Monday, April 14, 2014

4/14/14 - "WHY HE CAME"



Luke 19:35 Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him.
Luke 19:36 And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road.
Luke 19:37 Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen,
Luke 19:38 saying: “ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

There is no doubt that the most important event in history was when Christ was raised from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus Christ was the proof that He was the Son of God and that man could be redeemed. Without the resurrection you would have another powerless religion, but because of the resurrection of Christ you have a powerful Savior who opened the door for man to be reunited with the Father. During this resurrection week I want to share three key parts of the life of Christ that reveal why He came.

1. THE KING OF GLORY HAS COME
Psa. 24:9 Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.

As Jesus rode into Jerusalem descending from the Mount of Olives, the people spread their clothes and palm branches on the ground in honor of His triumphant entry into the city. This was done in the days of Jesus in recognizing the entrance of a king. The King of glory had come in preparation for what would become His death and then resurrection. Here in Psalms 24:9 we have a reference to the King of glory who has come to enter in through the doorway of every heart of man who will welcome Him in.

For every heart that willingly receives Him, Jesus will come to reign within our hearts, bringing into our lives the ability to rule and reign with Him as kings and priests. What He needs to do so is a heart that has godly sorrow. One who has godly sorrow will repent for their sin. They will have the desire to turn from their old sinful nature and receive the Lordship of Christ to come and reign in their lives. As they do the King of glory then resides within their hearts.

Those who have received this King into their lives must remember He has come not just to give us a way to heaven, but also to now reign in and through our lives. Allowing Christ to reign will change the way we live our life. When we are born again we are to now place Jesus on the throne of our life. We are to yield our lives, spirit, soul, and body, completely to Him. By acknowledging His rule as the King of our life we will see our lives transformed. This takes place in our lives once born again by daily recognizing who we now are in Christ, and by choosing His ways over ours. Jesus referred to this when He said that if we want to follow Him we must deny self, take up our cross, and follow Him. To deny self is to deny the old fleshly nature and it’s desires. Taking up our cross means we now walk in God’s will for our life, which is found in the scriptures. Doing so we will follow our King.

2. REDEEMED BY HIS PRECIOUS BLOOD
1 Pet. 1:18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver.
1 Pet. 1:19 He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.

As the King of glory had come to enter the hearts of man, He then paid the most valuable price ever for our life by shedding His blood. To be redeemed means to be ransomed, purchased from the slavery that held us bound to the freedom we now have in Christ Jesus. Every drop of blood Jesus shed was a payment to free us from a part of the empty life we had previously inherited through the fall of man. There are six different times Jesus shed His blood, none without significance.

The first place Jesus shed His blood was in the garden of Gethsemane. In Luke’s account we find that He was in great agony as He was dealing with separation for the first time ever from the presence of His Father. Jesus states in Luke 22:42, “Father, if it is Your will take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Jesus won the battle for us over the human will. The second place Jesus shed blood was at the whipping post when the Roman soldiers scourged him. As Isaiah prophetically stated it would be by His stripes that our healing would be paid for. Jesus has paid the price for our bodily healing.

The third place Jesus shed His blood was when the soldiers made a crown of thorns and pushed it down upon His head. Through His shed blood we now have what scripture calls the mind of Christ, victory over the carnal mind. Our minds can now be renewed to the Word of God. The fourth place Jesus shed His blood was when they nailed His hands to the cross. James tells us to cleanse our hands of sin. Through the blood of our Savior we can now walk free from the power of a sinful lifestyle, no longer bound by sin.

The fifth place He shed His blood was when they nailed His feet to the cross. Once born again we are now to walk by faith not by sight, believing in the redeeming work of our Savior, walking in this new lifestyle of faith. The six place Jesus shed His blood was on the cross when they pierced His side with a spear in which blood and water flowed out. As Isaiah also prophesied that He would be pierced for our transgressions, man’s sin would no longer be covered, but washed away. Man would now be able to receive a new heart and become a new creation within.

The blood of Jesus shed for us is the proof of how much God love us. When you look at what determines the value of something there are two primary factors. One factor being how rare something is, and the other is based on what someone is willing to give to purchase what they want to buy. When you look at humanity we are all rare for God only made one of you. When you look at the price God was willing to pay to redeem your life there is no higher price that has ever been paid then the blood of Jesus shed for you. Don’t ever allow the enemy to make you think you are not valuable to God. You are very valuable to Him.

3. THE RESURRECTION POWER OF CHRIST
Eph. 1:19 You will also know the unlimited greatness of his power as it works with might and strength for us, the believers.
Eph. 1:20 He worked with that same power in Christ when he brought him back to life and gave him the highest position in heaven.
Eph. 1:21 He is far above all rulers, authorities, powers, lords, and all other names that can be named, not only in this present world but also in the world to come.

