Supernatural Sunday: Desire, Don’t Forbid, Play Nice

Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order. (1 Corinthians 14:39-40 NKJV)

De la abundancia del corazon

Construyendo personas de sustancia para obras de poder

Somos hijos de Dios, Amigos

Con todo lo que está pasando en el mundo, parece un poco surrealista que las noticias están dominadas por algunos atletas ricos que se arrodillan en protesta. Lo mejor que puedo decir, la protesta está motivada por el deseo de detener las lesiones de civiles por motivos raciales. Estoy absolutamente de acuerdo, cuando eso sucede debe ser castigado y terminarse allí. También estoy de acuerdo que discutir el problema es bueno para nuestro país,. Por otra parte, para mí, mirar un evento deportivo, se supone debe ser entretenido. Si quiero reflexionar sobre grandes cuestiones de justicia social, mejor miro algo más donde se puede tener una discusión con más razonamiento. Definitivamente, no fue el caso este pasado domingo por la tarde, con los Gigantes intelectuales que manejan la cabina de transmisión, olvide todo lo del año pasado.

Mi pregunta es: ¿Por qué el Señor permite que esto sea tan prominente en la conciencia nacional de estos tiempos? Creo que nos está mandando una advertencia. Aquí están algunos puntos:

  • · Dios creo a la humanidad a su propia imagen y semejanza: Génesis 1:27
  • · Dios ve al hombre como descendiente de una sola fuente: “y de una sangre a echo todo el linaje de los hombres, para que habiten sobre toda la faz de la tierra,” Hechos 17:26
  • · A causa del pecado, la humanidad fue dividida después del diluvio. Génesis 11:6-8
  • · De toda la humanidad, El escogió una tribu en particular para mantener su testimonio en la tierra y anunciar al Mesías para bendición de la humanidad, Genesis12:3
  • · Cristo nos redimió de la maldición de la ley, echo por nosotros maldición, Gálatas 3:13-14; Efesios 2:17-22
  • · El empeoramiento de las divisiones étnicas, es un signo de los últimos tiempos, Jesús dijo: “nación (etnos) se levantara contra nación (etnos). Marcos 13:8
  • · La iglesia es la alternativa para las divisiones étnicas. Fuimos hechos una sola creación, la creación de Dios, establecidos aquí en la tierra para declarar sus alabanzas. 1 de Pedro 2:9-10

Solo el año pasado, hemos visto incrementar tribalismo (diferentes tribus) alrededor del mundo, personas volviendo a sus raíces étnicas, geográficas y religiosas, en un intento por encontrar identidad y significado. Inglaterra ha dejado la Unión Europea, los Kurdos votaron hace unos días para dejar Irak, Cataluña votara el domingo sobre la secesión de España, África continua con los problemas de la confusión étnica, al igual que el Medio Este y mucho más de Europa del Este, India, Nepal, Afganistán, y la lista sigue y sigue. Veremos una creciente división de la sociedad en cuanto racial y cultural se refiere. Aquellos que construyen su identidad de estas fuentes naturales, serán seducidos en sus respectivos campos de batalla.

Alguien dijo: Cuando tu identidad está fundada en Cristo, tu identidad nunca cambia. Siempre serás un hijo de Dios. Tim Tebow

Escrituras Bíblicas: Porque se levantara nación contra nación, y reino contra reino; y habrá terremotos en muchos lugares, y habrá hambre y alborotos; principio de dolores son estos. Marcos 13:8

La identidad étnica nos pone en una posición de estar “en contra” de aquellos que no forman parte de nuestro grupo. Es egocéntrico y exclusivo. Nuestra identidad Cristiana nos mueve a amar a aquellos que nos odian y a ofrecerles nuestra ayuda. Nuestro reto en estos tiempos es permanecer centrados en quienes somos como hijos de Dios, no contra quien estamos en nuestras tribus terrenales. Me encanta América, y me duele mirar cómo está siendo dividida y difamada. Mi gran preocupación es como la gente esté lista para ver a Jesús. Es la única razón por la que todavía estamos aquí.

