Oct 9 2020

Proper representation

The church is in an interesting state today. There are a lot of churches doing good stuff but so many of the people in those churches are longing for something more. Long time Christians don’t want to hear the same stories they have been hearing since they were a kid and new believers are seeking something they can’t get in other organized clubs or meetings. Everyone really wants the same thing but they may not fully realize how to verbalize that desire. What they want is a real tangible encounter with God. Here’s a news flash for you: that’s why you are on the earth! Giving people the encounter they need is your primary mission. You were created to carry the presence of God with you everywhere you go. Supernatural activity should be part of your normal lifestyle. Joy should overtake sadness and depression, love should replace hate and unforgiveness, demons should run away in fear, and sickness and disease should disappear as soon as you walk into a room. Jesus changed the environment of everywhere he went because he knew his mandate. “On earth as it is in heaven” is not a catch phrase or wishful thinking; it is a mandate to transform the earth so it looks like heaven. People will flock to churches by the thousands if they know God is doing something real and tangible because they crave the encounter, we all crave that encounter. Let’s set the atmosphere for people to have the encounter they need. All it takes is one encounter with God to forever change a person and enough of those encounters will forever change the earth.

@genelloyd
www.nomorewounds.org


Sep 25 2020

Fight from victory

Everyone needs someone to turn to when they need justice or resolution for a problem. This was a lot easier to accomplish a few thousand years ago when kings ruled over nations and one person generally decided the fate for the whole community (maybe not always fair, but easier). But in today’s environment, if you were to go to a president asking for justice he would send you to the courts because he doesn’t have the authority to resolve legal matters. And if you go to the courts you will find they are limited by the constraints of the laws written be legislators. But if you had a king you could go to one person and get an authoritative ruling on any issue. This is because a king is seated with absolute authority over his domain. No one in the kingdom can question anything he says and all are subject to his rule. The first chapter of Ephesians shows us that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, far above all other rule, power, authority, and dominion. Everything is under his authoritative rule. So anything Jesus decrees has to happen. There is never a scenario where the universe doesn’t obey his command. Even satan must adhere to his rule. Then when we flip to the next chapter we find out that we are seated with Jesus. That puts us in a place of authority as well. We are co-ruling and co-reigning with Jesus. So that means that any circumstance we face can end with a decree. We can issue decrees on God’s behalf, that are in line with his purposes, and expect those decrees to happen and to be carried out. We don’t have to fight for victory because Jesus already secured it through his death and resurrection. We fight from victory and that is a much better place to be.

@genelloyd
www.nomorewounds.org

 


Sep 18 2020

Life Without Filters

As children we are taught to believe in things like Santa Clause, the tooth fairy, leprechauns, and other fairy tale characters. Our parents allow us to believe these things because it helps to filter out the harshness of life but as we grow out of adolescence we realize that these childhood fantasies are untrue; in essence, we learn to remove the filters our parents applied.

As adults we view polarizing issues such as politics, religion, and race through other filters–filters we acquired from our parents, or picked up in college, or attached through personal life experiences. The reality is that we tend to view life through the filters of what we have been taught. These filters tend to skew our way of thinking by forcing us into one-sided viewpoints and keeping us from considering other possibilities.

Christianity is a great example of this; we have so many different denominations with so many different theological viewpoints that we rarely agree inter-denominationally on any of our dogmatic beliefs. Did Jesus come to earth to create a new religion? Was God’s plan to spawn thousands of differing viewpoints? We are so busy filtering out everyone else’s opinions that we never stop to think about whether or not our own viewpoints could be wrong.

So here’s the deal, from God’s perspective there is only one viewpoint. Maybe if we tossed aside these filters we could clearly see God’s purpose. Maybe if we focused more on God and less on theology we could change the world. Maybe it’s time to live life without filters.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways, says ADONAI. As high as the sky is above the earth are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Is. 55:8-9 (CJB)


Sep 11 2020

Supernatural

The spiritual world is real. Angels are real. Demons are real. God is a spiritual being. We exist as a body, soul, and spirit. These are facts that Christians all over the world believe and there is a lot of scripture to support it. So why is it that when supernatural stuff happens some people look at it like it’s weird, unholy, illegitimate, or even evil? Psalm 16:11 tells us that in his presence is fullness of joy so people laughing in the altar should be perfectly normal if they are spending time with Jesus. Exodus 34 tells us about Moses having to cover his face because of the glowing after effect of being in God’s presence. Maybe the gold dust or glitter that shows up on people’s hands and faces is a similar manifestation of what Moses experienced. Let’s not be so quick to scoff at something simply because we don’t understand it. God is so much bigger than our understanding.

Acts 8:6 and John 6:2 both show us that crowds show up when miraculous things happen. Here’s a news flash, signs and wonders are God’s PR program. Yeah, I know it’s bigger than that but if people come running when supernatural stuff happens and then you have an opportunity to tell them about Jesus, wouldn’t you want more supernatural stuff to happen? Society today is very curious about the supernatural and 1 Corinthians 12 reveals the supernatural gifts available to all of us that can be used to impact the world. We need to shift our understanding of normal so that we live from a supernatural perspective because that viewpoint positions us to see God do amazing things.

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Aug 24 2020

Active, not passive

Did you ever notice that Jesus was incredibly active in his ministry on earth?  We don’t see any passivity.  He wasn’t just hanging out waiting for others to come to him.  He was constantly on the move traveling from place to place to share about his kingdom and to bring healing and freedom to everyone he encountered.  Today’s church model is a little different because we tend to shrink back into the four walls of a building and minister to those who show up; a lot of times this means ministering to the same people over and over again.  There’s nothing wrong with that model but there is a better way to do church.  We need to be active not passive.  We need to be an active response in a passive world by releasing good news of his kingdom everywhere we go. Now I’m not talking about being the megaphone guy on the street corner screaming at everyone who walks by. But what if you could share a prophetic word with a waiter at a restaurant?  Or maybe pray for a sick person sitting next to you on an airplane.  What would the world look like if we started doing the things Jesus did in the same way he did them?  So the next time you walk out your front door ask God to send someone to you that you are equipped to help and then get ready for a great adventure.


Aug 14 2020

Effective pleas before the throne of God…

“We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.” — Dan 9:18

Mercy in this verse is translated from the Hebrew word “Chesed” which means to show favor, mercy, or kindness to one who has no right to claim something from you.

I’ve often heard people petition God based on what they think they have earned for their good deeds almost as if they believe God owes them something. As they prayed they would say things like “I pay my tithe, where’s my blessing?”Or “I live a good Christian life, why can’t I have a nicer house?” This attitude in prayer is not only foolish; it’s a virtual guarantee that you will get no answer at all. God promises to bless his people when they are obedient but it doesn’t mean any of us deserve anything he has to give.

God doesn’t owe you anything and nothing you do will make you worthy of anything he has to give. It is only because of his chesed that we live and it is only because of his chesed that we are blessed. Always be mindful that you are addressing the creator of the universe and the next time you ask God for something, be sure to remember that it is because of his mercy that you are even able to ask.

David’s prayers were effective because he did not ask on account of his own righteousness but rather on account of God’s great mercy. Put this into practice and your prayers will take on a new dimension of effectiveness.


Aug 7 2020

Wisdom that releases strategies

The bible tells us in 1 Kings 4:30 that Solomon was the wisest man of his time. People came to him from near and far to receive answers to their problems, judgments for their disagreements, and maybe even for strategies to improve their businesses or lives. Imagine what you could accomplish if you had access to that level of wisdom. Imagine how much impact you could have on communities all over the world if you could simply ask a question and get the wisdom needed to solve a problem. There are so many problems that need to be solved and I am confident that if we had a Solomon on the earth today his wisdom would be incredibly useful. Well here’s the good news, we have access to the wisdom of God because of our relationship with him. 1 Cor. 2:6-16 is such a great passage that shows us that because we have the mind of Christ, because we have the Spirit of God in us, we have access to God’s wisdom. Problems should be easy for us to solve when we live in an intimate relationship with God. Wisdom should naturally flow from the life of every Christian. Business and government leaders should seek us out for solutions. I believe we are living in a time where God wants to release new strategies to solve problems the world has been struggling to resolve for a long time. Think of a problem in your community and ask God for the solution…and don’t be surprised when he gives it to you. He wants to use you to bless this world and bringing the solution to a problem will always be a blessing.


