All posts by Douglas Thomas

Being Powerful

Commander Naaman, from Syria, contracted leprosy. His wife had a servant who had been kidnapped from Israel and enslaved in Syria. She suggested to her mistress that if Naaman were to go to the Israeli prophet Elisha, he could be healed.

Naaman asked permission to take leave from his duties as a warrior and go to Israel to see Elisha. Because Yahweh had given him favor, the Syrian king gave him a letter to take to the king of Israel. He took with him as the payment he expected to have to make: 660 lbs. of silver, 6000 pieces of gold, and ten changes of expensive clothing.

The king of Israel thought that the Syrian king was trying to start a fight with him. Elisha heard what was going on, and sent a message to the king instructing him to send Naaman to see him.

When Naaman arrived at his home, he sent his servant out to tell him to wash himself in the Jordan River and he would be healed. Naaman was insulted by the fact that he had an audience with the king, but that the prophet had sent out a slave to interact with him. It almost caused him to miss the healing encounter.

While in Capernaum, Jesus was approached by a Roman centurion who asked Him to heal his paralyzed servant. Without hesitation, Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”

Let the mind that Jesus had about how to serve Yahweh be yours. He is a King, but was willing to serve the enemy of His nation and bring blessing.

2 Kings 5 / Matthew 8 / Philippians 2

Loving the World

Our lives are being written as volumes that will rest between the bookends of John 3:16 and 1 John 2:15.

God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus. The same John wrote that if you love the world, the love of the Father is not in you.

Somewhere in the middle, (John 20:21) Jesus sent us like Father sent Him.

G. K. Chesterton said, “We must hate the world enough to change it, and yet love the world enough to consider it worth changing.”

At the end of each day, you have given another slice of your life for or to something or someone. Leave tracks that could lead someone to Jesus. Ask Jesus for clarity regarding where and to whom He is sending you tomorrow.

You know – be awesome!

Free and Ruling

A trusted friend told me recently that I don’t have to live like a refugee.

It is hard to stay out of that mindset on the days that you feel like you are managing Pharaoh’s prison. Even if that is our assignment today, as Paul told the believers in Philippi “In any case, we should live up to the truth that we have attained.” (Philippians 3:16)

Being yourself, full blast, will mean that you pass through the preparation and are therefore ready to rule Pharaoh’s nation next. When he has his dream, he will send for you. You will have the answers he needs. By being you.

Just live like you’re already free and ruling.

Strength in Your Ear

The last time I checked the statistics, almost all new believers stayed in a congregation less than 4 years before moving on to something else. 96% or so. Some reasons for that:

The congregation they found themselves in was not culturally relevant to them. Contrasts of age, financial status, music preference, clothing style, dialect of English, etc. made the new people not fit into the congregational relationships that could have held them.

The congregation had leadership that was not pastoral. If the person behind the pulpit was an evangelist or a teacher or a prophet, pastoral ministry was not likely to be happening. There are people in “the pews” who sometimes fill in to do some shepherding, but sometimes they are not welcomed or encouraged to do so by the people who are “credentialed.”

There was pastoral leadership, and, therefore, weak teaching ministry. If “the minister” really is a pastor, but held responsible for also (without the spiritual gift of “teacher”) preaching every Sunday, the teaching will likely be dry and lifeless.

The congregation is full of people who have no heart to serve or develop relationships with new believers. The picture Paul drew in Ephesians 4 of the Church doing things right was that She is built up in love by what every “joint” supplies. A joint is a relationship between two body parts. The church is not made of congregations. it is made of relationships.

New believers found Christian fellowship somewhere other than the congregation they tried to connect with. Either they ended up in other congregations, or outside the traditions of men and in places and gatherings that were made up of believers, but were not “Sunday Services.”

New believers found that they had no purpose, and felt that there was no point in the trouble of attending “services.” When assisted in finding their spiritual identities, based on what Yahweh has called them to, people become connected and responsible. When their identities seem to fit into the “laity” and the important work is done by the “clergy,” people sometimes grow disinterested in watching the show and stop buying the tickets.

Some representatives of Jesus so terribly misrepresent Him that some people simply decide that following Him was a mistake made in an emotionally low condition and leave to find something else to live for.

You need love. You need to hear through your ears that you are important, that you have a God-inSpired identity, and that you are likely to succeed at the profound calling He has on your life. You need to be equipped by the combination of multiple gifts operating around you that can draw who you are out of who you used to be.

If you are not finding that where you “go to church,” pray for connection to the Body. If you have some sense of who you are in Christ, take responsibility for speaking success into the ears of others who also need more courage than they can muster alone.

God sets the solitary in Families (Psalm 68:6). Men drop them in orphanages. Let’s do what our Father is doing.

Bridge Out

Today I felt led to greet a gentleman who was sitting in my patients’ waiting room.

We did a little bit of shallow stuff but quickly were talking about the Kingdom of God. Ed shared several testimonies about his health and then impressed me with one about business. 

He owned 3 semi’s and had contracts to haul things both directions between NYC & New Jersey. One afternoon he was praying over his business and saw a movie-style vision. He knew when it was over that the George Washington Bridge had a crack in it and would be closed the next morning by 6am.

He called all 3 of his drivers and told them to be at the terminal where they were to pick up whatever produce the shipper wanted loaded by 6am. They argued that the terminal didn’t open until 7:30, but he prevailed and they obeyed.

The next morning he got a call from the shipper’s dock manager wanting to know why his trucks were there so early. He only answered that he felt that it was supposed to be so.

When he arrived at the terminal a couple hours later, he was greeted by the owner and every worker in the building with a standing ovation. Because the bridge did get closed at 6am, only his trucks made it to the terminal before much later in the afternoon.

Since the produce shipper was the only one in the territory with trucks, they made an extra $24,000 that day.

Talk to Dad often. Listen carefully. It is available to All of His sheep to hear and to know His voice.

Go be awesome.

Purpose Full

Mark Twain said – the two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why.

Wolfgang Simson said –

10% of all humans conceived never reach the age of 5

Only 10% of all humans are born again

Only 10% of all born agains know their devine callings – their mission in life

Only 5% of all who know their calling finish it

That’s 1 out of 200.

Part of preaching the Kingdom is helping believers believe that they are called to purpose. Part is helping them discover what the purpose is. Part is helping them live in it.

Preach the Kingdom. Heal the sick. Raise the dead. Cast out demons.

Fulfill YOUR purpose!

Good News

Gospel is a weird Old English word that is made from the two words “God” and “spell” smeared together. Some would argue that it was “good” and “spell” instead.

The word that it is translating from Greek is related to the word “angel,” which means “messenger,” or “message.” A good message was an “euangellion,” or “evangellion,” (Strong’s NT2098). It is related to a good messenger being what we now call an “evangelist.”

Most of what we hear in messages or news is bad. We need to have more access to good news. Bad news sells better, so it is what we find more easily.

Test your access to bad news. Quickly, and from the cuff, which methods of death are more numerous in the US: suicide, or homicide? How about deaths from drowning compared to death in fires? Unless you study statistics and therefore have access to truth instead of US news, you probably guessed homicide and fire. Those are more likely to be what hits the news more often, but the greater numbers are suicides and drownings.

Good news is hard to find if your tuner is on CNN or FOX. The Holy Book is full of Great News. Spend as much time harvesting that as possible! A valuable contemporary source is Joel News. This is a link to one of their Good News Letters.

Being Different

While you are learning how to be the eye or toe or heart that you are called to be in the Body of Jesus, it is good to be encouraged on days by other eyes or toes or hearts.

It is awesome to find comfort from an eye who has already been poked by a finger when you get poked for the first time. It is empowering to be taught how focused an eye really can be so that you can do it at the highest level of ability.

As you mature, it is wise to venture out of the eye tribe into the dangerous and scary place of the rest of the gifts. An eye is most useful when it is helping guide the body. Prophets or evangelists have great parties when no one but other prophets or evangelists show up, but when they start to party with pastors and teachers, the Body starts to be built up.

Hob nobbing with the rest of my tribe, I can learn a lot. If that is where I stay, it is possible that I will become satisfied with knowledge, which puffs up. I need love in scary places so that I can be built up.

When the Body really gets together, it is built up – by what every joint supplies. Joints are relationships with other Body members.

Ephesians 4.

Typical Faith

Types and anti-types are a way of making promises or introducing ideas. First, there is a description, which could be reinforced by a photograph. Then, a color photo. Then, we get a skit or Super-8 movie that gives the characters in the photos motion and a sense of action. It’s not real, though, until you can hear the voice and smell the perfume.

Peter described the ark in which Noah was saved by Yahweh from the flood as an “antitype” of baptism (1 Peter 3:21). Antitype is a transliteration of the Greek compound word that blends “contrasting with” and “a mark” or “a model” to imply that a picture or statue or die-cast imprint is offered to point to an idea as information or a warning or introduction.

First, there was a stone altar on a mountain. Then, there was a rock that was a place to dream of a ladder going into heaven. Then, there was the tabernacle in the wilderness. Then, David designed a temple that Solomon built. Then, Zerubbabel built a replacement of Solomon’s temple, which was destroyed. Then, a Herod built a temple, which was standing when Jesus was in flesh. Jesus pointed at His body one day while his disciples were marveling at that temple and said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will rebuild it.” Next, Paul called both individual believers and gathered sons & daughters of God temples. Finally, the permanent, real eternal temple is in the new Heaven, built by God, not by men, and made up of His most favored people.

We have access to heaven and eternity already by faith. Continuing to get more excited by the tent or the temples and the ceremonies than we get about spending life and time with Jesus is settling for the movie when we can have the Person.

At every opportunity, find the ways and places that our awesome God is making His presence known. Make every sacrifice necessary to enter that place, and take as many with you as will listen and believe that there is more.

Church Growth

If you ask an Evangelist “What produces Church Growth?”, the answer you get will likely sound like, “Leading people to saving faith in Jesus.”

If you ask a Teacher “What produces Church Growth?”, the answer you get will likely sound like, “Teaching believers how to rightly divide the Word of God and live by it’s commands.”

If you ask a Pastor “What produces Church Growth?”, the answer you get will likely sound like, “Surrounding new believers with fellowship and accountability so that they become responsible members of God’s Family.”

If you ask a Prophet “What produces Church Growth?”, the answer you get will likely sound like, “Confronting sin and holding carnally minded believers accountable for increasing in righteous behavior.”

If you ask an Apostle “What produces Church Growth?”, the answer you get will likely sound like, “Finding a way to get Evangelists, Teachers, Pastors & Prophets to equip the Saints to be the Body of Christ in the earth in effective ways.”