Archive for March, 2013

History’s Greatest Moment

Seeing the stone was rolled away and they looked up to find an angel dressed in a long white robe saying… “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But quickly now go tell His disciples – and Peter – that He is going before you into Galilee, there you will see Him, just as He said.” (Mk. 16:4-7)

Celebrating Easter is like embracing the greatest moment in history every year! Its rich with meaning and becomes for the Christian Believer, the culmination of all that we hold so dear. Its the motivation for our passionate faith and the proof that God’s supernatural love is more powerful than the grave.

The Eyewitnesses:

Perhaps the most important testimony is the one that sees first hand the evidence of an event like the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In fact, its the Apostle Paul who communicates the best list of those who saw Jesus after He was crucified (1 Cor. 15:1-8). He lists Peter and the disciples and over 500 others at one time in a gathering, as well as James and Himself, “as one born out of due time”. The point is clear, Jesus had the facts that proved He had been raised from the dead. But, what does it prove?

5 Undeniable Realities Proven by the Resurrection:

1) The Truthfulness of Scripture: (Acts 2:22-37) Prophetically the Bible is fulfilled when the events it communicates emerge as factual reality… history! The resurrection was a huge piece of the Messianic puzzle. Isaiah, David and even Abraham gave us prophetic pictures and visions of this event. It once again tells us of the reliability of our Scriptures. They are God breathed and useful for our instruction in righteousness, “So that the man of God may be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work”  (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

2) The Validity of Jesus: (Rom. 1:4-5)Declared to be the Son of God and affirmed by the holy life He lived… yet the Apostle Paul tells us that it was the resurrection that put the stamp of validity upon all that was said about Him. The testimony that spoke the loudest in the aftermath of Jesus’ curcifixion was the power of tranformed lives, a power that raised Jesus from the dead and would forever be available to the believer (Eph. 1:19-20).

3) The Assurance of Forgiveness: (1 Cor. 15:17)John the Baptist made the powerful declaration of Jesus being the Lamb who would take away the sin of the world and without the resurrection this claim would become a hope rather than an accomplished reality. Sin itself is a gripping reality that is made effective by Satan’s rulership over man, but in Christ the curse of sin is broken and all men are given access to the free gift of forgiveness. Praise God, for the power of this moment in history, for without it we would have no assurance, but because of it faith is given its strength to overcome sin and the grip it has on our lives (Rom. 5:17).

4) The Stability of the Kingdom of God: (Rev. 1:17-18) The frailty of this world’s religions is that they have leaders who remain in the grave to this day. But, the King of Glory is alive and well, ruling and reigning in righteousness, seated at the right hand of the Father and making intercession for the saints on God’s behalf. At the death of Christ, there was no loss of authority! In fact, Jesus told His disciples that He was about to break the power of darkness by crushing the headship of the devil once and for all. He said, “I will build My Church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it… I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth would be loosed in heaven” (Mt. 16:18-19). God’s Kingdom has a Victorious King, triumphant over death, hell and the grave.

5) The Miracle of Eternal Life: (Jn. 17:3)To know God as the only True God and His Son as our Savior offers us the indescribable joy of eternal life, abundant and full. The miracle is in the fact that death is swallowed up in the victory that Christ has been raised from the dead (1 Cor. 15:54-57). We have a habitation awaiting us in heaven and at the believer’s death, Christ will receive our lives as His purchased possession (2 Cor. 5:1-8). Jesus told us to trust in Him, that He was going to the cross to prepare a place for us, that where He is we would also be (Jn. 14:1-4). Eternal life is life with the Father, in fellowship and in the glorious splendor of perfect love.

No question, this is why the resurrection is history’s greatest moment!

God So Loved!

For you and I to see the Cross of Calvary as anything less than the greatest testimony of love toward humanity… is to miss the point!

  • In this gift is revealed the most extravagant sacrifice ever made.
  • In this gift is offered the most incredible invitation ever given.
  • And in this gift is hidden the greatest promise of all – Eternal Life!

Mutually Encouraged

“I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you– that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” (Rom. 1:11-12)

Wow- my son Zach and I just returned from a powerful trip to Uganda! Our primary reason for going was the opening of our second year of classes in the Apostolic Training Center in the Lake Victoria region. It was two and a half weeks of ministry and bonding. Yet before we purchased our flights, God was speaking to me about spiritual impartation and mutual encouragement. I truly believe these were goals we saw daily being fulfilled in the ministry and personally between my son and myself. It was a rich time to be together and God has done more in this trip than I may ever know.

Power of Connectivity:

The Apostle Paul longed to see the Romans for the impartation of spiritual gifts and mutual encouragement. There is energy that flows between people who value connectivity. The power shared in being together is worth the effort! There is no way to duplicate seeing people face to face and having the opportunity to rub elbows, communicate ideas and look into one another’s eyes. While electronic communication has a role in keeping in touch, there is a warmth that can only be translated when people connect.

The meetings in Uganda were exciting and my time with Zach was a “once in a lifetime” experience. We wrestled through flight delays and cold showers, saw lives transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and laughed as we talked about some of the most embarrassing moments of the past.

Imparting Spiritual Gifts:

What I noticed; we must avoid giving empty words… there is no substance to them! No one feeds on empty words. Smart quotes may amuse, arguments may impress and sermons may make us feel better, but only the Words of God can release life. Only the Word of God can shape a relationship that honors our history and our memories… without guilt or shame.

The verse I quoted above speaks of mutual encouragement. When we come together, I find it is very important to keep our eyes and ears open. I may be the leader, father or maybe even the son, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn from one another. The more I pour myself out to encourage others, the more I grow in my understanding of myself and my anointing! There’s a freshness that comes from heaven… and its true of being a father as much as its true of being a spiritual son. This is the power of the Holy Spirit that works constantly in us to produce a mutually encouraged life… both in ministry and in our personal lives.

Thanks Son… for the impartation!

Childlike

It was a year ago that  Ron first asked Zach if he would like to travel with him to Uganda.  Zach told Ron that he thought that would be fun.  While praying about the situation, I got a vision of my tall, white-blonde haired son sitting on the ground with children all around him. Children have always been drawn to Zach.  There is still that little boy in him that thoroughly enjoys interacting with any child.

Ron shared with me that this past Sunday he was in a church, in Uganda, preaching and  Zach was in the back of the church building sitting with the children.  The place was jam-packed and Zach was video-taping off and on and taking pictures.

One of the babies asleep on the floor in the back of the church

Soon a little 3 year-old child sat next to him and put his hand on Zach’s leg. (Zach has always preferred sitting on the ground cross-legged.)  The next time Ron looked up the child was sitting on Zach’s lap sleeping.  I asked Ron if there was a picture of this and he shared with me that this was happening while he was preaching.  So, no pictures, but I can “see” it pretty clearly in my mind.

Often Ron and I will ask Zach what he is thinking of in terms of his future and as we were talking about this recent experience we were reminded of this gift of Zach’s.  The gift of being child-like while still being an adult. This is something that I need.  This attitude of being child-like (not to be confused with “childish”) while still being an adult.

Jesus did this so well.  He was able to let the children come to Him and surround Him and pull on Him.  We all know that He rebuked the disciples for thinking that hanging out with children is a waste of time.  When Jesus sent out the disciples and they returned with their testimonies, the Bible says, “He rejoiced”.  That’s our English translation.  When you dig into the Greek the term rejoiced means that he danced so exuberantly that it looked like his limbs were coming apart.  That is Dancing!!  Child-likeness is an extreme trust and faith that God is good, that He is faithful and that He really loves me.

Because He First Loved Me!

Oh How I love Jesus, O How I love Jesus, O How I love Jesus, because He first loved me.

The other day while Ron was in Uganda an African man approached him and asked if Ron had enough electricity for him to charge his cell phone.  While waiting for the phone to charge Ron asked the man if he was saved.  The man stated that he was not saved and that he worshiped allah. Ron shared with the man that really worshiping allah seems to be a lot about following all the right rules and that following Jesus provides freedom through relationship. Ron began to ask the man questions….. “Does allah speak to you?” The man replied, “No”.  Ron then said, “My Jesus speaks to me and also listens to me when I talk to Him.  Does allah listen to you?”  Again the man replied, “No”.  Ron then asked, “Does allah love you?” The man again replied, “No”.    Ron then began to share with the man how many times that he has seen Jesus share His love in the past.  Healing a little blind boy’s eyes, raising the dead, and then several miracles just this past week…..hips healed, swollen arms healed, backs healed.  Then he asked the final question, “My Jesus heals, does allah heal?” The man again replied, “No, but this makes me want to know this Jesus!” Ron began describing how much God loved him and sent Jesus to show that love and led him in to the loving arms of Jesus.  The man began rejoicing and asked Ron if they could sing a song to Jesus.  Ron, Zach and this man just made up a song of praise to Jesus and sang and danced for about 15 minutes.  The man grabbed his cell phone and asked Ron how long he would be at this location.  When Ron asked why, he told Ron that he wanted to bring his family so they could meet this Jesus also.

As Ron and I were talking and rejoicing about this testimony, Ron shared with me that although he could provide a convincing argument why allah is not as good as Jesus.   Sharing how much Jesus loves us and longs to do supernatural things on our behalf couldn’t hold this man back from  wanting to know Jesus. It all really is about Him loving us first, knitting us together in our mother’s womb, giving us a destiny, a future and a hope, and then continually loving us and drawing us to Him any way that He can.  I think sometimes He shows off just to draw us and those around us closer to Him.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.   Romans 8:38

Archives