THE BLOG

06
Jun

Tell Your Story

 

Tell Your Story

By Steve Scroggs

And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.[1]

The heavens and earth tell a story

The heavens and earth tell a story

Stories are powerful. They quickly engage people in non-threatening ways to open understanding, exam belief systems, and confront the prejudice that tops the human psyche. I experienced many heart and soul revisions because, through a story, I let my guard down. Tell your story.

It was late when the subway doors opened. A bewildered father with five loud adolescents took his seat next to the chrome stabilizer bar. With one hand on the pole, his head down and his shoulders slumped, he seemed detached from his boisterous children. He sat stunned as they disrupted the entire cabin. I tried to get his attention, a few times. I asked myself, how could a father be so thoughtless and insensitive? Continue Reading..

02
Jun

Choose JUST THE STORIES

LOVE

Sometimes it is just the stories. There are literally thousands of story books. I just finished one that will change your life. I titled it JUST THE STORIES. God has a story book about you, that records every event in your life told from his point of view. He is the best writer and the the most accurate, for he only sees the truth.

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God.…[1]

 

Melinda when I met her. 1975

Melinda when I met her. 1975

My wife and I are days from our wedding anniversary. I married the woman of my dreams. I am different because she chose to love me. However, this state of mind was not always my address. My address was a delusion, “I design my own destiny, determine my own fate, and choose my own future.” And my life exemplified the characteristics of my belief system. Working hard. Focusing my attention toward success. Desiring to be rich. And feeling the muscles tighten up the back of my neck and toward the temples. When you are the source, stress becomes a daily friend, with reoccurring headaches as brothers.

Now, I have peace and I want you to have the same. I just released a new book JUST THE STORIES, and it can help you find that place of LOVE and PEACE.

In my youth, my eternal Father knew I was missing something, but I was in the dark. He continued to reach out to me on countless occasions, and surrounding me with demonstrations of love. I received numerous invitations to enter a personal relationship with him, but my focus on daily struggles emptied my reservoirs. Then he opened a door for me to unconditional love. The most important door in my life opened the day I met my girl.

The first time I saw her seems like yesterday. The leaves were falling and the cool winds were blowing when our family pulled up in the Independent Baptist Church of Red Bank driveway, beside the church parsonage, and next into the back parking lot. My family and several friends had come into town from North Carolina. We came into town to attend the Youth Harvest Celebration, complete with a hayride, pumpkin carving contest, refreshments with hot chocolate, and a special speaker.

I stepped out of my family’s 1976 blue Dodge van. I was the visitor, and at seventeen years old, I was looking for girls.

My brother Mike, who lived in Chattanooga because he was attending Tennessee Temple University, attended this church. He walked up behind me, “What do you think about her?” He pointed at the girl I was staring at. I don’t know how, but he saw our eyes meet.

I said, “She looks a little plump.” She was actually very slim, but donned layers of sweaters. Of course, I said this to throw my brother off the scent. What I could have said was, “She is beautiful and I am in love…”

Melinda and Steve in Hollywood, California

Melinda and Steve in Hollywood, California

I didn’t believe in love at first sight, but that night made me a believer. I began to work out a plan to make a great first impression and secure her heart. As our eyes met so did our smiles. I knew. My heart was smitten.

I felt the rush of excitement and infatuation all the way to my toes. The creativity that hit me in my quest to win her attention and affection was simply unbelievable; ideas for the team pumpkin carving contest, the way to get her attention while riding on the hayride, and the strategy to get her undivided attention in the last event of the night.

The walking beauty with bright blue eyes was on an opposing team during the pumpkin-carving contest. My team won. Yeah! Our eyes met again, and she knew I did it for her.

Next, the entire youth group climbed into the back of a box-truck filled with hay. She was sitting with the guy she came with, a friend who was too old for her. She was fifteen and he was a friend of my older brothers, a rough twenty-something year old in the middle of the 1970’s. She was being a polite friend. So I thought to myself, “I will start a hay fight in the middle of the truck, and he (her date) and my brothers will jump in and finish it. This will then give me an opportunity to meet her, and sit next to her.”  I threw hay at my brothers, then at him, and a fully-fledged hay fight erupted. It was fun for them, and totally sensational for me, my plan worked. I sat down next to her and introduced myself, “Hi, my name is Steve, What’s yours?” She said, “Melinda Troxel.” And she said it so fast that I couldn’t understand her. So I said, “I’m sorry, what’s that again?” She said, “Melinda Troxel.” Again, so fast I missed it. Then I said, “I am sorry; could you slow that down a little for me, please?” Then, I heard the sweetest voice I ever heard. “Melinda Troxel.” Ahhhhh! I caught the prize.

NEW BOOK! Just the Stories - Order yours now!!!

NEW BOOK! Order yours now!!!

When we returned from the hayride, we stood in line to grab some snacks and hot chocolate, and then sat down to hear the speaker. But, before the meeting started, I noticed her standing in the front and surrounded with mostly guys.

She then came back to me and said, “Do you want to come up here and sit with us?” I felt a conflict inside me, I wanted to be with her, but I didn’t want to be just another guy in her crowd. So I said, “No. But if you want, you can sit here with me.” She said, “Ok.” I don’t remember a single thing that speaker talked about. I am sure it was good, but I had her beside me. All I remember was the sense of love and affection.

Something happened inside me and I felt it. I took her home that night, and the rush of love and affection although overwhelming did not end. I can still smell the strawberry lip-gloss she wore. I was taken and she owned my heart. You will enjoy the fresh look at Just the Stories.

Now it is more than 35 years later, and we have enjoyed a lifetime of fun, family, and the kingdom of God. I have a lifetime of memories that speak to me about God’s unconditional love. My delusion, “I design my own destiny, determine my own fate, and choose my own future.” is not as rewarding or fulfilling as loving God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving your neighbor as yourself. The creation is all about love.

God is always speaking through the circumstances of your life, but the interpretation of these circumstances must be guided into truth. When you receive these life changing lessons and revelations of wisdom, write them down. There are many people who will be lifted to a new level in life when you share your story. When I met my girl, I experienced another facet of God’s love in the story of my own life.

This story was taken from my new book, Just the Stories.

