Citizens of Heaven

– Phil. 3:20 – But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ

If you are born in the United States then you are a citizen of the United States. If you are born of God, then you are a citizen of heaven.

– Luke 10:19 – Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.

– Acts 22:2-3,22-29 – When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet. Then Paul said: “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this cityThe crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live!” As they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air, the commander ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. He directed that he be flogged and interrogated in order to find out why the people were shouting at him like this. As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?” When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. “What are you going to do?” he asked. “This man is a Roman citizen.” The commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” “Yes, I am,” he answered. Then the commander said, “I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship.” “But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied. Those who were about to interrogate him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains.

Things to notice:

  1. Paul was a dual citizen, just like we are dual citizens. We are born on earth, but our citizenship is in heaven.
  2. The Jews wanted to kill Paul and the Romans were going to carry it out for them. Whether we choose to admit it or not, there is a spiritual realm, and demons are there to carry out what we want. We pray and God sends angels to help. But if we curse then Satan sends demons to harm. Life and death are in the power of the tongue.
  3. Paul knew where his citizenship was. He knew his rights and he quoted the law, and his rights, to the authority sent to flog him. If a demon is sent to harm you, you can do the same. God has given us authority. We can quote the law (scripture) to the demonic authority, and they will not be able to flog or imprison us.
  4. The commander of the centurion questioned Paul to see if he knew the law. Satan would be that commander. He questioned Adam & Eve, and Jesus during the desert temptation. He will question all of us. Satan knows the word and will quote it to us, but we have to reply with wisdom and remind him of the rest of the law. Paul had another truth for every truth the commander used to try to trip him up.
  5. The commander said he had to pay for his citizenship. Satan has had to earn and work for his citizenship in heaven, and he still hasn’t been able to get it, but all who are born of God, are children of God and citizens of heaven by birth.
  6. The commander could not harm Paul once he saw that Paul knew the truth about his situation. When we can see the truth, and refuse to be tricked by Satan, then Satan has to relinquish authority. Paul said, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?” Likewise we need to tell the demonic realm, “Is it legal for you to torment a citizen of heaven, who has been found innocent in the blood of Christ?” The answer is no. Once you have repented and asked God’s forgiveness, you have the right to be free. If you aren’t experiencing freedom, then you need to remind the enemy of your authority as a citizen of heaven.

– Luke 10:17-20 – “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Satan falls like lightning every time you plead the blood of Jesus.

Satan falls like lightning every time you plead the blood of Jesus.

You have the authority to cause make Satan fall like lighting. Job says he’s before God trying to accuse us, but our Judge knows we are innocent as Christ our attorney gives evidence of his blood shed for our sins.


Worship: Enemy’s Camp

I went to the enemies camp and I took back what he stole from me. He’s under my feet. Satan is under my feet. Look what the Lord has done. He’s healed my body, He’s touched my mind; He saved me just in time. Praise Him!

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Judging Satan

If Satan reminds you of your past, remind him of his future:

You will judge Satan and determine his fate. You will have the honor of dashing him to pieces.

– Rev. 2:26-28 – To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’ —just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give that one the morning star.

– Is. 14:12-16 – How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit. Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate:

You will get to ponder his fate and determine what should be done to him. He has a brief moment of trickery, but we have an eternal reign with Christ.

– Rev. 3:21 – To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.

Champion Seed

Natural birth shows us a lot about God. A woman has 400,000 potential eggs. You, my dear, are a champion seed! You have been a victor since birth! You got this!

– Eph. 1:4-6 (MSG) – Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

– 1 Tim. 2:4 – God our Savior, desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth

FreewillHeaven was prepare for every person. Hell was never meant to be a place for people. God predestined all people to have an inheritance in Heaven, but God gave us freewill to make our own choice. Will the prodigal return home to his rich inheritance or debase, and starve, himself among pigs? Every person is free to choose, but no one is free from the consequences of their choices.

Thank God that we aren’t robots, and that there’s no controlling/manipulation in His love. Thank goodness that He’s already told us the consequence of every choice possible in His Word; and thank goodness that the consequence of choosing Him is eternal bliss in the kingdom that was prepared for us since the beginning.

