Pentecost Sunday

Around the world today the Church will be celebrating PENTECOST SUNDAY. This is the annual remembrance of the coming of the Holy Spirit with power upon believers as recorded for us in the second chapter of the book of Acts in the Bible.

Jesus had told the disciples to stay in the city until their had received power from God. He told them that the reason for the power was to enable and empower them to be witnesses for Him locally, regionally, and worldwide. The first act of this new entity called the Church was to tell others of the life-change that knowing the resurrected Jesus had made. They stood and witnessed and 3,000 were brought into the Kingdom and bowed their knee to the King on the birthday of the Church. They had been empowered to witness and they did. The resurrected Jesus was with them just as He had promised He would be. The Church was born and was immediately a force to be reckoned with.

The Church of Jesus Christ – whenever and wherever it takes seriously the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the resulting power and gifts of the Spirit that are received to enable believers to witness to the night-and-day difference Jesus has made and continues to make in people’s lives – is still a force to be reckoned with today as is being seen and reported in many nations around the world today.

However, many churches and individual believers will celebrate PENTECOST SUNDAY today and it will simply be a memorial service; a time to remember what happened once, back then, that eventful day in the history of the Church. It was never meant to be such. No believer need settle for a powerless life.

The Holy Spirit still empowers believers today. The gifts of the Spirit, which are supernatural, still flow from believers today touching others who have yet to believe. Jesus was serious when he said that rivers of living, life-changing waters would flow from believers to non-believers. PENTECOST is still a daily event in the lives of many Spirit-baptized believers. It should be!

Step Out In Faith

“For the Lord would say…” Words that are music to my ears. And, for the last four days I have been honored to be travelling with a gift to the Church – a true prophet of God and so I have heard those words many, many times.

We need to hear from God. Of course, every born again believer hears from God for the Lord Jesus states: “My sheep – that’s us – can hear my voice”. But, then the Holy Spirit uses a prophet or an apostle to bring long-term life and ministry direction into our spirit or heart. They reveal the plans and the purpose of God for an individual. Their words release life into our inner man and, as they speak, power is released to activate God’s destiny for your life. It never ceases to amaze me.

It never ceases to amaze me. God speaking to His children. God involved in the daily details of our lives. God speaking to our potential and what it is that He wants us to do with Him and for Him. Amazing.

“For the Lord would say” speaks to our potential; to what is possible; to what can be if we cooperate with what God wants to accomplish. That means we need to pray about what God has revealed, think about what was said, get some input from others who understand the working of the Holy Spirit and the prophetic, fulfill any conditions spoken within the Word and then become proactive and begin to step out in faith with the wisdom that comes from listening to a multitude of counselors.

If you do nothing – nothing will happen. The Word will fall to the ground and not bear fruit. I see it all the time. Potential never reached. Possibilities lost forever. Lives not changed in spite of having heard a Word from Almighty God. Sad!

Prophecy is a great blessing and can change a person forever. However, it is up to the person who received the Word to release the full potential of that Word. Many never do. That grieves the Holy Spirit as it literally means we “despise prophecy” and that is something the Bible warns again.

Squashed, Squeezed and Emptied

To keep the spiritual fires burning -and to remain passionate about the Lord and His work of soul winning or seeking and saving the lost (which is now our mandate) we need to be squashed, squeezed and emptied.

We tend to think (and thus our theology often is) “come to God, and He’ll help you and fix you.” But if you read the Bible with spiritual understanding you know it is more like: “Come to God, and He’ll ruin you (in the most wonderful and best sort of way).”

When Isaiah saw the Lord in the temple, he said, “Woe to me, I’m ruined”. Another version (NCV) reads “destroyed“. Not fixed – not prosperious – not healed – but ruined or destroyed. That doesn’t preach well and certainly won’t sell a lot of CDs. Isaiah’s experience of coming to the Lord and seeing Him squashed the young man flat, squeezed out all his pride, emptied him of selfish-ambition. And then, a few verses later when God asked who can I send, Isaiah answered, “send me” and God agreed and did just that. And a truly great prophetic ministry was launched. That is how every true believer needs to be ruined – squashed, squeezed, emptied. Destroyed!

