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How Far Does Our Commitment Go?

How Far Does Our Commitment Go?

April 25, 2018 in Blog

As I write this, I am returning from a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. My ministry team was joined by my friend, David Hogan’s team, to help the church of Pastor Eder Goncalves (which was the first church to work with Confirming The Word). We evangelized and held meetings to encourage this dear church in Scotland’s capital.
I had not seen David in a year, and he shared this recent story. David has been a missionary to the tribal people of Mexico for forty years. Where he ministers is a very dangerous area. It’s not uncommon for him to come on scenes where people have been beheaded by drug cartel gangs. He has persevered through severe persecution and now has 1,200 churches there.
Recently, David got a call from one of his native leaders who asked him to please come; half of the congregation had been shot and killed in a drug war crossfire during a worship service. “David, you brought us the Gospel; you are our spiritual father. Would you come to restore and help rebuild us?”David told us that since he is a white man and drives a 4-wheel drive truck, he would stand out and be a target. But, he knew in his heart that he must go. His son was not available, so he asked his son if he would release his 20 year old son (who was a newlywed) and allow him to accompany David?

His son replied, “If I lose my father and my son, so be it; I’ll know it’s for the Gospel’s sake.”

Now, look who made the commitment for David and his grandson–they all did–David’s wife, his grandson’s father and mother, and his grandson’s new wife. They all had to release them for the Gospel’s sake, and the two went right into the jaws of the situation, trembling, but trusting God!

The cartel saw them, and were so impacted that six gang members gave their lives to Jesus and became members of a Church where they had killed half of its members! Amazing Grace! Incredible Love and Forgiveness! Ultimate Reconciliation!

Lord, help us remember this testimony the next time we are faced with a difficult situation and want to chicken out or excuse ourselves. Help us to remain true to You, true to Your cause, and true to Your Church.

“For they loved not their lives even unto death.” Revelation 12:11

You are receiving articles like this to encourage and challenge you…feel free to use them in your own ministry and walk with the Lord. I often read something from someone else that springboards me into a series of teachings! If you ever need someone to advise or bounce something off of, don’t hesitate to contact me. I am free to come to your church or ministry to guest speak, train leaders, or help launch a Confirming The Word (CTW) Church-Based Bible School.

Remember, there’s nothing more important than what we are doing…Expanding The Kingdom of God on the Earth!

The Wrong Way — The Right Way — The Right Guide

The Wrong Way — The Right Way — The Right Guide

March 29, 2018 in Blog

The Wrong Way

“All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way,” Isaiah 53:6.

We’ve all done this—“turned” from going God’s way to our “own way” which seemed right and desirable to us, but always results in failure! We’ve proven that even when we try to do His will our way, that doesn’t work either.

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death,” Proverbs 14:12. That way that seems right is always “our own way.”

So many in the body of Christ have fought so hard for their own way. What would happen if we all surrendered our way for His way? God has clearly told us, “Your ways are not My ways,” Isaiah 55:8. But the good news is, we can deny our ways in exchange for His!

The Right Way
“As for God, His way is perfect,” Psalm 18:30.

When we yield and choose His way over ours, it’s amazing how smoothly things go. “Well, that worked out perfectly!” Of course it did! We chose to do His will His way!

“He makes my way perfect,” Psalm 18:32. He makes my way perfect every time I choose to go His way. I like that, don’t you? So, why would any of us forfeit a perfect outcome that glorifies God by choosing our own doomed-for-failure way? Insanity!

The Right Guide

Our Gracious Father God is Perfectly Good. Everything about His will for each one of us is “good, acceptable, and perfect,” Romans 12:2. So, instead of having a hesitating fear of going all out for God and His will, I want to urge that we should all fear and reject our own will. We have the Perfect Guide who has pledged and promised to be our instructor, teacher and counselor concerning His ways—the way we should always go!

“I the Lord will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you,” Psalm 32:8, Amplified.

When my way doesn’t line up with His way, it’s time for my way to hit the highway and get out of the way! One of my old mentors said quite often, “No greater punishment can any man have than to be left to have his own way.” If you resist God’s way and insist/persist in your own way, God will let you have it.

“If you fail to consult God, you insult God.”

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding,” Proverbs 3:5.

If you lean to your own understanding, you will always go your way—in other words, the wrong way. “In all your ways acknowledge Him (recognize Him and observe with care) and He shall direct your paths,” Proverbs 3:6.

“In all your ways” means your lifestyle. It means every decision, large and small, that you make every day.

