Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Kind of Joy

A New Kind of Joy
by Dudley Hall
In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:23-24 (ESV)

"That day" must be a wonderful time! I think we all live with an unconscious hope that a day will arrive when everything wrong will be righted and we will have all our aspirations fulfilled. Is it fantasy? Is it just the daydreaming of idle children who are unsure about reality? Is Jesus playing on our need to have air castles?

"That day" had been prophesied for centuries. There were lots of speculations as to what it would look like. None of those speculations accurately pictured what it really was like. There were only about 120 followers of Christ gathered to pray and to hide from persecutors. Strange things begin to happen that drew a large crowd of amazed and amused people. Under inspiration from the Spirit of revelation Peter stood and explained what was happening in light of Old Testament prophecy. Each of the miraculous signs spoke of the fulfillment of God's redemptive time. Fire set on the individuals signaling that God would live in each of them. The sound of wind signaled that the breath of God was energizing this body like the original Adam and the slain body of Jesus. The tongues signaled the reversal of the curse of Babel. Spiritual communication was being restored.

But maybe the most important thing was that now the disciples had access to the Father in away that no one other than Jesus had ever enjoyed. He had introduced them to the Father as legitimate sons. They would now have the right to ask directly from the Father on the authority of Jesus' name. He had given them the same rights and privileges they had seen him enjoy and employ for three years. They had been assigned to carry out the transformation of society by proclaiming and practicing the gospel. They now had the power and authority to get the job done. As they lived out this dynamic they would experience joy to the fullest level possible for mankind.

It was his joy transferred. Jesus demonstrated a life of joy. He was man the way man was intended. He lived and loved and laughed and cried. He was so conscious of being loved by the Father that he couldn't bring himself to worry, covet, or fear. He knew his identity and his role. He was totally sure that he had accomplished what he was sent to do. It was this joy that he was offering the sons. They now could enter that relationship with the Father and have the same joy.

What a day! It is in our calendar. We live in light of that day. We are not waiting for it to arrive. It is here and available for us. Let's wake up. No time to sleep. The dawn has come. The Son has arisen, and it is time to carry on with the job of partnering with the Father in displaying his glory to all who still hide behind bushes afraid of a Father who desires to reveal his love to them.


-by G.D. Watson.

If God has called you to be really like Jesus He will draw you into
a life of crucifixion and humility, and put upon you such demands
of obedience, that you will not be able to follow other people, or
measure yourself by other Christians, and in many ways He will
seem to let other people do things which He will not let you do.

Other Christians and ministers who seem very religious and useful,
may push themselves, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out
their plans, but you cannot do it, and if you attempt it, you will
meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you
sorely penitent.

Others may boast of themselves, of their work, of their successes,
of their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any
such thing, and if you begin it, He will lead you into some deep
mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your
good works.

Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, or may have
a legacy left to them, but it is likely God will keep you poor,
because He wants you to have something far better than gold,
namely, a helpless dependence upon Him, that He may have the
privilege of supplying your needs day by day out of an unseen treasury.

The Lord may let others be honored and put forward, and keep you
hidden in obscurity, because He wants to produce some choice
fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in
the shade. He may let others be great, but keep you small. He
may let others do a work for Him and get the credit for it, but He
will make you work and toil on without knowing how much you are
doing; and then to make your work still more precious He may let
others get credit for the work which you have done, and thus make

The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch over you, with a jealous love,
and will rebuke you for little words and feelings or for wasting your
time, which other Christians never feel distressed over. So make
up your mind that God is an Infinitely Sovereign Being, and has a
right to do as He pleases with His own. He may not explain to you
a thousand things which puzzle your reason in His dealings with
you, but if you absolutely sell yourself to be His love slave, He will
wrap you up in Jealous Love, and bestow upon you many blessings
which come only to those who are in the inner circle.

Settle it forever, then that you are to DEAL DIRECTLY WITH the
HOLY SPIRIT, and that He is to have the privilege of tying your
tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing your eyes, in ways that
He does not seem to use with others. Now, when you are so
possessed with the living God that you are, in your secret heart,
pleased and delighted over this PECULIAR, PERSONAL, PRIVATE,
SPIRIT OVER YOUR LIFE, then you will have found the vestibule
of Heaven.

-G.D.Watson (1845-1924).
SOURCE: Faith, Prayer, & Tract League,
Tract #76; Grand Rapids, MI 49504.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Way Home

The Way Home

You have wandered from the place of comfort and security, and now you find yourself in a place that is not familiar to you says the Lord. You feel like you are a long way from home.

But I have never left you. I have been by your side all along. And though at times you may have ignored Me, I have still been there, ready to share with you and pour into you all that I have.

My child, the way home is but one step away. Open your eyes and see that I am right there beside you. I am closer than breathing, and I do not require from you anything more than a heart's cry.

For as your heart reaches out to Me, I am ready to reach out to you and touch you. I am ready to calm your fears and bring the peace that you desire.

So do not let the enemy accuse you any more. Even though you may have failed and gone your own way, I do not condemn you. I came to die for you and I always stand ready to love you.

Come to my open arms, and enter once more into My joy. For I love you and care for you, and I will wipe away your tears, and clother you afresh in My glory says the Lord.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I Have Changed Your Path

I Have Changed Your Path

As a river that has been diverted to flow in a new direction, so I have brought change into your life says the Lord. Therefore do not be surprised by this sudden change of events and the fact that the direction you were heading has suddenly disappeared.

For I know the end from the beginning, and I saw what lay in your path. Therefore I changed your direction to prevent you from going through difficulties. I also did it to bring you to a place where you can gain access to those things that you need in order to fulfill your goals.

Do not be dismayed, but know that I am indeed still in control of your life. And the plans and goals that you had before will still be fulfilled in the future. But right now they will not be fulfilled the way that you expected.

Just trust Me and know that I am doing this because I love you and desire to bless you. I am not seeking to withhold anything from you, but I earnestly desire to give you even more than you have wanted. Therefore I have moved on your behalf to take you to a new level.

And the goal that you were headed for has now been greatly increased and moved to a higher level. Therefore I have had to take you by a new route to reach that destination.

Let go therefore of your old plans and look to Me alone now for direction. Then set your new plans in motion and run speedily towards this new goal that lies before you. For I will give you even more than you desired, and I will provide even those things that you did not ask Me for says the Lord.

I know your heart, and I know your commitment. Therefore it pleases me to bless you in even greater measure than you expected.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Overcoming Your Fear Of People

Overcoming Your Fear Of People
By Bob Gass

Do you avoid certain activities and social occasions because of insecurity? If so, you might have 'social phobia,' the fear of being inadequate, embarrassed or negatively evaluated. Some of us even experience panic attacks that leave us immobilised to the point of dysfunction. Yet it's avoiding such situations rather than facing them, that allows our fears to control us. How great our fear becomes depends on what we say to ourselves when it hits. And what we say to ourselves is largely a function of what psychologists call our 'sub-personality type.' Here are some common sub-personality types, and ways we can handle them:

'The Worrier.' Worriers anticipate the worst, create grandiose images of potential tragedy, and are always hyper-vigilant for any small signs of trouble. Their favourite self-talk expression is, 'But what if… ?' Learn to replace your worrier self-talk with, 'So, what if… By God's grace I can learn to handle this. I can feel anxious and still do it. I don't like it, but I can stand it until it passes. I'll get used to it with practice and God's help.' When Jeremiah's fears kicked in and he wanted to run from a public speaking assignment, God said to him: 'you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don't be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you… ' (Jeremiah 1:7-8 NLT). Instead of running from it, choose to face it in faith; and watch how God will get you through it!

Another sub-personality type contributing to our fear of people is called 'The Critic.' It's that part of you which constantly judges your own behaviour, compares you unfavourably with others, points out your flaws and reminds you you're a failure. Its favourite self-talk expressions are, 'You're stupid; can't you ever get it right? Look how capable so-and-so is. How come you can't be like them?' While 'the worrier' suffers from anxiety, 'the critic' suffers from low self-worth. What's the answer? Learn to replace your critic self-talk with, 'They're what God made them; I'm what God made me, and I accept myself as His unique creation. I make mistakes, but I'm not a mistake. With God's grace, I'm working on being the lovable, capable person God made me.'

'The Victim' is another sub-personality type underlying our fears. It's that part of us which feels helpless or hopeless, believes we're inherently inadequate and unworthy, sees insurmountable obstacles in our path, and bemoans the way things are. Its favourite self-talk expressions include, 'I can't… It's useless. I'll never be able to. Why even bother?' Replace your victim self-talk with, 'I don't have to be perfect now. I'm a new creature in Christ and I'm growing a little more each day. I choose to see the glass half-full rather than half-empty. Since God says I can, I choose to believe I can; and I will in His time and way.' Face your fears. Do what you've been afraid to do. God's promise, 'I am with thee… ' (Jeremiah 1:19 KJV), was all Jeremiah needed and it's all you need too.

