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Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, evidence of things not seen.”

The foundation of our relationship with God is our faith. God is good (Psalm 136:1), and everything that God wants to do in our lives is good. And the truth is, that in this life everything that we receive from God is acquired by faith. Fear is also faith, only it is in what the devil wants to do; or in the negative. Any time we choose not to believe God it is called unbelief. God gave the Israelite’s a promise to enter into the “promised land.” But in Hebrews 3:19, God says that they were not able to enter into the promise that He gave them because of their unbelief. Jesus would ask his disciples, “Why are you so faithless?” You see fear and faith in God cannot coexist- they work against each other.

Like faith, fear is a substance. Satan has no power in our lives except through our agreement. Fear is agreeing with any suggestion that the enemy is making that opposes the promises of God and will try to cause our heart to come into agreement with his intimidating suggestions.

Unbelief or fear is safe because it takes no risk and always gets what it expects. Then, after a person gets the manifestation of their unbelief they say, “I knew it.” Which proves what Jesus meant by saying in Matthew 9:29,”It will be done unto you according to your faith.” Fear is faith only in the negative.

Faith offends the religious and the comfortable. Just like in Jesus’ day it was the religious that were offended by his ministry. Jesus said in Luke 18:8, that upon His return, He would be looking for people of faith, the kind of faith that He displayed. In John 14:12 Jesus makes it very clear that we can minister and live in the same kind of faith. “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me, the works that I do they can do also; and greater”(in quantity). The reality is that the outcome of our trials is the evidence of our faith, usually indicating for most of us that we have not arrived and are in need of growing our faith. I like what Bill Johnson says in saying, “After I pray for someone’s healing and there is no change, I don’t point a finger at them, I look in the mirror and ask why?”

God has called us to live a life that is totally dependent on Him and His unwavering power, love, and ability. Let’s be those people that step out, take risk, get out of our comfort zones, and have faith in God. Faith that does the impossible, changes the natural and amazes the skeptics. Whatever your circumstance today, I encourage you to believe that “Nothing is impossible for them that believe”(Mark 9:23).

My prayer for you today is that you will continue to grow your faith by trusting God and His Word, that you would be so full of God’s Word that when trouble’s come you already have the evidence of your faith in you.

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

Luke 5:37- “No one puts new wine into old wine skins…. verse 38 But new wine must be put into new wine skins, and both are preserved.”

Here in Luke 5, Jesus tells us that NO ONE (including God) will put NEW WINE into old wine skins. One of the references in the Bible to the Holy Spirit is WINE. We see in Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit was poured out, the believers had an intoxicating experience and expression. This was NEW WINE being poured into a new wine skin. This was a new experience, a new encounter, it had never been done like this before. Yet it was God. But at the time of this NEW WINE we see the religious skeptics response in Acts 2:13, “these men are full of NEW WINE.” Meaning it to be a judgement and criticism about something they didn’t understand. But it was true, these believers were full of NEW WINE. These religious skeptics still exist today. They have already come against me and what God is doing in this NEW WINE SKIN. They are nothing but old wine skins, but their disapproving keeps me encouraged. The thing that we have to always understand is that everything God does, He does out of love and for the purpose of love. A wine skin becomes old because the wine steward (believer) fails to keep the skin oiled, causing it to get dried up, brittle and rigid (religious). When the skin became this dry it no longer had any capacity to stretch or expand – it was at its limit. As believers if we don’t stay oiled up with the presence of the Holy Spirit we become the same way – dried up, rigid, and we lose the capacity to stretch and expand our thinking or the ability to receive what God is doing. This is nothing new. In past moves of God, typically the people that were involved in the last move became stuck and became critical of the new thing that God was doing. When all along God is wanting everyone to be included in the NEW WINE being poured out.

