Only Believe 4 (message notes)

Mark 5:35-36 msg

While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 

Big Thought:  Its amazing how practical faith really is.  Its practical for one simple reason.  Jesus is personal.  Its a powerful thought and reality that the Createor of all things, The only one true God so incredbily big in all of who He is, but somehow He is mindful of us.  He cares about us, loves us, is interested in us and is personally involved in our lives.  He set up the way for us to have a relationship with him.  So we no longer depend on a ritualistic religious way of serving God, but now we are chosen, adopted, and accepted into the family of God, and He wants to be personally involved in our every day lives.

Gods attitude towards us: We are not a burden on Him.  He is not put out with us.  He is not tired of us or resentful towards us.  He loves us, and wants the best for us.  He cares so much that he loves us just as we are, and He loves us to much to leave us like we are.

QUESTION:  What is going on in your life right now thats to big for God?  

THOUGHT:  Don’t make the mistake that because God is Spirit that all his solutions and answers for our lives are alone spiritual.  Yes Heaven is real, actually more real than our very existance.  However, to think that the things that are spiritual do not bridge to the practical, physical aspects of our lives is a terrible misconception.  When we set our faith in the invisible, the unseen, God of all things, then the results of that faith manifest in the physical.

God has the ability to change things.  
>He has the power to take us out of situations, 
>He has the ability to help us walk through circumstances, 
>He has the ability the change the circumstances, 
there is no doubt that our belief in God and his ability to effect change in our lives, does more than make us feel good spiritually or give us peace.  
It absolutely impacts the circumstances of our lives.

Deliverence through – 3 Hebrew boys

Deliverence from – Peter from Jail

>All things are possible with God, including all the practical issues our our lives.

Philippians 4:19 NKJV

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus

Isaiah 53:3-5 (Amp)

Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.

THOUGHT:  If we Apply the instruction that Jesus gave Jairus, to ONLY BELIEVE, then we set ourselves up for this all powerful, all knowing, all present, God, to act on our behalf.

Its called appropriation.  Our faith appropriates Gods power.  His power manifests in our life, when we set our faith on him.  

HOW? 

the answer to Gods spirit intervening in our physical is to Know Him more, understand Him more and Believe who He is and what He can do, and He will Deliver you out of your problems, or walk you through your problems, or Protect you from your problems, but whatever way He chooses to do it, His Super will touch your natural, and things will change.

The best way to have God personally involved in your life, is to have an ongoing, intimate close relationship with Him.  Know him and his salvation, and grow and develop in relationship with him. The greater the revelation you receive of Christ the stronger the faith and perserverence to believe,  and the greater the manifestation and appropriation will be at work in your life.

Dwell in Christ:  All the promises of God are yes and amen IN CHRIST.  HE IS THE SECRET PLACE.  Our journey towards God being active practically in our lives, starts with having a relationship with Jesus.  Do you know him?

II Corinthians 1:20 NKJV

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 

Psalms 91:1-6 NKJV

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. 

QUESTION:  where are you living?

From kidnapper to Christ follower

What a great guy as you can see in this photo. He has a true pastors heart, and is building the church in Cambodia. He Pastors one of the New Life campuses in Kampong Thom Province. His story is amazing.

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In 1999 new life started reaching into this area. They sent one of their pastors to the province to connect with people and have a bible study. As the Pastor, Mara Kong would teach and share, it was effecting the community, and there were a contingent of men who decided they would stop it. So they sent a man in to case the movements of Pastor Mara. The objective was to watch him and at the opportune time kidnap him and put a stop to this Jesus business.

So they sent this man to infiltrate the group and seize the opportunity to grab Mara. Week after week he sat in the bible study to pretend he was interested. What happened next proves the power of God. The word began to penetrate the hard heart of this hate filled man and as he sat in the studies instead of kidnapping Mara, God kidnapped his heart. He received the word of God, gave his life to Jesus and Jesus radically regenerated his life.

That, would be kidnapper, is now the Pastor of that church. Doing great things for God and reaching people for the cause of the local church.

When you hear these types of stories it makes it all worth it. You know that the time spent, effort given, money invested is all worth it. Lives are being changed.

Wandering, Worthless, and Wasted

Luke 15 is one of my favorite chapters in the bible. Jesus was attracting all kinds of people outside the religious realm and it was upsetting the theological apple cart of the religious leaders of the day in the Jewish community.

If He was a leader, a Rabbi, then interacting on a social level with “those people” was out of the question. So they complained to each other, saying, “he receives sinners and eats with them.” So in response to their complaint he did what was so often his way. He told a story. Three stories actually. All very good stories.

The first was about a lost sheep. He told the story of a sheapherd who had 100 sheep, but 1 had lost its way. He relayed to them that this sheapherd left the 99 sheep and went after the one. The implication here being that there are those who wander. How does a lost sheep get lost? Distraction, separation, isolation, usually when someone is lost they simply went wandering. It happens so easy. There are so many things to distract us, and we easily lose our way. We come to ourselves at some point, usually when caught in the thorn bushes, and say “how did I get here, I’m lost.”

The Next story is equally poignant. A woman had 10 coins but lost 1. Its believed that the 1 coin was worth about a days wage. The story goes that she lost it but it had so much value to her that she made a thorough search for it. She wanted it back in a serious way. She turned the house upside down to find that coin. The interesting thing about a lost coin, and is so true of our lives as well, is inherent value. A coin holds in itself a real value, just as we have incredible value to God, to the those around us, to our own families. No matter what happens in our lives our value still exists. Even more interesting is that no matter how much value a coin has if its lost its worthless. It can not be used for that which it was created. It can have incredible value but if its lost it has no worth.

