Our battle against oneness

Ephesians 4:3 Make every effort to keep yourself united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.

Ephesians chapter four focuses on the power of a unified body of believers acting as one against the forces of darkness and division in our fallen world. There is a great battle for us to rise against unity because of our selfish and damaged desires. Pride and pain are our constant personal issues that repeatedly try to surface and spread their poison to others.

Theory is much easier than reality.

Ephesians chapters one through three describe the promises and power Christians and the church have from heaven’s point of view. It is wonderful to read and meditate on these promises and blessings we have in Christ Jesus. However, putting these promises and blessings into everyday use is much more challenging than the theory. “Count it all joy…” until you are in pain, and then with an effort, remind yourself to be joyful and thankful.  

“I urge you to live a life worthy of your calling.”

Why would Paul make that statement with the word “urge” (NIV) included? Because you will face the battle of humanity’s lostness as you connect with each other. Satan and his forces will try and destroy any efforts of unity or “oneness” with each other. Because it is that oneness with Christ in the church that any demonic force cannot overcome.

The world is full of Pharisees – There is one in the mirror! Luke 18:9-14

It is very easy for us to look out on all the world and see their problems. In Luke 18:9 “Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others:” The prideful Pharisee gave thanks to God that he was not like the despised tax collector. The tax collector would not even look up but asked God to be merciful because he was a sinner. Let us humble ourselves before God as sinners and ask for mercy. In this world, people battle with rage, Jezebel spirit, arrogance, the victim mentality, pride, and many other problems. As I look into the mirror, I see brokenness and pride trying to rise in me. Paul says to fight this nature by (verse two) Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, make allowance for each other’s faults in love. This is against our nature. Why should we fight these inner battles so hard? 

Power of oneness

Ephesians 4:4-6 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;  one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 

Although you have many lights in your house, they all have unity in the electricity. It is the oneness in our spirit with Christ, as in the Trinity, that makes us strong. “Lord, help me to walk worthy of the calling I have received.” Take a moment to consider your own life. Do you need to put on humility, gentleness, and patience? Paul says “I urge” you to walk worthy of your calling.

Allow your lightnside to be one with the source of light in the universe. 

Tired, frustrated, need help?

“Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint;

LEAD ME TO A ROCK THAT IS HIGHER THAN I,

for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.” Psalms 61:1-4

Lead me

Lord, today I need direction. I feel like my personal GPS is not aligned with today’s needs. God, please guide me today. I will listen more closely for your voice. Only directions from you and the leading of the Holy Spirit will I look for today. You know the path and I step outside today without predetermined directions. I will listen and feel your presence.

TO A ROCK

Lord, I need a solid foundation to trust. You are that foundation. You are the creator of all I see. Not only were you the designer and creator, but it is also Your power that continues to hold together all I see. Without your constant power and presence, all matter would dissolve. You are my most solid rock. You are my most trusted and true giver of hope and truth. You are my greatest foundation to build upon.

THAT IS HIGHER THAN I

Lord, today I rest in knowing that You see farther than I can. Today I need to be elevated to Your presence beyond my capabilities. Today I feel frustrated at my efforts and need a more substantial hand from a higher position, and a stronger base. Lord, today I pray that I can feel you lifting me upward. That feeling of being gathered in your strong arms and you raising me to a position I cannot reach myself. “Not by might, or strength, but by My Spirit”

Lord, you have been faithful all my life.

You are my refuge and a strong tower.

I long to be in your presence and rest at your feet.

Today I enjoy your strong arm and wise counsel.

Today my lightnside is refreshed on a ROCK THAT IS HIGHER THAN I.

The Church – unexpected, undefeated, limited time.

Ephesians 3:10 “God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”

The Church

No one expected the church

When Jesus died on the cross, the veil to God was torn, and the Holy Spirit was given to the Jews and the Gentiles. God was up to something BIG. Paul was given a revelation that was hidden from all prophets in the Old Testament.  

