Thursday, September 25, 2014

DEATH AND THE BEARING OF FRUIT

In John 12:24 the Lord Jesus said, "Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." Life is in the grain. However, there is a shell outside of the grain, a very powerful shell. As long as this shell does not break open, the grain cannot grow. "Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies." What is this death? It is the action of the temperature and moisture of the earth upon the grain which results in the breaking of the shell. When the shell breaks, the grain grows. Therefore, it is not a matter of whether or not the grain has life, but whether the outer shell is broken. The very next verse says, "He who loves his soul-life loses it; and he who hates his soul-life in this world shall keep it unto eternal life" (v. 25). According to the Lord the outer shell is our own life, and the inner life is the eternal life that He dispenses. In order for the inner life to be released, the outer life must suffer loss. If that which is outward is not broken, that which is inward cannot be released.

Among all the people in the world, some have the Lord’s life within them. Among those who have the Lord’s life, we find two different kinds of conditions. With the first, the life is bound, surrounded, and locked up. With the second, the Lord has opened up a way and the life can be released. The problem with us today is not how we can have life, but how we can allow this life to flow out of us. When we say that the Lord has to break us, this is not a figure of speech or a doctrine. Our very being has to be broken by the Lord. The Lord’s life is well able to spread over the whole earth. However, it is locked up within us! The Lord is well able to bless the church, yet His life is imprisoned, contained, and blocked in us! If the outer man is not broken, we can never become a blessing to the church, nor can we expect the world to receive God’s grace through us! ~Watchman Nee

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Psalm 63:1

A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah. You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek You; I thirst for You, my whole being longs for You, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Today's Church???

(Click Photo to Enlarge)

It's like people are waiting for the preacher/teacher to say. "You believed Christ, you prayed and went to service... come on down you've won a brand NEW CAR!!"

For all that Jesus could do for us... the CROSS is more than enough... we always want more! In all Truth I say to anyone who believes... if you have been left wanting, rethink it, go to the Lord with it and you will find out that the CROSS is all that anyone needed. When we first believed, the Word says we were given THE FULLNESS of Christ. There is nothing left to NEED. All that is left to do is to rest in HIM and use the fullness that we have been given.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

When You Need to Cover Nakedness by Pastor Bryan Lowe

This was to important to just paste a link and I hope every Christian Believer will take a moment and really read it.  (You will find the link to "Broken Believers" at the end of this article) 

“And don’t build an altar that requires steps; you might expose yourself when you climb up”. Exodus 20:26

“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8


While I lived in the SOS Ministry house in the Mission District of San Francisco a dear brother taught me this principle. Living in Christian community is a really wonderful thing. But it also could be a challenge at times. What Michael shared, allowed my understanding to grow to meet the need of the moment.

The principle is this:
We are called to cover up our brother’s nakedness.

Throughout the scripture “being naked, or nakedness” is always a shame. It comes welded to the concept of being vulnerable or exposed to the sight of everyone else. It also carries the idea of sin; it is sin that everyone can see; it is very obvious.

For those of us who often sin, we evolve the idea of keeping a lid on it, and being secretive with it. There will be people who will never know. Often sex sin, drug and alcohol sin, both are kept hidden from view of family and friends, and the Church.

-Noah and His Nakedness-
“Noah became a farmer and planted a vineyard. When he drank wine made from his grapes, he became drunk and lay naked in his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, looked at his naked father and told his brothers outside. Then Shem and Japheth got a coat and, carrying it on both their shoulders, they walked backwards into the tent and covered their father. They turned their faces away so that they did not see their father’s nakedness.” Genesis 9:20-24

It’s hard to process this patriarch’s gross sin. But in all fairness Noah had lost everything in the flood, so perhaps we should be gentle with him. On the other hand, people who cover up the nakedness of others seem to be gentle and humble. They would never, ever dream of making a scandal. They are trustworthy and understand to a great degree the things that make a man or woman of God.

Leviticus 18 is the “magnum opus” of nakedness. We are pretty much told over and over in this chapter, not to ever uncover another. Actually is pretty emphatic and somewhat redundant. But I think the Lord wanted it repeated this way.

Our vulnerabilities are there for all to see. But there are also men and women who go out of their way to protect and shield. They are safe people, in the classic sense of the word. They cover-up, but never in negative or criminal way, but in love and blessing. (If it is a serious crime, the police should be involved.)

Mature believers will step forward and protect the open areas of others. 