People who have one or more of the supernatural gifts flowing in their lives – and have not had an encounter with the living God and so are unbroken – are simply dangerous. Gifted and broken – they are very usable and wonderful to have in a local church. Gifted and unbroken – dangerous to themselves, others and the local church. I believe this is why we see a number of national ministries in trouble and why the Church suffers through one disgrace after another.

Todd Bentley is, once again, back in the news. And, he is one of many current examples. Barely divorced he marries the young intern that he was having an affair with. Still in disciplinary action under three leaders within the Church in the United States (I think they have finally settled on who he is submitting to and who he is accountable to) they are already talking about his return to ministry and Rick Joyner is raising funds for the launch of Fresh Fire USA which is Todd’s new ministry. Todd is anointed but not broken. Gifted but dangerous. And, as someone who has watched the circus we call the Charismatic Church now for over thirty years I would tell you we are in trouble (and heading towards more trouble) once again.

Leaders and all believers, to be usable by the Lord like Isaiah was, need to be squashed, squeezed and emptied of self so that when the Lord is looking for someone to accomplish a task for the Kingdom we can say “Here I am” and find ourselves commissioned by the Lord to accomplish His work.

Keep Yourself Fueled and Aflame

Life seems to be sucking passion and zeal right out of people. There is simply too much life. Too many deadlines, too much pressure, too many places we need to be, things we need to do, people we need to see, projects that need accomplishing. As a father of 6 and a grandfather of 11 and a leader in three ministries I can assure you I write from personal experience. There is simply too much “life” and, as a result, our passion and zeal dissipate or dissolve. We go through the motions too tired to enjoy what we are doing and without emotion.

This, of course, has a direct impact upon our spiritual life. It too often lacks zeal. Passion is often a missing factor and yet it is such a vital part of being a healthy believer. Worship is half-hearted. We are not anticipating that anything will happen at a worship service – in fact, we are subconsciously hoping it doesn’t as it will take too much energy to respond if it does. We don’t enjoy fellowship time as it is simply ‘one more thing’ we are expected to be a part of and enjoy. Daily Bible study is out – in fact, daily Bible reading has almost gone the way of the dinosaur.

The activities that should be an exciting part of our spiritual journey simply become another demand. And we are not rising to the demand … we are too tired spiritually, mentally, emotionally, relationally, physically …

Truth be known – this is not how it should be. The Bibl states that we are to follow our God – relate to Him – with both passion and zeal … the two missing ingredients in most people’s everyday life right now. Listen to the Word of God – read these verses out loud to yourself.

Mark 12:30 The Message Version
“So love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy”

Romans 12:11 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fevor, serving the Lord.” The Message version of the same verse … “Don’t burn out; keep yourself fueled and aflame … cheerfully expectant…”

Keep yourself fueled and aflame. It seems to be saying this is our responsibility. We are to make sure that we have a full gas tank and that we throw a fresh lit match into it every day so that we burn brightly (with passion and zeal) for the Lord in our everyday life. Another demand! Something else that needs my attention! More “life” to consume me! Another expectation!

How can I be or become “…fervent in spirit” (NLT)? How do I avoid being “…slothful in zeal” (NLT)? I believe it is possible to be both otherwise the Holy Spirit would not have stated it as a command nor would He have spoken it so strongly. It is time to sit down and, with God’s help, take a good look at how you are using the time the Lord has given to you.

Time is like money – there is a limited supply and more demand than availability. So, are you wasting it, spending it, or investing it?

Now, remove many of the activities and events that fit in the first two of those three categories. Just stop doing them as no longer beneficial to your overall well-being and health. Then, having “cleared the deck of “time takers” that are not beneficial to God’s plans and purpose for your life … take some of the freed-up time and designate it as time with God. Now, protect that time and actually adopt activities that will fill your tank with fuel and that will light a match in your life so that your passion and zeal will, once more, become evident in your everyday life.

It is a command from the Lord – and a responsibility – keep yourself fueled and aflame!

Walk Off the Edge

I’m teaching a great group of believers on the topic of faith. We are meeting once weekly for eight weeks. I have new believers and seasoned saints in the group. We are going through the Bible taking a look at the Christian understanding of faith. Afterall, we do belong to the Christian FAITH and the Bible states in 4 places that “the righteous shall live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:1-5, Romans 1:7, Galatians 3:10-11, and Hebrews 10:38).

