Revival begins with me!

Praying in Tongues Makes Pure Hearts… Mat_5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly. As we pray in tongues, our very spirit, cries out to God, in His language. Our deepest […]

Praying in Tongues Makes Pure Hearts…

pure-heart

Mat_5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

As we pray in tongues, our very spirit, cries out to God, in His language. Our deepest thoughts of heart, expressed perfectly to Him, in a language that our minds don’t understand, but that exactly speaks our deepest desires….

Romans 8:26 (EXB)

26 ·Also [or In the same way], the Spirit helps us ·with [or in] our weakness. We do not know ·how to pray as we should [or what we ought to pray for]. But the Spirit himself ·speaks to God for us [intercedes] with ·deep feelings [L groanings] ·that words cannot explain [or that are inexpressible; or that are unspoken; or too deep for words].

tongues-gift

As we have been aggressively seeking God here in Tulsa, pressing into Him, praying in the Holy Spirit and seeking His face, I have noticed a wonderful dynamic happening.

In me, Holy Spirit is revealing insecurities and ‘stinking thinking’, and as I confess it to Him, He is changing, transforming me, to become more like Jesus, a better man.

Yet, as I have surveyed the spiritual landscape, I have seen folks ‘blowing up’ in anger, relationships severed or strained, and intense conflicts erupting. So, I asked God what is going on.

Initially, I thought it was all of the devil, a counterattack from the aggressive press we are in in prayer, to turn America and nations back to Jesus, and I am sure that there is some of that occurring, but the Lord showed me something deeper and more profound occurring.

Seems that He Himself, was gently knocking on peoples hearts, Christians that loved Him, but who, like me, had insecurities, secret sins, trauma, and deep core pain issues in their soulical realm.

As we have pressed in, our human spirits have been empowered by the Holy Spirit, and the first word of His name, is Holy!

Psa_23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Makes holy

He has begun to gently love out some deep hurts and traumas in peoples lives, and as He has come knocking, first gently, now with greater and greater insist-ency and power, and folks have gone off.

The searing pain of His love, too savage to handle, people withdrawing or throwing up defenses of anger, in order to avoid His surgical knife applied to our hearts.
fire soul

He is not going to stop! Too many of us have prayed too great of a price, to allow old wineskins, and religious constructs, learned behaviors to hinder what must be done.

Luke 20:18

Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

broken

It is time to fall upon the stone and become broken weeping puddles before Him, allowing the depths of His love, and fire to burn away our bitterness, betrayals, pain, pride, self-righteousness, perversions, lusts, rage, and ungodly control, letting Him truly be Lord of our lives, our families, and our church.

Psalm 139:23-24  (KJV)

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

One definition of wicked comes from the root noun,
wick1

[wik]
Spell Syllables
noun
1. a bundle or loose twist or braid of soft threads, or a woven strip ortube, as of cotton or asbestos, which in a candle, lamp, oil stove,cigarette lighter, or the like, serves to draw up the melted tallow orwax or the oil or other flammable liquid to be burned.
verb (used with object)
2. to draw off (liquid) by capillary action.
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/wicked

The sense then, of ‘wicked’ is ‘to be braided with evil’.

Through original sin, we are all fallen creatures, dead in our sins.

Yet, we have become new in Jesus, born-again, righteous children of the king!

Yet, this is in our spirit – our soul now has become the battlefield, where our mind, will and emotions would struggle to keep us living in our old nature. This part of us, must become renewed, transformed, by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, as He carefully ‘unbraids’ our wicked motives and thought patterns and gives us new life.

This must be the cry of our hearts, to be Holy, and when He answers, we must allow Him to forgive, cleanse, and unravel the twisted cords our wicked ways have made our lives become.

Jacob, the deceiver, supplanter, con man, cried out to God, and after wrestling with an angel, became Israel, prince with God and man, the man of honor he was created to be.

This, is true revival. No more games with God, but deep brokenness, humility, and cleansing of heart, that brings His presence and glory into the earth, through us.

Let’s Pray:

‘Father, I hunger and thirst for what only You can give, not mere positional holiness through Jesus blood, but true purity of heart, motive, restoration of my soul, in the depths and core of my being. Break through every wall I have set up in my heart against You, truth, and cleanse me from my wicked ways, my deepest pains, my sickest secrets, that I might be the vessal of honor you have called me to be, fit for Your use Lord Jesus, Amen’

be-holy

Four Stages of Manhood – Part 3 – Fatherhood

The Four Stages of Manhood – Fatherhood

fatherhood boysI am producing a series of short, Biblical articles on manhood, and the four stages that I see from the Word of God, we grow through, both naturally and spiritually. These four stages are:

Boyhood

Manhood

Fatherhood

The Age of the Patriarch

Today, we will look at fatherhood.

We talked about the passage of rights from boyhood into manhood, and how men have a warrior inside of them, needing to for fight for the right things…

Yet, boys become men, fall in love, and get married. In the fullness of time, the fruit of that love becomes a family, and children are born. Now, the mighty warrior, with the wild and crazy side has to grow up and face the ‘R’ word – Responsibility. He is still a warrior, but now he picks his battles and fights not for himself, but only to protect his family, community and nation. Freedom has never been free, and free men have always stood up in tough times, and fought for liberty and justice for all. It is always our prayer that there be peace, and that these battles be won in prayer…for God is the ultimate Father, and anyone who has held a helpless newborn in his arms gets a fresh revelation of:

Isaiah 40:11

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Suddenly we find we need the peace and gentleness of God, that we might say, like king David, the ultimate warrior did, so many years ago:

Psalm 18:35

Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great

fatherhood egg in vice

Meekness is not weakness, it is strength under control…

 

As I have meditated upon this article, and thought of my journey as a father and dad, I decided to review some Scriptures on parenting, that I list here for your edification:

Fatherhood Scriptures

Malachi 4:6

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

 Luke 1:17

And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord

Luke 11:7

And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.

Luke 11:13

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

 Luke 18:15-17

And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

 Acts 2:39

For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call

 Romans 8:16

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Romans 8:17

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Romans 8:21

Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God

 1 Corinthians 4:15

For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel

2 Corinthians 12:14

Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children

 1 Thessalonians 2:7

But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:

 Colossians 3:21

Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Ephesians 6:4

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

 1 Timothy 3:4

one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

Hebrews 12:9

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

1 John 2:13

I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.

