Proclaiming a Message of Good News and Hope to our generation!

Month: February 2015

BAPTIZED IN THE FIRE!

Luke 3:16-17: “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I comes, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.”

Acts 1:8: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

Acts 2:3-4: “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Rom 12:10-11: “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
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For forty years the United States engaged with the USSR in what was known as the cold war. When the Berlin Wall was torn down, and that period of our history seemed to be over, I began reflecting on the existence of a different kind of enemy. This is one that threatens to erode the security and well-being of every worthwhile cause or institution. This is not a cold war. It is not even a war at all by normal definition. This enemy is very deadly just the same. It is the condition of a heart that has become cold and indifferent. Like a contagious disease it spreads from soul to soul, aided by the power of the electronic and paper mass media. It effectively divides and weakens us, by robbing us of the love we both need to share and receive. Even the most passionate and caring are vulnerable to this malady. It’s roots are fear and hopelessness, as it feeds pride and selfishness. The result is a loss of desire and zeal for those things we need the most, and a relentless pursuit for vain and unprofitable diversions.

The fact of this problem is undeniable. We are living in a time when many have become very callused and insensitive, and others do not seem to care much for anything other than a good time. Ah, but this condition presents another glorious opportunity for the Word of God and the Good News of Christ’s Kingdom! In His Voice is the power to arouse the people of God to become a demonstration of what this mighty King of the Universe can do! While millions continue to await a word that will set them free, God is already speaking very loudly and very plainly to those who have ears to hear from Him.

He is at work in this present time, actively kindling His fire in the hearts of many with a zeal to satisfy His Great Heart of Love! No cause could be greater, and no flame could burn brighter than the fire of God Himself, as He consumes us with a vision of His purpose for us and all humanity. How we have tried to stir up and motivate ourselves and others to good works and worthy goals, only to find the desire becoming a dying ember! Oh how it is high time for all to tune in to the Heart of God and become ignited with His Eternal Flame! His is a fire that cannot be quenched, and once we have experienced it, we can never be satisfied with anything else!

Let us take some time to examine the disease, before we implement the cure. This condition has become common to us all at various times. Often those who are inspired and passionate for a message God has given them, become offensive to others who have not been touched similarly. In reality, we may not ever possess the exact same focus or direction from God. He uses each one in a different way to accomplish His overall plan. One thing we must share, however, is the same zeal, love and desire for Him, that liberates us all from the spirit of competition and selfish ambitions.

How do we become cold and complacent? Is it because when we have cared in the past we were hurt or rejected? Is it because the pain becomes too great for us to bear, after having tried and failed to make a difference? Maybe when we have felt helpless and unable to change things, we were tempted to turn away from the needs we were faced with. Those times when we are pressed up against a wall, we can find relief by turning the problem over to God, and this is the correct step. But those whom God will use to reveal His Kingdom to the world must eventually obtain the power from Him to face suffering and pain with the faith, hope and love to make a change.

The Spirit of God is at work at this present time, actively kindling His fire in the hearts of many

Surely the problems of our country, our friends and often our own families can seem to be overwhelming — not to mention the crises taking place around the world. The only answer for anyone is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but that message can only be effective as those who are consumed by it become living demonstrations of His flaming Love! You have the power to spread the fire and fan those flames right in your circle of acquaintances now, whether you are a “mature Son of God” or not! The Love of God and the passion for God is perfect in us, even though we may display many imperfections. God seems to have a habit of using imperfect humans anyway. Often the job can make the man or woman.

It is time for many of us to abandon our preconceived notions of “working for Jesus,” which are often guilt driven and of a religious nature. Actions that are inspired by divine love and compassion may require great sacrifice on our part, but there is no greater satisfaction. It must grieve the heart of the Father to see His children simply going through the motions of serving Him, when they could have so much more joy and satisfaction in their own special spiritual abilities that flow out of a relationship with Him. How miserable we become when we haven’t given “our all,” only because we have not been able to respond to what others compel us to do.

Yes we must exhort, admonish and provoke one another unto love and good works. In fact, that is what I am attempting to do now. The problem is that it takes a spark or a flame to ignite another flame. How can one who is cold and complacent and satisfied create genuine desire for the Lord in another? How can the unenlightened, when they are excited in a measure about the things they are already experiencing become convinced that Christ is alive in a dead, dried up church system?

The fact is that the Gospel of Jesus Christ does change lives — now. It empowers those who possess it to function in the Body of Christ as part of a great, world-wide team. Each of us can see ourselves as really making a difference in the world around us, as together we plant His Seeds of Truth. We not only have hope and the faith to see the change before it happens, but we have His Love within us that never fails. By it we can give and really care, even though at times we seem to be at great risk. Of what value is a life anyway if it cannot be poured out in service to others? Those who know Christ gladly absorb the pain endured if only one soul can be fully set free.

The One Who baptizes us in the Holy Spirit and fire is among us today. If you are willing, you can be immersed in His cleansing, liberating and world-changing fire. I promise you, all you will lose are the ropes that bind you, and all you will gain is a heart full of love for all mankind, with both the power and compassion to make a difference.

Never Give Up!

Have you ever been faced with the reality that what you have dreamed for, hoped for and prayed for will never happen? Has the giving up reaction in this one event spread into every corner of your life, effectively killing your faith in the unfailing love of God? Have you been seduced into believing that life is a series of situations over which you have no control? So why not just be satisfied with the good things that you do have, finding contentment in the things that satisfy most people? In other words, mediocrity!

