Wednesday, December 9, 2009



Psalm 41:1-3
"Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness."

This scripture verse was part of my reading today and I think it is very appropriate for the Christmas season - as well as all year long. REMEMBER, YOU CANNOT OUT GIVE GOD. When you give to the poor, give to the church, and give to missions, the Lord promises that He will take care of your EVERY NEED... super abundantly! His word teaches that it is the "tight hand" or the "stingy soul" that suffers lack.

Proverbs 11:24
"There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth, and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty."

I have witnessed God's principles working in our household as we choose to live generously, trusting God for our every need. The Lord has shown us, time-and-time again that as we allow a continuous flow of our finances, time, and resources to pass through our hands - for His Kingdom purposes - He heals us, delivers us, and provides, not only for our needs, but for most of our wants, as well.

As Christians, our giving should not be a "tithe only" attitude. It should not be a "time only" (in place of the tithe) attitude. We should not have an attitude of being a "resource only" giver. No, our giving should be in TITHES and OFFERINGS. I truly believe that so many people miss out on the abundant provision of God, because of their refusal to give; to give over and above the tithe.

Malachi 3:8-12
"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meet in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven, and pour out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground, neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all the nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be called a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts."

You see, keeping the 10% that is God's portion is a curse. You will live much better on 90% of your income than you could ever expect to live off of a 100%. I know it doesn't seem logical, but God's Kingdom defies man's logic. He is a supernatural God and shows His glory when He does things against the grain of what you can see, taste, feel, hear, or rationalize in your human mind. Tithing 10% of your income is not giving to God, rather, it is "trusting" God. He doesn't need your money. He only desires that you live in faith, trusting Him for your every need. He loves you and "wants" to bless you.

Then, there is the offering. Giving an offering to the Lord should not be a haphazard event. Your offering should be out of an act of obedience that responds to the prompting of the Holy Spirit as He leads you to give to a cause, a need, or an organization. God desires to "speak to your heart" about certain Kingdom needs and then He desires that you are obedient to His wooing. Really, I believe that the offering is what moves the hand of God to bless you "super abundantly." What are you in need of? Would you trust God by stepping out in faith to give, believing that as you do, He will pour out a blessing over and above your need?

Beyond our tithes and offerings, I have noticed something else about God's provision principles. God has shown me that our giving should be in "doing the right thing." Our giving should be in "never taking what is not ours." We should seek out those who are less fortunate than us... and bless them... just because! Yes, God desires for us (you and I) to be faucets that are always "turned on." He doesn't want anything to have a hold on his children... and that includes money, time, and resources. He wants His children FREE INDEED, and the only pathway to becoming totally free is in following the instructions given by the designer of the universe. When God says, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over...," you can fully trust in this spiritual law. (Luke 6:38)

Remember, God is not limited by a recession or by the "what ifs" of our economy. He is Lord over ALL and He is our only hope in times of trouble. If not for the blessing of the Lord, we would all surely live in fear. But, PRAISE THE LORD... He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of POWER, and of LOVE, and of a SOUND MIND (2 Timothy 1:7). The Christian Spirit - the generous spirit who lives by FAITH - should not worry about the world's economy. Our Daddy - Abba Father - owns it ALL!!! And, He loves to give good gifts to His children... as they are obedient to His Word.

I pray that this Christmas will find YOU in a spirit of giving... giving to the poor, giving to the church, and giving to missions. May you have a blessed (super abundantly blessed) holiday season, knowing that the Lord is faithful!!! He loves you and He cares about the "details" of your life. Trust Him.

Proverbs 22:9
"He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor."

To read more... click over to the Remnant Women Blog and read the December 9th article entitled Watching God Provide, written by a friend of mine, Andi Raymnd. I think it will really inspire you.

Oh, and if the Lord is speaking to your heart about how you can bless this ministry, click over to Deborah Ross Ministries official web-site to make your donation or to become a partner, now. Thank you for your financial support!

In Christ,

Strengthening Families & Encouraging Women
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Is the Injeel Corrupt?

I have a deep love for people... people from all cultures... people all around the world...

I am especially fascinated with Middle Eastern women. These women have a strong demeanor that emanates their passion for truth. They are very direct in their conversation and show a sincerity that is unmatched. Their piercing dark eyes make them stunningly beautiful and their accent is intriguing.

God has turned my heart toward these women in leading me to support a ministry called The Crescent Project. The Crescent Project reaches out to those of the Muslim faith with booklets, DVD's, street evangelism, conferences, and more. Their booklets: "Adha in the Injeel" and "Is the Injeel Corrupt?" are great resources for those of the Muslim faith to get solid answers - in their own language - about Jesus and how His life and ministry applies to the Muslim faith. The Crescent Project also provides the Jesus Film - to millions in 16 different languages - so that the life and love of Jesus can be seen in a powerful way. Yes, Jesus died so that everyone could be set free from the bondage of sin. That includes those of the Muslim faith, too!

Well, last spring I received some very pointed emails from a man claiming to be a Muslim. He emailed me numerous copies of pages from the Qur'an to argue his point. In his arguments he compared the teachings of the Qur'an to his misinformed information about the teachings of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Sensing that his arguments were as much of a question as they were a statement, I responded to one of his emails. Below, I will share with you what I said to him, and point out some of his arguments (which seem to be standard beliefs by most Muslims).

My Letter...

"I read your article because I wanted to have a better understanding of your belief(s).

The obvious differences that I noticed in your Qur'an and the Taurat (Torah or Old Testament) seem to be the flow of the message. Both books contain many similar accounts of the lives of those who trusted God such as Moses, Abraham, Joseph, and so on. It even appears that both books point to Jesus (Isa) as being someone that we should seek to understand. The name Allah and the name Yahweh (One True God) seem to be synonymous in many ways, with language being the argumentative factor that makes them different, at first glance.

On the other hand, those who have read the New Testament (The Injeel), have been able to tie up the loose ends of their faith by seeing for themselves just who Jesus really is; and, by seeking to understand what significance He has in the world today. It is interesting to me how all three Holy Books (Qur'an, Old Testament, Taurat/Torah) prophetically point to the Injeel (The New Testament), but for whatever reasons (reasons that man has conjured up over the course of generations) many Muslim's and Jew's are reluctant to see for themselves just what this extension of the scriptures has to say.

Jesus came to this earth to "reveal the love" that God has for all mankind. Jesus gives "life" to those who believe that He was, indeed, sent from God to redeem humanity from the curse of sin and death.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." - John 3:16.

Jesus is God... wrapped up in flesh. He walked on the earth for a short amount of time so that mankind could see, feel, and experience the Kingdom of Heaven in a tangible way. God loves His creation and He knew that humanity needed to be awakened into understanding the depth of His love. Jesus is the sacrificial lamb (Adha) who paid the price for sin - once and for all. It is through His shed blood that mankind can be restored into a right relationship with God.


