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12/25/14 – “IMMANUEL – GOD WITH US”

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Matt. 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

One of the greatest reasons that Jesus Christ came to earth was to remove the enmity that stood between God and man, and to open the door to us so we could be reunited with God in an intimate relationship with Him. Far too many believers are not walking in the fullness of what Christ has done for them. Many Christians know about God, but they don’t really know God. Jesus Himself in Matthew 7:23 revealed that there are those who will come to Him and say they did many mighty works in His name, yet He said to depart from Him, for He did not know them. Even though God knows all about us, that does not mean He knows us. For God to know us, we must get to know Him.

When Adam sinned in the garden the very intimate fellowship He had with God was broken. Man no longer had the ability to have the type of relationship Adam had, being filled with the presence of God. God had told Adam in the day that he sinned he would surely die. To die means to be separated from life, and God is that life. So the separation of God and man took place. God had created us walk as one with Him and to have fellowship with one another, to get to know each other. Through Jesus Christ we can do more than just know about God, we can once again know Him personally, for God is once again with us.

2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
2 Cor. 5:18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,
2 Cor. 5:19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

When you become born again you become brand new on the inside. Your spirit is once again reunited with the Spirit of God. This is what reconciliation is all about. The word “reconciled” means to call back into union with, to restore a friendship. We have been reconciled to God. We are once again brought back into union with God, and the door is now wide open for us to develop an intimate friendship with Him.

We can know Him and He can know us. If we don’t learn how to develop this relationship with God, we are missing out on what is the most important part of why Jesus came. God is and has always wanted relationship with man. The sin that stood between us has been taken out of the way as our spirit man was made new. So let’s take a look at three very important things needed for us to develop our relationship with God.

Jer. 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Jer. 29:12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
Jer. 29:13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

  1. SEEK HIM WITH ALL YOUR HEART

Many Christians have heard Jeremiah 29:11, but the two verses that follow go right along with what God is saying to us in verse 11. God has thoughts about us and those thoughts are of the future He has planned for us, and they are plans filled with hope and the peace of God. But notice in verse 12 He tells us that because of these plans we should call upon Him, go and pray to Him, and He will be there to fellowship with us. When we seek Him with all our heart we will find Him. To seek God with all your heart means He is your priority in life.

When God becomes your priority you think about Him everyday. You take time to fellowship with Him and He becomes the most important part of your life. You don’t budget God into your time, you budget your time around God. When He becomes this important to you, then you are on the way to developing a close walk with Him. This is the reason the devil has created so many distractions in life. He works constantly to get us distracted and focused on other things, but when you seek God with all your heart, keeping Him as the priority in your life, you will find Him.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

  1. GET TO KNOW HIM THORUGH HIS WORD

God and His Word are one. The Word became flesh in the form of Christ and walked among us. If you want to get to know God you do so through reading, meditating, studying, and living in obedience to His Word. Smith Wigglesworth, who was a man who truly knew His God declared that he could not come to know God through his experiences, feelings, or other means, but only through His Word. We must read, meditate on, study, and obey the Word of God.

When we take time to read the Word of God as an act of our fellowship with Him, He will speak to us through His Word. As you meditate on scripture you come to know and see things about God you would not have seen. Through study of the scriptures you learn about His very nature and how He sees things. When we act in line with the Word we are walking in the light as He is in the light, which is another way we fellowship with God. As 1 John 1:6-7 tells us if we walk in darkness (opposed to God’s Word) and say we have fellowship with Him we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light (His Word) as He is in the light we do have fellowship with God. So take time to get to know God through His Word for He and His Word are one.

Luke 5:16 But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.

  1. DEVELOP AND MAINTAIN A CONSISTENT PRAYER LIFE

Last but not least is learning to develop a consistent prayer life. Prayer is two-way communication with God. Prayer for most believers is a one-way conversation of them asking God for what they need. Thank God we can come to Him and present our needs unto the Father, but prayer is far more than just asking God for things we need. Jesus as our example clearly spent time in prayer with the Father. This is how He maintained close fellowship with the Father while here on earth. Prayer is not something that comes natural to us because of the fallen nature of the flesh and that is why we must learn to develop a prayer life.

