Category: <span>thoughts by Francis Frangipane</span>

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The very quality of your life, whether you love it or hate it, is based upon how thankful you are toward God.

It is one’s attitude that determines whether life unfolds into a place of blessedness or wretchedness. Indeed, looking at the same rose bush, some people complain that the roses have thorns while others rejoice that some thorns come with roses. It all depends on your perspective.

This is the only life you will have before you enter eternity. If you want to find joy, you must first find thankfulness. Indeed, the one who is thankful for even a little enjoys much. But the unappreciative soul is always miserable, always complaining. He lives outside the shelter of the Most High God.

Perhaps the worst enemy we have is not the devil but our own tongue. James tells us, “The tongue is set among our members as that which . . . sets on fire the course of our life” (James 3:6). He goes on to say this fire is ignited by hell. Consider: with our own words we can enter the spirit of Heaven or the agonies of hell!

It is hell with its punishments, torments and misery that controls the life of the grumbler and complainer! Paul expands this thought in 1 Corinthians 10:10, where he reminds us of the Jews who “grumble[d] . . . and were destroyed by the destroyer.” The fact is, every time we open up to grumbling and complaining, the quality of our life is reduced proportionally — a destroyer is bringing our life to ruin!

People often ask me, “What is the ruling demon over our church or city?” They expect me to answer with the ancient Aramaic or Phoenician name of a fallen angel. What I usually tell them is a lot more practical: one of the most pervasive evil influences over our nation is ingratitude!

Do not minimize the strength and cunning of this enemy! Paul said that the Jews who grumbled and complained during their difficult circumstances were “destroyed by the destroyer.” Who was this destroyer? If you insist on discerning an ancient world ruler, one of the most powerful spirits mentioned in the Bible is Abaddon, whose Greek name is Apollyon. It means “destroyer” (Revelations. 9:11). Paul said the Jews were destroyed by this spirit. In other words, when we are complaining or unthankful, we open the door to the destroyer, Abaddon, the demon king over the abyss of hell!

In the Presence of God

Multitudes in our nation have become specialists in the “science of misery.” They are experts — moral accountants who can, in a moment, tally all the wrongs society has ever done to them or their group. I have never talked with one of these people who was happy, blessed or content about anything. They expect an imperfect world to treat them perfectly.

Truly, there are people in this wounded country of ours who need special attention. However, most of us simply need to repent of ingratitude, for it is ingratitude itself that is keeping wounds alive! We simply need to forgive the wrongs of the past and become thankful for what we have in the present.

The moment we become grateful, we actually begin to ascend spiritually into the presence of God. The psalmist wrote,

Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing. . . . Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His loving kindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations” (Psalm 100:2, 4-5).

It does not matter what your circumstances are; the instant you begin to thank God, even though your situation has not changed, you begin to change. The key that unlocks the gates of Heaven is a thankful heart. Entrance into the courts of God comes as you simply begin to praise the Lord.

Blessed Lord, forgive me for being a complainer. Help me to offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving in all things. Lord, I come this day to covenant with You. By Your grace, I will be thankful regardless of what my life seems to be. Oh God, remember Your covenant pledge and gather me near to Your heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

by Francis Frangipane
used by permission

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Don’t Complain

A Thought about Gratitude

Always be Joyful!

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thoughts by Francis Frangipane Thoughts by Men

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Throughout His life, Jesus reached to those rejected by others. He loved the outcasts, those who were despised, scorned, and excluded. Yet His practice of dining with known evildoers offended the Pharisees, and they confronted Jesus’ disciples with this question: “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax-gatherers and sinners?” (Matthew 9:11).

When Jesus heard their question, He answered,

It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:12-13).

Jesus told the religious Pharisees to go and learn what our heavenly Father meant when He said, “I desire compassion [mercy], and not sacrifice.” So many today are religious without being compassionate. Compassion in the Greek language means a “yearning in the bowels.” It is something that cannot be easily ignored.

You see, a religion without love is an abomination to God. The church needs to learn that God desires love and compassion, not merely an adherence to ritual and sacrifice.

It is right that we should be troubled by the sins of our nation. But we must remember, all nations sin. All cultures have seasons of moral decline and spiritual malaise. Yet these periods can become turning points if, in times of distress, leaders and intercessors cry to the Lord for mercy. Thus, Christlike prayer brings redemption out of disaster.

Mercy, Not Wrath

The church was created not to fulfill God’s wrath, but to complete His mercy. True prayer is born of love and comes in the midst of sin and need. It comes not to condemn, but to cover.

