Recently a video has been circulating online of three-year-old Hannah praying with her parents before bedtime. This is no “Now I lay me down to sleep” rehearsed kind of praying!
Hannah not only makes requests, but she makes declarations and praise. She starts off slowly, and then the passion begins to rise. She goes on for several minutes with her mom saying, “That’s right, Hannah. Yes, He is!” This little one is learning to be a spiritual powerhouse! Continue reading
Many people living near the ocean enjoy crabbing as well as fishing. Once the first crab is caught, it is placed in a bucket and is likely to crawl out. However, when a second crab is placed in the bucket, the crab-catcher knows that neither will escape. The reason is that when one crab will attempt to crawl out, the other one will pull it other back down. Neither crab will allow the other to get out.
The crab is not getting out itself, but it does not want the other one to get out either! So both stay in the bucket and become somebody’s lunch.
Seeing what Israel had done in battle against the Amorites, King Balak of Moab was afraid that his people were next in Israel’s strategy of intended conquests through the wilderness. Worried that his army was not able to withstand the onslaught, he sought supernatural help to oppose them.
Balak sent messengers with payment to the highly-regarded pagan prophet, Balaam, who had a reputation for releasing blessings or curses. If Balaam would call upon his spiritual resources and curse Israel, then perhaps Moab could drive them back and defeat them. Continue reading
A man told me of the time he was painting the spiral staircase and said, “Lord, I’m not going to paint the bottom of the three lowest stairs.”
As clear as a bell, he heard the Lord say, “We both know someone who will notice.” Sure enough, later on, his wife came in, inspected the paint job, and said, “You didn’t paint the bottom of the last three stairs.”
I wonder how many of us carry on such conversations with the Lord. Continue reading
As the plague was devastating Jerusalem, King David prayed for mercy. The Angel of the Lord commanded the prophet Gad to instruct David to build an altar and offer a sacrifice on Ornan’s site. When Ornan heard of this, he generously offered to freely provide the oxen, wood, and wheat.
But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely buy it for the full price; for I will not take what is yours for the LORD, or offer a burnt offering which costs me nothing.” Continue reading
A few years ago, I saw that some confusion began to develop regarding the role of the local church and also fivefold ministers when it came to the marketplace.
Fivefold ministers: apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher (See Eph 4:11)
For years, the expectation was generally held that ministry was done by those in the pulpit and inside the church building. Then the understanding came that all are called to some form of ministry, while most are not called to pulpit ministry.
Whereas those who have entered into this revelation are finding much freedom and joy as the Lord works with and through them apart from the pulpit or even the church service, there is a common misconception about what quantifies spiritual ministry. Continue reading
If you watched the science-fiction movie, The Matrix, you may recall a scene in which the main characters are sitting down to a meal of mush as their only food, day in and day out, which was said to be nutritionally everything a body needed. One of the men commented how it just did not satisfy him the way a sizzling steak did!
Although not limited to a daily meal of mush as in the movie, so many people do not allow themselves the pleasure of enjoying what they eat. Continue reading
In this season, many are dissatisfied with the current operation of ministry found on Sunday mornings. They long for the corporate experience of worship as the people of God in which His presence is felt and His power is demonstrated. No longer satisfied with the basic milk of spiritual food, they long to be fed something they can sink their teeth into — something meaty which gives them pause and makes them stronger.
God in His wisdom knew we would need help if we were ever going to mature and become conformed to the image of Christ. So Jesus left His mantle of leadership here on the earth and called men and women to take up that mantle and enter into His service. Continue reading
As the man swung the axe, the axehead slipped off the handle and fell into the river. He was immediately distressed for he had borrowed it.
The prophet Elisha asked where it fell. Then he cut a stick and tossed it in the river in same spot and the axehead floated! (2 Kings 6)
Does that story make you wonder why he did that? Why didn’t he just command the axehead to float the way Elijah commanded fire to fall from heaven? Continue reading
There are a lot of reasons why people discourage others from pursuing their dreams. Many seem to be altruistic – an effort to protect someone from failure or pain. But we can’t protect someone from the pain of life, and certainly not at the cost of their dreams.
Jesus did not get his identity from what people said about him, he got his identity from what the Father said about him!
All things are possible – so, do you believe?
Two Responses to Challenge
God knew that after 400 years of slavery, the Israelites were not ready to enter their Promised Land. They needed to have a new perspective of who they were and of the God who had delivered them. In His mercy, with the cloud by day and the fire by night, He led them along an alternate route, rather than a direct one.
After a time, they grew discouraged in the wilderness because of the way. (Num 21:4) Their trek was longer and more challenging than they had expected. They fell into ingratitude and grumbling towards the man they had once praised for his vision and leadership. Mutinous plans to return to Egypt were formed, but God squashed the rebellion. He intended that they move forward into their inheritance as a sovereign nation. Continue reading
Are you on hold? Wishing and hoping?
What kind of life are you waiting to have?
“Someday my prince will come.”
“Someday my ship will come in.”
“Someday I will be happy.”
“I’m just waiting on God.”
Did that last statement bother you? Numerous people use that last one as an excuse for why they don’t have what they want now.
It was a catastrophe.
David and his warriors returned to their home base at Ziklag and were shocked to discover that the city had been raided and burned and that all their wives and children were carried away captive. The men were in great anguish and, in their pain, blamed David and were ready to kill him.
David was greatly distressed. His own family had also been taken, and his life was now in danger from his own men. He was grieving and at a loss what to do.
At that point, David made the choice to strengthen himself in the Lord. He did not wallow in grief-stricken self-pity. As he stood alone, he turned to the One he knew to be a refuge in the day of trouble. He encouraged himself in the Lord.
Why was David alone able to find strength and encouragement?
One observation I have heard visitors to the States often make is that Americans are always in such a hurry, and that we don’t seem to know how to relax. In contrast, people in some countries work fewer hours and have much longer vacations. In some cultures, a nap is just part of daily life. The idea of “hurry” and “overtime” just doesn’t fit in with my idea of Tahiti.
When was the last time you took a break to just enjoy a beautiful day? Can you take a real day off? A real vacation? Do you feel guilty when you do? Continue reading
The prophet Samuel declared that the shepherd boy, David, was destined to be the king of Israel. After Samuel went on his way, David returned to taking care of his father’s sheep.
In those days of waiting, God was at work, preparing David to be a mighty warrior king. Long before he faced Goliath, he fought and killed a lion and a bear who were after the flock. The lonely days of watching his father’s sheep were spent developing courage, faithfulness, and a heart of worship. He was being prepared to rule the Lord’s sheep, the people of Israel.
Relationships take work! In dealing with people, we are sometimes hurt by their flaws or sins. We are then left with the choice of how to respond. It can be really complicated at times!
“The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.”(Prov 15:28)
Thoughtful believers want to walk in Christlikeness, however tempted to attack or withdraw. God calls us to relationship and fellowship, knowing that we will rub against one another from time to time. We might be called on to extend mercy and overlook a wrong, or it may be time to speak the truth in love.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” (Eccl. 3:1)
Just as the earth experiences the change of seasons, so do we, spiritually speaking.
In the spring of our walk with the Lord, everything is fresh and alive. We were born again into spring, as spring lambs, to whom every day is warm sunshine in the love of God, and refreshing showers of joy in the Holy Spirit. Life is exciting and couldn’t be better! Then the seasons begin to change and summer appears. It is a time of much work and the promise of harvest. The days are long and glorious. We begin to mature and gain strength, walking in authority and spiritual gifts. At this time, we begin to take on the characteristics of mature sheep, bearing wool, producing for the Master. It is a time of exhilaration in the things of God.
But somehow, in all of our growth and learning, we didn’t yet understand about the seasons of the Lord, even though nature and the Scriptures teach it. We didn’t know that autumn and winter were coming… Continue reading
You have been given the ability to be an avenue of refreshing to others. There is life-giving water from the well of salvation within that you can draw out to give to someone else. (Is. 12:3)
We are living in a time in which people need encouragement. God is sending people your way who need a refreshing drink. Jesus said, speaking of the Spirit, that from your innermost being will flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38-39)
You may not think you have anything to offer that discouraged or troubled one. But as you pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, the Spirit of God will begin flow out of you. You are the conduit to release the love and power of God. You have something to give. Seek to be one who encourages and strengthens. It will return back to you.
“A word in due season, how good it is!” (Prov. 15:23)
Be sure to watch for the next announcement for the Ministering Spiritual Gifts Seminar or contact us to schedule it for your group.
Surrounded by guests at his birthday banquet, King Herod swore to the dancing girl that he would give her whatever she wanted, even up to half his kingdom. Prompted by her mother, she asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter.
Grieved at her request, but because his oath was made in front of all his guests, he agreed. And John was killed.
Keeping your promise or staying with your original decision is a usually a good idea. Far too many promises are made and broken these days.
But sometimes the initial decision, like Herod’s, is faulty. For many people, it’s just easier to stay with the first decision, rather than go to the trouble of attempting a new solution. Additionally, the desire to save face and avoid embarrassment fights against admitting that a change is now needed. This is pride and foolish consistency.
Life is a great teacher. And the older you get, hopefully, the more you realize how much more you still need to learn.
If we apply our hearts to gaining wisdom, we can actually become even wiser than our teachers. But first, appreciate the wisdom your teachers have gained.
God has established the laws of natural realm and the laws of the spiritual. Paying heed to these laws can keep you from serious harm — the law of gravity for example.
I have met so many Christians with little to no understanding of spiritual laws, and who are bewildered and despairing because of those unknown laws at work within their every day life.
In a public place, we often overhear conversations that reveal a great deal about a person’s life, attitudes, and priorities. They talk as though no one were there to hear. Indeed, people on cell phones often talk louder than usual, oblivious to who is nearby.
On the job or at church or at home, we may have heard statements about ourselves or those we love — remarks we were not expected to hear.
“Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name.” (Malachi 3:16)
When the Lord listens to your conversations, does He hear His name? Or is it only at church?
Mention His name today in your conversations. Give Him something to listen to and remember.
This article was taken from a teaching by David Alsobrook of Sure Word Ministries:
What is something almost all of nature abides in? Stillness. Quietness. Confidence. God’s will is that we should be that way too. Focusing on what might happen in the future is “what iffing” (pardon the grammar). “What if such and such happens tomorrow?” “What if the check doesn’t come in by the 15th?” “What if I get farther behind on my bills, what will I do then?” “What if he doesn’t keep his word to me and then I’m left without any recourse?” Many millions of people “what if” their lives away, and so very much of it never materializes anyway. Continue reading