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Inspiration From the Twittersphere

Rick Warren If a ministry is God-anointed, it doesn’t matter who criticizes it. If it’s not anointed, it doesn’t matter who praises it. 

 

 

 

Inspire-JoyceMeyerJoyce Meyer The Word is like medicine, but it is most effective when applied properly. If I have a headache, I don’t put a Band-Aid on my head.

 

 

 

Inspire-BrianHoustonBrian Houston Serving sacrifices self, because self doesn’t want to serve. LIVE to serve. DIE to self!

 

 

 

Inspire-CindyTrimmCindy Trimm Did you know that procrastination is a sign of fear?

 

 

 

Inspire-RobertMorrisRobert Morris A little faith will bring our soul to heaven. Great faith will bring heaven to our soul.

 

 

 


News By Numbers

 

3% of teenagers from age 13 to 17 say that Jesus Christ is their role model

Barna Group

 

49% of Americans say the lack of civility in American politics is a 
“very serious problem” 

 PRRI/RNS Religion News Survey

  read more

Both Sides of the Coin

“It seems to me that if the primary view of sanctification comes through simplicity, poverty, suffering, [then] if you don’t get those things it’s almost like when God blesses it’s hard to be sanctified because you don’t know what to do with it. What if God wants to sanctify you through not poverty but generosity, not suffering but blessing; and what if it’s not through simplicity but complexity?”


Mark Driscoll, who questioned Francis Chan’s decision to leave his megachurch and give away everything last year. Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church, suggested Chan might be following the “theology of poverty,” a belief that he says is just as detrimental as the prosperity gospel.

 

 

 

Inspire-FrancisChan“I believe it’s motivated by love and a desire to be Christ-like; I don’t want to suffer needlessly or just to suffer. To me, the core issue here has to be love. I think in times of prosperity, for me, I look at Scripture and go: ‘Wow, this is awesome. Look at this great-selling book, all this money. What do I want to do? I want to give it to the people who need it.’ I get excited about that.” 

 
Francis Chan, who says he did not needlessly give away his money or step down from his church but was striving to be like Christ read more

How Little Tubes Fill Big Wells

Every 15 seconds a child dies from a water-related sickness. The Passion movement is doing something about that. In April, the ministry will host its second Do Something Now event of 2011 in Fort Worth, Texas, with one goal: to marry worship and justice. 

Passion conferences draw thousands of young people every year to pray, worship, and give time and money to causes such as funding wells in India or clothing the homeless. To illustrate the amount of wells being built in India, students are encouraged to pour water into tubes to represent what they give monetarily. At Passion’s January event in Atlanta, students gave more than $75,000 to purchase 24 wells. Overall, the conference brought in more than $1.1 million for charities. Passion leaders are hoping to provide even more wells next month. read more

Fidelity Is Forever

In recent years, the body of Christ has been almost overwhelmed with reports of church leaders who have been unfaithful in their marriages. When this happens to our leaders, the result can be that all Christians have deep concerns about who will stay pure.

Thankfully, God offers unlimited grace and forgiveness for wrongdoing. But we must never underestimate the power of sexual sin.

Romans 7:23-25 reminds us of the mind's power as we battle to overcome temptation: "But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me" (NLT).

Throughout the apostle Paul's books, he returns to the message that to overcome sin we must recognize and understand the mind and its power.

Recently my colleague Dr. Joe McIlhaney and I explored new research on human brain activity for our book Hooked: How Casual Sex Is Affecting Our Children. In writing Hooked, I was struck by the wisdom Paul possessed 2,000 years ago apart from the aid of modern scientific discoveries.

According to science, we are far more complex and intelligently designed than we appear to be on the surface. Understanding this is vital to equipping our response to a sex-crazed culture.

Science reveals a sex-and-brain partnership that fully supports the Bible's guidance to remain faithful in our marriages. As Christians, we need to understand what is going on inside our brains so we can wage war where the largest battlefield exists—our minds.

