The Lion-Taming Church?

January 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Wade's Weekly Word

Revelation 5:5, “And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

The Lord Jesus Christ is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah, according to his human nature. This is a reference to Jacob’s prophecy in Genesis 49:10. As to His divine nature, Jesus was the Root of David. Only the One who is both God and man, bears the office of Mediator between God and man and is able and worthy to open and execute all the counsels of God towards men.

Dorothy Sayers (1893-1957), was a renowned English crime writer, poet, and Christian, who indicted the “lion-taming church of her day:  “The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused him of being a bore – on the contrary, they thought him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified him ‘meek and mild,’ and recommended him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies.”

Eugenia Price said, “The greatest sin of  the Christian church is that it has tamed the Lion of Judah.” I would add, “has attempted” to the statement, because the true Lion of Judah as revealed in scripture is not tamable.

Dave Daubenmire sums up the attitude and activities of far too many American churches: “We have lost the fear of Him. We think he doesn’t bite. We think that He has been defanged. We think that the Lion of the Tribe of Judah has lost His teeth. Like a domesticated Tom-cat we think He has been neutered.

“The American church is treating the Lion as if he was a pussy cat. Christians are being taught that all Jesus wants to do is sit on your couch with you and purr. He loves everything and everybody.  He has no enemies.  He has no claws. He has no teeth. The Lion, indeed, has been tamed.”

There is a famous scene in “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis. In the scene, the young girl Lucy learns that the king they are waiting for whose name is Aslan, (the character Lewis uses to portray the Lord Jesus Christ) is in fact a full grown lion. She asks if he is safe to which Mr. Beaver replies, “Safe, no he’s not safe, but he’s good”

The rage on college campuses today is the idea of “safe spaces” where students can shield themselves from uncomfortable or dissenting viewpoints. “I think the problem is they’re trying to use this word ‘safe’ —  which conveys the image of a violent attack – and turning it into safe from ideas and statements we find offensive,” said UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh. “There is no right to be safe from that.”

This is nothing new. Since the fall in the garden of Eden, man has been looking, running, and hiding from God in humanistic, demonically-inspired, philosophical and spiritual “safe places.”

Here’s the bad news — they don’t exist. The Lion of the tribe of Judah — King Jesus is the Ruler of all space and time. You can’t get Him off your hands, nor can you get Him in your hands. You can’t outlive Him and you can’t truly live without Him. Eventually, your knee will bow and your tongue will confess, either by faith, in this life, or by the sheer force of the awesome Lion of Judah’s presence, in the hereafter, that He is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11).

We read in Romans 11:22, Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God.” Aslan, the lion fits the description of the words of the Apostle Paul in this verse. He reveals God’s great balance of demand and delight. He is a perfectly balanced “mix” of terror and tenderness, of fear and faith, of goodness and severity. His action toward you will be determined finally by your attitude toward him — you will either receive and trust Him, or you will remain (Lewis’ words) “a rebel in arms” against the glorious and proper and gracious High King of the universe.

David Bryant writes concerning the Lion-taming attempts by today’s church: We have trifled with the Son of God! For all practical purposes our self-serving messages about Him have domesticated Him in our own eyes. We have marginalized Him among His own people. We have sanitized the Son of God! We’ve settled for sleepy, sentimental, scaled-down versions of the One who reigns supreme. We seldom see Him as Lord over creation, over history, over the Church and over all the ages to come. Seldom do our hearts and minds get intrigued with Him above everything else.”

Christ is not, nor ever will be, safe. There is no such thing as a tame lion. Lion tamers do not “tame” lions. If anything it’s the lion that tames the tamer, because the key to working with a lion is to understand and respect a lion’s boundaries and behavior and to let the lion be a lion.

The same holds true for Jesus. Jesus is not tame, but He is the good, great, glorious Lion/Lamb God-man. Because He is who He is any wannabe lion tamers who think we can get Jesus to perform, heal, and bless at our command or who dare to put our words in Jesus’ mouth, is sort of like putting our head in a lion’s mouth. It is dangerous and deadly!

In the whole gospel of our God-breathed Bible, we are shown a terrifying yet tender, dangerous, demanding, yet supremely delightful, Lord — the Lion of the Tribe of Judah!

The Lion is not safe, but He is good and the message He has sent all of His followers out to proclaim is “Good News.”

It’s time we, as the Church, stopped our Lion-taming, three-ring circus attempts to draw a crowd and “win people to gentle Jesus meek and mild” and turn the Lion unconditionally loose to be Himself — the never safe, but always good, Jesus, the Christ — the Lion of Judah!

 

Living Above SEE-LEVEL — Part One

January 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Wade's Weekly Word

John 20:29,Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

2 Corinthians 4:18, “as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

1 Peter 1:8, “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory…”

We Christians are sometimes accused of not being in touch with reality, of being a mentally deficient people who cannot deal with the “real world”. Because of our deficiencies, we supposedly find it necessary to take an existential leap of blind faith into the dark, hoping that it will help us cope with life. Also we are said to find it necessary to make this leap of faith so that eventually it will take us to that “land that is fairer than day” in the “sweet by and by”. We are portrayed as human weaklings who lean on faith as a crutch because we lack the strength to face the real world.

