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DEVOTIONAL TEACHINGS

3.17.16 He Commanded
"For He spoke and it was done; He commanded and it stood fast."  Psalm 33:9

We believers seem to forget quite easily that whatever our God has spoken is done.  We seem to forget that He is immovable and His Word is unchangeable.  We seem to want to interpret His Words according to what we want, according to our plans or sense of entitlements. We seem to forget that He is the One and Only God, the Great I AM.
Our God posed questions to Job along this line: "Where were you when I.........?"   Well, the Church has entered into a new time and season and it will not be business as usual! Everything seems to be turning upside down and inside out! How glorious is that! Some Believers do not want any kind of change, only for things to remain as they are or were. How can this be if we are to experience any growth at all? Even the natural world we live in denotes changes every day and yet we live through them and adapt to them, rarely even questioning. So our God is stating that He has spoken and it will stand fast. Let us become a people who rest in peace and trust in Him, knowing all is well in Him at all times.  Let us put our faith and confidence in Him and not in man or the false prophets all around us these days.  If you do not know what our Lord has spoken, sit down and go through the Spiritual life manual and find out. Get involved in a Bible believing, total gospel teaching church or Bible study. We are told to:  

 2 Timothy 2:15   "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of truth."

Let's determine to be a Believer who takes God at His word and know that it is done as spoken. Let us learn that all we need do is appropriate by faith and His timing what His Word says.  His Word will always stand fast and never change!  I am grateful.  Amen.
- Pastor Sandra Matheson     3.17.16

Prayer:  Father God remind me to stand firm, to trust you, to remember that you do not change and that you stay fast to your plan. Cause us to remain in peace.
Remember, Our God Reigns!

11.28.15  A Living Sacrifice
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is your true and proper worship."
Romans 12:1

The word today is that "my body is my body and I can do with it whatever I want".  True.
However, once you have invited Christ into your heart and life, your body is no longer yours but His. He bought it, redeemed it from sin and death, and so it now is His and He lives in you through the Holy Spirit. Now what you do with it is important and matters to Christ. must learn to do the right thing, not just what we want to do.
It is always interesting to me to make note of the physical houses and places where people live, I think it tells a lot about them. If it is cluttered, dirty, misused, or infested, it says your spirit is. If it is messy and without order, it means your spirit is in confusion. If it is tidy, clean, warm and full of color, it means your spirit is too, it is right with the Lord - it is in balance. If it is extremely clean, rigidly in order, austere, it means religious and law - bondage.
As Christians, we should consider what we do as we live in this "house" on this earth, so as to bring glory to our God in how we care for it.  Stop and think as you go, as you eat, as you go without sleep, as you push yourself in endurance:
1.   Our minds should be used to know and understand the things of God and His Word.
2.   Our mouths should be used to proclaim the goodness of our God and His works, speak out blessings, and worship Him.
3.   Our eyes are to be used to see goodness, to see into spiritual things, to see how the Holy Spirit is working in and for us, through us - and to see the wonders of His creations and His possibilities. 
4.   Our ears are to listen and learn, to hear spiritual secrets and wonders, to hear the voice of our Shepard, and to recognize the voice of our enemy.
5.    Our shoulders are to be used to carry His governmental principles as His Ambassadors and royal priests; to know what they are and to be able to impart them into situations and circumstances of life.
6.    Our arms and hands are to embrace and to love, to lift up and support when needed, to lift up in praise and surrender to our Lord, and to impart healing and blessings and power.
7.   Our backs are used for carrying our brothers and sisters when they are unable, to help carry their loads until they are stronger. We do not take them on as our own, but we do assist when needed.
8.    Legs, knees, feet are used to carry the gospel, to stand for righteousness and goodness, to carry His Peace wherever we go, to be used to be flexible in Him, and to bend our knees in worship and prayer.

Our bodies are to be the temple, the dwelling place, of the Holy Spirit. Holy, powerful, useful to the Kingdom of God here on earth. What are you doing with your body?  How useful is it to Him? Are you a good caretaker of the body He has given to you? No matter what, your body is to show forth the glory of the Lord. Reclaim it. Evict the enemy and start taking care of it.
God has assignments for you here and now and you need to be mindful of them and complete them. You need your body to do this. Take thought in what you do with it, where you go in it, and what you put in it.  Whatever the limitations of your body, God can still use it. Do not buy the lie that you cannot. Ask Him what He would like you to do and then do it. Become disiplined to do the right thing in Christ and not just what you want to do to satisfy your flesh/body.  Be faithful and see what will happen!

