Monday, March 30, 2015

Sharing in the Solitude of Christ

Have you ever felt alone? How is it possible to feel lonely in a world with the most technologically advanced methods of communications, and social networks, in the history of the world, all at our fingertips?   

Walking down a crowded street, we might as well be in a desert. Some sit in Church with dozens of smiling faces all around, worshiping and serving the same Lord, yet they might as well be floating in a raft, adrift in a vast ocean. This doesn't seem right! It makes you want to scream, HEY!!!!! I'm here! It's me!

What is going on? How can God allow this? Well, did you ever think that just possibly God could fill your solitude? God gave Adam a woman, a helpmate, because it was not good that he be alone. And yet, there was a place in Adam that couldn't be filled by Eve. There is a place in us that can only be filled by the presence of the Lord.

Once we've known God's presence, nothing, no nothing else can satisfy or fulfill the longing and desire that exists deep down in our spirits for Him. While in His earth walk, our Lord Jesus suffered loneliness unmatched by the loneliness of anyone else.
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16 NIV).
At a critical point in His life, when arrested, even His closest friends left Him alone.
“Then all his disciples deserted him and ran away.” (Mark 14:50 NLT)
Imagine the shock to His system, just being on the earth in a human body restrained by the limitations of mankind. We can't comprehend His loneliness, yet as we become more aware of Christ in us, we become more aware of every feeling, experience, thought, and all that is Christ.

Homesick? Sure, Jesus was homesick for the glory and fellowship He shared with Father and the Holy Spirit in heaven. Yet He loved us so much that He suffered horrible loneliness for our sake.
So, what is it for us to suffer a measure of that loneliness? It is a small price to pay, to know Him in the fellowship of loneliness. To really know Him, it is a blessing to share in His suffering loneliness.

This, and all suffering is a part of our life on earth. One day, we will shed the cares of this life like a butterfly sheds its cocoon. But until then, we have the Holy Spirit to comfort us in our suffering. Loneliness in a crowded world seems incredulous, but it happens to many people, including believers.

Let us not resent God. Instead, let us embrace loneliness as a gift, used of God as a tool to draw us even closer to Him. Know that He is acutely aware of every fiber of our being in our entire spirit, soul, and body. Loneliness in this world is nothing compared to the glory of walking in the Spirit in fellowship with them, the Three.

Remember, “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24 NIV). Jesus is that friend. In Christ we will never truly be lonely again as we walk in the Spirit with Him.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Blessing



Mr. Spock, of Star Trek fame, would raise his hand and say “Live long and prosper.”

This "Vulcan salute, " as it has come to be called, was invented on the set of Star Trek by actor Leonard Nimoy during the filming of the second-season opener, "Amok Time." What the people didn’t know was that the Vulcan greeting came from Leonard Nimoy’s real life Jewish heritage.
He took it from the ancient blessing the Jewish Priests would bestow upon the Israelites. The Bible says, “Tell Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel with this special blessing:
“May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.”                                                                 “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them”
(Numbers 6:23-27 NLT).

