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Bride of Christ

Praying IN!

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self- control.  There is no law against these things!  Galatians 5:19-23 NASB

This passage comes right after a long list of Fleshly Desires!    Desires of flesh and Fruit of Spirit are so incredibly obvious and demonic in nature.   But often we are more focused on getting out the FLESH than putting in the FRUIT.  You want an example?  

At 2am a woman called and said her husband, in a fit of rage, had beaten her, threatened her, and then walked out the door angry.   He said he would be back.    She was fearful of her life and the life of their daughter!  Her next words were, "Can you come over"?    [And you thought pastoring was cushy]   I knew the man and also knew he allowed some demonic activity in his life through alcohol and drugs.  I also knew he was an angry man.  I prayed all the way over...

Sure enough, just after I arrived, he came home… still in a rage… and coming at me!   I was ready to do the ol, "I COMMAND YOU SATAN TO COME OUT OF HIM" routine… when the Holy Spirit said, "don't cast anything out… pray something in… pray IN the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT".    As he came toward me, I softly said to him, "The Lord fill you with His Love".  He stopped in his tracks.  I went on… "May the Lord fill you with joy".  He stood looking at me!    I'm thinking I might live through this after all… so I said,

 "Lord Jesus fill him with your peace".  His face softened!   In the next few minutes, this man was laying on the floor weeping like a baby.   I later asked him what was going on when I was praying for him?    He said, "every time you prayed those things into me, I felt something else come out of me"!    

Beloved… the Holy and unholy can't dwell in the same place.   Don't always be so quick to "CAST OUT"… sometimes its just knowing what to "PRAY IN"!   


Pastor John

Fruitful again!

‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.. Luke 13:8NASB

Are you feeling like you are being, “Digged” and “Dunged”?    “Why is this happening to me?  My situation stinks!   Is God mad a me?”

No, beloved, He is not mad at you.  It could be that He is just taking you through a time of tremendous growth.   No one likes these times of “digging out the comfortable soil we have been so accustomed to”.   And why would anyone like to be, “dunged”.   But as they say, “Dung happens”.  [or something like that]

As it is written, “Be fruitful”!   When a Tree in God’s garden has lost it’s ability to produce fruit, He doesn’t just cut down the tree.  He does all He can to get that tree to become healthy again… thus the need for digging and dunging!   You won’t die… in fact it will be just the opposite…you will live and in a little while, the fruit will be back on your branches.    O, and how sweet it will be!

Don’t get angry at what God is doing!   Anger only proves that you need more fertilizer!    Trust the Gardener!   The fruit of love, joy, peace, gentleness, kindness etc, will all be back on your branches.     

You may not be so happy about the current digging and dunging, but you CAN rejoice that, God has not given up on you and He will make you fruitful once again!   

 

Pastor John

 

Stay Focused!

Let your eyes look erectly ahead; And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.   Pros. 4:25 NASB

Why is the windshield bigger than a rear view mirror?  Well.. duh!   It’s because I need to look at the road ahead and watch where I am going.   Yet, I’ve met some who continually try to plan a future, but keep running into things, simply because they spend more time looking in the rear view mirror than the windshield.   

The encouragement today from our Master, is to "look ahead”.   Our heads are designed to look ahead and from side to side, and not behind.   And our feet are pointed forward for a reason!   

As it is written, “Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established”.  [v26]

Beloved, if you want your ways to be established, then, ask the Lord to show you the right path… then train your eyes to watch where you’re going…not where you’ve been.  Stay focused!

pastor John

The Right Resolve!

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.   Prov. 1:7 NLT

Happy New Year!   Have you ever wondered why people make New Years resolutions?   Mainly because they hope to avoid the mistakes they made or problems they had last year.  We all laugh about New Years resolutions because we rarely keep them.   It seems we lack the “resolve”!

May I suggest, rather than simply making resolutions revolving around diet, exercise, relationships, etc. alone, why not begin at the “foundation” of most of our struggles… lack of wisdom and true knowledge!

What can we do about that?   Well, as it is written in this passage, if you are wise, you will not ignore where wisdom comes from nor the lack of disciplines needed to do what you are resolved to do this year.

Beloved, start your year out right… resolve to get back on the right foundation!  Get back to God for wisdom!   A good place to begin is by reading the Proverbs daily.   31 days a month… 31 chapters of Proverbs.   Why not resolve to just take… One chapter a Day in 2016?  

Remember… resolving to put the Lord first in everything is the Right Reslove!

 

Pastor John

My Witness!

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.  And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—  Acts 1:8NLT

There is no other doctrine so ignored and misrepresented as the ministry, power and purpose of the Holy Spirit.  It seems that if the Holy Spirit is in it… most churches aren’t.   I guess it’s easier to just talk about the Father and the Son…  After all… the Holy Ghost can be… well… spooky!?  What are we so afraid of?

Perhaps our fear comes from Acts 1:8.    This passage seems to put the emphasis on the real heart of our Master… people!  Is that your heart?

Dear one… in order to have the outpouring and fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit, we must also have a fresh vision for people.   Holy Spirit power is given to us for “tell”… not for “show”.

As it is written… “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest”.   Matt. 9:37 ESV

The lack of powerful witness has never been a management problem…  it is a labor problem.

When we know that the Lord is after the harvest, the laborer then cries out, “Lord, here am I, send me”!  It is the one prayer that the Lord is waiting to hear!

