Darkness Must Flee

Isaiah 49:9 to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’  

As people rush to scary movies and look to be terrified, demons of fear gallivant about giving the people what they want…an innocent thrill. Or maybe, not so innocent?

God has set us free from fear and promises protection but God does not go where He is not invited. When people invite in fear, God has no place there because He is Love and perfect love casts out fear so He can not abide in the same place as fear. (1 John 4:18) Halloween is very popular, infused with its own set of immediately recognizable

symbols, rituals and stories. And even as the Washington Post put it, “Most Americans have little, if any, sense of the hidden meaning and motives of the event in which they so enthusiastically participate.” Ken C. Erickson- Washington Post.

Isaiah 8:19 “When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?”

This is exactly what Halloween is – celebration of the dead.  People attend séances, visit grave yards in hopes of a thrill.  It is Satan’s most favorite time of year!  How many others can he get God’s people to turn their focus off of God’s promises of life, and love and get them to celebrate death and fear?  The very things God has set up free from!

With all its religious backgrounds, it makes you wonder while Christmas gets dumbed down to “Happy Holidays” at most businesses, why Halloween seems to be void of persecution and enthusiastically celebrated by most. There is some food for thought.

This year, shake up the devil’s plans of evil and fear and use Halloween as a time to reach out and share the Good News of God’s Love, Redemption and Freedom.  What other time of year do we have random people coming to our doors looking for a treat?  Give them the sweet imperishable message of Jesus!  It’s a great opportunity to touch lives you might never have had the opportunity to.  Now that is something to look forward too!

God’s Blessings & Ours,

Pastors Greg & Terri Nies

 

A Prognosis of the Heart

Matthew 5:48

“You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete [a]maturity of godliness in mind and character, [b]having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Just as physical symptoms may lead to a medical prognosis, there are symptoms that can reveal issues with our heart.

There are some key questions that we can ask ourselves that will lead to keys in telling us if there is a heart condition that we need to deal with.

One question to ask ourselves when examining our heart is, “Am I growing?”

Someone who has a perfect heart is always growing.  Are you in the same place spiritually right now than you were last year?  Have you been going around the same mountain and facing the same problems over and over again for as long as you can remember?  If you are not growing, something is wrong.

We will all face challenges and have mountains to conquer but the key is “overcoming” them.  And I am not talking about people trying to control other people or press them into their own image and call it a mountain when it doesn’t work.  I’m talking about the root of the issue deep within your heart.  Have you taken steps of faith and gained victories in your battles?  Or do you find yourself stuck?

Complacency is a big mountain that many Christians face and it can only be overcome by being in the Word, prayer and ACTION!  We cannot “hope it away.”  It takes a decisive decision to go ahead with God no matter what it takes or whether we “feel” like it or not.  It would be so easy after you receive salvation to sit back and relax and continue with YOUR life.  But what we may forget is that we gave up OUR life when we declared Jesus as our LORD and SAVIOUR.  Now our instructions are to seek the Lord with all our mind, soul and strength!

1 Peter 2:2  “Like newborn babies you should crave (thirst for, earnestly desire) the pure (unadulterated) spiritual milk, that by it you may be nurtured and grow unto [completed] salvation.”

We have to thirst after the Lord and His Word.  That is the only way we will be nurtured and grow.  In the natural, a person would starve if they don’t have food or nourishment.  It is the same way with our Spirit Man.  If we don’t continue to feed it by spending time in God’s presence or in His Word, our spirits will starve and we will not grow.

We encourage you to continue with us as we examine our hearts and ask ourselves the difficult questions.  God wants us all to walk in complete freedom and break off bondages we may not even realized were there.  And He can do that when you seek to have a blameless heart before Him.

Stay tuned and check out the blog on our website as we continue to dig into the heart.

Thanks so Much for your Prayers and Support!  We love you & Pray for you- God Bless!

Pastors Greg & Terri Nies

A Blameless Heart

2 Chronicles 16:9

“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong in behalf of those whose hearts are blameless toward Him. You have done foolishly in this; therefore, from now on you shall have wars.” AMP

 

God is looking for a perfect heart!  We tend to confuse God’s idea with our idea of perfection, which is usually based on performance.  Performance is not how God measures things, he measures the depths of your heart.

He is looking for someone he can show himself strong to.  He is looking for someone with a blameless perfect heart.

God would rather have a person who has a blameless heart then someone who does everything perfect but has a bad heart attitude.  The Sadducees and Pharisees had the perfect performance down as seen by the people.  They fasted publicly, and they followed the feasts and rituals religiously but Jesus said their hearts were full of wickedness.

