2018-01-07 Sunday Service - Pastor Larry Hostetler

Living Blessed - Part 1

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We encourage you to realize God is not done with anybody, matter of fact He’s just started on you. When your old and gray-headed you might think ‘my time is up, I can’t do any more, I’ll let somebody else do it’. But only you can do what God has destined you to do. Only you can do it. Nobody else can do what I do, [and] I can’t do what you do. Now, a lot of times we fill in, a lot of times we make do with what we have. But to be truthful and honest I can’t do your part the way it needs done, you have to do it. And you get to do it, amen.

[congregation]>Amen

So today I want to teach you a little bit, we’re starting a series on “Living Blessed'.

We’re living blessed. How we’re going to do that and how we’re going to start that and all those kinds of things. And so, how many of you feel like you are blessed say amen.

[congregation]>Amen

How many of you feel like you could be blessed more?

[congregation]>Amen

How many are blessed in one area and not in other areas?

[congregation]>Yes

Amen. It’s kind of dying off here. Amen

How many are blessed in one area and not in other areas? Amen. It’s kind of dying off here. Amen

[congregation]>Yes {light laughter}

I know that I’m blessed in some areas and I have a desire, I know that what God’s Word says. I know I’m not quite to that aspect yet. And so, there is more blessing involved for me. And so, I need to know where I’m going, what I’m doing and He’ll give me wisdom and revelation. And all of us can be blessed much more than we are right now. Now, you and I need to realize – why are we blessed? We are blessed to be a blessing. Why are you blessed? To be a blessing. Say that with me.

[congregation]>To be a blessing.

That’s the reason you’re blessed. Alright? And we find that in Genesis. Originally, When Adam and Eve were blessed and God said ...

Genesis 1:28

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

BibleGateWay

And so, He pronounced a blessing on them. Then we find out man fell into sin and God of course, covered them with animal skins and all kinds of things went on. And then there was a man, his name was Noah. Noah came out of the Ark after the great flood and he was commanded the blessing again. Go in to all the world, be a blessing. Take authority, do those things. And then we find out, well, you know it got pretty bad once again.

[commentary]>God’s blessings show up with more contrast when the blessings occur in the midst of time when bad things are occuring. But bad times are not required before a blessing of the Lord is bestowed.

And so, God found a man his name was Abram. And he was living with a bunch of idol worshipers and actually his father and their family business was making idols for people to bow down and worship. And so God says ...

Genesis 12:1-2

1Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

Genesis 18:19

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

BibleGateWay

- hey, I’m picking you because I know you are going to teach and train your children after you and your grandchildren and so I’m going to bless you -
And He pronounced the blessing again.

Genesis 12:3

3And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

God said – I’m going to cause you to be a blessing – And so, he’s blessed to be a blessing. You and I are blessed to be a blessing. Say that with me.

[congregation]>Blessed to be a blessing.

So, it’s not just to have your needs met. It’s so that you can be a blessing [to others].

⛪ So, in the Living Blessed series we’re going to deal with – where do I start?

⛪ Well, the blessing starts with your authority to decide.

You have a decision to make and I want you to know that is a God given thing.

⛪ And I want you to know number one

Believe in the authority God has given to you. Until you believe that you have authority over the enemy, until you believe you have authority over sickness and disease until you believe you have authority over all creeping things. Until you believe you have authority, as Jesus said ...

Matthew 28:18-19

18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

BibleGateWay

We know this.

Mark 16:17-18

17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

BibleGateWay

Do you know any sick people that need to recover?

[congregation]>Yes.

Amen. Do you know any sick people that need to recover? What are you going to do about it?

Well, if I don’t do, ya know – what can I do about it? –

⛪ Well you’re going to have to start believing in the authority given to you by God.

And so, that’s where your going to have start believing to live in this ‘Blessed Life’ [Living Blessed] series that we’re talking about.

⛪ The second thing is you’re gonna have to exercise with the authority given by God.

You’re going to have to exercise that authority, that means you’re going to have to say stuff, that means you’re going to have to do things. That means your going to have to believe properly, and then do what He tells you to do.

⛪ The third thing is this, to receive the benefits of that authority

That’s where you’re going to have to start. And so, as we deal in these areas today, I want you to know no one can decide for you, you’re gonna have to decide. No one can keep you from believing. You’re the one that makes that decision. When you face [difficult] circumstances and struggles and all kinds of things in your life. I can’t believe for you, you’re gonna have to believe. I can’t stop you from believing what you believe. If you believe God can’t do it, if you believe it’s for somebody else, I can’t make you believe differently. The Spirit of God is plainly telling you ...

Isaiah 53:5

But 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.

BibleGateWay

You’re gonna have to either believe that or not believe that, I can’t make you believe that. Now, you gonna be able to, especially this year, your gonna see God’s hand working and His presence and His power and faith is gonna arise, but faith doesn’t necessarily arise by seeing things.

Romans 10:17

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

BibleGateWay

So that means we have a decision to make. Am I going to believe what God’s Word has to say. I can’t make you believe that, Spirit of God has to deal with your heart and your life. And so with that in mind, the scripture is Psalms 68:19, many people know this one.

Psalms 68:19

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

BibleGateWay

Selah means stop and consider and think about it for a moment.

