Thursday, May 28, 2015

Building a House of Prayer pt6

Isaiah 56:7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. (KJV)
The Power of Prayer
Spontaneous ­ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-­18
Powerful ­ 2 Corinthians 10:4-­6
Intersession ­ Romans 8:26­-27
Righteously ­ Titus 3:5-­7
Inspiring ­ 1 Samuel 10:10
Togetherness ­ Colossians 3:8­-15

We are our brother’s keeper. As Christians we have a responsibility to each other. Our task is to uphold the faith and encourage everyone to stay on the path leading heavenward. When we are troubled, discouraged or suffering, we pray for each other. If we have reason to celebrate we share our joy. Prayer offered in faith will yield results. We even have the ability to restore those who have chosen to set off the path of righteousness. Offering compassion, love and mercy to those struggling foster forgiveness and allows everyone to experience the grace of God. If we desire to see the real, unfailing, power of God in prayer we must embrace the Holy Spirit. (see James 5:13­-20)

Prayer filled with power is Spontaneous. Scripture tells us to “Always be ready to give an answer to anyone for the hope within us.” We are challenged to “Pray non-stop, rejoice always, and give thanks for everything without worry.” God has a plan and it is revealed to us in prayer. The power of prayer is SPIRIT. The Holy Spirit work through those who yield to Him. Fan the spark into a roaring flame. Be spontaneous respond to God in prayer. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-­18)

The greatest weapon we have been given is prayer. The sword of the Spirit and the shield of faith defend us as we use them, but prayer in the Spirit provides us the long-range battle plan. It pulls down enemy strongholds, and allows us to discern the needs of our brothers and sisters in the battle. The Holy Spirit is powerful. He will lead us in prayer. (2 Corinthians 10:4­-6)

Spontaneous, Powerful, Intersession, Righteously, Inspiring, Togetherness: According to scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us to pray even when we do not know the specific needs. Often He makes intersession through us with groans and thoughts that cannot be spoken. Praying for others in the power of the Holy Spirit brings God’s will into our intersession. (Romans 8:26­-27)

The house of prayer God has built is a place where everyone can meet Him in His fullness. There we can experience grace not because of our righteousness, but because God is HOLY. There we can be transformed. Everything He does is done righteously. (Titus 3:5-­7)

            Nothing is more inspiring and unifying than the Holy Spirit. God freely offers this gift of the Holy Spirit to ALL. He is calling us into togetherness. Allow God to use you. Become a house of prayer. (1 Samuel 10:10 & Colossians 3:8­-15)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Building a House of Prayer pt5

Mark 11:17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. (KJV)

The Pattern of Prayer (Matthew 6:9­-13)
Glorify God ­ Verse 9
Recognize His authority ­ Verse 10 & 13
Acknowledge our need ­ Verse 11 & 13
Confess our sin ­ Verse 12a
Exercise forgiveness ­ Verse 12b

            Our previous explorations into the construction of “a House of Pray” began with the foundation or purpose in prayer as RESTRepentance, Encouragement, Strength, and Transformation.  The strong walls of our house of prayer were erected by the process, STANDSeparate from evil, Talk to God from your heart, Allow God time to answer, Never lose hope, Devote yourself to prayer daily. Windows and doors were added into the mix with the passion of prayer, MOVEMeet God on His terms, Overcome doubt and fear, Vanquish the enemy, and Exalt God’s majesty and glory. The roof protecting our house of prayer as well as offering God’s provision for us through prayer is  SUPPLYSupernaturally, Unlimited, Promised, Potential, Lovingly, Yours.

            It’s time to furnish our house of prayer by employing the pattern of prayer designed by, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Generally in full gospel circles we are not invested in programmed prayer. Most of us do not script our conversations with God. We probably have all been taught “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” – A prayer which causes me to wonder how any of us can sleep at all. Think about the words to that prayer for a moment. “Now I lay me down to sleep…I pray the Lord my soul to keep…If I should die before I wake…I pray the Lord my soul to take.” We send our children to bed with thoughts of death and tell them to have sweet dreams – That’s sad.