1 John 2:14

I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

I recall a series I taught several times over the years on getting to know God as Father, entitled ‘The Father Heart of God’. I taught seven lessons on Pappa God, describing Him as:

Lesson 1: Protector,

Lesson 2: Provider

Lesson 3: Disciplinarian

Lesson 4: Mentor

Lesson 5: A Warrior who fights for His church

Lesson 6: Nurturer

Lesson 7: The preparer of the Bride for His Son.

Knowing God as OUR Father is critical to becoming whole as men. No matter how great our earthly fathers were, they only brought so much to the table, and God has designed his universe that He have no grandchildren, only children, born-again through Jesus, and adopted into the royal family of heaven.

While these truths of the character of Father God are eternal and of critical consequence to those of us who have huge unmet spiritual needs in our homes, the question is how do we incorporate these attributes of Father God into our own hearts and homes, to fulfill:

Genesis 18:19

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him

That God would know us, trust us, become so intimate with us, that He might trust us to raise children and our household up after Him!

So , if there is interest, I will post these messages on the Father Heart of God, but for now methinks I will see what an earthly father might look like, who was trying to emulate these seven traits of Father God.

fatherhood God

Protector: Like I said last teaching, being a man means being a warrior. Now we have a wife to love and children to protect, whether from the school yard bully, the dead beat teacher, or the academic bully in the schools of learning. Children need to know that they are safe in pappa’s arms, and that no matter what happens, daddy will fight for them, stand up for them, that even if they are wrong. Daddy loves them, and has only their best interests at heart.

I remember the story of the boy that was shopping with his family for groceries and met a couple of school buddies. They were in a different isle from their family, laughing and telling jokes, when a store clerk grabbed them by the neck and started marching them to the door, when they had really done nothing to justify it, when in the isle appeared the boys father. With words of steel came the command: ‘Take your hands off my son!” The clerk sputtered, ‘He was messing with customers!” without missing a breath, the dad quietly said: ‘I’ll deal with the boy, now you deal with me!’

Suddenly the clerk realized he was about get seriously hurt, if he did not let the boys go. The boy, deeply relieved went home with his dad, who listened carefully to his son, realizing the boy had done nothing to justify the clerks meaness, so no further action was required at home.

Fathers protect their familes.

Provide

Fatherhood provision

Luke 11:13

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Fathers give good gifts to their children….

2 Corinthians 12:14

Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children

– God placed it in the heart of man a fire to provide for his family. No matter what particular vocation he chooses to do battle in, he is created to work. Not out of compulsion, but because God works, and God loves to roll up His sleeves alongside one of His children, and work with Him to see a job through to completion. God loves Monday mornings, because He is a creator, and He loves to create still, and gets joy as His children create wonderful projects, businesses, systems, programs, ministries, administrations reflective of His love, grace, glory and goodness towards humanity. The whole universe revolves around His provision, now we are to be good providers for our families and our households.

Gotta be honest here, I have been wealthy and presently we are financially very poor., yet there is always food on the table, and we always have what we need, although we have our faith in God to supply our wants!

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. – Abraham Lincoln

I have had poverty, and seasons of prosperity, and I have learned this: with prosperity comes responsibility. If we can handle the responsibility, prosperity is a great blessing!

If we are going to be like God, we need to provide for our families, carefully supplying their needs, never their greeds. Teaching them to use their faith in God to provide for them, and their own work…Part of training up a child…

When one of my children asks me for something, I never tell them we cannot afford it, for this is foolishness in light of the infinite God who created the universe that our family serves. I simply say, “Pray about it, ask Jesus, and I will agree with you in prayer..” Bikes, Ipads, computers and various blessings have come to our home exactly this way, when we clearly did not have the money for them. God, through many, many miraculous circumstances as God made it clear that He is large and in charge of our lives…

Yet, by the grace of God, Jesus has given me the heart of my children. They love me, hug me, and want to be with me, a gift I am forever grateful for…

Disciplinarian –

fatherhood obedience

Hebrews 12:9

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

1 Timothy 3:4

one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

Ephesians 6:4

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Ah, the forgottan role of parents, discipline. Jesus did say to go and make disciples of all nations, and before we go, we need to discipline our own homes.

  1. dis·ci·pline

the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.

“a lack of proper parental and school discipline”

synonyms: control, training, teaching, instruction, regulation, direction, order, authority, rule, strictness, a firm hand

In a great course we took at Sunday school entitled ‘Growing Kids Gods Way’ where we were taught many great principals of parenting but I wish to amplify only two of them here:

  1. First time obedience –Children are instructed by God to obey their parents in the Lord. When we directly command them to do something, they must obey, or there must be immediate consequences for disobedience.
  2. The moral reason why – As soon as a child grows to the point of understanding, they should be instructed as to the moral reason why they must obey a given command.

When a child is able to understand why they are to instantly obey what they are commanded, with immediate consequences given for disobedience. No threatening, screaming, emotional escalation, simple truth or consequences. Consequences may range from a tap on the back of the hand for a toddler, a time-out, revoking priviliges, toys or treats, or the board of education being applied to the seat of higher learning. (spanking)

fatherhood consequences

This is not an in-depth course on parenting but I will make a couple of points:

  1. Discipline should not be delegated solely to the mother. Making daddy into Mr. sugar daddy, full of hugs, kisses and treats, with mom having to be the ‘bad guy’ when children act up. Men, we are head of our house, and our children must obey us. We need to take time to teach, instruct, nurture, love and spend quality time with them, so that we disciple them in the things of God in love.
    1. A child should never be disciplined in anger! If a child is directly defiant, and pitching a fit, give them then a time-out, and then carefully explain the moral reason why they are being spanked, then spank them.
    2. “Spankings are a rare event in our home, because I spend daily time with my children teaching them the Bible, and listening to their opinions about any movie, book, or information they have heard from their friends. We love each other, and trust each other, so they are not afraid to tell me things that are troubling them.

One day at the office, I had to work late, so the family met me at the local Reesor’s over in Jenks at the Deli for supper, so that we could at least see each other that day. It was the night before pay-day, and I only had enough to buy everyone’s dinner, but we had to order water’s to go with it, because we didn’t have enough. At that time, my son was around 4, and he wanted a Dr. Pepper. I had told him no, and we sat down at the little café tables and quickly ate together, so I could get back to the office to complete the bid submission due the following morning, for a large project, our company really needed.