I had a discussion with a beautiful Muslim woman a few weeks ago about forgiveness of sin and I think I understand your argument about Christians using their salvation as a license to sin. Unfortunately, there are some people who claim to be true Christians - but they are not. I challenge you to read the entire book of 1 John (not from the four Gospels but further into the New Testament). Here you will see that Christians are taught that true repentance means remorse and turning from that behavior.

Christians, like Muslims, come in many forms. No, it's not what God desires, but it is the truth about humanity. People of all faiths tend to conveniently omit anything about repentance from sin, in order to live a lie under the banner of their religion.

It saddens me how "people" have come up with their own version of Christianity through the years; and thus, made it hard for unbelievers to understand the truth of God's love. The root of this confusion is the devil. John 10:10 says, "The thief (the devil) cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I (Jesus - Isa) am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

Does your Holy Book offer "life"... and "life more abundantly?" As Christians, we are taught that we can have life more abundantly NOW, and in the life to come (Mark 10:30 and Luke 18:30).


You also mentioned the idolatry of Christmas and the statues of Jesus. I can see your point and , again, I am grieved that "worldly" Christians get so caught up in "things" and "events" that take away from the pure worship of God. I think most western Christians are born into certain traditions that they never question. This, to me, can be compared to someone being raised Muslim and never questioning their Muslim traditions.

I think God is pleased when we talk to Him like a friend (since He knows what we are thinking anyway). He is pleased when we "question" our childhood teachings and come to our own conclusion about who He is and how much He loves us. After all, He created us with a mind and he even said we were made in His image (Genesis 1:26). He wants us to love Him because we have "fallen in love with Him", not because we are made to love Him through traditions.


It seems there are many similarities in our scriptures, and I believe there is a reason for this. Truly, one is right and the other is wrong. Still, the wrong one contains an element of truth so that those who follow it will be blinded to the "real truth". This, we both agree on.

The only difference between me and you is that... once I was lost, but now I am found! I have known the emptiness of living a religious life apart from becoming a born-again believer of Jesus Christ. If being born-again (a supernatural experience in which the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of a person) is wrong... it's the most liberating, powerful, loving, peaceful, joyful, life-giving wrong I've ever experienced. That is why, "I know" that Jesus is the Son of God. He has given me joy, peace, hope, and life.

Have you had this experience?


I used to question the trinity, just as you are taught to question the falsely assumed three God's of the Christian faith. It was really hard for me to understand how God (who is one) can be made manifest in three. Consider this: Your spirit (1) lives inside of your body(2) and your soul (3) - which is your mind, your will, and your emotions - rules and reigns over them all. You are still "one person", but you are made up of three parts. Really, this is something you will need to accept by faith after reading the entire New Testament (Injeel) and coming to the conclusion that Jesus loves you!

Jesus was sent from God, not as a prophet, but as a Savior. He came to "show" us the love of the Father (God). Jesus is God, coming to earth in the flesh, revealing to mankind how much He loves them. That is why He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and made the lame to walk. All of these malady's are a curse from the wages of sin (Satan - or the devil's hellish schemes). Still, even many Christians find it hard to believe that God loves them enough to heal them and so they continue in this life with disease and sickness, or even worse, die prematurely because of their unbelief.

I know this is probably a lot of information for you, but I challenge you to read the entire New Testament just to see if you notice anything different (love, peace, joy, forgiveness, hope) that it offers. I think that Allah is a big enough God to hold his own. Put the words of Muhammad up against the words of Jesus and "test" them. Don't go by what others have told you, but rather read it for yourself. I read your message today because I wanted to know what you believe. Now, would you read for yourself and study what I believe?


It does not seem logical to think that the Injeel has been tampered with, but the Qur'an has not? I did see from your text that Isa (Jesus) is taught in the Qur'an. If the Injeel was truly sent from God, then it would be impossible for mankind to corrupt God's Word. God does not need man; man needs God. If the devil can keep someone believing that any part of God's Word is corrupt, then he can keep them from the truth.


I know, there are so many Bible's out there, you're probably wondering which version to get. I don't know where you are from, but I pray that you are able to get your hands on a pure copy of the Holy Bible. "My" favorite is the King James version, but again, depending on where you live, there may be another one that speaks in your language more clearly.

May God (I say Jehovah; you say Allah) richly bless you and may He reveal His love to you in a new and powerful way."

Those of you reading this blog who are Muslim, please know that this entry is written with a sincere desire to help us come together to worship the one true God with unity and an appreciation for each others culture. If you are reading this blog and you are a Christian, I pray that the comments here will help you to better understand your Muslim friends so that you can share the truth about Isa (Jesus) with them.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." - John 3:16 ... this message is for everyone... Muslims, too!

In Christ,
Deborah Ross
Strengthening Families and Encouraging Women

To order your Outreach Pack containing the two booklets ('Adha in the Injeel' and 'Is the Injeel Corrupt?') along with a DVD of the Jesus Film in 16 languages, contact The Crescent Project Bookstore or DRM.
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Friday, September 18, 2009


...Kingdom Keys to a Happy Marriage...

Within the walls of every society lies a mix of ATTITUDES, OPINIONS, and PHILOSOPHIES that stain the souls of stubborn mankind; seeking to maintain peaceful relationships through a warped view of God and human nature. Left unchecked, a worldly demeanor cultivates hard hearts and robotic lifestyles, leaving no room for the Kingdom of God to be revealed.

Have you ever noticed that principles in God's Kingdom function the complete opposite of what culture and society teach? For instance, God says: to give and you will receive; to humble yourself and you will be exalted; to lay your life down and you will live; to submit to one another that you should inherit a blessing!

The term "submission" can be such a foreign concept. Whether viewed as a sign of weakness or as outdated protocol, many Christians will refuse to adopt a lifestyle of "submitting one to another" - especially in marriage. Tragically, all too often our words and our actions don't match up, when it comes to practicing life application skills of God's Kingdom principles.

1 Peter 3:1 says, "...wives, be in subjection to your own husbands." The word subjection actually means: to obey; to submit to one's control; and, to yield to one's admonition or advice. It is a voluntary attitude of "giving in". Are you in the habit of cooperating with the plans, ideas, and advice of your mate? Do you practice submitting?

Perhaps you are thinking, "My husband doesn't deserve my submission. He is too demanding. Besides, he's not even a Christian. I could never give in to his immature ideas." Peter tells us that as we worship God with a servants heart toward our mate, we present the gospel of Jesus Christ by our actions. He goes on to say that God places great value on a meek and quiet spirit. My friend, if the Lord calls something precious, then, we need to heed the importance of practicing Kingdom principles - whether we agree with our circumstances or not. Ladies, you can actually change the mood of your husband simply by making room for him to be the head of the household... even before he realizes his position!

