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Archive for June 24th, 2013

from JO’s sermon tonight:

we receive our DNA from our parents;  these genes that are passed down tell us what we’re going to look like, how tall we’re going to be, what color our hair is.  not only our physical traits are passed down through genes, but even personality traits:  our demeanor, attitude, sense of humor.  just as good characteristics can be passed down, so can negative characteristics;  if one of your parents was an alcoholic, there’s a 10x greater chance of you becoming an alcoholic.  for years we thought, “well, too bad, it’s in my genes:  depression, addictions, low self-esteem, nothing I can do about it.”   but recently researchers have discovered epigenetics

http://theweek.com/article/index/238907/epigenetics-how-our-experiences-affect-our-offspring

that word means “on top of the genes.”  what they found is just because a gene has been passed down doesn’t mean that it has to be activated;  it can be affected by your decisions, environment, experiences.  while we cannot deactivate what color our hair will be, or the shape of our eyes, there are certain genes that we can, in effect, turn on or off,  they’re discovering what the scripture says, that just because you inherit something doesn’t mean you have to pass it down (NB:  I looked for this but couldn’t find it);  you can deactivate the negative genes that have been passed down to you.  just because your mother was depressed doesn’t mean you’re supposed to be depressed.  you may have a natural tendency towards that;  what you have to do is turn off that gene, deactivate it, don’t pass it down to your children.  it’s easy to use it as an excuse, “momma was depressed, grandmother was negative, great-grandmother was a complainer, that’s just who I am”;  no, that is not who you are, you are a child of the most high God.  and just as you got your physical DNA from your Earthly parents, you got your spiritual DNA from your heavenly Father;  He put in you genes of joy, strength, peace, victory.

you get to choose which genes come alive.  you may have had a lot of baggage passed down to you;  in your family line are addictions, divorce, depression, low self-esteem.  don’t be passive and just accept it;  God has raised you up to put an end to it. you’ve gotta draw the line in the sand, and say, “that’s it, I’m turning off the depressed gene.  I am not going to live my life discouraged.  this is the day the Lord has made, I am gonna choose to be happy.”  what are you doing?  deactivating the depressed gene;  you’re turning it off.  why don’t you turn off the negative, alcoholic, self-pity genes?  this is a new day. don’t blame the past, momma, granddaddy, take responsibility and start activating the right genes.  if you’ll start making right choices, you can override the negative things you inherited;  you can break a generational curse.  you have the power to not only put an end to it, but you can start a generational blessing, pass down things that will make it easier on your loved ones.  our children have enough to overcome without carrying around all of our negative baggage;  even if you don’t do it for yourself, do it for your children, do it to make it easier on those that come after you.  the scripture call this negative baggage an iniquity:

Exodus 20:5 (ESV)

You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me

the things you struggle with, they didn’t just happen to show up;  somebody in your family line opened the door.  if an iniquity is being passed from generation to generation, it will continue until somebody rises up and puts a stop to it.  somebody has to deactivate that gene.

Deuteronomy 30:19 (HCSB)

19  … I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live

your decisions don’t just affect you, they affect future generations.  no man lives and dies unto himself.  we’ve heard a lot about the generational curse, but what’s more important is our generational choice;  every right choice you make, you start to override the wrong choices of those that have gone before you.  when you choose life, blessing, victory, you and your descendants will see God’s favor.  you could easily settle where you are, let the negative genes get passed down, make it harder on those that come after you, or you can make a much better choice, and say,  “no, enough is enough, I am not going to live my life addicted, angry, defeated, depressed, I am not passing down that negative baggage.  I’m choosing life, blessings, I’m going to make choices that help my family and not hinder them.”

1 Samuel 15:3-4 (NIV)

This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’” So Saul summoned the men…

1 Samuel 15:9 (NIV)

But Saul and the army spared [King] Agag…

fast forward hundreds of years;  Esther is in the palace.  a man called Haman is trying to get rid of her and all of her people.  it says that Haman was an “Agite” (actually, the term is either “Ag’agite” or “Agagite” depending on which translation you use):

Esther 9:24 (RSVCE)

24 For Haman the Ag′agite…

an “Agite” is a descendant of King Agag

(maybe:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agagite )

if Saul would have taken care of his enemy when God gave him the power to do it, Esther wouldn’t be having this problem 500 years later.  could it be that if you don’t put an end to what you’re dealing with, your family will still be struggling with it hundreds of years from now?  God is saying, “this is your time, your moment, your destiny is calling out to you.”  you can either put up with it and let it conquer you, or you can say, “no, the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives on the inside me. I will conquer this addiction, depression, low self-esteem.  I will not allow it to linger for future generations to have to deal with.”  you were never created to live addicted, angry, constantly having to struggle.  those genes may have been passed down, but you have the power to break negative cycles. they may have been in your family for hundreds of years, but when you gave your life to Christ you became a new creation.  He put new genes in you;  you have the DNA of almighty God.  there is strength, power, freedom in your genes.  don’t settle where you are;  “everybody in my family gets divorced, looks like I’m headed that way.  everybody struggles with these addictions, has financial problems,” no, you’re not everybody;  God has called you to put an end to it.  you are equipped, empowered and well able.

Ezekiel 18:1-3 (NKJV)

A False Proverb Refuted

18 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying:

‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
And the children’s teeth are set on edge’?

