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Thursday, February 26, 2009

What is Faith?

By Steven Coffman

Webster's dictionary says; Firm belief in something for which there is no proof. The bible says; "It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see." (Hebrews 11:1, NLT).

Christian faith is not based purely on evidence, but it is definitely supported by evidence. It was by faith that Noah built the Ark. It was by faith that Abraham left his home a moved to another land. It was by faith that Sarah had a child, even though she was old and barren. It was by faith that Moses challenged the Pharaoh and led his people to the Promised Land.

We all face disappointments and setbacks. Life is full of things that try to push us down. Maybe you got bad news concerning your health. Maybe a close relationship ended. Maybe you lost your job. Maybe your stock plummeted. These are what most consider major setbacks. When we are faced with major setbacks, many times we are so stunned by them we lose our enthusiasm for doing anything about it. But if we are going to truly receive God's best, we must bounce-back mentality. When you get knocked down, you never stay down. You get back up again. When the setbacks come you have to shake them off, knowing whatever the enemy meant for your harm God is going to turn around and use for your good.

"So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold..." (I Peter 1:6-7, NLT).

God wants His people to constantly increase, so they can live as an example of His goodness. But, in order to partake of everything He has in store, we have to open our hearts to what He wants to do in our lives. We need to mentally have a vision for increase. If you are not expecting favor, or if you just get satisfied with where you are, then you will truly live below your blessings that you could receive. But if you will have faith and a vision for increase, you will see opportunities, favor, and increase in your life.

Jesus once said to His disciples; "Have faith in God. I assure you that you that you can say to this mountain, 'May god lift you up and throw you into the sea,' and your command will be obeyed. All that's required is that you really believe and do not doubt in your heart. Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you will have it." (Mark 11:22-24, NLT).

When you truly believe and put God first, when you obey His commands, you open the door for His favor and you have the advantage for success! Even if you loose your job, God never closes one door without opening another! Even if someone may have wronged you and it looks like they have the upper hand, even if it looks like things are never going to change, you need to keep reminding yourself, "I have an advantage. God is the one that is truly in control of my destiny. Through my Christian faith in God, I know that He is fighting my battles for me!

Family-eStore will try to provide you with articles of interest to a Christian and patriotic way of life. The articles are written by Steven Coffman (Owner) of Family-eStore.com, (National Essay Contest) winner 1969.

I am a person with strong Christian and patriotic beliefs. Tenacity, faith, and a belief in God, Country and Family are key components to success in life.

The Christian articles are only intended to bring you closer in your relationship to our Father in heaven.

The Patriotic articles are only intended to show pride and patriotism to our "Land of the free and home of the brave", (The United States of America).

I hope that you enjoy and are enlightened by them.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Daily Devotional

By Joey Papa

It is so important to remind ourselves daily of the truth of God. There is so much in this life that clouds our understanding and perception of God's love and kindness. Many Christians go throughout their daily life and never wrestle for the truth of God which produces freedom and spiritual understanding. Paul encourages believes to stir themselves up in the Spirit, to ask God for the spirit of wisdom and revelation and to make it our aim to know Him in the knowledge of His love. This is why it is so important to connect with a daily devotional.

When seeking out a daily devotional, look for something that will both encourage and challenge your faith. Just like you go to the gym to stretch your physical abilities and therefore increasing muscle tone and strength, in the same way your devotions need to challenge and stretch you. Don't just settle for a simple inspirational word, but find a devotional that will cause you to think, to contemplate and ultimately pray.

A daily devotional should be used as a spring board into your prayer and bible study, not a substitute. The only way to actually grow in the truth and spirit of God is to seek Him out of a place of hunger and thirst. Jesus said multiple times that those who continue to seek the Father, will find him; those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled. It's in that place of secrecy and intimacy where our hearts connect with His and we are fulfilled.

If you're looking for a great daily devotional that will encourage, challenge and inspire your faith check out http://www.contemplativedialogue.blogspot.com This blog has a daily post that is intended to spur believers on in their pursuit of the Holy.

Joey Papa is a full-time freelance writer in Tampa, FL with a passion to encourage the body of Christ. Check out his daily devotional blog at http://www.contemplativedialogue.blogspot.com

Friday, February 20, 2009

How to Fight the Good Fight of Faith

By Raymond Edeh

Spirituality is profitable in all things you do as a child of God. It means you cannot have the good and profitable things of life without being spiritually well. You are not permitted to lack any good thing if you are truly a child of God. Faith is the master key to a world of victory.

Until you miss the word with faith the word remains impotent - it can't produce the desired result. You need to present your case before God - you need to pray. Ask God to prove his word in your life. In addition, you have to face the situation and address it squarely. Speak to the issue. Why must you speak to the issue? God has heard you because you have prayed but the issue has not heard you. You need to pray to God but you also need to speak to the issue.

It is the seal of faith that ushers you into the spiritual realm of miracles, signs and wonders. It is the seal of faith that releases a destiny that has been tied down by the devil. The fight of faith is the only way you can recover all things that you have lost.

God, your father, has provided everything you need as a child of God but you need to fight for them in order to take delivery of them. This sounds like a paradox yet it is true. You need faith to stop the opposition and gain access to your possession. So, without faith you have no future. The fight of faith is the only guarantee to possessing your possession. You will not gain access to your assets in divine redemption if you don't engage the weapon of faith.

Every child of God is entitled to the inheritance of the Father but you, a child of God, need faith in order to lay hold on the inheritance. Faith is a living force drawn from the living word of God to produce living proofs. Faith is a spiritual force; it is not a psychological or philosophical force.

Faith comes from the word of God. So, you have to study the word so that when the enemy comes you will show him the word and he will not stand the authority of the word of God.

If you truly want to know about the six dimensions of wellness, go to this blog now: The Six Dimensions Of Wellness!

Communicating With God - Desperately Wanting to Hear God's Voice

By Robert Pedersen

There's something that we all tend to experience in our search for God - and that is a desperation to hear God's voice. I felt the same way for a while. When I finally gave up and stopped all religious activities I was still desperate to hear God's voice.

During that time a friend told me that communicating with God is not the same for everyone. Some people actually hear an audible voice and some it's more like thoughts coming into their mind. I wanted to hear the audible voice - and I think most people want that. However - that may not be the way that God communicates with you.

As it turns out that's not the way God communicates with me. Instead, I receive these inspirations - a flood of thoughts - it really is quite amazing - and I don't have to wonder if it's God because they're thoughts I've never had and couldn't conjure up if I wanted to!

This method is so amazing because you can get a lot in a short amount of time! A audible conversation would take so much longer!

The reason I'm telling you this is - God may communicate with you in a way that's different than you're wanting or expecting. Don't create limits with your expectations - difficult I know, but doable.

The other thing is that when we're desperately wanting something we somehow push it away. It's like asking without faith. Jesus said to ask believing - if you really believe you will receive the thing you ask for - you won't worry about it, doubt or wonder when it's going to show up. You will have this quiet confidence that it will be arriving shortly and rest in that faith.

