Sunday, May 1, 2005

MAY NEWSLETTER 2005

Living Word Christian Fellowship

“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving...” Psalm 26:7

Vol. 14, No. 5 May 2005


Dear Family of God:

“Until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him.” (Psm.105:19)

We could interpret this to say, “Until the season his prophesy that he was waiting on to come to pass. God’s word tested him.” Many of God’s people are waiting for something to happen in a big way. But what is happening to each of us individually is pretty big. We are being tested to see if we will remain faithful. We feel like we are in a prison and we can’t get out. THAT IS GOD. This is extremely important to understand and to adhere to because if we make decisions based on what we don’t like or feel, we can abort the timing of God and His plan for our lives. We must be tested because this is the Kingdom of God we are talking about. It is not just some plan that you have to satisfy a whim. This is eternal life. This is to see if we are fit to rule and reign with the King of Kings.

So we are experiencing much difficulty. If I didn’t know God was in control of it, I would go crazy. In fact I have to pray, “Lord, don’t let me lose my mind.” God’s Word is really simple. I can think about what His written word says and it doesn’t affect me much. But when I hear the voice of the Spirit speak a simple word to my heart like, “Trust Me!” something happens and I am strengthened for another day.

Even though I don’t know what may or may not happen this day, I am trusting Him to meet all the details of my life so I can be saved and walk in the victory that is meant for me. This is hard until I come to the place that I stop questioning and start walking it out. It’s called MATURITY.

May God be a blessing as you are led by the Spirit of the Holy God in Christ Jesus.

In Christ,

Pr. Steve


Dependency on Him

Alone again

No one around

No fun; no talk

Just me.

Wanting dependency,

Always someone around

Needing independency,

To find myself

Then God is always there.

The only dependency I need,

and should want

Where does it lead?

Only He knows.

And that’s all I need.

-Linda Hief

Drawing Water


Isa 12:3 “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”

In order to draw from the wells of salvation, we must know how to get the water out. “With joy you will draw water out of the well of salvation."

It is with joy that you will go deeply in the wells of salvation to get all that is needed in this day.

What is in the well of salvation? Everything Jesus provided for in redemption is in the well of salvation - wholeness, righteousness, sanctification, power, victory. The reason we don't live it is that we aren't allowing the river to flow out from the well. It is not hard to draw from this well. All you have to do is come and drink - do what He asks - NOW! Is it easy? We have been trying so hard, now it is time to relax - BUT IT TAKES BELIEVING! The depth of God's promises is the well of salvation, and we receive by believing.

There are many unhappy Christians. They want to serve God, but it doesn't work, so they seek ungodly provisions to satisfy their needs. That's not believing! Believing will show forth in joy from the Lord. Pro. 15:13 (KJV) "A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance:"

Joy is not always laughter. Laughter does not heal, nor does it deliver. Some of the most miserable people on earth laugh at deplorable things. Some people laugh at anything because they are so full of fears - their laughter is a cover-up.

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit and it will result in some form of glorious expression.

There is power in joy: Neh 8:10 (KJV) "Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

Without this strength we won't have the fullness of power that is coming. Strength = defense or stronghold. Many today are melancholy because they don't have the stronghold of JOY to protect them. JOY is key to reviving and allows God to move among us. If you don't allow this, then you won't be part of God's move. Joy must be expected!

1. JOY IS POWER - not money, not influence, not fun - but JOY IN THE HOLY GHOST: Rom 14:17 (KJV) "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." Joy goes on when there is no fun! It continues in tribulation.

Tribulation isn't fun! But joy enables us to get through it: Acts 20:24 (KJV) "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy," I wish I had had more joy in the past. Life is wonderful and we need to enjoy it.

Heb 12:2 (KJV) "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Jesus was anointed with JOY to endure the cross!

Psa 45:7 (KJV) "Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."

This joy will produce healing spiritually so we can have power to bring in the harvest! God will meet us when we allow the river of joy to flow from us. Joy is therapeutic. [If we advertised a hospital for healing through joy, it might just work.] But we must have an encounter of joy with Christ first.

2. JOY IS MEDICINE -You won't need counseling when you encounter joy because the Spirit of Counsel will fix you. Joy causes us to open ourselves to new possibilities: 1 Pet 1:8 (KJV) "Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:"

WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?

Could it mean there is so much joy you can't speak! We need that. If you are not a person of joy, then you need to be humbled.

A merry heart (joyous) is a medicine. So many are afflicted today they live on medicines. Let's get on the medicine of joy.

3. JOY IS SPIRITUAL EQUIPPING - Jesus was ready to go to His Father, but He told His disciples He would send the Holy Ghost. Then He told them about the Vine and the Branches. Jesus said if you as the Branches draw from Me, the Vine, you will bear much fruit. And the fruit you bear will remain. Then He said this: John 15:11 (KJV) "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."

