Feasting on the Word of God

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”

Psalm 34:8

Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner. Some people will enjoy a meal out, while others will be guests at another’s table. Perhaps some will prepare a dish to take, while others may be hosting the entire dinner, like me.

Wherever we take our places at the table this year, it’s always a special time to pause and reflect on our blessings over the past year.

As we feast on traditional or not-so-traditional dishes, let’s also feast on some “delicious” scriptures—specifically, the nine fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Here is a list of some of my favorite Bible verses, from both the Old and New Testament—several for each spiritual fruit (all taken from the New American Standard Version).


For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16

I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples: if you have love for one another.

John 13:34-35

And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’

Matthew 22:37

But love your enemies and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil people.

Luke 6:35


These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

John 15:11

Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials,

James 1:2

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.

John 16:24


And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus

Philippians 4:7

These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you.

Psalm 122:6

When a person’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He causes even his enemies to make peace with him.

Proverbs 16:7


And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise.

Hebrews 6:15

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience;

Colossians 3:12

Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost sinner Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

1 Timothy 1:16

For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

1 Peter 2:20


Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? 

Romans 2:4

Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.

Proverbs 3:3

He has told you, mortal one, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8

The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found favor and kindness with him more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal turban on her head and made her queen in place of Vashti.

Esther 2:17


Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 23:6

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28

To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will consider you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power,

2 Thessalonians 1:11

You have granted me life and goodness; And Your care has guarded my spirit.

Job 10:12


They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness 

Lamentations 3:23

The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and just is He.

Deuteronomy 32:4

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His faithfulness is everlasting.

1 Chronicles 16:34

What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?

Romans 3:3


Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.

Matthew 11:29

Let your gentle spirit be known to all people. The Lord is near.

Philippians 4:5

Brothers and sisters, even if a person is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual are to restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you are not tempted as well.

Galatians 6:1

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.

James 3:13


And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:2

Like a city that is broken into and without walls So is a person who has no self-control over his spirit.

proverbs 25:28

Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. So they do it to obtain a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

1 Corinthians 9:25

Older men are to be temperate, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.

Titus 2:2

Which scripture verses are your favorites?

Dear Father in heaven, thank you for all your blessings this year. As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, may we look to You as our source of provision. May we feast on Your Word and hide its truths in our hearts so as to live sanctified lives, pleasing to You. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Feasting on the Word of God by Karen Jurgens copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved

Beware of Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

“’Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.'”

Matthew 7:15 NKJV

How close are we to the days of deception? The Bible tells us that it will sweep the world and deceive many just before the Great Tribulation. Jesus warns us Himself to beware of false Christs and false prophets who will deceive with signs and wonders in an effort to mislead the elect (Mark 13:21-23).

Throughout Scripture we are repeatedly warned about false teachers and prophets. The Apostle John tells us to test the spirits to see if they are from God (1 John 4:1). The Apostle Paul warns us that even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). The Apostle Peter explains that these false teachers will teach destructive heresies, even denying Jesus as they twist truth and exploit with lies, motivated by their greed (2 Peter 2:1-3).

The Book of Jude addresses this danger by describing apostates as …grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage (Jude 1:16 NKJV). They are also… mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit (Jude 1:18-19 NKJV).

God warns about false prophets in Jeremiah:

Then the Lord said to me, ‘The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.

Jeremiah 14:14 NIV

How do these warnings apply to the contemporary church?

A growing hunger for knowing God exists today like never before. Many teens and young adults are fed up with the world’s lies, and they are earnestly seeking God’s truth. Drawn into non-denominational, charismatic churches, they are taught to experience God through singing, praising, and prayer–minus the all-important and necessary emphasis on the Word of God. As recent proselytes, they become easy prey for Satan to mix truth with lies and lead them astray from the true gospel. In short, they may eventually fall into a cult without even realizing that they are being deceived.

What are these false teachings that have crept into the church?

New Apostolic Reformation

History: The NAR has crept into many charismatic churches and is very dangerous. It originated in the 1940s and has mushroomed into its current form through various ministries and teachings, such as Kansas City Prophets, Toronto Blessing, Brownsville, and Lakeland, Florida. C. Peter Wagner, its founder, coined the movement as NAR, which is also known as “network Christianity.” It lacks a central organizing body or statement of beliefs and is made up of a loose connection of charismatic churches.

Basic Beliefs: This movement has flipped the importance of the pastor and biblical teaching with the role of apostles and prophets. Instead of studying the Word of God, they emphasize experiencing God–especially through singing, prayer, prophecy, and signs and wonders. They concentrate on teaching followers how to become “gods” and usurp God’s power for themselves.

Here is a good outline of their beliefs according to Prophecy Today UK, November 3, 2022:

  1. The leadership of modern-day ‘apostles’ and ‘prophets’
  2. Dominionism: the teaching that ahead of Jesus’ return, the Church will become all-powerful on earth and make it ready for the Lord7
  3. The belief that unlimited divine power and blessing is available to believers to equip them for this task
  4. An over-emphasis on the supernatural and extra-biblical revelation
  5. An over-emphasis on power and human agency

(Read more at ProphecyToday.UK, BereanResearch.com, NAR churches in your area, PirateChristian.com, Biola.edu.)

Ministry Schools

Another great concern is the recruitment of young people into their ministry schools. These churches are known world-wide for their Christian music, which makes big bucks for the top echelon. For a large fee, students are housed and spend twelve to eighteen hours a day in classes, serving in the prayer rooms, and doing the bidding of their mentors. Over time, their weariness may break down their emotional and cognitive defenses so that they obey and believe without thinking, becoming programmed zombies.

Which churches are NAR? The most well-known are Bethel Church in Redding, California (Bill and Beni Johnson); Hillsong Church in Australia; Catch the Fire in Toronto; Iris Ministries (Heidi Baker); and Morningstar Ministries (Rick Joyner). The network also includes hundreds of small churches and fellowships across the globe.

What is the penalty for entering into these false beliefs and practices? Here is what Jesus has to say:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’* And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV

*The emphasis above is mine. Jesus seems to be outlining the very beliefs and practices of NAR, doesn’t He? Although God’s prophecy, spiritual gifts, and power over the enemy are very real, this warning is about Satan’s counterfeit. We must discern the difference, the true from the false. Let’s be sober-minded and pay close attention to Jesus’s warning. Where we will spend eternity may be at stake.

Sozo Prayer

“Prayer” is a misnomer because Sozo is actually hypnosis with a spirit guide experience, full of mysticism and witchcraft. Christians seeking answers to personal problems or who want to draw closer to God are candidates for this false experience. Placed under a mild trance, they travel into their subconscious with a spirit guide whom they believe is either Jesus, God, or the Holy Spirit, visiting various places in the mind. Often suppressed childhood memories may resurface, including false memories, leading to further distress.

Christians only need the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, prayer, and fellowship with other believers to draw close to God. Spirit guides are demons from hell, but we Christians rely solely on the Holy Spirit to be our teacher, comforter, and the one who leads us into all truth. Jesus tells us:

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take from Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; this is why I said that He takes from Mine and will disclose it to you.

John 16:13-15 NASB

I encourage you to research these topics yourself for a richer understanding of these dangerous teachings and practices. I pray that the Lord keeps us from the spirit of deception, embodied in false teachers and false prophets. Let’s defeat the plans of Satan, who counterfeits God’s truth with his lies and deception, by putting on the full spiritual armor of God daily (Ephesians 6:10-18). Remember, we always overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.

(Read more about the dangers of Sozo prayer at CompellingTruth.org , WomenofGrace.com, Bereanresearch.org, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rS9KCAOmK7s.)

Let’s allow Jude to close us out in prayer with his beautiful doxology:

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.


Jude 1:24-25 NASB

Beware of Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing by Karen Jurgens, copyright 2022 All rights reserved