[1] 1 John 4:7

13
May

THIS IS MY STORY

THIS IS MY STORY

Steve Scroggs Teaching

SozoLife May 21 – Columbia SC!!!This is My Story

I remember sitting on the floor with my brothers and sisters as our mother read The Pilgrim’s Progress. As she finished each chapter, we all said, “Read another one! Please…! …read another one!” I love a great story. One of my favorite stories is Aladdin and the Arabian knights. While stories touch the young and old alike, they also shape the soul’s belief system. Jesus told stories and parables to both open and hide heavenly secrets. The other day, I heard my seven-year-old grandson make his favorite request, “Mimi, tell me a story.” This is My Story, and you have one that needs to be told.

But, the oldest storyteller was the first. In fact, he dreamed an eternal love story before time began. He created time to move the story at a foreordained rhythm and at a predetermined pace. When he chose to record history, he wrote it in a story. And, when your place in time arrived, he took your story book off of his shelf,[1] and inserted it as an integral part of His.

However, God’s story did not start with man. His started with the Lamb slain from the foundations of the universe.[2] He knitted His son’s sacrifice into the fabric of the universe and invested himself before he made Adam, and before He said, “You shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Grace kissed mercy. Elohim is the most glorious of all stories, and He wrote His own story into the creation, in the hearts, in the minds, in the souls, and in the eras, epochs, periods, and times of every human being. This is an ever evolving, continuously developing, and eternally advancing story.

When Jesus told his disciples the story of his own death, they ignored him the first two times. The third time Jesus told them, it went deep into their heart causing them to feel sad. It was then he said, “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He. I assure you: Whoever receives anyone I send receives Me, and the one who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”[3] Jesus sensed their sadness and told another story. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.”[1]

–  –  –  –  –  –  –  –

Be The Message

Be The Message

It was early in the morning when the smell of camp fire smoke mixed with diesel fuel reminded me that I was in M’barara, Uganda, East Africa. The restaurant in the starred hotel was the closest we found to American cuisine. (It’s hard to mess up eggs, bacon, toast, coffee, and orange juice.) I was early, but the team was scheduled to meet me at breakfast. I swung my travel briefcase over my shoulder and said, “I am ready!”

As I walked toward the door, I heard a familiar wise whisper. “I don’t want you to just preach a message today. I want you to BE the message today!”

I was a little stunned as my heart asked, “What…?”

Then I heard it again, “I want you to BE the message today.”

I projected, “What does that mean? I’ve studied Your Word. I have a message. I am ready for the crusade.”

He responded, “I don’t want you to preach the message today, I want you to be the message.” This conversation rattled me. I sensed an exuberant peace flood my soul that said, “Just work with me here. You are prepared, now walk with me.”

I countered, “Well, I am not sure I know how to do that Lord!”

Support an African Orphan

Support an African Orphan

My brain instinctually employed a quest to figure it out. Then I heard, “Instead of telling the story, I want you to BE the story.” A writer calls this “Show and don’t tell.”

As we rumbled down the African road in our mini-van taxi, the residual presence of God lifted me. I see myself telling the story of God’s love, and presenting His eternal plan. But, the Father was challenging me to dive in, and become the message. Become the love and let the love become me. Become the son of God and allow the Son to become me.[2] Become a participating part in His kingdom and letting the kingdom become me. So, I put my notes in my briefcase. When we arrived at the crusade I stood to BE the message.

I received an invitation that day, not only to live in my story, but to authorize my story to join His. When I say, This is My Story, faith manifests. Stories and parables are the language of the Spirit, and transmit more than words. The spirit that lives in the story communicates with every layer of creation. This is one application to the Apostle Paul’s analysis, “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God…”[3] When you act in love, walk in the Spirit, and exercise family life in the body of Christ, you are teaching the principalities and powers… the manifold wisdom of God. Your stories are teaching the fellowship of the mystery…hid in God, to the echelons of Angels.

–  –  –  –  –  –  –  –

NEW BOOK! BEING RELEASED NOW!

NEW BOOK!
BEING RELEASED NOW!

Remember always, the creation, and the story in the creation belong to God. He is the author, and he says, “This is My Story.” No one edits Him. Free will cannot mess up His plan. He is the rock all are broken upon.

When you hear or read a story, the same power of faith and inspiration experienced in the event is present to activate the same result in your life. A story of triumph brings a warrior’s faith. A story of freedom conveys a new level of spiritual authority. A story of healing offers hope and supernatural restoration. A story of illumination delivers breakthrough revelation. And each story turns out to be a “DO IT AGAIN WITNESS!” When you witness, and believe the power of God’s creative Word, you enter into the same miracle. The Apostle John wrote,

“And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name.”[4]

The icon of Jesus Christ in the gospels is incomplete. Jesus would say, This is my Story. He healed more people. He taught more lessons. He did more miracles. He had more friends. He preached more messages. In fact, his story is still being written today. When you believe in Him, His story lives in you. The challenge is to believe, and let the life of Jesus do for you what he has done for millions.

 

[1] John 14:1-4

[2] John 1:12

[3] Ephesians 3:9-11

[1] Ephesians 1:4

[2] Revelation 13:8

[3] John 13:19-20

[4] John 14:1-4


 

photo1 

Check out www.stevescroggs.com

TAKE THE LEAP!

19
Apr

The Soul in SozoLife

The Soul in SozoLife

Eternity Holds the World

He Holds the World

The soul in SozoLife is healed and restored to wholeness. This is required for an ongoing relationship with the eternal God. To walk in your created purpose you will need God to Save (SOZO) you. God original purpose for you is written in Genesis 1:26. “And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion… over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”[1]

 

SozoLife Knocks!

I heard a knock. The church was silent on Mondays. When I opened the door, she stood trembling. She said, “Hi… I heard you cast out demons here. Is that true? I have been visited almost every night for years now. When they first came they were friendly and would take me places in the spirit. Then they wanted me to do things for them. Lately, they have been telling me to do things that I do not want to do. When I say no, they hurt me and threaten me and my family. Can you help me?”

I had not seen this level of brokenness before. She was tormented with thoughts of depression and suicide. She had been broken so many times that she thought she was a piece of dirt with the value of a grain of sand. The enemy used the people she cared about to pulverize her. Although her response was instinctual, she chose unforgiveness and opened a doorway to the demonic realm.

