I'm excited to report that the blueprint for the app is done. I had our vendor put together a partial example so I could see it unfold and get an idea of how it will work.
What's the real purpose of the app? It enables the Church to apply an ancient pattern in a modern application that:
Can you believe how crazy things have gotten in our country? Now people are confused as to which bathroom to use because they’ve chosen to believe your gender is determined by your thoughts verses your biological make up. The truth is called lies, law makers seem to selectively apply laws when is suits them and ignores them when it does not, evil is called good, good is called evil and political correctness has been elevated to the moral high ground and… can things get any more perverse than it is now? I suppose it could but let me draw your attention to a couple of things.
God made provision for us to not only survive but to thrive in the midst of a perverse generation. In fact, in Psalm 139 God says that when He envisioned you in His heart, He created these days for you. These days were not meant to overcome you but rather you are God’s ambassador, His minister, His solution for a wicked and perverse generation. Consider the following scriptures.
The first time perverse is mentioned in scripture is when the Angel of the Lord rebuked Balaam (Num. 22:32) and withstood him because “his way” was “perverse” before the Lord. It was crooked. His way missed the mark. The first “perverse and crooked generation” is referenced in Deuteronomy 32:4.
Isaiah 19:14 identifies a “perverse spirit” for the first time in scripture.
Jesus calls His generation “perverse and faithless” in Matthew 17:17 and Luke 9:41.
Hence, perversion is not new and in fact, God has given us everything we need that pertains to life and godliness through Christ Jesus our Lord. The key to dealing with perversion is found in:
This past week the Lord was speaking to me about trust in the face of divine contradictions. What do I mean by divine contradictions? God has spoken one thing but your circumstance scream another. For example, Israel in slavery, Joseph in prison, Job, David persecuted by King Saul... and the list goes on.
Are you facing a circumstance where your destiny in Christ is in conflict with your current circumstance? I came across a teaching by Dr. Myles Monroe last week. He said in his Future of Purpose teaching (click on the picture for the 1.5 hour teaching) that, "Your destiny is chosen by God but it's fulfillment is up to you." That is so very true. It's a theme that resonated in my spirit.
So while God gave each of us a divine purpose and destiny, it is our decision as to what we choose to do with the opportunity God gave us.
Dr. Monroe said, "It's like a parent who pays for a child's college education" (paraphrased) because the parent sees a degree. Child goes but instead of discipline and applying themselves, the child wastes time, plays, hangs out with the people who distract and the child does not graduate.
The parent decided the destiny but whether the child graduates is up to the child. It is the same with God. He destined us to succeed but whether you do it or not is up to you. We have to cooperate to make it true.
Here's what I got our of Dr. Monroe's excellent message.
Holy Spirit has been orchestrating a call to prayer for His Church in this season. It's an expression of Joel 2:15-17:
Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Gather the people, Sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and nursing babes; Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, And the bride from her dressing room. Let the priests, who minister to the Lord, Weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, " Spare Your people, O Lord,
And do not give Your heritage to reproach, That the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ' Where is their God? '"
Here is a look at some of the ways Christ is moving calling His people to pray.
What a contrast! Today the Jews and many Christians celebrate Passover while another segment of society celebrates Earth Day.
One day was initiated by God, the Creator of heaven and earth other was created by people from the 1960s drug culture in America. My friends there is a spiritual war going on over truth in every front and this is one of them. It's remarkable to me that these days fall upon the same date this year.
There are two errors that have been made today. One representing each group follows.
Whenever creation becomes the main focus minus the Creator a strange form of idolatry emerges. Idolatry is based upon the worship and sacrifice for a lie (i.e. Think global warming, no wait, I mean global cooling, oh no, the ice is melting no it is freezing, wait a minute, I really always meant climate change... click here for Climategate). For many today climate change and focusing on saving the planet have become like a religion.
I will never forget a family member giving me one of Al Gores books in the late 90's. When I visited them in Florida we stood on the docks discussing the issues while they non-nonchalantly flicked their cigarettes into the Gulf of Mexico. They were blind and could not see their hypocrisy. This is common with all forms of idolatry.
On the other side we Christians/Jews forget that God's plan began in a garden east in Eden and man's responsibility was to tend it. We should be good stewards of God's creation. But to focus on the creation rather than the Creator is worship for many and this my friends is a grave issue (pun intended).
Their priorities are twisted because they do not realize God will give us a new heaven and a new earth! But they don't know the truth because they've rejected the Way, the Truth and the Life. The more important issue for all today should be the stewardship of our soul's eternal destiny in heaven or in hell.
So today, in my house we will celebrate Passover remembering how each element pointed to the eternal Passover Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. In our case, we are going to focus on how He took away our sins and made a way for us to have a personal daily relationship with the Creator of heaven and of earth.
When the meal is over, we will recycle what we can. Thanks to my wife, we've been recycling for over 25 years. Here's what the scriptures say about the Creator and creation.
Revelation 12 provides a glimpse of war that spilled out from heaven on to earth. Satan rose up in pride and was cast to the earth with angels that fell in the rebellion. It says that Satan, realizing his time was short went make war with those who love and serve God by honoring His word.
In a war you either win or are in a fight to win. Winning requires an offense and a defense. Offense is the only way you get victory, defense only avoids or delays defeat unless it is combined with an offensive action. This is one of the 8 major principles of war (Click here for Developing Apostolic Strategy to learn more).
You either overcome or you are in the process of overcoming. If a battle has been lost then you've been overcome and if you won then you can say I overcame.
The major theme of "overcome" in the Bible has to do with righteousness or good overcoming sin or evil. Overcome comes from the Greek word nikao. It means to conquer, overcome and get the victory. In fact its root word is nike. Have you ever heard of Nike? It means victory. So overcoming has to do with the war, the struggle that occurs within the soul, between the flesh and the spirit; between God's ways, your way or the devil's way. Your goal and my goal is to get the victory and overcome.
The Bible is the operator's manual and manufacturer's warranty given to us by the designer and Creator of Life. When we operate life within the parameters of the operator's manual then we can enjoy the eternal warranty. But, if we operate life beyond the bounds then we risk a breaking or destroying life. There is only one way to access that warranty and that is through Jesus. It is an extremely generous warranty. It's the best throughout eternity.
However, it is up to the operator how life is employed. The operator can choose to or not to live life in accordance with the wisdom provided in the operator's manual. When the owner of the life operates it within the parameters set forth in the operator's manual (Bible) then they can expect life to function as presented in God's word. There are several warnings provided throughout scripture that describe of the consequences for operating life outside of the designed parameters.
Do you feel like you are losing in life? Do you want to become a winner? Do you want to be an expert at living life to it's fullest? Do you want to overcome? Then let's take a look at what the scriptures say.
This morning Ross called me regarding a dream he had last night. He is a seer, with a pastoral gift, who has co-laborered with us in the gospel for over a decade. Throughout the years we've discovered that it was not unusual for God to speak to him about my family or KLI through dreams.
For context, today is April 1st. As per my conviction and practice I believe you cannot lead where you do not go therefore with the 1Church1Day strategy in mind, my ministry takes the 1st day of each month and I'm the first to stand watch which began at 12am last night. Over the last few months we've lost a few churches/ministries and people standing watch.
Disappointment discouragement are a couple of thoughts that many ministers and prayer leaders struggle with. For all are called to pray and we are all called to serve. But generally speaking few participate and fewer still stay the course and follow through. I often think of those who serve as prayer warriors that "never has so much been owed to so few who did so much for so long with so little with such great impact."
Last night as I prayed the Lord began to speak to me about how much of the Church in America has forgotten the discipline that goes with disciple. In fact, show me a disciple without discipline and I will show you one who is deceived. Our Lord's last command before He ascended into heaven was to go and make disciples. Truly many are called but few prepare for the choosing.
I was awakened this morning by Ross's excited call. He described his dream last night. He saw us at a meeting with lots of people near an intersection on a knoll. There was a church on the downhill side. Then he looked into the night sky and said to me in the dream, "wow, look at all the stars."
As he began to describe the stars I began to sense God's presence. He described how it seemed like the sky was filled with stars, much more than usual. They seemed much closer and it seemed like they were moving like clouds move. They were brilliant. They were awesome!
Ross drew the following from the dream...
Many today want God’s mercy but they are ignorant of how to experience it. Often the cry for mercy is without truth. Their cry lacks understanding. It seems to me like many try to apply mercy in a vacuum.
What do I mean by that? I’d like to illustrate the answer by showing you a pattern I see in God’s word. Let’s start with quote from Mary the mother of Jesus. She said in Luke 1:50,
“And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.”
Did you know that mercy and the fear of the Lord are linked together throughout scripture. The Greek word for fear in this scripture means to be afraid or to be reverent. Actually you’ll find a total of nine scriptures in the New King James Version that illustrate this pattern. Eight are in the Old Testament and Luke 1:50 is the one in the new. Every one of these scriptures follows the same pattern.
The mercy of God is related to the fear of God. An in depth look at the Hebrew word translated fear in these scriptures reveals it means to be “morally reverent." It communicates a respect for God and His word. Psalm 103:17 says it this way.
“But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children,”
God’s mercy is marvelous and He has a much greater capacity for it than man. Consider Jesus’ interaction with the woman caught in adultery. Jesus says let him who is without sin cast the first stone. Guess what? Jesus was without sin. He could have actually stoned her. But, instead He said
As we draw close to Easter and Passover the Church will celebrate and remember Jesus Christ's death, burial and resurrection. The resurrection is the central theme of our faith. There is no other religion in existence whose founder is alive. Mohammad, Buddah, etc. are all dead. Jesus is the only one who lives and overcame death, hell and the grave. Without the resurrection, the Apostle Paul says 1 Corinthians 15:14-20 (excerpts):
"And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. .... And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! .... If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep."
The Good News of the Gospel
This gospel of the kingdom that Jesus preached and which He has entrusted to His Church is presented in word and confirmed in power. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him. He was the first one to rise from the dead. Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:8-10 that it is the Church's responsibility to present the gospel as Christ has abolished death and brought immortality to light.
The good news is Jesus got the victory over death, hell and the grave. He is the way the truth & the life. He is the resurrection (John 11:25-26). Why he even commanded his disciples to...
Jesus said in Revelation 1:18 "I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death."
We have much to be thankful for as our Lord and Savior has won the victory over death, hell and the grave. 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 says; So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written:" Death is swallowed up in victory." "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Did you know that in the New Testament Jesus taught more about hell than any other writer? In fact it is an eleven to one ratio. There are a variety of terms used in the Old and New Testament to describe what happens when a man dies. However, sometimes its confusing because Bible translators were not always consistent. In other words they would sometimes use the same English word for different Greek and Hebrew words.
For example, Sheol is found in the Old Testament sixty five times. Thirty one times it is translated "the grave" and thirty one other times it is translated "hell." The other three times it was translated pit. In the New Testament Hades is translated "Hell" in the King James version eleven times and "grave" once. In the New King James "Hades" is used instead of Hell. Two other Greek words have been translated "Hell" as well which adds to the confusion.
I am sharing this because soon we will celebrate Jesus' resurrection from the dead. I thought it good to understand what He delivered us from. What follows is an overview of Death, the Grave, Sheol, Hades, Hell and the Lake of Fire.