Friday, April 1, 2011

APRIL NEWSLETTER 2011

Living Word

Christian Fellowship

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

Vol. 20, No. 4 April 2011

Col 3:2 “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

The word “affection” has to do with the state of being affected. What is it that affects you? It is a bent of the mind towards a particular object? Something that keeps your mind occupied? Perhaps an attachment to that which causes you pleasure or interest in an ongoing manner? In general, it is a sense that makes us feel good about ourselves.

We have so much worldliness in us that many things in the natural realm make us feel good. We are consumed with carnal things to occupy our minds and thoughts continually without regard to what our interaction with them is making us do or doing to us.

We are exhorted to keep our affections not on the things of this world, but on the things of God. Do not love the world not the things that are in the world. “If anyone loves the world, the love for the Father is not in him” (I Jn.2:15). But you say, “I do love the Father.” You may think you do; but not according to the Word--if your affections are on the things of this world.

How do we love the world? By the things that give us joy, that we find pleasure in, and that fill our minds and imaginations.

How do we love the Father? By seeking the kingdom of God first!

It seems the Lord is wanting more of our attention than we have previously given. So let us lay down the things of this world and get our affections on that which will build us up eternally and make us true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In Christ,
Pr. Steve

TODAY’S WAR


We are in a war but Satan, our enemy, does not fight the normal way. We think because people can say and do whatever they want when it comes to religion that we really are pretty well off. But that belief is a deception because Satan fights us with comfort and materialism that keeps us spiritually impotent. All the while in other countries, the pressure is on to stop Christianity. The war is all around us, yet here we sit thinking everything is fine.

We can’t see the demonic activity like other countries do because our battle is with the temptations of the flesh – one on one. In fact, we don’t consider it a war. Instead, we look at it as having a little fun. What is wrong with that little indulgence? I can still be a Christian and enjoy my freedom. [Most people don’t want to wrestle with demons, so they can serve the Lord any way they choose.]

If we could see into the spirit realm and know what these spirits are doing, we would not put up with their devices by which they are continually scheming how to bring you down and defeat you. Why would Satan get so interested in you when there are billions of people he can mess with? Is it because he can see the call of God – the importance you are to the Kingdom of God? Does he see how often you pray and impact spiritual matters? Why do some people struggle more than others just to get through a day? Satan is not a romantic. He does not allow you to get away with serving the Lord with all your heart – he hates it, and he will do whatever to stop you. His goal is to get God to see that godly people are no different from the rest. Satan never rests – he is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.

If we would look at our lives, knowing we are in a war in which we must fight to survive, we would never again take the church for granted and casually come and go whenever we had nothing else to do. We would never play church. If we could see the demons of lust, pornography, drugs and alcohol and all the rest, we would do something radical. But instead, Satan comes along very gently and entices us with little temptations and feelings of defeat so he can accuse us before the Father. Then he will turn on us until we give up.

We must never take our birthright of the Kingdom for granted. Remember Esau – he played the devil’s game so he could do and have what he wanted – he despised his birthright; and when it was too late, he found no repentance. It wasn’t “Poor Esau.” God said, “No,” to his cry.

God has called you to be in His army. You are in training and this army will march in its time. This preparation is real and the battle will come to pass. It is important business for the Kingdom. It is more important than getting your bills paid on time.

I am talking about genuine Christians, not church members who come and go whenever things heat up, or stop serving because they didn’t get their way. Or get mad at the pastor because he didn’t do what they thought he should do. I am talking about the genuine body of Christ who is paying the price to be all they are called to be. These are people who are being tempered in the fire, who have to wait and be put on the shelf often and then re-fired because they developed a crack in their vessel and they leak. You have to be made ready because otherwise you will be disabled in combat. What disables you? Lust? Works of the flesh? Is there anything that impairs your being and causes you to be unaware of your spiritual surroundings? We are in a day when the spirit realm is being opened up to us. We need to be made sensitive to the good and the evil operating around us. Is your judgment impaired today? Can you make God-directed decisions based on what is best for the body of Christ? For others? And for yourself?

