Running Before the Gale…

Running Before the Gale The Storm at Sea Acts 27:13 When a light wind began blowing from the south, the sailors thought they could make it. So they pulled up anchor and sailed close to the shore of Crete. 14 But the weather changed abruptly, and a wind of typhoon strength (called a “northeaster”) burst across the […]

Running Before the Gale

gale

The Storm at Sea

Acts 27:13 When a light wind began blowing from the south, the sailors thought they could make it. So they pulled up anchor and sailed close to the shore of Crete. 14 But the weather changed abruptly, and a wind of typhoon strength (called a “northeaster”) burst across the island and blew us out to sea. 15 The sailors couldn’t turn the ship into the wind, so they gave up and let it run before the gale.

Running before the gale!

When I was young, full of fire and adventure, I spent nine months becoming trained as an underwater welder, and I decided to join a company out of Key West named Treasure Salvors, headed up by a flamboyant man named Mel Fisher who was hunting Spanish treasure ships off the Florida Keys: it was a great adventure.

Mel Fisher

Then, as God would have it, I had the opportunity to jump ship and join ‘The Illusion’ expedition, headed up by a man from Brazil. Tony Kopp had worked in the oil fields as a diver, and had built a 65 schooner, fully equipped as a dive vessal. He had been searching archives for many years, to unearth the plight of the many treasure ships that had sunk crossing the Atlantic. He had his eyes on a Dutch Schooner said to be sunk in the Madiera Island group off Portugal, and several other wrecks along the journey. So, not yet 21, I hired aboard this wild expedition, with two Swiss, a German, a French man from Gabon, Africa, a captain from Brazil, with his wife and two year old daughter, and two Doberman pinchers!

sail

We had many adventures, and some once in a lifetime experiences finding wrecks, spearfishing, and crossing the Atlantic under sail.

We got caught in a force 10 storm, with 50-70mph winds. All we could see was blowing foam, and seas mounted to 40-50’ waves, with the tops being torn off of them by the high winds. We had to keep the boat running before the wind, carefully slicing the waves, or we would breach, overturn, and I might not be writing this story.

For three days and nights, we could do nothing but hang-on!

No food, no sleep as the waves were too violent, and would throw you out of your bunk. Dark, starless night, blowing rain, foam, mist, with one thought on all of our minds, survive.

On the third day, the winds let up, and I ate a dry cracker, crawled into my bunk, and slept for a couple of hours. I was awakened to the sound of the baby laughing, with sun streaming through my porthole!

I stumbled out of my bunk, being flung side to side, the entire boat creaking and groaning, crashing through the waves.

I came above decks to behold a sight!

The wind had stopped in the night, but because it was no longer tearing the tops off of the waves, seas were now 65-80’ tall! Our little schooner would surf up one side of a mountain of water, and launch into the air, to come crashing down the other side of these monstrous waves. We would hit the bottom of the trough, and the bow would turn submarine, plunging the front third of the ship underwater, with hatches groaning, like a cork we would bob up again, and head for the sky again.

The baby was in her safety strap hugging one of the dogs, laughing hysterically!

toddler laughing

One of the Swiss had a camcorder, and he filmed that day: how I wish I had a copy of that video!

We all began to laugh! A celebration of life! We were alive to face another day, the sun was shining, and it was going to be alright!

Now, back to the Word of God:

You know the story, Paul the mighty apostle with a burning zeal and a passionate fire to see his people saved, and right with God. He has met Jesus, and he is going to Jerusalem, capital of the world, to tell them the good news of who Yeshua really is!

FAITH is Fantastic Adventures In Trusting Him.

faith fantastic

Let’s read:

Acts 20:22

And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

Bound in the spirit,

Some question whether Paul heard the voice of God to make this particular trip to Jerusalem.

Romans 8: 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Spirit led1

Surely Paul is a son of God, and He heard God to go to Jerusalem.

Yet we see an interesting interplay here between the office of the apostle, and the office of the prophet.

Acts 21:11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

v 12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.

v13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

The prophetic word delivered to Paul was accurate, and for those around him that loved him, was interpreted that Paul should refrain from going up to Jerusalem. Yet, to Paul the apostle, ready to endure any hardship for the sake of the gospel, he was strengthened by the word!

courage Jesus

He hardened himself, recognizing imprisonment and a beating were in his future, but he did not flinch in the face of danger. Perhaps he read:

Isaiah 50:7 For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

So, as Paul Harvey would say, ‘and now for the rest of the story’.

He made it to Jerusalem, underwent imprisonment, and the foretold beating. Yet, though his path was hard, their was an audience of One that he sought to obey and please.

In His prison cell, that One, King Jesus showed up to personally comfort His servant:

Acts 23:11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome

How is that for an encouraging word?

You obeyed me, now I am sending you to Rome – (in the belly of a slave ship) – running before the gale!

Jesus appears

So leader, the storms of life will come. You are either in one, finishing one, or headed into another one. It is the cost of the call, the price tag of leadership, the race run, before our audience of One.

The lonely times leave a mark upon your soul. Perhaps it was this time in Jerusalem that caused Paul to pen these words:

2 Timothy 4:16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

Leadership can be lonely, perhaps you have read my article on it…

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/leadership-lonliness/

When we enter into the perfect, sovereign assignment of heaven for our lives, all hell may well break loose to prevent us getting to our goal.

faith

Jesus faced the storm on the sea of Galilee, Paul, Joseph in the pit, Moses in the desert…

Jesus suffered alone upon the cross…We who represent Him, will find ourselves alone with Him too.

While no earthly help may seem to appear, there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. One who knows, who cares, and who will never leave nor forsake you.

We did make it to Portugal, and discover the 1611 Dutch trader with 54 silver bars on its manifest. Another story, for another day…

You will make it too, if you are willing to abandon all for the sake of the call.

Like Mary told her servants so many years ago, at the wedding feast:

John 2: (KJV)

His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

obey whatever He says

In your hour of trial, HE WILL APPEAR, AND HE WILL SPEAK!

