The Love of Jesus: 22-Oct-2023


Our church is called “Restoration”. It was derived from what I believe God’s purpose is for us, as the prophet Isaiah says. (Isaiah 58:9-12).

“Repairers of the breach and restorers of ruined dwellings.”

In Latin, true religion’s “re-ligio” taskis to rebind what is torn apart by bad temperament, ignorance, and institutionalized evil.

We are led and grounded by Jesus Christ, “in whom all things can be held together…and in whom all things are reconciled.” (Colossians 1:17,20)

Last week, I said that Jesus was able to heal and rebuild people’s lives because He cared for them, and through caring about them, He was able to take care of them. 

Matthew 22:37-39 – He’s asked about the greatest and most important commandment, to which he replied: “Love God” – totally – and to “Love one another in the same manner as we love ourselves.”

Later on (John 13:34), He amended this to “Love one another as I have loved you.”

John 13:35“By this, all will know that you are My disciples if you have love for one another.”

How we love defines our discipleship and relationship with Him.

In Tuesday’s Bible study, we read that love is not just theoretical; Love requires action.

A couple of weeks ago, I said:

“Our earthly actions (especially our religious ones) are only important in Kingdom matters when the primary motivation for them is love.”

I do think, however, that our understanding of Jesus’ love is sometimes skewed by our own needs and emotions.

I think maybe that’s why Jesus said, “A NEW commandment I give you… Love as I love.”

How did Jesus love? Let me share what I think.

  1. Jesus was attentive when He listened to people speak to Him – even His enemies!
    1. Because He was present in the moment, He could answer them thoughtfully and insightfully – with never a  “knee-jerk” response.
    1. Because He was locked into what they were really saying, He could offer hope and a pathway to wholeness by offering them TRUTH.
  2. He was patient with His disciples even when they totally missed the point.
  3. Caring Confrontation  – Jesus was confrontational, not passive.
    1. He challenged people to THINK before actingand act with love.
    1. Even when He confronted evil, it was with wisdom that had no malice.
  4. Generational thinking – He wanted the Kingdom of God expanded on earth, so He taught all who would listen to what the Father showed Him and imparted authority to His disciples even when they were obviously flawed.
    1. Example: Peter who denied Him 3x.
      Asks: “Do you agape me? – (Love Me unconditionally)
      Peter: “Yes, I philos you.” ( I love you as a friend)
    1. But, He took Peter’s incomplete understanding of love as a downpayment – knowing that the Holy Spirit would later come on him to transform his love.
    1. “If we give Jesus what we have at the moment, He will use it as if it were a complete and finished work.”  – PR
    1. He restored Peter and then gave him authority and responsibility for the church.
  5. Celebration
    1. Jesus celebrated people’s lives as gifts from God.
    1. He dismissed no one and saw all people as important.
    1. I think this is an area where we may need some improvement.
    1. We are impressed with people’s power, stature, wealth, charisma, looks, and accomplishments – to the point of overlooking and dismissing the flaws in their morality, civility, and basic decency.
    1. Jesus cared for the poor, sick, the lame (physically and emotionally), the old, and those who live on the margins of society. (the lepers)
    1. He cares for the “invisible masses who were seen as “throw-aways.”
    1. Jesus celebrated all lives and was grateful to God for them.
  6. Humor – I think it’s an injustice by the somber way Jesus has been portrayed.
    1. I believe that He possessed a great sense of humor and joy. Children saw Him this way.
    1. Many biblical scholars have noted the mirth of His answers within the context of the society He lived in.
    1. Elton Trueblood, Chaplin at Harvard Univ. – “Jesus approached people with joy – not heaviness.”
    1. Joy is the greatest evangelistic tool!
  7. Creativity – Jesus was sure to speak in the language of the people, avoiding the old stoic models, to explain spiritual principles.
    1. He used familiar contexts to have them see how spiritual principles were applicable to everyday life.
    1. His parables were improvisational stories of creative genius. They freed people to love by getting them to see and think “outside the box”  of religion. 
  8. Reverence – Certainly for the Father but also a deep respect for life, family, home, nature, women, and all people generally.
    1. He even used children as the proto-type of those who would enter heaven.
  9. Loyalty Matthew 23:37 – We see Him weeping over the state of the people of Jerusalem – even as They were rejecting him.
  10. Forgiveness – He always taught and offered forgiveness and forbearance regardless of what people did.
    1. The ultimate example from the cross: “Father, forgive them…”
  11. Compassion – Jesus “cared” for people. 
    1. Care – (Kara) – to lament – to grieve – to sorrow for
    1. Compassion – to enter into a person’s sorrow with them.
    1. A different meaning than the one we use today – The strong toward the weak.
    1. We usually feel uncomfortable entering someone’s pain unless or until we feel we can DO something to relieve it.
    1. Jesus just did it. He could be present for all those who were suffering.

I’ve found that the most important people in my life are those who will stand with me – without knowing what to do – Those who will stand with me in my powerlessness.

This is a friend who cares in the true, Jesus sense of the word.

To ”care” means to be Present for each other and willing to say,” I don’t know what to say or do – I don’t understand – but I’m here with you.”

“A friend is one who will stand in prayer with you as God transforms your pain.”
– Mother Teresa.

There’s a lot of talk and teaching in the church that revolves around physical healing. People want the gift of healing and to be known as “Healers.” there’s nothing wrong with that.

I believe that God would have us first become “Carers”.

I think that’s because Curing without Caring would only feed our own narcissism and keep us preoccupied with quick changes.

It would make us unable to “enter in” and be present for one another.

We would stay distracted and impatient waiting for results, unwilling and unable to share each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2-12)— which is the meaning of compassion and is the true foundation of LOVE.

I believe:

  1. God would have an increase in the church’s capacity to care for one another. 
  2. To pray to be restored to His original vision.
  3. Become an expression of Jesus’ caring love and bring healing to others.

James 5:15-16(AMP) -” Confess to one another; your faults, your slips, your false steps, your offenses, and pray also for one another that YOU may be healed and restored to a spiritual tone of mind and heart. The earnest, heartfelt, and continued prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available, which is dynamic in its workings.”

Jesus could heal all who came to Him because He cared for all who came.

A Friend of Jesus – 15-October-2023

Mother Teresa on prayer:

“Prayer is not asking.  Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and LISTENING to His voice in the depths of our hearts.  Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.”

In my times of silence, by necessity, I’ve been ALONE, and I’ll admit, sometimes feeling LONELY.

I think maybe this is the reason why people avoid silence.

But being alone and feeling lonely are two different things.

Being alone can allow us to enter into a peaceful solitude.

But loneliness is like an empty ache: A vague sense of not mattering or not belonging.

It feels lousy – it is sad and nostalgic.  It’s a longing to feel “at home” and in the peace of solitude.

Robert Frost: “Home is the place that when you go there, they have to let you in.

He was not just speaking of a physical abode but the web of relationships we build as we go through life.

We are “at home” when we are with people we know who care for us.

Caring was at the foundation of how Jesus took care of people.  He was there for them when they needed Him and cared for them in the way they needed Him to.

Jesus was willing to enter into their painful situations without knowing beforehand what to do. 

He was present for them as God transformed their pain.

He remains a friend who cares for us and one with whom we can feel “at home” and not be lonely.

A Friend – is a person you know, like, and trust, one you can be allied with in a struggle or cause.

Jesus is a friend like that.  How many would like to be Jesus’ friend?

He’d be an awesome friend to have, right?

Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The only way to have a friend is to be a friend.” 

Walter Winchell: “A real friend is one who walks IN when the rest of the world walks OUT.”

Lynn Wine: “A true friend is one who is there for you when he’d rather be anywhere else.”

True friends are there for you when you’re in crisis because that’s what’s needed.  True friends are there for you REGARDLESS the situation.

When there is a crisis in our lives, we’d want Jesus to be there for us – wouldn’t we?  When I know Jesus is there, it makes me feel a lot better.

John 15:15 – “I no longer call you servants – I call you friends.

We might not feel that what He said relates to us.