The actual blessing is done with both arms held horizontally in front, at shoulder level, with hands touching, to form the Hebrew letter "shin." This stands for the Hebrew word for "Shaddai", meaning "Almighty [God]."
With the hand symbol, the priest was putting the name of God on the people, sealing it upon them.
This is a special blessing God wants all of us to receive. This blessing is so important because it covers us completely in every area of our life, spiritually and materially.
This blessing is so specific that God commanded the Priests to bless the people not using their own words, but rather using and exact formulation for the blessing, prefacing the instruction with the words: “Thus shall you bless.”
This reveals that the blessing comes from the LORD Himself; the priests were a means for transmitting His gracious will. Now that we have Jesus, our Messiah, our Savior, we know that He is The High Priest, and that His sacrifice has made it possible for us to enter boldly before God.
So today we can pray, petition, and speak blessings knowing that our voice will be heard, and our words will be fruitful before the Lord our Creator, because of Jesus.
As we continue to study the Priestly Blessing we learn that the people accepted the blessing and responded. So how do we receive and respond to a blessing from our Heavenly Father? We anticipate His blessing with a thankful heart, and declare that His Word is so. Here is the blessing that the priests recited, along with the response of the people.
PRIEST: May the LORD bless you and protect you.
PEOPLE: Yes, may it be His will.
PRIEST: May the LORD shine His face to you and be gracious to you.
PEOPLE: Yes, may it be His will.
PRIEST: May the LORD turn (or lift up) His face to you and give to you peace.
PEOPLE: Yes, may it be His will.
You may ask, what does a Jewish blessing have to do with me?
The Bible says, And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you” (Galatians 3:29 NLT).
So that means that all of God’s blessings are for us to obtain, because Jesus paid the ultimate price. Everything he promised pertains to all of His children.
So let us expect the blessings God, and enjoy His goodness. Be thankful for the gift of His Son Jesus, which is His greatest blessing to us each day of our lives.












Thursday, February 26, 2015

Third Level Blessing by Guest Blogger Richard Spangler

Third Level Blessing

While attending a Ministering Spiritual Gifts Conference, I heard a teaching by Apostle John Burkholder of Buffalo, NY, who taught on Luke 6:38
“Give and it will be given to you a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
He says he regularly prays Luke 6:38 over his personal offerings. One day, as he prayed this verse, God told him he was praying it wrong. Apostle John asked, "How?" The Lord stated it was not enough to pray for his offering to blessed, but he needed to pray for those who were to bless him, that they would be blessed to be able to give. Then the Lord took it to another level, not only was he to pray for blessings for those who were to bless to him, but also pray for those who were to bless the givers, so that they could bless him. 
This is a third level blessing, going beyond simple addition into multiplication of blessings. God is a God of multiplication. We see this at creation; God commanded every living thing to be fruitful and multiply (not add). 
This is true in blessings as well as praying for others to be blessed. If we pray in the matter stated above, our blessings will be multiplied as well. So as you give your tithes and offerings, pray for those who are to give to you to be blessed, then for those who are to bless them to receive a blessing.
I prayed over my offering that afternoon and on Sunday at church. My wife has had some physical issues keeping her from working for more than two years. (God has been faithful in His provision for us). We and her doctors agreed that she should apply for disability. So, she filled out all the paperwork and submitted it. Her claim was promptly rejected. She appealed and was scheduled for an appeals hearing on the next Tuesday. 
At the hearing, I was told I could say nothing, so I just sat there and prayed quietly in the Spirit. The judge said it appeared my wife qualified for disability and we would be notified in seven to 10 days of his decision. We were excited and praised God. 
Three days later, our attorney called with the news that the judge’s decision had already been given and he ruled in our favor! She stated it would be at least two monthsbefore we received any back payments (two years’ worth) and then we'd receive monthly checks. We again rejoiced. 
Then, one week later, the lawyer called saying she did not understand it, but the check was already processed and mailed. We were stunned. We received a check for two years’ worth of back payments. Praise the Lord! A manmade timetable of over 70 days was reduced to 10 days! We tithed on what we received and I again prayed over it and am waiting to see what God does.

I want to encourage you, when you give your tithes and offerings, pray for God’s blessing. Then go beyond that and pray for others to be blessed so they can bless you. Finally, take it to the third level of blessing, pray for those to be blessed that are to bless those who are to bless you. Then, watch and see what God will do. 
Copyright © 2012 Richard Spangler, used with permission.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Guest Blogger Michael Plemmons, The Prophet's Pen

The Inevitability Of The Kingdom

  My heart is torn by the suffering of the true followers of Jesus Christ all over the world today. We in the west surrounded by our luxuries and affluent lifestyles cannot begin to imagine the suffering for Christ that so many around the world must endure. For them to stand for Christ is a life and death decision. Children with a love of our Lord Jesus Christ are being slaughtered and in so doing demonstrate a faith beyond the ability of those murderers who slay them to even comprehend. 

