Every year in Chicago a group men get together and plunge in to the freezing waters of Lake Michigan to swim. Why? You ask? I was about to ask the same thing. You would think that wearing a swim suit would be for the Summer. Have you ever said something at the wrong time? Don’t you feel awkward? Or maybe you’re invested in the stock market at the wrong time, and you ended up loosing a lot of money. It’s so important to know which season you’re in so as to be effective in what you want to achieve.
From the gospel of Luke 21:37-38 there are some interesting things we can learn from Jesus about how to operate in our particular season.
1. In THE DAYTIME He was teaching.
The “Day Season” is a time to go out, reach out, or step out in faith in that particular venture that God is leading you in.
2. But AT NIGHT He went out and stayed on the mountain called Olivet.
The “Night Season” is a time to reach in. It’s more of a reflective time where you think, meditate, plan and pray.
3. Then EARLY IN THE MORNING all the people came to Him in the temple to hear Him.
The “Early Morning Season” always follows a fruitful “Night Season” of weeping, struggling, wrestling with God, renewed efforts in prayer, resolving to come out different, and letting all the rotten things of the world fall off from you. The “Early Morning Season” is a time of reaping that which you’re genuinely sown in the “Night Season”. It’s a fresh, new season of effectiveness and heavenly productivity. It’s also a time where the spiritually lost, cold and hungry are supernaturally drawn to your relationship with God, and where you begin to have an impact on those around you.
“THEN” is an amazing word of hope to those of us who feel we are somewhat stuck in the “Night Season”. Though weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Hallelujah – Seasons change, and you don’t have to wear Speedos in the snow!
The Sick Jesus
My Jesus, why are you sick?
“You’re doing well,
But have doused thy wick.”
But Lord, why is your stomach so upset?
I mean Lord, there’s nothing I regret
Sick, Lord? Maybe it’s something you ate
The cookies at our Church are really great!
The praises, the prayers
What could be wrong?
“My son, the song in your heart
has not yet been sung…
Some think I’m demanding
Waiting with a stick
But shallowness to My love
Is what makes me sick”
Sing your song
And run in the race
Declare it the world
Right to its face!
[ by: Robb Gorringe ]
21 days of “non-pleasant food”, and seeking God were what the Doctor ordered for me, my leaders, and the UNITED YOUTH in Chicago. So proud of them all.
UNITED YOUTH CHICAGO
So horrible and sick! This is happening in Churches around the world, and the Lord of the Church is about ready to lock somebody up!
Daily Bible Reading: 1 Cor. 15-16
“For I am the least [worthy] of the apostles, who am not fit or deserving to be called an apostle, because I once wronged and pursued and molested the church of God [oppressing it with cruelty and violence]. 1 Cor. 15:9 AMP
In recent years there has been a dramatic increase of molestation. I’m not taking about priests, pastors or Sunday school workers. I am talking about those who are molesting the Church. The apostle Paul was once guilty of such a heinous crime. Back in the day he would do such cruel things to these kind saints. I wonder how many of us have forgotten just how bad we have been before we came to Christ. Even Paul here, after being used so mightily by God, stands his ground by saying, “I am the least [worthy] of the apostles, who am not fit or deserving.” Why is it that after awhile of being a part of the Church that we somehow think we deserve so many things? We used to be so grateful just to be saved. And yet after being saved for a few years and after attending Church Sunday after Sunday we begin to get a little rough around the edges, and then we spite the Church and, in a sense, “molest” it by our critical attitudes. We become “Church Molesters” by speaking against the way “they do” Church. We speak against our precious leaders that God has set in place, and thus we spear at the very heart of Christ and slap His innocent children in the back room of our griping sessions. If we’re not careful the Lord of the Church will incarcerate the “Church Molesters” and throw away the key.
I am just amazed at the holy humility I see here in the apostle Paul. He is so real and transparent. He knows he doesn’t deserve the blessing of being apart of the ministry – the work of God. He seems to be living in such a way that he knows where he is going because he understands where he has comes from. This morning I want to remember all that God has done in my life and how grateful I am to be where I am. God doesn’t owe me anything. I’m fortunate to be alive, not to mention be in the ministry. I want to gain a new appreciating for the Church – God’s House and make sure I’m doing all I can to protect and stand up for her.
“Lord, I know I’m unworthy to be called by your holy Name. Please forgive me for taking your Holy Spirit for granted and for not maintaining the humility that I see the apostle Paul. No matter what others do or say empower me today to stand firm until the very end. Let me be a blessing, and not just seek a blessing. Fill me afresh today. Give me a new perspective. Anoint me with fresh Oil I ask. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.”
So many today are not prepared for spiritual battle. Worse yet, those who are suppossed to be used of God to set others on fire are wasting their life.