The third and last story is one of the single most compelling accounts in scripture. It is the story of “The Prodigal Son” We all know this story, we have heard it from many different perspectives and in different ways, but we always come back tot he fact that there was a rebellious son, who left his fathers house to pursue selfish desires, and after a time hit rock bottom and returned in humility to his father and the father compassionately and enthusiastically received him home. What this story is about is the idea of waisted potential. The waist of living life for self. The waste of taking our blessing and squandering it among those who feign love but in truth are friends for fun sake, not friends of faithfulness. Its about waste. The waste of a life filled to the brim with potential, yet spilled out over bad choices and wrong thinking. Most importantly it is about the idea that failure is not final, that potential wasted can be redeveloped and deployed, that forgiveness is more powerful than betrayal.

The object of all of these stories seem to be the wandering, worthless and wasted. The Sheep, the coin, and the son. I truly believe that real object of these stories are the sheapherd, the woman, and the father. Reason being, Jesus nature, His love for those “outside the circle” was in question. He was being challenged that his desire to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel was missing the mark. So these stories while stating the fact of humanity, the way we wander, the way we lose worth as we lay lost in the dark shadows of the corners of the room, and how mankind has a tendency to run from the freedom of surrender. The focus of the story were the owners of the sheep, coin and son. Most importantly the way they responded.

The Sheapherd left the 99 sheep to go after the 1. Regardless of why the distraction or what caused the sheep to be lost it was lost all the same and needed to be found, because that one sheep was as important to the sheapherd as everyone else. He did not respect or love the other “non distracted” sheep anymore than the 1. He lovingly picked the sheep up, and carried it back to the fold. What a compassionate Sheapherd we have in Jesus.

The woman, becomes almost hysterical in her attempt to find the coin. Knowing that the value of the coin was in its being found, and knowing that its worth was being lost. She refused to give up and was willing to turn everything over to find it. When she found it she through a huge celebration, because the valuable coin had worth again. What a loving Creator we have in Jesus who made us valuable and wont let us lose our worth and will do anything to retain our worth.

Most importantly the father who was obviously waiting on his “prodigal-wasted” son to come home. When he sees him, embraces him, immediately forgives his rebellion, but will not hear of any solution that will not mean full reinstatement of full rights and identity in the family of God. He Kiss him, he clothes him, and he takes what was a waste and renewed it to its rightful potential and accepted the son back confessing in loud tones. My son was dead, he is alive, he was lost now he is found.

So I encourage you, if you want to know that love of your Heavenly Father today, go and look at Luke 15, instead of focusing on the wandering, worthless, and wasted, turn your eyes on the Sheapherd, the woman, and the Father. If you happened to be found then take on the spirit of your father and lovingly find someone else, if you happen to be lost run to your father He’s waiting.

Before the Ride is Over

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As soon as we arrived in the lake side community yesterday a young man begin to ask if we wanted to go on a boat tour of the islands. We said we might. He got the number of our host and called us several times that night asking what time we would like the cruise.

He was quite a salesman. After the meetings yesterday we came out and there he was waiting on us and asked if we were going to go on the tour.

We finally said we would. I told the guys we should have told him we will go on your tour but we want you to come to the meeting. I saw it as a missed opportunity. Pastor Eddy said don’t worry before this tour is over He will know Jesus.

The young man was about 25 had a wife and a four year old. We didn’t know it but his wife had been attending pastor eddy’s church and bringing their son and had been born again.

So eddy sets by him, the tour was about 45 minutes to an hour. Eddy explained to him the difference between religion and actually having a personal relationship with Jesus. Being born again. In the middle of the ride pastor eddy shouts to the front of the boat he has given his life to Christ. We looked back and the young man was standing, clapping his hands and smiling ear to ear.

By the time the ride was over they had worked out when he would be water baptized and connected him to the church and exchanged numbers.

It was the single most effective evangelistic effort I’ve ever seen. Which leads me to say, American church stop complicating it, let’s make up our mind to do it, and then maybe before this ride called life is over we will have reached them all.

Tell me the Story of Jesus

On our way up north today we had the opportunity to talk to a new friend. As we talked his story begin to unfold. When in Rwanda it’s not good to go around asking everyone what tribe they are from or the story of what they have gone through, some are not ready to talk about it, while it brings bad feelings up for others.

We were just getting to know one another. At the end of his story he said, “I love God, because he preserved me and my people and reconciled us with those who tried to wipe us out.”

This is a sharp young man, this is a young man that has held a position with the government. He has been to the US and earned his masters degree in finance. One of the single most resilient young men I’ve ever met, with a spirit that would make you think he’d never had a bad day in his life.

What he went through was trying, terrifying and terrible. They came to his home and killed his entire family, butchered and stole all of the family livestock, and tried to kill him, beating him until they thought he was dead not realizing he was alive and ultimately hid in the bush for 6 months barely surviving, oh and I forgot to mention he was 12 at the time.

He says Jesus has saved his life. I can’t imagine what it would be like to experience such horror, and devastation.

If you want to know if Jesus is real, consider this, what, but Gods grace would give a man the strength to forgive and even go back and share the love of Christ with the very people who tried to wipe him out of existence?

He is a remarkable young man. He and I are strategizing how to make a dream of his come to pass. A worship conference, to help Rwanda and its spiritual leaders take the principles and power of worship to an entirely new level in this great nation.

Will it happen? Come with us next
Year and you will see. I’ll partner with that kind of resiliency fortitude and faith anytime and have no doubt that the vision he has for a worshipping Rwanda will come to pass.

That my friends is the story of Jesus and his great love.