Saturday, September 28, 2019

Discerning the Priestly and the Prophetic




Jesus is our Great High Priest who intercedes for us in Heaven. He was tempted in every way, just like we are, so He can "sympathize with our weaknesses." He knows what its like to experience the things we do while living here on Earth, yet He never sinned. Instead, He offered Himself up as the sacrifice for our sins so all who believe in Him may have eternal life--forgiven, cleansed, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to live right (Hebrews 4:15, Hebrews 7:24-27, Acts 1:8). As a priest, He relates to us and prays to the Father on our behalf.

As a prophet, Jesus spoke what He heard His Father speak. He taught the people, explaining the Scripture. He spoke for the Father. He was the Word of God made flesh. (John 12:49-50, Matthew 9:35, John 1;14, Matthew 13:57). As a prophet, He proclaimed the Word of the Father--Truth--without compromise, which give life to all who take heed.

Jesus was the true light, who enlightens others. He called His disciples the light of the world. (John 1:9, Matthew 5:14). There are times we feel, like He did and still does, the need of those around us and we can pray and intercede for them. There are also times we can hear and feel the heart of God, seeing the world around us from His perspective, and we speak in alignment with that. His words of truth give light and life.

Father God, help us, and all Your people in the Waterford area, discern the difference between the priestly and the prophetic. Help us know when we are to approach You as intercessors on behalf of others, and when we are to speak Your words uncompromisingly. We want Your truth. We always want to speak the truth, yet we want to ask for mercy whenever possible. Show us how to be true light to the world around us--our families, friends, workplace, churches, and communities.




Sunday, September 1, 2019

Lord, Plant Seeds of Truth



Lord, we pray for a genuine, tangible, manifestation of Your presence here in Waterford Township. Touch the businesses, the elderly, the schools. Let there be revival in the schools. That the hearts of the students, from pre-school through college, seek truth. The Truth. That they have discernment to know the difference between Truth and opinion. That they recognize lies as being lies and don't follow them. Purge them of indoctrination that is untruthful. That those seeds do not take root and produce. Plant seeds in our young people Lord. Seeds of truth and love. Bring people across their path to plant and nurture these seeds.

We pray for protection for all of the students in Waterford. Spirit, soul, and body. Spiritually, mentally, emotionally, intellectually, socially, physically, sexually, financially, and in every way. Keep them safe. Turn their attention to You. Draw them to You. Pour out Your Spirit on the young people. Let them find You.

We also pray for the parks. That they be places where people will find You through nature. That they see Your beauty, love, and magnificence. Your intricate designs and plans, and know You are real. We pray for the roads and railroads. The paths and trails throughout the township. We pray for the government and the churches. Let even the churches be amazed at the work You do here. We pray sincerely. Be a part of it all, Lord. Govern it all. Your will be done, Your kingdom come to Waterford!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Wheat and the Tares



In the parable of the Tares and the Wheat, Jesus explained that He sows good wheat seed into the world while the enemy sows tares. He says that the good seed are the sons of the kingdom, and the tares are the sons of the evil one. It's commonly accepted that these tares of the Bible are darnel seed or Lolium temulentum. These tares look a lot like wheat but the difference is clear once the ear appears.

In the parable, when the slaves of the landowner ask if they should take out the tares from among the wheat once they were discovered, He says no, because they might uproot the wheat if they do. He says to let them both grow together until the harvest (the end of the age) and then each one will be dealt with properly--the tares into the furnace to be burned and the righteous will shine in the kingdom of their Father. (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43).

It's all about the seed. It's not about appearances. A seed will produce the fruit of whatever kind of seed it is. If you are an apple seed you don't become an orange tree just by being planted in the middle of them or trying to act like one. Even though the tares are planted among the wheat, and may even look like them for a time, the evidence of what kind of seed it is will be clear once the fruit starts to appear.

There is an enemy of the Lord who has infiltrated the earth producing "evil sons." Knowingly or unknowingly, they will try and uproot what God is doing--the kingdom He is building. People may be truly sincere, not realizing what kind of seed they are, but the fruit of their lives will identify that. Jesus said you will know them by their fruit (Matthew 7:20).