So, I wrote down a couple things before we get sickness, disease, discouragement, poverty, lack, blindness of heart, spirit, blindness of eyes of course, rejection, etc. All these are part of the curse they’re not part of the blessing that God has made available for us. Am I right about it – say amen.

[congregation]>Amen.

So your gonna have to decide to live in the benefits instead of in the curse, see.

[congregation]>Thank You Lord.

That’s a decision your gonna have to make.

Well I can put up with it. I’ll keep taking my Advil even though I know there’s pain –

Listen, the pain is good for you, it means there’s something wrong, now let’s handle what’s wrong and not just cover up the pain. Amen.

[congregation]>That’s right, Amen.

But if you decide – I’m just gonna live on Advil –, then just live on Advil. God still loves you. Your just gonna suffer, die early, there’s a lot of things that will happen it’s up to you. I can’t make you decide to believe what Gods Word has to say about your physical healing or about your emotional health or about your financial position in life.

- Well, you know … -

I can’t make you believe in what God’s Word says, His Spirit will quicken that to you however. Blessed be the Lord who daily loads us with benefits.

[congregation]>Thank You Lord.

The God of our salvation, He doesn’t load us with the curses. He doesn’t load us with bad things. As we preached last week as you remember. His thoughts towards us are thoughts of good and not evil! Not evil! Not!

[congregation]>Amen, that's right!

And so, stop blaming God.

Well You know if He wanted to heal me He’ll heal me –

No [don't do this.] Your placing a lot of blame on God. Your saying – well, God don’t care enough for me to take this healing [healing sickness], to take this lack from my life. ♪He can do anything, anything, anything, God can do anything, but fail♪. And yet there’s failure, there’s lack, there’s problems, there’s discouragement, there’s sickness, there’s disease, there’s all kinds of stuff going on in your life. And we can sing about God and how good He is and things like that. But we’re gonna have to believe the authority given, we’re gonna have to exercise that authority and we’re gonna have to receive the benefits the He’s made available for us. So, there are problem areas in our lives, it’s not on the end of God. The problem area is in the way that we think.

So, a couple of things I want to look at. Don’t give your authority to somebody else. Don’t give your authority to somebody else. What do I mean by that? Well, don’t say something like this, I like this one,

– Well if they would only change or do this or that, then I could be happy, I could be peaceful, I could be joyous -

See your giving the authority for your joy, your happiness, your peace, your comfort, your giving it to somebody else. Your allowing them to make the decision for how you feel. Your allowing them the authority over your life when you say

- well if they would just change, then I could … -

No, don’t say things like that. And especially don’t live that way. But that’s how we’ve lived many times, all our life.

– Well, if they would only be nice to me then I could love, if they would only ask me to forgive them then we could rectify. If only, if only they, if only they, if only they –

You’re giving that authority to them, and they aren’t on the same track as you. Amen.

So, don’t give that kind of power over your life to others. Just say no, no, no, no, no. See, we need to realize, you make the decision to be happy, joyful, thankful no matter what others may or may not do or say, it’s your decision. You could be going through the most difficult areas in your life and still be happy, still be joyous in Jesus. Amen.

I give you and Acts example of that. Paul and Silas, beaten, thrown in jail, middle of the night and at midnight they start to sing and praise and worship God, giving thanks unto God and the prisoners hear them. Well, if they said

– well God if You could’ve kept us from getting beaten, if they would just help us, if they would just do something then I could be happy –

Or, you think about Steven, as he is being stoned. He looks up into heaven with glory all over his face and says

Acts 7:58-60

58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

BibleGateWay

That’s a decision that you make. He could have said, God strike them all dead, right now, call down fire from heaven. He [Steven] could have said a lot of things. Some people could say, well he didn’t have that kind of authority. Now wait a minute. You think not? Why I can’t make you think any other way then the way you think. But I think he had power and authority even as James and John said to Jesus – You want us to call down fire from heaven and consume these people? And Jesus said

Luke 9:54-55

54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?

55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.

BibleGateWay

He [Jesus] didn’t say you ain’t got that kind of power. So our attitudes and things, see, don’t let other people have that kind of power over your life.

Let’s continue on. James 1:12, a beautiful portion of scripture, says this ...

James 1:12

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

BibleGateWay

That’s when he has overcome the temptation. Now that’s an interesting portion of scripture. And a lot of people want to put that crown way off in the ♪sweet by and by♪, when they don’t need the crown. They need the crown now! So, understand those who remain steadfast under testing will receive the crown of life, which refers not to life here after but to the life here and now, enjoyed more abundantly and in greater fullness.

2nd Peter 1:3

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

BibleGateWay

So, He has freely given it unto us and if we’ll overcome temptation in our life we will have that crown, which signifies authority and we’ll rule and reign in life. We’re gonna look at that in just a moment, but the question is this – when your tempted what are you going to do? Are you gonna give up or are you gonna press on? We’re gonna talk about three temptations in a little bit. But, are you gonna give up or are you gonna press on to the things of God? Are you gonna press on?

Philippians 3:12-14

12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

BibleGateWay

So, we understand that there is a pressing on, that we get to do. And, when you overcome in areas of temptation you’re gonna find out woo-who! It’s good! Now, when you press on to break through you receive the crown of life and that’s authority.

