Run To Your Father

I have said this many times before, but it must be repeated any many times as I can. When you fall, and I assure you that you will, instead of condemning yourself, you must run to your Father! I don’t care if you have to crawl! Get to Him and seek forgiveness. Don’t wait until you feel like it. GO!

Scripture tells us that our enemy is stalking us and waiting to pounce. He will devour you if you let him!  He wants you to stick your tail between your legs and run. But when you do or say something that grieves your Father, go to Him!

The only thing running away will do is make matters worse! It will be more difficult to rise and stand against the wiles of our enemy; it will be much more challenging to take those words, deeds, and thoughts under the authority of your Lord Jesus Christ.

Run to your Father when you stumble. He is able to make you stand even if you come to Him with sin on your hands. Your restoration will be as quick as your true repentance. Don’t come timidly shuffling your feet in shame. Don’t come groveling. Come BOLDLY to the Throne of Grace and receive Grace and Mercy!

As one writer recently stated:

As we engage in struggle after struggle, not only are we subjugating Satan, we are also being transformed, individually and as a body. The whole church is in metamorphosis, becoming a new creation in Christ, growing and maturing and overcoming the darkness of the old regime ~James Goll

The Scriptures assures us that there is NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus! Just turn to our Redeemer and be restored. This isn’t just a tangled maze of religious verbiage. No! It is the glorious and great news of our Salvation! Allow the Spirit of God to wash you with the water of our Father’s Word. He can guard us so that we don’t fall and can be full of joy as we stand in His glorious presence without fault.

The decision is ours to make. We can be defeated and weak, or we can stand in the power of our Father’s might! As Tony Evans sings,

I choose now
To be humbled in your presence
I choose now
To fall on my face
Cause one day
Every knee will bow but Jesus
I choose now

Father, I thank you for your willingness to forgive me over and over and over again. Help me to always run to you when I sin in thought, word, or deed so that I can receive forgiveness and align my heart with yours.

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Adonai-Tzva’ot! Revisited

I was recently reminded of a message I wrote back in September, of 2013. It was entitled “Adonai-Tzva’ot!” which is Hebrew for the Lord of hosts. The brother who reminded me of this message has joined the list of those who receive these Morning Messages, and I wanted to resend the post because it is something we need to be reminded of again and again. Hang with me, because I hope it pierces your heart as it has mine. Continue reading

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Where Is Your Contentment?

I am sure you know how a train of thought starts and interconnects in the sequence of ideas. One thought connects to another, to another, and eventually, you are a long way from your original thought. That happens to me all the time. It is amazing when it happens because you can discover many things! Continue reading

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Overcoming Our Past

Recently, Mark West, a writer, and commentator wrote an excellent article explaining the life of Jephthah, an Old Testament character who overcame the shame of his past and served Yahweh’s people proudly and became an effective and successful warrior. You can read about him in the eleventh chapter of the book of Judges. Continue reading

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How Do I Know?

Folks often ask me how we can know that we are “Born Again“?  You know, “Born From Above,” “Born Anew.” Yeah, well, it is a good question because it is something we should indeed recognize quite easily. As Paul pointed out, “The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:16). There is no secret. He wants us aware of our new life! Let me give you some background. Continue reading

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Teaching the “FULL” Gospel!

Paul gave an excellent description of how he ministered:

I won’t talk about anything except what Christ has done through me as an instrument in His hands to win obedience from the Gentiles. All of this was through word and deed, even as my preaching was accompanied by the power of signs and wonders — all of it by the power of the Holy Spirit. The result is that starting from Jerusalem and as far round as Illyricum, I have thoroughly preached the Gospel faithfully to the full the good news of Christ the Messiah in its entirety (Romans 15:18-19)

Essentially, he was saying, “Hey, the Gentiles didn’t come to Jesus because of my preaching. Goodness, no! It was that my words were accompanied by miraculous deeds that proved His Word!”

Let’s be honest. If Paul had spent all of his time preaching, without signs and wonders following his message, would never have had its full impact. It wouldn’t have been preaching the full gospel! He wrote to the church in Corinth,

“When I was with you, I was patient and worked all the powerful miracles and signs and wonders of a true apostle” (II Corinthians 12:12)

I’ll tell you what. If you make a statement like that, today, it will ruffle the feathers of some believers. Why? Because there are some preachers — a whole bunch of them — who just don’t want to accept that miracles can happen today! One teacher talks about “Strange Fire” that is spreading throughout the Church. He encapsulated his entire theological outlook in his commitment to the Calvinistic doctrine of “cessationism,” the belief that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit no longer exist in the church once the original apostles of Christ died off. Huh? How could this be? So, the functioning of God’s word was dependent on men? This belief is a false doctrine that cannot be substantiated by either Scripture or church history. It is, my friends, a tragedy because many are turning away from the truth of a fully preached gospel!

Our Father is still God — He is still mighty in working miracles and wonders! He is still our healer, and He still wants to show that He is strong on behalf of those who trust Him! Great supernatural workings took place in the New Testament church without any perversions — without advertising, showmanship or any person claiming all the power and authority rests in their hands! Sure, today, you will hear some trying to take all the credit, but true believers won’t give them an ear.

You can find a perfect example of this in Paul’s ministry. Paul was preaching a long message in Troas, and a young man by the name of Eutychus was sitting on a window sill. While Paul was speaking, the young man became very sleepy, fell asleep and fell three floors to the ground. Yikes! When they picked him up, he was dead (see Acts 20:9-12).

When Paul got to where the boy was, he quieted everyone. Then, just as Elijah had done, he stretched himself out over the dead boy, and suddenly life came back into the young man! That is good showmanship! The boy had been resurrected — raised from the dead! If that wouldn’t shake you up some, nothing will!

It was a tremendous miracle! Afterward, Paul didn’t send everyone out to share what happened, so tell everyone that a miracle had taken place. No, they merely went back to the third floor, took communion, and Paul continued preaching! Now THAT required faith! What I find interesting is that the New Testament never mentions Eutychus again. Why? Well, because the church expected supernatural works to happen! They preached a full gospel — with signs and wonders following!

Nowhere in the New Testament will you hear that this changed once Peter, Paul, or Mary, or any of the Apostles died off. Nope! None of those who followed the original apostles as leaders in the churches said anything about the signs and miracles was ceasing. Instead, they gave testimony of miraculous gifts and healings that occurred in their day!

Several years ago, Eddie Hyatt, a Pastor, and teacher wrote an excellent article about this:

Those who succeeded the original apostles as leaders in the churches make no mention of a cessation theory. On the other hand, they give clear testimony of miraculous gifts and healings occurring in their day. I have documented this in my book 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity, published by Charisma House. Consider the following quotes from church fathers recognized by both Protestants and Catholics as the legitimate successors of the original apostles:

“For the prophetical gifts remain with us even to the present time. Now it is possible to see among us women and men who possess gifts of the Spirit of God.” ~Justin Martyr (100-165)

“In like manner we do also hear many brethren in the church who possess prophetic gifts and through the Spirit speak all kinds of languages. … Yes, moreover, as I have said, the dead even have been raised up, and remained among us for many years.” ~Irenaeus (125-200)

“For seeing that we too acknowledge the spiritual charismata, or gifts, we too have merited the attainment of the prophetic gift … and heaven knows how many distinguished men, to say nothing of the common people, have been cured either of devils or of their sicknesses.” ~Tertullian (150-240)

“This is he [the Holy Spirit] who places prophets in the church, instructs teachers, directs tongues, gives powers and healings, does wonderful works … and arranges whatever gifts there are of the charismata; and thus making the Lord’s church everywhere, and in all, perfected and completed.” ~Novation (210-280)

“Some give evidence of their having received through this faith a marvelous power by the cures which they perform, invoking no other name over those who need their help than that of the God of all things, along with Jesus and a mention of his history.” ~Origen (185-284)

Even when Augustine wrote The City of God, he mentions healings and miracles that he had observed firsthand and then says, “I am so pressed by the promise of finishing this work that I cannot record all the miracles I know.” ~Augustine (354-430)

These testimonies clearly demonstrate that spiritual gifts continued to be common in the church from the Day of Pentecost and up to the beginning of the fourth century. The Episcopal scholar Morton Kelsey was correct when he said, “These men were well aware of Paul’s list of the gifts of the Spirit and what it included. In no place do they suggest that any of them had dropped away.”

My dear friends, spiritual gifts continued to be common in the church even until the beginning of the fourth century! Morton Kelsey was correct when he said, “These men were well aware of Paul’s list of the gifts of the Spirit and what it included. In no place do they suggest that any of them had dropped away.”

Our problem is that there is an evident lack of faith and holiness within our churches! The 18th-century Baptist pastor and founder of Gordon College in Boston, wrote, “It is not altogether strange that when the church forgot her citizenship in heaven and began to establish herself in luxury and splendor on earth, she should cease to exhibit the supernatural gifts of heaven.”

John Wesley wrote:

“I do not recollect any Scripture wherein we are taught that miracles were to be confined within the limits of the apostolic age or the Cyprian age, or of any period of time, longer or shorter, even till the restitution of all things.”

Wesley also wrote:

“I was fully convinced of what I had once suspected . . . that the grand reason why the miraculous gifts were so soon withdrawn was not only that faith and holiness were well nigh lost, but that dry, formal orthodox men began even then to ridicule whatever gifts they had not themselves, and to decry them all as either madness or imposture.”

Doulos Studies

(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)

I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.

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Honoring The Lord

Hey, let’s be real honest, okay? If we genuinely desire to be faithful to the Lord’s call our lives, there is only one thing for us to focus. Continue reading

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