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A little about myself

A little of my testimony

My name is Rev Dev. For many I was a black sheep with no hope! I was raised in a broken home, where drugs and alcohol was the norm. I did however have family that took me to church. I give my life to Christ at a young age and was called to preach at 14. I was scared and ran from my calling. I allowed satan to drag me to the depths of sin. Before I was 18 I was an alcoholic and experimenting with drugs, with a DUI conviction on my wrap sheet. I turned my back to Christ and was a wreck. With my life completely in shambles and my name totally tarnished, Christ left the 99 and found this lost wayward sheep. Christ found me at my lowest point. I finally understood what God’s Grace truly meant at age 21. My savior Jesus Christ came to me despite the fact I turned from him. Now, I have a wonderful wife, and 3 awesome kids. I’m a Pastor of an amazing church. Because of Christ I recovered all that satan stole from me and more. It’s my hearts desire to share the gospel to those that believe all hope is lost. He leaves the 99 everyday for the 1 outcast!
Luke 15:7
King James Version
I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Forgiveness = Freedom

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Matthew 6:14-15
Amplified Bible
14 For if you forgive [a]others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others [nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God], then your Father will not forgive your trespasses.

FORGIVENESS!
This is something we all want. It’s one of the easiest things in the world to accept, yet the hardest to give away. Harboring the feelings of being hurt is like a cancer that will rot the soul. It robs you of joy and steals your time, captivates your thoughts, dictates your actions, and makes you a slave to the pain the situation created to get you to that point. The grudge that you hold in your heart is like a dark plague that not only torments you but hangs like a shadow over everyone you love. The pain will begin to effect the ones you hold dear as you punish them for the pain inflicted on you from other people. This pain will be felt in your dreams as you sleep and be played over and over in all your life experiences as you look for the next blow to come from those you desperately want to trust. This cancer of unforgivable circumstances will destroy you from the inside out and take away from each beautiful relationship you could’ve had. The longer you hang on to the pain the more irreparable damage will be done until you’re reduced to a prisoner of a dark empty shell of who you use to be. You’ll look for the worst in every person and every situation until you find yourself unable to see good and beauty in anything. And despite knowing this it’ll feel impossible to JUST LET GO! When you finally get to the end of your rope you realize the pain caused by holding the grudge doesn’t even compare to the small inconvenience of the pain that caused the grudge. Scream to yourself today…. I will no longer allow these past hurts to weigh me down! I’ll no longer be bitter and calloused! I’ll no longer be a prisoner to the pain! I’ll break free from the chains and LET GO! The pain will not rule me anymore! Today I break free!
JUST LET GO!!!!!

HUPOMONE!

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Hebrews 12:1-2 KJV

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hupomone pronounced, hoop-om-on-ay. It is the Greek word for patience in this passage. It means endurance, steadfastness, the idea is a NO QUIT ATTITUDE! But let’s break it down. There’s several things this scripture says we need to do in running this race. First, be encouraged that others have ran this race of faith in Christ and they’re witnesses to the fact that it’s worth every pain. You can find these in Hebrews chapter 11. Second, the writer says, “lay aside every weight, and sin that would hinder our running. It’s time to shed anything that you drags you down. All of these aren’t necessarily sin. Sin still needs to be dealt with and we should strive to live a life free from sin. When Christ died on the cross and rose again, it didn’t only take care of the consequences of sin, but also frees us from the power of sin. John 8:34-36. This weight could be worry, anxiety, maybe relationships, or anything hindering you relationship to Christ. He says shed it all! And he also says, keep your eyes on Christ! The author and finisher of your faith! When you continue on, it teaches that we can be encouraged by considering all Christ has overcome for us! John 16:33 says that though we have tribulation in this world we can be of good cheer knowing Christ has overcome the world! But finally, the writer says “run with patience”! That’s hupomone. Years ago my wife and I visited Panama City Beach, Fl. It just so happened the iron man triathlon was going on. After swimming and riding bikes they ran. This started just before daylight and they were still running late into the evening. We watched as they ran up the strip, down the strip, and back again. One lady stood out from the rest. She wasn’t the fastest, she didn’t appear to be the strongest, she didn’t have on the coolest outfit. She was EXHAUSTED! Her feet were barely moving, drenched in sweat, her pant leg was torn just at the bend of her knee, and her leg covered in blood from what looked like a nasty fall. Her elbows and hands scraped up. But a face full of determination! She wasn’t worried about the cost, only the finish! That’s what HUPOMONE looks like! So what is this race? Living a life that glorifies God. Reading the word, going to church, maintaining a strong prayer life, but most importantly doing good to others in an effort to show them the love of Christ. Running this race is making an impact for The Lord. While running this race, you’ll have many falls, bumps, bruises. You’ll carry many scars and heartaches! I know you may be weary, but press on knowing the reward is well worth the pain!
HUPOMONE!!!!

