This cup represents a very peaceful quiet morning being present to the Lord – I’m enjoying The Lord, thoroughly loving His presence in the word and in the Holy Spirit today. When I woke this morning the Holy Spirit reminded me of being present to Him as of the utmost important ‘one thing’ so that I (we) might be present to others in His power.
So beloved, what gift of the Lord are you to others? What presence do you bring to another? Whether an actual children of God or to an unbeliever? As I was thinking today, it starts with us having the cup of our hearts full. We must have a heart full of gratefulness. We embrace being a good offering by being a soul of overcoming the lusts of this life and bitterness.
Therefore, we must embrace the Cross.
Today’s cup of gratefulness for me is a remembrance of this past week of the Lord’s presence and faithfulness in my small group at the Desert Streams Ministries’ National Living Waters Training in Kansas City. I had the privilege to serve four amazing men. Two Catholic priests, one ordained Catholic deacon and one evangelical pastor. These men are forever changed by their experience in this national training. My heart is so full! I am coming down from the exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and the emotional and spiritual high of this past week!
In the midst of this past week, the Lord repeatedly reminded me that I was His priest as I worshipped Him quietly, and during my service in the present of other priests. The Lord in His great encouragement blessed me yesterday as I received a prophetic ministry time at the International House of Prayer in KC. The Lord spoke to me as I was in worshipped once gain with the new song, Good, Good Father “listen to what they will tell you during the prophetic ministry time, it is from Me, and you will know it is from Me, because they will tell you that you are My chosen priest.” I had some doubt, yet I pondered this as I worshiped.
Sure enough, they did tell me incredible things. A woman named Amanda, told me that I’m a Royal Courageous Priest – she said – “you are a priest to the nations.” This was an incredible anointed time. The prophetic words spoken to me in context of everything that has happened in the past month made so much sense. My cup is full!
I’m so full of the Lord’s presence, today and I want to guard this treasure of His presence with all my heart, to love Him first, worship Him always and to love others more deeply. This is no simple task. It requires death to self. Some of my Bible reading this morning was 2 Cor. 4.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.” 2 Cor. 4:7-12
Yet like this cup of coffee this morning, our Father provides the best. This cup of coffee is exotic beans freshly ground, French press, with fresh anise and Vietnamese cinnamon with fresh natural local honey for the sweetener and some half / half. He is so kind to us, and provides well. We all have so much to be grateful. What do you have that has not been given to you from God? 1 Cor. 4:7 We have been given everything we need pertaining to life and godliness if we can merely believe in His love for us and that He really has so much more for us. My cup is full! Won’t you let Him be your All and All and let Him fill your cup?
President Obama recently went on a world apology tour (as David Limbaugh reported) accomplishing very little in strengthening the USA or world economy as was the intended promise from his multi-million dollar trip. Yet, President Obama told the world, while in Turkey, that the “United States of America is not a Christian nation or a Jewish nation” and thank God he didn’t go on to say that the United States was a Muslim nation. However, I must admit I am more suspicious than ever as President Obama went out of his way to break protocol and bow to the King of Saudi Arabia. The Muslim world loved President Obama’s bow of submission. He told the world that he considers the United States merely “a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.” I would like to ask President Obama where does he think the USA receives its’ bounded ideals and its’ set of values?
It doesn’t take much research into American history to understand that our ideals and values are founded in Judeo-Christian beliefs derived from the Holy Scriptures found in the Bible. One merely need read over the Bill of Rights and Amendments to understand these documents are derived from biblical principles. What about the foundations of law in the United States? One merely need to study our history to find out that our laws are taken from the Ten Commandments and from the Torah. —William Blackstone is the founder of most of our common laws and he complied most of our laws from the Scriptures of the “Christian” Holy Bible. Historically the laws and founding documents of the United States of America are founded on Biblical principles and literal quotes from the Bible. Can someone please help our President? I wished David Barton with Wall Builders could take him on a tour of our Capitol and point out these historical facts with his wonderful insights as David has with thousands of others. (There are many more documents of historical facts to prove all what I am writing to be true).
The majority of American citizens consider themselves as Christian. I completely disagree with President Obama on most of his leadership. No surprise here, as anyone who knows me, knows I don’t agree with much of this President’s direction for our country. He has made it very difficult for me to respect the office, but respect I must as I am commanded by the Scriptures. President Obama calls himself a Christian at least most of the time, and all the more reason I must pray for him. However, I find myself actually partially agree with the President, as I do not believe the USA is a Christian nation in practice, I actually see our nation in a great need of revival. I fear for our country. I would imagine that less than 25% of those polled above are actually devout. However, one merely need read this wonderful book: “America’s God and Country – Encyclopedia of Quotations by William Fedrer and read David Barton’s Wall Builder site and you will know that we are in fact a nation built upon the Christian faith. Would someone from the Obama Administration PLEASE help our President and instruct him to read this book of quotations?