Jesus said His Father’s house would be a “house of prayer for all the nations” (Mark 11:17). Consider passionately this phrase: “prayer for.” Jesus taught His disciples to “pray for” those who would persecute or mistreat them (Matthew 5:44). When Job “prayed for” his friends (Job 42:10), God fully restored him. We are to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6), and “pray for” each other so that we may be healed (James 5:16). Paul wrote that God “desires all men to be saved” (1Timothy 2:4). Therefore, he urged “that entreaties and prayers…be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority” (v. 1-2).

The nature of our calling is to pray for people in difficulty, in sin, in sickness, and in need of God.

Conformed to the Lamb of God

Consider this: the only being in all the universe worthy to “open the book” and release God’s wrath on sin is the very One in all the universe least likely to do so. His commitment to man’s redemption was a total sacrifice, an offering that abides eternally at God’s throne. Yes, He is the lion of the tribe of Judah, but He is also the Lamb slain for men’s sins. He is the only One to whom authority is given to open the book of divine wrath
(see Revelations 5).

Because Christ paid the highest price for redemption, we can be confident that He will not release divine fury until He fully exhausts divine mercy. Even then, when His judgments finally come, they will continue to be guided by His motive of mercy, giving time for sinners to repent.

God’s Word tells us plainly: “As He is, so also are we in this world” (1 John 4:17). Our pattern is the Lamb. Our goal is not merely the exposure of sin, but also the unveiling of the sacrifice for sin. Our great commission is to bring healing and the message of God’s mercy to the nations. Until Christ breaks the seals that ultimately will lead to wrath, we must stand in intercession before God as ambassadors of the Lamb.

May the Lord give us a clear vision of this truth: intercession is the essence of Christ’s life. Not only is He now at the right hand of the Father interceding for us (Romans 8:34), but His coming to earth and dying for sins was one extended act of intercession. Jesus beheld the depravity of mankind’s sin. He examined it carefully in all of its offensiveness, perversity, and repulsiveness. Yes, He rebuked it when necessary, but the wonder of the Gospel is that, in spite of mankind’s sin, God so deeply loved the world that He sent His Son to die for us (John 3:16-17).

We are called to follow this same amazing pattern of mercy.

We are not minimizing sin when we maximize Christ’s mercy. There is a difference between whitewashing sin and blood washing it. The reality that compels God’s heart—that is an underlying principle of life—is “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). To live a life of mercy corresponds perfectly with God’s heart. Mercy precisely fulfills the divine purpose: to transform man into the Redeemer’s image.

By Francis Frangipane
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from a chapter in Francis’ book, The Power of One Christlike Life.
Available at http://www.arrowbookstore.com/


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Come Alongside – what it looks like to come alongside of people while Jesus draws them closer.

Your Life is the Only Bible Some People Read

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The world and all it contains was created for one purpose: to showcase the grandeur of God’s Son.

In Jesus, the nature of God is magnificently and perfectly revealed; He is the “express image” of God (Hebrews 1:3 KJV). Yet to gaze upon Christ is also to see God’s pattern for man. As we seek to be like Him, we discover that our need was created for His sufficiency. We also see that, once the redemptive nature of Christ begins to triumph in our lives, mercy begins to triumph in the world around us.

How will we recognize revival when it comes? Behold, here is the awakening we seek: men and women, young and old, all conformed to Jesus. When will revival begin? It starts the moment we say yes to becoming like Him; it spreads to others as Christ is revealed through us.

Yet to embrace Christ’s attitude toward mercy is but a first step in our spiritual growth. The process of being truly conformed to Christ compels us into deeper degrees of transformation. Indeed, just as Jesus learned obedience through the things that He suffered (Hebrews 5:8), so also must we. And it is here, even while we stand in intercession or service to God, that Christ gives us the gift of woundedness.

“Gift?” you ask. Yes, to be wounded in the service of mercy and, instead of closing our hearts, allow woundedness to crown love, is to release God’s power in redemption. The steadfast prayer of the wounded intercessor holds great sway upon the heart of God.

We cannot become Christlike without being wounded. You see, even after we come to Christ, we carry encoded within us preset limits concerning how far we will go for love, and how much we are willing to suffer for redemption. When God allows us to be wounded, He exposes those human boundaries and reveals what we lack of His nature.

The path narrows as we seek true transformation. Indeed, many Christians fall short of Christ’s stature because they have been hurt and offended by people. They leave churches discouraged, vowing never again to serve or lead or contribute because, when they offered themselves, their gift was marred by unloving people. To be struck or rejected in the administration of our service can become a great offense to us, especially as we are waiting for, and even expecting, a reward for our good efforts.

