Contend for the Supernatural: Everybody Plays

You are Christ’s body–that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything.  (1 Corinthians 12:27 MSG)

As many times as we have heard it, it’s still true: Every believer has a part in the Body of Christ.  In fact, every one of us has a supernatural part to play.  The manifestation of the Spirit flows through the Body, not the eyeball or the right thumb or the left knee.  Though they don’t know it, the world is waiting for a Church that leaves the building and invades the streets, not with tracts, but with power and love.  To do  that, we all have to get in the game.  Let’s do this!

De la Abundancia del Corazon

En Espíritu y en verdad, Amigo.

Años atrás, en los 1980’s cuando por primera vez asistía a una Iglesia carismática, me sorprendió el estilo que tenían para adorar, más que eso, note una intensidad y una participación a la que no estaba acostumbrado. Eso me llamo mi atención, la prioridad en la Iglesia es adorar al Señor, vivimos para glorificarlo a Él, el advenimiento de las comunicaciones masivas y el auge de la industria de la música pop cristiana ha sido una gran bendición, hay mucha música nueva saliendo a un ritmo increíble, algunas de ellas son incluso sacadas de la Biblia. La persona promedio puede acceder a ella en cualquier momento en cualquier lugar, por otro lado, crea problemas en la Iglesia, los Pastores honestos tienen que corregir el pésimo mensaje en algunas de las canciones. Muchos también sienten la presión de competir con la radio en el valor de producción y repertorio. Si usamos himnarios o cantos en hojas de papel, o cantos proyectados en la pantalla; si cantamos con guitarra y batería o a capela o con música de fondo, una adoración real y sobrenatural es posible en cada servicio.

Aquí algunas cosas para recordar:

1. Nuestra palabra “adoración” proviene de una antigua palabra inglesa que significa “rendir culto” la adoración comienza reconociendo la dignidad del Señor. Revelación 5:9-13

2. La adoración en el nuevo testamento proviene del corazón del adorador. No está condicionado por la ubicación, equipo o talento. Juan 4:23-24

3. La adoración, viniendo del corazón de un verdadero creyente, puede fluir como Salmos, himnos o cantos espirituales. Efesios 5:18-20 / colosenses 3:16

a.- los Salmos a veces son cantados o hablados. Pablo probablemente quiso decir aquellos que fueron acompañados por instrumentos especialmente los canticos de David, Hoy los comparamos a nuestros himnos “tradicionales” y cantos de la Iglesia.

b.- los himnos son expresiones más formales de un sistema de creencias común puesto a la música o canto. La mayoría de la música popular que cantamos hoy en día en la Iglesia califica como himnos.

c.- cantos Espirituales, o cantos dados por el Espíritu Santo, son exactamente eso: cantos dados por el Espíritu de Dios individualmente en el momento de adoración, nosotros necesitamos de estos tres.

4. la música fresca del cielo puede fluir a través de cualquier persona que cante con el Espíritu de Dios y también el entendimiento. Mira 1 Corintios 14:13-15 podemos ver manifestaciones de cantos espirituales en lenguas desconocidas y podemos ver manifestaciones de recibir interpretaciones para glorificar su nombre y que nos instruya.

Alguien dijo: “puedo decir con seguridad, con la autoridad que se nos ha sido revelada con la palabra de Dios, que todo hombre o mujer en este planeta tierra que este aburrido y apagado de adorar a Dios, no está listo para la Gloria de Dios.- A. W. Tozer

Escrituras bíblicas: pero el tiempo se acerca- de hecho ya está aquí- cuando verdaderos adoradores le adoren al Padre en Espíritu y en verdad. Él nos mira y sabe que lo estamos haciendo. Porque Dios es Espíritu, entonces los que a Él le adoran, deberían hacerlo en Espíritu y en verdad”. (Juan 4:23-24 NTV)

Como con todo lo espiritual, corremos el riesgo de reducir la alabanza y adoración a un conjunto de actividades, una recitación de canciones familiares, un espectáculo musical, o incluso nada más por el hecho de oírnos cantar. Es mucho más que eso, adorar a Dios nos ayuda a saber quién somos, o más específicos, nos hace saber que Él nos hizo, y nos eleva a alcanzar a nuestro creador y en quien creemos. Nos centramos en El, su persona y su trabajo. No se requiere electricidad, tampoco exhortación del pulpito, tampoco incienso, y tampoco audiencia. Cuando preparamos nuestros corazones unidos para adorarle a Él, la Gloria y su poder se manifiestan.

 

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

OK, Friend, let’s do this!

