Friday, August 28, 2015

Jesus' Peaceful Rule Will One Day Cover The Entire World!

The pressures that we deal with everyday are incredible. The Holy Spirit enlightened that Apostle Paul as to the temper of the days just before Jesus return. I believe we are living in those days right now. Listen to Paul words, written by inspiration 2000 years ago, but completely accurate in describing today:

But you must realize that in the last days the times will be full of danger. Men will become utterly self-centred, greedy for money, full of big words. They will be proud and contemptuous, without any regard for what their parents taught them. They will be utterly lacking in gratitude, purity and normal human affections. They will be men of unscrupulous speech and have no control of themselves. They will be passionate and unprincipled, treacherous, self-willed and conceited, loving all the time what gives them pleasure instead of loving God. They will maintain a facade of “religion”, but their conduct will deny its validity. You must keep clear of people like this (2 Timothy 3:1-5 - J.B. Phillips Translation)

In the middle of this intense pressure cooker type tension, we need to be reminded that Jesus really is returning to earth one day! And when He returns, he will right every wrong, the tension of living will disappear, and for the first time since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, peace will rule the earth.

Notice Micah 4:1-4: In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all— the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship. (2) People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem. (3) The Lord will mediate between peoples and will settle disputes between strong nations far away. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore. (4) Everyone will live in peace and prosperity, enjoying their own grapevines and fig trees, for there will be nothing to fear. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has made this promise!

A mountain in the Bible refers to a kingdom or a government that rules. So the mountain of the Lord’s house is referring to the kingdom of God that will rule the earth during the one thousand year reign of Jesus Christ on earth after His return (see Revelation 20). A day of peace and universal prosperity and health will rule when Jesus returns! He will rule over the entire earth and right every wrong. Now that gives us much hope as we deal with current hardships!
2500 years ago, a king in Babylon had a dream of a statue of a man made of gold, silver, brass, iron, and clay. The prophet Daniel interpreted the dream. The metals in the statue stood for world empires that have ruled over the Middle East and over Israel since its beginning as a nation. In the dream, a stone cut out of a mountainside, smashed the statue and then the stone covered the entire earth!

The stone represents the Lord Jesus Christ, and the mountain refers to the kingdom of God. Again, we see that when Jesus returns, every diabolical human authority and nation that is against God’s purposes will be defeated by Jesus the Christ!. And His peaceful rule will encompass the whole world. With this understanding, let’s read read about the King’s dream interpreted by Daniel:

Daniel 2:31-35 - New Living Translation
“In your vision, Your Majesty, you saw standing before you a huge, shining statue of a man. It was a frightening sight. (32) The head of the statue was made of fine gold. Its chest and arms were silver, its belly and thighs were bronze, (33) its legs were iron, and its feet were a combination of iron and baked clay. (34) As you watched, a rock was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands. It struck the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits. (35) The whole statue was crushed into small pieces of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. Then the wind blew them away without a trace, like chaff on a threshing floor. But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth.

When Jesus returns, every injustice, every oppressive government, every diabolical selfish scheme of man will be removed by Him from the earth, and will be replaced with peace, prosperity, health and blessing!

Let’s not get so caught up in all that happening today that we forget the overshadowing fact that Jesus will one day straighten it all out. Let’s live in the hope of Jesus’ return!

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,  Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen! (Isaiah 6:1-9 - New Living Translation).
Be encouraged today!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Don't Quit When Your Faith Is Challenged!