Jesus said, "I will transfer my joy to you." Not that you just have some joy, but that the joy you have may be full! Not "full of joy, but FULL OF HIM"- the best joy there is.

We all try to be something for Him, but all we need is to wait on Him to fill us. You can't add one cubit to your stature by worrying. When we begin to cast ourselves completely on Him, our joy is going to begin to fill up and overflow!

John 15:11 (KJV) "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."

full = to cram; complete

To those who are branches, getting their source of life from the vine, He will fill their well with spiritual JOY because joy is "SPIRITUAL EQUIPPING." Without it you can't witness, pray, minister, or accomplish anything for the Kingdom.

John 16:22 (KJV) "And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." True Holy Ghost joy can't be touched by man!

For those who say church is a drag, I have a feeling Jesus wants to give us something to produce some genuine excitement today that people need! Joy in the morning, joy in the evening, joy on the job. I think it might just change some things in this life!

A joy not subject to our natural environment. [FRUSTRATION IS BIG TIME TODAY IN THE CHURCH.] The reason - the joy level is below the full mark. Let the joy of the Lord fill you today. It will be, genuine. The world is too difficult to find it there.

-Pr. Steve

I am going to be sharing with you thoughts from my journal over the past few years. This is to show you how the Lord has brought about His Word in my life to minister to you and to show you how real this walk can be. Please read and understand by the Spirit about ...

. . . My calling as a pastor


Pastor’s Journal 2004

May 1: A consecrated life is one of everlasting giving of self.

Mar. 2: Shout unto God before the victory. Get on your knees after the victory. Prayer is not preparing for battle. It is the battle!

May 3: Martha said she was serving the Lord, “Make Mary help.” Jesus said, “Mary takes orders from me.” Don’t say anything against one who obeys the Lord.

May 4: Jesus spent 30 years of preparation for 3 years of work. Most people today spend 3-4 years of preparation for 30 years of work.

May 5: On the day of Pentecost, they were all in one accord, praying. When we are in one accord, one mind, one purpose, in one place, the Holy Spirit will manifest His power.

May 8: Sins must be forgiven (plural) but sin must be dealt with (individual). (I John 1:8)

May 20: “I am giving you more responsibility, more accountability and a greater anointing.”

May 21: “Repent, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”

May 25: As we continue to behold the Word, day after day, we are seeing the Glory of the Lord and are constantly being transfigured into His very image from one degree of glory to another degree of glory until from the inside out we reflect Him.

May 26: “Be bold in your convictions. Be humble in what you say.”

May 31: “I will break the deadlock you are in. What I am doing I will bless.”

Recognizing The Blessings


Phi 4:4 (KJV) “Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice.”

Sometimes it is hard to see the full benefits of what God is allowing to happen in our lives while we are in the midst of change, but we must always remember that those who serve the Lord with a whole heart will not be put to shame. All things considered, if God is in control of our lives then we should always rejoice, even if we don’t like what is happening. That is truly much easier to say than it is to do, but so is everything in the word of God. Thanks be unto the Lord for giving us the examples of successes and failures found in the Bible. So many times the people would be faint-hearted and complaining right in the midst of getting blessed. For example, when the Israelites were being freed from the bondage of slavery and paganism in Egypt, they complained every time something happened to change their situation. Even after God did miraculous signs and wonders against their captors, the Israelites were willing to go back into captivity. Here is what they said right before the Lord parted the Red Sea:

Exo 14:10-11 (KJV) “And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD. (11) And they said unto Moses, Because [there were] no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?”

One would think that after seeing plagues, and giant hail, and thick darkness, even death overtake the Egyptians, that the people might have had a clue that God would show up for them at the Red Seas as well. Just think, what if the Israelites would have started shouting: Praise the Lord! The Almighty will deliver us! Our God is about to finish our enemies forever! Well, they didn’t, and too many times we don’t praise the Lord in the midst of our circumstances, causing us not to see the blessings in the midst of the trials. We know that the Israelites did praise and sing to the Lord once they crossed the Red Sea and saw their enemies destroyed, but the blessing they still did not realize was how not to lose heart. We know this because when the people wanted water, they murmured against Moses; then when they wanted meat, they murmured against the Lord until He gave them what they wanted. Eventually, the constant complaining cost them their entrance to the Promised Land. That was such a sad but unnecessary situation.

Exo 14:13-14 (KJV) “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. (14) The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”

The words of Moses here should remind us of how we should react when we feel like murmuring and complaining because of the circumstances in our lives. We should not wait until after the Lord shows us the victory to praise Him. If we find that situations beyond our control are affecting our peace in the Lord, we should start rejoicing right away because our God can, and will, do the impossible. Rejoice and rest in the Lord your God, and you will begin to recognize the blessings.

-Kurt Thurston

Growing Up is Hard to Do - part 3 of 3


How do we grow up or put on the new man?

Eph 4:25-32 (KJV) "Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. {26} Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: {27} Neither give place to the devil. {28} Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. {29} Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. {30} And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. {31} Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: {32} And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

Eight steps to grow up:

1. Tell the truth; do not lie.

2. Be angry; do not sin. This is to say, deal with the anger quickly and do not give place to the devil.

3. Work so that you may give; do not steal.

4. Speak what is edifying and give grace; do not speak corruption.

5. Be marked and protected by the Holy Spirit; do not grieve Him.

6. Be kind to each other; do not be bitter or fierce.

7. Be tenderhearted; do not be violent, vengeful, or demanding.

8. Forgive each other; do not speak evil or desire to hurt another.

The three greatest hindrances to spiritual immaturity are lack of:

1. repentance

2. remissions (forgiveness)

3. restitution (giving back what was taken)

Some might say they can repent. Some might say they can forgive. The way we know is if we have restored what was taken.

Church, it is time to grow up. Is this how we want to end our life here on earth? Are we happy with where we are right now? Do we want another chance? Do we want restoration in the home?

Eph 5:1 (KJV) "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;"

When Paul says be like children, he speaks of purity, the heart. When he says do not be like children, he speaks of maturity, the mind.

1 Cor. 13:11 (KJV) 11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

We want the church to move on, but it can’t if the families of the church have the brakes on. We must release ourselves to Christ, becoming and doing what God has called us to right now. God wants His Son’s body whole. Christ wants a body that will be proportionate and symmetrical to Him. He is calling for maturity.

-Pr. S. Chad Ross

The Suddenlies of God - part 2 of 3


(Amplified Bible)

In Acts 13:8-12 we read of Elymas, a false prophet and self-proclaimed “wise man” used as a vessel of satan to prevent Sergius Paulus, the proconsul, from hearing and receiving the message of salvation. Operating in both discernment and prophetic declaration, Paul pronounced the evil condition of Elymas’ heart and the swift judgment which the Lord was about to execute: “You master in every form of deception and recklessness, unscrupulousness and wickedness, you son of the devil, you enemy of everything that is upright and good, will you never stop perverting and making crooked the straight paths of the Lord and plotting against His saving purposes?” {v 10}. Here we see the history of evil intent that Elymas had amassed to warrant so dramatic and yet temporary a judgment. “And now, lo, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind [so blind that you will be] unable to see the sun for a time. Instantly there fell upon him a mist and darkness, and he groped about seeking persons who would lead him by the hand” {v 11}. This sudden manifestation of judgment sealed the proconsul’s belief in the power of the risen Christ. “Then the proconsul believed – became a Christian – when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished and deeply touched at the teaching concerning the Lord and from [Him]” {v 12}. Whether or not the incident further hardened the heart of Elymas or led him to repentance we are not told.

In Acts 12, Luke records God’s judgment upon King Herod, an instrument of satan with an even more extensive and extreme history of evil than Elymas. Herod had “stretched forth his hands to afflict and oppress and torment some who belonged to the church (assembly)” {v 1}, had “killed James the brother of John with a sword” {v 2} and had arrested and imprisoned Peter {v 4}. Before God’s final earthly judgment upon Herod, He miraculously and suddenly sent an angel to deliver Peter from prison. “On an appointed day Herod arrayed himself in his royal robes, took his seat upon [his] throne, and addressed an oration…And the assembled people shouted, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man!” {21-22}. How full of meaning the phrase “on an appointed day”; for indeed it was God’s appointed day to execute judgment upon one through whom the enemy had wrought so much destruction against the Church. “And at once an angel of the Lord smote him and cut him down, because he did not give God the glory –that is, the pre-eminence and kingly majesty that belong to Him as the supreme Ruler, and he was eaten by worms and died” {v 23}. In this account, God’s angels act as agents of sudden deliverance as well as sudden judgment.

Those who call good evil and evil good often react to Divine judgments, whether of individuals or nations, not with repentance but with blasphemy against the God of heaven for their anguish {Rev 16:11}. “For man also knows not his time ‘of death’; as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare, so are the sons of men snared in an evil time when calamity falls suddenly upon them” {Ecc 9:12}. Those whose hearts continually refuse to acknowledge God’s sudden judgments as calls for repentance do not turn from their sin. They feel “…no regret, contrition, and compunction for their waywardness, refusing to amend their ways] to give Him glory” {Rev 16:9}. Are not even what men call “calamities” or “natural disasters” God’s use of “suddenlies” meant to turn them toward the Savior and Sovereign Lord?

That “suddenlies” occur, Psalm 91 does not deny. Though these may originate from the enemy, they are allowed by God for His purposes; but to those hidden and dwelling “in the secret place of the Most High” the promise is given: “You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow [the evil plots and slanders of the wicked] that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday…” {v 5-6}, for “Only a spectator shall you be [yourself inaccessible in the secret place of the Most High] as you witness the reward of the wicked” {v 8}.

-Ruth French