One of the most effective ways to pray is praying in the Spirit. Once you are baptized in the Holy Spirit we can then yield ourselves to the Spirit of God within and pray in this heavenly language in which we are told in 1 Corinthians 14:2 that we are not praying unto men but unto God. Later on in verse 14 of this same chapter we are told that when we pray in tongues it is not our natural man that prays, but our spirit that is praying as the Holy Spirit is giving us the utterance. Praying in this heavenly language immediately engages your spirit with God through the Holy Spirit.

We are told in Romans 8 that the Spirit of God bears witness with our spirit. God does not bear witness with our minds, nor our bodies, but our spirit man. Developing a prayer life of praying in the Spirit will help us to become more aware of our spirit man, and help us to quite our minds so we can hear from God. It is one of the keys to us developing a close relationship with God.

So remember one of the most important reasons Jesus came was to allow God once again to be with us and us with Him. God created us to fellowship with Him and to develop a close and intimate relationship so that we could not just know about God, but really know God. Know what He thinks, what He sees, and what He knows. When we do we can experience the plans He has for us, which are plans of peace and not evil, plans that involve a future filled with hope and the goodness of God. Make sure He is the priority of your life, stay in love with His Word, and keep developing in your prayer life with Him. As you do then you will get to experience the truth found in Immanuel – God with us!

Keep “Walking In The Word”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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11/15/14 – “BE STRONG IN THE LORD”

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Eph. 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

A very important truth to walking in victory as a child of God has to do with whose strength we are trying to operate in. Believers don’t realize that when they are trying to be strong in dealing with the storms of life they are relying on their own strength and don’t usually realize it. They are trying to stand in their own power and ability instead of God’s. But clearly as the Holy Spirit points out here through the apostle Paul, we are to be strong in the Lord. This is a total dependence on Him.

2 Cor. 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Cor. 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

In this life no matter what you face if you will do so in the strength of God you will win! Here in 2 Corinthians the Lord revealed to Paul that His grace was sufficient for His strength is made perfect in weakness. Grace is heaven’s help. How is it that His strength is made perfect in our weakness? When we learn to not lean on our ability but truly lean on His, then we see this fulfilled in our life. When we are weak simply means when we are not relying on our ability but God’s. When we do we walk in His strength and that makes us strong. I want to share with you some things that will help you to be strong in the Lord.

 

  1. Surround yourself with God’s Word.

In Hebrews 4:12 the Amplified says the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]. God’s Word is filled with power, but that is only true when it becomes revelation in our hearts. Jesus said in Mark 9:23 that all things are possible to him who believes. What is your faith actually based on? If you are basing your faith on what you see, feel, or hear, etc, then you are not going to be strong in the Lord. You must base you faith solely on God’s Word. When you do then what you see or feel won’t change what you believe, speak, or act. Check up on what you faith is based on. If it is based on things in the natural then you need to surround yourself with God’s Word.

 

  1. Know who you are in Christ.

It has never dawned on most believers who Christ has made them to be. You are a new creation in Christ and yet even though many Christians can quote that, mental agreement to God’s Word does not change lives. Even the demons believe and tremble, but when you know by faith who you are in Christ and you walk in the light of this new man on the inside, things are going to be different for you as a believer. You begin to walk in the light of who you are. You are a spirit, you have a soul, and you live in a body. When you begin to know who you are in Christ then your flesh does not dominate you. Think about how different things would be for believers if they were no longer being dominated by the old fleshly nature, but the new nature within. That is power, because it is no longer you who live but Christ who lives in you.

 

  1. Know you have peace with God.

Romans 5:1 tells us that because we have been justified by faith we now have peace with God. One definition of this word “peace” means to be one with again. Because of sin man was separated from God and therefore no longer had God’s presence within. He lost the greatest strength he had, his relationship with God. When you put your faith in Christ and made Him the Lord of your life, the war between you and God ended. You accepted the peace He offers. You become one spirit with the Lord because you are one with Him again. Tell me that does not bring great strength to the believer.

