6/24/13 – “YOUR AUTHORITY IN CHRIST”

LionandtheLamb

Luke 9:1 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.

One of the areas that far too many Christians are lacking revelation of is their authority that has been given to them through Jesus Christ. This is a very important part of our walk with God that we need to have understanding of. If we do not understand our authority and how to use it, this gives satan the upper hand in our lives because we are not then using that authority to defeat the works of darkness that come against us. It is important to note that you will never understand your authority with your intellect; you must get spiritual revelation of it.

Imagine if you had a weapon to protect you and your family against someone who came into your home with the intent to harm and take lives, but you didn’t know how to use that weapon. Or what if there was a weapon available to you but you didn’t even know it was there. This is what happens to Christians who do not know of the authority they have been given, or they don’t know how to use that authority.

First off let’s take a look at our foundation scripture above and recognize the difference between power and authority. Jesus here gives to His disciples the power and authority to deal with demonic forces and the very works they often bring. The word for power here means supernatural force. It is referring to God’s power that is supernatural, meaning not of natural human strength. It is the same power that God used when He raised Jesus Christ from the dead. The word authority means the right to use God’s power. The believer when exercising their God-given authority is simply tapping into the power of God that is already available to them. The first key is recognizing that you have this authority because of who you are in Christ Jesus.

Eph. 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
Eph. 2:5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Eph. 2:6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,…

Take a look at these verses very carefully. Notice that because of God’s great love for us even when we were dead in trespasses and sins He did three things. 1 – He made us alive together with Christ, 2 – He raised us up together with Christ, 3 – He made us sit together with Christ in heavenly places. That is powerful. We were dead in our sins but God through what Jesus did for us made us alive again. We have been born again once we accept the sacrifice Christ made for us.

But God didn’t stop there; He also through Christ raised us up together with Him. That means He has raised us up into the same position of authority that He gave Christ here on earth and He proved it because He made us sit down together with Him. In Jesus’ day, whoever was given the seat on the right hand of the king was given the authority of the king. So it is with us, for whoever has been given a seat at the right hand of God now has the same use of His authority, the right to use His power. Take a look at what scripture reveals about the position Jesus has been given.

Eph. 1:20 Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places],
Eph. 1:21 Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.
Eph. 1:22 And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout the church],
Eph. 1:23 Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself].

When the Father raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at His right hand He gave Him a position of authority far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and even every name that is named. Some will say that was only Jesus who was given that place of authority, but what they fail to realize is that they need to keep reading down into Ephesians chapter 2 and there they will find out as we just stated that we have been made alive together, raised up together, and seated together with Christ. So we too are positioned far above, not a little above, all the same powers of darkness and every name that is named.

This is not something that is going to happen one day; it is where we are positioned right now. Notice in verse 22 above it also states that God has put all things under Jesus’ feet and in verse 23 it tells us that we are His body. Christ is the head, and the believers are the body.  The feet are a part of the body. The Father placed all things under His feet, which simply means under the body of Christ. Every believer has already been given this authority, many just don’t know it, or it is not a revelation to their spirit man.

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

Think about what this verse is saying. In the beginning of creation God gave man dominion over the whole earth. Adam when he sinned relinquished that to satan, but Jesus did something about it. In the King James translation the word for “disarmed” here is spoiled. When a king took on another king and his kingdom and won, they brought back the spoils. Jesus brought back the spoils when he defeated satan through His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. He got man’s authority in the earth back. Because we are one with Him, we now have that authority once again. We have the right to use God’s power and establish His rule through our lives here on earth.

2 Cor. 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
2 Cor. 6:15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?

Remember, the most important key to walking in that authority is having revelation of who you are “In Christ”. I want you to look carefully at these verses. Paul is making a comparison between two different types of people. They are the believer and the unbeliever. This is the comparison that is being made in each example here. Paul tells us that the believer is righteousness and the unbeliever is lawlessness. The believer is light and the unbeliever is darkness. The believer is Christ and the unbeliever is Belial. I know that many will say there is no way I can be considered Christ, but that is exactly what Paul just said. Let me explain this further.

Paul did not say that we the believer are Jesus Christ, he said we are Christ, which refers to the anointed one. Just as Jesus is anointed (empowered) by God to do His works, so is the believer anointed. We are not Jesus, but we are Christ (anointed). We are the body of Christ; Jesus is the head of His body. If I where to ask someone to come into another room I would not ask for the head of that person to come into the room, because their body and head are one. So it is with the body of Christ. We are one spirit with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17). Again, I did not say we are Jesus Christ, but Paul said we are Christ. Let’s look at another verse.

1 Cor. 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

Clearly again Paul is using this analogy of a physical body to make his point. We are the body of Christ, yes members individually, but we are all a part of His body, which makes us Christ, not Belial. Most believers don’t see themselves as anointed like Jesus, yet Jesus Himself said in John 14:12 that he who believes in Him the works that He did we would do also. How are you going to do those works? With the same authority, anointing, and power, which Jesus did. You can’t do that if you are not one with Him, but you are.

Mark 16:17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;
Mark 16:18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Here is how we release that authority. We do so through the name of Jesus. This is why He was given a name above every name. Jesus declared it right here in these verses that in His name we would do the works He did. We simply need to have revelation in our hearts of who we are in Christ, and then go forth using our God-given authority in this earth to do what He did through the name of Jesus. You have authority in this earth, the same authority Jesus has. You have been made alive together, raised up together, and seated together with Him! Take your place in Christ and use the authority God gave you!

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

6/17/13 – “SPIRITUAL FATHERS”

Spiritual-Fathers

Matt. 9:36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.

As we have just celebrated father’s day, I had it on my heart to share a very important and powerful truth that satan has worked very hard at coming against. It is the importance of having a spiritual father in your life. Scripture is very clear that it is God’s design not man’s, that every believer find their shepherd whom Jesus gifted to help develop them and grow them up in God. The devil has continued to deceive people in the body of Christ making them think they don’t need a shepherd because they have Jesus, or that they need to simply find a church that gives them in the natural what they want and are comfortable with.

Jesus clearly reveals in Matthew 9:36 above that those who do not have a shepherd, they will become weary and scattered. The problem with many believers is they may know they need a attend church to grow in their walk with God, but the focus is on finding a church instead of a spiritual father. This would be like us looking for a family to live with instead of who the father of that family is. As great as a family can be to you, they cannot take the place of a good father.

The other key thing to consider is that often we see things in the natural are a reflection of things in the spiritual as well. So it is with finding a spiritual father. For example, you did not have a choice as to who your natural father would be, so why do we think that it is our personal preference that determines who our spiritual father is going to be. The Bible actually tells us how we can know when we have found our spiritual father, and it has nothing to do with what you want in the natural, but everything to do with whom the heavenly Father desires to have as a spiritual father in your life.

John 10:1 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
John 10:2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
John 10:3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
John 10:4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
John 10:5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
John 10:6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.
John 10:7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
John 10:8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.

Throughout my ministry life as a pastor I have taught this truth that God has a spiritual father for you. Many people have told me over the years that it really doesn’t matter where you go to church. That is the same thing as saying it really doesn’t matter who father’s you, but in fact it does. If you take time to study these verses of John chapter 10 you will find out that Jesus is teaching us about how He selects for us our spiritual father.