– Matt. 25:31-46 – “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food…  “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels… And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Will you choose to be the champion seed of God? You have the potential to be! Come forth!

“No one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit (John 3:3-8).” “God is Spirit (John 4:24).” “The Spirit gives life (John6:63).” “As many as receive Him, are born of God (John1:12-13).”

– Titus 3:5 – He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus

– Eze. 36:25-28 – I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.

– 1 John 5:4 – For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

You have the right to be a child of God. Will you accept your Father? He has not forsaken you. “God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you (Deut.31:6)”

– Luke 10:20 – “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”

– Rev. 3:5 – ‘He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

Whether you have accepted God or not, your name is already recorded as a child of God. Take your rightful place. Not reject the most loving dad in the universe.


Worship: Best Dad In The Whole World, Rick Pino
Prayer: Help us see you as the loving Father that you are, Daddy.

Unknowingly Prophets

– Ps. 74:9 – We are given no signs from God; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be.

– Acts 2:29-31 – I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. “And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to Him with an oath to seat one of His Descendants on His throne, he looked ahead and SPOKE of the resurrection of the Christ

Some of the same people who don’t believe prophecy is for today, don’t even realize they, themselves, are prophets. David said there are no prophets left, but he himself was a prophet. He sang, and he spoke the Word of God, and thus he prophesied. His revelation of the written word revealed what the coming of Jesus would be like. We now tell of what the second coming of Jesus will be like.

Prophecy


How can someone prophecy if they don't even believe in Prophesy?

How can someone be prophesying if they don’t even believe in prophecy?


1. Anyone who speaks the Word, is speaking a prophesy.

– Gen. 1:3 – Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

– Prov. 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue

– Rom. 4:17 – the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.

God spoke and things were created. We were made in His likeness. Our words, when mixed with faith, cause either life or death to the listener. If I call you ugly and you have the faith to believe that you are ugly, then your soul just died a bit.

Not only do our words have power, but God’s Word has power. The Bible is a giant prophecy about Jesus, so simply speaking the Word is speaking a prophecy.

– Matt. 17:20- if you have FAITH like a grain of mustard seed, you will SAY to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.’

– Eze. 36:1 – Son of man, PROPHESY to the mountains of Israel and say, ‘Mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord.

Prophecy is speaking the Word of God in faith.
– If you have faith, you can move the mountains
say to this mountain
prophesy to the mountains

Do you have faith in God’s word? Do you pray? If yes to both, then you have prophesied.


2. Anyone who prays is prophesying.

God’s promises are prophecies for your life. Prophesy is a word that scares some people, but simply it means: God’s spoken promises. From now on let use the words promise and prophecy interchangeably.

Prayer is an act of faith that God will fulfill His promises. Prayer speaks life into situations, which is prophesy.

Promise: a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen

Prophecy: the foretelling or prediction of what is to come

When we say, ‘You have my word,’ it means ‘you have my promise’.
Well, God’s Word is His promise. The whole meaning of a ‘promise’ is that we wait for something we don’t yet have. Thus, it’s God’s ‘promises’, or ‘prophecies’, that show us what our future looks like. Abraham had no proof, no facts, that he could have children; all the evidence said he couldn’t. But when Abraham chose to believe God’s promise, the promise activated. The promises/prophecies God gives us, have to be activated by faith. The promise is carried out by faith. ‘Abraham believed and so became (Rom.4:18).’

‘You are what you eat’ rings true… You are what you believe.

Stand on His promises/prophecies for your life. Continue to remind Him of His promises when you pray.

– 2 Cor.1:20 – For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”


Faith is 3. Anyone who has faith in the Word, is agreeing with a prophesy.

– Heb. 11:1 – faith is the assurance of things hoped for

– Rom. 1:16-17 – the gospel, for it is the power of God… God is revealed from faith

The Word is the promise of God. It’s by our faith that God is revealed. Our faith causes things that are not, to come into existence. Faith is foretelling, and thusly prophecy.

