Point Of Hope

Point of Hope - Melissa Pearce - Enduring Hope Ministries

_____________________________________________ Point of Hope is a bi-weekly article by Enduring Hope Ministries to encourage and equip people with the Word of God.

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__________________________________________ Generation Hope is an offspring of Enduring Hope Ministries with its primary focus on helping young adult ladies in their twenties and early thirties.

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Women's Bible Study - Greensburg, PA

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Born To Make A Difference

Are you ready to make an impact and see lives touched and forever changed?

Well, get ready! Because God is about to use you to make a difference. This is going to be an explosive year…one never seen or encountered! A year in which people and/or situations that once ruled over you will now be ruled by you!

Stop trying to resurrect the old

It starts with embracing the new while we stop trying to resurrect the old. When Jesus died on the Cross, He gave us a new man – a new identity – with the ability to influence that stems from Him: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (NKJV – 2 Corinthians 5:17). The question becomes, ‘Which lifestyle are we going to embrace – the old or the new?’ Herein lies the problem. We formulate thoughts about God and ourselves based upon our life experiences. We stifle our abilities based upon what we perceive can be achieved or what is valued – all according to what others declare over us. Our limitations are associated with our old self.

Note what God said, “…old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” God first declares the old is passed away. Our sins – past, present and future – were nailed to the Cross. God does not see our sins but our sins atoned by the blood of Jesus Christ. Here’s the hang-up: we don’t see ourselves through His eyes but view ourselves through our actions! I love God! He knows the enemy tries to trip us up, but He says one powerful word – “…BEHOLD!” Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘behold’ as “to perceive through sight or apprehension“. Amazing! God instructs us to see ourselves through His vision. But it doesn’t end there. We are to comprehend what He has given to us!

Proverb 23:7 (NKJV) says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…” When we comprehend God’s love for us and what He has given to us, our heart starts to align with His. God is not interested in us living our old lifestyle. He is not interested in changing the old you. He has given us new life and waits for us to align ourselves with Him. God does not say the old passed away and that He’s resurrecting those ways. No! He said, “…behold, all things have become new.” He gives us a clean slate with a new foundation upon which to build our life. If things are out of alignment, we must adjust to Him. Not the other way!

The way we think, act and live..

When we truly behold the truth of God, the way we think, act and live is impacted. We operate as Jesus operates, because we know “…as He is, so are we in this world” (NKVJ – 1 John 4:17). We become influential people making a difference – in our lives, homes and communities. If it were deemed impossible, God would not declare: “God is not a man, that He should lie…” (Numbers 23:19). He is the same yesterday, today and forever. His Character and Nature do not change; He is Constant and True.

This is the year for us to really BEHOLD! God desires our perception to come into alignment with His. Beholding means allowing God’s Truths to become the lifestyle He declares for us: “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (NKJV – 1 John 2:6). Jesus never allows people, circumstance, sickness or death to master Him; He reigns over them. When He faced times of adversity, He did not falter but operated from a position of empowerment. God releases this same empowerment to us: “For He Whom God has sent speaks the words of God [proclaiming the Father’s own message]; for God gives the [gift of the] Spirit without measure [generously and boundlessly]!” (AMP – John 3:34) He has given us His Spirit, and there is no limit to it! Whatever manipulated, controlled or defeated us will no longer reign over us. We will reign over all!

We are born to make a difference! BEHOLD! This year, we see ourselves through God’s lens – full of potential, possibilities and purpose!

In Him,
Rev. Melissa Pearce

Heavenly Living

Heavenly living requires a heavenly vision!
I asked the Lord how we get this. He reminded me of Saul’s radical conversion to the Apostle Paul:

…Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples…” (Acts 9:1, NIV). Stephen, the first martyr, was murdered for his faith in Jesus? Saul was there when Stephen was stoned! As Saul was breathing out his murderous threats, Stephen was breathing out his last breath – while releasing prayers!

…Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:55, NIV)

WAIT A MINUTE! Stephen saw Jesus STANDING at the right hand of God!? Usually, Scripture portrays Jesus’ authority as SEATED at the right hand of God!

Here we see Jesus STANDING, I believe, to honor Stephen, as they were stoning him.

As His followers, we are told, “…God has raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6, NIV).
This is how we are made alive in Christ! He gives us a seat of honor. Why do we need to seek honor elsewhere?

Prayers Move the Heart of God

While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ The he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do NOT hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he fell asleep. And Saul approved of their killing him…” (Acts 7:59–8:1, NIV).

Consider:
Stephen’s words, “…do not hold this sin against them…” go straight to the heart of Jesus standing to honor His witness, His martyr, His faithful servant.

Could Stephen’s prayer have prompted God to appear to Saul on the road to Damascus to bring forth his conversion? Jesus’ heart was moved when Stephen cried out!
Your prayers are heard by the Lord! He is moving Heaven on your behalf, bringing Heaven to earth! He moved to a STANDING position of authority for His friend, Stephen.

As he (Saul) neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do’” (Acts 9:3-6, NIV).

Heavenly Vision Produces Heavenly Living

Saul’s response was immediate obedience! If Jesus appeared to us in that dramatic way, our response would also be instantaneous! Encounters with Jesus catapult us into heavenly thinking and heavenly living – then supernatural living!

ONE ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS, AND WE’RE NEVER THE SAME!

Note: Jesus didn’t tell him to wait for a revelation or confirmation? Or tell him He would explain everything beforehand? He simply instructed him to ‘GO!’ into the city where he would be told what to do!