According to science, the largest sex organ is the brain. Scientific evidence reveals that the brain releases a series of hormones that knit individuals into relationships that complement the biblical vision of two becoming one flesh. For a female, meaningful physical touching produces oxytocin in the brain that bonds her to a mate. Men have the same reaction when vasopressin is released.

These chemicals show us that we are created for committed marriage relationships. But another chemical comes into play—one that can support these bonds or break them down.

Dopamine is a brain hormone that rewards us for doing exciting activities. The God-given gift of sex is exciting and when the bonding act of love is rewarded with dopamine, we become "hooked"—even addicted—to this bonding activity with our spouses. The reaction of all three chemicals support the importance of fidelity in marriage.

Sex is more than just an exciting experience; it's an intimate, cherished act for two individuals to deepen their bond between each other. When we are exposed to the ideas, attitudes and behaviors of this world—the culture of casual sex—the challenge lies in how we respond.

When an individual begins to search for immediate opportunities to fulfill their natural dopamine fix through extramarital relationships, the consequences include a chemical bond that literally addicts that person to sin. God's desire is to free us from such slavery.

Both God and science are calling us to a higher standard. Pastors, spouses, couples, singles, anyone who calls himself a Christian, needs to recognize that the mind is a battlefield and that our actions have a literal addictive effect.

Scripture is clear about how we Christians should revere our marriages—it is depicted in Christ's faithful, committed love for His church. Science confirms fidelity is both God's intent and a gift that was placed in our own brains the day we were fearfully and wonderfully made in His image.


Freda McKissic Bush, M.D., is the co-author of the new book Hooked: New Science On How Casual Sex Is Affecting Our Children. Maintaining an active OB-GYN practice in Jackson, Mississippi, Bush also serves on the board of the Medical Institute for Sexual Health. Her passion is to help women "raise the standard" to be all they were created to be. read more

Start to Do Good

Where there is no opposition to evil, evil will multiply.

Famed philosopher and orator Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” It’s true. Doing nothing is easy, but it’s also dangerous. Where there is no opposition to evil, evil will multiply.

We all fall into the trap of complaining about the things that are wrong. But complaining does nothing except discourage us even more. It changes nothing because there is no positive power in it. read more

Are You Trapped in Bad Company?

Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." —1 Corinthians 15:33

Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra wrote in his masterpiece, Don Quixote de la Mancha, "Tell me thy company, and I will tell thee what thou art." There is some truth to that statement. We are known by the company we keep.

We often believe that this concept applies only in our interaction with unbelievers; however, this can be applied to our relationship within the body of Christ, also.

Some years ago I was in a situation where I found myself unwittingly in the grip of someone who I could see was not good for me. The person was a professing Christian, but I found myself in his grip, and I was leaning on him. I realized that this was wrong, and God delivered me from the situation. I was so thankful.

Am I advising you to avoid altogether unbelievers or certain members within the body of Christ? Most certainly not. However, ask the Lord to shine His light on the various relationships in your life.

Could it be that at this moment you are in this snare? You are trapped with bad company, and they are doing you no good. Maybe, however, you have rationalized the situation and made up excuses, concluding that you can be an exception. You wouldn't recommend anybody else to do what you are doing.

The worst thing that you can do, however, is to begin to think that you are the exception to the rule. For the devil will come alongside and say that you are different, that you can associate with wrong company. Then, before you know it, you are in a trap.

It is a wonderful thing to realize that God delivers us from bad company.

Maybe you are in a situation where you are being wrongly influenced, and as a consequence you have lost the sense of inner peace. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But bad company causes you to lose the peace that God wants you to have. I ask you, are you in the grip of bad company?

Excerpted from Higher Ground (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1995). read more

The Dad Who Wasn't There

About a year after our father died, my sister Kathy became suicidal and was admitted into the psychiatric ward of the hospital. She had attempted suicide in the past. Now her despair was an unprotested submission to defeat. Five years of counseling and prayer seemed to have changed little.

“I’m so tired of trying,” she told me one day. “I don’t feel close to God. I don’t care about living. If it weren’t for my kids, I’d just give up.” read more

Giving others a chance to dream

We’ve all heard the saying, “Every little bit helps.” Because of Kiva, an online lending network, more than 468,000 entrepreneurs in developing countries worldwide can now attest that the saying is true.

