God of Restoration, Revival, and Renewal–More Abundantly

apperson_chummy_restored_by_louie_floyd_appersonEph 3:20-21 “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.”

John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

We have a God who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. Jesus will reverse the effects of the thief. The thief comes to steal, kill, and to destroy, but Jesus will not only reverse that but give back more than was taken.

God wants to do something in your life.

Here in America, we have ample evidence of abundance, yet do we really comprehend what that means? Do we understand how that concept applies to our God?

The word abundant means ‘having plenty of something’. Plentiful, copious, ample, large, huge, overflowing, prolific, teaming are synonyms. These are good words to describe our God as well.

Jesus gives abundant restoration.

In my life, there have been things lost. I’ve got regrets, yet Jesus promises restoration and renewal. His word promises that. If I choose to trust Him and follow His leading, I can experience that restoration and renewal, but I can’t keep doing the same things. I must choose God’s will and God’s way. That’s really the only true way.

Joel 2:25-29 “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. 26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. 27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. 28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”

Pastor Michael says, “There have been things that have been taken away in our lives. Happiness might have been taken, mental health, physical health. Depression and hopelessness might come in. Joy might have been taken away over the years.”

He continues with this example, “Job had it all. He lost it all pretty quickly, but it took years before it was all restored. When he finally realized what was going on, he repented. God didn’t just restore all that was lost, but He restored much, much more.”

God will restore to you not only what was taken, but He will give back more, in abundance.

God has something for you. His Word is true. His promises are for you. Will you trust Him to give back more than was taken from you?

“Ezekiel was transported in a vision. He saw dry, dead bones. God asked if those bones could live. Ezekiel answered, ‘God, You know.’ So, God told him to prophesy to the bones. In a short time, an army of mindless zombies stood before him. They are still captive, lifeless. God commanded Ezekiel to prophesy to the wind to breathe life.”

It’s the very same thing in our world today. We look around and see so many people with no life and no hope. Yet, this passage of Scripture can happen to them too. After Ezekiel prophesied to the wind, those lifeless bodies came back. God still gives life today. Let Him breathe into your life. 

Our God is a God of abundant revival. There is nothing that stops him from blessing and doing exceeding abundant.

Pastor Michael used the story of Nehemiah as an example of renewal. “Nehemiah had the temple, but there were no walls, no protection. The walls needed to be rebuilt.

The large majority of the people rebuilding the walls weren’t builders. They were bakers, musicians, etc. Yet, in building the wall, they were renewed. Their hope was renewed. Their city was renewed. Their lives were renewed.”

Our God is a God of abundant restoration, revival, and renewal.

I’ve seen Jesus breathe life back into the lifeless. I’ve seen hope born and light come into eyes right in front of me.

Psalm 34:5 “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”

Change your perspective. Instead of looking at your problem, look to Him. Look to Jesus and you will become radiant. He still has that effect. Let Him do what only He can do in your life and you WILL experience your miracle.

John 14:6 “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'”

This is one of my favorite verses of Scripture. Just as satan is a liar and everything he says is a lie, Jesus IS the truth. Everything He says is truth. Everything He does is life-giving, renewing, transforming, restoring, and reviving. If He said it, you can trust Him to follow through. Look to Him and see.

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Youth Pastor Michael Lagle.

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

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Perception in the Storm

clinton-naik-176636Psalm 34:1-2 “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.”

I’ve read that verse so many times, but is His praise continually in my mouth? Do I trust Jesus in the midst of a storm? Do you?

Pastor answers the question, What do you do in the storms of life? “See the Lord as bigger. Take a magnifying glass and change your perception. God doesn’t get bigger, you just see Him differently. Bless Him!”

“How do you see God? There are only two ways to make God bigger. He doesn’t change. He’s immutable. You can’t change God. The will of God is the will of God. You can’t control Him. In order to magnify Him, you can only change your perception of Him and change your perception of yourself.”

John the Baptist said, ‘He must increase and I must decrease.’ I always thought that meant that he knew his followers would leave him to follow Jesus and that he would die. John’s whole job was to announce the coming of Jesus, after all. Yet, that verse means a whole lot more than that.

Am I willing to decrease myself in order to see God’s greatness? Am I willing to surrender my feeble attempts at control? Things may not turn out the way I want, the way I will, but is God my God, or not? If He is, then I must surrender to His will and His way.

How much do you trust Him? Enough to stop worrying about your current situation? Just how great is your God?

Pastor says, “Worship and praise can only flow from your perception of His greatness. Praise is more than hype and stress relief and feeling, especially to those who are ‘going through it.’ The Lord is great and greatly to be praised. He fills all time and space. He Is. I AM. He is He that was and is and is to come. He is from everlasting to everlasting. He is not confined to time like we are. He can reach into your past and wipe away all your mistakes. He is the fulfilling of all time.”

2 Chron 6:18 “But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!”

The universe does not contain God, God contains the universe. Sometimes, it’s easy to see how big He is, but not how personal He is. He is a personal God. What’s so special about you that God would forget about you?”

I never thought of it that way. If God is truly Who He says He Is, then He won’t forget about me. He can’t.

1 Chron 16:25 “For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods.”

Pastor says, “God is God all the time. God doesn’t need you to proclaim Him as God. He is worthy whether you praise Him or not. God doesn’t know another god. ‘Praise Him for His mighty acts. Praise Him according to His excellent greatness,’ Psalm 150:2. He is not a petty deity. Nothing cruel or shallow can be found in Him. Your worship should be infinite because He is infinite. He is to be feared or respected above all gods. Nothing and no-one else can possibly compare. Jesus is our God and no-one can compare! Holy fear is the beginning of wisdom.”

