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Stand and Fight

2 Corinthians 4:13 – “Since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, I believed and therefore I spoke, we also believe and therefore speak.”

One of the marks of a growing maturing believer is their ability to STAND on the Word. Whether it be a prophetic Word or the written Word, those Words are the truth of who God is and what He is wanting to do in our lives. But, to see the Word from God demonstrated and manifested in our lives requires us to first believe it. Faith and believing are not mental agreeing. Because faith will always be tested, if your faith is only head (mental) faith it will be stolen every time. Jesus said, out of the abundance of the heart. Paul said that it is with the heart one believes unto righteousness (Romans 10:10). A belief does not become faith until it drops into your heart. For that transition to occur, from head to heart, requires confession, repetition, confession, and repetition. Confession and repetition sink the seed of the Word deeper and deeper until it takes root in your heart. What you’re not willing to confess you will not possess. That is the truth that Paul taught, confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:10). And Salvation encompasses every aspect of our lives with God, from the moment of conversion to our seeing every Word experienced in our lives. Because our faith will be tested, our faith is validated by what we’re willing to STAND UP for and FIGHT for. The enemy always comes attempting to steal, to kill and destroy the Word given to us from God. He comes to oppose with the intent to steal from you what God has spoken. Jesus warns us in Mark 4:15 – “These are the ones by the wayside (shallow, immature), where the Word was sown; Satan comes to steal the Word that was sown.” The only Words that we will ever see the reward of are the ones that we are willing to FIGHT for. I wish it weren’t that way, but the truth is – Only Fighters Win! Those that lay down and accept the lies of doubt, unbelief and deception from the enemy never see the Word manifested in their lives. That is why Paul tells us to “FIGHT the good FIGHT of faith.” In my life growing up with the name Rocky, I have been in a lot of fights. The only good ones were the ones I won. Meaning I came out on top. That is what Paul is talking about. FIGHT the devil with the truth until you come out on top.

What you’re not willing to confess you will not possess.

Only FIGHTERS prevail, only FIGHTERS triumph, only FIGHTERS win!! One of the biggest problems in the body of Christ is that most do not know how to fight the devil. Their good at fighting other people but they haven’t learned how to fight the enemy of their faith. Until you learn how to do that it will be impossible for you to live in victory and possess what God has said belongs to you.

You recall the Word Mary received, that she would be pregnant with Jesus. This Word was incomprehensible and impossible to explain. She had no Biblical precedent for that Word, a virgin giving birth to a child. It was a prophetic Word. But the angel told her in Luke 1:37- “For with God nothing, in the Greek – nothing is the word no rhema, is impossible with God.” In other words, No Word spoken to us by Holy Spirit, which would include a prophetic Word, and No Word that God has given us in the Bible will be impossible. Whenever God gives us a Word, it is not going to seem possible, in fact the natural circumstances are usually contrary. But Mary had the sense to agree. Her response was Luke 1:38 – “Let it be done to me according to your Word.” The only responsibility that we have is to STAND, FIGHT and BELIEVE the Word given. Do not allow yourself to be talked out of the Word. If we Stand and Fight, God will make it happen.

Whenever God has given us a Word, it will seem impossible.

Can you imagine the opposition that Mary encountered? Besides the devil, her family and everyone that she knew, including Joseph her fiancé, she had to STAND up against the stigma of being the mother of an illegitimate child. Everything in the natural and the enemy in the spirit fought her hard, attempting to abort the Word. Anytime we don’t STAND against the enemy’s attacks and his attempts to steal the Word, we are allowing that Word to be aborted. Snatched from the birthing womb of faith. That’s what happened to the Israelite’s, Hebrews 3:19 says of them, “we see that they could not enter in because of their unbelief.” God gave them a Word; any Word from God is His will for your life. But the Israelite’s allowed themselves to be talked out of it. So, the Word even though it was the will of God was aborted.

What are you STANDING on today?

What Word are you FIGHTING with today?

After you have seemingly done all to STAND and the enemy keeps lying, STAND! 

My prayer for you today is that you will – STAND – FIGHT and WIN!!

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Honoring God’s House

Ephesians 5:21 – “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Today’s church culture has taught us some important things about the maturity of the body of Christ. Many people are struggling to find the “right” church with the “right” pastor who has the “right” preaching style. Maybe you struggle with this in a less obvious way. Perhaps you go just because it’s the religious “right” thing to do but you’re bored and disconnected. Today I want to encourage you by saying that life in the body of Christ is so much richer than just showing up on a Sunday as a consumer. What if attending church was less about showing up to be taught and more about being a blessing to others around you? One of the things that I have come to realize is that if I just show up at church to receive, then I will usually be disappointed. 