Ephesians 3:3-5  

 As I briefly wrote earlier, God himself revealed his mysterious plan to me. As you read what I have written, you will understand my insight into this plan regarding Christ. 5 God did not reveal it to previous generations, but now by his Spirit, he has revealed it to his holy apostles and prophets. What was the revelation? All Gentiles are now accepted into the family of God with all the rights of a born Jew. Jesus is building something new. It is the birth of a brand new plan. A worldwide church filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and built upon the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who is the cornerstone.  

 …display his (God’s) wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities

It is the church that will now do battle with the leaders of darkness. It is the church that will establish a place of hope and righteousness. A place where broken and lost people can find restoration and relationship with Christ. The church brings down demonic powers and prays for miracles and divine help in troubled times.

The church has a specific purpose.

The power of the church is to proclaim Christ against all the dark rulers of this world. It is the church that is holding back the power of the antichrist and lawlessness. It is the church that leads righteous nations to greatness and the church that proclaims the hope of Christ to the ends of the world.   

Acts 1:8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere-in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

The end of the church

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17   For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

The church will be taken away from the earth during the end times or the tribulations. I cannot imagine a world without the church. It is essential to be a part of the church of Christ while it is still at work today. The church was a masterstroke of God and was kept secret from the world until it was revealed to Paul and the Apostles.

Jesus told Peter in Matthew 16:18 “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. “

Let your lightnside shine bright in your church as the end of days approach.

All is Well

I am pressing on…forgetting everything which is past. (Phil. 3:12-13 WEYMOUTH)

Today a single quote from “Springs in the Valley” by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman July 12th captured my thoughts. It comes from one of the most important commands from Christ, to forgive as we have been forgiven by God.

Matthew 6:14-15 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

In the very depths of yourself, dig a grave. Let it be like some forgotten spot to which no path leads, and there, in the eternal silence, bury the wrongs that you have suffered. Your heart will feel as if a weight had fallen from it, and a Divine peace comes to abide with you.

CHARLES WAGNER

Let your lightnside shine bright as you bury your grudges.

A Prisoner of Christ

Ephesians 3:1 For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles—

A Prisoner by the government

Paul is in a physical prison because of His ministry. He is on house arrest awaiting to give his testimony to Caesar. He is free to write and have visitors. It would seem he has more ministry capability because of this imprisonment. However, I don’t believe this was Paul’s tone when he stated he is a prisoner of Christ.

Captured by Christ

Paul claims to be the worst of sinners. Also, in this chapter, Paul claims he is the least of all saints. There is humility with Paul that is opposite from the Paul before conversion. Paul was filled with rage and hatred toward Christians. Because of Paul, many Christians were killed, and many Christians ran for their life away from Paul’s influence. Jesus Christ met Paul supernaturally when Paul was on his way to another attack. Christ captured Paul’s heart and he became a prisoner of Christ by choice. Paul’s love for Christ spread into compassion for the Gentiles who were considered outcasts in his former life. 

Prison has both limitations and opportunities.

When one is in prison, there are several limitations. Many addicted prisoners find their mind becomes clear because they have no access to drugs or alcohol as in their normal life. Most do not have access to the internet and social media. So the junk found online is no longer poisonings their mind. Addicts n Jail can take classes and be connected to religious training with clearer minds and purpose.

Paul is a prisoner of Christ. His focus to seek Christ and be in the presence of God has some positive outcomes. For one, revelations from Christ. One of Paul’s revelations is a vastly expanded understanding of Christ’s love for us and the potential power we have in Christ. Paul writes in verses 16-19 “that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Do I need a type of self-imposed prison?

Would you be willing to place yourself in a type of prison to benefit from more time and focus on Christ? Maybe a prison from gaming, social media, entertainment, and other things that swallow up your precious time. Would you like to receive revelations from Christ and know deeper truths from the Holy Spirit about the power you have in Christ? 

Imprisoned for others

Paul said he was a prisoner of Jesus for the Gentiles. Do you have someone in your life you are praying for or a desire to help someone find greater hope through Christ? You can become a prisoner of Jesus Christ for them. 

