Saturday, December 24, 2011

They Saw the Light - He is the Light!

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. 
 
Light the four Advent Candles and the Christ candle!  This is the season of light and Jesus (Yeshua) is the light of the world.  He is the only light.  He is the servant light of Hanukkah.
 
Lord, we invite Your light into our darkness.  Please forgive us for our sins.   Today, we make the decision again to turn back to your light and to be agents of Your light.  Thank you for keeping your promise and dying on the cross so that we would not live in darkness but could be forgiven and live as ambassadors of light.  Thank You Holy Spirit.  We receive You today.  Please come into our lives and be with us forever.    Thank you, Lord Jesus.  Amen.

"Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify our Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

And so we receive God’s light—not just the flickering of candles but the eternal promise of God’s light in us now and hope of eternal life forever.

Angels, from the realms of glory, 

Wing your flight o'er all the earth; 

Ye, who sang creation's story, 

Now proclaim Messiah's birth: 


Come and worship, 

Come and worship, 

Worship Christ, the new-born King.

Shepherds in the field abiding, 

Watching o'er your flocks by night, 

God with man is now residing; 

Yonder shines the infant Light: Refrain

Sages, leave your contemplations, 

Brighter visions beam afar:

Seek the great Desire of nations; 

Ye have seen his natal star: Refrain

Saints before the altar bending, 

Watching long in hope and fear,

Suddenly the Lord, descending,

In his temple shall appear: Refrain


MERRY CHRISTMAS

Friday, December 23, 2011

They Saw the Light - The King of Kings

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. 

The child was born.  Light had now pierced the darkness.  Jesus is the Light of the World.  His life and ministry brought healing, forgiveness, restoration, hope and light into the darkness of this world.  But the darkness would not receive Him.  He was betrayed, tried, scourged and finally crucified.  What hope is there for a world that refuses and banishes light from its presence?

Their hope and our hope is the light.  For the light of the world was not extinguished.  He rose from the dead.  His light penetrates and destroys all darkness.  Jesus brings His life and light into our hearts.  He lives in us and He has called and established us as witnesses of the one True Light.

We are now the light of the world.  Christ works in us and through us to bring light and salvation to all peoples, tongues and nations.  In the midst of darkness, we have seen the light and He is Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

They Saw the Light - The Shepherds

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. 
 
What a glorious night!  What a glorious display of glory!  The heavens burst forth with sound, light and song!  The darkness was pierced as the multitude of heavenly hosts declared the birth of their captain - Jesus, the Lord of Hosts.  The single flame of a candle will cause the deepest darkness to dispell.  How much more on this night was the darkness overcome by the Lord of Glory.
 
“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  "And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:  "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men" (Luke 2:8-14)!  
 
Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o'er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation's story,
Now proclaim Messiah's birth:
Come and worship,
Come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King!
 
“So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us."  And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.   Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.  And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.   But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.   Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them” (Luke 2:15-20).

And this glorious revelation was made to those considered the lowest class of citizens.  From heaven above to earth He came.  He came to the lowest people in the smallest of towns to reveal the greatness of His glory, power, might and love!

In the midst of darkness, the shepherds saw the light.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

They Saw the Light - Nativity Part 3

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. 
 
The light pierces the darkness.  The structures of this world shake as the King of kings makes His entrance.  The radiance of His glory shatters hopelessness, fear, sickness and death.  The King releases hope, love, health and life.  Praise His holy name as you light the second Hanukkah candle and the four Advent candles. Remember that there was enough oil for only one day as the temple was cleansed in 165 B.C.  This day is the beginning of the miraculous.
 
“And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.  This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.  So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.  Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.  So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.   And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:1-7).

In the midst of darkness the LIGHT was conceived.
In the midst of darkness the LIGHT was born.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hanukkah

I thank Brick and Leann Wall of Rising Eagles Ministries for the following thoughts on Hanukkah:

Hanukkah, the ‘Feast of Dedication’ (also known as Chanukah or the ‘Festival of Lights’), is celebrated each year for eight days and nights starting on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar, which is November-December on the modern calendar. This year the celebration begins at sunset on December 20th and continues through sunset December 28th.  In Hebrew, the word Hanukkah means "dedication."  The holiday commemorates the cleansing and re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in 165 B.C. after a great victory by a Jewish rebel army led by the Maccabees over the Syrians.  At this time, restoration of the tabernacle began. This is a time of restoration!  It also remembers the miracle of one day’s oil lasting eight days! Expect the miraculous! It is celebrated around the world with eight nights of merriment and traditions including the lighting of the menorah, exchanging gifts, family games and enjoying special treats cooked in oil.  This is a time for us to allow the Lord to cleanse out of us any defilement and dedicate ourselves fresh and new to the Lord. 
 
Hanukkah is one of the most historically documented of all of the Jewish holidays. It stands as a heroic reminder of courageous and enduring faith in God and uncompromising devotion to Him despite great personal risk, qualities God is looking for and the Body of Christ is in great need of today.  In John 10:22 we read that Jesus went to Jerusalem at the time of the Feast of Dedication which was Hanukkah!  Jesus celebrated the Feasts too!