Yet wounding is inevitable if we are following Christ. Jesus was both “marred” (Isaiah 52:14) and “wounded(Zechariah 13:6), and if we are sincere in our pursuit of His nature, we will suffer as well. How else will love be perfected?

Let us beware. We either become Christlike and forgive the offenders or we will enter a spiritual time warp where we abide continually in the memory of our wounding. Like a systemic disease, the hurtful memories infect every aspect of our existence. In truth, apart from God, the wounding that life inflicts is incurable. God has decreed that only Christ in us can survive.

By Francis Frangipane
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  1. A Bible on How God Demonstrates His Love
  2. A Bible Study on Waiting on God
  3. The Names of God – A Bible stud

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“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh”  Ezekiel. 36:26

God has a new heart for us that cannot be offended, an “unoffendable” heart. Beloved, possessing an unoffendable heart is not an option or a luxury; it’s not a little thing. An offended heart is endanger of becoming a “heart of stone.

Consider: Jesus warns that, as we near the end of the age, a majority of people will be offended to such a degree that they fall away from the faith. Listen carefully to His warning:

“Then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another . . . and because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew. 24:10-12 KJV).

Many” will “be offended.” The result? The love of “many” will grow cold. My prayer is that we will hear His words with holy fear.

When we allow an offense to remain in our hearts, it causes serious spiritual consequences. In the above verse Jesus named three dangerous results: betrayal, hatred and cold love. When we are offended with someone, even someone we care for, we must go to them. If we do not talk to them, we will begin to talk about them. We betray that relationship, whispering maliciously behind their back to others, exposing their weaknesses and sins. We may mask our betrayal by saying we are just looking for advice or counsel, but when we look back, we see we have spoken negatively to far too many people. Our real goal was not to get spiritual help for ourselves but to seek revenge toward the one who offended us. How is such action not a manifestation of hatred? For an offended soul, cold love, betrayal and hatred are a walk into darkness.

People don’t stumble over boulders; they stumble over stones, relatively small things. It may be that the personality of someone in authority bothers us, and soon we are offended. Or, a friend or family member fails to meet our expectations, and we take an offense into our soul. Beloved, if we will “endure to the end,” we will have to confront the things that bother us.

When Jesus warns that we need endurance, He is saying that it is easier to begin the race than finish it. Between now and the day you die, there will be major times of offense that you will need to overcome. You might be in such a time right now. Do not minimize the danger of harbouring an offense!

No one plans on falling away; no one ever says, “Today, I think I’ll try to develop a hardened heart of stone.” Such things enter our souls through stealth. It is only naiveté that assumes it couldn’t happen to us. I know many people who consistently become offended about one thing or another. Instead of dealing with the offences, praying about them and turning the issue over to God, they carry the offense in their soul until its weight disables their walk with God. You may be doing fine today, but I guarantee you, tomorrow something will happen that will inevitably disappoint or wound you; some injustice will strike you, demanding you retaliate in the flesh. Will you find more love, and hence, continue your growth toward Christlikeness? Or will you allow that offense to consume your spiritual life?

By Francis Frangipane
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Forgiveness is Good for Your Health

Have You Forgiven Yourself

God Forgave our Sins, Past, Present and Future


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Is your love growing softer, brighter and more visible? Or is it becoming more discriminating, more calculating, less vulnerable and less available? This is a very important issue, for your Christianity is only as real as your love. A measurable decrease in your ability to love is evidence that a stronghold of cold love is developing within you.

Jesus warned of our era. He said,

Many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold” (Matthew 24:10-12).

\So let us honestly ask the Lord to examine us: Is our love hot or cold? Another persons thoughtlessness may have wounded us deeply, but instead of forgiving the wound or going to them and discussing it according to Matthew 18, we go to others with our complaint. The wound then begins to germinate into a root of bitterness, and many are being defiled (Hebrews 12:15). What is growing in us is not love but bitterness, which is unfulfilled revenge.

Again, Jesus warned that “stumbling blocks [would] come” (Matthew 18:7). There will be times when even good people have bad days; there will never be a time when “stumbling blocks” cease to be found upon your path. Remember also, people do not stumble over boulders but over stones — little things. When you have stumbled over something, you’ve stopped walking.

Have you stumbled over someone’s weakness or sin lately? Have you gotten back up and continued loving as you did before, or has that fall caused you to withdraw from walking in love? To preserve the quality of your love, you must forgive those who have caused you to stumble. Depending on the issue itself, it may be that you legitimately cannot trust them, but you do not have a reason to stop loving.

