(Sheila's blog was orignally published @ http://www.sheilagravett.com/justasiamblogs on 4/29/2017)
As I awoke to another storm in Missouri, I turned on the television in hopes to have a lazy morning after a hectic week. After a few minutes of channel surfing I selected a show that would require minimal attention from me. As the show progressed the power signal waned and eventually the inevitable happened. The message came across the bottom of the screen, "signal loss", and the television screen went blurry followed by the sound going out.
Silence pursued silence as my thoughts then played out as to what to do as I waited out the, "signal loss". It was in those moments that I felt a tug on my heart and I considered - is this what we do in life? Do we fill in the time while we wait out the "signal losses" in our lives? Next came the scripture, Romans 8:26, "And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don't know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words."
When we are at a signal loss; when our prayers are so intense and deep that we don't know what to pray or what to do - do we just let there be silence and wait it out until the "signal" comes back in? Or do we turn to Him, even if it is with merely a sigh, signal to Him - allowing the Holy Spirit to give the expression when we do not have the words, lead us when we don't know where to go or turn, strengthen us when we are at our weakest. Do we let the Holy Spirit pray to God on our behalf?
The Holy Spirit inspires your prayers.
The Spirit's intercession begins in you and reaches to the Heavens.
Remember, when you don't know what to say, when it seems there's been a "signal loss", this is when you let the Spirit -who lives in every believer- pray for you.
Scriptures for encouragement:
Pray in the Spirit at all times, with every kind of prayer and petition. To this end, stay alert with all perseverance in your prayers for all the saints. (Eph. 6:18)
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Heb. 4:15)
For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. (Heb. 10:20)
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. (Eph. 2:18)
Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. (1Peter 1:21)
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. (Ps. 42:1)
Learning to live daily with God's word in one hand and chocolate in the other!
Sheila Gravett, Author/Blogger/Speaker
This message is written out of an urgency from a devastating teaching that has permeated Christianity, the Church, and our Christian Colleges and Universities. It has caused great doubt in the Bible as the word of God which causes people to not read it, study it, share it, preach it, let alone live by it. People will never place their life trust into something they truly can't believe in.
This doubt in God's word has been happening ever since the very beginning and it is the primary attack from the enemy of our souls.
"Yea, hath God said,..." Genesis 3:b
These words were the first words of doubt spoken to man from the enemy and they carry on even in the church today.
Most, will not take time to research the most important thing besides salvation. More people put more time into choosing a car, cell phone, or even internet service, than in researching what they even believe about the Bible - the word of God.
Here is the lie from the enemy -
"Only the original autographs were inspired by God."
So let's take that statement alone and understand the ramifications of it - if it were true.
No matter how you look at it, if only the originals are inspired and God didn't preserve that inspiration - the above is true.
So instead of just taking that statement as truth (because it was handled down by professors), then sticking your head in the sand, let's take a look at what Scripture says about the originals and faithful copies of itself.
Truly, I could only use one passage of Scripture to refute that complete statement and prove it false, but I will use a lot of Scripture, so you can solidify it in your heart and life.
We first have to establish a truth that will carry on throughout the entirety of Scripture.
1. The phrase "word of God" and the word "scripture" are synonymous and always meaning His inspired word.
Now, let's see what the word of God declares about this lie given that "only the originals are inspired," and that the inspiration isn't preserved.
So first, how did the word of God and scripture come about?
"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2 Peter 1:20-21
This is God's verbal plenary inspiration - meaning that God directed the very words in its entirety while using the personality and style of the writer.
Now, what we have to remember is that we no longer have the original autographs (scripture) of the Old Testament or the New Testament. In the NT times they didn't have the originals of the OT, but faithful copies of copies.
So, knowing this - here is the first passage that displays that the faithful copies is inspiration preserved.
"And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:15-17
Now many will take the word "scripture" in verse 16 and declare that it's only the original autographs that are inspired and that it wasn't preserved. Here is where the utter fallacy of that logic is found. At this time of writing the OT original autographs had already gone; Paul is talking about the faithful copies of the originals. Even if some originals did exist at this time that Paul wrote this, it would be void since most people would not have access to those. Therefore, how could they read and study it, if it no longer existed or that they could not access it.
So what scripture is Paul speaking of that are inspired? The same scriptures that Timothy had known as a child. We need to realize that Timothy was taught the things of God from his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5). These women had genuine faith and they shared that faith and scripture with Timothy.
Now the question is posed then that has to be answered. Did Timothy, his mother and grandmother have the original autographs? Were they the sacred keepers of these original autographs? No, of course not. So what did they have? They had faithful copies of these scriptures to which the Holy Spirit inspired through Paul to declare - "inspired of God" - inspiration preserved!
