Shipwrecked by Pride!

Pr 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Pr 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom. In the summer of 1986, two ships collided in the Black Sea off the coast of Russia. Hundreds of passengers died as they were hurled into the icy […]

Pr 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

Pr 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

shipwreck

In the summer of 1986, two ships collided in the Black Sea off the coast of Russia. Hundreds of passengers died as they were hurled into the icy waters below. News of the disaster was further darkened when an investigation revealed the cause of the accident. It wasn’t a technology problem like radar malfunction–or even thick fog. The cause was human stubbornness. Each captain was aware of the other ship’s presence nearby. Both could have steered clear, but according to news reports, neither captain wanted to give way to the other. Each was too proud to yield first. By the time they came to their senses, it was too late.

Closer Walk, December, 1991.

teachable

My dad, a naval officer of 32 years used to say: ‘In life, course corrections can be brutal, but shipwrecks are worse!’

Remain teachable – none of us has ‘arrived’

Proverbs 8:(NKJV)

33 Hear instruction and be wise,

And do not disdain it.

Let’s pray:

‘Father God, where we have become legends in our own mind, in our own selfishness and pride, please help us to change course, before we are destroyed, and destroy others. Jesus, save us, have mercy, Amen!’

Mercy! Lord Have Mercy..

Mercy…

Ps 136:23 ¶ Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:
24 And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.
mercy1
This psalm seems almost repetitive: His mercy endures forever! Mercy is a force of heaven that produces miracles:

Let’s look at a few verses on the mercy of Jesus:

Matt 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Mt 9:27 And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.

Mt 15:22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

Mt 17:15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.

Mt 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Luke 1:57 ¶ Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
Luke 18:58 And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.

37 And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.
38 And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
39 And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
40 And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him,
41 Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.
42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.
43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.

In our day to day world we forget in our busy ness that we still need mercy…
two-men1

Luke 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Jesus came to reveal and demonstrate the mercy of God…

To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;

Mercy is the power of God in the earth. When God has mercy, miracles happen…

Matt 12:But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

Let us never get too proud or knowledgeable to forget God’s mercy:

Let’s pray:
‘Father, have mercy upon me today. For those upon my prayer list, have mercy! Protect me from my own pride, self-will, blindness! In your name I pray, Lord Jesus! Amen.”

The Great!

The Great I?

Pr 20:6 ¶ Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?

“Look what God did for ME. Look at what I did! I built that!”

The insidious voice of pride…

Lucifer was the chief worship leader in heaven, yet he became lifted up in pride…
pride
God only gives grace to the humble..

What about Jesus? His grace, goodness, gifts given that made it all possible. What about the person next to you, can we get out of ourselves long enough to at least ask how they are doing, and pray for them, or help them, recognizing that Jesus loves them too? Just sayin….

Let’s pray:
‘Father, put a muzzle on my mouth where I am blowing my own horn, and turn my testimony into praise, honor and glory to you. Help me to be faithful to you Lord Jesus, Amen’

The Poor are Rich!

wood-john

I do not usually use anyone else’s material, but these words leaped off that page at me.

A Trustworthy Name

I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. (Zephaniah 3:12)

When true religion is ready to die out among the wealthy it finds a home among the poor of this world, rich in faith.
poor-rich
The Lord has even now His faithful remnant. Am I one of them?

Perhaps it is because men are afflicted and poor that they learn to trust in the name of the Lord.
poor-rich-dumpster
He that hath no money must try what he can do on trust. He whose own name is good for nothing in his own esteem, acts wisely to rest in another name, even that best of names, the name of Jehovah. God wilt always have a trusting people, and these will be an afflicted and poor people. Little as the world thinks of them, their being left in the midst of a nation is the channel of untold blessings to it. Here we have the conserving salt which keeps in check the corruption which is in the world through lust.
poor-rich1
Again the question comes home to each one of us. Am I one of them? Am I afflicted by the sin within me and around me? Am I poor in spirit, poor spiritually in my own judgment? Do I trust in the Lord? This is the main business. Jesus reveals the name, the character, the person of God; am I trusting in Him? If so, I am left in this world for a purpose. Lord, help me to fulfill it. Wood John http://jesusprayergroups.webs.com/

As I read this quote today, it provoked me to thinking…

I thought of people who’s walk with the Lord I admire, and I think of God’s servant Heidi Baker, when she had completed her Phd in systematic theology, and God told her and Rolland, to “Go to Mozambique, and sit with the poor, and learn about my kingdom’.
Heidi Baker humility

I think Jesus, the great king, is also the greatest of servants and loves to use, poor, broken people, to teach us about Him. He is love, He is mercy, and He is humble.
servant-king

In all my study, and depths of prayer and soul searching, I see the needs of this broken world, and am reminded that His love, His power, His grace are sufficient, but if I want to see it.

Matthew 5:3
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
poor-rich2

Heaven is where the power of the Holy Spirit is authorized from. This is where the Father, receives our prayers through Jesus our high priest and answers in signs, wonders, and miracles…
miracles-of-jesus

How I long to see the power of God in the earth, healing the sick, mending shattered lives, hearts, dreams.

Yet, the kingdom of heaven is for those who are poor in spirit, yet rich in faith.

Today, I see tremendous things occurring in his kingdom and I have the privilege to be part of some of them. Yet, in my own life and family, I need some miracles….

If you are truthful with Him, so do you…

For these, let us come together before Him, and humbly ask:
cross cry

“Father, I need you. Your power, Your provision, Your grace, Your wisdom, Your understanding, Your insight into my life, that I might walk before You, pure, and able to be some sort of solution to this broken hurting world. Jesus, though You have gifted me greatly, I, just like the poorest of the poor, see my great need of You. Meet with me today, and do what only You can do.’

Shipwrecked by Pride!

Pr 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

Pr 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
shipwreck
In the summer of 1986, two ships collided in the Black Sea off the coast of Russia. Hundreds of passengers died as they were hurled into the icy waters below. News of the disaster was further darkened when an investigation revealed the cause of the accident. It wasn’t a technology problem like radar malfunction–or even thick fog. The cause was human stubbornness. Each captain was aware of the other ship’s presence nearby. Both could have steered clear, but according to news reports, neither captain wanted to give way to the other. Each was too proud to yield first. By the time they came to their senses, it was too late.
Closer Walk, December, 1991.

teachable

My dad, a naval officer of 32 years used to say: ‘In life, course corrections can be brutal, but shipwrecks are worse!’

Remain teachable – none of us has ‘arrived’

Proverbs 8:(NKJV)
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
And do not disdain it.

Let’s pray:
‘Father God, where we have become legends in our own mind, in our own selfishness and pride, please help us to change course, before we are destroyed, and destroy others. Jesus, save us, have mercy, Amen!’

War and Peace…

War and Peace
'War and Peace
Matt 23:11  But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
Pr 13:10  Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
Only with pride, comes contention. Hm, ever thought about that? How humility and servanthood disarms strife and pride? Kinda hard to fight with a guy that is determined to love and help you, the best he can. 
Pr 29:23  A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.
Honour shall uphold? Yep, God is honourable, and God Himself will uphold the humble man. 
I remember my pastor saying, some years ago, “Chris, if you consistently humble yourself before God, God will never have to humble you before men!” 
This has stuck with me all these years.
Pride is the only disease that makes everyone sick but the one who has it. 
Source Unknown.

Let’s pray:
‘Father, you see my enemies, those that persecute, or cause me problems in this life. I am endeavouring to love them and to overcome their evil with good. Show me how to pray, and give me wisdom on any acts of humility I might perform that will disarm them, with your love, in your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’'
Matt 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

Pr 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

Only with pride, comes contention. Hm, ever thought about that?

How humility and servanthood disarms strife and pride?

Kinda hard to fight with a guy that is determined to love and help you, the best he can.

Pr 29:23 A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.
Honour shall uphold?
'War and Peace
Matt 23:11  But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
Pr 13:10  Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
Only with pride, comes contention. Hm, ever thought about that? How humility and servanthood disarms strife and pride? Kinda hard to fight with a guy that is determined to love and help you, the best he can. 
Pr 29:23  A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.
Honour shall uphold? Yep, God is honourable, and God Himself will uphold the humble man. 
I remember my pastor saying, some years ago, “Chris, if you consistently humble yourself before God, God will never have to humble you before men!” 
This has stuck with me all these years.
Pride is the only disease that makes everyone sick but the one who has it. 
Source Unknown.

Let’s pray:
‘Father, you see my enemies, those that persecute, or cause me problems in this life. I am endeavouring to love them and to overcome their evil with good. Show me how to pray, and give me wisdom on any acts of humility I might perform that will disarm them, with your love, in your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’'

Yep, God is honourable, and God Himself will uphold the humble man.

I remember my pastor saying, some years ago, “Chris, if you consistently humble yourself before God, God will never have to humble you before men!”

This has stuck with me all these years.

Pride is the only disease that makes everyone sick but the one who has it.
Source Unknown.

I need God’s help daily, in the complexity of the world in which I live. Only way to get it consistantly, is to remain humble, consistantly, teachable, and willing to learn.

James 4:6 (AKJV)

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Let’s pray:
‘Father, you see my enemies, those that persecute, or cause me problems in this life. I am endeavouring to love them and to overcome their evil with good. Show me how to pray, and give me wisdom on any acts of humility I might perform that will disarm them, with your love, in your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

'War and Peace
Matt 23:11  But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
Pr 13:10  Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
Only with pride, comes contention. Hm, ever thought about that? How humility and servanthood disarms strife and pride? Kinda hard to fight with a guy that is determined to love and help you, the best he can. 
Pr 29:23  A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.
Honour shall uphold? Yep, God is honourable, and God Himself will uphold the humble man. 
I remember my pastor saying, some years ago, “Chris, if you consistently humble yourself before God, God will never have to humble you before men!” 
This has stuck with me all these years.
Pride is the only disease that makes everyone sick but the one who has it. 
Source Unknown.

Let’s pray:
‘Father, you see my enemies, those that persecute, or cause me problems in this life. I am endeavouring to love them and to overcome their evil with good. Show me how to pray, and give me wisdom on any acts of humility I might perform that will disarm them, with your love, in your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’'

Unmasking the spirit of pride

Unmasking the spirit of pride

Unmasking the spirit of pride….

Being as God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble, and that the sin of pride, is what got satan thrown out of heaven, pride is something that we all must understand, and overcome, in order to live victorious lives of servant hood in Christ.

More and more, I am convinced that pride is simply, having a better idea than God on any particular subject.

As I look at contentions, and world wars, each of them are rooted in pride.

Pr 13:10 ONLY by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

No two people, walking in the love of God, listening to His voice, should ever need to be fighting each other.

Every divorce, war, business separation, heartbreak, is rooted in pride, or ignorance.

Last Sunday, at Sunday school, (We are taking the Growing Kids God’s Way course, http://www.gfi.org/ where Robert and Rebecca Shaeffer are leading here at Victory Christian center) I heard a lesson on parenting, describing the perils of giving our children too many choices.

That, if we were not careful, children would use choice, as an excuse for disobedience. The truth is, so do we.

The Ezzo’s gave an example, that really sticks with me.
A child was over at a friend’s house, and while they were playing, got wet. So, without asking she went in to the guests home, took a shower, and borrowed some dry clothes from her girlfriend, then marched into the kitchen, opened the refrigerator and proceeded to help herself to something to eat.

Now, all of that might have been okay in her house, but to do all of that in a friend’s house, without permission, is a stretch, don’t you think?

Phil 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Rom 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Let’s take the friend example apart a bit.

I believe that God has created good works for us to do: Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

I also believe that the earth is the Lords, and the fulness therof.

Can we become content with that portion that God gives us of the earth, or do we constantly covet more, and more?

Do we take things that legitimately belong to others, ‘assuming’ that it is okay with God?

When we do, we become ‘wise in our own eyes’.
Pr 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
One version says, ‘becomes wise in his own eyes.’

The earth is full of selfish, grasping people, whose decision making is often contrary to the Word and will of God.

Jas 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

God is a good God, who loves us dearly, and who wants only good things for us.

Yet, He wants to give them to us, His way, in His timing.

He will never be moved by desperation, or a screaming fit before Him, but when we ask Him in faith, then ask Him how to accomplish what we have asked for, He will do it!

I read this quote by David Wilkerson, and it struck me: To understand this message, I want to give you new definitions of pride and humility. Pride is independence – humility is dependence. Pride is an unwillingness to wait for God to act in His own time and in His own way. Pride rushes in to take matters into its own hands. One of the greatest temptations true Christians face is getting ahead of God. It is acting without a clear mandate from God. It is taking things into our own hands when it appears that God is not working fast enough. It is impatience..

Saul couldn’t wait to offer up the sacrifice. It cost him the kingdom.

David did wait, and little by little, God prepared and established him in his anointing and office, to become a man after God’s own heart.

Our promotion is not about us, anyway, but the people we are called to reach, to serve.

David Wilkerson goes on to give this definition of humility: Humility is total dependency on God. It is trusting God to do the right thing at the right time in the right way. It is trusting Him to use you in the right way at the right time. Humility is patiently waiting on the Lord in a spirit of expectant faith. Pride has no patience. “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him, fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass… fret not thyself in any wise to do evil” (Psalm 37:7,8). This tells us, “Don’t get uptight by the apparent success of those who look like they are passing you up. They take shortcuts. They are blessed and prospered while here you sit, trusting God, praying.” God says “Just wait. They are on slippery ground. You won’t be sorry, if you do it My way. Patience is doing a work in you. You are becoming strong by waiting in faith. Let patience do its perfect work in you!”

I read a leadership article, written by an honest pastor that I liked:

Godly leaders will recognize pride.
Usually this third point is worded like this, “Godly leaders are humble”. For me this is just another slogan that doesn’t deal with one of the most pervasive problems in ministry, pride.

Pride left unchecked or unnoticed will destroy leadership and influence, not to mention dishonoring the transforming work of the Gospel.

The dictionary defines pride as: the quality of having an excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s importance.

Here are 5 quick way’s to know if your prideful:

1. Your sentences start with “I” or are surrounded around you.

2. You get convicted/mad when someone tries to correct/instruct you.

3. You have a critical and judgmental spirit.

4. Your closed to accountability.

5. Your getting mad right now as you read this.

I believe the hardest thing for a pastor to do, is to be self aware of pride. From my own testimony to others I know, we are most oblivious to the sin of pride. So how do we demonstrate the transforming power of the Gospel and cultivate the characteristic of humility in our lives and leadership?

So what is the answer?

Here is my solution, in my current state of limited understanding:

1. Establish a morning prayer and Bible reading time, first thing in the morning, before everything.

2. As you pray, and read the Word, keep a pen and paper with you. God will speak, and as He does, He expects you to do what He says. I write it down, because, in the business of the day, I have been known to forget. Going back to my journal throughout the day, helps keep me on track.

3. After I think I have the mind of God on a matter, I go do it. If I don’t know how, then it is back to prayer, “If you have so much business to attend to that you have no time to pray, depend upon it that you have more business on hand than God ever intended you should have.”
– Dwight L. Moody

4. I constantly monitor what words I am speaking. If at any point, what I am speaking, is not coming to pass, or I am not doing what I say, then I have moved ahead of God, and am moving in my own strength, not His. I am determined to be wholly Spirit led… I have always been sincere, in my pursuit of God and His calling upon my life, but as I have made decisions that proved to be wrong, I have also been sincerely wrong sometimes. When I am wrong, I fess up, where I mess up, laugh at myself, fix whatever is fixable, and then roll the care of the rest upon the Lord, and move on.

Like the famous Will Rogers quote; ‘You may be on the right road in life, but you will still get run over if you just sit there.’

5. Love is the goal, the requirement. How am I treating my wife, my children, street people, sales people, and abrasive folks? Am I good news, and an ambassador of Jesus, or equally as abrasive? How am I treating people?

The wonderful thing about the kingdom of God, is that we are part of the Body of Christ, and we are loved. This teaching is not designed to be complete, simply a reality check. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, what is Holy Spirit showing You?

Let’s Pray:
‘Father, we honestly want to do Your will, for the right reasons. Convict us of our pride, deception, and error of our own poor choices, and show us what to do, to fix the messes we have made. Teach us, lead us, deliver us, and show us Your perfect will for our lives, in Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

Leadership Development and Timing!

Leadership Development and Timing!

Leadership Development and Process!
Luke 12:42

The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time?

If we recognize that all authority, whether political or spiritual comes from God, we, as growing leaders determined to perform the perfect will of God for our lives, and the lives of those we lead, find ourselves, constantly, humbly, praying, seeking His face for wisdom, and studying to learn how to do things better

.kneel

John 13:NIV
3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Down is Up in God’s Kingdom.

Seems that the heart of true leadership, is the call to honestly love and serve God’s people. As we grow in grace and humility, it is only so that we can do more to empower, equip, prosper, educate, disciple, heal, and love the people God has called us to lead.pour

Mark 9:35 The Voice (VOICE)
It is only natural for the disciples to wonder which of them will be His right-hand man. Even the three disciples who have just seen Jesus’ glory revealed in the transfiguration cannot resist the attraction of honor. After all, who has a better claim than they do to being the greatest of Jesus’ disciples?
Fortunately Jesus overhears what is said and is quick to respond in mercy to correct their mistake. Greatness in His eyes doesn’t consist of seeing wonders or performing miracles or even fasting and praying. Instead, greatness is about humility and service. These are the heart of the kingdom of heaven.

servant-king
35 He sat down with the twelve to teach them.
Jesus: Whoever wants to be first must be last, and whoever wants to be the greatest must be the servant of all.
As I am reading, yet another book on leadership, learning, growing, developing, and allowing my weaknesses of character and understanding to be exposed, and rebuilt upon the impregnable foundation of the Word of God, I read this quote, that prompted the writing of this article.

‘A new moral principal is emerging which holds that only authority deserving one’s allegiance is that which is freely and knowingly granted by the led to the leader in response to, and in proportion to, the clearly evident servant stature of the leader. Those who choose to follow this principal will not casually accept the authority of existing institutions. Rather, they will freely respond only to individuals who are chosen as leaders because they are proven and trusted as servants.’

Servant Leadership, A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness, Robert K Greenleaf

Perhaps humility and servant-hood are new concepts in the business world, but they are not new to the kingdom of God. Seems that down is up in the kingdom, for God gives grace, that is power, authority, wisdom, and influence, to the humble…

2 Corinthians 8:9
You know the grace that has come to us through our Lord Jesus the Anointed. He set aside His infinite riches and was born into the lowest circumstance so that you may gain great riches through His humble poverty.

promotion
The riches of heaven come to us, because God, the Creator of Heaven and earth, not only humbled Himself to become a man, Christ Jesus, but then emptied Himself of every earthly rank, position, and privilege, and accepted a beggars death upon the cross, that the wrath, the judgment, the punishment each of us deserve, might be poured upon Himself. God within God, doing the infinite, that we, the finite, might be reconciled, to Him.

As leaders, we become shepherds, called of God to lead, feed, and protect God’s people, as they grow in their particular gifts and callings.

1 Peter 5: 2 When you shepherd the flock God has given you, watch over them not because you have to but because you want to. For this is how God would want it not because you’re being compensated somehow but because you are eager to watch over them. 3 Don’t lead them as if you were a dictator, but lead your flock by example; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will be crowned with honor that will shine brightly forever. 5 You who are younger in the faith: do as your elders and leaders ask. All of you should treat each other with humility, for as it says in Proverbs, God opposes the proud
but offers grace to the humble.[a]  6 So bow down under God’s strong hand; then when the time comes, God will lift you up. 7 Since God cares for you, let Him carry all your burdens and worries.
humility1
Humility is rarely a virtue that our culture values. We’re trained from an early age to show our strengths and hide our weaknesses. This type of thinking also spills over into our models of leadership, as we learn to dictate to others how they should perform.

Peter, however, says that we should be humble in our relationships with one another and not lead as dictators. In fact, this humility before one another and God is actually the position of the greatest strength. Our enemy desires to consume us, but we find strength to resist him when we are dependent upon God for His strength.

These verses bring me great comfort, as I daily prepare for the calling and task before me:

James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

When I saw Sadhu Sundar Singh in Europe, he had completed a tour around the world. People asked him, Doesn’t it do harm, your getting so much honor?” The Sadhu’s answer was: “No. The donkey went into Jerusalem, and they put garments on the ground before him. He was not proud. He knew it was not done to honor him, but for Jesus, who was sitting on his back. When people honor me, I know it is not me, but the Lord, who does the job.”

Corrie Ten Boom, Each New Day

In the quote, that prompted this article, I am reminded of this verse:

Psalm 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.

willing
There is, I believe, a day of God’s power, an unveiling of a masterpiece, whereby God Himself, sets in the public eye, a leader that He may have been preparing secretly, for many decades. For those of us in that divine development process, this verse should again bring comfort:

1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
integrity

In order to be a leader a man must have followers. And to have followers, a man must have their confidence. Hence the supreme quality of a leader is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, on a football field, in an army, or in an office. If a man’s associates find him guilty of phoniness, if they find that he lacks forthright integrity, he will fail. His teachings and actions must square with each other. The first great need, therefore, is integrity and high purpose.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bits & Pieces, September 15, 1994, p. 4

There is a set time, and appointed time for the release of our gift into the earth. Perhaps, like me, you clearly see that the time is close, and appears to be, NOW! Yet, despite the incredible vision God has given you, and the personal promises He has spoken to you, the time, is yet for an appointed time.

Habakkuk 2
King James Version (KJV)
2 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

faith
Daily, we seek Him, set upon our watch, listening carefully for what He might speak to us, carefully documenting and writing the vision, yet though we press for it in faith, it is for an appointed time, and there is nothing we can do to make it happen any quicker, so, if we are wise, we diligently prepare…

Ps 105:16 Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread.
17 He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:
18 Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:
19 Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.

The very promises of God, spoken to your heart, are testing and trying you.

You are not testing the word of God – it is testing you!
test ready
Notice this verse though. Before Joseph was brought from the prison to the palace, the Sovereign judgments of God were in the earth. Joseph was tried, trained, and prepared in the brutal circumstances of an Egyptian prison, yet the hardness worked a work in Joseph, causing him to become a strong leader, in what for Egypt, were some brutal times.

Brutal times are again coming to the earth, in many nations. I think of my years as a missionary, working underground in a mine, on boats, in the competitive field of triathlon, in construction.

There have been tough times, brutal people and circumstances, hard things that have happened.

Yet, over the decades, in places often far from the comforts of the familiar, of family, of friends, I have met Jesus, and walked with Him, daily now, for many, many years.

As much as I love my family, my church, my country, and now this country I am called to, I love Jesus more, and know Him….He has been totally faithful, no matter what people or circumstances have done to me…He is faithful to you too!

call1
Let’s pray:
‘Father, keep me focused upon my purpose, Your personal promises to me and my family. May I not become distracted, discouraged, dismayed as I stay in the press towards the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. May I lead, and develop as a servant leader, daily, determined to grow, develop, seek, hear, and walk in holiness, without compromise, flying straight and true, to the calling You have placed upon my life, in Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen!’

Living in the End Times!

Living in the End Times!