His calling is similar to that of other biblical patriarchs but with very little details about the “GO!” The entire plan (or vision) is not given at one time. Lord, may we learn from this? We walk in faith moving forward without all the details!

To Abram, God said, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you” (Genesis 12:1, NIV).
True faith goes without knowing where you are going. It takes clear vision and heavenly-minded thinking to accomplish the mission.

To the disciples, the command was, “…Go and make disciples…baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28:19, NIV).

Are you living for God?
Are you living to fulfill His purpose for your life? Some people ‘live’ paycheck-to-paycheck. God always intended us to live as HE lives – Kingdom-minded.

In the Garden, when God formed mankind, He purposed us to be living beings, heavenly beings – the Breath of Heaven breathed into Adam.
The Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7, NIV).

The prophet Jeremiah wrote about Israel forsaking God, “My people have committed two sins: they have forsaken me, the spring of living water…” (Jeremiah 2:13, NIV).

YES! Within that spring is life-giving water, full of the power God gives to His people! Are we implementing that power? Are we giving that powerful Love away?
A spring results when overflow is poured out. Are we pouring out Jesus to others?

Draw from the Living Water

In the Old Testament, God formed us for living. In the New Testament, Jesus still wanted to give away that Water. He said to the woman at the well, “…If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water” (John 4:10, NIV).

He wanted the woman who was living in sin to draw from the well. He wanted to refresh and restore her. He knew the time she drew water and divinely met her during that time. He was modeling how to bring Heaven to earth, how to reach the unreachable and how to simply talk to people. His prophetic gifting came into action as He laid eyes on her! Words of knowledge flowed out of Him – Words of Wisdom. Then the invitation to know Him! Not just know Him but to know Him as Messiah, Savior and Lord! He called to that ‘deep place’ within her to be truly loved! She kept hooking up with the wrong guys!

There are people living on earth that must be introduced to Heaven. We are to model Him as we draw from the Living Water! He wants many more to encounter Him, as did this woman! Heaven makes note of our investments!

Jesus reassures us about the Living Water: “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive…” (John 7:38-39, NIV).

“…You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NIV).

The call to Heavenly Living is still being passed to us! Heavenly Living is building the Kingdom of God. When God breathed life into mankind, it caused us to be alive and active. When the Holy Spirit comes upon mankind, He produces witnesses.

Do you live for God? Do you live with a heavenly perspective? Is a Kingdom mind-set an integral part of your life? If so, you will produce!

It’s time we live for God! Whatever vision God gives you – DO! Wherever God says to go – GO! All Heaven will back you. As He promised them, He promises us: “I will be with you always!” We receive Him, so we can release Him!

Feed on the Living Bread

“But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh” (John 6:50-51, NIV).

As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me” (John 6:57, NIV).

Whatever we feed on becomes our Source of nourishment! Let Jesus be your Bread of Life and let the Living Water of His Spirit produce heavenly living! When we think like Heaven, we think like Jesus. When we live as He wants us to we release His Kingdom. When we release His Kingdom, we answer His prayer:

“…Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10, ESV).

Heaven To Earth!
This is God’s rule for our present Reality and our future Hope! It is God’s will to bring His Kingdom to the earth! As a Christ-follower, the Kingdom of God is within us. The Breath of Heaven has come – let Him live through YOU! Let His Spirit move through YOU! This is heavenly living! This is the Lord’s Prayer! This is the Lord’s Provision!

Living HEAVEN TO EARTH,
Mary Beth Pecora

Grace Upon Grace

At a luncheon over the weekend, the message was about God’s Grace. Coincidence? I think not! Have you ever prayed for the Lord to guard and protect you in ALL your ways (Psalm 91:11), knowing some of your ways aren’t right? Or wondered whether the new way you’re doing things is right? I have!

I remember calling on the grace of God right in the middle of sinning! I heard in reply the chorus to the song by Bethel, ‘You Make Me Brave’. I heard (over and over), ‘Your love, in wave after wave, crashes over me. Crashes over me! Your love, in wave after wave, crashes over me. Crashes over me!’ Look at the strength of the words: waves… crashing. What an awesome image! Waves crashing immerse us completely; we are powerless against it. Leanne Womack sings in ‘I Hope You Dance’: ‘I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean…’ Likewise, there’s nothing we ever do, no way we ever walk in, that is bigger than the grace of God!

His Word says Christ’s sacrifice was “all-sufficient.” Because of this, the Bible says, “at ALL times, and under ALL circumstances, you will have grace SUFFICIENT for all that you need” (2 Corinthians 9:8). The grace of God does not stop short to provide for us in all our ways. We need not clean up first or figure things out; we just need to walk into the grace of God, remembering He is Daddy and it’s His job. Galatians 2:21 says, “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” I am not saying it’s okay to do whatever we want to abuse the grace of God. I am saying that in our weakest moment, the grace of God will be sufficient. Just as we are, we walk into the grace of God instead of relying on ourselves to work it out.

Brantley Gilbert singing ‘Just As I Am‘ captures the essence of walking into the grace of God:

In addition to the undeserved favor that is the grace of God, it also is His ability at work in us that sees us through anything! Many of us are on the cusp of a major change. Change can be scary – even something good we really want. When I moved 15 minutes down the street, I still drove daily to my old residence. For a few weeks, I sat in the parking lot on my lunch-break because it was hard to say goodbye – even though I moved to a beautiful place the Lord provided for me. I’m in a new season that I love, but it is unfamiliar. I keep trying to figure out how it’s all going to shake out. I was reminded at the luncheon that God is Daddy; I am not. I must walk into the grace of God. I can’t do it on my own. I am afraid and tender-hearted about leaving what I am used to. But I want this new thing, and I know that “He is the one who goes with me wherever I go” (Deuteronomy 31:8; Joshua 1:9). I can’t work out all the details, but I know that my Daddy can. I know He can do anything for me, because I’m His daughter. I know that “no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless” (Psalm 84:11).