Before we go into other passages of how God promised to preserve His inspired word, let's go over the fact that the Bible calls the autographs and faithful copies inspired since hardly anyone would be in possession of the original autographs. When God uses the word "scripture" once again, He is always talking about His inspired scripture.
Let's look at some more very important examples of this -
"Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?" Matthew 21:42
These "scriptures" are the ones that the people had that they could actually read - the faithful copies - inspiration preserved.
Luke 4:16-21 but I will concentrate on three verses from this passage.
(Vv. 16-17) "And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,"
(V. 21) "And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears."
Once again, this was Nazareth, even a despised place where the people didn't believe that anything good could come from (John 1:46). What was in that synagogue was a faithful copy of the Book of Esaias (Isaiah) - the faithful copies - inspiration preserved.
"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me" John 5:39
These were the faithful copies - inspiration preserved. How could He give them this command since they didn't have the inspired originals anymore? It would be a total lack of meaning in the command if they just had to guess and conjecture as to the authenticity of the copies that they had. The reason that Jesus Christ could say this was that it is based on His promise, that we will see a little further - His word is inspiration preserved.
"Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus." Acts 8:35
The scripture was a copy of the Book of Isaiah - a faithful copy - inspiration preserved.
"And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures.
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:2, 11
Once again, not the original autographs, but faithful copies - inspiration preserved.
"And a certain Jew names Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ." Acts 18:24, 28
Once again, not the original autographs - faithful copies - inspiration preserved.
2. God Promises To Preserve The Inspiration Of His Word!
The importance of God preserving the inspiration can not be over emphasized. It is actually a matter of spiritual life and death. The reason is because how much you trust in God's word is how much you will live it.
Let's look at a couple of passages that show the importance of the word of God besides (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word." Psalm 119:9
Well, how can a young man or young woman do that if we don't have the word of God today?
"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might now sin against thee." Psalm 119:11
Once again, a very empty promise we have in the power of the word of God if we don't have it anymore.
"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Ephesians 6:17
Once again, impossible to do if we no longer have the inspired word of God. We couldn't trust in anything less for our weapon of offense against the enemy.
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper then any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
Once again, an empty declaration of the word of God, unless we can read and study what God inspired!
Now, real quick for those that don't believe the NT is to be declared the word of God and scripture, you need to read what Peter wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
"And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." 2 Peter 3:15=16
So we see that knowing the Scriptures and the very teaching of Scripture in all of its fullness is of the extreme importance.
"Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." 1 Timothy 4:16
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15
It saves us and those that hear us because we can declare correct biblical doctrine. Also God wants us to study it so that we can know it, apply it to our lives and live it. We have to believe it is the word of God before we can do that though.
Now we all believe that the Name of God is very high and there is no other name higher than the name of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:19-23). So let us see how important of emphasis that God Himself puts on the word of God.
"I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise they name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name." Psalm 138:2
We can see, that God Himself puts a very high view onto His word and it is extremely important that we do as well.
So now let's look at God's promise to preserve His word and the inspiration of it forever.
"The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." Psalm 12:6-7
What is really nice about this passage is that God didn't mince words. Now some say that the word "them" is only the "poor" mentioned in (v. 5), but we have to remember that the "them" in (v. 7) refers back to the last noun in verse (v. 6 "pure words") the antecedent. Now it could be a double reference to His "pure words" and to His people - which could be taken. Even if a double reference is taken though, it doesn't negate the promise to preserve His word, since it is found in other passages of Scripture as well.
"For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." Matthew 5:18
"Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away." Mark 13:31
"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereith, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is peached unto you." 1 Peter 1:23=25
Plain and simple - God's word is inspiration preserved from the original autographs to the faithful copies. Another blog will be dedicated to the faithful copies sometime.
The point is this though - we do have the word of God today and you can trust it for all authority in faith and practice. He had the power to inspire His word and the ability to preserve it!
Do not listen to those that say that only the originals were inspired and we no longer have the word of God today. You have to ask yourself who you believe; the "Yea, hath God said," or "My words shall not pass away." The Devil or Christ Himself. I chose to believe Christ.
- Pastor Aaron
I sit and hear story after story in books and over the internet about near death experiences and even though they come from good intentioned people, we have to ask ourselves (or at least we should), what does God say about this in His Word? Is it real? Could it actually happen?
Now I will let you know that I will be directing this blog toward the near death experiences, but the underlying question is this - do we, as Christians really believe the Word of God or not? What has the authority in our lives? I will let you know right now that if you don't have your life firmly grounded in the Word of God, you will be taken by every wind of doctrine and new experience that comes across your path. We need to read, study, believe, and follow the Word of God to be able to keep us and others that hear us on the right path.
