Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah ] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and the recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed and broken down by calamity], 19 To proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord (the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound) (see also Isaiah 61:1.2). 20 Then He rolled up the book and gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were gazing (attentively) at Him. 21 And He began to speak to them: Today this Scripture has been fulfilled while you are present and hearing.
These are words of Jesus teaching in the temple in Nazareth on the Sabbath to the priests and to His people.
Jesus proceeded to explain to the crowd that a prophet is not accepted in his own town or welcomed in his own town (country) and then provided examples: vs 4:26 Elijah the prophet overlooked the widows of Israel during a 3 year period of famine and was sent to Zarephath in Sidon, and vs 4:27 Elisha the prophet did not heal the many lepers in his native Israel but chose instead to heal someone in Syria.
vs 28 And when they heard these things; all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage.
In fact they became OFFENDED. Jesus was merely the son of Joseph and He was saying that He had come to deliver them as captives. “Is not this Joseph’s Son”? Luke 4:22 The word Offense is Skandalon and in the Greek is defined as follows by Strong’s:
(skándalon) is the native rock rising up through the earth, which trips up the traveler, hence, of Jesus the Messiah, to the Jews who refused him” (Souter); “properly, the bait-stick of a trap, a snare, stumbling-block” (Abbott-Smith); “the stick in the trap that springs and closes the trap when the animal touches it” (WP, 1, 46).]
Did you know that when people become offended at the works of Jesus; ie healing, deliverance, supernatural signs – this disconnects the flow of the anointing within the one who carries the anointing? It is a focus on and faith in what He has done that provides the conduit and pathway from one person to another. This is why the devil’s favorite play is to orchestrate offenses.
So even if you are a Christian and embrace the works stated in scripture of what Jesus did and what you as well have the power to release – if you reject the vessel that is carrying the message – you disconnect the vessel from the anointing and the divine ability they have to pour into you.
Mark 6:3-6 Is not this the Carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joses and Judas and Simon ? And are not His sisters here among us? And they took offense at Him and were hurt (that is they disapproved of Him, and it hindered them from acknowledging His authority and they were caused to stumble and fall. But Jesus said to them, a prophet is not without honor (deference, reverence) except in his own country and among [his] relatives and in his (own) house. 5 And He was not able to do even one work of power there, except that He laid His hands on a few sickly people and cure them. 6 And He marveled because of their unbelief (their lack of faith in Him). And He went about among the surrounding villages and continued teaching.
We have all heard of the spirit of Anti Christ. No one refers to this as the spirit of “Anti – Jesus”. Why? People in Jesus’ time were not against Jesus as a Man, but they became offended at Jesus in His position as The Christ – they were offended by the abilities that He displayed through the power of His anointing. This offense and absence of faith prevented Jesus from doing much to release them, leaving Him to teach and heal, not to His own countrymen, but across the surrounding areas. Christ Jesus, is a title, ‘The Anointed One Jesus’ which He was awarded following His death and His resurrection; the single act that ratified the new covenant. Christ Jesus now holds office in the triune Godhead.
Following His baptism by John and a 40 day wilderness journey where the devil showed up at the end to try to tempt Him in all number of ways (and failed), Jesus returned first to His own people, only to be rejected by the religious. The people of Israel had taken the bait of Satan, becoming hooked into unbelief through the bait of offense. Jesus threw in the towel to act on behalf of His own because the people refused to see who He was or acknowledge that He had been sent with an anointing to heal, deliver and restore. This act of disrespect was a tragic miscalculation.
A religious spirit is a counterfeit to the work of the Holy Spirit – the “religious” cannot duplicate the supernatural, nor can they understand it, so they seek to either discredit or even destroy a person that moves in this and that is Spirit-led. The religious are either puffed up or self righteous, believing that their own lengthy prayers, which are never spirit led, are working. It was this same spirit of religion that was responsible for putting Jesus on the Cross, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” screamed the religious rabbi’s of the day. They of course could not kill Jesus, no one could kill Jesus. He allowed Himself to be (for 3 days) and even then He dismissed His own spirit to return to His Father when His work was complete.
I am teaching on this subject so my readers will understand the power and consequences of remaining in a state of offense. Not only a prospective receiver of a gift through an anointing can deflect the gift through offense but a person carrying the anointing can have it blocked from release if they remain offended.
Moral of the Story: Remain Unoffendable.
2019 All Rights Reserved
Twitter: Tracy L Gatewood
Facebook: Tracy Gatewood Sacred Ramblings
Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus
Did you learn something? If so I would love to hear from you! Please tell me what you learned and also what topics on which you would like for me to focus.