Do you think you’ll trust God with all your heart when you spend eternity with Him? Of course! Well then, let’s trust Him now on earth to be our Perfect and Absolutely Good Guide while we’re here! Your way or His way? That should be an easy choice!

You are receiving articles like this to encourage and challenge you…feel free to use them in your own ministry and walk with the Lord. I often read something from someone else that springboards me into a series of teachings! If you ever need someone to advise or bounce something off of, don’t hesitate to contact me. I am free to come to your church or ministry to guest speak, train leaders, or help launch a Confirming The Word (CTW) Church-Based Bible School.

Remember, there’s nothing more important than what we are doing…Expanding The Kingdom of God on the Earth!

Troughs of Liquid Grace

Troughs of Liquid Grace

February 14, 2018 in Blog

Troughs of Liquid Grace

Last year a truth that became very precious and important to me was Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly to the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

I seemed to be regularly in situations where I’d done all that I knew to do and things seemed to either not change or actually got worse; so over and over I came to the “Throne of Grace.”

One morning as I was praying, it seemed like I had an inner vision of troughs suddenly extending out from His Throne and a steady stream of what appeared to be liquid grace was splashing all over my head and face.  I immediately had a sense of being lighter in spirit—lifted up.  Whenever circumstances would try to bring pressure on me again, I would envision myself being covered with Grace from the Throne of Grace.  The worst of the situations changed in a week and has maintained its victory!

“And the God of all Grace, Who called you into His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself, after your brief suffering, restore, establish, and strengthen you on a firm foundation.”  1 Peter 5:10, NEB

Notice Who He is—the God of All Grace!  Grace is not just for saving and forgiving.  Grace is God supplying His all-sufficient ability to enable us to do what we cannot do ourselves.  God restores (relationships, health, minds, families) and establishes (ministries, callings, Gospel endeavors, churches) and strengthens (your whole spirit, soul, and body).  It says He will do this Himself!  And remember, God gives generously and graciously to all, James 1:5, GNB.

The Apostle Paul got ahold of this.  He asked God to do something about the regular beatings that the messenger of Satan was bringing against him and God replied, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9, ESV

Don’t get frustrated when you realize, “I can’t do this,” when you don’t know how to do something, when you’re thrust into a situation that you’ve never been in before, when you’re without strength, in weakness—not able!

Paul got it!  “I am going to gladly, joyfully boast in my weaknesses and take pleasure in them, for when I am weak in human strength, then I can be truly strong, able, and empowered by Divine strength.”

Grace begins to flow where human ability ends.  God’s power finds its full release and perfect expression in weakness.  Until you’re in over your head—in the “impossible”—you can’t be enveloped in the perfect strength that comes from the God of All Grace.

His Grace IS sufficient for us all, and as Paul tells us, “I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.  Philippians 4:13, Passion

Let that flow of Grace from the Throne of Grace revitalize you regularly!

Angels In Our Midst

Angels In Our Midst

April 3, 2017 in Blog

A few years ago I taught a six week series on all that the Bible says about angels. They are mentioned almost 300 times and appear from Genesis to Revelation. They appear 104 times to various people in Bible days. We don’t think it’s strange that they appeared to Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, David, Elijah, Elisha, Daniel, Joseph, Mary, Peter, John, Philip, Cornelius, Paul, and twice to Jesus (strengthening Him in both cases.) If Jesus needed their help, how much more do all of us! So, why should we think it’s weird if angels appear to people now? Also, I find it strange that people are so demon conscious , talking about them so much, and then so unaware of God’s angels that they rarely mention them. It’s time for that to change.

God Confirms Whatever You Preach From His Word

As I taught this series on angels, the spiritual eyes of the people began to be opened. It was not uncommon for people to see angels all over our Auditorium as we worshiped God! (and it continues to be that way to this day.) I remember once when we were having a guest speaker (Joan Hunter), before the service had even started a visitor came out into the lobby and with enlarged eyes said to me,”There are angels all over the place in there!”

Once, we were worshiping God on a Sunday morning when I began to smell something burning. My first thought was that some of the wiring to the stage was burning out! Then it changed to the most beautiful incense I have ever smelled. One of my long time friends was standing beside me and I asked her, “Do you smell that?”

She said, “Yes, it’s incense.” About two minutes later she told me that every band member had a winged angel behind them. And, guess what song we were singing? “All the saints and angels bow before Your throne. Day and night, night and day, let incense arise.”