[commentary]>I do not accept this last point, because it says when you overcome, this implies that you must have overcome all temptations of your life before you receive the crown of life. And, while this teaching doesn't use the word all, there is nothing specifically addressed to suggest otherwise. If we have to be perfect in Christ before receiving the crown of life, then we have to of overcome all of the things that might tempt us before we have authority to cast out demons, speak with new tongues and lay hands on those who are sick and see them recover. This would strongly discourage anyone from believing that they could do these things, especially since later in this teaching it lists a common temptation/sin of thinking more highly than we ought to think (Romans 12:3).

To reign in life through Jesus Christ. The crown is a symbol of royalty. If you don’t know, the Bible says ...

1st Peter 2:9

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

BibleGateWay

God’s own special people. Your supposed to reign. Your no longer to let sin reign in your life. So, don’t allow it to happen.

- Well how do I do that, where do I start? -

Well you start believing what God says.

1 John 4:4

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

BibleGateWay

And you wear the crown, the authority God has given you to wear. Now, with that in mind understand in Romans 5

– You say where’s this reign in life stuff, where you come up with this kind of stuff Pastor Larry? –

Well the Bible says ...

Romans 5:17

For if by one man's offence death reigned by one;

BibleGateWay

talking about Adam,

Romans 5:17

much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

BibleGateWay

I love it, as you read all of Romans chapters 4, 5, 6, 7 and even 8 you’re gonna find out [the] authority you have and just some tremendous things.

So say it with me, reign in life.

[congregation]>Reign in life.

Well when is life?

[congregation]>Now!

Seems like it should be now!

In Psalms the Bible talks about

Psalm 63:1

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

BibleGateWay

Psalm 40:2

He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

BibleGateWay

We used to sing that old song about the miry clay and ♪He lifted us up and he put out foot upon the rock and established our goings♪. What’s our goings? It’s the way we walk, it’s the things we do, it’s how we live. And, I want you to realize from this verse of scripture, where it says those who receive abundance of grace. The [important] word here is receive. Say receive.

[congregation]>Receive.

If it had a ‘d’ on the end we would be in a problem area [past tense as opposed to something that is on going]. If we just receive’d’, once and for all. But I want you to know those who receive the abundance of grace. God gives you grace for grace. God will keep on giving you grace as long as you keep on following after Him. Grace is, even if you sin ...

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

BibleGateWay

So, just let grace be something you live in continually, it’s God’s unmerited favor, and there is the Spirit of Grace and you need to live and walk in that and give grace to people all the time.

If you want grace given unto you, you have to give grace, amen. So the Bible says we’re supposed to reign through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in life because we have received and are receiving grace and the gift of righteousness. How many of you are righteous through Jesus today? ((Amen)) It’s not your own works of righteousness but what God has made available for us, and He says Woo-Who! I’ve purchased it [grace] for you. So, with that in mind let’s go on a little bit, and realizing it’s a continuous grace.

And so, there are many temptations to overcome. And we’re gonna look at basically three, but before we get to the first one, I want you to realize there are areas in my life I’m not tempted by, whatsoever. And maybe the same is true for you. Now, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do this because people would say ‘hey, they’re handling snakes at the Christian Temple Church’. But there’s not going to be any live snakes in here! But I want you to know this is a rubber snake. And I want you to know it represents temptation. I want you to know there are some temptations that has no effect on me whatsoever. But, understand this

1 Peter 5:8

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

BibleGateWay

And so, there are things maybe in your life that don’t effect your life but instead of looking at a temptation as ‘oh, the devil came and he tempted me’. Start looking at it maybe a little bit different, like there are thoughts and attitudes, opinions and stuff that is out there that stealthily comes, tries to get you to think that way. It doesn’t have life until you give it life.

I don’t have a problem with a temptation to fornicate and adultery and stuff like that. Na, it’s under my foot, that’s why I wore these boots. That’s [adultery] not what I deal with. There are other areas you might be dealing, but understand those thoughts, attitudes and opinions they are thrust at you every say of the year.

On just about every television program you watch. Thoughts and attitudes that desire to latch on to you. You are a born-again child of God, but I want you to know, there needs to be some areas in our life that maybe needs cleaned out.

⛪ And so, the three basic areas [of temptation] I want to look at today.

⛪ Number one [not] to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think.

[pastor tosses out a rubber snake which represents temptation, on to the floor] Oh, now wait a minute. That’s a temptation for many people. You think,

– well I’m smarter than them, I’ve got more than them –

and all that kind of area, other people can see it in your life, if that’s how you feel, arrogant. You think

– well, that’s beneath me –

– Uh, there just starting young in the faith they don’t have the wisdom or revelation –

and so you think a little more highly of yourself than you ought to think. Other people, how many of you can see that in other people? The person, themselves, really can’t see it, but somehow it sneaked in. And so your going to have to do something with that.

[commentary]>A pastor should always prepare a bible teaching for the members of the congregation. So, IF the people in this congregation actually think about other people of the congregation in this manner and they themselves are operating from a false mindset (which they would not be able realize), then sure they could reasonably considered as being arrogant. But, just because someone believes they are smarter then someone else, doesn't mean that they are arrogant.

