As we continue to reflect on Numbers 13 and 14, we see that Joshua and Caleb had just returned from Canaan and couldn’t believe what they were hearing from the other 10 fearful, doubting, and disobedient spies.
These men incited the crowd and blindsided them to believe that the giants and fortified cities were too great for God to conquer. Even though they had evidence of the bounty of the land and God’s promise to succeed, the people chose to believe a lie and basically said, “This conquest God has planned ain’t gonna happen.”
Thank God for Joshua and Caleb who stood against the unbelieving crowd and confidently declared that God was able to perform what he had promised. Today, we also who believe can stand against the crowd of doubters and declare that God is able!
Someone has said, “Any dead fish can float downstream – it takes a live one to swim upstream.”
NOW GO LIVE IT!
In preparation for the conquest of Canaan, 12 spies went forth at God’s command for 40 days and approximately 500 miles of fact finding and surveillance. (Numbers 13 and 14)
All the spies acknowledged that the land was indeed plentiful and flowed with milk and honey. However, only (17%), Joshua and Caleb, brought back a good report to Moses and exclaimed to all that, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we shall surely overcome it.”
In contrast, 10 (83%) reported negatively that Canaan was inhabited with giants who devoured its people and cried, “We became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” (Numbers 13:33)
So! What giants in your life today are keeping you from possessing God’s promises – fear, doubt or unbelief? Other giants could be broken hearts, financial woes, employment problems, people issues, health concerns and so on. This is not a time to consider yourself an impotent grasshopper without hope. These giants can and will be destroyed as you trust God alone Who goes before you and gives you the victory in Christ Jesus. The “Promised Land” is for YOU! Go take it!
NOW GO LIVE IT!
What do we think of when we say the word "leader"? CEO? Management Consultant? Someone with a PhD? How about YOU? Do you know that God has called every believer to be a leader? Genesis 1:26: "Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
The impact of leadership is seen throughout the Bible. A good king = all is well with the nation; a bad king = things go poorly for everyone. Are you a good king or a bad king in your leadership?
Leader doesn't just mean being "boss." Jesus said that it means SERVING OTHERS. Matthew 20:26-28, "...whoever wishes to become great among you, and...wishes to become first...shall become your slave. Just as the Son of man did not come to be served but to serve..."
WOW! Leadership means servant mind, servant heart and servant action.
NOW GO LIVE IT!
God has given to each man the freedom to choose whom he will serve. Throughout history until this present day, multitudes have rejected God's counsel. They have closed their ears to hearing His life-imparting words, have chosen to run from Him, and have relied on their own strength and wisdom to save them. To their own detriment, they have run their course in vain. However, in times past and even today, God is patient with us and even longs to be gracious – He waits on high to have compassion on us (like he did with Israel in Isaiah 30:18).
In Isaiah 30:15-16, a merciful and loving God declares to His rebellious children how to be saved: "For this is what the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said: 'In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength.' But you were not willing, And you said, 'No, for we will flee on horses!' Therefore you shall flee! 'And we will ride on swift horses!' Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift."
No one can outrun God. Yet, we need to be reminded that time is running out for man to run to Him.
Jesus said, "Come unto me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
NOW GO LIVE IT!
Those Pesky Calls
The Lord said to the servant, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” See Luke 14;23.
Recently, I had a fresh stirring to engage phone-call solicitors in conversations that would go way beyond the products or services they would be marketing. In times past, I would have viewed those telemarketers as someone who wasted my time. In other words, “Get lost!”
With God’s love and compassion, I now see these calls as opportunities (and believe me, I get plenty of these calls!)—opportunities to go “…out into the highways and hedges…” and inviting these people to come and experience what Jesus has in store for them, such as forgiveness, life, joy, hope and eternal life!
A young man recently called me to discuss a mortgage product he was selling. I instantly called upon the Holy Spirit to help me, as His ambassador, to speak to his heart what he needed to hear.
So, I said, “What’s your name?” and from that moment on it was God’s script that was in control, not this solicitor’s pre-planned dialogue. In this case, I discovered he was a born-again Christian who had been baptized. Before we finished sharing with each other, he said with such great fervency, “You have me crying!” Later he said, “This talk has really made my day!” Well, you can guess, it most certainly made my day as well!
This individual needed to hear and feel the compassion and love of God—not a reply of disgust and disdain from me. He was simply striving to make a “buck” and was doing just what he was trained to do.
Slow Down and Listen
Let us slow down and listen before we speak. This way, we can ask and hear what Jesus is saying—before we speak! Then we can know what God sees in a person and then continue a conversation with spiritual insight and discernment.
