Glad Tidings Church
Lubbock, TX
by Pastor Jared Baker on April 1st, 2020

People around the nation, in our community and in our church family are facing job losses, financial hardship, sickness and many other issues.  Many of our lives have been completely turned upside down!  We believe that much of what is happening is only temporary, but whether things get back to “normal” quickly or not, the real question is where and in whom do we place our trust?  When everything is turned upside down in life where is our foundation? Who or what is our strength and our anchor?  Who or what do we listen to?  

Throughout the Bible God asks His people who they are listening to.  In Revelation 2:29, right in the middle of His words to the seven Churches of Asia, Jesus said we need to “hear what the Spirit is saying.”  In Matthew 7:24-29, as Jesus is ending His sermon on the mount, He says that whoever hears His words and then obeys His words would be like the wise man who built his house on a solid foundation of rock. When the storms of life came, his life didn’t fall apart because it was built on the solid foundation of hearing and doing God’s Word!  I believe now, as never before in our lives, it is time to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to us!

What we “hear” from the Holy Spirit is the most important thing in our lives!  What we hear will dictate the decisions and the actions that we take in life.  Often, what the Holy Spirit is saying will not agree with what circumstances are saying and what things look like.  Think about the Apostle Paul in a prison as he wrote a letter to the church at Philippi.  He hadn’t done anything to deserve prison.  He had simply preached the Gospel.  He was writing to the Philippian church, who were dealing with some extreme persecution and problems themselves.  Paul told the Philippian Christians 16 times to be joyful and rejoice!  What?  Didn’t he know their situation?  Didn’t he know what the churches in Macedonia were going through when he congratulated them for rejoicing in the middle of a great trial of affliction? (2 Corinthians 8:2) The world says to focus on the fear and trouble, but the Holy Spirit will tell you to “hear and obey!”  The Holy Spirit will tell you to have faith and rejoice! The Holy Spirit will say to speak to the mountain! (Mark 11:23)

Paul the Apostle wrote to the church in Ephesus and said that he was praying for them to be filled with wisdom, revelation and understanding (Ephesians 1:17-18).  What you and I need right now more than anything as Christians is to “hear” what the Holy Spirit is saying to us!  The Word of God in our lives will bring faith (Romans 10:17).  It is in that place of trust, faith, knowledge, wisdom, light and understanding, that we will make right decisions!

A spirit of fear will drive you and intimidate you,
but a spirit of faith will lead you and guide you.

A spirit of fear will talk you into making decisions that are based on worry and pressure rather than faith and wisdom.  Never make life-altering decisions in a place of pressure, fear and stress.  Hear what the Spirit is saying, not what the devil is saying.  A spirit of faith will lead and guide you.  Even in the midst of trying circumstances, the Holy Spirit will bring supernatural peace with guidance and strength!  (Romans 8:14)

What are we hearing?  Who are we hearing?  If you are filled with worry, anxiety, fear, torment or darkness, you know that it didn’t come from God!  God is a faith God.  My wife and I have faced many mountains in our lives, as I’m sure you have as well.  I have noticed time and again that the Lord will bring hope and faith, speaking of a bright tomorrow, right in the midst of a very dark today!

Glad Tidings Church, it’s time to face any adversity with faith over fear and wisdom over worry! This is not the time to back up or give up!  Now is the time to draw close to the Lord.  Now is the time to read and study His Word as never before.  Now is the time to “hear” the voice of the Lord in our lives!

The world wants you to hear fear and worry. The devil wants to whisper lies, deceptions, and bring torment to your heart.  Don’t listen to him - listen and hear the Holy Spirit. The media, the neighbor, the movie star, the co-worker, the boss, and even family sometimes, may not be “hearing” what you hear when you listen to the Holy Spirit!

From the Apostles to the Reformers of 500 years ago, to the missionary in China today and the born-again Christian checking out your groceries --  as Christians,  we are to “hear” what the world cannot hear and “see” what the world cannot see!

We want to encourage everyone at Glad Tidings Church to continue reading Psalm 91 every day out loud, especially in the Passion Translation that I mailed to you last week.  I also want to encourage you to begin each day with praying and reading out loud the prayers of the Apostle Paul for the church specifically found in these passages of your Bible: Ephesians 1:17-23 / Ephesians 3:14-21 / Colossians 1:9-14.