In my flesh, my walk is NOT blameless, but, being washed in the blood of The Lamb, I am 100% completely blameless! So, this unmerited favor, this grace of God, that does not stop providing for me, truly is unmerited favor. And I know it’s my job to take whatever my Daddy gives me. I’ll take it – 100%! I’ll stand in it. I’ll walk in it, just as I am, because I am the King’s daughter! I know that full well! And my Daddy loves me like nobody else loves me!

~Shelly Hess

Empowerment Awaits

Melissa Pearce - Empowerment Awaits - Enduring Hope Ministries

During the past year, we have focused on operating in the fullness of God. If we operate in the fullness, it means the position we take but also addresses the mindset we embrace. How we perceive ourselves impacts our thinking, actions and character. Ultimately, God desires the fruit of the Spirit to become part of our character. As we embrace the fruit of the Spirit, we walk in the empowerment God intended for us!

Three Keys Of Empowerment:

God designed three keys of empowerment we are to embrace. These keys keep us in a posture of victory and position us to do battle against the enemy. What are these keys? Love, joy and peace: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (NKJV – Galatians 5:22-23).

The fruit of love, joy and peace quickens our spirit to represent Christ Jesus to those around us as well as equipping us with the inner stability necessary when unforeseen circumstances are thrown at us. Each is essential to our walk; each is an attribute of Christ but also teaches us to engage in a deeper way with the Person of Jesus. God is Love (1 John 4:8); He is our Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6); His Joy is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Operating In Love

The heart of God is that we be deeply intimate with Him. He wants us to engage and embrace the very essence of Who He is. Love is the foundational fruit God desires to implant within our very being. We cannot give away what we do not have within us. The heart of the Father is that we love Him and others. Love comes from Him and is the love He desires we use to impact our world.

When our heart is secure in the Father’s unstoppable love toward us, it births an assurance deep within; we are utterly convinced that nothing can separate us from the love of God: “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (NKJV – Romans 8:38-39). When we realize the love the Father has toward us, our perception changes during times of testing and trial. We don’t waiver in our thoughts, questioning, “Where are You, God?” Nor do we allow ourselves to believe the worst: “God is angry at me; this is my punishment” OR “God is disappointed in me, because I am so weak in this situation.”

His love toward us is unconditional, limitless, endless, relentless and unstoppable! The enemy wants us to believe negative thoughts, but God desires that we function from our position of empowerment. We must know the love God has for us! As we embrace His love, He starts working in our heart, changing us. We no longer do things out of obligation but from compassion and delight in Him: “‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (NKJV – Mark 12:30-31). The love He produces within us isn’t circumspect, circumstantial or limited. We embrace His love as our way of life. God gives to us, so we can give to others.

Operating In Joy

Operating in the joy of the Lord is the second key of empowerment. Joy isn’t a ‘warm, fuzzy feeling’ but a reality within our soul. There is a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is often generated by circumstances; joy is the constant assurance within our heart. Joy is established when we embrace Jesus. Joy gives us the ability to endure and persevere in unforeseen circumstances. It means we rest in Him; in return, He gives us His strength to face any obstacles.

The enemy would like nothing more than to steal our joy. If he can take our assurance; he robs us of our strength. We are in a new season with God. He is teaching us to embrace His joy. When we do, we embrace His Strength. In turn, we become unstoppable! And the enemy does not like it!

Operating In Peace

The last key of empowerment involves operating in peace. Peace is not just a mindset but who we are. The Prince of Peace lives within us and wants to function through us! “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (NKJV – Philippians 4:6-7). We cannot live in peace while being anxious. We either embrace one or the other – not both.

We must always take the position, ‘God will work this out for my good and His glory.’ ‘His plans for my life are for good and not to harm me.’ If we entertain other thoughts, it removes us from our position of empowerment – our focus shifts from Him onto our circumstances. We try to figure out how to control, fix, sustain and maintain. This is not our responsibility! There is only One Savior, and His Name is Jesus! Allow Him to do His job; He will enable us to do ours!

Stand Firm:

The enemy’s objective is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). He takes every opportunity to steal truth concerning the Father’s love toward us. He wants to kill our joy by not allowing us to operate in God’s rest. He wants to destroy our peace by getting us to fix our eyes on our problems. He has underestimated us! Love, joy and peace are not just words in our vocabulary. It is who we have become! It is the fruit of God’s Spirit residing within us just waiting to be unleashed. This same fruit postures us in the heart of the Father, positioning us for whatever may come our way.

Our empowerment awaits! Don’t let the enemy make you believe otherwise! We are called by God to make a difference in the lives of those around us!

In Him,
Rev. Melissa

Living In Fullness

I was thrilled to pick up a good friend of mine at the airport recently. He had flown all the way from Australia to spend time with me and see firsthand the remarkable work of transformation taking place in the inner-city neighborhood of Pittsburgh where I serve as a pastor. He had heard me tell stories about the lives that were being changed through mentoring relationships, church planting, and community development projects; he wanted to see what God was doing in person so that he could support me, train the volunteers and leaders who have been so deeply engaged, and dream about how the model of ministry in Pittsburgh might be replicated in other cities around the world.