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15
Sadly this is not the case for many believes, "Christian" speakers, writers and even some pastors. They instead, like to gravitate to the school of experience and place that as the highest authority in life. Listen very carefully, we need to make sure that we are teaching and sharing correct teachings that God has handed down in the Word of God - it is a matter of eternal life and death.
"Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine, continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." 1 Timothy 4:16
So, what does the Bible teach on this subject of near death experiences?
Has someone been brought back to life? Yes - for example there was boy that was raised by God through Elijah (1 Kings 17:17-24), there was Lazarus the friend of Jesus (John 11:1-45), the young son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17), others at Christ's crucifixion (Matthew 27:52-53), Paul praying over Eutychus (Acts 20:8-12) In all of these instances they were done by the power of one that was endued by the power of God that was proclaiming the Word of God - and especially preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. What was the reason behind these miraculous raising of the dead? Jesus Christ Himself reveals this -
"Jesus said unto her, 'I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?' John 11:25-26
These occurrences pointed to Jesus Christ that has power for more than just the living, but can give everlasting life to those who place their faith in Him.
The near death experiences now though are not resurrections of the body - that will come later, but something entirely different and their message is nothing like the message, power, or magnitude of what happened then. The difference is as different as night and day. In fact, the difference is this - a resurrection is accomplished through God's power, in proclamation by someone that is a believer and not only living in Christ, but proclaiming that great news of Jesus Christ. No where in the Old Testament or the New Testament does it show God sending someone back with a message of comfort. In fact, as we will see - God doesn't believe nor do this.
Once again, we keep seeing and hearing about people dying and then God letting them come back to tell the message of comfort. So what does Jesus Christ (Who is in charge of life and death - heaven and hell) say about this?
Let's look closer at the example of Lazarus (a different Lazarus then Jesus' friend) and the rich man -
"And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Luke 16:26-31
Did you catch what Christ was saying here? The rich man was asking for someone dead (near death or all the way dead experience) to go back and bring them the message of repentance. To this Abraham says, "no." If one can't come back to preach Christ and tell them to repent to miss hell, then certainly Christ isn't going to have someone to come back just to comfort others.
He goes on to say that they have the writing of Scripture - the Word of God; and if they don't believe that, they won't believe one even if they rise from the dead. This is a prophecy in sorts because we have the Word of God and Jesus Christ that rose from the dead and never died again (all the others did), but instead, people cling to these stories to keep them believing in something better.
What does Christ say about people that constantly need to see signs to believe in Him? If you are one that believers, reads these stories, watches these movies and needs them to continue to believe, then this warning is for you from Christ Himself - once again - the One who owns and rules it all.
This was spoken to the Pharisees that kept asking for one more sign to believe.
"But he answered and said unto them, 'An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.'" Matthew 12:39-40
To the ones that keep needing a sign to continue to believe - Jesus Christ calls you evil and an adulterous generation. That's not a good thing. He is saying the same thing we saw before - and the main thing is we have His crucifixion, death, and resurrection and that is all we need. If we need anything more than that, we are out of the will of God.
Now, there are stories that needs to be looked at in light of Scripture for some of the things shared go in total contradiction to the Word of God. I need to pause for a moment and once again say to those that teach this, share this and proclaim it - you need to be very careful. Especially the message that is shared because there is no glorifying Christ, with declarations of repentance and turning your life over to Christ as Lord and Savior. When you share in a message that all go to heaven, or you share messages that try to give comfort to people about heaven whether or not they have an active genuine relationship with Jesus Christ - then you are playing right into the plan of Satan himself, and will be leading many to hell. If people are comforted to go to heaven without a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ Himself - you are preaching a totally different gospel that what was handed down from Christ and His Word. Let me share some passages of Scripture that I pray you really take to heart.
"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:8-9
Notice that is very strong language - let him be accursed. Sharing comfort of heaven without a genuine and active relationship with Christ is another gospel. Once again, it says "let him be accursed;" that doesn't mean to invite them to speak to your church groups and functions and support them.
Now let's look at how it is Satan that is at the heart of the deception -
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 11:13-14
For those that teach such things need to know that this is what will happen in these last days and we are to be aware of it.
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2 Timothy 4:3-4
"My brethren, be not many masters (teachers), knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation." James 3:1 (parenthesis added)
Once again, teaching the things of the afterlife, heaven and hell, God - these are things that you need to know from the Word of God because it is eternal, spiritual life and death issues.
Now we need to go back to some stories I hear and how they are in contradiction to what God says in His Word.