Don't be afraid… for I, the Lord, will be with you and see you through.
Jeremiah 1:8 TLB

At a coastal aquarium a big barracuda kept trying to attack a mackerel, but a glass barrier stopped it. After repeatedly bumping his nose into the barrier, he finally gave up and quit trying. Later when the barrier was removed, the barracuda would swim to the point where the barrier had been - but he could go no further. To him that barrier was still there. Are you like that? Do you have imaginary barriers in your mind that say "so far and no further?"

When God called Jeremiah to be a prophet to the nation, he told the Lord that he was a lousy speaker, wasn't qualified and couldn't do the job. Immediately God said, "Don't say that" (Jeremiah 1:7 NLT). There are certain things you've got to stop saying if you're ever to break through your mental barriers and self-imposed limitations. What God said to Jeremiah, He's saying to you today. "You will go where I send you, you'll do what I enable you to do, and whatever I have promised I will bring to pass in your life" (Jeremiah 1:7).

God wants to change your conditioned response patterns and false belief systems. He wants to give you a new pair of glasses. Instead of seeing what you expect, He wants you to see what's possible. Instead of expecting the worst, He wants you to begin looking for the best - for that's what He has in mind for you today.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Hi all,
Today I'd like to share from the Father's perspective once again, but this time more of the ways of mercy and grace, where mercy and grace might be headed in our lives, to what end, for what purpose.

We know Hebrews 4:16 implores us to come boldly to the throne of the Father to receive "mercy and grace to help in time of need". We take that as a blanket statement covering any situation, yet I think most of us would admit much of the time it's hard to tell whether that mercy and grace is given. I'd like to share one possibility why it feels that way.

For what purpose?
Everything in this universe has a purpose and is interconnected; every planet, every star, every plant and animal. So it stands to reason mercy and grace will be given with a higher purpose and benefit intended.

The question is then, what might the Father have in mind, and if we aren't seeing mercy and grace in the area we are looking for, is it possible we are looking in the wrong area of our lives?

Where the Father and Jesus are always heading
"That we would be henceforth no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried away by every wind of doctrine...but speaking the truth in love may grow up into him (Christ) in all things..." (Eph 3:14-15)

"My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you." (Gal 4: 19)

" out your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling for it is God who works in you both to will and to do his good pleasure." (Phil 2:12-13)

"Seek those things which are above...Put on therefore, as called of God, a heart of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving one another...and above all things put on love..." (Col 3:1-16)

This small sampling of passages clearly show the Father and Jesus are trying to move us towards being more Christ like. Therefore if we want mercy and grace to help in our time of need for any purpose other than to apply it to becoming more Christ like, we won't be able to receive nor even understand what God is doing. He is ALWAYS leading us towards more maturity in Christ.

The natural man looks for mercy and grace as a way of escape, but often God gives mercy and grace to help us confront our own issues and fears. For example, mercy and grace may be found in going to the business where you wrote a check that bounced and pay them plus the penalty without making excuse or blaming something or other.

Or, doing the difficult thing and just talking to the mortgage company or bill collector to tell them you don't have the money. Or, going to that one you've been at odds with and apologizing for being wrong without blaming it on the devil, stresses at home, or your boss.

Remember them?
Do you remember my examples from last week? Hagar ran away thinking God's mercy would be found anywhere else but back with Sarah, who treated her so bitterly. Yet in Genesis 16:9 the Lord told her to go back and submit to Sarah.

For purposes of illustration we can say Hagar went to the throne thinking mercy and grace would be found in not staying under hardship, and while the Lord blessed baby Ishmael, the directions were clear: Go back.

Leah's grace was found in staying in a difficult marriage, Jacob's grace was found in serving Laban for 20 years. (Gen 31:38) Grace was given inside of difficult circumstances.

The Father and Jesus are always moving us towards maturity, and often that means doing things, thinking things, that our minds and emotions don't want because they are difficult, humbling, painful.

Cut and run
A woman we knew regularly blew up at her husband in fits of very violent rage, even attacking him physically. For several years she blamed it on the devil, how she was raised, the time of the month, her husband's gentle mannerisms, anything and everything except taking the blame herself.

But one day we had a breakthrough and she admitted she and she alone was to blame. After that the blow ups became less intense, she began looking quicker at herself, and they are still together years later.

She initially thought mercy and grace would be found by leaving her husband, or by the Lord changing him. She would cry out to the Lord to speak to her husband but nothing changed.

We taught her that God's mercy and grace would always be found within our own heart and emotions first; growing in Christ, growing in character, growing in the fruit of the spirit as outlined in Galatians 5:22 and II Peter 1:5-8. She needed to stop giving herself excuses for not growing up and doing right, and she did.

A man asked advice about his restaurant. We were talking at about 2:30 in the afternoon, the lunch hour was over long ago. He wanted advice on how to turn the corner on his cash flow, as he needed about $900 per week more to make a profit.

He had prayed, fasted, spoken only good things and declared himself profitable. Yet he was still losing money. I looked at the 10 people still on the clock hanging around, and told him that was his problem. As soon as the lunch crowd left he needed to release his waitresses, except one, his cooks, except one, or just shut down from 2-5pm.

Then he told me why he couldn't do that: One was a single mom, another was supporting her husband whose hours were cut back at his job, and on it went. I told him God's grace would take care of them, and that God's grace was to be found in him being a good steward of his labor costs and growing in this area.

He never could bring himself to do that. He closed a couple months later, making everyone lose their job. In reality, he chose to close down and throw everyone out of work rather than do the uncomfortable thing and cut back on their hours.

Mercy and grace were to be found in doing the uncomfortable thing, but he never saw it though he cried out for mercy, grace and wisdom, closing his restaurant in confusion and wondering where God was.

Where is mercy and grace to be found?
Suddenly Jesus was in my living room saying he wanted to teach me about how prayer works from the Father's and His perspective. (I am only giving the briefest sketch here about this visitation due to space, there is more detail in my book Pursuing the Seasons of God available at our web site below)

We were in the air looking down on a church in some town, and a young lady, single mother of two, was sitting in the back pew on the right side. Her children were crawling around and she wasn't listening to the sermon, but was lost in her own pity party.

Jesus explained to me that her husband had left her and she was living with her parents. I heard her prayers: "Lord, what are you doing with me? How long can I live with my parents and sponge off them? I can't even get a job because my car is broken (Jesus interjected that it was her alternator), but I can't fix my car because I don't have a job."

I felt so sorry for her and turned to the Lord to see if something could be done, and as I turned I saw tears running down his cheeks. He said: "She is only going to this church because of her parents, but she knows she is supposed to be over here in this church. This is where provision has been made."

As he pointed across town at another church I saw through it's roof to the people. The sermon was a series about managing finances, and Jesus pointed out a man towards the back: "See him? He's a mechanic, and I've commanded that he fix her car." Then he pointed to 3 ladies near the front, and the middle one in particular: "Do you see her? She watches children in her home and I've commanded she watch her children."

Then he pointed to a well dressed businessman in the church: "Do you see him? He owns a business and has an opening for a receptionist, and I've commanded she have that job." Then he waved his hand in another direction and two angels removed what seemed to be cloth from a long table with buildings on it, bathed in light, stretching away into the distance.

The Lord continued: "What you are looking at is my will for her for the next two years. The first building you see is an apartment I've provided for her. Behind that you see a school, for I am sending her back to school for 2 years to complete her education." And on it went - her job, day care, etc.

By "command" he meant that from heaven he had commanded provision to be made in these areas, thus angels and heaven moved to make those provisions. It immediately reminded me of I Kings 17: 4 and 9 where in the midst of drought and famine the Lord told Elijah that "I have commanded the ravens to feed you by the brook" and "I have commanded a widow to feed you".

Elijah had to get to the brook the Lord mentioned and later to that particular widow in order to receive the provision that had been commanded from heaven. If he had not been obedient he would not have received, and may have wondered why God wasn't being merciful and gracious to him.

In this young woman's case it remained to be seen if she would do the difficult thing and grow in Christ, and do what he wanted of her. It was far easier to have a pity party, sponging off mom and dad, stuck in a rut.

Think about what mercy and grace meant to her: Changing churches, meeting new people, applying for a job, moving to her own apartment - all very busy and difficult to do by yourself, yet that is where mercy and grace were found.

Consider the woman caught in adultery in John 8: "Go and sin no more" was where mercy and grace fell from the lips of Jesus, but what did it mean to her? It meant cutting off an affair with a man who she was emotionally involved with, most likely provided for her in some way (in that day and age), and cutting off all imaginations and dreams of what their new life may have been.

