A Very Happy and Prosperous New Year to each and every one!
A Very Happy and Prosperous New Year to each and every one!
As Thanksgiving approaches, you may be eagerly anticipating the smell of turkey roasting in the oven, generous portions of stuffing, and the perfect slice of pumpkin pie heaped with fresh whipped cream. It is a special time when friends and family will gather for fellowship and a time of reflection on the abundance we enjoy. Even more exciting and bountiful than a Thanksgiving table are those blessings that await at the table of God. Maybe you don’t realize it, but you have a place at God’s table. However, if you don’t even know you’re invited, then you won’t take your seat, and therefore, you won’t feast on the banquet of blessing He has set before you.
So, what’s on the menu at God’s table? You’ll find an answer to every need, the fulfillment of every desire, and a helping of every good thing—in short, you’ll find THE BLESSING of the Lord. When you take your place at the table of God, His menu includes helpings of grace, healing, peace and abundance, and they are all for you to taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8)!
“When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy…. Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.” Titus 3:4-5, 7
At any good, full-course meal, there is always a main dish, which is the primary part of the meal. The appetizers, side dishes and desserts are all intended to complement and add to the enjoyment of the main dish.
At the Thanksgiving table, the main dish is typically turkey, but at God’s table, the main dish is grace. Every part of THE BLESSING is centered around and based upon the grace of God. A simple definition of God’s grace is “God’s unmerited or undeserved favor.” Many people believe they don’t deserve a place at the table, so they don’t even show up. But the very definition of grace gives everyone a right and a place at God’s table.
God has been trying for years to get us to come to His table, but we’ve been crawling underneath it, begging for the crumbs. If you will truly grasp the significance of the covenant of grace, you’ll never be the same again, and you won’t hesitate to come to God’s table.
What exactly is the covenant of grace? It’s a relationship of favor that gives you access to God’s power. If you’re under the blood of Jesus, you’ve been made a covenant child of the most powerful Being in the universe by grace. That’s something to shout about!
Are you tasting God’s grace? If you’ve been leading a life of fear and doubt, you aren’t enjoying the feast! To take your place at the table, you must lay hold of God’s promises and be fully persuaded that what He has promised belongs to you. You have a covenant, so stop talking about how unworthy you are and take a heaping helping of the grace that belongs to you!
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5, NKJV
When you serve your Thanksgiving meal at home, you are expecting and desiring all your invited guests to partake of everything you’ve prepared. In fact, some might even consider it impolite to pass on one or more dishes. You went to a great deal of work to set this feast before your family, and it gives you great pleasure to see them enjoying it.
At the table of God, God has set before you healing as a byproduct of His grace, and it is yours for the taking. He does not serve healing to certain people, while withholding it from others. He is a good God! Many people will accept grace and come to the table, but they pass on taking a helping of healing.
Jesus didn’t just work hard in the kitchen to provide the feast at His table—He died to give it to us. First Peter 2:24 says that Jesus “Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed” (NKJV).
Did you get that? By His stripes you were healed. Healing has already been provided for you, and all you have to do is take it! To leave healing on the table is to disrespect the sacrifice required to put it before us at the table of God.
The Word of God is true, but if you waver and doubt, you won’t receive. The only cure for doubt is to settle on the integrity of the Word of God. He has set THE BLESSING of healing on the table before you. Don’t let it pass you by! Take and eat.
“My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.” Proverbs 3:1-2, NKJV
The Hebrew word for peace means “nothing missing, nothing broken.” It refers to a life that’s good and satisfying in every way. That’s the kind of peaceful life we all want, and it’s the kind we can have, if we’ll pay attention to and obey God’s Word.
His Word is THE BLESSING book—the Bible! To tap into the wonderful life the Word makes available, you must find out what it says about everything and obey it, and as a result, you will experience the peace of God.
Don’t allow Satan to substitute anxiety and ulcers for the peace and undisturbedness that Jesus bought for you. Be willing and obedient to cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). When you trust in God’s goodness and believe His Word, you will be doing just that.
Take peace from God’s table by making Proverbs 3:1-2 a staple in your life! Length of days and peace will be added to you. You’ll receive God’s best plan for your life, marriage and children. Don’t settle for the ‘norms’ of the world that are filled with anxiety and directly contradict God’s Word. Live above them in a home full of love and harmony—just like God meant it to be.
“Let the Lord be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” Psalm 35:27, NKJV
A healthy body. Enough money to pay all your bills and extra to invest in the work of the gospel. A godly marriage and happy, healthy children. Peace of mind. That’s THE BLESSING of abundance!
God has prepared a banquet full of abundant blessings for you at His table. However, those blessings are not just going to fall in your lap. You must be willing—as well as obedient—if you’re going to eat the best from God’s table. So, be willing!
