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A Royal Priesthood

            The more we understand the Gospel the more we understand that the good news of God keeps getting better and better. The bible clearly teaches that God has saved us even though we are unworthy, and that He has called us into a calling that is set aside for His purpose; a calling of which He will provide our every need. Those two glorious gifts are worthy of our uttermost dedication and service to God, but that is not the end of the good news. As we continue to search the scriptures we find that through Christ, God has adopted us as His very own children and that we have become joint heirs in Christ Jesus. The bible says in Romans 8:14-17 “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” Paul called himself many times in scripture a “bond-servant of Christ.”A bond-servant is a willing servant. God has not called us to serve Him as His unwilling slaves. He has called us to serve Him as His child.

As the good news continues to get better and better we understand more of who God is and who we are because of Him. Jesus is not just royalty He is the King of Kings. Because we are adopted sons and daughters of God and joint heirs in Christ Jesus God has allowed us to join in the blessings of being a part of His royal family. In Christ we are royalty. Peter says of those who are a part of the family of God in I Peter 2:9, 10, “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.” He calls us a “Royal Priesthood.”

In this text of scripture all believers are called priests. This doctrine is called the priesthood of the believer. Some would argue that being a priest is for a select few. However, the Word of God clearly teaches that whoever has accepted Jesus Christ’s work of salvation has then been adopted into the family of God and now is a priest of God.

A priest has many roles and responsibilities. However, they can all be summed up into one main purpose. A priest is to represent mankind to God. One of the greatest ways that believers can represent mankind to God is to pray for them. God expects His people who are called by His name to pray. Jesus is our High Priest. We see Him many times in the gospels praying for His disciples. Paul told Timothy in II Timothy 1:3, that he thanks God for him, as he mentions him in his prayers.

As the priest of God serving mankind on behalf of God we should have a great burden for the lost and hurting. Many times I pray asking God to give me the compassion of Jesus. The compassion that calls out with a broken heart as Jesus did in Matthew 23:37 as He said, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.” Despite the wickedness of their ways Jesus still loved them and desperately desired to see them repent and turn to His saving grace. With this same heart of compassion we are called to cry out to the Father with a broken heart on behalf of the lost condition of this world. I dare say that the bulk of our prayer should be directed to praying for the redemption of the wretched.  I also dare to say, if we started praying in this manner we will see revival.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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By the Mercies of God

“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Romans 12:1 NASB

One of the difficulties we often have is understanding how totally depraved we are apart from Christ.  We often think that we are deserving of the gifts and the blessings of God. However, the Word of God says in Isaiah 64:6 “Our righteousness is as filthy rags.” Our righteousness is the best we can give and it alone is not enough. The bible also says in Ephesians 2:3 “by nature we are children of wrath.” The word of God gives a very bleak picture of the nature of man. Every man, woman, and child that has ever lived upon this earth has made a conscience choice at some point in their lives to rebel and sin against God. Romans 3:23 says “for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.”

The bible also tells us that God requires death as the payment of our sins. (Romans 6:23). Death had to be paid as a penalty of sin, but praise be to God that I Corinthians 15:3 tells us, “Christ died for our sins.” We should have paid the penalty of our sins but Jesus stood in our place. Although we have turned our back on Him time after time, God loved us enough to send His Son to become sin for us. II Corinthians 5:21 say, “He (God) made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Due to this great sacrifice John said in I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” No one is worthy of this great gift of sacrifice. We deserve death and hell, yet God gives us grace by giving us His Son.

With this grace in mind Paul said in Romans 12:1, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” He is urging us because of the mercy of God to give ourselves entirely to Himself as a living and holy sacrifice. God doesn’t want dead sacrifices. He desires living sacrifices that are set apart for His own purposes. If we truly understand the mercies of God and the great grace that God has bestowed upon us we would have no problem serving Him. The mercies of God have purchased us from sin, death, and hell, and reconciled us into a right relationship with Him. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),” Ephesians 2:4

Because of the mercies of God I will gladly surrender myself to Him in full submission. Because of the mercies of God I will gladly serve Him with full sincerity counting it an honor. Because of the mercies of God I will gladly give my life as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Who’s Responsible?

As I sit down to write this I am mindful of the moral collapse that is plaguing or nation. Inner city crime has spread to small towns and communities all across America, drugs have become an epidemic problem that virtually every family in America is dealing with, and sexual perversions of every kind have become socially acceptable. We pick up video cameras and idly watch while people are murdered, raped, and beaten instead of lending a helping hand and then use the video as a form of entertainment. School shootings, the knockout game, and all sorts of acts of violence are no longer random; they have become all too common.

