Start Abundant Living

32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to Him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of Him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of Him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” ~ John 6:32-40

Jesus claims here to be the true bread that came down from heaven. In verse 35, He actually says, “I am the bread of life …”

When Jesus refers to the bread that Moses gave the Israelites in the desert, He is actually talking about the Manna that God fed them with, in the desert after bringing them out of Egypt, the land of slavery. Did you notice that in verse 35, Jesus said, “33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world?”

Four times in the passage, that we read, Jesus refers to Himself as bread. And bread in some form is mentioned 97 times in the New Testament. In those times, bread is a metaphorical symbol of spiritual nourishment.

In the seventh chapter of the Gospel of Mark, Jesus refers to healing as the Children’s bread (Mark 7:27). Healing and casting out demons are the children’s bread, and Jesus is that bread. He is the Living Water and the Bread of Life.

Jesus didn’t just come down from Heaven to die for our sins; He came to bring life and life more abundantly. Jesus came to give us life with freedom. Freedom from sin, disease, oppression, illness, stress, addiction, psychological issues, etc. He came to free us from any and everything that tries to hold us back.

Therefore, confidently approach the throne of grace through the precious blood of Jesus and give it to God. Jesus paid for your healing with His own flesh. He paid for your peace with His own chastisement. Jesus purchased us not so that we could remain oppressed by the enemy and the cares of this world but so that we might be free in Him. So that we might live life more abundantly. So, take every stronghold in your life and begin to tear them down in the name of Jesus because it is through Him that we overcome because He first overcame.

Peace. Love. Go Forth and Start Abundant Living.

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Shall I Not Drink My Cup

10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” ~ John 18:10-11

Judas had led a company of armed soldiers, along with some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees, to where Jesus and His disciples were in the Garden of Gethsemane. When Simon Peter saw what was going on, he drew his sword in a daring attempt to defend Jesus, and he struck Malchus, the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

But Jesus shouted to Peter, “Cephus, put your sword away! Do you not think that I can call on my Father and He will put at My disposal more than ten thousand of His angels? Or do you suppose that I should not drink the cup that is given to me? If I do not drink, how then can the Scriptures be fulfilled? And if the Scriptures are not fulfilled, you have no life; you have no salvation.”

By saying and doing this, Jesus has set a precedence for us. If Jesus, being God, felt it necessary to drink the cup that He was given, how much more should we feel the need to drink the cup that is given to us. Too many times, we as Christians hope for a certain situation to turn out such and such a way and when it does not happen the way we have designed its conclusion, we are crying, “Woe is me! Woe is me!”

We’ve all been given a cup to drink; shall I not drink my cup, and shall you not drink your cup? Of course we should, to each his own cup, to each his own trials and rewards. What God has called you to do is not what God has called me to do, and vice versa.

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs tells the story of Peter being warned that Nero was seeking an opportunity to put him to death. It stated that the believer’s persistence for him to escape the city was so strong that he was persuaded to flee. As he was coming to the gate, he saw the LORD Jesus coming to meet him.

“LORD, where are You going?” Peter asked Him. “I am come again to be crucified,” was His answer. It was then that Peter had to answer for himself the question, “Shall I Not Drink My Cup?” And Peter turned around and went back into the city. He was crucified upside down at his own request, as he did not feel worthy to suffer in the same manner as the LORD had.

We all have a cup to drink, some more bitter than others. Still, we must all drink the cup that is handed to us. Serving Jesus is not all peaches and cream. It is not all sunshine and games. Some will have to drink the cup of suffering, or the cup of persecution, and others the cup of Martyrdom, and some the cup of joy and increase. Whatever your cup, whatever my cup, we must all drink.

Dear Heavenly Father, help me not to complain about the cup that I have been handed. Help me not to look at others’ blessings and complain, but rather to be grateful that I have the privilege to drink the cup that is handed to me. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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Much Fear And Trembling

16 and yet because we know that a person is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we ourselves have believed in Christ Jesus. This was so that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no human being will be justified. ~ Galatians 2:16CSB

As far as salvation goes, there is absolutely nothing you can do to earn it. It is received the moment that you accept Jesus as your own personal LORD and Savior. Now, this isn’t to say that works are of no effect because the Bible tells us that we must work out our salvation with much fear and trembling.

Therefore, you have everything to do with your own salvation. It all depends on how you live and how you interact with your fellow people. For instance, Jesus said that if we don’t forgive those who trespass against us, our Heavenly Father will not forgive us our sins.

Now, does that sound like you have absolutely nothing to do with your salvation? No, it depends wholly and completely on you. So, the next time you’re tempted with the lie that you can do whatever you want and you’re good, reconsider your actions.