Why is there excessive training today for the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Police, Firemen, Coast Guard, Seals, Delta Force? The majority of people get a job with very little training or qualifications. The people who lead this country certainly are not trained or qualified. But those destined to protect and be used in very dangerous positions have extensive training. And they become the best they can be or they are dismissed. I believe we are in this kind of training. And I don’t want to be dismissed.

Before he does makes a decision, a serious Christian will consider everything he does and as well as how it will affect him The average church goers will not do make this spiritual inventory. Christ is coming soon and He is coming with and for those who are ready to do something about the problems of this world. I was designed to work for the King, and I am going to be ready to do my part. Do not disqualify yourself by being sloppy with your actions and words and decisions.

If you could see in the spirit realm, you would realize someone is trying to take your place. Are you going to let yourself be replaced?

For example, why should devoted Christians not drink alcohol? Now, I know many that do. Why do people drink the nasty stuff? Because of the way it makes them feel. But while you feel that way, you often do something stupid things that can affect you for years to come. Why have so many ignored God’s Word?

Proverbs 31:4-5 (NIV)
4 "It is not for kings, O Lemuel-- not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer,
5 lest they drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.

Are you not called to be a king? When you are destined to be a king, you are called to rule. That is why we are called a royal priesthood. Royal means governing. And you can’t drink and govern. {If you are stuck in this sin, just say, “NO!”} Tell the Lord you want free of it. Get real with God. Don’t fool around and lose your birthright! We are dealing with the Commander. He is not going to let us get away with anything in this day. Christ doesn’t drink. He doesn’t need to because He is filled with the Holy Spirit. Alcohol is a substitute for the Holy Spirit. And so is every other impairment and addiction!

Rev 5:10 KJV And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

We are coming close to this fulfillment and we must be ready. It wasn’t taught before now because it wasn’t necessary. But now He is preparing His army because this is what we have been called to fulfill. Revelation 19 tells us He is coming as the Commander of His Army and He is going to make war. The only ones who will be raised to meet the Lord in the air are those qualified to be in His army; otherwise, they will create havoc because they won’t know what to do. This is a day of preparation and Jesus is looking for soldiers. Stop wimping around because you don’t get your way. Stop thinking that everyone is against you – It is a new day of thinking and living. No soldier can go to war if He is not prepared. It takes discipline and training. And anyone who is willing can be made ready. 2Ti 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [this] life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

Everyone who complains about war that goes on with this country is fighting against God who is trying to reveal to His church what it is going to take in this period of time. Everything else that the church is dealing with is junk compared to what God is doing. The conflict of the ages and the fury that will be released is upon us.

So don’t let Satan get the best of you by convincing you of something other than to be filled with the Spirit of God and prepared to fight. It’s a war!

Psa 18:34 (KJV) He teacheth my hands to war… What do these words mean? He doesn’t teach us how to play patty-cake. He shows us what weapons to use, how to wield them, how to keep the enemy from taking them from us, and how to protect ourselves and our loved ones. What is in your hands today? God wants to show you how to use it as a weapon, but how will God will strengthen you for battle.

Psa 18:1-6 (KJV) I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. (2) The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. (3) I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. (4) The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. (5) The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. (6) In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

When the battle rages and you feel like you are in hell, God will come to your rescue and deliver you because He hears your cry of help!

Why are these battles real and the war going to happen? Because God is through with letting man run the show and destroying themselves. He wants love, joy and peace so man can enjoy His creation and His rest. The trumpets are blowing – Let the earth rejoice and sing, “The Lord reigns.” And be glad you are a part of this awesome calling.

Before every great move of God, He prepares a people. Their preparation starts with repentance. Then He follows up with instruction to find the people who will take the discipline. Many have been called today so rejoice and be glad for “The Lord Reigns.”

-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 2010

April 1: “You are good and you do what is good.”

April 6: “Young men, you have overcome the evil one. Mature people don’t fight with Satan.”

April 15: “ You will be filled. You will have the strength to carry on. You will be encouraged through all you do. I am with you to enforce My power in your life.”