We also convince ourselves that communicating with God is difficult and that we're going to have to do some special stuff to accomplish that.

Scripture teaches that we are created in God's image. What that now means to me after a lot of thoughtful meditation is this - You and I are individual manifestations of God. We are not all of God but we are an aspect of God. God Stuff if you will. Therefore we are actually one with God - which is what Jesus prayed we would be in John 17. The fulfillment of Jesus's prayer is each individuals realization of their own oneness with God. It's not some change that occurs at some point in time. It is what we are NOW - mostly we're just unaware of this fact.

This probably sounds a little far out especially if you are a fundamental type Christian. I'm just offering it to you and I'd ask you to sit quietly with these thoughts for a while and just meditate on them. Notice how you feel in your body. Notice the thoughts that come up. There could be a lot of stuff - just notice it and find out if it's coming from fear or faith.

If it's of fear you can safely discard it - There's nothing to fear. Jesus was very clear on that - "Fear not little flock for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" Yet fear is what most "Christianity" uses to keep us doing the stuff we're supposed to do.

What all this means is that it is impossible to be disconnected from God. We may be unaware of our connection - and it's easy to get there. But it's not that hard to get back either - once you realize who you really are.

Communicating with God doesn't have to be so difficult. Learn 7 of the common mistakes we make here: http://www.bestillknowgod.com

Christian Meditation - The Home in Your Heart

By Deborah Kukal, Ph.D.

I was meditating freely in my safe and holy place, the protected place in my heart where I rest in the Lord, when I noticed a path through the trees. At the end of the path, across a wide meadow, was a snug little cabin...with a wide porch, and smoke curling up from the chimney. Even though I'd never seen it before, I recognized it immediately. It was the home in my heart.

I went in and sat in the big chair by the fire, with Jesus nearby, just slowly feeling safe in His presence...experiencing His love. No words were needed. Drifting in from the kitchen I heard the sound of gentle laughter, and I knew my dear ones, the ones who love me, were safe and happy, close by.

I've been there many times since then, resting in the home in my heart, mostly during meditation, and sometimes for brief glimpses in my daily life. It has been a joy and a resource.

Recently I was faced with a situation that seemed to threaten my safety, and tugged at all the over-reactions I'm still so capable of. But this time, instead of reacting, I let it go, and flew to the arms of my Savior, there in the home in my heart.

I know that sounds hokey! But those were the words that came to me, as I turned to Him for renewal. No rushing to fix things that weren't mine to fix, no over-reacting to calm my anxiety. Just resting in His consolation, there in the home in my heart.

In my meditation I was filled with His love. The fear and tension unknotted, and I was calm. And then-what a gift! A whole new way of being, of living safely in love, revealed itself to me. All because I stopped to take strength from Him.

And the gift continues. A dearly loved one of our family faces sudden, life-threatening health challenges, and the shock and helplessness are overwhelming at times. We pray, and share His words of hope and comfort. But for me, it doesn't get all the way inside till I go to the home in my heart, lay it all out before Him, and rest in His comfort and love.

You too will face times of pain and grief, times of fear and anxiety. I recorded "The Home in Your Heart" meditation as a path to the home in your heart, to your place of safety where He can comfort you with His love.

Just as the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. So, abide in my love. John 15:9

Wishing you a blessed journey, and joy in the home in your heart,

Dr. Deb

Dr. Deb Kukal's Christian meditation CDs will nourish your physical health and enrich your emotional life, as well as deepening your intimacy with the Lord. Dr. Kukal is a licensed psychologist who has been teaching health based meditation in a hospital setting for more than 15 years.

To learn more about meditation, and try a free guided Christian meditation, visit Dr. Kukal at her website, http://www.joyofchristianmeditation.com

The Future of the Local Church is Now!

By Gary Rhodes

Introduction

We read and hear about it all the time in the business world; "effective organizations must anticipate future trends to be successful in a competitive market." Global, economical and technological influences, just to name a few, will impact organizations and require leaders to strategically forecast what business will look like in five to ten years. Business leaders who recognize this will position themselves over their competitors, as the before mentioned factors affect various markets. As science fiction novelist, William Gibson states, "The future is here. It's just not widely distributed yet."

That recognition of the imminent effects of tomorrow is not just a requirement for those on Wall Street; church leaders must embrace the future in order to fulfill the gospel mission to tell others about Christ. (Acts 1:8) That effort can be monumental; nevertheless church leaders must be purposeful in identifying key trends. In order to do so, leaders must first recognize the functioning systems within the church and how future trends will impact those systems. Nelson Searcy, Senior Pastor of the Journey Church in New York and founder of Church Leader Insights, identifies vital systems needed to effectively become a growing church. Once leaders are aware and able to maintain these systems, they can then recognize the cultural impact biblical naivety, denominational irrelevancy, congregational apathy, family diversity and gender equality will have on the church of tomorrow.

Biblical Authority - Says Who?

"This Ain't Your Grandma's Church" was the title of a 2006 message series at Believers Church in Chesapeake, Virginia. The emphasis was not that the elderly are not welcome, but that church today is not like it was thirty plus years ago. In the past, church outreach efforts were done with a presupposition that people had some semblance of what Christ, the Bible and Church meant. That just isn't the case today. The unchurched, in most communities across the United States have not been predisposed to church jargon or tradition.

With that, it would stand to reason that denominational affiliation is meaningless to them. Church leaders need to understand that those outside the church do not possess a high regard for God's Word or an understanding of denominational nuances. As a thirty-six year old, 1st generation follower of Christ - attending a non-denominational church - I believe these trends will continue as generations of families are further removed from exposure to the message of Christ.

Completely grasping these future tendencies, leaders must look at their key systems and decide what adjustments are necessary to compensate. Two particular areas a biblically and denominationally uneducated community can impact church efforts would be in the weekend service and outreach. How are your weekend services structured and delivered? What Christianize terminology needs to be deciphered for new-comers? How do you ask someone if they are saved, when they have no clue what being saved means; or what they need to be saved from? This trend is perpetrated by traditional seminary teaching; start with the Bible, expand on the text and then derive application for the audience.

How well is that working for you now? If the sole mission of your church is to educate your audience toward biblical knowledge and denominational adherence, then that approach can be successful. Is that your biblical mandate? Many seeker-friendly churches have been accused of catering to the culture and watering down the Gospel. In some cases, that criticism is warranted, but lessons can be learned from that strategy. To effectively impact communities, church leaders must approach the unchurched on terms and conditions they understand. People want to know you genuinely care about them, not that you want to convince them of a particular dogma. Finding common ground with people will give you the inside track on introducing biblical integrity as genuine relationships are developed.

I Could Care Less

Go to your favorite internet search engine and type in "PTA" or "Voter Turnout" and note the results. A majority of those hits will be related to either low attendance/turnout or strategies to increase numbers. There appears to be a systemic problem throughout society; in one word - apathy. Whether it's in the political arena, schools or the church; people do not care to get too involved. Life is busy, work is demanding and people just do not have the time to care. "Someone else can handle it; I don't have time." Unfortunately, societal ills spill over into the attitudes of many church-goers. Getting people to care enough to get connected into ministry and relationships is one of the biggest challenges churches face.

