The Responsibility of Discipleship

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 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 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..
  9. Consistently seeking to grow in their gift and calling, spiritually, academically, and physically.
  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!

Courage Scripture

1 Corinthians 16:13

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.

courage angels

Acts 4:23
[ The Believers Pray for Courage ] As soon as they were freed, Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said.

29 And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. 30 Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
31 After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.

courage2

Let’s pray like they did!
“Father, you see the threats and brutality of Islam, ISIS, and other enemies of our faith, freedom, families and the gospel. NOW, Grant us boldness in preaching Your Word, and stretch forth Your hand, and may mighty signs and wonders again be wrought through the name Your precious Son, our Lord Jesus. Amen’

Islam – Threat to Freedom and World Peace

silence 1

This is a long article…but if you are interested…it pretty much says it all! You can see this happening i our nation.

Hard to argue with this: A German’s View on Islam –– well worth reading. This is one of the best explanations of the Muslim terrorist situation I have ever read. His references to past history are accurate and clear. Not long, easy to understand, and well worth the read. The author of this email is Dr. Emanuel Tanya, a well-known and well-respected psychiatrist.

A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates.

When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. ‘Very few people were true Nazis,’ he said, ‘but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care.

I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come.’’ ‘‘My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.’

‘‘We are told again and again by ‘experts’ and ‘talking heads’ that Islam is a religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace.

Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.’’ ‘‘The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honour-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

Islam protest

 

 

‘‘The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the ‘silent majority,’ is cowed and extraneous. Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.’’ ‘‘The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet. And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery? Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were ‘peace  loving’?

‘‘History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.

 

Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friend from Germany , they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.’

Islam peace America

 

 

‘‘Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.’’

Islam peace

‘‘Now Islamic prayers have been introduced in Toronto and other public schools in Ontario , and, yes, in Ottawa , too, while the Lord’s Prayer was removed (due to being so offensive?). The Islamic way may be peaceful for the time being in our country until the fanatics move in.’’

‘‘In Australia , and indeed in many countries around the world, many of the most commonly consumed food items have the halal emblem on them. Just look at the back of some of the most popular chocolate bars, and at other food items in your local supermarket. Food on aircraft have the halal emblem just to appease the privileged minority who are now rapidly expanding within the nation’s shores.’’

‘‘In the U.K, the Muslim communities refuse to integrate and there are now dozens of “no-go” zones within major cities across the country that the police force dare not intrude upon. Sharia law prevails there, because the Muslim community in those areas refuse to acknowledge British law.’’ ‘‘As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts – the fanatics who threaten our way of life.’’ Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes this email without sending it on, is contributing to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand. Extend yourself a bit and send this on. Let us hope that thousands world-wide read this, think about it, and send it on before it’s too late, and we are silenced because we were silent!

Let’s Pray:

Father, I stand against Islam in the earth. I break it’s yoke off of the people it controls in the name and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. I loose revelation of the kingdom of God and the love of Jesus, to each person involved in this, I pray the people enslaved in this  hate, murder,  oppression, and atrocities committed, and that you place in their heart a desire for purity, holiness, love, freedom and that which is truly right in your sight. I stand against the organization and works of Al Queda, ISIS, Hamas, Hezbolla, Muslim brotherhood, Boka Haram, the Taliban and any Jihadist group, and I enforce the power of Your kingdom against them, in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. May they see Your hand continually revealing and destroying their plots and plans, and may they hunger and thirst for truth, and the love and honor of Jesus! Amen.

A Call to Fast and pray…

Fasting, a Christian discipline –

fast

Each year, as I seek the Lord, there comes a time, when I deliberate fast and pray – a time to let go of agendas, offences, even daily disciplines, that are not bearing any fruit in my life. Time to reflect, receive fresh vision and direction, to replenish, and then launch out again in His plan and destiny of my life. Hear the words of Jesus:

MATTHEW 6:16-18

  1. Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
  2. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
  3. That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.,

As a Rhema Graduate, I have heard Kenneth E Hagin teach on many subjects, but his book, ‘A Common Sense Guide to Fasting’ has been a great help to me over the years.. I encourage you to read it: http://www.rhema.org/store/a-commonsense-guide-to-fasting-book.html

fasting Kenneth

As I prepare to do my particular yearly fast of ‘no pleasant food’, I am encouraged by this quote from brother Hagins book:

“Remember how Daniel fasted 21 days? He ate no “pleasant bread.” We need to realize there is more than one way to fast. Daniel didn’t eat anything he wanted, but he did eat a little something. That is harder to do some­times.

You see, it’s a matter of keeping the flesh under; keep­ing the body under and not letting it dominate you. You dominate it instead.

If you wanted to go a step further, you could fast things other than food. You might say, “Now, Lord, I’m going to leave off watching television and spend that time pray­ing.” (Daniel said he gave up eating pleasant bread. So why wouldn’t it be all right to leave off other things that might be pleasant to us?)

A well-known evangelist when he was pastoring decided to give God 10 percent of his time in prayer. He began to pray at night after his family was in bed. He prayed two hours and 40 minutes each night. To do that he had to sacrifice his television time. God has given him an internationally known ministry.”

