Verse of the Day

Matthew 16:25
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”

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News from Voice of Triumph

Our Unchangeable God

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 Our God is Unchangeable, By Ann Rogers

 
Last week, I was sitting in a church service and the Holy Spirit whispered to me that I was going to be called up to sing. I got nervous and remembered that I had left all of my sound tracks sitting on my desk, so what was I to do? In a flash, the Holy Ghost said, “Sing, The God on the Mountain”. I recorded this song years ago and I have the track, but I have not sang it in church for many years. A peace and calm came over me as I mulled over the words in my mind, making sure that I remembered them all. Within 5 minutes, I was on the stage and I had no doubt that I was in God's presence. Isn't it wonderful how God reminds us of His faithfulness, stability and unchanging Word in times of trial and weakness? As I sang, I felt the Holy Spirit speaking to me of all of these traits and characteristics; of His nature and His desire to prove to all of His children that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. That feeling and that anointing that I felt is still with me this morning. There is power in WORDS and when we listen to them in our hearts and don't just sing them to be heard, these words minister hope and security to our very being. When the anointing is present, talent is elementary; beautiful music is not ever considered and a lovely singing voice is not even what matters. It is the message that is going forth in power and strength. Energy charges through your being and suddenly, the doubts and fears of your present trial dissipates. Needless to say, I didn't come down the same way I went up to the stage. O, no one noticed, but I did and that is what matters!
 
I did some research on the song as I felt that God was trying to convey a message to me and to those who hear me preach His Word. The song was written in 1973 by Tracy Dartt. Tracy was near death from renal kidney failure and God proved His faithfulness to him time and time again. He sang the song with his immediate family, but in 1988, The McKameys' made it famous. Since then, the song has been recorded by over 200 well known artists and in 8 different languages. These artist include Jake Hess, Jessy Dixon, John Starnes and many more. It was nominated for a Dove award and jumped to the top of the charts in 1988 when recorded live by The McKameys. It stayed at Number One for 5 months. It is also known to be the most played song on the radio in the history of Southern Gospel Music during it's popular period. All of this information says that people need hope. They need a message that speaks to them of God's unfailing love and faithfulness to them in times of crisis. All the talent in the world means nothing when darkness is all you can see. During these times, God speaks to us of His unchanging character and that is what sees us through the darkness and brings us into the light.
 
This song is also very biblical. I Kings 20 records the story of a time when God's people were in danger of being annihilated by an enemy army of Syria. Ahab was king at the time and he was known for being a coward and was very wicked. Yet in spite of the nation's sin and his, God still loved Israel. King Ben-hadad, whose name means “lifted up”, came with harsh and threatening words, but God sent a prophet to Ahab to lead a charge against him, using the small armies of Israel. Verse 16, Ben-hadad was drunk and all the 32 kings with him, providing themselves with a false sense of security. When a small band of soldiers came out of Samaria to face Ben-hadad, he thought capturing them would be a piece of cake. But God.......! Verse 20, Syria was smitten and fled and Ben-hadad, (lifted up) barely escaped on horseback, and fell very low. The prophet told Ahab to go rest and regroup and to prepare because the Syrians would not give up and would be back to fight again by the year's end. Meanwhile, in Syria, the enemy armies were encouraging themselves with these words that Tracy Dartt made read in his song. Ben-hadad's counselors said to him, “Their gods are gods of the hills, therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain (valley) and surely, we shall be stronger than they (Verse 23). They said “make you an army just like the one you lost and we'll fight them in the valley and surely we will win” (Verse 25). Israel prepared for war, but Verse 27 says that compared to the Syrian army, they looked like 2 little flocks of baby goats. The Syrians filled the country side. A prophet rose up and told Israel what Syria believed. That being, that their God could only win wars in the mountains; that down in a valley, he was weak and powerless. And God said “because they have said this, I will show my power and deliver this great multitude into your hands”. Friends, we'd better be careful what we say and think about God. He is listening to the challenges that the enemy makes and words stir up His power and vengeance belongs to Him. The story records that 7 days later, 127 thousand Syrians lay dead. Ben-hadad (lifted up) learned that our God can win in a valley as well as on a high mountain. Location means nothing to God! He is the same wherever and whenever you need Him. Yes, the God of the day is still God in the night!
 