When the tragedies come we ask, “Who is to blame?”, “Who’s responsible for this great tragedy?” We first start pointing our fingers at the parents saying they are to blame, then to the schools noting that they should have had better security or should have been more aware of their student’s activities. We even want to pass the blame on the guns themselves desiring to sue the gun manufacturers. We say we need better laws or better politicians who will write better laws. Christians love to pass the blame onto the ACLU and those “Liberal” activist judges. “They have kicked prayer out of school” we say. But, are we praying at home with our children? We fuss “They have removed God’s Word from the schools.” But, are we teaching our children God’s Word at home? We want to pass the buck but who has God given the responsibility to?

A passage of scripture I have often found intriguing is in Mark 14:17-21. Jesus was having the last supper with His disciples when He said to them, “One of you will betray Me.” What I find so intriguing about this text of scripture is the fact that Peter didn’t say “I know it’s John I never really trusted him all that much anyway.” Nor did John say no “it has to be Matthew, you know he use to be a tax collector.” Instead each one turned to Jesus asking “Surly not I.” They weren’t passing the blame; they just wanted to make sure they were staying in right relationship. One of the major downfalls of modern society is that we are unwilling to accept responsibility for our own actions. Instead we want to find someone else to pin it on. It seems as though taking responsibility for your own actions has gone the way of the ancient word.

However, when it comes to the spiritual condition of this world there is only one institution that God has granted power and authority to; the power and authority to overcome the spiritual forces of wickedness and tear down the gates of Hell. It is the church. Jesus said in Matthew 28:18 “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” He then said in the next verse of the same chapter, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Out of the same breath that He said I have all authority, He said Go. In other words we, the church, should go out into the world with the authority and the power of Jesus making disciples, which are followers of Jesus.

Jesus also told the church in Matthew 16:19, 20 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” If the power of God is not falling down upon this earth to change the heart of man and transform him into whom God so desires him to be there is none other to blame than the church. The church is the only institution that God has chosen to work through. There is no other. Therefore if the church is not fulfilling the callings that God has placed upon them heaven will be bound. God did not say if the government, or if the school systems, or if the laws, or even if society gets right that He would heal the land. He said, “if my people who are called by My name.” God has given the call, He has given the authority, and He has given the power. We simply have to accept it and walk in it.  (An excerpt from Reclaiming the Land: God’s Formula for Revival).

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Fully Trusting in His Power

“And what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might.” Ephesians 1:19 NASB

The clear teaching of the Word of God is that we are saved by grace and not of works. We simply make a choice to repent of our sins and believe on Jesus for His redemptive power. At that moment the power of God unto salvation is worked out by God within our lives. We are fully dependent upon the power of God to convert us and then regenerate us. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (II Corinthians 5:17).

The fact of God’s power at work in our lives for salvation is undisputed among bible believing Christians. However, we often fail to realize the continual need of the power of God in our lives after salvation. The redeemed child of God cannot obtain the holiness of God within his life apart from the power of God initiated it. Are we saved by grace apart from the law and works only to be saved and left to our own devices to live out our salvation in accordance to the law and works? Of course not. Ephesians 4:24 says, “put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” To put on the new self is to put on Christ. (Romans 13:14). Apart from the power of God at work in our lives we cannot be saved. Likewise, apart from the power of God in our lives we cannot obtain the righteousness and holiness God requires as Christians. We start of fully dependent upon God’s power and remain fully dependent.

James 2:18 says, “But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James is clearly not arguing that one needs works to have faith. Rather, he is arguing one needs faith to have works. Even in our works we are fully dependent upon God’s power. We often quote Ephesians 2:8, 9 declaring that we are saved by grace through faith and not of works. This is a vital truth for true salvation. However, we often forget about the next verse, Ephesians 2:10 says, For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.” We are clearly not saved by works but are clearly expected to work. We are not to work in our own power, for that is boastful and arrogant before God. Act’s 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” You will receive power to do the work in which God requires.