Shortly after my Australian friend’s arrival at the airport, I received a phone call from a young man I have heavily invested in for years. He’s had an extremely difficult life. Even though he is resilient, courageous and talented, he has also spent a significant amount of time in jail throughout his young life and has had a very difficult time finding a job since he was recently released from jail – due to the felony convictions on his record. This young man has overcome so many challenges in life. Now that he is starting to finally get things turned around, he is having many struggles. He chose this particular night to have a small breakdown. He was tired; he was desperately hungry; he really needed to talk to me. I could tell by the tone of his voice that I needed to pick up some food and stop by to check on him. It was close to midnight, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to explain this to my Australian friend. He wanted an up-close view of the ministry, though, so he was about to see things in action.

We stopped by Wendy’s to grab a burger and fries then headed over to my young friend’s house to drop off the food and check on him. He lives on one of the most dangerous blocks in the city, so fear would seem a natural emotion for that street corner in the middle of the night. Instead of fear, though, something different was present. Something far more powerful than fear. It was something like light. This street corner was holy ground! The presence of the Holy Spirit was strong there, as the Lord opened up the opportunity for ministry. We talked for a while. I encouraged him. He encouraged me. And my friend from Australia got to see something beautiful… a young man who is close to God’s heart taking steps ever closer to his Heavenly Father. He got to experience firsthand the power of presence, the significance of simply being with someone.

I apologized to my visitor for having to go out of our way for a few minutes to spend some time with a struggling friend in the middle of the night. He was totally fine with it, as this was the kind of thing he was hoping to experience during his visit. Little did he know, though, that would be the first of many amazing encounters during the week. We would do training sessions with volunteers and organizations during the day. Then, in the evenings and often late into the night, we would spend time with the stream of people who knocked on my door. Or those we bumped into while we were walking or driving through the city streets. We got caught up in the stories of so many people we interacted with that week. We saw God at work, in remarkable ways, with people struggling just to get by on the margins of the city.

I was excited about what God was doing throughout my friend’s visit to Pittsburgh. To be honest, though, I was also tired. Extremely tired. I knew I needed to take some time to refuel with the Lord; otherwise, I would be of no use in the battle. Going from one day to the next, entering other people’s brokenness, and navigating through the dramatic ups and downs of inner-city life can be mentally, physically and spiritually exhausting. It can be very rewarding; it can also be extremely taxing on me, my wife and our two daughters. Sometimes, a life filled with presence and passion can be overwhelming, leading to a sense of burnout. God calls us as human beings to live life to the fullest, lives of meaning and purpose spent passionately participating in God’s redemptive mission. A life of presence with people also draws us into exhaustion at times. So, how are we supposed to live with this paradox?

RADICAL PRESENCE

Jesus modeled a life of fullness that all Christians can emulate. Jesus had incredible rhythms to His life. He would engage passionately then withdraw into solitude and prayer in order to rest and rejuvenate. Jesus obviously accomplished a lot during His short life, but He also spent a great deal of downtime in preparation for the mission of God. Central to Jesus’ full life was the power of presence. The very idea of God becoming man gets at the heart of our relational God. God loves us; God would do anything to pursue us; God is profoundly with us; God is radically present with us. The Bible puts it this way: And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14, ESV

Perhaps God could have sent His Son, Jesus, to appear as a cerebral vision in the clouds to shout down to earth with a heavenly megaphone, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand!” But, that’s not the heart of God. The Lord is not a disconnected deity floating around in the clouds. God is with us in every way. And, to demonstrate that, God became flesh and became present with us in the fullness of the human experience. Jesus experienced heartache, pain, joy, love, brokenness, hope, struggles, victory, temptation, happiness and hunger. Our God rolls up His sleeves and jumps right into the gritty moments of life with us. Jesus saved His harshest words for the people who thought they had it all together; He chose to spend most of His time with the people on the margins of society. Jesus proved that God is with us all the time but especially when we go through trials and tribulations in life.

I have seen this to be true in my own life. Sometimes, it seems like God is distant, when I feel like I’m in control and things are going along pretty well with my life. When life becomes challenging, it seems like Jesus is right there with me. God is always close, but He comes especially close when I’m desperately in need of a Savior. I have seen this firsthand with the people I pastor on the margins of the city of Pittsburgh. I don’t have much to offer any of the people that I have the privilege of serving. All I can do is point people to Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world Who is right there with them in whatever trial they may be going through at the moment. God is not waiting in the sky with a lightning-bolt ready to throw at us to harm us when we fail in life. Our loving Heavenly Father is radically present with us.

If this is true, and Jesus is the model for how this incarnational presence should be done, we must follow Jesus into that same type of radical presence. There is no effective ministry from a safe distance. Transformation does not happen in antiseptic environments. A life that is defined by fullness will only take shape when we roll up our sleeves and become radically present with others. Each time that we do this is a small act of obedience. Our natural tendency is to withdraw and disengage. Our culture subtly tells us that a life of fullness can be achieved on our own, in isolation from other people and with a God we somehow hold at a safe distance. Jesus shines a light on those lies by showing and telling us that a life of fullness is defined by intentional community in right relationship with God, with others, with ourselves and with creation.

