Coming Through!

September 1st, 2014

We know much is at stake. It’s why we pray as we do and conduct our lives circumspectly, redeeming the time! In times like this, the LORD opens special grace doors to snatch some and awaken others and for many, He literally comes up around them—under, over, and around—until they get a steady footing and can participate with Him in securing their destiny. Despite difficulty or pain in the experience, He gives grace to come on through!

This grace includes the hand of the Lord—turning us around and bringing us back to something missed or walked away from. The Hebrew word teshuvah means return and is used to describe a time of examining one’s own soul for the Jewish fall feast time, from the month of Elul to Yom Kippur. It is a time of turning and returning to the LORD in a significant way – returning to His path, making sure of right placement with His lordship in the heart.

Christians share this time of focusing on right placement and right connections, including repositioning where necessary. The Bible speaks of prophetic times when a line is drawn between what the Lord approves, and what He does not. We are in such a time; a season of tumult and turning that is distinctive. We turn toward Him and the Spirit of the Lord moves in our lives to make the Father’s will known. Penetrating man-made barriers and resistance, He puts His goodness on display through us; He intervenes and supernatural help is dispatched! Selah! — coming through!

Amen.

Ephesians 5:15-17

Teach Your Children To Tithe

August 31st, 2014

Teach your children to tithe “a tenth” of everything received into their hands, given back to the Lord from their hands. It’s the way you train them to put God first. As they learn this truth they will be able to prove the principle that “as the twig is bent so grows the tree.” As they begin to recognize money as the way we respond to value, show they how to tithe the first part—the best part; teach them how to pray as they tithe, letting them see this is not a bill you pay, but a matter of the heart—and gratitude.

Teach them to put God first: “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Children come into the world with a calling. See to it that you discern that calling and sacrifice if necessary to develop it, realizing the world system will also call them though not in the God-sense. The Lord’s plan is to make them head, and not the tail but the world will use them for someone else’s gain.

Teach them early. By age five affections are focused. The boy David killed a lion and a bear and his inner-knowing of who he was in God, and what he could therefore accomplish convinced him he would prevail over Goliath—he never doubted it. The same is true with your children. Be sure they learn very early so they cannot be persuaded later that God’s Word is not true, or that He will not do what His Word says He will.

Declare Isaiah 61:7-9 for your children each day.

Amen.

Exodus 20:3 | Deuteronomy 5:7 | Isaiah 61:7-9 | Verses@Once  

Harsh & Gentle Winds

August 30th, 2014

[You have called me a garden, she said] Oh, I pray that the [cold] north wind and the [soft] south wind may blow upon my garden, that its spices may flow out [in abundance for you in whom my soul delights.]  (Song of Solomon 6:16)

In Song of Solomon a Shulamitemaiden is likened to a garden. She acknowledges the distinction asking for harsh and gentle winds to blow upon her – hot and cold, strong and soft. Cool and soft breezes for enjoyment and more powerful winds for release of her fragrance, the spices of her garden.

The life of the believer is the Lord’s garden and can be likened to the Shulamite description. Matters of Kingdom life sometimes seem harsh but take, for example, the seemingly harsh concept of judgment, yet judgment can be the means to a desirable end. Judgment brings pressure that magnifies the details. Judgment exposes, without discrimination, bothgood and bad and in the process, we are freed to choose to discard the bad while strengthening the good.

God’s people are His garden. His redeemed people shall be as a well-watered garden . . . a people who shall not sorrow any more at all. For them, judgment is a distinction. Our merciful Lord judges with kind mercy and redemptive grace and we even judge ourselves, producing changes as we judge what is righteous for us, and what is not.

Amen.

Song of Solomon 4:16, NLT | Isaiah 58:11 | Jeremiah 31:12 | 1 Corinthians 11:31 | Verses@Once

Integrity

August 29th, 2014

Kingdom building requires a lot of heart—it takes integrity. Awareness of the connection between the Lord’s leading and the individual’s vital contribution is a major part of the believer’s integrity and is the heart of the discipleship message. That message is the purpose of our ministry at SWM. The goal here is to make disciples and produce lifestyle Christianity.

Hearing from the Lord, the human heart is optimized to invest in others; genuine caring is a premium part of the investment and the gift inside uniquely supplies God’s strength to those on the receiving end. As lives are impacted, the one giving of themselves is partner with the Lord in building the Kingdom in those lives. The connection is vital.

My prayer for you is to be on the receiving end of those vital connections and the integrity they represent. I pray the gift inside you will flourish, increase, receive strength, enlarge your tent, make a way where there isn’t one, stretch, forget convenience, risk something valuable, burn bridges, find your right place, and finish well!

Amen.

Galatians 6:6, Ephesians 4:16

The Third Heaven

August 28th, 2014

“I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven.” (2Corinthians 12:2)

We are seated with the Lord in a heavenly place that Paul referred to as the third heaven. We are seated there, with the Lord. Already. There, as here, we already have a full inheritance, lived out daily by faith. Writing to Ephesian Christians, Paul described his revelation of the heavenly arrangement.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, (Ephesians 1:3). . .which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:20). . .and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6) . . .to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places (Ephesians 3:10). . .For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).”

Life apart from the Lord is another matter. That life can be done, even done well, without an ounce of Bible faith. Paul distinguishes between the two explaining the natural man is prone to forfeit higher spiritual possibilities, preferring instead a (proverbial) bowl of soup to satisfy the immediate, momentary, here-and-now.

Natural life apart from the Lord also tends to be religious, not spiritual as in the sense of Paul’s revelation – nice people but not who you’d call on when crisis suddenly shifts this natural, manageable-with-the-intellect world to intense spirit activity where natural senses do not work as well; a realm where death often wins, where ungodly authority completes for control, and where a prevailing antichrist spirit blinds those involved.

As followers of the Lord we live according to the heavenly realm—far above principalities, powers and rulers of darkness. Disciples of Jesus do not choose the natural life—they do not choose the soup! For the person who is spiritual (again, not the same as religious) faith is the way to live here on earth, knowing what is already established there, in heaven. God leads. We follow. Presently and eternally, we have a reserved seat with Him in heavenly places, in the third heaven.

Amen.

2 Corinthians 12:2

Healing Prayer

August 27th, 2014

For Christians the first response Bible physical symptoms—small, or great—is prayer. First we pray . . . thanking Jesus our Savior for His assurance of healing as well as deliverance from the spirits of fear and infirmity that accompany sickness and disease; repenting of anything done to re-instate the authority sickness has when we disobey the Lord or choose a path not in keeping with His plan, and casting out of our lives every spirit of fear and infirmity.
We have authority in Jesus’ name to resist sicknesses and disease and related symptoms, even using our authority prophetically concerning things to come – in Jesus’ name we prophetically pray against Satan’s plan for new diseases before they occur. Our weapons against sickness are prayer plus resisting symptoms and expressly declaring God’s covenant of healing. Prayer creates a blanket of God’s protection, blocking known causes of disease and raising His standard against new virus strains and plagues. This kind of prayer blocks hidden germs or bacteria related to sudden illnesses and residual effects of terror-related catastrophes.

And remember, sickness can produce fear, which then works to persuade you to believe the symptoms are greater than anything. Fear presents the symptom as though it, the symptom, is all-powerful and able to control your situation. Of course that isn’t true but it can seem that way because fear and infirmity come from the same spiritual root. A spirit of fear persuades us through “lying symptoms” to produce dread and spirits of infirmity then take advantage of the entrance created by fear. It can continue like that, even gain momentum unless you take authority and take back command over your own body.

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. Now, pray that way and don’t put it off. Today is the day of salvation.

Amen.

Hebrews 11:7, Matthew 2:12, 22, Luke 13:11-13, John 10:10, Exodus 23:25, Verses@Once

 

Start With What You Have

August 26th, 2014

Start with what you have to work with. Stand firm in what God has told you. Write down everything He told you then begin with that as an outline for strategy. The Lord has come onto the scene and with Him the predicted end of this challenge. The Lord has extended His hand in your behalf!

You have come to a time of the Lord’s favor. He has called for an end to this season, including an end to everything not aligned with His very best, elements attempting to usurp plans He intended. Obediently, you pressed with your faith, in prayer and with confidence, determined to make His Word your final authority in the situation.

This is where you are . . . you might as well go ahead and start with what you have since you surely cannot start with what you don’t have. Plant your feet. Steady your thoughts. Make the necessary decisions. It’s time to begin.

“The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly. The right hand of the lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!”Psalm 118:15-16, NKJV

Amen.

Disciplined Faith Becoming One With Him

August 25th, 2014

Embracing God’s call matures and positions us. In the Church and in the culture of secular life, disciplined faith is distinctive. Christian discipleship marks the individual in a distinctive way — we belong to that spiritual lineage as those marked with God-given potential for greatness.

Relationship with the Lord joins His will to mine. I become one with His will — I become the will of God! In passionate pursuit of His will for my life I become one with Him.

Like Ezekiel’s river we go deeper with the Lord to gain revelation and more of the Lord! At first we began ankle deep until the rising water came to our knees and then deeper until the water rose waist-deep. The distinction of revelation knowledge corresponds to the river’s depths until the water is too deep to navigate on foot and we become one with the river.

The world around us (even in Christian circles) is going the other way—away from increasing relationship with and revelation of the Lord. There are converts everywhere but few disciples. But in relationship with Him we become one with Him.

Disciples mature in knowledge, evaluate fruit produced and reach beyond mere surface levels—for depth!

Amen.

Ezekiel 27:1-8, John 14:6, John 17:6, Ezekiel 47, John 17, Verses@Once

The End Is Better

August 25th, 2014

As we mature in faith, understanding for situations and insight in matters important to our values and ethics are revealed . We also receive revelation from the Lord that shines light with wisdom to address those. And because of this revelatory nature of the Lord’s communication, His speaking to us by His Holy Spirit, we experience positive outcomes that were impossible otherwise — hidden details we didn’t know about, are revealed.

This revelation is not coincidental and life in this context should be proof every individual is created to hear and receive special portions from the Lord. Thank God! And especially now, in these days, we have access to what the Lord has stored up for His people and revelation by the Spirit that reveal and uncover negatives. Through revelation by His Spirit, He lays it out, connecting us to the future He has planned.

By revelation, we are able to see as He sees and discern more accurately. He brings to pass details and timings that before, we simply did not know. In light of His revelations, passed along to us precisely for this time, our part is to continually declare them as the objective, the end of our faith.

“Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure’ . . .” (Isaiah 46:10)

Amen — the end is better!

 

Your Giving To God

August 23rd, 2014

In biblical Israel there were different kinds of offerings. Besides five main offerings – burnt, grain, fellowship, sin, and guilt – Israel was to give specific offerings, including the trespass, peace, fellowship, freewill, wave, heave, thank, consecration, dedication and memorial offerings, as well as offerings for the poor.  Similarly, we bring different offerings to the Lord and each kind of offering has significance to our worship and response to Him.

Our giving is not a religious duty but originates instead in the heart, a response to His love expressing honor for Him in a specific way. With the same measure of heart that we communicate with Him through our giving, the Lord directs other men and circumstances on our behalf. Not legalistically or religiously, but rather as a spiritual expression of what we believe about the Lord’s giving to us, and ours to Him.

You can make a decisive heart commitment that starting now and moving forward, concerning your money and all you plan to do with it, to ask God and listen to what He tells you. Your giving is between you and your Lord, a higher spiritual expression than mere record keeping or impressions given. The privilege of giving is God’s idea — holy and special and completely beyond anything we could imagine.

Give and it shall be given to you.

Amen.

Luke 6:38