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Monthly Archives: June 2014

6/30/14 – “THE LOVE OF GOD”

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1 Cor. 13:4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
1 Cor. 13:5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
1 Cor. 13:6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
1 Cor. 13:7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
1 Cor. 13:8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].

God has been speaking to me quite a bit lately about love. In my walk with God I have been very blessed to have some great spiritual fathers who have poured directly into my life, and others who have poured into my Pastor’s life, which I have been a grateful recipient of their wisdom. Two of those men were Dr. George Evans and Kenneth E. Hagin. Dr. Evans was both a spiritual father to my Pastor, and then became a spiritual father to me as well. Kenneth E. Hagin was quite influential to my Pastor and knew him personally, and now I have gleaned from him in my walk with Christ also.

Many times Dr. Evans would talk to me about walking in love. He was a great example of one of God’s servants who did so. There are many little nuggets he gave me about loving God’s people. I have certainly not perfected doing so, but I am continually endeavoring to get better. I have learned much through Kenneth Hagin’s teachings about walking in love as well. I will never forget what his son Kenneth Hagin Jr. said about his dad at his memorial service. He said, “Many of you knew my dad as a great man of faith, but I knew him as a great man of love.” I have never forgotten that statement.

In the latter years of Kenneth Hagin’s ministry the Lord had him deal with this subject quite often. I believe like brother Hagin taught that walking in the love of God is the most important thing for the body of Christ to learn. There is no doubt why doing so is so important in the scriptures. As 1 Corinthians 13:13 states, “And now abide, faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” The reason this is true is because when we walk in love we win and the devil loses. God is love, and therefore when we walk in love we walk in God.

Scripture reveals in Galatians 5:6 that faith works through love. When we are out of love our faith will not work. The love I am talking about is not a feeling, nor an emotion, but it will change our feelings for one another and our emotions. You see the love of God is of the spirit man within. It is the first fruit of the recreated human spirit. Brother Hagin used to teach that the best way to begin to develop your spirit man is by walking in love. Love, the God-kind of love, is a spiritual fruit. It is residing in every born again believer’s spirit man. It requires action, not emotions to work. God’s love like faith must be acted upon. When we act upon the love of God within us it will then go to work to change our emotions and feelings.

I just shared this on Sunday with our church family; to walk in the love of God we must begin practicing the God-kind of love. To do that we must deny our flesh, how we feel, or what we think about something, and we must renew our minds to the Word of God as to what love is. As Romans 12:2 states if you don’t want to be conformed to the world you must renew your mind to God’s Word to be transformed in the way you live. I have included as our foundation verses above the scriptures on love from 1 Corinthians 13. Kenneth Hagin would tell people if you want to walk in the love of God then take these verses in the Amplified translation and meditate on them for the next 30 days everyday, and you will be amazed at how much different you will be at the end of those 30 days.

To walk in love we must also remember that we are all human. Who has never said something they shouldn’t have said or done something they shouldn’t have done? Because no believer has perfected walking in love yet we need to realize that people do make mistakes, but when we choose to walk in love we slam the door to the devil bringing in his destructive works, and we open the door wide to God’s goodness and His presence to come into our lives and relationships. Love creates an atmosphere for God to thrive in, for He is love, and as I already stated when you walk in love you are allowing your spirit man to dominate you, not your soul or body. As Ruth Graham, Billy Graham’s wife said, “A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” If we want to have God’s best in our life we must learn to walk in love. So let’s take a look at the love of God.

1 Cor. 13:4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

Love is not quick to give up on relationships, and it will empower you to persist and not quit, and love will work at being kind in doing so. I am so thankful my wife has endured long with me. Love does not get envious at others when they are blessed and doing well, nor does it become jealous of what someone else may have. Love does not become boastful nor focused upon self as it does not allow one to display themselves haughtily or puffed up.

1 Cor. 13:5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

Love will not become arrogant or inflated with pride, which is both someone who either sees themselves more or less than who God says they are. Love is not rude with other people, which is to act unbecomingly from the new nature within us. Love does not insist on it’s own way, for the love of God is always wanting to do things God’s way, so it is therefore not self-seeking. The love of God is not touchy, easily offended or resentful toward others. God’s love doesn’t keep a record of the wrongs that others may have done, it does not focus on a suffered wrong but on God instead.

1 Cor. 13:6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
1 Cor. 13:7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

Love does not rejoice at any type of injustice that is done, love rejoices when the truth of God prevails. Love bears up under anything; it is a force that cannot be stopped and therefore will help you to bear up under anything that comes. Love is ever ready to always believe the best of everyone for love will help us to look beyond our humanity and look to the heart. Love’s hopes (expectations) are never put out nor diminished no matter what circumstances may come, for when we walk in love we don’t focus on the natural, we focus on the spiritual. God’s love will never be overcome by anything for it is God Himself.

