Influence of a father on the faith practice of his children

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Just want to highlight results from this swiss study for all dads:

•Mother attends church regularly, father is non-practicing, percentage of children attending regularly as adults: 1.5%

•Both mother and father attend church regularly, percentage of children attending weekly as adults: 32.8%

•Father attends church regularly, mother is non-practicing, percentage of children attending regularly as adults: 44.2%

In short, if a father does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife’s devotions, only one child in 50 will become a regular worshiper. If a father does go regularly, regardless of the practice of the mother, between two-thirds and three-quarters of their children will become churchgoers (regular and irregular)…

An unrelated survey in the USA also found fathers to be highly influential in church attendance. It found that if a child is the first person in a household to become a Christian, there is a 3.5% probability everyone else in the household will follow. If the mother is the first to become a Christian, there is a 17% probability everyone else in the household will follow. However, when the father is first, there is a 93% probability everyone else in the household will follow

Bottom line: MEN – LEAD!

Let’s Pray:

‘Father God, help us to become faithful in attendance at our local church, bringing our families with us. In Your Name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

A Call to Fast and pray…

Fasting, a Christian discipline –

fast

Each year, as I seek the Lord, there comes a time, when I deliberate fast and pray – a time to let go of agendas, offences, even daily disciplines, that are not bearing any fruit in my life. Time to reflect, receive fresh vision and direction, to replenish, and then launch out again in His plan and destiny of my life. Hear the words of Jesus:

MATTHEW 6:16-18

  1. Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
  2. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
  3. That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.,

As a Rhema Graduate, I have heard Kenneth E Hagin teach on many subjects, but his book, ‘A Common Sense Guide to Fasting’ has been a great help to me over the years.. I encourage you to read it: http://www.rhema.org/store/a-commonsense-guide-to-fasting-book.html

fasting Kenneth

As I prepare to do my particular yearly fast of ‘no pleasant food’, I am encouraged by this quote from brother Hagins book:

“Remember how Daniel fasted 21 days? He ate no “pleasant bread.” We need to realize there is more than one way to fast. Daniel didn’t eat anything he wanted, but he did eat a little something. That is harder to do some­times.

You see, it’s a matter of keeping the flesh under; keep­ing the body under and not letting it dominate you. You dominate it instead.

If you wanted to go a step further, you could fast things other than food. You might say, “Now, Lord, I’m going to leave off watching television and spend that time pray­ing.” (Daniel said he gave up eating pleasant bread. So why wouldn’t it be all right to leave off other things that might be pleasant to us?)

A well-known evangelist when he was pastoring decided to give God 10 percent of his time in prayer. He began to pray at night after his family was in bed. He prayed two hours and 40 minutes each night. To do that he had to sacrifice his television time. God has given him an internationally known ministry.”

Over the years, I have been drawn repeatedly back to these verses of Scripture as I fast:

fast 58

Isaiah 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward.

Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:

11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

So, for the record, I am going to go through these verses for you, and explain the ways I have used them in my own particular journey of faith:

Isaiah 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

As I fast and pray, I recognize that we have spiritual enemies that if not directly preventing our success, always try to at least contain us in some measure to their control. I am believing for God Almighty to break their bands of wickedness, to remove their heavy burdens, to let me go free from all demonic oppression, and oppression by ungodly people. A yoke is something you harness an animal by. Forces that are driving and prodding me into pathways other than the glorious liberty of the Spirit of God, must go, be broken, by the power of Jesus!

break curse

Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

These verses are a ‘heart check’ for me. I should already, always, continually be feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for those less fortunate. Yet, here I check myself as to how well I am actually doing this as a man of God. Do I have clothes I can give away? Can I provide shelter for someone who can never repay me? Am I actually living and walking in the love of God?

‘and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?’

In the Amplified Bible it says:

‘and that you hide not yourself from [the needs of] your own flesh and blood?’

