How Elijah’s Showdown With Baal’s Prophets Can Prepare You for Your Spiritual Battle

Read 1 Kings 18:1–46, Mark 10:17–52 and Prov. 4:8–17.

Sometimes our work for God requires severe actions. In these times—ones that we can’t possibly prepare for—we need to rely on the Spirit and its work to empower us.

I have always admired Elijah the prophet because he goes into firestorms with little, if any, preparation. The Spirit of God is his leader, sword and shield. One of the most frightening moments in Elijah’s life is his encounter with the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel. How could Elijah prepare to face 450 prophets from the enemy nation who are endorsed by Elijah’s own king? He faced certain death. Perhaps he had even reconciled himself to the idea that his life would end on that mountain.

Elijah’s supreme confidence in Yahweh is inspiring. He instructs the prophets of Baal, "Choose one bull for yourselves and prepare it first, for there are many of you, and call on the name of your god, but do not light a fire underneath" (1 Kings 18:25). After the other prophets fail to bring down fire from heaven, Elijah does what must be done: He calls down fire, and then he kills the evil prophets (1 Kings 18:30-40).

Although Elijah’s particular actions do not apply directly today, his boldness certainly does. We should never fear walking into a fight against evil; instead, we should be ready to engage those who lead others astray. We must be certain that God will give us His words. He will act through us.

Whenever we’re in need, no matter how severe the situation, God can deliver us. We cannot prepare for the battle against the great evil that lurks in the world, but we can be certain that God will be with us.

What evil must you face? What do you need? Have you asked God for it? {eoa}

This article was originally posted in Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan.

John D. Barry is the CEO and founder of Jesus’ Economy, a nonprofit dedicated to creating jobs and churches in the developing world. To empower the extreme poor, Jesus’ Economy also has an online fair trade shop. John is also the general editor of Faithlife Study Bible and the former editor-in-chief of Bible Study Magazine. Learn more about John’s work with Jesus’ Economy at jesuseconomy.org.

Article courtesy of Bible Study Magazine published by Faithlife Corporation. Originally published in print, Vol. 5 No. 5.

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Prophetic Visions: Jesus Is Handing Out Blueprints to His Army of Kings

This past year, the Lord has been redeeming my business background to birth a unique assignment. The Lord has shown me that it is time to call out those appointed to be kings, teach them to arise and take territory in the world, outside of the church walls, for Jesus. I received the first vision on this in January, but since then there has been nothing, until I toured Israel recently with David Herzog Ministries. My time there was a prophetic awakening, saturated with visions and impartations.

Vision 1

The day after my article, "The Transfer of Wealth," was published on Elijah List (Jan. 17, 2018) I had this vision: Jesus was wearing a long golden robe studded with gems and precious stones. There was a boundless crowd standing before Him. He was throwing out many crowns into the masses (Rev. 19:12: "on His head are many crowns.") There were crowns for entrepreneurs, CEOs, investment experts, real estate moguls, tech innovators, actors, artists, musicians, educators and last but not least, politicians. However, many of these crowns fell to the wayside, into the puddles of mud and onto the ground. Most of the crowd was either dodging the crowns flying towards them or standing there frozen, like a deer in headlights. One or two courageously lunged forward to catch the crowns.

The Lord revealed that most were paralyzed because they felt unworthy to catch the gem-studded crowns. They didn’t think they were good enough to assume the identity of kings. The few who caught their crowns started picking up the other crowns and collected as many as they could, like little kids picking up candy falling out of a birthday pinata. Remember Matthew 25:29a? " For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance." I have pondered this vision and shared it through my Kings and Wealth Conference in May. Otherwise, Vision 1 was on the prophetic back burner.

1 Corinthians 13:9 states that prophecy is revealed in part. In time, more was unveiled. Nine months later in Israel, I received Parts 2 and 3 and felt the urgency to release them.

Vision 2

The moment I physically placed my hands on the Western Wall, I saw numerous rows of golden crowns studded with gems, diamonds and pearls, with a long line of kings getting ready for the coronation. I heard pulsating drums, flutes and music fit for a king’s procession. At the same time, there was massive bloodshed. The kings were warring, battling to conquer and taking territory.

Vision 3

On Oct. 3, 2018, we were at Bethel, where David Herzog taught extensively that there is an open heaven’s portal. I got to experience that firsthand. As soon as I laid my head down on a flat rock, a myriad of flickering, fast-moving images rushed at me.

