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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Spurgeon on Shallow Conversion and Deep Conversion

Charles Spurgeon on the hazards of shallow conversions that do not pluck up every root of man's "goodness", conversions that are not a complete and total renunciation of any righteousness of my own, conversions that are based on preaching that makes it seem like Jesus came to make your life better. NO, NO A THOUSAND TIMES NO!!  We do a great disservice to the "hearer" when we present this "home improvement" gospel.  Jesus came because EVERYTHING that you have built is on the wrong foundation.  It will eventually, under the strain of deep suffering or the deep dealings of God, it will crack and collapse, as it must.  It is a "severe mercy" that will not let you rely on anything false.  In His dealings with Israel if they kept a friendship with Egypt, in order to have a "back up plan" in addition to their reliance on God, He would cause that stick that they were leaning on to snap or go right through their hand.  This is our God!  He is a consuming fire and only His righteousness can be left standing.  This is critical to the church in the last days.  This is the old wine skin and the new wine.  This is the root cause of so many believers who are severely shaken when troubles, trials and suffering come into their lives. This is the root cause of the great falling away.  Oh God rid us of soft preaching and shallow conversions!
And now the Spurgeon quote...."Everywhere before the salvation there comes the humbling of the creature, the overthrow of human hope.
This is mournful work, but it must be done. I think those who experience much of it when they first come to Christ have great reason to be thankful. Their course in life will, in all probability, be much brighter and happier, for I have noticed that persons who are converted very easily, and come to Christ with but comparatively little knowledge of their own depravity, have to learn it afterwards, and they remain for a long time babes in Christ, and are perplexed with masters that would not have troubled them if they had experienced a deeper work at first. No, sir; if grace has begun to build in your soul and left any of the old walls of self-trust standing, they will have to come down sooner or later. You may congratulate yourself upon their remaining, but it is a false congratulation, your glorying is not good. I am sure of this, that Christ will never put a new piece upon an old garment, or new wine in old bottles: he knows the rent would be worse in the long run, and the bottles would burst. 
 It is a great mercy for a man when God sweeps right away all his own righteousness and strength, when he makes him feel that he is nothing and can be nothing, and drives him to confess that Christ must be all in all, and that his only strength lies in the eternal might of the ever-blessed Spirit.
 If I were to win heaven partly through what I had done, and partly through what Christ had done, and if the energy which sanctified me was in a measure my own, and in a measure divine, they that divide the work shall divide the reward, and the songs of heaven while they would be partly to Jehovah must also be partly to the creature. But it shall not be."

Closing thoughts....The righteousness of God, the fear of God is the foundation, and then when the love of God is revealed it is received as something that we are wholly undeserving of, but when the love of God is presented apart from the righteousness of God, the cross of Christ makes no sense. When the love of God is presented apart from the righteousness of God, there is a tiny shred of self-righteousness that is allowed to continue in its existence that then poisons the whole well. Oh God we ask for clear presentations of the gospel!

Until we can truly hear the accusation, "Thou art the man!"...Until we come to a place of true "dead" we cannot come out into resurrection...Until humility replaces pride...Until we have at the center of our thoughts His righteousness and our total unrighteousness.... There is NO NEW BIRTH!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Mercy, humility, Oh to be like You!

The mercy preceding every true move of God is a mercy that leaves the land desolate. It is a mercy that causes despair. Despair of any hope of finding the "will" and the "do" in me, in my flesh... "Simon, Simon, Satan has desired to sift you as wheat but I have prayed for you." Luke 22:31

This quote from my friend Dane,
"It is not us and them, it is all of us and HIM." 

That is the priestly heart of intercession that is "with" the people, that goes down into the waters of baptism to emphasize "I am with you."  Priestly identification is what Reggie Kelly calls it.  Oh God give us true mercy and compassion, make us a people that reflect your heart.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Art Katz on the need of the gifts in the end time 'church'

In the end times…“The issue of the gifts of the Spirit is no longer a matter of Pentecostals or Charismatics, it becomes the imperative for all the church.  This is God’s nuts and bolts provision for the church of the last days, fighting it out and struggling against the world and dealing with the powers of the air, being formed into community, taking its purpose seriously.  It needs all the panoply of God exquisite gift, of His Spirit and Its expression, because we are going to face unforeseen circumstances for which no past experience will have prepared us and in that moment we will need to hear a prophetic word, we will need to hear a tongue and an interpretation, we will need to receive an explicit direction because we are at a cross road where one wrong misstep will be fatal for ourselves and for others.  So unless we respect and esteem this remarkable provision and give the environment that God intended for it to function we will lose a critical factor and gift of God for our last days direction.”  The Core Of Prophetic And Apostolic Reality by Art Katz

