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What’s Going On? In May 1971, one of the greatest songs to be played on the radio was released. That song was What’s Going On? by Marvin Gaye. It is such a beloved song people still listen to it today. And if Gaye were alive, he’d still be singing that song and asking that question for real. That question is pivotal today because we are living in a society where things are changing so rapidly that we cannot define them. People are changing genders. The high standards we used to hold near and dear for a president have shifted and changed dramatically. Crime and things of that nature are changing too. Marvin Gaye would be asking those serious political questions including, “What’s Going On?” Well I know that at the core of everything that is going on friends that prayer is still and always will be the answer. God said, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8). Prayer is God’s currency and you will have to continue to pray and intercede for all the people in the world who are battling confusion and constant change. Those fighting for identity today and then changing tomorrow. We gotta pray that they find their way and salvation will come to their door and open up a world where they truly know who they are. One thing I know is it doesn’t matter what you change about yourself, the real you is a spirit and there’s only one person who knows where it is and that is God. So, while you are thinking you need to make all these dramatic changes to become who you really are, you actually cannot discover who you really are without God walking hand in hand with you. You need Him leading you and revealing to you and opening the door to you. So you can see you. We all need to see that! Be blessed. Dr. Diana
CONTENTS FEBRUARY 2018
WHY IS IT Always ON
25 8 The Warrior Bride 12 The Spirit of Babylon 16 A Change of Plans 18 A Most Valuable Gift 22 Living Beyond the Rules 25 Why is it Always On GOD?
why PURPOSE matters
4 Declaring the Works of the Lord
28 The Power of Life
32 See the Big Picture
RED WINE MAGAZINE INCORPORATED
36 Rubber and Glue 40 The Standard 42 A Truth vs. A Truth 46 There's always Room for Forgiveness 50 Not By Sight But By Faith 54 Why Purpose Matters
17503 LA CANTERA PARKWAY, SUITE 104-193 SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS 78257
EDITOR -IN CHIEF DR. DIANA HARDY
WRITERS DR. DIANA HARDY ERICA JOHNSON
GRAPHIC DESIGN KAREN HUE GUSTAVO
WEBSITE DESIGN GAGAN MASOUN
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Declaring the Works of the
LORD Erica Johnson
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There is a scripture that many people rely on when facing sickness or other life-threatening situations. In the KJV it reads,
â€œI shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.â€? (Psalm 118:17).
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To put it in more plain terms, the NLT reads, “I will not die; instead,
I will live to tell what the
has done.” (Psalm 118:17).
So many hang their hats on the “I shall not die but live” part. The scripture itself tells of three actions that the believer must make. They must not die. They must live. And they must tell what the Lord has done. God keeps His promises so we must also do what we say we will do. If we implore God to heal us or save us from life threatening situations, when He does it we must open our mouth and tell what God has done. In fact, even before it is done we should praise Him like it is already done. And not just that one thing but tell all He has done for us.
There is power in your
from death.” (Rev 12:11). Your testimony of what God does is a weapon against the enemy.
“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they So work on declaring what God is doing and did not love their lives so much as to shrink has done in your life. It is hard to be depressed, anxious, worried, or unfocused when you
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constantly remind yourself of what God has done in your life and how He is working things out right now. It empowers you to live a productive, purposeful life.
If you are facing sickness, depression, anxiety, addiction or whatever is afflicting you, remember to declare that you will not die, but live and you will take every opportunity to speak of Godâ€™s love, grace and power.
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Warrior BRIDE the
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Everything we do must be tempered with love and compassion. But we also must do what we do from the position of authority weâ€™d been given by heaven. Show great compassion to the hungry and disadvantaged; feed, clothe and educate them. But also pray them out of poverty. You have the authority through Christ to do that. Various writers have long been toying with Proclaim the the right formula for the perfect combination of princess and warrior within the same character. But this is not just a fictional task. that wins souls is wise It is a very real task for the Body of Christ. (Proverbs 11:30). We are, after all, a Fire Bride. We are the original Warrior Princess. We are the warring We are here to tell people how they donâ€™t Princess married to the Prince of Peace. How have to go to hell, not just to serve as a GPS about that? repeating every wrong turn they are making right into hell. Our struggle is that we often go to one extreme or the other. We either think our only mission The Church is a warring Bride but we often is to help the poor and disadvantaged or we miss where the battlefield is located. We try go on the attack against everything ungodly, to talk people into changing but Jesus told us including the people engaged in the acts. But to preach the Word and tell our testimony. Jesus provided us with a perfect example of The real battle for souls is in prayer. That is how to be a Warrior and a Prince. our battlefield, the spiritual realm.