I saw a massive temple with enormous steps paved in gold leading up to it. Then I saw an army of kings, not only draped but dripping in gold, ascending the massive steps and heading toward the temple.

Jesus was crowned and dressed in gold. Blueprints were rapidly being handed out to the kings, one after another. Books, volumes, instructions, and STRATEGIES were being distributed. I saw calculators in the dark with hands typing on them furiously.

The Call to Emerging Kings and Healing of the Divide between Kings and Priests

A message is emerging and crystallizing as I attempt to piece the three visions together.

For too long, believers have been enveloped by lies of unworthiness resulting in fear and paralysis in taking the world for kingdom purposes. The word "kings" not only refers to political leaders, as we commonly understand it, but to us as God’s born-again children having the identity and DNA of kings. Jesus is the King of kings (Rev. 19:16).

The words "success" and "wealth" have been thought taboo in Christian circles for too long. The born-again CEO living for kingdom purposes is rare. The idea of believers rising up to be successful and to take leadership in the world (in media, business, government and so on.) has been unthinkable. Contrary to the undisputed mandate of dominion in Genesis 1:26 to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth and subdue it, to have dominion over everything on the earth, many find wealthy Christians offensive.

It is time to call out and manifest the DNA that God has placed in believers, the DNA of kingship. it’s time for kings, or kings-to-be, to receive blueprints, strategies from heaven, and take up the high call of heaven-mandated disruption, to remove the "high places" and implement God’s plans in the world.

In Vision 3, the calculators in the dark represent tapping into hidden riches (Isa. 45) and diverting wealth into the kingdom from the world.

Finally, in Vision 3, the kings heading up to the temple represent a healing of the unspoken, longstanding divide between kings and priests. First, kings or successful Christian leaders in world positions are scarce. Second, the priests have not been able to shepherd the kings. Many Christian business or political leaders have trouble connecting with church leaders, who generally have little or no experience in the world. Those who have success or wealth have endured so much religious condemnation or witnessed poor church financial stewardship that they don’t trust church leadership anymore.

Kings and priests have to come together. The divide has to heal. The time is coming for kings to return to the temple, to the place of worship. In order for the glory to fill the temple as described in 2 Chronicles 7:3, the kings must be submitted to God and be united and aligned with the priests. We are, after all, a nation of kings and priests. {eoa}

Wai-yee Schmidt is an ex-attorney turned marketplace minister, a Bible teacher and an evangelist based in Frankfurt, Germany. She owns a real estate business and is also a passionate investor in stocks and shares. She is ordained as a minister under the apostolic TRIBE Network led by apostle Ryan LeStrange. She founded Everyday Evangelist, a ministry dedicated to igniting ordinary believers like herself to reaching the lost in everyday life through the supernatural, and teaching believers on key topics such as identity in Christ, sonship, inheritance and kingdom wealth. In May, she launched the Kings and Wealth Conference in Frankfurt, Germany, a city of strategic wealth and financial power. She also founded Isaac’s Wells, a revival group in Frankfurt, under TRIBE Network.

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Young Catholics urge Vatican to issue inclusive LGBT message

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Some of the youth delegates to the meeting have insisted that the final document express an inclusive message to make LGBT Catholics feel welcome in a church that has often shunned them.

The post Young Catholics urge Vatican to issue inclusive LGBT message appeared first on Religion News Service.

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Kachin Pastor Beaten by Burmese Militia Recounts His Ordeal

(International Christian Concern) Mading Zai Dan Bawm Ying is one of two Kachin youth pastors beaten by members of the Myanmar army-based Border Guard Force (BGF) last July while trying to protect Christian homes from being destroyed.

International Christian Concern (ICC) recently visited Pastor Zai Dan Bawm Ying in Kachin State to discuss what happened that night. Here is his account of the encounter which sheds light on the daily challenges faced by Christians in Kachin State.

A 30-year-old pastor from the Wine Maw district of Sadon Township La Gawn village, Zai Dan Bawm Ying owns a home and rents it to a local family. On July 30, military officials came to his home to inform him of road work they were going to begin. In order to do so, they planned to knock down the drainage along with some of the property beside the kitchen. He was unaware of upcoming road work and reached out to his friend and fellow pastor Saya La Khri to inquire more about the construction. Saya La Khri confirmed that there had been no prior consultation about the project.