Yet that's where mercy and grace were leading her. Again, mercy and grace are given with purpose in mind, and that purpose will always involve growth as a person and in Christ. Escape and disobedience is so much easier.

Yet to those of us who have made the right choices, always choosing the more difficult path if it would lead to becoming more Christ-like and closer to him, it yields such peace, such closeness with the Lord! May we all come into the fullness found in Christ Jesus, that he would be formed in us, in love!

A new subject next week.
If you didn't receive the invitation for Tuesday, December 15th's Webinar at 8pm CST, US (part 2 of What I saw in heaven), click the link below.
John Fenn
Skype: jfenntulsa

Webinar invitation for part two, Tuesday December 15, 8pm Central Time US (January's will be at a time more convenient for our EU friends:
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"I Don't Look Like What I've Been Through!"

"I Don't Look Like What I've Been Through!"

By James Ryle

"Then the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn't even smell of smoke!" (Daniel 3:27, New Living Translation).

The story of the three Hebrew children -- Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego -- being thrown into the burning fiery furnace is legendary. They refused to bow down and worship the golden statue erected by King Nebuchadnezzar and as a result were bound in ropes and tossed into the fire.

But something happened that shocked the pagan world. The king jumped to his feet in astonishment and asked his soldiers -- "Did we not throw three men bound into the fire?"

"Yes, O King," they answered, in fear of their lives.

"Then how is it that I see FOUR men -- free, and walking about in the flames; feeling no harm! And the fourth man looks like the Son of God!!"

When the world binds you up and throws you into the furnace for refusing to worship its image of gold, the only thing the fire will burn away are the stocks and bonds which the world has placed upon you. And Jesus Himself will walk through the fire with you!

Nebuchadnezzar ordered the men to be brought forth from the fire. Upon examination it was found that "not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn't even smell of smoke!"

God will bring you through all kinds of fiery trials with no harm whatsoever done to you. You will come forth without even the smell of smoke! Thus, you can say to the dumbfounded kings of this world, "I don't look like what I've been through!"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009



by Robert Fltts

"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." (II Cor. 3:18) - NIV

We all want to be changed and we are all in the process of change if we belong to Jesus. This change has a specific goal, to be like Jesus! This is the destiny of every believer. "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers." (Rom. 8:29) - NIV

How does this change come? God changes us through TRUTH, through TRIALS, and through a Transforming TOUCH.

CHANGED BY TRUTH Jesus Said, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32) As we walk in truth, we walk in reality and liberty. To whatever extent we are walking in error, (untruth), we are walking in unreality and bondage. To some extent, we are living in an unreal world.

Knowing and receiving the truth about how to become a Christian frees us from the bondage of sin and guilt. Receiving the truth about divine healing releases us from the bondage of sickness, weakness and disease. The truth about generosity and sacrificial giving breaks us loose from the bondage of poverty and debt. We must remain open to truth whether it comes to us through a holy and esteemed prophet or through the mouth of a dumb donkey! (see Judges 22)

CHANGED BY TRIALS We are also being changed through trials. This includes every experience of life whether they are good, bad, difficult, easy, pleasant, galling, smooth, rocky, sweet or bitter. Sometimes the greatest trial is to stay true to God in the midst of pleasant circumstances! As we yield to God in total surrender, we can trust Him to engineer all our circumstances and He will use them all in the process of transforming us into the image of Jesus Christ!

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us." (Rom. 8:18)

"For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him . . . (Rom. 8:32)

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering . . . But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." (I Pet. 4:12-13)

CHANGED BY A TOUCH The Lord can also change us through a touch of His almighty hand. I like this one best! It is much easier, much faster, and more exciting!

Peter was changed instantly and dramatically through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Before that transforming experience he was so full of fear that he lied and cursed when confronted by a servant girl who recognized him as a disciple of Jesus. After he received the baptism in the Holy Spirit he boldly proclaimed Jesus as the Christ before the very men who had put Jesus to death.

Through an encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, Saul of Tarsus, the persecutor of Christians, became a Christian himself. From that time on he was never the same.

You may be saying, "But I have already been saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit. Is there another touch that will change me more into the likeness of Jesus?"

In the second chapter of Acts the Holy Spirit came upon the 120 who were waiting in the upper room. They were all touched in a powerful way when they received the anointing of the Holy Spirit. But they were all waiting again in the same place in chapter four of Acts and the same thing happened again. That second outpouring was so powerful that the place in which they were assembled was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit . . . again!

Something is happening in the world today that is changing people from shy, fearful, doubting, denying Christians to bold, courageous, believing, powerful witnesses for Christ. The revival which was prophesied for years is now in progress . . . WORLDWIDE!!

Do you long for a transforming touch from the hand of the Lord? The first step is to acknowledge that for all you have received from the Lord, there is still more. Do you want more? I do! Are you willing to lay down all your prideful dignity and exalted sophistication and come to the feet of Jesus as a little child asking for another transforming touch?

Jesus prayed, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children." (Matt. 11:25)

I am convinced that we are sometimes too proud, pompous, and sophisticated to receive all God has for us. God has chosen to use the little things, little people, weak things, and base things to confound the wise, strong, and powerful. God has more of his blessing and anointing for us if we are little enough, weak enough, childlike enough to receive it. A powerful move of God that is exploding all over the world has come knocking on our door. Will we be hungry enough, thirsty enough, and humble enough to invite it in?

Robert Fitts
76-6309 Haku Pl
Kona, HI 96740

Where It All Begins
Out of the womb of prayer, praise and worship all the mighty movements of God in the earth are conceived and brought to birth for the glory of God and the good of mankind.

A Declaration of Unity
I belong to everything that belongs to Jesus and everything that belongs to Jesus belongs to me! It's not us and them. It's just us! There's only one Body of Christ, and the problems of the church, the whole church, are our problems, for we are the church and we can do more united than we can do divided! So let's unify, simplify, and multiply!

Divine Appointment Prayer
Father, give me a divine appointment today with someone who is hungry for God, or sick, or in need, and give me grace to minister the love of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Winning the War on Terror by Prayer
Father, give every terrorist an encounter with Jesus such as Paul had on the road to Damascus.

Living to Give
Father, make me a generous giver today! Show me where to give and what to give, and let all my giving bring glory to the name of Jesus.

Grace, YES! Law, NO!
Law demands, demands, demands
But gives me neither feet nor hands Grace and Truth are better things
They bid me fly and give me wings!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rejoicing in the Midst of All Things

Rejoicing in the Midst of All Things
By Graham Cooke

Rejoicing Always

Living in Christ makes us vulnerable to laughter. Laughter is more than a choice; it’s a requirement for us that we be happy. God’s highest plan for our lives includes a desire for us to find, live in, and love the joy that is in Christ. God is good news! His love and presence is an absolute tonic for us.

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full,” Jesus said in John 15:11. Every time God speaks to us, or reveals more of His nature to us, joy is part of that equation. Beholding Him and becoming like Him is an invitation to party and celebrate with Him. Everything God says to us is designed to bring us into joy. Everything in the Kingdom of Heaven is about gladness, joy, happiness, and laughter. God wants to bring a smile to our faces.

God is joyful because He knows what’s coming next. He knows the final score. When you know the end from the beginning, you can’t help but laugh at all of evil’s schemes and tricks. They become irrelevant when you know that you win. There is a continuous joy in Christ that runs so deep that no one else can even touch it. But to access it, we need to learn how to rejoice in all things.

For me, joy is a safeguard. It’s a shield against the enemy. When the enemy comes, we can laugh in his face—because God laughs at him first.

I once had a dream where I was on a battlefield. We had just fought off the enemy, but we had lost a lot of good people. There weren’t many of us left; we were small and pitiful, to be honest. Every one of us was wounded. I myself had at least a dozen sword gashes on my arms. I was bleeding badly, and was absolutely exhausted.

Suddenly, a trumpet blew, and I saw another enemy army take the field in front of us. I looked around but saw no reinforcements for our battered side. The enemy was powering up. Their ranks were swelling with every passing moment. It was a hopeless fight, but our ragtag band of survivors gathered close together and got ready.

As I set my feet and gritted my teeth in preparation for the enemy’s charge, I noticed a man next to me was dressed as a restaurant waiter. Perfectly-pressed black trousers, a bowtie, a crisp, white shirt, and a white towel slung over his arm.

“What are you doing?” I asked incredulously.

“Would you like the melon or the soup?” he replied.

“What?” I asked.

“Melon or soup?” he said.

“How can you talk about food at a time like this?” I demanded.

The waiter ignored me and went from person to person, asking, “Melon or soup?”

“Are you mad?” I said. “Don’t you see what’s happening? Don’t you see the blood all over the ground? Don’t you see the enemy over there? How can you talk about lunch at a time like this?”