I am not a Word-Faith preacher. I am a Bible teacher and so approach this important topic in a way that is “fair and balanced” as Fox News is fond of saying about their reporting. Because I have walked by faith now for over 30 years I find teaching others the Bible understanding of living by faith exciting. I always walk away from these nights energized. Always!

I like what John Wimber said many years ago. “You spell faith – risk.” That is true. It is a risk because according to the Bible definition of faith (Hebrews 11:1) you are seeing what is not as if it were and walking in line with that hope until it materializes in your physical world and your everyday life. It is life lived on the edge. It is believing what God has spoken to you – a Rhema word from the Scriptures or a prophetic word through an apostle or prophet – and acting upon it. Living life in the “what if…”. Attempting things so big that without God they would fail. It’s actually fun because you get to see God move on your behalf and make a way where there is no way.

In the book “Under the Overpass” by Mike Yankoski the author states “The next step on a journey of faith always feels risky and a little scary. But it’s also always terribly important and incredibly promising – and it’s always up to us to take.” (page 221). He goes on to state: “Most likely your journey will lead you toward utter dependence on the King of kings and a resolution to follow Him wherever He may ask you to go. That might be to the streets, to your friends and family, to your neighbor, or to a stranger you haven’t even met yet.” (page 220).

This walk of faith is a journey. And it is an adventure. And there is no better time than right now to start that journey with the living Jesus Christ. So, here is the question: “What would you do during your day or in your life for God if you were not concerned with what you wear, what you eat, where you sleep, what you own, what people think of you, or what discomforts you face?” The answer to that question determines the starting point of this exciting walk.

Quotable Quotes – Fear of Witnessing

Many people don’t witness about the night-and-day difference Jesus has made and is making in their lives. Peter tells us we are to do just this…

“But you are the ones chosen by God…God’s instruments to do His work and speak out for Him, to tell others the night-and-day difference He made for you…” (1 Peter 2:9 The Message)

We are to “speak out for Him” which is easier said than done if the comedian Jerry Seinfeld is correct. He said: “People’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death…. That means at a funeral… they’d rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy.”

Cute – but , like most humor, it is rooted in actual truth. Most people have a fear of speaking in public. Add to that a concern they may look like a fool, that they may be rejected, that they may not be able to answer any questions should they be raised, that they don’t know enough and that they might not get it right when they do give their testimony and tell others of the difference it has made to be walking with and talking to Jesus – and suddenly you have believers who never tell others about Jesus (witness for the faith). You have believers who, in their whole lifetime, will not lead anyone into a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Of course, this is a serious violation of Scripture and a direct disconnect with the plans of God and the purpose for the Church. When we let fear override obedience to the words of the Lord – it ends up being a serious intentional neglect of the command to reach out and love our neighbours as we love ourselves. And is an indication of the true level of love for Jesus that we have. Jesus did say, “If you love Me, you will obey Me.”

So, what is to be done? Well, learning how to “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints” (June 3) helps. Find out what a Christian believes and how to defend it against the many “isms” that exist in our world today. Praying for boldness as they did in Acts 4 is an excellent step to take. Learning about the beliefs of others and what the Bible would say to those beliefs – learning how to speak truth into error – is also a good step to take. Prayer would certainly be a good step in the right direction. Receiving the power to witness that comes with the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) – absolutely essential.

However, and maybe I am just simplistic, if we say we are born again believers and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ then this should simply be a natural overflow of that dynamic relationship, should it not? I mean, if we are a disciple and thus following the Master, witnessing (speaking in public) will be the “natural” outcome. Jesus said, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19) So, just as He came from Heaven to earth to “seek and the save the lost” (Luke 19:10) so must we leave our comfort zones and step out in faith and follow Him – speaking about the night-and-day difference He has made. It is all about following.

I did tell you it would sound simplistic. But then the basic truth often does.

Quotable Quotes – Preach Christ Crucified

A lady said to me that she switched churches (to a church being pastored by a friend of mine) because after years of sitting under my teaching she wanted to listen to a preacher for a while. She is living with a non-biblical understanding of the difference between a teacher and a preacher. One that is shared by many believers today – at least here in North America.

