Monday, June 30, 2014

6/30/14 - "THE LOVE OF GOD"


1 Cor. 13:4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
1 Cor. 13:5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
1 Cor. 13:6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
1 Cor. 13:7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
1 Cor. 13:8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].

God has been speaking to me quite a bit lately about love. In my walk with God I have been very blessed to have some great spiritual fathers who have poured directly into my life, and others who have poured into my Pastor’s life, which I have been a grateful recipient of their wisdom. Two of those men were Dr. George Evans and Kenneth E. Hagin. Dr. Evans was both a spiritual father to my Pastor, and then became a spiritual father to me as well. Kenneth E. Hagin was quite influential to my Pastor and knew him personally, and now I have gleaned from him in my walk with Christ also.

Many times Dr. Evans would talk to me about walking in love. He was a great example of one of God’s servants who did so. There are many little nuggets he gave me about loving God’s people. I have certainly not perfected doing so, but I am continually endeavoring to get better. I have learned much through Kenneth Hagin’s teachings about walking in love as well. I will never forget what his son Kenneth Hagin Jr. said about his dad at his memorial service. He said, “Many of you knew my dad as a great man of faith, but I knew him as a great man of love.” I have never forgotten that statement.

In the latter years of Kenneth Hagin’s ministry the Lord had him deal with this subject quite often. I believe like brother Hagin taught that walking in the love of God is the most important thing for the body of Christ to learn. There is no doubt why doing so is so important in the scriptures. As 1 Corinthians 13:13 states, “And now abide, faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” The reason this is true is because when we walk in love we win and the devil loses. God is love, and therefore when we walk in love we walk in God.

Scripture reveals in Galatians 5:6 that faith works through love. When we are out of love our faith will not work. The love I am talking about is not a feeling, nor an emotion, but it will change our feelings for one another and our emotions. You see the love of God is of the spirit man within. It is the first fruit of the recreated human spirit. Brother Hagin used to teach that the best way to begin to develop your spirit man is by walking in love. Love, the God-kind of love, is a spiritual fruit. It is residing in every born again believer’s spirit man. It requires action, not emotions to work. God’s love like faith must be acted upon. When we act upon the love of God within us it will then go to work to change our emotions and feelings.

I just shared this on Sunday with our church family; to walk in the love of God we must begin practicing the God-kind of love. To do that we must deny our flesh, how we feel, or what we think about something, and we must renew our minds to the Word of God as to what love is. As Romans 12:2 states if you don’t want to be conformed to the world you must renew your mind to God’s Word to be transformed in the way you live. I have included as our foundation verses above the scriptures on love from 1 Corinthians 13. Kenneth Hagin would tell people if you want to walk in the love of God then take these verses in the Amplified translation and meditate on them for the next 30 days everyday, and you will be amazed at how much different you will be at the end of those 30 days.

To walk in love we must also remember that we are all human. Who has never said something they shouldn’t have said or done something they shouldn’t have done? Because no believer has perfected walking in love yet we need to realize that people do make mistakes, but when we choose to walk in love we slam the door to the devil bringing in his destructive works, and we open the door wide to God’s goodness and His presence to come into our lives and relationships. Love creates an atmosphere for God to thrive in, for He is love, and as I already stated when you walk in love you are allowing your spirit man to dominate you, not your soul or body. As Ruth Graham, Billy Graham’s wife said, “A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” If we want to have God’s best in our life we must learn to walk in love. So let’s take a look at the love of God.

1 Cor. 13:4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

Love is not quick to give up on relationships, and it will empower you to persist and not quit, and love will work at being kind in doing so. I am so thankful my wife has endured long with me. Love does not get envious at others when they are blessed and doing well, nor does it become jealous of what someone else may have. Love does not become boastful nor focused upon self as it does not allow one to display themselves haughtily or puffed up.

1 Cor. 13:5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

Love will not become arrogant or inflated with pride, which is both someone who either sees themselves more or less than who God says they are. Love is not rude with other people, which is to act unbecomingly from the new nature within us. Love does not insist on it’s own way, for the love of God is always wanting to do things God’s way, so it is therefore not self-seeking. The love of God is not touchy, easily offended or resentful toward others. God’s love doesn’t keep a record of the wrongs that others may have done, it does not focus on a suffered wrong but on God instead.

1 Cor. 13:6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
1 Cor. 13:7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

Love does not rejoice at any type of injustice that is done, love rejoices when the truth of God prevails. Love bears up under anything; it is a force that cannot be stopped and therefore will help you to bear up under anything that comes. Love is ever ready to always believe the best of everyone for love will help us to look beyond our humanity and look to the heart. Love’s hopes (expectations) are never put out nor diminished no matter what circumstances may come, for when we walk in love we don’t focus on the natural, we focus on the spiritual. God’s love will never be overcome by anything for it is God Himself.

1 Cor. 13:8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].

Last must in no way least love, God’s love, will never ever fade out nor become obsolete because love is not a fad, love is God and God is forever and ever and ever. Love is the very reason God created man. God is love and love is not selfish but wants to share with others. God wanted someone to share Himself with. This is why He made us. He wanted us to both experience His love, and share His love with others. Think about this, every time we choose to love, walk in God’s love, God Himself his being manifested through our very spirit being. Where God’s love is, God is.