Jul 24 2020

You’re right on track…

David may not have implicitly known that the Messiah would be born through his lineage but it seems interesting that in Psalm 69:6 he wrote about being concerned that others who were waiting would be ashamed as a result of his actions. I used to wonder if I have missed divine appointments, if any of my past actions have cause me to miss something or caused a delay of what God wanted to do. I’m sure it’s something many people think about from time to time as they try to figure out God’s plan for their lives. But then I think about the star that appeared when Jesus was born. Many scientists believe that this star was actually several stars or planets that came into close proximity and the combined light from each of them made a very bright star in the sky. What’s interesting is that the universe is like a giant clock so God always knew when that star would appear because he started the universe spinning at precisely the point needed for the star to show on the preselected day. So nothing that anyone ever did could affect the timeline of Jesus’ arrival.

God knows what time it is and nothing will stop him! If you are pursuing him then he will get you where you need to be to accomplish his purpose for your life. You haven’t missed your opportunity! Keep pushing forward!


Jul 17 2020

Does grace abound?


“For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings” – Hosea 6:6

“Law without grace is legalism and grace without law is lawlessness” – Ralph Messer

A friend recently asked for our thoughts on the following comment/question:

“A person says they love God, but lives a party life. They believe God is faithful, but are worldly. Does grace abound?”

The term “party lifestyle” can take on many different meanings to different people but the crux of this question seems to be more about our responsibilities as Christians to follow Gods rules. The Bible clearly teaches that grace is available for all who seek it and that God prefers mercy over sacrifice (or even punishment). Can man continuously sin and expect Gods grace and mercy to be available?

I am reminded of the story in Exodus of the Pharaoh who enslaved the Israelites. I’ve always found it interesting and yet a bit peculiar that God would cause Pharaoh to be disobedient through the hardening of his heart and then punish his disobedience with a plague; not just once, but 4 times!

I am also reminded of a good friend of mine who once told me that we are commanded to pray for our enemies but we are not commanded to pray for Gods enemies–who are Gods enemies? More importantly, how does one become the enemy of God?

Satan is obviously one of Gods enemies. It would be silly to even consider praying for his salvation. He tried to stage a coup in heaven and now works to defeat Gods plans for humanity–and he has definitely earned the title “enemy of God.” Did Pharaoh also earn this title? Did the one who enslaved all of Israel become Gods enemy? Mercy is available for anyone who asks but Pharaoh was unable to ask because God hardened his heart. Perhaps Pharaoh too earned the title “enemy of God.”

Now back to the original question, God requires us to live a life that is pleasing to him but he also knows that we will make mistakes and so he makes his grace and mercy available to us. So long as you don’t make yourself an enemy of God, grace and mercy will always be available to you.

Yes, grace does abound!


Jul 10 2020

Completely Consumed

Zeal for your house consumes me. – Psalm 69:9

I want to be totally consumed with the notion of pursuing his kingdom and bringing it to earth. I want to be totally consumed with a passion to see people touched everywhere I go. I want my life to be totally consumed with his presence. It’s birthed as an enthusiastic response to what he has done in me and for me. It can’t simply be a religious notion of doing the right thing. It is so much bigger than that. It is so much more encompassing than a Christian byline. Consumed to see people set free from everything holding them back. Physical freedom. Spiritual freedom. It’s a driving force that keeps me moving forward in the midst of adversity because the prize is so much greater than the cost. Not a prize as a reward for winning but a prize of seeing others walk into a kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy. There is no greater honor than to carry his presence but it must be combined with the selfless desire to impact lives, communities, cities, nations, and every sphere of influence on the earth. Zeal for your house, for your kingdom, consumes me.