Top 10 Predictions for 2010

January 21st, 2010

Saw this posted on a forum I like to visit.  There was no author credit.   I didn’t write this,  but I want to share it with you.

Top 10 Predictions for 2010

      1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
      2. Prayer will still be the most powerful thing on Earth.
      3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
      4. God will still honor the praises of His people.
      5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
      6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
      7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
      8. There will still be room at the Cross.
      9. Jesus will still love you.
    10. Jesus will still save the lost when they come to Him.  

         Isn’t It Great To Remember Who Is Really In Control, and that

       “…the Word of the Lord endureth for ever.”
                                               ( 1 Peter 1:25 )

Actions = Results

January 15th, 2010

As I was reading in Colossians this morning, these Actions = Results stood out in my mind.  The spiritual maturity and insight that we crave (results), are clearly linked to actions.   Sow to these actions and harvest the results.

Colossians  Chapter  1

 An Action = Result Table From The First Few Verses

Ref. Action Result
Col. 1:5 Looking forward to the joys of Heaven Trust in Jesus 

Love all God’s people

Col. 1:6 Heard and understood the Good News about God’s kindness (grace) to sinners Changed lives at Colosse

Changing lives everywhere

Col. 1:9 Gain understanding of God’s will for our lives and receive spiritual wisdom Live lives pleasing to God

Give honor to God

Bearing fruit

       Do good continually

       Be kind to others

Learn to know God better

Col. 1:11 Be strengthened with HIS power Have patience and endurance

Be filled with joy

Giving thanks always

The Love of God

September 16th, 2009

How do you even begin to fully understand this yourself, not to mention explaining it to others?

The mercy of God, through His Son’s shed blood, by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. All of this provided for me; all of this available to me.

Me? Me! What am I that the God of the universe should even notice me?

How? Why?

All the integrate details of how, are more than I will ever comprehend, for His ways are far above mine. My finite brain will never comprehend His omniscience.

But the why is within the reach of my knowing, although I know I will never fully plumb its depth.

L O V E  is the answer. Love is even the very beginning of the entire process. Even grace and mercy through faith – must first have their origin in the love of God for me. For try as I might, it is not even possible for me to evoke the proper response of faith to all of God’s offered grace  (Eph 2:8-9).

Imagine knowing the end from the beginning – knowing that the crown of Your creation, mankind – would be lured away by Satan, reject You and fall into sin’s bondage. Imagine knowing before You created the universe and the earth, that You would need to suffer a terrible death in order to give them a way back to fellowship with You … and You created them anyway. That is anticipated love.

Imagine having full knowledge of all the excruciating pain of crucifixion and an expert physician’s understanding of the physiological effects of being beaten beyond recognition and nailed onto a wooden cross to die. Imagine all of that, and then with Your own hands plant, water, nurture and grow the very tree those hands will be nailed to. That is active love.

Imagine being very God, with all the glory, power, position, etc., that means; and leaving all of that behind to become one of Your creation. The King of kings and the Lord of lords, born to simple human parents of limited means; wrapped in rags and laid in a manger. That is unselfish love.

Imagine being Jesus Christ, God’s own Son; as You hang on the cross in more pain than the human language can define. Your divine eyes see the image of Your creation surrounding You, mocking You, cursing You, and You look to Your Father’s throne and ask the Father to forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing. That is unconditional love.

Now imagine those same divine eyes looking down from the cross, through time, right down to today and right into your sin sick soul. Eyes full of love and compassion that you can’t earn. Jesus says to His Father – forgive this one too – for this is one of My children. That is specific love (for you).

Now what will you do with such wonderful knowledge that Jesus Christ loves you this much and longs to have an intimate/eternal relationship with you?

 

Oh, that we might know the Lord!

July 20th, 2009

Oh, that we might know the Lord!   Let us press on to know him.  He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.     Hosea 6:3  (NLT)

Pressing on, pressing in, that we might know the Lord.  That is our prime goal and objective.  Knowing and worshiping our Lord God is what makes everything else work.  We may be having good times, or bad times.  Mountain top experiences or deep valleys to walk through.  No matter where we are,  we must press in to know God more. 

Notice how this passage and so many others paint the picture of us pressing in toward God?  Why?  Because no matter what, God hasn’t moved; He is the steadfast Rock.  And it is up to us (with the help of the Holy Spirit), to press on and press in to Him.

Remember the woman with the issue of blood that pressed through the crowd to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment?  Matthew 9:20   The only way she got through that crowd was to keep pressing on and making her way through every hindrance, every obstacle between her and Jesus. 

Receive that as your example today.  Press on, press in, don’t let anything stop you or hold you back.  Knowing Christ more, will be worth every effort and sacrifice it takes.

Quick Fix Haircuts

July 13th, 2009
This was such a good word I felt I had to post it here and hope that more would read it and be blessed.   (Bill)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Good morning!