truth of the Gospel
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And we can only affect
change in the spiritual
The Church is doing too much talking and politicking instead of preaching and praying. And so the world sees us as either hypocrites or just a bunch of charitable people with no power. But power and authority has been given to us through Christ Jesus (Luke 10:19). In our serve, we are to extend the grace, mercy and healing of God to His people. In our prayer, we are to affect change and bring destruction to satan’s plans for mankind. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16). “‘No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me,’ Says the LORD.” (Isaiah 54:11). So don’t neglect the power we have been given. Use it in love and compassion for the souls that God so desires to be saved.
Warrior Bride you were made to be!
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Spirit of Babylon Erica Johnson
The country is still in the grips of a debate on White supremacy after the Charlottesville riot and the lackluster response from the White House. If we strip away the media view and the emotions, what is the real threat we are left with? Well I donâ€™t believe it is these individuals who profess allegiance to White supremacy groups. The greater enemy to peace in this country is systemic discrimination that uses sexism, racism, ageism and elitism to oppress people. While all kinds of people are part of these White nationalists groups, the majority
of members are working-class citizens. They are slaves to the same systemic discrimination that the people they profess to hate are enslaved to. After Trumpâ€™s win the media specifically called out Trump supporters as the lowest common denominator, so they too are discriminated against in this country. There is a greater enemy than these individuals who are basically just deceived and full of anger. America must disengage from the Babylonian systems it has promoted and used to oppress its citizens. Systemic discrimination is a greater threat than a White Nationalist rally in any city in this country.
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Because systemic discrimination is what causes men of color to make up 60% of the prison population but only 30% of the entire country’s population. It is what allows women to still make less than men for doing the same jobs. It has created a worldview for its citizens that tell a large portion of them they have already made the wrong decisions by middle school so they shouldn’t set their sights on a bright future. These are the side effects of engaging in Babylonian world systems. The Bible speaks about the spirit of Babylon. Firstly, this is symbolic, not a reference to a specific place.
The spirit of Babylon refers to evil systems of the world that are in opposition to God. “Babylon is fallen—that great city is fallen! She has become a home for demons. She is a hideout for every foul spirit, a hideout for every foul vulture and every foul and dreadful animal. For all the nations have fallen because of the wine of her passionate immorality. The kings of the world have committed adultery with her. Because of her desires for extravagant luxury, the merchants of the world have grown rich. Then I heard another voice calling from heaven, ‘Come
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away from her, my people. Do not take part in her sins, or you will be punished with her. For her sins are piled as high as heaven, and God remembers her evil deeds.’” (Revelation 18:1-5).
To those who cast aside Christ as part of some religious “thing,” I implore you to forget about what you know of organized religion for a moment and just consider
God commands that we come out of these systems. These Babylonian systems grow and perpetuate off of greed and injustice. Jesus because He was all about justice. So how can we be a Christian nation and sit by and let all kinds can lead you to a better of injustices happen? How are our prisons way of living and dying. filled with young men who plead guilty to crimes they didn’t actually commit? How are Make it personal between you and Him and our children being bullied in schools to the see the truth revealed in your life! point of suicide? How are millions of people hungry and homeless?
Let’s not get distracted by the media and by ignorant comments that are hurtful to our flesh. These groups of individuals are not the threat but merely victims of the same system that seeks to oppress and destroy. Jesus and Him crucified is our only hope to break free and to break our children free.
To the prayer warriors out there,
break the chains in the spirit and set this country free from the systems of Babylon.