I want to take a look at some of the people He chose to be His friends back in the day, OK?

Peter: – was a problematic guy who had “issues”:

  1. Proud
  2. Tempestuous
  3. Impetuous
  4. He denied his relationship with the Lord

Yet, Jesus called him to be the head of the church.

Picture this: You pull up to the church, and there’s a big brawl going on, and there are hundreds of soldiers fighting the church people.

Suddenly, a guy pulls out a large knife and cuts off another guy’s ear.  Then, you realize the guy with the knife is your PASTOR!

I’d like a friend who’d go to that kind of extreme to defend me.

I’d also like a friend who could put it back on.

Galatians 2:11-12 – Paul confronted Peter for being a man-pleaser, eating with the Gentiles only when the Jewish believers were not present.

Matthew 17:4 – Mt of Transfiguration – Jesus, Moses, and Elijah are having a conversation when Peter blurts out about building three shrines for them.

He spoke when he should have been listening: rude and disrespectful.

Character traits: proud, impetuous, had a temper, a man-pleaser, rude, spoke out of turn and was disrespectful, denied Jesus.

Thomas – Didn’t believe.  (John 20:19-25) Add “Disbelief to the list.”

John, the Apostle of love – One of the “Sons of Thunder” who wanted to call fire down on people and consume them just because they didn’t receive Jesus (dissed Him) (Luke 9:51-53)

What kind of spirit was he filled with?  The Spirit of Murder.  Imagine that!

Hey, this was a tough crowd Jesus chose to hang with.

Interesting: Jesus rebuked John and James but didn’t say.  “OK, you’re done.”

So, now you have a Pastor who cuts people’s ears off and church elders who literally want to kill people.

Now wait – Matthew 20:20 – These same guys want to be given a title in the church.  So, what do they do?  They bring their mother to ask for them.  THEY BROUGHT THEIR MOM!

I think Jesus withheld the title because He knew the kind of stuff they’d be in.

A friend will do that sometimes to ensure a good outcome.

Add: Murder spirit, Presumption, Sectarianism or bigotry (against Samaritans) 

Luke 8:1-3 – Speaks of the women who were traveling with Him being ”healed of evil spirits”.  Maybe prostitutes?

Mark 9:38 – John spoke up and said, “Teacher, we noticed someone was using your name to cast out demons, so we tried to stop him because he wasn’t of our group.”

“Hey, you!  Leave that demon in that person.  You can’t do that stuff – you don’t go to our church!”

This was quite a crowd Jesus was traveling with.

OK – so what’s my point in all this?

The point is:  none of these guys had “halos” at the start –  but despite all the flaws, He loved them.  Not just because He had to but because He WANTED to.

Mark 3:13-15(TPT) – ”Afterward, Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to Himself the men He wanted to be His close companions, so they went up to join Him.  He appointed the Twelve, whom He named Apostles.  He wanted them to be continually at His side as HIS FRIENDS, and so that He could send them out to preach and have authority to heal the sick and to cast out demons.”

He called – They came – He ordained them to preach, heal, and cast out demons.

It was a two-fold ordination, the first being: TO BE WITH HIM.

It didn’t matter that they were easily angered – unbelieving, had a murderous spirit – were arrogant or prideful, or were “mama’s- boys.”

It didn’t matter that other people were shaking their religious heads, saying, “Look at that crew of losers.  Man, what a crumby crowd!”

What matters is – He says, “These are the ones I want.”

The message today is – “YOU ARE WANTED BY THE LORD!.”

It’s good to hear me say that, I know, but to actually KNOW it would be even better, wouldn’t it?

My prayer today is as Paul prayed for the church at Ephesus:

Ephesians 3:17-18 – “…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you being rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width, and length, and depth, and height, TO KNOW the love of Christ which passes knowledge, (so) that you may be filled with the fullness of the Lord.”

PM and I have been able to do what we have done over the last 27+ years:

  1. Because of the big bucks we get from the church, along with the incredible benefits package and 
  2. Because it’s been easy to do with no interpersonal conflicts to navigate 
  3. Because it’s easier than getting hung on a cross

Of course not – We can do it only because the Lord wants us to do it.

When you KNOW that God wants you to do something, a lot of the personal neurosis fades into the background.

Don’t listen to the voice of the enemy.  He wants to get you off balance and off focus.

Just remember that Jesus took a bunch of people with a lot of flaws and transformed them into a band of godly warriors that upended the world.

It doesn’t matter what’s said about you from the outside voices – it’s just chatter.

What matters is That you’ve got a friend in Jesus – A TRUE friend!

Revelation 2:17 – says the victorious will get a new name.

I want mine to be: “Friend of Jesus.”

The Power of A Peacemaker

by Pastor Roy Esposito


I want to talk about apprehending a particular type of Peace today but not in the sense of an absence of war.

Not as having an extreme indifference to the world as some of the early church monastics did – and not as –

Not the peace the swamis might profess as they seek a transcendental state of being  but;

The peace that comes as a result of a revelation of God’s love for us – a peace that is the “fruit of the confidence” His love affords us.

It’s the peace that comes through the knowledge (by revelation) that “Greater is He who is IN me than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

We need this knowledge for success in the “wrestling match” we find ourselves in.

We know that we’re not fighting people but against “principalities, powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age  – spiritual hosts of wickedness in the HEAVENLY PLACES.” (Ephesians 6:12)

** Important to note: The wrestling is done in the “heavenly/spiritual realm.”**

So, it’s good to know that God has equipped us to win because God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the same heavenly places.  (Ephesians 1:3)

Because our enemies are spiritual ones, they take form in this realm as FEAR – fear in its many expressions:  

1.  Failure; 2.  Illness; 3.  Rejection; 4.  Betrayal; 5.  Insignificance;

6.  Irrelevance.

My response over time: 1.  Physical intimidation; 2.  Mental intimidation; 3.  Use of occult power; 4.  After receiving salvation – manipulation of scripture.

None of this worked – so the result was INCREASED FEAR.

The methods I had constructed for protection and put my faith in were bogus and contained no power.

They were doomed to failure because “soul power” can never be effective in “spiritual wars.”

In reflection, I’ve realized that God has allowed many circumstances in my life to expose my bad habits and wrong attitudes, which “blurred my vision” and were products of a prideful, self-contained mind.

It was a painful experience and painful to admit.

But through these trials of faith, God has begun to teach me that true spiritual authority over the demons of fear would arise from the areas in myself where His Peace had replaced my conflict.

His Peace resulted from “Coming to the end” of my ways – releasing them to Him – and calling on His help.

Ephesians 2:14 – “He, Himself, is our Peace.”

Psalm 34:4 “I sought the Lord, and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears.”

When He delivered me from my fear, I entered His peace.

And then I realized that true authority comes from His Peace.

Paul said in Philippians 4:12 – that he had learned to be CONTENT in whatever state he was in.

Content – in this context, doesn’t mean he learned to be “happy.”

It means he learned to be “Undisturbed” and at Peace.

Peace (Strongs)“to be at REST” or to “Set at ONE again.”

This is Love’s (God’s) goal for His creation: ONENESS or PEACE.

Our enemy’s goal: – Duality – Conflict – Separation and Division.

If you want to know the next battle you’ll be facing, look to where you’re separated: spouse, family, friends, church, or where you’re “double-minded.”

James 1:8 “A double-minded man is UNSTABLE in ALL of his ways.”

You’ll be at war and unrest where you are not at peace and where “oneness” is non-existent.

Philippians 4:6-7 – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be known to God, – and the PEACE OF GOD, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Paul is saying – ”Stop sweating it!  Cry out to God for help, and He’ll give you His Peace — a peace that is not available through any human process.  And once you have it – it will keep your hearts and minds safe.”

We can have real peace because Jesus bequeathed HIS PEACE as a blessing.

John 14;27 – “Peace, I leave to you.  MY PEACE I give to you, not as the world gives, do I give it to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Amplified – “Stop allowing yourself to be agitated and disturbed (You have a choice to allow or disallow) and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated, cowardly, and unsettled.”