The apostle Paul in writing to the Philippians spoke of his desire to know Christ, and the power of His resurrection. That power was what raised Jesus out of hell itself, and made Him victorious over all the powers of darkness. Through this resurrection power Jesus stripped satan of the authority he had taken from the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden. He no longer has this authority. The very authority that God had originally given to man that was lost in the fall Jesus recovered and has now given that authority back to every born again believer. This was all accomplished because of His resurrection.

Notice it states here in verse 21 that Jesus is far above all rulers, authorities, powers, lords, and all other names that can be named. This refers to the different demonic powers that had ruled over man here on earth. Some might say well that is true Jesus has been raised above all such powers of darkness, but that does not mean we have. But in fact we too were raised up with Christ at the same time He was raised up by this resurrection power.

In Ephesians 2:5-6 Paul states that we were made alive together with Christ, raised up together with Christ, and then seated together with Him in heavenly places. The resurrection power of Christ in the life of the believer has raised you up to sit down with Him. Taking your rightful place seated next to Christ is done when you rest in the work of His life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. When you by faith take your place with Him, you will experience the power of His resurrection in your life, giving you victory over all the power of the enemy.

May you walk in all Christ has done for you. Keep pursuing relationship with Him everyday, and keep looking to the Word and meditating on who you now are in Christ. Allow Him through His Word to sit on the throne of your life, recognize His shed blood in every part of your life, and acknowledge your rightful place with Him through His resurrection power. As you do you will know and experience for yourself “Why He Came.”

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

4/7/14 - "STOP CURSING YOUR LIFE"


James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.

Words, they are powerful containers. God used words to create the earth in which we live. Words have defined some of the most important events in history. Words have destroyed and words have restored. The Bible has much to say about our words. If you had to name one thing that has the most impact on a person’s life when you look to what scripture says you would have to recognize that words are without a doubt one of if not the most important factor in our life. What many don’t realize is that their own words are often doing more harm to their life then good. The reason is because through our fallen nature we have been accustomed to speaking words that bring defeat instead of victory.

James states that for some out of their mouth proceed blessing and cursing, and this for the believer should not be so. Once we are born again we should begin to change how we speak. Realize that what we are saying on a regular basis will in fact according to scripture have an impact on your life. If you want to see your faith in what Christ has done for you work, you must not only walk by faith, but you must then stop saying things that circumvent your faith. When you begin to walk by faith and not by sight, God’s ability goes to work in and through your life, but you can stop your faith through a wrong confession. I know there are those who don’t think your confession is very important, but the Bible does tell us otherwise.

Prov. 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].

In light of a verse such as this one I don’t see how people can make light of words. Death and life are in the power of the tongue. If you consistently speak words of death in your marriage, words that are destructive and harmful, you will bring death to your marriage. I have seen it happen all to often. If you speak words of death to your body, your body will respond. Even doctors are beginning to find out that this is true. Notice here it states that those who indulge in words, whether death or life, they will eat the fruit of their words. So if you want to experience the life of God, the blessing of the Lord, His goodness in your life, you should be speaking words of life. Do you desire to be blessed or cursed? I am sure the answer is blessed, but for that to happen you are going to have to watch what you say.

Words are carriers, just as a seed is a carrier. Every seed has within it the ability to produce the fruit of whatever it carries. If you have an apple seed it has the ability to produce and apple tree, and of course eventually apples. If you have watermelon seeds they carry within them the ability to produce watermelons. So it is with thorns, weeds, and things that are not good. They begin as a seed. Whatever is within that seed is what it will produce. Your words are seeds, carriers, and whatever you speak is what those words carry forth to produce. So what you consistently plant with your words is the type of fruit you will produce. If you want apples you don’t want to plant thorn seeds. If you desire God’s blessing in life, which is defined as being happy, fortunate, to be envied, then you are going to have to speak words of life consistently and stop cursing your life with words of death.

James 3:2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
James 3:3 Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body.
James 3:4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.
James 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.  See how great a forest a little fire kindles!
James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.
James 3:7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind.
James 3:8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
James 3:9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.

James here in the first part of chapter three describes in more detail the power of the tongue in our life. He starts off by stating that we stumble in many things, but if anyone does not stumble in their words, they are perfect, which means mature and able to bridle the whole body. The word stumble means to error, make a mistake, or sin. When we say things with our mouth that line up with death instead of life we are speaking against God’s Word. When we do we are speaking words that are leading us into error, or sin. But if we stop speaking contrary to the Word of God we are able to bridle the body, which is not saved, and bring it under the control of our tongue.

He goes on to use the analogy of a horse that is controlled by a little bit in that horses mouth. James also shares the example of a ship, which in size compared to the rudder is very large, and yet it is that little rudder that determines where that ship will wind up. Think about that. Your tongue is like that rudder or the bit, which is going to determine the direction your life takes. He goes on to tell us the tongue is also like a fire, which once lit it sets on fire the course our life will go. Notice James states that the tongue is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we may bless our God, but with that same tongue we bless God with we can curse man, including ourselves. So what do we do to deal with our words and stop from cursing our life?

