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Are you in a battle today, and it’s taking more than just a physical toll on you? Are you finding it difficult to find the words to tell the devil to be gone? Spiritual warfare is crippling, real, and troublesome, but Jesus has already won us the victory! Pray along with these words now and let the Lord break the chains of fear and bondage!

Jesus, sometimes I can almost sense the heaviness of pressure mounting and the ominous presence of darkness around me. I recognize my enemy is at work again. Whether he’s trying to discourage me to get sidetracked, to fall into temptation, to give up, or to take my eyes off you, he’s always hanging around.

I need your supernatural power, Lord, to stand strong and not surrender. Physical force won’t help, because you’ve said the weapons of our warfare are different from those in this world. As believers, ours are powerful and can demolish strongholds and lies. These supernatural weapons originate from you. By your precious name and blood, Jesus, I’m asking you to confuse Satan and cancel his attempts to shut me and my influence down. Help me not to become discouraged or to give in when heavy times of testing come.

When I’m tired and weak, you are strong, Lord, and you are my only source of help. I cannot fight without you. Teach me how to pray and to trust you to pull down those strongholds that keep me or others helpless. Guard me from isolation that leaves me exposed and vulnerable. I believe you destroyed the power of my enemy by your death and resurrection. But like a bad penny, my enemy keeps showing up, whispering lies, twisting the truth, and attempting to inflate my selfish pride. He never gives up.

I am declaring the devil and his demons liars today, Lord. Through the power of your precious name and blood, I agree with your Word and the truth that you are in me and that you are greater than my enemy who wants to rule the world. You, your Word, and prayer, Lord, are my secret weapons. I belong to you, and that fills me with a powerful God-confidence. I want to constantly dress in the spiritual armor you give me. Help me use it to defend others from Satan’s fiery darts as well. No one and nothing can snatch me away from your hand.

Strengthen my faith, Lord. Forgive my sins, so that I may be clean in your righteousness. Make me brave, so I can stand and fight the spiritual battles in my life and in our world. Give me your wisdom and discernment so I won’t be caught off guard. Together, Lord, we’ll win, because in truth, you already have.

In Jesus’s powerful name before which every knee shall bow, Amen!

Courtesy: Rebecca Barlow Jordan – Crosswalk

What is sin?

Sin is a transgression of the law of God. It is a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God (Merriam-Webster).

We were all born as sinners and fall short of the glory of God (Ps. 51:5; Rom. 8:23). However, God loved us so much that he sent his only son to die for our sins; so that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-9). Do not let sins keep you away from God. Let God keep you away from sins. Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4).

Sins destroy your relationship with God and hinder your prayers from entering the throne room of God. If you cherish iniquity in your heart, the Lord will not listen (Ps. 66:18). This is because God is holy, and you also need to be holy (1 Pet. 1:16). The devil will stop at nothing to keep you in the bondage of sin, so that you do not have a relationship with God. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7).

When you are faced with struggles in life, it is sometimes difficult to not worry. This is especially true, if you have been facing ongoing struggles, and it seems like there is no end to them. You may get anxious, overwhelmed, and tired. At that point in your life, it is also hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Your heart and mind are two vulnerable areas that Satan will try to attack. Therefore, you are reminded in the scripture, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).”

To those of you who have spoken into my life. To the ones who have helped and supported me, as I endured and overcame various trials and tribulations. To the ones who did not run away and leave me while I was riding out my storm, but instead have consistently encouraged and prayed for me. And to the ones who have helped me created cherished memories.

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God - Philippians 1:3 - Verse Image
God bless you for being there when I needed you the most.

Luke 4:16-30 depicts the time where Jesus went back to Nazareth, the hometown where he was brought up. He went to the synagogue and began to read from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (v. 18-19).”

Jesus spoke graciously, and all who were listening, marveled at the words coming out of his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son (v.22)?” Jesus knew what they were thinking, because they could not bring themselves to believe who God had called him to be. Therefore, Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown (v. 24).”

When they heard these things, all who were in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, he went away (v. 28-30).

