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When Jesus went his way……..(In response to the religious people of that time.)

     In Luke 4, there is an account of Jesus standing up and saying he was sent to preach good news to the poor, heal the broken hearted, and all the other Prophesies about himself declared by Isaiah in Isaiah Chapter 61. Although this was good news, for the religious people of that day it was not good news at all. In fact, when Jesus was finished saying who he was, and what he was sent to do; they were so filled with wrath they tried to throw him off a cliff! 

     Religious spirits is not a type of spirit I see Mentioned in our bibles. There is a spirit of fear, there is Jealousy, a person being filled with wrath or rage (called vessels of wrath), but I do not see anything called “a spirit of wrath,” Mentioned in our bibles. 

     It’s funny how those who say they would never add to what is written in the bible come up with some Lulu’s as far as “types of spirits,” such as a spirit of nicotine (stuff like that) but in any case……..Jesus did not cast a devil out of a single Pharisee that I know of. He did not say; ‘you religious spirit, be gone from me right now!!” He had to dodge them until his time came, and he already knew they would crucify him and that for him, was no big secret. I think a spirit of Anti-Christ may be at work on a religious person, but I’m not so sure there is a “Spirit of Religion” per say. 

     In any case, the crux of this message is to say; “Whenever you get Joy in the Lord and all happy over what God is doing in your life, and when you are rejoicing, singing and happy about it all (AND FULL OF JOY, a KINGDOM BLESSING), and someone comes along and has to straighten you out with their big bible knowledge; looking at you as if you were some wayward rebellious kid with no clue: chances are you have encountered a religious person. Why did they want to kill Jesus and throw him off a cliff in Luke 4? 

     They didn’t mind Jesus speaking, so long as he seemed to agree with their view of the Old Testament Law. There interpretation was God was out to punish everyone who broke his law (sinned) and he was not out to redeem anyone without THEIR advisement. They liked their job standing in for God, and they were not about to give it up. Like satan, they had become so full of themselves, that even God himself was not welcome to be Lord over their lives. They probably could not bear to think they had been wrong all of this time, and the conviction they felt was interpretted as evidence Jesus must be an imposter instead of realizing they themselves were not right with God. 

     So, they went after him, and eventually had him nailed to a cross. Jesus did not stop preaching the gospel (good news) just because they didn’t want him there. He went and preached it somewhere else, where his words were welcome into good soil, and people would rejoice over these gospel seeds he was planting in their hearts & minds. 

     So what did Jesus do about religious people who raged against him? He died for them too and died at their hands. However, even after he was raised from the dead and his disciples reminded them of what they had done, they wanted to kill his disciples too! 

     Religiousness brings pride, self-rightousness, love of power, and all kinds of evil things that have nothing to do with the Kingdom of God. So I ask now what are we portraying to this world in need of Jesus? Religiousness? Or true love for God, who redeemed us and sealed us by his grace (unmerritted un-earned favor?). Laura Grace 

Luke 4 (He went his way) read this with me…………Jesus ministering

16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

 

20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”

23 He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’ ” 24 Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, noprophet is accepted in his own country. 25 But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; 26 but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”

28 So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. 30 Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.”

 

 

 

 

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What does it mean to “abide in the vine?” A little sermon on John 15

VINE JOHN 15What does it mean to abide in the Vine?

For the last week I’ve had songs about abiding in the vine going through my head and spirit. What does this mean? (I used to ask myself). In 1 John we are told if we abide in him we will ask (and it shall be done). So abiding in the vine has something to do with covenant as well. It’s not automatic. It’s a decision we make to live in and with Jesus, in all that we do. 🙂

Some want to keep him in a box, let him out when there is difficulty or troube, and do their own thing the rest of the time. We CAN Do this but it doesn’t mean we should! Jesus is pretty clear in John 15 and does not mince words with us when he said:

” Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”

John 15:3-8 NKJV

If we abide in (LIVE IN) Jesus we will know his will for us.

This is why our prayers will now be answered- because we have asked him how we should pray! To not live in Him sets us up for great failure, and the devil will use every opportunity to say, “See? God was not with you?” He never stops, he is a little opportunist for evil and despair. If you want Victory in your life, aim to live IN the vine IN Jesus! Let him be your teacher, instructor and guide.

Church is fine but it’s not THE Answer. Abiding in the Vine is the answer. Church is where you hopefully find people with answers but that is only if they have become his disciples and are growing in him. If they aren’t they won’t have any answers because: “APART FROM JESUS THEY CAN DO NOTHING.”

This is the word of the Lord and, it’s all true. Laura Grace, Author, Grace to Grow 

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Being Real & Giving God the Reigns

bEInG REAL.JPG

I like the saying “Be Real” but it’s not always what it’s cracked up to be! Is it? If you are real with the wrong people, watch out! And you don’t always know who you can be real with, and who you cannot be real with. And by the way WHAT IS REAL? 😮😃

Say, now that’s a good question (isn’t it?) What is real to you? What is real to you, may not be real to me! What is real to me, may not be real to you! God is real to me.

Not because of someone telling me about him, because I’ve experienced him! How do I know that? Because too many things happened in answer to prayer that could not be explained any other way. The odds were “Against’ me” so many times (and I prayed) and God took care of me, provided, and it couldn’t be “Just luck” because nobody is that lucky! Did things go my way?

NOPE! Did I always like my situation (no, again) were things just hunky dory all the time? NO!! Here’s the thing, I asked him to provide he does. Now sometimes he gave me what I wanted, and sometimes he didn’t. sometimes I had to eat beans when I wanted some macaroni. other times i had to wear clothes i did not pick for myself. (but, beggars can’t be choosers!)

It’s hard to explain to people there is a time to be content, a time to pray for wisdom, a time to believe for God’s BEST and a time to let it all go and pray for someone else instead. There is a time to love your enemy and a time to be silent or let them go. There is a time to “overcome evil with good” and a time to “resist the devil” (even if it’s in a person) and he has to flee.

There are times for this and times for that. Times to be sad and grieve, times to say wow I’m really frustrated and have your friend just hug you.

it’s called WALKING by The Spirit! the disciples followed Jesus so do we! we get up and say “Holy Spirit “LEAD ON” and he does! (Lead us, I mean). How do you explain that to anyone? WE just KNOW it’s him because “things work out” and we don’t know how! (as we are not in charge here, GOD IS) WHy? Because we GAVE HIM THE REIGNS! I”ve seen lots of people say they gave God the reigns but they didn’t. I have said I did and didn’t! when you do you KNOW because stuff starts to happen that could only be God!! so GIVE HIM THE REIGNS on that thing you can’t fix, change or do anything about! He can keep you! He can help you! don’t try to control everything! Let it go and go do something else! YOU gave it to him. Trust me he never forgets a thing (I’ve seen this time and time again!)

PS “Give God the Reigns” on how real you should be too. Not everyone can handle it. 😉

WIth Love and affection for you all, Laura Grace #beingreal

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…..nor give place to the devil…..(A message to the church) Eph 4:27

MEN IN A lot of people think when it comes to faith, that I have faith by sticking my head in the sand. Not so. 

Many years ago, a small passage in Ephesians seems to jump off the page at me. “Nor Give place to the devil,” (Ephesians 4:27 NKJV). 

Like the men in black (if you’ve seen the movie) there is always “something” trying to destroy us at any given time. Always. 

James and the other Apostles would not have said “Resist the Devil” if there was no devil. He is the master of fear tactics, lying, coming against God and making false accusations about our Father in Heaven. He is “the father of lies.” In John 8:44 Jesus spells this out for us quite clearly.

He lied to the disciples, and made them fear for their lives when Jesus was crucified. That’s why Peter denied Jesus (three times) “Fear.” 

Fear is why people don’t want to pray in Faith (They might look stupid) and fear is why so many do not stand against the status-quo. As a woman pointed out at a meeting last night I went to “Sheep are dumb, they follow each other into the danger.” (Paraphrase) 

I pondered this passage many times in my life: “Neither give place to the devil,” and it occurred to me that even though the danger may be real, and even though there may be testimonies of all the bad things that could happen to me, I have to choose and decide once and for all whether I will believe God’s word, or whether to believe the lies of satan that are arrayed against me. 

“Fear” really is a liar. Yes, there are times we must be cautious. No, we should not go where angels fear to tread, or just run out and try to defy gravity without being armed with the Word of God and his presence. At the same time, we have to realize that literally thousands of lies are probably coming at us, every single day. 

There are testimonies of those who have not stood on God’s word, and had a bad outcome. Think back with me to the bible, and how all those people did not go on to the promised land, along with Moses. Why? Because they feared they were doing it all in vain. They had to get past their unbelief, but they refused to do it. Moses could lead them to the waters of God (so to speak) but he could not make them drink it. 

That was a decision they had to make for themselves. 

I choose to find out (from God) what is his voice and what is the devils. Because my friends, there is a devil. And Jesus is not going to do ALL the work for us, nor is he going to make all the decisions for us, that only we can make. 

It was his voice speaking way back in the Old Testemant: “CHOOSE” (Life or Death). to this day we choose what voice we will listen to. Please don’t decieve yourself. God wants to speak to you today. (John 10:4). First we pray for ears to listen and ears to hear. We pray to have a sheep nature, and accept him as our Shepherd, and the bishop of our souls. 

I am encouraging you today: There is a devil. Don’t give place to his lies in your mind and heart. If you don’t know what is God or what is the devil, ASK GOD For his input! Pursue him like Jewels! Listen for him like he’s a treasure! This is what I have have done, and will continue to do. -Laura Grace, Author, Grace to Grow 

 

 

 

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Building #10 The Measure of Spiritual Maturity. What does it mean to be “Grown Up” In Christ? And how do we know if we are (and if others are?)

GROWING TREE ROOTS I don’t know about you, but I’d like to have a grown-up for my leader. Many people aspire to be leaders, coaches, teachers, and the like; but they are not always qualified. 

I said, they are not always qualified. 

How do we know if they’re qualified? What do you think would be “God’s measure” of maturity? have you ever thought about that one? (I have). 

We’ve all heard the stories of how someone wasn’t “picked” for the team. I was one that nobody wanted on their baseball, football, or even volley ball team! I was not good at it. I didn’t want to be good at it (bad enough) to practice.

I let go of even trying long ago, because guess what? I didn’t care! (about sports) enough to put my heart into learning, practicing, and becoming great at it. 

I did, at some point, need to stop whining and admit to myselfI don’t want this bad enough to do the hard work.” Step #1 to Growing and Maturity: Admitting the truth about ourselves in the light of God’s Truth! 

I’m sure out there “somewhere” there are ministries that choose their leaders by their maturity level in-Christ, but I don’t think there is many. Sad to say, the mainstream church world often makes their selections based on willingness, an outward appearance of maturity, faithfulness to church services, and attending bible school and colleges. The main goal is often raking in more bodies (to fill the pews) and not growth and maturity for the ones who are in those pews. 

They have board members who look at the resume’, pray about it, and make their choice as to what they think is the best candidate for the (open slot) or job.

So, if you were picking a leader, or a pastor (of a church) what would be your measure for maturity? 

I make that decision every day of my life, when I decide who I will listen to and who I will not (listen to). Ephesians 4 says God gave us Apostles, Evangelists, Prophets and Teachers to help us come to maturity (in Christ). 

I learned a long time ago, a person who is blind will lead me into the ditch. A person who is not mature will not help me get mature. I want a leader who is stronger, wiser and more mature than I am. 

Therefore, if I do not listen to someone’s advice, it doesn’t mean I am rejecting them, personally. I simply learned (a long time ago) That listening to Jesus comes first. To put anyone’s council above His, is a form of idolatry. 

Am I perfect? No! Have I made mistakes? Yes, I have. But my heart and mind are set on the words “Take my yoke upon you” (Words of Jesus) “and be yoked to me.” (Matthew 11:28). 

The Lord is my Shepherd (primarily) and everything else is subject to him. 

Years ago I sat under a minister for a time (online) and hardly anyone understood why. It was because of his Testimony.  A testimony (for me) is the true measure of maturity. Not what school they went to, not how many days they warmed a pew in the church. 

I”ve met many who attended church for 30 years, and like a submarine, nothing seemed to really get INTO their hearts. They are no different today than they were 30 years ago, other than knowing how to speak christianese. 

Like a tree, a testimony is a measure of how much work God has actually done in a person’s life. Are they born again? Filled with God’s spirit? Have they walked in the fruits of the spirit and learned to walk by the spirit of God? Have they cried out for, and received wisdom (from above) and not relied on the wisdom of man (and his ways?). Are they tried and true? 

It’s out of balance to say we don’t need anyone but God and it’s out of whack to say we only need church, and just follow along with whatever supposed “leader” comes our way. It’s unhealthy to gather around someone who just “says what we want to hear” and it’s foolish to assume every person in a leadership position was put there by God. If that were the case, Paul and Jesus would not have wept over flocks being deceived by wolves in sheeps’ clothing and they would not have interceded with tears over those being “led astray.”

Did you know Jesus cried (and wept) for those that would not listen to him? That was more serious to him than starving children or the physical suffering of humanity. Why? 

Because: He knew if he could successfully save the human soul (and we would listen to him) all the rest would be taken care of. God’s wisdom leads to us being “alright” in the Spirit first, and then in the natural. He wants us healthy (Spirit, Mind, and Body!). He wants us mature, which means we have grown up INTO his Headship.

I would dare say this means “We’ve God the mind of Christ” in all things. 

To get the mind of Christ, we have to continually give up our own ways of thinking. We have to push out the voices of the immature, the unsteady, and the godless and faithless, and INCLINE Our ear to the word of God via His Spirit. 

So here’s my standard on whether I will listen to you (or not). What is your Testimony? If you don’t have one to overcome with, how can I follow you? 

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:11 NKJV). 

In conclusion, if you have found a church that truly has a loving, parental heart to see you Grow (UP) IN Christ, stick to them like glue! If you can see they love you, and want you to grow, stay put! If they have other agenda’s, face it and pray, and ask God for a church that helps you get where you need to be. This is my advice, and I believe it is sound. LOVE yourself enough to get good spiritual food. 

Put your Spirit and Soul First, and the rest of you (body) as secondary. This is what it means to love not (your physical life) Unto Death. You put it under, and put it second to your growth and development in Christ. Enough said! -Laura Grace 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Building #9 The Miracle of Fruit! and being out from under the curse..

FRUIT HAPPY 2Did you know producing fruit in your life is actually a Miracle? I remember how before I gave my life to Christ and received becoming born again, I didn’t like people much. In fact I had a whole lot of hatred, animosity, judgement, and even bitterness in my heart. 

After I got saved, I could FEEL the love of God rushing up out of my very being. At that time there was a song by Dallas Holmes “I got love, love, love in my heart, I got peace like a river, that never will part……..” (Love in My Heart, Dallas Holmes).

Anyway, I would sing that song and I really MEANT IT For the first time in my life. It was something I could feel, I could grasp it, and I WANTED to go run out and bless people who had hurt me, or who didn’t show love to me first. Why? Because The Love of God was SO REAL TO ME It just flowed out of me. I wanted to ABIDE IN HIM! 

Abiding in Jesus in the Vine is GOING to produce fruit. You don’t even have to worry about it! He will trim off the dead branches and be your Vinedresser.FRUIT HAPPY 1

(John 15)

Producing Fruit is also the evidence the CURSE is broken. Jesus said he became a curse for us. In Matthew 21 he curses a fig tree (for not producing fruit). it withers and dies shortly after that. I believe that story is not only about the power of our words but also it’s an outward manifestation of what happens to us if we are not IN HIM. Without him we will wither (and die). 

Jesus doesn’t want us cursed, and he paid a heavy price to REDEEM us from the curse of the law. Just like when you redeem a coupon, you have to receive it, grab hold of it, and literally cash it in with Him! YOU Have the power whether or not to utilized what He did for you. See in Deut 28 when he talked about them being blessed (Fruitful) WITH HIM and cursed WITHOUT HIM It’s saying exactly the same thing as John 15. In the gospel the shadow is just eliminated, but it is actually saying the same thing!

From the very beginning (Gen 1) God said “be Fruitful!” Not just in spirit, but the Body as well. (one comes before the other, you see?). To be fruitful we must live in the right environment with the Lord. IN HIM! Any man-made, phony balogna, MFG Fruit is not what Jesus was talking about. He alone can make us fruitful! Our part is to give up our own ways, and surrender to Him, and his work within us. 

A Passage about being Fruitful: (2 Peter 1) 5 “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

by Laura Grace, author, Grace to Grow, Grace to the Rescue, and more …….https://www.amazon.com/Grace-Grow-study-guide-Rescue/dp/197333187X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518201916&sr=8-1&keywords=grace+to+grow+by+Laura+grace

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You Can’t afford to be Offended

Me 2015.jpgI want to share a little over a week ago God Led me to forgive some stuff. After I did it, I realized how many people I had let down in my life time. That was God’s Grace (TO ME!). I have to wonder,if my forgiveness allowed the Holy Spirit to reveal more to me about myself, and lift the blinders from my eyes.

We All have expectations of people.

Some is based on how we are raised, how we understand the bible, or whatever else. People can feel they are offering the help they have to offer, and you rejected it (or them) and I mean to tell you what, there are SO MANY THINGS the devil can (try) to turn it into an offense, I simply cannot list them all here. 

I’ve had people reject what I had to say when I thought it was God’s will I said certain things. It hurts, because we think we are giving a gift, and it just got rejected. If it happens 100 times, we may be at risk of getting offended. You’d be suprised how many people have “rebuked me” when I talk about Growing In Christ.

There are some who believe getting saved leads to this “instant Jesus pudding” and we automatically grow, without any real participation on our part.

Growing in Grace is a message that is balanced, and between the “Auto Pilot’ thing and the “being under law” mentality. Growing up IN Christ is a sensible and sound message, but not a popular one.

Therefore, I am delivering a word God asked me to deliver …..and yet those who seem to have the pulpit do not always agree. Does it stop me?

NO! It will not! And, I must not get offended. If I do, I will ruin myself.

I”m so glad when people tell me things like, “I waved at you, you didn’t wave back”. So many times, I just did not see them wave at me!

There are times people forget, don’t hear us, or do not understand how important something is to us. (really). Don’t fall for the “all about me” mentality. It’s a monster! ME MOnster.jpg Cartoon by Jeff Larson 

Yes, there are times people have been little snots, but it’s not all that often. Most of the time when people hurt us, it’s quite accidental.

The important thing is that remain “not offended”. If I’m not, I can go foward in Christ.

Proverbs 18:19 says “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.”

Don’t put your walls up. It’s just not worth it to miss out on what God has for you next.

Laura Grace, Author, Grace to the Rescue and Grace to Grow, available on Amazon.