This trend of societal apathy will continue and church leaders must evaluate how that will impact the Great Commission. People want to make a difference but institutions, including the church, have failed to make a compelling case that people can and that the cause is worthy of their effort. Understanding this, church leaders must recognize how it can impact the functioning systems.

An effective assimilation system must take into account that people, in general, are not committed and genuine efforts to connect with those people on a personal level are essential to breaking down the walls of indifference. Leaders of systems, such as community groups and ministry involvement, will need to respond to the impact of a care-less society. People need to be presented with real life-change opportunities so they can begin that spiritual journey of realizing genuine relationships and difference-making responsibility. If church leaders can not effectively demonstrate and communicate the significant impact of caring for others, commitment levels will remain low and the spiritual maturity of church-goers will remain at the child-like phase of "not knowing what is right." (Hebrews 5:13)

All in the Family - No More

The days of Archie Bunker, where men dominated inferior females, is a dying trend. Family diversity and equality for women are mainstays in our culture. The family and societal boundaries of previous generations will continue to become more obscure as we move into the 21st Century. Dual-income households, single-parents, stay-at-home dads and gender equality are major trends that will continue to affect the church. Leaders must be willing to embrace these challenges to the traditional family and traditional church practices to effectively reach those who do not know Christ. The response to societal trends and pressures is key to managing the systems in place to reach the unchurched.

Recognizing societal pressures and the challenges in reaching others for Christ does not have to translate into compromising biblical standards. Cultural relevancy does not mean biblical relativity. The onus, however, is on the leadership of the church. These leaders must answer the tough questions such as: What scriptural teachings are fundamental to God's Word? Where liberties (Romans 14) are permitted? What traditions are cultural? What biblical instructions transcend culture? The leaders inability, or dare I say cowardice, to stand up to traditionalism and be in front of the culture on these issues will result in major outreach setbacks.

Attempts to lead the church of tomorrow with a mindset entrenched in unsubstantiated church tradition will produce failure. These trends have an influence on church strategy and ministry involvement, making it essential to fully understand family commitment levels and properly explain the roles women are permitted to serve. The people in your community will walk into your church doors with some established belief system in place, heavily developed by the culture. It is imperative that church leaders are ready to respond to these challenges in order to have the greatest impact.

Conclusion

Societal trends mandate a church respond to our culture in relevant ways so that Christ can be presented. These trends directly affect how we do church in fulfilling the Great Commission. Leaders must embrace the influences of a culture that does not have knowledge of biblical truths or denominational intricacies. Apathetic attitudes, family dynamics and gender equality are other cultural trends that churches must be willing to confront and strategically manage for maximum effectiveness in spreading the gospel of Christ. Doing so, may mean the death of some highly regarded, yet biblically weak church traditions; but it can lead to a church in the forefront of reaching the lost of this world for many years to come.

Gary Rhodes is the Connections Pastor at Believers Church in Chesapeake, VA, responsible for overseeing two of Nelson Searcy's Eight System Church Growth areas; Assimilation and Ministry Involvement. At Believers, he also serves as an elder, Small Group Leader and one of the teaching pastors. Gary received his Masters of Arts in Religion from Liberty University and is currently pursuing his doctorate in Strategic Leadership at Regent University.

Gary and his wife Karen have 4 beautiful children. To find out more about Gary and the ministry at Believers Church follow the link at http://www.believerschurch.org

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Christian Salvation: Understanding the 7 Basic Attributes

Author: Everest John Alexander

The intimate fellowship Christians can enjoy with God is only possible because of some very specific principles that are activated every time a person confesses faith in Jesus Christ.

These principles are called the attributes of salvation and they are:

1) Redemption - This is the literal re-purchase of a human soul from the devil, so that, instead of being under the dominion of Satan we're now under the dominion of God, paid for with the very blood of Jesus.

We were once owned by God through creation, became lost to Him through rebellion but now are re-owned by Him through redemption! We are adopted back into the family of God, ransomed with the blood of Jesus. "God was kind and decided that Christ would choose us to be God's own adopted children," Eph. 1:5. (CEV)

Definition:

Redemption is the buying back of a human being from the control of the devil with the blood of Jesus, so that the entire person is now completely owned by God; spirit, soul and body!

2) Remission - Remission means forgiveness. Being now owned by God, He can literally do with you whatever He wants. And the first thing He does is to forgive you for all your sins, past, present and future.

Definition:

Remission is the complete forgiveness of all a person's sins, those he committed in the past, his present sins and those that he will commit in the future. Complete forgiveness!

3) Justification - This is a further step in the same direction as remission. Where remission is the forgiveness of sins, justification is the actual removing of all the evidence of sin. So that the person accused of sin can now be legally declared not guilty! Why? Because there is no evidence! The evidence is gone!

That's what the blood of Jesus does; it takes away the evidence of sin. It's as if the person had never sinned... at all! They are justified from all accusation of sin and declared... innocent!

Definition:

Justification is the declaration of complete innocence and re-instatement in good standing with a clear conscience of one who was formerly judged guilty, through the complete removal of all the evidence of sin with the blood of Jesus Christ!

4) Regeneration - This is the pivotal point in the process of salvation! It's where your nature is actually changed from Sinner to Saint. Unrighteous to Righteous! Profane to Holy!

A person's nature is synonymous with the condition of his spirit. Regeneration is the recreation of your spirit and the releasing of the life of God in you!

Regeneration is when your separated and corrupted spirit ceases to exist and in its place a new spirit is instantaneously re-created and re-connected to God! The Holy Spirit then takes up residence in your new spirit and continues to release the life of God in you. You're once more in the image and likeness of God! This is what being 'Born Again' means! It's awesome!

Definition:

Regeneration is the instantaneous recreation of a human spirit in the image and likeness of God and the releasing of the life and Nature of God in that spirit.

5) Reconciliation - You are now re-purchased by God, forgiven, declared innocent and now possess a recreated, connected spirit stamped with the nature of God. Now, you can finally have peace with God! That's what reconciliation is... peace with God!

Reconciliation means restoring a broken relationship. It is the resolving and dissolving of enmity between those that were once closely related but found themselves in opposition. (Rom. 5:10)

Definition:

Reconciliation is the complete tearing down and removal of everything that stood between you and God, so you are now reunited with your Father in complete peace!

6) Sanctification - Sanctification is the core principle of the salvation of the human soul or mind! Sanctification means consecrating yourself to God by pursuing and attaining a Christ-like character.

This is done through the application of the principles of God's word to your life! Every day, in every situation, you choose, as an act of your will and through the power of the Holy Spirit, to obey God rather than your flesh or the dictates of the world around you.

Definition:

Sanctification is the process of consecrating oneself to God by developing a Christ-like character. This is done through consistent employment of the principles of God's word and submission to the will of the Holy Spirit in your life! It terminates in separation from the effects of sin and the empowerment over it's influences!

7) Glorification - When we allow Christ's nature within us to have dominion over our flesh, the holiness of His presence begins to manifest externally through a Godly radiance that is perceived rather than seen.