He tells us here that He is the door in these verses, and the shepherd who came through Him, who was gifted in other words by Him to be a pastor. He will speak and when he does those who are to be his sheep will know his voice (v. 4). This is not referring to Jesus in the first part of John 10, because Jesus Himself said He was the door in this example. When I heard Dr. Mark T. Barclay speak for the first time there was something within me that just knew he was different. I did not know it at that moment, but that was the confirmation in my spirit by God that he in fact was the spiritual father God had for me. I am so grateful to know I have found my spiritual father.

Since I have gotten to know him and become one of his sons in the faith, my wife and I are no longer going through life weary and scattered. We are on track with our assignment and we are fulfilling what God has called us to do. Whenever we need direction, correction, or just some biblical advice, I have a shepherd I can turn to that is there to help us stay on course in our walk of faith. This is why so many believers are weak spiritually and become scattered.

2 Tim. 4:1 I solemnly call on you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge those who are living and those who are dead. I do this because Christ Jesus will come to rule ‹the world›.
2 Tim. 4:2 Be ready to spread the word whether or not the time is right. Point out errors, warn people, and encourage them. Be very patient when you teach.
2 Tim. 4:3 A time will come when people will not listen to accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear.
2 Tim. 4:4 People will refuse to listen to the truth and turn to myths.

In these set of verses we have the most precise description of the responsibilities of a shepherd. Paul is writing this letter to Timothy who was the pastor of the church at Ephesus. Take note that in verse 2 Timothy is given specific instruction as to what he was required by God to do. He was to spread the Word of God, even when the time may not seem right (people may not want to hear it). He was to point out errors in people’s lives. He was to warn them about things to come, and what they were to be aware of in their daily lives. He was to encourage them in their walk of faith, and he had to remain patient in doing so.

Then he is told the day is coming when people will no longer listen to accurate teachings. Instead they will follow after their own desires, and surround themselves with teachers who will tell them what they want to hear. They will refuse to listen to the truth. The people who are doing this don’t even realize they are doing so. They may be listening to the wrong people not even realizing they are not their shepherd, or they are people who once knew who their pastor was and even acknowledge this, but they eventually wandered away by becoming deceived, offended, misled, etc. They don’t think it matters that much where they go to church. The sad truth is many of these people even stop going to church.

If these are the responsibilities given to the pastors, then what is the responsibility of the sons and daughters who are to receive their pastor as a gift from God in their life? Let’s look at these again and see what God expects of His sheep in response to what the pastor is required to do as mandated by the Lord whom He serves and works for.

1. Pastors are to spread the Word whether people want to hear it or not.
This means that when you find a God-appointed shepherd whom God wants you submitted under, he is going to teach things that you are not always going to want to hear. That is how growth occurs. A muscle does not grow when it is always comfortable, but when it is challenged and it responds by getting stronger. So it is with spiritual growth. If you are always wanting hear what makes you comfortable you are not going to grow and you are deceiving yourself thinking you don’t need to grow as a believer.

2. Point out errors.
There are it appears less and less believers it seems who want anything to do with a pastor who is willing to address issues that involve people living in error. He should not do so using names of people in the pulpit, but a pastor who is teaching and preaching as led by God is going to point out things a times that people in his church are doing that are wrong. This is a part of his responsibility as a pastor. People call it stepping on my toes. If you don’t hear about what you are doing that is wrong how are you ever going to correct the mistakes you are making?

3. Warn people.
Pastors are to warn people about sinful practices, judgments to come, things that can hurt their life, etc. A believer should heed those warnings realizing that God is trying to spare their life from pain. But when believers won’t receive these warnings they then wonder down the road why they end up somewhere they don’t want to be.

4. Encourage them.
Every pastor should as well encourage his people helping them to learn how to walk by faith, learn who they are in Christ, and help them realize that God will always be there for them. This is what believers want all the time, but if you feed a child only candy they are going to get cavities and experience an unhealthy future.

So realize the power and the blessing of having a spiritual father in your life. It is by God’s design, and it is a great strength, protection, and a necessary part of your life if you want to walk in the light of what God has for you. To deny this need is to deny God’s Word on the subject. Both pastors and believers need to know and walk in what God expects of their life. Doing so brings about God’s purpose and plan for us.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

6/10/13 – “THE LORD GIVES AND THE LORD TAKES AWAY?”

BooksoftheBible_Job_slide1x_365_y_273

Job 1:21 And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.”

One of the most quoted, or I should say misquoted texts of the Bible is the famous phrase that was spoken by Job in a time of great trial in his life. I have heard many people through difficulties and tragedies in their life quote this scripture. I don’t know if you have ever heard of a radio personality by the name of Paul Harvey, but to quote a famous saying of his I want to share with you “the rest of the story”.

You surely have heard of the saying, “hindsight is 20/20.” Often in life we may say things in the midst of what we are dealing with, or what we may be going through at the time, but as time goes by we may then often see a completely different picture. As we do we then realize what we may have said or thought about that situation at the time may not have been correct. Often in life you may think what you are saying is accurate at the time, but when you have then lived a while you may realize that things are not quite the way they seemed. So it is with Job.

No one seems to want to study the entire book of Job to find out the “rest of the story.” They tend to only focus on the first couple of chapters in the book, and therefore they get an incomplete picture of what all happened in Jobs life, and more importantly why it happened. So let’s begin at the beginning where the confusion seems to always start when you are talking about Jobs life.

Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.
Job 1:7 And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”
Job 1:8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”

The first thing God asks satan is, while he was roaming the earth he must have come across Job. This is the term for the word “considered”. God was not throwing Job to the lions; God was saying satan surely had seen His servant who walked before God with a heart for Him, shunning the work of evil in his life. This does not mean Job had not given place for satan to come against him, it does mean that in Job’s relationship to God, Job had such reverence and honor for God, that he personally had lived a godly life not giving in to evil practices.

Job 1:9 Then Satan answered the LORD, “Is it for nothing that Job fears God?
Job 1:10 Have you not made a hedge around him and his household and all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his livestock have increased in the land.
Job 1:11 But extend your hand and strike everything he has, and he will no doubt curse you to your face!”
Job 1:12 So the LORD said to Satan, “All right then, everything he has is in your power. Only do not extend your hand against the man himself!” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

There are a couple of very key elements to point out in these verses as this conversation between God and satan continues. God was able to protect Job just as He is able to protect us who walk by faith and not fear, as we will address this in a moment with Job. Realize that when satan suggests to God that if He would strike everything he has then he would no longer serve God.

First question, do you really believe that God is going to take satan’s advice? That would be like a mob boss coming to a parent and telling that parent if you will strike them down, or let me beat them up, take everything they have, they won’t love you anymore. How many parents who love their kids are going to tell the mob boss, “Yea, that sounds like a good idea to me, go ahead and do what you want with my kid, just don’t kill them”. Yet we think God who loves us more than we love our own children would do so?

God did not strike Job. God does tell satan that he had the right to come against him as far as what he had in the natural, but he could not take his spirit for his spirit belonged to God. Why did satan have the right to come against Job in the natural? Realize that when Adam fell in the garden the authority that God had given Adam was now given over to satan. 2 Corinthians 4:4 tells us that he is the god of this world. Man has a choice as to whether he is going to walk by faith in his God, or give way to satan through fear. When you walk by faith you give God access to every part of your life. When you walk in fear you now give satan the opportunity to take advantage of your life. That is why he works to deceive people and lead them into fear.