1 Cor. 13:8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].

Last must in no way least love, God’s love, will never ever fade out nor become obsolete because love is not a fad, love is God and God is forever and ever and ever. Love is the very reason God created man. God is love and love is not selfish but wants to share with others. God wanted someone to share Himself with. This is why He made us. He wanted us to both experience His love, and share His love with others. Think about this, every time we choose to love, walk in God’s love, God Himself his being manifested through our very spirit being. Where God’s love is, God is.

I have hurt my wife through things I have done and said. I have hurt other people in the past through things I have done and said, but I never intended to do so. Since I have become a new creature in Christ like brother Hagin I am on a quest to get better and better at walking in love. Just imagine how powerful we the church, the body of Christ are, when we walk in love. We put the devil in his place, slam the door in his face, and bring God into manifestation through our lives. May we all develop, grow, and learn to walk in the love of God, for then He will be glorified more and more through our lives as Jesus said, “…that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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6/9/14 – “MORE THAN CONQUERORS”

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Rom. 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

I often ask people if is there anything else that God needs to do on His part to provide salvation for anyone? Most know and of course respond that no there is nothing else He needs to do. But for some reason we don’t seem to equate that with other areas of our life that are included in the saving work of Calvary. When most think about salvation they are only thinking of the price paid for us to go to heaven. But salvation is far more than just a ticket to heaven. Our salvation also includes the ability to walk in surpassing victory here on earth over all the work of the devil.

If our God has already provided all that is needed for us to have eternal life then is not that eternal life already ours? Certainly it is because there is nothing more God needs to do for us to obtain eternal life. Would it not be silly then to think that we have to fight the devil for instance to obtain this eternal life that is already secured for us? There are some who think they must do so, but most believers know that we do not have to fight the devil to obtain eternal life. It was already secured for us by our faith in Jesus Christ.

As our foundation verse reveals we are not going to one day become more than conquerors, we already are. For example we are not one day going to become children of God, if we have received Jesus as the Lord of our life we already are. As Paul states earlier in this chapter if we are children of God then we are heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. I wanted to address this in my study with you this week because I come across believers all the time who are always talking about fighting against something. They are either fighting the devil, fighting some disease or sickness, or more unfortunately fighting with one another. If we are more than conquerors what are we fighting against?

Rom. 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

If God did not spare His Son for us but in fact offered up His Son to pay the price for our sin, then how will He not also with the sacrifice His Son made for us also freely give us all things? Would healing not be included in that? Would deliverance not be included in that? If He is going to freely give us these things what are we fighting against? I have taught on this before but people need to fully understand how to walk in faith, for many read in the writings of Paul to Timothy about fighting the good fight of faith and then immediately think we have to fight against sickness, disease, demons, etc., but if we do that would mean we are not yet more than conquerors. But we are according to the Word of God.

You see in fighting the good fight of faith we are not fighting against what Jesus has already given us victory over. That is exactly what satan wants us to do. He wants us to live with this mentality that we must fight against the things he brings against us. When we do we are not fighting the good fight of faith. As simple as this may sound it will make all the difference between victory or defeat in our lives. For example if in the natural someone took on an enemy of yours and defeated them why then would you want to fight them? But that is exactly what Jesus has done. He defeated our enemy and is not one day going to make us more than conquerors, He already has.

Col. 2:15 [God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross].

Our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ has already disarmed the powers of darkness that were arrayed against us. This is not something He will one day do. God triumphed over them in and through Jesus Christ on the cross. If He has done so why are we trying to fight against the one whom God has already defeated? It is often because we don’t understand the fight of faith. Realize that in God defeating the powers of darkness that came against us He has also secured our victory in all that has come as a result of these works of darkness.

In Acts 10:38 we see for example how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and power who went about doing good and healing those who were oppressed of the devil. You see God calls sickness and disease an oppression of the devil. So everything attributed to the devil as a result of the fall God in Christ has overcome. He did not do this for Himself; He did so for you and me. So what we need to realize is that we are not one day going to become more than conquerors, we are not one day in the eyes of God going to become over comers, in the eyes of God we already are. We must begin to see ourselves as to who we already are. To do this we must understand several key things.

Eph. 6:16 In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan.

The first key thing to understand is the fight of faith. Yes we are to fight the good fight of faith, but we need to know what we are fighting against. Here in the book of Ephesians we find what our fight of faith is all about. We are not to be fighting against the devil, nor are we to make statements that we are fighting against some type of disease or attack on our life, but in fact what we must fight against is the thoughts that come to our minds trying to convince us that we are not more than conquerors.