– Rom. 4:16-24 – Therefore, the promise comes by faithGod who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were notAgainst all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of Godbut was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.


4. Anyone who testifies about Jesus, talks of fulfilled prophesy.

– Rev. 19:10 (NET) – Worship God, for the testimony about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy

We can testify of: 1)the fulfilled prophecies about Jesus, and 2)the fulfillment of God’s promises in our lives.

If we have seen God fulfill a promise, then we have seen a prophesy fulfilled.


ClipNotes:
1. Anyone who speaks the Word, is speaking a prophesy.

Prophecy is speaking the Word of God in faith

2. Anyone who prays is prophesying.

Prophecy is a fancy term for ‘God’s promises’. God’s promises are prophecies for your life – it His promises/prophecies that show us what our future looks like. Prayer is the act of coming into agreement with those.

3. Anyone who has faith in the Word, is agreeing with a prophesy.

Faith activates the promises of God. ‘Our faith causes things that are not, to come into existence.’  Faith is foretelling, and thusly prophecy. 

4. Anyone who testifies about Jesus, talks of fulfilled prophesy.

If we have seen God fulfill a promise, then we have seen a prophesy fulfilled. 


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The Kingdom of God – 7 Mountains

The Seven Mind Molders of Culture
The Seven Mountains

– Rev. 17:9,14 – This calls for a mind with understanding: The seven heads of the beast represent the seven hills where the woman rules… They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.

The Kingdom of God - The 7 Mountains

1)Arts/Entertainment, 2)Government, 3)Media/News, 4)Education, 5)Religion, 6)Business, 7)Family

These 7 mountains make up the kingdom of God, but unfortunately the church has not claimed the kingdom yet. God is ruler of everything in heaven, and its our job to help lift Him up as king on earth. We need to disperse from our fortress on the religion mountain, and go take the others.


Peter casts the nets

As a whole, the church isn’t affecting cultural transformation like Jesus did. Why?

Jesus called us to make disciples of nations, but instead we are trying to make disciples of individuals. Our influence is severely limited through this method. If we, instead, went into the systems of the nations, we could win souls more abundantly. Jesus said, ‘follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’ Jesus didn’t teach Peter to fish with a rod, but with a net. Peter brought in fish by the boat load. As long as we continue our current method, with a rod with a one fish capacity, we will not be able to claim the Kingdom that Christ gave to us.

So, how do we operate in the full extent of the Kingdom? How do we make disciples of nations?


– 1 Sam. 9:16 – Anoint him ruler over my people Israel; he will deliver them from the hand of the Philistines

– 1 Sam. 10:1,5 – Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the Lord anointed you ruler over his inheritance?… Afterward you will come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is

Saul was told to go to the mountain of God to save God’s people from the Philistines on the mountain. Why were Philistines on God’s mountain? That’s what we should be asking ourselves. Christ came to preach the coming of The Kingdom; He made us kings, told us to go out and proclaim the kingdom, but we aren’t! There are Philistine giants on the mountain of God. They are ruling the mountain of Arts, Family, Religion, Government, Education, Media, & Business. These mountains are rightfully ours for the taking, but we have to go into ALL the world and claim these realms. Where the church used to go into territories, we now need to go into systems. At the moment we are stuck in the system of religion, and allowing Philistines to rule all the others…

You are a Royal Priesthood

You are the royal priesthood. We go before God’s presence for the world. We invite them in to see His face.

– Matt. 10:7 – And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

– Rev. 5:10 – And you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth

– 1 Peter 2:9 – you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation

We are God’s children and He gives us His authority to reign on the earth. We are royals, with His power, to go forth and claim the mountains of His kingdom. He gave us dominion. He gave us the gifts, abilities, wisdom of His Spirit (who is God Himself) to do so.

– Zech. 14:9 – And the Lord will be king over all the earth

– 1 Cor. 10:26 – The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it

– Rev. 4:10 – They lay their crowns before the throne and say:You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

The Earth is the Lords, and everything in it

Everything here belongs to our God, and He has made us kings. We are to take these 7 mountains and occupy them, giving God our crowns, our power, and allowing Him to lead what is rightfully His. We can only do this by allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us. As long as we reject the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we have no power to take the kingdom. A King puts forth the power to claim His own kingdom. The Spirit of God lives in every believer, but we have to yield to the power of it to see God move on the earth.