Over the next couple of days, I heard a couple of interesting comments from my children, but I hadn’t put the pieces together yet. My son had asked if children went to jail sometimes, and my daughter had asked me why people have to go jail (Deep thoughts for a six year old). I had explained to her that when we went to the OKC zoo, and she thought she was playing with a lioness that carefully stalked her through the glass, that the reason that cat was in a cage, is because it wanted to eat her! That unfortunately, there are people like that cat, that are predators, that are only safe to be around when they are behind bars, unless Jesus changed their heart, and made them safe to live free with the rest of us. Yet, my son kept asking if kids could go to jail for being bad, to the point where my wife felt I needed to have a talk with him, as he was really troubled.

So I asked him, “Son, why do you keep asking if children can go to jail, have you done something you shouldn’t have?” Immediately he began to cry, and blurted out: “Dad, I stole a Dr. Pepper over at Reesors! Do I have to go to jail?”

Although it was pretty comical seeing his distress, in a moment of inspiration, I stopped what I was doing, and said, ‘Come on son, get in the truck, we need to go for a ride.” He was still crying, and didn’t know where we were going, but he knew I loved him, and wouldn’t hurt him.

So, as we drove I explained to him my world, how I fought to keep my word, my commitments, to honor my employees, my clients, my supplies, and of course our company and all the families involved.  I explained to him, how Jeff Reesor had created his company, bigger than ours, and how hard he had worked to build it, and that stealing was wrong, even if other people were doing it (He had his water cup, and filled it with Dr. Pepper), and that we had to pay for the drink he stole. That we were going back to Reesors, to ask forgiveness for what he stole, and to pay for his drink.

He was terrified, but we went into the store, explained to the cashier what had happened (like me, she had a hard time not laughing), then I called for the manager, and asked if I could pay for my son’s drink. He said, that because we were honest, it was on the house, but I insisted on paying anyway, explaining it was for the good of my son. (If I remember right, I bought him a treat too), and then we headed home.

I told him that God was that way. God loves us, and while He will never agree with doing wrong, if we fess up when we mess up, He will always help us get out of whatever mess we made by our bad choice.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

The story didn’t end there. When we got home, before he ran off to play I called him over to the fireplace, and reached in my pocket for the receipt for his drink. I told him, that this receipt was how much his drink cost, and proof that I had paid the price for it. I then reached up on the mantle, grabbed the lighter, and burned that paper, forever gone. I then explained to him, that is what Jesus does with our sin, that He removes it as far as the east is from the west, forever gone out of our lives… Though I am sharing this story with you, I have never ever bullied nor brought it up with him again.. we forgive, and FORGET.

This is my take on redemptive discipline….

Mentor- Fathers grow as children grow. It is my hope and prayer that I have created enough love and respect  in the hearts of my children that they would always respect my wisdom, counsel, advice and potential direction for their lives, yet never be limited by it.
mentor will smith

As I have moved in leadership over the years, there have been some long, lonely nights of prayer, as I make decisions before God that at times, have eternal consequence, anquished times where I have honestly not known what to do in damage control where things on a project or in a relationship have gone wrong.I call this being mentored by God…Where He gives me wisdom, after years of instruction, and then leaves me to make my own decision…God instructs us, and mentors us, very gently as men…

I call this being mentored by God…Where He gives me wisdom, after years of instruction, and then leaves me to make my own decision…

“Remember that mentor leadership is all about serving. Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).” ― Tony Dungy, The Mentor Leader: Secrets to Building People and Teams That Win Consistently

God instructs us, and mentors us, very gently as men…

Psalm 18:35

Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

So He expects us to be gentle with our children.

Philippians 4:5   He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young

 

I love the way Jesus deals with me as my Lord, and now, my best friend:

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

 

Satan drives his followers, Jesus, gently leads His…Be gentle dads, gentlemen!

Warrior who fights for his family! –

honor1

Joshua 1:9

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

1 Corinthians 16:13

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

Ephesians 6:10

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

2 Timothy 2:1

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

There is no room for limp-wristed faith here! I spoke on men being men in the last article, that warrior hood is one of the signs of healthy manhood. There is one difference in fatherhood – we are no longer looking for a fight, in fact we are fighting for peace!

manhood castrated

We champion our wives and children, and the cause of Christ, and there will be battles enough, simply holding down a job, keeping children on track academically, protecting them from bullies and evil people wherever they are found, yet fathers only fight to protect their families.

I have said it this way to some ‘tough guy’ looking to pick a fight.

“Look buddy, I am here to work, not fight. If you insist, you can slap me, and I will turn the other cheek, for Jesus loves you and so do I. Yet, if you try slapping my wife or children, I will kill you if necessary. It is not personal, I have a God given responsibility to protect them…”

So, far, every bully has backed down over the years, and I have never had to shoot anyone by the grace of God (although there have been two very close calls with would be household intruders that decided to stop trying to break down my front door when I told them to go home, because if they came through my door, I would kill them. I will protect my family, whatever it takes…

Enough said. My primary passions are fighting the fight of faith in prayer, Fighting for excellence in my children, staying in passionate pursuit of Jesus. When I do, He protects, provides, instructs my children, brings me and my house into divine order and peace….

Nurturer – In my series, the Father Heart of God, I showed how God is a great nurturer, giving hugs, tons of affirmation, always ready to love, listen, and get involved with what I am doing. He loves us!

fatherhood nurter

So, it has been with our family. We are all snuggle buddies, often curled up on the sofa watching movies, or lying down with the kids as we tuck them into bed listening as they pour out their hearts to us about everything from their music, their friends, their video games, or their moral decisions. Though I will say little about this important topic, it is critical in the life of a child!

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.” ― Marvin J. Ashton

“the seriousness of emotional deprivation: It is not difficult to understand how children who have suffered from malnutrition or starvation need food and plenty of care in their bodies are to recover so they can go on to lead normal lives. If, however, the starvation is severe enough, the damage will be permanent and they will suffer physical impairments for the rest of their lives. Likewise, children who are deprived of emotional nurturing require care and love if their sense of security and self-confidence is to be restored. However, if love is minimal and abuse high, the damage will be permanent and the children will suffer emotional impairments for the rest of their lives.” ― Mark Z. Danielewski

Though I understand the wounds caused by abuse, trauma, neglect run deep, the love of our heavenly Father goes deeper still!

