More Grace!

We all have been recipients of God’s Grace, which has been defined as the unmerited, or undeserved, favor of God. It is the nature of God to forgive and show mercy. In spite of the sin of people, past and present, God is always looking for an intercessor.  God showed the Prophet Amos a vision of locusts devouring the crops. Amos cried out to God, saying, “O Lord God, please forgive! How can Jacob stand, For he is so small [that he cannot endure this]”? (Amos 7:2 AMP) God responded to Amos, and “The Lord revoked this sentence. ‘It shall not take place,’ said the Lord.” (Amos 7:3 AMP) The encounter between God and Amos continued with a vision of a punishment of fire, which would consume the underground water system, and the land. God revoked this sentence at Amos’ request, but He also showed him a plumb line. The plumb line was a warning, promising impending judgment.


God has not changed. He still wants to extend mercy and grace to His people, and to fallen humanity. We have heard the Apostle Paul’s “thorn in his flesh” preached many different ways, but here is another thought. Paul made clear to us his struggles with his flesh in almost every epistle he penned. Romans 7:20 gives us insight into what may have been the “thorn” or “messenger” he battled with on a daily basis. Paul seems to lament, saying, “But if I am doing the very thing I do not want to do, I am no longer the one doing it [that is, it is not me that acts], but the sin [nature] which lives in me.”  Paul described the joy he felt at the power of the Holy Ghost at work in his life, but also of an opposing law of evil warring in his mind. Our minds, where our thoughts originate, are the seat of our carnal nature. This is a result of the fall of mankind. Our fallen nature is something we must fight against on a daily basis, unless after we witness to others, we find ourselves castaways. This has been made evident throughout scripture. Paul made it clear that it was the grace of God that rescued him from his sin nature. We know that “God cannot be tempted by [what is] evil, and He Himself tempts no one. But each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited [to commit sin] by his own [worldly] desire (lust, passion)” (James 1:13-14 AMP). It is our flesh (carnal, sin nature) that a messenger of Satan will attempt to work through.  


Paul, who felt himself to be the least of apostles because of his persecution of the Church, stated that he struggled in his mind because of the persecution, trials, and imprisonment he suffered, and perhaps the shame he had to overcome. Paul admitted, when he appeared before Festus, that he had to work at having a righteous mindset and to be willing to extend the grace he was given to others. Acts 24:16 says in the KJV,  “And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.” Paul exhorted us in II Corinthians 2:10-11 to forgive, and to extend grace to others. Because in doing so, we put Satan at a disadvantage. Paul said he forgave in the presence, or person of Christ. We know that we cannot overcome sin without Jesus. Can we conclude that Paul’s thorn was his sin nature, or carnal mind? Maybe, maybe not? However, a conclusion can be made, as we pray, standing in the gap for the land, that we should always rely on, and extend more grace.


Beth Marie Evans 

Apostolic Author

Associate Minister

International Christian Fellowship

Brookfield, Illinois   8/24/22

What we Need to Follow Him
8/12/17         Pastor Steven D’Amico

Matthew 9:1-9 (KJV)
1  And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.
2  And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
3  And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. 4  And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? 5  For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? 6  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. 7  And he arose, and departed to his house.
8  But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men. 9

 And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.

There are too many times we see people of faith fall victim to the wiles of the adversary.

People like you and me who love God, Love the word, love the church … but yet they live life as if everything is wrong, People are in bondage to bad habits, there caught up in fear and in doubt , caught up in sickness and disease.

It seems as though some are losing control of their lives because they have inadvertently allowed the spirit of the world to become the controlling factor of their life instead of the Spirit of God.

Someone once made a statement that said you are only as sick as the secrets you keep.

As we follow the Lord there are things that must be confessed and exposed if we are to be totally loosed from the bondage of our past and the Spirit of this world.

Some of the things we must do in following the Lord are simply put in these three things.

# 1. We must discern. We must have 20 20 vision in the spiritual realm. Know what it is that God is looking to do through us, and know exactly what God has for your life.

You see the adversary would like to keep us entwined in the Devils doings and the negative aspects of circumstances..   But GOD….

Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)
12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

We can have the weapons needed but if we don’t know where to use them they are no good to us.

