Monday, September 25, 2017

THE CHURCH

"Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you" (Lev 26:8).
The Church is called to impact the world. The biblical definition "church" is not an institution or building, but rather it is made up of individuals. Jesus said "wherever two or more meet together, I am in the midst of them." The biblical word translated as "church" is ekklesia which is the original Greek meaning "the people of God."
The New Testament used this word in two different ways. Sometimes it refers to people of God gathered together in congregations. That is our traditional idea of the local church. But other times it means believers in general, wherever they might find themselves.
God calls the Church to be transformers of society through their collective influence. Jesus prayed that His Church would be unified in order for the world to respond to Him. "May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me" (John 17:23). The enemy of the Church is secularism, a religion that says there is no God. When local congregations fail to come together as a collective voice and operate instead as individual silos in their community society is given over to the evils created as a result of an unbelieving society. Conversely, when the Body of Christ - the Church puts its collective resources together to solve societal issues, our enemies; crime, poverty, sexual perversion, etc. will fall by the sword of a unified Church.
God is birthing city coalitions of His Church among congregations in the city in order to fulfill John 17:23. Are you willing to be a catalyst in your community to see His Church take back your city?

Friday, September 22, 2017

DISCOVERING THE SOURCE OF PROBLEMS

"After that, God answered prayer in behalf of the land." 2 Samuel 21:14b
During the reign of David, there was a famine in the land for three successive years. So David sought the Lord regarding this famine, "Why is there famine on this land?" The Lord answered David, "It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death" (2 Sam. 21:1b).
Years earlier, Joshua made a peace treaty with the Gibeonites. This, too, was an act of disobedience. When God called Israel to come into the Promised Land, they were to destroy all the enemies of God. Joshua failed to see through the ruse of deception when the Gibeonites portrayed themselves as travelers. The Israelites signed a peace treaty only to discover who the Gibeonites were after the fact. Now, they had to honor the treaty. However, this led to intermarriages and much sorrow for Israel. Years later, Saul made a decision to kill the Gibeonites.
The nation was now receiving the punishment for their sin of disobedience through a famine. David knew that famines could have a spiritual source, so he inquired of God and God answered. The source was Saul's murder of the Gibeonites. Once David knew the source of the problem, he took action. He repented on behalf of the nation and made restitution. The famine was then lifted.
Do you have a problem that seems to be a continually unresolved issue? Have you asked God to tell you the reason for the problem? It may have a spiritual root that is still unresolved with God. He may be allowing this pressure to bring attention to an issue He wants you to take care of. Ask the Lord today to give you revelation on your problem. As a loving Father, He desires to make known anything that stands in the way of fellowship between you and Him. However, His righteousness must always be upheld.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A TOOL FOR MIRACLES

"With the tip of the staff that was in his hand, the angel of the Lord touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the Lord disappeared." Judges 6:21
How does God call people into His service? There is a clear pattern in the way God calls men and women into service for Him. Almost every major leader has been called while he or she was in the midst of performing his or her everyday vocation. Peter was a fisherman; Matthew, a tax collector; Luke, a physician; Paul, a tentmaker; Moses, a shepherd; Jesus, a carpenter; and so on.
When God called Gideon to free the people of Israel from the oppression of the Amalekites, he did so while Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress. Like Moses, Gideon argued with God, saying his family was nothing special, so how could he be used of God to save Israel? Gideon acknowledged God by preparing an offering to Him. The angel did an interesting thing with Gideon's offering; he took the tip of his staff and touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. As with Moses, God chose to do a miracle with a staff, the instrument that symbolized Gideon's work life. Why would God do this? It is because God wants us to know that the tools He has given each of us are the tools He wants to use to demonstrate His power. However, in order for that to happen, we must yield our tools to Him for miracles to be manifested through them.
Have you yielded your tools to the Lord? God wants you to have an overriding ministry objective to your work life. He doesn't want you to leave your work; He wants to work through your work. Allow Him to do that today.

Monday, September 18, 2017

COMPLETING THE WORK

"I have brought You glory on earth by completing the work You gave Me to do" (John 17:4).
Have you ever had a big project to do and felt great when you'd finished the job and it was a big success? The Lord has revealed to us that the number one thing we are to do is love the Lord our God with all our heart and to love our neighbor as ourselves. His desire is for us to know Him and the power of His resurrection. These mandates deal with our relationship with Him. The fruit of this relationship must then result in our glorifying Him by completing the work He has given each of us to do. It will become a by-product of this relationship, not an end in itself.
What is the work God has called you to do? Jesus never did anything the Father had not instructed Him to do. He lived in such communion with the Father that He knew when to turn left and when to turn to the right. Is it possible to have such a relationship with our heavenly Father? I think that if it weren't, He would not have given us such an example.
"Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know" (Jer. 33:3). What has He called you to do? Perhaps you are called to be the best lawyer in your city or the best advertising executive or the best office worker or assembly line person in your company. Whatever work He has called you to, He will use you as His instrument to accomplish something that He has uniquely prepared you to do.
When our life is complete, what a glorious day it will be if we can each say, "I have completed the work You gave me to do." This will have brought great glory to Him.