– Luke 19:12-13 (MSG&KJV) – There was once a man descended from a royal housewent to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then returnBut first he called ten servants together, gave them each a sum of money, and instructed them, ‘Occupy until I return.’

Jesus went to heaven to receive the kingdom. He left us in charge and told us to occupy the mountains until His return.


Christians haven’t left the ‘Religion’ mountain to go into all the world, and so Christians haven’t affected the world. Homosexuality, however, has successfully transcended in America because it took all 7 mountains. They put the right characters on tv, and in the arts to entertain us. Government leaders have now tailored their speeches around the topic to gain votes. They saturated the other mountains so heavily, that even some Christians, on the religion mountain, are succumbing to the gay agenda. Same sex advocates have discipled a nation in the same 20 years that Christians were seeking revival. They succeeded because they didn’t aim only at the church. We haven’t succeeded, but even Islam has discipled 7+ nations in the past 50 years. Muslims and Buddhist are modeling nations based on religion. America thankfully has separation of church and state, but we still need to do our part to help our nation. The church will never see revival unless they leave the church…

David plays harp as tending sheep

Many of us are not called to stay in the mountain of religion. Yes, believe in Christ and don’t ‘leave’ your church, but go into all the world! Jesus gave you gifts and talents to use to bring glory to Him. Your gifts are meant for all people, not just the church. It’s the sick that need a doctor, right?

Let’s look at David. He believed in God, but we also saw him in the:
– business mountain – managing sheep
– arts mountain – playing the harp for a king
– business mountain – as he took on Goliath
– media mountain – as his fame spread, and people glorified his expertise
– government mountain – as he became king
– arts mountain – using the arts to advance on the mountain of education

David was successful, because he understood the kingdom of God. He climbed the religion mountain, but he didn’t camp out there; he took God to the other mountains. If we want to be successful, we should learn from him. We need to figure out our purpose, and which mountain God has called us to. We need to climb to the top of that mountain and proclaim him. We can trust Him to get us to the top.


Marketing to the target audience (the unbeliever):
1.
 Nations instead of souls (souls come with nations)
2. Now instead of eternity
3. Natural (secular) instead of the spiritual
4. Teaching (covertly) instead of preaching (overtly)

This is the gospel of the kingdom as opposed to the gospel of only salvation. If you want to penetrate world systems, don’t advertise prematurely what your agenda is, because you have enough challenges without waving a red flag that makes people twice as upset with you about where you’re going. You need to establish preeminence in your field and then you can unveil your theology.

Well, ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel’! Yes, but it is also written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’ — the things God has prepared for those who love him (1Cor.2:9).’ 

Esther

1. God had a plan first. He prepared. No one saw, heard, or had the idea of it. He later revealed these things to those who fell in love with Him.

2. ‘Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you. (Matt.7:6)’ No wise person reveals the depth of themselves to their enemies. If the enemy attacks your victories, they will definitely mock your failures. We are meant to reveal ourselves to those who we are in relationships with. It’s good to have friends in all walks of life. We don’t have to talk, strictly, only to Christians. Jesus talked to sinners, and to those that accepted Him, He shared with them who He was and taught them His ways.

3. Esther didn’t reveal herself too soon. She was not ashamed, but she had a goal. She did not reveal her goal to her enemy. She revealed the thing at the moment that it would help the most people, and she revealed to the one who loved her (her husband, King Xerxes).

4. Duck Dynasty, the tv show, said they weren’t going to get religious on the show until they had a big following. They understand this principle. Love is most important–Love is God. After someone loves you, they begin to respect you. It is inside of respectful relationships that we start to unveil who we are.

