Thursday, January 31, 2008

Chuck Pierce: "A Time to Evaluate the END of One Season and the New Beginning of the NEXT: An 8-Day Prayer Focus"

Courtesy of Glory of Zion Ministries.

chuck pierceBlessings to you as you progress into the new! The Lord impressed me to send an "8-Day Prayer Focus" each month of this calendar year. From a prophetic perspective, this is a Feast of Tabernacles Year. In this year of "8", the Feast represented by 8 is the Feast linked with Rosh Hashanah--the Feast of Tabernacles. This is the point in time when we enter the new season each year. This past year, the Feast of Tabernacles was from September 26-October 4. I think you should look back to see what was happening and stirring in your life at that intersection in time. You will probably find that the Lord was initiating or preparing you for some sort of ending and beginning at that time.

Each month of every year is linked with a blessing. The blessings of each month this year should be evaluated from the concept of "New Beginnings." In the Feast of Tabernacles we are called to rejoice and remember our wilderness deliverances. After seven days of celebration, on the Eighth (8) day, we "Rest."

This Eight (8) Day Pray Focus will assist you in entering into a new place with the Lord, or "going beyond" the place you have been halted or stopped in the past. All 8's are linked with GOING BEYOND into a new level of GRACE!

Enter Into Your NEW!

The word NEW is an interesting word. All Eights (8's) are linked with some "new" beginning. I love Isaiah 43:18-19 which says: "Stop dwelling on past events and brooding over times gone by! I am doing something NEW! It's springing up--can't you see it? I am making a road in the desert, rivers in the wasteland."

A new thing can be happening, but in the midst of a beginning, we can fail to perceive the change. In this year of Eight (8), 5768 and 2008, we must remember and contextualize everything within the understanding that we are entering a "New Beginning." Remember, an END always precedes a Beginning. Therefore, the question becomes this: "How are you reacting when an END comes and a NEW BEGINNING starts?"

I love the story of Lazarus' death. This account is a perfect example of how to perceive an END and a NEW BEGINNING. Jesus is notified of Lazarus' sickness and decides to not rush to meet the need. As a matter of fact, He chooses to go to Judea rather than Bethany, the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus! His disciples have a very hard time grasping the reality of the situation. When He arrives in Bethany four days later, you find Martha standing and questioning the Lord over why He was not there when they needed Him. The Lord tells her, "Martha, if you would believe you would see the GLORY of God!" (paraphrased).

Mary then approaches the Lord with the same question, but her posture is one of falling at His feet as a sign of respect, honor and submission. Mary's appeal to the Lord touched the core of His emotions, the very heart of God. This caused Him to groan deeply and release great compassion that led to resurrection power. This was a catalyst that created a chain of events that escalated the need for Him to complete His mission and get to Jerusalem and accomplish the redemptive plan of the Father for you and me.

All 8's are linked with RESURRECTION POWER. The series of events that we see Mary creating is key to our lives this year. In all of your situations, circumstances, and endings, let a worship posture be exhibited. This will move the heart of God and release a catalytic change in the earth realm and atmosphere around you. "When it's time for the NEW, your FOCUS should be: Am I PREPARED to wait until a full manifestation occurs?

To EVALUATE all new beginnings, ask yourself these questions:

1. Is the situation or circumstance you find yourself in causing you to question God's heart and love toward you and making you RESIST your new beginning?

2. Is the enemy using your reaction to stop you from moving into God's best?

3. Are you kicking against the pricks and attempting to move in a way that Holy Spirit is developing checks in your spirit? Are situations or circumstances creating roadblocks to STOP you from entering into a WRONG "new" beginning?

4. Is the situation or circumstance that is happening in your life initiating a chain of events leading to a new beginning? Sometimes one event in your life is a catalyst for many other things. Perhaps you have not seen the end of the thing that has begun to get you to your new place!