The Older Prophet

     I have a friend who attends another Church in my area, who is a very accurate prophet. I value his gift and highly appreciate him. He was trained by an older prophet who lives on the West Coast. This older prophet spoke at my friend’s Church one Sunday morning and afterwards my wife and I took him to lunch. We asked him if he had time to come see our Church building and he did. As soon as he entered our Church building he said, “Angels are very active in this place.” He then pointed at the wall to the right of our platform and said, “There’s an open door there with a steep staircase leading upwards. That’s where angels come and go in this place.” He then pointed at the area over our pulpit and said, “There’s a cascading waterfall flowing right there, down and out to the people.” (Many folks have seen that.) He then took us back in front of the sound booth, which is on the middle back wall. He said, “There is a 12 foot angel standing here with a short sword. He never leaves this place. Have you seen him?”

     I said, “No, but I’ve felt him many times.”

     He said, “Do you know why he’s here?”

     Before I could think, out of my spirit I said, “Yes, he’s an angel of the Presence and he’s here to guard the Presence and to keep down the flakiness!”

     He pointed his finger at me and said, “That’s exactly right!”

The 13 Year Old Boy

     Shortly after that a move of unity was birthed by the Lord in our area. About 10 churches with 24 pastors and staff gather every Tuesday morning to pray for a move of God in our area. All of our churches also gather together once a month for a Praise and Worship service. This is something phenomenal that the Lord has done for us because Boulder, Colorado has had a long standing reputation of having a bad, independent spirit. No one unites and works together, including the churches, and that has been the case for the 37 years I have been a pastor here. So, at a recent Praise and Worship service that was held at our Church, the Presence of God was thick and electric–Awesome! A 13 year old visiting boy came up to one of my elders during the Worship time and pointed out the door to the right of our platform where the angels come and go. He described it exactly as the older prophet had seen it. He then pointed over the pulpit area and said, “There is a cascading waterfall right there descending down to the people and the water is intermingled with fire.” He then took our elder to the back wall in front of the sound booth and described the angel there just as the older prophet described him, except now, the angel was of fire! The Spirit of God had chosen to confirm exactly what the older prophet had seen by showing the same thing to an up and coming 13 year old!

Types Always Point To The Reality

     When King Solomon built the Temple of the Lord in Old Covenant days, notice the attention he gave to angels. He constructed two 2o foot tall angels in the Holy of Holies whose inner wings met and touched in the center of the room and whose outer wingtips stretched from wall to wall. He covered all the walls of the two holy rooms with carved figures of angels, as well as the doors, too. (See 1 Kings 5:23-35). What was he trying to signify? Angels were attending the Presence and taking part in the holy worship that went on in that place!

     We know that Old Covenant types and shadows are pictures that help us see what is happening in our New Covenant days. I propose to you that whenever and wherever Jesus is served and worshiped as Lord and King there are hosts of angels worshiping Him and serving right alongside us! I pray that our awareness, our desire, and our intensity would increase so that we could understand and grasp the awesome workings of God’s unseen realm that are present and active all around us!

     Then I fell down at his feet to worship him (the angel), but he said, “No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers and sisters who testify about their faith in Jesus. Worship only God.” Revelation 19:10 NLT

     Pray with me, “Teach us Lord, how to cooperate and flow with all the wonderful workings of Your Kingdom Realm! Teach us how to be responsive and how to move with all the powerful armies and assets of Heaven! We know that Your resources are more than enough to assist and equip us in all of our callings and assignments. And most of all, may we have regular face to Face encounters with You as we worship with all Your attending, holy angels! To you be all the Glory and Honor forever!

Controversial

Controversial

December 7, 2015 in Blog

Controversial is defined as,”giving rise to public disagreement; likely to produce controversy.”

I was sitting last month in a cafe in Indiana with my missionary friend, David Hogan, when he said to our host pastors,”I’m controversial, you know.”
That made me chuckle and I immediately thought of what my British mentor, Arthur Burt, used to tell me about healing evangelist Smith Wigglesworth. Arthur had lived with Smith at one time and said that people either loved Smith or hated him. To most people, he was a strange dichotomy of a man. He could be rough and aggressive one moment, then the next he could weep and sob as he held a sick baby in his arms. In one meeting, a couple with a crippled toddler came forward and set their little boy on the stage for prayer. Smith stepped back, then came forward and booted the boy off the stage. When the boy landed, he hit the ground walking-completely healed! Arthur said,”I saw it with my own eyes, Brother Steve.” When he operated in ways like this, some in the crowd would yell out at him,”You brute!”

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