Friday, December 22, 2006

Advent - A Declaration of War!

Advent: from the Latin, meaning "to come"; generally refers to the first coming of Jesus (God brought peace to man); a season preceding the Christmas celebration.

Advent should also be a reminder of His second coming, which is a declaration of war. We are at war for the King, Who is returning.

"I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself." (Revelation 19:11-12)

Consider this is a proclamation of war in which you are already involved. You ARE in a war zone. The time to pray is now. The time to act is now!

Indiana's capital was established in deception and blood. The masonic temple downtown was once the "finest of it's kind" in the world. Pray the blood of Jesus over this land for the curses that have been laid on it. We struggle not against flesh and blood -->

"Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." (Ephesians 6:11-13)

This next year, the war will intensify and you will no longer be able to dual-minded. We either abide in Him, or we wither and die. You are a soldier in Christ's army. You will either be a good soldier or a bad soldier, but either way, you are His to use on this battlefield. It is
yours to decide if you want to be one of His "Mighty Men".

May God's grace, peace (amidst the storm), love, and perseverance intensify in all our lives!

In Service to King Jesus,

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Managing through the pain of Christmas...

"Peace on earth and good will to men!"

Joy and Peace to all men this Christmas! It truly is a time of Joy; however, for some people, it can be reminder of a loss... a failed expectation. How do we manage through that pain (or come alongside others who feel it)?

First, we need to acknowledge the pain. Pain is a gift from God. It is like the indicator light on a dashboard saying: "Some thing's wrong!" Pain is a gift from God that says: "Take action!" The analogy is clearly understood with physical pain. For example: "Remove you hand from the fire." or "Go easy on the sprained ankle." But what about emotional pain?

The Enemy always tries to distort God's gifts. The distorted message comes through in the lies we start accepting: "It's too painful to endure.", "It's never going to get better.", etc. But the truth is that all pain is temporary, even though the Enemy uses it to discourage us... to dissuade us from the action the Lord would have us take.

So the question is: "Lord, what action would You have me take?" Do I need to adjust my expectations? Do I need to take captive my thought patterns (i.e. - "assault the strongholds")? Do I need to redirect my life and demonstrate love to others? Do I need to pray in intercession fervently? Do I need to just draw close in adoration of my Redeemer?

When we truly understand -- that all suffering is temporary... that the pain is only part of the story... that it is a call to action -- that God uses our discomfort to wage war against the Enemy, the Kingdom is advanced in our lives and in the lives of others! Then, like the early church, we can rejoice in our suffering.

Whether we're asking Him the tough questions or rejoicing in all that He is doing, Christmas remains a time for drawing close to God and enjoying the stillness of His Presence.

Peace and Joy to you and all in your sphere of influence!

Friday, December 15, 2006

The more things change, the more things stay the same...

"Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord."
Jude 3-4

"'Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."
Matt 7:15-20

"The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."
Matt 3:10

"For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve... You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or pushes himself forward or slaps you in the face."
2 Cor 11:13-15,19-20

"The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness."
2 Thess 2:9-12

"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace... Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ."
Eph 4:1-3,14-15

Thursday, December 7, 2006

The Gospel According to Paul

Is the Good News that "Jesus died on the cross to save you from your sins"? That's certainly a part of it, but ultimately, what does that mean? Take a look... and pass on the Good News of reconciliation:

All this is from God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19 NIV

God's way never changes, and unfortunately, neither does the self-righteous way of man. Take a look at what He said to the prophet Ezekiel:

Yet your countrymen say, 'The way of the Lord is not just.' But it is their way that is not just. If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, he will die for it. And if a wicked man turns away from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he will live by doing so.
Ezekiel 33:17-19 NIV

Jesus came to put us in the habit of repenting, rather than issue the demoralizing condemnation of the Accuser.

"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."
John 8:11 NIV

Pray that the Church repents for pretending like "we've arrived"; that we've done what we need to for salvation; that we can now live in whatever way seems right in our own eyes. In truth we're all living in a struggle to live rightly, trusting in God's Grace.

Humility comes from the understanding that we've not yet arrived.

Trust is built as we witness how God's Presence changes us and empowers us to live rightly.

Jesus' death is an example that sets us free -- free to live in His anointing -- free to see past our immediate sufferings -- free to come into the Presence of a Holy God, Who loves us, forgives us, and empowers us to live a life free from sin.

Blessings, Peace and Love!