Thoughts and Musings Posts tagged victorious living

12
Jan

A Lonely Moment?

Sure cure for loneliness is perfect peace in Jesus. We crave people. We must have Christ.
Psa.25.16.niv Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
“I am so weak that I can hardly write, I cannot read my Bible, I cannot even pray, I can only lie still in God’s arms like a little child, and trust.” Hudson Taylor

There are days and moments that any and all of us experience great loneliness. The sense that we carry a burden and none can share it is a heavy load. It comes. We shoulder it. We wonder why it should be this way.

It is not that others do not care. It is not that others do not want to share. It is that we have an assignment that is ours alone. We have been built for such moments as this.

Hudson Taylor was a great man, who dedicated himself to serving the people of China. Many times he would be without comfortable friends or family and unable to reach back to them. There were no cell phones or even telephones in the remote places he served. He writes in one intensely lonely moment, “I am so weak that I can hardly write, I cannot read my Bible, I cannot even pray, I can only lie still in God’s arms like a little child, and trust.” That is a hard place to be, but one that finds us all at some time in life.

Let’s Pray: Father, this is your child, Phil. You are the Father of All Comfort. I bring my friend to Your throne today. If there be any moment of loneliness, I ask that You fill it with Your presence. If there be any moment of lack, I ask that You be the full supply. Carry my friend Father, into a place of knowing You are there. Sometimes, Father, You are all we have. That is enough.

04
Mar

MOSAICS Immigrant – Migrant – Transitory

Lent is a season of introspection, confession, and repentance. It is a good time to review our intentions and motivations as individuals and as a nation.

Galatians 5:4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
As we begin the introspection let’s be honest. Much of what we hear in the media and from pulpits is focused on the law not on Christ.   That is a falling away from grace.  Let’s be sensitive.  Persecution of the children brought illegally into the states and persecution of families is something not on God’s agenda.  He is greatly opposed to such action.
Exodus 6:4 And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.
God took strangers, illegal immigrants and made them into the nation of Israel. Seems like He has a soft spot.
Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.  
God places strangers, travelers, in our society as messengers.  We need to distinguish between those He sends and arranges and those that just happen and those sent of an enemy.
So given these three premises, let’s take a look at our world.
Migrants:  Migrants are people who come and go into and out of a culture or area.  We have a migratory population in the church.  People come and go.  They “come to Jesus” and then return to their normal chaos and personal control. We have a migratory population in our nation.  People come and go.  They are here for a season to do a job or visit, but have no intention of staying for a lifetime.  In the church and in our nation, we need a place for these people to exist, thrive, and have free return to their world.  They can contribute fellowship and friendship for a season.
Immigrants:  Immigrants are those that come to merge into a culture or area. We have an immigrant population in the church.  People come and stay.  They come and commit to the Lordship of Christ and grow into disciples in support, attendance, prayer, worship, fellowship, study and life.  Sometimes they come in with questions and concerns and don’t know that they are going to stay and then they change, they commit.  We have an immigrant population in our nation.  People come and stay. Sometimes they come through an initial illegal means.  They have questions and concerns and then they change, they commit.  They become us.
Transitory:  Transitory people can be dangerous.  They come dangerous.  They come to take, to abuse, and to vilify others.  These are not migrants. There are transitory people in the church.  They are predators, wolves in sheep’s clothing.  They do damage.  They gossip and slander and undermine unity.  They need to be rooted out.  There are transitory people in our nation.  They live in the dark shadows of crime and abuse.  They capture women and force them into human traffic situations.  They abuse. They steal, kill, and destroy.  They need to be rooted out.
When my father was without parents, another family took him in.  He was a migrant,an orphan. At birth and later when his mother was killed. He was a migrant.  A man named George Ollie took him into his home for a season and raised him.  George was an immigrant.  At ten years old, George hid on a boat from Syria to Mexico.  His father was working on the boat.  George was left in Mexico for a year and then his father brought him into the states.  They became citizens.  My father was raised by a Middle Eastern stowaway smuggled in from Mexico.  A migrant become immigrant.  Sometimes strangers become angels.  George was my father’s angel and mine.
Our summation:
Be sensitive in the church and in the neighborhood to who is with us and why.
Stay clear of being too engaged in the pure legal definitions.  You might miss your greatest blessing.
Remember you were a migrant when you came into the church and became an immigrant.
19
Aug

Testing The Words of Instruction

pastorsinprayer

How do I know that what I am being taught is solid and dependable?  That is a good question.  When someone speaks as a teacher or leader in the Kingdom of God, we need to know if we can follow their words.

Interpreting scripture is a skill and a Spirit empowered exercise.  Understanding all of Scripture in a global sense helps us make extractions to apply to our lives.

  1. As Paul told Timothy, Scripture is for living.  It is for correction, reproof, and building up of our knowledge.
  2. As Solomon revealed, Scripture is for living.  It is for wisdom to make daily decisions and navigate relationships.
  3. As is evident throughout, Scripture is for living.  It is for revelation of God’s will to give us peace and strength and security that we are following His right path.
  4. Clear scripture interprets and clarifies unclear scripture.  Each of us wants to find something no one else has found.  There is nothing new under the sun.  When it is something no one else has seen, it is probably bunk and a diversion.
  5. When it is important, God makes it clear. We don’t have to guess.

 

So with all that in mind, I’ll answer the question of testing prophecy or teaching we have heard?

  1. Is it consistent with the whole of Scripture? God does not contradict Himself. He is not a man that He should lie.
  2. Does it bring strength, clarify direction, and cause another comfort? 1 Cor 13: 3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men
  3. Does it glorify God? 2 Peter 1:21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
  4. Does it promote love? 1 Corinthians 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
  5. Does it happen? Does what they say in the past happen? Jeremiah 14:14 And the Lord said to me, “The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart. 15 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who prophesy in My name, whom I did not send, and who say, ‘Sword and famine shall not be in this land’—‘By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed! 16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; they will have no one to bury them—them nor their wives, their sons nor their daughters—for I will pour their wickedness on them.’
  6. Did it come from someone whose life is faithful to God? Men and women can prophesy and teach according to gift and have a wrong heart. Following them will take you into a place of destruction.  They are not falsely prophesying but abusing a gift to abuse you.  Deut 13 “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. 5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.
  7. Again what is the spirit of the person, who is talking? What is the evidence of their life? Are they balanced in God and in unity with the Church?  1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
  8. Is the one prophesying or teaching of good reputation in the kingdom and acknowledged by others of good reputation? Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
  9. Does it witness with proven men and women, whom God has put in my life? Whether one or one hundred agree with the words of a prophesy is meaningless. People agree all the time with what they do not understand. God surrounds us with wise counsel and leadership knowledgeable of the things of the Spirit to keep us protected.  Hebrews 13:17New King James Version (NKJV) Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
  10.  Am I in right alignment with the leadership God has given me in order to receive from them clearly?  This is one of the most important items of a good disciple of Christ.  To receive the truth of God’s direction whether through my personal study or a teacher or a minister or a word of prophesy requires right alignment.  Is there a clear path between me and God?  Am I living faithfully as a witness of Christ, presenting myself as a living sacrifice, worshipping Him and Him alone, honoring His local church through giving time, talent, and treasure, speaking well of others, faithful in prayer, faithful in honest repentance, and studying to show myself approved to rightly divide the word of truth.  Galatians 6:6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
  11. All of this being written, God is in charge.  He can use a donkey to speak a word of direction to an unrepentant, misaligned person to get them into right focus. A pastor last week told me how he had become disillusioned and decided to go get drunk.  He was not a drinker, so when he went to a bar, he asked to have what the person next to him was drinking.  That person was drunk.  After it was served, the drunk began to say to him, “Man of God, what are you doing here. Get back to living like you are supposed to live.”  The drunk began to prophesy his situation and his solution. The minister left the bar and the drunk took his drink and continued to get more drunk. But typically, he uses one of His trusted sources.
08
Sep

Thank yous…

This link at hclive has a synopsis of what God has accomplished through so many in the last months and an outlook on the future. But before you go there bear with me a moment.
As I stop for the first time in a 12 hour day, I cannot fully stop until I share my gratefulness for some special saints.
Brad, your gift of a sound system, tireless pursuit of musical excellence, leadership in moving us forward in heartfelt worship… and great bbq… my friend, I love you.
Steven and Jackson, your diligence in music and personal sacrifice in serving in the neighborhoods of Marietta… my friends, I love you.
Emmanuel, your heart for seeking souls, and sensitivity in worship and faithfulness in birthing outreach… my friend, I love you.
Elizabeth, your amazing love for children and attention to details of educating them and outreach… my friend, I love you.
Mike, your passion and purpose in the ministry of the gospel in all you do.. my friend, I love you.
Kerrie, your quiet spirit of wisdom and service in all you do … my friend, I love you.
Taylor, your servant attitude alongside, my friend, I love you.
Ethan, just being you, my friend, I love you.
Greg, your smile and honorable and trustworthy spirit.  My friend, I love you.
Richard, your personal friendship exampled in service.  my friend, I love you.
Donese, your faithfulness and never give up prayerfulness and service, my friend, I love you.
Don, your on the spot rapid repair and smiles, my friend, I love you.
Michelle, your indomitable action orientation and hospitality, my friend, I love you.
Delaney, your get-er-done attack, my friend, I love you.
Doug J.  your excellence and attention to detail and persistence.. my friend, I love you.
Kelvin, your just being there and walking the streets, my friend, I love you.
Ava, your prayer and incredible hospitality, my friend, I love you.
Sonya, your obedience to God, my friend, I love you.
Leonard, your faithfulness, keeping the lights one love for others, my friend, I love you.
Misty, your love for all and being there, my friend, I love you.
Debra, your giving heart and prayers when you don’t think I know it.  my friend, I love you.
TJ, that gentle giant smile … my friend, I love you.
Erika, your boisterous presence… my friend, I love you.
Rodell… your smile and receptive heart, my friend, I love you.

Dominic, your intensity for God, my friend, I love you
Dian, you are the light of my life, my best friend on earth, I love you.
Each of you brings a special gift of service to the body and the community.  There is not enough time or words to tell you how much I appreciate each of you.  I pray I did not overlook someone.  There are so many who are a part, but each of these brings specialness to each week and that means a lot to me.  My friends, I love you.  How blessed I am to have such friends.

Have a Great Day!

Phil 405.388.8037
19
Jun