“Mmm-hmm,” he answered. “Melon or soup?”

I lost my temper completely. “Are you stupid or something?” I screamed. “You want to talk about food at a time like this?”

Suddenly, I woke up to find myself shouting, “Talk about food!” in my bedroom. In that instant, I received a powerful revelation, found in Psalm 23:5—“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”

When we’re on the battlefield just trying to survive the next wave of the enemy, God is thinking about menus. He looks around and says, “What a great place for a picnic! We can have sausage rolls, meat pies, cheese sandwiches. This will be perfect.” He is so secure in who He is and in His power to defeat any enemy that He can feed us in the middle of the worst battle of our lives. And that confidence should be a source of pure joy in our lives.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


-by David Wilkerson.

"Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have
a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye"
(Colossians 3:13, italics mine).

Forbearing and forgiving are two different issues. Forbearing means
ceasing from all acts and thoughts of revenge. It says, in other
words, "Don't take matters into your own hands. Instead, endure the
hurt. Lay the matter down and leave it alone."

Yet, forbearing is not just a New Testament concept. Proverbs tells
us, "Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render
to the man according to his work" (Proverbs 24:29). We are given
a powerful example of this admonition in David's life. He was in a
vengeful rage toward a wicked man named Nabal because Nabal
refused to help him when he needed help. David swore revenge
but he obeyed God's counsel, "Do not avenge yourself - let
the Lord fight your battle." That situation was resolved in a timely
manner and David praised God for his intervention. (See 1 Samuel
25 for the entire story.)

David had another opportunity for easy revenge when he found his
pursuer, Saul, asleep in a cave, in which David himself was hiding.
David's men urged him, "This is God's doing. He has delivered Saul
into your hands. Kill him now, and avenge yourself." But David forbore,
instead cutting off a piece of Saul's garment, so he could later prove
he could have killed him. Such wise actions are God's ways of
putting our enemies to shame, and that was the case when David
showed Saul the garment. Saul responded, "Thou art more
righteous than I: for thou has rewarded me good, whereas I have
rewarded thee evil" (1 Samuel 24:17).

Now we come to forgiving, which encompasses two other
commandments: (1) Loving your enemies and (2) Praying for them.
"I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do
good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully
use you, and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44).

One wise old preacher said, "If you can pray for your enemies,
you can do all the rest." I have found this to be true in my own

Jesus never said the work of forgiving would be easy. When he
commanded, "Love your enemies," the Greek word for "love" does
not mean "affection" but "moral understanding." Simply put,
forgiving someone isn't a matter of stirring up human affection, but
making a moral decision to remove hatred from our hearts.


Friday, October 23, 2009


-by Coach Dave Daubenmire.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember
the name of the LORD our God. Psalm 20:7

Sometimes when I sit down to pen a commentary I wish I didn’t
have to. I don’t know why the Lord has laid this yoke upon me, but
I try to be faithful to the gift and the calling that He has put upon
my life. They are irrevocable you know, the gifts and callings of
God, so I might as well embrace the work He has left on my desk.

I can’t explain it but sometimes I feel like I have on a different set
of glasses. Not rose-colored mind you, but more like binoculars
that help me see things that are farther down the road. I can’t explain
it, but I know it to be true.

I have always been amazed by guys who can “fix things”,
mechanically that is. I can spend all morning trying to figure out
how to get my riding lawn-mower operational and then my brother-
in-law pulls up, takes one look at the engine, and diagnosis the
problem. It is his gift, and I sure wish I had it.

But my gift is a little different. Although I have never been to
seminary, or spent time at the feet of great theologians, the Lord
has gifted me with the ability to “connect the dots” in regards to
the application of Biblical principles as they relate to cultural issues.
I think it makes some folks mad, especially the “credentialed
pulpiteers.” I know how they feel. I have experienced the same thing
with my brother-in-law. I’m the guy with all of the degrees yet I can’t
figure out that the spark plug needs cleaned before the engine will

Education without application is like tires without air. One without
the other leaves one feeling a bit flat.

(I’m still not sure I am making myself clear.) Solomon put it this
way.“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with
all thy getting get understanding.” Wisdom is the application of
knowledge. “Understanding” is the offspring of the union of
application and knowledge.

I remember praying a few years ago “Lord, help me see and
understand things that others don’t see and understand.” I’ll let you
be the judge of whether or not He answered that prayer.

The solutions to the problems facing America are so clear to me.
The cause/effect of our cultural collapse is so easy to diagnose. Like
my brother-in-law has often said to me while working on a piece of
my equipment, “Everything is connected together. All you have to
figure out is where the chain is broken. If it isn’t working there has
to be a reason. Just follow the trail.” Sorry to be simplistic, but that
is how I feel about America. Everything is connected…but we refuse
to follow the trail.

So follow along with me as we lift up the hood, check out the spark
plugs, and see if we can figure out how to get this baby running. It
is my opinion that we are trying to replace the wrong parts. Pardon
the corny phraseology, but we are putting the chariot before the

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember
the name of the LORD our God.”

America’s problems are spiritual, they are not mechanical. We can
not get out of this problem merely by changing the horses (parts).

We have tried that cure before. Substituting Republicans for
Democrats, or liberals for conservatives may change the direction
the chariots are pulled but it gets us no closer to the finish line.
Political parties and politicians are merely the horses that pull the
chariot. Changing them has brought us nothing more than a false
sense of hope. Every election we change a few of the horses, hope
that things will straighten out, and then lament the fact that the
stallions we put into office end up being nothing more than the same
old nag.

Trusting in horses has not worked.

Although the word chariot conjures up thoughts of a carriage in which
someone rides, a chariot was actually a weapon of war as
demonstrated in this video of Charleton Heston in Ben Hur. In our
American constitutional republic the constitution has become the
chariot, the weapon of choice, for those who want to over-throw this
nation. Many patriotic-Americans have labeled themselves
“constitutionalists”, and are trusting in that great founding-document
to win the war against an ever-expanding, all-powerful government.
“If only they would follow the Constitution…”

Although their intentions are good, the reality is that chariot
(constitution) is prisoner to the horses and the direction that they
choose to pull it. No matter how much we love to point out “original
intent,” “separation of powers,” and “government of the people…” the
chariot gets pulled in directions that it was never intended to go. The
Constitution in which we trust is the very weapon that the horses
uses to over-throw the will of the people. Extra-constitutional edicts
such at “the separation between the church and state,” the
“penumbras” of the constitution, and “equal protection” clauses have
run the chariot over those whom it was created to protect.

As long as horses are pulling the chariots there is no hope, and no
sense of generational permanence in that document upon which our
nation was founded. Allowing its clearly spelled-out principles to be
changed at the whim of the latest I-know-better-than-you judge has
caused this foundation stone to be crushed into sand. We all know
what happens when one builds upon sinking sand…

Trusting in chariots has led us into a swamp. The Constitution is not
a stand-alone document. James Madison, the “Father of the
Constitution” said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and
religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any

George Washington said “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation
without God and the Bible.”

Some men trust in chariots…..

Recently I have been asked to speak at several “Tea-Parties” around
these parts. Word has spread very quickly about the zeal, passion,
and clarity with which I articulate The American View of our national
dilemma. The hearts of men and women are moved as I paint the
picture of the consequences of our national rejection of Jesus. But
my impassioned plea for “remembering the Lord” has tugged on the
bridle of the horses who are not “Christians.”

Some of my recent “invitations” to speak have included a request to
“tone down a bit” the “religious part” because some of the “coalition”
does not hold my same “religious” views. You see, it is easy to
change the horses, or fight with the chariot, than it is to harness the
rebellious heart of individual men and women.

Needless to say, I told them what they can do with the horse they
rode in on…

The god-haters have told us that our Constitution is a “living,
breathing document” designed to change with the times. That
attitude is the same one that gave us “living breathing” marriages
and mortgage contracts. The US Constitution was a contract
between a people and their Creator from whom the rights of the
people had been endowed. A contract is only as good as the people
who sign it.

Funny isn’t it, our once solid American dollar is in a free fall because
the gold that once under girded it has been removed. Remove the
firm foundation and a building is destined for collapse. For over two
centuries the ordinances of God were the pillars upon which this
nation stood. Remove those supports and the Constitution is not
worth the paper it was written on.

"To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil
freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now
enjoys. . . Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown,
our present republican forms of government, and all blessings which
flow from them, must fall with them." Jedidiah Morse

I know what my brother-in-law would say… “Better firm up that
foundation.” Nothing short of a spiritual transformation can save
this nation.

Some men trust in horses, some men trust in chariots….

We need to remember the name of the Lord. Does any national
leader have the courage to say so?