Started in 2005 by Matt and Jessica Flannery, Kiva allows individuals to loan money—from $25 and up—to entrepreneurs in countries such as Cambodia and Colombia. The end goal: to end poverty.  read more

From Bouncer To Preacher

Stovall Weems, a pastor who once fully embraced the partying lifestyle, now lives to reach the lost and help people passionately pursue God


 

Stovall Weems, the pastor of Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Fla., is demonstrating his passion for Christ in word and deed. As a result, he’s fueling the fire of not only his congregation but also of those around the world.

Though Weems was not raised in the church, today he and his wife, Kerri, are seeing the church they founded become one of the largest and fastest-growing in America. Weems says he is driven by his passion for the local church and reaching people.  read more

A Pink Cross For Jesus

 Former stripper and porn star Shelley Lubben found herself making X-rated films in the multibillion-dollar sex industry by the time she turned 24. 

Known then as “Roxy,” Lubben starred in more than 30 films, her success fueled by the rage she built up from being abused as a child and teenager. 

“‘You’re dead to me,’” Lubben recalls her father telling her when he kicked her out after high school. “When he said those words to me, the demonic spirits entered me, and I was never the same.”  read more

News by the Numbers

20 - Pastor Rick Warren‘s rank on the list of most influential Twitter celebrities. With around 220,000 Twitter followers, the Purpose Driven Life author was among the likes of the Dalai Lama, Lady Gaga and Justin Beiber, who led the Forbes list. 

 

5 % of those who made New Year’s resolutions for 2011 resolved to improve their connection with God, according to a survey from the Barna Group.

 

56% of the new, 112th Congress identify themselves as Protestant, according to a recent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life analysis.

 

33% of people who attend church weekly and have three to five “church friends” say they are “extremely satisfied” with life. This compares with only 19 percent of people who attend church but don’t have close church friends, reports a study released in the American Sociological Review. read more

I Burn For You

How God—that all-consuming, living flame of love—shows His unrelenting desire for people.

God’s love is an intimidating topic to grasp because it is the very subject of God Himself. He is love, and everything He is and does is love. He is a vast, shoreless ocean of love, and we have only heard the mere whisper of His passion. As a student of His love I feel too small to even begin to try and describe Him. But on one aspect, I’ll try. 

As I began to study God’s love I found one of the characteristics that motivates me the most is His unrelenting love. His pursuit of my heart and His burning desire for me has changed my life entirely. I remember when I first began to see the God of burning desire—it was revolutionary. I was in a Bible school class in Kansas City in which Mike Bickle taught on the Song of Solomon. I’d never heard God described as one who had burning desire or a ravished heart for people. I had never heard love defined like that.  read more

8 Ways to Tap into God

Learn ways to connect with God’s supernatural power.

I will never forget the moment a 12-year-old deaf girl stepped onto the platform where I was standing. I had been led to pray for deaf ears to be opened, and as God’s presence and glory filled the room, miracles began occurring all over the stadium.

My team brought this young girl up to testify. When they brushed back her long brown hair, I was astonished. She had been born without ears. Where her ears should have been, there were just little holes in the sides of her head. The anointing of God had come upon her when I prayed for deaf ears, and she felt a popping in her ears. At that moment, eardrums were formed on the inside of her head. Her hearing was opened for the first time in her life.

I knew the miracle had nothing to do with me. My part was simply to lead the people in worship until the glory of God came and then let God do the rest. That night in Mexico we saw many healed by God’s power, even several people who were crippled.

I had first witnessed the amazing healing power of God when I was 14 years old. But during the next several years I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t seeing more of that same power demonstrated in weekly church life.

I was tired of powerless prayers. When I prayed for someone I wanted something to happen! Combined with my frustration was an insatiable thirst and longing for a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit. Two things were happening simultaneously: God was making me dissatisfied with the status quo, and He was placing a spiritual hunger in my heart that drove me into hours of communion with the Holy Spirit.

