Where Are The Warriors? Part 2

  • Original Teaching: Where Are The Warriors?
  • Date: May 16, 2001
  • Location: Calvary Temple in Sterling, VA
  • Teacher: Pastor Jeff Heglund
  • Scripture: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” 2 Timothy 2:3-4
  • By: Jason Felton

In last week’s blog entitled “Where Are The Warriors?” we began to look at the some of the criteria that it takes to become a warrior. We saw that if you are going to be a spiritual warrior that you must be born again, you can’t despise your youth, you must be pure, and you must be sober. As we finish up our short series this week, we want to take a look at a few more character traits that we must have if we are going to be a warrior for Christ.

strongA true warrior is somebody who is strong! Ephesians 6:10 tells us, “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” So we see right here that we aren’t talking about a natural strength, but a spiritual strength. You must be strong in Him. Judges 6:14 says, “Go in this thy might, have not I sent thee.” We need to realize that as warriors we are totally invincible when we are obedient, going in the power of His might. If you are moving in God’s anointing and fulfilling His call on your life, you can’t fall! There is nothing that can come against you! Unfortunately, too many of us we have been weakened by the cares of this life. We have been rendered powerless by the spirit of this age. One of the main things that keeps us from being warriors is we just don’t want to pay the price. We would rather have ease and comfort instead of enduring hardness as a good soldier. As a warrior, whatever God has called you to do, do it with all your might!

A true spiritual warrior is violent. Matthew 11:12 says, “The kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, but the violent take if by force.” If you are going to finish the race, you are going to have to be violent. In your flesh, you are no match for the devil. He will whip you up and down if you are not setting out against him. If you are not properly armed with the spiritual weapons the Lord has given. If you are not striving, you are not going tokingdom make it. Real warfare is violent right? There is blood, fighting, death… Well, spiritual warfare is no different. There is a price to pay if we are going to get to Heaven. The price is everything. The cost is a daily death and 100% total surrender of your life to His will.

A true spiritual warrior is zealous. Not just a zeal for themselves, but a zeal for those around them. We need to stir one another up with our zeal. Do you tolerate sin in the lives of your friends and family? Do you stand up to carnality and worldliness in those that are around you? In a society that is thriving on tolerance and compromise, we need to have a zeal for purity and holiness in the lives of our family and friends. It takes a warrior to train up a warrior! What are you doing to strengthen those that are around you? What are you doing to train up a stronger next generation? First, you must be the warrior that God has called you to be!

True spiritual warriors have testimonies. We read the testimonies of those in the Bible or  modern day heroes, but do you have your own testimonies? Where are your stories of healing, deliverance, salvation, etc… Your experiences will be what provokes another generation of warriors! You should be excited about your testimonies and should want to share them with others so that we can glorify God and strengthen the brethren. Don’t just sit around and live off of what everybody else is doing for God. Go out and get your own testimonies! God wants to show Himself mighty on YOUR behalf!

warriorAs we end for today, don’t over think what a warrior is. A warrior doesn’t mean you have to be a pastor, evangelist, or missionary. We are all called to be soldiers. We have all been given tasks and jobs in the kingdom. How are you doing with what God has called you to be? Most of being a warrior in our lives is in the mundane things. It’s in daily, consistent Christian living. It’s being a good spouse. It’s being a Godly parent. It’s being a faithful friend. So in those areas, are you being the warrior that God has called you to be? Those are all very high callings which are not to be taken lightly! You will stand before the Lord and give an account for what you did with everything and everyone God has entrusted to you. Be the warrior God has called you to be!

Where Are The Warriors?

  • Original Teaching: Where Are The Warriors?
  • Date: May 16, 2001
  • Location: Calvary Temple in Sterling, VA
  • Teacher: Pastor Jeff Heglund
  • Scripture: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” 2 Timothy 2:3-4
  • By: Jason Felton

new yearHopefully everybody had a great Christmas and enjoyed some good time with family and friends over the holidays. Can you believe another year has passed? If you’re like me, you probably thought at some point in your life that we would never see the year 2016. Surely, Jesus would come back by then! Alas, here we are facing another year. Another chance to occupy until he returns. If you haven’t noticed, things are getting worse and worse in regards to the spirit of lawlessness that’s running rampant on this planet. Now more than ever we need to fight this good fight of faith, but in order to do that we need warriors. So what is a warrior and what does it take to be a warrior? That’s we want look at over the next couple of weeks.

The first characteristic we see in a spiritual warrior is very simple. Are you born again? Have you even enlisted in the war? If you enlisted in this war, you chose to give your own life up to be used of God. Your life is no longer about you! Your life is about born againserving the one who gave up everything so that you could have eternal life. We are called to be Christlike. Jesus came to destroy the works of the evil one and as long as you are here on earth you are called to do the same. If you’re going to take on the devil, you better make sure the Lord is on your side. It’s a fight worth fighting, but one that we must fight with the spiritual weapons He has given us.

