The Sleeping Giant

Are you asleep?  I don’t mean physically, I mean spiritually.  In essence, the body of Christ has been asleep for the past 50 years or more.  To put it bluntly, we sit by and watch while the world around us goes to Hell in a handbasket, and sometimes we don’t even notice that.  We’ve become so concerned with how to survive in our own private lives that we’ve forgotten about others: our famiies, our neighbors, our church, our government, our world, and ultimately the body of Christ.  We need to pray for one another for strengthening in the time to come.

Satan has us exactly where he wants us; enslaved in our own fears and engrosed in our own survival.   Hollywood has become our favorite past time, and divorce among Christians is just as high as with non-Christians.  We hear of shootings every other day and disasters happening in unlikely places.  Yet what do we do?  We sit by and watch and perhaps even wonder, “Where is God in all of this?”.   The answer is; He never left us.  We left Him.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we are a sleeping giant.  We’ve got to wake up, and the only way to do that is by accessing God in our daily lives.  He is still there through all the chaos.  Can you feel him?

Time is of the essence.  So let me introduce you to one of my favorite Bible studies: a book called Prayer Portions by Sylvia Gunter. Moreover, I recommend you get it.  It’s not a small book by any means.  It may cost you, but think of it as a lifelong investment.

For the present, I want to talk with you about Intercessory Portions, a chapter in Sylvia’s book.

Introduction to Intercessory Portions

Praying world-changing prayers begins as you and I obey God’s promptings in the “little things” close at hand.  God entrusts His best secrets to people who have their ears tuned for listening and whom He can trust to follow through.  Are you willing to be awakened at any hour of the night with one of God’s prayer assignments?

(You may ask yourself) does prayer really work?  I mean, at nitty-gritty places like the (store)?  I’ve taken prayer to the streets at churches and schools, on mountains and on interstates at 65 mph, in historic districts and in rapid transit stations…I take God’s holy nudges very seriously.  A few intercessor-friends in particular make a vital difference in my life.  (One can be so sensative about specific people, that he or she dare not ignore the slightest urge to pray for them.)  That is how you learn–by experience, Heb. 5:14.  We may miss the call of God to intercede here and there when we don’t listen and obey instantly, but we grow and learn.  God constantly fine-tunes our antenna to His still small voice…I don’t usually start with the ABC’s (of prayer).  I think the church has heard more instruction about prayer than we are doing.  We probably don’t need any more seminars, studies, sermons, or even books on prayer.  We just need to be doing what we already know.  However, it is helpful to go back to the basics and see again that our foundation for prayer is solidly biblical.

Next month we’ll start getting down to the nitty-gritty of intercessory prayer.  I’ll post more excerpts from Prayer Portions: Prayer Boot Camp on page 263.  In the meantime, keep a running list of things that concern you and prayer requests from others and refer to it every day.  Commit to prayer every day for them and for your spiritual growth.  Most of all, pray that you will grow closer to God with each passing day.  Go easy on yourself at first.  If you’re not familiar with praying regularly, start by giving Him 10 to 15 minutes of your time every morning.  If you can’t even do that, give Him time on your morning route to work, or when you’re doing dishes.  God never despises meager beginnings.  Trust me.

The Mite and the Debtors

Luke 21:1-4; 1John 1:9; Romans 5:8, 4:1-25</em>”…this poor widow has put in more than all of them. Luke 21:3b; “How happy are those whose lawless acts are forgiven. How happy is the man whom the Lord will never charge with sin!” Romans 4:7&8

There was a time in my mid 20’s when my sin had brought me to squalor. My home was a rent house which had been built in the 1940’s and only partially refurbished. I was $3,000 in debt and in over my head in an abusive relationship. Due to a friend’s prompting, I began to attend a local church. I knew there was a God and that Jesus forgives sin. Soon I “accepted” Him as my Savior, but conveniently left out the Lord part. I still wanted my freedom. But I noticed that there was little change in my heart, spirit, or life.

One Sunday evening, as they passed around the offering plate, I realized that I had nothing to give. My live-in boyfriend and I were living off food from the local pantry, dumpster diving on weeknights, and selling our junk on the weekends. Basically, we were barely above starving. With the money we earned we would gorge ourselves at the local buffet and sometimes see a movie at neighborhood the discount theater. But I always made sure I tithed my 10%. Somehow, I still wanted to be obedient to God even though I had not surrendered my life to him completely.

This particular Sunday, I found myself staring, disheartened, at the offering plate, and suddenly realized that I DID have something to give. My rings. Among the few possessions I had left were a blue star sapphire ring my parents had given me on my 16th birthday and my class ring, both worth at least $200 each. I new the church was in financial trouble and needed the money, so I did what I felt was right. I gave what I had. I remembered the passage of the widow and her two mites and knew that God would somehow honor my sacrifice, for these were the only two important possessions I had left on this earth.

And honor it He did! Several months later, after I had been saved by faith and not by mere acceptance, and God had delivered me from the bondages of not only my sin but what my sin had brought me to. I received a letter from a dear friend from the church. Inside were both of my rings. In His infinate grace and mercy, God had shown His perfect picture of forgiveness by returning them to me. Words can never express the humility and gratitude I felt. I had been one who had professed to be His child and yet had single handedly dishonored His name. His unconditional forgiveness had literally changed me to my core.

When it was time to re-enter the world, I got a job and attempted to pay off my debts. I knew it might take years, but again, I wanted to honor God. That’s when I discovered that all my debts had been forgiven. To the world, those companies had simply chosen to write off my debts for tax purposes, but from a spiritual standpoint, God was showing me a perfect picture of His forgiveness. When we are truly saved and call Him Lord and not just Savior, ALL of our sins are COMPLETELY forgiven. Psalms 103 verse 12 says, “as far as the east is from the west, that is how far the Father has removed our transgressions from us.” Paraphrased. God remembers them no more.

My life was now a clean slate, new and reborn. I had no idea what blessings and challenges lay before me. It has been a rough but blessed road, and I’m still running it. What about you? Have you begun yours?
Father, what the world has today in the name of Christianity is nothing more than counterfeit; poison for our souls wrapped in a pretty package. Please give us wisdom and discernment to see Your truth, and regularly honor you with our tithes when we do.
God, help us to see that we can be truly and completely forgiven of our sins, and that Satan no longer has anything to hold against us. Let us strive every day to be more like You and strengthen us to be soldiers in Your army, Almighty God!

This entry was posted on August 28, 2013. 1 Comment

Entrust To Faithful Men – 2 Timothy 2:1-2

2 Timothy 2:1-2 says, “You therefore, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” When I write, I write for Christ, and I write, and this is my creed, to commit what God has taught me to others, and my witness is my words, whether it be a story, devotional or Bible study. In this way I strive to be true to my calling.

This entry was posted on August 14, 2013. 1 Comment

A Legacy of Blessing

In order to be useful to God, what else can we do but to strive every day of our lives to leave a legacy of blessing to those around us. They in turn might be influenced to bless others, and the legacy of blessing goes on and on. That legacy, at least for the Body of Christ, includes telling everyone about Jesus Christ: That Jesus is the Christ, God’s only Son, born of a virgin into poverty, who devoted his life for the day when he would begin his ministry, be persecuted unjustly, and die on a cruel cross so that mankind could be forgiven of our sins and live in freedom from the affects of sin, which lead to spiritual death. That was God’s legacy, and in turn, Christ’s legacy. Now it’s our legacy.

My legacy of blessing is to spread the gospel through my writing and talking to others and it is my hope and prayer that this, my first blog, will do just that. Thank you for visiting and please, enjoy!