I have hurt my wife through things I have done and said. I have hurt other people in the past through things I have done and said, but I never intended to do so. Since I have become a new creature in Christ like brother Hagin I am on a quest to get better and better at walking in love. Just imagine how powerful we the church, the body of Christ are, when we walk in love. We put the devil in his place, slam the door in his face, and bring God into manifestation through our lives. May we all develop, grow, and learn to walk in the love of God, for then He will be glorified more and more through our lives as Jesus said, “…that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

6/9/14 - "MORE THAN CONQUERORS"


Rom. 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

I often ask people if is there anything else that God needs to do on His part to provide salvation for anyone? Most know and of course respond that no there is nothing else He needs to do. But for some reason we don’t seem to equate that with other areas of our life that are included in the saving work of Calvary. When most think about salvation they are only thinking of the price paid for us to go to heaven. But salvation is far more than just a ticket to heaven. Our salvation also includes the ability to walk in surpassing victory here on earth over all the work of the devil.

If our God has already provided all that is needed for us to have eternal life then is not that eternal life already ours? Certainly it is because there is nothing more God needs to do for us to obtain eternal life. Would it not be silly then to think that we have to fight the devil for instance to obtain this eternal life that is already secured for us? There are some who think they must do so, but most believers know that we do not have to fight the devil to obtain eternal life. It was already secured for us by our faith in Jesus Christ.

As our foundation verse reveals we are not going to one day become more than conquerors, we already are. For example we are not one day going to become children of God, if we have received Jesus as the Lord of our life we already are. As Paul states earlier in this chapter if we are children of God then we are heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. I wanted to address this in my study with you this week because I come across believers all the time who are always talking about fighting against something. They are either fighting the devil, fighting some disease or sickness, or more unfortunately fighting with one another. If we are more than conquerors what are we fighting against?

Rom. 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

If God did not spare His Son for us but in fact offered up His Son to pay the price for our sin, then how will He not also with the sacrifice His Son made for us also freely give us all things? Would healing not be included in that? Would deliverance not be included in that? If He is going to freely give us these things what are we fighting against? I have taught on this before but people need to fully understand how to walk in faith, for many read in the writings of Paul to Timothy about fighting the good fight of faith and then immediately think we have to fight against sickness, disease, demons, etc., but if we do that would mean we are not yet more than conquerors. But we are according to the Word of God.

You see in fighting the good fight of faith we are not fighting against what Jesus has already given us victory over. That is exactly what satan wants us to do. He wants us to live with this mentality that we must fight against the things he brings against us. When we do we are not fighting the good fight of faith. As simple as this may sound it will make all the difference between victory or defeat in our lives. For example if in the natural someone took on an enemy of yours and defeated them why then would you want to fight them? But that is exactly what Jesus has done. He defeated our enemy and is not one day going to make us more than conquerors, He already has.

Col. 2:15 [God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross].

Our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ has already disarmed the powers of darkness that were arrayed against us. This is not something He will one day do. God triumphed over them in and through Jesus Christ on the cross. If He has done so why are we trying to fight against the one whom God has already defeated? It is often because we don’t understand the fight of faith. Realize that in God defeating the powers of darkness that came against us He has also secured our victory in all that has come as a result of these works of darkness.

In Acts 10:38 we see for example how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and power who went about doing good and healing those who were oppressed of the devil. You see God calls sickness and disease an oppression of the devil. So everything attributed to the devil as a result of the fall God in Christ has overcome. He did not do this for Himself; He did so for you and me. So what we need to realize is that we are not one day going to become more than conquerors, we are not one day in the eyes of God going to become over comers, in the eyes of God we already are. We must begin to see ourselves as to who we already are. To do this we must understand several key things.

Eph. 6:16 In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan.

The first key thing to understand is the fight of faith. Yes we are to fight the good fight of faith, but we need to know what we are fighting against. Here in the book of Ephesians we find what our fight of faith is all about. We are not to be fighting against the devil, nor are we to make statements that we are fighting against some type of disease or attack on our life, but in fact what we must fight against is the thoughts that come to our minds trying to convince us that we are not more than conquerors.

This is primarily a work of the devil with his fiery darts, which are thoughts coming to our minds, trying to convince us we are not victorious. He will do this by trying to deceive you through these thoughts that you are either not an over comer or he will try to get you to fight against the physical attack itself. But the fight is not against the physical manifestation in the natural realm, nor is it against the devil himself, but against the thoughts that come which work to get you to believe you are anything other than what God says you are. He does this by getting you focused on the physical and not who you truly are as a spirit being.

The fight of faith is where we learn to take God’s Word at face value no matter what our circumstances say. We instead choose to side in with the Word. If the Word says I am healed then I believe the Word above what my body and what my thoughts are trying to tell me. This is why our faith is not based on what we see in the natural, but on the Word of God. We are to walk by faith in the Word, not by sight. This is what fighting the fight of faith is all about. Natural circumstances and those fiery darts will try to convince you to believe them instead of what God’s Word says. The Word of God is true whether we choose to believe it or not, but when we choose to believe the Word, faith goes to work and faith always works.

This leads us to another very important key. We must develop our spirit man so that we will be dominated and led by our spirit instead of our soul, or our bodies. When we are governed by our soul, or by our bodies we will be what scripture reveals is a carnal Christian. This is someone who is governed by their carnal flesh. When we are governed by our carnal flesh we are going to believe our natural circumstances instead of the Word of God. But when we develop our spirit man, which is where faith comes from, then we will walk by faith and not by sight. We will begin to live out who we truly are, more than conquerors.