"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." Psalm 116:15
That means, that when a believer in Christ dies, they are in the very presence of Christ in all His glory.
There is absolutely no chance of not knowing what happened to you.
"We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."
2 Corinthians 5:8
Once again, there is no guessing what happened or not being conscious of it.
In closing - if you are a believer I encourage you to read, study, believe, and follow the Word of God. This will protect you and those you share it with (1 Timothy 4:16; 2 Timothy 2:15).
If you are one that shares, teaches, and promotes this - beware. This truly is eternal, spiritual life and death and teaching that people not only do this, but that you want to comfort others through it can lead people to eternal damnation. I know people believe their experiences to be true, but researching the Word of God is the first thing you should do to see what God says about it. Please get into the Word of God.
God doesn't believe in near death experiences. We all need to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, ask Him to forgive us our sins, and repent before it's too late - for life itself is a near death experience!
Walk in the Light - Not in Darkness
It is autumn and October again and we get the opportunity to see the leaves changing and the cooler air start to settle in. The air conditioner is starting to be replaced with a switch to the heater or a log on the fire as the night air gets a little too cool in the house. There are so many activities that happen at this time of the year, but one activity resurges as well - the interest in ghosts and things that are dark.
I am going to take you on a Biblical journey about what God says about it in His Word.
Once again, you even as a believer, may have dabbled with darkness and this time of the year you seem to get pulled into that direction as well. You find yourself engrossed in horror movies, the paranormal, séances, EVP and video recordings just trying to capture a spirit or entity. What we have to understand about all of these things is that the Bible - The Word of God condemns these practices. So if you call yourself a born-again, saved Christian and you do these things, you really need to keep reading.
Satan wants you involved with these things
Why does Satan enjoy so much for us to get involved with such things? It really comes down to two things.
1. To get us to believe that God's Word is wrong.
2. To get us to fear which makes us ineffective.
The Bible speaks on both of these.
God condemned everything about the occult, witchcraft and all practices with darkness.
Let's look at (Deuteronomy 18:9-11)
"When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consultant with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer."
It is interesting to note that a necromancer is one who "inquires of the dead." The very essence of trying to get EVP's and asking the spirits of the departed to speak is necromancy.
Now it is here that I am going to burst a lot of bubbles that people have set up. There are no departed spirits from the dead roaming the earth - there are no ghosts in that sense!
Now, that is not to say that these supernatural occurrences don't happen. It is saying that it isn't the result of departed dead spirits. This is actually a worse thing, since it is instead the works of Satan and demons.
Understand that God is very clear about the location of departed spirits.
Let's look at (Hebrews 9:27)
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."
Understand that is what God says in His Word and Satan wants you to believe that there is something different. The time to make our decision to follow Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and be saved is now, during the life we have. There are no other choices and no other time after death to make it right. Satan though, wants us to believe that there is a different plan, something different and so we don't have to believe in God's Word. He has done this since the creation with his question to Eve to cause her to doubt in God's Word when he asked in (Genesis 3:1b) "Yea, hath God said..." Understand, that Satan doesn't want you to be saved and be with Christ in heaven...he wants you lost, because he hates God's creation and doesn't want you to have a relationship with Christ.
Now some may say, but the apparition looked like a friend, or family member and the medium that spoke to them got information that only they would know. Realize a truth, demons (like Satan) run to and fro on the earth and they watch people, so they know things about you - very detailed information and they can share it with each other. They can also mimic others, in fact even Satan can appear to people as an angel.
"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 11:14
Christ wants us to avoid such things
"Abstain from all appearance of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:22
Most people and sadly some Christians will not obey this verse if their life depended on it - and in reality our spiritual lives do depend on it.
Notice, God doesn't mince any words right there. He is very clear. He says to avoid all "appearance" of evil. The word "appearance" in the Greek is "eidos" which means fashion, shape, sight, or the form of. It means, evil or anything that is in the appearance, the form, or even looks like evil.
Look at another verse that describes what happens if we don't heed this direction from God.
"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness." Matthew 6:22-23
Understand that Christ did come up against Satan and demons, but He never went looking for them, but instead, in the course of ministry He came up on them and when He did, He just took care of it. He didn't dwell on the darkness, but kept proclaiming and showing the light. This is what believers are supposed to be doing today.
Walk in Christ - Walk in His Light - and Witness His Power!
I am going to share some verses with you that will free you from all fear of darkness, because these declare who we are in Christ.
"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." 1 John 4:4
We don't have to fear anything from the darkness of the enemy, because Christ is in those of us who place our faith in Him.
"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." Romans 8:37
Not only will we conquer in Christ, but we are more than conquerors - that means up and above!
