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Posts tagged ‘Epistle to the Ephesians’

Rick Joyner: 2014 Is a Roller Coaster Year.


 

Rick Joyner
Rick Joyner

When I prayed for this coming year, I was shown a roller coaster. This means we will have ups and downs this year. I realize that hardly takes a prophet to predict, but the encouraging thing about this vision was that the ride ended at the highest point. We’re going higher this year! So don’t be discouraged by the dips. Hang on, and know that we will be going up again soon.

Our prophetic friend Bob Jones told us several months ago that it was going to be a very hard winter. I think this one has already qualified for that. As I am writing this in South Carolina, it is 8 degrees outside. I don’t remember it ever being that cold here. However, the great thing is that spring will certainly follow. The point is that we must hang on during any dips or hard times. They will come to pass, but they will pass! As Winston Churchill once said, “When you’re going through hell, keep going.” Keep going.

The roller coaster I saw was very rickety. It did not seem that it could make it through another turn or the ups and downs. It held together, though. I love roller coasters, but this one was not the kind I would get on voluntarily. We don’t have a choice; we are on it. Even the strongest systems of this world are very shaky, and most can only make it through another day because God is holding them together. He is doing this for our sakes, so we should never stop praying for them.

A Glistening Train

In the vision, there was a platform at the end of this roller coaster ride. It did not look any stronger than the roller coaster, but as we walked across, it became stronger and stronger. On the other side, there was a beautiful, brilliantly glistening train, which we boarded. It was the most beautiful and well-appointed train I’ve ever seen.

However, as I boarded, I saw that when it left the platform, it would enter a long, dark tunnel that I could not see the end of. Even so, the tunnel was going up, and this was a powerful, mountain-climbing train.

We’re going up. It may be dark and a bit scary for a while, but we are going higher. That was the end of this vision.

Trains often speak of training in dreams and visions. We may still be on a rickety old roller coaster, but the vehicle that is going to take us to where we must go will be training. This speaks to me of Ephesians 4—the equipping of the saints to do the work of the ministry. Even though it may take a while for us to see where we’re going (the long, dark tunnel) we will be going up. This is the vehicle that will get us to where we must go.

The City God Is Building

It is the nature of the faith walk not to be able to see where you’re going, but you should know what you’re looking for. The one who started the walk of faith, Abraham, did not know where he was going, but he did know what he was looking for—the city that God is building, not men.

The cities that men have built are impressive, but once you see what God is building, you can no longer be impressed with anything man is building. It takes revelation to see what God is building. John saw Babylon until he was carried to a high mountain. Then he saw the New Jerusalem, which is the city that Abraham saw. It is still being built. Being a part of it is the highest calling we can have. Do you see it?

As we see in the book of Revelation, the New Jerusalem is the bride, the wife of the Lamb. As Don Potter recently remarked, it is an amazing thing how a bride can look like she is in shambles just minutes before the ceremony. However, in those last few minutes, she comes together and emerges so beautifully and so perfect that you know you have witnessed a great miracle.

This may well be just the way it happens with the bride of the Lamb. We may look like a disaster right up to the end and then, miraculously, we come together without spot or wrinkle. Never give up.

Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the senior pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church. He is the author of more than 40 books, including The Final Quest, A Prophetic History, and Church History. He is also the president of The OAK Initiative, an interdenominational movement that is mobilizing thousands of Christians to be engaged in the great issues of our times, being the salt and light that they are called to be. Rick and his wife, Julie, have five children: Anna, Aaryn, Amber, Ben and Sam.

One-Upping the Digital Age.


But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
John 14:26

Recommended Reading
Joshua 1:8 ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua%201:8&version=NKJV )

Today there are numerous ways to have ready access to the Bible. Most people have multiple printed Bibles, and more versions are available on the Internet. We can also access the Bible from our smartphones, digital music players, pads or tablets, and computers (not to mention CDs and DVDs). While the digital revolution has helped multiply copies of God’s Word, there has been an unintended negative impact on an important spiritual discipline related to the Bible: Scripture memorization. Why memorize something that you can call up anytime, anywhere on a digital device?