            The pattern of prayer Jesus gave us is GRACE – Step one: Glorify God. Look at Matthew 6:9b where the Lord’s Prayer is located.

Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. (KJV)

            First we glorify God. Next we recognize His authority. GRACE – Step one: Glorify God. Step two: Recognize His authority. We can see aspect of prayer in verses 10 & 13 of Matthew 6.

Matthew 10 & 13 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven…13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (KJV)

            As we read through the Lord’s Prayer both verse 11 and verse 13 remind us to acknowledge our needs. God does not meet our needs a month at a time, nor does He meet them a week at a time. This is a daily conversation between our God and us, individually.

Matthew 11 & 13 Give us this day our daily bread…13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (KJV)

            GRACE – Step one: Glorify God. Step two: Recognize His authority. Step three: Acknowledge our need. Verse 12 of this passage deals with sin and forgiveness.  It talks about our sins and also the sins of those sinning against us. Dealing with sin always requires confession and forgiveness. GRACE – Step one: Glorify God. Step two: Recognize His authority. Step three: Acknowledge our need. Step four: Confess our sin. Step five: Exercise forgiveness.

Matthew 12a And forgive us our debts, (KJV)
Matthew 12b as we forgive our debtors. (KJV)

            When we employ GRACE as the pattern of our prayers the House of prayer will be furnished with all good things.

Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (KJV)

Friday, May 15, 2015


1 Corinthians 14:39-40 “Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order.” (KJV)


Obedience Relevance Determination Experience Restoration

            What does it mean to be eager to do something? Being excited about it is not really enough to push us toward accomplishing the goal. Taking action simply out of dogged determination will leave us callous, empty emotionally, and without a clear sense of direction if we do not understand the reason behind our desire. When faced with the never-ending uphill battles we face as Christians, everything in this world seems to be working against us reaching the finish line.

            We believe the truth of Scripture. We plan our daily activities based upon the love of God at work in our hearts, and we rush into every obstacle with the assurance that God will move Heaven and Earth to rescue us. But, have we stopped to consider the overwhelming power of God is love? The spiritual gifts operate in love. Our ability to overcome the world is in our ability to allow the free flow of the love of God into the desperate situations surrounding us. Everything we do must be done “decently and in order”.  ORDERObedience Relevance Determination Experience Restoration, offers us a godly context for life and our life is a ministry. (Zechariah 9:12)

            As this text is being written, there is no more needed message than the message of hope. There can be no acceptance of Godly ORDER if there is no commitment to the availability of hope. Throughout history the people of God have suffered adversity and difficulties, but the message of hope has been a sustaining factor within our lives. Though we have been pressed by war, financial collapse of world markets, and any number of natural disasters, the power of hope and the love of God strengthen us. God promises to see us through every adversity and blesses our lives.

            God becomes our fortress and stronghold. The question is will we consistently and continually return to Him. Have we truly become the prisoners of hope? Being a prisoner of hope does not confine us. It liberates us. The freedom it establishes in our lives allows us to live and move within the context of ORDERObedience Relevance Determination Experience Restoration. Every great person of faith began in obedience to God.

            Perhaps it may be beneficial here to examine a brief history from King David’s experience. God gave specific instructions to the Kings of Israel. They were not allowed to take a census. They should never count the fighting men of Israel because their trust should be in the Lord, not the strength of their army. David acted in disobedience and ordered a census that resulted in judgment against the nation of Israel.

            David realized his sin and repented before God. God then sent the prophet Gad to King David with a message of direction. Obedience to the message would restore order and remove the judgment form the kingdom. David had a choice to make–he could take three years of famine, three months of defeat by his enemies, or three days of plague. (1Chronicles 21:19)

            The Lord also sends His messengers into our lives to lead, guide, challenge, direct, and correct us. It is within our freedom of will to either submit or rebel. Submission brings peace, security, contentment and blessing; however, rebellion brings ultimate destruction. Our disobedience causes judgment as it did for King David, but our obedience and repentance restores godly order and blessing. Obedience is not blind. It sees beyond the current reality to the promised outcome in the spiritual realm. David repented and made an offering in obedience at the thrashing floor. Ironic, isn’t it, that the place wheat is beaten to remove the valuable kernel from the worthless chaff is where God required a sacrifice?