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A CHANGE of
PLANS Erica Johnson
It was Woody Allen that said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him about your plans”. I’d heard that several times but only just found out the source of the quote. Most of us laugh nervously at this since it is funny because we’ve all thought it at some point in life. If you had asked 21-year-old me what 45-yearold me would be doing, I would not have told you preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No, that was not in my plan. LOL. But 45-yearold me can tell you today that I am so glad that God overrules our plans. I needed a change of plans but didn’t even know it! But by grace God saved me and showed me the plans He has for me (Jeremiah 29:11)! We are still early in 2018 and so I want to give you a tidbit of wisdom for this year that I learned through struggling with frustration
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and the fear of failure for a period of time in my life. Just give your goals and desires over to God and He will direct your path. It is OK to have a plan for your goals but ultimately
But don’t fall for that deception. Savor every moment of the journey, every twist, turn, victory and yes, even the losses. For it is in the journey where we come to know God as
“Mortals make elaborate plans,
but GOD has the last word.
Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good;
GOD probes for what is good.
Put GOD in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place.” (Proverbs 16:1-3; The Message).
you must follow the voice of God to achieve Father, Provider and Nurturer. them. It is through the journey that we discover We can so easily grasp onto God’s promise that what God has deposited in us. And it is we will meet a goal or have success but our during the journey that we learn to war for faith is challenged when it takes more time the prophecies spoken over us, grow in faith than we planned. We can struggle when the and persevere (1 Timothy 1:18). road to that goal looks way different than the road we planned to travel. And then BAM! So instead of declaring this the year that The enemy has robbed you of the pleasure of we reach this goal or that goal, instead let’s the journey and has you all stressed out about declare this is the year that we will focus on why you haven’t reached the end result yet. the journey and give the plans over to God! Be blessed and purposeful!
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“ Jesus said, “I must work the
works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” (John 9:4). This is our confession too where day means life on earth and night means eternity. "
VALUABLE gift Erica Johnson
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If I asked people what’s the most valuable thing they have, the answers would vary widely but would surely include family, money, health, etc. If I asked people what God thought was the most valuable thing they have, people may answer faith, hope, love, prayer, etc. Now I will not say that any of those are wrong answers but I will say there is one thing that God gives all men and it is more valuable than most of us know or understand. I am talking about time. God created time within eternity and gave it to men as a measure of our existence on earth. But time is so much more than that. Time is also the space we are given to acknowledge God as our Divine Creator, build a relationship with Him and serve Him. Think about it. Why would you throw a big party in eternity and invite someone who didn’t bother to spend time with you when they were on earth (Matthew 22)?
So, time is our opportunity to build our
relationship with GOD and to live out our divine purpose,
the reason we were made. Be a good steward of the time you have been given. I don’t mean by just filling up your days with stuff to do and places to be. That is not stewardship. You can use something up and still waste it. No, manage your time by
being on purpose. Be doing what you need to be doing in any given moment. Time is important to God and we will be accountable for how we spend our lives.
“Therefore see that you walk carefully [living life with honor, purpose, and courage; shunning those who tolerate and enable evil], not as the unwise, but as wise [sensible, intelligent, discerning people], making the very most of your time [on earth, recognizing and taking advantage of each opportunity and using it with wisdom and diligence], because the days are [filled with] evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16: AMP).
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Everyone will live for eternity but how we spend our time on earth will dictate whether we spend eternity in the presence of God or in hell. Think of life on earth as the probationary period that jobs give you when you start. How well you do in that period predicts whether you stay on the job or whether you are fired. If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I implore you to stop wasting time and just ask Him to come into your life right now. You don’t have to understand all it entails in this moment, but just do it and the revelation will come to you. If you are struggling with addiction, depression, weight problems, whatever it is stop right now and ask God to help you. Don’t live another year in bondage or fear. Get out right now through calling on the only One who can deliver. If God has been telling you to do something, please do it now. Don’t wait another moment. Time is one of the most valuable things we have been given. Be careful over the gift of time.
Jesus said, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” (John 9:4). This is our confession too where day means life on earth and night means eternity. We must do all we can in this life we have been given on earth so that we can rest in eternity in the presence of God. So, get started with your real life!