In order for us to expand and enlarge our capacity for NEW WINE, we have to keep our wine skin oiled and filled with the Holy Spirit. Anytime we become critical of something that we don’t understand it’s an indication of our Holy Spirit tank being low and in need of filling. God wants 2018 to be a year for us to have great encounters with Him. Great encounters always bring about great experiences and expressions of the Holy Spirit. This NEW WINE outpouring of God’s can only be experienced in new wine skins. In other words, we cannot allow ourselves to become religious, dry, or rigid. These attitudes of, “I know it all”, “I know how God moves”, “I must understand it to believe it” or “it’s never been done like that before” are all old judgmental wine skins and religious attitudes. Having an old wine skin attitude says, “I want God to be predictable.” We must not allow ourselves to come close to having this attitude. It will stifle our ability to grow and expand in our relationship with our Father.

The condition of the wine skin always determines its ability to contain the contents. Jesus said in Luke 5 that when the wine skin is able to contain NEW WINE, both the WINE and wine skin are preserved. When we keep our expectations up, open, and receptive to everything and anything that God is wanting to do, it preserves our natural lives as well as our spiritual lives – giving us the capacity to go to a greater level of experience with God.

Allow this year to be the year of NEW WINE for yourself. 2018 can be the year of NEW encounters, NEW experiences, and NEW life with God, that will not only preserve your life but the lives of many others because of your acceptance of God’s NEW WINE.

My prayer for you today is that you will constantly be being filled with the Holy Spirit and that NEW WINE will be poured into you so that you can overflow onto others.

WE LOVE YOU!

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

Ephesians 4:11,12 – “And Jesus gave these gifts, some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the working of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ.”

Before we look into this word I want to say a couple of things. I Love the Word of God. I Love the Church. I’ve given the last thirty years of my life to serving the people of the Church. I especially love the body that I lead, The Presence Dallas. I Love the Body of Christ that Jesus gave His life to establish. This is why I need to share this word.

If you grew up in the circle of faith that I did as a young believer, there was a culture established that you accepted as right because you didn’t know any better. I find it very shocking though that here we are years later, and this attitude still exist. And most believers still accept it and submit to it. The truth is that the world has its stars and idols, but the Church is not any different. We have our share of star’s and idols too. Don’t get me wrong, gifts from God are always to be respected and honored. In fact, the apostle Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 5:17 that those who lead the church are worthy of double honor, especially those that preach and teach. What I want us to see here is what I call the “man of God” attitude. We show up to see and hear what the “man of God” is going to do and say. The attitude that the “man of God” is the only one that can truly speak or prophecy for God. This attitude is so religious and anti-Bible. It is unhealthy and an epidemic in the Body of Christ, especially Dallas. Anytime we are in an environment that is not training and equipping the body to do ministry, it is an unhealthy place. Because what is really happening is that dependents and orphans are being normalized instead of sons and daughters being validated. All believers are called to be ministers (2 Corinthians 5:18). Church is supposed to be a place of equipping – not spectating. Because we have a real enemy and we are in a war, we must be in churches of equipping. That is why, if we are casual in our church life, our lives will be a casualty. We have been called to participate with God in building His Kingdom – this is the greatest privilege on earth. After “Pastoring” for a few years, I came to realize that if I wasn’t equipping people to be ministers then I was simply building my kingdom (following) and not our Father’s. I realized that all legitimate ministers were called to equip others and not to grow people to just be their dependents. Dependent upon me for their next meal, their next prophecy, their next prayer, etc. I saw that when “men of God” do this (making dependents instead of equipping ministers), it was out of their own need and insecurity – the need to feel needed by the people and their need for the people to meet their needs. When this attitude exists, it keeps people (and the body) weak and ineffective in the mission of building God’s Kingdom. This is the last thing I want for us at The Presence Dallas or that God wants for the Body of Christ.

