February Honey From the Rock 2013

Deuteronomy 32:13                                                                February 2013

He made him draw honey from the rock, and oil from the flinty rock;

Psalms 81:16

 He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat;  and with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.”

Dear friends and family,

What is resurrection?  That word causes images and thoughts to arise in each of our minds that probably if I asked you we’d find they are all similar, but different.  Scripturally, resurrection is a realm beyond the touch of death.  Satan can do nothing to a resurrected life.  When you have died to yourself there is nothing in you that can be provoked by the evil one.  A dead man doesn’t get offended, he doesn’t get wounded, he doesn’t have resentment, fear, bitterness, or any such thing.  Oh the joy of being so dead to self that nothing of this life can ever touch you again!  In order to get to that place of resurrection we need to follow the same path that Jesus did.  The first “stop” on his journey to the resurrected life was Gethsemane.  This is where our will is laid down and we embrace and accept his will no matter what the cost.  It’s where we get a revelation of what lies on the other side of the cross and for the joy set before us endure whatever comes.  Here there is a struggle as the enemy of our souls tempts us to hold onto our own will or our own life whispering in our ear, “You can’t trust God, you don’t want to go THAT way look at what it will cost you, it’s not fair, why do I have to go through this while others seem to have the same problems or worse but you’re not requiring this of them?”

John 21:15-22

So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.   He saith to him again the second time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.   Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry [thee] whither thou wouldest not.  This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.  Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?   Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what [shall] this man [do]?   Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what [is that] to thee? follow thou me. 

Are we any different than they were?  Our hope and faith should be encouraged to see what great men of God both Peter and John became.  If we find ourselves stunted at this stage of our growth and still dealing with self, offenses, and unfairness rejoice there’s life ahead greater men than you stumbled in this place.  Keep going and press on toward the goal of a complete resurrection.  As we lay down our will through the suffering of our flesh we will be tested as Jesus was.  Understand this, each time a trial of faith comes our way it’s not us who are being proven, but the Lord.  When we see our faith being tested or proven it’s actually JESUS who’s being tested.  It’s God’s faithfulness and not you that’s being tested.  Whatever trial descends on you it’s to test or show you what Christ can do for you if you will let Him.  He wants too!  Peter said this is the faith that’s more precious than gold in 1 Peter 1:7; and James said in James 1:2-4 rejoice when these trials come count it a joy because it gives you a chance to grow in substance for eternity.  Christ has already been proven.  He will stand!  He is that Rock, that sure and firm foundation under you.  Let him prove himself to you in this.  Faith is not asking for what God has already promised; faith is believing in those promises enough to stake your life on Jesus.  Jesus’ testing came in the form of the betrayal of a friend, the denial of another, the abandonment of many, the mistrust and misjudgment of loved ones and friends, and the suffering of his flesh as he bore the burden of all mankind.  Ours will be no different.  We will face betrayals, denials, abandonment, misjudgment, criticism, mocking, and the suffering of our flesh as we die to self to let Him live in us through it all.  We’ll walk that hill to Calvary in his footsteps forgiving as we go, bearing the burden of the sin of others against us and the pain that it brings.  we’ll bear it without complaint, grumbling, resentment, self-pity or regret.  We’ll bear it for the King with joy.

This brings us to our Calvary, the second “stop” on the road to resurrection.  Now that our will is fully submitted we endure that which kills in us all that’s contrary to Him.  He did it for us and now we do it for Him.  This is the place of discipline and death to the old man.  It is the place where we release the pain and suffering back to him and then comes healing.  Once we’ve come through this release of ourselves and all our pain and suffering, we can experience the empty tomb.  We’re dead, but we live!

Galatians 2:20

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Things that came from Adam, or our old man, cannot live after going through death.  Only the life of the Lord is able to pass through death and come out alive again! 

The third step is the resurrected life.  In every area where we’ve walked that road from Gethsemane to the empty tomb we have, in that area, forever closed the door to Satan’s ability to kill, steal and destroy because we have entered that realm beyond the touch of death. We have now entered into newness of life in Christ Jesus and that which was once theological, doctrinal, and mere knowledge have now become experience, life within.  Now we have fruit to pass on to others and faith for each new obstacle that tries to deter our race for the prize.  Now we  can focus all our energies on forgetting the past, looking forward to what lies ahead, and pressing on toward the goal to receive the prize for which God through Jesus Christ is calling us up heavenward.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Philippians 3:13-14

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

A life that bears the marks of death and yet is alive is a resurrected life!  Things that come from ourselves are unable to rise again once they have gone through the cross for they are lost in death!  Death has been swallowed up in victory!  Jesus walked the path before us and he’s shown us the way.  He’s won the victory FOR us – we have just to apprehend it and walk in it.  He’s defeated ALL the power of the enemy over a resurrected life and given that victory to us.  Victory is a gift not a reward.  A gift is freely given however, what you earn through work is a reward!  Only when we can finally realize the emptiness of our working to please God and get victory; only when we realize the utter futility of those mindsets, the impossibility of our humanness overcoming supernatural power, the impossibility of corruption putting on incorruption of its own willpower, and just lay down in submission can we be in a place that is ready to accept the victory He’s won.  Under the Law God required man to work for Him.  Under Grace God works for man.  If we work for God we’re under the Law of Sin and Death and it will reign in your life; but if we let Him work for us we rest in His victory. 

 True victory is an expressed life which is a life that expresses Christ in me; not a suppressed life which is me trying to suppress myself to conquer my sin.  My labor is to enter into that resurrection rest by learning to fully yield and submit to Him in all things. 

1 Corinthians 15:51-58

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory? The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law. But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

We serve an awesome Savior who has not only provided our Salvation but first walked the entire path before us as an example and as one who can now sympathize in all things with all the hurtful things we experience in this life.  He is the perfect comforter, encourager, chastiser, and friend because He’s been there worse than you ever could be.  If you will truly be yoked with Him in this life then His bearing of your burdens will make your yoke easy and your burden light. 

 May you come under his yoke and know the joy of His love and companionship as you walk this life from Gethsemane to Calvary to the Empty Tomb of the Resurrected Life! 

In His Love

Solid Rock Ministries                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 

January 2013 Honey From The Rock

January Honey From The Rock

January 2013!  Wow it’s hard to believe we are already in 2013.  I can remember all the worries about Y2K!  Everyone thought everything would fail and we’d need to stock up on food and water.  That was 13 years ago!  Time is going so fast now I can hardly keep up.  Technology changes every day.  What was new technology last week is obsolete tomorrow.  Even we get older by the day and life changes for us constantly; our families, our circumstances, the values around us, the country, the political climate, economy, our way of life, and even our physical bodies are constantly changing.  There is only one thing that remains the same – the truth of God.  The older it gets the newer it appears.  The Word of God is the only thing in this world that we can rely on.  It’s the only thing that never changes or gets old.  His word is as true and as relevant today as it was 6,000 years ago.  It’s new to us EVERY MORNING as His mercies reveal His truths anew and afresh to each of us personally.  Each day only proves its validity more.  With every change in this earthly realm we can see more clearly the validity and value of the Word of God.  It’s our compass in a sea of confusion and fog, it’s our rock in an unstable environment, it’s our shelter in the storm, it’s our peace when all around is turmoil, and it’s our vision when the path ahead is indiscernible to the earthbound eye.  Our faith is firmly and forever rooted in the Word and the God of the Word.  Is it any wonder that James tells us the trying of our faith is more precious than gold or silver?  John assures us that our faith is the ONLY thing that will overcome this world!

1 John 5:4-5

4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? NKJV

Each time we go through struggles and trials relying on the Word and the God of the Word we become stronger, joy comes, peace comes, and our love for Him grows.  The Word is no longer just letters on the written page, something that sounds nice that we can “hope” proves true, but it comes alive in our hearts and lives as we learn to walk on it and trust it with our very lives; in effect it becomes flesh and dwells within our very being.