IS the United States of America a Christian nation? No doubt what-so-ever that the United States of America is originally a nation designed to have Christian values, beliefs and a variety of Christian denominations for the free exercise of Christian practice — and therefore was intended to be a Christian nation. To deny this, is to deny well documented history, and ultimately make yourself out to be foolish. Unfortunately, I fear with the great Billy Graham that there are many within the Church at large that actually need to be saved. Many will come to Jesus and say that He is their Lord, but He will deny them: Matthew 7:21-29. Therefore we need to be a devoted Christian people in love with the Savior, Jesus Christ as our Lord, in the Church first, and then perhaps we can once again be a Christian nation.
I close with this final quote: “Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind (Jesus Christ). It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian.” — United States Supreme Court 1892, in the case: Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States
On the week that centers on Christ Crucified for millions around the globe, the USA has acted in a most unholy manner. Palm Sunday to Good Friday was marked by daily advances of ‘gay marriage’ forces in our land. Our Bridegroom King, whose very image is manifest in male and female, and who is returning for a Bride, spotless and true, is being crucified afresh.
Consider this: I read on Palm Sunday that Iowa’s unanimous Supreme Court decision to legalize ‘gay marriage’ deliberately excluded any ‘religious’ interference. According to the justice who wrote the Iowa decision, the Judeo-Christian structures on which our entire judicial system is built should no longer inform marriage. Left in the hands of secular servants, marriage mutates. We crucify Christ afresh.
On Monday, Rick Warren, arguably the most influential Christian leader in the USA, said on national TV that he never really supported a ban on ‘gay marriage’ in CA. (He clearly had and did.) He claims that he called all of his gay friends and apologized for any perceived support of the ban, underscoring that he has ‘never been and never will be an anti-gay marriage activist.’ Deceiving, confusing, political back-pedaling: Warren is rewriting history and has bought the lie that to support marriage is ‘ant-gay’. And he is backing off entirely from standing for marriage when it is most in peril. We crucify Christ afresh.
On Tuesday, Vermont became the first state in the union to allow same-sex marriage through legislative action instead of a court ruling. That empowers nine other legislatures that are considering marriage measures this year, including New York, New Jersey, Maine and New Hampshire. Activists in New England are unashamed to admit that they are choosing states where organized religious opposition is the weakest. We are now aware and without excuse: there is a systematic, targeted effort to establish a same-sex marriage stronghold in the Northeast. We crucify Christ afresh.
On Wednesday, I read of Obama’s appointment of a gay political activist and ‘Christian’ to his advisory board for ‘Faith-based Partnerships.’ The appointee, Harry Knox, was previously head of Religion and Faith for the biggest gay advocacy group in the nation (the Human Rights Campaign), and has been instrumental in reinterpreting scripture in a gay-affirming manner for churches throughout the USA. We crucify Christ afresh.
By Maundy Thursday, I was beat up. I needed my feet washed from the idolatrous ground of my nation; I was hungry for Jesus and I partook of Him heartily at the communion table that night.
As we gathered for Good Friday as a church, I looked around the body and saw Gideon’s army, a humble band of men and women whom the Crucified has rescued from the idolatry of this world: husbands and wives, singles, old and young, heterosexually and homosexually broken and yet being made new, ‘an army whose weaknesses are being turned to strength and who are becoming powerful in battle, able to route foreign armies.’ (Heb. 11: 34)
I felt hope. Isn’t that what Good Friday is all about? In the darkest hour, at the time when men extinguish the light, God prepares the most glorious expression of His light. N.T. Wright says: ‘The cross is not the world’s victory over Jesus, but Jesus’ victory over the world.’
Jesus death is the ground on which resurrection power is manifest. So is our surrender to His purposes. Let man’s efforts to crucify Christ afresh through ‘gay marriage’ have its perfect work. Raise from the dead a Gideon’s army, O God. Let a repentant, empowered people arise.
Let us arise out of fear or intimidation of the dark powers. Let us hold fast to Him as the One who makes a way for us to make Him known. We do so by upholding His image in humanity and by refusing all efforts, however winsome, to distort that image.
Marriage matters. It represents Christ on earth more clearly than any other relationship. While we have the light, let us live with integrity what it means to bear His image and insist on its clear representation in the land. We cannot afford to be unclear or uncommitted towards marriage in this perilous hour.
We do so in and through Him, His resurrection power rooted in our very weakness. May we emerge out of this dismal winter of ‘gay marriage’ advances and into the spring of upholding God’s design for all. Consider man for woman, woman for man-the awesome dance of masculine strength and feminine beauty. It’s worth fighting for.
