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Matthew 11:12 “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”

The Amplified Bible says, “A share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion.”

We must realize that the “Kingdom of Heaven” is our possession. Everything in heaven can be experienced now, in this life. Too many people put off experiencing heaven until after they die and leave earth. When our days on earth are done, there will be no resistance to experiencing heaven. Why wait when Jesus said in Matthew 6:10 that the will of God is to be as real to us on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus said, “Your Kingdom come!” What a promise!! That promise belongs to every believer. It’s unfortunate though, when we believe that every promise from God is His responsibility to deliver to us, no matter what. In other words, the belief that if God wants me to have something, He will just give it to me, is a false religious belief. Every promise from God is already available to every believer. It has been included in the redemption that Jesus gave His life for. The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 1:20 “For ALL of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “YES!” When Jesus said, “it is finished”, God’s promises were made complete and available to all of us.

But too many believers are like the Israelites. They are wandering around in a wilderness of defeat because there’s an enemy in the Promised Land. They are being robbed of their rightful inheritance because they’re too lazy or too afraid to fight him. They keep hoping that somehow, they will find a way in without using force – but they won’t. You have to make demands where Satan and his companions are keeping you from what belongs to you. Remember that the enemy is a thief, a robber, and a liar. He will lie to you and attempt to get you to believe that God’s promises aren’t for you. He will say things like, “You’re not good enough” or “that doesn’t happen anymore.” One of the biggest lies that he has gotten many to believe, “Those gifts and promises passed away with the apostles.” If that is true then God wasted a lot of time and effort writing two-thirds of the New Testament. He could have stopped writing after Christ’s resurrection.

When God sent the Israelites into Canaan, He said, “Send the armed men to go before you.” They were to go up armed, ready for the fight. He knew that they would have to fight to take the land. He never told them they wouldn’t have to fight, but He did promise they would win every time. The same is true for you. You can’t just lie down and play dead when you’re dealing with the devil. He’s not going to let you stroll into the “Promised Land” without a fight. He will attempt to keep you from every good thing you are entitled to in your life: your health, your finances, your joy, every good thing. He’s not going to give up unless you force him. That is why Jesus said, “The violent take it by force.”

Quit sitting in the wilderness looking at the Promised Land. Quit sitting around while the devil steals the blessings of God out from under you. You already have God’s promises, His power, and His authority – everything you need to take the land. Get violent enough to do something about it…today! Stand up in the authority of Jesus and command the devil to take his hands off what belongs to you. Walk into His promises for your life.

My prayer for you today is that you will rise up in “Holy Boldness” and stand up for what Jesus gave His life for – your inheritance. It is available NOW!

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

Acts 12:11 “Peter came to his senses, now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent His angel and rescued me from Herod and what the Jewish leaders had planned for me.”

Herod made it clear that Peter was not going to make it out of prison alive. But because God had a plan (a dream) for Peter’s life, He sent an angel to deliver Peter as he lay awaiting his execution. Our enemy is not flesh and blood like Herod, but we do have an enemy. Our enemy (the devil) is attempting to keep us from the dream that God has for our lives. Our enemy loves to see us in bondage to fear and doubt which leads to the prison of discouragement.

I have adopted this statement as my life creed and you are welcome to use it to motivate yourself too. “Dream Big and Be Unrealistic!” God has big plans for your life. God told Isaiah, “My thoughts are nothing like yours and my ways are far beyond (bigger) than anything you could imagine” (Isaiah 55:8). God has no small ideas or small people. Your life has the capacity to be filled with God and His thoughts, ideas, and ways (1 John 4:4). He has plans for you! And His plans are good (not bad). His plans are to give you a future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11). I encourage you to dream big! You serve a big God who is able and willing to do exceedingly, abundantly more than you could ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). In other words, be unrealistic!

The devil will use fear and doubt to keep you in bondage – to prevent you from moving forward in God’s plan for your life. He will lie to you in order to get you to give up on your dream. He knows that if he can convince you that your dreams are not possible, he wins.

Fear is the enemy’s biggest weapon. Fear that you’re not good enough, smart enough or anointed enough. Fear that you do not have what it takes to be successful. The fear of failure and fear of what others might think will keep us in bondage unless we recognize them for what they are, lies of the enemy. Fear is closely associated with the enemy’s next tactic, doubt. He will attempt to get you to doubt God’s love. He will tempt you to question if God loves you enough to see your dream come to pass. Remember, it is your Father who put that dream in your heart (Psalm 37:4) and he always finishes what he starts! If it’s bigger then you then it’s God. So, dream big!