Every time you refuse to forgive or fail to overlook a weakness in another, your heart not only hardens toward them, it hardens toward God. You may still think you are open to God, but the Scriptures are clear: “The one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20). You may not like what someone has done, but you do not have an option to stop loving them.

What do I mean by love? First, I do not merely mean “tough love.” I mean gentle, affectionate, sensitive, open, persistent love. God will be tough when He needs to be, and we will be firm when He tells us to be, but beneath our firmness must be an underground river of love waiting to spring into action. When I have love for someone, I have predetermined that I am going to stand with them, regardless of what they are going through. I am committed.

We each need people who love us, who are committed to us in spite of our imperfections. The fullness of Christ will not come without Christians standing with each other in love. We are not talking about salvation but growing in salvation until we care for each other, even as Christ has committed Himself to us.

The goal of pulling down the stronghold of cold love is to see our hearts restored to the heart of Christ. You will be challenged in this, but if you persist, you will discover the height and depth and breadth of Christ’s love. You will become “a body filled and flooded with God Himself” (Ephesians. 3:19 Amp).

By Francis Frangipane
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Feelings, Forgiveness and Peace

Overflowing with Life!

Dirty Oven – Sin in our life is like a dirty oven


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If you think you know God but do not live your life in gratitude before Him, it is doubtful that you really knew Him in the first place. A thankful heart honors God. Too often when we say we “know God,” what we actually mean is we know facts about God. But we should ask ourselves, “Do I truly know Him?”

Paul warns that just knowing doctrines about God is not enough to enter eternal life. He said,

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:20-21).

Even though we may know God, if we do not “honor Him as God or give thanks” to Him in our daily walk, our minds darken. When we are in that hardened, ungrateful state of mind, every word we speak is a spark lit by hell, set to destroy the quality of our lives (James 3:6).

H. W. Beecher said,

Pride slays thanksgiving . . . a proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.” We should be thankful that we do not get what we deserve!

When God gives us less than we desire, it is not because He is teaching us poverty; what He is teaching us is thankfulness. You see, life — real life — is not based upon what we amass but on what we enjoy. Even in difficult circumstances God still gives us much to appreciate. We fail to see what the Lord has provided because our hearts are wrong.

Someone once said, “When I see a poor man who is grateful, I know if he were rich, he would be generous.” A thankful spirit is akin to a generous spirit, for both appreciate and receive the riches of God. When we are thankful with little, God can entrust us with much.

By Francis Frangipane
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The body of Christ was created not to fulfill God’s wrath, but to complete His mercy.

Remember, we are called to be a “house of prayer for all…nations.” Consider passionately this phrase: “prayer for.” Jesus taught His disciples to “pray for” those who would persecute or mistreat them (Mathew 5:44). When Job “prayed for” his friends, God fully restored him (Job 42:10). We are to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6), and “pray for” each other so that we may be healed (James 5:16).

According to the Word of God, the Lord “desires all men to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4). Therefore, Paul urged “that entreaties and prayers…be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority” (vv. 1-2). You see, the call is to pray for people.

But,” you argue, “my country (or city) is a modern manifestation of ancient Babylon.”

I don’t think so. But even if it were, when the Lord exiled Israel to Babylon, He didn’t order His people to judge and condemn their new cities. Rather, He said,

Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you…and pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfareJeremiah 29:7

Time after time, the scriptural command is to pray for, not against; to pray mercifully, not vindictively. God’s call is for prayer moved by compassion, not condemnation. Indeed, my friend, at its very essence, the nature of intercession is to appeal to God for redemption to come to sinful people.

By Francis Frangipane
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There is a place of immunity for the believer, a spiritual fortress in Christ that shelters us from the attacks of the devil. For those who abide in this stronghold of God, the onslaught of the wicked one does not touch them. Here, in this secret dwelling with the Almighty, we are hidden from the effects of the accuser’s tongue; we are sheltered from the assignment of the destroyer.

The dictionary defines immunity as

freedom or exemption, as from a penalty, burden, duty or evil.”

This is how the living God wants His children to walk: in freedom from the penalties and burdens of sin, delivered from the duties of legalistic religion, protected and triumphant over the assault of the evil one.

In the Bible you will find hundreds of examples of God’s loving protection. Every time the Lord pleaded with sinful Israel to return to Him, it was to urge them back to His protection; each time they responded, they were secured again within the shelter of God. The Scripture says,

“He shielded them and cared for them, guarding them as the apple of his eye” (Deuteronomy 32:10 NAB).

A Father’s Care
God is not only our Creator; He is also our Father. As such, it is inconceivable that He would leave His children unprotected. In Matthew 6:8, Jesus says that our Father knows our needs before we ask Him. If we, even in our fallen condition, seek to provide for our children, how much more does God in His perfection seek to shelter and care for His offspring!

