button

Page 10 of 15

Why You're Not Satisfied

People who are born again do not automatically have a sense of the nearness of God.

Intimacy with Jesus is the context in which the deep longing in our hearts for more of Him is progressively satisfied. People who are born again do not automatically have a sense of the nearness of God. Effective ministry produces a satisfaction that comes through helping others and being useful in God's kingdom, but it is not the same as the satisfaction that comes from encountering God in our inner man. The Holy Spirit may give spiritual gifts to believers and release His power through us, but these things do not ultimately satisfy the desire in our hearts for more of God. When our spiritual hunger is not being satisfied, we will experience frustrating spiritual boredom and restlessness.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

You alone can satisfy the longing of my heart, Jesus. All I want is more of You. Let me live my life in intimacy with You.

Nothing but an intimate relationship with Jesus
will satisfy this inner cry birthed
by the Holy Spirit. read more

Finding God During a One-Year Airport Layover

Some people dread airport layovers that last longer than an hour. Imagine a layover for more than one year where you're unable to eat for days at a time, and are forced to drink toilet water and fend off sexual predators.

Nigeria-born Elizabeth Woleta was left stranded for more than a year in a terminal in Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport after her passport was stolen in March 2007. The 15-foot section of this unique airport is considered a "legal no man's land"-it is couched between Russian and international territories and is governed by neither. Despite her peculiar predicament, Woleta, now 31, found Christ when a missionary told her God loved her. She later used her unique situation to minister the gospel to people from more than 50 nations. read more

Easy Ways to Bless Mom

Here are some unique, inexpensive and easy ways to reflect God’s love to your mother this season. Why not go out of your way to make your mom feel special this Mother’s Day.

Goody Basket
Make mom a goody basket. Fill the basket with small items you know your mother will love.

De-stress-her 
Treat mom to a massage at a classy spa or a nice relaxing night at a hotel in town. read more

The Source of Pure Delight

Several years ago I was introduced to the poignant Irish hymn "Be Thou My Vision" for the first time. It quickly became a favorite, especially the stanza that reads: "Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise / Thou mine inheritance, now and always / Thou and Thou only, first in my heart / High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art."

Whenever I hear this verse-and I sing it often-I imagine the glorious, eternal riches of our inheritance in Christ. It is true that on Earth and in heaven, God has by His grace provided for us "one blessing after another" (John 1:16, NIV). Yet without eyes to see Christ as our inheritance and our chief aim, we don't recognize His blessings for what they are. read more

How to Be Baptized in the Holy Spirit

Find out the simple steps you can take to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

When we meet Christ and put our trust in Him, we are "born again" (John 3:3) and we receive the Holy Spirit in our hearts. This is the most important decision we will ever make. This happened to the disciples of Jesus in John 20:22, which says: "[Jesus] breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.'"

But before Jesus ascended to heaven He told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the "promise of the Father" had come (Luke 24:49). He told them that if they would wait there they would be "clothed with power from on high." In Acts 1:8 Jesus told His followers that they would receive "power" to be His witnesses. read more

Today's Servant of Christ

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. —Hebrews 6:10

  read more

Grace Is Not Cheap

Grace Is Not Cheap

It is true that grace is free.But beware of any message about grace that does not lead you to true discipleship.

I have learned by hard experience to be thankful for consumer reports about products offered on the Internet. Reading the customer reviews can save a potential buyer a lot of grief and money. Nowadays, because of the usefulness and availability of these reports few people would consider making a purchase of even something as small as a cell phone or an MP3 player without doing some due diligence in the form of research. read more

Put God First

Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. —Matthew 10:37

All relationships must ever be subservient to God's greater glory. No matter how close people get to each other, they must be closer to God. The irony is, the closer people are to God, the more they will love each other. The more they put the voice of God prior to their commitment to each other, the more they really respect each other. read more

What Is Love?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. —1 Corinthians 13:4-5 read more

bible_hand_2

Being Uncomfortably Content

Meditating on the Bible is one way to find God's peace and contentment. Here are helpful verses taken from the New King James Version.

"When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands." -Deuteronomy 24:19

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." -Joshua 1:9

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. -Psalm 56:3 read more

Prayer That Works

Read this if you don't want your prayer life to become mundane.

Everyone has a different preference when it comes to prayer and how he or she feels is the best way to connect with God. The important thing is that you don’t want your prayer life to become mundane and never grow or change. You want it to be fresh, exciting and even explosive in the Spirit. We all want our prayers to be effective, and anyone who is full of the Spirit has the anointing to pray powerful prayers that produce miracles.