This is where we as believers are truly lacking in our life, in developing our spirit man. The average human spends far more time developing their bodies or their soul, mind will and emotions, instead of developing their spirit. To develop your spirit man you must learn to feed your spirit man. You must also learn to get rid of things that are not good for your spiritual development. If an athlete wants to develop their bodies they know they must not only eat the right foods, but they must also get rid of the foods that are not good for them. They change their diet to accomplish their goals. They also must become disciplined in exercise as well.

So it is with our spiritual development. We are told in Proverbs 4:23 we are to guard our hearts with all diligence. Another way to say that is you must work hard at protecting your heart. This pertains to what we see and hear. If you want to walk in what Christ has already done for you, then you must change your diet. You must change what you are feeding your spirit man. Doing so will help you begin to see what you already have and who you already are. This renewal of the mind to seeing who we now are in Christ is vital to our victory in every area of life.

Praise God we are not one day going to become more than conquerors, we already are. It is something we have now through the completed work of Christ. We must learn what the fight of faith is all about so that we can begin to see who we already have been made in Christ Jesus. In doing so we will walk in the overcoming victory that Christ has already given to us.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

6/2/14 - "GET IT SETTLED"


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

Have you ever stopped to take a look at life through the eyes of the devil to have a better understanding of how he works and what he does? Think about this for a minute as we are clearly told here by the apostle Paul that we are not to give the devil any opportunity in our life to work. I want to share with you something that can help you to see that this does not happen in your life. In doing so you will not become someone who willingly or even unknowingly gives satan the opportunity to take advantage of your life.

When you think about not giving the devil any opportunity in your life most would only think of things such as giving place to sin, or allowing him to deceive you or seduce you to take advantage of your life. But what many don’t realize is that they may be giving the devil opportunity to work in their life through things they have now discounted as unimportant. Think about this, if a believer is not going to get settled in their life the very basic things that a follower of Christ should be doing, then we are in fact giving the devil opportunity to work in our life.

What I am going to share with you this week is what scripture reveals as the basic things in Christianity that should forever be settled in our lives, for once they are then the devil can no longer mess with our life in those areas. Join me as we “Get It Settled” what should no longer be an issue for us who know Jesus Christ. All the things I am going to share with you are so simple but so powerful, so let’s get started.

1. Don’t argue with the Word of God.
Psa. 119:89 Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.

This is a biggie because first and foremost we must settle forever in our hearts and in our lives that God’s Word is settled forever in heaven therefore our opinion does not matter. It is amazing how many times in 24 years of pastoring that people who have come to me for help will ask about a situation and I will point them to a verse of scripture that clearly gives them the answer to their issue but you may then get the following response, “I know the Bible says that pastor, but….”. But what?

When we are governed by our carnal nature then our old fleshly man is dominating and he wants to always get his way. So even though you can show people from scripture how to fix a problem in their life or what they should do in a certain situation if it isn’t what their flesh wants to hear they will try to reason out why they should not be living according to scripture. God knows what He is doing and His Word is settled. He honestly does not care about our opinion of the Word; it will never change Him nor the truth of His Word, which is what sets us free.

We must come to the Bible and make it the first and final authority in our life. No matter how much our flesh does not like what scripture may or may not say, it will always be right because God is always right. So if we don’t settle this issue then the following areas are going to be a problem as well, and we give the devil opportunity to deceive and mislead us when we start arguing with the Word of God. This is exactly what the devil did when he was booted out of heaven. Don’t ever argue with or go against God’s Word, no matter how hard it is for your flesh.

2. Be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only.
James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

This goes without saying but still needs to be addressed. We cannot just “amen” the Word of God but yet never put the Word into practice in our lives. For anyone who hears the Word of God and yet does not have the diligence to do what the Word says they are deceiving themselves. If you are self deceived how much opportunity do you think a self deceived Christian is giving to the devil? This makes his work even that much easier.

This is like someone who knows to do right, but they don’t do it and they will often have others drawn to them who are living the same way. These people cheer you on and give you all kinds of reasons why you are right and therefore why you don’t have to obey the Word of God. There are many believers who say they love God and they amen at church, but they don’t put forth the effort to walk in line with the Word. James said in verse 25 of the same chapter that he who does what the Word says, this one will be blessed in what he does. That would mean we are not going to be blessed unless we are doers of the Word. So settle it forever in your life that you are going to be diligent at being a doer of the Word of God.

3. Honor God with your tithes and offerings.
Prov. 3:9 Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
Prov. 3:10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.

It is a bible fact that scripture teaches us to honor the Lord with the first tenth of all our increase and with offerings (our possessions) as well. People that want to argue about this are going against what Jesus Himself even said. Where your treasure (wealth) is there your heart is also, you cannot serve God and mammon. You know what satan does not want you to do? To give to the work of God. Why? Because you are going to help reach the lost for Christ and when you do, that is a blow against the devil. If the devil has you serving mammon he not only can control what you do with your money, but he can keep you from serving God for you cannot serve God and mammon.

It is simple to see if you look at the world’s system and those bound by this world’s system, which scripture teaches us that satan is the god of this world’s system, that money and possessions are a high priority in life. But in fact money and possessions are not high on God’s priority list, people are. God paves streets with gold. God so loved the world He have His most precious and valuable gift, much more valuable than money, the life of His Son, all because people are a priority to Him. When His priorities become our priorities then the devil cannot keep us in fear of not having enough or fear of losing what we do have. God shall supply all the need of those who sow and give to the gospel. If you don’t settle this once and for all then money (mammon) will be your master not God.

4. Settle in your heart who your pastor is.
John 10:3 The watchman opens the door for this man, and the sheep listen to his voice and heed it; and he calls his own sheep by name and brings (leads) them out.

