Thursday, November 1, 2007

NOVEMBER NEWSLETTER 2007

Living Word Christian Fellowship

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

Vol. 16, No. 11 November 2007


The cry of our hearts in this hour is for His Presence and His Glory. Why is this so important? Is it absolutely essential if we are to survive the days that are coming: 1Ch 16:27 “Glory and honour [are] in his presence; strength and gladness [are] in his place.”
If we are to experience this to a greater degree, then we must be prepared by dealing with our fleshly endeavors. For the Word tells us 1Co 1:29 that no flesh should glory in his presence.
I believe the Lord wants so much to reveal Himself, but He is waiting on us to become prepared. Without a spirit of repentance His presence won’t last. All that God is doing in this time is to mature us by getting to know Him and His ways. We have sought Him so long for our ways, but now they don’t work because He wants us to know Him and His ways. This is the glory that will be revealed. And once it comes, you will not want to turn back. If you are not prepared, perhaps you won’t want it. But I do and I know it is upon us. Every time I seek His face there is a fresh awareness of who He is and what He is doing. So let’s get in there and praise and worship and behold the glory of the Lord!
Jud 1:24 “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,”

In Christ,

Pr. Steve

Forgetting What Lies Behind


Philippians 3:13-14 (KJV) “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
The farther we go in the Lord the more we let go of the past. As we forget what is behind us, we are able to press on toward the goal to win the prize. What is the prize? THE FULLNESS OF ETERNAL LIFE!
Philippians 3:20-21 (KJV) “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” Most Christians believe when the Lord comes they will receive a body like His. What we don’t understand is that such a change in our body will take place only as we have sought to be changed in the image of Christ in the same manner as Paul did.
The standard of Christianity in America is far below the biblical standard of a vast comprehensive spiritual awakening which must take place if this generation of believers is not going to be lost. We are not going to please the Lord until we take up our cross and seek the Lord in prayer for strength and wisdom so we can keep His commands.
Eternal life is not the same as eternal existence. Eternal life is the incorruptible Life of God. How much of it we attain depends on our willingness to be changed and follow Christ instead of having to do things the way we feel is best. Salvation is not a plan to move us, but to change us so we are acceptable to God wherever we are.
Daniel 12 tells us:
· Some will rise to everlasting life
· Some will rise to shame and everlasting contempt
· Some will rise to incredible glory
ALL OF THESE ARE A STATE OF BEING, NOT A PLACE TO LIVE!
When the Apostle Paul speaks of the believer who continues to walk after the flesh, he never speaks about heaven or hell, but rather about the consequences of living by the flesh (Gal & Rom).
Ephesians 4:1 tells us we must be found worthy of eternal life and the Kingdom of God. Romans 13:11 tells us salvation will come in the future. In other words, the fullness that we are striving for is out there to reach for daily.
We now have a deposit on eternal life. We have been sealed by the Lord until the day of redemption comes. The day of redemption is the time when our body is adopted by the Lord. Our body will be made alive by the power of Christ (Eph.4:30).
This is more than being born-again. In order to receive the fullness of life in our resurrected body, we must press toward the goal every day of our discipleship. Even Paul said he had not attained, but he kept pressing toward the mark. To grieve the Holy Spirit is to presume. The revival of the 90’s is dead. The revival of today is a time of “repentance.” We must repent for all the presumption we have had as we serve the Lord while thinking He will do what we expect. Repentance must be sustained if revival is going to affect our spiritual growth. Note: “Mercy does not permit presumption.”
In order to attain to the resurrection of the body, we must first attain the inward resurrection by turning away from the world and becoming a living sacrifice. The inward resurrection is attained as we continue to confess our sins and transgressions through the Spirit of God to put them to death. It is attained as we suffer in our prison of circumstances that the Lord permits. Remember, God is not going to place a perfect, resurrected body onto a sinful, disobedient inward nature -- not by grace, and not by mercy, nor any other means.
