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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Riches in Humility

We should all be humble toward each other (1Pet.5:5). A synonym for humble is: respectful. Humble yourself that God MAY exalt you (1Pet.5:6). God CAN exalt you, but he needs our permission by our willingness to show humility. Satan goes through the earth looking for someone he MAY devour (1Pet.5:8). Satan can only devour you if you are acting in pride. Willingness to listen, and respect, is the 1st step to humility.

‪#‎Highlands‬‪ #‎AnotherGreatSermon‬ #ListenOnline #LinkBelow

1 Peter 5:5-8 – Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 6Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.


Now, to expound on this wonderful Highlands message, might I add some more depth:

Without humility there is little blessing. Those who are humble receive grace – and the word grace is shown to be tied to the word gift throughout the Bible. He gives so many gifts that we couldn’t list them all, but let’s look at a few that come with humility:

– Rom. 12:6 – We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith

– Eccl. 5:19 – Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil–this is a gift of God.

– Eccl. 3:13 – That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil–this is the gift of God.

God gives gifts to the humble! These people were humble and thanked God for what they had. God exalted them. The following are people God humbled, because they had pride about what they possessed and thought it was by their own power they were wealthy.

– Eccl. 6:2 – God gives some people wealth, possessions and honor, so that they lack nothing their hearts desire, but God does not grant them the ability to enjoy them, and strangers enjoy them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.

– Deut. 8:18 – Remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

– 1 Sam. 2:7 – The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.

You may be in a place of poverty, but if you are relying on God He will see you through!

– James 1:17 – Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Here are some more gifts that God gives us by His grace when we are humble:

– Eph. 4:7-13 – But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.”… 11So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until 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.

But the main gift Christ gave was the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit, himself, gives us gifts as well. It’s actually through the Holy Spirit’s gifts that we are able to step into the power (authority) of the gifts that Christ gave.

– Acts 1:4 – On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about….

– Acts 1:1-5 – Jesus… gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised… you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

– 1 Cor. 12:27-31 – Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues… 31Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.

– 1 Cor. 14:1,3-5 – Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy…  the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort… the one who prophesies edifies the church.I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy.

– Acts 2:1-4 – When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them

– Acts 2:17-18 (Joel 2:28) – this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17“ ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.

– Heb. 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

God gave us prophets in the old testament, during Jesus time (the new testament), and today! And God is never-changing. Since Jesus and God are never-changing, and they are only 2 beings in the trinity of God, then we have to understand that the Holy Spirit does not change either. If the Holy Spirit offers gifts to people in the past, he offers them to us now. The Holy Spirit is seen giving (the 1 Cor. 12) gifts in the old testament, the new testament, and now.

– James 1:17 – Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Old Testament Example of Spiritual Gifts:

– Dan. 4:9,18 – I said, “Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no mystery is too difficult for you… 18“This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now, Belteshazzar, tell me what it means, for none of the wise men in my kingdom can interpret it for me. But you can, because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.”

The king refused to tell Daniel what his dream was, yet he still asked for an interpretation. The Holy Spirit gifted Daniel with 1)word of knowledge (seeing the same dream), 2) prophesy (the interpretation), 3)word of wisdom for the king.

We’ll expound on the other gifts of the Spirit later.

– Gal. 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;

Evidence of the Holy Spirit:
FRUIT: of the spirit (Gal. 5)
GIFTS: of the spirit (1 Cor. 12)
– POWER: when the holy spirit comes upon you to give proof of God (Acts 1:8)
– LOVE: for all the world (1 Cor. 13). God defines his version of love for us in the love chapter, which (no coincidence) is right smack in the middle of the use of the gifts (12) & abuse/proper use of the gifts (14).

The Fruit & Gifts are given to us to emPower us to Love. Love is the most important command. You need all of these to be able to fully show love to people.

It’s no surprise that the church is being humbled right now. The church hasn’t been acting in love (respect) toward others. Christians have been acting pridefully toward unbelievers, especial gays. It’s godly to stand up for what God asks us to, but if we are not doing so inside the boundaries of God’s love, then the Bible says our actions are worthless (1 Cor. 13:3). God does not see varying degrees of sin. Sin is sin; and God is not a respecter of persons. You are not better than anyone else. Period. We are equally created whether we are currently following God or not. The correct way to show someone they are sinning is out of love; which means, to those in your sphere of influence, you can share God’s word when an opportunity is presented, in a way that maintains respect for that person (without cutting down, bickering, fighting, dishonoring, etc). This is a prime example of why we need the gifts of the Spirit. How can we understand or get the power needed to be able to handle situations appropriately? The Spirit searched the mind of God (1 Cor. 2:10) and teaches us what to say (Ex. 4:12).