Job 1:16 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”

Here again is something may believe is proof that God was doing this, but the phrase, “fire from God” actually refers to lightning. Writers in the Old Testament would often attribute this to God’s doing, but scripture reveals in Ephesians 2:2 that satan is called the prince of the power of the air. He brings destructive storms just as he did against Jesus and His disciples when they were in a boat heading across the sea and a storm came against them.

Jesus after being awakened by His disciples rebuked this storm and it left. Then He looked to His disciples and wanted to know why they had not used their faith to come against this storm. If God sends such things against His children who fear Him, then why did Jesus rebuke this storm? Because it was a work of satan, not a work of God.

Job 3:25 What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come to be.

Job reveals here in chapter three that he had been living with a certain fear for some time. That fear was all the things that had happened to him. What he had always feared had now come to pass. Fear gave satan the right to come against Job in the natural, but because Job did reverence God and served God for who He is and not what Job had, satan could not touch his spirit, for his spirit belonged to God.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].

Job was experiencing a time of dread in his life because Job had not yet come to the place of fully understanding the love God had for him. One who fully understands the love of God will walk by faith, for faith works through love. This lack of understanding God’s love gave way to fear, and this opened the door for satan to torment Job. Because of this fear Job then made a statement in the midst of his darkest hour that was based on what he was going through at the time. In Job 1:21 he declared that the Lord had given and the Lord had taken away. It is true that Job said this, but that does not make it a true statement. Let’s look at the rest of the story.

Job 42:1 Then Job answered the LORD and said:
Job 42:2 “I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
Job 42:3 You asked, “Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.

God later in a conversation with Job who had been listening to wrong counsel from his friends has God reveal Himself as One whom Job did not fully understand. Job had uttered those words in chapter one that the Lord was the One who had taken what he had away. But after God questions Job as to whether he actually knew everything about God, Job admits here in chapter 42 that he did not know everything about God. It was not God doing this to Job, and therefore Job states in Job 42:3 that what he uttered he did not understand. Who has not at times said something in the midst of a painful or difficult situation but then later on realize what they said was not true.

Job 42:10 And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

The Lord then tells Job to go and pray for his friends. This got Jobs focus off of himself. Ministering to others takes faith. In doing so God got Job back in faith. In doing this God restored Job back with twice as much as he had before. Remember, fear gives satan access to our life, but faith opens the door for God to work in our lives and see His will fulfilled. The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy; the Lord has come to give us life and that more abundantly!

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

5/27/13 – “REMEMBERING JESUS”

Remembering-Jesus

John 5:23 So that all men may give honor (reverence, homage) to the Son just as they give honor to the Father. [In fact] whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, Who has sent Him.

Honor is a very important thing, and should play a major role in how we live our lives each day. As we just celebrated Memorial Day, it is a time to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms as a nation. To remember the fallen and the sacrifice they made we should always honor their memory and never forget what they have done for us to remain free. So it is in our walk with God. Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice for us, and we should in turn honor Him for what He did to deliver us from sin, and restore our relationship with the Father.

This week I want to share some powerful truths about remembering Jesus by honoring Him. In John 5:23 Jesus even tells us that all men should give honor to the Son just as they give honor to the Father. If we don’t honor the Son, then we are not honoring the Father who sent Him. So what should we do as believers in Christ to honor Jesus and what He has done for us? That is what we will cover this week in our study.

In remembering Jesus let’s first define what the word “honor” means. It is defined as to prize, to value, and to revere. If you honor Jesus you are going to place a high value upon Him and what He has to say. If you revere Him you are not going to take lightly what He has done, nor what He has said in His Word. If we are going to honor Jesus we are going to take Him at His Word.

When the Word of God says we are the righteousness of Christ, then we believe we are the righteousness of Christ. When the Word says we are to forgive, then we forgive. When the Word tells us we are to walk in love, then we choose to walk in love. Just as important, when the Word of God tells us to receive God’s correction, then we willing receive God’s correction as well. A good father is going to build up their children by being a positive influence on their life, setting a good example for them to follow, but they are also going to lovingly correct them when they are wrong. So it is with our heavenly Father.

John 14:15  “If you love me, obey my commandments.

Let me say first that there is no one more for you than God. He loves you and cares about every part of your life, and He wants to help you in every way He can. To do so He is not going to make choices for us, but He is going to give us instructions for our life that we can choose to do or not to do. He is also going to give us commandments. For some reason there are those today who seem to think there is something wrong with saying anything about the Lord’s commandments for our life. First of all a commandment in the eyes of the Lord is not an option in the eyes of God, but He won’t force us to do anything. We have a choice.

When you talk about the commandments that the Lord has given us in the New Testament, people begin to say you are being legalistic. I grant you there are those who preach legalism, but what is it? To be legalistic means that you are saying the only way you get anything from God, including eternal life, you must do so by your own effort. You must earn it. That is what scripture reveals legalism as. Yet today if you tell people Jesus gave us commandments they begin to tell you that you are being legalistic. That is not so if they are not saying you must earn from God what He gives you, but we must walk in the light of His commandments in the New Testament if we want to honor Him. Remember to honor Him means we place a high value on what He has done and what He has said we are to do.

Jesus tells us in John 14:15 above that if you love Him then you will obey His commandments. You don’t have to do so, but if you love Him with the love of God, the agape kind of love, you are going to honor Him by doing what He said. You are also going to honor Him by believing what He said. Jesus did not say if you love me you might consider doing what I have suggested for you to do. He said you will obey His commandments. This is not legalistic, this is valuing what He said, knowing that He knows what is best for our life. So what did Jesus command for us to do?

Matt. 22:37 Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’
Matt. 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Matt. 22:39 And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
Matt. 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

When people think of commandments they think of the Ten Commandments. Some will say today that we don’t have to keep the Ten Commandments, because they were given in the Old Testament. But Jesus never said we are not to keep the Ten Commandments. Jesus tells us here that we are to love the Lord our God with all our being, and we are to love one another. In John’s gospel Jesus said to love one another as He has loved us. In doing this He said we would fulfill the Law and the Prophets.

If we walk in love toward God, and we walk in love toward one another, you are not going to violate the Ten Commandments. We are not earning anything from God in doing so, but we are simply honoring Him and what He did for us. If you walk in the love of God you are not going to steal, commit adultery, dishonor your parents, etc., instead you are going to bring God upon the scene for God is love. This love is not a feeling or an emotion, it is an action. God’s love is summed up in what we call the golden rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated. When you do you are fulfilling a commandment given to you by Jesus and in turn you are honoring the sacrifice He made for you and for all of humanity.

Matt. 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Matt. 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Matt. 28:20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

The other way we can honor Christ and what He has done for us is to go and fulfill what He has commissioned us to do. Far too many believers today are so wrapped up in their own lives that they are not reaching those around them with the good news. Jesus gave us the authority to go and do the works He Himself did. We are to be a part of making disciples of all people, taking time to show the love of God to others, and to be willing and yielded to the Holy Spirit in using us to minister to others.

Jesus wants us to baptize people (immerse them) in a relationship with the Father, Jesus Himself, and the Holy Spirit. We do this by sharing our story, and showing others that we care about them. Through our relationship with God we are to become an extension of God to those around us. We help make disciples out of others by first, sharing the gospel with them and then second, teaching them to observe all things that Jesus has commanded us. This again is not legalism nor bondage, but helping others to walk in what God has for their life. Jesus has promised us that He will be with us wherever we go, even to the end of the age so we are not alone in doing His work. It is He who does the work through us.

