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Win

Joshua 1:8 – “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so that you will obey it. THEN you will prosper and succeed in ALL you do.” 

God is letting us know here that His will for our lives is to WIN! I grew up playing quarterback, so I grew up understanding that in order to WIN you just couldn’t show up. The sad truth is that many people go through life just showing up. Then there are those that don’t show up at all. I look for them on Sunday and they can’t be found. Yet, these are the people who are having the biggest struggles and wonder why. The first principle for success in life is Matthew 6:33 – “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, then ALL these things that we have need of will be given to us.” If you can’t prioritize God’s house, why would you think that God is going to prioritize your house? In my over 30 years as a Pastor, one thing I have seen is that the difference between average people and successful people is commitment. To WIN in life we must have a strategy. As a quarterback in order for my team to WIN, we had to have a plan. A strategy, a plan is a well-thought-out scheme of how to overcome what our opponent was going to throw at us. This is contrary to today’s mantra that everyone is a winner, so everyone gets a trophy. That philosophy has produced a generation of young people with an entitlement mentality that has not served them or the world well. No, you do not get a trophy for just showing up. There is an opponent that is attempting to keep you from living a life of victory. But God promises that if you will study His Book, meditate on it and obey it, THEN you will have financial prosperity and succeed. These principles, this promise translates into every aspect of life. Spiritually, Physically, Financially, Family Life, and Careers. God’s will is that you prosper and succeed in every area of your life. There is no greater testimony to the world then to see God’s sons and daughters succeed. This characteristic of God’s goodness and His desire to see His people succeed was instilled in Jewish culture. That is why you will never find a Jewish person who doesn’t believe that God wants them to be prosperous and succeed. Because many of us (like myself) have grown up in a survival environment or just getting by, we struggle with the idea that God wants us to prosper and succeed. The truth is, that in order to experience any of God’s truth, our thinking must be transformed. Let’s look at some strategies that will cause us to WIN.

The scenario in the book of Habakkuk was that Israel was being overtaken by enemy armies. Many of your lives are being tormented by the enemy. God has your answer to WIN. Habakkuk the prophet cries out to God for help. So, God who is ALWAYS good and faithful gives the strategy. Habakkuk records in Habakkuk 2:2 God’s strategy – “Write the vision, make it plain (understandable), so you may run after it.” This is how you move from defeat, from ruin, from being broke, being sick, to victory. Get a vision of where you want to go, where you would rather be, and write it down so you can read it and re-read it and keep your focus on where you are heading. No matter how bad it might be right now or how bad it looks, if you will decide what you would rather have – your story is not over. The truth is for all of us, you will never leave where you are, or your current situation until you decide where you would rather be. I am proof that this truth works no matter your age or your upbringing. Today, if you will make the decision to write down your vision for your life, you can leave being broke behind. You can leave being sick behind. You can leave defeat behind. It starts with you deciding where you would rather be, by writing it down. What does the opposite of what you currently have look like? Write it down! You can walk into my office at home and read my vision on my whiteboard. I read it every day. I know where I am going. So, anything that doesn’t take me in that direction for victory does not get considered.  

In all my football life growing up, the biggest thing that I learned was that you could go into every game with a plan, but the opponent was not going to lay down in defeat. In order to WIN we are going to have to fight for what we want. But the good news is that when we refuse to give in to defeat God fights our battles for us. But the key is to not give in or give up to the enemy’s lies. The Apostle Paul gives us a principle of victory in 1 Timothy 6:12- “Fight the good fight by faith.” The only good fights are the ones that you WIN. Faith always has a voice (Romans 4:17). In order to be in faith, you must make declarations of faith. In other words, after you have decided your vision, of where you want to go and write it down, now you must declare it – in faith. Continually and consistently, your faith must be declared in the face of opposition and especially when you are in the midst of the opposite. Make confessions of faith that keep you encouraged and heading in the direction of your vision. You have to keep believing, no matter how it looks, no matter what comes at you or is attempting to discourage you, you must keep believing and confessing your vision. Jesus said in Mark 11:23 “That you will have whatever you say.” In the fight of faith, you must refuse to give in to the enemy by saying what he is saying, you must keep speaking your vision, not his. Now that kind of faith moves God to work on your behalf. And when God is moved by your faith, no devil in hell can keep you from prospering and succeeding. 

My prayer for you today is that you will decide where you want your life to go – Spiritually, Physically, Mentally, Financially and write it down and believe that you are worth it so much that you cannot help yourself but to declare it!