Refuse to live in lack, but be willing, instead, to live in divine prosperity and abundance. Refuse to allow Satan to stop the flow of God’s financial blessings to you.
Refuse to be robbed of the banquet of blessings that has belonged to you since you became a believer. Be willing to eat the good of the land!
Many believers limit God without even realizing it by training their eyes to be fixed on the limited resources of this world rather than the unlimited riches of God’s kingdom. The Bible says God will meet your needs according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19)! You can live by heaven’s economy, not earth’s economy—and in heaven there is always more than enough.
Wake up to the abundance of heaven that’s been made yours through Jesus. Wake up to the fact that you’ve been translated out of a world of poverty into a Kingdom of abundance. Rejoice. Heaven’s unlimited resources have been made available to you at the table of God!
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.” Psalm 23:5, NKJV
Whatever the demand or difficulty you face today, come—feast freely at God’s table—and experience His strength, provision and victory over every circumstance. He is inviting you to come and dine with Him at the table He’s prepared just for you.
In 2009, Kenneth Copeland gave the following prophecy about dining at the table of God:
This is a feast of abundance in the valley of the shadow of death. Fear no evil! Fear not the shadow of death, nor the valley therein. I, your LORD, your Savior—I am The LORD of hosts and I am the biggest thing in the valley. Have no fear for the table is full. Come and dine, come and dine. Pass the healing, pass the debt-free pudding. Yeah! Pass the miracles down here on this end of the table. Come and dine, come and dine.
As you prepare to enjoy the abundance of blessings at your Thanksgiving table with your family, remember that grace, healing, peace and abundance are also being offered to you at God’s table. He’s inviting you to come and dine with Him today. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, and He is always serving THE BLESSING to anyone who will take their seat at His table and receive from His faithful love. His desire is for you to partake of all that He has set before you. It’s time to take your place at the table of the King. Now, dig in!
Learn about the power of praise this Thanksgiving in this video from Kenneth and Gloria Copeland:
© 1997 – 2017 Eagle Mountain International Church Inc. Aka Kenneth Copeland Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
If this resonates with you, it’s time to go to the garden of your heart and see if it’s in prime condition to reap a harvest of God’s promises. Learn to cultivate the kind of soil that receives all God has for you by checking your heart vitals, evaluating your love walk and avoiding blessing blockers.
“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” –2 Chronicles 16:9, NKJV
What kind of heart do you have? The answer reveals your ability to receive from God. When you go to the doctor for a physical, the first thing he or she examines is the condition of your heart because the heart is critical to the total function of your body.
The same is true of your spiritual heart. God always looks at the heart in every matter (1 Samuel 16:7). Outward deeds are not always evidence of the state of one’s heart, but He knows the condition of our hearts—regardless of how we might appear to the world.
Jesus used the parable of the sower in Mark 4:15-20 to illustrate four kinds of heart soil. The seed sown in this parable represents the Word of God (Mark 4:14). While there is only ONE type of heart soil that receives from God, it is important to be willing to take an honest look at each one to determine which one describes you. No matter where you find yourself today—be encouraged—you can choose to move into the one heart category that will make the manifestation you need a reality in your life!
The first type of heart is one that Jesus describes as “those who have the Word sown [in their hearts], but when they hear, Satan comes at once and [by force] takes away the message which is sown in them” (Mark 4:15, AMPC).
These are people who hear the Word, but there is no harvest, or result. For example, they hear the message of the gospel, but they don’t get saved. Satan may have told them that they weren’t good enough, or perhaps that it would cost them too much. At other times, pride and selfishness allow the devil to come and steal their seed. The result is always the same: Seed that is stolen means there is no seed to yield a harvest.
The second type of heart Jesus describes is the stony-ground heart. When seeds are sown on “stony ground,” they have no real root in themselves, and so while these people endure for a little while; when trouble or persecution arises, they immediately stumble and fall away (Mark 4:16-17).
These are people who have no root of the Word of God. Think of what a root does for a plant. It nourishes it, feeds it and anchors it during a storm. These people stumble and fall away from the Word when adversity comes their way. Instead of holding on to the Word of God to see them through the storms in life, they let it go. The end result is they, like those with pavement-like hearts, do not receive the promises of God, or a harvest.
The third type of heart soil Jesus describes is the thorny-ground heart. These are people who “hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desire for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful (Mark 4:18-19, NKJV).
Most Christians will likely say, “I don’t fit this category. I have good soil.” However, many Christians fall into the thorny-heart category. If you take a look at their lives, they really aren’t bearing much fruit in the areas of healing, prosperity and deliverance. So, what could be happening?
At first, they get excited about the Word of God. They’ll hear a message on prosperity, for instance, and they’ll go home saying, “Hallelujah! I’m going to prosper in the Name of Jesus!”