 

Torment in America

Sad Teenage GirlHer story was unbelievable. As we talked, she recounted story after story. Experiences of childhood violence, exploitation, neglect, and cruelty. The stories starred her father and mother as villains of violent abuse, and co-stared other distant family members as protagonists.  Then later, her mother’s boyfriend enters the cast hurling insults with foul-language, physical beatings, and sexual violence to pleasure himself. He heart was crushed over and over again, she turned to some of her “imaginary friends,” unclean spirits to “help” her. As the relationships grew, the demons began to come at night when she was asleep and take her places.

Since her life was filled with abuse, she invested her life in anger, resentment, bitter envy, and selfish ambition with a quest to validate herself through meticulous accountability. (This kind of life is shown in the Harry Potter stories.) As a result, she sought out occult ritual, spells, and curses for protection, and a witch’s coven became a much needed alliance. But, what she did not see coming was the torment of demon possessed people. Regardless of what you believe, a demon will always steal, kill, and destroy whatever it touches. This is the objective and the enchantment.

As I listened to her, my heart broke. As a baby, her grandmother inducted her into the Cherokee Shaman witch doctor rites. Through her young adult years, her relationships continued a pattern of abuse as she moved from one traumatic experience to another. The depth of her obsession reached critical mass when she was committed to a psychiatric treatment facility. On one such occasion, she was sexually abused by a Catholic priest.

Her strategy was to protect herself through whatever means necessary, until she realized that it didn’t work. She came because there were more powerful unseen forces at work.

 

light and bibleSilver Lining

There was a silver lining. As a young girl, she attended a Vacation Bible School, and received Jesus Christ as her personal Savior, but at home the abuse did not stop. Even as a child she remembered crying out to God for help, and he would touch her with his love and light. God saves a soul through faith, not through a life of perfect choices.

Although she believed God, she was still holding unforgiveness and bitterness toward those who abused her. When she came, her life and mental state was shattered.

 

A Gift

Yet, somewhere in the midst of all the brokenness she received a “natural” gift for healing. When she laid hands on someone, she could sense the sickness and extract it from their body through her arms. Then within the span of an hour, she belched and released the sickness. (This was in 1992, years before The Green Mile.) I saw her use this gift. It was this gift that charmed the Witches’ Covens. When she attended the Coven, people were healed, and it looked like the witches had ceremonial healing powers.

As we began to minister she was set free. Through a number of sessions, she completely gave her heart and soul to God. Jesus saved (Sozoed), delivered, healed and made her whole.  Through a relationship with Holy Spirit, she began to walk in the authority that the cross of Jesus Christ provided. But there was a process of transformation.

 

Every Good Gift

key-light-spiritWhen I heard her story and saw the gift of healing, I sought God with a question, “Lord God, is this gift from you, and the subsequent healing from you?” One morning he gave me this scripture:

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”[2]

The understanding that every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father, began to open new understanding. It does not matter where I receive a good and perfect gift; at home, at work, at church, at play, or even at a non-religious gathering. Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights. When someone receives healing, deliverance, provision, or any good gift, it came down heaven. John the Baptist agrees with this as well.

John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.”[3]

The mystery that God expresses in scripture inspires the soul to believe, and what you choose to believe rules you. The scripture is clear.  The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. But, Witches want people to believe they have great healing power. This is one way evidence can be manipulated to lie. If demons can heal why not go to them? Demons do not create life, give healing, or bring the peace of God. I have not found one place a demon ever creates. God alone creates life, health, and healing.

 

A New Perspective

It had been months since her deliverance when she showed up at my office extremely disturbed. She opened the Bible to Job 38:31-33, put her finger on the page and said, “Why is God using the Zodiac?”

After I collected my thoughts, I realized her world view was upside down. I said, “God is not using the Zodiac. He created the signs in the heavens that you call the Zodiac. Everyone who uses the constellations as the Zodiac is using the signs He created to focus their faith for a personal advantage. ‘All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.’[4] He is the source of all things.'”

 

SozoLife Opens the Soul

As God began to open the eyes of her soul, she saw a dark fog-like cloud surrounding her, with little static lightning bolts sporadically illuminating. She had lost her identity in her childhood, and began to believe that she was the sum of her dark secrets. She was visited by a demon and told that he would protect her. The demon lied, because that is what they do. But, since she wanted help, she agreed; but over the years her identity was eclipsed by this ominous cloud of depression.

After this was revealed I said, “This is good news.”

She said, “Good news? This is not good news, it’s a demon. What do you mean its good news?”

I responded, “Well, all that you have been experiencing, and all of the symptoms you have recounted are the energies and characteristics of this dark cloud. This means that it is not you! All of the thoughts of suicide and torment are not your thoughts. It is the demon that is manifesting as this ominous cloud.” Then I said, “Do you want to keep this demon and his assaults?”

She said, “No! Are you kidding?”

I reacted with a small chuckle, “I have to ask that question so that your will can engage.” As I began to reveal the authority that Christ had established for her, she was filled with a righteous anger for the years this demon had stolen from her.

God led her as a gentle lamb to His cross, and then walked with her to complete freedom. Today, she lives saved, delivered, healed, and whole. Only Jesus heals the body soul and spirit.

[1] Genesis 1:26

[2] James 1:17

[3] John 3:27

[4] John 1:4

03
Apr

HEALING IN THE SOUL

You can have healing in the Soul!

Can you imagine a life of peace and confidence?

by Steve Scroggs

It’s a true story not all that different from yours. Like me, you may have walked up behind someone taking papaSkyyour name in vain. The accusations hurt, the facts sketchy, but the betrayal went all the way to the bone. Jesus said, “In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Jesus knew what he was talking about! God’s process to heal the end time warrior’s soul is sozo – the Greek word translated saved, delivered, healed, and made whole. You can receive Healing for the Soul in Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul said, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (sozoed)”.[1]

 

A New York Artist

When a troubled forty-something man arrived, the smell of apple blossoms floated on the fresh sunlight. He was well-known in his New York City community as the He-man tuff-guy, a brilliant tattoo artist, with a strong Bronx accent. He wanted all the right things for his family, but those who defied his personal sense of justice survived wounded in the wake.

His wake began in his teen years after suffering inhumane abuse. One day as he stood to subdued his step-father, an almost euphoric feeling swelled up within him, moved him to a bystander position, and took control of his body. He was never hit again, but he made a pact with an unclean spirit.

This complicated his marriage and family relationships. After almost thirteen years of a court moderated divorce, he has begun to experience the same feelings coming up inside him toward his not-so-understanding defiant son. He said, “I know if I keep this spirit my relationship with my son will be destroyed. I sense the swelling in me when my son disrespects me, and I know it is just a matter of time. Can you help me?”