Maybe you have not been there as many of us have. If not, these words and truths we are about to share might still be useful to you in encouraging others to reach for the stars! Did not Jesus give us this dream? Did not He set hearts on fire to believe the unbelievable? Did He not teach us to attain the unattainable? Did He not plant the seed in us through which we would do greater works than He?

Hope is the expectation of the overwhelming Goodness of God.

We must first of all realize that He is the author and finisher of our faith. Then we can be settled in our minds as to what the Creator of the Universe desires for us. It is His intention to stretch our imaginations and expand our horizons to begin believing for and working towards great and wonderful possibilities! It is time to forget the failures of the past and begin walking into a new day! Look around you for just a few minutes. In a short time you can easily see the immediate need for miracles everywhere! Then, if we lift up our hearts and arise into Him we can be the channel through which Jesus wants to bring these wonderful solutions!

The Lord might not be interested in formulas and rituals, but He does desire a relationship with us. From that relationship we can cultivate a faith, hope, and love-filled life. Behold Him! His beauty! His Power! His unconditional Love! Become overwhelmed with the compassion that He has for all mankind! Realize from this that He thrills in opening His hand to those in need, and in using us to deliver them.

Jesus taught us to pray without ceasing and not to faint. Realizing there are situations that are beyond our understanding, we must come before Him in humility. Never giving up in prayer does not mean insisting on our own way. It means we are persuaded by God that the best interests of all of us are in His heart. We must never yield to thoughts that His love will fail us.

Hope is the expectation of the overwhelming goodness of God. Sometimes we have the substance of that hope in a specific situation, and we can cling tenaciously to it until the final outcome. Other times we can only trust in that goodness, the trusting being our only participation. The poorer choice is to fail to participate at all. This cuts us off from the life of God as it flows out to meet the needs of others. Far too many of God’s people have made this wrong choice. Today, however, He is giving us the understanding that there are so many more positive and creative options than before were realized!

Prayer is a petition for the well-being of ourselves and others, and it can be expressed in a number of ways. When there is an opportunity to directly affect a situation to bring it into God’s perfect will, the greatest prayer we can offer is our service to God. Obedience to Him in itself is a very powerful option. Other times we can only offer supportive thoughts and words as we enter into our spiritual communication with Him.

Miracles are God’s pleasure. When the conditions are right in us, He is pleased to demonstrate His power in this earth. This is what He instructed us to pray for, that His will would be done on earth as it is in heaven. Believe me, this does not ordinarily happen. It happens when we pray and never give up. Will the son of man find faith in the earth? That depends upon how you and I respond to Him in our present circumstances. He has freely given us His Word to rely on, and in that trust we obtain the power to walk in it.

In recent years a general dissatisfaction with present conditions in our lives and the world around us has developed in many. This is a good sign! Now we can come before God in repentance and faith towards His ability to save us! Sometimes even in weeping and brokenness we must approach Him, that we might find His desire. From the scripture as well as personal experience we know that His desire for us is good, but we have too often interfered with His will by enforcing our own. By realigning ourselves with Him, we enter into His Kingdom, and the blessing and power that only He can offer. Here is a dimension wherein an abundance of all that we need most is found!

A dangerous condition develops when we become so preoccupied with the positive things that are happening, that we become overly content and satisfied. If Jesus was as positive as some believers are today He would not have found it necessary to die on the cross! He would only have needed to instruct His followers to look for the good and ignore the bad. Then those who were in a position to lift up the poor, sick, oppressed and ignorant would not have taken on the challenge. Having found their own personal peace and contentment, why should they risk their lives and their reputations? After all, they were the chosen of God — weren’t they?

You are probably thankful that this was not the case. Jesus did die on the cross. The apostles did give their lives to share the good news of the kingdom to the world. And you and I are going to continue in this great tradition! Hear the Word of God as it penetrates into your heart and shakes your very being! Tremble at His Voice as it calls you to a deeper and more intimate walk with Him. Awaken to the great purpose He has called you unto and move into it one step at a time, with every fiber of your being devoted to it! Listen intently as He lovingly and patiently directs your footsteps in the Way, the Truth and the Life!

This is a time that cries out for miracles. The world needs to see a demonstration of God’s power, but no more than we do. Our friends and families are in crises. Our cities, our nation, and our world need to find hope. That hope is in Jesus Christ, and He has chosen you and me to be distributors of it! This is not a time to reminisce of the great healing evangelists of past and present generations, or conjure up images of ourselves following in their steps. If we can obtain inspiration from others and their walking with God, that is helpful. But we must never become distracted from the specific purpose He has chosen for us. As each one stands in his place in Christ, holding on to the promise of His Life, miracles will happen.

Today there is someone near you that you can help. Perhaps just a phone call or visit is all that is needed. Maybe an hour in prayer for that person will be more effective. The point is: nothing will happen if you do not make yourself available to God. All He needs is your willingness. You will be amazed with what He is capable of doing through you when you simply present yourself to Him for His service!

Some of us carry a burden for broken families. Others feel the pain of those who suffer physically. If God puts a desire in you to defend the helpless, respond to it. All of us must work in our own circle of influence, with our own unique spiritual and natural gifts. In this way we can answer to the overall need, giving Jesus Christ to others.

Never give up in your desire to see the righteousness, peace and joy of the Lord revealed in everyday circumstances. Cling to His promise and thank Him for choosing you to participate with Him in the transformation of your generation! As part of the living Body of Christ, you are a vital force to be reckoned with. When faith, hope and love begin to spring forth, the walls of sickness, death, hopelessness and injustice will be driven back. Those who have chosen to lay down their lives unto His will, shall have the thrill of seeing the impossible accomplished. Their reward will be the satisfaction of knowing that they believed in their God and never gave up.

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