Galatians 6:9King James Version

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Where’s God?

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Genesis 41:1King James Version

41 And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.

Have you ever been in a place where you felt forsaken? That your prayers wasn’t heard and God was nowhere around? This is precisely where Joseph was. Joseph was a young Hebrew boy that had a dream that his family would bow to him. He was also his dad’s favorite. Because of this, his brothers threw him in a pit with plans to leave him for dead. They eventually had a change of heart and sold him into slavery. And now as a grown man in Genesis chapter 41, Joseph is setting in prison for a crime he never committed. While in prison he interprets his cell mates dream and tells him, “when you get out, don’t forget me”. His cell mate (the cupbearer for pharaoh) gets out of prison and reinstated to his position serving pharaoh, just as Joseph had said. But it’s been 2 years and the cupbearer has still yet to remember Joseph.
This has got to be a horrible time for Joseph. He’s been waiting 2 years for the cupbearer to mention his name. Joseph could’ve very easily had the same attitude that we often get. The attitude of Where’s God in this? Why won’t God do something?! But without Joseph’s knowledge God was working. This dream pharaoh had was exactly the opportunity the cupbearer needed to mention the name of Joseph. You see The Lord had been setting things in order for Joseph before he ever experienced the problem. Matt 6:8 says God knows your needs before you ask! We must learn to trust in God even in those times we feel imprisoned and forsaken.

Psalms 27:14

“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”

After this, the cupbearer tells Pharaoh of this Hebrew servant that interprets dreams. Pharaoh calls, and after Joseph gives God glory for the interpretation, pharaoh sets him up as 2nd in command of all Egypt. Shortly after, Joseph’s dream is realized! Trust God today! He hears your prayers and is working on your behalf!

What is your fig tree?

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John 1:47-51Amplified Bible

47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Here is an Israelite indeed [a true descendant of Jacob], in whom there is no guile nor deceit nor duplicity!” 48 Nathanael said to Jesus, “How do You know [these things about] me?” Jesus answered, “Before Philip called you, when you were still under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered, “Rabbi (Teacher), You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.” 50 Jesus replied, “Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe [in Me]? You will see greater things than this.” 

There’s several interpretations of what Christ means by “under the fig tree”. I happen to lean more towards the literal view that Nathaniel was actually under a fig tree. But what was he doing? Praying, meditating, perhaps eagerly anticipating the messiah to come? We aren’t really told but it doesn’t take away from the awesome, yet simplistic message being given. That is that Christ knew where he was! The Lord had his eyes on Nathaniel the whole time, waiting on the moment that Nathaniel would walk his way. This a very exciting concept. He continues to tell Nathaniel that he will see great mighty works. Christ knew the purpose for Nathaniel’s life and it was to do a work for Him.

The same way he knew Nathaniel, he knows us too. He knows where we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going. As I said, I believe Christ was talking about a literal tree, but indulge me for a moment. What tree are you under? A tree of depression and despair? A tree of hopelessness? A tree of hard circumstances? A tree of confusion, lost without direction? Whatever the tree you’re under, you can trust that Christ knows where you’re at. He knows how you’re feeling, and what you’re facing! He’s seen your tears, and heard your prayers! He knows the plans He has for you and can’t wait to show you greater things ahead!

Jeremiah 29:11King James Version

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

So, the question remains. What is your fig tree? And most importantly. Why are you waiting to answer the call to come to Christ? The Lord sees you. He knows you. He created you! And he longs to show you great and mighty things! Come out from under the fig tree and follow Christ!

Ephesians 3:20-21King James Version

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

A Friend You Can Count On!