This is primarily a work of the devil with his fiery darts, which are thoughts coming to our minds, trying to convince us we are not victorious. He will do this by trying to deceive you through these thoughts that you are either not an over comer or he will try to get you to fight against the physical attack itself. But the fight is not against the physical manifestation in the natural realm, nor is it against the devil himself, but against the thoughts that come which work to get you to believe you are anything other than what God says you are. He does this by getting you focused on the physical and not who you truly are as a spirit being.

The fight of faith is where we learn to take God’s Word at face value no matter what our circumstances say. We instead choose to side in with the Word. If the Word says I am healed then I believe the Word above what my body and what my thoughts are trying to tell me. This is why our faith is not based on what we see in the natural, but on the Word of God. We are to walk by faith in the Word, not by sight. This is what fighting the fight of faith is all about. Natural circumstances and those fiery darts will try to convince you to believe them instead of what God’s Word says. The Word of God is true whether we choose to believe it or not, but when we choose to believe the Word, faith goes to work and faith always works.

This leads us to another very important key. We must develop our spirit man so that we will be dominated and led by our spirit instead of our soul, or our bodies. When we are governed by our soul, or by our bodies we will be what scripture reveals is a carnal Christian. This is someone who is governed by their carnal flesh. When we are governed by our carnal flesh we are going to believe our natural circumstances instead of the Word of God. But when we develop our spirit man, which is where faith comes from, then we will walk by faith and not by sight. We will begin to live out who we truly are, more than conquerors.

This is where we as believers are truly lacking in our life, in developing our spirit man. The average human spends far more time developing their bodies or their soul, mind will and emotions, instead of developing their spirit. To develop your spirit man you must learn to feed your spirit man. You must also learn to get rid of things that are not good for your spiritual development. If an athlete wants to develop their bodies they know they must not only eat the right foods, but they must also get rid of the foods that are not good for them. They change their diet to accomplish their goals. They also must become disciplined in exercise as well.

So it is with our spiritual development. We are told in Proverbs 4:23 we are to guard our hearts with all diligence. Another way to say that is you must work hard at protecting your heart. This pertains to what we see and hear. If you want to walk in what Christ has already done for you, then you must change your diet. You must change what you are feeding your spirit man. Doing so will help you begin to see what you already have and who you already are. This renewal of the mind to seeing who we now are in Christ is vital to our victory in every area of life.

Praise God we are not one day going to become more than conquerors, we already are. It is something we have now through the completed work of Christ. We must learn what the fight of faith is all about so that we can begin to see who we already have been made in Christ Jesus. In doing so we will walk in the overcoming victory that Christ has already given to us.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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6/2/14 – “GET IT SETTLED”

 

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Eph. 4:27 Don’t give the devil any opportunity to work.

Have you ever stopped to take a look at life through the eyes of the devil to have a better understanding of how he works and what he does? Think about this for a minute as we are clearly told here by the apostle Paul that we are not to give the devil any opportunity in our life to work. I want to share with you something that can help you to see that this does not happen in your life. In doing so you will not become someone who willingly or even unknowingly gives satan the opportunity to take advantage of your life.

When you think about not giving the devil any opportunity in your life most would only think of things such as giving place to sin, or allowing him to deceive you or seduce you to take advantage of your life. But what many don’t realize is that they may be giving the devil opportunity to work in their life through things they have now discounted as unimportant. Think about this, if a believer is not going to get settled in their life the very basic things that a follower of Christ should be doing, then we are in fact giving the devil opportunity to work in our life.

What I am going to share with you this week is what scripture reveals as the basic things in Christianity that should forever be settled in our lives, for once they are then the devil can no longer mess with our life in those areas. Join me as we “Get It Settled” what should no longer be an issue for us who know Jesus Christ. All the things I am going to share with you are so simple but so powerful, so let’s get started.

1. Don’t argue with the Word of God.
Psa. 119:89 Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.

This is a biggie because first and foremost we must settle forever in our hearts and in our lives that God’s Word is settled forever in heaven therefore our opinion does not matter. It is amazing how many times in 24 years of pastoring that people who have come to me for help will ask about a situation and I will point them to a verse of scripture that clearly gives them the answer to their issue but you may then get the following response, “I know the Bible says that pastor, but….”. But what?

When we are governed by our carnal nature then our old fleshly man is dominating and he wants to always get his way. So even though you can show people from scripture how to fix a problem in their life or what they should do in a certain situation if it isn’t what their flesh wants to hear they will try to reason out why they should not be living according to scripture. God knows what He is doing and His Word is settled. He honestly does not care about our opinion of the Word; it will never change Him nor the truth of His Word, which is what sets us free.