April 19: “Show us your strength, O God.”

April 22: “Be strong and take courage. Be in the power of My might and live in the fullness of My Spirit.”

April 23:: “But as for me, Lord, my prayer to You is for a time of favor. In Your abundant faithful love, God, answer me with Your sure salvation. (Psm. 69:13)”

April 25: “To know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, and being made conformed to His death.”

Stressed?


Are you stressed? How can you tell? Do you worry much of the time, and do you get frustrated easily? Are you constantly tired, irritable, or angry? These traits are symptoms of unhealthy stress. Other signs of stress are headaches, neck aches, forgetfulness, lack of concentration, and indigestion. It is important naturally and spiritually to quickly recognize these symptoms of unhealthy stress and deal with their roots before they cause greater illnesses.

Pro 4:20-27 (KJV) “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. (21) Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. (22) For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. (23) Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (24) Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. (25) Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. (26) Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. (27) Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”

What do we spend our time looking at and listening to? Do we have a plan for each day that includes seeing and hearing the word of God? If we believed that the words of God are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh, would we not make room for them? And what about the stuff we do take the time to watch and listen to? Are they really worthy of our time, and are they healthy for our hearts? Luk 6:45 (KJV) “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”

Have you noticed that when people eat something that really disagrees with them, their demeanor usually starts to change; then they get feeling so bad that they realize something is wrong; and finally, they lose their ability to continue to keep it inside, and it comes hurling from their mouth. The scripture said that the things that we allow to come into our hearts will be the fashion of what comes forth from our mouths as well. What do you spend your time saying? If we recognize that we have a problem in this area, and then deal with it, we may just eliminate some of the unhealthy stress from our lives.

Mar 7:20 “And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.”

What do you spend your time thinking about? Pro 23:7 (KJV) “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:…” This issue is crucial concerning both everyday life, and unhealthy stress. There are a great number of internal and external influences that constantly push to captivate our thinking. Some of the external influences are: major life changes, relationship difficulties, work, financial problems, busy lifestyles, children and family, and spiritual warfare. And some of the inward influences are: pessimism, perfectionism, unrealistic expectations, and an inability to accept uncertainty. If we are prisoners to an out of control thought life, we need to repent for the wrong thinking, renounce that thinking every time it tries to come back, and relinquish the control of our lives to God.

Pro 3:5-10 (KJV) “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (7) Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. (8) It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. (9) Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: (10) So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.”

How do we spend our time & our money? Only we really know; but if we find the will of the Lord and do the will of the Lord with both our time and our money, we will also have found life that is neither fettered nor festered with unhealthy stress.

-Kurt Thurston

Quotes


"The Bible was written in tears, and to tears it yields its best treasures."

- A.W. Tozer

"Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late - and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work. To pray for revival while ignoring the plain precept laid down in Scripture is to waste a lot of words and gets nothing for our trouble. Prayer will become effective when we stop using it as a substitute for obedience."

- A.W. Tozer

"How hard is it sometimes to get leave of hearts to seek God! Jesus Christ went more willingly to the cross than we do to the throne of grace."

- Thomas Watson

"You know, people say that today. "Oh, I am just a saved sinner." That is like saying you are a married bachelor. That is like saying you are an honest thief, or a pure harlot. You can't be a saved sinner. You are either saved or you are a sinner. He came. "Thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall save his people from their sins."

He saves us from sins that we have committed and from committing a thousand more that would meet us at the judgment."

-Leonard Ravenhill

"You know, we live in a day when we are more afraid of holiness than we are of sinfulness. We accommodate ourselves to iniquity not only in the world, but in the fellowships round about."

-Leonard Ravenhill

"To be much for God, we must be much with God. Jesus, that lone figure in the wilderness, knew strong crying, along with tears. Can one be moved with compassion and not know tears? Jeremiah was a sobbing saint. Jesus wept. So did Paul. So did John....Though there are some tearful intercessors behind the scenes, I grant you that to our modern Christianity, praying is foreign."

- Leonard Ravenhill

Next course from Christian Life Educators Network

Richmond Center:

Summer Break! Classes resume in August