 

Jesus Speaks

handofgod1davincciThe “shadow play” concerning unclean spirits is surrounded with mystery. We don’t want to talk about the highly deceptive and extremely controlling fallen angels who are tasked with our destruction. But Jesus spoke to our freedom.

But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

Just as you have guardian angels to protect you, you also have familiar (family) spirits; demons that travel blood-lines to visit the iniquity of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.[2] “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.”[3] The artist’s enemy was not his step-father. Although demons exist invisible to the natural eye, they incite others against you. This attack exploits your fear, doubt, and unbelief. The battle originates in the mind. John’s heavenly vision shows us how to win.

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 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. … for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he hath but a short time.[4]

The key is Jesus Christ. When you share a personal relationship, you receive salvation, strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ. Salvation is soteria from the Greek sotersavior, deliverer, and speaks of the complete redemption received from our infinite King-Savior.[5] Strength is dynamis – inherent miraculous power residing and enacted by virtue of His nature. Kingdom is basileiathe sovereign authority to rule all realms of creation simultaneously. Power is exousia privilege of authority one exercises in judicial decisions…[6] The authority to rule comes from God, and the privilege of mastery comes from the Anointed One. Since Jesus was revealed to destroy the works of the devil, when he left, he gave that commission to you.[7]

 

There is Hope

SozoLife4_inside1

SozoLife Book Available

The devil that controlled the artist stayed at his bidding. As the Spirit of truth opened his memories he received a new perspective. When he was a teen-ager, he took matters into his own hands, cried out for help to overpower his abuser, and summoned an unclean spirit. Jesus said, But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. When he submitted to the rule and reign of God, Christ set him free. But, how did his soul reason with God?

First, he was saved by confessing the sin of unforgiveness. His choice to harbor years of bitterness fostered a lie, “I have a right to be wounded and defend myself through whatever means necessary, and use the pain to protect myself from future abusers.” This decision linked his destiny to fallen angels, and left the forgiveness and comfort of the Holy Spirit in the dust.[8] His new confession, “I have a right to defend the kingdom, but I will forgive anyone who offends me. I will trust and solicit the help of God and His angels to protect me.”

Second, he was healed by repenting of his personal sense of justice that said, “You are abusive and will always intimidate. Therefore, I will arouse whatever power necessary to dominate you. You will not hurt me or my family again.” These judgments approved the devil’s strategy, and left “walk in the Spirit” and “trust in God” stranded.[9] His new confession, “I will honor and respect those in authority over me, and confront the principalities with the anointing of God in truth. And then appeal to the Father for power and authority.”

Third, he was made whole by confessing the sin of idolatry – implementing vows that made himself god, “I will never let anyone hurt me like that again. I will not trust anyone who hurts me. So, when I sense the same violent abuse, I will send my defender.” When he opened this door he failed the grace of God, and signed up for torment.[10] His new profession, “I confess the sin of idolatry, and I give my life to the only true God. I will cry out for his help in my time of need. I will fight the good fight of faith, receive what God allows, and then obtain healing from His hand.”

Fourth, he was delivered by casting the demon away. After you replace the legal stronghold with truth the demonic has no right to stay.[11] His commandment, “By the authority of the Word of God, and through the power of the Blood of Jesus, I bind you unclean spirit of intimidation and murder in Jesus’ name. You will leave my life now; you will leave my body now in Jesus’ name. I do not want you, I do not need you, and I renounce any involvement with you. Leave and present yourself before the throne of God according to Job chapter one and verse six. And, do not return to me in Jesus’ name, Amen!

Fifth, he was healed when the perfect love of God entered his soul.[12] He was cured from almost twenty-five years of demonic abuse, and he literally looked ten years younger.

God wants his children to live in Shalom by resolving their past in the context of truth. He said, “Come now, and let us reason together… though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…”[13] When the human soul is subjected to trauma, deceptions will prevail from the soul unless one comes and reasons with the Father. The Apostle Paul called this, “…transformed by the renewing of your mind…”[14] God loves the human soul and gave his life’s blood to redeem it. Teaching the sons of God how to process their soul with the Spirit of truth releases them to become a cleansed and purified Temple of God, possessed by the Holy Spirit.

 

[1] Romans 10:13 KJV

[2] Deuteronomy 5:6-10 ESV

[3] Ephesians 6:12 KJV

[4] Revelation 12:7-12

[5] The Olive Tree Bible Study Ap, Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary, Online. Retrieved 3-30-2016

[6] ibid.

[7] 1 John 3:8; John 14:12; Matthew 10:8

[8] Genesis 4:1-16

[9] Genesis 34

[10] 1 Samuel 15

[11] Mark 9:14-29 KJV

[12] 1 John 4:17-19

[13] Isaiah 1:18 KJV

[14] Romans 12:2 KJV

15
Jan

Meditation: the five phases

Meditation: The Five Phases

Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them;

that thy profiting may appear to all.[1]

key-light-spirit

It was a bright day in Statesville, North Carolina. As I sat in the living room of my mentor and friend, I asked him a question. “How do I get the truth from my head to my heart?” He put his finger on his forehead and then on his heart, he said, “Keep thinking and speaking the truth over and over again until you know it is coming from your heart.” In other words, meditate. In my book, Learn the Language of the Spirit, I have a chapter about meditation: the five phases. Meditation walks a parallel path to relationship.

The ancient practice of Biblical meditation is not just a state of mental or emotional stillness, but a continual focus on the name, personality, word, and ways of God. When Moses interacted with God in face to face meditation, he descended Mt. Sainia with his face glowing like a brilliant sun. When God engaged Joshua, preparing him to lead Israel into the promise land, he gave this instruction,

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth; but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.[2]

Since relationship is the ultimate goal of God throughout the universe, the process for nurturing relationship unlocks a natural pathway for meditation. Do you remember the beginning of your most satisfying relationship? I think you will agree with these five observable phases that produce a mutually satisfying bond. The sequence may differ, but this pathway charts a course for meditation.

Phase One: Adoration

The first phase in relationship and meditation is Adoration; the romance of seeing life through a fresh set of eyes. This inspiration cycles with a new person, a new mystery, and a new set of stories that inspire. Partakers share a state of near-constant bliss, and invest time to know one another. The psalmist David said,

 I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul follows hard after thee: thy right hand upholds me.[3] 

Through the focus of Adoration on God, praise will fill your mouth, and a new glory will enter your life.[4] The Father made your soul to process through meditation.

