|James 4:1||From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?||Hey, where are all these fights among you coming from? Remember, if there are outward fights there are inward fights. You are conflicted within yourselves and its leaking out.|
|James 4:2||Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.||You’ve got strong, even sinful, desires and they are not satisfied. You’d even kill for things and you still can’t get them. Why? Simple! You don’t have because you didn’t ask God!|
|James 4:3||Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.||Even if you do ask Him, you’re still messing it up. If you ask for the objects of your lust it would be wrong of God to give it to you. He loves you too much for that.|
|James 4:4||Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.||What you are doing is like adultery. You are married to God yet you are in love with the world. Choose. Who are you going to love? God or the world? You can’t have both. If you choose the world, God will be your enemy. If you choose God, the world will be your enemy.|
|James 4:5||Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?||Even the scripture lets us know that the Spirit He placed in us is jealous. Jealous for our love and if we love another He feels it and knows it.|
|James 4:6||But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.||But we have an empowerment from God. His grace is on us. So, standing in that grace, let’s resist pride, when we do He pours out His grace on us. The humble will receive from God; the prideful will not.|
|James 4:7||Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.||So get control of all your sinful desires, trust God and submit to His way. In doing this you are literally resisting the Devil. You’re not trusting the Devil anymore by following after the desires he’s trying to give you. The Devil flees when no one listens to him.|
|James 4:8||Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.||So pull your hearts right in with God. Set your desires on Him. Not on far away places. This is like washing your hands and purifying your hearts. Now we are not split in our desires wanting to go to God and the world at the same time.|
|James 4:9||Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.||God helps us turn away from the world and its desires. Sometimes there’s a sadness with that. A true repentance where your heart is sorry for the things you’ve done. Go ahead and be sorry. Let that work in you for a time.|
|James 4:10||Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.||Bring yourself to the point where you completely realize that you totally need God. From that position you don’t think you can do anything and you realize you have to totally rely on God. God answers that! He can tell when your heart is pure.|
I’d be interested in your thoughts about this. I think one of the best ways to study the Bible is to write your own paraphrase of it. I’m hoping to catch all the meaning and be true to the text. I don’t think I’ve nailed it, but I sure feel like I understand this chapter better now.
|2 Corinthians 4:1||Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;||God has commissioned us with this ministry to take the same mercy we’ve received from God and give it to others. The commission comes with the strength and ability to complete the work; so we’re not running out of energy here.|
|2 Corinthians 4:2||But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.||You know all those things you try to hide, afraid that you’ll be found out? We can give all that up. And we do. We’ve got to bring forth this beautiful, pure Gospel through beautiful clean hearts. People can tell if you’re fake.|
|2 Corinthians 4:3||But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:||If this Gospel is hidden to anyone those people are lost, not found yet. Let’s not present anything in ourselves that would block their view of the Gospel.|
|2 Corinthians 4:4||In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.||Satan, the ‘god of this world’ works to blind the minds of those who haven’t seen the truth yet. Once they see the reality of Jesus, Satan loses them for sure, because the light has found them.|
|2 Corinthians 4:5||For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.||We’re not the Savior, although we bring His salvation. Jesus Himself is the Lord. We serve Him and you so that He would be increased in this world.|
|2 Corinthians 4:6||For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.||The One who originally said, “Let there be light!” has performed the same miracle in our hearts. The light of knowing God is shining in our hearts as we behold Jesus’ face.|
|2 Corinthians 4:7||But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.||This light that shines in us, this treasure, is what we hold. It doesn’t come from us, it flows through us. So everyone knows this light is from God not from us.|
|2 Corinthians 4:8||We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;||Those are the spiritual realities, but in this world we deal with tons of difficulties; Satan makes sure of it. But because we hold the spiritual realities in view the opposition doesn’t wear us out.|
|2 Corinthians 4:9||Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;||The world cuts me down but God hasn’t given up on me. They might throw me down, but they can’t destroy me.|
|2 Corinthians 4:10||Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.||This substitution thing that Jesus did by dying for me seems to be having an effect on me. Its seems I constantly experience death but His life in me keeps me living.|
|2 Corinthians 4:11||For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.||It seems we keep getting delivered to death but life keeps rescuing us keeping our mortal bodies alive!|
|2 Corinthians 4:12||So then death worketh in us, but life in you.||Because we keep surviving these death attacks that results in more life for you as we continue to minister more and more truth and you receive it.|
|2 Corinthians 4:13||We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;||We are people of faith. That’s how we survive. And as such we speak as those who have faith. We follow the example of those written about in the scriptures. They believed and therefore spoke. We believe therefore we speak.|
|2 Corinthians 4:14||Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.||We can see this with our faith, God raised Jesus He’ll raise us also. Together we’ll be presented before the Most High!|
|2 Corinthians 4:15||For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.||This is amazing. This was all done for you. Abundant grace came to you. Thanksgiving rose up in you. God receives abundant glory. I love it.|
|2 Corinthians 4:16||For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.||We feel eternally energized by this work. Outwardly it seems we are wearing out but there is internal energy that keeps rising up day after day.|
|2 Corinthians 4:17||For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;||Seeing things from a spiritual perspective all of our difficulties seem pretty small and short lived. But everything we endure is remembered by God Himself; it will be glorious as we receive our reward.|
|2 Corinthians 4:18||While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.||So let’s keep looking at the spiritual ‘unseen’ things; they last forever. The things we see with our eyes will all be gone someday soon.|
When gold heats up, the impurities rise to the surface.
