Every healthy congregation should probably be giving birth to other congregations. Any congregation that we plant that does not produce leadership to “give birth” – become the leaders of a new congregation – is unhealthy and probably needs to have its members distributed among a few other healthy congregations.
Every congregation that has access to unbelievers should be fruitful, though. Each generation of Believers mentoring and encouraging and equipping the next generation with the words and the Spirit of God should make the momentum of our work to not be stoppable until Jesus declares that the harvest is in the barn.
The more you say, “Yes,” the more adventures you have. Saying, “Yes, and…” is usually much more powerful and creative than saying, “Yes, but…”
The more you say, “No,” the more you are at home alone. There are, of course, times when you should be home alone. They should be strategic though, not lazy or afraid or stingy.
No matter what Jesus invites you to be and do or have or give, always say, “Yes, and…”
The more creatively you think and act, the more likely you don’t see problems as problems.
In fact, if you simply respond to problems by fixing them, it points to your skills set as being more like a maintenance person than a builder. That is not a failure – we need both, but identifying your place and doing good work in it is important.
When you see a problem that needs to be solved, try looking past the problem to the other problem that is the source of it. If your teachers are quitting because they have no power to discipline their students, ask why they don’t have that power. Find the first place in the path that there is a divergence from success, no matter how many steps you have to track backwards. Fix the source.
If someone is sick because they have a demonic problem, find out why they have the demonic problem. If you just cast out the demon without solving the source problem, it looks the same as killing bugs but leaving the door open at night.
Ask the Spirit of God what is causing something to be a problem. Ask Him how to deal with the source. Pray for prophetic revelation to be brought into the situation, and words of wisdom and knowledge.
Don’t avoid problems. David’s destiny was behind Goliath. His years of preparation as national leader were behind Saul. His son Solomon, who built the first temple for Yahweh, was behind Bathsheba.
When I owe taxes, Paul believes that I should pay them. If it is proper to respect someone, he counts that also in unpaid debt terms. He implies that I should pay off all my debts but one – I always owe you love (Romans 13:8.)
What is different in cultural terms today that should influence the way I try to interpret what Paul was telling the Roman believers? What is my responsibility to you regarding your debt to love me? What can I do if you don’t pay up?
Indebtedness drives much of modern culture and economics and relationships. A borrower is still the slave of a lender. An indebted person who refuses to pay their debts is considered as much as a thief.
If I base the quality of my work on debt, I am more influenced to quality work when I owe you than when you owe me. If you don’t pay me as you should, the quality or quantity of my work is likely to suffer.
If the cross of Christ is part of every economic equation I allow into my life, much of what is owed me will be paid to Jesus. Much of what I owe will be paid by Jesus. I will be more at peace and more effective in my life and work and relationships.
Hupernikao (“hoop-er-nik-ah’-o”) is a Greek word. A transliteration of it might pass as “hyper-victor.” Nike, the shoe manufacturer, likes their name because it means something like “overpower,” or “win a victory over,” or “conquer.”
“Hyper” can mean “above,” or “greater than” something else. “Nikodemos” means something like “victorious among his people.” In Romans 8:37, hupernikao is the way Paul described the Roman believers – greater than mere conquerers.
I think if we asked Paul if he meant that about us, too, he would laugh and say, “Yes!” We don’t just push our enemies off our property and brace up for the next attack. We are called to take the land that is currently occupied by our enemies. We fight on their turf. Anything or anyone our enemies have kidnapped should be recovered.
When David led his mighty men from the scene of destruction at Ziklag, where their families and property had been stolen by raiders, he led them to find and overcome the raiders. He led them to retrieve their families and their belongings. In addition to what had been lost, they confiscated other stolen property and shared the spoils of hupernikao in all the towns they passed on the way back home.
Your cup runs over. Your victories run over. On days, the costs run over too, but standing in faith will always acquire more than it costs.
In his book Hunger Driven, Brian Nickens coined or quoted the phrase “voice activated” to refer to the high response level successful citizens of the Kingdom of God exhibit by obeying the King.
“Smart” phones are voice activated if you want them to be. You can get the phone’s attention by speaking a word or phrase and then you can give it a command or ask it a question. If you have tried this, it is hard to believe that you haven’t been frustrated more than once by the phone failing to answer or obey properly.