What the apostle Paul is teaching us here in Ephesians chapter 4 is that legitimate ministry gifts from God train and equip others to do what they do. In other words, a Pastor TRAINS people to love, shepherd and nurture other people. An Evangelist TRAINS people how to evangelize and reach the lost. An Apostle empowers and TRAINS others in their gifting’s. A true Prophet TRAINS others how to prophecy. What we have settled for in the Body of Christ is “watching” these gifts put on display instead of requiring these gifts to train us. The old saying, “what is more important, giving a man a fish or teaching him how to fish?” This is true concerning the ministry gifts equipping others to be ministers. As a Pastor my first and foremost joy is in providing TRAINING for those under my authority to fulfill the destinies on their lives. The Church is not to be an entertainment center that we attend for our viewing pleasure. It’s to be a TRAINING center, equipping soldiers for the army of God, to fulfill their God ordained destinies. Taking back what the devil has stolen – lives of men, women, boys, and girls.

The apostle Paul teaches us here in Ephesians 4 that the body is made whole by us coming together and each member functioning in their gifting’s. Each of us carry a different expression of who God is, and if you are not present (in church) then you and the body is not as strong as it can be. The apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 14:26, “When you come together (in church), each of you has a song, has a teaching, has a tongue, has an interpretation, a prophecy, a revelation. Let all things be done for edification.” This environment only occurs by us first being equipped and activated to be who God has called us to be in His Kingdom.

I encourage you today to find a Pastor who has a heart to help you find God’s destiny for your life – not his. Every person (believer and unbeliever) has a God-designed destiny and our lives will never be fulfilled until we step into it. I encourage you to not be a spectator but allow yourself to be equipped to be all that God has called you to be. You are an important member of the body and the church is more complete and made stronger by your participation and the expression of who God is through you.

My prayer for you today is that you will sincerely find where you belong and be quipped to fulfill God’s destiny on your life. When you do, you will be so happy that you did.

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

2 Corinthians 3:18 – “So all of us who have had the veil removed can see and reflect the GLORY of the Lord. And the Lord -who is the Spirit- makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.”

Just like growing up in the natural, from childhood to an adult, there are progressive steps to maturity in Christ. The failure to know these steps is probably the reason for many believers defeat and failure to live in victory. Our goal is to grow to the place where the GLORY of the Lord is experienced in our lives and seen on our lives. The Apostle Paul said that we are to “clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14). As we grow from glory to glory we will ascend the mountain of the Lord (Exodus 19:3) while conquering the enemies that have been assigned to us by Satan.

The first step toward success on any journey is in understanding where we are going. For every one of us that call ourselves a follower of Christ, the goal must be to have an intimate relationship with God. The reason why so many do not make it up the mountain to the glory of God is that they settle for a dry dead religious life (which is not life) instead of pursuing the relationship that God desires to have with them. The goal of our journey is to become like Him. It’s only out of intimacy with God that we will become like Him. Intimacy is the reason Jesus called the original twelve unto Himself (Mark 3:13). God’s whole intent in redemption is to re-establish us, His creation, back to the place that Adam lost in the garden before the fall. Relationship, walking with God, obeying Him, and fulfilling the mandate to rule on earth (Gen.1:26) is the reason of our journey.

We see the relationship that Adam had before the fall, but in the new covenant, by the riches of God’s grace, we see that God not only restores us back to the condition that Adam had. We are now “New Creations” that not only can walk with God as Adam did but we now actually have God living in us! (Romans 8:11) God has made us His temple and God NOW dwells in us! Jesus actually said that the same GLORY that He had is the same GLORY that He gave us (John 17:22). The GLORY that Jesus gave us is the same GLORY that He possessed. GLORY means Dignity and Honor in the Greek. This is the “New Creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). When we realize this truth, it wipes out and obliterates the religious idea of unworthiness. With God there is no such thing as an unworthy “New Creation.”

The Lord created man for the purpose of relationship and Moses had one of the most special relationships with God. Moses will demonstrate to us how to live in the GLORY of the Lord. Exodus 33:9-11 states, “And it came about, whenever Moses entered the tent (the place of worship and prayer) the Lord would speak with Moses. The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, just like a man speaks to his friend.” That’s pretty awesome but that was an old covenant relationship, and we have a better covenant with better promises. (Hebrews 8:6) Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 3:10 of how much richer our relationship should be, “For what was glorious (old covenant relationship) has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing GLORY of the new covenant relationship.” The Bible tells us that after Moses had these encounters with God that the visible glory of God could be seen on His face. But in the new covenant that cannot compare to the GLORY we live in. Because we do not just meet with God face to face periodically, we have Him living, walking, and speaking inside of us continually. He does not just descend to meet with us – He dwells with us!