"And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen." Romans 16:20
Do you see that?! Not only will Christ bruise Satan, but He will do it under our feet. The reason, like stated earlier, Satan hates us, especially those that are believers, so Christ bruises him under our feet to show the victory that He has in us!
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7
Satan tries to have us fear which makes us shrink back from living for Christ and for being a witness for Him with our words and deeds. Instead when fear creeps up, be like Jesus Christ and quote Scripture, "It is written...For God hath not....." quote the whole verse. He has filled you with His power, with His love, and with a sound-mind. The sound mind is where it all starts...keep your mind on Christ and His Word and not the works of darkness. Don't open a window for Satan and demons to promote fear to you.
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7
A lot of Christians quote the second part of the verse, but unless we do the first part, there is no power for the second part. We submit to God by first receiving Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and placing our trust in Him for forgiveness of sins and everlasting life. We also submit by praying, studying God's Word, worshipping Him and allowing Him to use us. In short it is giving our complete lives to Him. If we do this - Satan will not just walk away....he will flee!
So what is the take way? In Christ we need to walk in His Light! This will allow us to declare the light to the lost which will bring them to Christ.
So as a believer, if you are bored with your walk with the Lord, I encourage you to go to prayer, get into the Word and start sharing Christ...share His light...and I guarantee it will be anything but boring.
Walk in the Light!
Pastor Aaron L Gravett
That is a strange title I know; let me set it up though.
You go throughout your life and it seems that you get along with everyone in your family and in your circle of friends - for the most part. Everything is going well, then you do something weird and crazy like receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, or just really get serious with your relationship with Him and everything seems to change.
The family that you used to hang around with seems to always have time for everything in their life, except you. The friends that seem to be so close seem so distant now. You try to keep up with contacting them, but it just seems that you are pushed further and further away. Why is this happening? Well the interesting thing is that Jesus Christ Himself said that this would happen.
Let me show you some Scriptures from the Word of God that you may or may not know is even in there. These will pull some blinders off so we can understand what is happening.
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lost it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."
Woah! Those are some very strong words spoken from Jesus Himself. So what in the world is He saying? I mean I thought He was all about peace, While Jesus Christ is all about peace, He also knows human nature and He was just preparing them for what happens.
When you receive Christ as your Lord and Savior or draw closer to Him, something truly happens in your life - you become more like Christ. His Spirit moves into you and you become the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19}. Realize it or not, those around you will pick up on it. Jesus Christ is saying that it divides people because to those who don't have Christ, being around you will remind them, down into their spirit, that they are not right with God and that they are spiritually dead.
"Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: to the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?" 2 Corinthians 2:14-17
Understand that as believers, we smell like life to other believers, because they sense Christ in us and He reminds them that life lives in them as well. On the contrary, for those that do not have Christ, it is strong reminder that life (Christ) does not dwell within them and it leaves them with death.
So why don't many family and friends come around anymore? Well, the reason is that being around you reminds them that they are lost and they don't want to deal with it yet. It is also a constant reminder and brings conviction of their sin - if you ever mention it or not. It is more comfortable for these to just break ties with you - at least they won't feel guilty around you any more.
At this point, some believers start to be attacked for their faith. One thing that is often said, even if the believer is never rude or acting like this, "You are being holier than thou." I love to break it to the unbelieving world, but any believer that has Christ in them is "holier than thou!" Christ in them sets them apart from the world and set toward God. This is none of their own doing though, it is simply that they received Christ into their hearts and lives.
Many believers, at this point, do something detrimental to their faith and their witness. To make sure that they don't make people uncomfortable, they never speak up for Christ, never live for their convictions, and just try to blend in with the world around them. Oh believer, this is not the course you should take. First of all we have a very strong warning about this is Scripture.
"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."
Let us then live in such a way that proclaims Christ instead. Let us rather realize what Paul realized -
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" Romans 1:16
So when family members and friends ignore you, leave you, and even persecute you for your faith - wear it as a badge of honor. Any hole that they leave will be filled by Jesus Christ Himself. Instead of allowing the enemy to keep you down - instead, rejoice.....rejoice....rejoice!
"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for their's is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."
Keep being faithful believer, keep living and proclaiming Christ, for these will be the things that Christ will use to shine His light to those around you. So Rejoice!
- Pastor Aaron
Posted on April 29, 2014 at 1:45 PM
Faith to Walk Ministries has a dynamic ministry to those that have been hurt, rejected and turned away from the world, churches, Christians, and even family. One of our mottos is "In Christ, misfits fit." It is something we firmly and truly believe. Sheila and I are proud to be called misfits from the world, because we fit perfectly in Christ.