The world could be a little less cruel, if we nurture each other while we grow; learn understanding while we transform and maintain a humble attitude whilst we succeed.” ― Nikki Rowe

Fathers need to love and nurture their children, as much as mothers do.

Romantic, passionate pursuer of God
bride1

Real dads love their wives, and fight to keep the romance alive. The Scriptures tell us that we, the church, are the bride of Christ, and there is a passionate, romantic side of Jesus, where we are pursued with a furious, passionate love.

Somehow as fathers, we need to emulate that. Passionately in pursuit of God staying radically in love with our wives. Constantly surprising them with gifts, kisses, love notes, and keeping the banner of love alive in our homes. All of this is a celebration of our marriage covenant. (By the way men, if you are not married, either buy a ring, and get married today, or if you are involved with someone sexually that is not your wife, end it, today – Friends with benefits – are not part of the kingdom of God)

Somehow, as fathers we are to receive passion, fire, zeal and strength from heaven as a celebration of our covenant with God, and we are to carry the commandments of God to our children in a loving life-givng way, that they would honestly want to serve Jesus, because He is awesome, not out of logistic legalistic religious duty.

I end where I began:

Genesis 18:19

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him

I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back…

Joshua 24:15 [Full Chapter]

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Ecclesiastes 12:13

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Despite my human frailities, and countless mistakes over the years, it is my hope and prayer, that I serve Jesus well enough, that when the time comes for my children to leave the nest, and make their own mark on this world, that they will choose Jesus as Lord and Shepherd of their lives too…

We train up our children in the way they should go, and then we deliberately trust Jesus with their lives, that as they age, they will serve God and live happy productive lives!

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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!

Four Stages of MANHOOD – Man Up!

Manhood – Part Two 1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things   As you recall, we are talking about the development of men of God, generally in four […]

Manhood – Part Two

manhood man up

1 Corinthians 13:11

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things

 

manhood temper

As you recall, we are talking about the development of men of God, generally in four stages that were: boyhood, manhood, fatherhood, and the age of the patriarch.

 

No matter how great our earthly family may have been, we are now part of the royal family of God, training for reigning with Jesus!

 

As always, we begin and end with the Word of God!

 

Training and discipline can develop our soul, forge our will, but the Word of God has the power to change our very heart motives….

 manhood overcome desires

Ephesians 4:14

that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

 

1 Corinthians 14:20

Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

 

Hebrews 12:5

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

 manhood Tozer

Galatians 4:19

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you

 

Fathers in the faith, pray, for us to grow up spiritually, to embrace our manhood, to rise up to honor and responsibility in this fight of faith in this generation.

 

 

2 Timothy 3:15

and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus

 

We teach our children the Scriptures, but it is our life of honor that they watch!

manhood responsibility

 

Back in the days when I used to pastor, we used to do a ‘passage of rites’ ceremony with young men and women between the ages of 13-18. I took the idea from a book I read by an author named Craig Hill, where he teaches on the development of boys into men: http://www.promisekeepers.org.nz/bar_mitzvah.html

manhood do what you got to

 

I agree with Craig, as I have endeavoured to learn protocol, the traditions and cultures of the host peoples of North America, North American Indians. In many tribes, a boy becomes a brave or warrior, only after their initiation ceremony, where acts of bravery needed to be exhibited. In some tribes, a young man had to ‘count coup’ riding up to an enemy with his ‘coup stick’ and touching him without being killed, and riding away in victory, having ‘counted coup.’ In other tribes, there were ‘rites of passage’ ceremonies that included running through tunnels of pain, where seasoned warriors beat them with sticks, or culturally required acts of bravery, where they had to complete a vision quest, or spend a night blindfolded in the forest over night.

manhood patton

From what I understand in the Jewish Bar Mitzva ceremony, boys were expected to go to work with their fathers after school, to learn responsibility, earn money and learn how to manage it, and become men.

 

What we used to do, is plan ahead, and get either the fathers, uncles, grandparents or older men in a young man’s life to write a declaration of honor, love and respect to be read over the young man. We would tape a line on the carpet, and all the men in the church would come forward to the front side of the line. The young teens would stand on the outer side of the tape. I would read a proclamation declaring that this day, they were forever leaving boyhood, to become strong men of honor, embracing the risks and responsibilities of manhood in their community, standing strong for their families, against evil in society, as men. I would present them with some token of manhood (usually a pocket knife, although some dads gave firearms etc), and then had the prepared proclamations of blessing read over each one by their elders. I would then have them leave childhood forever, by stepping across the line. All of us men would then lay hands upon them and pray and proclaim blessing over each participant.

 

Saw dramatic change in young peoples lives! Young gangsters would suddenly leave criminal lifestyles, and often join cadets, or get job to help at home. Shoulders would square up, and chests would swell with pride, as they embraced the call to be men!

manhood tyrants

 

This is so needed today! With a 50-60% divorce rate in America, boys are not taught to be men, and we, the church must rise to the challenge, and become fathers to the fatherless, accepting, affirming, challenging, exhorting, and discipling and calling forth warriors of righteousness for this generation!

 

 

Whether it was the Jewish Bar Mitzvah ceremony, or getting ‘jumped into’ a street gang, it is clearly part of the process for boys to become men, warriors, through initiation ceremony by the men of the community or tribe.

 

Seems this has been forgotten in many sectors of North American society, but the hunger in the heart of every man will be fulfilled in battle, or the essential part of him dies…

Manhood look like

So much can be said here, but I will say this, after years in Promise Keepers, my childhood growing up on military bases as the son of a military officer, or in the various men’s ministries in which I have participated over the years, that boys must become men! Sure warriors get wounded in battle, but the church is the army of God! We have an infirmary, and there should be no man left behind, but make no mistake about it, we are an army, the army of God, called and commissioned to fight!

manhood battle with honor

Luke 19:13

And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

Matthew 16:18

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

 

manhood make myself

 

Recognizing the huge hole in this culture by fatherless families, I built and co-owned a construction company for many years simply, primarily, to take boys, and make men out of them.

Read a quote by another author I respect:

From a sermon entitled: ‘Fathered by God, by John Eldredge’

“In the lesson, John touched on some topics that he covered in his bestselling book Wild At Heart, such as answering the question that plagues all men: “Do I have what it takes?” But he also introduced six new stages of initiation that he has taken his boys through that have proved to be great steps for Christian discipleship.

