7.29.2016

What Am I Becoming?

Yes. This word is such a powerful word. It is exactly the kind of loving encouragement we need to remind us of where our focus needs to be at such a time as this. I could barely wait to share this with each of you! Now I am asking myself What Am I Becoming?

 

 

"What Are You Becoming?"by Francis Frangipane, Cedar Rapids, IA


It is insightful to me that when Luke listed the twelve apostles, when he came to Judas Iscariot, he identified him as the apostle "who became a traitor" (Luke 6:16).

Let me start with a question, a sincere question that may be the most important question you can ask yourself: What are you becoming? Judas Iscariot was an apostle "who became a traitor." This was a man who had been used mightily by the Lord to "heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers [and] cast out demons" (Matt. 10:8). Judas knew the excitement, joy and power of personally walking with Jesus. He saw miracles, signs and wonders.

Yet Judas had a serious character flaw, a moral weakness. The Scripture reveals that, despite the fact that God was using him, Judas "was a thief" (John 12:6). He used to pilfer the money box. It is significant, my friend, that Jesus allowed a thief to carry the money box. Sometimes we think the Lord is going to challenge us on every issue, but there are times when His silence about our repeated sin is His rebuke. Judas knew what he was doing was wrong, but since Jesus didn't directly confront him, Judas minimized the severity of his iniquity. Perhaps he rationalized that if pilfering was truly bad, God would not still be using him to work miracles.

How a little leaven leavens the whole lump! A relatively minor sin that we do not attend to can lead to a major sin that destroys our lives. The Bible says that Judas "became a traitor." He started out in ministry loyal to Jesus, but then he began lying about the finances until his deceitful exterior completely hid a very corrupt and darkened heart. Judas was a thief who became a traitor, eventually taking his own life. His compromise with sin went from bad to worse and it destroyed him.

Arise in Aggressive Intercession

Today Christians look at the world and see injustice, immorality and corruption. The anger we feel because of these things is not only understandable, it's justified. Why shouldn't we be angry at what we see? Indeed, in many instances we are actually watching Hell manifest itself through people and situations in the world!

Knowing we would grieve over the evil in the world, God's Word tells us, "Be angry, and yet do not sin" (Eph. 4:26). We must discern at what point anger degrades into sin. Paul continues, "Do not let the sun go down on your anger." We can be legitimately angry about things that are truly wrong, but our indignation must find a more noble, redemptive attitude of expression.
I do not mean we shrink into passive indifference; I mean we rise into aggressive intercession. We feel the same passions against unrighteousness, but we learn how to pray the mercy prayer: "Father, forgive them."

I'm thinking of Stephen who while being stoned to death saw Jesus and prayed, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them" (Acts 7:60). Every time we face an injustice may God give us a fresh revelation of Jesus, that we would not pray for judgment, but for mercy. Out of Stephen's prayer for mercy, grace was released. It tracked down Saul until Saul too saw Jesus.

You see, when we don't deal with the anger we feel, if we don't respond to injustice with mercy and intercession, we soon find ourselves becoming something we never intended. Let me say it again: Judas became a traitor.

Judas mutated from an apostle doing miracles into living a double life. Our anger, left unattended, will do the same to us. It causes us to degenerate into something we never planned on becoming: "Christian Pharisees." Paul warned about letting the sun set on our anger as though we had just 24 hours at most to deal with issues. I must admit, there are issues in life that have taken me months of wrestling with them before my indignation was lifted and transformed into intercession. So stay with the struggle until you heart is not embittered, but empowered.

Today America is overstocked with angry Christians. What can we do? We must turn indignation into intercession. We must make our heartache work for us, aligning ourselves with Christ in the prayer of redemption - actually praying for those who persecute us.
Father, Forgive Them...

Thank God, Jesus didn't look down from the Cross at the Pharisees and say, "You need to be taught a lesson. It's the principle." No. He prayed, "Father, forgive them." And then, amazingly, He covered their sin, saying, "They know not what they do."

The sense of Christian indignation infiltrating the Church has not come from Heaven. Don't dismiss your anger as a little sin; it disqualified Moses from entering the Promised Land! You see, there are things at stake that are bigger than our indignation about right and wrong. The world is watching how we relate to those who are morally wrong, even when we are Biblically right. And they are watching to see if we sound like the Savior or like the Pharisees.