Ambassadors in Christ
After all, “From now on we recognize no one by the flesh; even though we have known Christ by the flesh, yet now we know him in this way no longer.” (2 Cor. 5:16). We can no longer regard these callers from a worldly point of view. Dare we, as children of God, take courage and practice this principle? We are ambassadors, who know God is a Spirit and we walk in liberty in His Spirit. We know God makes His appeal through us.
What Are You Waiting For?
So, the next time you see an unknown number on your phone, check first with the Holy Spirit to see if this is an opportunity to speak life and light to a soul in need of Kingdom counsel—One who may be dry and thirsty, ready to hear, and ready to drink some Living Water!
Go and engage with Love & compassion.
To our beloved friends and family in Christ Jesus. By now, most of you have been informed that GHCF has sold our building at 9414 N. Rome Circle in Tampa, and we are no longer meeting at this address.
Shirley and I have taken several trips to our eventual location near Pikeville, Tennessee on the Cumberland Plateau. We recently installed a 16 X 48 storage building on our property of 100 acres in order to store personal and ministry furniture and belongings. We traveled January 8th from Tampa to deliver these items for temporary storage until we have a permanent home built on site. For a period of time (to be determined), we are meeting at our home in Tampa. Upon the sale of our Tampa home, we will continue to assemble at various sites as we pray for the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us on our new journey.
We expect it will take many months for our home in Tennessee to be built. Therefore, we will patiently wait and remain prayerful as we abide in Christ.
Looking Back at 2021
For last year, I had received a word from the Lord—“armor up.” We can now understand the urgency to “armor up” looking back on the tremendous turmoil that has taken place not only in America but throughout the entire world— Turmoil such as covid-19, wild fires, unrest, burning, rioting in major cities, and an unprecedented number of executive orders from our president in Washington. There has been a shift, an evil reset for our nation and the world, from a God-based moral compass to an antichrist satanic agenda. Our children are being targeted and indoctrinated in our schools with socialist, fascist, and communist ideologies by the liberal left.
We are living in a time when we are actually witnessing evil being called good and good, evil! Parents attending school board meeting to make a stand against this evil indoctrination and ideology have been labeled as domestic terrorists by our government.
Though many of us are aware of this evil and radical agenda, we must not be discouraged nor let down our guard. We must be mindful, as believers, that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (See Ephesians 6:12)
Therefore, looking back to last year’s word to “armor up”, we understand all the urgency for us to be dressed in readiness and to keep our lamps burning. Stay in this fight and trust our great Captain and Lord Jesus to reveal His anointed strategy and battle plan for us today.
Many Major Battles!
Infanticide is one of Satan’s evil acts to kill, steal, and destroy our infants in (and outside of) the womb. The United States Supreme Court is guilty of allowing over 60 million murders of infants since Roe v. Wade was passed to favor the abortion of these innocent babies — these infant human beings.
It’s time, for the ecclesia, the true believers in Jesus Christ, His church, His Bride, you and me, to rise up, stand up, and speak up and bring the Kingdom of Heaven to this earth in our daily lives.
Remember, whosoever occupies and controls the seven mountains in every nation will dominate that nation! These mountains of influence are:
This coming year of 2022 will require all believers to trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not unto our own understanding. In all our ways we must acknowledge Him and He will direct our path. (See Proverbs 3:5,6)
We must be ruled and governed by the Holy Spirit’s anointing to successfully defeat the works of Satan in this world. William Penn once said, “No people can be truly happy though under the greatest enjoyment of civil liberties if abridged of the freedom of their conscience as to their religious profession and worship (Pennsylvania Charter of Liberties, 1701). Mr. Penn has also been quoted, “If we will not be governed by God, we must be governed by tyrants.” God intended for His kingdom to come to earth and His will to be done on this earth as it is in heaven.
Question for you…
Has His kingdom come and is His will being accomplished in your life and my life today?
Pray for Jesus, the potter, to make you and me (the clay) into the man and woman He has called us to be. Pray for God to impart to you an understanding of your times like men we read about in 1 Chronicles 12:32.
For the year 2021, we were told to “Armor up!” For this new year of 2022, I hear the Lord saying, “Go forth and engage!”