Phase Two: Adaptationstairs up into heaven

The second phase of meditation moves across the Adaptation of your life to the one you love and pursue. In a personal relationship this is about control. Every time you meditate, you will see a facet of His personality that challenges your status quo, and calls you in. As the newness of inspiration wears thin, the reality of life settles in with the disciplines required for meaningful interchange. Adaptation merges God’s life into the human life through agreement. King David chose meditation and scripted his adaptation in the book of Psalms.

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. …I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.[5]

As you adapt to Him, you will discover that He created you to be like him. He is a dreamer and gave you the dreams you possess. He glorifies you so you will glorify him.[6]

Phase Three: Submission

Submission, the choice to handover your control to make decisions to the one you love, is the third phase of meditation. For the first time individual motives will be challenged. As the meditation deepens, God reveals his purposes, as well as your minor disagreements, the belief system arguments, and the self will motivations. This once tender loving, and effortless relationship evolves into a power struggle.

Meditation tunes your soul spirit experience to the frequency of heaven. Therefore, you will recognize that God is love and has your best interests at heart.[7] The psalmist cried out,

I know, O Lord, that your judgments are right, and that you in faithfulness have afflicted me. Let, I pray thee, your merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to your word unto your servant. …Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause; but I will meditate in your precepts.[8]

Through contemplation you learn to appeal to authority and develop the negotiation skills of bargaining, problem solving, and conflict resolution.

Phase Four: Ascension

In phase four, the heart ascends from the position of evaluation to a desire for connection. At this juncture, you recognize the link between what you learned in your family of origin, and how that imprint colored your interaction with God. As your perspective matures and you see your loved one with new eyes, a sympathetic re-awakening emerges. David experienced this,

I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember your wonders of old. I will meditate also of all your work, and talk of your doings. Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? You are the God that does wonders: you have declared your strength among the people. You have with your arm redeemed your people… Selah.[9]

As you encounter the Word and Spirit in meditation, an invitation to the throne of grace appears. God becomes more than a truth to study, or a being to read about.

Let us therefore Come boldly unto the throne of grace…[10] You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.[11]

As you focus your attention and affection on His presence, you will experience the realm of His Spirit, [12] and walk as a child of light.[13]

Phase Five: CommunionLearn Language BookCoverImage

The fifth phase in meditation is face-to-face communion. Communion integrates the needs of self with the needs of another. You maintain an equilibrium between individuality and unity. You take responsibility for your own life and provide support for the one you love. Conflicts will arise from time to time, but as a result of the struggles from the previous stages you resolve them quickly. King David meditated on this reality.

I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.[14]

As you integrate your heart, soul, mind, and strength with the presence of God,[15] communion emerges with a passion that enraptures the soul. Earthly treasures become shadows in the love of his magnificent glory.

Conclusion

The brightness I sensed that day in my mentor’s living room was God’s excitement for His children coming to him in meditation. God’s favor was not affirming the shadow of the ritual, but the reality of the relationship. Meditation requires time, focus, and discipline. Those who walk in the Spirit and absorb his love will be his sons and daughters, and will share the secrets of eternal truth.[16]

 

 

 

[1] 1 Timothy 4:5 KJV

[2] Joshua 1:8

[3] Psalm 63:6-8

[4] Psalm 1

[5] Psalm 119:9-16

[6] John 17:1-5

[7] Romans 8:28

[8] Psalm 119:75-80

[9] Psalm 77:10-15

[10] Hebrews 4:16

[11] Psalm 16:11

[12] Revelation 22:17-19

[13] Ephesians 5:8

[14] Psalm 119:14-16

[15] Galatians 5:16-26

[16] Romans 8:1-6

23
Dec

The Christmas Wait

One day last week I experienced The Christmas Wait.

Three wise men and starI was steaming. It was rush-hour traffic at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. I set my frustration aside when I started the conversation. “Do you like sitting in traffic?” My wife alleged, “Not really, but I do like traffic when I am going Christmas shopping.” I almost suffered whiplash. “You like traffic…? …at Christmas?” I heard a chipper giggle. She continued, “Well, yes. It’s like… a part of Christmas. We’re all shopping… together.” I sighed with a giggle, but my brain seemed to turn around inside my skull. I had never considered that anyone would like to sit in traffic. But, then again, Melinda and I spend a lot of time talking in the car. However, I look for every opportunity to skirt traffic and shy away from malls. Although, I am at my best when surrounded with people.

This same feeling was coursing through Joseph and Mary on the day they entered Bethlehem. The traffic on the streets hummed with excitement. The Roman Empire called for a census to be taken, in person, in the city of your family’s heritage. For Joseph and Mary, this meant traveling in excess of one-hundred miles, during her pregnancy to Bethlehem, the village setting in the shadow of Jerusalem. They were all tired, even the donkey. The sinking feeling as Joseph went from Inn to Inn intensified. “Surely God will

A Baby Changed The World

A Baby Changed The World

give us a room for Mary to give birth. After all, it is His Son” Joseph thought. All of the Inns and stables were full. (Joseph had unsuccessfully preplanned his trip through Hotels.com.) However, he remembered the visitation from Gabriel three months ago and his message, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”[1] The angel’s word did not say how, nor did it include a five-star hotel. Nonetheless, this did not seem right. Jesus literally was the Son of the Creator-King of the Universe. Although Joseph had no way to preplan his trip, God’s plan was written before the foundations of the earth.

When Joseph and Mary entered Bethlehem, God was preparing to preach an eternal message.[2] The creator was entering His own creation. God was communicating to all present in the second century B.C. and throughout all time, that He was here. His plan was coming together. “And in the fulness of time…” Joseph was offered a stable that would shield them from the cold, give them a bed of hay, and include certain amenities; a trough for food (a manger), piles of hay, an abundance of animals, and access to water. Bethlehem was the epicenter of “the Word of God became flesh….”[3]

AngelShepherdsGod chooses humble places to birth His Son: A planet He created to birth His children. A village on the outskirts of the Capital city of Israel. A stable made for bedding animals, complete with hay and a feeding trough. And, a human heart created in perfection and fallen into disrepair. God is not disappointed with you. He is an eternally generous and forgiving personality. He pursues the lost and afflicted. He seeks the least. There is nothing you can do to make him reject you. When Jesus was born, a Star was born. And He still is born in humble places. Since God accepts you, go ahead and accept you. Since God forgives you, go ahead and forgive you. Since God gave his very best for you, therefore, give yourself the very best from God.

