All posts by ITWMinistries

WEIGHT TRAINING 4 CHRISTIANS

This morning I had tea with my girlfriend, Kim.  She is my prayer intercessor and sister in Christ. As part of our commitment to the Lord, we have agreed to meet the last Friday of every month for spiritual support and accountability.  Today as we talked, she mentioned a phrase that God had dropped in my spirit last week as a potential post to share with you.  

Kim proclaimed, “We daughters of Christ are in weight training for the Lord.  He is building us up to do kingdom building.”  This was too much like God to be coincidental.  I began to laugh and posed this question to her, “w-e-i-g-h-t or w-a-i-t training?”   She responded, “Both!”   We both laughed and then began to praise God for His illumination and revelation.  This is what He shared with Kim and I.
  • God is building our upper body so we will be able to “do His will.”  The “head and heart” is where we are conformed to the image of Christ.  Philippians 2:5 admonishes us to “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.”  Christ was loving (when people were unlovable), obedient (when He was tempted to do otherwise) and steadfast (when Satan tried to distracted Him from the cross).  He did nothing on His own but only what the Father told Him to do. (John 14:10)
  • God is building our lower body so we will be able to “do His work.”  It is time for us to move forward with the individual ministries God has placed in our heart to do.  Ephesians 2:10 states, “We are His workmanship created unto good works which He has before ordained that we should walk in.” We think ministry work is limited to the pulpit and to the preacher.  Wrong!  Ministry in Greek means service. (Acts 1:17; Ephesians 4:12)  We were not saved to “sit” but to “serve.”
  • God is building our “wait” muscles so that we will be able to “trust and believe.”  Learning to wait is an area that Kim and I pray for each other (alot).  Isaiah 40: 31states: “They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.”  Our ability to trust is based on our confidence in what or who we believe in. Our belief is influenced by what we know.  To build strong wait muscles, we must trust and believe in God–His greatness, His goodness and His fidelity.
Well, there you have it–weight/wait training for Christians. What training has God shared with you that may help Kim and I in our faith walk?  What tips do you have to help us run this spiritual race?

Where did Zoe and Phos go?

John 1:4 states, “In Him was life and His life was the light of men.”  Life in Greek is “zoe” and it means “soul and spirit.”  The soul is where our spiritual DNA resides.  For we were made in the  image of God.  It provides  our unique (and sometimes quirky) personality.  It consists of our mind, will, and emotions.  It is from our zoe that we “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28)  It is here that we do those “good works” for which God has created us. (Ephesians 2:10)

Light in Greek is “phos” and it means “unquenchable” light. To illustrate the power of phos, we need only look to the heavens.  The planets, circle the sun, and it is the sun that provides their light or illumination.  They have no “light bearing capacity” of their own. They are dependent on the sun for their light. The sun, however, needs no illumination, for it has a “light bearing capacity” of its own, that is unquenchable and cannot be extinguished.

As I reflect on this extraordinary word from God on life and light, I became humbled at the thought that Jesus, the God Man, came to be both “light and life” for us.  Now as partakers of His divine nature, we have His power to also be both “light and life” in a very dark world.   As I listen to the news and see the condition of our world, I became convicted and asked myself, where has the “light and life” gone?  Where are the saints during this time of great darkness?

My prayer for you today comes from Ephesians 1:17-19:

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation of the knowledge of Him; That the eyes of your understanding may be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling and what are the riches of His inheritance in the saints.  And what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who have believe according the working of His mighty power.

Today make it your purpose to be both zoe and phos in your “universe.” .

Comfort Zone

A friend recently sent me the YouTube of Marvin Sapp singing a song entitled “Comfort Zone.” Your comfort zone is where your ability or capacity is equal to the circumstance you may be facing.  It is a place where we feel secure, safe, and in control.   However, when we are asked to do something we feel exceeds our ability, we are said to be “out of our comfort zone.”

While our comfort zone is a place of familiarity, it may also be a place where we lack opportunity to grow.  It can become a “gilded cage”, where we never reach the purpose God has ordained for us. Many times God wants to do a “new thing” in our lives. (Isaiah 43:19) If we are resistant to the change, we miss the blessings He has planned for our lives.   The Bible has many examples of men and women who were challenged by God to move out of their comfort zones and into God’s purpose.  These included Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Ruth, Esther, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, just to name a few.  Join Marvin and I, as we comes out of our comfort zones.  “To go where we’ve never gone, we must do what we’ve not done.”  
God is calling me
(to walk into my destiny)
God is challenging me
(to go where I’ve not been)
God is proving me
(and for the rest of my life, I’ll say yes)
Yes yes yes! 

 

What’s Luck Got to Do with It?

This past weekend my husband and I had dinner with friends we hadn’t seen in a while. We learned that our friend, Sam (name changed to protect the innocent) had experienced a massive heart attack.  We listened intently as he and his wife described the event.
“We were so fortunate that the paramedics were close to where we lived. At the hospital (which isn’t the one we normally go to) was one of the few heart specialist in the nation trained to identify Sam’s unique problem.  Over the course of two days, they had to revive Sam twenty (20) times.  We were so lucky.”  Lucky?  What exactly is luck?

 

  • Wikipedia describes luck or fortuity as good or bad fortune in life caused by accident or chance and attributed by some to reasons of faith or superstition, which happens beyond a person’s control.
  • Merriam-Webster defines luck as a force that brings good fortune or adversity, the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual, or favoring chance.
 Throughout the twenty-minute description, luck and fortunate were used repeatedly.  As the couple describe this frightening event, my husband and I would interject, “yes, you were really blessed.”  However, the couple never acknowledged the role God had played in saving Sam’s life.
Isn’t it funny that when a national disaster or other tragedy occurs, people are quick to blame God?  They retort, “Why did God let this happen?” However, when God does something miraculous, people are quick to attribute it to “luck.” When Congresswoman Gabriella Gifford began to respond after her attempted assassination, the attending physician felt compelled to acknowledge, “Sometimes the miraculous is involved in medicine.”
Miraculous is defined as an extraordinary event or miracle manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.  The only Person I know who can accomplish “divine intervention” is God.   Ask the nobleman whose son was healed by Jesus (John 4:46-50) or the man born blind who was given sight by our Lord (John 9:1-34).  Jesus continues to do the miraculous today.
It’s been said that “luck” is “Laboring Under Correct Knowledge.”   Know that it is God who sovereignly rules over heaven and earth and controls the events of our life.  Next time you ascribe an outcome or event to luck, think again!

An Eye on Eternity

When was the last time you thought about eternity?  Better yet, do you even believe in eternity?  If you do not believe in “life after death”, you may be extremely depressed with the thought of someday leaving behind your prize possessions (your favorite stuff) and relationships (your favorite people).  Even for those of us who do believe in eternity, there is a reluctance to place much time or attention on this topic unless we are forced to do so, usually as a result of losing a family member or friend.
Why don’t we talk more about eternity—the place where we will live out the remainder of our existence?  I can understand nonbeliever’s aversion to this topic; for them, eternity doesn’t exist.  Therefore, there is nothing to look forward to.  But for believers there should be more to draw our attention to eternity than helpless resolve or fear. Eternity should be the place we joyfully anticipate.  
1) It is a place which Jesus Christ has prepared for us to be together.  “I go to prepare a place for you…that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:3)  We will be in the presence of God, our Creator and Christ, our Savior. In His presence is fullness of joy and peace forevermore. (Ps. 16:11)
2) There will be no sickness and no more tears. (Rev.21:4)  With The Fall (Gen. 3) sin was introduced into God’s perfect world.  On its heels followed pain, sickness and death.  As much as man tries, he can never reverse these affects.  But in Christ—in His death, burial, and resurrection from the dead, sin lost its power.  Christ replaced it with eternal life which will be fully realized in eternity.  (Rom. 5:21)
3) We will have glorified bodies to house our eternal spirit. Ever wonder why you don’t mentally feel your physical age?  It’s because our soul doesn’t age.  If our bodies didn’t “breakdown” with disease and age, we would keep right on “ticking.”  We will have bodies built for eternity. (1 Cor. 15:54)
4) Eternity is where we will receive our reward for service done on earth.  While we do not work for our salvation (Eph. 2:8), God has promised to reward us for our contribution to kingdom building and acting as His ambassadors here on earth. (Rev. 11:18; 22:12)
So I ask you again, why don’t we have a loving eye on eternity?  Why isn’t there greater excitement at the possibility of life eternal with the Lord?  What stands in the way of our desire for eternity?

View From the End of the Rope

Popular adage:  “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it?”
My view of the adage:  “When you come to the end of your rope, 
ask yourself how you got there?”
In 2010, I was determined to move our ministry forward in reaching its teaching goals.  My perception was that I needed “traction.” Traction would include better planning, more involvement in the community, and better networking with other Christian ministries.  I was needing and expecting “breakthrough.”                 
 
I decided to seek God’s face (again, I thought) but this time I would show my seriousness by fasting and serious praying.  What He revealed to me was that my view from the rope was inaccurate and distorted.  What I called “traction” was really the need for “supernatural power” which I didn’t have. (at that time)  I was trying to accomplish through my efforts what only God could do—give increase.  What was needed instead of “breakthrough” was a restored relationship with the Person Christ gave me to accomplish His ministry—that Person was the Holy Spirit.
What are you in need of?  How will you get your breakthrough?  Greater effort?  Longer hours? Better business contacts?  Learn from my view at the end of the rope.  Tap into the greatest resource in the universe.  Not the “fully actualized” part of your “spiritual” essence but he “supernatural” infilling of the Holy Spirit.  He is available to you 7×24, if you are a Christian.
In 2011, I’ve decided to trust in God and be available for the work which the Holy Spirit places in my stewardship.  I’ve decided to let go of the rope!
“I make mention of you in my prayers…that you may know…what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according the working of his mighty power.”   
Ephesians 1:16-19  

Opportunity Does More Than Knock

Yesterday opportunity knocked on my door.  I had been looking for someone to help with my website.  For literally years I prayed that God would send the support I needed.  Help almost came several times, but I was always left to manage “on my own” (or so I thought). Yesterday God presented an opportunity greater than my prayers—not only someone to help with the website but a like-minded, Christian sister who would also introduce me to the world of social media. He gave me MORE than I had expected in the person of my Cuz’n Teri. Yesterday opportunity opened my door.  With gratitude and thankfulness, I joyfully invited opportunity in.  
Opportunity comes in many ways.  Sometimes it comes through people; sometimes it comes through problems.  Other times opportunity may surface as you read a book or listen to the latest news broadcast. Allow me to share what I have learned about opportunity.
  1. Opportunity must be recognized.  Do you have an unmet need or desire that needs to be fulfilled?  Have you been searching for a solution to a problem that stubbornly refuses to go away?  Your answer may lie in a fortuitous opportunity.  Remember the woman with the issue of blood? (Mark 5:27-28)
  1. Opportunity must be acknowledged. The Pharisees knew that Christ was the Messiah, yet they refused to acknowledge who He was and what He had to offer.   Isaiah prophesized that “they would have eyes yet they would not see—they had ears yet they would not hear.” (Isaiah 6:9-10)
  1. Opportunity must be seized.  An opportunity not acted on is like seeing money on the floor and refusing to bend down and pick it up.  Opportunities don’t last forever—if they did they would be regular events.  Opportunities are for right now.  That’s what four friends did for their paraplegic associate. They seized the opportunity. (Mark 2:4)
  1. Opportunity, more often than not, will  exceed our expectations.  The women at the well went for water and returned with salvation.  She expected criticism and found instead unspeakable joy and new freedom.  (John 4:39)
 Each day God presents wonderful opportunities to resolve our challenges.  We need only to recognize, acknowledge, and then seize them. And the results will be more than we expected. Stop stepping over your opportunities.  Pick them up.  Those opportunities are really “blessings” in disguise. 
“And the LORD , He is the One who goes before you…” (Deut. 31:8)