God speaks

Do not settle for the mere words of men, obey Him, and walk upon the water of His Word.

deep

Make headlines in heaven so that this question in the heart of Jesus be answered:

Luke 18:8 Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Let your answer to this question be a resounding YES! You won’t have to look any further Lord Jesus, for I believe!

faith1

Let’s pray:

‘Father, let me not shrink back for Your clear mandate for me. While the storms may rage, may I navigate them and run before the wind of Your Holy Spirit, running before the gale. In Your name and for Your glory I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

PS: If you would like to read another adventure story type devotion from my treasure hunting days: https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/a-shark-story/

Just in case you think this kind of stuff only happens historically, here’s one from the week when our jeep was stolen: http://www.fox23.com/videos/news/video-teens-commit-tulsa-crime-spree/vDW5k2/

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/08/06/the-purpose-of-this-blog/

If you would like to help us in our missionary adventures, please make a donation on Paypal: http://chrisaomministries.com/2016/02/27/newsletter-aomministries-feb-march/

http://chrisaomministries.com/2016/03/17/faith-sets-the-sail/

REAP! It’s your responsibility!

Reap! The Parable of the Growing Seed Mark 4:26 And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, 27 and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. 28 For the earth yields crops by itself: […]

reap

Reap!

The Parable of the Growing Seed

Mark 4:26 And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, 27 and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. 28 For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

Notice here, that the person who plants the seed, is responsible to REAP their harvest.

The Workers Are Few

Harvest1

35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Luke 10:He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

harvest1

John 4:35

Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.

36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.

Reap (reep)

verb (used with object)

  1. to cut (wheat, rye, etc.) with a sickle or other implement or a machine, as in harvest.
  2. to gather or take (a crop, harvest, etc.).
  3. to get as a return, recompense, or result:

Notice here that Reap is used as a verb. Verbs are action words. We need to be working, doing, moving, putting action to our crops and fields of endeavor.

We sow our finances, our effort, our time, our talent, our prayer, the word, and our faith, all for one thing: The Harvest.

harvest

The earth will produce, but we must reap it’s rewards.

We do this through:

  1. Work, never heard of a harvest that did not require work to get into the barn.
  2. Faith, we need God to supply the weather, health, wisdom to get it done.
  3. Diligence, we must stay faithful to finish what we start.

Let’s Pray:

‘Father God, please give us strength, wisdom, diligence and courage, to continue to work faithfully in Your Kingdom, in only the fields of endeavour You have called us to. We aks, knowing we are heard, for we ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen.’

For prayer, comments, or to donate online:

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/08/06/the-purpose-of-this-blog/

Email: chris.aomministries@gmail.com

paypal

Donate on-line: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=95XHSDDXDS7MC

Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I am a five-fold ministry gift and office – this is my life – I pray, I hear, I write, and wonderful things happen. You have your job description, I have mine – this is mine….

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!

Even miracles and God’s presence will NOT always cause a person to repent!

The Presence of God, and gifts of the spirit, will not change a human heart…. 1 Sam 19:19 And it was told Saul, saying, Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah. 20 And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over […]

The Presence of God, and gifts of the spirit, will not change a human heart….

chambers
As I read this passage, I am reminded of so many I have met over the years:

1 Sam 19:19 And it was told Saul, saying, Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.

20 And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.

21 And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also.

22 Then went he also to Ramah, and came to a great well that is in Sechu: and he asked and said, Where are Samuel and David? And one said, Behold, they be at Naioth in Ramah.

23 And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah.

24 And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?

saul

Surely, we see a divine encounter with the kingdom of God here. Let’s think about what is going on here.

Saul disobeyed God, and the kingdom was stripped from him. The anointing of God was taken from him, and given to David, and an evil spirit came upon Saul. Saul, hates David, because he sees in him, that which he lacks in himself: courage, bravery, excellence of spirit, purity of heart, and a heart that is in love with God Himself.

Despite the fact that Saul has been throwing spears at him, and hunting him to kill him, David, on the run, refuses to take Saul’s life, and he continually cries out to God on behalf of Saul. Yet, Saul, determined to keep the kingdom, continually sends soldiers to attempt to kill David, and David, by hearing intimately the voice of God, is able to avoid them, every time.

david voice

Why did God allow David all those years in the wilderness running from Saul? I think it is because:

David had to hear God accurately, in life or death situations, if he was ever going to be fit to be king.

In this account, David has run for refuge from Saul to Samuel’s house, and they are having a revival meeting where the gifts of the Holy Spirit are very much in operation, so much so that when Saul’s soldiers come chasing David there, they are arrested by the Spirit of God, and find themselves prophesying under the anointing of God.

gifts

Saul does not want to hear this, so sends two more sets of messengers to Ramah, and each time, they too succumb to the power of God, and find themselves prophesying by the Spirit of God, and unable to apprehend David.

So, Saul Himself goes down to Samuel’s revival meeting, and what happens: v 24 And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night.

slain

Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?

So, you would think, after the Holy Spirit so humbled Saul, that he would repent, and begin again to serve the Lord, and leave David alone.

Yet, what did he do?

saul-spear

He went home, and again began to plot again how to murder king David!

Even after the presence of God had caused him to prophesy naked for a day and a night at the feet of Samuel!

revival
In Luke 16, we read the account of the rich man and Lazarus. Notice here that this is not an allegory or parable, but a true story Jesus is recounting. The rich man went to hell, and the poor beggar went to Abraham’s bosum or paradise (Jesus had not yet risen from the dead, so heaven was not open yet).

We see this rich man in hell, seeing father Abraham, and crying out that someone be sent to his family, that they not end up in the same place.

Yes, people in hell are praying that we share the gospel with their families!

Let’s pick it up here:

Luke 16: 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

listen

Notice what Abraham, in the afterlife said: that it is more important for people to hear the word of God, and repent, than to see miracles. In fact the implication here is strong: That if someone will not hear the word of God, even if they saw someone raised from the dead telling them of what was to come, they would not change!

chasm

So what is the moral of the story?