The principle ceremony of Hanukkah is the lighting of candles each evening in the home.  The Hanukkah menorah holds nine candles, one for each of the eight nights and one additional candle (in the center and elevated) called the shammash or servant candle which is used to light the other candles. In a Messianic Jewish sense, the servant candle points to Christ as the light of the world that lights every other light! Candles are lit each evening corresponding to the number day of Hanukkah, e.g. day one 1 candle, day 2 two candles.  Candles are added to the menorah each day from right to left (like Hebrew writing). Each night the number of candles is lit from left to right (using the servant candle which is lit first) until all eight are lit on the eighth night (44 in total). Candles are allowed to burn out each night on their own and the menorah is traditionally placed where it can be viewed from outside the front of each house so that all who pass by may see the lights and be reminded of the meaning of Hanukkah. A blessing is spoken before the candles are lit each night:
 


English:
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us by His commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkah.


Sfaradi/Modern Israeli:
Barukh Atta Adonay Eloheynu Melekh Ha-olam Asher Kiddeshanu Be-mitsvotav Ve-tsivanu Lehadlik Ner Shel khanuka
 .


Personally, our family has benefitted greatly from observing the Feasts –in our own way- and developing our own traditions.  Traditions are a good thing.  They help to instill values into our children.  They also bond families together.  We plan something special each night for 8 nights.  We have a special meal each night WITH DESSERT!  The first night Brick will tell the story of the Maccabees and the miracle of the oil.  One night we will play games, one night gifts, and we try and get together with family and friends as much as we can.  Movies are something we really enjoy.  Braveheart is a good movie this time of year because of it’s similarities with the story of the Maccabees.  One night we will make and decorate homemade doughnuts!  
A popular game for children in Hebrew culture was dreidel, a four-sided top with Hebrew letters on each side.  The letters are the first letters of the words in the phrase Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, “a great miracle happened here.”
 
Hanukkah is a time of gifts.  Early tradition involved the custom of giving Hanukkah gelt (Yiddish for “money”) in which parents and grandparents gather the children on the fifth night and give them coins.  In North America the exchange of gifts has become a regular part of twentieth century Hanukkah observance, and a modern form of gelt now is foil-covered chocolate coins.
During this celebration it was customary to eat foods fried in oil as a reminder of the oil-cruse tradition.  Traditional foods included potato cakes fried in oil called latkes or homemade deep-fried jelly filled doughnuts sprinkled with sugar called sufganiyot.  Hanukkah was also a time of much singing in celebration.
Hanukkah is also called the Festival of Lights commemorating the miracle of the candle as well as the relighting of the fire on the purified altar. As a result there is an emphasis upon light in this celebration.
 


The history of Hanukkah is as follows:
 


In 332 B.C. the Greek empire rose to power led by Alexander the Great.  They ruled the world from Europe and Egypt to India imposing on everyone Greek culture and religion known as Hellenism.  This was the time period just prior to the Roman Empire and is represented in the Bible as the time between the Book of Malachi and the arrival of John the Baptist in the Gospels.
After the death of Alexander, Antiochus rose as the Greek King of Syria.  He was an evil tyrant who was cruel, harsh and savage.  It was his desire to ‘hellenize’ or impose Greek language, thought and religion upon all his subjects to have complete control.  Hellenism was more than a political structure and philosophy.  It was built around the Greek religion which defiled nature, created a pantheon of mythological gods and promoted widespread immorality in the worship of those gods and Israel now found itself under his rule. Two groups then developed within Israel: those who completely opposed the Greeks and their culture and those that saw political, social and economic advantage in embracing it.
As the Roman Empire began to rise in power Antiochus became enraged and vented the full heat of his wrath and frustration on the Jewish people.  Suddenly and without warning he ordered the destruction of Jerusalem. Houses were burned, the walls of the City were breached and tens of thousands were killed or sold into slavery. In 168 B.C. his soldiers attacked the Temple on Mount Zion smashing its porches and gates and stripping it of its golden vessels and treasures. Antiochus then erected an idol of Zeus, the supreme deity of the Greek pantheon, on the holy altar.  Then, on the birthday of Zeus (Kislev/December 25), he offered a pig on the altar, sprinkled its blood on the Holy of Holies and pour its broth on the Holy Scrolls before he cut them to pieces and burned them.  Many Jews were forced to eat the meat from the pigs that were sacrificed. Jewish rituals were outlawed and the Jews were ordered to worship Greek gods on pain of torture and death which became widespread.  If any Jewish customs were followed, whole families were put to death.  Babies were hung around their mothers’ necks and women were thrown from the walls of the cities.  The line had been drawn – assimilate or be annihilated!



