Friday, July 31, 2015

No Place for Competition...

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity...It is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion"-Psalms 133:1,3
God has purposed us with a plan! Each one so unique and individual. Our design and make up reveal His awesome creativity, His beauty and His perfect order. In this Psalm it sings the praise of Mount Hermon's high elevation overflow and run off working in unity with Zion to water it and produce life. He intricately designed nature to work in unity, how much more human beings?
Yet we can get caught up competing against one another when we are all working towards the same goal...this is out of order! We all serve different purposes, have different souls to reach and lives to touch. This kind of competition discredits His intricate design, His creativity and His unique perfect plan for each of us. Why not put on the bond of peace and encourage our brothers and sisters? Why not overflow, run off, exhort, encourage, and bring life to each other to become everything He has called us to be? Not of ourselves that we should boast in anything. The goal is exalting His Kingdom and bringing Him glory!
This world says compete but the Word says come together in unity...who are you going to listen to?
“Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.”- 1 Corinthians 1:10

Thursday, July 30, 2015


Forgiveness is NOT agreeing, condoning, excusing or minimizing.

Forgiveness IS a key that unlocks chains of pride, resentment, bitterness, hostility and anger. It is

putting on the compassionate Christ lens of eternal perspective. IT IS FREEDOM for the

forgiver...especially when you forgive yourself.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Come Away With Me......

He said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” -Mark 6:31

What an invitation! An invitation from Jesus to come away and rest with Him. Here Jesus calls His disciples away with Him for refreshment, strength and intimacy. This time of quiet, still rest came before the miracle of feeding the thousands.

Jesus calls us away for seasons of quiet rest in Him and with Him as He refreshes us with more of Him-The Living Water that quenches all thirst. Could it be He's preparing us for a miracle season? Could it be we too are sent out to feed thousands with the Bread of Life?

Let us not miss what He is doing in the still times He has set aside. Those quiet seasons are so precious and ordained-Intimate time He has set apart for you from before the foundation of the world to quietly rest as He renews your soul. Cherish these times..."to everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under Heaven."

Lead me Jesus beside the still waters for refreshment.....

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Out of The Dark

"That you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" -1 Peter 2:9

He has a purpose in everything...He is so Sovereign and His care reaches deep into darkness to call us out into His marvelous light!

From a new perspective we are given new eyes...instead of giving man power over the outcome of circumstances -give God praise for His sovereignty. Instead of the blame we place on ourselves or others-can we look up and see Gods perfect plan in it all? He will allow in His sovereignty what He could stop with His power but would we learn the same lessons? Or have such great revelation of Him?

Of course we make bad decisions, other people make decisions that hurt us, break promises, abandon us, reject us, betray us because we are all just broken BUT what if God allowed these things to pull us out of the darkness we did not even see we were in?

What if this was part of His perfect plan to sanctify you? Sometimes we can't see the things in the dark room around that are going to hurt us, make us fall, or even intruders because we get so comfortable in there and our eyes adjust, so in His sovereignty He lets us fall to be restored from glory to glory.

He faithfully rescues us from that darkness by shining His light on everything harmful and pulls us out...He didn't want to see us fall down but the fall brought a cry from our pain to the throne and He faithfully answered. A cry to be rescued from the darkness.

Now the cries turn to praise and thanksgiving that we are in His arms alone, as He picks us up and becomes our fortified refuge!

He is sanctifying us all to Himself and removing everything that could potentially hurt us...Don't blame others for their decision, don't condemn yourself for yours...instead PROCLAIM THE PRAISES OF GOD for His decision to "CALL YOU OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT".

Friday, July 24, 2015

Exercise Your Faith

The Epistle of James teaches us that putting our faith into action is essential for spiritual growth and maturity. Genuine faith produces authentic action, which produces fruits of The Holy Spirit. Faith without action is dead! It's like the old saying, "use it or lose it."

Exercise your faith in prayer. Pray with confidence, gratitude and without ceasing! Remember the measure of His love for His precious children...His love never fails and He desires the best for you, according to His Will! It is an act of faith even to pray and then another to do it with confidence.

Walk it out with patience and obedience. Trust Him! Sometimes His answer is to act by simply being still. Talk it over with Him and get into The Word. He does mighty things with a willing heart! HE IS the Ultimate Authority, Teacher and Counselor, and He alone holds the solution to every problem!

And in His Perfect love, He promises to bless our faith in Him!

Friends, I pray with all my heart that, if you haven't already, you will invite Jesus into your heart and allow God's transformation and restoration in your life. Experience the true love story! There is so much Grace that abounds in His love and He is waiting with open arms!

Father God, I praise You for Who You are and how You have given us a way to simply be in Your Holy Presence. Thank You, Father, for Your guidance and for providing us with ways to increase our faith and show our love for You. There is no place I would rather be than at Your Holy Throne, praising Your Holy Name. Thank you today and every day for the evidence of Your Perfect Love in my life. 
All in Jesus Christ's Holy and Righteous Name...Amen!

Christa Walton Winn

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Lord Stood With Me

“But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear.”
2 Timothy 4:17

At Paul’s first trial before Nero, things looked so dark that all of his companions forsook him. “At my defense no one stood with me, “he said, “but all forsook me” (2 Timothy 4:16)

How horrible it feels to be abandoned. The Bible says that “a friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17), but too often we discover that what we thought were true friends were really only acquaintances. 

Though all others may leave you, Jesus will always stand with you.  The Lord will not forsake His people. As David said, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me.” (Psalm 23:4)

As long as I know The Lord is standing with me, I can face the trials of tomorrow and the uncertainties of the future.

Today you might feel like Paul – deserted, standing alone, and facing an unknown future. On this dark night, you can be certain that Jesus stands with you. “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). He said, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5)

As someone once said, “I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know Who holds tomorrow, and I know Who holds my hand.” He will stand with me and see me through.

“Father, we thank You that we have such wonderful assurance that You will be with us.  Hold us up, Lord, when we think we can’t take anymore. Hold us with Your right hand.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Pastor Chuck Smith
Wisdom For Today Genesis – Revelation Daily Devotional  2010

His Grace Alone

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”- Matthew 22:37

This commandment calls us higher!  God Almighty set this commandment before His chosen people to set them apart for Himself.  He was sanctifying them as a people all His own, calling them to a higher standard.  

But this commandment is simply unattainable without the grace of God.  Yes, we are called to give Him everything. 

We are called to set ourselves apart wholly to God alone.  It should be our desire to desperately want to give Him ALL of our hearts, to honor Him, to cry out for His will, and to please Him with everything we have. 

However, we fall short because man is fallible and we are told in the Word that we will “all fall short of the glory of God.”  BUT GOD, rich in mercy and abundant in grace restores us so gently, so lovingly and so tenderly.  

We are not to condemn ourselves for being unable to give God our whole hearts and undivided attention without fault.  We are to grieve in our hearts for grieving His, but we are not called to remain there.  

He knew apart from Him and His grace we are not capable to carry out this commandment.  As earnestly as we want to obey Him and desperately we want to please Him, “He remembers that we are but dust”. 

Let His commandment create an utter dependence on Him and let His unmerited favor lift you higher...

by Dawn Mckenzie

Friday, July 17, 2015

Edification, Exhortation and Abundance

 " So then, as occasion and opportunity open up to us, let us do good [[a]morally] to all people [not only [b]being useful or profitable to them, but also doing what is for their spiritual good and advantage]. Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith [those who belong to God’s family with you, the believers]." Galatians 6:10 (AMP)

Edification and exhortation are recurrent themes in Paul's ministry. I find I relate so much to his life. Mostly, I feel kindred in his strong desire for God's precious children to live a truly abundant life in Christ.

As believers, we should share Paul's passion and we are called to edify (build up) one another (1 Thes. 5:11). By ministering to one another in this way, we, like Paul, are exhorting (encouraging specific action) each other to live an abundant life ( 1 Thes. 4:1) of spiritual prosperity in Christ.

Through edification and exhortation we serve, inspire and comfort one another in brotherly love. We nurture and strengthen one another's gifts and talents, just as Paul implored the church to do (Rom. 12:4-8). We become more complete as the body of Christ and better equipped to Glorify our Holy Father in our race!

I pray we will all diligently PURSUE opportunities for edification (Rom. 14:19) and exhortation for the good of the church (1 Cor. 14:12 ); that, through our love for Jesus and one another, we will be passionate and more effective in our mission.

Be blessed and be a blessing, brethren. All in the name of The Son, Jesus Christ, and all for God's Glory. Amen.

by Christa Walton Winn

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Transforming Power of Jesus The Living Word

66 books 40 authors over 1500 years 60 generations in 3 different languages Greek Aramaic and Hebrew on three different continents and it gives us the same message. Jesus the Living word has the power to transformed lives.

For over 2,000 years millions of people have come out of darkness into His marvelous light. Living their lives not for evil but for good . A false god calls on his followers to die for him while Jesus the one and only true God says He died for us. 

Jesus without money or arms conquered more people with His love than Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon, Mohammed and Hitler combined.

Without science and learning, shed more light on the things human and divine than all philosophers and scholars in history combined, without the eloquence of schools He spoke words of life that had never been spoken before or since and produced an effect of which has never been accomplished by any orator or poet, without writing a single line He set more pens in motion, furnished more themes, sermons, discussions, learned volumes, works of art, songs of praise than a whole army of men and women from ancient times to modern day. 

It's no wonder when Jesus asked the disciples if they were going to leave, Peter wisely uttered"where else are we going to go? You alone have the words of eternal life." 