Simple: The gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the presence of God, will not change a human heart, unless that heart is willing to be changed.

I have heard it said:

that the only thing greater than the power of God in the earth, is the free will of man.

Saul might have been able to repent here, and be of some use to king David in his future reign, had he humbled himself, but he absolutely refused!

responsible1

It eventually cost him his life, and the life of his son, and many others.

The only safe prayer I see in all of this, is the repeated theme of my life and ministry:

‘Father, please grant me purity of heart and purpose. Please open my eyes, and deliver me from my own delusions of grandeur, my will, and my way. Jesus, you are the way, please become my way, with no other agenda, no compromise. May I serve and fully obey You, in spirit and in truth, whatever the cost, for your name and honors sake, Amen’

corruption

The Responsibility of Discipleship – A Word for Leaders

The Responsibility of Discipleship Some time ago, I attended the leadership portion of Word Explosion here at Victory in Tulsa, OK. A pastor that I had never heard of, who reported pastors a church of 15,000+ somewhere in the Eastern United States brought a word about the seasons of God in the church, and he […]

The Responsibility of Discipleship

disciple

Some time ago, I attended the leadership portion of Word Explosion here at Victory in Tulsa, OK.

A pastor that I had never heard of, who reportedly pastors a church of 15,000+ somewhere in the Eastern United States brought a word about the seasons of God in the church, and he was very articulate and relevant, in bringing out the various things Holy Spirit was accenting, decade by decade here in churches  in the United States.

From the Healing movement, to the Charismatic renewal, to teaching and the Word of Faith, to leadership, etc.

Then he made a couple of statements that confirmed things that Holy Spirit is screaming to me.

He explained that the day of a person simply accepting Jesus, receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and attending church, is not enough in this upcoming season of God, but that what must occur is discipleship.

He went on to say, that to the average pastor, you would look for someone saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, attending regular worship services, attending a small group, and then serving somewhere in the ministry as good indicators of what a disciple should look like, and I agree these are good indicators, but here is where he and I take a different path to the same objective.

I believe a true disciple of Jesus, is a person that is fully led of the Holy Spirit, all day, every day.

Historically, there has been grave excesses in what is called ‘the discipleship, or Shepherding movement’

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepherding_Movement

Yet, what about true discipleship?

Jesus said: Matthew 28:19

Go out and make disciples in all the nations.

YOUR Great Commission - Embracing YOUR Destiny!

I think back on my own discipleship experience with my pastor, where, for a period of 5-7 years, he had me read every book in his library, develop a strong devotional life and Bible reading plan, and had me serve in every area of the church for 3-6months.

Was that the end of my spiritual growth?

Was I fully prepared for ministry by this process?

No, but it was a great foundation.

And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?
faith believe sunrise

So let’s dig into this concept of discipleship a bit:

Let’s begin by looking at the definition of a disciple:

Full Definition of DISCIPLE

1

:  one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another: as

a :  one of the twelve in the inner circle of Christ’s followers according to the Gospel accounts

b :  a convinced adherent of a school or individual

2

capitalized :  a member of the Disciples of Christ founded in the United States in 1809 that holds the Bible alone to be the rule of faith and practice, usually baptizes by immersion, and has a congregational polity

 

For the sake of simplicity, I call a disciple ‘a disciplined one’.

For example, when I swam on the college varsity swim team, I was expected to make 7 swim practices a week, and we usually did 2 weight work-outs on top of this. In order to stay on the team, I had to be a full time student and maintain a ‘C’ average academically.

swim

What this meant, was that literally every minute of my week, seven days/week was scheduled, so that we could survive not only the training schedule, but the weekends spent on buses travelling to inter-varsity swim meets all over the province.

I was a disciple of competitive swimming and robotics engineering, listening carefully to my Olympic coach on how to make all this possible.

Obviously I survived and completed three varsity seasons, and completed my BSc in robotics, by being a disciplined one…

I was a disciple of robotics and swimming. No Jesus anywhere though.

Yet, we are called to follow Jesus…

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/your-great-commission-embracing-your-destiny/

So what does a disciple of Jesus look like in today’s world?

Here are some thoughts:

  1. Aggressively following Jesus, having established a morning prayer watch, deliberately seeking Him first thing, every day.
  2. Walking in the Word in deliberate Bible reading, confession, memorization, study, and meditation.
  3. Consistently demonstrating the power of the Holy Spirit, with signs, wonders and miracles flowing in everyday life, in spirit-led days. Flowing in God all day, every day, not merely on Sundays, or in devotional times. Walking with Holy Spirit, one day at a time, fully submitted to Jesus Lordship.
  4. Consistently exhibiting the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our character, carefully watching over our words, that they be faith-filled, representing Jesus well, as an ambassador should.
  5. Consistently witnessing and sharing the gospel.(Here is a way to do this on-line:https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/the-gospel-the-power-of-god/)
  6. Consistently growing their families in the call of God, through their example, love, consecration, and recognition and fulfillment of their responsibility in their role in the home
  7. Consistently attending church, and seeking to serve and build it, growing in faithfulness and responsibility.  https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/why-go-to-church/
  8. Living a lifestyle of worship, singing, praying in the spirit, with an attitude of humility and gratefulness, demonstrating the acts of compassion the gospel commands: helping the poor, feeding the hungry, visiting the prisoner, the sick, clothing the naked, empowering the fatherless. https://chrisaomministries.com/2017/01/15/we-worship-by-serving-the-people-god-loves/
  9. Consistently seeking to grow in their gift and calling, spiritually, academically, and physically. https://chrisaomministries.com/2017/01/03/the-chinese-bamboo-a-parable-of-growth/
  10.  Consistently seeking to grow others in their gifts and callings, empowering, equipping, and encouraging them to hear and fully obey God in all things.
  11.    Consistently giving and growing financially, learning how best to keep money under the Lordship of Jesus as a good steward.
  12.    Deliberately seeking and pursuing our personal mandate, vocation, and assignment, individually, growing in responsibility levels, on purpose.