Here is where the rubber meets the road. How well am I exemplifying the love of Jesus to my own family members? ,

Fasting is hard on our pride and selfish natures – seems it is easier to love stangers, than family members who are not living the way WE think they should. God loves them, and if we are to represent Him, we must too, no matter what they have done, or are doing…. Maybe a simple telephone call, card, or birthday gift will break the ice on relational walls of bitterness, grudges held generationally – rationalized because: ‘that’s just the way we are’” Nope, there is a cross for our sin, and our lack of love towards family, is one that must die….We are called to love…

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Back in college, I took a couple courses in computer programming. We would write modules in Pascal (I know, for all you ‘C++’ programmers it is a dinosaur), where we would tell the computer  IF (this condition is met), THEN (this must happen). In the previous verses, God was telling us to DO certain things in both prayer, in attitude, and action.

IF we do these things, then we qualify for THEN He will do these things:

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward.

Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.

The true purpose of fasting is to seek God, who is life, love, purity, power, strength, purpose, direction, power, holiness, healing and prosperity. God is love!

Light speaks of revelation to me: Psalm 119:130

The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

Here we see revelation being imparted, healing from the throne of God, justification before our enemies, the glory of God deposited in our lives, and intimacy, the thing we desperately need, the innermost needs of our heart met by the Lord Himself – we call, and He answers! Sometimes the greatest miracle in life, is to be granted supernatural understanding of a situation!

Back to another ‘IF’

If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity.

My translation? Stop gossiping, wasting your precious conversations with words empty of substance and power, judging, pointing fingers at others – your life has never been about them anyway, it’s about you and Jesus! Change your words, change your life – SPEAK THE WORD OF GOD! Words of power!

10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul;

fast v10

In my life: ‘drawing out my soul to the hungry’ is to pour my love out in teaching, preaching, encouraging, instructing people with the bread of life, the Word of God. People are hungry for love, the greatest need of all, the only thing that will meet the true hunger of every heart, is Jesus! He will heal the afflicted soul! Yes, we work and supply physical food, but what about loving and injecting life into our particular world? Money will not do this, unless used in love to alleviate human suffering, and meet legitimate needs…If we do these things

THEN

then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:

11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

Much can be said here, but this speaks of the result of our work and effort. Jesus walks with us, and does signs, wonders and miracles, and others lives are changed. They catch the vision, and move in His love and power, and the result of their work is foundations of many generations being raised up, and we become repairers of the breach, restorers of the way, the one true path, the pathways of purpose, the straight and narrow path, the walk of faith with Jesus! Notice here that it is those whose lives we touch that build up the waste places, raising up the foundations of many generations…

and make fat thy bones:

These simple words have great depth and meaning. Medically, we know that in the marrow of our bones, is where our blood cells are actually produced. Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: Seems that as we fast, God does a deep, deep work in our bodies, strengthening our bone marrow, to infuse us with  His life.

fast v11

Isaiah 58:11 (CJB)

11 Adonai will always guide you; he will satisfy your needs in the desert, he will renew the strength in your limbs;

Isaiah 58:11 (NIRV)

11 I will always guide you.     I will satisfy your needs in a land baked by the sun.     I will make you stronger.

Isaiah 58:11 (NLT)

11 The Lord will guide you continually,     giving you water when you are dry     and restoring your strength.

Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)

11 The Lord will guide you always;     he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land     and will strengthen your frame.

One day when I was fasting, struggling to become stronger in my weight training program, these words jumped off the page at me: and will strengthen your frame.

I saw that by fasting, I could literally become physically stronger.

Check this out:

Yeshayah 58:11 (OJB)

11 And Hashem shall guide thee tamid, and satisfy thy nefesh in drought, and strengthen thy atzmot; and thou shalt be like a gan raveh (well-watered garden), and like a motzah mayim (spring of water), whose mayim fail not.

I am no Hebrew Scholar, but I needed to know what ‘atzmot’ was.

