Priorities… Priorities… Priorities

 

 

 

Know Your Purpose and Priorities

 

The classified section of the Quay County Sun newspaper in June of 1978 contained this ad: “Farmer with 160 irrigated acres wants marriage-minded woman with tractor. When replying, please show picture of tractor.”

What is Your Purpose in Life? Have you set priorities to get there?

What are God’s priorities for us sin 2019?

Biblical Priority # One

Put God first. Make things of Eternal Significance number one.

In Luke 10:42 and following we find Jesus’ perspective on priorities.

Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home.

She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word.

But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”

But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;

but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

 

Life offers multiple opportunities. What are we choosing? Life demands choices: Mary chose the better part. Are we pleasing God or people? Paul said, “If I’m still trying to please people, I’m not pleasing God. “Sometimes, we can’t do both.

Some things are eternally significant: time with Jesus in the Bible. Time with God in prayer. Getting filled with the Holy Spirit. Evangelism. Worship.

I’m so glad God caught us up in Chicken Evangelism. (Share Christ before you chicken out.) Nearly 100% of Jesus’ outreach was with one-off, random contacts with strangers. To be like Jesus, we will share the free gift of salvation with people in the first minutes we meet. What a joy to begin the discipleship process with strangers!

Biblical Priority # Two

Make things of earthly significance number two.

What are some things of temporal significance? This does not mean they are not important. It only means they are less significant and we need to grant them less time. Some of these are family, leisure, movies, TV, recreation, health, eating, texting, the internet, etc.

One survey in the 1990’s showed the following about USA priorities:

Sleep………………23 years……….32.9%

Work……………..16 years………..22.8%

TV…………………..8 years………..11.4%

Eating……………….6 years………..8.6%

Travel……………….6 years………..8.6%

Leisure…………..4.5 years………..6.5%

Illness……………….4 years………..5.7%

Dressing……………2 years………..2.8%

Things of God….0.5 years………..0.7%

Total…………….70 years…………100%

Sleep and work are givens. Hard to change much there. Notice the third most important category. 8 years out of a lifetime spent with TV. If the survey were taken today, how much time would be spent on cell phones? Or the internet?

Contrast this with the last category: 0.7% of our time spent with the things of God.

Whether we admit it or not, the amount of time we spend with something shows how important it is to us. It tells us our priorities.

As we turn the page on the calendar to 2019, let’s stop and think. What is your lifetime purpose? What has God placed you on earth for? It would be terrible to go through life and not fulfill God’s purpose.

What is your God-given purpose? And what priorities have you set to get there? Think about it.

Rarely do we make life changes in a flash. Take some time. Kari and I recently went one night to a motel to re-orient ourselves. Very helpful. Take some time now. Give some thought. Talk it over with God.

Priorities

Priorities

What is your God-given purpose? And what priorities have you set to get there? Mary chose the good part.

Think about it.

 

Wonderful Counselor

For a child will be born for us, a

Son will be given to us; the government

rests on his shoulders. His name will be

called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

and of His government there will be no end.

 

 

Isaiah prophesied this word during a war. Actually, an invasion from two sides. Assyria who represents demonic powers was attacking from the north and the east.

 

The Philistines, archenemies of the Israelites were harassing from the south and west.

 

In the middle of this invasion, the renowned prophet spoke. His oracle is a prophecy for us as well as a word for the invaded people of that time.

 

A breakthrough is coming! It will be a game-changer!

 

You’ll break the burden, the staff on their shoulders, the rod of their oppressors as at the Battle of Midian.

 

In the middle of the invasion, an even more powerful invasion is coming.

 

 

A Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us and the government will rest

on His shoulders.

 

 

This Christmas prophecy is a prophecy of new government. It’s a prophecy of a Child born to be a king, a Child who will establish a kingdom safe from invaders.

 

 

This prophecy came through Isaiah 700 years before Jesus was born.

 

Much of it is still not accomplished. It wasn’t accomplished in the first thousand years of

Jesus’ reign, it wasn’t accomplished in the second thousand years of Jesus’ reign.

 

It’ll only be accomplished during the Millennium.

 

 

The prophet announced that a Child will be born for Israel.

 

Because believers are grafted into the tree of Israel, this is also a prophecy for the church.

 

All who are men of faith are sons of Abraham. By faith, this child is born for us.

 

He’s come to establish His government for us.

 

A Child will be born for us, a Son will be given

to us!

 

Although it has not happened fully for the nations, yet it is happening individually for men of faith.

 

 

Is Jesus your Lord?

 

Is Jesus your king?

 

Is Jesus your Governor?

 

Is His government established in your life?

 

These are the critical questions of Christmas.

 

The central issue is not that He’s a baby born, but that He’s a baby born to become King.

 

This baby is for us.