Scripture testifies that He has

“granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3).

The more we possess a true knowledge of the Almighty, the more accessible His provisions for us become. What has He given us? He has prepared an abiding place for us where all that we need concerning life and godliness is ours. It is a place where every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places belongs to us in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).

David knew of this awesome place of protection. He wrote,

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress . . . in whom I take refuge; my shield and . . . my stronghold” (Psalm 18:2).

Again, speaking of those who fear God, David prayed,

“Thou dost hide them in the secret place of Thy presence from the conspiracies of man; Thou dost keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues” (Psalm 31:20).

And again,

“Thou art my hiding place; Thou dost preserve me from trouble; Thou dost surround me with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7).

In David’s personal life, he knew the living God as a spiritual stronghold and a place of safety from conflict. The king was intimately familiar with this special place in God’s Presence. It was here, in the fortress of God, that David’s soul was sheltered.

For Those Who Follow Christ
This place of immunity was not just a special provision for prophets and godly kings. From the day of Christ’s resurrection, the entrance into the citadel of heaven was opened to all who would follow the Messiah. Discovering this abode, where Christ literally floods us with His life, is not merely the subject of this message, it is the object of our existence!

How shall we find this spiritual place? We simply begin by loving Jesus. He said,

“He who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him” (John 14:21).

If we persevere in love and obedience, Jesus has promised to progressively reveal Himself to us.

Consider the magnitude of Jesus’ promise! He continued,

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him” (John 14:23).

This unfolding revelation of Jesus Christ to our hearts is the path to the abode of God. It is this stronghold of the Most High which is the shelter of God.

Lord, with the psalmist I cry, “When shall I enter the courts of the living God?” You are our Father; do not hide Yourself from us, Your children! Bring us to Your lap, oh God! Hold us to Your heart; assure us with the fullness of Your Spirit that You, indeed, are near. Thank You, Lord!

By Francis Frangipane
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In the 73rd Psalm, the psalmist Asaph expressed a struggle we all might feel at times. He questioned why the wicked seem to prosper while the righteous are chastened. The whole idea was troublesome until he entered the sanctuary of God. Once in the presence of God, Asaph realized his error. As he compared himself to the unbeliever, he saw that, apart from the influence of God, he had nothing in which to boast. He said,

When my heart was embittered and I was pierced within, then I was senseless and ignorant; I was like a beast before You” (vv. 21-22).

Finally, his soul brightened as he considered that God alone was his salvation, and his relationship with God was his strength. He wrote,

Nevertheless I am continually with You. … You will guide me, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. … God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (vv. 23-26).

The summary thought of Asaph’s revelation, and the point of this message, is in verse 28. He wrote, “But as for me, the nearness of God is my good.”

Let’s settle this truth once and for all: It is the nearness of God that produces our good. Christianity was never designed by God to be sustained by nice people trying to appear good. We’re not that good. We’re not that clever. And we’re not that nice. The only thing that can sustain true Christianity is true union with Jesus Christ. It is nearness to Him in all things that produces our spiritual fruit.

If we are honest, we will admit that, apart from the influence and work of God, there is nothing morally superior or remarkably virtuous about our lives. Our flesh has the same carnal passions as do people in the world; our soul carries within it the same insecurities and fears. Thus, apart from the influence of Christ in us, there’s no difference between Christians and non-Christians (except that Christians, when living separate from God’s presence, can be more obnoxious). It’s only our relationship with the Lord that keeps us from fulfilling the lusts and desires of the flesh, for apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).

Therefore, the strength of our walk does not originate from within ourselves; rather it comes from our relationship with Jesus Christ. Our virtue, if it can be defined as such, is that we have learned to prioritize seeking God; our character is the offspring of our oneness with Jesus. By this I mean, Jesus is not only first on our list of priorities; His influence rules over all our priorities. He inspires love in our relationships; His voice becomes the conviction in our integrity. God has made “Christ Jesus” to be to us

wisdom … and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).

Thus, the God-seeker desires to find the Lord’s pleasure drawn to every aspect of his soul. He also knows that, should an area of his heart exist in isolation from God, he will remain vulnerable to manipulation by the enemy in that area. So let me underscore the psalmist’s truth, and let us say with our own voice of conviction: it is the nearness of our God that is our good.

Oh God, You are the lover of my soul. Faithfully, have You extended Your hands toward me. Yet, I have been, at times, a drifter and distant. Master, this day I acknowledge my most wonderful times are those spent close to You. When my heart is near to You, I am partaking of the nectar of life.