Listen to Today’s Radio Message ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio.aspx?tid=email_listenedevo )

It was different in the biblical era. Copies of Scripture were extremely rare, especially in the Old Testament. For that reason, it was necessary to memorize the text mostly through listening. And when we hide God’s Word in our mind and heart (Psalm 119:11), we have one-upped the digital age. Whatever you have memorized is available for the Holy Spirit to use at a moment’s notice as a doctrine, a reproof, a correction, teaching, or comfort (2 Timothy 3:16).

Yes, the digital age has many benefits. But it is still up to us to put God’s Word in the one place where it is always available: in our mind.

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Ephesians 4-6

By David Jeremiah.

Why a Man Gives a Woman His Heart.


man holding heart
(© elenaleonova iStockPhoto.com)
Amazingly, a man’s hunger for respect is more right-on than I ever realized. At work, my husband receives kudos for a job well done. His paycheck and bonuses verify his skill and dedication. John also works hard to provide for and protect his family.
Respecting John is admiring his work, hischaracter and his care. It’s telling him I appreciate these things and admire him for the man he is. It’s not talking bad about him to my friends or even behind closed doors. It’s “talking him up” at home and in front of others and not second-guessing his ideas. It’s honoring his opinions and decisions (which is tough, especially when my opinion differs!).
Basically, it’s my job as a wife to go against society and their “liberated thinking” and figure out how to respect my husband unconditionally and honor him.
But what does respect have to do with lifetime commitment? Everything. After all, why would a woman want to stick with a man she can’t respect? And why would a man want to stay around when he is treated as the one messing up all the time? (Marriage is more than this, of course. We made acovenant before God, and God has called us to commit for life. But just think how we can transform ourmarriages and our generation when we strive to follow this principle.)
Of course, God always knew what we’re just starting to understand. Check out Ephesians 5:33: “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (NIV).
Yet unconditional respect, it seems, is something that generations of women have forgotten how to do.
It’s not that we wives purposefully set out to sabotage our marriages, but this is what lack of respect does. We tell our husbands we want them to be spiritual leaders and the head of the house, but then we make all the decisions or question the decisions they do make. (Ouch! I’ve done this too many times to count.)
If we’re going to strive for “forever,” we need to think of the ways we can make this thing last. This is part of the work and the planning. A good question to ask is: How can I show my husband the respect he desires?
In an effort to show my respect, I try to remind John I believe in his capabilities, take time to understand his point of view and affirm his accomplishments. John appreciates it when I stop what I’m doing to give him a pat on the back when he’s manicured the front lawn, cleaned the garage or built a set of bookshelves. When I first started doing it, I felt like a mom talking to a 3-year-old: “Great job, honey.” But from his smile, I quickly learned he was energized by my praise.
The amazing thing is that when you do look for ways to show respect and you do work at it, your needs are met too. Because your husband is getting what he needs, he pours out his love in return.
Emerson Eggerichs, in his book Love and Respect, calls this the Energizing Cycle: “Her love motivates his respect. His respect motivates her love.” I can confess: Being in this cycle is indeed energizing … and fun!
So why is respect still a foreign word even to those of us who know its power? This is a hard one, since many times we weren’t raised seeing it lived. To put it in a more culture-friendly term, another word forrespect is admiration. And this is how Dictionary.com defines them both:
Respect: -noun. Esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability.
Admiration: -noun. A feeling of wonder, pleasure or approval.
What would a man give for a wife who respects and admires him? I’ve seen this lived out … his whole heart.
Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ SPIRITLED WOMAN.