Acts 1:4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me;
Acts 1:5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

For us to be successful in fulfilling the commission given to us we need to obey another commandment given by Jesus. Jesus commanded His disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait until they had received the promise of the Father, which He declares is being baptized in the Holy Spirit. This will bring an empowerment from the Holy Spirit to be used by Him in healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead, and preaching the gospel, for as Jesus said we have freely received and we should therefore freely give to others what we have been given.

Once baptized in the Holy Spirit if we will begin to yield unto Him every day, we can begin to have a powerful impact on the lives of others. When we are seeing others born again, healed, delivered, and set free from the powers of darkness and the ruler of this world, we are honoring the life of Christ as a memorial that will make an eternal difference in this earth.

Honor Christ by walking in obedience to His commands. Honor Him by doing the works He did through the same Holy Spirit that worked in and through Him. Make the effort everyday to be Jesus’ hands reaching out to others. Show people you care about them and you will see hearts open to receive what Christ has for them.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

5/20/13 – “HOW TO ENDURE” – PART 2

Staying-Faithful-To-God-Requires-Endurance

Heb. 10:36 For you need endurance in order to do God’s will and so receive what is promised.

Last week we began the first of a two-part series on how to endure. Endurance for a believer is a must if you are going to get through the challenges that will come in life. It is also a must if you want to see what God desires for your life come to pass. Walking by faith takes endurance to get where God wants you to go. When we endure we overcome.

There are ten things I am sharing with you to help you endure. The first five we have already covered. They are:

1. You cannot be spiritually lazy.
2. You must develop and maintain your faith.
3. Have scriptures to stand on.
4. Obey God’s Word.
5. Draw strength from the testimony of others.

This week we will cover the remaining 5 things. The first of these is:

6. Lay aside anything that would hinder your progress as a Christian.
Heb. 12:1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.

Sin would be an obvious hindrance that would hinder our ability to endure and should be dealt with. God has given us the ability to defeat and overcome the power of sin in our life through Jesus Christ. But the apostle here also tells us that we should lay aside every weight that slows us down if we are going to run with endurance. What are these weights that he is talking about?

Simply put, whatever is hindering our walk with God we need to strip that weight off of our life. Far to often believers are unwilling to let go of things that they want when God knows such things are only hindering us not helping us. This could include of course activities, things, and people. Another way to look at it would be a comparison for example to one’s diet. If you are unwilling to lay down eating every day the things that are not good for your health, you are not going to have the energy and strength you need each day. This doesn’t mean we must never eat things we know are not that good for us, but if we are under their control and unwilling to eat healthy foods we should not expect to have the strength we need physically.

When you look at an Olympic athlete for example they learn to address not only the training they need physically, but also just as important their diet. There are certain things for believers that we should never have anything to do with that are only going to keep us from an intimate relationship with God, but there are other things that are not of themselves bad, but we should never be consumed with them to the degree that such things are more important to us than our walk with God. If you want to endure through this race called life you are going to have to lay some things aside.

7. Give Jesus your undivided attention.
Heb. 12:2 Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Keeping your focus on Jesus is a big help in finding the strength and ability to endure. He is the source of our faith and the One who helps bring our faith to maturity. When you look to Him and keep your focus there, you are not looking at yourself, nor your problems and challenges. I assure you He is a lot better to look at. When we get focused on ourselves this will hinder our ability to endure because we begin to see our limitations as a human and that begins to bring doubt and unbelief.

When we look to our problems in life they can begin to look a lot bigger than we are. All through the Bible you see people who endured by keeping their eyes on God. David was not focused on Goliath, but on his God who had delivered him from the bear and the lion. History tells us that a shepherd would carve such images in their staff after obtaining victory over them, and David was holding up that staff in front of him when he took on Goliath. He declared, “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand.” His focus was on the Lord. When you are looking to Him you see His strength and ability, not your inability.

8. Set your mind on things above.
Col. 3:2 Keep your mind on things above, not on worldly things.
Col. 3:3 You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Another way to say this is that you need to see things from heavens viewpoint, not the earths. Have you ever heard the saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” When you are in the midst of a forest you cannot see the entire forest because the trees are blocking your view. But when you get a different vantage point in life you see things you did not see before. That is what God wants us to do. If we will see things from heavens perspective it will change not only how we view things here on earth, but it will give us a power we did not have before. We have the mind of Christ, which means we have the God-given ability to see things from God’s perspective.

Years ago I was dealing with some challenges and like many crying out to God about them. In the midst of me doing so the Lord spoke to my spirit telling me to stop looking at my situation from the earth’s perspective, but instead, look at what I was dealing with as if I were already in heaven looking back over my life. All of a sudden I realized that what I was dealing with that had seemed to become so overwhelming didn’t any longer seem like such a big deal. This began to bring great strength to keep going forward and as I did of course things changed.

9. Look to Jesus as your example.
Heb. 12:3 Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.

Another powerful key to endurance is looking to Jesus as the example we have to follow in the footsteps of. Jesus shows us through His life a personal testimony of endurance and how He did so. When you use Him as your example you are walking in a pathway of victory. Jesus when facing going to the cross in the Garden of Gethsemane taught us something very powerful about times of trial. He taught His disciples to watch and pray. He told them they would be tempted to give up on doing God’s will and to overcome those times of temptation (to endure through them) watch and pray.

To watch means to pay attention. The devil comes with deception and schemes to try and get us to quit on God. He will bring false teachers, deceptive thoughts, and the wrong people across our path to try and lead us away from God. If we pray as Jesus taught, we are not going to fall for these works of satan. The key to praying that He was speaking of is simply staying connected to God.

When you truly are close to Him you won’t blame God for destructive works thinking it is all in God’s plan. We are in a fallen world and we will face storms in life, don’t blame God for the storms; He is the strength to overcome them. Jesus did not blame God for what we did as sinners; He simply found strength in the Father to get through what He was faced with. Follow His example.

10. Don’t despise godly discipline.
Heb. 12:11 Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it.

Last but not least don’t reject godly discipline, because even though the flesh doesn’t like not getting its way, you will become stronger spiritually. God’s discipline comes through His Word, the Holy Spirit, our conscience, and godly leadership. He does not discipline us by wreaking havoc with our life; there is a devil who will work to do that. God brings discipline to show us how to become more spiritual so we walk in His enduring power, always triumphing through Christ Jesus.

Endurance is a necessity if you want to obtain what Christ paid for you to walk in and walk out. God gave us the ability to endure. If we walk out what His Word teaches we will endure. As we do then we are going to see what He has promised fulfilled, for those who endure are those who never give up on God nor His ways. In due season you will reap, don’t lose heart, endure!

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

5/13/13 – “HOW TO ENDURE” – PART 1

Staying-Faithful-To-God-Requires-Endurance

Heb. 10:36 For you need endurance in order to do God’s will and so receive what is promised.

Endurance is an absolute necessity if you are going to walk out God’s will for your life and receive what He has given us promise of in His Word. This is not something people often think about when it comes to walking by faith, for most think that walking by faith is receiving immediately whatever I am believing God for. But walking by faith in many things of this life, and especially in relationship to our entire life here on earth requires that we do so with endurance. As Hebrews 10:36 clearly states that in order for us to do God’s will, endurance is a necessity, not an option.