Jesus said apart from Me, you can do nothing. (John 15:5). Just as we are full dependent upon God for salvation, we are fully dependent upon God for righteousness, for holiness, and for our good works. Praise God just as He saves those who believe in His name, He will empower those who continue to do so.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Let Your Light Shine

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:15-16 NASB

When the apostle John introduced Jesus in his gospel he said, “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.” (John 1:4). While speaking to Nicodemus Jesus said, “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19). Again Jesus said of Himself in John 8:12, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

Jesus clearly said that the world is in darkness. They are in darkness because they have rejected the Light of life-Jesus. They are blindly walking towards their demise yet they are clueless of the destruction just before them. They are in darkness and therefore cannot see.

Jesus came to shine the Light of life into this dark world to save those who would turn away from the darkness and walk into the light. However, Jesus said in John12:35-36, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes.While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.”

Why did Jesus say that they would only have the light for a little while? Jesus time on earth was temporary. He came for a specific purpose, to redeem all mankind, and once that purpose was fulfilled through His death, burial, and resurrection He was lifted up to be at the right hand of the Father. Jesus has not forsaken us. Those who have believed on Him and have accepted Him as Lord and Savior now have, as Jesus said, the Light of life.” Jesus is still in this world. However, He has chosen to be in this world through His followers.

The moment we become a Christian God places His light, Jesus, into our lives. Just as in Jesus day the world is still in darkness. Our duty to God as Christians is to allow our light to shine in this darkness so people will be saved from the darkness and turn to the light-Jesus. Had Jesus not come into this world all mankind would stand eternally doomed, blindly walking in darkness to their eternal destruction. We are included in that number. If we as Christians choose not to let our light shine, today’s world will remain in that same darkness awaiting their eternal doom. I believe this is the highest form of greed.

We are to let our light shine so our Father will be glorified. He is glorified when people turn to Him and trust in Him for eternal salvation. If we choose to live a life of self-centeredness and self-gratification, we have placed our lamp under a basket. How foolish is that? We are the city set on a hill. We are the lamp God has chosen to use. Therefore, we need to place ourselves on a lamp stand for the world to see. Not for our glory. Not even to where people see us. We are to let our light shine so the world living in darkness will see Jesus, the light within you.

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Need More Salt

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” Matthew 5:13

Why is the world so tasteless? It needs more salt. In Matthew 5-7, we find Jesus Sermon on the Mount. In this sermon Jesus is telling His followers how to be kingdom minded. Although the kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom, within the hearts of believers, and not a physical kingdom, the citizens of God’s spiritual kingdom are clearly expected to have influence and impact upon this physical world. Therefore, when the world becomes tasteless, tacky, and immoral, we recognize the fact that the world needs more salt. If you are a citizen of the kingdom of God, you are the salt of the earth.

Salt serves two major purposes. It’s most important purpose in Jesus day was its ability to preserve meat and prevent it from decay. One of the major themes in Jesus Sermon on the Mount was morality-righteousness. The bible clearly teaches that true morality-righteousness can only be obtained through a relationship with Jesus. As Christians we are expected to live in accordance to the righteous standards of our holy God. Not a self righteousness as of the Pharisees, but a righteousness obtained only through faith in Christ. As we live out our faith before this world, upholding God’s righteous standards, we are being God’s salt upon this earth. God’s preserving agents of morality and righteousness preventing the decay of sin from taking over and destroying.

The second major purpose of salt is to add flavor. Being from South East Louisiana I love flavorful food. I try to avoid bland foods but find well flavored food hard to resist. As citizens of God’s kingdom we are expected to be the flavor of God to this world. If we are faithful representatives of the kingdom we will present the flavor of God to this world as being desirable drawing in those who are dissatisfied with the tastelessness of this world. If we are bland or even distasteful we will not attract people to the kingdom; we may even become guilty of turning people away.

The fact is pure salt cannot lose its saltiness. However, when improperly cared for it can become mixed with impurities that will cause it to lose its flavor making it useless. In Jesus day impure salt had only one purpose. If thrown into the field it would cause the soil to become infertile ruining the field. Its only purpose was to be thrown into the road where it would then be trampled under foot by men.

If we as citizens of the kingdom of God allow impurities to infiltrate us, and/or our churches, we will become useless to the kingdom of God. Our impurities will also become a stumbling block to the fields God wishes to harvest for His kingdom making the fields unfertile. However, we can rejoice over the grace of God, for if we chose to repent God will forgive us, remove our impurities, and restore us to righteousness. (I John 1:9). If we chose not to repent we are of no more value than the dust of the road that is trampled under foot by men.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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What is True Revival?

“Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house. The priests could not enter into the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house. All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the Lord upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the Lord, saying, “Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting.” II Chronicles 7:1-3 NASB

In II Chronicles 6 we see all of Israel gathered together in Jerusalem for the dedication of the newly built Temple. In this same chapter King Solomon prayed a prayer of dedication of the Temple to the Lord. God was obviously pleased with the Temple and its dedication. However, Solomon and the nation of Israel was not there simply dedicating a building to the Lord, they were also dedicating themselves to the Lord.

As a sign of God’s pleasure with their dedication God consumed the offering with a mighty fire from heaven and filled the Temple with His glory. The priests were there anxiously waiting to fulfill their priestly duties. However, the glory of God filled the house of the Lord so mightily that the priest could not enter. That is true revival. When God shows up and takes over.

When the people saw the glory of God fall from heaven they were compelled to worship. They didn’t have to be coerced through emotional means; they were moved by the presence of an almighty God. I would imagine it would have been impossible not to have worshiped God upon that day. They were not moved by song or sermon-only the glory of God.

True revival is when God’s glory falls down, takes over, and consumes. The song filled with skilful tunes and tones nor the most intellectual words of wisdom through sermon can bring about revival. Are those things vital and important? Absolutely. However, the glory of God, and only the glory of God, brings about true revival.

A pastor trying to motivate the members to move from the pew to the mission field in their own community and beyond can become greatly frustrated, likewise, a soul winner sharing the gospel with an individual with a hardened heart. He cannot move them through his own motivating efforts regardless of how passionate or knowledgeable he is. Only the glory of God can move them. Should he not compel them through sermon? Absolutely, he should. However, at the same time, he should prayerfully seek the presence of God to fall down upon the congregation and move them through His glory. Only God can move the masses, lost or saved. Let us then join together and pray for revival by praying for the glory of God to fall down upon us and consume us and for God to move the masses, lost and saved through His glory.

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Spiritual Drought

“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people.” II Chronicles 7:13 NASB

Just after Solomon dedicated the Temple to the Lord God told him, “I have heard your prayer.” Not only did God say that He heard Solomon’s prayer, He also said that He would hear all of the prayers that were offered up in the Temple. However, the hand of God’s blessing was conditional. The condition was Israel’s faithfulness to the Lord.

God told Solomon to pay attention to the signs around him. We must understand that the physical signs of drought, devastation, and pestilence are merely signs that God’s hand of blessing has been removed. We must also understand that in the Old Testament God dealt with His people in a physical way. Today through the New Covenant that is found only in Christ God deals with His people in the spirit. (John 4:24). In the Old Testament God’s people went into physical war. Today we are in a spiritual war. Nonetheless, we see physical results of this spiritual war. Today, America is in a deep spiritual drought. Our churches are dry and void of life, passion and power, which open the door wide for the devourer, the devil, to come in and destroy churches, families and entire communities.

The community where I pastor has had years of church fights and splits that have left a spiritual void opening the door wide for the devourer to come in and destroy. Today our community is full of the pestilence of drugs, violence, and sexuality that is just as much if not more devastating than any physical pestilence this world has ever seen. These are all physical evidences of spiritual battles. They are all signs that something has gone drastically wrong.

As I look at the church today I see signs of spiritual drought that is drowning our world in spiritual devastation. We have allowed the devourer to come in and bring devastating pestilence upon the very world God created and loves. We see it in preachers with no passion, deacons who are not dedicated, congregations clutching for control, churches who won’t console the contrite and the Word of God wavered by the ways of man.

So many of our churches have become lodges and social clubs with privileged membership unwelcoming to the stranger where pastors have become hirelings to do the work that no one else is willing to do, “after all that’s what we pay the preacher for.” The pulpit has become a place where a polluted gospel is preached as to not hurt anyone’s feelings. Dare we say that we are sinners and there is a place called hell reserved for those who refuse to repent?  If the preacher were to preach the truths of hell would it really matter? Even if we know our neighbor is hell-bound, do we really care or at least care enough to actually do anything about it?

We fuss and complain of the wickedness of the world yet we hold the very keys to loose the power of God into this world. We have not lost that power; we have surrendered that power to the fleshly desires of man seeking glory for self rather than for God. The signs of spiritual drought are crying out before us yet, God has given us the solution. God told Solomon if you see these signs of drought, devastation, and pestilence among you, “and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14).

