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God Can Clean Up Your Mess

And the winner is...you!

And the winner is…you!

Being confident of this, that He [God himself] who began a good work in you, will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6

“He will keep you firm to the very end, so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns.” – 1 Corinthians 1:8

Both the Old and the New Testament teach that election and salvation is a sovereign work of God’s grace. God is the One who chooses us, God is the One who gives us faith to believe, God is the one who does the work of regeneration, and it is God who preserves us to the very end of our lives. True Christians patiently look forward to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and they will trust in His promises until they are fulfilled. Those that have this hope will be blameless in the day of Christ, made so by the rich and free grace of God.

Christians are distinguished from the profane and the atheists, that they have been chosen of God, and they have chosen to follow God.

Since God chose us from the foundations of the world, He didn’t wait for us to “clean up our act,” so to speak. He knew, in advance, what a mess we would make of our lives in many cases. Yet, God overlooked our sinful condition before coming to Christ foreknowing what a glorious transformation we would make one day. He also saw all sinful blunders we would commit – even after coming to Christ – as part of the process of transformation. Praise be to God that our Heavenly Father, continues to love us and patiently work with us despite ourselves, and the many, many times we fall short of perfection.

Why? Because He foreknew that we would eventually experience complete regeration and Christ-likeness. He keeps His eye on the big picture. He saw ahead of time, the beautiful masterpiece our lives would turn out to be.

Because He is the author of our book, He knows exactly how our story will end. He has already written the last chapter and it is thrilling! Surprisingly, it does have a happy ending. He has promised it will be a best seller among the saints and angels in heaven.

I can rest assured of my salvation.

“We love Him, because He first loved us..” – 1 John 4:19

I can rest in the assurance that God doesn’t make mistakes. Because our Heavenly Father chose us and loved us before we were able to love Him back, He saw the winner in us, not the loser.

I’m also glad that He gave me a free will. He gave me the ability to choose who I want to spend eternity with. I’m glad that my Heavenly Father didn’t make that choice for me; He wants us to choose Him of our own volition. He wants children that voluntarily love Him and want to be with Him in heaven. He does not want slaves who involuntarily give Him lip service. Everyone in heaven, and throughout eternity, will be present with God because they voluntarily chose to be there.

But right now, I have to admit, that sometimes my life is still a little messy. I’m not happy about it; I wish I could do better. I want to live in a manner that is pleasing to my Heavenly Father and make Him proud of me. But regardless of how messy it becomes at times, I’m not anxious about my eternal future. I am confident that despite the temporal setbacks, I am slowly being transformed into the image of Christ – holy and blameless. The inward man is being renewed day-by-day (2 Corinthians 4:16).

Beloved, we are the sons and daughters of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when Christ shall appear again, we shall be like Him. Praise be to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in heavenly places with all spiritual blessings.

Let us always remember that no matter how messy it’s been in the past, we have a glorious future ahead of us!

– Luis Josephus

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What God Thinks About Me Matters Most

the right wayIt’s hard sometimes to be different. When you follow the truth and refuse to compromise with the world’s ways by participating in the ungodly deeds and celebrations of the ignorant and rebellious. It can be lonely and isolating.

But God comforts us for our faithfulness and dedication by blessing us with His loving presence, divine approval, and enduring peace. He whispers to our hearts, “Well done, my good and faithful child.”

– Luis Josephus

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“The right way is not always the popular and easy way. Standing for right when it is unpopular is the true test of character.” – Margaret Chase Smith


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The Favor of God

Spirit-Lifting Thoughts for Today_150 x 150_jpg“So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees and cypress trees according to all his desire.”1 Kings 5:10

In the fourth year of his reign, King Solomon began to build the temple of God in Jerusalem. The Bible tells us that Hiram, king of the Sidonians made a treaty of friendship with Solomon and graciously provided him with the best cedar and cypress lumber from his land for which to build God’s temple. He even went as far as to provide some of his most skilled craftsmen for hire to complete the job.

Why would a heathen king do this? He wasn’t a follower of Yahovah God. In fact, the Sidonians worshipped a plethora of false gods. So why did he generously and enthusiastically provide the help Solomon needed to build God’s temple? Because God moved on his heart and gave Solomon favor with him. Without the help of these non-believers, God’s temple might not have been finished in time.

This is a good example of how the LORD can also give us favor when we are doing His will for our lives. His Spirit will move upon people’s hearts to help us, and bless us in many ways. He will give us favor with our bosses at work, with our neighbors at home, with our friends and family, and even other people we come in contact with, that might be beneficial in supporting our lives and ministries.

When we are doing the work of God, we won’t have to constantly beg for money or try to manipulate people like so many preachers do today. God knows our needs and He will provide the finances and help we need. We just need to pray, “Lord, You know we are doing this work for Your kingdom. You know what our needs are to accomplish this. We pray that you give us favor with others and move on their hearts to help us.” Then, after we’ve prayed, we rest and trust in His provision. Watch God move heaven and earth, if necessary, to make sure our needs are provided for. He will do great and mighty things if we trust Him to provide the resources to accomplish the work He has called us to do.

