Saturday Is Here – Sunday Is Coming

I am in the midst of meetings with two leadership couples from Overcomers Christian Church in the city of Mount Vernon, Ohio. I am currently meeting with Joey and Elizabeth who are leaders in the church. Lunch is informal at the home of Jamie and Ruth Overholt. Jamie is my host for the ten days. Joey is his brother (one of many). We are getting better acquainted and talking about the church as well as the prophetic words they received on my last visit. Supper is with Joe and Victoria (dad and mom) who are the senior leaders of the church and the ones who planted it many years ago and are now handing over the leadership and day-to-day activities to a wonderful young leadership team.

Tomorrow I am in two services – morning and evening at Overcomers Christian Church in Mount Vernon. I have spoken there twice during my last visit to Ohio. As a result I have been invited back for this ten day time of ministry. The services are at 10:45a and 6:00p. Ohio is on the same time zone as Toronto. Pray for the services – that God’s power and presence would be seriously real and many lives would be touched. pray for my preparation later tonight as I think and pray through what I am teaching in line with Jamie’s suggestions… some writing will be required. Pray for the people attending and the prophetic ministry that will happen at both services.

Your prayers are really important to the work I am doing here and to me personally. Thanks for joining me in this work The Lord has set before us.

Your Church?

There are three types of churches on the planet today – the undertaker church, the caretaker church, and the risk-taking church.

The undertaker church is on the way to burying itself. They look back and they have pictures of the past but no plans for the future. The caretaker church is the one that says, “We don’t want to do anything; we just want to maintain our church as it is.” Their goal is to keep the fortress and the walls up and keep the people they have. The risk-taking church is the one that has the faith in God to step out and bear fruit for the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God needs churches that are willing to take risks. Leaders all over the world are risking their lives to reach the lost, yet we often hold back when we have so much less at stake. Here in North America we need to step out in faith. The average Christian Church has 75 members. In North America 85% of all churches have either reached a plateau or are declining. The USA is the fourth most unchurches nation on earth – and Canada is even in greater need for more churches to reach more people.

What is The Lord asking you to do that requires risk? What would it take for you to move beyond what is comfortable and be involved in something that only God could accomplish? What may The Lord be prompting your church to do in order to move forward? If you were assured that you couldn’t fail, what would you like to do for the Kingdom in your church? Remember, all visions start with a dream.

I hope and pray that you and your church, individually and collectively, in your walk with The Lord, will wrestle with what holy risks The Lord has in mind for you.

In Toronto on the Way to Columbus

I am part way to my final destination of Mt. Vernon, Ohio. I am in Toronto having just arrived after a 3.5 hour flight. Several hours to go through US customs and walk half way through this large airport to board me next flight. It is a walk on to the runway and then up some steps onto a plane – seats 32 people and is propeller driven. So, the last leg of the flight is noisy and the plane shakes a lot and reading is not advised.

When I arrive in Columbus I will be picked up by a young pastor (soon toe functioning as an apostle) – Jamie Overholt. We have a dinner planned and then I will have opportunity to move into where I am staying for the next ten days.

Please be praying about my meetings tomorrow – I have two main meetings with leadership couples from Overcomers Christian Church in the city of Mount Vernon. As well, time to get to know Jamie and his wife better… as well as some preparation time for Sunday services – both at Overcomers church. Thanks for praying. Your prayers are important and powerful and are the reason God is able to accomplish so much on these apostolic trips that He sends me on. I will post a blog each day regarding what is happening the next day…so you can be praying ahead for what I am involved in.

What Are You Investing In?

In 1976, Apple, Inc., was cofounded by three men. Steve Jobs, who eventually became the chairman and CEO, is the most famous of the three. You have probably heard of Steve Wozniak, the mastermind who invented the Apple I and Apple II computers. But you probably have not heard of the third member of the Apple trinity, Ronald Wayne. It’s Wayne who sketched the first logo, created the first manual, and wrote the original partnership agreement.

Ronald Wayne was a 10 percent shareholder in Apple. There are now 940 million active shares trading consistently above $500.00 per share. So that 10% stake would be worth at least $47 billion. But less than two weeks after getting his 10% share, Ronald Wayne sold them for $800.00

Don’t be Ronald Wayne. You have invested your life in the Kingdom – don’t sell out just because the King disappoints you at times. Don’t be another Judas Iscariot who had the Kingdom of God at his fingertips, yet he let it slip through his hands simply because his expectations were not met (see yesterday’s blog).