We are not saved by works alone. But we are saved by works that cause us to follow Christ diligently every day. True faith is always expressed in the right kind of works, which is the diligent pursuit of Christ every day of our discipleship. Apart from obedient faith, there is no genuine faith, only a mental assent about Christ Jesus.
We receive Christ at a point in life; we are born-again of the Spirit of God; we begin to turn away from worldliness; we pursue eternal life. If we don’t follow on, we cannot be transformed into Christ’s image that God is looking for; and there is no lasting fruit, and we are removed from the vine which is Christ. Then we have no hope of gaining immortality. We have sown to the flesh, and we will reap the consequences.
A doctor may be able to save us from a premature death. But if we do not do what He says, we will not receive our healing. Faith ALONE in what the doctor says is not sufficient. Jesus Christ can save us from spiritual death; but only as we DO what He says. Merely believing is not enough – YOU MUST PUT BELIEF INTO PRACTICE. In order to gain the prize, we must run the race according to the rules.
1 Peter 1:5 (KJV) “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
We are now at the last of time as we know it. The Lord is revealing to us the requirements to survive and LIVE. He is preparing us for the unexpected of which we will emerge.
(Rom. 8:23-24) Many are groaning and travailing – there is a shaking going on inside – ASK ANY SPIRITUALLY-MINDED PERSON. What we are hearing in our spirit-man is “the Blessed Hope.” Faith is the assurance of things hoped for. The righteous are tuning up their faith because they believe and hear the coming of the Lord.
At one time we were a living soul. Now we are being made into a life-giving spirit, not a living spirit, but a life-giving spirit [quickening](1 Cor.15:45). We must overcome our fierce desire to maintain our own identity apart from oneness with God through Christ. WHEN WE BECOME AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, WE ALSO BECOME A TREE OF LIFE, A SOURCE OF LIFE TO OTHER PEOPLE. The more of Christ we gain, the more we must give to those who are dying. All of our suffering is so the FULLNESS OF SALVATION CAN BE IMPARTED TO US.
Eternal life is a gift only in the sense that God has made it possible for us to attain life. The initial portion of God’s life when we are born-again enables us to gain more and more and more life, until our inward nature is filled with the fullness of God’s life. WE MUST LAY HOLD OF ETERNAL LIFE.
It is not what happens to us that determines the quality of our life. It is how we interpret what happens to us that counts. Life doesn’t just happen – it comes through our mindset of what we believe.
Philippians 3:8-9 says that “that I may win Christ, …through the faith of Christ unto the righteousness that is of God by faith.” It is not a part-time endeavor to be saved. It is a life sold out to God in every detail.
Pressing into the fullness of God is a struggle, a battle all the way, but don’t lose sight that total victory is attainable if we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. COMPLETE ATTENTION, PATIENCE, DILIGENCE, AND PERSEVERENCE - all the way to the end.
We can make a difference and live the fullest of life for the Kingdom by doing what some are doing, attempting to take the things of Christ to a “lost and dying world.” OR, we can follow Christ and gain the power of His resurrection and many will see and believe and be filled with all the fulness of Christ by what He is saying to us today. Only those who are willing to wait on the Lord will continually renew their strength. When you wait on the Lord, you will worship. Without worship there is no spiritual renewal. These are the ones becoming a part of His Glory. They are not working for Him, they are moving with Him to bring life.
Question: ARE YOU GAINING ETERNAL LIFE OR WALKING IN THE FLESH?
· Are you anxious about decisions, or can you calmly wait with the Lord?
· Are you easily shaken when pressure strikes, or do you call upon the name of the Lord?
· Do you have to have your way, or can you let go and let God have His way?
· Do you need to know now, or can you wait for the Lord to tell you
What is your flesh telling you, and what is the Spirit saying to you?
The goal is before us: forgetting what lies behind, we reach for the fullness of life lived in and by the Spirit of God – spirit, soul, and body. We set aside every hindrance to pursue His life. No tongue can describe the incomprehensible authority, power and joy that have been set aside for our inheritance. 2Tim 4:7-8 (KJV) “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

-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 2006
Nov. 2: “You are honored and blest by Me. My heart is touched by your love for Me. I see the desire and enjoyment that you have in serving Me. You are in My perfect will and that is why you enjoy Me so much. The body can also enjoy Me as I fulfill their calling. Desires are satisfied and fears melt away because I am fulfilling My plan for My church.”
Nov. 6: I am overwhelmed and in awe at the love of Your people. Their kindness has superseded anything I could ever ask or desire. I believe it is a genuine picture of their love for You. I offer all their gifts up to You as an offering of gratitude for You have shown so much kindness to Your servants. Thank you O Lord!
Nov. 7: Righteousness will produce peace and the outcome will be quiet confidence.
Nov. 11: When I look for You, O Lord, all I can do is come into Your presence and look up. I am waiting for You. Then You showed me Psm. 123, “I lift my eyes to the one enthroned in heaven. My eyes are on the Lord our God until He shows us favor!” Glory!
Nov. 14: “I will bring all things together in their time. All you have heard and seen will flow together. I will answer you even before you ask Me something. My spirit will flow freely in those who have prepared themselves at My coming.”
Nov. 17: Imprisonment – Waiting – Longing – How Long, but Your promise is that You will come again. So I will wait on You with faith believing the report of the Lord.
Nov. 21: To be acknowledged is to be recognized in what you say and who you are. It takes many testings for a person to come to the place they can acknowledge God in what is happening, but when you do, nothing else matters. “I, the Lord God, will acknowledge those who are Mine. Their labor of love will not be forgotten or ignored. Do not expect others to acknowledge you but know that I will not forget you.”
Nov. 27: It is well with my soul. The Lord is in battle formation. The army is prepared. She will engage the enemy and be victorious. The battle is the Lord’s and His people will fight with Him. The overcomer’s will be found and they will help many. Christ’s authority will be felt and recognized. In weakness, strength will surge and the Glory of the Lord will fill the sanctuary of holiness. “Stand and do not waver in truth and righteousness. The day will reveal My Word in your mouth!”

Giving Thanks


With the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, there can be an unconscious internal panic of how and what to give. As always, it is better to just give righteously year round, and to just continue giving through the festive seasons.
1Thes 5:18 (KJV) “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
One of the best descriptions of giving is the word “Gratuity.” Gratuity is giving from a grateful heart. It can be a free gift; a present; a donation; that which is given without a compensation or equivalent, or something given in return for a favor; an acknowledgment. The main time we hear about gratuity is when we are eating in a restaurant and being served by a waitress or a waiter. The expected gratuity used to always be 10%. In researching the origin of giving gratuity to waitresses and waiters, I found documentation stating that the origin was thought to have come from ancient Greek society, but proof of such had been lost. Obviously, the description of the word gratuity meaning “Giving from a grateful heart” and the amount of 10% being what God has commanded to give Him in monetary value, along with a grateful heart, are probably the greatest contribution to the origin of the 10% gratuity. A tip is different. A TIP is the acronym of the phrase: To Insure Promptness. That is not gratuity, but rather compensation for extra efforts. Amazingly, these days the standard rate for gratuity ranges widely, 15%, 18%, even 21%, and is no longer voluntary but required in many places. People get embarrassed if you don’t give your waitress or waiter what they expect, but some of those same people think it is excusable not to give God His 10%.
Psalms 50:14-15 (KJV) “Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: (15) And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.”
We don’t just give to God because of what He has already done, but also because giving to Him is part of our ongoing relationship. We give to God because we believe that He is alive and well and the most pivotal part of our lives. Our giving to God says that we care about the continuation of the things that He is formulating in the body of Christ, and in the earth.
Romans 13:7-8 (KJV) “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [is due]; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
(8) Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”
Many people lose perspective concerning giving when they become deep in debt. As research show, many are saying, “We are concentrating all of our resources on paying off the debt so that we don’t have to pay interest, and after we are caught up, we will give to God.” In essence, that is borrowing (or just taking) from God. If the question ever would arise of whether or not we should borrow from God, there are questions that can be asked that will make the answer much clearer. Has the debt been occurred by unforeseeable circumstances? Or is the debt a result of poor money management and greed? If the debt is clearly a problem of financial negligence and/or financial abuse, it would be a good idea to get sound godly counseling as to avoid self-deception and attempt to deceive God. The Lord desires for His people to give to Him as an expression of their gratitude, with love and joy for Him flowing from their hearts. Giving to God releases into our lives the promises found in His word and causes us to break free from covetousness and the love of money.
Isaiah 51:3 (KJV) “For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.”

-Kurt A. Thurston

Friend For Life


Friend for life
You took my pain
The cleansing flood
Of You remains
So wash over me
Until I can’t be seen

Living Water swallow me
Deepest river wash me clean
Jesus Savior more of Thee
Jesus more of Thee
Come and ruin me with Your love
So no other is enough
And come and leave Your mark on me
Jesus more of Thee
Jesus more of Thee

Deep is the stain inside of me
But deeper the river that washes me clean
I’ve been the one who cries in the night
But You’ve been the friend of my life

So Living Water swallow me
Deepest River wash me clean
Jesus Savior more of Thee
Jesus more of Thee
Come and ruin me with Your love
So no other is enough
And come and leave your mark on me
Jesus more of Thee
Jesus more of Thee
Jesus more of Thee…

-Lyrics by Watermark