First of all recognize that James also states here in verses 7-8 that man has been able to tame many different types of wild animals, but no man can tame the tongue. The word for tame means to control or restrain. So it almost sounds like a lost cause, but it is not. What James is saying here is that you cannot just go through life and not address the issue of your tongue. You must pay attention to your words and how to change those words. If you do nothing to address what comes out of your mouth it will bring forth words that are in fact harmful to your life and to others. This is because when you were born again the only thing that changed initially was your spirit man, the real you. Your soul, made up of your mind, will, and emotions did not change. Nor did you body, so you have to do something more than just get born again to change the course of your life and to start seeing the blessing of God manifest instead of the curse that is in the world.

Luke 6:43 “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.Luke 6:44 For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush.Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Here we have the most important key to changing our words from death to life. Notice Jesus is referring to fruit here and He says that every tree is going to be known by its fruit. If there is bad fruit planted, then bad fruit is going to come forth, but if good fruit is planted then of course it will bring forth good fruit. Then in verse 45 He tells us that out of a good man from the good treasure of his heart he will bring forth good fruit, but an evil man will bring forth evil fruit. Notice He then states out of the abundance of one’s heart the mouth speaks. The word for heart here is referring to the seat of your will, mind, and emotions, which is your soul. Don’t get confused here for your soul is not the part of you that is born again, that is your spirit. What makes the soul full of good or evil? What we put in our soul.

In James 1:21 we find out that our soul is not saved, for it is through the Word of God being implanted in our souls that our soul gets delivered from evil thoughts, words, and therefore evil ways. Evil refers here simply to that which is contrary to what God says about us. So back to what Jesus said in Luke 6:45, whatever you are putting into your soul in abundance, that is what comes out of your mouth. If you feed on things daily that fill your soul, your thinking with words that are in line with death, that is what will come out of your mouth. If you for example watch things filled with words that are contrary to God’s truth and ways, if you listen too or read things that are filling your thoughts with words filled with death, not the word of life, this will come out of your mouth. You must pay attention to what you are reading, listening too, and who is speaking into your life.

So if you want to stop cursing your life you must change your words. To change your words you must pay attention to what influences your thought life. Are the things you are listening to and being influenced by bringing a greater awareness to God’s Word and what He says about you, or are they bringing an awareness of what is a part of the curse in the earth? Change what you listen to, read about, and what is influencing you, and your words will begin to change. As they do life comes forth not death.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

3/31/14 - "PARTAKING OF GOD'S PROMISES"


Heb. 6:11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end,
Heb. 6:12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

As Easter is about to be upon us one of the things that is absolutely powerful about the resurrection of Christ is that Jesus being raised from the dead was proof that everything God has ever promised man, He desires to fulfill. We serve a God who is faithful to His promises, but those promises don’t just happen in the life of a believer. We see this fact as we look to Hebrews verse 12 above. We obtain those promises through faith and patience. If we walk in Bible faith and we do so with consistency, we have God’s Word that we will inherit what He has promised us.

All throughout the New Testament we have promises given to us by God based on what Christ has done for us. As you go through life you are going to face problems, which are a result of both things we should not do but did so anyway, or do to the fall of man we now of course also live in a fallen world. That fallen world creates problems of it’s own, but as a child of God there is never a problem you will face that we cannot find a promise of God to deal with the problems. What we must learn to do to partake of the promises God has for us as we have stated is walk in faith and patience.

I want to address the issue of patience for a minute and then I will give you three key things, that if you will apply them to your life you can see any promise God has given you come to pass. One of the best definitions given for the word patience here is constancy, which simply means be consistent. One of the most powerful statements I have ever heard along this line is something Gloria Copeland said years ago. The Lord spoke this to her heart one day, “In consistency lies the power.” That is exactly what Hebrews 6:12 is saying when referring to faith and patience.

The biggest reason many never become a partaker of what they are believing for is because they are not consistent in faith. Faith is not something you do for a day or two and then go back to speaking and acting like you did for you believed. Faith is to be a lifestyle for the believer. The Lord revealed to me years ago a simple definition for faith. It is believing in what only God can do in and through your life. But one who is not consistent to do what scripture says is not going to inherit what is theirs in Christ. The reason is because God has already set up the laws that govern how His kingdom works and those laws do not change.

