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SENDING AMMO TO OUR ENEMY!

[My Dad was aboard the USS Tennessee when Pearl Harbor was attacked December 7, 1941. He returned there 60 years later for a great memorial service, thankful that a bomb that landed in his gun turret although wounding him, did not explode. It was a very emotional place to visit, especially the Battleship Arizona Memorial where hundreds of American sailors are still entombed at the bottom of the harbor. One of the many intriguing facts about that Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was that the United States made a deal to ship MILLIONS OF TONS OF SCRAP METAL TO JAPAN – metal which was reportedly used to build some of the very airplanes that bombed Pearl Harbor! As we know IT’S JUST NOT A GOOD IDEA TO GIVE YOUR ENEMY THINGS THAT HE CAN EVENTUALLY USE TO SINK YOU. We have to be careful about sending ammo to the enemy of our soul, the devil.] BE ALERT AND OF SOBER MIND. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Pet. 5:8) [Let’s look at three aspects of our life that potentially give our enemy the weapons with which to ruin us.] All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” HUMBLE YOURSELVES, THEREFORE, UNDER GOD’S MIGHTY HAND, that he may lift you up in due time. (1 Pet. 5:5-6) [FIRST, we must be very careful of pride. When it starts to be ALL ABOUT ME, when I allow my ego to get bigger and bigger, when I’m allowing life to revolve all around me, if I’m becoming more and more self-seeking, self-promoting, self-centered, I’m handing Satan the gun to shoot me with. Why? Because it’s never has been all about me. IT’S ALWAYS ALL ABOUT YOU LORD!] Cast all your anxiety on him because HE CARES FOR YOU.  (1 Pet. 5:7) [SECOND, we cannot disobey 1 Peter 5:7 . By having too much anxiety or worrying all the time, which allows Satan to come between us and our Lord. He can use our anxiety to get us to panic, to live in fear instead of faith. Our defense? RELEASE WHAT WE’RE WORRYING ABOUT TO THE ONE who’s taught us that “THE BATTLE IS THE LORD’S.] Resist him, STANDING FIRM IN THE FAITH, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (1 Pet. 5:9) [THIRD, when we’re going through a time of suffering. If we let our pain turn us away from God RATHER THAN TO GOD, Satan can exploit this to bring us down. Notice, all three of these satanic weapons: PRIDE, ANXIETY, AND SUFFERING have one strategy in common – TO GET US TO FOCUS ON SOMETHING OTHER THAN JESUS, focus on ourselves, focus on our worries, focus on our pain. He can beat us. HE CAN’T BEAT JESUS. It’s time TO SURRENDER IT ALL TO JESUS, and REFUSE TO SEND AMMUNITION TO OUR ENEMY!]

Be blessed as you praise The Lord, SURRENDERING IT ALL TO JESUS today!

Bill Stockham

IF YOU DO THESE THINGS…

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. FOR THIS VERY REASON, MAKE EVERY EFFORT to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. FOR IF YOU DO THESE THINGS, YOU WILL NEVER STUMBLE, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

(2 Peter 1:2-11)

WHAT A DAY THAT WILL BE!

[Let these words from the book of Revelation speak peace to you today!]

“BLESSED (happy, to be envied) is the man who READS aloud the word of this prophecy; and blessed (happy, to be envied) are those who HEAR and who keep themselves true to the things which are written in it, for the time [for them to be fulfilled] is near.” (Rev. 1:3AMP) “…Jesus Christ…the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. TO HIM WHO LOVES US AND HAS FREED US FROM OUR SINS BY HIS BLOOD, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father…[said:] Do not be afraid; I am THE FIRST AND THE LAST, and THE LIVING ONE; and I was dead, and behold, I AM ALIVE FOREVERMORE…”  (Rev. 1:5-6, 17, 18) “Whoever has ears, LET THEM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAYS…To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life…I WILL GIVE THE RIGHT TO SIT WITH ME ON MY THRONE, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.” (Rev. 2, 7 3:21) “Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand…In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, TO RECEIVE POWER AND WEALTH AND WISDOM AND STRENGTH AND HONOR AND GLORY AND PRAISE!” Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb BE PRAISE AND HONOR AND GLORY AND POWER, FOR EVER AND EVER!” (Rev. 5:11-13) “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God…LOOK! GOD’S DWELLING PLACE IS NOW AMONG THE PEOPLE, AND HE WILL DWELL WITH THEM. They will be his people, and GOD HIMSELF WILL BE WITH THEM AND BE THEIR GOD. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain…He who was seated on the throne said, “I AM MAKING EVERYTHING NEW!” Then he said, “WRITE THIS DOWN, FOR THESE WORDS ARE TRUSTWORTHY AND TRUE.” (Rev. 21:2-5) “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed (happy and to be envied) is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll [the Holy Bible]…MY REWARD IS WITH ME, and I WILL GIVE TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING to what they have done.” (Rev. 22:7, 12)