Christ gave us His Peace, but it’s up to us to DISALLOW fear from intimidating us and thus voiding its power.

We will never experience Christ’s victory in its fullness until we stop reacting to our circumstances soulishly.

When you truly have authority over something, you can look at it straight in the eye without fear or intimidation.

Your peace in conflict will be the proof of your victory!

Jesus’ victory over the storm was an expansion of His peace over the elements.

He didn’t fear or fight the storm – he just faced it and subdued it through His “perfect peace.”

He was the “Living Word,” expressing the truth of the written Word through His being.

Isaiah 26:3(AMP) – “You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both in character and inclination] is stayed on You, because he COMMITS himself to You, and leans on You and hopes confidently in You.”

2 Timothy 1:12 – He will keep what I commit to Him.

Jesus’ victory came because He refused to judge the situation by what He saw but instead trusted in and testified to God’s promises in the written Word.

Even when The devil confronted him – He didn’t get angry – nor was He in fear.

He knew the devil was a liar, so He simply refused to be intimidated by his words.

So, we know that satan has an arsenal of weapons he can use against us: Fear, depression, anxiety, worry, doubt, hopelessness, self-pity, any of which will steal our peace and leave us troubled.

But only if we ALLOW them, too.

Remember the truth of Ephesians 1:3 – God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the Heavenly Places –the very place where our battles are fought.

Ephesians 6:14 – The Armor of God

  1. Truth – lean on the Holy Spirit,
  2. Righteousness – The shed blood of Christ,
  3. Peace  – The result of the finished work of the Cross,
  4. Faith – HIS faith to stand in (Galatians 2:20),
  5. Salvation – Thoughts kept on the spiritual truth of the Word,
  6. Speak and declare the Word, thereby testifying to its power,
  7. Prayer of communication, as well as supplication,
  8. Watchfulness – Stay vigilant and focused to keep distractions to a minimum.

While preparing this message for today, I remembered what God said to me when He asked me if I would serve His purpose full-time.

No Marketing to the church.

“No Manipulating the people to get them to join or to stay.”

“Use no sales tricks, and I will be with you on the journey always.

Roy, I want you to help bring My people’s lives into obedience to Christ and into FULL MATURITY of My Spirit.”

He said, “Mature believers will walk in My Peace and subsequently in My Power!

My Peace is a fruit and an attribute of My Spirit: It is Spirit Power! 

Galatians 5:22(TPT) “…Peace that SUBDUES….”

As we “shod our feet with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace,” we will walk in Peace.

When we walk in Peace – we walk in the Power of a Peacemaker.

We walk in the power of one who is so yielded to God in spirit and purpose he can be called “A Son of God” (Matthew 5:9)

He is fearless, calm, and bold; always humble and never arrogant.

Wherever he walks, he brings and leaves peace – Peace emanates from him like heat does from a fire. – His peace is a weapon against the chaos of the Darkness.

Philippians 1:28(AMP) “And do not – for a moment – be frightened or intimidated in anything by your opponents and adversaries – For such constancy and fearlessness will be a clear sign – a proof and a seal – to them                                                                                                            of their impending destruction and a sure token and evidence of your deliverance and salvation, and that from God.”

So, when you’re in the battle, don’t engage – step back into the tower of the Almighty – and REST.

Psalm 37:7-9  “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.  Do not fret – it only causes harm.”

Verse 11 – But the meek shall inherit the earth and delight in the abundance of Peace.” (Meek – ”Power under control”)

The source of our Peace is GOD Himself

Ephesians 2:14 – “He Himself, is our Peace.”

People of Significance

by Pastor Roy Esposito


Last Week: Pain exists as a physical and emotional human condition – 100% of us will suffer from its effects.

Two Choices:  

  1. Turn to God and allow the wound to drive us deeper into God, where we can receive healing. 
  2. Let the wound fester.

In choosing the first option, our pain can be part of the process for which we can “Gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8) so our wounds won’t fester into bitterness.

While Salvation is instant, and Justification comes by faith, gaining Christ isn’t automatic.

We gain Christ by having a single mind toward Him, releasing everything else in our pursuit of intimacy with Him.

Gaining Christ – This is a process of giving oneself to living the Christian life intentionally and continuously – with patience and endurance, becoming more of a reflection of Him.

As we become more like Him, our deep soul-sickness becomes progressively healed.

Through faith in God, I’ve learned to entrust myself to His love, especially when I’m wounded.

Peter said we are CALLED to this walk, just as Jesus was:
1 Peter 2:21-23: “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should know to follow His steps; who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth.  When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten; but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.”

Holding onto bitterness will kill us, body and soul, and infect others around us.

Instead, We must trust and believe that God will take care of it for us. 

2 Timothy 1:12: “…for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that day.”

Sometimes, we are healed not because a person makes restitution to us but because we’ve entrusted andreleased our wound to God, the righteous judge.

Entrusting our wounds to God is the only way we can avoid responding to evil with evil and:

The only way to break this unhealthy downward spiral of bitterness, thus leading to sickness and death.

How far we can trust God will be the measure of our spiritual maturity.

I will admit that I haven’t handled conflict well in the past. 

I let it linger in me, becoming an oppression heading towards bitterness.

While reading the scriptures, though, I came across an unlikely remedy.

Luke 6:22-23: “Blessed are you when men hate you and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake  –  REJOICE in that day and LEAP FOR JOY!”

I think we can only leap for joy when we have faith that God will give us the grace needed for whatever situation we find ourselves in.

Over the years at RCFwe have taught that it’s possible to have intimacy with Jesus because He is not just our Savior; in a theological sense, He’s Immanuel: God WITH us!

He dwells in us!  He’s fully committed to us!  He loves us!

And He’s fully able to transform what was meant to destroy us into a means to perfect us.

The one caveatWe have to BELIEVE it.

If you doubt the Father’s good plan for you and cling to unbelief, your difficulties will reduce you to a bitter, angry person.

Consider: The Father’s “good plan” is about transforming us into the likeness of the Son, to become free and powerful in God, and to do good works in His name.

Because of this, Satan sees us as a threat to Him.  He knows that God has ordained a powerful future for us.


Consider this: The devil doesn’t waste his time with insignificant people.

He attacks only those he fears will liberate others.

If he can cause you to become infected with bitterness, your destiny will be side-tracked until the root of bitterness is plucked out of your soul.

The Root of Bitterness

Hebrews 12:15(TPT) – “Watch over each other to make sure that no one misses the revelation of God’s grace.  And make sure no one lives with a root of bitterness sprouting within them, which will only cause trouble and poison the hearts of many.

Question: How can a root of bitterness exist in us?

As I said earlier, LOVE seeks ONENESS.

BITTERNESS seeks DIVISION, to divide and separate and thereby destroy.

Bitterness is a demonic manipulation of a wound or an injustice; like all weeds, it can spread easily.

The root of bitterness exists in unredeemed areas of a self-seeking soul.  

 John 12:25 (paraphrased by PR) – Jesus said, The only way to save your souls is to lose them to Him.

PR version – “The only way to pass through the most difficult battles is to FACE THEM – carrying the cross with faith, humility, and trust in God.”

There are only two outcomes when we are wounded:

1.  Make the wound the focus and keep reliving it.

2.  Believe that God has ordained the wounding for His purposes or allowed it to happen for the same reason.  Why?

Because in His wisdom, He knows – we need more LOVE – Deeper FAITH – less reliance on self and more on Him.

Ultimately, in every conflict, God seeks to create more Christ-likeness in us.

Only as Christ’s nature, character, love, and authority become functional in my life that I become a Significant Presence in the kingdom of God – AND now…

All my enemies become subdued and dysfunctional in me.

This can be a hard message to grasp fully.

I want to pray as Paul did (Ephessians 1:18)  That God would grant us the grace to “see”:

so the eyes of our hearts can be enlightened, so we can know the hope of HIS calling and possess the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints

Then, when the next battle presents itself, we will LEAP FOR JOY and praise God for the victory.