We must come to the Bible and make it the first and final authority in our life. No matter how much our flesh does not like what scripture may or may not say, it will always be right because God is always right. So if we don’t settle this issue then the following areas are going to be a problem as well, and we give the devil opportunity to deceive and mislead us when we start arguing with the Word of God. This is exactly what the devil did when he was booted out of heaven. Don’t ever argue with or go against God’s Word, no matter how hard it is for your flesh.

2. Be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only.
James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

This goes without saying but still needs to be addressed. We cannot just “amen” the Word of God but yet never put the Word into practice in our lives. For anyone who hears the Word of God and yet does not have the diligence to do what the Word says they are deceiving themselves. If you are self deceived how much opportunity do you think a self deceived Christian is giving to the devil? This makes his work even that much easier.

This is like someone who knows to do right, but they don’t do it and they will often have others drawn to them who are living the same way. These people cheer you on and give you all kinds of reasons why you are right and therefore why you don’t have to obey the Word of God. There are many believers who say they love God and they amen at church, but they don’t put forth the effort to walk in line with the Word. James said in verse 25 of the same chapter that he who does what the Word says, this one will be blessed in what he does. That would mean we are not going to be blessed unless we are doers of the Word. So settle it forever in your life that you are going to be diligent at being a doer of the Word of God.

3. Honor God with your tithes and offerings.
Prov. 3:9 Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
Prov. 3:10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.

It is a bible fact that scripture teaches us to honor the Lord with the first tenth of all our increase and with offerings (our possessions) as well. People that want to argue about this are going against what Jesus Himself even said. Where your treasure (wealth) is there your heart is also, you cannot serve God and mammon. You know what satan does not want you to do? To give to the work of God. Why? Because you are going to help reach the lost for Christ and when you do, that is a blow against the devil. If the devil has you serving mammon he not only can control what you do with your money, but he can keep you from serving God for you cannot serve God and mammon.

It is simple to see if you look at the world’s system and those bound by this world’s system, which scripture teaches us that satan is the god of this world’s system, that money and possessions are a high priority in life. But in fact money and possessions are not high on God’s priority list, people are. God paves streets with gold. God so loved the world He have His most precious and valuable gift, much more valuable than money, the life of His Son, all because people are a priority to Him. When His priorities become our priorities then the devil cannot keep us in fear of not having enough or fear of losing what we do have. God shall supply all the need of those who sow and give to the gospel. If you don’t settle this once and for all then money (mammon) will be your master not God.

4. Settle in your heart who your pastor is.
John 10:3The watchman opens the door for this man, and the sheep listen to his voice and heed it; and he calls his own sheep by name and brings (leads) them out.

If you take time to study out John 10, especially the first part of the chapter, you will find out that Jesus refers to Himself as the watchman or door through which those He gifted to be shepherds (pastors) come through. These shepherds call to the sheep and lead them out to pasture. Simply put, Jesus has a pastor for your life, not many pastors, and you will know that pastor when you hear his voice, when he preaches and teaches the Word of God.

Years ago a great man of God, Dr. Lester Sumrall asked my pastor Dr. Mark Barclay where satan comes against Christians the most. Dr. Barclay said it would have to be where they go to church, for you don’t see many Christians committed to a local church. I do understand that most Christians have never been taught that scripture does not tell us to find a church, we are the church, but in fact you are to find the shepherd Jesus gave as a gift to grow you up in the Lord.

I will never forget the day I found my pastor. When I heard Dr. Mark Barclay preach for the first time there was something both my wife and I knew that was different about this man. This was the man of God that Jesus had gifted to be the shepherd of our lives. I am so grateful to have found my pastor. Don’t think the devil hasn’t tried to get me focused on my flesh and pull away from my pastor, he has, but he cannot for I know I found my shepherd and I have settled it in my heart. Because of this it has brought growth and stability in my life and I know I would probably not be in the ministry today if it were not for him in my life.

The shepherd Jesus has gifted to pastor you is not someone you will always agree with, but they are someone that the Lord Himself gave to help you grow in God and become all Christ wants you to be. It is easy to see why the devil works so hard at getting people away from their pastor. Once you find that shepherd it should be forever settled in your heart, and this will bring great stability in your life.

So these are a few of the key things that scripture reveals should be settled in our hearts and no longer something we debate or argue about. If you can get the basic things of Christianity settled in your life you are well on your way to becoming a mighty man or woman of God and you will stop giving opportunity to the devil to keep taking advantage of your life.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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