By Francis Frangipane
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As Christians our faith tells us that Christ died as payment for our sins.

We believe He actually rose from the grave as proof that He was indeed sent by God. Yet it is also our conviction that, upon this resurrection event, not only were the sins of mankind atoned for but through Christ a second Genesis began.

Paul explains, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45). The word Adam means “man” and is representative of “mankind.” There are now two Adams or two species of man. The first species of man is the descendant of sinful Adam. His life orbits around his carnal or “natural” desires. He carries both the DNA of Adam’s nature and the consequences of Adam’s sin. This natural man is focused upon fulfilling the needs of his soul. He is indeed a “living soul,” but he is controlled by fears, physical needs, intellect boundaries, cultural environment and sin.

The second species or race of man is Spirit-centred. His thoughts, dreams and experiences originate primarily from the Holy Spirit who lives in union with him. The highest aspiration of the Spirit-centred man is not on attaining natural successes but upon attaining conformity to Christ. While the first man lives to receive from the world around him, the last species of man, the Christ-man, lives for what he can give to those around him: he is a “life-giving spirit.” The first Adam engendered descendants with problems; the spiritual descendants of the last Adam, Christ, provide the world with answers.

New Creatures
While men divide over many things — culture, skin color, language or social status — from God’s view mankind is only truly divided into two subsets: those controlled by their souls and those controlled by the Holy Spirit. One race is dead in sin; the other is alive in Christ. One species of man is destined to perish; the other will live forever. Just as the first Adam passed sin, weakness and death to his children, so the second Adam, Christ, passes virtue, power and eternal life to the children of God.

Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation” (Galatians 6:15).

You see, we are not merely men of flesh temporarily acting spiritual, but we are spiritual beings temporarily living as men of flesh. If you have received Christ into your life, you are part of the second Genesis. You possess a new nature, which is the actual life of Christ’s — a life-giving Spirit.

By Francis Frangipane
Used by Permission

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“How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, In whose heart are the highways to Zion! Passing through the valley of Baca, they make it a spring”. Psalm 84:5-6

Baca means “weeping.” Each of us has times of weeping when our hearts and hopes seem crushed. Because God has placed in our hearts “highways to Zion,” however, we pass through valleys; we do not live in them.

Passing through the valley of Baca” Once we are on the other side of weeping, our Redeemer makes our valley experience into “a spring.” The very things that overwhelmed us will, in time, refresh us with new life. Whether we are experiencing the height of success and power or are in a valley of weakness and despair, the Lord is our God continually!

Has the enemy isolated you, causing you to doubt God’s love? Do not forget, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Even the hairs on your head are numbered. He cares. It is His love for us that redeems our hardships and not only brings good out of what was meant for evil, but also trains us to deliver others.

How did Jesus prepare to do wonderful works? Part of His training involved suffering. Christ was a man of sorrows. He was One who was acquainted with grief. Yet His suffering was the Father’s means of acquainting Him with the actual feelings of mankind’s need and pain. Because He suffered what we suffer, He is able to serve as a faithful high priest. If we yield to God’s plan for Christ to be formed in us, God will take our sorrows to enlarge our hearts. Once we have been acquainted with grief, we then can be anointed with compassion to deliver others.

Thank You for redeeming the conflicts of my life. I praise You for healing me and causing me to forget all the trauma of my past. Now Lord, help me to remember what I have learned. Cause me to remember that the crises in my life always precede the enrichment of my life. Help me to recognize that the place of my fruitfulness is in the land of my affliction. In Jesus name. Amen.

By Francis Frangipane
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See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled Hebrews 12:15

It is impossible to pass through this world without being struck by injustice or heartache. Unless we process our struggles in Christ, a single wounding of our soul can create a deep bitterness within us, poisoning our very existence. In my forty-six years of ministry, I have known far too many Christians who have perfected the art of looking polite while living inwardly with an angry, cynical or resentful spirit. They have swallowed the poison of bitterness, and they are dying spiritually because of it. The problem is that, as Christians, we know it is wrong to react with open anger toward people. However, rather than truly forgiving and surrendering that injustice to God, we suppress our anger. Anger is a result of perceived injustice. Suppressed anger always degrades into bitterness, which is, in reality, unfulfilled revenge.

Embittered People

A bitter soul is trapped in a time warp; the person dwells in the memory of their pain. Several years ago I met a woman who had suffered a difficult divorce. I talked with her every six months or so for two years, and each time we talked she said exactly the same negative things about her ex-husband. Although she was divorced from him, she was now married to a bitter spirit that held her captive to her heartache.