Best definition I found is the one by Dr. Rachel Adelman, Jewish scholar.

She states: atzmot – Opening the Ibn Shoshan dictionary to the word ‘atzma’ut, one finds the following definition: “ability to stand on one’s own; independence from others; autonomy.” 

I remember some years ago reading a Body building article, as I was (and still am) trying to combine a decent cardio fitness routine, with strength training. In the article, the author spoke about how, in heavy lifting, you literally tore the deep interskelatal muscles that attached to your bones, and that it was these deep muscle tissues that allowed us to handle heavy weights…

‘I will strengthen your frame!’

13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
    and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
    and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
    and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the Lord,
    and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
    and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

I notice again my old computer training kicking in again: IF…THEN.

If we serve God, THEN He will give us joy, He will give us victory.

Psalm 92:13 (NIV) 13 planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.

planted

In short, FAST IN FAITH!

Faith only comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. God is love, and He is not looking for a hunger strike from you and I, but as always, that we draw near to Him, meet with Him, and let Him direct our lives for good.

Struggling to make something happen?

Consider fasting and praying – it works!

Jesus is Lord!

Jesus Decisions upon the Harvest

harvest

Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest
I am determined to be a voice for God, not merely an echo:
Today, I hear Jesus saying: “I am making decisions based upon my harvests in the earth, in 2015, and for years to come. I am opening up new fields, and have prepared and raised up leaders to reap them. Those who commit to harvest, shall be blessed, promoted, and prospered. Those who do not, who have become comfortable, will be passed by, missing great opportunity, and eternal reward. Do not be shaken by those leaving the earth by way of the grave, they have run their race, finished their course, and I am bringing them home to glory, for I love them! Lift up your eyes to the harvest and align yourselves with people and ministries that have harvest, growth, and souls as their pursuit – shake off ungodly yokes and relational entanglements designed to drain my life from you, but run YOUR race before me, without restraint or compromise, and see my victory, joy, breakthroughs, signs, wonders and miracles in the earth”

The Switchman

The Switchman

switchman swing bridge

 

There was a man who worked for the railway as a switchman. He lived at the edge of a river, alongside the tracks. The river had a swinging railway bridge that remained open most of the time to let the ships go through. When a train came, the control office would radio ahead to the switchman, who would go out to his little switching shack at the side of the tracks, to sound the horn to stop shipping, and swing the bridge into place so the passenger train could cross. This happened twice a day, and became a routine for everyone involved. Some days, the switchman would allow his three-year-old son to sit in the shack with him, gently holding him on his knee, while he operated the levers. When the afternoon passenger train arrived, together they would hold hands at the side of the tracks and wave at the passengers as the huge train thundered across the bridge. The father loved his son, and they loved to spend time together.

As time went on, the bridge began to decay, and the locking mechanism on the far side of the river began to malfunction. When this happened, the switchman could walk across the bridge, and put his shoulder into a huge lever, that manually locked the bridge in place. One day, as usual, the switchman got the radio call announcing the afternoon passenger express. In the prescribed fashion, he sounded the foghorns stopping the shipping traffic, and activated the switch to swing the huge old bridge into place. Slowly, it swung across the river, and as had happened before, it refused to lock into place. Looking around, the man saw no sign of his little boy, so he began the walk across the river to manually lock the bridge. As he proceeded across, he heard the train whistle, coming around the bend. “I’m not moving as fast as usual,” he thought, but there was still time. He began to hurry, reaching the other side, as the train came into view barreling down the tracks. Sweating, catching his breath, he sighed “Phew, made it”. As he grabbed hold of the lever, he realized the train was close now, but he still had time. As he put his shoulder behind the lever, he heard a sound that made his blood curl. “Daddy”. In horror, he looked up to see his son walking across the tracks to be with him. The train was pounding on, and suddenly, he realized there was no time to do anything. He had to make a decision. Either lock the bridge, and have the train make it across safely, or leave it unlocked, and have the train plummet into the river, in which case his own son would surely die. With a cry of anguish, he flung the lever into place, and the hurtling train instantly crushed his son beneath its weight. He fell to his knees, crushed beneath the horror of what he’d done. The train conductor and the passengers stood up to wave, totally oblivious to the kneeling, weeping man at the side of the tracks. The train went on its way, and the man picked up the broken, crushed body of his son, and headed home to tell his wife.

