Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What God thinks about those who GOSSIP

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. I hope you will as well.

We are having a blast on our vacation. What great memories we are making. I am enjoying my time with my wife and children. Savoring every single moment!

As I was doing my personal devotion this morning, I read something from "Sparkling Gems from the Greek" by Rick Renner. It was a powerful word concerning gossip. I would like to share this with you today:

When I was a young man, my family attended a church where the pastor was a fabulous Bible teacher. Wednesday night services were my favorite, because that is when he would really open the Word of God and teach us. But there was one aspect of the Wednesday night services that I absolutely despised — a gossiping church member who always started running her mouth as soon as church was finished!

This woman would stand to the side, peering at others and whispering about them behind their backs. But whenever the subject of her gossip approached her little clique, she'd stop whispering and smile at him or her so nicely and graciously. I hated the hypocrisy of this gossiper's behavior and never understood how she could talk so badly about people immediately after hearing the Word of God taught with such power!

I remember how this woman always looked so elated when she found a new choice morsel of information about someone else in the church that she could start broadcasting. Yet most of what she gossiped about was based on hearsay. She didn't even know if the "tidbits" she shared were factual. As long as they were enticing to hear, she knew she'd always have a small clan of devoted listeners. But even if the things this woman gossiped about had been factual, she had no business talking about them with others.

How does God feel about people who gossip? Ephesians 4:29 says, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." The following verse continues to say, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God." The implication is that when "corrupt communication" comes out of a believer's mouth, it causes the Holy Spirit to be grieved.

You see, gossip is a sin that grieves the Holy Spirit. Did you notice that Paul calls it "corrupt communication"? This phrase comes from the Greek word phaulos, which refers to something that stinks or to something that is rotting, such as meat that is full of maggots. This kind of communication is dead, decaying, and it stinks. It is offensive to the Spirit of God, and it grieves Him.

Gossip is so destructive and offensive that Paul forbids gossip in Second Corinthians 12:20. In this verse, Paul says, "For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swelling, tumults."

Do you see the word "whisperings"? This is the Greek word psithurimos — which means gossip!

To make sure we know how evil gossip is, Paul lists it side by side with several other horrible attitudes and actions. He places gossip right alongside with:

Debates: From the Greek word eris, which depicts a church divided by church politics. It could be translated as the word quarrels or wranglings.

Envyings: From the Greek word zelos, which pictures a person so self-consumed that he fiercely fights for his own cause, not considering the needs or desires of others. It can be translated as the word jealousy.

Wraths: From the Greek word thumos, portraying a person who suddenly flares up and loses his control of some kind of unresolved, deep-seated anger. This is a person who literally boils over with anger and blows up, erupting in an ugly outburst that negatively affects other people.

Strifes: From the Greek word eritheia, depicting a selfish desire to promote one's own way even if it means splitting and dividing the church. This is a picture of people taking sides in the church and thus dividing, splitting, and splintering the church into opposing factions.

Backbiting: From the Greek word katalalia, meaning to talk down or to speak derogatorily about someone else. It can be translated as the word slander.

Whisperings: From the Greek word psithurismos, which expresses the idea of a gossiper. The reason they whisper is that they know this kind of talk is wrong and that they'd get in trouble for what they were saying; therefore, they whisper their tidbits of information to others in secret.

Swellings: From the Greek word phusiosis, which carries the idea of a person filled with pride. In fact, it can be translated to be puffed up. This is a person who is puffed up in pride about something that isn't even important; nevertheless, he has allowed this thing to delude him into a false sense of over- significance or of being better than others. This word could also be translated as the word arrogance.

Tumults: From the Greek word akatastasia, referring to anarchy, chaos, insubordination, or to some kind of attitude or action that creates upheaval, unrest, or instability. It describes the attitude or actions of a person who creates some type of disastrous disturbance.

I want you to notice that "gossip" is right smack dab in the middle of this list! What does this tell you about what God thinks of gossip and of those who are involved in the act of gossiping? Let's be sure we understand what the word "gossip" describes! It describes a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts, rumors, or reports of an intimate nature that are none of his business.

For instance, gossip would include:

  • Talking about other people's business and things that do not concern you.
  • Repeating what someone else said, even though you don't know whether or not it's true.
  • Talking to others as if you were an authority about matters that are other people's business, when in reality you don't know what you are talking about.

In a certain sense, gossip is like a deadly poison. It hurts people; it kills relationships; and it destroys trust. In the workplace, "gossip" usually happens between two employees who have become friends and feel like they can truly "share" with each other. They are often people who have been offended or hurt by the one who is the subject of their gossip; therefore, every rumor they hear becomes a "choice morsel" to share with the other offended party. This is what Proverbs 18:8 (NIV) is talking about when it says, "The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts."


Gossip is usually based on hearsay; it is usually inaccurate; it creates suspicions; and it divides people. It is so evil that I absolutely forbid it in our ministry.

It is interesting to note that the Greek word for gossip means to whisper. This means that gossip almost always takes place in secret. Just think about it — where does gossip usually takes place? If you have engaged in gossip in the past, you probably listened to someone tell you information or hearsay about other people, which you then whispered to someone else:

  • In the women's bathroom at the office.
  • In your office when the doors were closed and no one was watching or listening.
  • In the lunch-break room when it was only you and the person to whom you were talking.
  • In a prayer meeting, where people often whisper about others under the camouflage of "prayer."
  • In a corner where the boss, director, pastor, or subject of your gossip couldn't hear what you were saying.
You need to know that gossipers usually attract to each other like magnets. When they get together, they see things alike and therefore begin to think they are right. Thus, they form a little faction right inside the office or church, often concluding that they are doing God's business as they meet together to discuss all the problems going on in other people's lives, even though it isn't their business to discuss or solve these problems or to meddle in other people's affairs.