Jesus went away unto others, who would have welcomed and received him, as he continued his ministry with his twelve disciples. This is so, because he could not do any mighty work in his hometown of Nazareth, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief (Mark 6:5). He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him (John 1:11).

Can you imagine the regret the Nazarenes must have experienced, when they heard how much Jesus’ fame had spread around the world, because of the mighty work that he was doing for God’s kingdom?

Jesus’ experience at Nazareth is typical today of people whom God has called to fulfill his purpose on this earth. People in your very own hometown, who may include family members and friends, may not want to recognize and respect you for the person God has called you to be. However, no matter how much they hate, criticize, or continue to be jealous of you, no one can prevent God from blessing and using you for his purpose and glory.

When God calls you, he anoints and equips you for his purpose; therefore, the devil and evil people cannot touch your anointing or do you any harm (Psalm 105:15). When people try to fight you; they are not fighting you, but they are fighting God, who has called, anointed, and equipped you for his purpose. With that being said, no one ever wins a fight with God.

If you need to leave Nazareth, in order to fulfill the purpose that God has called you for, by all means, leave! At the end of the day, you have an account to give to God (Romans 14:12).

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you (John 13:34).

Hate is an evil seed that the devil allows one to abhor in their heart. If that evil seed of hate is not eliminated, it continues to grow. This is what the devil wants, because hate will not get one into Heaven (1 Cor. 6:9). Moreover, having hate or other sins in one’s heart hinder your prayers and relationship with God (Ps. 66:18). Hate also causes too much pain in one’s heart, and this is not a healthy way to live.

Jesus is Love

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen (1 John 4:20).

Some people may hate others because they have harmed or caused hurt to them. This is very difficult to fathom when someone caused another person harm or hurt in any way. However, Jesus understands your hurt and pain. He had been through terrible hurt and pain from others for no apparent reasons. He was treated horribly and hung on a cross to die for our sins. But Jesus did not abhor hate for his persecutors. He instead asked God to forgive them (Luke 23:34).  

On the other hand, some people may hate others for no apparent reasons. It may be for the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, their religious beliefs, or because of jealousy of another person’s accomplishments.

Notwithstanding, it does not matter how one person feels about another. This does not give anyone an excuse to abhor hate in their heart for that person. God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8).

Although entry into the Kingdom of Heaven is free, there are several requirements to enter. Entry is difficult, and only a few will inherit it (Matt. 22:14). To enter, it requires persecutions, sacrifices, sufferings and many tribulations (Matt. 5:10; 7:13-14; Luke 18:29-30; Acts 14:21-22).

What Is It Like?

The Kingdom is of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17). It is powerful and has authority over sicknesses, diseases, demonic spirits, and evil (1 Cor. 4:20; Matt. 4:23-24; 9:35; 10: 6; 12:28).

Who Can Enter?

In John 3, Jesus taught Nicodemus, a great ruler of the Jews about entry into the Kingdom of Heaven. Except a man is born of the water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God (v.3). Sinners will not inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-11; John 3:1-36; Matt. 3:2; Eph. 5:5). God loved sinners so much, that he sent his only son into the world to die, so that whosoever believes in him, will not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Jesus was sent to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the people (Luke 4:43). No one will enter the Kingdom, except through Jesus (John 3:16; 11:25-26; 14:6).

The Kingdom is for those who rank it to be the most important in their lives (Matt. 6:33). It is for the poor in spirit, the pure in heart, and those who display humbleness like children (Matt. 5:3-8; 19:14; Mark 10:14-15; Luke 18:16-17).

Those who are righteous and follow Jesus will know the secrets of the Kingdom of God; but to others, it will be in parables (Luke 8:10). Not everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will enter, but those who do the will of the Lord (Matt. 7:21).

The total amount of people who will inherit the Kingdom of God, will not be made known, until the day of harvest (Matt. 13:24-30).

Keep your heart pure for out of it are the important things of life (Proverbs 4:23). Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Matthew 5:8). Let your heart bear the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

A Pure Heart With Fruit Of The Spirit

It contains love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

 

An Impure Heart Without Fruit Of The Spirit

It contains hate, jealousy, bitterness, adultery, fornication, hostility, impatience, unfaithfulness, among other evilness.