Think about it this way, there are natural laws we recognize everyday and those natural laws do not change. If I have respect for the law of gravity I am not going to go up on top of a building and jump off thinking I won’t fall. If I have a reverential respect for that law I am not going to do something to oppose that law. If I respect it and recognize that law it can work for my good, but it is not going to change. So it is with the laws that govern God’s kingdom. They do not change. If we have a reverence for Him and His laws we are not going to try and do what scripture teaches, what His Word teaches us will become our lifestyle. I am laboring on this point for a reason because many Christians start out doing what the Bible says with good intentions, but they don’t remain consistent at it. We inherit what we have in Christ through faith and patience, not just an occasional faith. So with that in mind let me share with you three keys that will help you partake in God’s promises for your life.

1. Find the promise of God.

When you are faced with a problem you must go to the Word of God and find the promise from His Word that reveals your victory over any problem. God’s Word is the very source of our faith and without His Word we are going to be lacking the belief in our heart as to what God says is already ours. Not only that but the real battle is not against your problem as God already has a solution, but the thoughts you will face and deal with in your mind that will try and convince you the problem is bigger than God’s promise. These thoughts will come from the enemy as fiery darts, they will come from outward influences within society, and from other people as well, even well meaning Christians who think they are helping you yet all the while speaking contrary to God’s Word. So without the promise of God’s Word to stand on you are starting without a foundation in which to build.

The Word of God and God are one. Jesus is described as the Word that became flesh and dwelt among men. When you look to God’s Word it is not just a book of history, nor is it the thoughts of those who penned these words, it is God’s very own DNA in those scriptures. When you have a promise from God founded on the Word you have what you need to stand upon. The primary place to find such promises is in the New Testament, which is our covenant with God. That does not mean we cannot find promises that still belong to us in the Old Testament as well, but we must dig for it as hidden treasure, which is what the Word has been described as. If we are not going to take the time to find a promise to counter the problem, we are not going to be consistent in faith.

2. Feed on the promise of God.

In Matthew 4:4 Jesus makes a powerful statement that many miss the main point of what He was saying. This is when Jesus was being tempted in the wilderness by satan and He said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” The analogy He was giving is often overlooked. For the natural body of man to survive you must of course eat food. To eat food you must chew on that food before you can swallow that food. Our spiritual development works the same way. We must take the Word of God, which in reference to Christ is considered the bread of life, and we must feed on that Word to get the spiritual nutrients necessary for our spirit man to walk in faith. How do we feed on the Word? We meditate on it.

There are several places in scripture that reveals the importance of meditating on the Word of God. One such reference is in Psalm 1:2-3, which states that one who meditates on God’s Word will be blessed. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth fruit in it’s season. His leaf will not wither and whatever he does shall prosper. Remember we must be consistent in applying God’s kingdom principles to inherit the promises. If you want to walk in the promises and trample underfoot the problems of life you are going to have to feed on the promises of Gods’ Word day and night. Just as you feed your physical man every day to maintain strength, so must you do so with your spiritual man to remain spiritually strong. Many believers may know of God’s promises in the Word of God, but unfortunately not many feed on God’s Word every day. The word meditate means to speak over and over contemplating what you are saying.

3. Forsake your problem.

Proverbs 18:21 tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love to talk will reap the consequences. If we are consistently talking about the problem we are speaking in line with death and we will reap the consequences. But if we love speaking the Word, which Jesus Himself said His Words are spirit and they are life, then we will reap life. It is not enough to just find God’s promise to deal with a problem, nor is it enough to feed on that promise; you must forsake the problem by changing what you are saying.

One of the keys to forsaking your problem is to stop saying it is yours. You may be faced with a problem but you need to claim the promise of God as yours, not the problem. Quit saying you have this or that when referring to what you are faced with. Faith does not deny a problem exists, but faith denies it’s right to stay. It is okay to say I am facing a problem but you need to finish that line saying that God’s promise is going to change the problem. Even on social media today Christians often find what they think are cute little sayings that directly refer to themselves as being like whatever they have posted and these statements are often contrary to what God says about you. If you are doing so you are allowing your thinking to accept that as yours. You won’t get rid of a problem unless you start forsaking it.

If you feed all the stray cats in your neighborhood they are not going to go away, they are going to keep showing up on your porch. If you forsake them by not feeding them they will go away. You must forsake the problem by proclaiming the promise as yours if you want the problem to go away. So if you will consistently do these three things you will become a partaker of the promises of God for your life. Just remember in consistency lies the power!

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

3/24/14 - "WHAT IS THE FIGHT OF FAITH?"



1 Tim. 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, …

I remember as a young Christian I used to hear about fighting the fight of faith and I thought it meant that I would have to conjure up strength within myself to stand strong against whatever came at me as a child of God. The more I tried to do what I thought was fighting the faith fight, the more defeated I became. Things were not changing and so I figured I either was not fighting enough, or I did not yet have enough faith. The truth is fighting the fight of faith does not involve our own personal strength, but in fact faith knows that in our human weakness, that is when we can become quite strong.