Heavenly Father, thank You for saving me, and please help me to live for You and to be pleasing in Your sight. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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Fight, It’s Your Family

14 After I made an inspection, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the great and awe-inspiring Lord, and fight for your countrymen, your sons and daughters, your wives and homes.” ~ Nehemiah 4:14

The Jews had just returned to Jerusalem to find the walls broken down and the Temple destroyed. When their enemies heard that God had visited the Jews, they were angry. They did not want anything good for them. They threatened them and tried to intimidate them, anything to get the work to stop.

We have an enemy that has those same feelings toward us. He hates us and does not want anything good for us. He does not want us to work for God. He will do anything to get us to stop working for God.

Nehemiah encouraged the people to ignore the threats and to not fear them because God is for them. Then he charged them with this: fight for your countrymen, your sons and daughters, your wives and homes.

That is what we must do: fight for our family members in prayer, crying out to God day and night for their salvation. God will hear, and He will answer and save your family.

Dear Heavenly Father, please remember my lost loved ones. Please speak to their hearts and bring conviction on them. Save them, LORD, in Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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Fear The LORD

26 So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. ~ Matthew 10:26-28

Jesus is instructing His hearers not to be afraid of men, for the most that men can do to one another is to kill the body and can do no more. You might say, “Well, that is a pretty significant thing, don’t you think?” And yes, it is. Nobody looks at dying as something desirable. No, it is written in the fabric of our DNA to live. God Himself said, “Live and increase and do not decrease.” But it is the spirit of suicide that entices young and old to commit suicide.

Jesus said that He came so that we may have life and life more abundantly. So, it is Jesus’ will and it is the Father’s will that we live and prosper. But even with that, the fear of death is not something that we believers hang on to, but when confronted with the choice to die or to renounce Jesus, we choose death. Man then can kill the body and can do nothing else, while there is a great and awesome day of the LORD that is coming when the sheep will be divided from the goats and the sheep will enter eternal life, but the goats will go away to eternal punishment. That is called the second death.

This is what Jesus was warning the people about. Not to be afraid of those people who can only kill the body and can do nothing else. But rather, fear God, who can not only kill the body but has the authority to cast the soul into hell. That is who we ought to be fearing.

The fear of God is so out of place today that we don’t even understand what it means to fear God. We don’t fear Him the way we fear and are terrified of some big, bad ogre-dictator. But a healthy fear like you would fear your earthly father. It is this fear that keeps us in line and stops us from indulging in blatant sin. Coupled with the love that we have for Jesus compels us to keep His commandments, and to love others. It demands that we forgive and overlook other people’s faults, all because we fear God.

Do you fear God? Have you made Him your personal savior? All you have to do is to ask for His forgiveness and He will forgive you.

Heavenly Father, please forgive me of my sins, and please erase my iniquities from before Your eyes. Help me to have a healthy fear of You so that I can please You with my thoughts, my words, and my deeds. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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Prayer Can

16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. ~ James 5:16

Confess your faults one to another. In other words, live in peace with each other so that your prayers are not blocked. The accuser of the brethren is always on the lookout for those at war with each other. When he finds one, he uses it to have your prayers blocked. But with confession comes deliverance, and with deliverance comes freedom, freedom to have your prayers heard and answered. Some people don’t receive their healing because they have held someone up for something that that person probably has long ago forgotten.

Once you have cleared the air, so to speak, you can now focus your attention on prayer, effectual fervent prayers. Now, this word effectual carries the sense of activity or energy. It is not some Kumbaya, in the sweet by-and-by type prayer. But an active, emotional, heartfelt prayer reaching out to God knowing that He will hear and when He hears, He will answer. Because what you cannot change through your own strength WILL change through effectual fervent prayer.

Father God, help me to be consistent, determined, and fully persuaded about the things of God. Standing on Your promises, praying always, and never giving up before I receive an answer from You. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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Know The Savior

26 Eight days later, His disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” ~ John 20:26-29

Even though Thomas walked and talked with Jesus daily, his faith and understanding of who Jesus is was flawed. He refused to believe unless he could touch the scars. He refused to believe unless his eyes could see. This one incident became his legacy. We don’t remember Thomas as anything other than ‘Doubting Thomas.’ How sad is that?

Thomas did many great things for the LORD, but all we remember and talk about was his moment of doubt and unbelief because of his lack of understanding.

The true identity of who Jesus is wasn’t revealed to Thomas until he saw Him face to face. The identity that Jesus isn’t just our Savior, but our God.