And, just because a person believes another person is being arrogant, doesn't guarantee that the other person is actually being arrogant. The problem could be one is thinking too lowly of themselves.

Let's make the reasonable assumption that each member of the congregation has completed high school (88.31%)) and that other people have various degrees(41.89%)) from colleges . With this being so, it only stands to reason that some people, those who have made a good choice to seek higher education, actually are smarter (when smarter is taken to mean - possessing more knowledge) than other members in the congregation. It is reasonable for the person with a degree to believe they are smarter, because they are! Just because someone believes they are smarter doesn't mean they are arrogant.

Another thing about arrogant people is that they very likely do not consider someone else's opinion of them as being valid or relevant.

A college educated person is more likely to be able to accurately assess whether or not they are or are not smarter than the person too whom they are speaking on the topic they are discussing. The topic being discussed is important for determining who has more knowledge. It's my opinion, that the smarter person in a discussion has a greater obligation to ensure the discussion remains civil as and productive for all parties of a discussion.

When you overcome temptation in that area, it’s out-a-there. But every demonic spirit that was alive in Jesus’ day, is alive today. Every adverse thought and opinion that will keep people in bondage is still there today. And so, you can see that wow, there are plain things that look like temptations that don’t tempt me, but they tempt other people and

– I can’t understand how they fell into sin, how can they … –

Well that’s that demonic spirit that has attached itself to your life.

[pastor tosses out a rubber snake which represents temptation, on to the floor]

⛪ The second one I want to look at is to be self sufficient.

I don’t need any help. I don’t need to change. I’m all right. That’s a temptation. That you become self sufficient. So, I don’t need to go to church. I don’t need to meet with others, I don’t need any mentoring. I don’t preachers. I don’t need ... I have my own … Me and God have our own understanding. I don’t need nobody else. That’s a temptation. And you know what, people that act like that, live like that, they think it’s OK. I don’t have to depend on anybody. And yet the Bible says …

1 Corinthians 12:21

And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

BibleGateWay

Yes, but, you [the eye] need to feel some things. And so that creeps in on ya, and it’s like Oh my goodness! And so, you gotta take that one out and say – no that’s not going to rule in my life any longer. But understand that same demonic serpent is looking to attach to somebody else.

The third one I want to look at, if the first one didn’t get ya a lot of times the last one does. To think more highly of yourself that you ought to think. If that’s not controlling you, the other feeling that is a temptation is ... [pastor tosses out a rubber snake which represents temptation, on to the floor]

⛪ To feel overwhelmed and a desire to give up thinking to lowly of yourself.

You are a child of God through faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ. You are born of God so stop thinking to lowly of yourself. In the 60s we used to sing a song – ♪unworthy am I of … ♪ And all the unworthy stuff going on. The abundance of grace, we don’t earn it. We are unworthy of it but He [God] gave it to us because He loves us. And so, I’m not just an old sinner saved by grace. I’m a born-again child of God, filled with the Spirit of God. He loves me. And so with that realization understand sometimes that one just kind of creeps in on ya and becomes a part of your life and you think...

– it’s all God it’s not me –

Which is a show, and evident realization that you think more highly of yourself so you think you have to counter balance that by saying ...

– oh it’s not me, it’s all God-

[commentary]>First, let's define more lowly of oneself as — a condition that leads a person to be less productive in the things of God than they other wise would be.

Just because one thinks too lowly of themselves doesn't mean they are over-compensating for thinking more highly of themselves than they ought to. Admittedly, the proposition presented is certainly a possibility, but let's leave this complecated issuse to an experienced psychologist. A person that thinks too lowly of themselves is more likely to be just that, and not necessarily be over-compensating.

Presenting two different things as opposites and then conflating them brings confusion, as in —what did the pastor really mean?—

Listen, God wants His children to walk in obedience. And so, gonna have to get rid of that one. Whew! [stomps on dropped snake] I'm out of them [ruber snakes], just in case you wondering. Because I am only dealing in three areas of temptation.

They are all still out there. Why? Just because I cast them out of my life and put them underneath my feet [doesn't mean they have been utterly destroyed] Jesus said ...

Luke 10:19

Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

BibleGateWay

Realize, that in the Old Testament serpents came in to the camp of God's people's and kill them. Until, they would look to to Jesus, look and live.

And so, its all about the Lord, Jesus [the] Christ. So, don't think of temptation as a big Devil coming to tempt you. But as a sneaky snake. Set to attach itself to you and make you unproductive. Other people can see it but most of the time it's so ingrained in you that you don't even realize it's even there. Until, the Spirit of God reveals it to you.

So that’s part of reigning in life were talking about. That’s deciding that what God said about us and the authority he has given us, is for us to use, now, in this life. So, we must rule in life by faith in what Jesus has purchased and won back for us. Not by sight. Not by feelings. Not by circumstances. If your going to go through life with just sight, feelings and circumstances you’ll find out you’re going to live a most miserable kind of a life. Because happenstances, happen to everybody. God watches over His Word to perform it.

[commentary]> Miserable means wretchedly unhappy or uncomfortable

I think finances have a lot to do with whether or not a person or family is wretchedly unhappy or uncomfortable.

The Federal Poverty Level (FPL) for a family of four is $30,740.