Since the word "gossip" really means to whisper, it would be good when you are about to tell something you've heard to first ask yourself: Would I say these things publicly? Would I say this in front of the person I am talking about? If your answer is no, you can conclude that you shouldn't say it privately either.

So I urge you not to allow the devil to snag you and drag you into the sin of gossip. James 3:8 tells us that the tongue is "an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." But you can refuse to be the source of gossip or to participate in it when it takes place. If you really love Jesus, why would you want to participate in something that will poison people's opinions and ultimately divide and hurt others? Think of it — if it were you whom people were talking about, wouldn't it be hurtful to you to discover that they were talking this way behind your back?

It's too hurtful to get into this business! If you have to whisper it, then you probably shouldn't be saying it at all. In fact, a good rule to live by is this: If you can't say it publicly, don't say it at all! Make the decision today to refrain from gossip and to stay away from those who practice it!

Blessings!

Pastor Rusty

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day Eight of our Vacation


Good morning! This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. I hope you will as well.

As I type this, I am sitting in Brad and Glenda's house in Alexandria, VA. We have just completed week one of our two week vacation.

Our first week was awesome: Niagara Falls, NYC, and Washington DC. We put 1800 miles on our car this past week. Now, as we begin week two, we are going to settle down and not drive as much. We leave tomorrow for Williamsburg, VA. We will spend a couple of days doing the "Amusement park" thing, and then a couple of days going through Colonial Williamsburg. The kids have greatly enjoyed our sightseeing, but they are ready to ride some roller coasters.

We went to a Gospel concert last night. The performers were Brandon Heath, Mandisa, and Toby Mac. It really was very good. My middle daughter, Mackenzie, is becoming quite the photographer. Let me share a few photos from last night's concert:



















I was reading from Rick Renner's "Sparkling Gems from the Greek" this morning for my personal devotion. I would like to share with you a little of what I read.

Colossians 3:16, where it says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.”

What kind of reception have I given the Word of God in my life? I wanted to know:

Colossians 3:16 says,

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” The chilly reception I felt in that home caused me to look at my own heart and ask, What kind of reception have I given the Word of God in my life? I wanted to know:

  • Have I given God’s Word the kind of reception it deserves, or have I ignored it and given it the “cold shoulder”?
  • Does God’s Word feel at home in my life, or does it feel unwanted?
  • Have I rolled out the red carpet and given God’s Word a grand reception, making it clear that I love the Word and am privileged to have it dwelling in my heart?

In Colossians 3:16, Paul tells us that the word of Christ should “dwell” in us richly. I decided to go get my Greek New Testament and study the word “dwell” so I could determine what kind of reception I had given God’s Word in my own life.

I found that the word “dwell” is taken from the word enoikeo. The word enoikeo is a compound of the words en and oikos. The word en means in, and the word oikos is the Greek word for a house. When the two words are compounded together, they form the word enoikeo, which means to dwell in a house.

This is the same Greek word used in both New Testament literature and secular literature to signify someone who takes up permanent residency in a home. The person is so at home and contented in this new location that he has chosen to make it his permanent dwelling place for the rest of his life.

So when Paul tells us to let the word of Christ “dwell” in us, he is beseeching us to give God’s Word such a grand, welcoming reception that it literally feels at home in us and therefore comes to take up permanent residency!

Does the Word have this kind of place in your life? Does it really “dwell” in you richly? Does it feel at home and comfortable in your life? Or is the Word of God treated like a stranger that is occasionally welcomed into your life as a visitor? Be honest!

Why not make today the day that the Word of God comes to take up permanent residency in your life? Throw the door open, roll out the red carpet, and welcome the Word of God as a new, permanent resident in your heart!

Blessings!

Pastor Rusty





Friday, June 26, 2009

New York City Day Two
















This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. I hope you will as well.

We are about to begin day two of our New York City on our Family Vacation 2009. We are having a blast. I will post several pictures at the end of this blog.
We were on Times Square until around 11 pm last night, and the way that some people so casually view sex caused me to meditate on I Corinthians 6:19. I would like to share the following devotion that I received from Max Lucado this morning. Powerful truth.

“Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 6:19 NLT). Paul wrote these words to counter the Corinthian sex obsession. “Run away from sexual sin!” reads the prior sentence. “No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.” (v.18 NLT).

What a salmon scripture! No message swims more up-stream than this one. You know the sexual anthem of our day: “I’ll do what I want. It’s my body.” God’s firm response? “No, it’s not. It’s mine.”
Be quick to understand, God is not anti-sex. Dismiss any notion that God is anti-affection and anti-intercourse. After all, he developed the whole package. Sex was his idea. From his perspective, sex is nothing short of holy.
He views sexual intimacy the way I view our family Bible. Passed down from my father’s side, the volume is one hundred years old and twelve inches thick. Replete with lithographs, scribblings, and a family tree, it is, in my estimation, beyond value. Hence, I use it carefully.
When I need a stepstool, I don’t reach for the Bible. If the foot of my bed breaks, I don’t use the family Bible as a prop. When we need old paper for wrapping, we don’t rip a sheet out of this book. We reserve the heirloom for special times and keep it in a chosen place.
Regard sex the same way—as a holy gift to be opened in a special place at special times. The special place is marriage, and the time is with your spouse.

Casual sex, intimacy outside of marriage, pulls the Corinthian ploy. It pretends we can give the body and not affect the soul. We can’t. We humans are so intricately psychosomatic that whatever touches the soma impacts the phyche as well. The me-centered phrase “as long as no one gets hurt” sounds noble, but the truth is, we don’t know who gets hurt. God-centered thinking rescues us from the sex we thought would make us happy. You may think your dalliances are harmless, and years may pass before the x-rays reveal the internal damage, but don’t be fooled. Casual sex is a diet of chocolate—it tastes good for a while, but the imbalance can ruin you. Sex apart from God’s plan wounds the soul.