The typical secular, non-Christian person, who is living only at “SEE-LEVEL”, sees the real world as consisting of those things which have monetary value, or that can be scientifically tested – things that can be weighed, measured, counted, calibrated or metered. Others who are SEE-LEVEL-Seers view the real world as the place where such things as sexual permissiveness, drug use, cheating, drunkenness and twisting the rules of ethics in a dog eat dog system are the normal and real world. The See-level person’s philosophy of life is “seeing is believing.”  Their worldview is basically a naturalistic materialism that views the intangibles – those things that cannot be approached through the five senses – as either nonexistent or scientifically unverifiable.

So, is biblical faith irrational? Is it merely wishful thinking, believing something for which we have no solid grounds?

Many skeptics insist that the Christian’s exercise of biblical faith violates reason. Yet that’s not the nature of the faith described in the scriptures. Jesus, for example, didn’t invite his audiences to believe in him without reason, but appealed (among other things) to his own miracles and good deeds: “Though ye believe not me,” he said, “believe the works” (John 10:38). “Jesus of Nazareth,” the apostle Peter told his listeners at Pentecost, was “a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs” (Acts 2:22). The evangelist Luke mentioned “many infallible proofs” of Christ’s resurrection experienced by numerous eyewitnesses (Acts 1:3).

One of the great challenges of the Christian life is to be able to consistently live above see-level. By this we mean that ours is a “believing-is-seeing” worldview based on our using the eyes of the heart to see the invisible, (not the non-existent) the unseen, and to walk by faith and not by sight. The walk of faith enables the Christian to love Jesus and believe on Him with joy unspeakable, although we have never seen Him with our physical eyes. However, we have been given spiritual sight and insight because God has shined in our hearts to give us “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

How does one get above see-level living and walk by the faith that pleases, enjoys, and obeys our Father in Heaven, and sees and savors the Son of God the way our Father does?

Living above SEE-LEVEL Requires that We Become Four-eyed in Sight!

There is a fresh water fish that lives in Northeastern South America that is called the four eyed fish. Its scientific name is “anableps” which is derived from the Greek for “up-looking.” The fish does not actually have four eyes, but the eye is divided to allow the fish to see both above and below the waterline.  Each half of the eye has a separate pupil, iris and cornea, but the retina is divided. This adaptation allows this fish to find food at or below the surface and also gives it extra protection against predators. Since it spends virtually all of its life swimming at the surface, it needs this extra protection.

As amazing as the species of fish is, the fact is that if one is to ever become a Christian they must become four-eyed. The biblical truth is that all of us are born with only the ability to view the world from the natural or see-level. We are two-eyed men, when God requires that we be four-eyed so that we can see into both the natural and the spiritual world. This means that by nature we have a set of eyes in our head and by the miracle of grace we are given a set of eyes in our heart.

Jesus revealed that there was more than one kind of seeing when he said in Matthew 13:13, “Seeing they do not see.” We can see in one way while not seeing in another way based upon whether or not we are two-eyed or four-eyed.

The apostle Paul prayed that believers would experience “the eyes of your heart (understanding) being enlightened …” (Ephesians 1:18).

Moses was grieved that the people he was leading were only see-level seers: “to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see” (Deuteronomy. 29:4).

So it was in the days of Ezekiel: “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not” (Ezekiel 12:2).

Likewise, Jeremiah grieved over the spiritual blindness of his people: “O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not” (Jeremiah. 5:21).

See-level persons live by opinions of the experts. They live by every word that proceeds out of the professor’s mouth, or the mouth of the scientist, the doctor, the economist, or the politician. They operate by the ORE worldview: Observation, Rationalization and Experimentation. They observe with their physical eyes, rationalize about what they saw with their natural minds and then decide to experiment with its benefits or blights. In reality, they pay honor and give glory to the works of their minds and hands.

Paul defines conversion — which Satan does all he can to hinder — as “seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4). He says the same thing but in a different way in 2 Cors. 4:6: “shining in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” These descriptions of conversion imply two things. One is that the gospel is the proclamation of the “knowledge” of Christ in such a way that its glory can be seen by the eyes of the heart. The other is that this “seeing” is the work of God, “shining in our hearts” the same way He did on the first day of creation when He said, “Let there be light.” In other words, seeing the glory of Christ in the gospel is a gift. Only in the hearing of the gospel of Christ does God say in the heart, “Let there be light.” By means of the glory of Christ in the gospel, and for the sake of the glory of Christ in the gospel, God restores our sight only in the presence of Christ in the gospel.

If you are truly a Christian, you can say, “Thanks be unto God that whereas I was once blind, now I see! The songwriter testified to the experience in these words: “In my darkness Jesus found me, touched mine eyes and made me see!”

Are you living above SEE-LEVEL?

 

Dunkirk or Normandy?

