And so we know and rely on the love God has for us

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  1 John 4:13-16

When we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior we receive the Holy Spirit.  It is the Holy Spirit who lives inside us and transforms us from the inside out.  When we come to Christ there is a daily battle that takes place between the desires and leading of the Holy Spirit and the desires and leading of the sinful nature.

The more we abide in the Lord on a daily basis through prayer and the study of God’s word, the more we are transformed into the image of Christ.  As long as we live on this earth we will never be perfect.  There will be times when we will sin and there will be times when we make mistakes.  But God’s love, grace, and mercy should never be a license to live in continual sin.

We know that God is faithful and just to forgive us when we confess our sins.  So when we do sin and make a mistake we can go before our Father with confidence and boldness knowing that He will forgive us.  But if we fail to respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and we continue in sin our Father in Heaven will discipline us and the longer we continue in sin the more severe His discipline will become more severe.

We can take great comfort in the fact that no one can snatch us out of the Father’s hand.  There are some who fear they can lose their salvation and this simply is not true.  Our salvation can never be lost as long as we continue to draw near to Jesus on a daily basis.  The enemy cannot take our salvation or separate us from the love of God.  If we find ourselves involved in continual sin on a daily basis the first step is to seek the Lord for forgiveness and begin to seek and draw near to the Lord.  He will strengthen us to walk in freedom, maturity, and holiness.

Soar on wings like eagles

27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
    Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
    my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:27-31

There are times in our walk with God in which we feel as if some how God has forgotten us or God has abandoned us.  Most times when the Lord is doing a very deep work in our lives and He is pruning back the parts of our flesh nature we often times find ourselves in very uncomfortable situations.

We may even look around at other brothers and sisters in the body of Christ and wonder why it seems every one has a much easier road than us.  But the truth is that for us to truly be refined and transformed into the image of who Jesus is then there is a very deep work that must take place.

If our desire is that our lives would be used to display the Lord’s glory than we need to understand that there is a deep work God is going to do in our lives.  He is going to develop deep faith and trust in our lives and for this to happen very intense times of testing must take place.

But we must not fear or lose heart when it seems that God has forsaken us or abandoned us because He has not.  No matter how we feel we must remember that our journey with the Lord is one of placing our faith and trust in His word and not in how we feel.

God is very clear in His word that He will never leave us nor forsake us.  That He who began a good work within us will be faithful to complete it.  That no one can snatch us out of the Father’s hand.  God has given us promise after promise and we must hold fast to His word and abide daily in the Lord through daily personal prayer and bible study.

When we invest in our relationship with God is when we see the power of His kingdom poured out in our lives.  I am not going to lie that there are many valleys that we will travel through and there are times honestly like we feel we can’t go on any further.

But it is in those times of weakness that the supernatural power and strength of the Holy Spirit takes over.  See it is in our weakness that the strength of the Lord is made perfect.  This journey with Jesus is simply about denying ourselves and picking up our cross.  It is about laying down our own strength and effort and relying fully upon the Lord.

This requires us to humble ourselves and this is where I think many of us struggle.  We don’t like to humble ourselves because it makes us seem vulnerable, but this is exactly what the Lord desires from our lives.  For it is in the moments when we are most vulnerable that the deepest works are done in our hearts.

No matter how discouraged you may be today and how weary you may feel understand that God is fully in control.  Even if you may feel you travel this road alone, understand that the Lord not only prepares every step and goes before you, but He is actually carrying you.  Draw near unto the Lord and be strengthen for the journey ahead.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—     he will watch over your life

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.  Psalm 121:7-8

The Lord is our Shepherd, our protector, our guide, our Savior, He is simply our everything.  There is nothing we have to fear.  We live in dark days in which it seems immorality rules and chaos grows.  But in the darkness of the enemy the Lord is raising a mighty army in the shadows.

He is raising a people who know His heart and whose minds and hearts are one with His.  He is raising a people who understand the authority they have through Calvary and a people who are filled with His love, grace, and mercy.  Many in this army have been thoroughly tested and refined.  They have been stretched and at times it seems as if God Himself has abandoned them.

But everything that has taken place as been to strength and solidify the faith God has established with them.  It is a faith that produces miracles, signs, and wonders.  If we are to see the glory of the Lord poured out and manifested in our day then it is going to require vessels who faith is as deep as Abraham and whose hearts are like King David.