This week I want to begin a two part series on ten things that will help you to endure. The word endurance itself is defined as one who is unswerving from their deliberate purpose and loyalty to faith even by the greatest trials and sufferings. Endurance does not mean we just put up with trials that come and hope to get through it, it means we will fight the good fight of faith and victoriously overcome any challenge we may face. In this first of two parts I will cover five of the ten things needed to endure.

1. You cannot be spiritually lazy.
Psa. 63:1 O God, you are my God. At dawn I search for you. My soul thirsts for you. My body longs for you in a dry, parched land where there is no water.

One of the most important keys to endurance is not becoming spiritually lazy. To endure we need the strength of God. We need His insight and wisdom, which comes from staying connected with Him. Spiritual laziness simply means we are not taking time to draw near to God, instead we are becoming to focused on fleshly things and we are not staying connected with Him.

To keep from being spiritually lazy really comes down to establishing time with God as a priority every day. If we don’t do so, it is easy to become sidetracked with other things and before you know it the day is over and we haven’t taken any time to connect with God. This is why David in this Psalm declares to God that He would take time to seek Him out at dawn. Simply put, David is giving us a powerful truth about staying connected with God. Make time at the start of each day to spend some time with God. The best way to do so is in the Word of God. God’s written Word reveals the living Word, Jesus Himself. Even if at times it may only be 15-30 minutes, that time with God will help bring a strength to you that will help you to endure because you are staying connected with Him. If we don’t make God a priority everyday, other things will take His place in our lives.

2. You must develop and maintain your faith.
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).

Another key thing to endurance of course is faith. Faith is much like a muscle that must be exercised. It is probably one of the most overlooked keys to what faith is and how faith works. Everyone who is born again has been given a measure of faith. What we need to do is start using the faith we have. Start acting upon the Word of God knowing it is so. If we don’t exercise our faith it is not going to become developed, no different than a muscle that has to be developed. But not only is it important to develop our faith but we must maintain our faith as well. You may even have a muscle you have developed but if you quit using that muscle it won’t be long before it begins to become weaker. So it is with faith as well. Exercise the faith you have and it will help you to endure.

3. Have scriptures to stand on.
Eph. 6:17 … and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

When you look to all of the armor of God described in Ephesians 6 you find that there is only one part of that armor that is offensive, the Word of God. To have the endurance to face storms head on and make it through those storms you are going to need to have specific scriptures to stand on. Having knowledge of God’s Word and then using it as a sword in your time of trouble is a powerful force to help you keep moving forward and seeing God’s promises manifest in your life.

Think about all the times when you felt like giving up based on what you were facing or dealing with. What were the thoughts going through your mind focused on? Not the Word of God. When those times come these fiery darts of the enemy are designed to wear you down and get you to give up on God. A winning Christian is one who never gives up. They are persistent and they keep moving forward in the battle. To do that you need to counter those thoughts that are trying to get you to give up with scriptures that tell you who you are in Christ, what you have in Christ, and what you can do in Christ. Find scriptures that are filled with the promises of God. When you have scripture to stand on you have at the ready your sword to pull out and attack these contrary thoughts. Doing so will bring great endurance in your walk of faith.

4. Obey God’s Word.
Luke 21:33 Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will remain forever.

Obedience to God’s Word is another powerful force that helps us to stay on the path to see God’s will fulfilled. Just as Jesus spoke here in Luke’s gospel, heaven and earth will pass away, but the Word of God will never pass away. God’s Word is the one constant you have in your daily life that you can know will never change. When we choose to walk in obedience to the Word of God we are also aligning ourselves with God. God has promised to be strength in our life, but for us to walk in that strength we need to walk in the light of His Word. God and His Word are one. Whenever you choose obedience to the Word of God you are assured of your victory.

God’s Word has not nor will it ever fail us. God’s Word works, we just need to work it. If God said it, you can believe it. Our obedience to walk in line with that Word puts us on a rock that cannot be shaken. Even Jesus said if we come to Him and hear His Word, apply it to our lives, storms will come but we will not only overcome the storms but won’t even be shaken by them. That is an enduring power that can only come through our obedience to the rock of His Word that you can always know will give you a solid foundation on which to stand.

5. Draw strength from the testimony of others.
Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.
Acts 10:35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.
Acts 10:36 The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all—
Acts 10:37 that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached:
Acts 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

Another great strength to our lives is the testimony of other believers and what God has done in their life. The reason this can help us to endure in whatever situation we are faced with is because in hearing those testimonies we can rest assured that God is no respecter of persons. As Peter stated in Acts 10:34 above that God shows no partiality. What God has done for one He will do for another. God is not a respecter of people, but a respecter of faith.

Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power and He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. That refers to the fact that what Jesus did for one He will do for all. Hearing someone’s testimony helps us to sometimes receive that little extra nudge we needed to keep on keeping on. Many testimonies reveal that others who have faced similar battles and did not give up or quit got a hold of what God had promised. So realize that no matter what you are faced with it is the Lord’s desire to see you obtain all He has done for you through His redeeming work at Calvary.

Endurance is vital for us to walk in and walk out God’s will for our life. It is a necessary part of our walk of faith in seeing God’s promises manifested in our life. Not everything we believe God for is manifested instantly, and if we are going to see what God has planned for us come pass we will need endurance to get there. Many believers who at one time in their life started out in faith may not realize how close they were to obtaining what God had for them, but gave up before they got there. Don’t give up on God, just do what is necessary to have the endurance you need in this life and you will see what God has for you come to pass.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

5/06/13 – “CONSIDER HIM”

Consider-Him

Heb. 12:3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.

I have recently finished a series on “What Is Faith”. I simply went through Hebrews 11, the hall of faith, and we examined what God calls faith. Then in Hebrews 12:1-3 we come across three powerful truths that are necessary for us to walk in faith. Those three things are:

1. Lay aside every weight that would hinder your walk of faith.
2. Lay aside every sin that would ensnare you and hinder your walk of faith.
3. Consider Jesus, never forgetting what He did for you.

On this final point as I was studying for this message the Holy Spirit gave me a powerful truth that is difference between victory or defeat in the life of the believer. It all had to do with what we are considering in our lives. The phrase that I got from the Holy Spirit went like this.

“What you say you hear. What you hear you begin to think about. What you think about you begin to believe. What you believe determines your outcome in life.”

This is a powerful truth that really will determine what happens in our lives as we face the battles of the day. It will be the difference between just surviving or overcoming. Many believers today are living with a “survival mentality”. This is what our culture even depicts to us continually. I know currently there is even a popular show among many called, “Survivor”. But Jesus did not die on a cross for us to just survive, but to thrive. Everyone who is born again is not recognized in scripture as a conqueror, but more than a conqueror. That doesn’t sound like just a survivor to me.

When you go into survival mode you just do what you can to hang on in life and try to make it through. As a survivor you are not thinking about going on the offensive and “taking your mountain”, but instead you are just hunkering down in a hole hoping to get through life. There are no verses in the entire Bible that say we are to dig a hole and wait for the rapture. We are the light of the world. We are the ones called by the name of the Lord to push back darkness and go on the offensive, living like Jesus lived. Don’t live in survival mode, shake that off and become the David God called you to be taking on any Goliath that may come knowing you have the authority to take that giants head off.

