Author Archives: bvpastord

About bvpastord

I received Jesus Christ into my life in 1982. I have a real passion for equipping, trainning and mentoring Leaders. I have pastored the same church for twenty years and have traveled the world encouraging leaders for Christ. I founded Leaders for Christ ministries and Bay Valley Christian Church.

Christian Discipleship

“God is drawing people to His Spirit, to His Word, and to each other…we believe that the local church has a charge to disciple them.” -Pastor David Ferranti
Leaders for Christ exists to bring ministers from all around the world together to be trained, strengthened, and encouraged. As ministers are strengthened and encouraged, they are able to reach their community and nation with the good news of Jesus Christ.


A Divine Strategy

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Military

Mao Zedong opined that “the only real defense is active defense”, meaning defense for the purpose of counter-attacking and taking the offensive.[1] Often success rests on destroying the enemy’s ability to attack. This principle is paralleled in the writings of Machiavelli and Sun Tzu.[2]

 Some martial arts emphasize attack over defense. Wing Chun, for example, is a style of Kung Fu which uses the maxim: “The hand which strikes also blocks.”

 It basically means, the executing a defensive style can lead to a good counterattack “offense” and in thus the best defense will lead to a great offense.

 

I.    The Whole Armor of God

Ephesians 6:10-18 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

a.   6:10–18 Spiritual Warfare, FAITH’S WARFARE. Paul admonishes us to put on the whole armor of God in order to stand against the forces of hell. It is clear that our warfare is not against physical forces, but against invisible powers who have clearly defined levels of authority in a real, though invisible, sphere of activity. Paul, however, not only warns us of a clearly defined structure in the invisible realm; he instructs us to take up the whole armor of God in order to maintain a “battle- stance” against this unseen satanic structure.

 b.   All of this armor is not just a passive protection in facing the enemy; it is to be used offensively against these satanic forces. Note Paul’s final directive:we are to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (v. 18).

 c.   Thus, prayer is not so much a weapon, or even a part of the armor, as it is the means by which we engage in the battle itself and the purpose for which we are armed. To put on the armor of God is to prepare for battle.

d.  Prayer is the battle itself, with God’s Word being our chief weapon employed against Satan during our struggle. (*/2 Kin. 6:8–17) D. E.

 

II. The Power of Prayer

a.   Ephesians 6:10–20 Reminded that believers draw their strength from the Lord and His power, this final section warns that our life in the world involves standing strong against evil powers aligned against us.

 b.   6:10 Finally implies not “in conclusion,” but rather “insofar as the rest of life and its challenges are concerned.”

 c.   6:11 The charge is to “brethren” (v. 10), not only each individual, but with corporate implications for the whole church.

 d.   6:12 Not. . . against flesh and blood: One of the church’s greatest demands is to discern between the spiritual struggle and other social, personal, and political difficulties. Otherwise, individual believers and groups become too easily detoured, “wrestling” with human adversaries instead of prayerfully warring against the invisible works of hell behind the scenes. Heavenly places recalls earlier references to:1) spiritual resources available to the church (1:3); 2) Christ’s authority over evil (1:21); 3) the church’s being seated together with her ascended Lord (2:6); 4) the Father’s will to display His wisdom through the church to the confounding of evil powers (3:10). On these grounds this passage announces the church’s corporate assignment to prayer warfare, in order that evil will be driven back and the will of God advanced.

e.   6:13–17 The metaphor here is based on the armor and battle dress of the first- century Roman soldier. Clearly the military metaphor is intended to show the reader that we are engaged in an active battle now. Though some suggest that the viewpoint of a continuous aggressive struggle minimizes the accomplished victory of the Cross, it in fact asserts that victory all the more. All spiritual warfare waged today is victorious only on the basis of appropriating the provision of the Cross and Christ’s blood (Col. 2:15). 1) Personal faith that positions itself against evil and 2) aggressive prayer warfare that assails demonic strongholds are two distinct and complementary facets of spiritual life.

f.  This entire passage lends further support to this perspective: “To stand against” (v. 11) means to hold at bay aggressively or to stand in front of and oppose; “wrestle” (v. 12) means to engage actively in one- on- one combat; “to stand” (v. 13) means to be found standing after an active battle; and “stand” (v. 14) means take your stand for the next battle.

 g.  6:15 Preparation refers to that which is already accomplished and ready.

 h.  6:16 The wicked one is a direct reference to the personal assault of Satan against believers.