But, over time, worries, fears and troubles become more real than the truth in God’s Word. This heart puts more stock in what the world says than what God says. In doing so, they forfeit their harvest.
This is where we all want to be! This is where manifestation lives. So, how is this soil different from the other three? In Mark 4:20, Jesus makes it very simple when He says the good-soil hearts are “the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit,” (ESV). That means, not only do you accept the Word, but you cultivate what has been sown.
To cultivate means to feed your heart with the Word of God and let the Word be the final authority in every decision you make. Once your soil is cultivated, it is ripe for God to give the increase. Then, the time will come when you can “put in the sickle” for your kingdom harvest.
Sure, you’ll get knocked down sometimes. But when you do, get back up and say, “Look here, Devil, I’m not going to let you steal the Word out of my heart. It’s in there and I’m meditating on it. I’m saying it with my mouth, and I’m acting on it until God’s blessings overtake me. If you don’t believe me, just hide and watch!”
If you’ll take that attitude, no matter what that devil does, he’ll never make a “thorny-ground” Christian out of you!
“If I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:2
After you’ve checked heart vitals, it’s time to evaluate your love walk. How do you treat people? How do you talk to and about them? Are you bitter? Have you forgiven? These are things every believer needs to consider when seeking a manifestation of the promises of God.
Offense is one of the most crippling things the devil has ever come up with. You can be sure he will give you plenty of opportunities to get offended.
What is the answer? Become so filled with love that offense can’t come near you. We must learn to live in love, walk in love, talk in love and edify one another in love. Then when the pressures come, when the hard times come, when disasters approach us, we won’t have to stop and think. We will immediately react in love.
“Every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.”
1 John 5: 4
The next step to cultivating a heart that receives is to avoid filling your heart with blessing blockers. Jesus talked about the thorny heart in Mark 4:18-19, and we identified it as a type of heart that many Christians today have. Just like a natural garden needs tending to remove and keep thorns and thistles out, so does your heart.
We must be diligent to not let the thorns, or blessing blockers, in our hearts. What are the types of thorns that can crop up in your heart? Mark 4:18-19 reveals three.
Most often, these include concerns about health, finances, marriage and children. This can be a daily struggle, but the bottom line is, you can’t be in fear and walk in faith at the same time. If you want to cultivate a heart that produces a hundredfold harvest, you must seek to drive worry, fear and anxiety out of your life by learning to trust God and by putting your faith in His Word concerning every issue in your life.
We know that prospering is a good thing—it is God’s will for us to be blessed financially. What is outside of His will, however, is when money or material possessions become the most important priority in your life. If money or making money becomes more important to you than spending time in the Word, attending church, or spending time with your family, it has become a heart issue—a thorn that is stealing your blessing from you.
Mark 4:19 calls these “the lusts of other things” (KJV). This can also be described as foolishness or folly. So, where are believers finding folly? Well…every television set, movie theater, radio and magazine stand…just to name a few. With hundreds of cable channels and the internet, it’s not difficult to find an unlimited supply of foolishness to feed on! When you spend more time consuming worldly entertainment than the Word of God, your heart will become cluttered and take on thorns that crowd out THE BLESSING.
© 1997 – 2017 Eagle Mountain International Church Inc. Aka Kenneth Copeland Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
If we will walk with Him, obey His Word, and follow the direction and leading of the Holy Spirit, then we will enjoy the close relationship that we desire and relish the benefits of that relationship. Here are five reasons why obedience will draw you closer to the Lord:
No one can walk with God without being obedient. Just look at these three examples of people in the Old Testament who enjoyed walking closely with the Lord, and note how obedience played an important part in that relationship for each of them.
The Word records that “Enoch lived in close fellowship with God” for 300 years (Genesis 5:22)! Imagine spending 300 earthly years in close fellowship with the Lord—obeying His commands, learning His ways, and caring for the things that most concern Him. That was Enoch’s life. And the result? Scripture tells us that Enoch did not experience an earthly death. Instead, “he disappeared, because God took him” (verse 24).
Noah lived during a dark time. Scripture tells us that evil had grown to such an extent on the earth that “the Lord was sorry he had ever made [humanity]” (Genesis 6:6).
Then He said He would “wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing” (verse 7). It was a desolate time, but then the Lord looked and saw Noah. The Word notes that “Noah found favor with the Lord” (verse 8). Instead of conforming to the wickedness of the civilization around him, Noah upheld morality and goodness. The result of Noah’s obedience was that he and his entire family were saved from the flood that destroyed every other living thing on earth.