1 John 3:20 “For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.”

The Lord’s plan is greater than your pain. Suffering is not designed to destroy you. It is designed to develop you. God trusted Job with suffering. Job said a lot of stuff, but he never rebuked the devil. Why not change your perception? Suffering is not greater than God. Nothing is greater than God’s plan. God’s purpose and plan for you is greater than your suffering.”

I don’t like trials or difficulties or dealing with hard situations. Yet, what other way is there to mature? To finally grow up is to take responsibility for your choices. However, to take it all further into wisdom and maturity is to trust the Lord in every situation, no matter how easy or how difficult. To become mature and wise is to trust God, to hear from Him, to obey Him no matter what. There is a peace that passes all understanding. Worry can be conquered by the Prince of Peace.

You can’t overcome faults, failings, or difficult circumstances you refuse to face. Jesus wants you to overcome. In fact, He’s called you an overcomer! He’ll bring opportunity to you.

Job 23:10 “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

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

Pastor says, “The world will put you through tribulation. There is no such thing as a pain-free marriage. There is no such thing as a pain-free walk with God, no such thing as a tribulation-free relationship with Jesus. It’s how you respond to that situation.”

Zach 13:9 “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.”

Micah 7:8 “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.”

There’s something about you, it’s what (or WHO) is in you!

Pastor says, “When you put a ball in the water, it won’t stay down under the water. It’s not the ball, it’s the air inside. You can’t keep a righteous man, full of the Holy Ghost, down! Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world!”

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

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Dream Challengers from Hell

0_rkj9_kw7g-zachary-bedrosianNeh 4:1-9 “But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. 2 And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? 3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall. 4 Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity: 5 And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders. 6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work. 7 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth, 8 And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it. 9 Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.”

Nehemiah worked as a servant to the king, the royal food-taster. He protected the king from being poisoned. If he weren’t trustworthy, he could kill the king himself. He found out that Jerusalem, the city that he loved, was in ruins. So, he decided to rebuild those walls. He had a dream.

Do you have a dream? It’s a good thing. You aren’t like animals who can’t plan for the future. They operate only by instinct. Humans can think many, many years ahead. You can make a difference. You have a choice. You can dream!

But, there is always a challenge.

Maybe you want a great family or a to be a great Christian or to build a great business or to just make it to college. When your dreams line up with the Lord’s will, He will help make those dreams come true. He will help you do something great.

However, anytime you do something great for God, you will have to deal with adversity. There is an enemy that will try to stop you.

Your spiritual success in fulfilling your dream, will probably not be based on how you handle the good times. Success will be determined by how you respond under pressure.

Sanballat and Tobiah represent those adversaries to the dream. They had no business being there in the first place. They were sticking their wicked noses in Nehemiah’s business.

Satan will try to stick his wicked nose into your business.

The reason it bothered Sanballat and Tobiah and Satan is because they had no inheritance in that city. They had something and lost it.

When you dream for the Kingdom of God, it makes Satan mad, spitting mad, and he will do all that he can to stop that from coming true.

You are an unqualified candidate to worship God, and be called one of His own. Satan hates you for taking his place. He will do all kinds of hateful things.

How will you respond? Will you cry and go home?

This city belongs to who? It belongs to God and you! The Kingdom of God is for you!

Isaiah 14:13-15 “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

That was Satan speaking and notice how many times he said, ‘I will.’ He said it five times. When your will becomes more important than God’s will in your life, you are thinking like Satan.

The enemy works on your mind.

Satan doesn’t know your future, but he knows it’s better than what he has mind. His tactics are so subtle. Anytime the devil tells you something, know it’s a lie and easier to identify. So instead, he will ask questions. He will cause you to question God and His will and His promises.

If you allow those thoughts to get into your mind, you’re allowing Satan’s thinking into your head. Don’t do it!

When you’ve got an enemy up in your face, it’s a sign that you’re on the right track!

There are five questions that Sanballat asked. Right away Nehemiah encountered challenges to the dream.

1. What are those feeble Jews doing? He wasn’t really asking that because the answer is obvious. The question is, ‘Is what you’re doing worth the price you must pay to get it done?’ Don’t let that evil seed go to work. It’s designed to discourage and bring doubt. It focuses on the difficulty. The dream is worth it! You might be feeble, but it’s worth it! The task is worth all your feeble efforts.

You have got to have a dream! When the challenge comes, respond, ‘It is worth it!’

2. Will they restore their wall? This is designed to create fear of failure. Is success even possible? Is it better to have a dream, a goal, a noble project, but because you are not convinced it will get completed, is it better to not start the project at all or start it and leave it half done? It is a good thing to start on a dream and not finish it in your lifetime! That’s okay because the people coming after you will complete it. Abraham had a dream and never saw the fulfillment of it—nations. Isaac and Jacob didn’t see the fulfillment of that dream, but Israel exists today! It’s okay to fail, to not finish. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! People won’t get healed if you don’t pray. Nehemiah said, ‘Even if I don’t, I’m still going to try.’ God will always fulfill His promises. God is looking here. He has planted promise after promise. He will fulfill them!

Have you ever wanted to give up? I have, but this gives me hope. You know, it’s okay if you don’t ever see the results of your dream. Just working toward it is a victory in itself.

3. Will they offer sacrifices? The undertone there is, ‘You think you’re worthy?’ You’re a sinner, how can you do anything great for Him? The thing that goes through your mind is your past and your imagined future of who you are.