Of course, Peter goes on to say in verse 7, "...husbands, dwell with them (wives) according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife..." Ideally, men and women should submit to each other. There should be a mutual submission, one to another. When couples live according to this principle, the Word of God says that your prayers as a married couple will not be hindered. This is your goal!

The problem that I find in ministering this concept to most married individuals, is that, usually one person "gets it" and the other person does not. So then, the same argument continues between them that she won't submit and he doesn't give her honor. Nothing can ever be accomplished until somebody gives in and - GOES FIRST!

God's ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). While it doesn't make any sense - in our minds - to give in to a situation that seems unfair, the Lord assures us, "...and if you suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye... (1 Peter 3:14)." Jesus himself suffered unjustly so that He might bring us to God (vs. 18), so we, also, should learn to have the same mind set as Christ to the will of God (1 Peter 4:1-2).

I know, some of you are thinking, "Yuk, I will never let anyone run over me! Submitting sounds like I must put up with abuse." Submitting does not mean that someone should be able to take advantage of you. On the contrary, they cannot take advantage of you, because you willingly offer a peaceable solution to every situation. In reality, you have the upper hand, because you have brought about the Kingdom of God in the midst of their rebellion. This is where the Lord steps in, shows up, and does miracles!

I remember the Lord teaching me to submit to my husband years ago. At that time, he was lost, immature, self-centered, and irresponsible. I thought, "God, you must be kidding! How can I submit to my husband when I know he will make a mess of things?" Still, the Lord confirmed in my heart that I was to submit to my husband and that He would be faithful to take care of our family, even when my husband made mistakes or poor choices (vs. 4:19). Did everything go smoothly? No, not at all, but in the long run... we were never ashamed! You see, in order for my husband to rise to his rightful position as head of our household, I had to step out in faith and act according to Kingdom principles before there was any return on my investment.

Today, my husband is the born-again, spirit-filled, leader of our home that I had always hoped for. We now mutually practice submitting one to the other and we see God answering our prayers as a family - on a daily basis. Things that were once considered overwhelming obstacles to us are now merely opportunities for us to call upon the Lord - together - for help.

Remember: "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishith, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:" - 1 Peter 1:7. So while submission may oftentimes seem to be a "trial of your faith", remember this is exactly what pleases God.

Think of it in terms of a little child submitting to their parents. We too, need to submit one to another to bring peace, love, and joy into our homes, as the Kingdom of God takes up residence in our lives.

So get started! Stop fretting over your outward appearance and start grooming the inward parts (1 Peter 3:3-4). For it's the sweet, submissive holiness of a God-fearing woman that has the power to bring a man to his knees in worship to the King of Kings.

Blessings In Christ!

Deborah Ross

Deborah Ross Ministries
Strengthening Families & Encouraging Women

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Protection and Provision in Hard Times...


In these uncertain times, I am sure that many of you may feel hopeless. As jobs disappear, homes are lost, families are torn apart, swine flu threatens, and the world schemes in hostility over how to "fix" our problems - life seems to be out of control. Where can you turn to for help? Where does your hope come from?

Psalm 91:1 -
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."

I love Psalm 91! I think it contains a powerful word that is especially comforting during these hard times. In fact, some of my favorite "key" words from Psalm 91 are...


These powerful "key" words really speak to my soul. I am drawn to press in, to search for God's deepest thoughts, as I hold this passage up against the very "real" struggles in life that seem to be so overwhelming, at times. Without supernatural intervention, certain life trials are sure to cause even the most optimistic of minds to fail.

So, as I pondered the first verse of Psalm 91 which says, "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty"... I found myself asking, "just where is the 'secret place'?"

Psalm 91:14 -
"Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name."

As I reflect on the lives of so many of the patriarchs mentioned in scripture, I notice they all have several things in common:

· the ability to HEAR GOD'S VOICE

These men and women of God "set their love upon Him". They knew God intimately because they spent each and every breathing moment seeking to understand Him. Their thoughts were continually aimed at worshipping the Lord, not only from within their heart, but also in worshipping Him by their actions. They sought to dwell in the "secret place" with God. They knew His name(s).

Were these Bible hero's perfect? Absolutely not; but they did all possess a sincere desire to please God in all of their ways. They were not afraid to be different. They didn't worry about what the crowd would say. These hero's of the faith lived a life that was so remarkably different than main stream society... even different than the main stream religious people of their day. They pursued an intimate relationship with El Elyon (The God Most High), and could not be satisfied until every word that God had spoken into their heart came to pass.

Psalm 91:2-3 -
"I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence."

The Lord is so pleased with us when we trust Him. He longs to protect us in times of trouble. His will is to deliver us from the snares of life. Imagine Him as a mighty umbrella. As the storms of life beat vehemently upon the windows of our soul, He says, "Run to me." He wants us to run out of the storm, and into His presence... which happens to be a place of shelter; a refuge and a fortress.

Psalm 91:4 -
"He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler."

God's Word is the TRUTH. Disappointing FACTS are only an opportunity to stand on God's Word. No matter what FACTS threaten you today, know that God's TRUTH will always prevail... when you dwell in the "secret place". The Lord does not force His will upon anyone. Even though His will is peaceful and full of His glory, still, He gives each one of us an opportunity to choose any path that may seem right in our own eyes. Oh, how He yearns for each of us to choose His perfect pathway that leads to victory. God has given us the manual for getting to the "secret place" and now He waits with open arms for us to seek Him out. El Yeshuati (the God of my salvation) not only wants us to find Him, but, He also wants us to rest in His presence continually.

Psalm 91:7 -
"A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee."

Do you really trust the Lord? Are you resting in the promises of God's Word; refusing to live in fear? Have you entered into that "secret place"? If so, Psalm 91:7 is a passage that should give you complete peace - no matter what the condition of our economy and no matter what storms may come your way. Even though thousands of hearts may fail because of fear; numerous homes may fall apart in the wake of stress; and multitudes may fall sick with disease; the Lord's Word promises us that those who dwell in His "secret place" will always have supernatural help from El Shaddai (the God who is all-sufficient and more than enough).

Psalm 91:15 -
"He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him."

Perhaps you have not sought to live in the "secret place" of the most High and now you are suffering the consequences of life's storms that have tried to overtake you. The GOOD NEWS is that it is never too late with God! Call upon Him NOW! Seek Him NOW! Abide in His presence NOW! He will deliver you and set you on high when you run to Him - setting your full affection and sincere love upon His every Word.

God will show you His salvation. The richness of His love - which rides upon the wings of TRUTH - will deliver you, keep you, and bless you forevermore. So, seek to dwell in the "secret place" of the most High; for it is there that you will abide under the shadow of the Almighty God.

Child of God, rejoice, because the habitation of the Lord brings peace... and through peace we obtain our victory! Now that's good news...Hallelujah!