We are praying with you and for you.  Let’s listen to the Holy Spirit, believe what God says, be obedient to follow Him and be led by His Spirit! (Romans 8:14)

by Pastor Jared on October 18th, 2019

Demons are personalities, they have a voice -- they speak and work in the realm of the spirit. The Bible teaches us that we are not wrestling with flesh and blood, but with demonic entities that possess and oppress man.  Even many Christians deal with demonic oppression. It’s not the person you are really dealing with, it is demonic forces manifesting through the flesh of the individual, even though they are a Christian! This does not give an excuse for Christians to be angry, live in a rage, walk in lust and sin.  But instead, it gives an answer to the struggles that many Christians deal with. If I find the answer, then I need to live in the answer! It’s like someone knowing 2+2=4, but they still live life telling everyone that 2+2=5. They know the answer, but they live in a lie! Why? The Bible calls these things strongholds.

Strongholds are demonically inspired, but mentally and emotionally received and acted upon. (2 Cor. 10:3-5) A stronghold can be wrong ways of thinking, destructive emotions, addictive behaviors, etc. that have built up over time. Strongholds can create deep “ruts” in your thinking processes and in the places of your deepest emotions. They can be generational in nature. The Bible speaks to us about familiar spirits. One way to understand this terminology is “family spirits”! The same spiritual forces that grandpa dealt with, many times, are the same ones you will deal with! The Bible also speaks to us about “generational curses”. As a Christian you need to break the power of these spiritually dark forces and walk in freedom! Use the authority of Jesus’ mighty name and the power of the blood! Break these powers in your life and in your family. Then do not open a door of the flesh through anger, lust, pride and rebellion that would allow these things back in your life and family!

It is important to understand exactly what "demonic oppression" is.  The 3 objectives of demons is torment and torture, keeping people from knowing Christ and for the Christian, to keep them from serving the Lord effectively. There are also 8 characteristics of demons that will help you recognize their attempted activity in your life.  #1 They tempt and entice.  #2 They harass and condemn.  #3 They torment (physically, emotionally, etc.). #4 They compel (demons will compel you to do things that are not natural and normal for you, if you allow them to) #5 They enslave (an example would be someone enslaved to alcohol or drugs) The word “addiction” comes from the two words compel and enslave! #6 They defile (As A Christian, we have been made holy in Christ! Demons want to defile what is pure and holy!)  #7 They deceive (1 Tim. 4:1)  #8 They make people weak, sick and tired (a spirit of slumber, you can sit up until 2AM watching trash on TV, but read your Bible and you’ll be asleep in 10 minutes).

What are some ways that your flesh may respond to demonic temptation and oppression ? Here are a few things to recognize and overcome! #1 Pride #2 Rebellion #3 Witchcraft and Occult (many Christians dabble in witchcraft and the occult on a regular basis, but don’t recognize the danger because they see it as innocent entertainment)  #4 Fear #5 Rejection (a sense of feeling unworthy and unwanted). This last stronghold can result from the breakup of the family. The Bible is very clear that the father brings a sense of security and purpose in a child’s life. The breakdown of the family unit in our nation has been completely demonically inspired!

How do we overcome demonic oppression and subdue the flesh? What about dealing with demons? If it is a demonic problem, why can’t I just “cast out” the demon of addiction and be done? Why can’t I just “cast out” the demon of anger and be done? Because overcoming demons also involves subduing our flesh.  As a Christian, we are to take authority over any demonic stronghold in our life but then we must keep the “door of the flesh” shut! What do we think on and dwell on? (Phil. 4:8) Are we living a sexually pure life? (1 Cor. 6:18) What do we “entertain” ourselves with in media, TV, movies, and music? (Eph. 5:1-12)

#1 You are a spiritual being. (1 Thess.5:23)  Many times people will say, well, “I’m only human”. No, you are also human. First of all, you are an eternal spirit being created in the image of God! As a Christian, you are born again and re-connected with your Creator through the power of the blood of Christ and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Paul the Apostle said your bodies are the dwelling places of the Holy Spirit of God (1 Cor. 6:19). He also said “But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him,” I Cor. 6:17.  As a Christian, we quickly realize that the real battle is not with our neighbor, our spouse, the government, or the boss -- our real battle is a spiritual battle. In these battles, demons will use, manipulate and control other people, circumstances, feelings, and attitudes, to torment Christians and keep them from being effective in God’s kingdom. Jesus said in John 10:10, “the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come to bring life and life more abundantly!” So  Jesus is not my problem, He is my answer! If my problem is demons, then Jesus said I can cast them out! (Mark 16:17)

