Saturday, June 30, 2018

Ever measured this distance headed eastward?

I don't think we can do it. Kind of a long ways away.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” Psalm 103:12 (NKJV). 

It’s as though you are now seen by Him as pure white as snow, washed clean.. when it used to be opposite of that. We’ve all blown it before -- grateful for the Cross. 
Ever witnessed of His love, ever shared your own story of what God's done in your life, ever told about and bragged on the Son of God? Ever crossed a street or a sea and.. fished for souls? We ALL can do this!

He's always got ya covered, believer. Sure He does. Think back..pause, ponder, praise and then thank God. How has Jesus your first-love protected you before? Tell it.

We are in this world but not of this world. Why should we be? We are not at all in-love with this world, though we love the people in this world. And we love the Lord more. He first loved us. 
Sure there are dangers out there in the world to avoid, but we have a God who is stronger than any and is 24/7 there for each of us. And the Lord loves to protect you too because he can’t take His eyes off of you. He loves you so SO much -- you are His treasure! Animals in this world don't rebel, so why should we when He came here and died to save us? Are you away from Him? Come to... come back to Him today

"The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18:2

The Lord is trustworthy, faithful-loyal to the max, holy, unchanging, and fully reliable. KurtwVs Insta 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Spirit is there to empower you, believer.

Tall Ships, Sailing Ship, Model Boats, Decorative Ships, Decorating With Ship Models
Every missions-minded Christian is happy to allow the winds of the Spirit to fill their sails. 

I’m no Paul, but as I muse over those missionary travels of the Apostle Paul in Acts, they kind of remind me of the joy of sailing like I enjoyed growing up. It was to, from and around different Islands off the coasts of California and North Africa.  

You know how the Apostle Paul walked in victory and love--he was controlled by the Spirit as he ministered to disciples everywhere he went. Sometimes the carnal, worldly and nominal Christians we meet can act nice. Sometimes juicy-sinners will act generous and kind as well, but HOW CAN WE DEAL WITH saints and sinners who act like the unregenerate typically like to act? We simply must die to our old fleshly nature and be filled up with the Spirit. To overflowing with His JOY!

How else can we be empowered to be and give witness with our story and the Gospel? Listen, the Christian experience can be more enjoyable than just sailing a vessel on the Mediterranean Sea.. if your sails are FULL. Being a mere religious church attender is so dry, powerless and boring—that’s not at all what it’s like following Christ. No, NO! Normal Christianity ain’t like that. It’s a joy-filled adventure of faith! Remember this; there is zero spiritual growth apart from the Word and the Spirit of God. Yes, Jesus made it clear that we grow in grace and truth. We cannot be productive witnesses for His glory apart from being filled with the Power of the Holy Spirit. Paul in Ephesians 5:18 speaks of being "filled with the Spirit," – it reminds me of that metaphor of cruisin’ out in a sailboat while yielding to the direction and power of the wind. God corrects and directs.

It’s a choice of faith before us. I challenge you to decide.. to be ‘filled with the Spirit,’ to ask. Even for a refill if needed. This indeed can be like the wind filling the sails of an ancient vessel. When the wind fills the sails, the boat has power to go forward (See Acts 1:8). Travel on purpose. Go brag on Christ! 

