Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Valiantly heeding His call...

1 Corinthians 16:15: Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. I urge you, brethren—you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints

I love this verse so much…Verses 13-14 are edifying words of exhortation. If only we could head it daily, especially when stress starts to flare and debilitate us or when anger is pushed deep down and bitterness is born.  Allowing those two verses to continually echo in our hearts, minds, and souls supernaturally moves us to addict ourselves to the ministry! 

Can you imagine how simply heeding this message can change our world? Can spark a revival? If every believer is:
·         Watching – being alert and at the ready.  Mark 13:37: And what I say unto you I say unto all, “Watch.”

·         Standing in the faith - clothed in His robes of righteousness and then securely fitted in to His armor letting everyone know you are not a coward. You will meet the Goliath threatening you right where he is , refuse to retreat!
o   By the Strength of Almighty God your valiant faith can PROVE to all who are watching that our God is Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient.
o   Its His battle, our part is to obey…
o   Jesus cannot be defeated, when you stand shoulder to shoulder with Him the enemy will be vanquished!  

·         Being brave – because 1 John 4:4 tells us, “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.

·         Strengthened – one man or woman with God is a majority. His strength has always been made perfect in our weakness, He is the one training our hands for battle…in short he is the dynamic for the demand, all He commands you to do He first enables you by His Spirit to complete. Isnt that encouraging?

Let’s commit today to… addict ourselves to the ministry…(1 Corinthians 16:15) I LOVE this image! I pray we never grow weary of giving our all to ALL others. We must live in the reality that God’s supply is limitless and His desire is that we prove it by our actions.
·         1 Corinthians 9:7: You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
·         It’s time to put others first.
·         Love them the way you want to be loved….extravagantly, exceedingly, eagerly, excessively, enthusiastically, excitedly…don’t hold back!
·         Practice giving yourself away…and experience for yourself the kind of joy Jesus had, the joy that was able to sustain Him in the face of the excruciating pain of crucifixion.
·         We testify of our love for God and His children by, this “provoking each other to love and good works” (1 John 3:16)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Spending to the last ebb...

It is impossible to out give God…but I want to make it my aim to try. I look at the men and women who have gone before us….
·         Job
·         Apostle Paul
·         Mary with her alabaster box
·         Amy Carmichael in India for 53 years, the last 25 confined to a sick bed in constant pain
·         Hudson Taylor and the 100’s of missionaries serving through China Inland Mission (The Stam’s, The Khun’s, The amazing trio, etc)
·         And every servant of the Most High God who has accepted the intimate invitation and is serving today….

All I can say is…Lord, please give us your heart…. My precious brothers and sisters – please hear me…God designed you, before the worlds were framed, on purpose. He intentionally shaped your soul and the graciously equipped you by His Holy Spirit to SERVE! You and I have been commissioned to take this glorious agape love and to lavish it upon EVERYONE around us!  

Please stop buying into the myth that ministry equals teaching, or evangelism, or counseling, or any other narrow exclusive thing; because ministry is ALL THOSE THINGS AND SO MUCH MORE! 

·         Ministry is the reason you love to bake. It's your opportunity to bake chocolate chip cookies for those rough, gangster-looking young men you pass every week on your way to the super market. Using your enthusiasm for baking can say, “Jesus loves you so much He sent me here with this cookie to tell you so!”

·         Ministry is the reason you manage a department of employees under relentless pressures, deadlines, and goals. As your staff members watch you walking through each hardship with perfect peace they see Jesus.

·         Ministry is the reason your cell phone has unlimited texting. You CAN send a heart to your spouse to remind him/her she/he’s still the one! You CAN send your unsaved aunt a sweet compliment and show here that Christ’s love is genuine, it takes action, it’s more than church and Bible verses, it brings joy to the heart!