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â€œGod desires us to abstain from fornication, perversion and adultery because He has called us to be holy and
those acts challenge a holy lifestyleâ€? (Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4).
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BEYOND THE RULES Erica Johnson
Author A.J. Jacobs’ book, The Year of Living Biblically, is being turned into a sitcom in the hopes of opening up a lighthearted dialogue about religion. For the book, Jacobs lived for one year following every law and instruction in the Bible as literally as possible, from the ten commandments to the most obscure instructions.
details. Details will overwhelm us especially when we are young in the Gospel. We are, after all, only human!
We must shift our focus from the do’s and don’ts and seek to understand the principles in the Bible. I can tell you from firsthand experience, as you seek to understand the principles in the Bible, the details of what to This was certainly an interesting approach do and not do become easy to live. on his part as people tend to get stuck at the laws, rules and instructions given in the Bible. I have encountered countless people who do not want to hear about Jesus Christ because they quickly assert they are not willing to give up many of the things the Bible tells us not to do. And still others, many confessing to be Christians, state that it doesn’t take “all that” to be saved. So, focusing on the laws and instructions in the Bible is not always the best approach when trying to win souls. People get stuck When I first became a Christian, I read in there. Even Christians. But that is because the Bible and discussed with my pastor God’s we must look at the big picture, not the instruction to not fornicate or have premarital
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sex. For the first years, it was a rule I lived by and if you asked me why I would recite that rule. Then some time went by and I learned more of the Bible and after that if you asked me why I abstained from sex, I would tell you about transference of spirits and how I don’t want nobody’s demons (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)! Now, approaching 20 years in Christ, if you ask me why I abstain from sex, I will tell you it is because I don’t want to disappoint God after all He has done for me. I don’t want the elephant in the room of our relationship. I don’t want to feel ashamed when I go before Him in prayer even though I know He will accept me and He will not love me less because of my sin. So, I started out just knowing a rule but I grew to understand the principle of holiness. God desires us to abstain from fornication, perversion and adultery because He has called us to be holy and those acts challenge a holy lifestyle (Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4). I started out tithing because that’s what the Bible said to do (Malachi 3). But now I understand the principle of sowing and reaping. And so, I can give more than the tithe. I can give offerings, alms, I give my time, my resources, etc. It is no longer just about giving money but instead it is about being a good steward over all that God has given me. So, if you want to see blessings abound in your life, ask God to show you the principles to live by, not just the rules. When you understand
the principles, your service to the Lord goes to deeper levels and the responsibilities God can give you increases. And you can begin to use your gifts and talents on another level.
“Living beyond rules and embracing principles gives you access to wisdom! And we could all use more
in this world!”
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WHY IS IT Always ON
GOD? Erica Johnson
The recent mass shooting in a Texas church produced the usual media coverage except more than usual, people wanted to know why God would allow such a thing to happen. The major news networks sought out church leaders to try and explain why bad things happen and to offer a political view on gun control.
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It amazes me how on any given day this country seeks to disassociate from God and the Bible through current societal “norms” and many go as far as to question His existence or offer Him as one of many options for those seeking a higher power. But the moment tragedy strikes, everybody suddenly believes in God and feels qualified to question His motives. When things go bad, why can’t it be Buddha’s fault? Why is it always on God?
Well, it is simple. Humans can say they don’t believe in God but you cannot completely deny the One who made you. Some part of you must acknowledge Him even when you try to deny Him. When we question the universe, we always end up asking God the hard questions. Paul tells us about how the truth of God is revealed but how man denies the truth. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1:18-21).
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Blaming God for tragedy is a symptom of a darkened heart. The truth is that there are spiritual reasons for tragedy. But when you cannot see or understand those reasons, then just focus on the response to tragedy. Focus on the fact that God is with us in tragedy as in success. Understand that through Jesus Christ, we can overcome tragedy, it doesn’t have to define us. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
Suffering is part of life but through Christ we are equipped to overcome it, to grow from it and to
find purpose that will help others.
“Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” (Philippians 4:13; Message).
