Archive for February, 2015

Update Kisii Kenya

Hello Pastor Andrew: My Brother I want you to know that we so appreciate your efforts and leadership there in the Kisii region. It is your home and you are doing a good job in advancing the Kingdom. Greet the leaders and students for me! I am sending you copies of the 1st Year Certificates to give to your leaders. As their “director”, you have shown incredible endurance and strength of character in helping these students accomplish their first year of study. Please, let me know how things go at the promotion service. And as you begin 2nd year classes please send me pictures as often as you can. I love getting the updates and it helps us pray with fervency and knowledge when we see your faces and read of your progress. I am so proud of you!
Blessings Pastor Ron Bateman
Dear Brother Ron…
Shalom greetings in the matchless name of our loving and gracious Lord – Jesus Christ. We appreciate your work and what God has started in us. He is good and will accomplish His purpose in good faith. Greetings from the brethren here in Kisii. We have started the 2nd year Apostolic Training with some who attended today. We warmly invite and welcome you here to share with us the heavenly treasures bestowed unto you.

Blessings; Pastor Andrew and Everlyne

Listen Carefully

“Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” (Heb. 3:15)

God still speaks today. He said, I AM the Lord your God, I change not! Faith is so important to us, because it gives us that greater capacity to hear the voice of God. Faith is the most potent force in the entire universe. According to the Bible; taking God seriously by believing His Promises, provides everything for an abundant life… and the godliness we need to achieve it (2 Pet. 1:3-4): “power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessing” (Rev. 5:12). Faith offers supernatural grace and possibility to human frailty. Jesus looked at our weakness and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible!” (Mt. 19:26).

God’s Voice:

God’s voice carries weight. From thunder and lightning (2 Sam. 22:14) to the sound of His whisper (1 Ki. 19:12), God’s voice is mighty. It makes the wilderness shake, breaks the cedars and calls the chaotic into order. God speaks and things are created, re-created, mobilized or stilled. It was His Word that He sent to heal the sick (Ps. 107:20), His voice that made the deer give birth (Ps. 29:9) and the recognition of his name that raised Lazarus from the dead (Jn. 11:43). We must realize that every time God’s voice is heard something shifts in the atmosphere of both heaven and earth; purpose flows forth and power is released. Its as significant as when God commanded the Sun to stand still for Joshua (Josh. 10:12-13), decreed a healing for a Centurion’s servant (Mt. 8:8) or compelled a storm to become calm with just one word – “Peace” (Mk. 4:39). What makes His voice carry such weight is His Authority! He rules the universe at the sound of His voice and holds all things together; from the grandest mountain range to the smallest molecule, by the word of His power.

How does God Speak to Us Today?

He speaks directly – As He spoke with Abram! (Gen. 12:1-3); “Come out of your father’s house, to a land that I will show you”
He speaks through His Word - As He spoke to Isaiah! (Isa. 34:16) “Search from the Book of the Lord and read…”
He speaks through His Spirit – As He spoke to the waiting Disciples! (Acts 2:4) “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance”.

Jesus assures us; that as the Holy Spirit had spoken to Him, so also the Holy Spirit would speak the will and purposes of God to us, if we would be willing to listen: “He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (Jn. 16:12-15).
“All that belongs to the Father is Mine (said Jesus). That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is Mine and make it known to you.”

Listen Carefully – The Holy Spirit will make God Known to All of Us!

Days of Discovery

These are days of discovery – where a generation is experiencing the joy and abundance of living lives full of the Holy Spirit! I have never seen a time so permeated with great opportunities to hear God’s message and fellowship with His people… those who have become radically effected by the Wells of Salvation.