Thank God that in the realm of the spirit, a seed can be changed from evil to good. Jesus said the good seed are the sons of the kingdom. A person becomes a son of the kingdom by believing in Jesus. And the sons of God will follow the Spirit of God (John 1:12, Romans 8:14-17). The seed can be converted, but only through faith in Jesus Christ--the One who died for our sins, paying the debt our sin caused which we could never pay. If you believe in Him, you are a son (or daughter) of the kingdom, but be aware of the enemy that is out there trying to choke out or uproot what your heavenly Father wants to do in your life, your family, your church, and your community.

Father God, I pray for sons of the kingdom to be planted throughout Waterford and the surrounding region--throughout Michigan. I pray they are planted in place--the places You've called them to be, and that they are protected from the plans of the enemy to choke out or uproot what You are doing in their lives. I pray for these sons to have discernment, and to be watchful, so they properly tend to the field You've called them to. For them to watch and pray to prevent evil seeds from being planted. For them to recognize good from evil, and for them to preach Your Word so hearts can be changed and converted to good seed. Send Your heavenly host--Your angelic, ministering spirits to give aid and assistance to these sons of the kingdom, so Your kingdom comes, Your will is done throughout Waterford and Michigan.




Saturday, July 20, 2019

Evidence of Truth, Evidence of God



Truth is spiritual. It consists of realities and laws. These laws are things that apply consistently. If truth were not consistent, it wouldn't be truth. However, truths are consistent because there is power that exists to carry them out. This power guides them and manages them. This power oversees them. Because of this, truth requires an intelligent, thinking, personality, with a will, who will consistently define, manage, and guide it. This intelligent being is the One by whom truth is defined. He is truth.

Truth cannot exist apart from this Personality who has the power to define it. We call Him God. He expresses His truths in thoughts and words. An untruthful being can say things, but has no power to make them a reality. He can only deceive and try and get people to act on his words as if they were true, but this deception leads only to confusion and death because truth will always prevail.

When God speaks, along with His words comes the power to back up what He says. Jesus proved the truth and power of God by becoming the Word of God made flesh, and living out on earth the reality of God's truths. He proved them to be true. He became the evidence of their truth. This evidence is proof of God's reality, and His power over all things. (Hebrews 1:1-3, Isaiah 55:11).

Take that one step further to see that God has given people the ability to speak words out of a free heart. That's why the fall of man was so devastating. A heart that is not aligned with truth will cause confusion when it speaks. But this ability to speak words from a free heart is also why redeemed man is so powerful. Men, or women, who are believers in Jesus Christ are His witnesses. A witness testifies of truth. A believer's words and life are evidence of the truth of God. This evidence will speak eternally to disprove the accusations of the enemy--who accuses God of not being true, and accuses the saints as well.

Its wonderful that we, as believers, are His witnesses, but it takes faith to see truth, to see reality, to see God's thoughts. That's why its impossible to please Him without faith. By faith we see God for who He really is. We see that He is good. He is life. He is love. He is truth. Those who come to Him must believe that He is--that He exists--AND that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. He is a rewarder. He doesn't take pleasure in punishment. He is good. (Hebrews 11:6).

So because of who He is, God's presence contains power. He entire being emits energy--power--that causes His thoughts and desires to become a reality. When He looks, thinks, and speaks, the power is magnified. We find the truth of who God the Father is when we look at Jesus. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. He reveals who God is--His thoughts and desires. His life, truth, love, and power.

The woman with the issue of blood felt power go into her when she touched Jesus' clothes. She saw Him for who He is--the Healer--and that healing energy flowed from Him to her. Her perception of who He is brought her exactly that. When our perception of God matches the truth of who He is, then the same power is released towards us. This is faith. Additionally, this woman received healing, but when Jesus turned to look at her and she allowed Him to examine what she had done, she was told her faith had healed her and to go in peace. She received something above and beyond healing when she allowed Jesus to see her and judge her actions. (Mark 5:25-34).

The power of who God is is even more pronounced when He looks at something. When we cry out for Him to look at us, we are saying we want His gaze, His power, His truth, to see us, make a decision, and act on our behalf. We are trusting that His decision will be good. We see Him, by faith, as One who is good and whose power will bring life to us, not death. We are humbly saying we trust He will be merciful towards us, not giving us what we deserve, but releasing His favor towards us which Jesus provided for us. The blind man cried out for Jesus to have mercy on him and he was healed. He wasn't content to let Jesus walk by without looking at him, without healing him. Even David, when he knew judgement would be brought on him, chose God's judgement over mans, knowing that God would be merciful quicker than man would. (Luke 18:35-43, 1 Chronicles 21:13).

