Posts Tagged ‘Lord Jesus Christ’

Savage Wolves

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?” (Mt. 7:15-16)

The Devil has always tried to use people to bring division into the Congregation of the Saints. There is nothing new about this problem. In fact, James addresses the issues of wrong attitudes and a “spirit of strife” (Jms. 3:14). From the earliest inception of the New Testament Church, we hear the Apostle Paul warn about savage wolves who would be raised up even among the flock… Paul says, “savage wolves will come in among you” (Acts 20:28-31). It is going to happen… so we must not be taken by surprise.

Watch for the Spirit of Strife!

Be on guard for spirits of strife, argumentative people and division. Church leaders have always had to correct people who acted under the deceiving grip of evil intent. This is what we commonly define as a “spirit”… its often motivated by fear or offense and demonic in nature. Unfortunately the fruit of such a spirit is destructive beyond measure. It is the source of much division and strife in the Church today.

In respect to people being used by the Devil to bring division, James says, “But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking (strife) in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth” (Jms. 3:14). The phrase “bitter envy” is very important. It is the Greek word zelos, which refers to a fierce desire to promote our own idea to the exclusion of others. The words, self-seeking or “strife”- eritheia which in the Greek means rivalry or ambition, can be translated as a party spirit or a divisive spirit. In verse 15 we see James expound upon the motivation for such a divisive heart toward leadership as he tells us, the wisdom that is creating strife is “…earthly, sensual (and) demonic. Note that this is not “wisdom” at all, but a deceptive perversion of wisdom that comes from an evil intent. These are the devil’s schemes and resources… and they come from the kingdom of darkness.

Stay Free!

Jesus said “the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me” (Jn. 14:30).

Of course, we know Jesus was speaking here of His betrayal and excruciating death at the cross… but the principle is real and true! We must learn to keep our hearts free from all strife and offense, because it causes us to miss the will of God for our lives. The Apostle Paul said, “avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth” (2 Tim. 2:23-25). If our hearts stay free of strife and offense, the door stays closed to the Devil so he cannot disrupt our relationships. We need to know that when we allow a spirit of strife to operate inside ourselves, our home, business or church; it won’t be too long until people who used to love each other are standing in opposition to each other. That is the way the spirit of strife operates, and that is the fruit it produces. In the end it produces death to relationships and bitterness beyond the walls of our fellowships.

What To Do:

So the key question is – “What are we willing to do?” Because it takes a certain amount of initiative and boldness to be a peace maker! Just read this difficult admonition:

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple”. (Rom. 16:17-18)

I want to point out that Paul says, these are people with smooth words and flattering speech! His command is to mark them… to avoid them and to give no opportunity for them to have a voice in the congregation. Is there hope for restoration? Perhaps, but not without true discipline and integrity among our leadership. Only then, will we see the spirit of strife removed from our fellowships.

An offense is a demonic trap – Be careful that you do not fall into it!

Meeting the Need

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.” (2 Cor. 1:3-5)

Take a deep breath. Release it slowly, telling yourself quietly: I let go. I let God fill my mind with His thoughts, fill my heart with His love and fill my life with His power… My God meets all my need according to His riches in Glory in Christ (Phil. 4:19). I can simply accept the reality that God’s wisdom is present and available, ready to fill me with new understanding, light and strength. It is my spiritual discipline in faith, to let God fill every void, every emptiness that seems to separate me from the peace of God in my heart. I step into faith, believing that as I let go… God fills every need!

God’s substance is supernatural and when I step into His Presence, a divine activity moves through my life. God’s creative process is awaiting me and all I have to do is receive. This is life in the Glory Realm… its effective, productive and healing; and it is activated as quickly as I let go of my “self”. I feel my life being lifted up to where He is. The Presence of God dissolves all fear and doubts and removes every hint of frailty. I can feel His pleasure, His acceptance of me and His wealth of kindness… which washes all uncertainty away. This is love at its best, comforting and meeting me right where I am. God’s love is worth beholding, unlocking and experiencing!