There have been many times when I’m so busy I’ve skipped meals and later settled for something to eat that I normally would not even consider eating, but because of my hunger, I settled for it only to be disappointed afterward. It’s the same way with our spiritual hunger. If we just eat one meal a week in the natural, we will end up malnourished, weak, and sick. So why is it that we think that one spiritual meal a week (Sunday morning), is going to sustain us. And if you don’t attend once a week, how spiritually malnourished are you? One meal a week is not going to sustain a healthy, vibrant, and strong spiritual life? We should be like David who said in Psalm 23:5 – “God has prepared a table before me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint me with oil; my cup overflows.” We should be so full from eating at our Father’s table every day that when we show up at church our spiritual cups are so full they run over and bless others. I want to encourage you with a fresh perspective on the real point of the church.

If you don’t attend church at least once a week, how strong spiritually are you?

Romans 12:2 – “Do not copy the behavior and the customs of the world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know God’s will for yourself, which is good, pleasing, and perfect.” Everything that we do after accepting Jesus as the Lord of our lives is spiritual. There is no such thing as secular anymore. Going to work or school or hanging out with friends is no longer a secular part of my life. When we came to Christ, we joined the royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). As priests we take our spiritual lives with us everywhere we go, looking for God to lead us in what He wants to do. As priests, we don’t go to church to be ministered to, we come so that we can be better equipped to minister (Ephesians 4:11,12). The church is not an organization, it’s a body of people seeking to fulfill the purposes of our Father. Jesus said that He did not come to do His will but the will of the Father (John 6:38). There is no greater purpose and no greater fulfillment in life than to do the will of God.

When we honor God’s house, He honors our house. 

Every believer is a minister. The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:18 that God has called us all to the ministry. That doesn’t mean we are all called to the pulpit, but it does mean that everywhere we go we are to be ministers. And when you know that you’re a minister, you’re not waiting for someone to minister to you. Instead, you go to church to be better equipped so that you are prepared for those ministry opportunities that God opens. If you work in a nail salon, you’re a minister at a nail salon! If you are a stay at home mom, you’re a minister to your children! If you are the CEO of a Fortune 100 company, your greatest opportunity isn’t in managing your staff and finances, it’s in bringing your ministry to the marketplace. Some people believe they work in a dark place. That may be true, but it isn’t dark when you’re there. Jesus said that “You’re the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). Wherever and whenever you show up, light shows up! And light is always greater than darkness. 

So, as you approach this weekend I want you to think about your perspective of the church. Are you going as a consumer, waiting to be ministered to or are you going with an open heart and open eyes to what Holy Spirit is wanting to do? I hope that you will go this Sunday with the heart of a minister. How will you be equipped? How will you serve? How will you pour out? 

My prayer for you today is that you will begin to see yourself the way that our Father sees you – as a member of the royal priesthood – an ambassador of the Kingdom of God – an able minister of the gospel!    

We love you and hope to see you this Sunday. 

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Having Been With Jesus

Acts 4:13,14– “Now when they saw the BOLDNESS of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated, ORDINARY men, they were astonished. And they realized that they HAD BEEN WITH JESUS. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them there was nothing that they could say against it (them).”

I love this portion of scripture because it gives me great hope and expectation. Usually, we believe that we are not good enough or smart enough to be used by God. Nothing against education, I am a proponent of education. I worked hard to earn my master’s degree. But it is not our education or our works that give us any clout with God. Everything that we do that represents the Kingdom of God comes from FAITH, what we believe, and His grace (Ephesians 2:8).

Here in this portion of scripture, a man was healed not because of how perfect or smart Peter and John were. Peter and John were ordinary men (Acts 4:13). The lame man was healed because of the BOLDNESS that they displayed. This BOLDNESS was achieved by knowing Jesus and what they knew about Him. If we believe that Jesus is “the same yesterday, today and forever”(Hebrews 13:8), shouldn’t we be displaying the same BOLDNESS that Peter and John did? The sad truth is that religion has changed our beliefs from Jesus being the same to He is no longer the same. From “He changes not”(Malachi 3:6), to – He has changed. The works of Jesus have never been about our abilities or our imperfect lives, but it has always been about knowing Him. The Apostle Paul encourages us “To know Him and the power of His resurrection” (Philippians 3:10). In knowing Him I will know His power to save, heal, and deliver. As Ambassador’s we simply represent Him and His Kingdom, and our King wants to invade this world with His presence and power. And the great news is, He chose us to do it through. He is just looking for those that know Him well enough to be bold enough to step out in faith and represent Him.

In Knowing Jesus, I will know His power.