Earlier this summer, I attended a high school reunion and had a great experience, reconnecting with old friends, most unseen for many years. Conversations were filled with as many questions as could be inserted on spouses, children, careers, parents – attempting to hit as many high points as possible before the inevitable close of the weekend’s events.
One conversation I was having with a former classmate turned toward the topic of health. This woman was a lean runner and looked a good 15 years younger than her current age. I mentioned that I was not on any medications, and she turned and looked at me with that deer in the headlights look and commented, “I bet only 1% of the people here can say that!” This was very surprising and something I had never considered. Her response has caused me to consider sharing a routine that I believe serves as my daily health maintenance. This is a formula anyone can access.
But first I would like to make a point. There is a difference between Fit and Healthy. You certainly can have both however people that are fit can also be taking a handful of pills every day. People that are fit can be shooting their face with Botox. Although a person may look fit and be strong, this does not necessarily qualify them as healthy. Because I am healthy and walk in divine health, I have the ability to become fit – because I have my health to get there.
In the spirit of full disclosure – I may not be described as FIT however, I am healthy and know what I need to do to regain my Fit-Ness. (Start my running routine again). It is a personal priority to not take medications and strive to live whole in body and mind. As we learned in my previous post, wholeness and soundness are benefits that come from God and from His delivering hand of salvation. The photo below is me with a “would be” FIT body. A fit person could look like this and still be popping all shapes and sizes of medications (For the record, this is a cut out stand located in a Mexican restaurant. I do not drink Corona or even beer).
The following are a few disciplines and ones that I believe to be central to having and maintaining good health:
1) Connect with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit on a daily basis through a morning devotional and bible reading. There is no substitute for spending time with God and it is a non negotiable part of walking in divine health. The knowledge that God loves us immutably and unshakeably and is working on our behalf in all circumstances is the rebar in the foundation that is necessary to walk out each day. God’s unconditional love for you is infinite and He is the Creator of you AND the Universe. He is All Power. He sees everything happening in your life and you must pray and petition Him in your circumstances.
2) That your acceptance of Jesus as the Son of God places you in right standing with God. You are righteous if you acknowledge that Jesus took a debt of sin that you could never pay because He is Deity and Himself the Son of God. The knowledge of the work of the sacrifice of Christ while embracing His sacrifice is the Gateway to Wholeness and Soundness. You not only have salvation but you should have the knowledge of what He has done for you but there is one more piece –
3) The Holy Spirit holds the place for the understanding of your health. He is essential for walking in divine health. The Holy Spirit is the Divine Deliverer and holds the keys to health as the Administrator and Coordinator of the Eternal Covenant that Jesus paid to give you. I have a lengthy journey of how the Holy Spirit showed that He was the One that holds the Key to a person’s mind but think of it this way. If your mind was an Etch A Sketch pad, He can come in and pull up that thin piece of film and zip out all of your unrighteous thinking but you must know how to open the door for Him to move in that way.
4) Almost every disease has a spiritual root cause. I have studied the spiritual root cause of disease for over 20 years and this is the most true yet least taught truth in healing. Most disease starts first in The Mind. Your mind is a portal for great things or for destructive things. Fear is the portal and gateway through which every unrighteous thought walks onto its red carpet -jealousy, anxiety, condemnation, shame, abuse, bitterness. Fear kills more people than Cancer. Fear is Cancer and consumes individuals and entire families like a raging fire. It is total destruction and will first hit the mind then like a pinball – ricochets, striking then damaging and altering organs, joints, and body systems.
Extreme, protracted Fear alters the body down to the cellular level. Trauma is a protracted experience, different than Terror which is typically a short burst of extreme fear. Trauma is an experience. Traumatic events wreak havoc on an individual and can change the entire trajectory of someone’s life by wrecking the health of the individual going through it. Major diseases can emerge from cells that were impacted years prior. Divorce, death, shaming, major transitioning events all qualify as traumatic events. Trauma, the highest degree of Fear, is Enemy Number One.
5) When you pray you can speak directly to your body and command to heal in very specific ways. This is a lengthy topic, too long for a blog post, but it is very important that the body is free of fear and at a state of rest when fighting illness, conditions or disease.
Twice I have been broken almost beyond recognition then taken through the experience of restoration, being rebuilt brick by brick or more appropriately up practically from the cellular level. At times I could barely breathe my emotional pain was so excruciating. My book, Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus describes many of these experiences so I will not recount them now but please understand, I teach what I have walked out.
My “medicine cabinet” is a pink and green bag consisting of a number of books, critical “pills” that do surgery into my soul (the mind, will and emotions) penetrating my body through spiritual surgical proceedings by the guided hand of the Holy God of Israel and the breath of the Holy Spirit.
