Tuesday, February 28, 2006

In the late 1990's Billy Graham spoke to 10,000 itinerate evangelists in Amsterdam. In his final address to them to called for them to possess a holy determination to reach the world for Jesus...

"Let us light a fire of renewed faith to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, to the ends of the earth. Using every resource at our command and with every ounce of our strength. Let us light a fire in this generation that, by God's grace, will never be put out. Let us light a fire that will guide men and women into tomorrow and eternity. Let the Light of the world shine through the whole earth until he comes again."

Our neighborhood, our family, our friends, our enemies, our city, our nation and the world needs Jesus. Let us pray hard that we will both be a fire and lighters of fires for Jesus.

For His Glory!


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Does it Matter If We Pray Together?

Jim Cymbala, the pastor of Brooklyn Tabernacle once said that you can gauge how much the people in the church love Jesus by measuring their commitment to the weekly prayer gatherings. Does it really come down to that? If the prayer gatherings are times when God's people praise him and cry out to him for renewal and transformed lives, then yes, these weekly prayer gatherings do tell us how much we love Jesus.

But it is more than that. Historically, corporate prayer preceded revivals. There is a renewed interest in prayer before revival and it is sustained during revival. Thus, if revival is to come to our churches and communities and cities and nations--then it would be worth our while to put Acts 2.42 into practice and devote ourselves to prayer. It will take courage and determination to do so, but we must do so for revival from heaven to visit us.

Have a great day


Monday, February 20, 2006

Do We Lock Our Gaze On God?

Louie Giglio, in his book, "The Air I Breathe [worship as a way of life]" writes on page 101 that it is vital that during worship services we focus our gaze upon God and God alone. The primary reason we are in the church sanctuary on each Sunday morning is to worship Him!

Giglio does admit that our minds do wander on Sunday (Mine does--and I am the pastor!). Nevertheless, we are to work hard to fix our gaze on God the Most High. Scripture meditation and prayer a few minutes prior to the beginning of the service are essential to prepare our hearts and minds.

Praying for Revival


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Will Revival Come Without Prayer?

Good Morning. The beautiful recent weather in Omaha is over. Freezing drizzle, snow and colder temperatures are on the way. Oh well! God is always good.

Here is a question: "Will revival come without prayer?" The answer is NO

Many years ago, Arthur Pierson, the editor of The Missionary Review, made the following claim: "From the day of Pentecost, there has been not one great spiritual awakening in any land which has not begun in a union of prayer, though only among two or three; no outward, upward movement has continued after such prayer meetings have declined" (quoted in Brian Edwards, Revival! pg. 84).

Thus, we must continue to cry out for revival day and night!


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

On this Valentine's Day, we who have the honor of being a husband can be reminded on the apostle Paul's word to husbands in Ephesians 5.25: Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

Jesus set the example for us by sacrificing his life for the church. We truly and joyfully live because of his supreme love for us. Thus, we love our wives in a similar fashion--it is about loving and nurturing her as Christ does the church.

What plans do you have for your wife today: a rose? a card? a date? candles and romance? Today is the day for such things. But what about doing the dishes or cleaning a room and fixing something for her.

And as Jesus intercedes for us, we can pray daily for her.

Have a great day


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Do Our Souls Converse With God?

It is easy for prayer to become routine and lifeless. I certainly have found myself in prayer ruts before. How do we break out of this? I like how the theologian Charles Hodge defines prayer: "prayer is the converse of our souls with God".

According to the dictionary, "converse" means "informal talk." Thus, prayer is our informal conversation with the Lord throughout the day. This is one of the keys to the command in 1 Thessalonians 5.17: pray continually! From the time we wake up to the time we go to bed, we can carry on a conversation with the Lord.

Praying for revival


Monday, February 06, 2006

The Steelers Win!

I have been a Pittsburgh Steelers fan since the early 1970's, so it was fun to watch them win their first Super Bowl since 1980. It was a pretty sloppy game as far as penalties were concerned, but a win is a win.

Though it is the "Super Bowl", it is just a game. Yes, I got excited during the game, and I got out of my chair at times (and I ate too much food). Still, it was only a game.

Compared to what truly matters, yesterday's game is nothing. Living for Jesus and his glory is the reason we exist. He is the main thing in all of life.

May His Name be forever praised!


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Can Slander in the Church Hinder Revival?

Jim Cymbala, pastor of Brooklyn Tabernacle charges all the new members of the church to deal with the sin of slander. It doesn't matter if they hear slander or are involved with it themselves. They are to put a stop to it.

Why? Because slander can render a church ineffective.

He says this of slander in the church: "I know what most easily destroys churches. It is not crack cocaine, government oppression, or even lack of funds. Rather it is gossip and slander that grieves the Holy Spirit."

Ephesians 4.29 commands us: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

When slander is on its way out of the church and encouraging words are the increasing norm, then the church will more and more reflect the image and heart of the Lord Jesus