“Well I’m kind of a baby Christian, I’m not sure the Lord can use me!” That brings us to our next characteristic of a warrior. A warrior is somebody who is not ashamed of his youth. Whether you are young by age or young in your walk with the Lord, He can and still wants to use you! In 2 Timothy 4:12 it says, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” A warrior doesn’t sit back and wait for somebody who youthis “more spiritual or mature”. He steps out in faith and gets the job done as the Lord leads. In I Samuel Saul cautions David when he wants to challenge Goliath by telling him that he’s just a youth, but Goliath has been a man of war since his youth. It didn’t matter to David though. He was jealous for the glory of God and if nobody was going to step up he was! You don’t have to sit back and wait to be a warrior. God can use you right now wherever He has placed you. 

The third thing we see in a warrior is somebody who is pure. Psalms 24:3-4 says, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.” God is going to use those who are purifying themselves. He is looking for clean vessels. Hebrews 12:14 says, “Without holiness, no man can see the Lord.” This world is a dirty, filthy place and as Christians we are constantly being polluted. You can’t turn on your tv, check your cell phone, or step out of your house without being vexed. What are you do to be holy and setscrabble apart? Are there things in your life that the Lord has been speaking to you about that you know need to change? You can’t be a warrior for Him if your not willing to lay those things aside. In fact, the Lord’s going to pass over you and use somebody else because of that little bit of filth and worldliness that you want to hang onto. You need to be pure and holy! You need to lay aside every weight and sin that does so easily beset you!

The final thing we want to look at this week that is a character trait of a true warrior is sobriety. I Peter 5:8 tells us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” How sober are you today? The Devil is out to kill you! It’s no joke. He wants to absolutely destroy you. Oh you may have a good life here on earth, he’s not worried about that. But eternally he wants to take you to Hell with him. Are you being watchful? What are you doing to combat the lies of the devil? How are you fortifying yourself to stand against the principalities and powers of darkness? The only way is to be on the offensive. Ephesians tells us we must be adorned in the whole armor of God. Everyday you get up you need to pick up that shield of faith and sword of the spirit and attack the enemy. A warrior isn’t passive!

couchI hope that sets the tone for what is a very good teaching. In fact if you get a chance, click the link above and listen for yourselves. It’s definitely worth your time! We are going to talk about a few more character traits next week that are imperative if we are going to be warriors. Until then, keep fighting! Amos 6:1 says, “Woe to them that are at ease in Zion!” Don’t sit back and coast along in a life of ease and comfort. If you aren’t warring you are going to die! As Christians it’s what we are called to do and there is no other way around it. The good news is if God is for us, nobody can stand against us! Having done all to stand, STAND!

 

18-1

  • Original Teaching: 18-1
  • Date: February 10, 2008
  • Location: Calvary Temple in Sterling, VA
  • Teacher: Pastor Jon Miller
  • Scripture: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8
  • By: Jason Felton

neAs we wind down 2015 and look ahead to 2016 a lot of us like to look back and reflect on how the year went. Did we hold to our New Years resolutions? Did we meet all of our goals? Did we finish the year stronger than when we started it?  Today, we want to look back at a teaching Pastor Jon Miller did a few years ago entitled “18-1”. If you’re a football fan, you may remember that during the 2007-2008 NFL season the New England Patriots went into the Superbowl undefeated at 18-0. Well they lost the last and most important game and that’s all anybody remembers. You see it didn’t matter that they went undefeated in the regular season and breezed through the playoffs. All that mattered was that they lost the championship. In our Christian walks it’s the same thing. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been a Christian 4 months, 4 years, or 40 years. If you don’t finish this race strong and you faint down the stretch you won’t make it.

Do you remember King Asa? This is a man who started out strong in his walk with the Lord, but didn’t finish the same. In 2 Chronicles 14:2 it says, “Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord.” Asa was a man who loved the Lord. He commanded Judah to seek the Lord and keep the commandments. He was a cold heartman that tore down idols and built up a mighty army. Unfortunately, as time went on Asa began to lose sight of God.. In 2 Chronicles 16:12 it says that Asa sought not the Lord. So he went from somebody who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord to somebody who didn’t seek the Lord. Asa’s downfall can be attributed to one thing: he lost faith in God. What a tragic story! So what about your life? How bad would it be to start the race strong, but drop out at the last minute? It’s a temptation everyone of us has to battle on a daily basis as the enemy goes about trying to destroy us.

Matthew 24:12 says, “In the last days iniquity will abound and the love of many will wax cold.” In fact, later on in the chapter verse 24 says, “If the days were not shortened even the very elect would fall.” Think about that! Think about the person you see as the most powerful or devout Christian. If the Lord didn’t shorten the days even the strongest Christian on earth would succumb to these powerful seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. Friends, we are at war and everything around you is trying to get you to give up! Satan’s fate has been sealed and he wants to take as many people with him to Hell as he can.

race“Man that sounds serious! How do I stay safe?” Well, you need to constantly fortify and strengthen yourself! God has called you to a life of preparation and not a life of relaxation. You can’t be on cruise control. When you take a break that is when Satan comes to attack. A lot of us at times tend to want to see how close to the world we can get and still be in eye shot of Jesus. The reality is we need to be as close to Jesus as possible. Do you have blinders on so that all you can see is Jesus or are you constantly being distracted? You can’t run this race and be good at everything else. Run this race as if only one man wins, don’t just run to barely cross the finish line. The issue isn’t what’s the least you can do and still make it. If you have that mentality you will fail. The issue is how can you run this race in a way that brings the most glory to God. How can you go out fighting.