Matthew 7:22-23 “Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name? And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].” AMP

The Lord doesn’t measure your heart on your good works but he measures how much of Him actually resides in your heart.  He has to have Lordship in your heart for you to really know him—beyond the nice prayer we say with our lips.  Many times our own hearts can even deceive us if it has not been transformed by the Holy Spirit.  It does this by making us think we are okay.  We can think about God or good things all we want but until we actually let God’s Word take root into our heart, it will have no effect on our spiritual walk or even our salvation.

We don’t even need to focus so much on correcting actions if we are focusing on correcting our heart because as our hearts are being filled with the Lord, our actions will naturally change.  We won’t have those same wicked desires that we once had for things that are ungodly.

Like the Sadducees and Pharisees, it is possible to work on having perfect outward actions and still have wickedness in your heart.  Attempting to be perfect in your own strength will only end in frustration and defeat because if we could do it on our own, we wouldn’t need Jesus!

How do we know what is in our heart?  How do we “obtain” a perfect, blameless heart in God’s eyes?  How can we tell if our own heart is deceiving us?  These are some questions we are going to address and answer over the new few issues of this newsletter using Scripture.  There is a lot at stake here when talking about matters of the heart in our personal lives and in our spiritual walk.  Studying this is very important in figuring out why we act the way we do.

Stay tuned and check back as we continue to dig into the heart.

 

 

 

Are You Contagious?

Faith is contagious.  You become who you hang around.  If you hang out with faith people, you will start to act like a faith filled person and take that same momentum to other conversations with people who are not.  It is important that we choose our friends wisely as the Word says.

Jesus is the High Priest of our “profession” in Hebrews 3:1 and 4:14.  The word translated “profession” means “to say the same thing”.  Faith people say the same thing Jesus says and refuse to say anything different.*  Find out if your faith is contagious.  Next time you are in a casual conversation with a co-worker or aquaintence, listen to yourself.  Does faith ultimately dominate the conversation temperature?  Or do you find your self “toning it down” so others won’t be offended or try and fit in.  This shouldn’t be something that is forced but something that comes out naturally and if it doesn’t, then your Word level is down and needs a boost.  Faith words nourish and feed your spirit man.  As you begin to fill up, it will overflow to everyone around you.

Have you ever met someone who was very negative and everytime you speak with that person, you leave the conversation feeling down?  Like their negativity rubbed off on you?  Use that same principal in a positive way with your faith and positive attitude.  Jesus always spoke faith and every person he encountered left impressed in someway – whether it was encouragement or correction, the truth was spoken.

Think about your last few converstations.  Were they faith filled or focused on defeat?  The Lord corrects each one of us so we can better position ourselves to be in line with Him so he can bless us.  Faith is one thing I hope to spread to those around me.

 

 

*Reference:  In God We Trust, KCM, September 2012

What are you waiting for?

We wait for everything. For the car to get fixed. For our spouses to get home. For the phone to ring. For the baby to wake. For the mail to come. For a car to pull up, returning our child safely home. For a job. For answers to prayer.

With so much experience, we’re remarkably unskilled at waiting well. Waiting seems to us a colossal waste of time.

But the fact is that while we are waiting, God is working. To move us where he wants us to be. To readjust the lives of others so that his ultimate desires will be fulfilled. To bring about what will make us eventually Christlike, though not necessarily immediately comfortable.

What are you waiting for? And more to the point, how well are you waiting for it?

 

 

Resources:  NIV Devotions:  http://links.biblegateway.mkt4731.com/servlet/MailView?ms=NDA3NDA3NDUS1&r=MjgwMDY2NTk5NjIS1&j=MTcxOTMzNDEzS0&mt=1&rt=0%25%25FORWARD_INFO%25%25

Be Faithful to Your Husband

A spouse who is 85% faithful to their mate is not faithful at all. There is no such thing as part-time loyalty to Jesus Christ.  The church is considered the Bride of Christ.  When you asked Jesus to come into your heart and be your Lord and Savior, those vows are just as important as the ones you made to your spouse.  We cannot play the faithful christian on Sunday and then not involve God in the rest of our lives – that is not a relationship.

Talk to God all the time, when you made him your Savior, you also made Jesus the Lord of your life.  He cares about you and every detail of your life – big or small!

Malachi 2:16b

“Guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless” ESV

 

Declaration of Faith

I am united in a perfect covenant partnership with my heavenly Father. He works both in and through me to make me victorious in every circumstance. I will remain faithful to my Maker, for He is my husband. I will not cheat with the world, idols or selfishness but will be loyal to the vows I took when I first made Him my Lord and Savior.

The Holy Spirit is Calling

The Holy Spirit is your supernatural guide through life. You don’t ever have to be caught off guard because the Holy Spirit will prepare you for what lies ahead.  Sometimes we forget that God gave us a helper!  If we stay in tune to Him, He will direct our paths and warn us of danger.  He will give you insight to situations of uncertainty.