What is it that causes us to get into a survival mode? Many think it is because of the circumstances they are facing. But scripture reveals that there is nothing new under the sun, and that others face the same sufferings we face in this world. Yet many in the Bible who faced challenging odds overcame, they did not just survive. The key for us as New Testament Christians is to consider Him, Jesus our ultimate champion, above everything you see in the natural. Let’s take a closer look at what it means to consider Him.

Heb. 3:1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus,

Here in Hebrew chapter 3 we get some insight as to what it means to consider Jesus. Here we are told to consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. Remember what we say we are going to hear. What we hear we are going to think about (consider). What we think about we are going to begin to believe, and what we believe will impact our lives.

First and foremost consider the Apostle Jesus. The word apostle here means one sent with orders. Jesus came with orders from the Father to carry out His ministry here on earth. What was Jesus’ ministry? He came as a High Priest. This term High Priest means our Mediator who redeemed us. This actually means He made an exchange with us. When you ask Jesus to become the Lord of your life you make an exchange, your life for His. He took our sin, punishment, death, sickness, pains, etc., and in exchange He gave us His Spirit so that we could receive victory in every area of our life.

When you consider His Apostleship, did He fulfill all of His High Priestly ministry? Yes He did! There is nothing else that Jesus needs to do to redeem us for He has already provided what is needed for us to make this exchange with Him. Since He fulfilled His ministry as the High Priest of our confession what do we now need to do so that we can walk by faith in what Christ has done for us? We need to consider our High Priest. To consider our High Priest means we need to think about what He did, not what we are facing in the natural.

Stop and think about what happens whenever we are faced with a battle of some kind, what is the first thing we tend to do? We begin to speak about how difficult this situation is, or what we think about it in the natural. When you do so guess what you are thinking about (considering)? We are not considering the High Priest of our confession; instead we are considering our circumstances. Doing so will lead to survival mode where we just try to get by. What do we need to do in our daily walk to change this?

Heb. 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
Heb. 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Here in verse 14 we find a key statement that will make the difference between us considering Him, or considering our battles. It will be the difference between living in a survival mentality, or taking the head off your giant. Notice we are told here that since we have this great High Priest who has passed through the heavens (fulfilled all that is needed for us), we are to HOLD FAST OUR CONFESSION. You see it is not enough to just start saying what Jesus did for you when you face a battle. You need to start confessing what your High Priest did every day.

Our military would not be very effect in winning battles if they did no training, but simply waited until we are attacked and then try to fight back. No, they are effective because of the continual training they go through. They never stop training, even though much of what they do the have done before. If you want to stop living as just a “survivor” and become more than a conqueror you need to start confessing over you life every day three very important truths.

You need to look to the scriptures and find verses that reveal these three things about your life and confess them every day. They are:
1. Who you are in Christ.
2. What you have in Christ.
3. What you can do in Christ.

The more you do this the more roar you will get back in your spirit. Instead of digging a hole and hoping to just survive you will not only be prepared and trained for any attack, you will go on the offensive. This is the difference between victory or defeat just as for our military. If they stop training and doing the same things they have always done over and over again, they will be far less prepared to overcome our enemies. It is this continual training that makes them such an elite fighting force. So it is for us as believers. As Hebrews 4:15 tells us, Jesus understands our weaknesses as He Himself dealt with similar challenges in life, but He was victorious over them and so can we be victorious as well. But to do so we must consider our High Priest every day.

King David in walking with God and watching over his father’s sheep had written many songs about Him. These songs as he sang them were what he was considering. As he was constantly singing of the greatness of his God he was hearing about Him. This led to David thinking about how great and powerful God is. This thinking led to what He believed about Him. That belief was the difference between a defeated Goliath or a defeated David.

He had experienced previous victories in protecting his father’s sheep. He recalled his victory over the bear and the lion when they had come and tried to kill those sheep. David knew it was not his strength that had won those battles, but the hand of God had delivered him. That deliverance came because David believed in His God. That belief came because David considered His God by continually singing about Him and how mighty His God was.

1 Sam. 17:46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

Don’t live the life of a survivor, become who Christ made you to be. Take the time to dig in the New Testament epistles and learn who you are in Christ, what you have in Christ, and what you can do in Christ. Hold fast to your confession of these things daily. As you do you will consider Him, and you too will rise up to be more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus!

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

4/22/13 – “RECEIVE ALL THE GODHEAD”

OXYGEN VOLUME 13

Col. 2:9 For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature].

When you think about it there are three basic overall parts to a vehicle. There is the exterior, the interior, and the power train. What would you think of this? You go to a dealership looking to buy a new car and the salesman after talking to you for a few minutes to find out what you are looking for takes you out to the lot to look at the car. He shows you the exterior, then opens the door has you crawl into the driver seat and shows you the nice new interior, and then you ask to test-drive the car. The salesman says, “Well you can’t do that because we don’t have cars with a power train, only the exterior and interior”. I would be willing to bet you would be heading to your vehicle pretty quick to go and find another car lot.

Why then does it seem that so many Christians are happy to attend a church where they get a great exterior, and great interior, but there is no power train? Yet they don’t even think about that being an issue. Jesus Christ who embodied the entire Godhead did not die to just give us a part of the package. He died so that you could in fact experience all three of the Godhead in your life. Churches are supposed to be introducing you to all three parts of the Godhead and how you are to relate to them. This week I want to talk about receiving all of the Godhead. Let’s start with Jesus Christ.

Matt. 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also].

When you talk about our relationship to Jesus the key part of that relationship is what Jesus revealed here in these verses and in the Great Commission to the church. We are to become disciples of Christ. That doesn’t happen just because we are born again. Becoming a disciple of Christ is the foundation in our relationship with Jesus. A disciple is one as Jesus states in scripture who lives by His Word, has Jesus as their first love, fulfills God’s will no matter what, is willing to forsake all for Christ, walks in the love of God, receives pruning from the Father, and fulfills their number one call to be with Jesus.

These seven things are what scripture reveals a disciple of Christ is. To not become a disciple of His is to not fully accept what Jesus is offering us and what He desires for us in relationship to Him. This is why He commanded His disciples to go in to all the world and make disciples of all people. Scripture also reveals that a disciple is not above his teacher, but he who is perfectly trained will become like their teacher. That is why becoming a disciple of Christ is so important in our relationship to Him. Jesus needs us doing the work He did, which He tells us in John 14:12 we can do, if we believe in Him. To believe in Him means to fully entrust your entire life to another. So in receiving what Jesus offers as a part of the Godhead you will become one of His disciples.

Heb. 11:5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Heb. 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

When it comes to our relationship with the Father the primary part of that relationship is learning what it means to walk by faith and not by sight, for it is impossible to please Him without faith. We have a great example of this in the life of Enoch. Hebrews chapter 11 is often referred to as the hall of faith. We have listed there seven major keys to what God the Father calls faith. When you look at verses 5 and 6 you see that Enoch had the testimony that he pleased God, and as verse 6 states it is impossible to please God without faith. Let’s look at what the key was as to how Enoch got such a testimony in relationship to the Father.

Gen. 5:24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

Here we have the reason Enoch had a good testimony with God. Enoch walked with God. Where did Enoch learn about walking with God? Adam was still alive as Enoch grew up, and there must be little doubt that he had heard Adam talk about walking with God. This stirred a hunger in Enoch to walk with Him. The most important part of us receiving the Father as a part of the Godhead in our lives has to do with us walking with God. God the Father wants us to know Him as His son’s and daughter’s. This type of relationship comes from walking with Him.

