Newsletter for Sep 2009
Much criticism has been leveled toward the “faith and confession” message. Those who preach it have been called the “blab it and grab it” bunch. In some cases, the criticism is justified when the continual focus of the message is financial and material increase. Because of this imbalance, many Christians have turned their backs on those who preach this subject. However, salvation itself is based on faith and confession,
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9-10)
Why should we believe that once we’re saved, confessing God’s word and its principles is no longer pertinent to our lives? If believing and confessing according to scripture is powerful enough to cause us to change from a hell-bound sinner to a heaven-bound saint, then why wouldn’t it be powerful enough to make other changes in our lives?
Many Christians who consider themselves to be in the “faith and confession” camp seem to be mostly concerned about confessing God’s word to change their circumstances. They speak prosperity verses to effect change in their finances, quote healing verses to combat sickness, and declare other verses relative to the situations they face. Now, there is nothing wrong in making these kinds of confessions for the purposes stated; but we need to remember that God gave us His word first and foremost to effect change in us. His desire for all Believers to become like Jesus,
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. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
We must remember that as far as God is concerned, the circumstances surrounding our houses, cars, health, money, jobs and everything else is a distant second to our becoming more like our Savior. The word at work in us produces the transformation and conformation that God desires.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
Some people are very eager to confess the word over things, but we need to confess the word over ourselves. If we would speak God’s word concerning personal change, the word would begin cutting away all the stuff that is keeping us from conforming to the image of Christ. This would produce an inward transformation that eventually would result in an outward manifestation of the glory of God’s life,
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27)
In John 12:49, Jesus declared that He only spoke what the Father wanted Him to speak. In John 6:63 Jesus also said, It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. What this tells us is that God’s word is a book of life.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Proverbs 18:21)
When we speak God’s word, we are speaking life into our life! When we speak His life over ourselves, the power of that life begins to produce in us the changes necessary for the fullness of who we are in Christ to become the very essence of our life.
The remainder of this letter is a series of confessions you can make over yourself. All of these confessions are based on verses from the book of Colossians. I encourage you to first read Colossians, then take this letter and begin to speak God’s word into your life. The more you do this, the more the changes will take place.
Your servant in Christ,
I am a (confess your ministry calling, i.e. pastor, teacher, etc – if you do not know your ministry calling, use the word “servant”) of Jesus Christ by the will of God, faithful in Christ. Grace and peace are unto me from God my Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I give thanks to God and the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ. I have faith in Christ Jesus and I walk in love toward my brothers and sisters in Christ.
The truth of the gospel continually reveals to me the hope that is laid up for me in Heaven; it is always bringing forth fruit in me and revealing the depths of God’s grace.
I desire to be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that I might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.
I thank you, God, for you have made me qualified to live daily in the inheritance of the saints in light. You have delivered me from the power of darkness and have translated me into the kingdom of your dear Son.
In you, Jesus, I have redemption through your blood, even the forgiveness of sins. I was created by you and for you. You were before all things; and by you, I have my very existence. You are the head of the church and you are my head. In all things, including my life, you have preeminence. The fullness of my life dwells in you. Through your blood, I have been reconciled unto God and have peace with Him.
I am no longer alienated and an enemy to you in my mind. You have reconciled me unto God in the body of your flesh through death to present me holy, unblamable and unreprovable in the sight of God.
I continue in the faith, grounded and settled and not moved away from the hope of the gospel. According to the dispensation of God which is given to me, I fulfill my calling in the light of His word.
The mysteries contained in the word of God which have been hid from ages and generations are made manifest to me. God wants me to know what is the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in me, the hope of glory.
