It’s a Big Deal

eating“It’s not a big deal. I can have just a little.” This mindset can be very dangerous for the believer in Jesus.
Let’s say your drug of choice (the area of your life the Spirit wants to replace with Jesus) is eating. Sure, a piece of candy or one extra helping of potatoes is no big deal. (Unless the Spirit specifically said don’t) So, what’s the problem?
The problem is that with each extra bite, you’re training your brain to believe that compromise is okay. Understand this truth: Our lives are changed through changing the way we think (Romans 12:2). Thus, compromising in one area of your life can lead to compromises in other areas of your life. Thoughts are not isolated, but linked, in our brain.
The “It’s not so bad!” mentality is an “argument” that must be destroyed (2 Cor. 10:5) as it leads down a dangerous path away from the source of everything you’re looking for in life – Jesus.
The next time you think, “It’s not so bad.” Shout back, “Yes it is!” And then exercise the truth Jesus gave you by faith empowered by the Spirit. Victory is sweet and a changed life lasts for eternity.
Se“T” Fre“E” Nowww

Do Real

realI was greeting a couple one day at service when they asked, “How are you doing?” You know my immediate response, “Fine!” Then I stopped and told them the truth, “In reality, I’m struggling at the moment, but am pressin’ on. We do real here at New Hope.” I knew they were struggling as well and hiding that fact wasn’t going to help them; therefore, I knew I had to model realness before them.
Abraham, a faith Hall of Famer, had just come off a great victory in rescuing his nephew Lot, experienced fear and doubt. Would his new enemies regroup and attack? Where was the heir he so desperately needed? God came and said, “I am your great reward and shield. Can you count the stars? Nope, but you’ll have more children than you can imagine.”
We all need encouragement to keep making the necessary daily choices to follow Jesus. Sometimes, God encourages us Himself; but more often than not, He uses others…if we do real. The Spirit writes in James 5:16 that if we want our lives changed/made whole/healed, we must let a few people into our struggles so they can be there and pray for us.
Who are you doing real with?
Set Free Noww“W”

God is not an Entertainer

miracleI was visiting someone who was quite down in the mouth. They were visibly upset at the turn of events in their life. They asked a very interesting question, “Why won’t God give me a miracle?” My answer surprised even me, “Are you ready for one?”
The point was, “Were they ready to follow Jesus if He did?” Understand, God is not in the entertainment business. If and when Jesus performs a miracle, it’s to get you to take further steps of faith to walk with and closer to Him.
During Jesus’ trial, Pilate sent Jesus to King Herod, who “when he saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by Him.” (Lk. 23:8) Remember that Herod had John the Baptist killed because of being entertained by a female dancer. Jesus did nothing but kept silent. Herod wasn’t ready.
God is God, not an entertainer. He does what He does to get us to allow Him to change our lives, not make them easier. In fact, following Jesus is tough, very tough at times. I believe that one of the reasons we don’t see more miracles is that we simply want to be wowed and razzle-dazzled by God, rather than love Him through our obedience.
Want a miracle? Be ready to exercise the truth by faith empowered by the Spirit when He asks you to surrender or do something, no matter how tough it may be.
Set Fre“E” Nowww

Being Glad

gladnessPsalm 5:11, “Let all who take refuge in You be glad.” I was pondering how to actually take refuge in Jesus. Then it hit me. Taking refuge in Jesus means doing what He says!
As you do, you’re trusting that living His way, which brings you closer to Him, will also bring you the safety and security, which is what a refuge is all about, you’re looking for. And what do you feel when you’re safe and secure? Gladness!
Make Jesus your refuge today. What has He been asking you to do? Then exercise that truth by faith empowered by the Spirit the next opportunity you get.
Set Fre“E” Nowww

Doing Nothing is Something

overgrownI was on a prayer walk when I overcame this garage. The house had burned down and the garage was abandoned. As you can see, it’s overgrown with vines; and if continued to be left unattended, the garage will eventually fall down due to rotting wood.
Life is like this garage. It can overwhelm us if we don’t actively process out the lies of the world. By doing nothing we are doing something. We’re letting someone else control our minds; and thus, the basis for our decision making. I can only tell you from experience that this leads to disaster.
The vines didn’t take over this garage overnight. But, a little neglect here and a little abandonment there and before you know it, you’ve got a lot of work staring you in the face. Joy doesn’t come in the morning, but with daily being in touch with Jesus. If not, you’ll soon be left wondering what in the world happened to your life!
Set “FREE” Nowww