Enter Into His Word

There are times to receive a promise; there are times to wait on a promise; and there are times to rise up and enter into a promise.  God wants 2018 to be a time of entering in.  It is time to take hold of your territory, to enter into your promised land.

In this series, we hear God’s word to Joshua to receive both promises and principles for us.  God’s word will prepare you to possess your land.  If you are going to enter into your promised land you will first need to enter into God’s word, because His word contains the instructions, truths, wisdom, grace, strength, confidence you need.

Let this message encourage you to seek the Lord this year, entering into His word so you can enter into your promised land.


Debt To Surplus Part 4

Want to move from debt to surplus?  Here are the first of 12 steps that will move you out of lack and into abundance–12 powerful, practical, biblical principles that you know you need.  On the next podcast, I will cover the rest of the steps.


Breaking The Yoke of Debt Part 4

Diligence unlocks the blessing.  

In order for us to walk in freedom and experience abundance we need to embrace this truth.  In this message,  God is breaking the 3rd yoke in our hearts–the yoke of complacency. To free us God has to work in us before He works outside of us; the victory always begins on the inside.  He has to prepare us for the blessing.

This is not an easy yoke to address but it is so rewarding to confront head on once and for all.  Here is your opportunity.


Breaking The Yoke of Debt -part 2

God is breaking the yoke of debt.  Not only is God moving to get us out of debt, but He is also working in us to free us from the bondage of the heart, called the yoke of debt.  This is a powerful word from the Lord that is releasing breakthrough in people’s lives here in St. Louis and His word will do the same for you where you are.

I declare that breakthrough is coming soon!  First God will give you victory on the inside and then it will manifest on the outside.  He is going to work it IN you before He works it through you.

And in this message you will hear how to step into that breakthrough–through sacrifice….

Because there is no breakthrough without sacrifice!


Resurrection Power


Jesus is resurrected and alive. In fact, He is THE resurrection and THE life!  Because He lives and lives inside those who believe, His power is available for us.  Because He is the resurrection and the life, there are no dead ends.  He conquered the grave and can conquer anything you face in your life. If you need hope, if you need a resurrection, if you need victory this message from John 11 will encourage your faith and set you up for breakthrough.

I hope you enjoy!

You can also subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes: click here.

Words that Change Everything-Part 4

Words that Change Everything

God created us with the ability to speak words that truly affect our lives and those around us. As people made in God’s image, we can speak words of life or words of death–its our choice.  Jesus Himself modeled for us and taught us how to speak words of life.  In this series, you will discover how you can speak words that change everything.

In this message, you will discover how God’s words of blessing over you cause supernatural things to happen.  Listen and receive God’s blessing for your life.


Part 4: Words of Blessing


Words that Change Everything-Part 3

Words that Change Everything

God created us with the ability to speak words that truly affect our lives and those around us. As people made in God’s image, we can speak words of life or words of death–its our choice.  Jesus Himself modeled for us and taught us how to speak words of life.  In this series, you will discover how you can speak words that change everything.


Part 3: Words of Life

Words that Change Everything-Intro

Words that Change Everything

God created us with the ability to speak words that truly affect our lives and those around us. As people made in God’s image, we can speak words of life or words of death–its our choice.  Jesus Himself modeled for us and taught us how to speak words of life.  In this series, you will discover how you can speak words that change everything.


Introduction: Words of Faith


Psalm 23

Psalm 23 was not written on a green hillside on a peaceful day; it was written in a dark cave on a frightening day.

1The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.2He makes me to lie down in green pastures;He leads me beside the still waters.3He restores my soul;He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil;For You are with me;Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;You anoint my head with oil;My cup runs over.6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life;And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

Often, because of the wonderfully comforting words David sings to God in Psalm 23, we imagine he wrote it on a green hillside, on a sunny, peaceful day while watching sheep feast on grass. Descriptions like “green pastures” and “still waters” and statements like “restore my soul” cause us to see this picture David is painting with his song and release inside of us the same comfort he was experiencing while he sang.  

We image these words were penned during his boyhood years as a shepherd of his father’s sheep, as he spent many days and nights alone, contemplating and singing. We believe the song flowed from a heart full of youthful innocence and optimism.

But by doing this we miss the power of Psalm 23. By looking closely at Psalm 23 we observe that David was not on a green hill side but inside a dark cave. He was not a youth but a fugitive. He was not inexperienced at the crises of life. He had been betrayed, lied about, and attacked. He had lost everything. He was afraid for his life. Psalm 23 is a manifesto of patient faith sung during a dark time in David’s life. It is an anthem of hope. When we place this bright Psalm in its dark context it shines even brighter–the words more comforting, the example more compelling. 

David describes himself as walking through the valley of the shadow of death–a clear allusion to the physical desert he was hiding in, the threat to his life, and the emotional weight bearing on his soul. He says that he is the presence of his enemies.  He did not have enemies before King Saul tried to kill him.  When he says, “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life” he is using a play on words. “Follow” is best translated “pursue”.  It is a word used of hunting someone or something to destroy it. It is a word used to describe persecution. This declaration, like the rest of the Psalm, is a faith-filled defiance of his circumstances. David is experiencing lack, but he declares that God is his shepherd and lacks nothing. David is emotionally raw, but he declares God makes him lie down, gives him rest and restores his soul. He doesn’t know what to do or where to go, but he declares God will guide him. His life is being threatened, but he declares God is with him and comforts him. His enemies–an angry, jealous, crazy King Saul and his army–are pursing David in the desert, but he declares that God delights in him. Can you imagine someone hating you, lying about you, attacking you and trying to end your life? David was innocent; he had done nothing to warrant this attack. In the midst of rejection and loss, he declares God loves him and enjoys him. Though a crazy man is trying to kill him, David declares God’s promise and plan for his life will win. He is implying, “This man might be chasing me, but God is chasing me too. And God, not this man, will catch me. His goodness and mercy, his love, his blessings, his promises, his plan, his commitment to me will catch me, consume me, and characterize my life!”

Psalm 23 is powerful because David is declaring the exact opposite of what he is experiencing. Without denying his precarious state, he boasts about his God, defying his circumstances with the declaration of God’s promises for his life. He is not a green hillside, but a dark cave. 

  • He declares he has no lack because he was hungry and alone.
  • He declares God is with him because he is scared for his life.  
  • He declares God’s delightful fellowship because he is being rejected and attacked by his King and father-in-law.
  • He declares the goodness and mercy of God pursues him because he is being pursued by a man who wants to end his life, terminate his calling, and rob his blessings. 

He is assuring himself that God is with him and for him; that, even if others reject him, God delights in him; that, in the end, God’s good promises will win out in his life. Whether financially or relationally, physically or spiritually, emotionally or practically, David is placing his trust and hope firmly in the Faithful One’s hands.  

We have, in many of David’s Psalms (and especially Psalm 23), a perfect example of how faith responds to trials, delays, setbacks, disappointments, and life threatening situations. This is what it means in 1 Samuel 30 that David “strengthened himself in the Lord” in response to tragedy. This is costly worship. Faith boasts about God. Faith does not deny circumstances but it sure does defy them. Circumstances have a way of preaching to us, of boasting that they will defeat us. David knew how to overcome. He models for us that we need to preach to our hearts and to our circumstances by boasting about our God. We need to declare that our God is bigger than our circumstances. This is how to be people of faith, of worship, who overcome and see the fulfillment of God’s promises and plan in our lives.  

So boast about your God. Declare what God will do for you.

I do not lack; because I have God, I have everything I need. If I have nothing, but I have God, I lack no good thing.  God is my comfort, peace, and rest. I will not fear.  Though I am emotionally raw, God restores me. He is the strength of my soul, the strength of my emotions, my confidence, my rock and refuge. God is with me; I am not alone. He will guide me.  God delights in me. Even if others reject me, God loves me and enjoys me. God will bless me. His plan for my life will win. His goodness and mercy, his blessing and promises, his love and faithfulness will characterize my life. And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever!  

Love God but hate doing devos? 4 simple devo ideas

The Word of God is essential to knowing Christ and becoming like him and yet many struggle with getting into the Word.  Do you wonder: How do I get into the Word since I don’t like to read or have a hard time focusing or comprehending what I read?  Do you or someone you know struggle with doing “devotions”?  Here are some ideas for those who don’t like reading.

First, let’s establish that devotions are vital for the Christian life.

The bible, God’s Word, is the self-disclosure of God. It’s not like any other book. It’s the authorized biography of God, his message to us. It is truth about him, us, and what he is doing to redeem. It is powerful, carrying his transformative life, to those who believe.

Jesus told us, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”–John 8:31-32.  Jesus is teaching that following him and being in his Word are inseparable.  To follow Jesus is to listen to and obey his Word.  He is also teaching that it’s in the Word we find truth and its in the truth we find freedom.

And so, for the person who wants to know God deeply, understand who they are and what they are destined for, and walk in his ways the bible is an essential tool, an indispensable gift.  Hunger for and consumption of the Word is vital to growing and developing as a follower of Christ. It is an essential part of our spiritual diet–Acts 20:32.

By listening to the Word, we hear Jesus, we receive him, we get to know him, we observe him. By responding in prayer and worship we engage with him, become vulnerable, let him know us, and transform us. The more time we spend with someone, the better we get to know them. It’s that simple. The more you know someone, the more you become like them. That is discipleship 101. Be with Jesus, become like Jesus. The call to an intimate relationship with Jesus is the most enjoyable and powerful. It’s so attractive.

How can we know God if we don’t listen?  If all we do is talk and never listen how can we get to know him or allow him to influence us?  Many people pray but never turn to the Word of God and the leadership of the Holy Spirit to allow The Lord to reveal himself and his will. That doesn’t work in a human relationship; it would be like having a relationship with yourself. How do you feel if someone only talks about themselves, almost treating you like a microphone or an ornament?  God wants to be known; he wants a real relationship. And you and I need to be influenced by him; we need to hear from him in order to know his will and ways.  We need to know the truth.  More word, more truth, more light, more transformation. It’s that simple.

This is precisely why I constantly encourage people to be in the Word of God daily.

And yet, despite its importance, many are discouraged in some way by the call to read the bible. Some hate to read or find it tedious because of struggles with Dyslexia or focus. Some are confused because of the strangeness of another culture; some don’t know where to begin with such a large book. Some are busy, possibly spending hours commuting or taxiing children.

Whatever the reason, if you struggle with reading the bible but recognize the importance of being in the word, here are some simple ideas I hope will help you:

First, listen to the bible rather than read it. Don’t feel you are “cheating” by not reading. The goal is not to read but to get the word into our hearts through our eyes and ears.  In fact, the bible was written to be heard–you may catch more by listening. There are many commands to hear the Word in the bible (not as many to read it). You can find free audio recordings of the bible online.  Try www.youversion.com.  You can use your computer or smart phone.  You can start a “reading” plan (I recommend the solid lives reading plan) and listen to the bible daily (try the NLT or ESV translations).

You can listen when you are driving, cooking, or working on a project. You can turn off music or talk radio, and spend some time listening to the word and then talking with God about it.

You can also combine reading and listening. For those who struggle to focus, reading the bible while someone else reads it to you or reading out loud yourself may help you to focus and retain more. I also encourage you to read smaller portions (I.e. One New Testament chapter a day).

Second, listen to podcasts. The preaching of the Word is a powerful way to get the word into our hearts. Again, this is not cheating!  Though it’s important to read or listen to the bible ourselves so we understand the context and can own what others are teaching, preaching can greatly aid in understanding the bible and in growing in faith.  Paul emphasizes our need for a preacher in Romans 10: 14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent?. There are many good preachers offering free online podcasts or who teach on TV or the radio.  You can download podcasts onto your phone and listen throughout your day.  Check out http://jerrydirmann.com/.  That’s just one of many I listen to weekly to build my faith.

Third, read the Bible with others.  You don’t have to do devos alone to make them “count”.  If you are relational, find others who are like you.  Gather at a coffee shop or living room, read the bible together, talk about it, and pray.  One of my best friends and ministry partners is a business owner.  He begins everyday with a group of people (some employees and some church members) reading the bible and then praying.  He calls it Daily Alignment (DA), inspired by Hebrews 3:13, “but exhort one another DAILY, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”  Notice God is speaking DAILY and we need the Word DAILY.  And yet, we are not told to read the bible by ourselves daily.  Rather, we are called to exhort (or preach to) to one another DAILY.  This is what the early church did (see Acts 2).

Fourth, engage your heart and mind and engage God in conversation.  How?  By meditating out loud on what you read and by talking to God about it. “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success (Joshua 1:8).  Meditating on the Word is one of the most potent ways to get it into our hearts and build our faith.  In fact, most people are either bored with the Bible or missing the power of the truth because they don’t speak the Word out of their mouth.  Until the Word comes out of your mouth with faith you won’t see God’s power.  This is one of those “think smarter and not harder” principles.  Meditating on God’s Word will not only help you focus more but it will lead to deeper intimacy with God and greater transformation. The goal is not only to read and know a lot of the bible, but to believe and obey the truths of the bible. Instead of trying to consume a lot with little comprehension, try reading less and meditating and praying more.  Become focused, fixated, obsessed with the truths you discover.  Meditate all day–ponder, think about, discuss, share, converse with God, sing…. As we see in Joshua 1:8, it’s when we meditate that our faith is built, we receive strength to obey God, and then blessing is released. 

When you listen to the Word or when hear someone preach the Word, one of the best ways to get it into your heart is to study it yourself, meditate/think about it, and then talk to God about it.  Simply pick verse (or a few) to meditate on all day/week.  I recommend that after listening to a message about the truths of Scripture from a person, read or listen to the passages they expounded on yourself. Then spend time thinking and praying about it with God. The more you respond to the Word, creating dialog, the more you will be able to receive from The Lord and allow him to transform you.

Do you have other ideas or resources that have helped you or others? Please suggest them in the comments feed.

Where to begin with the bible?  Check out this reading/listening plan (you can also find it on youversion.com).

Want to start a friendship with God? Read this post. 

Want to grow in your relationship with God? Check out OSLonline.com. It’s a powerful discipleship process that transformed my life and ministry.

Want to read commentaries that explain the bible or study the Bible?  Check out blueletterbible.org (its free!).

Enjoy God!  He enjoys you!