The ingredient that was the cause for such a display of BOLDNESS is the truth that “they had been with Jesus.” This is the same invitation that we all have been given. So, we must ask ourselves, who have I been with, or who am I giving my time and focus? The simple truth is this, who we spend our time with is who we end up emulating. This act of BOLDNESS which produced a miracle was not achieved through any power of their own but only because of who they knew and through having been with Him. The Kingdom of God is not about achieving, it is about receiving. Our activity for God is meant to only flow out of our intimacy with God. Being “with Him” is how that intimacy is cultivated. In Mark 3 Jesus calls the twelve, just like He calls us so that we can be “with Him.” And in the process of being “with Him,” the disciples fell in love with Him, as will we. And out of this type of love flows the heart to be like Him and to represent Him. The closer we get to Jesus the more we will live like Him. Then the works that He said that we are called to will become as natural for us as they were with Him (John 14:12).

Who we spend time with is who we end up emulating.

My prayer for you today is that you will become so desperate for Jesus, that in being with Him, you will become like Him.

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Faith or Fear

Psalm 27:1– “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall, I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?”

The foundation of our relationship with God is FAITH. Our relationship began in faith and everything of God’s in our lives came about because of faith. The promise of salvation in our lives was received by faith and every other promise that we will ever experience is received and manifested in our lives by the same truth – FAITH. Jesus said it like this in Matthew 21:22, “Believe and Receive.” Or in other words, “Doubt and do without.” One of the unchanging characteristics of God is that He is good! One of the main characteristics of the devil (our enemy) is that he is not good. Fear is one of the main tools of the devil. Fear is faith, just in the negative. The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 – “God has not given us a spirit of FEAR…” Simply put if it is of fear then it can’t be of God. Fear can also be identified as unbelief. On several occasions, Jesus would ask his disciples, “Why are you so faithless?” Because fearfulness is the same as faithlessness. God warns us of the sin of unbelief. In Hebrews 3:19, God says that His people, the people He promised the land of blessing (the Promised Land), missed out because of UNBELIEF. Unbelief always seems like a safe place because it always gets what it expects. Unbelief and fear will always keep us from the blessings God has promised us.

Unbelief always seems like a safe place because it always gets what it expects.

Like faith, fear is a substance. Hebrews 11:1 tells us “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Whether we are in faith believing God or in fear believing the enemy, whatever we are believing will become evident. Satan has no power over the believer except when we come into agreement with his unbelief and fear. Dr. Mike Murdock said, “What you tolerate, you authorize to exist.” When we give in to the enemy’s fearful suggestions, we come into agreement with him. This agreement with the enemy allows the existence of every lie, deception, and fearful thing to continue. Satan is a liar (John 8:44) and his main tactic to keep you from God’s best and blessings for your life is fear. So, when fear comes and tries to keep you from something that God has said or is wanting to do, the opposite of fear is the truth.

Satan has no power over the believer except when we come into agreement with his unbelief and fear.

Faith in God and His Word will always overcome every attack of the enemy. Because faith moves God and heaven on your behalf, it causes the Word you are believing to come into existence. So, I ask, what promise are you believing God for? The writer of Hebrews said, “Without faith it is impossible to please God…” Everything God has done, He did by FAITH. He created the earth by FAITH. He gave His son Jesus to be our redeemer, by FAITH. He is the God of FAITH. So, he expects the same from us – His sons and daughters. Without faith it is impossible to please Him – BUT – with FAITH we please Him and can receive every promise. “ALL the promises of God are YES in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20).”

Faith moves God.

Today is your day of victory and breakthrough so stand up and take your place. Claim the promises that belong to you as a son or daughter of our faith-honoring Father. Then, everything that He has promised will come true in your life.

My prayer for you today is that you will conquer and overcome every fear tactic of the enemy by standing in faith on God’s Word. Be FEARLESS and see that every promise that God has made will become yours.  

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Replica

Romans 8:29 – “For those whom He foreknew–of whom He was aware and loved beforehand–He also destined from the beginning…to be conformed into the image of His Son.”

As a believer, your destiny is to be molded into the image of Jesus, to grow until you look just like Him. The Bible in 2 Corinthians 3:18 implies that we are to “grow into the same image, being a replica of Jesus.” The Holy Spirit began that process the moment you were born again. You were supernaturally changed on the inside – instantly. How successful you are in allowing this change to continue and progress to the point that it affects the outer man is mostly up to you. We grow up spiritually just like we grow up physically. Diet and exercise!

Is there anything that we can do to speed up this growing process? Ask yourself this, if I continue doing what I am doing will that cause me to be more like Christ?

If we will spend more time pursuing the things of the Spirit than we do pursuing the things of the flesh, we will grow and become stronger spiritually. Become dedicated to the Word of God and make worship and prayer a daily priority. You must be willing to take the time to pull away from the busy things of life and get alone with God. He will guide you, teach you and share His heart with you.

