Leadership Blog

29 Apr The Supernatural Power of Communion – Part 2

I am convinced of this one thing … people are hungry for the things of God. There is a cry of desperation sweeping across the land from those longing for more of God’s presence. And, I confident that you are one of those individuals.

In this short blog series, The Supernatural Power of Communion, I am thrilled to share what might be for many a new way of connecting with our Father. For some readers, what I am about to share won’t be a new revelation. For those readers, this will serve as a good reminder. New or “seasoned”, this understanding  about the divine connection through communion will turn what has become just another ritual or tradition or a “get ‘r done and over with” segment in today’s church services into being an intimate, supernatural encounter with God that can instantly change your spirit, mind, and body.

Here is an important truth. Communion is a two sided connection with God. Just as our coinage must have two sides to be of value, it is imperative that we have a divine understanding of both sides of this divine connection with the Father. Without both sides of the connection, communion will be stripped of its power.

Two sides? One side is the acknowledgement of the great price that Jesus paid on Calvary’s cross. This revelation is so incredibly important. I’m so thankful for the churches that still make time during the taking of the Lord’s Supper in an overly time-sensitive service to place emphasis upon and teach about the great sacrifice made by our Lord. But, many people stop with just this one side. As I have already stated, God’s power will show up when both sides of the “do this in remembrance of me” are acted upon.

Not too long ago, the Holy Spirit gave me this picture about the second side of our partaking of the wafer and juice. Are you ready for this? Side two is the “It’s mine, I’ll take it here and now” paid-in-full receipt to appropriate the already purchased benefits of …
* “He was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
* “… the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7) 

I’ll share more next week.

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22 Apr The Supernatural Power of Communion – Part 1

It would be interesting to take a poll and ask fellow believers to give a list of the ways that God’s supernatural, miracle-working power can be released into a believer’s life. I know that they would come up with one or more of the following answers:

*Prayer (1 John 5:14-15)  *Prayer of Agreement (Matthew 18:19)  *Prayer of Binding and Loosing (Matthew 18:18)
*The Name of Jesus (Philippians 2:9-11) *Anointing with Oil (James 5:14-15)  *Laying on of Hands (Mark 16:18)
*Reading God’s Word (Hebrews 4:12)   *Hearing God’s Word (Romans 10:17)  *Speaking God’s Word (Mark 11:24)
*Anointed Prayer Cloths (Acts 19:11-12)  *Praying Divine Mysteries (1 Corinthians 14:2)
*The Gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7-11)

Would you believe me if I told you that, in all probability, at least once a month, you have been missing out on a God-given provision that will open the door to the supernatural power of God? And, this provision has been resting on your fingertips? I am talking about a personal miracle taking place as you join others in celebrating Communion or, as much of the church world refers to this celebration, the Lord’s Supper.

Supernatural? A Texas-size yes. Why haven’t you heard about this before? The answer is quite simple. Oft times, we have reduced Communion into being just a religious tradition or ritual that once a month is squeezed into the overfull church service schedule. Am I right? In our services, here is what happens. We distribute the elements (wafer and juice), quickly read a passage of scripture from 1 Corinthians 11, pray, consume the elements and then move on to the next thing on the service schedule. All the while, God has been waiting to release supernatural miracles including divine healings and deliverances through Communion. You could literally come into the service in one condition and leave totally changed!

This subject is far too important to try to squeeze into just one 400 to 500 words blog post. So, for the next few posts, I want to break down the significance of the “this do in remembrance of me” into simple, short posts and open the door for God’s miracle-working power to show up in your life.

One more note. Right now, some of you are reading my blog for the very first time. You may have “stumbled” onto it by “accident” from catching a promotion on Facebook or Instagram. Others have discovered this blog because you were searching for a particular topic on Google and found a link to my ministry website. With this being Part 1, I don’t want you to miss the ensuing posts. Avoid missing a single post by subscribing to this blog and have it sent early each Monday morning to your email address. Subscribing is simple, free, and absolutely painless. Just click on the following link. SUBSCRIBE

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15 Apr Praying in the Spirit Illustrations – Part 15

Over my almost 40 years of ministry, many Pastors, youth/children ministry leaders, and parents have told me that teaching on the subject of praying in the Spirit is such a challenge. To help ease their (and perhaps your) frustration, I am sporadically posting blog posts to share solid, biblically sound, simple-to-teach, simple-to-do illustrations to use while teaching on this all so important subject.

Let’s look at the next illustration to teach about these benefits. Once again, I will give a brief, skeletal overview of the illustration. Then, with the Holy Spirit’s help, you can personalize and modify the illustration to become a powerful teaching tool.

The Importance of Praying in Other Tongues
Part 15 – Remind Ourselves that God is a Promise Keeper

Even though you are bad, you know how to give good things to your children.
How much more your heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Luke 11:13 (New Century Version)

“This promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away …”
Acts 2:39 (New Century Version)

Note: While every Bible translation does a tremendous job of sharing the original content of the King James Version, I chose the New Century Version for its easy-to-understand language for children. For this illustration, you will need a Bible, a grocery bag with a few “essential” food items, and a small piece of bright-colored yarn.  

Here is a fact that I know all to well to be true. From time-to-time, we can all forget something important. After all, life can be busy and our attention is pulled on by so many, many things to the place that we just simply forget. For example, there have been times that I have gone into the grocery store to get a needed food item like a gallon milk and later leave the store with important things like (show grocery bag and then begin to pull out the food items as you list them) a bag of Cheetos, two or three bottles of Dr Pepper, a bag of Oreo cookies, a bag or two of M&M’s, and a few other essentials. You already know where I am going with this. When I would get home, reality kicks in. I didn’t buy the gallon of milk. (Show empty bag). I just simply forgot.

Has this ever happened to you? Well, I have great news. I have the answer. I have found that if I have some reminder like a piece yarn (show yarn) that I tie around a finger (tie around your finger), as I am shopping, I can look at the yarn and it will cause me to focus and remember that I have something that needs to be remembered!

In our Bible (show Bible), we find that God made a promise that He would bless those who ask Him with a special gift from heaven, the baptism or infilling of the Holy Spirit. (Read scriptures). When believers in the Bible received this special gift, we find time and time again that God provided them with what I call a spiritual “piece of yarn”. They all began to pray in a special heavenly prayer language. This is so exciting. Just as the piece of yarn would jar my memory when I was in the grocery store, hearing us pray in this unknown-to-us prayer language reminds us that God is a promise keeping God. 

Oh … one more benefit about this spiritual “piece of yarn” reminder. If God has kept this promise, we can KNOW that He will keep EVERY promise that He has given us!

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08 Apr Don’t Exclude the Babies!

I recognize that in the vast readership of this blog, I have people involved in so many different forms of ministry. I try to write with that in mind. But, for the past few days, I have felt an urgency to do something that I rarely do. I want to target just a small portion of the readership … those in leadership positions in the church and, to be even more specific, those giving leadership to and/or ministering in the church nursery, 

Before I go any further, let give this disclaimer. I know that I haven’t personally been to  your church or spent time in your church nursery during a service. That’s a given. But, with that established, I can with little reservation guarantee that those working in your church nursery want to reflect our Father’s heart to these precious babies, right? The decor in the nursery is bright and colorful. The cribs and rocking chairs are up-to-code. Background checks have been run on each person working in the nursery. The cabinets are packed with diapers, cleaning supplies, and air-fresheners. Everything is 100% set to take care of these precious little angels … or is it?

From what I have just described, your nursery is a second-to-none, loving child care facility. But (here’s the reason for this blog post) God wants His Church to be more than a child care facility. Our Father truly wants this to be a nursery MINISTRY. I won’t write paragraphs to tell you what you already know to be true about the world and homes that many of your babies live in. I will suffice to say that in many cases, your time with the baby is their only, only, only opportunity to receive life-giving, spirit-changing ministry each week. Ministering to babies is not an afterthought in God’s mind. Babies aren’t to be excluded from the supernatural ministry of the Holy Spirit!

Here are two important ingredients in having an anointed, Holy Spirit empowered ministry to babies. In EVERY service, those ministering in our nursery would hold a baby in their arms and …
1. Pray over each individual baby. Because the needs go far beyond what you know or can imagine, as you pray, pray with your understanding AND in the Spirit. (Romans 8:26-27, 1 Corinthians 14:15) Your prayer “has great power and wonderful results”. (James 5:16, New Living Translation).
2. Speak a biblical blessing. While Vickie and I were children’s pastors in South Florida, our incredible nursery ministry coordinator, Elsie Wilson, came up with a powerful way to minister to our babies. She created a list of biblical blessings to be spoken over our babies each service. To help our Master Teachers and volunteers, each blessing was printed using large, colorful fonts on individual sheets of paper, laminated, and then posted on our nursery walls. Each week, a different reality from God’s Word is to be spoken over the babies. Here is a list of Elsie’s 36 suggested blessings. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

I know that you will agree that our babies are too, too important to only have great care each service. They must also have a powerful, destiny-establishing, anointed ministry! I would ask you to print this blog post and/or forward a link of this blog to those MINISTERING in your nursery MINISTRY! 

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01 Apr Praying in the Spirit Illustrations – Part 14

Aren’t you thankful that God is still in the “I will pour out of my Spirit” business? (Joel 2:28-29) Today, all around the globe, children, youth, and adults are receiving the promise of the Father (Acts 1:4) and enjoying the enormous benefits that come from this baptism.

Let’s look at the next illustration to teach about these benefits. Once again, I will give a brief, skeletal overview of the illustration. Then, with the Holy Spirit’s help, you can personalize and modify the illustration to become a powerful teaching tool.

The Importance of Praying in Other Tongues
Part 14 – Advance Your Spiritual Progress

“The one who speaks in tongues advances his own spiritual progress …”
1 Corinthians 14:4 (The Passion Translation)

For this illustration, you will need a Bible, a skateboard or scooter, and a Slurpee cup. (For the explanation, I will use a skateboard.) Note: If your community doesn’t have a 7-Eleven, substitute some other cold treat. It could be an ice cone from Dairy Queen (print a picture of the ice cream cone) or a bottle of ice-cold Dr Pepper from a local convenience store.

It is difficult to find a person who hasn’t experienced at one time or another the joy of riding on a skateboard (show skateboard). Put together a sunny day, some good asphalt or concrete, and a skateboard and you will have the makings of a great, fun-filled, incredible memory-making time. Better yet, put together a sunny day, some good asphalt or concrete, a skateboard, AND a Slurpee (show Slurpee cup) from a nearby 7-Eleven and you will have the makings of a really great, really fun-filled, really incredible memory-making time. If you will close your eyes, you can easily imagine what I am describing. (You might walk around and ask about the favorite Slurpee flavors.) In fact, I had better move on with this teaching because some of you are beginning to want a Slurpee right now!

If I wanted to go to the nearby 7-Eleven to get a Slurpee (show Slurpee cup), I would need to put this skateboard (show skateboard) down on the ground (place skateboard on the ground), stand on the skateboard (stand on skateboard), and then begin to move by pushing with one foot while the other remains on the skateboard (demonstrate). Notice this. Each push or action (demonstrate) will move me closer and closer to my desired 7-Eleven Slurpee machine destination. Did you get that? An action on my part is required to advance my progress towards where I want to be. Oh, one more thing. It should also be noted that no action (stand on the skateboard and do nothing) equals no advancement. 

According to our scripture verse (open Bible) when I pray in other tongues, I am making it possible to move in the direction that I need to go spiritually. We read, “The one who speaks in tongues advances his own spiritual progress …” It could be said this way, “Each and every word said in my heavenly prayer language powerfully moves me in the direction that God wants me to go.” I purposefully said “each and every word” because, just as with our skateboard, it’s not just one action (push) that will get me to my destination. It is a continual series of actions, right? The same can be said of our praying in the Spirit. It must be day after day.

Let’s not stand still. Let’s start kickin’ into action by daily praying in the Spirit!

 

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