If you take time to study out John 10, especially the first part of the chapter, you will find out that Jesus refers to Himself as the watchman or door through which those He gifted to be shepherds (pastors) come through. These shepherds call to the sheep and lead them out to pasture. Simply put, Jesus has a pastor for your life, not many pastors, and you will know that pastor when you hear his voice, when he preaches and teaches the Word of God.

Years ago a great man of God, Dr. Lester Sumrall asked my pastor Dr. Mark Barclay where satan comes against Christians the most. Dr. Barclay said it would have to be where they go to church, for you don’t see many Christians committed to a local church. I do understand that most Christians have never been taught that scripture does not tell us to find a church, we are the church, but in fact you are to find the shepherd Jesus gave as a gift to grow you up in the Lord.

I will never forget the day I found my pastor. When I heard Dr. Mark Barclay preach for the first time there was something both my wife and I knew that was different about this man. This was the man of God that Jesus had gifted to be the shepherd of our lives. I am so grateful to have found my pastor. Don’t think the devil hasn’t tried to get me focused on my flesh and pull away from my pastor, he has, but he cannot for I know I found my shepherd and I have settled it in my heart. Because of this it has brought growth and stability in my life and I know I would probably not be in the ministry today if it were not for him in my life.

The shepherd Jesus has gifted to pastor you is not someone you will always agree with, but they are someone that the Lord Himself gave to help you grow in God and become all Christ wants you to be. It is easy to see why the devil works so hard at getting people away from their pastor. Once you find that shepherd it should be forever settled in your heart, and this will bring great stability in your life.

So these are a few of the key things that scripture reveals should be settled in our hearts and no longer something we debate or argue about. If you can get the basic things of Christianity settled in your life you are well on your way to becoming a mighty man or woman of God and you will stop giving opportunity to the devil to keep taking advantage of your life.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Psa. 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Psa. 133:2 It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments.
Psa. 133:3 It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the LORD commanded the blessing—life forevermore.

Picture this; you have two people in a boat. One is facing toward the front, the other is facing toward the back and they are both rowing. They are both working very hard at trying to get to their destination. Each is putting out all the effort they can, and yet where are they going? Nowhere. One says the way they are going is the right way while of course the other person disagrees and says their way is right. Most of the time these differences are based on what man wants and says and not what God’s Word says.

But what if they got on the same page? What if they were able to put their differences behind and focus on what God says is the primary goal? If they could do so and both get faced the same direction now as they start to row they are going to see results. The effort they are now putting out is getting them where they need to go. They begin to see progress and change.

This has of course always been a problem for the body of Christ, and the devil loves to create disunity. When you even look at the history of world leaders the ones that have accomplished the most are those who do not compromise the key principles that one must stand for, but they are not someone who thinks they have all the answers either. They focus on getting to know the other person, instead of just trying to fulfill their agenda. In other words they are not focused on self. Sounds like Jesus to me as He said He did not come to be served, but to serve.

Here in Psalm 133 we see the power that is the result of unity. Scripture reveals it is pleasant and good for brethren to dwell in unity. He relates it to the anointing oil that was used to anoint Aaron the priest. This anointing is described here as running down over every part of Aaron and his garments. It is described as the dew of Hermon that would fall upon the mountains of Zion, which brought forth growth and therefore God’s blessing. Is it possible for the body of Christ to walk in unity? It is if we will do some key things that scripture reveals as to how we walk unified in Christ. I want to share those things with you this week.

Before we go any further we understand that scripture does reveal there are those whom we cannot unify with. Scripture does warn us of heresy, and it warns us of believers who have chosen to create division and dissention through strife. As scripture warns where strife and division exist there is every evil work. So anyone who understands scripture knows that there is no way we are going to unite with everyone. Not even the apostles in the New Testament could do so, yet within the body of Christ there is still much division, which is usually the result of believers majoring on the minors instead of majoring on the majors. Christians could be much more unified then we are. This needs to start within each local body of believers and work outwardly. If churches individually continue to walk in disunity they are going to have a hard time getting in unity with other believers.

1 John 4:20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
1 John 4:21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.  

The first and biggest key to unity would have to be walking in the love of God. When we yield obedience to this very first fruit of the recreated human spirit, the unconditional love of God, we will like Jesus get our focus off of self and begin to focus on loving one another. John reveals to us by inspiration of the Holy Spirit that for someone to not love their brother and yet say they love God could not be true. If we love God we must also love our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is what Jesus did when He referred to coming as one who did not want to be served, but to serve. He revealed this clearly to His disciples when at the last supper He got up girded Himself with a towel and proceeded to wash His disciples feet. He then told them to do likewise.

One of the keys to walking in this same love that Jesus walked in begins with our actions. The love of God was shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit when we were born again. That love just like faith does no good without actions. As James speaks of faith that has no action is dead, so it is with the love of God. That love is in us but we must exercise that love just as we must exercise our faith. Many don’t realize that if you want to get good at walking in love just like anything else you do in life, you must practice doing so. Walking in the love of God is as simple as treating others the way you want to be treated, even when they are not treating you the way they should. The reason this is difficult for some to do is because they allow their flesh to get in the way. This is why Jesus said we must crucify the flesh.

To deal further with the flesh we must develop our spirit man. Galatians reveals that when we are walking in the spirit, governed by our spirit man, we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. The flesh does not want to treat others the way you want to be treated unless that other person is showing you that kind of love. But Jesus Himself said if you only love those who love you then we are no better than a sinner. So development of our spirit man is vital, which is done by becoming spirit conscious, feeding on the Word of God, acting on the Word, and walking in love. Look for opportunities to walk in the love of God with those who don’t seem so lovely. The more you practice doing so the better you will become at walking in love.