The percentage of all Americans living above the FPL in 2017 was 85.5%.

According to Barna Group, Ventura, California, USA 80% of Americans say they are Christian, 45% call themselves «Born Again Christians»

According to Financial Samurai:
The top 1% of Americans make over $380,354
The top 5% of Americans make between $159,619 and the next higher income bracket
The top 10% of Americans make between $113,799 and the next higher income bracket
The top 25% of Americans make between $67,280 and the next higher income bracket
The top 50% of Americans make between $33,048 and the next higher income bracket
And the Average wage per U.S. citizen is $48,000.

Looking at the facts above, it would seem that there are non-Born-again Christians and non-Christians that have wealth that is more than sufficient enough to live without financial stress, have the ability to pay all the monthly bills and have finances for many of life's pleasures. So, I doubt these people are miserable even though they are certainly going through life based on sight, feelings and circumstances.

So stating that living by sight, feelings and circumstances will certainly lead to misery is a bit of exaggeration. However, I do agree that Born-Again Christians should be living by faith in Jesus the Christ and not by sight, feelings or circumstances, regardless of their financial bracket. Although just stating this doesn't make it easy to live this way. Which is why the Word tells us to renew our minds [which should be a daily exercise] on the Word of God in Romans 12:2.

Jeremiah 1:12

Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.

BibleGateWay

So when I want to walk by faith in what God’s Word says. Then I’m going to have to do something about what I see, what I feel, and what the circumstances I find myself in. So, the Bible teaches us, we’re going to rule in life if we overcome temptations. The temptation to give up because it’s so hard, the temptation says – I can’t take it. God knows what you can take. And so, the Word for us is to enter His rest through faith in the Words and the Works of Jesus.

You can’t live a Christian life as God declares it and has gifted us without faith in God, you can’t do pit. And so, if you’re trying to do it

– well if God would just bless me, if God would this or if God would that, or if somebody else would… you know if my boss would just give me a raise, you know if they would act right then I could be happy –

See you’ve given your power and authority to other people. And God says – hey I’m on the throne of your life and I’m gonna tell you how to speak, I’m gonna tell you what to do when you feel discouraged. Your going to encourage yourself in the Lord [as you read and study the Word of God]. Your gonna build yourself up, in the Lord. Your gonna go to the scripture and your gonna eat angel food.

Angel cake, Angel food cake, how many of you like Angel Food cake? I do and I like to put all kinds of stuff on it too.

And so, it’s work for us to enter into His rest through the Words and the Works of Jesus. Did he do all that was needed?

[congregation]>Amen

For us and for our life in Godliness, absolutely. So your decision, your going to have to make today. I want to live a blessed life, so my decision, your decision is going to have to be, number one I’m not moved by what I see, why because we don’t rule in life through one, Jesus Christ our Lord by what we see. The second thing I’m not moved by what I feel. I got aches and pains and old Arthur is biting on me again. You better stop talking like that, you better stop it. Better shut your mouth instead.

I remember something my mom said – If you don’t have something good to say about somebody, don’t say anything. Anybody was raised with that kind of mentality? ((yuup)) Alright! So, if you don’t have something good to say, zip your lip.

Find out what your supposed to say [in the Word of God]. Find out

Isaiah 53:5

But 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.

BibleGateWay

and I’m walking in accordance with the Word of God and I’m calling those things that be not as though they are.

Romans 4:17

(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

BibleGateWay

Well your decision will have to be

– I’m moved by what I believe --

Because that is what you’re moved by. You believe that you have to get sick to die, you believe that when you get older everything starts wearing out. Why? Because you say it. When you get older well, you know, my momma, my grand-momma, my whatever, they had cancer, breast cancer, whatever it is. And so I gotta be careful and I gotta watch continually, because it’s a possibility and stuff. You are moved by what you believe, OK.

So, your going to have to break the curse and say no, no, that’s not for me. I’m a new creation, a new species of being. And so, I’m not moved by what I see or by what I feel, I’m moved by what I believe. And then, your gonna have to say I believe the Word of God.

– Ya, Pastor Larry, I’ve prayed, you’ve prayed, other people have prayed, but I still got the problem, I still got the issues, I still got… , I still got… , I still got…–

And, you always gonna ‘still got’. Because that’s what you believe. You’re going by feelings, circumstances and what you see.

Perhaps we should be saying 'Pastor, my hips still hurt, but, I am the healed of my Lord!

[commentary]>It is so very hard to not let the way we feel emotionally and physically or by the things we see or the circumstances we find ourselves in have an effect on our lives. In stead of saying to ourselves my hip hurts or I don't know what I am going to do about paying this bill, maybe we need cause ourselves to believe that we will be better off if we just ask God to heal us then keep declaring ♪I am healed, I am healed, I am healed, I am healed, I am the healed of the Lord, Yes I am!♪ and if you really want to 'feel' healed just keep declaring this until you are to the point that when your mind is idle, this little tune of 'I am healed' fills the gap in thoughts.

And as far as the unpaid bill(s), be honorable in all your dealings and don't have any credit cards! Ask for help from your church family, Veterans Affairs or any other organization your apart of. Seek out financial relief. Use the Google to search the Internet for the help you need, but be cautious and wise on any advice you receive from Internet web sites.