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thoughts on Humility Gifts and Power

Humility and Mercy are the Breakthrough

In the past I have prayed for power, signs and wonders and I still believe supernatural manifestations of the Kingdom of God will follow the message of the Gospel.  What is different is I am beginning to see that "stardom" and a certain amount of "fame" would come with the displaying of signs and if humility and mercy are NOT deeply in wrought in the character of a person -- that prominence will destroy them.  We need a body of believers who are broken and can speak directly into each other's lives when pride is just at the seedling stage so it can be cut off and dealt with before it becomes something that destroys many.
We need to be a body of believers, so that no one person is in the spotlight for a prolonged period of time - because the spotlight is a dangerous place for the human heart.  (I have heard the prophecy that the next move of God will be a nameless faceless generation and I praise God for the wisdom in that.)
Paul was given a thorn in the flesh by the One who knows the human heart better than anyone.  Paul didn't think he needed it but God in His mercy knew Paul better than Paul did and so the Father Son and Holy Spirit answered "no"  to a prayer from the most famous Christian of all time.  
So wisdom is crying out, pray for humility and mercy so that you can steward the amazing grace of God well, because His love is about to break out in healing and deliverance in powerful ways.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

No hope

Can we receive the grace to love and trust the true God who knows what is best and brings us to the place where we say, "It is hopeless." Isaiah 57:10, so that He can then give us the "good news" that He makes His home with those who are at the end of their power. Isaiah 57:15, Daniel 12:7, Deut. 32:36, Psalm 116:7, 15, Isaiah 40:29. We admit that we cannot, We believe that He can and we agree to "get out of the way" and let His love and power work in whatever situation we are faced with.

“You were tired out by the length of your road,
Yet you did not say, ‘It is hopeless.’
You found ]renewed strength,
Therefore you did not faint."  Isaiah 57:10  God is not complimenting them here.  He is calling them out, they refused to say, "It is hopeless"  they still wanted to find some hope in themselves, in programs, in others, but they would not "give up" and see God as their only hope.

"For thus says the high and exalted One
Who [a]lives forever, whose name is Holy,
“I dwell on a high and holy place,
And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit
In order to revive the spirit of the lowly
And to revive the heart of the contrite."Isaiah 57:15  This is where the high and holy God dwells, when you see your brokenness clearly and have no hope in anything or anyone, but God.

" I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a  time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed."Daniel 12:7  The loving plan of God involves a temporarily horrible time that cleanses people of all hope except the hope in the "One whom they have pierced."

For the Lord will vindicate His people,
And will have compassion on His servants,
When He sees that their strength is gone,
And there is none remaining, bond or free."Deut. 32:36  Give up?  That is the  question that God is most likely to ask.  His stated goal..."To make us like Jesus" and that is going to mean a realization of the death of Adam in baptism and the Life of Christ.

"The Lord preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me."Psalm 116:6
"Precious in the sight of the Lord
Is the death of His godly ones." Psalm 116:15  What is this verse other than the ultimate expression of the death of flesh, of self, and the resurrection life of God.  Oh let it be so!
"He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power."  Isaiah 40:29  What precedes mounting up with wings like eagles?  Coming to the end of your power, coming to a place of hopelessness and death and receiving the grace to see that it is the faithfulness and love of God that has brought you here, and it will be the One who is Faithful and True who will get you through.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Naked and Not Ashamed, Broken But Accepted in the Beloved

Ann Voskamp has a quote and a statement worth stopping and looking at. “Don’t you think the things people are most ashamed of are things they can’t help?”― C.S. Lewis "Scars may come, but shame never has to." Ann V. ... So there is a place in scripture where humanity was naked and not ashamed, before the fall. "Church" is ultimately a place where this is true. A place where broken people, 'knuckleheads' as a friend of mine says, can gather and be broken... together, vulnerable and with scars showing, but with acceptance and healing being offered because of the finished work of Jesus Christ.