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Reckon Yourself Dead to Sin

Romans 6:11 Likewise, you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

          So, what does it mean to “reckon yourself to be dead to sin?” Many translations render this phrase “consider yourself to be dead,” but what does that look like?

          Another good word for “reckon” is “believe.” You must believe that you are dead to sin. But that is not the end of the verse. You must also reckon (believe) that you are ALIVE TO GOD in Christ Jesus! So, what it really means is to stop believing and thinking of yourself as a “sinner,” and start believing you are a forgiven, redeemed son of God.

          The problem is: thinking and believing does not change automatically, it is changed by what you continually look at and meditate on. Without daily reading and hearing the Word of God you will stay focused on your failures and shortcomings and never actually become what Jesus paid for.

          Filling your heart and mind with the gospel builds faith and displaces doubt and wrong thinking. It changes how you see yourself and how you speak about yourself.

          The Bible says that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45 Matthew 12:33-37)

          What is in your heart and mind (believer and thinker) will eventually come out of your mouth, and that is the other thing that must change.

          You will never be free from sin while keeping it in your language!

          So, stop talking about how normal it is for you to sin. Stop saying, “We all sin! Everybody sins! You know you are always going to sin!” You must STOP talking about your sin and the sins of others and STOP filling your prayer life with wrong confessions of how sinful and unworthy we are. STOP BOASTING IN YOUR ABILITY TO SIN!

That is NOT humility, it is BLASPHEMY! HE MADE YOU WORTHY!

          Talking and thinking that way is “reckoning” (considering, believing) yourself alive to sin. It is saying that sin still has power over you, and therefore suggests that the finished work of Jesus did not actually accomplish anything for you.

Sin only has power over you if empower it.

          IF you do miss it and sin, run to God, and declare “I am sorry, that is NOT who I am Lord! That is certainly not what You look like in me! Thank you for making me clean and transforming me into your image. Thank you for perfecting your work in me and bringing me to the place where this is not an issue anymore. Thank you for your blood! Thank you for redeeming me!” That is what repenting looks like after you have been saved.

           Understand that you have a new identity that was purchased by the blood of Christ. Without your constant exposure to God’s Word, you will never find out who you are, and who you were created to be. Here are some scriptures that tell you who you are:

“You are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:10)

“You have been perfected.” (Hebrews 10:14)

“You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

“You are holy, blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” (Colossians 1:22)

 “You are chosen by God, without blame, an adopted son, accepted, redeemed by His blood and forgiven by His grace.” (Ephesians 1:4-7)

          To truly live the abundant life in Christ you must die to your fallen, carnal nature. For you to be successful at this you will need constant intake and exposure to the Word of God.  

Your Bible and your relationship with the Word of God is the vital key to dying to sin. So, give yourself to reading and listening to the Word and boast in Him and what He has done!

Black History in the Bible.

February is Black History Month. Do you know the black history in the Bible?

There are many captivating stories in the Bible. The Word of God is rich with intrigue and full of fascinating, true stories of African queens, kings, and other influential black people who made substantial contributions to our world. Black history in the Bible will amaze and inspire you!

The Queen of Sheba: Queen of Ethiopia

The name of the Queen of Sheba was actually Makeda. She ruled a rich kingdom and was a wise and very beautiful queen. When she heard of the fame of King Solomon concerning the Lord, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions. She came with a very great caravan with camels carrying spices, and lots of gold and precious stones. When she met him, she told him all she had on her mind and he answered all her questions. She was amazed at his wisdom, his house, the food on his table, his officials, and all that he had acquired. It took her breath away. In an act of honor, she gave him 120 talents of gold and a very great quantity of spices and precious stones. Never again was there such an abundance of spices as those the Queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. In response, King Solomon gave the Queen of Sheba all that she desired; whatever she asked was given to her. Having richly blessed the king, she returned to her own country, also richly blessed. (1 Kings 10:1-14; NIV)

Zipporah: Ethiopian wife of Moses who saved his life

The Lord told Moses to go back to Egypt to bring the Israelites out of bondage. On the way, Moses, with his wife, Zipporah, and their sons, stopped to lodge for the night. The Lord met Moses there and was about to kill him. Evidently, this was because Moses had failed to circumcise his son. Acting quickly, Zipporah took a flint knife, circumcised her son, and touched Moses feet with the foreskin. So, the Lord let him live. Zipporah, Moses Ethiopian wife, had sensed the reason for God’s displeasure with Moses and reacted quickly to save her husband’s life. He went on to fulfill his destiny, so that Israel could fulfill theirs. Where would we be without Zipporah? (Exodus 4:18-31; NIV) & (Genesis 17:9-14; NIV)

Ebed-Melech: Ethiopian who saved the life of Jeremiah the Prophet

Ebed-Melech was an Ethiopian eunuch and servant of the king. At that time, Jeremiah, a prophet in Israel, had prophesied, “Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague. But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live;” and the city would be handed over to the army of the King of Babylon. As Ebed-Melech served in his royal duties, he overhead some men conspiring to kill Jeremiah by putting him in a cistern- a well with no water but plenty of mud. He immediately went to the king and told him what the men had done to Jeremiah. The king told him to take thirty men and lift Jeremiah out of the cistern before he died. Ebed-Melech was responsible for saving the life of Jeremiah the Prophet. The Lord was so pleased with Ebed-Melech’s efforts he told Jeremiah to tell him, “Though Israel will fall, I will rescue him because he trusted in me.” (Jeremiah 38:1-13; ESV) & (Jeremiah 39:15-18; ESV)

Simon of Cyrene: African man who carried the cross of Jesus

On the day of Jesus’ execution, he was brutally beaten, then forced to carry his heavy cross through the streets of Jerusalem to the place where they were going to execute him. On the way, the Roman garrison seized Simon from Cyrene (Cyrene is in Northern Africa) as he was on his way in from the country. They forced the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. On the most important day in history, the Lord inserted Simon in the story. He carried the cross of Christ. (Luke 23:26; NIV)

Ethiopian Eunuch: Came to Jerusalem to worship the Lord

An angel of the Lord told Philip to go to Gaza and he met an Ethiopian eunuch on the way. This man was an important court official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, Queen of the Ethiopians. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, reading the prophet Isaiah. The Holy Spirit told Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” When Philip heard him reading Isaiah, he asked if he understood what he was reading. The Ethiopian Eunuch said he needed someone to explain it to him. Philip told him all about the good news of Jesus. He obviously received Jesus as his savior, because, coming to a body of water, he asked Philip to baptize him. The Ethiopian Eunuch then went on his way rejoicing in the Lord. (Acts 8:27-39; ESV)

(From Breaking Christian News)

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Selfishness invites the Demonic

Selfishness Invites Demonic Activity

The Wimpy Western Church

JESUS IS COMING!

          Of that we can be sure, yet the urgency of this truth is virtually absent in the church today. Why?

“We have become far too familiar with a God we barely know.”

          Familiarity breeds unbelief. We see that example in the life of Jesus. Even He could do no mighty works in His hometown because of their familiarity with Him. They could not believe that this Jesus, whom they saw grow up as a carpenter’s son could be the Christ, or even a prophet. Their familiarity with His life and history hindered their faith.

Mark 6:4-6 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching.

          We see very few mighty works in the church nowadays. The fear of God is no longer on His people. We no longer tremble at His word. We treat what is holy as common. We seek for blessings, benefits, and prosperity far more than we seek Him. We have reduced the gospel of Christ to a self-serving message with a free ticket to heaven. We run the church house like a business and measure its success by prosperity and headcount. We emphasize wrong doctrines about tithing and giving, compelling people to give so the “gospel ship” can stay afloat. We are lukewarm and loving it.

          The Lord has much to say about being lukewarm.

Revelation 3:15-19 I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.

          The Lords counsels us to buy from Him “Gold tried in the fire.” So, what exactly does that mean? What is the gold tried in fire? It is our faith…and it is expensive! It will require suffering. Its going to cost us everything! We “buy” this precious faith by following the Lord at all costs, by laying down every aspect of our lives and submitting our free will to the will of the King.

          Every great man and woman of faith in the Bible went through tremendous trials and persecution. Abraham and Sarah, Jacob, King David, Joseph, Daniel, Paul, John, Peter, and the list goes on. Yet we pray against the trial. We rebuke the fire. We resist persecution, let alone count it as joy. We get surprised and even upset, questioning God about why this is happening instead of straightening our shoulders, lifting our chins, and shining through the difficulty as a witness to who we are.

1 Peter 4:12-19 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

          Make no mistake about it. “IT IS GODS WILL FOR CHRISTIANS TO SUFFER!” We don’t want to hear that though. We like to hear about the blessing, the healing, the prosperity.

          We need to quit being spiritual wimps and READ OUR BIBLES so we know what God expects from us. He who has ears to hear let him hear.

“It is time for Judgment to begin at the house of the Lord.”

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