During the last 20 years, God has taught me many things about living a life full of spiritual power. The most important thing is that walking intimately with Him and having a deep grounding in His Word are essential for Him to release tremendous power through us. I’ve been blessed to witness the demonstration of His power through me thousands of times in the lives of countless people.

Another thing I’ve learned about God’s power and gifts is that although they flow out of His grace and are activated by faith, personal preparation in the areas of character, integrity and holiness enable us to sustain a constant flow of His power through our lives.

However, we must always remember that He is the source, and it is by His grace that we are qualified to be partakers of His heavenly glory. It has nothing to do with our efforts or works. If it did, we could take some of the credit. Since it doesn’t, God gets all the glory.

He wants to develop our character so we will be grounded in Christ and will properly steward the power He pours through us. But you don’t have to wait until you are a mature Christian to allow God to use you. You can begin to operate in the Spirit the moment Christ enters your heart.

This was true in my own life. I experienced many encounters and many moments of God’s power during my early years as a Christian. Those encounters shaped who I am today.

On the following pages are eight secrets to operating in the creative, miracle-power of God. This is by no means a simple three-step process, but I do believe if you apply these principles to your life, you’ll see signs and wonders released through you on a daily basis.

1. Cultivate God’s presence in your life. The more you can cultivate an environment that’s conducive to the Holy Spirit, the more of God’s presence you will carry. The more of His presence you carry, the more power you will have.

You cultivate this environment by spending time doing whatever it takes to have the person and presence of the Holy Spirit hanging out with you. Quickly confess and repent of the slightest leaning toward sin or spiritual darkness. Pray in tongues often. Cover yourself under the blood of Jesus. Meditate in the Word. Express worship to the Lord through song and prayer.

Constantly invite the Holy Spirit to be with you in evident ways as often as possible. Avoid anything that would grieve Him. You’ll find that as your life is filled with the atmosphere of the Holy Spirit, miracles, signs and wonders will be a natural overflow.

2. Cultivate God’s faith in your heart. True supernatural faith flows out of the spirit and affects the mind—not the other way around. Faith defies logic and natural reality for a higher spiritual reality. It causes natural things to line up with what God has already accomplished spiritually.

We must live in the Word and constantly renew our minds. Faith is born from revelation in the heart. When truth is revealed to your mind and heart by the Holy Spirit through the Word, faith comes alive on the inside of you. John 8:32 says, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (NKJV).

Soak your mind and spirit in God’s Word by constantly setting your thoughts on it, and the revelation of truth will produce supernatural faith in your heart. Heart-faith produced by the revelation of truth is the ultimate key to operating in God’s power, and the Bible tells us it comes from Jesus: “Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]” (Heb. 12:2, The Amplified Bible).

3. Add action to your faith. The power anointing comes for a reason and has an intended purpose. Isaiah 61:1 says, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (NKJV).

The power anointing for healing and miracles will manifest only if you’re praying for sick people to be healed. You must be intentional in looking for opportunities in which this anointing will be needed. The Bible tells us, “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). The power anointing is given to help other people in a supernatural way and in the process reveal God’s heart and nature to them.

Don’t allow yourself to get discouraged. Stay focused and tenacious. No matter what you see, set your vision higher, know and understand God’s will and truth, and allow His faith to move you to action. This action will release the power of God and produce the miraculous.

4. Passionately pursue spiritual gifts. First Corinthians 14:1 tells us to earnestly desire spiritual gifts. I often lay my hands on my own belly during times of prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to stir up and manifest the gifts of the Spirit that are within me. Spiritual gifts of healing, working of miracles, words of knowledge and faith are all invaluable manifestations for the ministry of the miraculous. As you ask God to stir them up, He will.

The Greek word for the gifts of the Spirit is charisma, which Strong’s Concordance defines as “gifts of grace; a favor which one receives without any merit of his own.” You can’t work for or earn them. They are given freely by the Holy Spirit just as salvation is. You can have all of them—and the more you pursue them, the more you will have!

5. Practice prayer and fasting. Matthew 17:14-21 gives an account of the healing of an epileptic boy. The disciples couldn’t cure him, but Jesus did. When Jesus was asked why the disciples had no success, He said it was because of their unbelief.