Your body, God’s temple. Respect it.

Blessings!

Pastor Rusty

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Niagara Falls Canada

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. I hope you will as well.

We are on our "Family Vacation 2009" and having a blast. We are currently enjoying Niagara Falls. Mackenzie, my 13 year old daughter, made the comment yesterday as we were looking at the Falls up close, "How can anybody doubt there is a God?" As I stood there looking at the awesome beauty, I found the words to the following song going through my head:


The splendor of the King
Clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice, all the earth rejoice
He wraps himself in light
And darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice,
And trembles at His voice

Chorus:

How great is our God
Sing with me
How great is our God
And all will see
How great, how great is our God

Age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the End,
Beginning and the End
The Godhead, Three in One
Father, Spirit, Son
The Lion and the Lamb, Lion and the Lamb

Chorus:

Name above all names
Worthy of all praise
My heart will sing how great is our God

What a mighty, powerful, artistic, creative, loving God that we serve. He is worthy of every effort of praise that we can give to Him, and so much more. As I woke up this morning, I lay in bed meditating on the following verses:

Lamentations 3:21-26 But this I recall and therefore have I hope and expectation: (22) It is because of the Lord's mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. [Mal. 3:6.] (23) They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness. [Isa. 33:2.] (24) The Lord is my portion or share, says my living being (my inner self); therefore will I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him. [Num. 18:20.] (25) The Lord is good to those who wait hopefully and expectantly for Him, to those who seek Him [inquire of and for Him and require Him by right of necessity and on the authority of God's word]. (26) It is good that one should hope in and wait quietly for the salvation (the safety and ease) of the Lord.

Amen and amen!

Well, we are packing up this morning and heading to New York City! We meet up with Brad, Glenda, Macy and Mia tonight. We are very excited about seeing them and then touring the "Big Apple" the next few days!

I plan to blog in the morning and post a few more pictures. I hope you enjoy a few of the Niagara Falls pictures below.

Blessings!


Pastor Rusty





















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Friday, June 19, 2009

“The Wind ran out of breath”

Mark 4:37, 39 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And He [Jesus] arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

In this verse, Jesus was crossing the Sea of Galillee on his way to deliver the demoniac of Gadara from the demons that held him in bondage. This demon-possessed man was an important weapon in Satan's arsenal. Through the actions of the demoniac of Gadara, the devil had held the countryside hostage with fear for a very long time. The demoniac was so legendary that people throughout the entire coastland region knew of him. The devil knew that if Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee that night and reached the other side, He would cast the demons out of that man. When that happened, Satan would lose the weapon he had long used to terrorize the whole countryside.

So as Jesus and His disciples crossed the Sea of Galilee that night, violent and destructive winds seemed to come from out of nowhere to try and capsize Jesus' boat and drown Him and His disciples in the middle of the sea. Mark 4:37 says, "And there arose a great storm of wind."

I love Rick Renner, a pastor and author, has a great devotional book entitled "Sparking gems from the Greek." When discussing this verse, he points out that the phrase "there arose" is taken from the Greek word ginomai, which in this case describes something that happens unexpectedly or something that catches one off-guard. This plainly tells us that Jesus and His disciples did not expect bad weather that night. The Greek word ginomai emphatically means that this event completely took the disciples by surprise.

To let us know the size of this storm, Mark uses the Greek word mega, which denotes something of massive proportions. It is where we get the idea of mega-bills, mega-work, and megaphone. Because Mark uses the word mega, it alerts us to the fact that this was a mega-storm with mega-winds! The word "wind" is the Greek word lalaipsi, which means this was a turbulent or terribly violent wind. This word can also be translated hurricane, cyclone, tempest, gale, windstorm, a furious tempest, or a fierce squall. Therefore, we know the storm that came against Jesus that night was no small breeze. It was a formidable, crushing, overpowering type of storm.

One very important fact must be pointed out: This was a windstorm. There is no mention of rain at all because this was a storm of wind. Jesus and His disciples could feel its effects as the wind blew against them and their boat. They could see the raging waves that were tossed to and fro by this violent wind. However, the windstorm that had come to overturn their boat in the middle of Sea of Galilee and to kill them before they reached the other side was invisible.
Here was Jesus — on the brink of one of the greatest miracles of His ministry. At the same time, there was the devil, fearing that he was about to lose one of his most highly prized weapons of terrorism. It was at this exact moment that this violent, destructive turbulence came down upon Jesus and His disciples.

The occurrence of the storm at this exact moment was no accident. The devil didn't want Jesus to reclaim one of his most prized captives. This was a preemptive strike of the devil to undo the work of God.

I feel that there are people reading this blog that are facing a preemptive strike from the devil. He is attacking your family, marriage, finances, health, peace of mind, and for some, your employment. The enemy is doing anything he can to destroy God's peace in your life by attacking your FAITH through FEAR. You see FAITH is trust and belief in God, FEAR is trust and belief in your problem. Why don't you right now, whisper the name of Jesus, and tell Him that your faith is no longer going to be in your problem, but in YOUR GOD!

Back to the scripture that we are looking at today, that night in the midst of the storm, Jesus arose and took authority over the situation. The Bible says that when He exercised His authority over this unseen turbulence, " the wind ceased, and there was a great calm" (Mark 4:39).

I love this verse in the Message version: Mark 4:39 Jesus said to the storm, "Quiet! Settle down!" The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass."

Think about that for a moment. The wind RAN OUT OF BREATH. I believe that as you continue to put your trust and your hope in Jesus, your storm is going to run out of breath or steam. This thing that you are facing will pass, and you will be victorious. Whether you see Him, or feel Him, please know that Jesus is IN THE MIDST of the storm with you. When Jesus calmed the storm He demonstrated that He was the Lord of the wind and the waves. This potentially deadly situation provided a great opportunity for the disciples to learn that Jesus Christ is truly Lord over all!