Realize that whether you are a misfit because of outside circumstances or things that you have decide to do along the way...it doesn't matter to God. You can take that misfit feeling and allow God to change it into something meaningful and powerful. You are wanted by Christ and you will fit in Him. He planned you from before the beginning of time and has plans for you. We at Faith to Walk Ministries encourage you to call out to Jesus right now and know that you are accepted in Him. You can find real love, peace, and joy in knowing that you fit perfectly with Jesus Christ. He made you for Him!
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13
- Pastor Aaron
Posted on October 8, 2014 at 4:30 PM
When thinking of marriage, people need to know there are some stretching things that individuals have to go through to make it successfully as husband and wife. Some of these things are easily adjusted and some take time to adjust - but must be done for it to be enjoyable.
Some of these ideas are hard...but if both (not just one), takes it to heart it will be soooo enjoyable.
1) Marriage is Committment
So you had the big wedding day...beautiful as it was...so what now?
You see so many people focus on the wedding day, which we should, but more focus should be on the marriage itself. That marriage starts the moment you say "I do."
Those words bind your heart in a commitment like no other. No matter your history...the one you are married to now is the one you are committed to - for life.
An amazing note found in the Life Application study Bible is found in the passage of Genesis 2:18-24 about a "help meet" and "one flesh" it says -
"God's creative work was not completed until he made woman. He could have made her from the dust of the ground, as he made man. He chose, however, to make her from man's flesh and bone. In so doing, he illustrated for us that in marriage man and woman symbolically become one flesh. This is the mystical union of the couple's hearts and lives. Throughout the Bible, God treats this special union seriously. If you are married or planning to be married, are you willing to keep the commitment which makes the two of you one? The goal in marriage should be more than friendship - it should be oneness." p. 8
That unrelenting commitment will get you through disagreements, trials, and stresses that will come into any marriage.
2) Marriage is Communication
Listen - That is one of the things that will make a marriage flourish more than anything else. We need communication.
You have to be each others best friend and confidant - period! You are the ones you share your greatest joys and victories with to your worst sorrows and defeats, and everything in between.
The only way we can draw closer to Christ is to study His Word, pray, and worship Him. In essence...communicate and spend time with Him. As well, this is the only way we can draw closer to each other. It is that way with any relationship in life, but so much more in a marriage.
The biggest part of communicating in a marriage is listening. Listening to the heart is the most important, even if the words don't necessarily come out right. The hardest thing to do is to choose the words wisely, but even harder...not hearing the meaning you think the other one is saying filtered through preconceived notions (This is a hard one to learn).
God has brought these verses to mind and how it applies to marriage.
"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." James 1:19-20
Speaking of the Life Application study Bible again; notes say the following. (WARNING - this may make you say OUCH!)
"When we talk to much and listen to little, we communicate to others that we think our ideas are much more important than theirs. James wisely advises us to reverse this process. Put a mental stopwatch on your conversations and keep track of how much you talk and how much you listen. When people talk with you, do they feel that their viewpoints and ideas have value?" p. 1887
The second note will make you really say OUCH!
"This verse speaks of anger that erupts when our egos are bruised - 'I am hurt,' 'My opinions are not being heard.' When injustice and sin occur we should become angry because others are being hurt. But we should not become angry when we fail to win an argument, or when we feel neglected. Selfish anger never helps anybody" p. 1887
This last point on communication is really important.
Don't let it fester.
We all get angry...whether it is our fault or the other's fault or both...we get angry. But listen to these verses...
"Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil." Ephesians 4:26-27
Not all anger is sin, but what that anger could lead to can be sin. We have to be careful in that anger not to let it consume us or lead us to say or do things we shouldn't. We have all been there, so the answer is to be slow to speak so we can hear the words before they actually come out of our mouths.
Here it says that you can be angry, but sin not. It then says to not let the sun go down on our wrath. This means to not allow it to be carried over into the next day, as this will only give an opportunity to the devil. You see, how the devil does this is that he will tempt you to churn on it all night and into the next day...all day. It is so much better to come to an agreement and wrap it up in love than to let the devil get a foothold.
This next point is for men...since I am one. Woman, you are to respect your husband...but I will let God, and His Word address this one for you. There is also an amazing book called "Love and Respect" by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs that you should read as well.
Like I said, this one is for men...it is a hard one and one that we will learn and do with our wives for the rest of our lives.
3) Marriage is Christ
Here is one verse that men need everywhere. It is a hard one, but nonetheless a pivotal point in an enjoyable Christ - centered marriage.
"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;" Ephesians 5:25
Men your wife is God's. He is like the master gardener and His rose...your wife is His prize rose. He is only allowing you to help Him attend to it, just like He would.