This is why Jesus said He will say to those who use the power of God but hide from Him, not allowing Him to look at them, 'Depart from Me, I never knew you." We need His gaze. We need Him to look at us, to see us, to see what we're doing and thinking, and judge our thoughts and the intents of our hearts. We also need to judge ourselves by what He has spoken, by His Word. The pure in heart will see God, and these are the ones who have allowed God to look at them first. (Matthew 7:21-23, 1 Corinthians 11:31, Matthew 5:8).

It's amazing that God chose to share His Spirit with us. He fills those who believe in Him with His Spirit of truth and power. His living Word comes to live inside of those who believe in Him. Those who call out to Him and submit to Him as Lord of their life. To these ones He entrusts the power of His Word, His thoughts, His truth. We access this by faith. (John 14:15-17, John 14:23, Romans 8, Acts 1:8).

God, who is the Author of both truth and love, has the power to do good towards all. Yet He chose to share this power with those who believe in Him. This testing of our faith is precious to Him, and more valuable to us than any amount of wealth or power the world could give us.

Father God, I pray that the people of Waterford come to know You as the author of truth and the author of love, and life, and all that is good. Even those who already know You, that they come to know You better and see You for who You really are. We want Your truth! Look at us! Let us feel the power of Your gaze. Your cleansing, forgiving, and healing power. We believe in You. We are witnesses of Your truth! I pray this reality spreads throughout this community and beyond.


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Look Up



It's time to lift up our heads and look to the Lord. Look for His redemption. Look for His help. His victory. His glory. His holiness. Look for His return. Lift up your eyes, look vertically, not horizontally, and behold Him. Honor Him. Worship Him.

"But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near" Luke 21:28.

"But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head." Psalm 3:3.

"And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, and I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes I will sing praises to the Lord." Psalm 27:6

"I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1-2.

"Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in!" Psalm 24:7

"Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure." 1 John 3:2-3.




Saturday, April 27, 2019

Peacemakers



Matthew 5:9
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.

We are called to be peacemakers. In this passage of Scripture from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus  went on to say,
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48
Jesus is saying not to just be friendly to those who are friendly to you. Be different. Show you really are a son of God by loving your enemies. Yet, He later on He seems to contradict this:
34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.
37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it. Matthew 10:34-39
Luke's account of this verse says this:
51 Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; 52 for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
54 And He was also saying to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it turns out.55 And when you see a south wind blowing, you say, ‘It will be a hot day,’ and it turns out that way. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time? Luke 12:51-57
There's a time to be a peacemaker, but there is also a time for a sword. In all things we put Jesus first. When we do, there are times it will cause division. We need to know the times--when we are to be a peacemaker and when it is a time of division. There is never a time to compromise Jesus or the Gospel for the sake of peace. Even if it costs us something--our own life, our comfort, our relationships. Yet we need to discern the times. The peacemakers are blessed. Loving and praying for your enemy shows you are a son of God.

There's times following the Lord will cost us something, we won't be able to bring peace, but there are times we will be able to. We should try for peace first. 

What is a peacemaker? One who restores two people to a relationship so they are not at war anymore. They are at peace with each other. A peacemaker is one who helps people in conflict work out their differences. A peacemaker will bring healing to relationships. Today, I felt specifically the Lord was addressing relationships in the workplace, church, and home. The relationships in your workplace, those you are connected with spiritually, and those in your home.

We need peacemakers in our life, and we need to be peacemakers for others. Not so we can compromise, but so we can bring true restoration and peace. When both sides receive healing, and are in proper relationship with the Lord, when we both have the same Head, they will have the same goals, motivations, and so on. The best peace possible is when both parties are submitted to the Lord. 

To be peacemakers, we would like to see everyone align with the Truth. Christians should not compromise if it means compromising the Lord or His Truth. There will be times of division. There may be people you need to separate from for the sake of peace. Lot and Abraham's herdsmen were arguing and separated for the sake of peace (Genesis 13). Yet sometimes separation may not be the best option, or should not happen without doing everything possible to restore the relationship, such as in marriages. 

Ecclesiastes 3 says there is a time to kill and a time to heal. A time of war and a time of peace. A time to love and a time to hate. God will always try and bring restoration first. First and foremost peace between God and man--that will bring the ultimate healing to a person.

Father, raise up the peacemakers in Waterford and beyond. That they bring healing and restoration, first and foremost with You, but also in the relationships they are in. That not only in the lives of others, but in our lives as well. In our own heart and mind we submit to You and Your Truth.We will not compromise. We make peace with You and Your ways. We accept Your ways--the ways of Your Word and Spirit. We accept Your Truth in our life. We accept You, honor You, Your will, Your Word, and Your ways, and we want to bring that to the people we come in contact with. We want to bring it to our families, those we are in spiritual relationships with--our tribe, our church, we want to bring it to our workplace, ministry, job, where we are using our gifts, we want to bring peace. To be a peacemaker. We want to see the rising up of the peacemakers in the community. Those committed to You and Your ways. Those who are secure and confident in their relationship with You and the love You have for them, that they are able to take up their cross and follow You. That they can love and pray for their enemies without compromising You. That they can discern the times and seasons to know when its time to heal or divide. 

There are times for compromise, but not His will, His ways, or His truth. We die to ourselves so His resurrected life can live through us.

Father, I pray for discernment so we know the times, when its time to join, and when its time to separate, that we're aware of Your love shed abroad in our hearts, and we walk in the love and healing and a restored relationship with You, so we are able to bring and release that to the people we come in contact with. Bring up this restoration of healing in Your people so we can be the peacemakers You've called us to be. Let us remember those times we come before You to honor and worship You and then remember our brother has something against us, that we go and attempt reconciliation with him. That we are quick to make friends with our opponents at law. That we know how to bring solutions to the problems and divisions that arise. That we are not so rigid that we don't compromise when we need to. Yet we are also brave enough and courageous enough to stand in opposition when we need to.


Sunday, April 14, 2019

Spring Clean-Up & Boundaries



April 13th was Spring Clean-up Day in Waterford Township and I participated in the spring clean-up organized by them. I normally take a day in the Spring to "clean up and pray" and this fit right in with it.

We all know we need to clean up our own space around us. Whether it's our home, our yards, or our own lives. It's important that we take a look and examine our hearts and surroundings--to "clean-up" anything that may have gotten tainted or out of order. However, there is also a time to work to "clean-up" our public surroundings as well. We're not called to live isolated lives outside of the public view. We are called to go into all the world, to go into the public square--not stay cocooned in our own lives, homes, or churches. Be the salt and the light.

As I cleaned up trash along the roadside, I tried to discern the boundary between public and private. I was not sent to pick up trash on private property, just that which interfered with the function or beauty of the public space. In the same way, we all need to recognize the boundaries we have when it comes to the other people we come across in our walk. To what extent do we have "permission" to meddle in other people's lives? I'm thinking of when Jesus said, "first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye." (Matthew 7:5).

Of course there are times we confront our brother or sister and discuss matters of concern, due to our love for them, but always with an attitude of respect. (See Galatians 6:1, Matthew 18:15-17, Luke 17:3-4, Jude 1:23). We care for those believers who stumble, we don't want them to fall or get lost.  There is a time to rebuke, a time to forgive, a time to show mercy, and a time to separate. We need to properly judge the time, and pay attention to what behavior we allow, in the public space we have authority and influence over, because of the children and new believers.

So in our effort to clean-up the public space spiritually, as well as physically, keep the private property boundaries in mind. Jesus never forced anyone to believe in Him or obey Him so it wouldn't be right to have laws that force people to believe a certain way, or worship God when they don't want to. Of course there are consequences to sin and rejecting Jesus, but He still doesn't force Himself on anyone. We all have a choice, at least for now. One day no-one will be able to deny that He is God. (Philippians 2:9-11, Romans 14:11). The freedom of choice is what we need to defend and stand up for in America today, right down to our own state, county, city or township, neighborhood, and our own home. Liberty and justice for all!

After working for a while, I thought if everyone cleaned up the road in front of their own home, there wouldn't be a need for others like myself to do it. Of course there could be all kinds of reasons as to why some people can't so I wasn't there to judge that. There are times we all need each other. And if someone is neglectful, it still affects the public path and needs to be dealt with. Some of what we do as believers is cleaning up after others, due to their neglect or refusal. That's O.K., as long as it gets done, and we don't get an attitude against them in the process. However, remember the borders, some of the trash is personal stuff they need to take care of themselves. Don't cross that boundary. It's not good for you or them.