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A Storm is ComingI was recently blessed to share, at the Partners in Ministry Fall Retreat, on three critical steps Christians can take to prepare for the coming storm. As the message was coming to a close, the LORD revealed something very exciting – almost like a vision. I share it with you here for your encouragement.

In regards to Matthew 7:24-27, there will soon be many in the church who are suffering from one storm or another. They will be looking for those who Jesus has made to be a light and a refuge. If you have been hearing and doing “these sayings of mine”, they will come to you. What will be your response?

Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” (John 20:21) He also said (earlier), “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” That is what we are to say to those who come looking for refuge and light: “Follow me to the One Who can make you.” We are to lead them out of their conformity with the world, to be transformed into the very image of the glory of the Lord. (Romans 12:2, 2Corinthians 3:18)

The LORD showed me, and encouraged me to share, that everyone in that meeting will have the opportunity to lead a dozen or more people through this transformation; to participate in God’s way for making disciples; to help them find the normal Christian life; the life that glorifies the Father.

This assignment will radically change the life of everyone that answers the call. It will require sacrifice; and it will be the best investment we have ever made.

I am convinced that many who read this newsletter are being offered this same opportunity. I encourage you to get prepared; not just for the storm in your own life, but to help others find their way from the captivity of the world, to the liberty of life in Christ Jesus.

Let me encourage you, for your edification, to explore the storm preparation articles on the inLight Adventures blog. Once you get to the blog site, search for “A Storm is Coming”. You should get a list; in reverse chronological order. I have also collected these in an eBook that is available on most of the major online outlets (e.g., Barnes and Noble, Apple iBooks, kobo, Scribd).

Please let me know how I can further help you prepare for this exciting adventure.

Humbly yours and forever His,

264898981_0514e29018In a previous article, I challenged the theology of a particular song: At the Cross. My primary concern was with the notion of our bowing at the Cross, as if that was the end of God’s necessary work in a Christian’s life. If you have not read it, please do so now. It is more important than what follows.

The songs we sing say a lot about the way we live out our faith; and they can outright affect the way we live. Words – just by themselves – are powerful instruments of influence. Supported by music, presented by leaders, and sung by seekers of the truth, they have great power to impact our hearts and souls. And they can be wrong – very wrong!

I fear that the desire to attract and entertain creates an opportunity for compromise. The fact that something sounds good, and may move hearts to worship, does not give license to error in our theology. As another example, consider this lyric from How Deep the Father’s Love for Us:

“His dying breathe has brought me life.”

As pointed out in the previous article, we are not saved by His death, but by His life. Romans 5:8-10 makes this abundantly clear.

Regrettably, it gets worse. Read the rest of this entry »

A Storm is ComingRecognizing that a storm is coming; and recognizing that the house that stands in the storm is the house built by the man who “hears these saying of mine and does them”; and recognizing that you cannot do something you have not heard; I am searching out the Sermon on the Mount (SOTM) – again – for the sayings that my Master would have me do. I hope you will join me.

This is not the first time I have endeavored to understand these sayings of Jesus. Here are a few past discoveries that will help in our searching out the matter now:

  1. The SOTM is filled with kingdom mystery. A mystery may mean something different to different people; and different things to the same person at different times. In any case, it must mean something. Each one is responsible to search out the meaning. The Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ are our teachers.
  2. In much the same way that the Law was given to reveal our inability to please God, The SOTM exposes our inability to live the normal Christian life. Only Jesus Christ can live that life. This does not excuse us to live some other life. Rather, it helps focus our attention on the way God intends to save us (Romans 5:10).
  3. While everything Jesus says is ultimately actionable, some sayings are more so than others. For example, “let him have your cloak also” is easily translated into a particular and ubiquitous action; whereas, poor in spirit is more about attitude and belief, manifesting itself in differing behaviors.

    At this point, I believe God will focus us on the more actionable sayings. However, it should be noted that the Beatitudes are positioned at the beginning of the SOTM for a reason. Giving up my cloak to someone that is suing me for my tunic is only possible for someone that is poor in spirit.

