March 2018

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Matthew 28:6 “He is not here; He has risen, just as He said.”

What would I do if someone I knew died and came back to life? Especially if before he passed he had said he would. Sure, when they initially told me I would doubt them and question their sanity. But what would I do when after a couple of nights in the grave they came back like they said? Seriously, what would I do? What would you do? Wouldn’t we tell everyone? That’s exactly what the original disciples did. Why else are we here? To make another buck, buy a bigger home, pay bills, you name it, aren’t all these temporary reasons for existence? The Apostle Paul reminds us, “I press on toward the prize of the HIGH CALLING” (Philippians 3:14). Aren’t we all here for a bigger and grander purpose than ourselves? If the world didn’t need us to proclaim Christ, then God would have taken us home at the time of our conversion. But He left us here because He CALLED US to this purpose, to shout the truth of the miracle of our Lord’s resurrection, as if we just experienced it and saw it with our own eyes. Jesus told Thomas after His resurrection, BLESSED are those who haven’t seen and yet believe”(John 20:29).

I can tell you from experience that the greatest JOY and BLESSING on earth is not in getting that new job or pay raise or new car. Those are good and a testimony unto the Lord, but the greatest BLESSING is in leading someone from the deception of darkness to salvation in Christ.

One of the biggest problems I have observed in the church is the belief that the proclamation of the gospel is only assigned to the professional – Pastor/Evangelist. And if you’re like most, you picture a preacher standing behind a pulpit in a church. Or maybe some young zealots going door to door with gospel tracks and a Bible in hand. But why do we not consider ourselves as evangelist? Consider the wisdom of Solomon in Proverbs 24:11 “Rescue those being led away to death; save those staggering toward slaughter.” The privilege of evangelism is entrusted to every one of us. You included! The Apostle Paul tells us that “Christ called us ALL to the ministry of RECONCILIATION”(2 Corinthians 5:18).

There is an urgency attached to the gospel. But when we stay quiet, we are the ones not holding back those staggering to the slaughter. Our silence is one of the greatest crimes we could ever commit. There are unbelievers, even in America who have never heard THE TRUTH of the love of Christ. When we share the love of Jesus, when we invite someone to church, or share our story, we’re planting seeds in a moment that cannot be taken back or relived. God is faithful to open opportunities for those who are looking. Because He says in 2 Peter 3:9 “That He is not wanting any to perish.” He has entrusted us with His hope, His Word, and His love to give to others. You never know what lies on the other side of your faith and obedience. Where would you be today if someone had not shared their story with you? If we say we “follow” Jesus but don’t feel compelled to share His love – it is time to re-evaluate who we’re really living for and what we really believe.

After Jesus’ resurrection He instructed His followers (which includes you and me) of OUR CALLING – Mark 16:15 “Go into all the world and share the gospel with EVERYONE!” So, when was the last time you shared the good news of Christ with someone? Remember It is not our job to save anyone. Our only responsibility is to plant seeds. Obedience to share the love of Christ is all God requires of us. It may feel a bit out of your comfort zone, but remember, only those who take risk receive reward. During this Easter week, the week that we celebrate our Lord’s resurrection, ask the Lord to reveal to you someone who needs to encounter His love. Keep your eyes and ears open to His prompting.

My prayer for you today is that the love of Christ will compel you to share His love with someone this week and every week.

Pointing People to Jesus,
Rocky Byers
“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Matthew 28:20 “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

God’s promise to us, “I will be with you,” is God assuring us of His faithfulness to meet our need for courage and empowering us to face everything that this life would throw at us, even the things that seem impossible. So, what do you do when you don’t have confidence in the midst of conflict?