Post by Andy Comiskey — Copyright © 2009 by Desert Stream Ministries
Click here to: Read Andy Comiskey’s Blog
Today at my church home, Bridgeway, our pastoral leader, Alex Absalom shared a message on being a Person of Peace bringing influence into our world. The Lord used this message as a reminder of His mandate on those who wish us harm. We overcome evil by doing good. Pastor Alex didn’t share this particular verses found in Romans 12:20-21. His message was the “Definition of a Person of Peace” and his text was Mark 5, and Acts 10 a look at Cornelius’ life. You can listen to this message by downloading it from the Bridgeway Church web site or iTunes, key search “Bridgeway Church Podcasts” and there you will find several excellent messages.
Pastor Alex’s message: “Definition of a Person of Peace” was: 1) shows Receptivity – (be friendly and outgoing, make a way), 2) has a good Reputation – (being relational to influence the surrounding community) and 3) having Referrals – (a life of peace will manifest a testimony by where people in your community will see real help, lives changed, God’s grace & mercy poured out, answers to prayer and the miracles of God). Anyone living in the context of these three R’s will have no problem with evangelism.
Pastor Alex then brought the challenge! How do we make a difference in these economic challenging and chaotic times? What sacrifices are we willing to make as individuals and in our church community? Good question!
He challenged us to make a difference in sacrifice by asking us to consider prayerfully more soul-searching questions: What preferences are we willing to lay down? What desires need to become secondary to others? What fears do we need to overcome about certain individuals, like people who are sworn faithful to fundamental Islamic beliefs? What expectations must we lay down, and what should our expectations be?
My Personal Challenge
I was personally challenged by the Holy Spirit to look at the fruit of kindness. I immediately thought of the verse about overcoming evil by doing good (Romans 12:20-21) and being kind even when certain individuals and groups of people are hell bent to make your life miserable. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not communicating a boundary-less existence, on the contrary, overcoming evil is to have godly boundaries, but with a gentle meek and kind heart. Those who know me well, know that I am a very direct prophetic choleric personality type and do not back down from a conflict. Conflict doesn’t scary me, I can even create it to bring a healthier relationship if I believe it is helpful.
However, I am excited about the grace of God today being poured out to overcome evil by doing good through His love. This takes asking the Lord about where people are from His perspective. Perspective can be everything. If we can see the deception and brokenness from God’s perspective and what the possible outcome of where a person will end eternally, the heart can be graced into Christ-like compassion and kindness. Attitude is 90% of the victory, as God gives us the victory by faith (or attitude) in Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 John 5:4-5) & (1 Cor. 15:57). I thank God for ministering to my heart with His grace and challenge today. May HIS perfect Ways found in the Holy Scriptures, HIS Truth and HIS Life be yours!
A Warning from the Word of God, from the book of Jude:
A Warning to those who are unfaithful; who engage in all forms of sexually immorality and homosexuality.
This is also a Scriptural warning to those who are rebellious to God’s Holy Word, and who scoff and mock at the Scriptures, and it is a warning to those who are greedy for gain and the selfishly ambitious.
Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the precious salvation we all share from Jesus Christ our Lord. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his people who are called holy. I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ by their way of living life.
So I want to remind you and warn you, though you already know these things if you have studied the Word of God, that Jesus first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later He destroyed those who did not remain faithful. This is a sober warning for anyone who names Jesus Christ as Lord. The commandment is clear, “Thou shall not take the Lord’s name in vain.” Saying that Jesus Christ is your Lord and then living ungodly. And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment. And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment. Remember Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because their arrogance blinded them and taking them into sexual perversions of every kind.
In the same way, these people—who claim authority from their dreams—live immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at supernatural beings. But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels, did not dare accuse the devil of blasphemy, but simply said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (This took place when Michael was arguing with the devil about Moses’ body.) But these people scoff at things they do not understand. Like unthinking animals, they do whatever their instincts tell them, and so they bring about their own destruction. Those who believe it is justifiable to live according to their own desires will bring judgment down upon themselves. What sorrow awaits them! For they follow in the footsteps of Cain, who killed his brother. Like Balaam, they deceive people for money — greediness brings deception and death. And like Korah with rebellious hearts they perish in their rebellion.
When these people eat with you in your fellowship meals commemorating the Lord’s love, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you. Be careful with those who you have fellowship with least they turn you away from following the Lord Jesus Christ. They are like shameless shepherds who care only for themselves. They are like clouds blowing over the land without giving any rain. They are like trees in autumn that are doubly dead, for they bear no fruit and have been pulled up by the roots. They are like wild waves of the sea, churning up the foam of their shameful deeds. They are like wandering stars, doomed forever to blackest darkness.