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Pastor talks of breakdown in Turkey, but also forgiveness

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — People the Brunsons had known testified against him, but Andrew Brunson said, "It’s not an option not to forgive; we are required to as Christians."

The post Pastor talks of breakdown in Turkey, but also forgiveness appeared first on Religion News Service.

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Report: Approximately 40 Percent of US Children Born to Unwed Mothers

(The Daily Caller) Unmarried couples are having roughly 40 percent of all births in the U.S., marking a trend that may be detrimental to the upbringing of those children.

For the first time in U.S. history, out-of-wedlock births in America are largely a result of cohabitation, according to the United Nations Population Fund 2018 State of World report released Wednesday. Single mothers had nearly 90 percent of out-of-wedlock births in 1968, but that number decreased to 53 percent in 2017, according to the Pew Research Center.

“Compared to children of married parents, those with cohabiting parents are more likely to experience the breakup of their families, be exposed to ‘complex’ family forms, live in poverty, suffer abuse, and have negative psychological and educational outcomes,” according to the Institute for Family Studies (IFS).

Roughly 14 million American adults cohabited in 2007, and that number rose to 18 million in 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Continue reading this story >>

 

Become a Christian News Network Supporter…

Dear Reader, has ChristianNews.net been of benefit and a blessing to you? For many years now, the Lord has seen fit to use this small news outlet as a strong influential resource in keeping Christians informed on current events from a Biblical worldview. Despite Facebook’s recent algorithm changes, which has limited our readership, and, as a result, has affected operational revenue, we continue to strive to bring you the news without compromise and to keep Christ in focus.

If you have benefited from our news coverage, would you please prayerfully consider becoming a Christian News supporter by clicking here to make a one-time or monthly donation to help keep the truth widely and freely published and distributed? May Christ continue to be exalted through this work!

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Stand Firm Against Demonic Lies With These Spiritual-Warfare Weapons

In the spiritual warfare passage from Ephesians 6, Paul’s first instruction is to "stand therefore, having your waist girded with truth" (v. 14). It may seem strange that the belt or girdle is the first item of the Roman soldier’s equipment that Paul mentions, since it wasn’t a piece of armor at all. But the belt had a central function that was vital to most of the soldier’s armor and weapons.

The soldier’s basic attire was a tunic—a shirt-like garment that draped from shoulder to knee. Over this, he wore metal torso armor and long, protective leather strips that hung from his waist to his lower thighs around his entire body. His belt was a band of wide, thick leather with loops and slots that clamped over these items. From it hung a sword, rope, ration sack, money sack and darts. Everything the soldier needed in hand-to-hand combat was on his belt, right there at his fingertips.

When running, the soldier pulled up his tunic and tucked it in his belt, freeing his legs for speed and maneuverability. This was known as "girding one’s loins."

While the belt had no offensive function of its own, it was the piece of equipment that essentially held everything else together, keeping the soldier ready for anything he might face.

Here’s what this means for us today: Truth is what fits us for the life of a Christian. Truth holds everything together and makes us ready. At the center of our lives, we place "the truth [that] is in Jesus" (Eph. 4:21). And everything we do is drawn from that all-encompassing center.

When we know the truth and live the truth, we can access our weapons quickly and confidently, without fear that anything is out of place in our lives. "We have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by expressing the truth and commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God" (2 Cor. 4:2). Truth gives us courage to stand against our enemy.

Why is truth to be our primary concern? Because the weapons of Satan’s major attacks against believers are falsehood and deception. He is the great deceiver! This is how the Bible describes the devil: "When he lies, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of lies" (John 8:44).

When we stand in the truth, we never speak from our own resources. We speak from the truth revealed to us through the Bible and the Holy Spirit. Speaking truth is not always comfortable. But it is always right.

Some years ago, a prominent Bible scholar was about to publish a book explaining how his research led him to a conclusion about the authorship of an Old Testament book. He knew his findings would upset the prevailing consensus of modern scholarship, and he dreaded the storm of criticism that would follow. But he went on to say, "There is a worse fate than being misunderstood; it is to be to truth a timid friend."

As a soldier wearing the belt of truth, you need not be timid about standing strong in defense of God’s reality. From that belt, you draw all the resources you need to combat a culture that promotes falsehood and attacks truth.

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The name “Mormon”: Why all the fuss, and why now?