·         Ministry is the reason that in a recession your business is flourishing. Cheerfully giving to your church, to missions, and to anyone or any organization God leads you to is joining in the work. My husband always says, “If you were to picture missions as a sword, the missionary is the tip; but the strength is in the blade and the Body supporting us is where we get our strength>"

·         Ministry is the reason you were chosen to be mommy to your 4 darlings under the age of six. EVERYTIME you cook, do homework, teach, nurse, clean, or encourage in Jesus’ name you are making a heavenly deposit! You may be raising the next Billy Graham or Amy Carmichael; perhaps it’s the future president of IBM or a Special Ed teacher, or maybe another mommy or the mechanic who fixes the car with honestly….no matter which one they each represent the future and – YOU are privileged to set the surest foundation of agape in that heart.

·         Ministry is the reason you have been counted worthy to suffer with this debilitating or maybe even terminal illness. This is a hard calling to swallow….
o   You see not very many soldiers in the army of the Lord enlist for this dangerous job that demands such extreme sacrifice.

o   Jesus, the Commander in Chief, carefully selects only the mightiest men and women of valor, the ones who know Him so well that they recognize His cause is even worth dying for.

o   He knows that He can trust you, just as He trusted Job, to keep pressing onward.

o   Here in your weakness, His strength will be made perfect…

o   His peace will be visibly manifested and an undeniable legacy will unfold before every eye that scrutinizes you.

o   Hold fast dear one, before you know it this “light and momentary affliction” will be swallowed up in the glory of eternity.

o   You have been chosen because Jesus knew YOU would cling to Him until that moment when you see Him face to face and it finally makes sense. 

What I am trying to show you is simply this: LIFE IS MINITRY!
·         Your role in the Body of Christ is VITAL. We need you!

·         Nothing is insignificant – scripture teaches us the exact opposite is true- so will you join us in reaching souls?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Who are you called to be?

Jesus Christ’s intimate invitation to you is to be:

·         His Ambassadors:
o   2 Corinthians 5:17-21: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, she is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 
§  He has fully equipped you, the moment you were baptized in the Holy Spirit…right there He filled you afresh with Himself.

§  If you feel today that you are empty and dry; confess, yield, and ask to be empowered again – you have nothing to lose but your depression and defeat

§  2 Corinthians 4:6-7: For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the Excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

·         You need not fear the how…remember Who is with you…..
o   Luke 21:15: …for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.

o   Matthew 10:19-20: But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

·         How do you do this….just live your life following His intimate instructions and you will be a Living Epistle:
o   2 Corinthians 3:2-6: You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as [being] from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,  who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 

o   John 6:63: It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

·         Jesus said to be great we must learn to be the servant of all….an ambassador is a servant… and servants live to give themselves away….pouring out their very lives for the sake of others.
o   1 Corinthians 9:19-27: For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.  Now this I do for the gospel's sake, that I may be partaker of it with you. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.  But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

·         Last but not least, He has equipped you as a soldier.
o   He is your Captain, guiding you with His eye, so stand fast beloved and fight this good fight until the fullness of the Gentiles come in and we can go home to be with Him.

o   1 Timothy 2:1-13: You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.  You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.  The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops.  Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things. Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.  This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him.   If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Don't Resist, Relinquish...

What happens if you turn down our Savior’s call to discipleship and acceptance of His intimate invitation?
·         When He calls and if you allow complacency or ANY excuse deter you, you will regret it
·         Song of Solomon 5:2-8: I sleep, but my heart wakes: it is the voice of my beloved that knocked, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them? My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him. I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock. I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spoke: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.
o   You will go after Him because your heart was uniquely and intentionally designed to be filled with Him, sooner rather than later, that desire will overwhelm you and you will seek Him out.
o    Song of Solomon 3:1-4: By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loves: I sought him, but I found him not. I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loves: I sought him, but I found him not. The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loves? It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loves: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.
·         You will quench the flow of His blessings, power and presence in your life
·         You will rob the people around you of receiving Him through your hands and feet, they will miss out on hearing His voice and feeling His touch through you
·         But the saddest thing is you will lose your opportunity to earn eternal rewards.
o   What are the eternal rewards you may ask?
o   I wish I knew….but I don’t…I do know this:
§  They are strong enough to withstand tests of fire
§  They will be the “lingua franca” of heaven
§  Because this is what you will be able to give back to Jesus in worship as you cast your crowns at His feet
§  Read Revelation 20-22…. 