Be blessed as you praise The Lord, KNOWING THAT HIS WORD IS TRUE AND HE WILL DO AS HE SAYS!

-Bill Stockham

THANK YOU, LORD, FOR GIVING TO ME!

[Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul

Thank you, Lord, for making me whole

Thank you, Lord, FOR GIVING TO ME

Thy great salvation SO RICH AND FREE!]

[What a great chorus to sing on Thanks Giving day!]

SHOUT FOR JOY TO THE LORD, ALL THE EARTH. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. FOR THE LORD IS GOOD AND HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psa. 100:1-5) [What a great Psalm to read on Thanks Giving day! I am a very blessed man today; I lived a very horrible life until age 29 when the Lord God Almighty saved me! I GIVE THANKS TO YOU LORD for saving my soul and making me yours!]

The LORD is compassionate and gracious…he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, SO GREAT IS HIS LOVE FOR THOSE WHO FEAR HIM; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (Psa. 103:8-12) [I’m thankful to be so blessed to have four wonderful daughters and their families in Arizona, Nevada and Tennessee! THANK YOU, LORD, FOR GIVING TO ME!] I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. (3 John 1:4) [The Lord has blessed me with the MOST AWESOME AND WONDERFUL WIFE who has lovingly cared for me after a stroke nearly ended my life on March 20th 2011. I spent 3 months in 3 different hospitals and she came every day to see me even though I did not know who she was. The next two months I spent at home still not knowing much about myself, but she was by my side or had one of my daughters there to care for me each day. THANK YOU, LORD, FOR MAKING ME WHOLE!] He who finds a wife FINDS WHAT IS GOOD and receives favor from the LORD.”  (Pro. 18:22)

A wife of noble character IS HER HUSBAND’S CROWN…

…a prudent wife IS FROM THE LORD. [Prudent: wise and sensible]

A wife of noble character WHO CAN FIND? She is worth far more than rubies.

Be blessed as you praise The Lord, LETTING YOUR FAMILY KNOW HOW MUCH THEY MEAN TO YOU TODAY!

-Bill Stockham

I AM A CHILD OF GOD!

[Today, think about, rejoice over, and be thankful for, how much our Abba Father loves us!]

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about YOUR ADOPTION TO SONSHIP. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” THE SPIRIT HIMSELF TESTIFIES WITH OUR SPIRIT THAT WE ARE GOD’S CHILDREN. Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ… (Rom. 8:15-17)

[In my Abba Father’s love, I am:]

Blessed, Chosen, Adopted,

Highly Favored, Redeemed and Forgiven!

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath BLESSED us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ…he hath CHOSEN us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the ADOPTION of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us ACCEPTED [HIGHLY FAVOURED] in the beloved. In whom we have REDEMPTION through his blood, the FORGIVENESS of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” (Eph. 1:3-7)

[We are not our own!]

“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost WHICH IS IN YOU…and YE ARE NOT YOUR OWN? For YE ARE BOUGHT WITH A PRICE…glorify God in YOUR BODY, and in YOUR SPIRIT, WHICH ARE GOD’S.” (Eph. I Corin. 6:19-20)

[What a price that was paid for our redemption!]

“…ye know that ye were not redeemed [bought] with corruptible things…But WITH THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST…” (I Pet. 1:18-19)

[A lot of care and thought went in to creating us! Joyfully think about it!]

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE; your works are wonderful, I know that full well…How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand– when I awake, I am still with you. (Psalms 139:13-14, 17-18)

Be blessed as you praise The Lord, KNOWING THAT WE ARE NOT OUR OWN, WE HAVE BEEN BOUGHT WITH A PRICE!

-Bill Stockham

WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM!

[In these seven steps, we see a DEFINITE PROGRESSION of spiritual awakening and transformation which is the main thrust of our Lord’s TEACHING US TO BECOME LIKE HIM. This shows us the importance of noting THE ORDER in which God’s truth is presented to us!] [First, there is a discovery of the fact that I AM NOTHING, I HAVE NOTHING, I CAN DO NOTHING-poverty of spirit.] “…All of you, CLOTHE YOURSELVES WITH HUMILITY TOWARD ONE ANOTHER, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” (1 Pet. 5:5) [Second, there is conviction of sin, a CONSCIOUSNESS OF GUILT PRODUCING GODLY SORROW-MOURNING.] Come near to God and he will come near to you. WASH YOUR HANDS, YOU SINNERS, AND PURIFY YOUR HEARTS, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. (Jam. 4:8-9) [Third, there is a renouncing of self-dependence and a TAKING OF MY PLACE IN THE DUST BEFORE GOD IN MEEKNESS (humility).] For the LORD takes delight in his people; HE CROWNS THE HUMBLE WITH VICTORY. (Psa. 149:4) [Fourth, there is an INTENSE LONGING AFTER CHRIST and His salvation-hungering and thirsting after righteousness.] As the deer pants for streams of water, SO MY SOUL PANTS FOR YOU, MY GOD. MY SOUL THIRSTS FOR GOD, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? (Psa. 42:1-2) [Fifth, Love, compassion, and forgiveness towards one’s neighbor will bring peace in your relationships. And your Heavenly Father will be merciful with you! Jesus reminds us that whatever…] ANYONE WHO LOVES THEIR BROTHER AND SISTER LIVES IN THE LIGHT, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them. (1 John 2:10-11) [Sixth, to be pure of heart means to BE FREE OF ALL SELFISH INTENTIONS and SELF-SEEKING DESIRES, an act of pure and selfless giving brings happiness to all.] Whatever you do, WORK AT IT WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AS WORKING FOR THE LORD, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. IT IS THE LORD CHRIST YOU ARE SERVING. (Col. 3:23-24) [Seventh] Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But WE KNOW THAT WHEN CHRIST APPEARS, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. (1 John 3:2-3)

 

Be blessed as you praise The Lord, KNOWING THAT IT IS HIS DESIRE FOR US TO BE LIKE HIM!

Bill Stockham

PROMISES THAT CANNOT FAIL!

Standing, standing, Standing on the promises of God my Savior; Standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God♪.

[Less than a week to Thanksgiving, there’s someone at the door. It’s the electric company with the unpaid bill, $138 but there is only $78 left in the bank account and that’s the money for Thanksgiving dinner! So what do you do?]

“Give us TODAY our daily bread.” (Matt. 6:11) [Just do not yield to worrying about it!] “So DO NOT WORRY, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?'” (Matt. 6:31) [How do I keep myself from worrying?] “…seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and ALL THESE THINGS WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU AS WELL.” (Matt. 6:33)

[♪Standing on the promises of God my Savior♪;]

“Ask and IT WILL BE GIVEN to you; seek and YOU WILL FIND; knock and the door WILL BE OPENED TO YOU. For everyone who asks RECEIVES; the one who seeks FINDS; and to the one who knocks, the door WILL BE OPENED.” (Matt. 7:7-8)

[I’m standing on the promises of God♪.]

“And my God WILL MEET ALL YOUR NEEDS according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Phil. 4:19-20)

[Standing on the promises THAT CANNOT FAIL!]

[Standing on the promises THAT CANNOT FAIL!]

[Standing on the promises THAT CANNOT FAIL!]

“See what GREAT LOVE THE FATHER HAS LAVISHED [heaped] ON US, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, FOR WE SHALL SEE HIM AS HE IS. ALL who have this hope in him PURIFY THEMSELVES, just as he is pure. (1 John 3:1-3)

Be blessed as you praise The Lord, KNOWING THAT WHEN HE APPEARS WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM!

-Bill Stockham

MAKE ME STRONG!

“My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word! Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law! I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me. I cling to your testimonies, O LORD; let me not be put to shame!”

(Psalms 119:28-31)

 

REJOICE WITH TREMBLING!