Humility – 19-Mar-2023

by Pastor Roy Esposito

Micah 6:8 (AMP)” He has told you. O man. What is good, and what does the Lord require of you, except to be just and to love [ and diligently practice] kindness and compassion, and to walk humbly with your God [ setting aside any overblown sense of importance or self-righteousness]?

Humility will lead us to the  Honesty we need to be able to “commit our works to the Lord ” and have our thoughts established by Him. (Proverbs 16:3)

Last week: Our thoughts frame the reality we operate in.

Proverbs 23:7 –” For as a man thinks in his HEART, so is he.

The Heart – is the “central command hub” through which God communicates with us.

Jeremiah 17:9 – Says that the human heart is deceitful above ALL things and desperately wicked. (Even the devil?)

If our hearts are unhealed, all of our works will be tainted and essentially dishonest.

Unhealed hearts have a distracted focus on God and a distorted view of the reality of His love for us.

A distorted view of God’s love for us will cause us to seek OTHER things to fill the void of the disconnect we feel with God.

Psychological terms: Attachments     Spiritual / Religious terms: IDOLS.

God’s solution:  Ezekiel 36:26 and Jeremiah 31:33 – Promise to give those who seek Him – “New Hearts.”

Hebrews 10b-11 (TPT)“…I will embed my laws within their thoughts and fasten them to their hearts. I will be their loyal God, and they will be my loyal people.

There will be no need to teach their fellow citizens or brothers by saying ‘You should know the Lord’ since everyone will know Me INWARDLY….”

God is FOR us, church!  He’s ALL IN and fully committed to us.

Our part: Is simply not to run away from Him!

Many run away from God through False Pride – an “I can do it on my own.”

Pride, in this sense, is not just boasting.

Pride creates an illusionary life: a False Self behind which we can hide: from others, ourselves, and ultimately from God.

We become afraid of God because, down deep, we know God as “The Truth.”

Our spirit knows this, and our consciousness confirms it to our soul, causing it to be unable to rest and be at peace. We doubt God’s love for us and His commitment to us.

Humility – puts an end to all this.   

Follow this Flow Chart:

Humility >> Honesty >> Truth >> Self-discovery >> Healing >> Liberty >>
Ability to Liberate Others.

Walking in Truth sets us free to create a Safe Space for others to discover themselves in God without fearing guilt or accusation.

This becomes the ultimate expression of the Hospitality we can offer to those walking the spiritual path.

But first, we must come to our Humility – the “Get over yourself” exercise.

Colossians 3:2 (NLT) “Let heaven fill your thoughts.

Philippians 4:8 “Fix your thoughts on things that are true, honorable, and right.”

TPT – Authentic, real, honorable, admirable, beautiful, respectful, pure, holy, merciful, and kind.

God is FOR us – it’s true.  But it’s through our expression of humility that we allow Him to be so!

Humility allows His power to become magnified in our lives by agreeing with Him on the present state and condition of our being.

When we can concede that we are angry, selfish, lustful, or deceitful – God can respond on our behalf and grant us the grace to overcome whatever obstacle we face and get free of its influence.

Isaiah 57:18-19 (Message) “When I looked and saw what they were doing, I decided to heal them, and lead them, and comfort them, creating a new language of Praise for mourning, Peace for the far-off, Peace to the near at hand, says the Lord! Yes, I will heal them.”

The healing spoken of here is not just physical or even emotional; It also heals an infected soul of “sin-sickness.”

Humility – allows us to acknowledge our needs and allows those needs to become the “voice of our prayers.”

Our prayers then are transformed from mere petitions for help to  “communications of truth” – and open to God.

They go from being “head prayers” to “heart prayers” based on TRUTH.

Our Heart Prayers become the “voice of our dependency.

It’s the place where we not only bring our needs to God but we leave them there with Him, transferring them to Him.

Strong-willed, independent people never pray this way, but humble people do because they’ve come to realize that willpower will never be enough to fill the void they feel.

So, why don’t people pray from a humble heart more often? 

Many haven’t yet learned to really trust God and remain suspicious and afraid of Him.

FEAR of losing control over the conditions and circumstances of their life and of the lives of their loved ones.

The Prayer of Fear can do little to alter anything in our lives and will most likely keep us bound to the conditions we’re most afraid of.

The Prayer of Faith, though, is a powerful thing.

It takes just a tiny smidge of it to change stuff dramatically. (Mustard Seed)

Faith (Trust in God) is powerful in that it is the means through which we can appropriate Grace.

The Good News is: – Faith is the by-product of Humility.

                              – Fear is always displaced by it!

We can now read the scriptures with fresh, faith-filled eyesight: 

2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray – I will hear from heaven and HEAL them.” 

Now, we no longer pray from FEAR but from PROMISE as our prayers become an expression of our growing trust in God.

These are called “The Prayers of the Restful” or Hesychastic Prayers

Our circumstances don’t necessarily change –the world is still a dangerous and threatening place – but. 

The prayer empowered by faith transforms the world by transforming the heart of the one offering the prayer.

A transformed heart transforms our thinking, and we become the result of our new thought patterns. (“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7)

The key seems to be trusting God more with our lives.

This can seem risky because little in our “normal” life supports it.

To trust God is counterintuitive to the natural mind, which tells us:

  1. “Bad things happen to good and innocent people.”
  2. “Whoever collects the most ‘toys’ before they die wins.”

Sentiments like these communicate several messages:

              If you put yourself in God’s hands, you are:

  1. Superstitious
  2. Ignorant
  3. Irresponsible
  4. Maybe a bit psychotic.

(And these are just the theologians speaking!)

But today, I believe God is calling to those who are seeking more,

 “Rise Up! Ascend into this realm; I want to show you things to come.” –  Revelation 4:1

But we can Rise Up only through letting go of that which tethers us to this realm and restricts the depth of our understanding to what we already know.

If you desire to answer His call –  Stay humble and honestly try to take an inventory of your current state of being.  He has promised those who will, A New Heart that will be close to His.

Borne By the Spirit – 12-Mar-23

by Pastor Roy Esposito

John 3:3 – Jesus told Nicodemus, “…unless one is BORN AGAIN, he will not see the Kingdom of God.” (TPT) – “Before a person can PERCEIVE God’s kingdom realm, they must first experience a REBIRTH.”

Before a person can experience a rebirth, they must desire it and be willing to follow the Spirit’s leading.

John 3:5 – “…unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”

John 16:13-15 (TPT)

  1. He unveils the reality of every perception within us and enables us to see the Truth clearly beyond the cloak of our fallen nature.  
  2. He speaks prophetically of the things that are to come.
  3. He glorifies Jesus and reveals a brand new potential for our lives.

Needless to say, the Holy Spirit plays a huge part in our transcendence.

Wade Taylor – When one is BORN of the Spirit –  they can be BORNE (Carried) by the Spirit into a higher realm.

Wade’s teachings focused on what he called “Becoming the Habitation of God” or the “Incarnation” (God in Flesh) the Church carrying the Presence of God on the earth.

This requires being present to ourselves  – right here, right now. (To “be where your feet are.”) – BECAUSE you can’t carry HIS PRESENCE without being present yourself. 

Being Present speaks of being able to receive and give – right now – with nothing to understand or think about  – to just DO IT.

This doesn’t take place in the mind but within the innermost parts of our being Spirit to Spirit

The only part our minds play is positioning ourselves to receive guidance from the Spirit.

Positioning – “Doing the inner work.” 

  1. “Who am I?
  2. “What have I been focused on that brought me to where I am now?  (How I think and my perception of the reality I live and operate in.)

Philosopher Rene Descartes – “I think, therefore I am.”

Proverbs 23:7 – Scripture seems to say something similar, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Descartes – “Because I can think, therefore I exist.

Bible – “What I’m thinking about has influence and even forms what and who I am – and how I exist.”

Proverbs 16:3 speaks of how to be BORNE by the Spirit: 

         “Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.” 

TPT – “Before you do anything, put your trust totally in God and not in yourself. Then every plan you make will succeed.”