Challenge: Read the entire Psalm 91, daily, until you get a revelation about the "secret place" of worship that brings deliverance.
By: Deborah Ross
Deborah Ross Ministries
Strengthening Families & Encouraging Women

Monday, August 17, 2009

Getting Out of Bondage

Friends of the World

James 4:4
"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."

Whoa! These are pretty strong words. So, what does this mean? Exactly what does it mean to be a friend of this world and why does James say that being a friend of the world makes us an enemy of God? Didn't God create the world for our pleasure? Didn't He give us dominion over all the earth through Adam (Genesis 1:26)? Can we not enjoy the material treasures of this earthly life?

Let's start our study by clarifying what a "friend of the world" really is...

1 John 2:15-16
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."

Here, the Apostle John admonishes Christians to beware of the subtle deception that is prevalent among those in the church. There are some among the fellowship, who claim Christ, but do not show forth the fruit of being a Child of God, and therefore, these impostors are dangerous examples of the Christian faith. John calls those who walk in darkness, while claiming to be Christians, "liars" (1 John 1:6) because they make idolatry, fornication, covetousness, and lewd behavior seem acceptable to those true believers who seek to live a righteous life.

1 Corinthians 5:6 -
"Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?"

We need to remember that it only takes a little sin (a little leaven)to lead us down the dark path of destruction. If we allow the lust of our flesh (our personal desires), the lust of our eyes (those things that are attractive to us), and our selfish pride (a know-it-all attitude) to dictate our behavior, we become guilty of being a "friend of the world", forfeiting God's covenant blessings that are rightfully ours, as Children of the King.

Galatians 5:24 -
"And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."

In order for the Holy Spirit of God to have full lordship in guiding our day to day affairs, we must practice self-control; we must crucify the flesh. As believers, God has equipped us with His precious Holy Spirit who keeps us from being entangled by the snares of this world - providing we surrender to His leading.

Satan knows this, and so, he is on a relentless mission to tempt mankind with everything this world has to offer. The devil is called the "Prince of this World" and he is a master at making the things of this world glisten in such a way that we will fall prey to his gestures, if we are not privy to his tricks. God's enemy has one thing in the forefront of his mind... to kill, steal, and destroy God's creation (John 10:10). He is constantly trying to lure us into being ruled by our carnal (natural, fleshly) minds - instead of being led by our spirit man, as God intends. Just take one look at television, billboards, magazines, or movies and you will quickly see how advertisements make everything from laxatives to obnoxious reality shows appear to be glamorous.

My friend, we are spiritual beings who live in natural bodies. The Word of God clearly tells us that though we are "in" this world, we are not "of" this world (John 17:16). Instead, our citizenship is in the spiritual realm and, in fact, as born-again believers, our citizenship is in heaven! On earth, we are merely sojourners (strangers or foreigners) put here for a short time to do the will of God. This life is only a vapor compared to God's eternity. Our passage here on earth (as far as scripture reveals) is for the purpose of giving God glory; to fellowship with God; and to "pass the tests" of life that qualify us for heavenly rewards on the day of judgment (James 1:11).

1 Corinthians 6:15 -
"And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

In the Bible, those who trust in the world's riches - the world's ideas and the world's methods - are called infidels. An infidel is someone who trusts in his or her natural senses more than they trust in the Word of the Lord. Really, an infidel is someone who does not exercise their faith; to put it simply, THEY DON'T TRUST GOD. Instead, they live in fear, trying to make things happen on their own accord in an effort to live a blessed life. The writer of Hebrews 11 tells us that, "without faith, it is impossible to please (God)." So, an infidel never pleases God, because he or she is always reacting in response to carnal instincts, instead of abiding and trusting in the Word of the Lord.

Some characteristics of an infidel include the following:
· One who is friends with the world because they fear man's opinion.
· One who is friends of the world because they fear a lack of material possessions.
· One who is friends of the world because they fear the unknown.

Be aware that "fear" can be a subtle unction. A person may not "feel" as though they are in fear, while in reality, it is their inner fears that cause them to doubt God and ultimately follow the world.

In 2 Corinthians 6:17, God tells us to "come out from among them, and be separate." While the inheritance of the Lord is , indeed, that of dominion, as well as, that of enjoying the fruit of the land, it has never been God's intent for us to be bound to the material aspects of the things of this world. Unfortunately, those who strive to be friends with this world are in the company of the vast majority, but God says that we - Christians - are to be separated from that majority. The Lord wants us to be free from the cares of this world in such a way that stress, guilt, and fear cannot torment our mortal bodies. In addition, He says that if we will first seek His Kingdom (His way of doing things), and His righteousness (fully trusting Him), then, all of these "things" that we need and even desire will be given to us (Matthew 6:33).

We need to rest in the fact that the Lord is not trying to withhold earthly pleasures and goods from us. On the contrary, His plan is to bless us with earthly and spiritual blessings, both now, as well as in the life to come (Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30 and 1 Timothy 4:8). It all boils down to us "trusting Him". When we trust Him with our lives, He takes care of us... and let me tell you, He does a much better job than we could ever do for ourselves.

So really, being a "friend of this world" is just another temptation from Satan. He is trying his best to rob each of us from our rightful inheritance by causing us to react with panic, fear, and doubt - instead of living in faith, peace, love and joy. The devil knows that once we get into the trance of idolatry (seeking to get things, instead of seeking to fellowship with God), we become enslaved to his evil authority. Satan's ultimate plan is to annihilate us. He wants to separate us from God in any - and every - way that he can.

The book of James is very short - only five chapters - but, I think it serves as a great place to begin to learn how not to be a friend of this world. I'd like to challenge you to read the book of James, and then, ask the Lord to speak to you about areas of your own life that may need pruning.

Galatians 2:20 -
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

Whatever it is that pulls at your carnal nature, I pray that you will be admonished to let go of this world's enticements, knowing that God wants to bless you - superabundantly! Remember, crucifying the flesh is something that all Christians must choose to do, daily. There will always be that temptation to follow the crowd, and the only way to overcome these earthly desires is to know God's Word, trust God's love, and abide in God's presence.

Yes, the Lord wants you blessed. He loves you and has great plans for you. Now, trust Him. Walk in the freedom of the spirit and don't worry about any of your needs. As you freely enjoy the provisions of this world that God allows into your life, rejoice, knowing that nothing has a hold on you! Truly, whom the Son sets free... is free indeed (John 8:36)!

Proverbs 10:22 -
"The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it."
In Christ,
Deborah Ross
Deborah Ross Ministries
Strengthening Families & Encouraging Women
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Surrendering to the Lordship of Christ


Last week, I read a book by Joni Lamb entitled Surrender All (ISBN #978-1-4000-7375-7). While I sometimes find it hard to finish many books, because of the authors failure to draw me in, I must tell you that Surrender All is one that kept me interested from the first page... all the way to the last. The Holy Spirit is so evident throughout each paragraph as Joni shares so many testimonies where, either she, or, some of her closest friends have surrendered EVERYTHING at various crossroads of their lives, only to see God miraculously reveal His unfolding "good plans" - plans that far exceeded their human expectations.

Surrender All actually moved me to tears as I rejoiced with Joni's personal account of each story and how God's love brought each person from either heartache, pain, or indecision to a place of glorious VICTORY! As I read example after example of how each "breakthrough became a reality" - totally changing the course of each life mentioned - I was encouraged to surrender more of my life... even those parts of my life that may seem insignificant.

I really think "surrender" is the key that unlocks the door to the working of God's Word. So many times I've witnessed Christian's who try to manipulate God through crafty prayer and fearful denial, all in an effort to try and force God's will. While I do believe that we should "stand" on God's promises in the face of adversity (Ephesians 6:13), I also believe that our "standing on God's Word" should be done with a pure heart of humility that is willing to accept God's pathway to wholeness - regardless of our preference. (Have you ever noticed that God rarely unfolds things in our time... or in our way?)

Psalm 37:5 -
"Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."

The Lord is good and it is His good pleasure to bless His children (Luke 12:32). Our response to His love should be that of "trust". When we fully trust someone, we have no need to manipulate them; instead, we should rest in their desire to act toward our best interest. God's Word promises us that He will bring those things to pass that we deeply hope for. Not the selfish things of this world, rather: the hidden treasures of our hearts, our destiny, the purpose of our existence, the wholeness of our families, and the salvation of our souls. Every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:17), so there is no need to fret over the haunting "what ifs"; those strongholds (thoughts) that try to persuade us to control our situation... instead of relinquishing everything to God.

Learning to surrender requires a "leap of faith"; one that is anchored in the knowledge of God's character. We cannot expect to know God's character unless we are, first, willing to spend time reading His Word. In addition, we must be willing to fellowship with His people by going to church regularly and we must communicate with Him on a daily basis through a prayer life that is more eager to "listen" than it is to "speak".

Time and time again, scripture reveals how God moved when His servants were obedient to His "rhema word" of instruction concerning the dilemma of their moment. I'm talking about a "NOW" word; a word that is specifically for us at our moment of crisis. The Lord does not want us to live on yesterday's word or off of someone else's word; rather, He wants us to follow His leading - step by step - as we walk through unknown doors of "choice". While He does give us a free will to choose any door of life that seems good at the time, He also tells us - in His Word - that He is knocking on the door of life (Revelation 3:20), encouraging us to choose the path of surrender that He has prepared for us. This is the best path. This is the path to victory.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 -
"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them."

One of my favorite scriptures is Deuteronomy 30:19-20. This verse really sums up the Christian journey as God prescribes the pathway to victory according to His perfect will. As we "choose" to follow after peace by "surrendering" our will, to His, the heavens open up, as the natural is overcome by the supernatural. The glorious wonders of the Kingdom of God are made manifest as we stand in awe at the evidence of our breakthrough. As darkness gives way to light and our breakthrough becomes a reality, God's glory is revealed. This is where our tests become our testimonies. This is where our faith becomes substance (Hebrews 11:1).

SURRENDERING ALL is the secret ingredient of the soul that gives FUEL TO OUR FAITH. While "surrendering our will to His" is in direct contrast to our fleshly nature, it is the only sure way to walk in the spirit. We are told that true worshippers must worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). As our spirit surrenders to His, He ushers us into His perfect will; a place of wholeness and victory. While He probably won't allow our breakthroughs to manifest on our timetable, I can assure you that He will not be too late. His timing and His way is always perfect. He is continually standing with open arms, inviting us to leap into His bosom.

What do YOU need to surrender, today? I pray that you will be able to free-fall into the arms of Jesus, as you "truly" trust Him with every aspect of your life. He will not disappoint you. Trust Him, today, with whatever it is that has caused you pain, unforgiveness, hardship, grief, or emptiness. He wants to take that part of your life and exchange it for His victory, His blessings, His comfort, and His wholeness.

Psalm 9:10 - "And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee."

May you have a blessed day today knowing that God is for you.

I am praying for you!

In Christ,

Deborah Ross
Deborah Ross Ministries
Strengthening Families & Encouraging Women

I love hearing from you!

Hebrews 11:6 -
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Marriage or Divorce?

Dealing with Unfaithfulness

Dear Beautiful Women of God:

I get emails and phone calls all the time from those suffering in marital hardships who are looking for hope in their situation - which seems to be so bleak. The question below is one that I received by email and I'd like to share it with all of you as a Remnant Woman writes the following...


How do you stand for a marriage when your husband just uses you and cares nothing about you? Especially when you show them unconditional love and they know you are standing so they use that to their advantage. What kind of self respect can you have for yourself to allow yourself to be used like that? Especially when your husband is sleeping with other people and telling them lies about you? Wouldn't God want you to be free to move on and live a new life? My husband isn't sorry for what he has done.

My Reply:

My heart breaks for you. I know, it is very difficult to live day to day with a broken heart that bleeds because of betrayal from their spouse.

I will offer you this one Biblical escape from your torment, but I must also add that this is not necessarily God's best. In Matthew 19 Jesus tells the Pharisees that divorce is permitted in the case of adultery, but, He also adds that divorce is permitted because of the "hardness of our hearts". Even if you divorce your husband, you must still forgive him... I mean truly forgive him. Remember, God sees the heart. While others may not know the bitterness that can be in a person's heart for many years or even a lifetime after divorce, God see it all. It is my conclusion - as one who has overcome marital adversity - that if I must forgive my husband, I'd rather fight for his salvation, aiming to win the whole prize (our marriage, his salvation, and my clean heart) than to face the arduous task of trying to truly forgive after a bitter divorce.

It is my belief that God will use us as vessels of Himself as we stand in the gap for those that are lost and living in darkness. Your husband is obviously lost and living in darkness. While it is very painful to love someone who is unlovable, we are also told that learning to love our enemies is what makes us more like Christ (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27, Luke 6:35).

As in 1 Corinthians 13:8, I believe that "Love Never Fails". As you pray for your husband, speak the truth to your husband (not in a nagging way), live as an example of Christ before your husband's eyes, and forgive your husband, God will soften your husband's heart as you create fertile ground for your miracle. It is not a quick fix. You will need to ask yourself many times over if you can withstand the challenge of this spiritual warfare, knowing that the devil will not back down easily.

As you ask the Holy Spirit for His daily guidance and protection, while placing yourself in the strong hand of God, He will take care of you, guiding you step by step through the process of this dark valley. God is all-knowing and all-powerful. He knows exactly what it will take for your husband to surrender and repent of his sins. God will use you as a vessel of light as you completely surrender to His pathway to wholeness for your family. Most importantly, you'll need to trust that your faith in God's Word will bring forth the promise of a restored marriage with a born-again husband. Many people come to the conclusion that someone will never change and so they give up the fight. I like to say, how long would you believe for the salvation of your child? How long would you commit to being the parent of your child, if they were in rebellion and sinning against you? Is your husband any more disposable than your child?

God does not want any to perish. He wants everyone to become a born-again Child of God. God does not want any marriage to end in divorce. He wants all families to remain whole. Knowing this, you can pray with confidence, knowing that God is on your side. The waiting and the suffering is not fun, but it is what every Christian goes through at some point or another, in some area of their faith.

Romans 5:1-5

When we suffer for righteousness sake, God works out things in our own lives that perhaps we didn't even know needed attention. He molds us and shapes us to be more like Himself as we surrender our will, to His. Though our surrender may be extremely painful for a season, we don't do it as one who has no hope. Instead, we do it knowing that God is faithful and He will not make us ashamed in the end.

We cannot change our husbands, but God can... and He wants to. I want to encourage you to pray the Marriage Prayer, daily. Also, I currently have my audio message of Faith, Forgiveness, Future posted at the bottom of this blog that you can freely listen to for encouragement - right from your computer. My teaching series of Root Digger, Not a Rug Sweeper (available on my web-site) is another valuable tool of encouragement that will help you during this season of pain. Finally, I have a new book titled, Healing a Broken Marriage: Love Never Fails .  I highly recommend these resources, as they may prove vital to the outcome of your journey.

Again, you are ultimately the only one who can decide how to handle your situation. Divorce is permitted... but, it is not necessarily the best way. Ask the Lord to show you what to do - day by day - and He will. He loves you AND He loves your husband. He wants each of you born-again and set free from the bondage of sin.
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."
Then, another Remnant Woman writes...

As a "seasoned Christian," I actually pray for God's refining fires however, when they come in by way of infidelity I find that I fail the test every time. When I found out about the last incident, that happened between my husband and my brother's wife, I thought I would lose my mind. I shut down in every area of life and depression took over. I felt like a lousy Christian because I was consumed by grief. I felt like the Lord would never be able to use me again. I had always been committed to my family in spite of the infidelities, however, this one had crossed the family lines. What made matters worse was she had just lost her mother to cancer the same month I found out and had gained all the other family members sympathy in spite of her indiscretion. I was told to just "drop it and forgive and forget." There would be no accountability, how was I to handle that? I was at the end of my rope, I just couldn't take anymore of anything. The pain inside was unbearable, so much so that I began cutting on myself just to relieve it! What kind of Christian cuts herself to relieve pain when she should be turning to Jesus for comfort and healing? The joy of the Lord is supposed to be my strength! I began to doubt my own salvation. Then the tears of remorse began to wash over me as I remembered the day I was saved and baptized with the fire of the Holy Spirit. There was no denying that to be true. Then the guilt of conviction kicked in, that I had abused my own vessel, God's temple, making me feel worse. Oh, would this merry-go-round of emotion, grief, and conviction ever stop? What was I missing in the lesson that I had to endure the pain of infidelity a fifth time? What are you trying to teach me Lord? I prayed, "Lord, please send me a teacher who will make it all make sense. Surround me with your "spirit-filled" people that will gently walk me through this trial so that I can be victorious this time." This is where your book found it's way into my hands and I rejoiced and cried as I read it. I said to myself, "This woman has the answers I seek Lord! She has Your wisdom Lord. Your Word is in her mouth and you have taken her on a similar journey and she has come out victorious!" Truly, Deborah, had it not been for your book, I would still be spinning on the merry-go-round in darkness trying to find the off switch. Thank you for shining your light through my darkness so I could "find" and "hit" the off switch! You gave me clarity where I could only see darkness. Glory be to God and may He bless your ministry ten thousand fold!
To God be the Glory for every marriage restored, every broken heart mended, and every tormented mind that receives the peace of God.
In Christ,
Deborah Ross
Deborah Ross Ministries
Strengthening Families, Encouraging Faith, Preaching the Gospel
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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What does it mean to be born-again?

How to be Forgiven & Born Again

JOHN 3:3
"Jesus answered and said unto him, 'Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'"

The Word of God teaches that unless we are "born-again" we cannot see the Kingdom of God.
This means:

· We cannot "live" in the Kingdom of God;
· We cannot "receive the benefits" of the Kingdom of God;
· We cannot "understand" the Kingdom of God;
· And, we cannot have "eternal life" in God's Kingdom;

... Until we become a born-again Child of God.

Being born-again is a supernatural experience that is - in some ways - much like that of being born from our mother's womb. The difference, of course, is that we are not physically born-again, but rather, spiritually transformed in our spirit man. When we were born from our mother's womb, we did not need to understand the process before we could enter this world. Yet, since the day of our natural birth, we have been continually growing in our understanding so that as adults we can begin to comprehend the miraculous wonder of conception, pregnancy and the childbirth existence.

Being born-again is no different. We don't need to fully understand the concept in order to become a Child of God. We simply believe in faith on the price that Jesus paid for our sins; and then, supernaturally, God plants His seed of righteousness inside of our hearts. That seed will grow throughout our lifetime as we gain a greater understanding of our born-again transformation. From that day forward we will be ever-maturing from that of a new born babe in Christ into a sanctified Child of God.

JOHN 3:16
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

God's Word promises eternal life to everyone who confesses with their mouth and believes in their heart that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:10). Being a born-again Child of God is really simple, and yet, many will fail to understand how to become a Christian because of their unwillingness to turn from a life of sin. Sin separates mankind from God. God is holy and He cannot co-exist with sin. As hard as we may try, we can never completely rid ourselves of sin in order to walk in the favor of God. In fact, everything about our human nature pulls away from God. Romans 8:7 says that we are incapable of following God's laws because our human nature is hostile toward the truth of God's Word.

JOHN 3:21
"But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."

It is only when we allow the light of God to shine down on our hearts that we can see the truth about our sinful condition. Stepping into the light of God requires that we humbly come to the throne of grace with a true heart of repentance from all known sin. Repentance is not just saying "I'm sorry", neither does it try to justify thoughts and deeds with rational explanations of "why". Rather, repentance is a change of our heart and mind. When we repent, we admit our wrong doing or wrong thoughts while standing spiritually naked before God.

In order to be supernaturally transformed (born-again) we must first recognize that we are a sinner who needs a Savior. As God shines His light of truth (His Word) upon our hearts, our response should be a sincere cry of relinquishing our will to His. At that same moment, as we put all of our trust in the belief that Jesus is, indeed, the Son of God, and that He died for our sins; the breath of God blows the wind of the Holy Spirit into our innermost being as we are gloriously changed from a sinner to a saint. We don't have to fully understand it all. We just need to accept, by faith, that God loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to make a way for us to live in His Kingdom... now and for all eternity.

MARK 11:26
"But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."

Realize that repentance and being forgiven by God are synonymous with forgiving others. After all, how can we expect God to forgive our sins, if we are not also willing to forgive those who have sinned against us? 1 John 3:15 tells us that if we hate someone, we are a murderer and we should know that murderers do not have eternal life abiding within their hearts.