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POWER OF LIFE! Erica Johnson
There’s nothing as exhilarating as a child who is just born into the world. Everybody present is excited at the new life that is coming into the world or the place we call the world. I was fascinated when I started talking to the Holy Spirit about Himself. Asking Him to tell me things about Him I don’t already know. The image He flashed in color was a woman giving birth to a child. Suddenly I understood that when a woman has her legs in the stirrups and is pushing her baby into the world that she does very little of the work. In all actuality, there is a force that ignites her body and her womb to start to push this infant out of the place it has been living for nine months into a different environment. The person responsible for that is the Holy Spirit. He’s not only life, He is the power of it. In fact, anything to do with life originates from Him. Not one of us can tell when life originated. The only one who knows everything about life is God.
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There are other examples and other ways we can see the power of life. But again, they all originate out of the person of the Holy Spirit. That’s why when we get tired of how we are living and at our wits ends and we are already dying on the vine, the only way to experience life and live again is by going to Him. The power of life is not something you could look up in the encyclopedia or go online and find a true answer. No, the power of life and life itself come from only heaven.
you right into that place that you are looking for. You are going to meet people who will tell you how to live. They will suggest to you that if you were wealthy, you could live the life you want. But if that were so, many of the celebrities in Hollywood today wouldn’t be strung out on drugs or have pill addictions. Or be depressed and all manner of other things. Because money doesn’t bring you
“The Bible says that
heaven is His throne
and the earth is His footstool (Acts 7:49). ”
So, if you want to know how to get that life that you are craving for, you have to go to life Himself to understand its importance and how to find life. You cannot not seek Him and think that you will find this thing called life. His Name is Life. It is impossible for you to know about Him, Life, without seeking Him, who is Life. He has got to lead
life. It is necessary, but it is not the answer on how to find life. Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10).
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associated with Him.
So here we stand. And you are pondering and thinking how to get what I am talking about. The Lord is the One you need to call. If you are frustrated, most of the world is, because when you look for things in the wrong place it is frustrating. If you look for a can opener on the ceiling, you are not going to find it. Most people keep it in a drawer in the kitchen. It is the same with life. If you want it, there is only One person you can find it with. You can find the answer for your life,
you can successfully get to where you want to go and that is through the Lord.
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Jesus said in the Bible,
“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:33-37).
That tells me that Christians shouldn’t pledge allegiance to the United States government or make any pledge or oath for that matter. We become citizens of God’s Kingdom at salvation and come under His rule so that is where our allegiance lies and we cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). But how likely would it be to get away unscathed by the media or social networks for not standing up and/or reciting the words? Look at the NFL players who kneeled during the playing of the national anthem. They
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have been both celebrated and vilified yet As the Church, let’s not get caught up in the somehow, I feel we’re missing the big picture. smoke and mirrors but instead keep our mind on the “why” so we can go to God for our America is a wonderful country. We have nation and pray for God’s mercy! Peaceful freedoms and liberties that so many other protests have their place but the real power countries do not have and as a Christian I to change things is in prayer. Ask God to value that immensely because there are places fix the systems of America and remove the on this earth where I could not utter the stench of Babylon from them. Pray that we Name of Jesus without severe consequences. would remain the united States and bind all But it is shortsighted to say that because of spirits of division. The real work that needs those liberties and freedoms, the American to be done to help America will not come experience is the same for all of us. Class, from the White House but rather from the gender, race and ethnicity influence each prayer closets of its citizens! individual’s America experience differently. I would like to earnestly believe that the players who chose to still take the field during the anthem but kneel were merely saying though we are one nation, there is not truly liberty and justice for all who live here due to a flawed system in which racism, elitism, sexism and xenophobia are inherent. Please note I said a flawed system, not a nation. And the great news is systems can be changed!
“For this reason, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous person is powerful in what it can achieve.”
In hindsight, they maybe could have executed their protest in a different way. Who knows. But they took peaceful action in the way they (James 5:16; CEB). knew how against injustice. So, putting all the attention on what they did seems like a diversion setup to turn attention away from why they did it. And the “why” is what we need to be talking about. That’s the big picture.