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Life of Significance

Joshua 6:10 – “Joshua commanded the people, do not shout; do not even talk. Not a single word from any of you until I tell you to shout. Then shout!”

Every believer is called to live a life that impacts the lives of others, a life that makes a mark on the world. Significance isn’t defined by what you do, but by – why you do it. To live a life of significance, a life that makes a difference is not determined by how much money you make. There was a woman in my church who after 12 years of serving our country in the military, then several years of gainful employment in the corporate world, found herself unemployed; because of downsizing and age discrimination. Eventually, her unemployment ran out and she found herself homeless living under bridges. Instead of becoming a victim and accepting defeat she began volunteering at the local Salvation Army. Working in the kitchen, feeding and ministering to the homeless while being homeless herself. None of them knew that she was homeless herself. After several months of faithfully serving they offered her a part-time job. Because of this part-time employment, she was able to get her own apartment. Today she is a full-time employee of the Salvation Army ministering to single parent moms and feeding the homeless. Significance is not measured by money but by why you do what you do. God wants to bless our lives; He wants us blessed so that we can be a blessing. We must be blessed in order to influence others. Many believers never experience the life of blessing because they never pass the test of – WHY?  Jesus said in Luke 4:18 – “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, He has anointed me, to proclaim the gospel to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to set the captives free.” If you are In Christ (a believer) the same anointing that Jesus had belongs to you. But the question is still – WHY? Is it just so you can be blessed? Or is it that you can make a difference and have an impact on the world. 

A lot of people, because they never get beyond themselves, find themselves constantly going around the same walls, looking at the walls that are standing between where they are and where they would like to be. It becomes a perpetual lifestyle, looking at walls; barriers that never seem to come down or go away. Walls that always seem to be in the way and keeping them from entering the land of abundance and joy. Jericho stood between the wilderness and the land of abundance. Because there is no way around Jericho. Every one of us must go through Jericho to get to the land of abundance so that we can have influence with others. Being able to live a life of significance and influence is determined by getting past the walls of Jericho. 

In Joshua chapter 6 we see what brought the walls down. It says that for six days the people of God walked around the walls. For six days they looked at their obstacles. There was no denying that they were there. In other words, what are your obstacles? We must look squarely in the face of the things that keep coming up and seem to keep us from moving forward and going to the next level. You must identify the barriers in your own life. Most people are so busy pointing out the flaws of others that they can’t see what’s hindering themselves. Jesus said it like this in Matthew 7:5 -“You hypocrite, get the plank out of your own eye, then you will see clearly enough to help someone else.” The biggest obstacle we all face is changing the way that we think. We cannot continue blaming everyone else and expect things to change in our own lives. What obstacles seem to constantly be in your way? Is it Unforgiveness, maybe Anger, a root of Bitterness, Judgement of others, Unbelief or a consistent Sin? Until we face these barriers, recognize them and come out of denial concerning them they will keep us from entering the land of abundance. These walls must come down.

For six days the people of God walked around the walls, but Joshua told them not to talk. It is so easy to gripe and complain. To recognize how big the problems are and talking about them seems normal. But God’s instruction was not to talk about how big the problems were, not to talk about how impossible it looked. What God was pointing out was how easy it is to look at the natural circumstances and be discouraged. But to live a supernatural life, to enter the land of abundance is going to require us to – Tame our tongue. The purpose of being blessed is to influence others and to live a life of significance. Anyone that cannot tame their tongue will not influence others for the Kingdom. We must stop murmuring, complaining, gossiping and backbiting. All those tendencies become walls that stand between us and our destiny of influence. Murmuring and complaining about the way that things seem are the enemy’s tools that breed unbelief in our lives. Because anytime we speak about how bad it looks or murmuring about someone else, we are agreeing with the enemy. As an ambassador of Heaven, we have a responsibility to only speak what the Father says. In order to get past Jericho, we must tame our tongue.

After the people of God spent the day walking around Jericho, looking at the walls they would go back to Gilgal. Gilgal in Hebrew means, the place of the circle. Joshua and Caleb and the other leaders would sit in a circle and remind the people of what God has said. To keep them encouraged in their faith despite how it looked in the natural. The circle represents unity. Because in order to get past Jericho, to enter the land of abundance we must – Stay in Unity. It’s a lesson that some never learn. None of us are self-sufficient, we are all dependent on those we are called to be in relationship with. And because most people are not called to be the leader, they are not capable of seeing what the leader out front can see. So, God instructs us to keep quiet and stay in unity. In other words, to not murmur and complain against the leader, stay in the circle of unity. We cannot allow anything to come between us. To get past Jericho, to enter the land of abundance requires us to stay in unity with leadership.