The more I grew in my understanding of the Word, I began to see clearly how satan has gotten so many Christians to take up a fight in their own strength, which will never lead to a victory in Christ. As a matter of fact it will usually just wear you out. You often hear believers say they have to be strong, or that they are fighting against something that has come against them. When you look to scripture you begin to see that the fight of faith has nothing to do with us battling against what we may be facing, for scripture reveals that Jesus has already defeated our enemy. If this is true what are we fighting?

Col. 2:15 He stripped the rulers and authorities of their power and made a public spectacle of them as he celebrated his victory in Christ.

Through what Christ did for us God stripped the rulers of darkness and of course satan himself of their power, and even made a public spectacle of them through Christ’s victory. It is like going into a ring where a champion boxer has already knocked out our opponent for us, but then we come along and try to get them back and to fight against them ourselves. In fighting the fight of faith we actually keep satan where he belongs, under our feet. So let’s learn just what this fight of faith is  so that we can walk in the victory Christ has already given us.

2 Cor. 4:13 The following is written, “I believed; therefore, I spoke.” We have that same spirit of faith. We also believe; therefore, we also speak.

For us to understand the fight of faith we simply need to define what faith actually is and how it works. This is where people make their mistake. Even though most could tell you what I am about to share about faith that does not mean we are walking by faith. As humans we tend to drift back into doing things the way man does things, and not the way God does things. Even if you know what faith is and how it works we are told in scripture to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith or not. Often you hear people say they are believing God for something, but upon further examination of what they are saying and doing it is quite clear they are not walking in Bible faith. If we are not then we are not fighting the fight of faith.

Paul gives us several very important keys here in 2 Corinthians 4:13 about faith. First of all he tells us that we have been given the same spirit of faith. Some actually don’t think or don’t act as if they have the same faith as Jesus Himself had, but they do. There are not several types of the god-kind of faith. The faith you received when you got born again for we are all given a measure of faith is the same. It is not different from someone else’s. The second key element Paul reveals here is that faith first believes. This means faith is convinced of what God has said. But the word believe here means we have believed, we are believing, and we will continue to believe. To fight the fight of faith you must be convinced in what God has said about a subject. This comes from hearing the Word of God. Not what we have heard, but what we keep hearing. This is important to walking by faith.

Whenever we are faced with something that has come against us as a child of God we need to know what God’s Word says about the matter. This is one of the reasons why living in God’s Word is so vital for our walk of faith. We are to look into the Word of God and as we find scriptures that give us promise of what Christ has done we must then take those truths and meditate on them as the Bible teaches day and night. This means we continually speak them to ourselves and ponder them over and over. Jesus taught us this in the gospels for He said man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God. He is giving us a comparison revealing that the same way in which we feed our physical man we must feed our spirit man. We do so by chewing on the Word of God, meditating on scripture. If we don’t make the effort to do so until the Word becomes a part of our inner consciousness we won’t be convinced of what God has said.

Many don’t realize that what is true of the natural is a type of what is true in the spirit realm. When you take food, chew on it, and then swallow that food gets down on the inside of your body. The body then goes to work drawing the nutrients out of that food to give you what is needed in the natural. So it is with the spirit man inside, the real you. Your soul is a part of your spirit. You are a spirit, you have a soul, and you live in a body. When you feed on God’s Word (meditate on it) you are chewing that Word with your soul. As you do it begins to go down on the inside of your spirit man providing the spiritual nutrients to build faith within you. Once that faith in the promise of God is developed you will be convinced of what God’s Word says about you. Until then you will lack what you need to fight the fight of faith.

The third thing Paul reveals to us from 2 Corinthians is that faith speaks. Just believing is not enough. Once faith rises within us we must then speak what we know is true. Faith calls those things that do not exist as though they did. Faith doesn’t say one day it will be, faith says it is so now. As Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for …”. Faith is now. God operates obviously in this same kind of faith, which in Romans 4:17 we are told that He calls what does not exist as though it did. One of the ways we can know we are fighting the good fight of faith is seen in our confession. As I mentioned earlier we may say we are believing God for something, but what do our words say. Are we calling things that don’t exist as though they do, or are we speaking contrary to God’s Word?

Let me point out here that it is not our confession that changes things, but a faith filled confession. As we are building faith we should be speaking to ourselves what God’s Word says. We should be declaring to ourselves what He says is already so. You see for example healing does not come first in the natural; it comes through your spirit. Residing in every born again believer is the same power that resides in Christ Jesus. We have the same Holy Spirit He has. It is this power that needs to get through our souls and into our bodies, which will bring healing. When we know we have been healed according to what Christ has done revealed by the Word, then our confession will agree with the Word. This is what must happen for faith to work. We are not fighting against the sickness in our body, we are fighting against the feelings in our flesh and our thoughts that try to convince us it is not so. When we know healing is ours and speak in line with the Word declaring it done we are on the way to receiving healing.

