by Pastor Jessica Baker on March 23rd, 2018

Have you ever been in a real emergency?  I mean the kind of emergency that makes you dial 911?  If you have, then you probably have a sense of tremendous gratefulness for First Responders!  They are some of the most amazing people in the world.  They will pull you from a burning car, run in to a burning building, stand in between you and gunfire, and administer CPR for you to have life.  All of us should thank God everyday for people who are willing to place themselves even in harm's way if need be to rescue us!

​I have noticed something very interesting about this type of person -- they are not typically going to be the ones that have lengthy conversations with you about your emotions at the time of emergency or even your opinion of the way you should be rescued.  They are what I call "in the zone!"  They are completely focused on what needs to take place in order to ensure your safety -- whether it hurts your feelings or not!  I don't know about you, but I am thankful that they stay on point!

​Isn't it like this in the body of Christ?  Aren't ministers like these first responders for us spiritual speaking?  How many emergencies have we had that an ambulance, tourniquet or ventilator could not fix, but the Word of God through our Pastor swept in and rescued us?  Ministers are God's men and women on the job, and are just as amazing as those who come to our physical rescue.  They, through the power of the Holy Spirit, have the responsibility of rescuing humanity from things that are unseen.  They are called of God to rush into the fire of life if need be, and pull us out of our destruction!  We place too much weight on whether or not they shook our hand on Sunday.  It is time for all of us to recognize the blessing that they are and thank God that they keep their focus!

​Just as our first responders have to answer for the way they administer care to those who have been hurt, ministers of the Gospel have to answer to God for the administering of His Word for the care of His people. He is going to ask questions like, "Did you tell them the truth?  Did you tell them that I have come that they might have life?  Did you stand in the way of the destruction of sin?  Did you deliver my unfailing Word so that their hearts could be healed?  Did you feed my sheep?"  When the five-fold leadership of the church stands before God, He is not going to ask if they did a good job pleasing people, but He is going to require an account of what they did with His Word​.

​In John 21:15-17, Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him.  Peter said, "Lord you know I do!"  Jesus' response is very interesting, He says, "then feed my sheep."  One of the greatest expressions of love that your Pastor or any other minister of the Gospel can give to the Lord is His attention to delivering the Word of God to us so that we might grow.  Just as we should be thankfully praying for the strength of our community first responders, how much more should we pray for the strength of our Pastors? 

In Romans 15:30-32, the Apostle Paul asked for the church to pray for Him.  He asked them to pray specifically that he would be filled with joy and be refreshed.   It is time to change our perspective about our Pastors and begin to daily thank God for them and pray for them.  We are much better off,  when our Shepherds -- our spiritual First Responders --  are full of joy, refreshed and focused -- in the zone -- doing what they need to do to provide for our spiritual growth, safety and rescue!

by Pastor Jessica Baker on October 27th, 2017

Did you know that Jesus was the original visionary of church growth?  Oh I know, you thought church growth was a modern concept but that is just not so -- it began with Jesus.  "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.,"  Matthew 16:18.  The rock that Jesus was speaking of was the divine revelation of who He is.  He asked Peter, "Who do you think I am?"  I ask you that question today -- WHO DO YOU SAY THAT HE IS?  Jesus wants His church to grow because He wants all of humanity to know Who He Is!  The Lord builds His church upon that mystery that has been revealed to us --  that is --  CHRIST IN US THE HOPE OF GLORY!

​How does He build His church upon this revelation?  By using the hands and feet of His people.  Church growth doesn't just happen because someone prophecies that it will happen or just because you have a good business plan -- your result will only then be customers for Christ!  Jesus did not say "Go ye therefore into all the world and make customers,"  HE SAID "GO MAKE DISCIPLES!"

​"And they continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people.  And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved!"  Acts 2:46-47.  If the Apostle Paul had written this in our day and time, it might say something like this:  "And they stayed connected every day, inviting each other over for supper, enjoyed spending time together chilling, praising God together in worship, serving in the church with one heart and vision whether that is holding babies or cleaning the church, finding favor in their community even with leaders of the city, and the Lord built His church!"  (My modern paraphrase:)  IT'S ALL ABOUT JESUS.  IT'S ALL ABOUT HOW MANY MORE WE CAN REACH WITH THE REVELATION OF OUR SAVIOR.  HE USES YOU!  

Posted on August 9th, 2017

I remember as a little kid, not wanting to grow up.    Why?  It seemed like little kids always had the most fun!  When it was time for Christmas, I didn't have to deal with the hustle and bustle of shopping in crowded stores, driving on crowded streets, counting my pennies to make ends meet  -- I just tore open the presents and made a mess!  Grown ups seemed to have so many problems and responsibilities like working a job, paying the bills, mowing the lawn and washing dishes.  Why would I want to grow up?  What I did not understand, is that there is so much joy and satisfaction in fulfilling your dreams in adulthood.  Once I grasped that concept, I never wanted to be a child again!

​Just as it is God's plan for us to grow naturally and find the joy in adulthood, it is also and even more so, His plan for us to grow up spiritually.  The joy and deep satisfaction in fulfilling the call of God far surpasses any childhood game.  There comes a point in our walk with Christ when we should no longer talk and act like a child.   Instead of feeling needy all of the time, we grow strong and confident and become the one who is nurturing others.  ​"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me."  I Corinthians 13:11, NIV

Now, don't get me wrong,  we are always in need of His nurture and strength!  We cannot accomplish all of the will of God in our adult spiritual life without have a relationship with the One who gives us the grace to accomplish it.   The Bible tells us that as we submit to the Word of God and the Lord's righteousness (His right way of doing things) we will grow up into Christ.  He has given His ministers as gifts to the body of Christ for the purpose of perfecting our character for His glory.  His nature will dominate our words and actions.  Where we lack self-control, in Him we gain self-control.  We become grounded in our faith and strong in the Lord!