After we have identified and dealt with our own obstacles, tamed our tongue to only say what the Father is saying, refuse to get out of unity, now we are positioned to shout at the walls that stand between us and abundance. Now we can be blessed to live a life of significance.

My prayer for you today is that you will go to the next level in your faith to make a difference in the world.

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Decree & Declare

1 Timothy 1:18 – ” This charge I commit to you, my spiritual son Timothy, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that BY THEM (the prophecies) you may wage the good warfare.”

Whether you realize it or not, whether anyone else has prophetically spoken into your life, God has spoken prophetic Words over your life. The truth is that when another person prophecies over us it is the heart of God being spoken in part. A true prophetic Word is a Word from the Lord concerning our future. What the Apostle Paul was instructing Timothy, is that the prophetic Words that we receive are to be used as weapons of warfare against our enemy.   

Through Paul God is charging Timothy to wage a good war, using the prophecies over his life. I’ve been in a few fights in my life, but I’ve learned that the only good ones were the ones that I won. God is telling us that in order to win we must stand on and declare out of our mouths the prophecies that we have received. Especially when the enemy is attacking and coming against those Words that God has given us. Victory occurs when we refuse to lie down, but instead, we decree and declare the prophetic Words that have been spoken about us.

There are some spiritual blessings that we receive just because of who we are as sons and daughters of God. As I taught on Sunday, in the natural, when your son or daughter was growing up, they had total access to your home and could come and go as needed, as your child they could ask for anything that they knew that you possessed as their parent. Your child could go into your refrigerator anytime that they wanted without fear of being refused. Our Father is the biggest and greatest giver and He is always wanting to give good gifts to His children (James 1:17). Again, in the natural, if your earthly father dies, we usually receive some form of an inheritance, just because of who you are to him. The Apostle Paul informs us in Ephesians 1:14 that Jesus was given in His death to give us an inheritance. Our inheritance as sons and daughters includes everything that Jesus died for and left us. We receive forgiveness, grace, eternal life, and the blessings of Abraham (Galatians 3:13,14) as our inheritance. These Words are prophetic in regards of what your life and your future are to look like. But many times, the enemy will challenge us in these blessings. Just like in a natural inheritance left by a loved one, we must claim what has been left for us. In the spiritual, this is where decreeing and making declarations comes in to claim what belongs to you.

In Matthew 11:12, Jesus makes it clear that our blessings must be fought for. “The Kingdom of Heaven is forcefully advanced (Matthew 11:12). If you’re going to live in the full inheritance of your blessings, you’re going to have to fight for it, the enemy doesn’t want you to be blessed. 

How do you fight with a prophetic Word? You must decree the Word. You must make a declaration, out loud, out of your mouth. You must speak what has been spoken about you. When you speak what God has said about you it releases God to fight for you because it is His Word that He is defending. And because God is only moved by faith (Hebrews 11:6), your declaration is the indication of your faith. When the enemy tries to mess with your finances you must declare scriptures about your prosperity. When the enemy is questioning your health, you must declare the Word about health. Any attack of the enemies can be overcome by prophetically speaking “what is written” (Matthew 4:4). Find the scripture pertaining to your situation and decree it and declare it until your breakthrough comes about. As we embrace and declare the Word about our situation our thoughts change, our actions change, and we become stronger in the fight. Keep decreeing, keep declaring, you may be just one declaration away from victory!

My prayer for you today is that you will become a mighty warrior, by taking the Word and using it like a double-edged sword and cutting down every attack of the enemies.     

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Anointing

Matthew 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

As a believer, I’ve noticed that I can become complacent and satisfied knowing that I’m going to heaven. But Jesus gave His life so that we could live abundantly here and now! To live the abundant life includes us taking on His heart. Jesus instructs us in Matthew 11:29, “take my yoke upon you.”  Jesus came “to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). This yoke that Jesus is speaking of is His heart for the lost and the hurting. 

Everything that Jesus has called us to do in His Kingdom requires more than human effort or religious duties – it requires the anointing. Jesus made it possible for us to have a greater anointing. Recently a Prophet told me, “There is a double anointing coming on you for healing and the prophetic – you are about to be elevated.” I love it when God speaks His heart to us. It encourages us and reminds us that we are on His heart and mind. In 2 Kings 2:9 Elisha told Elijah, “Let me receive a double portion of your spirit (anointing)”. There is an opportunity for all of us to receive a double portion (a greater anointing). Are you willing to go after it? Just like Elisha went after Elijah and boldly asked for a double portion if you are willing to die to complacency and selfishness, and to seek after the heart of Jesus, there is a greater anointing for you.