Over the years, I have been drawn repeatedly back to these verses of Scripture as I fast:

fast 58

Isaiah 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward.

Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:

11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

So, for the record, I am going to go through these verses for you, and explain the ways I have used them in my own particular journey of faith:

Isaiah 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

As I fast and pray, I recognize that we have spiritual enemies that if not directly preventing our success, always try to at least contain us in some measure to their control. I am believing for God Almighty to break their bands of wickedness, to remove their heavy burdens, to let me go free from all demonic oppression, and oppression by ungodly people. A yoke is something you harness an animal by. Forces that are driving and prodding me into pathways other than the glorious liberty of the Spirit of God, must go, be broken, by the power of Jesus!

break curse

Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

These verses are a ‘heart check’ for me. I should already, always, continually be feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for those less fortunate. Yet, here I check myself as to how well I am actually doing this as a man of God. Do I have clothes I can give away? Can I provide shelter for someone who can never repay me? Am I actually living and walking in the love of God?

‘and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?’

In the Amplified Bible it says:

‘and that you hide not yourself from [the needs of] your own flesh and blood?’

Here is where the rubber meets the road. How well am I exemplifying the love of Jesus to my own family members? ,

Fasting is hard on our pride and selfish natures – seems it is easier to love stangers, than family members who are not living the way WE think they should. God loves them, and if we are to represent Him, we must too, no matter what they have done, or are doing…. Maybe a simple telephone call, card, or birthday gift will break the ice on relational walls of bitterness, grudges held generationally – rationalized because: ‘that’s just the way we are’” Nope, there is a cross for our sin, and our lack of love towards family, is one that must die….We are called to love…

fast1

Back in college, I took a couple courses in computer programming. We would write modules in Pascal (I know, for all you ‘C++’ programmers it is a dinosaur), where we would tell the computer  IF (this condition is met), THEN (this must happen). In the previous verses, God was telling us to DO certain things in both prayer, in attitude, and action.

IF we do these things, then we qualify for THEN He will do these things:

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward.

Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.

The true purpose of fasting is to seek God, who is life, love, purity, power, strength, purpose, direction, power, holiness, healing and prosperity. God is love!

Light speaks of revelation to me: Psalm 119:130

The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

Here we see revelation being imparted, healing from the throne of God, justification before our enemies, the glory of God deposited in our lives, and intimacy, the thing we desperately need, the innermost needs of our heart met by the Lord Himself – we call, and He answers! Sometimes the greatest miracle in life, is to be granted supernatural understanding of a situation!

Back to another ‘IF’

If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity.

My translation? Stop gossiping, wasting your precious conversations with words empty of substance and power, judging, pointing fingers at others – your life has never been about them anyway, it’s about you and Jesus! Change your words, change your life – SPEAK THE WORD OF GOD! Words of power!

10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul;

fast v10

In my life: ‘drawing out my soul to the hungry’ is to pour my love out in teaching, preaching, encouraging, instructing people with the bread of life, the Word of God. People are hungry for love, the greatest need of all, the only thing that will meet the true hunger of every heart, is Jesus! He will heal the afflicted soul! Yes, we work and supply physical food, but what about loving and injecting life into our particular world? Money will not do this, unless used in love to alleviate human suffering, and meet legitimate needs…If we do these things

THEN

then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:

11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

Much can be said here, but this speaks of the result of our work and effort. Jesus walks with us, and does signs, wonders and miracles, and others lives are changed. They catch the vision, and move in His love and power, and the result of their work is foundations of many generations being raised up, and we become repairers of the breach, restorers of the way, the one true path, the pathways of purpose, the straight and narrow path, the walk of faith with Jesus! Notice here that it is those whose lives we touch that build up the waste places, raising up the foundations of many generations…

and make fat thy bones:

These simple words have great depth and meaning. Medically, we know that in the marrow of our bones, is where our blood cells are actually produced. Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: Seems that as we fast, God does a deep, deep work in our bodies, strengthening our bone marrow, to infuse us with  His life.

fast v11

Isaiah 58:11 (CJB)

11 Adonai will always guide you; he will satisfy your needs in the desert, he will renew the strength in your limbs;

Isaiah 58:11 (NIRV)

11 I will always guide you.     I will satisfy your needs in a land baked by the sun.     I will make you stronger.

Isaiah 58:11 (NLT)

11 The Lord will guide you continually,     giving you water when you are dry     and restoring your strength.

Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)

11 The Lord will guide you always;     he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land     and will strengthen your frame.

One day when I was fasting, struggling to become stronger in my weight training program, these words jumped off the page at me: and will strengthen your frame.

I saw that by fasting, I could literally become physically stronger.

Check this out:

Yeshayah 58:11 (OJB)

11 And Hashem shall guide thee tamid, and satisfy thy nefesh in drought, and strengthen thy atzmot; and thou shalt be like a gan raveh (well-watered garden), and like a motzah mayim (spring of water), whose mayim fail not.

I am no Hebrew Scholar, but I needed to know what ‘atzmot’ was.

Best definition I found is the one by Dr. Rachel Adelman, Jewish scholar.

She states: atzmot – Opening the Ibn Shoshan dictionary to the word ‘atzma’ut, one finds the following definition: “ability to stand on one’s own; independence from others; autonomy.” 

I remember some years ago reading a Body building article, as I was (and still am) trying to combine a decent cardio fitness routine, with strength training. In the article, the author spoke about how, in heavy lifting, you literally tore the deep interskelatal muscles that attached to your bones, and that it was these deep muscle tissues that allowed us to handle heavy weights…

‘I will strengthen your frame!’

13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
    and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
    and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
    and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the Lord,
    and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
    and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

I notice again my old computer training kicking in again: IF…THEN.

If we serve God, THEN He will give us joy, He will give us victory.

Psalm 92:13 (NIV) 13 planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.

planted

In short, FAST IN FAITH!

Faith only comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. God is love, and He is not looking for a hunger strike from you and I, but as always, that we draw near to Him, meet with Him, and let Him direct our lives for good.

Struggling to make something happen?

Consider fasting and praying – it works!

Jesus is Lord!

Strong In the Lord!

Benched 315lbs! Got it clean, spotter didn’t need to help!

315

OK – So what? You might ask? You having a male menopause moment? Perhaps, but maybe there’s more to my personal victory than meets the eye. Like a process of daily disciplines where I fight to grow as a man of God, each year, spiritually, academically, and yes, even physically.

Today, Pastor Paul Daugherty preached a neat message called ‘Your Highlight Reel’, encouraging us to focus on the highlights of our year, to count our blessings and to remember the battles we have won. To record the victories and faithfulness of Jesus throughout the year.

So, I rewound my mental tape, of goals set, missions accomplished, miracles wrought – found my own highlights.

Some people set New Years ‘Resolutions’ but never get them accomplished, yet I spend time in the face of Jesus, to set yearly goals, that force me to grow as a disciple of Jesus, every year.

Like read through my Bible every year – Check! Got it done!

Like listen to my audio Bible every night all night – Pretty much every day!

Like do my daily prayer list – Working on it, trying to not get too busy…

Like publish another book – Got it done!

Like build this blog site – Amazing grace, people like you are actually reading it every day, and the followers are growing…

Did I get my daily disciplines done, every day, faithfully?

Did I make them all? NO!

shoot

My goal was to be able to bench 315 while maintaining cardio-vascular running speed of being able to break 25 mins in a 5km run. (only 3x 8min miles, looks simple on paper), but for those who understand strength training, I found it almost impossible to build cardio, while loading on the plates on bench. So, instead of being defeated, I will crush this 315 strength plateau, then, will work on my running again, after strength has been gained.

Did I stay with my reading schedule of a book a week this year? Nope. Last year I read 2 books/week, this year I probably only read a total of 20 books all year, but I did get to go on a total of seven exciting missions trips to mostly the Navajo nation, and fell in love with the Navajo people and America again. Saw God do some incredible miracles!

In previous years, I had goals to provide for my family well. Did that financially for a few years, but burned some relational bridges with my children, working long hours, and then too tired to be of any use to them when I was home. Now, I am a full time missionary, having lived two years well below the poverty line, eating at food banks, staying with friends or on church floors, without a vehicle for some of it, praying long, long hours for the privilege of serving in the call of God…Yet, I have served these past two years, as we homeschooled our children, together. Got to know my kids again…Sitting here with my 13 year old princess snuggled alongside, watching a movie together. She just offered to draw a picture for me to illustrate this post…Get it? There are many, many things money cannot buy, and I cannot be bought for any financial price….I have already been purchased by the precious blood of Jesus, and His love has so ravished my heart, His call upon me so strong, His rein upon my life so tight, that I have abandoned all for the sake of the call, having chosen the straight and narrow way, no compromise, no turning back, having joined the company of those of whom the world is not worthy, writing His eternal testimony on the tablet of time…

Yet, 2015 is upon us, and it is time to set some new goals, and plan for the upcoming year of life and ministry.

Proverbs 16:9 (KJV) A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

I encourage myself sometimes, with the very words I believe God has given me to write to you….

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/timing-in-the-call-of-god/

I am sure Jesus has some wonderful surprises for all of us as we seek Him and walk with Him!

give

Let’s pray:

‘Father, grant us wisdom like you did the sons of Issachar. To know the timings of what we should do, and know what to do with our lives, to maximize our eternal impact in the earth. In Your name we pray Lord Jesus, Amen”

Recycled Saints – Pathway People

Recycled Saints – Pathway People

path

As I contemplate Christmas, I think of all the C and E Christians – you know, the ones who attend church at Christmas and Easter only, and then go back into the rat race. The treadmill, running hard, raising kids, weekends at the lake, exotic vacations, another vehicle, boat, toy, but doing nothing of eternal value.

Then I got to thinking about why.

Mark 4: 14 The sower soweth the word.

15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

I know, I’ve written a book on these verses, but they are true!

parable cover

Heaven and earth revolve around them!