#2 You have a “flesh”. (Romans 8:1-14)  It is very important to understand the difference between the flesh and demons when dealing with things in life. The Bible says to “crucify” the flesh (Rom. 6:6). We are told to “mortify” the deeds of the body through the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:13-14). The word “mortify” only appears here and in Col. 3:5. It can be understood as “to put to death, render useless, to put down”. The idea is not that the flesh or body ceases to exist, but instead that it is, through the power of the Holy Spirit, made powerless. When you go to the dentist and get a shot in your jaw to “deaden” the pain before the dentist begins to drill, your jaw doesn’t cease to exist, it is just numbed and rendered powerless for a time! The power of the Holy Spirit will “deaden” your flesh so that it does not control, lead and dictate your life and the decisions that you make! Romans 8:14 tells us we are to be led by the Holy Spirit! The Bible does not teach that a born-again Christian can be fully demon possessed. To “possess” is to take complete control. A truly “possessed” person is possessed in their spirit, soul and body. A demon cannot have possession of a spiritually re-born individual! This is not to say, however, that a Christian cannot and does not deal with demonic oppression in the areas of the flesh!

#3 The old fleshly nature or demons?  It is very important to understand the difference between the two when you are dealing with an issue in life. The Bible says we are to crucify, put to death or mortify the deeds of the flesh. You can’t crucify a demon, you cast it out! You can’t cast out the flesh, you crucify it. Though we are in a supernatural battle, this battle continually manifests in the realm of the flesh. An example would be anger. Is a Christian that is filled with anger and rage demon possessed? Not in their spirit, but they can be demonically oppressed in their soul and body. A demon of anger can easily stir the flesh, controlling and manipulating that person, even though they are a believer in Christ! Does the person need deliverance? Yes, from demonic oppression but they also need to “crucify” the flesh! Cast out the demons, kill the flesh!

If we put down our flesh and recognize the demonic oppression in our lives, we can live a victorious life! Christians, we have authority over all the powers of darkness through the mighty name of Jesus! (Luke 10:19) We do not live in fear of demons – demons live in fear of us! Demons fear Christians that understand their authority In Christ! (Acts 19:15)

Our modern culture may be fascinated by the supernatural, occult and demons, but you don’t have to allow these influences in your life or your family! Take authority! Stand up for light, life, holiness, peace, truth and freedom In Christ! Guard your children’s lives and hearts. Pray over your household daily. Plead the Blood of Christ over the affairs of your life. Drive out lies, depression, darkness, fear, lust, suicide and torment in the name of Jesus. Demons have no right in the life of the believer! Do not give them any place or position of opportunity! (Eph. 4:27) WE ARE VICTORIOUS IN CHRIST!

by Pastor Jared on October 17th, 2019

Don't you realize who you are? This is what the Apostle Paul asks believers over and over in his letters. In I Corinthians 6, he asks them why they are suing one another instead of allowing disagreements to be handled within the church.  He says that we will judge the world one day and then even judge angels! (vv. 2-3)   Don't you realize who you are? He then corrects them for allowing sexual sin to be a part of the church and reminds them that their bodies are the dwelling places of the Holy Spirit! (vv. 18-20)  Don't you realize who you are? The Apostle Paul was having to remind the church at Corinth just who they were because they had lost sight of their true identity.  They had begun to identify once again with their lives before Christ. That old man of sin, that should be dead was now leading. He reminds them that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God and then tells them, “And such were some of you, but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God!”  In other words, “YOU HAVE A NEW IDENTITY!”  

Did you ever stop and think about how awesome it is that our Creator, the One who designed our vast universe, places such a high value on mankind?  Psalm 8:4-5 says, “What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor.”   Who are we anyway?  Psalm 139 tells us that in Him we were fearfully and wonderfully made.  We were His crowning achievement!  Think about it: The God of the universe has given you value and given you worth.  He thought so much of you, that He sent His only Son to die on the cross for you and redeem you! (John 3:16)

Your value and worth comes from understanding your identity in Christ.  Don’t allow the past to dictate the future.  Don’t allow past failures to determine the outcome of your life.  Don’t allow the past to control your destiny.  When God changed your identity, He changed your destiny!  “There is therefore no condemnation in Christ Jesus, “ Romans 8:1.  Incrimination is one of the weapons the enemy uses against us to keep us in a place of condemnation. The enemy wants to keep you in that place of bondage to sin, in that place of guilt and shame! But  2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us “therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation.  Old things are passed away, behold all things have become new!  Don't you realize who you are?

The spirit of the world wants to tell you that your value and identity is about your possessions, the color of your skin, and your talents and abilities. The world and your flesh will tell you that you need to have something or look like something or identify with a certain group of people in order to gain an identity of any value!  God reminds us over and over in His Word that our value and our identity comes from our Creator, not from the created! Don't you realize who you are?

by Pastor Jessica Baker on September 3rd, 2019

There’s a story in your Bible about a king named Jehoshaphat. He did righteously in the eyes of God and received the blessing of the Lord upon him all of the days of his reign. But there is one part of his story, where he displeased the Lord.   Even after seeing the Lord perform such mighty miracles on his behalf and on behalf of the people of Judah in 2 Chronicles 20,  he made an “alliance” or “joined himself” with the king of Israel.  You might think “why was that so bad?”  Well at that time, the kings of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord.  Jehoshaphat was well aware that King Ahaziah of Israel was an ungodly, evil king.

“Later, Jehoshaphat king of Judah made an alliance with Ahaziah king of Israel, whose ways were wicked.  He agreed with him to construct a fleet of trading ships.  After these were built at Ezion Geber, Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have made an alliance with Ahaziah, the Lord will destroy what you have made. The ships were wrecked and were not able to set sail to trade.” 2 Chronincles 20:35-37, NIV

Jehoshaphat joined himself in an ungodly business alliance. This obviously displeased the Lord. We don’t see that it discredited Jehoshaphat‘s name before God, but we do see God take action against him. The Bible tells us that his fleet of trading ships were broken up by God — utterly and completely destroyed.

Christians, God obviously does not like evil alliances even in the name of “good business”.   The church as an institution as well as the individual who believes in Christ,  must be careful who they join themselves to in financial endeavors. You see, God doesn’t bless just ANYTHING we set our hands to do. He blesses RIGHTEOUS endeavors and GODLY alliances. Obviously, God takes these alliances very seriously-- Jehoshaphat’s trading ships never sailed-- but yours can.  Simply listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and follow God's righteous, perfect plan!  

by Pastor Jessica on May 13th, 2019

There has been nothing more beautiful in my life outside of my salvation,  than the birth of my five children.  Morning sickness and all, I would not change a thing.  Each one so beautiful and precious to my heart and precious in the eyes of God.  I had the privilege of being blessed with five children in four pregnancies (twins).  You would think that after the first 3 pregnancies,  I would have learned a thing or two about going into labor. With each of the previous pregnancies, I had been under great stress at the time of labor.   Whether it was job related or simply working hard the day before, I had related the stress to the labor.  So, the fourth pregnancy rolled around and it was 39 weeks and no sign of baby coming any time soon. 

I decided I would exercise a little more, climb the stairs at work a few more times and go on long walks, ultimately only wearing myself out!  When I finally decided to ask my doctor why I was not even dilated yet, he said, “Your body does not go into labor because of stress.  Your body will go into labor when your body is completely relaxed.  The baby will come when you are at peace.” What I had simply not recognized with the other births was that after each time of great activity and stress I had gone into complete relaxation mode.  All those years I had given credit to the stress, not recognizing that all the credit for the baby coming goes to peace!

Many of you are seeking God for answers so desperately and fervently and He WILL come through for you.  But the answer is going to be birthed in peace.  As we pray with thanksgiving, we are to be anxious for nothing.  He simply wants us to trust and believe that He is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do.  Then, we must rest in the peace of God that only comes by faith in Him.  "Don't worry about anything;  instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you  need, and thank him for all He has done.  Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:6-7, NLT  

I obeyed the doctor’s orders on a Thursday afternoon.  I went home and turned off my phone and put my feet up.  I rested, slept, laughed, relaxed, prayed, worshiped, watched my four children play,  (And in between, watched a John Wayne marathon – it happened to be the only thing on television decent to watch at the time).  By the middle of the day on Saturday, I began to have contractions.  It had not even been 48 hours and because of peace, my body went into labor.  Abigail Grace was born on Sunday evening at 6:30 PM.  Her birth was so peaceful and beautiful, that the nurses did not want to leave even though their shift changed at 6:00 PM.  The Lord even arranged the precious nursing staff who would help deliver her.  I will always remember her peaceful birth.  With tears in their eyes, the old shift nurses and the new shift nurses tended to my baby and me. 

This is just like the Lord.  He will surround you with His peace and will send all of the help you need if you will allow Him to rule.  His peace is irreplaceable.  The world cannot offer it to you.  You will never find it in a bottle.  You will never find it in another relationship.  There is no medicine, drug, or drink that can bring this kind of peace.  This peace that passes our ability to comprehend only comes from Heaven.  His peace is Divine.