It wasn’t a question of God’s will. Nor did Jesus focus on the boy’s faith. It was the level of faith in the disciples’ hearts. Yet He also pointed out that “this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (v. 21).

Prayer and fasting help to release God’s faith within us. It’s the faith that produces the miracle, not the fasting. Fasting and prayer in this instance serve as the passageway into the fullness of faith that exists in God’s heart. Again, it isn’t by our works, but by His faith and grace extended toward us.

6. Learn to hear God’s voice. To operate in the supernatural we must develop a keen sensitivity to the person of the Holy Spirit. God doesn’t work the same way all the time, and we need to hear His direction for each situation.

Consider Jesus. He saw signs and wonders on a consistent basis in His daily life, but He never prayed the same way twice. Sometimes He laid hands on people; sometimes He instructed them to take a specific action; sometimes He did unusual things Himself such as spit in mud and put it into a person’s eyes. He was unconventional but completely Spirit-led.

The key is He did only what He saw His Father doing (see John 5:19). His ability to hear and see the actions of His heavenly Father came out of the time He spent with Him in prayer and communion. If you want to sensitize your spiritual eyes and ears, you must put yourself in a place where you can see and hear God. 

This will often require you to pull away into a “deserted place” so you can place all your heart and mind on Him. When you exercise your spiritual senses by learning to listen and not just talk, you will be led by the Spirit to see wonderful manifestations of His power.

7. Associate with the anointing. A major key for me in being brought to a new level of God’s power was learning that it was OK to go where God was moving. Some people think: If God wants to give me something, He can come right here into my room. I don’t need to go anywhere. Of course God can meet us in our own rooms, and many times He does.

However, that doesn’t negate the fact that you can literally “catch” the anointing by putting yourself in a place where God is moving. Find people and ministries that are carrying God and get around them. We learn from one another and receive impartation of power through association. 

These corporate encounters with God do not replace your hidden devotion expressed in the place of private prayer. They simply add to and enhance your relationship with God.

I’ve been blessed to have been able to associate with some of the most anointed people on the earth today. My fellowship with them has not only stirred my faith but also released a transference of wisdom, revelation and power into my own life and ministry. 

Anointed fellowship, whether from meeting with another person or from listening to anointed teaching CDs and videos, is crucial to cultivating the anointing in your life. Associate with God’s power by hanging out where He is.

8. Be motivated by love. Love must be the foundation for everything you do. Without it, power can lead to pride and self-inflation.

Love is the greatest manifestation of God’s power. It was because of love that Jesus walked in total obedience. It was because of love that the power of sin and Satan were defeated.

Love is what motivates our faith (see Gal. 5:6). Love is what causes us to live in the Spirit. Love is the greatest virtue of all.

Without faith you can’t please God. But without love you can’t know Him at all. Love filled with truth is the ultimate spiritual weapon against sin, temptation, offense, disunity, sickness, oppression and spiritual corruption, and death. Love conquers all.

As you apply these principles to your life with God, expect to see His glorious power and anointing released in you and through you. 

There is someone out there who is waiting for a miracle. They need God’s touch. Your life and obedience to God may be the missing ingredient! 


Matt Sorger (mattsorger.com) is a revivalist who hosts international miracle crusades and conferences for equipping Christians in the power of the Holy Spirit. He first experienced God’s power at age 14 after seeing his mother supernaturally healed. While pursuing a degree in medicine, he was called into ministry.

 


 

Discover other keys to help you flow in God’s supernatural power at supernatural.charismamag.com read more

Don’t Be Offended

Offense is one of the most binding traps into which a believer can fall; here's why it is imperative you avoid it.

Years ago, people built traps in order to catch birds. They would balance a box on a stick tied to a rope and birdseed or other food would be placed under the box. When a bird came to eat the seed, the stick would trip, and the box would fall on the unsuspecting bird.