Visítenos en línea en YouTube para oír de sus bendiciones @FCFTucson.

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Let’s just follow Jesus, friend.

Back in 1983, when I was just about to get out of Bible school, the Holy Spirit spoke to me by tongues and interpretation. He said, “A life lived selfishly is a life wasted. The only reason for a man to live is to bring others to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and teach them to do likewise. For this reason I have called you. Don’t forget it.” I like to think I have stayed faithful to that call. In so doing, I have given lots of thought and effort to the work of making disciples. A few things have become apparent to me over the years:

  • Discipleship requires commitment. Jesus said to baptize them before you teach them. (Matthew 28:19) The call to follow Jesus is never one of enticement. It is a call to leave life as we have known it and take a totally different path, a path which may well be marked by privation and persecution. Baptism is a radical statement: I died with Christ!
  • You can’t disciple someone who isn’t interested, and you can’t stop someone who is. I can threaten, beg, and cajole, but it takes a supernatural work in the heart of the believer to make them want to pay the price. I can pray for them, teach them, and love them, but I can’t change them.
  • · Discipleship requires doing life differently, radically so. Jesus said, “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.” Matthew 28:20) He made it pretty simple. He told them to imitate Him in two things:
    1. Love one another as I have loved you. John 13:34-35
    2. Go into the world just as He went into the world. John 20:21

Our charge can be summed up simply. To make disciples, we must first demand commitment. The committed ones we teach to love like Jesus and to take reaching the world as seriously as He did. That should keep us busy until He comes, and He promises to work with us in the project.

Somebody Said: “We reduce discipleship to a canned program, and so many in the church end up sidelined in a spectator mentality that delegates disciple making to pastors and professionals, ministers and missionaries.”Francis Chan

Scripture Reading: A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. (Luke 6:40 NKJV)

These words of Jesus teach me that the goal of my discipleship is to be like Jesus. My aim in making disciples is that they would be more like Him: That they would love one another unto death and be supernaturally empowered and impassioned to reach the lost. Any goal less than that is not worthy of the Cross.

Watch the full message, Supernatural Disciples, on our You Tube channel.

Contend for the Supernatural: From You to Y’all

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)

The power of the Spirit was never meant to be confined to a platform in an auditorium.  Every believer has a part to play and the empowerment to do it.  Until we get our mental picture of “church” changed into a whole-body mentality, we will never see all that is intended by God.  The Church is a supernatural entity.  You get in through a miracle, God dwells in every one of you, and without you the Body is incomplete.  Church was not created to be a program or a concert.  It is a living organism moving in concert toward a singular end.

Church as we typically see it today was unknown to the early church record. Participation not just observation, impartation as well as information, ownership of the mission, we each have a part. The rhythm is come in to be refreshed, inspired and prepared, then go out to bear witness of the resurrection.

God, give us a vision of being a supernatural people, led and empowered by the Spirit, looking for places to bring the power of God into contact with human need.  

Revive the Tithe: TEN!

And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’s. It is holy to the LORD.   (Leviticus 27:30 NKJV)

The number ten appears repeatedly in Scripture in association with testing, or completion, or judgment. Now we see that Lord revealing Himself in the giving of the ten commandments.  Moses tells Israel that God is giving them a test.  The Ten Commandments reveal the standard of God’s judgment.  The rest of the Law is given to provide guidance in living out the Commandments in daily life.  Part of that explanation and guidance is the tithe.  The tenth is holy to the Lord.  It is part of His very nature.  the tithe is a practical part of having no other gods before Him.

I Ain’t Too Proud to Beg: Vote! My God, Man, Vote.

The next two weeks are a big deal for the United States.

Don’t drop the ball: VOTE!
Evaluate each candidate, not by what they say on TV ads, but by what they have actually done in public office. What do they do to protect the right of Israel to exist? How do they vote regarding the sanctity of human life? Since the laws have been manipulated to allow homosexuals to think they are married, how does the politician vote on issues impacting the right of Christians to speak the truth and live their lives in accordance with their biblical values? How have they voted regarding judicial appointments?