If the enemy can’t get us to doubt God then he will try to get us to doubt ourselves. For most of us, we are easy targets. He will question your talent, your gifting and even the call of God on your life. The Apostle Paul spoke about himself in 1 Corinthians 2:4 saying, “My speech and my message were not with persuasive words of wisdom (I’m not very smart), but I relied on the power of the Holy Spirit.” And we know that God used the Apostle Paul to write two-thirds of the new testament. The Holy Spirit that Paul depended on is the same Holy Spirit that lives in you to empower you to walk out the plan of God for your life. Doubt and fear are both attacks from the enemy to keep you shackled in prison. But faith in God and His Word are always the antidote to the enemy’s intimidation of fear and doubt.

As Peter sat in prison awaiting his execution the Bible says that “suddenly” the light came shining through. No matter how dark your prison might seem or how far away your dream looks, our Father is the God of the “suddenlies“. God says in Isaiah 29:5 “But suddenly your enemies will be crushed like fine dust. Your attackers will be driven away like chaff, suddenly in an instant.” “Suddenly” the light shone around Peter freeing him from the chains of fear and doubt. As we place our faith in God’s Word it becomes the light that will set us free and lead us out of any prison (Psalm 119:105).

My prayer for you today is that you will not allow the enemy to talk you out of the dream God has for your life. That you will be all that God has called you to be through the power of His Spirit.

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

Proverbs 23:7 “As a person thinks in their heart, so are they.”

When you look in the mirror who do you see? Psychologist have proven that a person can spend thousands of dollars on body enhancements and face lifts and yet still believe they are ugly or do not measure up. The internal image we have of ourselves (our selfie) determines how we think and feel about ourselves. How we think about ourselves determines what we believe we deserve in life. And what we believe will determine the outcome of our life. Outcome meaning, not just the here and now but the legacy we leave when we’re gone. What we believe also determines the quality of life that we will experience.

Jesus gave us this proposition, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men, disciples, the light of the world, the salt of the earth.” Jesus’ invitation was simply this, follow Him and He will make something of your life that you could never make yourself. When Jesus walked the earth to show us the will of the Father, He proved that Heaven could come to earth and that it was available to those that accept His invitation. I love what Bill Johnson says, “Jesus is perfect theology.” Jesus said in John 6:38, “I have come from heaven not to do my will but the will of Him who sent me.” That is how we know it is still God’s will to perform miracles today – because God showed us His will through Jesus. And whatever we see Jesus doing, we are now called and anointed to do (John 14:12). Who do you see? 

This truth of personal perception is totally connected to our understanding of why Jesus came. Jesus did not come to leave us how He found us – unworthy sinners (as many religious leaders believe). But rather new RIGHTEOUS creations when we place our faith in Him and the finished work of Christ on the cross (2 Corinthians 5: 17-18). The Apostle Paul said it like this in Romans 6:18, “Now we are no longer slaves to sin, but we are now slaves of RIGHTEOUSNESS!” On the cross, Christ reconciled us to the Father – meaning He exchanged places with us. He became sin so we could be righteous. He became sick so we can be well. He became poor so we could be rich. Who do you see? 

The truth that we are now righteous is fundamental to our faith. Jesus came to die for sinners but not to leave us that way. Everyone that Jesus encountered (except the religious and Judas) were transformed. Paul says in Romans 5:8, “God demonstrated His own love for us in that while we WERE still sinners, Christ died for us.” If you were a sinner, the past can no longer be a part of the new creation’s future. Because of the shed blood of Christ and faith in His work on the cross, you can no longer be a sinner. Denying that we are now in right standing with God is denying the very reason Jesus came. This is part of Jesus’ ” follow me” proposition. Follow me and I will make you something that you could not make yourself, RIGHTEOUS. Good people do not make it to heaven. Religious people do not make it to heaven. Only RIGHTEOUS people make it to heaven. In fact, only righteous people can live in Heaven on earth, now.

As our self-perception becomes clear of who Christ has made us to be, then we’ll rise above mediocrity. When we recognize the person in the mirror as RIGHTEOUS then we’ll no longer be slaves to sin. When we realize that it is no longer I that lives, it is Christ in me – then we will walk out the life of Christ and do as He did. So, who do you see? It’s one of the most important questions we will ever ask ourselves.