When you put your trust in God and Jesus lives in you, the Holy Spirit is also there, just waiting to be heard.

John 16:13

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come,

he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not

speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that

shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.

 

Declaration of Faith

I trust the Holy Spirit to guide me through my daily life. I am familiar with His voice and obey His instruction. I am confident that He will prepare me for what lies ahead. I choose to be alert to His promptings and will not quench the Holy Spirit at any time.

 

 

Love is a Commandment

The distinguishing mark of Christians is the love we have for others. When we love our brothers and sisters, we demonstrate the true character of God. Love is unconditional. It is choosing to see someone the way God sees them regardless of your personal feelings, treating them with respect.  God sees every person as His children whom he loves that are lost and in need of a savior.

It is especially important to remember this as we are in such a divided time in our country with the election coming up. We all have the right to our own opinions, but God’s opinion and His Word should be the final say in how we vote.  Even when we are dealing with those against us, we still have to see them as God does, love them and pray for them. We should not stoop to their level with name calling and disrespect.

This of course does not mean that you back down on your stance or God’s Word, but it does mean that you treat ALL people with respect and see them through God’s eyes.  Remember that Jesus loved the very people that crucified Him. He died for them just as much as He died for you. By showing them the Love that God showed you, you will be opening up a door for them to come to know Jesus which is most important.

1 John 3:14

“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.”

Declaration of Faith

My character represents God, therefore I choose to walk in love in every situation. I love my brothers and sisters regardless of how they are towards me. I choose to live my daily life imitating God and showing unconditional love towards others.

Faith Speaks Faith

Your faith resonates clearly through every word you speak. What you say is the real demonstration of what you believe. Do you have the voice of faith or the voice of doubt and unbelief?

What is in your heart is what comes out of your mouth. (Matt 12:34) Have you ever caught yourself getting excited by a healing promise of God or receiving prayer for healing just to mumble something similar to, “I hope it works.  I am always sick,” before you even hit the parking lot?

What happened? You thought you believed God’s promise, and you were happy to receive prayer. The truth is, deep down in your heart, you still have doubt. You want to believe God, you want to feel better but you are not completely convinced that God can change anything.

Our words are a good indicator of our faith level. How do we raise our faith level and replace those words of doubt and unbelief? The bible says that faith come by hearing the Word of God (Rom 10:17). So by studying God’s Word and listening to it (even if it is reading it out loud to ourselves), we will fill our hearts with God’s promises and truth leaving no room for anything else. This is so important, especially since we are bombarded everyday with words and messages that try and overtake our faith.

Don’t be discouraged, everyone struggles at some point, and it is just a matter to getting back up and grabbing onto God’s Word tenaciously.  The truth that we KNOW is true.  Stand strong, stay in the Word and your faith and your faith produced words can and will move mountains!

2 Corinthians 4:13

“It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak”

Declaration of Faith

My faith in God resonates clearly through every word I speak. I am in agreement with the Lord and His Word and my voice and actions reflect that. I choose to put down any doubt and unbelief and to stand up in faith declaring God’s Word over my life.

Spiritual Awareness

“The enemy will not see you vanish into God’s company without an effort to reclaim you.” Quote

One of the most dangerous lies that a Christian can believe is that there is no devil. The word is clear when it says that Satan goes around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1Peter 5:8).  If you’ve received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you have been transferred from darkness to light. Many new Christians enter thinking that life will be a piece of cake now and then come to realize that they are attacked with a number of circumstances. It is not a coincidence. The devil does not want to lose you and is terrified of the day that you would really get a revelation of who you are in Christ because then it is all over for him.

God is much bigger and we have already been given the victory if we fight the fight of faith. But it is hard to fight what you don’t believe in.

As we approach Halloween, it is good example how many brush off spiritual things and choose to believe that fear, evil spirits, and scary monsters are just innocent fun when in reality, the demonic realm is very real. It is not to be afraid but aware and get to know the word of God. Jesus has given us an umbrella of protection and that umbrella is His Word. If we follow it and stay under it, then we are protected but if we are stepping out of it or entertaining things that God abhors then it opens the door for the enemy to enter your life and household.

I don’t want that and I am sure you don’t either! Stand on the Word of God and use the Authority you’ve been given against the devil. It doesn’t mean he won’t try to affect you but you can send him fleeing every time.

Declaration of Faith

I am not ignorant of the enemy’s devices. I stand firm in God’s promises, knowing that he always brings me out of even the most difficult of circumstances in victory. I will not stand down, give up or settle for anything less than God’s best in every area of my life.

1 Corinthians 16:13

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith;be men of courage; be strong.”

1 Peter 5:8

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”