RESTING IN GOD

Once we are obedient to the call of radical presence, we must beware of burnout. If we try to do all of this on our own, without abiding in God’s transforming love, we will surely not last long in the battles of life. Our culture has major problems with busyness, exhaustion, sleeplessness, stress and anxiety. We drive ourselves to the brink of personal destruction then self-medicate with a whole range of vices that are not healthy. Yes, a full life is filled with meaningful relationships and passionate duties that are a part of our unique callings. But, a full life should also be filled with the rest and peace that the Lord so eagerly offers. In the gospels in the New Testament, we see Jesus relentlessly engaging with others while also relentlessly withdrawing in order to be refueled by the One Who gives rest. The Gospel of Matthew describes the process this way: (Jesus said) Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30, ESV

Simply stated, we must turn to the Lord and rest when we are tired. We cannot live a life of fullness apart from the Vine that is our intimate relationship with God. For some people, this might mean a time of quiet contemplation and prayer throughout the day. For others, this might mean journaling, reading the Bible or devotional material, listening to music, going for a walk to get some fresh air or doing the creative things that God has gifted us to do artistically or with hobbies. We can spend time with the Lord in many different ways. The point is to be intentional about resting in God; otherwise, we will fall prey to the enemy’s plots of distraction and the emptiness of a destructive, driven life.

EQUIPPING FOR BATTLE

God does not leave us ill-equipped for a life of fullness. The God of the universe makes accessible a wide-range of effective tools that equip us for the battles we will all inevitably face. Before I head into some of the difficult situations I know I will face as an urban pastor, I often prepare to enter into the battle by putting on the armor of God that Paul describes in his New Testament letter to the Ephesians: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints… – Ephesians 6:10-18, ESV

This passage of Scripture unlocks the keys to living a life of fullness. Stand up for what is right and just in the midst of this present evil age. Do so with all the authority that comes from being a child of the Most High God. Win the spiritual battles through prayer. Meet resistance with faith, truth, righteousness, peace, salvation and the fully accessible power of the Spirit. We are in the fight of our lives – every single day. Pray at all times and persevere until the end. Intercede on behalf of our fellow human beings, with the full knowledge that God is with us. Be radically present with others, just like Jesus modeled. And, withdraw intentionally into times of contemplation, reflection and prayer, just like Jesus modeled. Then, stand firm and enter into the life of fullness to which God calls us.

~Dr. Bryan McCabe

Operating In Rest

Operating In Fullness - Point of Hope - Enduring Hope Ministries - Melissa Pearce

Over the last couple of months, life has been just that – LIFE! – filled with ups and downs. Yet, I noticed, no matter what was tossed at me, God desired me to operate from one position – rest. When we operate from a position of rest, we function in the fullness of what God intended.

Rest means placing your weight (or burden) on something or someone. God desires we rest in Him. He longs for us to place all our troubles, fears, worries and anxieties upon Him. He is waiting for us to release the weight of what is pulling us down, so He can carry it for us: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me [following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest [renewal, blessed quiet] (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls” (Matthew 11:29, AMP). We must see our God in our circumstances. Our circumstances are not bigger than He; He is greater than any problem or situation we will ever encounter.

Did you notice Jesus said we would find rest when we take His yoke upon us? In other words, we were never meant to ‘do’ life alone. He is to take the lead within our life and, when He does, He carries us! When oxen are yoked together, one always takes the lead. God desires to take the lead within our life. As He takes the lead, we operate from a position of rest which leads to fullness.

When our soul (emotions, attitudes and will) is yielded to Him, the fullness of His joy, peace and hope reigns within us. God knows what is best for us. He knows what we need and when we need it. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows what knocks us out of our position of rest thus causing depletion within our life. A position of rest isn’t just how I view God through my circumstances but how I see myself in (and through) them? Are you being swallowed in a sea of disappointment, chaos and heartache? Or are you allowing God to strengthen you during your perilous times? If we are not careful, our disappointed heart can lead us down a path of hope deferred: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12, AMP). God’s intent is for us to be fulfilled, satisfied and content with His joy, peace and hope.

Where are you right now?

Do you operate from a position of rest? Or are you overcome by disappointment, fear and anxiety? Do you feel stuck as if there is no hope in moving forward? I’m here to tell you, my precious friend, that God is releasing hope to you! He never wants you to operate from depletion but from the fullness of Who He is and who you are in Him!

So, how do we move from being stuck to overcoming? Ask God to give you the mind of Christ! When we have the mind of Christ, our thoughts align with God’s thoughts. We need our thoughts and attitudes to be in alignment with His. God always sees the best in us, and He always believes the best in us. Knowing these two truths re-position our hearts to trust Him to work out whatever is going on within our life – for our good and His glory.

Remember! The enemy does not want us to operate from a position of rest. Rest is a position of power, because we see God for Who He is and ourselves for who He destined us to be (and become). The enemy’s objective is that our heart remains with hope deferred. When a heart has hope deferred, we remain stuck and fall into a cycle of defeat!

God calls us to live a fruitful life, making an impact on earth for His Kingdom. The closer we get to fulfilling our destiny, the harder the enemy tries to keep us from succeeding. We must keep persevering! We must keep moving forward!

I believe for those of you reading this right now, there is a SHIFT over you! God never intended us to feel hopeless, powerless and/or stuck. He has given us everything we need to succeed! SHIFT from striving to a place of rest! Allow Him to show you the way.

Operate in the fullness of Who God is and who you are in Him! This reestablishes and repositions us to bear fruit, thrive and flourish!

In Him,
Rev. Melissa Pearce

Fullness of Life

Fullness of Life - Pastor Glaze - Enduring Hope Ministries

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10.

We have all seen the famous half-glass of water sitting on the table. Then the age-old question, “Is the glass half-empty or half-full?” Some might say, “What difference does it make? It is what it is.” Now, that might be true when it comes to water in a glass. But when it comes to spiritual matters, it makes all the difference in the world. Half-empty Christians are ones that were once full and are no more—this is backsliding. On the other hand, half-full believers are on their way to an abundant life in Christ.

This is what Jesus spoke of in John 10:10, “…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” The word abundantly (Greek perissos) expresses something that goes far beyond what is necessary. I like the way the Amplified Bible puts it, “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” In other words, Jesus came to give us fullness of life. But what is this fullness of life? And how does one attain it?

Let’s begin by describing what fullness of life is? To me, fullness of life involves two spiritual qualities which are also included in the Fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23—joy and peace.

JOY

First, this fullness consists of joy. The Greek word for joy in the New Testament is chara and means “gladness or state of rejoicing or happiness.” It is a deep-rooted joy in the heart based on a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is a joy that the world doesn’t give and the world can’t take away. Paul knew the reality of this joy. We see this in the Book of Philippians which has the theme of joy. Paul had joy in prayer (1:4), joy in suffering (1:18), joy in unity (2:2), joy in prison (2:17-18), joy in brokenness, (3:3), joy in judgment (2:16) joy in all things (4:4) and joy in life and death (1:21).

PEACE

The second spiritual quality of fullness is peace. Some people think that peace is the absence of conflict. But, according to John MacArthur, it is more than that, “God sees peace not as the absence of conflict but the presence of righteousness. Righteousness will bring about right relationships. Peace is not just stopping a war. It’s the impartation of righteousness that brings two parties together in love.” Thus, fullness extends upward—a right relationship with God (Romans 5:1); outward—a right relationship with others (Romans 12:18); inward—a right relationship with self (Colossians 3:15). If one has a life overflowing with joy and peace, they have fullness of life.

How does one obtain this fullness?

I compare this fullness to a big room. There is one door that can be used to access this room, but there are many facets to this door. This door consists of dependency upon God, submission to His will and daily fellowship with Him through Bible reading and prayer. When these things are done, the door to the fullness of life will swing wide open, and we can walk in. Praise God! This fullness of life is made available to every believer. It is not something that we wait for in the sweet by-and-by; we can have it in the harsh now-and-now.

~Dr. William R. Glaze

Complete Fulfillment

From where does your fulfillment come? Are you being fulfilled in your life’s purpose? Are you feeling fulfilled in your career or ministry?

When I look up the word fulfilled, one definition says, “the state of being complete“. Years ago, a famous movie had this line: “You complete me.”

There is a promise I meditate on to better understand what it means to be ‘complete.’ It is a prayer the Apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesian church that I have adopted as my own:

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:16-19, NIV).

Lord, You complete me!

When Paul wrote this letter to the church in Ephesus, he was not addressing any particular error. He wrote this letter to expand the horizons of his readers, so they better understand the dimensions of God’s eternal purpose and grace and come to appreciate the high goals God has for His church!

How do we reach this fullness, this fulfillment we all desire?
First, as the body of Christ—as a born-again believer, we have already received His fullness. As a Christian, it’s Christ in me! “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him (Jesus) to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way” (Ephesians 1:22-23, NIV).

The church is the fullness of Jesus Christ—we are filled with Him—for He fills all things! We are the church!

Second, we have been made alive in Christ. What does this mean? So glad you asked! “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5, NIV).

Let’s look at HOW He makes us alive:

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in heavenly realms in Christ Jesus… (Ephesians 2:6, NIV).

Here’s HOW and WHERE we are seated:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3, NIV).

Think about it! Because of our union with Jesus Christ—we, as Christians, have been made beneficiaries of every spiritual blessing that belongs to (and comes from) Heaven. I remind you that a beneficiary is an heir, heiress, recipient of a trust, will or life of another!

We are an heir of Jesus Christ! He has entrusted to us His life and His Kingdom. We are not waiting to receive it—it’s already been given to us! We are recipients of ALL spiritual blessings that belong to (and come from) Heaven!

Jesus has broken down the barriers through His own death. God had something for us beyond this: He united us, His reconciled individuals, as ONE body—His church. Oh, how I love the church! Oh, how important it is to be unified! Make us one, Lord. You already tore down the walls. Why do we keep re-erecting them?

Our meaning, our fullness, our fulfillment, our significance comes from Heaven, where Jesus is exalted at the right hand of God!

We have within us the fullness of Him, Jesus Christ! “Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given” (John 1:16, NIV).

How are we full? How are we fulfilled?

…the fullness of him who fills everything in every way (Ephesians 1:23, NIV). He fulfills everything in every way!
When He ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people. (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers… (Ephesians 4:8-11, NIV).

Why? For what reason? to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:12-13, NIV).

The whole measure of the fullness of Christ is His perfectly balanced Character! You lack nothing, as a believer in Christ!

It is important that we are prepared for works of service, trained and built up by using the spiritual gifts we have been given. This training, this equipping, is not for us individually but for building the Kingdom of God and for building us together, as well. From him (Jesus) the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work (Ephesians 4:16, NIV).

So what part are you called to?

We have already been given fullness in Christ—He has already been deposited; it’s time to release! For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10, NIV).

You are a work of art, created by and for God! We are a people, for Jesus. He …gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good (Titus 2:14, NIV).

Are you eager to do good? Here’s what doing good produces: When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them (Proverbs 16:7, NIV).

Yes, we are called to “works of service.” But have you ever considered that doing what is good is a work of service? For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man (2 Corinthians 8:21, NIV).

Live such good lives among the pagans (unbelievers) that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us (1 Peter 2:12, NIV). The believer’s good life may influence the unbeliever to believe!