 

According to Eldredge, all men have to go through these steps to become whole and holy men. It begins with “Boyhood,” where a boy learns that he is the “Beloved Son” and entirely delighted in by his father. Then, it moves into “Cowboy,” where the young man must experience adventure and danger (think: David’s teenage years of battling lions and bears as a shepherd). Following that, the boy becomes a “Warrior,” often leaving home to pursue a cause or a mission.

manhood chivarly

At roughly the same time (but hopefully not before) the man is learning that life is a battle, the Warrior must learn to fight for his beloved and become a “Lover,” but still remaining a warrior for the rest of his life. Many years later, with the right humility and direction, the Warrior-Lover becomes a “King.” That is, the man steps into true leadership and responsibility, guiding and directing the lives of others. And lastly, he finishes his latter years as a “Sage,” sharing his wisdom with other men and women, guiding them in their journey.”

If you haven’t read John’s book: Wild at Heart, I highly recommend it. http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Heart-Discovering-Secret-Mans-ebook/dp/B00527N04O/ref=dp_kinw_strp_exp_1_1

In short, John calls his stages of manhood by different names, but the principals are the same.

 

Let’s talk about the transition from boyhood to manhood for a minute.

I’ve noticed that boys all go through what John calls the ‘cowboy’ stage,  warriorhood.

I watch young men race cars, ride bulls, become soldiers, martial arts experts, hunters, adventurers, because I believe God created all men with this natural ‘wild side’.

Becoming a man is becoming a warrior, developing courage under control.  I watch young men all making their mark in the world, joining the military, oil industry, rodeo, construction, or any other rough and ready world. Testosterone going somewhere to happen, working long brutal hours in the face of real danger to life and limb, to make their mark on this generation.

Like David before confronting Goliath: 1 Samuel 17:29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?

 

Yes, there is a cause! Freedom has never been free, just pick your battlefield, enlist in God’s army, and fight!

Whether in prayer, preaching, missions, business, education, military, cival services, finance, or media, truth is a sword, and there are battles to be fought.

No matter what stage you are at in your life, there are injustices to be confronted, but like the wise mentor of Willam Wallace in the movie ‘Braveheart’,  ‘First the mind, then the sword!’

Get educated, skilled, and choose your battles wisely, so that as you fight, you fight to win!

manhood educated

Seemed when I had my construction company, I would have to throw a rope on those often unbroken wild men, and teach them respect, responsibility, faithfulness, dependability, keeping your word, craftsmanship, and directed work ethic, without breaking their spirit, and still keeping the fire in them!

I am raising up men of honor, respectful, full of honesty, integrity, excellence, but when they look you in the eye, they look right through you, because there is still fire and steel there!

I’ve noticed this about myself: if I go too long simply keeping the schedule, making the deadlines, and punching the clock, I get to feeling like a hamster on a treadmill: running hard, but going no where.

There must be some mountain to climb, race to run, adrenaline pumping fast machine to drive, water-skiing, or some other impossible task or death defying deed in my schedule, or I quietly die inside. Gone through months of numbness, physically showing up, but not really alive!

manhood castrated

Do something radical! Go on a mission trip to a different country, language, culture – confront the oppression, the poverty, the ignorance and fight for the oppressed!

Maybe you are called as a soldier or law enforcement agent, to literally take on crime and the ‘bad guys’ on the front lines. Everyone hates a bully – don’t be one, but be strong enough to dethrone any merchandizing the weak – the drug lords, the child sex traffickers, the pimps and religious bullies who beat women and children. Dad served 32 years in the navy and his counsel is still valid:

Real Men don’t hit women, they stand strong in defense of women and children.

manhood no hit

Ok, enough sharing for a bit, if I go longer, you won’t take time to read it.

I’m pretty big on action so here’s some things you can do:

  1. If you have never been affirmed as a man, take this article to your pastor men’s group, and have them first of all affirm you, and pray that God complete you as a man, a warrior, and eventually as a husband, father, and responsible member of society.
  2. If you had a dad (what a concept!), and you have been through a ‘passage of rites’ type of ceremony, create one in your community. Deliberately reach out to teens and young men, and call them to excellence, warriorhood, responsibility, and honor. If your pastor is not interested, organize some sort of men’s advance (the army of God never retreats), and get in touch with me, and I will come preach and lead it.
  3. Not sure what the next men’s movement in America is going to look like. Promise Keepers in its day was a powerful force for good, full gospel businessman had a day in the sun too. Whatever it’s called, get involved, and get your business, family, and church on board too. Manhood means excellence, honor, holiness – Man up!Father, I come before you today with my brother. I ask You Father to do for me, what no man can do: put into me all the things a perfect father would have if he could have. Pour into me the courage, boldness, affirmation, strength, passion and fire I need to radically impact my world, and restore to me all the things I never got growing up. Cause me to walk in honor, free from profanity, bullying, cowardice, perversion, pornography, lying, and develop in me an excellent spirit, strong in You and the power of Your might. I ask Father, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!”

manhood courage

Let’s Pray:

Father, I come before you today with my brother. I ask You Father to do for me, what no man can do: put into me all the things a perfect father would have if he could have. Pour into me the courage, boldness, affirmation, strength, passion and fire I need to radically impact my world, and restore to me all the things I never got growing up. Cause me to walk in honor, free from profanity, bullying, cowardice, perversion, pornography, lying, and develop in me an excellent spirit, strong in You and the power of Your might. I ask Father, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!”

If forever reason, you have not come to God on His terms yet, here’s what He expects:https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/the-gospel-the-power-of-god/

For prayer, comments, or to donate online:

Email: chris.aomministries@gmail.com

donate

Donate on-line: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=95XHSDDXDS7MC

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!

 

Angels – Go to Work!

For those of us who love Jesus, there are angels on assignment to help us do the will of God.

If you love Jesus, and have received Him as your Lord and Savior, you have angels watching over you! Today as we seek first Jesus for His will for our day, and read our daily Bible reading, these thoughts come to mind.

angels

God knew you would serve Him, and from the time you were born, angels, guardian angels have been assigned to your life, to report to heaven and await instructions on your behalf.

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
angels guardian

These angels are looking to the throne of God, for instructions on how to help you, and direct you into the plan of God for your life! They love you!

I remember hearing astronauts stating that their mind’s cleared in outer space, that they experienced a clarity of thought that was amazing to them.

Why?

