Archive for August, 2013

Life-Changing Prayer

“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Phil. 1:9-11)

THIS IS ONE POWERFUL LIFE-CHANGING PRAYER!

1. Pray that love will abound! That our love for God and others would overflow like a river! We always need to increase in holy love! We need to fellowship in the burning heart of God… not a mushy compromising love, but an unselfish love; that reaches out to others! With the same intensity of love Jesus loved us as He loved the Father… and then He tells us to abide in His love! (Jn. 15:9)

2. Pray for entrance into a love that begins with Him! It’s full of spiritual knowledge and deep revelations of truth. We need to grow in our knowledge of God and in our communion with Him. Pray for increased wisdom, increased revelation and increased passion… something that produces and multiplies!

3. Pray for a discerning godly love! The kind that never fails! God’s people need discernment. We must approve things that are excellent. This means to recognize the highest and the best, to understand what really matters and to make right choices. We need moral and spiritual discernment. The phrase “in all judgment” means with all spiritual discernment. Seeing as through the eyes of heaven, means living out of our spirit-man.

4. Pray that we will be ’sincere’! This word means ‘pure ‘ …without any mixture of evil. We must be real, genuine believers with nothing to hide. Your life must be consistent no matter what. Without offense and blameless our lives must not cause others to fall into sin. A blameless life is free from moral scandal. This word “blameless” does not mean sinless perfection, but a life that is growing in godliness and is consistent in pleasing God; not causing offense to others. Pray that my life will not be a stumbling block to anyone who names the name of Christ, nor a road block to those who are still searching for truth! Our conduct should be honest and honorable! We must be people of unquestioned integrity.

5. Pray that we live a fruitful life! Filled with the fruit of righteousness. This includes all the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We must grow in godly character that flows from a right relationship with God.

6. The end result – Glory! ‘The glory and praise of God. This kind of life pleases God and honors Christ. When people see us, are they able to see the effect of life-changing prayer? Glory to Glory transformation, is the result of more than just having a “little talk with Jesus”… it is the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man that availeth much (Jms. 5:16).

So… pray for me, pray for my family, pray for my ministry, but pray this prayer in faith… and God will do more than we can ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20), Hallelujah!

Appreciation

“I am glad about the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, for what was lacking on your part they supplied. For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men.” (1 Cor. 16:17-18)

“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.” (1 Thess. 5:11-13)

This morning I opened my email to find 2 wonderful notes thanking us for the work we do in Africa, and that made me think how wonderful the smile that emerged upon my face was to my faith. It was like a breath of fresh air! I could almost hear God say, “I want you to have a smile on your faith!” The Apostle Paul tells us that it doesn’t have to be complicated; we should appreciate the labor of others – tell them… and esteem them very highly in love.

Appreciation is like oxygen for the soul!

How would you describe someone who knowingly withheld oxygen from someone? Then why do we find it so hard to express our appreciation to people who add value to our lives? And by the way, if there’s no one in your life that you appreciate… that says more about you than the people around you.

Emotional Leprosy:

Beware that you do not become an emotional leper or self absorbed, “lone ranger”. Remember the malady of the leper was that they would lose their ability to feel. It is possible to become so obsessed with your success that you stop noticing others around you. Your ministry is not yours and never will be. And can I tell you the truth – God wants it back so it can increase!

Jesus said, “I am the vine and you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5). Do we truly understand that we can do nothing in terms of lasting fruit without Him? And second; have we come to terms with the concept that the word “branches” is plural? Jesus wants us to abide in Him as a people in loving fellowship with each other!

Being Grateful:

At its core, appreciation is rooted in gratitude. A selfish, self-centered, and self-obsesses person has no capacity to be grateful. What people do for us must never be overlooked or expected, as the other person’s job or duty. Recognizing the achievements of others begins when we esteem them more highly than ourselves (Phil. 2:3). Let’s notice the riches of other people and stop letting our desire for personal gain or success rule our heart. Its a grateful heart that unlocks the pleasure of fellowship! Tell someone that you are proud of them, today… tell them you see their effort and that you appreciate them for who they are in your life.

And you know what? You might find a smile awakening in their… faith!

The following note was written by my oldest daughter – JoHanna Bateman.

“That moment when you finally clean out your purse and you find a note (you forgot to read) from a girl in youth group. And you just sit there staring at it, reading it over and over and crying your eyeballs out. Realizing that just simply praying for someone and being their friend, can change their life and impact them forever. I never thought simply asking someone how they’re doing every Wednesday could impact their life so much. It helps us believe in a God we have never seen. How beautiful it is, when the love of Christ is shown through people. Is that not what I was made for? To reflect the glorious face of Jesus?”

Two things I encourage you to do today:
1. Ask people how they’re doing… and care about the answer.
2. Clean out your purse. You might find a long lost note that will awaken a smile.

I’m so proud of you, sweetheart!

Time to Soar

Waiting is not just something we do in order to get what we want. Waiting is the process of becoming what God wants us to be. What God does in us while we wait is as important as what we are waiting for. Waiting – that is “biblical waiting”; is not passively sitting around for something to happen that will move us beyond our troubles. Waiting does not mean doing nothing. It is not resignation, but spiritual posturing… for our heart to be renewed.

Waiting is an Obedient Posture:

Those who wait are those who expect harvest, because they know their work is not in vain. The farmer can wait all summer for his harvest, because he has done his work… sowing the seed and watering the plants. Those who wait on the Lord can go about their assigned tasks, confident that God will provide the strength in their lives and the blessing in their toil. Waiting is the confident discipline of an expectant believer. Faith is something active and sometimes even painfully stretched by trusting in God. It knows that we will reap a reward… if we endure to the end (Heb. 11:6).

When Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem (Lk. 24:49), He was telling them that this was a means of experiencing His peace, His prosperity, and His power.

Four powerful things happen in our waiting for renewed strength!

  1. We come to the end of ourselves. We stop moving, fixing and over thinking life. (Acts 1:8)(Zach. 4:6)
  2. We see God moving. We catch the wind of God’s Spirit. (Jn. 3:3-8)(Acts 2:1-4).
  3. We find a prophetic destiny that we cannot achieve on our own. (Acts 2:14-21)(1 Cor. 2:9-12)
  4. We unlock the door to the Father’s Heart. (Acts 2:38-39)(Jer. 29:11-14)

Flapping, Gliding or Soaring:

Ornithologists say birds have three methods of flight. Flapping is keeping their wings in constant motion, like a hummingbird or robin, to counteract gravity. Flapping keeps them in the air, but it is a lot of work. Second is gliding. Here the bird builds up enough speed, then coasts downward a while. It is much more graceful than flapping, but unfortunately it does not get the bird very far. Reality, in the form of gravity sets in quickly. Gliding is nice, but it does not last.

The third way is soaring. Only a few birds are capable of soaring like the eagle… but it is because of their ability to wait for the right winds. Eagle’s wings are so strong that they are capable of catching rising currents of warm air called thermal winds that go straight up from the Earth. And without moving a feather, they can soar to great heights. Eagles have been clocked at up to 80 mph without flapping at all. They just soar on invisible columns of air.

I believe its time for us to soar!

Resisting Evil

“For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Rom. 8:6)

We often tend to forget that worldliness and worldly people act as they do because they are carnally minded. People sin, because they take no initiative to fix their minds on Christ and His Word. Apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, humanity is in a state of confusion and “spiritual death”, having fallen from God’s promise of grace and experience in His Glory.

I like to meditate on these 2 verses:

  1. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (Jn. 1:14)
  2. “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor. 4:6)

We must remind ourselves to behold the Glory of the Lord in the face of Jesus every day. Jesus came, not only to forgive our sins; but to destroy the “daily works” of the devil in our lives (1 John 3:8). ”IT IS FINISHED!” was the most powerful word from the cross, in that it released a shift in the atmosphere and locked in the greatest victory humanity has ever experienced. For in keeping with God’s promise to crush the head of the serpent, Jesus removed the authority of sin, hell and the grave. Indeed you and I can enjoy life… free to live out of the freedom Christ has won for us. Satan has been defeated!

A Spiritual Battle:

To accept this truth and live in its reality, sets up a spiritual battle on the inside. And it causes us to seriously see our need to resist evil on all levels. The flesh fights and the devil roars to maintain dominance over the spirit, but in Christ the battle is already won. He has destroyed the power of sin that wants to rule in our hearts and minds. If we have accepted the forgiveness of God, in Christ; then there are no chains that can hold us in bondage to fear any longer… the curse has been broken. The platform for the devil’s power resides in deception, perversion and blindness (2 Cor. 4:4). Now that we know of God’s gift of reconciliation, we can pull upon the grace freely given to us through the work of the cross; and walk in life and peace… and experience the Glory of God once more. All things can become new! (2 Cor. 5:17)

And the promise in the midst of resisting evil, is that the devil must flee! (Jms. 4:7)

“The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.” (Deut. 28:7)

The Least of These

“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” (Mt. 25:37-40)

This was one of the last things that Jesus taught His disciples. Jesus identifies Himself with the least of these… He says I was hungry, I was thirsty, I was a stranger, I was naked, I was sick, I was in prison. We see it throughout the life of Jesus; He always had time for the least of these. He stopped a meeting to spend time with a broken woman who wanted to anoint His feet. He stopped along His journey to visit with a simple, outcast Samaritan woman. He even ignored the law regarding the Sabbath to heal a man who was born blind.

Revealing the Father’s Heartbeat:

In fact, the miracles of Jesus were designed to manifest the Father’s glory and love (Acts 10:38). He didn’t plan outreach events with the disciples in the same way we watch crusades promoted in our day. He just did what He saw the Father doing (Jn. 5:19), and that was reaching hurting people… loving the least, the lonely and the outcast. Jesus simply could not look upon the multitudes without compassion for them (Mt. 9:36 & 14:14). He identified with our pain and suffering, so that they could identify with His purpose (1 Jn. 3:8). His heart was so full of the love of the Father that He was driven to touch the leper and cast out the unclean spirit.

We must live the same way!

We should be so full of God’s love that rivers of living water flow from our hearts and change lives and atmospheres everywhere we go. This is what Jesus was referring to when He said, “freely you’ve received, freely give” (Mt. 10:8). His command to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons and raise the dead… it was all for love. Freely we receive His love and freely we must pour it out! All of those actions are targeted on “the least of these”. The sick, the dying, the oppressed and the helpless are within our reach and they must be perceived as an invitation, not a frustration!

“Let your light so shine before men, that they might see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Mt. 5:16)

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