A profitable servant is always alert to the needs and desires of its master. Always wanting to anticipate an opportunity to bless. Never wanting to disappoint or fail.
Tell your King that you want to be instantly activated by His voice. Ask Him to make it happen.
Expect that because you are going to be one of the people who will do what you have been ordained to by the King of Glory, that there will be an impact in the earth because you were alive.
You will not be one of the diverted – taking up men’s yokes and being distracted from the call to settle for limited vision and limited or no impact. Most people who are servants in “the Ministry” will quit, some even leaving their relationship with Jesus, not just leaving the church fellowship. Much of the fade or failure is because the jobs men give them are not the works the King called them to do.
Even though they are prophets or workers of miracles, we only need pastors and teachers and maybe and evangelist. God’s not doing that weird and scary stuff any more…
God, has, however, called you to much scary and impressive stuff. Supernatural stuff that will get you in trouble with people who like things quiet and boring like they used to be. So brace up your courage and dig in your heels and study to show that your God has approved of the awesomeness of your life and your person.
Prepare to be remembered by the people whose lives you fill with light and truth. Maybe yours will be the first face they see when you touch them and they gain sight. Maybe they will be able to follow Jesus because you touch their legs and they can begin to walk.
One day I will tell you, “See – I told you.”
Go be awesome… (Matthew 8:5-13)
How blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness! for they will be filled. (Matthew 5:6 Complete Jewish Bible)
When we are hungry for righteousness, we are seeking a condition that we can only attain by the power of the Holy Spirit’s influence in our hearts and lives. It is by being filled with Him that we become capable of being satisfied in our desire for righteousness.
The word “filled” in the verse implies being filled like I would be if I just got done eating at an Indian buffet. I would be too full to eat more. The satisfaction to the hunger in this case can only be found by being filled with the Spirit of Righteousness Himself. He is the food I am hungering for when I hunger for righteousness. When I am hungry for Him and His work in my life, I will be filled with and will be satisfied by being filled with Him.
How much are you reading your Bible? Beyond just reading, you could be studying. You could memorize, and meditating.
However much you are doing, it is not enough. It’s not enough even if you have the whole book memorized. It’s insufficient because no one ever got saved by just reading the Book. No one ever achieved righteousness by learning and obeying the law Yahweh gave Israel through Moses. No one ever met Jesus just by studying Scripture.
All of those spiritual blessings happen only because the Holy Spirit causes them to happen. Knowing what is written makes listening to the Spirit easier most of the time. Do not forget that the Pharisees had the Scriptures memorized. Still, they could not recognize the Word of God when He stood in front of them and interpreted the Scriptures. Their failure was caused by a refusal to listen to the Spirit.
You can get saved by the Spirit without ever hearing a Bible verse. You cannot get saved by knowing all the verses unless the Father draws you by His Spirit. If you can hear His Spirit, you can receive all things. If all you have is the Book, and no interest in listening to the Spirit, you can only achieve becoming religious at best.
The church didn’t have a New Testament for a few hundred years. They turned the world upside down. We’ve had the New Testament for 15 hundred years, and the world continually turns us upside down. If you have to choose, take the Spirit. If you can have both the Book and the Spirit, recognize the the Book still has no value if you don’t learn to let the Spirit guide you into all truth (John 16).
If not much happened today, and if tomorrow looks at least as bleak and eventless as yesterday, it is possible that the appropriate response could be to thank God that we have a bit more time to prepare for the day of Salvation and the time of His Favor. That’s when He is going to fulfill His promises and answer our cries (Isaiah 49:8).
I am perplexed every time I think of the fact that most of the people I know are more interested in their pasts than their futures. They want to return to something.
I probably spend too much time trying to file the chains of the past off my leg so that I can find the high road to tomorrow; or maybe next year. Maybe 15 years. I hope not.
Anyway, pray over your partners and your sons and daughters and neighbors and coworkers and leaders and providers that all of them that you need to be in sync with will be properly aligned and completely prepared and absolutely determined to do the will of Him Who called you into His marvelous Light, when the day comes to cross over some barrier into the work that He has set your life to bear as an inheritance to Him.