Read the Signs of the Times

Read the Signs of the Times

This article includes some recent sermon material and focuses specifically on the very recent death of Billy Graham. The excerpted pieces of sermons from the last month have some other information inserted because this is a thrilling time you absolutely must not miss and for which you should prepare.

Matt. 16:2-3 2He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; 3and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.

You can miss God even as He moves in your midst… if you have not set your heart on knowing Him…on seeking Him…on loving Him.  True Seekers will understand the outworking of the eternal will of God as it is being worked out in history. They will embrace it in their decisions on the way to their destiny. 

In that light, every thought, every word, every action takes on eternal repercussions.  Every decision is history in the making and eternity in the shaping.  Unsettling times and seasons need to be seen as God bringing all things together for good. (Rom 8:28) Read more…



Keepers of the Flame Priestly Declaration

 

PRIESTLY DEDICATION (Never allowing the flame to go out)

As a keeper of the flame, I dedicate, consecrate and commit myself to:

Building the altar by…

• Choosing a lifestyle of worship     • Abandoning myself totally to God     • Coming before Him wholeheartedly     • Paying the price of true worship

As a keeper of the flame, I dedicate, consecrate and commit myself to:

Offering the sacrifice by…

• Placing my total being on the altar as my sacrifice, dying to self     • Presenting the sacrifice of my hands, my time, my possessions, my work     • Deciding to obey as a doer and not just a hearer of the Word

As a keeper of the flame, I dedicate, consecrate and commit myself to:

Keeping the fire by…

• Being impassioned by a fiery love for God     Desperately pursuing God     • Maintaining the fire as the ultimate priority in my life     • Being consumed by the fire of purity and consecration     • Consecrating myself solely to Christ for His use

As a keeper of the flame, I dedicate, consecrate and commit myself to:

Releasing the fragrance by…

• That the living God will be pleased with all that I am     • That the changes of holiness worked in me by the altar, sacrifice and fire might attract the world to Christ     • That all of my life would manifest God’s love in me and through me to the Church and the world

Be aglow and burning with the Spirit!

Prayer for the Firstborn

Lord, bring times of refreshment on us. Loose a fresh breath of Your Spirit that we might be revived under that anointing that breaks every yoke – the anointing of Your Holy Son, that He might exercise, in us and through us, His ministry as Prophet, Priest and King, and His inheritance of the Double Portion and Overcomer’s Position.  Grant wisdom and understanding to us as the Church of the Firstborn.    

Judge of all the earth, loose the mantle of the prophet. Let us be crying with Jeremiah for the sins of the people; thundering with Elijah over the apathy and duplicity of faltering between two opinions and agonizing over the presence of Jezebel and Ahab; longing with Zechariah for the Spirit of “grace and supplication”; standing with John in the wilderness calling for repentance and making straight the way of the Lord.

Most Holy God, loose the anointing of the priest that we might offer the acceptable sacrifice, pronounce the blessing, and cleanse the leper. Take us past the outer court into Your Holy Presence – past the brazen altar and the washing of the waters. Take us through the divine illumination of Holy Spirit and the table of showbread to the golden altar of incense where our prayers might rise as sweet smelling incense. Rend the veil, Lord, that we might see You in all Your transcendent glory. Let us stand boldly before Your throne because of Christ until we find the fullness of mercy and help, and send us, Lord, back to the people to carry that grace and help to all.
 

As in the anointing of the priest, Lord, touch us first with the blood and then with the oil. Touch our ear that we might hear what the Spirit is saying. Touch our thumb that we, the priests, would be consecrated and the work we undertake approved in Your sight. Touch our big toe, the guiding member of our walk that it too would be cleansed and anointed.

God of Heaven and Earth, loose the anointing of the King, the authority of heaven in the ambassadorship of men. Raise us up first as a holy priesthood but also as a royal priesthood destined to reign with Christ our Faithful High Priest. Put a bold word of truth in our mouth, a proclamation of the King’s dominion and a demonstration of His will done now in the earth.

Fill us with Your generous Spirit that we should never fear again unto bondage but, instead, walk in power and love and a sound mind. Lord, rise up as a spirit of power, for the enemy comes in like a flood. Rise up as a Spirit of love, for the people of our land are sin-sick, dying, and in great need of help and grace. Rise up as a spirit of sound mind that in all this we might not sin against You but overcome every work of darkness.