switchman

Picture if you will the anguish of that man as he carried the body of his son back across that bridge that night. That is a picture of the heart of Father God, when another Son died for you and for me, 2000 years ago on a cross. His anguish caused the earth to split, and the sky to become as black as night. How many of us, are like the passengers on that train, oblivious to the incredible price that was paid for each of our lives when Jesus died on the cross in our stead.

The question now is simple: How comfortable are you with your neighbor going to hell?

Jesus is the only way to heaven, there is no other way to be forgiven our sins…

Perhaps, you are the only one they might listen to, please tell them.

I’m going to make it really easy for you: Simply cut and paste this link, and send it to them….

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/the-gospel-the-power-of-god/

switchman you are

Living Stones!

Living Stones

living stones gems

As I sit here today, I cannot get away from a simple statement made by my daughter Keila: ‘Dad, I finally figured out why people have rough edges, so we can fit the pieces together”

Got to thinking about all the people I know that have rough edges, and how well we get along as we do life and serve Jesus together.

living stones rough

Today, I want to honor one of them in this blog, someone who has become a brother in battle, one of the few I honestly call friend.

His name is Harry Hayes. In the eyes of many, he is simply a crotchety old veteran, got a few aches and pains along life’s rough road, had to put in the hospital couple weeks back, when he blacked out in men’s prayer. Sometimes he gets angry, frustrated with the pain, and the new-fangled technology generation that has neat toys that he does not yet fully know how to use. Yet, don’t be fooled by the outward appearance of this humble 74 year old man, Harry is a warrior. He’s the real deal.

He served 23 years in the United States army, a combat veteran doing tours of duty in Viet Nam, Germany, Desert Storm, to name a few battle grounds. Places where they had to ‘stack bodies like cordwood.’ Where fear tried to clutch lives as surely as bullets on night watches on enemy lines….

Yet, Harry loves Jesus. He knows Him, and serves Him, and my Jesus has seen this warrior through the trials of life faithfully, protecting and delivering him from certain death many, many times.

Couple years back, Harry and I were eating breakfast after the death of Joanne, his wife and love of 30 years.

He asked me what to do, Joanne and he did everything together, going to prisons to visit inmates, teaching Sunday school for 15 years, travelling and going to church together, so our lives were about to become inextricatly intertwined.

I said to him, ‘Harry, the way I see it, you only have two choices. You can go home, and get yourself a rocking chair on the porch, and wait for death to come get you, and Jesus to take you home, or, in a couple of months, you need to get in the back of the van, and we need to go to Mexico for Christmas, and do something for Jesus with a friend of mine, Daniel King. You seek Harry, missions are the heart of God, and Daniel is organizing a missions trip to make Christmas happen for a bunch of children in Juarez, that because of the atrocities of the drug cartel, are not going to have one.’

The rest is history. On Christmas day of 2012, we hit the road at 4AM in a brutal snowstorm, and drove to El Paso, Texas.

That Christmas, 17 of us got to serve with Daniel and Jessica, handing out 1300 Teddy Bears to children, candy canes, and 2 tons of beans and rice to their moms. One afternoon as 700 children gathered to hear about Jesus, sing Christmas carols, and receive gifts, we all found purpose in living for Jesus, that there is joy in the battle, when we love those who could never pay us back…

Harry0

Harry Mexico crusade

Now, 2 years later, Harry has been on five trips with our family, and he is now ‘uncle’ Harry in our house. This gruff old man, has proven to be a warrior, born for battle, one you want in the hard places of life. As we have slept on church floors, and done some long, exhausting stretches of highway, he never complains, but worships Jesus as we go, as God takes us, the weak and the foolish things of this world, to confound the wise, and great, great exploits have been wrought for the kingdom of God.

