Five-Fold Today - The Love of God - Know Me As Your Greatest Prize - Of the Prophets - Restoration of Hope - Retreat Not, But Join Ranks - Press In and Press On - Are You Used Of God? - He Puts Me Flat Down

December 22, 2003

The Love of God

Sammy Tippit

If I had to choose one attribute of God that produces victory in the lives of believers, then I would pick the attribute of love. The Bible says that "God is love." The Apostle Paul encouraged the Christians at Ephesus to grow in their knowledge of God "so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God" (Eph. 3:17-19 NIV).

If we are going to grow into victorious, vibrant believers, then it's imperative to get to know God in His great love. An old '50s song says, "I wonder, wonder who... who wrote the book of love." Actually, that question was answered 2000 years ago. God wrote it, and it's called the Bible. It's God's great love letter to His children. Its main character is the Author and Creator of perfect love. He loved those that no one else cared for. He loved so much that it hurt. He loved even those who hated Him. He loved the lonely - the sick - the poor - the needy - and the rejected. He loved those filled with guilt, anger, bitterness, sin, and hate. Tens of thousands of books have been written about His great love. Multitudes of articles have been printed in an attempt to describe that great love.

The love of God which is found in Jesus is so great that Paul wanted that band of believers in Ephesus to know how long, high, wide and deep it was. He wanted them to have a personal knowledge of the greatness of Christ's love. Paul knew that their growth in Christ was dependant on the knowledge of that love. We, too, must understand that victory in the Christian life is to a great extent related to our personal knowledge of God's love.

When I first came to know Christ, I was consumed with His love. I was overwhelmed with the fact that the Creator and Sustainer of the universe loved me. Wow! But, even more incredible than that fact - was how much He loved me. He loved me enough to allow His own Son, Jesus, to take the punishment for my sins. No one ever loved me like that. His love drove me to share the good news with any one and everyone who would listen. However, as I grew in my faith and understanding of God, I began to notice that I was taking His love for granted. When I presumed on the love of God, I found myself dry and defeated. I needed to be revived.

That's why I need to drink daily from the fountain of God's love. It's a spring that's everlasting - without beginning and end. The more I drink, the greater its flow. The higher I climb, the greater the thrill of the love of God. The deeper the trials, the sweeter His love tastes. The wider my circle of influence and acquaintances, the broader His embrace reaches. The longer I walk with Him, the farther I can see the love of God. His love is refreshing. It restores my soul - renews my laughter - and brightens my day. Perhaps that's why the 19th century evangelist, D. L. Moody, had painted in one of his the buildings the words, "God is love." He wanted everyone who visited Chicago and even the whole world to know that there is a God whose very essence is love.

Come and drink of that fountain! Taste and see that the Lord is good!

Know Me As Your Greatest Prize

Carolyn Spears

My children, do you understand the depth of My Love for you? Have you contemplated the awesomeness of who you are in Me? Each of you have been created out of a passion set in My heart. You are not an accident of nature, you are fearfully and wonderfully made!! I placed in each of you deposits of great treasures that I alone can unlock. You need to come unto Me at a level that you and I alone can embrace. I adore that you have come to know Me and accept Me as Lord -- yet there is more... you know this do you not? It is the cry of your heart to know Me more and yet you fear what you will have to give up. But I would tell you that you will give up the lesser, the tarnished, the old. And you will give it for something of far greater value -- the true gold, the new. Listen deep within your hearts for you do know My voice. It tells you to pursue Me, to go past the fear of the unknown for the higher prize!

You say, "Lord I have pursued." And I say yes, but I also say there is so much more that you need. Understand that My passion and pursuit of you is hot in fervency, and I desire to bring you to the fullness of who and what you were created for. Do not fear. Though the price seems strong, it will pale in comparison to all that I have for you. Have I not been trustworthy to you? Have I not led you and provided all that you really did need? Did I not protect you through the storms that have come. They did not overcome you but you have overcome them just as I said that you would -- thru Me.

Children listen! Settle yourselves and listen for I am passionately wanting to do much more for you and thru you than you allow. You think of yourselves far less than I do. Do you not understand that when I look upon you, I see a completed work? I am not blinded by the past, nor by the limitations of today -- but I see all the potential and creative treasures that I have placed in you. This, My children, is the gift that My Son bought for you. Your redemption is complete if you accept it. Your destiny is within your grasp if you will hearken unto Me, for I will it!

Of the Prophets

Tim Glendenning

Men inspired by the same Spirit which spoke in the prophets and in Christ may come to us, and we may prove as blind to every token of the Divine in them, and as deaf and unresponsive to their message, as did the Israelites in the Old Testament history, or the Pharisees in the time of Christ. The prophets won scant honor in their lifetime; their fame was altogether posthumous. Their reproach, their martyrdom, was part of the inevitable cost of moral movement. The domain of truth was widened, the standard of righteousness was raised by their sacrifice, and later generations entered into the undisputed possession of the truth they had struggled and died for, just as a victorious army sweeps into the conquered citadel over dead bodies of the forlorn hope who stormed the breach. Then, when the danger was over and the cause was won, it became the fashion to hold them in honor. But there was small credit in honoring them then.