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Thereâ€™s a series of old Clorox commercials where everything the kids touched sticks to them and they bring it home. Like a toilet seat, locker room bench, playground toys, etc. The premise was to show that because germs latch onto us through touching things, it is like everything they touch comes home with them. Itâ€™s a great concept commercial.
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But I also noted that words are like germs too. We go throughout our day and the words that people say to us stick to us. And when we get home, hopefully most of it falls away. But there will always be those words that you can’t easily shake, whether they were a compliment or a criticism. That is why we must choose our words carefully.
“Death and life are in the power of the
and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21).
I spent 2017 learning about the fruits of the tongue and let me tell you it is a hard lesson. It seemed I was reminded of every time I spoke too soon, didn’t say enough, said too much or shouldn’t have said anything at all. But I entered 2018 holding my tongue and really thinking before I speak. The Bible tells us that anything we do in the absence of love is basically meaningless. So, we must speak in love. Correct in love. Reason in love. Preach in love. Teach in love. Listen in love. Even laugh in love. Our words stick to people and you don’t want to be accountable to God for weighing someone down with words of anger and judgement.
Now, we are human and will sometimes react in anger or irritation or even just say the wrong thing because we are distracted. But it is important to examine your words and then repent for any harm for may have caused. And have the humility to admit that you have misspoken.
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Kids on the playground used to say, “I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you!” But the truth is our words do stick to people and the consequences often bounce off of them and onto us. We will reap what we sow, so those words will come back to us one way or another. Jesus said, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37). So, words are real serious things that can either create or destroy. In a world where so many people feel powerless and invisible, we miss the fact that words empower us to build up or to tear down. We make the choice. So, let’s choose wisely!
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Over the holidays, I was able to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I saw so much in the film as the Star Wars saga is a classic tale of good versus evil. There is one scene in which Snoke tells Rey that he warned Kylo Ren that as he grew in the dark side, the force would raise up a counterpart in the light. Snoke said, “The darkness rises and the light to meet it.” This struck me because I learned early on in my study of the Bible that this idea is true. The Bible says, “ . . . When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.” (Isaiah 59:19). Anyone with an ounce of discernment can see that the world is growing darker day by day. But Christians should never lose
STANDARD “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit
of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.”
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hope because God is raising up a remnant to bow down and worship Nebuchadnezzar’s within the remnant to counter the darkness. idols and God repeatedly spared their lives An army of sons and daughter made and and blessed them. equipped for this season and this age. In the early chapters of the Book of Daniel in the Bible, we see Israel fall into captivity due to the sins of the people but particularly due to the kings who compromised the Word of God and allowed Israel to worship however and whatever they wanted. But while these kings ruled and many Israelites were led away from God, there was a remnant in Daniel and his three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and they fought compromise through worshipping God correctly, without compromising. God will always raise up a counterpart to darkness.
You may feel a stirring you have never felt before. You may even be feeling drawn to God in a way you never have. Don’t deny or dismiss those feelings. You may be part of the standard that God is getting ready to lift up against the enemy in this age.
I have noticed several celebrities who are older now, in their late 50’s and 60’s, and suddenly they speak about God more than they have in the past and advise younger people to seek God and serve God. Like Denzel Washington and Oprah Winfrey. And in ministry you notice that many people submit to God in their twilight years. But I So, we see them refuse to worship and live as want to challenge everyone to dismiss this as Nebuchadnezzar commanded. They refused just growing older and wiser. Be wise now in your 20’s and 30’s and 40’s. Seek God and serve Him now in your youth and in your prime. Don’t let the circumstances of decades of poor choices and resisting your divine purpose lead you to surrender in your latter years. Seek divine purpose now, right where you are. You were made to solve a problem. No matter what circumstance you are in right now, you have purpose. Don’t waste any more time trying to figure this life thing out on your own. God has the answers, just seek Him and serve Him. Be part of the standard that is going to be victorious over the enemy. You have access to something more powerful and more fulfilling than the force and it’s your Creator, the Lord God! Don’t waste another moment!
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Oprah Winfrey recently gave a stirring speech at the Golden Globes. She mentioned in the speech as she has done on many other occasions how important it is to speak your truth. This statement struck a chord in me as I realized that it is not the best advice. Why do I say that? Well it implies there is more than one truth and that is not so. There is only one truth. We may all have differing perspectives, but there will always only be one truth.
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For the white supremacist, racism is their truth. For the atheist, their truth is the nonexistence of God. For the abusive spouse, their truth is you must keep your mate in line by using aggressive tactics. To each of them, they have defined their truth even though most of society would disagree with them. We speak our opinions and our perspectives but we each cannot define the truth differently for ourselves or whatever we are trying to prove or defend. I am opinionated. LOL. Especially when it comes to politics and disenfranchised people. I have gone on some serious rants but at the end of the day I have to stop and ask God what is right. I personally do not agree there should be a wall or that Dreamers should be deported but I pray about these issues to God and ask Him what is right in His eyes so that I do not speak or think against His will.
“There is only one truth.
the Truth and the Life (John 14:6).”
And since we know that Jesus is the Word of God, we must understand that the Bible is the truth we need to live by (John 1:1). We must admit what the Bible tells us which is that the human heart is most deceitful (Jeremiah 17:19). We have an enemy of our souls (satan) who attempts to deceive us at
every turn. So, we cannot speak our truth, we must seek the Truth and then speak that. There are people in the world who believe they will never be happy. They will never be free from an addiction. They will never be healthy. They think their lives are the sum total of the small corner of the world they were born and raised in and they will never leave that place. And if you ask them they will tell you these things are the truth. But they are all a deception. Demonic spirits oppress people and subject them to depression, poverty and addiction but through Jesus Christ they can be free and live a blessed prosperous life. That is THE TRUTH. Their “truth” is really a lie from hell. Their “truth” subjects them to a life of bondage but THE TRUTH makes us free (John 8:32)!!!!!
So, don’t waste time defining your truth. Instead seek THE TRUTH in Christ Jesus. You will be amazed at the things we have accepted as truth about the world and this life that are really lies. It is time to be free!
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thereâ€™s always room f
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s ys for
veness Erica Johnson
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Oprah Winfrey recently interviewed Hollywood women that are part of the #TimesUp movement around sexual misconduct. In classic Oprah fashion, she asked some hard questions, like when and how do we move into the forgiveness phase now that offenders have been identified and many have lost their jobs and suffered public humiliation. Actress America Ferrera quickly said that the focus should remain on the offended not the offenders. It should be OK for there to be a space of time when offenders are made uncomfortable. No offense to Ms. Ferrera personally because I understand that many people feel the same way, but this is not a good attitude and it doesn’t reflect what God would have us to do. We must forgive often and forgive quickly. “Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’” (Matthew 18:21-22).
“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26). My pastor taught me early on that delayed obedience is still rebellion. In the same vain, delayed forgiveness is still unforgiveness.
And where there is unforgiveness, there is a door for the enemy to cause problems for you and your family. So, no we don’t need a space to just let people be unforgiving but there is always room for forgiveness. The women who have been assaulted and abused already have issues stemming from what happened to them, they do not need to hold on to unforgiveness until they become bitter and sick. Holding onto unforgiveness
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victimizes you over and over. You stay in the place of a victim. What happened to you starts to define you. And that is never God’s intention. God created forgiveness as a way for us to break free from the cycle of victimization and to avoid the root of bitterness. And we must also remember that no human being is perfect. We all sin. To God there are no
degrees of sin. That is a human concept, the idea that murder is worse than telling a white lie. Or that sexual misconduct is worse that unforgiveness. In God’s eyesight sin is sin. So, we cannot judge another’s sin as worse than our own. Therefore, we must forgive in order to be forgiven because we all need forgiveness.
“For if you
forgive men their
trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15).
We must keep in mind that God knows all and sees all. No one gets away with hurting or mistreating anyone. God deals with each of us for our sins. So, forgive those that have harmed you or offended. The benefits of forgiveness are not for them, they’re for you. So that you can break out of the cycle of victimization and be made whole!
