Thursday, August 31, 2017

Disciples are Worshipers





But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.  John 4:23-24




Disciples are humble, followers of Christ, obedient, consistent, anointed, and they are worshipers.

Worship is defined as:
    >  Showing reference and honor to God
    >  What you do daily in reference to God
    >  Communion with God
    >  Surrendering and humbling yourself before God

Worship is the feeling or expression of adoration for a deity.  Worship for the deity [God] – deserves all honor, reverence, and adoration.  God is the only one that deserves ALL.

Synonyms:  adoration, glorification, glory, exaltation, reverence, honor in a religious setting or ceremony.

Being a worshipper extends outside of the church.  Transforming situation:

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.  The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.  Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.  And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?  The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?  John 4:23-29 

There has to be a call and then a response.  (Transformation:  John 4:23-29)  What happens when Jesus finds you and you were not looking for him?  Our ministry is all about helping those who do not have Christ.  Our responsibility is to meet people where they are . . . to help them find Christ.  God gives us the opportunity to come to Him.  He does not force us to come to Him.  He wants us to want Him.  We worship God in spirit and in truth.  God is seeking those to worship Him. 

Transformation takes place in worship; it is a moment of truth.  You only get real transformation in truth.

For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.  Matthew 18:11

What was lost?  Worship.  Worship was lost when Lucifer fell.  Jesus’ job is to convert man to worship.  God puts His spirit in us to quench our thirst.  We can’t get settled because we are thirsting after other things because we are not worshippers. 

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)  John 7:37-39

When Jesus ascended, He sent back the comforter; the Holy Spirit.  Most are just praisers but worship is a truth moment. 

We have to learn to have truth moments at home.   We can’t help others if we ourselves are broken.  What is your worship schedule?  We must worship in spirit and in truth.

How many times have you had a conversation with God and did not realize who you were talking to?  Many times God talks to us but because we are not in relationship with him, we don’t recognize Him.
 
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  John 10:27

This is a voice activated Kingdom.  You will never get the voice of God if you don’t settle yourself.  It doesn’t come from Sunday morning and bible study only.  The woman at the well’s ‘strange’ hour became her miracle hour.  All of our free time should not be spent in idle time.  Take an hour of idle time and worship by spending some alone time with God.  Turn the TV and the computer off.

God gets no glory out of us going to hell.   Ask God, ‘Is it I?  Go straight to God and not man. 

   
That the Lord called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.  And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down.  And the Lord called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again.  Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him.  And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the Lord had called the child.  Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.  And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.  1 Samuel 3:4-10
Stop seeking the ungodly and carnal for counsel.  
 
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  Psalms 1:1

Big minds cannot share with little minds.  The spiritual encounter eliminates the natural inclination.

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.   John 7:38

Keep coming to church; one day the issue you come in with, you will walk out without it.  You will never be ready; it is just something you have to do; just trust God.  ‘It is a cinch by the inch, but it is hard by the yard’.  Spend some of your overthinking time in worship.  Infuse your mind in worship.  We are at a point where we should be more sensitive in the spirit, more aware of his promptings.

The approach to God is holiness – stop and let God show you yourself.  There is a transformation that takes place in worship.  Worship does not occur just at church.  Worship cleanses you to help you lead others to Christ.  Use wisdom: 

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.  Proverbs 4:7

Wisdom will help keep you out of unnecessary warfare. 

We need to be excited about Jesus and tell others about Jesus.

But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me.  John 7:29

Prophesy is for the unbeliever; don’t get stuck thinking you have to be prophesied to.
Worship is an exclusive (personal) act between you and God; you don’t need to have someone prophesy to you.  Learn to worship God, not man.  There is a life you can live with God; it is an opportunity where He orders your steps.  It is a choice we make.  You should want God to strip you of all weights and negativity.

Small minds talk of small things.  Never apologize for what God has blessed you with.  Do you want to prosper even as your soul prospers?
    
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.  3 John 1:2

The more I worship, the more spiritual I become, the more like God I become, there is a higher level of prosperity if even in my spirit only. 

But godliness with contentment is great gain.  1 Timothy 6:6

In exclusive worship:
    à  God will show you the plain path. 

Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. Psalms 27:11 

    à  God is the author and finisher of your faith.  
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:2

    à  God will show you your dishonest ways
    à  The spirit will guide you in all directions.   

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.  John 16:13

Pastors lead, the Holy Spirit guides; don’t get so caught up in your earthly leaders that you make them God.  Follow the leader as he follows God and give God the glory.

Worship God and continue to have those truth moments.  Anything that is not right has to get right before we come into the presence of God.

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 5:20

There is an approach to God and that is holiness.  You’d rather get to heaven and find that there were things that you could have done instead of getting there and finding out things you were not supposed to do.  Stop trying to find out what you can get away with and just be holy.  God will always have a remnant; that’s why we can’t just throw people away.

Worship will change your life and save it.  Don’t think it strange when those among you in the church and in the world begin to distance from you as you strive to do right.

(Biblical Studies)


Excerpts from Word Enrichment
Elder Joel C. Lofton


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Disciples Have Promises







In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  John 14:2








We need to understand that we have promises in Christ Jesus.  You have to get in the word, know the word and understand the word.   

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.   Isaiah  9:6-7  

This scripture helps you to understand the oneness of God; knowing that it is speaking of Jesus who is being called the everlasting father.  Because the government is upon His shoulder, we don’t have to worry about the cares of this world.  The anointing that is on you does not bow even in the hard times.  Realize that we pray, fight, preach harder when we go through and the anointing is giving us the ability to go through and not walk away.  We have a supernatural strength from God that kicks in and rises up within us.  The Supernatural is God’s divine ability to perform.  God performing through us = God’s performance.  Operating in our own ability or our flesh = man’s performance. 

And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.   Luke 1:45

The Anointing – The fleshy audience is hit by man’s performance but the spiritual audience is affected by Gods performance. The question is, What are you anointed for?
Understand that somethings are not going to happen until you give the order.  

Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.  Job 22:28

This is a voice activated kingdom which cannot be operated in our fleshly voice.  The anointing will push you.

Isaiah 9:6-7 speaks of Jesus’ coming; a great thing to happen!  Small minds think small things.  Great mind thinks great things.  For the anointed:  There is an allotment of space in the spirit where God gives you dominion in the earth where you can proclaim things:  healing, negative situations, seeing the performance of God in others.  God is sitting on His heavenly throne waiting on His children to get to the place in the realms of the spirit where they operate like God.  But in order to operate like God, we must live like God. 

We’ve given too many keys away without cleaning it up in holiness.  We can’t live unholy and then decree things in God.

If ye love me, keep my commandments.  John 14:15

We have to walk in the spirit.  You can’t do big God things in the flesh.   

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Galatians 5:25

Everything God does is big; God is not mediocre.  You have to know who you serve, what you serve and how you serve.  The 3 ways to operate in the anointing is to KNOW:

¨   Who you are
¨   To whom you belong
¨   Who He is

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  Romans 8:18-22

The anointing is not revealed, it is already in you.  Glory is revealed.

The trial of your faith:  We need to understand why our fight has been so intense because you’re getting ready to burst at the seam!  Don’t get caught up in what you are dealing with right now;

  it is working our faith and our patience:
Teaching us to slow down
Not to lean to our own understanding
Not to make permanent decisions based on temporal situations

Everything cannot connect with what is inside of you.  Some of the decisions we make causes us to have to suffer because we connected with things we should not have.  We don’t give stuck in our suffering for the things we did in our ignorance or out of hurt. 

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:  Acts 17:30

The glory is to be seen on us.  Before the glory can be seen on us, the anointing has be manifested in our life.  We need God’s ability to perform in good times and in bad times and when we feel like it and when we don’t.

We are anointed by God.  What the enemy tries to tell you is not going to work

And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.   Isaiah 10:27

. . . not because you say you are anointed but because the anointing has been put on you.  The enemy has to go through God to get to you.  The enemy cannot find you in the secret place. 

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  Psalms 91:1

The glory of God is waiting to be revealed – waiting for us to get up and move; choose a side and become what God has called you to be.  Realize that you are anointed of God.  Being inconsistent causes us to be unconnected with God.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.   James 1:8

Inconsistency shows in our life; both naturally and spiritually.  Understand that the anointing is the ability of God to perform in you.   Then the glory of God is revealed.

God is waiting on us to let the Glory shine through us. The anointing destroys the yoke and other things; people.  Your first ministry is to you.  Our ministry is not effective because we don’t look the part; we’re not excited about what we do; it is a look.

In our anointing, it is so much more than Sunday service and bible study.  Often times, we get caught up in right now; even in our mistakes but that is not where God left you – it is where you left yourself.  Rise up!

Sacraments: 

Communion

Communion is a sacrament of Christianity in a re-enactment of the last supper of Jesus; the blood and body of Jesus.  The wine represents the blood of Jesus and the bread represents the body of Jesus.

Another word for communion is Eucharist.  Communion is symbolic and is done in remembrance of Jesus.  No set time is given.  It is sacred and of much importance.  In the Eucharist; the bread ceases to be bread; it becomes the literal body of Jesus and the wine becomes the literal blood of Jesus.  The broken bread is symbolic of Jesus’ broken body.

And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.  Luke 22:19

During communion our thoughts should be fully centered on God.

Foot Washing

He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.  After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.  Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?  Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.  Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.  Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.  John 13:4-9   

Everything that Jesus showed us; humility and servitude and a spiritual mindset, He planned for a continuation.

The sacraments brought the power of God into the church because it is done in unity and fellowship.  You can’t have carnal minded people trying to do spiritual things.

Our endeavor is to be in order with the holy sacraments of the bible.  We cannot throw away the foundation given to us by God; nor can we re-create it.  

(Biblical Studies)

Excerpts from Word Enrichment
Elder Joel C. Lofton


Saturday, August 26, 2017

Discipleship and Faith











And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.  Luke 9:23










Discipleship does not separate the follower from their previous existence.  We don’t forget where we came from.  We don’t neglect people; unsaved spouses, people that need you to minister to them; we don’t follow Christ and neglect family.  When we make God our priority, He will teach you how to take care of what has been assigned to you. There is something (s) that have been assigned to you and God will not take you down a path to ignore what has been assigned to you

When you begin to follow Jesus, it immediately creates a new situation.  You cannot stay in an old path and be a disciple.  Disciples are followers of Christ.  You can’t walk in the old and follow Christ in the new.
 
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  Matthew 16:24

You cannot get new knowledge and stay in an old situation.  New knowledge causes situations to change.  There is no transformation if you stay in the old trying to possess the new.  When you are presented with new information, it brings about change.  There are pros and cons of the new.  There is always conflict before victory; otherwise it would not be called a victory.

Jesus cannot be a secondary cause; He must be first.  We cannot question God with why, where, when and how; it demonstrates a lack of faith.

And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.  And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.  Matthew 4:18-20

And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.  Matthew 9:9

You cannot learn to believe or obey while you are in an old situation.  New information creates a new situation.  It causes you to become stuck between the 2 situations which causes a ‘hybrid’.  The issue becomes blaming Jesus for your bad decisions.    As disciples, you have to exercise ownership of our actions.

The enemy does not want you out of the ‘church’, he wants you out of God.

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:  Luke 22:31

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1 Peter 5:8

Discipleship causes you to sell out of your natural mind and allows the mind of God to be in you.  As disciples, we are followers.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Philippians 2:5

God cannot talk in between 2 decisions. 

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.  1 Kings 18:21

It is error to think that we must become what we hear from other people. 

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  Philippians 2:12

You cannot equate people by their level of blessings.  The development of faith in discipleship equates to the experience of living in God ordained situations that will now cause you to believe.  We have to learn to believe in God and not the ‘stuff’.  The experience of following Jesus as He takes you through situations that causes you to believe causes you to become obedient.  You cannot grow without obedience. 

Jesus calls Peter into a new situation that causes him to believe:

And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.  Matthew 14:28

In discipleship, we have to wait to hear God’s voice and be obedient to it.  Part of selling out as disciples is we have to learn how to say no to the stuff we could have said yes to in order to serve God. 

Questions: 

    Who’s voice is that powerful in your life that it can get you to follow it into sin?
    What good is it to hear God’s voice and not obey it?

Obedience is an act of faith:  Scripture References:   Genesis 12, Genesis 22

Act of Obedience / Obedience is faith

Obedience to God’s word increases our faith.  Be careful not to be obedient to things that God did not say; it leads to indicting God for things that He did not say.  Obedience to God is better than sacrifice. 

And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.  1 Samuel 15:22

You cannot learn to believe so long as you ‘practice’ disobedience.  Obedience must be an act and part of our daily regimen:

>  If you say you believe and if you want to follow Christ, then get up and make the first step
>  Step out in faith on God and don’t worry about what will happen next.
>  Stop listening to other people and listen to God.  

And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.   Acts 2:40

You cannot hold people to a standard that you do not hold yourself.  You cannot grow following disobedience.  If you want to follow Christ, make the first step.  Following Jesus allows you to turn your world upside down and then turn other’s upside down.

‘It takes grace to make it to heaven and even more grace to make it through the door’.

‘Grace and mercy is where you started, but victory is where you’re going’

The more you follow Christ, the clearer the vision becomes.  ‘The further I go in Christ, the better I feel’.  Be resilient and learn to bounce back. 

Don’t allow Satan to provoke you to ungodliness.  A successful person in the spirit knows that they minister best when under attack.
 
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.  2 Corinthians 12:9-10   

Learn how to give God praise in the midst of enemy attacks.  Find the strength to encourage yourself.  You will never grow without following Christ.  God knows how to swoop in and give you strength. 

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.  Psalm 16:11

Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.   Philippians 2:2

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.   1 Corinthians 15:58

We should not allow others to run down our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Don’t feed into it.  Stop it; don’t let people pull you into their mess.  Don’t let the enemy distort your view and kill your walk with Christ.  No one is worth your soul.  ‘Don’t let anyone put your joy in their back pocket’.

Pick up loyalty, commitment, righteousness and holiness; what God wants; realizing that we are serving God with imperfect people who are striving for perfection. 

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.  Matthew 5:48

Pray in your home; start with you.  It starts with us.  We have to make peace.  The disciples were called to be leaders.  The more we follow Christ, the more we take on His leadership qualities.  Know who you are in Christ and know that for which you are striving

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)  2 Corinthians 10:4

(Biblical Studies)
Excerpts taken from Word Enrichment
Elder Joel C. Lofton