Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Birthday Jesus

A babe was born so that we may live. May the love and joy of Jesus fill your hearts as we meditate on the true meaning of Christmas, the indescribable gift of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let's glorify His name. He is worthy!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Your Legacy

We've all heard what we believe is an old cliche 'Life is but a vapor.' But some cliches are rooted in some very real truths. James 4:14 says that our life is like the morning fog--it's here a little while, then it's gone. The truth of the matter is that some day we will all breath our last and we will have a funeral. Have you ever asked yourself what people will say about you at your funeral? 

Will they focus on your worldly accomplishments, your reputation, the material things you owned, the degrees you held, your profession, or will they say that your were a man or woman who loved God above all else and your faith was the driving force in your life? The answer to these questions will determine the kind of legacy you will leave behind. A heritage is what is passed down to you such as a family name, culture, birthright etc. A legacy is what you build into people. It's what future generations will say about you.  It is for certain that you will leave a legacy. The question is what kind?

Our lives have a huge impact on those around us. You are or will be the patriarchs or matriarchs of your families...the leaders, and your children, grandchildren, and great grand children will take what you have done with your life and build on their own lives. Your legacy then it's a continuation of your influence beyond your lifetime. It's either positive or negative that reflects what you value. 

Have you thought about what legacy you want to pass on to your family? If you were to die today what kind of legacy would you leave behind? What if by the grace of God you were given more time, a day, a week, a month? How about another 50 plus years? What would your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren say about you? 

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ please hear this, even if you only have one more day, the word of God tells us that one day in His courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. We serve a God who heals, redeems, restores and can transform your family legacy despite what was passed down to you or you have been leaving behind up to this point. Joel 2:25 tells us that God will give us back the years that the locusts have eaten away. Genesis 50:20 declares what the enemy meant for evil God will turn  around for our good. 

The world is a darker place today than when we were children and it's only getting darker. We must stand up and be a light not only in our generation but we must pass on the torch of light.. our faith, for the next generations, but it starts with our families. It starts with you. You can  be the one who applies the redemptive power of the cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and leave a legacy of faith that lasts. One that honors God and makes a difference for all eternity. Choose to leave a godly legacy. Your great great grandchildren are depending on you.

"I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse.  Choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

by Cecilia Trent

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How Does A Heart Harden?

A hardened heart is unnatural. Sadly many of God's children are walking around with hearts so hardened that they are unable to experience intimacy with God, themselves or others. Since we were created for connection and relationship with God first then others, a hardened heart will cause us to live isolated and withdrawn never truly experiencing the joy, peace, love and the abundant life that Jesus came to give us.

How does a heart hardened? A prolonged struggle. Perhaps you have grown weary in the trial even blaming God for not changing the circumstances. Maybe you have a deep wound, or a broken heart that has caused you to put up walls. When we do this, our defenses go up. It won't let anyone in including God. Self protection separates and leaves us running on reserve, alone and isolated. We were not meant to live that way. We were designed for intimacy. It may seem easier to be hard than soft and vulnerable but you were not created to live that way.  God made you to be tender and responsive. 

God wants to shape your heart but it's hard to shape stone. You must be willing to let the living God come in, heal your wounds and tear down your self protection and defenses. The amplified version of Ezekeil 11:19 describes beautifully what happens when we surrender our stony hearts to our loving God. 

"And I will give them one heart {a new heart}, And I will put a new spirit within them; And I will take the stony {unnaturally hardened} heart out of their flesh, And I will give them a heart of flesh {sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God}."

It's hard to shape stone. Give God access to your heart. Let God shape it and mold it. When you do that, He will leave his fingerprints all over your heart and His love will find you, apprehend you and fill you.

by Cecilia Trent

Sunday, December 7, 2014

God Breathed To Transform

The bible is comprised of 66 books written over a period of about 1,500 years by over 40 different authors from all walks of life, with different kinds of personalities, gifts, struggles, and in all sorts of situations. 

Yet it is God breathed. It is unified and fits perfectly together to unveil God's love for His people. It's a story about redemption and restoration and reveals the heart of God to reconcile with His people. 

God's word brings change. It transforms us from the inside out. It sets us free.

In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.
 John 1:1

I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. 
Psalm 119:16

Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
Psalm 119:11

Every word of God is tried and purified; He is a shield to those who trust and take refuge in Him.
Proverbs 30:5

For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.
 Hebrews 4:12

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law.
Psalm 119:8

I will meditate on Your precepts and have respect to Your ways [the paths of life marked out by Your law].
 Psalm 119:15

Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God's will in thought, purpose, and action).
 2 Timothy 3:16

He is dressed in a robe dyed by dipping in blood, and the title by which He is called is The Word of God.
Revelation 19:16

But what does it say? The Word (God's message in Christ) is near you, on your lips and in your heart; that is, the Word (the message, the basis and object) of faith which we preach. 
Romans 10: 8

Sky and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. 
Matthew 24: 35

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. 
Psalm 119: 105

So get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls. 
James 1: 21

But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth]. 
James 1: 22

I delight to do Your will, O my God; yes, Your law is within my heart.
 Psalm 40: 8

So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:11

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Does The Bible Say That God Won't Give You More Than You Can Handle?