Beloved, the only way you can finish this race is if you know the Word of God and stand on it. How are you doing with that today? Are you jesusstanding on the Word of God? What about your friends and family? Are you requiring them to stand on the Word of God or do you make it easier on them by holding them to another standard? The standard for every decision in your life has to be God’s Word. God and His Word are one. If you don’t follow it, you’re not following God. The greatest men of God were those who were absolutely obedient. Those are the ones who finished the race. Praying 18 hours a day, memorizing the entire Bible, reading spiritual books, or listening to teachings online isn’t going to cut it. You have to LOVE his appearing! Is getting to that finish line to see Jesus the only thing that matters? It can’t be about getting to Heaven or trying to escape Hell. It has to be about seeing Jesus. If it is then you are guaranteed to make it, because God promised us that “He that endures to the end shall be saved (Matthew 24:13).” Don’t go 18-1!

When We Get To Heaven!

  • Original Teaching: When We Get to Heaven
  • Date: July 18, 2010
  • Location: Calvary Temple in Sterling, VA
  • Teacher: Pastor Forbe Carlson
  • Scripture: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on thing above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:1-2
  • By: Jason Felton

heaven or hellSince I’ve been blogging over the past year, we’ve covered a number of subjects regarding practical Christian living and what we need to do to stand in the intense warfare we are involved in. So what is it we are fighting for? What’s the end game? Well we are fighting for our lives and where we are going to spend eternity. Heaven and Hell are very real. We talked about the reality of Hell about a year ago. Today we want to talk about the reality of Heaven and what awaits those who endure to the end. Spoiler Alert! It’s greater than anything you can imagine!

The sad thing is Heaven has become an afterthought in Christianity because our focus has been so intent on this earth. Oh, you hear references to our mansion in the sky or the sweet by and by, but you hear very little talk about the reality of Heaven. Everything spoken from the pulpit today in most churches is how you can prosper here on earth. It’s about how the Lord will bless you in this temporal realm. And while the Lord does bless those that bless Him, He’s not really caught up with your temporal existence and you shouldn’t be either. Heaven should be the focus and joy of the life of the believer! “Oh I can’t wait to get Heaven! There’s going to be no more death or sickness. There will be a big feast! I’m going to get to a new mansion and see my loved ones who have gone home to be with the Lord.” Yes, all those things are true, and it is what the Lord has promised us! But there are 3 things we want to look at that makes Heaven even greater than that.

Our first and foremost focal point when thinking about Heaven is the excitement of seeing Jesus! If you read through the book of Revelation, you will see countlessheaven Jesus references to Jesus and the endless praise and worship that is given to Him. If that is the main focus of those who are the current citizens of Heaven, then it certainly should be ours, as the future citizens of Heaven. Jesus is the reason you can look forward to Heaven in the first place. If it wasn’t for His obedience to die on the cross for your sins, Heaven wouldn’t even be an option. You would be damned to a Devil’s Hell for all of eternity. Aren’t you thankful that, that’s not the case! What a joy it will be in Heaven to be able to see Jesus and thank Him face to face for what He has done for us. When we get to Heaven we won’t be able to get enough of Jesus! We will be with Him for eternity and have eternity to worship and praise His holy name!

That brings us to our second point. Another thing you can get excited about when thinking about Heaven is worship. A lot of us, when we think about Heaven, picture us kicking back and relaxing. I finished the race, and now it’s time to chill in my lounge chair by the crystal sea. The reality is, you won’t really care about those things. What you will care about is worshiping the guy we were talking about in point number one. You won’t be able to get enough of Jesus! You will be so caught up in His presence that nothing else will matter! When you get to Heaven you will be able to express pure worship to Him without any reservation, and you will never grow weary of doing so. Just think about that. Think about those times you have had even here on earth when you are totally caught up in His presence. What peace and absolute joy there is when we have those times. It seems like time stands still and you don’t ever want to leave. Well you will have that for all of eternity. What a blessing! What an incredible thing we have to look forward to!

heaven bookThe last thing point I want to talk about today (and this is an important one) when thinking of Heaven is the Lamb’s book of life. The book of life is referenced a few times throughout the scriptures. In fact, in Luke 10 Jesus said, “Don’t rejoice because the spirits are subject to you. Rejoice because your names are written in Heaven.” This should be something that excites us. Greater than all the things He has blessed you with should be the fact that your name is written in this book! Because if your name is not found in this book you will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). That should be a sobering thought to you! The fact of the matter is we haven’t finished this race yet. Even though you may be a Christian, you still have daily choices to make that determine where you will end up. The sad thing is many people in this day and age are having their names blotted out of this book because they are treasuring the things of the earth.