One of the ways the devil makes Christians feel so weak is to convince them that God is far from them, but the Word of God says He will never leave us nor forsake us. If that is true, and of course it is, then you should never think God is far from you. The devil wants to isolate you and get you to feel like your alone, but God is always there to help you in any circumstance of life if you will put your faith in Him to do so. Knowing you are one with God means you know you are one with the most powerful person in the universe, God almighty who has never nor will He ever lose a battle. Child of God know you have peace with God, you are one with Him.

 

  1. Walk in Bible faith.

As I mentioned earlier we need to examine what our faith is in. Faith is based on what God has said. Faith takes God at His Word. Faith therefore is obedient to the Word of God. When you read Hebrews 11 the hall of faith, you will find that all those people mentioned there were people who obeyed God. God tells Noah to build an ark and Noah built an ark even though he had never seen rain before. Abraham was told to get out away from his family and go to the desert to follow God and he obeyed. If Christians can’t obey the simple truths of the Bible, which is where we begin to learn to walk by faith, then we are going to struggle with having faith in His promises.

To walk by faith one must believe in their heart what God has said, period. If you do then you speak in line with what you believe. Finally you act upon what you believe. When we walk by faith we tap into the unlimited power of God. Faith will move mountains, calm the raging seas, and call things that be not as though they were. But you only confuse your heart when you are trying to believe in God’s promises for you, but again you don’t even obey the simplest truths of scripture. This is a major key to walking by faith.

 

  1. Think saved through a continual renewal of the mind.

Our thoughts are powerful. Fear, worry, and the stress that so many face today are actually not primarily a problem because of what we face, but how we deal with what we face. When we fill our minds with the way the world sees things we are going to be defeated. As Kenneth Hagin used to say if the devil can keep you in the realm of reason he will defeat you every time. This is why the continual renewal of our mind is so vital. Romans 12:2 tells us that if we are not going to be conformed to the world we must renew our minds to the Word of God. Those in the world are not strong in the Lord.

What many don’t realize is what we are actually doing in renewing our minds. The renewal of the mind is not for us to try and figure out how God can part the red sea, cause a jar of oil to never run out, nor how to cause the blind to see. You will never be able to figure out with your mind how God does what He does, because He is God. Renewing the mind is simply getting to the place where you believe what God has said, no matter what you see. To think saved is to have a mind that is not trying to figure God out, but instead simply allowing your heart to fully trust God beyond what you mind tries to tell you. So keep renewing that mind to what God has said.

 

  1. Speak the Word of God consistently.

The Word is the sword of the Spirit that when spoken in faith will whip ever devil in hell, and cause you to triumph in every realm of life. My mom used to say if you don’t have anything good to say then don’t say anything at all. That is good but we do have something good to say. God’s Word when spoken in faith will never return to Him void, but will accomplish the very purpose for which He sent it. But the Word must be spoken for it to come to pass. Don’t just wait until you face a challenge to speak the Word, you should do so when any adversity comes your way, but you should be declaring His truth over your life and your family everyday. Faith also comes by hearing the Word spoken, and you hear your words more than anyone else’s.

 

  1. Remain in continual fellowship with God.

Pray without ceasing scripture teaches us, and that means we should be staying in constant communication with God. We were created to fellowship with Him. When you spend time fellowshipping with God you are always going to be empowered through those times of fellowship. Pray much in the Holy Spirit, for when you do you build yourself up. That is supernatural strength coming from God by His Spirit through your spirit man.

So walk in these simple but powerful truths and you will be strong in the Lord. You like the apostle Paul will know what it means to declare that when you are weak, then you are strong for it won’t be your strength you will be walking in. It will be God’s and there is nothing He can’t do. The Lord is the strength of your life, so learn to draw from the strength He provides. You will always see things differently and you will never be defeated.

See You Again Soon For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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9/15/14 – “RECEIVING MORE GRACE”

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James 4:6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

One of the most awesome truths about the grace of God is that there is more of God’s grace available to the believer after they are saved. Grace is not a one-time thing that happens at salvation, for one of the simplest definitions of what grace is I got from my Pastor Dr. Mark Barclay years ago. Grace is “heaven’s help”. We are saved by grace because it is only with the help of heaven one can be born again, but once born again we can continue to receive the grace of God (heaven’s help) in all area’s of our life and we should be doing so. This week I want to reveal from the book of James how we can receive more of God’s grace into our lives.