Whew! This one stings. I know I’m not worthy, but I also know this is God’s will and I have to keep going. I could be back in my lost past, but Jesus saved my soul. God thinks I’m worthy and I’m going to keep going! It’s His will. I’m not perfect and neither are you, so let’s keep going and do the will of God.

Get past your past!

God chooses the people we wouldn’t choose. He shows His strength in your weakness. You didn’t choose God, He chose you!

Don’t worry about your past, start dreaming about your future!

Take a package of all your past and put a label on it, ‘To God, From Thankful.’ Your past does not need to dictate where you’re headed. God doesn’t serve the realm of time. He knows and sees the direction you’re headed and changes things to keep you on track. He can go to the future right now. He can even go into the past and change it. Jesus will cause you to walk in a healthy (mind, body, spirit) person’s shoes. God will mess with your mind to cause you to not be the person you used to be! Your past belongs to the Lord. You are worthy!

4. Will they finish in a day? Of course not! This is a lifetime thing. It’s a long-term thing. What they started they will do right. They will do it well. This dream is worth doing right and well. Your dream is worth taking the time necessary to do it right and do it well.

5. Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble? This is designed to cause hopelessness. God is a God of hope. The devil wants you to see the burnt up rocks, the bad. Burned up rocks make the most beautiful islands on earth. God causes new growth in the midst of mess. That destroyed rock becomes much more fertile. Stuff grows on burned up rock. It’s more valuable. You can produce a whole lot more having been through the fire.

You have so much value! You’ve come out of the fire. You may see a burned up mess, but Jesus sees something fertile, something He can use and work with. It is more valuable and precious. God works with fragmented lives and causes them to become kings and nobles and queens and knights of renown.

Your dream will be challenged, but use your mind the way God wants you to use it.

Think His thoughts! Be a Dream-Chaser!

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

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A Devasted Devil


istock_000002305803xsmallNotes on A Devastated Devil

The other night, my husband, Charles Li, preached a sermon on ‘A Devastated Devil.’ What gives Satan a headache? To me, that’s a great question because, unfortunately, in my life, I’ve made him smile all too often. I’d much rather be giving him a headache!

He gave an interesting comparison between the pro-choice’s rallying cry, “My body, my choice!” and the Body of Christ.

1Co 12:14  “For the body is not one member, but many.”

Here’s a direct quote from his sermon:

The Body of Christ is often described in Scripture as the Bride of Christ. Just as they fight for the protection of their own body, so must we fight for the protection of the Body of Christ. You are a hand, or a foot, a blood cell, in the Body of the Bride of Christ. You are part of an immune system, and supply system, a protective system, and you exist for one reason and one reason alone, to serve another part of the Body.

A quote from a Med student:

1 soul
1 brain
1 nose
1 mouth
2 eyes
2 auditory apparatuses (ears)
4 limbs
206 bones
~600 muscles
Blood cells enough to circle the Earth twice
40,000 chemical enzymes
Millions of neurons
Billions of interconnections among them
and many other ‘PARTS’ which haven’t yet been discovered or named.

They all exist for the service of another.

These parts come together to invigorate, revive, supply, maintain, resupply, and build an army to protect the Body when it endeavors to achieve whatever it has set its mind to.

The devil and the world come with sickness, deceit, unrest. The world comes with all manners of situations designed to steal something from the body, to invade, to possess, to oppress, infect, and violate.

The question I am posing to you tonight is will you answer the call, will you choose to invigorate, revive, supply, maintain, resupply, and build an army to protect the Body of Christ? Will you choose to speak life and protection and provision into your fellow members?”

Shouldn’t we as Christians be much more protective of one another as the Body of Christ? Shouldn’t we be more proactive in prayer, unity, service, and having one another’s back?

Wouldn’t that give Satan a migraine?

We as Christians do have a choice, old man or new man? Jesus, by His death, resurrection, and giving us His Spirit has given us the power to overcome our selfish nature and instead choose self-control, selflessness, and ‘Body’ building.

Neh 4:14-15 “And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses. 15 And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.”

What is our rallying cry as Christians?

My husband took the recent oath of office and changed it up a bit:

I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Body of Christ against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office of a member on which I am about to enter. So help me God!

Am I willing to sign my name to this? Are you? Yes, a million times, yes!!!

He gave some direction as to how to accomplish this in our prayer lives:

Pray: Blessing and Protection (Can we do this for Pastor and his family?)

2 steps to be Untouchable

  1. Ask God to protect someone
  2. Recognize when the devil sneaks up on you and throw him out. Nah nah nah, not listening!

Ways of blessing: (Who will do this tomorrow for Pastor? Or Friday? Show of hands?)

Provision

Victory

Liberty

Health

Rest

These are so easy to do in prayer! It’s a short list, but how much more will our Pastor and his family be blessed and able to continue in the work of the Kingdom if we all pray these things for him?

My husband ended with a seconding of Pastor’s unleashing of the Spiritual gifts in our church. We have permission to allow the Spirit to operate through us to God’s glory.

1Co 12:7 “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”

Just like the fruit of the Spirit is given away, so the gifts are too. I asked yesterday to give one of my students gifts of healing. Why don’t you ask God to give your neighbor a gift of miracles! Gifts are meant to be given. If you are God, and you have a gift for someone, you give it away. If you are God’s body, and you have a gift for someone, give it away!

I am getting ready to turn this over to the Lord and the Body. Let’s build the church and bind the devil all in one fell swoop tonight.”

If we as the Body of Christ refuse to take neither credit nor blame and instead take responsibility to do our part to bless and build one another, God will do amazing things in our cities.