Rest assured — Satan will certainly try to attack you with unexpected turbulence from time to time. His attacks against you will probably escalate whenever you're right on the edge of a breakthrough, as was the case with Jesus that night. But just as that event provided an opportunity for Jesus to demonstrate His power and authority, you need to see each demonic attack against you as an opportunity to rise up, take authority, and demonstrate who you are in Jesus Christ! Mentally and spiritually prepare yourself to deal with the devil's attacks. Put on the whole armor of God. Rise up and take authority in Jesus' name over the wind and the waves that come against you and your family. Never forget that this is your golden opportunity to see a demonstration of God's power in your life!

Blessings!

Pastor Rusty L. Blann

Thursday, June 18, 2009

“The Only Thing is…”

Numbers 13:27-33 Then they told the story of their trip: "We went to the land to which you sent us and, oh! It does flow with milk and honey! Just look at this fruit! (28) The only thing is that the people who live there are fierce, their cities are huge and well fortified. Worse yet, we saw descendants of the giant Anak. (30) Caleb interrupted, called for silence before Moses and said, "Let's go up and take the land--now. We can do it." (31) But the others said, "We can't attack those people; they're way stronger than we are." (32) They spread scary rumors among the People of Israel. They said, "We scouted out the land from one end to the other--it's a land that swallows people whole. Everybody we saw was huge. (33) Why, we even saw the Nephilim giants (the Anak giants come from the Nephilim). Alongside them we felt like grasshoppers. And they looked down on us as if we were grasshoppers."

Moses sent the spies into the promised land to spy it out. Now think about what I just said. They went to spy out the "Promised Land." Who promised the land to them? God! If He promised the land to them, then they could certainly possess it, because God would go before them. Anyway, the ten spies reported back to Moses, and they all said it was GREAT land, flowing with milk and honey, and wonderful fruit. They seemed to be excited about the land God was giving them. However, at the beginning of verse 28, the ten spies speak FOUR words that eventually brought them defeat. Because of these FOUR WORDS they wandered in the wilderness until they died, never seeing the Promised Land in their lifetimes.

What were the words? THE ONLY THING IS. They processed the wrong data. This was God's promise to them that they would possess the land. It was God's inheritance to them. God would MAKE IT HAPPEN. He would create a way where there seemed to be NO WAY. They limited God because of these four words. Verse 30 shows that Caleb tried his best to get God's people PAST these words, but he couldn't do it. "THE ONLY THING IS" was like a cancer that began to spread throughout the faith of God's people.

Notice the difference between words of FEAR and words of FAITH. The ten fearful spies said, "THE ONLY THING IS…" and they went on to explain the reasons why God COULD NOT or WOULD NOT be faithful enough for them to possess the land. Wow! However, listen to Caleb's words of FAITH… "Let's go up and take the land—NOW. We CAN DO IT." Caleb refused to allow the WRONG DATA to change his faith in God. As is the case so many times, FEAR won out. They didn't possess the land until forty years later, AFTER they had wandered in the wilderness and everyone of that generation had died out. God wanted to bring them into this wonderful land but they couldn't get past 'THE ONLY THING IS…"

My friends, do you have a "THE ONLY THING IS" in your life? Do you have faith that God can do anything, except that one THING? Does it seem too big for God because you have been praying for some time and haven't seen the answer yet? These four words are very dangerous and serious. God's will and purpose for the Children of Israel was not accomplished for forty years because of FEAR. They forgot the miracles that God had very openly displayed before the world to see. In fact, if you read this story to its completion, you will see that the world had more faith in God than His own people did. That is why it is so important that when we are making decisions that we ask ourselves the question, "Am I going with FEAR or FAITH?" Many times we make decisions without properly consulting God. The Children of Israel failed to ask God what He thought. Obviously Caleb and Joshua did, but the others did not.

So, again, do you have a "THE ONLY THING IS" in your life? What about the situation with your family? What about your finances? What about your stubborn spouse? What about the problems at your job? Do you have more FAITH or FEAR? Do you truly believe that God can do ANYTHING? Or is there a "THE ONLY THING IS" that you can't seem to have faith for. If you are being dominated by this ONLY THING, then you have processed the wrong data. The ten spies said that the people of the promised land looked at the Israelites like they were grasshoppers. In other words, they had no fear of them or their God. That WRONG DATA kept the Children of Israel from going forward. However, listen to what Rahab, who lived in Jericho which was part of the Promised Land, told some Israelites spies:

Joshua 2:8-11 Before the spies were down for the night, the woman came up to them on the roof (9) and said, "I know that GOD has given you the land. We're all afraid. Everyone in the country feels hopeless. (10) We heard how GOD dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you left Egypt, and what he did to the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you put under a holy curse and destroyed. (11) We heard it and our hearts sank. We all had the wind knocked out of us. And all because of you, you and GOD, your God, God of the heavens above and God of the earth below.

She said, "I KNOW that God has given you the land (that was more faith than God's own people had) "We're all afraid. Everyone in the country feels hopeless. We heard how God…" This is what I was talking about earlier. The world that didn't know God, had more faith in Him than the ones that He had performed miracles for. Why is that? Because of the FEAR that "THE ONLY THING IS" brought into their lives.

My prayer for you today is that you will no longer be dominated by these four words. You know what God says about your ONLY THING that seems impossible?

Mark 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

All THINGS are possible to him that believes. All things includes your, "THE ONLY THING IS." It is all about being very careful of the DATA that you allow to be processed in your mind. I would like to leave you with an acrostic that I pray will help you process the correct DATA in your mind today:

Daily place God's Word in your mind to MEDITATE on

How do you meditate? You just simply dwell on or think on something until it becomes cemented in your mind. We do that with worries, frustrations and hurts to name only a few. If we would ever get to the point where we daily mediate on God's goodness and faithfulness and His Word, then we would be able to get past FEAR and move over into the FAITH realm where all things are possible.