An embittered soul continually blames others for their situation. I’m thinking of Naomi in the Book of Ruth. Here was a person who blamed her bitterness on God. She was angry that He allowed hardship and loss in her life. “The Lord has brought me back empty” (Ruth 1:21). In effect she was saying, My sorrow is God’s fault.

Contrast her life with that of Job’s first encounter with loss (Job 1). Job lost his children and possessions, yet he bowed and worshiped: “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

How we handle sorrow reveals the depth of our worship of God. When life cuts us, do we bleed bitterness or worship? Job bowed and drew close to God. Naomi withdrew and talked about the Lord with her back toward Him. I have dear friends who lost their only son when he was a teenager. In the midst of their heartache, they have become examples to everyone of true worship. Over the years, their pain actually purified and deepened their worship; their suffering made them more compassionate toward the suffering of others (See 2 Corinthians 1:3-4). I also know others who have suffered the sudden loss of a loved one and, within weeks, withdrew from God and became embittered. Adversity does not perfect character; it reveals character. It exposes what is happening inside of us.

Poisoned

In ancient times mankind experimented with vegetation, seeking to learn which plants were edible and which were poisonous. In his search, he discovered that, generally speaking, if a plant or fruit was sweet, it was usually safe to eat; bitter plants, man discovered, would either sicken or kill. Likewise, the bitter experiences of life, if we ingest them into our spirits, can become a spiritual poison that destroys our hopeful expectations and attitudes. Such an experience may enter your soul via a relational wound or injustice; it can begin through a major disappointment or loss. However, once bitterness enters the human soul, like ink spreading in a glass of water, it can darken every aspect of our existence.

Indeed, not only can bitterness ruin our lives, Hebrews warns that a root of bitterness can “defile many” (Hebrews 12:15 NIV). A spiritual root of bitterness is a hidden, unresolved anger that is buried beneath the surface of our lives. Outwardly we look “properly Christian,” until we begin to discuss with others the situation where someone hurt us. As we speak, that root “springs up” and it defiles others. If you haven’t dealt with your bitterness, beware when you speak to others, lest you defile them with your words. If you are listening to an embittered person, take heed that the spirit of bitterness is not being transferred to your life as well!

God desires to rescue us from bitterness so we can truly love and laugh again. Let us, therefore, sincerely approach the throne of God’s grace and ask Him to show us the garden of our hearts. Yes, and let us see if our souls are truly free of the root of bitterness.

By Francis Frangipane
Used by Permission


If you don’t know Jesus in a personal way you can begin a relationship with him today. The first step is a prayer telling him you believe He is who He says He is and a second step is surrendering control of your will and life to him.  These can be communicated in a simple prayer (prayer is talking to God):

“Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.”


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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The Effects of a Passive Spirit

Scripture contains many examples of David’s valor. As a young man, for instance, while others trembled, David was ready and eager to face Goliath. David is an example of one whom God chose, whose passions for God sustained him for most of his life.

Yet David also provides an example for us of what happens to good people when a passive spirit triumphs. For there was an occasion when David did not pursue his enemies, and the consequences were grave. It happened because he allowed a passive spirit to subdue his will.

Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem” (2 Samuel 11:1).

During a time of war, the king accepted a passive spirit into his soul. Soon we find this great warrior king almost helpless to resist the unfolding spiritual attack.

Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance
(2 Samuel 11:2).

The woman was Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. From the moment David accepted the influence of that passive spirit, his resistance was weakened; a paralysis of conscience occurred. Scripture says that “when evening came David arose from his bed.” Perhaps it was customary to rest in the afternoon, but it strikes me as inconsistent for David to nap while his men fought. It is possible that this nap was not a response to a bodily need but an expression of the slumber that gripped his soul. He was in bed until “evening.”

This heaviness of soul resting on David was actually part of a larger, synchronized spiritual attack. The other part of that battle was the quiet, inner prompting that stirred Bathsheba to bathe in a place where David could see her. Finally, David, unable to resist, and in defiance of his noble qualities,

sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her” (2 Samuel 11:4).

Dear friend, remember: This terrible moral failure was not driven by David’s lust or flagrant rebellion to God. A passive spirit introduced David to his sin! The problem was simply that, in a time when the kings went forth to war, David stayed at home.

We ourselves are in a time of war. The Spirit of God is calling us to fight for our souls as well as our families, cities and nations. Indeed, God’s Word reveals that

the Lord will go forth like a warrior, He will arouse His zeal like a man of war. He will utter a shout, yes, He will raise a war cry. He will prevail against His enemies” (Isaiah 42:13).