PR translation – Commit your HEART to the Lord; put your attention on HIM and trust Him. Then He will guide the thoughts that are forming who you are.”

I believe what we give our attention to will direct and form our reality.

We are instructed to  “Set our minds on things above and not on earthly things.” – Colossians 3:2

Now here’s the problem we all face as we try to follow through on this:

 We  possess two separate natures; Animal and Spiritual (Old/New Man)

Because this is so, our ability to keep our attention on God gets untracked by the distractions and distortions of our animal nature.

I call this a “Distraction of Attention” – a type of spiritual ADHD

    Even the most spiritual person among us suffers from its effects.

Every time our attention shifts to our natural desires, our attention on God takes a blow.

With it, our ability to live in the grace and benefits of God’s love takes a hit also.

This is because Attention and Love are intimately related.

In church, we speak a lot about Love. 1 John 4:8: “God Is Love.” 

 But, if love is to be transformed from mere Conceptualization to Actualization, our attention must be focused on it – free from the effects of distractions, distortions, and conditions generated by our animal nature.

In Truth – Our lives are full of distractions that cause love not to be actualized.

However, we were created with a deep need for God, who is Love.

Because of the distractions and distortions of our lower nature, though, when a circumstance arises where God’s love is needed, we don’t perceive His Presence  – He seems absent and unable or unwilling to help us.

When the “love void” goes unfilled, our tendency is to grab onto something else to satisfy the need.

We have an unfulfilled desire for God but end up with a substitution instead.

Let’s call whatever this substitution is an “attachment.”

It usurps God’s love and receives our attention – ultimately becoming more important than God to us at that moment.

It’s easy to recognize the obvious attachments: EX – A “Fix” for an addict

But how about something less obvious?

How about when you are standing in line at the store, and there’s an older person in front of you fumbling with their change  – or a mom with some unruly kids making a racket –and all you want to do is get home?

Then you become so impatient that getting through the line quickly becomes the most important thing to you – so much so that it usurps any thought of compassion or love you might otherwise have had.

You’ve ATTACHED primary importance to getting past the object of annoyance so that you’ve become what’s in your heart at that moment — an impatient, annoyed, and uncaring person. 

If we take an honest look at things, we’d have to concede that most of the pain in the world is not caused by the devil or is sent by God to test us but from – What we say and do to each other!

Scenes like this happen so often that we begin to see them as NORMAL and accept them as part of life.  But they are truly not benign.

Paul Tillich – “Whatever we are ultimately concerned with IS GOD for us.

This can include anything and everything that takes our attention off God, even things that may be considered GOOD.

It’s not the things in themselves but the importance we give to them that matters.

Anything that replaces God as the focus of our heart can become a “distortion of attention” or, in religious terminology – “IDOLATRY.”

You may be thinking, “Pastor Roy is being overly dramatic – even harsh – sure, I get distracted now and again – everybody does, but I love God and live my life for Him.”

This is where honesty comes into play – because this is a lie we tell ourselves – just look objectively at your actions.

How many of our actions are really purely motivated?

We claim to love God, but, in truth, we are living our distractions.

Don’t get mad.  This is a universal problem of our old nature.

We are mostly more concerned with our attachments than we are with love.

Paul recognized this tendency in himself – 

    Romans 7:18-20 (TPT)   “For I know that nothing good lives within the flesh of my fallen humanity. The longings to do what is right are within me, but willpower is not enough to accomplish it.

   “My lofty desire to do what is good is dashed when I do the things I want to avoid.

   So, if my behavior contradicts my desire to do good, I must conclude that it’s not my true identity doing it, but the unwelcome intruder of sin hindering me from being who I truly am.”

I’m not pointing this out with the hammer of guilt. It does no good to feel guilty.

If anything, guilt makes us more preoccupied with ourselves.

Romans 8:1 – “There is, therefore, no condemnation to those who are in Christ who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Even though all I said today is true, we are not condemned by it because we are IN CHRIST and covered by His sacrificial death and resurrection. 

When we realize that we need God and ask to become Born Again, we are freed from the destiny and the consequences of our fallen 


We are carried (BORNE) through the regeneration process by the “Life-giving Spirit” of God.

God does call us to do our best – to be excellent in how we live – and to embrace the struggle in faith, staying focused on Him.

Ultimately, we must accept the reality of our incompleteness:

Another way of saying this is having HUMILITY.

Until you embrace humility, your natural mind and nature will sit as a god in the temple of your thought life, keeping you a slave to its unending demands and insufficiencies.

To be Borne by the Spirit will require taking a hard look at the condition of our Honesty and Humility – and asking for the Spirit’s help!

A prophetic action:  Go to the mirror and emphatically say, “Get over yourself!”   Then proceed with your day guided by The Spirit of God.

Praise in the Wilderness 26-Feb-2023

by Pastor Roy Esposito

A Fact of Life: Everybody suffers!   Health, emotions, and anxiety (from real or imagined sources, including fear, hatred, violence, or envy.)

It’s part of human reality since the fall of man in the Garden.

Mankind (Adam) chose to leave the state of peace and safety provided by God for a life that would require them to find the answers to: 

“Who am I?   What am I doing here?”  – instead of just BEING!

But by His mercy, God has not left us to our ineptitude.

Colossians 3:3(TPT) – provides the answer for us   – 

“Your crucifixion with Christ has severed the tie to this life (of suffering), and now your true life is hidden away in God in Christ.”

It seems ironic that although every believer is hidden away in Christ and is His body  —  YET we all fear and avoid the intimacy required to FIND ourselves in Christ.

I believe the events of the days we are living in are part of an AWAKENING that will imbue us with self-confidence, identity, and deeper trust in God (Faith). That will instill greater courage to face and accept our uniqueness, so we can give it toothers.

So, how can this happen? How do we find our way back to peace, safety, and ONENESS with God?

Jesus said, “I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE.”  – (John 14:6)

He is the Way to Life! – Life can only come through Truth. – 

Therefore, Truth is the WAY – the only Way.

Truth – is not a compilation of facts – Truth is a PERSON!

To come to  LIFE through TRUTH, then, has to become a personal matter.

God made it personal when He chose to manifest Himself on earth in the PERSON of Jesus.

Traveling The Path to Life requires  — Truth >> Transparency (humility and vulnerability) >> leading to Purity of Heart >> leading to Holiness.

God wants a holy people and has said so:

Leviticus 19:2 “You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.”  

This is a scary concept for many because of the past legalism in Church teachings.      A “Religious Spirit”

But be assured that having a Religious Spirit will never make you holy!

Although we do participate in our transformation into the “new creation,” – we, on our own, can never make ourselves holy.

When you try to make yourself holy, your focus is actually on your UNHOLINESS – and we always become what we behold.

The key to Holiness –  Is realizing that it’s God’s will that it would be so.

The “Shall be…” in Leviticus 19  is not an order to make something He knows we’re incapable of doing but a promise – a prophetic declaration directed at our “inner being” to become what He’s spoken.

Not a demand but a prophetic decree spoke forth by God!

What’s more – I believe that God wants us not just to become holy and pure but also to be joyful and fulfilled in Him.

We don’t need a theory or theology about holiness  – we need an opportunity to experience what it feels like to be pure and clean before God.

Revelation 4:6 – describes a lake before God’s throne that is crystal clear and pure – it’s very still and has no ripples.  Water speaks of LIFE.

I think many times we miss opportunities the Lord creates for us because we don’t recognize them as such.

Why?-  Often, they are dressed unattractively – Looking like WORK, SACRIFICE, or unpleasant.  – Who wants to embrace that, right?

We generally like the stories of victory, blessings, and the promises of God.

We like receiving the Gifts of the Spirit and the Move of His Glory, right?

We love the idea of large angels doing spiritual warfare for us as if we’re playing a computer game – and we can press the Reset button if things get too unpleasant.

But God may be moving in ways we don’t expect – shrouded in Mystery and ways that require Faith and Trust.

Many times it gets a little too personal, and we close ourselves off often using the “Shield of Faith“ against the: ”Sword of the Spirit.”

