What causes men to take giant steps in faith?

YkNrR2FZA thin cloud of smog covered the streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. On almost all the roads, traffic had come to a standstill, and each driver seemed to create his own traffic rules. While we were stuck in traffic, a young Muslim beggar approached my window. I grabbed a shiny new coin and gave it to him. My heart was filled with deep compassion for this young man and I looked at him . “Jesus loves you!”

What happened next left me speechless. He took the coin, pelted it back at me through my window and ran away in anger. The name of Jesus provoked something deep within him.

Acts 4:18-20 says, “Then they … commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “‘Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.’” (NIV)

There always will be influences and people who want to silence us Christians. Many simply do not want to hear that wonderful name—Jesus“”. But we have the glorious obligation to carry on despite rejections, threats and persecution. It is our honor to glorify Jesus’ wonderful name in our generation. If we do this, He will stand to us no matter what. God proved it again during our crusade in Waliso, Ethiopia.

I stood on the platform that first crusade night and saw crowds of people before me who urgently needed a miracle from God. The Holy Spirit said to me, “Call someone with an injured knee up on the stage”.” I was obedient, but when I saw an elderly man break down at foot of the stairs, unable to come to the platform without assistance, I was not just dealing with a painful knee, but with a man unable to climb stairs. If the Lord did not intervene, this could turn out to be very humbling for me.

What causes men to take giant steps in faith? In Acts 3, Peter and John were going up to the temple to pray. There at the gate they came across a beggar who was lame from birth. Something grabbed Peter’s heart. He could not pass this needy man. After commanding him to walk in the name of Jesus, he put his reputation on the line by taking the lame by his hand and pulling him up. At that very moment, the power of God flowed through him and the lame man was totally healed. What makes people take risks for God?

Peter had prepared himself in the prayer chamber (upper room). But he was also willing to take a risk in public. I am convinced that there are two requirements for Christians to witness God’s powerful miracles. First, God shares His heart with you when you are alone in HIS presence. There you learn to recognize His wonderful voice. Second, when you are in the public eye, you will be willing to risk looking like a fool if necessary. The desire to please God will be so much greater than any desire to be accepted by men.
The man in Waliso stood at the bottom of the stairs and looked frail, but with great expectation. Hundreds more were watching from the crowd. I laid my hands on him and prayed a simple prayer. I opened my eyes and noticed no improvement. The Holy Spirit spoke again. “Take him by his hand and walk”.” I immediately took the man by his hand and said, “Come on, let’s walk.”

With the first step, the power of God came upon him and he was healed. He was jumping up and down and ran across the stage. We all looked on in amazement. The next day he ran up the stairs to the platform to give his testimony again.

God is willing to do so much more in our generation—if we will just let HIM.

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Miracle Candy

multicolor-candy-sweets-picture-wallpapers-2012-2013Air of expectation filled the building as people shuffled to find a seat before the service started. Suddenly a determined woman discovered R. W. Schambach, the preacher, getting ready for the service. She quickly got up to a place where she could intercept him. “Preacher” she said holding out some candy in her hand, “You have to wear this candy in your pocket as you preach today.”

“I don’t wear candy” the preacher said, “I have a handkerchief that I will give you at the end of the service.”

“No,” the woman insisted. “I have had prayer clothes from you, Oral Roberts and from TL Osborne. You see my sister has been in a mental institution for 30 years. They intercept the mail and my sister never gets the cloths. I know they will give her the candy.”

The preacher agreed to take and wear the candy as he preached. When the service ended, he gave it to the determined lady.

Three weeks later the lady got a call from the mental institution. “Come and get your sister” they said.

She asked, “Why has she died?”

“No,” was the answer. “We have done every possible test on her and she is completely normal.”

The sister had taken one bite of the candy and all the demons fled from her. She was completely healed. This lady went on to live a normal life and was able to work because her sister never gave up! (From R. W. Schambach: “Miracles” pp. 117-119.)

Have you been praying for a loved one for a long time without seeing any results? Don’t give up! Be determined like this lady was not giving up even after many years of prayer. She got the answer! God has the answer for you too!

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 15:13, NKJV)

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Stealth burners

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Christians who are on fire do not need to advertise!

As I walked through the door, the power of God came over me. What was going on here?

Almost everyone else from the church was gone, except for an elderly man, Bishop Paul Mutua, who was praying at the front. I listened to him pray and realized what had happened. Even though I had heard countless messages on prayer before, it was hearing this man pray that challenged me more than any sermon ever had. I kept thinking: This man knows God and has something that I desperately need.

As Jesus walked with two of the disciples to Emmaus after his resurrection, he did not grab them and shout, “Hey, it is me!” He talked to them. Later they said, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road?” (Luke 24:32)

When I was growing up, my mother often said to me, “Chris, when you get out into the world, always remember the wheatheads. The ones that stick their heads up the highest are always the most empty. The same goes for people!”

Are you trying to get the recognition of people?