My desire

I am choosing to become a prisoner of Christ so God can work through me in my later years in life. I want to see God move in this nation and in my family. What will it take? Prisoners who are seeking Christ. Who place themselves in a restriction to allow the truths of Christ to be revealed.

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Imprison your lightnside so it will shine even brighter for HIM.

The cornerstone

Ephesians 2:20-21 NLT Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. [21] We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord.

The cornerstone is a guide to the structure.

Since ancient times, builders have used cornerstones in their construction projects. A cornerstone was the principal stone, usually placed at the corner of a building, to guide the workers in their course. The cornerstone was usually one of the largest, the most solid, and the most carefully constructed of any in the building. The Bible describes Jesus as the cornerstone that His church would be built upon. He is foundational. Matthew 16:15-18 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. Once the cornerstone was set, it became the basis for determining every measurement in the remaining construction; everything was aligned to it. As the cornerstone of the building of the church, Jesus is our standard of measure and alignment.

Jesus, as our cornerstone, is a guide for our lives.

As we come to Jesus and begin to build our lives according to the orientation of the Christ Cornerstone, we will be a strong well equipped Christian growing in the faith and power of the Holy Spirit. There may be areas of your life that need to be torn down because they do not align with the cornerstone. A building with only part of the construction aligned with the cornerstone of Christ will fall just as surely as one without any cornerstone.

Precious and proven cornerstone. Safe to build on.

Isaiah 28:16 (1Peter 2:26) Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken.” God was speaking of His only Son who would come to earth to give direction and provide an escape from sin and death if they had faith in Him. 

Rejected by men but chosen by God

1 Peter 2:4 You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.

Mark 12:12 ‘The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see. 

Read Bible daily, pray, go to a church that preaches the truth of sin and eternity, rather than very soft sermons.

Build your life on the precious cornerstone of Jesus Christ. Allow your life to be carefully joined together on this rock. Test everything against the cornerstone. If it does not line up with the cornerstone, remove it. Your life will be blessed and will never be shaken.

Build your lightnside on the precious cornerstone of Christ Jesus; It is safe to build on.

Ephesians 2:11-18 The Cross defeats racism

Ephesians 2:11-12 Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. 12 In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. 

Racism has always been a part of the fallen world. 

There was arrogance and name-calling from a class of people who felt superior to a “heathen” class of people. There were the outsiders and the in-crowd. Hostility, anger, abuse, privilege, shunned could all be wrapped up in the verses above.  

Brought near to him through the blood of Christ. 

Ephesians 2:13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. 

The death of Christ on the cross released a supernatural power to overcome division. On the cross, the enemy thought he had destroyed Jesus. But because of Jesus’ sacrifice (not destruction) on the cross, a mighty power over sin, separation, and death was birthed. It all points to the cross and the blood of Jesus. 

Christ’s perfect sacrifice and resurrection opened a world of hope to many who would die in their sins. It is the supernatural power of Christ’s blood that dripped off the cross and is still dripping on those lost, separated, abused, shunned to bring them to hope through Christ. The supernatural work of Christ’s blood goes out to the world of the lost and calls them to draw near to Christ and other Christians.

Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross

Ephesians 2:14-16 For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new person from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.

Christ broke down the wall of hostility between us. Jesus ended the regulations the Jews were required to keep in the Old Testament. Rules like circumcision, animal sacrifice, sabbath, and dietary restrictions. Now there is no more separation between the Jews and Gentiles. Jesus died for all on the cross, and through His death, He can put to death our hostility toward each other through the power of Christ’s blood.  

All of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit

Ephesians 2:17-18 He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. 18 Now, all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.

Let us call upon the power of Christ’s blood over our personal lives and conversations about other races and other beliefs that are causing pain and division. Let us share a message of hope and breaking down walls of separation as we share the news of Christ to a lost world.  

Let your lightnside shine hope and peace to people outside your own circles.