President Nelson is right that this "Mormon" name correction is neither cosmetic nor inconsequential. Rather, it may become a defining characteristic of a religion that is anxious to separate the wheat from the chaff in the pluralistic 21st century.

The post The name “Mormon”: Why all the fuss, and why now? appeared first on Religion News Service.

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John Bevere: Why God Is Testing You Right Now

"You must remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, and to prove you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not" (Deut. 8:2).

Moses recounts the purpose of the wilderness and revealed that God tested them to see how they would respond. Unfortunately, they consistently complained and rebelled against God. As a result, they forfeited their promotion into the promised land. Again, the testing was to see how they would respond. Because they failed the test, a whole generation of Israelites died in the wilderness.

God orchestrates times of testing to see how we would respond. Tests locate a person. They reveal the true condition of your heart. The word "test" actually means, "A procedure intended to establish the quality, performance or reliability of something, especially before it is taken into widespread use." Other words for "test" include "examination, experiment, check and trial."

I travel thousands of miles on an airplane every year. I have complete confidence boarding a plane because I am very aware that before the plane was released for widespread use, it first went through a rigorous and exhaustive amount of testing. From the earliest stages of design, these tests were done to ensure its quality, performance and reliability to transport passengers safely to any given destination. In a similar manner, God tests us to see if He can trust us.

The apostle Paul shared how he was tested to be trusted as a messenger. Because of this testing period, he was free from pretense and false motives: "God tested us thoroughly to make sure we were qualified to be trusted with this Message. Be assured that when we speak to you we’re not after crowd approval—only God approval. Since we’ve been put through that battery of tests, you’re guaranteed that both we and the Message are free of error, mixed motives, or hidden agendas" (1 Thess. 2:3–5, MSG).

How you respond or react under pressure reveals the real you. Just like the Israelites, we all have life-defining moments. They are like open-book tests, but we don’t know we have been examined until it is over.

Can you be trusted? {eoa}

John Bevere and his wife, Lisa Bevere, are the founders of Messengers International. A minister and best-selling author, John delivers messages of uncompromising truth. His resources have been translated into over 100 languages, and millions of copies have been given to pastors and leaders worldwide. John’s past two books, Good or God? and Driven by Eternity, have each sold over 100,000 copies within the first six months of release. When he’s home, John tries to convince Lisa to take up golf and spends time with his four sons, daughter-in-law and grandbabies.

This article originally appeared at messengerinternational.org.

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One-on-one with John C. Maxwell on ‘The Maxwell Leadership Bible’

"Most great leaders in Scripture were called to leadership from obscurity."

Ed: Why have you dedicated your life to teaching leadership, and why do you believe leadership skills are so important?

John: Since July 4, 1976, I’ve known that leadership was the area I was called to speak into, and the past 40 years have just confirmed that calling in me. As a leader myself, I know firsthand how good leadership lifts everything around it, while bad leadership can sink an organization, team, or individual in a heartbeat.

Simply put, everything rises and falls on leadership.

Ed: I am always cautious to remind peopel that the Bible is not your leadership guide— it’s the story of God’s redemptive plan. Yet, there is much about leadership in the Bible. What are some of the most important things about leadership you’ve learned from the Bible?

John: First and foremost is that God calls all of us to be leaders. We read stories of great biblical leaders, and often what we lose sight of is that most great leaders in Scripture were called to leadership from obscurity.

Noah was just a faithful man. Abraham was a nobody. Joseph was a sheltered kid. David was a little shepherd. Even Jesus, the greatest example of a leader in all of history, began his life in the middle of nowhere, sleeping in a straw-filled feeding trough.

Yet despite those humble beginnings—or perhaps because of them—biblical leaders were able to do great things through their obedience to God and his call (or purpose) for their life.

Second, I’ve learned that leadership isn’t a one and done deal. It’s a journey. Again, if you go back to the lives of Abraham, Joseph, David or Jesus, you become keenly aware that none of them rose to prominence overnight.

There were years of consistent obedience before …

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‘War Room’ Actress Priscilla Shirer Speaks Bold Truth About Who You Are

Been thinking about labels lately. How we assign them to ourselves and to others.

Of all the seasons of my life, junior high school was the most painful. Labels ruled and cliques reigned. You were labeled if you belonged to a group and labeled if you didn’t.

Smart. Stupid.

Pretty. Ugly.

Jock. Nerd.

Popular. Loser.