Now before you say..."well, I have blown that so many times!" Well, we all have...that is why there is forgiveness from God and our wives. Forgive yourself and move on to greater heights.
I will keep with the Life Application Study Bible notes on this point, since they hit right to where I'm talking about.
"Paul devotes twice as many words to telling husbands to love their wives as to telling the wives to submit (come under the protection of) to their husbands. How should a man love his wife? (1) He should be willing to sacrifice everything for her. (Not only physical life, but wants and desires as well.) (2) He should make her well-being of primary importance. (3) He should care for her as he cares for his own body. No wife needs to fear submitting (come under the protection of) to a man who treats her this way" p. 1788 - Parentheses added.
In essence He should love her as Christ does the church.
One more verse to close it off with.
"Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence (respect) her husband." Ephesians 5:34
"The union of husband and wife merges two persons in such a way that little can affect one without the other. Oneness in marriage does not mean losing your personality in the personality of the other. Instead, it means caring for your spouse as you care for yourself, learning to anticipate the other person's needs, helping the other person become all that he or she can be." P. 1789
In closing...it is our prayer that you take these principles and apply them to your lives and watch your marriages flourish.
Remember in Who's power you and your marriage is in...Jesus Christ!
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13
- Pastor Aaron
(Life Application Study Bible copyright, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1996, 2004 by Tyndale House Publishing, Inc. Carol Stream, Illinois, 60188. All rights reserved)
You Are Strong Enough
Posted on January 20, 2015 at 9:20 PM comments (0)
Someone wise once shared this visual with me; when constructing a building scaffolding is used when the building's framework needs support, or provides support for workers making repairs to the broken down building. As the building is repaired and can stand alone, the scaffolding and workers are removed.
In life, as we (the building) get stronger, we no longer need the supports that we have depended on for so long. Eventually those supports are taken out of our lives, removed - so we can stand alone - because we are strong enough-God wants our dependency to be found in Him alone. Not in others, not in stuff, not in substance, not in anything this world has to offer.
If something has been removed, once again, don't see it as something you've lost along the way but as proof as something you've gained - your strength! God sees you as strong enough!
Today instead of saying, "I've lost again!" Choose to say - "I'm strong again!"
In His strength,
Posted on January 25, 2015 at 12:25 AM
For the past two days this memory keeps returning quite vividly to me. From experience I have discovered that when a memory keeps nagging at me, as this one does, I know it's time to take a break and listen to what the Lord is trying to remind me of at this time in my life.
This memory comes from a time in elementary school before my foot was amputated. I had to wear this horrific brown shoe with a brace that would squeak when I walked. The shoe had a solid 3 inch lift on the bottom and due to the misshapen foot that it held inside, it was worn down on one side and it tilted to that side. There were bars that were attached to both sides of the lift and they came up over the shoe. These bars were also attached to a brace that wrapped around my calf and knee and were secured by velcro. Definitely not a fashion statement by any means of the word. It was one of the most ugly contraptions that I probably had ever worn, and I had worn many. Every step I took was incredibly painful and by the end of my school days I was physically exhausted from fighting the pain. My foot wasn't developed and one leg was much longer than the other. What should have been a foot was just a purple pile of skin wrapped around some misshapen bones. Despite many corrective surgeries, countless hospital stays and hours of physical therapy, the foot was useless. The foot never developed or grew and I struggled to walk daily and to keep up with my peers.
On this particular day we were assigned to walk/run the track and as usual, I was trailing behind the others. An individual in front of me turned, looked me up and down and stated to another student walking next to them, "she will never make it". I can vividly recall this student's face, demeanor, eyes, lips, especially when the student looked down at my foot and lingered there. Then their words, "she will never make it". At first I felt the sting of their words and I am not sure which hurt worse, their words or the pain I felt as I took a step as they stared and spoke. But I do recall, somehow, someway, something took hold inside of me. It was as if something just "clicked'. And though I felt the pain physically and emotionally, at that moment, I determined to use it as a motivator and I made it around the track. I finished! (And I finished not too far behind the student who made the comment.) I remember shaking with pain but smiling because I knew my personal triumph and victory. I never said anything to anyone, until now.
If anything comes from sharing this, let my memory be a testimony of encouragement for you. You see that student, unbeknownst to them, motivated me with their negative words toward me that day. I could have let their words hurt me and stop me in my tracks on the track. I could have let them define me. But I chose to define myself and chose not to be a victim of someone's opinions or words. I chose that day to push past pain, physical and emotional, and I received victory. A victory that they are absolutely unaware of which makes it even sweeter. It’s was just something glorious between me and the Lord.
