Saturday, July 1, 2006

JULY NEWSLETTER 2006

Living Word Christian Fellowship

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

Vol. 15, No. 7 July 2006


Do you feel like you are waiting forever in these days? Is something going to happen soon? How much longer? God, where have You gone? The answers are, “Yes, Yes, Soon, No where!” It only seems like a long time for us, but not for God. We have been going so fast in the past few years it is time to slow down so we can begin to enjoy the Presence of the Lord in our lives.

While the world is in turmoil wondering what is going to happen, the church must come to the place of rest in God. This rest doesn’t happen automatically. It comes as we believe Him, trust Him and obey Him one step at a time.

I am actually glad the past six months are over. It has been a roller coaster of “hurry up and wait.” Maybe in these next six months there will be some sanity to all the madness. But even if there isn’t, I am learning to come into His rest. I must enjoy the day and the season. It does not please the Father for us to fret over the difficulties of life. We need to get accustomed to this new day that is upon us so nothing will move us if and when something does happen.

I believe we are on the road to relief and blessing even if I can’t see it. My God has only good stored up for me. The difficulty comes when I decide what is good and what is not. Even the most complex circumstances are good when they come from the Lord.

I had a dream in which two snakes were biting my feet. I didn’t jump or scream, I simply pulled them off and it didn’t hurt a bit. I threw them down and as I went back to what I was doing, everything became clear and refreshing. I am going to use that as a sign from God. The enemy may keep nipping at my heels but I can’t let it bother me any longer. There’s too much to do for the Kingdom! Don’t be stopped or slowed down.

Rom 16:20 “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you.” Amen.

In Christ,

Pr. Steve


A Beating Heart

There is a beating heart,

I’ve heard its rhythm before.

It beats of love and passion,

From deep within its core.

But I dare not allow it to touch me,

Its purity is beyond what I dare hold.

The rhythm of this heart

Moves beyond what I can think,

Tells me truth and shows me love,

Moves me from the place I’m in,

To a place I’ve never been.

The rhythm of this heart,

Touches my very core.

My heart is warmed,

And moved by its embrace.

The rhythm of this heart,

Sets a fire within my bones,

Shows me the way things can be,

If I but trust its rhythm alone.

There is a beating heart,

Its rhythm I’m learning to know,

A rhythm that’s changing my own.

It beats with love and passion,

From deep within my core.

-David Oakley

*Words from the song, By Your Side, by Hillside Music

Delegated Authority


Rom 13:1 (AMP) “Let every person be loyally subject to the governing (civil) authorities. For there is no authority except from God [by His permission, His sanction], and those that exist do so by God's appointment.” [Proverbs 8:15]

Who are the governing authorities? All areas of delegated authority in our lives! If we walk in obedience to God we will have no trouble recognizing those in authority over us. The Bible speaks of four areas of authority in our life: CIVIL, CHURCH, FAMILY, & SOCIAL (employers, teachers, bosses).

Notice: "Let every person." No one is exempt from this command - so don't try to justify something else. We are instructed to voluntarily place ourselves under submission to civil, church, family and social authorities with the intent of obeying them.

None of those in authority over you are by chance. There’s a direct appointment for your life. (Don't you just love it?) When we oppose God's delegated, appointed, ordained authorities, we are opposing God Himself!

As spirit -ed believers we must get beyond personality and position and honor those whom God has placed over us. We obey men in authority because God has ordained it. Whether we like the way they handle things or not, it is not up to us to question. If you are a believer and you profess the commands of the Lord and you say you are submissive, then you will stop negating authorities over your life. Otherwise, deception is operating in you.

Who was the Israelite's opposition before Moses? Pharaoh! (Rom. 9:17) God, not the devil, put Pharaoh in his position of authority. Why? So God could reveal His glory. The rest of the world did not believe in the true and living God. Pharaoh said to Moses, "Who is the Lord, I don't know Him." There are multitudes of leaders today who do not know the Lord. But God has set them in positions of authority that His glory might be seen.

What was the outcome of Pharaoh? After a few destructive times, Pharaoh said, "Let the men go, that they may serve the Lord." Even the magicians said it was the finger of God. Eventually Pharaoh said, "The Lord is righteous, and my people and I are wicked.” (Ex. 9:2 7)

God has appointed every leader throughout history who has legitimate authority, whether good or bad. He has a specific purpose and plan.

I Timothy 2:1-3 tell us the purposes of God are accomplished through the church’s prayers. Notice: "all that are in authority." It does not matter what kind of a leaders they are. We must pray. Do you remember the story of King Herod Agrippa after the church was established? He killed James, the brother of John, and because it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to take Peter also. Prayer was made and Peter was set free by an angel. In the next scene the king is sitting on his throne before the people. They start shouting, "He is a god, not a man.” And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he did not give glory to God and he was eaten with worms and died (Acts 12:22-23). God brought the judgment. We are instructed to pray, but God judges those in leadership and authority.

Yes, it is difficult to submit to those in authority, especially when their rule is getting worse. But it does not matter how bad things get; for if we are submitted to God, we will be able to obey those in authority over us. Peter tells us those who oppose authority are of the antichrist spirit. 2 Thess. 2:4 speaks of the man of lawlessness who will be raised up. We need to know within our own being, "Are we assisting or restraining the operation of lawlessness?" If we are assisting, we are under the spirit of rebellion or antichrist.

It is difficult to honor and obey leadership and authority if we do not see through the eyes of Jesus. (2 Pet. 2:9-10) The Lord is especially hard on those who despise authority, describing them as proud and arrogant, self-willed, not fearing the Lord. In Verses 11-15 we see that Paul is talking about Christians, not the unsaved.

From Romans 13:3-7 God says these are His ministers, leaders, who are worthy of respect. The wrath of God is poured out because of a lack of respect toward those who are in authority. Why will God's wrath be poured out in the last days? Because people lack respect for those in leadership! Young people are losing respect more than ever before. Parents won’t correct their children because they themselves don't show the respect that is required of God. Don't you know you are hurting yourself when you dishonor those in authority? A young person’s authority is parental - Don't you know you are cursed when you don’t show respect or obedience? On the other side, there are great blessings to those who honor their parents: "that it may be well with you in life." Your life will be blessed the farther you go in life if you show respect now.

I believe one of the greatest difficulties today with the church is that they have lost respect for those in authority. Paul states you are bewitched when you don't obey the truth. Only when a person is in obedience that a curse can not affect you. But in disobedience you can be under the witchcraft of Satan. It is this disobedience that keeps families or individuals in constant turmoil and trouble. They get past one situation just to find themselves in another. They continue to live frustrated lives because there is a cloud of darkness over them.

When you get to this place it is very easy to blame others. But what is our recourse as believers? How do we come under authority and begin to submit to unjust leadership?

The presence of the Lord is with those who maintain a right attitude and response. David tells us in Psalm 51: "A broken and contrite heart, 0 God, You will not despise."

A war-horse is not fit for service until it is broken. No matter how strong or fast, he cannot serve until he is broken. Put him into battle and he will run wild at the slightest threat. But when he has been taught submission to authority, his master, the rider, can mount him; and under the toughest circumstances, he will not flinch. In the heat of battle with bullets, arrows, swords and knives, he will not retreat. He will not move away from his master's desires. He will do nothing to benefit himself in order to satisfy his master.

Only when we are broken like this can we truly serve the Master. And with each breaking we are brought into more blessing. In fact, the more we are broken, the more authority, as well as anointing to serve and live for Christ, we are given. The process: our response to authority.

1Pet 2:13 & 18 (AMP) “Be submissive to every human institution and authority for the sake of the Lord, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, [You who are] household servants, be submissive to your masters with all [proper] respect, not only to those who are kind and considerate and reasonable, but also to those who are surly (overbearing, unjust, and crooked).”

Servants = employees, students, church members, children. Masters = employers, teachers, church leadership or parents. When they are kind and gentle we usually don't buck. But God commands us not to buck when they are froward = harsh. Froward = unjust or tyrannical, dishonest, cruel, unreasonable, unfair treatment - God is pleased with you when you endure this (verse 19 & 21).

What good is it? God knows what it will take to mold our minds and attitudes to godliness. Suffering this kind of treatment makes room for godly judgment, develops the character of Christ, and brings glory to God.

When we are treated unfairly at the hands of authorities, we must maintain our focus that God is bringing us through for our good and His ultimate purpose.

(I Peter 3:9) The blessing can be anything, but when you endure harsh treatment God will advance you in the Kingdom of God and bring you to a place where nothing can hurt you (1 Pet.3:9,13 & 4:1). Freedom from sin is the greatest blessing of life that I know and God alone knows what it will take to bring each of us to this place.

2Ti 2:12 “If we suffer, we shall also reign with [him]: if we deny [him], he also will deny us:”

The same authority that you live under will be given to you in a greater way. God wants to set up for you a blessing when you encounter unreasonable authority. When you respond correctly, you become an overcomer, one who manifests the life of Christ.

-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 2005

July 2: True love is costly and painful, but it is what brings forth perfection of Christ. Jesus is continually interceding because He understands the pain and humiliation that comes when walking in perfect love. When two people are at odds the pain comes, but the deliverance comes when someone walks in maturity and does not seek his own way of escape from the pain. He just keeps believing and hoping all things and enduring all things because love never fails.

July 4: God will not use an undisciplined person. Discipline my mind and body, Lord, so I may serve you effectively.

July 6: “If you get weary running with footmen, how will you make it when you contend with the horses? Your struggles are to strengthen you for the battles ahead.” (Jer. 12:5)

July 11: “I always provide for what is Mine. Do not be shaken in your mind or troubled in the spirit. The Day of the Lord is at hand. The falling away comes first.”

July 14: “Nothing shall separate you from My love – not tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness or calamity. Be persuaded.”

July 21: Freedom is praying. Effective prayers are prayers by the Spirit. They are prayers that change things because of the authority given to us in Christ Jesus.

July 30: The goodness and mercy of God is being revealed. There is a freedom and the Glory of God is upon us. It is increasing daily because of His marvelous delight in us.

We Must Endure!


Mat 24:3-14 (KJV) “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (4) And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. (5) For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (6) And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all [these things] must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (7) For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. (8) All these [are] the beginning of sorrows. (9) Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. (10) And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. (11) And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. (12) And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. (13) But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (14) And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

We really should not be shocked if we are experiencing sorrows, afflictions, and persecutions, as well as many other phenomena that are taking place in nature, because Christ has already foretold us that they would come to pass. But the things that we need to become more aware of are the ways that we are letting those things move us. The right perspective towards these battles would be this: “With Christ, I am going to handle these circumstances, or die trying to!” That really is not too extreme because, the truth be known, these days most people give up before they even break a sweat from trying to endure. The evidence of this is the obvious fact that the love of many is growing cold. The divorce rate in all of America, as well as the unfaithfulness and the unbelief exhibited by the saints is overwhelming proof that even Christians have developed an unwillingness to endure. It sounds like an oxy-moron, but to keep up the good fight Jesus said, “You must lay down your life…” Lack of endurance is a sign of the closeness of the end of life as we know it.

Why do we give up and give in so easily? Insurmountable odds always surrounded the stories of histories most well known battles, so why should we be surprised by circumstances that may seem overwhelming in our own lives? Have we let our hearts grow hard and cold?

Mark 4:16-17 (KJV) “And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; (17) And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.”

In other words, ‘if we let down our guard our hearts will grow hard’! When Christians stop implementing their spiritual weapons, it won’t be long before the persecution for the word’s sake, the attacks of satan, the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things will seem unstoppable. Saints, it is not an option, we must endure!

ENDU'RE, (Webster) to last; to continue in the same state without perishing; to remain; to abide.

-Kurt Thurston

And He Was Not


Gen 5:24 (KJV) "And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him."

How you live is how you will die.

Heb 11:5 (KJV) "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God."

Is our testimony that we please God? Do we live publicly walking with God? Enoch did.

Faith is necessary to please God. Noah spent 120 years building a boat. His only hope was God’s word of instruction and prophecy. Faith is “HOPE FOR.”

“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not” – not himself anymore. Similarly, we can be as Christ and not like ourselves anymore.

Our imperfections must go to the cross. The difference between grace and mercy: Grace is for the sin, mercy is for the consequences of sin. When we sin, we repent and God’s grace is there; but there are still consequences to every choice we make. We must go before the judge of our consequences and pray for mercy.

We must break traditions and religion. Jesus said cast your nets on the other side. It took faith to break the tradition and religion. If we’ve been doing the same thing for a while, it is time to change. Maybe we say it works. Well if it works, we aren’t trusting in God. We rely too much on ourselves and our history. Life shouldn’t be mundane. Life should be new and exciting everyday, if we’re walking with God.

“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not” – the same miserable wretch he used to be.

If we live by sight – we die. If we live by faith – we live. Do we want to die or live?

Children die spiritually because adults live by sight. Where are the parents that intercede for their family? Children that continue serving God after turning eighteen continue because their parents and grandparents interceded for them. Young men of God are being stolen away into Internet fantasy because parents aren’t praying. The church will die or it will become religious like the Pharisees of Christ’s time if parents don’t start walking with God.

This generation was saved young and it has produced “religious” young people because the parents taught them to live by sight and not faith. Young people know the right answers, the right things to do in a church service, but they don’t walk it. The parents didn’t walk with God, so the children don’t know how to walk either.

“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not.”

(Jude 1:14-15 KJV) "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, {15} To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."

Enoch prophesied of God’s judgment. This is the only revelation we know that God gave Enoch. Where’s the revelation of all the good things? This was a good thing to the man who walked with God.

Your eternity will be determined by how you live now. Will you be over 5 cities or 10 cities? Or will you be sweeping the streets? Invest now by faith. Work in the Kingdom of God now to hold your place in eternity. Your reward comes in eternity.

Genesis tells us that Adam walked with the Word of God. God reveals Himself through the Word. Jesus is the Word of God. God reveals Himself through Jesus. We can walk with Jesus as Adam did

We must have communion with God. Everyone has a need that only God can meet: not marriage, money, etc. If we meet the need of our spirit by seeking first the Kingdom of God, everything else will be satisfying. The spirit begins to die when we do other things that distance us from God. Only communion and worship will satisfy

In the Old Testament, the priest would become saturated with the incense that he burnt in the Holy Place. People would be able to tell what God was like by the smell of the priest. The incense offering is the testimony, the witness to let others see Jesus in you. It is a reminder of Christ (walking like Him, acting like Him, talking like Him, smelling like Him). Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me” Communion is Remembrance of Christ. Communion causes us to be like Jesus, walking with Him.

“And Enoch walked with God” and is still walking with Him.

-Pr. S. Chad Ross