1 Peter 1:23-25

23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,   24 because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.  The grass withers, And its flower falls away, 25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you. NKJV

 As we begin this new year of 2013 we will face many trials, but in that we will also have many victories and reasons to rejoice in Him.  We want to be victorious people, and the Word tells us that we are, but that implies struggle because you can’t have a victory without a trial or a struggle!  This year in America we will all be facing, among other things, financial struggles, but instead of looking at that as a bad thing we can see it as an opportunity to prove him as our provider.  We can grow in our faith in Jehovah Jireh the Lord that sees ahead and provides for us.  He, after all IS our true source and provision – be it health, finances, or well-being.  We will see clearly what our values are and what is truly precious to us, what we hold loosely with an open hand and what we are clinging to.  We will face struggles in our own walks with the Lord as we are transformed from the earthly to the heavenly.  Death (to self) doesn’t occur without struggle and difficulty, but if we look to Him for our “hope and change” and not the government or our circumstances or even the church, we will allow each challenge to be an open door to victory instead of a brick wall of hopelessness, defeat, frustration and fear. 

1 Peter 4:1-3

 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. NKJV

We will face struggles of darkness and evil in this country in the days ahead, but if we see that as something that is necessary to our dying to sin so that we can live out the will of God and allow the light to shine brighter to awaken people from their spiritual slumber we will not become fearful.  The light of the church has grown dim and it needs to shine brightly once again.  How bright is the light of a candle at midday?  How bright is that same candle at midnight?

Philippians 2:14-16

14 Do all things without complaining and disputing,  15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life….NKJV

If we look at 2013 with spiritual eyes and not natural ones we will have great hope and great joy in the days ahead.  I don’t know what the future holds for any of us any more than you do, but I do know (as the song goes) who holds my future and so I can rest and not become caught up in the anxiety and fear that the rest of the world will soon be reeling from.  By his grace I will not be caught up in resentment, bitterness, and anger at what is changing around me though I may be sad to see it happen; but I will remain on stable ground because His word tells me that a thousand may fall at my right hand and 10,000 on my left but it will not come near me, only with my eyes will I look and see the destruction of the wicked (Psalm 91).  If I’m going to see it with my eyes then I am going to be there.  I am going to be affected by what I see.  It will be all around me, but I will not be hurt or destroyed by it.  He is my shelter in every storm and my strong tower of safety in every conflict.  Yes, 2013 may be a year of great struggle and conflict, great change, and great trial and testing, but it will also be a year that will teach me how to rely totally on Him for everything in my life and that IS the victory over this world and over death!  That is a lesson that no amount of money can buy.  That is a priceless treasure – to be able to come to a place in my life where nothing in this world can hurt me or cause me to fear or be anxious because I am resting totally in Him and I am dead to this world and all it has to offer me… good or bad! 

Galatians 6:14-15

4 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. NKJV

 1 John 2:16-17

16 For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. NKJV

I pray for each of us that 2013 will find us dead to ourselves and alive in Him.  May this be the year the church becomes that victorious church without spot or wrinkle.  May we truly become the people of God who not only reflect his light and his character, but whose lives are so alive with him that we provoke the world to jealousy and desire for the one who loves us.  May we be called as the early church was – “those who turned the world upside-down!”  May those who mock and ridicule the name of the Lord in this day become those who fear him tomorrow!  May His life and His truth come alive in His people so much so that we no longer preach a word, but we are a living word; that we no longer follow a doctrine, but ARE a living doctrine – teaching… with our very lives – written epistles read of men.  This is a year that will hold great challenges – defeats, and frustrations or great joys and victories what category you wind up in will be according to the choices you make and the mindsets you hold.  No matter what you do you will not escape the challenges ahead, but you can chose to be victorious and joy filled in and through them by entrusting yourself to HIM and changing your mindset from earthy to heavenly.  May we all be found IN HIM the world behind us, the cross before us, and our lives surrendered to the one who surrendered himself for us….SHINE!! 

May this truly be a Happy New Year for the church of the living God! 

Solid Rock Ministries

DECEMBER HONEY FROM THE ROCK

Deuteronomy 32:13                                                                                December 2012

He made him draw honey from the rock, and oil from the flinty rock;

Psalms 81:16

 He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat;  and with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.”

Dear friends and family,

It is with great joy that I wish you and your families a blessed and love-filled Christmas season with Christ as the center.  This month I want to bring to remembrance the reason that Christ came.

John 3:16-17

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send his son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.

From the time that Adam sinned in the garden, God had been making preparations to redeem man from Satan’s grasp.  All through the Old Testament, God spoke through the prophets speaking into existence the Savior, the Christ, the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us so that we might behold him.  So often during the holiday season our focus is on the little baby in the manger, and we lose sight of the Man, Jesus Christ, and the purpose for which He came.  Because of God’s love for us, He sent Jesus, His only Son, not only to free us from Satan’s grasp spiritually and give us the right to choose our own master once again, but also to dispel the lies that had been propagated against the character of God Himself.  Jesus said, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.”  Whatever we read of Jesus in the Scriptures shows us the true picture of our Heavenly Father.  Scripture tells us that God is love.  Yet we’re told that His love isn’t like our love, and indeed it isn’t, God’s love is AGAPE love.  Phileo is man’s love.  How are they different?  Paul tells us that Agape love suffers long and is kind.  Phileo may suffer, but it grows bitter under the burden.  Agape doesn’t envy.  Phileo has always displayed envy and jealousy.  Agape doesn’t brag and isn’t puffed up and arrogant.  Phileo has forever pushed itself forward.  Self is the center of it’s world and its very strength.  Agape does not behave itself unbecomingly.  Phileo airs its grievances in the divorce courts and courts of law.  It grows wildly jealous and strikes down in cold blood the very object it claims it loves.  It will betray and use you to keep self uppermost in any equation.  Agape doesn’t seek its own.  The struggle with Phileo from birth to death is to get and hold onto “its own!”  It is a cruel taskmaster, but it is all we’ve had from the garden until Jesus came.  Agape is not provoked to anger; however Phileo is sensitive and hard to handle, it IS easily provoked, and it tells you that it is very sensitive and must not be rudely shocked or neglected.  Sensitiveness is and always has been of the devil!  Agape takes no account of an evil done to it.  Phileo is always discussing and feasting on the scandals of the world.  Agape rejoices not in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth.  Phileo cannot understand this and turns to hatred and revenge at the slightest provocation.  Phileo ALWAYS rejoices when its enemy falls.  It cannot rejoice in truth if that truth does not gratify its passions.  Agape bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things, and Agape never fails or goes bankrupt.  Phileo squanders its fortune in its youth in riotous living and before it comes to manhood’s strength it is in danger of being dashed against the rocks of failure.  Agape is the character of our Father, the nature of the Great Creator God.  This is what Jesus brought to the world – true love, God’s love.  It never compromises with the truth, gives in to evil, or tries to please man at the expense of the truth.  It readily pardons when repentance is manifest thus showing a perfect balance of compassion and justice – which is true love.  The holidays seem to fill people’s hearts with an awareness of love and goodwill.  For a time, our focus is turned away from ourselves and toward others.  We seem to be more mindful of the needs of others, and people seem to be more open, softer, and more reachable at this time of the year; and so it should be because this is when LOVE came into the world in bodily form.  This is when Love’s light shined upon mankind and manifested itself to us.  This is when the greatest demonstration of real love was birthed into the earth to save you and me.  When you think that we are to be His witnesses, we are to be written epistles read of men, we are to be His light to this dying world, it would seem impossible.  Most of us feel this kind of love is totally unattainable for us, and in ourselves it truly is.  However, there is a place in God, a victorious realm in Christ, available to us right now.  This place of victory and victorious living is only found in the realm of God’s love and power.  It’s a place where man can call on God and God will move in such a way and cause us to remain in such a place of victory that regardless of what the storms of life have to throw at you, you’ll ride the tides above those things in complete victory over self and the flesh.  Not no trials, but victory in and over them all.  In John 17:15 Jesus prayed a prayer for you and me:

John 17:15

“Don’t take them out of this world, but cause them to live above the evil in it.

