20 May 2011

No Resurrection w/o a Crucifixion: Women were the first to preach the gospel!

In order to fully see the story of the crucifixion, we must look at this story in what we term the Synoptic gospels (seen together) Matthew 28, Mark 16, and Luke 24.  Each gospel writer tells their version—it paints the full picture.

Matthew 28:5-15 (New King James Version)
5 But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come; see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you." 8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. 9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, "Rejoice!" So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me
Luke 24:11-12  11 And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.
Mark 16:1  1 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him

The women saw Jesus crucified which was a horrific experience.  We all must experience a crucifixion before we experience a resurrection.  The crucifixion meant death which was a grueling, horrible death and persecution by those Jesus was trying to minister to.  Even the initial suffering before the actual cross caused Jesus to sweat blood but He said, “not my will but thine be done”. Though, we like Christ, must bear our cross—our death is not literal but we must die in many ways and suffer things we do not want to bear. God desires to kill those fleshy things that are not like Him. A dying of sorts- crushing, agony, frustration, and trauma that is inflicted by life trials, storms, and identification of our issues; but we must find the lesson. Trials shape us into the likeness of Christ, humble us, and teach us to walk in forgiveness, walk in peace in grievous circumstances, and endure persecution when we are doing what’s right.

An excerpt from Wikipedia details the crucifixion and a brief description tells us that:
“Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath.  Spasmodically, he is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen.  Hours of limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain where tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber. Carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside.  Finally, another agony begins...A terrible crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.  And He dies from heart failure and not suffocation”.
Even at our lowest point, we will never experience this kind of ghastly pain and torment, but we too have low points. It’s in the time when you want to quit, give up and you are barely surviving to gain life that you feel like you’ve had enough, and you literally want to die-- this is the time when God is killing your flesh so He can get His glory in you. The Crucifixion is preparation to carry the gospel and have an authentic anointing.

After that tragic crucifixion, HE WAS RESURRECTED!!  Now, the women went before them and begin preaching.  Moving and spreading the gospel that CHRIST WAS ALIVE. That which was dead came to life. They left the tomb with fear and joy (both emotions at once) but they ran to take the word both humbled yet passionate. Women, we must go though it may be scary, but if you don’t move on what Jesus tells you, it will not come to pass. It doesn’t matter the modality or vehicle that God calls you to preach or spread His word in—it’s just matters that once He kills the flesh—the spirit is ready for the assignment. Some of the disciples and people did not believe them, because they were women.  However, once you’ve been crucified, it doesn’t matter what people say because you’re already dead; so you preach the gospel anyhow.  Also, it didn’t matter that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute and was once filled with demons, but because she had seen Christ in His crucifixion and resurrection, she was free to worship Him and became one of the first women preachers.  So no matter you past, let God complete what He started, endure your crucifixion experience and you shall experience a resurrectionFULLY PREPARED TO DO WHAT GOD CALLED YOU TO DO!!!

19 May 2011

Importance of Persistent, Continual, and Timely Prayer

As we continue to pray,  God will answer us.  Sometimes it may seem difficult to stay on the wall but we must.  I felt it necessary this week not to write something else when I've already heard the Holy Spirit reiterate His word through my husband.  We are one flesh and our hearts and spirits are connected.  Below is a summary or recap of Pastor Shawn's message from Sunday May 14 and his blog post from this week.  May it encourage and challenge us to continue in prayer. 

Our journey toward God's increase can be a challenging one. Many times we find ourselves overwhelmed with adversity while trying to keep a positive attitude. Trusting God can sometime lead us to more questions and uncertainty. But if we look at God's record in our lives, we can be confident that He is going to work all things out for good. Many times, He is waiting on us to show a passionate faith and confidence that if God be for us, that is more than the world against us.
In 2 Kings 13, the dying prophet Elisha expressed frustration toward Israel's king, because he wielded an arrow as a token of God's supernatural delivering power and only used it passively instead of passionately.
The king struck the ground 3 times when he should have struck it several times to show his passionate desire for God to move on behalf of his people. As kings and priests in the in God's body, God wants us to passionately pray and war in the Spirit to see His hand move supernaturally. There are doors that only God can open. There are things that need to be done that only our passionate prayers can do. Please join me in reigniting a fire in our prayer closets and I guarantee the results will be encouraging and right on time. Strike the ground and pray with excitement and passion and watch GOD MOVE!

10 May 2011

My sheep hear My Voice, but when we hear, we cannot attach our expectations to His Word!

John 10: 26 – 27
26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

My sheep hear my voice can be understood as an obligation from us if we are not careful and put the onus of the responsibility on ourselves.  However, this is a direct statement from God saying “My sheep hear My voice”; therefore, if you are His sheep then you hear from God.  He is the initiator of the speaking. God speaks to us in many ways but when we attach our expectations to what God says, we can become disappointed if He does not fulfill what He said the way we EXPECTED IT!   

Some ways that God speaks to us can include: a still small voice, prophetic words, dreams, and an inner impression. However, in all the ways that God speaks to us, His primary way of speaking is His word (The Bible) and all the other forms ALWAYS line up with His Holy Word.  He will never contradict Himself!

He initiates the Rhema’s (specific words) to us and assures that we hear Him, but sometimes there can be hindrances/blockages to us hearing God such as fear, un-forgiveness, sin (sins of omission and commission), and not being still long enough to hear God (not having a consecrated prayer life).

Genesis 12: 1- 3, it states: 1 Now the Lord had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
In these passages, God initiates the speaking and tells Abram what He is going to do, but as God does many times, He leaves out the details of exactly how this will happen.  And unfortunately we, like Abram, attach our expectations and ideas of how His plan will unfold in our life.  If it does not happen like we expected it, we sometimes get discouraged, frustrated, impatient, contemptuous, and begin to wonder: “did God really say it?”  The enemy desires for us to doubt God.  Ultimately, he desires for us to quit.
But like David, like Joseph, and like Mary—we must believe, “if God said it, then that settles it!”  We must walk out the process or journey even when it gets tough or looks crazy!  We heard His voice and we can keep on keep on to see what the end will be.  I am sure David had no idea the struggles, trials, or processes he would endure to ascend to kingship.  Also, I am sure Joseph did not know the tedious journey he would take to become a ruler, and Mary surely did not know the ups and downs, death threats, or angst it would take for her to carry the ‘Christ child’ but each of them finished their course and finished well.