 

III.   Ephesians 6:18 Prayer “in the Spirit,” INTERCESSION.

a.   Any prayer that is directed, energized, and sustained by the Holy Spirit is a prayer that is prayed in the Spirit. It falls into the same category as being in the Spirit, speaking by or in the Spirit, and singing in the Spirit. Praying in the Spirit:1) will be according to God’s will (1 John 5:14, 15); 2) will glorify the Father through the Son (John 14:13); 3) is based upon God’s character, ways, and Word (15:7); 4) comes from a clean heart (James 5:16); 5) is prayed in full assurance of faith (1:6); and 6) is asked in Jesus’ name (John 14:14). Such prayer will always find God’s answers. (Ezek. 22:30 /Is. 66:8, 9) A. J. D.


Imaginations

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Definition of: 

1. Vain

Characteristic of false pride; having an exaggerated sense of self-importance; “a conceited fool”; “an attitude of self-conceited arrogance”;  “an egotistical disregard of others”; “so swollen by victory that he was unfit for normal duty”; “growing ever more swollen-headed and arbitrary”; “vain about her clothes”

2. Imagination

The formation of a mental image of something that is not perceived as real and is not present to the senses; “popular imagination created a world of demons”; “imagination reveals what the world could be”; The ability to form mental images of things or events

Luke 1: 51 – 52 – He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.

I.    2 Corinthians 10:3-8 – The Message (MSG) – 3-6 The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.

7-8 You stare and stare at the obvious, but you can’t see the forest for the trees. If you’re looking for a clear example of someone on Christ’s side, why do you so quickly cut me out? Believe me, I am quite sure of my standing with Christ. You may think I overstate the authority he gave me, but I’m not backing off. Every bit of my commitment is for the purpose of building you up, after all, not tearing you down.

II. 2 Corinthians 10:3-7 King James Version (KJV) – 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

III.       How to Cast Down Strongholds and Vain Imagination

a.   Paul wrote that we do not war according to the flesh (2 Cor. 10:3-5). Our warfare is not of this world; it is divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. That is, if you have a stronghold, which is a deeply embedded sinful habit pattern, you can pull it down and destroy it by appropriating the powerful spiritual warfare that is ours in Christ.

b.   We destroy “vain imaginations” (KJV), speculations and every lofty things raised up against the knowledge of God, by casting down any thought that does not line up with the Word of God or what we know of the Son of God.

c.   We take the thought captive to the obedience of Christ. That is, we march the thought that we captured before we acted upon it, and present our captive thought to our Commander in Chief, Jesus Christ. We ask Him to crucify the thought and by faith thank Him for doing so. Then we continue our walk of faith. Great truth. Now how does it work?

d.  Thought-“I am such a bad Christian that God could never really love me.” Truth-That thought does not line up with the Word of God. I John 4:10 says, “In this is love,not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (See, this is why you must know the Word of God! How else will you recognize the vain imaginations that are lifted up against the knowledge of God?) Test-Can you capture the thought or do you get some kind of perverted pleasure from denigrating yourself?

e.   Do put-downs come easily? Has your self-worth been so debased that you really believe the lies the enemy is shooting your way? Can you capture the thought before you act upon it (giving into depression or self-loathing) and turn to the Lord, marching the thought at gunpoint (mentally) to your Commander in Chief and asking Him to crucify the thought. Triumph-Yeah! You have taken your thought captive to the obedience of Christ, cast down the lies of the enemy, crucified self and exalted Christ in your life. God gets all the glory because our weapons are not of this world, but they are “other-worldly!” you rock!