Is that holy fight in you? Is there a war cry in your spirit? If you are born again, that cry is within you, even if it has been muted by lethargy.

We will never succeed as overcomers without carrying in our spirits the war cry of God. We must stop resisting the call to prayer; we must embrace the reality of spiritual warfare; and we must fight with the weapons of warfare that God has given us, both for our own progress and also on behalf of those we love.

Conversely, the moment you surrender your will to a passive attitude, you should anticipate that a temptation appropriate to your weakness will soon follow. It may not be Bathsheba; it may be pornography on the Internet. Or it may be a coworker who begins to look attractive at a time when you and your spouse are struggling. Whatever the area of weakness in your life, Satan will seek to exploit that area. It will likely not be a bold frontal assault. He will approach you quietly, in whispers, relaxing your spiritual guard. What disarmed you was a passive spirit. If the enemy succeeds in this first stage of his assault, you will soon find yourself wrapped up in something that can devastate you and your loved ones.

By Francis Frangipane
Used by Permission

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Jesus warned about our days, saying,

Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold” (Matthew 24:10).

The Lord’s warning was not just about conditions in the world; He is speaking to His disciples. He warned about conditions in the church.

Today, the church is overstocked with Christians whose love has grown cold.

As a result, rancor fills our conversations. We have become a sub-culture that is mad that the world has not become Christian, while we are tolerant that we are not Christlike.

When you discuss things that are wrong, does rancor come forth or prayer? The word rancor came from Latin rancere, which meant, “to stink.” (See rancid). This is exactly what we exude heavenward when all we do is find fault and criticize. The smell of our rancor ascends into the awareness of God. These things ought not to be.

On the other hand, intercessory prayer is a sweet aroma to God. Again, when we pass through trials and determine to emerge more like Jesus, our very lives become “a fragrance of Christ to God” (2 Corinthians. 2:15). Amazing! in spite of our flaws and weaknesses, while we are living in this harsh world, we can actually become like Christ.

Indeed, may this be the passion of all who trust God’s Son: to become a fragrance of Christ to God.

By Francis Frangipane
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Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him,One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
Mark 10:21

Too many Christians have given up on the vision of becoming like Jesus. They know they are sinners saved by grace, but they do not see themselves living out a transformed life. They have accepted the lie that the Holy Spirit can’t train them as He did the first century Christians. Before we doubt whether we are the caliber of the first disciples, here is a fact sheet compiled from over 200 New Testament Scriptures concerning those whom Jesus first called.

THE DISCIPLES… came to Christ, believed in Him and followed Him.

They…
dined with Him, often became hungry, often didn’t have time to eat, twice miraculously fed the multitudes with food Jesus multiplied.

They…
received special authority to heal and deliver, became Jesus’ confidants, were often rebuked and corrected, were entrusted with the mysteries of God’s Kingdom.

They…
did what was not lawful on the Sabbath, broke the traditions of the elders, entered the Kingdom of God and walked in God’s power.

They…
were often frightened, fell on their faces, were sometimes afraid, were very astonished, they frequently marveled, they were at times indignant, and they rejoiced exceedingly.

They...
became weary on a number of occasions, grumbled and withdrew, some stopped walking with Jesus; even after the resurrection some still doubted, they wrote the New Testament and died for their faith.

They…
were taught to pray for the Kingdom to come and for laborers for the harvest, yet slept while Jesus prayed; they spent ten days in continuous prayer before Pentecost, and prayed corporately every day afterward at 3:00 p.m..

They…
forgot provisions, made commitments they could not keep, individuals begged them to heal people they could not heal, they attempted to exorcise demons that would not leave, they rebuked parents who brought children to be blessed, they abandoned Jesus in His darkest hour, they were frequently jealous and often ambitious, and they turned the world upside down after the resurrection.

They…
had a tendency to invent doctrines, tried to command fire to fall on the Samaritans, put a limit on how many times to forgive, presumed the apostle John would not die, wanted to build tabernacles for Jesus, Moses and Elijah, became the tabernacle of God on earth after Pentecost.

They…
prepared cities for the arrival of Jesus, prepared the Passover for the last supper, and were prepared by God to represent Christ; ultimately, they were prepared to die for the Lord.

They…
remembered what Jesus taught, received the great commission, faced terrible opposition from principalities and powers, Jews and Gentiles, yet they reached their world with the Gospel of Christ.

Therefore, seeing that God was not limited by the mistakes of Christ’s disciples, let us read the words of Christ as though we were sitting at Jesus’ feet. Let us approach Him with faith, believing all things are possible for God, even the transformation of our hearts.

By Francis Frangipane
Used by Permission

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Francis Frangipane Thoughts by Men