– 1 John 4:8 – He who has no love has no knowledge of God, because God is love.

– John 4:24 – God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.

– 1 Cor. 14:15 – For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays… I will sing with my spirit… when you are praising God in the Spirit

– 1 Cor. 14:18 – I thank God that I speak in tongues

– 2 Cor. 1:22 – God has also sealed us and given us the Holy Spirit as a down payment in our hearts that guarantees everything he has promised us.

– Rev 7:3 – Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

– Eph.4:22-24 – You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

–  Acts 1:8 – But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.

Rev. 3:14-22 – To the Church in Laodicea 14“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. 21To 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. 22Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

– Gen. 3:11, 21 – And he said, “Who told you that you were naked?“… 21The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

– Luke 24:49 – I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

– Acts 2:38-39 – And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

– Acts 1:2-5 – until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostleshe gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

– 1 Cor. 12:7 – But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit with.

Manifestation:
1. an event, action, or object that clearly shows or embodies something, especially a theory or an abstract idea.
2. the action or fact of showing an abstract idea.

The testimony (manifestation) of the Spirit (through the gifts) embodies Christ. It is the evidence of the living God.

Synonyms: sign, display, demonstration, show, exhibition, presentation, example, testimony, evidence, proof

1 John 5:10 – Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.

– John 14:12 – Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these

– Rom. 8:11 – the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

We died with Christ. We are born in the Holy Spirit. So, we are supposed to be living through the Holy Spirits gifts in this new life He gave us, not through our own strength which is what we put to death.

Jesus set the example. Jesus was baptized, which is the symbolic act of repentance and dying to our own wills, desires, and flesh. It was at that moment that Jesus was clothed with the Holy Spirit and began operating with the gifts of the Spirit. The same Spirit that dwelled in Him, dwells in us with the same gifts, because the Spirit is God – who never changes.

– Luke 18:18-22 – A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’” 21“All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. 22When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.

Lay down your life today. Humble yourself, hear Gods words, eagerly search him out, eagerly desire His gifts, and ask Him to give these wonderful gifts to you. He will no withhold any good thing from you. He asks us to seek His kingdom first, and to align ourselves with His good and perfect will, and then we will be blessed and he will give us everything our hearts desire (wealth, possessions, clothing, food, honor, glory, community, connection, purpose, etc). Stay humble to get and keep your gifts.

– Rom. 12:3-8 – For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

God made every person with a purpose; and every purpose is needed. It doesn’t matter if your purpose looks big or small; we should always act with humility, encouraging each other, and never cutting down or belittling anyones purpose. The gifts help you find your purpose, see others purpose, and walk in that purpose. This is how you change the world.


We are called to have faith about everything in God’s word; but while you are asking God for the gifts, and seeking out a greater understanding of them, you can always go see them first hand. Here is a location in Montgomery, AL that gives personal prophecies every 1st Friday of the month at 7pm. Due to the July 4th holiday, the next meeting will be July 10th:

Saints In Action
3412 Old Selma Rd, Montgomery, AL 36108
(334) 834-7760

There will be a short time of worship, short preaching, then they will put you in groups of people and 2-3 people will prophesy over you. They will record the words and email them to you. They ask $5 for this management.

If you are around Panama City, Florida, you could go to Christian International. I think they have prophetic services weekly?

Christian International
177 Apostle’s Way, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
(850) 231-2600

Example of personal prophecy:

– 1 Sam. 9:3 – Now the donkeys belonging to Saul’s father Kish were lost, and Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the servants with you and go and look for the donkeys.”…  6But the servant replied, “Look, in this town there is a man of God; he is highly respected, and everything he says comes true. Let’s go there now. Perhaps he will tell us what way to take.”… 9(Formerly in Israel, if someone went to inquire of God, they would say, “Come, let us go to the seer,” because the prophet of today used to be called a seer.)… 17When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the Lord said to him, “This is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern my people.” 18Saul approached Samuel in the gateway and asked, “Would you please tell me where the seer’s house is?” 19“I am the seer,” Samuel replied. “Go up ahead of me to the high place, for today you are to eat with me, and in the morning I will send you on your way and will tell you all that is in your heart. 20As for the donkeys you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and your whole family line?” 21Saul answered, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?”