Harry Navajo

I have learned these verses to be true….

1 Peter 2:5 (AMP)

[Come] and, like living stones, be yourselves built [into] a spiritual house, for a holy (dedicated, consecrated) priesthood, to offer up [those] spiritual sacrifices [that are] acceptable and pleasing to God through Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 2:4-8 (MSG)

The Stone

4-8 Welcome to the living Stone, the source of life. The workmen took one look and threw it out; God set it in the place of honor. Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you’ll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God. The Scriptures provide precedent:

Look! I’m setting a stone in Zion, a cornerstone in the place of honor. Whoever trusts in this stone as a foundation will never have cause to regret it.

To you who trust him, he’s a Stone to be proud of, but to those who refuse to trust him,

The stone the workmen threw out is now the chief foundation stone.

For the untrusting it’s . . . a stone to trip over,     a boulder blocking the way.

They trip and fall because they refuse to obey, just as predicted

That stones with rough edges can be carefully fit together by the hand of a master craftsman named Jesus, and that He Himself raises us up, master builders in Him, to apply morter, to knock off rough edges, and to carefully fit His people together, to form something greater than any one of us individually, could ever become, the church of the living God!

Matthew 16:18 (AMP)

18 And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek, Petros—a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra—a huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it].

 

Matthew 16:17-18 (MSG)

17-18 Jesus came back, “God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.

Jesus is building His church, and as I read this article by C.H. Spurgeon today, I am encouraged!

“Then should our souls in Zion dwell, Nor fear the rage of Rome or hell.”

The church is not in danger, and she never can be. Let her enemies come on, she can resist. Her passive majesty, her silent rocky strength, bids them defiance now. Let them come on and break themselves in pieces, let them dash themselves against her, and learn the ready road to their own destruction. She is safe, and she must be safe even unto the end. Thus much then we can say of the structure; it is built by infinite wisdom, and it is impregnably secure. (http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0267.htm)”

living stones

We are living stones! Born-again in Him! Alive with the life of God! Church will never be about buildings, bricks and mortar, rather about the incredible work of Jesus building our lives, our relationships, strong in Him, together with His Body.

living stones heart

“There are too many churches that are nothing but a mass of dull, dead formality; there is no life of God there. You might go to worship with such a people, day after day, and your heart would never beat more quickly, your blood would never leap in its veins, your soul would never be refreshed, for it is an empty house. Fair may be the architecture of the structure, but empty is its storehouse, there is no table spread, there is no rejoicing, no killing of the fatted calf, no dancing, no singing for joy. Beloved, let us take heed, lest our churches become the same, lest we be combinations of men without spiritual life, and consequently houses uninhabited, because God is not there. But a true church, that is visited by the Spirit of God, where conversion, instruction, devotion, and the like, are carried on by the Spirit’s own living influences—such a church has God for its inhabitant.”

God in the midst of us is mighty, and truly the sum of the total far surpasses the combined sum of all the parts, because the infinite Creator of the universe lives within us!”

living stones midst

“Now, God calls the church his habitation—his home. See him abroad; he is hurling the thunderbolt and lifting up his voice upon the waters. Hearken to him; his voice breaks the cedars of Lebanon and makes the hinds to calve. See him when he makes war, riding the chariot of his might, he drives the rebellious angels over the battlements of heaven down to the depth of hell. Behold him as he lifteth himself in the majesty of his strength! Who is this that is glorious? It is God, most high and terrible. But see he lays aside his glittering sword; his spear he bears no longer. He cometh back to his home. His children are about him. He taketh his solace and his rest. Yes, think not I venture too far—he shall rest in his lover and he doth do it. He resteth in his church. He is no longer a consuming fire, a terror, and a flame. Now, is he love and kindness and sweetness, ready to hear the prattle of his children’s prayer, and the disjointed notes of his children’s song. Oh how beautiful is the picture of the church as God’s house, the place in which he takes his solace! “For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.”