Jesus had 12 disciples.

These are simply 12 guidelines I seek to live by.

Yet, as I have meditated upon the concept of discipleship, I discover questions that have difficult answers.

I remember many years ago, an organization called Promise Keepers, encouraged us to find a Paul, and Barnabas, and a Timothy in our lives. The ‘Paul’ being a spiritual leader we could look to for leadership, mentorship, and instruction. The ‘Barnabas’ being a ‘son of encouragement’, another brother in the Lord we could look to for encouragement in the day to day battles of life, and the ‘Timothy’ being one we could pour life and wisdom into, one we were deliberately discipling.

This is a good start surely.

As we grow in our Christian walk, we surely need a pastor who can gently help us learn the basics of this Christian life and character development.

Through our growth process, God will bring the other 4 ministry offices to add strength and structure to the formation of Christ in us, the hope of glory.

Yet, as I have walked with God these years I see many of these ministers see the kingdom of God only through their particular ministry gift, and for humor I write:

The pastor:

GO TO CHURCH! Is it not written: Ps 122: I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.”

Hebrews 10:25

not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Planted in the house of the Lord, They will flourish in the courts of our God

They are right! We all need to be part of a local church, https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/why-go-to-church/

The apostle:

Then we have the apostle, often called the missionary today, whose favorite verse might be

Romans 15:20

And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation

Kind like the old Star Trek television series, ‘To Go Boldly Where No Man Has Gone Before”

star trek

1 Corinthians 4:9

For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.

Since the greatest in the kingdom is the servant of all, the true apostles I have met over the years are often gentle, suffering, humble servants of Jesus, who almost glow when they walk, carrying great spiritual authority and power….

We call them missionaries….

The Prophet:

Then there are prophets:

Wild creatures!

Dreams, Visions, revelations, ‘This is the Way Walk Ye in It!’ people.

A couple of verses from the office of the prophet, you often hear, when they show up:

Numbers 11:29

Then Moses said to him, “Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!”

Acts 2:17

‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams

1 Corinthians 14:1

[ Prophecy and Tongues ] Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy

It has been my experience that true prophets stir up controversy by what they say, apostles by what they do

Evangelists:

Repent, and get saved!

If you are not winning souls, I question your salvation!

These are the great soul winners, those called to train and equip believers for the work of winning the lost.

Biblically, they usually demonstrate great miracles to draw the crowds to the gospel.

Acts 8:6

And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did

A perfect modern day example of a firely evangelist is Rhinhart Bonnke, or now Danial King.

The Teacher:

Then there are the teachers

2 Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon  precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

There have been great studies in the life of Jesus, showing how He is the ultimate apostle, pastor, prophet, evangelist and teacher, but what is the purpose of all of these gifts?

Here is a passage of Scripture I continually come back to:

Eph 4But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says:

“When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.”[b]

(Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first[c] descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—

16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

grow

So we are given men and women of God, from God, to grow us in the things of God, that we can be delivered from the trickery of men, that we can take our place in the Body of Christ, our particular spot, gift, place and calling, that the whole Body of Christ might grow as we edify each other in love.

Been thinking about some what a disciple might look like in 2015, and I see questions, not full answers before me.

Since Jesus only ministered on the earth to His 12 disciples for 3-1/2 years before appointing them leaders in His kingdom in the earth, as His representatives, can we as leaders raise up people to send, in a similar three and a half year time period?

Yes, He promised that we would perform greater works than His, yet He lived with His disciples 24/7 for His entire earthly ministry.

time greatest gift

How many of us are willing to embrace twelve people, and lovingly live with, teach, train, equip, and work with for 3-1/2 years until they are raised up in their particular ministries?

As I thought about the church structures in place across the earth, I see churches that place pastoral staff on salaries, but then how are the other four ministry gifts supposed to ethically receive financial support?

Do they simply attend a strong local church, and then perform their particular ministries outside of it’s four walls?

Evangelists raising up evangelistic centers that receive donations from the Body of Christ to finance their living support, and to host the crusades and conferences that train and equip us in the work of evangelism.

Prophets, who host conferences, and produce books and teaching materials to train and equip us in the prophetic…

Missionaries who solicit support to GO and perform missionary assignments, and to raise their families on the missions field.

Teachers, who receive salaries for teaching in the various educational institutes where they are called.

Somehow all this must flow through the local church, and how I have seen cat fights over money!

Should never be. All of us should tithe where the Lord directs, and I honestly believe if the Holy Spirit is fully in charge of the finances of His people, there will be no lack in God’s work being fully supported…

I was speaking about this today with Richard Lyons, who pastors the church we are helping pioneer.

I asked him: ‘Richard, here, in 2015, what does a true disciple of Jesus look like?’

He replied:

John 13:34

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

John 13:35

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

So we see the fruit of a true disciple of Jesus, is true love exhibited in the earth, unconditional love shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit!

love one another

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

[ Disciples’ Relation to Each Other ] “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.

jesus_loves_you_the_path_to_heaven

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

wealth greater love

This I command you, that you love one another
God is love
and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears muchfruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

love stronger1
My Father is glorified by this, that you bear muchfruit, and so prove to be My disciples

So, as we deliberately seek to receive the love of Jesus, we find ourselves thrust out into this war-torn, sin-sick, broken world, with one great weapon, His love beating in our hearts.

This is the mark of a true disciple, loving people, with no strings attached, simply because He first loved us.

Love Loud Today Leader!

Love Loud0

All the evangelism, miracles, works of the ministry mean nothing without love…and love never fails!

Neither will you or I, as we deliberately love…

1 Timothy 1:5

Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

Come on disciple, let’s pray:

Father, I come to You today, knowing my needs! I need Your love, Your direction, Your strength and power to serve You in this, my generation. Flow through me to love loud today, those You have placed in my path today. I ask this, knowing I am loved and heard, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus! AMEN!

Why Should I Start a Bible School?

Why Should I Start a Bible School?.

Today, Holy Spirit told me to again post this article:

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/why-should-i-start-a-bible-school/

Why Should I Start a Bible School?.

need-prayer

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/08/06/the-purpose-of-this-blog/

The Press and the Process – NO COMPROMISE!

The Press! Sometimes in life, you just gotta go for it! Been thinking about this particular season of transition in my life, as I have gone from being a moving and shaking businessman as a contractor, to becoming more and more obedient to the heavenly call in full time missions these past years, to now, […]

The Press!

pressed

Sometimes in life, you just gotta go for it! Been thinking about this particular season of transition in my life, as I have gone from being a moving and shaking businessman as a contractor, to becoming more and more obedient to the heavenly call in full time missions these past years, to now, carefully balancing construction as a part time superintendent, to staying aggressively in the face of God to maintain my place in the office and the call….

‘As the things of earth, grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace’ the song goes..

The years of brutally hard work, and then before that the grueling schedule needed to survive my college degree, while maintaining national level fitness in the sport of triathlon, have come back to remind me, that the disciplines that must be in place, to be a champion.

Knowing my passion and drive, I have learned that I must come under the tight rein of the Holy Spirit, desperate for His presence, His voice, His leading, or the self imposed disciplines I would apply to myself, would bury me.

Yet, when we determine to settle for nothing other than the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, without compromise, and hunger for truth, and power with God, seems about every human relationship feels the test of the call.

press

In the natural, I have given it all. There is no financial seed left to give…in order to merely live each day, Jesus HAS to provide, there is no plan B.

And day by day, challenge by challenge, He has proved Himself faithful.

Has it been brutal? Yes!

Has it been rewarding?

To see the nations changed in prayer, the multitudes moved through my intercession, the experience the radical intimacy and fulfillment that only He can give, I must say, ‘YES!”.

Though I have nothing financially left, I get alone with Him, having stood upon His promises, and I look at the stars in the heavens…He made them!

He will reward this particular stand of faith, and He will not only restore everything I have given, and given up for Him, but will multiply it, and prosper me with not merely heavenly riches, but I will see wealth, and prosperity again, here, in the earth, in my life, supernaturally, by His hand.

prosperity harvest

To say I have been misunderstood, criticized, etc, would be an understatement, but I am consumed with One who totally satisfies, and I find myself loving people more and more, yes caring less and less whether they love back, or understand…

His voice, His presence, His Word come alive, are more than enough….

Certain things though, are only ‘as He wills..’

His timings, His gifts of the Holy Spirit, His appointments into public ministries, and His financial provisions and breakthroughs, we believe we receive them, and fight for them in faith, daily, yet, if the day ends, and it has not happened yet, then we roll the care of it over upon Him, and deliberately trust that He is faithful, that which He has spoken, that which we have believed we received, will surely come to pass.

faith

In moments of weakness, I have heard Him say, ‘Are you still willing?’, and repeatedly, I have said, ‘Yes, Lord, strengthen, equip me to the responsibility before me, give me grace to survive the brutality of the savage unbelief, and contest of wills around me…;

Some days, I reread, Heb 5:7  Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

The brutality, the attempted tyranny of the ungodly expectations of people, who are not hearing, seeing, experiencing what is screaming inside of you…

I understand the heart of Paul, when he exclaimed…

Ac 26:19  Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:

Hab 2:3  For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

I am not a Calvinist, believing in the great sovereignty of God, like we are some fluff in the wind of the cosmos.

No, I am a son of my heavenly Father, and a man of faith, passion, authority, passionately standing upon His promises, that He must fulfill, for He cannot lie.

What does faith look like though, when each day, as you believe, that which you have prayed for most definitely does not come to pass? When it feels like the heavens are brass, and that our faith confessions seem to hit some kind of metal dome over our heads, unheard by God?

In our anguish of soul, comes the comforter, the great One in the earth, the breath and voice of God, and He brings words of encouragement, that nothing on this earth can compare to…

Simple words, like ‘Child, I love you, and I hear your heart, your quietest whispers in the night, and I am with you, and am bringing to pass that which you have believed, for did I not promise and commission these things to you?’

Simple comforts like: ‘You have done my perfect will today!”

courage Jesus

These keep me going, like Joseph:

Ps 105:19  Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.

There is a timing of a thing, and until that appointed time, I am aggressively reading, praying in tongues, after doing my faith confessions for the day, for I must keep my faith fed, strong, and I must fill my soul with good teaching, to grow, to press, to feed the raging hungers inside my heart!

Ps 17:3  Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.

I fight to keep my words right, for this is the way of perfection, holiness, and as I allow the Word to grow and work deeper and deeper in my heart, this becomes easier and easier, for as my deepest desires are changed, as He takes His knife to my fears, my filth, my stinking thinking, a practical purity emerges. I don’t have to rigidly watch my confessions as much, for out of my transformed heart, my mouth speaks, and good things come out…

courage2

Ps 18:30  As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

I trust in Him. He has spoken. I am sorely tried, but after it is all done, I shall be that vessal of honor described in the Word, purged, and fully fit for the Masters use…

Passionate love is worth the pursuit….

God is love….

Let’s pray:

‘Father, I know You, and I hear Your voice. May I not shrink back, or give up, but bring you great glory, in believing. Strengthen me to fully obey, without compromise or reservation, exactly what You have shown me. Comfort me daily, and equip me, for the responsibility of the call, in Your name I pray Lord Jesus.Amen’

Whatever Happened to Sin?

Hi everyone, Been thinking about sin. You know, things expressly forbidden by the word of God. Just to be fair, let’s name a few, so that I do not single anyone out, because we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and Jesus died because He loved sinners. He paid the […]

Hi everyone,

serpant apple

Been thinking about sin.

You know, things expressly forbidden by the word of God.

Just to be fair, let’s name a few, so that I do not single anyone out, because we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and Jesus died because He loved sinners. He paid the ultimate price for sin, it killed Him. He died upon the cross to bear the full weight of it, for all humanity.

Gal 5:

Living by the Spirit’s Power

16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.
fruit of the spirit
There is no law against these things!

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.

As I read these verses, written to Christians, I see the clear what we are called to live, a life of honor, humility, love, purity, gratefulness, patience, gentleness, holiness, and love in Jesus.

Yet, we see, as the native proverb goes, the battle we all fight within ourselves…

good wolf bad wolf

If you have read much of my material, you discover the overwhelming thread of what I post is on the love, grace, goodness, and righteousness of God: Who we are before His throne, royal children of the most High God.

Read this article today, and it got me to thinking:

http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/in-the-line-of-fire/40930-is-it-only-the-goodness-of-god-that-leads-us-to-repentance

If I am a servant of Jesus, do I do humanity disservice, if I do not do as Jesus did, commanding men everywhere to repent?

If I call lying wrong? Am I a hater?

If I declare homosexuality to be wrong? Am I a gay basher?

If I declare that pornography, prostitution, child-sex trafficking are wrong? Am I judgemental, critical, non-loving?

How about envy, jealousy, pride? If I call these sins, am I no longer a ‘good news preacher’?

You can see where I am taking this line of thought.

Clearly, the overwhelming tragedy of the human experience is not the depth of degradation people allow themselves to wallow in, rather, in light of eternity, and the power of God available to any human being through the grace given us in Jesus, how far short of His glory, honor, holiness, purity and love we still choose to live.
victory-cross

When Jesus came to live inside of us, old things passed away, all things became new, yet I see so many fellow Christians, like dogs returning to their own vomit, living so far below their rights and privileges as believers.

2 Corinthians 6:

The Temple of the Living God

14 Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? 15 What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil[d]? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? 16 And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.

temple

As God said:

“I will live in them

    and walk among them.

I will be their God,

    and they will be my people.[e]

17 Therefore, come out from among unbelievers,

    and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord.

Don’t touch their filthy things,

    and I will welcome you.[f]

18 And I will be your Father,

    and you will be my sons and daughters,

    says the Lord Almighty.[g]

We are called children of the most high God, people who bear His name.

royalty

Yet, just like we need to change a few diapers as parents, as our children dirty themselves, even so, we are expected to grow out of the diaper stage into honor and holiness.

Yes, I love people.

Yes, like Jesus, I hate sin, for I see what it does to people, families, communities, and nations.

Titus 2:11 (AMP) For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind. (KJv 21) 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world,

Yes, we are adopted into the kingdom of God, but we are to become HOLY!

Notice here, that it is only God’s grace that allows us to do this, but that that very grace, teaches us.

For those who missed yesterday’s post: https://chrisaomministries.com/2017/02/13/grace-to-live/

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
sin kills
God loves us, yet as a good parent, He instructs us on the rules in His family, His kingdom, the ways of righteousness.
Sin kills, and if I am to truly love you, I must exhort you to holiness.
Let’s pray:
‘Father, May we see sin the way You do, and hate it the way You do. In Your love for us, convict us of our sin, and in Your grace, teach us how to leave it, and live in purity, honor, and love towards You and our fellow humanity. I ask this, knowing I am heard, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, AMen’

If you do not know Jesus personally yet, please read:

 https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/08/06/the-purpose-of-this-blog/

Grace to live!

Grace Leads to Holiness! As we seek first Jesus again this morning, and commit to our yearly Bible reading plans, this thought is impressed upon my mind: Holiness! Grace is simply God’s power towards us to do what we cannot do. He wants us to be holy, like Jesus in this world! Holiness, purity, integrity […]

Grace Leads to Holiness!

As we seek first Jesus again this morning, and commit to our yearly Bible reading plans, this thought is impressed upon my mind: Holiness!

grace-holy

Grace is simply God’s power towards us to do what we cannot do.

He wants us to be holy, like Jesus in this world!

Holiness, purity, integrity – almost forgotten word in today’s society, but the very nature and character of God.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind.

12 It has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness (irreligion) and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world,

I like the way the King Jimmy translation says these verses:

Titus 2:11-12 (KJV)

11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

grace-teaches

So, grace from heaven, comes in the form of the HOLY Spirit, and teaches us….

What does He teach us?

To deny ungodliness and worldly lusts – to live soberly, righteously, and godly – where? In heaven?

Surely we will live holy there, but this verse is plain. Grace teaches us to live holy here, in this war-torn, broken world…no small task!

2 Timothy 1:9

[For it is He] Who delivered and saved us and called us with a calling in itself holy and leading to holiness [to a life of consecration, a vocation of holiness]; [He did it] not because of anything of merit that we have done, but because of and to further His own purpose and grace (unmerited favor) which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began [eternal ages ago].

Well, there you have it – true grace leads to true holiness (and, I might add, is the only path to actually get there).

grace-appeared

I long to live a pure, holy life, full of love, laughter, peace, where we honestly treat others right from a pure heart – holiness is what this world needs.

He is determined to make us into the image of Jesus: Rom 8:29 CEV

and he has always known who his chosen ones would be. He had decided to let them become like his own Son, so that his Son would be the first of many children…

Lincoln on The Money Power

I remember reading a quote from Lincoln that has stayed with me over the years:

‘The test of a man’s character is not adversity as many would suggest, for many a good man has made it through a hard time, rather, give that man a little authority, and some money in his pocket, and then see how he treats his fellow man!”

Truly, poverty may reveal sin, but can also reveal eternal character!

God has decided to allow us to rise from the muck and the mire of the human experience, and become the people of honor both heaven and earth long for!

This is the true grace of God, the power to live a holy life!

grace-overcome-sin

May this be our desire and pursuit today!

Let’s Pray:

Father, work in us to will and to do of Your good pleasure. Cause us to love purity and holiness, and hate sin. Grant us grace to deny ungodliness, rejecting and and renouncing all that is not like You, Your love, Your presence, Your holiness, Your purity. All that will not enter heaven. Do this today, and every day I pray. I ask, knowing I am heard, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus! Amen!

prayer-plug

Prayer Requests: If you or your family need specific prayer for anything, please send us a prayer request. We as a family will pray for you today, and if you would, please let us know the wonderful ways God answers. This is a great encouragement to us. https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/08/06/the-purpose-of-this-blog/

Can you drink the cup…?

This morning, I turned on Facebook, and read a quote from my friend, and native pastor, that got me to thinking. Am I prepared to have great success, and not get credit for it? In a previous note, I spoke about how Jesus died to the idol of reputation. Php 2:7 But made himself of […]

This morning, I turned on Facebook, and read a quote from my friend, and native pastor, Kennie Blacksmith, that got me to thinking.

Am I prepared to have great success, and not get credit for it?

In a previous note, I spoke about how Jesus died to the idol of reputation.

Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

humble rights

How He was so committed to the will of the Father, that He obeyed unto death.

This was played out in Jerusalem, when He entered in what historians call, the triumphal entry, where the whole city came out to see him, crying ‘Hosanna, Hosanna, Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord’, people laying clothing and palm branches before Him, as He entered as a conquering king would.

Yet, only days later, that same crowd is crying ‘Crucify, crucify!’.

As a leader, we must accurately hear and obey the voice of our Father, no matter what the crowds are saying or doing. Seems the people least like this world, have the greatest power to affect it for good.

I read a great book by Tony Dungy, called ‘The Mentor Leader’, where he talks about how greatly effective leadership doesn’t need the limelight on them to validate their success. I’ll pick it up on p 26

Tony Dungy

“Sure, if your business, your team, or your family does well, people will take notice – and they will notice who the leader is. And you may be accorded some of the credit you feel you deserve. But if you do it right-if you really mentor others-more often than not, people will notice what a remarkably talented team, staff, or child you have, rather than what a great coach, employer, or parent you are. They will all assume that anyone could win with your team or family, and they’ll say things like, “Just look at how well they work together. If I had selfless people like that, I could meet my quarterly goals as well.”

I saw this very thing happen with Chuck Noll and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Coach Noll was an extraordinary leader, and catalyst of a team that won four Super Bowls in six years, but he was never voted Coach of the Year. Instead, people always pointed to the number of Hall of Fame-caliber players the Steelers had. But that is just the way Coach Noll wanted it-never having anyone guess that he might have been responsible for developing that talent.

If you do it right, as a mentor leader, you may make it all but impossible for other people to give you credit.

For years, I have attended Victory Christian Center, here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Over the years, as I have been developing as a leader, I look back, and see how at many, many crucial ‘valleys of decision’ in my life, my pastor Billy Joe Daugherty, would magically appear in my world, and in his soft spoken way, say, “Hey Chris, what’s going on?”

Billy Joe

Sometimes I would tell him my struggles or crisis of decisions, as a business owner committed to integrity of conduct in every area, in a fallen world, where sometimes it appeared that if there had been a forgiveness meter on my heart, it had been hit repeatedly with a sledgehammer, by the treachery and betrayals of others. Yet, forgive I have, and pain has been a wonderful instructor, as has been Billy Joe, who, by the Holy Spirit, has spoken pearls of wisdom into my life at times when I either did not know what to do, or felt like quitting.

Another man like him in my life has been Kenneth E Hagin, the pioneer and head of Rhema Bible Training Center. As one of our Instructors, he, in humility, was able to impart incredible spiritual truth, and the team of instructors and leaders around him, in the final years of his life, are still some of the most incredibly gifted ministers I have ever seen in the earth.

kenneth-hagin-bible

The inscription on the Bible that Kenneth E. Hagin and Miss Oretha gave Karen and I for a wedding gift.

kenny-suit

This morning, I read a quote by my native pastor, Kennie Blacksmith, that bears witness to these thoughts:

Can you drink the cup…?

 

I acknowledge ruin is a gift.

For when you accept this, ruin will open the road to your restoration.

Restoration will lead to your transformation.

Your transformation will lead to your freedom and release from a negative past!

In acknowledging your own inability to forgive, ask the Lord to help you. In so doing, in your weakness you will become strong!

“You will indeed drink the cup!”

So, it is my time to take my place among them…As I step out again into the high calling of God, in Christ Jesus, I see footsteps before me, made by shoes that I honestly do not feel big enough to fit into yet, yet the path is clear, and follow I will, unto death if necessary….

How about you? Are there any incredible examples of leadership that you have had impact your life?

Let’s Pray:

‘Father God, help me to die to the idol of reputation, and to walk forward in your high calling, obeying you, and spending my life empowering, training, equipping, and encouraging others, to excellence, never seeking my own glory, but always seeking to glorify You Lord Jesus, Amen’

Running Before the Gale…

Running Before the Gale The Storm at Sea Acts 27:13 When a light wind began blowing from the south, the sailors thought they could make it. So they pulled up anchor and sailed close to the shore of Crete. 14 But the weather changed abruptly, and a wind of typhoon strength (called a “northeaster”) burst across the […]

Running Before the Gale

gale

The Storm at Sea

Acts 27:13 When a light wind began blowing from the south, the sailors thought they could make it. So they pulled up anchor and sailed close to the shore of Crete. 14 But the weather changed abruptly, and a wind of typhoon strength (called a “northeaster”) burst across the island and blew us out to sea. 15 The sailors couldn’t turn the ship into the wind, so they gave up and let it run before the gale.

Running before the gale!

When I was young, full of fire and adventure, I spent nine months becoming trained as an underwater welder, and I decided to join a company out of Key West named Treasure Salvors, headed up by a flamboyant man named Mel Fisher who was hunting Spanish treasure ships off the Florida Keys: it was a great adventure.

Mel Fisher

Then, as God would have it, I had the opportunity to jump ship and join ‘The Illusion’ expedition, headed up by a man from Brazil. Tony Kopp had worked in the oil fields as a diver, and had built a 65 schooner, fully equipped as a dive vessal. He had been searching archives for many years, to unearth the plight of the many treasure ships that had sunk crossing the Atlantic. He had his eyes on a Dutch Schooner said to be sunk in the Madiera Island group off Portugal, and several other wrecks along the journey. So, not yet 21, I hired aboard this wild expedition, with two Swiss, a German, a French man from Gabon, Africa, a captain from Brazil, with his wife and two year old daughter, and two Doberman pinchers!

sail

We had many adventures, and some once in a lifetime experiences finding wrecks, spearfishing, and crossing the Atlantic under sail.

We got caught in a force 10 storm, with 50-70mph winds. All we could see was blowing foam, and seas mounted to 40-50’ waves, with the tops being torn off of them by the high winds. We had to keep the boat running before the wind, carefully slicing the waves, or we would breach, overturn, and I might not be writing this story.

For three days and nights, we could do nothing but hang-on!

No food, no sleep as the waves were too violent, and would throw you out of your bunk. Dark, starless night, blowing rain, foam, mist, with one thought on all of our minds, survive.

On the third day, the winds let up, and I ate a dry cracker, crawled into my bunk, and slept for a couple of hours. I was awakened to the sound of the baby laughing, with sun streaming through my porthole!

I stumbled out of my bunk, being flung side to side, the entire boat creaking and groaning, crashing through the waves.

I came above decks to behold a sight!

The wind had stopped in the night, but because it was no longer tearing the tops off of the waves, seas were now 65-80’ tall! Our little schooner would surf up one side of a mountain of water, and launch into the air, to come crashing down the other side of these monstrous waves. We would hit the bottom of the trough, and the bow would turn submarine, plunging the front third of the ship underwater, with hatches groaning, like a cork we would bob up again, and head for the sky again.

The baby was in her safety strap hugging one of the dogs, laughing hysterically!

toddler laughing

One of the Swiss had a camcorder, and he filmed that day: how I wish I had a copy of that video!

We all began to laugh! A celebration of life! We were alive to face another day, the sun was shining, and it was going to be alright!

Now, back to the Word of God:

You know the story, Paul the mighty apostle with a burning zeal and a passionate fire to see his people saved, and right with God. He has met Jesus, and he is going to Jerusalem, capital of the world, to tell them the good news of who Yeshua really is!

FAITH is Fantastic Adventures In Trusting Him.

faith fantastic

Let’s read:

Acts 20:22

And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

Bound in the spirit,

Some question whether Paul heard the voice of God to make this particular trip to Jerusalem.

Romans 8: 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Spirit led1

Surely Paul is a son of God, and He heard God to go to Jerusalem.

Yet we see an interesting interplay here between the office of the apostle, and the office of the prophet.

Acts 21:11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

v 12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.

v13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

The prophetic word delivered to Paul was accurate, and for those around him that loved him, was interpreted that Paul should refrain from going up to Jerusalem. Yet, to Paul the apostle, ready to endure any hardship for the sake of the gospel, he was strengthened by the word!

courage Jesus

He hardened himself, recognizing imprisonment and a beating were in his future, but he did not flinch in the face of danger. Perhaps he read:

Isaiah 50:7 For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

So, as Paul Harvey would say, ‘and now for the rest of the story’.

He made it to Jerusalem, underwent imprisonment, and the foretold beating. Yet, though his path was hard, their was an audience of One that he sought to obey and please.

In His prison cell, that One, King Jesus showed up to personally comfort His servant:

Acts 23:11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome

How is that for an encouraging word?

You obeyed me, now I am sending you to Rome – (in the belly of a slave ship) – running before the gale!

Jesus appears

So leader, the storms of life will come. You are either in one, finishing one, or headed into another one. It is the cost of the call, the price tag of leadership, the race run, before our audience of One.

The lonely times leave a mark upon your soul. Perhaps it was this time in Jerusalem that caused Paul to pen these words:

2 Timothy 4:16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

Leadership can be lonely, perhaps you have read my article on it…

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/leadership-lonliness/

When we enter into the perfect, sovereign assignment of heaven for our lives, all hell may well break loose to prevent us getting to our goal.

faith

Jesus faced the storm on the sea of Galilee, Paul, Joseph in the pit, Moses in the desert…

Jesus suffered alone upon the cross…We who represent Him, will find ourselves alone with Him too.

While no earthly help may seem to appear, there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. One who knows, who cares, and who will never leave nor forsake you.

We did make it to Portugal, and discover the 1611 Dutch trader with 54 silver bars on its manifest. Another story, for another day…

You will make it too, if you are willing to abandon all for the sake of the call.

Like Mary told her servants so many years ago, at the wedding feast:

John 2: (KJV)

His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

obey whatever He says

In your hour of trial, HE WILL APPEAR, AND HE WILL SPEAK!

God speaks

Do not settle for the mere words of men, obey Him, and walk upon the water of His Word.

deep

Make headlines in heaven so that this question in the heart of Jesus be answered:

Luke 18:8 Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Let your answer to this question be a resounding YES! You won’t have to look any further Lord Jesus, for I believe!

faith1

Let’s pray:

‘Father, let me not shrink back for Your clear mandate for me. While the storms may rage, may I navigate them and run before the wind of Your Holy Spirit, running before the gale. In Your name and for Your glory I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

PS: If you would like to read another adventure story type devotion from my treasure hunting days: https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/a-shark-story/

Just in case you think this kind of stuff only happens historically, here’s one from this week when our jeep was stolen: http://www.fox23.com/videos/news/video-teens-commit-tulsa-crime-spree/vDW5k2/

If you would like to help us in our missionary adventures, please make a donation on Paypal: http://chrisaomministries.com/2016/02/27/newsletter-aomministries-feb-march/

http://chrisaomministries.com/2016/03/17/faith-sets-the-sail/