For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people (1 Peter 2:15, NIV).

Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives (Titus 3:14, NIV).

If ever accused of being “goody two-shoes,” you are doing God’s will! When I googled where this term came from, I learned “goody two-shoes” was a virtuous woman. There is a proverb relating to that: A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies (Proverbs 31:10, NIV). Yes, certainly “far more,” for you are seated with Christ in heavenly places…“far more” than one can be!

Embracing His Complete Fullness,

Mary Beth Pecora

Authority In The Battle

 

The Spiritual Battle Was Intense:

I knew this short-term mission trip to Honduras was going to be met with resistance but wasn’t sure how until the week before we were supposed to leave. There were eleven people signed up for the trip, including my wife (who had been to Honduras previously) and my two daughters (who had never been on a global mission trip before). One by one, I kept hearing reports from the team members about various challenges and struggles they were experiencing that were quite unusual.

One woman, on her first mission trip, had raised the full amount. She was in the middle of preparations for the trip when her father was diagnosed with cancer. Her family (who had not been supportive of her going because they were afraid for her safety in Honduras) told her she should not go to Honduras but stay in Pittsburgh to care for her father. Another woman suddenly could not sleep very well in the days leading up to the departure. In one night of restless sleep, she dreamed she was going to be killed violently in Honduras. Another trip member’s brother was diagnosed with cancer, and her mother broke her hip; she would ordinarily have been the primary caregiver for both. She decided to go on the trip to Honduras anyway. Just about every person scheduled to go on the trip shared dramatic situations at work, family tensions, relational struggles, financial strain, fear, anxiety or health problems in the days leading up to the trip.

I sensed it in my own family. My wife and I were at odds with each other much more than normal and knew right away that it was spiritual warfare. I knew we had to pray. I prayed with my wife a lot. We prayed with our family a lot. Our team gathered for a team meeting and prayed a lot. We started an email chain where we prayed for each other a lot. Do you know what happened? God was victorious! We were victorious! The more we prayed, the more resistance we met. The more resistance we met, the more encouraged we were that God was going to do something amazing with this group in Honduras!

And, wow! Did God do something amazing in Honduras! Not only did our team not experience death and destruction while in Honduras, we experienced life! We experienced life to the fullest! Lives were transformed within our group members and also with the host families, leaders, camp counselors and children from the urban ministry that we partnered with in the capital city of Honduras, Tegucigalpa. The enemy wanted to obstruct every part of our trip, but our team had full access to God’s authority! And we were privileged to be part of an amazing movement of God in Honduras!

In response to resistance, we lived passionately on mission. In response to divisiveness and turmoil, we embraced each other and the calling God had given to us. All of the team members experienced freedom in Christ. And many of the children and leaders that we worked with in Honduras experienced freedom in Christ. In the end, all the spiritual battling that we partook in was worth it. As God’s sons and daughters, we took Jesus up on the authority that He so freely makes accessible to us. Jesus received so much glory from our time in Honduras! In spiritual battles (and in life), God’s authority is real!

The Great Commission

One of the most well-known passages of Scripture in the Bible is Matthew 28:16-20, often referred to as the Great Commission. After all the drama throughout the biblical narrative (and especially the Gospel of Matthew), the climax of human history takes place in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Then, Matthew ends his Gospel with this compelling vision that has inspired millions of Christians throughout the past two thousand years:

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” – Matthew 28:16-20, ESV.

We may sometimes have doubts, but Jesus passionately compels us to follow Him. Jesus lives, speaks and leads with authority. And He passes that same authority on to us as we live our lives and seek to participate in God’s redemptive mission. Jesus ushered in the Kingdom of God. We are most fully alive when we are fully living in the authority that God has given us in His kingdom. We will face many challenges because we live in a present evil age. However, we need not shrink in fear and anxiety when faced with evil. We can engage the world with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and the authority that comes with being children of God because of what Jesus has done for us.

That’s A Lot To Take In!

We have unimaginable authority in our lives because of Jesus’ profound love for us. As it turns out, this was God’s plan all along. God gave Daniel a vision of Jesus’ authority in the sixth century B.C., around 600 years before the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ:

I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed – Daniel 7:13-14, ESV.

Daniel’s prophecy describes Jesus. Jesus often referred to himself as the Son of Man more than any other title. Jesus fulfilled the prophecy, establishing a new kingdom defined by God’s glory, power, dominion, and authority with all of mankind and the entire creation for all time. Everything and everyone exists to love and serve God. The good news is that the Kingdom of God is here now. We don’t have to wait for eternity. All of God’s authority and power is available to us now during these beautiful lives that we have been given!

We live in the now, but not yet. The Kingdom of God is here. But we will face tremendous resistance and persecution because we have an enemy who seeks to steal, kill and destroy us. There is a cosmic battle that we are intimately caught up in between the forces of good and evil. And, in the battle, God has chosen to work through His Church to accomplish His mission. He wants to work through us. And He desires to work through us because He loves us so much. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image. We are not mere mortals. We have infinite worth in God’s eyes. And, God chose not to leave us ‘out to dry’ in these tough times we face. God gives us His full authority to live lives of victory and perseverance.

Many Ups-And-Downs

We can participate in God’s Kingdom and victory now, but there will still be many ‘ups and downs’ in this epic adventure that is God’s grand narrative. Sometimes, it helps to know the end of the story when we get discouraged while we’re living in the midst of the sin and brokenness that is rampant in this world. Thankfully, God has already showed us how all of this ends. It’s a good ending! And, Jesus’ authority is right at the heart of God’s plans. We see this clearly in the book of Revelation:

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords – Revelation 19:11-16, ESV.