It is not you, but Christ in you the hope of Glory! Let us burn for HIM!

“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27, NIV)

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Don’t find out when it’s too late!

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Christians who are on fire do not accept the devil’s substitutes!

We entered the room, I was introduced as “the missionary from Africa.” As soon as a young lady of about 38 heard “Africa,” she sobbed and cried out loud.

She looked at me with desperation in her eyes. Full of emotion, she told me, “God has called me to Africa! I have had a consuming dream of going and ministering to the people of Africa!”

But, she was dying from cancer. She could no longer walk upright because of the pain. She had spent her life partying and living for pleasure, until cancer had put an end to that way of life.

The question that continues to haunt me is this: Why do people only start to think about their godly calling and their life’s purpose when they are dying?

What is your purpose and what is God’s calling for your life?

Do not wait until you are faced with death before starting to seek God to find HIS purpose for your life.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psa. 139:23,24, NIV)

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No encounter, no fire

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Christians on fire have had an encounter with God!

Dense fog enveloped the valley of the beautiful Alp Mountains. I was alone in a cabin on the cold, deserted mountains, fasting and praying—so hungry for God! I started the day reading through the bible. When I got to Luke 13, it was as if God himself came into the room of that little mountain cabin.

The power of God fell on me as I read the words: “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to” (Luke 13:24). I received a vision of people from my church standing in front of God’s door, pleading with tears running down their faces. “God, please, please let me come in!”

But the door was forever closed. I watched them and wept. A heavy, almost unbearable burden came upon me. God had given me a small glimpse of reality that shook my world. I have not been the same since.

The people in my vision were not ready for eternity. This experience showed me the earnestness of the Gospel message and has kept my heart burning over the years.

If you look at the scriptures, you will see that most servants of God had a visitation from God in one way or another. (Moses had the burning bush, Gideon the angel of God, and even Jesus had the Father say, “this is my beloved son…” just to mention a few.) You can only start fire with fire! You cannot give what you have not received.

Have you had an encounter with God?

“I will bring him near and he will come close to me, for who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?’ declares the LORD.” (Jer. 30:21)

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The high influence value of integrity

ykvgqwjyRegrettably we tend to forget the high influence value of integrity in the home. R. C. Sproul, in his book Objections Answered, tells about a young Jewish boy who grew up in Germany many years ago. Th lad had a profound sense of admiration for his father, who saw to it that the life of the family revolved around the religious practices of their faith. The father led them to the synagogue faithfully.

In his teen years, however the boy’s family was forced to move to another town in Germany. This town had no synagogue, only a Lutheran church. The life of the community revolved around the Lutheran church; all the best people belonged to it. Suddenly, the father announced to the family that they were all going to abandon their Jewish traditions and join the Lutheran church. When the stunned family asked why, the father explained that it would be good for the business. The youngster was bewildered and confused. His deep disappointment soon gave way to anger and a kind of intense bitterness that plagued him throughout his life.

Later he left Germany and went to England to study. Each day found him at the British Museum, formulating his ideas and composing a book. In that book he introduced a whole new worldview and conceived a movement that was designed to change the world. He described religion as the “opiate for the masses.” He committed the people who followed him to life without God. His ideas became the norm for the government for almost half the world’s people. His name? Karl Marx, founder of the Communist movement. The history of the twentieth century and perhaps beyond, was significantly affected because one father let his values become distorted. (John Maxwell: “Developing the Leader Within You” pp 40.)

There is a great lack of people who are real in our time. When people look at you do they say, “I would like to pray like that person prays” or “I want to learn to fast like that person fasts” or “I want to be like that person because they are real.”

“Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way.” (Heb. 13:18, NIV)

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It pays to DENY SELF

heart of worshipIn one of my early meetings, in southern Missouri, good crowds had been attending for a week, but not one soul had responded to the altar call. My wife and I decided that this MUST be changed and agreed between ourselves that we would pray all night for souls to be saved in that meeting. Already we were weary in body, for the hour was late, and the service had been a hard one. Soon weariness began to creep down upon us, and even to stay awake seemed almost impossible. Again, and again one must waken the other. There was no shouting, no excitement –nothing to keep us awake but the knowledge that in this little community which God had given to us as our responsibility, souls were lost, and we must see them saved. And we had promised God to pray it through. As the sun crept over the eastern horizon, we knew that we had kept our vow, and that something was going to happen that night. We could hardly wait for the time of the service. And that night, victory came. One after another responded to the call, until nineteen souls had found salvation, and were shouting the praises of God in a little country schoolhouse, under the ministry of a preacher who had only been preaching three weeks. As we went home rejoicing from that service, we knew that God had taught us a lesson — it pays to DENY SELF the rest he may think is rightly his. It pays to pray it through, whether self is stimulated by any good feelings, or urge to pray, or not. (A. A. Allan: “The Price of God’s Miracle Working Power” pp. 68.)

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” (Isa. 55:6, NIV)

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