Attack FEAR with PRAISE

When fear attacks your faith, and that is what fear does, then you re-focus on God by praising Him. When the enemy speaks to you through FEAR, then you turn the table on him by allowing that to be a reminder to stop whatever you are doing and just begin to give God thanksgiving and praise. Name the blessings of God in your life, and just begin to thank God for them. Begin to think about God's goodness and mercy and verbalize them, either through the spoken word, or by typing them into a journal.

Train your mind to think within the boundaries of Philippians 4:8

Philippians 4:8 (MSG) Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true,
noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious--the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

If what you are dwelling on doesn't fit within the boundaries mentined in this verse, then get it out of your mind immediately. Do like David did, and what Caleb tried to do, and that is get your FOCUS off of "THE ONLY THING IS" which represents your storm, giant, or problem, and re-focus your thoughts on God and His faithfulness.

Attach yourself to some godly people with the Spirit of Caleb

Numbers 14:24 (MSG) "But my servant Caleb--this is a different story. He has a different spirit; he follows me passionately. I'll bring him into the land that he scouted and his children will inherit it.

I Corinthians 15:33 (NLT) Don't be fooled by those who say such things, for "bad company corrupts good character."


Rejoicing in this wonderful day!

Pastor Rusty L. Blann



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mental Strangulation

There's an old Greek proverb that says, "The bow that is always bent will soon break."

Deep-seated worry can be harmful to your emotional and physical health. Dr. Charles Mayo, the founder of the Mayo Clinic, wrote this about worry: "Worry affects the circulation, the heart, the digestive system, and the entire nervous system. I've never known a person to die of overwork, but many who died from worry."

Our English word "worry" is derived from the old German word wurgen, meaning "to choke." The term has come to be used to denote "mental strangulation" to describe the harmful effects of worry.

We must also remember that worry is a sin. The Bible says, "Everything that does not come from faith is sin" (Romans 14:23 NIV).

I would like to share with you a few quotes that I have gathered that speaks about worry:

"Never trouble trouble till trouble troubles you." -- Anonymous

"God never built a Christian strong enough to carry today's duties and tomorrow's anxieties piled on the top of them." -- Theodore Ledyard Cuyler

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength." -- Corrie Ten Boom, cited in The Best of BITS & PIECES

"Worry is the interest we pay on tomorrow's troubles." -- E. Stanley Jones

"Let us not bankrupt our today's by paying interest on the regrets of yesterday and by borrowing in advance the troubles of tomorrow." -- Ralph W. Sockman (1889-1970)

The opposite of worry is faith. Whenever we approach a situation, we can grab it by the handle of faith or the handle of worry. Faith is the end of anxiety, and anxiety is the end of faith. Faith and worry are mutually exclusive. You can experience one or the other but not both at the same time. Worry is a sin because it basically infers that God is a liar. God has promised to love us and to take care of us. He has promised that all things will work together for our good (Romans 8:28). He has invited us to cast our burdens upon Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). Whenever we worry we are suggesting that God cannot be trusted, that He can't fulfill His promise. Many evangelical Christians would never commit adultery, steal, or commit gross sins of the flesh, but at the same time, they are chronic worriers. You will not have victory over your worry until you admit that worry is a sin. Worry must become our ENEMY and not our FRIEND.

And He said to His disciples, "For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing." (Luke 12:22-23, NASB)

All the water in the world however hard it tried, could never, ever sink a ship unless it got inside. All the hardships of this world, Might wear you pretty thin, But they won't hurt you, one least bit ... Unless you let them in.

Are you a worrier? If you're like a lot of people, worry just might be one of the things that makes life miserable. It's not uncommon for people to lose sleep, drop weight, develop "nervous tics," suffer ulcers or other gastric disorders, or get pretty sick in other ways, all from worry. Worry just might be one of the elements that feeds a grand variety of mental and emotional disorders. And even though we don't usually diagnose things this way, worry is the cause of countless spiritual maladies as well.

Some people waste time worrying about things they really cannot change. Perhaps the point is this: if something is within your ability, do something about it.
If it's not, try changing yourself first, by developing new abilities, then attacking the problem. Remember one thing above all else - worry doesn't fix anything. In fact, worry will add an extra burden to any problem. It clouds the mind, wrecks the emotions, and kills the spirit. How does a befuddled, nervous, spiritually dead person accomplish anything worthwhile? You've got to get a handle on worry.

How can you get a handle on worry? By changing your MEDITATION. Change what you allow to dwell in your mind. If you went to a doctor for a physical problem, he would probably give you some medicine. If after a few days the medicine didn't work, the doctor would CHANGE YOUR MEDICATION to something else. That is exactly what we as Christians need to do. What we have been meditating on leads to worry and anxiety so Jesus, the great Physician, wants us to CHANGE OUR MEDITATION. What is meditation? In its simplest form, it is what you dwell on in your mind. If you are a worrier, then you are dwelling on, or meditating on, your problem. When you change your meditation, you change what you are welling on. Stop dwelling on your problem, and start dwelling on your problem solver, Jesus Christ!

Some people seem more prone to worry than others, but it's possible for anyone to reduce the extremes. Legitimate concern can serve as a powerful motivator. The fact that we care deeply about some issue is a positive. Worry, however, paralyzes us, and leaves us powerless. Try to figure out if you can do something or not. If so, do. If not, don't. Either way, worry isn't the answer, but trusting your faithful God is!

One day a man is walking through a park and stops to observe a dad who is tossing his child up in the air and catching him. He noticed the child seemed so calm, and had very little fear at all of falling to the ground. The man walks over to the dad and ask him why the child remains so relaxed although he is out of control. The father says "It's because we have a history. We've played this game before, and I've never dropped him."