True story — When my house was in foreclosure I kept searching for relief because I believed that God did not put us, my wife and I, where He did just so we could experience going through foreclosure. Belief works! In my searching I came across a state program for people near or in foreclosure to enable them to get caught up on their mortgage by receiving a government grant (generally, grants never have to be repaid) to help them keep their house.

This program, 'Save the Dream Ohio', also required that we come up with $5,000.00 dollars! And it was also a requirement that this money could not be any type of loan.

OK OK, keep believing and do not let doubt enter in ...

While at church the Lord caught my attention and caused me to look away from what I was doing and He said "Ask her.", my gaze focused on a lady at the church. I asked her if she and her husband would be able to help my wife and I. After discussing it with her husband, she and her husband happened to discuss this matter over dinner with another couple, who also attend our church. Together these two couples determined in their hearts to give, that's right give, us the money, $5,000.00.

So let's recap, I prayed for help, I believed help would come, and I was obedient to ask the person whom my Lord said to ask.

Thank God!

We are still living in that same house today and we are able to always pay the mortgage the month before it is due, and even pay a little bit extra each payment!

So, God calls you a little higher, and He says ‘OK, I want you to look at things a little differently, I want you to look from My higher perspective.

Isaiah 54:17

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.

BibleGateWay

And so, with that in mind understand, when were talking about this [here’s] two little illustrations that will help you a lot.

[The first example is] When you get into and elevator you don’t press the button of the floor your on. That’s what we do when we confess what we have. We get in the elevator and we say I’m sick, I’ll never be able to meet the bill, I’ll never … Your not going anywhere, why? Your pushing the wrong button! Your saying what you have, you have what you say. So, I can’t make you believe anything different. But, what I want you to do is push a higher floor button, if you’re going up. Now, when you press that button [realize] you ain’t there yet.

But it sets in motion something that is beyond your control, but will take you where your desire is to go. And so, we walk by faith and not by sight.

[commentary]>Excellent example of being complacent gets us nowhere!

2 Corinthians 5:7

(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

BibleGateWay

The way we talk establishes things. So with that in mind, I want you to realize that if you’re just pushing the button of the floor you’re on then that’s where your gonna stay. You can push it all day long and you ain’t going no where.

The second one [example] is this.

How many of you know it was about four degrees below zero when you got up? How many in your house, which it was probably around 65 or 70 maybe? Why is that? Because there was a furnace in your house. So, whether it’s heat or cold, you want some cold air in the summer time, you want some heat in the winter time.

And so if your sitting in your house and it’s like

– oh, it’s cold in here, wow it’s cold in here, wow, it’s cold in here -

Well, you go over to the thermostat and you look at it. And it tells you exactly what the temperature is in there. It’s 65 degrees in there – I’m a little chilly, it’s 65 degrees in here. – [If all you do is say it’s 65 degrees in there] it ain’t going to do nothing. Why? That’s the setting you put it on, that’s where it’s going to stay and it doesn’t matter how much you complain or say and sight, feel or circumstances, it makes no difference whatsoever. It’s staying there and you will stay cold, you will stay shivering. You can say it’s cold in here.

There can be fifty people come in your house and you say – man it’s cold in here, man – and they’ll all say

– wow it’s cold in here –

But until somebody with some gumption walks over to the thermostat and says – well it’s cold in here because you got it set at 65 degrees, do something about it. – So what do you do? You say – oh, OK and so on the old fashioned ones you either turned it up [literally, you turned the physical dial, as opposed to turning it up by pressing the up arrow button] or you push the little bar or now it’s digital you stick in in there [numeric push buttons] and run it up a few degrees. And the furnace kicks on.

It’s 65 degrees but it’s getting warmer and getting warmer, getting warmer. Why? You’re calling for something from that, that is not [the current condition]. It’s 65 and your calling for 70 degrees and your calling for it because that is want you want. Instead of saying -- your 65 degrees what is wrong with you? Your going to have to believe what God says and put it into action and receive the benefits.

[congregation]>Amen. Amen.

[commentary]>Another very good example that being complacent gets us nowhere! We need to be on the move with our thoughts, attitudes and love for God.

So with those two things [illustrations/examples] in mind, why should I, when I’m hurting in my body, why should I start declaring “by His stripes I’m healed'? If I walk around saying – I’m hurting, I’m hurting, I’m hurting – I want you to know nobody wants to be around you much longer, because all your doing is grumbling and complaining, – I ain’t got enough to pay the bill, I don’t … what am I going to do, what am I going to do? I can’t do this, and all that stuff. – You just talking to your doubt, fear and unbelief and I can’t make you decide to speak what God’s Word says about you. But your going to have to decide, don’t leave it up to somebody else. You decide!

– I’m going to believe what God’s Word says about me -

And as a man thinks in his heart so is he

Proverbs 23:7

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

BibleGateWay

[commentary]>While I do believe Proverbs 23:7 is true on it's own. Let's not forget the context in which it was used.

Proverbs 23:1-8

1 When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:
2 And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
3 Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.
4 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
5 Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
6 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:
7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
8 The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.