The real truth revealed in this story is not about Ahab, it is about God, the true God, the living God! Syria had said in Verse 23 that Israel had “gods”, plural, but truth is they had one God! And Syria had assumed incorrectly that Israel's god was changeable in that He only operated successfully on the mountain-top experiences of life. But they soon found out that our God does not change via our circumstances! He is the same in the valley as He is on the mountain top. He is God when I'm low and He is God in my high places! My sickness, lack or even death does not change Him! He is stable, unmovable and unchangeable! Thousands of years later, the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:35-39 that we, His children, are inseparable from our God. Adversities have come to God's people of all generations; no one is exempt from trials and afflictions such as tribulations, persecutions and lack. But Paul tells us that, in all these things, we are more than conquerors. Why? Because our God does not change with our changing circumstances. Notice in Verse 35 and in Verse 39, Paul mentions God's love that we have been freely given through His son, Jesus. That love supersedes any trial, sickness or attack of the enemy. Yes, we get down in the valley but in valley times, our God remains faithful. He does not love us any less when we are in despair! When that changes and we are on the mountain of success and victory, we need to still count our blessings and remember that it was He alone who brought us there.
 
Thank you, Tracy Dartt, for listening to the voice of God and for penning such a message of hope and consolation for the Body of Christ! The God on the Mountain is still God in the valley!
 
Scriptures for reference: Hebrews 13:8, Malachi 3: 6, Numbers 23:19, Psalm 89:6-13 and Psalm 125
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Trust Him and proclaim it everywhere; Jesus is alive and well on planet earth!

 

Salvation, The First Resurrection For Believers

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The most famous resurrection, of course, is the one that happened that eventful day in Jerusalem.

It is important that we receive it as fact and confess it. The believing of it and the confession of it is the only way to be saved (Romans 10:9-10). There are many other resurrections, however, that occur in the life of every believer and they too are reason to celebrate. Look at the first one. You see, as sinners, before the new birth, we were dead.

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Daniel, A Story of Character

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DANIEL-A STORY OF CHARACTER

Earlier this week, I was drawn to the book of Daniel. 12 chapters of excited and faith building stories, including many references to the age in which we are living. As a child, I enjoyed hearing Mom read of Daniel's escape from the lion's den, the deliverance of his 3 Hebrew friends from the fiery furnace, and who could forget the handwriting on the wall in Daniel 5? Daniel was just a teen when his story begins and although he was thrown into dire circumstances at this early age, he proved faithful to His God and kept his faith in the living God alive and active throughout his life. We will refer to several passages, but our main topic is centered in the first chapter. 
 
Some skeptics say that the book of Daniel was written by some one else and just given Daniel's name. But since we deal in biblical facts, we believe Daniel 12:4 and Matthew 24:15 is proof that Daniel is the author. Telling his story for us, leaving us an example of total commitment to God was a great favor for the children of God. You see, Daniel had a non-negotiable faith; he had a resolve that few older folk have, much less a teenage kid who was thrown into a life that was totally foreign to him in location and lifestyle. 
 
Daniel was of royal stock, meaning that his family was high in rank in the city of Jerusalem and Daniel was probably the son of a priest or certainly in line for the priesthood when the war started. Daniel's story is proof to us, and a warning, that life can be quiet and serene one minute and the next, it can be helter-skelter. We have no promise of tomorrow and today is the day to become versed in scripture, prayed up and packed up, for at any moment, things could change. If we were to interview the victims of the floods in LA and WV, I am sure most of them would say, "we never was prepared for such life-changing events". It pays to know God and His Word. You see, Daniel not only knew the words of the prophets concerning his nation, he believed them and he understood them (Daniel 9:2). His understanding of the word caused him to fast, pray and supplicate for his nation and the restoration of his people (9:2-19). 
 
Nebuchadzzar forced Daniel and several hundred other Jewish young men to travel 1500 miles from their homeland to begin a life of service for the Babylonian government. As a POW, Daniel had little or no say-so over his living quarters, his lifestyle or his diet. He was in a seemingly impossible situation and one would gather that all he could do was yield, submit and obey if he wanted to keep his life. Let me say here that Daniel was used of God in dreams, visions and prophecies during his captivity (1:17). But none of the things that happened in the 11 chapters following chapter 1, would have ever occurred, if Daniel had not made the decisions he made in Daniel 1:8. Let's read that verse, "But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself". This one verse sums up the rest of Daniel's life. It was this judgment call that Daniel made that set the stage for the path in which God would lead him over the next 70 plus years. 
 