The first of these articles has been posted: These Sayings of Mine – Do Not Swear at All. Those following will be published under the same “These Sayings of Mine” banner. The Good Lord willing, we will group them all together in an eBook. You can help with this by asking questions, challenging my thinking and providing additional input. God speaks in community; even virtual community. I expect He will use you to make me a more faithful steward of the mysteries of God.

Humbly yours and forever His,

A Storm is ComingFor most Christians, the Day of Pentecost was/is the day the Holy Spirit “came in power” upon those who were obediently waiting. This is true, but not the whole story. For many Christians today, Pentecost is about what we have been given. Again true, but limited… and a bit self-centered.

What if Pentecost is about something else; not something different, but something else important to the kingdom of God? Have you ever wondered why God chose the Festival of Weeks for the promised coming of the Holy Spirit? Have you ever considered His perspective of Pentecost? Have you ever considered what was in it for Him?

The Festival of Weeks was one of the three great celebrations of the Jewish year; given by God for “a new grain offering to the LORD” (Leviticus 23:15-21), “the firstfruits of wheat harvest” (Exodus 34:22). It was (is?) about the harvest. Is it possible that Pentecost is as much about the harvest of souls for God’s kingdom as it is about what we have been given (as great as that gift is)?

The Festival of Weeks was also the time of commemoration for the giving of the Law to Moses. In Jeremiah 31:33, we learn that God intends to write His law on our hearts. We know from John 14:26 that the Holy Spirit is our teacher. Is it possible that Pentecost, from God’s perspective, is as much about our “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded” (Matthew 28:20) as what we personally receive from the Holy Spirit?

Many in the church are crying out for revival in America; for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Why? I can’t help but wonder if our subconscious hope is for the return of “the good old days”; a day when Christians were respected, protected and comfortable. Could it be that God is waiting for us to align our purpose with His perspective?

Just something to think about.

Humbly yours and forever His,

A Storm is ComingThe way we think about the United States of America and the church that resides here is becoming ever more important. Only when we come to understand the relationship and separation of the kingdom of God and America, can we rightly assess the value and danger of our patriotism. An important question is coming to the foreground: In this day, can we give our hearts’ allegiance to both America and the kingdom of God?

Many of America’s values and beliefs have become contrary to those in the kingdom of God. Two of the most damaging are the spirit of independence and the belief that man has the right to establish his own rule. Without God, the tensions between the two become unmanageable. The United State of America is swiftly becoming an example and object lesson in this regard. Read the rest of this entry »

A Storm is ComingWith a storm on the way, it is more important than ever to find the center of God will. That place is the safest place. It is the place where chaos turns to adventure; where fear has no place; where our houses will stand as a refuge for others. This is the place we want to be; so how do we find it?

God’s eternal will is for the restoration of the three things that He lost in man’s rebellion: His reign over our hearts, His intimacy with us, and His habitation in us. I believe that our pursuit of His purpose in these three areas will supernaturally propel us into His will for this strategic season.

This article relates to the restoration of our intimacy with God. The articles and assessments for the remainder of this series can be found at the following locations:

Our Preparation as His Habitation

Our Preparation under His Reign

Many in the body of Christ are recognizing the inevitability of the storm. That recognition has created urgency for preparation; and a desire to know how we are doing in that preparation. Assessing our preparation for intimacy with Him is critically important.

Is there a biblical way to assess our preparedness, and receive wisdom and revelation in the ways God would have us strengthen our house? I believe so. In fact, we are encouraged and commanded to do exactly that: Read the rest of this entry »

A Storm is ComingThe vast majority of the articles God uses me to write are to encourage, edify and equip. This one is different. It may encourage, edify and equip you; but that is not my primary intent. I am writing it because I need your help; help in discerning what God is trying to say to me, and to the body of Christ, about our wealth and the coming storm. I am writing with the hope of hearing the LORD’s voice in community.

To begin, let me establish a baseline for the meaning of “wealth”. Here are some statistics that I have heard over the past few years:

  1. Those living at or above the poverty line in America are in the 95th percentile of the wealthiest people in the world. In other words, 95% of the people in the world live on less than the poverty level in America.
  2. Similarly, those that live at or above the median American income are in the 99th percentile of the wealthiest people in the world.

The vast majority of Americans are “wealthy” when compared to the rest of the world – including most of our Christian brethren. These stats don’t tell the whole story, but they do help us appreciate what God has entrusted to those of us that live in this nation.

Now, there are two particular passages of Scripture that have been haunting me for the last few years. Read the rest of this entry »

A Storm is ComingWhen natural storms come, the wicked prey on the helpless. Scams and price gouging are common themes in every disaster. The chaos gives opportunity for the strong to take advantage of the weak.

The spiritual storm that lays on our horizon, and the chaos it will bring, will give the same opportunity to our enemies. They will fight us tooth and nail to keep the knowledge of God hidden from His children and the world. The agents of deception are all around us.

So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Revelation 12:9

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.” Matthew 24:4

If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. James 1:26

So let’s take an eyes-open and honest inventory of the deceptors in our lives: Satan, the world, and even our own minds are potential sources of deception. Of course, this is true in every minute of every hour of every day in a Christian’s life. We don’t always notice; for that is the nature of deception – it is… well, deceptive.

The thing about storms is they tend to intensify the opportunity for deception; particularly if the storm we see approaching is a part of the end-of-days tribulations that will usher in the Day of the Lord, and “The Tribulation”. Jesus, Paul and Peter warned of such things. Read the rest of this entry »

A Storm is ComingBut to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  Therefore He says:

“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”

…And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ… Ephesians 4:7-11

 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit…
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all… to another prophecy… But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. 1Corinthians 12:4-11

Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy… he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. 1Corinthians 14:1-3

There has never been a greater need for the gift of prophecy in the church than the season we are now facing. This gift, in all its forms, has been dismissed and abused, shunned and neglect.

I was not raised in a stream that talked much about prophecy; and I recognize that I am not an expert. But this I know, prophecy is a gift of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. It is time we searched it out seriously for our personal preparation and for the edification, exhortation and comfort of those in our spheres of influence.

As a start, let me offer a brief perspective on the ways prophecy has been offered as a gift to the children of God. Read the rest of this entry »

istock_2880338large_governmentTo those with ears to hear and eyes to see:

The America that was established by God to be the protection for His children; that they would have freedom to walk in the good work He prepared for them; this America has become the idol of the church. Please, think about this for a moment. Where do most in the church turn for security, prosperity, comfort and entertainment? Who influences our thinking and the way we do things? Are we counter-culture (changing the culture around us), or sub-culture (be changed by it)? Whose disciples have we become?

To those called to lead the church out of Her idolatry:

First, you must understand that leaders in the church are not just religious professionals. They are the followers of Jesus Christ that God has placed in positions of influence throughout society. To you, I plead: Consider your responsibility. Are you being a good and faithful steward? Or, have you compromised your commitment to the good work that God prepared for you – to glorify Him and prepare His Son’s Bride? Please, consider the awesome and eternal privilege and responsibility you are rejecting for your own glory and pleasure. Please, consider the eternal reward you are trading for such meager and temporary gain.

To those with a desire for restoration and transformation:

Repent and seek first the kingdom of God. Humble yourself. Deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow after Jesus. Reject the spirit of Babylon, the great harlot, who steals the hearts of God’s elect. Love the LORD your God with all you heart, mind, soul and strength. Find your platoon – those that will stand with you, encouraging and exhorting you to be all that you have been created to be. Submit to the power that God has towards you; the power that is working in you to will and do to His good pleasure. Become a disciple of the Master, and a steward of the mysteries of God.

Finally, please, please, please, let me know how I can help you in this regard. This is the desire of my heart.

Humbly yours and forever His,

P.S. Let me know if you need the Bible passages that support what I have shared here.

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