3 Spheres of Supernatural Stability offered by the Father’s Love:

  1. He Strengthens My Inner-Man: (Eph. 3:16) My Spirit is revitalized with supernatural energy!
  2. I become Rooted and Grounded in Love: (Eph. 3:17) My faith creates a dwelling for Christ!
  3. I am filled with all the Fullness of God: (Eph. 3:18-19) My knowledge is established by experience – Holy Spirit rushes in!

Downloading Spiritual Love:

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (Eph. 3:20)

Begin now to relax from the strain and effort of questioning, planning, and reasoning. Take a few moments to calm your thinking and place all your attention upon the words: “I let go. I let God fill my need according to His riches… found in the Glory Realms as received by faith in Christ”. As you breath out, allow the Holy Spirit to breathe into you… strength, stability and spiritual substance that meets all of your needs. Immediately, you will experience visible and tangible benefits, inside and out. You will feel renewed strength and faith, boldness and courage will well-up within you. Your prayers will be more effective, and your understanding of the Presence of God within you will be clearer. You will find that God’s love takes care of what you cannot accomplish. As you let go, God will freely and abundantly fill every need.

God is Jehovah Jireh – Our Provider:

God always provides! As the Apostle Paul has so well proclaimed, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32). No indeed, if God be for us – tell me who can be against us! God gives strength, guidance, understanding, faith, healing, and supernatural supply. So be the “conqueror”, step into all that you need by faith. He loves us! Whatever life throws at you, you have; at this very moment. Make the most of every opportunity… let go of your personal striving and let God move in you and meet your every need!

“…casting all your care upon Him for He cares for you.” (1 Pet. 5:7)

Transitional Presence

“See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands; your walls are ever before Me.” (Isa. 49:16)

Are you in a time of transition right now? Jesus wants to encourage and empower you! Remind yourself of the fact that – YOU ARE NOT ALONE! He has you in the palm of His hand. God is with you and for you. He knows the future and has already mapped out and lined up what needs to take place in order for you to reach your destination.

Transition Means Change!

No way around it… transition means change, and it signifies that there is something to leave behind and something to look forward to. As you journey into the unseen realities of change, the “middle ground” of transition can feel frustrating and be like walking through a wilderness. You may find a period of wrestling, waiting or grieving, for all that is in the “transitional season”… but this too shall change! When we do not see the future clearly, our faith is challenged and our trust in God tested. But, I want to remind you that transition offers some of the most productive time of growth and preparation for the future!

Sharpening the Focus:

Even Jesus seemed to find His way through transitions! “After His suffering, [Jesus] presented Himself to them [His disciples] and gave many convincing proofs that He was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the Kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3). Jesus used the time between His resurrection and ascension to prepare His followers for what was to come. This period contained a vital lesson for us about the value that God places on transition. Transition is not a place to get stuck… it reveals this powerful fact – the new thing God is doing is on its way! Its a time to get God’s perspective on what you are going through. Jesus wants to prepare you for what He will be doing in you, for you and through you, as the next season approaches. Be assured that God is in authority over all things pertaining to your future… the times and seasons are in His hands if you can see through His eyes.

He is With You!

I cannot stress that enough and you might need to proclaim that to your heart often! The greatest battle is between the ears… because where your mind wonders, your eyes will focus. That is why the author of the book of Hebrews says, “Look at Jesus and keep looking at Him… who for the joy set before Him endured the cross… despising the shame, yet sat down at the right hand of the Father” (Heb. 12:2) – He is the victor and champion over unknown realities. He is the author and finisher of our faith… consider Him (Heb. 12:3), remember His words (Heb. 12:5-7) and rejoice over the fruit that comes when you have been trained in His Presence (Heb. 12:11-12). Be still for a moment… wait patiently in His Promise… and His strength will come.

3 Kingdom Benefits of Transition:

1. The Revelation of Comfort!

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Cor. 1:3-4)

2. The Invitation to Intimacy!

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with Me.” (Rev. 3:20)

3. The Realization of the “One Place”… in the palm of His hands.

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.” (Acts 2:1)

Capturing A Heart

I am Your Chosen Child

Jesus is the Master… “At Capturing A Heart”

It was what a friend of mine calls “a life intervention”, between Saul of Tarsus and the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet it becomes the life changing event where Saul becames Paul and a destiny is transformed. It was somewhere along the Damascus Road that a light from Heaven peered directly into a very dark place… Saul’s heart.

A Stubborn Heart:

His was no ordinary heart, it was thirsting for blood and zealous for a law without mercy. The determination and hatred seemed to overflow in his quest for letters of approval from the governing leaders of Jerusalem. It made him a persecuter of the Church and pursuer of Christians. “Still breathing out threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord”, this ruthless man seemed convinced that the followers of “The Way” needed “to be bound and brought to Jerusalem”.

Divine Encounter:

What could have been an end, becomes a transformation. A light from Heaven, the voice of Jesus and three days without physical sight made all that seemed so desperate, pale in its urgency. Saul was now waiting for a visitor in a place he had never been, from someone he had never met, with a message he would never have imagined.

What could this mean?

While at the house of a man named Judas, on Straight Street, Saul was left to consider the vision of the Risen Lord Jesus for three long days. Would this end in death? Would it be quick or was God’s Son so angry that He would torture the persecuter? Saul would have no sight, just an echo in his heart of an encounter that struck him to the ground. ”Could it really be true that this Jesus had risen from the dead?” This would re-focus anyone’s life, but what could Jesus mean by “you will be told what you must do” (Acts 9:6).

Receiving Sight!

Ananias enters the house; and laying his hands on Saul he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 9:17). Jesus was saying, “I have chosen you as My vessel to bear My name before Gentiles, Kings and the Children of Israel” (Acts 9:14), but more than that, He was capturing the heart by an encounter with the Holy Spirit. Filled with the Holy Spirit, he would never be the same again! Scales fell away and a new determination was birthed within his heart. Saul would be wrecked forever, because his heart had been captured by Love, Himself… not the emotion, the Holy Spirit.

Filled with the Holy Spirit!

The Lord Jesus captured the heart of the persecuter; Saul, by filling him with the Holy Spirit. There is no doubt for anyone to become completely captured, they must be completely filled with the Holy Spirit. I have heard it said that in order to remove a passion from a heart, like fear or hate; it must be conquered by a greater passion, like chosenness and love. My only comment is that when the Holy Spirit fills a person, He captures the seat of all passion.

“I count all things loss…that I may gain Christ.” (Phil 3:8)

We read in the Apostle Paul’s words, an expression of the captured  heart. He holds forth a compelling satisfaction in knowing Christ Jesus as Lord and a desire to see the salvation of his fellow countrymen. This formerly driven persecuter was now focused on preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom to all people, Jews and Gentiles alike (Rom 10:1-4). His greatest desire and prayer to God for all of them was that they might be saved. His longing was that they turn to the Lord Jesus Christ for the capturing of their own hearts.

Thank You!

From Pastor Simiyu Peter of Uganda:

On behalf of our Lord Jesus Christ and the people of Africa; I would like to appreciate your ministry and the churches of the West for their efforts in reaching out to our continent. We have seen God doing great things among us. It has been our great joy to share in the Good News of Jesus Christ. Thank you for the church planting efforts, the school visits, orphan support, Bible School Manuals and Training Centers that have been established on African soil. Your generous heart has offered countless pastors and Gospel ministries encouragement and hope. Our friendship and labors have become very fruitful opportunities for God to move in our villages. Many families have felt loved and accepted by all the support from RevivalHut Churches in the bush. This is our time to grow together through fellowship, prayer and personal sacrifices made to advance the Kingdom of God. We continue to enjoy the mission teams you’ve sent and the materials left behind. God is up to something!

Prayer for RevivalHut Ministry:

May the God of all comfort show Himself strong as your Provider – Jehovah Jireh (Gen. 22:14) …as you listen to His heart in the new year of 2014. It is my prayer that our Lord Jesus Christ remember your giving and bless you beyond all that you can handle in the coming days. We are happy to be connected to the ministry, your family and other countries you are beginning to see embrace the vision for discipleship. Please know that we are with you, believing and praying continually for the spirit of wisdom and revelation to increase in your knowledge of Him. In the Mighty Name of Jesus I pray – Amen.

Thank you, Your Friends …and spiritual sons and daughters of Africa.

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