Monthly Archives: December 2011

Hope and Help for Food Addiction – Losing Weight God’s Way

Obesity is more than the result of poor eating habits, it is spiritual bondage.

The following teaching will encourage and empower  those who are truly seeking to lose weight and be set free.

He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30

The first twenty-one verses of the Gospel of John, chapter three record the account of Nicodemus and his private meeting with Jesus. Nicodemus was a member of the Jewish ruling council and a Pharisee. He came to Jesus at night. Nicodemus addressed Jesus as Rabbi and acknowledged that the signs and miracles that Jesus performed evidenced that God was with Jesus.

In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” 

“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Although Nicodemus was a spiritual leader in Israel, he did not understand God’s plan of salvation.

 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’

Jesus explained that our physical life is the result of a physical birth. But for a mortal human to be received into heaven, that person must be born again. To have spiritual life we need to be birthed by the Spirit of God. Jesus likened the Holy Spirit to the wind.

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Since Nicodemus still didn’t understand, Jesus went on to explain:

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

 The Israelites rebelled against God during their wilderness wanderings and murmured against his provision of manna.

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat!”If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic.   Numbers 11:4-5

No cost – only their very lives and the lives of their children. Instead of being grateful for their great deliverance from the bondage ofEgypt and being thankful as they looked forward to the Promised Land, they wailed and lamented at God’s supernatural provision of manna.

Now a wind went out from the LORD and drove quail in from the sea. It brought them down all around the camp to about three feet above the ground, as far as a day’s walk in any direction. All that day and night and all the next day the people went out and gathered quail. No one gathered less than ten homers. Then they spread them out all around the camp. But while the meat was still between their teeth and before it could be consumed, the anger of the LORD burned against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague.  Numbers 11:31-33

Because the people were ruled by their stomachs it resulted in death. But they did not learn their lesson.

They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!” Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived. Numbers 21:4-9

…so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. John 3:14-15

People who sin are in rebellion against God. The wages of sin is death. The snakes that bit the Israelites symbolize the sting of death that is inflicted by the great ancient serpent –Satan. But he who knew no sin, Jesus Christ the Righteous, became sin for us and was crucified – which is symbolized by the bronze snake on the pole, so that we may become the righteous of God in Him and receive eternal life.

The one verse that is most widely remembered from the account of the meeting between Jesus and Nicodemus is John 3:16:  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 Jesus went on to explain quite clearly concerning God’s gracious plan of salvation:

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  John 3:17-19

There is no middle ground or compromise in obtaining eternal life. No one can serve two masters. You cannot receive eternal life if you desire to remain in the darkness. If you do not recognize that you are a sinner then you will not seek the Savior.

After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were constantly coming to be baptized. (This was before John was put in prison.) An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”

To this John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less. John 3:22-30

 For a limited time, John was sent ahead to prepare the way for the coming Messiah. John preached a baptism of repentance. John’s calling and ministry was to declare to the masses their need to turn from their sins. Those who came under conviction of their sins were baptized in an act of obedience and made a public declaration of their need of a savior by the ritual of immersion. After Jesus was revealed as the Lamb of God, the ministry of Jesus increased while John’s ministry decreased. John declared, “He must become greater; I must become less.” Each person who has placed their trust in the finished work of atonement that Jesus accomplished on the cross must die to self so that the work of Jesus can increase in their life. The old nature must be crucified daily so that we can take up our cross and follow him.

Although God had sent a redeemer and freed the Hebrew slaves from their cruel bondage inEgypt, many perished in the wilderness from a severe plague and others died from the bites of venomous snakes because they were ruled by their stomachs. God has sent us the Redeemer who was dead and lives forever more to free us from the cruel bondage of sin and from the carnal desires of this world. Yet many blood-bought Christians are prematurely perishing because they are not honoring God by taking proper care of their bodies.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. One in three Americans is obese. Obesity is also increasing rapidly throughout the world, and the incidence of obesity has nearly doubled form 1991 to 1998. Obesity is not just a cosmetic consideration; it is a dire health dilemma directly harmful to one’s health. In theUnited States, roughly 300,000 deaths per year are directly related to obesity, and more than 80% of these deaths are in patients with a BMI (body mass index) over 30. Obesity also increases the risk of developing a number of chronic diseases including:

  • Insulin Resistance. Insulin is necessary for the transport of blood glucose (sugar) into the cells of muscle and fat (which is then used for energy). By transporting glucose into cells, insulin keeps the blood glucose levels in the normal range. Insulin resistance (IR) is the condition whereby the effectiveness of insulin in transporting glucose (sugar) into cells is diminished. Fat cells are more insulin resistant than muscle cells; therefore, one important cause of IR is obesity. The pancreas initially responds to IR by producing more insulin. As long as the pancreas can produce enough insulin to overcome this resistance, blood glucose levels remain normal. This IR state (characterized by normal blood glucose levels and high insulin levels) can last years. Once the pancreas can no longer keep up with producing high levels of insulin, blood glucose levels begin to rise, resulting in type 2 diabetes, thus IR is a pre-diabetes condition. In fact scientists now believe that the atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) associated with diabetes likely develops during this IR period.
  • Type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes. The risk of type 2 diabetes increases with the degree and duration of obesity.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension). Hypertension is common among obese adults. A Norwegian study showed that weight gain tended to increase blood pressure in women more significantly than in men.
  • High cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia)
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular accident or CVA)
  • Heart attack The Nurses Health Study found that the risk of developing coronary artery disease increased 3 to 4 times in women who had a BMI greater than 29. A Finnish study showed that for every one kilogram (2.2 pounds) increase in body weight, the risk of death from coronary artery disease increased by one percent. In patients who have already had a heart attack, obesity is associated with an increased likelihood of a second heart attack.
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Cancer. While not conclusively proven, some observational studies have linked obesity to cancer of the colon in men and women, cancer of the rectum and prostate in men, and cancer of the gallbladder and uterus in women. Obesity may also be associated with breast cancer, particularly in postmenopausal women. Fat tissue is important in the production of estrogen, and prolonged exposure to high levels of estrogen increases the risk of breast cancer.
  • Gallstones
  • Gout and gouty arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis (degenerative arthritis) of the knees, hips, and the lower back

