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Florence Shedrach
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Florence Shedrach

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TO ARREST UNPROFITABLE LATENESS IN MARRIAGE

PRAYER POINTS

For spinsters and bachelors who feel that obtaining the right partner is getting rather late.  The best way to arrest delay in marriage is to engage in constant wrestling bouts with the enemy and to call back all the benefits you would have gained if you had gotten married earlier.  God is waiting for you to fight it out with your enemy.

 No word of God shall lack power of fulfillment!  God's words are always backed by His authority and we know His words cannot return to Him void. We serve a God that cannot lie. His dreams, vision and words concerning our lives will surely come to pass.  God is the one that instituted marriage and He performed the first wedding ceremony in Genesis chapter 2.  God has a man for every woman and if you feel that you have lost God's perfect will for your life, don't forget that for every Vashti there is an Esther.

 Lateness in marriage can come as a result of collective captivity, manipulations of household wickedness, spirit husband/wife and other anti-marriage forces. "In His time God makes all things beautiful" (Ecclesiastes 3:11).  The God that makes all things beautiful, will step into your situation, break down every wall of parti­tion between you and your God-ordained partner (Ephesians 2:14) and gather you together by His Spirit (Isaiah 34:16; Ephesians 2:13).  Our God is faithful! He never comes late.  He will hasten His words (concerning your marriage) to perform it. (Jeremiah 1:12).

 

CONFESSIONS

 Habakkuk 2:3 says, “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

 Isaiah 34:16 says, “Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.

 Philip. 2:9-10 says, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: [10] That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;”

 Col. 2:13 says, “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”

 Rev. 12:11 says, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

 Luke 1:37 says, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

 

 PRAISE WORSHIP

1.    Thank the Lord because your miracle has come.
2.      Ask the Lord to forgive you any sin that would hinder answers to your prayers.
3.    Lord, make known to me the secrets of my inner life. Help me Lord, to discover my real self.
4.    Help me Lord, to discover my real self.
5.    Let every imagination of the enemy against my marital life be rendered impotent, in the name of Jesus.
6.      I refuse to co-operate with any anti-marriage spells and curses, in the name of Jesus.
7.    I cancel every bewitchment fashioned against my settling down in marriage, in the name of Jesus.
8.      Let every force magnetizing the wrong people to me be paralyzed, in the name of Jesus.
9.    I break every covenant of marital failure and late marriage, in the name of Jesus.
10.  I cancel every spiritual wedding conducted consciously or uncon­sciously on my behalf, in the name of Jesus.
11.  I remove the hand of household wickedness from my marital life, in the name of Jesus.
12.  Let every incantation, incisions, hexes and other spiritually harmful activities working against me, be completely neutralized, in the name of Jesus.
13.    I command all forces of evil manipulating, delaying or hindering marriage to be completely paralyzed, in the name of Jesus.
14.    Let all evil anti-marriage marks be removed, in Jesus' name.
15.    Lord, restore me to the perfect way in which You created me if I ha been altered.
16.    Father, let Your fire destroy every satanic weapon fashioned against my marriage, in the name of Jesus.
17.    Lord, expose all the schemes and plans of satan ever devised again me through any source and at any time.
18.    I forsake any personal sin that has given ground to the enemy, in the name of Jesus.
19.    I reclaim all the ground I have lost to the enemy, in Jesus' name.
20.    I apply the power in the name and blood of Jesus to my marital situation.
21.    I apply the blood of Jesus to remove all consequences of evil operations and oppression, in the name of Jesus.
22.    I break the binding effect of anything of evil ever put upon me from any source, in the name of Jesus.
23.    Let all the enemies of Jesus Christ operating against my life be ex-posed, in the name of Jesus.
24.    I sever myself from any satanic linkage and any strange power, in the name of Jesus.
25.    I remove the right of the enemy to afflict my plan to get married, in the name of Jesus.
26.    I break every bondage of inherited marital confusion, in the name of Jesus.
27.    I bind and plunder the goods of every strongman attached to my mar­riage, in the name of Jesus.
28.  Let the angels of the living God roll away the stone blocking my marital breakthrough in the name of Jesus.
29.  I remove my name from the book of seers of goodness without mani­festation, in the name of Jesus.
30.  Let God arise and let all the enemies of my marital breakthrough be scattered, in the name of Jesus.
31.  Let the fire of God melt away the stones hindering my marital bless­ings, in the mighty name of Jesus.
32.  Let the cloud blocking the sunlight of my glory and breakthrough be dispersed, in the name of Jesus.
33.  Let all evil spirits masquerading to trouble my marital life be bound, in the name of Jesus.
34.  The pregnancy of good things within me will not be aborted by any contrary power, in the name of Jesus.
35.  Lord, let wonderful changes begin to be my lot from this week.
36.  I reject every spirit of the tail in all areas of my life, in Jesus' name.
37.  I receive my right match in the name of Jesus.
38.  I stand against every spirit of discouragement, fear, worry and frustra­tion, in the name of Jesus.
39.  Lord, turn away all that would jilt, disappoint or fail me.
40.  Thank God for the victory.
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Florence Shedrach