1 JOHN 4:7-8
"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."

In order to truly know God, we must be willing to lay down all grudges, bitterness, wrath, jealousy, malice, envy, strife, and revenge. God is love. If we are to be a born-again Child of God, we too, must agree to love the way Christ loves us. God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die for our sins even when we didn't deserve salvation. Is there someone who doesn't deserve your forgiveness? Yet, in order to be more like Christ, you will purpose in your heart to forgive them.

JOHN 3:18-19
"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."

I think John 3:19 explains the reason that Jesus is such a stumbling block for those who don't want to believe He is the Son of God. So many religions accept that Jesus was a prophet or that He was a good man and they may even go as far as to say that He was born of a virgin and that He even died on a cross; however, in an effort to hide from the truth of one's sinful heart, many choose to follow a lie - a false religion - in an effort to make themselves feel as though they will have eternal life... IN SPITE OF THEIR LOVE FOR SIN.

God is love. God loves people. God is Holy. God hates sin. He has made a way for us to be reconciled to Himself. He sent His love, in the form of a man named Jesus, into the world to touch, heal, and save those who will sincerely believe that He is the Christ.

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

Jesus gave His life for you and I. Will you give your life back to Him and accept His outstretched hand of mercy, grace, and love? God does not want anyone to spend an eternity in hell (separated from His love). He wants everyone to live with Him forever!

If you want to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior... If you want to be born-again... If you want to be forgiven... Pray this simple prayer with all of your heart:

"Father God, I confess that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe, in faith, that Jesus is truly the Son of God, and while I may not understand everything right now, I do believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, He walked the earth as God in the flesh, He died on a cross, and He was raised from the dead by the power of God. I believe that you, Lord, love me so much that you made a way for me to have eternal life. I confess _____________ (fill in the blank for all known sin). Lord, help me to turn from sin. Change my heart and mind so that I will become more like you. Wash me clean and make me a brand new creature. God, please cause me to understand the Bible. I pray that your Word will come alive in my spirit as I seek to know you more. I give you my life. I worship you. I praise you. In Jesus Name, Amen!"

Now, tell someone that you have made Jesus your Lord and Savior. I would love to be the first person to know that my gift of love (this article) has brought you to eternal life. Comment to me about your born-again experience on this blog... or, click onto my web-site and write to me personally. Now, go and sin no more (John 8:11) for your sins are forgiven and you are truly born-again! Hallelujah!

Yours in Christ,

Deborah Ross Ministries
Strengthening Families & Encouraging Women

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Faith in God

Faith that "Really" Believes God's Promises

Hebrews 11:1
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Hebrews 11:1 is my favorite passage of scripture. In fact, I have this verse etched on my (pink) leather Bible cover. It's the one that was specially made for me while on a mission trip to Brazil a few years ago.

God's Word is a journey of faith. A journey that teaches us to "not" rely on our natural senses and intellect, but rather to put our trust in the unseen. Of course, God did give us natural abilities that should be used to their fullest potential; but, when those who call themselves Christians have exhausted their own strength, God is faithful to make us more than conquerors... if, we will "really" believe Him and trust in His Word.

Hebrews 11:6
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

Every person who professes Christ as their Savior "believes in God". In fact, even those who follow after other religious practices believe in a god of some sort. What sets the Christian faith apart is the fact that Jesus Christ came to earth, as God in the flesh, to live among men and to "reveal" God's desire for the human race. Jesus "did" the will of the Father as an example for all of mankind. God sent His Son so that we might understand the depth of His love, the reality of spiritual warfare, and the pathway to eternal life. Jesus broke the curse of sin and death so that we could live as God originally intended as a people who can talk and walk with God on a daily basis, knowing that we are the apple of His eye.

Hebrews 13:8
"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."

What He did then, he is still doing now. Our responsibility, as born-again believers, is to cultivate our faith so that we can be partakers of Kingdom living; glorifying our Heavenly Father by our "belief" in His good plans for our lives.

Looking back at Hebrews 11:6, certainly, no Christian has a problem believing that "God is". Rather, the stumbling block for those of weak faith lies in their ability to believe that God is "a rewarder of them that diligently seek him". The problem with this is that the first part of this verse says, "it is impossible" to please God without faith - faith that believes "he is" AND that He "rewards".

Do YOU believe God's Word? I mean, do you "really" believe in God's desire to do the miraculous in your situation? I think the hardest part of walking in faith is when an impossible circumstance presents itself and we are positioned to either "believe for a miracle", according to God's Word, or to doubt that God is interested, willing, or able to intervene on our behalf. This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, and it is at this crucial crossroad that the "test" of our faith hangs in the balance.

So how do we grow our faith, becoming able to make the right choice when faced with adversity? Answer: By reading God's Word AND by hearing God's Word.

Romans 10:17
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

Friend, it only takes faith the size of a mustard seed to move mountains, but none-the-less your mustard seed faith must be "fully persuaded that, what (God) has promised, he is able to perform" (Romans 4:21).

My challenge for you today is that you will begin to cultivate your faith. Ask God to help your unbelief (Mark 9:24). Ask Him to help you memorize scripture. Then, when you are tested, ask God to help you persevere and to be patient while you "wait" for His promise to manifest in your life.

Romans 4:3
"For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness."

Will you believe God's Word? I mean, will you "really" believe God's Word? Being righteous is simply a matter of believing the Word of God and trusting in His love for you.

And remember... When someone says, "But what if God doesn't?" You simply say, "But what if He does!"

Mark 9:23
"Jesus said unto him, if thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."

Sincerely in Christ,
Deborah Ross
Deborah Ross Ministries
Strengthening Families and Encouraging Women

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Forgiving Others

...that begins with a DECISION
First, comes the OFFENSE!

James 1:15 tells us that once lust is conceived, it brings forth sin. Then, once sin is finished with you, it brings forth death.

Unforgiveness is a conceived sin that is designed by Satan to kill YOU.

The unforgiveness you hold in your heart does not hurt the other person; but rather, it slowly destroys "your" entire being, robbing you of "your" life, all the while separating you from the presence of God.

Oh, I know firsthand, the pain and suffering caused by that gigantic bitter pill that was shoved down your throat... against your will. You didn't ask for it; you didn't even deserve it. You've tried to get rid of it. Yet, here you are, going through the motions of life on "automatic pilot". No joy. No vision. No peace. Just a nagging replay of your offense, going over and over and over again in your head. You want so desperately to be freed from this torment... But how?

First of all, let me tell you that you "are" capable of forgiving. No matter how vile your injury, God has given you the strength, power, and ability to overcome those demonic forces that have hurt you.

I remind you: forgiveness is a process that begins with a decision.

Once you have determined in your heart that you must forgive, you'll need to stick with your resolve until your emotions line-up with God's Word. The ONLY way to do this is through PRAYER... and lots of it!