This is such a powerful picture of Jesus and His ultimate victory over evil, sin and death. Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, will lead His people and hosts of angel armies to the ultimate victory. Jesus is able to do these things because He has been given that authority, and He is trustworthy with that authority. And Jesus loves to give His authority to His children in order for us to become all that God has in mind for us and for His Story.

Why Do We Fail?

So, if all of this is true, and we all have access to the authority that Jesus generously and freely gives, why do we fail to live lives of purpose and meaning and courage and power and victory? So often, we live small and are overcome by our circumstances. Or, sometimes we misuse the authority that God has given us. We try to control it and use it to gain advantage over others. We try to dominate them instead of radically loving them. The truth is that both passivity and overly aggressive, dominating behaviors are sinful, representing gross neglect of the authority God has given us to accomplish His purposes.

God gives us full access to His authority so we can use it to radically love others. That radical love includes not just our own friends and family members, although that is important. God gives us His authority to radically love people who are far from Him and even our enemies. That is the central message of what it means to follow Jesus Christ. Jesus modeled for us how to live and how to love. Not by being people who passively stand by while others participate in God’s Story or by overpowering others with our words and actions but by utilizing God’s authority to give ourselves away to other people through prayer, service, humility and joy in the midst of challenging circumstances.

Are you living life like you have been given full authority from the Most High God? Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection did not occur just so that we can get into Heaven. Jesus desires we experience life to the fullest now and throughout all of eternity. Just like the short-term mission team to Honduras, we may experience tremendous spiritual and physical battles in life. But, we will not be deterred. Through the authority that comes through Jesus, we can thrive and overcome in order to fulfill the unique callings that God gives to us all. Let’s choose to live in that authority every day of our lives!

~Dr. Bryan McCabe

Destined to Walk in Authority

Over the last couple of months, I sensed the Lord is doing something new in many lives. While reflecting on His words to me, it became clear that many are in a season of transition. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines ‘transition‘ as a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage or style to another. I believe many are in a season of transition to discover who we truly are in Christ Jesus. And with our identity comes the authority He has given us. In other words, we are evolving into who He destined us to be (and become)! We operate in (and from) our inheritance, not allowing intimidation or fear to hold us back.

We stand on God’s Word despite personal circumstances and/or uncomfortable situations. We have determined not to back up, back down, back out or back off! This season, our hearts are ignited by utter passion for God!

FERVOR OF LOVE

Jesus displayed this passion toward the Father when He cleansed the temple: “And His disciples remembered that it is written [in the Holy Scriptures], Zeal (the fervor of love) for Your house will eat Me up. [I will be consumed with jealousy for the honor of Your house.] (John 2:17, AMPC). This type of passion (or zeal) comes from love, and this is what God births within us. God, Who is love (1 John 4:8), places within us a greater hunger and/or desire to honor Him above all else. By doing this, we demonstrate our love to Him. God wants His fervor of love to captivate every part of our heart. His fervor of love unleashes truth about who we are in Him and what we can accomplish for Him.

SPIRIT OF ADOPTION

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father! The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God” (Romans 8:14-16, AMPC). Note the correlation of these verses. Paul was speaking to the church of Rome about their identity and authority. Both identity and authority come from our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Our Spirit of adoption releases not only our identity but also our authority. Our Spirit of adoption removes the bondage of fear. Let me apply this concept to both our identity and our authority. First, our identity: When we truly realize we have been adopted into God’s family, we no longer are intimated by and/or fear man. The questions that hold us in bondage: “Will I be liked by others? Will I be rejected?” are invalid. Why? Because the fervor of God’s love supersedes any fear we might experience. Our assurance (and security) rests in His love – knowing we were chosen before the foundations of the world, and He has accepted us for who we are! Jesus understood the Father’s love. He was never concerned by what others thought of Him; He was never manipulated by His critics. Jesus concerned Himself only with what the Father thought of Him. What about you? Do you worry about other people’s opinions? Does this hold you back from being who God called you to be?

Our Spirit of adoption also releases us to embrace our God-given authority. We are no longer bound by fear, intimidation and/or doubt. As we embrace our God-given identity, we operate in the authority He has given us. Fear once held us in bondage but is no longer our master! The Spirit of adoption ignited by His LOVE enables us to face (and do) the impossible.

POSITION OF SONSHIP

Jesus operated from His position of sonship when He cleansed the temple. The Jews were angry, demanding proof of who gave Him the authority to act as He did: “Then the Jews retorted, What sign can You show us, seeing You do these things? [What sign, miracle, token, indication can You give us as evidence that You have authority and are commissioned to act in this way?]” (John 2:18, AMPC). The evidence: He knows Who He is! We must be confident in who we are in Christ. At times, people will question our intention, even our character. We must operate from our position of adoption into God’s family. At times, the enemy will sling his fiery darts to intimidate us with fear and doubt; he does not want us moving forward. We must operate from our position of sonship. We are a child of the Most High God; He has chosen us and appointed us to be His representative on earth!

In this season, God is raising up a mighty, fearless army! God desires His people to be filled with His unstoppable love and their hearts to be ignited by His zeal – to bring His Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven! We were born to make an impact on those around us. We were born to make a difference in someone’s life. We were born to complete the mission for Him!

Rise up, mighty woman (or man) of God! Take your position as His daughter (or son)!

In Him,
Rev. Melissa Pearce


Point of Hope - Magazine

Issue #36 - December 2016

Point Of Hope - Magazine


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