Philippians 4:20 says, “For our conversation is in Heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” This word conversation can also be interpreted citizenship. Our citizenship should be in Heaven. We need to be constantly reminded of this because everything on this earth is telling us otherwise. It’s telling us we need to get bigger houses, drive nicer cars, go on more vacations. The world is telling us (even professed Christianity) to do whatever it takes to make your life here on earth as comfortable and easy as possible. That’s not the life of a true believer! The heroes of faith heaven abovelooked for a city whose builder and maker was God and for us there is a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:17). We need to be reminded daily of where our citizenship truly is!

So as we end for today, what about you? Do you yearn for Heaven? Do you value your citizenship in the kingdom of God? We all know the right answers and most would say yes, but what does your life say? Does your life reflect what you would probably answer, or have you taken your citizenship for granted? We all say we love Jesus and can’t wait to see Him, but is He your passion? Do you truly treasure Him above everything else? If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll realize that we are far more earthly minded then we think! We say all the right things, but our feet are firmly planted here on this earth. Brothers and sisters there are some great things that await us in eternity, and we’ve looked at three very important ones today. But before we can become citizens of the kingdom of Heaven in eternity, we must become citizens of the kingdom of Heaven here on this earth. We need to be totally caught up with Him now so we can spend eternity in His presence later! So get your mind off the temporal and onto the eternal. Jesus is coming back soon and He’s looking for a bride that’s consumed with Him!

 

 

Emancipation Proclamation From Sickness!

This is one of my favorite times of the year. Fall is hitting its peak, Thanksgiving is this month, and Christmas is just around the corner. However, there is one thing that I just don’t look forward to at all- the start of the cold and flu season. I hate being sick and it’s even worse when you have a spouse or kids. If you’re like me, I’m sure you’re not a fan of sore throats, runny noses, high fevers, and the worst of all: vomiting and diarrhea. The good news is there is Someone who paid the price so we don’t have to be sick.

jesus paidA lot of people know that Jesus died on the cross for their sins, but many people forget that he also took away all of our sickness and disease. Isaiah 53 says, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Aren’t you thankful that He bore every ache, pain, and illness on that cross? We are free from sickness because of what Jesus did for us! He went through all that He went through (the nails, the crown of thorns, the beatings, the mocking…) for the healing of our bodies. What love He has for us!

So who or what do you turn to when you get sick? I don’t just want to talk about the big chronic illnesses you may deal with, but the daily illnesses you may battle. You know the things I mentioned in the list above that come with cold and flu season. What about seasonal allergies or the daily headaches? What about the lower back pain that comes and goes or the chronic cough you’ve learned to live with? Jesus paid the price for those things too! Oh, we all pray and pray a lot for the person that has cancer, or the one that has a brain tumor, or any other serious life threatening ailment. healerBut once again, what about those things that are just a nuisance? “Well we all get sick, it’s just part of life. It’s not that big of a deal, I’ve just learned to live with it.” That’s not God’s will for you!

Sickness has no place in the body of a believer! From the most deadly cancer all the way down to the most common cold, He has provided healing for us! I Corinthians 6:19 says, “Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost.” This temple, this body where Christ resides, not only is to be kept clean from sin, but the provision was made for us to be free from sickness as well! It’s not God’s will for you to be sick, and until you realize that you will never be healed. Any sickness, disease, or pain is of Satanic origin. Everything that comes to steal, kill, and destroy is of the devil and God is not the author of it. You don’t have to be sick, have pain, or be tormented anymore! Jesus Christ has set you free!

So the next time your kid wakes up vomiting in the middle of the night, don’t just have the attitude of let’s get through it. Pray for them, and believe that they will be touched immediately. It’s not just something that happens. It’s of the devil, and that illness has no right to be in that body! The next time your spouse gets the fall heal,jpgsniffles and sore throat, lay hands on them and see them recover (Mark 16:18). Not once the cold has run it’s course, believe for them to be healed instantaneously! You, your friends, and your loved ones don’t have to be sick. A thousand shall fall at thy side and ten thousand at thy right hand, but it SHALL NOT come nigh thee (Psalm 91:7)! So as we enter this time of year, don’t just try to cope with it the best you can. Step out in faith and grab hold of the promise of God that says by His stripes you are healed (no matter how big or small). No deadly thing shall harm you. Jesus bore the sickness, so we don’t have to bare it in our bodies anymore. PRAISE GOD! DON’T LET WHAT HE DID BE DONE IN VAIN! DON’T LOSE SIGHT OF THAT PROMISE!! IT’S HIS WILL AND DESIRE FOR EACH OF OUR LIVES TO BE COMPLETELY WHOLE!! 

 

Are you a friend of the world?

  • Original Teaching: Friends
  • Date: January 27, 2010
  • Location: Calvary Temple in Sterling, VA
  • Teacher: Pastor Star R Scott
  • Scripture: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” I John 2:15-16
  • By: Jason Felton

jamesAs we have reviewed the teaching “Friends” over the last couple weeks we’ve asked ourselves a couple questions. The first question was, “Are you a friend of God?” The second question was, “Who are your friends?” This week,we want to ask ourselves one last very important question: “Are you a friend of the world?” While your first answer would be, “Of course not!”, I think as we take a deeper look you will see that we are lot more friendly with the world then we realize.