James 2:17 So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).

Last but not least faith does not just believe, faith does not just speak, faith also acts in line with what it knows is true. To walk by faith you must act as if the Word is so. Your actions are what bring forth the power into operation to see your situation change. When you are in faith, convinced of what God has promised, your confession will declare it already done, and you will have corresponding action with your faith. Without the corresponding action faith becomes destitute of power, inoperative and dead. You can’t just believe, you can’t just speak, you must also act.

Heb. 6:12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and perseverance inherit the promises.

When you fight the good fight of faith you do not fight against whatever has come against you, you fight against thoughts, feelings, and what you may hear from others that goes against what God’s Word says. You are consistently believing, speaking, and acting in line with God’s Word. We are told here in Hebrews to imitate those who through faith and perseverance inherit the promises. The word perseverance here means to be consistent at it. You are not just to be in faith for a couple of days and then go back to speaking or acting out of line with what you have believed. We are not supposed to visit faith every now and then; we are to live by faith.

So make sure you are fighting the true fight of faith. You battle is not against sickness, diseases, or other storms of life because Jesus victoriously conquered our enemies. Our battle is with what we think, what we feel, or what we may hear, making sure we don’t lose our faith in God. We need to make sure we do not lose our confession in His Word, calling things that be not as though they already are, and making sure we keep acting in line with the Word. Those who are consistent in fighting the good fight of faith win. They partake of the promises they have inherited in Christ. That is the reason it is a good fight, because it is a fight we win, because Jesus has already won the battle for us!

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

3/17/14 - "THE POWERFUL WORD OF GOD"


Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two- edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

One of the most vital and powerful elements in the life of a believer is the Word of God. The Bible is not a collection of writings that man came up with; it is in fact inspired by God. God and His Word are one, so it stands to reason why the Word of God is so powerful. Once again the Word of God is coming under attack from some places you would not expect. There are ministers who are now saying that it is not relevant for today. Others state that the Old Testament is not for us, that it has no application to our lives since we are now under the New Testament. Some are even going so far as to say that any Old Testament quotes in the New Testament do not apply to us, that the words of Jesus spoken before He was raised from the dead don’t apply to us, and that there are other parts of the New Testament in which it is just the apostle Paul rambling about the law.

It is obvious when you look at all the benefits that scripture has in the life of a believer why satan would deceive people to say such things. If I were the devil knowing what the Word will do to empower Christians to overcome his works and to put him under their feet I would hire every preacher I could to discount the importance of God’s Word. The more I could use these voices to make light of the scriptures the more you could keep believers from learning who they are in Christ and thus defeating the devil and his cohorts. Wouldn’t it make perfect sense from the devils perspective to do so?

No Christian should ever focus only on the Word and never take time to draw near to God in the spirit, but as scripture reveals the best way to develop our relationship with Him is by allowing Him to speak to us through His written Word. As Kenneth Hagin said many times, “The written Word reveals to us the Living Word.” I want to share this week some of the most important truths about this powerful wonderful Word of God and what it can do in the life of a believer.

2 Tim. 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
2 Tim. 3:17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

To begin with we need to recognize something very important about scripture. All scripture has not only been given by inspiration of God, it is profitable. What is profitable? All scripture is profitable, not just the New Testament. What most don’t seem to understand is the Old Testament is filled with wisdom from God, instructions that still can be applied today, and the ability to learn more about God through the relationships He had with those in the Old Testament. If the New Testament is the only thing that would be profitable for us then 2 Timothy 3:16 would tell us so. But in fact as verse 17 above states you become thoroughly equipped for every good work through all of scripture, not just the New Testament.

I will be the first to tell you that as a believer in Christ we should in fact spend most of our time in the New Testament learning who we are in Christ and our rights as a child of God. But when people refer to the Old Testament as the law they are showing their ignorance about scripture. The only book in the Old Testament that is actually the Mosaic Law is the book of Leviticus. That’s it. So we need to realize that the entire Bible is God-inspired and profitable for every New Testament believer. We clearly no longer have to live by the Mosaic law, but the whole of the Old Testament is not the law.

John 1:1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:2 He was already with God in the beginning.
John 1:14 The Word became human and lived among us. We saw his glory. It was the glory that the Father shares with his only Son, a glory full of kindness and truth.

Back to a statement I made earlier, the written Word reveals the Living Word to us. Jesus is the Word of God. When you pick up your Bible it is one of the greatest ways to fellowship with God. God’s Word is God speaking to and revealing Himself to you. I hear Christians say all the time, “I wish God would speak to me.” He will, just pick up your Bible. When you spend time in scripture you should not do so as a religious duty to read so many chapters a day, but it should be a time you come to fellowship with the Lord. You will be amazed if you make a daily routine of spending time in the Word how many things you need answers to will get addressed just by spending time in the Word. If the Lord is important to you then the Word will be important to you.