My prayer for you today is that you will see yourself the way that the Father see’s you, as a righteous, more-then-a-conqueror, over-comer in this life!

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

Joshua 6:10 – “Joshua commanded the people, do not shout; do not even talk. Not a single word from any of you until I tell you to shout. Then shout!”

Every believer is called to live a life that impacts the lives of others – a life that makes a mark on the world.

Jesus said in Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, He has anointed me to proclaim the gospel to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to set the captives free.” If you are In Christ, that same anointing belongs to you. God wants to bless our lives. He wants us blessed so that we can be a blessing to others but we must first bring down the walls keeping us from the land of abundance. Many people find themselves marching around the same walls. It becomes a perpetual lifestyle, looking at walls or barriers that never seem to come down. Walls that are always in the way, keeping them from entering into the land of abundance. Jericho stood between the wilderness and the land of blessing. Because there is no way around Jericho, every one of us has to go through it to get to the land of abundance – the place where we can influence others. But significance isn’t determined by what you do, rather why you do it. And don’t get me wrong, significance isn’t determined by how much money you make but we must be blessed in order to influence others. Many believers never experience the life of blessing because they never pass the test of – why?  Is it so you can be blessed or is it so you can make a difference in the world.

In Joshua chapter 6 we see what brought the walls down. It says that for six days the people of God walked around the walls. For six days, they looked at their obstacles. There was no denying that they were there. What are your obstacles? We must look squarely in the face of the things that keep us from moving forward and going to the next level. You must identify the barriers in your own life. Most people are so busy pointing out the flaws in others that they can’t see what’s hindering themselves. Jesus said it like this in Matthew 7:5, “You hypocrite, get the plank out of your own eye, then you will see clear enough to help someone else.” The biggest obstacle we all face is changing the way we think. We cannot continue blaming everyone else and expect things to change in our own lives. What obstacles are continually in your way? Unforgiveness, maybe anger, a root of bitterness, judgement of others, unbelief, or a consistent sin? Until we face these barriers and come out of denial concerning them, they will keep us from entering the land of abundance. They must come down.

For six days, the people of God walked around the walls, but Joshua told them not to talk. It is so easy to gripe and complain. It seems normal to recognize how big the problems are and talk about them. But God’s instruction was to not talk about how big the problems were, not to talk about how impossible it looked. What God was pointing out was how easy it is to look at the natural circumstances and be discouraged. But to live a supernatural life, to enter the land of abundance is going to require us to tame our tongue. The purpose of being blessed is to influence others and to live a life of significance. Anyone that cannot tame their tongue will not influence others for the Kingdom. We must stop murmuring, complaining, gossiping, and backbiting. All of those tendencies become walls that stand between us and our destiny. They are the enemy’s tools that breed unbelief in our own lives and the lives of others. Because anytime we speak about how bad things looks or murmur about someone else, we are agreeing with the enemy. As an ambassador of Heaven, we have a responsibility to only speak what the Father says. In order to get past Jericho, we must tame our tongue.

After the people of God spent each day walking around Jericho (looking at the walls) they went back to Gilgal. In Hebrew, Gilgal means the place of the circle. Joshua, Caleb, and the other leaders would sit in a circle and remind the people of what God had said. They encouraged the people in their faith, despite how it looked in the natural. The circle represents unity. In order to get past Jericho and enter into the land of abundance we must stay in unity. It’s a lesson that some never learn. None of us are self-sufficient. We are all dependent on those we are called to be in relationship with. And because there is usually one leader, those following aren’t capable of seeing what the leader out front can see. So, God instructs us to keep quiet and stay in unity, not allowing differences to come between us. To get past Jericho and enter into the land of abundance we must stay in unity with others and leadership.

After we have identified and dealt with our own obstacles, tamed our tongue to only speak in love, and refuse to break unity – now we are positioned to shout at the walls that stand between us and the land of abundance. When the walls came down, Joshua said in Joshua 6:17 “All the gold and riches are ours to devote to the Lord, but go in and rescue Rahab the prostitute and her family.”  Now that’s influence, that’s significance!

My prayer for you today is that you will go to the next level in your faith to make a difference in the world.

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

Mark 11: 23 “Whoever says to their mountain, be removed, and be cast into the sea; and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done; he will have whatever he says.”

Jesus did not say, whosoever shall speak to God about their mountain. He instructs us to speak directly to the mountain. A mountain is simply the problem that is standing in the way of the desired result that WE want.

