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Archive for the ‘pastors’ Category

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” – John 10:11 (NKJV)

The modern society has made what we consider pastoring a mere shadow of what we truly should expect of the man of God today.  We may never get out of ordained and anointed pastoral leaders what we could get out of them because we can never drop or shed expecting more out of them than they have been called to ever do in the first place.

After all, just like the rest of us believers, pastors are Christians.  That point sometimes gets missed.  Plain and simple, they are Christians just like us.

Secondly, pastors are called from among the flock to stand set apart as “called” by God.  They’re still Christians but they have a greater responsibility in regards to standing firm and handling God’s Word.

Finally, God plucks out a set of His own chosen few to serve as pastors and shepherds.  He places His Spirit in them and allows manifestations of Word to emerge within their messages, sermons and Bible lessons. 

He uses them.  He molds them.  He shapes them.  He directs them.  He guides them.  He orders them.  He trains them.

After all, He called them. 

He called them to walk as He walked.  He called them to live as He once lived.  He called them to work just like Jesus did the works of the Father. 

If you want to see Jesus on display in your pastor, help your pastor do the things that allow Him to be display Himself in your pastor.  If you can’t help with that,  maybe you can just adjust your expectations.  After all, they’re still just Christians.

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Morning by morning new mercies I see. . .– “Great is Thy Faithfulness”

Every single day is a blessing.  Yes, I know that it can be considered a given, but today I have good reason to say so.  After tossing and turning all night with a head cold, I could hardly sleep.  I awoke in a stuper this morning and in no condition to even try to go to church, possibly infecting everyone near me.  I awoke and celebrated the goodness of God.

Great is Thy Faithfulness!

I celebrate the fact that God is in charge.  He can slow us down when we will run ourselves down to the bone and keep on until there’s nothing to wear out left.  God has stopping power.  He can stop the planets in the middle of their orbit.  He can command the birds of the air to feed a runaway prophet and the fish of the sea to leap into the nets of a small boat for Simon Peter.  God has power.

He gives us new mercies daily.  He doesn’t try to pass off yesterday’s mercies as just as good or in working condition.  He gives us the best that He has to offer.

Lord,
I just say thank you for not leaving me in yesterday’s condition and
allowing me to awake today in a new condition.
Yes, Lord, You are powerful!
Amen.

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Then Elisha said, “Listen to the word of the LORD; thus says the LORD, ‘Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour will be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.'” – 2 Kings 7:1 (NASB)

Then the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. So a seah of flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley sold for a shekel, as the LORD had said. 
– 2 Kings 7:16 (NIV)

It happened as the man of God had said to the king: “About this time tomorrow, a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.” 
– 2 Kings 7:18 (NIV)

The man of God in the Old Testament was more than priestly.  He usually stood out as a messenger of God, a prophet.  Elisha was such a messenger.  He was an advisor to the Hebrew kings of his generation and times.  He provided spiritual insight and interpretation for the benefit and blessing of the entire kingdom based on the word of the LORD.  

A severe famine had struck the land due to invaders surrounding the city and placing it under siege.  This same famine caused the market rates to go sky high.  During this famine, a  donkey’s head sold for eighty shekels of silver and quarter of a cab of seed pods for five shekels ( 2 Kings 6:25, NIV).  Eighty shekels of silver was the equivalent of approximately two pounds, while a quarter of a cab represented about 1/2 pint of seed pods.  In such an economic crisis, no one can get much for their money due to the limited supply and a high demand.  When did donkey heads become listed commodities on the open market? That’s when you know things have gotten real bad.

Things had gotten so bad that a woman had agreed to cook her son and eat him with another woman. Upon hearing of this, the king becomes distraught and tears his robe as a sign of mourning.  He vows to have the head of Elisha, God’s messenger.  Obviously, Elisha quickly fell out of favor with the king at this point due to the dire conditions of the kingdom in that day. God’s messenger is His representative among the people, too.  That also makes him the perfect target for outrage and criticism when things go awry.

Elisha offers a prophecy of coming profitability.  God shared that the famine would end soon and things would turn around.  He prophesied that by the next day  a “seah” of flour and two of barley would both sell for only one shekel.  When it comes true, the people are overjoyed and elated.  They readily grab hold of  all that they could and lived on during the economic recovery.

Keep in mind that the head of God’s messenger was sought by high ranking officials just hours before things turned for the better.  Even though he believed it to be so, others did not readily believe it until they saw it for themselves. 

Today’s financial conditions will not remain the same always.  Hear where God is directing you and see where He is making swift changes and movements that impact our global economy right before our eyes.  You may need to prepare for today’s prophecy becoming tomorrow’s reality quick and soon.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: 
for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. 
– Matthew 5:12

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“I will utterly consume everything

From the face of the land,”

Says the Lord;

“I will consume man and beast;

I will consume the birds of the heavens,

The fish of the sea,

And the stumbling blocks along with the wicked.

I will cut off man from the face of the land,”

Says the Lord.

-Zephaniah 1:2-3 (NKJV)

Consider yourself warned.  God will have a day of reckoning.  he prophets spoke of it.  In particular, Zephaniah spoke explicitly about it.  It would be the type of day that no one would want to see in their lifetime.

Think you have had a bad day? That’s nothing like what will happen when this day comes about.  The Lord will not be slow to anger on that day.  He will set forth His wrath like it has never been unleashed before.

Take care of business, brothers and sisters.  Know that how you manage your business affairs is part of how you reflect God in your daily life to others, especially those who are not of the faith.

  • Are you viewed as shrewd and crafty, ready to cut costs at the expense of the livelihood of your employees and vendors?
  • Do you readily examine the bottom line or the heart of the matter when making decisions?
  • Do you pray over your business decisions and seek godly counsel from other Christian business men and women?

Consider how you handle your business.  Others are watching you.  Others take into account that you say that you are a Christian.  God is watching.  God will not always be waiting.  One day, and we we do not know when, God is going to call us on what we have done and what we haven’t done as His children.

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“Christ came to redeem us from sin and bring us back to serve and glorify Him.”
– Andrew Murray, God’s Plans for You

Let’s get real.  Salvation is part of God’s master plan for all of us.  It isn’t the whole thing, but it is a major part of the plan.  What is highly important is that we recognize that God has a plan.  Even more refreshing for us is that we are included in God’s plan.
That includes your business.  That includes your special gifts and abilities.  That also includes your example that you set for others, especially unbelievers, through how you live your life.  It is all part of God’s plan.
What’s the point of God’s plan?
He shows us love because He is love.  He expects us to live as reflections of Him.   We are to serve Him.  We are to glorify Him.

Guess what?

It’s all in His plan.

 

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According to 2008 U.S. statistical data from the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), 34,169 people claimed “no religion.” That includes atheists and humanists.  That is almost 5,000 more people than in 2001.  In 2008, according to the same survey, over 173,000 people identified themselves as “Christian.” That’s over 13,000 more than in 2001.
Obviously, Christianity grew and expanded during this period.  That sounds good.  However, the adult population surveyed increased by approximately 20,000 during this period.  We gained 13,000 and the “no religion” folks gained 5,000.  That means 2,000 people became Muslims, Jews or some other religion.  Or, the same 2,000 just did not dare claim any religion at all.  Either that or it is some mix between the two of them.


The world has its own standard.  It may not be one that we, as Christians, desire to follow but it exists.  It is alive and well within the world.  That’s suitable for those who do not know the Lord.  It works for those who live in the darkness of unbelief.

It doesn’t work well for Christians.

For us, things are just a little different.  We answer to a higher calling in Christ Jesus, seeking to mature in Christ as we walk with Christ.  We are to live by a different standard than the world.

So what is this standard of living for Christians and where does it come from?

  • The Lord sets the standard.  He lays it out based upon His supreme reign over all things as the Creator, the Maker and Elohim.  He answers to no one.
  • The Lord shares the standard in the Scriptures.  Christians have the upper hand because we have been provided the play book.  We can read it.  We can reference it.  It is for our consumption.  The Lord gave it to us.
  • The Lord demonstrated the standard.  The Word became flesh.  He dwelt on earth and dealt with some serious troubles like being born to poor parents and living in a society where foreigners ruled over His people.  He showed us the standard and expects us to live up to the standard.
Live it up.  Live a life of influence that inspires others from interacting with you and your business.  Live up to Christ’s standards as you work, as you play golf and as you go to and fro.  Handle your business and live up the Lord’s standards.

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This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
Woe to the foolish prophets
who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!
– Ezekiel 13:3 (NIV)

Everyone who is speaking about vision isn’t being honest about it.  They claim to be prophets of profit or visionaries of victory.  It sounds good, but it seems worthless.  Some are called gurus.  Believe it if you dare.  They are false prophets.

They are able to lead people in a particular direction, but they do not seem to be able to accomplish true success.  Yes, they are able to have small victories and have moments of progress.  However, they have little beyond the rhetoric that they spew or the sound bites that they play repetitively throughout the airwaves.  According to Ezekiel’s prophecy, they are foolish and following their own spirits, having seen nothing at all or from the Lord.

Don’t be found in that category.  Lead as God leads you.  Whatever God gives you to do, articulate that vision.  Put it in words so that others can grasp the depth and the concept of the vision.  Put it in visuals where others can see the vision for themselves.  Articulate your vision with all that you have within you.

Most importantly, share the vision that God gave you just the way that God gave it to you.  Don’t abridge or edit it for political correctness or popularity, not even prestige.  It’s not about you or how you feel.  Your opinion doesn’t even matter.  You accept it from God and make others aware of what God gave you.  Confirmation will come from God through others who speak up and say that it sounds a lot like what God had been sharing with them or what they had been reading in their daily devotional reading.  Give it to others like God gave it to you.

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