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This week Ralph will be writing a series of blogs discussing “apostolic fellowship.” The Bible states “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship” (Acts 2:42). So, exactly what is “apostolic fellowship”?
We will be looking at the early church as revealed in the Book of Acts and examining what was really involved in fellowship in the Church and then compare it to what passes as fellowship in most churches today. A series of five blogs to help you see the Church as Jesus designed it to be when He said that “He would build His Church.”
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Sometimes I Don’t Pray In Tongues
This coming weekend Ralph will be teaching on “Sometimes I Don’t Pray In Tongues.”
An in-depth look at the practice of praying in an unknown language and what this spiritual and supernatural practice accomplishes in the spirit realm and in the life of the believer. We will also be looking at ‘singing in the Spirit’ and what this corporate practice in a local church releases for the believers and the Kingdom.
1 Corinthians 14:13-19 TPT “So then, if you speak in a tongue, pray for the interpretation to be able to unfold the meaning of what you are saying. For if I am praying in a tongue, my spirit is engaged in prayer but I have no clear understanding of what is being said.
So here’s what I’ve concluded. I will pray in the Spirit, but I will also pray with my mind engaged. I will sing rapturous praises in the Spirit, but I will also sing with my mind engaged. Otherwise, if you are praising God in your spirit, how could someone without the gift participate by adding his “amen” to your giving of thanks, since he doesn’t have a clue of what you’re saying? Your praise to God is admirable, but it does nothing to strengthen and build up others.
I give thanks to God that I speak in tongues more than all of you, but in the church setting I would rather speak five words that can be understood than ten thousand exotic words in a tongue. That way I could have a role in teaching others.”
Check out these recent audio teachings in the sometimes series by clicking the links below
- Sometimes I Don’t Pray (Speak) in Tongues – NEW!!!
- Sometimes I Am Not Bold In My Conversations
- Sometimes I Lack Bold Obedience
- Sometimes I don’t pray Boldly
- Sometimes I don’t Live a Bold Lifestyle
- Sometimes I Simply Don’t Trust God
- Sometimes I Forget to Stay Calm
- Sometimes I Feel So Insignificant
- Sometimes I have Stinking Thinking
- Sometimes I Feel Completely Inadequate
- Sometimes I’m Disappointed With God
When I was a young Christian – I had a young family and I made very little money each month
In fact – the amount I earned was totally inadequate to meet the rapidly increasing needs of my young family
The man through whose ministry I was healed and born again was in the area still and so I went to listen and receive
The time for the offering came and I asked God what I was to give – He said $100.00
I had $150.00 in the bank and it was still three weeks till pay day and that in itself was inadequate but take away $100.00 and it was past seriously inadequate into dangerous
So I’m thinking – no way Hosea
So, I turned to my wife – more spiritual – and asked her what God had told her we should give – $100.00
We wrote a cheque for $100.00 boldly trusting God
The next day – went and picked up the mail and there was a letter from another town – where I also had a small church which I was working with
From a man I did not know and had not met YET
Inside the envelop was a cheque for $1,000.00 and a note saying it was something he promised God he would do the year before and God reminded Him about it a week before and told him to send it specifically to me
A week before I obeyed the prompting of the Lord He was already blessing me because of my yet-to-be obedience to His prompting and giving of $100.00
“Your Heavenly Father knows what you have need of before you ask”
I want to talk about BOLD OBEDIENCE today…
An Apostolic Fellowship
With zeal 3,000 new believers turned towards their new opportunity to live out their faith. The first Christians hungered for the apostles’ teaching, prayed with tenacity, and worshipped wholeheartedly. They were not passive or neutral about it. They “continued steadfastly” in their commitment to God and to the apostolic fellowship. They had a passionate commitment.
Luke describes the believers’ zeal with a Greek word that is fairly rare in the New Testament. The word communicates an intense, consistent dedication. It means to persist in adhering to something, to be intently engaged, or to attend constantly. A verb in the imperfect tense, it signifies continuous action: ‘They kept on continuing steadfastly” in day-to-day commitment. These believers possessed wholehearted devotion.
Luke used this powerful word several other times. The 120 disciples who gathered in the upper room “continued with one accord in prayer and supplication” (Acts 1:14). The first church members were “continuing daily with one accord in the temple” (Acts 2:46). After the congregation grew into a so-called ‘megachurch,’ the apostles declared their intention to “give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4)
As a result of Peter’s preaching, many present on the Day of Pentecost declared themselves to a whole new way of life. The Amplified Bible translates verse 42 as: “And they steadfastly persevered, devotion themselves constantly to the instruction and fellowship of the apostles.”