Notice here in James 4:6 we are told that God gives more grace and then he immediately tells us that God resists the proud, but He gives additional grace to the humble. The word “resists” is defined as to oppose. One who is not humble is someone who is doing their own thing. They are choosing to disregard what God says and are choosing their will and their way over God’s. This reveals the first of six things we will look at in these verses.

 

  1. Remain humble

To receive God’s help we must remain humble. In this verse above humility is the direct opposite of pride. One who is humble is someone who remains teachable, correctable, and yielded to another. As Isaiah tells us God’s ways and thoughts are not ours, they are higher. When we are unwilling to be taught God’s ways or even God’s thoughts we are choosing our thoughts and ways above His. True humility not only is willing to yield to what God tells us to do, but also what God says about us. If we are not saying about us what God says we are in fact walking in a form of pride. Doing so will keep God from being able to help us. As a man thinks so is he, so if we are thinking thoughts about us that are not in line with what God thinks, we are going to miss out on what He desires for us to walk in.

A key to remaining humble as well is what Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 15:31 that he died daily. We must make a daily choice to die to the old nature’s will of doing and thinking, and we must choose to yield to God’s way of living. As believers we are to live by faith everyday. Doing so requires us to both learn how the God-kind of faith works and what faith then does according to the scripture. Faith involves us receiving the promises of God, but faith also involves our obedience to the Word of God. Humility is where we deal with our will to choose God’s will over our own. When we do so this leads us to the second thing James revealed about receiving more of God’s grace.

 

  1. Submit to God

Submission to God and humility may sound like the same thing, but it is humility that will lead us to submit to God. Humility is a choice of the will; submission is the action we then take to walk out God’s will by being obedient to God. This takes faith as I just mentioned. Faith believes, speaks, and acts in line with God’s will. If we believe what God says is true as to how we are to live our life, then we will speak in line with His Word, and we will then act upon it. This is where our submission comes in.

God has already put in place spiritual laws. When we choose to not submit to God’s ways we are going against what God has already done to put in place spiritual laws that will help us to receive the grace we need in this life. If we truly believe what God says is true, then we should have no problem doing what He has said but this is where the flesh in the area of humility gets in the way. If we have not dealt with flesh in choosing to humble ourselves to God, then obedience will not follow.

But even if we are choosing to yield our will to God’s we cannot then procrastinate knowing what God has said about how we are to live our lives and then think that somehow things are just going to happen. We must be willing (humble) and obedient. Obedience without willingness will also only last for a time, but will become a bondage to most and will eventually be abandoned, as it will not work.

When you look for example in Hebrews 11, which is known as the hall of faith, you see over and over again people who were willing to obey what God had told them to do. For example it took Noah 100 years to build an ark for a flood that had never been seen before. If Noah would not have had a willing heart it is doubtful he would have ever finished the ark. But he persevered and when the flood came he and those who helped him build the ark were saved from the flood. As James 1:22 tells us if you hear the Word but are not a doer you will be deceived, but if you are a doer you will be blessed. No one can do the Word for you. You are the only one that can do what God has said you should do to get more of God’s grace working in your life.

 

  1. Resist the devil

The third thing we must do is resist the devil. When you get humble and then start obeying the Word, guess who is going to try and stop you? The way he does so is through your thoughts. You must deal with and immediately address any thoughts that come, which try to get you to think contrary to God’s Word, or stop walking in obedience to the Word. The devil will try to convince you it does not work. If you do not resist him he will not flee. The thoughts will persist and those thoughts will become words. Our words are seeds that begin to bring forth fruit, good or bad. So as a believer don’t wait to resist the devil, the minute the first contrary thought comes bring it into obedience to the Word of God. Doing so will keep your faith active and strong, and it will keep you from giving up on God.