Daily Bible Reading: 1 Cor. 12-14
“For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle?” 1 Cor. 14:8
Though in the context Paul is talking about speaking in tongues it is a very interesting analogy that he uses. Here’s the deal. We have been called to fight the good fight of faith [1 Tim. 6:12, 2 Tim. 4:7]. We are not only called to be ready and prepared for battle, but we are commanded to prepare others! “Go through, Go through the gates! Prepare the way for the people; Build up, Build up the highway! Take out the stones, Lift up a banner for the peoples!” [Isaiah 62:10]. Isaiah 58:1 declares, “Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet…” So, I am called to be ready and prepared for battle – fighting the good fight of faith as well as training others to do the same. My voice is actually to be like a trumpet. Think of that! Here’s the question. How clear is the sound coming forth from my mouth, and my life? How clean is that sound? Or is there any sound at all? A good way to gauge these questions is to ask myself, “are others around me desiring to fight the good fight of faith because of my life? If not, I need to see what kind of sound is coming forth from my life. Is it uncertain? If so, why? Is there insecurity? Is there sin? Does my trumpet need a little adjustment? Or do I just need to go back and learn to “play the trumpet” in the privacy of my own prayer closet?
Before I preach to others I must first preach to myself. Before I prepare a message for people I need to prepare my heart before God. After I have does the necessary “heart maintenance” then (and only then) can the Holy Spirit begin to use my life for His glory. Once I have sincerely prepared my heart I had better use the trumpet of my life! There’s too many “silent witnesses” these days who sit around on Church chairs doing a whole lot of nothing. The Apostle Paul said with heart-wrenching tears… “woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.” [1 Cor. 9:16]. Wrench-out your heart here, or wrench it out on Judgment Day, but we must awaken ourselves to the signs of the times and rise up like never before to declare this glorious good news of the gospel of our precious Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It’s all or nothing. Are you ready to start preparing for battle?
“Lord, I feel a sense of urgency. Too long I have been sitting around polishing the trumpet, but not blowing the trumpet. I’ve been “blowing it” in the flesh, but haven’t yet understood just how crucial my role is in your Kingdom. Help me today to be re-awakened to be prepared for the battle – to fight the good fight of faith. Today I take hold of Eternal Life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Not too many people know the “Real Jesus”. Most picture Him with the fluffy white lamb wrapped around His shoulders, speaking softly, and never getting too loud about things. But if you check out Mark 11 you’ll see a “different kind of Jesus”. This Jesus is turning-over tables and getting a little bit upset. I guess you would too if you came home from school and someone you didn’t know was in your house eating pizza, drinking beer and playing with birds. You’d throw-down! And so did He.
In Mark 11 we also see Jesus doing something that you don’t usually hear about too often in Church. Jesus talked to a tree. Yep. Just let that marinate a little bit…. Good. Then after that he spoke to us how we could speak to mountains and see them removed. Listen, this is so radical! Forget the physics, forget black magic. Listen, the heart that’s been Born Again has POWER on the inside, and yet it’s released through our voice!
Are you letting Mountains of Depression overwhelm you? What about that Mountain of Sin that you can’t seem to beat? It’s time to Speak to your Mountain! And see it removed once and for all. Below are a few of the Rhema Card entries that I learned from my training at The City Church in Seattle with Pastors Wendell & Judah Smith… say these out loud everyday and see what happens!!
“I have faith in God. Therefore I will say to my mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea.’ I will not doubt in my heart, but believe that those things I say will be done. Therefore I know I will have whatever I say.” MARK 11:22,23
“If I am going to speak to my mountains, I will speak as the oracles of God.” 1PET. 4:11
“And I will prophesy to the mountains, and say, ‘O mountains, hear the Word of the Lord!” EZEK. 36:1
Start seeing your Mountains removed today!!
Our message to a dying world is to be more than a mere “History Lesson”. There must be something more for the hurting people we encounter RIGHT NOW! – where they walk and talk; and where they live and breathe. Otherwise we doing Jesus a dis-service and aren’t doing what He told us to do.
Matthew 10:7 “Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.” MSG
I can just picture Jesus talking to the disciples – giving them a pep-talk as it were before sending them out. It’s almost like He’s saying,
“Listen guys, when you go out there, don’t give the people a mere history lesson about the Torah. Don’t just try to explain God – Give them God! Show them that God is available to them right now! Tell them it’s a whole new life. Tell them it’s a Kingdom that they live within. And if they’re a little skeptical then ask them to bring out anyone who’s sick and heal them! And if they’re still not sure then ask them to bring out somebody who just died. That’s right – you heard me right! And then raise them from the dead! Haven’t I healed you? Haven’t I raised many of you and your relatives from the dead? Did I put conditions on it? No! Then that’s the way you deal with them. Just go and preach what I’ve been telling you, and bring healing to the hurting in the same way that I’ve done for you. It’s not about earning it. You must demonstrate My grace to the people so they’ll have a true understanding of who I am.”
I think many of the times we (as Christ’s ambassadors) fail to give people a Right-Now word. We are great “explainers”, but we aren’t good “demonstrators”. It’s not that I feel compelled to be a “miracle worker” everyday, but there’s something about the Kingdom of God that is right now! I’m not talking about “Kingdom Now Theology”, I’m saying that the Gospel isn’t just about what happened (in the past), nor is it merely something that will take place in the sweet by-and-by, the Gospel is for hurting people right now! We can’t just tell people to go to the doctor and let them get a prescription for their depression. We must “kick out the demons!” and really pray for people – believing that the Holy Spirit WILL move on our behalf, and especially in the Name of Jesus! Otherwise what in the world is Jesus saying in Matthew 10:7?