Adults used to be subtler about the use of labels. Not anymore. The words are often spit out with venom usually reserved for the lowest of the low.

Liberal. Conservative.

Democrat. Republican.

Intellectual. Religious fanatic.

This week, I came face to face with another label. It happened in a doctor’s office as I completed one of several forms.

The first 20 years of my life I was "single."

Then I spent the next 40 years "married."

Now I’m face to face with a new label: "widow."

Single. Married. Widow.

Who knew that checking a box on a form would cause me to rethink my identity? And yet it did.

But is that really my identity? Or is it simply a description of my status?

The last two months have given me the opportunity to consider who I am. What is my primary identity?

I was an executive … and now I’m not.

I was a wife … and now I’m not.

I’m an author now.

I’m a teacher now.

I’m a widow now.

My employment status and my marital status are subject to change. But one thing will never change. One label describes me now and for all eternity.

I am a Christian.

That means I’m a child of God. A daughter of the Creator of the universe.

I have:

  • A living hope (1 Pet. 1:3).
  • An imperishable inheritance (1 Pet.1:4).
  • The seal of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13-14).
  • Eternal life that has already begun (John 5:24).

Checking a box on a piece of paper describes my circumstances. But it doesn’t come close to describing who I am … and who I always will be.

Priscilla Shirer says it better than I can:

Who are you? {eoa}

Ava Pennington is a writer, speaker and Bible teacher. She writes for nationally circulated magazines and is published in 32 anthologies, including 25 Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also authored Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, endorsed by Kay Arthur. Learn more at AvaWrites.com.

This article originally appeared at avawrites.com.

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What to Do After Satan Steals, Kills and Destroys

Betrayal comes in many forms. It can come in the form of gossip, slander, refusal to celebrate your successes, lying about you, division, manipulation or attacks against your value or worth.

When betrayed by a family member, a friend or confidant, you now have a decision to make. You can continue on the road you’ve walked with them or you can decide to walk in another direction.

You can determine to let it upset you, stop you or even destroy you. Or you can determine to use the adversity for personal growth and development. You can use the experience to help someone else in the same dilemma. You can use the situation to honor God and honor people.

Let’s Establish the Foundation

  1. Remember, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood.

"For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12).

Your friend or family member is not your enemy. Satan is. He uses betrayal, trickery and division to further his work and his kingdom. He uses it to strip away relationships that should be in harmony and love. He uses it to weaken your family structure, your church, your organization and weaken bonds that were set in place by God. Know who the real enemy is.

  1. Remember, we do not let the flesh rule our actions.

"For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. These are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please" (Gal. 5:17).

"For you are still worldly. Since there is envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not worldly and behaving as mere men?" (1 Cor. 3:3).

Actions made out of fleshly desires are destructive. Never act out of your flesh. Act out of your spirit. Refuse the hurt and pain that is meant to cause you to react. Set down and pray.

Ask God how to best handle the offense. Ask God how to move forward in the situation. Ask God to intervene and judge. He will. Be sure you are on the right side of the bad situation and watch God do the miraculous for you. It may take a while, but He does bring hidden things into the light for everyone to see.

  1. Determine where you stand.

Now I ask you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak in agreement and that there be no divisions among you. But be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brothers, by those who are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this is what I mean: Every one of you is saying, "I am of Paul," or "I am of Apollos," or "I am of Cephas," or "I am of Christ."

Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? (1 Cor. 1:10-13).

Satan stands firmly on division. God stands firmly on unity. Which side are you standing on? Scripture is clear: Division is of Satan, and unity is of God.

When the natural order of things is disrupted because of envy, jealousy or strife, God is well aware. He is watching. He is weighing actions. He is Judge of the righteous and the wicked and judgment begins with the household of God. Always choose unity.

  1. Recognize the enemy.

"The thief does not come, except to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).

Satan steals. He is the author of every betrayal. He is the author behind every hurt. He is the father of all of the lies believed and told. When people believe the lies spoken about you, or they accept the deception, they are in a sense, being led of the devil. Yes, even Christians can walk in deception, even Christians can be used as a tool of the devil.

That being said, they are not who you battle. Satan is. Fight fire with fire. The fire of God’s Word will burn through every deceptive trick or scheme of the devil. Truth will always prevail.

  1. Strife and division stirred up in families, friendships or churches displeases God and is a serious sin.

"Now the works of the flesh are revealed, which are these: adultery, sexual immorality, impurity, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousy, rage, selfishness, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I previously warned you, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Gal. 5:19-21).