My friend, remember the history that you have with God. He has never dropped you, and HE'S NOT GOING TO START TODAY!

I love you all, and pray you have a FAITH-FILLED day. Refuse to allow worry to put a strangle hold on you. Cast all your cares on Jesus, because He cares for you.

Rejoicing (and spinning) in this wonderful day,

Pastor Rusty L. Blann

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

God “KNOWS” my heart!

Paul, Peter, and Jesus warn the church that in the last days there would be "Sheep in wolves clothing" that would infiltrate God's church. These "wolves" portray themselves as HOLY and ABOVE REPROACH. In fact, the deception of the enemy is so strong upon them, they will have a following…for a time. However, as time goes by, the more discerning of God's people will begin to figure out that the SUPER SPIRITUAL side of the "wolf" was only a covering to hide what was really in their heart.

For you see, God knows the (spiritual) heart of men and women, and that my friend, is the problem. Because God knows our heart, we need to make sure daily that we "vacate" the throne of our life and allow Jesus to take His rightful place as the King of my heart. Yes, God does know my heart, but that is not an excuse to sin. Quite the contrary!

Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:8 that only the "pure in heart will see God." Then Solomon tells us in Proverbs 4:23 "Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life." In this text, God is showing us the importance of making sure that we do everything possible to keep our heart PURE.

Then David shows us the danger of becoming CARELESS with our heart: Psalm 51:10-12 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me. (11) Cast me not away from Your presence and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. (12) Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit. David had sinned greatly, and now his heart was corrupt. You see, my friend, that's what sin does to your heart. It is a dangerous thing to allow sin to remain in the heart and spirit for the child of God without REPENTING of it, and changing! Repentance does no good if you just say "forgive me Lord", but keep doing the same things over and over again.

What will happen to someone that keeps sinning and justifying it, without leaving that lifestyle through TRUE repentance? Well, listen to some of the saddest, yet most revealing Words in the Scriptures: Judges 16:20 She said, The Philistines are upon you, Samson! And he awoke out of his sleep and said, I will go out as I have time after time and shake myself free. For Samson did not know that the Lord had departed from him.

As I sit here typing these words, my heart is tremendously saddened and troubled by those words. Samson had become so CARELESS with his life and RELATIONSHIP with God, that he honestly thought that God would UNDERSTAND his situation and allow SIN to continue in his life with no consequences. He was deceived into believing that NOTHING would change between him and God, because he was a SPECIAL, ANOINTED man of God. He would just do what he had always done…allow the power and Spirit of God to come upon him, and win the battle when he needed to.

However, he learned a lesson that I hope we all learn from him. The lesson is that you may get by with cherishing sin in your heart for a season, but mark my words, friend…NO, mark God's Word…there is coming a season in your life, when everything will crumble around you if you continue in the careless way that you have been living. You won't even realize that the Lord's Spirit has departed from you, until much damage is done.

Listen to Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me; What a powerful, yet sobering verse. This word "regard" means to cherish, or to see the sin in your heart, but think it's not a big deal. Of course, iniquity is sin, breaking God's Law (Word). So God makes it plain that if we allow sin to remain in our heart, the ONLY thing He understands is that HE WILL NOT HEAR our prayers. Continued, habitual sin damages our relationship with God. That is very evident and plain in the Word of God.

So, what can we do to rid our HEARTS of the sin? Well, just saying "God forgive me" is not what repentance is. 2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly grief and the pain God is permitted to direct, produce a repentance that leads and contributes to salvation and deliverance from evil, and it never brings regret; but worldly grief (the hopeless sorrow that is characteristic of the pagan world) is deadly [breeding and ending in death].

Then John the Baptist gives some insight about repentance as well: Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent (think differently; change your mind, regretting your sins and changing your conduct), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 3:8 Bring forth fruit that is consistent with repentance [let your lives prove your change of heart];

So, to truly guard our heart, we must stop being CARELESS with our heart, and start striving to be BLAMELESS with it. To do this, we must make sin our enemy. As long as sin is a FRIEND that we justify then we will NEVER be victorious over it. God never promised to give us victory over our friends, but over and over again, He promises to make us victorious over our ENEMIES. My prayer is that all of us will begin to hate sin so much, that God can help deliver us from that ENEMY. When David sinned, it broke his heart, not just because he had been caught, but he began to realize what his sin had done to his relationship with His God. He asked God to please, not take His Holy Spirit from him, and he then asked Him to create a new, steadfast spirit within him. And above all else, he asked for a CLEAN HEART! Even after he sinned, because of his true repentance, God was able to call him a "man after my own heart."

1 John 1:9 If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

What a promise that I John 1:9 is. Thank God, that we can come to the Heavenly Father, through Jesus' blood and have forgiveness and deliverance from the bondages and strongholds in our lives. My prayer is that we will all guard our hearts, and strive to be BLAMELESS through the blood of Jesus Christ!

God bless you, and thank you for reading this blog.

Rejoicing (and spinning) in this wonderful day,

Pastor Rusty L. Blann
First Assembly of God
West Memphis, Arkansas


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Overcoming the rank and file of Satan’s kingdom

This is the day that the Lord has made! I will rejoice and be glad in it. I hope you will as well.

We looked yesterday at "Overflow and Destruction of Strongholds." This morning I read some comments from Rick Renner in his "Sparkling Gems from the Greek" book that goes right along with the way that I have been praying. I decided to share his comments with you in today's blog. I hope it ministers to you as much as it did to me:

I realize that many people tend to think that screaming, yelling, screeching, stomping, and shouting are required to defeat the devil. However, these actions will accomplish nothing if those same people are not living a consecrated and holy life.

It is simply a fact that if we have deliberately or by negligence allowed sinful strongholds to secretly remain in our lives, then we have left gaping holes through which Satan may continue to insert his schemes into our lives. Negligence in dealing with these secret places may give Satan the very loopholes he needs to orchestrate our defeat!