In tough economic times, families often look for ways to save money. I remember a time in another era of economic challenge, when my parents did just that. They were pastoring a church in Concord, North Carolina. I vividly remember those days of conservative approaches to spending and creative attempts to save money in our household. While I didn’t fully comprehend it at age 12, those serious family talks around the table focused on sacrifice and sharing still hold court in my memory from time to time.

One of the ways that my parents chose to save money was to have my mom buy a barber kit. It seemed fairly straightforward. There were three boys who regularly needed haircuts. My mom lacked barber training — and some might even argue talent as a hair stylist — but she proceeded, with great enthusiasm, to cut our hair. The result required a quick trip to the barber shop to adjust the work that had been done! Looking back, it’s quite funny now, but to an emerging teenager it was a serious issue at the time.

When need presents itself, it is easy for us to look for a quick “fix,” assuming that if we just had the right tools or enough resources the task would automatically have a solution. In my observation, most journeys towards a solution don’t come that easily. There are often unexpected obstacles and unplanned interruptions along the way.

God rejected Gideon’s initial plans to use 32,000 and then 10,000 warriors against the 100,000 Midianites. Instead, He was happy with the 300 that made the final tally. What’s up with that? Why does it seem that the best thought-through plans are not always the right ones? Why doesn’t the Lord just allow us the privilege of working smarter or harder to arrive at our own solutions? In the face of seemingly impossible situations neither of those attributes is negative, in and of itself.

The answer reveals a God who will share His glory with no other. The Lord of the universe is extremely interested in whether we acknowledge His role. One of His purposes is to help us avoid the pride experienced by Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4), or Saul (1 Samuel 13). He is constantly leading us to places where only His intervention will work.

Miracles are His specialty. And, some of us need one today! This does not mean we should stop pursuing every reasonable avenue of solution. In our pursuit however, we also need to be reminded of our absolute dependency on Him. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught His disciples that even the provision of our daily bread is not to be assumed, but to be requested.

Accept this invitation to join in as we embark on a season of dependency. Some of our situations will not be resolved without prayer, fasting and divine intervention. Go ahead — buy all the barber equipment you have the money for! Just remember that quite possibly, you will still be woefully short of what you need.

It’s “not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts!” –Zechariah 4:6 (KJV)

 

In His service,

Glenn Burris Jr.
General Supervisor

The Deception of Over-Flowing Joy

July 6th, 2009

Does that title surprise you; or maybe even raise a flag of concern?  After all, don’t Christians normally encourage joy?  Don’t we speak constantly of the “joy” of serving Christ and being redeemed?    Well, yes, and I hasten to add that all of those things are true (Psa. 16:11, 32:11; Hab. 3:18).

However, you can’t rely on joy; and you dare not stake your eternity on it.  Remember, joy is an emotion. Have you ever really stopped to consider just how fickle emotions are?  Think about this:  Have you ever been happy and sad the same day; maybe even within a short time of each other?  If that is true, then how can you stake anything of great importance on shear emotion?

Ask any couple with a good marriage after 10 or more years.  Every day is not filled with the excited infatuation of newlywed love.  If that sounds disappointing, understand that the infatuated love has been replaced by a deeper, richer, love that isn’t based on the roller coaster of fickle emotions.  This type of relationship has matured into a love that is steadfast and committed far beyond any fleeting emotion. 

The Christian’s walk must go through this same kind of maturing process.  Over time we must come to the point of a steadfast and committed relationship with Christ that is not based on the emotion we are experiencing at the moment (Psa. 57:7).  We must worship Him because of who He is and know that no matter what is happening in our lives, or how we feel at that moment, He is worthy of our absolute trust, and deep committed love (Psa. 33:21).  Then we can really have joy and constantly rejoice in Him, regardless of this moment’s feelings or tomorrow’s emotions (Psa. 5:11).

Exciting World Missions Statistics

July 4th, 2009

Here are some highlights of the 2008 Spiritual Report for Foursquare International:

2,470,054  decisions for Christ

628,271  water baptisms

794,218  Holy Spirit baptisms

4.7  decisions for Christ per  minute

11 new churches planted everyday

Acts 1:8 

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

He who trusts in his own heart is a fool

July 1st, 2009

Contrasting the difference between faith and our own wisdom is rather easy in the Bible.  Take this passage in Proverbs 28:26a:

26     He who trusts in his own heart is a fool      (NKJV)

In the Hebrew mindset, the “heart” was not the seat of emotions, but rather your knowledge, intellect and will (cf Proverbs 12:25; 13:12; 15:12,14a; ).   So the Bible warns us in many places not to lean on our own wisdom or will.  Rather, look to your Abba Father in faith – with absolute trust that He has you in the hallow of His hands.  Nothing will reach you without going through Him.  And nothing will take Him by surprise. 

Don’t analyze everything to death.  Don’t assume you have tomorrow—nor even today—totally figured out.  Instead rely on our Father’s love for His children and for you individually.  Count on His loving heart and tender mercies (Psalm 103:4, 118:1).  Know that not only is He in control, He is always victorious. 

Don’t forget, you are accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6), you are sealed with His guarantee of the glory to come  (Ephesians 1:13-14), and nothing in Heaven or Earth can separate you from His love and your victorious future in Christ Jesus  (Romans 8:35; Ephesians 1).    

So as the Apostle Paul says:  “…stand…”  (Ephesians 6:13) in these uncertain times.  But don’t stand trusting in your own wisdom and power.  Stand by faith in Christ Jesus and by trust in your Abba Father.

NKJV  Proverbs 3:5-6

5     Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

And lean not on your own understanding;

6     In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He shall direct your paths.

The Point of a Pillar

July 1st, 2009

I’ll never forget the day Anna and I climbed the Mount of Olives from its base at the Kidron Brook near the Golden (or Eastern) Gate, up the steep Ascent of Olives and over the top, down into Bethany on the eastern slope of the mount. Just as we crested the summit, with a stunning view of Jerusalem sprawled before us, we encountered a simple, obviously ancient pillar, a cylinder firmly implanted beside the dusty roadway standing about six or seven feet high. Upon inquiry we discovered it was an actual “milestone,” such as the Romans placed intermittently along the thousands of miles of roads they constructed throughout their empire.

Last week I passed a very personal milestone—my 75th birthday—and was reminded of the place “pillars” have had in my life. I can review “people pillars” who, as pastors, teachers and elders, have not only poured “the stuff of life” into me, but who thereby buttressed and shaped me as a man, as a believer and as a leader. There have also been “pillar principles” that have risen, gradually forming my understanding of “life-as-God’s-Word-reveals-it,” and these have provided direction and stability as well. But it’s a third kind of pillar —“prayer pillars”—that I have in mind today; ones that literally stand in my front yard, and they are especially close to my heart at this time of my transitioning from serving you as president of our movement.

These stand tall—eleven brick pillars like sentinels, prompting abiding reminders of “realms” of prayer-responsibility I know Father God has given me to constantly steward before His Throne. Each one embraces its own broad scope of worthy concern and needed prayer, and serves to keep my intercessory prayer life focused. They span the relational to the institutional, the national to the international, the civic to the Church—and within those categories, a constant stream of issues come and go, but not without being attended by prayer.

However, one pillar bears this name: The Foursquare Church. Decades ago I named that pillar, and have prayed for those who lead us, at the same time seeking God to prosper and keep us as a people constant to His purpose. As you would expect, the dimension of detail in my prayer has increased at that pillar these past five years, as I literally walk the path the eleven pillars trace in my yard. And today—standing at this juncture in my life, I am moved to ask you to meet me there in the Spirit as you pray this week and into the coming year. I want to ask you to hear my heart as I make a covenant before you and before our Lord; then, I am asking you to also join my hand to share a second covenant with me.

First, I want to covenant with God and before you, that even though I will shortly conclude my role as president, I am and will continue to abide under the dynamic call Samuel answered as he “transitioned.” When his role was being adjusted, he made this commitment: “God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you” (1 Sam. 12:23).

Second, as we enter this transitional year in our Foursquare family, join hands with me and others, to share as a people in taking the covenant Israel did when Jehoida, the high priest, called them to account in God’s presence as the people moved into the future with a new leader. His call was that they refuse the world-spirit of a paganized world’s influence and politics, and he urged them to invoke the leadership of God’s ways into their lifestyle and pursuits together. They accepted his call, and sealed their covenant with this declaration: “We will be the LORD’s people!” (2 Chr. 23:16).

Today, I make my pledge before Father God at this season of transition I am experiencing. As I do, please confirm, with me and in His presence, your will to establish a pillar—“The People’s Pillar;” a pillar of prayer and purity of heart, with a fixed focused on a future under the Lordship of Christ and a dependence on God’s Spirit and in humility before His Throne.

That is a pillar that will stand—far longer than even a Roman milestone.

 

Serving with you,

Pastor Jack Hayford
president, The Foursquare Church

Check out the latest leadership updates from Foursquare Missions and Foursquare U.S.

The LoTech Word of God

July 1st, 2009

Those of us who teach and preach the Word of God can sometimes be concerned about all the competition we face with all of the world’s entertainment systems.  How can we compete with a multi-million dollar Hollywood production?  How can we compete with the fast action and ready access of TV?  

But whenever those thoughts crowd in and try to defeat,  we must remind ourselves that we are not teaching and preaching some great words of wisdom only … we are called and commissioned to teach/preach nothing less than The Word of God.  

1 Corinthians 1:18

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

The Word of God brings life for all eternity.  Nothing else can do that!  Preachers and teachers don’t have to compete with the world’s entertainment:  We have the Life Transforming Word of God to share!

God’s Message – preached in God’s Power – will transform lives!   What can compete with that?!?!?!?