Make worship and prayer a daily priority.

Have you ever noticed that if you spend time around people who have strong personalities, you will automatically be affected by them? The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 11:1 -“You should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” This Word is so amazing and relevant for us when you see the context. Paul did not have the advantage that the other apostles had by knowing Jesus in the flesh. He did not minister with Jesus as the other apostles did. But after his conversion, he pursued Jesus with his whole heart. And because of this pursuit, he gained the heart of Christ, to the point of imitation. When you spend time with strong people, you will find yourself doing the things they do. Their mannerisms will rub off on you. You cannot help it. They just influence you, especially if they are people you respect and admire.

The same thing is true in your relationship with God. If you spend enough time with Him, He’s going to rub off on you and His ways will become your ways. So, make yourself available to Him by praying, worshiping, being in church, and loving Him. Daily spend time in His Word and get around other people, who love His Word. Before you know it, you will notice yourself changing and growing from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). You will find your character becoming more like His. You will begin to think as He does, talk like Him and act like Him. You will become like Jesus in saying “If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father” (John 14:9).  His image will begin to be replicated in you. This should be our motive, in becoming a greater expression of Christ on the Earth.

You will find your character becoming more like His.

My prayer for you today is that you will fall in love with Jesus and then you will become an exact replica of Him.  

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven”

The Gospel of Power

Romans 1:16-“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the POWER of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes; to the Jew and also the Gentile.”

We should never underestimate the power of the Word of God. The Word of God possesses the very essence of who God is, His character and His nature. The CORE of who God is, is that He is good (1 Chronicles 16:34). And because of that being who He is, His love for us never wavers. Most people view God as an unstable schizophrenic who’s mood changes according to the circumstances. A recent survey’s findings said that 73% of Christians believe that God is angry, judgmental, uncaring, and distant. In other words, if you have been good, then He is happy with you. If you have messed up and sinned, then His mood changes, so He is mad at you. We need to understand that God and the GOSPEL are fixed and established upon the truth that Christ paid the total complete price for our SALVATION. The truth of God’s goodness is true for the believer and the unbeliever. That is why it is GOOD NEWS! And that does not change according to our behavior. But salvation is received and experienced in our lives through FAITH. One of the differences between the believer and the unbeliever is that the believer has placed their faith in Christ and His completed work, so now faith releases the POWER of GOD into the believer’s life empowering them to live out the life of Christ. For us as believers that means one-ness with the Father now empowers us to live as Christ lived with power over sin and every work of darkness (John 10:30). Despite religious unbelief, Jesus was the expression of the gospel, meaning that if Jesus did it, we can do it, we can have it, and experience it in our lives. Any message that contradicts the truth about what Jesus did in overcoming the powers of darkness, sickness, disease, sin, and death (and our power to do the same) is not the Gospel (John 14:12).

The truth of God’s goodness is true for the believer and unbeliever.

The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 1:16 that we are not to be ashamed of the gospel. The tactic of the enemy is to keep us under shame. And what do we do when we are ashamed? We attempt to hide the thing that brings us shame. The enemy’s lie is to beat us up with shame which causes us to live guilt-ridden lives, so we hide just like Adam did from the very one (our Father) who loves us and forgives us. If we are living in shame, we cannot experience the POWER of the GOSPEL that sets us free. The enemy knows that if he can keep you in shame, you will never live in victory. And when we allow his deception to control us, we will also be ashamed of the gospel. If we are living in shame, our lives and testimony will not be filled with power. Meaning that we will live powerless lives with no influence with others. 

I remember being in high school and occasionally having an acne problem. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. So, what did I do? I would usually get out the acne ointment and attempt to cover up the blemish. If it was a bad one, I would try to stay away from others. God says in1 John 1:7, “If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the BLOOD of JESUS cleanses us from ALL sin.” The light of Christ does not reveal anything in our lives to shame us or condemn us but rather to reveal His love for us, and to bring us back to a place of unhindered fellowship with Him and others. But when we do sin, the Holy Spirit always draws us to Christ so that we can REPENT (1 John 1:9). And when we do repent we are actually uncovering the infraction of our relationship and applying the healing ointment of the BLOOD of CHRIST so that we can have continual fellowship with Jesus and His blood (which keeps us free from guilt and shame).

Holy Spirit always draws us to Christ.

Today I want to encourage you to apply the healing ointment (the blood OF CHRIST) to any area of your life or anything in your life so that you can experience the POWER of the GOSPEL that will set you free from all guilt and shame, all sin and every sickness or disease.

The Power of the Gospel will set you free from all guilt and shame.