We all know about Adam’s failure, but consider his life before that detrimental mistake. He had walked in communion—daily relationship—with the Lord. God had breathed life into him (Genesis 2:7), set him in the magnificent Garden of Eden where all his needs were met (verse 15) and then gave him the privilege of naming all the animals (verse 19). That was the result of Adam’s obedience. He was set with a blessed life! In fact, his wife, Eve, was too. They only needed to continue to obey the Lord. Sadly, Adam followed the enemy’s voice instead and betrayed the trust that God had placed in him. That disobedience cost Adam big! He and Eve were thrown out of the Garden, forfeited THE BLESSING, and endured hardship the rest of their lives.
There are many good and kind people in the world who are without a relationship with the Lord and therefore cannot hear and follow His voice. As believers, we, on the other hand, have the ability to follow God and obey His voice. This is a privilege that belongs to His children. We can know His voice and nature through His Word, His Holy Spirit, and the wisdom He gives to other believers (i.e., pastors, ministers, mentors, prayer partners, godly friends, etc.).
Deuteronomy 4:5-6 says, “Look, I now teach you these decrees and regulations just as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy. Obey them completely, and you will display your wisdom and intelligence among the surrounding nations.”
When we follow God’s voice, we help others see His wisdom and hopefully draw them to Him, too.
God promises that if we will obey Him, blessings will follow. Just look at these verses that show the connection between God’s BLESSING and obedience:
While God loves and shows favor to all of His children, Scripture is clear that there is an inherent blessing that comes as a result of obedience.
God’s love for us is clear from the sacrifice He arranged through Jesus Christ. And by the power of His Holy Spirit, He drew us to Him and adopted us into His family. We can’t lose His love. But God is not a tyrant. He does not force His will on us. He always gives us the choice of whether to follow Him or not. If we follow Him, then we receive the privilege of THE BLESSING (see Reason No. 3). If we choose not to follow Him—to walk in disobedience—then we walk outside of that BLESSING. It’s our choice, one He has given to all His children throughout history.
“‘Come now, let’s settle this,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. If you will only obey me, you will have plenty to eat. But if you turn away and refuse to listen, you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies. I, the Lord, have spoken’” (Isaiah 1:18-20)!
We may choose to blatantly disobey the Lord by rebelling against Him and His Word. This is the case when we turn our backs on the Word, follow our own ways and knowingly sin. However, not all obedience is active; some is passive. Passive disobedience is much subtler. It may be allowing old ways of thinking (i.e., worldly carnal thinking or religious mindsets) to seep into our thinking instead of basing our thoughts on God’s Word. Disobedience can even include holding on to misinformation or remaining ignorant of the things of God.
“How can we be held accountable for things we don’t know?” you might ask.
We can be because He has already given us His manual for living—His Word. We have the responsibility to open that Word, read it, meditate on it and allow it to shape our thinking. That is what obedience allows us—and requires us—to do.
Obeying God means moving aside and allowing God—His Word, His Holy Spirit and His way of operating—to move in our lives. It means trusting (having faith) that He will be true to His Word. When we obey, we don’t try to control our lives and the situations around us by our own human strength. Instead, we focus on the Lord by keeping Him and His Word before our eyes and allowing Him to have His way and trusting that He will fulfill His promises.
We cannot claim to love God without obeying Him and His Word. Let’s commit to obey Him with heartfelt love and show an appreciation for all He has done for us. We serve a big, magnificent, awe-inspiring God. Let’s obey Him immediately and wholeheartedly so we can walk with Him closely and enjoy the benefits of our obedience!
© 1997 – 2017 Eagle Mountain International Church Inc. Aka Kenneth Copeland Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
If there was ever a situation where it seemed impossible for someone to be saved, it would be Saul of Tarsus – but one encounter with Christ changed everything in a split second.
Don’t stop praying for your family members, your friends, your fellow workers, your community, or your nation. Nothing is impossible with God
There is no place for strife in the Body of Christ. None.
This world is in a precarious place. People in the world can’t seem to agree on anything. Democrats and Republicans create gridlock as they disagree on every issue. Fringe groups have risen up standing for inequality based on income or the color of one’s skin. But that’s nothing but outspoken bigotry and racism. It creates strife of the greatest degree—and according to James 3:16, “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work” (KJV). It’s no wonder the world seems hopeless anytime you hear the latest news. Strife is a deadly enemy as it opens the door for murder, theft, lying, rebellion, hatred, violence…and the list goes on and on.
If you’re like many in the world, you have probably found more opportunities to be offended, and to be in strife, than any other time in recent history. But the Body of Christ shouldn’t operate like the world. As believers, we should be standing together. Income inequality, racism, disagreements over denominational differences and other blatant works of the enemy that cause strife and division have no place among us. Taking a stand against the deadly enemy of strife should be one of our top priorities as followers of Jesus Christ who endeavor to lead a life worthy of our calling (Ephesians 4:1).Stopping division and strife in our countries, communities, workplaces and churches must start with us, in our own personal lives.
In Mark 3:24-25, Jesus tells us why unity is so important. He declared, “If a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (KJV).