Tricia Goyer has written more than 35 books, including both novels that delight and entertain readers and nonfiction titles that offer encouragement and hope. She has also published more than 500 articles in national publications such as Guideposts, Thriving Family, Proverbs 31, and HomeLife Magazine.

Why is Reading the Bible so Important?.


Is it not remarkable how often Jesus settled great issues with a reference to reading? For example, in the issue of the Sabbath he said, “Have you not readwhat David did?” (Matthew 12:3). In the issue of divorce and remarriage he said, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female?” (Matthew 19:4). In the issue of true worship and praise he said, “Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babes you have prepared praise for yourself’?” (Matthew 21:16). In the issue of the resurrection he said, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone’?” (Matthew 21:42). And to the lawyer who queried him about eternal life he said, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” (Luke 10:26).

The apostle Paul also gave reading a great place in the life of the church. For example, he said to the Corinthians, “We write nothing else to you than what you read and understand, and I hope you will understand until the end” (1 Corinthians 1:13). To the Ephesians he said, “When you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ” (Ephesians 3:3). To the Colossians he said, “When this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodicea” (Colossians 4:16). Reading the letters of Paul was so important that he commands it with an oath: “I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren” (1 Thessalonians 5:27).

The ability to read does not come intuitively. It must be taught. And learning to read with understanding is a life-long labor. The implications for Christians are immense. Education of the mind in the rigorous discipline of thoughtful reading is a primary goal of school. The church of Jesus is debilitated when his people are lulled into thinking that it is humble or democratic or relevant to give a merely practical education that does not involve the rigorous training of the mind to think hard and to construe meaning from difficult texts.

The issue of earning a living is not nearly so important as whether the next generation has direct access to the meaning of the Word of God. We need an education that puts the highest premium under God on knowing the meaning of God’s Book, and growing in the abilities that will unlock its riches for a lifetime. It would be better to starve for lack of food than to fail to grasp the meaning of the book of Romans. Lord, let us not fail the next generation!

Taken from “A Compelling Reason for Rigorous Training of the Mind” by Desiring God Ministries (used by permission).

John Piper

Called to be ambassadors…


By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“We are therefore Christ‘s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
-2 Corinthians 5:20

Jesus’ goal during his time on earth, and still today, is to create clones of himself. Paul, especially in Ephesians, Romans, and Corinthians says, “We are the body of Christ.” We may think that’s a metaphor, but the early church really believed that we filled the role of Jesus until his return and that God was actually in our skin. God, who used to feel distant and far away on a cloud somewhere, because of Christmas, now that same God dwells in your body. Wherever your body goes, so does Jesus go. Because of that, you carry with you a responsibility to live like Jesus, to love people – especially your enemies, those who hate you, and those who say evil things about you – and to do good. You’re called to live a different kind of life, one that’s remarkable.

That’s not just an encouragement but also a responsibility – to be called ambassadors. We’re called the temple. We’re called all sorts of things to show that wherever your body goes, so does Jesus go. Wherever your body is, if you’re a believer, Jesus is there, too. This means that, as you live your life like Jesus to people around you, they experience Christ. When people experience love, they experience God. When you put your hand on the shoulder of someone who’s suffering, you say, “I’m there for you,” and he or she experiences Jesus, not just you. When you say to someone, “I love you and I wish you the best,” or you bless someone with a gift, or you speak an encouraging word, or you pray that Jesus is blessing them, they experience Jesus encouraging them. It’s because of those relationships that people are able to experience Christ.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I want to be an ambassador of your love to others. Help me welcome all I meet into a relationship with you. Amen.

Reflection: How have you served as an ambassador of Christ?

How to Get Caught Up in His Glory.


Supernatural graphic
Don’t settle for a visitation from God. Learn how to live in His glory.

For years, my heart longed for more than just a temporary visitation of God’s presence in a church service or private prayer time. Momentary encounters were not enough. I wanted visitation to becomehabitation.