They scrape the bad stuff off and throw it away.
That’s how gold get’s purified.
In times of great pressure in our lives, the negative within us can come up.
Don’t hold on to that negative stuff.
We’re getting purified.
This is a time of great shaking for everyone.
The impurities are rising up.
We see it everywhere.
If it comes up in you then seize the day
Take the opportunity to get it out of your life.
Humility is the shortest path to wholeness.
Pride will delay your journey to freedom.
So let it go.
Change the way you think.
1Peter 4:17 “For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household;”
If the negative stuff rises up in you, don’t be prideful and try to defend yourself.
Just admit the guilt, ask forgiveness, make things right and move on.
If you fight to maintain your innocence when its clear otherwise,
it’s like you’re drinking the impurities back down within yourself.
Don’t let that happen.
Seize the opportunity.
It came up to come out.
Be free from that negative stuff.
It’s not coming back to haunt you.
It came up to come out.
It didn’t come up to embarrass you.
It came up to come out.
Humility is the shortest path to wholeness.
Pride will delay your journey to freedom.
Ask for forgiveness and be done with it.
Lord, help us all,
and thank you for your mercy.
I thank you for your complete forgiveness of all of my impurities.
You promised, Lord, to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Thank you Jesus!
JUNE 9, 2020
Do you want to know whether you are in the flesh or in the Spirit?
Do you want to know if you are pleasing God or at war with Him?
You CAN know!
Years ago I came home from work and Nancy said, “You need to go into (one of our daughter)’s bedroom. She’s throwing a fit.” Before I walked in, I said, “Lord I don’t have anything. But I’m trusting you.” So, I walked in and said, “How ya doin’?”
She said “Terrible.”
Everything was wrong. To her this was a major crisis. It was some great injustice and her temper was totally justifiable in her eyes.
So I asked her a question:
“On a scale from one to ten, how are you doing in walking in love right now?”
She said zero.
I said, “Okay, how about Joy? One to ten, how are you doing?”
“How about Peace?”
I want through all nine fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22,23 and she rated herself a zero on every one of them.
I said, “Did you realize that, if you have a zero for each of those, then you’re walking in the flesh and not in the Spirit?”
I don’t remember what she said next, but I do remember the complete change in her attitude. The storm was passed by. She was no longer in emotional turmoil.
Through her finding out she was in the flesh, she was able to locate where she was emotionally and spiritually, where she wanted to be, and that it was her will that would get her there. She chose to walk in the Spirit and instantly received the reward of choosing to walk that way. She had peace, joy, love and all the rest.
So, friends, how are YOU doing?
Are you walking in the Spirit or the flesh?
On a scale of 1 to 10 rate yourself
How are you doing when it comes to walking in:
Romans 8:5-9 “For they that are according to the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh: but they that are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace: Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. Now if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is not his.”
You get to choose.
Last year I put together an album of my instrumental music with healing scriptures spoken over the music. My desire was that people would either hear and be healed or at least that it would build their faith to be healed by God’s available healing power.
I really want everyone to be healed. I believe God does too.
We’re actually working on a book and a class on this topic.
