Archive | May, 2013

Quote: Getting Filled With All the Fullness of God

26 May

“to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” – Eph 3:19

We would all like to experience more health, abundance and success in our lives. God, being God, has all of these things, won’t you agree?  So to be full of God is to be full of health, abundance and success. But how does one become full of God?

In the past, I was told that to be “filled with all the fullness of God”, I had to fast a certain number of days, pray a certain number of hours and speak in tongues incessantly!  I am not belittling fasting, praying or speaking in tongues, but to be filled with all the fullness of God is not about what you do.  It is not even about your love for Christ.  It is actually about knowing the love of Christ! No one ever told me that if I knew how much God loves me and focused on His love for me, I would be full of Him.

When God made you, He designed you to run at optimal level when you are filled with His love, like a car that runs at its best when it is filled with the right kind of petrol or gasoline.  When you realize how much God loves you and you feed on His love for you, you will be supernaturally filled with the fullness of God.

And to be full of God is to be full of everything God is to you and has for you. To be full of God is to come to a place of life, health, peace, abundance—total wellness.

Also, when you are conscious of how much God loves you and you become filled with the fullness of God, what follows is the next verse—God doing “exceedingly abundantly above all that you can ask or think, according to the power that works in you” (Ephesians 3:20).  You will experience the tremendous blessings of God exploding in your life!  You will become a blessing magnet!

So as God’s beloved, continue to be nourished by His love for you, and experience more health, abundance and success in your life!

From Joseph Prince – Daily Grace Inspirations  (5/26/13)

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Quote: Jesus Wore The Crown of Thorns For You

23 May

“And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head…” – John 19:2

If hard work is the formula for prosperity, then everyone who works hard should be prosperous.  But this is certainly not the case.  Many people who work very hard are still in lack!

I am not advocating laziness.  What I am saying is that working hard by the sweat of your brow is not how God’s provision comes.  In fact, if you have to work overtime all the time and are stressed out, you are probably operating under the curse.

What curse is that? It is this curse: “In the sweat of your face, you shall eat bread…” (Genesis 3:19).  And it refers to the stress, struggle and anxieties that come with working hard and yet producing little.  Now, work itself is not a curse since God gave Adam work before the fall—Adam was to tend the garden of Eden.  It was only after he sinned that the land was cursed and it brought forth thorns, and man had to toil to eat of it. (Genesis 3:17–18)

But praise God, Jesus wore the thorns on His head to show you that He has borne this curse for you and redeemed you from it.  He wore the crown of thorns so that you can work stress-free and yet have the results.  You don’t have to be worried and stressed out day and night like the people of the world just to get ahead in life.  Your heavenly Father can get you there without the worries and stress. (Matthew 6:31–33)

Beloved, every curse that was supposed to fall on your head fell on Jesus’ head, typified by the crown of thorns.  He wore the crown of thorns for you so that you can have peace of mind.  He wore the crown of thorns for you and took your curse so that you can wear the crown of glory and take His righteousness, and all the benefits of that righteousness!

Today, don’t labor and toil like the people of the world. Instead, expect to see the blessings of God come into your life without blood, sweat and tears because Jesus wore the crown of thorns for you!

From Joseph Prince – Daily Grace Inspirations  (5/23/13)

To receive free daily Grace-filled posts from Joseph Prince’s ministry: http://forms.josephprince.org/forms/dgi-signup.aspx

Spiritual Fathers, Boldly Go…

16 May

What am I supposed to do?  What do I have to offer?  And who’s interested in what I have to offer?  Familiar questions?  Here are some ideas to inspire and guide you.  Of course, the following presupposes that you are ‘alive’ in God and that you are hungry and eager to grow and activate in your calling as ‘father’.

So… You’ve matured enough to be a spiritual father and yet you wonder where to ‘ply your trade’.  It’s plain for all to see, the body of Christ (and the world) truly needs fathers.  That means you are desperately needed!  The scripture says that we “have 10,000 teachers but not many fathers” (I Cor 4:15).  But you ask, “So which ministry do I join and when are they going to ask me; when are they going to give me some marching orders and tell me where to fit into their flowchart?”

May I suggest that arrangement would not really satisfy you in the long run?  O, in the short term you may feel some temporary inspiration.  But most likely, your fatherhood won’t be truly fulfilled as long as you are ‘under’ someone’s rules and constrained to fit into their DNA.  Generally speaking, fathers must be themselves and function in the uniqueness they are ‘tooled’ for.  Apostle Paul restricted his fathering to areas where he would not: “build on someone else’s foundation” (Roms 15:20).