Because Moses met with God face to face it says that his face shone with the glory of God. However, since God dwells in us, our whole lives should reflect a GREATER GLORY (Dignity and Honor), not just on our countenance but in everything that we do. This is the journey, our calling – to be His temple (a place of prayer and worship) the place where His GLORY is manifested. Our maturity will be reflected by how much of His GLORY is manifested through our lives. The reality of this should be as clear on Monday morning as it is on Sunday morning.

My prayer for you today is that the revelation of God’s Glory living in you will transform how you see yourself and will change how you live to reflect the Glory of God.

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

James 1:2-3 (NIV)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

When writing a blog, my attempt is to be completely transparent. I am a wife, mother, daughter, employee, daycare, nail technician, taxi, and many more fun titles behind my name. And I didn’t even graduate from college! I deal with the everyday things in life. The never-ending piles of laundry, knowing the last day you can pay a bill before getting a late fee, cutting coupons with the intent to save money only to leave them at home and convincing myself that popcorn and yogurt is a balanced meal. But on the real, the pursuit to be perfect and attain affirmation has to be my biggest stronghold.

This past Sunday, I was in my bathroom putting on my make-up. I had the door closed and it was quiet. Anyone with children knows this is a very rare commodity. Back to the make-up…so during application I heard a rustling at the bottom of the door and then it went away. When I opened the door, on the floor was a folded piece of paper. I opened it and it read, “You make me happy Mimi”. My heart melted. What perfect timing. Like most families, our Sunday mornings are crazy.

I sat the note on my dresser and it hit me. (Please note this has no reflection on my eldest daughter just a revelation from God.) So many times, in life we are looking for someone else or something else to make us happy or affirm us. We seek the approval from man thinking this will solve our problems. Often, we search for it in all the wrong people, places, or ways. Galatians 1:10 reads, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

After going through a divorce, a couple of years ago, I thought drinking would be my cure all. (This was before I had Amiyah.) Drinking made me feel all happy, so I thought. Sometimes I would wake up and not even remember how I got home. I found I had to have a buzz to do my job as a server at a restaurant. I had to have a bottle of Crown to get through a family reunion. I was just so happy!

But thank God for His Word. Through it all I always had the Holy Spirit speaking to me. The foundation that was formed during my childhood never crumbled. His Word is truth and His promises never cease. The Word says in John 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Just as it is easy to expect other people to make you happy, it is easy to blame someone else for your unhappiness. It’s time to take personal responsibility to improve who you are. “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

John 16:33 tells us, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” My prayer for you today is for you to recognize your worth. You don’t need to seek your happiness from someone or something else. That you know who you are in Christ.

All For Him,

Melissa Byers-Bond

Hebrews 4:12 – “For the Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than a DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD, it cuts between soul and spirit…”

Recently there has been a truth stirring in me. And as God has been inspiring me with this truth there has also been some frustration rising in me as well. Many doctrines or Biblical truths in the Word of God carry a double-edged meaning. In other words, they have more than one interpretation or more than one application to life. This truth that I’ve been drawn to recently, is God’s grace. This is one of those truths with a double-sided meaning. And as humans, we tend to gravitate to the side that makes us more comfortable. But in order to get a complete picture of God and what He wants to do, we must see both sides of a truth.