Friday, September 15, 2017

THE NECESSITY OF THE DESERT

..."I have become an alien in a foreign land."Exodus 2:22 God's preparation of a leader involves training, extended times of waiting, pain, rejection, and isolation. Are you ready to sign up?
Moses was brought up in Pharaoh's court. He had the very best of everything-education, clothing, food, and personal care. But there came a time when the man God would use to free an entire people from slavery was going to have to learn to be the leader God wanted. At age 40, when most of us want to be thinking about winding down instead of beginning a new career, Moses was forced to flee to the desert.
Like Joseph and Abraham, Moses had to endure some difficult years of preparation that first involved removal from his current situation. He went from notoriety to obscurity, from limitless resources to no resources, from activity and action to inactivity and solitude. And, most importantly, waiting. And waiting. And waiting. He probably thought he would die in the land of Midian.
Then one day, a full 40 years from the day he arrived, God appeared to Moses in a burning bush. Everything changed. God said, "It is time." The years had seasoned the vessel to prepare him to accomplish the work.
God is preparing many workplace believers today. The circumstances may be different. The time frames may not be quite as long. But the characteristics of the training are still the same. Do not try to shortcut the desert time of God. It only leads to cul-de-sacs, which force you to revisit the lessons you are meant to learn. Embrace them, so that He can use your life for something extraordinary.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

THE SPIRITUAL REALM

"So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind. 1 Corinthians 14:15
How real is the spiritual realm? My lawyer friend from Nigeria tells a personal story of how he was preparing for an important case. He knew that he must be prepared to argue five separate points. He was to appear before his country's supreme court, so it was a very important case.
As he neared the time in which he was to go to court, he began to pray about how he was to argue the case. He spent much time in legal preparation and intercessory prayer. As he went to court, the Spirit spoke to him and said, "Do not argue point one, point two, point three, or point four. Only argue point five." Imagine my friend's struggle of faith. If he were reading this wrong, the shame and professional fallout would be devastating.
The time had come to present the case before the judge when my friend said, "Judge, I wish to withdraw points one through four. I wish to argue only point five." The opposing counsel stood up and objected. "Your honor, he cannot do that!" "Objection overruled, counsel," said the judge.
My friend went on to present his case around point five only, and then sat down. When the opposing counsel stood to present his case, he stood speechless for 12 minutes. He could not get a word out of his mouth. He finally mumbled a few words and complained to the judge that he was going to have to yield. It seems that the opposing counsel had prepared to argue only points one through four, but failed to prepare for point five. The judge ruled in favor of my friend.
The unseen Lord wants to help us in the physical realm of our work life. We must acknowledge His presence and tap into this incredible resource He has given to each of us. Seek Him today and ask Him to reveal His perfect plan for you this day.

Monday, September 11, 2017

ROAD CONSTRUCTION

"The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth; The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together..."(Isa 40:4-5 NKJV).
Os Hillman shared, "I don't know about you, but I hate road construction. I live in a growing city and it seems like there has been ongoing road construction for years. Everything is a mess, you can never plan your trips because of delays, and sometimes you get caught off guard when traffic signs are placed in unusual places and the natural flow of traffic takes you off the main road onto bumpy surfaces.
Recently one of our main local roads discovered a sink hole in the middle of the road. The road was closed for more than a year. We had to take alternative routes that were inconvenient and it took longer to get places.
Sometimes God takes us through our own life re-construction project. Our lives get disrupted, we can no longer depend on the things we did before, and we don't have control over our circumstances or timetable. God is doing major construction.
However, even in the midst of the re-construction the glory of the Lord is revealed in that place. For some, it is the first time they've ever seen the hand of the Lord in their life to the degree that this process allows them to experience Him. It is a process they would never choose to go through voluntarily, but it is an experience they value for the rest of their lives because the glory of the Lord was revealed in the process.
Once the process is complete, things begin to flow better. Just as the new roads allow you to drive on a smooth, more spacious area, so too God paves a way for you to move into an expanded place with Him. Isaiah tells us: "He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will graze in broad meadows" (Isa 30:23-24).
Be patient with God's re-construction project. You will like the finished project.