Conditions Ripen for Spiritual Harvest

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It’s been a drippy wet 2017 so far. Bounteous quantities of rain continue to fall locally and in states where drought had ruled for years.  During dry spells, the ground can become hard like a tabletop. This is especially so, when it sits undisturbed for long periods of time and there’s been little or no rainfall to soften it. Farmers and gardeners break up hard ground using various tools before they plant seed.

 

watering-can-326617_1280Rain is generally considered a blessing in scripture. In the natural it soaks in and softens ground, giving seed the moisture it needs to grow. Unless the ground is too dried out and packed down; in which case, water runs off and often takes topsoil away with it. Gardeners till the soil, loosening it using simple tools such as a trowel, or a shovel, or a hoe.  Farmers plow ground with bigger machinery to accomplish the same objective faster and on a larger scale. When circumstances are right, soil, moisture and seed combine to produce a crop. What is true in the natural is applicable to the spiritual realm also.

Jesus drew a parallel between human hearts and ground, with the gospel being seed. earth-337123_1280

 

Over a period of years in the USA hearts have become hardened to the gospel of Jesus Christ, even antagonistic in much of mainstream society. God seems to be working to change the conditions out there to make room for greater receptivity. Societal unrest is apparently shaking up stiff human hearts much like a gardener swinging a hoe breaks up hard ground to dig rows before planting.

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Restoration of Glory ~ God’s Eminence is Imminent

 

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During a phone call meeting for intercessors in Lamplighter Ministries on February 22, 2017, Jon Hamill interviewed his guest Bonnie Jones about an event that occurred to her late husband, Bob Jones, nearly 40 years ago. As she told it, the Jesus People Movement of that era was in full swing. Revival was flourishing in America. At that time Bob Jones carried a powerful Presence of God upon him that would elicit a response from folks as he went about his daily activities, even shopping. He walked in a prophetic Samuel anointing where none of his words fell to the ground; in other words, everything he said would actually happen; his words came to pass.

candle-1239970_1920During that season God gave Bob Jones an unexpected, startling, even distressing prophetic word. He told Bob he was writing “Ichabod” across the church in America. Ichabod means the glory of God has departed.  The LORD told Bob he was removing his glory from the American church and disciplining her because church leaders were profiteering from the glory and taking the credit for what God was doing. Church leaders did not have the character to properly steward the fabulous things God was doing. They didn’t give God the glory, so God decided to remove it.

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Mentored by the Best (Who? God!)

 

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It is such a delight to watch a little child with his dad or mom. The child carefully observes every move the parent makes with admiration in her eye. Then the child gives it a go, trying to do the task just like Dad or Mom. In a parent–child relationship this type of learning goes on over much time in many contexts. The child learns a myriad of different skills and all in the context of an ongoing committed love relationship. Mentoring is typical of what good parents do. It’s potentially part of our relationship with God, too.

 

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Mercy! Forgiving When It’s Hard

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We need to forgive. It sets us free. It’s basic. It’s crucial. It’s one of those MUSTS of the faith. If we want forgiveness we must forgive others. It can be hard. Something important to know:  Forgiveness is not reconciliation. You don’t have to reengage in relationship with every person you forgive. You just need to quit trying to make them pay for what they did. The decision on what sort of future relationship you have with someone you have forgiven, or whether or not to have one at all; that is a different subject.  Ask God for wisdom on that. Remember, forgiveness is about getting free of the past. It’s not about where to take the relationship in the future.  Here are some tips to help with forgiveness:

 

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Be Unstoppable! Overcome Inaction Now

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Have you ever read “The Parable of the Bags of Gold,” as it is called in the NIV version of the Bible? That parable suddenly came to mind the other day. With a revelatory jolt, I suddenly realized that you and I have something of substance to learn from the servant who buried his talent rather than using it. The potential danger of ending up like him is more feasible than I’d ever considered.

 

Now, I tend to prefer to identify trouble ahead of time whenever possible, as to avoid it; rather than to race blindly into it. A bit of foresight and purposeful choice making can do a lot to steer us around pit falls, away from dead ends and toward a prosperous result in our lives. Right now, let’s learn an important lesson from the servant who did NOT prosper in the end. Let’s examine our ways and position ourselves for joy rather than for regret on that all important day of reckoning, shall we?

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Influence the KING of Kings

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Does what you want matter to God or does God just do whatever he’s planned no matter what?  If you believe your prayers are of no consequence to God then you probably won’t pray much. On the other hand, the more convinced you become that you have influence with the LORD of all things, the more you’ll exercise that influence. And the more you exercise your influence the bigger a difference your life will make.

 

In the world’s system we often feel like we’re miles away from the power brokers; so far away that we can’t do much to change things. Not many of us can sit down for dinner with the President of the United States or the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, our favorite Hollywood star or professional athlete. Getting the ear of these kinds of powerful people seems a long way off to most of us. We can conclude that what we want will never get heard by those who can change history. That may be true in the world’s system but it would be an erroneous conclusion to make in the Kingdom of God. Any of us, who care to do so, can develop a relationship with the God of Creation and exercise influence with him to change things for the better.

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Contending for Complete Healing

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The Story of a Woman

The other day I spoke with a woman who had an ongoing health condition that’s been giving her back pain for years.  She said lately it had been getting worse. I offered to pray for her for healing. Though seeming somewhat surprised by my offer, she agreed to receive healing ministry with the laying on of hands. After we finished I asked her the following question, “If your pain level had been a ten at its worst and if zero equals no pain at all, what is your pain level now?”

 

She replied that her pain level had dropped to a five. So her condition improved quite a bit but she did not experience complete relief, not to the point of zero pain. Experiencing partial improvement without complete relief would tend to bring some questions to mind, questions I wanted to address with her before she had the chance to ponder them and perhaps come to the wrong conclusions. She could wonder, “What do I make of this? I still feel pain. I’m not all the way better, what am I to think?  Is this all the healing I’m going to get? What’s going on here?

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Wide Awake and Ready

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After Jesus Christ lived, died, and was resurrected from the dead, he ascended into heaven and for the time being, he sits at the right hand of Father God. He rules and reigns from his throne in heavenly places while his Holy Spirit remains with us continually here in the natural realm. He is coming back one day.  The scriptures tell us Jesus will return to rule and reign on planet Earth. The written word of God also tells us to stay awake and be ready for that day because he will come soon. He will come suddenly, on a day and an hour that we will not expect. Have you ever wondered how we are to go about being ready for the Lord’s coming?  I have!  Recently the LORD has given me some new insight on this subject.

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