Now, we know that Daniel was in no position to be asking favors from anyone. But see, Daniel was no ordinary young man. He had integrity; he had faith and he had guts. He would rather die right away than compromise his beliefs and the teachings of his forefathers. And God was in the entire situation. You see, when we decide to follow Jesus, he makes us a promise that He will be with us in the crisis. They took Daniel to Babylon and Daniel took his God, his faith and his committed resolve with him. The king changed his name immediately, and the names of his 3 friends, but Daniel talked with them and they all agreed to follow his leadership. You see, your decision to stand for truth not only affects you, it affects the lives of all those around you; your children, your co-workers, your acquaintances and anyone who knows you. 
 
When the first meal was served, Daniel knew he had to make a right then. 1:9, we know God was present and he had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. So Daniel talked to his steward, Melzar, and requested pulse (mashed vegetables) to eat and only water to drink. The prince of the eunuchs that Daniel was risking his life by this request and he told Daniel that if he granted his wish, the king would kill him because Daniel and his 3 friends would lose weight and suffer malnutrition. So Daniel makes an offer to him and put forth a challenge to him. He said "feed us as I suggested for 10 days, then take us for a check-up and compare us to the ones who ate the king's diet". The prince agreed and at the end of 10 days, Daniel and his 3 friends were fairer in flesh and had put on more weight than the other hundreds who bowed to the kings command. And, in my opinion, they were sharper in mind and attitude as the strong drink would have altered their ability to think straight and make good decisions. So, from then on, Daniel got to choose his diet and no one even questioned his decisions and God gave him and his 3 friends knowledge, skill, and wisdom and to Daniel, He gave understanding in all visions and dreams. So many in our culture want all of the above, but are not willing to make the decision that Daniel made in Verse 8. They'd like to have all the gifts of the Spirit, but refuse to be led by that Spirit. Friends, we can't be used of God in any setting when we are associated and join affinity with the system lorded over by Satan, the god of this world. (I John 2:15-17). God's using Daniel depended upon his being steadfast in his commitments to Him and he could not let a change of culture change his walk with God. 
 
1:20 is interesting. Daniel had asked for a 10 day trial to prove that God was with them and God gave them 10 times more wisdom and understanding than all the wise men, magicians and astrologers in the Babylonian government. Verse 11, begins with, "And Daniel continued"........continued what? trusting God, living for God and obeying the laws of God and this would prove to be his method of survival during his entire tenure in Babylon. Daniel was so close to God that even when the king had a dream he could not remember, God showed Daniel the dream and the interpretation of the dream. Daniel 4:9, no secret troubled Daniel and everything he foretold came to pass and will come to pass (Daniel 4:28). He alone could read the handwriting on the wall because he was led by that same hand. He had an excellent spirit and he could dissolve doubts (5:12). I love this about Daniel as doubt is a plague Satan is trying to breed into every child of God. We need this gift of "dissolving doubt". It comes thru prayer, fasting and using the shield of faith. Daniel had a reputation, built and preserved through years of obedience and prayer (Daniel 5:13-16). He was bold and did not mince words when standing before earthly kings for his Heavenly King was controlling his words (Daniel 5:17-23). He had lost all fear of these monarchs and when those in service with him turned against him, he still trusted in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Daniel 6:4,22-28). Chapters 7 and 8 reveal some visitations from God and heavenly messengers that are unprecedented and so unusual that the meanings of them are just now being revealed to Bible scholars and spiritually minded who study about end time events. Daniel saw his people, Israel, but he also was informed about the Church, the anti-christ, the tribulation and other end time things to come to pass, possibly in our lifetime (Daniel 12:4). 
 
Daniel teaches us about intercessory prayer and fasting and what it can do for our spiritual man. In Daniel 10, he teaches us the importance of waiting on an answer to come and how important it is not to give up on what we are praying for. Daniel 10:13 reveals Paul's writings in Ephesians 6 and lets us know that between us and our answer from God, there are powers, principalities, rulers and darkness of this world and spiritual l wickedness in high places. The same powers that blocked Daniel's answer from coming is the same ones we wrestle with today! 
 
So, what can we learn from Daniel? (1) Don't get so attached to this world that you can't deal with sudden changes. We never know what is going to happen, especially in these troubled times, so be prepared for change and when it comes. The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink. So we have to give up some comforts? What are they compared to how God will show us His glory and power and use us for His Kingdom (Romans 14:17).  (2) Hold on to your faith and don't let sudden change defer the unfeigned faith that is in your heart. Love and serve God no matter where life takes you.(3) Don't be afraid of "risk". If you have to step out by faith and make a challenge concerning your beliefs, standards and the way you see the Word, then step out and do it with confidence, love and faith in the the God who said He'd never leave you or forsake you. (4) Remember that you are influencing those around you; they are watching your life; they are listening to your words and your decisions are going to bring them closer to God or drive them away from God. Your life is the only Bible they read, so live it in line with scripture. (5) God can use us if we stay true to Him-there are visions, dreams, gifts of the Spirit and so many other jobs to do for the Kingdom, so stay true in the areas of integrity, standards and lifestyle and God will move you onward and upward to greater positions. 
 
Thanks for reading and we pray that this lesson is a blessing to  you and yours.
 
Scripture References Luke 16: 1-13, Luke 9:23-27; plus the references in Daniel in this lesson. 

 

Our Poverty For His Riches

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II Corinthians 8:9-Our Poverty for His Riches
 
I was reading my Bible last night just before going to sleep and this verse just jumped out at me. You know how you read the Bible for years and you know you have read that verse so many times, but there is that time when the Holy Ghost just quickens your mind to the depth of it; the true meaning of it and what it means to you right then at that moment. I must confess that I was filled with praise and more appreciation for Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself more than I have felt for some time.  I am going to write this verse  in the amplified form and we can really comprehend what Paul was saying to his listeners then and to us now.
 
 “For you are becoming progressively acquainted with and recognizing more strongly and clearly the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (His undeserved favor and spiritual blessing), in that, though He was (so very) rich, yet for YOUR sakes, He became (so very) poor, in order that by His poverty you might become enriched (abundantly supplied). 
 
Look at what Jesus did for you and I contained in this one verse. He was something (rich) but He will willing to become something else (poor), in order for you and I to change our estate (poverty) into abundant riches: riches like He had before He decided to become poor. Think about that-He wanted to move us from our poverty-stricken state to His position of wealth and riches and in order to do that, He had to give up His riches and become poor. 
 
Now, knowing what I know about human nature, I don’t know one person in a trillion of earthly origin that would be willing to do this. No, most folk hold on to whatever they have and they are not willing to change places with anyone, especially someone who has less than they do. Listen, Jesus had it all before Mary’s womb, the manger and the 33 years that followed that. Let’s look at what He gave up. Hebrews 1:2 says that God had appointed Him the heir of all things. Philippians 2:6-7 tells us that Jesus had God’s reputation. Verse 6 says that He was essentially one with God and in the form of God. He possessed all the fullness of the attributes which makes God what He is. Verse 7 says He stripped Himself of all privileges and rightful  dignity and took on the guise of a servant. Summed up: He emptied Himself. We know that He had all power in heaven and in earth and that He could walk in fire and not be burned-Daniel 3. We know that Revelation 1:5 says he was the Prince and Ruler of all the kings of the earth. 1:11, He calls Himself the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. Suffice it to say that Jesus was RICH! He owned everything here, there and beyond. No one could have given Him anything He didn’t own. He sat on circle of the earth there is no one who can search out His understanding (Isaiah 40). 
 
Yet in spite of all these riches, power, authority and governing capability of the entire world, He was willing to lay that down, give it all up and become our state of poverty and lack so we could gain the position that He gave up. I don’t know about you, but that is just about more than I can fathom. A love like that is beyond our human understanding because you see, our love is limited. Our love is, at its best, shallow, compared to His. I think I can grasp that He did all of this for us out of His great love, but something saddens me. That is, our lack of love for Him and our unwillingness to accept His unconditional love. And, there are so many who say they believe in Him and His grace described in our text, yet they continue to live in poverty when He did all this so the believer can become rich. 
 
The word rich in this passage involves so much more than wealth, money, possessions or property. It does include that as Paul goes on to say in Chapter 9, but if it were just about ownership of things, we know that riches are fleeting, temporary and can be frozen, taken or burned up in a few moments of time. No, the RICH that Paul was describing was referring to the estate of a sinner versus a born again child of God. The poverty we were in was SIN. Even if we were millionaires by this world’s standards, if we were unregenerate and without Christ, we were still considered poor in God’s sight. When He looked down to decide whether He was going to give all His riches up and become poor for mankind’s sake, He didn’t sort out and separate the elite from the nobody’s of this world. He didn’t check everyone’s bank account and find a tycoon and say, “Now I don’t have to become poor so he can be rich, cause he is already well off”. No, Friends, we were all as an unclean thing (Isaiah 64:6). He saw all of us as poor, lost, wandering souls with no way to make ourselves any better than what we were and that was POOR. So, the plan the Father gave Him was, “if you will lay aside your riches and become what they are, I will give them a chance to change their status and become what You are right now“. So Jesus made the decision. He said Yes to the Father’s plan and laid aside his royal robes and clothed Himself with garments like ours and took on Himself the form of a servant. From then on, He started becoming poor and He lived like He was poor while He was on this earth because as the Son of Man, He was (Matthew 8:20 and Luke 9:58).  Paul uses the phrase “He humbled Himself”. Willingly, not forced into it by coercion, but of His own choosing, He gave up His riches.
 