Serve the LORD with FEAR and celebrate his rule with TREMBLING. (Psa. 2:11) [Fear: reverence, dreadful, exceedingly fearfulness, Trembling: to shudder violently] “…the LORD DELIGHTS IN THOSE WHO FEAR HIM, who put their hope in his unfailing love.(Psa. 147:11) [Pleasure; a strong feeling of happiness: great pleasure or satisfaction: something that makes you very happy!] “…FOR YOU WHO FEAR MY NAME, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. (Mal. 4:2) [Let’s see, the Lord enjoys and approves those that serve him with REVERENCE AND EXCEEDING FEARFULNESS. Why? Why does God want us to fear and tremble? Because WE HAVE PROVEN TO GOD THAT WE WOULD RATHER DO WHAT PLEASES US RATHER THAN WHAT PLEASES GOD. Things have not changed much, today MANY HAVE NO FEAR OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR SIN. The Lord said:] CONSIDER THIS, YOU WHO FORGET GOD, or I will tear you to pieces, with no one to rescue you…” (Psa. 50:22) [The Lord said:] Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, AND DO NOT FEAR ME, SAYS THE LORD OF HOSTS.(Mal. 3:5) [In the Psalms 19:9 the writer says:] “The fear of the LORD is clean [clear, easy to understand], enduring forever…” [God does not change neither does the fear of the Lord change.] You have said, It is useless to serve God, and what profit is it if we keep His ordinances and walk gloomily and as if in mourning apparel before the Lord of hosts? And now we consider the proud and arrogant to be happy and favored; evildoers are exalted and prosper; yes, and when they test God, they escape [unpunished].(Mal. 3:14-15 AMP) [The LORD God Almighty recognizes and honors our fear for Him!] Then those who feared the Lord talked often one to another; and the Lord listened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who reverenced and worshipfully feared the Lord and who thought on His name. And they shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be My jewels (My special possession, My peculiar treasure). And I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him. (Mal. 3:16-17 AMP)

 

Be blessed as you praise The Lord, SERVING HIM WITH FEAR, AND REJOICING WITH TREMBLING!

-Bill Stockham

SUBSTANCE AND EVIDENCE!

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1 KJV) [Substance: Hupostasis: that which underlies the apparent; that which is the basis of something, hence, assurance, guarantee and confidence Evidence: Elenchos: is familiar from Greek philosophy and it means a manner of proof, in other words faith is its own proof!] I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong– that is, that YOU AND I MAY BE MUTUALLY ENCOURAGED BY EACH OTHER’S FAITH. (Rom. 1:11-12) [Have you ever seen a building being constructed? The foundation, the most important part of the structure, is probably never seen but is extremely important. If the foundation is not properly laid the result could be devastating as witnessed in Haiti, where 1,000’s of homes and buildings collapsed because of improper foundations. The foundation underlies or is the basis of support for the building. Just as our faith is the basis of our relationship with God because:] “…without faith it is impossible to please him…” (Heb. 11:6). [We cannot see God, so how do we get to know Him? Paul said:] “…we walk by faith, not by sight…” (2 Cor. 5:7). [The 23rd and the 139th Psalm are just a few key examples of how our Abba Father constantly cares for us in a very personal and intimate way as we walk by faith. Do we just believe in him and leave it at that?] “…anyone who comes to him must BELIEVE THAT HE EXISTS and that HE REWARDS those who earnestly seek him. (Heb. 11:6) [How does he reward us? As we see in the Psalms mentioned above: He shepherds, provides for, leads, comforts, protects, covers, holds, constantly thinks thoughts about us, and records our purpose for Him before we are even formed! These are all proofs of our faith. Faith comes by hearing the word of God so; we must continually build up ourselves on our most holy faith by hearing, reading and praying the word. One wonderful way he rewards us is by hearing and answering our prayers. As we learn of the importance of our prayers in God’s sovereign plan, we discover that our prayers have substance. Our prayers are as incense:] May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.(Psa. 141:2) [The incense of beaten oil that was offered as a sacrifice produced a sweet fragrance, it had substance. When we come before the Lord with a contrite (broken, crushed) heart and humble spirit and offer our incense (prayers), they also have substance. The Lord says:] “…I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit…” (Isa. 57:15) [Our prayers are not just empty words; we are speaking into the ear of our Abba Father and remember:] “…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much [to have or exercise much force].” (Jam. 5:16)

Be blessed as you praise The Lord, KNOWING THAT WE HAVE POWER IN JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD!

-Bill Stockham