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Question: "How can demonic strongholds be overcome?"

Answer: Before demonic strongholds can be overcome, it must be understood exactly what demonic strongholds are. The word stronghold appears only once in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 10:4), and the Greek word translated “stronghold” means “a fortification such as a castle.” In this passage, the apostle Paul is instructing the church at Corinth on how to fight against and “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God” (v. 5). They do this, not by using the weapons of the world, but by “divine power.” Lofty arguments and opinions are the result of pride and evil and vain imaginations, the very strongholds in which demons reside. This, then, is the essence of demonic warfare—the power of God to overcome the strongholds of demons.

In Ephesians 6:10-18, Paul describes the resources that God makes available to His followers—the armor of God. Here we are told how, in an attitude of humility and dependence, we are to avail ourselves of God's resources. Note that we are to be strong “in the Lord” and “in the power of His might.” We do not take on demonic strongholds in our own strength. We protect ourselves with the first five pieces of defensive armor and wield the one offensive weapon—the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. In verses 12 and 13 of Ephesians 6, Paul continues, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

One of the habits that every believer needs to develop is to focus on Ephesians 6:10-18 and commit himself to “get dressed” spiritually every day. It would go a long way to giving victory over the devil and his schemes. Here Paul states that, while we walk in the flesh (we are living and breathing in this human body), we do not war according to the flesh (we can’t fight spiritual battles with fleshly weapons). Instead, as we focus on the resources and weapons of spiritual strength, we can see God give us specific and real victory. No demonic stronghold can withstand Christians wearing the full armor of God, battling with the Word of God, and empowered by His Spirit.
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Question: "How can we experience true freedom in Christ?"

Answer: Everyone seeks freedom. Especially in the West, freedom is the highest virtue, and it is sought after by all who are, or consider themselves to be, oppressed. But freedom in Christ is not the same as political or economic freedom. In fact, some of the most harshly oppressed people in history have had complete freedom in Christ. The Bible tells us that, spiritually speaking, no one is free. In Romans 6, Paul explains that we are all slaves. We are either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness. Those who are slaves to sin cannot free themselves from it, but once we are freed from the penalty and power of sin through the cross, we become a different kind of slave, and in that slavery we find complete peace and true freedom.

Although it seems like a contradiction, the only true freedom in Christ comes to those who are His slaves. Slavery has come to mean degradation, hardship, and inequality. But the biblical paradigm is the true freedom of the slave of Christ who experiences joy and peace, the products of the only true freedom we will ever know in this life. There are 124 occurrences in the New Testament of the word doulos, which means “someone who belongs to another” or “bondslave with no ownership rights of his own.” Unfortunately, most modern Bible versions, as well as the King James Version, most often translate doulos as “servant” or “bond-servant.” But a servant is one who works for wages, and who, by virtue of his work, is owed something from his master. The Christian, on the other hand, has nothing to offer the Lord in payment for his forgiveness, and he is totally owned by the Master who bought him with His shed blood on the cross. Christians are purchased by that blood and are the possession of their Lord and Savior. We are not hired by Him; we belong to Him (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 7:4). So “slave” is really the only proper translation of the word doulos.

