internal power plant

Posted: September 3, 2010 in Prayer

A man went to an atomic power plant to see how they produce power. Do you know what he found out? He found out they don’t produce power at all, all they do is release power that is in those elements. That is exactly like us as christians… you don’t produce any power at all. All you do is release the power of God that is in you… the Holy Spirit. You have a dynamic power plant in you just waiting to be released through the power of the Holy Spirit. How do you tap into that power? Through prayer. We will never know how much artillery we have in our arsenal until we unleash our prayers with power. Spurgeon once said in a sermon, “Bring your prayer as an ancient battering ram against the gate of heaven, and force it open with a sacred violence.” Now that’s praying with power.

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telling the story – #3

Posted: September 1, 2010 in Stories

Stephen Grellet was a missionary back in the pioneer days of the United States of America. He was a Quaker evangelist, preacher, and missionary. He was out on the western borders of our nation, at the foot of the Rockies while praying and seeking the face of God when he felt that inner urge, that word from the Lord that said he was to go to a certain lumber camp and preach an evangelistic message. God said he was to go so he went to this particular lumber camp. He was expecting to preach a revival crusade and when he arrived there was not a soul in the lumber camp, not one. He looked around and thought; maybe they are over in the mess hall. Stephen Grellet went over to the mess hall and no one was there. He said, “Lord, you’ve told me to come and preach, I don’t understand it, but I’m going to be obedient.” So he stood in that empty mess hall and preached his heart out. He preached Jesus, salvation, and pled for souls to be saved to an empty place. He gave an invitation for people to receive Christ, then had a benediction, and then went his way satisfied that he had been obedient not understanding it at all.

Years later across the ocean, Stephen Grellet was standing on the London Bridge when a heavy hand dropped on his shoulder. The man asked, “Are you Stephen Grellet?” He said, “I am.” This man said, “I’ve been looking the world over for you. Do you remember going to such and such lumber camp at the foot of the Rockies and preaching a sermon to an empty mess hall? You thought no one heard you, but I heard you. I was the foreman of my crew and we were out in the woods cutting trees and I had to come back for another axe. I heard you in there preaching and I stood behind a stack of wood and I listened to you and I was ashamed to make myself known. What you said penetrated my heart and brought me under conviction. I went back into the woods and gave my heart to Jesus Christ. I shared what happen with three other lumberjacks and all three of them gave their hearts to Jesus Christ. I want you to know sir that the four of us have become missionaries and evangelists, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Here is a man, obedient, not knowing why, but just simply being obedient. Doing what God told him to do.

rest assured

Posted: August 29, 2010 in Rest

When I hear the word ‘Rest’ it sounds lazy. It sounds like something sissy’s do… or better yet… what small children and senior citizens do so they don’t get irritable and cranky. The first thought that comes to mind when I hear of people who need to rest is that they can’t hack it in this fast paced world. Poor little me that I’ve worked so hard that I need to lay my head on a soft fluffy pillow and start the inception or my body will just crash on the floor as if dead.

Leonardo Da Vinci was known for taking short naps throughout the day instead of sleeping in a 6-8 hour chunk of time. He believed he could accomplish more and make the most out of his day if he slept less more often. I have always rebelled against the fact that my body needs sleep. I have always pushed my body to stay up longer so I can accomplish more. I have had this mentality that when I get to heaven I will get a new body so why not push the envelope while I’m alive so when I do get to heaven I will need a new body because I flat wore this one out. That kind of thinking might be fine every once in a while, but I’m finding out quickly how much I need to take time to rest.

We all need rest and we all need sleep. Without it, our bodies will shut down both mentally and physically. I am slowly learning how important it is to carve time out of the day to rest. God even took time to rest on the seventh day after speaking everything into existence in just six days. Now He didn’t need sleep or rest… come on… He’s God. But He did want to be the first example in Scripture to model a life of work with rest. When we as leaders miss the opportunity to rest we miss out on another opportunity to be more effective, more creative, and more innovative. We tax our bodies and our minds to a breaking point that we become useless.

Plutarch said, “Rest is the sweet sauce of labor.” Rest is critical. Rest is mandatory. Rest is Scripturally sound. As a leader, I need to make time to rest, recuperate, revive, renew, and refresh my mind and my body so I can be used by God to my fullest potential.

telling the story – #2

Posted: August 2, 2010 in Stories

An experience from the life of Ira Sankey dramatically underlines the all-caring God we serve. It was Christmas Eve 1875 and Sankey was traveling on a Delaware River steamboat when he was recognized by some of the passengers. His picture had been in the newspaper because he was the song leader for the famous evangelist D. L. Moddy. They asked him to sing one of his own hymns, but Sankey demurred, saying that he preferred to sing William B. Bradbury’s hymn “Savior Like A Shepherd Lead Us.” As he sang, one of the stanzas began, “We are Thine; do Thou befriend us. Be the Guardian of our way.” When he finished, a man stepped from the shadows and asked, “Did you ever serve in the Union army?” “Yes,” Mr. Sankey answered, “in the spring of 1860.” “Can you remember if you were doing picket duty on a bright, moonlit night in 1862?” “Yes,” Mr. Sankey answered, very much surprised. “So did I, but I was serving in the Confederate army. When I saw you standing at your post, I thought to myself, ‘That fellow will never get away alive.’ “I raised my musket and took aim. I was standing in the shadow, completely concealed, while the full light of the moon was falling upon you. At that instant, just as a moment ago, you raised your eyes to heaven and began to sing…’Let him sing his song to the end,’ I said to myself, ‘I can shoot him afterwards. He’s my victim at all events, and my bullet cannot miss him.’ “But the song you sang then was the song you sang just now. I heard the words perfectly: ‘We are Thine; do Thou befriend us. Be the Guardian of our way.’ “Those words stirred up many memories. I began to think of my childhood and my God-fearing mother. She had many times sung that song to me. “When you had finished your song, it was impossible for me to take aim again. I thought, ‘The Lord who is able to save that man from certain death must surely be great and mighty.’ And my arms of its own accord dropped limp at my side.” How utterly amazing is our God and his keeping power!

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Hughes, Kent & Barbara. Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2008), 69-70.

telling the story – #1

Posted: June 27, 2010 in Stories

A dear friend of mine who was quite a lover of the chase, told me the following story: “Rising early one morning,” he said, “I heard the baying of a score of deerhounds in pursuit of their quarry. Looking away to a broad, open field in front of me, I saw a young fawn making its way across, and giving signs, moreover, that its race was well-nigh run. Reaching the rails of the enclosure, it leaped over and crouched within ten feet from where I stood. A moment later two of the hounds came over, when the fawn ran in my direction and pushed its head between by legs. I lifted the little thing to my breast, and, swinging round and round, fought off the dogs. I felt, just then, that all the dogs in the West could not, and should not capture that fawn after its weakness had appealed to my strength.” So is it, when human helplessness appeals to Almighty God. Well do I remember when the hounds of sin were after my soul, until, at last, I ran into the arms of Almighty God. (A. C. Dixon)

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Bounds, E. M. E M Bounds The Classic Collection on Prayer (Orlando, FL: Bridge-Logos, 2001), 3.

hear my cry

Posted: June 26, 2010 in Prayer

The essence of prayer is talking to God as you would to a beloved parent. It is intimate and loving communication. Prayer is not only an intimate privilege; it is also a passion. The passions of the heart will come out in prayers. If we examine what we pray for and find we are praying only for our own needs, problems, questions, and struggles, that is an indication of where our heart is. If we pray infrequently, briefly, and in a shallow manner, we need to do a spiritual inventory to see if the problem is a cold heart. A call to the duty of prayer will not overcome spiritual indifference, because prayer is an internal compulsion born out of a love for and dependence on our heavenly Father. Lack of prayer doesn’t mean merely that we are disobedient; it is also an indicator that our love for God has grown cold.

How do we align our praying with the will of God? By getting to know the Scriptures. That is where God’s will is revealed. Let the truth of Scripture shape your thinking and feed your appetites, and then you will know how to pray according to the will of God.

Clearly, the repeated message of Scripture is that prayer moves the riches of God’s supernatural grace from heaven to earth… from His throne to our need. He will respond to our cries and do what is best for us in each experience of life, while still fulfilling His perfect eternal purpose for us.

“ Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” ~ Hebrews 4:16

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The paragraphs above were taken from the following book on prayer: MacArthur, John. Lord, Teach Me to Pray: An Invitation to Intimate Prayer (Nashville, TN: J. Countryman, 2003), introduction.

Coming up on Sunday, June 6, I will be teaching through various subjects that pertain to end times, prophecy, and the book of Revelation. If there is a subject that is confusing, a future event that needs explanation, wordage that doesn’t make sense, or simply a period of time in prophecy that interests you… I hope to address it in my teaching on Sunday mornings. Write a comment below or simply email me your questions, concerns, and interests. I will be collecting your comments and will be using them as teaching points throughout this series. I look forward to unpacking this subject and hope to clarify what has been obscure to so many people. See you in class.