Why those wars and tempests, and then again this stillness and calm? It is for his church. Not an angel divides the ether who hath not a mission for the church…

The storehouses of God are for his church. The depths beneath of hidden treasure, of God’s unutterable riches—all these are for his people. There is nothing which he hath from his blazing crown to the darkness that is beneath his throne, that is not for his redeemed.

CH Spurgeon

You are being built, and you’re a temple of the living God!

Ephesians 2:20 (AMP)

20 You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself the chief Cornerstone

Used to hear the joke doing ministry among First Nations people that we could follow Jesus, because He is the great chief of all the tribes, ‘Chief Cornerstone’, chief of all chief’s! Yet, this saying is true, He is the head of the church, commander in chief of heaven and earth, for all authority in heaven and earth has been given to Him, when He rose victoriously from the dead, awarded the keys to death and hell, having ascended to the right hand of the throne of God, watching while we make His enemies, His footstool.

Ephesians 2:19-22 (MSG)  

19-22 That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home

living stones text

Yes, we go to church, but it is what we are becoming at the feet of Jesus that is greater, and of eternal worth.

So, my counsel to you is simple: Go to Church, Be the Church, Be part of seeing the gates of hell fall before us in this generation – Grow the church.

Let’s pray:

‘Father, fit me into Your church, Your body, where I am supposed to be. Knock off my rough edges, pour your mortar over and around me, and set me in my place, impregnable against the storms of life, machinations of devils, and plots of wicked men. I ask this, knowing I am heard, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!’

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Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving. I know I am in aggressive prayer for you and your family, daily!

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!

He Came to bring Joy!

joy0
Ever had a bad day? Bad attitude? Discouragement?
Well, the kingdom of God has no bad days!
Jesus is joyful!
Here are some promises from the Word of God, asking God to restore your joy!

Ps 35:27 Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.

Father, I shout unto you for joy! Thank you for happiness and gladness today, in Jesus name!

Ps 51:8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice

Father, I know that in your presence is fullness of joy. Cause me to hear joy and gladness today!

Joy

Ps 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit

Father, when we first met, I was full of joy, daily. Restore unto me the joy of my salvation. Uphold me Holy Spirit, and bring freedom!

Ps 105:43 And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness:

Father, you’ve seen my trials, and tears. Turn them into testimonies of your grace, as you bring me out, with joy and gladness.

Ps 126:5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

Father, you have seen my tears. I see the brokenness of our world, and I weep. Yet, you hear, you understand, and You answer with power. I believe you are manifesting miracles today, causing me to reap, in JOY!

Ne 8:10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

Your kingdom is one third joy Father. I receive your kingdom today, in Joy!

Joy1

Is 12:3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

As I stir myself up to seek you today, with joy do I draw from the wells of salvation!

Isa 29:19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

I believe I am increasing my joy in you Jesus, rejoicing in the Holy One of Israel.

Isa 35:10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

As I come to you in song and worship, I obtain joy and gladness, and depression, sorrow, and sighing gotta go!

 

Isa 51:3 For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.

You see the fight of faith and challenges of life. I believe I receive your comfort Holy Spirit, that you are making me fruitful, and giving me joy, gladness, and song. Thank you Father!

Isa 51:11 Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

I’m redeemed by Jesus blood! I obtain joy and gladness!

Isa 55:12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

As I go into this world, I go out with joy, and am led forth in peace!

Isa 60:15 Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal Excellency, a joy of many generations.

Father, your call upon my life, produces eternal Excellency, joy to many generations!

