For those of us who love Jesus, there are angels on assignment to help us do the will of God.
For those of us who love Jesus, there are angels on assignment to help us do the will of God.
As Many of You Know Mac Gober, of CaananLand Minstries, went home to His eternal Reward, yesterday, May 5th, 2014. As I was going through some old sermons, I discovered one of pastor Mac’s sermons I had used to prepare one of my messages back in the ‘Preach six times/week’ season of my life where […]
As Many of You Know Mac Gober, of CaananLand Minstries, went home to His eternal Reward, May 5th, 2014.
As I was going through some old sermons, I discovered one of pastor Mac’s sermons I had used to prepare one of my messages back in the ‘Preach six times/week’ season of my life where for many years, I pastored two small churches, with a very difficult schedule. Hey Mac, if you are looking over the balcony, here’s one that helped change my life, Thanks!
Seven Harvests of a Fruitful Christian
“You shall know them by their fruits…Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt. 7:16 & 20)
In the seventh chapter of Matthew, Jesus delivers a remarkable message about the Christian life. Like bookends, two similar statements sit on either end of this passage. In both verse 16 and verse 20, Jesus declares the importance of “fruit” as the measure of ministry and spiritual maturity.
In between these two bookends, the Lord elaborates on this important truth:
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
In many different parts of the Word of God, a tree is used as an analogy for a human life. For example, in the very first Psalm, the man who delights in the law of the Lord is described as “a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season.” This is precisely what Jesus does here.
He is telling us that we can know some things through the evidence of fruit. In fact, there are some vitally important judgments you can only make by examining fruit. Judgments such as: What is authentic ministry? How do you identify valid ministry?
These are important questions because you don’t want to associate with or submit your life to ministry that is not born of the Spirit of God and that will not impart life. Thus, you must have a way of measuring valid ministry.
As you discover when you read the next few verses in this passage, this is not the way people usually measure ministry. Verse 22 says:
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
The kinds of things most Christians use to measure valid ministry are spectacular, supernatural things — things such as prophecy, miracles or casting out of devils. Yet Jesus makes it clear here that this is not the way to evaluate the validity of a person’s ministry.
No, according to our Lord, you measure ministry by the fruit.
“But Mac,” you may be thinking, “Doesn’t the Bible say ‘judge not lest ye be judged’?”
Yes it does. But that command is referring to the heart of man. The Word says only God knows the heart of a person. You can’t judge that. But there are judgments you must make about who you’re going to fellowship with and under what ministries you’re going to serve.
Yet there is another area in which it is vital to examine and evaluate fruit. I’m talking about the realm of your own life.
As valuable as “fruit” is as an indicator of valid ministry, it is even more important as a way to check out your own walk with God. How important is fruit bearing in the life of a believer? Jesus gives us a pretty good indication in the 15th chapter of John:
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. (John 15:8)
Notice that it doesn’t say bear “little” fruit, some fruit or “occasional” fruit. It says the Father is glorified when we bear “much” fruit. Only then will you be a disciple of Jesus and live a life conformed to Jesus’ example. Only then will you begin to experience the highest will of God for your life.
Fruit bearing is one of those over-arching Bible truths that embraces everything and helps orient our life properly. Everything hinges on our understanding of this vital subject. So, the question becomes, “What does it mean to bear fruit? How do we cultivate and produce a good crop of fruit in our life?” And most basically, “What is fruit?”
Your Fruit Is for Others
If you’re going to meaningfully measure your life by the fruit you’re producing, then you need to know what it is.
Here is my definition of “fruit” in a believer’s life: Good fruit is the product of the seed of God’s Word, sown in your heart, producing a result that is a blessing to someone else. Fruit is always for somebody else. Trees don’t partake of their own fruit. Apple trees give apples for others, not for itself.
Note that it is the seed of God’s Word sown in the human heart that produces fruit. The Bible, the revealed will of God for all believers, will produce the same types of fruit in everybody. Anyone that has the seed of the Word sown in their heart and properly cultivated, will bear fruit.
This happens as naturally as apple trees produce apples. No striving. No straining. (Have you ever seen a pear tree straining to squeeze out some pears?) No extraordinary efforts are required. It’s a natural byproduct of the processes and principles God has put in place.
What types of fruit will the Word produce in your life? At the most basic level, you can expect it to produce the “fruit of the Spirit.”
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22,23)
Let’s examine each of the seven types of fruit.
The Fruit of Love
How’s your love walk?
When I say “love,” I’m not talking about the sentimental, mushy kind of feeling most people think of when they hear the word “love.” The Greek word translated “love” in this passage is agape. I’m sure you know this word literally means “the God kind of love.” It is love that gives. In fact, it’s the same word used in John 3:16 when it says, “God so loved the world that He gave…”
That’s what the fruit of love does. It gives. It gives when it’s not justified. It gives whether it feels like it or not.
When you’re manifesting the fruit of love, you find yourself choosing to serve somebody’s interest rather than your own.
You need to check out your love quotient by deciding to serve somebody that does not have the capacity, intellectually, socially, financially to do one thing for you in return. Can you do that? Can you do it on a regular basis? Can you do it with a measure of the compassion that Jesus had when He served? If so, you’re bearing the fruit of the love of God.
The Fruit of Joy
Joy is a much-needed commodity in the body of Christ, today. Many believers spend half their days walking around on their lower lips, moaning about the circumstances they’re having to deal with.
When you are manifesting the fruit of joy, nothing bothers you. You can laugh at the Devil. It’s a supernatural force operating in the human life. And it’s simply a product of the seed of God’s Word being sown in your heart.
When I think about joy, I’m reminded of what James says about it:
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (James 1:2-4)
Why should you produce the fruit of joy when you encounter a trial? Because if you don’t quit; if you keep standing in faith; if you keep on being consistent (which is what patience means); you can be assured that when you come out on the other side, you’re going to be “perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
It’s no coincidence that James encourages you to cultivate joy when facing hard times. It’s the fruit of joy that enables you to stand until you get the victory. But this has to be real to you. This seed has to be firmly sown in your heart. You have to have grown and cultivated it to consistently manifest the fruit of joy. And it’s infectious. You can’t be around somebody that is joyful and remain sad.
The Fruit of Peace
There is no substitute for peace. I’m talking about the peace of God that passes all understanding, that garrisons about your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. The kind of peace that can bring stability and calm in the midst of a swirling conflict. If you’ve ever experienced this, you know how supernatural it is.
But the thing I want you to see is it’s a fruit that affects other people. This isn’t something that just touches your life. (Remember, the fruit is not primarily for us, it’s for others.) You see, like joy, peace is infectious.
The Fruit of Patience
The King James calls it “long-suffering,” but we know it better as a quality called patience. This fruit literally describes the ability to be constant in the face of changing circumstance. In other words, consistency.
No matter how much pressure is on you, you remain the same when you have the fruit of patience. You’re what the Bible calls “firmly rooted and grounded.” Not moved by circumstance.
This isn’t just a matter of sweating the situation out until the Lord resolves it for you. I’m not talking about hanging on by your toenails until there is a miracle of some sort. That’s not it. This is a fruit of the Spirit. It’s a calm assurance that God’s going to produce the answer in your life and you’re going to wait on Him until hell freezes over if necessary. Because only quitters lose in the kingdom of God.
There is a way to hang in there gracefully through the fruit of patience.
The Fruit of Gentleness
Other translations render this word as “kindness.” This is a fruit I personally must monitor on a consistent basis. Sometimes when I get in a hurry, I can become a little abrupt or sharp with people. This is simply something I have to work on.
It’s not that I don’t have love in my heart for them. It may not even be that I’m in a bad mood. I might actually be joyful, but when there are lots of things to do, kindness and tact can quickly fall by the wayside in one’s dealings with other people.
That’s why I am so thankful that kindness is one of the things God’s Word will produce in our lives if we will cultivate it. And it must be there if you’re going to move into the will of God for your life.
The Fruit of Goodness
What the King James translation calls “goodness” many other translations call “generosity.” The Greek word is agathosune and it literally means beneficence — which is a little-used word that means to give freely and liberally.
Generosity is a powerful fruit of the spirit. You could start out the stingiest old buzzard that ever lived, but once the seed of God’s Word is sown in your heart, it will change you. If you cultivate it, you will find yourself becoming a generous person.
Let me tell you, until you become generous you’re not going to move into God’s highest and best. You are simply not going to do it. That’s why it’s so vital to measure and monitor your level of generosity. It’s fruit that you must examine in your own life.
The Fruit of Faith
Most translations correctly render this word “faithfulness.” This isn’t referring to the kind of faith that comes from hearing the Word. This is faithfulness and it means: “committed to a task” or “loyalty.”
Can your wife or husband count on you? Can your kids count on you? Are you somebody that is committed to seeing the best, and you’re not going to give up no matter what? Are you loyal to a fault?
These are important questions because God honors loyalty. You see, it’s easy to be loyal to somebody when they’re a star. But when they fall on hard times, are you still going to be loyal? Will you still be available to minister to them?
Loyalty. Commitment. That’s what faithfulness is. Is that fruit evident in your life?
The Fruit of Meekness
Don’t get the wrong idea about meekness just because it rhymes with weakness. They are very different concepts. Meekness is simply a reference to humility — a recognition of your fallibility without God.
A lot of people have the wrong idea about humility. It doesn’t mean groveling in the dirt proclaiming how unworthy you are. It is an acknowledgement that without God you can’t do anything worth doing, but with God, you can do all things. In Christ, you’re more than a conqueror through Him who loved you. This is what meekness is. It is a determination to give God the glory and others the credit.
There’s nothing good any of us can do without the Lord in our lives. When you are manifesting the fruit of meekness, you put no confidence in your own flesh but have all the confidence in the world in the Jesus who lives in you.
Check your meekness level by asking yourself, “Where am I placing my confidence?”
The Fruit of Temperance
Temperance literally means “self control.” This is a powerful and important fruit of the Spirit. To fulfill everything God has called you to do, you’re going to have to be able to say “no” to your flesh. Without the fruit of self-control being consistently manifested in your life, this is next to impossible.
Your flesh wants to run the show. It likes to be in the driver’s seat. Frankly, the place this is most evident for many of us is at the dinner table. Most Christians don’t have terrible problems with drugs or alcohol. But when it comes to other physical appetites such as food, sleep, comfort or sex — they have a real battle on their hands.
How much control do you have over self? Without the fruit of temperance, you don’t. It handles you.
You’ll Know by the Fruit
Each of the fruits of the Spirit can be used as a measuring rod for evaluating where you are in God. As we’ve seen, Jesus said, “you’ll know them by the fruit.” And this is your only reliable measure of whether or not you’re living a life that “glorifies your Father in heaven.”
If you’ve been wondering why things aren’t working out for you as you’d like. If you’ve been puzzled by the fact that your prayers aren’t getting the results you used to experience. It’s time to measure your fruit.
Because if the fruit isn’t there, nothing else will be. Make sure you’re reaping the seven harvests of a fruitful Christian.
The Four Stages of Manhood – The Age of the Patriarch pa·tri·arch (pātrēˌärk/) noun noun: patriarch; plural noun: patriarchs. a.The male head of a family or tribe. a man who is the oldest or most venerable of a group. Eg.”Hollywood’s reigning patriarch rose to speak” b. person or thing that is regarded as the founder […]
pa·tri·arch (pātrēˌärk/) noun
noun: patriarch; plural noun: patriarchs.
a.The male head of a family or tribe.
a man who is the oldest or most venerable of a group.
Eg.”Hollywood’s reigning patriarch rose to speak”
b. person or thing that is regarded as the founder of something.
“the patriarch of all spin doctors”
2.Any of those biblical figures regarded as fathers of the human race, especially Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, their forefathers, or the sons of Jacob.
There is the wonderful season in Jesus, where the children are grown, we have been faithful to the Lord, and we have learned much through our life experiences, as we and our families have grown. As we have sought the Lord over the years, He has given us visionary assignments, specific directions for our lives and our families, and now, as this next season of life is upon us, we consecrate afresh to His leading, determined to both fully complete our mandate, and to train successors to our work, that the work of God through us grow and prosper in succeeding generations. Now, we live fully for the honor and glory of God, determined to see His mind spoken, His agenda promoted, His truth established in our families, communities, states, provinces, and nations of the earth.
We have been looking at:
The Four Stages of Manhood
This is the final teaching on manhood, and the four stages that I see from the Word of God, we grow through, both naturally and spiritually. These four stages are:
The Age of the Patriarch
Today we are going to talk about the age of the Patriarch
A Patriarch, is one that is head of his home, his family, his tribe. Speaking Spiritually here, he is expected to exhibit the character of spiritual adulthood, that is:
1.Esteeming Earthly Things Lightly.
2.Deadness to Censure or Praise.
3.Ability to Recognize God at Work.
In a perfect world, in a Christian home where the Holy Spirit was at work and the Word of God was being both submitted to and taught, one would hope that a person would grow both spiritually and naturally at roughly the same pace. Obviously, in a fallen world this has not occurred, and even in the church, there are many who hear the word, but they don’t believe it.
Hebrews 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Yet, there are those in Scripture that have gone even beyond Spiritual Adulthood, to become legends of Old, their lives depicted in the pages of God’s Holy Word.
These are what I call spiritual Patriarchs, and it is these that I wish to set before you today, so that by faith, you too will strive to take your place among them in the hall of faith, making headlines in heaven, writing eternity upon this generation.
Leaving a legacy of honour to the glory of God, and before the eyes of man.
First lets look at the life of Caleb
We see in Numbers 13 that Caleb was a leader, chosen to lead the tribe of Judah by his peers, from the linage that would one day produce Messiah, Jesus our Lord.