1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

If you are going to walk with God as your Father you are going to do so because of your love for Him. You cannot walk in love with the world and the things of the world and walk with God. God calls walking with Him faith. If you are walking by faith and not by sight, then you are not focused on the things of this world, but instead you are focused on continually developing your walk with the Father because of the love that burns within your heart for Him.

Heb. 12:7 Endure your discipline. God corrects you as a father corrects his children. All children are disciplined by their fathers.
Heb. 12:8 If you aren’t disciplined like the other children, you aren’t part of the family.

In developing your relationship of faith walking with God as your Father, one thing you don’t hear many churches teach on is the discipline that will come from the Father if you are going to walk as a son or daughter of His. Many churches emphasize the importance of a relationship with the Father and that is good, but they don’t often talk about Him correcting us. He does so through His Word, our conscience, the Holy Spirit, and leadership simply revealing things that need to change in our life for our benefit. If we don’t receive the Father’s discipline then we are not receiving all of the Godhead.

Eph. 5:17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Eph. 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, …

The third part of the Godhead is of course the Holy Spirit. Many have, as I illustrated earlier, gotten the exterior and the interior part of Christianity having relationship with the Father and the Son, but they have not received the power train. They have not gotten filled with the Holy Spirit, who is the power of God and just as much a part of the Godhead as the Father and the Son. Far too many churches just mention the Holy Spirit, but do nothing in teaching on nor helping their church to receive the power from on high as promised by our heavenly Father.

Paul states here in Ephesians that we are to understand what the will of the Lord is, and a part that will is that we are to be filled with the Spirit. We are to be baptized in the Holy Spirit so that we can be His witnesses. Something my Pastor, Dr. Mark Barclay recently stated is a powerful truth about many churches in America today. If you kick out the gifts of the Spirit in your church, you kick out the Spirit of the gifts.

I have said if you are not allowing the Holy Spirit to function through His gifts in your church and He is not welcome, then you have hindered the true teacher to bring revelation during the teaching of God’s Word, for Jesus said it is He (the Holy Spirit), who will teach you all things. Yet Christians will go to churches where they offer the exterior part of the vehicle, the interior part of the vehicle, but no power train and yet they are satisfied that this is enough.

2 Tim. 3:5 They will appear to have a godly life, but they will not let its power change them. Stay away from such people.

Paul stated here to Timothy that in the last days you would have people who will have this appearance of godliness or what he called a “form” of godliness, but they will deny the power thereof. That power is the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus commanded His disciples in Acts 1:8 to go to Jerusalem and wait until they receive the promise of the Father, which was not salvation, for He had already breathed on them and they had received the Holy Spirit (salvation). The promise was to receive power after the Holy Spirit came upon them, which they would then be empowered to be His witnesses. Why do Christians want the car without the power train?

So receive all of the Godhead. That has always been God’s intention for us, and then continue to grow as a disciple of Christ, continue to develop your walk with the Father, and continually stay full of the Holy Spirit. If you are not in a Spirit-filled church that allows the gifts of the Spirit to manifest, you are lacking a vital part of the Godhead. Get all that God has for you!

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

4/15/13 – “MAINTAIN A GOOD CONFESSION”

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1 Tim. 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

One of the most key components in our walk of faith is our confession, what we are saying on a regular basis. When most people think of confession they only think of confessing sin, but scripture clearly reveals there is also a good confession. The Word of God has much to say about us having a good confession, and this is one area that Christians tend to be weak in.

Our confession of what we say about our life and over our life is having an impact on us whether we realize it or not. This is a spiritual law that is in fact at work in our lives everyday. What we are saying about ourselves, and what we are speaking over ourselves is effecting what happens to us in many ways. Sure there are things in this life that no matter what we confess we are still going to face these storms, for Jesus referred to the fact that they come to everyone. But to not realize the importance of confession as a part of what impacts our life is to ignore the truth of God’s Word on the subject.

Mark 11:23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

When you look at this verse of scripture don’t think that it just applies to speaking in line with God’s Word. Notice that Jesus said here what you believe in your heart and speak with your mouth will result in you having what you say. “Whatever” refers to anything you are speaking, not just speaking God’s Word. People who’s hearts are filled with a belief system that they will never have much, or they are always going to be sick, or they are always going to worry, etc., these things that have become beliefs in the heart when spoken are going to come to pass.

But praise God the opposite is true as well. Some will ask, “Do you really mean to tell me that if I speak something it will happen?” No, not if you don’t believe what you are saying is true in your heart. But if you consistently keep speaking negatively all the time after a while you are going to develop a belief in your heart that this must be true of me. In doing so you will see this principle apply and bring those things to pass. As Jesus said here in Mark 11:23, you will have “whatever” you say.

There are always those people who will be critical of such teachings about our confession, and yet scripture clearly indicates that our words are in fact bringing forth in our lives what we say and believe. There is much evidence in the scriptures of the power of our words. It is an area of our life that we need to watch consistently if we want to walk in the light of who God says we are.

Rom. 4:17 …God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; …

When people think you are making too much out of this confession business they need to look and see what God thinks about it. Here in Romans chapter four, which primarily talks about our father in the faith, Abraham, in this verse we get a reference and some insight of how important words are. It refers here to God, who not only gives life to the dead, but God Himself calls those things which do not exist as though they did. This for many seems a little odd to do, but it is exactly how our God operates.

In the eyes of God everything He says you are as a child of God, you are. Everything God says you have as His child, you have. Everything God says you can do as one born of His Spirit, you can do. That is how God sees it. For us to see what He sees we must begin to first say what He says. Even if you don’t feel righteous, you are. Even if you don’t look healed, you are. Even if you don’t think you can do the works of Jesus, you can. But you must believe it is so. This begins through what you are saying.

I believe the following quote was revealed by the Lord to Charles Capps. The Lord said, “My people are saying what they have, when they could have what they say.” If we continually say what we already have, then we are going to keep getting the same results. Remember Jesus said you will have whatever you say, of which you believe in your heart. But if you want to change what you have you must start saying what God says about you. You must begin to say who He said you are, what He said you can do, and what He said He has done for you!

For us to have true change in our life we must first and foremost go to the Word of God, especially the epistles of the New Testament, for it is there that you will begin to find out who God made you to be, and find out what God said you can do, and what God said you already have. But it isn’t enough to just find such truths in the Bible.

Without consistently confessing these things over your life you are not going to see your beliefs change. If you don’t correct what you are saying you are not going to correct what you believe about you. Remember when you speak in line with who the Word says you are, what the Word says you can do, and what the Word says you have, you are agreeing with God.

Rom. 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Here in Romans we have Paul saying the same thing that Jesus said in Mark 11:23. One believes with their heart and with their mouth they confess what they believe and it brings about what they have confessed. The word “salvation” here is defined as, preserve, deliver, safety, rescue, and health. How do we experience these things in our life? We must believe, and we must confess to see such things come to pass. Notice the last part of this verse. Confession is made unto. In this context it is referring to salvation, but that word also means much more.

If you want health, you must get your words in line with what God’s Word says about your health. If you want deliverance from something you are going to need a consistent confession, saying what the Word of God says. If you want to see your life transformed in becoming more like Jesus one of the key things you will have to do is to confess what the Word says you already are in Christ Jesus. This is one of the most important parts of making a good confession. Going through the New Testament epistles and finding every scripture that refers to who you are in Christ. Make note of these verses and then begin to confess them continually.