Isa 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

Father, Holy Spirit is upon me, and has anointed me. Thank you for the oil of JOY!

joy2

Isa 61:7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.

I receive everlasting joy!

Isa 65:14 Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.

Father, I am your servant! I sing for joy of heart!

joy3

Zep 3:17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

Father, I’m grateful for your love. Thank you for rejoicing over me in singing!

Luke 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

Father, when I am persecuted and misunderstood for your sake, help me to leap for joy, seeing my trial from heaven’s perspective.

Ac 13:52 And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.

Fill me Holy Spirit, with joy!

Ro 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost

joy4

Lu 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Father, thank you for giving me your kingdom! I receive joy!

joy5

 

Ro 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Father, you see what I have believed, no I believe I receive joy and peace as I stand in faith!

Ps 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

You have seen my tears, now I receive Joy!

joy6

Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

Unto you Jesus, do I bow in thanksgiving, praise, and worship. You are well able to keep me, both in this life and the next!

joy7

Hear God – Even if you are in trouble!

Revelation brings persecution!

possible not easy

Heb 10: 32  But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;

Mr 4:17  And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

2Co 12:7  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

When you honestly hear God, Satan will oppose you. The very direction, illumination, and revelation you have been seeking God for, when granted, brings Satan on the scene.

Why?

Containment.

If he can’t take the Word from you, he will try and shake it from you, and he does this to stop the work of God in the earth.  You cannot judge what you hear from God by your circumstances, or the voices of other people, but must judge what you hear by the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God.

Jesus said: Joh 16:33  These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

faith John 16-33

The apostles knew this, and taught it to the early church, clearly:

Ac 14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

You will have victory in this life, when you believe God, and walk out what He is telling you, but it is not always a walk of ease. There can be intense hardship, affliction, and persecution for following Jesus, to try to get you off of your heavenly mandate and vision.

1Jo 5:4  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

faith stand

Your belief will see you through, and you will become stronger than your trial, as you obey God.

1Co 15:57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

If you are in a trial of your faith now, know that you are not alone. All of us that have stepped out in faith have experienced challenges, sometimes very, very severely. Yet, God did not bring the trial, He loves us, and is a good God. He will give you overwhelming, supernatural power and grace to not only go through it, but to explode out the other side in total victory, not just a winner, a conquerer, but more than a conquerer in Him. Keep on walking friend, you are not alone warrior, history making and nation shaking is our duty and responsibility, let’s walk through it in JOY!

33  Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.

Had a group of businessmen that I had led to the Lord buy me a plaque, that read, ‘He is no fool, that gives up what he cannot keep, to gain that which he can never lose!”

It is a statement made by a missionary named Jim Elliot, who was killed for trying to share the gospel with an unreached Indian tribe in South America.

In the eyes of the world, we may look like fools, laughingstocks to people who have no understanding of who we are and what we do. Yet our testimony is making headlines in heaven! What we are doing has eternal weight and consequence!

34  For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

These Christians loved Paul, their minister, when everyone else wanted him imprisoned or killed. It cost them their stuff, the joyful spoiling of their goods, yet they saw their lives through heavens eyes.

35  Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

The word Confidence here, is the same word translated in other verses as Boldness. Live boldly for Jesus, and do not back down on what He has told you.

36  For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

37  For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

Who is He? Jesus! King of kings, Lord of Lords, king of glory! When He shows up on the scene, you trial ends, with His power and glory displayed!

faith king

38  Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

What we believe keeps us alive! No matter what the circumstances are screaming, believe, and continue walking forward! You are putting a smile on God’s face as you do, and with all the heartache and evil in the world, that alone should be enough to encourage you. He has been good to us, let’s give Him pleasure!