5. Daniel didn’t ask Nebuchadnezzar to be circumcised or worship the jewish God. Daniel simply followed God, and Nebuchadnezzar followed suite. Neb pushed his nation to learn about this God, after Daniels God had proven himself true. Neb said, ‘There is no other god who can rescue like this! (Dan.3:29)’ 

6. Joseph was at the top of the family mountain, but he fell. His experience on the mountain of religion, and education, brought him up in the business & government mountains. Joseph helped Pharaoh first, then Pharaoh wanted to know more about his family. Because Joseph had spread out over all the mountains, when the family mountain fell, he was able to concentrate his efforts on the other mountains with God given success. Likewise, we don’t invest in just one thing, but many things, in case one fails. God never fails, but sometimes the church(religion) does.

Power In The Holy Spirit

Joseph was a prime example that: When you have established your credibility, people will start coming to you for wisdom. We don’t have to put a giant christian label on everything. We need to be strategic about how we can get to the unbeliever. A dog can be a loving creature, but once its stuck in a barbed wire fence it will be fierocous. You cannot approach a wounded animal head on or it will attack. The better option is to come up from behind it and gently break it free from the death trap. Our goal is to bring life, but they don’t yet trust us, so we need to be strategic about this interaction.

Joseph was doing dream interpretation, for scenario planning in an economic forecast, for a government. He wasn’t in the church interpreting peoples dreams. Get out of the church and go into all the world to use your gifts, which are given to you so you can walk in your God ordained destiny.


Covert: not openly acknowledged or displayed
Overt: done or shown openly; plainly or readily apparent, not secret or hidden

Many successful Bible people were on a covert operation. We need people in the music and arts who don’t slap a christian label on everything. We need them to use the arts to teach biblical principles covertly; and show people who God is once they start digging in to see who the musician/artist truly are. We reveal more about ourselves as people grow into a more intimate position.

– Mal. 3:10 – “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

We should be brainstorming together as a community of believers. We should be funding covert operations, for the unbeliever, with tithes. To get the increase, we have to invest in those who are not already in the church.


For more on the 7 mountains, listen to Dr. Lance Wallnau’s powerful teaching

Here are some covert musicians:
Firework, by Katy Perry (turned down by the Christian music industry)
Re-Bel, by Head (former lead singer of Korn turned Christian)
Bring Me To Life, by Evanescence 

Remember who you are

Prayer: Lord, some have taken the mountains and fallen away. Don’t let them give up on you; bring Katy Perry back. Cause people who already sit on the mountain to see your power and turn to you; raise up more people like Head. Raise up Daniels, Josephs, and Esthers in government to take the kingdom. Raise up people willing to take the truth into news and media. Raise up journalist to seek out truth and fight to make it public. Give them the money needed to take truth to the nations. Cause the sinners wealth to pass to the godly. Release the gifts of the Spirit and bring words of wisdom (1Cor.12), words of knowledge, and strategic business plans to them. Give us wisdom beyond ourselves through the Spirit, the very mind of God. The same mind that created the universe lives inside of us. Activate new solutions, ideas, creativity, entertainment that brings you glory and shows all the world who you are. Position creatives in the movie industry to reach specific groups. Raise up people with a strategy to infiltrate the porn industry, bars, and gangs. Help Alabama come up with solutions to take down anger, immorality, and murder. Thank you for local farmer markets and grocery stores returning to natural, unadulterated foods. Cause more companies like TOMS to find creative solutions to help those in need. Make these companies the head and not the tail. Convert these mega companies who exploit. Cause justice and righteousness to rise. Cause people to get sick of the condition of their relationships and turn back to you and your ways. Set the family mountain in order again. Open the eyes of Christians to help us see the true you and tear down anything in the church that opposes you. Cause the body to rise up and take its rightful place again.

Simba takes his rightful place as king

7 Quotes from the Cross

Jesus went through His worst day, to help you through yours. When we go through junk, it makes us masters and gives us wisdom for those going through the same struggles. In one day Jesus was emotionally distraught to the point of sweating blood, was physically beaten, strung up naked for public humiliation, rejected by all his friend, suffered the most agonizing death, and yet he still perfectly taught us how to get through a bad day. He said 7 things on the cross, and all of them are significant for us today:

  1. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke23:34)
  2. “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” ( Luke23:39-43)
  3. “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” (John19:25-27)
  4. “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” (Matt.27)
  5.  “I’m thirsty.” (John19:29)
  6. “It is finished.” (John19:30)
  7.  “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke23:44-46)

Fix your Eyes on Jesus– Heb. 12:2 (MSG) – keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.