            Several times in life my plans have been the worthless chaff and my obedience to God’s plan the valuable kernel. The sacrifice was my selfish will. Godly ORDER begins in Obedience. The sacrifice we make will always cost us something. Just as David could not offer to the Lord what had no value to him–neither can we. God blesses a sacrifice properly offered. (2Chronicle 31:21)
            Relevance can be thought of as the value something holds. Our service to God and our faithfulness to the communities we find ourselves members of must be relevant. Nothing is more relevant than salvation. Christ is our example in both Obedience and Relevance. Everything Christ did was directed at meeting needs in the lives of people. No two ministries should be identical because the needs being met are vastly different. Yet, the hope of salvation and the development of a life of righteousness is the root of our Relevance within our cultural boundaries. (Romans 5:19)

            ORDERObedience Relevance Determination Experience Restoration, is the road to successful completion of the course God has plotted for every believer.  Determination, though it cannot secure success independently, keeps us headed in the right direction and by it we can fulfill the duties of our ministry. According to the scriptures, some are called to preach, others to teach, some as evangelists, a few as prophets, and even an occasional apostle; but all are called to serve. (1Chronicles 23:28)

            The five-fold ministry does not constitute every relevant ministry within the Church. Whoever you are and whatever your calling, you can glory in Christ and serve with passion. There are many side rooms and courtyards. There are many needs and God has someone and some way to meet each need. We simply begin with Obedience, serve with Relevance and act with Determination. (Romans 15:17)

            The Apostle Paul urges us to bear with those who are weak, build each other up in the faith and learn from the revelation that has been shared. He further teaches that we are, in his estimation, well able to teach Godliness. In that ability we can glory in Christ. Because Christ has made us able to fulfill the calling into ministry we can Experience the fullness of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:25)

            Wherever God leads us, throughout the world, we achieve results by following and establishing Christian ORDER. As we move under His direction, we are empowered to change the world through Obedience Relevance Determination and Experience. Not everyone will accept our message, but the presence of signs, wonders and miracles confirm God’s call. With that confirmation well established Restoration begins. (Romans 15:31)

            We have heard it said, “Experience is the best teacher.” The Experience of answered prayer should teach us to rely upon the gifts God has placed in operation within the Church. All these gifts in combination create a beautiful concert of relevant experiences to fuel our obedience and determination to serve. (1Corinthians 12:5)

            Again, we need to recognize all Spirit-Led Ministry will not look the same. Every gift is given to the Church, or more specifically, its membership to build up, encourage, guide, direct, and heal. Often the rewards of service are confused with financial rewards. We are not saying God does not reward us financially, just that there are other less tangible more beneficial measures of prosperity. Still confusion on this issue has been a stumbling block to many. (Job 34:33)

            When we fall prey to the deception of the enemy there is forgiveness available. Once we bow in submission repentance quickly re-establishes ORDERObedience Relevance Determination Experience Restoration. God in His wisdom has firmly established order within His creation. We tremble not in the fear that has to do with torment. We tremble in reverence awaiting the restoration that is promised. (1Chronicles 16:30)

            The process of Restoration affects all creation. We, as children of God, are regenerated, cleansed, renewed, and our lives are set in ORDER because God reigns. There is a time of judgment facing everyone on Earth but we have “passed from death into life”. (Psalm 9:7)

            Where God’s system of order is concerned truth is eternally established. Our responsibility is to pass that revelation on to the next generation. If we do not flow within Obedience Relevance Determination Experience and Restoration how can we expect our children to reverence and honor God. (Psalm 78:5)

