Holiness! Part 2 “Hollywood’s light” vs. “THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD”

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But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.

If therefore the light that is in you is darkness,

how great is that darkness! (Matthew 6:23)

The greatest pleasures available to the human spirit are spiritual pleasures that come to us when God reveals God to our spirit. This exhilarates our spirit at the deepest levels. We are set free from the inferior pleasures of sin by experiencing the superior pleasures of the beauty and majesty of Jesus. And we discern to superior pleasure of God as the Holy Spirit brings revelation.

The Spirit discerns the deep things of the Father’s heart and mind, including the delight He feels for Jesus, the saints, and His kingdom. The Spirit helps us feel some of what the Father feels. Paul taught, “The Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God…12We have received…the Spirit…that we might know the things that have been freely given to us. (1 Cor. 2:10-12).

 

We are made to understand the knowledge of who God is and what He thinks and feels about us. However we can’t do this without the Holy Spirit’s help. Therefore we have to set our hearts to Encounter the Holy Spirit so that He can teach us all things and revel God to us.

The Spirit escorts us on a divine treasure hunt into the beauty of Jesus. He takes the things that Jesus is thinking and feeling and reveals them to us. This is divine entertainment at its highest—Hollywood can’t ever match this. Jesus, in speaking of the Holy Spirit said, “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you” (Jn. 16:14).

God releases small “measures” of insight and inspiration from the Word of God, which tenderize our spirit for a few moments. These subtle “glimpses” of glory are to be a regular part of our relationship with God. Over time, these holy glimpses change us emotionally. This is the process of growing in holiness. We literally become what we behold.

The best way to overcome darkness is to turn on the light. No one seeks to remove the darkness in a room by opening a window to throw out buckets full of darkness. They simply turn on the light. The way for darkness to decrease in us is to focus on increasing the amount of light we enjoy. Jesus said. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”. (Jn. 1:5, RSV)

In the same way, we will not overcome the darkness of immorality, bitterness, and pride by focusing on it. We do not decrease the darkness in us by focusing on darkness (thinking, talking, watching or reading about darkness is the quickest way to increase darkness in us). We change our focus to become preoccupied with gaining more of the light of the superior pleasure of revelation of God. Shouting, talking, and staring at darkness can not make it go away. Only the light of day brings and end to the night.

Movies can be a fun way to enjoy time with one another. However, Hollywood, no matter how hard they try to sell “Bible” movies will not bring more light into our lives. Watching movies that are “not really bad” will not increase the light in us. Searching through the internet for hours to “just keep up with what’s going on” will not increase the light in our lives. We must learn to open our bibles, shut off all electronics, and talk to the LIGHT of the World. This is what David did.

***stay tuned to next time (Part 3) when we look into the life of David and see how we call can walk after a lifestyle of holiness… 

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HOLINESS!! Part 1

 

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If this girl is happy to get a watermelon think how happy you will be whey you walk in “Holiness” HAPPY holiness

 

The Lord said, “be holy for I am Holy” (Leviticus 11:44, 45; 19:2; 20:7). The more we walk in holiness the greater our ability to walk in joy with Him.   Some understand holiness as a list of hard fast rules and exhausting self-denial, but the truth is that God’s holiness is the most pleasurable and exhilarating quality of life in existence. This is how God is on His Throne right now; He is Holy and Joyful. David understood this when He wrote, “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Ps. 16:11).

 

We get to walk forth in holiness. It is not a struggle but a joy that brings Godly pleasures, peace in our hearts, and liberty. The four living creatures are exploding with song as they gaze upon the holiness of God. Holiness leads to joy—Jesus is HOLY and He is happiest Man alive.

 

Jesus is the holiest man that lived. Why? Because He was about His Fathers business, He pursued the knowledge of God and was lead by the Holy Spirit.  John the Baptist was holy, and the angel Gabriel said that John’s ministry would, “have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth” (John 1:14). Jesus prayed, “…that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves” (John 17:13). We must set our life to know God, resist sin and satan, and pursue God and people so that we walk in happy holiness.

 

Holiness is not what we don’t do it is what we do! In order to walk forth in a life of holiness we must do two very important things: seek the superior pleasure of God, and we must set our hearts to 100 percent obedience.