Discord is no little thing. If someone has sown discord against you, remember, God is on your side. Remember that man does not have the final word. Remember that God is not mocked, and He knows the hidden sins of the heart. Remember, He has given a firm admonishment in His Word. Let God handle it. He will do a much better job than you can.

  1. Remember this. Their embitterment is not your issue; it’s theirs.

"[Keep] watching diligently so that no one falls short of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness spring up to cause trouble, and many become defiled by it" (Heb. 12:15).

When someone has betrayed you, they have acted out of their own insecurities. They have acted out of their fears. They have acted out of their own hurts. A mature, godly person would never intentionally hurt, but a wounded child in the faith would, and so would an unbeliever. They may even seem mature to the world, but God knows the heart. The betrayal is rooted in bitterness, and we know that bitterness poisons and defiles. Refuse to fall into the same trap.

  1. Refuse to participate in things that God hates.

"These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that are swift in running to mischief, a false witness who speaks lies, and he who sows discord among brethren" (Prov. 6:16-19).

Review your checklist. Do you have a haughty eye or lying tongue? Do you have hands that have shed innocent blood or a heart that devises wicked plans? Do you run to evil, bear false witness or sow discord? Beware. The written Word of God clearly conveys how God feels about those sinful things. Additionally, we are assured that God does not ignore sin, but judges it.

What do I do now?

1. God calls us to walk in love.

"Let brotherly love continue" (Heb. 13:1).

Love even when it hurts. Love those who love you. Love those who hate you. Love those who betray you. You will then become sons and daughters of the King, being more than children, but mature and proven.

"He gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, for the equipping of the saints, for the work of service, and for the building up of the body of Christ, until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, into a complete man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:11-13).

2. God calls us to live in harmony.

"Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight" (Rom. 12:16, ESV).

Living in harmony is a command of God. You must do your part. Do all that you can do to be at peace with everyone. The Bible tells us this in Romans 12:18. Learn to practice these things. Practice righteousness even if your flesh is screaming to do the opposite.

3. God calls us to be ministers of reconciliation.

"Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away. Look, all things have become new. All this is from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor. 5:17-18, MEV).

Reconcile first to God and then to man. Reconciliation is the way of God and as believers we are to walk in reconciliation. We live out the very principles that are written. We determine what is right or wrong based on the word, not on our feelings. Go first and to be reconciled.

  1. God calls us to forgive.

"Be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you" (Eph. 4:32).

Forgive those who betray you. Forgiveness unties the chains of bondage. Unforgiveness makes you a victim of circumstance. Forgiveness frees you from the pain of circumstance. Forgiveness is a command and a blessing from the Lord:

  • It will free you from negative emotions.
  • It will free you from the hold others have over you.
  • It will break the ties with a traumatic situation.
  • It will allow you to feel joy again.
  • It will restore your fellowship with God.

5. God calls us to keep our heart clean.

"Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life" (Prov. 4:23).

The psalmist David cried out to God, "Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me." (Ps. 51:10). We can’t do it without God. We have to have His Spirit in us empowering us to hate evil and hold to what is good. We need His Spirit to wash us clean.

6. God calls us to not allow hatred in our heart.

"Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is in darkness even until now" (1 John 2:9).

If you allow hatred in your heart, you are in big trouble. Refuse it when it comes knocking. Push it out if it is already there. Come out of agreement with it and declare by faith that you will not walk in hatred. Instead, walk in love.

7. God calls us to be at peace with all men.

"If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men" (Rom. 12:18, NASB).

Every day, make a choice to be at peace with all men. That means you will do nothing that would hurt, harm or betray another. It means you will walk in an attitude of peace regardless of the situation. You then become the overcomer.

Actions to Take

—Throw out betrayal.

Just as you take out the garbage, take out the betrayal. Take it out. Write it down on a piece of paper and then literally throw it in the trash where it belongs. Wash yourself in the blood of Jesus through faith, through prayer, through Communion, and then rejoice in your freedom.

—Let go of people who have bad intentions toward you.

"And do not have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; instead, expose them" (Eph. 5:11).

People who have purposely hurt or betrayed you need not be in your life. Let them go. Just say in your heart, "Goodbye!" They do not deserve to be there. Let them go and free yourself from the evil, fruitless deeds of darkness.