1 Corinthians 6:19  "Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore, honor God with your body."

Prayer:  Lord God, take me and use me. I give all my limitations over to you and ask you to refine them and use them - for in all my weaknesses You are strong! I believe I have assignments on this earth and accept them now. Direct me and guide me. Your Word tells me that You order the steps of a righteous man. I believe that. Thank you Lord. I choose to be about my Father's business from now on.  Amen
- Pastor Sandra Matheson    11.28.15
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8.2.15    Goodness and Mercy
   
"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."   Psalm 23:6

Goodness: the act of being good, upright, proper in action and thought, wanting the best for self and others, kindness.
Mercy:  compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm, undeserved favor and blessings.

What a wonderful concept!  I want goodness and mercy to follow me all the days of my life, and I want to live in the house of the Lord forever!  What does this mean?
I believe there are two parts of this concept: 1) we must learn how to give out goodness to receive goodness, and 2) we must learn how to receive mercy to be able to give out mercy.
Goodness is a mind-set of our God's character that we are to allow the Holy Spirit to manifest through us. This is a character trait of being a new creature in Christ Jesus and not a thing we can create or do on our own.  This is being an imitator of Christ (Ephesians 5:1).
Goodness being manifested in our lives as Believers in Christ is to do the right and honorable thing, to thing of good towards others, to receive the goodness - the righteousness - of Christ in our own minds, hearts, and lives. Think on good things (Philippians 4:8).  As a man thinks, so he is.  Also whatever is stored up in our hearts is a belief system and when push comes to shove, we will always reveal what we truly believe by the words coming out of our mouths from the heart.  It is not hard to think on goodness but it does take purposing and determination. It takes trusting the Lord that He will always make things right for you and will always be your defender.  Being good to others turns around and fills up our souls to overflowing with the goodness of God the Father to us, spilling out and over. It fills up our souls with Him and with blessings we never dreamed of. Goodness with the wisdom and discernment of the Holy Spirit is always right and true and takes 'us' out of the equation.
Mercy is undeserved favor and blessings. We cannot earn it and it has no measure.  As the Lord gives us mercy we are to give it out to others. We were once lost and without Christ and behaved just as others who are. We are no different. Mercy initiates Grace that gives us the ability to overcome the negatives within ourselves. Grace is a powerful and active force that comes from the heart of God the Father. We obtain freedom through Grace.
Mercy obtained is mercy given out. It flows in a continual circle and it is free of accusations, criticisms, and judgments.   As God the Father has forgiven us, we forgive others.
Goodness and mercy are powerful, powerful forces that indicate the fruit of our life in Christ, the evidence of a changed life, the "blessed life".  This enables us to be assured that we will indeed dwell in the house of the Lord forever because we are dedicated and submitted to Him and Him alone.
Let's consciously and purposely begin to embrace this wonderful concept of God for our lives. How wonderful to have goodness and mercy follow me all the days of my life!
-  Pastor Sandra Matheson     8.5.15

Prayer:
"Heavenly Father, how good you are!  I cannot fathom the depth or the width of your goodness and your great mercy to me. It overwhelms me, it fills me to overflowing, it spurs me onward when I want to give up. Your grace is powerful and comforting to me.  I want to understand these powerful aspects of my God more and more; I want to fully and completely embrace them to my mind, my heart, my life. Holy Spirit reveal to me all these things so I can surely say, "goodness and mercy follow me all the days of my life!"      Amen
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6.27.15   Offenses

"Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you - for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others."   Ecclesiastes 7:21-22

Ouch!  We now live in a season of time where people are offended about anything and everything. Any perceived criticism, any perceived accusation.  People are hyper-defensive and emotionally based. The wisdom of these scriptures is that we must let things go and not take every single thing said or perceived rule our emotions and heart.  How many times have we spoken out careless judgments or criticisms or foolish words, without even a thought of who might be listening? We ourselves are listening and God is certainly listening, as well as the devil to carry our words out as seeds and to plant a perceived offense into someone's heart.
We must become much more thoughtful in our words, in our expressions, and in our body language. As Children of God, we are to show forth and express the love He has for us that is to flow through us out to others.
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5.19.15   Greed

“Then He said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”  Luke 12:15

In the western world, and some in the Eastern, we have been trained that hard work has its rewards. And that is true but it is not all Truth.  As a result of this training, we have become workaholics consumed with making more money and acquiring more material things. We feel we must have or cannot live without all these things.  While it is true we need money to live in this world, money will not bring us contentment, happiness, good relationships, and peace with God. It is not money that is evil; it is the love of money that is evil. This love of money drives us to have move.  The sacrifices that come with this drive is the loss of relationships. Marriages fall apart because they are not nurtured and lovingly attended to and children go on their own way because they are left alone so much. Our relationship with Christ begins to suffer because we end up working overtime on the Lord’s Day and because we are too tired to pray or read our Bible. While it is very true that some employment requires weekend attendance, not all do. And, one can still worship the Lord, pray, read His Word, attend a group during the week, etc.  Remember what the Word says: 

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for your selves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there is your heart also.”  Matthew 6:20-21

The Word goes on to tell us what our priorities are to be, in that we are to seek the Kingdom of God first and then all the cares of this world will be provided for us (Matthew 6:25-34).
"My God shall supply all your needs, according to His riches IN Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:19

Let us therefore focus on what is really important. Once that relationship fails, once our children are grown and gone, once our heart has become cold and separated from God, it is too late to go back and do over – to retrieve all that was lost and all that was meant to be a blessing in our life in this world. When it is gone, it is gone. Regret is a terrible kin to sorrow.

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthy things.’  Colossians 3:1-2
"What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?"
Mark 8:36
 - Pastor Sandra Matheson           5.19.15

Prayer:
"Lord help me to get my priorities in order. Let me not miss the real treasures of my life while busy seeking the treasures of this world. I want to keep my focus on you, and on those things that are precious to me: my God, my home in heaven, my relationships, and my family. Remind me of my earthly treasures. Protect me from greed and from the snares of the enemy of my faith. Thank you Lord."  - Amen
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2.5.15  Man's spirit

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”
Proverbs 14: 30
“A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?”
Proverbs 18: 14
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a wounded spirit dries up the bones.”
Proverbs 17: 22

The condition of a man’s spirit will set the course of his life and his health. Simple as that.  Even non-believers in Christ will benefit from this precept of God because His Word will stand alone and bear good fruit.  Doctors of both mind and body will concur that a person having a good attitude and a positive outlook is able to overcome many things that seem to be medically out of reach.  However, for Believers in Christ, we should have an absolute edge over this thinking and this action.  We must come to some point in our walk with Christ that we realize our warfare is in our minds and it does matter what we think and how we speak.  With stress and anxieties, worries and fears, our body is bombarded with emotions that set off chemical responses that begin to set out bodies out of harmony and balance.  A heart at peace causes us to relax, to breathe easier and deeper, to maintain our blood pressure and heart rate, and in turn, to maintain a harmonious level of chemicals in our body. Envy, or jealousy, causes us to mutter, to be resentful, to create a flood of chemicals in our body that is, again, out of balance and eats away at the good nutrients our body needs. This creates ‘rotting’ of the bones; pains and inflammations and arthritis, etc.   If a man’s spirit is in close harmony with Christ and in a purposeful state of peace – knowing that God is in control – it will sustain him in sickness with the hope and promise of restoration and healing.  A Crushed, or wounded spirit, again changes our focus and our balance. We cannot see beyond our wound or our dashed expectation and it begins to consume us. No hope, no faith, no peace. It is played over and over in our mind and we now are in a state of fear and not peace.   A cheerful heart is full of hope, possibilities, and expectations of a good outcome; faith in our Lord that He has a plan for us, to give us hope and a future and not to harm us. I wonder how many dear Believers in Christ has died way before their time because of no hope, despair, and fears.  A cheerful heart is like good medicine for our brain and our body. What you fill your thoughts with, what you contain in your heart, what you speak out, and what you walk out, is what you get.  So, what do you have to lose? Why not fill up on hope and peace and faith instead? Why not put your trust in Jesus and see what He will do?  He knows we are afraid and He knows we are frail. Stretch out and trust Him. Give Him room in your heart to work.  Remember, no matter what it is that you are struggling with, He has a plan, an action, and a good outcome planned for you. He is able to provide. He is able to make a way. Let us turn away from our fears and anxieties, let us turn away from our doubts and unbelief. Let us rise up and be a people who reflect to goodness and the power of the Lord Jesus.  Remember also, as He led the Israelites out of Egypt through Moses, not one feeble one was found among them, not one – old and young alike.  HE is able!
- Pastor Sandra Matheson     2.5.14

“I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.”     Psalm 34:4
"The Righteous (in Christ) cry out and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.”  Psalm 34:17
“The Lord will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness.”  Psalm 41:3
“He brought out Israel (from Egypt) laden with silver and gold, and from among their tribes no one faltered.”   Psalms 105: 37
- Pastor Sandra Matheson

Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, I am purposing to turn away from all my fears and anxieties, from my doubts and unbelief. I want my spirit to be strong and immutable in Your Spirit. I want to be filled to over flowing with praise and thanksgiving in all of my circumstances of life so that there is no room in me for the enemy to fill up. I am asking You to show Yourself strong in my life, in my situations of life; I give You permission to flood my soul so that it is healthy and vibrant and filled with You.  I want the possibility of a possibility to spring up in my soul. Thank you that I can trust You because you do not lie and You do not play favorites. Come Lord Jesus, come and wash over my spirit. I stand strong in You; I will not be moved.
Amen.

3 John 1:2   NKJV  “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
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1. 10.15

"I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills His purpose for me." 
Psalm 57:2

Busy times; busy life; busy, busy, busy! We human beings get way too busy and forget that there is more to our life then business and work and family.  What about the purpose God has for our life. Do you ever think about that? Do you ever wonder about that? Are you curious?
I am!  God has things for us to do in the world that are for the betterment of His Kingdom here on earth right now. God has given us assignments to do for Him, in the here and now.
Some of the issues in our life involve people who are our assignments and yet we fuss and fume and miss the point and the assignment! Perhaps it is time to think about this. What if that difficult family member, or the feisty co-worker, is our assignment. We are missing what our Lord is trying to point out to us, because of our own agendas and our own pride and our own selfishness.
Our God is so faithful! He sticks with us through think and thin, when we acknowledge Him and when we don't. Who else would ever be that faithful!
Let us cry out to our Lord God, and listen to hear what He would say to  us in that still and quiet voice, in that slight whisper, in that momentary thought. Stop and listen! Father God desires to speak to you. He desires your attention and your fellowship. He desires to show you His ways. He desires to fulfill His very detailed and tailor-made plan for you life - His purpose for you being here.
Stop! Breathe! Listen! Receive! Move into action and obey!  Blessing wait to abound to overflowing in our life if we will do this.  Make Him first!
-Pastor Sandra Matheson

Jeremiah 29:11  'For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Psalm 20:4   "May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, And fulfill all your purpose."
Ephesians 2:10  "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
Psalm 145:13  "Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, all your dominion endures through all generations.  The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made."

Prayer:
Father hear my cry to you. I am seeking Your face and Your ways for my life. I am asking for wisdom and direction in which way to go; what to do.  I want to know what my purpose in this life is and why I am here. I want to see and know my assignments; I do not want to miss them but complete them! I want to be faithful to You as You are so faithful to me. Show me, Holy Spirit, what the Father desires for me. I am listening, I want to obey my purpose in Christ from now on.   Amen
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11.12.14    Comforting others

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, se that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."    NIV  
2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Troubles, life issues, enemy attacks, persecutions. These are the things that will swoop into our lives unexpectantly.  What is the reason? What is the point? How do we maneuver through them?
Troubles are anything that vex us; they are problems and difficulties that come into our lives.  They will always be a part of our life in the flesh, in the world. They can be dire or upsetting and overwhelming, frightening and fearful, losses, sickness and diseases. As long as we live in this world, we will experience these troubles. We must begin to understand them and their purposes. We must not get angry and swear and resist.
Our best option is to stand, breathe, and then go through them as quickly as we can.  However, what causes us such mental and emotional pain is the fact that we try to go through them on our own, our own understanding.
Jesus tells us in John 16:33 NIV  "I have told you these things, so that IN me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!"
God holds all things in the palm of His hand. He is in control, nothing can take place in your life but He allows it for a purpose. The world should  have no effect on us who are in Christ. Through willful and deliberate sin we can create our own troubles. We then need to recognize that and repent, turning back into Christ and asking Holy Spirit to strengthen you in your obedience and trust in Jesus.  The minute we do this, and mean it, He forgives and teaches us in love.
The reason for the trouble may be to show you a weakness in yourself, a particular sin in your life, or to reveal to you God's purpose and plan for your life.  Sometimes we are caught up in other people's troubles. The point of the troubles is to educate us about our self, our circumstance, our growth in Christ, to distract us from the plan for our life, and to shake our faith. Everyone will go through this, Christian and non-Christian alike.
How do we maneuver through them? Take them as a challenge to your faith in Christ Jesus. Be aware when you step out of the peace of God and into emotions and feelings. Breathe and step back into God's peace and then you will receive instructions on how to go through the trouble. We must know the Word of God to know the character and integrity of our God.
We must know what we believe in and why. We must know that trials, testings, and tribulations are allowed to develop our character as well.
We must learn to trust Christ and to rely on the guidance and instructions of the Holy Spirit. Most Christians walk around without a clue as to what is going on and why. The Word tells us we must be aware.

Do not be disheartened or discouraged or depressed. You have assignments in this life and difficulties will follows. How can you ever comfort any one in all troubles if you have not had some experience and understand of what they are going through? How can you assure that God is working even in the middle of all that trouble for our own good unless you have experienced it? This is maturity in Christ Jesus. Growing up. Accepting challenges and accountabilities and responsibilities.  People watch you, they take note of your peace or your anger. They take note of your words, life or death.  Just realize that what you are going through now will be of great help to some one else as they go through a similar issue of life. This is your testimony, and this is how you overcome the enemy of your faith. Allow God to comfort you so you can comfort others! Learn quickly, you may be called upon at any time!
- Pastor Sandra Matheson

Psalm 34:17   "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles."
2 Corinthians 7:10  "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death."
2 Corinthians 4:17  "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
2 Timothy 3:12   "Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution."
John 14:27    "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
1 Thessalonians 5:14   "Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all."

Prayer:
Father I realize that there will be challenges that come into my life here on earth. I want to meet them with the confidence that you have already provided a way through them, and to have understanding that I am going through them for a reason and a purpose greater than myself. Infuse me with your strength to do this. Fill me up with your peace. Push my faith in you up to new levels. Remind me that I am more than a conqueror  in you. Remind me also that with the comfort and peace you instill in me, I can then turn and help someone else with what I have learned in you.  Amen 

Jude 22  "Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy mixed with fear (reverence) - hating even the clothing stained by corruptible flesh."
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9.2.14    Nothing Impossible:
"Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."
Luke 18:27

Impossible with men:  unable to exist, unable to be done or happen or be
used, unable to be performed by natural means or abilities
Possible with God:  that which may or can exist, happen, be done,  be used, or be performed, that which cam be done by supernatural means or abilities.

Every day there comes into our lives issues and challenges that are just too far over our abilities to handle, assimilate, and manage.  They can be emotionally taxing, exhausting.  Sometimes we just plain have no ability to
master the situation, nor the means to do so.  And yet, ....for God!
Nothing catches our God off guard. He knows exactly what is coming into our day and He has already provided an answer and a way through. If this is so, you say, then why would He allow such devastating events and traumas to occur? Why would He just not prevent it all - if He is truly in control?
Good questions, fair questions!
Have you ever understood the world we live in? The world occupied by the Prince of the air? The fallen spiritual state of being we are in? Look around you. It doesn't take a deep thinker to see that there is more and more evil all around us. We  have an enemy out to destroy and kill and steal from us, not only as Christians but as mankind in general. All these designed to separate us from God the Father, designed to hinder the blessings of God, designed to cause us to blame God.  Death, traumas, unfair circumstances, tragedy, all play into this enemy's schemes and plans.
Mankind has the unique ability to think and reason and make decisions. God has given us the ability to choose what we will do and how we will go through the issues of this life. We can choose to go on our own understanding and ability or we can choose to turn into Him and trust Him for the answers and the means to overcome. We must realize that God has not left us defenseless by any means. As a believer in Christ Jesus we are given Spiritual tools and weapons to fight this enemy. We must become aware of what they are so we work in unison with the Holy Spirit. The Word of God, the Name of Jesus, the Power of the Holy Spirit, and Praise and Worship, are but a few.
Life on this earth is unfair. God has given us a number of days to live. God's ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts. Life happens and stuff happens for many reasons. We are to trust that, even in the midst of great tragedy, our God is strong and our God is working on our behalf - all the time. Pain and suffering lives on this earth. So does great faith and trust in Jesus.
Dare to ask. Dare to ask big! Dare to be bold and dare to believe boldly. Dare to take the Word of God for what it says and do it, not being hearers only. Faith is a muscle and cannot be strong unless it is exercised on a regular basis. God brings impossible answers into impossible situations. Isn't that marvelous?
Remember, it is given according to your faith. Impossible situations show us the amazing and creative side of our God, full of love and compassion even in our darkest hours.
God is able to do anything. Call on Him. Allow Him to move in your
situation.

"In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ will be persecuted,
while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving
and being deceived."   NIV  2 Timothy 3:12-13

Psalm 91:15  NIV  "He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him."
Psalm 120:1  NIV  "I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me."
Pr
overbs 3:5   NIV  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding."
Matthew 7:7   NIV  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."
Matthew 18:19   NIV  "Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven."
Mark 11:24   NIV  "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
1 John 5:14    NIV  "This the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us."
Hebrews 11:6   NIV  "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

Prayer:
Jesus, I want to dare to believe and to trust in You and what Your Word says.
I am going to purpose in my heart to take in Your Word and to stretch out my faith to receive the impossible from You. I believe that I am more than a conqueror in You and that I have power and authority in Your name.
Increase my boldness. No matter what comes into my life, I choose  to believe that You have a plan for me to succeed through it all and that I
shall live and not die. Teach me the power of a thankful heart and the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Teach me the power of praise and worship when my heart is troubled, breaking, and feels destroyed. I choose to turn into You and not away from You!   Amen
- Pastor Sandra Matheson       9.2.14
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7.14.14    Agreement/Unity

1 Corinthians 1:10   "I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought."
 
(Amplified Bible: "But I urge and entreat you. brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in perfect harmony and full of agreement in what you say, and that there be no dissensions or fractions or divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your common understanding and in your opinions and judgments.")
 
What is agreement, unity?
To be of the same mind, same purpose, same thought, same belief.
How important is unity to God?
Extremely!  Lack of unity only brings diversities and divisions, chaos and confusion.  God is not the author of confusion, but a God of order
1 Corinthians 14: 33  KJV  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”
Is it possible for a group of believers in Christ to be in total unity?
Yes.
What is the benefit of agreement and/or unity?
Favor, power, authority, victory, abundance of life
 
There are several examples of unity in the Bible. I will mention three here:
1.       Tower of Babel:  Ungodly unity and agreement constituting singleness of mind and purpose to build a tower to heaven and bypass God.
The concept of unity works in the powers of darkness as well as in the power of God.  Genesis 11: 1-9
2.       Walls of Jericho:   It took several trips around the walls of Jericho before the Hebrews got the concept of agreement, singleness of unity, and the power of it. Once they got it and believed it, the walls came down and the victory was taken.  Joshua 5:13-15, 6:1-21
3.      Day of Pentecost:  120 gathered in an upper room, singleness of mind and purpose, belief. The outcome of that unity changed the whole world unto this day. It ushered in the power of Heaven into the world and into every day, common, ordinary people who were called to extraordinary things for the Kingdom of God.   Acts 1:12-15, 2:1-1-4
The Word of God holds all the Truths we ever need to have. The Word of God will empower us to understand and believe in that Truth. Whatever truth we believe in, that is what we will walk out in our life and that is what we will pass on to others. This truth better be in line with the Word of God or it is not truth but our own understanding, our own will, and it will be our ruin.  We are living in the end of days and the spirit of apostasy is rising up to pollute our church, our pastors, our leaders, and our people.  We will answer for whatever truth we pass on, we teach, or we preach. God will hold us accountable for every word.  Matthew 12:36-37,   Titus 1:7-8
It doesn’t matter how sincere we are, how strong we believe what we believe, or what we were taught. It all has got to line up with the Word of God. Many of us have been taught error in many things through our church through the years. Many of us have things to discard and relearn properly.
Jesus taught His disciples in t he thought that it matters very much what one believes and what one teaches. Error is a tool of the enemy of our faith. Just read about how the Apostles  had to let go of traditions and beliefs and learn Truth in Christ. They struggled but they did it, they came into unity. Do as the Bereans did in Acts 17:11  “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
There are not many truths, but there is One Truth. Go to the theory of “First Mentioned”, going to the very first mentioning of the topic or subject you have questions about. The very first mention of marriage was in the Garden of Eden – between a man and a woman.  Therefore, marriage is to be between a man and a woman.  Truth.  When God sets down a truth, it remains.
Yes, agreement and unity in what we believe and what we walk out are paramount to our Lord. Is it possible? Yes it certainly is or Jesus would not have instructed us to agree in Truth, to be in unity.  Take some time and check out what you believe and why. Is it your understandings, something you have been taught? Tradition? Does it line up with the Word of God? Do you need to change some of your thinking, some of your beliefs?
If you are seeking Truth you will find Truth. The Holy Spirit promises you that in John 16:13  “But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all Truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what he hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.”
 
Prayer:
Holy Spirit, guide me into all Truth. I do not want to be deceived, lead astray, or polluted by any error of any kind. I want to know and understand the whole Truth of my God and His Word. I want to walk in the fullness of it and have that abundant life Christ has promised me – abundant in Truth, favor, victory. I realize it doesn’t matter what I think or what I want to believe; it matters what the Word of God says. Thank you Lord for your Truth in all things, in all beliefs in You!  Amen
- Pastor Sandra Matheson      7.14.14
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6.22.14    Strong and Mighty:

"The Lord is strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle."   Psalms 24:8

There is such an apathy in the Church, as a whole, today. Most Christians just want to go to church and hear a good, soothing message and then go home. Most Christians do not want to engage with the enemy of their faith thinking that if they leave "him" alone "he" will leave them alone. And yet I see many suffering in illnesses, diseases, discord in the home, financial distress, wayward children and unfaithful spouses. How terribly discouraging this is! How disruptive to the House of God! 
I often wonder what the Heavenly Father must think as He views some of His children struggling so much here on this earth when He has sacrificed His Son to give us victory, triumph, and a bountiful life in this world! How must Jesus the Son view this? He sacrificed and suffered torture to defeat this very enemy that we try hard to ignore. He won the victory, He celebrated the triumph!  Why don't we?
Come on fellow Christians. Rise up and take your rightful position in Christ Jesus. Become that total new creature that 2 Corinthians 5:17 talks about.
We are somewhat like Paul when he talked about beating the air with his fists. Recognize who your enemy is, what his tactics are, and what your weapons are to defeat him! Don't be ignorant of his devices. 
We cannot win any battle with the enemy outside of Christ. He equips us and gives us the wisdom and strength to do so. It is not by our own wisdom or knowledge but by His Spirit that enables us. 

Several beneficial steps to remember:

1.   Recognize you have an enemy that means to deceive and destroy you.
      Matthew 13, John 10:10,  1 Peter 5:8
2.   Recognize his tactics.  1 Corinthians 15:33, 2 Corinthians 2:11, James             1:13-16, 
3.   Understand that Christ Jesus defeated him totally and completely on           the cross - for us!  John 19:30, Colossians 2:13-15
4.   Understand what your rich inheritance in Christ is; what your position in         Christ is. Ephesians 1:23, 1 Peter 2:9, Colossians 2:9-10
5.   Step into it; claim it!  Walk it out.  James 1:22, James 2:17, Titus 1:16, 1           John 3:18
6.   Accept the victory.Romans 8:37 (Amplified Bible), 1 Corinthians 15:57,
      1 John 5:4, Revelations 2:6
7.   Understand that the battle belongs to the Lord. He has done it for us.
      1 Samuel 17:47, 2 Samuel 22:40, 2 Chronicles 20:17, Psalms 18:39, Psalms       55:18, 
8.   Act victorious. Luke 10:18-19, Romans 8:37, 1 Corinthians 15:57,                     Revelations 3:5
9.   Stay IN Christ.   Romans 6:11, Romans 8:1, 1 Corinthians 15:22, 
      2 Corinthians 1:21, 2:14, 13:5; Galatians 3:27, Ephesians 1:3

Remember that the Lord is strong and mighty in battle. Let HIM fight for you. Turn it over to Him.  He uses supernatural powers to overcome for you. Why do you fight your battles in your own strength, in your own understanding?  Stop. Breathe. Ask Him what you should do and then do it! Trust Him that the battle does indeed belong to Him - and that He has already won it for us!  Step out and step up! Begin living the abundant life in Christ Jesus!

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Son Jesus. Thank You Jesus that You completed all on the cross just for me! I pray that it will become deeply ingrained in me and that I will learn to appropriate all my victories quickly and soundly IN You!. Teach me how to use Your weapons of warfare properly - Your Name Jesus, Your Word, Prayer, the Holy Spirit, all Your promises to me that never change!"     Amen
Pastor Sandra Matheson   6.22.14
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4.23.14    Idols:

"They worshiped their idols, which became a snare unto them."  
Psalm 106:36

This chapter of Psalms relates the Hebrews journey from Egypt.  So man blessings and miracles accompanied them. And yet they forgot.  they began to turn to other gods and sources and did not stay faithful to the great I AM.
Do you have any idols in your life? Is everything in its proper order and perspective to you? What do you put first? What do you turn into first?
In our day and age there are many idols to contend with. Family, sports, TV,
work, friends and neighbors, religion and ministries, to name a few. So many idols that we do not recognize as idols, or see as a hindrance to us in our walk with Christ.  How can we recognize an idol?
Simply put, an idol is anything that comes between our self and God. An idol is anything that is more important to us than God, or spending time with him or going to His house to visit Him. And no amount of excuses will work. Some of us have to work on Sundays so perhaps Sunday morning church is not possible for us to attend. However, there are other evenings in the week that it is open and provides a means for us to go and fellowship with our God.  How would you feel if your children never came to your house to visit you?
We must take a look at this dilemma in our lives In 2 Samuel 22:26 we are told:  "To the faithful You (God) show Yourself faithful, to the blameless your show Yourself blameless, ........."   and in Psalm 33:4"For the Word of the Lord is right and true, He is faithful in all He does,"
If we desire God to be faithful to us, to keep His Word to us true, to keep His promises to us, shouldn't we do the same to Him?  If we want our God to be available to us when we call on Him, shouldn't we think He would want us to be the same for Him?
I believe Christians struggle with prayer and answered prayer because they do not remain faithful and constant in their relationship with God. This leaves us open to distraction and traps - snares - of the enemy to fall into.
Traps and snares will led us into sin and sin will lead us into spiritual death and separation form our God. This is a slow and subtle process.
So, what are your idols that you contend with? Family? Children? Work?
How is your life flowing? Are you experiencing the abundant Life that Christ said He came to bring us?
Take time to take a serious look. Be honest. Repent and turn back to God. Repent in your unfaithfulness and become faithful to Him again. He is to be your FIRST love!

Matthew 22:37  "Jesus replied; "Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind.This is the first and greatest commandment."

- Pastor Sandra Matheson

Prayer:
Lord stir up my first love in me again! I desire to love you with all my heart and mind and soul. I want to have a deeper and more intimate relationship with you. Show me what the idols are in my life so I can turn away from them once and for all, and turn fully and completely into you! I want to serve you fully and to have the abundant life that you said you have come to give me.
Show me the traps and snares of the enemy that he throws in my way and I do not yet see. Help me understand that even good things of life can be idols to me ,and help me to be much more wise and discerning from now on.  Thank you Lord.   Amen