5. Is your situation or circumstance creating an offense that keeps you from advancing?

Prayer Focus

Here is an "8 Day Prayer Focus" to assist you as you press into the NEW this year. This focus is built around the Hebrew month of Shevat, the month of Asher. Remember, you can repeat this as many times as you wish. Also, you do not have to complete this Prayer Focus in only 8 days. The purpose is to help you become NEW!

DAY 1: Read and memorize John 14:12-13, "...ask anything in MY NAME and I will do it!" Stop and celebrate over these verses. This is a season of going beyond! We must see a manifestation of the Lord and His Glory in our midst so we can see our future. To manifest means to "reveal or cause something to shine or illuminate." The Lord is saying "I will cause your way to shine!"

Rejoice each day as you speak this word forth into your atmosphere. Read these verses three times a day. STAY AVAILABLE TO THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE WORD! Don't stop at your last blessing, but keep looking for new manifestations of God's blessings in your life. Break any mindset that says, "This is all there is...I cannot see the Lord blessing me in new ways!" Also, don't think that you are the source to produce your more! This is actually "a works" mentality that is rooted in poverty.

DAY 2: Read Matthew 24:32-36. Watch the NEW BUD that is coming forth! See what the fig tree teaches! How will what has dried up and not blossomed in the past begin to bear new fruit in your life? This month, press into the blossoming that will produce the fruit and the oil for your future. List on a sheet of paper what you wish to see blossom in your life. Review what has dried up and ask the Lord to show you a new "bud." Also read Isaiah 35 and Haggai 2. Be willing to be shaken and pressed so the latter glory will be greater than the former. Feel the weight and pressing of His glory that will produce the oil for your future.

Finally, read Psalm 92. Declare that a new anointing will begin to manifest in you in the next several months. A nine month process is necessary for the olive tree to blossom, for its harvest to mature, and to be harvested for the production of oil. Decree that this month your blossoming begins. Expect the pressing and pouring out of your new anointing. Rejoice over the Latter Glory.

DAY 3: Read Genesis 22 and Isaiah 59. This is a season to connect generationally! This will produce a sustaining inheritance in the Lord. Our generations possess the gates. Ask the Lord to roll up all the blessings of your generational bloodline that have never manifested and cause those blessings to begin to manifest. This is a year of manifestation! In many of the first chapters of each book of the Bible, there is either a death or a birth.

DAY 4: Read Genesis 1, Exodus 1, Joshua 1, 1 Samuel 1, Matthew 1, and Acts 1. Certain things need to end so you can see your beginning. Let go of things in your bloodline that God exposes. Certain people will die and it will end a season for you. Others will be born. Honor those who have gone before you. Honor your father and mother so that you might live long and prosper. Receive the next amount of revelation to "possess the gates of your enemy."

DAY 5: Read Genesis 15, Psalms 9 & 11, Isaiah 11, and 2 Corinthians 5-6. Memorize and meditate on Matthew 3:15. Ask the Lord what "one thing" you need to do to unlock your next phase. Jesus had to be baptized by John. Let your right standing come forth! The Lord is longing to crown you with righteousness. If we refuse to wear this crown, then the accuser will begin to attack and condemn you later in the year. Dominion comes when we wear this crown (Psalm 9). We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, but you must wear the crown of that righteousness. Our righteousness must become experiential.

Stand in your righteousness. Set your face to obey and to do what will keep you in right standing so the enemy can't accuse you later for not doing something you should have done. Ask the Lord to reform the foundation for our standing. Some of you are having to make shifts because the foundations you stood on in the past seasons are too shaky for you to stand on in the next season. Some of you made great shifts back in July and September. Now allow the Lord to solidify your stance so you walk in the fullness of what He will cause to blossom.

DAY 6: Read Genesis 24-26. This is a time the Lord desires to remove stones from our wells, create new wells, and bring us into an enlarged place. He longs to water the roots of our future. The Spirit of God has been taking us through a process of pulling out old root systems that will not produce the necessary fruit for the next season. This month there is a new watering and refreshing which goes down deep into root systems that have not been watered. Look for those you are aligned with this month that can fill your pitchers for the future.