1 Cor. 14:3 – the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.

Samuel called Saul up to his true purpose. You should expect the same.

For those worried about false prophets, you should remember that 1)anyone who lines themselves up with God is under His authority, 2)if a word is not strengthening, encouraging, or comforting, then its not from God and can be ignored, 3)everything should be done out of love, so if its not done that way then its not from God, 4)if it doesn’t line up with what God has already outlined in His Word, then its not from God. God tells us to test every word to see if it lines up with the Bible. With these biblical principles you will have no problems discerning the true from the false.


Here’s are some links to great Highlands sermons about the Holy Spirit and Humility:

Highlands Sermon Series – The Holy Spirit
Highlands Sermon – Humility & Respect

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Four phases of the Christian walk

All of us know about Jesus, at the Passover meal, taking the cup and saying, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins”. All of us know about salvation, but did you know there’s more than salvation? There isn’t just one cup at the Passover meal, there are four! And if you’ve ever felt like the cup of salvation wasn’t enough to make you fill like you were living a life of abundant and fulfilling life, then let me challenge you to read this and step into the other cups of promise. This post is based on notes from a book, so read it in parts if you need to; its well worth it


The Four cups of Passover and the four original promises of God

Passover is the celebration of God’s deliverance from Egypt. God gave the Israelites four promises before he brought them out from under the yoke of slavery. These four promises are still celebrated at Passover in the four cups. Let’s look at His promises:

“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God.” – Ex. 6:6-7

In this verse you see the four promises to his people:
1. I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians
2. I will free you from being slaves to them
3. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment
4.  I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God

Every physical act in the bible also is a spiritual act for us to use. These promises are still the promises God has for all of us today! The four stages of the Christian walk are the same as they were for the Israelites, and they look like this:

  1. Freedom
    Gods promise to rescue you from the bondage of sin and death (Salvation)
  2. Deliverance
    Gods promise to deliver you from whatever holds you back
  3. Purpose
    Gods promise to help you discover his original intention for your life (Restoration)
  4. Fulfillment
    Gods promise to make you part of a family that is making a difference in the world

“God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” – Num. 23:19

“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” – Phil. 3:12-14

“I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” – Phil 1:6

Salvation is all that is necessary for eternal life with God, but there is so much more; a life of fulfillment and abundance on earth! Here are some quotes from Chris Hodges book, “Four Cups”, and some personal notes on the topic:

Don’t settle for less than God’s best for you. Don’t stifle that voice in your heart that tells you there has to be more.

It took 40 yrs. of trailblazing in the desert, and then a faith-based fight, before the Israelites were able to claim the Promised Land. And along the way they grumbled and stumbled and second-guessed God most of the time.

But even with their doubts, fears, and uncertainties, they couldn’t dismiss God’s promises. His words got them dreaming again – a dangerous luxury for slaves. They began to foresee their future-a future filled with freedom and joy and the promise of a better life. Like most of us, they needed to see the hope in the journey – sort of like a vacation brochure – before they could take the first step.

You’re going to have to face your dream killers. Here are three big ones:

1. Unfulfilled expectations – “Hope deferred makes the heart-sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life” – Prov. 13:12. And wasn’t it His original hope in Genesis that we would eat from the tree of life rather than the one of death? Dream! Abraham was promised a son, but when he felt like he was running out of time from old age, his own attempt to move things along backfired. God holds the plan. Get closer to him and let him reveal & fulfill it. “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” – Ps. 139:16.

Why keep putting it off by carrying it on your own? Let God take you into your purpose. If you aren’t letting God do it, you might be missing the point. Get closer to him and wait on his perfect timing. Remember, God is eternal; Satan is not. So who do you think makes us worry about timing? 

2. Unrelenting doubt – Doubt typically takes hold in our minds when we allow the enemy of our souls to question what God has promised us. Don’t let your temporary circumstances deter your lifelong purpose.

Study about God’s faithfulness to combat his strategies. Surround yourself with people with a testimony.