1. On your worst day, forgive people
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke23:34)

– Eph. 6:12 – we struggle not against flesh and blood but evil forces in the spirit realm.

If you need someone to be mad at, get mad at the devil.

Leave It, or be a Slave to ItForgiveness is not:
1) Minimizing the seriousness of the offense
2) Instant restoration of trust
3) Resuming the relationship without changes

We need to forgive because:
1) Our own emotions can’t be healed from the pain until we let go of it
2) Everyone has done something wrong
3) If we can’t forgive, we can’t be forgiven by God or man
4) Jesus forgave us
5) The people who hurt us were victims too


2. On your worst day, help someone else
“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” ( Luke23:39-43)

Criminal on Cross– Luke 23:39-43 – One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Jesus was dying on the cross, and He didn’t fear piling on more rejection from people, or harm from the soldiers – He still spoke the truth. He talked to the two criminals hanging next to Him. It was a 50/50 shoot. He took the chance and He saved one! One criminal accepted Jesus as his savior. The other, more or less, said, ‘Get yourself off the cross and I’ll believe what you have to say; why should I trust you if you are in the same position I’m in?’ It didn’t faze Jesus.

Help othersWe feel like we don’t have the right to try to help others when we are going through the same struggle that they are. Jesus shows us otherwise. On your worst day, and in the middle of your worst situation, you can still speak Life to someone else. ‪It probably comforted Jesus to have a friend hanging there next to Him, going through the same pain He felt; especially after all his so-called friends had rejected Him that day. It’s easy to say ‘I can’t take anymore’, but what if helping someone else is God’s way of lifting our pain? Taking our mind off our own problems can ease our anxiety. Seeing someone else go through the same struggle can give us a different perspective that can help us. There are countless ways that God uses helping others, to help ourselves.

– 2 Cor. 1:3-4 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

– Col. 3:12 – Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.


3. On your worst day, take care of those who are important to you
“Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” (John19:25-27)

Jesus helps Mary from the cross– John 19:25-27 – Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

Joseph, Mary’s husband, was dead and Jesus, her son, was dying. Jesus’ situation was really bad, but He still did what it took to take care of those He loved; even if it meant getting a friend to help Him do it.

The people closest to you, usually get the brunt of your bad day, but Jesus took care of the people closest to Him. What a great example!


4. On your worst day, you’ll feel like God has forsaken you
“My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” (Matt.27)

Job forsakenSometimes we try to make God tell us why, before we do what He assigned to us.

– Job 3:23 (MSG) – What’s the point of life when it doesn’t make sense, when God blocks all the roads to meaning?

Realize that there are going to be some questions that you don’t get an answer for. We live by faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God. God says His plans for us are good, so we have to take His word for it sometimes. When you get to heaven, and get the answer, you will say, ‘Oooo, ok. I couldn’t see that, but I’m glad that happened the way it did.’ God’s plan for everyone is good. Job basically said, ‘God, make this mess in my life go away, or at least tell me why my life is so messed up.’ There are 35 chapters of that, before God responds from a scary storm:

– Job 38:2 – Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?

– Job 38:1-5 – Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!

– Job 38:18-21 – Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this. “What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside? Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings? Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!

– Job 40:2 – Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?

God creates UniverseBasically, we assume that if God gave us an answer that we would be able to comprehend it. Gods understanding far exceeds our own. Sometimes the answer is too complex for us. We can only understand it once we get to heaven and see how it played out with our new, more capable, mind.