May we all be reminded what David said as he was about to engage in a battle with Goliath: “Is there not a cause?” (I Sam 17:29 KJV)
Indeed! There is a cause and we must engage the Goliaths of our day! Go forth and engage! Run with boldness in the might and strength of God’s empowerment to the battle line against this evil, like David did, and remove the crown (the head, the source) of this egregious enemy of the church. Do not let someone else do what God has called you to do! Engage the Goliaths of our day, and witness the defeat of this present evil. Rejoice in the victory that is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Love in Jesus now and always,
SQUIRREL!! Do you spend dedicated time alone with God, or are you “chasing squirrels”? It happens to all of us. You just get settled in a quiet place, you’re talking with the Lord, or just listening and the phone rings, or you think of the call you said you’d return, or the laundry that needs to go in the dryer…on and on.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that if you want wisdom, understanding and a good day…you better start it with some lone, non-squirrel time with the Lord! In that lone time, be ready to hear from God too. It’s not just a one-way conversation from you to Him. He will speak back to you, to show you, lead you, reveal something to you. You may not like that revelation either, so be prepared. It may be your stubbornness, impatience levels, anger, hidden dishonesty etc. God is not tormenting or rejecting us in these revelations, rather He’s trying to let us know what parts are still broken and need repair.
And…hold on…it gets tougher…sometimes He has to get us alone by various afflictions and hardships, broken hearts, sickness, rejections, broken relationships…oi! But don’t despair. Being alone with Him, no matter how or what the circumstances, is the best thing you can do. It makes all else melt off and lets us see the truly important things in life. All else is just details.
Get to it Soldier, take that hill…and shoot those squirrels!
Thank you for your generous support of the ministry of Great Hope Christian Fellowship Church in 2021 through your regular gifts.
Your ongoing support has enabled us to keep our ministry focused on the Lord Jesus Christ on many fronts. We continue to reach hundreds of hungry and needy souls of all ages with the gospel message through intentional evangelism, Veterans Radio Ministry, veteran events and services, Civil Air Patrol, local high school trainings, national training and support to CAP Chaplain Corps, international prophetic and evangelistic missions, and let us always remember the Over the Fence Ministry. Meanwhile, back home, we continue to build one another up in the faith, exercise and grow in our spiritual gifts, and strive to fulfill our mission for the sake of the body of Christ. Our heart’s desire is to worship our God in all His splendor.
In the meantime, as the ministry expands and transitions, we move forward in God’s plan, much of which is in the unknown. (What fun—what faith!) We continue to go with joy and great anticipation as our God continues to faithfully reveal to us more of who He is and who we are in Him!
Again, we are thankful for your support of the multifaceted ministry at GHCF and for joining us in advancing the Kingdom of God and HIS great light to this dark world.
Daniel was only sixteen when he was taken from Jerusalem into Babylonian captivity in 605 B.C. In chapter nine, he was in his eighties and still retained his perennial devotion and steadfastness to the only true and living God. He was determined and focused to abide by God's law in a far away and strange land. Perennial means "to last or endure an indefinitely long time."
Knowing that his enemies were trying to trick him into disobeying King Darius' decree (not to worship or petition any god but Darius alone), Daniel opened his windows toward Jerusalem and "...he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously." (Daniel 6:10, Proverbs 15:15)
Today, our Father in Heaven is looking for people who are faithfully committed in their devotion and loyalty to Jesus Christ. Like Daniel, who was not swallowed up in a pagan culture, all God's people must strive to "...come out from their midst and be separate, says the Lord. And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you."(2 Corinthians 6:17)
How about you? Do you have a perennial passion, or are you content just being seasonal in a lukewarm relationship with Jesus Christ?
NOW GO LIVE IT!
Are you prepared to defend your faith and hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Peter wrote to the Jewish believers who were struggling in the midst of persecution. “Persecution can cause either growth or bitterness in the Christian life. Response determines result.” (NASB Commentary on I Peter)
Peter encouraged these believers to, “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense (give an answer) to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. And keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
In our world today, there has been such an increase in hostility and egregiousness toward Jesus Christ and His gospel message of salvation to the lost. Unfortunately, no matter what response is given to some who may ask of the hope of the gospel within you, they will go on to walk in despair and darkness. Nevertheless, are you prepared? Are you ready and confident to defend the gospel being empowered by the Holy Spirit?
The word translated “answer” in I Peter 1:15 is the Greek word “Apologia” that means “defense” from which we get the English word, apologetics. Apologetics is the branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines.
We must remember that defending the gospel of Jesus is not an option, for Jesus said, “Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven, but whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in Heaven.”
Jesus also said, “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man out of his good treasure brings forth what is good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth what is evil.”
May you be stirred to be more eager to receive God’s word implanted in your heart and most able and willing to give an answer (defend) to anyone who asks you, of the hope you have in the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ!
References: I Peter 3:15-16, Matthew 5:13-14; Matthew 10:32-33; Matthew 12:34-35