 I know we see movies where the rich girl chooses to be poor and she falls in love with a pauper and she in content to give all her riches up for his love. Those are mostly fabrications to entertain us. But friends, the story I am telling you is true. A real prince became a pauper to give you, a pauper, a chance to become a prince. All you have to do is believe the story I’ve just told you and accept Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as your way out of poverty and in a few seconds, His blood will wash over your sin cursed soul and you will become RICH!  What an exchange-your poverty for His riches. Your failure for His success. Your ugliness for His beauty. You can trade your sins for salvation and in a few moments, you will have His relief versus your load of care and trouble and sorrow (Isaiah 61:1-3).  And we can walk away from that born again experience, new creatures in Christ.  And, when we start, as Paul says in our text, becoming progressively acquainted with and recognizing more strongly His Grace, we will begin to see that we can rise out of poverty, not only of our sins and disgrace, but also in material goods. God will start to show us that we don’t have to live in lack, deficiency and always coming up short from paycheck to paycheck. Always struggling, always on the borderline of losing everything with nothing to spare to help anyone else. No, that is not how God wants us to live. Rich in our text is also referring to having our needs met. The sum of Paul’s message to the Corinthians in Chapters 8 and 9 was on giving of their substance so God could bless them with more. Matter of fact, these 2 chapters contain the most extensive teaching about Christian giving found in the NT. He encouraged them to give bountifully so they could reap bountifully. He warned them about being closed fisted when it came to giving in 9:6-7. So we can be rich in faith and rich in love and not see the benefits of all the riches and wind up living in poverty even though we are believers. No, No No! That is not God’s plan for you, child of God.  He wants you to be blessed with sufficient funds to live in this world stress free! The principles that brings these blessings upon a child of God  are found in Luke 6:38, Malachi 3:8-12, Deuteronomy 28:1-13 and many more. Proverbs 19:17 is also a good principle scripture. James 2:5 says that God chose you in poverty but He is making you rich in faith! Use that faith, let it develop and increase it be putting it to work! Pray for the sick, visit the fatherless and widows and believe for the lost to come in. As you do, you will be gaining wealth that no Wall Street tycoon can ever experience. Your bank account may not change right away, but you will and your finances will change also if you will give God time to bless the seeds you plant! 
 
When you have time, Read II Corinthians 8 and 9! 
 
 

Biblical Fasting

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The Word of God and prayer are so essential for us to maintain our victory. These are weapons of mass destruction for the devil, our enemy,  who is out to kill, steal and destroy. But there is a third weapon that is less used and requires a lot of self discipline and fervor of believers and that is FASTING. I think a lot of people don't fast because, number one, they have not been taught to do so and then some who have been taught that it's right, have not tried it because of the requirements involved. Many think that one has to go without eating for many days. They think of Moses or Jesus who fasted for forty days, and they get cold feet. Then there are others who say that their illness keeps them from fasting. People with diabetes, for instance. Strange, I have seen these same people fast for medical purposes, such as tests or surgery, and they survived. You see, the enemy knows the strength of this powerful weapon and he does not want God's people to engage in any spiritual exercise that is going to give them more power, ore direction or a closer walk with God. So, he lies to them and they listen, making numerous excuses for not obeying God in the matter of fasting. Fasting means to abstain from food or drink for a set period of time for spiritual purposes. It is one of the best ways I have found to find God''s will, to obtain direction or to overcome a besetting sin. Let us look at the Word, not to prove any point, but to see the results that biblical characters obtained when they fasted. After all, this is what we need; results, fruit, progress in our walk with God. These examples are in the Word for our learning and admonition. If we want to reach our goals, then let us learn from others. The men and women in these passages we are about to explore, got results. If it worked for them, it will work for us, as God is no respect of persons (Acts 10:34

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Ann's Latest CD

Ann Rogers - I Keep Praying

Sister Ann Rogers has released her new CD of 10 songs, titled I Keep Praying. The CD includes the title song along with The Next Time You Pray, A Brand New Touch, Standing at the Altar and 6 other southern gospel songs. Special thanks to Brother James Rogers who produced, directed and recorded the CD. The CD is available for a gift of

$10

to help support the ministry.

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