You are a Gift!

You are a Gift!

You are a gift!
Motivational Gifts
Romans 12:6-8
Amplified Bible (AMP)
6 Having gifts (faculties, talents, qualities) that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them: [He whose gift is] prophecy, [let him prophesy] according to the proportion of his faith;
7 [He whose gift is] practical service, let him give himself to serving; he who teaches, to his teaching;
8 He who exhorts (encourages), to his exhortation; he who contributes, let him do it in simplicity and liberality; he who gives aid and superintends, with zeal and singleness of mind; he who does acts of mercy, with genuine cheerfulness and joyful eagerness.

Romans 12:6-8
Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
These are our motivational gifts, the gifts given to each of us at birth, by God.
Back in the days of one of my discipleship processes (There have been four, and this is a new season again), we were required to work through questionnaires to determine our motivational gifts, and then to begin to work on each of them.
As I read through the book, ‘Turn the World Upside Down’, Discipling the Nations with the Seven Mountain Strategy by Micheal Maiden, he brings our a real simple review of these gifts, that I feel impressed to simply post these gifts here, because in these we discover not only why we are created the way we are, but also the areas of life that we are called to serve in.
I believe that we can grow in our gifting and callings, in fact I overheard a senior minister state at a staff meeting one time, in a ministry that is exploding all over the world, ‘If you are on staff here, you gotta grow, or you gotta go!’
Quoted from the book, here is an overview of the motivational gifts:

Prophecy (Percievers) have a natural discernment to see to the heart of an issue or a person’s motives, and the perceiver desires to reveal the truth.
Servants (ministers) are motivated by a desire to help, and they naturally see what needs to be done, expecially to aid others.
Teachers love to do research, study, discover new things, and enjoy communicating their knowledge to others.
Exhorters care for the spiritual needs of others by stimulating, building up, edifying, and cheering up.
Givers are gifted to make money. Money is their friend,giving money excites them, and they are careful with what they have.
Administrators (leaders) can see the bigger picture in a situation, make instant evaluations, and assign steps of action to solve problems.
People with the gift of Mercy are focused on the emotional needs of others, they are driven by compassion, love, mercy, and forgiveness.
While there are three types of gifts mentioned in the New Testament, the motivational gifts listed here, the gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:7-10, and the ascension gifts or leadership gifts that Jesus gave to build the church (five-fold ministry) found in Eph 4:11.
These motivational gifts often determine your life skills, and can determine what vocation in life we are called to, what areas of life to study, focus upon, and to work on developing, and what areas of the church we may be called to serve in.
There are various surveys that can help us discover what our gifts are, and areas we might focus in, I simply googled one up here: http://www.gifttest.org/survey.html
Knowing our gifts and areas of strength, and in recognizing those in others, can help us focus on what we are specifically created to do in this life, and enable us to recognize strong gifts operating in others, so that we can get along with others without completion, or misunderstanding.
If you have never done this, or done this with your congregation, business, or leadership team, results can be really helpful in team building, avoiding the old ‘trying to jam a square peg in a round hole’ problem.
Yet, as I was thinking about this, the Lord brought to my remembrance, a season of our live when we pioneered our first church.
We were asked for quarterly financial reports from our board members, and didn’t have a clue how to produce them.
Within a year, the administration of our ministry was a mess!
I remember the agony of wanting to do right, but not having a clue how!
The board eventually resigned (in hindsight, I can’t say I really blame them!), and we appointed two new board members.
Chris and Mary Fox served, and they did a missions trip up to our fledgling ministry, and stayed at our house with us. They were so kind, loving, encouraging, during a very, very difficult season in our life.
One morning after morning prayer, sister Mary said to me: ‘pastor Chris, may I ask you a question?’
‘Sure.’ I answered, ‘Anything!’
We had shown them our office, it’s piles of papers, and shared our frustration in our inability to manage well.
She gently asked: ‘Do you believe that God has called you here?’
Emphatically, I said , ‘Yes!’
Then she asked, ‘Do you believe you are called to be the senior pastor of this church?’
Again, I wearily smiled, ‘Yes, I do, because there sure doesn’t seem to be anyone else available to do it.’
She went on, ‘Well, I believe God called you here too. Now, if God called you here, then He must have given to you either a direct gift of administration, to manage this ministry, or sent someone to do it for you, can you not agree?’
I had never thought of it that way before, so I began to think about who in the congregation might be able to administrate the office work. I thought of a couple of competent people, but knew they were far too busy in their careers. I was stymied, I could not see an immediate solution.
She gently asked: ‘I believe that if God called you here, and this ministry needs administration, that that gift must be inside of you, waiting to be activated. Here is what I would like you to do: write this down: ‘By faith, I have a powerful gift of administration, and the administration of this ministry is done with excellence, ease, accuracy, and I am well able to set everything decently in order in every area of the church. Amen’
I wrote it down. So simple, yet so profound. Me, the faith preacher, had never thought of using my faith on the most obvious need in my life, clean administration.
It was clearly a word from the Lord, and I began to confess it, pray it, proclaim it, and I knew God heard and was going to do something.
One morning, during morning devotions, I saw it!
I scribbled down a set of seven office procedures that served us well for the next four years of our service there, and that when done, every Monday, made the administration a breeze, simple, and totally accurate and clean.
I called Revenue Canada at that time to ensure that what I proposed was correct and legal, and one of the senior tax auditors actually came out to the little community center where we met laughing. He asked ‘I have never received a call like this in 20 years! Are you asking me to audit your ministry?’ I said honestly: ‘Sir, if that is what it takes to ensure that our administration and handling of finances is correct and above board, then yes.” He probably still chuckles over it. Yet, he showed us how to correctly document everything so that tax returns and ministry submissions to the government we easy.
In fact, a couple of years later, a disgruntled pastor (used to be when you started a new church in a community, the devil would send principalities and powers to oppose the work, now he sends pastors! LOL!) thought to have our ministry audited by Revenue Canada (the Canadian equivalent of the IRS), and because we had sent a thank you into Peter for helping us, I still had his card, and called him up and asked him what to do.
He said, ‘Who sent you the letter?’
I read him the name off the bottom, and he chuckled again, and said: ‘They work for me. Fax me the letter, and that is the last you will ever hear from us.’
As honest ministers, we have favor, and friends in high, high places!
Let’s pray:
‘Father, please reveal to each of us, our motivational gifts, and the gifts of those You have called us to work with. Please help us to continue to develop our gifts, to continue to grow, and become all You would have us to become, 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!

Strong people, Forgive

Strong people, Forgive

Forgiveness wins, Love destroys Hate!
When the first missionaries came to Alberta, Canada, they were savagely opposed by a young chief of the Cree Indians named Maskepetoon. But he responded to the gospel and accepted Christ. Shortly afterward, a member of the Blackfoot tribe killed his father. Maskepetoon rode into the village where the murderer lived and demanded that he be brought before him. Confronting the guilty man, he said, “You have killed my father, so now you must be my father. You shall ride my best horse and wear my best clothes.” In utter amazement and remorse his enemy exclaimed, “My son, now you have killed me!” He meant, of course, that the hate in his own heart had been completely erased by the forgiveness and kindness of the Indian chief.
Jesus died to destroy all hatred, bitterness, and rage. Only when we choose to forgive, can we truly overcome evil with good
It is His command, if we want Him to forgive us…
Let’s Pray:
“Father, I choose to rise above all bitterness, and tragedy, by forgiving and loving my enemies. Not as a worm, or a victim, but in strength, for in You, I walk as a child of the Most High God, equal to all other men. Give me the courage and boldness this takes, in Jesus name, Amen.’

Qualifications for Ministry

Qualifications for Ministry

I read this some years ago, and as I stand against some wonderful symptoms in my body and my family, it made me chuckle this morning. Hope you like it! C

THE MINISTER

One of the toughest tasks a church faces is choosing a good minister.

A member of an official board undergoing this painful process finally lost
patience. He’d just witnessed the Pastoral Relations Committee reject
applicant after applicant for some minor fault – real or imagined. It was
time for a bit of soul-searching on the part of the committee. So he stood
up and read this letter purporting to be from another applicant.

Gentlemen: Understanding your pulpit is vacant, I should like to apply for
the position. I have many qualifications. I’ve been a preacher with much
success and also had some success as a writer. Some say I’m a good
organizer. I’ve been a leader most places I’ve been.

I’m over 50 years of age and have never preached in one place for more than three years. In some places, I have left town after my work caused riots and disturbances. I must admit I have been in jail three or four times, but not because of any real wrongdoing.

My health is not too good, though I still accomplish a great deal. The
churches I have preached in have been small, though located in several large
cities. I’ve not gotten along well with religious leaders in the towns where
I have preached. In fact, some have threatened me, and even attacked me
physically. I am not too good at keeping records. I have been known to
forget whom I have baptized. However, if you can use me, I promise to do my best for you.

The board member turned to the committee and said, “Well, what do you think?

Shall we call him?”

The good church folks were appalled! Consider a sickly, trouble-making,
absent-minded ex-jailbird? Was the board member crazy? Who signed the
application? Who had such colossal nerve?

The board member eyed them all keenly before he replied, “It’s signed, ‘The
Apostle Paul.’”

Why Should I Start a Bible School?

Why Should I Start a Bible School?.

Life in the Potters Hands…

Life in the Potters Hands...

The Potters House

Jer 18:1 ¶ The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
2 Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

I know, every time that someone hears the name ‘Potter’s House’ we think of the incredible bishop TD Jakes! As much as we love the bishop, we see here, that he received the name of his ministry, from the Word of God.
potter
Today, as I read through these passages, I had an interesting thought occur to me:

Could it be that as God desires to promote, increase, and use us more, that there can be times, where the vessel that we once were, must be destroyed, in order that something greater can be formed, more beautiful, bigger, more exquisitely designed, for a more noble purpose?

Hear the prayer of king David in his distress:

Ps 31:12 I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.

Sure sounds like our verse out of Jeremiah doesn’t it?
broken
The vessel was marred, so it was shattered, and remade into something greater….

Read through this psalm.

Could it be that this is exactly what God did here with David?

He was shattered in his sin and in his trial, yet after pouring out his heart to God, he ends by saying:

31:24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

He shall strengthen your heart….

Well, I am spiritual, but practical. I always look for purpose in any given process. Could it be, that when we find ourselves shattered at the feet of a Holy and loving God, that it was because the vessel, our heart, was marred, and God, who only wants good for our lives, and the lives of those we are called to serve, rebuilds us after each shattering, stronger, with larger capacity for Him, for service, for life….
broken vessel
As I go through life, I find there is often a process at work in my life.

Yes, from His love, joy, life, I get to serve my fellow man, and this is a privilege and honor.
Serve
Yet, I did not grow up in church, discipled under the Word of God, and the Bible is clear:

Ro 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

So, I do certain things, that seem good in my eyes.

Learned behaviors and actions learned in my family, in school, in the workplace, that seemed to work during the time I was in those circumstances, yet that have formed, in my soul, belief systems.

Where these belief systems are based upon the Word of God, they come in to the kingdom of God when I receive Jesus, and bear eternal fruit.

However, many, many of the things I have believed were not Scriptural, and therefore, have become ‘high things that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God’
cast
I cry out, year after year, for revival, to be pure in heart, to be holy in word and deed before God, and He answers….

Ro 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
diamond
How I walk with Him, and cry out for Him, will affect what kind of vessel I become.

1Th 4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

2Ti 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
instruments
I must purge myself with the Word of God. He will change me, as I cry out for it, but He does not give what is holy to the dogs…

So, I go into this hurting world, with the love of Jesus, proclaiming the gospel, yet humbly…

As I get to know people, I learn to listen, learn, and see God at work in their world and culture and sometimes, I find myself shattered.

breaks it
Usually, because I discover people so broken, that I have no way of helping them, other than the power of God, and this, is a good place to be in prayer…Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for to these, come the kingdom…

Yet, there is another kind of brokenness, the topic of this meditation. The one that God Himself brings, the one that comes, when He, in His infinite wisdom, love, and holiness, shatters us to recreate something more glorious, fit for the master’s use.

In construction we have basically three categories: commercial, residential, and remodel (which can be either commercial or residential).

Ps 11:3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

There is a saying in construction: ‘You can’t build on broken bricks.’

To build anything right, the foundation must be solid, level, and able to bear the load of whatever we plan to build upon it.

In any case, the dirt work must be done first, before a foundation can be laid:

1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
16 ¶ Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

So, we cry out to God, and we are moving in His gifts, His anointing, seeking Him daily, and are being transformed, into the likeness of Jesus.

Ro 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Then, for almost no apparent reason, we find ourselves shattered.