 

  1. Draw near to God

The fourth thing James reveals is that we need to draw near to God. The heart of Christianity is not about us just walking out the principles of God in our life. The heart of Christianity is about a relationship with God who wants to fellowship with us. Many in the church today are trying to budget God in their life because even though they want God to help them, they don’t get to know God, they just know about Him. If we only know about Him we will lack understanding of all He is and all that He desires for us. When you get to know God intimately you will encounter more of the grace He has for you because you cannot separate the grace of God and the God of grace. They are one. It is like I have heard my Pastor say about America today. America wants the grace of God, but they don’t want the God of grace. So take time to draw near to God through His Word and through time in prayer. As you get to know Him better you will encounter more of God’s help for your life.

 

  1. Cleanse your hands of sin

There is unfortunately some today who teach that once your saved, it really doesn’t matter if you sin or not, but it does. Sin is still destructive. When we choose to sin we are in fact breaking fellowship with God. God still loves us, but we are choosing to break fellowship with Him when we choose to sin. Notice we have to cleanse our hands of sin. This means we must make the choice to turn from sin. Scripture reveals God always makes a way of escape from temptation, but we have to choose that way of escape.

When we sin two things happen and as I have already shared we break fellowship with God. This is revealed in 1 John 1:5-9 that if we are living in sin and say we have fellowship with God that is not true. But if we confess our sins, turn from them, cleansing our hands of sin, then we return to fellowship with Him. When we are in sin it also affects our confidence in God as 1 John 3:21-22 tells us that if our heart does not condemn us then we have confidence toward God. When we sin our heart does condemn us with the guilt that is associated with sin. Repent, turn from it, and you can have complete confidence in God’s grace to provide the help you need in life.

 

  1. Purify your heart from being double-minded

In James chapter one we are told a double-minded man is one who doubts God. The word double-minded is defined as dual loyalty. One who has their heart set on the world and on God. 1 John 2:15 tells us that if we love the world or the things of the world that we do not have a love for the Father. This will affect our faith in God to receive more of His grace for faith works through love. Where doubts persist there is a purifying from the things of this world needed, even if it is just thinking like the world. To get rid of this double-mindedness we must cleanse our heart (soul) through the Word of God, renewing our mind so that we are no longer conformed to this world (Romans 12:2).

So as we do these things we can get more of God’s grace, heaven’s help, to provide the assistance we need in this life. Don’t settle for less than God’s best. God’s best is to be humble, and become a continual partaker of all of the grace that God has available for you.

See You Again Soon For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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8/5/14 – “STAYING ON THE STRAIGHT PATHS”

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Prov. 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.
Prov. 3:6 Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight.

Think about what it would be like if everywhere you needed to go you could just take a straight path to get there. It would sure save you a lot of time and you would then of course reach your destination much quicker. There is a similarity of this that relates to us reaching the destiny God has for our lives. I am not actually talking about heaven, but obtaining and walking in what God has for us here on earth. When we are not on the straight path God has for us it can takes us longer to obtain what God has already purchased for us. I want to share some insight in how we can get on the straight paths God has predestined for us to take in life.

Our foundation text gives us some great insight into how we can do this no matter what we are trying to reach in God. We have many great promises that God wants us to walk in, and He has provided a way for us to get there. The first key to doing so is found in verse five of Proverbs three. We are to trust in the Lord with all our heart, not some of our heart, but all our heart. The heart of course is referring to our spirit man. To trust God with all our heart means we must learn how to walk by faith and not by sight. That is why verse five goes on to say we are not to rely on our own understanding. Our own understanding comes from us reasoning things out from the natural perspective of life. If this is how we make our decisions we are going to miss the straight path God has for us.

Acts 20:22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there,
Acts 20:23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.
Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

The apostle Paul here in Acts 20 was talking to the leadership from the churches of Ephesus, and in speaking to them he had known for some time that when he got to Jerusalem that things were not going to go well in the natural. God had revealed to Paul that he was in fact to go, so Paul knew it was God’s will to go, he had God’s Word on it. This is a key to trusting in God with all our heart and not following after what we think or feel based on our natural human reasoning. Doing so is not how scripture teaches us that God leads us. When we make decisions in walking out what God has for our life from the realm of the soul and not hearing from our spirit man, which will be in line with the Word, we will ultimately miss the paths that lead us to God’s promises for our life.