2 Corinthians 4:4

in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

So, consider that no matter how brilliant we think we are, that here on this earth, evil spirits still work upon our brains, trying to keep our mind blinded from the eternal truths of the calling and destiny of God upon our lives, whereby angels see things from heaven’s perspective.

I believe that is part of the reason God gave us the Holy Spirit as a supernatural language when we speak in other tongues. (If for some reason you have not yet experienced this particular heavenly gift, please read:

In our heavenly language, we bypass our minds, and our heart of hearts, the place where Jesus lives, Christ in us the hope of glory, prays directly to our heavenly Father, without corruption.

It appears that sometimes the language we speak, though unintelligent to human understanding, is literally an angelic language:

1Co 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

Could it be, that as we speak, we are literally commissioning angels on our own behalf?

The Scripture is clear that angels are ministering spirits sent forth to work FOR those of us who love Jesus.

Hebrews 1:14 Are they(angels) not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

They are listening for the voice of God spoken through us, for their assignments in our lives!

angels on assignment

Ps 103:20 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

 

Ever thought about praying in the Holy Spirit in other tongues?  1Co 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. In this verse, we are told to seek the gifts of the Spirit, but everything must work the love of God. While love is greater than spiritual gifts, let’s desire spiritual gifts.

tongues1

When we pray in other tongues, we: edify ourselves, we reveal mysteries, we pray the perfect will of God, and we make intercession for the saints, to name a few benefits.

Been thinking about angels though. We know they are with us, protecting, providing,and working for us, the perfect will of God.

Charles Capps, before he went home to be with the Lord, has brought much teaching on how confession of the Word of God, will commission angels, for they listen for and do the voice of God’s Word in the earth.

Yet, though I am a lifetime student of the Word of God, I am not God, and as I grow in Him over the years, see more and more my need of seeking Him in every decision.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing

 

Jesus Himself, fully relied upon the Holy Spirit to reveal the will of our heavenly Father:

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me
angels will

How much more, in using my authority to correctly assign and commission the angels of God dispatched to me, my office, ministry, family and calling. as I fear and greatly respect God, see this wonderful truth here in the Word of God:

When we pray in tongues, we can pray in not only other earthly languages, but also in heavenly ones, tongues of angels.

I believe we can literally spend time over praying in the Holy Spirit, and commission angels to do wonderful exploits for the kingdom of God.

What’s the bottom line. Deliberatly, on purpose, make time in your day, to confess God’s promises in faith and authority, then pray in the Holy Spirit in other tongues, and let’s see God’s kingdom advance!

Angels are on assignment, let’s give them something to do, for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ!!

angels guardian1

Here is a song to encourage you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOkImV2cJDg&list=RDqOkImV2cJDg#t=0

need-prayer

Prayer Requests: If you or your family need specific prayer for anything, please send us a prayer request. We as a family will pray for you today, and if you would, please let us know the wonderful ways God answers. This is a great encouragement to us.

Daily, I face the needs of not only my family, but the orphans we support in Karimnagar, India. It is our dream to increase this as there are very real excruciating needs in the lives of children around the world, and God loves them every bit as much as He loves my precious children. Any donation designated for orphans, goes directly to them, 100%. All donations will receive a tax receipt for your giving.

paypal

Donate on-line: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=95XHSDDXDS7MC

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 am a five-fold ministry gift and office – this is my life – I pray, I hear, I write, and wonderful things happen. You have your job description, I have mine – this is mine….

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!

If you want to know a little bit more about who we are: https://chrisaomministries.com/2017/01/20/the-purpose-of-this-blog-2/

The Responsibility of Discipleship – A Word for Leaders

The Responsibility of Discipleship Some time ago, I attended the leadership portion of Word Explosion here at Victory in Tulsa, OK. A pastor that I had never heard of, who reported pastors a church of 15,000+ somewhere in the Eastern United States brought a word about the seasons of God in the church, and he […]

The Responsibility of Discipleship

disciple

Some time ago, I attended the leadership portion of Word Explosion here at Victory in Tulsa, OK.

A pastor that I had never heard of, who reportedly pastors a church of 15,000+ somewhere in the Eastern United States brought a word about the seasons of God in the church, and he was very articulate and relevant, in bringing out the various things Holy Spirit was accenting, decade by decade here in churches  in the United States.

From the Healing movement, to the Charismatic renewal, to teaching and the Word of Faith, to leadership, etc.

Then he made a couple of statements that confirmed things that Holy Spirit is screaming to me.

He explained that the day of a person simply accepting Jesus, receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and attending church, is not enough in this upcoming season of God, but that what must occur is discipleship.

He went on to say, that to the average pastor, you would look for someone saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, attending regular worship services, attending a small group, and then serving somewhere in the ministry as good indicators of what a disciple should look like, and I agree these are good indicators, but here is where he and I take a different path to the same objective.

I believe a true disciple of Jesus, is a person that is fully led of the Holy Spirit, all day, every day.

Historically, there has been grave excesses in what is called ‘the discipleship, or Shepherding movement’

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepherding_Movement

Yet, what about true discipleship?

Jesus said: Matthew 28:19

Go out and make disciples in all the nations.

YOUR Great Commission - Embracing YOUR Destiny!

I think back on my own discipleship experience with my pastor, where, for a period of 5-7 years, he had me read every book in his library, develop a strong devotional life and Bible reading plan, and had me serve in every area of the church for 3-6months.

Was that the end of my spiritual growth?

Was I fully prepared for ministry by this process?

No, but it was a great foundation.

And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?
faith believe sunrise

So let’s dig into this concept of discipleship a bit:

Let’s begin by looking at the definition of a disciple:

Full Definition of DISCIPLE

1

:  one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another: as

a :  one of the twelve in the inner circle of Christ’s followers according to the Gospel accounts

b :  a convinced adherent of a school or individual

2

capitalized :  a member of the Disciples of Christ founded in the United States in 1809 that holds the Bible alone to be the rule of faith and practice, usually baptizes by immersion, and has a congregational polity

 

For the sake of simplicity, I call a disciple ‘a disciplined one’.

For example, when I swam on the college varsity swim team, I was expected to make 7 swim practices a week, and we usually did 2 weight work-outs on top of this. In order to stay on the team, I had to be a full time student and maintain a ‘C’ average academically.

swim

What this meant, was that literally every minute of my week, seven days/week was scheduled, so that we could survive not only the training schedule, but the weekends spent on buses travelling to inter-varsity swim meets all over the province.

