Walking Miracles

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By Pastor Jeff,

Psalms 139:14-18, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.”

The more I study biology especially when it comes to the unbelievable way man has been put together the more amazed I find that anyone can deny that we are not a miracle of God’s creation. Just think of the atom and how small it is and that we are made of 7 times 10 to the 27th power or 7 billion, billion, billion atoms. To think that that is an accident of evolution is just bizarre and completely at odds with the medical miracle we are. You are indeed a “Walking Miracle!”

Recently one of my favorite musicians Matthew West came out with the song, “Walking Miracles”, which is the inspiration to this blog. In the song he sang about the miracle of what we are as well as the healing power of God. So I want to center on that God is a healer which you would think would be a relatively simple subject that any pastor especially a Apostolic pastor would want to share. That hasn’t been true for me since my youngest daughter passed away due to cancer last year. Don’t get the idea that I lost hope or stopped believing in healing or in miracles but I must confess it’s been very difficult to proclaim that Jesus is your healer when I didn’t witness that in my child. I also have witnessed many in our church that have suffered under different types of afflictions that have not received their healing, which has had me shy away from coming our declaring, By His stripes you are healed!

But I have to step out in faith and hopefully let everyone know that my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is indeed a healer and you are a “Walking Miracle!” A lot has been said of mustard seed faith and several scriptures tell us with that kinda faith mountains can be moved. If your like me we have on our refrigerator a little mustard seed in a picture to remind me of that faith. Let us look at this a little differently and read Matthew 13:31-32, “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” What did the sower do? That’s right he planted it, it’s time for us to take the mustard seed off the refrigerator, plant it, water it, give it some sun, and watch it grow to what God intended it to be!

We have or had in our church a poster that says, “Pray Until Something Happens” PUSH, as I was contemplating this I found my attention to the word “Until”, I don’t want a “Until” I want to shout out, “Pray Then Things Happen” PTTH, when the children of God pray in faith in the name of Jesus Christ there are no “until”; there is action right now! You are a “Walking Miracle” not next year, not next week, not even tomorrow, you are one right now!

Let’s me point his out in the miracle in Acts 3:1-8, “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God” A walking miracle because two men took that mustard seed faith, planted it, watered it, let it grow in the power of the son of God Jesus Christ and boom!

Let’s all realize that God’s promises are Amen and Amen! Let us walk as the miracles we are and proclaim that with God all things are possible!

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When God Speaks!

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By Pastor Jeff,

There was a popular commercial years ago that was about investing called “When EF Hutton speaks everyone listens” Speech is a very important part of our lives and I found out that just as our fingerprints there are no two voices are alike.

James 3:5-8, “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” This gives our tongues (voice) a lot of power to seeming to do harm, but the tongue also can and should be used to warn, Ezekiel 33:6, But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” healing, Proverbs 12:18 “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.” and kindness, Proverbs 31:26, “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

So that is talking about mans voice, but what about when God speaks? Well I declare that God speaks with power for in Genesis 1 we have recorded, and it happened accordingly. Over and over again from the 1st chapter of Genesis to the last chapter of the book of Revelations we hear the voice of God crying out to us from the pages of the bible. What does God say? Here is just a sample of what God declares to us:

Deuteronomy 31:8, “And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.”                              Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”                                        Exodus 19:5, “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:” John 15:15, “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”                                                                                                        Psalms 139:14, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”                                        Matthew 10:31, “Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.”     John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”                                                              Ephesians 1:5, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,”                                                                John 14:2-3, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

God tells us He loves us 310 times in 280 verses with the great message given us in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

These are just a a few messages from Jesus Christ to us of how important we are. It is true that sometimes our tongue can get us into trouble but when God speaks…Everyone should listen!

 

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We are His Reflection

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By Pastor Jeff,

Genesis 1:26-27, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” In “His” image, or as I like to in this blog use the word “reflection”.

There is an old saying that people will see in you the only Jesus they may ever see, we need to reflect Christ in our speech, actions, and appearance in all we do. One of the things I would also like to concentrate is what occurred after Jesus walked with two men on the road to Emmaus that I find amazing, Luke 24:33-40, “So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread. Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.” What was on His hands and feet that would immediately make Jesus recognizable to Hid disciples? The scars from the Nails of course!

The thing I have noticed among many of Jesus’ followers is that they too carry scars that bare witness of their lives in Christ. Most of us have scars from injuries that show up on the outside as I can easily point to many on myself. But we also carry scars that cannot be seen from the naked eye. These can only be seen if we would open up our chest and expose our hearts. These scars can have the most long lasting affect on our lives and can destroy you if you keep opening up those scars or make it the focus of a horrible period of you life.