 If it weren’t possible for us to live above the evil in this world then Jesus never would have asked the Father to help us do it.

John 16:33

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you have tribulation (Greek word meaning pressures, troubles and trials), but take courage; I have overcome the world (Greek phrase meaning, I have deprived it of its power to hurt you.)

There is a place of victory in the Kingdom of God IN THIS EARTH, in JESUS, that is victorious in every situation and circumstance.  That place of Victory is God’s love! 

1 Corinthians 15:56-57

“The sting of death, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

In the Scripture we read at the beginning, John 3:16-17 we were told that God gave His Son so that we would not perish.  That word “perish” in Strong’s concordance means to destroy fully or completely, to mar, to lose, to die.  Scripture states that Satan comes to kill, to steal and to destroy.  If we allow him to steal from us the truth of God’s Word in any area, if we allow him to steal from us the truth of God’s love in any circumstance, then he will have access to kill something in our lives.  If we allow him to kill something in our lives, then he can destroy us fully; taking more and more ground.  For instance, if we allow him to steal from us the truth of God’s love then he can steal from us through bitterness, resentment, hatred, hopelessness and depression.  If we allow him to steal our joy then he can kill our strength and hope and destroy us with weakness and despair.  If we allow him to steal from us the truth that God loves us then he can kill our faith and ability to trust God and destroy us through unbelief and fear.  If we allow him to steal the truth that God is our Creator, our Protector, and our Lord, that all we have and all we are, we are and have because of His goodness and mercy toward us, then he can kill our reliance upon God and destroy us through pride, selfishness and arrogance.  The Bible tells us in Hebrews 4:11 to be diligent, to labor to enter that rest, to move into that realm of victory and love; to operate and function in it, where you have ceased from your labor and strength and are moving in and relying on His.  Where you have left Phileo behind and have allowed His Agape love to flow from you and have left your own vain philosophies and mindsets and rely only on His Word and His Spirit.  This is the meaning of Christmas!  This is why God sent His Son.  So that we could know who our Father really is and walk as His sons and daughters in this earth.  That we might KNOW HIS LOVE.

Ephesians 3:16-19 (Amplified Bible)

May He grant you our of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the Holy Spirit Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality.  May Christ, through your faith, actually dwell, settle down, abide, make His permanent home in your hearts.  May you be rooted deep in love (agape) and founded securely on love (agape) that you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints, the experiences of that love, what is the breadth and length and height and depth of it.  That you may really come to know practically, through experience for yourselves, the love of Christ which far surpasses mere knowledge without experience; that you may be filled through all your being unto all the fullness of God.  That you may have the richest measure of the divine presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God himself.

Forgiveness, eternal life, deliverance, protection, preservation, healing, mercy, grace, righteousness, love and power; these are the gifts we have been given because of Jesus Christ, because the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.  This is why He came – that you might know the love the Father has for us and walk in it; that we might know and manifest the power and might of our Father and bring HIS love to this dying world.

John 17:20-26 (Amplified)

Neither for these alone do I pray (it is not for their sake only that I make this request), but also for all those who will ever come to believe in (trust in, cling to, rely on) me through their word and teaching.  [21] That they all may be one, (just) as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me.  [22] I have given to them the glory and honor which you have given me, that they may be one (even) as We are one:  [23] I in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united, that the world may know and (definitely) recognize that You sent Me and that You have loved them (even) as You have loved Me.  [24] Father, I desire that they also whom You have entrusted to Me (as your gift to Me) may be with me where I am, so that they may see My glory, which You have given Me (Your love gift to Me); for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. [25] O just and righteous Father, although the world has not known You and has failed to recognize You and has never acknowledged You, I have known You (continually); and these men know and understand that You have sent Me.  [26]I have made Your Name known to them and revealed Your character and your very self, and I will continue to make (You) known, that the LOVE which You have bestowed upon Me may be in them (felt in their hearts) and that I (Myself) may be in them.

As we give gifts this season to bring love and joy to each other’s hearts, let’s remember the wonderful gift God has given us in His Son and rejoice as we realize the Grace of God that is in US, and for US!  Let’s never forget the price that was paid to obtain it – a life laid down!  This holiday traditionally marks the beginning of that earthly life, the birth of that precious physical body that brought love and truth to man again – The Word of God – Jesus Christ.  May God bless you abundantly in His Word and in His Truth this coming New Year.  May next Christmas find you stronger, more mature, and more intimate with our Savior than ever before.  May His righteousness, peace, love and joy fill your hearts and lives now and always .  May His love fill us and overflow from us to every life our lives touch. 

For Unto us a child is born, Unto us a Son is given, and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

2 Corinthians 9:15

Thanks be unto God for His indescribable Gift!!

God Bless you and Merry Christmas – Solid Rock Ministries

 

NOVEMBER HONEY FROM THE ROCK

Deuteronomy 32:13

He made him draw honey from the rock, and oil from the flinty rock;

Psalms 81:16

 He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat;  and with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.”

Dear friends and family,

Let me wish all of you a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving with those you love.  May your hearts be filled with the Love of the Father this holiday season and may that love flow out to all those around you.  The word HOLIDAY comes from the root words meaning HOLY DAY.  Our holidays should be holy days sanctified and set apart to the Lord.  Thanksgiving is a time that causes us to focus more on all we have to be thankful for than we might find ourselves realizing and focusing on at other times.  Though this should not be the case for us who know and walk with the Lord daily, sadly sometimes it truly is.  This Thanksgiving let us focus on the Father’s great love for us and all that we have because of that love.  Without that love there would be no salvation for us.  As Scripture tells us we “were without God, without the Covenants, and without hope in this world” before Christ came to rescue us from that darkness.  When were were saved, we were not only given a down payment of our inheritance through the Spirit, but we also began a journey from darkness to light, from death to life, and from earthy to heavenly.  If the Lord did nothing more than that for us in our lifetime we are a people most blessed.  However, he DID do even more than that for us in this lifetime.  He became our protector and our provider, our healer and our deliverer, our forgiver and our restorer, our strength in our weakness, our hope in our despair, our truth in the midst of darkness, our anchor in the storm, in short…our ALL in ALL!  Can a people have more reason to rejoice and give thanks than the people of God?  Can a people, no matter what their immediate circumstances, be more blessed than the people of God?  Yet so many of God’s people are not in the place of Thanksgiving and gratitude even in the Father’s House because so many of us do now truly know and experience the Father’s love.  We know OF it, but we don’t KNOW IT!  This was the case with the Prodigal son and his brother.  Let’s take a look at that story:

Luke 15:11-32

And he said, A certain man had two sons:  And the younger of them said to [his] father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth [to me]. And he divided unto them [his] living.  And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.  And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.  And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.  And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.  And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!  I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,  And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.  And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.  And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.  But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put [it] on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on [his] feet:  And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill [it]; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.  Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing.  And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.  And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.  And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him.  And he answering said to [his] father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:  But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.   And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.  It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found. 