Many years ago, in my desperation to stop drinking, I stumbled into a 12 Step meeting. At the end of the discussion, we all stood, held hands, and recited the Lord’s Prayer. Though I had not been in church for a very long time, it came pouring out of me with no effort at all. It was a moving moment: the sense of camaraderie, the unifying hope, and the realization that I was acknowledging the existence of a God I had left behind, all seemed comforting. After a few weeks, however, I found that this recitation became less and less significant. It became easy just to go through the motions while thinking about what I was going to do after the meeting, what had happened that day at work, or whether hamburger was on sale at the market. It had become ritual.

Matthew 6:7 warns us not to “use vain repetitions” when we pray. To do so is to be like the heathen. Our prayers are not rituals. They are so much more than that. James says that we have the same capacity for world-changing prayer that Elijah had, and that the prayer of the righteous “makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].” (James 5:16b) Our prayers are supposed to make the power of God available to impact the lives of broken humanity. It is supernatural, not ritual. Our gatherings are not just programs or performances, they are points of outbreak for the power of God. If they are not, then why not. What must we change to see power available?

1. Believe that you are righteous, and that your heart-felt, passionate prayer actually does something. How would your prayer life change if you really thought the Father was listening to you as He does Jesus? He is! John 16:23-28

2. Decide whether you want power or comfortable predictability. Jesus’s meetings sent them home astonished and saying, “we have seen strange things today.” Do you want that? Luke 5:26 / Mark 1:22.

3. Take responsibility for praying the power into your service. When your service is dull and powerless, don’t blame the preacher, the musicians, the cranky kids, or the lighting technician. You are responsible. Pray.

Somebody Said: Every mighty move of the Spirit of God has had its source in the prayer chamber.” – E.M. Bounds

Scripture Reading: Then you can make your requests directly to him in relation to this life I’ve revealed to you. I won’t continue making requests of the Father on your behalf. I won’t need to. Because you’ve gone out on a limb, committed yourselves to love and trust in me, believing I came directly from the Father, the Father loves you directly.  (John 16:26-27 MSG)

God wants to move supernaturally in every service. He has, however, established a mechanism by which His power is made available. Part of that system is the heartfelt prayer of the saints. The sad truth is that most of the saints don’t want the power of God int heir services. They want to observe church, not be part of it. They want it to be predictable and mildly uplifting, not volatile and wildly convicting. They want it to be practical, helping them to succeed in the world, not ethereal, challenging them to come out of the world. They want to be able to invite their friends and business associates without fear of embarrassment, for their motives are carnal, not spiritual. Here’s the question: If you really believed that your prayers would make the power of God available for every service, would you pray?

For the series of messages “The Supernatural Church,”

visit our Youtube channel.

Sunday Blessing: Eat and Grow

as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.  (1 Peter 2:2-3 NKJV)

Revive the Tithe: New Covenant…Eternal Priest

But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for He is the One who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises.  (Hebrews 8:6 NLT)

 

Under the Law of Moses, the Levitical priesthood received the tithe.  Under the New Covenant our High Priest of the order of Melchizedek still receives our tithes.

Contend for the Supernatural: It’s an “us” thing.

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light.    (1 Peter 2:9 NLT)

The paradigm for church in our day has been much influenced by the big crusade and television ministries of the last several decades.  The emphasis is often on an individual, or a small group of individuals, who have the platform and the microphone.  The New Testament descriptions of the manifestation of the Spirit seem to point to His desire to use a broader mix of Body parts in the regular flow.  I believe in this last hour we are going to see a revival of supernatural power through the entire Church, and not just a special preforming class. It’s an “us” thing, not a “me” thing.

Curmudgeon Alert: Lookin’ Good!

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Curmudgeon: – a crusty, irascible, cantankerous old person full of stubborn ideas. (The Free Dictionary)

“Looking good isn’t self-importance; it’s self-respect.”  Charles Hix

OK, OK, I tried it! Now get off my back! After several years of listening to the clothing police (or, as they were known in Bible times, Pharisees) harp on the importance of being contemporary in pulpit attire, I broke down and preached a few week night services with my shirttail hanging out. If there was any tangible difference in the way God used me, I couldn’t tell it. There was, however, a significant difference in the way I felt about myself. I didn’t like feeling like an old guy pretending to be a teenager. (at least I have hair, unlike some practitioners of church coolitude.)

Let me be clear: Within the bounds of decency, wear what you like to church. (I will probably do a tirade on “decency” at a later date.) My wife will testify, I really don’t notice, unless you happen to look particularly good. If you feel comfortable in the gathering of the blood-bought family of the Most Holy God in shorts and a crumpled t-shirt, smartly paired with flip-flops, so be it. For me, it just doesn’t work.

When I came to the Lord in 1979, I was a 31-year-old recently reformed hippie, drug-addict, and general malcontent. I didn’t own a suit or a tie. The next year, I went to bible school, married a lovely Christian woman, and set out to win the world for Jesus. For bible school I had to cut my hair and trim my moustache, as well as get some decent slacks and shirts. For the wedding, I purchased a suit for the first time since high school. It was a big deal. In the process, I noticed something: I liked the way I looked and felt. That had not happened in a very long time.