Here’s the misunderstanding. They think that a teacher is someone who quietly teaches God’s Word line-upon-line and precept-upon-precept having three points and a number of sub-points to the teaching and imparts information. They also think a preacher is someone who is a little more active in the pulpit, tells stories, gets some emotion flowing so people get excited and interact with the preacher, and is generally more exciting to listen to. In other words, the difference between a teacher and a preacher is content and presentation or style.

Here’s the biblical understanding of the difference between a teacher and a preacher. A teacher is feeding God’s people (the sheep) so that they will have healthy spiritual lives and they will continue to be strong in the things of God. A preacher is communicating the Gospel of Jesus Christ – which is the power of God unto salvation – to an unsaved, non-Christian audience. The difference between a teacher and a preacher is not their content or style but their audience.

Paul states: (Romans 10:14-15) “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Every preacher of the Gospel and every teacher of the Word of God is looking for ways to improve their abilities and skills so as to better communicate with their audience. The preacher is working at understanding the unsaved and communicating the Gospel of salvation to them in their worldview and their life situation. The teacher of God’s Word is looking for ways to improve their abilities and skills so as to help believers to live according to God’s Word so that they can have integrity and impact their world for the Lord Jesus. So, it is the audience that determines whether someone is teaching or preaching – not style of presentation as many think.

However, I believe that today – because of the spiritual condition of those who call themselves believers and make up the audience most teachers face on any given Sunday when entering the pulpit with Bible in hand … I believe that even the teachers need to be presenting the Gospel Sunday by Sunday. I believe that many who call themselves believers are not. They have said a sinner’s prayer, they have had a warm, fuzzy experience in a service 27 years ago, they have answered an altar call … but they are not saved and truly converted. They have not repented of their sins and without repentance there is no salvation. They have, in many ways, simply switched religions – and are now part of a born again religion. Regardless of the brand name they are still “holding to the outward form of our religion yet denying the power thereof.” In context, the power to bring change to one’s life. Look around – there are some “born again Christians” whose life-style and lack of fruit would indicate that they are not truly saved.

So, as a teacher approaches the pulpit he or she must remember that many of those listening think they are “safe” and yet are not and so they need to be continually presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ to what is often an audience that believes they know and understand it and are already safe from Hell. In other words, they are both teacher of the sheep and preacher to the heathens.

And here is where I was heading with all this …

Because of the hardness of heart, the indifference, the apathy, the lethargy as well as the “I’m alright with God thank you” attitude that prevails among Christians and non-Christians alike we need to be preaching “Christ Crucified”. Paul states:

When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)

I like what John Piper had to say“Don’t preach in a way that a Muslim would approve. Preach a divine crucified Christ.” He said this when giving advice about what helped him to most improve his preaching skills. I believe even teachers of God’s Word need to take his advice seriously today.

If Your Vision Doesn’t Scare You

Terrific thought: “If your vision doesn’t scare you, it isn’t big enough.” This comment by Angus Buchan, whose book (and DVD of a full-length feature film) called “Faith Like Potatoes” is worth the read, got me to thinking about my vision for what I am doing here at Ralph Howe Ministries for the Lord. And it scares me. This apparently is a good thing.

I don’t often speak of the things we are planning because of the fear that people will think we are “blowing our own horn” here at this ministry. However, really it should point people to what God is doing and bring Him praise and the glory. Afterall, if the vision is beyond our abilities and giftings – then it will scare us and point to God all at the same time.

Just briefly off the top of my head some things we are working on…

1> Converting 30 discipleship classes (each 8 weeks long and containing the equivalent of a Bible School course at the lower levels of the 30 courses or a seminary class as you reach the upper levels) to a correspondence format so they can be offered on line through this web site. They will also be translated into Rusian so that we can continue to train and disciple people in the many nations who speak Russian.

This is a major project that could absorb one person full-time for more than a year. However, with several volunteers now working for us we are hoping to have a good portion of the work done before year end (at least the first 10 courses).

2> Our radio program – THE POINT – has gone through many changes in the past three months and the new format is slowly coming together. We have plans (by the end of September we are hoping) of going from twice weekly to five nights a week and by year-end to be on air seven days a week. We have purchased new equipment to allow us to do “voice overs” and “mixing” as well as recording teachings live so we can then edit and broadcast them. We are currently researching what would be needed to have several of these shows take on a phone-in format. We are already set up for interviews and will be entering that field of broadcasting this month.

