Gather the Outcasts

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pushing Back the Darkness

Dear beloved: One of the joys of being in the fellowship is the opportunity of corporate worship of  our Lord and Savior.  Psalm 111:1 Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart, In the company of the upright and in the assembly. Psalm 147:1 Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant and praise is becoming. Psalm 149:1 Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise in the congregation of the godly ones.  When the Lord commands us to not forsake the gathering of the saints; He has in mind that we would not only gather to encourage each other and stimulate each other to love and good deeds, but also that which is being done in heaven would also be done here on earth. Revelation 5:9 gives us a sampling of the songs in heaven, And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and did purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. v10 And thou has made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth." 

Recently the brothers in the prison gathered for a church service, and as we began to worship the Lord, the glory of the Lord came down and began to fill the room.  As the service progressed, the worship became more intense and so did the glory!  The men began to worship with all their heart; some danced to the Lord, others knelt in prayer and adoration, others just stood with upraised arms in praise to the King.  After the worship was over, one of the brothers shared that the Lord had given him a vision while he was worshiping.  He saw the bright light of the Lord just push back the darkness in the prison.  Demons of suicide, destruction, anger, bitterness, false religions, and many others that combine to bring a dark cloud over the prison, were sent scrambling as the glory of the Lord spread from the small gathering to envelope the whole wing of the prison, and eventually the whole complex that is home to 800 inmates. Just the praises of a few can affect the atmosphere of the many, so let your praises ring!

Psalm 148:13 Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and heaven. v14 And He has lifted up a horn for His people, Praise for all His godly ones; Even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him. Praise the Lord!  Beloved, gather with the saints to give God the praise that He is due, He will lift you up.  God bless you, in Christ, Jim

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Gathering of the Saints

Dear beloved:  The third leg of walking in the Spirit is to fellowship on a regular basis with the saints, to gather with them as the writer of Hebrews encourages us in Hebrews 10:24-25 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, v25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.  It is vital in our walk with the Lord that we gather together to encourage and stimulate one another to love and good deeds.  Although many are tempted to stay home and watch television evangelists or listen to radio ministries, the Lord desires that we meet together where we can look at each other and see with our own eyes how our brothers and sisters are doing; do they need prayer, do they need encouragement, do they need financial provision?  These things we can only discern by gathering together with the saints.

The hallmarks of the early church were four things:: Acts 2: 41-42 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls. v42 And they were continually devoting themselves to the 1) apostle's teaching, 2) and to fellowship, 3) to the breaking of bread, and 4) to prayer. The saints recognized and responded to their need to gather together in fellowship.  If we are not in a regular fellowship, it is easy for the devil to isolate and trick us and then remove us from our walk in the Spirit. The importance of the fellowship has been impressed upon me many times by the Lord.  He gave me a dream before I started preaching a crusade in Kibera, Nairobi, that the intercessors for the crusade would be the inmates from the fellowship at the correctional facility where I preach on a regular basis.  In the dream, about 40 inmates were lined up shoulder to shoulder, with their blue jeans, blue shirts, and red hats on, and they were standing on the ground between the platform and the people in the audience receiving the message.  The Lord was saying, these men from the fellowship will be your prayer intercessors and your covering, they are standing strong for you!

John wrote, when writing about his fellowship with Jesus, in 1 John 1:3, what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, that you also may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His son Jesus Christ. v4 And these things we write that our joy may be made complete. v7 but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.  Beloved, give thanks for the fellowship, for the saints that are standing with you, and you with them, so that we can all by our presence with each other and with the Lord Jesus Christ, move forward in His kingdom. Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! May God bless you this day as you move forward in the fellowship.  in Christ, Jim

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Prepare For Drought

Dear beloved:  The drought that has gripped the central states of the nation shows no signs of abating.  God uses drought to bring judgment upon the land, to call people to repentance, as He did with His own children of Judah.. Joel 1:10 The field is ruined, the land mourns, For the grain is ruined, The new wine dries up, Fresh oil fails. v11 Be ashamed, O farmer, Wail, O vinedressers, For the wheat and the barley; Because the harvest of the field is destroyed. v12 The vine dries up, And the fig tree fails; The pomegranate, the palm also, and the apple tree, All the trees of the field dry up. Indeed, rejoicing dries up from the sons of men. And again He spoke through the prophet Jeremiah to the people of Judah in Jeremiah 14:1 That which came as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah in regard to the drought; v2 Judah mourns, and her gates languish; They sit on the ground in mourning, And the cry of Jerusalem has ascended. v3 And their nobles have sent their servants for water; They  have come to the cisterns and found no water. They have returned with their vessels empty; They have been put to shame and humiliated, And they cover their heads. v4 Because the ground is cracked. for there has been no rain on the land; The farmers have been put to shame, they have covered their heads. v7 Although our iniquities testify against us, O Lord, act for Thy name's sake! Truly our apostasies have been many, We have sinned against Thee.

The Lord recently gave me two dreams that leads me to believe the drought is going to continue and even intensify.  In the dream, a tractor pulling a big cultipacker farm implement was in a field across the road from where I was standing.  Several men and boys were standing on the implement, giving it more weight so that it would go into the ground.  The ground was dry and dusty, and the added weight did not help it penetrate.  All the men and boys got off the cultipacker, and they walked away dejected; interestingly, all the young boys had their baseball caps turned backwards. In the second dream, I am cleaning up a batch of wheat in a seed cleaner.  Much of the wheat is light in test weight and blows out with the chaff, and in addition to that, many of the hulls (whitecaps) are empty and have no grain in them at all.  So they too, are blown out with the chaff. I believe the Lord is saying the drought is going to continue; the farmers will be ashamed, for the harvest of the field will dry up.

Joel 1:14 Consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly; Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the Lord your God, And cry out to the Lord. v15 Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is near; And it will come as destruction from the Almighty.v16 Has not food been cut off before our eyes, Gladness and joy from the house of our God? v17 The seeds shrivel under their clods; The storehouses are desolate, the barns are torn down, for the grain is dried up.  Jeremiah 14:22  Are there any among the idols of the nations who give rain? Or can the heavens grant showers: Is it not Thou, O Lord our God?  Therefore we hope in Thee, For Thou art the one who hast done all these things.  Beloved, pray for repentance, that we would mourn the condition of this nation in sackcloth and ashes, and turn from our wicked ways to seek the only One who can give rain.  Pray for showers of water and showers of blessings upon this land, that many would repent and turn to Him.  God bless you as you pray this day, in Christ, Jim

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Living Word

« on: February 03, 2013, 04:40:52 PM »

The Word is Living

Dear beloved: When you focus on the word and ingest it in your life, it will come alive in you in ways that you never imagined. Hebrews 4:12 says, For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to divinding soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and intents of the heart. Eating the word on a daily basis will transform your life; because of the living nature of it; it is as much alive today and everyday as it was when it was first given to the original writers.

Several years ago while ministering to the Cabecar indigenous people of Costa Rica, I was fasting and praying and in an intense period of study of the Book of Revelation. The Lord gave me a dream that came right out of the Revelation, it was like seeing a movie of a book that I had read previously. In the dream, the black horse and rider of Revelation 6:5 came out, and I instantly recognized them because of the study. Rev. 6:5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, " a quart of wheat for a denarious (day's wages), and three quarts of barley for a denarious, and do not harm the oil and the wine." In the dream, the rider held up the scales and spoke the words, but when he was finished speaking, the horse reared up and threw the rider off. There were other parts to the dream, but the total message of it was that the Lord was warning me that famine is coming. The scales and words of the rider describe a balance of economy, a measure of wheat or barley for a payment, and the rider being thrown off means that the balance will give way to chaos and calamity. Due to rampant inflation or the devaluing of the dollar, the economy of business as usual will be destroyed, and the Lord was preparing me for that day and telling me to warn the people.

John 1:1 tells us that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. v3 Through Him all things were made, without Him nothing was made that has been made. v4 In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. v5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. Then in verse 14, The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. The Word is Jesus, our precious Lord and Savior, and the Word is living and active. So as you read the living word of God, you are taking in Jesus!

May God bless you this day as you read His word.
in Christ,

Friday, February 1, 2013

Eat the Word

Dear beloved:  The second leg of walking in the spirit is to daily ingest the word of God.  After Jesus had been taken up in the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, it tells us in Matthew 4:2 He then became hungry. v3 And the tempter came to Him and said to Him, "if you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread." v4 But He answered and said, "It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."   Jesus quoted a scripture from Deuteronomy 8:3, "And He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of God."

God humbles us and often takes us to a place of understanding where we come to realize that material provision (not just food) is not enough to sustain us, that we must come to a point of trusting the Lord for all that we have and all that we are.  Daily ingesting of God's word does many things for us: Psalm 119:105 tells us, Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path.  So His word illuminates our path so we can walk through the darkness and not fall into the ditch or strike our foot against a stone. Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of Thy words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.   Again as we steep ourselves in God's word, it unfolds before us the revelation of God and our relationship with Him, it brings light to our life that we might shine in the darkness. Psalm 119:140 Thy word is very pure (refined), therefore Thy servant loves it.  Nothing we see in this world is pure, everything is tainted with darkness and the contamination of the devil, it is no wonder the "daily grind" of battling in the world wears us down.  So to meditate on His word lifts us up because of the purity of it, because of the truth in it.

The Lord fed Ezekiel the scroll  before He sent Ezekiel out on his mission to prophesy to the house of Israel. Ezekiel 2:8 ":Now you, son of man, listen to what I am speaking to you; do not be rebellious like that rebellious house. Open your mouth and eat what I am giving to you."  And again in Ezekiel 3:1 Then He said to me, "Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel." v2 So I opened my mouth, and He fed me this scroll. v3 And He said to me, "Son of man, feed your stomach, and fill your body with this scroll I am giving you."   Then I ate it, and it was sweet as honey in my mouth.  Beloved, eat the word today just as Ezekiel did, it will sweeten up your life;  meditate on His word and it will feed you and fill you.  God bless you as you pray today.  in Christ, Jim