Thursday, June 25, 2009

What are you, Naive?

Whenever I read 1 Corinthians 13, the “love” chapter, one word comes to my mind: “Naive.” Stick with me and I will explain. I feel in my heart that this chapter about love is one of, if not the most, important bitts of information for my or any Christian’s life. It explains that love is the most important ingredient of one’s life. That without love, hope and faith do not work. Love is so important that the bible explains without love you are nothing! That’s pretty serious business. That says to me that you could be the most influential, anointed, walking in the gifts of the spirit person in the world. But without love, you are nothing.

This says to me that love plays a dramatic role in a Christian’s life. I got an awesome revelation on love and it has helped me so, so much. This is something I strive for everyday in my life. To me, saying “I love everyone, and walk in love towards even my enemies” really wasn’t good enough. Someone might gasp at that. But I just know in my heart that if love is explained like it is in this chapter, that “faking it” could just not cut it. And my spirit confirmed that. I honestly believe the saying, “I love that person, I may not like them, but I love them” is inaccurate and not Godly whatsoever. I believe you must establish a true love in your heart that has a compassion and desire to be loving to another human being. How do we establish this though? How do we make ourselves love everyone, even those people that we “love but don’t like?” Well at the beginning of this I mentioned a word that comes to my mind every time I read this chapter. The word is “Naïve.” I believe that in my heart, and it has worked for me in my own life, that presuming the best of everyone and seeing past the rude, hate, and disgust someone may have for you and only looking at the best in them, will establish a pure love towards humankind.

Now why the word naïve? Well it may seem naïve to hear someone insult you and then you brush it off as if they didn’t really mean it. Looking in the eyes of someone calling you a profane word or an insulting name and say to them, “oh, you don’t really mean that, you must not be talking about me” sounds naïve. Or when a friend tells you about Betty Joe insulting you. Responding with “No, no Betty Joe doesn’t really mean that, she must be talking about someone else” sounds naïve. People would respond to you thinking you’re naïve for not thinking that person is talking about you. I’ve heard this, “Obviously they are talking about you!” And I just say, “Nope, they aren’t talking about me.” Even when it is apparent they are! No it’s not being naïve, it’s seeing the best of every person and walking in love. It’s avoiding confrontation all together. It’s bringing the light into a dark situation by not focusing on what the problem is but going past it and seeing the good in something.

I could go on and on about this. A biblical example of someone walking in love in the face of someone ridiculing another person would be Jesus at the well with the Samaritan woman. I won’t take the space on my paper to write out the verse, but the “Dillon Mavrich paraphrase” is…Jesus asked this woman for a drink, this woman, being a Samaritan woman and recognizing Jesus was a Jew, made a racial comment about Jesus asking her for something. Jesus could have easily got offended but instead changed the subject and began talking to her about salvation! (John 4:7-10) That is exactly how we are supposed to be with every trying situation like that in our life! We should avoid every instance of dispute or debate or disagreement and make every effort to show the love of God in us. That even means going beside ourselves and seeming naïve to a situation. Love is the most important part of a Christians every day walk and without it, there is no point in even trying to accomplish anything else for the kingdom. Working for God without love is like making Mexican food at a Chinese restaurant. The bible says, “God so LOVED the world…” He only has one purpose here on earth, and it is love.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Name of Jesus

While reading a book called "The Name of Jesus" by Kenneth E. Hagin, I fell across some of the most valuable information I've ever heard in my life. When I say that the knowledge I obtained from reading this book changed my life, I mean my life hasn't been the same since I read this book.

The first thing that caught my eye when reading this book was an excerpt of E.W. Kenyon’s book, "The Wonderful Name of Jesus". It reads, “…We know that the Father always hears Jesus, and when we pray in Jesus’ Name, it is as though Jesus Himself were doing the praying-He takes our place.” Do you see that? Saying the Name of Jesus literally means stepping out of yourself and stepping into Jesus’ body. You become Jesus! Anything and everything becomes possible. Being equipped with the Name of Jesus is like having a blank check signed and the bank account is heaven. This is why it’s important to know what heaven has to offer us. If you don’t know what’s in your bank account, how can you use it? The more you know what is available to you in heaven, the more you can access it by faith by the Name of Jesus. How do you know what is available to you in heaven? Read the Bible!
My Spirit just cannot get off the fact of what can be done IN Jesus’ Name. We know that there is a natural world and a spiritual world. When we say, “in the Name of Jesus, I, etc.” we are stepping out of this natural world and into the spiritual, heavenly realm, seated in high places with Jesus. Never before have I had a revelation of what the Name of Jesus can do for us. When you fight a headache in this natural realm you can only fight it naturally. Medicine and medical attention are the only ways to overcome an everyday ailment in the natural. But once you say, “But in the Name of Jesus, I don’t have a cold!” you go right out of yourself, into the supernatural realm and you can’t have a cold, it’s impossible!  

1 John 4:17 say, “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world.” Regarding this scripture, E.W. Kenyon writes, “He has given to us the same authority He had when He was here, and the believer’s position in Christ [in effect] gives him the same standing with the Father that Christ had when He was here.” Do you understand that? According to 1 John chapter 4, the way Jesus was on earth, so are we; we are just like Jesus! We are one with Christ once we are born again. We are made righteous through Him and we are given the same authority through Him. That is why we are commissioned to go into this world and use the power and authority we were given. Not just so the Christians can hog it for themselves. It’s to set the lost free so they can see the works of the Lord and turn from their wicked, worldly ways, and run to Jesus and live for Him forever! 

I feel asking God for something in the Name of Jesus is necessary for receiving something supernaturally to help change something in the natural; for example, money for a bill. I don’t know if that makes sense but take it for what it is. The only way to know what can be done when you speak in the Name of Jesus is to know what the bible says you can do. If you are ignorant of what the bible says, you are better off using the name of Henry.

In the New Testament we are constantly reminded that we have a part to play in our authority as a believer. We are told that YOU have to put on the new man after being born again. We are told that YOU are to give as YOU purpose in YOUR heart. We are told that YOU present yourself as a holy sacrifice. All these things are obtainable. The Lord expects things from you as a believer. It’s not a good thing to put off all the responsibilities of a believer over on the pastor or any other man of God. If the Lord says to do it, it must mean that it’s an obtainable goal. He wouldn’t tell us to do something we couldn’t do. We have a job to do here in the Name of Jesus.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

are you living on purpose? Part 1

This month at unbound we have been on the subject of goals and purpose. We believe that the decisions you make today are what determines your future. The decisions you make now will effect who you are in ten, fifteen, and thirty years from now. It's really time for our generation of younger adults to learn to develop a different mindset of how we live our lives. Thinking about who you are going to be in 15 years from now without any plan of attack is a dangerous game. Am I saying that dreaming about being something later in life is a bad idea? Not at all. However, when you have vision, or a mental picture of your destiny, it is detrimental to your life if you don't make a clear plan to walk in that vision. 

1.) To be successful, you must have a clear plan. 
Now it's easy enough to say, "I have a plan for my destiny." But is it a clear plan? Is it a plan that is achievable and one that you can actually accomplish day to day? Anybody can get a sense of security saying they have a good plan for their future with a few ideas they came up with in their head. But you see, without a clear plan for your life it is easy to become distracted and stray off the path towards your goal. Without a clear, decisive plan ready for you to attack, everyday situations, like your job, paying your bills, relationships with friends and/or family, things that have nothing to do with your vision, can distract you. But with a clear, decisive plan, you can easily keep your sights on the prize. Don't misunderstand me. Things do and will come up. Bills; you have to pay. Friends and family; you have to live with. But the difference is these things do not become distractions from achieving your goal when you have a clear plan. 

2.) When you don't have a clear plan, God doesn't have anything specific to direct you in.
Without something specific you want to achieve, God can't direct you in a specific area. Just like Jesus directed the leper in Luke 5:14 to " himself to the priest...". That man had to have specific plan in mind in order to get direction for his vision. (His vision being cleansed from leprosy). He made his vision clear to Jesus that, V.12"...You can make me clean." He had a clear plan and got specific direction from Jesus with that plan in action.

3.) Proverbs 16:1 (new living translation) "We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer."  God leaves the planning up to the heart of the person (we make the plans), but He will provide the explanation as to how the vision will be accomplished. 

The next blog will consist of how our plans sync with God's plan and why God makes our plans work. Dream big and remember to put everything on paper and together we will shape our future by organizing our path to get there!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In addition to salvation...

There is an experience following salvation that includes being filled with the Holy Spirit. Most people thing that once you are born again and the Holy Spirit comes to live in you that there is nothing more to salvation. You pretty much have to go on living life the way it comes at you but you still get to go to heaven. On the other hand some people think that since you have the Holy Spirit living in you, there is some sort of help in your life but nothing you can control one way or the other.

There is more to salvation than heaven and the Spirit of God being in you. In addition to salvation is the baptism in the Holy Spirit. This experience that follows your salvation gives you the entire "dosage" of the Holy Spirit. See, when you become born again you only get a portion of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit you get at salvation is what gives you your recreated spirit; the new you. Now after you have received Jesus into your heart, you able to receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit, that is, the baptism in the Holy Spirit. So only people who are saved and born of God's Spirit can take the next step and receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. When you receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit you can have proof of it also. The bible says in Acts that when the people who had believe on Jesus, or the people who were born again Christians received the Holy Spirit they had spoke with tongues directly after. So we see that evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues.

If you want to be filled with the Holy Spirit and experience the power God has made available to us, just say this out loud: "God, I see in Your Word where you made available the fullness of the Holy Spirit. I believe Your Word and it's entirety. Now I receive the Holy Spirit and I want proof of it by You allowing me to speak in other tongues. Thank You Lord!" Now take a deep breath and freely receive the gift God has made available to you! You will feel something in your stomach begin to bubble up and you need to allow it to come out of your mouth as words. You won't understand exactly what you're saying but that's ok because it's the evidence of the Holy Spirit living and abiding in you!