I know God heals when true understanding of these principles are embraced 1) Peace has been eternally bequeathed to us as a gift from Jesus for all who believe in Him. Because you have the title deed to peace, you can own and experience it in your circumstances 2) When Christ’s sacrifice is fully acknowledged and the Holy Spirit called into action, He acts as the “spirit wrangler” and like a WWE wrestler, will take down any unrighteous thinking that is plaguing a Believer 3) Unforgiveness, if not dealt with, will open a portal of hell into a person’s mind. One can expect a steady stream of fiery darts from the enemy that will torment, hinder and distract. Forgive, move forward and depend on God to be your Defender. He is Jehovah Nissi. I do not minimize how difficult this can be for people that have gone through extreme betrayal as I have – forgiving does not negate or embrace the other parties wrong doing, but offers the person over to God and trusts that He will repay in His own way, time and season.
We all have stressors and challenges that occur over which we have no control. Each day I pray Psalm 91 aloud as if my very life depended on speaking it. I will not neglect this discipline. I also incorporate the prayer of Jabez, Psalm 122: 6-9 praying for the peace of Jerusalem, and Deuteronomy 9 that acknowledges that the power of wealth comes from the Lord so that He may establish His covenant on the earth. The world covenant here can also be substituted for ‘culture’ – that God wants to establish His Kingdom and His culture here on the earth.
But back to Psalm 91. I have been praying this Psalm for years. Train your children, your parents and your spouse to speak this aloud every single day. It is God’s Prayer for Protection for His Saints and when you embrace that God’s Word has true Power and can change the course of evil, along with the Blood of Jesus which is a Fortress, you are protected. The understanding of this principle brings peace and rest to the mind. Rest in Peace. Rest in the arms of Jesus and the truth that He is in you and you are in Him. You are God’s Beloved and here you can rest in the safest place on earth.
Tracy L Gatewood
All Rights Reserved 2019
Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus
At the age of 51, my life started completely over in every conceivable way; new city, career seeker, little to no financial resources, no church home and no relationships. My 20 year marketing career had taken a vertical death spiral following a coup attempt by a disgruntled assistant who trashed me behind my back almost from the point of hiring. (FYI: The quiet ones, and the flatterers are always the most dangerous. ). After being terminated from a very public position, my career spun into a nose dive and stayed there from the ages of 48 – 50. The Lord started closing every door, I believe, to “encourage” me to follow His leading of returning me to a place that I very much did not want to go. At the age of 50, I relented, returning to my home town confused, desperate, angry (very) hopeless, broke and near the point of nervous collapse.
A few years before this traumatic season, I had earned my real estate license but held it in inactive status considering to use it “one day”. Establishing a commercial real estate career can become an expensive proposition. That “one day” came when a family friend called 10 months after I had returned home, still unemployed, nor knowing where to turn. This family friend, graciously and innocently threw a lifeline to a drowning person that was going under for the third time. ” Tracy, this is Carl, don’t you have your real estate license?” “Yes” I said neglecting to mention that it was inactive and that I had never transacted one piece of property ever. “Well, my #@%** restaurant tenant moved out in the middle of the night”, he explained “and I need someone to market my building and find me a new tenant as soon as possible.” I agreed to meet with him then quickly placed a call to inquire of what was needed to activate my license. Gunning it over to a local broker’s office the same day, I explained to the owner that I was in need of a desk, a phone and a place to hang my license asap. He gave me a private office, a laptop computer and paid for my first year of dues, nothing for which I had asked but glad to receive. I was so poor five hundred dollars was more than I had to spare.
Nine months later, Carl and his new premier tenant, executed my first lease transaction for his 5000 SF corner landmark downtown property. A divine grace door had opened for me through Carl providing a clear path for provision because God had placed me on Carl’s mind and connected all the other necessary dots. The process of securing the tenant was not simple, and entailed hard work. The money did not fall from the sky but the opportunity presented itself, the door swung wide, and I was offered a choice to walk through the frame.
Later in that same year, the Holy Spirit gave me a hot tip regarding a 5 AC corner parcel with an obsolete shopping center, strategically located 3 blocks from an SEC University stadium. Eighteen months later that property was under contract and closed for $5.1 million, at that time, the highest price paid per acre for any parcel in the city. That was my first sale. The broker that gave me the initial opportunity made $40,000 on that one deal for doing no more than investing in me.