 

In the midst of the escalating sin both now and in the end times, Jesus will bring His people to victory. He is returning for a Church that lives as a spotless prepared Bride that is fascinated with God and walking in His power (Rev. 19:7). When we gaze at Jesus’ beauty our body, soul and Spirit is empower to overcome even in the midst of the most lawless, demonic, and sexually perverted generation in history. Paul said “…that He [Jesus] might…cleanse her [the Church] with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:26-27).

 

We are made by God to interact with Himself and each other in a glourious way. For instance we have our minds to comprehend the majesty of God, and our hearts to feel the emotions of God. God wants us to interact with Him in a heavenly, and very real, earthly circumstances. Mike Bickle from the International House of Prayer in Kansas City shares about 7 longings that God created us to have.

 

LONGING #1: THE LONGING FOR THE ASSURANCE OF BEING ENJOYED BY GOD

9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you.” (Jn. 15:9)

We were created with a craving to be pursued, delighted in, and enjoyed, first by God and then by our loved ones. Understanding God’s affection for us is where we begin to live exhilarated by His love. There is a great difference between rebellion and spiritual immaturity (that sincerely seeks to obey God).

 

LONGING #2: THE LONGING TO BE FASCINATED

4 One thing I desired…all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD… (Ps. 27:4)

There is a craving in our spirit to be fascinated, to marvel, and be awestruck. The entertainment industry has identified this longing and exploited it to their profit—to the ruin of people. Without having a sense of awe we live aimlessly and spiritually bored. A spiritually bored Church is weak and vulnerable.

 

LONGING #3: THE LONGING TO BE BEAUTIFUL

3…to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning… (Isa. 61:3)

Every person longs to possess beauty and to feel beautiful. The beauty that God possesses is the very beauty that He imparts through redemption. His beauty is transferable to human beings through Jesus!

 

LONGING #4: THE LONGING TO BE GREAT

19“…whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 5:19)

We long to be successful. The great God created us with a desire for greatness. Jesus preached that we should strive for greatness. We were made for greatness and honor (Heb. 2:7). We cannot repent of this longing, only of pursuing it in a wrong way. Instead we must present this longing before God and ask that He teach us and cultivate our gifting so that we walk pure before Him.

 

LONGING #5: THE LONGING FOR INTIMACY WITHOUTSHAME

The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant (Ps. 25:14).

We each long for intimacy without shame in knowing and being known before the Lord. Jesus shares the secrets of His heart with His people (Ps. 25:14), and we will share the secrets of our heart with Him. We desire a deep and personal loving relationship, and very seldom find that in relationship with others (no matter how God they are). We can have several, very deep and meaningful relationships. But we the longing for a deep, secret, relationship can only be satisfied by God.

 

LONGING #6: THE LONGING TO BE WHOLEHEARTED—FIRST COMMANDMENT

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’(Matt. 22:37)

We long to give our all to God with deep loyal love. He imparts to us the power to be passionate because He is a passionate God. We cannot function properly until we passionately give our heart to a Person and purpose beyond ourselves. If we don’t have something to die for, we have nothing to live for. Also we are always trying to give our self to something or someone in a wholehearted way. But we cannot give to people what is reserved only for God, and we cannot grow close to people without growing close to God. Only when we diligently work to grow in intimacy with Christ can we grow in fellowship with others (1 John 1:1-3).

 

LONGING #7: THE LONGING FOR SIGNIFICANCE—TO MAKE A LASTING IMPACT

We are desperate to live with meaning and to make a contribution that is significant to God so that He esteems and remembers it forever. This longing is satisfied by service that results in eternal impact and rewards. God designed us to long to make a difference in the lives of others.

Thank you Miami U. SpringOutreach friends!

John 17 Unity at Miami University

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It was so great to see the Lord bring so many groups together for the purpose of Loving Jesus and building God’s kingdom in the students at Miami U. Several groups came together and deserve to be mention. First, Daniella Gibbons and the New Life Vineyard; they poured themselves out, as a drink offering, to see this outreach happen; they gave all the sound equipment, coffee, and time to make this outreach a success. Next, Skyline restaurant of Oxford are faithful people; the Jones and their staff did an amazing job hosting the team, praying during the event, and praying for years before had. Also, the Oxford Vineyard helped in many ways by: encouragement and helping with permit procedures, allowing us to park in their spaces, praying for students, and providing bibles for the ones we prayed with. The Cincinnati House of Prayer also came out to help and helped provide necessary resources before hand to make this event a success. And the IHOPU students were a blessing; they lead prayer and worship in the square, sent teams around Oxford to pray with those in need, and faithfully reached out and prayed with many, many, people. Lastly, my wife and children (whom I love so much) were tremendous. They changed their plans, did my chores so I could do other planning, helped make signs, and prayed many times for this event. I am so thankful for them.

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Miami U. Student receiving prayer. 

Testimonies:

  • 4 hours of public worship and prayer to Jesus at Miami U.
  • At least 100 presentations of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  • Oxford Police, were thankful, and asked us to be apart of their future events.
  • Many of the Miami U. Holy Club students received much needed prayer.
  • Several unsaved people praying for healing or to start a relationship with Christ. One young man was a professing atheist, but after prayer he asked for a bible. Our dear friends form the Oxford Vineyard were able to give him a bible. Thank you Jesus.
  • A young man named Alex was really touched in the last 20 minutes. He told us that he was just seeking to find God and came to the music. Please pray for him as it was obvious God used the team to draw him to Jesus.

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Kids helping to make the signs

 

Prayer:

  1. Pray for the ongoing work at Miami U. and the continued working together of ministries for the sake of the gospel. And that Holy clubs would continue to grow on campus.
  2. Pray for continued work between the Christian groups in and around Oxford and Cincinnati.
  3. Pray for the 12 teams of IHOPU students ministering in 12 different cities. 

 

 

350 praying IHOPU students go to the Nation (20 are coming to MIAMI U April 8th)

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350 IHOPU students have raised their own funds to spend the next week spread out across America contending for revival.

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Together with many others these students will gather at #MiamiOH #SpringOutreach to contend in John 17 Unity for Revival at MiamiU, Oxford, and the surrounding area. On April 8th 2 student lead bands will worship, pray and evangelize in Memorial Park (Oxford, OH) from 2 to 5:30pm. We are praying for great weather and John 17 unity among those involved. What Kind of Love would lead them to do this?

 

This is a Love of Obedience, passed on God’s definition of Love, with to God the 1st Commandment first place in their lives.

 

37 You shall love the LORD … with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.

(Mt. 22:37-38)

 

We know that God’s ultimate eternal purpose for creation is to provide a family for Himself that includes faithful children for Himself and an equally yoked Bride for Jesus as His eternal companion. God promised to give Jesus an inheritance consisting of a people whom He fully possesses in love.

 

8 I [the Father) will give You [Jesus] the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. (Ps. 2:8)

 

LOVE: God’s terms

This Love requires that we walk in mandatory obedience: God will cause all creation to obey Jesus (Phil. 2:9-11). However this is not a heavy-handed forced love. We can never force someone to love another or us. Instead, we can invite them into voluntary love; God will raise up people who voluntarily choose to love Him.

 

When we grow in God’s love then we are equally yoked in love to God. God wants us to love Him with all of our heart and mind, because He loves us with all of His heart and mind. Jesus wants us to love Him in the way He loves us. He will supernaturally empower us to love Him this way. It takes “God to love God.” The anointing to receive God’s love and to return it to Him is the greatest gift the Spirit imparts to us.

 

The love of God has been poured in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). Jesus prayed for His people to be supernaturally empowered to love Him with God’s love.

 

26 I declared…Your name … that the love with which You loved Me may be in them. (Jn. 17:26)

 

HOW can you help!

On April 8th 20 plus IHOPU students will join with the students of Miami U. to seek the face of Jesus in worship, prayer and evangelism. Come and join us. If you can’t join us please pray for us. And send this blog to anyone that can come via instagram, Facebook and twitter.

 

 

#MiamiOH #SpringOutreach! What can we expect from 2 student led bands?

Image#MiamiOH #SpringOutreach will be a time when we can contend in John 17 Unity for Revival at MiamiU, Oxford, and the surrounding area. On April 8th 2 student lead bands will worship, pray and evangelize in Memorial Park (Oxford, OH) from 2 to 5:30pm. We are praying for great weather and John 17 unity among those involved. But what can we expect from 2 student led bands.

We can expect a lot because these are not 2 ordinary student led bands. These students have given themselves in an extravagant way to Glorify Jesus and make His name know on the earth. They have gone against the grain of todays society, and said, I want to live wholehearted for the sake of God’s Kingdom going forth. How? they have decided to work hard (yes, in the true Grace of God) for the 1st commandment to be first place in their lives, so that they can live out the 2nd commandment in the midst of their studies. So what does it mean to have the 1st commandment first place in our lives?