Numbers 13:30 And Caleb ‘stilled the people’ before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
He was a warrior, honoring God and respected among his peers. A man of courage, vision and faith with corresponding action, to change things.
Even though the people had a grasshopper mentality, and refused to do what was right and follow he and Joshua into battle, yet with passion he made his case known before them, and God.
Numbers 14:6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes:
And God heard his cry and responded
Every single other person in the entire nation was sentenced to die without entering the promised land, except Joshua, and you guessed it, Caleb.
Forty years the entire nation of Israelites wandered in the desert eating Manna every day. One by one, they died there until a new generation was raised up who knew God, and who knew not Egypt. Even Moses died, and a new man was set in place to lead Israel, Joshua.
And Caleb was with him, still a warrior, still full of passion and faith, even though he must have now been in his eighties. Righteous, zealous for the Word of God to come to pass in his life we read:
Joshua 14:6 ¶ Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that the LORD said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadeshbarnea.
7 Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadeshbarnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart.
8 Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God.
9 And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children’s for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God.
10 And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.
11 As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.
12 Now therefore GIVE ME THIS MOUNTAIN!, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.
And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance.
14 Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel.
And the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba; which Arba was a great man among the Anakims. And the land had rest from war.
Now I need you to see some things here. Caleb could have rested after fighting with the armies of Israel for five years under Joshua. He was eighty-five years old. He could have died leaving a legacy of faith and honor behind him.
Yet, He did not. Why?
He had the heart of a Patriarch.
He had gone past spiritual boyhood decades ago.
He overcame his passions to pass through spiritual childhood.
As a leader, husband, and father, he passed through spiritual adulthood and fatherhood, and now found himself as a Patriarch in the nation of Israel.
He wasn’t called to lead as head of the nation, but you can be sure He and Joshua were tightly knit friends.
The same spirit of faith was in them both.
He could have been like Moses, and not fully accomplished the plan of God.
For God cannot lie, and God’s plan for Moses was that Moses lead His people into the promised land.
Yet, Moses never fully allowed God to deal with his anger, and God judged him severely for it.
He died without seeing the promised land in his earthly life (although the Word of the Lord was fulfilled, I believe, when Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus on the mount of transfiguration)
Numbers 20:8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.
Numbers 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
12 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.:
Heb 11: 36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
And Caleb made a decision. He decided that the plan of God and God’s promises to him were more important than even his earthly life, that he would FULLY fulfill all that God had promised Him, refusing to die until he did.
So, if his life is any indication, he probably figured. Well, this world is not my home anyway. I’m going to die sometime, even if it is in battle.
Yet, he knew that darkness and light will never mix. Enemies will remain enemies. Even though there might be an apparent end to hostilities at present, he knew what would happen. If left alone, the children of Anak would multiply, and the day of reckoning deferred today would only rise up again in future generations. Anak would attack or defile either his children or his grandchildren.
Join me if you will in an imaginary journey into the thought life of Caleb at this time. Could it be that he reasoned, “Well, I could die, and leave things as they are. Israel is established in this land, and I don’t really need Horeb. I’m well respected in the community, my family is fine. Who cares about Anak?”
Yet notice Caleb. He was determined not to die before all the plan of God for His life was fulfilled.
To whom much is given, much is required.
And Caleb went to war, determined to see the Word of God fulfilled or die trying!
And the Word of God came to pass, and he lived victorious.
Read with me Josh 15:
13 And unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a part among the children of Judah, according to the commandment of the Lord to Joshua, even the city of Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron.
14 And Caleb drove thence the three sons of Anak, Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak.
15 And he went up thence to the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjath-sepher.
16 And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjath-sepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.
17 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife. 18 And it came to pass, as she came unto him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou?
19 Who answered, Give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs.
Psalms 118:17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.
Let go of your fears, and live your dreams, do the impossible!
Hebrews 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
If you are a Christian you need never fear death or the whimsical temporal approval of man.
Believe God, and change your nation or perhaps go as a missionary somewhere.
There are enemies in the land Patriarchs: same sex marriages that threaten the family unit. Unprecedented divorce rates and destruction of the family unit. Legalization of Marijuana, Abortion, Child Pornography. Islam, the homosexual agenda, child-sex trafficking, corruption in government to name a few.
As young David said when considering fighting Goliath – IS THERE NOT A CAUSE!
These are: Enemies of honor, enemies of the Word of God, enemies of freedom, enemies of God.
As a patriarch, you have a position of influence in the community, that others do not. People of influence will listen to you because of your age, that others will not.
Reminds me of a story: When we were missionaries, living in Val des Monts, Quebec, Canada, I shared this message with our neighbor, who was clearly the patriarch in our community. Though I was pastoring a small Bible study there , ,but as an English speaking evangelical pastor in a French community, I was tolerated at best. Yet I told him that in order for evil to triumph over good, good people do nothing. That God could use him, to quietly have lunch with one of his old friends, and more could be accomplished for the kingdom of God, than I could work in a lifetime.
He was very quiet, but very thoughtful, yet I was pleasantly surprised, when several weeks later, he called me over to talk. Seems he had taken this message to heart, and had lunch with the local judge. The word was that this particular judge would sentence guys arrested for drinking and driving to 30 days in jail, and community service, yet, when one of his own relatives appeared before him, he was pardoning them, and tension was rising in our small town, because of this.
To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice
He spoke to his old friend about it, and his friend saw the error of his ways. The following week, one of his nephews appeared before Him, and received prison time, and the community rejoiced.
Leadership is influence, and you can use your position to work righteousness for the kingdom of God, by affecting people in positions of authority, quietly, sometimes behind closed doors.
Leviticus 19:32 Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.
While we pastored in Canada, before God moved in the Inuit, elderly people were considered excesses, and were told to go out upon the ice and die. Now, since Holy Spirit has moved in the North, elders are again respected, revered, and are set in place to help govern this new territory Nunavet.
It is said in Africa, “When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.”
Patriarchs and Matriarchs we need you to guide us with righteousness in this hour.
Phil 1: 21 ¶ For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;
Dying is easy. Living takes faith. So the children have grown, and the grandchildren have come.
Live for God!
Ps 91: 14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
Surely you are not satisfied that you have run your race through yet, finished your course for Jesus!
You need a vision from heaven!
Pr 29:1 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
If you get alone with God, and fill yourself with His Word, and seek Him faithfully in prayer, He will give you vision for your life, to make headlines in heaven, to have eternal impact. There is always someone to love, to pray for, to support, to teach, to help in some way….
Don’t retire, refire!
And don’t let the devil tell you that you are getting weaker, nor that you must be sick!
Psalm 103 1 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3 who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 4 who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; 5 who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
As you get older, you do not need to get sicker. You can still execise, and eat healthily, and He will renew your youth.
I close with this word:
Are you satisfied that you have fully obeyed God, and done everything you can for the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ?
If not, get involved in a prayer group. Seek God for His plan. Stop Abortion. Picket the courts until just laws reflecting righteousness prevail. Leave a legacy that reaps eternal rewards.
Go on with God.
Let’s Pray: “Father God in heaven, Creator of all life, renew my youth, my passion, my fire, my vision, my creativity, my health, my strength, my courage, and give me grace to live for Jesus, with fire and intensity and purpose today, and for the rest of my life, AMEN!’
Some great articles and videos:
The Shout of a King! Num_23:21 He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them. 2Ch 13:14 And when Judah looked back, behold, the battle was before and behind: and they cried unto the […]
The Shout of a King!
Num_23:21 He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.
2Ch 13:14 And when Judah looked back, behold, the battle was before and behind: and they cried unto the LORD, and the priests sounded with the trumpets.
2Ch 13:15 Then the men of Judah gave a shout: and as the men of Judah shouted, it came to pass, that God smote Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.
2Ch 13:18 Thus the children of Israel were brought under at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied upon the LORD God of their fathers.
In this account, we read how the kingdom of Israel was divided into the camps of Judah, under the leadership of king Abijah, and Israel being lead by Jeroboam. Abijah, set the house of the Lord in order, and served the Lord, according the manner prescribed in the Word of God. Jeroboam, did not.
So, there was war between them.
Yet, even as the battle lines were drawn, Abijah tried to convince Jeroboam to go home, because God was not with him in the battle. Yet Jeroboam attacked, in what appeared to be a great strategy, surrounding the army of Abijah, and attacking from the rear, in ambush. Yet he did not count the words of Abijah…for the shout of a king was among them!
They blew the trumpets and shouted unto God in the battle, and God delivered them, and the children of Judah saw victory that day.
Remember Jericho? Here a good shouting song:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFb8LraKMMY
So I see in the earth today, a similar situation arising in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are those of us, pursuing Him, with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength, determined to hear His voice, align our lives with His Word, and to live for Him, daily, in spirit and in truth.
Yet, enemies have arisen in the land: here in America they come from the political system espousing abortion, same sex marriage, lies, treachery, and compromise with Islam.
Many Christians say that we are too radical, that we just need to accept that the political winds have changed, simply live and let live…while our enemies seek to attack all that is right, true, noble, honorable, loving, kind, and righteous in this nation.
Up from deep within me rises a SHOUT!
It is a shout of Holiness unto the Lord, the cry of the Victory of Jesus over all of our enemies.
Do I look like a fool in meetings where conventional wisdom requests things be done decently and in order?
Perhaps, but I feel like David facing Goliath, and hearing his many brothers, and I echo his words:
1Sa_17:29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?
There is a cause!
The cause of Christ demands a shout!
There is a fight of faith to be won, for the fate this nation, the United States of America, hangs in the balance, as we rise up in violent faith, to fight for her, from ‘enemies within, or tyranny without!’. The battle is fierce in prayer, but we must win it here, or the payment that sin always exacts will be paid upon the soils of this land, for the wages of sin, is death.
We will win this battle, this war, for God is with us, and He that marches with us, is mighty to save, deliver, and prevail against wicked spirits, and godless men that serve them….
Get in your car, your bedroom, your backyard and shout unto God with a voice of triumph! Scream your passion, your frustration, your cry for deliverance unto Him, and watch, like Jericho, the walls of complacency, containment, apathy, fear, and religion crumble at YOUR feet, as Jesus, mighty warrior, arises to fight for YOU, His child…SHOUT!
Birthstones We had always wanted to get my mom a necklace or bracelet with the birthstones of her children in it. At one point, we had discussed purchasing her a ring. It never did happen, she died before we got around to it, age 63. As I read this mornings reading, I read a couple […]
We had always wanted to get my mom a necklace or bracelet with the birthstones of her children in it. At one point, we had discussed purchasing her a ring. It never did happen, she died before we got around to it, age 63. As I read this mornings reading, I read a couple of articles on the origin and description of birthstones.
Ex 28:15 ¶ And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it.
18 And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond.
19 And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst.
20 And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings.
21 And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.3 And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.
I do find it interesting that these twelve stones correspond to the foundations of the new Jerusalem, in heaven.
Rev 21:19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
Neither of these articles describes exactly what each stone is, but I find it interesting that that there is an order of worship, rank and privilege, both in heaven and in earth, that is eternal in nature.
I’m sure we could all dig in, and investigate more on this heavenly order, how it relates to the constellations, the seasons, and the times, and there are probably Bible scholars who have devoted themselves to this study, sufficient for me though, is this: God is holy, and has a plan for each or our lives, eternally!
There is a specific, unique, and beautiful place in all of this, for you, and for me, and our job is simply to keep walking with Jesus, as He brings us into the fullness of it. It is awesome to consider the eternal privilege we will have in heaven, but here and now, I am occupied with two main things: preparing myself for that place and privilege, and as long as strength and breath are in my body, in taking as many people with me, there, as I am able.
‘Father God, I am awestruck again at your infinite majesty, royalty, and holiness. Change me today, and make me more like Jesus! Bring me into my place in the Body of Christ, and help me to faithful to my post, continually growing, learning, and being all that you created me to be. Yet, in this process, let me not be so self consumed that I neglect my responsibility to love and reach this dying world for you. Use me to build your kingdom, to reach people with your love, mercy, and power to set them free. In your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’
God loves you, and there are five things God wants you to know about Him, and I feel impressed by Him to tell you what they are.
He came, He lived, He died, He rose and He reigns.
Now the problem of Creation must be addressed. You and I. Each and every one of us have been created in the image of God. We are also spirits, we have a soul, and we live in a body. Jesus did not come to make bad people good, or good people better, He came to make dead people ALIVE! Except a man be born-again, he cannot even see the kingdom of God. God loves you personally and wants you to know Him on His terms. Religion has always been man’s set of rules and regulations attempting to reach God, Jesus is God’s attempt to reach man. He died for you, not because He had to, but because He loves you. Yet, He did not create robots, each of us has a free will. The question He would have me ask you is this: Do you want Him to be your king? Do you want to go to heaven when you die, to be with Him? If you do, the Bible makes this promise to each of us,
‘If you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Rom 10:9,10’
Here’s what each of us need to do to come to God on His terms.
Here’s a simple prayer.
‘God, I want to know you. I want you to be in charge of my life. I accept you Lord Jesus as my Lord. Forgive me Lord for all the things I have done against you. I believe, Father that you raised Jesus from the dead, and I ask you to come into my life and make me the best person I can possibly be. Amen.’
Now, that prayer will get you right with God, today. But what about tomorrow? Each day we need to grow spiritually, in our relationship with Him. That will involve talking to Him about your day, and involving Him in your day-to-day decisions. How do you do that? Well, begin to read your Bible, every day, first thing. Seek Him first thing, and He will add everything else you need to your life. When you see something in the Bible that is new to you, do what it says.
That’s where we come in. Eventually, you are going to need a good church. A place of love, friendship, and fellowship, where we can worship God and work together to make this world a better place. Any Bible-believing church would love to meet you and to hear about your new decision to serve God. There are many fine churches all over the world. Shop for one that believes the Bible to be the Word of God, and where you have peace.
For many years, we attended Victory Christian Center here in Tulsa at victory.com. Great church that will help you grow in your walk with God!
Presently, we attend Rivergate Church here on 71st st in Tulsa, just East of Riverside, under the wonderful leadership of pastors Joel and Linda Budd. The kingdom is alive and active, and we need to serve God someplace, and here, there are wonderful miracles every time we meet. God is passionatly at work among us, and it is exciting to see what He will do next.
Each day, I post a blog on here, on one of the many topics relevant to the kingdom of God. The purpose of this is to encourage you to read your Bible every day, and to pray and seek first our heavenly Father and His kingdom. I would encourage you to subscribe and read along.- https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/08/06/the-purpose-of-this-blog/
A Guest post by:
Father and Follower
A Father’s plea for his little girl…
One summer at the local community center a young 12-year-old girl fell into the deep end of the pool not knowing how to swim. Her father realizing that she had fallen in, dove in to get her out but had gotten there too late. He pulled her out and she had stopped breathing and had no pulse. He had no way to save her because he did not know CPR. Realizing his inability to save his own daughters life he runs to find the lifeguard and tells him what had happened. Come and save my daughters life please. Hurry, she’s already stopped breathing. You can save her. The lifeguard rushed over and performed CPR until the girl recovered despite the fact that others thought it too late to save her. The lifeguard was moved by the situation, by compassion, to not give up. How would this make you feel as a parent? Perhaps some of you can relate exactly with the parent here. Today we are going to look at a similar story from the bible involving another young girl and a desperate father. Turn with me to Matthew chapter nine.
As the father walks away from his daughter in search for help his feeling of hopelessness must have been intense. Apart from a miracle he knew, like I did, that his 12 year old daughter was as good as dead. Being the devout man he was as the synagogue leader he surely had done everything he knew how to do and prayed for many many days and hours asking God for a miracle. He had done everything in his power to save her, but she still travelled towards death and he knew she didn’t have long. It is unlikely that he wanted to go to Jesus. Perhaps he had heard about all the miracles Jesus had been performing. He had tried everything he knew that God wanted him to do. He was the synagogue leader and a respected authority on God in his community, yet, in this moment, in his desperation, he had to decide whether to keep trying things his way and watch his daughter die, or to turn to Jesus, the carpenter from Nazareth, who despite ridicule and reproach was healing and restoring those no one else could. He looked at his daughter, thought about his reputation and decided that he could care less. He had done everything he knew to do. His congregation had watched him try everything as well. Whether Jesus helped him or not he decided that he was going to ask Him for help, for the life of his daughter. He knew everyone was watching and what it would mean for him to make this request. It meant probably giving up everything he held dear. You see, when he had reached the end of what he could do he realized that he could do nothing to save his daughters life. But, because he had heard of Jesus and about what Jesus could do, he knew that Jesus “could” save her if He wanted to. At the end of himself he found his dependence on Jesus. He found what many of us lack, confidence. For the observers though it would not have looked like confidence. Instead it would have looked like desperation. Because He knew Jesus could save his daughter’s life, He made himself look foolish and in that he became wise. He had tried it mans’ way. He had done all the doctors had told him. She was dying anyway. He was done trying his way, now he was going to go ask Jesus for help. He knew Jesus could help. He just didn’t know if he would be willing to come. He counted the cost. For him to go after Jesus could mean giving up everything, his home, his reputation, and his livelihood. But none of that compared with his love for his daughter. We don’t know what he was thinking, we only know what he said. “My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” By kneeling at Jesus’ feet he Jairus acknowledges Jesus as a God-ordained prophet.
In Matthew’s version of this story he leaves out what both Luke and Mark include. In Matthew’s version when the synagogue leader comes to Jesus his daughter is already dead. In Matthew the synagogue leader doesn’t look as good as he does in Mark and Luke. He lets his daughter die before he goes to see Jesus. It was only the death of his daughter that drives him into the presence of Jesus. Is this what happened? Since it is believed that Mark wrote his gospel first what is most likely is this. Matthew wrote his gospel with a strong Jewish flavor. His goal was to reach his fellow Jews and to prove that Jesus was the Messiah. For that reason he gave his gospel a very Jewish overtone and told the same stories that Mark did in ways a Jew would be more willing to believe and listen to them. It is probable then that Matthew leaves out the instance where the synagogue leader, who we learn is named Jairus from Mark’s gospel, comes to Jesus before his daughter is actually dead. It is possible that Matthew did this to avoid making Jairus look bad in this story. He was trying to reach Jews and thus told his story with that in mind. “Matthew’s radical abbreviation of the story (23 verses in Mark, 9 Matthew!) suggests that the ruler’s daughter was already dead when he made his request, rather than that she died while Jesus was on the way. If this was so, his request was the more remarkable. Matthew clearly does not intend us, therefore, to take Jesus’ words in v 24 literally as indicating a false diagnosis (as they could be understood in Mark’s account); he must mean that her death, though real, was not permanent.” How much does this matter? Not much in fact, but it does change Jairus’ motive a little.
What do I mean by that? Well, I mean that in Mark and Luke it only took the immanent death of his daughter to drive him into the presence of Jesus, but in Matthew it took her actually dying. What is most likely is that Jairus asked Jesus before she actually died and Matthew simply told the story in a way he hoped would reach more of his Jewish brethren. Recording events in this manner was completely normal for this culture and time and would not have been seen as misleading or in error.3 He was simply retelling the story with a certain audience in mind. We should consider that today ourselves when we are trying to share the stories of Jesus with specific people groups and cultures. The stories remain the same, but how we tell them should fit our audience. With that in mind lets see what we can learn from Mark and Luke that Matthew does not tell his audience.
The part of the story that Matthew leaves out that speaks most loudly to me is that Jairus’ daughter was 12 years old. Only Luke gives us her age in Luke 8:42. It is because of Luke’s account we make the connection that both the little girl and the woman who is about to stop Jesus’ progress towards Jairus’ house have been troubled the same period of time, twelve years. What is the significance of twelve I wonder? We are not told but there seems to be a connection. Lets step back into Jairus’ shoes.
Jesus has begun to follow Jairus towards his house. We have no words from Jesus, just his actions which indicate that Jairus’ faith has moved him to action. Imagine you are Jairus. You are walking towards your home where your daughter has died. Can you sense his urgency? Can you feel the relief perhaps that he felt when Jesus agreed to come? Now they are on the way. All of a sudden Jesus stops. Why is he stopping? We need to hurry. My daughter is dead. Who is this woman? Well I think that if this woman was important enough to stop Jesus in his tracks we should definitely pay especial attention to what happens next. Let’s change shoes. I’m taking off my father shoes and putting on my destitute woman shoes. I’m taking off the respect of the community and putting on public shame. I’m taking off the adoration of many and putting on the fact that people find me offensive for something I have no control over. You see bleeding diseases in this time made a person unclean. She would not have been able to even be in a crowd of people according to the rules of the society. In fact, for her to touch anyone else would have made them unclean for a period of time as well. Imagine how afraid she must have been and how desperate she must have been for her desperation to overcome her fear of what would happen if she was discovered in the crowd and recognized. For her to touch him would have been startling to everyone in that context.As we look at Matthew’s account of this event we are again looking at a much shorter version of the story than is found in Mark and Luke. It is from their accounts that we learn of the extent of this poor woman’s sure hopelessness. Ladies, imagine that your monthly friend came to visit and never left. You’ve been to the doctor. You’ve been to specialists. You’ve been tested and observed and watched. All the best experts have not helped you except to help you empty out everything you own in fees. Now you are destitute, penniless and an outcast among your own people. Consider what she was facing. Leviticus 15 says:
“If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, not at the time of her impurity, or if she has a discharge beyond the time of her impurity, all the days of the discharge she shall continue in uncleanness; as in the days of her impurity, she shall be unclean. Every bed on which she lies during all the days of her discharge shall be treated as the bed of her impurity; and everything on which she sits shall be unclean, as in the uncleanness of her impurity. Whoever touches these things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes, and bathe in water, and be unclean until the evening. If she is cleansed of her discharge, she shall count seven days, and after that she shall be clean.” (Leviticus 15:25-28 NRSV)
In her condition she would not have been able to have her husband even touch her if she was married. Everything she touched would be unclean. She, for lack of better words, had nothing to lose and everything to gain. But it was a big risk. The description of the crowds in Mark and Luke’s version visualize a thick crowd. I imagine it like those we see of famous people surrounded by reporters and such. There’s no telling how many people she touched without their knowing it. She didn’t dare make herself known and had no intentions of doing so. She came close to Jesus from behind him. She had heard, She had believed, and now she was acting on her faith. If I just touch his fringe of his cloak I will be made whole. If this is all that happened then she would have touched it and walked away whole and later showed herself to the priest to be declared clean again. But this is not what happened. Matthew tells us that that Jesus turned when she touched him and told her, “take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” At this she was instantly restored. I do wonder however how come Matthew seems to leave out so much of what Mark and Luke include. But if we look objectively we notice that Matthew is simply doing what he did before with the synagogue leader. Matthew completely omits the crowd part of the story. Like before, Matthew is telling this story to a Jewish audience and leaves out a detail that would probably have caused many a Jew to become too offended to listen further. Perhaps he also left it out to save face for all those who were pressing in to Jesus who received nothing from him. In Matthew, Jesus knew exactly who touched him. For her faith he tells her she is now whole. She received what she believed. She risked herself and her well being, counted the cost, and reached out in faith and was rewarded for it. However in Mark and Luke Jesus asks who it is that touched him and even takes sarcasm from his disciples because of the fact that Jesus was being touched probably on all sides by the crowd. In fact in Luke 8:45, Luke’s version says everyone denies touching Jesus. This includes the woman. It was only after Jesus insists that someone touched him that the woman realizes that she is about to be exposed and comes forward. In Matthew, Jesus is a Jewish prophet who knows who touched him, in Luke and Mark Jesus either doesn’t know, or is simply letting the woman share with the crowd what she had been saved from. Careful reading of Matthew shows that the no one besides her and Jesus knows she was healed from a bleeding disorder.
When she was healed she was also made clean in the sense of the Old Testament idea of wholeness. When she was healed Jesus not only restored her body, but in doing so he saved her. The word behind the words made whole here is the word for salvation. The word for salvation means more than just eternal life. It also is the word for complete healing. It means to restore. She wasn’t just healed, she was restored to wholeness. Physical contact is one method by which Jesus and his disciples healed people, echoing the OT idea that anything that touches something holy, like the altar, becomes holy itself… In fact, simply touching Jesus’ clothing is enough to bring healing. Without getting off this story I also want to point out that she is first of many to be healed by simply touching the fringe of Jesus’ cloak. One might even argue that because of her faith many others were restored after they heard about her and reached out to touch Jesus’s garments in faith themselves. To see what I’m talking about, take time in your personal bible reading to read Matthew 14:35-36. So not only did her faith save her, but it also helped save others.
Now we go back to Jairus the synagogue leader. We don’t know how long this took, but you can be sure that his anxiety must have increased with every moment they spent there dealing with the woman. Jesus, in Matthew’s gospel is simply at the leader’s house right after finishing with the woman. In Matthew the flute players and the crowds are already making a commotion. You see Middle Eastern people don’t mourn silently like many of us do, they tend to mourn out loud and with great passion. It is likely the flute players were hired by someone in the synagogue leader’s home as this is normal after the death of a loved one.
Think about the situation for a minute. Jairus has left the home to find Jesus. Everyone else is still there and have been looking at the dead child. They are acting on what they know. The child is dead. That is what they see. That is what they believe. When Jesus arrives he sees this and tells them to go away. He doesn’t say it nicely either. The force behind these words in the original texts goes with the imagery we might have of physically tossing someone out on the street or driving them from our homes forcefully. “The girl is not dead but sleeping,” Jesus tells them. They all laughed at him knowing she was dead. After all the people had been put outside Jesus took the girl by the hand and she got up. From Matthew’s text we can only infer that Jesus and the synagogue leader were in the house. You see Jairus was just like the rest of the people in the house who surrounded the dead child except for one thing. He believed that Jesus need only lay his hand on her for her to live. Jairus doesn’t lose his confidence in Jesus at all in Matthew’s gospel from beginning of the story to the end of it. This is yet another way Matthew portrays the synagogue leader in a positive manner to reach his Jewish audience. Mark and Luke show us a more vulnerable Jairus. In their gospels Jairus’ daughter dies while he is bring Jesus to the home. Upon hearing of her death from people who had been at his home Jesus takes time to tell him, “Do not fear. Only believe, and she will be saved.” Mark and Luke are not trying to reach a Jewish audience, they are writing primarily to non-Jewish people, gentiles. They include details that show the true humanity of Jairus and show that Jesus not only agreed to come save his daughter, but also took time to calm his fears when hope was lost. Jairus was not super human with bulletproof faith. He was like us. He believed Jesus could, but still had his emotions and his capacity to doubt. Jesus reassures him that if he continues to believe, she will be saved.
We see from the girls resuscitation or resurrection that Jairus must have kept his faith. The girl was restored from death. Jesus called her situation sleep. The best I can explain it is that her heart and breathing had stopped physically, but her spirit was still there. You see when Jesus touched her he not only awakened her from death and sleep, he had to have healed her body instantly as well. As with any long-term illness the patient often stops eating long before they die. Jesus’ instructions in Mark and Luke to feed her were only natural.
Jairus believed that Jesus touching his dead daughter would cause her to live. He risked everything to make the request. He counted the cost and paid the price. For his faith in Jesus he had his daughter restored to him. Don’t miss the obvious in here as well. He not only got his daughter back from the dead, he also got a healed daughter. He no longer had to watch her suffer from her illness. Jesus had completely reversed both the effects of the sickness, and defeated the power of death to hold her. His Lordship is supreme, and without a word death has to give way to his demands. Jairus’ faith, and his actions, brought Jesus to save his daughter.
The woman who had bleed for twelve years. In an instant was restored. She not only was physically healed but was ritually cleansed and able to re-enter society clean. She could now return to her home without making everything she touched unclean. If she was married she could again enjoy the embrace of her husband. She was indeed saved in more than one way.
A Father with only one hope. A daughter of Abraham with only one hope. What they both shared was faith that Jesus could save them from their situation. Their actions weren’t without risk for both of them risked severe repercussions should things have gone differently. These two stories are both an encouragement to me and a constant reminder of my 12-year-old daughter Cheyenne.
Cheyenne was my daughter. At age 11 she was diagnosed with stage 4 Rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive sarcoma that kills nearly everyone that gets it. She lived for 369 days past diagnosis. Why do I bring this up? The connection is obvious to me for two reasons. Jairus’ daughter was 12 and only Jesus could save her. Doctors gave us very little hope. In fact it was a miracle that she survived as long as she did medically speaking. She went into remission from November to May. When the cancer came back the second time it came back faster and with no possible cure. We had to face reality and keep our faith. God had given me this story from the beginning of her treatments. I didn’t know what his intentions were. I only knew that I was to believe that God could heal her, even if she died. About 1 week before Cheyenne went to be with Jesus she asked me a question. She said, “Daddy, do you think I’m going to make it?” With tears in my eyes I told her that only God knows for sure, but that we were still praying for her to be healed. What she said next stunned me and my wife and taught me something I’ll never forget. “Stop it.” She said. “You should be praying for God’s will to be done, not for what we want.” I knew that she had gotten that straight from God. She believed that Jesus was going to heal her. She didn’t know how or when, but had confidence that He was going to. You see when she took her last breath here, she took her first in his presence. For a whole year she could not run or jump or do most of the things she loved before the cancer struck. Now she was whole. Thanks to God, who gave a complete stranger a vision of Cheyenne going to heaven, we got to have a glimpse of her joy upon her arrival there. They saw her running and jumping and doing cartwheels. Cheyenne is healed. Her faith in Jesus saved her. She suffered greatly on earth, but Jesus saved her from it all.
You see, faith in Jesus saves always. Sometimes faith delivers us from things here on earth. Sometimes it restores things to us that the enemy takes from us. But faith in Jesus always saves. For Jairus it meant he got his daughter back healthy. For the woman she was healed and her life was restored. For Cheyenne, she no longer suffers from the pain she endured on earth. For her she was saved from death because of her faith in Jesus. Because you see, when she stopped breathing she didn’t die, she instead, for the first time, truly lives.
I don’t know what you are facing today. What I can tell you is that you need to have faith in Jesus. Faith in him can deliver you from everyday troubles, but that is not the greatest salvation available. Faith in him delivers us from the last enemy, death. For those whose faith in him endures to the end, they will be saved. Many of you may be facing impossible circumstances or even death. I invite you today to place your faith in Jesus, for just one touch from the master can deliver you from all your troubles. If you don’t know Jesus or have faith in him I invite you and challenge you to ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Just like the father and the woman, Jesus will meet you where you are. If you are interested in truth He will show you, like he has showed me that putting your faith in Him is the most important thing you can ever choose to do
I am posting this in honor of Cheyenne, and my friend Ray Propst.
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 Savior, you have angels watching over you! Today as we seek first Jesus for His will for our day, and read our daily Bible reading, these thoughts come to mind.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 confess God’s promises in faith and authority, then 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!!
Here is a song to encourage you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOkImV2cJDg&list=RDqOkImV2cJDg#t=0
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.
Daily, I face the needs of not only my family, but the orphans we support in Karimnagar, India. It is our dream to increase this as there are very real excruciating needs in the lives of children around the world, and God loves them every bit as much as He loves my precious children. Any donation designated for orphans, goes directly to them, 100%. All donations will receive a tax receipt for your giving.
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!
If you want to know a little bit more about who we are: https://chrisaomministries.com/2017/01/20/the-purpose-of-this-blog-2/
The Day after church
As I read this rather old statistic, I thought about the USA, and God’s work here:
The U.S. Department of Commerce has recently released statistics on American churches, clergy and church schools. Church Law & Tax Report give some interesting figures:
– Number of U.S. congregations: 294,271
– Churches with fewer than 100 members: 60,300
– Churches with fewer than 500 members: 205,556
– Churches with 1,000-1,999 members: 21,691
– Churches with 2,000 or more members: 13,958
Last year churches received $49 billion in revenues, of which $40 billion came from contributions, $1.4 billion from wills and estates, and $2.5 billion from fees or charges for services. There are a total of 348,000 clergy employed in the United States, and they have served an average of 15.8 years in each position.
Of special interest are the statistics on who is supporting these churches. Persons 65-74 years of age donated the largest percentage of their income (3.1 percent) and those 18-24 the least (0.6 percent). Increasingly, those with lower incomes gave a higher proportion of their income to charity than higher income individuals. Persons with household incomes of under $10,000 gave 2.8 percent of their total incomes, while those with incomes over $100,000 gave only 2.1 percent. The average annual contribution to the church was $715 per household.
Pulpit Helps, August, 1992, p. 8
This is a very old article, I am sure these numbers have grown substantially since 1992.
Yet, I thought about how the kingdom of God works, through prayer and God’s Word proclaimed, and how heaven responds to our earthly ministries.
In heaven, there are no problems, and God always responds to prayer requests and acts of faith that are performed according to His Word.
Like Jesus, I believe that ministers spend the required time in prayer to accurately hear the voice and will of Father God, before they go to their studies to dig through the Scripture and study helps, to bring to their people a fresh empowering word from the throne of God, that will bless, equip, empower, and encourage the people of God in attendance, and that as they speak, people actually believe them, as faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Since God’s word is forever established in the heavens, and He is holy, He acts when His word is preached to His people, ever watching over it to perform it, bringing divine machinery to bear, in the earth, to honor His promises, and bring to pass what He instructed His servants to preach.
Sometimes, there are wonderful miracles that occur in services, but usually, processes are implemented that require spirit-led obedience on our part to bring to pass.
Then, comes the parable of the sower, and the purpose of this blog.
Most of you know, I have written a book on this parable, that is primitive as far as writing goes (Masters level study at seminary has convinced me of that!), but is a clear revelation from God on the process of His kingdom.
You recall in Mark 4, how the sower sows the word (ie the minister preaches the word), and then what happens?
Immediately, Jesus explains that the bird comes to steal the word, then there are persecutions and afflictions when we try and obey it, then there are distractions, and things that muddy the waters of clear, instant obedience.
