When Darkness Approaches

Do you have a raging, dark storm quickly approaching you?

Do not be afraid.

God doesn’t only reveal Himself to us in wonderful worship services where even the impossible seems like child’s play for God to accomplish.

Most of the time it is in the midst of extreme danger and darkness that God reveals Himself to us. In these times He intends to test us, to show us what is in our hearts. He already knows what is in us, but He wants us to see for ourselves what is in us.

The storms of life are intended by the devil to “kill, steal, and destroy” us, (John 10:10) but it is God’s intention to reveal to us what is in us. He also wants to reveal to us what is in His heart, His love for us.

“When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear

Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.’

The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.”

📖 Exodus‬ ‭20:18-21‬

See you at the altar of prayer, located in the center of that coming storm. Get ready to have a lot of revelation, of self and of God.

Do not be afraid.

✝️ #PastorsTip

 

The Jesus Renewal: “Come Away with Me”

A Daily Leadership Essentials Quote
from Veritas Leadership Journal at HeartPathJournal.net

image-5

Church Boards: Consider refreshing your church’s staff by sending them on a get-away for renewal, beyond the easy reach of those whom they serve on a daily basis. Jesus planned that with His own Apostles who had just returned from a ministry tour.

“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them,

Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’

So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.”

( djh / “Come Away with Me” / Mark 6:30-32 )

image-5

#PastorsTip #DLE

Fashionable Christian Spirituality

The church seems to be led by the Holy Spirit through decade-long (decadal) seasons of topical emphasis. For example:

🔸The 1980’s seems to have been “Purification of Church Leadership” (multiple high profile ministers had their sin exposed);

🔸The 1990’s seems to have been “Calling the Church to Prayer” (multiple prayer movements and hot spots of revival that emphasized both group and individual prayer as a ministry of each church);

🔸The 2000’s seems to have been “Let The Worship Arise” (multiple churches had their fresh worship music permeate the global church);

🔸The 2010’s have multiple streams of emphasis that are gaining momentum.

It is exciting when the Holy Spirit moves the church in refreshing emphases and these subjects should always be recognized and emphasized. Each subject may have a season of emphasis, but just because a transition is made to a new emphasis does not mean that we can now neglect the previous ones. Each emphasis should be incorporated into our corporate and personal lifestyle.

There is a danger that we as Americans need to be aware of, and it is this: We are so fashion minded in everything that we wear, drive, listen to, watch, eat, etc. that we can easily treat the movements of the Holy Spirit like a fashion that appears and then we can throw it out or remodel for the next approaching fashion season.

The seasons of the Holy Spirit’s emphasis are not fashion statements. We should never hear someone mention “purity” or “prayer” or “worship” and respond with a “that is so out dated” and “we have moved on.” Neither should we get stuck in one season for the rest of our lives because “that season was real revival!”

Should we emphasize what the Spirit is saying or doing? Absolutely! Each season should be allowed to have its fullest impact upon our lives, and we should fully integrate them into our core being. What we should not do is run around looking for the “latest thing” just for the purpose of excitement, or for the adulation from some of the “slower folks” who aren’t “fashion-conscious” of spiritual things.

“Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop, some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

~ Mark 4:20

image.jpeg

#PastorsTip #Mark4 #Fashion #Spiritual #Christian #Revival #Emphasis #Prayer #Worship #Purification

Spousal Appreciation Renewal

A couple may be dependable, faithful, and loving to one another, and yet it is within this context that Appreciation can still deteriorate to mere Expectation.

Appreciation is a positive feeling of gratitude that we experience when our spouse does something for us that we do not [secretly or openly] demand of them in our relationship. Even the smallest of things can result in a sizable positive feeling of gratitude.

Expectation is when we [secretly or openly] demand something to be done for us because of the relationship. Unfulfilled expectations are a bitter feeling that we experience when our spouse does not fulfill our [secret or open] demands. Completely fulfilled Expectations never produce the same feelings as Appreciation, at best they trigger a neutral bland feeling, which makes the relationship feel blah.

As for my use of the term “demand,” some would resist the thought that they demand anything in their relationship. Well, let them tell themselves that the next Valentines Day, Birthday, and Christmas when their spouse suggests that no “gifts” be given to each other on those occasions.

Some might say that gifts on those special days are tradition and not their “demand” of the relationship. Again, if they did not receive gifts on those special days, would their feelings be neutral, or that of bitterly unfulfilled and slighted?

My point here is simple, and it’s not to point the finger. It is however to shine a flashlight so that we can see ourselves in the dark mirror and be genuinely honest with what we see in ourselves. If we are feeling gratitude as a direct result of our relationship, we are likely people of Appreciation and our spouse is free of our [secret or open] demands called Expectations.

I have looked in the mirror and have seen a change within me that I want to make. I want to starve, uproot, and burn my tree of Expectation; I want to plant, nurture, and be blessed by a tree of Appreciation. If we are cultivating two trees in our heart at the same time, both Appreciation and Expectation, the Expectation tree will soon overpower the Appreciation tree. We must eradicate (with extreme prejudice!) our own trees of Expectations.

The Book of Proverbs speaks directly to many matters of the heart, including those of married couples. Here is a passage that speaks to us directly as couples; it isn’t only referring to physical intimacy, but to the big picture of keeping the relationship fresh throughout the years of living life together:

“Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love.”

~ Proverbs‬ ‭5:18-19‬

In nature, most trees absorb carbon dioxide and other potentially harmful gasses from the air and release oxygen. One large tree can supply a day’s supply of oxygen for four people.

In our analogy, the trees of Appreciation absorb potentially harmful feelings such as unfulfilled expectations, and release gratitude into the atmosphere of the marriage. If in nature one tree can provide oxygen for four people, think of how rich the atmosphere of a home will be if there are two trees of Appreciation for just two people!

image

#PastorsTip #Proverbs5 #Appreciation #Expectation #Gratitude #Unfulfilled #Fulfilled #Marriage #Relationships

It’s Our Blood On Our Hands

Our own personal sin does extreme violence to our soul, causing an unrecoverable wound that develops an incurable infection, destroying our soul’s immune system that makes us susceptible to the viruses of Satan’s temptations, deceptions, and lies. Without a Divine intervention, the end result of our own personal sin is an existence of suffering in this world, followed by an eternity in a hell, a final separation from God that the human mind cannot comprehend.

“Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear.

But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.

For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken falsely, and your tongue mutters wicked things.”

~ Isaiah 59:1-3

We have our own blood upon our own hands due to our own sin. No other tragedy, suffering, and sorrow that may come our way in this lifetime is ever really comparable to what we have done to ourselves.

And yet we have this human propensity to rage against God when extreme violence, illness, or tragedy comes our way as a result of others’ sins against us, or just seemingly random events. Our being stabbed, raped, robbed, divorced, falsely accused, exposed to HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases, abused physically and emotionally, widowed by a murderer, laced with cancer, gripped by organ failure, bankrupted by medical bills… the list can be long. However, whatever might happen to us in this lifetime is never as big and tragic as what our own personal sin has done to our own body and soul.

Perhaps you beg to differ because you have suffered some very heinous and totally reprehensible things in your life that are not a direct result of your own sin. I won’t begin to compare scars with you, but I do make the point out of some personal experience, not callous ignorance.

Please understand, I am not diminishing what we have suffered. In fact, it is the largeness of what we have suffered to which I am drawing our attention. Our own personal sin has done more violence and tragedy to our own body and soul than what anyone else (human or demon) or anything else has possibly done to us.

We may not physically die for a few years or even for several decades, but the violence perpetrated by our sin upon our own body and soul still results in the biggest, most traumatic thing that can ever be done to us. So, the next time something bad happens in our life and we are tempted to rage at God, let’s stop and reconsider how much more we have done to ourselves than what anyone else or anything else has done.

In either case, God desperately wants to hear from us. He has a plan for us that will change everything that we have done to ourselves, and that others have done to us.

“They will say of Me, ‘In the Lord alone are deliverance and strength.

All who have raged against Him will come to Him and be put to shame. But all the descendants of Israel will find deliverance in the Lord and will make their boast in Him.”

~ ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭45:24-25‬

image

#PastorsTip #Isaiah45 #Rage #Violence #Sin #Sickness #Death #NewLife

Reinstalling Our Factory Parameters

When God created Adam & Eve, He encoded into the man and the woman’s “operating system” a moral code with godly parameters within which desires were to be fulfilled.

Male and Female were designed to enjoy life, liberty, and to love God and each other.

When Adam and Eve abused their liberty by seeking the fulfillment of tempting desires by going outside of the parameters of their God-given operating system, a sin-virus was introduced to their system which corrupted many aspects of their hearts and minds.

Through Jesus Christ we can begin to reinstall the factory parameters of our operating system, thus diminishing the self destructive patterns of our corrupted souls.

This requires a conscious deletion of the corrupted patterns, and a conscious return to godly patterns and parameters.

“Put to death… whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.

You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”‭‭

( Colossians‬ ‭3:5-10‬ )

Let’s Reformat, Reinstall, and Reboot our lives in accordance with God’s operating manual, the Scriptures.

image