1 Cor. 1:10  Now, dear brothers and sisters, I appeal to you by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ to stop arguing among yourselves. Let there be real harmony so there won’t be divisions in the church. I plead with you to be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.
1 Cor. 1:11 For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your arguments, dear brothers and sisters.
1 Cor. 1:12 Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or “I follow only Christ.”
1 Cor. 1:13 Can Christ be divided into pieces? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul?

Another big key to unity and this is a must for every local church is to be of one mind, united in thought, and purpose. There are those who may think this is not possible, but scripture would never tell us to do something we cannot do. This was a problem in the church at Corinth that was causing disunity. They were not of one mind, thought, and purpose. Notice that in verse 12 it begins to show us that they were divided because they were all associating with someone different thinking this made them superior to others. We need to be grateful for godly leadership, and remain submitted and humble unto God.

The key here is for the body of Christ to first and foremost recognize the leader God has placed in the church for their development and growth as a believer. When you have people going to multiple leaders trying to get their way they are out of order. In the home the dad and mom need to be on the same page so that there won’t be the difference of opinions being given to their children. They won’t always agree as to what they think is right for their children, but if they will do what they can to stick to the Word of God and not personal opinions, this will help eliminate a lot of those problems. In the church God does provide different forms of leadership but the pastor needs to make sure he is establishing leadership according to scripture. That leadership needs to support the vision of the pastor. We won’t always agree on how to do things, but if we are heading toward fulfillment of our vision we will get there.

Believers need to realize they won’t always agree with everything their leadership believes or does, but the key is to stay focused on the vision of that body. This is where our focus must be. I have made the mistake in the past thinking I could not work with others in the body outside of our church that did not believe just like we do. This was a huge mistake on my part. I have learned that if there is anyone who has a vision that lines up with scripture then I can agree to disagree with our differences and focus on working with them to reach that vision. This is how we learn to be of the same mind, thought, and purpose. It did not say we would all be of the same beliefs.

So if we can work at walking in love and keep practicing doing so, willing to forgive others when they don’t, we can begin to see the power of unity established. We need to get focused on the vision and not on our differences in our doctrine that are not leading to heresy. We must quit trying to prove each other wrong and start focusing on getting faced the same direction in the boat. As we do we begin to see great things happen. People’s lives will begin to be transformed and changed to the glory of God!

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

Monday, May 5, 2014

5/5/14 - "CONVENIENT CHRISTIANITY?"



Acts 20:22 “I am determined to go to Jerusalem now. I don’t know what will happen to me there.
Acts 20:23 However, the Holy Spirit warns me in every city that imprisonment and suffering are waiting for me.
Acts 20:24 But I don’t place any value on my own life. I want to finish the race I’m running. I want to carry out the mission I received from the Lord Jesus—the mission of testifying to the Good News of God’s kindness.

Convenience sells. It sells cars, food, clothes, toys, games, music, books, and unfortunately some churches. America is a land of convenience. The very definition of convenience reveals this truth. Convenience – Fitting in well with a person’s activities and plans, involving little trouble or effort. I am glad the apostle Paul was not a Christian of convenience. If he had been he would not have fulfilled what God had called him to do. Notice above in verse 24 Paul knowing that he was headed for suffering said that he did not place any value on his own life. Powerful! He wanted to finish the race he was running to carry out the mission of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

There is a reason the church in the days of Paul was revered by men. They were not Christians of convenience. They faced major persecution; Paul himself was beaten with rods, whipped, imprisoned, stoned and left for dead, shipwrecked and left at sea. Yet none of these things moved him. It is predicted that the apostle Paul in his lifetime as a minister traveled some 10,282 miles to preach the gospel, most of which was on foot. Paul fasted often he said because he had no food to eat, went many nights without sleep as he traveled to get to the next town to share the life changing truths of the gospel. If you look at his life I would call it anything but convenient.

Why is this so important? Because God wants to do a work in our day in reaching a lost and hurting world around us, but that won’t happen if we are living our lives based on convenient Christianity. You change the lives of others when you have a genuine walk with God that is real, filled with the Word and the Holy Spirit, and you are able to go wherever God takes you and share the uncompromised Word of God even when it is not convenient. Jesus Christ paid a very dear price to set all men free, not to gives us a convenient Christianity. All through the Bible people who were obedient to God were called upon to do things that were quite inconvenient.

The body of Christ is truly the most powerful force on the earth, but yet not walking in much power. One of the reasons is because if Christians want convenient Christianity they won’t do what Paul knew to do to see that power manifest in and through his life. Paul knew that he could not place any value on his own life, what he wanted, but instead on what God wanted for him to do. Such a believer is one God can fully use for they are simply a vessel yielded to their Master through which He can flow through and manifest Himself to others. Paul did not care about what others thought of him, he did not care what it took for him to carry out his calling. Paul was only focused on one thing, to know Christ and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings.

Phil. 3:10 [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]
Phil. 3:11 That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].

If you are still with me and reading this article I am not saying that our Christian walk should be all hardship and struggle. What I am saying is that if we are only serving God based on convenience, we really are not serving God. We are serving ourselves, our own plans, and that which takes little effort on our part. This does not make for a church that is going to evangelize the world as we have been commissioned by the Lord to do so. Paul states above that his determined purpose in life was to know Jesus, and to know the power that comes from His resurrection, knowing this would also involve sharing in Christ’s sufferings. You don’t hear much preaching on this today.

Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 11:1 that we should imitate him, as he was himself imitating Christ. Even Jesus did not live a life of convenience. In Jesus’ life He walked approximately 21,525 miles. During His three years of ministry He walked approximately 3,125 miles. Jesus was often separated from His earthly family. During His travels He had no home or bed to sleep in, spent nights awake in prayer. He faced the ultimate separation from His Father, enduring the cross and then going into hell itself to pay the price for our sins.

Rom. 12:1  And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask?

If we want to know as a believer like the apostle Paul we have finished our race and fulfilled our purpose in God on this planet we cannot live for us, placing a higher value on our life above the life of Christ. Paul knew the first key was in dealing with the body, which represents a major part of the old nature of man. When you serve your body you are going to give your body what it wants. When it is hungry you feed it, thirsty you give it something to drink. When it is tired you are going to rest, when it is hot you are going to try and cool off, or when it is cold you are going to try and get warm. There of course is nothing wrong with the above except when it comes to how we make our choices in life. Paul could not always eat when he was hungry, he could not always sleep when he was tired, nor could he comfort his body every time it was uncomfortable and fulfill what God wanted him to do.

When you think of all that Christ has done for us as Romans 12:1 states, should we live our lives based on what is convenient for us? Should we not present ourselves to God, setting our life apart to Him? You can do so and still enjoy all that God has for you to enjoy in this life. I can assure you that when we live for our flesh we will never find true fulfillment in life. When we develop our spirit man, who we really are, and like Paul no longer place any value on our own life, but instead on what God wants us, there is no greater fulfillment. The problem, it is not easy and thus for some they don’t want to put out the effort it takes to be all Christ wants them to be, fulfilling His purpose in their life.

Years ago at the age of 13 I got on the back of my first bull wanting to become a professional bull rider. As I began to pursue this career it was a burning passion in me. I went through 4 years of getting on bulls only making one qualified ride in four years, but I would not give up. After going to a bull riding school within a year I was the reserve champion of the Southwest Rodeo Association. Two years later I had my professional card. My life evolved around rodeo. I made sure if I took a job they would have to let me off for rodeos on the weekends. All my money and time was consumed with getting to the next rodeo.

In 1985 I got born again. I couldn’t believe God wanted to have a relationship with me. After giving my life to Him I would hear testimonies of others how God was using them in touching people’s lives. I told God I wanted to be used by Him in the same way to touch the lives of others because I was so grateful He had changed my life. The Lord in my spirit gave me a question one day. What if you were as passionate and devoted to Me as you have been about bull riding? How different would you life be? My passion began to change, because I wanted to know Him more than anything else in life just like the apostle Paul. Next thing I know the Lord began to use me. I began to see miracles happen, and spent many hours when it was not convenient obeying God to spend time sharing the gospel with others, at times going early into the morning when I had to get up early and go to work the next day. But I have never regretted any of it.

There is nothing like seeing God work through your life to help others. Today we become far to enveloped in our own little world, living by our own schedule, what is convenient for us and all the while at times missing the opportunity to be used by God and know that we are fulfilling His will. I have not read of any great man or woman of God in the Bible who served God based on what was convenient for them. It wasn’t convenient for Moses to go out into the desert for God to prepare Him to deliver His people. It wasn’t convenient for Esther to risk her life to save God’s people. It was convenient for Joseph to be imprisoned for fleeing from sexual impurity and then be imprisoned for doing so. It wasn’t convenient for Jesus to go to the cross in our place, but because He did we now have new life. Don’t be a Christian of convenience. Obey God and fulfill your calling as the body of Christ in reaching people with the gospel.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

4/28/14 - "TIME FOR A SPIRITUAL RENEWAL"


Eph. 4:23 Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes.

To quote a powerful man of God, Kenneth E. Hagin, the church as a whole has majored on the minors instead of majoring on the majors. Simply put, we have focused a lot of time and attention on teaching and preaching about things that are really minor issues instead of focusing on what is really important for the believer. One such area is in developing our spirit man. Man has mastered the development of the physical body, and the intellect, but man has done very little in developing the spirit man, which is who we really are. We are a spirit, we don’t have a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body.

The more we as believers in Christ can develop our spirit man, the easier it will become to hear from God all that He desires to reveal to us. This is seen very clearly in scripture as Paul in writing to the Corinthian church states in 1 Corinthians 2:12 that the Holy Spirit is the one who will reveal to us what we have been freely given by God. In Acts 1:2 we find out that Jesus gives commands to us the body of Christ through the Holy Spirit. In Romans 8:16 Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit, not our soul, nor our bodies. If we want to walk in what God has provided for us, and if we want to receive the direction Christ has for our life, it will come through our spirit by the Holy Spirit. This is why it is so important to develop our spirit man.

The development of our spirit will help us to be aware of who we really are and help us to clearly know and follow the direction of the Holy Spirit. This is how we are going to become mature as a believer. A mature believer is one who is governed by their spirit man, not their soul, and not their bodies. We are a three part being and each part has a voice. The voice of our body is what we feel in our bodies. The voice of our minds is reasoning. The voice of our spirit is our conscience. The more we can become aware of and develop our spirit man we will begin to clearly hear the voice of our spirit, our conscience. One of the most important keys to developing our spirit man is to become spirit conscious. As you will see we tend to be more soul or body conscience then we are spirit conscience.