Yet there is one thing more crucial than how the world sees us, and that is how Christ sees us. He is watching what is happening to our hearts. He asks each of us a simple question: Do you know what you're becoming?

Francis Frangipane
Ministries of Francis Frangipane

Email: francis1@frangipane.org
Website: www.frangipane.org

Francis Frangipane is the founder of River of Life Ministries in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and has traveled throughout the world ministering to thousands of pastors and intercessors from many backgrounds. Francis' heartfelt prayer is to see established in every city Christlike pastors and intercessors, united before God, revealing the love of Christ to their communities. Since 1985, he has written fourteen books, plus a number of study booklets. Over the past decades, Francis has served on a number of other ministry boards. However, in recent years he has gradually resigned from these various boards. As of June 2009, he has also retired from his position as senior pastor of River of Life Ministries. In this more simplified life, Frangipane is devoting himself to prayer and the ministry of God's Word.

Francis Frangipane's Itinerary:
August 4-7, 2016
Mannafest Church
1545 University Ave., Green Bay, WI 54302
Phone: 920-362-4726

7.20.2016

Source of Freebies

If you are interested in receiving notices for homeschooling freebies, here is a link with a large number of offerings listed. http://homeschoolgiveaways.acemlnb.com/lt.php?s=db430f8bd75d2bf209d0bdf83484bfcc&i=1278A1946A99A36002

Home School Freebies

Good Morning! For those who homeschool, or know someone who does, here is an offer for a whole lot of freebies. Not only are these resources free, they are quality, and they are for all ages. Please share the link with any and every one you know who could benefit from or would enjoy a HUGE blessing of FREE this school year!

Some years financial resources available aren't as plentiful as others. Free resources such as the ones offered at this link could make the difference between whether a family can homeschool or not. Please share them! Neither I, nor this blog, receive any recompense of any kind for passing this offer on. We just want to pass on the blessing.

Here's the link! http://www.homeschoolgiveaways.com/back-to-school-freebies-2016

7.19.2016

Meeting With Everything

Good Morning. How are you? Are you keeping cool? I went outside and watered plants earlier, before breakfast, in an attempt to avoid this afternoon's predicted hot temps. Following breakfast the youngest four and I gathered around the table to partake of the Bread of Life, the Word of God. After we had read through the verses, the children left the table. As I continued to read in the Word of God a number of verses caught my attention.

I was reading in the book of Jeremiah, chapters 21-24.  While reading I began to see the answer to some wonderings I had been having of late. Quickly I realized how vitally living justly, defending the poor, and valuing righteousness over monetary wealth is to God. I have heard it said my entire life, that God is about relationship not a rigid set of rules, but this morning, those verses in Jeremiah opened my eyes to this truth very clearly.

It isn't ever to be about me and what I can get out of a situation. It is always and only to be about God and others. Period. Justice, mercy, kindness, generosity, right  living and being, giving of self to serve others, these are the things that please God. Yes, God is a good God; wealth and riches are found in Him, but physical wealth and riches are not the prize. They are not the reward. Life with and in Him is the treasure we find when living as He desires.

There has been fighting and strife among Christian brothers and sisters in my area of Christendom for far longer than my heart likes. I have been praying and seeking God as to His heart in this matter. What pleases Him? What does He want me to think, feel, do? The answer He has been giving me? Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness...Seek first. Not later or last but first. As I have sought Him and His kingdom, revelations of who He is and what He desires have begun shining out from the pages of His word like beacons cutting through the darkness.

To do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with my God. Give thanks in all things for this is the will of Christ Jesus concerning me. If I lack wisdom ask God and He will give it to me generously, without finding fault or scolding. Above all...love. Love is peaceable, kind, not self-seeking, not rude or unmannerly. All of those memory verses from Sunday school, children's church, and other Christian programs have become living bread to eat, chew, ponder, consume, and grow in. Time and again I will wonder a question in my mind, and a scripture that answers the question will cross my path containing the answer. Amazing Grace.

It is a fact many horrific situations and events are taking place throughout the world right now, but God. God has not changed. He has not weakened. His arm has not waxed short. He is the same overcoming, delivering, healing, restoring, protecting, providing God He has always been and always will be. He fed a prophet bread and meat. He fed the children of Israel manna, gave them water, and provided meat for them. He took a little bit of fish and bread and fed thousands with entire baskets left over. He caused a borrowed ax head to float so it could be returned to its owner. He caused money to be in the mouth of a fish so his disciple could pay taxes. He used an earthquake to break the chains off his ministers so the jailer could hear the gospel's good news. He made fire on an water-logged altar. He allowed the oil to fill all of the pots. He divinely delivered His people again and again and again and is still doing so today.