The story of the Prodigal son reveals to us many things concerning our attitudes and heart condition as well as the heart of our Father.  Although both the boys lived in the Father’s house and both of them were loved by the Father they themselves never really came to know and understand their Father’s heart or his love for them.  The older son believed he was loved because he did everything right and the younger son didn’t know how much he was loved at all.  The younger one ran from his responsibilities and his relationship with his Father without so much as a thought as to how that would break his Father’s heart.  He was only concerned with his inheritance, what he could get, and he was not willing to wait for it but demanded it NOW, before he was ready to handle it.  The Father in his wisdom did not rebuke the son, but gave him the inheritance knowing full well that he didn’t have the maturity or character to handle it and that he would squander it all.  He had the attitude that he deserved the inheritance (verse 12, “give me what’s mine”)  when he himself had not paid the price for all his Father had, but his Father did.  Sometimes that’s the mentality we have with the things of God – that we deserve all these blessings and we become irritated and angry when one of them seemingly is withheld from us.  Even though the younger son was focused on himself, the Father loved him.  The heart of the Father is so strongly revealed here as our heavenly Father gives us so much we don’t deserve, so much we squander and hold of little value, and so many times we don’t realize the hurt we cause him by the decisions we make and the selfishness we display.  That inheritance was the result of the hard work and love of the Father not the child.  So it is with us, all that we have is a result of the price paid by Jesus Christ in procuring it for us, and the price the Father paid in watching his Beloved Son be betrayed, abused, and brutally crucified for you and me.  Yet even in all this the Father is found in the story LOOKING for the younger son.  While he was yet a GREAT WAY OFF the Father saw him and had compassion on him.  So it is with us.  Even when we are a great way off from the presence of the Father because we have separated ourselves and left his house, when we come to our senses and realize what we have done he sees us though still a great way off ,and has compassion on us and runs to meet us! 

1 John 3:1

“Behold what manner of Love the Father has given unto us that we should be called children of God!” 

The older son also never knew the love of the Father even though he lived in the Father’s house.  He didn’t know the Father’s heart at all.  He was working and he was obedient but he never truly received the Father’s love though it was there for him all the time.  He too never entered into an identification with the Father’s heart.  The Father was after BOTH sons.  He tried to awaken love in the older son’s heart for his wayward brother, but his brother couldn’t understand that kind of unconditional love.  He needed to have his heart broadened in order to be able to embrace those who have done wrong and hurt another.  He had a kind of self-righteousness.  This self-righteousness left him standing outside of the Father’s house where he was loved and welcome.  He had shut himself out because of his attitudes and inability to love and forgive. 

Ephesians 3:15-19

 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what [is] the width and length and depth and height– to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

At this time of year when it seems love and family are so prevalent in our minds and hearts may we not have the selfish heart of the younger brother who left the Father’s house and went into the world for pleasure (riotous living), and found himself eating with the swine (Scripture admonishes us not to cast our pearls before swine – that is demon spirits who have no heart for the Father, His Son, or the truth).  Nor do we want to be found with the  self-righteous attitude of the older brother who was part of the family, but shut himself out because he couldn’t accept one weaker than himself, one who was NOT faithful n the beginning but who repented and came home in humility and was welcomed back into the fold without question.  The older son could not give love and forgiveness to his brother and that hurt the heart of the Father.  We find the Father outside with the older son gently pleading with him to come in and make peace with his brother.  He wouldn’t go in to the Father so the Father came out to him! 

1 John 4:19

“We love because HE first loved us!”

The Parable is left open – we are never told if the older son went in to join his family or not.  This is because it is posing a question to us – Will YOU go in?  Will you enter into my heart and identify with my love?  Will you participate in my love?  Will you allow me to awaken my love in you?

 Have a blessed and joyous Thanksgiving with those you love.  May the Lord give you the heart of the Father and may you truly EXPERIENCE His love in your life.

 In His Love,

Solid Rock Ministries

October Honey From The Rock

 Deuteronomy 32:13

He made him draw honey from the rock, and oil from the flinty rock;

Psalms 81:16

He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat; and with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.”

 Dear friends and family,

 It’s once again time for our monthly devotional teaching of Honey From the Rock. The weather is beginning to turn cooler and we can see signs of autumn in the creation around us. We watch as all creation prepares for the coming of the fall and winter seasons where the need for God’s provision and care are more evident than ever. Just as the earth patiently waits for and trusts the provision and care of the Lord so we too must learn to wait on the Lord for the hopes, promises and needs of our lives. This month we are going to do a short teaching on “Waiting on the Lord.”

 Psalms 27:14

14 Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!  NKJV

 When we read God’s command in the Psalms to wait on the Lord, at first glance we may think that’s an easy thing to do, but it is actually something that every Christian has to LEARN to do. The creation around us trusts naturally the care and provision of God; man however has to LEARN that trust.

 Hosea 12:6

6 So you, by the help of your God, return; observe mercy and justice, and wait on your God continually. NKJV

 It takes years of teaching to learn this simple lesson. Moving quickly and getting things resolved are much easier to God’s people than standing still. In times of confusion or when we’re troubled by the circumstances around us, or our own sin and foolish mistakes, even the most willing spirit is sometimes anxious to know what to do and which road to take. It’s at times like these when we are tempted to fall to the temptation of taking matters into our own hands and forging forward with our own plans and ideas of what is right, beneficial or expedient for ourselves. When we question, “What should I do?” We are faced with several choices. Do we fall into despair, self-pity, hopelessness, guilt or condemnation? Flee and hide in cowardice, turn to the right hand or the left hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption? Or do we simply wait.

 Isaiah 40:31

31 But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. NKJV

 The Lord is waiting on us to wait on HIM so He can pour out His goodness upon us and show Himself strong!

Isaiah 30:18

18 Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him  NKJV

The answer , of course, is yes, we wait; but we wait in prayer. The word “wait” means to entwine with, twist together, or to become one with. It is not a passive word, but an active word. But the activity is not that of the flesh but of the spirit. Call upon God, and present your case before Him; tell Him your difficulty, and ask Him for His promise of help. If you’ve sinned repent and trust in His forgiveness. When we have dilemmas between one choice and another, it’s then that we should be humble as a child, and simply command our souls (minds, wills and emotions) to wait upon the Lord. I had a friend that always used to say: “Put your emotions and thoughts under the knees of your spirit man.” That was wise, sound, and scriptural advice that I still live by today. Hebrews invites us to come BOLDLY before the throne of grace to receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need. James tells us we have not because we ask not. Remember – to wait is to become entwined with HIM.

 Psalms 130:5

5 I wait for the Lord, my soul (mind, will and emotions) waits, and in His word I do hope.   NKJV

 Lamentations 3:25-26

25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. 26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the LordNKJV

 Galatians 5:5-6

5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. NKJV

 It is a good thing for us when we feel and know our own foolishness and limitations, and we’re willing and wait with all our heart to be guided by the will of God.  We wait, yes, but we wait in faith. Express your unwavering confidence in Him; because unfaithful, untrusting waiting accomplishes nothing for the Kingdom and is not pleasing to the Lord. Believe that if He waits even till midnight, He will come at the right time; “the vision shall come and shall not tarry.”

 Habakkuk 2:3

 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. NKJV

 Wait in quiet patience, not rebelling because you are under the pressure or affliction, or the fear and guilt of your own sin; but bless the Lord in it. Tell him of your confidence to come and deliver, see you through to victory, or change the situation according to His will. Praise him in and through it all. Never murmur against him, as the children of Israel did; never wish you could go back to the world’s ways again in its thoughts or attitudes, but accept the situation as it is, and put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any self-will, into the hand of your covenant God, saying, “Now, Lord, not my will, but Your will be done. I don’t know what to do; I am at the end of my wisdom, strength and ability, but I will wait until you calm the storm or drive back my enemies. I will wait no matter how long it takes because my heart is fixed on you alone, Oh God, and my spirit waits for you in the full conviction that you will yet be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower.” NKJV

 Micah 7:7-9

 7 Therefore I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me. 8 Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; when I fall, I will arise; when I sit in darkness, The Lord will be a light to me. 9 I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him, until He pleads my case and executes justice for me. He will bring me forth to the light; I will see His righteousness.

 Lord even if I am the one who missed the mark (sinned) and it resulted in the situation I now face – I believe your word. Your promises are true. You ARE the great I AM and you will never leave me or forsake me. You will never fail me Father. My trust is in you no matter what my eyes see, my ears hear, my emotions feel, or my “self” desires. For YOU ALONE ARE GOD and You ALONE direct my path, protect and deliver me.  

