Laws and rights of adopted children are often higher and the benefits greater than for children born to us! Did you know that by law it is possible for parents to dispossess a natural born child but an adopted child cannot be un-adopted? Again, parents cannot choose who their natural siblings will be, yet the adopted child is chosen by the parent. In the same way the Heavenly Father has searched through the sons of men and selected believers to be His adopted children. The beautiful picture does not end there. To each of us whom He adopts, He gives a special tutor called the “Spirit of adoption” to persuade us of His glorious inheritance (Rom. 8:15-17. The tutor is constantly crying “Abba Father” from within our spirit (Ga. 4:6). You and I will do well to come into unison and make the same cry!
Missions Responsibility, Mine or Yours?
The last words of Jesus in Matthew’s gospel tells the reader to go to the nations and He (Jesus) would be with them until the end of the age. It is difficult to read this passage and find any place to dodge the responsibility for going to the nations. It is not even correct to interject the idea that only those called by God as missionaries should go. That would be adding to the word and intent of this scripture. Every person will have to give a personal answer to the Lord about what he/she did to obey.
From another place we find the words “how can the preacher go unless he is sent.” So there must be goers and senders in God’s house. As Teresa Schroeder, a dear friend, prayer partner and contributor wisely said, “you give to missions by going and you go to missions by giving.”
I would like to remind my readers today of a truth I live by: To those who obey and go to the nations, Jesus said He would be with them until the end of the age. I count on that! Is it not implied here that Jesus will also supply for the sender until the end of the age? I believe it does! I believe Jesus is saying “you can count on that!” The responsibility for missions work belongs to every believer.
Will you go to missions by giving to this ministry regularly? Thanks for a prayerful consideration!
“Things Pleasing In His Sight!”
Most of us know that it is vital to do those thing pleasing in the sight of our Lord Jesus Christ! There is no argument here. Yet the straight forward writing of the Apostle Paul has a much different focus. May the God of peace… “make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight” (Heb. 13:21).
The focus herein is not what we do for God, but what are we willing to let Him do in us! Are we so committed to Christ that we invite Him to choose what He wants to do or change in our lives? Doing deeds pleasing in His sight is still works. Letting Jesus decide what He wants to do in our life is a choice of surrender. What level of “pleasing God” have you chosen?
GET THE JUNK OUT
Most of us see the Baptism in the Spirit as an anointing and we gladly go after it. It is that and much more. John the Baptist said the one who comes after me “will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire, His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with un quenchable fire” (Matt. 3:11-12). The often over looked provision here is that God helps the believer in holiness.
Jesus via the Holy Spirit is standing by with a fan in His hand when your under the influence of the Spirit. The winnowing fan is used to separate the wheat from the chaff. It is a beautiful picture of an ongoing divine cleansing of the believers heart. He knows that our journey toward His barn is accompanied with lots of debris. What I like about this picture of sanctification is that He not only helps us to get the junk out, but He then burns it with unquenchable fire. He does not want us to stumble over the same old stuff again.
Next time you are praying in the Spirit stay under the influence a little longer. Jesus is getting the junk out and preparing you for His barn!
34 Ways God Speaks
One can find in the Bible more than 34 ways that God speaks to believers. Briefly, they are as follows: The Creation, the Word, angels, storms, fleeces, shaking/judgments, blessings, apostles doctrine, acts of faith, discernment of the Spirit, Lord’s supper/blood & bread, dreams, visions, trances, signs and wonders, miracles, healings, circumstances/situations, Character of Christ, love, testimony, tongues, interpretations, audible voice, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, prophetic word, word of faith, preaching, songs of the Spirit, fruit of the Spirit, revelation of Jesus, the still small vice, casting of lots and the inner witness of the Holy Spirit.
Believers are responsible for learning to hear God’s voice in various forms but that is not the end of the story. Christians must know that God hears their voice as well. If not, few answers to prayer will be given: “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15).
How many ways have you heard God’s voice?
Do you know when your voice is heard by God?
A Unique Visitation to the North Country
The prophet Zechariah had a vision of four horses and chariots that were called the “four Spirits of heaven.” He was told that the black horse and chariot would go to the North Country and then the white horse and chariot would follow. The Lord seems to interrupt the vision process to say “See, those who go toward the North Country have given rest to My Spirit in the North Country” (Zech. 6:8).
Two things are very significant about this prophecy. The first is that the Spirit of Heaven is visiting the North Country. In scripture the central reference point is Israel. Thus, accurately, the nations north of Israel will be visited. It is interesting to look at a map and note whom will be visited. If you go to the far north, then Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic States will be visited. We are expecting a special visitation of the Spirit of Heaven in 2005 to fulfill this prophecy. It has already begun but there will be manifestations of the presence of God like we have never know before to happen here.
The second item of significance is the phrase “those who go give rest.” Techniquely, the horses and chariots are the first to go. However, it is a fair interpretation that anybody who goes to the North Country in the name of the Lord is included in the giving of rest to God’s Spirit. The enemy would like to push the north country to action before their time to upset the plan of God. Yet, the Lord sends missionaries to the north country and raises up messengers from there to proclaim His word and bring in His Harvest. When that work is happening like it should, God’s Spirit can rest! The enemy will be unsuccessful in frustrating God’s plan in the region. The chariots pulled by the horses are indicative of war. To bring in His Harvest in the midst of the darkness causes war in the heavenlies. “Debbie and I are very glad to be numbered among those who are entrusted to go to the North Country, participate in this war, bring revival to them and bring rest to God’s Spirit!” Thank you Jesus that you included us!