Today, I am even more thankful for the memory from the track that day. I am glad God has brought it to my attention. It reminds me that if I could push past the pain then, I can push past the pain now. If I could over come others opinions then, I can overcome others opinions now. If I could not let others define me then, I can overcome others defining me now. If I kept walking then, I can keep walking now! If I could smile while shaking then, I can smile while shaking now! If God strengthened me in my weakness then, He will strengthen me in my weakness now! So, a little encouragement for anyone reading this today: God is no respecter of persons, He shows no partiality! So if He can strengthen a little girl to walk on a track, He can strengthen you in your circumstance, wherever you are at today! (Check out Job 34:19)
From me to you - If anyone has flippantly or purposefully said in your direction " you will never make it". Let me remind you, "you can make it". Keep going! Take those negative comments and use it as a springboard to move you on until you "finish the race" and hear "well done". If I would’ve listened that day on the track, what would I have believed about myself? I would have believed then (and many times since) that I was disabled, handicapped, crippled. I would have quit. But I chose to not see myself that way. We all have limitations, it's true. But in Christ, He has a plan for our lives, and in His strength, not that of our own, there are no limits! (Check out Phil. 4: 13)
So, see yourself beyond physical limitations. See yourself beyond emotional limitations. See yourself beyond the limitations of this world. See yourself the way God sees you. See yourself by the way of your soul.
How you see yourself is how "you will make it"!
Keep walking, keep running, keep moving forward! Don't sit down, don't quit!
Sometimes the pain in life is there to simply remind you that you're alive. One day things won't hurt anymore. One day someone's words will be a memory of your triumph -not your failure.
Others may not understand the triumph of the task that you've accomplished, and that's ok, it's between you and the Lord. You will know in your soul that you finished and you did well. You may not finish first but you and God can glory in the truth that you finished.
You will be able to say one day, "I made it!" And I want to say, "I made it with you!" -Sheila
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." (Psalm 139:14)
“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” (Genesis 50:20)
Posted on February 17, 2015 at 12:50 AM comments (0)
Learning to ride it out!
When I first started riding, one of my greatest fears were the curves. Why?
1) I was told by someone I may not be strong enough to lean my harley in the curve,
2) I personally feared because, of the unknowns - how long, how sharp, what was on the other side of the curve? (I need all the answers upfront!)
3) Then the "what if's" would set in on me! (My insecure self talk!) What if I didn't lean enough or what if there was something in the middle of the curve and what if I couldn't straightened up in time!
As a passenger, curves thrilled me- but as a rider the thought of taking a curve evoked fear -great fear!
The only way for me to overcome the fear was to face the curves and I had to do it alone!
Either I was going to be a passenger for the rest of my life or I was going take control of my own harley and I was going to ride!
In order to ride- I had to take the curves-without stopping-and- ride it out.
I had to face my fear and I had to do it alone. No one else could take that ride for me. I couldn't let that fear rule me but I had to use that fear to motivate.
So, now I ride and I have learned to love what I feared the most-the curves and the unknown!
The curves have become one of my favorite parts of the road - curves thrill me! I have a favorite one back home! When I come out of the curve the sun shines on me as to say "ta-da", I smile to myself every time as only God and I know its meaning and the fear I overcame to receive the rays of the sun shining on me!
This morning I share this story because I have been reflecting on some times I faced fear (life's curves) alone and I came out on the other end stronger for it:
When I was alone making decisions as a single mom.
When I was alone as a child going in to surgery to have my foot amputated. (Parents were not with me that morning, doctors suggested they stay home!)
When I am alone crying over a divorce and a failed marriage.
When I sat alone in an attorney's office making a decision with no husband to confer with.
When a man put his fists to my face and threatened to blacken both my eyes because I didn't do something when he wanted it done.
When a financial decision needed to be made and there was no money to make the decision with.
When gossip was wrong again and it seemed I couldn't out live anyone ever believing it.
I could recount numerous times when I was alone, at my weakest moments, yet because I kept riding "life's curve" out I found myself at my greatest moments of strength!
Why? Because I found myself relying on what I knew was truly hidden in me.
When no one else can take "life's curve" but me- when I am alone - I find courage, strength and companionship with myself and with my God!
These can become the God moments that you have sought all of your life- and the healing moments you have prayed for!
Moments when; discouragement becomes courage, weakness becomes strength, weeping becomes joy, ashes become beauty!
Do not fear being alone... for it is then you find your strength, who you are with God!
You learn to ride the curves-when you ride it out!
On the other side is your "ta-da" moment! Just a little sunshine, as you and God share a smile!
Your God moment awaits - keep riding!
|Faith to Walk Ministries||
From our heart to yours