It’s so good to be part of something great! I can’t wait to watch what our Lord does next!

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Charles Li.

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

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You Are Not Alone

iwv-bgqufao-ben-whiteDesperate people do daring things.

There are three you’s—the public you, the you around close friends, and the you when you’re alone. Jesus is interested in the you when you’re alone.

Elijah walked with God. He had a cave and got the victory all alone.

If you get the victory alone, you’ll have the victory in public.

Elijah got the victory proving God is God and defeated 400 prophets of Baal. Queen Jezebel threatened him and he feared for his life.

Cinderella had the ball, but then she had to go back to cleaning floors.

After the victory, be sure to go back to that alone place with God. Get to the point where even in public, you can close your eyes and be with God.

God plus you is a majority. You are NEVER alone!

Hannah was desperate. So, she went to the House of God and prayed. God recognizes desperation. Fear causes you to do nothing, but desperation causes you to do daring things.

The people around you don’t know what you’re going through, but Jesus KNOWS.

Jesus said, ‘My sheep hear My voice.’ You can hear Him. You may feel like you’re so far from Him and you’re all alone. Your feelings are wrong! He is still reaching for you. He loves you and is speaking to YOU right now. You are never alone! He is always right here. HE is the God who is HERE with you.

Just look up and reach for Him. He will lead you. You are never alone. If you look down at the sand, you’ll see two sets of footprints. When you see only one set, it’s when Jesus picked you up and carried you. He put His face next to yours and spoke words of love and comfort.

He’s reaching for you right now. Take His hand and walk with Him.

The crazy stuff going on in your head is no surprise to Jesus. He is still reaching for you. He still loves you.

Jacob feared for his life knowing Esau and his four hundred were coming for him. He sent everyone on so they’d be safe and got alone with God. He wrestled with Him and was forever changed.

Jesus knows your battles. He knows what you’re going through.

Jacob struggled and fought with his nature—swindler, liar. He got alone and wanted to hear the voice of God. He wouldn’t let God go. He refused to let go. The angel popped him in the hip so he couldn’t walk right. Jacob wanted to be changed. Jacob’s name was changed to Israel—Prevailed with God. His walk was changed. He was changed.

Get alone with God and let Him change you. It will be noticeable to everyone around you. Get changed—transformation.

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

Posted in Excerpts from Sermons by Pastor Anthony LoCascio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rise Up and Build

iclzbvw5w5a-todd-quackenbushNeh 2:17-18 “Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. 18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.”

Visions and dreams need legs and hands. A young man by the name of John Goddard at the age of 15 wrote and established 127 lifetime goals (bucket list). His goals included climb several mountains, learn French, Spanish, and Arabic, go around the globe, land on the moon, and read the entire collection of the Encyclopedia Britannica. By his death, he had completed all but a few (He didn’t make it to the moon). He was driven.

If you have great dreams for God, set your mind to be driven by those dreams.

Eph 1:18-23 “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”

Our understanding needs to be right. People who are transformed by God have privileges, but you need to see and understand that.

The vision of your mind needs enough light to see. Let the lights in your mind be turned on. If you can see it, you’ll go after it. If you can have a clear picture of what it is, you’ll pursue it.

See:

  1. Hope—know the expectation of God’s invitation. We hope in things that are not seen. Have vision in your mind to see that hope. There’s a call to some other place upon you. You’ll respond to that call if you can see it.
  2. Wealth of God’s honor and splendor in majesty that you are heirs to—God’s glory and riches are available to you. If you see this, it’ll motivate you. You’ve got to have a dream, a vision.
  3. The power of God’s salvation—There is exceeding greatness of God’s power to give us position and high authority in Him. Joy unspeakable, love unfeigned, peace that passes understanding. If you can’t see it, you won’t pursue it. Let God open your understanding to hope! All things are beneath the feet of the church. There is victory and authority and spiritual power available to you! See it spiritually and pursue it naturally. Major sports figures visualize everything before they act it out. They work and work to make it happen. If you can visualize it, you can make it happen in the natural.

Joel 2:28-29 “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”

Paul prayed that the eyes of their understanding be enlightened.

You must have a dream and then be motivated to make it happen.

If you don’t have a dream, get on board with the dream—the dream of Jesus—building the church.

Can you believe God to reach your co-workers and/or your family and do something great through you?

Psalm 126:6 “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

Who plants seeds without seeing the seeds grow into a crop that can be harvested?

Wherever the Lord takes you, see the dream come to pass.

God will define, develop, and deploy ministers to see the dream come to pass. God will use you. Hold on and see that vision. Let the eyes of your understanding be enlightened. See past the bars and barriers.

Phil 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

Hebrews 11 is the Hall of Faith chapter.

Heb 11:13-16 “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”

Know what God said to you and pursue it! Watch Him do a great work. It WILL happen!

These people didn’t see the promise come to pass, but they still pursued it, and it DID come to pass.

We seek a heavenly country. Buy into it and publicly proclaim it. No turning back. Until you arrive in that heavenly country, there is still work to be done. There’s a need and a vision. God has given you the city, go and take it.

Abraham never saw the city, but his descendants live there now.

David had a dream and a vision of the temple, but Solomon built it.

A man by the name of Jack Yonts came down from a high-level position and moved at 67 years old to Chicago and gave it his all. His dream is still alive today. Take the dream and continue it. It’s a simple, honest, and good vision.

Jack Yonts went to New York and started several churches. He founded the New York district. Today it’s thriving. His success in New York was all because of a burden and Bible studies. He started the same thing in Chicago. He died before he could see his dream come to pass.