Hebrews 9:28

 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. NKJK

 In His Love,

 Solid Rock Ministries

 

 

 

September Honey From The Rock

 Dear Friends and Family,

Here we are entering the beautiful Fall season once again. It seems that we just put away our Christmas decorations from last year and we’re once again entering the season of approaching holidays. It seems as if time has sped up over the last years. However, it’s not only is time that is speeding up, but so is our current economic and social situation here in America. It has deteriorated and we are seeing things and experiencing things that our parents and grandparents would have said was impossible for God-fearing Americans. I guess that’s the operative word though – God-fearing. Scripture clearly states that for those who do not fear the Lord there is nothing to restrain them from the fallen nature that resides within mankind since the fall of Adam. As we live in a fallen world – one that will be done away with so that a new earth can be established following the millennial reign of Christ – and we live with people with fallen natures, as well as that old fallen nature continually trying to get it’s preeminence back in our own lives, is it any great mystery that we deal with trials and tribulations in this life? Do we really have no other explanation for this than that God has organized them for us? Proverbs tells us God does not have to do one single thing to cause trouble in our lives. Our very natures and surroundings do very well all by themselves.

Proverbs 19:3

3 The foolishness of a man twists his way, and his heart frets against the Lord.

The world is rushing toward hell and destruction as a mighty stream rushes down the mountain and toward the great sea. So too, when we decide to come out from the world and live for Christ and His Kingdom we are not taken out of the stream of this world but we are now running contrary to it. So our battle will be against the tide always. Do we need anymore explanation for why we face trials in our lives? The unsaved face trials because they have allowed the rushing stream to take them toward destruction – we face trials because we have stood against the tide. There is no escaping trials in this life. So settle that fact now.

This month I want to talk about how the trials and tribulations of life can accomplish one of two things – make you or break you; and we will see how the choice as to which of those scenarios plays itself out in your life is entirely up to you! Our base Scripture for this month’s teaching is found in Deuteronomy 5:24

Deuteronomy 5:24

The Lord Our God Has showed us His Glory…

 The Lord’s greatest desire is to manifest His own glory through the work of His hands. Mankind is, according to Scripture, His greatest work. That is it is the work that is closest to His heart. We are the apple of His eye. What is man that He is mindful of us? Yet, He is. But how can God be manifested in such fallen creatures as we are? Our eye is not single – we are always distracted away from Him and His Kingdom, being more concerned with our own reputation, our own lusts and desires, our pride – thinking we are capable of handling the circumstances of our lives on our own or thinking we know what we want and what is best for us and how to get it without his intervention and wisdom – in all this then how can we truly behold the glory of God? We’re not even qualified to do so. Clearly, the only way that we can behold and reflect His glory in our lives is for self to be put out of the picture to make room for God to be exalted. I must decrease and He must increase. How is “self” put out of the picture? It has to be crucified. But how do we crucify the flesh daily. Paul says, “I die daily.” By looking at his life we can see exactly what he meant by that and use it as an example to help us understand how to apply those principles to our lives. Paul did not consider his personal life (self) dear to him. He laid his life down at every turn that God could be glorified in and through him. He thought of God first and foremost, and others more than himself. He was willing to pay any price, to suffer loss, discomfort, pain, humiliation, even imprisonment and death to further the cause of Christ and His Church. It’s through suffering these trials and tribulations that self is crucified. Paul said that nothing was more important to him than to reach the goal and receive the prize of the upward call of Christ. That goal was maturity and that prize was the transformation of the soul and a full salvation. There is a path that we all must walk that leads from earth to heaven. For each of us the obstacles in that path will differ but there is no path that is free of obstacles for any of us. These obstacles, tests and trials if you will, that we face will cause us to become aware of our own weakness and foolishness. As we become conscious of these things and allow them to die in us we experience the power of God in our lives and we see his majesty and glory more clearly as he shows himself strong in delivering us from the sin and foolishness that so easily get us off the path. If we never have to face difficult things we will never see the wonders of his deliverance, kindness and love. If we never messed up we would never see the awesomeness of His grace and forgiveness. When we face sadness, loss, poverty – both spiritual and natural, temptation and reproach we learn the power of God toward us because we experience the littleness and weakness of man! So don’t be troubled when you face manifest trials and tribulations as James tells us because these very trials will work for your greatest good if you allow them too. It’s not that the trials hold any great spiritual strength – it’s that in and through them you turn toward the one whose strength and power will cause the things the enemy means for evil to work for your greatest good. If our road was a road of smooth comfort and success we would, in our humanness, become easily distracted away from the Lord at worst and complacent and lukewarm at best. If you’ve had a rough road in life allow those very experiences to cause you to see and experience the greatness and lovingkindness of God as you look back (or ahead) to see His great salvation in and through it all. If you’ve messed up your life and can’t even see how God can put it all back together again, you are a perfect candidate for His grace and mercy to show themselves strong for you. Your troubles and weaknesses cannot destroy you, but only serve to enrich you with a wealth of knowledge and an experience of the character and power of God. They can only destroy you when he is left out of the equation. They can only destroy you if self remains on the throne with a “why me,” “life’s not fair,” attitude of self-pity and anger. Trials and tribulations WILL come in this world, and life is NOT fair! Where did you ever get the idea that even in Christ we were promised that this world would be fair? We love the promises of God, but we don’t often quote the ones about trouble! In this world you will have tribulation (John 16:33) and in this world you will have persecution (2 Timothy 3:12) and in this world you will have stumbling-blocks and betrayals. Those are the negative things the Scriptures promise. You cannot avoid them. You cannot get through life without facing these things. So how will you handle them when they come? Anyone who has lived a few years on this earth will tell you that it’s not IF they come, but WHEN they come. Will you allow them to destroy you or build you? John 16:33 goes on to say, but in spite of that be of good cheer because I have overcome the world (literal translation – I have deprived it of its power to hurt you). So praise God if you didn’t have a life of ease and plenty because that has helped you not to be left you in a place of darkness and ignorance, but that in the great fight of affliction and trials you have been trained, equipped, and made capable of reflecting His glory through his wonderful dealings with you in and through it all! Praise God for His wonderful, indescribable mercy and grace toward man. Praise God for His magnificent plan of salvation, which no one but Him could ever have conceived or carried out. There is more to salvation than eternal life as precious as that is. God is looking for mature sons and daughters who will take the responsibility and accept the authority of being His kings and priests on the earth and in eternity. As we have already established that we will have many trials and struggles in this life we need not be surprised when they arrive but rather use them as a means to help us crucify the flesh and transform the soul. We are a three part being. That is we have a spirit (that inner part of us that communes with God. The Place where he resides), a soul (which consists of your mind, will and emotions), and we have a body. Our salvation was a complete salvation; that is it touched all three parts of our being not just our eternal spirit. Salvation is a word that is actually in a tense that expresses this thought: You are saved, you are being saved and you will be saved. You are saved – that happened when you were born again! Your spirit was saved and brought from death to life. You are being saved – that is the present (on earth) transformation of the soul. That is the work the Lord is doing in you NOW! He is saving your soul; and you will be saved, that is when he comes for his people our bodies will be saved as they are changed from an earthy to a heavenly body in the twinkling of an eye. Had the enemies of Christ known or understood this plan they never would have crucified the Lord of Glory. Still today, if the enemies of Christ and His people understood that their efforts to cause us to be destroyed only seek to make us stronger because it is not our weak human flesh that responds, but our spirit man through the power and grace of the indwelling Christ that responds, they would leave us alone! What they seek for our destruction only serves to build us. Praise the Lord. Who but God could do such things; and how would we ever be aware of it if the enemy of our souls had not sought to destroy us?