The Bible says that Abraham “the father of our faith” talked that way! In Romans 4:16,17 – it says, “He [Abraham] called those things which were not as though they were.” In other words, Abraham didn’t wait for circumstances to change before he spoke. He caused his circumstances to change, because He spoke what he was believing God for. Abraham spoke the desired end result. Notice that Abraham didn’t ask God to do it. He already had the “Word” from the Lord so the only thing left to do in the face of contrary circumstances was to speak what he was believing. You can do the same thing if you’ll take God at His Word and make your words agree with God’s and speak them out of your mouth by faith.

From a natural point of view, that sounds foolish. But 1 Corinthians 1:27 explains that God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. It’s always going to sound foolish to the world and to our natural thinking when a Christian talks as if what God has promised is reality, especially when those promises seem to contradict the natural evidence around them. But if you want to live in victory and keep the enemy defeated, that’s the kind of talking you’re going to have to do.

The problem with religion is that it doesn’t want to take any responsibility in the authority that God has delegated to us on earth. So, religious people refuse to recognize their Spiritual Authority as Ambassadors, Kings and Priests enforcing the will of God on earth. As a result of not living in the authority that Jesus has delegated to us they end up being victims of their circumstances and call that “God’s will” – which is nothing more than spiritual deception masked as false humility.

The easy way to determine the will of God is to compare your situation with his promises. If it is contrary to Saved, Healed, Delivered, Blessed or Heaven on earth then you must speak words of faith to make it change. Then God will move your mountain to honor your authority on earth and bring about the declaration of your faith.

“But what if nothing happens right away?” you may ask. “What if the circumstances don’t immediately change?” When Jesus spoke to the fig tree in Mark 11:14, He didn’t go back and check to see if anything had happened to it. No, once He had spoken, He considered it done.

I encourage you to follow Abraham’s and Jesus’ example. Let your faith speak the desired result. Agree with God and His Word and you will always win!

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

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” 

…and so, it is with friends and those closest to us. As a boy growing up in Virginia I have visited Colonial Williamsburg many times. I enjoyed seeing the history of the first settlers and what it took to forge a new direction for themselves and their families. I can never forget watching the Blacksmiths masterfully sharpening knives and swords. They would beat the swords with hammers then stick the swords in the fire, only to see the sparks fly. They did this all with the intent of sharpening the sword to make it more useful and effective. The truth is that if you have people close in your life, every once in a while, some sparks fly.

Sure, we all need some “yes friends”. Those people that tell us, “you’re wonderful”, “you’re right”, “you’re amazing” no matter what! At the right times, they keep us motivated and encouraged. But they usually aren’t the ones that fuel change and growth in our lives. Sometimes our own sword needs to be sharpened and that requires some beating (like it or not). As believers, our sword needs to stay sharp so we can yield it when necessary.

It’s the real friend, someone who cares about you and will tell you the truth – and tell you when you’re wrong. We need people that are going to be honest. Proverbs 15:32 says “Those who disregard correction despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.” A true friend will encourage you and motivate you to fulfill your potential. Their sword is sharp enough to do according to Hebrews 4:12 separate what is your un-renewed mind, thoughts, and actions from what are the actions of your new spirit-man. We all need a real friend who will be there when you need someone for counsel, someone to lean on, as well as someone who will celebrate our victories. A real friend can see our weakness and even our failures yet be there to love us, correct us and accept us.

God says in Proverbs 18:24 “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” The most reliable friend anyone of us can have is the Holy Spirit. We need to lean on the Holy Spirit – especially at those times when the sparks fly between us and those closest to us. He will empower us to overcome any possible anger, unforgiveness or offense. God knows that in order for us to become the person that He created us to be, sometimes some sparks have to fly. But no matter what’s happening in our lives we need to always stay close to the Holy Spirit. He will lead us into the truth of God’s will…love!!

Love is patient! Love is kind! Love keeps no record of wrongs! Love is always forgiving! That is a true friend.

My prayer for you today is that you will nurture those closest to you with Love!

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

Matthew 14:28 – Then Peter called to Jesus, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

How easy it would be to settle right where you are, in the place of comfort and familiarity. The natural tendency is to settle and get comfortable. The problem is, the life of God that lives on the inside of us never settles. We are called to greatness. As members of the body of Christ we are called to do something significant with our lives. The “Greater One” that lives in you will not settle for less. He calls us to get out of the boat, take the risk, walk on the water, climb the mountain, move forward, possess the land, and do greater works.

