"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." -Joshua 1:8
Weekly Bible Training Devotional:
3/9/17 -By Troy Sowders
“For everyone that asks receives (it granted)...” - Matthew 7:8
“Therefore I say unto you, what things so ever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them (granted), and you shall have them (physically possess them).” -Mark 11:24
Understanding these two verses will help reveal the power of the prayer of petition for the covenant believer. First, Jesus stated that everyone (every covenant believer) that asks according to His will receives that request GRANTED. Therefore, if you are an “everyone” then whatever you ask from God that is according to His will you receive that thing GRANTED at the very moment you request/ask. Upon observation, you might think, “Wait a minute, I have not received physical possession of everything I have asked God for?” And that statement maybe a fact in your life. However, upon deeper understanding of Matthew 7:8 and Mark 11:24 we see that Jesus did not say you would physically possess everything you request/ask from God. He stated that you would first receive it GRANTED. Herein lies the key. Based upon the text RECEIVING from God when you ask means that God has first GRANTED your request (He approved it for release for you). Meaning, that thing that was requested/asked for/petitioned for...has been released and is now available for you to physically possess. Also, according to the the text HAVING means that you have physically possession of the thing your requested. HAVING (physical possession) follows RECEIVING (it was GRANTED).
Based upon this understanding, we now have insight and clarification on the power of prayer and how it positions us to receive things GRANTED from God. Now, if we continue our study in the text of Mark 11:24 we can gain insight and understanding of how to move from receiving our requests GRANTED to the actual physically possession of the thing God has GRANTED. Therefore, to position yourself to PHYSICALLY POSSESS your GRANTED request you must first believe God GRANTED the thing your requested/asked for (Mark 11:24). Jesus did not state to believe you physically possess it first. No, he stated that we must FIRST believe God GRANTED our request/prayer. This is step one. You see, the prayer of petition releases your request and makes it available for you to now physically possess it. The physical possession part will take care of itself if you first believe God GRANTED your request. You CANNOT physically possess something that hasn’t yet been released for you to possess. Therefore, we approach God our Father according to His Word with His promise...and He promises us that if we do so He will hear us and if He hears us He will GRANT us the petitions/requests we approach with (1 Jn 5:14-15). Therefore, find in the Word of God what God has promised you concerning the thing you desire. Approach Him according to His Word, with His Word, and He promises to hear you and because He hears you He promises to GRANT that request. With that request now being GRANTED and available for physically possession stay in a state of thanksgiving and praise. Why? Because you believe God has GRANTED and RELEASED the answer/provision to your request. Give corresponding action (as directed by the Holy Spirit) to what you believe God has GRANTED when you requested. Let God navigate and orchestrate the manifestation...meaning, let God do His part to bring it pass. Your part is to believe He heard you when you asked and that He GRANTED what you asked the moment you asked for it. Based on that belief you stay in state of thanksgiving because you trust God to provide with whatever means or avenue He deems necessary to bring it to pass...it will come to pass and you will physically possess it...no matter the time span between “Amen” and there it is. Once manifestation takes place know that that was just the physical revealing of what you believed God had already GRANTED you the moment you requested it in prayer.
-This teaching was inspired by the teaching of Pastor Mark Purl and taken in part from his notes and teaching on prayer.
11/20/14 -By Kenneth Copeland
St. Nicholas should be an inspiration to us all. He was a godly man whose reputation for giving to people caused him to be a revered example of what compassion and giving are all about. He was not a jolly fat man who climbed down chimneys, and he didn't have flying reindeer.
Stories of his life-a life full of Christian beliefs and values-are the real background for today's mythical Santa Claus. So much of what Nicholas was-and what Santa Claus has become-has been distorted by Satan. What has been done to weaken and contort the testimony of this godly man is really pathetic.
The real story of Christmas is the story of Jesus-God's precious gift to us. Our Heavenly Father is the real Gift-Giver. Nicholas grew up knowing the real Gift-Giver.
Nicholas and his parents lived in Turkey in the third century and were Christians. Nicholas' parents had prayed and asked God for a child, much as Abraham and Sarah had done. From the time Nicholas was born in about A.D. 280, they considered him a gift from God. Diligently, they taught their young son devotion to God and to be very generous to the poor. Although they both died when Nicholas was in his teens, their heritage of living for God and giving followed Nicholas.
Ordained as a young teenager, Nicholas entered the priesthood at age 19. His uncle, the bishop who ordained him, prophesied that Nicholas would offer guidance and consolation to many people, that he would eventually become a bishop, and that he would live a life of enlightenment. Eventually he did become the bishop of a small, coastal village, and his influence spread into many nations.
Many accounts have been written about the life of Nicholas. It was said that he would spend all night studying God's Word to bring it to the people. He was known for helping the poor, for praying, fasting and standing steadfast in faith and goodness. Many miracles were brought about through his prayers. Included among the accounts of his ministry is the report of twin brothers who were raised from the dead. It was written that one could hardly keep count of the virtue and goodness he spread around him.
One particular story of Nicholas' goodness is the reason many pictures show him with three golden spheres. These represent three bags of gold that he gave to a poor man so his three daughters could be married. The man was so poor his daughters had no dowries, and he was so desperate he was planning to sell them into what we would call white slavery.
To keep that from happening, Nicholas threw a bag of gold pieces through the man's window in the night so no one would know who had done it. He wanted God to get the credit for it. Because of this, the eldest daughter had a dowry. She was no longer an outcast and could be married.
Not long after that, Nicholas did the same thing for the second daughter, saving her from a similar fate. When he did it for the third daughter, the father caught him. Nicholas made the father swear on an oath that he would never reveal who was responsible for those gifts as long as Nicholas was alive.
When Nicholas died on December 6, A.D. 343, he is said to have quoted Psalm 11 with his last breath: "In the Lord I put my trust."
In the Greek language, the name Nicholas means "victorious" or "hero of the people," and he did indeed become a very popular figure in the centuries that followed his death. Stories of Nicholas spread throughout Greece and into Russia. He became the popular patron saint of Russians, who called him "Nikolai, the wonderworker."
In 1087, the remains of St. Nicholas' grave were transported from Turkey to Bari, Italy, where a basilica was built in his honor. Soon after, his popularity spread throughout Italy and across western Europe. December 6, the day of his death, became St. Nicholas Day on the Roman Catholic calendar, and the custom of gift-giving on December 6 began in France and spread across all of Europe.
You can see similarities between the better characteristics of the Santa Claus character, who gives gifts at night-not to be seen by anyone, and St. Nicholas' gold-piece throwing. But how did the story of such a man of God get turned into a story of an elf workshop at the North Pole?
With the Protestant Reformation of the 1500s, the worshipping of the saints was denounced, and St. Nicholas Day was no longer observed in England.
In Holland and Belgium, the traditional day of December 6 was still celebrated. There, Sinter Klaas rode through the streets on a white horse, rewarding good children with treats and toys and giving rods or switches to bad children. In Germany, the saint was referred to as "Nicholas dressed in fur" and also left sweets for good children and rods for the bad ones.
Christopher Columbus brought the first celebration of St. Nicholas Day to the New World when he landed in the West Indies on December 6, 1492, and named the harbor Port of St. Nicholas, in honor of the patron saint of sailors.
All of these traditions blended with immigration to the New World. As the English and Dutch came and intermarried, Father Christmas and Sinter Klaas blended into one figure. Dutch Americans eventually adopted December 25 as their day of celebration, and by the end of the Civil War, St. Nicholas the bishop was generally known in the United States as Santa Claus.
The poem " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" further shaped the American Santa. Another popular poem, originally titled "A Visit from St. Nicholas," was penned by New York professor Clement Moore in the 1800s and created a word picture portraying a round-bellied Santa with a huge pack on his back. Picking up on this image, cartoonist Thomas Nast added a North Pole toy workshop in his cartoons for Harper's Weekly magazine. In 1925, a large corporation ran an advertising campaign of Santa Claus further defining him as a large man with a red and white fur suit, black boots and a long, flowing beard-the closest depiction of our present-day Santa.
The American Santa Claus, like America itself, came from a melting pot of Old World cultures and characters. He is the Dutch Sinter Klaas and the Lutheran Kris Kringle who bring gifts to children. His red garment is lined with fur like the German version of Nicholas, and he spreads merriment and cheer like Father Christmas. And a team of reindeer, borrowed from a Russian legend, accompanies Santa Claus on his journey through the night.
The tragic part in all this is how the devil has contorted the man and the ministry of St. Nicholas-the man who had such fullness of God that even the dead were raised! He was popular because of his reputation of honor, his godly ways and his giving nature. But it's just like the devil to twist the ministry of such a powerful man until it is hidden in the tales of a little fat-bellied, pipe-smoking pie eater.