So, here’s the deal: I like wearing a suit. The tie is optional, but it does provide a great way for the male of the species to have a little pizzazz and still be nicely attired. For me, not for you, for me, my attire says something about the activity I am involved in and the attired-webpeople to whom I am speaking. It is a token of respect. I was watching the funeral service for Senator McCain the other day, and I noticed that all the men on the platform were in suit and tie. Not a muscle shirt in the bunch. They did that because of the weight of the activity and their respect for the audience.

The work that I do, particularly on Sunday, is the most important job in the world. I am representing God. As the Bible says, I am speaking “as the oracles of God.” The people to whom I am speaking came out of respect for the Savior who gave His life in their stead, who now claims their fealty, and who promises to shepherd them safely home. They are the family of God gathered to honor their Master. It’s a big deal.

How about we come to an understanding? I won’t judge you for your sartorial choices, nor try to make you wear the same thing I do. You can dress in whatever way that reflects your assessment of the nature of your activity and the message you want to communicate to the people around you. In return, I simply ask that you give me the same liberty, OK?

Joshua was standing there, wearing filthy clothes. The angel said to his heavenly attendants, “Take away the filthy clothes this man is wearing.” Then he said to Joshua, “I have taken away your sin and will give you new clothes to wear.”  (Zechariah 3:3-4 GNB)

Sunday Blessing: Accepted!

Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.  (Romans 15:7 NLT)

Sunday Blessing: Combine Your Faith

“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”  (Matthew 18:19-20 NKJV)

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

In spirit and truth, Amigos.

Back in 1980 when I first attended a Charismatic church, I was taken aback by the style of worship. More than that, I noticed an intensity and participation that I was not used to. Those things attracted me. The first priority of the Church is to worship the Lord. We live to glorify Him. The advent of mass communications and the rise of the Christian pop music industry has been a great blessing. There’s a lot of new music coming out at an incredible rate. Some of it is even biblical. The average person can access it anytime, anywhere. On the downside, it creates problems for churches. Honest pastors have to correct lousy doctrine in songs. Many also feel the pressure to compete with the radio in production value and repertoire. Whether we use hymnals, or song sheets, or projected words on a screen; whether we sing to guitars and drums, a cappella or with a soundtrack, real supernatural worship is possible in every service.

A few things to remember:

1. Our word “Worship” comes from an old English word meaning “Worth – ship.” Worship begins by acknowledging the worthiness of the Lord. Revelation 5:9-13

2. New Testament worship comes from the heart of the worshipper. It is not conditioned by location, equipment, or talent. John 4:23-24

3. Worship from the heart of a believer can flow as psalms, hymns, or spiritual songs. Ephesians 5:18-20 / Colossians 3:16.

a. Psalms may be spoken or sung. Paul probably meant those what were accompanied by instruments, especially the Davidic repertoire. Today, this may equate to our “traditional” hymns and songs of the church.

b. Hymns are more formal expressions of a common belief system put to music or chanted. Most of the new popular music that we now sing in church qualifies for this designation.

c. Spiritual songs, or songs given by the Spirit, are exactly that: songs given to the individual by the Spirit of God on the spur of the moment. We need all three.

4. Fresh music from Heaven can flow through anyone who will sing with the Spirit and the understanding also. Notice 1 Corinthians 14:13-15. We can expect to have songs of the spirit in unknown tongues, and we can expect to receive interpretations that glorify Him and instruct us.

Somebody Said: “I can safely say, on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven.” ― A.W. Tozer

Scripture Reading: But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship Him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24 NLT)

As with everything spiritual, we run the risk of reducing worship to a set of activities, a recitation of familiar songs, a musical performance, or even to mere singing, itself. It is so much more than that. Worth-ship springs from who we are, or more accurately who He has made us, and reaches toward who we believe Him to be. It centers on Him, His Person and His work. It requires no electricity, no exhortation from the podium, no incense, and no audience. When we set our hearts toward Him and come together to worship, Heaven happens.

Check out our current series “A Suprnatural Church,” at FCF Tucson’s YouTube channel

Contend for the Supernatural: Granola Cometh

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.  (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 NKJV)

One of the reasons that even Pentecostal people eventually back away from the things of the Spirit is in reaction to bizarre behaviors and doctrinal issues that come prefaced by, “thus saith the Lord.”  We have had more than our share.  This has been a problem since the very beginning of the Church.  Paul faced it, the early church faced it, and we still face it today.  We can’t let the presence of the false keep us from enjoying the true.  Paul warns us not to do this.  God can do more to help people  in a millisecond than I can in a lifetime.  If It’s of God we need it.  If it’s not, then quit it.

Sunday Blessing: Prayin’ His Will

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.  (Romans 8:26-27 NKJV)