Monday, August 29, 2016

Spirit Filled Believers

Have you ever thought of yourself as an “artesian well” for Jesus? Probably not. But if you are obeying Paul’s command to continually “be filled with the spirit,” you are functioning spiritually much like an artesian well functions geophysically! (Eph 5:18) “Don’t be drunk with wine, Because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit.” So, how is this so? Paul reminded Timothy “You have not been given a spirit of fear but of power and love and sound mind.” (2 Tim 1:7) The word for “power” is dunomis which gives us our English words dynamo, dynamic, etc. Dunomis speaks of power which is residing in believers by virtue of our new nature - new creations in Christ (2 Cor 5:17). The “effecting agent” of that power is of course the Holy Spirit who dwells in us now and forever throughout eternity! Paul was telling Timothy that “you are to live this new life in Christ not in dependence on your own natural strength, but in dependence on the power (dunomis) provided by the Spirit who dwells in you!” Charles Spurgeon put it this way regarding our power versus God’s Power:
Power in the creature is like water in the cistern.
Power in the creator is like water in the fountain!
What does an artesian well have to do to function effectively? Two things:
1) STAY LOW! Spiritually this is not subtle- “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” So the message is “stay humble!” Understand that in order to daily experience His power and live a supernatural life, we have to continually humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God!
2) STAY OPEN! WE have to allow the flow of the Spirit to keep flowing. Sin impedes the flow of the Spirit, so we need to be sensitive when we have offended Him by our thoughts, words, or deeds, and we need to confess and repent.
And what is the result?
Amazing grace flows down from on high and as our Lord Jesus Christ promised, from our “innermost being shall flow rivers of living water” as the Spirit flow of power is unimpeded and unhindered!
Hudson Taylor, the great missionary of China, affirmed this truth declaring “depend upon it.” God’s work done in Gods’ way will never lack supplies. All God’s giants have been weak men (and women) who did great things for God because they reckoned on His being with them. God asks men (and women) who are weak and feeble enough to lean on Him! I will sum it all up with two questions for us:
1) Am I daily leaning on Him?
2) Am I keeping short accounts?
Your answers are between you and God.
~Pastor Reg

Our Father In Heaven, Hallowed be Your Name!

There is a widespread view in today’s world that there is no connection between public and private morality. Surveys show that generally speaking people can act as if there is no connection. But the bible knows no such distinctions. As far as God is concerned morality is one and indivisible. What a person is in private he or she is likely to be in public life.
“They pant after the dust of the earth which is on the heads of the poor and pervert the way of the humble. A man and his father go into the same girl, to defile My Holy name. They lie down by every altar on clothes taken in pledge, and drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their God.” (Amos 2:7,8)
I remember my grandfather once said: “If a man who works for me cheats on his wife, then he is likely to cheat on me.” It may be convenient for those in public life to argue otherwise but the truth is there is no real division between private and public.
Israel’s leaders, as we see from the book of Amos, are judged  for oppressing the weak, vulnerable, and helpless. These verses also show us that both the boardroom and the bedroom are subject to God’s law! As we see, in not only the political but in most public scenes, God is scandalized by the culture today. What is most serious is that, by their actions, God’s holy name is profaned across the countryside and the world. By choosing Israel to be His show piece nation God has put His reputation on the line. Such behavior as Amos now exposes drags God’s good name into disrepute. For this, Judah was sent into exile 150 years later. No wonder Jesus made it first priority for His disciples to pray that God’s name would again be hallowed in Israel. Nothing more matters to God than the honor of His name! Let us all honor the name of the Lord in everything we do, and in every place we do it!

Pastor Reg

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What to do when you find yourself in a pickle

My friend and evangelist Tom Shanklin and I communicate quite regularly. He sends articles that he writes and I always enjoy his comments. These words today are being share from his last article that he sent to me. I believe these words will bless you.

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6, KJV.
I have found a very effective solution when I find myself in a dilemma. Pray!
The other day Susan and I were at the mall where we walk and pick up our mail, and when we were ready to leave, the car would not start. It had been an intermittent problem for a several weeks.
My car operates without a key. You simply have the key in the car, and then you use a push button on the dash. Fancy! However, from time to time it simply would not start. Then we would push the button again and again and finally it would start. This time, however, it would not start. So here we were in the parking lot next to the mall. It was very hot and the sun was shining through the windshield and my car wouldn't start. In that situation, there’s a temptation to be upset, fearful, angry or frustrated. 
But then I remembered Philippians 4:6. So in heat of the moment (literally), Susan and I prayed. I quoted Philippians 4:6 to the Lord and committed the problem to the Him. Then I called the shop and they were able to get the car in right away, which is unusual for them.
Within a short time they called and said the problem was the brake light switch. The brakes must be engaged in order for the car to start. Even though it was very late in the afternoon, they were able to get a new switch and install it before the end of the day.
I cannot tell you how many times this verse has gotten me out of a jam. It just seems that God honors His Word when you apply the Scripture in prayer. Many times I have found myself fretting over a situation and wondering what to do, and then I will remember this scripture. Then I will say, “Lord, you said. ‘Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your request be known unto God.’ So I bring my petition to you concerning this issue. Thank you Lord for working it out. I can’t solve it, so I give it you and I thank you for it and for all you have done for me through Jesus your Son. Amen."
Many times, the answer comes very quickly, as it did with my car. But there are also times when it takes some time for things to change. Thanksgiving will help sustain your faith while you are waiting for the answer to manifest. The power of thanksgiving is a great tool in releasing your faith in prayer. Faith takes hold of the thing that you are asking for BEFORE you see the manifestation of it. As Jesus said, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Mark 11:24, KJV.
So when you make your request and you believe you receive the answer, it’s time to start praising God. As Paul said, “…with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6, KJV. So don’t leave out the “with thanksgiving” part. Start praising God immediately for the answer. 
Think of it this way. If you made a request to the Lord for a need in your life and Jesus walked in your living room and sat down and said, “Your prayer has been received and I am giving you what you requested,” the normal thing would be to start jumping up and down and praising God for His love and miraculous provision. Well, the truth is, He has come into your house and spoken to you! He has come to you through the Word of God. As the scripture says: “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” 1 John 5:14, 15, KJV.
So when you pray, it’s time to shout the victory. “Praise God, I have my request! Praise God, it’s mine! Thank you Jesus! Hallelujah!!! Amen.”

~ Tom Shanklin