In Greek, that stick is called the skandalizo, translated “to offend.” When skandalizo becomes your portion—and it will—and you find yourself in a spiritually or emotionally dark box, it is often difficult to recover because you can feel like you’re fighting a tar baby. Every move is the wrong one. Every prayer sounds like a poorly verbalized whimper. All counsel seems petty or counterproductive.

Being scandalized or offended is one of the most binding traps into which a believer can fall. In many ways, it goes far beyond simply being hurt, deceived or ensnared by carnal sin; it has the capacity to totally undermine and destroy our walk with the Lord. When we have been scandalized, we really do not care what anyone thinks. We feel the early signs of deep-seated anger, and if we are not careful we can rapidly be sucked into the vacuum of rage and depression.

Jesus warned us about not being offended. We must allow God to do things that we would never expect. Maturity involves guarding against stumbling, falling into sin, or giving up our faith because our expectations were unmet.

Bob Mumford is a veteran charismatic Bible teacher and founder of Lifechangers ministry. read more

Prayers That Impact the Globe

Using a map of the world as an aid to prayer helped me discover several keys for influencing both those residing in my "Jerusalem" as well as those living at "the ends of the earth" (see Acts 1:8).

 

1. The Motivation Key: biblical purpose. Having a map in my hand motivated me to move beyond mere "bless me" prayers to touch multitudes that have never heard the good news of Jesus. More specifically, it added a biblical purpose to my praying. Purpose is defined as "something set up as an object or end to be attained" or "what one seeks to achieve."

When I first began praying for the nations I was driven by God's promise to His Son, "Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the ends of the earth as your possession" (Ps. 2:8, NLT).

I almost stopped using this promise as a basis for my praying after a Bible professor, who heard me quote it in a seminar as a foundation for praying for the nations, suggested the verse was given exclusively by God to His Son. It wasn't for us, he said.

Thankfully, I read the rest of my Bible before tossing the promise aside and discovered in Romans 8:16-17 that any promise God gave His Son is ours as well. That's because we are co-heirs with Christ of all the Father has given Him.

Paul wrote: "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ" (Rom. 8:16-17, NIV). The New Living Translation reads, "Everything God gives to His Son, Christ, is ours, too."

That settled it! I could ask God for both my neighbors and the nations. This has provided me with a biblical purpose and a powerful motivation. And holding before me a map of both my nearby neighborhood and the distant nations brings this purpose alive every day.

 

2. The Ministry Key: biblical passion. The second key helped release in me a biblical passion. For many people, prayer provides a specialized ministry when other popular callings may seem out of reach.

Most followers of Jesus won't become apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors or teachers (see Eph. 4:11). The majority won't serve as bishops, deacons, or elders, or even sing in a church choir. But all can embrace a twofold ministry that truly has eternal implications.

First, every follower of Jesus can minister to the Lord. This concerns our personal worship. It focuses on a passion for the Lord. There is no higher calling than ministry to the Lord.

Second, every follower of Jesus can minister to the lost. This concerns our personal witness. It focuses on a passion for the lost. It involves not only praying for those who don't know Jesus but also developing a plan to share our faith in Christ with them. This includes supporting missionary endeavors in distant nations with our resources.

Notice how the psalmist links these two themes in a single psalm: "Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Sing to the Lord; bless His name. Each day proclaim the good news that He saves. Publish His glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things He does. Tell all the nations that the Lord is king" (Ps. 96:1-3; 10, NLT).

Holding a map of the nations (and our neighbors) before us in prayer and saturating that map with worship and intercession brings Psalm 96 alive in our praying.

3. The Mandate Key: biblical pattern. All true followers of Jesus have been given a mandate to help fulfill the Great Commission. Praying over a map of the world (that includes a map of our neighborhoods) brings new life to this mandate. It also provides us with a biblical pattern to help carry it out.

A mandate is defined as "a resounding directive" or "a clear and focused objective given by a person or persons in authority." Another definition reads, "To put into one's hands; to command or entrust."

We discover our mandate from Christ in such commands as, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations ... teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:19-20, NIV).

Luke provides a description of the biblical pattern for fulfilling this mandate when he tells in his gospel how the early church responded to Christ's command: "Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ" (Acts 5:42).