Jesus knew the toll that strife, which leads to division, takes on believers and the Body of Christ. Ultimately, the spirit of division takes men and women who are strong in the Lord—spiritual powerhouses—and returns them back to the same helpless place they were before they knew Jesus. Strife stifles the power of the Holy Spirit working, whether in an individual’s life or corporately.
The Apostle Paul encountered this issue when he visited the Corinthians…
Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? (1 Corinthians 3:1-3)
In this passage, Paul is scolding the Corinthians because they had allowed strife—jealousy and quarreling—to enter their midst. And what had it done? It had turned them into “infants” again. The sinful nature does that to you. If you yield control to it, you have forfeited the power of the Holy Spirit and are living like people of the world, who are separated from Christ…without hope and without God (Ephesians 2:12).
Strife is easy to identify. It’s division, harsh words, complaining. It’s jealousy and envy. It represents a struggle—one person’s will against another person’s will. Arguments come out of strife. Complaining, demanding your way, divisions, harsh words, disagreements and emphasizing differences all bring about a lack of harmony. Strife is caused by insecurity and pride. Where there is strife, or lack of peace, you know the human will is in charge, not the Holy Spirit. And, from strife comes confusion and every evil work!
In Matthew 5:21-22, Jesus says, “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.”
Evil and sin begin in the heart. If you see that strife has taken root in your heart, the first thing you want to do is repent. Ask God to forgive you for any words or actions you’ve taken that are against His will. Replace your words with the Word of God. Ephesians 5:4 says, “Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes–these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.”
You can’t speak harshly and thank God at the same time. You can’t criticize those around you, if you have a thankful attitude about them.
This approach will bring peace to any situation where there’s a temptation to tear into someone with cruel and unkind words. When someone crosses you on the job, at school, on social media or wherever, instead of verbal abuse, let your mouth be filled with praise to God. He is worthy of your praise! If you are thinking about how good God is, you can’t be talking about how bad others are.
Then, after you’ve repented, there’s a better way.
If we keep ourselves busy with God’s ways, we will be so full of God’s love that there won’t be any room for strife. That’s the key to having the power of God show up in our lives, just like it was evident in Jesus’ life.
The way of Christ is love:
“So now I am giving you a new commandment,” Jesus said to His disciples. “Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:34-35).
Our love for one another proves to the world that we are different and serves as a powerful testimony to unbelievers. If we’re a part of division and strife in our country, at home or work, or even on social media, we are not walking in God’s ways, and we are not demonstrating the love of God to others. God’s love must be overflowing in your heart for it to come out of your mouth. And, the best way to be filled with the love of God is to continually think about Him.
The way Brother Copeland renews his mind to the love of God is to study and meditate 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. He reads it in the first person like this: “I am patient and kind. I am not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. I do not demand my own way. I am not irritable, and I keep no record of being wronged. I do not rejoice about injustice but rejoice whenever the truth wins out. I never give up, never lose faith, am always hopeful and endure through every circumstance.” This is a valid confession because God is Love, and you are born of God. Therefore, you are born of Love.
The love of God in your heart and the praise of God on your lips are an unbeatable team. When an unlovely person tries to provoke you into strife, you will remember, I am not irritable. Instead of retaliating, let the praise of God come out of your mouth.
Additionally, walking in love is not just refraining from saying hateful things. It’s proactively speaking what is life and health to others. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue,” says Proverbs 18:21 (KJV). It’s putting faith and love into action when you encounter an opportunity to be personally offended, or when you see racism or division around you.
“Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead,” wrote James. “But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:17-18, NKJV).
Whenever we’re offended or see inequality, racism or division, it’s our responsibility to take a stand against strife for our household, and for our “Faith House” as the Body of Christ. This includes strife in the Body of Christ caused by denominational differences. We must stop tearing each other down with our words and do good to one another. “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10, NKJV).
Do whatever it takes to stay out of strife. Let your words be full of encouragement, and let God’s love shine from you everywhere you go.
As you avoid strife, here are some things you can do:
In conclusion, there is no place for strife in the Body of Christ, and we should individually and corporately refuse to be people who take part in it. As people called by His Name, we should take a stand against strife by living differently from people in the world. Our houses should be places of faith, without strife. Our churches should be places of faith without strife. And we should be agents bringing the light and love of God to a dark and lost world.
Never underestimate the power of faith! Make sure you are thinking and believing correctly – because what you believe is exactly what you will receive!
It has been called the manifested presence of God, but more than just a presence, it’s power. The kind of power that resurrects, delivers, overcomes and transforms. It is greater and stronger than any other power in existence. And it belongs to us.
Yet, maybe you feel like the glory of God is untouchable, unreachable. Maybe you think of the manifestation of the glory of God as something reserved for special church services or an extraordinary circumstance. All the while, though, you long to see the power of God manifest in your life, your church and your country.