I was a disciple of competitive swimming and robotics engineering, listening carefully to my Olympic coach on how to make all this possible.

Obviously I survived and completed three varsity seasons, and completed my BSc in robotics, by being a disciplined one…

I was a disciple of robotics and swimming. No Jesus anywhere though.

Yet, we are called to follow Jesus…

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/your-great-commission-embracing-your-destiny/

So what does a disciple of Jesus look like in today’s world?

Here are some thoughts:

  1. Aggressively following Jesus, having established a morning prayer watch, deliberately seeking Him first thing, every day.
  2. Walking in the Word in deliberate Bible reading, confession, memorization, study, and meditation.
  3. Consistently demonstrating the power of the Holy Spirit, with signs, wonders and miracles flowing in everyday life, in spirit-led days. Flowing in God all day, every day, not merely on Sundays, or in devotional times. Walking with Holy Spirit, one day at a time, fully submitted to Jesus Lordship.
  4. Consistently exhibiting the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our character, carefully watching over our words, that they be faith-filled, representing Jesus well, as an ambassador should.
  5. Consistently witnessing and sharing the gospel.(Here is a way to do this on-line:https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/the-gospel-the-power-of-god/)
  6. Consistently growing their families in the call of God, through their example, love, consecration, and recognition and fulfillment of their responsibility in their role in the home
  7. Consistently attending church, and seeking to serve and build it, growing in faithfulness and responsibility.  https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/why-go-to-church/
  8. Living a lifestyle of worship, singing, praying in the spirit, with an attitude of humility and gratefulness, demonstrating the acts of compassion the gospel commands: helping the poor, feeding the hungry, visiting the prisoner, the sick, clothing the naked, empowering the fatherless. https://chrisaomministries.com/2017/01/15/we-worship-by-serving-the-people-god-loves/
  9. Consistently seeking to grow in their gift and calling, spiritually, academically, and physically. https://chrisaomministries.com/2017/01/03/the-chinese-bamboo-a-parable-of-growth/
  10.  Consistently seeking to grow others in their gifts and callings, empowering, equipping, and encouraging them to hear and fully obey God in all things.
  11.    Consistently giving and growing financially, learning how best to keep money under the Lordship of Jesus as a good steward.
  12.    Deliberately seeking and pursuing our personal mandate, vocation, and assignment, individually, growing in responsibility levels, on purpose.

Jesus had 12 disciples.

These are simply 12 guidelines I seek to live by.

Yet, as I have meditated upon the concept of discipleship, I discover questions that have difficult answers.

I remember many years ago, an organization called Promise Keepers, encouraged us to find a Paul, and Barnabas, and a Timothy in our lives. The ‘Paul’ being a spiritual leader we could look to for leadership, mentorship, and instruction. The ‘Barnabas’ being a ‘son of encouragement’, another brother in the Lord we could look to for encouragement in the day to day battles of life, and the ‘Timothy’ being one we could pour life and wisdom into, one we were deliberately discipling.

This is a good start surely.

As we grow in our Christian walk, we surely need a pastor who can gently help us learn the basics of this Christian life and character development.

Through our growth process, God will bring the other 4 ministry offices to add strength and structure to the formation of Christ in us, the hope of glory.

Yet, as I have walked with God these years I see many of these ministers see the kingdom of God only through their particular ministry gift, and for humor I write:

The pastor:

GO TO CHURCH! Is it not written: Ps 122: I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.”

Hebrews 10:25

not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Planted in the house of the Lord, They will flourish in the courts of our God

They are right! We all need to be part of a local church, https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/why-go-to-church/

The apostle:

Then we have the apostle, often called the missionary today, whose favorite verse might be

Romans 15:20

And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation

Kind like the old Star Trek television series, ‘To Go Boldly Where No Man Has Gone Before”

star trek

1 Corinthians 4:9

For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.

Since the greatest in the kingdom is the servant of all, the true apostles I have met over the years are often gentle, suffering, humble servants of Jesus, who almost glow when they walk, carrying great spiritual authority and power….

We call them missionaries….

The Prophet:

Then there are prophets:

Wild creatures!

Dreams, Visions, revelations, ‘This is the Way Walk Ye in It!’ people.

A couple of verses from the office of the prophet, you often hear, when they show up:

Numbers 11:29

Then Moses said to him, “Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!”

Acts 2:17

‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams

1 Corinthians 14:1

[ Prophecy and Tongues ] Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy

It has been my experience that true prophets stir up controversy by what they say, apostles by what they do

Evangelists:

Repent, and get saved!

If you are not winning souls, I question your salvation!

These are the great soul winners, those called to train and equip believers for the work of winning the lost.

Biblically, they usually demonstrate great miracles to draw the crowds to the gospel.

Acts 8:6

And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did

A perfect modern day example of a firely evangelist is Rhinhart Bonnke, or now Danial King.

The Teacher:

Then there are the teachers

2 Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon  precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

There have been great studies in the life of Jesus, showing how He is the ultimate apostle, pastor, prophet, evangelist and teacher, but what is the purpose of all of these gifts?

Here is a passage of Scripture I continually come back to:

Eph 4But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says:

“When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.”[b]

(Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first[c] descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—

16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

grow

So we are given men and women of God, from God, to grow us in the things of God, that we can be delivered from the trickery of men, that we can take our place in the Body of Christ, our particular spot, gift, place and calling, that the whole Body of Christ might grow as we edify each other in love.

Been thinking about some what a disciple might look like in 2015, and I see questions, not full answers before me.

Since Jesus only ministered on the earth to His 12 disciples for 3-1/2 years before appointing them leaders in His kingdom in the earth, as His representatives, can we as leaders raise up people to send, in a similar three and a half year time period?

Yes, He promised that we would perform greater works than His, yet He lived with His disciples 24/7 for His entire earthly ministry.

time greatest gift

How many of us are willing to embrace twelve people, and lovingly live with, teach, train, equip, and work with for 3-1/2 years until they are raised up in their particular ministries?

As I thought about the church structures in place across the earth, I see churches that place pastoral staff on salaries, but then how are the other four ministry gifts supposed to ethically receive financial support?

Do they simply attend a strong local church, and then perform their particular ministries outside of it’s four walls?

Evangelists raising up evangelistic centers that receive donations from the Body of Christ to finance their living support, and to host the crusades and conferences that train and equip us in the work of evangelism.

