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Eyes & Ears

Part 10 - Hearing and Confirming God's Voice

December 5, 2021 • Pastor Bracken Christian

Matt 13:13 Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 15 for the heart of this people has become dull, with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes, otherwise they would see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and I would heal them.’ HEARING IS NOT BASED ON INTELLIGENCE. ONE OF THE QUICKEST WAYS TO HEAR GOD’S VOICE IS BEST ACHIEVED BY WORSHIP. Ps 95:6 Come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. 7 For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts, YOU CAN’T MAKE GOD SPEAK TO YOU BUT YOU CAN MAKE YOURSELF AVAILABLE. EXAMPLES OF MEN OF GOD WHO HEARD HIS VOICE... MOSES – SOLITUDE – NOTICE, THERE WAS A PLACE WHERE GOD SPOKE TO MOSES. ELIJAH – Persistent in prayer – 1 Kings 19:11 So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. KJV “a still small voice.” MSG “a gentle and quiet whisper.” STRENGHT AND NEW DIRECTION COME FROM HEARING HIS VOICE. JEREMIAH – Location, location, location Jer 18:1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD saying, 2 “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will announce My words to you.” THERE ARE TIMES YOU HAVE TO BE IN THE RIGHT PLACE TO HEAR HIM SAMUEL – Trained in the temple/a mouthpiece for God 1 Samuel 3:1 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD before Eli. And word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent. 3 Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was, 4 that the LORD called Samuel; and he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, lie down again.” So he went and lay down. 6 The LORD called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he answered, “I did not call, my son, lie down again.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor had the word of the LORD yet been revealed to him. KNOWING THE LORD IS IN CONNECTION WITH HIS VOICE. 8 So the LORD called Samuel again for the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli discerned that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 And Eli said to Samuel, “Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, ‘Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.” PEOPLE WHO KNOW GOD HEAR HIS WORD/VOICE. HOW TO CONFIRM / KNOW IT’S GOD SPEAKING TO YOU 1) ALWAYS ASK, DOES IT LINE UP WITH THE SCRIPTURES? (TRUTH) THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE AUTHOR OF ALL SCRIPTURE. 2 Tim 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. TO WALK IN THE SCRIPTURE IS TO WALK IN THE LIGHT (Ps 119:105) 2) GOD’S VOICE WILL ALWAYS PRODUCE PEACE. Col 3:15 Let the peace of Christ RULE in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be THANKFUL. 16 Let the WORD of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with THANKFULNESS in your hearts to God. WE HAVE AN INWARD UMPIRE. 3) THROUGH OUR FELLOW BELIEVERS Acts 13:1 Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. PAUL MENTIONS IN SEVERAL LETTERS THAT HIS APOSTLESHIP WAS NOT OF MAN BUT FROM GOD (Gal 1:1) GOD CONFIRMED IT THROUGH MEN. WHY WOULD GOD DO THAT? 1) IT STRENGTHENED PAULS FAITH. 2) IT ALSO VALIDATED PAULS CALL TO THE PREACH 3) IT ALSO EMPHASISED THE INTERDEPENDENCE OF THE MEMBERS OF CHRISTS BODY THE CONFIRMATION PAUL AND BARNABAS GOT CAME THROUGH FELLOW BELIEVERS OF PROVEN INTEGRITY AND MATURITY. SPIRITUAL MEN DO NOT GO AHEAD AND MOVE WITHOUT THE CONFIRMATION OF FELLOW BELIEVERS. OUR ABILITY TO HEAR GOD THROUGH OTHERS DEPENDS TO LARGE EXTENT ON THE NATURE OF OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM. THERE ARE 3 SPECIAL RELATIONSHIPS THE NEW TESTAMENT ATTACHES SPECIAL IMPORTANCE TO IN THIS AREA. 1) PASTORS AND THEIR PEOPLE 2) HUSBANDS AND WIVES 3) PARENTS AND CHILDREN PASTORS AND THEIR PEOPLE Heb 13:7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. IT’S NORMAL AND RIGHT FOR GOD’S PEOPLE TO HEAR THROUGH THEIR LEADERS HUSBANDS AND WIVES. Eph 5:22-24 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. GOD HAS MADE THE HUSBAND RESPONSIBLE FOR CARING FOR THE WIFE AS WELL AS HER SPIRITUAL CONDITION PARENTS AND CHILDREN Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. GOD CAN CONFIRM THINGS THROUGH THE PARENTS. WE SHOULD EXPECT TO HEAR THE VOICE OF GOD THROUGH THESE RELATIONSHIPS Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

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Mindsets For Success

January 19, 2022

Be A Better You in 22 Dress for Success. 1. Know your strengths. Psa. 139:13 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. Psa. 139:14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. 2. Be Ambitious. Phil. 3:13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, Phil. 3:14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 2Tim. 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 3. Be Positive. Gal. 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Prov. 4:18 But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. Psa. 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Phil. 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 4. Be Organized. 5. Be constantly learning. Phil 4:11 AMP Not that I m implying that I was in any personal want, for I have LEARNED HOW TO BE CONTENT (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am. 1 Tim 4:8 AMP For physical training is of some value (useful for a little), but godliness (spiritual training) is useful and of value in everything and in every way for it holds promise for the present life and also for the life which is to come. 6. Have a Strong Support System. Proverbs 20:6 AMP Many a man proclaims his own loving kindness and goodness, but a faithful man, who can find? Prov. 18:24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. 7. Know failure and success go together.