The same yesterday, today, and forever is God. He is all powerful, all knowing, and all present. He is not bound by the limits of time, space, or flesh. He created all living things. He orders the universe. He is in all, through all, and is all. Every answer we need He has already given. Every provision we require He has already planned for. Every thing. He. Is. Everything. If anything in my life is not entirely and completely about Him then my life isn't wholly about Him.

He is, and yet He wants me. He longs to sit down and commune with me heart to heart, someday, face to face. All He wants is for me to love Him with everything. The delightful, overwhelming promises that fill His Word are for me, just because He wants to lavish me with Himself. Can you feel it? Can you sense the overwhelming, extravagant love of God? Is it surging throughout your entire being? Does it hum a love song as it flows? Listen closely. I think you'll hear it if you do. You'll hear the sound of heaven, the melody of Love running over and all around you. Your heart is beating in time to the Father's song of love, the song He has written just for you, for you and Him together.

Can you hear it? Rest in it. Still your mind and listen with you heart until you are able to hear with the ear of your spirit. This is where He waits for you, in the secret place where it's only the Lord and you.  No death, disease, famine, or destruction can enter into the secret place. You are sheltered under His wings. Listen to His heart. Learn of Him. Follow His leading. Obey His voice. All other voices, except His, fade away in the secret place. Confusion is absent, grumblings cease, grouchiness goes in the presence of the Lord. Linger with Him; allow Him to saturate you with His love. He will meet you there. Will you meet with Him?


7.18.2016

Snuggled Up Abiding

Hi. How are you this afternoon? I'm in this heart-searching, looking true, listening hard to God sort of season. Racial reconciliation issues, expanding my personal comfort zone and borders along with conflict among the brethren have me snuggled up close to God, under His wings, abiding. There isn't any other place nearly so safe.

Article after article share the heart of one writer after another, and each article makes me wonder more what my role is during this specific time. Here is a link to an article that encouraged me in a brand new way: Pray it blesses you as well. May we all learn to live within the new limitations and/or boundaries of our lives.  

Abiding in God,
Abundantly Blessed

7.14.2016

Getting Out of the Way

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness” (John 12:46).

These are Jesus' words. This is the reason he gave as to why He came as a light. Am I allowing Him, the Light of the world, the shine brightly through of me. It is no longer I that live but Christ that lives through me. Is He shining through me? If not, I need to get out of the way.

7.08.2016

Perfect Provision

"Parents aren’t supposed to be the loud police voice in your head — but the gentle pastor at your side."
- Ann Voskamp,  A Holy Experience

Ever have words that threatened to suck the wind right out of you? Words that seemed to point out "You Failed!" more loudly than if they have been screamed out to the universe instead of quietly typed on a screen? There were words that did this to me this morning. Words that have me on my face sucking rug before God seeking Him and only Him. For who besides He can fix what a mama has broken?

Would you like to join me on the rug this morning? Would you like to lay yourself and your own ways before the One who can fix, repair, and restore any and every thing broken, lost, or stolen? If you would like to read the wise words from a mama to her daughter at A Holy Experience, clicking on the A Holy Experience words above will take you there.

Another email shared the following words. These words overcame any tendency towards condemnation.

"God's voice is not the voice of the accuser of the brethren or the pointing of the finer or malicious, slanderous talk, evil speaking, judgmental, nor critical." - from a word on the Elijah List website

Isn't it just like the Lord to provide the perfect anecdote? God brings words in to our lives to convict and draw us closer to Him and His ways of living and being. Praising the Lord for His perfect provision this day!

7.07.2016

Expanding Our Vocabulary

What Does God Say Wednesdays aren't "Missing in Action"; they are, however, remaining on the same few verses we've already begun with. So...utter, mutter, and ponder on until we move forward in Colossians chapter 3.

Until then, the following article has made me think and will be something I print out to pray over and possibly share with My Beloved and our children. Perhaps you would like to expand your vocabulary along with us as we consider three new words. Here is the link: http://www.tjed.org/2016/07/3-words-improve-education/