f.     This process works for any lie of the enemy (“You are stupid”, “You are worthless”, “You are a bad mother” etc.) or any stronghold (anger, jealously, lust, envy, etc.) that has built a giant honking strong tower in your psyche. This, is how you pull it down…brick by brick…you are delivered as you repeat the process so many times that it becomes as natural to you as breathing.

g.   When you are successful, you put your foot on the neck of your enemy and he is forced to admit that Jesus is Lord! This is why we must put on the helmet of salvation-to guard our thought life-lest we allow the enemy to find a chink in our armor and exploit it or lest we allow a sinful habit pattern to remain unchecked and develop into a stronghold. So, my beloved family memorizes Scriptures that will be useful when the enemy comes against you to your specific weakness and point of vulnerability. Hold forth the shield of faith, draw the sword of the spirit and fight the good fight of faith.


Variety’s the very Spice of Life

Text: John 13:35

Subject: Embracing our differences

Proposition: by looking at our differences

Objective: Challenge God’s people to love one another and embrace each other’s differences because variety’s the spice of life helping them to be who they are.

Introduction

One God, different denomination, different church governments, different Leaders. When we get to heaven their wont be a catholic section, lutherarn section, a Baptist section, Charisamatic or Pentecostals sections but people who have been transformed through their personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Now when it comes to churches everyone of them have a different personality style and way of doing things. When there is love and Unity almost every different kind will work. But in the absenence of love and Unity almost every kind of church will not work.

Stories

Rocking the Boat

God has enlisted us in his navy and placed us on his ship. The boat has one purpose—to carry us safely to the other shore.

This is no cruise ship; it’s a battleship. We aren’t called to a life of leisure; we are called to a life of service. Each of us has a different task. Some, concerned with those who are drowning, are snatching people from the water. Others are occupied with the enemy, so they man the cannons of prayer and worship. Still others devote themselves to the crew, feeding and training the crew members.

Though different, we are the same. Each can tell of a personal encounter with the captain, for each has received a personal call. He found us among the shanties of the seaport and invited us to follow him. Our faith was born at the sight of his fondness, and so we went.

We each followed him across the gangplank of his grace onto the same boat. There is one captain and one destination. Though the battle is fierce, the boat is safe, for our captain is God. The ship will not sink. For that, there is no concern.There is concern, however, regarding the disharmony of the crew. When we first boarded we assumed the crew was made up of others like us. But as we’ve wandered these decks, we’ve encountered curious converts with curious appearances. Some wear uniforms wenever seen, sporting styles we’ve never witnessed. “Why do you look the way you do?” we ask them.

“Funny,” they reply. “We were about to ask the same of you.”

The variety of dress is not nearly as disturbing as the plethora of opinions. There is a group, for example, who clusters every morning for serious study. They promote rigid discipline and somber expressions. “Serving the captain is serious business,” they explain. It’s no coincidence that they tend to congregate around the stern.

There is another regiment deeply devoted to prayer. Not only do they believe in prayer, they believe in prayer by kneeling. For that reason you always know where to locate them; they are at the bow of the ship.

And then there are a few who staunchly believe real wine should be used in the Lord’s Supper. You’ll find them on the port side.

Still another group has positioned themselves near the engine. They spend hours examining the nuts and bolts of the boat. They’ve been known to go below deck and not come up for days. They are occasionally criticized by those who linger on the top deck, feeling the wind in their hair and the sun on their face. “It’s not what you learn,” those topside argue. “It’s what you feel that matters.”

And, oh, how we tend to cluster.

Some think once you’re on the boat, you can’t get off. Others say you’d be foolish to go overboard, but the choice is yours.

Some believe you volunteer for service; others believe you were destined for the service before the ship was even built.

Some predict a storm of great tribulation will strike before we dock; others say it won’t hit until we are safely ashore.

There are those who speak to the captain in a personal language. There are those who think such languages are extinct.

There are those who think the officers should wear robes, there are those who think there should be no officers at all, and there are those who think we are all officers and should all wear robes.

And, oh, how we tend to cluster.