So this is what I see again this morning, so clearly.

The seed is the Word of God, the soil is the hearts of people.

People, pay lip service to God. Christmas comes, the gospel is preached. Carols are sung, and the Holy Spirit brings peace on earth wherever He can, People come to Jesus, on their terms, and God is love. His heart is kind, and He draws near to people, and Christmas becomes a season of uncommon grace, as the general population comes to God through Jesus –

Same thing happens at Easter.

Yet, the season ends, work begins, and again, for those of us who know God personally, we begin to hear Him say:

Isaiah 29:13

Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

We sing the Christmas carols, and if someone were to ask, many would say: “Sure I’m a Christian, I love Jesus.”

Yet, they have never embraced the call to discipleship. On purpose choosing church, instead of Sunday sleep-in and brunch. It’s not the lake that is the problem, it is the heart! (Find a church AT the lake!)

path heart

Pathway people –

Mark 4:16-17 (MSG)  

16-17 “And some are like the seed that lands in the gravel. When they first hear the Word, they respond with great enthusiasm. But there is such shallow soil of character that when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it

People on their own path.

Jesus said ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’ He is the way, but they choose their own way.

They are on their own path. A worn, hard, beat down pathway….

Seems that because of hardship or passionate pursuits of their own desires, that when Jesus gently knocks again at the door of their hearts, each year, the door has become thicker, more solid, so that what was a distinct, audible knock, has now become a subliminal whisper, more easily ignored year by year…

path knock

Year after year, more and more tired, empty, hollow inside…

Discipleship? Eternity? Religion? “It doesn’t work in the real world’ they say…

So, year in, year out, they work, they laugh, they raise children, and accumulate things, planning for retirement…

Like my dad. Served 32 years in the navy. Another 8 in the cival service. Retired at 60 with 2 corvettes and a cigarette boat. Then contracted lung cancer, and died… Christmas and Easter, we were in church, and throughout the year, I repeatedly invited him to various Christian meetings (that he refused to attend).

Reminds me of the story Jesus told:

Luke 12: 15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:

17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?

18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.

19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

Message translation

Luke 12: 16-19 Then he told them this story: “The farm of a certain rich man produced a terrific crop. He talked to himself: ‘What can I do? My barn isn’t big enough for this harvest.’ Then he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll gather in all my grain and goods, and I’ll say to myself, Self, you’ve done well! You’ve got it made and can now retire. Take it easy and have the time of your life!’

20 “Just then God showed up and said, ‘Fool! Tonight you die. And your barnful of goods—who gets it?’

21 “That’s what happens when you fill your barn with Self and not with God.”

Like we used to joke in business: ‘So I said to myself, Self, this is what we are going to do!’

Self is a big problem!

If you take time to seek first Jesus, you will discover, like we all do, that Jesus is very much alive and active in the affairs of men, and instead of hearing self each day, you will begin to hear Him.

He is good, kind, and loving, and only has good planned for your life, and the lives of those around you.

Prayer, becomes like a steady soaking rain upon your soul, you heart becomes saturated with His presence, His Spirit, and His love, and slowly, the hard, crusty areas of your life become transformed by His grace, and one day you look in the mirror and see someone actually nice looking back….

Then, promises in the Bible like this one, make life worth living:

Daniel 12:3

Those who are wise shall shine as the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who turn the many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.

Like the Christmas card says: Wise men still seek Him!

path wise men

(After Christmas too, every morning, day by day!)

May you be wise this year….

Let’s Pray:

‘Father, I want my life to count for You, for eternity. Jesus, come again into my life, and bring Your changes. Give me courage to live for You this year, every day, in Your love, and the truth of Your Word, in obedience to You Holy Spirit – Amen.”

paypal

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

For prayer, comments, or to donate online:

Email: chris.aomministries@gmail.com

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!

You Will Not Die – Jesus WILL Deliver You! The Cure for Islam and ISIS

no die

Today, as I read this article, I thought of all the people stuck in religions, countries, and situations, where it appears that to convert to Jesus, would get you killed: http://worldnewsdailyreport.com/isis-fighter-converts-to-christianity-after-allah-refuses-him-entrance-to-gates-of-heaven/

I have word of freedom from these verses:

Isaiah 28:15
because ye have said, “We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we in agreement. When the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us; for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves.”

Isaiah 28:18
And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.Jesus is not only willing to forgive people in gangs, Islam, ISIS, masonic and secret societies, satanists, and others that entered into agreements through ceremony unto death if they broke them, but the Lord showed me that if you would turn to Him, He would deliver you and protect you from their retribution, when they came to kill you. He is Lord God Almighty, and He is not only the way, but the waymaker!

faith protection

One of the names of Jesus is ‘The Lion of the tribe of Judah!’

Heb 2:13(The Voice) And in the words of Isaiah,

I will wait for the Eternal One.[c]

And again,

Look, here I am with the children God has given Me.[d]

14 Since we, the children, are all creatures of flesh and blood, Jesus took on flesh and blood, so that by dying He could destroy the one who held power over death—the devil— 15 and destroy the fear of death that has always held people captive.

16 So notice—His concern here is not for the welfare of the heavenly messengers, but for the children of Abraham. 17 He had to become as human as His sisters and brothers so that when the time came, He could become a merciful and faithful high priest of God, called to reconcile a sinful people. 18 Since He has also been tested by suffering, He can help us when we are tested.

fear of death

So how does He do it?

The reality is, if you leave a gang, they hunt you down and kill you.

Same with Islam, if you convert, they will kill you.

Same with the Masonic lodge, covens, satanism.

Many other religions, societies, and associations are exactly that way – attempt to leave, and we will kill you…

Yet, I hear the voice of Jesus speaking to me, that He will protect, deliver, and grant you freedom and life, if you will give Him your life and listen to what He says.

13 And in the words of Isaiah,

I will wait for the Eternal One.[c]

And again,

Look, here I am with the children God has given Me.[d]

14 Since we, the children, are all creatures of flesh and blood, Jesus took on flesh and blood, so that by dying He could destroy the one who held power over death—the devil— 15 and destroy the fear of death that has always held people captive.

16 So notice—His concern here is not for the welfare of the heavenly messengers, but for the children of Abraham. 17 He had to become as human as His sisters and brothers so that when the time came, He could become a merciful and faithful high priest of God, called to reconcile a sinful people. 18 Since He has also been tested by suffering, He can help us when we are tested.

13 And in the words of Isaiah,

I will wait for the Eternal One.[c]

And again,

Look, here I am with the children God has given Me.[d]

14 Since we, the children, are all creatures of flesh and blood, Jesus took on flesh and blood, so that by dying He could destroy the one who held power over death—the devil— 15 and destroy the fear of death that has always held people captive.

16 So notice—His concern here is not for the welfare of the heavenly messengers, but for the children of Abraham. 17 He had to become as human as His sisters and brothers so that when the time came, He could become a merciful and faithful high priest of God, called to reconcile a sinful people. 18 Since He has also been tested by suffering, He can help us when we are tested.

voice

John 10:27The Voice (VOICE)

27 My sheep respond as they hear My voice; I know them intimately, and they follow Me.

Sheep have Shepherds, that kill and protect the flock from predators. When you become His, He will protect, deliver, and fight for you, when you do what He says!

I could give multiple testimonies of people who were instructed by God in the Rwandese genocide, to hide in the jungle, and how they heard His voice daily, until they go through to the Congo, and other parts of the world. He spoke, He led, He delivered. Same thing happened in Uganda when Idi Amin was killing Christians,

Yet, the danger is real.

Jesus is alive, and all authority in heaven and earth has been given to him. It is devils working through people who want you dead. He rose from the dead, and those same devils could not stop Him, for He is Almighty Lord of Heaven and earth.

They cannot stop Him or us now either, when we follow Him.

Jesus did not come to make bad people good, or good people better, He came to make dead people alive!

Except a person become born-again, they cannot even see the kingdom of God.

Religion, any religion, is man’s set of rules that if followed, supposedly make a person right with God. Yet, there are no good works good enough to justify us before a holy God who can allow no sin in His presence. In order for Him to forgive, a price had to be paid for our sin, and Jesus paid that price upon the cross, when He the only pure and sinless person to ever live, took upon Himself the penalty for all the sin of humanity. The cross became an alter where His life was willingly laid down as a holy sacrifice before God our Father in heaven.

As I said before, religion is man’s attempt to reach God, but when Jesus died upon the cross, this was God’s attempt to reach man. It is not what we think about what Jesus did that is important, rather, what God thinks about it! He has accepted Jesus death as full payment for our sins, and sin of all humanity.

Now, it is up to us to receive what Jesus did on our behalf.

Eph 2:in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

faith

John 1:12New International Version (NIV)

12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—

Pray with me!

“Jesus, I receive You, and I need You to make a way for me, and give me courage to do what You say. I trust You to protect me, and make a way where there is no way. I choose Your life, and I will live and not die, and declare Your glory, Amen”

For prayer, comments, or to donate online:

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!

Teach us to number our days….

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12.

time number

Redeem your time!

I guess I could subtitle this article as ‘How to make an Eternal Impact with your Life!’

Is Jesus Lord of your time?

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Today we are going to talk about the Lordship of Jesus in our personal lives. We see here that making Him Lord, is a condition for salvation.  If Jesus is the Lord, He must be our Lord. If His is our Lord, we must do what He says.

Previously, I have talked about the Lordship of Jesus in our personal lives. We saw how the first commandment, commanding us to love God, precedes service. We talked about seeking first the kingdom of God, before doing anything else. Making Jesus our personal Lord. We ended with ACTS, as a simple method of placing Him first. What does ACTS stand for?

ACTS

Adoration: Praise and Worship

Confession – Confess God’s Word back to Him, expecting Him to perform it in your life.

Thanksgiving – Thank Him for your life, your family, His Word, for answered prayer, for this church.

Supplication – Ask Him for those things you need that day. Wisdom, strength, courage to make changes in your life, to talk to others about Him. For your daily needs.

Again, this is not a legalistic formula, the question is simply one of the heart: Are we seeking first Jesus and His will for our lives, today?

time today

Okay, today we are going to look at another aspect of Jesus Lordship. Today we are going to see from the Word of God if Jesus is Lord of our time.

Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

Do you realize that this age, the church age, is the greatest season any person serving God has ever seen upon the earth?

God is not just for us, but lives in us. Our bodies have become His temple. When He decides to act in the earth, He has obligated Himself to work through one of us!

Daniel 11:32 (AMP)

32 And such as violate the covenant he shall pervert and seduce with flatteries, but the people who know their God shall prove themselves strong and shall stand firm and do exploits [for God].

 That would be you and I!

Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

time daily

Jesus has redeemed us, is redeeming us, and will redeem us. At the cross, He said “It is finished.”

Yet Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

He is redeeming us. Changing us, molding and making us into His image and likeness.

Soon, whether by way of the grave or with the triumphant shout of an archangel, we will see Him face to face.

He will redeem us.

Yet in this verse it clearly states that we are to redeem our time.

time Thoreau

It has been said that the average Canadian spends 2-1/2 hours each day watching Television. Probably, here in the United States it is greater, because of the internet, and the availability of programming.

80% of Hollywood executives think there is a link between TV violence and real-life violence.

– 91% of children say they feel upset or scared by violence on television.

– 12 medical studies since 1985 link excessive television-watching to increasing rates of obesity.

– 202 junk food ads are generally aired during four hours of Saturday morning programming.

– TV-Free America

– 200,000 – the number of violent acts the average American child sees on TV by age 18; 16,000 – the number of murders witnessed by children on television by age 18.

– 10% of youth violence is directly attributable to TV viewing.

– 73% of Americans believe TV and movies are responsible for juvenile crime.

– TV-Free America

Proverbs 23:7

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he….

time television

2-1/2 hours per day. That is 912.5 hours, or 38 days every year, laying there in front of the TV! There are only twelve months in every year. That means that Canadians spend over one month of every year, feeding their flesh.

Sure it gets cold outside, but there are tons of winter activities that are fun, good fitness, and free!

This message was originally preached while we pastored five years in Canada. Where temperatures often hit -30C, where there was often two feet of snow on the ground. Yet, here, in Tulsa, clearly people still spend hours in front of the screen, and this time could surely be spent more profitably for the kingdom of God.

Now, if every Canadian were watching two and half hours a day of good anointed television ministry, what a difference we would see.

For it is written: Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

time phil 4-8We had this verse framed on our wall for many years…It is still true, 25 years later!

If what you are watching is not true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report (the news is not generally a good report), full of virtue (not lies), does not cause you to praise God, do not watch it.

It is not bringing life to you, but is taking life from you.

Even one of our favorite family activities, Facebook, can quickly become an electronic tabloid, broadcasting what satan is doing in the earth, instead of glorifying God. Yes, our Social Media need to bow to the Lordship of Jesus!

Psalm 101:3(KJV)

 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me

It is sucking the anointing, joy, fruitfulness,presence and prosperity of God out of you, like a giant leech.

Killing your dreams, desires, vitality and polluting your mind.

Kill it, before it kills you!

time leech

I asked my congregation at one point, for all of us to take a television fast. To spend our daily TV time in the Word, job hunting, volunteering, taking a course, reading our Bible (what a concept), or telling someone about Jesus.

If you seek Him first, and 1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

So, you have made Jesus your Lord, you are praying every morning, seeking Him, craving Him, diligently reading His Word and seeking to do what it says. Your due time is coming. He will exalt you.

Now, we need to do something. You must act. Now!

time now

Faith is an act!

“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” – Eccl. 11:4 (NLT)

Proverbs 14:23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.

NOW faith is, and His name is I AM! Our ever-present help in time of need!

time I AM

Confession alone will not bring godly success, we must do what we confess. We need to begin the do’s of the gospel.

The most important thing we can do is to share the gospel. Only the gospel has the power to turn men from darkness to light. To separate them from hell to turn towards heaven.

In Reinhard Bonnke’s book ‘Time is running out” he makes this statement:

“If 10,000 people live near your church, according to statistics, four of them die every week. Is it satisfactory then, if only one of the 10,000 is saved every month, or even every week? I find it is impossible to exaggerate the urgency of sharing the gospel! The greatest work on earth is to preach the good news, and the greatest need in the world is the need of the gospel.”

We believe in healing around here, but Jesus taught, preached and healed.

If you want some simple ways to share the gospel, you are reading this on-line. Here are some articles I wrote to allow you to simply cut and paste these links, to share eternal life, the power of God in speaking in other tongues, or the message of divine healing. You must know someone on-line, you can share one of these with, NOW!

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/the-gospel-the-power-of-god/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/is-speaking-in-other-tongues-of-god/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/be-healed-jesus-wants-you-strong/

First of all he went.

Perhaps all God would have you do today is cut and paste one of these articles, or one of the links above to one of your friends, that you know needs eternal life…

Honestly, are you comfortable with them going to hell?

This can affect your finances, as you get involved in God’s work, He gets involved in your business.

Deuteronomy 8: (KJV)

18 But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day

Acts 1:(KJV)

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

We believe in financial prosperity around here, yet the power to get wealth is ‘to be my witnesses.’ In the earth.

We must use our time to win souls for eternity.

This life is but a dressing room for eternity.

time1

People we know are going to die. We could of shown them the love of Jesus, fed them clothed them, served them, given them money, even healed them, yet if they are not born-again they will go to hell. Hell is not some theological concept but a very real place.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
seek lost
We are called with a purpose. We are redeemed. Yet, there is a time to grow up, and recognize our responsibility to the family business. Our Father in heaven is in the redemption business. Everything we are or hope to be must revolve around that.

I heard a minister state that the secret of successful people is in their daily routine. Stephen Covey, a leadership expert talks about 7 Habits of Sucessful People. The secret of your success is in your daily routine, the daily disciplines that create incredible realities over time.

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12.

time number end

Matthew 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

God uses people according to their ability.

1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Yet abilities can change. You take a night course to improve your ability. Take a college course, or take a course on-line through one of the great Bible schools in the earth:

http://www.vbctulsa.com/

http://www.rbtc.org/

http://www.elim.edu/

You deliberately find someone gifted in a certain area, and ask them to teach you what you need in that area. When I ran our construction companies, I deliberately cultivated relationships with skilled mentors.

Do  like me, endeavor to read a new book every week…All that college taught me is how to learn, to research, to grow…face the truth: we are all students for life!

What is you daily schedule? Do you just get up and let things happen? Or do you deliberately decide that this week is going to be different, that you are going to make changes for the better.

Are you seeking First Jesus and His Kingdom? Nothing else works unless He is our personal Lord!

obey seek first

There are several great books written on the power of daily disciplines. May I recommend just two? ‘The Slight Edge’ by Jeff Olsen, and ‘The Compound Effect’ by Darren Hardy. I do not know if these guys know Jesus, but they have sure figured out the secrets of daily disciplines that produce success!

In summation:

Win souls!

Get involved with something that actually presents the gospel to an unsaved person.

time win souls

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he that winneth souls is wise
Think Harvest thoughts! I have learned that everything in the kingdom of God revolves around the harvest. If you are spending your life reaching people with the love of God and the gospel, you will see the presence and power of God daily, and your life will be blessed of heaven.

Improve yourself. Apply for a better job. Take a night course. Improve your ability. If you want a change, you need to make a change. The second commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. If you don’t take time to develop yourself, your neighbor is in trouble!

Don’t know how to start? PRAY!

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come..
God will show us things to come! You have specific, unique fingerprints – and a specific, unique destiny and calling upon your life. As you seek Jesus, He will lead and guide you, to maximize your impact in this life, for eternity – yet, always remember, that He walks with you in the journey, His joy is relationship – He is drawing you to Himself, in the incredible pilgrimage of life, and life more abundantly – you were never designed to be alone, nor to do life alone.
John 3:27  John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

today

Question: What are you going to do with your time tomorrow? How are you going to use it to affect eternal result and reward?

Let’s pray:

‘Father, teach me to number my days right. Make my life count for eternity! Use me today to make a difference in someone’s life. Deliver me from time-wasters! I ask, knowing I am heard, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!’

If you enjoy my thoughts on leadership, from a Biblical perspective, read my book:

parable cover

http://www.amazon.com/Parable-Sower-Kingdom/dp/1491207825/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418750194&sr=8-1&keywords=parable+of+the+sower+a+kingdom+parable

Or, If you are a Christian Leader, here are some articles that I will use in my next book: Feel free to preach, teach or use them as you see fit:

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/leadership-bullets/

For prayer, comments, or to donate online:

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!

Commissioning Angels – Angels on Assignment!

For those of us who love Jesus, there are angels on assignment to help us do the will of God.

If you love Jesus, and have received Him as your Lord and Savour, you have angels watching over you!

angels

God knew you would serve Him, and from the time you were born, angels, guardian angels have been assigned to your life, to report to heaven and await instructions on your behalf.

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
angels guardian
These angels are looking to the throne of God, for instructions on how to help you, and direct you into the plan of God for your life! They love you!

I remember hearing astronauts stating that their mind’s cleared in outer space, that they experienced a clarity of thought that was amazing to them.

Why?

2 Corinthians 4:4

in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

So, consider that no matter how brilliant we think we are, that here on this earth, evil spirits still work upon our brains, trying to keep our mind blinded from the eternal truths of the calling and destiny of God upon our lives, whereby angels see things from heaven’s perspective.

I believe that is part of the reason God gave us the Holy Spirit as a supernatural language when we speak in other tongues. (If for some reason you have not yet experienced this particular heavenly gift, please read:

In our heavenly language, we bypass our minds, and our heart of hearts, the place where Jesus lives, Christ in us the hope of glory, prays directly to our heavenly Father, without corruption.

It appears that sometimes the language we speak, though unintelligent to human understanding, is literally an angelic language.

1Co 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

Could it be, that as we speak, we are literally commissioning angels on our own behalf?

The Scripture is clear that angels are ministering spirits sent forth to work FOR those of us who love Jesus.

Hebrews 1:14 Are they(angels) not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

They are listening for the voice of God spoken through us, for their assignments in our lives!

angels on assignment

Ps 103:20 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

Ever thought about praying in the Holy Spirit in other tongues?  1Co 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. In this verse, we are told to seek the gifts of the Spirit, but everything must work the love of God. While love is greater than spiritual gifts, let’s desire spiritual gifts.
tongues1

When we pray in other tongues, we: edify ourselves, we reveal mysteries, we pray the perfect will of God, and we make intercession for the saints, to name a few benefits.

Been thinking about angels though. We know they are with us, protecting, providing,and working for us, the perfect will of God.

Charles Capps, before he went home to be with the Lord, has brought much teaching on how confession of the Word of God, will commission angels, for they listen for and do the voice of God’s Word in the earth.

Yet, though I am a lifetime student of the Word of God, I am not God, and as I grow in Him over the years, see more and more my need of seeking Him in every decision.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing

Jesus Himself, fully relied upon the Holy Spirit to reveal the will of our heavenly Father:

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me
angels will

How much more, in using my authority to correctly assign and commission the angels of God dispatched to me, my office, ministry, family and calling. as I fear and greatly respect God, see this wonderful truth here in the Word of God:

When we pray in tongues, we can pray in not only other earthly languages, but also in heavenly ones, tongues of angels.

I believe we can literally spend time over praying in the Holy Spirit, and commission angels to do wonderful exploits for the kingdom of God.

What’s the bottom line. Deliberatly, on purpose, make time in your day, to pray in the Holy Spirit in other tongues, and let’s see God’s kingdom advance!

Angels are on assignment, let’s give them something to do, for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ!!

angels guardian1

Here is a song to encourage you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOkImV2cJDg&list=RDqOkImV2cJDg#t=0

For prayer, comments, or to donate online:

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!

The Switchman

The Switchman

switchman swing bridge

 

There was a man who worked for the railway as a switchman. He lived at the edge of a river, alongside the tracks. The river had a swinging railway bridge that remained open most of the time to let the ships go through. When a train came, the control office would radio ahead to the switchman, who would go out to his little switching shack at the side of the tracks, to sound the horn to stop shipping, and swing the bridge into place so the passenger train could cross. This happened twice a day, and became a routine for everyone involved. Some days, the switchman would allow his three-year-old son to sit in the shack with him, gently holding him on his knee, while he operated the levers. When the afternoon passenger train arrived, together they would hold hands at the side of the tracks and wave at the passengers as the huge train thundered across the bridge. The father loved his son, and they loved to spend time together.

As time went on, the bridge began to decay, and the locking mechanism on the far side of the river began to malfunction. When this happened, the switchman could walk across the bridge, and put his shoulder into a huge lever, that manually locked the bridge in place. One day, as usual, the switchman got the radio call announcing the afternoon passenger express. In the prescribed fashion, he sounded the foghorns stopping the shipping traffic, and activated the switch to swing the huge old bridge into place. Slowly, it swung across the river, and as had happened before, it refused to lock into place. Looking around, the man saw no sign of his little boy, so he began the walk across the river to manually lock the bridge. As he proceeded across, he heard the train whistle, coming around the bend. “I’m not moving as fast as usual,” he thought, but there was still time. He began to hurry, reaching the other side, as the train came into view barreling down the tracks. Sweating, catching his breath, he sighed “Phew, made it”. As he grabbed hold of the lever, he realized the train was close now, but he still had time. As he put his shoulder behind the lever, he heard a sound that made his blood curl. “Daddy”. In horror, he looked up to see his son walking across the tracks to be with him. The train was pounding on, and suddenly, he realized there was no time to do anything. He had to make a decision. Either lock the bridge, and have the train make it across safely, or leave it unlocked, and have the train plummet into the river, in which case his own son would surely die. With a cry of anguish, he flung the lever into place, and the hurtling train instantly crushed his son beneath its weight. He fell to his knees, crushed beneath the horror of what he’d done. The train conductor and the passengers stood up to wave, totally oblivious to the kneeling, weeping man at the side of the tracks. The train went on its way, and the man picked up the broken, crushed body of his son, and headed home to tell his wife.

switchman

Picture if you will the anguish of that man as he carried the body of his son back across that bridge that night. That is a picture of the heart of Father God, when another Son died for you and for me, 2000 years ago on a cross. His anguish caused the earth to split, and the sky to become as black as night. How many of us, are like the passengers on that train, oblivious to the incredible price that was paid for each of our lives when Jesus died on the cross in our stead.

The question now is simple: How comfortable are you with your neighbor going to hell?

Jesus is the only way to heaven, there is no other way to be forgiven our sins…

Perhaps, you are the only one they might listen to, please tell them.

I’m going to make it really easy for you: Simply cut and paste this link, and send it to them….

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/the-gospel-the-power-of-god/

switchman you are