January 3, 2018 by  
Filed under Wade's Weekly Word

Dunkirk or Normandy — Which Mindset Typifies the Church?

Upon its release in the summer of 2017, Christopher Nolan’s epic movie “Dunkirk”, chronicling the rescue of the British army from the beaches of northeastern France in May 1940, became a worldwide box office success.

The movie was based on the historical events of May 1940 where Germany had advanced into France, trapping Allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk. Under air and ground cover from British and French forces, troops were slowly and methodically evacuated from the beach using every serviceable naval and civilian vessel that could be found. At the end of this heroic mission, 330,000 French, British, Belgian and Dutch soldiers were safely evacuated.

The English people were euphoric about their “success,” celebrating as if they had won the war. But the withdrawal was very deceiving. Though a great and successful military maneuver had been executed, victory had not been secured. Defeat had only been avoided, and that only temporarily.

On June 4, 1940, Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressed Britain’s House of Commons and attempted to cool England’s misplaced confidence with a dose of military realism. In his speech, he made this dramatic announcement: “Wars are not won by evacuations!”

Wars are not won by evacuations! And yet, almost all Christian activities finally amount to strategic evacuations. At the bottom line, church-going is an evacuation (it removes us from the actual battle field into the security of our “faith fortress”), your personal quiet time is an evacuation, disciple-making groups and Bible-study groups are evacuations. These activities are vital and necessary, but they must be kept in proper perspective. The hostility of the world is largely forgotten and the attacks of the enemy are tempered into mild aggression in these settings.

Pastor Wallace Hendley uses the 1940 Allied evacuation of Dunkirk, France and the 1944 Allied invasion at Normandy, France to contrast spiritual mentalities within the church today:

“There is, then, a “Dunkirk mentality” and a “Normandy mentality.” The belief and attitude the church adopts regarding the beachhead of the 21st century will determine whether she sees the year 2018 as a moment of escape or a time of unprece­dented challenge and opportunity.

Consider the contrasts between the two perspectives:

  • The Dunkirk mentality sees primarily the onslaught of the enemy; the Normandy view is that of the enemy being routed and driven back.
  • The Dunkirk attitude is preoccupied with escape from the place of battle; the Normandy mentality is focused on not leaving the battlefield, but moving forward with the expectation of victory.
  • The Dunkirk view is that of the enemy displacing the army of God from the world; the Normandy perspective is that the kingdom of God is displacing the kingdom of Darkness.
  • The Dunkirk mentality sees the enemy’s occasional victories as the whole war; the Normandy understand­ing is that the enemy will rally occa­sionally for counter-offensives like at the Battle of the Bulge-but that such forays are simply the dying gasps of a defeated foe.

Thus, the church with a Dunkirk mentality sees itself as a weak fragment of Christ’s Body, whipped back to the place of retreat by the onslaught of the enemy and the blitz of his evil on the world. She looks long­ingly for the rapturous removal that will pluck her from the place of war. She spends her energies and wealth writing  books,  composing  songs, attending conferences, recording tapes whose theme is the Grand Removal.

If she had a Normandy mentality she would understand that the leaven remains in the lump until the whole thing is impacted, that the end will not come until the Gospel of the kingdom has been preached in all the inhabited world. The sweat and resources she puts in her focus on leaving what to her is a spiritual Dunkirk, would be spent on advancing toward the final stronghold of the enemy.

One should not be surprised that the Normandy invasion was coded “Operation Overlord”; Christ is Lord indeed of the Church with the Normandy mentality.

For the Dunkirk-mentality Church, the beachhead of the 21st century is a point of escape. For the Church with the Normandy mentality, it is the place of strategic advance. It will make all the difference in the world how the Church views that beachhead. She must abandon her Dunkirk theology and way of thinking, and embrace the Normandy.”

John Piper reinforces the imperativeness of the Normandy type mentality as he writes: “The Christian vision that feeds battle-winning prayer is not the imagining of a possibility but the grasping of an inevitability, namely, the triumph of God in world evangelization. I picture it like this: when you reach out and take hold of the infallible promise of God’s triumph you are reunited to the source of your life. You owe your life to the progress of God’s gospel triumph in the world. And when you reach out the hand of your faith and grasp the promise of God’s triumph in world evangelization as your inevitable future, there is a tremendous spiritual dynamic released.

“God has ordained to respond to the pleading of his people and perform great triumphs through prayer. He has decreed to make the prayers of his people the cause of his triumph in many battles. The prayers that win these battles come from Christian vision. And Christian vision is not the imagining of a possibility, but the grasping of an inevitability. That inevitability is the triumph of God in world evangelization: “All the families of the nations shall worship before thee. For dominion belongs to the Lord.”

Charles Spurgeon said, “Now, my brethren, do not get into a state of fright and fear that everything is going to the bad, and we shall be all eaten up by the devil.” Nonsense! There is a stronger arm yet than that black arm of Satan. In God’s eternal goodness resides a power and majesty that cannot be found in the infernal malevolence of the devil. I know which is the winning side, – I am sure of it.