—Admonish them and then have nothing more to do with them if they do not repent.

"Reject a divisive man after a first and second admonition, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned" (Titus 3:10).

Admonish, then reject. Admonish, then reject. Admonish, then reject. Yes, it is written.

—Love them from afar.

Loving from afar means to try your best to stay away from them. Sometimes you can’t stay far away if they are family, but you can certainly control what you allow. Draw boundaries around the relationship. Be prayerful when dealing with them. Refuse to allow them to control your emotions or your actions. Do not give them that power over you.

Love your enemy. Bless your enemy. Pray for those who persecute you.

Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be jealous of those who do injustice. For they will quickly wither like the grass, and fade like the green herbs. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and practice faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart (Ps. 37:1-4).

{eoa}

Robin Bertram is a Christian author and speaker, and the executive producer and former host of the nationally and internationally syndicated television show, Freedom Today. She has been a leader of media leaders for 25 years and has placed several Christian programs onto the national and international stage. She is the author of No Regrets, how loving deeply and living passionately can impact your legacy forever (Charisma House Publishing) and Hidden Treasures (Abingdon Press).

For more on this and other related topics, visit robinbertram.tv .Connect here on Facebook: @officialRobinBertram

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Prophecy: 3 Arrows of the Lord’s Deliverance Coming to Our Nation

The 3 Arrows

"Take the bow in your hands," he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands.

"Open the east window," he said, and he opened it. "Shoot!" Elisha said, and he shot. "The Lord’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!" Elisha declared. "You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek [the enemy]" (2 Kings 13:16-17).

(Our enemy is not flesh and blood, but Satan.)

I see three arrows of the Lord’s deliverance for our nation: patience, major construction and child-like faith.

Arrow of Patience: Stay in the Waiting Room and Pray

I heard the Lord say, "Be patient, your nation is having major heart surgery. Stay in the waiting room and pray."

I remember when my mother had major bypass heart surgery in her ’70s. The doctors came to us in the waiting area and told us these words: "Because of what she just went through, she’s not going to look very good to you, but she looks great to us!"

I sense the Lord saying, "Be patient with your nation, and remember I am not a Republican or Democrat, I am that I am. I am working on a whole nation and everyone is a work in process. Don’t judge, for I am not finished working on anyone. I am working in the Fox newsroom, the CNN newsroom and all the other news networks, TV outlets, media and radio. I’m going for the heart of this nation, for it will surely die unless I complete surgery on its heart.

"Stop grumbling and complaining. It can delay and even cancel this kairos moment as your nation is on My operating table. Speak life and become love to every person. Embrace your opposition and enemies so they will experience My arms of love surrounding them. Protest the devil, not people.

"What appears to be chaos and gross darkness to you are the instruments I pick up in My hands and use to give new hearts to nations. Nothing is being wasted in the hands of your Redeemer. Your heart is also included in this surgery. Trust Me, and tell your heart to beat again!"

Arrow of Major Construction: There’s a New Carpenter in Town

There’s a new carpenter in town, and major construction is coming to the White House. I heard this Jewish carpenter [Jesus] declaring, "The day of trying to force square pegs into round holes is over. I’m carving out a new place for My so-called ‘misfits’ to influence the government of this nation. Since My foolishness is wiser than man’s wisdom, many will wonder what I’m up to in Washington D.C.

"I’m digging up the foundation of a nation until it hits rock bottom. I will then hew it out of My rock of ages. Many will witness My explosive power like dynamite, interrupting and shaking hell out of this nation, releasing a tsunami effect worldwide with the fear of the Lord.

"The fuse has been lit. Stay focused on Me and don’t get addicted to the news of this world. Up until now they have blocked Me out, but the media will soon give way as I blow the hinges off of newsrooms."

Arrow of Child-like Faith: ‘Out of the Mouth of Babes Hast Thou Ordained Strength’

I heard the Lord decree, "I’m pulling out all the stops!"

The Lord spoke an unusual prayer alert at this time: "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast Thou ordained strength because of Thine enemies, that Thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger" (Ps. 8:2, KJV). I then heard the Lord say, "Ask your children and grandchildren to pray for your nation, no matter how young they are. Do not put a limit on their age."

I thought to myself, "Perhaps the younger they are, the more prayer power they have?" For children only believe. The Lord knows a pure, innocent, child-like faith is needed for this nation at this time.