It would be glorious to be able to say that every year has been just like these – and that year over year my production increased to such enormous heights that I would never have a financial concern for the rest of my life. Seven years later after walking through the door of real estate – I have had highs and lows. My rags story is transforming into financial stability and prosperity while allowing me to give to non profit causes at higher and higher levels which brings me great joy. But the greatest highlight of this journey is what I am gaining in knowledge of the rich treasuries of the grace of God and of Jesus. I am witnessing through my own personal experience the meaning of His salvation.
Salvation means “material and temporal deliverance from danger and apprehension, preservation, pardon, restoration, healing, wholeness and soundness“. Coming out of trouble is part of the package guaranteed to us by being in God’s Kingdom and belonging to Him. He has delivered me from ‘material and temporal danger’ and accomplished everything else on this list. I can tell you with certainty it was Him and not me doing the delivering. If you have never had a need to be brought out of trouble, I feel sorry for you because it means you have never experienced the full power of His delivering hand of salvation. The great news is that we can all look at Him with expectancy for something good to come our way, even despite our mistakes. And I have made my share.
For a number of wasted years, I lived in a confused emotional stew, swirling in extreme levels of condemnation, fear, anger and unforgiveness that kept me bound and broken. I was so messed up and discouraged that I was working very little – if at all. This was a mistake. We are all to be working. God needs us to move out in a direction, and as we set out, He swings in as The Rudder, turning us in His direction but first we have to get in the water and set sail. We have to move.
No doubt, I missed a number of life preservers tossed out in my direction by having no confidence in the basic truth of TRUST. I continued to look inward finding more confidence in myself instead of outward or better still upward, without expecting that God was going to work all of this to my good. Looking inward in prolonged introspection is self righteousness – a sinful action that dispossesses God from His rightful place in life and is based in pure pride. God loves our full dependence upon Him, where we are fully yielded and waiting expectantly for His best. This is the position of Abba and Heavenly Daddy – a Father God with arms wide open to heal and love us unconditionally.
It was only when I learned to focus on Jesus and His finished work and to stop allowing my thoughts to turn inward is when I began to claw my way out of the fog. When my outward confessions began to align with the truth of God’s word – I am the righteousness of God by my faith in Christ Jesus and in His blood and seated in heavenly places with Christ at the Father’s right hand – did the fear and condemnation begin to break apart and dissipate and my mind become clear from the fog. I began to acknowledge and embrace that my provision would definitely come because I Am In JESUS and that every good thing flows from and by the hand of God.
When I lean in and focus on Jesus – He brings clients to me in supernatural ways, He opens doors of favor (which is another word for grace) It is difficult to articulate but activity just begins to happen. At times there is nothing that I am doing, no striving, but an effortless flow that is coming straight from the throne of God.
It has been seven years since I walked through the career door of real estate brokerage. The Hebrew number of completion and perfection is seven. My craft, like me, is still being perfected but after completing my first seven years working for other brokerages, last week, I decided to set sail and work for my own. If you had asked me 10 years ago or even 7 if I believed restoration was possible I would have said probably not or possibly even given a resounding ‘no’! But yes it is – it most certainly is – through the merciful heart of a loving Father that loves to deliver His salvation.
My personal story may not mean anything to anyone but me but it is my hope that in reading or sharing it will encourage someone that needs to understand this same power of which He so freely gives.
“May He [God] grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the (Holy) Spirit [Himself ] – indwelling your innermost being and personality ….. that you may be filled (through all your being) unto all the fullness of God [that is] may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become wholly filled and flooded with God Himself“
Ephesians 6,19 AMP
All Rights Reserved 2019
Twitter: Tracy L Gatewood
Facebook: Tracy Gatewood Sacred Ramblings
Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and
“All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [ by anxious thoughts and forebodings ], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances ] ” Proverbs 15:15 AMP
” A happy heart is good medicine, and a cheerful mind works by healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones”. Proverbs 17:22 AMP
” Attitude is a little thing that can make a big difference“. Winston Churchill
Many of us will agree there is a direct, undeniable connection between the mind and the body. It is how to calm and tame the soul (mind, will, emotions) – bringing it to cheerful joy and peace despite circumstances – is what eludes so many.
In 2009, I made a personal decision to return to my hometown after being away since 1979. I put my home on the market and began a job search, hoping to find something quickly as I had been a marketing freelancer which did not translate well in this new much smaller, college town environment. In the summer of 2009, I went on a spiritual retreat designed to free me of fears and habits that had accumulated over time. This was my hometown and a place in which I held unhappy memories and conflicts with family members were ongoing and troubling. In the natural, this did not seem like the right move however, I believed that God had a plan and a purpose for my return.