            God will be the Judge of our service to Him. Again, it comes down to a personal choice. We must exercise determination, powerfully express the truth of our experience, as we declare the availability of restoration. This generation can grasp the hope of the gospel. Will we choose to say with the Psalmist that God’s love stands firm and He has established faithfulness? (Psalm 89:2)

            Once we have fully committed to that decision (to declare the love of God) we can take the message of hope to the rest of the world. ORDERObedience Relevance Determination Experience Restoration, becomes the driving force. As God brings about His judgment there will be equity, justice, and mercy. Through Obedience to the Lordship of Christ, Relevance to the societal setting we are in, the Determination to keep going forward, being positively affirmed by our Experience and committed to Restoration of hope, we impact the world.  ORDER is a worthy pursuit.  Evangelism quickly follows. (Psalm 96:10)

            God brought order into our lives when we were reconciled in our relationship to Him. We are no longer subject to the accusations from our life before Christ. Whatever we have done — the sins and shortcomings — all washed away by the work of Christ upon the cross. We are liberated by the hope of salvation. We like Paul have become servants of a Holy God. More than servants, we have enlisted in God’s great army bringing restoration and hope to the nations. (Colossians 1:22-23)

            What army can perform its duty without discipline and order? God trains us by allowing difficulties into our lives. Just as He arranged training exercises in the book of Judges for the children of Israel, He arranges similar training exercises for us. As you may recall, when Israel entered the Promised Land they were given instructions to wipeout every nation that lived wickedly. They did not make a clean sweep and fulfill their mission, but God even uses failure (otherwise known as disobedience) to teach His people. Those nagging problems in our lives just may be God’s boot camp.

            When we fail to obey God and accomplish the task we are given our failure will come back to haunt both the subsequent generations and us. Often our children or grandchildren face these same struggles we failed to overcome. It is not that God has abandoned us; a lesson must be learned. Every generation must learn to put their trust in God and live according to His spiritual order. (Judges 3:1, 2 & 4)

            Experience becomes our teacher and the lesson is complete dependence upon God. Everything we need is available, attainable, and accepted through faith. God is working in us to build a strong, healthy, and restored people. In the book of Isaiah we are promised perfect peace if we keep our minds on God. Throughout the Psalms we are promised provision, rest, and Restoration. (Psalm 41:3)

            Salvation is more than a conversion experience. The Christian life is more than a list of approved activities. Being truly saved means that the joy of the Lord becomes our strength. Regardless of the affliction we face, emotional, financial, or physical, if we have experienced Salvation we know Restoration is on its way. Our willingness to display Godly ORDERObedience Relevance Determination Experience Restoration, establishes and sustains us even when of the surface things are not going according to our plan. (Psalm 51:12)

            If you find yourself at a low point in the tide of life allow the grace of God to come in like a flood. If, on the other hand, you are at the top of your game realize God has blessed you and thank Him. Continue on the path of Obedience. Find Relevance in meeting real needs. Exercise Determination and overcome problematic circumstances. Use Holy Spirit encounters as Experience to build expectation for the future. Give and receive Restoration as God empowers you. (Nahum 2:2)

            Encouragement is literally everywhere when we walk in the liberty and freedom God grants to us. He is our defensive fallback position. Isn’t that what a fortress is? Return often to the hope that we have experienced. What we have now is only the down payment of the glorious future God offers. Keep your life in ORDER. Eagerly fulfill your calling and live a life of ministry. (Zechariah 9:12)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Building a House of Prayer pt4

 Isaiah 56:7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. (KJV)

The Provision of Prayer
Supernaturally ­ Matthew 21:22
Unlimited ­ John 15:15-­17
Promised ­ Matthew 18:18-­20
Potential ­ John 1:11-­13
Lovingly ­ John 3:16­-20
Yours ­ Romans 8:28­-30

            As we pray God faithfully makes provision for us. This series on prayer would not be complete if we neglected to build a covering over our house of prayer. Purpose was our foundation in REST. We gave the house of prayer walls in the process to STAND. We cut in doors and windows to MOVE with passion in our prayers.