So what should you do? 1 Peter 4:12-13, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” So what should you do? Use it for the glory of God. I don’t know about you but I’m not ashamed of the scars that you can see on my physical body and likewise we shouldn’t be ashamed of the scars we carry upon our hearts. If we truly are the reflection of Jesus who proudly showed His scars of evidence of who He was; we likewise shall show our scars of evidence of living our lives for Him. Scars are evidence that we have overcome, the wounds have scarred over, we are able to use the pain of the past to show others how to overcome and not be held back. I want to show His power in spite of the scars on my life, Philippians 3:10, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” 

I want Christ’s reflection to be apparent in me, I want His power to be shown through me, I want others to see Jesus in me, and if that means scars so be it! Jesus used His scars to show the world who He was and so will I!

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What About Fasting? part 2

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By Pastor Jeff,

Matthew 6:16-18, “Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.” 

Want to ruin any Fast? Just do what it says here; by openly making a scene you take what God could use to change your life to just a hunger strike. Attitude is the key to entering the presence of God in anything we do, prayer, giving, preaching, and fasting if we are doing it just to look good before man, it is of no effect with the Kingdom of God. James 4:6, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” I mentioned Moses before as an example of someone who not only fasted for forty days once, but twice, and scripture says this about this man, Numbers 12:3, “(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)”It was this meekness (humility) that allowed God to use this powerful man to deliver His people from Egypt.

There are different types of fasting, we find one God chooses for us Isaiah 58:6, “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” You may be impressed by the Spirit of God to enter a fast which as stated here can do great things not only in your life but others! Some set a particular day every week, every month or more to fast to put power to our prayer life, Luke 2:36-37, “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.” Because of her dedication she got to witness the newborn Savior of the World Jesus Christ.

Then are those that a leader of the Nation, a church leader, may in response to a situation, a answer that they may be seeking will call a period of fasting and prayer, 2 Chronicles 20:1-3, “It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi. And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.” Many other fast are found in the Bible such as with the city of Nineveh,  Nehemiah, King David, as well others.

In the next lesson I will discuss the different types of Fasting.

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What About Fasting?

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by Pastor Jeff,

When you ask any believer about prayer and they will undeniably tell you that they pray regularly and earnestly, but when you mention fasting we often fumble to find an adequate response.

The word fasting is referenced over seventy times in the bible with some memorable fasts by Moses who twice went forty days in the presence of God without any natural food. Jesus also fasted forty days in the wilderness before His temptation by Satan, Luke 4:1-4, “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

One of the most powerful examples of what can happen when we chose to fast is when Jonah warned Nineveh of impending doom, Jonah 3:5, “So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.” God responded with mercy, Jonah 3:10, “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.”

Now I want to be careful and tell you that fasting does not change God’s mind for eventually Nineveh was destroyed, but what fasting does is allow God to remove our unbelief, Matthew 17:21, “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”

Fasting was often used in the selection of missionaries, Acts 13:2-3, “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.” Elders, Acts 14:23, “And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed”

Ezra 8:21, “Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.” 8:23, “So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was entreated of us.” Fasting unleashes the faith that is in us and we Apostolic’s should never take it lightly. In future blogs I will discuss the different types of fast and even its benefits for us physically, thank you for your time.

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Do You Know of Him or Do You Know Him?

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By Pastor Jeff,

Do you know Him or do you know of Him? That is the biggest question we can ask anyone who claims to be a Christian? We have people that wear t-shirts, crosses, go to church, carry bibles (that seems to becoming less and less of a thing), and even get tattoos expressing their Christianity but the fruit we are supposed to bear is not apparent!

Many years ago I was going through a very dry period in my walk with Jesus Christ. I was pretty much going through the motions, I was teaching Sunday School, going to service pretty much at every opportunity but inside my heart was far from him. I was baptized in His name, filled with the Holy Ghost but I had come to the point of knowing about Him, I could quote scripture, do a Sunday school lesson like no other. Inside I was dead which I unfortunately see in so many of so-called believers today. This reminds me of this parable in Luke 13:6-9, “He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.” I’m so glad Jesus waited to cut me down for one day I made the decision to not just know about Jesus but to Know Him, the scripture that I fell in love with is found in Philippians 3:10, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”

I have fallen so much in love with Jesus Christ that I have run out of words to describe my passion for Him. I will declare to the world that I would surrender my life before I would ever turn my back on or deny His love for me. It deeply troubles me that shallow Christianity has become the norm in our world today. I don’t care if you can talk the talk, I care if you can walk the talk. That old phrase that says “I rather see a sermon than hear one any day” is so applicable in our circles today.

Remember this scripture found in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” If that doesn’t send a shiver up your spine I don’t know what will!

Don’t be satisfied with knowing about our Savior Jesus Christ, please come to know HIM!

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