In the news recently, on April 19, 2018, it was said “California Bill AB 2943 has passed.” According to this law, the church can no longer preach or teach that homosexuality is a sin or wrong behavior and cannot try to correct that behavior. Even psychotherapy for gender dysphoria is against the law.
Jesus said that in the world we will have trouble (John 16:33). Job said, “Man born of woman will have trouble as surely as the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7). See also Psalm 34:19. Sometimes the challenges are so intense we can be severely distressed.
I have been a pastor almost thirty-four years and have been involved in initiating or participated in many local, citywide and national prayer gatherings. God has made it very clear that our first priority as leaders is to spend time with Him before we are sent out to minister (Mark 3:14). The apostle Paul also implores all believers to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). In spite of all this, there are many denominational and non-denominational churches that do not have a regular prayer meeting. Consequently, in spite of the many good programs they may have, there is a huge gap in the church.
There are some believers who falsely believe that if they have a lot of faith they will not undergo any suffering, severe tests or satanic attacks. Nothing could be further from the truth! Actually, the opposite is true. For example, in the Book of Job chapters 1 and 2, God actually asks Satan if he considered His servant Job. Hence, God brought Job to Satan’s attention, not because Job was in sin, but because Job was the greatest servant of God on the earth at that time (read Job 1:6-12; 2:3-6).
Before the Fall, Adam and Eve were able to reflect God’s image because they fellowshipped with Him in the Garden of Eden. After the Fall, the redemption story regarding Christ’s death on the cross is all about trying to restore the image of God in humanity. Without being connected to God again and hearing His voice, it is impossible for us to understand what He wants to restore back to us.
In this two-part series, we will explore the necessity of restoring apostolic ministry today. Click here to read part one. In part 2, we look into what God is doing today.
What God is Doing Today
I believe that the present embrace of the five-fold ministry of the evangelical pastors in the USA is going to bring a convergence between the charismatic, independent apostolic networks, evangelical networks, and ultimately even evangelical bible confessing denominations.
Seven ways to live 2018 in the fullness of God:
1. Commit to acknowledge God in all your ways (Proverbs 3:5,6)
Many times we make decisions and then ask God to bless them: this year start off by bringing God’s Word and God’s Spirit into every major decision and give Him opportunity to speak to you and guide you.
2. Don’t live in anxiety ( Philippians 4:6,7)
Make a commitment to give all your fears and burdens to the Lord instead of holding onto them and worrying. Jesus said by your worrying you cannot accomplish anything positive (Mt. 6:27) Fret not – it only leads to evil (Psalm 37:8).
3. Give thanks in everything (not for everything – 1 Thes. 5:18)
People who live in thankfulness to God appreciate Him and release Him to multiply blessings in their life! Whatever you are thankful for multiplies and is attracted to you; grumbling and complaining poisons a good atmosphere and hinders the release of your faith.
4. Live first and foremost for Jesus / not for yourself (Colossians 1:16-19)
We were created for Jesus and God’s glory — not to fulfill our own self-centered desires.
5. Live in continual hunger for God
It’s not enough merely to be loyal, faithful, and committed to God– God is pleased when we desire and seek after Him (John 4:23,24). Only those who hunger and thirst for Him will be filled (Mt. 5:6).
6. Strive to help others fulfill their calling
Jesus said the greatest in the Kingdom is the one who serves others ( John 14:14). If you live to serve others you will never lack others serving and loving you!
7. Be committed to the life and flow of a bible-centered local congregation
When we become children of God we immediately are baptized into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians12:12,13). If we are not functioning with and for other members of a local community of faith, we are like a finger who tries to function without a hand, wrist, or arm! There is no such thing as individual destiny or purpose — we are all individual members who need a body to fulfill our purpose.
To subscribe for a weekly teaching click here.
Nowadays, with the flat-world reality of technology, it is easier than ever for key apostolic leaders to connect the world over. This incredible new ability to communicate should be done strategically and with wisdom, lest a leader fail because of a lack of focus. The following principles are important to follow for all global leaders.
We are presently witnessing a transition in ministry across this country. There are many senior pastors who are about to leave the scene and many, if not most, are not ready to pass the baton to someone else! Some of the larger megachurches have an even bigger issue on their hands when their senior leader steps down or retires because they have to find a leader with the gifts and charisma to fill huge auditoriums. (If their successors cannot fill them, it will be interesting to see how they will be able to pay their utility bills with half-empty sanctuaries!)
Since the late 1940s, there has been a resurgence of attempts to activate the five-fold ministry gifts as found in Ephesians 4:11. Starting with the “Latter Rain movement” in Canada, various groups have arisen proclaiming the restoration of the apostolic and Prophetic gifts to go along with the evangelist, pastor, and teacher gifts.
- Book Reviews
- Daily Blog
- Emotional Health
- Faith and Culture
- Faith and Life
- Ministry Reports
- Position Papers
- Societal Transformations
- Spanish Audio
- Spanish English Products
- The Church
- Weekly Featured