Let revelation and supply strategies be poured into you. At times, even that old religious structure can be your supply. This is a month that water will be poured out and turned to wine. Read John 2. Jesus had pots of water that were used for the purification ritual brought to Him and then He shifted everything. Look at all your alignments this month. New energy will arise in you. Your identity can be shifted and reformed suddenly! Also meditate on John 4.

DAY 7: This is a day of celebration. Meditate on your favorite Psalm. Spend this day celebrating. Do not let "joy robbers" stop you from experiencing God's best. The Spirit of God will see to it that you celebrate. If you feel like your celebration is dwindling, just ask Him to release an anointing of gladness for three more days. This will sanctify you and cause you to press past that old season. This month the trees clap their hands. The wind blows in the mulberry trees. Read 2 Samuel 5.

Ask that your root system would be reformed and that the roots deep in you would be watered and flourish. Watch the trees. Watch some blossom prematurely. Watch others go into their place of nourishment. Watch how the winds blow through the trees this month. Watch the direction of the winds. Watch where the winds blow! Catch the wind that will allow you to come from behind--you can catch up quickly. Your bills will not overtake you this month. The strategy to catch up will overtake you, and you will move into that new place of victory. You will surprise the enemy this month! The Lord is saying, "I will give you cautions well in advance so you can shift the direction of your path." Read Psalm 16!

DAY 8: The tribe of Asher is associated with the month of Shevat. Asher was linked with pleasure and happiness and with words like delicious and fat. His mother was Zilpah, Leah's handmaid. Read Genesis 30:13 and Genesis 49. During movement and war, Asher was positioned between Dan and Naphtali (Numbers 2:27). The boundaries of the inheritance given to Asher (which contained some of the richest soil in Palestine) and the names of its towns are recorded in Joshua 19:24-31 and Judges 1:31-32. The wealth offered to this tribe could have been its downfall.

Pray for the economy this year. Great fluctuations and shakings will occur in the earth. One of the promises to Asher was that he would dip his heel in oil. Watch the oil structures this month and every nation aligned with oil, every state aligned with oil, and every place that is an oil reservoir. If you understand the effects of oil, how it effects the commodities, and know how to operate financially in that, you can do well! The automobile industry must begin to make a shift this month because of oil. We need to see new inventions this month, so watch for their announcement. They actually mean something this month.

Your anointing begins to be produced in a new way this month. Beware of falling into religious structures; trust for an anointing to come forth that will overthrow all old structures that have stopped you in the past. Memorize and meditate on Isaiah 10:27.

Anna, the prophetess, was of the tribe of Asher (Luke 2:36) and recognized the Christ child. Therefore, ask the Lord for a new dimension of discernment. Read Hebrews 4 and 5. Ask the Lord to bring us past milk. Let us digest the protein the Lord is giving us this month. Declare that we will step through the gate of life into a new type of nourishment. Go out with joy, delight and happiness!

Read Daniel 1. Remember Daniel and his friends ate vegetables. They were healthy and their faces radiated! Watch what you eat these next three months. Many fast at this time of year. There are many ways to fast. Let the Lord choose your fast at times (Isaiah 58). You must shift in certain patterns or else these patterns will remain with you the rest of the season ahead. Be willing to change so you are not captured in an old, familiar place. Let God tell you the one thing you need to do.

I was with one of my children's friends and noticed that he had lost weight. He said that he lost 30 pounds by not drinking soft drinks or eating fast foods for the last three months. Don't get in bondage in any ways this year--just ask the Lord to shift your appetite. It's not really about eating, but about appetite and faith! Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you! Lay your hands on your esophagus and stomach and decree healing for the esophagus, stomach and digestive system of your body. Also, declare the Body of Christ will be able to digest new revelation. Ask the Lord to allow you to spiritually digest what you could not in the past season.