Help us Holy Spirit to be about Father’s business. With a heart of compassion and a will of steel let us be about Father’s plan, purpose and design for the church, that through it, by the power at work in us which is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we could ask or think, we might make known to the principalities and powers the manifold wisdom of God.  Push out our tent pegs to enfold the double portion and direct the abundant distribution to the advance of the King’s dominion.

We agree with Your word, Father, that Your church is the pillar and bulwark of truth.  We confess that we have not always walked in this light. We repent. We turn from man’s plan, purpose and design and seek only Yours. We are Your people, called by Your name. We do humble ourselves and pray and seek Your Face and turn from our own wicked ways. Now, therefore, God of all Comfort, hear us, forgive our sin, and heal our land.

In the Name of Jesus, exalted above every principality and power, above every throne and dominion, above every name that is named, and above all authority in heaven, on earth and beneath the earth… Yes, in the mighty name of Jesus, Firstborn of God, we pray. Amen and Amen!

Download Your Personal Copy Here – Priestly Dedication and Prayer

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Establishing a Biblical Worldview

Are You Established in a Biblical Worldview in Your Life?

Worldview is one’s perspective on life. It is a comprehensive “Big picture” of the world via presuppose-tions, convictions, and values by which you try to understand and make sense of the world and life. It is the organization of your rationale in all you believe, interpret, and judge real. It is a lens which colors your vision and determines how you perceive the world around us.

Your world view is formed by: education; upbringing; culture; and the media you absorb. 

Every worldview deals with at least these 3 questions: 1) Where did we come from and why are we here?  2) What is wrong with the world?  3) How can we fix it?

The Bible poses radically different answers from all others. 1) We are God’s creation, made to govern the world and fellowship with Him. 2) We sinned against God and subjected the whole world to a curse. 3) God has redeemed the world by the sacrifice of His Son and will restore creation…    Read more…



Prophetic Alignment 2018

Prophetic Alignment 2018

We are crossing a threshold called the “fullness of time.” Gal 4:4 “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son.”  This is a day when many promises will be apprehended and divine destiny achieved. Our “kairos” is at hand (an appointed time for heaven and earth can align.)  Our prophetic destiny in God is in the “wind.”

We are promised a generation who will do “greater works.” (John 14:12) These will be the “sons of the Kingdom” who carry the 7-fold Spirit of God that rested on Jesus.  Those who heed this call and allow God’s pruning will begin to emerge with considerable anointing and authority for substantial advancement.

New wine: It is time to re-think, re-structure, and seek how He wants us to shift. “What must we do to be ready, to advance, to breakout, to stake our claim?”  The Saints Movement is under way – The Kingdom Movement is at hand – many believers are beginning to flow in healing and miracles and other supernatural manifestations of Holy Spirit. This is true for all ages – God is intergenerational.  Read more…



Walking in Family Oneness

Walking in Family Oneness (Eph.5:22-6:4)

The construction of the book of Ephesians is that chapters 1-4 lean into “What’s in it for me?”  Naturally, we receive this wholeheartedly.  Then the book launches into the practical outworking of the previous statements and leans more into “What’s in it for God?”  This is where “the rubber meets the road.”

We are instructed in chapter 4 to “put off the old man and put on the new man.” Chapter 5:1-21 follows with examples of what to put off and put on and ends with “Be filled…giving thanks… submitting to one another in the fear of God.”

That leads straight into the marriage relationship, giving a beautiful picture of marriage. Why then are so many couples experiencing so much less?  Before the Fall, God was One with man and Adam and Eve were one with each other.  They fully expressed His image and likeness, His life.  Then they lost it… Read more…



Walking the Resurrected Life

Walking the Resurrected Life (Eph 2:1-7)

As we read the Book of Ephesians, the chapter break between 1 and 2 should not obscure the vital connection from the latter part of chapter 1 where the mighty power of God raised Christ from the grave and crowned Him with glory and honor. In chapter 2 we get to see how that same power has worked in our lives, raising us from spiritual death and seating us in Christ in the heavenlies.

As Ephesians 2 opens, we are spiritual corpses in Death Valley. When it closes, we are not only seated in Christ in the heavenlies; we form a habitation of God through the Spirit.

This passage resembles the first chapter of Genesis. In each we have: (1) a scene of desolation, chaos, and ruin; (2) the introduction of divine power; (3) the creation of new life. Read more…



Criticism That Counts

Criticism That Counts

This article comes from Bruce Weinstein who is the corporate consultant, author, and public speaker known as The Ethics Guy. He has appeared on numerous national TV shows and is the author of several books on ethics. His Ask the Ethics Guy! column appears every other week on BusinessWeek.com‘s Managing channel.

Americans have a warped view of criticism. Unfortunately, most of us see criticism almost exclusively in a negative light. We dish it out tactlessly, use it to tear down rivals, and attack others with it even when we have no authority to do so.

It certainly doesn’t help that we are inundated with poor examples of criticism in the media. For starters, consider American Idol’s British judge, Simon Crowell. It’s not uncommon for Simon’s scathing criticisms to elicit tears from contestants. His words are given sincerely, but heartlessly. Watching Simon, it’s as if he relishes finding faults in another’s imperfections.

Election season paints another ugly picture of criticism. Politicians wield it like an ax to cut down their opponents. Instead of debating ideas in a civil forum, too often politicians lower themselves into a mudslinging contest.

Another media avenue, the blogosphere, has become criticism central in America. Bloggers attack the character of leaders they don’t know and rail against decisions made in circumstances they could never understand. Far too frequently, their inflammatory tone escalates conflict without adding any substantial value to the interplay of ideas. Read more…



Prayer and Fasting for True Revival

Prayer and Fasting for True Revival

The cry of God is always, “return to Me.”  In Zech 1:3, God says, “Return to Me and I will return to you.”  We hear the same call again and again in the New Testament. The Bible clearly uses “return to Me” as a call to repentance, revival, and restoration of the love relationship that unites us with God.  Repentance always brings a return of the love relationship with God.

Today we see a different focus–we are called to “fast and pray for revival” where the emphasis is dangerously close to shifting from “repent and return to Me” to fasting and praying that would have as its goal what God will do for us rather than to us.  But God’s goal is for us to have a restored relationship with Him.  

God knows we need a revival, or else we may perish.  Saving non-Christians is crucial and right and good, but revival is a deliberate turning back to God by His people in repentance, brokenness, and grief over their sin and loss of their love-relationship with Him.  Are we grieving over having left our first love, over our broken relationship?  We are called only to “return”.  What happens as a result is all God’s doing. 

Understand what true revival is: Revival is not what happens to the “lost,” but what happens to God’s people when we come in brokenness and grief over sin – our sin – and are restored to a holy love relationship with God.  Revival is when God’s people are once again living to the praise of His glory and to the glory of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

We will always know, as God’s people, when we have returned, because we will see fresh evidence of a fresh and powerful sensitivity to sin and to the Savior.  This will first be seen in God’s people.  Then, God is once again able to work through his people to touch a lost world redemptively.

Any call that bypasses the “returning process” can sideline or delay what we so desperately need and long for; the transformation of our culture and the salvation of multitudes who are lost.  Read more…



The Eight Systems of the Church

The Eight Systems of the Church

We may look different on the outside, but underneath we all have hearts that pump blood, even though we are different blood types. We all have senses that take in the world, though in some of us one sense is more elevated than another. In the same way, all churches are made up of the same exact systems, even though we may view and utilize them in slightly different ways based on our individual calls to ministry. The question isn’t whether or not these systems are in place, but whether or not they are being maximized.

The eight systems of every church are interconnected. While some may be more developed than others, none of these systems can stand alone. And since a church is a living entity, like us, the well-developed systems run whether we are thinking about them or not. Just as you breathe while you sleep, strong systems operate without constant supervision.

Still, to make sure that all of our church systems are running correctly, we should take them in for a periodic checkup. If we are disinterested or lazy about growing and maintaining them, they will not produce the results we want. When we become slack in taking care of our systems we experience lack, and therefore, our church fails to live up to its God-given potential. We have to do our part to make sure that all eight systems are set up and functioning correctly, so that our church will be healthy and thriving.
 


Established In the Truth

2 Pt 1:12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established {grounded and stabilized} in the present truth. 
 
We must know and be settled (fixed) in God, Himself, and in the Word of God. 
 
See what a fixed (set; established; grounded and stabilized) heart brings:
 
 Psalms 112:1-10 1 Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who delights greatly in His commandments. 2His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed. 3Wealth and riches will be in his house, And his righteousness endures forever.4Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.5 A good man deals graciously and lends; He will guide his affairs with discretion.6Surely he will never be shaken; The righteous will be in everlasting remembrance.7He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.8His heart is established; He will not be afraid, Until he sees his desire upon his enemies.9 He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever; His horn will be exalted with honor. 10 The wicked will see it and be grieved; He will gnash his teeth and melt away; The desire of the wicked shall perish.