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

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