Now you say, “Are you suggesting that I go start my own church?”  No, way (unless the Lord has commissioned you).  “Are you suggesting that I drop out of church and be a loner?”  No way.  Your ‘father mantle’ will continue to bless your present group in limited ways.

But I am suggesting that your fathering must find a unique niche that only you can fulfill.  This answers the primal and God-given need of every man to conquer and possess his own promised land.  O you’ll help others win their battles from time to time, but conquering a challenge that is uniquely yours will give you the biggest rush and greatest satisfaction you’ve ever experienced.  God has designed it so that there is greater grace for taking territories that are waiting just for us.  In John Eldredge’s epic book, Wild At Heart, he states that all males have three primal needs: “a battle to fight, a beauty to rescue, and an adventure to live.”  We must find our own battles, beauty and adventure!

Don’t find your joy or identity solely in your attendance and being identified with somebody else’s ‘big thing’.  You’re too mature to need that.  You’ve been weaned from the ‘nuk’ and ‘milk’.  You’re ready for meat.  Meat is when you’ve searched the heart of God and found your own insights and rhema from God.  Jesus said, “My meat is to do the will of the Father” (Jn 4:34).  In other words, when you find and do the unique will of the Father for you, it will sustained you in every way.  This is awesome news!

So how can I find my territory?  Simple!

“Be about my Father’s business!” – (Lk 2:49)  Ask the Lord to help you be who you are.  Start fathering (blessing, encouraging and mentoring) everything that breathes.  You may find your territory where you least expect it… or it may come looking for you.  It may even already be in your life.

Suggestion: Start with the ‘least’ – the marginalized young person, the neighbor kids, a single parent family, a struggling group, jail inmates, a convalescent home, etc.  Take them under your wing.  Pour your wealth into them.  You are a gold mine to them.  You will give them hope and tracks to run on as you call them forth into their own identity.  Your attention and care will likely be a phenomenon in their life–as most people have no one to encourage and affirm them.

Let compassion motivate and guide you.  Find your joy in letting Father’s heart of compassion flow through you.  You may even cry over them.  This ‘conduit’ of compassion will transform and energize you.  Really!   And they will thank you forever… and it will bring joy to your Father’s heart.  As you follow compassion and the resulting joy of fruitfulness, it will lead you to finding and possessing your own territory.

Don’t sweat or strive at this.  It will come easily because… it IS you!  You were made for this.  Don’t make a ‘machine’ out of it… because then you’d have to serve the machine.  Keep your heart free.  Follow compassion vs rules and methods.  When you feel compassion for someone, this will be your signal and litmus test to validate the Lord’s will for you?  You will likely discover that compassion is your primary tool to help you find and open each new door.  Have fun ‘researching’ how compassion functions best through you.

You wonder if they’ll want what you have to offer?  Here’s a tip:  Make sure that you conduct yourself within the nine fruits of the Spirit.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law.” – Gal 5:22-23

Notice in the last phrase that if you practice these fruits that there is no law prohibiting you.  These fruits are ALWAYS IN SEASON.  Everyone loves; being loved, being around happy, peaceful, patient, kind and gentle people, and someone who is self-controlled.  Be a giver of these… and all that you have!  No strings attached.  Give away like there is no tomorrow.  You’ll experience the greatest reception as you function in this mode.

Now that you’ve survived all the life qualifying experiences necessary to mature you into a father, why not enjoy the rest of your life just BEING a father?  No need to prove your worth, ability or importance anymore.  That’s behind you.  Just be you.  Go ahead, make up for the lack of fathers.  See how many sons you can father.  Watching them mature into their own fatherhood… and feeling the smile from Heaven, will be your GREAT reward.

You go, Bro!

— MLH

Difference between a good man and a Christian?

13 May

A good friend recently asked this question: What is the difference between a good man and a Christian?

Here’s a very short response from three points of view:

1. The world
2. The average religious person
3. The Word

1. The world

a. The good man is anyone who is popular, generally tries to do good and is accepted in society as the person to be like
b. The Christian man is adversely opinionated and has societally restrictive mindsets

2. The average religious person

a. The good man is going to hell because he hasn’t said the sinner’s prayer and is trying to earn his way to Heaven on his merits
b. The Christian man is one who said the sinner’s prayer, is trying hard to keep the 10 commandments and not ‘fall off the wagon’ before he dies so he won’t go to hell

3. The Word

a. The good man is sadly wearing himself out continually trying to earn God’s favor when Grace is already available to him
b. The “Christian man” realizes by Grace he is saved, that his striving yields little. He aspires to becoming like a little child to enjoy God and walk through life just being with Daddy; thinking, saying and doing what He does

– MLH

Tongues – Accessing Encouragement and Wisdom from Heaven

9 May

Who gets all the encouragement we need?  Want more?  God has made a way for us to get encouraged anytime we want. Try 1 Cor 14:4, “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself” and Jude 1:20, “build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.”  Isn’t it amazing that God made a way for us to get encouraged!  And we don’t even need another person to express a gushing feeling about us… we just need to pray in our Heavenly language.