            Our Father in Heaven has promised us a Supernaturally Unlimited supply to meet the needs of our lives and ministry.  Simply “love one another” and ask God for whatever is needed (Matthew 21:22 & John 15:15-17). In my early years of ministry, I worked with Pastor James Ward. This man had great faith and took God at His Word. The church was extremely small but in spite of that fact, we had WHATEVER was needed through prayer. Time after time God supplied. His promises are TRUE.

Philippians 4:19-20 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (KJV)

            God has made promises concerning you. They go beyond material possessions. Your life has potential. It is lovingly offered by God Himself. And the best part is it is exclusively yours. Jesus will reveal God’s plan for your life to you. He will tell us God’s plan. He has called us friends – Not slaves. If we will seek God’s will and not dogmatically hold on to our own understanding, God will work miracles among us. That is our potential!

            Everything God does is done in love. He offered us salvation in love. He provides for us in love. Love is yours through Christ and His love will change the world through you and me.

Romans 8:28­-30 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (KJV)

            The roof on the house of prayer is God’s provision for us through His supernatural SUPPLY. It covers everything we need and more than we can ask or even think. Nothing can limit God’s ability to reach us, so this roof does not block God’s accessibility – It shields our inability – It protects the Supernaturally Unlimited Promised Potential Lovingly Yours!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Building a House of Prayer pt3

Ezekiel 37:13 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. (NASB)

The Passion of Prayer
Meet with God on His terms ­ Ezekiel 37:1-­3
Overcome doubt & fear ­ Isaiah 1:17-­19
Vanquish the enemy ­ Jeremiah 1:17-19; 1 Samuel 2:10
Exalt God's Majesty & glory ­ Psalm 30:1-­3

            God is the source of life – all life – eternal life! As we build a house of prayer, we cannot neglect the passion which drives our desire to accomplish the will of God. Building this house we began with the foundation of purpose in our prayers -REST, we erected sturdy walls by discussing the process of our prayers - STAND, and today we will cut in windows and door by exploring passion in our prayers - MOVE. Passion is the driving force motivated by what we see, believe, experience.

Ezekiel 37:1-3 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. (KJV)

            Are we moved by what we see in the world? Injustice, violence, poverty, disease, hunger, and oppression surround us. As we look at what is going on our eyes behold the effects of sin and death upon this world. We may feel as Ezekiel did surrounded by those dry bones.

            Ezekiel was moved into that place by the Spirit of God. His (Ezekiel’s) final words in verse three “O Lord God, Thou knowest” say to us, “He was meeting with God on His (God’s) terms.” Passion in our prayers begins with Meeting with God on His terms. Passion in our prayers is achieved when we Overcome doubt and fear.

Isaiah 1:17-19 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: (KJV)

            Perfect love, according to 1 John 4:18, will overcome fear. It also lets us know there is NO fear in love. When we apply the love of God in our prayers, we will not fear. We will be moved into a response to God’s call. We will see the situations around us change to conform to the will of God. “That we should prosper and be in health, even as our souls prosper.” (3 John 1:2)

            Vanquishing the enemy of our souls becomes the focus of the Holy Spirit working in us. As we obediently follow God’s instructions, our enemies are overcome – Not by our might, but by the Spirit of God. See Jeremiah 1:17-19 and 1 Samuel 2:10.

The only thing left for us to do is Exalt God's majesty & glory!

Psalm 30:1-­3 I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. 2 O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. 3 O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. (KJV)

Thursday, May 7, 2015


John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (KJV)

Patience Exercised Activates Christian Endurance

            There are two things that seem to be in short supply in our society today. One is peace and the other is patience. We can see this any time we go to the store, drive down the streets of any city, or walk through the halls of any school. People are always in a hurry and the qualities of peace and patience are lost.