The Maccabees


Dark days followed and many faithful were driven into the wilderness as the soldiers of Antiochus brought this same terror to city after city. One such detachment came to the village of Modin not far from Jerusalem itself.  After erecting an idol to Zeus a Greek officer and soldiers assembled the villagers, asking them to bow to the idol, sacrifice a pig on the altar and eat its flesh, activities forbidden to Jews.
The officer asked an aged priest named Mattathias to take conduct of the sacrifice. He was a descendant of the first order of priests and was also the father of 5 sons.  When he refused defiantly another priest stepped forward and offered to do it instead. Mattathias became outraged, took out his sword and killed the priest, then killed the officer. His five sons and the other villagers then attacked and killed the soldiers. Mattathias' family went into hiding in the nearby mountains, where many other Jews who wanted to fight the Greeks joined them. After the death of Mattathias, leadership passed to his son Judah.  He was a military genius in his own right who became known as the Maccabee, believed to be from the Hebrew word meaning “hammer”. For three years the revolt raged.  Hiding in caves and lying in ambush, the Maccabees gradually frustrated and wore down the Syrian occupation.  Finally the freedom fighters met in open battle and secured stunning victories opening the road to Jerusalem.
 


The Miracle of the Re-dedication

Judah Maccabee and his soldiers went to the Holy Temple, and were saddened that many things were missing or broken. They tore down the idol to Zeus and began to repair the Temple.  They rebuilt the holy altar and on Kislev 25, 165 B.C., exactly 3 years to the day from its defilement, they rededicated the altar to the Lord! Oil consecrated by the priest was then needed for the temple lamptstand but only one small cruse of unpolluted oil could be found which still bore the unbroken seal of the priests.  It was only enough oil for one day but miraculously it burned for eight days until a new supply of oil could be consecrated!!
 
Bless you and may you have a very Happy Hanukkah!


Brick & Leann Wall
Rising Eagles Ministries

Texas Apostolic Prayer Network
Gulf Bend Regional Coordinators

They Saw the Light - Hanukkah

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. 
 
As you light your four Advent Candles tonight, you might want to start lighting the candles of the Hanukkah menorah.  Hanukkah begins this evening at sundown.

The first week of December, I attended the annual meeting of the Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network in Oklahoma City.  One of the speakers, Bill Schnoeleben, was releasing a word regarding the redemptive power of the Season of Hanukkah.

Hanukkah is the feast which celebrates the miraculous restoration and cleansing of the temple after it was desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes in 165 B.C.  As they relit the oil in the Menorah, there was only enough for one day - yet it lasted for eight. 

Jesus attended this feast: “Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly” (John 10:22-24).

But more importantly, Jesus (who born during Rosh Hashanah and the Feast of Tabernacles) was conceived during the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah).  The LIGHT OF THE WORLD was conceived!  The light of the world was and is being revealed!

Redemption's incarnational process began! And we continue to release that light through the prayers and actions of our lives in Christ!  I bless you during this season of LIGHT!

Monday, December 19, 2011

They Saw the Light - Nativity Part 2

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. 
 
The news was declared.  Mary had been chosen to conceive a child by the Holy Spirit.   The angel declared:
 
"Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.  "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.  "And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end....The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.  For with God nothing will be impossible" (Luke 1:30-37).

Many have wondered at Mary’s response.  What did she really think?  How did she feel?  The answer to our questions come from Mary’s own heart.  She said:

"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.  For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.  For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.  And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.  He has shown strength with His arm; he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.  He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly.  He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.   He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever"(Luke 1:46-55).

In the midst of darkness, Mary saw the light.   As she glorified God so we also should glorify Him and rejoice in Him.  He has kept His promise.*



*Copyright 1990 "They Saw the Light" Prince of Peace Press 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

They Saw the Light - The Nativity Part 1

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. 
We start lighting four candles.

The zeal of the Lord would accomplish it.  Only the Lord can bring the light which will destroy darkness.  Only the Lord can conceive in our hearts the faith to reach out to the One True Light.  Only God can bring a promise to birth! What kind of day was it when that conception of light took place.  We only know that it took place in the Galilean village of Nazareth.  Here at the crossroads of Gentiles and Jews, a young maiden of fourteen or fifteen was chosen.  Her heart was pumping for joy—not because of God’s promise of eternal light—but because of her recent betrothal to the young carpenter, Joseph.  Their life together was just beginning, but little did she know how much of a beginning it truly was.  For the time was ripe.  God’s promised moment had arrived.  The centuries of waiting were over.

In the city of Jerusalem, the news was buzzing around town that the old Priest Zechariah had seen an angel in the temple and even though he was struck dumb by the experience, the word also traveled about that his wife Elizabeth had miraculously conceived.  Six months later and one hundred miles away, the same angel appeared to Mary.*

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

*Copyright 1990 "They Saw the Light" Prince of Peace Press 

Friday, December 16, 2011

They Saw the Light - Prophets 3

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. 

There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.
His delight is in the fear of the LORD,
And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes,
Nor decide by the hearing of His ears (Isaiah 11:1-3).

And again:


 “Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles!
      
Laud Him, all you peoples!” 
And again, Isaiah says:


 “There shall be a root of Jesse;
 
And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles,
      
In Him the Gentiles shall hope.”
 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:11-13).

They Saw the Light - The Prophets Part 1

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.

The great drama was unfolding before the eyes of humanity.  God was drawing us closer to the day when the greatest light of all would shine upon the earth and darkness would begin to breathe its last breath.  The world would still spin as though it were balancing on the edge of an abyss.  The ravages of sin weighed down the people who had been created in the image of God.