You’ve heard the saying, “there are two sides of every story.” There are two sides of GRACE – although our church culture today and several big-name TV pastors only emphasize one side. Any time there is one side of a truth over emphasized we get out of balance. Just like a car with one tire out of balance, it makes the ride very rough and can cause injury. Webster’s dictionary says that being out-of-balance makes something less powerful. And this out-of-balanced teaching that has become popular today has done exactly that in the body of Christ. It has made the church less powerful. This form of grace that is being propagated from many denominational pulpits and now from some of the biggest non-denominational TV pastors is a hyper-grace that is out-of-balance. The idea that we can live anyway we want and God’s grace covers it, is a lie from the pit of hell! But most believers believe it. That’s called living with less power than God intended. The truth has not changed, “the consequences of sin is death (Romans 6:23).” The same consequence that Adam experienced in the garden. When we WILLINGLY live contrary to holiness, (there I said it) – when we willingly live contrary to HOLINESS we will suffer the loss of relationship with the HOLY GOD. God says in Hebrews 12:14 – “For those who are not HOLY, WILL NOT see the Lord.” I know a believer who was a faithful church member and walking with the Lord for over thirty years, she told me that her living in adultery was okay because the grace of God covers her. This hyper-grace really is nothing new. Because of the flesh, it’s been around since the beginning of the church. The first Apostles had to deal with it. The Bible is very clear, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and look for teachers who will teach what their itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3). This is what is happening today. It attracts a big following. Because this issue existed in the early church the Apostle Paul tells us, that if anyone teaches contrary to what they, the apostles have taught, have nothing to do with them (Galatians 1:9). That is a serious warning from the Apostle who wrote two-thirds of the new testament. This is out-of-balanced teaching that says, “because of the grace of God all my sins are covered so it doesn’t matter what I do or how I live.” It’s on Christian TV. I just heard it last weekend. The Apostles of the Bible did not believe that lie nor did they teach it. Consider this, Galatians 5:19-21 was written to the church – to people who called themselves believers. “The acts of the flesh are obvious; sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures; idolatry, sorcery, hostility, discord (people who cause division in church) jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties. I warn you, AS I DID BEFORE, those who live like this WILL NOT inherit the Kingdom of God.” Again, Paul is writing to church people and it’s obvious that he did not believe in hyper-grace. Neither did the founding Apostles believe in Calvinism, who is the author of this modern hyper-grace teaching. Since when are we supposed to give more consideration to a man’s teaching over God’s Word?

Serving God is submitting 100% of our will to His!

It is true that the word grace does carry a double-sided meaning, but we can’t over emphasize one side. The double-sided definition for grace (charis) is graciousness. Praise God that He is gracious – which means that He doesn’t judge us with some form of punishment. The grace of God gives us what we don’t deserve, Salvation, Faith, Favor, Love and Mercy. Because grace is the character of God so when we sin God extends grace instead of judgement believing that His love and grace will bring us to repentance. Praise God for the graciousness of God. But always remember that living a life contrary to the will of God carries its own consequences (Romans 6:23). God doesn’t have to bring punishment. But the other side of grace, the definition of charis, which gets overlooked and rarely taught is EMPOWERMENT. EMPOWERMENT to not fulfill the weakness of the flesh but to live according to the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). I believe that if there is going to be an emphasis, let’s put the emphasis on this side of grace, the EMPOWERMENT side. A recent survey found that 98% of “born-again” believers understand the graciousness side of grace but had no understanding of the empowering side of grace. We need a revival of GRACE! The true grace of God. The grace of God that is merciful and gracious when we miss it but also the grace of God that EMPOWERS us to live overcoming lives. In other words, the grace of God is not an excuse for me to sin but rather the EMPOWERMENT to overcome sin. REVIVAL is not an event, it is a lifestyle! We need a revival of the grace of God.

Because we are the recipients of grace, so the greatest expression of grace is in how we treat each other!