My heart is comforted and knit together with all believers in love. I have all the riches of the full assurance of the understanding of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ. Through Christ, He makes known to me all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
I am not beguiled by enticing words, and am steadfast in my faith in Christ. As I have received Christ Jesus the Lord, I walk in Him. I am rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith. I refuse to allow man to spoil me through philosophy and vain deceit after the traditions of man’s religion and the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
In Jesus dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, He is the head of all principality and power, and I am complete in Him. In Jesus I was circumcised of my sins. In baptism, I was buried with Him and am now risen with Him through faith in the operation of God, who raised Him from the dead. I am no longer dead in sins; God has made me alive with Jesus and has forgiven me all trespasses.
I am risen with Christ and I seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. I set my affection on things above, not on things on the earth because I am dead and my life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is my life, shall appear, I shall also appear with Him in glory.
I mortify my members which are upon the earth. Fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil desires, idolatry, anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy have no place in my life, and filthy communication does not come forth from my mouth. I do not lie, because I have put off all remnants of my old life and the sin nature. I am continually renewed after the image of God who created my born again spirit. For me, Christ is everything.
I am the elect of God. I am holy and beloved of God. I demonstrate the character of God through mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, and long-suffering. I am patient with others and always forgive them, no matter what they have done; in the same way that Christ forgave me, I forgive others. I live by the love of God; and the perfectness of that love is the bond of fellowship between God and me, and others and me.
God’s peace rules in my heart and I am a thankful worshipper unto Him. The word of Christ dwells in me richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing me and producing in me psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. His grace overflows in my heart and out of that grace I pour out my heart to Him in singing. Everything I do in word or deed, I do in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.
(Wives) I submit myself unto my husband according to the standards of God’s word.
(Husbands/Fathers) I love my wife and am never bitter or harsh toward her, and I do not provoke my child/children unto anger.
(Children) I obey my parents in all things according to God in order to be well-pleasing unto the Lord.
I submit in scriptural order to my employer in singleness of heart out of fear and respect of God. I always perform my job with diligence and thoroughness, even if my boss is not around. I represent Christ at all times on my job.
Everything I do, I do as unto the Lord. I serve the Lord Jesus and know that I shall receive the reward of the inheritance.
(Employers/Supervisors) As an (employer/supervisor) I give unto the employees that which is just and equal because I have a Master in Heaven.
I am faithful and steadfast in my prayer life and in my worship of the Lord.
God opens doors of utterance for me to speak the mystery of Christ that I may make it manifest as I ought to speak.
I live by the wisdom of God and make all decisions according to that wisdom.
I redeem my time, and my use of time glorifies the Lord and pleases Him.
When I speak with others, my words are filled with God’s grace. I speak out of His grace and wisdom so that others hear from me what the Father wants them to hear.
I am a faithful minister unto the Lord and am a servant unto Him and the Body of Christ.
I stand perfect and complete in the will of God. I am fulfilling the ministry I have received in the Lord.
The grace of God is with me always.
In Jesus’ name, Amen
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***IT’S BEEN 20 YEARS!***
The other day I found an old cassette tape of the first sermon I ever preached. The title was, “Who’s Influencing Who?” and the date was July 12, 1989. That means this year marks my 20th anniversary of being in ministry! Wow…time sure does fly!
GRACE CHRISTIAN CENTER SERVICES NOW STREAMING LIVE ON THE INTERNET!
That’s right…we are now broadcasting our services live and you can watch at no charge! We are using a free internet program called Ustream. They cover their expenses through the sales of advertising, something you don’t normally see at church web sites. Please know that we are not responsible for any of the advertising that appears.
To watch, visit our website, www.jmmgrace.com, and on the home page you will see a link to the video. Our service times are 10:30am and 6:00pm on Sundays, and 7:00pm on Wednesdays (Eastern Time). If you need to figure out what time this is where you live, go to www.timeanddate.com for a time zone calculator. We are also archiving our videos at Ustream so you can watch past services.
We are still believing God for professional-grade video equipment and we are doing a lot of “learning as we go.” As the Lord provides the finances, we will upgrade our equipment and eventually switch to the quite-expensive venture of owning and operating our own internet video server.