James 10:13 says that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can handle and that He will provide a way of escape. But nowhere in the bible does it say that God will not give us more than we can handle. But many Christians erroneously believe that it's in the word of God due to misquoting James 10:13.

The truth of the matter is that our God in His infinite wisdom knows that we, His children cannot overcome trials and difficulties in our on strength. Jesus exhorts us,  "Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. (Mathew 11:28)  He also warns us, "In this world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) 

It is evident through just these two scriptures alone that God knows that we cannot handle our darkest trials alone....but He can!

It is in those pain wracked moments and places in our lives where we cry out to Him in sweet surrender and cling to Him when we just know that we can't take anymore and fall at His feet, that we encounter His supernatural peace, strength and comfort and gain a deeper closer relationship with our Jesus than we could have ever imagined. That's because we encounter His very heart and are overcome with His love and grace, causing us to drop to our knees and bow down in praise and adoration giving Him all the Glory for meeting us in the depth of our pain and despair, and carrying us through it in victory.

"And He said unto me, My Grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Jesus Christ Is The Balm Of Gilead

A balm is a fragrant ointment or preparation used to heal or soothe the skin. In biblical times, there was an area east of the Jordan River called Gilead known for its spices and ointments with soothing and healing properties. People traveled there from all over the region to soothe many ailments and wounds.  Therefore, the “Balm of Gilead” was known for its high-quality ointment with healing properties and the Bible uses the term metaphorically as an example of healing and soothing powers.

The prophet Jeremiah was anguished to the depth of his heart over the rebellion of God’s people who refused to turn from their wicked ways and be healed by the mighty hand of their God causing him to cry out

 “Is there no balm in Gilead, is there no physician there? When then is there no recovery for the daughter of my people?” (Jeremiah 8:22)

Sadly, there is no healing or recovery for those intent on rebelling against God.

How about you? Are you done rebelling against God?  Do you want to be healed?  Is your heart so hardened and broken over what you have done or what has been done to you that you just know there is no hope for you and you’ll never be the same?

The one who created your heart has the power to mend it and make you new. He can give you the oil of joy for mourning.  He is the lover of your soul and the great physician. Jesus Christ is the Balm of Gilead. 

by Cecilia Trent

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Bible Study Archives

If you are unable to join us live on Wednesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. PST,  you can view recordings here. Page will be updated as recordings become available.

June 03, 2015         Trusting Jesus All The Ways

May 20, 2015         The Sacrifice of Christ

May  05  2015         Joshua

April 29, 2015         Living Water

April 15, 2015         A Picture of Sin 

April 08, 2015         Pick Up Your Cross And Follow Me

April 01, 2015         Jesus Fulfills Prophecy

March 25, 2015       Is Jesus God?

March 18, 2015       Patience In Christ

March 11, 2015       Be Strong In The Lord And In The Power of His Might

February 25, 2015   The Truth of Jesus

February 18, 2015    Virtue & Knowledge    

February 11, 2015    You Can Trust God's Prophetic Word

February 4, 2015      No study

January 28, 2015      The Good Shepherd

January 21, 2015      I Was Blind Now I See

January 14, 2015      Is Jesus God? The Deity Of Jesus Christ

January 07, 2015      Naaman: A Lesson On Humility

Note: The above study was recorded in October of 2014. It's substituting the scheduled study for this date not recorded due to technical difficulties.

December 31, 2014    Evolution Vs God

December 24, 2014    God's Gift

December 17, 2014     No recording available. Study will resume on Wednesday December 24, 2014 

December 10, 2014     God Is Real!  

December 03, 2014     The Road To The Cross

November 26, 2014     Born Again 

November 19, 2014     Glorify Your Son John 17

November 12, 2014     Justified Through Faith

How To Study The Bible. No Commentaries Needed.