Jesus isn’t just another one of God’s creations with a special purpose. No. Our Savior is so much more. He’s the Light of the World. The King of kings. The LORD of lords. The Alpha and the Omega. He is our Savior and our God.

Jesus didn’t come into being at His birth or even the creation of Heaven. Jesus has always been. Therefore, be encouraged. Our savior is more than us. He isn’t one of us elevated. He is God who lowered Himself to our level to save us from our own sin. He didn’t have to do it, but He did. He did it for the sake of the Church.

Get to know your savior. He’s not just another man. He’s the very creator of the entire universe. He is God. Don’t allow the lack of understanding to take away all that you have done for the LORD and taint your legacy. Build your faith through the Word of God so that you might not stumble in a time of faith testing.

Peace. Love. Go Forth and Know The Savior.

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Stop Hiding The Light

30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; And he that winneth souls is wise. ~ Proverbs 11:30

It’s politically incorrect to share Jesus with anyone these days. So, most Christians keep their faith to themselves. Their friends, co-workers, colleagues, neighbors, etc., have no idea that they are Christians. Many feel this is the best way to not force their beliefs on others, but is that what we’re doing when we share our faith? God’s main purpose for us is to return to Him, but as Paul said, “How can they believe if they have never heard? And how can they hear if no one ever tells them?”

When we share our faith, we’re not forcing it on others; we’re giving them the opportunity to get to know Jesus. We’re giving them the opportunity to be saved. To remain silent and never share your faith is like hiding your light under a basket or burying your coin in the ground. It becomes useless to us and those around us. We don’t have to force salvation down someone’s throat to give them the opportunity to learn more about our faith. We just have to be willing to allow the Light of Christ to shine through us.

Peace. Love. Go Forth and Stop Hiding The Light.

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Hold Your Peace In The Storm

45 Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He dismissed the crowd. 46 And after He had taken leave of them, He went up on the mountain to pray. 47 And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and He was alone on the land. 48 And He saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, 49 but when they saw Him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, 50 for they all saw Him and were terrified. But immediately He spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” ~ Mark 6:45-50

Have you ever been in a storm and have been praying and seeking God, but He just can’t seem to be found? Have you ever cried out to Him all night but just didn’t feel His presence? Like He was nowhere around? Well this was the place the disciples found themselves in. But I’m here to tell you, when you feel all alone and feel abandoned when there is nowhere to run or no one to run to, when there is nowhere to hide, and Jesus doesn’t seem to be anywhere around, do not be dismayed, neither be discouraged but rather, be encouraged because the Scripture says He ever lives to intercede for us. Therefore, rest assured, Jesus knows where you are in your storm.

In your midnight hour, when you feel all alone, and no one is there. Family is not there; they don’t understand what you’re going through. Pastor is not there; he is not able to be in all places at once. Friends just don’t understand. They have their own problems. Co-workers, well … they don’t even believe in God or even care, some of them. Your Mama’s prayers just don’t seem to be working in this storm. Children aren’t much comfort either; the storm is too great, and maybe they themselves are the cause of your storm.

Let me encourage you today; Jesus sees you. He knows where you are in your storm. He sees you straining at the oars when the wind of this life is against you. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 7:25, “Therefore He, [referring to Jesus], is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.” Jesus sees you in your storm and He is interceding for you, just like He was interceding for His disciples.

Peace. Love. Go Forth and Hold Your Peace In The Storm.

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Allow The Word To Penetrate

17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. ~ Romans 10:17

Faith and hearing, hearing and faith are tightly intertwined together to build [ὁ (ho) Pistis] The Faith.

It seems to me that faith cannot be built or had without hearing. We must first hear. We covered the difference between faith and The Faith [ὁ (ho) Pistis] in our first video in this series, so we won’t rehash that.

Now, if hearing is so important to my The Faith, then I really need to understand what hearing is, if I am going to mix it with my faith to produce an action. Therefore, it would seem to me that it is much more than just mere sound entering through my ear canal. It’s a hearing with the heart. It’s a spiritual hearing. A hearing with the desire to understand and grow.

Oftentimes, we hear, but we never really listen. It goes in one ear and out the other. We don’t think about it. We don’t dwell on it. We don’t try to understand it. We don’t meditate on it. We don’t let it change us. We allow the Word of God to become just words and not the Living, Active Word that penetrates our soul and awakens our sleeping spirit within us.

If you want your faith to grow, you have to seek faith. You can’t continue in the same old pattern, hoping for a change. You have to actively seek God if you want to find Him. You have to be active in Christ if you want your faith to grow.

Peace. Love. Go Forth and Allow The Word To Penetrate.

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