Dear Church, We need….

Holy Spirit we need you to invade.

We need you to invade the church.

We need you to draw us with your strong strength.

We need you to soften that which has become hardened.

We need you to heal hearts.

We need you to strengthen marriages.

We need you to break bondages.

We need to be taught.

We need to remember whose we are.

We need to magnify Jesus.

We need to magnify in prayer.

We need to magnify in our speech.

We need to magnify in opportunities.

We need freedom.

We need your Word to explode into the core of our being.

We need barriers removed.

We need chains broken.

We need honesty.

We need transparency.

We need healing.

We need not desire to just do church.

We need to be Your church, Your body.

We need to bring you glory, praise and honor.

Please begin go draw us with your strong strength.

Right now.

May this time be Yours and Your alone.

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Feeling Forsaken?

Forsaken?

Years ago, a friend ask me why no one put Psalm 22:1 on a T-shirt. I was unlearned as to what that verse said so I asked,

“What does it say?”

His reply,

“My God, my God,

why have you forsaken me?”

We live in a world and a Christian culture where those words are taboo. It is ungodly to ask such a question, isn’t it? Maybe not! Jesus said the same words on the Cross (Matt 27:46). The Psalmist felt like God had left him and turned deaf to his cries. He felt trouble and alone. Is there a more miserable place to be? He felt physical exhaustion and a melted heart. He was at the bottom but he continues that he will proclaim and praise God “in the midst of the congregation”. He knew God had “not hidden his face from him”. He knew God had “heard when he cried to him”. He knew he would “be satisfied”. He knew his kingship “belongs to the Lord”.

If you put Psalm 22:1 on a t-shirt you must put it on the front because that is the beginning of the song not the end. On the back you must put the last verse,

“His righteous acts will be told

to those not yet born.

They will hear about everything

he has done.”

It is not what we feel that matters the most. It is what we know.

A Needed Prayer – Will You Pray It?

I ask you to read this prayer and if you agree, pray this prayer.

“Holy Spirit we need YOU to invade our lives. Not buildings but in the lives of your children. Into the hearts of dads and moms, sons and daughters, grand moms and grand dads, employers and employees, singles and married. Into faith families across our land. We need YOU to draw us with YOUR strong strength. We need YOU to soften that which we have allowed to become hardened. We need hearts to be healed. Marriages to be strengthened. Bondages to be broken. We need YOU to teach us. We need YOU to help us remember whose we are. We need YOU to magnify Christ through every song we sing, every prayer we pray, ever word that is spoken, every opportunity to participate with you. We need freedom. We need YOUR Word to EXPLODE from the pages of our Bibles into the core of our being. We need to remove everything that hinders. We need YOU to break down every barrier that we have allowed to be raised between YOU and us. Break down those barriers that we have constructed and those we have allowed others to construct. We need honesty, transparency and healing. We do not desire to just do life, family or church. We desire YOUR life, godly families and obedient faith families. We desire to be YOUR church, YOUR body, bringing YOU glory, praise and honor. Please accept our weak offering and use it. Right now please begin to draw us with YOUR strong strength. May this time be YOURS. I come to YOU as YOUR child, not in ignorance but in simplicity. I love YOU. In Jesus name and under His blood. Amen.”

 

Let the Awe Return

Why don’t we feel a great deliverance as Christians? Why do we not so cherish our relationship with Christ and His Church? How is it that we have lost the awe (a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder) of our salvation or maybe never had any awe to begin with? How is it that we can slip back into sin so easily? How is it that we choose hate over love, division over restoration, fractures over healing, bitterness over forgiveness? How?

I have mentioned the book Jesus + Nothing = Everything several times over the past few weeks because it has been speaking to in my spirit. Sometimes I find a book and sometimes a book finds me. This book found me. He writes,

“The reason this news is so vast and wonderful is that the bad new is so huge and horrible. The gospel is big because our sin is big.

You and I will never know Christ to be a great savior unless we first understand ourselves to be great sinners. We’ll never really feel deliverance if we don’t first feel desperation. We’ll never experience the glory of real freedom if we don’t first experience the grief of our own slavery.” 1

Christ’s work for us was so enormous that we cannot even begin to understand it, but we do understand unmerited grace, favor and mercy. We all have been given what we do not deserve (Grace). We all have receive a standing we did not earn (favor). We all have enjoyed not getting what we do deserve (mercy). Let the awe return. Let it return in me.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins. (Eph 2:1, ESV)

1 Tchividjian, Tullian. Jesus + Nothing = Everything. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011. Print. p. 78

Who Get$ the Credit?

Upon arrival in Haiti we had a meeting with the staff of the Northwest Haiti Christian Mission (NWHCM). One of the guidelines they ask each missionary to follow has to do with gifts. They ask that no gifts be given out by us to individuals. At first I did not understand this, but then the clarification made perfect sense. If we gave out the gifts the people would see us as the giver and we would get the glory and they would look for the next blanc (white person) for their blessing. If all gifts are given by the mission, God gets the glory. They then see God as sufficient to meet their need. Someone might say that they want to be able to see the joy on their face. It is not important that we see their face but that they see God’s face.

This same principle is true in the local church in America. Often people want to give gifts directly instead of to the church. When this happens the person gets the glory instead of the church – Christ’s body. Why does Scripture teach us to take our offerings to the storehouse (Mal 3:10)? So, God gets the glory when the church makes an impact and not individuals.