            Jesus said He was giving us His peace, and James instructed the early church to consider it pure joy when they faced struggles of any kind. Problems in our lives are designed to test our faith and develop in us patience. The development of patience is the painstaking task of a lifetime; however, it is attainable. Peace, patience and perseverance are spiritual attributes of mature Christian character that will sustain us in the most difficult circumstances, but we must learn to exercise them. (James 1:1-3)

            There is only one way to develop patience. That is to persevere. Going through the hard times while trusting the Lord’s plan will help us grow in wisdom. Wisdom gives us patience, but maturity in the faith is the only thing that will enable us to overlook an offence. Daily, in fact, several times each day we come upon situations that can upset or offend us but our reaction to each situation, when it lines up with the word of God, can be a crowning moment of His glory in our lives. (Proverbs 19:11)

            Although we live in a society where almost everything is instant, ministry is one thing that is not instant. We don’t like to wait for anything, and when we do have to wait we get offended, but ministry is based on relationship and building a relationship takes time. Pride and patience battle within us to influence and control our actions. Our pride is the attribute that gets offended and stops us from exercising patience, but patience is the attribute that will get us safely to the final destination on our journey of faith. Endurance, the ability to hang in there and finish the task seems to be lacking because we lose focus so quickly. We begin any project with great anticipation and high expectation, but somewhere in the process from the beginning to the end we lose heart, get distracted, or our pride gets offended and we do not finish what we so eagerly started. (Ecclesiastes 7:8)

            If we are going to see the end that is promised in scripture, that end which is better than the beginning we must develop the attributes of Christian character that feed endurance. Every day we get up and get dressed before we begin our activities. We choose our outfits carefully. We check our attire to be sure it fits the task at hand. There are not too many of us that would appear in public without clothing that matches our surroundings. We like to fit in. We do not wear a tux or ball gown to muck out a stable. We spend time making sure that we are dressed properly. We understand the importance of outward garments. How much more important is it that our spirit is dressed appropriately? (Colossians 3:12)

            Once we have the right outfit for the job we can begin the workout. (Workout now there is a word associated with exercise!) We are looking for the promise of God and we must exercise patience to receive our inheritance. The promise does not just show up over night. We have to work for it. We have all heard our mothers say, “If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” or our fathers say, “To do the job right, you need the right tools.” Doing the job of being a Christian requires that we exercise both faith and patience. (Hebrews 6:12)

            There are some things we love to exercise and other things we do not love to exercise. For example, we love to exercise authority. We love, at least in America, to exercise our rights, and sometimes we even love to exercise our options or opinions, but Patience Exercised Activates Christian Endurance.

            Jesus said He was not giving us what the world would give and again He taught that we would be different form them in the way we attain greatness. Ministry is all about service, and living a Christian life is having that service exercised. People, being the imperfect creatures of habit that we are, will put our patience to the test every time we serve. (Mark 10:42-45)

            The Spirit of life brings liberty; experiencing liberty and freedom is very empowering, but there is a limitation. The limitation to our liberty is this: We cannot allow our liberty to become a stumbling block to others. Our patience affects everyone around us and our freedom may lead others into sin. The Spirit of God deals with individuals at the rate that fits His plan for their life, and we have not been given the insight and depth of understanding necessary to judge another’s liberty. (1Corinthians 8:9)

            There are actions and activities that are clearly sin according to the scripture, but others are a matter of conscience. As the Spirit leads us we obey! Obedience is important in the development of patience because it demonstrates our trust in the Lord. Working out our salvation activates boldness when we share our faith. (Philippians 2:12-13)

            Understanding where we individually and corporately draw the line on spiritual as well as emotionally charged moral issues brings us to the point where we can with grace and tact “work out our own salvation”. The use of this phrase does not imply that we are each free to choose what is right for us. Scripture is not of any private, manmade, interpretation. It is opened to us through the leading of the Holy Spirit.