If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, you can repent, by asking Jesus to forgive your sins and transform your heart. If you have been saved, but still struggling to maintain a pure heart, you can ask the Lord to help you to keep your heart pure, by filling it up with the fruit of the Spirit.

You are reminded that you should set your mind on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2). As the world continues to experience the devastating effect of COVID-19, it is clear that your mind should not be placed on earthly things. This is because the things on this earth are not stable or lasting. The joy of the Lord should be your strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Therefore, when earthly things are shaken, you will still have your strength, because your joy is in the Lord, not the things on this earth.

 

You are reminded not to store up treasures on this earth, as they can be destroyed or stolen. But you should store up your treasures in Heaven, where they cannot be destroyed or stolen. For where your treasures are, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21).

In this world, there will always be trials and tribulations (John 16:33). The world will not be able to give you peace; however, Jesus has left peace with you, so let not your heart be troubled and do not be afraid (John 14:27).

It does not matter what is going on in this world; God is always in control. For the kingdom is the Lord’s, and he rules over the nations (Psalm 22:28).

Do you feel that you are facing the darkest time of your life right now? If so, who is facing it with you? Do you have the support of your family, friends or church folks? You may be going through various trials and tribulations, which may include anything from sicknesses, addictions, financial setbacks, barrenness, joblessness, hopelessness, demonic oppression, business failure, ministry failure, marriage problems, singleness, or you may have lost your salvation, because you are not where you are with God right now. Alternatively, you may also have never been saved, and struggling to find out who God really is, and if He exists, or even care about you. Whatever your circumstances are today, you will need to know that no matter what you are going through, there is a God who sits high on the throne. As a result, your tears are not going unnoticed today, as He loves and cares for you more than you ever can think of. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

When the very people who you think should have your back, turn against you while you are facing your darkness, God never will. However, what you need to understand is this, “Weeping may last only for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalms 30:5). With that being said, sometimes you have to face the darkness, before you can face the light. Notwithstanding, the very same people who disregarded you, and isolated you while you were facing your darkness alone, are the same people who will run back to you when your troubles are over, and you are now facing the light. God sometimes isolates you because of where He is taking you. He has a greater plan and purpose for your life that will bring Him greater glory, and elevates you to your destiny. Consequently, He has to place you in the darkness to see how you will handle yourself, and also for you to see who will go through the darkness with you. Some people will want to revel in your blessings when your tribulations are over, and you have passed your test, but they did not want to bear the burden with you. Therefore, God will use your darkness to let some fake and toxic people leave your life for good. You need to just ride through the darkness now, as your light is coming soon. However, remember that the people who left while you were going through your darkness, God does not want them to come with you in the light, as they weren’t good for you in the first place.

Accordingly, you may be walking through the valley of the shadow of death right now, but you should fear no evil, because God is with you. It is not what the devil or people decide will happen to your life, it is what God decides will happen. The devil or people will spread rumors and wish bad things for you, but they cannot override God’s purpose for your life. God is supreme over all the elements in the world, and no one cannot prevent God from blessing you, unless you allow them to. You need to hold your head up high today, and focus on where God is taking you. Additionally, you need to also understand that the same power that raised Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11) is the same power that can heal and deliver you today. He still have that power, as He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). God does not change; therefore, He can still do anything, because nothing is impossible for Him. So when people think it is over for you, God’s power will set you free from whatever you are facing today, if you only have a little faith to persevere through your darkness. He will justly reward you when He sees your faith and perseverance (Hebrews 11:6).

As stated, people today who are of the devil will rejoice and spread rumors, lies, and gossip when someone is going through their darkness, not understanding that God is getting ready to bless them in the light. However, because those people are of the devil, they don’t understand that what goes around also comes around. Their darkness is coming, as everyone has to go through tribulations (John 16:33), and hopefully when their darkness comes, they are able to handle it. Consequently, they too will need help and support, but if they did not provide it to others, they may find themselves isolated throughout their tribulations.

Let us pray one for another, and be supportive of each other, as today will be someone’s darkness, but tomorrow will be yours.

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