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise (Hebrews 10:35-36).Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him (Hebrews 10:38).
Endurance or patience is an important ingredient of faith. It’s faith and patience that inherits the promises. The Greek word for endurance is hupomeno and it means to remain when under pressure. It’s the ability to keep your chin up when things aren’t going well. It’s the ability to remain joyful and expectant when it looks as though nothing you believe is coming to pass. It’s the ability to remain unmoved and unshaken by circumstances.
The very nature of what faith is makes patience so necessary in the faith fight. Faith is for what you don’t have in the physical realm yet. Faith takes the place of what God has promised you until it arrives in the physical and you can see it. Faith is the substitute for the thing God has promised you until you can physically see or feel it.
The Word promises healing, so you have prayed and exercised your faith. The pain increases and the symptoms worsen. Patience enables you to stand your ground in the tough time while the pain may even increase. Patience or endurance enables you to look away from the symptom and look at the promise of God, knowing that God is faithful to fulfill His Word.
The faith life is challenging to the flesh! So many think that walking by faith means you receive instantly, but that is just not true! Abraham waited 25 years for the child of promise to come! And his patience enabled him to keep going strong when the impossibility of what he believed weighed on him.
Faith and patience are the twins of success! Patience keeps you from letting go of your faith! We believed God for seven or eight years for this new building we have been in now for almost 2 years! It seemed that obstacles manifested every hour to keep it from happening. We had prayed as a congregation, and we were believing that we received the answer to our prayer, which was a the manifestation of a bigger piece of property for our future growth.
At times I would get so tired of resisting the circumstances over the years. They just kept compounding! But it was the hupomeno, the ability to keep on going when the chips are down, that refused to let me quit. I gritted my teeth and praised God for honoring His Word! Again, we’ve been enjoying for the last two years what it took seven or eight years to patiently wait and believe into manifestation.
Don’t quit if you’re in a faith battle. Rest in the promises of God. He is faithful that promised. He watches over His Word to make it good. Heaven and earth may pass away, but His Word never will! Allow patience to under gird your faith today. Keep your eyes on God’s promises and not the unmoving circumstance. You will receive if you just don’t quit!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Presence of God

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).

Webster dictionary defines presence as: the condition of being within sight or call, at hand, or at a place being thought of; the state of being in front of, or in the same place as someone or something; the bearing, behavior, attitude, demeanor, aura, expression mien, or air of a person.

When the Presence of God manifests, everything changes where you are at the moment! The Presence and its influence enhances our ability to handle any and every stressful event in life!
The presence of God separates the believer from the infectious influences of the world! And the Presence in us that manifests throughout our day has a drawing effect on those around us. They notice something different about us. No other religion can do to a human what Christianity can. Christians in fellowship with God are bearers of the Presence!
Moses cried out to God when he came down from the top of Mount Sinai after he saw that the Israelites had sinned. He asked God not to remove His Presence from the people. And notice why Moses asked this: Then he said to Him, if Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.
The Presence is not a feeling or emotion. It produces feelings and emotions at times. But it’s much deeper than feeling. The Presence exudes from our human spirit and carefully guards us from the effects of the world and the enemy from without. And the Presence moves us away from the tendencies of the flesh and creates in us a hunger and drawing toward the Father.
Carefully guard the Presence! Don’t allow unconfessed sin to remain in your life. Sin dissipates the Presence! If you miss it in some way, immediately confess your sin and the Blood will cleanse you!
Be careful with your words, for strife filled words can grieve the Holy Spirit who bears this Presence within (see Ephesians 4:29-30).
Time spent daily in the Word, in praise and worship, and in prayer will increase the manifestations of His Presence in your life. I have found that praying in the spirit, because it builds up and edifies the human spirit, will increase the manifestation of the Presence. The tell-tale sign of the Presence in you is joy! In His Presence is fullness of joy, pleasures forevermore!
Walk in His Presence today! Court the Presence! Lift your voice in praise to the Holy One. Thank Him for all that He is. Worship Him. He inhabits praise with manifestations of His Presence. Create change in the atmosphere wherever you are today. Release the Presence!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Three Reasons Believers Fail To Receive The Healing Available To Them

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses (Matthew 8:17)

Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed (1 Peter 2:24).

It is the will of God for every believer to walk in Divine health. Provision for our healing and health are included in our redemption in Christ. The same faith that saves also heals! The Father forgives all of our sins and heals all of our diseases (Psalm 103:3).
Though the Father has provided salvation for all, it is not an automatic guarantee. Personal faith must be exercised in the sacrifice of Jesus for a person to experience salvation. In the same way, personal faith must be exercised for an individual believer to receive healing and walk in the health that Jesus desires that they have.
If a believer is sick and fails to receive healing, there are three main reasons: lack of knowledge, weak faith, or disobedience.
The first reason is lack of knowledge. Most Christians are in this category. They go to church week after week, but never hear about the provision of healing that Jesus makes available in the salvation package. Hosea said My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Rare is the believer that can maintain steadfast faith for healing if they do not receive the teaching of scripture that enforces and produces faith. I encourage a person not to attend a church that does not preach and teach Divine healing. If they do, they will lack the faith and knowledge that is necessary to act on to receive healing.
The second reason a believer may fail to receive healing is weak faith. Faith is like a muscle. We all have the same number of muscles in our bodies at birth. Through regular exercise a muscle can be built up and strengthened. Some folk have muscles that can lift heavy weight while others have allowed theirs through lack of use to atrophy. Faith for healing must be built up regularly through meditating on scriptures about healing and by exercising that faith when attacked with physical symptoms.
If the physical attack of sickness or disease is stronger or heavier than your individual faith can deal with, then you may not be able to receive the healing. And that’s where a lot of people are in their faith life. They wait until a huge crisis comes before building up their faith in the word, and then they find that they don’t measure up in faith to the size of the attack they find themselves up against! I personally take time just about every day to meditate on scripture that promise healing and health. And then I exercise faith against every small physical attack that comes against my body. This keeps my personal faith strong.
The third reason a believer may not receive healing is their personal disobedience. Isaiah 1:19-20 reads: If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. We can receive God’s best only if we are walking in His will for our lives. There is a God purpose for every life. It is not possible to walk in health and be able to ward off the enemy’s attacks while living in known disobedience to God. Let me give you one example.
Years ago while pastoring a church I pioneered in a small city I got a call late one night from the wife of a faithful church member. Her husband had been rushed to the emergency room of a hospital and was unconscious with a hemorrhage in a blood vessel in the back of his neck at the base of his brain.
As I entered the room she asked me to please pray for her husband to be healed and raised up. I laid my hands on him and as I asked the Lord to heal Him, I felt a sudden restraint. I felt within that I should not do this, as though the Lord wanted me to stop praying. This happened several times as I tried to pray for his healing.
Finally I asked his wife if I could talk to her privately. I told her what happened and she related to me that several weeks earlier the doctor had told her husband that if he loved his family and wanted to live, he must immediately stop smoking. Her husband knew he should, but just didn’t do it. He knew that the Lord wanted him to quit. He knew that smoking wasn’t good for him, but persisted. The smoking had weakened his blood vessel walls and brought about a hemorrhage.
I watched as his five family members gathered around his bed and he took his last breath later that night. I’m sure he went to heaven, but his personal disobedience to the Father had cost this wonderful man that I knew and loved his physical life. I could give you many illustrations of this kind of thing happening to people.
It’s important for us to walk in the will of God for our lives in general as to life direction, and also in specifics as the Lord talks to us about what we do with our bodies. If we ignore Him or disobey, it could shorten our life.
Take time daily to meditate on the word and feed your faith about healing. Attend a good church that teaches the word concerning healing. Exercise your faith in small things. Walk in obedience to the will of the Father for your life and for your person. Health and healing belong to you. Walk in it!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Big Things Have Small Beginnings

For who has despised the day of small things (Zechariah 4:10).

Plants, trees, and shrubs begin life as a small seed that germinates. Human life begins as a zygote. Speech development in a child begins with one syllable words.

The kingdom of God operates on the principle of the seed. Something begins small and then grows a little at a time. When you are born again, God plants the seed of His nature within and it begins to grow and develop. With that seed from Him comes a talent, an ability, a skill, a calling.

Faithfulness in the small things causes the seed of His call on your life to germinate. No person in God’s kingdom starts out immediately after salvation functioning in their full calling. The seed must grow.

I began my ministry cleaning a large local church. There I learned humility, faithfulness, integrity, endurance, submission, respect for leaders, unselfishness, and how to adapt to different personalities. I also studied and developed my fellowship with God. The seedbed of my ministry now found its fertile soil in faithfulness in small things.

You may feel the call of a pastor, an evangelist, or a teacher in the body of Christ. You sense a seed of ministry in you. Find a way to be faithful in small things. Minister in nursing homes, prisons, Bible studies, home groups, in children's ministry, in youth groups. Assist your pastor in the local church in any way he needs you. Usher, greet, cut the grass, repair the building, help with the sound, teach a children’s class, minister in a nursing home, or lead a small group. Look for areas of need and lend a hand.

Promotion in ministry comes from the Lord. Don’t despise the day of small things. Those days are the proving ground for what God can do through you for the rest of your life.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Your Success Today Begins With Your Prayer Life

And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. (Luke 24:53).

These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers (Acts 1:14).

So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart (Acts 2:46).

And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31).

Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God (Luke 6:12).
The foundation for all that God does in us and through us is in our prayer life. Jesus set the standard. Jesus’ days of ministry were preceded by nights of intense praying. The early church was formed in the incubator of prayer after Jesus ascension.
The kingdom of God functions on the prayers of the saints. The mighty forces that shape the world are not physical but spiritual. The answer to every challenge we face is first of all found in that place of solace in prayer with the Father. If Jesus heeded the importance of praying things out in His earth walk, should we not heed His example?
We’re facing pressures unheard of in previous generations. The climax of the ages is upon us. God has a grand and glorious strategy for the church in this hour. And it begins and ends on our knees! To neglect the place of prayer is to neglect the very purpose and plans of the Father for life.
Start today. Move yourself into a deeper place of prayer. Find a private place, and begin to tell the Father how wonderful He is to you. Ask Him to help you pour out your heart to Him. Then, take to Him every concern and problem. Give Him the details of what bothers you. Then ask Him to intervene and bring the solution. Remind Him of the promises of His Word to you. Spend time in thanksgiving for the answer.
While praying, take time to pray in tongues. This is the most effective form of prayer. Praying in the spirit enables you to pray the perfect will of God about the unknown future. It enables you to pray the will of God into manifestation in so many ways! Don’t neglect this secret weapon God has given to you! Use it regularly and watch the forces of the enemy back up!
The success of your day today begins in your prayer closet. Make it count!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Let God's Love From Your Spirit Nature Rule Your Day Today

We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death (1 John 3:14).
The successful Christian life is a life lived in the spirit. That is, a life where the real me, my human spirit, is allowed to control my behavior. Walking in the spirit is allowing my spirit, filled with God’s nature, to rule my conduct. Walking in the spirit is allowing the Word first place in my thoughts as I make decisions in how I approach the everyday life issues.
So many of us allow our minds, emotions, and bodies to control us with no input from the spirit life, and the light within us is dimmed. If I am a wise believer I take time to feed on the Word of God each day and I spend time meditating in the Word so that my human spirit can be strong and vibrant, motivating my lifestyle.
Walking in love is one of the signposts on the road of my spirit ruled day. When I am walking in the spirit, I will be ruled by the love of God. When this love rules me from within, I will love others without requiring them to act in a way that pleases me, that is, I will love them unconditionally. I will put myself and my wishes last and the other person and their needs first. I will love others regardless of their attitude and demeanor towards me. I will be patient, kind, caring, honest, real, joy filled, hopeful, believing, and mannerly. When this love rules me, I will live above strife and petty differences. This love of God within me doesn’t pay attention to the wrongs others commit against me, and it will move me to treat those who treat me offensively as though they had done no wrong!
I encourage you to take time daily to meditate in 1 Corinthians 13, and to remind yourself that love is to rule you today. We’re to be clothed with love. When others see us, the first thing they should notice is an unselfish love that puts others first and is kind, winsome, and real. That’s what Jesus wants for me today.
If I’ll seek to be ruled by love today, I will be allowing my human spirit right of way in my life. And the Father and Jesus will direct my steps through the Word. I’ll live above the strife, envy and self-centeredness that are so common today, and I will be used to be the light that Jesus has called me to be.

No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father (Matthew 5:15-16 - NLT)