You can’t determine how many days you’ll live, but you can determine how you’ll live those days. Focus on what you can control and work at it. You can’t control the shape of your face, but you can control your expression and attitude. You can’t control the weather, but you can control the atmosphere of your mind, choosing to worry or to trust God.

Everyone needs a dream.

“The mundane man is the man who believes only what he sees, only what is immediate, only what he can put his hands on. He may be a truck driver, a banker, a lawyer, a clerk or a scrap dealer – his occupation doesn’t matter. The mundane man lacks depth. He lacks vision. The poorest of all men is not the one who doesn’t have a nickel to his name, but the one without a dream. The mundane man is like a great ship built for the mighty ocean but trying to navigate in a millpond. He has no far port to reach, no lifting horizon, no precious cargo to carry. His hours are absorbed in routine and petty tyrannies. Small wonder he gets quickly dissatisfied, quarrelsome and ‘fed up’. One of life’s greatest tragedies is a person with a 10-by-12 capacity but a two-by-four soul.” Dr. Ken Hildebrand

Now is the time to say to the captain, ‘Sail on!’

Great men and women dream big dreams and often face enormous odds. It is God who gave this dream and this ship will make it to the other side.

It’s not a rubbing of the lamp thing. You have to work. You have to build the wall and God will cause great things to happen to and in that city.

If you preach it, God will confirm it. Partner with God. Supernatural—you do the natural, He will do the super.

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

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What Are We Building?

plumbing-709631_1920Acts 2:46-47 “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”

Mat 16:18 “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

What is the church?

Eph 2:21 “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:”

1 Pet 2:5 “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

Eph 5:26 “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,”

Rev 21:2 “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

Heb 12:22 “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,”

Pet 5:2 “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;”

When Jesus talked about the Church, He wasn’t talking like a carpenter. He was talking like God. My church is going to be a body and He was going to build them. If you have the mind of Christ, the church will be important. He sacrificed His life for the church. We must be like Him.

Acts 19:39 “But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly.”

Acts 5:11 “And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.”

There are Scriptures that talk about a large, global group of people, believers. There are also local people. The Church exists in several levels, worldwide and local, in the temple and in the house. Jesus said, ‘If there are two or three that are gathered together in My name, I’ll show up’ (Mat 18:20).

Paul exhorts Christians over and over to work with one another. 

Rom 12:10 “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;”

1 Cor 12:25 “That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.”

Gal 5:13 “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”

Eph 4:32 “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

Phil 2:3 “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

Cultures don’t have a superior or inferior feeling. No one culture or people is better or worse, just different. We can embrace our differences. The ear can’t say, ‘I don’t need the mouth.’ How will it eat otherwise?

1 Thes 5:13 “And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.”

What are we trying to do?

A local congregation can give a sense of belonging.

1 Cor 12:4-7 “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”

There is a church at large that works together.

‘You don’t go to church, you is the church!’

The church isn’t a thing, it’s a people.

7 Basic Human Needs

  1. Comfort
  2. Variety
  3. Significance—or Value
  4. Love
  5. Growth
  6. Contribution
  7. Belonging

The only institute that has all seven human needs met is the church. It’s not in the bowling league or the hunters club. It’s not the military or politics or sports or relationships. There are needs that only a church can fulfill.

Ex 31:1-3 “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2 See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: 3 And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,”

This was to build the temple. That same Spirit is being released right here to build the church. You will know what to do to fulfill the will of God in 2017.

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

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Willing Clay: The Path to Spiritual Maturity

Potter by DanIsa 41:25 “I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come: from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name: and he shall come upon princes as upon morter, and as the potter treadeth clay.”

If you keep in mind the main point: you must internalize the word of God, this will go much quicker.

I’ll preface this with what The Lord spoke to me the other day while driving. “Some people have destiny written all over them. It’s too bad they don’t develop the maturity to achieve what they are meant to do.”

In simple terms, being mature is knowing what to do in any given situation. Full-grown, complete. In a time of crisis, we turn to those who are mature to lead us through.

God wants this church to become mature. God wants the individuals in this church to mature. Even children can become spiritually mature, how many times have our kids told us just to trust God and they exhibit the peace knowing He’ll work it all out, and they were right. I’m talking about that kind of maturity.

I wanted to talk about Christmas, but you really can’t talk about Christmas without talking about the cross, and you really can’t talk about the cross without Pentecost, and you really can’t talk about Pentecost without talking about the reason the Holy Spirit is given. (Again, I let the cat out of the bag, the Spirit is given for you to be able to internalize the word of God.)

John 16:13 says, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…”

Why is the Spirit leading you into all truth? So you could be a know-it-all and you could argue with all other religions? No, so you could learn to handle every situation with grace and with glory.

God’s Spirit comes into your life so He can remind you of His promises. If you or someone you know is facing sickness, there’s a remedy for that, if there is a financial situation, there is a remedy for that. The Spirit will prompt you to pray for someone, the Spirit will remind you that He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Let’s talk about being mature in the Spirit. Jesus slept in the boat while the storm was raging. Why? Because He was mature in the Spirit. He was good at listening to the Spirit’s voice that reminded Him of everything that was written, everything that was forever settled, and that there was nothing to worry about. Praise God! If you are facing a situation where you have no answers, and yet you have a peace that passes all understanding, and the Lord works it out perfectly in His time, I’d say you are on your way to being mature. At least in that situation.