2 Cor. 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
2 Cor. 4:18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

What if Paul would have gotten totally focused on what he only knew of the natural realm? If he would have this could have obviously changed his mind and led him a different direction. As a matter of fact he was being told by others that he should not go up to Jerusalem. If Paul would have made this decision out of his soul, his reasoning and human feelings based on the natural realm only, he would have obeyed false counsel and would have been out of the will of God. He would have been in violation of what God had said to him. So we need to make sure we are not leaning on our own understanding, what we think about our decisions based on what we may or may not see in the natural.

This is exactly what Paul is telling the Corinthians here in the above verses of scripture. Paul had been through a lot while preaching the gospel. He had been beaten with rods, stoned, whipped, and yet he kept on going, and he called these things light afflictions. Paul learned that when you walk by faith things that you face in the natural will not bring you down nor get you discouraged and therefore headed down the wrong paths. He went on to say that we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen for what we currently see in the natural is temporary and subject to change. But what we don’t see with the natural eye is eternal, which we will talk about in a minute.

Not looking at the things which are seen is a vital key to walking in the straight paths God has for our life. In the natural you can see plenty, but what are we to do about it? This is not Christian Science where we act as if what we see is not there, because burdens and cares can really get you weighed down and are for real. What are we suppose to do then? Ignore them. That may seem hard, but that is what walking by faith is all about. Paul had to ignore the reports and the counsel of others to turn away from Jerusalem. Paul was walking in line with two things. God had revealed to him he was to go to Jerusalem, and he knew that in his spirit, and therefore he was following the leading of the Holy Spirit.

We have the Word of God now written for us, which is our greatest guide that we can look to as a sure and steadfast path for our life. We must make sure we are not saying God told us to do something that then goes against what scripture teaches. In Paul’s case he was a mature believer who was coming to the end of his life who had learned how to accurately hear the voice of God, but Paul had also heard the same word not just from any prophet, but trusted a prophet he had ministered with and he knew he was true prophet of God that confirmed what was in his heart. This prophet was himself a proven minister whom he had known. We are not to look to prophets today to find out what God wants to do in our life. We are to follow the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit in line with His Word. Prophecy from proven ministers can confirm what we already know is true in our heart and in line with the Word of God.

Rom. 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

So if we are to ignore the natural circumstances, not looking to what we see but what we don’t see, what are we to look too? This is why the Word is so important. To walk with God we must walk by faith, and faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. What we are to look to instead of the circumstances is the Word of God. When we focus on what God has said and we keep hearing it that will help us maintain faith in our heart, that we must then speak and act upon. Paul knew what God had said and whenever others would try to get him to not go to Jerusalem he would declare the Word he had from the Lord. He wouldn’t allow himself to get caught up focusing on the natural realm, but instead chose to walk in the realm of faith.

Rom. 4:17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 

Notice from our text in Proverbs 3:6 we are told to acknowledge God in all our ways and He will make our paths straight. So what must we do to acknowledge God in all our ways? God and His Word are one. To do this takes our confession and our actions lining up with what God has said. Take a close look at the end of this verse in Romans 4:17. It is referring to Abraham having received a promise from God to be a father of many nations. It then tells us that God who gives life to the dead calls those things which do not exist as though they did. This is an important key to acknowledging God in all your ways. Notice it did not say we are to call the things that do exist as though they didn’t.

We must learn to focus upon the Word through our confession and actions as well. If we for example were dealing with the cares of life we are told to cast those cares upon God for He cares for us. If we have done that then you don’t have them any more. You wouldn’t then talk about your cares as something you were getting rid of; you would declare you don’t have any cares for scripture tells us we can cast them upon God. If we have done so we begin to speak of whatever we may not have manifested at the time as though we already did. For example you would declare that you have no care because you have given them to God, and you are walking in perfect peace, a peace that guards your heart and your mind. You would declare that your heart and mind are filled with the peace of God, even if you didn’t at that moment feel like it was true; it is because God’s Word said He gave you His peace. It is already there, you just have to appropriate it by faith, and act as if it is so.

When we acknowledge God in all our ways, speaking and acting in line with His Word, then He is directing our paths. His Word will always lead us down the straight paths He has for our life. Declaring His Word and acting on it will keep you from following after your understanding and you will therefore be putting your trust in God.

See You Again Soon For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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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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