For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, Philippians 3:18-20

 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Ephesians 4:17-18

We, as the children of light, are not to live as the unsaved do. Their destiny is destruction and their god is their stomach. We were purchased by the precious blood of the Lamb of God and we are to honor God with our bodies.

To honor God by properly maintaining your body, the Temple of God:

  • Seek the Lord in prayer to empower you to change your eating habits
  • Trust in the Lord and not in junk food for comfort
  • Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains
  • When you are full, stop eating. Eat smaller portions.
  • Exercise more
  • Do not diet – CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE
  • Be patient – it  took quite a while to put the weight on, it will take time to lose it
  • Set achievable goals – lose 1 to 3 pounds a month

The following verses are to encourage and strengthen you. Take them to heart and know that God is faithful to perform his Holy Word.

  •  being confident of this, that he who began a good work in youwill carry iton to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
  • For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
  • No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11
  • I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14
  • So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
May the Lord bless you with health and long life!


THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST: Understanding the Apocalypse

THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST: Understanding the Apocalypse is a unique verse-by-verse account of the Book of Revelation viewed from a Hebraic Mind-set. The Book of Revelation first gives an overview of the apocalypse, followed by specific details which unveil the future of the nation of Israel, unbelievers and the body of Messiah. The author Steven L. Sherman, is a Jewish believer in Jesus Christ who is a gifted teacher and lecturer on biblical prophecy. Steven is also the founder of “Just Pray NO! Ltd. Since 1991, “Just Pray NO!” has sought to unite Christians from around the world in intercessory prayer on behalf of the addicted and their families by sponsoring the annual “Just Pray NO!” Worldwide Weekend of Prayer and Fasting.

All royalties go directly to the ministry of “Just Pray NO!” Not only will you get to read a great book but you will be supporting a great cause – fighting drug and alcohol addiction.

To order THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST: Understanding the Apocalypse, go to:  Redemption Press

To arrange for a personal interview with “Just Pray NO!” Founder and Author Steven L. Sherman call: (727) 647-6467
or email: justprayno@aol.com

Beverage Alcohol is One of the World’s Most Widely Used Drugs

Alcohol is one of the most widely used drug substances in the world. Alcohol use & binge drinking among America’s youth is a key public health problem.

According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion:

  • Alcohol is used by more young people in the United States than tobacco or illicit drugs.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with approximately 75,000 deaths per year.
  • Alcohol is a factor in approximately 41% of all deaths from motor vehicle crashes.
  • Among youth, the use of alcohol and other drugs has been linked to unintentional injuries, physical fights, academic and occupational problems, and illegal behavior.
  • Long-term alcohol misuse is associated with liver disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurological damage as well as psychiatric problems such as depression, anxiety, and antisocial personality disorder.
  • Drug use contributes directly and indirectly to the HIV epidemic, and alcohol and drug use contribute markedly to infant morbidity and mortality.

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.

Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.Your eyes will see strange sights, and your mind will imagine confusing things.

You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging. “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt! They beat me, but I don’t feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?” Proverbs 23:29-35

Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise. Proverbs 20:1

Is it so surprising that the use of alcohol and other drugs has been linked to unintentional injuries?

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Ephesians 5:18a

Debauchery is defined as, extreme indulgence in sensual pleasures; dissipation. Debauchery earliest usage meant seduction from duty, allegiance, or virtue.

Is it also very surprising that drunkenness leads to academic and occupational problems, illegal behavior and gross immorality?

Who would seduce us away from our duty or virtue? Synonyms for seduce are beguile, allure, lure, deceive or tempt.

And the LORD God said unto the woman, “What is this that thou hast done?” And the woman said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” Genesis 3:13

The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Matthew 4:3

Who beguiled Eve? Who is the tempter? Who is the great deceiver? Satan is the profoundly evil adversary of God and humanity. Drunkenness is neither a bad habit nor is alcoholism merely a disease that needs to be treated; they are snares of the devil that lead to sickness and death. Alcoholism and other drug addictions are spiritual bondages that result in physical and mental illnesses.

Does it now make sense that since the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy that long-term alcohol misuse is associated with liver disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurological damage as well as psychiatric problems such as depression, anxiety, and antisocial personality disorder?

But what about controlled social drinking? Shouldn’t a Christian be able to have an occasional beer or two or some wine with dinner?

Then the LORD said to Aaron, “You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the tent of meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, Leviticus 10:8-9

Israel’s high priesthood was forbidden to drink alcoholic beverages when ministering before the LORD.

It is not for kings, Lemuel – it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. Proverbs 31:4-5  

It is not good for kings to drink wine or rulers to crave beer.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

Born-again believers are not only adopted into the family of God but are the children of the King of kings. We are a royal priesthood and are to rule and reign with Jesus. Although the moderate intake of alcoholic beverages is not forbidden for believers, refraining from fermented drink is the better choice for those who which to honor God with their bodies.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

But didn’t Jesus drink wine?