​"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:,"  Ephesians 4:11-15.

​Let this be our prayer today: "Lord I desire to grow up into Christ because that is Your perfect will for my life.  I turn my heart towards You and Your Word today.  I will put away childish things and allow the Holy Spirit to guide me.  I will listen to the ministers you have placed over me in the Lord and allow myself to grow up into Christ! "

by Pastor Jessica Baker on April 28th, 2017

​Did you know that tyranny has many faces?  Oh I know, we immediately think of world leaders who are tyrants in their nations keeping their people in bondage and fear.  But those are not the only tyrants we face as a human race.  As a matter of fact, the unseen tyrants are the worst of all.  “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places,”  Eph. 6:12.  You see, Jesus knew this and gave His life’s blood to defeat our greatest enemy.  “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross,”  Col. 2:15, NIV. 

The tyranny in your life may sound like the tormenting whisper of depression, the dark lonely lies that you are just not good enough, the endless noise of fear causing sleepless nights, or maybe the nagging voices of addiction -- but in any case, all of these tyrants have been defeated!  JESUS GAVE HIS LIFE FOR YOUR FREEDOM!  These taskmasters no longer have authority over you when you are in Christ!  Jesus defeated them…ONCE AND FOR ALL (Heb. 9:12).  God’s powerful, unfailing Word tells us that, “They (the former tyrant masters) are dead, they shall not live and reappear;  they are powerless ghosts, they shall not rise and come back.  Therefore You have visited and made an end of them and caused every memory of them (every trace of their supremacy) to perish!”  Isaiah 26:14-16, AMPC.

​Rise up today and declare that Jesus is Lord of your body, your soul, and your spirit.  Plead the blood of Jesus and take authority over these tyrants by rebuking them in the Name of Jesus!  He purchased your freedom for you...it's time for every trace of torment to perish in your life!

by Pastor Jessica on April 20th, 2017

I would like to introduce you to my dog, Cody.  Being part Great Pyrenees and Anatolian Shepherd, needless to say, Cody is a big dog -- and still a puppy.  The thing about Cody that we could never have prepared ourselves for, is the fact that no matter how hard we have tried, we cannot keep him on a leash.  We were somewhat prepared for the chewing up of our yard furniture, barking all night long at rabbits and the digging of holes in the yard, but we were not prepared for his exceptional ability to break free from his leash!  We have purchased many supposedly infallible leashes and collars, but to no avail -- he just chews or tears them off!  Thankfully we have a fenced in back yard and he is physically contained in that way...but good luck eating your lunch at our picnic table!

​There are those that actually believe that God's Word can be chained, put on a leash, like their yard animal.  What they do not realize is that binding up God's unchanging Word is an absolute impossibility! HIS WORD CANNOT BE CHAINED!  It has stood the test of time. Kings and entire kingdoms have tried to destroy and eradicate it, yet it still remains.  "All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the Word of the Lord endures forever,” I Peter 1:24-25. 

His Word is all-powerful.  His Word is trust-worthy.  His Word is faithful.  His Word is inerrant.  His Word is infallible.  His Word cannot be bound!  "Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the Word of God is not chained,"  2 Timothy 2:8-9, NKJV.

​​The spirit of this world would like you to believe that God's Word is limited by human intelligence and human strength.  Human philosophy, guided by the spirit of antichrist has belittled the inerrant Word of God to nothing more than a book of history that cannot be trusted as Divine.  This humanistic idea that our Creator's Word is up for debate and alteration is a mockery of our Holy God.  "​For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it,"  Isaiah 55:8-11.

The first thing Satan did in the Garden of Eden was challenge the validity and power of God's Word.  He said to Eve, "Did God really say?" (Genesis 3)  Causing Eve to challenge the Word of God in her own heart, the first man and woman fell into sin and were separated from their relationship with God.  Satan's strategy is the same today.  If he can cause you to doubt the truth of God's Word then he can rob you of your trust in God -- which in turn, robs you of your relationship with the Almighty who loves you and sent His Son to save your soul! 

So how do we combat this torrential flood of humanism and anti-Christ idealism influenced by Satan concerning our Father's Word?   We just do exactly what Jesus did in His temptation in the wilderness:  REBUKE THE LIES AND ATTEMPTS OF SATAN TO DECEIVE US.  Jesus rebuked Satan and said "IT IS WRITTEN," Matthew 4.   It is time for the church of Jesus Christ to STAND UP AGAINST SATAN AND PROCLAIM THE WORD OF GOD IN DEMONSTRATION AND POWER!  Stop engaging every man's opinion as possible truth.  "Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written: So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge,"  Romans 3:4, NIV.  Do not allow the enemies of God to rob you of your faith and trust in God's Word!   Jesus Christ was manifested to destroy the works of the devil.  He gave us authority in His name to trample over the deceitful works of darkness.  

The Psalmist David said, "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb,"  Psalm 19:7-10.

Pray this prayer with me today:  Precious Heavenly Father, I believe in You and I trust in Your Word.  I believe that your Word is pure and true.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and He came to destroy the works of the devil!   In the Name of Jesus,  I rebuke the deceitful lies and attempts of Satan that have warred at my soul.  I command the enemies of God to flee.  I will rise today and overcome the doubt and unbelief that has tried to rob my faith!  I am a believer!  I am an overcomer!




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