VIDEO The Concept of Divine Control – Trust In The Lord

Jesus is laying down the rules of conduct in this passage for those people who have His Spirit. He urges us to keep our minds filled with the concept of God’s control over everything, which means that a disciple must maintain an attitude of perfect trust and an eagerness to ask and to seek.

Fill your mind with the thought that God is there. And once your mind is truly filled with that thought, when you experience difficulties it will be as easy as breathing for you to remember, “My heavenly Father knows all about this!” This will be no effort at all, but will be a natural thing for you when difficulties and uncertainties arise. Before you formed this concept of divine control so powerfully in your mind, you used to go from person to person seeking help, but now you go to God about it. Jesus is laying down the rules of conduct for those people who have His Spirit, and it works on the following principle: God is my Father, He loves me, and I will never think of anything that He will forget, so why should I worry?

Jesus said there are times when God cannot lift the darkness from you, but you should trust Him. At times God will appear like an unkind friend, but He is not; He will appear like an unnatural father, but He is not; He will appear like an unjust judge, but He is not. Keep the thought that the mind of God is behind all things strong and growing. Not even the smallest detail of life happens unless God’s will is behind it. Therefore, you can rest in perfect confidence in Him. Prayer is not only asking, but is an attitude of the mind which produces the atmosphere in which asking is perfectly natural. “Ask, and it will be given to you…” (Matthew 7:7).


Crises reveal character. When we are put to the test the hidden resources of our character are revealed exactly.  Disciples Indeed, 393 R

Trust in the Lord – Lyrics Hillsong


Earthly or Heavenly Treasures

Some parts of Jesus’ teaching about this lifetime which Luke places with the journey to Jerusalem are covered by Matthew in his Sermon on the Mount. Luke’s lessons on seeking treasures in heaven rather than security on earth (Luke 1: 22-34) are parallel in Matthew’s Sermon (see Mt 6:1). Others, including the parable of the rich fool, appear only in Luke (Luke 12:13-21). The message of all these teachings is the same: people should not concern themselves excessively with their material needs, but should concentrate on their spiritual development and worry about answering for themselves at the final judgment. They should not worry as much about this life as about the next.


Luke 12:13-21 (NKJV) 
13  Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14  But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?”
15  And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
16  Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.
17  And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’
18  So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.
19  And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ‘
20  But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’
21  So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”


Some of you may not know this but my father first heard the Salvation message in his twenties while stationed at Fort Lewis Washington, a place I was to be stationed for a time many years later. In his eighties after a lifetime of struggle and fighting God the seed planted sixty years early finally grew when he came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

Over the years we had conversations about being saved so I was very happy when he called me one night to tell me he was saved.

Everyone makes the choice where they will spend eternity. Those who accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior will spend the rest of eternity with Jesus, those who do not accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior will end up in the Lake of Fire.

For those who are Saved the passing from this side of Eternity to the next is a celebration. If you have not yet…won’t you join the celebration?

Remember….Jesus loves you!


Rev Paul N. Papas II

No Condemnation; Only Love

Romans 8:1-2

The Father’s love for His children is so vast that we can never fully fathom its extent (Ephesians 3:14-19). God’s love is constant, unchanging, and eternal. But sometimes we have emotions that tell us otherwise.

In our mind, we frequently correlate divine love and our behavior. When we have been good, we believe that we’re loved by God. But when we sin or make mistakes, we sometimes question how much He cares for us. After a series of missteps, we might conclude He disapproves of us far more often than He loves us. Some of us even think that the Lord’s judgment hangs over our heads like a dark cloud.

The truth is, there is no condemnation for any believer. Everything that would condemn us before almighty God was placed upon Jesus at the cross. In the Father’s divine court of law, His Son was found guilty in our place so we could be set free from condemnation forever. It’s as if God stamped the record of our sin-debt with the words “paid in full.” No matter when the offense occurred—whether before salvation or years still in the future—the Christian’s transgressions are fully paid for by Jesus’ blood. No believer is indebted to God for sin.

The Lord does not excuse our sin. He is a loving heavenly Father, and He will use discipline to bring us back to godly behavior (Heb. 12:7). He also allows us to experience the consequences of sin; however, divine condemnation is not one of them. Won’t you open your heart and mind to receive God’s love today?

Open Doors

“Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.” (Colossians 4:3-4)

This was Paul’s prayer request of the Colossian Christians, that God would open the door for His testimony. Paul had written earlier about “when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 2:12). The purpose of an open door is thus to preach the gospel of Christ and to speak the mystery of Christ.