  We in the west are asleep as the noose is slowly being lowered to take us. I believe those minions of hell are in the name of cultural diversity  step by step taking away the rights of those who stand for Christ. The day will come when to take a stand for Jesus Christ will carry a price here in the west as it is in so much of the rest of the world. 

 Jesus and Paul told us these days would come. I have as a prophet of God been forewarned that these are those days foretold in the word of God. Saints it is time to sell out to God. There is a dark cloud of deception gripping our world today. The word tells us that in the name of god that great persecution will come.

   In spite of all this the disciples of hell shall not prevail for they have not taken into account the might and power of Jehovah.  His will is absolute and his might and power beyond comprehension.  We in the body of Christ must look beyond the current trends happening around the world. No matter how things may appear our God shall prevail. Evil in all its forms must run its course but the end is at hand and our Lord Jesus Christ who conquered death itself when he rose from the dead shall appear at the conclusion of this time of trouble and set up a kingdom that shall never end.

  It is time to sell out to God for all those who pursue evil shall be swept away in the backwash of his kingdom. No power in existence, no demonically inspired forces now at work in this world shall be able to take from us the glory of God we carry in our hearts. Jesus said to look up in these days for all the current troubles at work in our world shall not prevent the final redemption Christ shall bring to all true followers of Christ who seek like Abraham a city whose builder and maker is God.      

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My new book Fellowship in the Spirit now available on Amazon by Destiny Image Publishers.

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Light in the Darkness by Guest Blogger Michael Plemmons

A little over two thousand years ago a baby was born whose birth was foretold by prophets of God since Moses. The celestial angels filled the heavens in a universal outbreak of joy, singing, and rejoicing, that this day had finally come.

Shepherds tending their flocks at night having beheld this spectacle made their way down the hillsides of Bethlehem, and having found him, stood in amazement as they beheld him in a manger wondering within themselves what it all meant.

  Jesus always had the ability to amaze as at the age of twelve he stood in the temple surrounded by the doctors of the law, and demonstrated by his words the power of God which he carried within him. Only someone who carried in his heart a connection with his Father could have told his exasperated parents that they should have known they would find him in his Father's house.

 John in prophetic wonder stood on the banks of the Jordan and proclaimed to one and all that another was coming. How marvelous that Jesus came to be baptized by John at the start of his ministry. Three years of miracles and wonders  followed all leading to one night.

 On that night the meek Nazarene made his way out of Jerusalem into the Judean hillside. This was a trip he had made many times before. This night was unlike any that had ever been experienced. As he made his way to the garden his disciples walked with him. They had spent many a night in the past three years with him but this time it was different.

 He who had given of himself to so many,  on this night carried an internal weight upon his heart. As he and his disciples entered the garden Jesus took Peter, James, and John and withdrew himself to pray. His spirit was consumed with an agony only God could understand or carry.

Only he and his Father truly understood what had to be done. The internal agony within his soul manifested itself in the great drops of blood that fell from his face to the dusty ground of the garden. Yet within his heart he could see beyond the agony he was soon to face.

The human race would through his sacrifice find the doorway open to the Father of love. No longer would mankind be doomed to live in the shadows filled with pain, sorrow , and fear. Ever since that day the Father has given the love, understanding, and direction of God to one and all because of the sacrifice of his son.

Jesus was a light to that generation and all that have followed. Today we see many things happening in our world that are causing great concern to millions around the globe. War, famine, and epidemic diseases have claimed tens of thousands of lives. Add to that the economic uncertainty and we can readily  understand the fear that grips the heart of so many today.

So fearful heart whatever your pain, sorrow, or fear, he is one whispered prayer away. He understands and stands ready to wipe the tears from your eyes, and the grief and fear from your heart.