And then there is the issue of the weekly meeting at which the captain is thanked and his words are read. All agree on its importance, but few agree on its nature. Some want it loud, others quiet. Some want ritual, others spontaneity. Some want to celebrate so they can meditate; others meditate so they can celebrate. Some want a meeting for those who’ve gone overboard. Others want to reach those overboard but without going overboard and neglecting those on board.

And, oh, how we tend to cluster.

The consequence is a rocky boat. There is trouble on deck. Fights have broken out. Sailors have refused to speak to each other. There have even been times when one group refused to acknowledge the presence of others on the ship. Most tragically, some adrift at sea have chosen not to board the boat because of the quarreling of the sailors.

“What do we do?” we’d like to ask the captain. “How can there be harmony on the ship?” We don’t have to go far to find the answer.

On the last night of his life Jesus prayed a prayer that stands as a citadel for all Christians:

I pray for these followers, but I am also praying for all those who will believe in me because of their teaching. Father, I pray that they can be one. As you are in me and I am in you, I pray that they can also be one in us. Then the world will believe that you sent me. (John 17:20)

How precious are these words. Jesus, knowing the end is near, prays one final time for his followers. Striking, isn’t it, that he prayed not for their success, their safety, or their happiness. He prayed for their unity. He prayed that they would love each other.

As he prayed for them, he also prayed for “those who will believe because of their teaching.” That means us! In his last prayer Jesus prayed that you and I be one.

 Unity matters to God. The Father does not want his kids to squabble. Disunity disturbs him. Why? Because “all people will know that you are my followers if you love each other” (John 13:35). Unity creates belief. How will the world believe that Jesus was sent by God? Not if we agree with each other. Not if we solve every controversy. Not if we are unanimous on each vote. Not if we never make a doctrinal error. But if we love one another.

Unity creates belief. Disunity fosters disbelief. Who wants to board a ship of bickering sailors? Life on the ocean may be rough, but at least the waves don’t call us names.

Paul Billheimer may very well be right when he says:

The continuous and widespread fragmentation of the Church has been the scandal of the ages. It has been Satan’s master strategy. The sin of disunity probably has caused more souls to be lost than all other sins combined.”2

“All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.” Stop and think about this verse for a minute. Could it be that unity is the key to reaching the world for Christ?

If unity is the key to evangelism, shouldn’t it have precedence in our prayers? Shouldn’t we, as Paul said, “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3 niv)? If unity matters to God, then shouldn’t unity matter to us? If unity is a priority in heaven, then shouldn’t it be a priority on earth?

Nowhere, by the way, are we told to build unity. We are told simply to keep unity. From God’s perspective there is but “one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:16). Unity does not need to be created; it simply needs to be protected.

How do we do that? How do we make every effort to keep the unity? Does that mean we compromise our convictions? No. Does that mean we abandon the truths we cherish? No. But it does mean we look long and hard at the attitudes we carry.

By Max Lacado

Main Body 

  1. I.             Jesus commands
    1. a.   John 15:1212 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
  1. II.          Be Kindly Affectionate
    1. a.   Romans 12:1010 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
  1. III.       Serve
    1. a.   Galatians 5:1313 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
  1. IV.        Bearing; having patience with
    1. a.   Ephesians 4:2with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
  1. V.           Increase and abound
    1. a.   1 Thessalonians 3:1212 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you,
  1. VI.        Stir up Love
    1. a.   Hebrews 10:2424 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
  1. VII.     Have Compassion
    1. a.   1Peter 3:8Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, betenderhearted, be courteous;

Conclusion

  1. I.             Jesus Commands
  2. II.          Be Kindly Affectionate
  3. III.       Serve
  4. IV.        Bearing; having patience with
  5. V.           Increase and abound
  6. VI.        Stir up Love
  7. VII.     Have Compassion

I Command you…….

John 15:17
These things I command you, that you love one another.

Most people resist any type of command, but God never commands anything of us that He dosent empower us to do first. He lavished His love on us and expects us to give what we have been given. Let me say it another way, You cant give away what you dont have. You are loved! Right now, not when, but right now. Gods plan for your life is waiting for you. Believe and step into it.