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sight but by
faith Erica Johnson
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The Apostle Paul tells us that we must walk by
faith and not by sight.
“While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit. So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing.” (2 Corinthians 5:4-7). What we see can influence how we feel and how we act. Peter was strutting on the water until he saw the wind and became afraid; then Jesus had to save him from drowning
(Matthew 14: 29-30). Elisha’s servant awoke to being surrounded by troops and he was scared. But Elisha prayed that the young man’s spiritual eyes would open so he could see there were more on his side that against him. And the very troops that the young man feared were struck blind and could do no harm to him or Elisha (2 Kings 6). So, you see, vision is very powerful. Science has shown that vision is the dominant sense, meaning that it exerts the most influence over the other senses and even our emotions. When you touch something without seeing it, it is much harder to know what it is and
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your mind can fill with dread as to what it could be but the moment you see what it is, there is no further tension. When we hear a noise or a voice, we instantly turn our eyes to see who or what it is. In fact, our vision slows down other body parts. Our hands have the ability to move very fast but there is a reaction that happens in the brain when our eyes can look at our hands. It actually causes our hands to slow down. And that is the point that Paul is trying to teach us. Vision is powerful but not more powerful than faith. Relying on what we see can only slow us down. We have to rely on what we know by faith. If you know by faith that God will never leave you or forsake you then no matter what the situation looks like, you can stand and weather the storm (Deuteronomy 31:6).
Faith is the evidence of
things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).
For most of us if we lived by what we see, weâ€™d never get a praise out of our mouth. We wouldnâ€™t get out of bed. We would have given up on life a long time ago. Because life is tough and bad things happen. But when we live by faith, we get up and keep praising God and serving Him no matter what we lose, gain, see, hear or feel!
So, in this new year, make a promise to yourself to walk more in faith and less by sight and watch God grow your faith and transform your life!
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why PURPO matters
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“Seek God while He may be found
The Bible tells us about Daniel’s life from when he was taken into captivity and how he served under four different kings, none of whom were Hebrew or believed as Daniel believed. And though Daniel witnessed the start of the rebuilding of Israel, he never sees it fully restored. Daniel was fiercely loyal to God during his captivity and served the kings with excellence. An in-depth study would show that Daniel was on his purpose. He was made for that age and that season and he was given a spirit of excellence that allowed him to serve the kings. But God expected Daniel to fulfill his purpose while in captivity. God never delivered Daniel out of Babylonian captivity but instead equipped him with favor and honor in the midst of captivity. And Daniel stayed on his purpose. I’d like to take this opportunity to implore everyone to get on purpose. Divine purpose. Seek God while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6) and find out what He made you for and get to doing it. The world has grown dark and there’s no real sign that racism, sexism, elitism or xenophobia are decreasing but instead seem to be intensifying all over the world. Being on purpose doesn’t necessarily protect you from experiencing these things but it does protect you from being hindered or destroyed by these things. Captivity did not destroy Daniel but instead he prospered because he was on his divine purpose.
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Being on purpose matters now more than ever because there are too many things out there waiting to destroy us. There is the threat of war. Racial and religious unrest and even government endorsed oppression on many levels. The person in Christ cannot use any
of that as an excuse for being hindered or for failing. We serve a God that will bless us and prosperous us while we have to live in the enemyâ€™s camp like Daniel. So many are expending their energy trying to meet the worldâ€™s definition of success and acceptance while completely missing the very reason they were made. People are living in ways that God rejects just for the acceptance
of the world. But what does it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul (Mark 8:36)? Divine purpose is the weapon you need to get through these end time days of unrest and confusion. So, seek God and ask Him
every day what would He have you do. And then do it quickly and with pleasure. You will see fear and confusion depart from your life and you will receive an amazing strength from God that will bless you and so many others as we face these tumultuous times. Be blessed!
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A contemporary Christian magazine discussing modern day topics on politics, sex, love, hope, restoration and much more. Helping people to d...
Published on Feb 13, 2018
A contemporary Christian magazine discussing modern day topics on politics, sex, love, hope, restoration and much more. Helping people to d...