There is no question that the Presence of God is what brings us great joy, comfort, and peace. The Presence of God will also give us confidence in the face of opposition and any less than favorable circumstance. Moses was called by God to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt to the Promised land. But in Exodus 33:3 God tells Moses “I will not go with you.” But remember that the reason Moses was in this position of leading the people of God was because of the encounter with God (God’s presence) that he experienced while in Midian on the other side of the desert on Mount Sinai while shepherding his father-in-law’s sheep (Exodus 3). This is where God gave Moses his assignment. Moses understood that without the presence of God he was doomed and the people that he was called to lead had no hope of making it. We must realize that as God’s people we are called by God our Father “to live and move and have our being with and through His presence”(Acts 17:28). So, Moses realizes that it is a failed mission to go forward without God’s presence. So, what does he do? It’s interesting. He has a conversation with God. He makes his request known. People that don’t understand the purpose of prayer usually go without God’s provision. They say things like, “If God knows my needs then why should I pray?” Moses understood his need for God’s presence so much that he told God, “if your presence doesn’t go with us, I’m not taking another step.” WOW! Why don’t you stop right where you are and ask God to confirm His presence with you before you take another step without Him. It’s a promise that if you ask He will answer. You see God knew Moses’ need and the Israelite’s need, but it wasn’t until AFTER Moses made his request that God told him in v.14, “My Presence will go with you, (you mean Moses changed God’s mind) and it (my presence) will give you rest (peace & confidence).” James tells us, “You have not, because you don’t ask” (James 4:2). God expects us to ask.

It is this revelation that enabled the exploits of the apostle Paul. It’s what strengthened a king named David. Moses needed this assurance. They all needed incredible courage to fulfill their callings.

This promise is given to everyone that calls on the name of the Lord. But why do some live with a greater sense of God’s Presence than others? My experience, SOME PLACE A HIGH VALUE ON THE PRESENCE OF GOD, and some don’t. Those that do, enjoy fellowship throughout their day with the Holy Spirit. They are extremely conscious of Him and how He feels about their WORDS, ATTITUDES and ACTIONS. The thought of grieving Holy Spirit brings great sorrow. This passion for the Presence of God will cause us to live in the place of confidence. “I am with you always…” becomes our reality that causes the supernatural life. Those with a passion for the Presence of God will be the ones with the constant activity of Holy Spirit working through them.

When you live with the assurance that Jesus, “will be with you always;” now these signs shall follow them that believe.

My prayer for you today is that you will receive the revelation of your need to seek God with your whole heart and desire His presence more than life itself, realizing that His presence is life.

Pointing People to Jesus,
Rocky Byers
“On earth as it is in Heaven!”

Ephesians 4:27 – ” Do not give place to the devil.”

If we guard every door, close every window, and seal every entry point that the enemy would try to access, we will never have to fall prey to the devil! One of the main entry points that the devil tries to access is our relationships. If there is an unresolved issue or conflict with a loved one, a friend, or a co-worker, these conflict points become entry points through which the devil can get a foothold in the relationship. This term “foothold” means that the devil has a stronghold on you, which will determine the direction of the relationship. Once the enemy is able to slip in through one of these cracks and build an offense in our minds, we’ve already begun to construct a wall that will eventually separate us from the people we need and love. The word “place” in Ephesians 4:27 means territory. Because the word “place” means territory we know that the devil is after every territory in our lives – our marriage, our money, our health, employment, business, and ministry. He is so territorial that he wants it all. Remember in Matthew 4, the devil told Jesus that if he would worship him that he would give Jesus the kingdoms (territories) of this world. The devil is after every territory that you have authority over. But in order for the devil to gain control of these territories in our lives he must find an entry point. When he does, now he can bring his devilish destruction (John 10:10).

How does the devil get these entry points? The devil attempts to enter our minds by making accusation against others. But because we are more than conquerors we do not have to fall victim to his plot. Because GREATER is He that is in you, than he (devil) that is in the world (1 John 4:4). We must choose not to give any territory or “place” to the devil. You have the power of choice. No one (including God or the devil) can take that away from you. Joshua said, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15). We can choose to give the enemy a place in our minds and our emotions or we can choose to walk in the Spirit. When we choose the lower road of the flesh and un-renewed emotions, we will end up doing and saying things that we will regret.