© 2009 Dave Daubenmire - All Rights Reserved


Thursday, October 1, 2009



What does it mean to be without? I wanted to buy a few things before I left home. Funny, now I can’t even remember what they were or what I wanted them for. They seem pretty insignificant now. We went from the U.S. straight into Bujumbura, Burundi to Uvira, DR Congo. Each move was a huge transition in our world’s economy. Anyone could see the difference right away from one place to the other without even stepping out of the car: the roads, the houses, street signs or lack of, markets, schools, vehicles, dress, etc. Could it get worse?

Unfortunately, yes. Sunday we took the long drive, but short distance from Uvira to the village of Makobola to go to the church that meets at the home of the blind twin sisters. We had the luxury of being in a four-wheel drive Land Rover to drive the dirt and rock, one lane road out there. All the way there were many people walking the four hours to reach the village to buy things at the market to haul them all the way back to Uvira to sell them. Yes, many carrying them on their heads or balancing them in huge bundles back and front on their bicycles. I couldn’t help but wonder if one pair of tires would even make it for the long trip back and forth with all of the rocks on the road. Even many of the women had small children walking alongside of them as they strolled along in the mid-day heat.

When we finally reached the village, there alongside the road were many mud houses with thatched or tin roofs, some with doors, many without. We were led into a tiny, dark room and there on a blanket sat women—women who had obviously been waiting for us for a long time. The two sisters sat quietly side by side with other women closely gathered around them. This room and one other is their home and where they meet for church every Sunday. Remy, a church planter, came to this village, shared the gospel with the sisters and they received Christ. They have shared with others and now there are nine of them who meet at their home. None can read or write, but Remy or Stephen come often to teach and share with them. They were so humble and so sweet as they led our time together with some songs they had learned, with smiles on their faces as they sang about Jesus. Remy shared some Scriptures with all of us and then we discussed them. When we were sitting there, I believe God gave me the Scripture “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” These women had NOTHING, but they had more peace, more joy, more hope than any women I’ve ever seen. Roger prayed over them and it was pretty awesome, but gotta tell you, I’m thinking those girls should have been praying for us!

As we left these women, we went to meet with the chief of this village. He was working hard in an outside kiln with a few other men making bricks for houses. He led us into his small home. With sweat pouring off his face, embarrassed, he apologized for his small house and said he had been working hard to make more bricks to rebuild all the houses that had been destroyed in the war—the war when the rebels had killed over 700 of his people. The pain was etched on his face as he spoke and I thought he would start to cry—or I would. The war happened eleven years ago and the pain and misery and destruction is as obvious today as if it happened this morning. Over six million—that’s million—people have died in DR Congo since 1996. It’s inconceivable. It’s unimaginable.

I thought I wanted, even needed something before I left home to come here. Today, I can’t begin to imagine what it would have been.

Roger Thoman

Friday, September 25, 2009


Lend an Ear to a Love Song

By James Ryle

"If My people would but listen to Me..." (Psalm 81:13).

The Lord is looking for Listeners, those who will be both attentive and obedient to His revealed will. To such as these He will surely speak -- "For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him" (2 Chronicles 16:9).

Although He is looking, He does not often find them. This is not merely a condition of modern times, but rather is a longstanding problem that has characterized the people of God throughout history.

The Lord lamented Israel's indifference to His Word, revealing that their defeats in battle were directly tied to their neglect of listening to His voice. "If my people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow my ways, how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!" (Psalm 81:13-14).

Charles H. Spurgeon, the distinguished prince of preachers, once commented on this verse, saying, "Our enemies find their greatest weapons against us in the stockpile of our own disobedience. They could not defeat us were we not first to defeat ourselves" (The Treasury of David, Vol. IV, pg. 30).

The foremost cause of our many defeats is failure to listen to what the Lord is saying to us, and to do what He is telling us. Oh, how much grief do we experience in our lives simply because we do not lend an ear to a Love Song!

Imagine what a difference it would make in your life today if you listened for the Lord to speak to you, and then did what He wants you to do. Why, the results would be so wonderful that you would lift you voice to heaven and sing your own love song back to Him!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


