We’re right in the middle of a muggy Atlanta summer that has seen rain nearly every day the first half of this season. While the precipitation cools it down, it also invites many mosquitoes and more than a usual need for yardwork. Summers like this remind me of past seasons of “summer slump”, they used to be called. Being a pastor for years, I would see certain times of year where church was more often attended than others. The summer is usually one of those times, with church people going on vacation, family get togethers and kids going to camp. It can be a time of inconsistent attendance.
While our ministry now is more focused on inspiring people to live a dedicated Christian lifestyle versus an event centered life, committing to come to church regularly says a lot to our children, friends and those around us. When these occasional seasons come around, I always think of the admonition Jesus gives to all of us about the end times, where he warns us about “dissipation”. And while I want everyone to enjoy their vacation, family and activities there is wisdom here we ought to pay attention to, especially since it is such a strong admonition.
In Luke 12:32 Jesus makes an astounding promise to His disciples that sounds almost unimaginable! “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.” This means Father God has committed to freely give us all He has! His Kingdom is His will, His rule, His dominion, His authority and His light shining into and obliterating all areas of the kingdom of darkness (Col. 1:13), which is satan’s rule on the earth.
Guillermo Maldonado, in his book The Kingdom of Power, says it this way: “Wherever God’s kingdom governs, it is visibly demonstrated, and every work of the enemy must depart because darkness cannot remain in the same territory occupied by His light. For example, when the kingdom of God comes upon an individual, then sickness, sin, wickedness, and any other work of hell must flee.”
In 1970 the United States abandoned the gold standard that backed our currency, the dollar. A number of reasons were given, but the main one was foreign governments, some hostile to the US, were buying up gold and sooner or later the US government thought it would be all gone as there is only a finite amount of gold on the planet. The emergence of the global marketplace and the desire for an ever-expanding economy were big reasons as well. Before that, there was a certain amount of Gold in the Federal reserve banks or Fort Knox or in one of the central bank vaults that backed up EVERY dollar circulating in America and the world.
When that was done, the value of the dollar over time goes down to where it has less and less value. As more money is printed and circulated to cover the increase in population, the value of the dollar drops. According to the US inflation calculator something worth $20 in 1970 is worth $120 today in 2013. That is 500% inflation or ⅙ the value it had in 1970.
Matthew 5:13(NIV) ”You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltiness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.”
Jesus said we, His redeemed people, should be the salt of the earth.
What is salt good for?
Sometimes life has a way way of getting in the way with our….life. Or, rather what we hope or envisioned our life to be before we were so rudely interrupted with….life. Actually Jesus said this about life:
“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” Mat. 10:37-39
The word LIFE mentioned there is the Greek word psuche, which is referring to our natural life on the earth today. It also means our living soul. The part of us which is the interface of dust and spirit. This Greek word is identical to the Hebrew word nephesh which also means a living soul. It says in Genesis 2:7 that when God created man, He picked up some dirt from the ground and formed it, breathed on it and man became a living soul! Each human, whether they have a relationship with God or not, is filled with this natural life that comes from that initial declaration when God said, “multiply and replenish the earth”. We all are continuing on, as always, due to the power in God’s release of life.
God does whatever He pleases but He always responds to faith without reservation. Here is a list of several different ways the Lord heal found in scripture. While He is not limited to only these methods, this list should reveal to us something about His heart and ways.
1) Intercession from those sinned against by you; Abimilech’s sin of taking Sarah for his wife; (Genesis 20:17) and Job praying for his friends who had told him that God had left him; (Job 42:10)
God is kind, compassionate & merciful & desires to do for us that which is “beyond what we can ask or even imagine”. (Eph 3:20) God IS awesome… UNTIL something horrible happens that we don’t understand and it crushes our view of Him. When tragedy or unexpected loss strikes we are many times confounded. Yet the bible is filled with examples of this which many avoid because it goes contrary to their current narrative many have about God’s nature and ways. The vast majority of us have been trained that when bad things happen,we think, “God moves in mysterious ways” & “ His ways are higher than our ways”. This is absolutely true.What it is also true, is that while God can use bad things and even evil to accomplish His purposes (Is46:10),He opts for people to take His wisest options. Alas, many times they don’t think they can. Also satan is at war trying to accomplish his purposes through it. Don’t allow him to!
We always want an adequate explanation…but don’t get one many times…
HERE ARE SOME OF the characteristics that accompany the work of the Jezebel spirit. Please keep in mind that a person heavily influenced by this demonic spirit may do many of the following, at one time or another, although not necessarily in the order described. Furthermore, a single characteristic does not indicate that someone has a “full-blown” Jezebel spirit. It may simply mean that the person is still spiritually and emotionally immature. When a combination of several of the fourteen characteristics exists, however, there is a strong indication that an individual is influenced by a Jezebel spirit. Also remember that one characteristic may be clearly noticeable, but other traits may be hidden and yet profound. A prolonged manifestation of any of these traits warrants a closer look at the individual and the situation.
Pastor Marc Lawson
There are 168 hours in every week. The 166 Factor is the answer to the question: "Who are you the OTHER 166 hours a week when you are NOT in church?" Join the community here as we will be discussing this and other topics related to Reformation in the Church, The End of Church (As We Know It) & The 166 Lifestyle.