3> Research is on-going regarding establishing an internet 24/7 Christian radio station that would combine talk and music… and, of course, be available worldwide.

4> In combination with Bob MacDonald Ministries we are co-authoring and co-publishing a series of 20 booklets (40 pages) covering all the basics of the Christian faith. These could be used in home groups, discipleship situations, church plant situations, and one-on-one. These will be available in paper and e-book formats and made available as they are ready – one at a time.

5> We have plans to continue developing our overseas office located in Ukraine. Just 10 days ago we shipped over the funding for the purchase of a new laptop computer so that the person who works there for us can keep current on the emails and other correspondence needed on a daily basis while travelling and ministering in his own growing (and very anointed) apostolic ministry. In line with that, I have begun applying my faith towards the purchase of a ministry vehicle foe our staff member there so he can begin to drive to events and not be as reliant on the public transportation stystem of buses and trains.

6> We are also working on the content for a school for apostles and prophets (2 weeks in length for Level One) that will see the light of day in January, 2010. This includes writing the basic theological and biblical content of the school and having it translated into Russian and distributed ahead of the actual school. Then, writing the practical side of the teachings which we would then teach in person at this school.

7> Already my office alone is answering ten to fifteen emails a week from Russian speaking nations (some in English and others needing translating) as well as I send out a personal e-news bulletin about what I am doing, our plans, and other personal comments to those who will be part of this training. As well, we are working on a bi-weekly e-newsletter that would contain a lot of basic teachings on apostles, prophets, and the prophetic which will be translated and sent to a substantial (and growing) mailing list. We are also working at expanding the Russian speaking section of our web page.

8> Working on several major writing projects – the first book is tentatively titled: “You Are Born Again If…” and deals with the fact that many in the born again Church worldwide are truly not saved but have simply switched religions and are holding to the outward form of our religion but denying the life-changing power of it. This is based on 1 John and is a burning passion in my heart.

I am also collecting together my material and reseach for writing 7 other books (140-150 pages) which will form a series of basic teachings for the new expression of God’s Church that is being raised up around the world today (a move among those in their 20-30’s). Some of these books are already in outline form and others are simply in the collecting material and sorting information stage.

There are many other things that are still in what I call the “Dreaming Stage”. The projects listed above are simply the ones we have already begun to take action on and that are “in process” at the current time.

I am not sharing these plans and projects to raise money (as we don’t appeal for funds in any way in this ministry). I am not looking for encouragement as I am definitely not discouraged (I have never been this excited about ministry in the 40 years I have been preaching). I share these in the hope that you will see what an awesome God we worship and serve and that, if led to, you might pray for one or more of these amazing projects that the Holy Spirit has us involved in.

I am reminded of a comment by William Carey (missionary and great Christian of olden days) who once said: “Attempt great things for God and expect great things from God”. That is really all I am doing!

Return to Your First Love

In the book of the Acts of the Holy Spirit we see the work of Jesus continued by His people – the Church. Specifically we see two major elements that helped to form the foundation of the life of the Church – prayer and prophecy.

Prayer and prophecy are linked. When we pray we bring to God the things that are heavy on our hearts and the issues of living as a believer in a world that is hostile to the Gospel. Then, if we listen we will hear God and what He is telling us about our life issues as well as how to reach this hostile world for Him – prophecy.

Prayer and prophecy were foundational and basic to the life of the first Christians as well as the life and health of the early Church. The same is still true today.

However, time seems to be a key factor today. Scheduling time in an already too busy and hectic life -time to be alone and be still before God – is a definite issue in our active world. Time to speak to Him about the issues we currently face and to hear God speak prophetically into our lives, giving direction and guidance, seems to be at a minimum. However, it is fixable. But only you can do something about it!

Lacking a quality “talk time” with God every day means it has not become a priority in our lives. It is still considered optional – which will never do if we want to hear Him and be heard by Him. Prayer and prophecy must become an essential. We need to carve out the time to “be still and know that He is God”. We need to make spending time with Him in the midst of an overbearing schedule a serious first priority.

