AUDIO Courtesy Calls

By Rev Bill Woods

2 Corinthians 2:11: “lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

I’ve been getting plenty of these pushy telephone solicitors who don’t want to take “NO” for an answer. – In fact, one just now called me while I was working on this sermon.

Wow, was he a smooth talker!

“Mr. Woods, this is a courtesy call on behalf of Blah, Blah, Blah Credit Card Company and we’d like to tell you about a limited time offer…”  – “Medicare supplements,” or a “free vacation”…….

Sometimes when they’re extra persistent I tell them, “I’m going to hang up now, but you can keep talking to my phone line if you like.”   Or maybe, “I’m busy and not really interested, but my dog’s right here and he may be interested in what you’re selling, let me put him on.”

“I’m not interested.” Click. The receiver went quickly back into its position. You see, I wasn’t about to listen to this guy’s “offer.”

Why? Because I’ve learned one thing about telemarketers…
    – …if you don’t hang up on them quickly, you might buy something you don’t really want.
                                                                                                                                                                
Telemarketers are clever. They try to convince you that they’re doing you a favor, thus the “courtesy” call.

They want you to believe what they’re about to share is really in your best interest and they’re trying to be a help…
   – …yeah, they want to help you right into making a decision that you don’t really want to make!

I’ve got to credit telemarketers with one thing, though. When you quickly hang up on them, they usually don’t call you back again that day.

The guy that called me didn’t. Oh, he may call me again tomorrow or some other day, but for now he’s leaving me alone.
                                                                                                                                                                 When we lived in Seattle, I had a couple of unique experiences.

We needed a car because the one we had was nickeling and dimeing us something terrible.  – Everything that could go wrong was going wrong!

I went to one car dealership and the salesman said, “Let me take the keys to your car so our appraiser can see what we can offer you for a trade-in.” – I handed him the keys and he would not give them back until I bought one of their cars.  – I literally had to steal my car keys back when I saw them laying in his cubical. 

I went to another dealership and told the salesman I liked the car he offered me, but would have to pray about our decision whether to buy it or not. 
    – The car dealer said, “I’ll help you pray about it.”  I asked, “Pray, or Prey?”

I especially love the presentations for time-shares…………………

The last one Marty and I suckered into was trying to sell us vacations.  – I told the lady that we didn’t take many vacations and really were just curious. – She asked me if we were there just to receive the gift they were giving out for listening to their spiel admitted that we wanted something to do that afternoon and we really weren’t that interested in buying into their program.

She said, “Please follow me.”

We had no idea where she was taking us.  She led us to a door, opened it, and we stepped through to find ourselves in the alley.  She slammed the door shut and we had to walk clear around the building to find our car.

I DIDN’T EVEN GET ONE OF THE DOUGHNUTS THEY WERE SERVING!
You know, Satan’s a master telemarketer. His skills are razor sharp. His technique is flawless, precise and well rehearsed. He knows his stuff. And, wow, is HE a smooth talker.

“Brother Christian, this is a courtesy call on behalf of SSI” (Satan’s Systems International…but he doesn’t tell you what it stands for!)

“We’d like to inform you about a limited-time offer.  If you act fast you can avoid giving your tithe by…(use your money to get something  you want) We’ve got a really great deal on unforgiveness and ill will, you can develop a lifelong grudge in just seconds, it’s so easy. Oh, let me tell you about the special of the day…little white lies, why you can get a whole case of them for all kinds of occasions. 

What about these handy little devices…excuses. Why we’ve got plenty of them for you to choose from. There’s one to keep you from reading your Bible each day, here’s one to help you avoid prayer time, this one will allow you to sleep in on Sunday mornings, there’s one for…”

You see what I’m saying? Satan’s a master telemarketer.

He’s smooth and silky. Let him keep talking and you’re asking for trouble! If you don’t hang up on him quickly, you might just buy something you don’t really want!

There’s good news, though. There’s a way to get him to shut up, at least for a little while…

The Bible says in James 4:7, “resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”In other words, hang up!

Oh, he most definitely will call again, but at least for now he’ll leave you alone.

Make no mistake about it, Christian. Sometime this week that spiritual telephone is going to ring. Satan will call, you can count on it. When He does……tell him you’re not interested and hang up the phone!

1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

PAY ATTENTION TO THIS WARNING:  The strength of a temptation lies in how long you play with the thoughts of yielding to it.  The longer you play with the temptation the stronger it gets and the more apt you are to yield to it.

As a small boy, my Grandma used to read to me every evening.  One of the selections she read to me was Laura Wilder’s, “LITTLE HOUSE” series which I enjoyed thoroughly! – One incident from the books that I remember was when Laura and Mary’s Pa and Ma had to go to town for supplies.  Pa had just harvested the hay for the animals for the winter  and piled it into a haystack.

– He specifically told the girls not to jump on the hay because they would knock down and scatter the hay. –  It looked like it would be so much fun that Laura decided just one jump wouldn’t hurt the  haystack. – That was fun!  One jump led to another and etc.

When Pa got home the stack was scattered all over and Laura and Mary were in trouble!

The problem came when the girls didn’t walk away, but stayed there thinking about how much fun jumping in the hay would be.

Satan knows if he can get you thinking about the temptation long enough that he can defeat you and cause you to yield.  THE POWER IN THE TEMPTATION IS IN HOW LONG YOU WILL THINK ABOUT IT!

The way to defeat Satan’s enticements is to get away and quit thinking about it.   

There are radio towers all over our country.  Each is putting out a signal on a certain frequency.  If you don’t like what they’re offering you can switch the station and find something more suitable to your taste.

When Satan is bombarding you with a temptation you can switch the station!

Mark Twain said, ‘YOU CAN’T STOP BIRDS FROM FLYING OVER YOUR HEAD, BUT YOU DON’T NEED TO LET THEM NEST IN YOUR HAIR!”

How do I change the station when the Devil is tempting me?

Memorize scripture: Psalm 119:11  “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.”

Learn hymns and choruses to remind yourself how good God is to you.  By the way, Satan doesn’t enjoy you singing them to him.

Testify to Satan.  Tell him what Christ has blest your life.  Ask what he has done for you.

When he knocks at the door send Christ to answer.

You don’t have to fall if you don’t give him a foothold. – The comedian, Flip Wilson used to get a laugh every time he said, “The Devil made me do it.”

Listen, as funny as that line seemed to be it was totally inaccurate.  The Devil can’t make you do anything.  He can present the temptation, but you are the one who makes the decision.

James 4:7-8: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

There is something I need to clarify.  Some people think if they are tempted that they have sinned.  TEMPTATION IS NOT SIN!

TEMPTATION IS WHEN THE DEVIL SAYS, “WILL YOU?”

SIN COMES WHEN YOU SAY, “I WILL!”

Every Christian faces temptation, but every one of us has the ability to say “NO!”

Remember:  1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

 Put God first in your life and He will show you the way to be victorious!

Remember: When Satan solicits you it is not a Courteous call!  You don’t have to be courteous to Satan.  What he’s trying to sell you will destroy you if you buy into it!

Keep in mind that the pleasures of sin are only temporary.  The guilt and consequences of sin are long lasting and far outweigh the pleasure sin brought for you.

If sin persists it will lead you to an Eternity in Hell!  YOU DON’T WANT THAT!

There is a courtesy call that you ought to take.

The best courtesy call you will ever get comes from God.  There are no hidden clauses, no small print that you will regret later. – He is just offering you straight forward the opportunity to find forgiveness from sin and guilt, He wants to make you part of His Family, a joint heir with His Son, Jesus, and He wants to provide to you Eternal Life in His home in Heaven!

John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.                                                                            

The benefits and joy of obeying God last forever.  GOD’S WAYS ARE BEST!


PODCAST COURTESY CALLS

https://www.buzzsprout.com/824359/8437130


Mind Control

  BY FRANCESROGERS

Humankind seems to be the only creature with the ability to think for himself – but are we in control of our thinking? 

The serpent in the Garden of Eden did not tempt the other animals. Then again, he was not a serpent, per se, but possessed by the spirit of the enemy of God – a fallen angel who wanted to be God.

The animals had an inherited mindset from God. Made in God’s image, the man was to receive by His Spirit at all times direction from God for all we needed and respond in a loving relationship to Him.

The enemy wanted to be in control and have this attention and glory for himself. 


His disguise and deception obtained the control he wanted over our first parents. 

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Gen. 3:6

When they took the bait, the spirit of oppression and deception became the spirit of every human being who would be born on earth. They saw their nakedness, their vulnerability to their world, and the need for covering.

Their minds had been ravished and overcome by a foreign spirit.

Unless we know the anecdote and receive the Spirit of God through His Son, Jesus Christ, we have no control over our thoughts, words, or actions.

What we feed our thoughts controls us. And we encourage the spirit of oppression by what we see and hear.

2020 and now 2021 is proof that whatever we hear and read governs our lives. The enemy works through every source of sight and sound and continues to destroy people’s lives.

We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. 1 John 5:19

Without understanding how we think, we are unable to realize our condition. The world lives in fear and oblivion to how the enemy has a stronghold on our minds and lives.

This spirit lies dormant even in the best of God’s people and can easily be aroused and raise its ugly head whenever it is threatened. We must recognize the difference and use God’s Word to counteract our thoughts against others.

We will remain immobilized until we take God’s Word in hand, open it, read it, pray for His Holy Spirit to inoculate us with its truths, meditate on it, memorize and make it our food and drink.

We must take it to bed with us, wake up with it, love it, and make it the focus of our lives and teach our children how to think and use God’s Word as a defence against the world’s thinking.

Brainwashing is nothing new. We are brainwashed from the moment we take our first breath on this earth. Our minds are programmed to cry out for everything we want and taught how to acquire it, even if by deception or force.

If we do not submit our minds to God’s control, we remain under the control of the enemy.

Our only hope for a reversal for this nation and the world is through God’s Word and Spirit.

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb. 4:12

Dear Father in heaven, in a season when your people used to gather to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are seeing a culture dead and buried under the hand of the enemy. Give life and raise your people by your Holy Spirit. Put your Word into the hands, minds, and hearts of your children that we may again proclaim the power of a resurrected Savior and Lord. Enable us to go forward in the battle against the enemy of our souls. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

https://godsgracegodsglory.com/2021/04/02/mind-control/


God’s Given You Authority Over Depression

Do you suffer from depression and feel as if there’s no way out?

What if I were to tell you that God has given you authority over depression?

Around 18 years ago, randomly and out of the blue, I’d periodically fall into bouts of depression (without even knowing it was that). The odd thing was, I could literally feel the very instant it’d start to manifest. My commonly bubbly and cheery personality would suddenly lie null. This would recur roughly for around three years.

I remember riding in the car with my husband (then fiancé) in 2002, and casually telling him that I just wanted to go to sleep and never wake up. I didn’t realize it was something serious or even mattered, until he asked me, “Jenny, why would you say something like that? I don’t want you to go to sleep and never wake up.” It was the sadness, hurt, and fear in his voice that finally gave me a red flag. I eventually nipped that in the bud, realizing I had authority over depression, and it’s never come back since, but I’ll get to that a little later.

isgln man on bench

Over the years, as time seems to progress speedily, yet winds down, I’ve heard of numerous occasions from missionaries and traveling evangelists that, it is not uncommon for evil spirits to physically manifest in the third-world countries they typically minister in. Yet, on the other hand, it is America where they see the most demonic oppression, as it is done cleverly, in a more discrete manner.

They mention how evil spirits don’t physically manifest as much in the US, but rather, they manifest while still in the spiritual. The #1 spirit every one of them mentioned as being a swelling grip on the American people is the spirit of depression. But, the good news is this, if you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, or will accept Him as so; you have power and authority over it. God’s already given you the authority over depression!

Many Christians today don’t fully know or understand the authority they have over satan, nor their authority over depression. Jesus assured us, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and overall the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19). Let’s take Him at His word.

In addition, there are so many people today, who are battling the spirit of depression (Christians and non-Christians alike). Elijah, one of the most righteous men of the Bible, battled depression; he even asked the Lord to take his life! It also broke my heart when I heard the news of a California pastor who committed suicide recently, he as well, battled the spirit of depression. You see, Elijah and the California pastor were both ministers of the Lord, and were still spiritually oppressed.I remember sitting in church service years ago one Sunday, and the Lord told me to pray for my pastor because no one prays for him. Boy, was that an eye-opener! We typically go to our pastors for prayer, but the truth is, not many actually pray for our pastors. Even Aaron and Hur had to hold Moses’ arms up when he grew tired! Whose arms are you holding? Who’s holding your arms?

We’re in this together; this is why Jesus emphasized so much on loving one another (John 13:34-35). We’re all in a daily, spiritual battle, whether we believe it or not.

Not only do we need our Full Armor of God, but we also need our fellow soldiers in Christ to stand together in battle. Standing in prayer, fasting, and uplifting words of encouragement.

Just think, if we all truly knew and acted on our authority over depression, and the power we have over satan and his little (what I call) minions, through Jesus Christ, we would make satan depressed, instead!

Here’s how to kick depression’s and satan’s butt. God says to:

  1. Resist the devil and he will flee (James 4:7-11)
  2. Stand firm against the schemes of the enemy (Ephesians 6:11)
  3. Quote scripture aloud (Matthew 4:1-11)
  4. Remind satan where he stands (Revelation 20:1-2)
  5. Know who you are in Christ (1Peter 2:9)
  6. Use the name of Jesus with all power and authority (Mark 16:17)
  7. Don’t be afraid (Isaiah 41:10)!

God has given you authority over depression!

“When the Lord has placed an anointing on your life, you must guard and protect it, along with your joy, peace, temperament and self-control.There was a time when I would literally feel Satan pulling something out of my spirit. It was the sensation of my spirit lifting up out of my chest. It would come out of nowhere – all of a sudden I’d feel something being pulled out of my spirit. I think it was my joy, because immediately after, I’d develop an unsettling depression. I would beat myself up over it because I wouldn’t react. I’d just stand there like, for lack of better words, a punk; allowing the enemy to steal something away from me that wasn’t his without even fighting back. I just felt helpless. But as time went on and I developed a closer relationship with the Lord, I began to gain knowledge of how much power I had over my life (through God) and against Satan.So the next time he tried the same old trick, I fought back in Jesus’ name! When I felt that joy or whatever starting to pull away from my spirit and out of my chest, I’d rip it right back down, square out of his hands! Remember, what God has for you, is for you. Fight for it with the full armor of God:“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. -Ephesians 6:10-18″

Insert from the book I Saw God Last Night

Note: When speaking of satan, the devil or lucifer (all the same), I do not give him the credit of capitalizing his name.


How To Be A Vessel Of Honour For God

December 11, 2020 Author: Nehemiah Zion

Do you want to be a vessel of honour or an Influencer? Every single day we wake up, we are trying to convince the world around us about something about ourselves. Every single human being is influencing another in some way or the other, be it intentionally or unintentionally.

Brands are encouraging children and youth into becoming influencers; and it’s ruining lives. That is the way of this world. Who is encouraging you believer? And how? Are you being a vessel of honour?

The easiest thing to do is to follow trends. Fall in line with what the world wants. Or, we can do exactly what’s in God’s heart by bringing the gospel to a broken and torn world.

Being a vessel of honour

1. Be holy, for we are washed by the precious blood of Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 4:4 sanctification) (2 Timothy 2:21) (Hebrews 9:21 blood washed)
2. Gather the good into your heart (Matthew 13:48). Do good and speak good for His glory.
3. Walk in truth, purify and clean the bitterness of this life (John 19:29)
4. Be the clay that submits to God’s power (Romans 9:21) (Revelation 2:27 fragile)
5. Be a vessel full of heavenly treasures (2 Corinthians 4:7)
6. Walk with purpose because you are chosen (Acts 9:15) (1 Peter 2:9)
7. Be weak for His strength to manifest. Play the role God has called you into (1 Peter 3:7)

We were created uniquely to reflect the many wonderful ways of God. To be a testimony of His praise and glory. Being examples of God’s might and power, knowledge and wisdom. Bearing fruits for His glory every day, as we surrendered ourselves to Him by faith.

May God increase our faith and love to be the light to this generation. Maranatha, praise God and Amen.

VIDEO You Can Huff and You Can Puff

May 20, 2019 by Joe Rodriguez

lhstorm

“Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and blow your house in!”
– The Big Bad Wolf (The Three Little Pigs)

The lighthouse image above immediately brought to mind a Spanish song I use to sing as a young man at my home church.

Funda tu casa sobre la roca
que Jesucristo te ayudara. //
Vendrá la lluvia, vendrá el viento pero tu casa no caerá. //

Build your house upon the rock
Jesus Christ will help you. 
The rain will come, the wind will come
but your house will not fall.

Chances are you’ve heard about the parable of The Wise and the Foolish Builder. It is said that the rain and wind represent erroneous biblical teachings and that building on the rock represents believing and obeying the teachings of Christ.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.” -Matthew 7:24 & 26

buil

While these two analogies are correct (Jesus himself made the comparison), I would suggest that the torrential waters and gushing winds can also represent the Devil’s attack against believers. Whether it’s through false doctrines, temptations, and/or oppression, Satan relentlessly wages spiritual war against God’s children in order to accomplish his goal, which is to keep them from shining the light of Christ.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 6:12

sw

The stormy lighthouse image also reminded me of that famous fable turned nursery rhyme titled The Three Little Pigs. One of the interpretations of this Brothers Grimm type of tale is that the wolf represents the challenges that may come up in life unexpectedly. And the three little pigs building their homes from different materials represent what to do and what not to do to prepare for such challenges.

piggy2

The wolf in this rather morbid story can also represent the Devil. Just as he was able to intimidate the first two unprepared piglets with his powerful puff, an attack by the enemy of our souls can cause unprepared Christians to shudder in fear, doubt, and anxiousness. That is why as children of the most high God and through the victory obtained at Calvary’s cross, believers should never forget that they have been given the necessary tools to fight, resist, and conquer the evil forces of darkness. In addition to the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us, the word of God tells us exactly what to do so that the Devil retreats even before he attempts to knock us down. The problem is that far too many believers have no clue how to effectively accomplish this simply because they ignore the prerequisite. They either read the instructions out of context or they have been taught wrong by others. Only when we do exactly as the word of God prescribes, will we be able to withstand the enemy’s blows and defeat him in every spiritual battle.

lionflee

According to the Apostle James, the key to having commanding power over Satan is to SUBMIT to God. It’s amazing how many followers of Christ are ignorant of the authority they have over the Devil, the world, and their flesh (old nature). This power is available when we are living according to God’s word (commands, standards) and not our own moral convictions, which are usually selfish and prideful. It is only when we totally surrender to God that we begin to fight in the power of His Spirit and quickly realize that truly greater is He who lives in us than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). Most Christians have no problem believing that God hears and answers prayer. Unfortunately, many do not have the same faith when it comes to commanding (rebuking) the Devil and his minions. This amazing scene from the movie War Room is not just a script but a real-life attitude I have witnessed in other believers and one I practice myself.

It would behoove us to not only believe, declare, and proclaim God’s promises when we pray but to also command the enemy of our souls to leave us alone when he tries to wreak havoc in our lives. But keep in mind that as long as we live for God and shine the light of Christ in this world, he will continue to blow winds of discouragement trying to tear down our lighthouses. However, if we have built our faith on the Rock of Ages (Jesus), we can stand against all the storms of life including the Devil’s strikes. Perhaps the next time he comes roaring “Let me in or I will huff and I will puff and I’ll blow your house in!” we can respond like the little pigs who cried, “Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin” which actually means “No, by God.” A strong “no.” Meaning, “It’s not going to happen!” In Jesus name!

Prayer: Almighty God and heavenly Father, remind me of who I am in you. Thank you for Calvary’s victory, which is now mine to declare. I submit to your lordship and stand firm on your word. And in the name of Jesus Christ your Son, my Savior, I declare that I have victory over sin, the Devil, and the world. Now get behind me Satan, in Jesus name, Amen!

ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURES
Romans 8:11 (NLT) – The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

1 John 4:4 (KJV) – Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

John 10:10 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

1 Peter 5:8 – Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Original here