Romans 8:37-39

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 2 Corinthians 9:15

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!!!!

We have been saved from spiritual death. We will still experience natural death here on earth, but not in spirit, soul or body will we ever experience spiritual death – which simply put is separation from God.

 The victory was complete! We have ALL that we need for life and godliness. It’s our choice which road we take – the broad way which gives us lots of space for the flesh but leads to destruction; or the narrow way which confines and crucifies the flesh but leads to life.

 In His Love,

Solid Rock Ministries

AUGUST HONEY FROM THE ROCK

Psalms 81:16

He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat; and with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.”

Deuteronomy 32:13

13 “He made him ride in the heights of the earth, that he might eat the produce of the fields; He made him draw honey from the rock, and oil from the flinty rock…

Dear Friends and Family,

This month we will begin a new series on the importance of discipline and self-control.  Our base Scripture for this teaching is in Romans:

Romans 8:1-8

There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.   For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace.   Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

In all of Scripture we find the principle of self-discipline.  God’s design for man was that he be ruled from the inside out by the Holy Spirit.  This involved man’s willingness to yield to that rule.  Where there is no internal rule, then there must be external rules and laws or the world would be in chaos and people would be destroying themselves and others.  But external rules were never God’s best.  Self-government or self-control is the control restraint, or direction of ourselves in our hearts, attitudes, thoughts and behavior as directed by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.  Self-government or self-control is a fruit of the Spirit.  The more we yield ourselves to the Spirit, the more we focus our lives on things above, the more we spend time in fellowship with God in prayer, worship and the Word, the more disciplined we will become in spirit, soul, and body. 

 Romans 12:1-2says:

“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable, and perfect.”

We are the ones whose responsibility it is to discipline ourselves to present our bodies and spend time and effort to renew our minds with the Word of God and prayer.  This is the labor to enter into the rest of God. 

 Discipline is the Greek word “paidea“.  It is a noun, and it means to tutor, to educate, or to train.  It also means disciplinary correction.  Webster’s Dictionary describes discipline the same way with two added definitions:

1. To advance and prepare by instruction  2. Subjection to laws, rules, order, precepts, or regulations.

Hebrews 12:5b-14:

My Son do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.  It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?  But if you are without discipline of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.  Furthermore, we had earthly fathers who disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good that we may share His holiness.  All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

I think this verse very aptly fits the definition in Webster’s Dictionary: “to advance and prepare by instruction.”  The Lord wants to bring us to maturity.  Without discipline, we remain immature and fleshy. 

1 Corinthians 3:2-3

I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it.  Indeed, even now yare are not yet able, for you are still fleshy…..

When we walk in the flesh we cannot receive the meat of the Word.

Hebrews 5:13-14

For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the Word of Righteousness, for he is a babe, but solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good from evil.

It is the will of God for us to reach maturity. 

Ephesians 4:13

….until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

This process takes discipline and self-control.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may win.  And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things.  They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.  Therefore, I run in such a way as not beating the air; but I buffet my body and make it my slave lest possibly after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.

Although God’s mercy and forgiveness are always there, we need to be careful not to take it for granted.  The riches we have in Christ through the forgiveness of our sins came at a great cost and we should value those privileges and blessings in our lives.  Like Paul we should be running the race for Jesus.  Our hearts and minds should be fixed on Him.  We are so easily sidetracked and distracted by the cares of this world that sometimes we lose sight of our priorities.  We should be running this race to win, making no provision for the flesh, but keeping our spirits, souls, and bodies disciplined in all areas.

Proverbs 29:18

Where there is no vision, the people perish, but happy is he who keeps the law.

Visionis a Hebrew word meaning a revelation from God

Perish comes from a root word meaning to loosen, to slip away

Happy is a Hebrew Word meaning happiness and blessing

Where there is no fresh revelation of God and His Word, the people begin to loosen, get slack and lazy, and begin to slip and slowly fall away from the intimacy of their relationship to Him.  But when we have fresh revelation and a living daily fellowship with the Lord, we have happiness and blessing from God.  We’ve all had much teaching concerning patience, steadfastness, hope, confidence, and the importance of God’s Word in our lives.  All these things take discipline to walk in.  Without discipline and self-control you can’t be steadfast, without discipline and self-control you can’t be patient, or have hope, or hold on to your confidence. 

1 Timothy 3:5

But if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?

This is speaking of elders and deacons, but the principle applies to our individual lives as well.  For we are, after all, the temple or house of God.  If we can’t manage our own person with discipline and self-control how then can we take on any other responsibilities in God’s house? 

James 3:2

For we all stumble in many ways.  If anyone does not stumble in what he says he is a perfect man able to bridle the whole body as well.

A key to discipline and self-control is to watch your mouth.  When we can learn to discipline our mouths, discipline of the rest of us will come much easier.

Romans 6:12-13

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

The responsibility to refrain from sin is yours and mine.  God has given us all we need for life and godliness in this world.  Jesus has conquered sin and death for us.  He has given us the Holy Spirit to dwell within us to guide, to teach, and to comfort and convict.  We have to discipline ourselves to obey.  Adam was given this same responsibility to govern himself in Genesis chapter 2.  Adam, as we know, did not govern himself.  He allowed the flesh to overcome him even though he had the power and authority to overcome it.

Proverbs 16:32

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.

Controlling your temper is being controlled from within by the Holy Spirit.  If we can control ourselves from within we can have the victory over every area – through faith and patience we inherit the promises and in patience we possess our souls (mind, will and emotions). 

Proverbs 25:28

Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit

In Bible times cities were protected by their walls.  These walls were high and very thick.  So thick that houses were built on top of them.  These walls protected the city from invasion by enemies or wildlife.  This scripture is telling us that if we are people with no self-control, no self-government, no self-discipline, then we are like that city out there in the desert wilderness with no walls; invaded by all predators and no way to protect ourselves.  We are open to every attack, every enemy that would come to kill, steal, and destroy, and every wild beast that would care to enter to destroy us and all that is in our care.  Self-discipline is the walls of our city, the protection for our being.  Those who have been trained by it will yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness in their lives. 

 The Kingdom of God is not meat or drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  Discipline yourself to enter the Kingdom.  Remember James said that no discipline is pleasant at the time you are receiving it, but if you will yield to it it will bring forth the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

 In His Love,

Solid Rock Ministries

 

JULY HONEY FROM THE ROCK

Psalms 81:16

He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat; and with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.”

Deuteronomy 32:13

13 “He made him ride in the heights of the earth, that he might eat the produce of the fields; He made him draw honey from the rock, and oil from the flinty rock…

Dear Friends and Family,

I hope you all enjoyed Father’s Day with your families and the celebration of our nations birth on the 4th of July.

This month we will conclude the teaching on Absalom will destroy you – the dangers of holding on to unrepented sin.

We ended last month with an admonition to release those sins to God. Let’s resume our teaching for this month:  It’s our sins that caused Jesus to die the horrible death he did.  Turn your Absalom over to God before it destroys you.  Don’t play with it, nurse it, treat it kindly, or feel sorry for having to get rid of it.  Do you know what happened when David turned Absalom over to God?

 2 Samuel 18:9

 “Now Absalom happened to meet the servants of David.  For Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak.  And his head caught fast in the oak so he was left hanging between heaven and earth while the mule that was under him kept going.” NAS

The hair he worshipped hung him in a tree.  The hair that caused him so much pride was now the source of his death, and the servants of David came and thrust a spear through him and buried him in a deep pit and put stones on him.  The servants of the anointed are the angels.  They will come and take your sin and destroy it, throw it in a field of forgetfulness and cover it over never to be remembered again.  After you repent turn away from and give that sin to God, how do you keep from falling again?  Temptation will always be with you.  The answer is:

Galatians 5:16

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” NAS

How do you walk in the Spirit?  How do you keep in the Spirit?  There’s only one way – keep your spirit saturated in the Word of God.  It washes and cleanses you.  It keeps your mind tuned to His voice.