Living in the End Times….
Jesus is Lord!
Daniel 8:23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
I do not yet pretend to be an expert on end-time Bible prophecy, or eschatology. Yet, clearly these verses refer to the end-times, and clearly these are the times in which we live. So we see abortion legalized here in America, same-sex marriage legislated, and secret financial dealings of treachery against the United States, the land of the free, and home of the brave, the nation founded for and upon the gospel of Jesus Christ…Horrible things being done, proudly, foolishly in government, that clearly oppose the Scripture, and the One who upholds it!
Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Is 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Jesus is Lord! He is the Prince of princes!
There is the government of man, and the eternal government of heaven, that stands over the affairs of men, no matter how great they think they are:
Beltashazzar discovered this to his own peril, as Daniel explained to him:
Da 5:18 O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour:
Da 5:21 And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.
When the government of man opposes the government of God, and there is a church alive, active, in authority declaring the decrees of God, and the decrees of God are always upheld in heavens holiness, that man’s government, and the people seeking to implement it, are disposed, broken, and depending upon their heart before God, either humbled and reused, or forever removed from power and leadership.
For those of us in leadership, this should keep us humble, broken, teachable before the throne…
Da 7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
Jesus Christ is Lord, King over heaven and the earth.
Serve Him, and be blessed, both in this life, and eternally. Reject Him, and discover:
Lu 20:18 Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
I have fallen upon the rock, and been broken, and again am being raised up in his love and power, His servant to the nations…
How about you?
Let’s pray:
‘Father God, I bow before Your throne today, and stand upon Your Word. I would see Jesus today enthroned not only as king of my heart, but in my thoughts, deeds, and decrees. Today, I stand boldly declaring Your kingdom, in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit today, over my life, the life of my family, and over not only the United States of America, but also these nations you have given me to pray for today. I ask this, knowing I am heard, answered and delivered, for again I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!

Reigning through Humility!

Reigning through Humility!

Jesus has given us all things, as kings and priests, now, wash feet…

John 13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; Here we read of Jesus, about to go to the cross, and like Abraham, God has established His covenant with Him as a man, and He has now been given all things. And so God our Father, has done for you, and for me….

Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

We, who were lost, directionless, purposeless, sinners, have been redeemed, forgiven, adopted into His royal family, and granted position, power, prominence in heaven, in the kingdom.

1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: royal Now, we have been given authority over the earth, and its works of darkness…

Rev 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Priests pray and offer sacrifice. Kings rule and reign. .

Now, we are the sacrifice, our lives laid down in love, a sweet aroma before the throne of God…

1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Yet all of this comes only by faith, and this is a gift from God.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

So, we realize that faith is the currency of heaven, and we begin to allow the word to become flesh in us, and to develop our faith.

Suddenly, Abraham’s life becomes very interesting to us, because we discover that which God did, and promised Abraham, He, by covenant, is willing to do for us…

Abraham blessing

Gal 3:6 ¶ Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Abraham blessing walk

And, after all this wonderful study, we find ourselves back in the life of Abraham, studying what promises God made to Him.

Gen 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:

Do you see this?

In this verse, we see the covenant of God operating through Abraham, where everything he had, he had pledged to God.

Yet, in this verse we see the total committment of God to His part of the covenant.

Here we see that God had given Abraham, all of Himself, making Abraham, God’s covenant man, possesor of heaven and earth!

John 13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands,

Suddenly we see it!

We are covenant people, and all things in heaven and in earth, have been given to us!

Gen 14:20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. Yet, as great as these truths are, there is one far greater: Jesus is Lord! Jesus is Lord Apart from Him, we can do nothing.

And so we go…into all the world, our families, our neighbourhoods, our workplaces, and to the nations of the world, bringing His love, truth, power, miracles, ambassadors of grace, mercy, GOOD NEWS!

Matt 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Kings and priests, yes we are so: John 13:14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

OBEY HIM!

Jesus only did the will of our heavenly Father, and even as He was in His generation, so are we called to do in ours. His strength is made perfect in our weakness, and His power, that is His grace, is only given to the humble.

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
humble

As my pastor once said: ‘If you consistently humble yourself before God, then God will never have to humble you before men.

Let’s Pray: ‘Father, we are your children, sons and daughters of the most High! Thank you for redeeming us, restoring us, disciplining us, and sending us out into this world as kings and priests unto you, in Your power and authority. As we go, may we walk in complete obedience to You Holy Spirit, in humility, gentleness and wisdom before all men, seeking to serve, bless, love, and understand, even when we are mistreated, slandered, and misunderstood, that Your Kingdom might come, Your will might be done, in our lives and in the earth, that Jesus might receive the reward of His suffering, for the sake of His glory we go, Amen’

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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!