Everything significant that happens in our lives is because of the anointing. And like Elisha who followed Elijah to THREE different places to receive the double portion, we too must go to these places in our lives for a greater anointing.


FIRST, we must be willing to let go and leave the old things behind. In order to live in a greater anointing, you must be willing to separate yourself from anything and everything that is hindering you from making progress on your journey. Romans 12:9, “Hate what is evil, cling to what is good.” True repentance is required to live in the anointing. Turning from everything that is sin and turning to God. We must be willing to walk away from everything that is evil. 

NEXT, we must seek God with our whole heart. Jeremiah 29:13, “If you seek me with your whole heart, then you will find me.” We were created to encounter God. It’s out of our encounters that transformation happens in our lives. It takes more than going to church to live in the anointing. To live an anointed, transformed life is necessary if you want to truly experience “the abundant life”. The heart of Christ is experienced in greater measure as our minds are transformed through encounters with His Word and His Spirit. Jesus said in John 6:63 “The Spirit gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The Words that I speak to you are Spirit and life.” 

One thing that we must understand, is that the anointing of God is not just for what we consider religious activity. Yes, the anointing will affect how we pray, how we worship and everything that we consider religious. The anointing is the personality of the Holy Spirit. So, when we’re living in the anointing, the anointing of the Holy Spirit will affect my business, my money, my health, my family and every part of my life. So, we must be like Elisha and have the attitude of being willing to do whatever it takes to receive the double portion. 

The THIRD PLACE Elisha had to go to receive the “double portion” was to serve. In thirty years of pastoring, this is the place where most people miss out. Most people don’t have an issue going to church when they feel like it or reading their Bible occasionally but serving someone else goes against our selfishness. The prophet Isaiah makes it clear in chapter 55 that to live in the anointing would cost us something. In other words, Grace is free, but the anointing is not cheap. Elisha served Elijah unquestionably for eight years before receiving the double anointing. Most church people have a hard time serving for eight months before wanting their recognition, a position, and THEIR MINISTRY. If you want greater anointing for your life, find an anointed minister (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, Teacher) Ephesians 4:11, and serve them without an agenda. Serving an anointed minister is of the highest priority because who you serve is from who you receive impartation (2 Timothy 1:6). Fortunately, my mentor told me years ago, “Rocky, you must serve another man’s vision before God will trust you with your own.” Because of my mentor’s wisdom, I served as a Youth Pastor under anointed Lead Pastors for fifteen years before God gave me my own vision. Living in the anointing is worth whatever it might cost you. Because the anointing of the Holy Spirit affects every part of our lives. 

My prayer for you today is that you be willing to pay the price and go after the double portion (like Elisha). Go after God with all your heart and see what’s in store!

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

On Guard

Ephesians 4:27 – ” Do not give place to the devil.”

If we guard every door, close every window, and seal every entry point that the enemy would try to access, we will never have to fall prey to the devil! One of the main entry points that the devil tries to access is our relationships. If there is an unresolved issue, offense, or conflict with a loved one, a friend, or a co-worker, these conflict points become entry points through which the devil can get a foothold in the relationship. This term “foothold” means that the devil has a strong hold on you, which will determine the direction of your life and the relationship. Once the enemy can slip in through one of these cracks and build an offense in our minds, we’ve already begun to construct a wall that will eventually separate us from the people we need and love. This word- PLACE in Ephesians 4:27 means territory. Because the word “place” means territory, we know that the devil is after every territory in our lives – our relationships, our marriage, our money, our health, employment, business, and ministry. He is so territorial that he wants it all. Remember in Matthew 4, the devil told Jesus that if he would worship him that he would give Jesus the kingdoms (territories) of this world. The devil is after every territory that you have authority over. But in order for the devil to gain control of these territories in our lives, he must find an entry point. When he does, now he can bring his devilish destruction (John 10:10).

How does the devil get these entry points? The devil attempts to enter our minds by making accusations against others. But because we are more than conquerors, we do not have to fall victim to his plot. Because GREATER is He that is in you than he (devil) that is in the world (1 John 4:4) we can overcome every offense. We must choose not to give any territory “place” to the devil. You have the power of choice, no one including God, or the devil can take that away from you. Joshua said, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15). We can choose to give the enemy a place in our minds and our emotions, or we can choose to walk in the Spirit. When we choose the lower road of the flesh and un-renewed emotions, we will end up doing and saying things that we will regret.