Courage, brethren, we are not beaten, and we are not going to be beaten. We shall win the victory as surely as God lives, and his Son lives who has risen from the dead.  “Ever this our war cry – Victory, Victory!”

My New Year’s Prayer — “Lord, Bless Me Indeed!”

December 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Wade's Weekly Word

1 Chronicles 4:10, “Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.”

John Calvin gave a great definition of the meaning of the blessing of God: “The blessing of God is the goodness of God in action, by which a supply of all good pours down to us from His favor, as from its only fountain.”

The Lord wants “a supply of all good pouring down to us from His favor, as from its only fountain” for many reasons, but two are primary — to establish His New Covenant (the Gospel or Good News) in the earth, and that we might be blessed to be a blessing! Someone called this money with a mission!

As the new year dawns, we hear said repeatedly by many, “I wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!”

From a biblical perspective, prosperity is being able to take God’s Word and apply it to every area of our life. Webster’s definition of prosper is “to become strong or to flourish.” According to 3 John 2, God wants us to prosper (excel in) spirit, soul, and body. Prosperity is not a man with money; prosperity is a man with God.

Why should the ungodly have millions of dollars to amplify their sin, when we, the Body of Christ, can amplify His goodness, His grace, His love for humanity and extend the whole gospel to the whole world? Prosperity is not an excuse to live a self-centered, materialistic, unrestrained life. We are still called to holiness — to live an upright, joy-filled Christian life before God — glorifying Him by enjoying Him more and more each day.

As for me, I am repenting of “having not because I ask not.” Call it selfish if you wish, but for 2018, I am praying for:

Increase: Lord, bless me indeed, so that I may be a blessing to others. Bless me and make all grace abound to me, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, I may abound in every good work. Bless me so that success attends my way — not for show—not to enhance my social status—not to satisfy my self-consuming desires for more stuff – but SO THAT our God is elevated and celebrated and represented as the God who is able to provide in abundance. Lord, bless me SO THAT the kingdom of God can come more fully and be financed more favorably, SO THAT multitudes may become a part of it.

Impact: Lord, bless me by doing something so big in my life that others will know that it has to be from You. Bless me so that those I come in contact with will know that You are good, gracious and generous in Your being; great in Your power, wonderful in Your acts, fearful in Your judgments, holy in Your character, amazing in Your grace, loving in Your mercies, kind in all Your dealings, and glorious in all things!  Lord, bless me so that every time You set up a divine appointment with a needy person, I realize that I have a chance to activate and release the Holy Spirit’s power of kingdom life and love resident in me so that they may glorify You as You meet their needs though me.  Bless me with a tongue that confesses that from a kingdom perspective there’s abundance and not shortages; that the curse is being reversed; that we are victors in Christ and not victims of any circumstances; that we are under kingdom order and prosperity and not under demonic disorder and poverty; that we are blessed and highly favored sons and not cursed and lowly despised slaves.

Influence: Lord, bless me and increase my influence and opportunities for you so that there is an ever-widening circles of persons that I am influencing for the kingdom of God — The Targum (Aramaic translation) says, “multiply my borders with disciples).”  Lord, give me spiritual sons and daughters in the faith that will grow up to become world visionary, world impacting, reproducing disciple-makers and influence others with Your glory, greatness, goodness, and generosity! I desire the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all people through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Intimacy: Lord, bless me by keeping Your hand upon my life and giving me a sense of your continual presence, provision, and direction.  Lord, bless me with a heart-hunger to go on daily seeking first the kingdom of heaven – not for the wealth of things promised, but for the worth of a real and righteous relationship with the King Himself! Lord, bless me so that I desire to be daily walking in the love of God, living in the will of God and obeying the Word of God. Bless me with an understanding heart that knows You want no part of solving my problems or padding my pocketbook without an intimate relationship with me.

Insurance: Lord, bless me, protect me and keep me from falling into Satan’s traps! Bless me with the daily confidence that Christ has defeated the devil and his demons and given me authority to walk in safety and security from all the devil’s methods and missions! Lord, bless me with the ability to daily embrace a whole gospel that is God-enthralled, Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered, hope-filled, joy-charged, victory-oriented, sin-paying, disease-healing, devil-stomping, and demon-delivering! Bless me and I shall surely be blessed and a blessing!

In Jesus’ Strong Name! Amen!

 

 

Abundant Water for a Drought Stricken Village in Kenya!

December 26, 2017 by  
Filed under News

 

 

 

 

Thanks to a generous gift our ministry (Training for Reigning Institute of Disciple-making) was able to have a well drilled in an area that has never had any kind of water!  This was an incredible Christmas present for a village of over 600 persons who have had to travel many kilometers to get water! This village is in an area where it seldom ever rains and is very hot.

Pastor/Evangelist John Eyannae and Julius Atsango planted a church in the village several months ago. Training for Reigning had committed to boring a well for them, but a church that was interested backed out and we left the people very disappointed. But they continued to pray for a well and the Lord gave them one for Christmas. It’s a good one to — running about 1700 plus gallons of pure, freshwater every hour!