Psalm 119:9-11

[9] How can a young man keep his way pure?  By keeping it according to Thy Word.  [10] With all my heart I have sought Thee; do not let me wander from Thy Commandments.  [11] Thy Word have I treasured in my heart that I may not sin against Thee.

The word will cleanse your way.  When you sin you don’t want to go near the Word.  Saturating yourself in the Word will cause you to hate sin.  We will still sin, but not willfully.  We will still make mistakes, but we’ll truly repent.  We will still struggle with thoughts and feelings, but we will STOP and apply the Word not allowing them entrance to our minds and hearts. 

 1 John says that if we say we don’t sin we’re liars.  This was written to Christians  God isn’t looking for people who never slip up – look at David whom he called a man after his own heart in the midst of his sin.  God sent Jesus because he already knew that it was impossible for us NOT to sin.  We have a fallen nature, and even after we’re born again, that nature has to go through the process of being transformed into the new man.  Through the Holy Spirit He’s given us a way to walk victoriously without condemnation.  That way is the Word of God and true repentance.  It’s the WORD that renews your mind enabling you to be transformed.  We have to get rid of our old ways of thinking and our old habits and begin to assimilate the mind of Christ.  With our old minds we can’t possibly walk free of the sin nature.  The Lord tells us to forsake unrighteousness and choose life!  It’s our choice.  He made His choice – He chose to die for you so that you COULD have the choice to change.  Now you have to make your choice – obey Him or obey self!  Feed your spirit or feed your flesh. 

Psalm 40:2-4 & 11

[2] He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.  [3] And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear, and will trust in the LORD.  [4] How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust and has not turned to the proud nor to those who lapse into falsehood…..[11] Thou, O LORD wilt not withhold Thy compassion from me; Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth will continually preserve me. (NAS)

Trust in God to keep you from falling.  Cling to His Word, Cling to Him, for He is life and He paid a great price to give His life to you!

 Deuteronomy 30:19-20

[19] This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curses.  Now choose life so that you and your children may live.  [20] and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to him.  For the LORD is your life……..(NIV)

 Flee from sin with all that’s in you! 

 Next month we will be starting a new series on discipline and self-control.

 In His Love

 Solid Rock Ministries

June Honey From The Rock

Psalms 81:16

He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat; and with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.”

Deuteronomy 32:13

13 “He made him ride in the heights of the earth, that he might eat the produce of the fields; He made him draw honey from the rock, and oil from the flinty rock…

Dear Friends and Family,

Last month we began to look into the destructive nature and the deceitfulness of sin. We looked into the sin of rebellion so that we could see it a little more clearly and maybe recognize some strands of it in our lives in order to repent and be set free from its cycle of destruction. This month we will be looking into sexual sin to see the strands of that in our lives and to recognize the cycle of destruction that can set into motion so that we can once again repent and stop the cycle of destruction and release the hold it has on us. So let’s begin our look into sexual sin:

(2) Sexual sin

David sinned by fantasizing and lusting over Bathsheba which led him to the sin of adultery, fornication, and ultimately murder. As a result he lost his firstborn son. Later, his son Absalom turned on him as well. He also lost his son Adonijah who tried to steal the Kingdom from his father David and reign as King in his place. Looking on a woman or a man to lust after them or fantasizing about them is sin and Jesus compares it to adultery. Sampson, because of his lust for ungodly women found himself enslaved and blind and going around and around on a treadmill. He played with that sin and played with that sin until it destroyed him and it destroyed the anointing on his life. Many people who want to serve the Lord but don’t deal with sexual sin (lust, fantasizing, pornography, adultery, fornication, etc.) find themselves going around and around on the treadmill of life, blinded to the effects of that sin in their lives, and enslaved to a merciless god instead of willingly submitted to a loving Savior; their bodies paying the price for their sin in the form of aids, venerial dsieases, and all kinds of cancers and problems with their sexual organs.

1 Corninthans 6:18

18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. NIV

Sexual sin will affect you in your own body. It will breakdown your body. The word says FLEE from it. That word flee means to run as if in stark terror!

Isaiah 3:16-24

Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing [as] they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: 17 Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts. 18 In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of [their] tinkling ornaments [about their feet], and [their] cauls, and [their] round tires like the moon, 19 The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, 20 The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, 21 The rings, and nose jewels, 22 The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, 23 The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails. 24 And it shall come to pass, [that] instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; [and] burning instead of beauty.

This scripture is saying that God’s people are craning their necks and looking with wanton eyes, enticing to sexual sin, dressing with scantily clad clothing or tight clothing, dressing themselves up for the express purpose of attracting the opposite sex. God says that if we continue to do these things we open ourselves to scalp ailments, body odors, failling out hair, baldness, female cancer, venerial disease, and inflammation and infection of sexual organs. Young people today don’t even know that fornication, which is sleeping together without the benefit of marriage, is wrong. They’re totally ignorant and unaware of the results that those actions will have on them both physically and emotionally. The day will come when you will pay the price for these sins because we’re breaking down our bodies with sin and not repenting – having a change of mind that causes a turning around and going the other way – giving those sins to God. Every secret sin will cost a price on us and on future generations if we don’t repent. Some day it will catch up to you.

People have the laws of God in their hearts and in their consciencesw, that’s what Romans tells us. They know right from wrong, yet they drink and party and live wild lifestyles to silence the very conscience that was put there to warn and protect them. Eventually, James says that conscience becomes seared and can no longer give them warning. Saul didn’t obey God. He didn’t utterly destroy the Amalekites and they came back and destroyed him. One of the Amalekites that Saul did not destroy came back and destroyed him! If we don’t destroy and master the sin in our lives it will master and destroy us. Israel didn’t separate from the sinful, idol worshipping nations around them; they intermarried with them and eventually it pulled them away from servig God and stole the Kingdom from them. If you don’t destroy that sin in your life, it WILL destroy you!

John 8:34-35 Jesus said:

34…”Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35…And the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.”

We want to be sons, conforming to the character of THE Son. If you habitually, willfully choose sin then you are choosing Satan as your god. If you commit and practice sin habitually then you are its slave. Is God doing this to you? Absolutely not! You are doing it to yourself by making a choice to SERVE sin. A minister and an atheistic barber wre walking down the street in a slum area of their city. The atheistic barber said to the minister, “Look at all these bums, these unregenerate, ugly vile, unshaven, unclean, drunkards surrounded by filth. How could a God of love allow all this filth and degradation?” The minister didn’t say anything. They walked on a little further and the minister saw a bum lying the gutter, unshaven, har matted and dirty, and he looked over at the barber and said, “If you’re such a good barber how come that man is lying in the gutter unshaven and hair all matted, dirty and uncut?” The barber answered defensively – “Hey listen man, that guy has never asked me for a shave, he’s never given me a chance to do anything for him. I don’t even know the guy.” The minister answered, “You’ve just answered your own question! Those people have never come to God allowing Him to clean up their lives and give them a new life in Him. They never even asked him to. They have chosen their own slavery.”

You choose slavery! God doesn’t turn you over to it. You choose sin – God has given you all you need to walk out of it and He himself paid the price for it by dying on the cross in agony.

John 8:36

“If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.”

The problem is that we aren’t coming to Jesus to allow him to expose those hidden sins and then utterly forsaking and turning away from them. We want to deal gently and lightly with them as David did with Absalom and as Saul did with the Amalekites. We need to stop telling God ABOUT our sins and start GIVING them to him. How? Everytime that sin knocks on the gate of your mind to gain entrance, STOP – and quote the Word of Truth that applies to that situation, wash yourself with it! Then start praising him and thanking him for the freedom from sin that’s yours through Him. If you’re practicing sin in your life – turn around immediately, get yourself out of that situation no matter what the cost, repent, and get back to righteous living and right habits.

