Every month I send a personal letter to members in our Family, Tribe, Davidic Company and those who gave an offering that month. I wanted to share this month's letter with you to.
Before Israel entered their Promised Land Moses charged them to "be strong and of good courage" (Deut. 31:6) Why? Because God they had to possess what God had given them and to possess their inheritance it required them to drive out the giants in the land. They had to fight and war to enter into their Promised Land.
So it is today. Everyone has a destiny and God has given all things to us that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3) through Christ Jesus. Though it is given, we still must possess it. Previously this month a theme was introduced regarding Faith, Endurance & Trials. This was followed by the Eternal Rewards for Faith that Overcomes. Through this we've learned about the role of tribulation, persecution and afflictions on our lives and the importance of warring with God's word.
Courage is required in war and my friends, whether we like it or not, we are at war. Revelation 12 describes a heavenly war that spilled on to earth and it is the source of all the conflicts today manifested through every sphere of society and culture.
Courage is required! Courage is required in the exercise of faith and faith, faith that works, is founded on love. Let's take a look at what we can learn by examining "courage" in the Bible.
Often when I fast I notice that the day(s) following it are spiritually heightened. I'm more sensitive to God's voice and His leading. This morning's time of prayer was that way. It was a sweet time with my Lord. As I prepared to begin my work day in the office I was drawn to a sermon that Charlene Allen (Evangelist & founder of WISDOM Ministries) delivered to us last March.
It was a message about how the fool and the wise both handle vision. It was based on Matthew 25:8 which says:
And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' NKJV
Charlene shared a unique perspective that Matthew 25 is also about people who seem to start out sharing what seems to be a common vision which in this case is to attend a wedding party with THE Bridegroom. They start out together but they don't always end together. One was a fool and the other was a jewel (wisdom).
Vision is a reflection based on WAS and SAW. What follows is a summarized version of her message.
"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith." 1 John 5:4 NKJV
I love studying the meanings of the original Greek and Hebrew words because there are a lot more English words. Fewer Greek and Hebraic words means that each word in those languages typically carried much more meaning than could be captured in a single English word. Let's take 1 John 5:4 for example using excerpts from the Strongs Concordance. The word translated "born" means to procreate, arise, to give birth and bring forth. The word translated "overcomes" comes from the Greek word "nikao" whose root is "Nike." Sound familiar?
Nike means victory. Nikao means to conquer, prevail, and get the victory like in a war, a sports contest or when one goes to law to win a case or to maintain one's cause. Here's another way to look at 1 John 5:4.
For whatever is procreated... comes forth... arises... from God... overcomes... conquers, prevails and wins the legal case. This is the "nike" (victory) that has "nikao" (overcome) the "kosmos" (world; the orderly arrangement, constitution or government of men alienated from God) even our faith.
Faith (pistis: moral conviction, truthfulness of God, assurance, fidelity, belief and conviction) is the key to overcoming all the world has to throw at you. And, there are great eternal rewards for exercising your faith to overcome the world.
So what are the rewards for overcomers?
I just got off the phone interviewing Rebekah, the Washington State Assistant Coordinator for HAPN, about a dream she had. I've copied a portion of it below. It's a now word and it certainly spoke to me. Here are the main points.
I'd like to invite others (Tim's humor) to be convicted with me. Here's part of the report from Rebekah's dream.
Peter the apostle had this to say about trials in 1 Peter 1:6-9:
In this you greatly rejoice, though now only for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith - the salvation of your souls."
The Role of Patience in Trials
Genuine faith is very valuable; eternally valuable! It leads to the salvation of your soul and is only revealed when it is tested. James says that we ought to count it all joy when we experience trials like this because it produces patient enduring which causes our moral character to mature (James. 1:2-4).
The Brothers of Trials - Persecutions & Afflictions
Paul the apostle coached Timothy by telling him to observe what he preached through his "manner of life" and how his faith was demonstrated through his long-suffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions and trials. One of the things I've learned is that often those who cause the most "long-suffering" in our lives are often the ones whom we love the most. Think in terms of a wayward child or perhaps parents or grandparents whose mind has not been renewed through God's word therefore they do or say things that are hurtful to you and others (2 Timothy 3:10-15).
In the Greek long-suffering comes from a word that means "patient endurance" which also has the connotation of being slow to avenge wrongs. Persecution refers to others who pursue you in a hostile manner, harassing and mistreating you to the point you take flight. Afflictions comes from a Greek word that refers to something undergone, a hardship, pain, suffering, a misfortune, calamity or evil. It can also refer to suffering for the cause of Christ.
The key to victory in trials and afflictions is...
Pastor Nani Babu began working with us in 2009 as well. He launched the strategy with churches in the Andhra Pradesh region of India. He is the president of Bethel Blessing Mission, the Senior Pastor of Jesus Christ Prayer House (church founded by his father and mother) and he now serves as the overseer for 1Church1Day (ORT) in India.
For years he has faithfully shared and implemented the vision. Here are a couple of testimonies Pastor Nani has shared and a page that summarizes some of the highlights of his work there.
Mission Trip to India
At the end of November my wife and WISDOM Ministries (Evangelist Charlene Allen) will be visiting Ps. Nani and many of the 14 churches who have continued with him in the 1Church1Day strategy. We want to assess the impact our collaboration has produced, strengthen the Church and learn how we might be able to increase their ability to present the gospel of the kingdom in power with signs and wonders following. In addition we'll:
You Are Invited!
I'd like to invite you all to partner with us in this outreach through prayer and offerings. Our tickets are covered by we still need $3000 for our meetings, travel and the gifts for the widows and orphans.
Click here to donate. Just write India in the memo of your check or in the notes section if you give online.
Click here to sign up for 1Church1Day's newsletter as this will keep you informed as to what to pray
The presidential debates are underway as our nation prepares for another election cycle. There are two main parties; Democrat and Republican. They each espouse a world view which determines their view of the role civil government.
I believe many Christians accepted an end-time theology that encouraged them to withdraw from society and governing while waiting for Christ's return. That's played a role in our nation's moral decline. The witness, those who spoke truth and wisdom, those whose opinions and values demonstrated a moral compass pointing to the truth left the arena.
Our nation's moral compass has deviated far from the truth. The further we travel with this compass error, the further off course we get and the more twisted our thinking becomes and the more society suffers from stupid decisions. Yes, I said stupid (dull, foolish, senseless). People are hurt by fools in power. The character of those who lead a nation is important.
We select leaders one of two ways. You either exercise your right and responsibility as a citizen and participate or you choose to stay ignorant and uninformed and you do not vote. My friends, not voting is a vote. It is a vote that says I'm going to let a small minority with radical twisted thinking control the direction in this nation.
I use Facebook to stay in contact with old friends from high school and family. I use current issues to speak truth and as often as I can turn the discussion Jesus Christ. In this process I've corresponded with people who are living examples of Romans 1 which describes people who willfully sin and choose to believe lies. Therefore, it says God turns them over to their deception through a debased or reprobate mind. The word translated debased comes from a Greek word that means worthless or rejected. Their thoughts are stupid and foolish. When people govern with this kind of mind, they call evil good and good evil and in doing so create laws and policies that ultimately are detrimental to society and hurt people..... only they don't realize it.
It's the result of sin. Sin makes people stupid and blind. They become deceived. The big problem with deception is people are deceived only they don't know they are deceived. They believe and espouse lies; things that are not truth. We need to have compassion, speak the truth in love while praying for the veil over their minds be lifted (2 Corinthians 3).
Recently a guy on Facebook accused me saying that I was just espousing the Republican Party line. He just could not seem to grasp the concept that my moral values established through my relationship with Jesus Christ and His word formed my world view. It just so happened that with this one issue, the Republican Party espoused my Biblical values, therefore my speech sounded like theirs. I make decisions and espouse policies and promote people for office who will make policies, laws and lead with a moral compass influenced by God's word. Why? Because as Abraham Lincoln said:
Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right.
Do you realize how far away the Democratic Party has drifted from the standards espoused in the Bible? They support the murder of babies and encourage funding Planned Parenthood (murder-hood in my book). Now they've been caught selling baby parts. The hypocrisy and lunacy of this decision is horrible. Click here for Planned Parenthood's admission. Eagle eggs click here and turtle eggs click here receive more protection that human babies in this nation.
I believe John F. Kennedy would not recognize his party; the Democratic Party today. While the Republican Party has espoused more views consistent with God's word over the years yet recently they have slipped as well. Lying, greed, lusts for power, etc. do not reflect my values regardless of what party the candidate or official is in. It seems like more and more candidates or officials will say or compromise anything to get elected or stay in office.
Hence, I don't care so much about a party as much as I am concerned about truth and people of integrity. The question is, not which party you support but rather, do your views and action's support God's side, for God is always right.