Often times there are people that can come into your life but they don’t come alone, they come with spiritual baggage and they bring those things with them, things like fear, depression, lying spirits, Infirm spirits, negativity.

When that happens we begin to be attacked by that spiritual wickedness. We must bind those things and fight the good fight of faith.

Ephesians 1:18 (KJV)
18  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

# 2. We must decide. We must decide whether or not I’m in or I’m out. We can’t play both sides of the fence. We can’t fake it till we make it. We have got to truly love righteousness and abhor evil.

Joshua 24:15 (KJV)
15  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

 #3. We must declare.

We must declare the goodness of God’s Grace, declare the blessings of God. Don’t entertain the negative.

1 Chronicles 16:24 (KJV)

Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nationslare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations.

Psalm 9:11 (KJV)
11 Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.

Acts 20:27 (KJV)
27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

We need to realize that there be more that are for us then there are against us.

That there are unseen forces working in your and mine behalf, that we can call on the Name of the Lord and he can dispatch His Angels for our help.

A Great Foundation 
Pastor Steven D’Amico

Proverbs 10:25 (KJV)
25  As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation.

 Proverbs 10:25 (AMP)
25  When the whirlwind passes, the wicked are no more, but the [uncompromisingly] righteous have an everlasting foundation.

Luke 6:47-49 (KJV)
47  Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
48  He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
49  But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great

Foundations are of great importance to any structure. If the foundation is not properly dug and put into place everything that is built upon that foundation is in jeopardy.

From small structures to large structures and high rise skyscrapers the foundation is of great importance.

The same is true with the foundations of our faith and this morning I want you to understand this great truth.

It is not necessary when remodeling a home or a building to dig out the foundation and re-due the foundation if that foundation was properly put in in the first place.

However when we discover that the foundation is missing or that it was not put in correctly, then we must make sure that we take every precaution to correct that problem to insure that what we are building or remodeling is protected from the danger of failure.

Hebrews 6:1-2 (KJV)
1  Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
2  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

 When we do a study of the gospels you will notice that Jesus spoke of and described hell more than he did heaven. He did this to plant a foundation  within us.

That foundation is the fear of God. Here is an example:

Luke 12:3-5 (KJV)
3  Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. 4  And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5  But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

 These words of Christ are strong but they are also precise. 

If you came here this morning thinking you’re going to hear a prosperity message or a message that tickles your ear you’re in the wrong place.
But if you came here this morning to be strengthened in the truth and with the mindset that say’s, pastor speak into my life, above all else I must be saved then you came with the right heart and to the right place.
When we attain and maintain a good understanding of eternal judgement and punishment this firmly plants and keeps the fear of the Lord in our hearts. This is a firm and Great Foundation.
Only God can give the eternal sentence to hell.

What we have spoken in secret will be revealed by the light of His glory at the judgement. Not just our words but our attitude and our motives, our actions and our works will be made known.

The fear of God keeps us continually aware that nothing can be hidden from Him, nothing will escape His judgement and His judgments are just.
If we fail to understand the severity of God and we lack this understanding then we can easily be deceived and we can fall into the trap of deception, that God overlooks and doesn’t see our lawlessness and we begin to believe false doctrines such as once saved always saved, or thoughts that dilute truth such as well I believe in God so I am secure in Him, without any works of righteousness.
James wrote…

James 2:14 (KJV)
14  What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?          
James 2:18 (KJV)
18  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

If we don’t understand this foundational truth we will fall into the fear of man and we will serve whom we fear. If we fear God we will obey Him even under pressure.
If we fear man we will slip into deception and we will drift into what benefits our own pleasures, fleshly desires, and pride. To consistently yield to te flesh will have consequences.
So when we lack the foundation of eternal Judgement and punishment we will lack  a certain measure of the fear of the Lord. A holy awe of the judgments of Christ is one aspect of the fear of the Lord.
Paul said…

 2 Corinthians 5:10-11 (KJV)
10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

11  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

 Paul was speaking of the believers judgement.

Isaiah 33:6 (KJV)
6  And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure

.Isaiah 33:6 (NIV)
6  He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.