God got a little sarcastic with Job. God who has lived infinite years, said ‘Surely you know, since you have lived so many years!’ The point is, we don’t have to understand everything. We can just trust Him. Paul & Silas did:

– Acts 16:22-23 – The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison

Was it God’s will for them to be flogged and imprisoned? No. It happened because God gave people freewill, and the ability to make their own choices. Freewill is a gift, but unfortunately it is one that is highly abused. God chose not to control us, or make us slaves, and I thank Him for it, because I’ve had enough control and manipulation in my life to be sick of it. Anyway, they were flogged and most of us would be wondering why God would allow that to happen. Yes freewill, but yes, He could also save them. God could’ve rescued them. God rescued several other people from things like this. Nonetheless, they weren’t offended that God didn’t rescue them. In fact:

– Acts 16:25-26 – About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.

Paul & Silas in PrisonGod delivered them. He came through. Not on their timing, but with perfect timing. They went on the mission to spread the gospel. The free people didn’t receive the message, but God knew who would. The people in the prison had been mistreated the same way Paul and Silas had. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. Paul and Silas had freedom, and that freedom got on everyone. God allowed Paul to go through the flogging so he could save all the prisoners. Since that was Paul’s intentions of going to the city anyway, I don’t think he would’ve had a problem with being flogged, once he knew how many people it saved. But Paul didn’t have to know God’s plan in advance. He knew God and trusted that His plan was good.

Remember:
1. God is always with you; even in the depths of hell (Ps.139:7-8 )
2. God is never late (Hab. 2:3)
3. God knows best (Heb.11:39-40)
4. God cares (James5:11)


5. On your worst day, you have needs
“I’m thirsty.”
(John19:29)

Jesus drinks Be human enough to acknowledge your need. We feel like we can’t have feelings or emotions. We like to act like we have it all together, but God Himself acknowledged His need. We need people in the church to start being real with each other.

We all have hidden weaknesses, a desire for approval, and past hurts that need healing. We need support, growth, protection, and unconditional love. This is what the church should look like.


6. On your worst day, you need to know that it doesn’t last forever
“It is finished.” (John19:30)

HopeBe confident that there is a purpose, and an end, to every suffering. No struggle is pointless. No suffering is unending. This life is temporary, but the glory to come is eternal and every tear will be wiped away.

– Ps. 126:5-6 – those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.

– Rom. 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

He works everything out for our good.

– 2 Tim. 1:12 – That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.

1. I know that God loves me
2. I know that God wants the best for me
3. I know that God has a plan for me
4. I know that God will bring me through

– Lam. 3:21-22 – Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

– 2 Tim. 4:18 – The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


7. On your worst day, you can give it to God
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke23:44-46)

quoteJesus felt abandoned by His father, but He still knew that He needed to trust Him. Surrender your day to God, and let it go. I’m going to turn this loose and let you have it, God. I want to hold onto this, but take it over.

– 1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

– Phil. 4:6-7 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Worry is a control issue. Are you going to be in control or is God going to be in control? The root word means to choke or strangle. It means a divided mind. Worry is unreasonable, unnatural, unhelpful, and unnecessary.

– Matt. 6:27 – Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

RestWorry doesn’t make life better, it shortens life. Ever heard the phrase: ‘I’m worried sick.’ Worry is bad for us. Remember God promises us 7,000 times, in the Bible, that He will take care of us.

– Matt. 6:32 (MSG) – People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

– Matt. 6:33 – But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

1. Get to know God
2. Put God first in every area of your life
3. Live one day at a time


For more on this topic: How to Live Through A Bad Day – Highlands Sermon Series
Worship: Where you Go, I Go, by Jesus Culture


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Metaphors of the Church

Jesus gives us several metaphors to help us understand what the church should be like. The ‘church’ is not a religious building, or a specific denomination. The church is every person who accepts Jesus as their savior. Here are five metaphors to help us understand His plan for the church:


God is the master architect

God is the master architect

1. The Church is like a Building
This means: We need support.

If you are in the ‘church’, you are a part of the building, and helping build the building. If you are a pillar, then you need someone who is concrete to support you; you need someone as a roof, for you to hold up. We need people to support us, and people who we can support. A building is not made of only one kind of material. We need each other; we cannot do it by ourselves.