In time, God began to answer my heart’s cry, and I learned that when we prepare a place for His glory in our hearts He will show up at the most unexpected moments. This is because God longs to fill us with His Spirit on a continual basis. He wants us to live in His glory.

Scripture bears out this truth. Jesus told His Father: “The glory which You gave Me I have given them” (John 17:22). The apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians about “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).

He encouraged the Ephesians to “be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). And he exhorted the Galatians, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25).

As we learn to walk in the Spirit we develop a continual awareness of God’s presence. After all, we are the house of God and His glory has taken up residence in us. We just need to train our spirits to be in constant communion with the Holy Spirit.

One night I ran out to the supermarket to pick up some things. As I was walking through the parking lot I was praying and worshipping in the Spirit.

Suddenly I became aware of God’s presence with me. I thought we were going to have a revival meeting right in the frozen foods aisle. I was caught up in His glory buying ice cream!

This is the place God desires us to live. Not in the supermarket, of course, but in His glory 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter where we are physically or what we are doing. It’s the place where our spirits are in unbroken fellowship with God.

How can you dwell in that place? The daily choices we make determine how much of God’s presence we live in.

During my 20-year journey of walking with the Lord I have found that He often brings me back to one simple truth: Find out what pleases His heart and pursue that with all my heart.

On my desk is a stone plaque that reads, “The man who walks with God always gets to his destination.” I read this every morning when I wake up. It is a constant reminder to make the right choices during my day so that I will walk with God and achieve the destination He has set for me. I know that as long as I am walking with Him, nothing will be able to block the flow of His blessing in my life.

I have often found that it is the small, seemingly insignificant choices we make that can have the greatest impact on our spiritual lives. Small choices lead to big choices.

We guard the habitation of God’s glory in our lives by making the right choices. We choose what conversations we listen to, what words we speak, what attitudes we have toward others, what thoughts we meditate on, what people we hang around, what we look at, what we tolerate in our hearts of the spirit of the world.

We make the choice to have an attitude of worship, to resist temptation and to pray in the Spirit at all times. And most of all, we choose what boundaries we establish in our lives.

Just as God called Moses to set up boundaries around the base of the mountain to keep wild beasts from breaking through into the glory, so we need to set godly boundaries in our lives to protect God’s presence (see Ex. 19:23). We need to know what things grieve His heart and make the decision to avoid those things at all cost.

Setting up godly boundaries will not only help you to walk in the Spirit but will also guard the place of God’s habitation in your life. You will move from momentary visitations to a lifelong habitation as you prepare a place for His glory in your heart and consistently make godly choices. In the process, theHoly Spirit will help you to walk with Him and will become your closest friend.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Matt Sorger is a prophetic revivalist who ministers internationally through conferences, healing revival services and miracle crusades. His passion is to see people transformed through the preaching of God’s Word and the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Find out more at mattsorger.com.

Tell me a story…


By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
-Ephesians 5:1-2

We are meant to be living memories. We are meant to be living reminders. And we’re meant to remind people of Jesus. We’re meant to remind people of our values. We’re meant to remind people of our stories because our stories give wisdom, guidance, insight, blessings to others.

Have you ever met somebody that reminded you of Jesus? I have. I’ve met a few of them. There’s something wonderful about these people. They could talk to you about the baseball game yesterday and, somehow, you feel like you’re talking to Jesus.

There are some people that have such depth in their eyes, you can see into their souls. There’s such warmth to their spirits that you can’t help but be drawn into their presence and want to be around them all the time. There are some people that if you just spend time with them, you will be a different person.

This is the kind of person God wants us to be. He wants you to be a living reminder. And the main way that you can change lives, affect lives, and bless lives around you is to remind people of your story – yes even the bad ones – and of your values, and your wisdom gained from living life with Jesus.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me be share my story. Let my story be a witness of your love in my life. Amen.

Reflection: As you serve as a living reminder of God’s love and redemption in your life, what story do you tell?

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