Job 22:28 You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways.

Here we see in Job that one who declares a thing, that it will be established for you. Just another way of saying that what you say and believe in your heart it will be established in your life and come to pass. Notice it says that in doing this light will shine on your ways. Our words spoken are like a light shinning the path that our lives take. You can look at a lot of what you are walking in today and that was brought about by what you were saying in the past.

Psa. 119:130 Your word is a doorway that lets in light, and it helps gullible people understand.

Here in Psalms we find out that Gods’ Word when spoken is like opening a door that lets the light in. When you are consistently making a good confession over you and over your family in line with the Word, you are opening the door that brings in light. Where light comes darkness is pushed back. When we are walking in darkness it is because we are not allowing enough of the light of the Word of God into our lives by what we say. God’s Word also brings understanding. The opposite too understanding is confusion, which is something that satan loves to have manifesting in our lives.

When you think about this verse realize the opposite is true. If we are speaking contrary to God’s Word, continually saying what the world says instead of what God says, we are opening the door for darkness to come. Not only are we allowing darkness but along with it confusion, which will cause a lack of understanding. This is another reason why making a good confession over your life and your family is so important. Even though you cannot change the will of another, you can have a better impact on their life saying what God says rather than agreeing with the world.

Your words are important and have an impact on your life everyday. Every born again believer needs to be consistently making a good confession over their life each day. Start declaring who God said you are, what God said you have, and what God said you can do. This like a rudder on a ship will begin to direct your life into what God has for you!

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

4/8/13 – “WHO HINDERED YOU?”

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Gal. 5:7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
Gal. 5:8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.
Gal. 5:9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

Have you ever had some bad advice before? Everyone at one time or another I’m sure has, but sometimes it can be very costly depending on what you are dealing with. Wrong advice is never good, but it is especially damaging when you actually think that what someone told you is true and you don’t realize that it is not. This is what we are warned about many times over in scripture, and especially in the last days.

Here in Galatians the apostle Paul addresses this subject with the church in Galatia. After Paul had come and taught them the whole counsel of God, others came in after him and began to lead the people astray with improper doctrine. Notice what Paul states in verse 7, that it was a who that hindered them from obeying the truth. Three key things to mention here, first of all it is not a what that hinders us, it is a who. Listening to or being influenced by the wrong people.

The second key thing to note here is that they were being hindered from “obeying the truth”. What these others were telling them was not in line with the truth, the Word of God. Because they were listening to these false teachings, this led them to not obeying the truth. There is much being said today that is in fact doing the same damage to people’s lives that as a result is leading them to not obey the truth. Paul states that anyone who is hindering you from obeying the truth, that such a persuasion is not from God.

The third thing Paul pointed out here was that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. People don’t realize that if they start listening to heresy’s and false teachings, these will begin to effect what they believe in many areas of their walk with God. Don’t get seduced by the crowd who don’t want to talk about such teachings as these, which clearly the apostle Paul was warning the church about. Unfortunately there are those today who want to discard such things from our pulpits, but 2 Timothy 3:16 declares that all scripture, not some scripture, all scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for the believer. The problem with some of the modern day teachers is that they want to pick and choose what scriptures they like, and they often want to overlook scripture which is written to help us avoid the traps and snares that satan has waiting for those who are not “obeying the truth”.

A very important point here about obeying the truth that seems to be overlooked or pushed aside today is the fact that no one who truly understands what Christ has done for us believes that we work “for” our salvation. There is no doubt that we receive this gift of salvation by grace, through faith. What seems to be left out though is the fact that once we are “born again” through the grace of Christ Jesus, we are to now work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

Phil. 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
Phil. 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

These types of verses are all throughout the New Testament. Paul is clearly speaking to the beloved, those born again, that they have obeyed what he had taught them and they are to work out, not work for their salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you to fulfill His will and good pleasure. He does so as we obey His Word and work out our own salvation. We do spiritual work as believers, learning how to overcome sin, and fulfill the call of God on our lives because we are saved, not for our salvation.

This is not a common nor popular subject today because most of the false teachings today are not a form of religion, but are more a form of humanism. Humanism focuses attention on the human being, and it places all of its value on the human itself. Yet scripture reveals quite the opposite. Our value is not to be based on who we are as humans, but instead who we are in Christ. This is one of the reasons why the body is becoming so weak. They are being taught that their value in life comes from who they are humanly speaking. This is why there is so much emphasis through these false teachings of looking to self.

Heb. 12:2 Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

We are not told in scripture, as humanism teaches, to look to self and find our value in self; but in fact we are to look away from all such distractions and look to Jesus with undivided attention as the source of who are faith is based on. Humanism will often then lead to secularism, which is what many churches have become today, secular churches. Such teachings are based more on the philosophy of the one teaching instead of the scriptures. They begin with scripture, but then begin to add their own philosophy with it. That is secularism.

Such teaching leads to tickling people’s itching ears and what they want to hear. In doing so you begin to focus on what people want to hear, not what the Bible says. This is a result of ministers who actually fall prey to a form of covetousness, which can be a desire for something other than money. Often people only look at covetousness as wanting money or things. But to covet means to set your heart upon something that is forbidden. It is obvious we are not to set our hearts upon money or things, but what about the approval of others?

2 Pet. 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
2 Pet. 2:2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.
2 Pet. 2:3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

Take a look at these verses carefully for they are a warning to not allow the heresy or false teachings of the day to get into your life. Notice in verse one that Peter tells us there will be false prophets and teachers who will bring into the body of Christ destructive heresies. Why do we not hear ministers who are rock star level warning people about such things? Heresy is simply a belief not based on the Word that one propagates as truth. Heresy is destructive, not constructive. The problem is when people believe heresy they don’t even realize the damage that is being done.

Notice Peter goes on in verse two and says that “MANY” will follow their destructive ways, because the truth of God’s Word is being blasphemed. This simply means they will show little regard for the truth of God’s Word. You see this all to often in today’s times. You show people what God’s Word says about something that is hurting their lives and they will either deny the truth, or they will tell you, “That is your belief but not mine.” It doesn’t matter what you believe, what matters is what the Word of God says, period.

Such people if in a church that teaches the truth of God’s Word and does not put their own philosophy on it, will often leave because they want to feel like they are okay with God; so they will go and find a preacher who will agree with their lifestyle and tell them what they want to hear. Such heresies are again destructive. These false teachers we are told in verse three above will exploit people by covetousness. Simply put, people will continue to listen to them, and give to them because they tell them what they want to hear. The minister themselves will continue to do so because of covetousness. What are they coveting here? One of the things they covet is for people to “like them”.

If you covet for people to like you as a minister you are going to tell the multitudes what they want to hear. If you don’t tell them what they want to hear, there are those who won’t like you. So if you covet, desire something forbidden, the approval of man, then you are going to continue to teach things that are not in line with scripture.

Jesus said some pretty direct and difficult things that not everyone wanted to hear. For example in John chapter six He said they would have to eat His body and drink His blood if they wanted to abide in Him. It tells us that many of His disciples were not happy about this for it was a hard saying. Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you?” Then many of His disciples left Him and followed Him no more.

Don’t fall for the modern day heresy and false teachers. Be willing to hear and receive all that the Word of God has for us. Doing so will help protect your life from destruction and you will not be hindered from obeying the truth.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker