Bring Back the Cross!

Bring Back the Cross!

Bring Back the Cross!

Today, as we go through our yearly Bible reading, these simple words jumped off the page at me, ‘WHICH ARE IN CHRIST JESUS!’ coupled with the thought: BRING BACK THE CROSS!

It seems as I endeavor to be fully led by the Holy Spirit, fully, daily, each new season of life and ministry, requires a fresh trip to the cross, where another alter is raised up to Jesus in the sacred depths of my heart, where the fire of His holiness, meets the idol of my self-will…and again I consecrate, and become that living sacrifice to Jesus this generation needs…

Let’s take a look together:

Rom 8:1 ¶ There is therefore now no condemnation to them WHICH ARE IN CHRIST JESUS, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

There are no crown-wearers in heaven who were not cross- bearers here below.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Today, as I find myself surrounded by good people who struggle with grief in the loss of loved ones, guilt and shame over things they have done, trauma and torment over atrocities they have seen or committed, I weep, knowing the freedom that can only come at the cross of Jesus Christ. Counseling, medicine, even great churches and the comfort and love of family and great Christians, cannot replace the horror of the cross of Jesus. Here, and only here, when an individual, personally admits to God, their crimes, hurts, frustrations, losses, heartbreaks, and deepest sickest secrets, does the divine exchange occur. He forgives, and removes the burden, heals the broken heart, delivers a sin sick soul from torment.

cross ray

Only, at the cross…

We need men of the cross, with the message of the cross, bearing the marks of the cross.

Vance Havner

There is no other way. Human counsel only goes so far…

There are sacred secrets to be told to God, and God alone. Pains too deep for human consolation, healing and forgiveness granted, only at the foot of the cross of Jesus.

At the Cross, His blood flowed freely, and it provides an atonement, a healing, a cleansing from our sin, sickness and pain.

cross cry

Heb 9: 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Under the law, in the holiness of God, there was only one punishment: death!

An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life…

Yet, even under the law, God allowed certain substitutions to occur. Instead of us bearing the punishment for our crimes, we could offer the life of an animal, as an atonement, a guilt offering, it’s blood shed in our place, to cover our transgression.

Yet, there are things in the earth that no animal blood can cover. Murder, rape, treachery, betrayals of sacred trusts, perversions of the worst kind, innocent blood shed at our hands…

The blood of animals could cover our sin, but never erase it. Our conscience, our memories deep inside, still ate at us with guilt.

This is the torment of the mother who aborted her child, flashbacks, guilt, depression, because as Mother Theresa said: Abortion is the only crime that takes two lives, the life of the child, and the heart of the mother. There is only place to find peace, when, in truth, we face the horror of what we have done, and we cry out to God, and ask Him to forgive us for taking the life of our child. Then, we discover the horror of the cross, become the object of our deliverance, and the divine exchange occurs. His blood, ever alive before the throne of God, reaches into the deepest part of us, and He washes us clean, taking our guilt, shame, depression, grief, pain, and exchanging it for His love, acceptance, forgiveness, and blessed peace that passes all understanding

Works the same for the veterans I have counseled, diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/11/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-jesus-heals/)

victory-in-the-cross

The panic attacks, the explosive fits of rage, the nightmares, the flashbacks, tormenting beyond what words can express, in response to horrors performed or witnessed in the heat of battle. You can counsel, medicate, perform therapy, but at the cross, God reaches into the deepest part of a man, and recreates him, free from it all.

What about the victim of sexual abuse? Whether the victim or perpetrator, things performed in the secrecy of darkness, sick secrets that continue to haunt, torment, seduce, arouse…Can there be freedom from this uncleaness?
Only at the cross…

It has been said, that we are only as sick as our secrets…

Tell Him about it today. Give it all to Him. Allow Him into your deepest pain, your sickest secrets, pour out your heart to Him. He knows anyway, He saw it all…and He loves you anyway, longing to forgive you!

Michah 7:18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy

He will meet you there….

Time will not heal all wounds, but Jesus can, and will, at the cross.

Stop the dances with denial, deception and devils today, by embracing the blood He shed for you, personally, on the altar of ultimate sacrifice, His cross.

cross1

Listen to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbuDlbx-_Ng

Let’s pray:

Father God, Creator of Heaven and earth, God Almighty: You know, You understand, You see, and You saw all that I saw, I did, and that was done to me. Forgive me! I choose to forgive those who did such evil against me, but only You can handle my rage, my pain, at the injustice of it all. Take it! I give it to You. It is too much for me, so I lay it all down at the cross. Replace my loss, with Yourself. Fill my heart with Your peace, Your presence, Your grace, and bring me peace, heal me, give me something to give back to this hurting world. I’m done running, but choose to allow Your to lead me, guide me, and use me as an instrument of Your blessing, honor, and glory in the earth, in this generation. I give it all to You Lord Jesus, knowing You hear, care, and love me, AMEN!

Victory Daily Bible Reading

Victory Daily Bible Reading

Feb 20th, 2014

Acts 20:20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you…
There are times we need to say and teach somethings to people that are at best, politically incorrect. If we love them, we will give them the whole counsel of God, all that is profitable for them…Speak the truth in love today!

Acts 23 and Ex 11, 12 are today’s readings!

Listen here: http://easterlingtribe.com/audiobible

Get the whole year schedule, here: https://www.victory.com/assets/v6/resources/brp/BibleReadingPlan.pdf

Do you know Jesus?
Each day, we seek first the kingdom of God, and this post is designed to encourage you to read through your Bible, daily, each year.
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Joh 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Each day, as we read, we must meet with Him, for He is life!

Knowing Him, is the difference between heaven and hell, healing and sickness, heartbreak or peace, success or failure…

Today, give Him your life, for He is King of the universe.

Ac 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Call on Him today! He loves you!

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

Let’s pray!
“Father God in heaven, I come to you now, and ask that You would forgive me. I choose to believe, that You raised Jesus from the dead, and Lord Jesus, I receive You now. Please come into my life, and fill me with Your presence, plan, and purpose, that I am created to live. Fill me with Your love, and may I obey, and love all those You place in my path, Amen.’

Sacred Council Fire

Sacred Council Fire

Sacred Fire….

Before the removal of the Cherokees (The trail of tears) there was heated debate in Congress. Senator Edward Everett of Massachusetts fought against the removal of the Cherokees, holding the house in session for two whole days, speaking on Cherokee affairs, sometimes with effective irony, On Feb 21st, 1831 he said:

‘Here, at the center of the nation, beneath the portals of the Capitol, let us solemnly auspicate the new era of violated promises, and tarnished faith. Let us kindle a grand council fire, not of treaties made and ratified, but of treaties annulled and broken. Let us send to our archives for the worthless parchments, and burn them in the face of day. There will be some yearnings of humanity as we perform this solemn act. They were negotiated for valuable considerations; we keep the considerations, and break the bond. One gave peace to our afflicted frontier, another protected our infant settlements; nearly all were at our earnest request. Many were negotiated under the instructions of Washington, of Adams, and of Jefferson-the fathers of our liberty. They are gone, and will not witness the spectacle; but our present Chief magistrate, as he lays them, one by one, on the fire, will see his own name subscribed to a goodly number of them. Sir, they ought to be destroyed as a warning to the Indians to make them no more compacts with us.’

John Ridge (Cherokee) and one of his colleagues sat in the gallery of the House and were deeply moved by Everett’s sonorous words reverberating through the chamber. ‘I happened to be a spectator of this debate,’ wrote the correspondent for The New York Observer. On the second day, towards the close of the long speech, he found it hard to “shield his heart” against the “subduing power” of Everett’s words. “Two of the Cherokees stood immediately behind me and over me. In the midst of Mr. Everett’s peroration, I thought I heard something like a drop of rain fall upon…my cloak, near my ear. I looked up, and the head of one of these Cherokees had fallen upon his hand, and he was endeavoring to conceal his tears.”
Excerpt from the book – The Cherokee Tragedy, – Thurmans Wilkins, p 220,221

The rest of this is history. President Andrew Jackson pressed the vote, overruled the Supreme Court decision upholding the Cherokee treaty rights to their lands against the state of Georgia, and the vote was carried against them, BY ONE VOTE. Sending the Cherokees upon the ‘trail of tears’ where 4600 died in transit, an eternal disgrace upon this nation.

I have more to say on this, how these very broken covenants between the US government and the various host peoples of this land we call the United States of America, are the main contributing factor to the problems we currently face as a nation. God Himself, has heard and seen the plight of the various Indian tribes that have been mistreated by this government, and treacherous white men. As a white man living here, I have wept, until I thought I could weep no more, in prayer before the throne of God, for the plight of the North American Indian. God has heard, and answered, and is moving to bring healing, conviction of sin, and cleansing of this land, as we humble ourselves before Him, in earnest, heartfelt prayer. He will visit the red nations of this land, with power, signs, wonders, and miracles, and as He does, there is a movement in this nation, that I see, and call: RED MAN RISING!’

Let’s pray:

‘Father God, Creator, Great One, The Grand Father of us all, we come to You, asking that You, Yourself heal our hearts, rebuild, recreate that which has been destroyed, shattered, by treacherous people, who know You not. Forgive them Creator, have mercy. Forgive us, and heal our hearts, and make us strong again, in the place where no man can see, the deepest part of us. We come to You, knowing we are heard and answered, for we come in Your name Lord Jesus, Yeshua, Amen’

For more understanding, please read:

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/the-first-nations-mandate/

https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/racial-ethnic-and-womens-ministries/gender-and-racial-justice-ministries/doctrine-of-discovery/

Recreate Me – A Prayer for Deep Sleeps – Make Me Holy!

Recreate Me - A Prayer for Deep Sleeps

A Prayer for Deep Sleep, and Divine Surgery!
Ps 4-8 sleep

Recreate Me!

Ps 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,

A prayer:
‘Father, I see deep inside myself, raging passions, and deep insecurities, even after all of these years of walking with You. I know, that quietly soaking in your presence Holy Spirit, and meditating upon Your Word, will eliminate these, but the harvest is great, and the time is short. I am asking You, that even as you caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam, that You might perform surgery upon Him, that You would do this in me. Cause deep sleeps to come upon me, and perform Your works. Remove from my soul, my fears, my pain, my motives, that are contrary to You and Your Word, that I might fully become the instrument of redemption I am created to be. Where I have been damaged by my sin, and the sin of others, deep within my soul, reach in and recreate me, every whit whole….’ I ask, knowing I am heard, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen’

Honesty can hurt!

Honesty can hurt!

The Pain of Honesty
Job 6:24-25
New International Version (NIV)
24 “Teach me, and I will be quiet;
show me where I have been wrong.
25 How painful are honest words!
But what do your arguments prove?
True friends, tell each other the truth.
Pr 27:5 Open rebuke is better than secret love.
Perhaps, there are people in our lives, that we need to have a ‘heart to heart’ talk with. No matter how painful, people of honor respect truth, sincerity, and honesty, and however painful the discussion might be, true friends, will tell each other the truth!
Let’s pray:
‘Father, help me know when to speak, and when to pray for my friends. Give me tenderness, courage, and wisdom to be able to speak the truth in love, to those I must reach, no matter how difficult. Help me Jesus I pray, Amen.’

Truth!

Truth!

No Matter How Much It Hurts, Refuse to Deny What He Told You!
Job 6:10
New International Version (NIV)
10 Then I would still have this consolation—
my joy in unrelenting pain—
that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.
No matter what you are going through, truth is non-negotiable…
Let’s pray:
Father, as we read through the life of Job, may You give us understanding, to live for you, and to stand uncompromisingly for truth! In Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

Hearing the Voice of God

Hearing the Voice of God

You haven’t lived, until you have fully committed to live by the voice of the living God!

While at church some time ago, at Victory.com, Pastor Sharon spoke on ‘Hearing the Voice of God’. It was excellent, and Holy Spirit did speak to me several critical things I needed to hear. He will speak to you too. Last year, I wrote up the basics of this teaching, and felt impressed, to edit, add, and repost it for you, fully trusting that God will again speak clearly to you about your life and future.

Matt 4 :4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

bread
So many can quote this verse, but if you ask them when the last time they authentically, positively heard the voice of God Almighty in their lives, they cannot be sure.

They have a mixture of Scripture, tradition, emotions, and their own interpretations of all of that, that they can tell you about for hours, but very, very few can honestly say: “God said to me…” and then quote the clear mandate of God for their lives, with absolute accuracy.

How well I have struggled in this!

Gone to God in fervent prayer, and heard Him speak something profound, then did one of several things with what He said:
1. Ran out and tried to obey what He said, with zeal and passion, without asking Him about the mechanics of His instruction, things like: When? How? With who? Where is the provision for it?
2. Applied my own interpretation to what He said. A perfect example of this was the time He clearly spoke to me to go to Rwanda and preach. Next day, Victory announced that they were doing a missions trip to Rwanda, so in faith, I signed up, and sent out support letters, and guess what? Needed $3500, and only $2000 came in for the trip. Missed the deadline, and it looked like I had missed God. Still remember the day of the deadline when the trip organizer called and asked me if I had the money for the trip. When I said ‘no’, he announced, well, ‘I guess you are off the trip then’. I was emotionally devastated, and went to the Lord in anguished prayer, getting what seemed like no answers. Then the businessman in me kicked in a couple of days, and I call the organizer back and asked, ‘Hey! What about the $2000.00 I gave you?” He replied that since it was a dedicated offering for that trip, I had three choices:
1. I could sow it to the ministry to help with crusade expenses.
2. I could donate it to another team member who was already going.
3. I could apply it to another missions trip at another date.
I prayed about it, and felt impressed to give it to a couple on the team who were not just going on the trip, but who were staying for the entire year.
I felt impressed to pray for this couple daily, and we became friends on Facebook. About a year later, I was doing a remodel on a client’s house, and they received a significant savings on some materials we purchased, on a project I was managing for them. The client, a man of God, when he found out about the $12,000 savings said: ‘I need to find a missionary, going someplace!” As God would have it, that morning, I had received a Facebook message from the Rwandan missionary, inviting me to come to Rwanda, and speak in one of the two Victory Bible schools there. So I said to the client: ‘Well, I was just invited to go preach in Rwanda, this morning’, and the conversation went like this: ‘Wasn’t that the country that had genocide, where all those people got killed with machetes?’ “Yes,” I replied,” You gonna go?” “By faith,” I answered, “Good answer, ever been to Africa before?” “Nope”. “What does your wife think about all of that?”” Oh, I’m sure she would be thrilled”,I replied,( spoken sarcastically.) Suddenly, the client stopped, and looked at me with deep wisdom and understanding, and said: ‘I think that will be a good experience for you, tell you what, you fly, I’ll buy!”

travel

And it got done. Raised $6000 in about a week, the client paid the air fare, and off I went for 2-1/2 weeks to Rwanda, speaking 2-5 times a day. Got to bless Rwanda, and God richly blessed me, and turned loose the fire of God in my life, that has never stopped or become quenched since that trip.
So you see, I had authentically heard the voice of God, but I interpreted His timing and application of what He said, my way, not His.

I heard a minister say, in pastoring a congregation filled with prophetic people, all at various levels of personal growth in their character that errors in hearing the voice of God usually are not from incorrectly hearing what God said (people generally, actually hear, clearly), but are generally in the areas of interpretation, and application.

3. The third problem in hearing the voice of God, is when we have heard another voice, and made a mess of things. These other voices only come from two other places, human or demonic. I deliberately left out angels, because although they speak to people too, they only speak the Word of God; hearing from an angel, with an authentic message from God, is equivalent to hearing directly from God.

obey hear voice
Let’s look briefly at the other two sources of voices:

Human
a. 1Co 14:10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.
Pr 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
It is good to hear from godly counsel, but no matter how great the counsel of men is, the counsel of God is always greater. It is always better to obey God than men. Much has been said regarding hearing direction from God through the voices of people, but wisdom is this:
Generally, if someone speaks to you by the Spirit of God, it should be something that God has already spoken to you, confirming what you are to do. There is much written about this, but it comes down to this: Hear from God, present it to people, and listen to their response, but before you pursue any serious decision, take the counsel of people to the Lord, to hear ultimately what He says!

voice today
Heard a preacher say: Every godly relationship is only destroyed by a third voice.
Joseph authentically heard God, but telling his brothers got him thrown down a well, almost killed, and then sold into slavery.

We need to know who we can share things with, and when and where it is appropriate.
So many times, God speaks, and then other people give their opinions, or interpretations about what they think you ought to do. Probably, what God has told you to do, involves other people, (and if it is a God sized mandate, it is huge, and will involve other leaders). We may be called to work with other leaders, but sometimes, the other leaders or people authentically called to walk with us in our mandate, meet the carnal nature of ungodly counsel.

Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,

Sure the devil is the accuser of the brethren, but people too, can have carnal natures. The ABC’s of satan, are accusation, blame, and criticism, but he can also work through slander and insinuation, to deliberately discredit you, in the eyes of people called to your vision.
Presently, I am watching several, potentially wonderful relationships being destroyed, through the venom, and toxic slander of certain people against us, that have swayed some people of God, over into offense, bitterness, and hardness of heart.

Slithering serpantlike behavior, designed to assassinate the character of people, that are threats to the status quo. Ugly, yea, even among Christians…

gossip slither
We, as people of God, need to consider the source and motive of all counsel, even that which appears godly, with the Word of God, and the voice of Holy Spirit to our own hearts.

I have greatly erred in this in the past years, in sharing inappropriately, secrets from God, with the wrong people. Caused me an incredible amount of personal pain, and brought trouble to the church and ministry that I love with all of my heart, in fact, am willing to spend the rest of my life serving. Surely God is merciful, but I pray I become more like Mary, with deeper truths shown to me:

Luke 2:19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Hindsight is said to be 20/20, and I have hurt some people that I love deeply, by inappropriately sharing some of the things God showed me, with the wrong people. Love covers a multitude of sins, and I have asked God to forgive me, now, I pray that the people I have hurt will forgive me also. Human hearts are precious things, easily broken….

broken hearted

Yes, I am a bold preacher, but in intimate close relationships, I want to be like Jesus and God our Father.

David could talk to God about anything, and he said:
2 Samuel 22:36
“You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your gentleness has made me great.

I hope, in my zeal, passion, and pain, that I have not destroyed some of the very things that I am called to build…

Then there is the Demonic:

test deception

Demonic deception is dangerous, insidious, and much to be guarded against by:
Confronting any voices you are hearing in the spirit, by the Scriptural test:
1Jo 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
4 ¶ Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
If a spirit is speaking to you, that sounds like the Holy Spirit, command it to say: ‘Jesus Christ has come in the flesh!”
I have heard demons say: ‘Jesus is God’ or ‘Jesus is the Son of the most High God’ with great emphasis and drama, but they cannot confess that ‘Jesus Christ has come in the flesh’, only Holy Spirit or one of God’s holy angels can say those words, according to the Word of God.

YOU MUST DO THIS TO WALK WITH GOD!

1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

Here is a couple of articles on this: https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/test-the-spirits-love-truth/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/love-truth-best-protection-for-these-last-days/
The earth is full of messed up Christians, denominations, cults, and divisive doctrines who all claim to have heard God, yet the fruit of their revelation is evil, and a mess!

Jesus said that Matt 7: 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

narrow3
15 ¶ Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits.
Be a fruit inspector, if a persons life and teaching do not line up with the fruit of the Holy Spirit described in Gal 5:22, then refuse to listen to, or follow them. For leaders, read 1 Tim 3:1-7, as a character qualification in their lives. If that is not in place, do not submit to them.
I remember Kenneth E Hagin instructing us regarding spiritual warfare, and our authority over the devil.
‘Do not try to fight the devil in the realm of reason, the mental realm. He has been deceiving people for thousands of years. If you fight him there, you can lose. If you hold him in the arena of faith though, you win every time!.’

world
1 John 5:4
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

Many great books are written on being led by the Spirit and Word of God, keep reading them, and above all, stay in the Word of God, and 2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Hear God, confirm what you are hearing in the Scripture, and then seek Him for wisdom how best to accomplish that what He told you do. Hear godly counsel, then take to prayer and the Word, their advice. Then in passion, zeal, and fire, step out and obey, expecting signs, wonders, and miracles to make a way for you to do that which He has authentically commissioned you to do. Refuse to yield to paralysis by analysis, and GO!

go_t1345056048
Let’s Pray:
‘Father, I thank you for speaking to me today, confirming that which you have created me to do, showing me things to come. I believe you will send the right people to confirm to me, or educate me on the mechanics of what you want done, and to protect me from demonic assignments designed to distract or destroy me or your people in any way. Holy Spirit reveal any lies I have heard or believed, and set me free from their deception, in your name I pray, Lord Jesus, my way, and my truth! Amen’

Heal our Land!

Heal our Landlionlamb7alionofjudahHeal our Land!

Heal our Land!

Read Ezekiel 34, true and false Shepherds
Creation is affected by Godly leadership.
Ever see the children’s movie, ‘The Lion King?’ There are many spiritual allegories there, but the one I wish to bring out presently, is how the land mourns, and is in famine, under Scar, the wicked, usurping unappointed king, come to the throne through treachery and deceit.
Ezekial 34:24b (The Voice)
I, the Eternal One, have spoken.
25 I will establish a covenant of peace with them and drive away all the dangerous wild animals from the land. Then they will be able to live safely in the wilderness and sleep soundly in the forests. 26 I will make them and the area around My holy hill a blessing. At My direction, there will be plenty of rainfall when it is needed. There will be showers of blessing! 27 The trees of the fields and orchards will bear abundant fruit, the soil of the fields will produce ample crops, and My people will rest securely within their land. They will know that I am the Eternal when I destroy the dominion of their oppressors and liberate them from those who made them slaves. 28 Foreign powers won’t ravage them anymore, and wild beasts will no longer feast on their flesh. They’ll be safe and free and fearless. 29 I will make their land famous for its beauty and productivity. Never again will famine strike their land. Never again will other nations sneer at them. 30 They will know that I, the Eternal One their God, am on their side and that they, the people of Israel, are My people.
After God declares His opposition to the shepherd-rulers who neglected and exploited their human flock, God pledges to get involved personally. He will search for the lost sheep, return the strays, and care for them tenderly back in the beautiful land of Israel, the land of promise.
But in God’s human flock are trouble and competition. Even as God lovingly supplies His flock with plenty of good food, clear water, and pleasant pastures, some trample what they can’t control and foul what they can’t consume. Some bully and push their weight around, while others move aside or run for the hills. Again God sees the problem and promises to step in, personally, to rescue His hassled people and put an end to injustice. So God promises to send another shepherd-ruler, in the spirit of King David, who will love and care for the flock as God Himself does. This Davidic shepherd will be unlike the wicked, neglectful shepherd-rulers in Israel’s past; this son of David will rule as their prince in submission to Israel’s one True God.
But there is more. In the final movement of this oracle, God announces a new covenant—a covenant of peace. Its scope is beyond human community and politics. It is a renewal of life in the land of Israel and, by extension, in the rest of creation.
In Romans chapter 1, we read:
18 For the wrath of God is breaking through from heaven, opposing all manifestations of ungodliness and wickedness by the people who do wrong to keep God’s truth in check. 19 These people are not ignorant about what can be known of God, because He has shown it to them with great clarity. 20 From the beginning, creation in its magnificence enlightens us to His nature. Creation itself makes His undying power and divine identity clear, even though they are invisible; and it voids the excuses and ignorant claims of these people 21 because, despite the fact that they knew the one true God, they have failed to show the love, honor, and appreciation due to the One who created them!
God is revealed in creation, and we see from the preceding passage, Creation is designed to be stewarded by loving, kind, and wise shepherds, who know and walk with God, in truth and holiness.
Of course, this has never changed, for God has never changed.
We have lived like the good lions under the leadership of Scar, suffering as his leadership destroys everything it touches.
We, each of us, are the Simba’s of the story. Called to rise up, and fight our own particular fight of faith in this generation, taking our place as kings and lords in His domain, subject to the King of all kings, and Lord of all Lords, the true lion of the tribe of Judah, King Jesus!
Yet, there is a righteous roar that must come from the heart of the church, as we groan in agony with creation under the weight of sin and wickedness in the earth.
Romans 8:19-26
New Living Translation (NLT)
19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children,[a] including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope[b] for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words
Groan, travail, then arise in the power of God and ROAR!
There must be a shout of violent faith in the earth!
Let’s Pray:
‘Father, Heal our Land! Raise up shepherds, leaders, after Your own heart, with wisdom, gentleness, and sacrificial love to provide direction to this wayward generation, that you might quench the groans of creation, in the glory revealed in our unveiling. May you break our hearts in deep travail, groaning, and mourning, until we meet You Lord Jesus, the true Lion King! Let us arise, in passion, zeal, with the shout of a king amongst us, in violent faith, to turn the tide of filth, defilement, curses, and wickedness, overthrowing those foul spirits who have usurped Your authority, through the sin of man. May there be a deep move of Your Spirit, convicting of sin, and bringing forth fruit in keeping with repentance and the holiness You and Your Kingdom represent. We cry out, yet again, for Your mercy, Your presence, Your power displayed Lord Jesus, Amen!’

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.”

Divine Logic – Truth or Consequences…

Divine Logic - Truth or Consequences...

If…Then

In Boolean logic, or in mathematics, or especially in computer programming, we learn how to quantify logical expressions, using the famous IF/THEN type of reasoning.
IF (it is raining outside) THEN (bring umbrella). The computer then blasts through all the possible IF conditions, to decide what to do, and it only does, what it finds to be true, in the IF condition.

If a = b
As I read this passage in today’s reading, it brought this whole line of reasoning back to my remembrance in an almost sarcastically, comical kind of way. It would be funny, if it were not so serious…
Let’s look at it:

Jer 26:2 Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak unto ALL the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, ALL the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word:
Jer 26:3 IF so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, (THEN) that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.

If they will listen
Jer 26:4 And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; IF ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you,
Jer 26:5 To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened;
Jer 26:6 THEN will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.
Jer 26:7 So the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD.
Jer 26:8 Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die.
Jer 26:9 Why hast thou prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant? And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.

In this chapter, God had called ALL of His people together at Jerusalem, and told them IF you listen and obey me, AND turn from your wicked ways: THEN I will spare you the evil that is about to come upon you.

do or do not
What is interesting is the character of God revealed here. He is not some screaming Meany hurling lightning bolts from heaven, rather, I see Him here as a good God, a loving Father, who sees consequences to actions coming down the pipe, and who honestly tries to avert them, to prevent them from happening to the people He loves.
Back to my logic again: IF, THEN, AND, and OR are logical terms, whether you encounter them in Boolean Logic, Computer Programming, Circuit Design, or Mathematics.
This passage of Scripture goes like this:
IF (condition1 AND condition2) THEN. (Disaster Prevented)
People respond clearly that they are not willing to do (condition1 OR condition2) THEN (disaster).
Guess tutoring my daughter in math these days has my engineering and math mind kicking in again…
Ok, back to the Word of God for a second.

God is alive!

alive
God is also Holy!

Just as there are scientific laws that govern the universe, there are also moral laws that govern the earth.