Pastor John comments: “This is a miracle to this village called KAADAKU-NGIMOE VILLAGE in Turkana county, Kenya.  From Kakuma town to this village is 25  kms one way. The population is 600 people. They have never taken clean water since creation. This will be the first time for them.”

Praise the Lord for His goodness and mercy to these drought stricken people. May it be the means whereby the Lord brings many other people from around the area to see the miracle and hear the good news about the water of life that will never dry up or disappoint them.

Good News that’s Not Fake News!

December 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Wade's Weekly Word

‘FAKE news’ has been named Collins Dictionary’s official Word of the Year for 2017.

The term has become popularized by President Donald Trump and its usage is said to have risen by 365 per cent since 2016.

The dictionary definition of the term is “false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting.”

Almost all news reporting today is of the fake, or bad news, type because the fake, the bad, suspenseful, sensational, and tragic sells, when the good, beautiful, true, and triumphant news is treated as unimportant and uninteresting.

Most of the news agencies in our country are leftists leaning in their worldview. In their zeal to damage, derail, and even depose by impeachment, President Trump, they have abandoned objectivity. They are now politically correct advocacy outlets whose political agenda supersedes the truth. Factually inaccurate and inflammatory hit pieces are announced daily and almost all of them are based on anonymous sources or leaks, which are quickly, boldly, and inappropriately presented as “breaking” news.

Call it misinformation, fake news, junk news, or deliberately distributed deception, the stuff has been around since the garden of Eden. But today’s technologies, with their elaborate infrastructures for uploading, commenting, liking, and sharing, have created an almost ideal environment for manipulation and abuse — one that arguably threatens any sense of shared truth.

What is the ultimate solution for “fake” or “bad news” reporting?

The answer is found in the historical Christmas Advent — not in Santa Claus — but in the good news that came down from heaven in God’s time.

Luke 2:10-11, “And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,”

The startling announcement made almost two thousand years ago to those lowly shepherds was one of “glad tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” The announcement is a “Gospel”, which means Good News.  It is News that STAYS News ?? and it is ALWAYS Good. Christianity didn’t come into the world on the editorial page ?? it isn’t merely another topic for our philosophical or cynical evaluations. It is GOOD NEWS FROM GOD in the face of BAD NEWS ABOUT MEN.

Christianity is news before it is theology. Imagine a scene where many people are trapped in a burning building, their lives in grave danger with no apparent way of rescue or escape. However, behind closed doors firemen have planned a daring rescue attempt. Suddenly, there was a break-through. Rescuers succeeded, with incredible loss, to make a way out. Countless people began to escape. The news spread like wildfire: “There is a way out! There is a way out! Follow the markers; there is a tunnel to freedom.” In times of great danger, a bringer of good news is better than great philosophers or politicians.

The word gospel is a Greek word that means good, merry, glad, and joyful tidings, that makes a man’s heart glad. The Bible reveals that the gospel of God is a good news announcement of total victory, great power, and endless provision. People living in Jesus’ day would quickly recognize and understand the “gospel” because it was “a technical term for “news of victory.”

The “good news” or gospel is not behavior modification, becoming a better person or learning to become more moral. It is not taking the life of Jesus as a model way to live or transforming/redeeming the secular realm.

Concisely, the “good, life-altering news” is that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, lived a sinless life under the Law, died for sinners and rose again to reconcile them to himself, eternally victorious over every enemy that stood between God and man. Now, because of this redemptive work, there is nothing that separates those who believe from their Creator and all the benefits that He promises in him.

The good news for the people of God personally and the “good news” that needs to be proclaimed publically is found in Isaiah 60:1-3,Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.”

It is time for all followers of Christ to arise and shine for our Light has come! We must begin to live in the light of the Sun of Righteousness. We must refocus our attention from what is coming upon the world to Him who has already come into the world. We must expect the name of God to be honored more gloriously, the kingdom of God to come more fully, and the will of God to be done more freely!

Because the glory of the Lord is risen in Christ, we must begin to expect God to arise through His empowered people and His enemies to be scattered and made His footstool! We must begin to expect the God of peace to bruise Satan under our feet shortly!

We must begin to go and tell, and give and pray like never before so that the gospel, freely and powerfully spreads through Christ’s Church so that disciples are made of all nations!

This is truly GOOD NEWS!

Merry Christmas!

The World’s Greatest Case of Planned Parenthood!

December 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Wade's Weekly Word


At Bethlehem, He who made man was made man! Here was the greatest case of planned parenthood the world has ever seen! In fact, Jesus was the only person in history who could plan His own birth.

The shepherds were only “on their way to Bethlehem” for several hours, and the wise men for several months, but Jesus had been “on the way to Bethlehem” for all eternity! When Adam sinned in the Garden, Jesus already had His “bags packed” for Bethlehem. On that “holy night,” when “God reduced Himself to the span of a woman’s womb,” this newborn Babe of Bethlehem was the everlasting God come “down from His glory.” This Infant with no language but a cry was the Eternal Word who spoke the worlds out of the womb of nothing. The tiny arms of this helpless Child were the limbs of Him who laid the timbers of the universe. In the crib, the Most High became the Most Nigh, the Infinite became the Intimate.