As children of God, our main purpose is to experience relationship with The Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. We are to carry them into every part of our lives. What a privilege. When you truly understand that, you know that every part of our lives is to become a reflection of Him. In knowing that, Jesus makes it clear that He did not believe in this form of hyper-grace being taught today. In John 14:21 Jesus tells us, “Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and REVEAL MYSELF to them.” Love without accountability produces dysfunctional relationships. And God refuses to condone dysfunction. When I married Sue, I told her “I promise to be faithful to you and to not entertain any others because I love you.” If I was not to keep my word, that would be unfaithful and unloving. Remember our purpose is to live in His presence and reveal Him unto others, by how we live. Jesus makes it clear that He will only reveal Himself to those who obey His commands. Because He says that those who obey His commands are the ones who love Him. Have you ever been in a worship service where there was no anointing, no obvious presence of God? David tells us why in Psalm 24:3,4 “Who can ascend the mountain (presence) of the Lord? Who may stand in His (presence) HOLY PLACE?  The one who has clean hands and a pure heart.” Jesus makes it clear that the people who obey His commands are the people that He will make Himself apparent to and reveal Himself to. Only those who hear and keep Jesus’ commands will experience His manifest presence. Whether you realize it or not that is why we are here, to live in His presence. Let’s become people that are so full of the grace of God that we despise sin and the thought of violating our relationship with our Lord. The other side of grace says, “My grace is all you need, for my power (grace) works best in your weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). God’s grace empowers us to stand up against temptation and to overcome the weakness of the flesh. Grace gives us the ability to go beyond our natural ability and tap into His supernatural ability, that’s His GRACE. “For by GRACE you are saved, it’s not of yourself, it (grace) is the gift of God.” God’s grace is the gift that saved us, now empowering us to live out the life of Christ. Grace was the impartation of the fullness of Christ at the time of accepting Him. We are saved by grace, we live by grace and we are EMPOWERED by GRACE! Let’s be like the Apostles that turned the world right side up by the grace of God.

My prayer for you today is that you will look to the God of grace to overcome every temptation and live a life that reflects who He is.

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

1 Peter 1:23 -“Having been born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the Word of God, which lives and abides forever.”

You won’t really get excited about the Word of God until you realize that it’s more than just a collection of divinely-inspired promises. It’s a living force that literally carries within it the power to make every promise become a reality in your life.

Is it tough for you to believe such a thing is possible? It shouldn’t be. You see it happens in the natural world all the time.

If I were to put a tomato seed in your hand and tell you that within that tiny, dry seed lies the power to produce a stalk thousands of times bigger than the seed. The ability to produce leaves and roots and round red tomatoes, you wouldn’t have any trouble believing that, would you? You know from experience that even though that scrawny seed doesn’t look like a tomato, somehow, given the right environment, it will become one. Jesus says that the Word of God works by that same principle (Matthew 13:1-9). There’s miraculous power within it. It is supernatural seed that once it is planted by faith in a human heart, will produce more blessings than you can imagine.

Once you grasp that, you’ll get extremely excited about the Word of God. That’s what happened to me. Over 30 years ago, I caught a glimpse of what the Word could do. I got a revelation of the power within it. I became addicted to the Word of God and it has totally transformed and changed me and how I look at life and has totally affected the results of my life.

After I understood this truth, I spent every possible moment in the Word of God because I wanted the power of that Word inside me more than I wanted anything else in the world. I knew it would blow the limits off my life, limits that had held me back and kept me down for years. I knew that when I read it, I wasn’t just reading, I was planting seeds. Seeds of prosperity, seeds of health, seeds of greatness, and seeds of victory for every area of my life. In the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom that we live in, there is no such thing as shortage. Where the shortage is, is in us. For most people there is a shortage of the Word that accesses all the resources of the Kingdom. Any time there is lack in our lives it’s an indication of a lack of the Word in our lives. Everything that God has is available to you but must be acquired by faith (Hebrews 11:6). Ramp up your faith by being filled with the Word (Romans 10:17)

Don’t treat the Word of God like a book. It’s not! It’s spiritual seed that has the supernatural power within it to produce a harvest for a lifetime. I encourage you today to get excited about the Word of God and start planting today!

My prayer for you today is that God would open the eyes of your understanding and give you wisdom and revelation knowledge of Him and the power of His Word in your life.

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

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!”