Construction has begun on our personal temple…
God builds
We thought we were in faith, and we were, but that very faith drove us into the heart of our holy God, and He, in His mercy, sees the very foundations of our belief system, our lies, our treacherous ways, our scheming, prideful, and fearful ways, and in His courts, we, the vessel, the temple of the Holy Spirit, is marred….

Yet, He loves us!

So, we are shattered.

In a remodel, the demolition comes first. The architect or builder has a plan for a greater structure that may include moving some load bearing walls, expansion requires greater foundation, and in comes the dirt crew again…

Dust, dirt, workmen, and noise, shatter our serenity, but God Himself is at work, making a temple that will survive the fire!

Smash! And we realize we were terrified of certain things, until His perfect love appears and destroys our deepest fear!

Crash! We realize that we have believed lies. That perhaps mom and dad were wrong on some things. That everything we learned in school was not all true.

Bam! Suddenly abortion is no longer a personal choice, but murder before God. Evolution, so carefully learned in our hearts and minds, meets the Creator of all life, and bam, this idol falls.

Situational ethics, meet the rock solid standards of the Word, and our lying, manipulative, sneaky ways, become purity of heart, a clear conscious, an eye that is single, a confidence and boldness that is unshakable. We can look anyone in the eye, for we have nothing to hide…

And gently, the master potter, places us again on the wheel, wet, pliable, formable, and a new vessel is formed….

His loving hands make again, a thing of beauty!

“But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)
potter Isaiah
His hands are gentle….

2Sa 22:36 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great.

This is my life these days.

I have been from rags to riches, to brokenness again, yet I know the potter, and embrace the wheel, for what comes off the wheel, will face the fire, and come forth unmarred, strong, and fit for the master’s use…

It’s all about harvest; God is making me, and many of you, into threshing instruments, vessels of honor that will contain His glory, power, and anointing necessary to reap this generation…
Harvest1
Let’s pray:
“Father, I know you. Each time and season you purge me, move from faith to faith, strength to strength, and glory to glory. Thank you for purging, breaking, and reforming me, more like Jesus, that you can entrust to me more responsibility, wisdom, strength, and grace to reach this generation. Please do not hold back! Make me all I need to be! In Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen.”

Confounders of the Wise – Being Purified!

Confounders of the Wise

(1 Cor 1:27 NIV) But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

(1 Cor 1:28 NIV) He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are,

The computer gives me these verses in the New International Version of the Bible, but I like the way they read in the King James Version:

(1Cor 1:27 KJV) But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are nought, to bring to not the things that are.

gandalf1

I like the way the Message Bible says this verse.

“Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks, exploits, and abuses chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything we have-right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start-comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That is why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.””

trumpet

In my addiction, I was a fool. I would lie to my parents about where I was going, and what I was doing, and what I was spending my allowance on so that I could go and get high with my friends. At these parties, there were fights; people were involved in sexual depravity. The people who were my so-called friends would sell me out for the next drug deal. I was a fool, and to be honest, when you were not actively serving God, so were you. You would lie to cover yourself, and rationalize your behavior to avoid being honest with yourself and God, avoiding the cross and the truth and the mercy of God that sets us free. We were fools.
fool
Funny thing about life is this. When I initially wrote these words, 15 years ago, I had not yet been exposed to a different culture: the ‘up and outers’..People that have accumulated wealth, assets, and stuff, yet as I have entered their homes, I have met all kinds of irregular behaviors: Pride, homosexuality, materialism, drug addictions (with drugs now supplied by ‘friendly’ doctors, alcoholism, and the long train of broken relationships, divorces, child custody battles, and the whole ‘keep up with the community’ scene. People who have money, but who, in the privacy of their own homes, are just as broken, and messed up, as we used to be partying on the weekends in high school.

jones
As I have seen this scene, I am even more convinced that Jesus is the only answer for the human heart:Only He, can give peace, dignity, honor, and joy in the journey..If we walk with Him, money can have purpose, and be a blessing to many, without Him, all money does is make more of me.

If ‘me’ likes video games, money gets ‘me’ more games. If ‘me’ likes women, then ‘me’ wines and dines more ladies. If ‘me’ likes cars, ‘me’ gets more fancy automobiles, and so it goes with houses, electronics, boats, planes, etc.

Yet, if ‘me’ loves Jesus, and is surrendered to Him, money means more churches, orphanages, missionaries being sent, children’s programs, great gospel crusades, food to the hungry, water wells drilled, children going to school, and truly one discovers that it really is more blessed to give than to receive…as one by one, like the leper who came back to Jesus, people in the kingdom, come back to say, ‘Thank-you!’, and joy becomes full!

money world

(2 Tim 2:20 NIV) In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble.

(2 Tim 2:21 NIV) If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

(2 Tim 2:22 NIV) Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

(2 Tim 2:23 NIV) Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.

(2 Tim 2:24 NIV) And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

(2 Tim 2:25 NIV) Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,

(2 Tim 2:26 NIV) and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
vessal

Where do you think all these temptations come from? God? Do you think God is schizophrenic? Holy, Pure, kind, and loving one minute, then tempting you to do the things that will destroy you?

(James 1:13 NIV) When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;

(James 1:14 NIV) but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.

(James 1:15 NIV) Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

(James 1:16 NIV) Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers.

No! God is a good God. He loves you, and can never lead you into evil. It is Satan who puts the thoughts in your mind, reminding you of the pleasure your sin will bring you. Let’s get real here can we. If sin was no fun, no one would bother. Saw a plaque on a wall one time made me laugh, that read: ‘The trouble with trouble is that it started out as fun!’ No, the Bible is clear, there is pleasure in sin for a season. Yet, it always pays the same – death. It is designed to separate you from Him who is life, and while your flesh is laughing with the fools and God haters, your conscience is screaming No! Don’t do this, the Holy Spirit grieving within you. Think about it.

Well, the Bible is good news. And who you are will affect what you do. As you begin to see yourself as God sees you, you will change, for you are designers original, a work of art, created by the Author of all life for divine destiny in Him alone. He is still inscribing the wonder of your life against the backdrop of eternity. After a diamond is cut and polished, it is small, like a piece of glass lying on a desk, insignificant. Yet, if you take that same gemstone, set it in brilliant gold, mount it upon black velvet, and shine a light upon it to accent it’s many glorious hues and iridescent luster, it shows both the beauty of its creative forces, and the exquisite excellence of the master gem cutters hand. That is where the grace of God shines best, against the backdrop of sin, for where sin abounds, grace does much more abound.

So it is God who gave your life. Like a piece of coal are each of us without Him.

Except a person be born again, we cannot even see the kingdom of God. Yet, is it not written?

(Isa 48:10 NIV) See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
(Isa 48:11 NIV) For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.

In the fiery furnace of heat and pressure formed as our sin creates incredible pressures and heat in this life, this blackened piece of coal that is our life either burns up, or comes to Jesus, is born again that raw uncut diamond.

Now a new fire is applied to our lives, the fire of God’s love. The revelation of His holiness, the application of His word slicing through our dross, and cutting away those things that dishonour Him. Now the gem becomes cut, to reveal the beauty within.

(Isa 53:2 NIV) He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

So it is with us. God Himself has come to live within us. Outwardly, we may look unfinished, but He is working. Even if our life appears to be remnants on the cutting room floor, the gem remains for (Phil 1:6 NIV) we can be confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

So now we decide the price of the gem, for each of us was formed perfect in our raw uncut state. What will our life become? One of heartbreak and failure and compromise, or will we, like the apostle Paul, abandon all and say, “(Phil 3:14 NIV) I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

It’s a choice only you can make. Your husband, wife, or family cannot make it for you. No, eternal rank, glory, positions are at stake, and these are the most precious things one could ever desire. Great heat and pressure made the clump of coal a beautiful gem.God knows this, and so He allows us to pursue Him, for those things that will never be taken away for us. Our lives, gems in His hand with a weird twist. He allows us to determine the eternal value we might hold. We are vessels that reflect His glory.

diamond

(2 Tim 2:20 NIV) In a large house, there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble.

(2 Tim 2:21 NIV) If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

Notice that we are to come willingly to the word, and let the master gem cutter cut and shape us for His glory,

(2 Cor 4:16 NIV) Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

(2 Cor 4:17 NIV) For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory, that far outweighs them all.

(2 Cor 4:18 NIV) So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

As we focus on Him who is yet unseen, we discover that He is the pearl of great price, and He is altogether lovely, the fairest of ten thousand, the lily of the valley, the bright and morning star. As we do this, and the wonder and the awe of these truths become alive in us, we discover that something is happening to us as we behold Him, (2 Cor 3:18 NIV) And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

transformed

This glorious transformation has been wrought in others before us. Charles Finney, the great revivalist would simply enter a town, and the glory of God upon his life would cause sinners to fall upon their faces groaning and weeping before God, crying out for mercy. Entire towns shut down all business upon his arrival.