Even today your professors and educators as knowledgeable and respected as they are will never accomplish in this world as much as this simple man from Nazareth has, why? Because He is God and came to this earth in human form to give us a message of love and redemption. 

Why do you think so many professors and educators dismiss the words of Jesus? It's because they have no answer for the facts I just listed. They cannot comprehend how such a simple man with simple words-could have such an incredible impact on all of humanity. 

For the nonbeliever they have to discredit Jesus or convert to Christ. Therein lies the problem, people love darkness more than the light. If Jesus is who He said he was than we must look at ourselves through His eyes and realize we are not good but sinners in need of a Savior. 

For the believer we just stand in adoration, in awe of a God who loves us. Amen!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Take it up with God Almighty!

In the book of Isaiah chapter 37 there is a certain account of an enemy king trying to destroy the anointed king of Yahweh. This king had destroyed every other king and nation whose gods could not save them and he threatened to do the same to Yahweh's anointed king.

But what did the faithfully anointed king do?

The enemy king (king Sennacherib) marched out to fight against the Lord's anointed (King Hezekiah),  he sent out messengers with his word of destruction (a written letter of threats and destruction).  "Hezekiah received the letter and read it” Then what did he do? 

Without hesitation- "He went up to the temple of the Lord and SPREAD IT OUT BEFORE the Lord."  He did not react, he did not look to anyone else around, he did not answer immediately - HE TOOK IT UP WITH GOD ALMIGHTY.

In prayer he cried out “You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth.  You have made heaven and earth. Give ear,  O Lord and hear; open your eyes O Lord and see, listen to all the words Sennacherib (the enemy) has sent to insult the living God."  Isaiah 37:16-17

Hezekiah's immediate response was in adoration and prayer!  With a childlike faith notice he realized the attack was much greater then himself  -  'God dare your enemy insult you, this claim is against the living God'.  Hezekiah cried out for deliverance and the Lord answered "Because you have prayed to me concerning this...

The Lord spoke a word against his enemy  "I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant."

Spread it before the King of kings -Let Him fight the battles-The victory is His!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

No Strings Attached

Allowing myself to receive God's love was once impossible for me due to my reward-response belief system.

 But then my mind was opened and through the power of The Holy Spirit, I was able to grasp this verse.

He is the author and originator of love. HE IS LOVE. There is nothing I can do to earn His pure, authentic, unconditional love.

 His love is given freely to me and He says I am somehow worthy. He does not love me in response to anything I do! WOW! 

Once I grasped this, I was able to chose to receive His love, which, He reminded me, was covering and carrying me all along.

by Christa Walton Winn

Overcoming the Compulsion for Worldly Perfectionism

I was once that girl...the one who had to make sure everything was "perfect." What a load I was carrying! Eventually I spiraled into a desolate, dark hole.

 It was inevitable since everything and everyone fell short of my expectations, especially myself! Fortunately, I found completion in Christ, my Rock, my Portion...and nothing can separate Him from me. 

Interestingly, on that journey, I did not see this verse. 

Huge smiles as I read this reminder of how I once was so like Martha and now I (joyfully) am kindred with Mary. Thank you, Jesus!

by Christa Walton Winn 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Love Is A Verb

"Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything." 1 John3:18-20

Words and actions can indicate our true heart condition.  Whether our words be so incredibly empty or so incredibly full of life and power.  Whether we say too much, or say nothing at all. The Word declares "For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." -Luke 6:45

Therefore our words have the ability to reveal the purity of our hearts or the darkened state of our souls.  How unfulfilling the meaningless chatter can sound or yet how majestic and beautiful can the glory and praises resound?

Jesus never justified with His words His innocence -He died instead to justify us.  Jesus never rationalized His actions when they accused Him -Instead He irrationally took the brunt of the beating.  Jesus did not cry out or act like a victim although He suffered worse than any victim ever should.

His heart remained pure...

His mouth remained guarded...

His actions are now rewarded...

As He sits in glory and praise reigning with the God who knows everything!

by Dawn Mckenzie

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Keeping Our Hearts Clean

It's hard to stay clean in a dirty world. As Christians we are called to be " Holy as He is Holy" (1 Peter 1:16) and to be "living sacrifices." (Romans 12:1)

The problem is that we have this flesh to contend with and we're always jumping off the altar.

We like to give the enemy a lot of credit for our bad behavior when we go off the narrow path and get defiled. But the truth of the matter is that we are faced with a choice everyday of our or death.

We can chose to give in to our flesh or be led by the Spirit. That's the beautiful thing about grace....when we can't He can.

His grace gives us the ability to choose life and to walk in His ways contrary to what our flesh wants to do...for when I am weak He is strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)

Like Daniel we have to purpose in our hearts not to get defiled by keeping our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus. When we do that our feet will be established in all our ways, and our hearts will stay clean before our God and others in a dirty world no matter who or what comes our way.

by Cecilia Trent