The big issue in all these areas is the commitment to the right to speak and to assemble. The homosexual lobby and the pro-abortion groups are all colluding to silence anyone who disagrees with them. This is the issue of the election we are facing.
With that in mind, I am re-publishing an article from earlier this year. At this point, I ain’t too proud to beg. Read it and do the right thing.

Protect the First Amendment!!!!
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Amendment 1. Constitution of the United States of America

As election season is upon us, I find myself thinking about my Christian responsibility to choose candidates on issues, not party or feigned faith. I always attend to the familiar moral and geopolitical issues of the sanctity of life, marriage, and treatment of the state of Israel. Those are very important. Over the last decade I have become increasingly concerned about a more fundamental issue: The preservation of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Our constitution serves the important purpose of constraining the central government. The First Amendment is stated in exactly those terms: here is what the government cannot do. These restrictions cannot be overridden by acts of Congress, decisions of the courts, or executive decrees. In addition, though we frequently refer to ourselves as a democracy, that is not strictly true. We are a republic, governed by a constitution. That means that even a majority vote of the population cannot take away constitutional rights. This prevents the so-called “tyranny of the majority.” To alter the constitution, an amendment must be proposed by two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress or by a convention called by Congress at the request of two-thirds of the state legislatures. Ratification of an amendment takes three-fourths (38) of the states to approve. It is an intentionally difficult process.

The First Amendment is under quite an attack. There have been some actual legislative efforts to curb speech and religious freedom (so-called “hate speech” comes to mind), but the biggest threats come from the courts and the anarchist/socialist mobs that infiltrate meetings and mau-mau the speakers. Under the banners of “social justice” and “hate-speech prevention”, we see college campuses becoming places where opinions opposed by the administration, the faculty, or the mob may not be expressed. In addition, many media outlets now intentionally avoid and/or refuse to carry specific ideas, particularly Christian ones. (To wit, the current fight against the Gosnell movie)

With these things in mind, I encourage you to read the First Amendment, read the positions of candidates on free speech, and vote prayerfully with those things in mind. For example:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.
Notice that it doesn’t say “freedom of religion.” Some use that language to mean, “You can do whatever you like in your religious services, but don’t try to bring it outside the walls of the church.” The free exercise of my faith gives me the right to do what my faith requires of me, as long as I don’t materially injure someone else or abridge their rights. I can do these things in the public square, in my front yard, or in my free time at school or work. That is important when I choose to carry my Bible on campus, pray in a public building, put a Creche in my yard, or express an opinion that goes against societal orthodoxy. I also have the right to refuse to participate in the folly of others, even if their behaviors are legal, if that participation contradicts my faith. Vote for those who vow to protect the free exercise of religion.

“or abridging the freedom of speech,”
All speech, especially political and religious speech, is protected. That includes any mention I choose to make about the Lord Jesus Christ. I can speak of Him in the grocery store, on the internet, or in the school. I can wear t-shirts and apply bumper stickers that name the Name. I have the right to declare my opposition to behaviors proscribed by Scripture, even if others are offended. I will do so whether it is protected or not, but our Constitution still promises that protection. Remember, faith comes by hearing. Vote for those who promise to protect our right to preach.

“or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
People who gather in mobs to scream at other folks in a restaurant are not protestors, they are assailants. There is no right to destroy other people’s property in protest of government policy. The moment you do, you have moved from peaceful protest to riot and revolution. When the assembly turns from peaceful to violent, it is a crime. Prosecute it. When the assembly begins to harass private citizens going about their lawful business, the participants are no longer petitioning government, they are committing the crime of civil harassment and menacing. Prosecute it. Vote for candidates who will enforce the law.

Somebody Said: To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker. Frederick Douglass

Scripture Reading: “And now they’re at it again! Take care of their threats and give your servants fearless confidence in preaching your Message, (Acts 4:29 MSG)
Pastor Virgil L. Stokes

Sunday Blessing: It’s Fellowship Week!

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.
(Acts 2:42 NLT

Sunday Blessing: It’s One Another Week!

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.
(Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT)

It’s one another week! Today we get to go to the gathering of the saints and look for ways to motivate and encourage one another. Someone needs your grin and a howdy today.  Target someone and do it!  Selah!

Contend for the Supernatural: We Are Connected

Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.   (Romans 12:4-5 NLT)

The Church is not a place you go, or a club you join.  The Church is the Body of Christ and you are a part of it.  That means that we are all in this together whether we know it or not, whether we believe it or not, and whether we like it or not.  Eliminating division and finding connection is a key to allowing God to move in power through the Body.  Honor is God’s antidote for division.  Let’s get serious and move form petty to power.

Sunday Blessing: Strong Foundation

I hope to visit you soon. However, I’m writing this to you in case I’m delayed. I want you to know how people who are members of God’s family must live. God’s family is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
(1 Timothy 3:14-15 GW)

I was in Panama last Sunday, and couldn’t get enough bandwidth to upload this, so, as I prepare for my first Sunday back, you get to see a few palm trees.  Please, be aware that your gathering today is a gathering of the family of God, and that that family is the basis from which the truth is sounded to the world.

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Let’s pray, Friend!

I don’t like unspoken prayer requests. That’s odd, I know, but I find it hard to pray for something if I don’t know what it is. Prayer is based on faith. To pray in faith, to be in agreement, I need to know what I’m praying for. If I don’t know what you want, I can’t pray for you. Your request may not even be the will of God, and that is always where faith begins. I remember one woman who asked me to pray that her husband would divorce her. I told her I couldn’t pray for that, but that we could pray for her husband’s salvation. If you want my prayers, tell me what you want, then I can tell you if I will pray.

There is one biblical way that I can pray for things I don’t know: praying in tongues. In fact, God has supernaturally prepared us to pray His perfect will into existence, even when we don’t know what that is. It is one of the least understood, least practiced, and most powerful blessings of being a Christian. Here are a few pertinent ideas:

· God designed the system so that we have a part to play: For Him to answer,we must ask. In addition, our motives must be right. God knows what you need, but you must ask in accord with his will. James 4:2-3 / Matthew 6:8

· Need does not move God: God cannot lie, and He gave man dominion in the earth. He does not move unless His covenant man asks Him. Titus 1:2 / Genesis 1:26 / Psalm 8:4-9

· He will intervene if asked, or if some other covenant condition is enacted. Note Genesis 18: 16-33 (Esp. Vv. 18-20) / Hebrews 8:6

· We have authority, but God has knowledge. God knows His plan and He knows our need. I don’t know all His plan, and I don’t know every situation, but I have a covenant-connected mouth with which to ask Him. Romans 8:26-27

· God designed a method for us to give Him permission to work in the earth, independent of our individual intelligence or knowledge. When I pray in tongues I am talking to God using words that come from God. 1 Corinthians 14:2, 14-15.

Somebody Said: Whenever God determines to do a great work, He first sets His people to pray. C. H. Spurgeon

Scripture Reading: I’m grateful to God for the gift of praying in tongues that he gives us for praising him, which leads to wonderful intimacies we enjoy with him. I enter into this as much or more than any of you. (1 Corinthians 14:18 MSG)

When I pray in tongues I am praying the unknown will of God. It may be for me, for you, or for someone we’ve never seen on the far side of the earth. One thing is sure, it is important. God’s will includes using the prayer language of the Spirit-filled believer to establish His plans in the earth. Two specific instructions to the New Testament church that insure the success of the will of God in the earth are:

1. Don’t forbid speaking in tongues. 1 Corinthians 14:39-40

2. Don’t quit: Ephesians 6:18

Let’s do this!

Watch the full message on this subject at our YouTube channel

Sunday Blessing: Foundations

These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; 15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
– 1 Timothy 3:14-15

Couldn’t get the vid uploaded. Jungle internet is a little iffy. Remember that those who stay with the stuff are as important as those who go out to battle. It is the foundation of the local church that makes the truth available. Have a great Sunday.