“As I live,” says the Lord God, “you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel.

this is a proverb they were living by.  their attitude was, “since the father had problems, the children will as well.  nothing we can do about it.  since the father ate the sour grapes, the parents had addictions, the grandparents were depressed, then the children will struggle in those same areas.”  that was their philosophy.  then God showed up and said through Ezekiel,  “stop saying that.  why do you keep using your relatives as an excuse?  why do you keep using what your parents did and the way you were raised as the reason to stay where you are?  as long as the sovereign Lord lives, you don’t have to be held bondage by the negative things in your past.”  your parents may have eaten the sour grapes, your relatives may have made decisions that put you at a disadvantage, but God is saying, “it doesn’t have to affect you.  it may have held you back temporarily, but this is a new day.”  if you will start deactivating those genes, pressing forward, then all the forces of darkness cannot hold you back.  you don’t have to eat the sour grapes;  you’ve been redeemed.  you’re not under the curse, you’re under the blessing.  you have stepped into a new bloodline.  there’s no defeat, lack, addictions, mediocrity in this bloodline;  you are a child of the most high God.  the sovereign Lord is still alive, God is still on the throne;  that means you don’t have to eat the sour grapes.  shake off the self-pity.  don’t make excuses.  don’t blame the past, your parents, circumstances;  that may be the reason you are where you are, but that doesn’t give you the right to stay there. start dealing with the issues that are holding you back, activating the right genes.  just because you’re dealing with a tough issue doesn’t make you a bad person.  most likely, somebody in your family line opened the door, somebody allowed that iniquity, and they refused to deal with it.  don’t be like them.  don’t sweep it under the rug, ignore it, hope that it’ll go away;  that’ll keep you in bondage.

James 5:16 (KJV)

16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

there are some issues you cannot overcome on your own.  you have to swallow your pride and find somebody you can trust:  a pastor, counselor, friend.  tell them what you’re dealing with.  let them pray with you, stand with you, bring accountability into your life.  when you get it out in the open, and say, “God, I need help with this anger,” when you take steps to overcome, attend the celebrate recovery classes, that’s when the scripture says you will be healed. you don’t have to keep eating the sour grapes.  there is no addiction that is too much for you to overcome;  no iniquity, nothing that has been passed down, has to keep you from your God-given destiny.  the power in you is greater than any power that’s coming against you. don’t learn to function in your dysfunction;  God didn’t create you to have issues and things you have to hide, and feel bad about yourself, He created you to be totally free. but some of you, what you saw modeled growing up wasn’t healthy;  it’s easy to think that that’s normal.  maybe your parents didn’t show much affection to you, and now you’re not showing much affection to your children.  or maybe there was violence, anger, disrespect in the home.  don’t pass that down;  deactivate that gene.  be affectionate to your children.  “I’m a man, I don’t hug my son, after all, he’s grown”;  no, a real man still hugs his son, treats his wife with respect and honor.  men, the scripture says:

1 Corinthians 11:7 (NLT)

A man should not wear anything on his head when worshiping, for man is made in God’s image and reflects God’s glory. And woman reflects man’s glory.

if she’s beaten down, discouraged, worn out, then you’re not shining too brightly;  she’s reflecting your glory.  you need to step it up a notch;  do something to put the spring back in her step, the smile back on her face.  take her to the mall, buy her something new, send her some flowers, write her a note, tell her how great she is.  the brighter she shines, the better you look.  fathers, your daughter is going to  marry somebody just like you. if you treat your wife lousy, don’t give her the time of day, put her down, that’s the kinda man your daughter is going to be attracted to.  our children follow our example more than they follow our advice.  they’re constantly taking everything in;  they’re like a video camera with legs, they’re always in the record mode. they’re watching how you treat people.  when you treat your wife like a queen, you give her compliments, encourage her, when you bring her coffee in bed, open the car door, you bring her gifts, make her feel loved, valued, respected, honored, your daughter is gonna marry a winner, somebody just like that.  you may not have seen this growing up, you may have seen just the opposite;  you can set a new standard, chose life, honor, respect.  pass that down to future generations.

sometimes in life, what we’ve seen modeled growing up is not the best route.  “my mother was a worrier, now I’m a worrier”;  that’s the long way.  “my dad always lost his temper, like father like son, I can’t control my temper either”;  that’s the long way.  you need to examine what you do, ask yourself, “am I taking the long way, holding onto a grudge, not forgiving, because that’s what I’ve seen modeled?  am I living insecure, feeling less than, because that’s the way the people were that raised me?  am I making poor choices, giving into temptation, compromising, because that’s all I’ve ever seen?  that’s the long way.  don’t get stuck in a rut and go that way year after year;  recognize what’s happening and make the right adjustments.  too often we keep repeating the same mistakes, making excuses, “it’s not my fault,” blaming the past, our parents, no, take responsibility.  don’t go down that same path again and again, losing your cool, compromising, worried, negative.  if you’ll break those cycles of repetitive behavior, you will go to a new level of your destiny.

it makes a difference what you’re passing down;  your decisions are affecting future generations.  you may have some negative things in your family line;  they will continue until somebody rises up and puts a stop to it.  you can be that person.  God has raised you up for such a time as this.  you have the most powerful force in the universe on the inside of you.  don’t be complacent and learn to live with things that are less than God’s best.  you will never change what you tolerate;  you’ve got to put your foot down and say, “that’s it.  I’m not going to live my life addicted, angry, depressed, defeated.  I’m deactivating those genes, and I’m going to start making choices that help my family, and not hinder it.”  you can be the one to start a Godly heritage for your family line, break any generational curse, and start a generational blessing.  you don’t have to eat the sour grapes.  the sovereign Lord is still alive.  if you’ll learn to activate the right genes, make choices that honor God, you will break every negative cycle that’s held you back.  you and your family will rise to a new level of honor;  you will always live under the blessing and never the curse.

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