Let’s take a look at the word “devil”. In the Greek the word is diabolos. One of the definitions of the word diabolos is to make penetration. Once diabolos has located an entry point of offense he now has access to penetrate our minds and our emotions, to drive a wedge, build a wall between us and them (spouse, boss, friend, family member, co-worker). The enemy’s objective is to cause separation by accusing and making slanderous accusations. You know when the devil has made penetration because your whole perception of that person changes. Anytime you become nit-picky, negative and fault finding against the people that God has told you to honor and respect (Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:4, 1 Peter 3:1, Romans 12:10) you’ve allowed yourself to become more focused on a weakness instead of who they are. This is clear that the “accuser” has found an entry point to penetrate your relationship. I want to encourage you to stand up to the tricks and the lies of the enemy (Ephesians 6:11). Don’t allow conflict, disagreement, or disappointment to cause a wrong attitude that will ruin a relationship. Instead of meditating on all the bad things about that person, look in the mirror. Consider how many times you’ve let other people down; how many mistakes you’ve made in relationships; the times that you should have been held accountable but instead were given great mercy.

Ask the Holy Spirit to take that criticism out of your heart and to cause the love of God to take over. Pray for an opportunity to strengthen the relationship. Recognize the penetration points that the devil is attempting to enter into the middle of your relationships and decide “not to give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27).

My prayer for you today is that you will ask God to help you keep the doors to your heart and soul closed to the devil and open to Him. To help you stay free from offense, free from unforgiveness, and free from bitterness.

Point people to Jesus,
Rocky Byers 
“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

John 6:38 – “For I have come from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me.”

Before I came to Dallas God gave me a Word. He spoke to me. I have said many times, the only reason I’m here is because God spoke to me, He gave me a Word. Jesus emphasized the truth that He only did what the Father was telling Him to do. We have the privilege of this intimacy of relationship as sons and daughters of God. As Bible believing people we put great importance on reading the written Word of God – with good reason. It is the standard of life that we are called to live and the expression of who God is. But what happens when you need some insight, some direction that you can’t find in the book? It would be weird if communication with my wife or earthly father was only through written letters. Jesus said in John 10:27 – “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” I encourage you to slow down and receive the “Word from the Lord.” We pride ourselves on believing that we’re not religious. The truth is though, if we don’t have a relationship built on verbal communication with God, can we really say that we’re in relationship? God is still speaking to those who are listening.

The Israelite’s got a word from God. God wanted to free them from living in slavery. Incredible as it might seem, the Israelite’s were so used to living in slavery that they got angry when Moses wanted to lead them into freedom. In Exodus 5:21, the Israelite’s told Moses, “We hope that the Lord will punish…you.” I can’t imagine that, but the truth is for all of us, when we get so used to living with our problems, habits, and religious attitudes, many times we lose the desire to overcome them. That is exactly where the enemy wants you, complacent.

Ever wonder why some people go on to experience higher heights in their walk with God while some seem to just go in circles and never make progress? Some of the biggest mistakes that I have made is when I just went on what seemed right or looked best. Sure, sometimes we learn from our mistakes. But wouldn’t it be best to learn from hearing His voice.

This is what I have experienced and seen. Those that make progress are those that have made a commitment to pursuing God, until His presence becomes a reality in their lives. And as a result, God honors their commitment and hunger for Him. If you’ve grown complacent, God wants to re-energize you. Don’t settle for less than a living, breathing, walking, talking relationship with your Father. Press into God and listen to what He has to say. Then do what Jesus did. Do what He tells you. Father God sent Jesus for the sole purpose of doing His will. The greatest life that you will ever experience is in doing His will. I guarantee that your future will become the best years of your life. Part of your inheritance is in knowing His voice.

My prayer for you today is that you will realize that you have been invited by the God of the universe to live a life of communication with Him, the Almighty God. And that you will not settle for anything less. It’s your right as His child.

Pointing People to Jesus,
Rocky Byers
“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”