Following this 4 day retreat, I was attacked by something that I can only describe as a “spirit” as it was supernatural in its make up. Nothing I did would cause it to release. A trained Intercessor, I prayed, and then yes, begged God to remove this spirit that was causing me to stay awake at night – I only received at most 4 hours of sleep, and my heart raced uncontrollably as if I was literally having a heart attack. I felt like I was having what a nervous breakdown must feel like – but understood there was something very different about what was happening and I was correct.
During that 6 week period – I experienced a consistent feeling of terror, the highest degree of fear – that would never disconnect, day or night. It was not brought on by emotion, or circumstances but was supernatural in nature and demonic, a “thing” that tried to take my life and almost did. Suddenly, six weeks after the attack began, it released. I was standing in my living room praying and I felt it lift away – with no warning, just as quickly as it had come upon me. I had been praying for 6 weeks and believe there was nothing unique at that time as to what I said or prayed. Following that attack, I lived in an unfocused fog and detached confusion but months later thankfully that too lifted. This attack taught me survival training regarding prayer and how to hold peace in difficult circumstances. [A near death experience does have a way of gaining your attention. ] Your most important friend in time of great fear and distress is Holy Spirit. He is the Administrator and Coordinator of the Peace that was bequeathed to us from Christ Jesus.
Begin by embracing the Truth that God loves you and that He is for you, no matter what your circumstances. Even if you made a mistake you can always ask Him to turn your mistakes around for your good. He is there with you and sees everything. You must lean into Him and build your relationship with Holy Spirit so that you can hear His direction. He is speaking – you must learn how to hear Him and then do what He says. This is the fastest way out of your circumstances. Pray for Him to impart to you His discernment and skillful and Godly wisdom.
FEAR magnetizes all other unrighteous thoughts, drawing them towards an individual. FEAR is the Red Carpet that provides the jetway for jealousy, murderous rage, anger, covetousness, bitterness, shame, rejection and more – Get your mind under control and press out ALL fear. There are a several ways to tame the Fear dragon, and not one is difficult but each requires enough discipline to become a habit and better still – a default setting – whenever you are hard hit by a Fear Wall.
A) Read God’s Word. It acts as a water hose, rinsing off the dirt and grime that builds up from conversations, watching terror or violence laden TV, or just from being in the workplace. The Word of God is SPIRIT and is living and active. There is actual power in speaking aloud God’s Word – power that moves in the supernatural realm to accomplish our goals, and helps us take dominion over circumstances. There is a wealth of wisdom just in The Proverbs alone. There are 31 chapters of Proverbs, and one for each day. Commit to reading this powerful book.
The word “health” in Hebrew means ‘medicine’ and God’s Word is medicine that brings health to the soul. There is a difference between divine health and divine healing. John G Lake stated, ” Divine healing is the removal by the power of God of the disease that has come upon a body. But divine health is to live day by day, hour by hour in touch with God so that the life of God flows into the body just as the life of God flows into the mind or flows into the spirit.”
B) Call on the power of the Holy Spirit and invoke the Cross in Prayer. This is key. Fear is a spirit – as are the associated spirits of dread, terror, worry and anxiety. Before His death, Jesus bequeathed to all Peace as a gift from Him: “Peace I leave with you; My (own) peace I now give and bequeath to you“. John 14:27 AMP So if Jesus actually gave us His own peace – shouldn’t we have the ability to access it when needed ? Well…. yes we should. Ask the Holy Spirit to cover and protect your mind with the Blood of Jesus and the Helmet of Salvation – a helmet of hope. Pray and acknowledge the verses describing the sacrifice of Jesus: Isaiah 53:5 and place emphasis on the Crown of Thorns that caused the blood of Jesus to flow. This allows for the healing in our minds. I have personally experienced the effect of this many times. Imagine an etch a sketch pad with scribble across it and as you lift up that film, the scribble disappears. This is how thoroughly clean the Holy Spirit can remove unrighteous thinking in your mind when you partner with Him, the Paraclete.
C) Intensely focus your mind on Jesus who is ALL supply. There is no lack in Jesus unless you restrict His supply through your own lack of faith (your fear). Not only is He the bright radiant Son that lights up all of Heaven, He is the Mediator of the Eternal Covenant, our High Priest, the Chief Shepherd, and the Chief Intercessor. His sacrifice created an Eternal Covenant that ties back to the Covenant that God made with Abraham (father of a multitude) because Abram (high exalted father) believed in, trusted in, relied on and remained steadfast to the Lord Who counted it to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6) Every citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven owns a title deed to the Covenant that God made with Abraham and with Jesus.
You, child of God, walk with favor, even if your present circumstances do not appear that way but you must hold fast to the hope that the Cavalry is coming because Calvary came!
Hope is a confident expectation of good, in every situation, praising God for His goodness.