James 4:4 says, “To be a friend of the world is to be the enemy of God.” So right off the bat here the Word of God is being pretty blunt on how God views people who are friends with the world. They are his enemies! That’s a pretty strong statement and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be found the enemy of an all powerful God! “Well I’m not really a friend of the world, I’m just involved in it occasionally.” Let’s take a closer look at how this term “friend” is used in the Bible. The word friend comes from the root word philea which means to love or to be loved or to have tender affection toward. So with that in mind we could read James 4:4 this way. To love (or be loved by) and have tender affection for the world is to be the enemy of God.

Friendship with the world doesn’t mean you’re totally sold out to carnality. It doesn’t just mean you’re out living a carnal, sexual, drunk, baitsinful lifestyle. It means that you befriend the world. You have an affection for and an attraction to the things of the world. “Well not everything in this world we partake of is sin! Can’t I enjoy myself some?” I John 2 says, “Love not the world AND don’t love the things that are in the world.” So the question shouldn’t be, “Can’t I partake of certain things?” The question should be, “Do you love (or have strong affection) for the things you are partaking of?” The majority of us would say that we are not friends of the world, but our actions speak otherwise. For example. When you face decisions in your life, do you habitually apply biblical standards, or do you use the world’s wisdom as your standard? Do you apply the wisdom from above or the wisdom that’s earthly, sensual, and devilish?

“So what is the world exactly?” As you continue in I John 2 it says, “All that is in the world is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” The “world” is a kingdom that operates under these forces. It is a kingdom that is diametrically opposed to the kingdom of God. Is the world offensive to you? I’m not just talking about gross sins. I’m talking about the spirit of this world. That spirit of pride, selfishness, and independence. The spirit of the world promotes tolerance over the truth of the Word of God. If you’re not careful, this spirit will overcome you, and you’ll find yourself on the broad path that leads to lotdestruction. “Oh, I would never let it get to that point, I can handle it!” Lot was somebody who thought he could “handle it.” First he pitched his tent toward Sodom. Then he got closer to Sodom. After that He was sitting at the gates with the high rollers of Sodom. Finally, he had to be dragged out of Sodom by Angels against his will and pretty much lost everything that he had! We are more like Lot than we think! A lot of us think that we are pleasing to God just because we haven’t been destroyed, but it’s only because of His mercy that you are being sustained. A lot of us are being pulled out of this world by Angels as Lot was, and we don’t even realize it!

Brothers and sisters, we need to stop lying to ourselves by saying that the world doesn’t have an affect on us. So much of our lives are consumed with where we live, what we drive, how we dress, and how other people view us! We are bound and consumed too much by this world, and we weary ourselves by worrying about all the things of this life. The pride of life is one of the greatest sins we face today. Pride says, “I can make my own decisions, and I can set my own course. Then it goes to the Scriptures and finds Bible verses to justify its position. The church of tolerance and acceptance that has no cross and requires no repentance is a damnable spirit that is running rampant in churches all across this world. We need to be careful who we are cutting covenant with in these last days because of the rise of these seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. The Word of God says these spirits will rise up and deceive many.

“Man, I didn’t realize all that! How can I stay safe?” You stay safe by asking the Lord to reveal your heart to you. More often than not, Godheaven will do that by having somebody in your life bring the true condition of you heart to your attention. That’s why, last week, we stressed the importance of  being intertwined into the body of Christ. Be vulnerable, and allow others to speak into your life. The other way we stay safe is by being on the offensive. We are in the world, but we are not of it! The number one reason we are in this world is not for personal gain, but to go into the highways and byways and compel them to come. Is the reason you live to preach the gospel and promote the kingdom of God? Friends, we are just sojourners passing through, and God is not coming back for a people who are friends of the world. Let’s be busy about His business and not the busy-ness of this life!

 

 

 

Who are our friends?

In last week’s blog post we looked at what it means to truly be a friend of God. As we continue our series on the teaching “Friends” we want to take a look at who our friends should be. In a day and age where everybody is networking on the job or involved in all forms of social media we need to make sure we are hanging out with the right people. Everyone of us needs to be a friend of God, but we also need natural (flesh and blood) friends to help us to obtain or remain in that friendship with our heavenly Father. Let’s take a look at who they should be.

spousefriendOutside of Jesus, your best friend should be your spouse! Unfortunately, in a lot of our lives this isn’t the case. Too many of us don’t have the right relationship with our spouses, and because of that Satan is able to take advantage of us. We’re more vulnerable with other people, and it shouldn’t be so. I Peter 3:6-7 talks about honoring one another in our roles as husband and wife so our prayers are not hindered. How many of our prayers are being hindered because we are not in agreement with our number one prayer partner? We are at war, beloved, and our greatest weapon is prayer. Those prayers will not be effective if our marriages are out of order! Our husband or wife shouldn’t just be our friend; they should be our best friend! They should be the first one we go to whenever we have a problem and the first one we listen to whenever we have a need. It’s God’s order!