Scripture teaches us that we should imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. In other words look to the great men and women of God who don’t just claim to know God; they are those who have seen God working in and through their lives as He has said He would. I know many believers who say they know God, yet they have not experienced much of what He came to do in their life or through their life. Jesus said we are to go and preach the gospel, we are to cast out demons, raise the dead, lay hands on the sick and they will recover. If you really get to know God you are going to be doing these very things He sent us to do.

One such man of God who experienced these works in and through His life was a great apostle named Smith Wigglesworth. Remember scripture says when you find someone who is walking in what they have inherited, what Christ is wanting to do in and through us, you should imitate them for they could not do such works if they were not following scripture. This great apostle of God made the following quote about how he came to know God and continue to grow in his relationship with the Lord.

“I understand God by His Word. I cannot understand God by impressions or feelings; I cannot get to know God by sentiments. If I am going to know God, I am going to know Him by His Word.” – Smith Wigglesworth

If you want to get to know God intimately and in a very personal way His Word will play a vital role in that relationship. Even Kenneth E. Hagin who followed in the same footsteps of Smith Wigglesworth taught time and again about how vital God’s Word is in our life. Would it not be obvious that satan would not want us to know God for who He truly is? So how would he keep us from getting to fully know God? Just get preachers and believers to make light of the Word.

Rom. 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Why would any believer after being born again want to continue to live like the world? In 2 Corinthians 4:4 we find out that satan is the god of this world. To live like the world means to continue to live under his influence. God wants us to walk in victory over the world and it’s ways. To do this you have to be transformed in the way you think. If you don’t renew your mind to change your thinking to God’s way of seeing things, you won’t experience the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. The most important thing for every believer to become all God wants them to be is to continually renew your mind to God’s Word, especially who God says you are now as a child of God washed in the blood of Christ.

Prov. 4:20 My child, pay attention to my words; listen attentively to my sayings.
Prov. 4:21 Do not let them depart from your sight, guard them within your heart;
Prov. 4:22 for they are life to those who find them and healing to one’s entire body.

God’s Word will bring healing to every part of your body. People like Kenneth Hagin, John G. Lake, and Lilian B. Yeomans just to mention a few proved this to be true. God’s Word in verse 22 of the Hebrew language is said to be a medicine to all our flesh. One of the easiest ways to be healed and walk in health is to do what Proverbs tells us here. Pay attention to God’s Word, listen attentively to it, and do not let it depart from your sight, guard it within your heart and it will bring healing to your entire body.

There are many benefits that come from the Word of God. Scripture teaches us that if you hide God’s Word in your heart you will not sin against God. God’s Word will bring forth light and understanding expelling darkness and confusion. As we have talked about it is one of the most important factors in developing an intimate relationship with God. It will help you to know and experience the good and acceptable will of God for your life. It is medicine to all your flesh and so much more. So don’t fall for the modern day preachers who make light of God’s Word. The devil certainly doesn’t want you in the scriptures because he knows the entire Bible is God-breathed and profitable for you. Fall in love with the Word and you will deepen your love for God for the Word and God are one.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

3/10/14 - "GIVE SATAN NO PLACE"


Eph. 4:27 Don’t give the devil any opportunity to work.

Have you ever thought about how much time and attention has been given to keep bad people who are out to do harm from taking advantage of our families and rightfully so. There are all types of alarms available as well as monitors, and of course guns, not to mention online protection from hackers as well. Society has done a lot to provide protection from such people, but as believers how much attention do we give to our spiritual enemy and how he works? We may not even think much about these spiritual enemies and in not paying attention to them and how they work, they can subtly move in and take advantage of our lives. I want to share this week some very important things we can do to give this enemy of ours no place in our lives.

First of all let me establish a couple of very important facts. The first of which is the fact that our foundation scripture reveals a very important truth for us to understand. If Paul tells us to give the devil no opportunity to work in our lives that means he cannot do so unless we give him that opportunity. Far to often Christians have given satan a whole lot more credit than he deserves. Realize that he cannot work in our life if we will not permit him to do so. Don’t think for a minute that he can just come against you and do whatever he wants, not unless we give him such opportunity. We can slam the door in his face every time he comes.

Col. 2:15 He stripped the rulers and authorities of their power and made a public spectacle of them as he celebrated his victory in Christ.

The second key point I want to make is the fact that God stripped satan and his cohorts of their power through the victory of Christ on the cross. We need to fully understand this truth because far too many Christians are even afraid to talk about the devil for fear that he might come against them if they do. First of all he has no power left. He has to deceive you to take advantage of the authority Christ has given to us. Jesus Christ delegated to the church the same authority that was given to Him. The power of God that defeated the devil is still God’s power, not ours, but when Christ gave us His authority that means we have the ability to use God’s power. We should have no fear of the devil for he has been stripped of his power.