This is the Word of God, or the Torah.
God is very loving and merciful, but also totally knowable and trustworthy. His moral laws have never changed, nor will they.

no lie
Just as ignorance of a natural law, will not prevent the consequences the breaking of it will incur, so it is with moral law.
Take gravity for instance: if a child did not know about gravity, yet stepped off a building, they would still go down. The law is fixed.
It is the same with respect to the Word of God. There are moral absolutes, and there are consequences for breaking these laws.
In this passage, God saw that the consequence for the people of Judah breaking His laws, was about to cause Him to ‘I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.’
In the Old Testament, God spoke two ways, with the same intent in each.
He has given the Torah, the written word of God, which explains His standards, and gives commandments to be obeyed. It is always His intent that we walk in holiness, obedience, love towards Him and our fellow man.
Yet, people have free will, and choose to do their own thing.
When they do, there are consequences to their actions, which may not be readily apparent, initially…Just like the child who jumps off the roof, things look fine while in the air, its the sudden stop at the bottom that hurts!
The second way that God spoke under the Old Covenant was through his servants, the prophets.

(This is why Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus on the mount of transfiguration, because Jesus fulfilled both the law and the prophets)
All that a prophet did, is hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, and when people departed from the written Word of God, they brought correction or direction, for people to return to God and His Word.

prophecy speaks through prophets
Matthew 11:13
For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied up until John.

In this passage, my logic example holds true.

The people, had disobeyed God, and were not living according to the Word of God. So, God sent Jeremiah, the prophet, to bring them back to Himself, and to His Word.

IF (condition1 AND condition2) THEN. (Disaster Prevented)
People respond clearly that they are not willing to do (condition1 OR condition2) THEN (disaster).
The cynical humor of this, is not so much that the people rejected the Word of God, but the way they did so.
God sends Jeremiah, in love, in tears, to prevent disaster. He tells them what to do, and how to prevent it.
Instead of taking responsibility for their actions, they immediately decide that:
1. We are not going to listen.
2. We are not going to turn from our wicked ways.
3. We do not want to listen to Jeremiah.
4. Jeremiah must be the problem, so let’s kill him!

We read that:
Jer 26:8 Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die.
Jer 26:9 Why hast thou prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant? And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.

Their implied reasoning is that ‘We had no problems until you showed up Jeremiah! You are our problem! We did not cause this, you did! You need to die, because you said that the city was going to be destroyed!’

Bad logic. Faulty reasoning. Horrible consequences.

dunce

Ever had something similar happen? You quietly, methodically tell someone, or group of people the truth, and instead of attempting to process what you stated, they immediately revile, attempt to discredit, insinuate against, or try to destroy you!

The good news is that you are not the problem. We who love Jesus and who love people are instruments of God’s love, not His wrath. Yet,

Proverbs 19:3
Amplified Bible (AMP)
3 The foolishness of man subverts his way [ruins his affairs]; then his heart is resentful and frets against the Lord.
I think this thought is more plainly translated, here in the NIV:

Proverbs 19:3
New International Version (NIV)
3 A person’s own folly leads to their ruin,
yet their heart rages against the LORD.

You bring truth to a person, in love, that corrects them.

truth in love

Instead of recognizing that they might be wrong, they get angry.

They are really angry at God, but because we serve Jesus, they generally vent their anger, at us…

So what do we do? How do we handle it?

Do we go into a deep funk, and get depressed?

Not if we want to meet the approval of God. It’s time to sing a song, shout unto God with a voice of triumph, and get happy!

New International Version
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:11-13

When the Apostles were thrown in prison, did they go into the depths of despair for being beaten or falsely imprisoned or accused?

Act_5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

Acts 16:24-30
New International Version (NIV)
24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.

comfortable
So, bust loose a little! Give Jesus some glory today in your world. Bless Him, praise Him, laugh a little bit, and lighten up. It’s a great day to be making headlines in heaven!
Let’s pray:
‘Father, I come before you today, and trust You to breath through me by Your precious Holy Spirit, Your truth, Your love to this generation. As I gently bring correction and direction, encouraging folks to quit lying, cheating, or acting contrary to You and Your Word, grant me joy unspeakable and full of glory, when they revile, lie about, or attack me. In your mighty name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’