“And in that day you will say; Oh Lord, I will praise You; though You were angry with me Your anger is turned away and You comfort me. Behold God is my Salvation, I will trust and not be afraid. For YAH, (Yahweh) the Lord is my Strength and my Song, He also has become my Salvation! Therefore with joy you will draw water from the Wells of Salvation.” (Isaiah 12:1-3)

The Old Testament Prophet Isaiah said it would be like this… that a day would come where a people would draw out the living water from the wells of salvation; that a resource of joy would be released within their lives. They would drink deeply of the spiritual life and they would overflow as a bubbling expression of freedom.

Free from fear and free from wrath; God’s people are made to drink deeply from these wells. (1 Cor. 12:13)

  1. This life giving water becomes our Strength!
  2. This joy that we experience becomes our Song!
  3. This heaven sent grace has become our Salvation!

The New Testament writer Paul encourages us to live filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18). He tells us to keep being filled, keep drinking of this living water everyday and as you receive and flow out into the world around you, there will be an evidence of God’s impact upon others. You are God’s delight and His invitation still remains. So come drink deeply with joy, draw out of His resources within you and know the One who fills your heart with life.

The Heart of Conflict

Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” (Lk. 16:14-15)

Don’t you hate it when you see a little “pharisee” in yourself? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could simply renounce old habits and selfish behavior and respond to conflict in a gracious and constructive way? Let’s face it, as conflict arises peace is stolen and replaced by a spirit of strife! It’s not an easy task – staying clear of conflict. In order to break free and stay free, we need to understand why we react to conflict the way we do.

Its an Issue of the Heart!

Jesus provides us with clear guidance on this issue!

During His earthly ministry, a young man approached and asked Jesus to settle an inheritance dispute with his brother. “Jesus replied, ‘Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?’ Then He (Jesus) said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions’” (Lk. 12:13-15).

Recognize the Traps:

This passage reveals a common human pattern. When faced with conflict, be on guard against all kinds of greed. Greed lives on the inside of us! We tend to focus passionately on what our opponent has done wrong or should do to make things right. In contrast, God always calls us to focus on what is going on in our own hearts when we are at odds with others. Why? Because our heart is the wellspring of all our thoughts, words, and actions, and therefore the source of our conflicts. “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Mt. 15:19).

The Heart’s Central Role in Conflict:

“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (Jms. 4:1-3)

Conflicts arise from unmet desires in the heart – greed! When we feel we cannot be satisfied unless we have something we want or think we need, then that desire turns into a demand called greed. If someone fails to meet that desire – we judge, condemn and quarrel. We fight to get our way. Conflict arises when desires grow into demands and we judge and fight with those who get in our way.

But the Heart has Power:

Love, honor & trust… these are words of worship! These are the words that overcome conflict when they are positioned perfectly in the heart of a fervent believer. Jesus calls us to love God, honor God, and trust God… and God Alone! (Mt. 22:37)(Lk. 12:4-5)(Jn. 14:1) Worship is a powerful tool to overcoming conflict… its an attitude of the heart!

Anytime we cherish, fear, or trust in something more than God, to make us happy; it is the worship of false gods… “idolatry”.

I know it sounds harsh, but greed is idolatry and it has levels of influence. It often goes unrecognized until we are knee deep into a quarrel. The quarrel itself is just a symptom of a deeper issue. That’s when we find ourselves wondering, “how did we even get into that mess!” Well, something was sitting in the heart waiting to be defended.

But, when our focus is on worship – rejoicing in Christ, walking in gentleness and prayerfully considering everything that gets in our way; then the believer has a greater platform of self-control. Greed and idolatry are diffused of their control and the heart is guarded by the peace of God that goes beyond our understanding (Phil. 4:4-7).

Delight Yourself in God!

Find your greatest joy in thinking about your loving Heavenly Father, meditating on His works, talking to others about Him, praising Him, and giving Him thanks for all that He has done. Delight yourself in Jesus and look into His eyes by faith, consistently and longing for His mercies to become fresh every morning. Wait on the Holy Spirit and listen before you speak… there might be a divine appointment in that moment of hesitation. Consider these powerful promises as spiritual keys to avoiding conflict.

  • “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps. 37:4)
  • “My mouth is filled with Your praise, declaring Your splendor all day long.” (Ps. 71:8)
  • “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thes. 5:16-18)

Free to Believe

Most churches have not understood the reality of New Covenant Believing. The challenge is that the Spirit of the Lord has set us free and we are not sure what we should do with our religious standards! Trying to fulfill the Old Testament Law has caused us to loose sight of “grace through faith” and minimize the very power of the New Covenant itself. Many denominational structures have become very good at mixing the Old Covenant instituted by Moses with the New Covenant ratified by the Blood of Jesus. They have forgotten that the Old Covenant has become obsolete while the New Covenant is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

The New Covenant of Liberty:

It is our freedom… our Day of Jubilee if you will! Jesus said, “Whom the Son sets free is free indeed!” (Jn. 8:36). The problem with living under religious systems is that they tend to teach the burdens of faith, rather than the freedom of belief. Stepping away from grace will always lead to a loss of freedom in Christ. But Christ has made us free to celebrate and worship in the power and leadership of the Holy Spirit.

Understanding Covenant Seasons:

The Old Covenant brought death (and always will), because it was designed to be a “tutor” that would bring us to Christ. The New Covenant brings life… as the morning speaks of a New Day, because it reveals the victory over sin and the wealth of strength offered to the believer by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:1-11). Make a note of the word “believer” – its not a title, but an activity.

You see, the central goal of the Old Covenant is to behold our sin and make sacrifices according to how we have fallen from Glory (Rom. 3:23), but the goal of the New Covenant is to behold the Glory of God as it is revealed in the face of Jesus (2 Cor. 4:6), and experience personal transformation (2 Cor. 3:4-18).

This means we are called to worship and celebration rather than laws and commandments… in order to see into the face of Christ Jesus and be transformed by what we see in His eyes. Our praise is “motivated by” and “focused upon” these facts; that we are moving from one level of Glory to another level of Glory by the Spirit of the Lord… its our freedom in Christ.

How Jesus has Set Us Free:

Jesus said, “I no longer call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing, but I call you friends, for all the things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you” (Jn. 15:15). Jesus gave His disciples some of the most amazing secrets, like keys to His Father’s heart. And He made it clear that the things He was telling them would need the help of the Holy Spirit to understand and walk out daily (Jn. 16:12-15). Obedience was not going to be bound to a set of rules, but a hearing and perceptive ear. As these disciples were able to hear the voice of the Spirit, they would begin to obey the purposes of God by relationship and honor… “friendship”.

Favor & Fellowship:

The Holy Spirit is changing us and it effects our behavior, our attitudes and our believing. To live in the freedom of listening to the Holy Spirit’s Voice releases two powerful realities… favor and fellowship. Knowing you are loved and accepted by God allows you the freedom to grow in the knowledge of the Glory of God as you look into the face of Jesus. When we live in relationship, we experience the power of love and the freedom that comes to those who walk honorably toward the heart of the friend. In this case God is calling us to see our self as His friend, His Child and His Chosen One.

Living by Human Standards:

Living by human standards distorts our view of real friendship. When we find ourselves unable to live up to the standards set by those we perceive to be more mature than us, it releases guilt, shame and issues of condemnation. When we live according to some arbitrary religious standard and find ourselves successful without the need of relationship, we become vulnerable to personal pride and boasting. It doesn’t make having some basic standards wrong, it just means they are subjective and difficult to measure in changing times and cultures.

Jesus came to do away with the measurements on all levels and substitute His life for any standard, perceived or real… we become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21).

Jesus Christ became our “Standard Bearer” so that we could walk in freedom. Being led by the Holy Spirit; and feeling the joy of a living relationship with the Father, is New Covenant Believing. Its a freedom to follow the voice of the Holy Spirit and live out of the abundance of our growing knowledge of Christ’s victory at the cross.

“There is therefore now… NO CONDEMNATION… to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:1)

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