After my husband defiled our marriage of eighteen years by gambling our finances away, lying, alcoholism, drug addictions, and secretly (so he thought) lusting over pornography, I was angry and frustrated to no end. But, once he crossed the sacred line of our marriage vows (after all that I had already put up with) by committing adultery, it was as if Satan, himself, shoved a nine-foot-tall glass of bitterness down my throat. I was poisoned! And now, this poison made me think I'd never be the same. I thought I'd never be able to get over the hell that he put me through for so many years. I was mad at him; I was mad at the adulteress; I was mad at an in-law for deceiving me concerning my husband's whereabouts; and, I was mad at God for allowing this to happen to me!

"And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him."

I knew that the Word of God said you must forgive "seventy times seven", but I was hoping that I had reached that magic number of four-hundred and ninety so that God would allow me to harbor unforgiveness toward my husband - forever! Desperate for help; I ran to my church and sought counsel from a pastor on staff. I learned so many things from our sessions that helped me to forgive and I'd like to share some of them with you now.

First, when the Bible speaks of "seventy times seven"... it's not a finite number, such as four-hundred and ninety. When Jesus told Peter that he should forgive "seventy times seven", He was actually saying, "You must always forgive." Let's look at another passage of scripture that confirms this point...

"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:"

Ouch! Did this mean that God would not forgive me of my sins, if I didn't forgive everyone else of theirs... including my husband?

"But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."

You see, I was a born-again, spirit-filled Christian who had enjoyed the power of the Holy Ghost for many years prior to my offense; and now, I couldn't bear to think of ever returning to that place of separation from God's presence. I knew I would have to forgive "everyone" who seemed to have taken part in my demise, but I was completely overwhelmed at the enormity of my dilemma. Everything in my life appeared to be broken and I couldn't see any sort of light at the end of my tunnel.

Thankfully, this godly counselor gave me the following pieces of wisdom that saved my mind and made it possible for me to move forward in God's Will of forgiveness. First, he said, you must forgive your husband, as well as everyone else who has offended you throughout this trial. This does not mean that you have to stay married to your husband (Matthew 19:7-9 - according to scripture, divorce is permitted in the case of adultery - but this is not God's perfect plan); it does not mean that you have to associate with the adulteress or even keep company with your in-law. You "do" however need to stay in fellowship with God.

Then he said, "You need to compartmentalize your offenses so that you can deal with one hurdle at a time; leaving all of the other people and problems in the Lords care until you are ready to handle more." Learning to separate the troubling aspects of my life, to deal with one thing at a time, was a huge piece to the puzzle of my forgiveness journey.

And so, I decided to work on forgiving my husband, first. Of course, I knew I couldn't stay mad at God. After-all, without His blessings I'd never be whole again. He is my breath, my life, my strength, and my source. I needed Jehovah Shalom (My God of Peace) to restore my soul. I cried, "God help me!", as I literally ran to my closet - many times a day - screaming, crying, arguing, reminding, begging (yes, even begging) God to help me to forgive. I quoted scripture. I bound up principalities and powers. I bound good things (according to God's Word) to me, my husband, and my children. I pleaded, "God, take this bitterness from me! Help me to forgive!" Each day, the Lord would take my bitterness from me and I would be strengthened, but the next day... I would have to start the process all over again.

It's not that the Lord didn't take it; rather, I kept taking it back. The devil would flood my mind with horrendous thoughts and images sending me into a panic attack as adrenaline surged through every cavity of my soul. This was truly the hardest battle I had ever fought.

It took me about a year to purge the bitterness that consumed by being. I don't recall the exact moment, or the exact day, but I just know that at some point I became free. Of course, throughout this year long prayer vigil, I prayed for my husband (the one who offended me). Thankfully, he became a born-again believer shortly after our marital collapse; and so, I decided that if I had to forgive him, then I wanted the prize for my hard work. I wanted my marriage to be restored... and it was! Hallelujah!

Your situation may not require restoration with your offender. Perhaps you were violated by a stranger, or maybe by an acquaintance. Regardless of "who" hurt you, forgiveness mandates that you pray blessings and not cursings upon your perpetrator. If you find that too hard to do, start by praying for their salvation - that is more than enough. If the person claims to be a Christian, then pray that God will open the eyes of their understanding so perhaps they'll feel remorse over hurting you and ask for your forgiveness. If they don't... it's OK! Pray for them to not suffer the consequences of the wages of their sin(s) toward you.

I once witnessed someones house burning down in the middle of the night shortly after they blind sighted me with hideous rage. Through this instance, the Lord taught me the importance of praying for my enemies. That person, and their entire family, were not born-again believers and they would have all spent eternity in hell - had they died in their house fire that night. Was their house fire the wrath of God? That, I don't know; but, what I do know is that God spoke to my heart about the importance of praying for those who have offended me.

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

Forgiveness. How do you forgive?

* Realize that forgiveness is a commandment from God... it's not a suggestion.
* Purpose in your mind and heart that you will purge "all" bitterness and malice toward your offender.
* Cry out to God DAILY asking Him to take the bitterness from you - UNTIL IT IS ALL GONE!
* Compartmentalize your problems so that you can accomplish one thing at a time, leaving the others in God's hands until you are ready to deal with them.
* Pray for your offender. Pray blessings and not cursings.
* Read your Bible.
* Praise and worship God in the midst of your pain. (This really confuses the devil.)
* Don't rehearse your bitterness. Only speak of your testimony in light of what God has done to turn things around, according to His Word - and not according to the desires of your flesh.
* Speak the truth in love. If possible, tell the person that they offended you. Perhaps they'll repent. If they don't... you must still forgive, for your sake!

Remember what Jesus said as He hung on the cross... "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." This should be your example. This should be your goal. When you choose to forgive, you create fertile ground for God to work a miracle. Who knows? Maybe "your miracle" will be a restored marriage, mended relationship(s), a new job, born-again family members, your offender becomes born-again, financial prosperity, healing in your body, a dream accomplished or ____________ (put your secret heart's desire here). With God, all things are possible!

"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"

"Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you."

...Forgive and be free in Jesus name!

Please know, I share the details of my marriage in a transparent way because I want you to know that if Jesus can save our family, change my husband, and heal my broken heart... He can do the same for you. I now have a wonderful husband who is a born-again man of God. He is the head of our household and is completely free of all addictions. The Word of God is true and powerful!

For more teachings on FORGIVENESS, please click this link and order the CD or DVD of FAITH, FORGIVENESS, FUTURE.

Another great resource for FORGIVING and for overcoming ADDICTIONS, GENERATIONAL CURSES, and STRONGHOLDS OF THE MIND is the double CD set titled ROOT DIGGER, NOT A RUG SWEEPER. Click the link here to order yours...

Yours in Christ, Deborah

Deborah Ross Ministries
Strengthening Families & Encouraging Women

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