Think of the people who had front row seats to His arrival that night when the Shepherd’s responded to the Angel’s announcement. They came from all over to see the Christ child. This was no small event. God sends His angels to the least in Israel’s society. And as they come the word spreads throughout Bethlehem. The whole village, filled with people from all over the Roman empire, are drawn to the hustle and bustle of the crowd of shepherds overturning every rock to find the baby, “…wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

Although traffic lined the streets of Bethlehem, and the makeshift malls filled the town square and bordered the streets with shops and vendors, the hustle and bustle will either crowd out the coming of Jesus, or communicate his arrival. Everyone in Bethlehem did not see him. But everyone who wanted to see him was invited. He is the only God, the only Savior, the only lamb of God offered to take away the sins of the people.

During this Christmas season, rejoice as you celebrate the birthday of God’s eternal gift. The traffic is natural, and the idea to enjoy waiting in traffic shows us there is something important to see. Something of divine origin to contemplate. Just like God surrounded His Son’s birth with people, God will surround you with what is necessary to bring forth His Son. He will bring out the best!

During this season, God is appealing to you as you wait.

FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS!!!

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Scroggs Family! Merry Christmas

The Scroggs Family!
Merry Christmas

Let me encourage you to read my books. They will change the way you see life, and bring prosperity to your soul! You may purchase them on my website www.stevescroggs.com, or on Amazon, and Kindle.

 

NEW BOOK! BEING RELEASED NOW!

NEW BOOK!
BEING RELEASED NOW!

[1] Matthew 1:20-21 NKJV

[2] Revelation 14:6-7

[3] John 1:14

31
Oct

NEW BOOK!

NEW BOOK!

How to have Prosperity in your Soul!

In the roaring Twenties, the atmosphere in New York city was filled with expectancy and promise. Henry Ford’s cars crowded the streets, and the world looked on as the United States experienced exponential growth. Prosperity was a by-word. When the Rockefeller’s came to the party the atmosphere ascended. They personified the American dream and the prosperity of the early twentieth century.

NEW BOOK BEING RELEASED NOW! AMAZON

NEW BOOK BEING RELEASED NOW! AMAZON

However, this book is not about America’s rise to economic supremacy, or the Rockefeller’s prosperity, but I wrote it with entertaining stories and eight practical steps so that you can acquire a prosperous soul. God promises that when your soul prospers your life will prosper!

As you read, engage the Spirit and you will overflow with prosperity. When you choose a relationship with the eternal God, he flows through you just as he flowed through His Son. He is the source of heavenly health, celestial wisdom, and divine wealth. Eternal prosperity cannot be bought with earthly treasure, but as you follow the Holy Spirit through steps in this book it will be opened to you.

I have experienced this prosperity first hand and proved the process true. I have seen it work in my life and in hundreds of people whom I have counseled. I live in the promise and  glory released through the power of Spirit. My heart is at peace, my soul walks in confidence with God, my emotional love and joy increases, and the story of my life is unlimited! But this rise in my soul did not come from this temporal world! This transformation has comes through the power of God’s eternal Spirit.

Prosperity is illusive and garners a wide assortment of definitions and descriptions. An entertaining comic gave this sketch.

Money can buy you a house, but not a home.

Money can buy you a bed, but not sleep.

Money can buy you a clock, but not time.

Money can buy you a book, but not knowledge.

Money can buy you medicine, but not health.

Money can buy you sex, but not love.

So you see money isn’t everything. And it often causes pain and suffering. I tell you all this because I am your friend, and as your friend I want to take away your pain and suffering. So send me all your money.[1]

When I heard this I laughed, but wisdom says money is a part of prosperity. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Moses said, “But you shall remember the Lord your God: for it is He that gives you power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant…”[2]

The key to prosperity in your life is inescapably bound to the prosperity of God in your soul. The soul has a currency and an exchange rate that is very different from bank account balances. You may have heard, “…life is a negotiation and we are all negotiating.”

 

The Treasure

Prosperity tops the chart of the self-help industry and stands highest in the celebrated topics on the motivational circuit. Inspiring teachers tell the David and Goliath stories of great achievers, successful businessmen, triumphant underdogs, and victorious women who by sheer determination carve a place in history.

And while telling these stories, they attempt to answer the questions everyone asks; What is prosperity? How do I get prosperity? How do I achieve prosperity in my life? Remember the old wise saying, “When men are young, they give their health to get wealth, and then as they grow older, they give their wealth to get health.” I want to show you a way to do both.

If you allow inspired humans to define and promote their brand of prosperity, you will wind-up in a six-foot-deep dead end grave. I saw a bumper sticker that describes the mantra of this system, “He who dies with the most stuff wins!” Many of the understandings of prosperity I see people investing their life in looks suspiciously like greed. Is this true prosperity?

 

Warren Buffet

I saw an interview with Warren Buffet an investment genius, whose net worth at the time of this writing is in the neighborhood of sixty-six billion dollars. He said, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” In this interview he said, “I am good at making money. I made my first trade on the New York stock exchange when I was about eight years old.” He exuded confidence and went on to say that there are many people on the earth that don’t know how to make money. His conclusion was, those who know how to make money have a responsibility to take care of their fellowman. Then he said that the rich should pay their fair share.

When Warren Buffet finished I was amazed. It challenged my thoughts because I had never heard a rich man talk like this before. Later, I learned that Warren Buffet was tasking his son Jimmy Buffet with giving massive amounts of his money away before he dies. This generosity seems like a habit among some of the super wealthy people.

Andrew Carnegie, an oil and steel tycoon in the late nineteenth century sold his empire and gave back to his fellowman by, among other things, building libraries. Carnegie wrote several books and numerous articles. His 1889 article “Wealth” outlined his view that those with great wealth must be socially responsible and use their assets to help others. This was later published as the 1900 book The Gospel of Wealth.