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.” Matthew 11:19

Jesus was falsely accused of being a drunkard.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:15

Drinking is not prohibited in the Bible. It is uncontrolled drinking to drunkenness. The acts of the flesh include drunkenness and those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Jesus in order to emphasize with our weaknesses drank wine, but resisted the temptation of becoming drunk with wine.

Public intoxication, also known as drunk and disorderly conduct, is a summary offense in many countries. In other words it is prosecutable without an indictment or full trial. “Driving While Intoxicated” and “Driving Under the Influence” also carry their penalties under the law.

It is obvious that the abuse of alcohol and other drugs have had a devastating impact on individuals, their families and their communities not only here in America but throughout the world.

Annually in the United States the alcohol beverage industry is grosses nearly $500 billion dollars in the sales of wine and beer as well as distilled spirits such as vodka, rum and whiskey.

The English word, “Intoxication” is from taken from the Latin words which mean to smear with poison. The medical definition of intoxication is poisoning by a drug or toxic substance. Intoxication is the condition of being drunk as the result of drinking alcoholic beverages and/or use of narcotics. Intoxication is mental and emotional stupefaction or excitement by the action of a chemical substance. To stupefy is to befuddle, confound, confuse, discombobulate or bedevil.

When you drink alcoholic beverages to the point of drunkenness you are bedeviled. You have not only poisoned your body, which leads to physical death, but have poisoned your mind and have been ensnared by the devil.

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:24-26

Those who are addicted have been taken captive by the devil. They must be gently encouraged to earnestly repent so that they can come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil.

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18

Alcoholism like any other drug addiction is a spiritual battle that must be fought with spiritual weapons. We are not to be intoxicated with alcohol but filled with the Holy Spirit.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

In order to become victorious over alcoholism and other drug addictions, a person needs the power of God manifested in their life so that they can be set free from the bondage of sin, find true deliverance and save their soul. The battle of the spirit is fought in the mind and our carnal thoughts must be taken into captivity to the obedience of Christ. We must submit our thoughts to Christ’s thoughts and our ways to God’s ways.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

When Jesus Christ is not only your Savior but the Lord of your life and you are in complete submission to Him, then when you resist the devil – he will flee from you!

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

How do we renew our minds? How can we exchange our ungodly worldly thoughts and attain the holy mind of Christ? This can be accomplished, according to Ephesians 5:25, as we are cleansed by the washing of the water of the Word. We must replace our hunger and thirst for the strongholds that bind us, with a hunger and thirst for God’s divinely inspired Word.

The way we defeat addiction is to repent of our sins, place our trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross, renounce the work of the devil in our lives, seek God’s will and enablement through prayer and the reading of the Bible, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

To Battle Sexual Addiction: Gird up the Loins of Your Mind

The battles of sexual addiction and pornography are not won by girding up our genitals, but by transforming our thought life.

Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”  1 Peter 1:13-16

The word “loins” can be defined as the pubic region or genitals – the location of the reproductive organs. To gird up means to bind about, especially with a belt or sash. In biblical times, a Roman soldier when putting on the part of his armor that covered his loins; would take the excess material from his knee length tunic pull and it forward. Then he would tuck the extra material between his legs in front and gather it behind him. Collecting half of the material on either side in the rear, he would pull it around and tie it in the front as a sash or belt. This would enable him to run with more mobility and agility. Girding up his loins, the soldier would be prepared for the action of battle.

Peter exhorts us to gird up the loins of our mind – the reproductive center of our thought life – so that we will be prepared for the spiritual battle and be able to live a holy and obedient life. We are no longer to be controlled by worldly lusts.

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.  James 1:13-15

The battle of sexual addiction is not won by girding up our genitals, but by transforming our thought life. It is our own evil desire – lustful thinking – that entices us to sin sexually.

The Lord Jesus Christ said, as quoted in Matthew 5:27-28: You have heard that it was said,   ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Men are stimulated visually. Especially for men, indulging in sexual fantasy, reading or watching pornography opens the door to sexual addiction and leads to a path of immorality, degradation and shame.

In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. 2 Samuel 11:1-5

 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home. 2 Samuel 11:1-4

At the time when kings go off to war, David sent his nephew Joab, as commander-in-chief, out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. King David himself remained in Jerusalem. David was anointed by God to be king over Israel and to lead the army of Israel in battle. Instead of David fulfilling his anointed calling and leading the physical battle against the Ammonites, he placed himself in a vulnerable position so that he would lose a most important spiritual battle.

From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her…

Men are stimulated visually. King David was no different than any other man. As James made so clear in his epistle: …but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. David gave in to his own evil desire to have someone else’s wife – Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. David’s evil desire not only resulted in his sin of adultery but also the arranged killing of Uriah in battle.

Praise God for his awesome grace and tender mercies. When David was confronted with his sins by the prophet Nathan he repented and was forgiven. But there were terrible natural consequences to his sins.

Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’ ”  2 Samuel 12:9-12

Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”

Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.”

David was a man after the LORD’s own heart because David was truly repentant. The LORD took away the eternal consequences of his sin. But David would reap in the natural realm what he had sown including the death of the child he fathered with Bathsheba as well as his beloved son Absalom having his way with David’s concubines.

David’s punishment included engaging in warfare all of his days because he struck down Uriah with the sword of the Ammonites. Because David didn’t go out to battle the Ammonites, he was idle. In his idle time, he lusted with his eyes and his evil desire enticed him to sin. The sin of David resulted in the sword never departing from his house. David avoided a physical battle but ended up with a lifetime of battles to fight because he lost sight of the spiritual battle.

Men are stimulated visually. Especially for men, indulging in sexual fantasy, reading or watching pornography opens the door to sexual addiction and leads to a path of immorality, degradation and shame. Because he did not gird up the loins of his mind, even Israel’s greatest king, brought down calamity upon his house.

Porn is reported to be a 12 billion dollar industry in the U.S… 50 percent of men viewed pornography within one week of attending a Promise Keepers stadium event… 54 percent of pastors said they viewed porn within the past year in a Pastors.com survey… in a 2003 Focus on the Family poll 47 percent of respondents said porn is a problem in their home. According to a Christianity Today magazine survey, Internet pornography is a personal problem for 37 percent of pastors. Pornography viewing is not just limited to men who are unsaved but is a besetting sin for many Christian men and Christian leaders as well.

We know that pornography and sexual sin are mighty strongholds in the church that must be demolished. We can also learn from King David’s errors, two important strategies in how to win this battle. First, we have to be aware of how we occupy ourselves in our down or idle time. Secondly and more importantly, we must be aware that the battle of the spirit takes place in our minds. It is our own evil desire – lustful thinking – that entices us to sin sexually.

In order to break away from worldly thinking – carnal mindedness, we must renew our minds. How is this accomplished? Paul explains how in his letter to the church at Ephesus.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. Ephesians 5:25-27

The Lord Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins and as born-again believers we immediately receive spiritual life. But Christ desires that his bride, the church to be without the stain of sin. Sanctification is a process by which we become more and more Christ-like. This is accomplished by our minds being renewed and cleansed from carnal thoughts by replacing them with the Word of God.

How can a young man keep his way pure?  By living according to your word.  I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.  Psalm 119:9-11                                                                                                                                    

For many years, people who had great treasures would bury them and in time of need, would dig them up. When we treasure the Word of God and bury it in our hearts, in our time of need it will come forth so that we will know the will of God and not sin against him.

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. James 5:13-15                                                                                                                                                    

To be victorious over pornography and sexual addiction, we must not only renew our mind but also we need accountability, the confession of our sin and the support and prayers of our brothers and sisters in the faith.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Pride and Addiction – Getting High is as the Sin of Witchcraft

Pride and Addiction

 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.” 1 Samuel 15:23

This is a powerful Scripture. Let’s look at the circumstances that surround it, so that we can better understand it. Saul was the first king that God anointed over the Kingdom of Israel after the system of the Judges. Samuel was the prophet of the LORD during this period and passed the words of God onto Saul. Saul was told the following by Samuel:

Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’” 1 Samuel 15:2-3

Saul did successfully attack the Amalekites but he spared Agag their king and kept all the best of their oxen and sheep, camels and donkeys. Saul did not do what God had commanded. He thought that he knew better. In fact, Saul thought so highly of himself that in verse 12 it reads, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor…” God was so displeased with Saul’s disobedience and arrogance that God’s tells Samuel in verse 11, “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” Then God sent Samuel to Saul with a message. It begins in verse 17, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel”? And it ends in verse 23, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.”

What was the root of Saul’s rebellion? PRIDE! Saul did what he wanted rather than what God had commanded. Saul thought more “highly” of himself than of God. Pride was the original sin. Let’s look at where it originated.

Isaiah 14:12-14 tells about the fall of Lucifer:  “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart:

‘ I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’

Ezekiel 28:12-15 tells us a little more about him: “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.

What an indictment! Lucifer was created so perfectly and beautifully and given a holy purpose, yet became prideful and wanted to rise above the stars of God and ascend above the heights of the 

clouds and be like the Most High. Lucifer’s pride caused him to want to be “higher” than the station God had appointed him to in life; that’s rebellion – the sin of witchcraft.

Have you ever desired to ascend higher than your God appointed state of consciousness? Ever wanted to get high? I, for one, have certainly fallen prey to this sin of rebellion/pride (witchcraft). Not content in my state of being, I sought to get “higher” using many different substances – all in an attempt to escape reality – to feel what I am not. All these attempts have led to destruction. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

The next time you decide that you know better than God does concerning the state of consciousness that you should be in and you decide to make yourself higher than the stars of God, think twice about this “witchcraft thinking” and leave the substances that alter our senses of reality alone. The sin of pride associated with thinking you know what’s best; will only lead you to destruction. Both Proverbs 14:12 and Proverbs 16:25 state, There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. Remember that pride caused both King Saul and Lucifer to fall from their God appointed heights!

Some say that addiction stems from low self-esteem. Perhaps there is some truth in that statement. Is it self-loathing that causes us to want to get higher and want to be more than we perceive that we are? Maybe the problem is our self-perception and that is what causes our low self-esteem? Let’s consider who we are according to “God’s Word” rather than who we perceive ourselves to be according to our own “stinkin’ thinkin’.” Focus not on being bold in self-pride but being bold in Christ. For in Him, all things are possible!       

 Editor Michael Minton   

Prescription Drug Abuse & Prescription Addiction Deliverance

Learn the facts about prescription drug abuse and prescription drug side effects. Help provided for those suffering from prescription drug addiction.

A number of national studies and published reports indicate that the intentional abuse of prescription drugs, such as pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants and sedatives, to get high is a growing concern-particularly among teens-in the United States. In fact, among young people ages 12-17, prescription drugs have become the second most abused illegal drug, behind marijuana. There are troubling signs that teens view abusing prescription drugs as safer than illegal drugs and parents are unaware of the problem. More and more children today are turning to their parent’s medicine cabinet as a cheap and easy way to get high.

  • More than half of U.S. adults take prescription medicines in any given week
  • Many of them – 10 percent – take more than 5 different medicines
  • 700,000 Americans end up in emergency rooms each year because of bad drug reactions

The drugs that are killing the most people right now didn’t originate on the street, but with a prescription. Prescription painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs now kill about 500 people a year in Florida’s Tampa Bay area alone, triple the number killed by illegal drugs such as cocaine and heroin.

Most died from overdoses of opioid painkillers, natural or synthetic versions of the opium poppy. The painkillers methadone and oxycodone topped the list. Methadone generally entails the entire spectrum of opioid side effects, including the development of tolerance and physical and psychological dependence. Respiratory depressions are dangerous. The released histamines can cause hypotension (dangerous low blood pressure), or bronchospasms. Other symptoms are: constipation, nausea or vomiting, sedation, vertigo, edema.

Oxycodone side effects may be common, adverse, or precursors to possible fatality. The more common Oxycodone side effects include:

  • Constipation
  • Dimness in vision
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Itching reflex
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Sleeplessness
  • Sweating from shock
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Why would anyone in their right mind risk suffering even one of these potentially horrible side effects to get temporary relief from pain?

A large number of people in the Tampa Bay area also died from overdoses of anti-anxiety drugs such as Xanax and Valium.

Unfortunately, overdosing from prescription drugs is not just a recent phenomenon. Nor is it restricted to those who are poor and struggling.

Marilyn Monroe, a famous actress and a 1950s & 1960s sex symbol died from an overdose of sleeping pills at the age of 36.

Dorothy Dandridge who was the first black star ever nominated for Best Actress Oscar in “Carmen Jones” overdosed on a prescription drug at the age of 41.

Brian Epstein, the manager of the Beatles died on August 27, 1967 from an overdose of sleeping pills and alcohol at the age of 32.

Judy Garland who was a triple threat – actress, singer and dancer, and is remembered for her role as “Dorothy” In “The Wizard of Oz” died from an overdose of sleeping pills while on tour in London, England at the age of 47.

Guitar legend, Jimi Hendrix choked on own vomit after taking too many barbiturates at the age of 27.

Superstar and showbiz legend, Elvis Presley, died of cardiac arrhythmia caused by large prescription drug intake at the age of 42.

While completing his role as the darkly disturbed Joker in the Batman movie, “The Dark Knight,” Heath Ledger complained about his inability to sleep, so he was given several prescriptions. The much beloved, 28-year-old actor and father was found naked and dead on the floor of his apartment. The official cause of death in his accidental overdose was “acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine.” He had a prescription for all of these six drugs he was supposed to be taking. For whatever reason, he simply took too much of them all at once.

Police are reporting a surge in prescription drug-related crimes, including doctor shopping, prescription fraud and pharmacy robbery. Drug rehabilitation centers have treated a wave of prescription drug addicts in recent years. Methadone clinics now treat more people addicted to painkillers than heroin.

Why has abuse to prescription drugs and the accompanying increase in crime, devastating side-effects, and deaths by overdose gotten to be a nationwide epidemic?

We have been sold on the idea of instant relief. Whether we are dealing with a simple headache, depression, insomnia or anxiety, we seek a magic bullet – a pill that will do the trick, regardless of the consequences or debilitating side effects. Pharmaceutical production is a multibillion dollar industry. In fact, the pharmaceutical industry profits increased by over $8 billion after the Medicare Drug Plan went into effect. Selling the public “legal drugs” is a very profitable business.

Why are we a nation of anxious, depressed insomniacs? One reason for our headaches, backaches and heartaches, is our lifestyle. We eat wrong and fail to exercise. We spend too much time with electronic devices and not enough time with our own families.

A second, and even more important reason, is that we have taken prayer, the Bible and the 10 Commandments out of our public institutions. We are without God and without hope.
We are reluctant to take the time and work through our pain and problems with the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The following Scriptures are God’s promises and cures for depression, insomnia and anxiety:

DEPRESSION:

Psalm 42:5
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

INSOMNIA:

Psalm 4:8
I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 127:2
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat- for he grants sleep to those he loves.

Proverbs 3:21-24
My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

ANXIETY:

Philippians 4:4-7
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

If you want to lead a victorious life and be set free from addiction and do not have a relationship with the LORD God, Creator of the heavens and the earth, then pray the following prayer or a similar prayer in your own words -

“Lord Jesus Christ,

I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn my way to heaven. Although I deserve God’s wrath, by God’s mercy, I accept your free gift of eternal life by faith. I believe that You were born of a virgin and died on the cross to pay the price of my sins. I believe you were buried, rose again on the third day, have ascended into heaven, and will soon come again.

Lord, please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and take control of my life.” AMEN

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, then you have just made a decision by faith, to accept the free gift (God’s grace) of the substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah (the Christ), whose suffering and death paid the price of your sins. You have been born again. As a new born, you need to be nourished.

Acts 2:38
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

In order to grow and mature spiritually you need to:

  • Be baptized into Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)
  • Speak to God each day through prayer. (Pray each day in the name of Yeshua/Jesus).
  • Read your Bible every day. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you through His Word. (If you don’t own a Bible, then we will help you get one.)
  • Find a Bible believing church and attend regularly – both worship services and a Bible study.
  • Share with someone what God has done for you.

Bible Verses to Build Your Faith and Strengthen Your Prayers

Faith building Bible verses will bring blessings of answered prayers. These verses will enable you to pray the prayer of faith according to God’s Word.

Ephesians 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all
spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ

2 Peter 1:4
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature …

Hebrews 6:12
That ye be… followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Jeremiah 32:27
Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

Matthew 19:26
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Ephesians 3:20
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.