GREATEST COMMANDMENT

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

FIRST COMMANDMENT

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 

SECOND COMMANDMENT

39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

Loving God is the first priority to God. Jesus did not call it the first option, but a commandment. Jesus makes it clear that cultivating love for Him is the first emphasis of the Holy Spirit. Loving God is a glorious end in itself; however, it never ends with loving God but always overflows with loving ourselves and others (believers and unbelievers). We love God (1st commandment) and then overflow and love people (2nd commandment).

God has everything, yet He is searching for something that He still wants first. What does God search for? What does He want most and first? It is love that He is after–He is after our heart! The mystery of our life is found in this truth. He wants us. He wants our voluntary love. God won’t force us to Love Him. One of the most important questions to ask God is, “What are You looking for before anything else?” When we find what God is looking for, then we will find the answer to what we are looking for. This is a serious question for LIFE.

Loving God is the first priority to God, or it is number one on God’s priority list. We must plan ministries with this as the first goal and measurement of success. Numerical growth is good, but that is not the litmus test of God’s grace or pleasure. I like to ask students what their goals are. Most always start from telling me about “good grades”, which is great! But is good grades enough? Is that true, well rounded Success?

Many are searching to know the will of God. What is the first issue in the will of God? First, God’s will is to strengthen the response of our heart to Him in love. This is more important to Him than our ministry assignment. “Lord, what are You doing in my life? Why are You allowing certain things to continue?” Jesus is after our heart. He wants to wake us up to reveal and impart
His love to us. Everything that God does, He does first for love.

Christianity is an ongoing encounter of love with a Person. Possessing fierce dedication and making radical choices for righteousness will not keep us steady unless we encounter love. It is not enough to be a part of a mission or have vision to change a city or nation. The labor of the vision will make us emotionally weary without the small but consistent stirring of love in our
emotions by the Spirit. Stirred emotions in love are the most powerful force in the universe!

These 2 student lead bands have a simple desire when they take field on April 8th. First, to LOVE GOD. They desire that with each strum of their guitar and with the words of their mouth they glorify God. Then, only after they have done the first, they desire to make the name of Jesus and His Father’s Kingdom established; they will worship, prayer, and preach the gospel.

MIAMIU SpringOutreach! April 8th Memorial Park; John 17 Part 2

 

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#MiamiOH #SpringOutreach will be a time when we can contend in John 17 Unity for Revival at MiamiU, Oxford, and the surrounding area. On April 8th 2 student lead bands will worship, pray and evangelism in Memorial Park (Oxford, OH) from 2 to 5:30pm. We are praying for great weather and John 17 unity among those involved. But John 17 unity does not always bring people closer together as we may understand.

 

When Jesus taught and preformed Miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit it was very divisive.  Jesus did not seek to be divisive, and neither should we. But the fear of being divisive should not hinder us from two important points: the Word and the Spirit. Jesus preached the Word and preformed Miracles by the Holy Spirit and this is what got everyone angry.

 

In John chapter 9 Jesus heals the man born blind. That act of the Holy Spirit was controversial because it was done on the Sabbath. Therefore, there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. Then later on He is teaching about Good shepherds that follow the will and voice of God. And that became controversial.

 

Then Jesus identifies Himself as the Good shepherd and the religious leaders (those that did not receive Jesus and rejected the miracle of healing the blind man) were furious at this teaching and the next verse states:

there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. (John 10:19)

They were mad at the Holy Spirit (miracle on the Sabbath) and the Word (teaching of Jesus). When we are truly preaching the Word of God those that are opposed to the Word of God will rise up in opposition. Also when we do the works of the Holy Spirit those that are opposed will rise in opposition. So then what should be do? Should we not preach the word because it is controversial, and should we not do the works of the Spirit because it is offensive. NO!

We must never shrink back from preaching the Word of God. And we must never stop following the gifts and power of the Spirit. Jesus prayed in John 17 that we would preach the word;

….I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. (John 17:14)

And He also said that the Power of the Holy Spirit would be “greater” in the works of the disciples (and my friends in China and Africa and give first hand witness to this);

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. (John 14:12)

What we should do?

As much as possible work to work with those that call upon the name of Jesus. If we have the right spirit of Jesus and following the leadership of the Holy Spirit we will see God move miraculously; we should look to follow Jesus and the Holy Spirit, not start a fight. This means we have to work hard to fight through offense, and work with  those around us as long as we do not compromise the Word of God and the Work of the Holy Spirit.

Is John 17 #Unity #Evangelism important on College Campuses and Universities?

At #MiamiOH University on April 8th 2014 students, and many groups will get together in public worship, prayer, and evangelism #SpringOutreach. But is it important that we come together in a spirit of John 17 unity. We must briefly look at what is John 17 unity, and what are the struggles with John 17 unity?

First of all we have to look at “why” Jesus prayed John 17? The answer is that we would be one with God and each other, AND (notice I placed this in capitals) that we would know LOVE: for God, towards believers, and towards the lost.

But before we get into what John 17 unity is, we must and the questions “why did Jesus pray this prayer?” Jesus prayed this because it was the heart of the Father. Remember Jesus only did, said, and prayed what His Father was doing (John 15:9).

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” (John 15:9)

Therefore, the heart of our Father is that we would be together. That is why every family takes time to “be together”. In the simplest term God the Father wants His children to be together in unity, but it is unity on His terms not our terms.

Not only does He want us to be together. He wants us to grow in LOVE. Jesus prayed in John 17:23, that the Love which God has for God (John 15:9; highest LOVE imaginable) would be in us. That was Jesus prayer, why? Because the Father wants us to have the highest love inside of us. The Father Loves us and wants us to grow in that love first with Him and then each other, which is the 1st and 2nd commandment; to love God with everything we have and then love people that same way. Jesus prayed John 17 unity so that we could grow in love.

Lastly, Jesus prayed John 17 for the sake of the lost; He prayed that we would grow together in–unity and love–so that the world would see “our LOVE” and then give their lives to Jesus (John 17:23).

“I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (John 17:23)

Our love for God and each other is a witness that will bring the Lost to salvation. Why? because we all want to be apart of a group of people–community–that love and meet their needs. I always say healthy community revolves around Jesus, His word, the work of the Holy Spirit, and our service towards each other; a healthy community works so that the weakest one among them grown in the fullness of God’s call for their lives.

So why do we struggle to engage in John 17 Unity in America? First of all, my friends in persecuted Egypt, do John 17 unity, as a matter of daily survival. They come together in prayer and activism to help each other. Why? because their persecutors don’t ask them what denomination they are from. Instead, they ask them if they are a Christian, who believes in Jesus as the Way the Truth and the Life (they don’t ask it exactly like this but you get the point). In America, where we do not have persecution (we do but it is not usually violence and more in social, cultural, and political pressure) we usually don’t do John 17 unity because it is HARD—with a capital “H”.

I have never meet a person that did not want “unity” in the body of Christ. I have meet lots of folks that want unity, but mostly on their own terms. They view unity as a big event, with all the churches represented; or they may see unity as everyone believing and voting exactly like them. This can be part of unity but not the only thing.

John 17 unity is many things. First, that we must have a pure heart towards the “church” as a whole. We must guard our hearts against agreeing with negative thoughts against disunity and then work towards unity. Then we can can do little acts of service for those in churches around us. In order to do this we have to work hard to get past offense.

“Offense” the BIG obstacle of Unity

The biggest obstacle to John 17 unity is offense, but this is easily overcome (well sort of). I have offended lots of people, and lots of people have offended me. I don’t agree with lots of other believers, but we have to realize that “dis-unity” is not an option. Jesus prayed that we would be one so that we could get past the offenses that arise with everyday life. I don’t always agree with my wife but we work hard to talk through these things. In the body we must work together.

Paul taught in Ephesians 4 that we would work (we have to work hard) to keep the Unity of the Spirit. This means that we keep unity with each other so we can have unity with the Spirit. We are to be: one Spirit, one body, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father who is above all, through all, and in you all. We are called to work through offense, so that God is glorified, if kids can do it we can do it 🙂

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So what can we do?

We can work towards unity by: speaking goodness and loving-kindness towards the church down the street, and praying for them, inviting other believers to our home (not just to grow our church); give money or time to another church just because they love Jesus; take a meal someone in need in another church.

Lastly read John 17 and spend time meditating on each verse. Why? because this is the heart of our FAther; Jesus prayed this; and these prayers will be answered. Each verse is from the Heart of the Father; Agree with what Jesus prayed—pray John 17—and become the hands and feet of Christ to united the church and show the World the LOVE of Christ.