J.D. Rockefeller followed a similar pattern and established a foundation that is still trumpeting humanitarian causes. On a recent trip to Uganda, I saw Bill Gates, whose estimated wealth at present is in the ball park of seventy-nine billion, on television being interviewed about his foundation that contributes to feed, educate, and set up legal help for humanitarian causes. These men of means give back to their fellowman and want to leave a legacy. They want to spread the wealth, health, and prosperity to help the poor and uneducated.

But the prosperity doesn’t come from monetary investments. Prosperity is a matter of tuning your heart to the creator and harmonizing with His abundance. Would you describe the Son of God as prosperous? He was the eternal God in human flesh. No one is more prosperous. I heard this statement a week ago, “He has more money than God” and laughed.  

These observations makes an appointment the Son of God had in the first century very interesting. Around 33 AD, during the days of the Roman empire, a rich young ruler sought out Jesus Christ. The first century rich were not so different, unless they were young. As you may know, rich people are usually very independent, self-confident, resourceful, and proud about their successes. Most have the same thought, “If I can do it anyone can.”

 

The Ruler

As Jesus walks away from Jericho on his way to Jerusalem, a rich young ruler rushes to him, falls to his knees, and asked Him a timeless question. “Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”

In that moment Jesus gazed into him, “You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honor your father and mother.” All of these commandments are prerequisites to prosperity in your life.

And he answered, “Master, all these have I observed from my youth.”

Then Jesus beholding him loved him, “One thing you lack: go your way, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”

And the rich young ruler was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

And Jesus looked round about, and said unto his disciples, “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answered again, and said unto them, “Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?” And Jesus looking upon them said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”[3]

The rich young ruler walked away sorrowful because his soul valued the treasures on earth more than the eternal treasures of heaven. Therefore, his soul was darkened by riches.

Jesus said, “…With God all things are possible.” Jesus prophesied the prosperity that would manifest in the young ruler’s soul. He received the answer to his question, but the answer was not manageable like his fortunes. But, when he chose to invest in a world beyond this realm, eternal life would spring up inside him. Faith is believing more in what you sense than in what you see. You may not have mountains of money, you may not be talented in sports or the creative arts, but you can have the prosperity of God’s eternal riches. How does work?

 

The Change

Oral tradition holds that the rich young ruler was Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, who after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ sold all he had and laid it at the apostle’s feet. (Acts 4) When the rich young ruler walked away from Jesus he was sorrowful. Godly sorrow worked repentance. As a Levite, Jesus knew his call, his dedication, and his love, and challenged his acquired value system. When Jesus responded with “sell all you have,” it struck him like a slap in the face. Only he and Jesus knew that his idol was out of the closet. The love of money was killing him and left unopposed would take him into eternal hell.

He was a “ruler,” that is, a member of the Sanhedrin, the same council Saul of Tarsus was a member. According to tradition, to be referenced as a rich young ruler, his personal wealth would sustain an entire city for over five years. When Joseph acted on the encouragement of Jesus; to sell everything he had, his choice may have actually incited Saul’s fury toward the followers of Jesus Christ. For one of his own council sold everything, gave it to a cult, and joined their blasphemous ranks.

The Wisdom

The rich young ruler laid all he had at the Apostles feet they renamed him Barnabas; son of encouragement, because he responded to the encouragement of Jesus. He encountered the Savior of the world and obtained eternal life.

Later, at the direction of the Jerusalem Apostles, Barnabas was sent to Antioch where he witnessed the exponential growth of believers. He knew the church needed a strong dedicated teacher, with the scholarship of Gamaliel to meet the demand for the revelation of Messiah from the Law. Therefore, being “a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith,” plus having a preexisting relationship with Saul, and furthermore knowing the story of Saul’s salvation experience, Barnabas went to Tarsus to seek him. After he found him, they returned to Antioch and for an entire year assembled with the church, and taught the new Jewish and Gentile believers.

Think about the irony of two members of the Jerusalem Sanhedrin teaching the secrets of the law and Yeshua-Messiah in Antioch. The glory of God illuminated and prospered the souls of many and changed the face of the church. It was in Antioch that the believers were first called Christian.

This book will give you a foundation for the flow of eternal prosperity and enlighten you way into the Spirit realm of God. He waits to enrich your life. You can grow strong and prosper.

 

[1] See more at: http://www.progress-to-financial-freedom.com

[2] Deuteronomy 8:18

[3] Mark 10; Acts 11

30
Oct

A Strategic Warfare Strategy

papaSkyA Strategic Warfare Strategy

Peering into Satan’s command center

I didn’t see it coming. These were my friends. They didn’t see it coming either. Many years ago a pastor’s son and one of the staff member’s daughters entered into a relationship as two adults over the age of twenty. The relationship was consensual, but the pastor’s son was blamed.

For the next few months the staff member began to sow discord and dissension in the hearts and minds of the people on his team. “You can’t talk to the pastor because he never listens…” “I question his integrity if he will not hold his son accountable…” And, “What does the Bible say about a man whose house is not in order?” are some of the phrases used. It was a number of months before the Senior Pastor was brought into the problem. When the staff member encountered the pastor, it was a surprise to the pastor when a no-excuses-command to publicly discipline his son in the church surfaced.

Continue Reading..

18
Oct

YOU CAN HAVE PROSPERITY NOW

Prosperity has a wide assortment of definitions. An entertaining comic gave this sketch.

Money can buy you a house, but not a home.

Money can buy you a bed, but not sleep.

Money can buy you a clock, but not time.

Money can buy you a book, but not knowledge.

Money can buy you medicine, but not health.

Money can buy you sex, but not love.Three wise men and star

So you see money isn’t everything. And it often causes pain and suffering. I tell you all this because I am your friend, and as your friend I want to take away your pain and suffering. So send me all your money…[1]

When I read this I laughed, but wisdom says money is only a part of prosperity. So, if you find yourself with the burden of money, unload it.

You can have prosperity now. The key to prosperity in your life is inescapably bound to the prosperity in your soul. The soul has a currency and an exchange rate that is very different from bank account balances. You may have heard, “…life is a negotiation and we are all selling something.”

As far as prosperity goes, everyone wants it. Most have confidence in it. Countless dream of it. But, few know what it takes to obtain it, and fewer actually live in it. Some would define prosperity as winning the lottery and never having to work again. Others, marrying the right person and fetching instantaneous treasure. Still others, inventing a gadget that everyone wants, and by it possessing more wealth than a small country. But others, who make every sacrifice known to man to come to the United States, define prosperity as the American dream. 