Believers’ lives were marked by:
- The apostles’ doctrine
- The breaking of bread
A Look Inside Yourself
- Have you spent daily time in God’s Word and in prayer?
- Have you flirted, or had lustful attitudes, tempting thoughts, or exposed yourself to any explicit materials which would not glorify God?
- Have you been completely above reproach in your financial dealings?
- Have you pursued the hearts of your wife and kids?
- Have you done your 100% best in your job, school, etc.?
- Have you told any half truths or outright lies, putting yourself in a better light to those around you?
- Have you shared the Gospel with an unbeliever this week?
- Have you taken care of your body through daily physical exercise and proper eating/sleeping habits?
- Have you allowed any person or circumstance to rob you of your joy?
- Have you lied on any of your answers?
Loving Difficult People
Are you aware of the tremendous advantage frogs have over humans? They can eat anything that bugs them! Wouldn’t it be great of we could consume our relational problems rather than letting them consume us! What “bugs” you the most about people? Is it inconsistency? Inflexibility? Inability to give and take? Bad attitudes? Whatever it is that makes relationships difficult for you to build and maintain is something that needs to be looked at and dealt with.
I personally can handle disagreements or differences of opinion, but people who refuse to engage in and embrace a relationship that they have chosen to become involved in really gets to me. It means that the relationship becomes very one-sided very quickly. All give and no take. You share feelings and thoughts and there is no response, no interaction. So, it is like talking into a void never knowing what the other person is thinking or feeling.
I find that most Christian people suffer from very poor and even surface relationships. They truly are missing the relational skills needed to form and build healthy beneficial relationships with others believers and with non-believers. And, as a result they suffer from guilt in their relationships with others.
Christians are often taught that we should be full of grace,. Sounds good. But, what does it mean? Does God expect us to get along peaceably with everybody? Are we suppose to simply overlook other people’s faults and idiosyncrasies? Right relationships with difficult people can seem like an impossible standard to reach. Just what are we suppose to do?
Growing Through Criticism
Our ability to take criticism can make us or break us. No one is indifferent to criticism; it causes us to respond either positively or negatively. The foundational truth regarding criticism is this: If you want to do great things for God there will always be someone who doesn’t like what you are doing and who will become a critic of you and your ministry.
There are two kinds of people who are highly subject to criticism. The first group are the leaders. Aristotle said it well, “Criticism is something you can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” Yes, one of the costs of leadership is criticism. If you’re willing to stand apart from the crowd, you’re putting yourself in a vulnerable position, so count on some degree of criticism. When you are willing to stick your neck out, someone will want to chop it off.
Besides leaders the other group of individuals who are prone to criticism are the “leaders,” people who leap into the public eye because they are change agents. They bring unwelcome and uncomfortable change into people’s lives even though it usually is for their benefit.
To grow through criticism there are some things to note…
- Understand the difference between constructive and destructive criticism.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Look beyond the criticism and see the critic.
- Watch your own attitude towards the critic.
- Realize that good people get criticized.
- Keep physically and spiritually in shape.
- Don’t just see the critic; see if there’s a crowd.
- Wait for time to prove them wrong.
- Surround yourself with positive people.
- Concentrate on your task or mission — change your mistakes.
TEN TIPS FOR GIVING CRITICISM
We are introducing “Transformation Ministries” which has just begun ministering after months of preparation and prayer. This is another but separate outreach of Ralph Howe Ministries which is now entering its third decade of ministry.
As a result of a number of prophetic words received since October, 2015 Ralph, along with a number of young leaders from several nations, has formed this ministry to take the Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation, to the next generation. This ministry will be transforming lives as they plant churches and open safe centers for those who are looking for freedom and a new way of life.
Transformation Ministries will be raising up and training young leaders who are willing to “go and make disciples of all nations.” This ministry will find, train, mentor, and release young men and women who serious about Jesus and are wanting to make a major difference in this world desiring to see lives transformed by the power of the Gospel.
Transformation Ministries will also be focused on ministering to those between the ages of 16 and 36 as it plants house churches on university campuses in the nations where Ralph has already established his ministry. And, it will be planting house churches for young people in cities and towns where the next generation is not yet being impacted with the Gospel.
Transformation Ministries is focusing on seeing young lives totally and supernaturally transformed by the power of the Gospel and then equipped and released to touch the lives of other youth around the world.
As a registered charity in the nation of Canada we are reaching out to nations of the world with the powerful, transforming message of the Gospel.
Ralph Howe Ministries is run completely from donations. Expenses such as airplane travel, web design and management and visa documents come out of these givings. Your donations also help to support many young families as men and women all over the world obey God’s command to reach the nations with the gospel!
If you would like to give to Ralph Howe Ministries, simply click the Donate button on the right of the home screen.