Furthermore, these passages indicate that such doors are opened by the Lord, not by human devices. In fact, Christ Himself is “he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth” (Revelation 3:7). Doors of testimony are opened by the Lord in answer to prayer, but He also specifies three criteria for keeping the door opened. “I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name” (Revelation 3:8).

These conditions mean, literally, having little strength of one’s own and thus depending only on God, jealously guarding the integrity of God’s Word, and upholding the name of Christ as Creator, Savior, and coming King.

Even when the door is kept open by God, there is no assurance of ease in entering it. Paul wrote that “a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries” (1 Corinthians 16:9). This is the reason prayer is needed, relying on God, not man!

The Lord is also seeking an open door into churches that think they “have need of nothing. . . . Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:17, 20). HMM

“Beware lest ye also be led away with the error of the wicked”

Judges 16:6-20

We cannot linger over Samson’s famous feat at Gaza, where he carried away the city gates upon his shoulders, but must come to the unhappy scene in which that great man fell a victim to his own follies, and was deprived of his power to judge and protect his countrymen. Delilah, the companion of his sin, was the instrument of his downfall.

Judges 16:9

After this deliverance Samson had no excuse for further remaining in traitorous company. “Surely in vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird,” but this man was so infatuated that he plunged into the snare after he had once narrowly escaped from it. Sin is madness.

Judges 16:10-12

A second time betrayed! A second time delivered! Will he not fly now from the deceiver’s house? Alas! No. You might sooner teach a moth to shun the candle than a man besotted by sin to escape from its wiles.

Judges 16:13, 14

This time he came dangerously near his secret. The whirlpool in which he was surging was sucking him down. Poor Samson! Who could save thee when thou wast determined to destroy thyself?

Judges 16:15-17

His consecration was his strength, and when he renounced the unshorn locks, which were the symbol of his dedication, the Lord left him, and he reaped the due reward of his sinful indulgences. He sinned deliberately, and therefore was left to smart for it.

Judges 16:18

Bad men and women are always ready to sell for gain those whom they loudly profess to love. They art never to be trusted.

Judges 16:19, 20

Vainly do we go forth without our God. We may have been valiant and mighty before, but if the Lord shall leave us we shall be captives to our foes. What a warning does this unhappy story present to us. May infinite mercy enable us to profit thereby.


Idolatry and Witchcraft

Galatians 5:19, 20

When people hear the word “idolatry,” they almost always visualize a great, carved stone statue of a pagan god, with wild, naked natives dancing in the light of a huge fire burning at its base. But is this what the apostle Paul had in mind when he included “idolatry” in his lists of the works of the flesh?


The word “idolatry” is from the Greek word eidololatria, which means the worship of idols. However, it is a compound of the words eidolon and latria. The word eidolon is Greek for a manmade idol; a heathen edifice; a pagan statue; or an image of a false god. Such idols were an offense to God in the Old Testament, and they were forbidden to believers in the New Testament. God’s hatred of idols is clearly demonstrated in First Samuel 5:1-4. The Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant, which represented God’s Presence, and sat it on a ledge right next to an idol of the pagan god called “Dagon.” When the Philistines came into their pagan temple the next morning, the Ark of the Covenant remained high on its ledge, but the statue of Dagon lay on the ground. The Philistines put their idol back in place; but the next morning they found Dagon lying on the ground again, facing downward with its head and hands cut off. God refused to share space with a false god!

The second part of the word eidololatria (“idolatry”) comes from the Greek word latria, derived from the word latreuo, which means to work or to serve. However, it primarily has the meaning of one’s extreme devotion and service to something he worships. In a positive sense, it is used in the Old Testament Septuagint to depict the service of the priesthood. The priests faithfully served and fulfilled their duties in the temple, believing that part of their worship was the manner in which they served.

In Romans 1:9, Paul says, “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit….” The word “serve” is the word latreuo, which means Paul, like the Old Testament priests, viewed his service to God as a part of his worship. As a New Testament priest, Paul’s service to God was the highest goal of his life. This is the reason he served God with all his spirit—because serving God demanded his best efforts, his best work, and his undivided attention. This was how Paul viewed his worship and service to God.

When Paul wrote Romans 12:1, he used the word latreuo again. This time he said, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” The words “reasonable service” are from the word latreuo. This implies that because of all God has done for us, it is just and fair for us to serve Him with our undivided devotion. This is one of the principal ways we worship Him. So when Paul declares that yielding our bodies as living sacrifices is our “reasonable service,” he is emphatically telling us that it is reasonable for us to give our very best efforts and our complete, undivided attention to the service of God.

However, when the word latreuo is attached to the word eidolon, it forms the word eidololatria, which depicts the worship of idols, or simply put, idolatry. The act of idolatry transpires when an individual gives his complete and undivided attention, devotion, passion, love, or commitment to a person, project, or object other than God. When something other than God takes first place in that person’s mind, he has entered, at least to some measure, into the sin of idolatry.

If you don’t mortify the flesh by the power of God’s Spirit, it won’t be long until you are preoccupied with other things that steal the devotion and passion that should belong only to Jesus Christ. If you’re not extremely careful, your family, spouse, parents, children, friends, job, dream or vision, profession, possessions, school, church activities, or even your own talents will unintentionally become the focus of your worship and service. You’ll find yourself serving in your own self-consumed priesthood, giving your best effort and your undivided attention to the fulfillment of your own self-interests.

So let me ask you: What do you think of more than anything else? What consumes most of your thoughts? What do you live for? Your answer will probably tell you what you worship most in your life. You don’t have to own a carved stone statue of a pagan god in your living room in order to be an idolater. If you are attempting to place any other person, project, or object in your life on the same level with God, you are probably committing a form of idolatry. If this is the case, it won’t be long until God does something about it. Just as He shoved Dagon off that ledge and decapitated him in First Samuel 5:1-4, God will do something radical to get your attention! He will teach you that He is not willing to share His position of Lordship in your life with anything or anyone else!

Make sure that Jesus remains the primary focus of your life. God isn’t against you possessing any of the things mentioned above—family, spouse, parents, children, friends, job, vision, profession, possessions, school, church activities, or personal talents—but God is against any of those things possessing you!

Jesus promised that if you would seek the Kingdom of God first, God will make sure you have all those other things (Matthew 6:33). Therefore, refuse to allow your flesh to take you down the road of self-worship, the worship of family, or the worship of material things to such an extent that you commit the act of idolatry.


Now let’s turn to the subject of “witchcraft.” Paul lists this next as one of the works of the flesh. The word “witchcraft” is from the Greek word pharmakeia, the Greek word for medicines or drugs that inhibit a person’s personality or change his behavior. We would call these mind-altering drugs. The Greek word pharmakeia is where we get the words pharmaceutical drugs or the word pharmacy. This word was used in connection with sorcery, magic, or witchcraft. But why was this word used in connection with witchcraft, and why would Paul use this word to depict the works of the flesh?

When the Church of Jesus Christ was being established in the first century, paganism ruled the Roman Empire. These were dark, demonic, pagan religions, of which one prominent feature was the use of drugs to alter the state of one’s mind.

Heathen worshipers would come to the pagan temples to find relief from their sicknesses, mental stresses, or a myriad of other personal problems. Rather than confront the real needs of the heathen worshipers and identify real solutions for their problems, the priests of these pagan religions poured hallucinogenic drugs into vials of wine, stirred it all together, and then gave the mixture to the worshipers to drink. After the recipients were medicated and under the influence of these mind-altering drugs, the priests would send them home, telling them that they would feel better. However, once the drug wore off, the worshipers still found themselves facing the same or even worse problems.

The only way these seekers found relief from their problems was to return again and again to the pagan temples for more doses of drugs. The drugs gave the people temporary relief but offered no permanent solution. The priests were powerless to heal and incapable of solving anyone’s problems. All they could do was keep dousing the worshipers with more drugs, thus temporarily altering the state of their minds and giving them a brief respite from their problems and pain. These priests were charlatans who tried to literally hypnotize people into believing their problems had gone away. But the truth is, they never dealt with the root of the problems and therefore did nothing but prolong the pain of those they pretended to help.

How does this apply to you and me today, since people in our modern-day society no longer go to pagan temples to worship? The flesh behaves the same way the pagan priests behaved in the illustration above. It doesn’t know how to fix itself or anyone else. In fact, the flesh doesn’t even want to be fixed. The flesh will try to convince a person to ignore his problem, to hide it with some superficial covering, or to drink alcohol and take drugs to make himself feel better. The alcohol and drugs may give that person a brief hiatus from reality, but when their effects wear off, he will still have the same problems to deal with that he had before.

People who refuse to look at themselves and find out what needs to change often develop chemical dependencies in their efforts to avoid seeing the truth. You see, the flesh hates confrontation. It doesn’t want to look into the mirror to see the truth. If the flesh is confronted and forced to look squarely at itself, it will have to acknowledge the real problem. Rather than look the facts squarely in the face, the flesh tries to run, to hide, to sleep, to consume itself with recreational activities—anything to stay busy, to keep from slowing down long enough to think about vital issues. In other words, flesh would rather try to learn how to cope then to be crucified and changed!

I am not giving you medical advice. If your doctor has prescribed medication for you, be faithful to take your medication. However, I am giving you spiritual advice. Don’t let your flesh tell you that you can keep covering up your problems with temporary solutions. Those temporary solutions will eventually wear off or run out, and when they do, the same ol’ you will resurface again.

What will you do then? Are you going to be like the heathen worshiper who keeps running from place to place, trying to find another temporary solution? Or are you going to let the Spirit of God deal with you and change you forever?

The Holy Spirit wants to identify the root of your problem and rip that ugly thing clear out of your soul. He wants to bring permanent change to your life. But for you to receive this soul-cleansing work of God, you will have to make your flesh shut up and move out of the way. And after you tell your flesh to be silent, then you’ll have to allow God to speak truthfully to you. This will demand that you spend time looking into the mirror of God’s Word so you can see what is wrong and what needs to be changed.

If you’re willing to do all this, God’s Spirit will set you free. Yes, your flesh will scream in pain; but when it does, just take authority over it and tell it to be silent. It is screaming because it knows that it is losing the power it has always exercised in your life!

So for our purposes in today’s world, the word “witchcraft,” from the Greek word pharmakeia, would refer to the flesh’s attempts to avoid being confronted and changed. In fact, the flesh would rather be told a lie than confronted with the truth! It wants someone to stroke it and to assure it, “You don’t need to change! Here, let me make you feel better! Just ignore those wrong things in your life, because if you ignore them long enough, they will somehow go away!” Doesn’t that sound just like someone on drugs?

Friend, it’s time for you to quit playing these games and to let the Spirit of God really deal with you. If you’ve allowed your flesh to keep you on the run from your problems, or if you have committed idolatry by worshiping something or someone else more than Jesus Christ, today is the day for you to stop what you are doing and get your heart right with God. Don’t you think that right now would be a good time to do this?


Lord, I want to walk in the Spirit and to mortify the deeds of the flesh! I don’t want the flesh to have the superior role in my life that it has had in the past. I know that if Your Spirit empowers me, I can say no to the flesh and to its demands to control my life. I am tired of struggling with the same old sins again and again. So right now I am asking You to help me see the truth about what needs to change in my life. Once I see the problem, give me the courage to tell that work of the flesh that it is going to die. Then help me to fully embrace the new life You are wanting to release inside me!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!


I boldly declare that I am no longer dominated by the flesh; instead, I walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. There is therefore no condemnation for me! I am careful to read my Bible and to hear the truths that the Holy Spirit wants to show me. When I become aware of areas that need to be changed, I quickly ask Jesus to release His power to transform me. Instead of running from the truth, I run to the Cross to find permanent solutions for the problems I confront along the way.

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!


  1. Is there anything in your life that you worship more than Jesus? Don’t lie to yourself about this, because Jesus knows the truth anyway. Why don’t you take a few minutes to ask the Lord to show you anything in your life that you worship more than you worship Him?
  2. Have you ever known a person who refused to see the truth about himself? Instead of facing the truth and embracing change, did this person run from place to place or from person to person, trying to find assurance that he was “okay” and didn’t need to change?
  3. If that person is you, what are you going to do about it now that you know your flesh is causing you to run all over the place in order to avoid the truth that can set you free?


Why Is It So Many Believers Grow Cold, Lose The Fire, And Peak Out Spiritually?

This was part of a conversation I had this morning with a 74 year old war horse of the faith who is still going strong for God. My mind reflected back on my early morning meditation on the passage in Revelation where Jesus admonished the Asian churches to stay on track spiritually. In effect he told them:




That is, stay vigilant like a person anticipating a thief: “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13) Don’t be lulled into the spiritual doldrums.




Seize what is already yours! Retain it. Don’t let it go! Don’t go back on what God has already given you! “If he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” (Hebrews 10:38)




Recently I received an e-mail from a Christian friend of long-standing. Anticipating a spiritual challenge, my heart sank in disappointment as he launched into a discussion of his twin passions of soccer and the stock market. Scant mention was made of the things of God. Retaining his “first love“? One wonders. (Jeremiah 2:2; Matthew 24:12)




In two areas: (1) Idolatry: “Is there anything that commands your affections more than the Lord Jesus Christ?” (2) Sexual impurity: “Is the trend in your thought life and actions moving toward increased purity, or increased enslavement?” (2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7)




Tough times lay ahead, warned Jesus, so be prepared to suffer, even to the point of death. Many times I have rehearsed what I would do if it came down to a choice between preserving my life or confessing Christ. If pressed, I would, by His grace, point to my forehead and say, “Put the bullet right here!


QUESTION: Music scores are often characterized by the diminuendo and the crescendo. With that metaphor in mind, are you moving toward a diminuendo-type existence of selfish refuge, self-indulgence and limited vision, or toward a crescendo of faith, sacrificial service, and investment in that which is eternal?



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