            Patience Exercised Activates Christian Endurance. God works in us according to His purposes for our lives. One of those purposes is sharing our faith in Jesus; another is putting to use every gift available through the Holy Spirit. We have access to every good thing through Christ.  (Philemon Verse 6)

            Nothing sums up the goal more clearly than David’s admonition to Solomon, “… do the work.” Doing the work means that we will be active. God does not fail and He does not leave us alone or helpless to accomplish the task. (1Chronicles 28:20)

            Getting off the back pew and intentionally reaching the world with the message of salvation calls for skill, motivation, and endurance. Skill is acquired through training and can take years to fully realize. Our motivation must be the love of God. He does not want anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance, according to Second Peter chapter 3 and verse 9. Endurance only comes from commitment and faith. (Proverbs 22:29)

            We need to begin to see those we minister to the way God sees them. The Bible says that the people of God are kings and priests. The members of our congregations, and those being converted to the faith are not obscure unimportant people they are kings and priests. As faith is developed we are able to stand firm and endure the hardships that test our commitment to Christ. We all work together with joy. (2Corinthians 1:24)

            If being a Christian meant a problem free existence there would be no need to talk about endurance, but the fact is Christians suffer problems. The difference is in the reason we suffer and the way we react to the suffering. (1Peter 4:12-16)

            Sadly, not everyone will accept the message of salvation, and to win some may take more time than we have. Preach the truth. Endure both difficult times and difficult people and exercise patience in all things. Do not misunderstand. These are not attempts to diminish our responsibility. We must always reach out, but we need to realize not everyone will respond. (Acts 26:28)

            God pours out hope, encouragement and overwhelming love on us as we press on through whatever difficulties arise. One tangible way we can understand this is by applying the scriptures. (Romans 15:4)

            Hope in Christ keeps us going. PEACEPatience Exercised Activates Christian Endurance. We cannot have patience without hope. We cannot reach the world without love and the distress we endure cannot bring glory to God unless we realize why we are suffering. Relationships teach us many lessons: 1. They take time to develop, 2. They involve sacrifice, 3. They will produce something — comfort, suffering, salvation, patience, endurance — something. (2Corinthians 1:6)

            As the end draws closer we will go through many distressing moments, but God is faithful and we will overcome all of them. It is His promise and we know that God does not lie. Hold fast until the end and see the deliverance of the Lord. (Revelation 14:12)

            We can depend upon the peace that Jesus gives to us. Our hearts do not need to be troubled about any circumstances. God is not surprised by any situation and we are secure in Christ’s love. As we remain faithful, we will find His PEACEPatience Exercised Activates Christian Endurance.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Building a House of Prayer pt2

Mark 11:17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. (KJV)

The Process of Prayer
Separate from evil ­ 2 Corinthians ­7:1
Talk to God from your heart Matthew 6:5-­8
Allow God time to answer Daniel 10:11-­13
Never lose hope ­ Romans 8:24-­26
Devote yourself to prayer daily Colossians 4:2-3; Galatians 6:8-­10

            Yesterday the foundation for the “house of prayer” was laid out. Today without going into too much detail we will attempt to frame in some of the walls. Since this message will be presented Sunday evening at Calvary Assembly of God in Winterhaven, CA let’s hope this devotional thought won’t be too much of a spoiler.

            When we are approaching a Holy God the first thing we must do is separate ourselves from evil. We should openly and honestly search ourselves and our surroundings in the light of God’s revelation of His Word. Not a ceremonial cleansing – A spiritual awakening of conviction and commitment.

            Communication with God comes from our heart; so, once we are Separate from evil, we can Talk to God from our hearts. God will not turn away a broken and contrite heart. We are able to make our requests to Him with thanksgiving and expectation. We do not need flowing words, or lengthy time restraints – Just clear heart-to-heart conversation.

            The answer will arrive according to God’s schedule. Allow Him time to answer. Do not get impatient or lose focus. Certainly don’t treat God as if His is an operator at a call center – Thinking, “This call we be answered in the order it was received. Please stay on the line for the next available operator.”