We can pray in such a way that our prayers just flow. We don’t have to force them. They can even become prophetic—the heart of the Holy Spirit pouring out of our words and expressions.

Several years ago, we were praying at a prayer meeting in our church, asking the Lord to use the ministry more effectively to touch lives in our city. The Lord directed us to pray in such a way that our prayers would have “bull’s-eye” accuracy.

We knew the Holy Spirit wanted to develop specific prayers that were going to be like instruments of warfare targeted toward building certain key parts of the church’s vision. After that time of prayer, we were amazed at the number of breakthroughs we experienced in our ministry.

As believers, we sometimes pray randomly, repeating things—not really thinking about what we are saying. To pray effectively, we must pray calculated prayers, with biblical, Spirit-led accuracy. 

These kinds of prayers are like swords in the Spirit (see Is. 49:2-3). They shoot out, and something just “clicks” when you pray them. You know you hit the target and don’t walk away wondering if you received the answer.

James 5:16 tells us it is “effectual” prayer that avails much. The Amplified Bible says that is prayer that “makes tremendous power available.” 

Effectual prayer is accurate, targeted prayer that is done with action. In the Greek, it is the word energeo, which means to be “efficient, full of energy, and to display working activity.”

In other words, when you hear someone pray with effectual prayer, you don’t have to wonder whether it’s working because there is energy behind it. You can sense and feel power on it.

One way to ensure you are praying prayers that work is to pray according to the Bible. Rather than just praying whatever you think, find out what God’s will is for the situation and bring your prayers in line with it. God has a certain way of thinking when it comes to things in our lives, and we need to align with that. 

Case in point: When you need prayer for physical healing, you may feel terrible in your body and want to cry to the Lord about how bad things are for you. However, a more effectual way to pray is to find the Lord’s promises about healing from Scripture and pray in agreement with God.

This doesn’t mean you cannot cry out to the Lord in your time of adversity. What you need in order to stay accurate in prayer, however, is then to refocus on trusting in God and His promises.

When you make a habit of praying this way, you will learn to pray from the river of your spirit. You plug into the Holy Spirit’s way, the source of power in you, because you are agreeing with the Lord’s opinion. 

Instead of trying to swim upstream, you are flowing with the current. Remember that when the power of the Holy Spirit flows out of you like a river, it contains miracles, blessings and answers to prayer. Accurate prayer will help you flow in all those things.

Suddenly, instead of praying random, disconnected prayers, you are grabbing hold of the blessing that God has already placed in the river of your spirit. A new energy and confidence will come to your prayer life, and you will have conclusive results because you are targeting what you need with what God has already promised.


Brenda Kunneman is co-founder, with her husband, Hank, of One Voice Ministries and co-pastor with him of Lord of Hosts Church in Omaha, Nebraska. She ministers worldwide in conferences and churches and is the author of several books, including The Supernatural You (Charisma House). read more


Shut Your Mouth

Our mouths were created to praise and worship the Lord. Every part of our being was created to glorify God here on earth.

Our hands are to lift in praise to Him daily. Even the trees of the fields rejoice and clap their hands. So often, however, we use these God-given, fearfully and wonderfully made bodies to do things that Satan wants us to do. Remember, Satan has no power to make you do anything, even sin. Sin happens in our lives because we are led astray by our own lusts. We learned earlier the way to keep us from giving into our own lusts and fulfilling them is to stay filled with the Spirit. One of the ways to stay constantly filled with the Spirit is to use our mouths to praise, sing spiritual songs and hymns, to give thanks and to make melody in our hearts. If we are busy praising and worshiping the Lord, we will not have time to give into our own lusts.

 

One of the ways I like to keep myself filled with the Spirit is to have good praise music and hymns playing throughout the day when I am home doing my chores. I sing along with the hymns, and I also love to play classical music that lifts soul and spirit. I mostly concentrate on Handel and Bach. The world tries to drag us down, and can easily do it if we set ourselves in front of the boob tube all day long or even have it playing while we are doing other things. Remember, Satan is the prince and power of the air. He loves to use TV and radio to gain an advantage over us.

Another way we can stay filled with Spirit is to refuse to allow anything to come out of our mouths that would wound or hurt others. Our mouths were created to praise God and also to praise and edify others. David knew his own weakness in the matter of the tongue, and he calls upon the help of God to set a watch over his mouth. This morning let's pray a prayer that David prayed. "Lord, let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight. Set a watch over my mouth, and may my mouth, be used today only to praise You and to edify and praise others."