3. Unchangeable circumstances – The dream killer makes us want to give up. It’s a faulty mentality that believes we’ve reached a point from which our lives can never change. We serve a God who can raise the dead. Abraham was about to sacrifice his only son, the son of Gods promise about which he said: ‘Isaac, is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.’ Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again – Heb.11:17-19

God not only rescued his people from bondage in Egypt (Salvation), he also freed them from a slavery mind-set. This is the second promise. We have to learn how to live free. God gave the Israelites many laws to teach them how to be free, covering areas like personal hygiene, finances, parenting, and choosing a spouse. Not because God is a strict taskmaster, but because his people didn’t know how to live in true freedom. The new testament laws are no different. Its God’s manual on healthy living. People who have been slaves – subjected to abuse, mistreatment, and confinement – often don’t know how to function as they were originally intended. When we find ourselves captive to our own selfish and sinful behavior, we lose sight of our purpose. God promises to redeem us. He promised that we would be part of his family, even though we were slaves to sin; he promises that we belong and are loved by, Him, the father. 

“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” – 2 Cor. 1:20

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will” – Rom. 12:2

This is one of my favorite verses, and a topic I love to discuss. The Process of Renewal is one of my previous blog posts on this subject.

Perhaps you find yourself in some type of bondage right now. It could be an addiction or a secret habit that you cling to. It could be an unhealthy relationship or an obsession with appearing successful in the eyes of others. An addiction is anything we do that we don’t want to do but we can’t stop doing. It is any ingrained pattern that pulls us to false idols to escape our pain. Break the idol; God is not far from you. He wants to quench your thirst for more and show you the power of the real and living God.

For me it was an addiction, to fill every second of my day, to avoid loneliness. An unrealistic expectation that made me tired and put burdens on my friends and boyfriends. Something I suffered with, circling around in the desert, for over 10 years, before I recently gave it to God and said please take my burden and show me your presence in a real way that quenches the loneliness. Loneliness was my idol. I held on tight, worshiped it and couldn’t let it go. I set it above God saying, ‘I think you have more power than God.’ God is so good though! He brought me to a place that I could recognize this idol and gave me the faith to trust Him to break it and its false power. What used to be depression, even suicidal thoughts as far as taking preventive actions, is now an overwhelming desire to be alone so that I can delve into more of Him. I’m walking in victory, in Jericho, but I know there are still other areas that I hide and hold from Him; other battles to fight and other false gods in my life. But as long as we follow Jesus, He is going to lead us into greater freedom on earth and do all the fighting for us. – Jehle

So many people, including Christians, believe that God requires us to make changes before we can approach him. But that’s not true. We don’t get our lives together in order to get to God. We go to God to get our lives together!

And just like Christ didn’t just take a beating for us, but gave everything; his life. We can’t just give Him part of us. We have to give Him everything; our lives. We can’t say, I have salvation, now I’m through with you. We need him to be our daily bread; our daily manna/miracle/present help in the midst of our deserts leading us to the promise of a fulfilling life.

Once God becomes Lord of your life, he begins working in your heart to give you both the desire and the power to change; Not before. A lot of change will happen after you’ve been set free, but you don’t change in order to become free. Salvation is a gift.

It’s like being lost in the woods and you come across a hiker who knows the way out. You are faced with the choice of trusting them to guide you out, or to trust yourself to find it on your own.

Every day we have the same choice. Are we going to keep following or are we going to get tired of the hills and turn back to the unrelenting woods and loneliness.

When the Israelites left Egypt, they still had part of Egypt left in them. They still had a slave mentality and still acted like slaves. They had a wrong view of themselves, a distrustful view of God, and a skeptical view of the future. And at some points they thought surely it would be better to be a slave in Egypt than to continue forward to a land that we can live in freedom.

It’s common knowledge that good things come from someones sweat, blood, and tears. Jesus took on all the sweat, blood, and tears for you, so that you could have a fulfilling life; but if you want to do all the work yourself, and not give up your idols (loneliness in my case) and go through all the pain by yourself, he’ll let you. He is polite. He wants to help us, but he won’t force his hand.

Left unchecked, your addictions will keep you on a treadmill of frustration and mediocrity, never growing into your God-given potential. Its easier to cling to anger and bitterness, but there is no freedom in that. It turns our stomachs and makes us sick. We find freedom in forgiveness, and the other instructions of God. “if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” – John 1:9. Any effort to break bad habits without a change of heart is a short-term fix at best.