True repentance acknowledges and recognizes that ALL sin is against God Himself. It’s not against you, it’s against GOD. David said in Psalm 51:4 after his sin with Bathsheba and the murder of Uria:

Psalm 57:4

“Against Thee, and Thee ONLY have I sinned

 

Next month we will conclude this teaching on Absalom will destroy you.

 In His Love,

Solid Rock Ministries

MAY HONEY FROM THE ROCK

May Honey From The Rock

Psalms 81:16

He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat; and with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.”

Deuteronomy 32:13

13 “He made him ride in the heights of the earth, that he might eat the produce of the fields; He made him draw honey from the rock, and oil from the flinty rock…

Dear Friends and Family,

I trust that you had a blessed Resurrection Sunday with your families. I love this time of year because it is always a reminder of His resurrection, the victory he won and the price he paid for our redemption. Just as His creation blossoms before us so too we see the hope of our own resurrection in Him because of His finished work at the cross. May we always be found praising His wonderful Name and rejoicing in His finished work on Calvary. What words could man ever say that would express the gratitude in our hearts for all he suffered and accomplished on our behalf. What can you say to a Savior who died in your place and suffered a death that you should have suffered and paid a price you should have paid. Without His finished work we would all be on our way to Hell.

Romans 3:10-12

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

He redeemed us from the fires of hell and the eternal suffering we would have experienced there. We don’t often recognize that we were sinners on our way to a firey eternal grave before we accepted Christ as our Savior and Lord; but a quick look at the Scriptures will soon open our eyes to that fact. So, what words can we ever say to thank Him. There are none strong enough to express the gratitude and worship he deserves. This wonderful Holy God who took upon himself all our sin, sickness, and death and went to the cross and paid the price for it in his own body allowing us to escape by just believing in what He did and accepting Him as Lord and Savior of our lives. Lord – supreme authority, leader, ruler; and Savior – loving, merciful, grace giving redeemer of our souls. What a wonderful God we serve. We will never be able to comprehend to the fullest just how much he loves us and the terrible price he paid to redeem us back from death and hell. In light of this truth let’s continue to examine the way back when we’ve fallen prey to the cares and distractions of this world. Last month we ended by saying that we can’t have two spirits, two waivering voices within.  We have to make quality decisions, strong commitments to go God’s way and submit to Him.  We cannot allow the circumstances of life to cause us to waiver from the path He set us on.  We can’t change course in the middle because our circumstances change.  If we don’t know what to do in a situation then we should ask the Lord for HIS wisdom, but we must not waiver from our stand of obedience, commitment, and righteousness in the Lord.

 Man’s flesh will suffer because of undealt with sin. Let’s take a look at this truth in the Word of God:

(1) Rebellion

Lamentations 1:20

Behold, O LORD; for I [am] in distress: my bowels are troubled; mine heart is turned within me; for I have grievously rebelled:

1 Samuel 5:6

Now the hand of the LORD was heavy on the Ashdodites, and He ravaged them and smote them with tumors, both Ashdod and its territories.

The word for tumors is also used for hemmorrhoids. It simply means growths in any part of the body. The Philistines had taken the Ark of the Lord. These were people who worshipped the God Dagon and refused to do the will of God. They had hardened hearts and wouldn’t obey God’s people when they sent word to them to bring back the Ark of the Lord. Rebellion against God without true repentance can open us to so many awful things. That’s why God says DON’T DO IT!

Proverbs 17:11

A rebellious man seeks only evil (foolishness and rebellion) so a cruel messenger will be sent against him

 1 Corninthians 3:17

If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple. (NIV)

Not taking proper care of our bodies, is sin. Smoking, drinking, overeating, eating the wrong kinds of foods or not eating the right kinds of foods; or doing anything else that would be harmful to your body is rebellion against the direct command of the Lord to care for our bodies. Sugar is one of the only things on the market today that is legally addictive. It’s as addictive as heroine. It makes you depressed and lethargic, and it makes your body corrode because the body cannot get rid of refined white sugar in the same way that it can get rid of honey or fructose. Alcohol turns to refined sugar when it enters your body. We suffer lethargy and fatigue from wrong eating and drinking habits. When the Lord says watch your diet, don’t drink, don’t smoke, it’s not to keep you from pleasure, but to keep you from harm and destruction. To rebel against those commands is to harm yourself.

Psalm 6:6-7

Because I did not obey the Lord….6 I am weary with sighing; every night I make my bed sweim, I dissolve my couch with my tears. 7 My eye has wasted away with grief; it has become old because of my adversaries.  (NAS)

We’ve seen in these Scriptures that some of the results of not obeying God are depression (sorrow of mind) trembling or failing heart, tumors, skin disorders, hemmorrhoids, cancers, bowel problems, and failing eyes. We don’t take these things seriously, but we should. When we don’t deal with our sin we open to depression and all these things. These are warnings from God. We need to take action against sin in our lives. Jesus is coming back. If sin is left unrepented, you will pay a price in your body. Even the smallest sin in your life can sprout forth and destroy you if you do not master it—–anger, worry, fear, unforgiveness, jealousy, resentment, self-pity, rejection and on and on it goes. When Jesus healed the paralyzed man in the temple He told him:

 John 5:14

14 “Behold you have become well; do not sin anymore so that nothing worse may befall you.” NAS

God describes being forgiven and then going deliberately back into sin this way:

 Proverbs 26:11

 11 As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly. NIV

 2 Peter 2:22

 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.” NIV

 Rebellion is as the sin of witchraft and stubborness as idolatry

 1Samuel 15:23

For rebellion [is as] the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness [is as] iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from [being] king

 This was a word from the Prophet Samuel to King Saul who had rejected God’s word regarding the offering of the sacrifice because he feared the people. But in the New Testament we are Kings and Priests unto the Lord (See Revelation 1:6) so this applies to us as well. Search your hearts is there any rebellion lingering there? If so repent and ask the Lord for the grace and the strength to walk out of it and leave it behind.

 As believers in Christ we don’t want sin to remain in our lives in any area. We want to be free from its destructive cycles and free from its bondage so that we can be totally free to serve and worship Jesus Christ. Our walk on earth is an opportune time (Kairos time) give to us by the Father in which we can be transformed from the earthy, carnal man to the heavenly, spiritual man. We only have this lifetime to allow God to accomplish this transformation in our lives. Our eternity depends on how much of ourselves we yield to him in this life. If you have made him your Savior and Lord, eternity is secured for you as long as you continue to walk in that truth; however, there is more to eternity than getting to heaven. The Bible teaches that there are degrees of transformation that correspond to degrees of placement in eternity. The more transformed you are the closer to the Throne you may come, the less transformed you are the further from the Throne you remain. Outside the city where the Throne of God resides there are varying degrees of light. Scripture describes the “outer darkness.” That is a place far from the Throne and it tells us that those who find themselves in that place (which is NOT hell), weep and gnash their teeth when they realize what they threw away in order to walk in the comforts of their flesh and their own self-will in this life. They are saved, yes, but they do not receive the fullness of that salvation and there is much they miss out on because of the way they chose to live here. Most of all, to stand in God’s presence with selfishness, rebellion, and unbelief in your soul would be devastating. In that state, standing in the light of His Glory, we would burn up. So, in his mercy he would have to keep us far from the fullness of that presence. We have no idea what awaits us there, what wonderful things (Romans says) he has planned for those who love him. Don’t give it all up for a fleeting moment of fleshy pleasure here. It’s not worth the trade off. Submit yourselves wholly to Him. Evil times are ahead, and we need to abide IN HIM today more than ever before. He is worthy of your total devotion. No one and nothing else is!

Next month we will continue our study of the deceitfulness and destruction of sin in our lives as we look into the subject of sexual sin; a sin that is running rampant in our world today.

In His Love,

Solid Rock Ministries