Frequent drops of hope raining onto a person’s soul creates a consistent flow of faith. Remain in hope. Hope is much different than wishful thinking which is only based on man and not on God. Immerse yourself in hope-filled teachings avoiding teachers of behavior modification that do not understand that Jesus’ power is transformational through faith in Him.
C) Speak Words of Life during difficult circumstances. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”. Proverbs 18:21 The rest of the verse states “and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof”. Watch your words. Your words set the course for your life and you will have what you say. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34) If you guard your heart – and do not allow fear and emotion to penetrate, this is the surest way that words of hope and life pouring from your mouth.
Remain in innocence – understand that the Lord is your Defender and Avenger. Do not respond in kind to people that are harmful or hateful. The Lord will take care of them in due time. And lastly, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and understanding and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6 Embracing this truth of trusting God will put your heart at rest then follow with prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to the next step of your journey.
Tracy L Gatewood
All Rights Reserved 2019
Twitter: Tracy L Gatewood
Wordpress: Sacred Ramblings
Facebook: Tracy Gatewood Sacred Ramblings
Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus – this book is available on Amazon
SoundCloud: Tracy L Gatewood
In Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, there are 10 complete pages, 87 verses per page, devoted to the word ‘child’ or ‘children’. Children are clearly on the heart of God the Father, and Christ the Son. As I ponder all that is currently happening in the ‘Right to Life‘ movement and the ‘Right to Choose‘ movement, it seems, from a Christian perspective, to boil down to One Thing – What would Jesus instruct a woman to do with the life of her unborn child? Clarifying question isn’t it but too simplistic? I don’t think so –
Psalm 139: 13-16 AMP A Psalm of David
“For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret (and) intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery]. Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them.”
King David’s Psalm pays homage to the Father for forming him before the beginning of the earth, actually “knitting him” in the womb of his mother. The Amplified version further emphasizes that he was embroidered with various colors, meaning David, as are we all, is a unique fabric ‘intricately and curiously’ made by the hand of God with individual skills, spiritual gifts, talents that are given to us by the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:8-10).
To know Jesus is to understand that He returned to earth in a “flesh tent” for the redemption of all of mankind, to give each an eternal life that could not be attained through any other means. If we know Him, we are now considered a ‘child of God’ and given a re-birth, not caused by the will of flesh, or the desires of man.
John 1:12-14 AMP
“But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God. That is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) – His name. Who owe their birth neither to bloods, nor to the will of the flesh (that of physical impulse), nor to the will of man (that of a natural father), but to God. [They are born of God!] And the Word [Christ] became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacle (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we (actually) saw His glory [ His honor, His majesty] such glory as only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth.”
Why would someone displaying the highest degree of value of the existence of human life and souls, Who lived solely to die – be approving of taking the life of a child before it is ever given the chance to see the light of day? A person knitted together in a womb with a soul; mind, will, and emotions, uniquely fashioned by the hand of God for specific and extraordinary purposes to be accomplished upon the Earth? Can a Believer embrace abortion and still truly Believe? Search your heart. I say no. Emphatically no.
On the eve of Easter, I will share two verses that describe the sacrifice of our Lord, the One that died to give life eternal:
Isaiah 52:15 [ For many the Servant of God became an object of horror; many were astonished at Him] “His face and His whole appearance were marred more than any man’s and His form beyond that of the sons of men, but many were astonished at Him, ” ….. ”
Isaiah 53:5 “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement (needful to obtain) peace and well-being for us was upon Him and with the stripes (that wounded Him), we are healed and made whole.”
Understanding the terrible price that Christ Jesus paid to redeem and then ratify through resurrection, mankind’s ability to have a life eternal – would He approve of a woman’s right to end a human life – a life for which He paid the ultimate price?
I pray for the ones on the fence, in the throes of this decision, that you turn to Jesus and not to self. I pray for the ones that made the decision to choose death, that the voices of condemnation and suffering over “the choice” would cease and you would now raise your voice to stopping this bloodshed – and speak for the voice of the one silenced – until you see them at Heaven’s gate.
All Rights Reserved 2019
Facebook: Tracy Gatewood Sacred Ramblings
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Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness
and Meeting Jesus
The word Fruit is a popular biblical word; fruit, fruitful, fruits – bible verse references for fruit take up a page and a half in my (exhaustive) Strong’s Concordance. Fruit means “the effect, the product or the good things that result from work or activity.” Fruit is a result or byproduct of an action or a state of being. Could 2019 be your year to bear much fruit?