We can only change through God. We can only know God through Jesus; and Jesus is the word of God (John 1:1,14). Simply put, we can only change by filling ourselves with more of the bible! “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit” – Heb. 4:12. The bible causes change in those who live by it. When we are faced with something we don’t understand or feel like we are doing wrong. Do a bible study on that.

God reminded me of this example; reminded me of previous attempts to get rid of loneliness through fasting people for a time.

When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.” – Matt. 12:43-45

That’s how it was with me. I used the fasting to clean and tidy my spirit house, but I didn’t fill that space up with a new tenant. I should have filled it to the brim with Jesus, so that when the spirit tried to come back, he couldn’t. Instead, I left it tidy and unoccupied, so when I fell right back into my old ways, the problem was SO much worse. Because it showed me that my effort was useless on my own. I should’ve been looking into God’s word for the answer to my problem. Looking for his promises and his presence and asking him to take it himself. Learning is important if there is a lack of knowledge. But for those who already have the knowledge…

Bible study and discipleship isn’t all about learning more stuff – its about discovering and developing the reason why we were created and living it out.

Church isn’t another form of entertainment, it’s a call to action.

The goal is not to just learn, but to apply.

Faith without works is dead; it is stagnant, and unchanging, and there is no power in the lives on those who possess it.

Once you are saved, and you’ve let God heal the pains and scares of yesterday, you are restored to your original function. You can then walk in your purpose and destiny. 

In Matthew 25, three servants were given talents (what a convenient term for money!). One got 5, the next got 2, and the last got only 1 (A little spoiler here, the last is first in the kingdom of God!). The three servants all had the same opportunity to use their talents wisely and profitably on behalf of their master (just like God gives us talents and abilities and an opportunity to use those for his glory). The two servants, with more talents, invested them and gained even more talents, but the servant with the one talent hid it because he saw the master as a hard, unreasonable, and overbearing judge rather than a kind father.

If you live by fear, you will bury your talent. Instead, you must bury your fear and invest your talent. Once your fears, pain, and limitations are confessed and healed, its time to explore your personality, gifts, passions, and dreams. From the four basic Greek temperaments to the Myers-Briggs personality types, there are many different ways to explore the way you were designed by God.

I have a previous blog post called Finding your Purpose and Giftings, which has a test to find where your gifting are.

“A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other” – 1 Cor. 12:4-7

Our different personality traits, temperaments, and gifts are not to be measured or compared with one another, as if some have more worth or value than others. There is no room for inferiority or envy in the body of Christ; we are all “fearfully and wonderfully made”.

Each with a purpose and a destiny, so that one cannot be better than the other.

God took the Israelites out of slavery and into greatness. The jews have won more than 20% of the Nobel Prizes awarded, even though the jews comprise less than 2/10 of 1 % of the world population.

80% of Christians have never discovered their calling. Can you imagine what your body would feel like if 80% was dead or inactive?

Let’s all pray that God revive his body of believers, for we are meant to be the body of Christ. How can others see Christ but through us? Can you imagine if Christ had been on earth and not showed us who God was?

I personally think that part of this death in the body of Christ is due to the church rejecting the Holy Spirit. Christ is the head of the body, and the spirit is how we hear Him. We can’t be a part of the body of Christ without the baptism of the spirit of God. That’s what John meant when he said, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” This is what Christ meant when he said,Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.” And further, “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body”. We CAN NOT be part of the body of Christ without the Holy Spirit. Thankfully, we received the holy spirit when we accepted Christ, but then everyday our churches tell us to ignore the spirit. Someone, somewhere didn’t like the gift of talking in tongues, and everyone abandoned the spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is SO much more than gifts. I’ll be writing another blog soon about him. We need to know him, because he is the one who guides us into all truth. God’s spirit living and breathing inside of us, without whom we have no breath of life.

(the topic ‘born of water’ will be another blog post conversation. It’s already in the works)

The final cup of the Passover meal is called the hallel, meaning to rave, celebrate, or boast. With this cup they celebrate the fact that God formed them into a new nation after their deliverance from Egypt. God intends for us to literally live our dreams – the dreams he placed in us, so we can experience contentment, joy, and wholeness. God’s ultimate plan for you is to be full and filled – fulfilled.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:10

He didn’t give you a dream so that you could constantly feel frustrated and defeated; rely on God as your power source. 