Solomon completed the building of God’s temple in record time because he had God’s favor. The Jerusalem temple turned out to be so beautiful and glorious that kings and queens from all over the world came to see it, and God was glorified.

Whatever God calls you to do, do it with all your heart. Pray and He will give you favor – sometimes, even with unbelievers, to help you finish the work He has purposed for your life and ministry. Pray and present your needs to Him. Trust God to provide for you in His timing. Don’t try to make things happen in your own strength, but wait upon the LORD to do what is best. Amen.

– Luis Josephus

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Triumphant with God

 

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“And He said, ‘Your name shall be called no more Jacob (crafty deceiver), but Israel [that is, “A prince of God”]. For as a prince you have struggled with God and with men, and have triumphed.’ ” – Genesis 32:28

The patriarch Jacob was given the name Israel (Hebrew: Yisrael) by God Himself after striving with Him all night long. Followers of Christ are sometimes called the “Israel of God” because we are also God-strivers (Gal 6:16). To strive for anything requires that we give it our upmost and go all-out to reach our destiny in God.

God expects our faith to be that way; to be active and energized – not passive. Utilizing hyperbole, Jesus once said,, “The kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12). The violent who take the kingdom of God by force are not those who are weak in faith, but those who press-in spiritually by passionately pursuing their faith and believing God to do great and marvelous works. They act on the confidence that, with God, nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). God honors His children of great faith with miraculous answers to their prayers.

Without great faith it is impossible to please God.

In order to be triumphant with God we must be like the men and women of old who are held-up as examples for us to follow (see Hebrews chapter 11). Great saints of God like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, and others who, through great faith, subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, closed the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, and more.

The true Israel of God demonstrates their saving faith by trusting God in all circumstances. They remain steadfastly loyal to God and His Word at all times and believe in spiritual realities not visible to the common person. They have purposed to never let go of God until He blesses them.

PRAYER

Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for choosing me to be part of your family – the spiritual Israel of God. Help me to live my life worthy of Your divine calling by walking in great faith that is most pleasing to You. Let me honor You by trusting You in all circumstances and believing You to do great and mighty things. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

– Luis Yosefus

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For further study of this subject and to receive a free copy of our book, “Diligently Seeking God”, by Luis Yosefus, email us your name and postal address to: RealJesusMinistries@gmail.com


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The Sorcerer’s Sin

Cast out the demon of bitterness

“For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” – Acts 8:23

In the Book of Acts we read the account of Simon the sorcerer’s sin. When the apostles heard of a revival taking place in Samaria, they sent Peter and John to minister the Word of God there. Many had believed the gospel under the preaching of Phillip and were water baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. But none had received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. So the apostles laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit (with the evidence of speaking in tongues).

Among those who supposedly had believed in Jesus was a Samaritan sorcerer by the name of Simon. Keep in mind, that a sorcerer in those times was the equivalent of what we would call today “an occultist”, “New Ager”, or “wizard” – one who tries to control others by practicing witchcraft, conjures up spells, and traffics with demons. They were generally God-haters who sold their souls to Satan in order to gain supernatural powers from the devil.

Apparently, Simon the Sorcerer attended the Samaritan’s revival meetings, saw people giving their lives to Jesus, and witnessed all manner of supernatural signs and wonders that God began to do. Miraculous healings were taking place and demons were exorcised, as well as people getting baptized in the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, and living transformed lives.

As it often happens, when people start seeing the awesome move of God in a church or town, the word gets around and large crowds begin to gather. Many in these crowds genuinely commit their lives to following Jesus, while others only make a superficial profession of faith. Those who genuinely are saved will give evidence of changed lives and bear the good fruits of salvation. Others profess to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, but, either never demonstrate changed lives, or after a time they forsake Him and return to their old ways.

Peter discerns Simon to be a false professor.

Having the gift of discernment from the Holy Spirit, the apostle Peter saw right through Simon the Sorcerer and realized he was a phony. Peter told him, “Your heart is not right in the sight of God…For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” (Acts 8:21-23). The word Bitterness in the original Greek (pikria – pik-ree’-ah) means an embittered, resentful spirit.

Peter rightly discerned the root of bitterness in Simon the Sorcerer’s heart and  his desire to deceive and manipulate others. This prompted his eagerness to purchase the gift of the Holy Spirit from Peter and John. Although Simon had believed in Jesus and had been water baptized, the residue of an evil heart continued to govern his life as he still sought power to control others for selfish or self-exalting purposes.

Peter confronted Simon to repent and be delivered. However, Simon refuses and continues to follow the dictates of his bitter heart. If only Simon had willingly forgiven those who he had become embittered to, he could have been saved and set free from his bondage to the demons that controlled him. Forgiveness is the only remedy for bitterness. It flushes out all “poison” from the heart with the power of the cross of Jesus Christ.

Remember that unforgiveness has destroyed the faith of many believers in Jesus Christ. If you have any resentment or bitterness towards anyone in your life, get rid of it today.

– Luis Josephus

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COMMENT from Cynthia Spinner: “This is good, thank u my friend, perfect timing, it confirms what I am studying. G-d intervenes and confirms through people. Amen.”


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Why am I being persecuted?

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you.” – 1 Peter 4:12

"For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." —2 Corinthians 12:10

“For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” —2 Corinthians 12:10

Are you suffering for the sake of Christ? Do people put you down, invent lies about you, mock you, or simply avoid you because you’re a Christian? Does it hurt you to be treated in this manner unjustly? Remember that our Lord Jesus was treated the same way. He said, “They hate me without a cause” (John 15:25).

Instead of getting discouraged or feeling wounded about it, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing this, that the trying of your faith produces patience (James 1:2-3). Those who live godly in Christ will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 2:12).

Persecution is the lot of every devoted believer.

Jesus said that our reward will be great: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you, when men revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. “ – Matthew 5:10-12

Do not think it strange when you are being persecuted without a legitimate cause. Those who uphold God’s standard of truth, justice and purity and refuse to compromise with this present evil world will undergo persecution in one form or another.

The first reason is that you are a threat to Satan and his demonic kingdom of darkness. Your Christian witness is a light that exposes his evil purposes and convicts those the devil controls.

Secondly, God permits persecution to make you stronger and further develop your faith and character. Persecution is also evidence that you have a strong anointing and presence upon your life. It is a high and holy calling to be chosen of God. The devil knows this and will fight you every which way he can in order to keep you from fulfilling your destiny in Christ.

“If you are reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you, for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you…” – 1 Peter 4:14.

Be certain, warns the apostle Peter, that you are not suffering because of your own wrongdoing or as a gossip or a busybody or a thief or an evil doer and call it “religious persecution” (1 Peter 4:15). But if any man suffers because of his good Christian witness, let him rejoice and not be discouraged; let him glorify God that has counted you worthy of being a partaker in Christ’s sufferings.

Although trials and persecutions may be emotionally and even physically painful for the moment, remember to take comfort that we are suffering because of our loyalty and faithfulness to our Lord and Savior. It is a sign of the genuineness of our devotion and the great reward that awaits us when Christ returns.

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you…The servant is not greater than his Lord. If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you…” – John 15:19-20.

True followers of Christ will suffer persecution from those who belong to Satan’s world because we are fundamentally different than they are, and at spiritual odds with the world. Jesus admonishes us to rejoice that we are “not of the world” and have “come out of the world.”

  • Pastor Luis Yosefus

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Bitterness is like a cancer

Grace For Today“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”– Ephesians 4:31-32

It is astonishing to me how many born-again Christians I have met in my 20+ years of ministry that allow themselves to indulge in the spirit of bitterness. They are ultra-critical of other brothers and sisters in Christ and unmerciful to the failings of others. Yet, if you observe their lives, they are full of faults and failures themselves. If that be the case, why are they so quick to point out the faults of others? Jesus rebuked this kind of hypocrisy in Matthew 7:1-5:

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the log in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. “

Those who are critical and bitter towards other brothers in Christ are generally completely blind to their own faults. They slander and rage and speak filthy words of others when they should be loving and forgiving. They also do great damage by corrupting the minds and manners of those who give ear to their malicious gossip.

Christians should beware of all such bitterness in their hearts and evil-speaking. They will eventually grieve the Holy Spirit to the point that the Lord Himself will judge them severely. One way that God judges the believer who refuses to turn away from this type of sin is to allow bitterness to spread like a cancer throughout their entire mind and body until it produces complete spiritual (and sometimes) early physical death.

We are admonished in God’s Word to “get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, slander, and malice”. We are to forgive those who have done us wrong. We are also to stop focusing on the faults of others. As true followers of Christ, we are to be kind and compassionate towards one another, just as in Christ God is towards us.

Ask yourself, how can you expect God to forgive you when you are not willing to forgive?

Are you seeking the blessings of God? Then you must first learn to be a blessing towards others. For you will reap what you have sown (Galatians 6:7-8). If you sow bitterness and malice towards others, you will reap bitterness and malice towards yourself. If you harbor a corrupt disposition of bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil-speaking and malice, you will only end up hurting yourself.

Don’t let the spirit of bitterness eat you alive like a cancer.

Instead,  put on the “new man” which is created in the likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ. Remember that even after He suffered everything that He went through, He never allowed bitterness to enter His heart. One of the last words Jesus spoke as He was dying regarding His enemies, was, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

–         Pastor Luis Yosefus

www.RealJesus.netREAL JESUS MINISTRIES
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Comment from Brenda Scmidt: “So true, brother Luis!”

Comment from Gary PoppaBear Adams: “Most have never found a LOCAL church with the Fruits and Gifts of the Spirit to deliver them from carnal attitudes.”