Let’s look at the word “devil”. In the Greek the word is diabolos. One of the definitions of the word diabolos is – to make penetration. Once diabolos has located an entry point of offense he now has access to penetrate our minds and our emotions, to drive a wedge, build a wall between us and others (spouse, boss, friend, family member, pastor, co-worker). The enemy’s objective is to cause separation by accusing and making slanderous accusations. You know when the devil has made penetration because of your whole perception of that person changes. Anytime you become nit-picky, negative and fault finding against the people that God has told you to honor and respect ( Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:4, 1 Peter 3:1, Romans 12:10) you’ve allowed yourself to become more focused on a weakness instead of who they are. This is clear that the “accuser” has found an entry point to penetrate your mind which will now affect the relationship. I want to encourage you to stand up to the tricks and the lies of the enemy (Ephesians 6:11). Don’t allow conflict, disagreement or disappointment to cause a wrong attitude that will ruin a relationship. Instead of meditating on all the bad things about that person, look in the mirror. Consider how many times you’ve let other people down; how many mistakes you’ve made in relationships; the times that you should have been held accountable but instead were given great mercy.

Ask the Holy Spirit to take that criticism out of your heart and to cause the love of God to take over. Pray for the person, it’s impossible to sincerely pray for someone and be critical of them. Pray for an opportunity to strengthen the relationship. Recognize the penetration points that the devil is attempting to come right in the middle of your relationships and decide to “not give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27).

My prayer for you today is that you will ask God to help you keep the doors to your heart and soul closed to the devil and open to Him. To help you stay free from offense, free of unforgiveness, and free of bitterness.

Point people to Jesus,

Rocky Byers 

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

2 Generations

Deuteronomy 30:19 – “Today I give you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, (my desire) is that you choose life, so that you and your descendants (2 generations) might live!”

There were two generations of Israelites involved in the transition from Egypt to the Promised Land. The first generation did not make it, though they had the same opportunity and the same promise as the second generation. However, with a little examination of the difference between those that made it and those that didn’t you will see there was a distinct difference in speech, in mindset and action. 

The mark of those that did not make it was that they grumbled and complained. God performed miracles by giving them food in the wilderness, water from a rock, but they grumbled and complained. They weren’t just dissatisfied with what God was doing, but because of their grumbling spirit, they blamed their leader. “And the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness” (Exodus 16:2). They grumbled and complained against the man that God chose to lead them, Moses. Whenever we choose to grumble and complain against the man or woman that He chose to lead us, God takes it personally. In Numbers 14:27 God asked Moses, “How long will this wicked congregation grumble against ME? I have heard their complaining and grumbling.” God called their complaining against “His Man” as wickedness. What they spoke caused them to aimlessly wander in the wilderness, not making progress and being impeded by limitations on every side – which eventually kept them from their promise.

The second generation (the ones that made it to the promised land) was different. They were under the same leadership (Moses). Yet they chose to speak differently. They did not grumble or complain. This generation not only learned God’s ways (submission to leadership) but they taught God’s ways to the next generation. They accepted the training from God’s appointed leaders and became trainers of the next generation. What they spoke led them to the reality of their freedom and promises. Both generations received the fruit of their mouths. The first generation died unfulfilled while the second generation died old and fulfilled. It’s an important question – what are you saying?

Just like the Israelites, we get to choose our destinies. We can either wander around aimlessly or we can see the promises of God become a reality in our lives. God’s hope is that you choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19) so that all the promises of God in Christ are yes, and in Him are Amen (2 Corinthians 1:20). Our speech and our mindsets direct our energy and ultimately our actions. The generation that did not experience the promises of God, fought God by not accepting the Leader that He gave them. Numbers 14:4, “The people said to one another, let us find a different leader.” What they were saying was that they wanted a leader that would do things their way. The generation that experienced the promises of God choose not to fight their leader, but rather fight their enemy. When the first generation wasn’t getting their way, they resorted to blaming and attacking the leaders that God appointed. The second generation, that enjoyed the promises of God, took personal responsibility for their actions when they were challenged. Here’s the lesson: If you don’t fight to overcome your own attitudes and weaknesses you will blame and attack others. Another important question – who and what are you fighting? 