The story of the true St. Nicholas is a beautiful picture of the giving that Christmas is really about-instead of the fretting and getting that the American Santa now represents. St. Nicholas represents the giving heart of our Heavenly Father, Who doesn't give switches and rods but Who always gives only good gifts.
The greatest gift of all is the gift of Jesus Christ to us from God the Father. Jesus is our hope, redemption and victory. He is our advocate with the Father, our blood-covenant Friend Who will never leave nor forsake us. In Him, we have the joy of living a heavenly life on earth.
He is the meaning of Christmas. "Christ mass" means "anointing celebration." It's the celebration of "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power..." It's the celebration of how the anointed Jesus "...went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil..." (Acts 10:38). It's the story of our triumphant Savior-Jesus, the Christ-the King of kings and Lord of lords!
Now, that's a Merry Christmas!
What is the rod of correction? We definately believe in the discipline and correction or our children...and we are not shy about correcting in love as we train a child in the way they should go so they will never depart from the truth...but why do we have to correct and discipline?
Proverbs 22:15 states, "Foolishness is bound up the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him." First, note that "child" in this passage refers to natural children as well as spiritual children (those that are no longer babes in the Lord yet they have not come to full spiritual maturity in the Christ).
In regards to the reference of "foolishness" Isaiah 32:6 states, "For the foolish person will speak foolishness, and his heart will work iniquity: To practice ungodliness, To utter error against the Lord." So foolishess, which is bound in the heart of a child (natural age children and spiritual children - those born again yet still growing into spiritual maturity), has to be driven out of their heart because that person's heart will speak foolishness (things that don't line up with the Word of God and His way of doing things) and their heart will want to work iniquity, practice ungodliness and speak and proclaim things that are in error against the Lord.
We now know who needs the rod of correction and why they need it...so now let's look at the ROD OF CORRECTION we are to use to drive that foolishness out of their hearts. Psalm 110:2 shows us that Jesus is the rod and we know that Jesus is the Word of God made flesh...so the rod of correction is the Word of the Living God. It is the Word of God that God has given us as the first tool to drive out foolishness from the heart of natural and spiritual children. 2 Timothy 3:16 states, "All scripture (Word of God) is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof (rebuke), for CORRECTION, for instruction in righteousness (right standing with God)."
Therefore, as a parent of natural children or spiritual parent of spiritual children, implement natural forms of discipline and correction but ALWAYS use the ROD OF CORRECTION (God's living Word) in correcting children regarding foolishness, iniquity, ungodliness and error. The ROD, the WORD OF GOD, will drive it from their heart and will train them in the way they should go so when they come to spiritual maturity they will not depart from it as they serve the Lord.
Imagine the angels, whom have seen God create every living creature, speaking out to God and asking, "What is man that You are mindful of him and concern Yourself with his well-being unlike any of the other creatures You have ever created? For we have seen you create all living things, yet this man of Yours receives special attention. He has a special place in Your heart, for you have placed him in a position a little lower than Your own and yet above all other creatures you have created, and You are mindful of his every need. What is this creature to You our Lord?" ANSWER: "These are My sons and My daughters! They were created in My image and My likeness and that is why I have set them over the works of My hands to have dominion to rule and reign on My behalf. So serve them as ministers as they speak and proclaim my Words in the earth. For there is none like them!"
"What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than Yourself, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet," - Psalm 8:4
Do you know the difference between fruit and source? As a practical example let's look at an apple tree. Someone who owns an apple orchard can harvest the apples and sell them to customers and support their family with the financial increase. They can pick the apples, shine them up, set them out to sell and rejoice over the apple and how it is providing for their family...but in reality the source is not the apple...the source is the tree that produced the apple. The apple is the fruit of the source and unless someone tends to the tree and takes care of it, making sure it is healthy and supplied for, then the fruit may cease. So in practical terms for us, God is our source. Our jobs and other financial opportunities are the fruit from our source. It may be what God uses to supply for us, but our source is always God. So don't rejoice over the fruit, but rather rejoice of always having a loving source who is your Father. For God is your Source of total supply just as the tree is the source of the fruit. If you cultivate your relationship with God - look to Him and trust Him - the supply of your needs and the answer to your prayer will come because God as Source controls the harvest.
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c/o Pastor Troy Sowders
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