This business of spiritual warfare is serious! We must do all we can to shut every door to our souls through which the devil might attempt to access our lives. Because this issue is so serious, we would do well to pay attention when the Bible offers us information about the enemy of our souls. The devil has destroyed too many Christians who were ignorant of his devices!

In Ephesians 6:12, the apostle Paul presents a divine revelation he received that describes how Satan's kingdom has been militarily aligned. He writes, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

Notice that at the top of this list, Paul mentions a group of evil spirits he calls "principalities." This word is taken from the Greek word archai, an old word that is used symbolically to denote ancient times. It is also used to depict individuals who hold the highest and loftiest position of rank and Authority. By using the word archai, Paul emphatically tells us that at the very top of Satan's kingdom are powerful evil beings that have held their lofty positions of power and authority since ancient times — probably ever since the fall of Lucifer.

Paul goes on to tell us that below principalities is a second group of evil beings he refers to as "powers." This word "powers" is taken from the Greek word exousia, and it denotes delegated authority. This describes a lower, second-level group of evil beings — demon spirits — who have received delegated authority from Satan to carry out all manner of evil in whatever way they desire to do it. These evil forces are second in command in Satan's dark kingdom.

Continuing in his description of Satan's rank and file in descending order, Paul mentions "the rulers of the darkness of this world." This amazing phrase is taken from the word kosmokrateros and is a compound of the words kosmos and kratos. The word kosmos denotes order or arrangement, whereas the word kratos has to do with raw power. Thus, the compounded word kosmokrateros depicts raw power that has been harnessed and put into some kind of order.

This word kosmokrateros was at times used to picture military training camps where young men were assembled, trained, and turned into a mighty army. These young men were like raw power when they first arrived in the training camp. However, as the military training progressed and the new recruits were taught discipline and order, all that raw manpower was converted into an organized, disciplined army. This is the word Paul now uses in his description of Satan's kingdom. What does it mean?

It tells you and me that Satan is so serious about doing damage to the human race that he deals with demon spirits as though they are troops! He puts them in rank and file, gives them orders and assignments, and then sends them out like military soldiers who are committed to kill. Just as men in a human army are equipped and trained in their methods of destruction, so, too, are these demon spirits. And once these demons are trained and ready to start their assault, Satan sends them forth to do their devious work against human beings.

Paul makes reference to this dispatch of evil spirits when he writes next about "spiritual wickedness in high places." The word "wickedness" is taken from the word poneros, and it is used to depict something that is bad, vile, malevolent, vicious, impious, and malignant. This tells us the ultimate aim of Satan's dark domain: These evil spirits are sent forth to afflict humanity in bad, vile, malevolent, and vicious ways!

Satan uses all these evil forces in his attacks against mankind. Nevertheless, we believers have far more authority and power than the devil and his forces. You and I have the Greater One living within us! As members of the Church of Jesus Christ, we are loaded with heaps and heaps of raw power, for the Church has no shortage of power, nor is it deficient in God-given authority. We have more power and more authority than all these evil forces combined!

What we lack is order and discipline. We must learn to see ourselves as the army of God and to view the local church as the training center where we are taught to do God's business. Then we must heed the call of Jesus and be dispatched into the dark world to preach the Gospel and to drive these evil forces from people's lives. We must buckle down and begin to view ourselves as the troops of Jesus Christ!

Being organized and disciplined includes living a holy and consecrated life. There is no room for slackness in the life of a real Christian soldier. To deal with these forces that are being dispatched to destroy us and the world around us, it is required that we walk with God and listen to the voice of His Spirit. We must gird up the loins of our minds and fill our thoughts with the Word of God. Satan's troops are serious — and if we're not serious about our contest with them, it will only be a matter of time until they discover our weakness and strike with all their force to bring us down.

Determine to see yourself as a soldier in the army of God. Don't allow anything to remain in your life that would hinder your fight of faith. Be disciplined, committed, and organized. Take advantage of all the weapons described in Ephesians 6:13-18. Then get ready to witness the awesome demonstration of God's power in your life as you prevail against Satan's rank and file!

Blessings!

Pastor Rusty


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Overthrow and destruction of Strongholds

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. I hope you will as well. I would like to share with you one of my favorite passages from God's Word today.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. (4) For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, (5) [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),

I want to share verse 5 in several translations:

(BBE) Putting an end to reasonings, and every high thing which is lifted up against the knowledge of God, and causing every thought to come under the authority of Christ;

(ESV) We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

(GNB) we pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ.

(KJVR) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

(MSG) We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.

What a powerful Word from God. You may be reading this blog, and you have been under attack from satan. Maybe you are battling depression, despair, discouragement, worry, fear, doubt, etc. What makes it worse, is that the enemy attacks many times through our MINDS using our imaginations, and other peace-attacking distractions to keep our mind from being in PERFECT PEACE with and on God.

In fact, listen to what Isaiah 26:3 says, (AMP) You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.

God reminds us that we will walk in PERFECT PEACE if and when our minds are set and fixed on Jesus. That is why all of hell attempts daily to get our minds on imaginations (what if's), that lead to worry and other faith destroying, peace-attacking issues of the mind.

I found the following prayer some time back on the internet. Why don't you take the following prayer and add it to your arsenal of attacks against the enemy, and pray it DAILY:

Father, teach me to wage spiritual war in your manner, and not according to the world. Guide me to live - and to fight, argue, conflict - with weapons of the Spirit and not weapons of the flesh.

Be my strength, Lord, when I am up against the wall – and I decide, by faith, to respond with weapons of the Spirit and not react with weapons of the flesh. Bring me, Father, to a point where I no longer have any confidence in the flesh, but my confidence is only in you.