Hebrews 4:16
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Psalm 100:4
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

John 14:13
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Matthew 18:19-20
“Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or
three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Mark 11:22-24
And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Matthew 9:22
But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

Matthew 9:29
Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

Acts 3:16
And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

Isaiah 53:5
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

1Peter 2:24
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Acts 10:38
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Mark 16:15-18
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Matthew 15:28
Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Matthew 15:30-31
And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them: Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.

Psalm 35:27
Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.

3 John 2-4
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

1John 5:14-15
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we
have the petitions that we desired of him.

Bible Verses About Faith: 20 Popular Scripture Quotes

Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verses-about-faith-20-popular-scripture-quotes/

Pray the Prayer of Jabez for it is a Prayer of Deliverance

Pray the prayer of Jabez who was delivered from a life of shame, sorrow and suffering. Pray in faith. God is able to bless you and keep you from evil.

Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother named him Jabez saving. “I gave birth to him in pain. “Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from evil so that I will be free from pain. “And God granted his request. 1Chronicles 4:9-10

The data of Israel’s history was organized and recorded by the Chronicler to address the exiles who had returned from Babylon. The first nine chapters of First Chronicles are devoted to the genealogies which span from the time of Adam to the generation that returned to rebuild Jerusalem after seventy years of captivity.

These two verses concerning Jabez stand out in stark contrast to the mere recording of name upon name which characterizes most lineages. It is evident that Jabez descended from the tribe of Judah. But unlike the other descendants of Judah whose names are recorded; there is no clear reference to Jabez’ clan or family. Obviously, this account of Jabez was not included to focus upon his lineage, but to emphasize the impact that his prayer had upon his life.

Keil, in his commentary, supposes that these verses are a record of a vow made by Jabez. Keil goes on to suggest that the vow’ was so significant and its fulfillment so apparent that it has been handed down.

More importantly, we must remember that the information recorded in the Books of the Chronicles are not only historic fact, but are the inspired Word of God. The account of Jabez has been preserved by God to teach us spiritual lessons and to help us draw nearer to Him.

His mother named him Jabez, saving, “I gave birth to him in pain.”

Jabez’s mother named her son a name which sounds like the Hebrew word for pain or suffering. It also can be translated as sorrow maker. Biblical names are very significant. Some names have been prophetic, such as the name Jesus which means Savior. More often they expressed some outstanding personal characteristic. Abram, which means exalted father, had his name changed by God to Abraham, which means the father of many. Abraham’s grandson was named Jacob which means he grasps the heel or figuratively means the usurper or deceiver. After Jacob spends twenty years being deceived by his uncle Laban, he returns home. On his journey home, he spends a night wrestling with the Angel of the LORD. Jacob is renamed Israel which means he strives with God or having power with God.

It can be assumed that Jabez, who was named the sorrow maker, harmed others, and in turn, his life was filled with pain.

Jabez cried out to the God of Israel

Jabez descended from Judah, one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Jabez cried out to the God of Israel who had seen the misery of His people during their Egyptian bondage. The LORD God heard as Israel cried out because of their harsh taskmasters.

“Oh, that you would bless me indeed …

As a Jew, Jabez was circumcised as a sign that he was a partaker of the Abrahamic covenant. Jabez knew that God’s gracious covenant with Abram was full of blessings. Because Abram was obedient and left his country, his people and his father’s house in order to follow God, the LORD promised the following to him:

“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:2-3

Jabez understood that God is a God of love and grace who desires to bless His people.

… and enlarge my territory”

Jabez knew that when the Israelites were finished with their wilderness experience and entered into the promised land that the LORD said to Joshua, “I will give you every place where you set foot, as I promised Moses.” Joshua 1:3

The God of Israel also promised that if Joshua obeyed the Law handed down through Moses, that Joshua would be successful wherever he would go. Joshua was encouraged to be strong and courageous in battle because the LORD’S hand would be with him. So Jabez prayed:

Let your hand be with me

Jabez desired to be blessed and his territory enlarged. Jabez realized that in order for his sphere of influence, his personal wealth, and his impact for God’s kingdom to increase, it would take the grace of God, the power of God and the presence of God’s Spirit – the hand of God – to accomplish it.

and keep me from evil so that I will be free from pain.”

Jabez cried out to God “keep me from evil.” Just as the children of Israel fervently cried out to God to be delivered from their physical bondage and physical pain, Jabez fervently cried out to be delivered from his spiritual bondage and emotional pain. He was named the Sorrow Maker. Jabez caused others to suffer pain. Jabez wanted to be kept from evil so that he could be free from pain. Doing what is evil is sin. All wrong doing is sin. Sin not only breaks our relationship with God, but also harms others as well as ourselves.

Jabez was more honorable than his brothers.

Why is a man whose name means pain and who had to cry out to God, “keep me from evil…”called more honorable than his brothers? Because Jabez wanted to turn from his painful ways and knew from whom to seek help.

I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? Mv help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

The LORD is translated from the Hebrew Yahweh – the covenant name of the God of Israel. Jabez cried out to the God of Israel for deliverance and blessing. Jabez was not more righteous than his brothers because of his noble character or actions, but because he humbled himself, repented of his sins and trusted in the grace of God for forgiveness and blessing.

Jabez came from a dysfunctional family. He was cursed from birth by his own mother who labeled her newborn as a pain maker. He may have been ridiculed by other children and even by his own brothers. Jabez may have even tried to live up to his name. But we have no record of the names of the brothers of Jabez. Although he was named Sorrow Maker, the Scripture refers to him as an honorable man.

And God granted his request.

Jabez was blessed indeed. Jabez’s wealth, influence and impact for God’s kingdom remarkably increased. God presence and power was with him. Jabez was kept from evil and free from pain.