– Eph. 2:19-22 – Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

– 1 Cor. 3:9-10,16 – You are God’s building. Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation (Jesus) like an expert builder. Now others are building on it… Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?


We are the body of Christ

We are the body of Christ

2. The Church is like a Body
This means: We need to grow.

When a body is healthy, it grows and develops. It needs many parts to be able to function. If you plucked out the eye, it couldn’t do its job. It still holds the potential to do it’s job, but it is worthless unless it is attached to the body. Parts must be connected to use their potential, help, and grow. Your potential cannot be realized by you. You need others to bring out your full potential. When we are separated from the body, we die.

– Rom. 12:4-6 – For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.

– Eph. 4:16 – From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

– Eph. 4:11-12 – So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

– Phil. 1:6 – For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.


Christ is the shepherd of the flock

Christ is the shepherd of the flock

3. The Church is like a Flock
This means: We need protection.

The church is meant to protect you and for you to protect those in it. You are not meant to be alone. You can be around a lot of people, but if you aren’t being truthful, and transparent, you will feel utterly alone. You are meant to be able to share your life with others and let them speak into you. You need others to teach you, help you spot enemies, and help you trample the enemies. The enemies plan is to find those who are separated from the flock, and those who are weak. You cannot stay safe on your own.

– Acts 20:28-29 – Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.

-Acts 17:26-27 – he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.

– 1 Peter 5:2 – Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care

– Jer. 3:15 – I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.

– Luke 12:31-33 – But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. “Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven


We are the family of God

We are the family of God

4. The Church is like a Family
This means: We need to be loved unconditionally

God loves us unconditionally. We are saved by His grace, not by works. Have you had a family member you didn’t get along with? We might not get along, but we aren’t supposed to kick each other out of the family. We need to be able to see others through our Fathers heart. The more we understand God’s heart, the more we will be able to show His love to others. We are adopted by God, into His family, and joined together by the blood of Jesus. A lot of times, your church family sticks closer to you than your physical family. These people know the struggle and have wisdom from God to share with you. We need more spiritual sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers. Mentors rise up!

– Eph. 2:19 – you are no longer foreigners and strangersbut fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household

– Prov. 18:24 – … there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

– Eph. 1:5 – he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will

– Rom. 8:14,29 – For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God… For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

– Gal. 3:26 – So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith

– 1 John 4:20-21 – If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.


We are the bride of Christ

We are the bride of Christ

5. The Church is like a Bride
This means: We need to be One with Christ.

We need to leave everything to be joined to Christ, our husband. We need to get rid of every hinderance, and lay down every weight. We can be honest to our husband, because He loves us unconditionally. He takes His vow seriously, and He does not believe in divorce. In Jewish culture they would actually slaughter a bull and the couple getting married would walk between the parts and say, ‘may I be like this bull if I do not keep my vow.’ Christ walked through the parts for us (Gen.15:9-18). We are in a covenant relationship with Him and He will never leave us or forsake us (Deut.31:6).

– Gen. 2:24 –  a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

– Eph. 5:31-32 – “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mysterybut I am talking about Christ and the church.

– 1 Cor. 6:17 – But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

– Rom. 8:9 – You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ

– Ruth 1:15-16 – Then she said, “Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.

– Matt. 19:29 – And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.


Worship: Brother, by NeedToBreathe

Brother let me be your shelter
I’ll never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re feelin’ low
Brother let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home

Prayer: Lord, join your body together, so we can be the holy temple of God. Make your bride spotless, and show your people how to live unified in love. Keep our eyes set on your return, for you left for Spirit as a wedding pledge to us. Let us keep showing off this great gift of your Spirit, as one would a wedding ring. Let us stay about your work awaiting your return to take us to the home you have prepared for us in your Father’s kingdom. May your people (family) be our people; teach us to love them. May we build up the your people (building) with words of encouragement. May we protect your people (flock) and share the truth about our sufferings, trials, and victories. Help us grow, develop, and reach our full potential. Bring a new level of unity and love to us in Jesus name, Amen.


For more on this topic you can listen to Pastor Chris Hodges:
Be Transparent – How to Live Through A Bad Day – Highlands Series

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