Far from being oppressed, the slave of Christ is truly free. We have been set free from sin by the Son of God who said, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). Now the Christian can truly say, along with Paul, “Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). We now know the truth and that truth has set us free (Romans 8:32). Paradoxically, through our bondage to Christ, we have also become sons and heirs of the Most High God (Galatians 4:1–7). As heirs, we are partakers of that inheritance—eternal life—which God confers on all His children. This is a privilege beyond any earthly treasure we could ever inherit, while those in bondage to sin inherit only spiritual death and an eternity in hell.

Why, then, do so many Christians live as though they are still in bondage? For one thing, we often rebel against our Master, refusing to obey Him and clinging to our old lives. We hold on to the sins that once bound us to Satan as our master. Because our new nature still lives in the old fleshly nature, we are still drawn to sin. Paul tells the Ephesians to “put off” the old self with its deceit and corruption and “put on” the new self with its righteousness. Put off lying, and put on truthfulness. Put off stealing, and put on usefulness and work. Put off bitterness, rage, and anger, and put on kindness, compassion, and forgiveness (Ephesians 4:22–32). We have been set free from the bondage of sin, but we often put the chains back on because part of us loves the old life.

Furthermore, often we don’t realize that we have been crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20) and that we have been reborn as completely new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17). The Christian life is one of death to self and rising to “walk in the newness of life” (Romans 6:4), and that new life is characterized by thoughts about Him who saved us, not thoughts about the dead flesh that has been crucified with Christ. When we are continually thinking about ourselves and indulging the flesh in sins we have been freed from, we are essentially carrying around a corpse, full of rottenness and death. The only way to bury it fully is by the power of the Spirit who is the only source of strength. We strengthen the new nature by continually feeding on the Word of God, and through prayer we obtain the power we need to escape the desire to return to the old life of sin. Then we will realize that our new status as slaves to Christ is the only true freedom, and we will call upon His power to “not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires” (Romans 6:12).
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Question: "What is spiritual maturity? How can I become more spiritually mature?"

Answer: Spiritual maturity is achieved through becoming more like Jesus Christ. After salvation, every Christian begins the process of spiritual growth, with the intent to become spiritually mature. According to the apostle Paul, it’s an ongoing process that will never end in this life. In Philippians 3:12–14, speaking of full knowledge of Christ, he tells his readers that he himself has not “already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Like Paul, we have to press continually toward deeper knowledge of God in Christ.

Christian maturity requires a radical reordering of one’s priorities, changing over from pleasing self to pleasing God and learning to obey God. The key to maturity is consistency, perseverance in doing those things we know will bring us closer to God. These practices are referred to as the spiritual disciplines and include things such as Bible reading/study, prayer, fellowship, service, and stewardship. No matter how hard we might work on those things, however, none of this is possible without the enabling of the Holy Spirit within us. Galatians 5:16 tells us that we’re to “walk by the Spirit.” The Greek word used here for “walk” actually means “to walk with a purpose in view.” Later in the same chapter, Paul tells us again that we’re to “walk by the Spirit.” Here, the word translated “walk” has the idea of taking things “step by step, one step at a time.” It is learning to walk under the instruction of another—the Holy Spirit. Being filled with the Spirit means we walk under the Spirit’s control. As we submit more and more to the Spirit’s control, we will also see an increase in the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (Galatians 5:22–23). This is characteristic of spiritual maturity.

When we become Christians, we are given all we need for spiritual maturity. Peter tells us that “[God’s] divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3). God alone is our resource, and all growth comes by grace through Him, but we are responsible to make the choice to obey. Peter again helps us in this area: “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:5–8). Being effective and fruitful in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus is the essence of spiritual maturity.
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Question: "What are the spiritual disciplines?"

Answer: Discipline is defined as "training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior." Discipline is not part of the sin nature, but it is a natural component of the Christian life. In fact, almost nothing of any significance in our lives is ever accomplished without it. Spiritual disciplines can be described as those behaviors that augment our spiritual growth and enable us to grow to spiritual maturity. This process of spiritual growth and development begins to take place the moment a person encounters the risen Christ and comes to Him for salvation.

The purpose of spiritual discipline is the development of our inner being, that which has been transformed by Christ at salvation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Redeemed believers have experienced the total renewal of the whole person from within, involving differences in thought, feeling and character that may be slower to be evident in our outward behavior. This is what Paul had in mind when he spoke of taking off the "old self" and putting on the new, “which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Colossians 3:9-10).

There are a number of popular programs and books today on the spiritual disciplines, but some go too far from Scripture in an effort to outline various methods of disciplining oneself. Some of these methods border on the mystical and the extra-biblical, sometimes delving into areas of Eastern mysticism, Catholic mysticism, and New Age philosophy. Out of this movement has come such unbiblical practices as “hearing” the voice of God and breathing/soaking/contemplative prayer. The best way to avoid error in the understanding of spiritual disciplines is to stick with clear scriptural mandates given to all Christians to immerse ourselves in the Word of God wherein God speaks to us, and in prayer, whereby we speak to Him.

The foremost of the disciplines is that involving the Word of God and constitutes the reading, study, memorization, and meditation of Scripture. If this discipline is neglected, no other effort to discipline ourselves will be successful because we simply do not have the power to overcome the resistance of the sin nature in which our new natures reside. Nor do we have the power to overcome the resistance of demonic influences whose aim is always to separate us from the only means of spiritual growth, the Word of God. Paul reminded Timothy of the inherent nature of Scripture, that it is literally from the mouth of God, i.e. “God-breathed,” and, as such, contains the very power of God. He also refers to the gospel as the very “power of God” (Romans 1:16) and exhorts Christians to take up “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” as our only offensive spiritual weapon against demonic forces (Ephesians 6:17). We must begin any effort at spiritual discipline with the only source of power, the Word of God.

Scripture memorization is also essential. We always have the freedom to choose what we place in our minds. With that in mind, memorization is vital. If we truly believe that the Bible is the Word of God, how can we not memorize it? Memorization enables us to keep it constantly in the forefront of our minds, and that makes it possible to react to all life circumstances according to its precepts. One of the most powerful passages of Scripture regarding the necessity of memorization is found in Joshua 1:8: “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” It is through the discipline of memorization that we are enabled to pray more effectively and to meditate. This in turn enables us to “be prosperous and successful” as God defines “success” for us. When we are walking in His ways and in His will, we are imbued with a new Spirit-filled inner being, one with a heart like God’s.

The second discipline is that of prayer. Our prayers are a spiritual communion with God through means of thanksgiving, adoration, supplication, petition, and confession. The wonderful thing about prayer is that God meets us where we are. He comes alongside us to lead us into a deeper, more real relationship with Him, not motivated by guilt, but driven by His love. Prayer changes us. Prayer changes lives. Prayer changes history. Our knowing God really makes us want to conform to Jesus and His will for our lives. God slowly and graciously reveals Himself to us while we pray, and it is during those moments that we can more deeply understand and experience His love. Of course, one of the major outcomes of disciplined prayer is answered prayer. But, in all truth, that is secondary to the real purpose of prayer which is an ever-growing, unending communion with God.

Taken together, the spiritual disciplines of prayer and the Word will provide us with a rewarding program which will lead to godly living, praise, submission, service and celebration of our salvation and the God who provided it. Through these disciplines, we are enabled to obey God’s command to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:12-13).

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. A clear conscience will create boldness at the throne of Grace.
2. Satanic accusations cannot stand in the face of a clear conscience.
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You’ll Preserve Their Dignity and Self-Worth
‘Be full of love for others.’ Ephesians 5:2

Imagine how Joseph’s brothers felt when he said, ‘It was not you who sent me here, but God’ (Genesis 45:8 NKVJ). Is he serious? God did it? This is a new level of forgiveness! Preserving the dignity and self-worth of others – that’s what God does with us! With full knowledge of our sinful past, He covers us with the garment of grace. And He expects us to do the same for others. As you read the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew chapter one, you might think the sin of adultery between David and Bathsheba was part of the divine strategy all along. No, sin never is, and David paid a high price. Yet the Bible records these events as though they were supposed to have happened in just that way. The Bible says, ‘Be full of love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased.’ When you truly forgive, there’s no place for self-righteousness. You’re able to forgive because: 1) you remember what you yourself have been forgiven of; 2) you acknowledge what you’re capable of; 3) you see God’s hand at work in the bigger picture. Joseph wasn’t being condescending or patronising, nor was he thinking, ‘I’ll be admired for being so gracious.’ No, during his years in prison God had moved on his heart and changed his attitude. So when Joseph said, ‘You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good’ (Genesis 50:20 NKJV), he really meant it! That kind of response takes forgiveness to a whole new level!
Ezek 27-29, James 3
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Florence Shedrach

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What does the Bible say about demonic oppression?

 


Question: "What does the Bible say about demonic oppression?"

Answer: There is strong biblical evidence that a Christian cannot be demon possessed. The question then arises regarding what influence/power a demon can have over a Christian. Many Bible teachers describe demonic influence on a Christian as “demonic oppression” to distinguish it from possession.

The Bible says that the devil seeks to devour believers (1 Peter 5:8), and Satan and his demons “scheme” against Christians (Ephesians 6:11). As Satan attempted with Jesus (Luke 4:2), demonic forces tempt us to sin and oppose our efforts to obey God. Should a Christian allow the demons to succeed in these attacks, oppression results. Demonic oppression is when a demon is temporarily victorious over a Christian, successfully tempting a Christian to sin and hindering his ability to serve God with a strong testimony. If a Christian continues to allow demonic oppression in his/her life, the oppression can increase to the point that the demon has a very strong influence over the Christian’s thoughts, behavior, and spirituality. Christians who allow continuing sin open themselves up for greater and greater oppression. Confession and repentance of sin are necessary to restore fellowship with God, who can then break the power of demonic influence. The apostle John gives us great encouragement in this area: “We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him” (1 John 5:18).

For the Christian, the power for victory over and freedom from demonic oppression is always available. John declares, “The One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). The power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9) is always available to overcome demonic oppression. No demon, not even Satan himself, can prevent a Christian from surrendering to the Holy Spirit and thereby overcoming any and all demonic oppression. Peter encourages believers to resist the devil, “standing firm in your faith” (1 Peter 5:9). Being firm or steadfast in the faith means relying on the power of the Holy Spirit to successfully resist demonic influence. Faith is built up through the spiritual disciplines of feeding on the Word of God, persistent prayer, and godly fellowship. Strengthening our faith by these means enables us to put up the shield of faith with which we can “extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16).














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Question: "What are spiritual blessings?"

Answer: Ephesians 1:3 says that we have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ. What are these spiritual blessings, and what do they do for us? Contrary to some beliefs, they are not some mysterious power or cosmic connection reserved for a select few. They are the key benefits of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

The word blessing in Ephesians 1:3 is a translation of the Greek word eulogy,and it means “to speak well of.” Since God is the one acting in this verse, we can say that God has spoken good things about us, or pronounced good things for our benefit. The good things that God has decreed for us are probably beyond our ability to number, but we can outline a few by looking at the verses that follow the statement (Ephesians 1:4–13).

The first blessing listed is the election as saints. Ephesians 1:4 says that He has “chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” God has chosen to make us holy and blameless, and all because of His love, His good pleasure, and His grace (verses 5–6). What a blessing, that “even when we were dead in sins” (Ephesians 2:5), God chose to extend His grace to us and offer us salvation. This is even more amazing when we realize that He made that decision before sin even entered into the world.

The second blessing listed is found in verse 5—our adoption as His children. Not only has God chosen us to be made holy, but He grants us full status as His children, with all the benefits thereof. John 1:12 says, “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” When we believe the gospel, we receive full access to the Father, able to call out to Him as His children.

The third spiritual blessing is in verse 6, where we are made “accepted in the beloved.” The word is related to grace and gives the idea of making us graceful or favorable through Christ, the beloved of God. When we put on Christ, the Father sees His loveliness when He looks at us. The blood of Christ has taken away the guilt of our sins, and we stand before the Father as perfectly accepted.

This leads us right into the fourth blessing (Ephesians 1:7), the redemption through His blood. Redemption speaks of buying one's freedom, paying a ransom. The price for our sins, the payment to buy us out of eternal condemnation, was fully paid by the blood of Christ. In Christ, we are no longer slaves to sin, but we become slaves to God. Since we are bought and paid for by His blood, we have an obligation to glorify God in our body and spirit (1 Corinthians 6:20).

Verse 7 also describes the fifth blessing, the forgiveness of sins. It is closely related to redemption, but looks at the other side of the coin. In paying the ransom for our sins, the debt of sin was canceled, and we were forgiven. We no longer have the burden of guilt for violating God's holy laws.

The sixth spiritual blessing listed is knowing the mystery of His will (Ephesians 1:8–10). God has given us wisdom and insight through His Word and has shown us His desire to bring all things together to glorify Christ. Since all of creation was made by Him and is for His good pleasure (Revelation 4:11), the consummation of His plan is when everything and everyone is brought in line to glorify Him. By aligning ourselves with Him by faith, we become part of His perfect plan and purpose.

Verse 11 says that another blessing is the inheritance that is given to us through Christ. What is included in that inheritance? “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). The riches of glory, the presence of God, the eternal home – these don't even scratch the surface of all the blessings that belong to our inheritance.

Another blessing is found in Ephesians 1:13, which is the sealing of the Holy Spirit. When we become God's children, He places His mark of ownership on us, guaranteeing our eternal security. This is spoken of as the down-payment of our full redemption, to hold us until the day Christ brings us to Him.

The list could go on and on speaking of the privileges that are ours in Christ. We are laborers together with God (1 Corinthians 3:9); we are ambassadors bringing the message of reconciliation to a foreign land (2 Corinthians 5:20); and we are the bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2). We have available to us the peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7) and the assurance that nothing is able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:39).

How do we access all of these blessings? They are readily accessible to everyone who is in Christ Jesus. The way to be in Christ is to repent, or turn away from our sins (Acts 17:30), confessing to God that we are sinners (Proverbs 28:13; Romans 10:9). When we believe that Christ died to take our punishment and now lives to give us new life (1 Corinthians 15:3–4), He grants us forgiveness of sins and all the blessings that accompany that salvation.
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Question: "What does it mean to be a fruitful Christian?"

Answer: The Bible often uses the metaphor of fruit to describe the produce of our lives. Fruit can be either good or bad (Matthew 7:18; Luke 6:43). Romans 7:5 says, “For when we were in the realm of the flesh . . . we bore fruit for death.” A fruitful Christian will produce better results: “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life” (Proverbs 11:30).

Fruit is the direct result of whatever controls our hearts (Matthew 15:19). The fruit of a life not surrendered to Jesus includes “sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage,” and many more evil acts (Galatians 5:19–20). In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit of God is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23).

God the Father is the gardener (John 15:1), and He desires us to be fruitful. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). As branches cling to the vine, we cling to Christ, drawing our very life from Him. The goal is “much fruit,” as Christ uses us to bring about blessed, celestial results in a broken, fallen world.

When we have committed ourselves to Christ and live to please Him, the natural result is behavioral choices that look like His. He was clear that true followers of Christ will be recognizable by their fruit: “Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them” (Matthew 7:16–20).

There are many ways Christians can be fruitful. True fruitfulness begins in the heart with the fruit of the Spirit. That inner fruit affects outward actions; our words and our activities will glorify the Lord, and God’s will is accomplished. God’s desire is to transform us into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29) and make us as fruitful as He was. In our allegiance to Him, we want to be characterized by good works (Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:7; Colossians 1:10), humility (Ephesians 4:2; Titus 3:2), and forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13). We want to always be ready to “give an account for the hope that is within you” (1 Peter 3:15). We desire to be the “good soil” Jesus spoke of in the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:3–9. The result of spiritual fruitfulness is that God is glorified, we grow, and others come to know Christ—this is the ultimate fruitfulness for a child of God (Matthew 5:16; Acts 20:26–27; Mark 16:15).
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Florence Shedrach

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Sincerity and genuine heart is a heart of worship! Still thank the Lord in the midst of unexplainable circumstances.
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Florence Shedrach

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We do appreciate those that solidly stood behind us & are still standing for us in our period of trials. Do not grow weary in doing good for in due time God will remember and reward all your sacrifices. Bless you!
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