Okay, so now that we’ve covered that… who else should we befriend? Well, if Jesus is Lord of your life it should be whoever he picks for you! Too many of us want to pick and choose who we hang out with. Do some people not meet your “standards”? Maybe you want certain friends because of what you can get out of it? That’s not the right criteria! I Corinthians 12:18 says, “He places everybody in the body as it pleases Him.” Your friends should be those whom God places in your life! “Well I don’t know about them because they did this to me. I’m not sure I could be friends with them because of this reason.” It’s not about you! We need to love everybody as we have been loved (John 13:34)! Do you have trust issues? Well think about this. As much as you may have been betrayed or denied by people in your life, it’s nothing compared to your betrayal and denial of Jesus! We’re the debtors!

How committed are you to those God has put in your life? To the people that should be your friends? We have an obligation to those who Father has placed in ourtruefriend lives. Are you more committed to your co-workers, your neighbors, your relatives? “Well of course I’m more committed to my relatives, they’re family!” Do you remember the words of Jesus? He said, “who are my brothers and my mother?” Those who do the will of my Father (Matthew 12:48-50). Have you given your heart away to those who are outside of the kingdom of God, the body of Christ? Many of us have become friends of the world and James 4 tells us that makes us the enemy of God! Now, I’m not saying you can’t hang out with your natural family and I’m not saying we don’t have acquaintances out in the world. What I’m saying is our true friends should be those of like precious faith! We can RELATE to people outside of the group of people we are placed in, but we are COMMITTED to the group of people HE has placed us in!

Brothers and sisters, I know many of you who are reading this are knit into a body of believers, but some of you who may be reading this are not part of a local fellowship. Maybe you’ve relocated. Maybe you’re a new believer (praise God!). Maybe you’ve never heard principles like this before. The fact of the matter is we need other Christians to help us finish! You can’t run this race on your own! Despite what the world may tell you, there is no strength in independence. In fact you are never stronger than when you realize your need for the body of Christ! The greatest enemy you have is thinking of yourself more highly than you ought to think! Thinking that you can do this on your own and that you don’t need any help. You NEED godly friends! People who can bring you edification. People who can bring you reproof and rebuke if need be. People who can bring you the truth of the Word of God that will help you die to self. “Well that can be hurtful sometimes! Nobody is telling me what to do!” I hear you, I really do!! But Proverbs 27:6 says, “the wounds of a friend are necessary.” That’s why we are to have Godly friends! They are around for no other reason, but to help you conform into the image of Jesus!

lovefriendsSo as we wrap up this post I ask you the question again: “Who are your friends?” It should be somebody who brings about edification. It should be somebody that prioritizes the eternal. Proverbs 17:17 says, “A true friend loves at all times.” If you have friends that don’t meet this criteria, then maybe it’s time to be a good friend and help them out or go find somebody else to be friends with! Jesus is coming back soon and things are getting worse in worse in the society we live in. I encourage you to trust God’s Word and will for your life and find friends that will help you stand in this evil day! It’s your only hope!!

 

 

 

Are you a friend of God?

  • Original Teaching: Friends
  • Date: January 27, 2010
  • Location: Calvary Temple in Sterling, VA
  • Teacher: Pastor Star R Scott
  • Scripture: “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the friend of God.” James 2:23
  • By: Jason Felton

friendsAs we begin a new month, we want to start fresh with a series of teachings done just a few short years ago entitled “Friends”. Over the next few weeks we will look at a couple different aspects of friendship including the need to have Godly friends as well as the consequences of being a friend of the world. To start though, let’s talk about the most important friendship we can have – being a friend of God.

There’s no better place to start when looking at being a friend of God, than to look at the man who was called “the friend of God.” Of course, I’m talking about Abraham. What an amazing testimony! How would you like that to be your title? Well, it can be if you live a life like he did. “So what makes Abraham so special?” Look at Romans 11 and you will see that he was also called “the father of faith.” Abraham was faithful. Whenever God asked Abraham to do something, he stepped out in faith and did it. O, there was an Ishmael along the way, but more often than not Abraham obeyed God no matter what. Let’s look at a couple of examples.

Hebrews 11:8 says that Abraham obeyed when called; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. So we see here that even when Abraham was instructed to go somewhere he was unfamiliar with, he obeyed; stepped out in faith and went anyway. You want to be a friend of God? You need to be faithful and obedient to what God has called you to do! Another instance in Abraham life where he was faithful to obey God in extraordinary circumstances was when he offered up Isaac. In Genesis 22, God instructed Abraham to offer up Isaac,  and verse 3 says, “Abraham rose up EARLY in the morning.” You want to be a friend of God? You need to obey quickly!

“Okay, that was great for Abraham, he was special. How do I become a friend of God?” First off, Abraham wasn’t special! Yes, God used him to do some mighty abrahamthings, but he was flesh and blood and wrestled against his own will just like we do! You want to be a friend of God? You must walk by faith! Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith, it’s impossible to please God.” If you’re not walking by faith, you aren’t pleasing to God and if you aren’t pleasing to God then you are not his friend. John 15:14 says, “Ye are my friends, IF ye do whatsoever I command you.” You want to be a friend of God? You are going to have to be obedient to everything He has called you to!