I hope you enjoy this track.
Just sit back and close your eyes while listening.
If you want to hear the rest of the album, you can purchase the CD here on this site, download it from iTunes, Amazon, stream it on Spotify and many other outlets.
June 2020 JBM Newsletter
What a tumult!
What crazy times we are living in right here, right now.
Yet right now I’m sitting in my comfy chair, looking out the window at a pond with a fountain, the temperature is perfect, the breeze is blowing, the sunshine is beautiful, and I’m able to sit quietly and speak to my Creator. I’m able to read His Word, hear from Him, let Him know that I love Him and let Him speak to my heart. I write down what He says. Quietly I hear Him say:
My grace is increasing.
My grace is abounding.
Let love win the day.
You might think ‘Joe, you are so out of touch with what’s going on!’ And I would agree with you. I’ve spent a lot of time watching the news. I’ve spent a lot of time on Facebook, etc. trying to see what is going on and what wisdom is available. Are all of my friends OK? Is there any breakthrough? What kind of progress can I expect? How is this going to affect my family and our church and the future of our ministry? There are so many questions. So much concern. So many expressions of pain. So many accusations of guilt.
Friends, if you want to be effective you’ve got to get disconnected.
I heard a prophetic word where Jesus was coaxing someone to get alone with Him. He said, “Come apart before you come apart!”
The effective ones are the ones who have spoken with their Commanding Officer. Who have gotten their battle plans from the King. The ones who meet privately with the Creator God, be at peace and listen to His heart. These are the ones who are going to show up with a fresh word, an attitude that heals and refreshes. They are the ones who are going to bring joy back into its rightful place in our lives and in our world.
Friends, this is our day. He made it for us. Receive His love. Receive His comfort. Receive His healing. Be transformed by His love. Then just shine. You’ll know what to do.
Years ago I worked at Tyndale House Publishers and was able to spend time with Dr. Ken Taylor, the founder of the company who wrote the Living Bible. One thought I had about him was of all the people who ever read the Living Bible, who got the most out of it?
Dr. Taylor did.
He wrote it.
So, I decided to try this method of Bible study. Paraphrase the verse and see if you can get all of the original meaning into your paraphrase.
Here is my attempt at Isaiah 61. See how you think I did.
|Isaiah 61:1||The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;||The presence of God is with me. His Spirit is on me empowering me to proclaim the gospel to those who are so weak and poor. I have a commission from Him to wrap up and bandage the hearts that have been shattered and to tell the captives that they are now free.|
|Isaiah 61:2||To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;||Jubilee has come! God is ready to set the record straight, to balance the scales, to right the wrongs and bring deep comfort to those whose hearts are mourning.|
|Isaiah 61:3||To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.||Here’s how He’s going to fix it: for those whose lives seem nothing but ashes He’s going to make them beautiful, green and full of life. For those who are weighed down with heavy sadness, just like a brand new garment He’s going to adorn you with praise! These children of God who God does this for are going to be planted firm in Him, like beautiful, fruitful trees. Giving God constant glory.|
|Isaiah 61:4||And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.||After God affects these people in this way, the effect they will have on others will be amazing. Places that have been totally destroyed, just like their lives were will be restored as well as they are. The generational curses on families will be broken. The blessing has come.|
|Isaiah 61:5||And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.||You’ll be amazed at who God will send to help you. People from foreign countries and those you don’t even know will feed your flocks, plow your fields and tend your vines,|
|Isaiah 61:6||But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.||because you will be too busy for that. People will call you Priests of the Lord and Ministers of the Most High God. The wealth of those who don’t even know God will come looking for you. God has appointed it to you. Their glorious riches will be yours.|
|Isaiah 61:7||For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.||For all the shame, pain and confusion you’ve endured God will give you double blessing. In your land you will have twice as much blessing as the pain you endured. Oh the joy that will be on them! It won’t end.|
|Isaiah 61:8||For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.||I, your God, love fixing things this way! I hate when people try to work their own salvation. I want to do it for them. I want to do the cutting so they don’t have to. It’s my covenant with them and it will pass down to their kids,|
|Isaiah 61:9||And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed.||Their children will be known all over the world. Everyone that sees them will be confronted with how much I’ve blessed them. They will acknowledge the ones I have blessed as chosen by me.|
|Isaiah 61:10||I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.||Lord, I am overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness for everything you’ve done. I’m completely clothed and protected with your salvation and you make look great in your eyes with your gift of righteousness. I feel as well taken care of as a the groom at a wedding; I’m totally decked out. Or like a bride covered with her dress and beautiful attire; your salvation on us is so beautiful.|
|Isaiah 61:11||For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.||It’s amazing how soil grows what’s sown it; the seeds bud and flourish. Just so, Lord, you are causing your praise and glory to spring up throughout the nations because of how extravagant your salvation is.|
My 2020 Father’s Day message.
In John chapter 11 we read the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.
I think I’ve read this chapter 100s of times. I often ask the Lord, ‘What chapter should I read?’ More often than not He says ‘John 11’.
That could get frustrating, to just keep reading the same chapter, often getting something, but today was different.
I saw the gestation of a miracle.
I saw from the time Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick until he spoke the words, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’ There was a time of gestation. Like being pregnant with a child, you are called upon to bring forth something into the earth. Jesus was bringing a miracle into the earth.
Jesus loved Lazarus, but He was confident in his revival.
What did Jesus do as soon as He heard that Lazarus was sick?
Can you imagine?
How could you do nothing if you heard your friend was sick?
Hearing this news was not his trigger for action.
Getting direction from God was His trigger for action.
If we live in our intellect then we will respond to what we hear with a thought pattern then make a decision about our actions based on what we come up with in our thinking.
Jesus was not living in his intellect. He was not controlled by his intellect. His guidance system was not his intellect. He was intent on only obeying God, only following the leading of the Holy Spirit.
If you feel an internal obligation to respond to every stimuli that comes your way, then you will easily be led by the circumstances not by God.
How do you make a decision about what to do?
Do you just reason it out?
God gave us an intellect, He wants us to use it! Right?
Thank God for our intellect; our ability to reason and to think things through with the knowledge we have in store and the wisdom we have been granted. But if we realize that our intellect is finite and our storehouse of knowledge might not have all the information required to make decisions. Then we realize we must ascend above our intellect. A higher level decision making process is required.
It is a humbling thing to think that we might not know it all. Intellect wants to reign. It wants to be in charge. It often thinks itself almighty. But if we humble ourselves and yield to the One above… If we acknowledge that we might not have all the answers and that the decision before us could be more than we are equipped to make…then we can have access to the Greater Mind, the Higher Intellect, yes, the wisdom of God!
Decisions are important. They set the course for the future, not just for us but all those around us as well.
So, why did Jesus not immediately respond when he heard the news about his friend?
He was waiting for instructions in his spirit not his intellect.
He was waiting for peace on the inside
Miracles aren’t always immediate.
Even this miracle wasn’t a microwave miracle.
We see Jesus going through a process to bring this about.
He was waiting for signals every step of the way.
Jesus was deeply moved in his spirit. Twice it mentions this. You can tell that he was more in tune with his spirit/the Spirit than he was with his intellect. His brain wasn’t running the show. It was yielded. It was looking. It was watching. Waiting for the signals, the guidance, the leading that comes from the Spirit of God dwelling within.
When you need a miracle, don’t get in a hurry. Being in a hurry is definitely where your intellect will want to take over and run the show.
If you’ll pull from the Spirit you’ll get heaven’s results not the intellect’s.
Lord, I see all of these Father’s Day posts, while I’m thankful for being honored. The thing that bothers me is the number of people who’s father has passed and they are sore lamenting the loss of their father and missing him everyday. I don’t want that. I don’t want to be the one who is missing. I don’t want my kids to lament me not being there. Give me wisdom God. I want to affect their lives in a positive way, I want them to be thankful, but I do not want them to miss me everyday.
Many words, meant to be said, were unspoken. Many hearts that needed to be known were left closed. Many that needed a touch from their father were left alone. Son, you have spoken into their lives. You have ministered my love. You have done well Son.
While you can’t control how you will be remembered, you can influence it.
Keep loving Son.
Keep empowering them towards confidence and accomplishment.
Keep directing their hearts to love others.
That outward focus will leave them satisfied at your departure.
Son, I’m with you.
We have much loving to do.
Let us work while we have the light.
Move forward in me son, without shame and without apology.
Impact this world with my love and my wisdom.
That is your commission.