In Ephesians 4 beginning in verse 17 Paul begins to talk about not living like those who don’t know God. Those who are not born again walk devoid of the truths of God for they are spiritually discerned. Most believers don’t realize that even though they may know scripture they are primarily filled with head knowledge, not revelation in their hearts of the Word of God. Knowing scripture is good, but not if that never becomes revelation to your heart. Knowledge by itself puffs up. One way you know someone is just walking in head knowledge of the Word and not heart revelation is revealed when they hear someone preach on scripture they have already heard and they don’t really pay attention to what is preached for they will say they already know all about that scripture. But revelation of the Word will never get boring, hearing the same truths again and again.

Gal. 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

A key to finding out if you are more spirit conscience than soul or body conscience is revealed by what we are referring to when speaking of ourselves in the first person. Are we referring to our soul, body, or our spirit man? When you read the epistles you will see time and again the disciples when referring to themselves in the first person are referring to their spirit man, who they are, not their soul or body. Here is a great example in Galatians chapter two. Take a look at every reference Paul gives in using the term “I” and notice what he is referring to.

When he states, “I have been crucified with Christ”, he is not referring to his soul or body, but his old spirit man. He goes on to say, “it is no longer I who live”, again referring to the old spirit man that died when he got born again. Notice he then states, “the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God”. The "I" again is referring to his spirit man, which is now the new man within. He even distinguishes the difference between “I” and the body he lived in by calling that his “flesh”. You see Paul had developed his spirit man to be the dominant part of his three-part being. This is how Paul could go through the type of persecution he went through and call it “light afflictions”, because Paul was more spirit conscious then soul or body conscious.

For example the Bible tells us in 1 Peter 2:24 that by the stripes of Jesus we were healed. Our fallen spirit man once regenerated and then made new became perfect as Hebrews states. We have been recreated in the image and likeness of God. We are one spirit with the Lord. Think about that for a minute. Jesus has no sickness or disease and you are one spirit with Him. You can declare yourself healed because you are a spirit and your spirit has no sickness or disease in it. The body you live in came from the dust of the ground and Adam was given authority over all the earth. He did relinquish that authority to satan, but Jesus got that authority back, and you are one spirit with the Lord.

When sickness or disease comes upon your body you are actually not sick. You are a spirit, you have a soul, and you live in a body. The body you live in has been attacked with sickness or disease. Because of the authority Christ gave you through the cross you can exercise that authority over your body and over that disease and command it to change. The same anointing (presence of God) which raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, and scripture says if that is so then that same Spirit will give life to your mortal body. The same healing power Jesus healed with is in your spirit man now for the Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of every believer. Healing that is needed in your body can come right out of your spirit into your body, but the soul, which is the go-between, must believe that healing power is in you now and can heal your body.

When someone says their sick and they are born again the truth is according to scripture they are not sick. If they were then that would mean there is sickness in their spirit man. Remember you are a spirit not a body. Dr. Hilton Sutton who was one of my spiritual fathers had his body attacked by cancer. He stood in my pulpit when this attack had come and declared that Hilton Sutton did not have cancer. He declared that Hilton Sutton’s body had been attacked by cancer, and that because he knew he had authority over the cancer and over his body that cancer would not stay in his body. One year later he stood in that pulpit of ours again and testified that Hilton Sutton’s body was now cancer free.

When someone who is born again says they are depressed or worried or fearful are they really? What are they actually referring too? The soul, which is made up of our mind, will, and emotions is where such things exist. We have been given a spirit of power, love, and of a sound mind. We have not been given a spirit of fear. There is no fear in your spirit man. Yet when believers say they are fearful or depressed, etc. they are being more soul conscious then they are spirit conscious. Think about how many decisions are made based on anger, fear, frustration, hurt, resentment, etc, which all come from the soul, not your spirit man. How different would our lives be if we were making choices based on our spirit man and not our soul?

For example the love of God, which was shed abroad in our hearts when born again, is the very first fruit of the human spirit. That love is an unconditional love that will treat others the way they want to be treated no matter how others treat them. One reason it is difficult for some to walk in the love of God is because they are more soul or body conscious then they are spirit conscious. When we are spirit conscious and dominated by our spirit man that love will become far more active in our life. So how do we become more spirit conscious?

2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Our foundation text is the answer to this question. We must become renewed in the spirit of our mind or in other words our minds must be renewed to the fact that we are a spirit being, not a soul, and not a body. The way we get our minds renewed to this truth is through scripture in the epistles like this one above in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that reveal the true new you. If anyone is in Christ they are a new creation. That is referring to the spirit man being made new. The term for new creation here means something that never existed before, the old is gone the new has come.

You must take scripture that refer to who you are as a spirit being in Christ and meditate on those verses. As you do you will then become more and more spirit conscious. If you do this you will be amazed at how things in scripture will become more real to you. You will begin to see not only yourself differently but you will begin to see others differently as well. You will also begin to notice that when you refer to yourself in the first person you will be talking about your spirit, not your soul, nor your body. Time for a spiritual renewal!

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

4/21/14 - "THE POWER OF COMMUNION"



1 Cor. 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

One of the most powerful elements we have in Christianity is communion and yet it is one of the most misunderstood aspects of what should be a very meaningful and impactful part of our lives. Throughout the years of church history it has predominately become nothing more than a religious exercise for most. I know for others I have read testimonies of it has become a time for some that they did not look forward too. They were taught it was a time they were to look at themselves in the natural, but in fact Paul clearly paints a different picture about communion.

