Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Blood – Part 3 of 3

The blood makes us acceptable to Father God. Every time we take communion, we remember the blood of Jesus and the price He paid. The wine, or juice if you prefer, represents His blood and the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus taught that whenever the believers shared a meal together, they were to partake of this communion. For the early church, it was a regular occurrence presented in a natural way.

I’m concerned that church traditions of today have stifled this privilege by over-spiritualizing and over-restricting when and how we should partake of communion. We must be careful that our sole purpose for keeping church regulations is not to offend those who implement them. God is not so easily offended. What offends God is when we step away from worshiping Him in Spirit and in truth.

I believe that children are also meant to take part. Children born to a believing parent are under that parent’s spiritual covering. A child’s participation can be even more whole-hearted than our own. Jesus said that we should let the little children come to Him. He also said that the only way to receive the kingdom of God was like a child (Mark 10:13-15). We can learn about untainted faith from a child. In light of this, we need to be careful that our church rules don’t limit the children in expressing their faith.

Through Jesus’ blood, we become part of God’s family. Jesus is the firstborn, which makes Him our big brother. We might not look the same and we might not talk the same, but our redemption through Christ’s blood is the same. We are, therefore, all of the same stock. God has sealed us and set us apart by His Spirit.
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Blood – Part 2 of 3

My daughter, Jessica, as a small child
Several years ago, my girls were having bad dreams. I thought it was strange since we were still praying the same way we did every night, but now those prayers no longer seemed effective. Soon after, my husband and I discovered some satanic paraphernalia just outside our property.

It was strung-out cassette tape which looked harmless, but we had learned previously that Satanists record curses on them. After they record their curses, they pull the tape out, twine it around brush or fencing, or secure it under rocks. This “weapon” is very unassuming and, therefore, easily overlooked. In our case, these strips of tape were placed on opposite sides of our neighborhood road. They were probably not specifically intended for us, but they were a problem.

I took my authority in Jesus Christ and dealt with it. I took oil in my hands and then prayed in Jesus’ name for the curses to be broken. I picked the stuff up and threw it away with the rest of our trash. I also replaced the curses with blessings while sprinkling the area with olive oil. Then I applied oil to our outside walls, windows, and doors for God’s protection. From then on the girls slept peacefully, and the oppression stopped.

We lived on a corner property, and the area where the tape had been placed was an accident-prone zone. Visibility for motorists turning left or right was poor because of low-growing tree branches obstructing the view. The same morning I removed the tape, my husband prayed that the municipality would come and cut the excess foliage away. Amazingly, they arrived that afternoon. There were no more road accidents at that spot while we lived there.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

The Blood – Part 1 of 3

The previous posts introduced the topic of spiritual warfare. This series introduces the spiritual protection and promises that are wrapped up in the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for us. His blood is crucial to a Christian’s life.

God teaches us that blood is the life-source of every living creature and human being. For example, God gave women the potential to carry life. A necessary component to making that possible is our monthly menstrual cycle. Once an egg has been fertilized and travels to the uterus, this monthly flow ceases. The stored-up blood is now busy supporting life in the womb. In a similar way, Jesus gave His blood in order to support life. We had no life before we believed in Jesus. In fact, the Bible says that we were all dead in our sins. Now through His blood and by His Spirit we who believe in Him have received new life.

Also, when a baby is born it comes out of the womb covered in blood. The blood is not the baby’s, but its mother’s, “shed” on its behalf. This is a picture of how Jesus shed His blood voluntarily on our behalf so we wouldn’t have to pay the penalty for our sins. Who would have thought that something as natural as pregnancy and birth could remind us of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice?

Those who put their trust in Jesus not only have forgiveness and life because of Jesus’ blood, but also protection. There is an illustration in the Old Testament of how blood was used as a covering. When Moses and the Israelites were still in Egypt, they had to cover their doorposts with lamb’s blood. God instructed them to do this in order to protect their firstborn sons from the destroying angel. The blood from the lamb would protect them against God’s judgment on the Egyptians. Any family that chose to obey this command would be spared, including Egyptian families. This required their faith and obedience.

Today we don’t need to paint blood on our doorposts, because Jesus’ blood was shed once and that was enough. However, if we are led to, we can apply oil to anoint people, homes, doorposts, etc. for protection, healing, commissioning, and blessing. We do this as an outward sign of God’s presence and of our faith in Jesus’ finished work at the cross.
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Poem – In His Care

I cannot be everywhere all the time,
But for God there are no limitations.
So, I trust my children in His care
That He may be in all their situations.

I ask the Lord to send His angels
To minister, guard, and protect.
Daily praying for my children,
I know that He will not forget.

By Christina Morley
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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Spiritual Warfare – Part 4 of 4

Another tactic the enemy uses is silence. Anything that is not brought into the light has a certain hold on us, so the devil tries to keep us locked up with secrets. I think we all go through times in our lives that we don’t want to tell the truth about things in our past or present. Usually, we’re too ashamed to talk about them. However, not talking about these things can hold us back in our spiritual growth. We need to step out of secrecy, which holds us captive, and walk into His light and into His freedom.

Sometimes it’s up to us to defend the cause of others and to speak out against injustices. Keeping silent doesn’t help our cause, but it does help the devil’s. Speaking out the truth disarms the devil, and for this we need wisdom and boldness. For example, what do we do if we hear our friends gossiping? Do we join in by agreeing with them? Do we hold our tongues because we don’t want to come across as being too Christian? Or, do we take the opportunity to speak words of life and love?

Another weapon at our disposal is praise. In the time of King Jehoshaphat, a great multitude had come out against the nation of Judah (2Chron. 20:1-30). The king was afraid, so he set his face to seek the Lord, also calling all of Judah to fast and pray. God responded by telling them to go and meet the enemy, but said that they wouldn’t need to fight. They were to stand their ground, and see the salvation of the Lord.

King Jehoshaphat trusted the word of the Lord and put his faith to work. He appointed singers to go out in front of the army to praise the Lord. As they began to praise, the Lord sent an ambush against the enemy. Where there is praise, there is God. Where there is God, the demons tremble. Prayer, praise, and faith in God’s word tie the enemy’s hands and render him powerless. This is supernatural protection.
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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Spiritual Warfare – Part 3 of 4

Another strategy Satan uses is fear. Satan relies on fear tactics to paralyze and overpower his victims. Sometimes he does this through criminals who prey on unsuspecting citizens. At other times, he uses fear to keep us from doing great things for God. Jesus has given us His authority to defeat the attacks of the enemy. First of all, God says He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2Tim. 1:7). He also says that perfect love casts out fear (1John 4:18). Once we no longer allow fear to paralyze us, we no longer need to fall prey to fear tactics.

In order to do this we must allow God’s love to rule our lives by filling our hearts and minds with His Word. His Word builds our faith and is an effective weapon against spiritual and physical attacks. We can also pray scriptures that God has given to us for our families. Two excellent passages concerning divine protection are found in Psalm 91 and Isaiah 43:1-21.

We also find safety and refuge when we call on the name of the Lord in our time of need. He has myriads of angels at His disposal and He’ll dispatch them when we cry for help. God and His angels really are just a simple prayer away.

Besides praying to God for help, we can also rebuke whoever or whatever is threatening us. Occasionally, I ask my children to practice saying something like “Stop in Jesus’ name!” and encourage them to use a commanding voice. Demons operating through people tremble at the name of Jesus and are unable to withstand Him.
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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Spiritual Warfare – Part 2 of 4

When Adam and Eve sinned, they unknowingly relinquished to Satan their authority on earth. But now, through the work on the cross, Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and on earth. He now sends us out into the world with that authority. We just have to learn how to walk in it.

Satan has two major goals. His first goal is to keep as many people as he possibly can from following the Lord. His second goal is to keep those who do follow the Lord from ever reaching their full potential. As with combatants in any battle, Satan not only has goals, but he also has strategies.

This is not the time for us moms to be spiritually asleep. God’s people are perishing for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). Ignorance is no excuse. The Bible warns us to be always alert, prayerful, and wise.

One of Satan’s best strategies is to try to distract our focus from the real battle. The real battle is not against people, but against evil spirits. When we get tangled up in resentment, jealousy, anger, and hatred toward others, we lose the battle. We also end up wasting a lot of energy and a lot of negative emotions. To win this kind of war, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus, remain in His word, keep on praying, and keep on flowing in His love and forgiveness.
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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Spiritual Warfare – Part 1 of 4

As we are drawing closer and closer to Christ’s return, the evil around us is also increasing. In God’s eyes Satan is already a defeated foe for those who are walking under the lordship of Jesus Christ, but for the rest of mankind, he is still their ruler. He is fighting for his kingdom, a kingdom that leads to destruction. He is always looking for an opportunity to derail Christians, too.

Many people think that he is weak and stupid. Others believe there is a God, but laugh if you mention that Satan and demons exist. The reality is that he is extremely clever, completely bent on evil, and very much on the prowl.

The more we understand God’s Word, the better we can safeguard against Satan’s strategies. The more we understand about our God and the authority He has given us, the better equipped we are to resist Satan and send him packing. We need to be prepared to utilize the divine protection that is ours. It’s always better not to wait until the horse is stolen before locking the barn!

Satan has a large army helping him because he can’t be everywhere at once. He is not like God who is all-pervading, all-powerful, and all-knowing. He can’t even bother us unless God allows him to test us or we give him permission by disobeying God. The devil has had more impact on our lives than necessary, because we haven’t always wielded our authority in Christ.
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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Poem: Who’s Praying for the Children?

Lord, who’s praying for the children
When they’re lost and alone
And their houses are too sorry to be called a home
When they’re growing up and their parents aren’t there
And the children soon wonder if they even care

Lord, who’s praying for the teens
When they’re not at home
And they’re running around, lost on their own
When they’re pushing drugs and doing crime
And you wonder why parents never had time

Lord, who’s praying for the adults
When they start their own home
And now their children are left alone
When the parents are struggling and wondering why
Things haven’t changed, they pass on the lie

By Christina Morley
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