“Well I’m obedient!” Really? Then let me ask you this question. What are you doing with what God has told you to do these last weeks or months? Did he tell you to love your husband more? Has he asked you to lay aside watching football and spend time in prayer? Maybe he instructed you to witness to that neighbor or coworker? How have you done in those areas? Have you been obedient? These are the daily choices I’m talking about. “Well, I started to but…” Abraham obeyed quickly and God expects us to do the same. If you’re lingering or still contemplating what God has clearly asked you to do then you’re not his friend! Remember Lot’s wife? What happened when she lingered? She looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt! God requires immediate and total obedience. There is no other way!

“Well, I have to take some time to pray about it. I’m not a quick thinker. I’m more of a deliberate person who likes to think things through.” You’re not a friend! You do not pray about whether you are going to obey God or not! Do not linger and hold God accountable for your personality, your convictions, etc… Stop trying to figure God out and take Him at His Word! Quit trying to apply natural wisdom to the infinite wisdom of God. You won’t be able to figure it out.

friend2Brothers and sisters, your life must be compliant with the will of God. This walk with Him is not just a single act of obedience, but a commitment to a life of obedience. You want to become a friend of God? It’s simple! Start doing what He tells you to do, when He tells you to do it, without deliberation! When God tells you to do something you do it immediately.You become a friend of God when he gives you an admonition and you do as Abraham did and you walk away from everything (family, earthly possessions, etc….)  not knowing where you’re going. And when He blesses you and prospers you and He comes to you again, you offer it up all over again (just like Abraham offered up Isaac). 

So as we end for this week, be careful when you’re quick to talk about how committed you are, or how sold out you are, or how willing you are to take up the cross and present your body a living sacrifice. It’s not as easy as we would like to think! The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, but the violent take it by force (Matthew 11:12)! It’s going to cost you something! It’s going to cost you everything! But beloved, it’s a small price to pay to be called the friend of God! What a blessing that He’s willing to have that intimate relationship with us where we are no longer servants, but friends! Don’t count it common!  Don’t be content just to be a servant. Desire to be His friend! It’s a gift available to each and every one of us!

The Ministry of Agreement Part 2!

  • Original Teaching: The Ministry of Agreement
  • Date: April 9, 1978
  • Location: Calvary Temple in Sterling, VA
  • Teacher: Pastor Star R Scott
  • Scripture: “Verily, I say unto you, whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again, I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in Heaven.” Matthew 18:18-19
  • By: Jason Felton

 

agreement 2In last week’s blog post we began reviewing the teaching “The Ministry of Agreement.” We looked at the fact that when we pray according to God’s Word and petition God for something we are entering into a verbal agreement or contract with Him. If we lose faith and take matters into our own hands then we are breaking that contract. This week we want to look at the aspect of agreement when two or more Christians are praying together in accordance with the Word of God! It’s a powerful force that we need to utilize as the body of Christ!

In these last days we need to move in full covenant agreement with the Lord and with one another so we can see the power of God in our lives. One of the greatest avenues of agreement we have is in our marriages! Husbands and wives should come together in every aspect: dealing with our children, business transactions, ministries in which God may call us. Find out what the Word of God says on the matter and stand in agreement on it! A husband and wife standing together in agreement on the Word of God cannot be moved! There is no power in hell that can overcome you if you are in agreement! That’s a powerful force!!

“That’s great if you have a spouse, but what about us single folks?” Well, if you’re not married then you can find a prayer partner. It could be another family member or maybe a friend. Find somebody that moves in faith and integrity and begin to pray together. Pagreementraying together is one of the keys to Matthew 18:19. You’ll notice it says that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that THEY shall ask. That’s the ministry of agreement we are talking about. One will put a thousand to flight, but two will put ten thousand! When we begin to truly agree together in this way we become invincible!

As we saw last week, this kind of praying is going to cost you something! This agreement doesn’t mean you come in and casually say to a person, “Yeah, I’ll agree with you on that.” You are making a covenant. You are signing a contract. You are verbally saying I will stand with you until the answer comes. I will continue to praise, believe, fast, and stand in the gap with you. I will do whatever is necessary until we see the answer! This agreement doesn’t mean we just get together and say a quick prayer! “Father, I thank you for such and such and we are in agreement with you in Jesus name, amen.” And then you go about your business and never think about it again. I don’t know about you, but too many times in my own life I’ve done just that! Somebody tells me they have a need. I stop what I’m doing and say a quick prayer and then I’m back to doing what I want to do. That’s not agreement! How about you? Do you pray that way? Where’s the cost in that? That’s probably not how you would expect others to pray for a need you may have, so why do we do pray like that for them?

agreement3Brothers and sisters, whether it’s between a husband and wife, family members, friends, or somebody you meet on the street; when you agree together you are signing your name on the dotted line. You’re making yourself libel. You’re saying that if this thing doesn’t come to pass, I’ll assume responsibility for it. This agreement is saying that you’ll stand with that brother or sister for eternity if you have to until this promise comes to pass! When we agree and harmonize together like this in accordance with the Word of God we put heaven into action. Heaven is stirred and Hell is shaken when two people agree in this way. What power! What authority! What a responsibility we have as believers! 