39  But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

You are going to make it! Jesus is with you, and I am praying for you! You are not alone, but have heaven on it’s feet, the great cloud of witnesses, cheering you on! Don’t let up, shut up, nor put up with compromise! WHATEVER HE SAYS, DO IT!

faith voice

We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;
Jesus knows, He sees, He feels, and He understands!
He loves you! Even if you feel you cannot see Him:
faith believe sunrise

Is 63:9  In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

Heb 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Jesus knows! Jesus cares! He knows what you are going through, and these verses declare that He is in it with you! He will never leave you nor forsake you, and has given you Holy Spirit and angels to get you through.

Ro 8:26  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

When you have come to the end of yourself, pray in the Holy Spirit. He will help you, strengthen you, comfort, encourage, direct, and reveal to you what needs to be done. Jesus loves you, and so do I, you are not alone….

Is 64:1 ¶  Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence,

2  As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence!

3  When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence.

4  For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

This is the cry of my heart these days. I was in a meeting once, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, at a conference in the revival there, at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. Worship had been deep and rich, and there was an incredible presence of God in the air, as the man of God came to the pulpit to preach. Then, it happened: God moved. The minister was knocked to the floor, and like a wave, so were the 5000 people present in the meeting. We laid on the floor, some under chairs, for over an hour, the only sound being the occasional deep sobbing and weeping of God’s people as He ministered. There was a tremendous fear of the Lord in the place. God showed up, not in some Holy Ghost giftings, and goose bumps, but in His power, majesty and glory, and no man could stand to minister, nor speak for that matter.

This is my cry for the church here in the United States, and for America. That God show up, and reveal again His power, majesty, holiness, and glory, to this generation. For this I am pressing in, the hope of the nations, the only hope for this nation….Jesus is Lord!

Yet, even after the manifest presence and glory of God is revealed, we must still walk by faith:

Hebrews 11:6 [Full Chapter]

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Matthew 13:21

yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended

Rev dim light

Seems that in the glory of God, God speaks clearly. When He does, He expects us to believe what He says, to the exclusion of every other voice and circumstance. His passion is to be believed and trusted…this is a way we can put a smile on His face!

When we actually believe that He has not only spoken to us, but that despite the often incredibly contrary circumstances, He, Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth is both willing and able to bring to pass exactly what He said He would….

This, and distractions are the main reasons the works of Jesus do not fully happen in the earth…

He is developing us, for eternal rank and privilege, and this life becomes a training ground for this process, as we learn to live and walk by faith!

Romans 8:29 (King James)

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.

He loves us! Holy Spirit will both bring to our remembrance things He has already told us to do, and will show us things to come…

Yet, His name is ‘I AM’, the one who will never leave nor forsake us, and NOW, faith is.

He has opened doors for you and I:

John 10:3

To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out

13 A temptation has not seized you except what is common-to-humanity. And God is faithful, Who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but also with the temptation will make the way-out, that you may be able to endure

 

Even now, as we seek Him in His Word, He speaks, He leads, He reveals, and He guides…

 

Acts 22:14

And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth

 

voice

 

Hebrews 3:7

Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,

 

Hebrews 4:7

again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

 

 

Revelation 21:3

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

 

We are called to bring Heaven to earth, by His Word and our obedience to His Spirit.

 

There are always people on the other side of our obedience, people who are good works for us, prepared from before the foundation of the world, for His glory.

 

Yesterdays tragedies, failures, or victories are but memories and instruction points: we learn from them, but today is the day of salvation, and NOW faith is what is required.

 

Today is a great day to obey God, a great day for your miracle, a great day to work miracles in the lives of those He has called you to serve!

 

Let’s Pray:

 

‘Father, Today, I would obey You! Today, I release my faith in You for direction, breakthroughs, wisdom, the hearing afresh and anew, Your voice. I expect You to use me and flow through me today to promote Your kingdom and Your glory, for I come before Your throne, knowing I am loved, heard, and answered, for I have come in Your mighty and matchless name Lord Jesus, Amen!’

For prayer, comments, or to donate online:

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Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

 

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!