 

4. The Mission Key: biblical plan. The final key introduces to each believer a biblical plan that enables us to truly affect both our neighbors and the nations for eternity. This model for missions is increasingly being described as the "prayer, care, share" plan.

Based largely on such Scriptures as Luke 10:5-9, it has been embraced by Mission America, a coalition of 80 denominations and 400 parachurch ministries, as its primary objective for influencing our communities as well as nations.

They include:
Prayer focus. When Jesus commissioned the 70 to go forth with the gospel, He admonished them, "'When you enter a house, first say, "Peace to this house"'" (Luke 10:5). Prayer for our neighbors (and nations) is the primary blessing we can give them. Prayer additionally prepares the way for the rest of the plan to be effective.

Care focus. Next in the Luke 10 model, we read Jesus' commands to "'Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you,'" and "'Heal the sick that are there'" (vv. 7,9). His words speak of a willingness to fellowship with those around us as well as to look for ways to meet their needs (such as through healing the sick). These qualities embody the care focus.

Share focus. Finally, Jesus said, "'Tell them, "The kingdom of God is near you"'" (v. 9). God's kingdom, of course, is revealed only through Jesus Christ. Thus, to witness to a lost person about Christ is to point that person in the direction of God's kingdom. To lead him to Christ is to bring him into the kingdom. What began with prayer and was nurtured in care now opens the door to share who Christ is and how He can transform that person's life.

We have an urgency to vastly increase an army of those who are focusing prayer on all the nations of the world, especially in light of intensifying global tensions. Therefore, we encourage believers to pray daily for their neighbors and the nations.


Dick Eastman is international president of Every Home for Christ, a global home-to-home evangelism ministry that has planted more than 2.6 billion gospel messages in 198 nations. His books about prayer and evangelism have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide. read more

Placing Genocide Center Stage

Imagine if your child were abducted from school and forced into a life of slavery that included raising other children groomed to become soldiers. This scene isn’t just a nightmare for Filder Akech—it was her reality.

Ugandan rebels kidnapped Filder when she was 9 from her schoolyard, and for a year and a half, she cared for children born in the bush and forced to fight. Eventually, Filder escaped and now studies at a school in a village set up by Watoto, a holistic care program that serves abandoned and vulnerable children and women in Uganda.  read more

Making Ministry Fashionable

Sometimes changing the world begins after changing the clothes in your own closet.

Lindsay Giambattista, founder of Taylor’s Closet (TC) clothing store in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., started by giving her extra clothing to at-risk teen girls when she was 14. She then began gathering outfits from friends and family, and soon she had an entire store full of merchandise. From there, Giambattista acquired a building and launched a full-scale ministry boutique.

TC is no ordinary thrift store, however. Giambattista’s boutique has made designer clothing available to young women and girls who would not be able to purchase such items for free. read more

Prison Food Never Tasted This Good

Prison Food Never Tasted This GoodThe America’s Chef Competition, part of the 14th America’s Food and Beverage Show and Conference held in Miami, included two special competitors late last year: Florida state prison inmates Terry Garrish and Lance Wissinger. 

As part of the faith-based Bridges of America work release/therapy program, these men, who have since been released, completed rigorous culinary instruction and were entered in this prestigious tournament. Their entry is a noted milestone, as this is the first time that inmates have competed.  read more

The Mission Field Next Door

Did you know you don’t have to fly to the other side of the world to go on a missions trip? Try traveling across the street next time—it’s cheaper and you might affect just as much change. So says Nashville, Tenn.-based My Own Backyard ministry, which is redefining the concept of missions work. 

The group equips volunteers to make a difference in their own cities through everything from monthly block parties to mentoring young people to creating “action days” for churches and groups to go out and serve their communities. read more

They’ll Put You to Sleep

A pillow can offer more than just comfort; it can deliver a message of hope. For the last two years One Touch Awakening has been distributing pillowcases, snuggle pillows and insecticide-treated mosquito nets to people around the world. A prayer team prays over each individual pillowcase and mosquito net, asking God to comfort the recipients and give them a renewed spirit as they rest their heads at night.  read more

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