I’m declaring to you today that if you struggle with a “Grumbling Spirit” God is releasing a grace for you to get delivered from that wicked spirit. In the last days, God is pouring His Spirit out on all people that will receive it (Acts 2:17). This is an exceedingly powerful grace being released from heaven. It will radically transform all who will receive it. God desires that you become a purposeful warrior instead of an aimless wanderer. I remember when my Pastor, Pastor Bill Johnson, said: “That God sometimes has to offend our minds to transform us” (Romans 12:2). I believe that if you receive this grace, it will challenge and change your attitudes which will change how you speak and ultimately change your actions. Then you will become of the generation that enters in and experiences all the promises of God.

The generation that possessed the Promise Land accepted the training from God’s appointed leaders, to fight the real enemy, not each other. The biggest enemy that any of us face is the attitudes of our hearts (Matthew 13:3-9). God’s grace will transform our hearts as we receive His Word. “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable (for our own good) for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” We live in a strategic prophetic time in history. If we respond correctly, history will change. Those that possessed the Promise Land changed the entire culture of that region. That is what is at stake here, your destiny and the Kingdom’s impact on a generation that does not yet know our God. 

My prayer for you today is that you will choose life and receive the grace to overcome. Because as you do it will not only affect you, but it will impact the next generation. As you overcome every obstacle that is hindering you, you position yourself to experience every promise that God says is yours.

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Freedom

Galatians 5:1 – “It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of bondage.”

We live in a world constantly on the defensive, fearful of what others might do. Our world is full of walls, and barriers. This defensive attitude can cause us to feel the need to express our offense over someone else’s position, view or opinion. In Matthew eighteen Jesus made it clear that while we are in this world that opportunities for offense would come. The thing that we must learn is that offense is never a reason to respond offensively. All of us are familiar with the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” That statement is absolutely false. Words always bring ramifications. And the consequences of our words are usually experienced in our own lives, not the persons who have offended us. The truth is that when we speak thoughtless and cruel words those words hurt us greater than the words or the act that offended us. Our response to offense can cause deep emotional and spiritual wounds in ourselves. Jesus said that we live in a world full of offense, but He endured mocking and the cruelest of words yet without offense. So how do we deal with offense and how do we protect our hearts?

In our minds, we often build these interior walls in an attempt to protect our hearts and souls from the emotional and spiritual wounds that other’s might cause. Yet the walls that we build around our hearts often fail to protect us and usually entrap us in bitterness and loneliness. Our interior walls fail us because they block us from the very healing that we need, the healing that can only come from love and honor. It’s out of love that I allow others to express themselves without taking it personally. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 2:17 that we are to, “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood (church). Fear (honor) God, honor the king (president, boss, pastor, those in authority). Honor meaning that I will respect your opinion and your position on a matter even if it differs from mine. When we refuse to honor others the bitterness brews within our souls to the point that it infects us and our relationships. To live as an honoring person simply requires me not to return evil (offense) for someone else’s choices. Proverbs makes it very clear, “Evil will never leave the house of one who pays back evil for good” (Proverbs 17:13). To live offense free, you must be willing to accept the idea that the person that offended you did not intentionally mean to and that in their minds they were expressing what they felt was right.

It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free. This freedom that Christ has given us is not the freedom to express our hurts and disappointments which is really nothing more than the expression of our offenses. This FREEDOM that Christ has given us, is FREEDOM over the power of sin and offense. The FREEDOM and power to not be offended. But if the offense was a deliberate attack, the FREEDOM to forgive and not remain offended. Anytime we allow ourselves to be offended without forgiving we are again entangled in that yoke of bondage. Forgiveness breaks the woundedness of the offense to our own souls while remaining offended retains the hurt and the pain. If we refuse to forgive, that person still has a knife in our hearts, and every time we think about the offense that knife just twist and goes deeper. When we choose to forgive Jesus will remove the anger, the pain, and the hurt and give us His FREEDOM over offense.

My prayer for you today is that you will come to the place of FREEDOM in every area of your life.

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Ball Pit

Philippians 3:12 – “I do not mean that I am already as God wants me to be. I have not yet reached that goal, but I continue trying to reach it and to make it mine. Christ wants me to do that, which is the reason He made me His.”

Are you perfect?  Are you living a life without mistakes?  If not, have you given up or are you still growing, becoming the person God created you to be?

This verse in Philippians is one of the most encouraging verses in the Bible. 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles tell us of two kings, Jeroboam and Rehoboam, who lived flawed lives – lives outside of the will of God.  The result of their choices was disastrous and yet, when Rehoboam realized the error of his ways, humbled himself and repented before God, then the consequences that were due him God turned away. Contrary to religious belief from bad religious teaching; God is not the god of judgment and punishment. He is GOOD, Jesus confirmed that in Mark 10:18, and He changes not. Without going into an exegesis on judgment the Hebrew and Greek word Mercy means – withholding judgment. Lamentation 3:23 declares that “His mercies are new every morning and great is His Faithfulness.” He only has good gifts for his sons and daughters.