As king after king reigned over the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, God lifted up those who would continue to declare His heart and His promise of a coming light.  The Spirit of God rushed forth through the prophets.  One of them, Isaiah, faithfully proclaimed:

"In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan--the people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.  You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder.  For as in the day of Midian's defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor....For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”  Isaiah 9:1-7

The zeal of the Lord would accomplish it.  Only the Lord can bring the light which will destroy darkness.  Only the Lord can conceive in our hearts the faith to reach out to the One True Light.  Only God can speak the promise and bring it to fulfillment.  In the midst of darkness, the prophets saw the coming light.*


*Copyright 1990 "They Saw the Light" Prince of Peace Press

They Saw the Light - Prophets 2

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. 
 

The prophets saw the light.  One of my favorite prophetic revelations of the coming Messiah is recorded in Micah.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
      Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
      Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
      The One to be Ruler in Israel,
      Whose goings forth are from of old,
      From everlasting. 
Therefore He shall give them up,
      Until the time that she who is in labor has given birth;
      Then the remnant of His brethren
      Shall return to the children of Israel.
       And He shall stand and feed His flock
      In the strength of the LORD,
      In the majesty of the name of the LORD His God;
      And they shall abide,
      For now He shall be great
      To the ends of the earth;
       And this One shall be peace" (Micah 5:2-5a)

This is the nature of our Lord.  In Bethlehem, a place known for its lower class of people (mostly shepherds), God brings forth the most precious of all gifts. We would expect a king to be birthed in a palace.  Instead He is introduced to the world to a gathering of shepherds.  

The Lord would speak to you today.  He declares that He comes to you.  He comes where you are - even if you consider that place insignificant or unworthy of such a visit.  He invades your world with His peace and light.  He restores and strengthens who you are - as designed by Him.  He is indeed the Lord and Ruler of your life.  He is Your peace!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

They Saw the Light - David Part 4

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.
 
Over the last three weeks I have been preaching from Psalm 23 - the Shepherd Psalm. I have been using The Message version of the Psalm.

God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing.
   You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
      you find me quiet pools to drink from.
   True to your word,
      you let me catch my breath
      and send me in the right direction.

 Even when the way goes through
      Death Valley,
   I'm not afraid
      when you walk at my side.
   Your trusty shepherd's crook
      makes me feel secure.

 You serve me a six-course dinner
      right in front of my enemies.
   You revive my drooping head;
      my cup brims with blessing.

 Your beauty and love chase after me
      every day of my life.
   I'm back home in the house of God
      for the rest of my life. 
 
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
 
I ask you today to simply meditate on these words.  It was written by the hand of a shepherd who knew his SHEPHERD.  I believe the Lord will reveal fresh revelation and anointing into your life in the same way He did for another group of shepherds on the hills of Bethlehem.

Monday, December 12, 2011

They Saw the Light - David Part 3

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.

David longed for God’s presence.  He went after God’s presence because that was his priestly calling.  He knew he had to go into the presence of God.  I believe he was driven there by the passion in his heart. How do I know that David longed for the presence of God?  All you have to do is start reading through the Psalms to hear David’s hunger for God’s presence.  For instance in Psalm 42:1, 2:

“As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?”

And in Psalm 63:8:
  “My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.
So, David pursued the Lord.”

Are you going to choose to worship God and be fruitful?
or will you choose to let somebody else do it for you?
Are you going to pursue God with everything within you…
or are you going to let someone else do it for you?
Are you going to choose to be a priest after God’s heart?

David chose to be a priest after God’s heart.  He went after God, and with reverence, gladness and sacrifice, brought God’s presence – the Ark of the Covenant - into Jerusalem. 1 Chronicles 15:1-3 records the occasion like this:

“David built houses for himself in the City of David; and he prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched a tent for it. Then David said, "No one may carry the ark of God but the Levites, for the Lord has chosen them to carry the ark of God and to minister before Him forever." And David gathered all Israel together at Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the Lord to its place, which he had prepared for it.”

When the Ark was in its place, all the appointed musicians, Levites and people of God gathered to worship the Lord in this tabernacle established by David.  I believe that God in that moment leapt with joy.  His desire for intimacy with His people expressed to Adam and Eve and to the Israelites at Sinai was being fulfilled."*

On that day - all of the City of David saw the light!

*Copyright 2005, Return of the Priest, Prince of Peace Press.

They Saw the Light - David Part 2

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.
 
David was an anointed vessel of God who had the privilege to both approach the Lord in worship and to speak forth the heart of the Lord to all people.  David’s calling as a priest was initiated and defined by God. It was a call based on David’s covenant relationship of faith with the Lord and was an invitation into an intimate fellowship with God.  David carried out his priesthood – not in the framework of a religious system – but in his everyday vocation as a shepherd and as a king. David was called, claimed and redeemed by God's sovereign will and grace.  And David “saw” the revelation of the coming Messiah, Yeshua. David’s priesthood is expressed through his life by an authority he was given by God to serve in His kingdom.  It came in response to David’s intimate relationship with God. 