BibleGateWay

There is a warning here to be cautious when dinning or in the company of powerful men/rulers. The warning is so stern that it even says if we are going to be tempted to over indulge of the drink and food of a rich man, we would be better off to slit our own throats. So, suicide appears preferable to being caught in the trap of a rich/powerful man/ruler.

Jesus asked the people

– am I able to do that? - Matthew 9:28

And the people said

– yes you are! – Matthew 9:28

And Jesus said

– according to your faith be it unto you – Matthew 9:29

And so, faith has to come [arise].

[congregation]>Yes, yes.

So your going to have to decide – I’m not moved by what I see, I’m not moved by what I feel, I am moved by what I believe and I believe the Word of God. When you start understanding that is how blessed people are supposed to live, so they can be blessed to be a blessing.

[congregation]>Amen.

[congregation]>Amen

Now let’s go on. Whatever we are saying today is what we will have tomorrow. So if you keep saying

– it ain’t going to work, I’m never going to be able to lose weight, I’ll never be healthy, I’ll never have enough, I’ll never, never, never… –

Guess what, you going to have what you saying today, is going to be your tomorrow.

All of us have opinions about people, and all of us, whether you want to agree with me or not, judge people all the time. The Bible says don’t do it. Why? Because the same judgment you place on them is going to be required of you. So a lot tend to say,

– well they’re just stupid, well they’re just… –

And when you say that other people think about that as well and so now you got a conglomeration of people that are thinking

– well they’re just not led by the spirit of God, well they’re just not this, they’re just not that –

and what you started out with was a little temptation to elevate yourself above them and now it’s going out and it’s not only effected you, it’s bitten you, it bites every body.

Let’s say your saying about me

– brother Larry you don’t operate in the anointing, oh that brother Larry he does stupid stuff, brother Larry whatever… –

and stuff like that. So you got a decision to make because that snake will come and try to bite on to me as well. Now it could be you, but I’ll use me as an example. And so I’ve got a decision to make when I hear other people saying that about me. I got a decision that I get to make. I don’t leave it up to anybody else. Why? {laughs} Well, your decision about me is totally wrong in my opinion, because I’m my fathers favorite amen.

[congregation]>Amen.

And so I got a decision to make. The decision is am I going to allow that to bite me and to foul everything in my life and bring death into my life, OR am I going to look past the circumstances, the people and everything what ever is said and I’m going to walk in mercy and forgiveness and I’m going to love and not hate I’m going to be what God destined me to be. And so, whether you are with me or against me it doesn’t matter, God is on my side and me with God we can do all things. I can do all things through Christ, who strengths me. Yeah, it will help when other people come along, but it’s Christ in us, the hope of glory.

So I got a decision to make as well as everybody else. So if I’m saying ...

– people don’t like me, people don’t like me, people don’t believe in me, people don’t you know… –

Then I’m going to have tomorrow what I just said today. But I’m saying I’m my fathers favorite child, His anointing flows through me. Woo-who!

Isaiah 54:17

No weapon formed against me shall prosper, hallelujah!

BibleGateWay

So understand we live in a word based, a word created, a word directed environment. It’s important that you understand that. And God said …

Genesis 1:3

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

BibleGateWay

And God said...

Genesis 1:28

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

BibleGateWay

It’s a word based, a word created, a word directed environment in which we are living. Always has been. God made it that way. That’s why God watches over His Word to perform it, because it’s word based, word created, word directed. And so He watches over His Word to perform it. And He’ll not lie. And He’ll stand behind His Word. That’s why it is so important even in times of temptation. Jesus said …

– hey the Word of God says… it is written … it is written ...it is written –

Matthew 4:7

Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

BibleGateWay

You know that, and so, no matter what the temptation might be. We need scripture. Why? It’s word based. Now to prove that, we’ll go to Proverbs 18:21 ...

Proverbs 18:21

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

BibleGateWay

So what you say today, you’re going to eat tomorrow. You say

– well maybe it won’t immediately lack that –

Well, neither does smoking your first cigarettes.

The temptation [to do things in order to fit in] is

– I’m going to fit in and we’re going to try some, let’s try a refer [marijuana]

I don’t even know what a refer looks like, I think it’s like a cigarette but it’s hand rolled. It’s a joint.

– everybody is doing it, everybody supposed to if you want to fit in, everybody takes a little wine, everybody takes a little beer, everybody takes little –

and they are all gateway drugs into devastation. A little wine, the Bible says…

1 Tim 5:20-28

Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.

BibleGateWay

That’s medicine.

– that’s not, that’s, I just want a little tipsy tonight, I just want to feel better –

Understand God has made a way for you to feel much better than through wine.

[congregation]>Amen.

{stomp, stomp … stomp stomp} [stomping the devil, the rubber snakes he dropped on the floor, to place him under our feet] You say it’s OK to do that, it’s OK to do a little gateway stuff. Really?

[commentary]>It starts with a lie.

Tell the alcoholic and tell the one that’s dieing of lung cancer and he’s on oxygen and still can’t do without his cigarette. How important and how wonderful smoking is. Tell the wino on the street, that’s why they call them winos, they drink wine.

– Well that’s not me, I’ll just, I’ll –

You got little snakes [temptations] biting you and you have no understanding of what it is about. Well, everybody is doing it. Well just a little fornication will be OK. Well, just a little bit of adultery every now and then will be OK, even if you don’t get caught at it. In your mind and in your heart you feel polluted. And, when it comes out, not if, it will bring devastation and disaster to any relationship that you have.