On the other hand, if I have a tendency to get stressed out, worry how something will get done, get short-tempered, wonder why no one is helping me, and wonder why no one cares, I am now what I think is called immature. We see kids act this way all the time. “It’s not fair!” But we don’t see Jesus acting this way. He never said it’s not fair as they pounded nails into His hands, or beat him to a pulp, or ridiculed Him or challenged Him or accused Him of all sorts of things that weren’t true. He looked beyond to the heavenly purpose.

Jesus started by ruling His flesh. Every action, every thought, and every attitude, was sprinkled with heavenly purpose. Can we become spiritually mature in this manner? That is what God is calling us to do.

Let’s look at how Jesus became spiritually mature.

Luke 2:52 (KJV) “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”

I’ve wondered recently, can God learn? If He knows all things, by definition, there’s nothing more that He can learn, right? However, when God became a man, all of a sudden He could do something He never could before, learn like we do!

Now Jesus being the perfect example, He wanted to show us how it is done. In this Luke passage, ‘increased’ means ‘propelled forward!’ Jesus was on the fast track. We just saw how this is possible through the Spirit of God: He was propelled forward into wisdom, through the Spirit of God, He quickly understood how to apply the word of God and the promises of God.

He was also propelled forward in favor. He gained spiritual authority and He gained earthly authority.

He started with authority over His own flesh. He did it God’s way, not a human way. He was Spirit-led, not human-emotions led, not human-logic-led, or by the rules that humans set up. We have God’s thought’s, God’s guide-rails, God’s ways, instilled in us through the power of His Spirit in us. This will propel us forward to affect others around us, to achieve God’s purposes in this world, to reconcile a lost and dying world to the One who created them, and to give people purpose and destiny as a Body of Believers, fitly formed together and working together in perfect unity. That is the New Covenant in a nutshell. 

I left out zeroing in on one word right in the middle of the verse, the word  ‘stature.’ This word literally translates to ‘maturity.’ This brings us back to our main point: it is God’s will that you become mature.

Here’s a little formula:

Bible reading + Holy Ghost leading = being propelled into spiritual maturity

Joh 14:26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

It is pretty hard to remember something you never learned, you never read, you never studied. This is why the combination of Bible reading and letting the Spirit of God lead you is so important.

Bible reading + Holy Ghost leading = being propelled into spiritual maturity.

Form

Rom 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

When you’re looking to be transformed, don’t be ‘con’ (meaning ‘with’), conformed to the world. What form do you want? Jesus’s? Or the world’s?

By internalizing the word, and changing your mind to conform to a pattern, you can become mature. But you need the right pattern.

Carving Tools: You have to be willing. Notice this is the first part of our title, ‘Willing.’ The wood has to be willing to be carved, submitted to being changed. Let go of old habits and ways, develop new habits, and adopt new ways.

Measuring tools: These tools have to do with accountability. (Accountable, make sure it is on track) Even down to a fraction of a millimeter. Same thing, we have to conform to the image of Christ, it is an exact image, and we are ever-changing from glory to glory, into the image of His son!

2Co 3:18  “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

By what? By being willing to let the Spirit of God take control.

So in our equation,

Bible reading + Holy Ghost leading = being propelled into spiritual maturity

Having a willing attitude is key to becoming mature. God is all-powerful, His Spirit can work out anything in you, but are you willing?

That’s the funny thing about the words ‘will’ and ‘willing’:  both contain the word ‘will.’ This word ‘will’ can be defined in the Bible as an ‘inclination,’ a slope, which way you are bent, what you gravitate toward. If you have an ‘inclination,’ you naturally roll a certain way.

Joh 15:7  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

The word ‘will’ and ‘willing’ have a something in common.

Again, Bible reading + Holy Ghost leading = spiritual maturity. But in this scripture, spiritual maturity unlocks all sorts of possibilities and manifestations of the will of God. (Read it again, it shall be done unto you!)

In other words, if you internalize His inclinations, (First part of the verse), when you ask according to what God is naturally inclined to do, or bent, or gravitates towards, He’ll do it. You become a partner of God, a powerful agent of change when you understand God’s will, internalize it and ask Him to move into areas He already wants to move into and has prepared for you to move in with Him.

Example: I’m under Pastor’s authority. But I might blatantly disagree with him on how things are done. If I ask him to do something a certain way, against his wishes, do you think he’ll give me the church credit card, much less free rein and the go-ahead to do whatever I want the way I want to build the church? Of course not. That’s divisive. But If I internalize his vision and we see eye to eye, he’ll give me jobs, responsibilities, roles to play, and open up resources I can call upon at any time to accomplish the purpose, goals, and visions set before us. The same with God.

Jesus said it this way in Luke 22:42 “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”

(There are those two words ‘will’ and ‘willing’ in the same verse again).

That word willing means ‘intend.’ And ‘will’ means inclination, what you are bent toward, or gravitate toward. Not what I am bent towards, but what you intend. Also key is in the words ‘my,’ and ‘thy’ which means ‘my own’ and ‘thy own.’ Simply put, you need to own it:  Jesus as a human had a will that was owned by a human, but Jesus as God owned a different will. Which one did He choose? God’s will. And He owned it. You need to not only understand God’s will, you gotta own it! 

He put aside the human part and chose the God part.

This finally brings us back to our title, willing clay. 

There is quite a process that clay goes through to become a mug. A few things to focus on:

Extraction and Refinement

  1. Take out stones (stubborn, hard to work with, unbendable, sharp)
  2. Become malleable (tread upon!)
  3. Additives (new things added to become easier to work with, soften up, sand, water, change consistency, maybe need to change consistency of prayer, study, attendance, gather with body, willingness to serve, help, all makes you easier to work with)

Form

You must be willing to become something else. “When I grow up I’m going to be something else!” Caterpillar and butterfly. Are you willing to give up what you think you want and find out what Jesus wants you to become? It’s all in His word. Some of you need to pray and be willing to see what it is Jesus is developing you into. Maybe some stones need to be taken out as well in order to reach that form.