David was a priest because, unlike his forefathers at the foot of Mount Sinai, he was more than to willing to say, “Yes” to God’s call to intimacy. 
It is obvious that David was a great king over Israel. 
His mighty acts are recorded for us. 
But, David was a great king because he was a great priest.
 
As a boy shepherd, David was able to slay the lion and bear because of the strength of the Lord within him.  He had no fear of Goliath because the Lord had assured him that the battle was the Lord’s.  David’s life was saturated with evidence that he spent a great deal of his time in God’s presence.  All you have to do is read through the Book of Psalms to see that David’s heart was wide open towards God.  Somewhere in his youth, unknown to us, God’s “wooing” nature initiated a love relationship with David. 

And David responded.
And God’s heart leapt.
        God found one who searched for His Heart. 
            God longs for the same with you and me.*
 
*Copyright 2005, Return of the Priest, Prince of Peace Press.
 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

They Saw the Light - David Part 1

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.
 
But once again, sin and darkness reared their ugly heads.  Witchcraft, idolatry, greed and rebellion plagued the nation.  And to make matters worse they saw the answer to the problem through human wisdom and understanding.  They wanted a king like other nations had kings.  They failed to recognize God as their true and only King.  But God lifted up kings over them. 

However, there was only one who truly won the heart of God.  His mouth and heart were filled with worship and praise.  He honored God and God honored him.  And God gave King David a promise.  He declared:

”The Lord declares to you that the Lord Himself will establish a house for you:  when your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom....your house and your kingdom will endure forever before Me; your throne will be established forever.”

The promise was still on course.  In the midst of darkness, David saw the light.*

Light three candles!

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.



*Copyright 1990 "They Saw the Light" Prince of Peace Press

Saturday, December 10, 2011

They Saw the Light - Abraham Part 6

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.
The young nation was birthed with the promised and miraculous birth of Isaac.  The promise was passed on to his son, Jacob, and then to his twelve sons. The nation was preserved and nurtured in Egypt, but the people experienced the full force of darkness again as their hands were shackled and their lives were lived out in forced labor.  Through His servant Moses, God rescued the people.  He showed the power of light over darkness as Pharaoh was destroyed in the waters of the sea. 
 
The people were claimed by God.  The promise was renewed.  He made a covenant with them.  God lived among His people and cherished their worship, praise and service.  He would lead them out of the wilderness into the land which He had promised Abraham.  In the midst of their own doubt and rebellion, they saw the victories of God.  Through the Lord—their mighty warrior—they occupied the land of the Canaanites.  The LIGHT of God went before them.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel. 

 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

They Saw the Light - Abraham - Part 5

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.

It's amazing how much light can be released through a single candle.  We have all experienced power outages in our homes.  We scramble to find a flashlight or a candle.  As we light the candle, it fills the darkest room with light. Even in the midst of darkness there is a restoration of hope and vision.  Darkness leaves us with feelings of confusion, hopeless, fear and death.  So what was going through Abraham's heart and mind when the Lord asked him to take Isaac, the new light of his life, and sacrifice him on an altar?  The answer is in the Letter to the Hebrews.

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,”concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense. (Hebrews 11:17-19)

Abraham did not have to extinguish that candle but God did.  He gave His Son so that our light would burn eternally!

"But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons." (Galatians 4:4-5)

They Saw the Light - Abraham Part 4

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.

As you lit the candles today did you notice what happened?  Yesterday you extinguished the candles and it left dark smoldering wicks.  But today as the flame on the matchstick drew near, the wick burst into flame and gave off light and warmth.

Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” (Genesis 17:15-17)

Abraham and Sarah saw the light.  There bodies - old and beyond childbirth - were given new life and a new son.  Years earlier they had tried to answer God's promise of offspring and Ishmael was born.  But only God can birth Isaac. There is a promise made regarding the coming Messiah (the light of the world) in Isaiah:

“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold,
      My Elect One in whom My soul delights!
      I have put My Spirit upon Him;
      He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.
      He will not cry out, nor raise His voice,
      Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.
      A bruised reed He will not break,
      And smoking flax He will not quench;
      He will bring forth justice for truth." (Isaiah 42:1-3)




They Saw the Light - Abraham Part 3

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.

Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said:

      “ Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
      Possessor of heaven and earth;
      And blessed be God Most High,
      Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”
And he gave him a tithe of all. Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself. But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth,  that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich’—except only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.” (Genesis 14:18-24)

Abram meets Melchizedek. Abram meets Jesus. Abram meets the Light! 

It is clear from the testimony of Scripture that Jesus is a priest after the order of Melchizedek. Everything we know about Melchizedek is a reference to Jesus Himself. Jesus as a priest is one with the Father.  Jesus will do nothing or say nothing except that which is on His Father’s heart. Jesus, as a priest, releases His kingdom authority in the form of justice, righteousness, peace, salvation, healing and blessing. Anything that Jesus releases out of His character and His nature is God’s authority being released into our lives to change our lives. Do you realize that when Jesus says something, it immediately effects a change because it is based on the authority and dominion of God?"* 

Jesus released His light to Abram.  Jesus releases His light to you!

*Copyright 2005, Return of the Priest, Prince of Peace Press.