Proverbs 18:24

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” 

King James Version (KJV)

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It’s very hard in this day to find a solid friend. One who will support, encourage, and seek after your best interest without any ulterior motives. This life can get pretty lonesome and dog eat dog sometimes. But there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. It’s thought provoking that Prov 17:17 teaches that a brother is born for adversity. In other words it’s a brother that you can count on even in the hardest of times. But the scripture says there’s one that sticks even closer. So many times we get so overwhelmed by the struggles of life that we feel all by ourselves. Maybe it’s the passing of a loved one and you feel nobody understands. You feel that nobody has empathy or sympathy. Maybe it’s a horrible break up or a close friend betraying you. It could be a mental, emotional, or spiritual storm that has raged on for years sucking all the energy out of you, leaving you without any joy and full of hopelessness. Maybe right now you’re in the darkest place you’ve ever been and feel forsaken and forgotten. There’s a friend that will be by your side. This friend loves you so much that he died for you even as you were a sinner. (Romans 5:8). He’s so much more than a friend King David calls him a shepherd that will provide,protect, and comfort us even in the valley of death! (Psalms 23) The writer of Hebrews calls him our high priest, that encourages us to come to the throne of Grace with confidence, in time of despair! Peter refers to him as savior. (2 Peter 1:1). Paul when come face to face with him on the road to Damascus refers to him as Lord. (Acts 9). He’s been called so many things. The Lilly of the valley, the rose of Sharon. In the gospel of John it’s taught the he’s the creator of all creation. But the most precious to me is friend. Yes he’s our savior! Yes he’s our Lord! But who are we that the creator of the world, the one who hung the stars, and tells the ocean where to stop, who according to Colossians 1:17 holds all things together, would take the time to be our friend? But not just a friend but a friend who sticks closer than s brother! This man is Jesus Christ and he’s promised to never leave or forsake us. Even in our deepest, darkest valleys, Christ can be found by our side. Call on the name of Christ and I assure that you’ll find a friend you can count on!

What mountain?

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Zechariah 4:7Amp

‘What are you, O great mountain [of obstacles]? Before Zerubbabel [who will rebuild the temple] you will become a plain (insignificant)! And he will bring out the capstone [of the new temple] with loud shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’”

Zerubbabel was the governor of Judah and led the first captives back from Babylon. He was also placed by God in the position of rebuilding the temple that was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. After the foundation was laid, many where discouraged by the lack of progress (Zechariah 4:10). They despised the day of small beginnings. No doubt Zerubbabel was discouraged a feeling pretty defeated. There was a mountain of opposition in his way. Not only was this already an overwhelming task, he also had enemies fighting tooth and nail to halt the work, and even his own people were growing restless with the lack of progress! Just when it seems all hope is lost, staring at this great mountain of problems, a word from the Lord comes and asks, “what mountain?”. We’re not faced with building a great temple in our walk with Christ, but we’re called to build. Jude 1:20-25 tells us to build ourselves up in faith and lead others to Christ! 1 Peter 2:5-9 teaches that each believer is a spiritual stone that make up a spiritual house to offer spiritual sacrifices to God. This can be a daunting task seeing how the enemy (satan) is constantly opposing our efforts. Our enemy throws so many obstacles in our way that just living a Christian life seems impossible. These mountain of problems mean nothing when we quit looking at how big the problems are, and begin to remember how big our God is! Mark 11:23 teaches us to speak to the mountain not examine and dwell on it. With just a little faith in the power of God we can speak to the mountains in our way and tell them to move! What is that mountain in your way of living a godly life and being an effective witness? It can be removed! However it’s only by the power of God. (Zechariah 4:6) Here’s the GOOD NEWS!
Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.
Isn’t it great the God’s power works in us through the Holy Spirit? Speak to your mountain that hinders your walk with Christ and do the work God has called you to do! You may see a mountain of problems in your way but God says, What mountain?

God said Zerubbabel would complete the work and he did. God’s word also says the work began in you through Christ would be finished. (Phil 1:6). The mountain in front of you today will become nothing more than a plain if you’ll just believe! And you’ll be left saying, What Mountain?!

Go Anyway

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Luke 7:36-39

And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.