Jesus The Healer

January 16, 2022 • Pastor Bracken Christian

Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Matt 8 A LEAPER ASKED, IF YOU ARE WILLING YOU CAN MAKE ME WHOLE... Lev 14 THE DETAILS FOR THE OFFERING OF HEALING FOR A LEAPER. Mark 1 PETERS MOTHER IN LAW AND MANY CAME FROM ALL OVER TO BE HEALED... HE HEALED THEM ALL Luke 4:40 While the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and laying His hands on each one of them, He was healing them. John 4 A ROYAL OFFICAL WHO’S SON WAS SICK CAME TO JESUS AND ASKED FOR HELP. JESUS SAID, GO YOUR WAY YOU SON LIVES. AND THE MAN BELIEVED HIS WORD. JESUS IS A HEALING JESUS THE GREEK WORD SALVATION AND THE WORD HEALED ARE THE SAME. (AN ALL-INCLUSIVE WORD HE CAME TO DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL 1John 3:8 The Son of God appeared (was manifest) for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil. JESUS WAS THE WILL OF GOD IN ACTION Acts 10:38 “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil; for God was with Him. Isaiah 53:1Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? YLT Isaiah 53:3 He is despised, and left of men, A man of pains, and acquainted with sickness, And as one hiding the face from us, He is despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely our sicknesses he hath borne, And our pains--he hath carried them, And we--we have esteemed him plagued, Smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 And he is pierced for our transgressions, Bruised for our iniquities, The chastisement of our peace [is] on him, And by his bruise there is healing to us. Matt 8:16 When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES.” HEALING IS NOT A RESULT OF WHAT WE CAN DO. IT’S A RESULT OF WHAT JESUS HAS ALREADY DONE. 1 Pet 2:24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. ONE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT REDEMPTIVE NAMES OF GOD IS “JEHOVA RAPHA” THE LORD OUR HEALER (Exodus 15:26). John 3:14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. Numbers 21 GOD COMMANDED MOSES TO CONSTRUCT A BRONZE SERPENT AND PLACE IT ON A POLE... THIS WAS A TYPE AND SHADOW OF JESUS TAKING THE CURSE OF SIN AND SICKNESS UPON HIMSELF. Gal 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Psalm 107:2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary 20 He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions. Psalm 103:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; 3 Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; 4 Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; 5 Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. John 6 JESUS REFERRED TO HIMSELF SEVERAL TIMES AS THE BREAD OF LIFE.

Transformation

January 12, 2022 • Pastor Bracken Christian

NAS 2 Cor 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. THE NEED FOR TRANSFORMATION CHANGE SHOULD BE AN ONGOING EXPERIENCE. A PROGRESSIVE EVENT HERE... “FROM GLORY TO GLORY” CHANGE / TRANSFORMATION IS SOMETHING THAT WON’T HAPPEN UNLESS WE ACTIVELY PURSUE IT. 3 TYPES OF CHANGE – “HAPPENS TO US, HAPPENS AROUND US AND THOSE WE MAKE HAPPEN” WITHOUT CHANGE YOU STAGNATE. WITHOUT ONGOING TRANSFORMATION GOD CAN’T PROMOTE HIS PURPOSE IN OUR LIVES. THERE ARE TWO WAYS THE WORD REQUIRES US TO CHANGE 2 LEVELS OF CHANGE THAT HAVE TO OCCUR IT BEGINS WITH THE RENEWING OF THE MIND. KJV 2 Cor 5:17 therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. THIS IS AN ONGOING PROCESS – WE NEVER ARRIVE… NLT Rom 12:2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. THE MOMENT YOU BECOME A CHRISTIAN, CHANGE IS MANDATED BY GOD WHEN WE GET SAVED, WE NOW HAVE FOR THE FIRST TIME THE CAPACITY TO CHANGE! PAUL CALLS THIS; PUTTING ON THE NEW MAN! THE FIRST INDICATOR THAT WE HAVE REALLY MADE A COMMITMENT TO THE LORD IS THAT THINGS BEGIN TO CHANGE BECAUSE WE UNDERSTAND THE NEED TO TAKE CERTAIN STEPS IN OUR LIFE TOWARD CHANGE. NAS Rom 7:15 for that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not wish to do, I agree with the law, confessing that it is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which indwells me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of god in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to god through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of god, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. THE LAW OF THE MIND IS THIS; WHAT WE MEDITATE ON IS WHAT PRODUCES BEHAVIOR. JOSH 1:8, GEN 11 YOUR MIND HAS THE CAPACITY TO PRODUCE IMAGERY CONSISTENT WITH YOUR DESIRE AND THAT GIVES LIFE, DIRECTION, MOTIVATION AND MOMENTUM. IT’S A “LAW”! THE LAW OF THE MIND IS THIS; “THE THINGS YOU IMAGINE TO DO IS WHAT YOU WILL DO” NAS Rom 8:5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the spirit, the things of the spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of god, for it is not even able to do so; 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Josh 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. THE LAW OF THE MIND IS THE WAY WE OVERCOME THE TENDANCY TO DO WRONG! WE’VE GOT TO BEGIN THINKING ON THE RIGHT THING! WRONG BEHAVIOR IS ALWAYS ROOTED IN WRONG THINKING! AMP 2 Cor 3:18 and all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [who is] the Spirit. THE WORD ALTERS OUR BEHAVIOR. KJV Eph 4:23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 and that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. PUT GOD’S THOUGHTS IN YOUR MIND. ISAIAH 55:8-9 THINK ON THE WORD TILL IT ALTERS YOUR BEHAVIOR IN EVERY AREA. MARRIAGE, SELF, WORK, FINANCES, HEALTH, RELATIONSHIPS KJV Phil 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. CHANGE BEGINS BY PUTTING THE WORD OF GOD IN YOUR MIND