These are the times we should humble ourselves and retreat into

“The shelter of the Most High…”  (Psalm 91:1-2TPT)

Hebrews 13:15 – “Therefore, by Him (because of who He is and with His help) let us continually offer the Sacrifice of Praise to God, that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”

Ahh!! — The Sacrifice of Praise!

J. Hayford Kingdom Dynamics – SACRIFICE – to kill or slaughter something for a specific purpose.

Praise – requires that we kill our Pride – our fear  – our sloth and spiritual dysfunction  – or ANYTHING that threatens to interfere with our WORSHIP of the Lord.

Worship is necessary because as we worship, we have fellowship with Him and become ONE with Him

Psalm 22:3(TPT) – “You are God-Enthroned, surrounded with songs, living among the shouts of praise of your princely people.”

Being “ONE” with God is how our original relationship was.

Praise makes God present, and in His presence, we can only worship; worship restores our authentic relationship with Him.

As a result: Worship Restores US!

How many would like your enemy’s main access point to your soul shut down and removed?

God doesn’t just want to clean us up, so we look Holy  – He wants to take out of us anything that might stand in the way of us BECOMING Holy!

John 14:30 – Jesus said, “The prince of this world comes, and he has nothing in me.” – I’d like to be able to say that.

Jesus also said that there would come a time that believers would be able to do the things He did and more.  – I think this might fall into that category.

As I was praying about what to speak on today, I felt the Lord leading me to remind you to be careful not to misunderstand or mislabel the things you’re experiencing in these times.

These are not times of lack or times of woe but are opportunities to experience sweet and deeper fellowship with Him as you lay down your fears, “what ifs,” and lack of understanding – and to trust Him.

I felt Him say, “Tell them, “What was once lost can be regained and restored through these times.”

Our first parents were “Had” by God.

When He spoke to them, they responded to His Word not just by DOING what He said but by BECOMING” what he said.

The enemy’s goal has remained the same through the ages: to get us to break fellowship with God.

He created a need in our first parents through deception, which focused their eyes and hearts on something other than God. 

“Partake of this, and you will become like God.” – When in reality, they were already one with Him.

Becoming Holy doesn’t mean – no enjoyment – no family or friends – no material pleasures.

It’s not sitting around chanting and being weird – it simply means partaking in all that is good while at the same time looking past all the stuff to the ONE who is the creator and supplier of all the stuff.

A Holy life – Is simply a life of thanksgiving and praise to God.

You’ll never have to seek to get free stuff if you find yourself captured by it already.

Thank and praise God in all things and ask Him to help you realign your priorities.  –  PR

If you will, the wildernesses we all find ourselves in sometimes won’t have to be an extremely hard and overbearing place.

It can be a place where we are changed in the presence of a Holy God.

Releasing the River (12-Feb-23)

by Pastor Roy Esposito

Last week – I said that  God would have us be persistent in prayer.

I encouraged us all to ask God for a larger dose of the spiritual gift of “Long-Suffering.”

Long-suffering is the ability to “hang in there” – not to suffer for a long time.  — Makrothumia – FORTITUDE.

“Cheetah Approach” – quick bursts – no endurance.

Ask for a “Bigger Heart” concerning prayer.

A Bigger heart – Is not just a desire to pray more but to attain a greater capacity to trust God’s faithfulness.

It’s the ability to sustain a level of prayer fervency, even if it should take years for a resolution.

Luke 11:5-13 – A guy gets out of bed to give bread to his friend not because he was nagged – but because of their relationship.

Hebrews 4:16 – “Come boldly to the throne of grace….” We can come because of our relationship as sons and daughters of God.

Luke 11:13 – “Earthly fathers know how to give good gifts to their children – how much more will our heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who would ask.”

The Prayer of Persistence is not about being a “scutch” (sig) – but about asking the Father, boldly and shamelessly, for more of the Holy Spirit’s fullness.

James 5:16b – “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much….”

Romans 3:21-26 – if any questions remain regarding your righteousness.

Effective Prayer – Contains the power to bind the “strong man” – the negative force that propels or sustains a circumstance.

Fervent – A passionate intensity – a blazing torrent of glowing hot resolve.

Visualize: An ugly demon supporting a disease – You take a hot fireball of faith-filled prayer power and release it – and it explodes as it unleashes a spiritual netting over him that renders him powerless.

I would bet that not many pray like that — YET!

I believe we are all “working out” in the gym of the Spirit right now – getting our hearts larger and stronger for more endurance.

Romans 12:3 – God has given each of us a “measure of faith.”

Hebrews 11:1 – ”Faith is a substance…” of spiritual composition – but still a substance.

This substance has power and will be effective in whatever we apply.

Eventually, if we “stay with it,” enough power will be released to get the job done.

Remember – 1 Corinthians 3:16 – We are the temple – the NAOS of God.  The “Holy of Holies” – The dwelling place of His Spirit.

John 7:38 – Out of the “Kolia” – the womb of our inner being will flow fountains of “Living Water.”

John 4:1-42 – Jesus tells the Samaritan woman at the well that He is the “living water” – the “Water” that gives and sustains life.

Christ, Himself, flows out of our inner being to give life to all He touches.

God has put “Living Water” power in us so that our prayers become more than just devices to get the Father to do something for us.

Our prayers are releasing the power of the “Living Water” over a given situation to accomplish His will and purpose.

Psalm 115:16(TPT) – “The heavens belong to our God; they are His alone, but He has given us the earth and put us in charge.”

Revelation 22:1-2 – John sees a Throne and, from beneath it, a River flowing.

Our faith-filled prayers open the floodgates allowing the River to flow.

Faith-filled prayers – speak not of what we muster up in our souls – but the increasing faith and trust we’re developing in the faithfulness of God.

This is the River of God, so it requires the pray-er to be in sync with the heart of God in order to be able to turn the water on and release its power.

In Sync – It is knowing, understanding, and applying the principles and ways of God.

I believe this is the place in God we are at right now – We are LEARNING.

If we remain persistent, the layers of understanding and faith will build upon themselves and allow the “River” to go from a trickle to a roar.

Ezekiel 47:1-12 – Gives a perfect example of what I’m saying:

  1. Ezekiel is shown the Temple with water flowing
  2. An angel measures 1000 cubits – water is ankle deep
  3. Measures again – water is now at the knees
  4. Again – At the waist
  5. Again – Start swimming, dude!

You could surmise that each measurement delineates an increase in faith.

Personal testimony – bladder cancer – originally quarter-sized – Pastor Marie prayed – God said I’d have to walk through it.  It was reduced to dime-sized at the time of the procedure.

Pastor Marie released spiritual power from her inner being that accomplished something physical in me.

Ephilippeans 3:20-21(NKJ) – “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think – according to the power that works IN US – To Him be the glory, in the church, by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever, amen.”

Exceedingly abundant – (Greek) – Huper Perissos – Super-abundant with even more added!

Romans 5:20 – the same word used for the supply of Grace God released to cover our sins.  As sin increases, GRACE abounds even more!


  1. God will do “superabundantly” in relation to the measure of faith-power that’s currently working in us.
  2. His GLORY is shown in the Church – the called ones who’ve responded to it.
  3. The incarnate God’s work didn’t cease operations when Jesus ascended to heaven  – it’s to “ALL generations.”

OK – so I think we’ve established that there is power available to us.

Matthew 7:7 – Jesus says that the power is accessible simply by Seeking – Asking – Knocking.  “Everyone who asks – receives; Seeks – finds; Knocks – doors open; no question about it.

So, if that is true – why doesn’t it always work?

Many times we ask – and nothing seems to happen; We seek – but still remain lost; We knock – but the door remains firmly shut.  WHY?

One thing for certain – the power source is not the problem.

Ephesians 3:20“…according to the power that works in us….”

Wuest Translation – “…in the measure of power which is OPERATIVE in us….”

So, it is not the LATENT power – it is the OPERATIVE power.

This power is not just the POTENTIAL power, but the power that is USED.

Measure – (Kata) – Connotes not just the AMOUNT of power but also the DISTRIBUTION of that power.