2008 is a Year of Gates! In this year of going through the gates, seek the Lord for His blessing each month. Find the places where the revelation of Heaven intersects with a gate in the earth realm. Revelation creates the entry way for your next opportunity. May the Word of God come alive in you in a new way. Receive a spirit of revelation. I decree that this is just a beginning of new manifestations in your life. You will see many things happen. May you see new prosperity, digest new revelation and receive a new anointing. May you create new inventions.

In Jesus' name I send you into this Year of the Gates, the Year of New Beginnings and into all your blessings that will manifest and blossom.


Chuck D. Pierce
Glory of Zion Ministries

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Abortion Leaders Admit that Pro-Life Arguments are Convincing

Courtesy of BCN (

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

"Pope John Paul II…coined the term 'culture of life.' President Bush adopted it, and the slogan, as much as it pains us to admit it, moved some hearts and minds. Supporting abortion is tough to fit into this package."

Pre-born Baby(Los Angeles, CA)—Two of the nation's most influential pro-abortion leaders have admitted publicly that the pro-life movement has convincing arguments that pro-abortion forces have no response to.

In an opinion piece published by the Los Angeles Times on January 22nd, Frances Kissling and Kate Michelman write that the phrase "culture of life", coined by Pope John Paul II, has had a significant impact.

"To some people, pro-choice values seem to have been unaffected by the desire to save the whales and the trees, to respect animal life and to end violence at all levels," they write.

"Pope John Paul II got that, and coined the term 'culture of life.' President Bush adopted it, and the slogan, as much as it pains us to admit it, moved some hearts and minds. Supporting abortion is tough to fit into this package."

The authors' also admit that the pro-life movement's focus on the unborn child and its attempts to limit access to abortion have worked, both politically and socially. They lament that "Twenty years ago, being pro-life was déclassé. Now it is a respectable point of view."

Significantly, they acknowledge that the strategy of showing people photos of the gruesome reality of abortion is working, despite the fact that it has been a matter of controversy among some pro-lifers. "In recent years, the antiabortion movement successfully put the nitty-gritty details of abortion procedures on public display, increasing the belief that abortion is serious business and that some societal involvement is appropriate. Those who are pro-choice have not convinced America that we support a public discussion of the moral dimensions of abortion," the authors write.

To read more, visit the link provided.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Kenyan Missionaries Share Salvation Testimonies

Courtesy of BCN (

Teresa Neumann (January 20, 2008)

Muslim man hears God's voice saying, "Go back to that altar and give your heart to Me."

Muslim hears God(Kenya)—Church of God missionaries Neil and Jennifer Lawrence have reported that 80 people have been saved recently in their area of Kenya.

On the website, which can be accessed by clicking on the link below, the Lawrences list some of their experiences including a demon-possessed woman being delivered and a suicidal woman giving her heart to Jesus.

They also relate another story of a Muslim man who walked past their meeting nearly five miles beyond where their loud speakers were pointed. Suddenly, they say, The Lord spoke to him. "Go back to that altar and give your heart to Me." The man returned and accepted Jesus.

The couple notes: "The Lord of the Harvest has given us this time to push forward into the fields which are ripe. Now is not the time to shrink back from the plow; it is the time to press forward and win the prize."

Source: Neil and Jennifer Lawrence - FaithNews

Friday, January 25, 2008

Olive Farmer Obituary - Red Bluff Daily News

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Olive Farmer, 80, a resident of Red Bluff, died Friday, January 18, 2008 in Redding, CA.

Olive was born August 13, 1927 in Meridian, CA to Richard S. Simmons and Jesse Merkley Simmons.

She attended grammar school in Gridley, CA and Gridley Union High School. She married ZA Farmer on January 26, 1946 in Gridley, CA and would have celebrated their 62nd anniversary this coming Saturday.