I am convinced that bowing before Him there after seeing His righteous and True judgment, clutching the precious little that made it past the bema seat, face to face with My Beloved Jesus, will evoke emotions so powerful if left in this body of flesh I would actually explode….I will want to give Him everything….so will you….  

What is precious to your heart right now my beloved sister? Where is your treasure being stored? Meditate on the scripture below and wait for Him to reveal to you the truth… 

Matthew 6:19-21: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Living Sacrifice…

Romans 12:1-2: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 

·         Accepting His invitation, sharing in fellowship of His sufferings and then also in the power of His resurrection requires absolute surrender. Only a relinquished life a living sacrifice
·         Jesus said a disciple has to give up his/her right to themselves  Luke 9:23-25
·         1 Corinthians 6:19-20: Or you do not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
·         You are so valuable to Christ that He bought with His blood, not gold, silver, or anything the world calls valuable, something infinitely more precious (1 Peter 1:18-19)
·         This ownership is of love…
o   Not a cruel master domineering over a slave,
o   but you are a Bride, cherished by a PERFECT Divine Husband,
o   a daughter tenderly loved by a doting and devoted Father,
o   you are a pearl of great price in His eyes (Matthew 13:45-46),

o   He calls you a peculiar treasure (Deuteronomy 14:2: For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.)

·         God alone can appreciate your true worth…because He sees you glorified….perfected
·         Would anyone who did not love you supremely pay such a high price?
·         You belong to Him and here is the proof of the depth of His love
o   He refused the temptations in the wilderness
o   He accepted the cross
o   He sent us the Holy Spirit
o   He never stops praying for us
o   His love never stops coming
o   His promise to take you all the way to heaven cannot fail (John 10:28-30)
o   His intimacy – the adoration, absolution, intercession, instruction, manifestation, declaration, and intoxication, all of Him is yours! 

The most amazing thing to me is….if today fear wins out and you don’t accept His invitation…this passionate love will not fade, it won’t lessen, and He will never stop pursuing you!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Glorious Experience

Exchanging your life for Christ’s life will be the most glorious experience you have ever known. It will be His life; pouring forth through you…one woman described it like this, “There was not a me there”

·         No more insecurities, no more jitters because you just go in obedience,
·         Open your mouth and God takes over
·         Psalm 81:10: For it was I, the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things.
·         No more uncertainties
·         No more wasted conversations
·         No more idle time 

The flesh vanishes and is swallowed up in communion with our Beloved Jesus moment by moment!
·         Morning, noon, evening and night
·         As you make breakfast, wash dishes, do the kids homework or your own, working at your secular job, serving your family you begin to do it ALL heartily as unto the Lord confident He will be rewarding you.
·         Life takes on a whole new meaning! 

All of a sudden the new inner life will dominate you. And the best part is when you have their brief glimpses into eternity only seconds later to watch what is happening in your heart collide with the real world and you experience heaven here on earth!
·         Devotions
·         Church
·         Personal or Corporate Retreats
·         EVERYTIME you Worship

You can begin each day by simply taking Jesus by the hand…
Trusting the One who wove you together in your mother’s womb,
Knowing He broke the dominion of sin over your life,
Celebrating the reality that He foreordained good works for you to walk in;

Jesus, the King of kings, the Lord of lords,
The Majestic, Holy, All Consuming Fire of Love,
Who rules and reigns above the circle of the earth,
Outside time and space…
This Jesus calls you BELOVED!

All that is required from you for this amazing gift…is that you accept His intimate invitation, by faith, just as you did your gift of salvation and your gift of the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Are you ready to die to prove it?

The crucified life is not free…exchanging your carnal life for His Spirit demands absolute surrender! 

It is a higher road – and it comes at a price

It will be a harder road

Just like Jesus, you will be perfected through suffering

The world hated Jesus and it will hate you

It calls for sacrifices of earthly things

Relationships may have to be let go

Time will take on new meaning and your priorities will have to change

But the glory awaiting you…..listen to what the Bible says about it!

2 Corinthians 4:16-18: Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.   

Romans 8:18: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 
Jesus is worthy of everything – your heart, mind, soul, and strength…
Are you willing to die to yourself to prove it?