I do not at all intend to lump every church into the category stated above. There are many dynamic churches within our land. However, I would dare say, the majority of our churches fit into this category in one way or the other. Nor do I say this with a spirit of judgment; only one with a heart of compassion calling on our churches to repent and seek the Lord for revival. The world will not, and cannot get right, until the church gets right. My heart cry to the Lord is that we as the church of the living God would seek Him, wholeheartedly, for revival, and that God would end this spiritual drought in our land, opening the windows of heaven with a flood of revival.

Portions of this were taken from, Reclaiming the Land: God’s Formula for Revival.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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It’s Done!

“Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous.” Joshua 1:6,7

As Joshua stood at the banks of the Jordan about to cross over and take possession of the land, he knew there was an enemy on the other side willing to fight to the death to keep what they perceived as their land. He knew he was in for a major battle. The enemy wasn’t going to simply hand over the deed to the land once they crossed over. They would have to fight for it.

However, God promised them victory. Three times in chapter one God declared that He would give them possession of the land. In verse three God said in the past tense, “I have given it to you.” It’s already done. When God makes a promise, although it has yet to come to pass, it is done. Jesus has promised that He will return again one day. It hasn’t happened as of yet, but the promise has been made; therefore, it is as good as done. In the same way Jesus perfectly fulfilled the promises of His first coming, He will perfectly fulfill them with His second. It hasn’t happened yet, but it is done. How, you may ask. Because God said it.

With this in mind God told Joshua twice in this verse to be strong and courageous. God said again to Joshua in verse nine, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” I John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.” If we know that God loves us perfectly, which He does, and we are walking in accordance to His path and plan, we have no reason to fear. God is with us; therefore the enemy has no chance at victory, because we already have the victory.

When you choose to callously sit in your comfortable pews, in the midst of your cozy climate controlled coliseums, listening to the cares only of the called standing behind his craftily carved pulpit, you are no threat to the enemy. You are still wandering in the wilderness. As a matter of fact, you are among Satan’s favorite Christians. However, when you come to the point where you are sick and tired of seeing Satan and his minions trample God’s creation and blaspheme His holy name you will chose to stand and fight the good fight. Be warned, when you do Satan will take notice and he will fight back. You are now a threat to him. But don’t fear, be strong and courageous. God will be with you.

Satan’s only hope at victory is for the Christians to remain within the walls and play church. Just like most churches have been doing for years. His greatest fear is for the church to rise up and be the church. For he knows when the church rises to the occasion to fight the good fight he stand no chance at victory-for God’s promises are done! Therefore, stand up and fight the good fight in the name of Jesus!

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Power from on High

“And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49 NASB

Just before Jesus ascension into heaven He gave these instructions to His disciples. At this same time He instructed them to go into all of the word making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19,20). Although the disciples spent three years under the teachings of the master teacher, Jesus, prior to His sacrifice, and then another forty days with Him after His resurrection, they were still unqualified and unprepared to proclaim the gospel. Jesus told them to go into Jerusalem and wait. He specifically told them to wait for the promise of the Father, the power from on high, which is the Holy Spirit Himself. Only after they receive the power of the Holy Spirit could they be His witnesses. (Acts 1:8)

Apart from the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, we too are unqualified and unprepared to do anything for the Lord. We may have the greatest education, the most well funded and organized programs, and the highest form of zeal in our heart, but apart from the power of the Holy Spirit these things are utterly useless.

The disciples were obedient to the instructions of Jesus. They went back to Jerusalem and waited. They waited in a constant state of prayer and expectation. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit filled each one powerfully. After receiving the power from on high they went out into the streets of Jerusalem where Peter preached the gospel and three thousand souls were saved.

I believe one of the main reasons we aren’t seeing revival within many of our churches is due to the works of the flesh. We aren’t dependent upon the power from on high-the Holy Spirit. The other reason is unrepentant sin within the church which grieves the Holy Spirit and hinders His power. Both of these abominable acts leave the church self-sufficient making it inefficient.

Today when someone accepts Jesus as their Savior they receive the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:9-11). However, as Christians, who have the Holy Spirit within us, we can still grieve His power. How then as Christians do we obtain this power from on high? The same way the disciples did. First, we believe and therefore are obedient to the words of Jesus. Second, we then wait in prayerful anticipation, dedicating ourselves to praying for God’s power until the time comes when we are so full of God’s presence and power within our lives it can no longer be contained. Third, we then leave our upper rooms, walk out into the world, and through the power from on high kick down the gates of hell. Fourth, we repeat these steps again, and again, and again.

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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