So how do we get encouraged when we pray in the Spirit?  1 Cor 14:2 says, “For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God… he utters mysteries with his spirit.”  When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, He now resides in us in fuller measure.  When we pray in our Heavenly language, the Holy Spirit is praying through our spirit to God.  When He is praying through us, the ‘by-product’ is that our spirit gets encouraged by God’s Spirit.

Now that’s good ‘medicine’ right there.  God says, “Take a few moments to pray in your Heavenly language and call Me the morning”.  Fun, huh?

Furthermore, as those who have been commissioned to re-present God on the earth, we need Heaven’s wisdom for our lives… and for a needy world.  So how do we get wisdom and understanding?  When we use our Heavenly language, access is created into the Spirit realm.  While speaking those “mysteries to God” Paul goes on to say that we should ask to understand what we’re saying: 1 Cor. 14:13 “For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says.”   For wisdom from ‘out of this world’, try ‘listening in’ to our spirit and God’s Spirit communing.

Thus Heavenly understanding is available for us while using our Heavenly language.  And as evidence, consider this; Apostle Paul, who wrote the largest part of the New Testament also spoke in tongues more than everyone… I Cor 14:18  “I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.”  Is this just a coincidence that the one who spoke in tongues more than anyone also wrote the largest part of the Bible?

Would you like more encouragement and wisdom from Heaven?  Then consider following Paul’s personal practice… and his desire for you, found in I Cor 14:5, “I would like every one of you to speak in tongues.”

What a ‘tough job’ we’ve got… letting Holy Spirit pray through us back to Father!  You just gotta love God’s strategy, how He makes it possible for us to get encouraged while we’re doing His business.  Crazy cool!  And think of this; when Holy Spirit prays, He always prays the very best prayers; He always prays in accordance with the will of God; He ALWAYS gets the answers to His prayers and He always encourages us as He prays.  Now who couldn’t like that?

Yay, Holy Spirit!  I love the way You pray… and how You encourage me and give me understanding when You pray through me.  Thank you!

by Gary Kershner and MLH

More on this topic: http://wp.me/p23r7p-ev

Listen up, Explorers! Pleasures Forevermore

6 May

Ever wonder if God would ever run out of Kingdom ‘territory’ for us to explore?  Would His Kingdom ever have an ‘edge of the earth’ limit, where He says, “Uhhh, I don’t have any more possibilities for you?  My Kingdom ends here.”  I don’t think so!

Rather, His response to you is, “My son, there is no ‘edge of the earth’ to fall off of.  There is no end to my Kingdom… in this life or the next.  It’s never ending… so never stop exploring.  Go ahead and try to find the ‘edge’.  Like the early explorers, sail out further.  You won’t fall off.  You will discover My Kingdom goes on and on and on…”

“For you, new horizons will always be your exciting challenge.  As long as you are eager for adventure, my Word says, “In the presence of the Lord is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore!” (see Ps 16:11)  Yes, that’s right, when you think you’ve explored all there is, I’ll open up another ‘room’ of adventure… and so on… forever.  As long as you stay ‘on the hunt’, you will never be bored!”

— MLH

Three Eras of Prayer Posture

5 May

In John 16:23-28 we find that Jesus describes three eras of prayer… all in the same context.  Each one of these eras requires a distinctly different posture based upon our spiritual position with our Father.  Recognizing these three eras gives us yet another confirmation of the Kingdom era dawning upon us.  With new ‘lens’, we find that Scripture is full of these insights about our unique transition into the new era. Let’s take a look at where we have been and where we are transitioning to by reading this passage from the NIV: (I’ve highlighted the portions to focus on)

22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. 25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father.

26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

Defining the three eras and the different prayer postures

 1. Prayer without Jesus (before Jesus)

a. Under the law, we were always a failure, deserving of judgment.
b. To pray was to approach a fearsome God who struck terror in the hearts of His subjects.
c. Pre-Jesus we had no ‘Advocate’.

2. Prayer through Jesus (from Jesus till present day)

a. As ‘sinners-barely-saved-by-grace’ we knew we were undeserving and hugely sin-prone
b. Our only hope was to stay close to Jesus who was our ‘ticket’ into Heaven.
c. We had an ‘Advocate’ and could pray through Him.
d. We knew that Jesus would intercede for us and protect us from the justifiable wrath of Father.
e. Even so, we were still beggars and plaintiffs hoping for a handout.

3. Prayer directly to Father, in Jesus name (in Kingdom era… when Jesus “sees us again”)

a. Now, through the revelation of Grace we’re becoming confident in Father’s love and favor.
b. We realize that He has elevated us to being seated with Jesus.
c. We realize that we are co-heirs / co-inheritors and co-rulers with Jesus.
d. Humbly, but with great confidence we go straight to the Father, just like our elder brother, Jesus.

Let’s read the same passage in the Amplified Version now:

22 So for the present you are also in sorrow (in distress and depressed); but I will see you again and [then] your hearts will rejoice, and no one can take from you your joy (gladness, delight).  23 And when that time comes, you will ask nothing of Me [you will need to ask Me no questions]. I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that My Father will grant you whatever you ask in My Name [as presenting all that I Am].  

24 Up to this time you have not asked a [single] thing in My Name [as presenting all that I Am]; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete.  25 I have told you these things in parables (veiled language, allegories, dark sayings); the hour is now coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures of speech, but I shall tell you about the Father in plain words and openly (without reserve).

26 At that time you will ask (pray) in My Name; and I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf [for it will be unnecessary].  27 For the Father Himself [tenderly] loves you because you have loved Me and have believed that I came out from the Father.  28 I came out from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father.

And just for fun, let’s try the MEV (Mark’s Expanded Version)

Vs 22-23 – When I appear to you again, you will become so permanently happy that you will forget any sadness and grief… you will forget your ache of longing for the ‘more’ that you knew was available. When I appear to you in my glory, you will also appear with me in that same glory (Col 3:4) and never again will you feel the need to ask me anything, for your heart will have unspeakable joy and unshakable confidence in the favor of my Father who will delight to answer you every time you pray in my name.  Of course, you will never question that it was my love for you and my work on the cross that afforded you this exalted place of favor… that will always be the foundation for your beloved position with Father.  But in that time, you will no longer even think of coming through me to the Father, for you will see yourself as also having all of my position of favor with Father… you will approach Him even as I approach Him.

Vs 24-25 – Up to now (33 AD) you were under the Law and you didn’t have me as your Advocate to present you and your petitions to the Father.  But at this time (33 AD and beyond) I say, please ask of me that your joy may be made full… that the heaviness of the Law would be superseded by the delight of having access through me to the Father.  Right now, I am using veiled language because you don’t have sufficient ability to handle the full understanding and favor that will be revealed to you someday.  But I am eager for the day when I will speak to you plainly, unveiled and face to face.  Then I will tell you every detail of my Father’s thoughts, perspectives and affections for you.

Vs 26-28 – In the day when I see you again, you will come to the Father with exactly the same confidence as I come to the Father. In fact, as you realize that I am in you (Christ in you, the hope of glory – Col 1:27) you will come even AS ME to the Father.  With this higher revelation of who you are in my Father’s eyes, I will not even attempt to be your ‘go-between’, for you will need no ‘go-between’.  In that day you will be shocked to understand who you really are and how incredibly good your favored position is with my Father.  You will realize how much He loves you… all because you believed me and have learned to love me as your closest friend and brother.  I came from our wonderful Father and have walked among you now for 33 years, but for this next interim (the Church age) you will ask the Father through me that your joy may be made full.   I leave you now and go back to my Father.

The message of Grace and it’s inherent impact on us elevates us from beggarly plaintiffs to confident sons and kings.  Here we understand and have experiential reality in the rich favor of our Father.  Obviously, we do nothing apart from Him, but our secure position in His love launches us into unimaginable experience and exploits of rulership with Jesus over the kingdoms of this earth and beyond.  And lest we think this is too grandiose and lofty, consider this:

Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the saints of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him. This is the end of the matter. – Dan 7:27-28

Obviously, we have much to learn about our amazing favored status with Father God.  Yes, pride is a possibility on this journey into God’s favor, but even more of a possibility, is false humility (which is just another form of pride).  You see if we don’t allow God’s Word to wash and free us from our sin consciousness, we will always be tethered to beggar type praying.

So I offer this ‘homework’:  For one week, try praying only confident, kingly prayers of declaration and proclamation of God’s will and heart into your life situations.  First, ask Father what His heart is on the matter, then begin to prophesy and release His life into the matter… like kings do.

— MLH