But did you know that the glory of God is available to you 24/7? It’s built-in. That’s how God designed it—it’s how He designed you. Because you were born of God (John 1:13), that glory is inside you right now! All things that the Father has—including His glory—belong to you. This means His glory isn’t too far out of reach. It’s right within your grasp!
Below are four ways you can tap into the glory of God by faith.
“But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God.” –Acts 7:55, NKJV
If we aren’t expecting to see the glory of God, we probably won’t. Just like anything in the kingdom of God, it takes faith to see a manifestation. The glory of God is a visible power. In the Old Testament, the glory appeared as a cloud, smoke or fire. This visible power is also known as Shekinah glory, which is the Hebrew name given to the presence of God dwelling on the earth.
The nation of Israel saw the glory when God came down to meet them on Mount Sinai. Exodus 24:17 (KJV) says, “The sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount.”
The prophet Habakkuk got a glimpse of that fiery glory, too. He described it as like the sun, blazing in the sky: “His brightness was as the light; he had horns [or shafts] coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power” (Habakkuk 3:4, KJV).
The same glory that raised Jesus from the dead was manifested as fire by night and a cloud by day in the wilderness (Exodus 13:21). This same glory separated Israel and the land of Goshen from the rest of Egypt when there was light in the land of Goshen, but not in Egypt (Exodus 10:23). What was that light? The glory. The glory of God’s presence.
Can we see those same physical manifestations of God’s glory today? Yes!
There are countless testimonies of individuals and groups of believers having seen visible evidence of God’s glory. During his preaching days, Brother Kenneth E. Hagin compiled a list of every scripture in the Bible about the glory. When he would read them aloud in a service, the glory would appear like a cloud or a wave, and people would fall on the floor under that power, or rush to the altar to get saved. It is tangible and it is powerful! So, start expecting to see the glory of the Lord!
“For I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” –Romans 8:18, NKJV
How do you pray for the glory of God? First, pray that the glory will be revealed to you and in you. You can see and experience the glory of God, but you must diligently ask and seek for it to be revealed. When we pray the glory into the earth, miracles, signs and wonders will occur in the Church and in our own personal lives.
When Moses saw the glory of God, he asked, saying, “Please, show me Your glory” (Exodus 33:18, NKJV). When believers gathered together in a spirit of unity, seeking the Lord, the glory appeared in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost, and sat on the head of each person there (Acts 2:1-4).
Each born-again believer has the ability to manifest God’s glory here on earth, but we must believe when we pray. That’s why Jesus told Martha that if she would believe, she would see the glory of God (John 11:40).
Finally, pray Ephesians 1:17-18—that you would know the hope of His calling, which is the hope of His glory. Pray that you will understand the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. When we inherited Him, glory was deposited in us, but we have to receive revelation of what it means to walk in that glory.
“…the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” –Romans 5:5, NKJV
Did you know there are degrees of the glory? If you want to experience the fullness of God’s glory, you must prepare your spirit.
How? By walking in love. It takes faith to receive and operate in the glory—and faith works by love (Galatians 5:6). That means the glory of God will increase in you in direct proportion to how you walk in love.
So, to increase the amount of the glory in your life, you must walk in love. Put simply—more love, more glory. The spirit of strife and division is always there, lurking and looking for an opening and a way into your life. Never, ever let your love guard down! Then you are on your way to being filled with the glory!
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” –2 Corinthians 3:18, NKJV
The glory of God looks for a dwelling place. The original house for the glory of God was the tabernacle. But under the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit builds a temple in every believer. First Corinthians 3:16 says, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (NKJV). We are God’s house—His temple. Only, this temple is no longer in a fixed location. This house can walk and talk and preach the gospel!
Now, it’s one thing to have the glory, but it’s another to know how to walk in it. The good news? You have everything you need inside you to do so.
When the believers experienced the glory of God at Pentecost, they didn’t just go back to living normal lives. They emerged from that place as separate from the rest of the world and as light in the midst of darkness. They went out and started turning the world upside down for Jesus. They preached the gospel; and worked miracles, signs and wonders; and the Lord added to the Church daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:47). That’s the glory we need to be operating in!
The early Christians were no different than Christians today. But here’s the key: Those first believers received the same Spirit you did when you got saved and baptized with the Holy Ghost. Christians today are carriers of God’s glory just as surely as they were!
When you walk in the glory of God, you have a fire in you that the devil cannot withstand. We are told to put on the armor of God, which includes the shoes of the glorious gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15). There’s glory in your feet! That’s what gives you the power to walk on Satan. That’s why the only thing the devil is to the Church is a footstool.
