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In This 3 Part Video Training You Will Learn:
About The Common Roadblocks Keeping You From Sharing The Gospel
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How To Initiate A Spiritual Conversation With Anyone
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Did you know that this year, 2018, the world will be celebrating both April Fools Day and The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (Easter)! That's right they both fall on the same day this year.
The irony of these two events falling on the same date cannot be overstated! On the one hand you have a world that says death cannot be cheated, cannot be avoided and is final. While on the other hand you have the Christians Biblical belief that Jesus Christ did die on the cross, was buried in a tomb and on the third day came back to life again. April 1, 2018 is a date where these two completely world views will collide and are in total opposition to each other.
One world view says that to be raised from the dead, after being dead for three days, is totally impossible, while the other says it is not only possible but actually did happen and has tremendous ramifications for all the rest of us who have ever been born throughout world history.
The world believes it is totally impossible because that's all the world has ever known. Every single person who has ever lived has died and every single person who has died for 3 days or longer has stayed dead, accept for those crazy claims of the Bible of Jesus and those he supposedly raised from the dead. All of life's experiences demands, for those in the world, that the claims of Christ's resurrection is a fairy tale and cannot be trusted. They believe that Christians hold to a "Blind Faith" which is unreason or irrational.
But for those of us who are Followers of Christ and do believe in Christ's Resurrection from the dead our faith is far from that "Blind Faith"! No! Instead, it is a faith based upon "Evidence Beyond Reasonable Doubt".
Yes, the belief in Jesus death, burial and resurrection is based upon eye witness evidence that's reasonable. There are people, who lived during the time of Christ's resurrection, who have claim and gone on record to have seen Jesus after his crucification alive and well. They made it very clear their experience wasn't some kind of hallucination. They claimed to have walked with him, talked him, ate with him and touched him. They claimed it to be a life altering experience that took them from fear, including the fear of death, to a life filled with boldness regardless of the life circumstance that was confronting them.
Who were these eye witness? The Bible clearly shares the identity of those eye witnesses. They weren't trying to stay in the shadows. They were open and upfront for everyone to hear. 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 reveals who they are:
"3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, [b]and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born."
Who were these eye witnesses?
First, there is the 500 who saw him! He doesn't specifically list their names because there are just to many to list. But he does say that most were still alive to the very date of the writing. Why indicate that most were still alive? Because, Paul was challenging them to go to Palestine and check it out for themselves. They could go around and ask if anyone had seen Christ resurrected and the chances were that they'd still find many who would say, "I did"!
But among those 500 we know that they would have included the women who gone to the tomb and found it empty and then saw Jesus alive. In Luke 24:10 we read,
"Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, .."
Here we see 3 specific names of women identified who saw the resurrection of Christ. They were Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Mary the mother of James but there were also other women there as well.
Second, Jesus showed himself to the apostles and James, Jesus' half brother. Many in the world believe that the Apostle would have lied about Jesus resurrection. They believe that the apostles knew that Jesus was dead but wanted to keep the movement alive and therefore fabricated the story of His resurrection.
But is that really logical. Would someone really lie about something they knew to be a lie? Yes, if they had something to gain like: power, prestige or money. But the apostle got none of those things. As a matter of fact they lived like poor people and eventually were beaten and killed for their testimony of seeing Jesus alive. They gained nothing if it was a lie.
Surely at least one of them upon the sentence of death would have recanted their testimony if it had been a lie! But not one ever recanted or changed their story but instead every apostle lived and died in the most horrible way because of their refusal to recant their story. They were to die for their testimony of Christ's resurrection. Why would anybody do that unless they knew it to be the truth!
Next, there was the eye witness account of the Apostle Paul. Paul wasn't part of the original apostles as a matter of fact he was a Christian hater who wanted nothing more than to arrest and kill all who claimed to be a Follower of Christ and testified of His resurrection. For awhile there, that was his total life's mission.
But something happened that changed Paul! He went from being a Christian hater and killer to the greatest Christian missionary ever! He ended up with a new life's mission! Instead of putting Christians into prison, he made it his life's ambition to make as many people Christians as possible by believing in Christ's death, burial and resurrection.