Prophets, who host conferences, and produce books and teaching materials to train and equip us in the prophetic…

Missionaries who solicit support to GO and perform missionary assignments, and to raise their families on the missions field.

Teachers, who receive salaries for teaching in the various educational institutes where they are called.

Somehow all this must flow through the local church, and how I have seen cat fights over money!

Should never be. All of us should tithe where the Lord directs, and I honestly believe if the Holy Spirit is fully in charge of the finances of His people, there will be no lack in God’s work being fully supported…

I was speaking about this today with Richard Lyons, who pastors the church we are helping pioneer.

I asked him: ‘Richard, here, in 2015, what does a true disciple of Jesus look like?’

He replied:

John 13:34

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

John 13:35

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

So we see the fruit of a true disciple of Jesus, is true love exhibited in the earth, unconditional love shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit!

love one another

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

[ Disciples’ Relation to Each Other ] “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.

jesus_loves_you_the_path_to_heaven

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

wealth greater love

This I command you, that you love one another
God is love
and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears muchfruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

love stronger1
My Father is glorified by this, that you bear muchfruit, and so prove to be My disciples

So, as we deliberately seek to receive the love of Jesus, we find ourselves thrust out into this war-torn, sin-sick, broken world, with one great weapon, His love beating in our hearts.

This is the mark of a true disciple, loving people, with no strings attached, simply because He first loved us.

Love Loud Today Leader!

Love Loud0

All the evangelism, miracles, works of the ministry mean nothing without love…and love never fails!

Neither will you or I, as we deliberately love…

1 Timothy 1:5

Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

Come on disciple, let’s pray:

Father, I come to You today, knowing my needs! I need Your love, Your direction, Your strength and power to serve You in this, my generation. Flow through me to love loud today, those You have placed in my path today. I ask this, knowing I am loved and heard, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus! AMEN!

Why Should I Start a Bible School?

Why Should I Start a Bible School?.

Today, Holy Spirit told me to again post this article:

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/why-should-i-start-a-bible-school/

Why Should I Start a Bible School?.

need-prayer

https://chrisaomministries.com/2016/08/06/the-purpose-of-this-blog/

Angels – Go to Work!

For those of us who love Jesus, there are angels on assignment to help us do the will of God.

If you love Jesus, and have received Him as your Lord and Savior, you have angels watching over you! Today as we seek first Jesus for His will for our day, and read our daily Bible reading, these thoughts come to mind.

angels

God knew you would serve Him, and from the time you were born, angels, guardian angels have been assigned to your life, to report to heaven and await instructions on your behalf.

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
angels guardian

These angels are looking to the throne of God, for instructions on how to help you, and direct you into the plan of God for your life! They love you!

I remember hearing astronauts stating that their mind’s cleared in outer space, that they experienced a clarity of thought that was amazing to them.

Why?

2 Corinthians 4:4

in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

So, consider that no matter how brilliant we think we are, that here on this earth, evil spirits still work upon our brains, trying to keep our mind blinded from the eternal truths of the calling and destiny of God upon our lives, whereby angels see things from heaven’s perspective.

I believe that is part of the reason God gave us the Holy Spirit as a supernatural language when we speak in other tongues. (If for some reason you have not yet experienced this particular heavenly gift, please read:

In our heavenly language, we bypass our minds, and our heart of hearts, the place where Jesus lives, Christ in us the hope of glory, prays directly to our heavenly Father, without corruption.

It appears that sometimes the language we speak, though unintelligent to human understanding, is literally an angelic language:

1Co 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

Could it be, that as we speak, we are literally commissioning angels on our own behalf?

The Scripture is clear that angels are ministering spirits sent forth to work FOR those of us who love Jesus.

Hebrews 1:14 Are they(angels) not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

They are listening for the voice of God spoken through us, for their assignments in our lives!

angels on assignment

Ps 103:20 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

 

Ever thought about praying in the Holy Spirit in other tongues?  1Co 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. In this verse, we are told to seek the gifts of the Spirit, but everything must work the love of God. While love is greater than spiritual gifts, let’s desire spiritual gifts.

tongues1

When we pray in other tongues, we: edify ourselves, we reveal mysteries, we pray the perfect will of God, and we make intercession for the saints, to name a few benefits.

Been thinking about angels though. We know they are with us, protecting, providing,and working for us, the perfect will of God.

Charles Capps, before he went home to be with the Lord, has brought much teaching on how confession of the Word of God, will commission angels, for they listen for and do the voice of God’s Word in the earth.

Yet, though I am a lifetime student of the Word of God, I am not God, and as I grow in Him over the years, see more and more my need of seeking Him in every decision.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing

 

Jesus Himself, fully relied upon the Holy Spirit to reveal the will of our heavenly Father:

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me
angels will

How much more, in using my authority to correctly assign and commission the angels of God dispatched to me, my office, ministry, family and calling. as I fear and greatly respect God, see this wonderful truth here in the Word of God:

When we pray in tongues, we can pray in not only other earthly languages, but also in heavenly ones, tongues of angels.

I believe we can literally spend time over praying in the Holy Spirit, and commission angels to do wonderful exploits for the kingdom of God.

What’s the bottom line. Deliberatly, on purpose, make time in your day, to confess God’s promises in faith and authority, then pray in the Holy Spirit in other tongues, and let’s see God’s kingdom advance!

Angels are on assignment, let’s give them something to do, for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ!!

angels guardian1

Here is a song to encourage you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOkImV2cJDg&list=RDqOkImV2cJDg#t=0

need-prayer
Prayer Requests:
If you or your family need specific prayer for anything, please send us a prayer request. We as a family will pray for you today, and if you would, please let us know the wonderful ways God answers. This is a great encouragement to us.

Daily, I face the needs of not only my family, but the orphans we support in Karimnagar, India. It is our dream to increase this as there are very real excruciating needs in the lives of children around the world, and God loves them every bit as much as He loves my precious children. Any donation designated for orphans, goes directly to them, 100%. All donations will receive a tax receipt for your giving.

paypal

Donate on-line: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=95XHSDDXDS7MC

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 am a five-fold ministry gift and office – this is my life – I pray, I hear, I write, and wonderful things happen. You have your job description, I have mine – this is mine….

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!

If you want to know a little bit more about who we are: https://chrisaomministries.com/2017/01/20/the-purpose-of-this-blog-2/