My prayer for you today is that you will allow the Holy Spirit to search your heart and allow the POWER of the GOSPEL to set you free. 

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

The Happy Life

Exodus 6: 2 – 3 – And God spoke to Moses and said, “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them.”

Is it possible that you can know God but not know Him as Lord? Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob knew God. They knew Him as God Almighty. But there was something about Him that they did not know. They didn’t know Him as the Lord, the present God. What I have discovered is that we relate to God according to the revelation that we have of Him. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob knew Him as they perceived Him to be. And as they saw Him, is who God became to them. I have a friend and when I first met him, I knew somethings about him. I knew he was retired and financially well off. I knew where he was from so, I assumed some things. I found that those preconceived ideas made me feel a certain way about him and look at him in a certain light. But as I got to know him on a more personal level my thoughts and feelings about him totally changed. There is so much more of Himself that God wants to show us. That is why He sent Jesus – so that we could get a clearer perspective of Himself. If you’ve seen Jesus you’ve seen the Father (Colossians 2:9). Everything that Jesus did and said was the indication of who the Father was and still is. And since He has not changed, He is still doing what He did when He walked the earth. It’s just that now He is walking the earth through believers, and He wants to use us to do what He did two thousand years ago (John 14:12).

How you see God is who He becomes to you.

We can only reflect on God what we see of God. If you view God as mean, angry, out to get you and mad at you, then that is the type of God you’re going to reflect to others. And that belief is going to determine the relationship that you have with God. Most people have only seen a certain kind of God in their mind, and that is who they think God is. But God wants you to see Him as Lord. He wants you to see Him through the life of the Lord Jesus.

People go to church and expect to find tired, sad, and boring people. They expect to hear that the sky is falling; the world is coming to an end and if you’re not ready then pity you. But that is not the God of the Bible. That is not His message. Jesus said in John 10:10, “I came that they could have life, and have it more abundantly.” New Living Translation (NLT) says,” that you may have a rich and satisfying life.” The Good News Translation (GNT) says, “life to the fullness.” Does that sound like the life that you have? Our lives with Jesus should make unbelievers envious and desirous of the Jesus that we say that we know.

That you may have a rich and satisfying life.

When unbelievers look at our lives, when they come to our churches, they should see and experience genuinely happy people. Not fakes pretending that everything is perfect. But people that even through the trials of life have joy because Jesus is the center of our lives. Yes, we are going through challenges, just like everyone else, but no one can take our joy. No circumstance can take our joy. That is the abundant life. That is knowing Jesus.

If that is not the life that you have, then I suggest that you get back to a Jesus-centered life. Our joy is not found in materialism or how much money we do or do not have. Our joy is in truly knowing Jesus as Lord. Jesus said in John 15:11, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” Complete means with nothing missing.

Here is the difference between religion and truly knowing Jesus. Our God is a joyful God. He is a happy God. If you’re His child, your reflection of Him should be of who He is in you (1 John 4:4). He loves uplifting and celebrative music. He said to praise Him in the dance (Psalm 149:3). God is not sitting up in Heaven during Praise and Worship with His fingers in His ears hoping that they would turn it down. He said to praise Him on the LOUD cymbals (Psalm 150:5). Our God loves rejoicing. He likes a party and celebration. As a matter of fact, Psalm 100:4 says, “To enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.” The truth is that you’re not going to get His presence without some praise.

God is joyful and happy – that should make us joyful and happy.

We cannot deny that we have challenges or deny that sometimes our hearts are heavy. But we must not dwell in our sorrow. Eleven years ago, when my wife of thirty years decided to divorce me, I was in sorrow and even experienced depression. But I refused to stay there. I praised my way out. As a Pastor, I became the loudest and the most radical praiser in the church. Because the place where He is praised and whoever praises God experiences the presence of God. You might be going through some tough things right now but let me encourage you – you do not have to stay there. You can praise your way through. I am telling you from personal experience, the quicker you come to a place of praise the quicker you will see the victory. The joy of the Lord is your strength! You can make it, you can take it because He is with you! 

My prayer for you today is that you will truly know the joy of the Lord.           

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Let Freedom Ring

2 Corinthians 3:17 – “Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is FREEDOM.”

There are a couple of thoughts that we really need to think about here as we consider the idea of freedom. The truth is that contrary to what we consider as freedom (democracy), the Kingdom of God is not a democracy. Most people think that they can do what they want and go to a church where they want. Either Jesus is your Lord or He’s not. The word Lord simply means – Master/Boss. I know that is not a popular idea in America, but Jesus wasn’t American. He was and still is the King of Kings and Lord of Lord’s. He came from Heaven to set us FREE from sin and death and to make us ambassadors in His Kingdom. That means that we live by a higher standard than democracy. That is why the Apostle Paul tells us – “That we ARE NOT our own, we’ve been bought with a price (you weren’t cheap, it took the Life and Blood of Jesus) so therefore glorify and honor God” (1 Corinthians 6:20). With that in mind let’s consider these thoughts – There are no perfect churches because there are no perfect people or Pastors. Jesus said in Mark 2:17 “Healthy people don’t need (me) a doctor, but sick people do.” The church is a hospital, meaning that we are all in the process of being healed. So, since none of us are perfect or totally healed what holds us together? What keeps us connected to a community of believers, protecting, and caring for one another? FREEDOM. The freedom to choose to understand and forgive each other.

The church is a hospital – meaning that we are all in the process of being healed!

The idea that if I don’t agree with what someone else is doing that, I can just leave a church family is a deceptive and divisive thought from Satan himself. That is what got him thrown out of Heaven. What keeps us together is the freedom to love and communicate when we don’t agree. The freedom to honor one another when we don’t agree. When people just walk out on relationships before having an honest, loving conversation keeps them from growing and maturing. They have lost out on the purpose of being saved and in the body of Christ, FREEDOM to honor and communicate. In freedom, there is no fear of being rejected or alienated by others because love sets us free from fear (1 John 4:18). Fear is the opponent of love and honor. Fear triggers anger, division, and manipulation. The thought, I’ll show them, I’ll just leave is nothing more than an attempt to control and manipulate, stimulated from anger and pride. Fear takes power away from the offended and puts them in a vulnerable condition now open to evil spirits (Ephesians 4:26,27). That is why when most people leave a church out of disagreement it is never of the Lord. When in a relationship and something is said or done that you don’t agree with, it is never honoring to just be quiet or leave the relationship. The God way and the mature way to handle a disagreement is to honor the relationship by having an honest, loving conversation. Because we are called to be honoring people (1 Peter 2:17). The truth is that we don’t need to be loving and honoring when we agree. How loving and honoring we are is tested by when we don’t agree. 

Our basis for relationships cannot be totally dependent on agreement. The biggest problem in the church is the belief that we must see eye to eye. The original apostles did not agree on everything or see eye to eye on every matter. But they did love and honor each other by talking about their disagreements. Who we are as a person proves itself in how we handle disagreement. Being an honoring person is not dependent on whether others live up to our expectations. Being a mature honoring person is determined by how we deal with disagreement. Our character is strengthened by dealing with conflict in a loving way. Ignoring the person and walking away from the relationship never grows us.

Being an honoring person is determined by how we handle disagreement.

The highest goal that we should have in life is becoming Christ-like. To love like Jesus, to forgive like Jesus, and to honor others the way that Jesus did. The Apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 6:1- “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin (sin can mean- that they’ve done something that you believe is wrong), you who are spiritual should restore that person gently.” We have a responsibility to each other, to recognize how important we are to one another. My biological brothers and I have had serious disagreements but neither one of us have severed our relationship. It’s sad that believers treat their spiritual family (the church) worst then their biological family. I believe that most people do not intentionally sin against others. In my over twenty years of professional counseling I have found that when someone offends someone else, the offender is not usually aware of it. When someone has done something that we believe is a relationship breaker we have the opportunity to be like Jesus, we must be willing to confront with the intention of restoring the relationship. The heart of restoration is never to prove I’m right, the motive behind restoration is relationship. Jesus showed us this after His resurrection. While Jesus was being crucified, Peter sinned against Jesus by denying Him three times, while Jesus was in His most neediness place, on the cross. In fact, Peter had sinned so big that he went back to his old way of life before Christ, in other words, he backslid. But watch Jesus’ example of honor. After His resurrection Jesus goes after Peter, He doesn’t avoid Peter. He finds Peter fishing. While Peter was out fishing, Jesus prepared breakfast for Peter and they shared a meal together. That’s how you do it folks if you want to be like Jesus. In the conversation, Jesus restores Peter back to friendship (John 21). That is how we are to treat each other in a relationship. Make restoration your goal when someone sins against you, don’t write them off. Restoration and honor is being Christ-like. 

We all have the FREEDOM to be real and honest with each other. We all have the FREEDOM to forgive. That is how we stay connected and how we protect a community of believers.

My prayer for you today is that you will find the FREEDOM to be honest, forthright, and honoring.

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!” 

Double Blessings

A couple of months ago a well-respected and recognized international prophet gave me a word. He does not know me personally or what I do. His word was this, “The things God spoke to you last December are important.” So, I went back into my journal to look at what God was speaking to me last December.

In the whole month of December God was speaking Psalm 92:12 to me. In fact, He said that it was “the Word for us, the body.”  

Psalm 92:12 – “The righteous will flourish.”

What God had said was that this year would be a year where the righteous will flourish, the word flourish meaning experience GREAT Breakthrough, Advancement, and Increase! Because I am an analytical teacher and because I want that great breakthrough for myself and for you, I asked the Father, how does great breakthrough happen? And He took me to 2 Chronicles 20:20, “Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; Believe His prophets (appointed man of God), you shall prosper.” What is interesting to me is that 2020 is the year of double. We are halfway through the year and so far, what we have seen this year is the opposite of double blessings. That just means that the last half of the year will more than makeup for the losses of the first half. Those that stay in faith and believe God’s prophets will see a double breakthrough in everything that they have a loss. “Believe His prophets and you shall prosper!”

One thing that is huge with God is relationships. He has called us into relationships. He did not call us to be independent. Because the enemy is a deceiver and hates us as children of The Most High God, one of his biggest tactics against us is in our relationships. The devil knows that if he can separate us from God-ordained and called relationships, he can shipwreck us from God’s blessings and purposes for our lives. Just the other day I told a man that is fighting cancer, that the house (church, pastor) that you are in a relationship with is the stuff (Word, faith) you’ll receive. “Wrong house, wrong stuff.”

One thing that is huge with God is relationships.

I will say that this year God has proven this Word to be true in our life. That by honoring the authority relationships in my life, in spite of what is going on in the world my wife’s business is flourishing, she has received a 40% raise on her corporate job, we are stepping into our life dream (www.RockysRoadhouse.com), that is taking the Kingdom of God outside of the four walls of the church to the people that need the gospel the most, the un-churched. I believe that all of this has happened because I have believed 2 Chronicles 20:20 and have chosen to honor and seek counsel from the pastors/prophets that I am in a relationship with.

In Matthew 8, Jesus says this about the centurion soldier, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone with such great faith.” Jesus found GREAT FAITH impossible to ignore. But why did Jesus recognize the centurion as a man with great faith? The centurion told Jesus before this affirmation, “I am a man UNDER AUTHORITY.” Meaning that he was submitted to the leading authority in his life. If you are not under Spiritual authority your either full of pride or rebellious, and you’re missing out on God’s best for your life.

Neither pride or rebellion lead to success and flourishing. 

For the plans and purposes of God (Flourishing) to be carried out and fulfilled in our lives we must be under Spiritual authority and seek to have a Pastor/Prophet relationship speaking into our lives. The word righteous in Psalm 92:12 means to be in right alignment. In America because of our independent spirit we have been deceived to believe that the only relationship that matters is our relationship with God. God does not endorse that belief nor does He teach that in His Word. According to 2 Chronicles 20:20, proper alignment with God requires that we be in a relationship with a man of God (Pastor, Prophet). We are called by God to be in relationships that will speak into our lives, hold us accountable, and give us Godly counsel when needed. According to 2 Chronicles 20:20, a relationship with a pastor/prophet is necessary for our own good and protection from deception. When we make decisions that affect our lives and especially that affect other people’s lives it is necessary to seek counsel from a called man (woman) of God. And the counsel that we receive should include the Pastor that we are in a relationship with. I am truly fortunate to still be in close relationship with my mentor/pastor for 32 years. For 32 years I have consistently consulted with him when I have important decisions to make. He has always been there for me. He has not always told me what I have wanted to hear but he has always told me what I needed to hear. After 32 years of pastoring, I have seen that most people do not want relationships that will hold them accountable. In fact, I will say that most people’s mistakes happen when they do not seek counsel from a man of God that they are in a relationship with. But to fulfill God’s purposes for our lives we must be in a relationship with a God called God-ordained pastor/prophet (Ephesians 4:11,12).

To have Spiritual Authority we must be under Spiritual Authority.

The reason that most do not seek counsel from these relationships is that they are afraid that the man of God will not agree with what they feel led to do. If that is true, that does not relieve us from how God has designed for our lives to be led. If what we feel led to do is God, it should be important enough to go about it God’s way, by seeking counsel from a called man (woman) of God that we are in a relationship with. We should always seek counsel to confirm or correct what we believe that we are being led to do. If the only counsel we receive is from our friends or spouse, we are very possibly going to be deceived. Not that our friends or spouse are deceived but our friends and spouse usually support us and want us to be happy.

To fulfill God’s purposes for our lives we must be in relationship with a Pastor/Prophet.   

Today, I encourage you to not be deceived. Do not believe that you are mature enough to make important decisions without Godly counsel. That’s called PRIDE. Seek to have Jesus say of you, “I have not seen such great faith” because you positioned yourself under Spiritual authority. I’m telling you that if you do it God’s way you will get what God wants. You will flourish and prosper.

My prayer for you today is that if you are not that you will come into a relationship with a called man (woman) of God (pastor/prophet) that you can have speak into your life. 

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Relationships

1 Peter 2:17 – “Honor everyone, and love the family of believers, fear God, and respect the king (President). 

Life is made up of relationships, and how we treat relationships will always determine the level of maturity that we will grow too. We all need relationships that will challenge us and help us grow. Through relationships, we become stronger, mature, and better people. The truth is that many people run away from relationships that challenge them not realizing that they’re limiting their own growth. I used to do that with gay people. Because I did not agree with their lifestyle, I would avoid them, not realizing that I wasn’t living out the love that I professed as a believer. Then one day the Holy Spirit convicted me of this, so I started reaching out and having uncomfortable conversations. Uncomfortable in the sense that it was challenging to me, probably for them also. But by me honoring these people who I disagreed with it challenged me and grew me to genuinely love as Christ loves. Honoring one another is not about agreeing. In fact, honoring one another is only tested when we don’t agree. The test of honor is when we disagree, are we still going to be honoring to one another. Relationships teach us about ourselves. How we treat others, how we speak about others, and how we love others. All of that is a reflection of our hearts.

Honoring one another is not about agreeing.

The Bible makes it clear in Proverbs 27:17 -“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” If we go through life just looking to be in a relationship with people that we agree with our lives will be shallow and dull. And if we cut off people that we don’t agree with we will never grow. Relationships are to sharpen us to be stronger and better people, reflecting the love of God. When two swords are being sharpened by each other they are knocking off the rough and dulled edges, making a sharper and more effective sword for battle. What happens when we don’t honor one another, is that we lose the opportunity to be sharpened and we will not be prepared for the next battle the enemy brings our way. Again, being an honoring person is only proven and tested through disagreement. It doesn’t take being honoring when we always see eye to eye and agree. The true measure of who we are is proven through how we treat each other when we don’t agree.

The Bible is filled with verses that indicate to us who we are to honor. Honor the Lord, Honor your father and mother, Honor your wife, Honor those in authority, Honor your boss, and Honor Pastors. In fact, God says, “to give double honor to pastors” 1 Timothy 5:17. In 1 Peter 2:17 – “Honor everyone,” covers everybody else, no one is left out. The word honor refers to how we respect and treat others. If I am to be an honoring person then I am to respect and treat you with honor, especially when we don’t agree. If you are going to grow and mature spiritually this is not optional. Honoring others is a command. When we are honoring people we will not just walk out on relationships, we will honor the relationship by treating it with respect. We must be honoring to others by being an honoring person. Honor is not something that others have to earn; honor must be who I am. Being an honoring person is not determined by anyone else other than yourself. You can disrespect me, hurt me, and lie about me, but that doesn’t change who I am. I am still commanded to honor everyone.

People that are Honoring people do not just walk out on relationships.

So, what does honor look like? To be an honoring person means that when we disagree with someone (that we are in a relationship with), we have a responsibility to sit with that person and have an honest and respectful conversation with them. I have pastor friends in whom we disagree on certain things, but we are still in a relationship and respectfully express our differences. We don’t allow our difference to cause us to be dishonoring to one another. Jesus gives us this instruction and command in Matthew 18:15 – “If a brother or a sister has offended you (that means that you don’t agree about something), then go to them in private.” Sometimes I think that we think that Jesus just made some good suggestions. Jesus gave us instructions to obey; and when we don’t, that’s called sin. Jesus makes it clear that to honor the relationship, you go straight to the person that has offended you to reconcile. You don’t call, email, text, or invite people over your house to express your disapproval. That is sin and immature people do that. God does not give us a default clause because you don’t think that the other person will listen to you. You are still responsible to go and talk face to face with that person. God’s love to us was proved by Him extending reconciliation to us when we were in direct opposition and disagreement with Him (Romans 5:8). We prove how mature we are by living for reconciliation with others. In Matthew 5:9 Jesus describes an honoring person with an awesome promise. Matthew 5:9- “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Honoring people are people that seek peace with those that they disagree with. The biggest issue that the world has with the church is that most people, in the church, don’t even try to reconcile relationships, they just walk out on them. Even the world knows that’s not love. So, the world just looks at us, the church, and calls us hypocrites. And they say, “why would I want anything to do with people who can’t even love each other”. If we would grow up to the point of understanding how important and valuable relationships are, especially Godly ones, brothers, and sisters, then we would begin to honor each other.

When we don’t attempt to reconcile relationships, Jesus calls that sin.

My prayer for you today is that you would realize how important it is to be an honoring person. Your life and health are dependent upon it.

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers 

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”