Enoch, who lived in the seventh generation after Adam, prophesied about these people. He said, “Listen! The Lord is coming with countless thousands of his holy ones to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their own desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want. But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ said. They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.
But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love. And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives, never allowing yourself to compromise, but be all the more diligent as you see the day drawing closer to the end.
Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
I originally posted this on Saturday, April 5th, 2008 after I read and listened to Proverbs 5. I could not stop thinking about it. It was an unusually experience. I read it in eight versions of the Bible. I was in my car listening to the audio in the NET version of the Bible. My spirit was stirred and the Lord gave me the following for me personally, but also for anyone who reads this, especially for those entangled with debating those in opposition to the Gospel. (Read Proverbs 5 first).
My dear friends, you are like my child to me. I have the Father’s heart in speaking with you. I am gravely concern about you. Please listen to me very closely, make your ears to hear what I have to say. I have a warning from God. This warning comes from ancient wisdom, God’s Spirit; therefore this wisdom is from the mind of God. If you will heed my warning then you will operate in discretion and you will have God’s wisdom. Beware of the soothing words of the immoral person. The deceived person’s words can feel so good, just like soothing oil. The immoral man or woman speaks with words that are kindly seductive. They will manipulate you, trying to draw you into sexual immorality. They are corrupt. They secretly hope for your down fall. However, when they fail at drawing you into sexual immorality, they will draw you further into controversy. Their deceptive goal is to snare you into sin; the core sin of unbelief. They are deceived by their own trickery. They are so deceived they have no understanding. If you remain in the counsel of the immoral, before you know it; you will compromise the wisdom of God. The immorally deceived person says, “bitter is sweet, and sweet is bitter.” Beware my child! The end thereof in listening is worse than wormwood. It is poison. Their words are like a two-edged sword, it will destroy you. The path of the immoral will actually lead you to the door of hell; they are ever drawing you to violate your relationship with King Jesus. They sow discord between you and your other brothers and sisters. I beg you my child, meditate on the wisdom from above, on the very word of God. Do not be enticed by worldly debates and human intellect; those soothing words of the immoral. It is very harmful. It will steal your life away. It will take your strength and your wealth. Your wealth will be taken from you and given to another. Beware of these immoral people and their false teachings. It will alienate you from God. You cannot be a friend of God and a friend of the world. Friendship with the world and immoral people is spiritual adultery. Do not let human compassion and the soothing words of the immoral deceive you. They will accuse you falsely. They will say all manner of evil against you. They will betray you. They will ironically accuse you of the very thing they are doing. They will say, love is hate and hate is love. Beware! If you listen and are attached to the immoral you will have your life strength removed. You will be the one mourning in the presence of the King. You will have rejected the King’s reproof. This poison of compromise can ruin you life. I passionately want to spare you my child, because I love you.
I am blessed and sobered by this warning. What about you? I realize that I can only try to please the Lord. When I am trying to please Him, I will please some people, some of the time, but I will never please everyone. Jesus is enough, to Him be all the glory!
“The world is fading away. But if you do the will of God, you will live forever.” 1 John 2:17 NLT
Everything that is worthy of your time, attention, devotion, and affection comes to you from God. His voice will bring you healing words, His hand will give you good things, and His presence will give you eternal pleasures.
The world has nothing new to say to you that your heart needs to hear, nothing new to give to you that your heart needs to receive, and nothing new to demonstrate to you that your heart needs to long after.
For you, as you daily choose to follow His will, God’s light shines brighter, His plan becomes more glorious, His love becomes more precious, His face becomes more beautiful, His treasures become more valued, His grace becomes more amazing, and His return becomes more anticipated.
from His Footsteps, My Pathway, by Roy Lessin – January 11.
I really enjoyed reading this little devotion this morning, and thought about the challenge of daily being in His presence to do His will and follow Jesus fully. It always brings a blessing back to us. Therefore God’s ways and commandments are not burdensome, but are for blessing our lives always. I am so grateful to God for revealing His divine intention to me concerning my sexuality and the entire direction of my life. I believe the Word of God — the Holy Scriptures. We need to prepare for His coming. There has never been a time in our history with so many Biblical prophetic fulfillments.
So beloved, what kind of people should we be in preparing for the day of His coming?
“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation (deception) and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:34-36
“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles (not members of this world) to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.” 1 Peter 2:11-12
“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. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous that is, an idolater, has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words (or empty theology, or false believing through praying prayers without repentance), for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.” Eph. 5:1-8
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” 2 Tim. 4:6-8
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:23-25 (This chapter should be read in its entirety).
“Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these (the day of the Lord), be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:14-18