Start practicing these four ways to tap into God’s glory by looking, praying, preparing and walking, and watch the glory of God be revealed in you! Don’t live without understanding God’s glory and what it means to your life. Start saying by faith right now: “The glory is in me! I receive it! I’m walking in it!” Get more God-inside minded, and start acting like a temple of the Lord of glory today!
© 1997 – 2017 Eagle Mountain International Church Inc. Aka Kenneth Copeland Ministries. All Rights Reserved
Ephesians 2:8, NKJV, says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”
God gave you faith when you were saved. That faith gives you the assurance that God’s Word is always true, and you can trust it— despite your circumstances. When spiritual drought comes, it’s time to follow Jesus’ command to “have faith in God” (Mark 11:22) and to stir up that faith by opening His Word, lining your words up with Scripture, and praising Him for all He’s done in your life. The same God who saved you and gave you His Spirit is still working in your life. That’s something to celebrate!
Second Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power.…”
You need power to defeat the enemy and to live an abundant life in God. Thankfully, as a child of God, you have it on the inside of you because you have the Holy Spirit inside of you.
Take healing. No, you don’t have the power to heal in and of yourself, but God does. You don’t have the power to make a way where there is no way, but God does. You can’t multiply food or stop storms, but Jesus can! God gave you His Holy Spirit, so you can use His power to heal, to help and to encourage yourself and others.
Right now, begin thanking God for His Holy Spirit in your life. If necessary, spend some time studying the Holy Spirit and His work.
The Bible tells us, “God is love” (1 John 4:8), but what does that really mean? In modern times, the word love is often conditional, shallow and thrown around haphazardly. Without a deeper understanding, we can mistakenly equate this modern interpretation with our heavenly Father, but His love isn’t shallow, conditional or haphazard.
First Corinthians 13:4-7 explains the God kind of love this way: “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
That’s the kind of love God has for you. Take a minute and relish in that. That’s how He loves you, and it’s the kind of love He allows you to have for others. You develop it by stirring it up as an act of faith instead of reacting to feelings or emotions. Choose, by faith, to give and receive the love of God.
Mental clarity, or as the Word calls it, a sound mind, is stirred up by feeding—thinking about, watching, listening to and reading—the right things. As you do this in light of the Word of God, your thinking will become clearer.
Philippians 4:8 says, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
God, through His Holy Spirit, will give you increased mental clarity and focus as you think about Him and His Word. Choose to receive God’s wisdom. Then, do what you believe God wants you to do. Stir up mental clarity that is in you by keeping your mind on the Word of God.
You need to stir up that life you felt when you first accepted Jesus as your Savior. Put your eyes and thoughts on what God has done, is doing, and will continue to do for you and through you!
Second Timothy 1:8 says, “So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord….”
The Lord wants you to share the gospel with others. This includes sharing your testimony and how having a relationship with the Lord positively affects your life on a daily basis. It doesn’t have to be a long, well-rehearsed speech. Simply live your faith openly so that others can see the difference Jesus makes. Even if someone doesn’t receive what you have to say, at least you will have given them something to think about, so keep sharing!
Times of spiritual dryness can result from losing sight of the calling of God on your life. Paul reminded Timothy that the same God who “saved us” has also “called us to live a holy life…. because that was His plan from before the beginning of time—to show us His grace through Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:9).
God hasn’t changed His call on your life. Romans 11:29 says, “For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.”
In addition to sharing Jesus with others (something every believer is called to do), He has given you specific assignments—ministries, outreaches, jobs, businesses, volunteer opportunities, even positions like that of a spouse, parent, mentor, intercessor, neighbor, etc. Whatever your calling, stir up the purpose of God inside your spirit. It’s holy, special and just for you.
Consider the good things in your life—your family, your friends, your church body—or the gifts that you’ve experienced today—being allowed to merge into heavy traffic by a kind driver, the extra time and kindness showed to you by the barista, the beautiful sunrise or sunset that met you, the favorable response you received from the IRS. All of these small and not-so-small gifts are an expression of God’s care for you.
James 1:17 says, “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.”
Your heavenly Father enjoys blessing you with good gifts. Sometimes those gifts are big and sometimes they are small. That’s why it’s a good practice to notice and be thankful for each one. Instead of focusing on the negative things in life—wounds, pains, sicknesses, diseases, irritations, loneliness, burnout, weariness and persecutions—focus on and watch for the gifts God continually sends your way.
Joy is not simply a feeling of euphoria; it’s an active part of your life in Christ. Nehemiah 8:10 says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength!”
The joy from the Lord brings strength to your body, mind, will and emotions. It comes from knowing whose you are (God’s) and reminding yourself of His love and His care for you.
Romans 15:13 says, “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
As you stir up your faith, focus on the Word, and remain watchful and thankful for all God has given you, joy will come.