Olive was, first and foremost, a Christian wife and mother - a joyful homemaker. Though she was sometimes employed outside her home, her priority was her family. She always had a listening ear and a nurturing heart, which spilled over in caring for nieces, nephews, grandchildren and friends. She was known for her compassion for the poor and needy and would never refuse "a cup of cold water" to a stranger, often opening her home to those in need.

In past years, Olive used her creative abilities as a wedding planner for her daughters, other family members and friends, fashioning everything from bouquets to bridal veils, as well as catering food for receptions. Other creative skills included sewing, painting and writing poetry and creating "sets" and costumes for dramatic presentations.

Although Olive lived most of her life in this area, she also lived in Virginia and Colorado when her husband's job transferred them there. She loved to travel. She and her husband toured the nation many times, and for their 40th wedding anniversary their children gave them a trip to Europe to visit two of their daughters. Of all the countries visited, Olive considered Holland the most delightful.

Olive was known for her sense of humor and quick wit, and loved laughter. She was a "people person" and it was her utmost desire that she would reflect her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ to all she met.

Survivors include her husband ZA Farmer of Red Bluff, daughter, Linda Kelly of Red Bluff, son Zane Farmer of Arkansas, daughters, Peggy and husband Randy Lewis of Red Bluff, Shirley and husband Joseph Cuda of Red Bluff and Dawn Vincent of Red Bluff, 14 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, 3 sisters, 2 brothers and their wives, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A visitation will be held from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Wednesday, January 23 and again Thursday, January 24, from 9:00 am to 10:30 am at Bethel Assembly of God Church, at 625 Luther Road.

Services will be held at 11:00 am on Thursday, January 24, 2008 at Bethel Assembly of God Church.

Red Bluff Simple Cremations and Burial Service is handling arrangements. 527-1732.
Published in the Daily News on 1/23/2008.
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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Olive Farmer -- A Prayer Warrior for 3/4 of a Century is Now Dancing with Jesus

With love and admiration for a woman of God who never stopped interceding for her grandchildren, children, husband, extended family, relatives, friends, neighbors, town, state, nation, and the world. She has left a legacy of prayer and compassion that is clearly seen in her children. Olive will be greatly missed by us all!

From your daughter Shirley, you grandson Joel, and your Son-in-law Joe

Friday, January 18, 2008

On Heels of Abortion Decline Stats, Cal Thomas Makes Plea to End Abortion Once and For All

Courtesy of BCN (

Teresa Neumann (January 18, 2008)

"That child born in 1973 could be a parent now. There are children who could have been born today. Thirty-five years of killing has diminished and corrupted us all. Let's summon the moral courage to stop it for our sake and for theirs."

In a sobering op/ed for Townhall, columnist Cal Thomas has noted, amidst a dire recount of the devastation Roe vs Wade has wrought since 1973, that our nation may finally be seeing a turn-around on the issue of abortion.

Supreme CourtNotes Thomas: "Depending on how one counts the number of abortions per year since 1973, more than 50 million people who might have been are not. These were people who, regardless of the circumstances of the women who carried them, had the potential to contribute to the country and to the world. But now they cannot, because they are not." (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Actions have consequences, adds Thomas. "Roe and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton, took the question of endowment of life by "our Creator" and placed it in the hands of individuals. History has shown what happens when humanity seizes such power for itself: political dictatorships, eugenics and scientific experiments unrestrained by any moorings to a moral code. Each becomes her and his own god; each becomes a taker of life, rather than a giver, inverting the creation model into one of destruction and transforming the pregnant woman from life-giver to life-taker."

"Abortion was not a cause," continues Thomas, "but a reflection of our decadence and deviancy. One does not begin to kill babies until other dominos have fallen. And once they have fallen, it becomes difficult to set them aright because to do so would require an admission of something so horrible that those responsible for this fetal holocaust would have to acknowledge their sin and repent of it."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, abortion numbers have declined steadily since 1990, from a high of 1.2 million annually to fewer than 900,000.

Thomas is quoted as saying he believes the decline is due to the unrelenting commitment of the pro-life movement. Even Hollywood, he says, is starting to make films in which, of all things, a pregnant mother chooses to keep her baby. The change may be an indication that the entertainment industry realizes that the new generation of women seem to be revolting against the devastation their mothers' generation has wrought through the legalization of abortion.

Source: Cal Thomas - Townhall

Abortion Rate in the U.S. Falls to its Lowest Level in Decades

Courtesy of BCN (

Aimee Herd (January 18, 2008)

While citing the effectiveness of abstinence programs, Janice Crouse, Director of the Beverly LaHaye Institute, added that "abortion definitely has gone down, particularly among young people."

precious lives(United States)—There was encouraging news on Thursday, regarding the number of abortions performed in the U.S. A new study by the Guttmacher Institute, which deals with reproductive issues, showed that the abortion rate had fallen to its lowest level in nearly twenty years.

According to a Health Day News report, the research author, Rachel Jones, did not know exactly what caused the decline, but that it was a “descriptive study."

The research revealed that the number of abortion providers also went down, with 2 percent fewer in 2005 than in 2000.

While citing the effectiveness of abstinence programs, Janice Crouse, Director of the Beverly LaHaye Institute, added that "abortion definitely has gone down, particularly among young people."

Source: Kathleen Doheny – Health Day News

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Predictions that will be tremendously important in 2008

Visit ASSIST News Service (ANS) to read more articles like the following one.

By Bill Ellis
Special to ASSIST News Service

SCOTT DEPOT, WV (ANS) -- Resolutions, determinations and dedications have been made in recent days to change old habits, sleep more, increase daily exercise, read more books, do better in school, get out of debt, quit drinking the devil's booze, overcome a drug problem, quit smoking and chewing tobacco, start going to church and number one on the list of New Year's resolutions is to lose weight. You can add hundreds more.

You can make them and break them however and whenever you choose. A determined resolution can be made on day one, broken on day two and renegotiated on day three. They can go in one year and out the other. A new resolution can be made any day of the year and started on the path of being successfully carried out.

One thing we can accurately predict is that more than 50 per cent of those who make resolutions will not succeed in keeping them. They must be carried out each day until a negative old habit has been eradicated and replaced by a positive new habit.

One of the great newspaper editors of the nation, Tom Blount, of the High Point Enterprise, High Point, NC, has entertained, captivated, baffled and held spellbound diverse audiences of business, professional and church leaders for years with his annual predictions. He is good at it.

My friend, Joe Harrington, traveled across the nation speaking to thousands of young people in high schools, youth camps and conventions. He would write down his predictions of what would happen in the school, town, state, nation and the world in the six months prior to his arrival. They would be mailed to the person who would preside over his appearance. His predictions would be opened and read to the audience as part of his introduction. He was almost always 90-100 percent correct.

A Florida mathematician e-mailed to me, in early December, 2007, a list of 10 predictions for 2008. Sorry, the author's name was not given. The idea is interesting and here they are.

1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost.

When I first read that list I was tempted to reword it and add my thoughts, but I decided to let it challenge your thinking processes in whatever way and in whatever direction they might go. Like me, you may also want to make your own list of predictions. If, in this list there is anything you have a question about, be sure to ask someone who understands and knows the correct answer.

Another paragraph read: "God whispers in your soul and speaks to your mind. Sometimes when you don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at you. It's your choice: Listen to the whisper, or wait for the brick."

I read this appropriate verse in the Bible for a New Year. "But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14).

Enjoy making your own predictions about the rest of 2008. Make them for your personal life, politics, sports teams, the economy and even the weather. Think again about the things you can count on. Live with eternity in view and learn to see the invisible.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year's Resolutions for a Believer

This article is from Breaking Christian News.

Aimee Herd (December 31, 2007)

It will be a growth by God's own hand, the work of His Spirit in us.

New Year's Ball in Times Square(Albany, OR)—The following passages were not designated by the Apostle Peter to be New Year's resolutions of course; 2 Peter 1:1-12 is just a portion of Scripture that points out what should be the goals of every follower of Jesus.