            We Never lose hope because the Holy Spirit prays through us even when we don’t understand the needs we are up against. We can Devote ourselves to prayer daily. Giving our prayers the foundation of Purpose through REST and engaging in the Process of prayer we are building a “house of prayer” with walls that will STAND.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Building a House of Prayer pt1

Mark 11:17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. (KJV)

The Purpose of Prayer            
Repentance ­ Deuteronomy 4:27-­31            
Encouragement ­ 1 Chronicles 16:10­-16
Strength ­ Ephesians 6:18-­20
Transformation ­ 2 Chronicles 7:14

Jesus was referencing text from Isaiah 56:7 when He was driving out the corrupt practitioners who were turning the Temple Courts into a disreputable market place. God’s house, the church, should be a “house of prayer.” All people should be able to enter into His house and receive answers to their petitions.

So, what are the basic components of a dwelling? How is a house built?

Not being an architect, an engineer, nor a contractor, this explanation will be simple. It will not delve into the planning, or construction aspects of building. However, it will hopefully paint a mental picture and make some sense.

After the blueprints are drawn, and materials selected a foundation is established to support the weight and give stability to the structure. When building a “house of prayer” we should begin with a solid foundation. The thing that will create stability and support the weight of our prayers is purpose. The purpose of prayer is REST – Not the feet up laid back in the recliner rest – But Repentance, Encouragement, Strength, and Transformation.

We seem to ignore God’s direction for our lives all too often and follow a cyclical pattern of rebellion, enslavement, repentance and liberty. This has been the human condition for a longtime. Even after being delivered from slavery in Egypt the Israelites were told in Deuteronomy 4:27-31 they would follow this pattern, but they would find God once they came to a place of true repentance.

Once we have found Repentance and turned back to God, He begins to encourage us. Christ told the disciples He would not leave them comfortless. We have access to the promise of the Holy Spirit. He is our Encourager. As we remember what God has done for us, we experience encouragement. See 1 Chronicles 16:10­-16.

Moving from that place of Repentance and Encouragement, we are built up in God’s Strength to accomplish the calling He has placed upon our lives. We stay in house of prayer and God does the work through us. His joy becomes our strength. Read, Ephesians 6:18-­20.

The work is the Transformation of this world. Watching the lives around us being healed and filled with Faith, Hope, and Love is the final element in the purpose of prayer. The strong foundation which brings support and stability to the “house of prayer” really is REST. Consider 2 Chronicles 7:14. Be encouraged to find Repentance –Encouragement – Strength – Transformation as your purpose in prayer today.

Friday, May 1, 2015


Isaiah 61:1-4 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. 4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. (KJV)

There is a popular trend floating around cyber space. It hits us from every angle and multiple times throughout the day. At least once a week someone posts, or reposts questions similar to: “If you were a _______, what kind of a _______ would you be?” It seems that everyone jumps on the band wagon and sends the question out. To which we are all expected to answer with our favorite responses and that response in some way will define us psychologically. We all spend hours upon hours attempting to discover who we are. We want to know what our families think of us, what our friends think of us, and eventually what the entire world thinks of us.

Have we ever stopped to think that Christ asked the, “Who am I”, question upside down to our way of thinking? In Luke chapter 9, Jesus asks, “Who do men say that I am?” Followed by the individualized question to the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?”

Do we realize, this is the same chapter that begins with Jesus giving power and authority to the twelve?

Our identity is hidden with Christ. We are His representatives equipped with power and authority. He came to make us trees of righteousness. He empowered us to rebuild wasted lives and a desolate generation.

Colossians 3:3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. (NLT)

The forest of God’s grace is full of TREEs, Towering Righteousness Expanding Exponentially. The example of each individual life is refreshing fruit of righteousness. We have deep roots in FAITH and strong branches offering shade to many, until the day they too become a TREE, Towering Righteousness Expanding Exponentially.

Psalm 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (KJV)

Choose to be a “good tree” and share the righteousness Christ has imparted to you. Exponential fruit is the goal.