Saturday, April 25, 2015

Mature Body of Christ

I pray Your church be the true body of Christ in the earth we've been called to be. I pray for all the members to join together, each one taking their place. May the blood of Jesus freely flow through Your body bringing the healing and nourishment necessary for us to become a strong body of believers. I pray that all of the lost sheep be found and brought to the fold You have prepared for them. May we cry out for the pure Word of God so we grow up in You. We lay aside the doctrines that have been junk food for our spirits, we crave the pure Word of God which causes growth and maturity. We don't want to remain an immature body any longer! We want to grow up in You Lord and be the ekklesia you've called us to be. Our destiny is to be like You Jesus. We will do Your work in the earth. We thank You for working with us, confirming Your Word with signs and wonders following!

1 Peter 2:1-3; Matthew 28:18-20; Matthew 10:24; Luke 6:40;  Mark 16:14-20; Hebrews 2:1-4; Ephesians 1:3-5; 

Reprayer April 20, 2012

Monday, April 20, 2015

God's Freedom of Speech Definition

"...As they observed the confidence of Peter and John...
they were amazed
 and began to recognize them
as having been with Jesus."
Acts 4:13

Peter and John were arrested in Jerusalem and the authorities asked them by what power, or in what name, they had healed a lame man. Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered them by speaking of Jesus. As he spoke, they observed their confidence. The confidence of Peter and John was something recognizable. The rulers and elders of the people realized that Peter and John had the same confident, authoritative, free speech that the Lord Jesus Himself had when He walked among them.

According to Strong's Concordance, the word confidence is parrésia which means freedom of speech, confidence. Because of the freedom of speech Peter and John displayed, the authorities saw Jesus in them. They didn't like it, but because of the open miracle done, they couldn't deny it. They did, however, "warn them to speak no longer to any man in this name." (Acts 4:17).  Peter and John's response to the warning was, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard." (Acts 4:19-20). They could not, and would not, stop speaking about what they had seen and heard in Jesus Christ. 

After further threats, they were released from custody. What did they do? They gathered with their own people and prayed. They prayed for the Lord to grant them to speak His Word with all parrésia. (Acts 4:29). They knew that the authority to speak freely in the Name of Jesus was granted by the Lord Himself. This authority to speak freely is a God-given authority. No authority on earth can take it away. Freedom of speech, specifically freedom of speech about Jesus Christ, is granted from God Himself. It cannot be prohibited by any earthly authority! "When they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with parrésia." (Acts 4:31).  

They went out in unity and gave testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great power (Acts 4:33). Many signs and wonders were taking place (Acts 5:12-16) and the apostles were arrested. The authority of man took hold of them to stop their freedom of speech. However, an angel came and let them out of prison during the night and told them to preach to the people in the temple, which they did. While the Council was trying to figure out what happened to their prisoners overnight, someone told them they were in the temple teaching the people. The restraints of man could not hold them while they had the parrésia--God's free speech authority--with them!

The apostles were brought in and questioned. (Acts 5:18-27). The high priest said, "We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching..." (Acts 5:28). Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29) and he preached Jesus to them. They became furious and wanted to kill them, but Gamaliel persuaded them otherwise. However, before releasing them, they beat them and ordered then not to speak in the name of Jesus. (Acts 5:40). What was their response? They went away rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name, and they continued to preach Jesus as the Christ every day. (Acts 5:41-42).
Father God, I pray that we, Your people, recognize that our free speech right--the right to teach and preach in the Name of Jesus, and to heal and do signs and wonders in Your Name--is an authority given to us by You. May we gather and pray for this parrésia so we do not shrink back from what You have called us to do. May we go forward in boldness and confidence, freely preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the message of Your kingdom. May we determine in our hearts to obey You and understand that the authority You've given us is the greatest authority of all, and even Your angels will help us to fulfill Your purpose for us.
The Apostles and Believers Prayer:
"As Your bond-servants may we speak Your word with all parrésia, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus." (Acts 4:29-30).

Re-prayer April 14, 2012

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Sign of the Summit Place

The Summit Place Mall has been a sign of the spiritual condition of Waterford. It was once a place that was thriving economically. It was a community place. It expanded and the name was changed from the Pontiac Mall to the Summit Place Mall. It really became a source of pride at the peak of its life. Whatever led to the decline is a topic of debate, but it came to a place of neglect which lasted for years. Soon it will be demolished, which will allow for it to be rebuilt, so this is a good thing.

The demolition of the Summit Place Mall should signify a demolition of the high places in our individual thinking which lead us into pride. Whether it's because of our personal prosperity and success, our place in the community, or whatever it might be, all sources of pride need to be brought down. They are not a strong foundation to build on and will eventually cause what we are building in our lives to crumble and fall.

The question is, what will be built in its place? Concerning the Summit Place, we need to pray that what is rebuilt is from the Spirit of God, something that will promote righteousness and godliness. Not from a religious work of the flesh, but from the creative, life-giving breath of the Spirit. The same is true for our individual lives. If we want our lives, as well as the township, to have a lasting prosperity, we will need to have individual spiritual prosperity in place to build on. Individual spiritual prosperity is the righteousness of God which is only found through faith in Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 10:16 in the amplified Bible says, "The earnings of the righteous...lead to life, but the profit of the wicked leads to further sin." The righteous will spend their money on that which leads to further life. The wicked spend their money on that which promotes sin. When we do business with godly businesses it will further expand those businesses. They give their money to the churches, to charitable organizations, to help the poor and for the responsible necessities of life. By giving and spending to these places, righteousness is advanced and the righteous businesses and organizations prosper and expand in the work of the Lord. This brings economic stability to a community so basic needs are met--groceries, fuel, home repairs etc. It also brings a prosperity that allows for all sorts of gifts to flourish--the arts. The ungodly spend their money on drink or drug, gambling, an ungodly/irresponsible type of entertainment, and so on. This type of spending promotes and prospers those unrighteous enterprises.

We want to be sure we remember that the foundation for our spiritual lives is righteousness, not religion. We're not talking about choosing good behavior over bad. We're not talking about an arrogant, superior attitude which turns its nose up at those who are trapped and bound by sin. We're talking about a true faith and trust in the Lord Jesus which results in a passionate worship of Him, and love for mankind.

God is in the restoration business. He sent His Son to redeem mankind which was lost. My prayer is that He redeem the Summit Place Mall property and that it become a righteous place which honors Him. I pray the hearts of the people of Waterford return to the Lord, not in a religious facade, but with a true heart-conversion so the blessings of God will flow as He has intended all along.

To read of my personal return to the Lord see the April 7, 2012 post.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Lovely Dwelling Place

How lovely are Your dwelling places, O Lord of hosts!
My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
The bird also has found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, My King and my God.
How blessed are those who dwell in Your house!
They are ever praising You.
Psalm 84:1-4

Oh Lord, may Waterford become a lovely dwelling place for You. May the churches of Waterford truly be Your courts, and places where You may be found with great joy. May the hearts of the people become the same--courts of the Lord--where You live. May both our heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God, yearning for You. May our young people be raised in Your house, even on Your altars O God. We are blessed to dwell in Your house and praise You forever!

Re-prayer March 31, 2012