What respect have you for those who cannot recognize a powerful and original thinker until he become famous, who cannot perceive the beauty of a poem until the reviews have stamped it with their approbation, who cannot unaffectedly admire a painting until the art critics have praised it? What credit is due to us for honoring the great men, the prophets, the champions of truth, the reformers of the past, when multitudes have crowned them with their homage, and time has set a halo round their brow? Do we recognize saints only when they have been canonized, while we are insensible of the saintliness of those with whom we are rubbing shoulders in the work-a-day dress?

It has been wisely remarked by a shrewd observer of human life that the real virtues of our age become the illegitimate birth of the next. That fact is inevitably bound up with the conditions of the moral progress of mankind. For all such progress is owing to the strenuous and persistent efforts of a small minority, men of clear perception and moral earnestness who, by struggles and sacrifices, succeed in forcing upon the rest the adoption of a higher standard. But when the new standard has been at last accepted and endorsed by public opinion, it becomes authoritative to men who would not have lifted a finger for it during the struggle. They are not necessarily better men, though their conduct has been raised to a higher level. They cannot originate, they can only imitate, and their imitation of an imposed virtue is likely to develop new vices. The belief of the Pharisees, the religious practice of the Pharisees, was an improvement upon the life of the sensual and idolatrous Jews whom the prophets denounced. But they were the same men, after all, as their fathers, only accommodated to a new age.

Growth is a policeman who constantly tells the procession of the human race to move on and to move up. Those who are conscious of purpose in the universe, those who perceive that environment in its ultimate aspect in God, obey that order, and moving on and moving up develop an intense spiritual consciousness, and so advance the fortunes of mankind. Who is it that would want to be content with a morality which keeps them in the police-court, refusing to obey the order of growth, and themselves arrest and put under restraint their spiritual growth?


Restoration of Hope

Bayo Omoyiola

I am bringing back the lost hope to the children of Abraham. I am their lost hope being restored. I am bringing back the days of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob where they rejoiced in hope without seeing the fulfillment of the promise. Yea, they rejoiced and they were filled with expectation. Their carnal thoughts did not override their ambition, for to see Me is more pleasurable than silver and gold. Therefore desire on the inside to see truth, to know Me more; for I am on the inside of you.

If you will desire Me, you will see Me more clearly. As you behold My face, you will see Me more. Look at Me, look at heaven. Behold My face and you will be changed by My image. Bear forth My image. Produce your cause, let your strong reasons come forth. Let Me know your troubles and you will be set free.

Men's hearts shall grow cold but yours shall be restored. I am doing a mending, a renewal. Let those that have ears hear what the Spirit says.

Retreat Not, But Join Ranks

Yolanda Ballard

Warriors, do not retreat in the battle. Do not run in the opposite direction of the enemy, but run towards them for surely I have given you the land. Do not give up in what appears as defeat for the enemy is lying to you. You are right at the edge of a mighty victory, a breakthrough you have been waiting for. For yes, you are at the threshold of a great awakening of My people. For I will take away the scales off their eyes of pride and deception and anoint them with the eye salve of humility and strength. For many have given way to the enemy without knowing it and have been in the enemy's camp. Now it is time to wake up and escape the clutch of the enemy.

Rush forward, Mighty River of God, and cleanse us of all filthiness of the flesh. Take away anything that would hinder our calling in You. Strengthen us to do battle, to lift up a mighty shout, and unite us as one.

No, it is not time to retreat, but to be strengthened in My presence. So draw together as one. Yes, join ranks, and I will give you the strategy that you will need to win this fight. The strategy is to humble yourself before the mighty throne of God, and I will lift you up. Trust in My strength for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Trust in My grace alone and My wisdom. If you feel you don't have a plan to take, then just rest and wait on Me for My timing is perfect in all things. Don't think you have to do something all the time for you need to take this time to rest.

Be sensitive to My calling you forth. You will hear My voice when I know you are ready. Join ranks I say this day. Put down petty differences and seek My face alone, and worship Me as a way of life by trusting and resting in Me. I will bring forth the victory through those who have childlike faith, one who trusts Me no matter what they feel or see. For I AM calling those who walk by faith and not sight and those who love above all things for that is your greatest weapon that will win the unlovely and will repel the enemy from the lost.

Yes, above all things I will have you to love your neighbor as yourself and love Me with all your mind, soul and strength. This is My greatest commandment. And to trust Me as a child would trust one who is a good father to them. Remember to keep humility as your mantle of praise, the joy of the Lord as your strength, and love your greatest weapon this day forth. This is My greatest battle plan for you is to join ranks.

Press In and Press On

Shirley Lise

Press in. Press on. It is a long journey, but the end is near. Do not be concerned about the things you cannot see, those things promised that are still outstanding. I am working on your behalf to bring all things into order according to My plan, and not one item is being left out. Do not believe the evil report of the enemy. I am able to push back the darkness and to radiate My light.

Rejoice and sing, for I have broken through to bring you into the fullness. Every enemy is under your feet. Everything that rose up against you has been defeated. I am leading you on into the work and ministry of Christ. I am parading you forth into the harvest fields.

I have searched for those who would honor My word and honor My ways and I have found many who delight themselves in Me, and it is to these that I am releasing an abundance of good things beyond their comprehension. I will endow these with favor from above.

Come into My presence. Continue to make My ways known to those who have lost the way. Continue to admonish those who lack discernment and cannot see that friendship with the world leads them away from Me. Teach them to come to Me for all their needs.

Tell them I will provide for them, I will make a way for them to prosper and be in good health as their soul prospers. Tell them to seek Me and My kingdom and I will give them the things they are in need of. Tell them I am the source of every good gift and of every resource.

Grace be unto you. My grace is upon you. I will move you on and into the promises, into those things I have shown you. I am gifting you and equipping you to move forward into the circles I would open before you. I will lead you in and open doors before you.

Just be firm in the call and do not waver. I will increase My word within you and fill you to overflowing with My truth. This will spill forth to those around you to bring light and liberty, counsel, and wisdom.

Are You Used Of God?

Doug Morrell

God will use you today. But only to the degree that you make yourself available.

I've realized that the ordinary things in my life reveal what I am truly made of more quickly than anything else.

As I take inventory of the kind of people that God has placed around me, I am humbled to discover that those people are actually His way of revealing what kind of person I am to Him.

As I think about the spiritual atmosphere in my home, I discover that how I treat my family is His way of revealing how loving I am to Him.

As I measure the amount of time spent in prayer, communion, and His Word, I am taken to my knees as I discover that He is showing me just how passionate I am for Him.

If you are like most believers, you long - hunger - in your heart to be used of God, to know Him, to love Him. We long to be used to heal, to make right, to restore, to break down walls of deception, to unite that which is shattered and fragmented, to deliver from oppressions, from bondage and enslavement, to enlighten and open eyes, to illuminate reality, to dispel lies, illusions and false visions, and to encourage, empower, enrich, fulfill, and intensify. All these are descriptions of the work God is here to do, and what He will use you to do if you are available to Him. It is exactly what God proposes to do with each of us. To be used of God is what gives meaning and purpose to our lives.

Apart from this, our best efforts results in a sense of deadness, meaninglessness, and pointlessness. We might give a most impressive display of energy, vitality, and activity, but when we get to the end we ask ourselves, "What's been the point of it all?" In the day of the judgment of the believer before God He may say, "What you did was interesting, and active, but you missed the point." I confess, that I will be content if it could be written on my tombstone, "He was used of God; he served his own generation by the will of God."

Spiritual maturity, becoming grown up as a Christian, is being made ready for consistent use by the Holy Spirit of God. When you have reached that place it will be marked by certain signs, which are revealed to us by the apostle Paul from the first chapter of Romans:

I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. (Romans 1:41)

Paul's whole life was consumed with spreading the Good News of salvation. His obligation was to Christ for being his Lord and Savior, and he was obligated to the entire world. He met his obligation by proclaiming Christ's salvation to all people - both Jews and Gentiles, across all cultural, social, racial, and economic lines. We also are obligated to Christ because He took on the punishment we deserve for our sin. Although we can never repay Jesus for all that He has done, we can demonstrate our gratitude by showing His love to others.

To reach this place, our self will must be broken. We must come to the end our ourselves where we no longer ask, "What's in it for me?"

The power of self can only be broken as we see the hunger of the heart of Jesus Christ. The love He awakens in us for Him creates a desire to satisfy His hunger to have all men brought to Him. It is what He wants. Only one thing melts the hardness and selfishness of our hearts, and that is love for Jesus Christ.

It is by faith. That's all, by believing, by committing to it. It comes by your saying, "I don't understand everything about it, but I've seen and heard enough to know that it's true - I will deliberately follow Jesus." That commitment of faith to Jesus Christ is the door by which life is opened.

You have exercised faith only when you have acted on the truth you have believed.

Grow in grace and truth,
doug morrell

A fellow servant in the work of the Kingdom.

Christian Outfitters - Live Christ Deliberately!

He Puts Me Flat Down

A. W. Tozer

Now it came to pass at the end of seven days that the word of the Lord came to me, saying, "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me." Ezekiel 3:16-17

I once heard a brother preach on the fact that the church should be without spot or wrinkle. To get the wrinkles out of a sack, he said, you fill it. To get a wrinkle out of a rug, you lay it down and walk on it. God sometimes fills us, the preacher continued, but sometimes He just puts us flat down so that everyone can walk on us!

King David long ago knew something of the latter method. He wrote, "The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows" (Psalm 129:3). I think David was talking about his enemies. And they must have been wearing hobnail boots!

Ezekiel had just come to this kind of a low-ebbed, humbling experience when God opened the heavens. In effect, God put His hand on him and said, "Now I can use you. I have some words and some plans that I want you to pass onto your country-men." Men Who Met God, pp. 117-118

"Lord, whether You fill me or 'put me flat down,' I want to be fit to be Your servant. Use Your best methods on me today, Father, as I submit myself for Your use and Your glory. Amen."

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