None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes and we fall short of the perfection in Christ that we are called to live.  There are many days when I wonder if I’m making any progress – if I’m truly following God’s path for my life or if I’m too focused on worldly issues and gains. In Philippians three Paul warns us of the destruction that comes when we “think only about earthly things.”

Max Lucado in his book “The Applause of Heaven” tells a story of a little girl’s first experience in a pit filled with colorful balls found at fast-food playground areas.  She was so amazed by all the balls and all the colors she tried gathering as many as she could.  She wanted them all for herself.  She grasped and grasped and grasped until she could carry no more. She became so burdened with her treasures she was unable to walk out of the pit and yet, she didn’t want to let go of any of her prizes.

Isn’t that how life is when we’re overly focused on earthly treasures?  It burdens us down with fear, anxiety, greed, lust, and contempt of others, that we no longer are able to walk the path that God has created for us.

Paul reminds us of this tendency.  However, he also gives us a word of hope.  We are not perfect, and we often become burdened with earthly things but our relationship with God is not about who we are, but who Christ is in us (2 Corinthians 5:17). So, who are you becoming?  It is a process. When we totally surrender our ways to His then our path becomes clearer (Proverbs 3:6). It is the goal of attainment – of Sanctification.  Each day as we move forward, dropping a ball or two along the way, then we are steadily moving forward along the path of becoming the fully devoted disciple God wants us to be. This is Good News! This is the Process!

When we recognize that we are overly focused on the pursuit of earthly things, we frequently become bogged down with feelings of inadequacy, hopelessness, guilt, shame, and

insecurity. But as we continue reaching for the goal that God has for our lives – the goal of becoming the reflection of “Christ in you,” then this process of becoming Christ-like is attainable and rewarded by God.

My prayer for you today is that you will recognize who Christ is in you and turn away from everything that doesn’t look like Christ. 

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Selfie

Proverbs 23:7 “As a person thinks in their heart, so are they.”

When you look in the mirror who do you see? Psychologist have proven that a person can spend thousands of dollars on body enhancements and facelifts and yet still believe they are ugly or do not measure up. The internal image we have of ourselves (our selfie) determines how we think and feel about ourselves. And how we think about ourselves determines what we believe we deserve in life. And what we believe will determine the outcome of our life. Outcome meaning, not just the here and now but the legacy we leave when we’re gone. What we believe will always determine the quality of life that we will experience.

Jesus gave us this proposition, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men, I will make you disciples, the light of the world, the salt of the earth.” Jesus’ invitation was simply this, follow Him and He will make something of your life that you could never make yourself. When Jesus walked the earth to show us the will of the Father, He proved that Heaven could come to earth and that it was available to those that accept His invitation. I love what Bill Johnson says, “Jesus is perfect theology.” Jesus said in John 6:38, “I have come from heaven not to do my will but the will of Him who sent me.” That is how we know it is still God’s will to perform miracles today – because God showed us His will on earth through Jesus. And whatever we see Jesus doing, we are now called and anointed to do (John 14:12). Who do you see?    

This truth of personal perception is totally connected to our understanding of why Jesus came. Jesus did not come to leave us how He found us – unworthy sinners (as many religious leaders believe). But rather RIGHTEOUS new creations, when we place our faith in Him and the finished work of Christ on the cross (2 Corinthians 5: 17-18). The Apostle Paul said it like this in Romans 6:18, “Now we are no longer slaves to sin, but we are now slaves of RIGHTEOUSNESS!” On the cross, Christ reconciled us to the Father – meaning He exchanged places with us. He became sin so we could be righteous. He became sick so we can be well. He became poor so we could be rich. Who do you see?      

The truth that we are now righteous is fundamental to our faith. Jesus came to die for sinners but not to leave us that way. Everyone that encountered Jesus (except the religious and Judas) were transformed. Paul says in Romans 5:8, “God demonstrated His own love for us in that while we WERE still sinners, Christ died for us.” If you were a sinner, the past can no longer be a part of the new creation that you became when you surrendered your life to Christ. Because of the shed blood of Christ and faith in His work on the cross, you can no longer be a sinner. Denying that we are now in right standing with God is denying the very reason Jesus came. This is part of Jesus’ ” follow me” proposition. Follow me and I will make you something that you could not make yourself, RIGHTEOUS. Good people do not make it to heaven. Religious people do not make it to heaven. Only RIGHTEOUS people make it to heaven. In fact, only righteous people can experience Heaven on earth. Who do you see? 