The Treasure

Original_Robert-Stolarik_Schillers-chairs_s4x3_lg

Prosperity tops the chart of the Self-Help industry and stands highest in the celebrated topics on the motivational circuit. They inspire by telling the stories of great achievers, and answering questions like; how do I define prosperity? How do I get prosperity? How do I manage my life in prosperity? What does prosperity have to do with money? Who will be the one to tell me when I have arrived? These are some of the questions, but if you allow inspired humans to define and promote their brand of prosperity, your life will wind-up in a six-foot-deep dead end rut.

They spend all their energy obtaining earthly treasure. I saw a bumper sticker that describes the mantra of the world’s system, “He who dies with the most stuff wins!” An old sage told me once, “The earth is out of harmony with God because man is out of harmony with God.”[2] Listen to me! The prosperity in the soul is a matter of tuning your heart to the creator and harmonizing with His abundance.

The Generous

This generous and benevolent abundance of the creator was elegantly flowing out of His son during His earthly ministry. His day usually began early on the mountain with his Father.

On this particular day his appointments began as he was leaving Jericho. He took children up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway begging. And when he heard it was Jesus, he began to cry out. “Yeshua, Son of David, Have mercy on me.”

And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried out even more, “Jesus, Son of David, please have mercy on me!”

And then Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they called the blind man, saying unto him, “Be of good comfort, rise; he calls you.”

Bartimaeus threw his garment aside, arose, and came to Jesus. And Jesus said unto him, “What do you want me to do for you?”

The blind man said unto him, “Lord, I want to receive my sight.”

And Jesus said unto him, “Go your way; your faith has made you whole.” And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

The treasure and prosperity in Jesus did not have a price tag. What is the earthly prosperity, if you do not have the health to enjoy it? When you choose a relationship with the eternal God, he flows through you just as he flowed through Jesus. He is the source of heavenly health, celestial wisdom, and divine wealth. Jesus is not only your example, he came to show you who you really are and what will flow through you when you take your place by His side. Jesus simply released the flow of his prosperous soul. But His next appointment revealed more.

The Ruler

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJesus’ next appointment was very unusual. As you may know, rich people are usually very independent, self-confident, resourceful, and proud about the success they exude.

A year ago, I saw an interview with Warren Buffet, whose net worth at the time of this writing was in the neighborhood of sixty-six billion dollars. He said, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” While he exuded confidence he said, he was good at making money. He made his first trade on the New York stock exchange when he was eight years old. Then he went on to say that there are many people on the earth that don’t know how to make money. His conclusion was, those who know how to make money have the responsibility to take care of their fellowman. Then he said that the rich should pay their fair share.

When Warren Buffet finished I was amazed. I had never heard a man of his stature talk like this before. Later I learned that Warren Buffet was tasking his son Jimmy Buffet with giving massive amounts of his money away before he dies. It seems like a trend among super wealthy people. Andrew Carnegie, an oil and steel tycoon in the late eighteenth century sold his empire and gave back to his fellowman by, among other things, building libraries. J.D. Rockefeller followed a similar pattern and established a foundation that is still trumpeting humanitarian causes. I saw Bill Gates, whose estimated wealth at present is in the ball park of seventy-nine billion, on television when I was in Uganda, contributing to feed, educate, and set up legal help for humanitarian causes. These observations make Jesus’ next appointment unique. In the first century the rich were not so different, unless they were young.

As Jesus walks away from blind Bartimaeus, a rich young ruler rushed in, fell to his knees, and asked Jesus a timeless question. “Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”

In that moment Jesus gazed into him, “You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honor your father and mother.”

And he answered and said unto him, “Master, all these have I observed from my youth.”

Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: go your way, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”

And the rich young ruler was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

And Jesus looked round about, and said unto his disciples, “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answered again, and said unto them, “Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?” And Jesus looking upon them said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”[3]

The rich young ruler walked away sorrowful and grieved because his soul trusted his riches. His soul valued the treasures on earth more than the eternal treasures of heaven. Therefore, his soul was darkened by riches.

Jesus said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” Jesus prophesied the prosperity that would manifest in this young ruler’s soul. He received the answer to his question, but it was not manageable like his fortunes. But when he chose to invest in a world beyond this realm, eternal life sprang up inside him. You may not have any wealth, but you can have eternal life.

The Connections

Mr Cenchelli Picture11Oral tradition holds that the rich young ruler was Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, who after the death and resurrection of Jesus sold all he had and laid it at the apostle’s feet.

He was a “ruler,” that is, a member of the Sanhedrin, the same council Saul of Tarsus was solicited to join. As a rich young ruler, his personal wealth could sustain an entire city for up to five years. When Joseph acted on the encouragement of Jesus, his choice may have incited Saul’s fury toward the early church believers. One of his own council sold everything he had, gave it to a cult, and joined their untraditional ranks.

However, after the rich young ruler encountered Jesus’ his life opened and his soul was transformed. Godly sorrow worked repentance. As a Levite, Jesus knew his call, his dedication, and his love, and challenged his acquired value system. When Jesus responded with “sell all you have,” it struck him like a slap in the face. Only he and Jesus knew that his idol was out of the closet. The love of money was killing him and left unopposed would take him into eternal death.

But he was looking for eternal life. When he laid all he had at the Apostles feet they renamed him Barnabas; son of encouragement, because he responded to the encouragement of Jesus. He encountered the Savior of the world and obtained eternal life.

Barnabas later was sent to Antioch at the direction of the Jerusalem Apostles and witnessed the exponential growth of the believers. He knew the church needed a strong dedicated teacher, with the scholarship of Galileo to meet the demand for the revelation of Jehovah. Therefore, being “a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith,” plus having a preexisting relationship with Saul, and furthermore knowing the story of Saul’s salvation experience, Barnabas went to Tarsus to seek him. After he found him, they returned to Antioch and for an entire year assembled with the church, and taught the new Jewish and Gentile believers. Think about the irony of two members of the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem teaching the secrets of the law and Yeshua-Messiah in Antioch.

The glory of God illuminated and prospered the souls of many and changed the face of the church. It was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christian. The prosperity of your soul is God’s ultimate objective. He wants all of His children to walk in the glory of His presence.

[1] See more at: http://www.progress-to-financial-freedom.com

[2] Bob Jones, Prophet to the Nations, In loving remembrance from 2-14-2014

[3] Mark 10; Acts 11