They Saw the Light - Abraham Part 2

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.

And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you. Then Abram moved his tent, and went and dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to the LORD (Genesis 13:14-18).

Abram saw the light and the light transformed him.  Seeing the light of God is not meant to be some "internal spiritual experience" that warms our hearts.  It is meant to release us into our full destiny as members of God's kingdom.  Children sing it best when they cry out, "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine."  Notice with Abram that the Lord began to expand the realm of his influence.  Look to the north, south, east and west.  You will have "light-filled influence" over all that surrounds you.

From Heaven Above to Earth I Come
From heaven above to earth I come
To bear good news to every home
Glad tidings of great joy I bring
Whereof I now will say and sing.

"This is the Christ, our God and Lord
Who in all need shall aid afford
He will Himself your Savior be
From all your sins to set you free."

"He will on you the gifts bestow
Prepared by God for all below
That in His kingdom, bright and fair
You may with us His glory share."

Welcome to earth, Thou noble Guest,
Through whom the sinful world is blest!
Thou com'st to share my misery
What thanks shall I return to Thee?

My heart for very joy doth leap
My lips no more can silence keep
I, too, must sing with joyful tongue
That sweetest ancient cradle-song.

"From heaven above to earth I come" is based on a German song, "Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her" written by Martin Luther in 1535. It was translated to English by Katherine Winkworth.

They Saw the Light - Abraham Part 1

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.
God's promises continue to be new every day.  Light your first two candles.  Lighting the first reminds us of what God has accomplished in us.  The second, as we light it for the first time, reminds us that God is bringing forth fresh light upon us today

But out of the multitude, God would choose a single man through whom the promise would continue.  A man, nine decades old, and his wife, ten years younger, would be chosen to parent the promise.  Abram and Sarai were called out of Ur and promised three things—they would receive a land set apart for holy use; they would be blessing with offspring beyond count; and finally the Word declared:

“And all peoples on the earth will be blessed through you.” 

God made an irrevocable covenant with this man and his offspring.  Deliverance would come forth from his bloodline. Through the offspring of Abraham, the light would come.  In the midst of darkness, Abraham saw the light.*




*Copyright 1990 "They Saw the Light" Prince of Peace Press

They Saw the Light - Adam and Even Part 5

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.
Centuries passed by.  The hope of light was still burning.  The hope of salvation has endured years of sin and darkness at its worse.  The offspring of Adam and Eve had also been tarnished—one was dead and the other banished by God.  The earth and its inhabitants reeled in hopelessness and dread.  Sin had become an horrendous monster.  The world was headed for disaster.  It would be covered by the judgment of flooding waters.  Its second set of citizens, seeking power and unity, would be scattered by many languages.*

 "Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
         And He saved them out of their distresses.
 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
         And broke their chains in pieces.
 Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
         And for His wonderful works to the children of men" (Psalm 107:13-15)!

When things look worse, God brings forth light, salvation, hope.  This will be the last day to light your first candle on your advent wreath.  Tomorrow we move on with the lighting of two candles.  God is bringing forth His light as well.

*Copyright 1990 "They Saw the Light" Prince of Peace Press 

They Saw the Light - Adam and Eve Part 4

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.

"You know the story of how Adam landed us in the dilemma we're in— first sin, then death, and no one exempt from either sin or death. That sin disturbed relations with God in everything and everyone, but the extent of the disturbance was not clear until God spelled it out in detail to Moses. So death, this huge abyss separating us from God, dominated the landscape from Adam to Moses. Even those who didn't sin precisely as Adam did by disobeying a specific command of God still had to experience this termination of life, this separation from God. But Adam, who got us into this, also points ahead to the One who will get us out of it" (Romans 5:12-14 The Message)

I was meditating on the Genesis story of the fall of Adam and Eve.  I've read it so many times.  But my heart was stirred when the Lord directed me to read ahead to Genesis 4:1 - "Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain..."  Immediately the Lord revealed to me that Cain had neither seen nor experienced the glorious and intimate presence of God that Adam and Eve had known in the garden. The first born of Adam and Eve had to be taught!  It has been said, "There are no grandchildren in the kingdom."  Each person and each generation must be told of the wondrous news of God's presence, salvation and light.  The other evening we had our daughter, her husband and their two children over for supper.  We lit the Advent candles and prayed together.  Three generations watched that candle burn.  Three generations know His light.  You've seen the light - pass it on!






Wednesday, November 30, 2011

They Saw The Light - Adam and Eve Part 3

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.
Are you lighting your candle?  It reminds us that the promise made to Adam and Eve was fulfilled through the tremendous love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  The greatest of sin is nothing compared to the richness of God's mercy.  As we confess our sin before Him, He washes us perfectly clean. Take a moment tonight in silence to present yourself before the Lord.  He is standing before you with outstretched arms.  His love for you is deep. His plans for you are marvelous.  His grace will abound in your life.

"Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 5:18-21).

Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.

Israel's strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art:
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
born a child, and yet a king,
born to reign in us for ever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.

By thine own eternal Spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all-sufficient merit
raise us to thy glorious throne.
Words: Charles Wesley (1707-1788), 1744
CCLI #299683

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

They Saw the Light - Adam and Eve - Part 2

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.

"Clothed in the skins of divinely sacrificed animals, the two (Adam and Eve) walked away from the Author of Life and His intimate presence into the darkness of a world that had now been introduced to sin.  They saw no hope.  The voice of their Master, Creator and Friend was hidden by their own inner voices of confusion.

As they exited the garden which was their home, they remembered once more the words which had been uttered when their disobedience was uncovered.  It was a word spoken to one who had tempted and deceived them.  It was a curse spoken by the Creator; but in it was a PROMISE—the only word which now gave them hope." *

“So the LORD God said to the serpent: "Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.  And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel"(Genesis 3:14-15). 

Adam and Eve were given a promise.  A day would come when this tempter would be destroyed by a divinely anointed deliverer.  In the midst of their darkness they saw light.


*Copyright 1990 "They Saw the Light" Prince of Peace Press 


They Saw the Light - Adam and Eve

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.

"Darkness was shrouding the countryside and the earth was trembling.  It was as though a blanket had been laid over everything—leaving one with an ominous feeling of death and foreboding.  It was the type of darkness that made a person feel an inner turmoil and fear.  And there was turmoil. The peace and tranquility had been shattered.  The spirit of rebellion was in the air.  The Prince of Darkness was laughing a hideous laugh of victory.  The crown of creation had become tarnished and spoiled.  It no longer reflected the glory of the Maker.

The earth quaked.  The animals scattered in fear.  A man and woman stood alone.  Filled with shame and guilt—they for the first time in their short lives felt the presence of fear, pain, shame, nakedness, envy, hatred and death.  The brilliant light of a sword blinded their eyes as the angelic guardian escorted them from paradise."*

A hopeless scenario filled with death!  BUT GOD.  

O come, O come, Emmanuel

And ransom captive Israel

That mourns in lonely exile here

Until the Son of God appear

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.



O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free

Thine own from Satan's tyranny

From depths of Hell Thy people save

And give them victory o'er the grave

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.




*Copyright 1990 "They Saw the Light" Prince of Peace Press

Monday, November 28, 2011

They Saw the Light

Yesterday during Sunday worship we lit the first of four Advent Candles.  Advent (from the Latin word adventus meaning "coming") is a season observed as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus at Christmas. Although there is plenty of evidence that Jesus was not born on December 25th (it is more likely that he was born during the time of Rosh Hashanah on the Hebrew calendar), Christmas is still a great time to celebrate the greatest gift to humankind - the coming of our Savior.

The Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used in reference to the Second Coming of Christ. Therefore, for Christians, the season of Advent serves as a reminder both of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting of Christians for Christ's return.

That's me on the right
I have early memories of celebrating Advent. It has been a vital part of our family's devotional life.  It was time devoted to the singing of hymns and carols, reading the Scriptures, and the lighting of candles. At the end of each Advent devotion we sang:

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart Lord Jesus.

My grandson Timothy
During this season of Advent, I would invite you to join our family in centering your hearts on the coming King!  Create an advent experience.  Use five candles. Four candles will be red, blue, or purple in color.  The fifth is white. You can purchase an Advent stand or wreath at a Christian bookstore or supply house.  You might want to create your own using a log or metal/glass stands for pillar candles.  You will light and relight the first candle during the first week of Advent.  You will light two candles the second week, three candles the third and four candles on the fourth week.  The white candle is lit on Christmas Eve.

During the Advent season of 1990, I wrote a devotional to be used as a candlelight worship.  I entitled it: "They Saw the Light."  Over the next several days and weeks I would like to walk with you through that devotional.  I again invite you to prepare your candles but more importantly to prepare your hearts as we set our hope and faith on the coming of our King - our Lord Jesus!  Advent has begun! Light your first candle.  Sing songs of praise!  Ask the Lord to come anew into your heart today!




Monday, October 24, 2011

Open the Gates

DC 40 INITIATIVE
Declarations over and from Texas
Join us in saturating Washington DC with God's love and light!
Check out video on DC40
6 PM, October 24 through 6 PM, October 25


OPEN THE GATES

“Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
The LORD mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
He is the King of glory” (Psalm 24:7-10).

Rejoice in the Lord!  It is the day of new beginnings.  The gates are open. 
I decree as a keeper of keys that the gates are open to the King of Glory.

I decree the opening of the gates of minds and hearts to the kingdom of our God.
I decree the opening of our minds and hearts to the wisdom and revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Be opened to the Spirit of the living God – the Holy One.
Be opened to salvation, life, hope, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Let the waves of the Lord’s love and mercy be released into each of us.

I decree the opening of our homes and businesses to the King of Glory.
I decree the opening of the gates of our cities to the King of Righteousness.
Join me in flinging wide the gates of Arlington, Texas or wherever you live.
We invite the Lord of hosts!
We invite the fullness of His kingdom and His will to be manifested in our midst.

I decree the opening of the gates of Texas.
I remind the Lord of the places where we stood before Him and welcomed Him.
I decree the shores of the Gulf Coast open.
I decree the mountains of West Texas open.
I decree the sprawling lands of the Valley and the high plains of the Panhandle open.
I decree the Piney Woods and the Rolling Plains open.
I decree the farmlands of central Texas and the Hill Country open.
I decree the rivers open to the King of Glory.
I decree the cities and towns to be open to the King.
I decree the government, the educational systems, the families, the media, the arts and entertainment arenas, the businesses and the churches of Texas open to
the Lord God Almighty – the everlasting One.
I take the keys of the kingdom and open Texas and our surrounding covenant States 
to the presence of King Jesus.
His kingdom come, His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
I decree the blowing of His wind across the land. 
I decree the river of God to rise.
I decree the floodgates of heaven to open.
I decree the structures opposed to the Kingdom of God to crumble and fall in the name of Jesus!

On this day I cry to the Lord of heaven and earth and 
decree open the gates of Washington DC and the United States.
Let the gates of righteousness and of God’s kingdom be opened in the Spirit.
Flood the land, O Lord, with Your presence.
The King of Glory shall come in!



Friday, October 21, 2011

40 Days Over DC - Texas


Join us next Monday evening (6 PM - October 24) through Tuesday (6 PM - October 25) as we focus the prayers from Texas on Washington DC. We desire that the Lord overwhelm and influence our capital with His presence.  Through prayer - let's saturate DC with prayer, worship and God's love, mercy and grace!

Check out video on DC40.




“There is a mantle on Texas to bring forth change in America. Jesus, we want more of Your Christ anointing of the prophetic. Jesus, the Prophet, come to Texas. Come with Your holy zeal. Come with Your fire, come with Your revelation – Jesus, the Prophet, the Prophet of God. The very testimony of You is the Spirit of prophecy. Jesus, come and mantle Texas tonight with another level, another degree of the prophetic anointing to be forerunners for America. Impregnate this state with a transformation anointing. Impregnate this state with the ability to prophesy and decree change to the rest of the nation. Impregnate this state with revelation so that their words don’t fall to the ground. Impregnate them with a power that no matter what the hoards of hell say, that something changes in the Spirit. The decrees of man, the unrighteous spirit, the decrees of ungodly judges begin to pale and fall before You. Let the idols of man fall and be broken next to the Ark of Your Presence, Lord. Lord, I say according to Your word, a nation could be born from this state. I say there is a governmental anointing on the State of Texas – on the church of Texas – to rise up in her position in heavenly places and begin to legislate and begin to affect, to release the government of God that changes the government of man.” (Dutch Sheets – Dec 2004)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What Happens Here...

I will climb up to my watchtower
 and stand at my guardpost.
   
There I will wait to see what the Lord says
      
and how he will answer my complaint.
Then the Lord said to me,
“Write my answer plainly on tablets,
      
so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.
 
This vision is for a future time.
      
It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.
   
If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently,
      
for it will surely take place.
      
It will not be delayed."
Habakkuk 2:1-3

Prince of Peace is a Spirit-filled and kingdom-minded fellowship that desires to worship and glorify God as we proclaim Jesus Christ to the world. As a church, we are...
  • To grow into an intimate relationship with God through worship, prayer and study,
  • To grow in a bonding relationship with each other through fellowship and ministry, and 
  • To grow into a loving, witnessing and serving relationship with those who make up our circles of influence at work, play and home
This past Sunday I was preaching on the vision, mission and mandates that the Lord has given to Prince of Peace Church in Arlington. I shared the above vision and mission that the Lord gave us as a congregation over twenty years ago.  I also shared the seven mandates the Lord gave us in 1999.  I won't share those here except number 7.  There has been a lot of questions about the apostolic movement.  I am not going to use today as a platform to give a detailed description or understanding of the apostolic but this is what the Lord revealed to us and commanded us to be about 13 years ago:

We have a mandate from the Lord to be an Apostolic Ministry, a sending-forth ministry, a ministry that multiplies, that does not have as its focus solely on 1701 Martin Luther (the address of the church building).  We should strive in the Lord to ensure…
  • That our ministry would be reproductive in its nature.
  • That the church would be sending-out in its nature (that's the literal meaning of the word 'apostle'). We will equip and send out people to do the work of the ministry. We will be in the business of sending people out to minister to the streets of the City and to the streets of the nations in order to birth ministries and bring forth God's kingdom wherever the Lord plants us.
  • That we would develop as a Strategic Training Center in molding and releasing persons grounded in worship, prayer and healing! We will witness the development of our members, under an apostolic covering, as leaders within our community, in our nation and in the world.
  • That being apostolic, we would see it as a part of this mandate to link together (network) with apostolic ministries from our area and from around the world.  As a networked Body of Christ, we can do more together than we could if we were by ourselves.
  • That we are to be an Apostolic Church. We are to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God.  We are to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord.  We are to be a church after His own calling.
As I summarized the message, I thought of the TV commercials for Las Vegas and other locations that boast: "What happens here - stays here!"

Well, let me said clearly, as an apostolic ministry, that...

  "WHAT HAPPENS HERE DOES NOT STAY HERE!" 

Lord, Your kingdom come and Your will be done!