 Jesus spoke of those that claimed to do great things through His Name but Jesus said unto the Depart from me ye workers of iniquity I never knew you.

Without the foundation of eternal judgement and punishment , the fear of the Lord we will not know Him as we should. That’s why Jesus said said in Matthew …

Matthew 7:24-27 (KJV)
24  Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.  The beginning is a foundation term. It’s what we build upon, our relationship must be built upon the foundation.
The fear of the Lord is that foundation; it provides stability for us. It is a storehouse of the riches of God. His salvation , wisdom and knowledge are all hidden in it.
Check your Foundation !








Jesus-Name, Apostolic Authority

and Dominion Power!

Everything the early Church did revolved around the name of Jesus. The name of Jesus is not effective among us until we proclaim it and use it. There is power in proclaiming and demonstrating in the revelation of the name of Jesus and of the one true God. (Colossians 3:17) Knowing one God, in the identity of Christ, helps us to realize who we are in Christ. We cannot truly realize who we are until we realize who He is…and “who He is in us and through us!”


The name of Jesus is the highest name. Jesus has all power and, as believers, we have access to that authority and power through His name, His Word, and sonship in His kingdom. (Matthew 28:18, Ephesians 1:18-23) All are subject to His name. (Philippians 2:10-11) With such authority and power we can defeat satanic forces…which will result in great salvation, deliverance, and restoration. The miraculous and the glory of God will manifest as the sovereign dominion of God prevails in the midst of the Church…and a destitute humanity. (Matthew 11:12)


As we submit ourselves under God’s authority and ordained biblical authority (divine covering) then, as “sons of God,” we have access to His delegated authority. (Matthew 8:8-10, John 1:12) To have authority, one must be under authority. Jesus gave us His authority to trample upon the enemy. (Mark 1:21-22, Luke 4:36-37; 10:18-19, Ephesians 6:10-18) However, authority which is granted (imparted) but not used…is not possessed, and ultimately is left idle (unused), which is like possessing no authority at all! For example, a judge sitting in a courtroom has influence, but a judge who is mandating a legal sentence to a guilty criminal…is exercising authority. As Christians, we may have some influence in this world, but if we are not using the authority that Jesus gave us, then we do not have authority at all. Inactivated authority is no authority! 


The purpose of operating in God’s designated authority is to allow the kingdom of God to be manifested upon this earth. (I Corinthians 3:9) This activated or sanctioned authority then may be exercised by speaking His Word (Rhema/Logos), in the name of Jesus, that would release His authority to accomplish His divine will. (Luke 10:17) As we pray and speak in Christ’s stead, then this exercised authority (divine consent to act) transforms into dominion power (divine ability to act) that is discharged and manifested with the purpose to help establish and further advance the kingdom of God in this world. (Mark 6:7, Luke 10:1-9)


As the Church exercises authority and dominion power, then God’s Word will be confirmed with signs following. As believers endeavor to fulfill the great commission in order to reach a mass harvest, God indeed will empower us to obtain triumphant victory. (Mark 16:15-20, Ephesians 3:20-21) If you are Spirit-filled, greater realize Who is inside of you. Christ is in you, so be confident knowing that Jesus-Name, Apostolic Authority and Dominion Power is available to work in His kingdom for His glory! Amen.


As a pastor, I would love to give church goers one practical step to improve their Sunday church experience. Arrive 30 minutes before service, and stay 30 minutes after service. 

In 3 weeks, a lot will change about your experience. Let me give you four things that will change:

  1. If you walk through the door of your church 30 minutes before a service, you will find the worship more impactful and your pastor more insightful than ever before. A calm heart is fertile ground.
  2. You will find new friends. Your experience in church will be dramatically altered if you arrive expecting friends to be there. But you can’t build new friendships on the run. 
  3. You will find a place to serve. If you have time to talk with the folks who are serving, you will find out that most people really like serving, and after a few conversations, they will probably ask you to serve with them. 
  4.  You will find the time to pray and seek God for that service, both for yourself and those around you. Personal and collective revival will be the end result!

In short, if you struggle to enjoy church, be radical in a really ordinary way. Start your Sunday morning routine 30 minutes earlier, and you will find out your church is actually a pretty great place to hang around in.