Belize Day 4 –
This is the second week in a series called Simple Discipleship:
The topic for next week will be Worship/Sacrifice and we will be discussing:
2 Chronicles 20:1-30, Genesis 22:1-19, John 4:20-24, Malachi 1:6-14, 2 Samuel 24:18-25, and Luke 7:36-50
This week, we are learning about Intimacy/Love of God.
Here are my notes: Simple Discipleship Week 2
Here is the recording of the teaching, Feb 10, 2016: Intimacy/Love of God
This week’s teaching is what I would consider as the most important one to come to understand in the whole series. The love of God and the relationship that we have with Him will affect every other aspect of our lives.
What is Intimacy? to know deeply, completely and have a greater love for then when you did not know as much.
What is Love? A deep, selfless, pure closeness and knowing of a person no matter what their words, actions, or behavior. This closeness is promised with words, but proven by action.
Our revelation of the Love that God has for us will color every other thing that we come into contact with. How can we love others if we do not love God? How can we even love God if we do not understand the enormity of His love for us?
In John 15 Jesus speaks of an illustration of how close we should be in relationship with Him. He is the vine and we are the branches. We must be in such a relationship that we are a part of Him, and we are getting everything we need for us to live from Him . Without this relationship with Him, we can do nothing. I know that all of us want to be doing great things for the Lord. However, if we are not constantly and consistently connected with Him, we are doing absolutely nothing no matter how great we may look.
If you don’t remember anything else remember this, everything we do flows from our relationship with Jesus!!! You want to do great things? You must have a great relationship with Jesus.
1 Corinthians 13 gives us a picture of the perfect God kind of love. Paul is very clear at the beginning that no matter what you may be doing, saying, or giving to the Lord if it is not done in love, it is worthless.
Paul is very intentional about describing the God kind of love because it is so different than our view of love. This love is God’s love for us and the kind of love we should be seeking to have for him and for each other. We have a long way to go until we are able to obtain a love that begins to look like this perfect God kind of love.
Ephesians 3 speaks even more to how important this love is for us to have and know. We are strengthened in our inner selves by this love. In fact, this power, the Love of God and our revelation of this love, is the power with which God works out exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask for, hope for, or imagine. Our faith opens the door for this love to come in and each new revelation of this love that we have unlocks a greater power to work in and through us in every area of our lives.
It is evident in Deuteronomy 7:6-9 that God has chosen you as a special treasure and set you apart for holiness. There was nothing that you have done or ever could do to deserve this, but God did it because He loves you. God is full of mercy or he never would have chosen any of us sinful creatures. He is faithful because He continues to pour out His mercy when over and over again we prove that we do not deserve it.
I challenge you to sit down in a quiet place by yourself with a pen and some paper. Ask Holy Spirit to come and speak to you. Ask Him a simple question “How much do You love me?” Then, simple write or draw whatever He speaks to you. The voice of God is always loving, encouraging, and full of life. This is what He will speak to you.
After you have completed the above exercise, I would encourage you to pray and ask Holy Spirit:
Do I have a deepening relationship with you? Does my life sustaining force flow from my relationship with You?
Am i being obedient to You out of love or am I trying to prove I am worthy of Your love?
Am I glorifying You through my love for You?
Finally, pray this with me: “Father, bring a new revelation of the love that you have for me. Show me how much you truly love me and help me to do better at showing that love to the people around me.”
May the Lord bless you with new revelations of His love ever-increasing and ever-strengthening you with power for great and mighty works.
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
It has been a very challenging season for us over the past few months. First of all, we would like to apologize for not being more up to date on posting as well as sending out monthly newsletters since the one we sent out in September. The day that Katie began to work on the newsletter for October, our computer that contains just about everything we do for ministry stopped working mysteriously. We have had to wait too long for the means to get it fixed and returned to us in a usable form. But praise the Lord, we are now up and running again!!! 🙂
Coming back to “normal” non-missionary life has been difficult in many ways. As we were traveling, we were standing on the word of the Lord to go, and we obeyed that word to the best of our ability. Now that we are back, it has been hard to understand what God has for us here and what He is saying next for work and ministry.
Although it has been a challenging time, we have been privileged to be able to carry on ministering in many different ways. We are privileged to be a part of leadership in Encounter God’s Presence (EGP). Formerly, this was an annual youth camp and leadership retreat, but now it has been developing into weekly meetings and numerous youth rallies across our network of churches. Katie has been involved in the organization and administration of things as well as being able to use her prophetic gifting to give words at several events. Recently, we traveled with an EGP team to Hobbs, New Mexico to put on a rally for the youth. Over a hundred youth came together and worshiped, prayed, and sought the Lord together. During this time, many were ministered to, and Katie even got to pray and watch as a young girl’s leg grew out. This along with her prophetic words touched the lives of many youth there.
This church invited the team to lead worship the next morning so that the entire congregation could be a part of what God was doing. We went early to pray and prepare our hearts to be filled with His presence and then give out what we had received. God had been speaking to me during this weekend a word that I was able to share with the worship team before they were able to minister to the congregation. During the service that followed, the power of God was displayed throughout the church and the pastor gave up his message to allow the Holy Spirit to minister as the worship continued to usher in the Kingdom of God!!!
The word that God had been speaking to me was a simple phrase, “A Moment in Time Changes Everything!!!” As I meditated on this word, God began to reveal more. We live our lives from moment to moment never really knowing what will come next and not being able to change what has been done in the past. Each moment, we are given the opportunity to be obedient to the Lord and the Truth that we know. Each moment in time changes what will come next for better of for worse. As we are faithful to the Lord and His word to us, our moment in time will come into contact with another person’s moment in time and they will be changed by the Presence of the Lord we carry with us. These life changing moments may not seem different than any other moment, because it is not even us doing anything but being obedient to the Lord. This obedience to Him allows Holy Spirit to flow supernaturally through us to whomever we come into contact with.
In Acts 9:10, we come upon “a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias”. He appears to be no special person, not a pastor or leader in a church. He was a certain disciple like you and I are supposed to be. He was spending time listening to the Lord and allowing his spirit to be filled by the presence of God. When he got a word to go and pray for a man named Saul, he did not even really want to. He had heard of all the evil horrendous things that Saul had done in the name of God, and did not want him to be healed. This would be a bit like God telling you to go and pray for a well known member of ISIS. Nevertheless, because of his relationship with the Lord he was obedient. Saul was miraculously healed and chose to follow the Lord. Ananias, a relative nobody, had a moment in time that God’s power and presence was able to be infused into Saul’s life, and this changed everything!!! Saul became Paul and later became a traveling missionary and church planter, was appointed as an apostle, brought the word of God to the Gentiles, and wrote most of the letters that still influence us to this day. Ananias gained a mighty eternal inheritance of all of these things because of a simple act of obedience that he did not even really want to do. His moment in time still influences us today and changed all of eternity!!!
We can see all kinds of these life-changing moments throughout the Bible and even to modern day history. At the time, they do not even seem to be that important, but because God was able to infuse Himself into the obedience of His people, miraculous things took place and a supernatural legacy was brought about. Think about Abraham who left everything behind to follow the Lord, and his willingness to give up his most precious son Isaac, we are his inheritance. Moses gave up the pleasures of the palace and the solitude of the wilderness to speak the words of truth to Pharaoh, and he became the leader of God’s chosen people. After much resistance, Jonah spoke a word of destruction to Nineveh that saved the entire city. The Bible is made up of simple individuals like you and I (Elijah was a man with a nature like ours… James 5:17) who chose to follow and obey the Lord and this changed history!!!
This is who you are!!! This is your inheritance!!! This is your destiny!!! God calls you as His own to walk in faithful obedience to Him. As you walk out the simple mundane acts of obedience, it allows God to inject His Spirit into the situation so that the miraculous can occur. At the time, you may not see, realize, or feel anything special.
One “little” word or one “small” act of obedience will change the world when God is the one leading and directing!!!
A tiny word can change, save, or set a life free when spoken out of Obedience and Truth!!!
A simple act can affect a person, a nation, or all of eternity if we are walking with the Spirit!!!
One moment in time changes everything!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
It has been more than three weeks since we have posted and much longer since I personally have posted. Many people have probably ceased reading these posts since we are no longer traveling from country to country doing the Lord’s work as He opens the doors. Before I begin talking about giving, I want to first reflect on who really needs Jesus? Does the poor Cambodian girl living in the trash dump need Jesus more than the middle class American business man that spends more time working than with his family so he can get provide for them the necessities and all the extras (cars, boats, bigger houses, better clothes…)?
This time of the year, it seems that we are consumed with the extras, the things we do not really need. Black Friday is a tribute to this focus with too many people fighting over saving some money on the things that are not really needed. People die so that somebody’s son, daughter, brother, sister can get the extra they wanted but did not really need. Now, a few days after Christmas, no one is really happier and the extras are on the floor. Many people are ready to get away from their families because they are annoyed and have frustrations with them. Soon, they will return home and 90% of these extras will sit on a shelf, in a drawer, or in storage gathering dust. Who really needs Jesus more? We Americans who have it all and the extras or the those who have nothing but will give you whatever they have willingly?
As I was reading this week, it is interesting that God had me reading in 2 Corinthians chapters 8-9 the day after Christmas. These two chapters are talking all about giving, and I encourage you to read and meditate on them. Here, Paul speaks about a church that promised to give beyond their ability out of a generous heart. He describes this gift as the fellowship of ministering to the saints. He then goes on to say that even as they abound in important things (faith, knowledge, love), they should increase in the grace of giving just the same. Is the act of increasing in knowledge, faith, and love more important than increasing in giving???
In Vs. 15 of chapter 8, Paul uses a verse that was originally used about manna in Exodus to talk about giving. “He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack.” As I was reading this, I got revelation of a couple things. First, God gives us the things we need to go throughout our day. Both in the physical and in the spiritual. Not that revelatory, but worth mentioning. Second, some of the things He gives me are actually to help someone else make it through their day. If I have an abundance, and someone else has need, what I have is for them. What does it profit me to hoard that thing and save it for a rainy day or something I might need in the future if my brother is in need? The manna in Exodus rotted, and I do not want what God has given to rot, so I should be intentional about giving away what I do not need both in the physical and in the spiritual.
Finally, in Vs. 7-10 of chapter 9, it seems to me that Paul is saying that if we give with a joyful spirit, then God is able to make His grace increase toward us. We must have our giving with a right heart in order before we overflow with grace and abundance for every good work. Also, he talks about God giving us seed and bread, and how He multiplies the seed that has been sown to increase the fruits of righteousness. It does not say He multiplies the bread, but the seed. He does not multiply all the seed, but the seed that is sown and that is how the fruit of righteousness is increased in our lives. I would much rather have abundant fruit than just a little bit of seed and bread.
I want to return to the question I asked, who needs Jesus more? The answer is that both the poorest of the poor living in the trash dump and the middle class American that has the extras need Jesus. I could even argue that we as Americans have a greater need for Him because we can look to ourselves to work for and provide what we need. Some people, no matter how hard they work, will never have what they need. These people have to trust in something or Someone outside of themselves to get them through. I encourage you to meditate on chapters 8-9 in 2 Corinthians and discover the gift of giving that God has given us. It is not only for them, but it is for us. What is the proof of our faith and love? What is pure religion (James 1:27)? What do we have that others need? What has God given you for others that you have decided to hoard up for yourself? What is rotting in your storehouse that is meant for others? Joyously, give out what God has given you to give so that abundant fruit of righteousness may come to you and all the blessings that go along with it!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
So, we are here in Cambodia now. It seems that Wifi is much harder to come by in the day to day happenings that take place than it was before. We have been here nearly a week, but have not updated and for this I apologize. However, such is the life of those who are on adventure for the Lord.
Our travels here were uncertain and unplanned. After trying to reach our contact for two weeks and still not hearing from him, we came knowing that this is where we were supposed to be. The Lord rewarded our faith and when we got here, we were able to get ahold of our contact Both, and he took good care of us in Phnom Penh. Good Friday, we went out with some of his family to a nearby mountain and got to pray over the nation from a high vantage point. Here, every high mountain in covered with temples and idols to demons. However, we claimed this mountain and the area for the Lord, and prayed that He would change the hearts of the people from darkness to the Truth.
After talking with Both and his pastor, they invited us to share with their church on Easter Sunday what God revealed to us to be praying for Cambodia and lead the people in prayer. At that time, I agreed to it even though God had not spoken anything yet. But, the testimony of the Lord is that He is forever faithful to His word, and He revealed three areas that we are praying over Cambodia, and are important for all of us to pray for ourselves and our nations.
First, God spoke to me from Matthew 9:35-36 that Cambodia is the heart of Southeast Asia, and as such, the Christians should be praying that they would receive the heart of compassion of the Father. Every time Jesus did miracles (feeding the 5,000, raising Lazarus from the dead, raising the widow’s son to life) it was because He was moved with compassion for the people. In the same way, we must be continually praying that God would give us His heart of love for Him and for His people. I remembered that last time I was in Cambodia two years ago, this was one of the main things I was praying for myself. It makes sense that this would be an important point of prayer for the nation.
Second, God continued speaking to me from vs. 37-38 of the same chapter in Matthew. The harvest here is plentiful, but the laborers are few. So, we need to be praying that God would send forth laborers into the harvest and be willing to go as He calls us to go forth. It is interesting that the word Jesus uses here for sending forth the workers is the same one in Greek that is used when He is casting out demons. God is calling His laborers to go forth with power and purpose into the harvest to reap the souls that He rightfully deserves and bought and paid for with His blood!
Lastly, God began to speak to me that we are all called to be martyrs! For us, when we think of martyrs, we think of those who have died for being Christians. But the Greek word we get martyr from literally means “ones who gives witness of what they know to be the Truth”. We know more than anyone else what and Who the Truth is, and therefore, we are called to share it in the same way Paul was (Acts 26:16,18). The Christians in the early church were so willing to share the witness of what they knew to be true that they did not care what persecution, trouble, life, or death became of them. So many early Christians gave their lives as a witness for what they knew to be true, that we took the word and have used it for those who die for the Gospel. This is how we overcome the enemy as it states in Revelations 12:11 “…By the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony.” Jesus was The Faithful Witness unto death (Rev 1:5) and we must follow His example no matter what the outcome may be. For the people here in Cambodia, surrounded by Communism and Islam, there is much more to lose than people in the US.
I want to call you to not just pray for Cambodia, though this is something I ask you to do, but to pray and apply all of these areas to your own life.
Pray that God will give you His heart of compassion and love and that everything you do will flow out of that same love!
Pray that God will send forth laborers with power into the ripe harvest, and be willing to be one of these, as He speaks, that He may receive the reward He bought and paid for with His blood!
Pray that God would help you to be a faithful witness to everyone around you of what and Who you know to be The Truth, and that He would use you just like Paul “to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me” Acts 26:18.
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!