READ: Zechariah 2:1-3:10; Revelation 13:1-18; Psalm 141:1-10; Proverbs 30:18-20 read more

Integrity Is King

"Integrity" is a word that is widely used—and widely misunderstood. If you were to ask the average person for a definition of integrity you'd probably hear a lot of hemming and hawing. The origin of the word makes its meaning very clear. "Integrity" comes from the Latin adjective integer, which means "whole" or "complete." In mathematics, an integer is a positive or negative whole number or zero—a number without any fractional part.

A person of integrity is honest and upright. His soul is not divided or compartmentalized. read more

Keeping a Pure Mind

Question: Doug, I'm married and know that 1 Timothy 5:1-2 says, "Treat … older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity" (NIV). But I struggle with impure thoughts when I'm around women. What is the best way to keep my mind sexually pure?

Answer: I recommend a few strategies. One, wear a rubber band on your wrist and every time you lust at a woman, snap it. This will stop reinforcing this behavior. Two, memorize some Scriptures on purity so you can access them when in need. Three, do what 1 Timothy 5:1-2 suggests—view all women in the context of a relationship. read more

Effective Discipleship

Find helpful discipleship tips.  
  • Practice spiritual disciplines. Read the Bible daily, confess and repent of your sins and pray for the lost. Your relationship with Christ is a priority and the key to effectively discipling others.
  • Remain conservative in your ethics. Remember that pride can be dangerous. Pride may imply that you are judging others falsely, and is said to be the mother of all sins, because pride resides in each one of us.
  • Lead by example. "Do as I say, not as I do" is not an effective way to disciple someone. Make sure your life is worthy of emulating. read more

Ways to Bless Your Pastor

We can't expect our pastors and their families to be perfect. We have to love them—flaws and all—just as Christ loves us. In honor of pastor's appreciation month, here are some practical ways to bless your pastor.

Consistently pray for your pastor. Make it a regular discipline in your prayer time. Don’t just pray, “God bless pastor”; do spiritual warfare! Bind principalities and powers that would seek to destroy his marriage and children.

Implore the Spirit of God to move mightily in their lives. Station mighty angels of God around their home and children to push back the forces of darkness that try to attack them. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you specific guidance so that you can pray effectively. Pray also for associate ministers, missionaries and other Christian leaders that you support.

Give the pastor and his family time together. Encourage them to take family vacations and getaways. Pastors live their lives in a fishbowl. They need some private times with their spouse and children.

Give them a gift certificate to a nice restaurant, and offer to baby-sit their children. Encourage others in the congregation to do the same. If someone in the congregation has a vacation home, suggest that it would be a blessing to let the pastor’s family use it for a week. Buy them tickets to a sports event, concert or circus. Create opportunities for them to be together.

Assure the pastor and his family members that they are loved and accepted. Tell them plainly that no one expects them to be perfect. Let them know that the congregation is committed to them and that it’s OK to be vulnerable. Many times pastors don’t realize that when they share their weaknesses it encourages the congregation to also be open with their faults.

 

Tamara Lowe is a speaker and author who lives in Tampa, Florida. She and her husband, Peter, have two children. read more

The Fruits of Pride

1 Timothy 6:1-21 One of the reasons we are critical and judgmental of others is because we are walking in pride instead of walking in love. There are two forms of pride—superiority and inferiority. We either think too highly of ourselves, or too lowly of ourselves. When we think too highly of ourselves, we delight in criticizing and putting down others. When we think too lowly of ourselves, we often try to elevate ourselves by putting others down. Whether we think too highly of ourselves or too lowly of ourselves, we are not seeing ourselves as God sees us. Humility is seeing ourselves as God sees us, and when He looks at us He says one thing, "You are worth the death of My own Son." This is the price that was paid for you, and therefore you are seen by God as a precious treasure—a treasure worth dying for, and He did just that. read more

A Great God

Isaiah 48:12-50:11 This passage in Isaiah speaks of God's greatness and His infinite interest in mankind. This very morning I enjoyed a lesson on the "Fear of the Lord" that gave documented facts about the great expanse of our universe. The teacher shared how many light-years it would take for us to travel to a far galaxy, and it was mind boggling. We are just now coming to the understanding of the vastness of our universe. Yet, God says He spans the heavens with His right hand. The span of my own hand is about five inches or less. Think of how big God is who can span the whole universe with His right hand. read more

Time to Heal and Chill

Should you be hauled off to an institution for the clinically busy?

My work periodically requires successive days of ludicrously long hours that far exceed the labor schedule authorized by the demented Pharaoh, who once enslaved the Israelites. After the most recent string of such days, I staggered home to be greeted by my wife, Dale, who was dressed in a toga and proclaimed, "Let my people go!" Fifteen years ago, it didn't really bother me to work three, 16-hour days in a row. I could bound out of bed the next morning and be ready to hit the new day with vim and vigor.

These days, I don't so much bound out of bed as ooze from the mattress and leach slowly into my pants, so I can claw at the new day with anti-vim and a massive dose of caffeine.

Although my boss has explicitly and repeatedly authorized me to take some time off after a brutal few days, I am cursed with a twisted Protestant work ethic DNA that renders me genetically incapable of taking a day off unless I have contracted some kind of incapacitating medical condition, such as scurvy, rickets or the loss of a couple limbs.

So as I reached for the alarm one morning, my wife said: "If you even think about going into work this morning, I will have you hauled off to an institution for the clinically busy. You have worked more than 48 hours in the last three days, your eyes are bloodshot and you are drooling."

"But I'm not technically dead yet," I protested.

"That can be remedied," she said. "Get back in bed. Just because you don't show up at the office it does not mean that islands will plunge into the sea and thousands of little lambs will be lost in the wilderness."

I rolled my eyes to convey my disagreement.

"Well, perhaps I can take just the morning off," I said, as my 250-pound solid granite head slammed back into the pillow and crushed all the feathers into tiny little puffs of goose-down dust.

It was not because of noise, but due to my coffee-bloated bladder that I finally awoke and tottered into the bathroom. The act of standing up forced me to quickly conclude that my wife was right. I was in no shape to go to work.

But I couldn't quite manage to cut myself completely off from the office, so I snuck a quick peek at my BlackBerry wireless e-mail device. My wife calls it a "CrackBerry" because she says I am addicted to it. But for the record I can often go two or even three minutes without looking at it.

The first e-mail sent chills down my groggy spine. My colleague had called in sick. The office was entirely unmanned. This was a crisis of global proportions, cosmic even. In a horrifying moment, dozens of unread memos and unstapled documents passed before my bloodshot eyes. I could hear the islands gurgling in dismay as they sank into the watery abyss, and the lost little lambs were filing a class-action lawsuit against me for negligence.

I threw on my clothes and drove to work. Moments after I sent my first urgent e-mail, my boss called me from our main office 75 miles away.

"I got your e-mail. Why are you at work? Go Home!"

Curiously, the earth didn't collide with the moon while I took a day off. Apparently, the only truly indispensable person is God, and He tells us to rest. Sometimes when we don't listen to Him, He tells us through our wives.

Dave Meurer is an award-winning humorist and the author of Mistake It Like a ManNew Man e-magazine.  For more great articles like this one, sign up here. (Multnomah). This article originally appeared in read more

man

Truly Listening to God

There are two reasons why God has difficulty in getting us to listen to Him.

Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening. —1 Samuel 3:9

What can be more important than correct listening? We only worship God to the degree that we hear Him speak. This is why there are injunctions throughout Scripture about hearing and listening. Jesus would frequently end a parable with the words, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."

What we are talking about is the ability to recognize and respond to the Spirit's impulse. I consider this to be the highest level of spirituality that exists.

There are two reasons why God has difficulty in getting us to listen to Him. The first is our inability to absorb or take in His counsel. We all overestimate our capacity to grasp and take in things, not realizing that if God were to tell us all there is to know, our minds would snap. God has to deal with us where we are.

The second reason why God has difficulty in getting us to listen to Him is that there is sin within us as a result of not walking in the light. We say, "Lord, speak to me."

God answers, "I did speak, but you wouldn't take it."

We say, "I didn't want that. Lord, speak to me."

"I am speaking."

"No, Lord, speak to me."

God is trying to reach us, and we hear Him to the degree that we are walking in the light. Is it possible that God is trying to speak to you along a certain line, but you are saying, "I know God wouldn't say that to me"?

When we get to the judgment, the Lord could look at us in much the same way and remind us of certain areas of our life, and we will be speechless. It's very important that we should be transparently honest with ourselves. The final tragic result of disobedience, of course, is that God stops speaking to us.

Excerpted from Worshipping God (Hodder & Stoughton, 2004). read more

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit
button
button