Many years ago, I saw the initials of the city of "D.C." lighting up, standing as an abbreviation for "Dear Children." The Lord spoke, "Children will be used as a powerful weapon to help take this city. A child shall lead them to overtake it." I didn’t know then how children would be used until the Lord reminded me today. I believe this is the time for whole families, which includes our children and grandchildren, to rise up in prayer. Again, do not put a limit on their age. I wonder if even babies in the womb are crying out for our nation at this time? {eoa}

Bill Yount has been a member of Bridge of Life Church in Hagerstown, Maryland, for the past 40 years and is in leadership. He faithfully served in prison ministry at Mount Hope Inc. for 23 years and now travels full time, ministering in churches and Aglow circles. He is currently an adviser at large for Aglow International. Bill has authored several prophetic books. His latest book is Handfuls of Purpose. His prophetic email list is: billyountweekly.com. Visit Bill’s website at billyount.com.

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Alabama Supreme Court Justice Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Overturn Roe v. Wade

Photo Credit: Stephen Pouliot

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama Supreme Court has upheld the capital punishment of a man who killed his pregnant wife in 2009, noting that under state law, “the value of the life of an unborn child is no less than the value of the lives of other persons.” In a separate concurring opinion, one of the justices used the ruling as an occasion to call upon the U.S. Supreme Court to overrule its determination in Roe v. Wade that the abortion right supersedes that of the unborn child’s right to life, as they are not recognized legally as people.

“I concur fully with the Court’s rationale that unborn children are persons entitled to the full and equal protection of the law,” wrote Justice Tom Parker in a decision released on Friday. “I write specially to expound upon the principles presented in the main opinion and to note the continued legal anomaly and logical fallacy that is Roe v. Wade.”

“I urge the United States Supreme Court to overrule this increasingly isolated exception to the rights of unborn children.”

Parker said that the 1973 ruling is out-of-step with many state criminal laws that recognize the unborn as people. Alabama passed the Brody Act in 2006 after a pregnant woman named Brandy Parker was found shot to death in her vehicle. The law declares that “an unborn child in utero at any stage of development, regardless of viability” is indeed a person for the purposes of murder prosecutions.

It was this Act that the court pointed to in upholding the conviction and death sentence of Jessie Phillips, who shot his pregnant wife Erica, thus ending the lives of not one, but two people.

“In Roe, the United States Supreme Court, without historical or constitutional support, carved out an exception to the rights of unborn children and prohibited states from recognizing an unborn child’s inalienable right to life when that right conflicts with a woman’s ‘right’ to abortion,” Parker noted.

“The judicially created exception of Roe is an aberration to the natural law and the positive and common law of the states. Of the numerous rights recognized in unborn children, an unborn child’s fundamental, inalienable, God-given right to life is the only right the states are prohibited from ensuring for the unborn child; the isolated Roe exception, which is increasingly in conflict with the numerous laws of the states recognizing the rights of unborn children, must be overruled,” he declared.

As previously reported, in Roe, Justice Harry Blackmun, appointed to the bench by then-President Richard Nixon, wrote on behalf of the majority, “The Constitution does not define ‘person’ in so many words. … [I]n nearly all these instances (where it is cited), the use of the word is such that it has application only post-natally. None indicates, with any assurance, that it has any possible pre-natal application.”

“All this, together with our observation, supra, that, throughout the major portion of the 19th century, prevailing legal abortion practices were far freer than they are today, persuades us that the word ‘person,’ as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn,” he continued. “In short, the unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense.”

Parker said that as states continue to create legal protection for children in the womb, it makes Roe further removed from “the legal fabric of America.”

“A ‘right’ created not from the language of the Constitution of the United States, but one abstracted from its supposed ’emanations’ and ‘penumbras,’ the Roe exception stands as an indictment against the United States Supreme Court that ‘our nation ceases to be governed according to the ‘law of the land’ and instead becomes one governed ultimately by ‘the law of the judges,’” he lamented.

“It is my hope and prayer that the United States Supreme Court will take note of the crescendoing chorus of the laws of the states in which unborn children are given full legal protection and allow the states to recognize and defend the inalienable right to life possessed by every unborn child, even when that right must trump the ‘right’ of a woman to obtain an abortion,” Parker declared.

Read Justice Tom Parker’s concurring opinion in Jessie Phillips v. State of Alabama here, beginning on page 149.

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