Lord, teach me, guide me, compel me, train me – fill me with the Grace me – so that when I face conflict, when I face discouragement and temptation, when I collide with an obstacle - I rely upon you and your way. I acknowledge you have given me the power and authority to demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of You.

So, rather than getting into arguments, I can point to the truth - and I can state the truth. Help me to state the truth in my own life - and work on those areas where I am out-of-sync, where I am in sin, winking at that which is wrong.

Lord, I commit to taking captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Show me how that works; show me how to do that, and develop within me the discipline and the habit of doing this.

Lord, prompt me and guide me to fit every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. No stray thoughts, no wandering thoughts, not allowing emotions to rule my thoughts or actions or moods - even taking my impulses and subjecting them to you.

Lord, make me ready to use the tools you provide to clear the ground of every obstruction, so that you may build my life as an obedient life - matured into the Father of the Faith that you want me to be. I trust that, despite my sin you will build me into a mature believer who is obedient to you, serves you and constantly looks for your work in others.

What does this mean?

· The world is unprincipled. It's dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn't fight fair. But we don't live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will." (2 Corinthians 10:3, MSG)

· God has provided the tools we need to live a God-life. "We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5, MSG) What tools? The Word of God, prayer, the name of Jesus, the Blood of Jesus, praise and worship, just to name a few.

· Using God's tools moves us to maturity. "Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity." (2 Corinthians 10:6, MSG)

Blessings!

Pastor Rusty

Friday, June 5, 2009

You are not HOPELESS!

I often write and speak on Hope. I believe it is an area that each of us struggle with often in our lives. I want you to know today that you may be in a HELPLESS situation, but you are not HOPELESS! Helpless means that there is nothing you can do to change a situation. Hopeless means that NO ONE can do anything to change your situation. There is one who can; He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. His name is Jesus!

Revelation 5:1-4 I saw a scroll in the right hand of the One Seated on the Throne. It was written on both sides, fastened with seven seals. (2) I also saw a powerful Angel, calling out in a voice like thunder, "Is there anyone who can open the scroll, who can break its seals?" (3) There was no one--no one in Heaven, no one on earth, no one from the underworld--able to break open the scroll and read it. (4) I wept and wept and wept that no one was found able to open the scroll, able to read it.

John began to "weep and weep" because no one in heaven or earth was found to open the scroll. His weeping came from the desperate feeling of no HOPE. Have you ever been there before? Are you there now? Are you facing a situation where you have searched "heaven and earth" for the answer, but there just doesn't seem to be an answer? If you aren't careful, you will get in the same state of mind that John found himself in…HOPELESSNESS!

Proverbs 13:12 (AMP) Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.

(GNB) When hope is crushed, the heart is crushed, but a wish come true fills you with joy.

(MSG) Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around.

God warns us in the above verse about what happens when hope is-deferred (put off), crushed, or unrelenting disappointments
keep coming our way-God tells us that the heart becomes sick and crushed.

Hebrews 11:1 says "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

What is the difference between Faith and Hope:


  • Faith deals with deity-Hope deals with details
  • Faith is the education-(Faith cometh by hearing, hearing by the Word of God) Hope is the emotion!
  • Faith finds it's foundation in God's Word. Hope is a mental attitude!
  • Faith is the channel from which we receive miracles from Jesus. Hope is the motivator that brings us to Jesus!
  • Faith is related to miracles. Hope is related to morale

Webster defines hope as-"An expectation, and a desire, that a dream, goal,or purpose will be achieved! A feeling of excitement about what is getting ready to happen."


Many times our hope is destroyed. Faith is like dynamite! It explodes truth! Brings us from doubt to belief! From defeat to victory! From unseen to seen! Hope is the fuse!
Without a fuse, dynamite is worthless! Hope is that confidant anticipation of good things that are to come! Hope is the positive feeling that brings about a good work! Hope brings forth active Christians! No hope brings forth ineffective Christians! Satan's attack may not be so much against your faith, as it your hope! Why go through the trouble of messing with the dynamite, when you can remove the fuse? The devil is attacking hope in the day that we live in. It is easier for the devil to discourage us mentally than it is for him to defeat us spiritually (attack fuse rather than dynamite) It is easier for him to manipulate a circumstance, than to alter the will of God! Opposite of hope is hopelessness!

When you have no expectation you reach a place of despair that ends in giving up! Many people are at this place! They have given up on dreams, promises, purposes, and desires! We need to Get our hopes up! Let me say it once again, many people have given up! They have enough faith to turn the situation around! But they've lost their hope! They have enough dynamite, but their fuse has been tampered with! You can have enough dynamite to move mountains, but you must have a fuse! You must get your hopes up! A lot of churches have lost their hope! Their mental attitude of anticipation. People come into the doors of the church downcast, defeated, depressed! No anxious anticipation, they have LOST THEIR HOPE!

You can take from a person his wealth, and you HINDER him. You can take his purpose, and you SLOW HIM DOWN. But you take from a person his hope and you STOP HIM IN HIS TRACKS. He can go without wealth, and even without purpose for a while. But he will not go on without HOPE. Hope is like oxygen. You take oxygen away and death comes by suffocation. You take away hope and death comes by despair. We live on HOPE! When hope dies, a large part of us dies.

A well known American cardiologist noted that "hope is the medicine I use more than any other. Hope can cure nearly anything." A noted minister wrote: "The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for."

We MUST get our hopes up. How do we do that? Look back at our text:

Revelation 5:5 One of the Elders said, "Don't weep. Look--the Lion from Tribe Judah, the Root of David's Tree, has conquered. He can open the scroll, can rip through the seven seals."

John realized that just because his situation looked HOPELESS, didn't mean that it was. The LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH was on the scene to CONQUER the problem he was facing. My friend, Jesus is still the LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH, and He hasn't changed one bit. Look to Him today, and allow Him to reinstate your hope.

Blessings!

Pastor Rusty