Quite often we are exposed, open to attack on our weaknesses. Mature believers will step forward and protect the open areas of others. They will refuse to judge or point out sins. But they will stand in the gap, shielding and protecting.

God’s final word on nakedness is in Revelation 3:18, and this is a good place to conclude this post,

“So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.”

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Waiting Time is Never Wasted Time - Pastor Byan Lowe

“Wait for the Lord’s help. 
Be strong and brave, 
and wait for the Lord’s help.”
Psalm 27:14, NCV
Much of the Bible describes people’s interaction with God. Almost always they end up waiting for God to fulfill His promises to them.  They wait and wait.  Often God takes them right to 11:59, and then shows up in some miraculous way. The Lord’s people have always been a waiting people. That is just the way it is.
Waiting is quite beneficial to us.  Like a slow stream, it takes time for things to settle, we are often turbulent, and waiting helps us calm down.  Slowly the stream becomes clear and clean.  When our faith is tested; we develop patience and submission.  And when the blessing comes to us, we will savor it even more.
‘Waiters’ are actually reflectors on the promises of God yet to be.  It’s promised, but not yet.  Hebrews 11 is this very powerful statement of people waiting in faith.  Read this chapter and look at them waiting.  Each one is looking for a promise yet to come.  Some wait well, and others, not so much.

Waiting time will never be wasted time. 

We should weave that into the fabric of our hearts.  Waiting is not like sitting in a room for your to see the doctor.  When I sit in a waiting room, I browse through old and tattered copies Newsweek and four year old National Geographics.  I study the other people who are also waiting, sometimes like a detective trying to understand the story of their lives up to this point.  I look at my watch a lot.
Waiting on God is not supposed to be like this. When the Word speaks to us of waiting, it has a great deal to say about humility. When we wait well, we start softening.  God’s waiting room is the place where we spend a large percentage of our lives.  It is an active spot where we put ourselves in the sovereignty of God.  We see ourselves on His timetable, not ours.
“Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.”  Heb. 11:1
bry-signat

Friday, August 15, 2014

REAL Church Leadership Is Not A Natural Occurrence

Do You Lead By His Will or Your Own?

There is no choosing to lead through the Spirit of God without choosing to be changed by the Spirit. The way we speak, the way we act, even the way we feel, these things must shift as we change from leading in our own strengths to leading out of the strength of God. Our naturally selfish ambitions, even when cast through the lens of good intention, have to begin to fall away as they have been crucified with Christ. Great leaders approach leadership with humility, having accepted that the fruit of the Spirit is beyond what they could accomplish alone, and it’s through Christ that we are empowered to access this fruit.
As a leader you are endowed with the possibility of leading from this place, but it’s not just an on-the-job responsibility. What is not cultivated in secret cannot be called upon in public. We have to pray for the transformative power of the Spirit to work His way in our hearts and minds, changing us forever, so our leadership is not a facade, but a reflection of His power at work within us. Today is a new day. Trust the will and work of God in your life, and ask Him where you need Him to work. He’s faithful to respond, and He works in your life, watch Him begin to work in the lives of others through you.

Prayer for Today: Holy Spirit, You began working within me as I first put my faith in Christ, but I confess that there have been places where I have resisted Your work. There are corners of my heart where I have been prideful and selfish. I surrender these to You. I trust You, that Your will for my life is greater than my own. Restore me, heal me, create anew what has died. I desperately wish to see the fruit of the Spirit in my life and leadership. Do what needs to be done in order that You may produce healthy abundance in me.  I receive all that I've asked by faith in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Scripture: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. ~
Galatians 5:22-26


*Catalyst: Devotions For Leaders Who Love The Church*

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Point Them To Christ!

What does the way you lead say about how you trust Jesus? Too often we believe that great leadership is about praying for a crowd or convincing a group to follow us because of our accomplishments and acumens. We’ve declared that, “We will not boast in anything; no gifts, no power, no wisdom,” and yet the story of our days tells a very different tale. Somewhere we’ve bought into the lie that what people are looking for is inspiration through eloquent speeches. We’ve forgotten that the most powerful way we can lead is by pointing us towards Jesus.
Some of us are faced with undoing generations of failed leadership. Some of us come from incredible men and women, but good or bad, the answer to how you will lead begins and ends with Jesus, it’s only through His power that our view of leadership will change. We start by seeking Him, knowing Him, being transformed to be more like Him. The more we look, act, love, and lead like Jesus, the more impactful our leadership will be to the world around us.