When everything is said and done, our only regret will be whatever we did not give back to God. It will be lost for eternity. When you invest in the Kingdom it’s value goes up and up. Don’t see out like Judas. Don’t sell short like Ronald Wayne. The time, the talent, the treasure we invest in His Kingdom will earn compound interest for eternity. Leave your investment there – focus your heart on the Kingdom.

So, hang in there. Don’t sell out like Judas. Don’t sell what you have already invested losing it for a temporary pleasure or an occasional sin like Ronald Wayne. Invest in the Kingdom.

Most of us spend most of our lives accumulating the wrong things. Start divesting yourself of those things that will depreciate over time and start investing in those things that will appreciate throughout all eternity.

Stop selling out to sin (Judas)
Stop selling God short (Ronald Wayne)
It’s time to go all out for God and serve the King and His Kingdom. It is the only wise investment in life.

Thirty Pieces of Silver

Thirty pieces of silver. That was Judas’s price to betray his Master, Jesus. Jewish people of his day would have recognized it as the exact amount to be paid if a slave was accidentally killed under Mosaic Law. Judas sold his soul for the replacement value of a slave.

The silver coins were most likely sanctuary shekels, since he was paid off by the chief priests. And while some estimates range higher, each coin may have been worth as little as seventy-two cents! So in todays currency, Judas betrayed Jesus for $21.60

Don’t be too hard on Judas… When God doesn’t conform to our expectations, we too are tempted, like Judas, to betray what we believe in. Like Judas, we are in it for what we can get out of it. So when God disappoints us and does not grant our wishes like a divine genie in a bottle, we are tempted to turn our back on Him.

This is, of course, what separates the true disciples from simple followers. The sheep from the goats! How do you react when God doesn’t meet your expectations? If you have truly accepted the invitation to follow Jesus, you will keep going on through hurricanes, hail, and hazardous conditions. If you have simply invited Him to follow you, you will bail out at the first sign of bad weather.

What am I trying to say: It is much easier to act like a Christian than it is to react like one! And how you react really shows the world if you are a disciple of Jesus. It is here when many fail – and simply declare that they are not true disciples but simply followers. Or worse still, they have not chosen even to follow Him but are expecting Him to follow them and do as they desire or command.

Judas’s reaction in his situation is so revealing. he was not a true disciple even though called one. He was not even a follower. He was really just in it for what he could get out of it. Are we any different?

You Only Keep What You Give Away

Moses Montefiore was a modern-day Moses. He was the first Jew to hold high office in the city of London. A close friend of the royal family, he was knighted Sir Moses by Queen Victoria in 1837 – the same year he was elected sheriff of London.

In later life, Sir Moses became famous for his philanthropy. He made seven trips to the Holy Land, the last one at the age of ninety-one. His love for the Holy Land was evidenced by his funding of a textile factory, a printing press, a windmill, and several agricultural colonies in Palestine.

On his one hundredth birthday, The London Times devoted its editorials to his praise. In one of them, a notable exchange was relayed to readers. Someone once asked Sir Moses to reveal his net worth. This man who had amassed a fortune through business ventures and real estate acquisitions thought for a moment. Then he named a figure that undercut the questioner’s expectation. The surprised inquirer said, “But surely the sum total of your wealth must be more than that.” With a smile, Sir Moses replied, “You didn’t ask me how much I own. You asked me how much I am worth. So I calculated how much I have given to charity this year. We are worth only what we are willing to share with others.”

So – the question of the day: “What is your net worth?”

It is not calculated by the sum total of your retirement funds or the assessment of your real estate holdings such as your home. And it has nothing to do with the trophies or medals that you have won, the degrees on your wall, or the title on your business card. Your net worth equals the sum total of all you have given away. Not a penny more. Not a penny less.

And when everything is said and done, what you don’t share is lost forever. But what you put in the hands of God becomes an eternal keepsake.

Playing Offense Not Defence

I think that we have conveniently forgotten that we were born in the middle of a battlefield. The cosmic battle between good and evil rages all around us all the time, yet we live, as Christians, as if we are in peacetime. Two thousand years ago, Jesus rallied the troops and sounded the charge with a call to spiritual arms.

Jesus said, “I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it.”

Gates are defensive measures. That means, by definition, that we are called to play offence! Faithfulness is not just holding the fort. It’s storming the gates of Hell and taking back enemy territory that belongs to God.

It seems we have reduced righteousness to the absence of wrongness, but goodness is not the absence of badness. You can do nothing wrong and still do nothing right. Remember the parable of the talents? Breaking even in bad. You have got to risk everything and invest in the Kingdom. We need to act – you cannot be complacent. Sitting is not an option in the Kingdom. Jesus, the King, said that we are to “go into all the world.” The reason – to go on the offensive and take back what the devil has stolen.

If your rule of life is “ready, set, go” you will need to change it. Why? Because we, as believers, seem to never be ready. In fact, after many years in the ministry I have noted that if we wait until we are really ready, we will be waiting the rest of our lives. We will never have the resources and the wisdom to do what God has called us to do – that is why it is called a walk of faith… So, really, we should have an approach that states, “Go. Set. Ready.” You would be amazed what will get accomplished for the Kingdom and the King if you adopt that slogan for your life, ministry and local church.

Personal Note to Self

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death,
Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a
dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.
Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God.
Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution.
Stop repeating the past and start creating the future.
Stop playing it safe and start taking risks.
Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey.
Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can.
Live like today is the first day and the last day of your life.
Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshipping
what’s right with Gd.
Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails.
Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. Take a flying leap of faith.
Quit holding out. Quit holding back.
Go all in with God. Go all out for God.

God Bought You

When I talk about the supernatural Church that Jesus is building I start with the message that we need to be born again. Why? Because that is the start of being supernatural. When we are born again we are transferred from the domain of darkness into the Kingdom of light (Colossians 1:13); we become “new creatures in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Supernatural creatures.

And, I mention that when Christ dies on the cross He redeemed you. That word for “redeemed” is a business term, a term used in the market place, referring to being bought. So, Jesus bought us and when we are born again we belong to Him. We call this making Him Lord and not just our Saviour.

I was reading the other day and realized that we don’t belong to God once. You belong to God twice. You belong to Him by virtue of creation – He created you and gave you life. You belong to Him a second time by virtue of redemption – His death on the Cross. He gave us life via creation. And when we were dead in our sin, He gave us eternal life via redemption. We don’t owe Him one life. We owe Him two lives!

maybe this explains why God is doubly jealous. When speaking to Moses God reveals one of His many (more than 400) Names – “Jealous.” God said, “Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”

Did you catch the double emphasis?

God isn’t just jealous – He is doubly jealous.

Jealousy isn’t a character trait that we sing or write about often. We ignore it because we don’t understand it. Jealousy has a negative connotation because for us it is usually the by-product of pride. But God’s jealousy is a beautiful expression of God’s love. It”s a jealous love that wants all of you – all to Himself.

And, if you have ever been in love, you know it is the most passionate form of love there is.

Two Verses – A Life Changed

Everywhere I go I end up teaching about two main issues – character and the prophetic. And, in most places I hear myself reminding people that they can prophesy because the Bible states they can – and that they need to take God seriously, the gift of prophecy seriously, but not take themselves seriously. After all, God can use a donkey to prophesy and He did. The first comment is about the gift we receive by grace – the second comment is about your character and the need to remain humble and just be a servant of the Most High God.

Just ask Saul. Scripture says he kept a jealous eye on David because David was becoming more popular than he was. He was more concerned about his reputation than God’s reputation. Two verses point to two defining moments in his downfall.

“Then Saul built an altar to The Lord; it was the first of the altars he built to The Lord.”

And then, one chapter later:

“Saul went down to the town of Carmel to set up a monument to himself.

Somewhere between 1 Samuel 14:35 and 1 Samuel 15:12, Saul stopped building altars to God and started building monuments to himself. And the prophet Samuel saw right through the smoke screen. “Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel?”

You know who builds monuments to themselves? Those who think little of themselves! Pride is a by-product of insecurity. And the more insecure a person is, the more monuments they need to build.

There is a fine line between “Thy Kingdom come” and ‘my kingdom come.’ If you cross the line, your relationship with God is self-serving.

You are not serving God. You are using God.

You aren’t building altars to God. You are building monuments to yuorself.

There is a name for that – idolatry.