Smith Wigglesworth, after prayer, came out of a restroom on a public train. Onlookers beheld his face as it were, like an angel, and an entire train car found themselves weeping, crying out to God for mercy for their sins.

In the ministry of Kathryn Kuhlman, the great healing evangelist and woman of God, it is recorded how she was escorted into a hotel conference room via the kitchen. The hotel staff was immediately overcome with the presence of God, and fell out unconscious under the power of God.

I personally have experienced moments with majesty in meetings with some who still walk the earth today.

In 1994, in Anaheim California, at the World convention for FGBMI, Benny Hinn ministered the anointing of God to us. The crowd threatened to storm the stage, and surged forward. Suddenly, a power emanated from him that swept through the crowd, leaving thousands unable to stand. I shall never forget the picture burned in my spirit of him, standing alone on the platform, as power emanated from him. It was tangible, electric, and terrifying.

Like John the revelator who penned the words Rev 1:17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.

Or in Toronto Canada in Rodney Howard Browns meeting where a holy hush fell upon us. Several ministers were thrown from their seats to lie prostrate in the isle, jerking, groaning. No one could move to help them, the fear of God was in that place.

Or in my youthful exuberance hugging brother Hagin while attending Rhema, and leaving the embrace suddenly aware of my sin, and the depth of depravity in my soul, and going home to weep before God, until I knew the cleansing power of His blood afresh and anew. It was like being born-again all over again.

What is Biblical humility? Not groveling around like a worm in the dirt but rather consider this:

Phillip Brooks made an apt comment when he said, “The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is.”
quoted in Burning out for God, E. Skoglund, p. 11.

Mal 3:17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

Isa 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

jewels2

You are a jewel in the hand of Jesus, allow Him to cut, polish, refine and finish you, for His glory.

Let’s Pray:
Father, I see your call to consecration, and purpose to walk in it. You have seen my pain and heartbreak, yet I have come to you, and you have accepted me. Give me wisdom to do your will in all of my daily affairs, and may I never compromise in the high calling you have set upon my life. Refine me Father, restore my soul, and cleanse my mind from the filth my sin has left there. Purify and make me holy practically, as I know you have done for me positionally in Christ. Amen

Today, God wants to touch you afresh.

Rev 2:13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.
15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!
16 So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.
20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.
22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Spiritually, you may be poor, naked, blind, and self-deceived.

Here’s the wonderful part of this teaching I want to get across to you.

(1 Sam 2:8 NIV) He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. “For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s; upon them he has set the world.

God wants to touch you today with His presence. To fan the flames of your fire. He would impart to you fresh fire from heaven, passion, zeal, and strength to run the race.

As a child of the king, you have access to the very throne of God. The second you accept Jesus, God seeks to begin training you for reigning, lessons of servanthood, humility, and obedience to both His Word and His Spirit that educate you for eternity. It is so much easier to learn them here, in this life. Why go through this earthly existence as a pauper, with one foot in the kingdom of God, and the other in the world. No, why not sell out for God now, pursue Him with passion in this life?

“Holiness does not consist in mystic speculations, enthusiastic fervours, or uncommanded austerities; it consists in thinking as God things, and willing as God wills.”
John Brown, Nineteenth-century Scottish theologian, quoted in J. Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness, p. 51.

Today I’m going to have an old fashioned alter call,on-line. We are going to turn this place into holy ground. A place where you can meet God. I am anointed today to stir you into the high call upon your life. You need to respond to God today. Perhaps you need a fresh touch from heaven today. There is not time or distance in the Holy Spirit, Receive it: NOW!

When you are able, email me your testimony!

The Press and the Process

The Press!

pressed

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

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

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

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

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

press

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

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

Has it been brutal? Yes!

Has it been rewarding?

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

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

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

prosperity harvest

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

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

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

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

faith

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

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

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

I understand the heart of Paul, when he exclaimed…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

courage Jesus

These keep me going, like Joseph:

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

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

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

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

courage2

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

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

Passionate love is worth the pursuit….

God is love….

Let’s pray:

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