FAITH-BASED MOVIE “COUNTER COLUMN”

NOVA VENTO ENTERTAINMENT SET TO RELEASE MILITARY FAITH-BASED MOVIE The Award-Winning Feature, COUNTER COLUMN Will Open May 21, 2021 (Montana) Nova Vento Entertainment has acquired the theatrical rights to the new award-winning faith based film, Counter Column and will be releasing the film in theaters nationwide on May 21, 2021.

Counter Column follows the lives of two young men from very different worlds that clash hard and fast when they meet in basic training. Anthony Mendoza (played by Chris Gonzales) is a hard hitting drug dealer who grew up fighting everyone and everything in the inner city. He has no idea what to do with Chris Wright (Nathan-Andrew Hight), a quiet man of faith who grew up in the rural farmlands of Indiana. Mendoza learns quickly that his violent life lessons haven’t prepared him for what life outside the inner city, let alone in the military, is like. When tragedy strikes, both young men need to dig deep and find out what’s truly going to carry them through.

This fast-paced, emotional drama is already changing lives and opening people’s hearts in a big way. Says lead actor Chris Gonzales, “I took risks making myself vulnerable in front of camera and crew every day, but there was no other way to make it real. I loved the experience, and I could not be prouder of this movie, and the message it brings.” Brandon Smith of Nova Vento Entertainment feels that the time is right for the powerful message of hope that this film brings. “Everyone right now is searching for the uplifting stories and even the smallest glimpses of hope. Counter Column brings with it a beautiful story of redemption, hope, and reconciliation at a time when people need it most.”

Find the movie in a theater or rental when available. I’m sure your lightnside will be blessed.

Are you dead?

There was a movie in the 80s called “Weekend at Bernie’s”. The plot was about a man who was the key person for a deal, and he was to have a party at his house this weekend. His name was Bernie. Before the weekend, Bernie died. Some decided to have a party at Bernie’s house anyway and pretend Bernie was “alive” when he was dead. They would prop Bernie up and pretend to wave. Bernie was dead all along, but he looked alive.  

Ephesians 2:1 And you, He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.  

We are not talking about physical death but spiritual death. Our spirit is what should be able to connect with God. But if that spirit is dead, it cannot become alive on its own. Only God can breathe life into something dead. God is life. All living things come from the original life source, God.   

People who are dead cannot connect with God. That does not mean they don’t go to church. It does not mean there is no desire to live a righteous life. On the contrary, they are constantly seeking something to bring peace and hope. But since they have no communication with God, they search for hope through self accomplishments, money, addiction, pleasure, and escape. These people always ask the pastor or someone else to pray for them. They cannot pray for themselves. Their spirit cannot connect with God because they are dead. What can the dead do? Nothing. There is no power to change their path in life. They have no defense to the forces of temptation and the demonic powers of Satan.  They have no control over the desires of their heart. They follow them to their harm.  

Trespasses and sin

Remember what God told Adam in Genesis about eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; Genesis 2:17 NKJV “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Adam and Eve did eat, and the spirit that communicated with God died as God cast them out of the garden. From that time, everyone was born with a dead soul. It is sometimes called ‘original sin.’ Psalm 51:5 NIV Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. We start with sin, and the sins accumulate. The only way to get rid of sin is through faith and repentance to Jesus Christ.

Trespasses are the choices we made that we know are sinful. Our own decisions to steal, hate, hurt, cheat. These are our own choices against what we know is right. We trespass over God’s laws that we know are true. The Bible says we were dead in our trespasses and sins.

You do not have to teach babies to be selfish or to say no. They were born in sin. One illustration I found of a dead spirit. A man was walking through the forest in the fall. He came upon a stream. In the stream were dead leaves floating down the river. The leaves could not choose where to go. The dead leaves were at the mercy of the river. Also in the river were fish that were swimming upstream. They were looking for food. So they could choose their course. The leaves were dead, but the fish were alive.

Ephesians 2:2 NIV “in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,

The people with a dead spirit follow the ways of the world. They follow the darkened Godless beliefs of a lost world. They also are ruled by the “Prince of the power of the air!” Where ever there is air, Satan’s kingdom is there. Air is everywhere! You cannot get away from the enemy’s influence. The dead find themselves more and more resistant to following God. Instead, they become hardened, rebellious, and disobedient.

Ephesians 2:3 “among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”

The influence of Satan’s kingdom is to have people focus on their lust and desires. As a result, they are developing an emotion of wrath and violence.

Ephesians 2:4-10 But God…

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Call upon Christ.

So, are you dead? Do you identify with the poor souls who cannot talk with God? Are you following the ways of the world and cannot stop seeking your lusts. Do you feel controlled by evil forces that are everywhere? There is a way out.  Call upon Christ to save you. Tell him you repent of your sins. Tell Him you will follow Him and begin to go to a passionate church. The most excellent words listed in the first ten verses of Ephesians chapter two are “He made alive., you once walked, But God., made us alive together with Christ, by grace, and ‘it is the gift of God.’

Allow the truth of Ephesians to brighten your lightnside as you become more and more alive in Christ.

That you may know…

Ephesians 1:17-18   

17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,

The book of Ephesians is full of great truths about what God has in store for all Christians and the amount of power through Christ we can use. Ephesians 1:3-14, is one sentence of amazing truths we have in Christ. Then why are we challenged to believe, receive and walk in these gifts and promises?

Mankind lives in a broken world and, since birth, we have rejected the truth of a God who wants to bless us. Most of our thoughts are what we can do to make our lives greater. There is a dusty cloud covering the powerful scriptures that hide the potential promises from us. Our damaged souls and carnal minds cannot comprehend these truths, so we stay in a stressful life. We are swamped with doubts about our salvation and are fearful of making a stand against the things in our lives that harm us. There must be a way TO KNOW these truths.

How can we break through this gray wall to the truth written in Ephesians? How can we KNOW the truths written in Ephesians? Paul is writing to the young believers of the church, and he prays a specific prayer for them and a model for us to break through to power in Christ. Paul begins by thanking God for the newfound faith and love for each other. Then Paul mentions four events the Holy Spirit can help us with THAT WE MAY KNOW the truths, so that we can push through the gray wall separating us from this truth.

Ephesians 1:17-18 “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the…

Spirit of Wisdom   

Find a place each day to read about God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Ask God to give you wisdom in what you are reading. It is the Holy Spirits’ job to help us understand God’s word.  

And revelation in the knowledge of Him

Revelations only happen when you grow in the wisdom of God. The Holy Spirit makes a verse come alive for you specifically. You can also receive revelations of God at any time as your knowledge of God grows. These revelations are mighty and life-changing. One very quick example. As a teenager, I was driving, and my eyes were drawn to the power lines in the city. I happen to be passing a power station with huge transformers. My mind was saying how smart man was to be able to harness this power. Just then, one lightning bolt lit up the whole sky, city and completely dwarfed the power lines. The Holy Spirit gave me a revelation of God’s power in just one lighten bolt. When I find myself feeling weak, I go back to the revelation. Revelations need wisdom as a foundation to build on.

The eyes of your heart be enlightened.

God, through His presence, wisdom, and revelation, begins to clean our heart’s eyes to the real truths we have in Him. Jesus said I am the LIGHT of the world. John 1:4 “In him was life, and the life was the LIGHT of men.”, John 8:12 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the LIGHT of life.” Ask God to bring light to your heart as you read.

That you may know…

As understanding, revelations, and enlightening of our heart are supernaturally given by God, Our understanding of who we are in Christ becomes more clear. We KNOW. We Declare. We confess our unbelief and declare God’s word is true in us. Declare these truths out loud.  Out of the heart, the mouth speaks.

The truths in these two verses will bring you to greater maturity of hope, peace, power, and assurance of God’s gifts to you. May wisdom, revelation, enlightening, and confident knowing to brighten your lightnside this week.