These thoughts are amplified in two other passages of Scripture:
But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings
Notice here, the similarity between the illumination or enlightenment of God to a person, and the immediate work of satan to oppose it. In parable of the sower, he is described as the bird come to steal the word of God sown in the heart of the believer, here in Hebrews, we see his work again, bringing ‘a great fight of afflictions’.
We see this clearly in the ministry of the apostle Paul:
2 Corinthians 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
Notice here, Paul was given ‘the abundance of the revelations’ directly from God (He wrote over half of the new testament), and immediately a ‘messenger of Satan’ was sent to buffet him.
MSG Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.
While God allowed the work of satan to work humility in Paul, notice here that the buffeting DID NOT COME FROM GOD.
Also notice that the buffeting came, only after Paul did what God said to do.
I have noticed, that when I go to church, I bring a pen and paper, or notepad on my phone. Surely if God should speak to me, it is important enough to write down, and transfer to my schedule and To Do, list.
Though I could preach much this morning, this is a simple call to targeted, accurate, intercessory prayer, for all those multitudes that heard the word of God yesterday in church, and either blew it off and forgot what the whispers of Holy Spirit told them to do, or for those who know now what to do, but need courage to do it, because it will require life change, and perhaps very real persecution and afflictions. Of course, the people like me need prayer too, as there are always conflicting pulls for my time, and distractions that would bring loss of focus and priority…all to prevent the work of God from going forward as Jesus directs.
For those of you determined to make an eternal difference in this life, please join with me in praying:
Father, please bring back to remembrance, what You spoke to people yesterday, and help them to write it down, and do it. For those facing hard times because of their obedience, please give them strength, courage, and firm resolve to DO what they now know they need to do. For those of us prone to distraction, please keep us focused, with precise, spirit-led obedience today, that Your kingdom would come, and move forward in power today, in the name and authority of Jesus I pray, Amen.
My three thoughts on why I need to go to church are: God commands it. Be the church It should be a place to serve, give, worship, and meet with Jesus! God Commands it: So, the first reason we should attend a local church is found here:Well, the first commandment in the Bible, is […]
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Novel concept this: we go to church, simply because God commands it!
Read this quote, and it seems appropriate here:
“I often visit newcomers in town and find them to be church shopping. They want to know what they can get out of church. Churches are one more consumer commodity. Worship services are not a place for us to serve God and neighbor but a place where people expect to purchase the best: Inspiring worship, good music, moving sermons, quality child care. As if we buy God and not vice versa. “
Arthur Boers in The Other Side, May/June, 1989
Doesn’t mean we always like it, just like when I am instructing a child on a new level of responsibility, and they do not like to do dishes, clean their room, or homework, it is good for them, and I am instructing them because I love them, and want them to be a responsible adult. (I would never want their future spouses to arrive at my door some day, and say: “Why did you not raise your child better? Living with them is incredibly difficult!”)
So, there may be seasons in the house of the Lord, where we do not particularly like attending our local place of worship, as seasons of our life in Jesus change, but it is the faithful man that abounds with God’s blessing. Sometimes the best we can hope for is to be faithful…
Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it
Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
1 Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
Definition of a local church:
2. Organization: planned meetings (Acts 20:7), a.corporate discipline (I Cor. 5), b. money raising projects (II Cor. 8-9), c. recognized leaders such as pastor, elders, deacons (Heb. 13:7, 17).
R. Lightner in Truth for the Good Life, p. 115-6
I used to think, that because I hold one of these gifts, that I needed to use it in the local church, yet I see that there are other battlefields Jesus has called me to, outside of the church walls. I attend my local church, but I am not called presently to serve there, as I am often travelling, writing, or creating something out of nothing, as Holy Spirit speaks and flows through me. Yet, everything I do, is to build the kingdom of God, and strong local churches wherever possible.
As I said, I hold a five-fold ministry gift, as described in Eph 4, but there are things that come through the office of my pastor, that God has given to him, not to me, and for the blessing and protection of my family, I need to allow him to fulfill his job in the kingdom, while I am doing exploits in my arena.
Generally though, you will find your place of purpose and service, in the local church, before God sends you out….
Knowing and flowing in your particular gift and calling is critical to finding peace with God and people, but there comes a point where we grow in our local church to the point where we attend to give, not merely to receive.
Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
3. Church should be a place to worship, serve, give, fellowship, pray and build a vision far greater than any one of us could build individually!
One of the ways we worship God is serving the people that He loves.
This is such an important truth, I wrote an entire blog article on it: https://chrisaomministries.com/2017/01/15/we-worship-by-serving-the-people-god-loves/
See here, the Final Judgment of God, no appeals, no lawyers in each of our lives, the final court case. Matt 25:31 ¶ When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
One of the ways we worship God is serving the people that He loves. Notice in this portion of Scripture, that Jesus says that one of the ways we will be accountable to God, eternally, is in our treatment of the poor and less fortunate in our midst. Saying we care, will not get us past this verse.
No, to obey it requires action, and these actions constitute worship acceptable to God. Here’s another James 1: 27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. Want to walk pure before God?
Here’s something you can do that He will accept. Visit some single mom, and help out there, then stay clean before God. Love her children, help her with her responsibilities, then make sure you remain free from all of the games and sin that would try to drag you into the mess there. You are to be an agent of change there, for good, and God’s glory, not part of the problem.
Of course, people living and serving Jesus together in the love of God, make a fun place to hang out: Acts 2:42 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
Christian community, experienced in the love and power of God, is a wonder to behold. Life can be hard, but as we lovingly help each other through life’s challenges, it can be very rewarding and fulfilling – full of vision and purpose.
2 Corinthians 8:4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin
Serving Jesus should be a joyful experience, not a burden, but an eternal blessing. One third of the kingdom of God is joy, so let us say with the psalmist:
Psalm 122 [Full Chapter] I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together: God really is good, and Jesus really does love you!
Deuteronomy 28:47 Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; Seeking first Jesus, and aligning our lives with His Word, will produce the abundance of all things…
Here’s a great quote:
“Yet membership in a confessing body is fundamental to the faithful Christian life. Failure to do so defies the explicit warning not to forsake “our assembling together.” His understanding of this prompted Martin Luther to say, “Apart from the church, salvation is impossible.” Not that the church provides salvation; God does. But because the “saved” one can’t fulfill what it means to be a Christian apart from the church, membership becomes the indispensable mark of salvation. “So highly does the Lord esteem the communion of His church,” Calvin wrote,” that He considers everyone a traitor and apostate from religion who perversely withdraws himself from any Christian society which preserves the true ministry of the word and sacraments.” Charles W. Colson, The Body, 1992, Word Publishing, p. 70.
Like Nike says: Just Do it!
Let’s pray: Father God, I choose to attend church, to worship You, to serve Your people, to give unto You, and to hear a living Word of power from Your throne. Show me where to become plugged into Your Body Lord Jesus, Amen;