– oh, a little bit is OK –

There’s a lot of Christians walking around with some serpents [temptations] in their clothing [spirit – mind, will and emotion] It’s not hopefully, because your born-again children of God, but you’ve allowed other things to enter in and it chokes out be holy for the Lord your God is holy.

– Abstain from all appearance of evil –

See your not going to rule and reign in life until you deal with the temptations to look like the world, act like the world, be like the world. Come yea apart and be separate and realize these things will devastate you life. You’re saying ...

– lighten up Pastor Larry, everybody does it –

That is a lie, the enemy wants you to partake of. Everybody don’t drink, everybody don’t smoke, everybody don’t commit adultery and fornication, everybody don’t lie, everybody don’t steal, everybody don’t kill. If you look in the Word of God, those are all works of the flesh and of the devil. It’s amazing, what we as Christians decide we get to do because we’re free. There’s no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. You will effectively make your witness of no effect, by succumbing to little serpents in your life.

– well they’re just little –

They all started out little.

Proverbs 18:21

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

BibleGateWay

… and you ARE going to eat the fruit of it!

In Mark 11, let’s get back to the word based, word created, word directed environment. The Bible tells me in Mark 11:23, Red letter! Jesus speaking to his disciples and all those who would believe on Him through their word, He says ...

Mark 11:23

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

BibleGateWay

So you can say

– it’s 55 degrees in here I’m cold, I’m cold –

Or you can say

– hey temperatures going up –

And start operating in the benefits that God has given and made available to operate in authority. And your going to find out that what He said is going to happen and come to pass.

[congregation]>Amen, amen.

Jesus cursed the fig tree one of the gospels said immediately it withered from the roots. The other one says Jesus cursed the fig tree and went into the temple and did stuff, then came back out and came back the next day and the disciples marveled

– look at the tree you cursed –

Twenty-four hours later it’s dried up from the root. Didn’t happen immediately. One-hundred-twenty years or so, Noah is building the ark, it’s going to rain, it’s going to rain, you better get ready, it’s going to rain, it’s going to rain, it’s going to rain. And he is a preacher of righteousness, better get ready it’s going to rain. And you’ve heard preachers and teachers and people say …

Numbers 32:23

But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.

BibleGateWay

Hebrews 11:24-26

24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

BibleGateWay

And so, get rid of it, don’t decide to do that and many times because [these people speaking to us] were our parents, and every child thinks they know more than their parents. Why? It’s a rebellious attitude in you. Which came in as a little snake and bit you. And maybe it’s a part of your life now and you don’t even realize it. And so, you’re going to have to make some decisions. And so, am I going to operate in what God says.

Now let’s get back to the whole theme of living the blessed life. You’re going to have to believe the authority given by God, you’re going to have to exercise the authority and your going to have to receive the benefits of that authority. They are all there for us. And He tells us how to do that. And He tells us what to say. And He tells us how to live. And He tells us how to respond. And He shows us in every adverse circumstance of our life, if we’ll just go to Him, He’ll tell us what to do. He’ll lead you. He’ll always lead you to triumph, always!

So, let’s bring this to a conclusion today. So, let’s decide to say what the scriptures say about us.

[congregation]>Yes, amen.

There’s a whole lot of scriptures we could leave you with today, but I’m just going to drop one on you. It’s found in Galatians 3:9, I’d encourage you to read all of Galatians, it tells you that …

Galatians 3:13

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

BibleGateWay

Galatians 3:9

So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

BibleGateWay

And, you receive the gifts that God has made available. And it’s a blessing that the blessing of Abraham might come upon you. And so, those then that those who are of faith. Faith is not seeing it all the time, you have to see it in your imagination, you have to see it in your vision. You have to see it not with your physical eyes, not even with your circumstances of life, you have to see it. He’ll give you revelation.

And so, He [God] doesn’t want you blinded, He wants you opened eyed. So that those who are of faith, that’s a big ARE, are blessed with believing Abraham. He is the father of faith. He was told something. It took him years and years and years. It took him twenty-five years before the promised blessing [which was] of a son, Isaac. But, it didn’t take him twenty-five years, he started living in the blessing. The promise was for a son to come. But also, the promise was ...

– I’ll bless you, so you can be a blessing, I’ll bless you and I’ll bless those who bless you and I’ll curse those who curse you. –

And he grew to be so great that all the kings around him, feared him because He was greater than their kingdoms. Had more wealth than their kingdoms. They were jealous of him. Is anybody jealous of you and me? One last statement, it goes along with this, this is what we are supposed to be proclaiming,

– I am blessed with the blessing of Abraham. –

– I don’t know what the blessing is –

Well study the Bible and find out what the blessing is. We will help you. If you are living contrary to what the Bible tells you then you’re going to find out the blessings won’t be there for you. You are going to have to start declaring them. I shouldn’t say they won’t be there, they are there for the taking, they are there for the possession, they are there for you, if you’ll get rid of the snake. Get rid of the little serpents. The thought patterns and ideas that have kept you bound and start living in the fullness and the blessing of God.