By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit. John 15:8
Matthew 7:16 AMP ” You will fully recognize them by their fruits. Do people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every healthy (sound) tree bears good fruit (worthy of admiration), but the sickly (decaying, worthless) tree bears bad (worthless) fruit. A good (healthy) tree cannot bear bad (worthless) fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear excellent fruit (worthy of admiration).” [ highlights mine ]
For a healthy fruit tree, bearing fruit occurs naturally. With proper conditions of soil and nutrients, fruit breaks forth effortlessly from branches, on which they are completely dependent. The work comes from the tree (or vine) through the roots as it must find the moisture and nutrients to send up through to the branches that bear and support the fruit. The sap flows continually to nourish and provide moisture to the branch.
Like the fruit that bears from a healthy vine or tree with little effort, Believers can bear good fruit by becoming a conduit for “heavenly sap” to flow in and through by the Spirit. This comes from resting rooted and spending time – and plenty of time – in the rich and verdant soil of Jesus.
As His seed, Believers are expected to replicate and make disciples but first should look more like Christ ourselves. All fruit has seeds and can self replicate. Righteous living is an expected fruit for any believer – righteousness comes by faith. In fact righteousness is the Fruit of Faith.
Genesis 15:6 AMP “And he, Abram, believed in [trusted in, relied on, remained steadfast to] the Lord, and He counted it to him as righteousness. [right standing with God ]. ”
Genesis 15:18-22 AMP ” [For Abraham, human reason for] hope being gone, hoped in faith that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been promised, So [numberless] shall your descendants be. 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered the [utter] impotence of his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or [when he considered] the barrenness of Sarah’s [deadened] womb. 20 No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God, 21 Fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised. 22 That is why faith was credited to him as righteousness (right standing with God). “
Righteousness is a state of being (a fruit) and not a state of doing, successfully achieved through unwavering focus on the promises of God and faith in the final sacrifice of Jesus –
One cannot attain right standing with God without first acknowledging that righteousness occurs solely because we are in Christ Jesus. God sees you as righteous and in right standing with Him because He sees you through the lens of your acceptance of the sacrifice of His Son. Being “In Christ” starts a process of transformation. Once saved, the fruit of that decision begins to grow and flourish from the inside out. The moment that we believe Christ was the only one that could pay our sin debt as the son of God – we are separated out by Him and considered righteous, but not by any of our own works. When you accepted Christ, did you work for it? No. You accepted Him by FAITH.
II Corinthians 5: 21 AMP ” For our sake He made Christ [ virtually ] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [ endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of ] the righteousness of God [ what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness.] “
When you consider that your righteousness is actually imparted as a gift from a loving Father Who provided the required sacrifice of His own Son to achieve the righteousness that He demands – this understanding should circumcise “self”; internal self -condemnation and internal self-reflection – causing us to look upward instead of inward.
Understanding God’s goodness, mercy, love and kindness towards His people is the essential foundation from which a person walks-out a righteous existence, thus creating the desire to live a virtuous life of integrity, pleasing to a loving Father Who provides through the Covenant He established with Abraham that was inherited by all of his descendants. see Genesis 15:5, 12:3
Being firmly planted in the soil of Jesus (the tree) brings forth excellent fruit (righteous living) on every branch (you). Its about Who and not your Do.
Without Jesus as your tree, your Fruit is bound to turn rotten. There is enough rotten fruit in the world from people that have no relationship with God. As Godly people – we should be showing Godly results – Proverbs 12:30 “The fruit of the uncompromisingly righteous is a tree of life ……. “
https://youtu.be/BmPrt_gn-eM Mrs. Doubtfire 50 secs
It is imperative that we know and understand God’s word while also viewing chapters and verses in proper context. In these times, we can no longer be spoonfed information that is scripturally inaccurate. Know why you ” think a thing ” – and then be able to back it up with understanding. I implore you friends – #studytheword
The Fruit of Faith
All Rights Reserved 2019
Facebook: Tracy Gatewood Writer Teacher
Amazon: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Finding Jesus
From the beginning of opening business social media accounts, as a marketplace professional, I have been intentional about incorporating pastors and para church ministry leaders into my communities as “followers”. The Why is very simple. We need each other. The Marketplace needs and benefits from the influence and insights of mature spiritual leadership, ministry leaders depend on the skills and resources delivered from an innovative Marketplace to move their visions forward.