Lasting happiness, doesn’t typically come from writing a bestseller or climbing a mountain, but from helping others and making a difference in the lives of other people; Not out of obligation, but from the joy of helping meet someones needs. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory based on 5 levels of human need; not just surviving, but also to give our lives meaning.

One youth pastor decided to show young men and women a global worldview; to show them how God wanted to use them in his grand design for great things. Amazingly, he realized that the trivial issues that plague most teens fell away once they were focused on a purpose. Very few got caught up in drugs, partying, and even the dating scene. 

If we truly hone in and focus on God, everything else fades away. Sort of like the last scene in the recent movie Lucy, when she realizes her purpose, she loses sight of everything else.

“You are the light of the world. … You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses… to the ends of the earth” – Matt. 5:14, Act 1:8

We’ve made ministry a profession, and we like to sit on the sidelines and watch. 

I personally think that Satan has exalted so many different forms of entertainment in our generation, so that we start to view church as entertainment as well. Our pastors might as well be our tv, because once he’s done, we click the button and turn it off. We have made entertainment our idol; America screams entertainment above God.

Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” – Eph. 4:11-12

Every Christian is called by God to change the world.

“God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful.” – 1 Cor. 12:4-7

Unfortunately, some people go around thinking, ‘It’s too late I’ve already messed up my life. The mess is too big and complicated to unravel.’ Don’t believe it!

Time, after time, after time again, in the bible, God uses the weakness of his people to show his glory and his strength! Both your strengths and your weaknesses are gifts!

I like to think of it like this:
1. God gives us strengths so that we can help his body, the church.
2. God uses our weaknesses to show his power to the world!

Ultimate fulfillment is about ministering to others from our own unique stories. Our struggles and battles and our testimony of victory! Fulfillment never comes alone, but with a group of people. The body of Christ rejoices with us and its a huge party celebrating God’s goodness. It’s easy to see why Satan goes to great lengths to destroy our relationships. He is trying to stop our potential to make a difference. Contribution, Community, Celebration


If you want to know more about this topic. Get the book “Four Cups” by Chris Hodges. Every page is wonderful and its last chapters are great for those in leadership; it shows how to take these topics to another level in outreach and church growth.


Summary:

1. Accept Christ as your savior. Continue to walk with Christ further than just salvation. Get connected to other believers. Most people do this by joining a church. (Conveniently, Church of the Highlands gave me this book for free when I joined their church. They base their church on these principles, so that they continue to help you grow in your walk with Christ.)
2. Delve into studying the topics you struggle with. Get involved in a bible study group, to share with and encourage each other. Work out your issues by asking God to take control of them. Let the Holy Spirit be your counselor through the healing process. Find a mentor in your church to help if you want.
3. Explore your gifts. Get involved with, or in, different areas of your church until you find your niche. Study what the Bible says about that niche. Find a mentor in that niche to help challenge you to grow into it, if you want.
4. Once you know your gifting. Walk in it with others! And repeat steps 1-4 as needed for cleansing, healing, and more talents!

Finding your Purpose & Giftings

The gifts of the spirit don’t have to be scary. They aren’t all speaking in tongues… Encouragement and teaching are gifts too. There are lots of giftings! Find out what giftings you have by taking this quick test. It’ll help you see your purpose and where God might be leading you in ministry. Once you know what your giftings are, go use them! Click the link below to download the test as a fillable form:

Giftings Fillable pdf Form


If you are scared to download it, here’s a preview:

Giftings & Purpose Test - Page 1

Giftings & Purpose Test - Page 2


My highest ranking gifts were: Mercy (15), Craftsmanship (14), Discernment & Knowledge (12). I joined an outreach team to work in the community using my gifts of mercy and craftsmanship. I know for a fact that I have a musical gifting, but at the moment it hasn’t been developed. In a few years, my strongest giftings may have changed. Why would God give us only one gift in our lives? He loves giving! God tells us to ask for the gifts and to excel at the gifts that build up the church.


If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” – 1 Cor. 13:2-3

“Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.” – 1 Cor. 12:31

“Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.” – 1 Cor. 14:12