It already been done,  your not waiting on Him he is waiting on you. So get out of the boat and respond to His love and begin loving 

         


you will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart

you will find me when you search for with all your heart


Love is Blind and Lovers Cannot See

 

This was coined by Shakespeare and was quite a favorite line of his. It appears in several of his plays, including Two Gentlemen of Verona, Henry V and The Merchant Of Venice; for example, this piece from The Merchant Of Venice, 1596:

JESSICA: Here, catch this casket; it is worth the pains. I am glad ’tis night, you do not look on me, For I am much ashamed of my exchange: But love is blind and lovers cannot see The pretty follies that themselves commit; For if they could, Cupid himself would blush To see me thus transformed to a boy.

Modern-­‐day research supports the view that the blindness of love is not just a figurative matter. A research study in 2004 by University College London found that feelings of love suppressed the activity of the areas of the brain that control critical thought. 

God views the whole picture and still loves
a. Romans 5:8
– But God demonstrates His own love

toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 

 

  1. 1 Timothy 1:15 – This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
  2. 1 John 3:1 – Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
  3. Matthew 9:13 – But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance. 

     

Man views only spots on the picture and chooses to love or withhold love

  1. 1 Samuel 16:7 – But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
  2. 1 John 2:15 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
  3. 1 John 3: 10-­‐11 – “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another… 

     

We need to spend enough time with our God that we can see the whole picture like He does

a. Serve
Matthew 20:28
– …just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

b. Give
John 3:16
– For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

c. Love
John 15:12
– This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

d. Forgive
Matthew 6:14
– For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 


Knowing God through Love

Knowing God Through Love 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. God loves you and has a marvalous plan for your life. Our goal should be to love the hell out of people:) God desires His love to overflow our head to our heart so it reaches out to others. How full is your love tank? One must spend time with God to become like Him! Talking to Him, Studying Him, meditating on Him. Its not enough to know Him in your head, your heart must beat with His love. The love of God makes all the difference!  Persue Him! He is waiting for you to respond. You are loved, let if flow to you and through you.


It’s going to take ” A Lotta LOVE “

An old 70 ‘s song had it right. It’s going to take ” A Lotta  LOVE ” Our world is in real trouble. We are going to need a lotta love, and we can’t do it ourselves. For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that who ever believed in him would not parish but have everlasting life. Love is the answer and can only flow out of us humans when we are abiding in Christ. Jesus said apart from me you can do nothing. We are unable to really love our world the way it needs to be loved. As a teenager I recieved Jesus into my heart and His loved moved me so deeply that nothing in this world could compare, nothing. When I responded to His love the love of the world left my heart. Their was no room for using people for my gain but I could love them with Gods love and see Him flow to me and through me. Here is what the scripture says ” Do Not Love the World 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” ok follow this train of thought, the more we recieve the unconditional love and acceptance of Jesus Christ, the greater the decrease in love for the world, the things that have become idols in our hearts. It’s going to take a lotta love, and that love only comes through a relationship Jesus as we persue him with all our heart. You are loved!


The Real Thing, Love

The Real Thing – Love
 
In America we use the word ‘love’ for many things: we love our dogs, we love our cars, we love our family, and we love God. The Greek language doesn’t use the same word and these words have various meanings. For instance when the Bible talks about God’s love it uses the Greek word ‘agape’. When it talks about the love between a man and a wife it’s the word ‘eros’. When the Bible talks about a brotherly love it’s the word ‘philia’ like the root word for Philadelphia the city of brotherly love. So, when God is talking about love, He’s talking about THE REAL LOVE. He’s talking about a love that is unconditional–full of grace, merciful, and just. Real love is what the world needs. It doesn’t need lustful love or greedy love (what can I get from this love). It’s the God love, agape, that is able to mess with people in an incredible way to rewire them back to wholeness. If we’re going to help our world, community, church, or work environments then we want the real thing. The real thing is unconditional love and acceptance, and when people find that, they flourish. Let’s be a part of spreading God’s love. But let me remind you that you can’t give what you don’t have. Let’s receive Christ’s unconditional love today, and then you can give it away