Going to the next level in our faith requires us to be like Peter. Peter wasn’t happy sitting in the boat of comfort like everyone else. Most people live for comfort, but movers and shakers in the Kingdom never settle with the majority. Leaders are leaders! That’s why they are ahead of the pack. Peter said, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you.” And like Peter, we must have the desire to do the extra-ordinary and to live supernaturally, we must hear the voice of Jesus.

We have what the world doesn’t have. We have the God of all wisdom, knowledge and understanding on the inside of us, speaking to us. Unlike other gods, our God is a living, breathing, personal, speaking God. And after we know the leading of the Lord, we must believe He is faithful to complete it. His faithfulness must be settled in our hearts as we step out in faith, because that is when we will be met with opposition. It’s at this point the men are separated from the boys and the women from the girls. Faith doesn’t keep opposition from challenging us. Faith keeps us focused on the storm-tamer and His faithfulness.

Always remind yourself of God’s faithfulness. Look at the times when Moses, Abraham, Joseph, and the other heroes of our faith stepped out of their comfort zones. God has a track record of faithfulness. The truth is that He who has called you is faithful to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ask or think. God will always be faithful to fulfill every Word and every promise.

Satan is the great deceiver. He is a liar and if he can create just enough doubt in you, then he can set up a stronghold that will keep you from moving forward. James warns us against being doubtful. A doubting person wavers and will receive nothing from the Lord. We must stay focused on the Lord who is faithful. One of the enemy’s tactics is to get us to focus on our own limitations. To look at the natural circumstances through human logic. He will say things like “Why do you think you can walk on water?” Or like the 10 spies, “we are like grasshoppers in their sight.” By looking at their own natural limitations they missed out on God’s limitlessness.

You have an inheritance – the DNA of tried and tested faith. God is calling you to do something greater than anything you’ve ever done. Maybe in a different way, or a different place, but He is calling you to a place that is going to require greater faith. Start believing that when you step out, the strongholds that are currently restraining you will come down – in Jesus name! Never trust your eyes or feelings in the matters of faith. Rather than counting the cost of possible loss, consider the reward of accomplished faith. Remember the many times that God has come through……even when it seemed impossible.

My prayer for you today is that you will believe the unbelievable and do the impossible!

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

Amos 3:7 – “Surely the Lord God will do NOTHING, until He reveals His plans to His servants the prophets.”  

One of the marks of a growing maturing believer is their ability to STAND on the Word. Whether it be a prophetic Word or the written Word, those Words are the truth of who God is and what He is wanting to do in our lives. But, in order to see the Word from God demonstrated and manifested in our lives requires us to first believe it. Faith and believing are not mental agreeing. Because faith will always be tested, if your faith is only head (mental) faith it will be stolen every time. Jesus said, out of the abundance of the heart. Paul said that it is with the heart one believes unto righteousness. A belief does not become faith until it drops into your heart. For that transition to occur, from head to heart, requires confession, repetition, confession, and repetition. Confession and repetition sinks the seed of the Word deeper and deeper until it takes root in your heart. What you’re not willing to confess you will not possess. That is the truth that Paul taught, confession is made unto salvation. And Salvation encompasses every aspect of our lives with God, from the moment of conversion to our seeing every Word experienced in our lives. Because our faith will be tested, our faith is validated by what we’re willing to STAND UP for and FIGHT for. The enemy always comes attempting to steal, to kill and destroy the Word given to us from God. He comes to oppose with the intent to steal from you what God has spoken. Jesus warns us in Mark 4:15 – “These are the ones by the way side (shallow, immature), where the Word was sown; Satan comes to steal the Word that was sown.” The only Words that we will ever see the reward of are the ones that we are willing to FIGHT for. I wish it wasn’t that way but the truth is – only fighters win! Those that lay down and accept the lies of deception from the enemy never see the Word manifested in their lives. That is why Paul tells us to “FIGHT the good FIGHT of faith.” In my life growing up with the name Rocky, I’ve been in a lot of fights. The only good ones were the ones I won. Meaning I came out on top. That is what Paul is talking about. FIGHT the devil with the truth until you come out on top.

Only FIGHTERS prevail, only FIGHTERS triumph, only FIGHTERS win!! One of the biggest problems in the body of Christ is that most do not know how to fight the devil. Their good at fighting other people but they haven’t learned how to fight the enemy of their faith. Until you learn how to STAND up against the devil it will be impossible for you to live in victory and possess what God has said belongs to you.