Solidifying new form

The last step once the new design is implemented is being put in the fire. The heat is meant to make something permanent in you, to prove what is that good and acceptable will of God, so that your new form can be a permanent thing. There’s something a little scary, the potter’s field is filled with shards of pottery, things that when heated exploded and didn’t survive to become a beautiful piece of pottery with purpose. These pieces of pottery didn’t survive the heating process, because of an unseen design flaw. Some of you need to take the hidden things of the heart and lay them before the Lord to take out, to rework, and to transform.

If you are perfectly designed by the Lord, the heating process will transform the clay into a vessel of honor, able to deliver blessings to the people it serves. (Like a coffee mug, you were meant to carry something glorious to bless someone.)

Whether a violin or a coffee mug, you were meant to be instruments of God’s glory.

2Ti 2:20-21 “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Charles Li.

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

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The Trojan Horse of Hell

trojan-horse-607574_1280Rev 2:12-17 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; 13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. 14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. 16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.”

In 1871, a man began excavations in a city in Turkey, the lost city of Troy. The walls were sixteen feet thick. According to Homer, the Greeks besieged the city for ten years. They wanted to give up, but the king came up with a plan. They made a large horse and left it on the beach with many soldiers inside while their ships left at night. The people of Troy thought they’d left the horse as a gift and took it inside their city. That night the soldiers got out of the horse and opened the gates. The ships came back and destroyed the city from within.

The same thing is happening today. Like Pergamos and Troy, Satan is attempting to corrupt you from the inside out. Hardships of life can do things, but compromise can destroy in one night what couldn’t be taken in ten years.

The doctrine of Balaam is compromise with the world.

1 John 2:15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

The doctrine of Balaam tries to woo the church with the world. The ways of the world do not work with the church. The union of the world and the church is the doctrine of Balaam.

James 4:4 “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

Don’t be pressed into the world’s mold.

Rom 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Pergamos was a city of religion, many, many religions. A giant statue of Zeus stood at its center. This was the primary center of the worship of emperors. There was a saying that whatever religion had been rejected elsewhere would find a home there. It was the capitol of Satan’s religion and kingdom.

Jesus knew what kind of city this was. This city’s religions were also associated with sexual immorality, cruelty. Jesus wanted that church to know that He knew where they were at and the pressure they were under.

John 15:19 “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”

This church was unashamed of their faith. They preached the gospel and worshipping Jesus, but they needed to repent because they allowed the world into their heart.

Balaam was not a false prophet. In Num 22, the Israelites had come to a country called Moab. So, the king of Moab hired Balaam to curse the Israelites. The king’s messengers offered lots of money. Finally, Balaam took the money, but God caused him to bless Israel instead of cursing them. Balaam never brought down the Lord.

In Num 25:1-3 “And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. 2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. 3 And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel.”

The daughters of Moab was their Trojan horse. The women invited them to come together to feast and party. It was worship to their God. The Israelites didn’t worship their gods, but they partook in this and God got angry.

Balaam counseled with the king of Moab to do just this.

Num 31:13-16 “And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp. 14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle. 15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? 16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord.”

The council of Balaam was to cause them to mingle and compromise with the world. This lifted the blessing of God. It is the trojan horse of hell. It is the teaching that a Christian can mix with the world and still remain a Christian.

You can’t wed the things of God with the things of the world. You must be pure.

Mat 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

God spoke to the people of Pergamus and pointed to His Word. To follow this is the only way to remain pure. To follow the ways of the world can not only cause you to lose the battle, you might lose the war.

1 Sam 11:1 “Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabeshgilead: and all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee. 2 And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, On this condition will I make a covenant with you, that I may thrust out all your right eyes, and lay it for a reproach upon all Israel. 3 And the elders of Jabesh said unto him, Give us seven days’ respite, that we may send messengers unto all the coasts of Israel: and then, if there be no man to save us, we will come out to thee.”

These people didn’t want to die, so they tried to make an agreement with them. The evil king said in return for peace, they had to lose an eye causing them to no longer be able to fight. In letting them take their eyes, it would be a serious compromise. They’d give their right eyes for their lives. King Saul of Israel came and fought for them.

1 Sam 11:9-11 “And they said unto the messengers that came, Thus shall ye say unto the men of Jabeshgilead, To morrow, by that time the sun be hot, ye shall have help. And the messengers came and shewed it to the men of Jabesh; and they were glad. 10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, To morrow we will come out unto you, and ye shall do with us all that seemeth good unto you. 11 And it was so on the morrow, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the host in the morning watch, and slew the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it came to pass, that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them were not left together.”

You will lose your vision and clarity of thinking when you let the world into your spirit. The world’s mindset is at enmity with the church.

When you click and click and click on the Internet, there’s a reason it’s called the Web. Just like a spider seeking food, if the Internet is going to cause you to go to hell, take an ax to it. Compromise is the Trojan horse of hell.

The church should be marked so that people recognize we’ve been with Jesus. You are not immune. You must be separated in your walk.

Samson was a very strong, anointed man. He was called from birth for a purpose. He had a generational anointing on his life. He had a promise and a covenant in his life. He came of age and he kept that Nazarite vow. God didn’t allow him to lose battles. As far as war, Samson was the best of the best. Yet, he looked to world for a spouse. He felt like he could handle it. Delilah was his second attempt with this. She tried to find out the secret of his strength. He teased her and gave silly answers. The next morning, she did those things to him which he said would take his strength. He flirted with the things that would destroy him.