His purpose for your life. Ask, which direction is the wind of the Holy Spirit specifically blowing me? He works in us both the will and to do, but it’s not primarily our job to determine which way we go, which way we want the wind to blow us. We are to adjust our sails according to the will and word of God. Here are four ways to practically adjust your sails everyday…
1. Surrender the control of your life to God – Being filled with the Spirit starts with the volitional relinquishment of the control of your life. A believer does have self-control as a fruit, but the direction is the Lord’s deal. Christ is the CEO. He and the Holy Spirit call the shots, not us anymore. First God step, repentance and faith in Jesus—turning and trusting plus nothing. Then He calls us into the waters of baptism and to surrender our old way of living for God’s way. For burial of the old life. Our lovely Savior becomes our Lord—the chief Shepherd. It’s out of the driver’s seat for me, and on into the JOY of obedience.. including more fruitfulness and world-changing effectiveness! It’s about being a witness and as He directs. Yes, giving a good witness.. to the last, the lost and the least of this world. Paul puts this discipleship thing so beautifully, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). 
2. Regularly saturate your mind in the truth – If we want the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us, we need to prayerfully read the Bible and hear God’s voice. He still communicates. Duh. We just need to recognize the Spirit’s promptings. God’s Word is living, active and powerful for life-change and ministry (Hebrews 4:12). There is great profit in just reading it publicly or privately. You know how the Holy Spirit often times will use specific Scriptures to comfort, heal, equip and guide us daily – it’s the way to live! The more we meditate on Scripture, the bigger we build our sails if ya will, and the easier it will be to intercede and recognize when the Holy Spirit is speaking to us. All need air to breathe well, and we all need the word to serve well. 
3. Dialogue with God throughout the day with humble willingness – Jesus knows it all anyways so be candid and transparent. The Spirit is like a mighty wind, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). Adjusting your sails to the Holy Spirit. Remain constantly vigilant to where and how the wind of the Holy Spirit is blowing having others in mind. As great as a sound church service might be or even a daily quiet time all alone… more is needed moment by moment. The Holy Spirit is constantly on the move, and it’s imperative for us to stay in step with Him..constantly attentive to Him. Practically speaking, we need to have an ongoing conversation with God throughout the day because every single life we meet and every day are important. It’s about talking, asking, listening, and properly acting. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Paul tells the church to “pray without ceasing.” Constant intimate contact – abiding in the Spirit, instead of strivin’ in the flesh. It’s about tuning-in so to speak, listening, wisely applying well..’til WELL ..yup, accurately hearing (and it will agree with the Bible). Work on the discipline of being aware of God’s presence wherever you go. It never need be spooky-weird or creepy at all. Who needs that religiousity!? None. You’ll find that the wind of the Holy Spirit blows in a lot of places where people go because He cares about them, not just within the four walls of a church building. The wind is winsome and doesn’t scare people away from Jesus Christ! 
4. Daily, obey the Living Word – Hearing, hearin’, hearin’ alone? Ehhh!. The first three above are useless if you don’t obey. God is practical, come to Him to know how to apply. The Holy Spirit doesn’t speak to you for your amusement or to simply give you nice advice to merely contemplate. Look in the book of Acts (like in chapter 16) when Paul takes the Gospel from Asia to Europe. Did he endlessly ponder? Nope. Those moments changed world history because the early believers not content merely to listen to the Spirit only, they were zealous to obey the Word. 
If you’re not sure what to do, the safest thing to do is pause and inquire of Him again. Don't act hasty and run ahead of the Lord. Did you do the last thing God told you to do? Read my Acts 21 notes on this.  

When you surrender the directional and attitudinal control, and saturate yourself in the Word, and dialogue with God throughout the day ..and obey the Holy Spirit’s promptings, then buckle up Buckaroo! You’re about to LIVE with IMPACT! Every missions-minded Christian is reborn and spiritual instead of carnal, as they allow the winds of the Spirit to KEEP ON FILLING THEIR SAILS.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Is your home in Blithe and rife with strife? So sorry. Stop that. Ya can’t always but daily do your best to.

Verses to Pray Over Your Home...

For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; He has blessed your children within you. He makes peace in your borders, And fills you with the finest wheat. Psalm 147: 13-14
Let all that you do be done with love. 1 Corinthians 16: 14
But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24: 15b
So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16: 31
I will make your pinnacles of rubies, Your gates of crystal, And all your walls of precious stones. All your children shall be taught by the Lord, And great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54: 12-13
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6: 6-9
My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places, Isaiah 32: 18
Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep. Psalm 127: 1-2
The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the home of the just. Proverbs 3: 33
So Joshua let the people depart, each to his own inheritance. Joshua 24: 28
The wicked are overthrown and are no more, But the house of the righteous will stand. Proverbs 12: 7
The house of the wicked will be overthrown, But the tent of the upright will flourish. Proverbs 14: 1
In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, But in the revenue of the wicked is trouble. Proverbs 15: 6
Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; By knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches. Proverbs 24: 3-4
the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Titus 2: 3-5
How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Psalm 84: 1-2
Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you. Mark 5: 19b
For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 Corinthians 5: 1
“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”’ Numbers 6: 24-26
Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. 2 Chronicles 7: 15-16
And thus you shall say to him who lives in prosperity: ‘Peace be to you, peace to your house, and peace to all that you have! 1 Samuel 25:6
But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ Luke 10: 5
Now therefore, let it please You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue before You forever; for You, O Lord God, have spoken it, and with Your blessing let the house of Your servant be blessed forever.” 2 Samuel 7: 29
Peace be within your walls, Prosperity within your palaces. Psalm 122: 7
Concerning this temple which you are building, if you walk in My statutes, execute My judgments, keep all My commandments, and walk in them, then I will perform My word with you, which I spoke to your father David. And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel. 1 Kings 6: 12-13
Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously, since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the Lord tells you that He will make you a house. 2 Samuel 7: 10-11
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11: 29
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3: 11a
I have surely built You an exalted house, And a place for You to dwell in forever. 1 Kings 8: 13
For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him. Genesis 18: 9
She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet. Proverbs 31: 21
A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15: 1

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. Ephesians 4: 29. Be born again.

Run to Him, not away from Him when Jesus says things that are hard to understand.

Pray for our dear friends in Europe. So called "child" migrants ditched and are on the loose again.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Two One Acts. It’s About Actions, The Right Ones At The Right Time!

As the Apostle Paul mused awhile over his ministry we see in Acts 20:24-26, he uses six graphic pictures to paint a picture for us.

1.      He saw himself as a responsible accountant – v.24.
2.      He saw himself as a runner who wanted to finish the course.
3.      He saw himself as a steward who owns little, but possesses everything.
4.      He saw himself as a worshiper first, who could from that.. witness – v. 24.
5.      He saw himself as a herald – v. 25. He was preaching the Message of the king, not his own message.
6.      He saw himself as a protective watchman – v. 26. Lookin' out for the flock. In Acts 18:6 we see a reference to the “watchman on the wall” like in Ezekiel 3:17-21; 33:1-9. Please stay awake and alert, ready for the right actions.
But now here in Acts 21 we see how...
* Paul Traveled on Purpose. He was filled with the Spirit -- a stouthearted man of commitment. Not flaky, fuzzy-minded or fickle. He had a soul-winning purpose and wouldn't be impeded by pain 1-14. 
* Paul Traveled as a Peacemaker. He wasn't perfect but did his part and finished his course with joy 15-25.
* Paul Traveled Righteously. With holy-fear inside he moved forward always looking for an opportunity to plant seeds and reap.. sometimes with mixed emotions both glad or sad. Why? Cuz he really loved the people, and this landed him in Prison 26-40.
-- Paul progressed in his travels forward with an Eternal Purpose. Life here isn't always a cake-walk, ya know like with non-stop wonderful emotions and 100% helpful circumstances. When we follow Jesus there is opposition, trials and suffering at times. It’s cuz the How we feel can be a trial on any given day. Our experience here just goes like that sometimes. Paul knew what lay ahead of him, but he kept on loving the Lord (Luke 9:51). You remember how years earlier the Lord instructed Paul to get out of that city Jerusalem (22:18-21). And this begs the question.. was Paul wrong in going back there now? We all know know Paul was a man of prayer, and don't have many of the facts of his life of intercession so I trust he was obeying the Spirit's directives here.

“The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become.” ~ Henry Martyn

“We Christians are debtors to all men at all times in all places, but we are so smug to the lostness of men. We've been ‘living in Laodicea’, lax, loose, lustful, and lazy. Why is there this criminal indifference to the lostness of men? We know how to live better than we are living.” ~ Leonard Ravenhill

The Bible says, “Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. When he had come to us, he took Paul's belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, ‘Thus says the Holy Spirit, 'So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'" (vv. 10-12).

“The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed.” ~ Hudson Taylor

-- Paul the Peacemakin’-traveler loved God most and then people. Sure, he just loved to win and disciple souls for Jesus too. And you want to know how to win people to Jesus as well -- here's how (audio)! He lived and preached the word. You don’t have to do that in a pushy-preachy sorta way ya know. Read and watch how he tactfully moved from "the will of the Lord be done" (v. 14) to "do what we tell you" (v. 23). Paul was a bit motivated inside (some commentators say he was anxious) to bring spiritual-unity to the Jews and Gentiles in the church so he quickly agreed to the plan. He LIVED filled with HOPE for their UNITY! Do you think that Paul was following earthly wisdom or God's kind of wisdom (James 3:13-18) -- again, I think he was walking according to the later. Who am I "to judge another Man's servant" (Romans 14:3-)? Remember, not every decision we make turns out to bring peace.

“Jesus gives us hope because He keeps us company, has a vision and knows the way we should go.” ~ Max Lucado

-- Paul's obedience got him imprisoned, but the missionary-traveler still had JOY! Nothing could rob him of it. He was seeing his plan work-out pretty well it seemed.. until the last day when trouble started up (v. 27). Paul walked by faith and nothing could rob him of JOY, but now he had to deal with totally absurd charges. Mobs could give a flip about real facts -- they live on "could have been" and "suppose" instead. Now it seemed like all Paul's efforts were in vain after he carefully played it safe so as not to cause any urban trouble-makin'-unrest there at all (24:10-13). Talk about trials! He would literally spend the next five years in a cold-dank Roman prison. 

It's so easy to hyper-focus on the circumstances of life and let em choke out your fruitfulness. 

It's too easy to get discouraged, down, distressed, dismally-defeated or distracted. 

Why do that; why neglect the word or prayer and look to yourself? Put a hook in every opportunity; be willing enter their culture short of sin to win em -- willing to cross the street or a sea. Walk in victory and choose to all-out praise the Lord! Make this a lifestyle!  

“Do not look to your hope, but to Christ, the source of your hope.” C.H. Spurgeon

We obey, we play, we fray, we pray, we stay, we prepare.. and go SAY

"We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God." ~ John Stott

"I am just like one beggar telling another beggar where to find food. I am not better than anyone, only better off." ~ Greg Laurie
Clearly explain the whole nine yards of the Gospel. Until they understand. Use their language, but clean. You don't have to use churchy terms. If you do, just define em. Like Paul, you too can purpose to glorify the Lord, but sometimes our plans, goals and good intentions still seem to just bring on problems. Sup with that? Well, listen up, God can communicate. He is still sovereign trouble or no trouble -- yup, still in control. In your heart, let Him rule without rival. God used His servant Paul in the middle of his personal trials and God also used the trials in Paul's life.. to accomplish His own eternal purposes. Guess what, Paul with his writing ability was brought to Rome (23:11) and now we too are blessed. Turn and trust -- the Lord will fill you with His Spirit and use you to bless others, Buckaroo!  

"God is the master of the scenes; we must not choose what part we shall act; it concerns us only to be careful that we do it well, always saying, 'if this pleases God, let it be as it is.'" ~ Jeremy Taylor

Come to, or come back to Christ now. The devil says tomorrow, but God says today is the day of salvation. Believe and receive. Then go tell -- yes, into all your world and tell what God has done in your life.