Through the process of getting closer to Him He eventually allowed for MORE change. “GOD’S DELAY IS NOT A DENIAL.”

The more I realized #2 at work in my life the more HOPE I REALIZED AS IT WAS MANUFACTURED IN MY SPIRIT DURING THE BLESSED DELAY. All the while I could experience the goodness of the Lord through His continual provision for me, His peace in me and His plan for me. The essence of Him presiding over the “NEED” also manifested in the lives of my loved ones all around me. The song writer wrote “He Keeps On Doing GREAT Things For Me.” Ultimately, the presence of HOPE in my spirit yielded a fertile ground for SEEDS from the WORD OF GOD to cultivate IN ME. 
You too can experience “THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING.” HAVE FAITH IN HIM and ALLOW for a BLESSED DELAY in your life. Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and He will strengthen your heart. PLEASE WAIT ON THE LORD!
 

 

 

 

Full of Courage


Courage
Courage (Photo credit: Pete Reed)

In my lifetime I have been accused of being full of s_ _ t for various reasons – where I was, who I was with, what I was doing, what happened………  Sometimes I was even accused of this status even though I was as sober as a judge and telling the God‘s honest truth. It then occurred to me that this expression is a cliche’ and not necessarily a response that I needed to take to heart. It gave me the wisdom to “consider the source.” 

That consideration has prompted me to examine the statement “full of courage” today. When have you ever used this expression in describing someone? Try saying it – “You (are) full of courage!”  The tone and expression of this observation begs the question – “How is this possible?” You must admit that when you stumble upon someone that is endowed with courage it can be confrontational to you as you perhaps are entangled in a fear-driven reality. If honesty is present, and you are willing to acknowledge this person’s courage and inquire about how to attain it personally, the act of inquiry opens up your spirit to the opportunity to become “full of courage” yourself. BUT YOU MUST CONSIDER THE SOURCE!

2Corinthians 5:6 Therefore we are always full of courage, and we know that as long as we are alive here on earth we are absent from the Lord —
5:7 for we live by faith, not by sight.
5:8 Thus we are full of courage and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.(NASB)

The person is the example but the source of courage which fills the person is the BLESSED ASSURANCE OF THE HOPE OF THE GLORY OF GOD THROUGH THE POWER OF CHRIST THE RISEN SAVIOR AT WORK IN HIM/HER BY THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

The theme of Paul’s writing deals specifically with the spiritual reality of the GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE IN HEAVEN WITH CHRIST and the human struggles associated with living on Earth with all of its daily issues we face. This human reality is apparent to all- no matter what their socio-economic status may be. However, the spiritual component is what seperates “the men from the boys.”

Paul in this chapter defines being “full of courage” as a standard design for living as an Ambassador for Christ. It comes, not because of ANY attainment of status in the flesh (the flesh is to experience the continual “dying” process he defines in Galatians 2:20) which humans aspire towards naturally. When Christ was here on Earth performing all of the duties of His Earthly ministry, His most substantial acts were the death at Calvary, His burial and resurrection. By these acts, He secured the benefit to mankind for a “continued presence of His spirit in us” thereby relieving man of any need to please Him in the flesh.  PERSONAL COURAGE IN HUMAN ABILITIES IS FUTILE FROM THIS PERSPECTIVE. IT’S JUST NOT ENOUGH!

A thorough persuasion of the “fear of the Lord” is at work in this instance. This reverence is the bedrock of our “walk by faith, not by sight.” It yields the assurance of the appointed time which God ordained before the foundations of the world whereby we must all appear before the “Judgement seat of Christ.” Notice that there is no hesitation for this great appearing. It is a bold statement that infers a “Blessed Assurance” that “Jesus Paid It ALL” at Calvary. Therefore, all of the blessings associated with His “Finished” work at Calvary cultivates a fullness of courage deep within our spirits that garners a great expectation for our Eternal Life over any human expectation for our Earthly life. And so, we are FREE then to experience ALL of the FULLNESS OF OUR EARTHLY LIFE through the “good works that God foreordained that we should walk in them” during our lifetime while we “look forward to that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” eternally.

Stop trying to fix yourself with human effort and let God create your NEWNESS through His spirit at work in you today.

The fact remains WHETHER YOU BELIEVE IN CHRIST AS YOUR PERSONAL SAVIOR OR NOT you will STAND before HIM in eternity. You can stand before Him at the Great White Throne IN FEAR OF THE ETERNAL OUTCOME or you can BOLDLY STAND before Him at The Judgement Seat of Christ FULL OF COURAGE! This earthly life you are blessed with is afforded to you as an opportunity to GET IN WHERE YOU FIT IN.

Jesus Christ is the Way!

Revival: The How & Why of It


How do Christians experience revival? What happens in them that causes such a need? I was presented these questions in a conversation yesterday. The first question’s answer is “faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.” The second question’s answer is “sin.” We are all born in need of spiritual rebirth. Spiritual revival occurs through faith.

The first question requires some personal identification to our “REVIVAL” experiences. I know what it is to be an ACTIVE participant in sin which directly supports a spirit in need of revival. Sin separates us from God eternally. Salvation revives our spirits and attaches us to the Holy Spirit. This attachment is a Divine characteristic of Christianity. ACTIVE participation in Christianity keeps the spirit revived in three ways:

HOLY SPIRIT - FOIX

  1. Prayer to God,through Christ and reading God’s Word, experiencing new life in us through the Holy Spirit.
  2. Regular fellowship with other Christians via worship service, Bible study and various gatherings.
  3. Consistent service to both Christians and non-Christians via ACTIVE participation in various ministries.

The condition of our spirits is well-maintained when these three ACTivities are in place in our weekly routines. Revival denotes a need for a “life source” to infuse its life into lifelessness.  When it is done properly, revival works. Otherwise, the lifelessness continues and the need for revival gradually becomes eliminated by death.   Spiritual revival is solely dependent on Spiritual Life.

The second question reminds me to review the Psalmist’s situation in Psalms 85. This chapter, worth reading, gives us clarity on what happens when sin and disobedience to God’s Word are at hand. But it is REALLY important to notice the element of HOPE in God for restoration. That is key. Hopelessness is a subtle foe. It is a derivative of a sinful lifestyle.

The Old Testament Israelites were notorious for getting deliverance from God and then falling away from God and into the ways active sin.  The natural human condition is to run away from God. Adam and Eve depict this in Genesis 3:8.  New Testament Jews revoked the opportunity to develop faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Therefore, their spiritual revival has not been established and they are waiting for their human, earthly promise of the millennial Kingdom to be instituted by the coming Messiah aka Jesus Christ. There is a Divine divide between the Heavenly promises and the Earthly promises that is necessary to apply to Psalm 85. 

THIS IS TRUE FOR MANKIND: SIN SEPARATES US FROM THE LIFE SOURCE. REVIVAL RESTORES US TO THE LIFE SOURCE. 

JESUS CHRIST IS THE LIFE SOURCE

Faith in His death is the source of the forgiveness of our sin – through prayer on a regular basis. Faith in His burial and resurrection signifies the absolute “new life” experience Christians can experience over the course of their lifetime “in the faith.” We transition from spiritual “death” to spiritual “life” through faith IN HIS DEATH, BURIAL AND RESURRECTION.

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