All too often someone walks through the doors of a church and get shamed by looks of disgust. That’s exactly what was going on here. This Pharisee offered Jesus a meal at his home. The guest where nice well put together religious types. How dare this sinful woman come in unannounced and have the audacity to bother Jesus! I find it rather interesting that the woman in the scripture isn’t named. Some say she could be Mary Magdalene others say Mary of Bethany. But it could be anybody. The fact remains that this happens even today. Satan uses these hateful looks and snarky remarks to hinder the “unchurched” from showing up. Luke19:10 and Luke5:32 clearly teach that the unrighteous is who Christ is after. And remember also Romans3:23 which states that all have sinned. Never let the nasty looks keep you from Christ. So you’ve made a mess of your life, GO TO CHURCH ANYWAY! You’re not really in the clique at church so you’re not sure if you’d be welcome at the next event. GO ANYWAY! You may think you can’t understand the Bible. GO STUDY ANYWAY! Maybe satan has burdened you down with guilt over your sin and he says you shouldn’t pray. GO PRAY ANYWAY! So you’re a drunk, so you’re an addict, so you’re having marital problems, so you’re a SINNER, you feel that because of this you’re unworthy to go to Jesus. GO TO HIM ANYWAY!!! Never let anything or anyone keep you from Christ, he came for you. You’ll never clean yourself up, only Christ can do that. The word of God teaches us that we can come to Christ just as we are. It also promises, that if we come in faith we will leave changed for the better. The religious leaders condemned this lady, but Jesus commended her and forgave her sins. He will comfort you too!

Matt 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

GO TO HIM ANYWAY!!!

Little to give

John 6:9
Amplified Bible
9 “There is a little boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are these for so many people?”

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Perhaps you woke up this morning to start your day thinking that you were nobody special. Maybe you’ve taken inventory of what you have and who you are only to find that you lack the talent, charisma, or resources to make any impact in anyone’s life. You’ve possibly been looked down on by others that thought you were no count. I imagine this little boy felt the same. After all he’s just a kid. I’m sure he never dreamed the small lunch his mom probably packed for him would impact thousands that day. He more than likely dropped his head feeling completely useless as he heard the disciples of Christ pointing out the obvious that his lunch was inadequate. He was probably even very hesitant to give it to Christ when asked for it. But something happened that day that no doubt stuck with this boy the rest of his life. The little boy watched on in amazement as Christ continually break the bread and fish feeding thousands until they were all satisfied. As you read on even the naysayers that said it wasn’t possibly enough got a basket full. God knows what you have to offer this world and it is plenty to make an impact if you’d just trust him enough to turn it over to him. Offer up the little that you have to Christ and watch the amazing impact it can have on those around you. You’re not too young! You’re not too old! You’re not too broke! You’re not too damaged! You’re just what God needs to make an impact! LET GO AND LET GOD!!!

Romans 12:1
Amplified Bible
Dedicated Service
12 [a]Therefore I urge you, [b]brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship

Arm yourselves

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Ephesians 6:10-18
Amplified Bible
The Armor of God
10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. 11 Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places. 13 Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious]. 14 So stand firm and hold your ground, having tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart), 15 and having strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news]. 16 Above all, lift up the [protective] shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.18 With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God’s people.

We’re all entangled in spiritual battles it just comes down to who you’re fighting for. Matt 12:30 Jesus teaches you’re either fighting with him or against him. When you declare that Jesus Christ is Lord of your life satan begins to attack, he’ll come against you, your family, friends, and whatever or whoever else he can use to try and break you. These spiritual attacks are often manifested in the physical. Sickness, loss of possessions, being betrayed or treated badly by friends and loved ones, even death. (Refer back to Job). Paul says here under inspiration of The Holy Ghost that we need to be prepared. God has given us everything we need to be successful in this fight. But notice that the responsibility to put these things into action falls on us. We must diligently seek after God’s will by studying God’s word, applying God’s word, putting God’s word into practice, Trusting fully in God’s word, and Prayer. It’s not enough to just go to church. If you want to be successful in spiritual warfare there must be a daily dependence on God, a daily relationship with Christ, and a constant obedience to the leadership of The Holy Ghost. It takes an effort from the believer to grow in Christ and the power of his might. Christian don’t just set on the sideline being a spectator hoping a battle won’t come your way…. get in the good fight of faith and run your race with endurance.

Hebrews 12:1-3
Amplified Bible
Jesus, the Example
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, 2 [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, [b]disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].
3 Just consider and meditate on Him who endured from sinners such bitter hostility against Himself [consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

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