Why then does the devil seem to take advantage of believers? There are three primary areas in which he works that we will go over so we can learn how to address these in our life and make sure we give him no place. The three primary areas in which satan works are deception, seduction, and the cares of this world. If we recognize these works we can slam the door in his face and keep him out of our lives. So let’s look at each one individually and learn how to be victorious over anything he may throw our way.

Rev. 12:9 This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the Devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels. John 8:31 So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in Him, If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples.John 8:32 And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.

In Revelation 12:9 we clearly see that the devil is a deceiver of the whole world. He works to take advantage of us by getting us to believe things that are not true. He is continually at work in the lives of people trying to convince them of things about God that are not true. If he can convince you that it is God who makes you sick or God who brings bad things in your life or it is God who uses evil to teach us then he can deceive you and keep you from receiving what God has for your life. One of the primary areas satan has worked to bring such deception in people’s lives is through false teachings from the pulpit. John chapter 10 reveals this very truth.

So how do we keep from being deceived? Jesus gives us the answer in John chapter 8. If we abide in His Word, we are His disciples (students learning from Him), and we will know the truth, and the truth will set us free from deception. Abiding in the Word is more than just reading the Bible. The Amplified translation brings out in verse 31 above that we are to hold fast and live in accordance with Jesus’ teachings. Knowing the truth refers to knowledge through action. Reading scripture is not enough we must live by it.

It wouldn’t do you any good for example to just look at food. You don’t get nourishment from looking at food you must eat it. We must take God’s Word and meditate on it, and put it into practice if we want to overcome the deceptive works of satan. The problem with deception is you don’t know you’re deceived, and that is why we must abide in the Word of God. Stick with the Word and it will never lead you astray, but if we oppose God’s Word that will lead to deception.

1 Tim. 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; …

Seduction is different then deception for when someone is seduced they know what they are doing is wrong. Seduction is satan’s way of tempting us with things that our flesh wants. If we give in to seduction we know what we are doing is not right. This is the work of satan’s seducing spirits, which leads people away from the faith. This refers to not putting our faith in what the Word says, but instead giving in to what our old fleshly nature wants instead.

Gal. 5:16 Let me explain further. Live your life as your spiritual nature directs you. Then you will never follow through on what your corrupt nature wants.

The key to overcoming satan’s seducing works is to walk in obedience to our spirit man, the real you on the inside, and this will keep us from following after the old corrupt fleshly nature. For us to do this we must develop our spirit man. Just as the natural man can be developed, and just as the intellect of man can be developed, so can our spirit man be developed. If we want to develop the spirit man within we must feed on spiritual food. If we continue to feed on fleshly things that we should not be listening to or watching, we are going to see our fleshly nature dominate. Paul said in Romans chapter 8 that if we set our minds on the flesh we will live a carnal fleshly life, but if we set our minds on the things of the spirit, then we will be dominated by our spirit man. Dr. Roy Hicks had a great saying, “There are two natures that beat within my breast, one is cursed and one is blessed, one I love and one I hate, but the one I feed will dominate.”

If for example you don’t want to adopt all the stray cats in your neighborhood, then don’t put out cat food for the cats. If you feed them they are going to hang around and keep coming back for more. If you don’t want them around stop feeding them. If you don’t want to give in to seduction, being tempted in your flesh, then stop feeding your flesh with all the fleshly worldly things that others watch and participate in. Instead feed your spirit man and watch your spirit begin to dominate your life. Then when fleshly temptations come you will choose to walk in life through the spirit instead of corruption through the flesh.

1 Pet. 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
1 Pet. 5:7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
1 Pet. 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

One of the most overlooked areas where satan is at work in people’s lives is in getting people to live with the cares of life. This leads to worry, and Jesus said there is nothing good that will be added to your life through worry. As a matter of fact you cannot walk in faith and worry at the same time. Notice Peter here clearly states that we are to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God so that He can lift us up above the circumstances of life. We do this by casting all, not some but all of our care upon Him because He cares for us. This is significant because what Peter is saying here is that God wants to help you deal with and overcome the things that become a burden or care in your life.

Notice the very next verse warns us to be sober and vigilant in dealing with cares because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He devours people by getting them to carry the cares of life. How do we release these cares to God? You must make sure you are not in love with the world nor the things in the world, for those who are the love for the Father is not in them. If you will maintain a close and intimate relationship with God you won’t have any problem trusting Him with life’s cares for you know He cares for you.

So make sure you are abiding in the Word of God, living in and living out what the Word says. Keep developing your spirit man for as you do you will walk in the spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Make sure you are maintaining a close walk with God because then you won’t hold on to the cares of life but in fact life a care free life.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker