“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving...” Psalm 26:7
Vol. 17, No. 4 April 2008
When you think you have arrived, you haven’t. You have been traveling along and the road is smooth and you know the destination is just around the corner and you are almost there, and you get a blow-out. Frustration and other emotions begin to rise up, but you remember who you are in the Lord. Take a deep breath and rely on His strength and courage to take you through.
This is where we are today. One thing after the other keeps us on our toes and we keep being stretched until we think we will break. Hopefully, we have become flexible enough to bend with the wind until the sun shines again and we can stand up straight and tall and let the fruit mature.
God is the source of all our strength in these days. If we live long enough and endure to the end, we will recognize it is all for His glory and purpose and we will each become the better person.
Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid…” Instead we are to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is our all in all.
John 11:3-4 (KJV) “Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. (4) When Jesus heard [that], he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.”
The responsibility of the church is to set captives free – part of the great commission. God tells us what is our responsibility and how to carry it out.
Ninety percent of all people in the world have some type of bondage: bondage is anything that keeps you from full potential. God has been dealing with the body of Christ to set us free from every bondage so we can carry out the work of the ministry that God has for us. God wants to heal us and set us free from jealousy, anger, fear, lust, hurts, bitterness and anything else that keeps us from our full potential. The Bible is very clear that Jesus is the only way to this breakthrough. Jesus is The Way, The Truth and The Life and no man comes to the Father but by Him. The world does not like this, nor will they listen to it – even some Christians. People want Jesus to be A Way to God – and so they add Him to their other ways and yet expect deliverance and change. BUT, the Bible is absolute: Jesus is the Only Way to deliverance and fulfillment.
We cannot idly sit by and believe because Jesus went to the cross we don’t have to do anything. Neither can we believe that the “works” we do will save us. We must come to the balance of believing and living in the realm that I must know my part in the Kingdom of God and understand why I am here today.
Verse 3 gives us a principle for healing: All healing begins with a confession of need: “I am sick.”
Pro 28:13 “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh [them] shall have mercy.”
Jam 5:16 “Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
1Jo 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
If we as Christians will confess our sins, then we will have healing. All healing begins with confession of sins. We refuse only for one reason: PRIDE - the greatest sin of all. Pride is what keeps us from being healed and delivered.
The church is not the place to play a game and tell everyone we are alright when something is wrong. That makes us liars worse off than the world; and that is why the church is a joke in many places.
Sanctification is the process of coming into the holiness of God. And holiness is simply “wholeness.” God wants to heal the entire person, spirit, soul, and body. Salvation will bring you to life, but your soul and body can still remain a mess. God wants His people WHOLE. Confess your pride every time you take upon yourself your own way of living and making decisions; confess every time you are afraid others will find something out about you that might make them feel differently about you.
Statements people make: “This is nobody’s business, but mine.” Folks this is the day when we need to humble ourselves and say: “I NEED TO BE HEALED.” It is time for ministry like we have never known before, and you are important to the body of Christ.
God hears when we are open and honest. The question is asked, “Why doesn’t Jesus answer immediately?” Because if the Lord gave us everything the first time we asked, we would never grow up. How many of you remember when you were infants? All you wanted was a bottle. But you didn’t always get it when you wanted it – you had to be weaned so you would grow-up. Today we have a society in which parents are still trying to bottle feed their 30 year-old children every time they have a problem. WHY? Because they never grew up.
Some delays in life come because of demonic interference [Daniel prayed for three weeks before the answer came. Why? Because the Prince of Persia withstood him.] Do we believe breakthrough is possible today? It hasn’t happened yet because the Prince over our communities has withstood us. But we must not give up the cry for breakthrough. The answer is about to come.
Some delays come because of Divine purposes and usually because that purpose of God is much greater than we can fathom. I believe this about the church. God is working a greater purpose than we can comprehend or anticipate. Such was the case in John 11 where we consider the question: Which is greater—to heal someone or to raise him from the dead?
From verse 32-33, we see Lazarus dies. Most delays, for those of us who are striving to obey the Lord, are to produce a godly compassion for what God is going to do. It will be the love and compassion that we pour out that will cover a multitude of sins.
Then we see that “Jesus wept.” This love is not agape, but phileo. The world is going to have to see the church accept them in their sickness and sin. Phileo is friendship. We have been so afraid the world’s cooties might get on us we look down at those who are not in the kingdom.
Jesus then says, “Take away the stone.” Here were family members in mourning for their loved ones. [Can you imagine what would happen if some faith healer walked into a funeral home and told the family to take their dead loved one out of the casket.] Why would Jesus do such a thing? Because He was showing them their part and their responsibility to bring deliverance and healing to others. We can’t save anyone!
“You roll away the stone.” What are the stones: hardness of heart, wounded hearts, angry hearts. Sometimes it is stones of the demonic. That is why He said, “In my name you will cast out devils.” Do you know in Africa they understand the difference between the demonic and mental illness. We ignore it in America.
When the stone was removed then Jesus spoke loudly, “Lazarus, come forth.” (vrs.43) And he lived happily ever after! No, Jesus said, “Loose him and let him go.” And that is the responsibility of the church - not to let them come into the body and remain in their bondages, but to loose them so they can become what they were meant to be. We must teach them the fullness of the Holy Spirit – to be led and fed with the daily manna of Christ’s body and blood and to depend on the leading of the Holy Spirit to live their lives. We must accept them through the changes they will experience so they may endure to the end and be saved.
Let God heal you today. It is time to come to your full potential and time for the power of the Holy Spirit to remove the stones so resurrection power can manifest.
. . . My calling as a pastor
Pastor’s Journal 2007
Apr. 6: “I have given you authority to speak to your circumstances and to be victorious in all things. Your mind will hear and follow. You are victorious because I am victorious. You will speak life because I am the life.”
Apr. 7: By the authority and in the Name of Jesus, confusion, interference and darkness depart from those in leadership at LWCF that we might lead the sheep to safe pastures of peace, hope and rest in the will and purpose of God our Father. Amen.
Apr. 25: It has been the most unusual month. Many blessings and some heartache, but the presence of the Lord still guides. You have brought in Righteousness followed with peace and joy. To experience these from the innermost part of my being is truly the genuineness of the spirit. It is immeasurable – it is life – it is real. I have much gratitude because of the people’s generosity, yet sadness for those who don’t yet know Your unfailing love. To fear You is the highest blessing I yet know. With it comes limitless love.
Apr. 30: “Will you be able to serve me with less? Will you still obey Me when you don’t have all the comforts of living? I am sending a death to the land. Many will be affected to see if they will curse Me or remain faithful.”
Crowns for Worship
As Jesus walked the earth He spoke to multitudes, but few were willing to follow Him. Not all chose to leave their homes, but many believed upon Him and kept His words. In the account of Lazarus and his sisters, we find that Jesus had been traveling when He heard the news of Lazarus’ death. When Jesus returned to the place that Lazarus had lived, He called Lazarus out of the grave and brought him back to life. Jesus will be coming back again some day for all that will believe upon Him and keep His words; and when He comes, there will be rewards for those who have been faithful. Among those rewards will be crowns. Those are crowns that we will both wear and cast before His feet in worship.
The Crown of Life
James 1:12-15 (KJV) “Blessed [is] the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. (13) Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: (14) But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (15) Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
The Crown Incorruptible
1 Cor 9:24-27 (KJV) “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. (25) And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. (26) I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: (27) But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
The Crown of Rejoicing 1Thess 2:19-20 (KJV) “For what [is] our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? [Are] not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? (20) For ye are our glory and joy.”
The Crown of Righteousness
2 Timothy 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.”
The Crown of Glory
1 Peter 5:1-7 (KJV) “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: (2) Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight [thereof], not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; (3) Neither as being lords over [God's] heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. (4) And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. (5) Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. (6) Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: (7) Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
Eternity is going to be so great for those who are prepared for it, and now is the time to prepare. We must remember that things are not always going to be the same as they are now. Jesus experienced times and events that could have seemed unfair, and He could have chosen the temporary over the eternal; but He remained faithful to God the Father and the call that was upon His life.
The Crown of Thorns
John 19:5 (KJV) “Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And [Pilate] saith unto them, Behold the man!”
Though some of mankind would mock and cheapen the things of God in this temporary realm, it is only our individual decisions that can determine our destiny.
Lamentations 5:16 (KJV) “The crown is fallen [from] our head: woe unto us that we have sinned!”
We all have the same opportunity; we have been given the choice to follow the will of the Lord, or to choose a much lesser fate. The much lesser fate was already there before we were offered the great opportunity, but are we willing to believe and keep Jesus as Lord until the end? This story in the book of Esther illustrates the importance of our faith in action and the rewards that are pending.
Esther 1:10-12 (KJV) “On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king, (11) To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she [was] fair to look on. (12) But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by [his] chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.” Esther 2:16-17 (KJV) “So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which [is] the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. (17) And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.”
We need only to show forth our love and faith for Jesus now, by believing upon Him and keeping His words, and by letting our lights shine forth with His life. Then, we will have crowns to cast before Him in worship for eternity.
Revelation 4:10-11 (KJV) “The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, (11) Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
There are believers in Christ who do not always choose to be joyous in Christ. They are bound with stubbornness, self-pity, pessimism, and defeat. When we find such an attitude of negativism and despair in ourselves, we must call mightily and continually to Christ so that we may be saved from this destructive state!