Amidst the common things of a stable, God came to man and became the God-man. Yet, although He became what He was not previously, He never ceased to be all that He was before, that is God. He was just as much God if He were not man, and just as much man as if He were not God. As a Son of Mary, He rested on her bosom without a human father. As the Son of God, He rested on the bosom of the Eternal Father without a Mother. As the Son of Mary, He is held in the arms of His frail mother. As the Son of God, He upholds all things by the Word of His power.

On a star-filled night almost two thousand years ago, God’s eternally planned parenthood for Mary became a reality. By the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit, she conceived him, carried him and then presented him to the world.

“The incarnation was and is the key to the universe. It is also the key to man’s origin, to man’s constitution, to man’s history, to man’s destiny.” (Arthur Custance)

Paul said in 1 Timothy 3:16, “Great is the mystery of godliness: God was revealed in the flesh.”

The Word became flesh! God became human while never ceasing to be God!

He who breathed the breath of life into the first man is now himself a man breathing his first breath.

The invisible God became visible! The untouchable became touchable!

The transcendent one descended and drew near!

The unlimited became limited! The infinite became finite!

The immutable became mutable! The unbreakable became fragile!

The omnipresent spirit, whose being fills the galaxies, confined to the womb of a peasant girl.

Spirit became matter! Eternity entered time!

The independent became dependent!

The loved became the hated! The exalted was humbled!

From power to weakness! The Word became flesh! Amazing!

The Angel Gabriel tells Mary that she will become the recipient of a miracle of the Holy Spirit that will result in God becoming “in-fleshed” in her womb. (Luke 1:35, “And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God. Luke 1:37, “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

In order for this to become a reality, Mary had to extend a specific invitation to the Angel to perform the miracle. Luke 1:38, “And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word….”

Mary said “yes” to God’s plan in spite of what she and Joseph had planned. Her specific invitation resulted in an immediate incarnation. I believe at the moment she said, “Be it unto thy bond-slave according to thy Word”, she became pregnant by the Word of God.

God’s design for man is incarnational (this word means to come into the flesh). What is man made for? Man is designed by God and for God. Man builds a house to suit the occupant. A hive for bees, a sty for pigs, a stable for horses, a kennel for dogs. What did God have in mind when He created man?  A house suitable for God to live in! Man’s body was designed as a vessel and vehicle for the housing of his spirit and God’s Holy Spirit! When the first Adam sinned, his spirit was vacated by the Spirit of God and his body became a death chamber, housing a dead spirit in a decaying and dying temple.

If you are less perfect than Jesus, and we all are, you are a sinner and you qualify! Welcome to the human race! And what a deadly, dastardly, damning problem sin is! But the old, but ever new and ever true and thus ever good news is “unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, Christ the Lord.”

When Jesus took a human body, he demonstrated that the human body is still a worthy Temple for the majesty of God, a divine residence for the display of God’s glory. The apostle John wrote, “We beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Becoming a Christian means that the house of our bodies are returned to the Original Owner for immediate occupancy!

This happening is called the new birth. When that happens, our sin?deadened spirit is made alive by the incarnation of Christ’s life via the Other Jesus without a body the Holy Spirit. Then our bodies become the Temple of the Holy Spirit. We then become extremely valuable, not because we maintain that we are, but because we contain Him who is inestimably valuable; not because of who we are but because of whose we have become. Christ in me the hope of glory (Cols 1:27). It is no longer I but Christ who lives in me.

If Jesus hasn’t been born in you, why not pray with the writer of an old Christmas song: O Holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray, cast out our sin and enter in: Be born in us today?

 

 

 

Prayer Request for Pastor Wade’s Trip to Granada, Nicaragua — Dec. 7-11, 2017

December 4, 2017 by  
Filed under News

I covet your prayers as I travel to Nicaragua to preach in a mini-crusade event and help First Baptist Church of Nandasmo celebrate their 42nd Anniversary. Pray for Pastor Jose Manuel Ruiz and the saints of First Baptist. Ask Father God to make their future fruitful so that the Lamb of God may have the reward for His sufferings.

Pray for traveling mercies, ease of flight connections, good health, and divine protection, for me there, and for Anne here at home. Pray that the Holy Spirit may show up in power in me and on the people present. Pray that many will be impacted by His presence and become radical followers of King Jesus.

I pray the Lord’s richest blessings upon all of you for your ongoing intercession, involvement, and investment in my labors and life through Training for Reigning Institute of Disciple-making.

The GIGO Factor!

December 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Wade's Weekly Word

The craziness of our modern world continues with senseless violence, sexual perversion and predation, gender confusion, mind-less amusement, pervasive “fake” news, irrational and illogical politics, and self-gratifying lifestyles.

One of the primary factors contributing to this increased perversion and idiocy is the GIGO factor. (GIGO stands for “garbage in, garbage out.” The term originated in the field of computer science where flawed, or nonsense input data produces nonsense output or “garbage.”

Today GIGO is the universally accepted warning for the behavior of any system or process, including the human thought process.

Just as with a computer, what goes into the mind determines what comes out in words, actions, and attitudes.

Stated another way, what you see you will be. What you look at longingly and lustfully, you will become like. Also, what you hear constantly, whether healthy or harmful, you will heed eventually. There is an incredible, transformational power in what we set our eyes, ears, mind and heart on.

In commenting on the ongoing avalanche of sexual harassment incidents, Matt Walsh opines, “It may be time to consider why we have so many perverts, where they come from, and what sorts of things might be contributing to their perverseness? To that end, might I point to the fact that we spend four billion hours a year watching porn!

“Sorry. Let me correct myself. I’ve just understated the problem. We dedicated well over four and a half billion hours to watching porn on one porn site in 2016. Just on Porn Hub, humanity spent twice as much time viewing porn in a year as it has spent existing on planet Earth. The site had over 90 billion video views and 44,000 visitors every minute of every day. It all adds up to over 500 thousand years worth of porn consumed in the span of 12 months. Since 2015, human beings have spent one million years watching porn.”

“Porn is obviously America’s favorite pastime. According to surveys, almost 80% of American men between the ages of 18 and 30 admit to watching porn regularly. Nearly 70% of men between 31 and 49 admit to it. Half of men from 50 to senior citizen age also confess to regular porn viewing. 30% of younger men say they watch porn every day. Remember, too, this is just what people will admit to doing.”

Millenials spend 39.7 hours weekly listening to music. One can only wonder how much is “garbage”?

World-wide, 135 minutes are spent daily on social media. Teens spend up to 9 hours daily on social media.

In their lifetime, Americans, on average will spend 7 years and 8 months of their lives watching television.

Several years ago, The American Psychiatric Association stated that by age 18, a U.S. youth will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence. Is it any wonder that over 1000 studies, including one by the Surgeon General as far back as 1972 have shown a connection between media violence and aggressive behavior in children? In light of this reality what do you think will be the consequences of the avalanche of images that glorify drug use, gang activity, sexual aggression, gambling, etc? People become like what they set their minds, hearts and eyes on.

GIGO!

Matt Walsh concludes his blog, We are A Nation Of Porn Addicts. Why Are We Surprised By The Perverts In Our Midst: “I’m not making excuses for anyone. And I realize that many of the sex predators currently in the news did not grow up watching internet porn anyway. What I’m saying is that this current wave is nothing compared to what’s on the horizon. The first step in becoming a sex predator is to see sex as an entirely selfish exercise. The next is to deny the humanity and dignity of the other person involved. The final stage is to develop a fetish for the weird and the depraved. Our porn-addled culture moves people through all three stages rapidly and at a very young age. Our society is now like a conveyor belt where narcissistic degenerates are assembled by the truckload each day.”

Zig Ziglar rightly declares,  “If you dump garbage in, garbage will come out. The person who dumps garbage into your mind will do you considerably more harm than the one who dumps garbage on your floor.”

Zig went on to say, “From the neck down, very few people are worth more than $100 a week. From the neck up, there is no limit to what an individual is worth. So what do we do? We feed our stomachs, the $100 part below our necks, every day. How often do we feed our minds, the part that has no limit to its value, earning and happiness potential? Most of us feed it accidentally and occasionally, if it’s convenient or we don’t have anything else to do.”

We are told in Romans 12:2, to be constantly being renewed in our minds. Renewing our minds means learning to think God’s thoughts after Him. In so doing we will be able to recognize what comes from the kingdom of light or heaven and what comes from the kingdom of darkness or hell, and be consistently bringing our thinking into agreement with the kingdom of heaven.

This “renewing of” our minds is nothing short of a “mental revolution”, taking our “normal” (selfish, self centered) human way of seeing life and giving us a point of view we could not have without God’s Spirit changing our way of thinking.

Paul says in Ephesians 4:23 that we are to “be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” What in the world does that mean? “The spirit of your mind.” John Piper explains: “It means at least this: the human mind is not a sophisticated computer managing data, which it then faithfully presents to the heart for appropriate emotional responses. The mind has a “spirit.” In other words, our mind has what we call a “mindset.” It doesn’t just have a view, it has a viewpoint. It doesn’t just have the power to perceive and detect; it also has a posture, a demeanor, a bearing, an attitude, a bent. In other words, mind renewal is a deep spiritual change in how the mind assesses things and values things. The renewal Paul is calling for is profound, and deeper than any mere mental effort can achieve.”

Remember, the GIGO Factor is always operative in our lives!

Galatians 6:7-8, Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”
— Bible, Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

U.F.O.’S. — Part 4

November 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Wade's Weekly Word

Remember, U.F.O.S. stands for, “Unidentified Falsehoods Obstructing the Supernatural!”

U.F.O.S. are mindsets constructed out  of wrong imaginations, arguments, or theories. They are logical conclusions based upon the reasoning of the mind and the reinforcing emotions which have been believed long enough to become strongholds. (A stronghold simply means anything that has a strong hold on your way of thinking.)

Unidentified Falsehoods Obstructing the Supernatural are to be Demolished by a Threefold Process:

  1. Expose the U.F.O.S. to the light of God’s Word.

Before you can expose them, you must at least suppose that you have them! First, you have to perceive or discern them so you know what you’re dealing with. It is kind of hard to demolish something that you won’t admit or can’t see that you have.

Since we’re dealing with hidden, often times, unconscious mindsets, or places of darkness, we must confirm and confess that we have been called out of darkness into his wonderful light! And that we who were once darkness are now light in the Lord and children of light. Ephesians 5:11 urges us to “have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”

Some typical indications of the presence of U.F.O.S. is unteachableness and intractableness in attitude. Another is a mind teeming with all kinds of uncontrollable thoughts, impure pictures, wanderings, and confused ideas. Under the influence of this U.F.O.S., the memory suddenly fails and the power of concentration becomes greatly weakened. The mind becomes a whirlwind of thoughts which revolve unceasingly in the head. Fear without reason floods the mind. Crazy dreams and often time periods of insomnia are some of the indications of U.F.O.S.

After exposing the U.F.O.S., you must then:

  1. Interpose the truth of God’s Word against the lie of the U.F.O.S.

Surround that stronghold of negative thinking, old traditional speculations, imaginations, arguments and assumptions with the truth of God’s Word and praises to the God of the Word!

Psalms 32:7: “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”

Surround the stronghold with praise, singing psalms and spiritual songs to God. If you are struggling with a stronghold of depression, surround it with hope. If you are struggling with a stronghold of rejection, surround it with acceptance from Father God.

If you are struggling with a stronghold of unresolved anger, surround it with forgiveness. If you are struggling with a stronghold of fear, surround it with the knowledge of God’s love. If you are struggling with a stronghold of failure, surround it with the victory of the kingdom and the availability of resurrection power.

After exposing the U.F.O.S., and interposing the truth of God’s word, you must then:

  1. Dispose of the U.F.O.S. by the Power of the Truth.

Once you have identified a stronghold, go to the Scriptures and find the truth of what God says about the falsehoods that you’ve believed, and then begin to affirm and confess the truth over that lie.

Here are some U.F.O.S. and how to dispose of them:

UFO’S – You can’t really count on anyone to hang in there with you. They’ll all abandon you or disappoint you.

Truth – God has promised to never ever leave us or forsake us and He has also given me others in the Body of Christ that will stick with me closer than a brother.

UFO’S -Nobody loves me for who I am; I am not worthy to receive anything from God or ever be used of God to have miracles, signs and wonders follow me as the Bible says.

Truth – I am SPECIAL – Sovereignly Chosen; Positionally Holy; Experientially Changed; Completely Accepted; Incredibly Secure; Avowedly Valuable; Legally Secure. Talk about being Securely Managed! (Ephesians 1:3-14)

UFO’S –Everything is changing; I can’t count on anyone or anything.

Truth – Jesus says I am the same yesterday, today, and forever. You can trust my heart even when you cannot trace my hand.

UFO’S – God will not bless me or be pleased with me if I take time for myself to rest and play.

Truth – We need to daily read to ourselves the contents of a card that read: “Good morning, this is God. I will be handling all your problems today. I will not need your help, so have a good day!”

If you are being held captive in your mind by U.F.O.S (Unidentified Falsehoods Obstructing the Supernatural), it is time to begin to expose, interpose and dispose of them so that you become a kingdom thinker, talker, and ambassador.

2 Corinthians 10:5-6 – The Message: “We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.

Ask the Holy Spirit to expose all the U.F.O.S. in your mind that are hindering you from living the supernatural, Spirit-filled life. Write them down and then take them before God and pray something like this:

Father,

 I repent of every wrong desire, attitude, pattern of thinking I have had that isn’t kingdom born and based.  In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I cast down, loose, destroy, crush, break, and smash, all the unidentified falsehoods that have been obstructing the supernatural flow of the Spirit in my life.

All the strongholds, arguments, theories, reasonings, and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself against the knowledge of God, I cast down and cast out every alien spirit that operated from the U.F.O.S..

I will not be defeated by the treason of my reason, or the commotions of my emotions. I loose all doubt and confusion from myself, for God is not the author of such things.

I bind myself to the mind of Christ. As a child of God I have been given the mind of Christ. I will to so act that I let this mind be in me that was also in Christ Jesus. I recognize that my mind is a particular target of Satan’s deceiving ways. 

I take from You the helmet of salvation.  I cover my mind, my thoughts, with Your salvation.  I recognize that the Lord Jesus Christ is my salvation.  I helmet my head with Him.  I invite His mind to be in me. 

Let me think His thoughts, feel His love and compassion, and discern His will and leading in all things.  Let my mind be occupied with the continuing, daily, saving work of my Lord in and through my life.  May the salvation of my Lord meet and defeat all Satanic thoughts that come to my mind.

AMEN!

 

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