Have you come from a dysfunctional family?  Are you burdened with the guilt of pain that your misdeeds have wrought?  Do you want to experience true forgiveness? Do you want to experience true forgiveness? Do want the power and presence of God in your life?

THEN LOOK TO THE CROSS OF JESUS CHRIST

If you have never made a confession of faith then say the following prayer aloud:

“Lord Jesus Christ,

I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn my way to heaven. Although I deserve God’s wrath, by God’s mercy, I accept your free gift of eternal life by faith. I believe that You were born of a virgin and died on the cross to pay the price of my sins. I believe you were buried, rose again on the third day, have ascended into heaven, and will soon come again.

Lord, please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and take control of my life.” AMEN

Then you have just made a decision by faith, to accept the free gift (God’s grace) of the
substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah (the Christ), whose suffering and death paid the price of your sins.

Please contact us. We want to rejoice with you!

You have been born again. As a new born, you need to be nourished.

Acts 2:38
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

In order to grow and mature spiritually you need to:

  • Be baptized into Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)
  • Speak to God each day through prayer. (Pray each day in the name of Yeshua/Jesus).
  • Read your Bible every day. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you through His Word. (If you don’t own a Bible, then we will help you get one.)
  • Find a Bible believing church and attend regularly – both worship services and a Bible study.
  • Share with someone what God has done for you.

AMERICAN IDOLS: The Land of the Free or Home of the Enslaved?

Idolatry can take many forms.
Alcoholism and drug abuse are forms of idol worship.
They lead to spiritual bondage. Abusers are addicted and enslaved.

And God spoke all these words:

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”

“You shall have no other gods before me.”

“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20: 1-6

More than 1/3 of all high school seniors in America have admitted to using marijuana in the past year. These self-reports of drug use among high school seniors may under represent drug use among youth of that age because high school dropouts and truants are not included, and these groups may have more involvement with drugs than those who stay in school. Although overall drug abuse has declined since the late 1970s, the use of inhalants has increased among teenagers. Inhalants encompass a range of substances as diverse as glues, aerosols, butane, paint thinner, and nail polish remover. Use of inhalants has consistently been highest among 8th graders, likely because these products are inexpensive, legal, and easy to obtain, making them more attractive to younger adolescents who have less access to illicit drugs.

More than 70% of high school seniors in America have admitted to using alcohol in the past year, while nearly 50% have reported that they have had a drink in the past month. Most high school seniors are between the ages of 16 – 18 years old. The legal drinking age in the United States is 21 years of age. Therefore 7 out of 10 high school seniors have admitted to breaking the law by underage consumption of alcoholic beverages in the past year and half have admitted to having a drink recently.

Worldwide, more than 2/3 of all countries have a cocaine problem. By conservative estimates, there are over 2 million cocaine addicts in the United States alone.

Seven of the 20 countries designated by the President as major drug transit or major illicit drug-producing nations are located in Latin America-Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela. The strategic deployment of approximately 38 percent of DEA’s foreign workforce to Latin America is testament to the important role the region plays in feeding America’s appetite for drugs.

Latin America is the source of all cocaine, most of the heroin, and significant amounts of marijuana consumed in the United States. Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru remain the primary centers of cocaine production, although DEA remains concerned about the production potential of other countries in the region. Cocaine continues to be produced in Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru in vast quantities to supply the United States’ and world’s demand. Non-existent 10 years ago, heroin produced in Colombia now supplies over 50 percent of the United States’ heroin market.

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, over 22 million Americans need treatment for a drug or alcohol problem!

The World Health Organization estimates that 1.1 billion people smoke, about one-third of the global population aged 15 and older. In the United States, over 25 million men and over 21 million women smoke tobacco products.

During the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in adult obesity in the United States. Approximately 127 million adults in the U.S. are overweight, 60 million obese, and 9 million severely obese. There has also been a dramatic increase in childhood obesity in the last decade. Childhood obesity rates have quadrupled in the last twenty five years. Diabetes, hypertension and other obesity-related chronic diseases that are prevalent among adults have now become more common in youngsters.

Alcoholism and drug addiction are impacting families and communities around the world. Here in affluent America, we are drinking, drugging, smoking and overeating ourselves to death.

You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them…

People turn to idols because they are seeking pleasure or comfort apart from God. When trials and troubles come, when you experience emotional or physical pain, when you are lonely or bored, where do you find your comfort? Do you smoke cigarettes or eat junk food when you are nervous? Do you have a few beers or watch pornography when you are lonely or feel rejected?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11

Those who have placed their trust in the finished work of Messiah Jesus are not only promised a full and abundant life but will experience an eternity of pleasures.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Our God is the God of all comfort and the Father of all compassion. When we stand in faith, we will experience an abundant life and we will experience an eternity of joy in God’s presence.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6

If we stand in faith in the midst of our circumstances and hardships, we will be pleasing to God and will reap rewards. But the LORD our God is a jealous God who punishes those who are guilty of idolatry to the third and fourth generation. Have you sought pleasure or comfort by drinking, gambling, drugging, smoking cigarettes, by overeating or indulging in pornography? Are you a workaholic or a shopaholic? Who are you serving?

Why is idolatry such an abomination before the LORD? The Apostle Paul exhorts us to flee from idolatry. In speaking about the communion table Paul wrote:

Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 1 Corinthians 10:19-21

Addictions and compulsive behaviors are not only physical bondages but demonic strongholds.

Pharmakeia is a word found three times in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. It is the root word from which we get our English word pharmacy or pharmacist. Pharmakeia is translated as witchcraft or sorcery. It speaks of the occult magical arts which are often found in connection with idolatry. Drug and alcohol abuse including nicotine and caffeine addictions, like witchcraft, are powerful, demonic strongholds.

Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:16

Here in America and around the world, people are drinking, drugging, smoking and overeating themselves to death. They are in bondage to their addictions and compulsive behaviors and are enslaved by sin which leads to death. Many are unknowingly offering up their bodies as sacrifices to demons. Not only are they slaves to their addictions and guilty of idolatry, they have placed a curse on their families which extends to the third and fourth generation.

The prophet Hosea warns us that the people of God are destroyed from lack of knowledge.

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16

We who have put our trust in the finished work of redemption that Christ accomplished on the cross are not in darkness. We are no longer ignorant as God’s elect. We must walk in the light as He is in the light. We and our children, and our children’s children do not have to be destroyed for lack of knowledge. We must no longer conform to evil desires. We need not be enslaved. We must not serve other gods. We need to be obedient children and be holy as our heavenly Father is holy.

“Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 2 Corinthians 6:17

Are we willing to commit to living a life worth of our calling and seek purity as did King David who proclaimed:

I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will sing praise.
I will be careful to lead a blameless life- when will you come to me?
I will walk in my house with blameless heart. I will set before my eyes no vile thing.
The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me.
Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil.
Psalm 101:1-4

Anointed to Walk in the Power of the Spirit through Fasting and Prayer

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?…” Isaiah 58:6

Fasting and prayer are powerful spiritual weapons that can set the oppressed free from every yoke and bondage of sin. Jesus himself fasted for 40 days.

Luke 4:14-21
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit …

Jesus had been baptized by John. This was not for the remission of His sins because He was sinless, but to fulfill all righteousness. And afterwards, as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. Full of the Holy Spirit, He returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he fasted and was tempted by the devil. Then Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.

These significant, historical events occurred in accordance to the liturgical cycle of Scripture readings in the synagogues. From the times of the Babylonian captivity to this very day, each Sabbath weekly portions of the Sefer Torah or scroll containing the Five Books of Moses is read in every synagogue throughout the world. Not only are the books from Genesis through Deuteronomy read annually, but portions of the Scroll of the Prophets are read each Sabbath as well.

The reading of the Haftorah dates back to the era of the Greek empire. The enemies of God’s chosen people recognized the vitality of the Torah and banned the reading of the weekly Torah portion. In response, the Rabbis of those days substituted the reading of a segment from the Prophets, commonly known as the Haftorah. They carefully chose specific sections of the Prophets which correspond to the sedra (weekly portion) and intended through this to capture the lessons of the weekly Torah portion. Although the Torah reading has been restored, the Haftorah remains an integral part of Shabbos (Sabbath) and Yom Tov (holiday) experience.

Luke 3:4-6
As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
“A voice of one calling in the desert, `Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.’ ”

John was preaching from Isaiah 40:3-5. Isaiah 40:1-26 is the passage of Scripture read from the scroll of the prophets on the first Sabbath after Tisha B’Av. Tisha B’Av, the Fast of the ninth day of the fifth month, is a day of mourning to commemorate the many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people, especially the destruction of the First and Second Temples. There are seven readings from Isaiah between Tisha B’Av and Rosh HaShana. These passages span from Isaiah 40 through Isaiah 63.

After Jesus’ baptism, His forty days of fasting in the desert, and time spent preaching in the synagogues in the Galilee, His return to His hometown synagogue in Nazareth would have marked the end of seven week period between Tisha B’Av and the Sabbath before Rosh HaShana.

The destruction of Solomon’s Temple by the Babylonians was a judgment of God due to the sin of the nation of Judah. More than a century earlier, the Northern Tribes were taken into captivity by Assyria for their idolatries. John’s crying out in the wilderness was a call to repentance and spiritual preparation for the coming Messiah Jesus. It was initiated on a day of great mourning and fasting.

Seven weeks later, Yeshua – Jesus, whose name means salvation, read from Yeshayahu HaNovi – Isaiah the Prophet, whose name means -G-d is Salvation. Jesus read from Isaiah 61 verse one and the first half of verse two. He proclaimed the year of the LORD’s favor, but did not go on to pronounce the “day of God’s vengeance.”

Rosh HaShana commences the Ten Days of Awe. These ten days are the most solemn and introspective on the Hebrew Calendar. They mark the days between the New Year and the Day of Atonement. Yom Kippur is the most holy, most solemn day for the Jewish people. It is the last day of the High Holy Days which began on Rosh HaShanah. Many Jewish people spend the entire day in the synagogue, praying and fasting in the hope that their sins will be forgiven and that they will be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life for the coming year.

Tisha B’Av was the day that John the Baptist proclaimed that he was a voice crying out in the wilderness. It was a day of mourning and fasting. It was a call to turn from sin. Jesus proclaimed that He was the Messiah on the Sabbath before the Ten Days of Awe.
These days of repentance culminated on Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is a day set aside to “afflict the soul,” to fast and pray.

Jesus is the Anointed On. He is the Messiah. He was anointed to preach the good news, the gospel. He was sent to set the captives free.

But first, in order to receive Him, the people’s hearts had to be readied through prayer, fasting and repentance.

Joel 1: 5, 14
Wake up, you drunkards, and weep!
Wail, all you drinkers of wine; wail because of the new wine, for it has been snatched from your lips.

Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly.  Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.

The first time in Scripture that we see the LORD ordaining a fast is when the nation had turned from their God and were drunk with wine.

2 Corinthians 10:4
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

Fasting and prayer are powerful spiritual weapons to demolish the strongholds of alcoholism and other drug addictions.

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