Abide in Him and fix your eyes upon Jesus Christ.  We are moving into the greatest period of the body of Christ.  We are moving toward an out pouring of God’s glory throughout the earth.  The purpose of this outpouring is to bring forth the last day harvest in this last hour of the church.  Because soon and very soon the trumpet shall sound, the Lord shall descend and call His bride home.

Hold fast my friends to the faith that you have.  No matter how discouraged you are today understand that God has designed your every step.  He goes before you and every trial you face in your life has been designed by Him.  It isn’t meant to destroy you, it is meant to produce within you His character and His heart.  Hold fast, hold fast, hold fast.  It is always darkest before the dawn.  He is moving on the earth today and raising His army that shall shake the very earth with His glory and majesty.

The shelter of the Most High

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.””‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The Lord is our refuge and our fortress. The secret place of the Most High is the Lord’s presence. King David understood the importance of God’s presence. He understood everything he had in his life and every victory were from the hand of the Lord. 

Today we live in a world that seems very dark and very chaotic. There is no greater time in history that we must become a people of His presence. When we come together our sole aim should be to draw near and spend time in the Lord’s presence. 

As we draw near, He will draw near to us. For far too long the church has been focused on programs and entertainment. We have not been concerned about honoring the Lord or spending time in His presence. But it is in His presence that restoration, healing, deiverance, freedom, salvation, grace, and mercy are found. What we have with Jesus is a living relationship with the one who spoke all things into existence. He simply desires for us to draw near and fall deeply in love with Him. 

Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did

“We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:3-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

To claim to follow Christ yet not walk in obedience to what the Lord has said in His word is a failisy. If we truly love Jesus with all our heart and have truly made Him Lord then naturally we will desire to walk in obedience. For a person to claim to follow Christ and even attend church every Sunday yet not give their heart fully to Christ or walk in obedience means nothing. 

Jesus said that we would demonstrate our love for Him through obedience.  We are only able to walk in obedience if we are abiding in Him daily. Obedience is impossible if we are not abiding in His word and prayer on a daily basis. We cannot live on the manna of yesterday. We need fresh manna every day. He is the bread of life and we must feed daily upon Him. 

What is sad is that in the world today the gospel has been cheapened and softened so men can build their own kingdoms in the name of Jesus. We are not called to be focused on building the biggest church with fleshly means. We are called to build disciples with the purity of the truth. When the truth is preached without compromised the Holy Spirit will convict hearts and lives will be changed for God’s kingdom. 

The Son is the image of the invisible God

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.  Colossians 1:15-20

Jesus is the center of all things.  It is through Him that all things were created and it is through Him that all things are redeemed.  He chose to lay down His life and come to this earth so that salvation would be available to all who would place their trust in Him.  When we understand who Jesus is and what His sacrifice has truly done then we will center our lives on who He is.

Every person who claims to follow Jesus is commanded to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness.  When we come to Christ our lives are no longer our own.  We are called to abide in Him and seek His face.  We are called to walk in obedience and lay all things down for His kingdom.

The world and its system hates Jesus and hates His name.  Jesus name carries all authority.  It is at the name of Jesus that every knee shall bow.  There are many in the world today who reject the name of Jesus and reject Him as Lord and Savior.  What those in the world fail to understand is that in the end Jesus shall rule over all things.  His offer of salvation goes throughout the earth and those who humble themselves before Jesus shall be saved and born again.  But we must come to the place where we understand that Jesus is the center, focus and purpose of all things.  Everything happening on the earth now simply is moving toward the rule and reign of Jesus Christ.

Whoever wants to be my disciple

34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life[b] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”  Mark 8:34-38

If we are to call Jesus Lord and Savior that means we are willing to lay down our lives and our will for God’s kingdom and His will.  The will of God becomes the driving force of our lives.  It is a life of surrender to the Lord.  We become a temple of the Holy Spirit and a vessel for His glory.  We become a vessel through which God can touch the world for His kingdom.

The world around us is broken and hurting.  There are many who are lost and in bondage to Satan and his lies and deceptions.  God desires that we would draw near and develop deep intimacy with Him.  When deep intimacy is developed our hearts and minds become one with the Lord and the words that are spoken from our mouths align with His.

Our focus must always be Jesus and we must abide in Him on a daily basis.  Through prayer and the study of God’s word on a daily basis our lives will be transformed and we will be prepared to face every challenge that will come our way.  The reason we live in the freedom and authority that Jesus has purchased for us is through abiding in the Lord alone.