This may mean dropping some things that we now do, less time to talk with others over coffee, saying “no” to overtime at work occasionally, being careful about how much time is spent in front of the television … whatever it takes to intentionally carve out time to be with God. Only you can make this happen – and, I believe, this is a key issue to seeing God move in the Church today. Return to your first love.

Quotable Quotes – 1 – Muslim to a Former Muslim, Now Christian

“Nobody changes from Muslim to Christian – you are a Muslim…If I had a knife now, I would kill you.” Abdelaa Hashem – an Egyptian judge, to Martha Samuel Makkar, according to her lawyer. Convert Makkar had been charged with forging identification documents. (Egypt does not allow religion changes on identification papers.)

Well, it is the law – it is illegial to change your stated religion on your legal documents in Egypt. And Romans, Chapter 13 speaks clearly about obeying authority because ALL authority has been placed there by God. No one said it would be easy. It was not easy for the early Christians in Rome to obey the rulers of Rome as it was the emperor who was blaming Christians for what was going wrong at that time in the empire and who was persecuting them – putting them to death. And Paul had the audacity to write (under the inspiration and direction of the Holy Spirit) that they were to pay taxes to this “authority” when the tax money was going directly into persecuting believers. It is often not easy to obey the authorities and see them as placed there by God Himself. So, she should not have changed the listing of her ‘religion’ on her identification papers because it is against the law that the authorities have put into place – and this authority is of God.

However, I was interested in what the judge had to say in this quote (as found in a recent edition of the magazine Christianity Today). “Nobody changes from Muslim to Christian – you are a Muslim…If I had a knife now, I would kill you.”

Now I am no expert on the Muslim faith – but I do believe that the Ten Commandments form part of their theological base. And so murder would be a sin. Of course, they believe they have the truth and that only Muslims are doing the will of Allah – which includes ridding the world of infidels. An infidel is someone who does not convert to Islam and the Muslim faith. Convert or die. “Muslims view all other religions as satanic expressions of polytheism… All Muslims have a sacred mission: to bring the entire world under Allah’s dominion by force of persuasion.” (Larson’s Book of World Religions and Alernative Spirituality – page 275).

“There are only two classes of people: Dar-ul-Islam, those who have submitted, and Dur-ul-hard, those who resist. The latter are fair game for missionary efforts, financial pressure (e.g., the oil embargo), and the ‘sword of Allah’ in jihad [holy war], or whatever measures are necessary to bring them under the authority of Islam.” (Larson – Page 269).

So, if this woman who faced a judge in an Egyptian court had converted away from the Muslim faith – although guilty of breaking the civil law of the nation because she changed her religious listing on her idntification papers – she would also be fearful for her life even from a judge of the nation that swore to uphold the law. He could actually knife her to death and declare it proper religious justice and justify it to himself as being faithful to his call as a Muslim.

In that context his comment in a court of law does not seem so strange. Just as frightening – but not as far out or strange as it first appears.

Thinking about this a lot these past few days … and I really admire the passion and the zeal this judge has for what he believes to be the truth. And, how this “truth” has shaped his life and his thinking. And, his resulting commitment to the beliefs that he holds to – and to actual will to act on those beliefs – is commendable.

Looking at a lot of Christians today – you will not see this type of zeal and passion in their lives for what they say they believe. In fact, apathy and lethargy (as well as self-centeredness) have taken over in many cases and, as a result, we don’t speak up to express our worldview or our point of view. We fail to declare the Gospel and whimp out before even the least opposition. Maybe we don’t truely believe that Jesus is the ONLY WAY to the Father – and so don’t feel the passion to rescue the lost compelling us to tell others – because we don’t really believe they are lost! Maybe we don’t believe that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation! Maybe we simply don’t know what we actually believe! Well, I believe we only believe those parts of the Bible that we actually put into practice and apply in our lives. This means that there is really little actual “belief” in what God has spoken to us within the Church in North America.

We have much to learn from the Muslims then – and from the Jehovah Witnesses and the Mormons, as well. Much to learn about passion and zeal … and remember God’s Word states:

“So love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.” (Mark 12:30 The Message)

And, Romans 12:11 states: “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fevor, serving the Lord.” In The Message Version this verse reads: “Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame…cheerfully expectant…”

More on these verses next time!