Do you have a need in your life today? Maybe you need healing. Maybe you’re struggling financially. Maybe you’re going through a trial in your life. Maybe, you’re believing to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Maybe you’ve backslidden and need to get back on track. Whatever your need is today, I encourage you to find somebody to pray with you. The Lord hears the cries of the righteous; and where two or three are gathered together in His name, He is in their midst! You’ve been given all power and all authority over the devil! When you come together in agreement with God’s Word and with one another, IT SHALL BE DONE, IT SHALL BE DONE, PRAISE GOD IT SHALL BE DONE!! Hallelujah! That’s a promise!

The Ministry of Agreement!

  • Original Teaching: The Ministry of Agreement
  • Date: April 9, 1978
  • Location: Calvary Temple in Sterling, VA
  • Teacher: Pastor Star R Scott
  • Scripture: “Verily, I say unto you, whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again, I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in Heaven.” Matthew 18:18-19
  • By: Jason Felton

 

Well, after a couple of weeks off due to some site maintenance, Calvary Temple Classics is back in business. Over the next couple of weeks we are going to review a teaching entitled “The Ministry of Agreement.” In this short series we are going to be looking at two aspects in regards to this “agreement”. The first is the aspect of praying the prayer of faith in agreement with God’s Word and the second is the aspect of agreeing together with others to see our prayers answered. Today we will look at the first aspect. I hope you enjoy!

agree 3 The first thing we want to see is that this ministry of agreement is very important to the life of a believer and the operation of our prayer life here on earth. We have the ability as believers to move in the heavenly realm and dictate what happens here on this planet. We don’t have to sit around passively and let Satan jerk us around! Let’s not complain about the circumstances; let’s change them! Let’s not run from the enemy. Let’s attack him and take over so we can see the power of God in operation in our lives. We need to begin to be forthright in our attack on unrighteousness and sin so we can tear down the strongholds and see the captives set free!

“So how do we attack the enemy like this?” Well, the first and most important place is in your prayer closet. Remember in Matthew 17 when Jesus cast out a demon that the disciples could not? The disciples inquired of Jesus and asked why they couldn’t cast out the devil. The answer he gave them was because of their unbelief, and then Jesus stated in verse 21, “This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” You want to set out against the enemy in your life? You better be ready to pray and fast. I’m not talking about a casual prayer life here! I’m talking about a prayer life that will cost you something! I’m talking about a prayer life to where you will need a new pair of pants because the knees are worn out from kneeling so much! I’m talking about wrestling with the principalities and powers of darkness. You want to see your loved ones come home? You want to see yourself healed? You want to see your co-worker born again? This is the kind of prayer life it’s going to take!

Beloved, to pray a prayer of faith is to pray the Word of God. That’s where the first part of this ministry of agreement comes in. When you pray (according to agree2God’s Word) and petition God for something it’s like you are contractually agreeing that by faith you are trusting God and totally committing to Him that the thing you are asking for will come to pass. You are signing an agreement that you believe His Word is true and that the promise will be fulfilled. That kind of puts a new twist on it when you think of it like that doesn’t it? Most of us, when we sign contracts here on earth, honor them right? We fulfill our contractual obligations and would never think of breaking that promise with maybe a mortgage company, a car dealership, our job, etc…. The problem with most of us in our prayer lives is we break this contract with God way too easily and don’t even get it a second thought!

“How am I breaking this contract?” I’m glad you asked! We break this contract or agreement with God when we lose faith in Him and turn to our own natural abilities. God doesn’t take any pleasure in those who pray, petition, and make a contract with Him and back out because we become fearful or because we have a backup plan(s). Either you’re in agreement or you’re not! You cannot be partially in agreement with the Word of God!

Luke 18:1 says, “Men ought always to pray and not to faint.” How would you view your prayer life today? Are you fainting? Once you’ve prayed and believed and signed that contract with God (the prayer of agreement) then leave it there and let God work! Believe that He is working on His side on your behalf to bring to pass the covenant that you just cut with Him in the name of Jesus. Pray and believe that God is going to bring it to pass! Don’t cower down and don’t faint, because in James 1:7-8 it says a double minded man is unstable in all His ways and that, that man will not receive anything from the Lord. You want to see your prayers answered and your needs met? DON’T FAINT!

agree1Brothers and sisters as we end for this week, do you realize what happens when you enter into this prayer of agreement with God? When you pray the prayer of faith, angels are now operating on your behalf. The Holy Spirit is being administered on your behalf. The name of Jesus is operating on your behalf. That’s a powerful thought! You put into operation the power of God and all the resources of His kingdom when you pray and put all your trust and reliance on Him! Satan is no match for that! All you have to do is stand and believe and you WILL become a recipient of the promises of God! HALLELUJAH!! AMEN!!