The scripture actually says – “God will do superabundant stuff tied to the measure of faith possessed by us, in the measure we are able and willing to distribute it.”
PR Translation

Why does He do it this way?  Why doesn’t He just answer our prayers when we pray them?

CS Lewis – “We will spend eternity thanking God for the prayers He didn’t answer.”

Proverbs 14:12 – “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

I  think there is wisdom in considering that God answers the intention of our prayers – but does it in another way.  BUT…

I believe there’s something a bit deeper and more profound to consider.

Unlike any other religion, Christianity’s truth is centered on what is called The Incarnation – where God takes on human flesh and deals with us in a visible and tangible way.

As humans, we are present in the world through our five senses.

Jesus could be seen, touched, and heard.

1 Corinthians 12:27We are “the Body of Christ.” – The Incarnate Christ is still ongoing.

The Body of Christ is not a metaphor or an exaggeration – not a representation or a mystical body.

Scripture simply states, “We are Christ’s body.” – In an organic way.

The Word, who became flesh, continues to dwell among us.

We have been taught to pray “In Jesus’ name” or THROUGH Jesus’ name.

This is more than a formality.  When we pray “Through Christ,” we are also praying through the Body of Christ – which we are as believers.

So, in reality, not only is God in heaven being asked to act – we are also charging ourselves to act.

To pray as a Christian demands a concrete involvement in trying to bring about what is being asked.

Example: If my mother is sick and I pray for healing but don’t drive her to the Dr. – I have prayed only as a theist but not as a Christian.

I have not put any “incarnational skin” to my prayer.

Our prayers need flesh to back them up because God won’t be texting people from heaven anytime soon – It’s my voice and my heart that needs to be heard.

If we are serious about being more effective in prayer, we need to ask ourselves some questions:

  1. Am I acting in a manner that faithfully distributes the measure of power given to me?
  2. Is the RIVER flowing from my inner being?  What may be blocking it?

I must be intentional in prayer – casual, sporadic prayers won’t accomplish the miraculous.

James 5:16(Wuest) – “A prayer of a righteous person is able to do much as it OPERATES.

It doesn’t say, “It causes GOD to operate.”  “IT” itself – operates.

How?  The same power that went into the depths of the earth and took back the Keys of Life from the kingdom of darkness – IS IN US!

It is our responsibility to RELEASE IT.


“Father, please lift the veil from our eyes today regarding The RIVER of Life.  Remind us to come boldly to your throne, where we will find the mercy and the grace we need in this time of awakening and be able to let the River flow out to the world.

In Jesus’ name.

Pray Without Ceasing (5-Feb-23)

by Pastor Roy Esposito


I have been thinking a lot about the condition of my faith and the effectiveness of my prayers.  I have asked the Holy Spirit to help me in this area of service. 

I felt the Lord say that prayers of “Valor” were the ones that hold the power to do great exploits in His name and that I should pursue them. 

I considered David’s army and the elite force that was within it called the “Mighty Men of Valor.”

Valor [Desfinition]: having the strength of mind and Spirit to encounter danger with firmness and commitment to purpose.

Valor is the absence of indecision – even in the face of death.

David’s elite force had several things in common that identified them as the Mighty Men of Valor

  1. They had a common purpose – to serve the king.
  2. They could not be shaken from that purpose regardless of the humbleness of the task asked of them or the impossible odds against them.
  3. They did whatever they needed to do no matter how long it took and never wavered while the challenge was still before them.

2 Samuel 23:8-12 – gives some examples of their exploits.

Shammah took on the humble assignment to defend a lentil patch and tenaciously defeated an overwhelming contingent of Philistines in the process.

Adino, who fought and killed 800 Philistines in battle single-handedly.

Eleazar, whose hand became frozen to his sword b/c the battle endured for so long.

These men – and others – possessed a Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) called “long-suffering.” – which doesn’t mean “suffering for a long time.”

Mak-roth-u-mia – Fortitude – the ability to “hang with it.”

I felt there was an instruction here for today’s church and for me.

We also have the purpose to serve the King and the King’s people.

One of the most effective ways to serve God is through prayer.

Luke 18:1 – Jesus said that men “always ought to pray and not lose heart.”

James 5:16 – “…the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availed much.”

Ferventpassionate intensity

Today, it seems that even when we remember to pray, our prayers seem to lack the passionate intensity and “stick-to-it-ness” – the VALOR that’s necessary for total victory.

We live in an INSTANT society where everything must be quick, or we lose interest.

It’s like everyone is suffering from “Mass Attention Deficit Disorder.”

We seem to specialize in the gift (?) of “cutting corners” to get results.

It seems that our collective societal consciousness lacks the ability to “hang in there,” –  which is the spiritual fruit called “long-suffering.”

I’ve read about the African Cheetah. It can run up to 70 MPH to catch its prey but has a small heart and, therefore, has no endurance.

It must accomplish its purpose quickly, or it goes hungry.

Many times, we have used the “Cheetah Approach to prayer:

  1. Speed through the prayer with little or no fervency and no passion.
  2. Quick to have someone else pray.
  3. Lose focus easily.

We seem to lack the “heart of endurance” for a sustained effort in prayer and falter before accomplishing what is needed.

Sometimes we use the “TNT Approach” – and try to Blow-Up the problem.

We pray harder, faster, and louder when what is really needed is more staying power and fervency.

More staying power or stamina can only come through possessing a “Bigger Heart” for prayer. (Jesus, enlarge my heart to pray as you did!)

George Muller – “The point is to never give up until the answer comes. I have been praying for 63 years and 8 months for one man’s conversion. He is not saved yet, but he will be. How can it be otherwise — I’m praying.”

His friend received Jesus just before his funeral!

Jesus’ prayer ministry is exemplified in the 3 hours He spent in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, which gave Him the strength to face the Cross.

Hebrews 5;7 – “…He offered up prayers and supplications with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death…”

1 Thessalonians 5:7 – “Pray without ceasing….” – so “easy does it” won’t do.

I think the reason we haven’t reached our spiritual potential is not for the lack of information regarding prayer nor the lack of opportunities and resources  – 

But for a lack of  “fortitude” – a failure of heart and spirit.

We go into defeat much too easily. We give up to easily and instead listen to the voices of doubt and unbelief and get discouraged and depressed when we don’t get INSTANT RESULTS.

OK – no condemnation implied here!

I spoke to a friend of nearly 50 yrs. this week.

We recounted our testimonies with each other. Remember the miracles God has personally done to deliver us from destruction. We remembered the before!

A fair question – Why does God require our persistence in prayer?

Is it that:

  1. He requires a predetermined amount of prayer to answer.
    Are Redemption points involved?   S & H green stamps?
  2. We must talk Him into things as lawyers present legal arguments to a judge.
  3. Is God waiting for us to just say the right words before He decides to answer us?
  4. Do we earn rewards of His favor through hard work?

Say it with me:    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Luke 11:8 – What about the guy who goes to his friend’s house late at night for bread and just keeps bugging him until he gets up and gives in? Doesn’t this parable teach us about persistence? Just keep bugging Him until He relents.

No! We don’t persist against God.

To persist is to ask boldly and shamelessly because of our intimacy with God.

1 Timothy 1:7(NIV) – ”For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.”

Hebrews 4:16 – We can come before the throne of grace BOLDLY and without a sense of shame or unworthiness because we are sons and daughters of God and are “accepted in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6)

There’s a key to understanding the prayer of persistence:

Luke 11:13 – “If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”

The Prayer of Persistence is not about nagging the Father for specific things – but asking for the Holy Spirit’s help in our times of need. And to ASK BOLDLY out of an intimate relationship with God.

Sometimes, it’s true that God uses the waiting period to teach us things.

But if that were the only reason, why not just pray ONCE and then wait?

One reason for the delay in getting prayers answered is “divine timing.”

Galatians 6:9 – “And let us grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

But again – wouldn’t praying just once and then waiting suffice?