 

It’s not only that we belong to him, but that He belongs to us.

 

For a child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us.

 

We are in him and He’s in us. All that He is and has is for us.

 

The first of the four names given to us by the prophet is . . .

 

Wonderful Counselor

 

Names mean something. Names are significant. In the Bible names reveal both character and destiny.

 

What is the meaning of your name? If you know the meaning of your name, you have a clue to your destiny.

 

My name means fighter. My name means warrior like Mars, the god of war.

Fortunately, God is redeeming some of my bad characteristics. I’m sorry my brother and sister had to be with me as I was growing up. But God changed me and still is changing me. He’s redeeming my character and turning my destiny to fight evil.

 

This Christ-child was born with a destiny. He was born with a job to do.

 

Let’s look at the first of His names–Wonderful Counselor.

 

In the Bible wonderful means supernatural. It means filled with wonder. That’s our God. It’s not a wonder here are a wonder there or a wonder sometimes or a wonder maybe.

 

Our God is a wonder-filled God. He’s a God overflowing with wonders. Marvelous is his nature. It’s who He is. This Child was born to supernaturally act in your life and mine.

The greatest wonder is that Jesus Christ died for us. The Bible says that Christ died for the ungodly. Yes, He died for the criminals. Christ died for each and every person has ever been born into the world. That’s why there’s hope for everyone.

I was lovingly proclaiming Christ in a prison cell in the Pulaski County Jail in Little Rock, Arkansas. One of the guys told me  he was too bad to be saved. Nonsense! The good news is Jesus Christ died for the ungodly. No one is too bad to be saved. Christ came to save sinners. And that’s why we’re here today.

We’re here today because our sins are forgiven because Jesus Christ took the death blow for our sin.

A Modern Day Wonder

Do you remember the time I was wearing these braces and walking with a cane?

God is a wonderful God. He healed me from stage 4 inoperable cancer. I was wearing this brace on one foot and the other brace on the other foot. I have really big feet, don’t I? And I had to walk with a cane. God healed me! How I praise him.

 

God is an energetic and merciful God who is pouring out his life for us. Not just on the cross but also from the throne.

 

He’s pouring out His life for us. He’s pouring out wonders. He’s pouring out miracles.

 

Will you say yes to God today? Will you allow Him to work wonders around you today?

 

 

James McCracken: Do Churches Need Apostles?

Do churches need apostles? James McCracken’s answer offers a clue as to why some churches flourish and others don’t.

Some may be wondering, “What is an apostle?” And many have a question about whether or not apostles exist in the modern world. Find answers here.

What is the Cardinal Sin?

What is the worst sin?

What is the Worst Sin?

The Cardinal Sin is . . . ?

What is the cardinal sin in your opinion?

Murder? Homosexuality? Adultery? Greed? Or could it be pride? Or arrogance? Blasphemy? Could the worst sin be hypocrisy?

Before you continue, please stop and consider. What is the worst sin according to the Bible?

While there is no single verse that says, “The greatest sin is . . ,” the Bible makes it clear one sin, and only this one, stands out beyond all others. What is it?

The sin of unbelief is the cardinal sin. No other sin sends a man to hell.

I have led murderers to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Greedy people, homosexuals, robbers, hypocrites, impure people, go to heaven when they put genuine faith in Jesus. According to Ephesians 5:6 and other Scriptures, these and other impure people go to heaven through faith in the sacrifice of Christ Jesus for us. They, however, have no inheritance when they get there. But inheritance is a subject for another time.

I know some well-meaning and generally righteous Christians will exclude lesbians, the immoral, and other impure believers from salvation, but I choose to spread the grace of God. If only “pure” people, that is unmixed, go to heaven, then Jesus would be the only human there. Be honest, we all have some mixture, don’t we?

There is only one sin that merits eternal judgment: unbelief. The cardinal sin is refusal to believe God by rejecting His offer of the gift of eternal life. The Bible says God justifies the ungodly (declares righteous in His sight) when he puts his faith into Jesus (Romans 4:5). And again, we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the law (Romans 3:28).  [Unrighteous] Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness (Galatians 3:6).

I do not condone or minimize sin. However, the only sin that is not forgiven is the sin of unbelief. All other sins are forgiven when a person accepts by faith Christ’s sacrifice. (I understand Jesus’ warning regarding blasphemy against the Holy Spirit to be a willful, determined rejection of the person and work of the Holy Spirit.)

Since unbelief is the one sin that is so important to God, what are the practical implications for us who do believe God?

What are the personal results of faith?

Eternal salvation, a life with Jesus, is the greatest benefit. In addition,

People of faith are happier than non-believers.

People of faith are healthier than unbelievers.

People of faith have better marriages, have more satisfying sexual relationships, and make more money on average than unbelievers.

All this according to various researchers.

 

What are the results of faith for society?

We who believe God are learning to give ourselves to prayer for revival. The grace of God in revivals sweeps many unsaved into the saving arms of Jesus. It has happened in past revivals and it will happen again as we seek God for it.

We who believe God are now persuading unsaved friends, relatives and strangers to consider Jesus as Savior. How can anyone who believes what Jesus said about heaven and hell not give the good news? The news that Jesus died for our sins, rose from the dead and offers a free gift of eternal salvation through faith in Him!

We who believe God are joining a life-giving church and becoming faithful members of it. We will do everything possible to make our church shine as a light in the community. We guard and protect our church and its people, knowing that our church is the pillar and support of the truth (1 Timothy 2:15).

We who believe God are learning to humble ourselves and pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways. We are giving ourselves to these activities, expecting God will hear our prayer, forgive our sin and heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:17) just as He promised.

We admit we cannot pull this off on our own. We need the Holy Spirit to work His motivation and energy inside us.

Let me share two things that are helping me. One is to pray with somebody else about revival. I pay weekly with a likeminded man named Ken. The other thing that helps is a little app from the Family Leadership Council in Iowa. A bell rings on my phone at 7:14 each morning and again at 7:14 each evening to remind me to humble myself and pray. You can get the app here.

The cardinal sin in unbelief. The cardinal virtue is faith, active faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:5f). God has promised to heal our land as we actively believe Him to do it.

How Apostles Differ from Evangelists

How Apostles Differ from Evangelists

Steve Fatow: How Does an Apostle Differ from an Evangelist?

Steve Fatow: How Does an Apostle Differ from an Evangelist?

How Does an Apostle differ from an evangelist? What Is the difference between a disciple and an apostle? These are questions thoughtful Christians are asking. The Scriptures offer helpful answers. Veteran ministers offer insight into understanding not only the obvious, but also some of the nuances of the distinctions of the five-fold ministry offices of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher.

In this video,Steve Fatow smiles as he explains one of the differences between apostles and evangelists.

What is an Apostle? Which are you? Apostle? Evangelist? Or a helper of one or the other. All ministers need one eye on the lost in order to fulfill the great commission: Go into all the world and make disciples. Revival is at hand. What part in kingdom work are you doing?

Why Do Churches Need Apostles Today?

Why Do Churches Need Apostles Today?

Howard Jackson responds to the question in a 30 second video interview. I just visited with Howard at the 2015 Summit Conference in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Howard plays an inspirational trumpet as well as grasping the truth of the apostolic role in local churches.

Get a handle on the role of apostles in the local churches of the New Testament Era by going to Churches and Apostles.

 

Sonny Misar Teaches Journey to Authenticiy

Journey to authenticity with Sonny Misar

Journey to authenticity with Sonny Misar

Journey to Authenticity? The phrase is trending as a catchword in some ears. What is meant by “Journey to Authenticity?” In this 18 minute video Sonny Misar relates how God develops authenticity in His children. Sonny speaks with gentle authority from an apostolic perspective.

Note the 6 stages on the journey: new life, learner, warrior, brokenness, surrender and finally, yes finally! — authenticity. Sonny explains “Every stage has it’s glory,” but the stage that shatters us is brokenness. Do we have to go through brokenness (“the dark night of the soul”) to achieve true authenticity? “Yes, it’s part of God’s plan,” asserts Misar.

There’s’ much more for anyone genuinely wanting God to use him or her. Journey to Authenticity is available on Amazon. This book offers welcome training for any aspiring minister and give understanding to any Christian who wonders “Why has the bottom dropped out of my life?”

But Journey to Authenticity doesn’t stop there. Misar offers genuine hope in an understandable and intelligent way to honest seekers. People, especially young people, want authentic leaders. This book will help us all get there.

Now more than ever, character matters. If you are concerned about character in leaders, particularly apostolic leaders, click here.

Fred Herzog Describes Ideal Church Apostle Relationship

 

Fred Herzog, seasoned apostle from Minnesota, offers insight as he describes the ideal church and apostle relationship. Fred has been around a long time and “seen it all.” He’s a humble man with a timely perspective.

I realize the concept of modern-day apostles is controversial for some. Browse this site for several posts that discuss the issue. A good place to start is “What is an apostle?”

Steve Fatow–How Do You Become an Apostle?

Right on, Steve. You nailed it! Worth a listen. While we’re at it, some might be asking, “What is an apostle?”

How Does One Become an Apostle?

How Does One Become an Apostle?

Jim McCracken answers the question in this 1 minute 19 second video. Jim leads the Truebridge Family of churches based in Minnesota. His proven ministry is worth a listen.

Jim’s answer to the question “How does one become an apostle?” sparkles. But some may be asking “What is an apostle?”