What made the change? How did Paul go from being a Christian hater to a Christian maker? Paul's very own testimony gives us the answer. We find Paul's answer in Acts 26 where he states clearly why he is now a follower of Christ. He says it is because while on the road to Damascus that Jesus appeared to him and spoke to him. It was the resurrected Jesus speaking to him that changed him. That was his life changing experience.
Now as I contemplate these eye witnesses I am forced to evaluate how credible they are about what they confess. And I have come to the following conclusion! They are ALL extremely reliable! Why:
- Because the original apostles gained nothing in this world and lost everything including their lives for their testimony that they saw the resurrected Christ. It is unreasonable to believe that someone would maintain a lie when all they got was pain, suffering and death. It is even more harder to believe all the apostle would maintain that lie under such circumstances. And yet, that's exactly what happened: every single one of them maintained their testimony and never recanted. They all died for their testimony for seeing Christ resurrected. That makes them very compelling and credible witnesses.
- Because Paul himself said that his life change was a direct result of his encounter with the resurrected Christ. He stopped being a Christian hater and killer to become a Christian maker because he encounter the living Christ. THAT'S WHAT PAUL SAID! This changed of heart only brought pain and suffering and eventually was beheaded for his testimony of seeing the resurrected Christ. He gained nothing from this change in life but lost everything he was working for because of it. This makes Paul one of the greatest and most credible eye witnesses.
- The sheer number of eye witnesses, over 500, make the resurrection of Christ irrefutable.
Yes, this Sunday, April 1st, 2018 is both the day we celebrate the resurrection of Christ (Easter) and April Fools Day. But don't be the fool by believing that Jesus is still dead. He's not! He's Alive! And by placing your faith in the resurrect Jesus you can be saved from your sins and receive the gift of eternal life. Will you do it today?
When God is ready to do something new, when He is ready to move His mission into a new territory or when God begins to expand his mission to into areas uncharted, He first has to prepare a person to go and do His will! Understand this: God's plan for expanding His mission is always through His people. We who know Christ have been commissioned as His ambassadors to this lost world. So, when God want to do something new in accomplishing His mission he will first prepare one or more of His ambassadors to go.
In Acts chapter 10 we read of such a preparation when God was wanting to spread the Gospel to the Gentiles. He first had to prepare his ambassador, Peter, and then commissioned him to share the message of reconciliation to them. Let's read what Acts 10:9-23 to see what we can learn:
"About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.' Surely not, Lord!' Peter replied. 'I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.' The voice spoke to him a second time, 'Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.' This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven. While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon' house was and stopped at the gate. They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there. While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, 'Simone, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.' Peter went down and said to the men, 'I'm the one you're looking for. Why have you come?' The men replied, 'We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to have you come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.' Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests. The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa went along." (NIV)
When I begin to contemplate this story of Peter's life I see four important things that will help us to be ready to move with God into a new mission field that He wants us to go into. They are:
I. BE STEADFAST IN PRAYER!
Isn't it interesting that Peter had been in a time of intense prayer just prior to God calling him into a new mission territory? He had been praying so hard and long that he became hungry. I have often found that during my times of intense prayer I also have become hungry. Prayer isn't a passive activity that requires no energy. On the contrary, prayer can be a very exhausting activity that can cause a person to feel physically tired as well as spiritually and emotionally tired.
Prayer prepares the Christ's Ambassador to be open and receptive to what God wants to share with them. Prayer removes the spiritual blinders and chains that can hold us back from joining God where He is moving.
We find in Acts 13 that while some of the prophets and teachers at the church in Antioch were in a time of intense worship, fasting and prayer that God called for Barnabas and Saul to be set apart for the work that he was calling them into. This was to be the beginning of the 3 missionary journey's of Paul. And it was during a time of prayer, worship and fasting that God called for his servants to be set apart.
When people share with me that they never sense God's call to be used, I often wonder how intentional they are in prayer and how submissive are they in their prayers. For if we are praying and have a submissive heart that says, "where ever you lead I'll go" I am confident that God will employ that servant into His service.
How intentional and consistent are you being in your prayer life? How submissive are you being as you pray? Are you trying to tell God what you want and need for him to do? Or, are you asking God what He wants to be done? Yes, we are to pray for God to meet our needs but, as we learn from Jesus' example, we should be in the attitude that says, "Not my will - but thy will be done!"
II. RECOGNIZE WHEN GOD SPEAKS!
Next we see God beginning to speak to Peter while he was in a trance. This experience wasn't confusing to Peter. It was like normal dream people have while they are asleep. This was different. This was a God encounter and Peter recognized it as such. Peter wasn't confused about if it was God speaking to him - Peter knew it was God speaking to Him.
You see when God speaks, God makes it clear it is Him who is speaking. When you look in the Bible to those whom God spoke to, you never find a person wondering if it was God speaking to Him or not. No! they knew it was God and more importantly they knew exactly what God was telling them.
God doesn't want His people confused about if it is really Him talking to them! God wants us to know for certain that He is the one talking to us and for us to know clearly what He is saying. If there is ever a time when we are unsure if what we are sensing is of God or not we have a wonderful promise in the Bible found in James 1:5,
"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. Than man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."
What a beautiful and reassuring promise! If you are uncertain that what you are sensing needs to happen or if it is from God or not, just ask him to confirm it to you and he promises he will. All we have to do is "Ask & Believe".
Have you come to the place in your relationship with Christ that you can recognize the voice of God and discern what He is telling you? Being able to recognize God's voice and understanding what He is saying is ESSENTIAL for joining God in those new mission fields where He is moving. Why should God call you to join Him if you're unable to discern when He is talking to you and what He is saying?
III. BE READY TO BE CHALLENGED BY WHAT GOD SAYS!
Moving into a new mission territories most likely will stretch you greatly in your comfort and your values.
Before this encounter with God Peter was both uncomfortable at the thought of going into the home of a gentile. It was against every value he had been brought up to believe. It was against the establish religious convictions that he had been brought up with. There was no way he would go into the house of a gentile unless God had first prepared him. And that's exactly what God did.
Peter wasn't convinced on the first God encounter or even the second God encounter. It took three different encounters with God and hearing the same message from God before Peter understood that God was serious about what he was saying and before God could send him with those men to go into the house of a gentile. If God hadn't taken the time to prepare Peter, Peter probably never would have accepted their invitation to come.
Are you being challenged about what will be required to join God in the new mission field that you sense He is leading you into? Are some of your church traditions, values and perspectives being called into question and you're not sure how to respond. Then good, because God is shaping you and fashioning you into the kind of servant that will follow Him where ever He leads.
IV. BE OPEN TO MOVING IN A NEW DIRECTION!
Is Peter unique? Or, are we a lot like Peter? I think that we, like Peter, also need to have those God encounters that prepare us to go and join Him in those new mission fields! To be willing to leave the comforts of what is familiar and the treasured established relationships and to go to a place that is unknown has to have a God preparation take place. That doesn't mean it is going to be instant preparation or even an easy transition. It just means it is necessary to happen.
It wasn't instant or even pleasant for Jonah to be prepared and willing to go on his mission assignment! He had to be swallowed by a whale! How quick and how easy that transition to following God depends on how submissive the one being called is. Our openness to moving in a new direction will depend on how much our will has been broken, so that only God's will is left.
How open are you to joining God in the new mission fields He is opening up? How much of your own will have you crucified on the cross and how much of God's will is directing you? These are the question that only you can answer for yourself! No one can answer then for you.
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When we begin to join Christ on His mission and become intentional about making reproducing disciple makers, we can rest assured that we will run into times of trials and tribulations! Difficult times is something we can guarantee will happen and is something we will need to learn to deal with.
In Luke 9:23 we hear Jesus telling people what is expected of anyone who wishes to be one of his disciples,
"Then he said to them all, 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily, and follow me."
According to Jesus there are three things that are essential if someone truly wants to become one of His disciples.
They Must Deny Themselves: A life of a disciple of Christ is a life of self-denial. To be His disciples means to no longer have your own ambitions, your own goals or your own desires. Instead, your life is for Christ and Him alone. You surrender your will for the will of Christ and your desire is to accomplish God's will.
- They Must Pick Up Their Cross Daily: The cross in Jesus' day was a painful instrument of death. Joining Christ on His mission quite often will be a very painful experience. Many have suffered greatly and even died for their commitment to Christ and His mission.
- They Must Follow Him: It is Christ who sets the place for our missional assignment - not us! He's the one who tells us where to go - not us telling him where we are willing to go. Quite often Christ's followers found themselves in the most darkest of places, led their by Christ, for the purpose of sharing with those who live in those troubled areas the Gospel.
The suffering and difficult times we may experience are part of God's will for us and in accomplishing the mission set before us!
Jesus Understood Clearly The Pain Associated With Carrying A Cross
As we all clearly know Jesus knew what it meant to pick up a cross and carry it! It meant to suffer and then die to accomplish the work set before Him. Even Jesus didn't relish the thought of going to the cross and would have preferred a different solution if possible. In Matthew 26:39 we get the rare opportunity to listen in on a prayer by Jesus to His Heavenly Father. It was a prayer concerning the cross. Listen to what Jesus asks:
"Going a little farther, He felled with His face to the ground and prayed, 'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will but as you will."
Jesus didn't like the idea of going to the cross. He understood clearly the pain and suffering that was going to come with it. He referenced it as a "cup". This was an Old Testament imagery that was a reference to the Cup of "God's Wrath" being poured out as judgement. Jesus understood that going to the cross meant that he would be experiencing the full unbridled wrath of His Father. This was not a pleasant thought at all.
There's no written record of the Father's answer but we do know what it was by the actions of Jesus and His resolve to go to the cross and die. The Father's answer was simple,
"Son, you must go to the cross if people's sins are to be forgiven."
And out of love for us Jesus endured the cross.
Just like Jesus was to take up His cross, Jesus tells us that we are to pickup our cross daily and follow him. He is telling us that on a day by day basis we are to have a heart willing to suffer and possibly die in order to join Him on his mission of redeeming the world. We must be willing to deny our self interests and desires in order that others, still lost in sin, can hear the Good News and be saved. We must be willing to die, if need be, so others can be born again.
But how do you do that? How do we endure the pain and suffering that comes with being on mission with Christ so others can be saved? Again, we find our answer in the example of Jesus.
Jesus Refocused & Looked Past The Suffering.
In Hebrews 12:2 we find our answer through Jesus' example.
" ... For the joy set before Him he endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the Thrown of God."
How did Jesus endure the cross? Not by focusing on the cross but look past it and focusing on the joy that would come after the cross.
- The joy of knowing that everything that needed to be done for the salvation of men had been accomplished.
- The joy that He was obedient to His father even to the point of death on a cross.
- The joy of all those men, women, boys and girls dressed in white robes standing around the Thrown of God singing Holy, Holy, Holy. Jesus was focusing on the End-vision.
That's how we endure daily picking up our cross with all the pain associated with it! We focus, not on the trial or tribulation but on all those who will receive Jesus by faith because of our faithfulness; by focusing on hearing Jesus words spoken to us, "Well done good and faithful servant"; by focusing on the "JOY" that will come when Christ returns and finds us faithful to the call.
THAT'S HOW YOU ENDURE!
In Philippians 3:13-15 we read hear the Apostle Paul admonishing us to press on, never give up, never stop but strain and push your way to the finish line. Read for yourself how Paul puts it:
"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things ...."
When it comes to living a powerful missional life that brightly shines the Light of Christ this should be our marching verse! KEEP ON PRESSING ON! Being on mission with Christ is not like a sprint race but more like a marathon race. To finish the part of God's mission He has given to us to do will take years, along with lots of pain, sorrow and heart ache. The temptation to quit will at times will be almost hard to overcome if we are not mentally and spiritually prepared to go the distance.
This video is the first of 3 messages I brought for Agape Baptist Church in Tucson, AZ during their 3 day retreat with the theme of PRESSING ON! I share it with you because this is a Word from our Lord not just for a few but for all of us who confess Jesus as Lord and have committed ourselves to follow Him. As you watch it be encouraged but also be challenged for the work that our Lord has called us to is the greatest work in all of creation. Don't allow the temporal things of this world blind you or fool you to think that the work that Christ has called us to is of little significance! For it's not! THE WORK WE DO IS THE MOST IMPORTANT WORK YOU WILL EVER UNDERTAKE! I pray that Christ will speak to you!
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In todays training we are going to look at the 4 places that define your mission field. This is going to answer the question "Who Am I Responsible For In Sharing The Gospel?" By answer this question you will know where to begin to share the Gospel of Christ and where to begin in making disciples for Christ.
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Even in the life of Jesus there were stumbling blocks that tried to hinder him from accomplishing the mission that God the Father had sent him into the world to accomplish. Watch this video to learn about 1 major stumbling block that Jesus encountered and how he dealt with it.
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In preparing to end this past year and to start the new year, it seemed only appropriate to talk about the subject of change.
Life seems to offer us one guarantee and that is that change will happen. Change is something we tend to fear and become anxious about because we do not feel we are in control of life when it happens! But is that really true?
I tend to look at the subject of “Change” as falling into 1 of 2 categories:
Planned Change: This is change that we have had a part in planning. It can involve things like:
1. A career change
2. A move to a new city
Unexpected Change: This is the kind of change that seems to be thrusted upon us and were were clueless that it was going to take place. These can include:
1. The death of a loved one.
2. Unexpected illness
3. Being laid off from your job.
The problem with both of these ideas is that they focuses on the wrong thing! The focus is all on us! It's all about what "I Want" or "That I need to be in control". It's all "I", "I", "I"! It's a pretty self-centered approach to looking at change!
But are we really to be the focus when facing change? Is it really all about us? I don't think so.
The good news is that regardless of whether the change was PLANNED OR UNEXPECTED God was the one in control all along and He was not caught off guard by the change. Instead, it was in His sovereign that caused the change to occurred.
If we trust in God and allow the change He brought about to grow us to become more like Jesus in how we respond and act, then we are promised that it will always work out for good!
Now in light of what I just said let me encourage you not to be short sighted when you consider if some change worked out for your good or not. Our perspective should go far beyond this temporal life that we live it and go on into eternity. MUCH OF WHAT WE EXPERIENCE HERE IN THIS LIFE WILL NOT BE ACTUALIZED WITH GOOD UNTIL WE ENTER INTO THE NEXT LIFE!
Let's remember what 1 Cor 2:9 says!
“However, as it is written: "What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived" -- the things God has prepared for those who love him—“
Let’s be honest, most of us have no idea all the great things that God has in store for us through the trials, tribulations and the changes he has us go through in this life.
So, how do we face change with confident anticipation? Does God's word have anything to say that will help us?
Let's read Romans 8:28
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (NAS)
This verses gives us 3 clues that will help us when it comes to understanding change in our lives:
I. God Is The One That Has Caused The Change To Take Place
Did you notice the verse in Romans starts off by saying, "... God causes all things ..."? It is God who has brought about the circumstances that will create the needed change. When things change it is because God is at work.
It's not as if God was caught off guard by the change and then has to react to it. No! God was the author of the change and the circumstances that were used to bring the change about.
This one insight should bring you tremendous comfort when considering the changes that may or may not occur during this next year. You can face the future and any new change with confidence because you know who was the author of the change.
II. The Purpose Of The Change Is To Bring About Good!
Look again at what Romans says, "... God causes all things to work together for good." That right for GOOD! Even with the most dreadful of circumstance God has a purpose and plan at work to bring about good.
Take a look at Joseph the son of Jacob who was sold into slavery by his 10 older brothers and then afterwards thrown into jail because of being falsely accused of trying to rape his masters wife. God used all those circumstances to get Joseph to be in the right place at the right time, so he could be used by God to save lots and lots of people from starvation. Joseph himself even acknowledges this truth when he says to his brothers, much later, that even though what they did, they did with the intent to harm him, God intended it for good and to save many. All the pain, all the heartache, all the betrayals and all the suffering Joseph had to endure was part of the plan God used to bring about good.
Shouldn't it be comforting to know that God will never waste a hurt? That will use all your pain and suffering to bring about good? Shouldn't we be able to face each new change that happens in our lives with confident anticipation knowing that some how God is going to use it for His glory and the good of others?
III. This Promised Is Reserved Only Those Who Have Been Called By God!
" ... to those who are called according to His purposes."
Not everyone who goes through painful changes are promised that good will come out of it! No, only those who have been called by God and have a relationship with Him.
In Noah's day when God brought about a huge change by flooding the world only Noah, his wife, his 3 sons and their wives benefited from the good that came about.
Here's the wonderful thing about this great truth: If you have a personal relationship with Christ because you have personally believed in His death, burial and resurrection and have surrendered control of your life over to the care and control of Christ, then this promise is for you.
It's not just reserved for the superstar christians! It is for all who have called upon the name of the Lord. And that includes you.
When planning to use social media to help share Jesus with others and declare God's Glory then there needs to be some serious consideration given to the kinds of posts that you should make. In this video I am going to share with you 3 kinds of post that will help you make most of Christ in your part of this dark world. This is part two in a series called: HOW TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO SHINE THE LIGHT OF CHRIST! To see Part 1 CLICK HERE!
Social Media is a major part of the our lives! We use it everyday. We stay connected with people through it. Therefore, it has become a major tool that needs to be used wisely to shine the Light of Christ brightly in our part of this dark world.
I am going to do a series of posts to help Followers of Christ use social media wisely and Biblically in order to share Christ to a world that desperately needs him. Check out this first video and see what you think.
As the Apostle Paul was writing his letter to the church at Colosse he tells the Christians there about a prayer that he offers up to God on their behalf. This prayer contains some important information about knowing God's Will. Read what it says,
"For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through spiritual wisdom and understanding ..." Colossians 1:9 (NIV)
In this one verse we can learn 3 important facts about knowing God's will. They are:
#1: Knowing God's Will Is Of Utmost Importance.
Did you notice as you read the verse about that Paul said this this prayer is a prayer that he is praying for them daily? For the Apostle Paul making sure that new believers in Christ were fully grounded in Christ was essential and if he was to accomplish that goal it was of the utmost importance that the new believers knew the will of God!
Paul knew that being fully matured in Christ would require new believer to know what God's will is. It would be impossible for them to be strong in their faith and not know God's will. That's why he prayed daily for those coming to faith. That's why his prayers contained petitions that those new believers would know and understand God's will.
How Important And Essential Is Knowing God's Will To You?
How often do you pray for the new believers that you know about? That they would know God's will?
#2: Knowing God's Will Is An Act Of God.
Did you notice in that verse that Paul was asking God to fill them with the knowledge of His will? Who's doing the filling? God is! Who's the container being filled? We are!
Why is this important? Simply because, you don't discover God's will - no instead it is God who reveals His will to us. If we are going to understand what God's will is - it is because God has opened our eyes to see the truth of His will. If God doesn't enlighten us we could never understand His will.
#3: Knowing God's Will Requires Spiritual Wisdom & Understanding.
Finally Paul states in his prayer that he is asking God to fill us with his will through spiritual wisdom and understanding. Not human wisdom and understanding but spiritual wisdom and understanding. The wisdom of this world does not and cannot comprehend the will of God. To the world the will of God sounds like foolishness. Understanding God's will requires us to have spiritual wisdom and understanding that come from God.
The word for "wisdom" means the ability to understand what God is doing and the word for "understanding" means the ability to apply what they understand. You see not only does God want us to understand His will is but He also wants us to know how to apply His will to our everyday life. God doesn't just tell you what His will is to keep you informed - God shares his will with you because he wants you to join Him in what He is doing.
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This Saturday, June 3rd I will be in Glens Ferry, Idaho at First Baptist Church with Pastor Billy to lead his congregation in the Gospel Conversation Training. It is his desire to see his church raised up, trained up and unleashed to go share the Gospel to every person in their ministry field until there's no place left to share.
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Step 1: Entry Stage
Before you can begin to see a powerful missional movement of Disciple Making/Church Planting you need to have an "ENTRY STRATEGY" in place. What's an entry strategy? It's your initial plan for how to bring the Gospel of Christ into your mission field so that it takes hold. It's your plan for developing a "Beachhead" in your mission field that will allow you to expand and take over the rest of the area for Christ.
Step 2: Gospel Sowing Stage
Once you've established your presence in the mission field by implementing your entry stage strategy, now you need to sow the Gospel of Jesus Christ liberally! How will you do it? What will be your strategy for getting the Good News of Christ out to ever increasing groups of people?
Step 3: Nurturing Growth Stage
Just like any harvest fields that begin to show growth there also need to be the watering and nurturing that continues to until its time to harvest, so there needs to be the nurturing of new believers in spiritual growth and obedience to Christ and His commands. What is your strategy for help new believers grow in Christ and become reproducing disciple makers?
Step 4: Harvest and Bundling Stage
Now its time to harvest! In this analogy the harvesting means church formation. Every great movement results in the formation of new churches. What is your strategy for taking this new believers and growing disciples and help them form into new churches.
Step 5: New Missionary Leader Stage
The final stage is the raising up, training up and unleashing of new apostolic leaders who will go and ignite new movements in different places. What is your strategy for identifying, training and commissioning these new missionaries?
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Since this is Good Friday an important question we all need to ask is this: DO WE DEVALUE THE BLOOD OF CHRIST?
Listen to this powerful message and then search your heart to see what God is saying to you! Allow this Good Friday to be a powerful time for you to reconnect with God the Father and our Lord Jesus in a fresh and new way.
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In this video you will get to hear Steve Addison interview Daniel Reece on how God reached out to him and then has been using him to ignite a powerful movement here in North America. WATCH & BE ENCOURAGED!
If you know of other Christians that would be encouraged by this video then share it with them on Facebook & Twitter.
I would also encourage you to check out Steve Addison's website for more great information at: MOVEMENTS.NET
Sometimes we just don't know when God will give us an opportunity to share His Good News!
SO BE READY AT ALL TIMES!
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In the story of David and Bathsheba we learn three important facts about trying to hide your sin! You an read the story the whole story at 2 Samuel 11 - 12.
TRUTH #1: YOU MAY BE ABLE TO HIDE YOUR SIN FROM PEOPLE - BUT YOU CAN'T HIDE THEM FROM GOD.
One of the first things that we learn from this story is that God knows what we have done and you can't hide them from Him. David went to great links to hide his sins from people and thought he had them all covered up but what he forgot was that God is always aware of our actions. Nothing catches him by surprise - nothing can be hid from him.
We are often like David! We too try to cover up our sins so that others won't about them. But the reality is is that God already know what we have done and is waiting for us to come to him and own up to them.
TRUTH #2: GOD WON'T TURN A BLIND EYE TO YOUR SIN - HE WILL CALL YOU OUT ON THEM.
God not only knew the sins that David committed but he also sent His prophet to call David out on his sin. Through the telling of a fictitious story the prophet was able to show David that God already knew what he did and was calling him out on it.
Like with David God will also call you out on your sin and make you take responsibility for them. He will not let you slide by - he will not pretend you didn't sin! God will expose your sin so that you have to deal with them.
TRUTH #3: WHILE GOD WILL FORGIVE YOU OF YOUR SIN - HE MAY NOT TAKE AWAY THE CONSEQUENCES.
When David realized that God knew about His sin he immediately repented and confessed his sins before God. David took responsibility for what he had done and as a result God did forgive him and said David wouldn't die. But God also told him that the consequences for his sins would not be removed. David would still have to suffer the consequences for his sinful deeds.
God also will forgive us of our sin but at the same time we also might have to suffer the consequences that have come from years of sinful living. If you spend years in alcohol addictions God can forgive you but you still might still get liver damage. If you spend years of immoral living you, God can forgive you but you still might loose your family.
Here's the lesson to learn from this post. If you sin don't try to cover it up, instead, immediately own up to them, confess them, repent from them and get right with God. Don't ever think you can pull the wool over the eyes of God.