Let’s first take a look at a couple of things to make note of before we dig into the scriptures learning about this very powerful part of our Christian faith. First the word communion itself means to be one with, to be in partnership. Through what Christ has done for us we are one spirit with the Lord, and we are now partners with Him as joint heirs. The other thing to note about communion is that any believer can take communion anytime they want, and in fact it should be done by believers in their homes on a more regular basis. The early disciples received communion together at the start of their meal. This is not something that has to be done with a minister present, for we are all partakers of what Christ has done for us. With that being said let’s look at what Paul learned from the Lord about communion.

1 Cor. 11:23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;
1 Cor. 11:24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”1 Cor. 11:25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

Let’s begin with the two key elements of communion and what they represent. First the bread, which Jesus clearly tells us is His body broken for us. It is in this statement that Jesus was recognizing the sacrifice He would make for us, just as they were to offer the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb during Passover. He was identifying with this sacrifice given for us. As Jesus broke the bread at the last supper He also did this signifying that He like receiving bread for food should be partaken of. Jesus tells us in Matthew 4:4 that man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Jesus is defined in John’s gospel as the Word.

One of the keys to receiving communion is that we acknowledge by our faith in Him that He has made the ultimate sacrifice for all man-kind, and now for us to become partakers of what He has provided we must feed on the Word, especially what scripture reveals we now are and what we already have in Him. We will talk more about this in a minute but notice that at the end of this statement in receiving the bread Jesus said that we are to do this in remembrance of Him. It does not say anything about us remembering what we have or haven’t done.

The next element is the cup, which Jesus clearly tells us this is the new covenant in His blood. Without the shedding of blood there could be no forgiveness of sin. During the Passover the children of Israel were to place blood over the doorposts of their homes so that death would pass over them. When anyone receives Jesus as the Lord of their life they are in fact receiving the blood He shed placed over the doorpost of their heart in which they receive new life and death now passes over them. There are six different distinct times Jesus shed blood and each time has significance in our life. I shared about this last week in “Why He Came”. When we receive the cup we are acknowledging not only the blood He shed for us, but also the covenant we now have with God.

Once again in the statement about us receiving the cup we are told to do this in remembrance of Him. People tend to forget this as they read on in Corinthians about the other statements Paul makes about communion, but it is very clearly seen the focus in communion is not on our past failures or sins, but on Christ alone and what He has accomplished for us. When you understand this then the rest of what Paul said becomes quit clear.

1 Cor. 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

Next we have Paul telling us as we have seen as our foundation verse this week that as often as we eat this bread and drink this cup we are proclaiming the Lord’s death till He comes. First of all notice he said as often as you do this. This is a reference to the fact that you can do this as a family, with church family, by yourself, or in a church service, and we should do all the above. Next he states that when we do receive these elements we are making a proclamation. This word means to speak, pronounce, or declare. Faith does not just believe, faith speaks. In proclaiming the Lord’s death we are proclaiming our current victory we have through the death of Christ, all that He has purchased for us.

When He comes we will then see the fulfillment of all things and we will no longer need to make this declaration over our lives. We do so now because we have victory in our lives through the covenant He has provided for us to be more than conquerors in this life. Because of what Christ did for us we cannot only be born again, but we can walk in a victorious life right now. We have the right to what He died and paid for because His shed blood and His body given for us made us righteous. We have been given the gift of righteousness (right standing with God) so that we can reign in this life through Jesus Christ as Romans 5:17 tells us. Every time we declare the Lord’s death we are declaring the victory He has given to us through life, the Zoe’ or god-kind of life.

1 Cor. 11:27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
1 Cor. 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
1 Cor. 11:29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
1 Cor. 11:30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
1 Cor. 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.

As we continue here don’t forget that Jesus emphasized we do this in remembrance of Him. We are told if we eat this bread or drink this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, we will not benefit from communion and will in fact live a life that is still being effected by the results of the fall of man, for Paul states in verse 30 that many are weak, and sick, and even die early because of this fact. How do we not partake in an unworthy manner? There are two key things to consider here.

The first thing to consider is the problem that was happening in the Corinthian church where communion no longer had a sacred meaning. They were not waiting for one another to receive communion together as they had been doing when they would come together, instead because they were hungry and wanted to get to the meal they would receive communion without remembering Christ and what He had done for them. Secondly notice it states in verse 28 we are to examine ourselves, and in the next verse we are told to receive this in an unworthy manner means we are not properly discerning the Lord’s body when it is received.

We are the body of Christ. If we receive communion in “Remembrance of Him”, we remind ourselves of who we now are in Christ. He is the head and we are the body. We are the body because of the righteousness of Christ we have now been given. To judge ourselves means to properly discern who we now are and what we now have a right to as a child of God, because of the sacrifice that Christ made for us. We must do so through understanding of the Word of God. Remember as I mentioned earlier Jesus said man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God. If you want to experience the life God has for you, then you must feed on His Word and recognize what His Word says about you. You must acknowledge His Word above your circumstances in life and put your faith in what He said, not what you see.

As verse 31 states if we judge (discern) ourselves we would not then be judged with the world. Those in the world who do not know Christ are still under the condemnation of the fall. Jesus Himself said those who are in the world are already condemned, but once you are saved you are no longer condemned with the world. You are now a child of God who has not only been made brand new; you now have rights as one of His children. You have the right to everything promised to you through what Christ has done for you.

So when you receive communion remember it is about being reminded of what Jesus did, and who you now are in Him. When you begin to see yourself as the body of Christ, you begin to see yourself strong in the Lord, healed, and living out a full life here on earth. There is great power in communion for the believer who understands and receives it the way Christ intended.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker