Overcoming Generational Sin

Sin recovery is acknowledging your family’s struggles and how they impact you today so that you can overcome them now and keep your children from having to overcome them tomorrow.

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Audio Link: http://bit.ly/ThoughtsinWorship

Today’s Scripture Focus: Nehemiah 9:34-38

We are focusing on sin recovery principle number four of 12: “We are submitting to an honest self-inventory as the Holy Spirit makes us more aware.”

I know from experience what it’s like to suffer internal struggles due to heredity. Every person born of a woman, whether you know her or not, has to face the reality of your ancestors. This reality is that they struggled with pride, rage, hatred, pessimism, over ambitiousness, promiscuity, alcoholism, drug abuse, greed, envy, doubt, and much more. The sooner you admit this to yourself the sooner you will be in a position to experience victory.

Family Feud

If your dad was an angry man, acknowledge that his anger may have had a negative impact on you. Maybe your mother was a crack addict. Acknowledge that her addiction had some negative impact on you. If your grandmother couldn’t see a handsome man go by without soliciting him, acknowledge that this may have had some negative impact on your life. Or maybe your grandfather abandoned his family. Accept that his decision has had a negative impact on your life.

I say all this not to give you a multitude of excuses or a list of individuals to blame for all of your problems or maladaptive, yea sinful, behaviors. I say this so that you can take an honest self-inventory and begin to identify some of what makes you tick. There are a number of sins and behaviors that many of us struggle with that are directly linked to the struggles and decisions of our foreparents.

What’s Next?

What do you do once you recognize the impact of your ancestors on your life? Do you wallow in it? Do you blame someone else for your poor choices? Do you throw up your hands in despair because you feel like you got the short end of the stick in life? Let me share an idea with you.

You should talk to God about it. I know it sounds too simple to be true. But honestly. Ask God to show you how the decisions and habits of your foreparents is having and impact on your lifestyle choices today. Ask him to nullify the effects of heredity to the point that it drives you to do evil. Ask God to teach you new ways of dealing with issues; teach you new ways of viewing yourself and others; teach you new behaviors to replace the broken and sinful ones of your past. Ask God to manifest His love so powerfully in your life that you learn to make the right choices as matter of consistent habit so you can bring Him glory. And finally, ask God to adopt you in His family. His bloodline wasn’t perfect. It’s also filled with everything from liars to prostitutes to murderers. And yet, Christ was able to rise above the sin in His family’s past and live a perfect life.

God’s not asking you to condemn your family. He’s simply asking you to acknowledge their brokenness and ask for His help so that you can recover from the sins of your family. He wants to give you victory over the sins they couldn’t seem to overcome. God will not disappoint. He longs to help you recover from the sins of your past so that they don’t get passed on to the next generation.




God Still Delivers

Sin Recovery is submitting our wills and lives wholeheartedly to God.

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Audio Link: http://bit.ly/ThoughtsinWorship

Today’s Scripture Focus: Psalm 61

I can attest to the fact that God’s ears are attentive to the prayers of those who love Him. He is ready, willing and available to answer us when we call. The problem is that too many of us neglect to call Him. Too many of us put God last on our call list.

Let me tell you a story.

A Different King of Healing

This past Saturday I was in a meeting with various church leaders. After several minutes, there was a knock at the door. It was one of our elders. In my faith tradition, an elder is a servant leader who supports the pastor in facilitating relationships and spiritual growth among the membership. This particular elder said two people down in the sanctuary appeared to need emergency medical attention. Once we got to them it was evident that they were oppressed and possessed by demonic spirits as seen in Mark 5.

A Psalm 61 Anointing

Immediately, a group of us armored up, prayed, and confessed our sins to God. We did this so that no sin within us could stop the Holy Spirit from delivering these two people. We needed to intervene on their behalf under the power of the Holy Spirit and the authority of Jesus Christ. And so, we asked God to forgive us of the sins inside of us. To make an incredibly long story short, these two people were in fact under the direct oppression of evil angels. I will not share all that happened that night, but as we prayed, read Scripture, and sang hymns we chose to read Psalm 61 over them while anointing them with oil.

I asked God to hear my cry. My heart was overwhelmed as I called on His name for assistance. I asked Him to be jealous over His honor and to get glory in the situation by breaking the yoke and setting these captives free. Praying fervently, I asked the Lord to forgive them of whatever they had done. I pleaded with the Lord to loose them from whatever foothold they created within their lives. In the spirit of verse seven, I asked God to protect and reign over them. And I had full faith and assurance that God wanted to and would deliver these two souls.

Deliverance is Sweet

I am delighted to report to you that God came through! I watched Him deliver those two souls with my own eyes. He manifested His love for them by using us to pray over them. What a beautiful thing to see God free people from the Devil’s binding grip; from his efforts to force them to do his evil bidding.

What is crucial about this story is that the key to their deliverance is the divine authority of Jesus Christ. These two people are able to experience spiritual freedom today because of the sacrifice and resurrection of our Lord and Savior. We were simply servant leaders fully submitted to Him, ready and willing to step on that battlefield and be used to deliver His children.

But guess what else I asked God to do? In the spirit of verse eight, I asked Him to teach these folks to praise Him for His goodness to them, and for them to dedicate their lives in service to Him. Whenever God is so gracious to descend in the Spirit and free us in such a way, we must be certain to thank and praise Him!

Victory Comes Through Submission

We may not be spiritually oppressed to the extent that these two people were. But many of us find ourselves addicted to all sorts of sins. For some of us, pornography is our demon; lying is our demon; pride is our demon; gossip is our demon; violence is our demon; drugs and alcohol are our demons. There are so many sins and vices that oppress us on a day to day basis. And what this experience has taught me is that victory comes through submission. If I want to partner with God to participate in the freedom of another my life must be wholly submitted to Him. And if I find myself in need of victory and salvation then I simply need to surrender and confess to God my desire to be wholly submitted to Him.

Victory is is truly ours! Like the song says I want you to know that you can say with confidence “Satan, get thee behind! Victory today is mine!” I want you to ask God to teach you whole life submission, and encourage you to make this verse your life’s motto:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Philippians 4:8-9

If God could deliver those dear children from the chains of Satan’s angels, then what in your life is too difficult for Him? Absolutely nothing.




Promised Victory in Revelation

Open the pages of the Bible’s prophetic end time missives to discover God’s message for you.

We’re living in a time that is distinctively different than anything we’ve seen or witnessed before. The prophetic words of Jesus that describe the events surrounding His Second Coming are expeditiously coming to fulfillment. “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”1

Jesus has won! 

Christ returneth! 

Hallelujah! 

Hallelujah!

Amen!

Over 2,000 years ago, Christ foretold what our current world would resemble, and truly His words are coming to fruition. We are inundated with the threat of war. The menacing frequency of natural disasters including earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and volcanic activity are commonplace. Terroristic attacks, school shootings, and gun violence plague us everyday. Death, disease, and destruction are rampant. Allegations of sexual assault are on the rise as countless individuals have joined the “#MeToo” Movement” in response to the abuse they’ve received at the hands of others.

And while all of the aforementioned eschatological events must come to pass, God, in the Book of Revelation, has given us assurance that we, His people, will have ultimate victory through Jesus Christ! In fact, Revelation is all about Jesus! When we read the opening words of the book, we’re told that it is the “Revelation of Jesus Christ,”2 and that God gave Revelation to Jesus; Jesus gave it to an angel; an angel gave to John; and John wrote it down and gave it to us!3

Don’t Be Alarmed.

Given its end time emphasis, Revelation is also a prophetic book. It’s our New Testament prophetic book, while Daniel is its prophetic counterpart in the Old Testament. Yet, many people are uncomfortable reading Daniel and the Revelation because either they don’t understand these books, or they get fearful when considering the lions, bears, beasts, and symbols in these books. They say, “I don’t know what all those symbols represent. Daniel and the Revelation make me scared!”

But “God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”4 And when you understand all of the symbols and animals, you will discover that the books of Daniel and the Revelation are books about God’s love revealed in Jesus, and the fact that Jesus wants to save us!5

Revelation then is not a closed or sealed book! God wants us to read it!6 In fact, the very word “Revelation,” by definition, means “to reveal.” To reveal is “to expose. To uncover! To make known. To tell!”7 Revelation reveals Jesus, but it also exposes Satan and his demonic and deceptive nature. Therefore, Satan doesn’t want us to read, hear, or keep Revelation. Hence, in Revelation, we are faced with the question of “Who will we give our loyalty and worship to – God or Satan?” One of the three angels of Revelation 14 admonishes us where to stake our claim, “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”8

We Win!

Let’s be on the winning side! Jesus’ side! In Him, we win! He is victorious over Satan,9 and will reign forever!10 Satan is defeated and Satan is a failure! He failed in heaven against Jesus! He failed when he tried to kill Jesus in infancy! He failed when he tried to tempt Jesus in adulthood! He failed at the cross against Jesus! And He’s going to fail at the Second Coming of Jesus!

Despite the eschatological overtones of our present day, remember, Jesus has won! Christ returneth! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen!11

…......………………………………………………………………….

CARLTON P. BYRD, D.MIN., is Senior Pastor of the Oakwood University Church in Huntsville, Alabama and the speaker and director for Breath of Life Television Ministries.

*All scriptural texts are taken from the King James Version unless otherwise indicated.

1 Matthew 24:6-8, NKJV

2 Revelation 1:1

3 Revelation 1:1-5

4 2 Timothy 1:7

5 Revelation 22:7, 12

6 Revelation 1:3

7 www.merriam-webster.com

8 Revelation 14:7

9 Revelation 20:10

10 Revelation 21:1-4

11 H.L. Turner, “Christ Returneth,” Hymn, 1878.



This article is part of our 2018 July / August Issue
Subscribe –>

 

 

 




When God Likes Your Singing

“Sing Unto the Lord a New Song: Meditations From the Book of Psalms” Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, July 29, 2018

Listen to “Thoughts in Worship 07.29.2018” on Spreaker.

“Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings” (Psalms 33:2).

Joyful Noises

Singing unto the Lord is one of the greatest blessings we can enjoy. When we rehearse the great things He has done for us, our delight is to worship Him in song. We may not have the most beautiful sounding voices, or skillfully handle stringed instruments, but sincere worship is acceptable to God.

“O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded” Psalms 22:2-5. When we pour out our hearts before the Lord, and praise Him with our entire beings, the Bible says that He who inhabits praise will deliver us.

Case Studies in Song

Many incredible things occurred for God’s people when they praised Him. I will give two examples of God’s power to deliver in the midst of His people’s worship.

(1) “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed” (Acts 16:25- 26).

(2) “And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth forever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten” (2 Chronicles 20:20-22).

They sang when the Spirit led them to, and the Lord showed favor on them. Let us learn how to praise Him as they did.

Melodies from Heaven

The Lord has shown us how willing He is to dispel darkness at the sound of sincere melodies of worship. He has also shown us how He will deliver us at the last day in the presence of spiritual music. This time it will be melodies uttered by God Himself. Can you imagine what a wonderful day it will be when the melodious voice of God is heard, and the dead in Christ rise? Imagine how beautiful the sound of His trumpet will be in that day of final deliverance (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

It is a great idea to enrich our worship expression with musical praise. The Lord enjoys expressions of praise and dwells with His people when we do so.

Sing unto the Lord a new song. Celebrate the gift of singing hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs unto the Lord.




Victory Coaching

The Gospel According to Paul: Victorious and Glorious! Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Thursday, June 28, 2018
Listen to “Thoughts in Worship 06.28.2018” on Spreaker.

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:11–14).

Timely Teachings

It takes just under two minutes to read Titus, chapter 2. What is impressive about this is how much practical wisdom is written there from which to draw. The Bible writer communicated jewels of wisdom. Paul encouraged prudence, love, faithfulness, soberness, goodness, and self-control. He advocated integrity, submission, faithful work, fidelity, and general righteousness. He spoke to the necessity of the elder men and women to be holy. They are to teach the younger ones how to live pleasing lives in the sight of God. He spoke to the blessing of women being of model characters in their households. Paul encouraged employees to give complete and perfect fidelity in their work.  With a commitment to their employers, they would be worthy representatives of God.

Paul gave the comprehensive advice communicated in this short chapter for two principal purposes. First, our Father wants us to know that even in this present evil age, we can live godly in Christ. Unfortunately, so many people feel like the outward influences are too enormous to overcome, and that we cannot lead victorious lives. The focus in this is always skewed. However, the matter is not whether we can accomplish holiness, as much as it is whether our God is able to keep us from falling. Thus, it is our privilege to focus our attention on Him and receive His strength to overcome any difficulty. He is able.

Victorious Hope

The second purpose of the chapter is to show how victorious people, who live godly in this present evil age, have what is called the Blessed Hope. This hope is the realization that God places in His people in every generation that He could quite possibly return in their lifetime. This is encouraging, because we who love Him, want nothing more than to see Him. So, He places that sense of expectation in our hearts. And, one day, friends, He will burst the clouds and with jubilant trumpet sounds, He will keep His promise to take us to that place where there is no sorrow, crying, poverty, sin, or pain. We look forward to that day.

“For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind. It has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness (irreligion) and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world, Awaiting and looking for the [fulfillment, the realization of our] blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One), Who gave Himself on our behalf that He might redeem us (purchase our freedom) from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people [to be peculiarly His own, people who are] eager and enthusiastic about [living a life that is good and filled with] beneficial deeds” (Titus 2:11–14, AMP).

I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, are you?




When Folks In Your Family Tree Are A Little Crooked

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Today’s Scripture Focus: Nehemiah 9:34-38

sin recovery planWe are focusing on sin recovery principle number four of 12: “We are submitting to an honest self-inventory as the Holy Spirit makes us more aware.”

I know from experience what it’s like to suffer internal struggles due to heredity. Every person who was born of a woman, whether you know her or not, has to face the reality of your ancestors. This reality is that they struggled with pride, rage, hatred, pessimism, over-ambitiousness, promiscuity, alcoholism, drug abuse, greed, envy, doubt, etc. The sooner you admit that to yourself, and that this accounts for half of your struggles, the other half being habits you have cultivated yourself, is the sooner you will be in a position to experience victory.

If your dad was an angry man, acknowledge that his anger may have had a negative impact on you. If your mother was a crack addict, acknowledge that her addiction had some negative impact on you. If your grandmother was a woman of the night and could not see a handsome man go by without soliciting him, acknowledge that this may have had some negative impact on your life. If your grandfather abandoned his family, accept the fact that this had a negative impact on your life. I say all this not to give you a way to make excuses for maladaptive or sinful behaviors. I say this so you can take an honest self-inventory and perhaps identify some of what makes you tick. Yes, there are great qualities we also inherit from our foreparents, but obviously, we do not need to overcome those.

What do you do once you recognize the impact of your ancestors on your life? Do you wallow in it? Do you blame someone else for your poor choices? Do you throw up your hands in despair because you feel like you got the short end of the stick in this thing called life? Let me share an idea with you. You should talk to God about it. Ask God to show you what negative impact the decisions and habits of your foreparents are still affecting your lifestyle choices today. Ask him to nullify the effects of heredity to the extent that it drives you to do evil. Ask God to manifest His love in your life some much that you learn to make right choices as a matter of consistent habit so you can bring Him glory. Ask God to adopt you into His family and give you a fresh, godly bloodline through Christ. Ask God how to be of service to the next generation.