It’s A Wonderful Life!
by Chip Brogden
God is Love, Light, and Life. These are the most profound words in the Scriptures. The writings of John are the writings of a man who is spiritually mature. He has found a way to express the inexpressible, a method of summing up all that God is. You will never get to the bottom of these depths. You will never see all the way to the end of it.
I want to talk about that Life for a moment. God has dealt with me for many years on the subject of His Life, and I have written much about Life and spoken much about Life. Even so, I hardly know what I’m talking about. I have barely scratched the surface. Friends, you have no idea what is yours! The same Life which raised Jesus from the dead is contained there within you! It brought the world into being, and it holds the world together. This Life overcomes sin, death, and hell. We have the Life because we have the Son. He that has the Son has Life! YOU HAVE THE VERY LIFE OF GOD HIMSELF.
Brothers and sisters, why do we - how can we - sit around day in and day out, week in and week out, month after month, year after year, content with just barely getting by, fighting with each other all the time, struggling with the same old besetting sins, arguing over the same old man-made doctrines, rehashing the same old arguments, listening to the same old crusty hand-me-down sermons? We have bigger things to discuss! Dear man, dear woman, if Christ is yours then you are filled with LIFE! And if you will yield to that Life, it will transform you and overwhelm you, eclipsing your selfishness, molding and shaping you into the very image of Him Who has called you! Isn’t that more exciting?
Let me tell you about this Life. In my Christian walk I have experienced more defeat than victory. But now the tide is changing. After more than twenty years of Christian experience I am realizing that permanent defeat is impossible because Victory is so encompassing. Let me say that to be victorious or to be defeated is entirely your choice and your decision. If you want to be totally and completely victorious all the time then you only have to decide to be so. How is it that simple? Because the Life is sufficient. The Life! It is more than sufficient. Victory lives within you; Victory has a personality. Have you met the Man named Victory, or are you still looking for it as an experience? Stop searching, for Victory is Christ, and He is already present within you as Life. The Life will carry you through when you cannot go on. The Life will give you words to say when you are all out of words. The Life will inspire you when your circumstances depress you. Trust in the Life, yield to it, rest in it, revel in it, rejoice in it. Talk to your Victory! “Good morning Victory, how I thank you that today You are mine and I am Yours! Jesus is Your Name, and You are My Life!”
Can you see this? Will you see it? Ask the Lord to open yours eyes and show you the Life which is yours. Go to Him and say, “I have heard about this Life, but I don’t know how it works or what to do with it. Please show me, please teach me, please reveal this Life to me.” And He will do it. If ever you see this, just once, you will discover the secret to the Christian life. You will shake your head and say, “All these years I thought I was really living the Christian life, and all I have been doing is playing tiddlywinks. This Life I have been given is greater, bigger, and more wonderful than I ever dreamed!”
How will He do it? How will He demonstrate the sufficiency of His Life to do everything in your stead? Why, the next time you feel your temper getting out of control, or the person you resent is bothering you, or things are not going right, or you are tempted to quit, decide that instead of reacting the way you always do, you will trust in His Life, then stand back and just see what happens. If you are a Christian the Life is there, it just has to be stirred up into activity. The things we call temptations, testings, and trials are the very means through which God desires to activate the Life He has placed within you! How else would we be able to rejoice in our afflictions? How else would we be able to count it all joy when we fall into many temptations and trials of faith? Humanly speaking this is impossible! But what is impossible with man is possible with God, and easily achievable when we trust in His Life to do what we cannot do.
I will say it again: Victory is your choice, and if you possess this Treasure of Life and you are still defeated, it is your choice to be defeated. I know that sounds harsh, but instead of becoming angry, realize that if you can choose to be defeated, you can also choose to be victorious! That Life is just sitting there dormant, waiting to be called upon, waiting for you to activate it, but it will never just take over without a conscience decision to yield to the Life. Yield to the Life! Trust in the Life! This is what it means to lose your life that you may find your Life. Yes! Have you found your Life yet? You say, it is God’s Life, not mine. True, but it is now YOUR Life as well, if you want it, for the Vine is one with the branches. If you do not want it, then it will lie there sleeping, waiting for the day and the hour in which you choose to call upon it.
Some Christians think they have to have the right book or the right man of God or the right formula or the right church or the right this or that before they can be victorious. My friend, you already have all the resources you need to live a victorious Christian life. The same Life which rose Christ up from the dead dwells in you! If the Life can do THAT, what is your excuse? What more could you possibly need than the Life which you already possess?
Here is a golden truth: if He possesses all that YOU have, then you will possess all that HE has. Allow that truth to sink into your heart. Breathe it in and out. Let the Holy Spirit soak it into the pores of your soul and you will not be able to contain His joy and peace emanating from you. You will start giving things up that before you would have never let go. You will gladly relinquish everything.
Each time you lose a part of your life, you will find His Life is right there to fill the void. Every single time. This is a spiritual truth, and there are no exceptions to the rule. Think of what it means. The more I give to Him, the more He gives to me. I trade in my life in exchange for His Life. Which would you rather have? Do you want your life, your failures, your mistakes, your frustrations, your sins? Or would you rather give that up in exchange for His Life? You can have either one you want, but you cannot have both.
What happens is we are afraid to commit ourselves totally and unreservedly to the Life. We want the Lord’s Life, but we also want to retain a little something of our life. That will never work. This is why you have such ups and downs, simply because you still love your life, and only trust in His Life for the really difficult moments. In a bad situation you will throw yourself upon His Life and it will carry you on through, but in the normal everyday situations you live according to your own life. Instead, let us learn to trust in His Life for every moment of every day. If we will surrender everything His Life will reproduce in us more effectively, gradually transforming, renewing, invigorating, and sustaining us from the inside out.
Permit me to share another golden truth with you: walking by the Spirit, trusting in His Life, is a habit. Once you discover how this Life is supposed to work and you obtain a small success over something which used to defeat you, keep yielding to the Life in that area until it is the most natural thing for you to do. Then, expand into other areas and trust in His Life for that, too. Get into the habit of trusting in His Life, of losing your life so you can find your Life. There are not many guarantees in this world, but here is one thing I am sure of: the Life will never fail. Not once will the Life of Jesus fail to meet the highest, most severest demands placed upon it. You might fail, but He cannot fail. If you don’t believe me, look at how Jesus behaved on the cross. Not a trace of bitterness, self-pity, hatred, or desire for revenge. Nothing but love, compassion, forgiveness. Do you think He is not sufficient to see to your little trial?
Invariably, when we fail, it is because we did not trust in His Life to carry us through. Always. So when that happens, simply ask for forgiveness, and return to the habit of trusting in His Life. Just like any other habit, it will be a struggle the first time you attempt it, but if you persist, it will soon be a struggle to do anything else. Trusting in His Life will be the most natural thing for you to do, as natural as breathing. You won’t even stop to think about it anymore. And when someone praises you for being such a fine Christian, such a mature believer, or such a good example, you can do nothing but fall on your face and exclaim, “Not I, but Christ: for apart from Him I can do nothing. It is God working in me both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” There is no room for the flesh to glory.
It is amazing to see this happen in actual practice. Let us take an example such as bad temper, since most of us can relate to losing our temper, saying and doing things which we regret afterwards. That’s a habit, isn’t it? I can confidently say that I have never lost my temper while I was trusting in the Life of the Lord. Ah, but I lose my temper all the time. Why? Because I don’t always trust in the Life of the Lord! I choose to be angry, or depressed, or defensive. Since I have made my choice to keep my life, I lose the Life of the Lord in that particular situation. What I mean is, I have chosen to handle my temper on my own. I am acting independent of the Lord. So I fail.
The next time you realize you are about to lose your temper, with another person for example, take a few seconds and pray along these lines: “Lord, I am so angry right now I am about to lose my temper. I frankly confess that I cannot control myself. But I trust in your Life to do what I cannot do! Since I cannot humble myself, or be meek and gentle, I rely upon You to do it in my stead. I trust in your Life.” Then don’t worry about it anymore. If troublesome thoughts arise, simply remind yourself that you are trusting in the Life of the Lord to meet THAT, and go on about your business. You see, the key to this is realizing that you cannot do a single thing but trust in His Life. As long as you think you can do it yourself, the Spirit will permit you to go your own way and meet with stinging defeat.
But if your prayer is sincere and you do this early on (before losing control), the next time you meet this bothersome person you will find something rising up on the inside of you which can only be described as supernatural. You may be conscious of compassion trying to come forth. Perhaps when you see the person’s face you will burst into tears and ask for their forgiveness. Or, you may simply receive an extraordinary peace that enables you to remain silent while the other person curses you to your face. Indeed, the Life in you might even have an affect on the other person, and they will totally break down before you, allowing you to minister love to them. One never knows how the Life will respond to the demands made upon it, but afterwards you will wonder how you were able to remain so calm, so full of peace, and so gentle.
This sort of response cannot be conjured up or fabricated. It certainly cannot be faked. Neither can we merely get an idea in our heads as to what we think Jesus would do and try our best to imitate Him. No, no, no, no, no! We don’t have to imitate His Life, we only have to trust His Life! Trust in His Life to do it in, through, and on behalf of us who cannot do it! And I will tell you something else: if you can Trust in His Life to keep you from losing your temper once, you can do it a million times. Hear what I am saying. If you have ever once trusted in His Life to keep you from losing your temper, you can trust in His Life every single time you are confronted with it, and He will bring you through. Without exception.
Along those lines, I can say with all confidence, that if you can trust His Life to overwhelm your temper, you can trust His Life for everything else. What do you need? Do you worry too much? Are you fearful? Are you bitter? His Life indwells you right now, and longs to make you into something totally new, to transfigure you into something entirely different than what you are now. Thank the Lord that I don’t have to be the way I am, but there is hope for me, and there is hope for you, and there is hope for the worst sinner on the face of the earth, because it is not a question of my effort, but of His sufficiency!
Another thing: settle it in your spirit right now that His Life IS sufficient. When you go to the Lord, don’t say, “Oh Lord, help me to trust in your Life.” That will never do. We must go to the Lord and say, “Lord, I DO trust in Your Life to do what I cannot!” If you are saying “help me to trust” then you are really saying that you remain unconvinced that His Life will really rise to the occasion and manifest itself. If you remain unconvinced, ask God to reveal His Son to you as your Life. Go through all the Scriptures concerning the Life of God, particularly the Gospel and Epistles of John, and Romans, and Ephesians. Give the Spirit something to work with. With these Scriptures in hand and in heart you will soon be convinced, if you are not already, that Jesus can do anything. He really can. If He can die on the cross and forgive His executioners, I am confident that He can deal with your little situation. If death, hell, and the grave can’t hold Him back, you need not worry that your problems are going to be too much for Him to handle.
Paul knew something about suffering and affliction, and he wrote, “We are the circumcision, we worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” Are you still confident in your self, that you can do it on your own? Go right ahead. The Lord will permit you to meet with failure after failure, but when you give up, His Life will take over from there and you will understand why His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Today let us pray, “Lord, up until now I have come to You as a last resort. But you have taught me to have no confidence in the flesh. Today, I will trust in your Life, for I have come to believe that you are more than enough, that your Grace is more than sufficient.” Amen.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Hermit Crab

-by David Wilkerson.

King David, the author of so many Psalms, grew weary of his
struggles. He was so tired in soul, so embattled and beset by
troubles, all he wanted was to escape to a place of peace and
safety: "My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of
death are fallen upon me... And I said, Oh that I had wings like
a dove! For then would I fly away, and be at rest... I would hasten
my escape from the windy storm and tempest" (Psalm 55:4-8).

A lesson from nature reveals what happens when we trade the good
fight for an easier way and walk away from our struggle. I recently
read a biologist's study on crabs, creatures that live in a rough,
dangerous environment among jagged rocks. Crabs are dashed
about daily by waves and attacked on every side by creatures from
deeper waters. They battle continually to protect themselves, and
over time they develop a strong shell and powerful instincts for survival.

Amazingly, some in the crab family give up the struggle for life.
Searching for a safe haven, they take up residence in the cast-off
shells of other ocean creature. These crabs are known as hermit
crabs. Settling for safety, they retreat from the battle and escape
into secondhand houses that are ready-made.

But hermit crabs' "safe houses" prove to be costly and ruinous.
Through their lack of struggle, crucial parts of their bodies deteriorate.
Even their organs wither due to lack of use. Over time the hermit
crab loses all power of motion, as well as vital parts needed for
escape. These limbs simply fall off, leaving the crab out of danger
but useless to do anything except exist.

Meanwhile, crabs that continued the struggle grow and flourish.
Their five pairs of legs become meaty and strong from resisting the
powerful tides. And they learn to hide from their predators by skillfully
scuttling under rock formations.

This law of nature, too, illustrates the law of the Spirit. As believers,
we get tossed and pounded by wave after wave of difficulties. We
face vicious predators in Satan's principalities and powers. But as
we fight on, we grow stronger. And we come to recognize the
devil's wiles when he employs them against us. We discover our
true refuge, the "cleft in the rock," by trusting in Jesus. Only then
are we truly safe in the midst of our battle.


Sunday, September 6, 2009



"Some years ago a fearful railroad wreck took a dreadful toll of life
and limb in an eastern state. A train, loaded with young people
returning from school, was stalled on a suburban track because of what
is known as a “hot-box.” The limited was soon due, but a flagman was
sent back to warn the engineer in order to avert a rear-end collision.
Thinking all was well, the crowd laughed and chatted while the
train-hands worked on in fancied security. Suddenly the whistle of the
limited was heard and on came the heavy train and crashed into the
local, with horrible effect.
The engineer of the limited saved his own life by jumping, and some
days afterwards was hailed into court to account for his part in the
calamity. And now a curious discrepancy in testimony occurred. He was
asked, “Did you not see the flagman warning you to stop? ”He replied,
“I saw him, but he waved a yellow flag, and I took it for granted all
was well, and so went on, through slowing down.”. The flagman was
called, “What flag did you wave? “A red flag, but he went by me like a
shot.” “Are you sure it was red?” “Absolutely.” Both insisted on the
correctness of their testimony, and it was demonstrated that neither
was color-blind. Finally the man was asked to produce the flag itself
as evidence. After some delay he was able to do so, and then the
mystery was explained. It had been red, but it had been exposed to the
weather so long that all the red was bleached out, and it was but a
dirty yellow! Oh, the lives eternally wrecked by the yellow gospels of
the day—the bloodless theories of unregenerate men that send their
hearers to their doom instead of stopping them on their downward
road!" - H. A. Ironside

"And what is wrong with the old method of scaring the ungodly with
a sermon on hell?" - Vance Havner

"There is a lot of soft, sentimental talk about Him today that brings
no conviction. When Isaiah saw the Lord, he did not feel comfortable!
Neither did Habakkuk nor Daniel nor Paul nor John. We want a
picture of Him today that does not disturb us, that smiles at sin,
and winks at iniquity. I remember a man who told me he wanted to
hear no hell-fire sermons but rather about the meek and lowly Jesus.
Yet the poor man did not seem to realize that the meek and lowly
Jesus said more about hell than is reported from the lips of anyone
else in the Bible! We need a true and complete vision of God in
His holiness and Christ in His glory that will bring us to repentance."
-Vance Havner.

"Obedience is the crown and honour of all virtue."
-Martin Luther

"Spiritual maturity is reached when obedience [to God and His
word] becomes a joy." - Jesse Yoder

"In Acts the apostles prayed for 10 days then preached for 10 min-
utes and 3000 people were saved. Today pastors pray for 10 minutes
then preach for 10 days and wonder why no-one is saved."
-B.H. Clendennen.

“It is a poor sermon that gives no offense; that neither makes the
hearer displeased with himself nor with the preacher.”
-George Whitefield.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Gift of Christ

The Gift of Christ
by Chip Brogden
As the fullness of God - all that He is and all that He has - dwells in Christ, so the fullness of Christ - all that He is and all that He has - dwells in you (Colossians 2:9,10a).”
We have mentioned the need to recognize and appreciate the value, worth, and preciousness of the Lord Jesus. We would like to expand upon that and discuss The Gift of Christ. I pray that the Lord will grant us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full-knowledge of His Son as we ponder this.
I am afraid that we do not truly appreciate the fact that God has never given us things, but has summed up everything into Christ, having poured Himself into His Son. Having the Son, possessing the Son, being one with the Son, we have and possess everything God is. It never has been a question of seeking ten, one hundred, or one thousand different things from God. If we do not know from our experience, we should at least know from the Scriptures, that Christ is the Gift of God. Then our experience will come into line with God’s Thought. If you are used to seeking spiritual “things” (love, joy, peace, anointing, power, blessing, etc.) then this message is particularly for you, but we all stand to benefit from being reminded constantly that Christ is God’s One Gift.
It is the fullness of Christ that we are after, the revelation of Christ as He in fact is. For too many Christians the Lord Jesus is “merely” their Savior. Thank God He is our Savior, but there is a depth and a richness bound up into the personage of Christ that goes far, far beyond “mere” salvation. Salvation is the narrow gate - coming into the fullness of Christ is the narrow path. The gate is only the entrance to something larger.
The principle we have in mind here is All Things In Christ. If we see this then we will be delivered from “things”, from lack, from dissatisfaction, from inferiority, from defeat. The Lord has much to gain by us entering into His fullness now, as opposed to waiting for some future appointment with Him in heaven. It is here on the earth that we need to pray for His Kingdom and His Will to be accomplished. May the Lord illuminate our hearts as we explore these depths.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).”
All we have and all that we are as Christians is based upon our union with Christ. Apart from Him, we have nothing, and we are nothing. But in Him we are blessed with every spiritual blessing. Think upon the ramifications of that. If this is true then we have very little to ask God for, and very much to praise God about.
For most of my life as a Christian I sought God for things. When depressed, I would seek joy. When worried, I would seek peace. When weak, I would seek strength. When angry, I would seek self-control. When defeated, I would seek victory. Most Christians are taught to approach God and seek these things when they are conscious of some lack. For a time it seems they are given what they ask for, but soon they are back asking for more of the same thing. Today we ask for patience, and tomorrow we ask again, and the day after that we have to ask yet again. So it is with peace, joy, victory, and everything else.
Eventually we must learn that we have everything in Christ already. That thing called “patience” that we are so diligently seeking is not a thing at all, it is Christ. “Victory” is no longer a “thing”, it is a Man. And so it is with everything else we need. It is certainly possible to seek spiritual blessings from God apart from Christ, or in addition to Christ. What a difference it makes to realize that He HAS (past tense) blessed us already - not with three or five or twenty blessings - but with every spiritual blessing. However many there may be, we have them all. Where and how has He done this? Thank God, it was done the moment we received Christ and entered into Him as our All in All. God would have us seek Him first, and not His things. To Him there is no “thing”, for they are all summed up into Christ.
Again, it is the preciousness and extreme worth and value of the Lord Jesus that we have in mind here. May we see before God that God’s Gift is Christ - not a lot of spiritual blessings that we must diligently seek after, one by one, until we accumulate them like a collection of virtues or special graces. That is not to say there are not many spiritual blessings we can obtain from God, only that they are all found in Christ. Having the Son we have all that pertains to the Son.
“If God did not spare His own Son, but freely delivered Him over to death on our behalf, how will He not also, with Him, freely give us all things (Romans 8:32)?”
Jesus says the Kingdom of God is like a man who found treasure buried in a field. With great joy he went out, sold all his possessions, and purchased that field. The point of the parable is this: the one who owns the field possesses all that lies buried within the field. It is not a matter of getting the individual pieces of treasure, but of gaining the field. Once we have the field, we have the treasure.
The Scriptures tell us that hidden in Christ are “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3)”, “every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3)”, and “all the fullness of God (Colossians 1:19).” Since this is the truth, we maintain before God that His Gift to us is Christ, and to the extent that we appreciate the value and preciousness of the Lord Jesus, to that same extent will we be satisfied spiritually. We will find fullness in the Son, and will not find it necessary to be continually pumped up or propped up as we go about our daily walk as Christians. Imagine the foolishness of asking God for a “few coins” to get you through until Sunday while wealth is buried just below your feet. Or, imagine the vanity of thinking we have to go “here” or “there” to get something from God (such as a “blessing”, a “word”, an “anointing”, etc) when we already have everything He has. I will go so far as to say that when we know the preciousness and costliness of the Lord Jesus we will not ask God for anything else. The one who must ask God for “things” has not yet fully appreciated the treasure he has in Christ already.
Perhaps an illustration would be helpful at this point. When God wished to test Abraham, He did not ask him to sacrifice a sheep, a ram, or a cow. He did not ask for Abraham’s gold or silver or tents or possessions. He went right to the heart of the matter and asked for Isaac, the son of promise. How gladly Abraham would have given anything and everything but his own beloved son. But in the willingness to give up his son, he was, in essence, laying everything down on the altar. When God owns what the man loves most, He owns everything the man has.
In the same way, the Father, wishing to demonstrate His great love for us, has not given us parts and pieces of things, but has sacrificed His only Son. By giving us His Son, He has, in essence and in fact, freely given us everything. When man possesses what God loves most, he owns everything God has. This is why I say we have little else to ASK God for, but much to PRAISE Him about: for IN CHRIST, God has freely given us all things.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Son. Whoever believes in Him will not perish, but will have eternal life (John 3:16).”
To the casual observer this verse appears to be giving us a thing called “eternal life”. But that is not what this verse says at all. God has not given us salvation; He has given us His Son as Salvation. This Scripture tells us that God loved the world, and this love prompted Him to remedy the situation by giving us His Only Son. What is the gift? It does not say, “For God so loved the world that He gave eternal life.” If I may say it bluntly, it was not eternal life that we needed to begin with; we needed His Only Son. What good is eternal life without the Son? See before God that there is only One Son, One Gift. Now all who believe IN CHRIST have eternal life. At the moment of New Birth we did not receive salvation, we received the Son. Hence, we are saved. Salvation is not giving me eternal life, but giving me Christ as my Life. Hallelujah! Do you see this?
There is a difference between salvation and a Savior; between deliverance and a Deliverer; between healing and a Healer; between redemption and a Redeemer. The first is a “thing”, the second is a Person. This may sound self-evident and elementary, but before God the difference is vast, and in actual experience the difference is incalculable. If we are not clear on the matter of His Son we will find the Christian life very difficult, if not impossible, to live. I have the “thing” because I have Him; having Him, I do not need to search for the “thing” anymore. What do you have? An experience? A word? A doctrine? A belief? Or a Man? This is the difference between a living Christianity and a dead religion.
We have to come to know the height, length, breadth, and width of HIM, and may I say that we will never come to the end of Him. But we do not search for anything as if we do not have it, nor do we hope to gain some new thing, for what we call “new” is simply that which has been seen for the first time. Thus, revelation is critical, for it unveils what we already have. Having the Son, we have all.
“It is of God that you are in Christ Jesus, Whom God has made to us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption (I Corinthians 1:30).”
This is a very rich verse. We have already seen how the Lord Jesus is given to be our Life. Upon that basis we can lay claim to everything else. Here we see that to those of us who are in Christ, He is made to be our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. It does not say that He gives these things to us, but that He is these things in us.
Again, this is the difference between a living Christianity and a dead religion. Most of us are still trying to attain something and have not yet realized that we have already obtained it. We wear ourselves out in order to be Christ-like. We are hoping that through much effort we will one day reach some standard to which we can finally say we are living like Jesus. But this is not God’s way. It is not a changed life that God seeks from you, but an exchanged life - that is, your life is to be given up in exchange for His life. “It is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me (Galatians 2:20ff).” That is the exchanged Life: my life for His Life.
We should have learned by now that we cannot change ourselves. Jesus says we cannot increase our stature by a single inch through worry and self-effort (Matthew 6:27). If we cannot make ourselves grow physically, how can we ever hope to make ourselves grow spiritually? Have you ever seen a brother or a sister try to act sanctified? They wear themselves and everyone else out. It is a burden to be around such a person. That is not Christianity. Christianity is this: not that I am trying to be wise, but that I receive the Lord Jesus as my Wisdom; not that I am trying to be righteous, but that I receive the Lord Jesus as my Righteousness; not that I am trying to be sanctified, but that I receive the Lord Jesus as my Sanctification; not that I am trying to be redeemed, but that I accept the Lord Jesus as my Redemption. Henceforth I cease trying to be anything, and I allow Him to be Who He is through me.
We must be clear: these things are not the “reward” for years of faithful service, or the fruit of walking with Jesus after a long period of time. If I have Him now, then I have all that pertains to Him now. My Wisdom, my Righteousness, my Sanctification, and my Redemption has a personality, for He is all those things in me. It is not a question of my behavior, or my conduct, or my feelings one way or the other - those things will come into line soon enough - but it is all based upon this accomplished fact. Christ is God’s Gift. I repeat, we have much to praise God about!
“The Father gives you the True Bread from Heaven… I am the Bread of Life (John 6:32b, 35a).”
The people were asking for Jesus to give them bread, but failed to recognize that He Himself is the Bread of Life. They worked and toiled for something which would perish, but were not willing to receive the True Bread that would not perish. Again, the significance of the Lord Jesus is not that He can give us bread, but that He is the Bread.
Why are we following the Lord? Is it for what He can do for us? Is it so we can enjoy His blessing? Is it because He supplies our needs? Do we want the gifts or the Gift? If our motivation is for blessings then we will soon be disappointed. Indeed, from this time forward, many of His disciples turned back and stopped following Him. How many of us will continue to follow when the Lord fails to respond to us in the way we have grown accustomed? The Lord may provide you with bread for a season, but there is a difference between looking to the Lord for bread and looking to the Lord as bread. May God show us the difference. The Gift of God is not what Christ can do for you, but Who He Himself is.
The ones who seek bread from the Lord will be temporarily filled, but all who seek the Lord as Bread will be constantly satisfied. What is more, they will have resources from which to feed others. It is a shame that many Christians only seek to be filled, and still they are never satisfied. They are content with a meager pittance, for a few crumbs from the table. They are constantly obsessed with being filled. To such ones we can only say that it is time to seek the Lord, not for what He can give you, but for Himself.
“Things”, even spiritual things, cannot satisfy. Only Jesus can satisfy, and since all fullness dwells in Him, we need nothing else. Eventually we will learn that Christ is the Gift, and when we do, we will be enlarged. We will be able to minister Life to the Body. What are we giving people: bread, or Christ? If we are ministering bread then they will become dependant upon us to feed them all the time. If we point them to Christ, they will find in Him an infinite supply.
“If you knew the gift of God, and Who I am, you would have asked Me for a drink, and I would have given you Living Water… Jesus stood and shouted ‘If anyone is thirsty, come to Me and have your thirst quenched! Anyone who believes in Me, as the Scriptures have said, will have rivers of Living Water flowing from within’ (John 4:10; 7:37b, 38).”
As some pursue “rivers” and “watering holes” how refreshing it is to know that Christ is the Living Water. How can we know the difference between Christ and what is proclaimed as the manifest power or presence of God? It is quite simple: the one who drinks from a “meeting” must continually drink to stay full, but the one who knows Christ as Living Water has their thirst quenched altogether.
We are empty because we do not know the Gift of God. “If you knew the Gift of God, if you knew Who I am, you would have asked Me, and I would have given you.” Those who hunger and thirst after Righteousness (Christ) are filled continually. Those who hunger and thirst after anything else must be constantly looking for their next fill-up. We repeat a thousand times, the question of abundance or lack in spiritual Life relates to how we see the Son. If we clearly see the Son then we see all that God has, and all that God is. In Him is fullness. To leave where we are and seek out some man or woman or ministry at the ends of the earth in order to be filled or blessed is a serious tragedy. How much time I have wasted in that pursuit, before knowing Christ as All in All! Broken cisterns cannot hold water for long.
We must know the Gift of God. The one who knows will not only be satisfied, but will have abundance of Life springing up from within. If we are mainly interested in being filled for ourselves then we will have little to offer anyone else. Yet when we know the Gift of God the Life will overflow. “You anoint my head with oil, and my cup overflows (Psalms 23:5b).” Are you an overflowing Christian, with all of God you can hold, and much leftover? Sadly, this does not describe many of us. To drink is a beginning, but God’s goal is an overflow. How we need clear revelation into the Son! How we need to see just how precious and worthy He is!
Here is the glory of our union with Christ: when we come to Him to drink, we become what we are drinking. Jesus clearly says the streams of Living Water overflow from within the innermost being of the person who knows the Gift of God and has come to Him to be filled. To begin with it flows from Him to me, but eventually it flows from me outward. What can anyone possibly give me that, in Christ, I do not already possess? So the question is not are you “in the River”, but is the River in you? In all things God directs us continually to His Son as All in All. May He give us grace to see Him.
“Of His fullness have we all received, blessing upon blessing (John 1:16).”
Just how full is “full”? How many people does “all” include? We have to believe that full means complete, and all includes each one of us. “Of His fullness we have all received.” No one, no matter how “anointed” they may appear, has more fullness than anyone else. And if we have received it already then there is nothing for us to do to get it. If I have already entered into a room and sat down in a chair then there is no need for me to try to get into the room anymore. I am there already. We entered into Christ when He entered into us: we do not have to enter into Him over and over again, we are merely abiding in Him.
I am frequently asked how do we partake of this fullness? How do we walk in it? What practical application exists for living according to this Truth? We see what God says, but we also see our situation. We see Jesus, but we also see ourselves. God says we are complete in Him, but we say we are incomplete. God says we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ, but we say we still need this or that. What is the problem here? Is it not a glaring discrepancy between what God says and what we say? Whose word is more reliable?
The solution is not to look at one’s self at all, but to look away to Christ. Then we will not have to worry about the practical side, it will develop of its own accord. Let us get a foundation first: then the Life will find a way to manifest. I am convinced that we have plenty of faith, we just have faith in the wrong things. Many Christians have more faith in the Law of Sin and Death than they do in the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ. We are more conscious of what (we think) the devil is doing and how weak we are than we are cognizant of God’s Son. But when we look away to Christ, He is increased. As He is increased, we are decreased. We must become lesser, He must become greater. When Christ looms larger in our vision than anything else, we will experience the fullness which is already ours in Him. Remember, the one who possesses the field possesses everything buried in the field. Meditate on that, breath it, live it.
We must ask God for revelation into His Son. Lord Jesus, reveal Yourself to us as All in All. Illuminate our hearts to see you. Bring us into the full-knowledge of Yourself. No matter our feelings or experiences to the contrary, we acknowledge that we are complete in You. You do all things well! Teach us to look away from all that pertains to man and to see You as You really are. Thank you Father for the Gift of Christ! Amen.