As our self-perception becomes clear of who Christ has made us to be, then we’ll rise above mediocrity. When we recognize the person in the mirror as RIGHTEOUS then we’ll no longer be slaves to sin. When we realize that it is no longer I that lives, it is Christ in me – then we will walk out the life of Christ and do as He did. So, who do you see? It’s one of the most important questions we will ever ask ourselves.

My prayer for you today is that you will see yourself the way that the Father sees you, as a righteous son or daughter, more-then-a-conqueror, an over-comer in this life!  

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Image Bearers

Genesis 1:26 – “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in OUR IMAGEOUR LIKENESS, to be LIKE US. To have DOMINION……”

We understand that God’s original intention in creation was to have a relationship with us His creation. That through relationship we would be the exact expression of Himself on earth. But because of Adam’s treason, his sin fell on us all (Romans 5:12), began the tarnishing of the image of humanity. One generation begat another generation of tarnished image bearers. And with every generation the sin became more engraved and more extreme. But because of God’s dream to have image bearers on earth He sent His son Jesus to be His exact expression and our redeemer (Hebrews 1:3). Literally Jesus exchanged places with us to restore us back to God’s original idea of being His IMAGE BEARERS. God’s dream is that we live like Him on earth and have DOMINION over all the power of the enemy. Romans 5:17 explains it -“By the trespass of one man (Adam), death reigned through that one man. But even greater is God’s grace and His gift of righteousness, for ALL who receive it (the gift of righteousness) will reign (have dominion) over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.” Through Christ God did what it took to revive His dream of having IMAGE BEARERS on earth.      

That now, Christ Followers are His IMAGE BEARERS’. Our main objective is to be transformed from the life that we possessed before Christ to the life that we now have in Christ. This transformation only occurs as we allow God’s Word to change the way that we think. We must become people who allow God and His Word to eradicate every thought that would keep us from fully expressing who He is. Jesus makes an incredible statement in John 17:22 “I have given them (us) the GLORY that you gave me.” We are the exact image (glory) of Jesus, so that anything that doesn’t look like God in our lives, bear His image, we must oppose and take authority over. I love what Bill Johnson says about this, “We will know our mind is renewed when the impossible looks logical.” Jesus never questioned the willingness or the ability of His Father. In John chapter 11, when Jesus was facing an impossible situation in the natural, He ordered the stone to be removed from Lazarus’ burial tomb. Now most people would say, “Well, it must have been his (Lazarus’) time.” But watch Jesus being an IMAGE BEARER, while all eyes were on Him, He gives the instruction that changes everything. John 11:40, “Didn’t I tell you that IF YOU BELIEVE, you will see the glory of God.” Jesus then proceeds to command Lazarus to resurrect.  

If you believe? Here lies the answer to transformation. What do you believe about your Father? Because what you know about your Father will change the image you have of yourself. This is the importance of relationship. Having a religious experience and having an intimate relationship are two totally different places that we can live from. Relationship changes us. Relationship transforms us into being intimate sons and daughters. Because of relationship with the Father Jesus tells us in John 11:41,42 -“Father, I thank you that you have heard me, I know that you always hear me.” Because of this confidence in their relationship Jesus then exclaims “Lazarus, come forth.”  It is out of the place of knowing the Father that we have total confidence that He hears us and that His ability to answer and provide never comes into question. 

When you know God as the Good Father (Psalms 136:1) you’ll know that it is His will to always exceed our hopes and dreams (Psalms 37:4). Because as His IMAGE BEARERS God desires that our lives are the expression of who He is. The GLORY of God that we possess compels us to something greater in our lives that we have yet to experience. REIGNING, RULING, having DOMINION in righteousness is who God is in us as His IMAGE BEARERS. He is always able and willing to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we ask (Ephesians 3:20). But when we don’t really know who God is, We don’t ask – because we don’t know Him. Our Father has no limitation concerning anything that pertains to our lives.     


There is an abundant supply of peace for those who ask. There is an abundance of financial breakthrough for those who ask. There is an abundance of healing power for those who will believe and ask. Always pray and ask in expectation. Never allow your or someone else’s past experience to limit your faith. Because He is able and willing to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we ask. 

My prayer for you today is that you will see yourself the way that your Father see’s you, as His IMAGE BEARER, reigning and ruling over all the power of the enemy. 

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”