But as the new year is upon us, and as I spent some time in contemplation of the practice of making an annual personal goal, or "resolution," this Scripture came to mind in a very strong way.

These verses make up a message Peter felt was very important to convey. How do I know? Because just after it, in the next couple verses, Peter talks about his imminent death and how time is short before he must "put off this tent." A person who knows he could soon be dead will want to pass along his most vital information.

With that in mind, as you look at 2 Peter 1:1-12, you may notice there are four parts to the passage: Who, How, What and Why.

First the "Who." (2 Peter 1:1-2)

Peter presents his credentials, as a bondservant and Apostle of Jesus Christ. The word is addressed to those who have received the same precious faith—who are fellow Believers in Jesus (Yah Shua Messiah). So we trust the one from whom this message comes, as one who learned directly from Jesus and speaks as His "sent one" or Apostle. And we know that these following words are relevant to each of us who believe in Jesus as the Messiah and Savior.

Now, where most "how to" and "self help" books will list the objectives you want to achieve, later revealing the necessary steps for fulfillment, Peter puts the "how to" first! 2 Peter 1:3-4- "His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."

Peter gives us the key to achieving the goals he's about to list—through God's divine power, which He's already given to us when we first believed, and as we continue to believe. The key is knowing Him, being intimately acquainted with God in a one-to-one, person-to-person, communicative, experiential relationship. The kind which gives a person close knowledge of another.

Peter explains that it is through this knowledge of God, and of His Son Jesus, that He gives us exceedingly great and precious promises, which supply all we need to become partakers of God's own divine nature. And this allows us to escape the corruption that is so prevalent in the world.

I was intrigued by the meaning of the promises mentioned, since they seem to contain such power. In looking at the Greek transliteration, they are "epangelia" or "pre-evangelisms" which is translated as meaning "God's message to humanity which He's already given." (Exegeses Parallel Bible)

These are the "how to"—through God's Message, His word to us which we can tap into and really grasp as great and precious promises, when we really come to know God in a personal, intimate way. This is the power we have been given, which enables us to shine God's light in the darkness—living according to His will instead of succumbing to the corrupt nature of a fallen world.

Next, Peter lists the goals of growth for every Believer. (2 Peter 1:5-7)

We begin with having faith—that is our foundation—because faith is what we need in order to know God in that personal way. Without faith it is impossible to please Him, or to know Him, or to take part in His divine promises.

So, we start with our faith in God, then to that faith we add virtue. Virtue is described in the Greek as "intrinsic value, moral excellence." (And the same word "arête" was sometimes used in reference to the manifestation of God's miracle power.)

Peter continues; to our virtue we add knowledge—"gnosis"—which is "the recognition of truth by personal experience."

To that knowledge, we should add self control, which is "restraint of one's own desires and passions, especially sensually."

To self control we add patience or endurance, which is translated as "constancy."

To endurance add godliness or "reverence"—translated as meaning "to well venerate." In a practical way; to honor God with your life and living.

To godliness we add brotherly kindness. The direct Greek transliteration is "befriending brothers." I like that!

And finally, to that brotherly kindness we add love, which is translated as a "spiritual caring for—above and beyond that which is called soulical or physical."

Now, Peter gives us the "why." (2 Peter 1:8-11)

If these characteristics are found in us, and they abound, then we will not be useless or unfruitful. The one—Peter warns—who lacks these things, is blinded, shortsighted and has forgotten how he was first saved and purified by Jesus.

Aimee HerdI believe as we look to this passage of Scripture to be our goal in this new year—pressing in to God, and into a closer, deeper relationship with Him as the means of achieving it—then we will look back at this time a year from now, and be able to see that growth. It will be a growth by God's own hand, the work of His Spirit in us.

Have a blessed and happy New Year!

Source: New King James Version, Exegeses Parallel Bible

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