It’s Christmas Time

 
The original intent of celebrating Christmas revolves around the event the Apostle Paul described so succinctly in Galatians 4:4-5. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. This time of all times, the arrival on earth of God in the flesh is rivaled only by the time of His crucifixion and resurrection 33 ½ years later. Our watches and calendars measure Chronos time which is sequential and quantitative; telling us when things happen but the incarnation was a Kairos moment. Though prophesied 700 years before it was still an unexpected, underestimated qualitative time when heaven invaded earth and human destiny intersected history.  Let’s celebrate Christmas time with that in mind.


Demonstration & Declaration

(Sharefaith App Image)For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.  I Corinthians 4:20
 

As people in whom the Spirit of the resurrected Christ dwells, we are commissioned to not only bring the world a message but an opportunity to encounter God. The gospel that is the power of God to save will only be believed by many through supernatural demonstrations. Paul said the Gentiles became obedient when he fully preached the gospel of Christ in word and deed, in mighty signs and wonders and by the power of the Spirit of God. If we are not contending for more than we see now we have settled for less than Christ paid for.



Becoming a Gapstander

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I received an e-mail several years ago that ended with this statement; “Life is not the way it’s supposed to be; it’s the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.” At the time I thought Jesus didn’t make the ultimate sacrifice to provide a way for us to just cope as life spirals out of God’s will. Israel often had seasons where life was not the way it was supposed to be either.

Ezekiel 22 tells us that the priests were profaning the law and the Lord, the princes were preying on the people, the prophets were prophesying false visions and lies and the people were oppressing the poor. All of society from the top to the bottom was ripe for judgment but God’s first response was to look for a “gapstander”. So I sought for a man 

The Lord desires to show mercy and He looks for us to stand in the gap between the way things are and the way things should be. Instead of agreeing with the naysayers and faithslayers let’s be gapstanders for America’s future, that it would yet fulfill the purpose in the earth that God intended.

 



Courage Required

 

 

Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid.  Mark 10:32

 If you are a Christian and you are bored you may want to check the distance between you and Jesus. His disciples were simultaneously amazed and afraid, but never bored. Amazing things await those who have the courage to follow closely. Learn what you need to, prayerfully make the necessary plan of action then take the next step with the attitude of boldness. Knowledge unapplied is no more effective than ignorance. Your courage to risk it, step out of your comfort zone into the unknown, and trust God alone is the dynamic, moment-by-moment, wonderful adventure you were born again for. Like the Promised Land, the land of promises fulfilled belongs only to the courageous.  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:9


Thanksgiving & Praise

 The late Derek Prince once said, “If you only have ten minutes to pray make eight of them praise”. Faith never probates praise and thanksgiving. Faith is “fully persuaded that He who promised is well able to perform” and thanks God in advance.   I’ll bet “thanks Father” garners more attention in heaven than “please God” any day. Let’s determine to maintain an attitude of gratitude and be in that company of believers who “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise”. Pray for peace, prosperity, power and protection for the body of believers called Hope Fellowship Church, our leaders, our community and country.   And however long you pray, praise and give thanks at least as long, “for He is good and His mercy endures forever”.


You Can Do This!

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.  Hebrews 12:1

One Sunday morning during worship as we were singing the song You Are Beautiful, the line in it that says, “I see your face and you’re beautiful” seemed to open up another realm to the eyes of my heart.  The faces of saints who have gone on before us in the last 50 to 60 years or so began coming into my view. They were preachers and teachers from across the spectrum of the body of Christ and their faces were glowing with His glory. I thought of Hebrews 12:1 that says we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. They were not rah-rah cheering us on, they were almost pleading, pulling on my heart and saying, “Come on! You can do this! You’ve got to move the ball further down the field. We paid a price to move it but now it’s your turn. You’ve got to move it further.”  I saw their faces as they were coaxing us and I felt their passionate yearning to see Jesus get his full reward.  With tears in my eyes I surrendered to a lifelong pursuit of honoring their request.


The Kingdom is Within Reach!

Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32

Jesus commanded His disciples … as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’ 
Matt 10:7.  The kingdom of heaven is coming in greater measure but it is also current.  It is no longer regulated to another time and place; no longer far off and untouchable. Father God is not dangling something unattainable in front of us to tease us.  Jesus told us to seek first the kingdom of God because He made it within reach.  He also taught His disciples to pray that by its coming earth would model heaven. Isaiah said it would eventually look like this; They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD. As we  come to know the heart of the Father we learn that lack, limitation, disease, death and destruction are all trespassers and we are deputized and empowered by the Holy Spirit to bind them and invite the kingdom of heaven to come instead.


The Increasing Kingdom

 

Wherever Jesus went He effectively brought kingdom impact & influence with messages & ministry that demonstrated the supernatural; and He commissioned His disciples to do the same. But in Acts 4, they were threatened with horrible things if they continued to teach and minister in Jesus name. Faced with dark, demonic religious resistance they knew the key to kingdom increase would require more than just greater effort on their part so they gathered together & prayed this way; Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus. Rather than backing down they made healing, signs and wonders central to their gospel message and turned the world upside down. The world is waiting for the church to do the same today.