You are not strong enough to mess with Delilah! Be like Joseph and get out!

Joseph was better off pure and in prison than having his eyes put out and a slave to the Philistines. God gave Joseph the victory! Get the world out of your system.

On the lap of luxury is Delilah. She cut his hair and Samson didn’t even know that the anointing had left him.

Judges 16:21 “But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.”

Without your eyes, you can’t fight. Compromise will cause blindness. They can’t fight. They want to do right, but they can’t see the enemy coming. God is not flowing purely in their spirits.

The purpose of borders and boundaries are to protect you from evil.

The lines on the highway and the guard rails are not to control you while you drive. They are there to save you and warn you of danger. They are to keep you from falling. That’s what the devil trying to take away from you. You can flirt with danger, but you may fall.

Stay separate. You’ve got Jesus’ Name, but also take on Jesus’ Nature!

Samson used to be strong, but he let Delilah in on his secret. If he’d have stopped flirting, he’d have stayed strong.

The people of Pergamus mingled with the Moabites too much. They needed to repent.

Don’t flirt with the world. Know Who you are. You are holy. If you’re not willing to love Him more than the things of this world, you’re not loving Him. It’s not just prayer that shows who we belong to, it’s our lifestyle.

The early church was tempted to take just a pinch of incense and throw it on the altar to another god or they would die. They refused and many died.

There is a promise for those who refuse to compromise. God will satisfy you in ways the world cannot. You can’t see the Holy of Holies from outside. Allow the Spirit to come into your life and enjoy His presence. It will be clear.

God will give you a white stone engraved with a new name. This was entitling them to special privileges, hospitality, friendship with God. The person who rejects friendship with the world, Jesus will be your friend. Jesus will give you to what you need emotionally, physically, spiritually.

Maintain separation from the world or lose intimacy with God. You can spare yourself all kinds of tragedy if you’ll separate. Cut all ties with the world. Give it all to Him. Make some promises to God. Remove those links that compromise protection from God.

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

Posted in Excerpts from Sermons by Pastor Anthony LoCascio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to Pray

Young Business Man Praying by podpadLuke 11:1-13 “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. 2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. 5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? 7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. 8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. 9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

Prayer. How do you pray?

In order to learn how to pray, there must be desire. The best one to teach you how to pray is the one who is discipling you.

Don’t practice ‘vain repetitions’. Don’t just say the same thing over and over and over again. It’s not reciting stuff that someone else wrote. It’s not reading from a script as fast as you can. There’s heaven meeting earth. Emotion is involved, passion is involved. God responds to desire.

Quitting doesn’t get the job done. Don’t give up. Keep praying. Keep knocking. Keep asking.

Jesus, when asked how to pray, gave His disciples an outline. You don’t say those words. Pray the way you speak normally. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you really aren’t praying.

  1. Praise first. ‘Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.’ You don’t start with repentance. Address who you’re praying to—the one and only Creator, Your heavenly Father. He is sitting on the throne right now. You can call Him Father or Jesus. He is God, Lord. Address Him and then praise Him. He is awesome and you need to praise His nature, His Name, Who He is. Leave self out of it for now. Tell Him you love Him. Thank Him. You enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. The Tabernacle plan of Moses has as the first thing entering the gates and the courts. Then, you give the sacrifice. Praise the Lord first. Judah means praise. Let Judah (praise) go first.
  2. Surrender. ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.’ You acknowledge that heaven is different from earth. You want it to happen in earth as it is in heaven. This is surrender. You are not God. He is. He is king. Let Him rule and reign. There is no death or sickness in heaven. There is no evil. Let His kingdom come. Let it be in YOU. Let God’s kingdom come here in your life. He is God and in charge. Put yourself under subjection to Him. Humble yourself right after praise. Call out the things that are your will, and acknowledge that you want His will instead. This might be a good time for repentance. ‘Forgive me for pushing my way. I want Your way.’ Let His will be done in this earthen vessel, just like Jesus did when He said, ‘Nevertheless, not my will, but thy will be done.’
  3. Listen to God. ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ Ponder His Word. Read Psalms or Isaiah or Acts. This isn’t a time to study. This is a time to get your Daily Word from God.
  4. Repent. ‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us.’ Forgive them as God has forgiven you. This is a daily battle. Those hurts can go deep. Forgiveness allows the other to go free and you get up on the cross instead. Jesus forgave you and died on the cross for you. When you refuse to forgive someone, they hold onto your victory. When you forgive, you take back your victory. Salvation matters when it comes to forgiveness.
  5. Spiritual warfare, Intercession. ‘Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ You’re out of the way now. You can walk in authority now. God is God now. Because you’ve gotten yourself out of the way you can command things. Healing, miracles, etc. happen after humility and a realization of Who God is and who you are. If you don’t know what to pray for, pray in tongues. Allow the Holy Ghost to make intercession with you and even for you. God wants to bless you, but you must be in position.

Don’t get full of junk food from the world so you can’t eat what God has for you. His life is so much better. God is calling you deeper. Come into a place with God that you can pray things into existence.

Let go of stuff and believe God for crazy stuff. He’ll do it because He wants it too. God can move. That’s the kind of intercessory prayer that God wants.

End with Praise. It’s the bread that sandwiches prayer.

Jesus has deliverance for the bound and healing for the sick. Stand up and get with Jesus. Crucify the flesh. Get after the things of the Spirit.

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

Posted in Excerpts from Sermons by Pastor Anthony LoCascio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment