John Hagee Ministries

Devotionals

Be inspired and uplifted each day as you receive insight into God's Word

Jeremiah 31:13

Jeremiah 31:13—…For I will turn their mourning to joy, Will comfort them, And make them rejoice rather than sorrow.

On the other side of tears is God’s peace!

Have you ever heard the expression “good grief”?  It’s true.  Grief is healthy.  A tear in the eye tells of at least one spring in the soul.  It may lie buried beneath emotional scars, a bitter divorce, rejection by parents, and a litany of bitter memories that will not die.  But that one little tear trickling down our cheeks cries out, “I’m alive!”

Every Sunday morning at Cornerstone Church, immediately after the sermon, I invite all who wish to respond to the Gospel to come forward to the altar.  When I was a child, we used to call it “the mourner’s bench.”  People come forward with tears streaming down their faces.

Why?  Because the Lord is at work.  Shattered dreams are being rebuilt, fractured marriages restored, ruptured relationships healed by the power of God.  The pressures of life are easing and the burden of sin lifting as people bask in the happiness that only God can give.  They look sad on the outside, but they’re happy on the inside.

Tears are living proof of life.  The man who cannot shed tears is not fully alive. 

One day a woman called my office asking if I would talk to her husband, who was manifesting signs of severe depression.  Their eighteenyearold son had been killed two months before in a blazing auto accident, and the father’s heart was broken.  His torture was compounded because he embraced the mentality that it isn’t manly to cry.

When I arrived at the home, I found the man in the backyard, pacing back and forth like a caged lion.  We chatted a few moments as I searched for a tactful way to broach the painful subject of his son’s tragic death.

Suddenly he blurted out, “Tears are for the weak, preacher.  I’m too hard and cold to cry.  I’m like steel inside.”

That’s a pity,” I said.  “And dangerous, too.”

“Why?”  He asked.

“Because the only thing steel can do under stress is snap and break,” I said.  “You may consider tears a sign of weakness, but they are really God’s therapy for a broken heart.  On the other side of tears is God’s peace.  Don’t be afraid to cry.”

He brushed off my advice.  Two days later he put a .357 Magnum in his mouth and blew the top of his head off.  He couldn’t bend like a supple tree planted beside rivers of living water.  He could only snap under the pressure. 

Happy are those who mourn, who can weep like a child, sob it out in their private Gethsemane and later find relief in the rich laughter of heavenly consolation.  They shall be comforted indeed.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Matthew 5:4

Matthew 5:4—Blessed are they that mourn:  for they shall be comforted.

Even now, in the dark of night when our hearts are breaking, He sits beside us!

Do happiness and mourning go together?  What a paradox!  How flatly it contradicts today’s hedonistic worldview!  How can crying and joy go together?  How can the perfume of happiness be extracted from the gall of sorrow?

Who in his natural mind would think of congratulating a person whose face was wet with tears?  “It’s nice to see you crying today, Mary.  Keep it up, it’s good for you.”

When we weep, we’re in good company.  When Lazarus died, Jesus wept.  When He knelt on the Mount of Olives and looked out over the city of Jerusalem, He wept.  When Paul left the town of Ephesus, he and the elders wept with sorrow at their parting.  John wept on the isle of Patmos because no one was found worthy to open the scroll that would reveal God’s plans.

But Jesus is not saying, “Happy are the crybabies, for they shall get what they want.  Happy are those dedicated to feeling guilty even when they haven’t done anything wrong.  Happy are those who have learned to whine their way to maximum attention.  Happy are those who love root canals and IRS audits.”  He says, “Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Do you understand the implications of this?  The God of all comfort promises to comfort us.


o The God who comforted Abraham as he walked toward Mt. Moriah to sacrifice his beloved Isaac—that God will comfort us!

o The God who comforted Paul on the raging sea moments before he was shipwrecked—that God will comfort us!

o The God that comforted the fathers of the church, as they were being burned alive by their persecutors—that God will comfort us!

The first thing we’ll feel in eternity is the gentle hand of God, wiping the tears from our eyes.

When we’ve been abandoned by our dearest friend on earth and feel so absolutely alone, He picks us up in His massive arms and holds us close until the storm passes by.

Shout it from the housetops to the unhappy legions of earth:  “We shall be comforted!”  Who says so?  The God of all comfort says so.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

James 4:6

James 4:6—…God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

Happiness never comes to the proud!

The Bible tells us that God opposes the proud and that haughty eyes are detestable to Him Proverbs 6:16-17.

In the first chapter of his letter to the Romans, Paul lists some of the most despicable people on the face of the earth.  Among them are those “filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity,” those “full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice,” and those he calls the “arrogant and boastful” Romans 1:29-30; in other words, the proud.

Being broken in spirit was utter rubbish to the Romans.  They worshipped the god of power.  “If you want to be happy,” the Romans said, “knock your enemy to the ground, put a sword to his throat and say, ‘Make a wish!’”

To the equally proud Jews, being poor in spirit was the last thing in the world to do to be happy.  They had their own formula for happiness, and poverty of spirit was definitely not one of the ingredients.

How are we to identify those who are broken in spirit and those who are diseased with pride?  Three illustrations in the Bible nail it down for us.

The first is Jesus’ story of the Pharisee and the tax collector.  These two men went to the temple to pray.  The Pharisee prayed, “God, I thank You that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.”  The tax collector, standing at a distance, “would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me a sinner’” Luke 18:11-13.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Revelation 3:17

Revelation 3:17—Because you say, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing”—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—

Happy are the poor in spirit!

How different from the attitude of the Laodicean Christians referred to in the above scripture, who said, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.”

How many Christians today share their point of view!  So much of the church is saturated with the Dr. Feelgood theology.  If it feels good, do it, and when it gets hard, get out.

That is not the message of Christ.  Everywhere He went there was conflict, controversy and conversion.  He was crucified as an insurrectionist considered too dangerous to live.  He was not “gentle Jesus, meek and mild.”  He was a straight shooter.

For major religious groups were represented among the multitude that listened to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount:  the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Essences and the Zealots.

The Pharisees.  When Jesus said, “Happy are the poor in spirit,” I believe He was looking right at the Pharisees, piercing their proud hearts.  The Pharisees believed that happiness was found in legalism.  They were forerunners of the “we don’t smoke, we don’t chew, and we don’t run with those who do” crowd.

The Sadducees.  This group believed that happiness was found in modernism and liberalism.  “Ours is an uptodate religion,” they would say, “full of the latest philosophy.  There’s no cross to bear.  There are no conflicts because there is no confrontation.  The Scripture?  A delightful, romantic allegory.  Sin?  What on earth is that?”

The Essenes.  They believed that happiness was found in isolation from the world.  Isolation is a state of being cut off from other people.  Its opposite is absorption:  the state of being so saturated with others that you forget who you are.  Your own identity is lost and your goals blurred in the treadmill of trying to please others.

Happiness can never be found in absolute isolation or in absolute absorption.  It lies somewhere in between.  It is not found living alone in the desert as the Essenes believed.  Happiness is knowing who we are and to whom we belong.

The Zealots.  These hotheads thought happiness lay in political revolution.  “Let’s run the Romans out of town,” they said, “and then we can all be happy.”

Today, many Christians are crying, “Let’s take charge of the government!  Then we can be happy.”  But in view of recent scandals that have shaken the church to its roots, it would appear that we need to take charge of ourselves first.  Before praying for power to take over the government, let’s pray for the power to develop an ear sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit and a tender heart toward God and man.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Romans 13:8

Romans 13:8
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

Love never fails…

The Bible describes the complexity and majesty of God with these three words, “God is love” 1 John 4:16.  When Jesus completed His ministry on this earth, He gave His disciples a command, known as the eleventh commandment, which was, “Love one another as I have loved you” John 15:12.  Christ gave His love when it was not deserved, to people who did not deserve it.  That’s a principle you’re going to have to practice in your marriage if it’s to be an exciting and enduring marriage.

There will come a time when you will need to give love to your spouse, love that is not deserved, and give it joyfully.  We are all angels with one wing, and we need each other to fly.  Marriage is God’s idea, and it is the microcosm of heaven on earth.  But the glue that holds it together is the unconditional love of God one for the other.  Love is the one ingredient of which our world never tires and of which there is never an overabundance.  The world will never outgrow its need for love.  God created us in His own image, which means we were created to function on the fuel of love. 

Source:  What Every Man Wants in a Woman / What Every Woman Wants in a Man by Pastor and Diana Hagee

Philippians 4:4

Philippians 4:4—Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again:  Rejoice!

Choose a positive attitude first thing in the morning!

There are only two kinds of attitudes:  good ones and bad ones.  Profound, eh?  So is a marvelous poem my mother taught me when I was a child.  I’ve never forgotten it.  It goes like this:

Two men looked out prison bars:
One saw mud, the other stars.

Two men in exactly the same circumstances made opposite choices that determined their capacity to be happy.  Which choice would you have made?

Why not choose a positive attitude first thing in the morning, before these things even have a chance to go wrong?  King David said, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” Psalm 118:24.

That choice, when you get up in the morning, will set the mood for your whole day.

Our attitudes don’t have to be determined by our circumstances.  I once stood by the bedside of a beautiful and courageous seventeenyearold girl who was dying of cancer.  I can stand by the deathbed of an adult who has lived a full, rich life and accept that all good things must end.  But when I stand beside a dying child, I have to fight tears.

Rosie read my thoughts perfectly.  Clutching her white Bible in her frail hands, she looked me straight in the eye and said, “Pastor, I know I’m dying.  But isn’t this a beautiful day?  Every day is a gift from God.”  I felt ashamed of the petty circumstances I so often let control my attitude toward life.  This teenage champion of courage didn’t let the worst of circumstances control her attitude.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

1 Timothy 6:9, 11

1 Timothy 6:9,11 —But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.   But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.

Choose to flee temptation!

One Monday morning my secretary burst into my office with a worried look on her face and said, “Pastor, there is call you’d better take.” 
When I placed the receiver to my ear, a woman screamed, “Help me! Pastor, he’s going to kill himself!”

It was a gracious lady of the church who was referring to her husband who seemed to have everything:  houses, lands, sports cars, condos, beautiful children and a lovely wife.  He was now locked in the bathroom and she believed he was attempting suicide.

I bolted from my office and sped across San Antonio in my station wagon, as if the Interstate was the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
At the pleas of the wife, I went upstairs to the locked bathroom door, and as I was in no mood to administer the Harvard Temperament Test through a locked door, I applied a technique more often employed by a blitzing middle linebacker and ripped the door off its hinges.

The husband, lying on the floor, his face pale from loss of blood from slashes on his right wrist, told me, “I’m tired of living. I don’t want to live anymore and he pleaded for me to let him die.
I picked him up and carried him down to the car and rushed him to the emergency room.  After surgery and blood transfusions, when he realized he was going to live and have to face the realities of life, he wept, “Where did I go wrong, Pastor?”

“Happiness begins with a choice,” I told him.  “You’re in this hospital as a result of poor choices.  You chose to break the laws of God and now you’re suffering the consequences.  You can be happy the day you choose to obey the divine principles of truth recorded in the Word of God.”

The man had tried to kill himself, it came out, because his mistress was pregnant and was about to file a massive lawsuit exposing his private life.  As a highprofile executive with a major company, the adverse publicity created by such a suit would doubtless cost him his job with all its perks and prestige, the respect of his children and his church and might very well cost him his marriage.

There is a high price to be paid for low living!

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

 

John 14:27

John 14:27—Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.

Circumstances control you only if you let them!

Jesus refused to let the circumstances control His attitude.  He did not utter the words of John 14:27 from an ivory tower in some Shangrila.  He said it to His disciples the night before He was to be crucified by the Romans. 

Jesus refused to let the circumstances control His attitude!

When Paul and Silas were in prison at Philippi, they sang at midnight.  When the circumstances were at their worst, they were at their best.  What did God do in response?  He sent a squadron of angels who shook the jail off its foundations with an earthquake.  Paul walked out of there with the jailhouse keys in one hand and a new convert in the other—because he refused to be mastered by his circumstances.

Most people wait for their circumstances to change before they’re willing to change their attitudes.  The husband says, “I’ll change when my wife changes.”  The wife says, “I’ll change when my husband changes.”  Standoff!  Besides, they haven’t learned that trying to change another person is as futile as trying to blow out a light bulb.

We want change husbands, wives, colleges, churches, business ventures and professional goals, before we are willing to think about first changing our own attitude.  If we will exercise man’s final freedom, the freedom to determine what our attitudes will be in any given situation, many of our problems will simply vanish.

Our attitudes toward others determine their attitudes toward us.  If we adopt a negative, faultfinding attitude, of course no one wants to be around us. 

A doctor told his patient, “Ma’am, the dog that bit you had rabies, and I’m afraid you’ve waited too long for rabies shots to be of any help.  It’s time for you to make out a will.” 

May I borrow a pen and some paper?” asked the woman calmly.  She began writing—and didn’t stop for over an hour. 

That’s the longest will I’ve ever seen,” the doctor said. 

“It’s not a will,” the woman replied.  “It’s a list of all the people I’m going to bite when I get out of here.”

Some people make others happy when they arrive.  Others make them happy when they leave.  Which are you?

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Deuteronomy 30:19

Deuteronomy 30:19—This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

Happiness begins with a choice!

Many people think of happiness as something that just happens.  If it happens to happen to them, terrific!  If not, they curse their bad luck.

But happiness never just happens.  It comes to us by our own choice.  We decide whether to be happy or miserable, peaceful or anxious, fearful or serene.  Much more of our lot in life than we realize proceeds from our choices.

Joshua gathered the children of Israel together for his farewell address.  He reviewed God’s blessing upon Israel.  He called upon Israel to abandon their idols and serve the true God.  He closed his address with one of the most memorable statements in history.  “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,” he cried.  Then he made clear what his choice would be:  “…As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” Joshua 24:15, italics added.

When Jesus stood before Pilate on trial for his life, Pilate said, “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Matthew 27:22.  This is the choice every man or woman on earth must make:  either for Christ or against Him.

The choice we make about Jesus Christ, above all others, determines the happiness quotient of our lives.  It is impossible to do nothing about Jesus Christ.  Not to decide for him is to decide against Him.  There is no such thing as indecision.  Until this choice is made, we can never be happy in an unhappy world.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Matthew 6:27

Matthew 6:27—Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

Worry is sin!

We are commanded not worry five times in just one chapter of Scripture:  Matthew 6.  Over and over, like the tolling of a bell in a country churchyard, ring out the words, “Take no thought…take no thought…take no thought.”

God’s own Son cups His hands to His mouth and shouts, “Don’t worry!”

Don’t worry about your finances.  “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19.

Don’t worry about your weaknesses.  “The Lord is the stronghold of my life” Psalm 27:1.  “The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” Daniel 11:32.

Don’t worry about your frustrations.  “You will keep him in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you” Isaiah 26:3.

Don’t worry about your enemies.  “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” 1 John 4:4.

To worry is to put your faith in fear.  It is to trust in the unpleasant.  It is to believe in defeat and despair.  It is a stream of doubt that surges through the mind, drowning optimism, hope and faith.  

An aviator was making a roundtheworld trip.  On one leg of his journey he heard a noise in the plane—it sounded like the gnawing of a rat.  He was two hours from the nearest landing field.  Not knowing what delicate instruments might be destroyed by the rat’s sharp teeth, he began to worry.

Then he remembered that a rat is not made for the heights.  It is made to live in dark holes in the ground.  He nosed the plane higher and higher until the gnawing stopped.  Two hours later when he landed, there in the cockpit lay a dead rat.

Worry is a rat.  It cannot live in “the secret places of the Most High” Psalm 91:1.  It cannot breathe in the atmosphere of confidence and faith.

If your life has been thrown off course by worry, climb higher.  Come into the presence of the living God.  Feel His peace, His power, His love — And know that worry must die in His presence.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

1 John 5:14

1 John 5:14—And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us.
One Of God’s Conditions For Answered Prayer Is Asking According To His Will


People pray, “Lord, if it be your will”…  The implication is that they can’t know the will of God, or that the will of God is so mysterious they’ll never understand it.  That’s wrong.  God’s will is consistent with His word.  So we can know the will of God by reading the word of God.  For example, we know that God is light.  That means God is against darkness.  Which means he is against the occult, because “occult” means that which is done in darkness.  So it is not God’s will for you to dabble in the occult. 

We also know that God is life.  Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” John 10:10.  That means God is prolife, and He’s antiabortion.  I don’t have to pray, “if it be thy will.” when it comes to knowing whether it’s His will for someone to have an abortion.

God is peace.  That means he opposes fear.  He opposes intimidation…manipulation…domination…torment…anyone trying to control your life.  He wants you to live in the peace that He has for you.  God is love.  That means He opposes hatred, He opposes bitterness and He opposes racial strife.

God is righteous authority.  All authority comes form God.  If you’re in rebellion against God’s delegated authority, you’re out of the will of God. 

God is a giver.  Everything God controls gives.  If you are a tightwad…if you’re greed…if you refuse to tithe…then you’re out of the will of God. 

God is a worker.  In the beginning God created the heavens and earth.  Jesus Christ was a carpenter.  The twelve disciples worked.  Work has become a dirty word in America.  The Bible says if you don’t work, you ought not eat. 

The next condition to answered prayer is to pray in faith believing.  Matthew 21:21 says, “If you have faith, and doubt not…you shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.”  And lastly, pray specifically.  Know what you want and pray for that.  Pray so specifically that when God answers you’ll know God sent it and it wasn’t random chance!

Source:  Twelve Sunday Mornings—Part Three

Matthew 7:7

Matthew 7:7—Ask and you shall receive.
Ask!!

When you get down on your knees to pray in church, at home, wherever you pray, I’m convinced that God says to the angels, Look, here they come.  They’re going to pray.  Listen, angels.  Get ready.  They’re going to ask for great and mighty things.  Get down there to do it a soon as they ask.”  And then you open your mouth and say, “Oh, God, would you water the grass while I’m gone to Florida?”  God goes, “Aaaaaaagghh.”  He leans back on his throne and says, “I thought they would bind the spirits destroying their marriage.  I thought they would bind the disease that’s destroying their son.  I thought they would pull down the strongholds of abortion and pornography and drugs and pierce the darkness of evil and greed that’s destroying the nation.  No, they want me to water the grass.”

Ask according to his infinite power.  Ask big.  Knock God of His throne by asking things that stagger the human mind.  Attempt to do such great things for God that unless he comes through, you’ll fall flat on you face.  Live in that dimension. 


Do you need healing and the doctor says you can’t have it?  “Ask and you shall receive.”  Do you need the supernatural powers of heaven to break the yoke that binds your son or your daughter?  “Ask and you shall receive.”  Do you need peace that surpasses understanding?  “Ask and you shall receive.”  Do you need the stain of sin to be removed from your soul?  “Ask and you shall receive.”  Nothing is impossible with God.

Source:  Twelve Sunday Morning Part 3

Isaiah 40:31

Isaiah 40:31—They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.
Learn To Wait Upon The Lord.  Learn To Hear The Voice Of God!


Hearing form God is something you learn to do.  Years ago I had a church member who would phone me and start talking the first rattle out of the box. “Yakkety yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, breath yakkety yak, yak, yak.  When they finished, click went the phone.  I never got a chance to get a word in.  God spoke to my heart, “That’s just how you pray.  You tell me everything you want me to hear and then you shut up and run off.”  From that day on, whenever I go to pray, I take a legal pad.  Ad when I get through telling God what’s on my mind, I listen to see what’s on God’s mind.  What He tells me when I shut up is what gives birth to every sermon I preach and every book I write.  If you want to hear form God—listen.  God wants to talk to you. 

There are some things that will hinder prayer.  Unbelief hinders prayer.  The Bible says, “He that cometh to God must believe that he is” Hebrews 11:6.  Another thing that hinders prayer is sin in your life.  David recognized that.  He said, “If I behold iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” Psalm 66:18.  God will hear your prayer of confession, but if there’s sin in your life, he doesn’t answer your prayer.  When there’s discord between a husband and wife, Peter said, your prayers are hindered 1 Peter 3:7.  Unforgiveness hinders your prayers.  The Lord’s Prayer says, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” Matthew 6:12.  It’s very clear.  If you will not forgive another, God cannot forgive you.

Source:  Twelve Sunday Morning Part 3

Ephesians 6:18

Ephesians 6:18—Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly…
Prayer Is The Key That Unlocks The Storehouses Of God’s Grace And Power

Many Christians have never learned to pray.  The disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.”  There is a right way to pray and a wrong way.  When Diana and I were first married, she was so Catholic we couldn’t get fire insurance because there were so many candles in our house.  I finally told her, “When the Bible says ‘ye are the light of the world’ it was not talking about candles.”

Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance.  Prayer is laying hold of God’s will.  Find out what God wants and pray for that.  Prayer is not sending God to run your errands; prayer is submitting to the purposes of God.  Prayer produces boldness.  Paul says in the text, “Pray that I may speak boldly.”  That’s an important prayer of for a preacher.  A preacher of the gospel should speak with the boldness of a lion.  One of the great problems in America today is that our pulpits are full of preachers who have presented such a watereddown, sinfee gospel that people can’t find redemption.

Prayerlessness is sin.  1 Samuel 12:23 says, “God forbid that I should sin against the lord in ceasing to pray for you.”  Paul went so far as to say we should pray without ceasing 1 Thessalonians 5:17.  My point is that prayerlessness is sin.  We should pray because God answers prayer.  The Bible says, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not”  Jeremiah 33:3.  America is waiting for the church that will demonstrate the great and mighty things of God. 

Source:  Twelve Sunday Morning Part 3

Hebrews 11:6

Hebrews 11:6—But without faith it is impossible to please him:  for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
There Are Some Whose Faith Is Not Strong Enough To Bring Them To The House Of God On, Sunday, But They Think It Is Going To Be Strong Enough To Take Them Up In The Rapture Of The Church.  Fat Chance.  It’s Not Going To Happen!

Our commander in chief, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the author and finisher of our faith Hebrews 12:2.  He has given every person “a measure of faith” and you must use it.  We are to put on the whole armor of God with joy unspeakable—because we are the only army who was ever guaranteed the victory before the first shot was ever fired. 

Faith is the victory that overcomes the world.  We are more than conquerors through Christ.  By faith, you can look the demons of hell in the face without far.  By faith, you can defeat the giants that are challenging you.  By faith, you can climb the highest mountain and walk through the darkest valley.  By faith, you can charge the gates of hell with a water pistol and win.  Nothing is impossible to those that believe.  Have faith in God.

Source:  Twelve Sunday Morning Part 3

2 Corinthians 10:4

2 Corinthians 10:4—For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.
We Do Not Fight Madmen Like Hitler, Osama Bin Laden Or Ahmadinejad; We Fight The Devil Himself And His Powers And Principalities That Have Sworn To Destroy You!

I am amazed that men and women, at the call of the president, will lovingly kiss their families goodbye…will forsake their careers and the comforts of home…and will risk being killed or crippled for life, for the sake of political freedom, but men and women will shrink back from the call of Christ to battle the supernatural forces of Satan that are trying to destroy their lives, their homes and this nation.

For natural warfare men will leave home for years at a time to fight against the powers tying to destroy our freedom.  But when the powers and principalities of darkness are ripping the soul of America apart, they will not leave their home for three hours on Sunday to come to the house of God.  For natural warfare men will freeze in a foxhole covered with snow.  The will lie face down in the mud and the blood.  Yet they find it difficult to spend one hour in prayer on the Lord’s day—in a warm church that’s carpeted, with a 200voice choir singing Sweet Hour of Prayer in the background.  For natural warfare men will study the tactics of the enemy around the clock.  Yet for spiritual warfare most of them seldom open the word of God and learn how to engage the enemy.  For natural warfare men will spend fortunes for a superior weapons system.  Yet for spiritual warfare they won’t spend 5 cents to support a gospelpreaching ministry.  They will not tithe and they will not pledge. 

The fight is on.  The battle rages.  The hour is late and we must arise and do the works of God.  Put on the whole armor of God and take a stand!

Source:  Twelve Sunday Morning Part 3

Exodus 1:17

Exodus 1:17—But the midwives feared God and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.
Our Absolute Obedience Must Be To The Word Of God—Not To A Denomination…Not To A Man…Not To The President…Not To A Government!

The word of God is powerful.  The word of God is true.  If we are to use the sword of the Spirit effectively, we must obey the word.  We respect our government and pray for our leaders; but our first allegiance is to the word of God. 

Let me pose a question:  Is it ever wrong to obey the government?  The answer is yes.  When the government condones what God condemns, your commitment is to abide by the word of God. 

In the Old Testament, Pharaoh had an extermination policy of Jewish male children.  The midwives of Egypt were commanded to kill the children upon birth.  The midwives feared God, so they disobeyed Pharaoh and the Bible says God blessed them for it.  They defied their government and God blessed them for it.  Moses’ parents defied the government of Egypt.  When their son was born, they hid him. 

Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch woman who lived in Holland during the Second World War, hid Jews in her home so that Hitler’s Nazis could not find them.  She went to prison for disobeying the government.  She went through the hell of a German concentration camp because of her disobedience to God’s word.  But God blessed her for it.  I guarantee you that when you get to heaven, you’ll have to walk a day and a half to get around the mansion God has prepared for her.  The point is, when the government approves what God condemns, we stand with the word of God.
 

Source:  Twelve Sunday Morning Part 3

Psalm 34:18

Psalm 34:18—The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart.  And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Only when we are crushed and remolded in the hands of the Master Potter can we enter the kingdom of God!

God doesn’t force us to change our minds about our pride.  But He does give us ample opportunity to reevaluate our position.  Jonah found himself in the belly of a great fish when God whispered in his ear, “Jonah, if you’ll do what I called you to do, I’ll program this fish to deposit you on the beach.  Otherwise, this fish just had lunch.  What’ll it be?”

Jonah screamed, “I’ll obey!  I’ll obey!  Forgive me for being so stubborn and full of pride.”

God said, “Good thinking, Jonah!”

Jonah waded to shore, slimy, smelly seaweed around his neck, bloodshot eyes, trembling with fear, his pride finally crushed, crying out to the Ninevites as God had commanded. Him, “Repent!”
Saul of Tarsus was knocked to the ground and struck blind on the road to Damascus.  God whispered in his ear, “Saul, you can quit persecuting Me and these new Christians, or you can stay blind.  What’s your pleasure?”

Saul replied, “What do You want me to do?  Just name it?” 

And God said, “Attaboy, Saul!”

God plays hardball.  When He spots pride in your life He goes after it the way a surgeon goes after cancer.  He’ll put you flat on your back in a full body cast for a moment of reflection.  He’ll take the possessions that are the basis of your mentality and scatter them to the four winds.  He’ll make your bed like coals of fire in the night.  You’ll never know rest until you make your peace with God.

Jesus picked up a little child and addressed His hardened adult audience:  “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven…”  Matthew 18.

Millions of America’s tormented legions flood through the doors of our churches every Sunday proud, religious, unteachable, cold, jaded, resentful, hurting and hateful—about as unlike a humble little child as can be.  We are searching for happiness.  But we can find it only when we allow the loving hand of God to break us and remake us into vessels that please Him.  This is the first step toward true happiness.  Why not take it right now?

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Proverbs 11:2

Proverbs 11:2—When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.

Father I have sinned!

An illustration for discerning between “broken in spirit” and pride is found in the parable of the prodigal son and his older brother Luke 15:11-32.  The prodigal went into the far country and broke all the rules.  He lost his good name, his father’s fortune and all his worthless friends.  He found himself living in a pigsty.  Then, the Bible says, he “came to his senses” and said, “I will go back to my father and say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned,’”

And he did.  He shook off the slime and began the long journey home, rehearsing his speech of repentance.  His father saw him coming from a long distance and ran to him and embraced him.  There were tears of reunion and restoration.

A family fiesta was planned to celebrate the return of a son who had been considered as good as dead.  Everyone was happy—except for the prodigal’s older brother.  This proud, religious sourpuss was angry.

He whined, “Father, I’ve stayed home like a good boy and kept all the rules.  When did you ever give me a party?  Now that this son of yours not “my brother” but “this son of yours” has come home bankrupt after living with harlots, you reward him with a celebration!” the rancor in his voice reflected the rot in his soul.

Look at the account of Jesus the night before His crucifixion.  The disciples had been jockeying for position in the new kingdom.  The mother of James and John had been putting on a fullcourt press to get her boys in top positions of the administration.

It came time to wash their dirty feed.  The only one who had the power to stoop low and take on the menial task was the Son of God.  Why?  Because He was the only one in the room not bound by pride.  He was the only one with a servant’s heart.  The others were careerminded and egocentered and proud.  In time, God put each and every one of them through His crusher until they came out as servants.  But they had to be broken to be usable.  And so do we.
 
Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Matthew 5:3

Matthew 5:3—Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Happiness is not the product of external conditions!

We’ve got this backward.  Happiness doesn’t depend on the kind of house a man lives in; it depends on the kind of man who lives in the house.  Happiness doesn’t depend on the dress the lady wears; it depends on the lady who wears the dress. 

Our society says:
“Happy is the man who makes a million dollars!”
“Happy is the woman who marries a man who makes a million dollars!”
“Happy is the gogetter, the guy who gets what he wants, when he wants it and just the way he likes it.”
“Happiness is doing your own thing.”
“Happiness is being rich, powerful and famous.”

Jesus, the architect of the human soul, cups His hands to His mouth and cries out, “Wrong!  Happy are the poor in spirit.”  What a contradiction!  How far removed from the carnal mind of this pleasureseeking generation!

What does “poor in spirit” mean?  It does not mean being a tremblylipped religious doormat.  It does not mean being a pious introvert trying to blend into the wallpaper.  It does not mean being someone with no selfesteem.

It does mean that, happy are the people who allow the hand of God to crush their carnal nature so that they are no longer conformed to this world but are transformed into the glorious image of Christ. 

Happy are those who allow the hand of the Master to remove their imperfections, remaking them into a vessel of honor pleasing to the Master.

Before the power of the atom could be unleashed, science had to devise a way to “smash” it.  The secret of its power lay in its being crushed.

Jesus lists being broken in spirit as the number one priority in the pursuit of happiness.  Only when the carnal nature is crushed and the inner poison removed can there be complete healing and a new beginning.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Luke 2:10

Luke 2:10—Then the angel said to them.  “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.”

Jesus is in the Happiness Business

When He was born, the angels over Bethlehem announced “good news of great joy that will be for all the people”.  He ordained happiness by attending the wedding at Cana.  The theme of His first sermon was happiness.  The closing picture of Him, in the book of Revelation, portrays Him as a bridegroom coming to claim His bride.  The wedding reception lasts for seven years in the joyous splendor of heaven. 

Take a look at the average church congregation on any given Sunday morning.  They look like advance agents for a cyclone.  Their faces are as droopy as saxophones.  They look like Biblecarrying bulldogs baptized in lemon juice! 

They go to work on Monday morning saved, sour, sanctified and petrified.  They look at their coworkers and say, “Don’t you want to know Jesus?  Look what He’s done for me!”
Don’t be fooled:  Christianity certainly involves hardship and discipline.  But it is founded on the solid rock of old fashioned happiness.  Jesus is in the happiness business.  If we lose our joy, we’ve lost our credibility in this unhappy world.

Happiness begins with an absolute commitment to Christ.  There are two groups of people who came to hear Jesus’ sermon about happiness the sermon on the Mount:  the disciples, who have made an absolute commitment to follow Jesus, and the multitudes, a curious mob committed to nothing.

A disciple is someone who has forsaken all to follow Christ.  Jesus established the entrance requirements early on when He said, “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever will loses his life for my sake will find it” Matthew 10:3739.  Jesus does not call us to a life of convenience.  He calls us to a life commitment.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Hebrews 11:1

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

Faith is the soul daring to go further than the natural eye can see!

Noah built an ark without even having seen the first drop of rain, because faith is being “certain of what we do not see.”  Faith doesn’t demand miracles; faith produces miracles.  Imagine getting on a boat you built with your bare hands, filling it with tigers, lions and snakes, and taking a fortyday cruise with your wife and family.  That’s faith!  Abraham, at age one hundred, went to his ninetyyearold wife, Sarah, and said, “Turn off the television, honey.  God told me we’re going to have a baby.”  That’s faith!  Later Abraham offered his son Isaac as a living sacrifice to the Lord, believing God would raise him from the dead.  And God provided another sacrifice.  That’s faith!
Faith is a choice, not an argument; a decision, not a debate; a commitment, not a controversy.
Faith gives us the power to walk fearlessly, run confidently and live victoriously.  No one need live in doubt when he can pray in faith.  Even if our faith cannot yet move mountains, it can give us the power to climb over them.

A skeptic once said to me, “Preacher, all you Christians have going for you is faith.” 
I replied, “You’re right!  And that’s all we need!”
The Bible says:

 Our faith is the victory that overcomes the world 1 John 5:4
 “Without faith it is impossible to please God? Hebrews 11:6
 “Everything is possible for him who believes” Mark 9:23

Is faith important for living happy in an unhappy world?  Just try living one day in this chaotic world without it, and you are on your way to the nut house.  Faith is the fabric that clothes the heart, soul, mind and body with oldfashioned, overflowing, heavensent happiness.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Deuteronomy 30:19

Deuteronomy 30:19—This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

Now choose life!

Moses knew the power of choice to bring blessings or curses upon the nation of Israel.  In one of history’s most dramatic statements, he stood before all Israel and shouted Deuteronomy 30:19 with all the power of his aged voice.

When Abraham and Lot stood together on the fertile plains of Jordan, Lot made the choice that was to be his undoing.  “So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan” Genesis 13:11.  He pitched his tent toward Sodom, ignoring the moral and spiritual dangers.

Hear the hissing of the brimstone as it falls from the sky, bringing annihilation to Sodom.  See the sons and daughters of Lot running in panic, futilely seeking a place of refuge.  This was the consequence of their father’s choice.

Who’d Choose Unhappiness?

Abraham Lincoln said, “Most people are about as happy as they choose to be.”  How true!  It’s hard to imagine that someone might actually choose unhappiness over happiness.  But millions do every day; often for reasons even they don’t fully understand.  Some choose unhappiness to manipulate those around them, to get attention or sympathy.  Some choose unhappiness indirectly, because they don’t know where or how to find happiness.  Some religious people choose unhappiness as living proof of their “superior spirituality.”

A minister was preaching on happiness.  His congregation was laughing with joy, when suddenly; a selfrighteous religious peacock stood and icily rebuked the minister and the congregation for their laughter.  Without missing a beat, the minister intoned, “Let us now allow this unhappy brother to lead us in a moment of corporate misery.”

Now choose happiness!

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Philippians 4:13

Philippians 4:13—I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Miracles come in cans.  They begin when we say, “I can!”

Our attitudes determine our attainments.  A supermarket is a building filled with cans.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could buy a sixteenounce can of peace? Or love? Or happiness?  Well, we can.  Miracles begin when we say, “I can.”

I can climb this mountain and whip the giant at the top.  I can lose weight.  I can be a better marriage partner. I can quit smoking.  I can live beyond my limitations.  I can—because “everything is possible for him who believes” Mark 9:23.

Stop saying:

“I haven’t got it.”  You do have it.  You’re just afraid to use it.

“I’m a loser.”  You’re not a loser.  You’re a winner with a sorry attitude.

“I’m not educated enough.”  So what?  I’ve graduated from three universities, and I can tell you that some of the dumbest people on earth are hiding out there.

“I don’t know the right people.”  Do you know God?  He’s rather influential on this planet!
“I’m handicapped.”  Helen Keller was blind, deaf and dumb, yet she graduated from college with honors.

“I’ve tried and failed.”  Moses tried to deliver the Hebrews from the iron grip of Egypt’s bondage.  He failed and fled to the backside of the wilderness for forty years.  Then God called him to return to the scene of his failure and command Pharaoh to let His people go.  Ten plagues later, Moses led his brethren out of the chains of slavery into the milk and honey of the land of promise.  He tried.  He failed. But he was willing to try again.

Our attitudes don’t have to be permanent.  We can change our attitudes, just as soon as we’re willing to.  Our attitudes will determine the quality of relationships we will have with our wives, our husbands, our children, and our bosses—and especially with God Himself.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Proverbs 23:7

Proverbs 23:7—For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.

We usually have no control over what happens to us.  But we are responsible for how we respond to what happens to us. 

Fritz Kunkle said that our last freedom in life is to determine our attitude in any given situation.

 The Bible has a lot to say about choosing our attitudes:

 Everything is possible for him who believes Mark 9:23.

 I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief! Matthew 9:29

 Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think such things Philippians 4:8.

A positive attitude produces a good result; a negative attitude produces a bad result.  Compare the lives of the apostles Paul and Thomas.  Paul said, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” Phil. 4:13.  He was three times given the notorious thirtynine lashes.  He was shipwrecked, stoned and left for dead, the object of death threats and public hatred.  Yet he was able to write, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” 2 Corinthians 4:89.  He wrote that, as he wrote most of the New Testament, from a dark, damp, diseaseinfested jail cell.  That is a positive result in an impossible situation.

Thomas had the benefit of three and a half years of following Christ and personally witnessing miracles that stagger the mind.  Yet when Jesus rose from the dead and the other disciples ran to him with the news, Thomas just rolled out his lower lip and pouted, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it” John 20:25.

Two men, two different choices.  One is forever branded as Doubting Thomas.  The other is mentioned in hushed tones as the apostle of power who established the church of Jesus Christ.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

1 Peter 2:15-16

1 Peter 2:1516—For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 

God had dignified man by weaving into his nature the divine gift of freedom.

When we see what man has done with his Godgiven freedom, we can only wonder why God didn’t make us without it.  He could have bound us to His sovereign will as a machine is bound to ours, and thereby relieved us of the risks and consequences of choice.

But for reasons of His own, God chose to place us in a rough and risky world with the awesome power to accept or reject His truth, to make or mar our destiny, to climb to the heights or sink to the depths.

There is no such thing as absolute freedom.  The stars don’t have it; they are bound by the laws of the unseen hand of the universe.  The oceans don’t have it; they are bound by the shoreline that will not retreat.  Man doesn’t have it; he is hemmed in by other men and by the laws they make.

To most young people, freedom means liberation from the restraints of their parents.  They don’t want to be hemmed in by stuffy moral standards.  They don’t want to be limited by curfews.  They don’t want to be shackled by responsibilities.  They want the freedom of an adult and the responsibilities of a child.

This quest for freedom without responsibility is repeated millions of times every year by people of all ages.  Husbands and fathers leave their wives and children for new lovers.  Teenagers leave home, yelling over their shoulders at their weeping parents, “Don’t try to tell me what to do!”  They are free from all discipline, restraint and responsibility—or so they think.

God gives us freedom so that we might serve one another in love!

We are never truly free until we are voluntarily mastered by something greater than ourselves.  We see this in the story of God’s leading the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt.  They had been slaves; they were accustomed to being told what to do and when to do it.  When God led them out of bondage, He did not say, “You’re free to do as you like, so party till you drop!”  He took them straight to Mt. Sinai and gave them the Ten Commandments!

There is no freedom until we are bound to something greater than ourselves.  Only when we are willing to say, “Make me Your captive, Lord,” will we know true freedom.  That’s the day we will be happy in an unhappy world!

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Proverbs 27:1

Proverbs 27:1—Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou know not what a day may bring forth.

Happiness is not found in tomorrow!

Much happiness is assassinated by “waiting for tomorrow.”  How many times have I heard people postpone the joy of life by saying things like:

“I’ll be happy when I get older.”  Then when they do get older everything hurts—and what doesn’t hurt, doesn’t work!

“I’ll be happy when I get married.”  Then they get married and discover that, although everyone gets married for better or worse, not everyone has a happy marriage. 
“I’ll be happy when I have children.”  Then they have children and discover there are three ways to get something done:  do it yourself, hire someone to do it or forbid your kids to do it.

“I’ll be happy when I retire.”  Then they find out that the only bad thing about doing nothing is that you never get a day off.

When we put off being happy until tomorrow, we are procrastinating.  Procrastination masquerades as the solution to every problem.  When used, however, it produces only grief and despair.

As a pastor for many years, it has often been my duty to stand by the bedside of people who were dying.  In those final moments of life, I have heard some of the sweetest expressions of love and devotion that could be uttered by human lips.

I have never heard anyone say, “How I wish I had spent more time at the office.”  I have, however, heard many people say things like, “I wish we had taken that vacation together,” or, “I wish we had taken time to smell the roses as we raced through life.”

What happened?  They kept putting off being happy until tomorrow.  And tomorrow never came.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Matthew 18:18

Matthew 18:18—Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven:  and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
You Can Take Absolute Control Of Your Life Through Prayer!

When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace.  But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils” Luke 11:2022.

There are two applications to this scripture.  First, Satan is the strong man who kept the palace.  He had everything his way until Jesus defeated him at Calvary.  Second, notice that Satan is totally unarmed—Jesus has stripped him of all his armor.  To share in the victory of Christ at Calvary, we must first bind the strong man.  Who is the strong man in this text?  He is Satan’s representative over a nation, over a people, over a state, over a city, over a family or over a person.  The powers and principalities are that well organized.  Your problems are not with people.  Your problems are with supernatural powers that control people.

Is your husband a drinker?  Say, “Lord Jesus, in the authority of your name, I bind that alcoholic spirit that drives my husband.  I ask you to make him as sick as a dog the next time he picks up that bottle.”

That’s an illustration of binding.  Here’s an illustration of loosing.  In Luke 13 there was a woman who had been bent double for 18 years.  Jesus said, “Ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed form this bond?” Luke 13:18.  So you attack sickness like this.  “Lord Jesus, in the power of your name, by the shed blood of your cross, I loose from this infirmity.  Be healed in Jesus’ name.”  And that disease has to let go in Jesus’ name.”

If your relatives are bound by alcoholism…by drug addiction…by adultery…by fornication…by bitterness…by resentment…by prejudice…by idolatry…by Satanism…by witchcraft…by the occult…by Eastern philosophies…by mind control…loose them in Jesus’ name.  Agree with another believer.  Put on the whole armor of God and pierce the darkness through prayer.

Source:  Twelve Sunday Morning Part 3

Psalm 23

"The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. He leadeth me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies. Thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever." Psalm 23

"I shall not want for joy, for in His presence is the fullness of joy. I shall not want peace, because He's the Prince of Peace. I shall not want assistance, because He is my burden bearer. I shall not want for prosperity, for He maketh my cup to runneth over. He supplies all of my needs according to His riches in glory. I shall not want health or healing, because He is the Great Physician. I shall not want a friend, because He is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. I shall not want for anything at any time, for He has my all and all. He is everything the heart desires. He's everything your mind can imagine. May the Lord add His blessing to the reading of the Word." Pastor John C. Hagee

Acts 4:31

Acts 4:31—And when they had prayed the place was shaken where they were assembled together.
A Prayerless Christian Is A Powerless Christian!

As powerful as God is, he cannot answer prayers until they’re prayed.  Prayer is the only way to get God’s power released into your life.  Prayer is the secret to power with God.  Daniel was thrown to the lions because his prayer life terrorized the demonized bureaucrats of Babylon.  He pierced the darkness with prayer.  Elijah prayed and fire fell form heaven.  If that ever starts happening in your prayer life, it won’t be boring, I guarantee you.  In the early days of the church, they prayed until the building shook.
Moses prayed, and as long as his hands were held up, Israel won the war.  The moment his hands came down, Israel lost the war.  The point is this?  What you do on the ground in prayer is what God can do in the heavens.  The moment you stop praying is the moment God’s power stops.  Your prayer is the secret of releasing God’s power in your life.  Jesus had a powerful prayer life; He prayed all night many nights.   And after He had prayed all night, then came the signs and wonders.

You can pray with supernatural knowledge when you have a prayer relationship with God.  Answered prayer is not a miracle; it’s a law.  When you take an ice tray and fill it with water and place it in a freezer, if the temperature is 32 degrees or less, the water turns to ice.  That is not a miracle.  That is a natural law.  It’s the only thing that can happen.  When you meet God’s conditions in prayer, you will get an answer. 

Source:  Twelve Sunday Morning Part 3

Hebrews 11:6

Hebrews 11:6—Without faith it is impossible to please him:  for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Whatever Your Duty Is In The Kingdom Of God, Do It In Season And Out Of Season.  Do It With Excellence Or Don’t Do It At All!


If you’re thrown in jail like Paul, write the book of Romans.  If you’re beaten and chained in prison, sing in the midnight hour.  If you’re knocked down, get up and get back in the fight.  Quit whining about your circumstances.  Take up your cross.  Put your hand to the plow and don’t look back.  Put on the whole armor of God—and fight.  Arise and do exploits in the name of our God.

It’s not what happens to you.  It’s how you respond to what happens to you.  You can get bitter or you can get better.  You can wallow in your selfpity or you can get off your duff and turn the lemon that life has given you into lemonade.  It is your choice.  You can rise to the highest destiny God has for you or you can wallow in some cesspool of selfmade agony.  I’m saying to you in Jesus’ name, whatever your past, get over it.  You can be a new creature in Christ Jesus.

Source:  Twelve Sunday Morning Part 3

Ephesians 6:16

Ephesians 6:16—Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
This Shield Of Faith Can Stop All Of The Fiery Darts Of Satan—Not Some Of Them, But All Of Them!


There were two kinds of shields a Roman soldier carried.  One was a giant Frisbee that he had on his arm when he was fighting handtohand combat with a sword.  The other kind of shield was about four feet high and two feet wide.  A Roman soldier who was ambushed suddenly could survive by getting completely behind this shield.    

Have you ever had a week from hell? You lose your job and on the way home you have a wreck.  When you get to the hospital, you find our your insurance lapsed three days ago.  You call suicide prevention and they put you on hold.  It just goes downhill and doesn’t stop.  “When it rains, it pours” the old saying goes.  That’s the time to get behind the shield of faith.  When you don’t have just one problem, but rather lots of problems, get behind this powerful, supernatural shield God has given you.  Behind the shield of faith you are protected because you’re safe in the arms of God. 

God said to Abraham, “I am you’re shield and your exceeding great reward” Genesis 15:1.  David said, “The Lord is my strength and my shield” Psalm 28:7.  When I am in the arms of God and behind the shield of faith, hell can’t touch me.  I’m unreachable.  I’m unshakeable.  I’m unmovable.  I’m safe behind the shield of faith that God gives me for every adversity of life.

Source:  Twelve Sunday Morning Part 3

Galatians 1:10

Galatians 1:10 "For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet please men, I shall not be the servant of God."

"Paul says in this verse, 'what is my purpose on this earth? To be a father pleaser or a people pleaser?' The premise that he's establishing in this first chapter to the Galatians is that you have the choice. You can either please God and offend the world or offend the world and please God. You have to make that choice on a daily basis.

In Matthew 10:35, Jesus said: 'For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, the daughter against the mother, and a man's foes will be those of his own household.' Now that message is very clear. Jesus said: 'Think not that I have come to bring peace, I've come the bring a sword, for father and mother and brother and sister shall be divided. What's He mean?He means a sword divides. You're divided by who Jesus Christ is in your life. If you obey Him, you're going the offend people in your family. You're going to offend your closest friends. The Bible says that's exactly what you ought to do, because the moment you start trying to appease people and their opinions, as opposed to the Word of God, you're already on a slippery slope that will destroy your own faith.

Let me direct you to the Apostle Peter after following Jesus for three and a half years. He was approached by a servant girl when Christ was on trial as to whether he was a Galilean or not. And he said, 'I don't know Jesus Christ.' Peter was very close to losing his soul. For the Bible says: 'If you deny me before men, I will deny you before my Father and His angels.'

Peter said, 'I don't know the man.' Why? Because a servant girl interrogated him about his identification with Jesus Christ. If there's one thing in this corrupt society that the Body of Christ needs to hear, is that our absolute allegiance is to the Word of God and our absolute allegiance is to the Lord Jesus Christ. Don't even try to appease nor pacify anyone whose opinion or position is contrary to the Word of God, because you are on this earth temporarily.

When you step in eternity, it's forever. When you step into eternity, you want to see the face of Almighty God whom you have obeyed and pleased. Because God says in His Word very clearly: 'Those who do my will are of the household of faith.'

If you don't do His will through the obedience of God, you're going the wrong direction. May the Lord add His blessing to the reading of the Word.\" Pastor John C. Hagee

Jeremiah 31:13

Jeremiah 31:13—…For I will turn their mourning to joy, Will comfort them, And make them rejoice rather than sorrow.

On the other side of tears is God’s peace!

Have you ever heard the expression “good grief”?  It’s true.  Grief is healthy.  A tear in the eye tells of at least one spring in the soul.  It may lie buried beneath emotional scars, a bitter divorce, rejection by parents, and a litany of bitter memories that will not die.  But that one little tear trickling down our cheeks cries out, “I’m alive!”

Every Sunday morning at Cornerstone Church, immediately after the sermon, I invite all who wish to respond to the Gospel to come forward to the altar.  When I was a child, we used to call it “the mourner’s bench.”  People come forward with tears streaming down their faces.

Why?  Because the Lord is at work.  Shattered dreams are being rebuilt, fractured marriages restored, ruptured relationships healed by the power of God.  The pressures of life are easing and the burden of sin lifting as people bask in the happiness that only God can give.  They look sad on the outside, but they’re happy on the inside.

Tears are living proof of life.  The man who cannot shed tears is not fully alive. 

One day a woman called my office asking if I would talk to her husband, who was manifesting signs of severe depression.  Their eighteenyearold son had been killed two months before in a blazing auto accident, and the father’s heart was broken.  His torture was compounded because he embraced the mentality that it isn’t manly to cry.

When I arrived at the home, I found the man in the backyard, pacing back and forth like a caged lion.  We chatted a few moments as I searched for a tactful way to broach the painful subject of his son’s tragic death.

Suddenly he blurted out, “Tears are for the weak, preacher.  I’m too hard and cold to cry.  I’m like steel inside.”

That’s a pity,” I said.  “And dangerous, too.”

“Why?”  He asked.

“Because the only thing steel can do under stress is snap and break,” I said.  “You may consider tears a sign of weakness, but they are really God’s therapy for a broken heart.  On the other side of tears is God’s peace.  Don’t be afraid to cry.”

He brushed off my advice.  Two days later he put a .357 Magnum in his mouth and blew the top of his head off.  He couldn’t bend like a supple tree planted beside rivers of living water.  He could only snap under the pressure. 

Happy are those who mourn, who can weep like a child, sob it out in their private Gethsemane and later find relief in the rich laughter of heavenly consolation.  They shall be comforted indeed.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Psalm 34:18

Psalm 34:18—The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart.  And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Only when we are crushed and remolded in the hands of the Master Potter can we enter the kingdom of God!

God doesn’t force us to change our minds about our pride.  But He does give us ample opportunity to reevaluate our position.  Jonah found himself in the belly of a great fish when God whispered in his ear, “Jonah, if you’ll do what I called you to do, I’ll program this fish to deposit you on the beach.  Otherwise, this fish just had lunch.  What’ll it be?”

Jonah screamed, “I’ll obey!  I’ll obey!  Forgive me for being so stubborn and full of pride.”

God said, “Good thinking, Jonah!”

Jonah waded to shore, slimy, smelly seaweed around his neck, bloodshot eyes, trembling with fear, his pride finally crushed, crying out to the Ninevites as God had commanded. Him, “Repent!”
Saul of Tarsus was knocked to the ground and struck blind on the road to Damascus.  God whispered in his ear, “Saul, you can quit persecuting Me and these new Christians, or you can stay blind.  What’s your pleasure?”

Saul replied, “What do You want me to do?  Just name it?” 

And God said, “Attaboy, Saul!”

God plays hardball.  When He spots pride in your life He goes after it the way a surgeon goes after cancer.  He’ll put you flat on your back in a full body cast for a moment of reflection.  He’ll take the possessions that are the basis of your mentality and scatter them to the four winds.  He’ll make your bed like coals of fire in the night.  You’ll never know rest until you make your peace with God.

Jesus picked up a little child and addressed His hardened adult audience:  “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven…”  Matthew 18.

Millions of America’s tormented legions flood through the doors of our churches every Sunday proud, religious, unteachable, cold, jaded, resentful, hurting and hateful—about as unlike a humble little child as can be.  We are searching for happiness.  But we can find it only when we allow the loving hand of God to break us and remake us into vessels that please Him.  This is the first step toward true happiness.  Why not take it right now?

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Matthew 5:4

Matthew 5:4—Blessed are they that mourn:  for they shall be comforted.

Even now, in the dark of night when our hearts are breaking, He sits beside us!

Do happiness and mourning go together?  What a paradox!  How flatly it contradicts today’s hedonistic worldview!  How can crying and joy go together?  How can the perfume of happiness be extracted from the gall of sorrow?

Who in his natural mind would think of congratulating a person whose face was wet with tears?  “It’s nice to see you crying today, Mary.  Keep it up, it’s good for you.”

When we weep, we’re in good company.  When Lazarus died, Jesus wept.  When He knelt on the Mount of Olives and looked out over the city of Jerusalem, He wept.  When Paul left the town of Ephesus, he and the elders wept with sorrow at their parting.  John wept on the isle of Patmos because no one was found worthy to open the scroll that would reveal God’s plans.

But Jesus is not saying, “Happy are the crybabies, for they shall get what they want.  Happy are those dedicated to feeling guilty even when they haven’t done anything wrong.  Happy are those who have learned to whine their way to maximum attention.  Happy are those who love root canals and IRS audits.”  He says, “Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Do you understand the implications of this?  The God of all comfort promises to comfort us.


o The God who comforted Abraham as he walked toward Mt. Moriah to sacrifice his beloved Isaac—that God will comfort us!

o The God who comforted Paul on the raging sea moments before he was shipwrecked—that God will comfort us!

o The God that comforted the fathers of the church, as they were being burned alive by their persecutors—that God will comfort us!

The first thing we’ll feel in eternity is the gentle hand of God, wiping the tears from our eyes.

When we’ve been abandoned by our dearest friend on earth and feel so absolutely alone, He picks us up in His massive arms and holds us close until the storm passes by.

Shout it from the housetops to the unhappy legions of earth:  “We shall be comforted!”  Who says so?  The God of all comfort says so.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Proverbs 11:2

Proverbs 11:2—When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.

Father I have sinned!

An illustration for discerning between “broken in spirit” and pride is found in the parable of the prodigal son and his older brother Luke 15:11-32.  The prodigal went into the far country and broke all the rules.  He lost his good name, his father’s fortune and all his worthless friends.  He found himself living in a pigsty.  Then, the Bible says, he “came to his senses” and said, “I will go back to my father and say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned,’”

And he did.  He shook off the slime and began the long journey home, rehearsing his speech of repentance.  His father saw him coming from a long distance and ran to him and embraced him.  There were tears of reunion and restoration.

A family fiesta was planned to celebrate the return of a son who had been considered as good as dead.  Everyone was happy—except for the prodigal’s older brother.  This proud, religious sourpuss was angry.

He whined, “Father, I’ve stayed home like a good boy and kept all the rules.  When did you ever give me a party?  Now that this son of yours not “my brother” but “this son of yours” has come home bankrupt after living with harlots, you reward him with a celebration!” the rancor in his voice reflected the rot in his soul.

Look at the account of Jesus the night before His crucifixion.  The disciples had been jockeying for position in the new kingdom.  The mother of James and John had been putting on a fullcourt press to get her boys in top positions of the administration.

It came time to wash their dirty feed.  The only one who had the power to stoop low and take on the menial task was the Son of God.  Why?  Because He was the only one in the room not bound by pride.  He was the only one with a servant’s heart.  The others were careerminded and egocentered and proud.  In time, God put each and every one of them through His crusher until they came out as servants.  But they had to be broken to be usable.  And so do we.
 
Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

James 4:6

James 4:6—…God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

Happiness never comes to the proud!

The Bible tells us that God opposes the proud and that haughty eyes are detestable to Him Proverbs 6:16-17.

In the first chapter of his letter to the Romans, Paul lists some of the most despicable people on the face of the earth.  Among them are those “filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity,” those “full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice,” and those he calls the “arrogant and boastful” Romans 1:29-30; in other words, the proud.

Being broken in spirit was utter rubbish to the Romans.  They worshipped the god of power.  “If you want to be happy,” the Romans said, “knock your enemy to the ground, put a sword to his throat and say, ‘Make a wish!’”

To the equally proud Jews, being poor in spirit was the last thing in the world to do to be happy.  They had their own formula for happiness, and poverty of spirit was definitely not one of the ingredients.

How are we to identify those who are broken in spirit and those who are diseased with pride?  Three illustrations in the Bible nail it down for us.

The first is Jesus’ story of the Pharisee and the tax collector.  These two men went to the temple to pray.  The Pharisee prayed, “God, I thank You that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.”  The tax collector, standing at a distance, “would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me a sinner’” Luke 18:11-13.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Matthew 5:3

Matthew 5:3—Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Happiness is not the product of external conditions!

We’ve got this backward.  Happiness doesn’t depend on the kind of house a man lives in; it depends on the kind of man who lives in the house.  Happiness doesn’t depend on the dress the lady wears; it depends on the lady who wears the dress. 

Our society says:
“Happy is the man who makes a million dollars!”
“Happy is the woman who marries a man who makes a million dollars!”
“Happy is the gogetter, the guy who gets what he wants, when he wants it and just the way he likes it.”
“Happiness is doing your own thing.”
“Happiness is being rich, powerful and famous.”

Jesus, the architect of the human soul, cups His hands to His mouth and cries out, “Wrong!  Happy are the poor in spirit.”  What a contradiction!  How far removed from the carnal mind of this pleasureseeking generation!

What does “poor in spirit” mean?  It does not mean being a tremblylipped religious doormat.  It does not mean being a pious introvert trying to blend into the wallpaper.  It does not mean being someone with no selfesteem.

It does mean that, happy are the people who allow the hand of God to crush their carnal nature so that they are no longer conformed to this world but are transformed into the glorious image of Christ. 

Happy are those who allow the hand of the Master to remove their imperfections, remaking them into a vessel of honor pleasing to the Master.

Before the power of the atom could be unleashed, science had to devise a way to “smash” it.  The secret of its power lay in its being crushed.

Jesus lists being broken in spirit as the number one priority in the pursuit of happiness.  Only when the carnal nature is crushed and the inner poison removed can there be complete healing and a new beginning.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Revelation 3:17

Revelation 3:17—Because you say, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing”—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—

Happy are the poor in spirit!

How different from the attitude of the Laodicean Christians referred to in the above scripture, who said, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.”

How many Christians today share their point of view!  So much of the church is saturated with the Dr. Feelgood theology.  If it feels good, do it, and when it gets hard, get out.

That is not the message of Christ.  Everywhere He went there was conflict, controversy and conversion.  He was crucified as an insurrectionist considered too dangerous to live.  He was not “gentle Jesus, meek and mild.”  He was a straight shooter.

For major religious groups were represented among the multitude that listened to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount:  the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Essences and the Zealots.

The Pharisees.  When Jesus said, “Happy are the poor in spirit,” I believe He was looking right at the Pharisees, piercing their proud hearts.  The Pharisees believed that happiness was found in legalism.  They were forerunners of the “we don’t smoke, we don’t chew, and we don’t run with those who do” crowd.

The Sadducees.  This group believed that happiness was found in modernism and liberalism.  “Ours is an uptodate religion,” they would say, “full of the latest philosophy.  There’s no cross to bear.  There are no conflicts because there is no confrontation.  The Scripture?  A delightful, romantic allegory.  Sin?  What on earth is that?”

The Essenes.  They believed that happiness was found in isolation from the world.  Isolation is a state of being cut off from other people.  Its opposite is absorption:  the state of being so saturated with others that you forget who you are.  Your own identity is lost and your goals blurred in the treadmill of trying to please others.

Happiness can never be found in absolute isolation or in absolute absorption.  It lies somewhere in between.  It is not found living alone in the desert as the Essenes believed.  Happiness is knowing who we are and to whom we belong.

The Zealots.  These hotheads thought happiness lay in political revolution.  “Let’s run the Romans out of town,” they said, “and then we can all be happy.”

Today, many Christians are crying, “Let’s take charge of the government!  Then we can be happy.”  But in view of recent scandals that have shaken the church to its roots, it would appear that we need to take charge of ourselves first.  Before praying for power to take over the government, let’s pray for the power to develop an ear sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit and a tender heart toward God and man.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Luke 2:10

Luke 2:10—Then the angel said to them.  “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.”

Jesus is in the Happiness Business

When He was born, the angels over Bethlehem announced “good news of great joy that will be for all the people”.  He ordained happiness by attending the wedding at Cana.  The theme of His first sermon was happiness.  The closing picture of Him, in the book of Revelation, portrays Him as a bridegroom coming to claim His bride.  The wedding reception lasts for seven years in the joyous splendor of heaven. 

Take a look at the average church congregation on any given Sunday morning.  They look like advance agents for a cyclone.  Their faces are as droopy as saxophones.  They look like Biblecarrying bulldogs baptized in lemon juice! 

They go to work on Monday morning saved, sour, sanctified and petrified.  They look at their coworkers and say, “Don’t you want to know Jesus?  Look what He’s done for me!”
Don’t be fooled:  Christianity certainly involves hardship and discipline.  But it is founded on the solid rock of old fashioned happiness.  Jesus is in the happiness business.  If we lose our joy, we’ve lost our credibility in this unhappy world.

Happiness begins with an absolute commitment to Christ.  There are two groups of people who came to hear Jesus’ sermon about happiness the sermon on the Mount:  the disciples, who have made an absolute commitment to follow Jesus, and the multitudes, a curious mob committed to nothing.

A disciple is someone who has forsaken all to follow Christ.  Jesus established the entrance requirements early on when He said, “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever will loses his life for my sake will find it” Matthew 10:3739.  Jesus does not call us to a life of convenience.  He calls us to a life commitment.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Romans 13:8

Romans 13:8
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

Love never fails…

The Bible describes the complexity and majesty of God with these three words, “God is love” 1 John 4:16.  When Jesus completed His ministry on this earth, He gave His disciples a command, known as the eleventh commandment, which was, “Love one another as I have loved you” John 15:12.  Christ gave His love when it was not deserved, to people who did not deserve it.  That’s a principle you’re going to have to practice in your marriage if it’s to be an exciting and enduring marriage.

There will come a time when you will need to give love to your spouse, love that is not deserved, and give it joyfully.  We are all angels with one wing, and we need each other to fly.  Marriage is God’s idea, and it is the microcosm of heaven on earth.  But the glue that holds it together is the unconditional love of God one for the other.  Love is the one ingredient of which our world never tires and of which there is never an overabundance.  The world will never outgrow its need for love.  God created us in His own image, which means we were created to function on the fuel of love. 

Source:  What Every Man Wants in a Woman / What Every Woman Wants in a Man by Pastor and Diana Hagee

Hebrews 11:1

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

Faith is the soul daring to go further than the natural eye can see!

Noah built an ark without even having seen the first drop of rain, because faith is being “certain of what we do not see.”  Faith doesn’t demand miracles; faith produces miracles.  Imagine getting on a boat you built with your bare hands, filling it with tigers, lions and snakes, and taking a fortyday cruise with your wife and family.  That’s faith!  Abraham, at age one hundred, went to his ninetyyearold wife, Sarah, and said, “Turn off the television, honey.  God told me we’re going to have a baby.”  That’s faith!  Later Abraham offered his son Isaac as a living sacrifice to the Lord, believing God would raise him from the dead.  And God provided another sacrifice.  That’s faith!
Faith is a choice, not an argument; a decision, not a debate; a commitment, not a controversy.
Faith gives us the power to walk fearlessly, run confidently and live victoriously.  No one need live in doubt when he can pray in faith.  Even if our faith cannot yet move mountains, it can give us the power to climb over them.

A skeptic once said to me, “Preacher, all you Christians have going for you is faith.” 
I replied, “You’re right!  And that’s all we need!”
The Bible says:

 Our faith is the victory that overcomes the world 1 John 5:4
 “Without faith it is impossible to please God? Hebrews 11:6
 “Everything is possible for him who believes” Mark 9:23

Is faith important for living happy in an unhappy world?  Just try living one day in this chaotic world without it, and you are on your way to the nut house.  Faith is the fabric that clothes the heart, soul, mind and body with oldfashioned, overflowing, heavensent happiness.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Philippians 4:4

Philippians 4:4—Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again:  Rejoice!

Choose a positive attitude first thing in the morning!

There are only two kinds of attitudes:  good ones and bad ones.  Profound, eh?  So is a marvelous poem my mother taught me when I was a child.  I’ve never forgotten it.  It goes like this:

Two men looked out prison bars:
One saw mud, the other stars.

Two men in exactly the same circumstances made opposite choices that determined their capacity to be happy.  Which choice would you have made?

Why not choose a positive attitude first thing in the morning, before these things even have a chance to go wrong?  King David said, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” Psalm 118:24.

That choice, when you get up in the morning, will set the mood for your whole day.

Our attitudes don’t have to be determined by our circumstances.  I once stood by the bedside of a beautiful and courageous seventeenyearold girl who was dying of cancer.  I can stand by the deathbed of an adult who has lived a full, rich life and accept that all good things must end.  But when I stand beside a dying child, I have to fight tears.

Rosie read my thoughts perfectly.  Clutching her white Bible in her frail hands, she looked me straight in the eye and said, “Pastor, I know I’m dying.  But isn’t this a beautiful day?  Every day is a gift from God.”  I felt ashamed of the petty circumstances I so often let control my attitude toward life.  This teenage champion of courage didn’t let the worst of circumstances control her attitude.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Deuteronomy 30:19

Deuteronomy 30:19—This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

Now choose life!

Moses knew the power of choice to bring blessings or curses upon the nation of Israel.  In one of history’s most dramatic statements, he stood before all Israel and shouted Deuteronomy 30:19 with all the power of his aged voice.

When Abraham and Lot stood together on the fertile plains of Jordan, Lot made the choice that was to be his undoing.  “So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan” Genesis 13:11.  He pitched his tent toward Sodom, ignoring the moral and spiritual dangers.

Hear the hissing of the brimstone as it falls from the sky, bringing annihilation to Sodom.  See the sons and daughters of Lot running in panic, futilely seeking a place of refuge.  This was the consequence of their father’s choice.

Who’d Choose Unhappiness?

Abraham Lincoln said, “Most people are about as happy as they choose to be.”  How true!  It’s hard to imagine that someone might actually choose unhappiness over happiness.  But millions do every day; often for reasons even they don’t fully understand.  Some choose unhappiness to manipulate those around them, to get attention or sympathy.  Some choose unhappiness indirectly, because they don’t know where or how to find happiness.  Some religious people choose unhappiness as living proof of their “superior spirituality.”

A minister was preaching on happiness.  His congregation was laughing with joy, when suddenly; a selfrighteous religious peacock stood and icily rebuked the minister and the congregation for their laughter.  Without missing a beat, the minister intoned, “Let us now allow this unhappy brother to lead us in a moment of corporate misery.”

Now choose happiness!

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

1 Timothy 6:9, 11

1 Timothy 6:9,11 —But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.   But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.

Choose to flee temptation!

One Monday morning my secretary burst into my office with a worried look on her face and said, “Pastor, there is call you’d better take.” 
When I placed the receiver to my ear, a woman screamed, “Help me! Pastor, he’s going to kill himself!”

It was a gracious lady of the church who was referring to her husband who seemed to have everything:  houses, lands, sports cars, condos, beautiful children and a lovely wife.  He was now locked in the bathroom and she believed he was attempting suicide.

I bolted from my office and sped across San Antonio in my station wagon, as if the Interstate was the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
At the pleas of the wife, I went upstairs to the locked bathroom door, and as I was in no mood to administer the Harvard Temperament Test through a locked door, I applied a technique more often employed by a blitzing middle linebacker and ripped the door off its hinges.

The husband, lying on the floor, his face pale from loss of blood from slashes on his right wrist, told me, “I’m tired of living. I don’t want to live anymore and he pleaded for me to let him die.
I picked him up and carried him down to the car and rushed him to the emergency room.  After surgery and blood transfusions, when he realized he was going to live and have to face the realities of life, he wept, “Where did I go wrong, Pastor?”

“Happiness begins with a choice,” I told him.  “You’re in this hospital as a result of poor choices.  You chose to break the laws of God and now you’re suffering the consequences.  You can be happy the day you choose to obey the divine principles of truth recorded in the Word of God.”

The man had tried to kill himself, it came out, because his mistress was pregnant and was about to file a massive lawsuit exposing his private life.  As a highprofile executive with a major company, the adverse publicity created by such a suit would doubtless cost him his job with all its perks and prestige, the respect of his children and his church and might very well cost him his marriage.

There is a high price to be paid for low living!

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

 

Philippians 4:13

Philippians 4:13—I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Miracles come in cans.  They begin when we say, “I can!”

Our attitudes determine our attainments.  A supermarket is a building filled with cans.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could buy a sixteenounce can of peace? Or love? Or happiness?  Well, we can.  Miracles begin when we say, “I can.”

I can climb this mountain and whip the giant at the top.  I can lose weight.  I can be a better marriage partner. I can quit smoking.  I can live beyond my limitations.  I can—because “everything is possible for him who believes” Mark 9:23.

Stop saying:

“I haven’t got it.”  You do have it.  You’re just afraid to use it.

“I’m a loser.”  You’re not a loser.  You’re a winner with a sorry attitude.

“I’m not educated enough.”  So what?  I’ve graduated from three universities, and I can tell you that some of the dumbest people on earth are hiding out there.

“I don’t know the right people.”  Do you know God?  He’s rather influential on this planet!
“I’m handicapped.”  Helen Keller was blind, deaf and dumb, yet she graduated from college with honors.

“I’ve tried and failed.”  Moses tried to deliver the Hebrews from the iron grip of Egypt’s bondage.  He failed and fled to the backside of the wilderness for forty years.  Then God called him to return to the scene of his failure and command Pharaoh to let His people go.  Ten plagues later, Moses led his brethren out of the chains of slavery into the milk and honey of the land of promise.  He tried.  He failed. But he was willing to try again.

Our attitudes don’t have to be permanent.  We can change our attitudes, just as soon as we’re willing to.  Our attitudes will determine the quality of relationships we will have with our wives, our husbands, our children, and our bosses—and especially with God Himself.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

John 14:27

John 14:27—Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.

Circumstances control you only if you let them!

Jesus refused to let the circumstances control His attitude.  He did not utter the words of John 14:27 from an ivory tower in some Shangrila.  He said it to His disciples the night before He was to be crucified by the Romans. 

Jesus refused to let the circumstances control His attitude!

When Paul and Silas were in prison at Philippi, they sang at midnight.  When the circumstances were at their worst, they were at their best.  What did God do in response?  He sent a squadron of angels who shook the jail off its foundations with an earthquake.  Paul walked out of there with the jailhouse keys in one hand and a new convert in the other—because he refused to be mastered by his circumstances.

Most people wait for their circumstances to change before they’re willing to change their attitudes.  The husband says, “I’ll change when my wife changes.”  The wife says, “I’ll change when my husband changes.”  Standoff!  Besides, they haven’t learned that trying to change another person is as futile as trying to blow out a light bulb.

We want change husbands, wives, colleges, churches, business ventures and professional goals, before we are willing to think about first changing our own attitude.  If we will exercise man’s final freedom, the freedom to determine what our attitudes will be in any given situation, many of our problems will simply vanish.

Our attitudes toward others determine their attitudes toward us.  If we adopt a negative, faultfinding attitude, of course no one wants to be around us. 

A doctor told his patient, “Ma’am, the dog that bit you had rabies, and I’m afraid you’ve waited too long for rabies shots to be of any help.  It’s time for you to make out a will.” 

May I borrow a pen and some paper?” asked the woman calmly.  She began writing—and didn’t stop for over an hour. 

That’s the longest will I’ve ever seen,” the doctor said. 

“It’s not a will,” the woman replied.  “It’s a list of all the people I’m going to bite when I get out of here.”

Some people make others happy when they arrive.  Others make them happy when they leave.  Which are you?

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Proverbs 23:7

Proverbs 23:7—For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.

We usually have no control over what happens to us.  But we are responsible for how we respond to what happens to us. 

Fritz Kunkle said that our last freedom in life is to determine our attitude in any given situation.

 The Bible has a lot to say about choosing our attitudes:

 Everything is possible for him who believes Mark 9:23.

 I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief! Matthew 9:29

 Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think such things Philippians 4:8.

A positive attitude produces a good result; a negative attitude produces a bad result.  Compare the lives of the apostles Paul and Thomas.  Paul said, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” Phil. 4:13.  He was three times given the notorious thirtynine lashes.  He was shipwrecked, stoned and left for dead, the object of death threats and public hatred.  Yet he was able to write, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” 2 Corinthians 4:89.  He wrote that, as he wrote most of the New Testament, from a dark, damp, diseaseinfested jail cell.  That is a positive result in an impossible situation.

Thomas had the benefit of three and a half years of following Christ and personally witnessing miracles that stagger the mind.  Yet when Jesus rose from the dead and the other disciples ran to him with the news, Thomas just rolled out his lower lip and pouted, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it” John 20:25.

Two men, two different choices.  One is forever branded as Doubting Thomas.  The other is mentioned in hushed tones as the apostle of power who established the church of Jesus Christ.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Deuteronomy 30:19

Deuteronomy 30:19—This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

Happiness begins with a choice!

Many people think of happiness as something that just happens.  If it happens to happen to them, terrific!  If not, they curse their bad luck.

But happiness never just happens.  It comes to us by our own choice.  We decide whether to be happy or miserable, peaceful or anxious, fearful or serene.  Much more of our lot in life than we realize proceeds from our choices.

Joshua gathered the children of Israel together for his farewell address.  He reviewed God’s blessing upon Israel.  He called upon Israel to abandon their idols and serve the true God.  He closed his address with one of the most memorable statements in history.  “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,” he cried.  Then he made clear what his choice would be:  “…As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” Joshua 24:15, italics added.

When Jesus stood before Pilate on trial for his life, Pilate said, “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Matthew 27:22.  This is the choice every man or woman on earth must make:  either for Christ or against Him.

The choice we make about Jesus Christ, above all others, determines the happiness quotient of our lives.  It is impossible to do nothing about Jesus Christ.  Not to decide for him is to decide against Him.  There is no such thing as indecision.  Until this choice is made, we can never be happy in an unhappy world.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

1 Peter 2:15-16

1 Peter 2:1516—For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 

God had dignified man by weaving into his nature the divine gift of freedom.

When we see what man has done with his Godgiven freedom, we can only wonder why God didn’t make us without it.  He could have bound us to His sovereign will as a machine is bound to ours, and thereby relieved us of the risks and consequences of choice.

But for reasons of His own, God chose to place us in a rough and risky world with the awesome power to accept or reject His truth, to make or mar our destiny, to climb to the heights or sink to the depths.

There is no such thing as absolute freedom.  The stars don’t have it; they are bound by the laws of the unseen hand of the universe.  The oceans don’t have it; they are bound by the shoreline that will not retreat.  Man doesn’t have it; he is hemmed in by other men and by the laws they make.

To most young people, freedom means liberation from the restraints of their parents.  They don’t want to be hemmed in by stuffy moral standards.  They don’t want to be limited by curfews.  They don’t want to be shackled by responsibilities.  They want the freedom of an adult and the responsibilities of a child.

This quest for freedom without responsibility is repeated millions of times every year by people of all ages.  Husbands and fathers leave their wives and children for new lovers.  Teenagers leave home, yelling over their shoulders at their weeping parents, “Don’t try to tell me what to do!”  They are free from all discipline, restraint and responsibility—or so they think.

God gives us freedom so that we might serve one another in love!

We are never truly free until we are voluntarily mastered by something greater than ourselves.  We see this in the story of God’s leading the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt.  They had been slaves; they were accustomed to being told what to do and when to do it.  When God led them out of bondage, He did not say, “You’re free to do as you like, so party till you drop!”  He took them straight to Mt. Sinai and gave them the Ten Commandments!

There is no freedom until we are bound to something greater than ourselves.  Only when we are willing to say, “Make me Your captive, Lord,” will we know true freedom.  That’s the day we will be happy in an unhappy world!

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Matthew 6:27

Matthew 6:27—Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

Worry is sin!

We are commanded not worry five times in just one chapter of Scripture:  Matthew 6.  Over and over, like the tolling of a bell in a country churchyard, ring out the words, “Take no thought…take no thought…take no thought.”

God’s own Son cups His hands to His mouth and shouts, “Don’t worry!”

Don’t worry about your finances.  “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19.

Don’t worry about your weaknesses.  “The Lord is the stronghold of my life” Psalm 27:1.  “The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” Daniel 11:32.

Don’t worry about your frustrations.  “You will keep him in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you” Isaiah 26:3.

Don’t worry about your enemies.  “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” 1 John 4:4.

To worry is to put your faith in fear.  It is to trust in the unpleasant.  It is to believe in defeat and despair.  It is a stream of doubt that surges through the mind, drowning optimism, hope and faith.  

An aviator was making a roundtheworld trip.  On one leg of his journey he heard a noise in the plane—it sounded like the gnawing of a rat.  He was two hours from the nearest landing field.  Not knowing what delicate instruments might be destroyed by the rat’s sharp teeth, he began to worry.

Then he remembered that a rat is not made for the heights.  It is made to live in dark holes in the ground.  He nosed the plane higher and higher until the gnawing stopped.  Two hours later when he landed, there in the cockpit lay a dead rat.

Worry is a rat.  It cannot live in “the secret places of the Most High” Psalm 91:1.  It cannot breathe in the atmosphere of confidence and faith.

If your life has been thrown off course by worry, climb higher.  Come into the presence of the living God.  Feel His peace, His power, His love — And know that worry must die in His presence.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

Proverbs 27:1

Proverbs 27:1—Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou know not what a day may bring forth.

Happiness is not found in tomorrow!

Much happiness is assassinated by “waiting for tomorrow.”  How many times have I heard people postpone the joy of life by saying things like:

“I’ll be happy when I get older.”  Then when they do get older everything hurts—and what doesn’t hurt, doesn’t work!

“I’ll be happy when I get married.”  Then they get married and discover that, although everyone gets married for better or worse, not everyone has a happy marriage. 
“I’ll be happy when I have children.”  Then they have children and discover there are three ways to get something done:  do it yourself, hire someone to do it or forbid your kids to do it.

“I’ll be happy when I retire.”  Then they find out that the only bad thing about doing nothing is that you never get a day off.

When we put off being happy until tomorrow, we are procrastinating.  Procrastination masquerades as the solution to every problem.  When used, however, it produces only grief and despair.

As a pastor for many years, it has often been my duty to stand by the bedside of people who were dying.  In those final moments of life, I have heard some of the sweetest expressions of love and devotion that could be uttered by human lips.

I have never heard anyone say, “How I wish I had spent more time at the office.”  I have, however, heard many people say things like, “I wish we had taken that vacation together,” or, “I wish we had taken time to smell the roses as we raced through life.”

What happened?  They kept putting off being happy until tomorrow.  And tomorrow never came.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

1 John 5:14

1 John 5:14—And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us.
One Of God’s Conditions For Answered Prayer Is Asking According To His Will


People pray, “Lord, if it be your will”…  The implication is that they can’t know the will of God, or that the will of God is so mysterious they’ll never understand it.  That’s wrong.  God’s will is consistent with His word.  So we can know the will of God by reading the word of God.  For example, we know that God is light.  That means God is against darkness.  Which means he is against the occult, because “occult” means that which is done in darkness.  So it is not God’s will for you to dabble in the occult. 

We also know that God is life.  Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” John 10:10.  That means God is prolife, and He’s antiabortion.  I don’t have to pray, “if it be thy will.” when it comes to knowing whether it’s His will for someone to have an abortion.

God is peace.  That means he opposes fear.  He opposes intimidation…manipulation…domination…torment…anyone trying to control your life.  He wants you to live in the peace that He has for you.  God is love.  That means He opposes hatred, He opposes bitterness and He opposes racial strife.

God is righteous authority.  All authority comes form God.  If you’re in rebellion against God’s delegated authority, you’re out of the will of God. 

God is a giver.  Everything God controls gives.  If you are a tightwad…if you’re greed…if you refuse to tithe…then you’re out of the will of God. 

God is a worker.  In the beginning God created the heavens and earth.  Jesus Christ was a carpenter.  The twelve disciples worked.  Work has become a dirty word in America.  The Bible says if you don’t work, you ought not eat. 

The next condition to answered prayer is to pray in faith believing.  Matthew 21:21 says, “If you have faith, and doubt not…you shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.”  And lastly, pray specifically.  Know what you want and pray for that.  Pray so specifically that when God answers you’ll know God sent it and it wasn’t random chance!

Source:  Twelve Sunday Mornings—Part Three

Matthew 18:18

Matthew 18:18—Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven:  and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
You Can Take Absolute Control Of Your Life Through Prayer!

When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace.  But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils” Luke 11:2022.

There are two applications to this scripture.  First, Satan is the strong man who kept the palace.  He had everything his way until Jesus defeated him at Calvary.  Second, notice that Satan is totally unarmed—Jesus has stripped him of all his armor.  To share in the victory of Christ at Calvary, we must first bind the strong man.  Who is the strong man in this text?  He is Satan’s representative over a nation, over a people, over a state, over a city, over a family or over a person.  The powers and principalities are that well organized.  Your problems are not with people.  Your problems are with supernatural powers that control people.

Is your husband a drinker?  Say, “Lord Jesus, in the authority of your name, I bind that alcoholic spirit that drives my husband.  I ask you to make him as sick as a dog the next time he picks up that bottle.”

That’s an illustration of binding.  Here’s an illustration of loosing.  In Luke 13 there was a woman who had been bent double for 18 years.  Jesus said, “Ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed form this bond?” Luke 13:18.  So you attack sickness like this.  “Lord Jesus, in the power of your name, by the shed blood of your cross, I loose from this infirmity.  Be healed in Jesus’ name.”  And that disease has to let go in Jesus’ name.”

If your relatives are bound by alcoholism…by drug addiction…by adultery…by fornication…by bitterness…by resentment…by prejudice…by idolatry…by Satanism…by witchcraft…by the occult…by Eastern philosophies…by mind control…loose them in Jesus’ name.  Agree with another believer.  Put on the whole armor of God and pierce the darkness through prayer.

Source:  Twelve Sunday Morning Part 3

Matthew 7:7

Matthew 7:7—Ask and you shall receive.
Ask!!

When you get down on your knees to pray in church, at home, wherever you pray, I’m convinced that God says to the angels, Look, here they come.  They’re going to pray.  Listen, angels.  Get ready.  They’re going to ask for great and mighty things.  Get down there to do it a soon as they ask.”  And then you open your mouth and say, “Oh, God, would you water the grass while I’m gone to Florida?”  God goes, “Aaaaaaagghh.”  He leans back on his throne and says, “I thought they would bind the spirits destroying their marriage.  I thought they would bind the disease that’s destroying their son.  I thought they would pull down the strongholds of abortion and pornography and drugs and pierce the darkness of evil and greed that’s destroying the nation.  No, they want me to water the grass.”

Ask according to his infinite power.  Ask big.  Knock God of His throne by asking things that stagger the human mind.  Attempt to do such great things for God that unless he comes through, you’ll fall flat on you face.  Live in that dimension. 


Do you need healing and the doctor says you can’t have it?  “Ask and you shall receive.”  Do you need the supernatural powers of heaven to break the yoke that binds your son or your daughter?  “Ask and you shall receive.”  Do you need peace that surpasses understanding?  “Ask and you shall receive.”  Do you need the stain of sin to be removed from your soul?  “Ask and you shall receive.”  Nothing is impossible with God.

Source:  Twelve Sunday Morning Part 3

Psalm 23

"The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. He leadeth me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies. Thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever." Psalm 23

"I shall not want for joy, for in His presence is the fullness of joy. I shall not want peace, because He's the Prince of Peace. I shall not want assistance, because He is my burden bearer. I shall not want for prosperity, for He maketh my cup to runneth over. He supplies all of my needs according to His riches in glory. I shall not want health or healing, because He is the Great Physician. I shall not want a friend, because He is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. I shall not want for anything at any time, for He has my all and all. He is everything the heart desires. He's everything your mind can imagine. May the Lord add His blessing to the reading of the Word." Pastor John C. Hagee

Isaiah 40:31

Isaiah 40:31—They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.
Learn To Wait Upon The Lord.  Learn To Hear The Voice Of God!


Hearing form God is something you learn to do.  Years ago I had a church member who would phone me and start talking the first rattle out of the box. “Yakkety yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, breath yakkety yak, yak, yak.  When they finished, click went the phone.  I never got a chance to get a word in.  God spoke to my heart, “That’s just how you pray.  You tell me everything you want me to hear and then you shut up and run off.”  From that day on, whenever I go to pray, I take a legal pad.  Ad when I get through telling God what’s on my mind, I listen to see what’s on God’s mind.  What He tells me when I shut up is what gives birth to every sermon I preach and every book I write.  If you want to hear form God—listen.  God wants to talk to you. 

There are some things that will hinder prayer.  Unbelief hinders prayer.  The Bible says, “He that cometh to God must believe that he is” Hebrews 11:6.  Another thing that hinders prayer is sin in your life.  David recognized that.  He said, “If I behold iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” Psalm 66:18.  God will hear your prayer of confession, but if there’s sin in your life, he doesn’t answer your prayer.  When there’s discord between a husband and wife, Peter said, your prayers are hindered 1 Peter 3:7.  Unforgiveness hinders your prayers.  The Lord’s Prayer says, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” Matthew 6:12.  It’s very clear.  If you will not forgive another, God cannot forgive you.

Source:  Twelve Sunday Morning Part 3

Acts 4:31

Acts 4:31—And when they had prayed the place was shaken where they were assembled together.
A Prayerless Christian Is A Powerless Christian!

As powerful as God is, he cannot answer prayers until they’re prayed.  Prayer is the only way to get God’s power released into your life.  Prayer is the secret to power with God.  Daniel was thrown to the lions because his prayer life terrorized the demonized bureaucrats of Babylon.  He pierced the darkness with prayer.  Elijah prayed and fire fell form heaven.  If that ever starts happening in your prayer life, it won’t be boring, I guarantee you.  In the early days of the church, they prayed until the building shook.
Moses prayed, and as long as his hands were held up, Israel won the war.  The moment his hands came down, Israel lost the war.  The point is this?  What you do on the ground in prayer is what God can do in the heavens.  The moment you stop praying is the moment God’s power stops.  Your prayer is the secret of releasing God’s power in your life.  Jesus had a powerful prayer life; He prayed all night many nights.   And after He had prayed all night, then came the signs and wonders.

You can pray with supernatural knowledge when you have a prayer relationship with God.  Answered prayer is not a miracle; it’s a law.  When you take an ice tray and fill it with water and place it in a freezer, if the temperature is 32 degrees or less, the water turns to ice.  That is not a miracle.  That is a natural law.  It’s the only thing that can happen.  When you meet God’s conditions in prayer, you will get an answer. 

Source:  Twelve Sunday Morning Part 3

Ephesians 6:18

Ephesians 6:18—Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly…
Prayer Is The Key That Unlocks The Storehouses Of God’s Grace And Power

Many Christians have never learned to pray.  The disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.”  There is a right way to pray and a wrong way.  When Diana and I were first married, she was so Catholic we couldn’t get fire insurance because there were so many candles in our house.  I finally told her, “When the Bible says ‘ye are the light of the world’ it was not talking about candles.”

Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance.  Prayer is laying hold of God’s will.  Find out what God wants and pray for that.  Prayer is not sending God to run your errands; prayer is submitting to the purposes of God.  Prayer produces boldness.  Paul says in the text, “Pray that I may speak boldly.”  That’s an important prayer of for a preacher.  A preacher of the gospel should speak with the boldness of a lion.  One of the great problems in America today is that our pulpits are full of preachers who have presented such a watereddown, sinfee gospel that people can’t find redemption.

Prayerlessness is sin.  1 Samuel 12:23 says, “God forbid that I should sin against the lord in ceasing to pray for you.”  Paul went so far as to say we should pray without ceasing 1 Thessalonians 5:17.  My point is that prayerlessness is sin.  We should pray because God answers prayer.  The Bible says, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not”  Jeremiah 33:3.  America is waiting for the church that will demonstrate the great and mighty things of God. 

Source:  Twelve Sunday Morning Part 3

Hebrews 11:6

Hebrews 11:6—Without faith it is impossible to please him:  for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Whatever Your Duty Is In The Kingdom Of God, Do It In Season And Out Of Season.  Do It With Excellence Or Don’t Do It At All!


If you’re thrown in jail like Paul, write the book of Romans.  If you’re beaten and chained in prison, sing in the midnight hour.  If you’re knocked down, get up and get back in the fight.  Quit whining about your circumstances.  Take up your cross.  Put your hand to the plow and don’t look back.  Put on the whole armor of God—and fight.  Arise and do exploits in the name of our God.

It’s not what happens to you.  It’s how you respond to what happens to you.  You can get bitter or you can get better.  You can wallow in your selfpity or you can get off your duff and turn the lemon that life has given you into lemonade.  It is your choice.  You can rise to the highest destiny God has for you or you can wallow in some cesspool of selfmade agony.  I’m saying to you in Jesus’ name, whatever your past, get over it.  You can be a new creature in Christ Jesus.

Source:  Twelve Sunday Morning Part 3

Hebrews 11:6

Hebrews 11:6—But without faith it is impossible to please him:  for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
There Are Some Whose Faith Is Not Strong Enough To Bring Them To The House Of God On, Sunday, But They Think It Is Going To Be Strong Enough To Take Them Up In The Rapture Of The Church.  Fat Chance.  It’s Not Going To Happen!

Our commander in chief, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the author and finisher of our faith Hebrews 12:2.  He has given every person “a measure of faith” and you must use it.  We are to put on the whole armor of God with joy unspeakable—because we are the only army who was ever guaranteed the victory before the first shot was ever fired. 

Faith is the victory that overcomes the world.  We are more than conquerors through Christ.  By faith, you can look the demons of hell in the face without far.  By faith, you can defeat the giants that are challenging you.  By faith, you can climb the highest mountain and walk through the darkest valley.  By faith, you can charge the gates of hell with a water pistol and win.  Nothing is impossible to those that believe.  Have faith in God.

Source:  Twelve Sunday Morning Part 3

Ephesians 6:16

Ephesians 6:16—Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
This Shield Of Faith Can Stop All Of The Fiery Darts Of Satan—Not Some Of Them, But All Of Them!


There were two kinds of shields a Roman soldier carried.  One was a giant Frisbee that he had on his arm when he was fighting handtohand combat with a sword.  The other kind of shield was about four feet high and two feet wide.  A Roman soldier who was ambushed suddenly could survive by getting completely behind this shield.    

Have you ever had a week from hell? You lose your job and on the way home you have a wreck.  When you get to the hospital, you find our your insurance lapsed three days ago.  You call suicide prevention and they put you on hold.  It just goes downhill and doesn’t stop.  “When it rains, it pours” the old saying goes.  That’s the time to get behind the shield of faith.  When you don’t have just one problem, but rather lots of problems, get behind this powerful, supernatural shield God has given you.  Behind the shield of faith you are protected because you’re safe in the arms of God. 

God said to Abraham, “I am you’re shield and your exceeding great reward” Genesis 15:1.  David said, “The Lord is my strength and my shield” Psalm 28:7.  When I am in the arms of God and behind the shield of faith, hell can’t touch me.  I’m unreachable.  I’m unshakeable.  I’m unmovable.  I’m safe behind the shield of faith that God gives me for every adversity of life.

Source:  Twelve Sunday Morning Part 3

2 Corinthians 10:4

2 Corinthians 10:4—For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.
We Do Not Fight Madmen Like Hitler, Osama Bin Laden Or Ahmadinejad; We Fight The Devil Himself And His Powers And Principalities That Have Sworn To Destroy You!

I am amazed that men and women, at the call of the president, will lovingly kiss their families goodbye…will forsake their careers and the comforts of home…and will risk being killed or crippled for life, for the sake of political freedom, but men and women will shrink back from the call of Christ to battle the supernatural forces of Satan that are trying to destroy their lives, their homes and this nation.

For natural warfare men will leave home for years at a time to fight against the powers tying to destroy our freedom.  But when the powers and principalities of darkness are ripping the soul of America apart, they will not leave their home for three hours on Sunday to come to the house of God.  For natural warfare men will freeze in a foxhole covered with snow.  The will lie face down in the mud and the blood.  Yet they find it difficult to spend one hour in prayer on the Lord’s day—in a warm church that’s carpeted, with a 200voice choir singing Sweet Hour of Prayer in the background.  For natural warfare men will study the tactics of the enemy around the clock.  Yet for spiritual warfare most of them seldom open the word of God and learn how to engage the enemy.  For natural warfare men will spend fortunes for a superior weapons system.  Yet for spiritual warfare they won’t spend 5 cents to support a gospelpreaching ministry.  They will not tithe and they will not pledge. 

The fight is on.  The battle rages.  The hour is late and we must arise and do the works of God.  Put on the whole armor of God and take a stand!

Source:  Twelve Sunday Morning Part 3

Galatians 1:10

Galatians 1:10 "For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet please men, I shall not be the servant of God."

"Paul says in this verse, 'what is my purpose on this earth? To be a father pleaser or a people pleaser?' The premise that he's establishing in this first chapter to the Galatians is that you have the choice. You can either please God and offend the world or offend the world and please God. You have to make that choice on a daily basis.

In Matthew 10:35, Jesus said: 'For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, the daughter against the mother, and a man's foes will be those of his own household.' Now that message is very clear. Jesus said: 'Think not that I have come to bring peace, I've come the bring a sword, for father and mother and brother and sister shall be divided. What's He mean?He means a sword divides. You're divided by who Jesus Christ is in your life. If you obey Him, you're going the offend people in your family. You're going to offend your closest friends. The Bible says that's exactly what you ought to do, because the moment you start trying to appease people and their opinions, as opposed to the Word of God, you're already on a slippery slope that will destroy your own faith.

Let me direct you to the Apostle Peter after following Jesus for three and a half years. He was approached by a servant girl when Christ was on trial as to whether he was a Galilean or not. And he said, 'I don't know Jesus Christ.' Peter was very close to losing his soul. For the Bible says: 'If you deny me before men, I will deny you before my Father and His angels.'

Peter said, 'I don't know the man.' Why? Because a servant girl interrogated him about his identification with Jesus Christ. If there's one thing in this corrupt society that the Body of Christ needs to hear, is that our absolute allegiance is to the Word of God and our absolute allegiance is to the Lord Jesus Christ. Don't even try to appease nor pacify anyone whose opinion or position is contrary to the Word of God, because you are on this earth temporarily.

When you step in eternity, it's forever. When you step into eternity, you want to see the face of Almighty God whom you have obeyed and pleased. Because God says in His Word very clearly: 'Those who do my will are of the household of faith.'

If you don't do His will through the obedience of God, you're going the wrong direction. May the Lord add His blessing to the reading of the Word.\" Pastor John C. Hagee

Exodus 1:17

Exodus 1:17—But the midwives feared God and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.
Our Absolute Obedience Must Be To The Word Of God—Not To A Denomination…Not To A Man…Not To The President…Not To A Government!

The word of God is powerful.  The word of God is true.  If we are to use the sword of the Spirit effectively, we must obey the word.  We respect our government and pray for our leaders; but our first allegiance is to the word of God. 

Let me pose a question:  Is it ever wrong to obey the government?  The answer is yes.  When the government condones what God condemns, your commitment is to abide by the word of God. 

In the Old Testament, Pharaoh had an extermination policy of Jewish male children.  The midwives of Egypt were commanded to kill the children upon birth.  The midwives feared God, so they disobeyed Pharaoh and the Bible says God blessed them for it.  They defied their government and God blessed them for it.  Moses’ parents defied the government of Egypt.  When their son was born, they hid him. 

Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch woman who lived in Holland during the Second World War, hid Jews in her home so that Hitler’s Nazis could not find them.  She went to prison for disobeying the government.  She went through the hell of a German concentration camp because of her disobedience to God’s word.  But God blessed her for it.  I guarantee you that when you get to heaven, you’ll have to walk a day and a half to get around the mansion God has prepared for her.  The point is, when the government approves what God condemns, we stand with the word of God.
 

Source:  Twelve Sunday Morning Part 3