At our family Thanksgiving gathering this year, I was blessed to have a conversation with a young woman who recently accepted Jesus Christ into her heart and life as her Lord and Savior.  She exuded an overflow of the Spirit living inside of her. She was full of awe and wonder of how radically God has softened and changed her heart.  It was evident that the Holy Spirit is giving her a hunger, thirst and a deep reverence for the word of God. She was full of questions wanting to experience the whole counsel of God. This caused me to wonder how many young converts have the same yearning and hunger within, where they once were spiritually dead now made alive by the Spirit of the Living God residing in them, but aren't being exhorted to study the word of God for themselves. That yearning within can only be satisfied through  intimacy with God and the only way to have true intimacy with God is to peer into his heart and connect with him at a heart level by getting to know His character, the depth of His redeeming love for us and the covenant relationship we have with Him.  How do we peer into and get to know the very heart of God?.....through his word and by his spirit.

As I shared with my young friend, finding a solid bible teaching church is key to building our faith and growing spiritually,  but studying the word of God on our own is equally important. Bible commentaries are excellent and helpful tools to aid in the study of the word but nothing interprets the word of God like the word of God. In other words, scripture interprets scripture and we don't need a commentary to interpret what the word of God wants to teach us personally through his Spirit.

There are many who have written books on how to study the bible but I have found personally that no one quite explains it as simply as Anne Graham Lotz.  She  presents the simple 3-question Bible study method the she uses to study the Bible in context.
  1.  What Does It Say?
  2.  What Does It Mean?
  3.  What Does It  Mean To Me?

It is designed to lead you on a personal journey through  Scripture to a fresh encounter with God through his word and by his Spirit. I love how she reiterates that when we read his Word, we must come to Him expecting to hear from Him through prayer. I pray that like Samuel we too can say..."Speak Lord, for your servant hears." (1 Samuel 3:9)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Pursue Holiness

There is a growing movement that is progressively becoming acceptable in the main stream church that in order to reach the young we must check Holiness at the door and join in the sinful dark practices of their world. Sadly this is causing many new converts to have a false sense of security by never truly letting go of worldly practices, thereby continuing to be separated from a Holy righteous God that cannot stand in presence of darkness and sin.  Hebrews 12:14 extorts believers to pursue holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.  This has been very heavy on my heart so I'm thankful to come across Charles Stanley's exhortation to pursue holiness. God's timing is always perfect to bring confirmation through His inerrant word.

By In Touch Ministries

Pursuing Holiness

God’s children are called to live holy lives that are marked by a deep reverence for Him. One strong motivation for righteous living is the cross and what it represents.

First, the cross is a reminder of our original position as outsiders, separated from God because of sin. Second, it points to our need for a Savior. Divine justice decrees that the penalty for sin is death (Rom. 6:23); however, the only acceptable payment is the shedding of innocent blood (Deut. 17:1). Since we are all guilty, we cannot pay for our own sins. Third, it was on the cross that Jesus took our place and endured God’s wrath so we could be forgiven. Fourth, the crucifixion marks the time when God’s justice was satisfied and His mercy was demonstrated. Finally, it points out the way to be reconciled to the Lord and adopted into His family. Only through faith in Jesus Christ can we be saved (John 14:6).

Sadly, many have forgotten about God’s requirement of holiness (v. 15). Instead of holding fast to His standards of attitude and behavior, we embrace some worldly values that seem more comfortable or self-satisfying. We pursue secular ideals such as pleasure and material wealth instead of godly ones like servanthood and obedience. These goals are encouraged by our culture, which has little fear of the Lord and regularly ignores His warnings and commandments.

To counteract the culture’s influence, keep the meaning of the cross before you. Then you’ll be motivated to pursue holiness in honor of the One who gave His life to save you.

Dr. Charles Stanly
In Touch Ministries

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Holy, Rigtheous and Redeemed!

This is who we are in Christ Jesus. Now live it! Truth!


Bring your tired
Bring your shame
Bring your guilt
Bring your pain
Don’t you know that’s not your name
You will always be much more to me

Every day I wrestle with the voices
That keep telling me I’m not right
But that’s alright

‘Cause I hear a voice and He calls me redeemed
When others say I’ll never be enough
And greater is the One living inside of me
Then he who is living in the world
In the world
In the world
And greater is the One living inside of me
Then he who is living in the world

Bring your doubts
Bring your fears
Bring your hurt
Bring your tears
There’ll be no condemnation here
You are holy, righteous and redeemed

Every time I fall
There’ll be those who will call me
A mistake
Well that’s ok

There’ll be days I lose the battle
Grace says that it doesn’t matter
‘Cause the cross already won the war
He’s Greater
He’s Greater

I am learning to run freely
Understanding just how He sees me
And it makes me love Him more and more
He’s Greater
He’s Greater

Lyrics by Mercy Me

Born Again

Latest Recorded Webinar For Growing Up In The Word With James Trent
November 26, 2014

Father Glorify Your Son

Latest Recording For Growing Up In The Word Series with James Trent
November 19, 2014

Justified Through Faith

 Latest Recording For Growing Up In The Word Series with James Trent
 November 12, 2014