Why did  Elijah have to pray 7X for the rain to come down?
(1 Kings 18:41-19:8)

Why did Daniel have to pray for 21 days before the angel broke through with his answer? (Daniel 10:10-19)

Consider this: I believe that our prayers do more than motivate the Father’s heart.  I believe that prayers of faith have “Substance.”

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

I believe that when we pray, the “substance of faith” is released…

With each prayer, more of that substance is released in the form of the power needed for that which we are praying to come to pass.

Power Released by:

  1. Praying in the Holy Spirit
  2. Speaking the Word of God as a declaration and proclamation of the TRUTH
  3. Prophetic Command – Matt 17:20 -” Say to this mountain….”
  4. Laying on of hands  – Mark 16:18 “…they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

We also need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us visualize the “Throne of Grace” differently so it’s not seen as outside and apart from us.

God has made His throne in our HEARTS – we are the temple of the Holy Spirit

We are the NAOS of God – The “Holy of Holies” – The “Sacred Place.”

1 Corinthians 3:16 – “Do you not know that you are the Holy of Holies of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

John 7:38 – “He who believes in Me, as the scripture says, ‘ From his innermost being (Koi -lia) shall flow rivers of living water.”

Koilia – the womb – speaks of reproduction and “birthing new life.”

Revelation 22:1-2 “The River of Life” – the Spirit of God – flowing from the Throne of God – through Jesus, to us and out into the world.

This is the purpose of the Church.

The Gospel’s promise of new life doesn’t echo from “out there” but through those willing to live it in valor and persist until His will is done on earth as it is in heaven.

Choosing to Live Above “Normal” – 8-Jan-2023

Choosing to Live Above “Normal”

by Pastor Roy Esposito

  • “Normal” – enslaves us to the effects of sin: fear, anxiety, illness, etc.
  • ” Above Normal” – means being led by the Holy Spirit  (Romans 8:14-15
  • The HOLY SPIRIT frees us from the slavery of sin and its effects and restores us to the freedom of a genuine relationship with God through Christ.
  • To live above Normal begins with a passionate and committed desire.
  • But it’s in no way automatic.  We must choose to do so every day.
  • Galatians 6:16 (NLT) “And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. The two forces constantly fight each other, and your CHOICES are never free from conflict.
  • When we give ourselves totally to the Spirit, He will help us change the way we think. (Romans 12:1-2)
  • A change in thinking is necessary to avoid making room for sin to influence us. (Rationalizations, deflections, and excuses – “I’m only human, after all!” )
  • I have to choose to walk in the Spirit in order to experience God’s goodness.
  • Without experiencing His goodness, I will never find peace. And without peace, I will never come to fully trust God – the key in overcoming faith.
  • Ephesians 6:15“Gospel shoes of Peace” –  My feet connect me to the earth.
  • Shoes – speak of having firm footing, firm direction, and foundational surety that God’s peace brings.
  • “His Peace”(Greek) – Eirene – To set at One again; to make Whole – which brings a sense of well-being to our hearts, mind, and bodies.
  • (Hebrew) Shalom – Completeness, wellness, health, welfare, soundness, prosperity, rest, harmony, and the absence of agitation and discord.
  • These describe some of the benefits of an “Above Normal” life.
  • Romans 7:14-25 – Paul explains that it’s our normal sinful nature that makes us slaves to sin – even when we know what not to do and not wanting to do it, we do it anyway.
  • We’ve somehow believed that evil is some kind of invisible, cosmic force that’s irresistible and overpowering and just grabs us and takes us away.
  • The truth is: There is nothing outside of me that has the power to make me do wrong except that which I have given power by what I have permitted to be in me. – PR
  • Evil is NOT cosmic, nor is it invincible. It doesn’t have to overpower us.
  • Why? Because as Christians, we are “Dead to it and alive to God.” (Romans 6:11) if we “reckon” ourselves that way.“ (Where thinking differently comes in!)
  • We can set ourselves free from sin’s power by choosing not to let ourselves become infected, looking to Jesus and the goodness of God instead of the temptation.
  • We can do this because when we received Christ as Lord, He breathed into us the Holy Spirit, making us eligible to live in the realities of the Kingdom of God here on earth.
  • Actually, the patterns of wrongdoing that govern human behavior are generally weak because they only exist as illusions or “shadows” which contain no real substance.
  • They are, for the most part, just habits or automatic responses we’ve formed over time.
  • When we act out of them, it’s generally without any prior reflection, which gives them their power.
  • Habits – don’t run through our conscious minds or our deliberate will – and are often contrary to them.
  • Rarely is our wrongdoing the result of careful deliberation.
  • Our routine automatic behavior patterns manage to keep our deliberate will and conscious minds off balance by filling us with delusions, distractions, lies, “what if” scenarios, and general poppycock…
  • This leaves us on the defensive, having negative thinking, which then expands into denial, rationalization, and misappropriated actions  – leading further and further away from the truth and making more space for evil to prosper.
  • The HOLY SPIRIT will help us replace old habits and automatic responses with new ones that reflect Kingdom principles and sustain them with Kingdom power.
    Here are some suggestions that may help:
    1. Ask – the HOLY SPIRIT to reveal bad habits and responses. 
    2. Acknowledge them:  Matthew 5:25 – “Agree with your adversary quickly….’

      You will never be able to deal with evil effectively as long as you view it as external to yourself. – PR
  • “The devil didn’t make you do it!”  The devil may have dangled some temptation before you, but you can say NOOOOO!!!  It’s your CHOICE.
  • When we don’t choose rightly, a place is formed inside us where sin can take root and manifest itself if it’s not repented of.
  • A Recap: 
    1. NOTHING has the power to tempt me or force me to do wrong except that which I have given the power to by permitting it to remain in me.
      • Romans 8:31-39         
    2. The most dangerous things are the LITTLE habits, thoughts, feelings, or actions we let slide because they’re “Normal.”
      (Song of Solomon 2:15… ”the little foxes”)
    3. Death to Self – is acknowledging we can live “above normal” because we are Sons and daughters of the Living God, heirs to His Kingdom, created in His image. – It’s the CROSS applied in our daily lives.
  • 2 Corinthians 10:5 – Tells us to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”  – Have you ever tried to do this? It’s impossible to do in your natural self.
  • I believe God has given me a strategy to help me do this:
  • I start my day with, “Lord, I submit my thoughts this day to You. Holy Spirit, please help me.
  • I place Jesus’ blood over my mind, body, spirit, and emotions, and it becomes my “robe of righteousness and my helmet of salvation.”
  • I believe every modern-day disciple of Christ should do this every day in order to break sin’s grip.
  • The good news is – the power of sin is broken 
  • God will help us through it, but – He won’t do it for us.
  • It is we who must decide to pursue holiness passionately and intentionally.
  • As always  – INTENT points the way.
  • Even when we fail – I believe that God is more concerned with the intent of our hearts.  
  • Jeremiah 17:10 – “The Lord searches the heart, and tests the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
  • If our hearts are committed to transformation, the Lord will redirect our habits and responses to support our new intention.
  • When automatic responses go into action, it’s because something triggers it; a button gets pressed.
  • Genesis 50:20 – What our enemy does for evil, God has meant for our good.

Let’s ask the Lord to use the “buttons” the enemy has meant for evil to trigger Godly responses in us instead.

  • He will trigger responses that are GRACE-FILLED, and Holy Spirit empowered so that we can live “Above Normal” lives while here on the earth.
  • Living “above normal” begins with BELIEVING we can – and then choosing to do so.

2023 — RCF’s 27th Year

#7 – Spiritual perfection; The conclusion of a matter; Speaks of maturation.

I believe that 2023 will be a year that many of the things we’ve made spiritual inroads into will become clearer and more accessible. We will come to see the fruitfulness and fullness of things we’ve believed by faith.

#9 –    RCF 27th year 

9  –  Is the number of the Holy Spirit. It speaks of completeness and fruitfulness. I believe that we will see many of our prayers answered this year in very unique ways. Some will be astonishing in their impact, and some will be just the beginning of some things that God has not yet revealed. 

All in all, a good year full of Godly surprises!