You recall the Word Mary received, that she would be pregnant with Jesus. This Word was incomprehensible and impossible to explain. She had no Biblical precedent for that Word, a virgin giving birth to a child. It was a prophetic Word. But the angel told her in Luke 1:37- “For with God nothing”, in the Greek – nothing is the word no rhema.” In other words, “No spoken Word, which would include a prophetic Word, spoken by God will be impossible.” Whenever God gives us a Word, it is not going to seem possible, in fact the natural circumstances are usually contrary. But Mary had the sense to agree. Her response was Luke 1:38 – “Let it be done to me according to your Word.” The only responsibility that we have is to STAND, FIGHT and BELIEVE the Word given. Do not allow yourself to be talked out of the Word. If we do not give in to the devil and his lies, God will make it happen.

Can you imagine the opposition that Mary encountered? Besides the devil, her family and everyone that she knew, including Joseph her fiancé, she had to STAND up against the stigma of being the mother of an illegitimate child. I’m sure that everything in the natural and the enemy in the spirit fought her hard, attempting to abort the Word. Anytime we don’t STAND against the enemy’s attacks and his attempts to steal the Word, we are allowing that Word to be aborted. Snatched from the birthing womb of faith. That’s what happened to the Israelite’s, Heb. 3:19 says of them, “we see that they could not enter in because of their unbelief.” God gave them a Word; any Word from God is His will for your life. But the Israelite’s allowed themselves to be talked out of it. So, the Word even though it was the will of God was aborted.

What are you STANDING for today?

What are you FIGHTING for today?

After you have seemingly done all to STAND and the enemy keeps lying, keep STANDING on the Word.

My prayer for you is that you will – STAND – FIGHT – and WIN!!!

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

I Corinthians 3:3 -“For you are still carnal: for where there is envy, strife, and divisions among you, you are carnal and behaving like unsaved men.”

It’s bad enough that strife opens the door of our lives to confusion and every evil work (James 3:14 -16). That alone should make us resist envy and strife with all our might. None of us would purposely pursue evil, but the implication that James is giving us is that when we allow ourselves to get into envy and strife, then evil (the fruit of the enemy) pursues us. But that’s not all the Bible has to say about it. In his letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul gives us even more information about the damaging effects of strife. He said that these things (envy, strife, and divisions) inhibit your spiritual growth and keep you from receiving greater insight into the will of God, because you are living according to the old sinful nature. According to Numbers 14, the people that were promised to inherit all the blessings of the promised land missed out because of their strife and division (vs. 11-12). God says that because of their grumbling, complaining, creating strife and division, they were disinherited from their inheritance of the promised land. Think about this, every promise and blessing of the Kingdom that belongs to you is cancelled when you allow envy and strife to exist in your heart. In fact, the opposite of blessing becomes your reality. According to James “you open yourself up to every evil work of the enemy”. In other words, God doesn’t take this lightly. Envy and strife are serious issues with God.

From my personal experience, when I allow myself to get into envy and strife I am miserable. Because anytime I live to the carnal nature I am opposing who I am as a “New Creation” in Christ. The born-again person really can’t live to the flesh and enjoy it because the HOLY SPIRIT (the Spirit of Truth that lives in us) is HOLY. God’s nature has become our nature, so the Holy Spirit informs us and convicts us of anything contrary to Godliness. He does this so that we can repent (1 John 1:9) and receive forgiveness and be cleansed of all unrighteousness. If you don’t want to find yourself trapped in the condition of being the recipient of every evil work (and I hope you don’t) then stay out of strife. Strife will keep you carnal! Envy and strife will inhibit your ability to digest the meat of the Word, and without that meat you won’t be able to grow to be a strong, victorious Christian. If you fuss and bicker with others and cause division, your spiritual growth will be stunted. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:23-24 to stop being religious, acting like everything is okay, and go make it right with the person that you have been in strife with. If you don’t your life will remain in a perpetual condition where the devil is running all over you – regularly!

My prayer for you today is that you will check your heart and keep from envy and strife. Then you’ll be the overcomer God created you to be!

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 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 of being in the grave they did come back like they had 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? But 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.

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 of us, 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!

There is an urgency attached to the gospel. When we stay quiet, we are the one’s 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 faith, 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 what we say we believe.

After Jesus’ resurrection He instructed His followers, which includes you and me, of our ultimate 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.

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