Beloved… pray for your heart to have a love for the harvest.  Then watch out… the Holy Spirit will come upon you… and you will be… a witness!


Pastor John

Bring Revival!

Elizabeth said to Mary, "You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said".  Luke 1:45 NLT

When it comes to revival, people are always looking for some formula!    What does it really take to have revival?   Well, put two pregnant women together, who have a promise from God, and then believe that God is able to do what He said, and you will have revival.   It is faith that is unstoppable.   

Remember in the garden, it was the woman who the devil came to first and said, “Has God said”!   But the devils voice will have no affect on these two women.  No, these two believed that the “Lord would do what He said”.   And the blessing flowed out from them and into the world.

The religious world was revived through Elizabeth’s boy John, who went about preaching and baptizing with the baptism of repentance!
The sinners world revived through Mary’s boy Jesus… the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!

Repentance and Salvation are the result of revival!   But remember dear ones, it all started with two women who heard from God and gave birth because they believed that He would do what He said He would do!

Ahh… Lord, give us just a few who pray and hear from You…and then believe that You will do what You said.
Bring revival!

Pastor John

 

The wireless connection!

Prayer:  The world's greatest wireless connection.
 
It gets the most done.  On our knees, before a holy God who loves to listen to the prayers of His people, is the world's greatest wireless connection.  The unfolding of the will of God through our prayers is a blessing indeed.
 
Let's take the time to prioritize this connection this season, a season when more people step into church than usual.  God is able to touch, to heal, to reach where we can't.  He softens hearts, opens understanding and gave His Son for us.
 
As the season draws nearer, let's prioritize prayer… for those who need to be in a church, for those who need Christ and those who need a refreshing in the marriage and heart.  Let's pray that God's touch this Christmas will be an indellible one upon many for His Name's Sake.
 
"Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving."  nkjvColossians 4:2
"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful."  niv   Colossians 4:2  
 
We may never know until heaven all the ways God has worked through the prayers of His saints.  This connection is time well spent.  It is an investment in eternity…
 
Blessings in Christ, the One and Only,
 
Kari Bitz, Founder
Cord of 3 Ministries

Are you learning anything?

Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered!   Heb. 5:8 NASB

Talk about a challenge???   Mary tells Joseph that she is pregnant and that the child to be born is the Son of the Living God.  The angel confirms it to Joseph in a dream!    Imagine that… trying to raise the sinless Son of God in your home!

What did having little Jesus in their home look like?   Was He like any normal child?  Or...   Did He show unusual creative abilities while building His Legos?  When playing Hide-n-Seek, did He always know where you were?   Was He able to finish your sentences for you?    When the pet hamster died, did He bring it back to life?    When you cut a board to short, did He lengthen it?   Did He go fishing without a boat?   

Well, one can only imagine!

But one thing for sure.. the Scriptures do confirm that, “He learned obedience”.    It may have been the only thing that made His childhood normal.   It seems that learning obedience was a necessary experience for even the Son of God to learn.    But what of us??

It seems that many who profess that they have invited Jesus home with them, have no interest in learning obedience.   Oh, but don’t worry, dear one… our Father knows how to teach us obedience…  As it is written…

“My child, don’t make light of the Lord ’s discipline,
and don’t give up when he corrects you.
 For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”  Heb. 12:5-6NLT

OK, so your a child of God!    What lessons of obedience are you learning?


Pastor John

Shout with Joy!

Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning
.  Psalm 30:5 NASB

Some day there will be no more need for Kleenex.  On that glad morning when our faith will become sight; when the unknown becomes known; and we stand beforethe throne, tears of sadness, regret, sorrow, and loss will all be gone.   There will be no need for tears any longer.   What a day that will be?

Beloved have you ever considered that each new day is a reminder and a picture of that coming “Day”!    Until then, we will have times when weweep, then we lay down and sleep.   Then… we rise to a brand new morning!   

What a beautiful and daily reminder of the salvation that awaits us.   "Some glad morning”!   But why wait... today I can and will choose to...
“Arise and go forth in the Name of the Lord of Hosts…. for He has conquered every foe by His Name!”  Therefore I will, “Shout unto God with a voice of triumph”!

Dear one… today… Get up and, “SHOUT” for the weeping night has past and you have been given a brand new morning!   SHOUT loud enough for all to hear you.    SHOUT WITH JOY!

pastor John

Escape Judgment... Walk in the Light!

This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.  John 3:19 NASB

There has always been a battle between, “Light” and “Dark”.  Those who love “light” don’t mind being exposed to it.   Although they are not yet perfect, they know the Light is good for them and brings repentance.   Those who love “Dark” don’t like the light.  They are afraid and ashamed of what the light will show!  They will run from the Light.. and try to find a, Darker Spot in which to dwell.  

During this time when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Jewish brothers celebrate Hanukkah.   Following Greek decrees outlawing Judaism the Maccabees rebelled, successfully expelling the Greeks, rededicating the Second Temple, and establishing their own rule.  The Hanukkah holiday in particular celebrates the miracle of the menorah in the Temple staying lit for 8 days on enough oil for only 1 day.

Have you ever considered that the world that is bent on the destruction of Israel, also wants to destroy Christians?   Why?  Because we both worship the miracle of the One True God who brought that Light into the world!   As it is written...

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “ I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life".  John 8:12 NASB

Dear one…if you have received the, “Light of Life”, don’t turn back to darkness now... Escape the coming judgment... continue to walk in the Light!    


Pastor John