His Spirit within, glows with the glory of God and this spiritual light attracts others and exposes them to the character of Christ! "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven," Mt 5:16

Here, the process of glorification begins! It will escalate during the Rapture when God eliminates our tainted physical body and instantly recreates a brand new, perfectly sinless body.

Depending on our quality of service to God and our fellow men, we will radiate different levels of the glory of God in heaven! Some will shine like the sky, some like the stars and some like Sun in its intensity? This is Glorification!

Definition:

Glorification is the process where the holy nature of God on the inside of a Born Again person manifests itself as a divine outward glow, so that while on earth others can perceive it but when in heaven they can literally see it.

These are the basic attributes of salvation.


Everest John Alexander is a Minister/Author/Entrepreneur in public ministry for over 17 years, Pastoring for 4 years. He's married to his best friend, Loraine and together they have two children, Andrew and Jade. His first book is called, "Understanding The 3 Levels of Salvation: Spirit, Soul & Body". You can listen to his Voice Blog, read his Articles and download his free Ebooks at: http://www.Kingdomlearning.com

So Shall Ye Be My Disciple


By Gerald Gadwa

The following article came together out of the conviction of the Holy Spirit within my own life. Although at times I may refer to a condition I see in other believers it is not at all my intention to set myself apart from anyone else. This is truly one area where none can be set apart from any other. Just the thought that we are free of such an illness ought to reveal to us that we are yet entangled in it.

It is only possible for me to even make mention of such things by the grace that I have received from the Lord to do so. I am well aware of the pride of man that yet smolders within my own heart. It has only been since the first of this year that the Lord has been removing the blinders from my eyes in this area of my soul.

It is certainly the greatest enemy to our walk in the spirit. We've blamed the devil, other people and circumstances for our troubles when very often the worst enemy we have is the selfishness and the deceitfulness of our own hearts. The root of all such wickedness is pride.

Pride manifests itself in various ways. Regardless of its manifestation it is always after the interest of one's own self.

I am convinced that there is enough pride and rebellion in the nature of fallen man to send himself to hell without any help from Satan. Satan constantly seeks who he may devour by gaining entrance through the lusts and desires of man's selfishness. This is the dust which he has been given to eat. He works where men seek to save their own lives.

Due to the multitude of spirits that are at work to accompany self interest, it is often that pride will appear in various forms of godliness and be readily accepted by those of whom it desires acceptance. The root of it all is pride and regardless of its outward appearance it is after recognition and selfishly demands a response from others. The desired response may vary from one individual to the other depending on what spirits one yields themselves to. However, regardless of the response desired, self cannot be satisfied without recognition from others.

What you are about to read is a statement of repentance. The greatest fool is the one who remains a fool. A wise man is able to recognize his foolishness but a fool is too proud to admit the truth even when it is known. The truth of Jesus Christ always reveals the foolishness of man. The love of God can only be manifested in the absence of self.

I am most grateful for the harness of the Lord. The stead fast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercy never comes to an end. They are new every morning. Great is the faithfulness of our God. His loving kindness is better than life!

I. THE SEARCHING OF OUR HEARTS

We often ask the Lord to search us, try us, know our hearts and see if there be any wicked way in us. Yet, what do we think about when we pray this way? In such a prayer it is foolish to believe that the Lord needs to check our hearts because He doesn't know what is in them. (see Hebrews 4:13)

In Genesis 3 and verse 9, the Lord did not ask Adam where he was because he didn't know or he wasn't certain. The Lord was not searching frantically to find Adam. It was Adam who was in need.

When Abraham was asked to offer up Isaac, the Lord did not sit back not knowing what was in Abraham's heart. He wasn't fretting over the possibility of Abraham failing to obey His command and how that might affect the generations to come.

It is in the divine plan of God for a people to cry out to be conformed to the image of His Son. In responding to such a cry the Lord asks of us to give Him our hearts. Not part of it but ALL of it. It is not possible for the Lord to answer such a cry without obedience to His call for surrender. Yet, even as we say, "Father I give you my whole heart", the Lord is much more aware than we are of the things which we are still holding on to. Nevertheless, if such an offer is given out of a pure desire for the Lord to change us into the image of His Son, the Lord begins to answer our prayer (I John 5:14-15).

In the process of cleansing and sanctification we must realize that there is absolutely NO holiness outside of Jesus Christ. There is no overcoming that is done independent of Him or that is of self efforts. Neither can there be any overcoming without death to the self-life and there is no death to self that is pleasing to the Father that is of our own design. All such self-imposed slaughter of the self life will always remain outside of Christ; therefore keeping us entangled therein. The only one who can overcome is that same one who already has overcome and that same Spirit desires to overcome and live His life in us. We must follow Him in submission to His Headship.

This is where the Lord begins to reveal to us the things in our soul life which keep us from a closer walk with Him. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. This is the baptism of fire. This is the pruning Jesus spoke of in John chapter 15, vs 2.

The work of searching, trying and pruning belongs exclusively to the Lord. Most Christians do not understand that such a working is the sole purpose of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Many are far more interested in signs and wonders. Let us not embrace the gifts and disregard the greatest desire of the Father. He desires us to bear fruit that we might glorify Him (John 15:8).

The Lord is faithful to show us what is asked of us in this conforming process. That is shown to each of us in the command to follow Him day by day.

The command to follow Him demands a response of obedience from us. Having faith in the Lord is seen in our obedience to heed His call to follow after Him (John 15:14, Hebrews 11:8).

So the light of the Holy Spirit searches and tries our hearts to lead us into a deeper and deeper call from the Father to go on in Him (Heb. 4:12). Our part is to agree with the Lord to rule over every area of our soul life. As He reveals to us our heart each step of the way He says just as he did to Adam, "where are you?". It brings no pleasure to the Father for us to make excuses but to agree with the findings of His great light. This agreement is acknowledged by the confessing of our faults. When we agree with the Lord and repent of our weakness, then its rule over our soul suffers a violent blow. As we surrender again to Him who has already overcome the world, we are conformed even the more to His likeness (James 5:16).

II. THE LORD SAYS, "FOLLOW ME"

While Peter and Andrew were casting their nets into the sea as they did most regularly, Jesus came up to them and said, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men" (Mark 1:16-17).

This was the first call for Peter and Andrew to follow the Lord. For them there was really no option in the matter. The Lord's command demanded response.

Then the scripture reads.... and they straightway left their nets, and followed Him.

The world is full of millions of people today confessing to be Christian who are determined to alter such passages as to avoid the possibility of having to obey this same call themselves.

Many have said, "The Lord doesn't want us to literally leave our jobs and follow Him. What He means is that we are to love Him more." Well that is most acceptable in an age where gain and financial security are most admirable. Yet, how would we like to explain that one to Peter and Andrew. Or better yet to James and John who left their own father as well as their occupation (Mark 1:14-20). To them Jesus' call was far more than a figure of speech or a nice object lesson.

Then we see later on in the gospels how the Lord said that they would all be offended in Him (Matt. 26:31-33). Peter immediately responded, "Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended." Jesus told him that even that very night he would deny Him three times. Peter went on to say, "Though I shall die with thee, yet will I not deny thee."

Then when the cock crew that very same night we read in Luke's account that JESUS LOOKED UPON PETER (Lk.22:60-61). Oh Love of God how rich and pure, how measureless and strong. Jesus looked upon Peter and in one gentle gaze he received the message again to follow Him. Jesus' eyes did not express to Peter the degree of his failure. Nothing in His expression spoke anything like, `I told you so, Peter!' Jesus was calling him on.

After the resurrection Peter was asked of the Lord three times, "...Peter, lovest thou me?" Each time he was asked the Lord responded with a command to follow Him as He called him to feed His lambs and the last two times His sheep (John 21:15-19).

The life of the disciple is truly not His own. The cross needful for us to bear begins in accepting His yoke. His yoke is easy and His burden is light because it is the only means by which we attain true fellowship with our heavenly Father. There is no other way in which to please Him.

Yes, His yoke is easy but may we never deny that it is a yoke. His burden is light yet it must needs be borne if we are to take up our cross and follow on to know the Lord.

One simple act of obedience is a demonstration of faith which inevitably leads us to the next call of the Lord to follow Him. Which call in itself is an offer to be changed all the more from glory to glory and from faith to faith. The just shall live by faith. Such faith can never be expressed in the life of a wild stallion, only a harnessed son. Such glory can never be attained without the bearing of His burden in the fellowship of HIS sufferings and not in the looseness of an imagined grace that requires nothing on our part.

So we see the final work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believers to completely possess and rule over the soul. The work of burning out all that is foreign to the kingdom of God is the desire of our Father in order that we be made conformable unto His death.

The only death that brings life which is pleasing to God the Father is that which was accomplished in the Son. It pleased the Lord to bruise Him. He alone is the final sacrifice for sin. (Therefore) The only life that brings glory to His Name is the Life which He alone is. Come Lord Jesus!!!

III. LET THIS MIND BE IN YOU

Philippians 2:5-8:

(KJV) LET THIS MIND be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: BUT MADE HIMSELF OF NO REPUTATION, and took upon Him the form of a SERVANT, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became OBEDIENT unto death, even the death of the cross,...

How often have we read through this portion of scripture. So many discussions have been had around these passages which I also have felt blessed to take part in. Yet, recently it has been hitting me as a most sobering challenge.

The mind the Lord is speaking of here is no doubt the mind of Christ. Verse 5 begins this statement with, LET this mind... Which ought to inform us of a surety that this mind will not work unless we LET it.

The mind of Christ as described here is totally foreign to the natural mind of man. The truth is that they are vehemently opposed to one another.

Every believer has a hard time coming to grips with this truth as they grow in the Lord. We often end up fighting against the mind of Christ without even knowing it.

The reason for this is seen in that our soul often lives in the realm of human reasoning. There is no greater opponent to faith in Christ. I have heard it said that the opposite of faith is sight. I believe that this is so because it is what we see that causes us to reason and wars against what is not seen. So then our reasoning is often at war with the Word of the Lord.

Often times when I listen to other believers speak I can hear them arguing with the mind of Christ. We all have walked in this realm of unbelief from time to time. I have recently seen that this denial of the faith which we proclaim needs to be repented of. Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

How many times have we heard people judge the degree of one's faith in Christ by whether or not they get healed or not, or whether one is wealthy or poor. Such judgments are not the plumb line with which the Lord measures ones faith.

I've known many believers who are wealthy and prosper in the natural as well as many who are poor in this world's standards yet I've seen both with a very similar problem. SELFISH PRIDE! A man's life does not consist of the abundance of the things which he possesses neither of the lack of them for that matter.

All such judgments and comparisons are of the flesh and war in the carnal mind against the mind of Christ.

The problem we all have in common is one that we would like to ignore. It is one that causes one man to fall in love with one thing in life and another to fall in love with something completely different. One man may like to build up a bigger construction company and another may like to build a larger church. The only difference perhaps being that the one justifies his efforts by saying that He is working for the Lord and the other may use the excuse of provision for his families future. Down either or, for that matter, any other road there is the desire of self satisfaction.

There is a lust in the nature of man to please and satisfy himself. Yet, sad to say that one will measure the level of his success by the response of others. This produces many, many illnesses for usually self is not satisfied until it gets its desired response from others who have their own expectations in mind. What a vicious circle! It is no wonder why so many say, "It is a dog eat dog world. Get all you can. I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine." In this we ought to clearly see the spirit of this world in direct opposition to the spirit of the Kingdom of Heaven.

It is impossible for man to admit to this problem unless he truly has a love to be free from it. Even freedom from it then is not attainable unless there is a heartfelt love for the fellowship of the sufferings of Christ. He who seeks to save his life shall lose it. In such a walk it is needful in this sense, for one to be in opposition to all that is of self.

After we do all we can do in an attempt to live the Christian life we must face the reality that we are not able to. We must lose our life to gain eternal life. It is at the point of desperation for more of Christ that we see the futility of our own ways.

Today we see so many thousands of "Christians" busy working for the Lord. Even the world admires what they term to be the sacrifice of their life for this or that "good cause." Yet, even in all of our business for God there often remains something very deep within our souls that is left untouched. The sad story is that many have served their whole life FOR the Lord and gone to the grave never having done the works that are OF the Lord. There is a vast difference.

It is said of so many that this one or that one is really used of the Lord. Or better seen yet when one dies after years of service you hear many say how he or she was really used of the Lord. There is no question that many of these people were of those who loved the Lord. To be used of the Lord does not speak of intimacy with Him.

In the mind of man there is very often a desire to do for God and help Him out. The problem with this mind is that the believer very often is the one who decides how to go about helping God out. Such a one determines the approval or disapproval of the Lord upon his labors by the means which men measure success. The acceptance or rejection of others is very important when self is alive and well. I am certain that most believers live in this mind from time to time, if not all of the time.

Here we are faced with a tremendous challenge. That is; I can work hard and help God out or I can surrender to Him and allow His mind to be in me in order that His Kingdom come in earth as it is in Heaven. Only the anointing which comes in the mind of Christ knows the things that are pleasing to the Father.

The reason that we so often fight against the mind of Christ is because it is not a mind that seeks the glory and acceptance of man. (This includes self-acceptance). This mind needs no approval from men and it diminishes self. All of our personality traits; the things which we and others enjoy so much about us is in jeopardy when the mind of Christ is at work.

It is no wonder why we have an entire age where Christians find no pleasure in the cross of Christ but only in singing about resurrection victory while living a life which differs not from the world. This also explains why we have an entire church age which longs to be entertained. It cheers them to live on with no cost on their part all under the guise of Christianity.

How cheap is the acceptance of men. How costly is the pleasing of our Heavenly Father. Never measure yourself by what another person says or thinks about you. Good or bad things can equally be harmful to the Christian walk. We need to take all such things to the Lord in prayer and in doing so we shall find peace with the Father as we obey His direction in each matter.

Jesus Christ thought it not robbery to be equal with God but took upon Himself the form of a servant and became of no reputation. We understand this passage from the Greek to say that Jesus 'EMPTIED HIMSELF'.

In every self attempt to become like Christ we ought to see the absence of the mind of Christ. Only through a surrender of letting that mind work in us are we able to become of no reputation. This is because He alone is exalted. Therefore it is a light thing that we lay down our lives seeing that He gave up His place in glory for you and me.

Christ Jesus was able to humble Himself because He was-and is-the eternal triune God. He had something to lay down which could never be surpassed. For by Him and through Him were all things created and by Him they exist. He gave all for us.

Let it then be known that it is only a small thing that we lay down our lives for one another. If we can see this then we must also see that our aim is not that we work at emptying our selves but that we LET His mind work in us. He teaches us to empty ourselves as we obey His call to follow Him.

It is no big thing that I forfeit my life as much as it is that I allow Him who has already forfeited all to live in me. Although there must be a surrender of my life to the Lord I must see that I am not called to work for the Lord, for in myself there is no good thing. Rather, I am called to live in Him and to allow Him to live in me for He alone has overcome the world and He alone pleased the Father by His obedience, even the death of the cross. Come Lord Jesus!

We are called to follow Him because He alone is able to cause us to become of no reputation. He will teach us as we let His mind work in us. Again I say that it is impossible for us to work this work of abasement of our own selves. It is only found in allowing His mind to work in us.

The scripture teaches us that we have the mind of Christ. What we do with that mind is seen in our obedience or our disobedience to the call to follow after Him.

By the grace of God I have been able to see how often I have spoken many true things out of my own personality and the way in which it has affected others. When this happens others are not compelled to follow after the Lord but they rather are attracted towards or driven away from the individual. This is clearly seen in the emotional attachment or emotional disattachment we often have for or against one another. In this sense we affect one another in a bad way.

When we are moving in the mind of Christ then it does not really matter to us whether we like or dislike someone or whether we are liked or disliked. All that matters is that we are giving and receiving Christ. Then we will have a pure heart-felt desire for people to receive Christ. Our only concern is that we grow in the Love of Christ thus bringing forth fruit to the glory of God the Father.

When our sole desire is to be found pleasing to the Lord... when we realize that the only life that pleases Him is the life of His Son, then we will find ourselves lost in Christ and most unaffected by the opinions of others.

So we are called to follow Him. Not with any self gain in mind. Our only desire ought to be to do His will. Our affection needs to be set on the things above and not on the things of this earth. Our allegiance must be unto a nation that is not yet in view although ever aware of its present reality. We must allow Him to live His life in us with hearts longing for His kingdom to come and His will to be done in earth as it is in heaven.

We are called to be that holy city in which our heavenly Father purposes to dwell. Lord Jesus, prepare us to be a sanctuary of your presence.

Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow I shall do wonderful things among you. For I have had an army of intercessors who have not kept their peace and their voice has reached unto the heavens, says the Lord. Their cry has been according to my will and that is that Jerusalem be made a praise in the earth. They are praying according to my will and I have heard their prayer and will soon answer. The heavens will not much longer restrain. Soon, very soon shall I come and tarry not. I would only warn you my people that the answer to such a cry shall be the very manifestation of my glory. I shall come into my temple, says the Lord. Turn, turn, turn unto me with your whole heart for there shall be many as Ananias and Sapphira. There are many with that spirit now and I hate it, says the Lord. There is yet but a little space to repent for I've heard the cry of my people and I will come. I will come. I will come. My judgment shall soon be made manifest in the church. Then shall I send forth a mighty army that shall not spare. They shall go forth unto the kings and the rulers of the earth. They shall be given in total obedience to my will. They will be hated of all men for my namesake but I shall give them my power and authority in the earth. They shall obey me even unto death, says the Lord and I will surely raise them up even from the grave. They shall rejoice that my judgments are made manifest in the earth. My wrath is coming! My wrath is coming! I shall pour out my wrath upon the earth and upon all those who hate me. I have warned and they have not listened to turn. Even now there are many who know me and hate me. They say they know me but their rebellious deeds are directed against me and so they are judged. I know them by name and I shall destroy them for they have taken upon themselves willfully all of the rebellion of their forefathers. The wickedness of all generations shall soon manifest in those who hate me and I will pour out my fury upon them.Then those who remain of all nations shall come and worship before me for my judgments shall be manifest in the earth. My children, my children, hearken unto me. Hear the voice of my prophets. Call upon me and I will visit you in your secret place, says the Lord. Call upon me and give me your whole heart and I shall keep you from the hour of temptation which shall try the whole earth. Hide yourself in me and I will be your strength. I will be your high tower. There is no safe dwelling outside of me. I am soon to come!

Written by Gerald J. Gadwa.

More books, writings, letters and other articles as well as free gospel praise music and Cds at http://www.thegospelofthekingdom.net

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Speaking In Tongues: Evidence Of Holy Spirit Baptism

Speaking in tongues is widely considered to be the initial evidence of Holy Spirit baptism or becoming filled with the Holy Ghost.

But in my 20 years of researching this topic I've found a lot of people are confused by this manifestaton of the Spirit of God.

In this article I'm going to detail the process of someone speaking with Tongues for the very first time.

I'll begin my explanation by assuming you have just asked God to fill you with the Holy Spirit and you've applied your faith and received the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

The next step is to cooperate with the Spirit of God and begin to speak with tongues.

Let's look at what happened to the disciples in the Upper Room on Pentecost Day.

"And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." (Acts 2:4)

Here's a question: Who began speaking with other tongues? Was it The Holy Ghost? NO! The disciples began to speak. This simple truth escapes about 90% of the people who read this for the first time. Somehow they magically believe that the Holy Spirit is the One doing the speaking through them. Wrong!

The Bible never says that the Holy Ghost speaks in tongues through you or the Holy Ghost forces you to speak with tongues.

According to the word of God the disciples spoke in tongues and the Holy Spirit gave then the utterance.

What does this mean in a practical sense?

It means until you decide to open your mouth and speak in tongues it's not going to happen!

This requires exercising faith!

You must believe that when you open your mouth and speak, the very next words out of your mouth are going to be supplied by the Holy Spirit! This is the part where He gives you the utterance or supplies you with the words!

To give the utterance simply means to supply the words!

You do the speaking He supplies the words!

It is the very act of opening your mouth in faith and beginning to speak that releases the power of the Holy Ghost to supply the words. You may open your mouth but if it's not in faith  Nothing happens! You must know that when you open your mouth to speak He is going to supply the words.

It's a beautiful partnership, just like dancing with God. All you have to do is simply trust Him. That's it  Just trust that when you speak he'll supply the words. It's all about trust.

How well do you know Him?

Do you believe that when you step out in faith to do as He asks He will stand you up and embarrass you? Is that your concept of God? If it is, then your problem is not whether or not you're able to speak with tongues, it's a much deeper issue of not trusting God and that my friend is the subject for another article altogether.

But if you know Him and trust Him then you're ready! Just continue to trust that as you open your mouth and speak, those beautiful, wonderful sounds will come pouring out in absolute glorious praise to Him!

I've heard some believers say when they first spoke with tongues it felt like something bubbling up from their belly and the next thing they knew they were "spitting tongues" fast and furious with almost no prompting on their part.

I've heard others say that they first heard the words within them before they spoke out loud in tongues.

I'm not here to discount or validate other people's experiences, but I will say that the experience of others is not and should not be our guideline.

Our example is nothing less and nothing more than the word of God.

We should always go with the biblical precedent laid out in God's word if we want success in any area! The bible clearly says that the disciples spoke with tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

They initiated the speech  He supplied the words!

Here's the most common problem with believers trying to speak in tongues for the very first time.

They receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit by faith then they immediately begin praising God in English or their native language, so they stand there for the next 5-10 minutes sometimes longer and they're repeating, "Hallelujah, thank you Jesus, glory to God, praise you Jesus, thank you Lord, hallelujah!"

Let me ask you a question, "Can you speak in two different languages at the same time? No? I've got news for you... Nobody can!

So, if you're speaking in English, then, what are you NOT speaking in? Tongues! Yes, that's right!

Suppose you were bi-lingual and could speak both Spanish and English. Could you speak in both Spanish AND English at the same time?

Of course not! You would have to choose which one you were going to speak in and then just speak. Same thing with English and Tongues, it's just another language you can speak, the only difference is this one takes faith. As you open your mouth and begin to form sounds with your lips and tongue you simply trust God to supply the actual words  And He will.

Until you stop speaking in English and start speaking in tongues you're never going to speak in tongues and this goes for whatever your native language is!

Faith requires action! Without works faith is dead!

Until you initiate speech, no faith is released to bring the power of God on the scene and no spiritual gift is activated.

You start and the Holy Ghost backs you up!

You open your mouth and speak and He gives the words!

Speak in tongues  Just do it  God will work with you!

I understand fear, I know how paralyzing it can be but when you choose to overcome your fear and do what you need to do you'll grow in faith. So the next time you're faced with a challenge it'll be easier to overcome because you'll now have the experience of trusting God and seeing Him come through for you before.

Like when David faced Goliath, he remembered the lion and the bear and how God delivered him from them both and it helped him gain courage to face and defeat his giant.

Do the same; just remember whatever victories God already gave you no matter how small and let it strengthen your faith to defeat your fear now.

So, there you have it, that's how you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and begin speaking with other tongues.

You simply trust God to do His part as you do yours.

You open your mouth and speak out boldly, fully expecting the Holy Spirit to supply the words that will come out of your mouth.

Even if it's "tah, tah, tah, deh, deh, deh, bah, bah, bah." Continue to speak in total boldness and confidence, the more you do, the more your faith grows and the more fluent you'll become in speaking your new heavenly language.

When babies are just learning to speak you don't hear them say, "Well, hello there, how are you?" Great weather we're having, isn't it?

They babble their way into coherent speech just like when they're first learning to walk, they do more falling down than walking until they get it right. Right?

So, if your first few words sound silly don't be discouraged, keep speaking in faith until you master the ability and can speak fluently in tongues.

When I first started speaking in tongues I could only repeat one simple sentence over and over for about a year until I got fed up and decided to get radical and did some serious fasting so that I could flow easier in the spirit.

At the end of the fast I spoke in tongues for 2 hours non-stop and now I can pray in tongues whenever I want for as long as I want and that's the way it should be!

I just shared this with you so that you'll know that everyone has challenges but the truth is I went through that experience because I was ignorant and full of fear at the beginning that's why I couldn't speak in tongues fluently.

The whole reason I wrote this article is so that you won't have to go through what I went through and be denied the wonderful experience of praying and speaking fluently in tongues for a whole year like me.

May God continue to bless you richly as you praise Him in your native language and in Tongues of Men and Angels.

By: Everest John Alexander

Everest John Alexander is a Minister/Author/Entrepreneur in ministry for over 17 years, Pastoring for 4 years. He's married to his best friend, Loraine and together they have two children, Andrew and Jade. His first book is called, "Understanding The 3 Levels of Salvation: Spirit, Soul & Body" - www.3LevelsofSalvation.com - You can listen to his Voice Blog, read his Articles and download his free Ebooks at: www.Kingdomlearning.com

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Holy Spirit Baptism: What is it & How to Get it

Author: Everest John Alexander

Receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, sometimes called the infilling of the Holy Spirit or becoming baptized with the Holy Ghost is a vitally important part of successful Christian living.

There is however, a difference between being filled and becoming filled with the Holy Ghost!

The first is a continuous lifestyle and the second is a one-time event.

Some people confuse the two and make a mess of this doctrine when the truth is very simple.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit is based on living day-by-day in continual fellowship with Him and obedience to Him.

It is, first of all, saturating your mind with the word of God, nothing draws you closer to the Holy Spirit than the entrance of God's word. Then, it's talking to Him and listening when He speaks, it's cultivating His presence through an attitude of thankfulness, praise and worship, it means obeying Him without hesitation and without reservation.

It's walking in love toward your fellow man, being quick to forgive and releasing hurts easily. It is creating an environment around you that welcomes and cultivates His Holy Presence. Toward this end, fasting also helps.

All this is the process of being filled with the Holy Spirit.

When you live your life like this it harnesses and concentrates the power of God in you, so when you begin to pray, preach or minister in any way the power of God flows out of you much more fluently for effective ministry.

Another effect of being filled with the Holy Spirit is that it draws people to you who are seeking more of God in their lives. People tend to be drawn to you and instinctively look to you for guidance and leadership.

This is one of the unmistakable traits of a successful spiritual leader  Cultivating the character and power of the Holy Ghost or being filled with the Holy Spirit!

When I say "spiritual leader" I don't necessarily mean one who leads a congregation or has some title or position in the church. A spiritual leader could be someone who works in a factory, a single mother or a high school student. Being a true spiritual leader has nothing to do with title or position but with manifesting the character and power of Christ in your everyday life.

On the other hand, becoming filled with the Holy Ghost is a one-time experience, which I will explain like this:

The initial out-pouring of the Holy Ghost in the Book of Acts, Chapter Two HAS NEVER STOPPED!

The Holy Spirit began being poured out on the Church and has never stopped being poured out!

Today, if any believer wants to become filled with the Holy Ghost all he needs to do is step under the flow, open his spirit and receive. It's that simple!

I've led many people to salvation and to receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and I always tell them it starts with knowledge and understanding.

You must be assured that God wants you filled with His Holy Spirit and since He commands us all to be filled then that pretty much takes care of that!

The Bible simply commands us in Eph 5:18 to, "...Be filled with the Spirit."

This is NOT a suggestion but a New Testament commandment!

So, we are assured that God wants us filled with His Spirit and we know it's because He wants us filled with His power so that we can become more effective witnesses.

Therefore, when we approach God to receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost we must come with complete confidence and boldness before Him.

I teach people to simply ask and receive. It is an instantaneous experience! There is NO waiting involved.

The ONLY reason Jesus told His disciples to wait in the Book of Acts is for the Day of Pentecost to come. They weren't waiting for the Holy Ghost to come, He could have sent Him any time; they were waiting for the RIGHT DAY to come!

The day when ALL the people would be gathered together so that they could ALL hear the Good News of the Kingdom of God at the same time! That's why Jesus told them to wait for the Day of Pentecost to arrive.

So, when you're ready to be baptized with the Holy Ghost there is no waiting involved. I have a short prayer below that you can repeat when you're ready to become filled with the Holy Spirit.

Prayer To Be Filled With The Holy Spirit

"Father, according to Acts 1:8 I know that it's your will for me to be filled with Your Holy Spirit and right now I ask You to fill me in Jesus name. I open my spirit and receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit right now and I thank you for it, Father. Amen!

The key to success in this experience is what you do while saying these words and what you do immediately after!

What you do while saying these words is literally, by faith, open your spirit and receive what God is pouring into you. It is your faith that makes it happen! If you know for a fact that God is pouring His Holy Spirit into you then it is happening. If you're doubting whether it's happening or not, then IT'S NOT HAPPENING!

YOUR DECISION and YOUR FAITH makes all the difference!

It's not up to God or the preacher or anyone else, whether you receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit  IT'S UP TO YOU!

God has already sent Him as a gift and will not take Him back. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

Immediately after you say these words and receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit you must co-operate with the Holy Ghost in order to begin speaking with other Tongues!

I will detail the process of speaking in tongues in a subsequent article.

Everest John Alexander is a Minister/Author/Entrepreneur in ministry for over 17 years, Pastoring for 4 years. He's married to his best friend, Loraine and together they have two children, Andrew and Jade. His first book is called, "Understanding The 3 Levels of Salvation: Spirit, Soul & Body". http://www.3LevelsofSalvation.com You can listen to his Voice Blog, read his Articles and download his free Ebooks at: http://www.Kingdomlearning.com

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hearing God's Voice - The Still Small Voice

Hearing God's voice is the desire of many - but few seem to feel that it's their personal experience.

How to hear God's voice - that is the question. Why is it so hard - or is it?

There are some verses in 1 Kings 19 - I encourage you to read the entire chapter to get a feel for the context - but I'll paste in a portion that helps us understand a little about God's voice.

IKings 19:11-12
11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:
12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. (KJV)

These verses are the experience of Elijah - a prophet of the Lord.

After the tremendous display of natural force God spoke very quietly to Elijah. The verses indicate that perhaps Elijah was looking for a message from God in the wind, the earthquake, and the fire - but the message came as a still small voice to Elijah.

Suppose that Elijah had assumed that there was a message in one of those natural events - he might have left his cave intent on a mission of some sort - and missed the voice of God altogether.

Perhaps there's a little lesson for us here as we seek to hear God's voice.

Often we want to think that God gives us signs - and perhaps he does. Maybe we rush about doing one thing and another - feeling fairly certain that God is behind it - yet how often do we suffer from a sense that something isn't quite right?

Perhaps we didn't wait to hear the voice of God. Hearing God's voice may not be possible while we're doing everything we think we need to be doing. I'm not dogmatic about this - I'm just throwing out the possibility.

You know, there's a verse that says simply "Be still and know that I am God." There seems to be a thread running throughout the Bible and other spiritual books as well that indicates that stillness and quietness are essential for hearing God's voice.

Consider the example of Jesus - he often went out alone into the mountains to pray - one would presume that he was hearing the voice of God - that still small voice.

Next time you want to hear God's voice try stillness and quietness.

By: Robert Pedersen

If you are serious about communicating with God, please accept my free gift to you - "7 Mistakes That Prevent Effective Communication With God". You will find it here: BeStillKnowGod.com You are also invited to visit my blog at www.bestillknowgod.com/blog

Accepting Pain Gracefully

By Steve Wickham

I was talking with a chaplain recently who works in an aged/palliative care facility and she said to me, 'I'm inspired by the lives of these people.' Later in the conversation, the subject shifted to the pain often experienced at the end of life and she remarked that the truly inspirational elderly were the ones who could accept the pain of their approaching death gracefully.

The next thing she said stunned me in its simplicity. She said that the challenge is to get more people to think differently regarding pain and that this was a growth journey of learning how to surrender and let go: let go and let God, essentially. She said many still do not come to terms with it very well.

Now the following is easy for someone like me to say who's in relatively very little pain currently.

It appears the process of accepting pain gracefully is mostly about understanding that pain is normal and everyone feels it, and that pain doesn't mean God is mean or life is unfair. It's just simply painful and our mental and emotional attitudes need to cope with it the best way we can.

I don't know about you, but when I'm elderly and in pain, or even if I suffer great pain in the meantime, I'd prefer to be as less of a burden to people and even be an inspiration if I could.

But like most things, it's easier said than done, and I can't help but sense the potential hypocrisy in my own words--will I live to rue them? Will I be strong enough to live up to them?

Therein lays the challenge...

Will I... will you... be that kindly bearing soul and accept pain gracefully?

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Steve Wickham is a safety and health professional (BSc) and a qualified lay Christian minister (GradDipDiv). His passion in vocation is facilitation and coaching; encouraging people to soar to a higher value of their potential. Steve's key passion is work / life balance and re-creating value for living, and an exploration of the person within us.

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Mysterious Meanings of God’s Name

If you look up God’s name in ancient Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament, you might be surprised at what you find.

Ancient Hebrew was what I would call a picto-metaphoric language. It was constructed of little pictures that are similar to hieroglyphics. Every letter was a picture, and the meaning of every word was based on the metaphorical significance of the pictures that constructed it. As a result, each word had deep, intrinsic meaning.

The root word for “God” is El. For example: El Roi (God Who Sees Me), El Shaddai (The All-Sufficient God) and El Elyon (The Most High God).

El is made up of an ox head and a shepherd’s staff. The ox head represents strength because back in the day, people plowed their fields with oxen, and just as a shepherd would use his staff to order and direct his sheep, the picture of the staff means “authority” and “order.” So in Hebrew, the root of God’s name inherently means “strong order.”

To complete this line of thought, when we pray to God, we’re asking that whatever we’re praying about would come under his “strong order.”

People often refer to God as their father. The Hebrew word for “father” is ab, which is represented by an ox head and a tent. The ox head again means “strength,” and the tent means “family” or “covering.” In other words, ab is the strong one, or strong covering, of the family.

That is what God is for you, in your life -- your strong one.

We’ve talked about only two of God’s names here, but already you can see how knowing or studying ancient Hebrew could change your opinions about him -- and your judgments, should you have them. You might be surprised.

Jim Driscoll is the founder and director of www.stirthewater.com, a spiritual training website. Exercise your gift and see what God is doing around you.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Raw Video: New Russian Orthodox Patriarch

A new patriarch took charge of the Russian Orthodox Church on Sunday, formally becoming the first leader of the world's largest Orthodox church to take office after the fall of the Soviet Union.