If you would like to learn more about overcoming spiritual drought, check out Kenneth Copeland’s book Stir Yourself Up: 8 Steps Out of Spiritual Drought.
by Kenneth Copeland
I have a message for you today directly from the heart of God. It is a message that captures the very purpose of Calvary. And yet, it is one of the most difficult messages of all for Christian people to believe.
If you’ll dare to receive it, however, to meditate on it and to act on it, it will radically alter your life. It will take you from religion to reality.
What is this message God has given me? It is this:
Tell My people they are everything to Me that Jesus is.
Those are the exact words that the Lord used when He spoke to me. They are powerful words, words that will send a shiver of excitement up the spiritual spine of any Christian who’s bold enough to believe them. The message they convey is not new. It is as old as the gospel itself. In fact, once you begin to understand it, you’ll see that it’s actually the very centerpiece of the gospel!
The Apostle Paul preached this very message again and again throughout the New Testament. In 2 Corinthians 5:21, for example, he put it this way: “For [God] hath made [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” And he drove the point home again in Romans 8:17 by calling us “joint-heirs” with Jesus!
Although most of us are familiar with those statements that Paul made, very few of us have let the truth of them sink in. Few of us have actually believed them. We’ve uplifted Jesus. We’ve exalted Him—and rightly so! But at the same time, we’ve unwittingly belittled what He did by not allowing Him to bring us alongside Him.
We’ve insisted that we’re nothing more than “just old sinners saved by grace.” We were taught cowardice in the name of humility so we’ve adopted an attitude of false humility that has kept us groveling around in the spiritual dirt. Yet according to Ephesians 2:6, God has “raised us up together with [Jesus] and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him]…” (The Amplified Bible).
That was God’s purpose at Calvary: to bring us alongside Jesus. To make us what He already was.
You see, Jesus didn’t need exalting. He was exalted before He ever came to this earth. He was already one with the Father. He didn’t need to get authority over the devil—He never lost it!
What would He have needed with a physical body? Why would He want to take on something He’d have to feed and clothe and drag around everywhere He went? What did He need with all those limitations?
He didn’t need them! He took them on for us!
He put on a physical body so that He could come to earth as a man and gain authority over sin and sickness, demons, fear, poverty and all the other curses that came when the law of death moved into the earth—and He did it. He succeeded! He mastered everything in the spirit world, everything in the world of the intellect, everything in the physical world.
Before He ascended He said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18, New King James Version). Then in Mark 16:15-18, He told His disciples:
Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
By giving us His mighty Name He gave us His authority. You and I are the reason Jesus came to earth, died and lived again. He didn’t do it for Himself. He did it so He could bring us alongside, so we could wear His Name and wield His authority on the earth. He did it so that we could stand before God and be everything to Him that Jesus is.
Now let me make a qualifying statement right here. Even though you’re everything to God that Jesus is, you need to remember that you’re not everything to the Church that Jesus is! He and He alone is Head of the Church. There are a number of folks who have tried to be head of the Church, but they’ve failed because that’s one thing we’ve not been given the authority to be.
Even so, there are two sides to that. Just as He can be the Head and we can’t, there’s something we can be that He can’t—and that’s the Body. According to 1 Corinthians 12:21, the head cannot say to the feet, I have no need of you. So although it’s true that we need Him (God only knows how much we need Him!), it’s also true that He needs us.
For most of us that’s a startling thought. In fact, it’s almost inconceivable because we’ve continually thought of ourselves as helpless nothings, unworthy, inept and, though possibly a tiny bit more righteous than unbelievers, certainly not much more.
Listen to me. When you were born again, you weren’t half-reborn. You weren’t made half-righteous or a quarter righteous. You were made the righteousness of God in Christ! You were made a “joint-heir with Him.”
Jesus went to the cross to give you what He already possessed. He rose again so you could be re-created in His image. You are the victory of Almighty God! You are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. You are everything to the Father that Jesus is. John 17:23 actually says God loves you as much as He loves Jesus.
“But Brother Copeland,” you may say, “how could He?”
I don’t know! You’ll have to ask Him. I just know that’s what He said, and I believe it. By faith it’s mine! His victory is my victory because He said it was. If I don’t believe it, then He wasted His time. If I don’t believe it, then Jesus went through hell to win a victory He already had. He didn’t need that victory. I did. He won it to give it to me. The moment I believe it, that victory is mine. Until I do believe it, I don’t have any victory at all.
Once you dare to accept that fact, your life will be forever changed. You’ll no longer be satisfied to just sit around whining and wishing things were different. You’ll want to step up to the position of authority that Jesus has given you, to take your rightful place beside Him and learn to operate the way He does.
As His people, we are everything to God that Jesus is. We are His love in action.
If we’ll receive that message, if we’ll dare to believe it, if we’ll dare to put it into action—the world will never be the same again!