In the spring of 2011, I witnessed this relational need during a time of total devastation. In the transition back to my hometown of Tuscaloosa, AL, I watched, stunned, as meteorologists began frantically broadcasting during a “perfect storm” of atmospheric collisions resulting in an EF-4 tornadic holocaust that cut a 6 mile long swath of devastation killing 56 and taking out 12% of the physical buildings in the city. Immediately, church and lay and marketplace leaders moved into overdrive to save lives and rescue thousands of citizens. It took 3 years for the city to recover. Observing this concert of ministry and marketplace blending forces to create unified chords of hope, healing and restoration was a breathtaking, life altering event. (May 2011: Sacred Ramblings, Equip the Bride: https://wp.me/p1zoxs-k )
I witnessed the church and para church ministries immediately respond to citywide trauma by creating individual “city halls” each with their own leadership structure, and systems of communication and distribution channels to serve the recovery efforts with speed and efficiency for each “embassy”. Its Ambassadors; spiritual and marketplace leaders worked in different capacities; the spiritual leadership moved quickly to provide an efficient platform of infrastructure from which to work providing staff, physical space, communication and distribution channels while marketplace (and then government) moved with speed and agility, providing vital resources of people, time and money through this stabilized infrastructure to create, innovate, and restore order as quickly as possible.
If you are a business person and feel that a church or para church ministry leader may not be a fit for your Linkedin account, I respectfully submit – this is misguided. Incorporating these leaders into your “sphere” is not just for the purposes of disaster prep. You need them and they need you. People in ministry have accepted the highest call. It’s far easier to become a University professor, a real estate practitioner, an attorney or a business owner, than walking out the vigorous testing journey required for accepting and walking out a ministry career call.
Most spiritual leaders are highly educated, but more importantly – they hear from God and have the ability to move and operate from a spirit driven perspective. This form of operating system is crucial for survival now and will be more so in the days ahead. If you had someone on your board that could accurately provide advice that could avert a really bad decision saving thousands would it not be worth it, even if it did not appear they possessed the technical experience to make those decisions? You can have this.
Job 32:8 “But there is (a vital force) a spirit [ of intelligence ] in man, and the breadth of the Almighty gives men understanding. ”
Proverbs 2:8 “He hides away sound and godly Wisdom and stores it up for the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with Him): He is a shield to those who walk uprightly and in integrity, That He may guard the paths of justice, yes, He preserves the way of His saints.”
Proverbs 24:5-6 “A wise man is strong and is better than a strong man and a man of knowledge increases and strengthens his power. For by wise counsel you can wage war, and in an abundance of counselors there is victory and safety.”
But this relationship model goes both ways. In 2013-2015, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. T.L. Lowery multiple times as well as attend his 70 years of Service Celebration at the T.L. Lowery Foundation in Cleveland. A stream of internationally known pastors stepped to the podium to praise and thank him for his many achievements. Dr. Lowery was a prolific healing evangelist in the 50’s and 60’s, using a “canvas cathedral” housing 10,000 people in every city that he reached during a 17 year period. ( Impartation video: https://youtu.be/FsIXkxT578I )
T.L. Lowery, Ph.D, held one earned doctorate, and was awarded two more. He pastored two churches, one in his home town of Cleveland TN, the other in Washington DC. (The latter, the National Church of God, is currently led by his son, Stephen). Dr. Lowery built a Christian school, started a bible college and seminary, built homes for the elderly and established the T.L. Lowery Foundation. He authored 87 books, edited 3 magazines, wrote multitudes of teaching articles and traveled to over 100 nations.
A prolific Apostolic and prophetic teacher, he brought multitudes to Christ through his life’s work which was more than enough but not for him. In addition to pastoring, teaching and writing; T.L. Lowery was a leader in civic organizations, serving faithfully in his community and nationally – an Ambassador to Project One for the United Nations, and in local leadership roles for the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, the United Way and Rotary. Yes, the great T.L. Lowery was also a Rotarian! He died at the age of 87 on February 21, 2016. Interestingly, this date was one year to the day Rev. Billy Graham died as well as Doug Coe, founder of the National Prayer Breakfast. Three American evangelical leaders died within a 12 month period on the same date.
Marketplace professionals with access to ministry leadership should ask themselves how they can incorporate these leaders into the business realm. Ministry leaders – how can you incorporate yourself into the business arena as well as become proactive in your efforts to build relationships within and outside of your current sphere of influence? How can you establish yourself as a community leader outside of your “embassy”? The strength of the fabric in our community’s is dependent on the number of threads effectively sewn between ministry and marketplace leadership.
Dr. T.L. Lowery and Tracy Gatewood following a fiery preaching session in 2013. On that day, the devil didn’t have a prayer anywhere in Mississippi!
Sacred Ramblings All Rights Reserved
Related Article: Equip the Bride: https://wp.me/p1zoxs-k
This article appeared on Marketplace & Ministry (WordPress)
Facebook: Tracy Gatewood Writer Teacher
Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus (Amazon 2015 )