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.
Recently I read this quote by Rick Warren the Pastor of Saddleback Church and I thought it had a lot to say to us who claim to be Christ's followers and what it means to be successful. Here's what it says:
“Being successful and fulfilling your life's purpose are not at all the same thing; You can reach all your personal goals, become a raving success by the worlds standard and still miss your purpose in this life.” ― Rick Warren
As I read this I started asking myself some questions:
- Is it possible to be successful but be successful at the wrong things?
- Can I be successful and still not fulfill my God given purpose?
- What are God's standards for success for His people?
As I pondered these questions 2 thoughts came to mind that I believe are so very important to remember:
How horrible it would be to stand before God on the Last Day (Judgement Day) and begin to share with Christ how I had accomplished so many great and different goals only to hear Jesus reply with, "But that's not what I had ask you to do or accomplish!" Wouldn't it be terrible to have placed your ladder of success and ascended it - only to have realized once you got to the top that you had place it on the wrong wall! I want to hear the words of my Lord say to me, "Well done good and faithful servant."
God's plan and ministry for us is to be His ambassador to this spiritually dark world by making God's appeal for people to be reconciled to Him as if it was God Himself making the appeal through us. Therefore, we are to be His ambassadors that intentionally engages in the ministry of reconciliation. That is accomplished through disciple making. So, the question bids an answer: How successful are we at making disciples for Christ?
Success from God's perspective is very different from success in the world's perspective! The world says you are successful if you accomplish great results but the Bible says we are successful when we are obedient to what He has commanded of us.
Over and over again we hear the Bible teach that obedience is better than sacrifice; or for us to be doers of the word and not hearers only, and to teach new believers to obey all that Christ commanded. Jesus even shared that being obedient to Him is an expression of our love for Him.
We work and train to do our best at what Christ commanded but in the end success isn't defined by the results but by our willingness and faithfulness to do what He said. The results are in God's hands but our obedience is in our hands.
So, in the final analysis as Followers of Christ we need to intentionally pursue the role of being Christ Ambassadors, to sharing the Gospel to those still lost in spiritual darkness and to obeying all that Christ has commanded. If we can do that then we are successful!
How do people outside the church view the church? How do people inside the church view the church? Does our perception of the church have an effect on the relevance we give to the church? And is our perception of the church Biblical and accurate? These are some of the question we are going to look at in this post. I pray it gives you something to chew on and help you become a better Light of Christ in your part of this dark world!
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Many of God's people feel inadequate in the obedience to Christ in the making of disciples of all peoples! Why? A lack of competence and confidence! Watch this video to learn the solution to this problem.
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"Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:8-12 (NIV)
1. Remember Your Debt Of Love You Can Never Repay.
"Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another ..."
The first place to start when it comes to improving you ability to love is to remember that God first loved you when you were unlovable. God loved us while we were still in the middle of our sinful condition and He demonstrated that love by having Jesus die on the cross to take the punishment that we deserved for our sins. Then God after Christ's resurrection offered forgiveness of sin as a free gift if we would only receive it by faith. How can you pay back that kind of debt? You can't but we can pay it forward by loving others the way Christ loved us.
2. Regard Others Like Yourself
"Love your neighbor as yourself ..."
The next place to go for improving your ability to love is to remember that the scripture tell us to love others as we love ourselves. Just as you take care of yourself - in the same way you should also take care of others. If you are one who doesn't love yourself very well then do what Christ said. "A new commandment I give unto you that you love one another like I have loved you."
3. Refuse To Harm Others
"Love does no harm to a neighbor."
And finally, in order to improve your ability to love others better you should always remember that love does not harm others. When we love people it is our intent to build them up - not to tear them down! It's to heal them - not injure them! Here's a good question to ask yourself before you talk to someone or do something to someone:
"Is what I am about to say or do going to harm this person?"
If the answer is "yes" then don't do it! Why? Because love does no harm!
Now that these suggestions and go out into your part of this dark world and love people liberally! Shine the Light of Christ brightly by doing loving deeds in such a way that God gets the glory for it.
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How should we who claim to follow Christ behave and respond to others now that the presidential election in the United States is done and many are confused and frustrated over the election results? This is a good question and one that each of us who love Jesus needs to take seriously, find the answer and obey. After all we are called to be the Light of the world. Where and how do we start in this new age of America? Watch this video and get some helpful insights to answering that question.
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In Acts 8:26-40 we have an amazing story about an ordinary christian by the name of Philip who was used by God in an amazing way. From it we learn some powerful principles for shining the Light of Christ brightly in our part of this dark world. Watch and see what you might learn.
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Today I want to share with you a true story from the Bible that should bring you hope and encouragement. It will make clear to you that Jesus truly does love you and is willing to change your life.
If you are a fully devoted follower of Christ that wants to join Christ on His mission then I highly encourage you to learn this story for yourself and begin to share it with people over and over again.
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In order to shine the Light of Christ brightly in our part of this dark world we must learn to forgive one another. Forgiveness is the proof that we really love and love is the proof that we really know Christ! Watch this video and be encourage to forgive those that have hurt you.
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Today we are going to learn about God’s Way For Dealing With Anger. Our text is found in Genesis 4:1-15.
"Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth[c] a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” But the Lord said to him, “Not so[e]; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.
What Do We Learn About Anger:
1. Anger can develop from a bad attitude.
“... The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.” (v. 4,5)
The bad attitude that Cain had was jealousy. He was jealous that his younger brother had his sacrifice accepted by God when his wasn't. There are all kinds of bad attitudes that we can develop but if left unchecked anger will quickly develop from it.
2. God will always call us out on our anger.
“Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted ...” (v. 6, 7)
Don't think that your anger goes unnoticed by God! He not only notices it but will also calls us out on it and warn us about it.
3. Not dealing with anger will lead to sin
“... But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it’s desires to have you.” (v. 7b)
Anger is a seed from which sin can be birthed. When we are angry we make Godless choices.
Jesus during His Sermon On The Mount said,
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment. But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.” (v. 21,22)
4. God will punish us for the sin that our anger caused us to do.
“Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ ‘I don’t know,” he replied. ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ The Lord said, ‘What have you done? Listen! Your brothers blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” (v. 9-12)
Don't think that you can use your anger as an excuse that God will accept for the sin you committed. Anger is no defense for sinning in the sight of God. Even though you were angry God will hold you accountable for the sin.
5. Anger Can Be Mastered.
“... it’s desires to have you, but you must master it.” (v. 7b)
Every can learn to manage their anger so that it doesn't control them. How many times have we been in a heated argument with a family member when all of a sudden the phone rings and instead of screaming and yelling when we answer the phone we change our tone and calmly say, "Hello, can I help you?"
You see we do have the ability to control our anger, it's just a matter of if we are willing to or not.
In today's post I want to share with you about our credibility for living a missional life. How will people know that what we are sharing about Jesus, about the Gospel or the forgiveness of sin is accurate and true? The answer comes back to our credibility! Are we credible? Can people believe us? Watch this video and see what God is telling you!
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Once you've shared Jesus with every person you personally know who do you share it with next? That is going to be the topic of this post! After all we are not released from sharing the Good News simply because everyone we personally know has already heard. So, who do we tell next?
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When it comes to living a powerful missional life that brightly shines the Light of Christ in our part of this dark world prayer is essential. But not just any kind of prayer but prayers where there is confidence that God will hear and answer it.
So much of our prayers is what I like to call, "I hope God will answer my prayers!" but there's no confidence that God will actually do it. We are praying with uncertainty that God will actually do what we are asking Him to do. On top of this lack of confidence there is just a lot of "BAD" teaching going on in the name of "PRAYING IN FAITH". To many people out there like to take just one passage of scripture and emphasis it to the exclusion of other essential and indispensable verses on topic. This is a very bad practice to develop! In learning to praying in faith we need to understand the full council of God. Failure to do so can lead a person into a practice that's not only unbiblical but potentially destructive to their faith.
There are 3 Indispensable Biblical parts for having confidence that God will answer your prayers the way you have asked him to.
Let me emphasis that they are essential and indispensable!
Why? Because they are like 3 legs on a stool! If you remove any of legs from the stool, leaving only 2 legs, the stool will fall down! ALL THREE LEGS ARE INDISPENSABLE! The ability to pray and know that your prayers will be answered requires us to have all three of these indispensable parts in place. Remove one of the parts and you no longer can have confidence and certainty that your prayers will be answered the way you are asking! But if you have all three parts in place you can pray with confidence and know you have what you ask for. So, what are they?
PART #1: Hearts That Don't Condemn Us
"Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight." 1 John 3:21,22
This is the part that makes sure that you the one praying is in a proper spiritual condition to come before God and ask Him to do something. Knowing that we are in a spiritual condition that allows us to come into God's presence and be accepted is a vital part to knowing that your prayers will be answered.
In order to know if we are in a proper spiritual condition to come before God with our petitions we need to do a spiritual inventory of our life. We need to see if there are any unconfessed sins that still need God's forgiveness. If their is sin then the activity that is needed is a prayer of honest confession from true repentance. In 1 John 1:9 God gives us assurance that our sins can be forgiven with this simple act. Read what it says,
"If we confess our sin that God is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Why should we think that we can receive anything from the Lord if our hearts are not right with the Lord. To have confidence that our prayers will be heard by God depends first and foremost if we are prepared to even ask for it.
Question To Ask Yourself:
Is There Any Unconfessed Sin In Your Life That Needs To Be Dealt With And Made Right With God?
PART #2: Knowing & Praying According To God's Will
"This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him." 1 John 5:14,15
This part deals with the actual request being made. Is what we are asking for according to God's will or not. This passage of scripture makes it perfectly clear that when our requests are inline with God's will we know God hears us and we know He will give us what we ask for.
If you are asking for something that is not according to God's will it doesn't matter how much, how often or even how passionately you ask God for it, it you will not receive it. Why? Because it wasn't part of God's will. In order to pray in faith with confidence you must know what God's will is! If you are uncertain what God's will is on a particular matter then before you can pray in faith about it you must first pray for God to reveal His will to you about it. Listen to what James 1:5 says,
"If anyone lacks wisdom you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him."
What a wonderful assurance this verse provides us. If we ask God to reveal His will to us by giving us wisdom He promises to do it. NOW THAT'S POWERFUL! Once God reveals to you His will concerning the matter then you can begin to pray in accordance to God's will with confidence that God will answer it.
Question To Ask Yourself:
Do You Know What God's Will Is Concerning The Matter You're Praying About?
PART #3: Praying In Faith With No Doubt
Once you know that you are able to go into God's presence to make your request and once you know what God's will is concerning the issue you are praying about, then you can make your request to God but you have to make it in faith and without any doubt that God will do exactly what you are asking Him to do. NO DOUBT!
"Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 'Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:22-23
Praying in faith and without doubt is essential to answered prayers. However, this kind of faith that I am talking about is not a faith that controls God and makes Him do whatever we want. That kind of faith reduces God to be like genie in a bottle. Our God is not a genie that has to give us our three wishes. No! Our God is the Sovereign Lord of all creation. God doesn't do our will - we are to do His will! Biblical faith is not some kind of force that makes God do what we want.
Biblical faith is surrender to God's will and joining God in accomplishing His will! This prayer of faith is because you already know what God is going to accomplish, you have discovered His will on the matter, and through faith you are surrendering your will over to God's will and fully trusting that God will, not maybe, accomplish exactly what He said He would do. In other words when you pray a prayer of faith you have no doubt that what you are asking is going to happen because you know that God already has willed it to happen!
Question To Ask Yourself:
Once God Has Revealed To You What His Will Is Do You Have The Faith To Pray That It Will Happen Without Doubt?
When you are certain that all three of this parts are in place then you can have confidence that God not only hears your prayers but that you will also receive for what you have asked. Remove one of these three part or legs and the stool will fall. All three are essential and indispensable if you are to receive in prayer what you have asked God to do.